FRIDAY, September 11, 2015 • VOL. 18, NO. 23 • FREE

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

Quick Finder
Business.................................. 17A
Education............................... 18A
Classified............................... 19A

Health inspectors
not required to check
lifeguard certifications

spreads love
through art

Love: Jelani and
Javaric Woods

Local, 3A

local, 11A

sports, 22A


County missing
lifeguard certifications
during near drowning
by Andrew Cauthen


eKalb County did not
have certifications on
hand for all of the contracted lifeguards working at
at the pool where a boy nearly
drowned. The county’s contract required these to be kept
onsite at all times.

The Champion’s investigation revealed that the county
did not have certifications on
file for seven of the lifeguards
working at Browns Mill on the
day of the near drowning.
Further, the county did not
have certifications available
for some of its own lifeguards
in 2014 and 2015, the investigation revealed.

See Lifeguard on page 15A

Browns Mill Aquatic Center was temporarily closed after a near drowning on July 29. The county discovered that it had not checked the certifications for all of the lifeguards. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

DeKalb Medical at Hillandale celebrates 10 years
by Gale Horton Gay


ore than a decade ago, many
south DeKalb residents decried
the lack of medical services
in their community. Specifically,
they wanted a hospital with the full
complement of emergency, surgical and
inpatient as well as outpatient services
closer to home.
In July 2005, south DeKalb got what
its residents had asked for—a stateof-the-art medical facility—DeKalb
Medical Center at Hillandale.
Every year DeKalb Medical at
Hillandale serves more than 60,000
people in the Emergency Department,
16,000 who visit the Comprehensive
Breast Center, 5,000 people who seek
inpatient care and 1,600 who have
Asked about the impact has DMC at
Hillandale has had on the South DeKalb
community, Kim Bentley, vice president
and administrator for the facility, said it’s
been multi-faceted.
“DeKalb Medical at Hillandale
is a state-of-the-art facility in a
community that is most deserving.
We have established ourselves as this
community’s local hospital of choice.
We provide population-specific care
based on the needs of the residents

of Lithonia,” said Bentley. “We have
proudly added services based on
community need to include our newly
acquired radiation oncology center
and two-year-old breast center, and
expanded endovascular services
within our interventional lab. The new
expanded services allow us to have a
convenient and local facility to treat our
cancer patients undergoing radiation
therapy, allow for diagnostic and
interventional breast procedures, and
assessment and treatment for patients
with vascular and blood flow issues all
on our campus.”
Bentley added that growth and
additional services are on the horizon.
“Hillandale has an amazing growth
potential,” she said. “We have partnered
with primary care physicians in the
community to help serve the patients in
Lithonia and prevent admissions into
the hospital. We are actively looking
at expanding the services that we offer
to our diabetic and vascular patients
to improve the care necessary for our
patients with wounds. Additionally,
we are pursuing satellite stroke center
designation this fall in order to help us
identify and treat stroke patients with
the latest guidelines in accordance with
the American Stoke Association. “
To celebrate its tenth anniversary,

See Hillandale on page 15A






Page 2A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015



Connect with our Doctors

Come meet members of the DeKalb Medical
Hillandale medical staff, get your blood pressure
checked, stop into one of the Doc Talks or register
for free screenings.


& Health Fair


September 19th
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Take Control of Your Health

Become a better you by interacting with other healthconscious people with cooking demonstrations and
sign our Wall of Health while you are here.

Financial Concerns?

Talk with counselors about this year’s open enrollment
period and how you can sign up for an affordable health
plan that fits your budget. Get your health insurance
questions answered!

Family Fun

Bring your entire family out to enjoy fun for all ages, and
connect with community partners through basketball,
face painting and fresh produce.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015Page 3A

Health inspectors not required to
check lifeguard certifications
by Andrew Cauthen
DeKalb County health inspectors do not
regularly check lifeguard certifications when
inspecting pools, even though it is included
on inspection forms.
“That’s not our job to make sure they are
certified, according to DeKalb County code,”
said Alan Gaines, the environmental health
department manager, for the DeKalb County
Board of Health.
According to Chapter 511-3-5 of the state
Department of Public Health’s Rules and
Regulations for Public Swimming Pools, Spas,
and Recreational Water Parks, lifeguards,
when provided, must hold “current, nationally recognized certifications in lifeguarding,
adult/child/infant CPR and first aid.”
Copies of those certifications must be
“maintained at the facility and be available to
the local health authority for inspection,” the
regulations state.
DeKalb County, however, has its own
regulations for pools, which do not mention
lifeguard certifications.
When asked about lifeguard certifications, Gaines in an Aug. 31 statement said,
“As stated in the code, the records must be
kept on site for the inspector to view. Yes, our
inspectors will check to see that these records
are present at the time of inspection and that
they are available for review upon request.”
In a phone interview the next day, Gaines
said, “It’s not one of our highest priorities.
It’s not the highest priority of our inspectors
when we go out to inspect the swimming
pool,” Gaines said.
DeKalb County code requires pool operators to maintain daily operating records and
data such as disinfectant levels, pH and maintenance procedures.
“That’s the records that we are most consistently looking for,” Gaines said.
The requirement to check for lifeguard
certifications is in state regulations, but not
county code, Gaines said. And the requirement is listed on the inspection forms used by

DeKalb inspectors.
“I can’t speak for every pool that we go
to that has lifeguards, whether it’s [checked]
every time somebody goes out, but upon request they should be able to produce the records of the lifeguards that they have on staff,”
he said.
“It’s a two-point violation on our inspection form,” Gaines said. “These forms have
been being used by the county for some time.
They haven’t been reviewed and updated for a
number of years.”
When designing an updated inspection
checklist for that refers to particular sections
in DeKalb County’s code, “it came to our
knowledge that is not in DeKalb county code
that it requires lifeguards records to be kept at
the pool site,” Gaines said.
“I was under the impression it was too,”
Gaines said. “I know it’s on the inspection
sheet. It is in the state code, but it’s not in
DeKalb County code. It’s on the form assuming it was in our code.
“We may have some [inspectors] that
ask for it, but it’s not required by our code,”
Gaines said. “I think some people probably do
look for it because it’s on the sheet, but we’re
not required to by the ordinance.”
Checking the mechanical functioning of
the pool is a higher priority than checking for
lifeguard records, Gaines said.
Pool inspection reports and scores are
posted on the website of the DeKalb County
Board of Health (, but
Gaines said those scores are not reliable.
“We have some difficulties with that online service. It’s kind of unreliable,” he said
about the website module which is provided
by a contractor. “There are some difficulties
with our pool module on that website. Sometimes the fields don’t line up 100 percent accurately.
“We’re actually in the process of going on
to a different system with the state,” Gaines
In the meantime, records can be requested through the Open Records Act, he added.




Search warrants issued
for Lee May, ex-workers
by Andrew Cauthen
Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May announced
Sept. 1 that search warrants have been issued for
emails for himself and two former employees.
Requested by a DeKalb County Police sergeant,
the search warrants are for emails of May, former
DeKalb County chief of staff Morris Williams and
former procurement director Kelvin Walton.
The requested emails are from Dec. 13, 2010, to
Dec. 31, 2011, and may prove conspiracy to defraud
a state or political subdivision, and false statements,
according to the warrants. May was the District 5
commissioner during the time in question.
An investigation by WSB-TV and the Atlanta
Journal Constitution discovered that county processes
were not followed when sewage backed up into May’s
home in 2010.
In April, May called on the FBI to investigate the
news report.
“I, and possibly others, may be the victims of
wrongdoing,” May said at the time. “The issue involves a sewage flood in my home on Kilkenny
Circle in December 2010, when I was a member of
the Board of Commissioners. A contractor came to
my property to remove the sewage and repair the
damage. It has come to my attention that I received
expedited treatment by county staff regarding the
payment to the contractor for fixing the damage.”
May said he “neither had any knowledge, directly
or indirectly, of special treatment,” nor did he request any.
In the April statement, May said the county issued a check of $6,400 directly to the vendor in June

See Warrants on page 6A


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015Page 4A

Finding inspiration in an unlikely message
Maybe I’ve not become a
total cynic.
These days, when a
politician announces a press
conference, I’m already
groaning. Is it to deny an accusation of wrongdoing? Is it
to gloat over an accomplishment for the public good
that’s really just a part of his/
her job description? Or maybe it’s to bring us the kind of
bad news that means another
dip in our pockets?
However, a couple of
weeks ago, one politician
called a press conference that
not only caught my eye but
captured my heart. President
Jimmy Carter’s announcement that he has brain cancer was an extraordinary
Sitting alone at a table
in jeans and jacket, Carter
revealed that he is battling

Gale Horton Gay

Lifestyle Editor

melanoma and that four
spots of the cancer have been
found on his brain. For approximately 40 minutes he
talked about the cancer, how
it was found, his initial reaction when he thought he had
just weeks to live and how
he was about to undergo the
first in a series of radiation

treatments within a matter of
Carter’s demeanor was
calm and true to the Sunday
School teacher that he is. He
relied on humor, accented
with his signature smile in
his delivery, to allay fears and
underscore his view that everything was going to be alright regardless the outcome.
Jimmy Carter came
across as a humble man who
would take on the challenge
of what life had dealt him
without bitterness or anger.
He seemed more interested
in informing us, educating
us and even comforting us
about what’s ahead for him
and what many of us may
also face one day.
What also struck me is
how Carter made it clear
that despite his many stellar achievements—serving

in the Navy, being elected a
senator, governor and president and winning a Nobel
Peace Prize—he cited his
role as a husband, father and
founder of The Carter Center
as the most significant of his
life. He said marrying his
wife of 69 years, Rosalynn
Carter, was the best decision
of his life.
“I have had a wonderful
life,” Carter said. “I’m ready
for anything and I’m looking
forward to new adventure.”
And as Carter, 90, talked
about his desire to still go to
Nepal this fall to build houses for Habitat for Humanity, I couldn’t help but think
what an irrepressible, optimistic, selfless spirit he is.
And Carter also put his
faith front and center.
“Now I feel it’s in the
hands of God, whom I wor-

ship, and I’ll be prepared
for anything that comes,” he
said according to published
For me there are a wealth
of lessons in Jimmy Carter’s
candid conversation with
us—the importance of living a genuine life with few
regrets, making a contribution to society, recognizing
the true value of family and
faith, not getting caught up
in titles and positions that
shift and change and accepting reality while still fighting
the good fight.
I send my prayers and
well wishes to Jimmy Carter
along with the multitude
of others and hope that his
words can inspire us to also
seek “exciting, adventurous
and gratifying” life experiences.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015Page 5A

One Man’s Opinion

“Look at what’s happened
to me, I can’t believe it myself. 
Suddenly I’m up on top of
the word, it should have been
somebody else,” theme song
lyrics by Mike Post, from
The Greatest American Hero
Earnest, honest and “cool”
school teacher Ralph Hinkley was an unlikely superhero when extraterrestials
interested in assisting the
people of Earth granted Hinkley his “super suit.” Fans
of the iconic ABC action/
comedy drama starring William Katt, Robert Culp and
Connie Selleca will recall
that Hinkley never quite
mastered the superhero skill
of flying and that he lost the
instruction manual for the
suit in the pilot (and replacements as well during the series run).
Though hardly a secret
to close family and friends,
I often astound others who
don’t know me as well by
sharing that since the age
of 9 or 10, I have been an
avid comic book collector. I
own thousands, some worth
several hundred dollars, and
though I have periodically
shelved the hobby more than
once for a decade or so, it always draws me back in. Even
as a young boy, what could
be more entertaining than a
world where practically ev-

Dragon prose and cons

Bill Crane


ery super female wore skin
tight clothing?
During high school,
college and later, friends
and others who were not
fans would often mock my
hobby. And so, I shifted
interests towards science fiction and espionage, James
Bond, the Star Wars and Star
Trek films, and the like. My
meticulous maintenance of
the collection resulted in an
investment portfolio, by percentage of increase in value,
which long surpassed virtually every traditional investment except real estate.
But something strange
and wonderful has happened
to be such a fan of fantasy
over the last decade or so,
being a “nerd” has developed
its own elan and as fan boys
and girls were critical in the
development of much of
what we now know to be the

Internet as well as many of
its most popular social media
sites and applications, it has
become cool to care about
the superhero world.
The current all-time
box office champion is The
Avengers. Disney bought
up rival Marvel Studios and
many of its more bankable
titles feature spandex and super-villains, not a princess or
a mouse (excluding of course
Frozen and its coming sequel, which, I will point out,
give the traditional Disney
princess some really cool,
magical freezing super powers). The hottest continuing
sitcom, The Big Bang Theory,
starts its ninth season next
week, from the same team
that made Charlie Sheen a
household name with Two
and a Half Men, but in sharp
contrast to the brother/familial dysfunction of the Sheencom, on BBT, the nerds get
the girls.
Oh, if only it were 2015
in 1985, which brings me to
modern day Atlanta and this
Labor Day weekend. Our
downtown was pleasantly
under seige by visitors for a
Falcon’s preseason game, two
college football games, the
Atlanta Black Gay Pride Festival and now in its 28th year,
DragonCon. What began as a
local and very modest gathering of the Dragon Alliance
of Gamers and Role-Players

(DAGR), has grown to become an almost weeklong
throng of thousands, touching most every genre of science fiction and fantasy. This
year’s gathering drew 65,000
registrants and had a projected economic impact of $65
million, roughly twice that of
the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
In addition to the hits
on the big and small screen,
gaming and science fiction
print, the gothic world of
vampires, witches and zombies were also omnipresent
as Georgia is also home to
the productions of The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries and The Witches of East
End (pilot partially filmed in
And though Georgia may
not be close to Buffy Sommers’ Hellmouth, we remain
the center of the post-Zombie apocalypse. Books ranging from Harry Potter to The
Twilight trilogy, and graphic
novels about an aging Batman, The Dark Knight trilogy and The Watchmen now
frequently top The New York
Times Best Seller lists.
And though my favored
genre remain super-heroes,
spies and certain realms of
the supernatural, I must admit that even I don’t ‘get’ all
of this. I have long been particularly puzzled by the draw
of Japanime and manga...
just what exactly is a Sailor

Moon?  Hello Kitty in a cross
school girl/Navy uniform? 
Different strokes for different
folks I guess. 
For me, and an apparently
large and growing audience
it is just one more interesting
tangent of Dragon prose and
Bill Crane also serves as a
political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action
News, WSB-AM News/Talk
750 and now 95.5 FM, as well
as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press
and Georgia Trend. Crane is
a DeKalb native and business
owner, living in Scottdale. You
can reach him or comment on
a column at bill.csicrane@ 

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

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

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


Page 6A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015

Masumi Matsuda
Masumi Matsuda grew
up in Osaka, Japan; one of
the country’s largest cities.
Her mother was a huge animal lover who would feed
stray cats and allow them to
stay in their home. As a result, Masumi’s family owned
13 cats and a dog named
Chiro, who Matsuda said she
loved like a brother.
Now Matsuda resides
in McDonough where she
travels from her home twice
a week to volunteer at PAWS
Atlanta no-kill animal shelter
in Decatur walking big dogs.
She said, “It’s more challenging to work with them,
and they stay in the shelter
longer than the smaller

She added, “The more I
spend time with them, the
more we bond with each
other. We build a friendship.

I usually take the dogs to the
off-leash park with Mike,
one of the staffers. Sometimes, we introduce a new
dog to another dog, to see if
they can make friends and
play together. Sometimes it
works, sometimes it doesn’t.
But when it does, that makes
my day.”
Matsuda said she found
PAWS Atlanta when browsing the Internet to find volunteer positions where she
could walk dogs.
“I wanted to find a nokill shelter. That was important to me, that PAWS
Atlanta was a no-kill shelter,”
she said.
Matsuda said she enjoys
being around the animals.

She currently owns three
cats and a German Shepherd
and Plott Hound mix that
she adopted from PAWS Decatur.
“I adopted him about
two and a half years ago. He
was one of the dogs I walked.
He was the best dog–very social, very smart, just a perfect
fit for me,” she said.
“I thought he would find
a home right away because
he was so friendly but he
was at PAWS for about six
months. So, I adopted him. I
always feel like he’s the perfect dog for me. I didn’t have
to teach him anything,” she
Matsuda said since working with PAWS she’s noticed

that some of the dogs are
afraid of people when they
come into the shelter.
She said working with
the animals is relaxing for
“It makes me feel like
my life is a little bit more
valuable. I feel like I am contributing something to the
homeless animals,” she said.
She added, “It’s a real
social problem. I feel like I’m
helping them find homes,
helping them get adopted.
Sometimes I feel like the
dogs and the cats are making
me a better person.”

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

Candidates throw their names in municipal elections
by Carla Parker
The race has been set for the November General Election in DeKalb
County municipalities.
In Decatur, city Commissioner
Scott Drake is seeking reelection
for the District 1 Post B seat against
two challengers—Valencia Monique
Breedlove and Eric Tumperi. Brian
Smith and James Johnson are running for the open District 2 Post B
seat, and Anthony Powers and John
Ridley will run for the open at-large
Mayor Jim Baskett, who has
been a commissioner since 1995, will
not seek another term as the city’s atlarge commissioner. Mayor Pro Tem
Kecia Cunningham also will not

seek reelection.
Decatur school board member
Christopher Garrett Goebel will
run unopposed for the District 1 Post
B seat. Julie Rhame is not seeking
reelection for her District 2 Post B
seat, and Tasha White and Thomas
DeSimone will run for the open seat.
Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca
Chase Williams is facing two challengers for her seat. Dale Boone
and John Ernst. Eve Erdogan will
challenge city Councilwoman Linley Jones for the District 1 seat, and
Bates Mattison will run unopposed
for his District 3 seat.
In Lithonia, city Councilman
Al Franklin will challenge Mayor
Deborah Jackson for her seat.
Council members Darold Honore
and Shameka Reynolds are seek-

Warrants Continued From Page 3A
“During that same month, the
reporters revealed that a check of
$4,000 was written by the contractor
to my name and cashed into a bank
in North Georgia,” May said. “Let me
be very clear: I did not receive this
check. The endorsement signature
on the back of this check is not mine.
“Thus, it appears that a fraud has

been committed using my name and
my position,” he stated.
The contractor subsequently won
a $300,000 contract with DeKalb
County in 2011, which May supported as a commissioner.
The warrants come as county officials are awaiting a report from a
special investigator who described
the county government as “rotten to

ing reelection, and Fred Reynolds,
who has fought to renovate the Bruce
Street corridor, is running for a city
council seat.
In Stone Mountain, Richard
Mailman will run unopposed for the
Post 1 city council seat. Diana Hollis will challenge Steve Wells for the
Post 2 council seat, and Judy Asher
will challenge Chakira Johnson for
the Post 3 council seat.
Avondale Estates Mayor Jonathan Elmore, who was elected mayor
in March, will run unopposed. Commissioner John Quinn is seeking
reelection, and Brian Fisher and
Adela Yelton are running for commissioner.
Chamblee Councilman Thomas
Hogan will run unopposed for his
District 3 seat, but at-large council-

member Dan Zanger will be challenged by Darron Kusman and District 2 Councilwoman Leslie Robson
will be challenged by Verl C. Van
Clarkston Councilman Warren
Hadlock is seeking reelection, and
Birendra Dhakal, Awet “Howard”
Eyasu and Mario Williams are running for a seat on the council.
Tom Hart will challenge
Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman for
her seat, and Councilwoman Pam
Fleming will face off against Julie
Newman and Elton Mile for her
Tim Snyder and Md Naser are
running for the open Doraville District 2 seat and Shannon Hillard
is running unopposed for the open
District 3 seat.

the core.” The investigator was hired
by May to uncover corruption.
“I have said from the very beginning that I expect full cooperation
from all county employees as it pertains to the ongoing investigations
into DeKalb County government,”
May said. “I include myself in that
directive, and I have ordered staff to
comply completely and as rapidly as

“I share the sentiments of everyone who wants to get to the bottom
of corruption and wrongdoing, and
these search warrants are a step in
this process,” May said. “Personally, I
have nothing to hide; and there will
be nothing in my email to suggest I
have done anything wrong.”




The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015Page 7A


PAWS Atlanta to host fundraising party
On Sept. 19, 6:30 – 10 p.m., PAWS Atlanta
will entertain guests with blues and BBQ, a silent
auction, craft beer tastings and a brewery tour
at Red Brick Brewing Company at 2323 Defoor
Hills Road, Atlanta.
Since 1966 PAWS Atlanta has found homes
for more than 45,000 homeless animals in metro
Tickets for the event are $85 per person. To
RSVP or make a donation to the not-for-profit
shelter visit

Avondale Estates

Decatur, presented the event.
“This is what a strong community looks like,”
said Smith. “Dozens of talented performers, 45
generous sponsors, hundreds of enthusiastic concert attendees, and – most importantly one critical community organization, Decatur Cooperative Ministry – that is making a difference right
here in our backyard.”
The event was sponsored by Lenz, Lockman
Homebuilding, AtlantaBen Realty, the Decatur
Rotary Club, the Leafmore Group, Natalie Gregory of Keller Williams, the city of Decatur and
the Decatur Downtown Development Authority,
Travis Grubb of Keller Knapp Realty, Verisail
Partners, First Baptist Church of Decatur, Paul
Hastings LLC, and Jennifer Jurle of Kurle Law.

Stone Mountain

Waffle House to celebrate 60 years

Musical artist Jimmy Harris and Friends will
perform Sept. 18 at “Tunes by the Tracks” at 7
p.m. The event is a free concert series that will
be held each Friday night in September and October, 7-9 p.m. in Stone Mountain Village. Beer
and wine will be available for sale and lawn chairs
are encouraged. For more information, call (770)

A citywide yard sale will be held in Stone
Mountain on Saturday, Oct. 17, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.,
on the First Baptist Church lawn in the center
of town. Set up begins at 7:30 a.m. on the day of
the sale–tables will not be provided. A limited
number of 10-foot by 10-foot spaces under the
pavilion are available at $20 each on a first-come,
first-served basis; 10-foot by 10-foot lawn spaces
can be rented for $10 each. For more information, contact Susan Coletti at (404) 444-5607 or
City Hall at (770) 498-8984. No food vendors, no
refunds and no rain date.


CID and property owner team to remove
dilapidated billboard 

The fifth annual Amplify Decatur concert
series, held in late June at Eddie’s Attic, raised
$28,500 for Decatur Cooperative Ministry
(DCM), producing funds to support the nonprofit organization’s mission of alleviating homelessness in DeKalb County.
Amplify Executive Director Spencer Smith
and Board Member Drew Robinson presented
the check to DCM earlier this week.
The event featured performances by alternative country pioneer Jay Farrar, 90s alternative
radio darlings Cracker, a Neil Young celebration
featuring 10 performers paying tribute to Young’s
music, and a kids’ show featuring the Wishing Jar.
Lenz, a marketing agency located in downtown

City to host music event

Citywide yard sale

A 60-year celebration for Waffle House will be
held Sept. 12, from noon to 3 p.m., at the Waffle
House Museum. In 1955, Joe Rogers and Tom
Forkner opened the first Waffle House Restaurant in Avondale Estates. Attendees will be told
about the history and the beginning of Avondale
Estates’ first 24-hour restaurant. The event is free
to attend. The museum is located at 2719 East
College Avenue in Decatur.

Concert raises $28,500 for Decatur
Cooperative Ministry

ness. Until [Morsberger] pointed it out, we never
had any reason to think about how it was affecting the district.”
The CID, Callahan and owners of the Valero
station shared in the cost of the removal operation.
“Having an attractive business location, no
matter what the business is, is better for that business and every other business in the district,”
Morsberger said. “We want people to know that
every property owner in the Stone Mountain CID
is open for business and welcomes everybody.”

The Stone Mountain Community
Improvement District (CID) recently reduced
a bit of blight by removing an unused billboard
at a convenience store on Mountain Industrial
Boulevard near Highway 78
When CID President Emory Morsberger approached property owners where the billboard
was located with a request to remove the structure, the idea was met with resistance, according
to news release by the CID.
“It was a classic case of ‘it’s not hurting my
business, so I’m not going to improve it’ on the
part of the operator,” Morsberger said. “But visual
appeal is vital to any business and to every business in the district.”
Morsberger then contacted Morgan Callahan,
the district supervisor at Petroleum Realty, who
understood the concern and was receptive to removing the billboard.
“Every drop of gasoline sold at a Valero station is 100% American oil,” Callahan said. “We’re
the largest refiner of gasoline in the U.S., and we
understand that a company’s overall image is important. But we’d never addressed the billboard at
that location because it wasn’t hurting our busi-

Forty nonprofits convene to address state of
public education
The members of the DeKalb National Council of Negro Women and members of the Decatur
and Stone Mountain-Lithonia Alumnae Chapters
of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. convened more
than 40 civic organizations for a community partners meeting on education efficacy.
The meeting was held at the Community
Achievement Center to discuss the launch of the
Delta Teacher Efficacy Campaign, a three-year collaboration aimed at enhancing student academic
achievement by focusing on helping educators lead
at-risk, urban students.
DeKalb County was selected as one of 40 locations in the United States for the groundbreaking
work, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation.
Community partners currently involved in the
efficacy campaign include: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.’s Tau Pi Omega Chapter, Sigma Gamma
Rho Sorority Inc.’s Eta Sigma Chapter, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.’s Decatur Alumni Chapter,
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity’s Beta Psi Omega Chapter, Greenforest/McCalep Christian Academic
Center, The Stewart Foundation, It’s All About
Education, and DeKalb County School District.
For more information, email dtecdekalb@


Page 8A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015

Briarwood Park Conservancy working to improve park
by Carla Parker
Residents near Briarwood
Park in Brookhaven are doing
what they can to upgrade their
The Briarwood Park Conservancy has been meeting
with city officials and a local
architecture and planning
company to come to an agreement on what additions and
renovations need to be made in
the 18-acre park.
Chad Boles of the Briarwood Park Conservancy said
the group began as a friends
group for Park Pride in May
“We officially became a tax
501c3 in 2014, so our group
simply advocates for this park
to keep it clean,” Boles said.
Sometimes the city can’t do
some of our expectations, our
designs and ideas. So, we do
a lot of man hours down here
and pick up trash, support the
pool, support community programs and support program
involvement. We want to see
as many kids in the park as
we can, and we’ll do whatever
we’re able to, to kind of move
the process along and help if
we can.”
The conservancy met with
representatives from GreebergFarrow—an architecture, planning, engineering and development firm–on Sept. 3 to give
staff specific ideas and guidance about what park users
would like to see at the park.
The city hired GreebergFarrow

to master plan all of the parks
in Brookhaven.
One area the group wants
to renovate is the river bridge.
“We’ve been working on
this river bridge since the day
we started,” Boles said. “It’s a
liability and we’re hoping to get
that corrected with a design
that fits into our overall theme
of what we’d like to see at the
Boles said the conservancy
also wants a new pool house,
an off-leash area for dogs, additional signage and paths for
the trail that goes throughout
the park.
“Eventually, we want to see
more lighting around the pool
and more lighting around the
park and at the tennis courts,
new pavement,” Boles said. “It
would be nice to see a renovated façade of some kind on the
rec center, just improvements
to make the whole park look
Briarwood Park Conservancy member Rob Turner
said the next step is to receive
funding from the city.
“We need a commitment
from the city to give this longneglected park the money and
the resources that it takes to
improve our structure,” Turner
“There are a lot of people
that play here and use the
park,” Boles said. “We’re a diverse group and we embrace
it and we’re a cat of a different
stripe, so to speak. It’s a good
place to be for anybody.”
The Briarwood Park Conservancy is in discussions with Brookhaven officials and a local architecture and
planning company about improvements to Briarwood Park.

County accepting applications for CEO
internship program
The DeKalb County Office
of Youth Services is accepting applications for the DeKalb County
CEO’s internship Program until
Oct. 9.
The internship program
targets college students in their
third year and above to provide
educational experiences to help
strengthen opportunities available
in various career disciplines and
paths. Students must be residents
of DeKalb County and currently
enrolled in a metro Atlanta area
college or university.
Selection is based on a completed application, including an
essay and a completed referral
from a county commissioner,
school administrator, teacher,
counselor or civic leader. Other
considerations may include GPA,
community involvement and
presentation during the interview

process. Selected participants will
be notified of their acceptance by
December 2015 and will begin
during the spring semester in
January 2016.
Successful applicants will be
exposed to governmental, business and community careers as
they interact with professionals.
Interns will be provided with
skill-related, career-related and
professional opportunities that
offer immediate access to DeKalb
County departments and professional development training series
to supplement their classroom
Students may obtain application packets by visiting www. For additional information, contact KaCey
Venning at (404) 687-7192 or by
email at

Pet of the Week

Ava ID# 28651308 may
be large, but with Ava you are
definitely the one in charge!
This well-behaved 3 year old
loves treats and will do just
about anything for one (except
try to snatch it from your
fingers!). She has mastered
the art of catching treats in the
air and would love to show you
her special talent. This big
and beautiful girl is as sweet
and gentle as they come. She
would be an awesome family
pet. She gets along great with
other dogs too! If you have a
loving heart and some space in
your home that you’d like to fill
with a furry friend; come meet
Ava. You’ll be glad you did.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015Page 9A

Nonprofit helps other
groups solve problems
by Andrew Cauthen
For six years, a local nonprofit organization has been “leading a community of
startups doing good” in DeKalb County
and around metro Atlanta, said the group’s
Plywood People helps groups “get their
projects off the ground and connected”
to whatever resources they need, said Jeff
Shinabarger, founder and executive director.
Those resources “could include marketing help, business help, [answers to] questions about sustainability, [and] helping
them get connected to donors or investors,”
Shinabarger said. “Also it could be helping
them as a leader with personal decisions
and work-life balance.”
Plywood People started with a single
project called Gift Card Giver.
“We collect unused gift cards to give
them to people in need,” Shinabarger said.
“It was a unique project that got a lot of interest really quickly. We’ve been able to give
away over $300,000 in unused gift cards.
“Because of that project, I kept getting
connected to other people that had unique
social entrepreneurial projects that needed
some expert [help],” he said. “Next thing
you know, there was a whole organization
built around it because the demand was
getting higher and higher and higher.”
In the last three years, Plywood People
has worked with approximately 150 different projects.
It has assisted Refuge Coffee Truck, a
Clarkston nonprofit organization that offers
jobs and job-training for resettled refugees.
“They are teaching refugees how to be
baristas,” Shinabarger said.
Another Clarkston-based project of
Plywood People is Billboard Bags. In this
program jobs are created for refugees who
make bags and wallets. Refugees are trained
to sew and are taught English.
Plywood People works with Beloved

Atlanta, “a nonprofit that’s working with
girls on the streets of Atlanta, getting them
off the streets and out of prostitution and
[a] trafficking situation,” Shinabarger said.
The organization rehabilitates the females
and seeks to get them into full-time positions.
Each year, Plywood People holds a
“gathering for social innovators,” during
which entrepreneurs convene to be educated and inspired. For the last four years,
an idea competition has been held during
the gathering.
“It’s where we take ideas that are in
some way trying to address some problem
in our city and we give them a platform to
share their idea in front of the entire audience,” Shinabarger said. The presenters get
five minutes, five slides and the chance to
compete for $5,000.
During the recent Plywood Presents
gathering in August, Decatur nonprofit
Paint Love won second place in the competition.
“There are numerous, numerous organizations in the Atlanta area that are being
impacted because of our mentoring and
platform,” Shinabarger said. “I think the
unique thing that we get to do is to work
with the leader and social innovator behind
all these projects to make sure that they are
building organizations and businesses that
are sustainable and building models that
can be truly meeting the problem that they
“The impact is very broad. The projects
we get involved in are all over the map of
Atlanta and equally the social issues of Atlanta,” said Shinabarger, who lives in East
Atlanta. “We try to find people that have a
deep sense of calling or mission, and to join
them in their problem-solving.”
Shinabarger added, “I think you see
some impact now, but hopefully the impact
will be a lot more five and 10 years from
now when you see these people that have
taken something from concept all the way
to sustainable project and organization.”

MARTA Selects development
partners for Brookhaven,
Chamblee stations
The MARTA Board of Directors has approved the transitoriented development partners
for its Brookhaven/Oglethorpe
and Chamblee rail stations.  
MARTA will now enter into
negotiations with Brookhaven
City Center Partners and Trackside Partners, respectively, on
the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe
and Chamblee Transit-Oriented
Development (TOD) projects.
The agency seeks to strengthen
the link between public transit,
housing and job access at its rail
 “Our TOD partners have
significant industry expertise
and are committed to developing high-quality projects that
enhance these communities,” said
MARTA CEO Keith T. Parker.
 The development partners’
portfolios include residential,
commercial and mixed-use projects in metro Atlanta, the state
and beyond.
 Phase One construction
on the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe
TOD is scheduled to begin in the
summer of 2017; the Chamblee
TOD is slated to break ground in
 For the Brookhaven/
Oglethorpe station, the development partner has proposed a
three-phase, mixed-use master
plan, subject to a community
engagement process that will lead
to city approval and rezoning to
facilitate transit-oriented development. The team is compo sed
of a joint venture with Integral
and Transwestern Development
Phase One includes 330
apartments, 25,200 square feet of
retail, and 117,600 square feet of
office space. Additional phases
could include senior housing,

civic spaces and a hotel. The
Brookhaven/Oglethorpe station
opened in 1984 and averages
2,300 weekday entries.  
The Chamblee TOD’s developer, Trackside Partners, is a
joint venture of Pattillo Industrial
Real Estate and Parkside Partners
 The Chamblee rail station
opened in 1987 and averages
3,700 daily entries. Phase One
of the proposed development
includes 13,000 square feet of
retail and 38,000 square feet of
office space. A pocket park is also
planned for the community.

Second annual Stone
Mountain Plein Air Paint Out
ART Station Contemporary
Arts Center, Stone Mountain
Park and Stone Mountain Memorial Association have announced the second annual
Stone Mountain Plein Air Paint
Out on Saturday, Sept. 26.
Organizers expect approximately 100 painters from
throughout the region to be
painting around the Park, and
in the historic Village of Stone
Mountain, in the same way as
the impressionists did: on location, or en plein air.
Participating artists will submit up to two paintings created
during the day, for an exhibit at
ART Station that evening, from
4 to 6 p.m. They will be competing for cash awards totaling
more than $1,000, and several
purchase awards.
The juror for the Paint Out
is Kippy Hammond, whose
work has been recognized in
numerous exhibitions and solo
shows, receiving national and
international awards. She is a
signature member of the Pastel Society of America and the

See Briefs on page 10A

Time to invest
in yourself.
There’s still time to attend GPC this Fall. Learn more at
If you’re already accepted but haven’t enrolled, visit

TheCampion.indd 1

9/1/15 1:27 PM


Page 10A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015

Two deceased, one officer arrested after drive-by shooting
by Carla Parker
Two men are dead and
an Atlanta police officer was
arrested after a drive-by shooting in unincorporated Stone
Mountain Sept. 2.
The deceased victims in
the shooting were identified
as 20-year-old Langston Colzie and 23-year-old Marvin
Lewis. Christian Davis, 21,
was arrested and charged with
two counts of voluntary manslaughter.
According to DeKalb
County Police spokeswoman
Mekka Parish, Colzie, Lewis,
Davis and another man were
standing outside a home on
Eberline Court when a silver
Jeep Cherokee drove up to the


Continued From Page 9A

Southeastern Pastel Society
and a former Salon International du Pastel guest of honor.
Hammond currently lives in
France and is the resident artist and director of La Bonne
Etoile Artist Retreat in Fontaine-Fourches.
Other activities are
planned in conjunction with
the Paint Out. There will be
a workshop held on Sept.
25 to give artists a chance to
improve their plein air techniques, and an exhibition of
plein air paintings in the Trolley Stop Gallery. The exhibit
will be an invitational “juror’s
choice,” featuring artists selected by Hammond.
The purpose of the event
is to increase the awareness of
and appreciation for the appeal of the park and surrounding community and to bring
artists to the area.
There also will be a reception and awards presentation
where the public can meet
the artists, and enjoy hors
d’oeuvres and music. The
paintings will be for sale.
For more information
about any of the events, or artists’ registration, contact ART
Station at (770) 469-1105,
com, or visit the website www.
ART Station is a non-profit, contemporary visual and
performing arts center located
at 5384 Manor Road, Stone

“At least one occupant
inside began to fire,” Parish
said. “Mr. Davis returned fire
but in the process…is believed
that he struck his two acquaintances [Colzie and Lewis].
Somehow, someway they got
into the line of fire.”
An officer located an AR15 with drum magazine at the
scene, which police discovered
belonged to Davis. Parish
said police are still searching
for the occupants of the Jeep
“We have not located the
car or the individuals inside,”
she said.
Atlanta Police Officer
Gregory Morris, 47, was also
arrested, but for punching a
DeKalb police officer. Parish

said Morris responded to the
scene believing his son was
one of the deceased men.
Morris’ son, Gregory
Morris Jr., was on the scene
but he was not injured in the
“We had a DeKalb County
police officer who was leaving the scene. Officer Morris’
car was blocking that officer
and the officer asked Morris if
he would move his car to the
other side of the street so he
could get out,” Parish said. “At
that point [Morris] refused; he
became extremely belligerent
and at some point punched
the officer.”
According to the police
report, Morris said, “F*** you”
to the officer when he asked

Morris to move his car the first
time. The officer asked Morris
multiple times to move his vehicle, and Morris continued to
shout profanities at the officer.
“They then had to detain
him because he continued to
refuse [to follow] commands
and resisted,” Parish said. “He

was also Tased. Once he was
in the car he made some comments about apologizing.”
Morris was booked into
the DeKalb County Jail and
charged with obstruction and
simple battery. According to
reports, Morris was released
from jail and is on paid leave.


DeKalb County Government seeks two County residents to serve as volunteers on the 5-member Audit Oversight Committee as required by House
Bill 599 of the Georgia General Assembly. This committee will function
independently in conducting performance and financial-related audits for
all departments, offices, agencies, and programs of the County.
Interested individuals must meet the following requirements:

•Reside in DeKalb

•Possess expertise conducting performance or financial audits

•Minimum five years experience and certified as one of following -

public accountant, internal or performance auditor, management

accountant; or ten years relevant professional experience

•Serve one- or four-year term
Résumés accepted 8/24 – 9/11/15 at


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015Page 11A

Paint Love artists Audrey Dakin, Miranda Duncan and Alex Pate lead youth from Kate’s
Club in a metal works project. Photos provided.

Artist Alex Pate, right, helps a student with the metal works project.

Painter Lindsay Ryden helps students create a mural that incorporates students’ responses to the school’s new “Believe You Can” motto.

Miranda Duncan works with a foundry.

Artist Rich Dennard, right, demonstrates
and teaches graffiti techniques to a group of
teens in a collaborative mural.

Nonprofit spreads love through art
by Andrew Cauthen
In 2013, when an acrylic painter was invited to
teach an art class to young victims of domestic sex
trafficking, it sparked a creative idea.
“It was just amazing to see the therapeutic
implications of this art and how much the girls
gravitated toward it, and the beautiful pieces they
created,” said professional Julie Ann McKevitt,
whose projects include a mural for the Atlanta
The organization, Wellspring Living, did not
have the resources to provide more of the programs and “that’s what sparked the idea in me,”
McKevitt said.
In 2013 Paint Love started as part of her art
business, and in 2014 it became a 501c3 nonprofit.
“It has quickly become much bigger than me,
which is incredible to see,” she said.
Paint Love connects “artists with other nonprofits for a positive impact on youth,” said McKevitt of Decatur. “We provide free art projects and
lessons throughout metro Atlanta. We find great,
amazing professional artists, and we partner with
organizations that are already helping youth.

“We pair them up and we supply other logistics, and all the supplies and other needs to make
really amazing, fantastic things happen for youth,”
she said.
Among them organizations Paint Love has
worked with is Kate’s Club, which assists “children
who are grieving, [and] who have lost a parent or
sibling,” McKevitt said.
The leader of Kate’s Club, which has a different theme every month, wanted to work with
“Every organization that we work with is incredibly unique, so every project that we put on is
unique and custom to that organization,” McKevitt said.
“We found three amazing metal artists, and
they came up with this brilliant idea where they
created a portable metal foundry,” McKevitt said.
“They created this whole cement, metalworks
[foundry] which they brought onsite.”
The foundry heated up to 1,800 degrees F, she
“The teens were able to crush down metal
cans and put on the full foundry regalia and work
with the metal foundry and pour their own sculptures,” McKevitt said.

During group discussions, “we talked about
taking something old and broken like a metal can
and…turning it into something new and beautiful—a sculpture. That reflected the grief [process],” McKevitt said.
“It was an incredible project,” she said. “The
students were just so engaged. Even the three
metal artists had never worked with…teenagers.
They were just blown away by how serious and
mature…they were.”
Paint Love, with its team of 23 professional
artists, has had 19 events so far this year.
“Our goal was to do 24, but we’re on track
to surpass that this year,” McKevitt said. “We’ve
reached over 560 students this year so far with our
Paint Love’s artists work in various media,
including abstract, wax encaustic, photography,
paint, illustrations, digital art, mixed media, murals and mosaics.
As a nonjudgmental outlet for therapy, Paint
Love is “about creating a positive safe environment for kids and fueling creativity, as well as creating really good problem solvers,” McKevitt said.


Page 12A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015

Residents share concerns for cityhood
by Ashley Oglesby
Cityhood – the process
of unincorporated parts of
the county becoming municipalities – has become a
buzzword for politicians in
In DeKalb County, cityhood is being paired with
other ideas such as
economic development and economic
growth. Currently,
there are four cityhood movements in
the county.
Two will be voted on later this year,
and two others are
in the legislature.
Edward Williams, founder and
chairman of the
Concerned Citizens
Against Cityhood
in DeKalb, said
the mission of his
organization is to
advocate for effective government and
to provide information about cityhood
and annexation to DeKalb
County residents.
“We believe that the
residents of DeKalb deserve
a more deliberate process
and that the state legislature
needs to make changes to
the cityhood and annexation
process,” Williams said.
He said the root of his
concern is the “misleading
use of words like economic
development and economic
Williams has lived in
south DeKalb for more than
16 years. He said in his community where approximately
95 percent of the population
is Black, he is concerned with
the implementation of cityhood. “Cityhood will likely
bring more government with
rules and regulation, more
jails and courts, more crime,

more corruption, more traffic tickets, more code enforcement, less businesses
and bad customer service.”
Williams said, “Oftentimes you’ll hear a proponent talk about economic
development but there is a
difference between economic
development and economic

Ind., Detroit, Washington,
D.C., or Ferguson, Mo., if
the cityhood bill is passed by
the state assembly and the
referendum is passed by the
“Ask the proponents of
cityhood which city they
plan to use as a model for
south DeKalb or Stonecrest. I
do not mean what feasibility

the proponents of cityhood
in south DeKalb want to
model the same failure that
was used in Atlanta. Say ‘no
Williams said while
many of the county’s residents talk about their need
for tailored services and economic development as reasons for wanting cityhood,

He added, “Economic
development means that you
can put a whole bunch of
Family Dollars in a community, but that’s not the economic development that our
community wants or needs.
Economic growth means that
the community is growing
with jobs and opportunity.”
Williams said, “Even
though we’ve had Black leadership from 1974, up until
now economic growth did
not occur.”
“Putting McDonalds,
Family Dollars and Walmarts
in the community is not
going to lead to economic
growth,” he added.
Williams said he suspects
that south DeKalb could look
like Clayton County, Miami
Gardens, Tuskegee, Ala., East
St. Louis, Liberty City, Gary,

study is used. I mean which
city do they believe south
DeKalb will look like in the
future with similar demographics and population,”
Williams said.
In 2014 Concerned Citizens for Cityhood of South
DeKalb proposed a new city
named Greenhaven.
The group used the New
York City skyline in its logo.
Williams said, “Would
you put your trust in someone that does not have a plan
and a model of what they are
He added, “The proponents of the city of Greenhaven model their Neighborhood Planning Units after
Atlanta. After 40 years of
high crime, bad schools and
no development in the south
and west sides of Atlanta,

one thing they’re not talking
about, at least not directly, is
the racial divide in DeKalb
The proposed city of
Lavista Hills is 64 percent
White and 16 percent Black.
Sixteen percent of LaVista Hills residents in the proposed boundary are Hispanic
and 9 percent are Asian.
Greenhaven and Stonecrest supporters in the south
end of the county are majority Black while LaVista Hills
and Tucker, in the north, are
mostly White.
According to the latest
U.S. Census data, 54 percent
of the county’s residents are
Black; 33 percent are White,
10 percent are Hispanic and
5 percent are Asian.
But is the racial makeup
of these proposed cities a





coincidence? Williams said,
“Absolutely not.”
“What’s really going on is
a resegregation of our communities. It’s actually already
here but it’s being disguised
in terms like annexation and
cityhood,” Williams said.
He added, “The majority of the commissioners
are from south DeKalb. We
would like to see
our leadership either pay attention to
our needs in south
DeKalb or we need
to replace our leaders that we have in
DeKalb County. We
control the commission of DeKalb
County. We don’t
need more government.”
Williams said his
fellow members of
Concerned Citizens
Against Cityhood
in DeKalb believe
that DeKalb County
needs leadership.
“We need to address
the crime problems,
the education problem and let the Chamber of
Commerce and other organizations deal with the business aspect of what is needed
in our community.”
He added, “Until the
crime and education problems are addressed, nothing
in terms of cityhood is going
to be effective.”
Williams is currently a
professor of education. He
formerly served as an assistant professor in educational
leadership at Clark Atlanta
University. He received his
doctorate in education at
Clark Atlanta University,
master’s degree in computer
science from Clark Atlanta
University, and a bachelor
degree in computer science
from Morehouse College.



The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015Page 13A


Office assistant for DeKalb County Watershed Management division Monique McCrear
volunteers at Dunwoody’s Butterfly Festival. McCrear passed out faucet aerator, shower
timers, toilet leak dye and other tools county residents can use to conserve water and
properly dispose of waste.


Kerline Germain, general manager of the Krystal restaurant on Candler Road, drops samples
of the new Vidalia-Q Krystal at The Champion’s office. Photo by Travis Hudgons

Thousands attended the tenth annual Decatur Book Festival, the largest independent book festival in the United States. Photo by Travis Hudgons

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

(404) 294-2900


Page 14A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015

The annual Chastain in Ellenwood event raises scholarship money for students preparing to enter college.

Concert to help motherless
students grows each year
by Kathy Mitchell
For the fourth consecutive year,
south DeKalb residents Paula and
Tony Smith will convert their backyard to an outdoor music venue to
benefit an organization dear to their
Chastain in Ellenwood—Sept. 12
this year—is an evening of live music by performers who donate their
talents to raise money for Students
Without Mothers, a nonprofit organization that helps high school students without mothers continue their
educations and acquire life skills.
Mary Torrence, founder and executive director of Students Without
Mothers, said the event has been a
great success and has grown each
year. “The first year we had between
200 and 250 people attending and
more have come each year,” she
said, adding that more than 400 are
expected this year. Capacity for the
concert site is approximately 450
people. In addition to money raised
by ticket sales, funds come to the
organization through sponsors. All
proceeds are used for scholarships,
she said.

The event borrows its name from
north Fulton County’s Chastain
Park Amphitheater, the home of an
outdoor concert series that has been
held annually since 1973.
“People bring picnic baskets just
as they do to the Chastain Amphitheater and enjoy their food and
drinks during the concert,” Torrence
said. Unlike at the North Fulton venue, however, there are no onsite food
and beverage sales.
“People really look forward to it.
More than a third of the tickets were
sold before we made any official announcement,” Torrence said. “This
type of event is common in places
like Buckhead and Dunwoody, but
you don’t often find them in south
DeKalb. People love that they can
attend a beautiful outdoor concert
without driving a long way.”
Chastain in Ellenwood typically
features jazz and classic rhythm and
blues. This year, there also will be a
comedian and a disc jockey and opportunities to dance. Tables can be
reserved or concert goers can claim
ground space as it’s available.
The event is approximately three
hours and this year’s starting time

has been moved up to 7 p.m. “Chastain in Ellenwood tends to attract
more mature concert goers and the
type of people who want to get home
and to bed at a reasonable hour because they plan to get up Sunday
morning for church. We will start letting people in at 6 p.m.; there is always a crowd waiting when we open
the doors. These aren’t people who
go out every weekend. For them, this
is a rare opportunity to go out and
have some fun.”
Concert organizers have been
fortunate to have good weather each
year, Torrence said. “It’s basically
a ‘rain-or-shine’ event through we
would have to cancel if there were
dangerous thunderstorms. Fortunately, we haven’t had to deal with
that. Last year, there some rain as I
was driving to the concert, but it had
cleared up by the time we started.”
Torrence added that ticket buyers
also want to support the nonprofit,
which provides scholarships for college bound high school seniors who
“are without their mothers due to
death or other unfortunate circumstances,”
She founded the organization in

2004, based on a promise she made
to herself after losing her mother at
age 14. Torrence recalled cleaning
her high school principal’s home to
earn money for her class ring. She
vowed that if she could make a success of her life she would try to help
other young people in similar circumstances.
Torrence was reminded of the
commitment when her own daughter
told her of a high school student who
was cooking meals and selling them
to raise money for college application
Paula Smith, who hosts the concert at her home, is a Students Without Mothers board member who
also lost her mother at an early age.
Students helped by the organizations
are encouraged to “pay it forward” by
helping other students through peer
counseling, financial support or other means after they are able to do so.
Since its inception, Students
Without Mothers has provided 57
students with four-year scholarships, according to the organization’s
website. For more information, visit


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015Page 15A

Lifeguard Continued From Page 1A
Fourteen-year-old Brionne Sloan was playing in
the pool with friends June 22 at Browns Mill Aquatic
Center when he became unconscious and nearly
drowned. His mother, Melissa Sloan said her son
“went over five minutes without oxygen to his brain.
“My son had passed away, and he came back. He
was gone. He was not breathing,” she said.
According to witness accounts, two pool patrons,
assisted by a lifeguard hired by USA Management
LLC, pulled the boy out of the pool.
Brionne “instantly started vomiting and continued vomiting for approximately one minute,
expelling water,” according to a report by USA
Management. After being attended to by a team of
four lifeguards, the victim stopped vomiting and attempted to get up; he was “alert, talking and breathing normally.”
There was never a need for CPR to be performed
because “the victim maintained a pulse and breathing,” the report stated.
John Williams of USA Management, the vendor
which provided lifeguard services at the pool, said in
a video-recorded statement that the lifeguards were
professionals who knew their jobs well.
“The county, the commissioners, the community
should be thanking them,” Williams said. “They
should be patting them on the back for a job well
Roy Wilson, the county’s parks director, said
USA Management’s lifeguards “did not handle the
situation well, in my opinion. The guards were not
looking at the pool. There was one not at the proper
station, and it took a private citizen to pull this child
from the water. We are very blessed and fortunate
that the child did not drown.”
Some lifeguard certifications were not on file
Approximately a month after the near drowning,
the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted
to terminate the contract with USA Management
because “we learned that they did not have certifications for the guards that they hired,” Wilson said.
“They didn’t show proof. I did not have copies
of it. I needed to have it in my hand,” Wilson said.
“There were not…certifications for every guard that
they had in employment. This is not to say that the
guards that they hired could not swim, [and]…did
not have the lifesaving techniques or CPR.
“This is to say they did not have certifications on
paper, which is required as a part of the contract,”
Wilson said.
During the investigation, a county aquatics staff
member conducted a skills test for the lifeguards and
determined the lifeguards could swim and perform
CPR, contrary to allegations that surfaced after the
incident, Wilson said.
When The Champion filed an Open Records Act
request for Browns Mill lifeguard certifications since
2008, the county provided records for only 2015.
“I wouldn’t hold records from 2008,” Wilson said.
“It’s just like tax returns. I don’t have my tax returns
from 2008, but I will save them for three or four
Wilson said he did not know why there were no
USA Management lifeguard certifications on file

from 2014.
“All I can say is we had them for the current year,”
Wilson said. “We had the certifications made available to us. They were in our aquatics office.”
When The Champion checked to see if the county
had certifications for county-hired lifeguards at its
pools, there were no certifications available for three
lifeguards in 2015 and six in 2014.
When asked about the missing certifications for
county-hired lifeguards, Wilson said, “I can’t answer
that. I don’t know.”
In a July 27 letter to interim DeKalb CEO Lee
May, which led to the termination of USA Management’s contract, Wilson wrote that “immediately after the incident, the county requested lifeguard certifications from USA Management for their lifeguards
employed at” Browns Mill.
When asked why the county asked for certifications if they already had been provided before
the pool season started, Wilson said, “After going
through the certifications, I realized that I did not
have them for all of the names that they had submitted to me as employees of their company. I did not
have a certification to match each name. That’s when
I began to ask for all of the certifications.
“As director of the department, I have aquatics
folks. I have athletics folks. I have recreation center
folks,” Wilson said. “My aquatics folks are responsible for obtaining and keeping records when it comes
to pools.
“When I became involved it was at that point that
I realized that I didn’t have certifications for everybody,” Wilson said. “That’s not something I would be
involved in on a daily basis, or even a seasonal basis
unless there is an issue. I’m running a department;
I’m not running a pool.
“Were the certifications available before June 22?
Yes, they were available,” Wilson said. “Did I have
them in my drawer? No. Did I have them in a file
cabinet? No. But they were made available to me.”
In the letter to May, Wilson stated that upon request USA Management provided a total of 34 certifications for 50 of its Browns Mill lifeguards.
The Champion’s review of county documents revealed that the company provided 50 certifications
for 58 employees.
Copies of certifications should be at pools
Although the county’s ordinance does not mention lifeguard certifications, Chapter 511-3-5 of
the state Department of Public Health’s Rules and
Regulations for Public Swimming Pools, Spas, and
Recreational Water Parks states that, when provided,
lifeguards must hold “current, nationally recognized
certifications in lifeguarding, adult/child/infant CPR
and first aid.”
Copies of those certifications must be “maintained at the facility and be available to the local
health authority for inspection,” the regulations state.
“State law does not require that you have [the
certifications] at the pool because we don’t have a filing system at the pool, but law requires that we have
them in the aquatics office,” Wilson said.
“My read of the law is that they need to be in a
safe place,” Wilson said. “I don’t consider a cubicle

or an open area a safe place. There is no way to safeguard the paperwork because on some of those certifications you have personal information,” Wilson
“As long as I can produce it and it’s in a central
office, it doesn’t have to be in a pool office,” Wilson
According to the county’s contract with USA
Management, certifications were required to be “on
file at [the] Browns [Mill] pool location.”
A state Department of Public Health spokeswoman told The Champion, “As stated in the rules,
the records should be kept at the facility so they are
available for review if the environmental health specialist requests [them] during the pool inspection.”
Wilson said he would check with county attorneys to see if certifications are required to be kept at
Alan Gaines, the environmental health department manager for the DeKalb County Board of
Health, said environmental health inspectors do not
routinely check for lifeguard certifications because
they are not required to by the county ordinance. (see
related story on page 3A)
The county should have checked ‘more thoroughly’
Wilson said the near-drowning incident has been
a “lesson learned.”
“As a department we make every attempt to get it
right,” he said. “We’re wonderfully self-critical and…
when things go wrong as they sometimes will we
are not cynical enough to think we can’t resolve our
Wilson said the county should have checked the
certifications “more thoroughly”.
“I assumed [the lifeguards] were all certified because I depend on my people to make sure that they
are doing their jobs and that they are doing their jobs
thoroughly,” Wilsons said.
“Apparently that was not case, so we are making
adjustments to how we go through our contracts to
make sure that every area of the contract and every
stipulation within the contract is being met,” he said.
Wilson said his new policy is that “before any
company or any contractor hires guards for DeKalb
County, [he will] personally look at every certification and every name on the list of hires to ensure
that that person is indeed prepared and certified to
oversee a DeKalb County pool.”
Wilson also has changed the leadership of the
aquatics division.
“With the new leadership that I’ve put in place
over aquatics, with the new directives that I’ve given
that leadership, I think that we will continue to be as
successful as we have always been until this hiccup
that we had on June 22,” Wilson said, adding that
there have been no drownings at county pools during his six-year tenure.
As for other changes in aquatics, Wilson said he
has time to “adjust how we do business in aquatics.”
“The season is over,” he said. “At this point I have
a year, just about, to make any adjustments I need to
make to that operation.”

Hillandale Continued From Page 1A
the medical center is inviting the
community to attend a “Take a Loved
One to the Doctor Day” health fair
from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 19 at
the Lithonia campus.
“We believe there is no better
way to connect our community with
physicians, empower residents to take

control of their health, and enhance
relationships than by proudly hosting
this event…” states a news release.
Hillandale staff, including primary
care and specialty physicians, will be
available to interact with community
members and provide an array of
screenings such as blood pressure and

cholesterol. Financial counselors will
discuss how to enroll in an affordable
health care plan, and there will be
registration area to sign up for a
primary care physician.
In addition, the event will include
discussions about diabetes and
nutrition, cooking demonstrations

with an emphasis on healthy meals and
interactive activities such as meet and
greets with police officers, firefighters
and paramedics.
DeKalb Medical Center is located
at 2801 DeKalb Medical Parkway in


Page 16A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015

DeKalb nears completion of
roll cart delivery
The DeKalb County Sanitation Division
announced it is near completion of garbage
roll cart delivery to once-a-week customers
residing in single-family detached homes,
with final deliveries scheduled for completion
within the next couple weeks. Roll cart delivery to townhome and condominium residents
will occur in Phase II, which is expected to
begin in September.
Roll cart delivery in the southern and
eastern areas of DeKalb County is complete
for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday customers, with Thursday customers scheduled
for completion this weekend.
In central DeKalb, delivery to Monday,
Tuesday and Wednesday customers is complete; Thursday customers are underway and
scheduled for completion within the next
couple of weeks.
In north DeKalb, delivery to Monday and
Tuesday customers is complete. Wednesday
customers are under way and scheduled for
completion next week. Thursday customers

are scheduled for completion in the next few
Reminder notices advising of customers’
new collection day and literature regarding
the service change are being delivered with
each roll cart.
Roll cart delivery to all single-family detached homes marks the end of Phase I of the
“Rolling Forward to One” program.
More information on Phase II, which includes a focus on recycling, roll cart delivery
to townhomes and condominiums, and rightsizing roll cart requests, will be provided in
the coming weeks.
For program updates, inquiries from customers who have not received a roll cart, or
more details about the service change, including a comprehensive list of frequently asked
questions (FAQ), contact the Sanitation Division’s customer service team at sanitation@ or (404) 294-2900, or
visit the “Rolling Forward to One” program
website at

From left, Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May and Sanitation Division Director Billy Malone share updates on the Rolling Forward to One

DeKalb adopts new zoning code ordinance
The DeKalb County
Board of Commissioners unanimously approved
sweeping updates to the
county zoning code, the first
comprehensive update since
“The passage of the new
zoning code paves the way for
DeKalb County to reach its
maximum potential for the
21st century and for generations to come,” said Interim
CEO Lee May. “Most importantly, the code now reflects
the direction of the 2025
DeKalb County Comprehensive Master Plan and balances
the needs of developers with
the expectations of the community-at-large.”
“We literally spent years
in dialogue with residents and
stakeholders to ensure we had
the most comprehensive updates that codify the current
best practices in the development arena,” said Commissioner Larry Johnson. “This
code covers everything from
high-density residential to cell
phone towers and builds in
incentives for things like more
greenspaces and energy efficient construction.”
After more than 100 community meetings, the new
zoning code addresses three
critical issues in the DeKalb
zoning ordinances. It implements provisions of the 2025
Comprehensive Plan and uses
contemporary planning and
zoning terms; improves design standards and enhances
the success of enforcement;

and provides an easy-tounderstand, user-friendly
The new zoning code is
expanded into nine sections,
from its original six. To create
a more user-friendly experience, the new code adds new
zoning districts and consolidates antiquated districts.
For single family residential
development, 11 districts were
reduced to eight, and small
lot and multi-family districts
were reduced from 12 districts
to six. There were no changes
to commercial or industrial
The new regulations create incentives designed to
increase densities to higher
levels in certain areas where
appropriate and if specific criteria are met. A development
may be eligible for up to 20
percent higher density units if
the applicant provides certain
public improvements such as
a bus shelter or public trail. A
development may be eligible
for up to 50 percent higher
density units if the applicant
provides additional enhanced
open space, or attains LEED
or Earthcraft certification.
Contemporary updates
to the legal zoning definitions
now allow most homeowners in residential areas more
opportunities in horticulture,
to allow for beekeeping and
backyard chickens.
The new zoning code allows hens in some residential
and light industrial areas under certain conditions. The

maximum number is one hen
per 2,000 square feet of lot
size, provided the lot size is
a minimum of 10,000 square
feet, and one additional hen
is allowed for each 25 square
feet of fenced area per hen.
No roosters are allowed under
this provision.
For beekeeping, no more
than eight apiary colonies are
allowed per acre, and colonies must be set back from
all property lines a minimum
of 10 feet. Apiary colonies
must be maintained with
adequate space and management techniques to prevent

overcrowding and swarming.
In any instance in which a
colony becomes a nuisance,
the beekeeper must re-queen
the hive.
Michael Paris, president
and CEO of the Council for
Quality Growth, commended
the Board of Commissioners and staff for their work
on the zoning code rewrite.
“The new code contains many
visionary and innovative concepts which will set the tone
for the region. The long-term
opportunities this ordinance
brings to the community are
immeasurable and will pro-

pel DeKalb as an economic
leader,” he said.
“As the county continues
to make new zoning code improvements, it sends the message that DeKalb is not only
ready but capable of doing
business,” said Katerina Taylor, president and CEO of the
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce. “The new definitions
and density incentives are
beneficial to commercial and
retail developers as they play
a crucial role in expansion
and economic growth in the

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that on the 3rd day of November, a special election will be held in the
CITY OF LITHONIA to fill the vacancy in the office of City Council. The special election will be held to
fill the unexpired term of Al T. Franklin.
Each candidate will file notice of his or her candidacy and the appropriate affidavit in the office of the
Lithonia City Clerk, 6920 Main Street, Lithonia, GA 30058.
Qualifying for candidates will begin on Monday, September 14, 2015, and continue on Tuesday,
September 15, 2015 between 9:30 AM and 4:00 PM. Qualifying for candidates will continue on
Wednesday, September, 16, 2015 from 9:00 AM until 12:00 Noon. The qualifying fee is $122.40.
The last day to register to be eligible to vote in this special election is Monday, October 5, 2015.
The special election will be held in the regular polling place, Lithonia Municipal Complex, 6920 Main
Street, Lithonia, GA 30058, in conjunction with the general Municipal Election. The polls will open at
7:00 AM and close at 7:00 PM.
This call is issued by the City of Lithonia.
This 8th day of September, 2015.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015Page 17A

Fast food meets Asian
fusion at Rice Mac
by Kathy Mitchell
A group of partners all with
roots in the restaurant industry have created what they call
a new spin on the fast-food
concept. “We wanted to be able
to put a meal in front of the
customer very quickly and at a
moderate price,” explained Sam
Kok, one of the owners of Rice
Mac in Decatur. “At the same
time, we also wanted the food
to be fresh and light—unlike
what people may expect with
fast food.” As at most fast-food
restaurants, customers order at
the counter. The cooked meal is
brought to the table.
The menu at Rice Mac is
Asian fusion slanted toward
American tastes. “There’s some
Chinese, some Japanese, some
Thai and a little Korean. We
researched which Asian dishes
are popular with Americans and
built our menu around those
dishes,” Kok said.
The common bond, he explained is rice, which is popular
in all Asian cuisines. “That’s
why we chose to put rice in the
name of the restaurant—we
wanted something catchy and
fun and Rice Mac is what we
settled on,” Kok said. The restaurant’s logo is a mound of rice
shaped into a heart with the
phrase “I love rice.”
The restaurant has been
open less than two months, and
Kok and partner Ivan Huang,
who runs the day-to-day operation, say they are watching
to see what customers like and
plan to tweak the menu further
based on customer preferences.
He said there are plans to start
offering bubble tea, a slushy teabased drink that may include
fruit and tapioca that originated
in Taiwan and is growing in
popularity in the United States.
So far, the hibachi items
have been popular, according to
Kok. Bite-size fresh vegetables
are grilled along with a choice
of chicken, shrimp, steak or
tofu—or some combination.
Other dishes such as kung pao,
Mongolian, Thai basil, lo Mein
and pad Thai also allow diners
to choose a meat or make the
dish vegetarian. Customers may
choose white rice, fried rice or
brown rice.
“Children really like this
food because it’s flavorful, but
not too spicy for their taste.

My own children like to eat
here,” said Kok, the father of a
13-year-old and a 7-year-old.
Many of the menu items are
available in children’s portions
for diners 10 and younger.
Despite the customization,
owners pride themselves in fast
preparation. A Yelp online reviewer, who identified herself as
Christina T. of Decatur, called
the food “pretty dang tasty,”
and said she was impressed
that her meal was “made within
seconds of us ordering. In fact,
the cooks…started cooking everything before the cashier had
even finished ringing us up.”
The restaurant’s customer
base is made up of students—
many from nearby Emory
University—residents of area
retirement housing complexes
and Decatur families. “We always wanted a restaurant in this
area. When this space became
available, we moved quickly on
it,” said Kok, who said he and
his partners took only a few
months to take the restaurant
from concept to opening. He
said neighboring businesses
have been supportive, recommending Rice Mac to their customers and featuring it in their
The cozy location at Clairmont and north Decatur roads
had previously been used as a
restaurant, but Kok redesigned
it for both function and atmosphere. “I didn’t change things
like the bathrooms and the
location of the refrigerator, but
some of the other space was
inefficient, so I reworked it. I
also wanted a simple, pleasant
space where people can relax
and enjoy their meals,” he said
of the dining area which features earthy browns and large
Kok said he also added
the modern technology that
many customers now appreciate. There are screens over the
counter and on the wall that he
said are to list the menu and
other information when installation is complete. Also, each
table is equipped with an outlet
for charging cell phones.
The Decatur restaurant may
serve as a prototype for a chain.
“If people really like what we’re
doing here, we may build more
Rice Mac restaurants in the future,” Kok said.

Rice Mac offers dishes inspired by traditional Chinese, Japanese, Thai and other Asian cuisines.

Sam Kok is one of the partners who launched the Decatur restaurant.

Shrimp with chicken and vegetables—and, of course, rice—is one of the menu items at Rice Mac.


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


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015Page 18A

Suspicious woman
prompts high school
by Ashley Oglesby

A K-12 public school teacher presents a class demonstration using supplies she was granted through Chevron’s grant.

Youngsters laugh while participating in hands-on activities.

Chevron launches Fuel Your
School program in DeKalb
by Ashley Oglesby

Last year 125 schools
within the DeKalb County
School District received
funding from Chevron’s Fuel
Your School program to assist teachers with classroom
supplies and materials for
classroom projects, including those focused on science,
technology, engineering and
math (STEM).
On Sept. 1 Chevron
launched its 2015 Fuel Your
School program. The program is in collaboration with, an online
organization that aims to
make it easy to help students,
in Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties.
From Oct. 1 through
Oct. 31, 2015, the Fuel Your
School program will donate
$1, up to a total of $400,000,
to help fund eligible classroom projects when consumers purchase eight or more
gallons of fuel at participating
Chevron and Texaco stations.
According to Chevron’s
Global Public and Government Affairs Advisor Brent
Tippen, the Fuel Your School
program is expected to generate more than $400,000 this
fall. Last year the program
benefited more than 39,000
students in Clayton, DeKalb
and Fulton counties.
“The way it works is
public school teachers post
project on
for things that they want in
their classrooms. It could be
as simple as pen and paper. It
could be owl pellets. It could
be laptops, you name it,” said
He said once teachers
post their projects online “the
world comes in and funds
“You may give them $5

A class of students show their gratitude for the supplies they received
for their classroom.

dollars. I may give them $10
dollars. Somebody else may
give them $100 dollars until they’re fully funded via
crowdfunding. If you put that
into perspective, each year
public school teachers spend
more than $400 dollars out of
their own pockets to pay for
school supplies, instructional
materials and other classroom
materials,” Tippen said.
He said that adds up 1.8
billion dollars in out-of-pocket expenses for public school
Since the program’s inception in 2010, Tippen said
Fuel Your School has helped
fund more than 23,500 classroom projects at more than
4,000 schools in the U.S.
Tippen said the program
also supports literacy, lan-  
guage and the arts.
“We take the philosophy
if you can’t read and write you
can’t do math and science. We
want to make sure that we are
helping fill some of the gaps
in learning,” he said.
As part of its STEM education initiatives, Chevron’s
goal is to arm students with
skills they will need to succeed in the jobs of the future.
Chevron has invested $200
million in STEM education

worldwide since 2013.
George Wall, vice president of Chevron Americas
Products, U.S. East & Latin
America said, “At Chevron,
we support STEM initiatives


that help teach students how
to analyze problems to build
real-world problem solving
He added, “The innovative Fuel Your School program helps provide hands-on
materials for students to ignite their curiosity and make
learning fun.”
For a full list of participating communities in the 2015
Fuel Your School program
and to track local projects in
need of funding, visit
In addition to funds generated through the Fuel Your
School program, anyone may
also independently browse
and fund classroom projects
on by
making separate, individual

Chamblee High School
was locked down from about
11 a.m. until just after noon
on Sept. 2 after a suspicious
woman inside the school
would not cooperate with
school authorities, officials
Principal Dr. Norman
Sauce wrote in a statement to
parents that the woman, “entered our building without
following proper check-in
procedures. This unidentified female was immediately
engaged by members of our
staff, when she further refused directions to sign in
Sauce added, “Our administrative staff took immediate steps to call for a
lock-down, secure the premises, and notify enforcement
personnel about the matter.”
DeKalb County Schools
police and Chamblee police
responded by conducting
multiple sweeps of the premises. The woman was arrested and identified as Taleah
Chamblee Police Captain
Ernesto Ford reported that
Bowens was located and arrested and will be charged
with one misdemeanor count
of criminal trespass and one
misdemeanor count of disrupting a public school.

Cross Keys Cluster Over‐Capacity Public Meeting 

   The DeKalb County School District will be holding two (2) public meetings to discuss the 
district’s plans to address current and future overcrowding of schools in the Cross Keys 
Cluster.  The schools in the Cross Keys Cluster are: Cary Reynolds ES, Cross Keys HS, Dresden ES, 
Montclair ES, Oakcliff Theme, Sequoyah MS, Woodward ES. 
   The meetings will be held on the following dates at the locations and times shown: 
Tuesday, September 15, 2015: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM 
Cross Keys High School 
1626 N. Druid Hills Road NE 
Atlanta, GA  30319 
Thursday, September 17, 2015: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM 
Sequoyah Middle School 
3456 Aztec Road 
Doraville, GA  30340 
   Parents and the community are invited to attend. 

The City of Stone Mountain hereby gives notice that a Public Hearing will be held to consider
Variance Application for the property located at 1050 Griffin Street.
The Mayor and City Council will hold a Public Hearing on this matter on September 21, 2015 at
City Hall located at 875 Main Street, Stone Mountain, GA at 6:00 P.M. Anyone wishing to
attend the public hearing may do so and be heard relative thereto. Please contact the City of
Stone Mountain Administration Office at 770-498-8984 for further information.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015Page 19A


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September 2015

News and events of the
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave. Suite 235, Decatur, GA, 30030 • 404.378.8000•

A Letter to the DeKalb County business and local community
Just 12 short months ago, I
was honored with the opportunity
to lead your DeKalb County
Chamber. During that time I have
had a chance to meet with some
incredible, hardworking people
who shape DeKalb’s business and
civic community. Their sentiments
echoed ours—a desire for a stronger
business Chamber, one that adds
value to their investment and
supports their goals to prosper in
DeKalb. I have listened and learned
that a strong Chamber entails
working with businesses and local,
collaborative partners to transform
our community.
We nurtured our existing
relationships with partners like
The Champion Newspaper to keep
you informed each month about
Chamber news and events; DeKalb
County Schools to co-host the
Official Welcome Reception for
Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen
Green and engage members
through an October membership
meeting with Dr. Green; Decide
DeKalb Development Authority to
assist with initiatives such as WE
DeKalb and business roundtables
with key stakeholders; and DeKalb
County Government to provide
leadership on the Operations Task
Force that led to the reforms of the
Board of Ethics appointments and

county purchasing policies, and
establishment of the Department of
Internal Audit.
In addition, we extended our
partnership with The Atlanta
Journal-Constitution to elevate our
programming with a new focus on
digital technology; we attracted new
partners that have helped to develop
and refine programming. Our
improved programs have seen a 25
to 35 percent growth in attendance.
Our 77th Annual Meeting saw a 37
percent increase in gross revenue
and attracted 400 attendees to learn
more about the acquisition of the
GM Plant and Doraville Project.
Another 200 came to hear about the
post Legislative Session results from
Chris Clark, President and CEO of
the Georgia Chamber. In May we
celebrated businesses at our Annual
Apex Business Awards, an event
that also saw an increase in revenue
over 2014 by 36 percent.
Our 11th Annual Golf
Tournament exceeded budgeted
earnings over 2014 by 44 percent,
and the remainder of 2015 will yield
an exceptional calendar of events,
including meetings with Dr. R.
Stephen Green; an AT&T-presented
exclusive panel of executive women
across the region; Dennis Lockhart,
Federal Reserve President and CEO,
and our annual Legislative Preview.

Our partners and sponsors continue
to be generous in offering their
expertise and resources, and for that
we are extremely grateful.
Another new change this year
is the addition of a fully functional
Chamber team, a committed
team with prominent skillsets to
address the growing needs of our
members, operational effectiveness,
and marketing impact. Our new
Chamber team is one of the most
diverse teams with regards to
experience, gender, generation
and ethnicity. The new team came
with fresh eyes to assist me in
identifying the short and long term
programmatic and membership
goals. The effect of our new team
equated to phenomenal outcomes
such as the increase in our monthly
membership by 13 percent and the
decrease of our numbers of dropped
members by 74 percent over last
year, proving that our commitment
to ensuring a return on investment
to our members is a top priority.
I am proud to represent
your Chamber not only in DeKalb
County, but across the metro
region and the state of Georgia. I
will continue to represent DeKalb
Chamber through participation
in the Leadership Atlanta Class
of 2016 and the American Jewish
Committee Bi-Annual Project

Understanding Class of 2015. In
addition, I serve DeKalb as an
Executive Committee member for
the Regional Business Coalition,
and a board member for the
Georgia Association of Chamber of
Commerce Executives, United Way
of Greater Atlanta and CHRIS Kids.
Through transition and
essential changes, your Chamber is
the strongest it’s been in many years.
The Chamber team and our board
of directors work hard to address
the business challenges in DeKalb.
Please continue to call on us so that
we may continue to advocate for
you. We thank you for your support
and look forward to serving you
and your business for years to come.

Katerina Taylor
President and CEO,
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

Upcoming Events
September 15 – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. New Members Orientation
presented by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cornerstone Bank
Community Room, 125 Clairemont Avenue, Decatur.

October 21 – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. General Membership Meeting
Women Leadership in Today’s Multigenerational Workforce presented
by AT&T, 725 West Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta.

September 23 – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Technology Symposium
& Luncheon presented by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223
Perimeter Center Parkway NE, Atlanta.

November 19 – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Save-The-Date General
Membership Meeting – Economic Outlook and Financial Impact
2016 with Keynote Speaker Dennis Lockhart, Federal Reserve Bank of
Atlanta President & CEO; presented by BB&T Bank. Federal Reserve
Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta.

September 24 – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Business-After-Hours presented by
Holiday Inn Atlanta-Northlake, 2158 Ranchwood Drive, Atlanta.
October 1 – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. General Membership Meeting with
Keynote Speaker Dr. R. Stephen Green, DeKalb County School District
Superintendent presented by Publix. Hyatt Atlanta Perimeter at Villa
Christina, 4000 Summit Boulevard, Atlanta.

Additional information available on our events page: www.

Brought to you in partnership with: The Champion Newspaper


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

to get back to
by Carla Parker

Druid Hills freshman Julia Bartlewski throws a pitch.

Southwest DeKalb scored 8 runs in the first inning.

Southwest DeKalb defeated Druid Hills 23-11.

Taylor Roberts was the starting pitcher for Southwest DeKalb.

The softball season is in full swing
and the Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers
are off to a good start.
The Lady Panthers defeated Druid
Hills 23-11 at home Sept. 3 to improve
their record to 7-2. Southwest DeKalb
started off slow, allowing 4 runs in the
first inning. However, the bats came out
in the bottom of the inning and the Lady
Panthers took an 8-4 lead before going on
to win the game.
Southwest DeKalb coach Jerry White
was pleased that his team pulled out the
“We were a little sluggish starting off,”
White said. “I expected us to perform a
lot better but I’m thankful they were able
to recover and were ready to get that victory.”
The Lady Panthers are one of six
DeKalb teams to make the 2014 playoffs,
however they lost in the first round. The
team had a 0.433 batting average and the
pitching staff had an ERA of 3.80, which
was third best in the county.
Kayla Hutcherson led the pitching
staff, as a sophomore, last season with
a 3.94 ERA and a 6-4 record, but is not
pitching this season.
“We’re depending on our senior
Taylor Roberts to pull us this season,”
White said. “Last year, we used her more
as a closer, but this year she is pulling the
Roberts earned seven wins last season. White said he was counting on having two pitchers to get the team over the
hump in the playoffs.
“This year, it’s going to be more of a
team effort, studying each team that we
play and try to capitalize on whatever opportunities that other teams give us,” he
White is still confident his team will
get back to the playoffs and will go further this year.
“We will definitely go back to the
playoffs this year, no doubt,” he said. “We
will go to the playoffs and we will be competitive. I’m graduating eight seniors this
year and I really want to see the season
end well for them.”


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015Page 22A

Photo by Travis Hudgons

Brotherly Love: Jelani and Javaric Woods
by Carla Parker
While most teenagers try to get in an extra
hour of sleep, Cedar Grove High School junior
quarterback Jelani Woods is up caring for his
older brother Javaric.
Javaric, 26, is moderately intellectually disabled.
“He is mentally challenged and he learns by
repetition,” said Shaheerah Woods, Jelani and
Javaric’s mother. “He has to repeat things consecutively. He has to have a daily routine in order for
him to learn how to do things and if he stops his
daily routine he potentially regresses.”
Every day, between his studies and football
practice, Jelani does what he can to help his brother get through his daily routine.
“I make sure to tell him to take showers, make
sure he gets up, I fix him something to eat every
morning before I go to practice,” Jelani said. “I tell
him what time to go to bed and [things] like that. I
just take care of him throughout the day.”
Jelani has been caring for his brother since he
was 14. In the beginning it was not easy task to
look out for his brother.
“Since I’ve been doing it for a long time now
it’s starting to get so easy, but when I first started it
was hard because I was scared and nervous about
a lot of stuff,” he said. “It was kind of frustrating
but now it gets easier and easier.”
When his parents and middle brother are at
work, it is Jelani who makes sure his brother’s
needs are taken care of for the day.
“I have practice every day and I have to make
sure I time everything right and I do everything
perfectly,” he said. “It actually increases my reJelani Woods (left) has been caring for his special needs
sponsibilities, it makes me a better person. When
I go off to college I already have that experience to older brother, Javaric, since he was 14. Photo provided
know how to balance my needs and stuff like that.” mature and a better leader.
“I use to follow [people] a lot and watch what
He also said caring for his brother made him

other people do,” he said. “Now, I’m a leader for
real. Taking care of my brother and his needs
showed me how to take care of my team’s needs.
I can provide for them just like how I do for my
brother and it made me grow up a lot.”
Shaheerah said she is proud of Jelani and how
responsible he is.
“I tell him that all the time because in this society you don’t find that often,” she said. “I think
it comes from his spiritual background. Jelani was
born and raised in the church and I think some of
that discipline comes from that, but it’s almost like
he was born with leadership qualities and characteristics.”
Jelani is one of the top college prospects of the
2017 class. As a sophomore, he finished fourth
in the county with a 66.7 completion percentage.
He threw for 1,489 yards and 16 touchdowns and
helped lead his team to the second round of the
Class AAA playoffs.
With the talent on the 2015 Cedar Grove
Saints team, the expectations are higher this year
and they expect to get to the state championship.
“We have to stay consistent, we can’t fall off,”
Jelani said. “We have to keep our motors up, we
have to have a positive attitude even if we have a
Javaric has been, and will be, at every game to
cheer his brother on to victory.
“He’s excited to come to every game,” Jelani
said. “He came to every football game I’ve played
in. He’ll tell me, ‘good luck,’ and I take that as deep
as what he actually wants to say even though he
can’t really say it.”
Jelani said he loves everything about his brother, especially his passion about life.
“He’s loving, that’s what I really love about
him,” he said. “He never has a bad attitude, he’s
always up going, I just never see him down. Although he may not know he is special needs, he
acts like a normal person.”


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015Page 23A

St. Pius falls to Woodward in double overtime
by Carla Parker
The St. Pius Golden Lions fell to 0-2 on the
season after a 36-29 loss to Woodward in double
overtime at home.
With five seconds left to play in regulation and
the game tied at 22, the Golden Lions had an opportunity to win the game. St. Pius kicked off to
Woodward after tying the game on a 37-yard field
goal by Nick Jones, but Woodward failed to field
the ball during the kickoff and St. Pius recovered.

St. Pius trotted out Jones to kick the winning
field goal from 38 yards out, but the ball went wide
left, sending the game into overtime.
St. Pius scored first in overtime on a leaping touchdown from the 1-yard line by Ransom
Klinger, giving the Golden Lions a 29-22 lead.
However, Woodward tied the game again and sent
it into double overtime.
Woodward got the ball first in double overtime and running back Elijah Holyfield scored his
fourth touchdown of the game to give Woodward
the 36-29 lead. St. Pius attempted to tie the game

again, but quarterback Reed Egan’s pass was intercepted in the end zone and Woodward escaped St.
Pius with the win.
Holyfield finished the game with 183 yards and
four touchdowns on 18 carries. Jones led St. Pius
in scoring with five field goals, his longest from 45
yards. The Golden Lions’ only touchdown of regulation game came in the first quarter from Egan on
a 36-yard run, which gave St. Pius a 7-0 lead.
St. Pius will try to get its first win of the season
on Sept. 11 against Lithonia at Panthersville Stadium.

football rivalry

The Dunwoody student section was near capacity for the rivalry game. Photos by Travis Hudgons

The Golden Spike stays in Dunwoody

The Dunwoody Wildcats defeated north DeKalb rival the Chamblee Bulldogs 3-0 to win the Golden
Spike for the second consecutive year at North DeKalb Stadium on Sept 4.
Josh Bronstorph would score on a field goal in the second quarter to give Dunwoody the 3-0
lead—that would be the only points scored.
The victory for the Wildcats tied the rivalry series at 9-9. The Golden Spike represents the railroad
that connected the two communities over the years.

Dunwoody’s Bernard Millen, right, keeps the defensive pressure high with this
near interception.

Josh Bronstorph kicks a field goal, scoring Dunwoody’s only points.

Dunwoody head coach Michael Nash speaks to his team during halftime.

Dunwoody’s Michael Okwilagwe (78) and Stevie Gebhardt stop Chamblee’s
running game.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 11, 2015Page 24A

Arabia Mountain wins season opening race
by Mark Brock
Arabia Mountain hosted
the second week of DeKalb
County cross country on its
home course Sept. 1, and the
Rams took a 20-point win
over Redan in the first boys’
race of the day.
Stephenson’s Brandon
Hines won the boys’ individual title in 19:27.54 and
Redan (50) had the next two
finishers in Ernest McNease
(20:39.35) and Kevin Warring (22:53.39).
The Rams (30) then
came through in pack taking
the next five places. Marquez
Leemon led the group in
fourth at 23:33.33 and was
followed in order by Malik
Wright (23:44.58), Sam
Hinton (24:17.29), Daniel
Logan (24:32.29) and Sam
Garrett (24:52.74).
Lithonia’s Ziver Alexander (25:10.13) and Travon
Paratt (25:10.48) rounded
out the Top 10 in 10th and
tenth, respectively.
Southwest DeKalb
freshman Lanee Edwards



Tewolde. Photos by Mark Brock

(27:07.13) and senior Daisa
Alexander (27:25.83) finished first and second, respectively, to lead the Lady
Panthers to a 33-54 win over
Arabia Mountain in the first
girls’ race of the day.
Raven Thurman
(31:22.47), Raekwan Bostic
(31:23.59) and Yaria Sanders (31:30.65) finished ninth,
10th and 11th to account for
the Southwest DeKalb scoring.

was fifth and Sydni Rush
(29:28.61) was sixth for Arabia Mountain.
Stephenson’s Jaylyn Williams (29:17.03) was fourth
overall and the Columbia
duo of Aseneth Williams
(29:34.53) and Franol Hulufe (31:19.95) finished seventh and eighth to round out
the Top 10.
The Clarkston Angoras
collected their second race
victory of the season on the
DeKalb County circuit 20-33
over Druid Hills.
Druid Hills junior Ermais Tewolde, the defending
DeKalb County champion,
took the individual honors

with a time of 18:43.04 for
the fastest time of the day at
Arabia Mountain.
The Angoras then
swept the next six places
led by Suheib Mohamed
(18:51.71). Mohamed
was followed in order by
Paul Nikobiri (19:39.50),
Awet Fitwi (19:51.53),
Ngabo Daniel (19:54.52),
Bineyam Tumbo (20:04.01)
and Rukundo Uwimana
Druid Hills’ Ian Shrunk
was eighth (20:19.08), Tucker’s Miles Smith was ninth
(20:21.18) and Druid Hills’
Yosef Medhin was 10th

Alyssa McGriff
(29:08.45) finished third to
lead a group of three Arabia
Mountain runners in the Top
10. Jessica Allen (29:22.43)

Druid Hills had seven
runners finish in the Top 10
in the girls’ second race of
the day to easily outdistance
second place Clarkston 2179.
The individual girls’
title went to Vanesa RubioToxtle of Cross Keys with the
day’s best time of 23:11.77.
Druid Hills’ Rachel
Juieng (25:47.72) was second to lead a group of four
Lady Red Devils in the Top
5. Juieng was followed in
order by Lydia Medford
(26:15.66), Jaunia Everett
(27:00.79), and Caroline Olsen (27:23.08).
Clarkston’s Jane James
broke up the Druid Hills run
by taking sixth (27:42.38)
before Druid Hills grabbed
seventh in the form of Emily
Burns (28:06.74).
Tucker’s Victoria Ashby
was eighth in a time of
28:07.06 followed by Druid
Hills Emily Greipsson
(28:54.15) and Tucker’s Brea
Manuel (29:31.54) to round
out the Top 10 finishers.