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FRIDAY, September 25, 2015 VOL. 18, NO. 25 FREE

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

Quick Finder
Business.................................. 17A
Sports................................ 21-23A



DeKalb officer OK
after shooting

DeKalb officer
dies in wrongway crash

Stadium renamed
for William Buck

Local, 3A

local, 16A

sports, 23A



From left, Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander, District Attorney Robert James and Capt. Leonard Dreyer of the DeKalb
County Sheriffs Office Field Division announce the arrests of local gang members. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Gang accused of reign of terror



by Andrew Cauthen




ight suspected gang

members have been arrested for their part of
a reign of terror in DeKalb
A joint investigation between DeKalb County Police
Department and District Attorneys Office has resulted


in a 45-count indictment and

the arrests of eight of nine
people who law enforcement
officials say are members
of the HATE Committee, a
subgroup of the Gangster
Disciples criminal street gang.
HATE is an acronym for
Helping All To Eat.
The gang members are suspected of at least five murders
since May, authorities said.

These folks have been

extremely dangerous and
harmful and hurtful, said Cedric Alexander, the countys
public safety director, during
a Sept. 18 news conference.
This type of gang violence will not be tolerated in
DeKalb County, Alexander
said. We will go after you
with everything that we have.
We are committed to making

See Gangs on page 15A

Dozens of new
citizens take oath
by Ashley Oglesby
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day are celebrated each year on Sept. 17 in remembrance of the
signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) marks this occasionalso known as
Constitution Weekby holding special naturalization ceremonies across the country.
This year, a ceremony was held at Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC), which also recognized more than two dozen new staff and student
Mohamed Sow is from Guinea. He said he started the process of becoming a United States citizen in
Ive been through a lot with immigration. I went
to prison for six months. I just wanted to be a citizen
and finally I can close this chapter today.

See Oath on page 15A


Citizens take a picture with their official certifications.





Page 2A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015

Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May gets behind the controls of a bulldozer to help level a dilapidated house in the Greater Towers community. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

County demolishes vacant eyesore

by Andrew Cauthen
A vacant, burned home
was leveled early Sept. 18
by interim county CEO Lee
May and county workers.
After getting a brief tutorial from a county worker,
May took the controls of a
bulldozer and knocked down
part of the house located at
1637 Freedom Valley. The
house had been vacant since
it burned several years ago.
Im just elated because
we have so many houses that
are in the same condition
in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods, centrally
located, [in a] very valuable
piece of south DeKalb, said
Joscelyn ONeil, president of
the Greater Towers Community Association. It makes
no sense for us to have to
continue to live with these
types of conditions.
Some of those conditions
have been going on for eight
to 10 years, she said.
Trees are growing up in
the homes. The roofs are caving. There are hazards [and]
varmints. You have drugs
and prostitution going on in
some of those that [people
can enter], ONeil said.
ONeil said there are at

least six more houses in the

community that are in a similar deplorable condition.
Were looking forward
to this being a first step and
going on to get some of the
other eyesores out of our
community, ONeil said.
The demolition was
part of a county program
in which the county goes
to court to get authority to
go on the property to either
abate the issues that are there
or demolish it because the
building is deemed uninhabitable or dangerous.
During the legal proceeding, the owner retains
ownership of the property;
the cost of the demolition is
placed as a lien on the property. The countys sanitation
department helps expedite
the typically long process of
a house demolition.
May said there are a
number of homes that have
been burned down that have
really lowered the quality of
life in DeKalb County.
We have these neighbors here that have to live
next to these homesfor
years now, May said. This
is a health crisis here. Its a
code enforcement violation.
You have drug activity thats
going on and its just an eye-

Our focus is making
sure that our neighborhoods
are safe [and] secure, May
We have made a com-

mitment to our sanitation

division and other departments to demolish at least 25
homes this [year], May said.
DeKalb County has two
more homes scheduled for

demotion by mid-October:
2613 Crestdale Circle, Atlanta, and 3327 River Run Trail,


10 a.m. 11 a.m.
Exchange Park Recreation Center
2771 Columbia Dr., Decatur
4 p.m. 6 p.m.
Mainstreet Community Assoc.
5001 Mainstreet Park Dr.
Stone Mountain


10 a.m. 11 a.m.
Hairston Lake Apartments
1023 North Hairston Road
Stone Mountain
12 p.m. 1 p.m.
Spring Chase II
4947 Memorial Drive
Stone Mountain
4 p.m. 6 p.m.
Downtown Lithonia
6861 Main Street


11 a.m. 12 p.m.
Bethesda Cathedral Church
1989 Austin Drive, Decatur
4 p.m. 6 p.m.
Midway Recreation Center
3181 Midway Rd., Decatur

DeKalb Mobil
Farmers Ma
Dates and
Thru Oct. 2

What is a Mobile Farmers Market?

A Mobile Market is a farmers market on wheels. It brings fresh and affordably
priced fruits and vegetables to your community.
The Mobile Market also provides food demonstrations and recipes.

Cash, Credit, Debit, and EBT cards are accepted.

For more information, call DeKalb County Extension at 404-298-4080


9 a.m. 11 a.m.
DeKalb County Extension
4380 Memorial Dr. Decatur

Made possible with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015Page 3A

DeKalb officer OK
after shooting
by Andrew Cauthen
A DeKalb County Police
officer has been released
from an area hospital after
being shot during a gun battle with two suspects Sept 18.
Marco Vizcarrando, a 19year veteran of the department, suffered a gunshot
wound to his shoulder. He
was treated and released
from Grady Hospital late
that evening.
Police have arrested
Rome Crow, 21, and Isiah
McCray, 24. Both suspects
face charges of aggravated
assault on a police officer
and felony obstruction.
At approximately 4 p.m.
Sept. 18, Some of our detectives received information
of gun runners which they
attempted to stop out near
[I-285] and Lavista Road,
said Cedric Alexander, the
countys public safety director.
Alexander said as the detectives were in route to stop
the vehicle, they requested
uniformed officers to assist
so there would be no questionsthat they were being
pulled over by DeKalb police.
When uniformed officers arrived and attempted
to stop the vehicle, a black
Chevrolet SUV, it immediately accelerated south
on Northlake Parkway and
crashed into the RaceTrac

Students at Tucker High School participate in a workshop led by YBU founder Jeffery Henderson.

sign at 3356 Lawrenceville

When the suspects exited
their vehicles in the RaceTrac
parking lot, there was an
exchange of gunfire between
police and these subjects,
Alexander said. During that
gunfire, Vizcarrando was hit
in the upper left shoulder.
Because of the very,
very nasty wound, Vizcarrando was transported to the
hospital by a police helicopter, Alexander said.
Crow was taken into
custody at the RaceTrac and
McCray was captured by a
K-9 unit.
Neither one of these
subjects were hit by police,
Alexander said. They suffered no more than scratches
when they fell to the ground
or ran through the woods.
Two firearms were recovered from the scene and the
investigation is ongoing.

Youth advocacy organization

challenges students
by Ashley Oglesby
In 2010 Jeffery Henderson founded
DeKalb-based nonprofit Youth Branding University (YBU), an organization that aims to
serve the needs of underrepresented and underserved children.
The organization offers student athlete
personal, business, commercial and college
planning workshops.
Henderson said the program seeks to help
children from low income families who have
been classified as high risk for academic failure.
Henderson said he is passionate about
helping youth. At the age of 15 Henderson
spoke at Harvard Universitys National Council of State Committees for Youth Helping
Youth, Ever since I have been an advocate for
young people, Henderson said.
This year YBU has expanded its efforts
in Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb, Clayton
and Fulton counties to offer financial literacy,

entrepreneurship empowerment and engagement classes.

Henderson said the programs mission is
to equip the next generation to become global
The biggest challenge is recruiting donors
to support activities, challenges and events, he
YBU recently partnered with Communities in Schools, Future Business Leaders
of America, Chick-fil-A Leader Academy,
Rachels Challenge, Five Star Insurance, Primerica Financial Services, Community Teen
Coalition, Hearts to Nourish Hope and other
groups more in order to assist in promotions
and resources for program participants.
Our goal is to train and develop future
CEOs, executives, professionals, entrepreneurs, motivational speakers, community
activists, financial advisers, doctors, scientists,
engineers, technologists, artists, mathematics, politicians, spiritual leaders, college and
professional athletes and leaders with a global
mindset, Henderson said.

See YBU on page 8A

Brookhaven pleased with MARTA stations development partners

by Carla Parker
The development partner selected for the
Brookhaven/Oglethorpe MARTA station was one
of four groups the Brookhaven MARTA Citizens
Review Board recommended.
MARTA announced Sept. 3 that it approved
The Integral Group LLC and Transwestern Development Company to develop around the
Brookhaven/Oglethorpe station. MARTA will enter into negotiations with Brookhaven City Center
Partners on the project. The purpose of the project
is to strengthen the link among public transit,
housing and job access at MARTA rail stations,
according to the agency.
MARTA plans to convert the 10.3 acres of surface parking lots at the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe
station into a mixed-use, transit-oriented development.
The Brookhaven MARTA Citizens Review

Board (CRB) was created by the city to be a voice

of the residents of Brookhaven. There are 14 members on the board, consisting of representatives
from each of the four council districts, a mayors
pick from each neighborhood surrounding the
MARTA station, and members of the Brookhaven
Peachtree Community Alliance, Brookhaven Development Authority and the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce.
There were seven qualified developers named
and Brookhaven City Councilman Bates Mattison, liaison of the CRB, said The Integral Group
was one of the four recommended developers.
The understanding has always beenboth
with the CRB and MARTAthat the CRB will
now continue to work with the selected developer
and help them fine-tune their plans and still be a
resource for providing the citizens feedback, and
the proposed development that Integrals is going
to have to go through a zoning process on, Mattison said.

The development partners proposed a threephase, mixed-use master plan, subject to a community engagement process that will ultimately
lead to city approval and rezoning. Mattison said
the CRB told developers, We want you to create a
sense of community, create a cultural heart to our
city. We want you to think about the development
site outside the box and not just look in the confines of the MARTA property, but also the traffic
and transportation issues surrounding it.
Phase 1 of the project 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.
Its a very exciting project, Mattison said.
I am looking forward to continuing to work the
Integral Group and hopefully develop a [transitoriented development] design that is second to
none in the Atlanta area.
Phase 1 construction on the project is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2017.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015Page 4A

Team LINKS thousands with science

On Sept. 12 I spent half
the day in Marietta with a
couple hundred students
and their mentors from 13
schools. These kids traveled
from across the state to meet
in metro Atlanta to hear
about their upcoming robotics season and to brainstorm
the design of their latest robotics challenge. It was the
kickoff for the BEST Robotics season.
BEST (which stands for
Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) Robotics is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization which
allows schools to participate
at no cost.
In the program, students
take plywood and a box
filled with items such as

Andrew Cauthen

Managing Editor

PVC pipe, screws and other

hardware, an irrigation valve
cover, piano wire, aluminum
paint grid, a bicycle inner
tube, a BRAIN (BEST Robotics Advanced Instruction
Node programmable platform), and something called

a micro-energy chain system

and try, within six weeks, to
design and build a functioning machine that can perform certain specific tasks in
three minutes, according to
the BEST website.
At the end of the build
season, the teams participate
in competitions on a 24-feetby-24-feet fielda maze
of wood and PVC pipes with
tasks for the robots to complete. The goal of BEST is
for the participants to come
away with an understanding
of the practical use of math
concepts and applied physics; experience solving realworld science and engineering problem; an increased
interest in science, technology, engineering and math.

In the past, the Georgia

BEST program was hosted by
Southern Polytechnic State
University. This year, BEST
was a casualty of the schools
merger with Kennesaw State
University and almost did
not happen.
But the Fernbank LINKS
(Linking Ideas and Networking Kids with Science) robotics team of DeKalb County
stepped up to the plate and
decided to be the only high
school team in the country to
host a BEST competition.
LINKS is not new to
service. Led by Fernbank
Science Center aeronautics
instructor Debi Huffman,
the team has been a STEM
advocate for a dozen years,
reaching more than 5,000

students annually through

various outreach programs,
including its Science Night
Out, First LEGO League
(FLL) workshops and scrimmages, FLL regional competitionsfor middle and
elementary, career days and
STEM Days at local schools,
as well as public events, such
as the Atlanta Maker Faire
and the Atlanta Science Festival.
With more than 40
awards under its belt, and
a spot in last season FIRST
world championships, this
is a busy team of really engaged, intelligent youth. And
Im not saying that just because my daughter Adrianna
is on the team.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015Page 5A

One Mans Opinion

Swimmerman, swimmer fan

Water is the driving force
of all nature, Leonardo da
Vinci (1452-1519), Italian
artist, inventor, sculptor and
I really cannot remember a time when I did not
know how to swim.The
home I was born into had
a small pool out back in
Decatur.One of my earliest
memories involves sitting
atop my mothers rib cage as
a toddler while she swam the
length of the pool doing a
nice backstroke.
It wasnt until years later,
specifically high school,
when I became aware that
not everyone knows how to
swim, and for some, the fear
of submersion or drowning
is very real and can cause
practical paralysis or panic
Older daughter Barclay
took easily to the water and
is a strong swimmer and
beach/lake lover to this
day.Younger daughter Olivia
has few fears, but those that
exist are strong, and for the
first seven years of her life,
one of those was water on
her face or in any way having
her head underwater.As she
loves the pool and playing
with friends, it became time
to give her swim lessons.But
due to her developmental
disability, it was hard to communicate during parental

Bill Crane


lesson attempts and any

fear or tears usually meant a
move out of the pool. As any
swim instructor will tell you,
getting past those fears is
critical to becoming a strong
In Atlantas small Down
syndrome family community, referrals are taken very
seriously, even if they dont
all work out.This, however,
is an enthusiastic endorsement, and our household is
now filled with Swimmerman swimmer fans.
Swimmerman was begun
as a modest family enterprise
1999, by Mike and Melina
Slotnick, and, later, their son
Manfred.Melina had nearly
drowned as a almost 7-yearold child on a lake outing
with family, able to float and
dog paddle, but with her
stamina and stroke yet unde-

veloped. Fearfully noting the

boat and her family floating
away, she went under.
Thankfully rescued, she
would later begin a life of
teaching others the joys of
swimming.Her son, Manfred, learned to swim at
age two weeks.As we all at
least started out floating in
the womb, one might think
swimming would just come
naturally, but for many children and adults, that is just
not the case.
Enter the aquatic superhero Swimmerman to the
rescue.Now with three yearround indoor locations and
good metro area dispersal,
including a Smyrna location
close to Cumberland Mall
and the Galleria, a Jonesboro
facility on the southside and
the newest location in midtown Atlanta at Amsterdam
Walk backing up to the Beltline.
Olivia entered her initial
lessons reluctantly, seeking
her swim vest or floaties, and
very unwilling to put her face
in the water.But after only a
few weeks of instruction, she
began racing from the car
to the locker room, donning
her goggles and swim togs
and talking constantly about
taking frog bites (presubmersion air gulps), and
showing off her developing
backstroke, side dives and

underwater crawl stroke.

A team of highly trained
and certified instructors
make this a serious mission
made easy through the fun
of play. Children in general,
and particularly many with
developmental challenges,
learn better through play.
We are still months of
instruction away from any
unsupervised pool time, or
perhaps a year away from
considering a swim team,
but as I have seen Olivia
repeatedly achieve things
which medical professionals
once told us would be highly
unlikely or impossible, we
have little doubt that she will
be fearlessly tackling beach
waves and swimming underwater in a summer, two tops.
For both the safety and
security of any child, and all
the fun which water parks,
beach waves and water skiing have brought our family
through the years, I am finding great happiness in watching Olivia conquer this fear
and find a new joy.
Swimming is one of those
few skillsets, like regular
walking and exercise, which
is never too late to start.And
for the elderly in particular,
the buoyancy and reduced
stress on joints and muscle
groups can make resuming
swimming the ideal choice
for improving and rebuilding

muscle strength and tone. So

with that, a tip of the swim
cap to Melina, Mike and
Manfred Slotnik and their
friend and our newest neighborhood superhero, Swimmerman.
Cmon over and dive in,
the waters fine.
Bill Crane also serves as a
political analyst and commentator for Channel 2s 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 writers 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.
EDITORS 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 25, 2015

Joscelyn ONeil
Joscelyn ONeil, president of the Greater Towers
Community Association, is
passionate about her community.
On Sept. 18 she was on
hand when DeKalb County
officials bulldozed a vacant,
burned house in her neighborhood.
Its a magnificent area,
she said minutes before the
house was leveled. Anyone
would want to raise their
children in a nice cul-de-sac.
So were looking forward to
this being a first step and
going on to get some of the
other eyesores out of our

A tragic accident moved

ONeil to get involved in her
neighborhood. The accident
claimed the lives of two children who were killed as they
crossed a street with their

That just broke my
heart, ONeil said. After the
accident, ONeil advocated
for a traffic light at the site
on Glenwood Road. Sometimes, she sat in the rain collecting signatures for a petition, she said.
After that, ONeil became
increasingly involved with
community advocacy. She
helped stop plans for a music
studio behind her house. She
volunteered as the neighborhood watch chairwoman.
She worked to get an annual summer camp program
started at Lou Walker Park,
located in her neighborhood.

She was instrumental in getting restrooms constructed

at the park. She has served
on the countys code enforcement advisory council,
worked against human trafficking and is a member of
the District 5 Community
Council. She also has served
on the Georgia Black Womens Caucus and participated
in the DeKalb Neighborhood
Leadership Institute.
Its just something that
I naturally do, ONeil said
about volunteerism.
ONeil said her efforts are
beginning to pay off in her
So were at a point right

now where we were seeing

something after all the years
of hard work and complaining and looking at the eyesore, she said.
Were not going anywhere, she said. Gentrification is not one thing that
were going to be looking for
in our community. We plan
on living, playing, working
and raising our children here
educating them here and
they need to grow up in a
neighborhood that I invested
in for my children to grow
up ina beautiful neighborhood.

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.

Families talk to officials about police-involved shootings

by Andrew Cauthen
Family members of residents killed
in police-involved shootings in DeKalb
County got a chance to speak their
minds in a private meeting with county
officials Sept 16.
Just the fact that we had a dialog was pleasing for me, said Delisa
Davis, the sister of Kevin Davis, who
was shot and killed by a DeKalb officer
Dec. 29, 2014 after calling 911 when
his live-in girlfriend was stabbed by
a friend during an argument in their
I cant really say that Im really satisfied, but Im pleased that [the county
officials] at least took the time out to
come meet with our family, Davis said.
Kevin meant a lot to us. He was our
baby brother.
Davis said what she had hoped to
hear that some accountability would
be held [for] the officer that murdered
our brother.
It just bothers me to no end that
[the officers] only got a slap on the
wrist. He got taken off the force for a
little while and now hes back on the
beat, Davis said. That I want to see
stopped, because then [the officer is]
out there to do it again to somebody
Davis said law enforcement officials should have a little more compassion for the families [of victims]
that lost their lives, because we got
none of that. To this day, we never
heard from them that they killed our
brother. We heard from a third party.
I dont have all the answers. Im
just here advocating for my brother
who was gunned down by a DeKalb
County police officer, Davis said. He
was a human being. He deserved more
than what they did to him.

From left, interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May met with Delisa Davis and other family members of victims of police-involved shootings.
Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Interim Police Chief James Conroy said the conversation was about
accountability, transparency and compassion after police-involved shootings.
I think thats the key takeaway
from this, Conroy said. Those are
points that everyone in the room
agreed upon.
Conroy said officer-involved
shootings are the one thing that no
police officer wants in their career
whether theyre being shot or theyre
having to take anothers life.
Its the last thing anybody ever
wants to do and I think youll find99
percent of the police officers have
never been in that situation, Conroy
said. Its tragic on all fronts. You never
want to have to take someones life, but
unfortunately these are violent times
in this country and police officers have
been killed.
Thats not a trend thats going
away, he said. Im just hoping that
we can do things better. We can learn
from these and try [to] prevent as
many shootings as we can andlearn
how to react on the other side when
there is one.

After speaking to the families and

seeing things from their point of view,
Conroy said, I can learn from them
and hopefully be more compassionate
in future incidents.
Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee
May said that during the tough conversations there were a lot of emotions, a lot tears, a lot of anger, a lot of
questions, not a whole lot of answers,
of course, because so many of these
cases are still under investigation by
the GBI.
May said the meeting did not
improve the situation for the victims
The family members dont come
back as a result, but it does allow for
a conversation, questions to be asked,
[and] as many answers to be given as
possible, May said. But I do believe
its progress.
A list of demands was given to
commissioners, May said. My understanding is those demands will be
listened to and deliberated over and
maybe there can be some solutions.
May said he has empathy for the
I personally have experiences of

family members having direct engagement with police around the country
and both cases ended in death, he
said. So I personally understand.
After the meeting, DeKalb County
Commissioner Jeff Rader said, People
aired their grievances. We listened to
them. I think that hopefully we better
understand what peoples issues are as
they relate to the way that this has been
People are simply impatient with
that process because their loss was immediate but the process of resolving
this and assigning responsibility and
accountability is a long one, Rader
said. Its been a long protracted process and I think that people are waiting
for a resolution of that process, which
can only come through ultimately the
judicial process.
You have an investigation that
was conducted by GBI in each of these
cases, Rader said. Its in the hands of
the district attorney. The district attorney has indicated that he is going
to use a civil grand jury in order to air
those cases and then ultimately make a
decision as to how they proceed.



The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015Page 7A

Avondale Estates

DeKalb School of the Arts announces

Premier Weekend
DeKalb School of the Arts will hold its Premier Weekend Sept. 25-27. Premier Weekend is a
three-day season opener for the performing tour
groups of DeKalb School of the Arts. The tour
groups featured will be Dance Repertory Company, drama ensemble, instrumental ensemble
and vocal performances by Highliet and ProArte.
Tickets are on sale at
event #2226437. The school is located at 1192
Clarendon Avenue in Avondale Estates.


a judge, email or call

(404) 637-0508.


Community association sponsors Hee Haw

On Saturday, Oct. 17, from 2 to 5 p.m., the
Greater Towers Community Association will hold
its annual OctoberFest celebration at 3569 Larkspur Terrace, Decatur.
It will be fun for all ages, so put on your
western gear and join us, states an announcement about the event, which will include a bike
race for 3-to-8-years old, lasso contest, best western-dressed contest, cakewalk, food and games.

Fernbank Science Center wins grant for

collection preservation

Church to hold prostate cancer awareness


Fernbank Science Center has won a $24,610

grant from the Institute of Museum and Library
Services Museums for America program.
This award will be used to improve preservation conditions for the science centers collection
of mammal, bird and insect specimens. The twoyear project will help rehouse and relocate Fernbanks collection to improve access and preservation of this asset.
With this funding, we can start to really use
and share what has been a hidden treasure, rather
than simply store it, said Chris Showalter, curator of Fernbanks natural history collections. Our
collections can be a powerful tool for research
and teaching, and additional resources like this
grant will help us tap into their potential.
Fernbank Science Center natural history collection ranks among the most significant collections in Georgia. FSC has a live-mount wildfowl
that includes research-grade bird and mammal
study skins, as well as bird eggs, with specimens
dating back to the 19th century, including extinct
species.The holdings also include insect collection, representing most of the worlds major families, and including 10 paratype specimens.

New Life Church and Community Center

and the Our Journey of Hope Cancer Support
Ministry ( hosting the
Path to Prostate CancerAwareness: Prevention,
Detection & Care breakfast eventon Saturday, Sept. 26, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 3592 Flat
Shoals Road, Decatur.
The event is being held in observance of
National Prostate CancerAwareness Month and
in an effort to minimize the impact of prostate
cancer localfamilies and communities.
Men ages 30 and older are encouraged to attend; Men ages 40 and older also should register
for the free prostate-specific antigen (PSA) exams.
The event will consist of breakfast, expert
panel discussion and free PSA screenings.Dr.
Gregory Bolden of (Mens Health Initiative
-DeKalb County Board of Health) will be as the
keynote speaker for the event.
Attendees will be provided with prostate
cancer information and the opportunity to engage resources in the areas of research, nutrition,
treatment, care and spiritual preparedness.
In partnership with the DeKalb County
Board of Heath, the Center for Cancer Research
and Therapeutic Development, Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition, and Georgia Urology,
the church is seeking tospread awareness of the
overwhelming realties of prostate cancer.
For additional information or to register
for the event or the PSA exam, go online to, click the link
NLCProstateAwareness, or text (678) 806 8136
with the phrase Blue Breakfast.

Community yard sale scheduled
A community yard sale will be held Sept. 27,
1-4 p.m. at Briarwood Gym located at 2235 Briarwood Way in Brookhaven. The event is free.
A table can be purchased to sell items. For more
information, call (404) 637-0512.

City to host art event

Paint the Park will be held Sept. 27, 1-4
p.m. at Blackburn Park, located at 3493 Ashford
Dunwoody Road in Brookhaven. The event will
include an art contest, treats and a bounce house.
Art supplies and paper will be provided but artist
can bring their own easel and canvas. The winning entries will be displayed in Brookhaven City
Hall. For more information, or to volunteer as

Community Service Board to meet

The DeKalb Community Service Board will
meet Sept. 24. It is open to the public for those
who are interested in services for mental health,
addiction and developmental disabilities.
The meeting will be held at 3 p.m. at 445
Winn Way, Room 421, Decatur.
Agenda items include a directors report,
amendments to the boards bylaws, the DeKalb
County Clean Indoor Air Ordinance and a financial status report.The board will also welcome
DeKalb County School District Superintendent

Dr. R. Stephen Green.

Those who would like to bring an issue before
the board can be placed on the agenda by contacting Sandra Pieyro at (404) 294-3787.
Written comments to the board will be accepted atOffice of the Director, DeKalb County
Board of Health, P.O. Box 987, Decatur, Georgia


Chamblee offers driving classes for young

Have a soon-to-be-teen driver? Worried
about teaching them how to drive? Want to be eligible for a discount on your insurance? Chamblee
Police Department is hosting its next Parents Reducing Injuries and Driver Error (P.R.I.D.E.) class
on Sept. 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street.
Georgia Teens Ride With P.R.I.D.E. is a free
two-hour course designed to help parents and
their new or soon-to-be teen drivers, ages 14-16,
prepare for their 40 hours of supervised practice
driving time required by Georgia law.
After completing the class, parents receive a
certificate from Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention
Institute that can be submitted to an insurance
carrier and may be eligible for discount on policy.


Registration open for Beat the Badge 5K

Runners can register for the Beat the Badge
5K. The race will be held Sept. 26 and begins at 9
a.m. at the DeKalb County Police Headquarters
located at 1960 West Exchange Place in Tucker.
This years 5K race commemorates the 100-year
anniversary of the DeKalb County Police Department and proceeds from the race will be donated
to the DeKalb Police Alliance. Registration is limited to 1,000 entries. For more information and to
register, visit

Food and music festival announced

The DeKalb International Food & Music
Festival will be held Sat., Oct. 17 from noon until
6 p.m. at Northlake Mall, 4800 Briarcliff Road,
The fifth annual DeKalb International Food
& Music Festival promises to be a day of fun with
food, music, entertainment and more. Free Admission to all.
Childrens activities will be held in the Childrens Village; for a $5 fee, each child gets an allday pass. The Childrens Village will feature the
Center for Puppetry Arts, a game truck, bouncy
houses, face painting, snacks and an opportunity
to tour DeKalb County Fire Rescue and Police
For additional information visit


Page 8A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015

YBU Founder Jeffery Henderson works with elementary school entrepreneurial mentee.

Students participate in a entrepreneurship workshop where they were assigned to present their business ideas.

YBU Continued From Page 3A

In addition to empowering
children, the organization is
also creating a call to action for
Its always been a major
component of the program to
get the parents involved. We
think its really critical, Henderson said.
The organization recently
created a program that targets
fathers of program participants.
Whether the fathers are in
the home, not at home or even
in prison we want to connect
with them and say no matter what your situation is, you
need to connect with your son
or daughter because they need
your moral support. The impact of that would be tremendous, Henderson said.
The second part of the program is working with the mothers, guardians, and siblings of
each program participant to
get the family involved in the
childs entrepreneurship class
We have a comprehensive
and relevant program and we
really interact with the youth.
Entrepreneurship is the flagship. Our theory is before you

can even get to entrepreneurship you have to first understand what your lifestyle will
be, Henderson said.
He added, We try to be as
realistic as we can about what
they can expect in the business
arena and we push them to create goals and plans and build a
A lot of our young people
have dreams and visions and
theyll say I want to move to
California or New York and
those are the two most expensive. We explain to them
if youre going to launch your
business in DeKalb County
thats a lot different than
launching your business in New
York. Their lifestyles would be
different in New York. The cost
of living is more expensive in
New York. Laws are different in
New York Our program aims
to dissect those choices and
show them how to make mature and responsible decisions,
how to be a global leaders and a
global citizen.
To make a donation or
learn more about Youth Branding University visit

Stone Mountain chief holding officers accountable with new system

by Carla Parker
Stone Mountains police chief has
created a new employee tracking system to improve police activity in the
Chief Chancey Troutmans point
system tracks officers activities during their shifts. Officers receive points
for accident reports, arrests, citations,
court attendance, domestic call reports, incident reports, juvenile call
reports, miscellaneous reports and
warning citations.
An officer on the day/evening
shift must have an activity score of 80
per 160 hours of duty during two consecutive pay periods. Officers on the
overnight shift must have an activity score of 56 per 160 hours of duty
during two consecutive pay periods.
Officers who fail to score the desirable
level of points receive punishments
from oral reprimands to dismissals.
Its basically keeping a count of
the officers work, Troutman said.
We had a few officers that werent
doing anything, and people ride by
and see them on the road on the
computer. Some of them were doing
homework; some [officers] were just
on their phones or just sitting there
doing nothing. Some of them might
have been asleep for all I knew.
Their activities were very low,
the citizens complained about it, the
city council complained about it and
some of the other officers complained

about it, Troutman said. Its already

in our chapter and procedures policy
in reference of work productivity, and
we just put this in place to hold them
accountable for their time at work for
eight hours.
There are 18 officers on the Stone
Mountain police force, including 10
patrol units. The point system/activity
sheet went live Aug. 25. The department did a trial run three and a half
months prior.
A lot of [officers] still didnt make
it [through the trial run] because they
didnt take it seriously enough, he
said. Its easy to do; its just keeping
them busy, keeping them on their toes
and doing [their] job. Its not about
just writing tickets.
Walking the streets and talking
with residents and business owners
also count towards activity points.
Troutman has been the police
chief for 15 years and with the Stone
Mountain Police Department for 28
years. Before establishing the system,
he said he had several conversations
with his sergeants about doing a better job of tracking their officers.
I have talked to them until Im
blue in the face, he said. Ive had sergeant meetings and told the sergeants
to stay on [the officers], and theyll
do good for about a week or two,
but theyll slack back off again and it
shows. It shows on some of the crime
that was happening in particular
neighborhoods in which the officer
should have been patrolling. There

were accidents happening, petty theft

that was going on. If the officer was
sitting in the location monitoring,
some of that stuff wouldnt have happened.
Troutman also wants to prevent
illegal behavior by officers. Last year,
former Stone Mountain police officer
Denoris Carter was one of 13 people
sentenced to federal prison for accepting thousands of dollars in cash payments to provide protection during
staged drug deals that were part of a
federal undercover operation. He was
sentenced to three years, one month
in prison, which will be followed by
five years of supervised release.
Carter was found guilty of providing protection for what he believed
were five separate transactions in the
Atlanta area that involved cocaine, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office.
Carter accepted cash payments totaling $23,500. During the transactions,
Carter wore his Stone Mountain Police uniform, was in his police cruiser
and either patrolled or parked in the
parking lots in which the undercover
sales took place and watched the
Troutman said Carters sergeant
did not hold Carter and other officers
under his supervision accountable.
The sergeant was fired before
this even happened because he didnt
pass his evaluationhe wasnt doing
anything and it showed, he said. But
his officer was outside our city limits
doing what he wanted to do. Now,

each officer and each supervisor has a

responsibility. If they dont make their
time they have to be disciplined for it.
Everything thats going on in
these streets right now with these officers killing people and beating up
people, they have to be held accountable for that, Troutman added. You
have to keep tabs on your officers
while theyre at work. I dont want that
to happen to my citythe killing of
an unarmed person. I want to keep all
of my citizens safe.
Troutman said there were complaints from residents about officers
not being visible. He addressed that
with his officers.
I told my officers that if they
cant see you let them hear youtap
your siren a couple of times and
theyll know that weve been through
there, he said. It usually makes [residents] mad because it wakes them up
at night but I tell them, Yall said yall
dont see us but I want to let yall know
that were out there.
In less than a month, Troutman
has seen slight improvements in the
crime rate, specifically in petty thefts.
He is pleased to see that the officers
are on board with the system and its
I hate I have to go through this
because it puts more work on me, but
I need my job too, he said.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015Page 9A

Clarkstons food truck rally will take place on its newly annexed parcel on Market Street.

Six food trucks have been confirmed for Clarkstons Food Truck Rally.

Clarkston to host food truck festival

by Ashley Oglesby

After debating the ordinance at four different city

council meetings Clarkston officials have adopted a mandate
that will allow food trucks to
operate within the city.
According to the Sept. 1
business agenda provided to the
city council, the citys code restricted many forms of outdoor
vending including a food truck
or cart from conducting business on a public right-of-way
within the city.
City Manager Keith Barker
said, The overarching purpose
of this is to allow via ordinance
a mechanism for the city of
Clarkston to allow and promote
food trucks on a limited basis.
He added, Based on an
application process that the city
administration would approve
to allow food trucks in the city
of Clarkston, we think that this
is something that would be desirable.
Barker acknowledged that
Clarkston is not blazing any
trails. Food trucks have become

a popular trend for many cities

and communities. Barker said
the rewrite to the ordinance will
allow Clarkston to do something similar.
The long range goal is
that we want to get people
used to coming to Downtown
Clarkston in advance to us finishing our streetscape.
He said he also hopes
vendors will consider turning
their food trucks into a brick
and mortar business here in
Council Dean Moore made
a motion to approve the food
trucks, which was seconded by
Councilman Robert Hogan.
Councilwoman Dianne
Leonetti also approved the
agenda item but said, Its a little
ambiguous in places and still
needs work.
The new ordinance will
allow food truck vendors to obtain a permit from the city and
operate on a limited basis.
Barker said, Unlike Boston
or Atlanta our problem is not
regulating the food trucks wanting to operate in Clarkston, our
challenge [is] to attract food

trucks to come to Clarkston.

Following the adoption of
the new ordinance, officials announced details of Clarkstons
first food truck festival, which
will be held on Oct. 10 from
noon to 4 p.m. on Market Street.
Barker said theyve received
commitments from six food
trucks through The Atlanta
Street Food Coalition.
In addition to food trucks
the festival will feature live music, corn hole toss, a kids zone
with a bouncy house, face painting and other family-friendly
Officials partnered with
International Rescue Committee, New American Pathways
and DeKalb Medical Center to
organize the event. Each organization will have an information
tent for residents to learn more
about community efforts.
We want to target our citizens to make sure that they enjoy the event but we also want to
bring in people from outside the
city. We want them to see the
unique diversity that we have
here, Barker said.

Time to invest
in yourself.
Theres still time to attend GPC this Fall. Learn more at
If youre already accepted but havent enrolled, visit

TheCampion.indd 1

9/1/15 1:27 PM


Page 10A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015

After I finished
school, I found
that a lot of friends
and people in my
didnt really know
how to get a job.
- Rich Harris
Rich Harris envisions a nonprofit through which young people can gain such employment skills as interview etiquette, computer basics, rsum preparation and communication.

Area resident wants to help young people find employment

by Kathy Mitchell
Although the number of
unemployed youthdefined
as those between 16 and 24
years old who are actively
seeking employmenthas
dropped markedly in the
past year, as of July 2015
approximately 2.8 million
American youth were looking for jobs, according to the
U.S. Department of Labor.
The youth unemployment
rate nationally was 12.2 percent in July 2015.
Rich Harris wants to
help. Harris, a 25-year-old
DeKalb resident who works
in a restaurant in addition to
being an actor and musician,
wants to create an organization through which young
people can acquire the skills
that will help them become
gainfully employed.
After I finished school,
I found that a lot of friends
and people in my neighborhood didnt really know how
to get a job. All they knew to
do was to go online and fill
out an application. Although
we all weretaught how to
prepare rsums in school,
not everybody really learned
to do it. Nobody made sure
students really understood,
so if they didnt catch on they
more than likely gave up or
settled for doing less than
they are capable ofor ended up hustling in the streets,
he observed.
Harris is in the process
forming Harris Essentials,
a nonprofit to help young
people gain the skills to get
and keep a job. These skills
include interview etiquette,

computer basics, creating

or building a rsum, communication, employmentresources and other tools.
He said that when he was
a teen he participated in a
summer program through
which youth as young as 14
were taught the basics of
business. Harris wants to
take what he learned and
expand it into a nonprofit.
He said he envisions an entrepreneurship program that
teaches on a basic level development of business plans
as well as an understanding
of demographics, teamwork,
finances, etc. At the end of
the program groups of teens
would propose their business
concepts and plans. Hundreds of kids each summer
can benefit from that while
being paid.
Harris said he has been
interested in helping others
as long as he can remember.
Growing up, in school I was
always the type to finish my
work and then help others
who were having trouble.
The teachers could never
help everybody because
there were too many students in one class. He said
even after he was at a charter
school where all the students
were considered exceptionally capable, I still helped
those who clearly just needed
the work explained to them
in a different way.
Although Harris nonprofit is still in the development stageshe plans to
launch it on his birthday,
Nov. 7hes already has
experience helping job seekers. A lot of people I grew

up with (in Philadelphia)

not only did not know how
to prepare a rsum, they
also did not know how to
approach a hiring manager, what the proper words
should be in that situation. I
guided a lot of people in my
neighborhood on the appropriate verbiage they should
use with specific employers
and practiced with them. I
suggested where they should
go to find the type of work
they were looking for.
They all ended up with

jobs and are very grateful for

what I thought wasnt much
at all. Since Ive been in Atlanta, Ive helped four people
successfully build their rsums and practice verbal skills
to obtain work in the restaurant industry, at markets
and in hospitals, he said. I
cant wait until Im able to be
more hands-on and help on a
larger scale. I especially want
to help youth avoid becoming clueless adults.
The biggest challenge in
forming a nonprofit, Har-

ris said, has been educating

himself not only on the business essentials he wants to
teach, but also on operating
a nonprofit organization. He
added, As has time passed,
the vision has become became clearer. Im surprised
by the support Im receiving
from people that come from
all walks of life, ranging from
time, money, educating me
on relevant topics, wanting
to volunteer once its ready
and even supplies.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015Page 11A

Nonprofit aims to rehabilitate homeless families

by Ashley Oglesby
Our House is a nonprofit
child care and support center
for homeless families.
Since its inception in 1988
Our House has aimed to provide quality early childhood
education and comprehensive
support services for families
who are experiencing homelessness.
Today, Our House has
evolved to a nationally accredited early childhood education center, serving up to 81
children daily.
Our House President
Tyese Lawyer said over the
course of the year the organizationwill serve around 120
families from DeKalb County.
The organization has two
locations, one in Decatur and
another in Atlanta.
We serve children and
then we provide social services to the families to help them
move from homelessness to
permanent housing and stability, she said.
In addition to free childcare the organization also
provides a training program
for adults to work in early
childhood education.
Lawyer said adults enrolled in the program receive
a combination of classroom
learning along with work experiences.
Lawyer said the programs
goal is to provide participants
an opportunity to enter into
a career path. She said many
of the participants have very
little job experience and others have no job experience.
She added, We want to
train them through a certificate program that will allow
them to work in early childhood centers.
Child Development Associate is the primary training
The training program
runsapproximately five
months and serves children
ages 6 weeks up to 5 years old
on Monday through Friday.
In additional to childcare the program also offers
homeless children immunizations, periodic health checkups, formal developmental
assessments and special education intervention services.
The program also aims to
enhance childrens pre-literacy, self-help, confidence and
resiliency skills.
Lawyer began working
for Our House in 2004.
She said, Our House offers a safe space for children

to learn and grow. All the

research that is out there is
telling us that the first years of
a childs life are the most important in terms of predicting
high school graduation. Were
able to provide a quality early
learning experience that sets
children up to enter school
ready to learn and to be successful in their school experiences.
She added, Our program
also works with children who
are having some challenges
emotional and learning
challenges. That really helps
DeKalb County as these children are ultimately going to
be children who matriculate
through the public school system. The more positive their
early learning experience,
the less remediation theyll
need once they get to public
Our House often partners
with shelters and transitional
housing programs in DeKalb
County, including Decatur
Cooperative Ministry and
Coralwood Preschool Diagnostics.
Lawyer said once a teacher identifies a concern about
a childs learning curve the
organization contacts DeKalb
schools diagnostics to provide
We have a lot of families
that are grateful and appreciative. All of our families truly
want the best for their children, Lawyer said.
She added the most challenging aspect of what the organization does is the lack of
resources in the community.
There is not enough lowincome housing for all of the
families who need it. There
are not enough quality early
learning spaces for families.
As we work with parents in
trying to identify their next
best step that becomes challenging and difficult, she
Our House is actively
looking for community members to read to children, help
clean playgrounds and classrooms.
Lawyer said the organization is also looking for
community members with
specific skills or knowledge of
expertise on a matter to talk
with families at their monthly
education workshops for parents.
For additional information on how to make a donation to Our House or volunteer, visit www.ourhousega.

Volunteers assist in playground renovation.

Youngsters organize toy foods at the Childrens


Children at the Georgia Aquarium look at fish.

Our House youngsters participate in story time at the Decatur Public


FREE Family Reunion Planning

Wo r k s h o p & S h o w c a s e
Discover DeKalbs Reunion Specialist
will teach you everything you need to
know to plan the perfect
Family Reunion in DeKalb County!
Workshop - 10 a.m. to Noon
Showcase - Noon to 2 p.m.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Stars and Strikes Entertainment Center

1741 Mountain Ind. Blvd., Stone Mountain, GA

A diver for the Georgia Aquarium

interacts with Our House children.

FREE Customer Service

Tr a i n i n g C l a s s
Professional trainer, Donna Satchell
of STARR Consulting & Training,
will teach you the importance of providing
outstanding service and help you enhance
your service skills in this motivating and
invigorating free class.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Discover DeKalb Conference Room
1957 Lakeside Parkway, Suite 510
Tucker, GA 30084

Family Reunion Capital of the South

Pre-registration is required

Pre-registration is required

Register online at

Register online at

Call 770-492-5018

Call 770-492-5014


Page 12A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015

I was walking
up the street
and they were
short on help
and the guy
asked me, you
want a job? And
I said, Yeah.
- Harvey Carter

Photo by Andrew Cauthen

County worker recognized for 28 years of service

by Andrew Cauthen
Harvey Carter, a general foreman in DeKalb Countys roads and
drainage division, has been working
for the county for 28 years. And this
is his second stint.
I had a job with DeKalb when
I was 12 years old, said Carter, a
50-year-old Stone Mountain resident.
They could hire you off the street
back at that time. That was back in
I was walking up the street and
they were short on help and the guy
asked me, you want a job?
And I said, Yeah. And he gave me
a hard hat and a vest and put a flag
pole in my hand, Carter said. He
hired me right of the street...and I
worked for about 15 minutes.
He looked back down the street
at me and he discovered that I was
a kid, Carter said. I was big for my
When the man learned that
Carter was just 12 years old, he said,
Come see us when youre 17, Carter
said. And he took his hard hat and
his vest and his flag back.
Carter was recently recognized
by DeKalb County for the exceptional customer service to everyone
he encounters, according to a county
statement. He is always willing
to step in and assist anyone when

needed, whether it is a co-worker or

the public.
I do like to help people on and
[off] the job, Carter said. I was
born, bred and raised in DeKalb.
And whatever happens in DeKalb, if
I can be [of] some benefit or service,
then I figure its not just good customer service, its part of me and my
duty to...extend my hand to the citizens of DeKalb County.
Carter said the county recognition was one of the most beautiful
things that ever happened to me in
my life, actually.
He was surprised with the recognition during a county employees
I had no earthly idea what was
going to happen, Carter said. They
just told me to make sure I was there
on that day and be on time.
That was one of the biggest days
of my lifeto know that somebody
thought enough to remember something that I [did].
More than once, Carter has
stopped to help vehicle accident victims. During one incident, Carter encountered a woman and her son who
were involved in a car accident.
I immediately stopped my truck
and put on my flashers, recounted
Carter, who along with coworker
Rodney Cammon, blocked traffic
and called paramedics and police.
I continued to guide the traffic

and go over and talk to the lady that

had been hit, Carter said. I was...
trying to keep her responsive. I let
her know help is on the way.
When Carter graduated from
high school, he began applying for a
county job.
It was pretty difficult to get on,
he said. It took a couple of years.
Once hired, he said he started
from the bottom, which was a crew
worker. From there he moved
through the ranks, working as a senior crew worker, stock worker, brick
mason and supervisor. Carter has
been a general foreman for five years.
Growing up, I used to see the
trucks go up and down the streets,
he said, adding that his sisters taught
him that county jobs were the good
ones, along with jobs with MARTA
or Atlanta Gas Light.
Carter said he also saw the county seal on trucks and noticed that the
county was formed in 1822.
I knew if that job had been
around that long it wasnt going nowhere, Carter said.
Im very happy to be a county
employee, Carter said. I like everything about this place. This place
raised me up.
The best part of being here is
getting your years completed and
knowing that there is a pot of gold at
the end of the rainbow, he said, referring to retirement.

As a general foreman, Carters

role is to make sure that the job goes
safely because safety is No. 1.
He also ensures that the men
have got the materials they need to
get the job done fast and efficiently,
Carter said.
We take care of rainwater, said
Carter, who estimates that he has
worked on more than 2,500 projects
in the county. We [keep] things
from flooding. We maintain the
streets...and the backyards. We make
sure everything is running according
to schedule.
Carter said big storms no longer
make him nervous.
I know how to go in there and
attack them, he said about the flooding storms cause. I know where to
go and how to make things drain. I
know DeKalb.
My job is to make a difference
for the homeowners and the citizens
of DeKalb County, Carter said. And
I believe Ive done that.
Carter said he likes working for
the county because it is a place of
opportunity. You can be what you
want to be.
You can start from the lowest
man...[and go] up to the CEO. The
county is a place of equal opportunity, he said.



The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015Page 13A



Coach Godfrey was celebrated at the

renaming of Panthersville Stadium
to William Buck Godfrey Stadium in
DeKalb. Photos by Travis Hudgons

From left, Coach Steve Davenport, former NFL player

Quincy Carter and Coach Cortez Allen

Children of Godfrey, Colin & Rashan

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 25, 2015

Family and friends of Anthony Hill joined veterans and civil rights activists for the Veterans Unite event to
call for justice in the killing of Hill. Photos by Carla Parker

Veterans rally for

justice for Anthony Hill
by Carla Parker
Veterans along with are
calling for justice in the killing of Anthony Hill.
Veterans, Hills family, friends and supporters
gathered Sept. 19 at the old
DeKalb County courthouse
in Decatur for the Veterans
Unite event as a school of
support of Hill.
Hill, a 27-year-old Air
Force veteran from Chamblee, was shot and killed
by DeKalb County Police
Officer Robert Olsen, who
responded to a call about a
man acting deranged, police said during a news conference after the incident.
Hill was naked and unarmed at the time of the
More than 50 people, attended the rally; some held
signs as they called for Olsen
to be held responsible for
his actions. SCLC DeKalb
chapter president Nathan
Knight said Olsen should be
There is no way that

a person walking with no

clothes on in the community
where he stays, under medical attention from the [Veterans Affairs], should be shot
by a police officer when 9-11 was called for ambulance
service to come, Knight said
Yet, a police officerinstead
of helping this young man...
he was shot. He was murdered.
DeKalb District Attorney
Robert James announced
last month that a civil grand
jury will review the case.
Knight said he attended
the rally because its just
been too many of our young
Black men and women
across the country who have
been killed by police and it
has to stop.
Im here because I think
we have a duty and a responsibility to make sure that any
infraction against any human
being, such as Mr. Hill and
others, is not in vain, Knight
said. So we fightwe fight
today and well fight tomorrow.
Maceo Williams, a former board member of the

Atlanta Citizens Review

Board, was also in attendance.
Im here to support this
family in hopes that in the
future we can create other
boards throughout the state
and throughout the region,
Williams said. I just want
to do the right thing for the
Williams resigned from
the Atlanta Citizens Review
Boardwhich oversees misconduct accusations against
sworn members of the police
and corrections departments in Atlantain June
because the board was full
of not only just attorneys,
but people [who are] dealing
with prestige and rsums
and that [who arent] for the
We cant live without the
police, fire and EMS, but we
can live without the misconduct, Williams said. My objective is to formulate agencies throughout this state as
needed, where needed for
the people.

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The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015Page 15A

Gangs Continued From Page 1A

DeKalb safe and secure for all of our
District Attorney Robert James
said the HATE Committee carries
out high level, violent criminal
activity atrequest of several Gangster Disciplesand acts as security
guards at meetings for Gangster Disciples.
They are the strong arms, James
said. They are the most dangerous
of this gang.
The HATE Committees leader,
Donald Lee Glass, aka Smurf, is
charged with violation of street gang
terrorism and prevention act and
criminal attempt to commit armed
Glass approved the robbery and
eventual killing of Torey Austin
based on gangs need for money,
James said. He also approved the
killing of the Bloods gang members because of a HATE Committee
member Quantavious Hurt was disrespected.
He is facing a maximum sentence, if convicted, of 185 years in
prison, James said.
James said the Gangster Disciples
were targeting individuals that they
said were not right with the organization. By not right, they had not
paid their dues[which] fund further criminal activity.
The individuals that did not pay
their dues were green-lighted, he

said. By green-lighted we mean

that Mr. Glass had given the order
that these individuals could be hurt.
They could be robbed, they could
be shot, they could be killed, and
several of these individuals that were
green-lighted were killed.
What we essentially have here
is a reign of terror in DeKalb County, James said. Just since May this
organization has been responsible
for at least five murders in DeKalb
Countyand a slew of other crimes,
from armed robbery to aggravated
assault, drug crimes, multiple gang
crimesjust since May 2015.
Others named in the indictment include:
Joseph D. Broxton, aka Lil Joe,
accused of malice murder, felony
murder, aggravated assault, violation of street gang terrorism and
prevention act, and criminal attempt to commit armed robbery.
Quantavious K. Hurt, aka Hurt
and Lil Hurt, has been charged
with malice murder, felony murder aggravated assault, violation of
street gang terrorism and prevention act, and criminal attempt to
commit armed robbery.
Karim Ali Ficklin, aka Jersey, has
been charged with malice murder
and violation of street gang terrorism and prevention act.

Daniel Pena, aka Island, has been

charged with criminal attempt to
commit armed robbery, malice
murder and violation of street gang
terrorism and prevention act.
Rodricous Q. Gresham, aka Dric,
is accused of violation of street
gang terrorism and prevention act,
malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and criminal attempt to commit armed robbery.
Perry Green, aka Lucky, has been
charged with malice murder, felony
murder, aggravated assault and violation of street gang terrorism and
prevention act.
Christopher Hamlett, aka KD,
has been charged with violation of
street gang terrorism and prevention act and criminal attempt to
commit armed robbery.
Sharita Nelson, aka Queen
Smurf, has beenaccused of violation of street gang terrorism and
prevention act and violation of
states controlled substance act.
This is serious business, James
said. These arent a bunch of kids
that are accused of just being bad
kids or misbehaving.
We are dealing with a violent
street gang that is organized and determined, James said. But what we
want our citizens to know is that we
are more organized and we are more

This reign of terror will not be

tolerated in DeKalb County, James
said. I want this indictmentto
serve notice to every gang member
that is operating in DeKalb County:
You can stop or you can leave, but if
you continue doing what youre doing, you will suffer the consequences.
Alexander said the arrests were
very hard-hitting to this particular
set of this particular gang.
James said he has seen the gang
problem in DeKalb County grow in
the 13 years he has been a prosecutor.
We have nationally recognized
and syndicated organizations that
have or are moving into DeKalb
County, he said. They are organized
in some cases. Theyre funded. They
have individuals that are calling the
shots or giving orders both that are
in the county and also outside the
Were dealing with organized
crime, James said. Make no mistake
about it, it is organized crime and
anybody should be concerned about

Oath Continued From Page 1A

Sow is married and has seven children. Currently
he works as a truck driver but said his goal now is to
work for the government. I didnt have that opportunity before and now that I do have the opportunity I will apply and see if they accept me, he said.
Sow said Its a very important day for me and
my family because its been a long journey. Im very
happy to be a United States citizen.
He said the most difficult part about the process
is, it takes a lot to prove to immigration services
that they can trust you.
The ceremony featured speaker Paul Onyango,
chief of staff for the Department of Homeland Securitys U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,
also shared his experiences with becoming a U.S.
Onyango said it took him 14 years to get his
green card and citizenship.
I became a citizen in 1999 in September. In
April I started working for the Internal Revenue
Service. As soon as you become a citizen you can
work for the government and do all of the other
things that youre not able to do when youre not a
citizen; he said.
Approximately 300 people attended the ceremony.
GPTC President Dr. Jabari Simama said, This
is exactly what I believe a true community college
should be about and that is serving the total community. This program allowed us to serve the community in a way that was significant and important.
Simama said, Not only are there a lot of new
Americans, refugees and immigrants in and around
where the college serves but we have a lot of them
who are actually students at our college.

Georgia Perimeter College President Dr. Jabari Simama presents Paul Onyango, chief of staff for the Department of
Homeland Securitys U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with a copy of his book Civil Rights to Cyber Rights:

Guinea native Mohamed Sow poses with his certification.

Li-Hong Lee walks on stage to receive her certification.


Page 16A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015

DeKalb officer dies in wrong-way crash DeKalb Watershed

by Andrew Cauthen
Approximately eight
hours after a gun battle
wounded a DeKalb police officer, another officer died in
a wrong-way crash in Fulton
DeKalb County Police
Officer Kevin Toatley, a
seven-year veteran of the
department, was killed Sept.
19. He was driving home in
his patrol car on South Fulton Parkway near Buffington
Road in south Fulton County
when the accident occurred.
A driver in an SUV going
the wrong way hit Toatleys
vehicle head on, causing it the
burst into flames, according
to Fulton police.
The driver of the SUV and
one of the four passengers


were in critical conditionafter the crash, according to

According to police,
although the woman driving the SUV was not under
the influence of alcohol,
she could still face criminal

Unfortunately we had
a loss of life of a police officer tonight, said Cedric
Alexander, DeKalbs public
safety director, after the accident. There are a lot of sad
moments inside the hospital
right now.
Alexander said Toatley, of
Fairburn, was admired by all
those who worked with him
and was admired by supervisors as well. Ive had a chance
to talk with many of them tonight and try to help comfort
DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester said, We
have lost a hero. My heart is
Join me in prayer for
his family and fellow officers, Jester wrote. Friday
was a long day and night for
DeKalb County.

Commissioners approve tax plan for old GM plant

by Andrew Cauthen
The DeKalb County
Board of Commissioners
voted Sept. 22 to put some
skin in the game for the
proposed Assembly project
at the site of the former GM
plant in Doraville.
Commissioners approved a plan to include
county ad valorum taxes in
a Doraville tax allocation
district plan (TAD). That
means the county would
contribute the incremental
value of its ad valorem taxes
to the Doraville TAD over
the next 25 years.
This is something that
is really important to us,
said Shawn Gillen, Doraville
citys manager.
On the 165-acre former
General Motors Assembly
plant, Doraville officials
want to create a regional
mixed-use employment and
activity center around the
Doraville MARTA transit
Roy Johnson, a resident
of Stone Mountain for 28
years, said he supports TAD
because the growth will be
exponential for that area,
which benefits the whole
The jobswill indeed
be plentiful, Johnson said.
The improved infrastructure benefits not just that region, but all of us. The benefits will be lasting, and that
sounds like win-win to me.
Heres a real opportunity for [a] tremendous win, I

File photo

believe, for all of our citizens

of the whole of the county,
Johnson. It will help all of
usrealize a new vision for
our communities, our county
and all of our citizenry.
Stephen Binney, a
Clarkston resident, said he
could support the TAD if
this money was used only
for increasing [infrastructure] that would be of use to
DeKalb County.
I would like at least the
TAD money to beused
that way and that way only,
he added.
I am also concerned
not about what is above the
groundit sounds like a
good ideabut what is below the ground, Binney said.
Binney said he is concerned that the land is not
exactly solid and may cause
some issues with the integrity of the structures built
A geological study is
needed there, Binney said.
Doraville mayoral can-

didate Tom Hart, who represents a group of residents

who strongly oppose this
TAD, said the entire north

Management to host job fair

The DeKalb County Department of Watershed

Managements capital improvement projects division
will host a job fair on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 9 a.m. to 2
p.m. at South DeKalb Mall in the Macys parking lot.
The job fair is being held in conjunction with Commissioner Larry Johnsons annual Heart of South
DeKalb Festival. This event is free and open to the public.
Job seekers will have the opportunity to meet more
than 25 perspective employers. A majority of the featured employers are associated with $180 million Phase
2 construction of the Snapfinger Advanced Wastewater
Treatment Facility expansion, which is the largest project ever implemented by DeKalb County.
The countys Mobile Career Resource Center will be
on site to provide computers for jobseekers who wish to
complete applications online. Translators will be available to assist non-English speaking candidates.
The following employers have confirmed participation at the job fair: Archer Western Construction,
Material Managers & Engineers, G.D. Swing, J. Heard,
Lewis Contracting, Charter Construction Services,
Loris Transportation & Excavation, Atlanta Utility Constructors, Seiler & Associates, BE Guthrie Construction Company, Carolyns Hauling, Halite Corporation,
SD&C, A Plus, DeKalb County School District, Brickman and Valleycrest Landscaping Company, Goodwill
Industries of North Ga., Jackson Hewitt Tax Services,
Chick-fil-A and Macys.
Job seekers are encouraged to register for onsite
interviews at
For more information about the job fair, contact
DeKalb County Watershed Management, CIP Division
Program Outreach and Administrative Manager MaLika Hakeem at 1 (800) 986-1108 or email mhakeem@

Stop bullying now

stand up speak out

See Tax on page 24A







The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015Page 17A

After 25 years in DeKalb, store still promotes outdoor life

by Kathy Mitchell
In 1938, a group of outdoor
enthusiasts in the Seattle, Wash.,
area began sharing with one
another their frustrations at not
always being able to locate quality camping, hiking and climbing
gear. They formed a cooperative
to buy such gear in bulk and
make it available to other members. The idea spread quickly
and in 1956, the enterprise
incorporated as Recreational
Equipment, Inc. or REI.
By 2010, REI hadaccording to its website annual sales
of more than $1.66 billion, more
than 10 million members and
114 retail stores, two of which
are in DeKalb County, including the first in Southeast. After
25 years, that store continues
to grow, according to Dave Adcock, retail sales manager at the
east Atlanta store. It is now one
of four stores in the Atlanta area.
This has turned out to be
a great location. We have lots of
people from Emory University
and from the CDC shop here.
There are lots of people in the
Atlanta area who want quality
equipment for outdoor activities
from rafting to camping to hiking and much more. Were easy
to reach without being in the
heart of the city, he said.
A former Eagle Scout, Adcock said he was a customer
before he was an employee. REI
offers hundreds of products, including bicycles, clothing, tents,
stoves, hammocks, backpacks,
ski equipment and more.
Adcock said the store is busy
all year, but the seasons dictate
which items are the big sellers.
Fall camping is very popular
in this part of the country. The
weather remains pleasant until
late in the year and many people
prefer fall camping to summer
camping. Also, we have many
customers preparing for fall and
winter ski trips, he noted.
REI is for both experienced
outdoor enthusiasts and novices, Adcock said. People who
are planning their first outdoor
adventure and dont have a clue
what they need can depend on
us to advise them. We love to
educate and inspire. Our goal is
to get more people enjoying the
outdoor life. We like to say that
a life lived outside is s life well

The companys continued

growth, Adcock said, reflects a
cultural shift. More than ever,
people value time with family and friends and time spent
in the outdoors. People who
camped and hiked when they
were young want their children
to have that experience.
REI has always been about
having fun, Adcock said, citing
as an example its Twinkie roast
tradition of toasting the snack
cakes over an open flame. Since
sometime in the 1970s weve
held annual fall Twinkie roasts,
which are supposed to bring a
cold winter thats good for skiing
and other winter sports, he said.
Products now on the market
make outdoor life easier and
more comfortable than it had
been in years past, Adcock said,
adding that those who havent
camped since the scouting days
of their youth might be surprised. Equipment is now lighter and easier to transport than
the equipment that was available years ago. You dont have to
know how to strike two stones
together to start a fire and you
dont have to worry about freezing if the temperature drops.
Adcock said that in addition
to having its own line of productsmany award winners
REI often introduces new brands
to the market. New products
are being created all the time
that make camping, hiking and
other outdoor activities more
appealing for those who might
have been reluctant to try the
outdoor life before. Often REI is
where youll see those products
REI continues as a membership-based cooperative
the nations largest consumer
cooperative, according to its
websitebut non-members can
shop in its retail stores as well.
We encourage membership because there are so many benefits,
including an annual refund,
which is typically 10 percent of
what the member spent during
the year.
Also, he said, members are
eligible to vote on recipients of
funds donated to the community. REI donates more than $6
million a year to such projects
as development of trail systems.
Members get to help choose how
those funds will be used, Adcock said.

In addition to equipment, REI offers a large clothing selection for outdoor adventures, according to
manager Dave Adcock.

Adcock shows the many types of bicycles REI has The stores feature virtually any gear for outdoor
in stock.

Adcock says camping gear continues to sell well into the fall in this part of the country.


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


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015Page 18A

At Cary Reynolds Elementary many students attend classes in trailers.

DeKalb school district battles overcrowding

by Ashley Oglesby
For decades, Georgia
welcomed thousands of refugees. They resettled en masse
near metro Atlanta, especially in the DeKalb County.
In a cluster of DeKalb
County District schools near
Buford Highway more than
1,800, or approximately one
out of four students, are
currently assigned to 131
portable classrooms this fall
because of a spike in population.
The overcrowding in the
cluster has led to the installation of temporary trailer
classrooms at Woodward,
Montclair, Dresden and
Cary Reynolds elementary
schools, Sequoyah Middle
and Cross Keys High.
The schools have a capacity for 5,700 students,
but more than 7,500 are enrolled.
Officials said 81 portables trailer classrooms
are used at the four elementary schools, with another
32 at the middle and high
school. There is an average
of 17 students in each trailer.
On Sept. 14 a proposal
aimed at improving and
solving overcrowding issues
in the Cross Keys Cluster
of Schools was presented to
the DeKalb County Board of

According to the plan,

students will be relocated to
schools throughout the district and several schools will
be moved into other buildings to make way for Cross
Keys students. The plan also
includes construction of a
new high school, middle
school and two elementary
Addressing the overcrowding is long overdue,
Superintendent Stephen
Green said.
DeKalb school leaders
scheduled two public meetings to discuss overcrowding
in the Cross Keys cluster.
Green said, With a total
of more than 1,000 people
in attendance, I was very
impressed with the large
turnout of parents, teachers
and community leaders at
the two public hearings in
the Cross Keys cluster last
week. They were thoughtful,
respectful, and determined
to work with the district in
improving the education of
their children. I am committed to finding a solution that
will alleviate the crowded
conditions the students and
staff face.
During the Sept. 15
public meeting, parents and
educators shared their opinions and concerns for future
Director of Planning for
DeKalb County School Dis-

trict Daniel Drake said, In

order to serve these students
113 portable classrooms
are currently located in the
cluster. Over the next three
years, however, there is a
need for more than 50 additional portable classrooms at
these six schools. Two campuses, the Cary Reynolds
and the Dresden Elementary
campuses, cannot accommodate any more portables
The district plans to
move Warren Tech from
its current location to the
DeKalb Elementary School
of the Arts. Following the
move Cary Reynolds third
and fourth grade students
will be housed at the Warren
Tech facility.
The Dresden third and
fourth grade academy would
be established at the former
international student center.
Drake said, There is still
need for continued review
of capacity deficits for the
2016-17 school year at Cross
Keys High School, Sequoyah
Middle School, and Montclair Elementary School. We
are evaluating the feasibility
of using modular classrooms
on these existing three sites
to handle the projected demand for next school year.
He added, In the past
we have strictly looked at
using single-wide classroom
units, as well as quads, which

are four classrooms in a portable building. We may need

to look at modular buildings
that could include more than
four classrooms in a temporary building. As we review
modular building placement
at Sequoyah Middle and
Cross Keys High School,
we also need to ensure that
modular buildings do not
interfere with possible future
additions at these two sites.

Drake said district officials will use the comments

received from the meetings
to revise the final proposal
that Green will present to the
board of education on Oct. 5.
If the plan is approved
in October the district will
open the third and fourth
grade academies by summer
to serve the student population in the fall of 2016.

Family Engagement offers digital

resources to Title I families
DeKalb County School District announced the launch of
Family Engagement on Demand (FAM-FLIX) in partnership
with Successful Innovations Inc. The Title I Family Engagement initiative provides parents with 24/7 access to streaming videos to support their childrens learning while on the
The videos offer quick tips on topics including: helping
your child with homework, preparing your child for college,
effective study skills, and helping your elementary school
child transition to middle school. FAM-FLIX is available in
English and Spanish.
FAM-FLIX is an asset to the district because parents
may not always have the time to attend workshops to support their children. FAM-FLIX is a great way for DeKalb
parents to get involved in their childrens learning, increase
family engagement and strengthen school relations, stated
DeKalb County School District Superintendent, Dr. Stephen
R. Green.
In addition to being accessible from computers, tablets,
and mobile phones, FAM-FLIX will also capture family engagement data to monitor the programs success. For more
information FAM-FLIX or to register, visit www.si4allonline.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015Page 19A

DeKalb Board of Education Chairman Melvin Johnson and Schools Superintendent Stephen Green address business meeting participants.

Through the Launchpad portal students can access links to learning apps that are used

Launchpad users will also have access to the complete Office Suite, Code.Org and other
academic resources.

School district introduces collaborative portal

by Ashley Oglesby
On Sept. 15 DeKalb
County School District released Launchpad, a student
portal that provides a multitude of digital resources
in one place. Through the
portal students have access
to email accounts, a graphing
calculator, BrainPop, Actively
Learning, Word, PowerPoint
and Excel, as well as cloud
DeKalb County Schools
Superintendent Stephen
Green said Launchpad will
complement the districts
efforts toward achieving its
mission of helping students
become the CEOs of their
own learning.
He said, Not only does
this access greatly expand
the instructional materials
and tools available to teachers, but it also empowers
each student to take more
control of his or her learning
through exposure and engagement.
Previously, students had
access to educational re-

sources in multiple locations.

The Launchpad portal was
designed the DeKalb County
School Districts Information
Technology department inhouse at no outside to be a
one stop shop for teachers
and students to connect to
the districts resources.
Chief Information Officer Gary Brantley said, Students now have district email
accounts for communication
and collaboration as well as
access to cloud-based storage for assignments, projects,
and other academic needs.
In the portal students
are encouraged to read,
study, practice and complete
homework. Students will be
allowed access to Launchpad
to connect with teachers during instructional time.
Green said, The district
is committed to a focus on
teaching and learning that
embeds emerging technologies through the curriculum.
He added, Launchpad
definitely supports this
engaged learning environment and provides universal
support to the districts in-

structional initiatives. When

considering the STEM initiative, project-based learning
has been shown to increase
student interest due to the
collaborative learning experiences with peers that
solve authentic problems.
Launchpad allows the district to provide teachers and

students with the resources

to promote problem-based
Instructors and students
will have access to interactive e-books and adaptive
quizzing, which individualize
question sets and feedback
for each student based on
correct and incorrect re-

The portal also will
include a grade book and
video assignment tool where
instructors can assign video
coursework from within
Launchpad, or anywhere on
the internet.

The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on
Thursday, October 15, 2015, at the ChambleeCivic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA



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The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015Page 21A


The Stephenson Jaguars run onto the field at Hallford Stadium. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Marson-Knight, defense lead Stephenson

to blowout win over Creekside
by Carla Parker
Prior to their win over Creekside,
the Stephenson Jaguars were flying under the radar, according to Coach Ron
We dont look at things like rankings and never had, he said. Were
unknown right now and thats the first
time weve been that way in a long time.
We kind of like it that way. Were not
saying we sneaked up on anybody, but
we came out and played our game and
were proud of that.
The Jaguars (3-1) grabbed football
fans attention Sept. 18 with a 49-12 win
over formerly ranked No. 7 Creekside
at Hallford Stadium, which aired on
Georgia Public Broadcasting. The win
put Stephenson in the Class AAAAA
rankings for the first time this season at
No. 8.
The teams went toe-to-toe in the
first half. Creekside jumped out to 6-0
on its opening drive on a nine-yard
screen pass from quarterback Felix
Harper to wide receiver Khalil McClain.
After Creekside fumbled on its second drive, Stephenson drove down the
field and scored on a 1-yard touchdown
run by junior running back Jaylen Marson-Knight, his first of five touchdowns
on the night. That score gave the Jaguars
a 7-6 lead, and they extended it to 14-6
on a 15-yard run by Marson-Knight in
the second quarter.
Stephenson went into halftime
with that 14-6 lead and came out of the
locker room a different team. The Jaguars scored 21 unanswered points in the
third quarter.
We knew if we just had a few adjustments here and there then we could
make some plays, Gartrell said. Then
we had some people make some big
plays here and there. Our secondary
played really good, our defense really
stepped it up in the second half and of-

fensively, we felt like we could move the

ball against them, but we just had to mix
it up a little bit. We just took advantage
of some of the situations they gave us.
Marson-Knight was one of the players who made big plays. He returned
the second half kick-off 64 yards for a
touchdown, his third score of the night,
giving Stephenson a 21-6 lead. The Jaguars defense forced Creekside to punt.
Creekside punter Chizco Alejandre
mishandled the snap, which lead to a
short punt. Stephensons Carlito Gonzalez fielded the punt and ran 50 yards
down the sideline for a touchdown, extending the Jaguars lead to 28-6.
The defense stepped up again on
the following drive when defensive back
Shaun Jolly picked off Harper and returned it 63 yards before he was pushed
out of bounds at the 10-yard line. That
turnover turned into a 5-yard touchdown run by Marson-Knight, his fourth
touchdown, giving the Jaguars a 35-6
Creekside did not score again until
the fourth quarter on a 7-yard touchdown run by McClain, cutting the score
to 35-12. Stephenson responded with
another a 5-yard touchdown run by
Marson-Knight, his fifth touchdown of
the night, extending the lead to 42-12.
Marson-Knight, who finished the
game with 174 yards on 19 carries,
credited the offensive line for his fivetouchdown night.
My line was blocking for me, he
said. I love my line. They were blocking and doing their jobs, so when they
opened up the holes I just hit them, every time.
Hes the best kept secret in DeKalb
County right now, Gartrell said about
Marson-Knight. I dont think he is a
secret anymore. The kid just prepares
and plays hard, does all the things you
ask him to do and were just lucky to
have him.
Richard Gray brought the final
score to 49-12 on a 26-yard quarterback.

Stephenson Coach Ron Gartrell gives players instructions during a timeout.

See Football on page 22A

Running back Jaylen Marson-Knight runs away from a Creekside defender.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015Page 22A

Gilbert named to
USA junior national
team roster
by Carla Parker

Miller Grove point guard Alterique Gilbert was named to the 2015-16 USA Basketball Mens Junior National
Team Roster. Photo by Mark Brock

Miller Grove senior point guard Alterique Gilbert is one

of 57 players that have been named to the 2015-16 USA Basketball Mens Junior National Team roster.
Gilbert will participate in the 7th annual USA Basketball
Mens Junior National Team minicamp that will be held Oct.
2-4 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The October minicamp will be used to
continue player evaluations and to get a start on preparations
for 2016 international competitions, including in the 19th
annual Nike Hoop Summit, FIBA U17 World Championship
and FIBA Americas U18 Championship, according to USA
The players named to the rosters are considered the nations top high school basketball players. Gilbert is ranked
28th among ESPNs top 36 prospects.
Gilbert, who committed to Connecticut in July, finished
third in DeKalb County last season in scoring with 17.7
points per game. He also led the county in steals (5.4) and
assists (6.0) per game last season.
Gilberts coach Sharman White will join him at minicamp as an assistant coach. White was an assistant coach on
the 2015 USA Basketball Mens U16 National Team that won
the FIBA Americas Championship in June.
The 2015 USA Basketball Junior National Team minicamp will be led by Don Showalter from Iowa City High
School in Iowa. Showalter has directed USA teams to seven
gold medal finishes as head coach of the USA Basketball Junior National Team since 2009.
Players are schedule to arrive at minicamp Oct. 2, and
training sessions will be held Oct. 3 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
(Mountain Time) and 4:30-7 p.m., and Oct. 4 from 9-11:30
a.m. and 4:30-7 p.m.

Athlete of
the Week

Football Continued From Page 22A

The Jaguar defense held Creeksides
passing attack to 130 yards and one
touchdown while forcing three turnovers.
Other scores
Sept. 18
McNair (1-3) 7, Washington (1-3) 6
Mt. Vernon (2-3) 45, Cross Keys (0-3) 7
Miller Grove (3-1) 12, Banneker (0-4) 6
Arabia Mountain (1-3) 34, Chamblee (1-2)
Woodward (3-0) 58, Clarkston (0-5) 0
Columbia (2-2) 9, Redan (2-2) 6
Marist (2-1) 58, Stone Mountain (0-4) 13
Lakeside (3-2) 44, Dunwoody (2-2) 9
Stephenson (3-1) 49, Creekside (4-1) 12
Cedar Grove (3-1) 48, Douglass (3-1) 7
Lithonia (3-1) 16, vs. Grady (2-2) 14
Decatur (3-1) 35, North Clayton (0-6) 28
Sept. 19
Carver-Atl (4-1) 22, M.L. King (1-2) 6
Westminster (2-2) 32, Towers (0-4) 8
Mays (4-0) 44, SW DeKalb (1-3) 6
Open: Druid Hills (1-2), St. Pius (1-2),
Tucker (2-2)




Next Level
Each week The Champion spotlights former high school
players from the county who are succeeding in athletics on
the college level.
Johnny McCrary, Vanderbilt (football): The sophomore
quarterback from Cedar Grove threw for 368 yard and two
touchdowns in Vanderbilts 47-7 win over Austin Peay Sept.
Terrance Smith, Southwest DeKalb (football): The senior
linebacker from Southwest DeKalb had six tackles, including
3.5 tackled for a loss of 11 yards in the 14-0 win over Boston
College Sept 18.
Kierra Lee-Dunson, East Carolina (volleyball): The
senior middle hitter from Lakeside had 13 kills and a .522
attack percentage in the 3-2 win over Charleston Southern
Sept. 19.

The Champion chooses a male and

female high school Athlete of the Week
each week throughout the school year.
The choices are based on performance
and nominations by coaches. Please e-mail
nominations to
by Monday at noon.
Jaylen Marson-Knight, Stephenson
(football): The junior running back had
174 yards rushing yards and the five touchdowns on 19 carries in the 49-12 win over
Creekside Sept. 18.
Emily Gray, St. Pius X (volleyball): The
junior had 10 digs and 14 service ace in the
2-0 win over Sonoraville Sept. 19.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015Page 23A

Panthersville Stadium was officially renamed to William Buck Godfrey Stadium after the former Southwest DeKalb High School football coach. Photo by Travis Hudgons

Stadium renamed for

William Buck Godfrey
by Carla Parker
As former Southwest DeKalb
High School football coach William
Buck Godfrey walked on the field
at the former Panthersville Stadium,
a number of emotions went through
Its the first time I walked on
this field and I wasnt coaching, he
said. So, I had a myriad of strange
When he saw William Buck
Godfrey Stadium on the scoreboard,
it still had not sunk in that a stadiumwhere he won many gamesis
named after him.
Itll take a month, two months
or maybe a year before it sinks in,
he said. Thats just the way I react to
The DeKalb County School
District held a dedication ceremony
Sept. 19 to officially rename Panthersville Stadium the William
Buck Godfrey Stadium. The DeKalb
County Board of Education voted
April 1 to rename Panthersville Stadium after the legendary coach.
Family, friends, former players,
coaches and colleagues of Godfrey
gathered near the scoreboard to celebrate the Hall of Fame coach and
this new honor.
Godfrey began his coaching ca-

reer in DeKalb County in 1974 as a

baseball coach. He was also a swim
coach before he was hired to coach
football at Southwest DeKalb in
1983. His first game as head coach at
Southwest DeKalb was at Panthersville Stadium on Aug. 26, 1983. The
Panthers defeated Redan 7-0.
They were ranked No. 1 in the
state, Godfrey said.
During his 30 years at Southwest
DeKalb, he won 273 games (the most
wins of a football coach in DeKalb),
won the 1995 Class AAAA Georgia
High School Association state championship, 13 region titles, and helped
hundreds of players earn scholarships to college. Godfrey never had
a losing record at Southwest DeKalb
and missed the postseason just three
The Hall of Fame coach has
received many honors, including
induction in the 2010 Atlanta Sports
Hall of Fame class and in the 2014
class of the Georgia Athletic Coaches
Association (GACA) Hall of Fame.
Godfrey said the best part about
the dedication was seeing his former
We had them on the field and
in the classroom and to see them
doing well, thats all I really coached
for, he said. I never expected all of
this stuff here. This is something that
happened because of fulfilling [my]

purpose and doing it well.

Hason Graham is one player
who did well after high school. Graham, who played for Godfrey from
1987 to 1990, said playing for Godfrey was everything.
Coach Godfrey was my first
father figure, he said. He really
showed me how to play the game.
I was always a talented kid, but he
showed me how to take it to the next
Graham went on to play on the
college level at the University of
Georgia and on the professional level
with the New England Patriots. He
said he credits Godfrey for his football success after high school.
He was the one who showed me
how to be a man, he said. When I
was in the 10th grade, he brought me
into his homeI came from a singleparent home. He taught me how to
study; he showed me how to be successful for the next level.
Graham said it is amazing to see
his beloved coachs name on a stadium.
Its amazing that somebody in
this decade can even see his name
going up [on a stadium], he said.
Usually theyre gone, but for them to
do this while hes here is just amazing.
Although DeKalb County School
District music coordinator Don

Roberts did not play for or coach

with Godfrey, he still had an impact
on Roberts.
Coach Godfrey is one of the reasons that I wanted to come to Southwest DeKalb High School, Roberts
Roberts was the band director
at Southwest DeKalb from 1990 to
There is a culture that he helped
create that exists today, and that
culture is the band and the football
teams are really close, Roberts said.
You see in DeKalb County right
now where the band and football
teams all function as one and that
started with Southwest DeKalb and
coach Godfrey. Hes one of the greatest men Ive ever met.
Roberts said he hopes more is
done to the stadium.
Not only should it be a dedication of this stadium, I think [there]
needs to be a renovation and a totally
rebuilt stadium in his honor, he said.
This is a great honor, but it should
be just the beginning for Coach Godfrey.
Godfrey had one message to all
the men who call themselves Bucks
Thank you, he said. Thank
you for letting me coach you.


Page 24A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, september 25, 2015

Tax Continued From Page 16A

DeKalb infrastructure was built around

this site to encourage General Motors to
locate the plant there in 1947.
The waterworks, the road structureevery asset in northern DeKalb
County was built around the General
Motors development, Hart said. This
site does not need a dollar of infrastructure.
What is the purpose of the TAD?
Why are we taking money away from the
schoolchildren of DeKalb County and
the citizens of DeKalb County to pay for
a developer that already has all of the assets sitting in his lap? Hart said.
Commissioners did not approve a
related intergovernmental agreement
between the city and the county. Some
commissioners were concerned that they
had not had enough time to study the
proposed agreement, which officials said
is still incomplete.
There were also concerns about the
effect on the county and the plan if the
county school district, which also must
buy in, does not approve the agreement.
Gillen said the city and county are
not far apart as far as getting an intergovernmental agreement done, but there are
some details that need to be discussed
Commissioner Larry Johnson said,
This is a positive project. We have to
put some skin in the game and make
some investments for long-term growth
and a return on investments.

Woman sentenced to life in

prison for killing granddaughter
by Carla Parker
A DeKalb County woman was
given a life sentence for beating
her 3-year-old granddaughter to
DeKalb Superior Court Judge
Mark Scott sentenced 44-year-old
Selena Rivera on Sept. 16 to life in
prison with the possibility of parole after serving 30 years. Rivera
was found guilty of malice murder,
felony murder and two counts of
aggravated assault in the death of
Neveah Pinckney. Rivera, who
waived being present for sentencing, was sentenced on the malice
murder charge.
According to medical reports,
the child died from blunt force
trauma to the torso, extremities
and head on Aug. 21, 2012.
Assistant District Attorney Lee
Williams said Pinckney suffered
after Rivera gained custody of her
in 2011.
She was beautifulno marks
on her body when she was in the

care of her mother, Williams said.

Within a yearin the care of the
defendanton Aug. 21, 2012, she
was bruised, battered and beaten
to the point that the medical examiners said her body could no
longer sustain life.
According to the indictment,
Rivera also had custody of two
other children, which she gained
in 2008 because the childrens
mother had a drug problem. She
moved to Georgia from Florida
with the three children in 2011
without permission from Florida
Department of Family and Children Services.
When the emergency responders went to the home on the day
of Pinckneys death, Rivera talked
to a fireman and appeared not to
be concerned when CPR was performed on the child, according to
the indictment.
Rivera told police she gave
Pinckney a Coke, came back in
the room and found the child
dead, according to the indictment.
However, the other children told

authorities that they were beaten

with metal poles. Pinckney was
beaten with a metal pole and
placed in a closet, according the
Riveras mother Betty Ann
Haygood and friends asked the
judge to show mercy on Rivera
during the sentencing hearing.
My daughter has never been
convicted of a crime, and that is
not to say that I am making light
of the crime that she has been
convicted of, Haygood said. I am
only asking that the court be lenient with Selena.
Before sentencing Rivera, Scott
said this was a sad case.
Judges are not God. I do not
have all power to do whatever I
want and what youre asking for,
Scott said. This is one of the saddest cases Ive ever heard and Ive
been on the bench 11 years. Ive
been practicing law 31 years and
this was just sad. This was a hard
case to listen to.