FreePress

FRIDAY, October 9, 2015 • VOL. 18, NO. 27 • FREE

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

Quick Finder
Business.................................. 17A
Education..........................16-17A
Sports................................ 21-23A
Opinion.......................................5A
Classified...............................20A

Residents question Cityhood proponents,
opponents make their
proposed soccer
cases to voters
facility

Ron Gartrell
gets 200th
career win
Sports, 23A

local, 10A

Local, 2A

• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •

Honoring legacies

A Decatur
family honors
the past while
looking to the
future
by Travis Hudgons
travish@dekalbchamp.com

Recently, on a quiet
residential street off College
Avenue, local matriarchs and
longtime Decatur residents
Thelma Faverand, 94, Carrie
Cook, 86, and Gussie Mae
Lowe (posthumously) were
honored at the Hometown
Country Cookout—an
annual event hosted by
Carrie Salone.
“This year [we] wanted
to give tribute to three
legendary women who have

Carrie Salone, right, with her daughters Alleah, left, and Ayana hold awards that
were presented to the honorees. Photos by Travis Hudgons

truly touched the lives of
those around them. They
are mothers, grandmothers,
caretakers, providers,
motivators, spiritual leaders
and inspirational women,
who have created an
astonishing legacy,” Salone
said.

Salone, who is the owner
of the downtown Decatur
McDonald’.s, wanted to honor
these women whom she said
made a positive impact in the
community. The inaugural
celebration honored Salone’s
mother Leila Johnson,
now deceased. This year’s

Larry Johnson and Natalyn M. Archibong pose with honoree Carrie Cook.

Thelma Faverand with her award.

event hosted more than two
hundred friends, relatives
and neighbors who gathered
at the Salone residence to
fellowship and honor the
past.
“My daughters and I were
honored to be able to give
them their flowers while they

could enjoy them,” she said.
More than a typical
backyard cookout—the
red carpet event featured
plenty of food and music,
a mac-and-cheese cooking
competition, a Michael

See Legacies on page 15A

Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May said he made a mistake in the team he chose to investigate corruption in DeKalb. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Interim CEO criticizes ‘laughable’ corruption report
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
Interim DeKalb County CEO
Lee May said a corruption report he
commissioned is “laughable” and he
will not resign as it recommends.
Former state attorney general
Mike Bowers, who investigated the
Atlanta Public Schools cheating

scandal, was picked in March by May
to root out county corruption.
“They were charged to investigate
the day-to-day operations of DeKalb
County government and to bring
back various recommendations…
to let us know those areas where we
need to tighten reins, where we need
to work on our fiscal controls and
other opportunities to prevent those

areas from waste, fraud and abuse,”
May said.
The 40-page report, for which the
county spent $850,000, May said, is
“laughable.”
“Read that report…and remove…
the salaciousness…and the one thing
that they knew would get your attention, that I ought to resign this seat,”
May said during a news conference.

“Look through that report and see
if you see anything…that is worthy
of me resigning,” May said. “I have
read through it and I don’t see anything.
“I’m not resigning,” May reiterated. “Now if the people of DeKalb—
the taxpayers, the residents of
DeKalb—ask me to step down, then
absolutely, that’s something that I’m

See Lee May on page 15A

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PageChampion
2A The
Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015
The
FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page
2A

From left, DeKalb Commissioners Nancy Jester, Jeff Rader and Kathie Gannon held a forum for residents to air their views on the proposed Atlanta United soccer facility. Right, James
Tsismanakis, executive director of Discover DeKalb, said the proposed facility would give the county “credibility for soccer.” Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Residents question proposed soccer facility
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com

There were more questions than
answers when the three commissioners who voted against the proposed
Atlanta United soccer facility held a
community conversation Sept. 28.
Nearly 100 people were present
when DeKalb County Commissioners
Kathie Gannon, Nancy Jester and Jeff
Rader hosted the public conversation
about The Home Depot co-founder
Arthur Blank’s proposed Atlanta
United soccer facility in DeKalb.
On Aug. 4, the board of commissioners voted 4-3—with Commission-

ers Larry Johnson, Mereda Davis
Johnson, Sharon Barnes Sutton and
Stan Watson supporting the measure—to bring the facility to DeKalb.
Former District 5 commission
candidate Harmel Codi said, “I am
wondering what is the likelihood of
filing an injunction…to figure out
what the actual costs will be for this
project prior to the final contract being executed?
She continued, “What are the
commitments that have been negotiated…on behalf of the community?”
Rader said, “There have been
some actions taken...as apparently
sports actions have been taken in

this region, with no public comment
and with very little consultation as to
whether or not the public wants their
resources invested in this particular
way.”
Blank plans to build a $30 million
soccer complex at the intersection of
Kensington Road and Memorial Drive
near Interstate 285 in Decatur. The
soccer campus will include a 3,500seat stadium, three outdoor practice
fields and a two-story corporate headquarters on land behind the DeKalb
County Jail. The proposal states four
additional fields and an indoor training facility could be built later.
Atlanta United is expected to em-

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ploy approximately 83 people in its
corporate headquarters in 2017. That
number is predicted to grow to 123
people in 2018 with salaries that average $150,000 per year, according to
the memorandum of understanding
proposal. Approximately 123 construction-related jobs are estimated to
created with 10 percent of the jobs going to DeKalb residents.
“The decision was made with very
little consideration of some of the
weaknesses and defects of the actual
memorandum of understanding or
deal structure,” Rader said.

See Soccer on page 10A

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local

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page 3A

Dunwoody officials draft agreement with school district
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
Dunwoody officials
have drafted a plan to share
recreational programs and
space with Peachtree Charter
Middle School. The plan will
be presented to the DeKalb
County Board of Education
soon.
The agreement proposes
for the school district and
Dunwoody to have joint use
of property that is currently
owned by the school district.
City staff met with
Peachtree Charter Middle
School Principal Scott
Heptinstall to create the
agreement, which would
allow the city to use the

school’s playing field and
interior school facilities, excluding the gymnasium after
regular school hours with at
minimum a one-week notice
to the principal.
Dunwoody officials approved the agreement on
Sept. 28.
Parks and Recreation
Director Brent Walker said
the agreement signifies that
Dunwoody’s mayor and city
council want to work with
Peachtree Charter Middle
School in particular.
Walker said, “The city
benefits in a lot of ways–
we’re kind of land poor as far
as open space. One of our
best opportunities is to see
what’s out there and where

have the know-how to maintain the parks to a certain
standard,” he said.
He added, “To be able to
utilize their athletic facilities
and also to be able to provide them with park space
for any events and needs for
the school system would be
helpful to them. It also gives
the city an opportunity to
have athletic space without
the city having to invest a
lot funds toward purchasing
property and developing that
property into athletic space.”
The deal doesn’t obligate
the city in any other maintenance or infrastructure
repair issues, Walker said.
Existing problems would
have to be addressed in the

we can partner with other
organizations to utilize the
field space that is already
in town, and of course the
schools have a lot of that
property.”
According to Walker
the partnership would be a
benefit to Peachtree Charter
Middle School because has
one maintenance person responsible for the premises.
Walker said the city has
been working for a while to
create shared space and programming.
“The deal benefits the
school because Dunwoody
agrees to take responsibility
for maintaining the turf. The
parks department has the
resources and the crews that

future.
He said the intergovernmental agreement is something the city has always
wanted.
“When we took over
Brook Run Park from
DeKalb County it was obvious that it would be a nice
partnership between us and
Peachtree Charter Middle
School,” he said.
Walker said he’s been in
contact with Heptinstall for a
couple of years to “iron out”
the agreement.
It is uncertain when the
proposal will be presented to
the board of education.
Walker said the goal is to
“have a presence over there
by spring of next year.”

Decatur receives grant for community mural
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
The Decatur Mural Project was established in 2012
to create partnerships with
artists, property owners, local volunteers, sponsors and
funding agencies aimed to
create murals for the beautification of Decatur buildings.
Since its inception, city
officials have approved several art projects by local artists.
Decatur’s latest effort to
increase public art will be a
mural installed on the MARTA overpass at West Trinity
and Atlanta Avenue.
Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) granted the
city of Decatur $15,000 on
Sept. 18 to support the cost
and technical details of the
project.
According to a memorandum presented by Linda
Harris, Decatur assistant
director of community and
economic development, “The
Decatur MARTA overpass
[intersects] several diverse
communities while sheltering
children waiting for school
buses, as well as neighbors
and employees walking and
riding bikes. Many cars traverse the corridor daily, and
thousands of citizens from all
over the Atlanta region ride
the Blue Line MARTA train
across the overpass every day.
In essence, it creates a gateway into these economically
and racially diverse commu-

The mural will be installed on the MARTA overpass at West Trinity and Atlanta Avenue. Photo by Travis Hudgons

nities and provides an opportunity for real connections
through meaningful art on
this large, durable concrete
canvas.”
Harris said, “It will be
a visual reminder of where
these communities intersect.”
The grant was inspired by
the Philadelphia Mural Arts
Program in 2014. A group of
metro Atlanta leaders collaborated with ARC and raised
funds to create the Atlanta
Regional Public Art Program.
The new program provides
matching funding through
a competitive grant process
to help communities install
public art in their communities.
Each work of art is expected to celebrate a community’s unique identity while

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nerships between ARC and
the Community Foundation
of Greater Atlanta.
Sixteen jurisdictions from
six counties submitted applications in the first cycle
of funding and were asked
to focus on interpreting the
theme: “There is ample opportunity to participate in
making history in our region.”
“ARC and its partners
believe that this program can
truly be transformative for
communities throughout the
Atlanta region,” said Doug
Hooker, ARC executive director in a statement.
He said, “To get 16 applications in the first year proves
that our local government
leaders feel the same way. We
look forward to finding long-

symbolizing its commonalities.
Harris said the art installation will “really enliven that
area and remind people of the
communities that live around
there.”
The city of Decatur, the
Decatur Housing Authority
and the Decatur Arts Alliance plan to collaborate with
MARTA and the surrounding community to create the
mural.
The mural will be located
where the resident of Trinity
Walk, Allen Wilson Terrace
and Henry Oliver House
meet.
ARC Senior Communication Coordinator Jim Jaquish
said the grant requires a 100
percent match from the city.
He said the grants are part-

39

Per
Year

Call

term funding sources and
helping create more public art
that instills pride and interest
in all of our communities.”
Grantees were selected by
a panel of regional civic leaders, community engagement
professionals, artists and
design professionals selected
grantees.
Projects were selected
based on the community engagement processes proposed
for interpreting the theme
in their communities and
the anticipated quality of the
projects.
Decatur officials are
currently accepting proposals from artists for designs.
Those interested in participating can contact Linda
Harris at linda.harris@decaturga.com.

(404) 373-7779

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OPINION

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, october 9, 2015Page 4A

Let’s work together
Sometimes the best part
of the DeKalb County Board
of Commissioners’ meetings
is the public comment session. This is a period in the
meetings when anyone can
talk about anything for three
minutes. The idea is to allow
the public to voice countyrelated requests, concerns or
opinions.
Stephen Binney of
Clarkston used his time to
talk about division in the
county. He referenced a
“discussion a few weeks ago
about spending $20 million for natural gas fueling
because south and central
DeKalb County have landfills but north DeKalb does
not.”
“This is unfair,” Binney
said, “and I think north
DeKalb needs its own landfill.”
Binney proposed “a study
to determine if near the proposed new cities of LaVista

Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com

Managing Editor

@AndrewChampNews

Hills or Tucker would be the
best location for a landfill.”
“They are taking away
our tax money; perhaps we
should give them a gift,”
Binney said. “We could negotiate with them each to
see which one would give us
the most money to build the
landfill near them.
“It is in its own way kind
of like a soccer stadium,”
Binney said. “Maybe they

would even consider not
leaving the county if we
promise not to build the
landfill next to them.”
On a more serious note,
Binney addressed the “elephants in the room: racism
and greed.”
He said he grew up in
Plantation, Fla., west of Fort
Lauderdale, where there was
a large population of Blacks
between the two cities.
“The city limits of both
communities looked like a
jigsaw puzzle piece to avoid
having the Black population
in their respective communities, leaving Broward
County alone to try to provide needed services for the
huddled masses yearning to
be free,” he said.
“I have heard people say
that racism no longer exists
in America. This is a lie,”
said Binney, a White man.
“Look at DeKalb County
and you will see history re-

peating itself—rich, mostly
White people forming their
own communities to keep
their tax dollars away from
the needier parts of DeKalb
County that have been ignored for years.
“If this is not greed and
racism I do not know what it
is,” Binney said. “We can use
nicer words and talk around
it all you want, but it does
not change what it is.”
Many times in DeKalb
I have heard the sentiment
that the cityhood movement
is a type of resegregation or
neo-White flight, in which
Whites try to distance or
separate themselves from
Blacks. It has happened before in DeKalb County, and
some believe it is happening
again.
Cityhood proponents
have a long list of things
that they say are wrong with
county government, yet
most of them have never

tried to address their concerns through the machine
that exists. Most have not
run for office or served on
the county’s many citizen
committees or called their
commissioners or even attended a commission meeting. If these proponents had,
the commission meetings
would have to be held in a
large high school auditorium
and things probably would
be different in DeKalb.
There is one thing that
many forget as they support
new cities: the new cities are
still in DeKalb and would
still be impacted by DeKalb
County decisions. Thus,
each city resident still needs
good government on the
county level. Incorporation
does not fix every problem.
As Binney said, “Let us all
work together instead of fiddling as Rome burns.”

guest editorial

I like my county of DeKalb and I want to make it better
It is not about interim CEO
Lee May or the DeKalb Board of
Commissioners or their intents.
It has to do with integrity, and
whether Mr. Lee May and the others
may have violated their oaths of
office and the laws of the state. It is
not about people holding the office;
it is about the kind of government
we want to represent us. We are a
government of laws and not people.
Mr. Lee May was not elected CEO.
He was appointed by the governor
as interim CEO because of the
problems with corruption in the
county. We expect our leaders to be
held to higher standards. When you
do wrong the chickens will come
home to roost. Now the chickens
are coming home to roost. As M.L.
King stated, and I recognize that
“there comes a time when one must
take a position that is neither safe,
nor politic, nor popular, but he must
take it because conscience tells him
it is right.”
A leader at the county or state
should be able to lead employees
and citizens to accomplish goals
for the best interest of the public.
They should protect the public, and
look out for the general welfare.
Leadership is doing the right thing
when no one is watching. We have
to recognize that being an elected
official is not synonymous with
being a leader. One can hold an
elected position, and at the same

time be void of leadership and can
be, in fact, incompetent. We have
many people holding positions
of authority that are not leaders.
These leaders often practice the
“do as I say, not as I do” approach.
Perpetuating the bad behavior by
example and what they do as others
observe.
We have to go beyond supporting
an elected official because we
know them, whether we like them,
friends or family; often looking
the other way to protect them.
When someone violates our code of
conduct, lacks ethics and trust and
jeopardizes our own well-being then
we have to call them to task, and
make them accountable. No matter
who they are.
Being silent is not an option.
M.L. King stated, “Our lives begin
to end the day we become silent
about things that matter.” Our so
called leaders, who are out there,
must start speaking out and provide
real leadership. King also said, “The
ultimate measure of a man is not
where he stands in moments of
comfort and convenience, but where
he stands at times of challenge
and controversy.” Let the people
represent.
Our county officials and other
government leaders should not be
above the law, and should not be
able to spend taxpayer money as if
it were their own money. This is an

abuse of power and authority, and
represents greed and arrogance,
which causes our business and
significant capital investment to
leave a community and for others
not to come, and it will erode and
infect the community at all levels if
left unchecked.
Our community leaders must not
remain silent and allow this kind
of unchecked behavior to continue.
We must let our voices be heard and
let it ring from Stone Mountain,
Arabia Mountain to the state capitol,
that we want good government, all
over Georgia. While there are some
prepared to march on Washington,
D.C., we need to be marching to our
local governments and state capitol.
Today, it seems many
government officials work for
themselves, when they are supposed
to be working for us. I am frustrated
like many others citizens with this
business as usual attitude with the
public trust being violated. No
customer service and being treated
like an invisible man. Our elected
officials should be accountable and
responsible for how they spend our
tax money. It makes it bad for all
of us, when a few bad apples spoil
the whole barrel. Citizens should
be able to know everything our
government does in our name,
and the government should be
responsive to our needs. The
government employees should tell

the people what is really going on.
The employees on the inside know
what is really going on.
I believe we have honorable
and trustworthy people in our
communities who can do the job
and provide good leadership for our
county government. We need to put
out a job description looking for
good citizens with good judgment.
The candidates must not be greedy
and they must respect the rights
of residents, as cited in the U.S.
Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Particularly, the freedom of speech
clause and the right for citizens to
assembly and redress government
and recall corrupt politicians as
cited in the Georgia Constitution.
It cannot be easier to create a city
or town, than to get rid of a no-good
politician.
The reputation and character
of a man is very important, and
all we need is a few good citizens.
“In the end, we will remember not
the words of our enemies, but the
silence of our friends.”—M.L. King
I like my county and I want it
to be the best it can be, so that I
can be the best I can be for future
generations.
Ed Williams, chairman
Concerned Citizens for Effective
Government
Citizens Against Cityhood in DeKalb

OPINION

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, october 9, 2015Page 5A

One Man’s Opinion

The upside of Down syndrome
“And no, she’s never gonna
look like the other kids. And
she may not learn to talk like
the other ones did. And I
guess she’s always gonna walk
just a little behind, but I don’t
mind.” lyrics from the song
God Doesn’t Make Mistakes
by Steve Moser, father of a
daughter with Down syndrome.
Once a year, here and
around the nation, Down
syndrome families and community come together for
their annual Buddy Walk.
The events and surrounding activities in dozens of
cities collectively raise both
funds and awareness, to
the tune of roughly $3 million per year. Metro Atlanta
stages one of the largest and
traditionally most successful walks, with 3,000-4,000
people annually showing
up in support and walking
a roughly half-mile loop
around Centennial Olympic Park. This year’s Atlanta
Buddy Walk will be Sunday,
Oct. 18, at 3 p.m.
Originally identified by
Dr. John Langdon Down in
England in 1866, what we
now refer to as Down syndrome (named for the good
doctor), is a genetic disorder
that begins almost at conception. The zygote has extra
data on the 21st pair of our
23 pairs of chromosomes,
thus the clinical name of Tri-

Bill Crane
bill.csicrane@gmail.com

Columnist

somy 21. This extra data has
many typical manifestations,
some of them visible, such
as no hand crease across the
palm, or the broader faces
with typically smaller and
slightly flatter noses, or the
slightly slanted.
Down syndrome occurs
in roughly one in every 1,000
live births. The incidences
are higher for mothers beyond their mid-30s. Though
the U.S. population could be
much higher, excluding the
fact that upon such diagnosis, a majority of these pregnancies are terminated.
Living and loving the
children and families in this
community for nearing a
decade, one will periodically
hear one of our children suggest that they wish that Dr.
Down had been named, Dr.
Up or Upson, which would
have translated into Up syn-

drome.
I have two daughters,
Barclay, 22, and Olivia, 8,
and could not be prouder of
the pair. And though until
you live the experience you
may not believe me; the upsides of Down syndrome in
more ways than I can innumerate here, easily outweigh
the down sides.
Yes, our children may
never grow up in the exact
same way as every other
child. They will typically
master most every needed
skill set, things will just take
a bit longer, and their speech
and vocabulary may have
limits, but there is no limit
to their capacity for joy or
for love. I can’t and won’t say
there were not moments of
fear, concern or even momentary regret, but I can say
all of that was soon swept
away once our bundle of joy
arrived in July 2007.
Our children and adults
seek nothing more, and
nothing less, than what the
rest of us want out of life.
Close friends, acceptance,
a loving family, our good
health and the chance to enjoy these things with others.
Increasingly, thanks to events
like the Buddy Walk, there
is more acceptance, though
we are not immune to or unaware of the occasional hurtful comment or pained stare.
So for at least one day,

surrounded by family and
friends these kids are the
stars of the show. The Atlanta Buddy Walk will raise
nearly $300,000. The bulk of
those dollars stay local, funding a wide variety of support
programs and initiatives,
ranging from occupational,
physical or speech therapy
sessions to job skills training and group home housing
options for adults. On the
national level, research into
the causes of Trisomy 21, as
well as treatments to improve
cognition and learning abilities are also funding recipients.
We all have many draws
on our time and purse. The
Buddy Walk falls during the
busy fall football season, and
we know that conflicts will
keep many of you from attending, but that does not
have to present you from
participating. You, too, can
virtually attend, or at least
support the cause, by picking a team or just making a
modest gift, www.ds-stride.
org/atlantabuddywalk.
As a veteran of this cause,
our Olivia has typically been
one of the top performing
team captains raising several thousand dollars, landing her in the Top 5 or Top
10 among several hundred
teams. And I would be remiss, if I didn’t mention that
you will most likely come

away with a smile or even a
slight bounce in your step
that wasn’t there at the start
of your day. And remember
God doesn’t make mistakes.
Bill Crane also serves as a
political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action
News, WSB-AM News/Talk
750 and now 95.5 FM, as well
as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press
and Georgia Trend. Crane is
a DeKalb native and business
owner, living in Scottdale. You
can reach him or comment
on a column at bill.csicrane@
gmail.com. 

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

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

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

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PageChampion
6A The
Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015
The
FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page
6A

William Johnson
In 2007, William Johnson was a successful businessman with PT Services
Inc., but had a passion to
help at-risk youth.
Johnson, 50, saw high
percentage of teens doing
drugs, drinking alcohol,
engaging in sexual activity
and dropping out of school.
Johnson, who lives in Stone
Mountain, saw that there
was a need to help at-risk
students, and he addressed
that need through his Thrive
Youth Development Program
(TYD).
“My heart was broken
to see many of our young
people dropping out of
school, getting pregnant, not
to mention seeing hundreds
of youth that had made poor
choices getting locked up in
local youth detention centers
that I would visit,” John-

son said. “From a business
perspective I noticed that a
lot of our youth lacked the
character, skills and work
ethic to be employable. They
needed employment skills
but mainly needed to be positioned for on-time gradu-

ation as well as the hope,
plans and assets necessary to
live out their dreams of going to college, trade school,
become young entrepreneurs
or at least productive citizens
that would add value to their
communities.”
In 2013, Johnson sold
his business to work with
students full-time. Thrive
Youth Development Inc. is a
5013c non-profit youth outreach organization focused
on giving youth a blueprint
for life and assets that transforms them into leaders.
TYD mentors more than
100 students a year through
its leadership programs and
small group charter coaching
in middle school and high
schools.
Johnson said the organization has grown “tremendously with our ability to

have greater community impact by key partnerships with
organizations such as On
Point out of Chattanooga,
which has provided us with
evidence-based curriculum
to further improve student
performance and outcomes.”
“These partnerships
have deepened our roots and
expanded our services in
DeKalb,” he said. “We have
had a huge increase with
individual and community
support, which has allowed
us to sustain and serve more
than 100 students in 2014
and what will be over 200
students in 2015.”
Johnson said the biggest
adjustment after selling his
business was “letting go of
what was familiar to me for
23 years and not defaulting
back to that when times got
difficult.”

“Other challenges includedtrying to do everything
and solve every problem on
my own and learning to be
more patient with people and
this process,” he said. “It has
required a lot of personal
growth and coaching for us
to get this far.”
Johnson said he hopes in
the next five years TYD will
be equipped to develop 1,000
students in multiple counties
and schools.
“I also see Thrive YD
having its own building
that will serve as a hub that
provides apprenticeship opportunities, entrepreneur incubators, S.T.E.M. programming, robotics, agriculture
and culinary arts and various
opportunities,” he said, “not
to mention its own media
production arm that will be
student directed.”

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

Neuman retrial set for August 2016
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
A new trial has been set for Hemy
Neuman, who in 2012 was found
guilty but mentally ill of the 2010 murder of Russell “Rusty” Sneiderman
outside a Dunwoody daycare center.
Neuman will face a jury again in
August 2016, more than a year after
the Supreme Court of Georgia overturned his murder conviction. The
state’s top court ruled in June that the
DeKalb County Superior Judge Gregory Adams “erred by allowing in as
evidence the notes and records of two
mental health experts who examined
Neuman before trial.”
The Supreme Court stated it made
the ruling despite evidence that“was
sufficient to enable a rational trier of
fact to conclude beyond a reasonable
doubt that Neuman was guilty of the
crimes of which he was convicted.”
Because Neuman’s request for
bond was denied prior to trial, he has
remained in custody.
Neuman’s recently appointed
public defenders, Letitia Delan and
Duana Sanson, told Adams that they

needed a year to prepare their case.
“I don’t normally set them out that
far,” Adams stated before setting the
date 11 months out.
While Neuman’s previous trial
lasted five weeks, prosecutors and the
public defenders agreed that the retrial
would take approximately two to three
weeks. Adams said he would block out
a month for the trial, and he set jury
selection to begin Aug. 1, 2016.
Adams requested motions to be
filed by Jan. 1 and said he would start
hearing them shortly thereafter.
Neuman pleaded not guilty by
reason of insanity for the November
2010 killing of Sneiderman, outside
Dunwoody Prep daycare center where
Sneiderman a 36-year-old entrepreneur, was dropping off his 3-year-old
son.
Neuman, donning a bearded disguise, allegedly approached Sneiderman in the parking lot and with a recently purchased .40 caliber handgun
shot Sneiderman four to five times in
the neck and torso, according to the
state’s case.
Dressed in his orange prison outfit, convicted murderer Hemy Neuman learns the
date of his retrial. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

#ItsInTheChampion

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AroundDeKalb

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page 7A

Avondale Estates
City to host candidate forum

Avondale Estates will host a candidate forum
Oct. 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at City Hall. Candidates running for the two expiring seats on the
Board of Mayor and Commissioners have been
invited to attend the forum. City Hall is located at
21 North Avondale Plaza. For more information,
visit www.avondaleestates.org.

Brookhaven
City to host arts festival
The Brookhaven Arts Festival will be held
Oct. 17-18. The event is on Apple Valley Road
between Dresden Drive and North Druid Hills
Road, located behind the Brookhaven MARTA
station at 4047 Peachtree Road NE. The festival
will feature more than 100 artists from around
the country, as well as music, food, beverages and
a classic car show on Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. For more
information, visit www.brookhavenga.gov.

Decatur

ing medical supplies and equipment during the
2014 Ebola virus outbreak in Liberia.
“MedShare is grateful for the recognition
of our efforts in controlling and preventing the
spread of certain infectious diseases like Ebola virus,” Redding said. “It’s because of the generosity
from our donors, sponsors and volunteers that we
are able to effectively respond to global disasters
and strengthen healthcare systems worldwide.”
The efforts of MedShare in West Africa during the Ebola virus outbreak involved shipping
30 40-foot containers of supplies and equipping
20 medical mission teams with more than 18,000
pounds of medical supplies to various hospitals
and clinics where the disease was prevalent. Additionally, nearly 157,000 pounds of donated medical supplies were diverted from local landfills.  
During the event, Redding announced that
MedShare will be send an additional 40-foot container of medical supplies to Liberia to help with
the rebuilding efforts.

Downtown Decatur Neighbors to host
commission candidate forum
On Monday, Oct. 12, Downtown Decatur
Neighbors will host a forum for Decatur city
commission candidates.
The forum will have an emphasis on issues
that impact downtown Decatur, including development, transportation and parkland. Citywide
issues such as the school bond and annexation are
likely to be discussed.
Six of the seven commission candidates have
confirmed participation in the event, which will
be moderated by Downtown Decatur President
George Dusenbury.
The event is being held with the support of
Woodlands Garden, a not-for-profit, seven-acre
forest preserve open to the public.
The forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Decatur Library auditorium, 215 Sycamore Street.
Downtown Decatur Neighbors is a neighborhood group that advocates for the residents of the
community.

Ellenwood

University Consortium for Liberia honors
MedShare leaders for Ebola response 
On Sept. 26, the University Consortium for
Liberia commemorated two MedShare executives–CEO and President Charles Redding and
Vice President of Corporate and International
Relations Nell Diallo–with the Community service award.
The award was presented to MedShare for the
organization’s swift response in providing lifesav-

Local pastor celebrates 30th anniversary
marks ministry milestone
Love Life Christian Fellowship Church will
celebrate the 30th pastoral anniversary of its senior pastor and organizer Rev. Grace C. Washington.

A banquet will be held Oct. 10 at the Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel.
The festivities will include a 10 a.m. worship
service on Sunday, Oct. 11, at Love Life Christian Fellowship Church. Pastor E. Dewey Smith
of Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church (The
House of Hope) will be the guest speaker.
The anniversary theme is “A Journey
of Grace…filled with Promise, Power, and Purpose” and the scriptural focus is Genesis 33:12.
In addition to being called to the pastorate,
Washington has mission work has extended to
the Virgin Islands, China, Soweto, Ghana and
Bethlehem. Additionally, she has authored five
books.
Love Life Christian Fellowship Church is located at 3980 Panthersville Road in Ellenwood.
For more information, contact Elder Alonia
Jones at (770) 256-4337 or the church’s office.

Lithonia

City to host collard greens festival
Lithonia will host the Original Collard
Greens Cultural Festival Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to
7 p.m. at the Lithonia Amphitheater, 2501 Park
Drive. The event will include food, music and
collard green ice cream. For more information,
visit www.collardgreensculturalfestival.com or
call (678) 828-4008.

Countywide

DeKalb-based Georgia Center for Child
Advocacy names new CEO
The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy
(GCCA) has a new champion for the children
and families it serves throughout Fulton and
DeKalb counties. The GCCA board of directors
announced that it has named Sheila Ryan to the
role of CEO, effective Oct. 19. Ryan assumes the
mantle from retiring CEO Nancy Chandler. 
Ryan comes to the GCCA from the March
of Dimes, where she managed a staff of 35 and
more than 8,000 volunteers as state director of the
organization’s Georgia chapter. She managed and
attained a fundraising goal of $6.5 million.
Previously, Ryan was responsible for similar
fundraising and team leadership success as director of the Tocqueville Society for the United Way
of Metropolitan Atlanta, as well as CEO of The
Girl Scouts Audubon Council in Baton Rouge,
La., where she managed operations and fundraising for an organization of more than 9,300 girls.
“This opportunity with the Georgia Center
for Child Advocacy means that I can continue to
positively impact our community through helping families and children,” Ryan said of her new
role. “I have long admired Nancy and her team
for the incredible work they have been doing to
serve the needs of abused children and help them
heal. It is a great honor to join them.” 
For more information, visit www.GeorgiaCenterforChildAdvocacy.org.

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PageChampion
8A The
Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015
The
FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page
8A

Artist brings diverse styles
to Stone Mountain exhibit
by Kathy Mitchell
When Rhonda Shakur Carter was homeless in the streets
of Los Angeles, she painted
under overpasses and sold her
paintings on the lawn of an art
museum. Her work now hangs
in prestigious galleries across
the country and in the homes of
such celebrities as actress Angela
Bassett.
“I have to paint. It’s something that’s always been in me.
Whatever else is going on in my
life, I have to create art. From
the time I opened my first box
of crayons, drawing is all I’ve
wanted to do. I’ve tried working at other things, but this is
what I always come back to,” said
Carter who opened an exhibit of
her work Oct. 2 at the Hairston
Crossing Library in Stone Mountain. The exhibit will be on display until the end of the month.
Now a resident of Stone
Mountain, Carter, a self-taught
artist, has lived in Dallas, Texas;
New Orleans; Scottsdale; Ariz.,
and other major U.S. cities, seeking in each to introduce her diverse art styles. She works in oils,
acrylics, watercolors, pencil and
other genres. She has developed
her own woodcut style that she
calls FAWD for fine art in wood
dimensions.
“I became interested in creating art from layers of wood
because I’ve always liked jigsaw
puzzles, but I rarely saw brownskinned people in those puzzles,”
she recalled. An aunt gave her a
scroll saw as a gift and wood is
now among her favorite media
expressions.
Carter said many of her
inspirations come from family,
especially the grandmother she
lived with during many of her
formative years. “Some of my favorite pieces are of older women.
My favorite of the almost 1,000
works of art I have created is of
an elderly Black woman. She
does not physically look like my
grandmother, but with the deep
wrinkles in her face that tell a
story she in many ways embodies her spirit.”
The favorite piece was not
sold, but like much of Carter’s
work, was donated. “An organization to help young artists was
holding a fundraising auction
and I donated the painting. I
hated to part with it, but I enjoy
knowing that it helped some upcoming young artists and someone somewhere is enjoying it,”
she said.
Another source of inspiration growing up was television,

Carter said, and many of her
pieces were inspired by Westernthemed shows. One of these,
“Cowgirls,” is on display at the
Stone Mountain Library.
Another painting in that exhibit, done primarily in shades
of blue, is of a woman being
embraced by a younger woman.
“That’s me and my daughter,”
Carter explained. “She passed
away not long after I painted
that. I knew I was about to lose
her and I woke up one night and
started work on that painting.
Just doing it made me feel more
at peace.”
Inspirations come from
many different sources, Carter
said. “Sometimes I see images in
my dreams and when I wake up I
try to reproduce them.”
Carter said her early life
was difficult—some of it spent
in foster homes. “I was a sassy
little thing,” she acknowledged.
“I really loved my family, but I
guess I wasn’t always that easy
to live with.” Now, Carter said,
she hopes her work will prompt
people to think about family and
how important it is.
A bright spot Carter recalled
from her early years is the summer she was 12 years old and was
selected to participate in a program for artistically gifted youth
at the University of Southern
California. “Before that, I didn’t
realize girls could be artists. I
had a teacher who really encouraged me. She told me that I had
talent and that I should plan to
come back and study art there
when I was ready for college.
But there was no money for college. By the time I was 18, I was
homeless,” she said.
When she was living either
under overpasses or in $2-a-day
“flop houses,” she made a friend
who arranged for her to live with
his sister. The new friends helped
her get on her feet and buy art
supplies.
“Since then, my life has
had ups and downs, but I feel
ultimately it has been moving
upward. I moved to Georgia six
months ago because I want to
see how well my work will be received on the East Coast.
“My dream is to have my
work exhibited in the major galleries in New York City. In the
meantime I just want to get exposure for my work, to have people enjoy it. Some of my friends
say I don’t charge enough for
my work, but I want to keep it
affordable for people in my community. I don’t feel original art is
just for well-to-do collectors. It’s
for everybody,” Carter said.

From left, Rhonda Shakur Carter and Elizabeth Costello, a member of the Hairston Crossing Library
staff, show “Cowgirls,” an art piece in layered wood that is part of the library exhibit.

A painting primarily in shades of blue reflects the artist’s emotions as her daughter neared death.

“Cowgirls,” like many of Carter’s pieces, reflects an interest in Western themes that goes back to the
artist’s childhood.

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page 9A

District Attorney says he wasn’t required
to cooperate in corruption investigation

out our constitutional duties.
“We didn’t go over
budget because we were…
throwing parties and bringing in circus animals,” James
said. “We went over budget
because we were doing the
work that I was elected to
do. And quite frankly, it
was much more than I was
funded for.”
James said he has “been
coming back to the commission for two years and asking
for additional resources to
do our job and up until two
weeks ago we were denied
those resources.
“The authors of the report were given a million
dollars,” James said. “I asked
for $200,000 and the commission said ‘no.’ Perhaps if
I had been given a million
dollars things would be different.”

by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
The same corruption
report that calls for the resignation of DeKalb’s interim
CEO accuses the county’s top
prosecutor of not cooperating with the investigation.
In his report on the
investigation into county
corruption, special investigator Mike Bowers accused
DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James of a
“clear violation of the Georgia Open Records Act.”
James “flatly refused
to even respond to our letters requesting documents
that could have explained
his questionable spending.
Instead, he complained to
Mr. May about our request,”
Bowers stated in his report.
“The law requires these
public records, indicating
how funds were spent by Mr.
James, to be available for inspection at all times to anyone,” Bowers stated.
Bowers said interim
DeKalb County CEO Lee
May interfered into the investigation by telling James
that the investigators’ request
for documents from the
DA’s Office was “beyond the
scope of the executive order”
calling for the investigation.
In a news conference
Sept. 30 James said that is it
“flatly untrue” that he violated the Open Records Act.
May “indicated because
of the Organizational Act,
which is state law, he does
not have purview over our
office [and] he has no control over our expenses,”
James said.
“Because of that he said
we were not in the scope of
the investigation” and he
rescinded the Open Records
requests, James said.
The report listed $23,000

DeKalb County DA Robert James said his office’s so-called “questionable spending” is “easily explainable.”
Photo by Andrew Cauthen

in “questionable spending,”
which James told reporters is
“easily explainable.”
James said the charges
for catering services were for
meals for the “our grand jury
when they have marathon
sessions.”
Explaining the car repair
expenditures, James said,
“We have forfeited vehicles.
Some of those…do not get
fixed by fleet maintenance.
Sometimes it costs us less
money to go out and get
[them] fixed at some of the
places around town.
“These are county vehicles,” James said. “Nobody
is using a purchasing card to
get their personal automobile
fixed.”
The Bowers report states
that the district attorney’s of-

fice regularly overspends its
budget.
“We have gone over
budget,” James said. “We just
came out of a recession, but

 

COMMUNITY INPUT MEETINGS FOR BUILDING S.P.A.C.E.S. INITIATIVE 

The DeKalb County School District is holding five (5) regional public input meetings, to discuss and gather 
information related to its Master Planning of the E‐SPLOST V program, called the Building S.P.A.C.E.S. 
Initiative. The Building S.P.A.C.E.S. Initiative is an effort to determine how, where, and why future 
resources should be dedicated to the improvement and modernization of our buildings and 
infrastructure to support the District’s vision “to inspire our community of learners to achieve 
educational excellence.” 
 
The meetings will be held on the following dates and times at the locations shown: 

 

Public Notification:

Our client is proposing to construct one 63-foot positive train
control tower within Atlanta, DeKalb County, GA. The tower
(#41405) will be located approximately 450-feet east of the
intersection of Peachtree Rd. NE and Redding Rd NE, along
the railroad right-of-way at railroad mile post 626.3. Golder
Associates on behalf of our client invites comments from any
interested party regarding specific location information and/
or the potential effects of the towers on historic properties.
Comments may be sent to Angela Kappen, N27 W23960 Paul
Rd., Suite 210, Pewaukee, WI 53072 or akappen@golder.com.
Comments must be received 30 days following published date.

crime didn’t stop.
“It’s not a matter of us
wasting money,” he said.
“It’s a matter of us not being
funded appropriately to carry

STONE MOUNTAIN
VILLAGE
CITY-WIDE YARD SALE
922 Main St. behind Gazebo
Saturday, October 17
8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Setup begins 7:30 a.m.
on day of sale
For info call City Hall
(770) -498-8984

 
 
 

Region 

Time/Date of Meeting 

Meeting Location 

Region 1 

Tuesday, October 20, 7‐9 PM 

3688 Chamblee‐Dunwoody Road 
Chamblee, GA 30341 

Region 5 

Thursday, October 22, 7 – 9 PM 

Region 4 

Monday, October 26, 7 – 9 PM 

Region 3 

Tuesday, October 27, 7 – 9 PM 

Region 2 

Thursday, October 29, 7 – 9 PM 

Chamblee High School 
Columbia High School 
2106 Columbia Drive 
Decatur, GA 30032 

Miller Grove High School 

2645 DeKalb Medical Parkway 
Lithonia, GA 30058 

Stone Mountain High School 
4555 Central Drive 
Stone Mountain, GA 30083 

Tucker High School 
5036 LaVista Road 
Tucker, GA 30084 

local

PageChampion
10A The
Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015
The
FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page
10A

Hundreds of people packed Lakeside High School auditorium to hear
both sides of the proposed LaVista Hills’ argument.

Signs showing support and opposition to LaVista Hills
were placed outside the auditorium. Photos by Carla
Parker

Residents look at the proposed map of LaVista Hills.

Cityhood proponents, opponents make their cases to voters
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
A few hours after the release of a
report that claims DeKalb County has
“appalling corruption and a stunning
absence of leadership,” proponents of
cityhood used that report to validate
their argument for a new city.
Proponents and opponents of
LaVista Hills made their case to voters Sept. 30 at a legislative forum on
the proposed city at Lakeside High
School. Referendums for proposed
cities of LaVista Hills and Tucker will
be on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Allen Venet, co-chairman of
LaVista Hills YES, said he and other
cityhood supports are “fed up with
the embarrassment that is the current
DeKalb County.”
“And make no mistake, creation of
a city will not solve all of the problems
in DeKalb County, but it will in fact
help,” Venet said. “The clear reason to
vote [yes] is to look around. How are
things run better? Are things better
run in a city or in an uncorroborated
area?
“People who go to the voting both
can either vote ‘no,’ which is a vote for
the status quo,” he added.
Marjorie Snook of DeKalb
Strong, a group against cityhood ref-

Soccer

Continued From Page 2A

That memorandum of
understanding, which Rader
said commissioners received
two business days before the
vote, “raised a myriad…of
questions which we tried to
get answered.”
That attempt was unsuccessful, he said.
“We…need to know from
you what you would like to
see come out of it and how
you would propose that we
continue to protect the public’s interest as we make this
investment,” Rader said.
Residents and the three
commissioners complained
that there will be no financial
benefit to the county’.
“I would like one good
solid example of how this will
help my constituents,” Gan-

erendums, said voting ‘no’ for LaVista
Hills is not voting for the status quo.
“I agree that there are profound
problems in DeKalb County and I do
not argue otherwise,” Snook said. “But
you do not solve the problem of corrupt politicians by adding new politicians to the mix.
“The fact is that cities have had
their share of corruption as well, and
in cities there is actually less oversight
than they have in DeKalb County,”
Snook said. “There are no independent ethics boards in most of the new
cities and so when there are ethics
violations there are no consequences.”
Snook mentioned that voters can
help better the county by voting for
new legislation that will help reform
the county. In March, the state Senate passed three DeKalb reform bills:
one that would empower the county’s
Ethics Board, one that would tighten
up its purchasing rules and one that
would appoint an internal auditor to
keep tabs on county spending.
Those referendums will be on the
Nov. 3 ballot. Snook said those news
measures will help improve the county, not add a new layer of government.
“If we create a new layer of government and seven new politicians
that have less oversight in what we’re
trying to institute in DeKalb, we

non said. “I have not been
able to get that answered yet,
but I am going to continue to
ask that question.”
“It’s not a revenue generator. It is just a practice facility,”
Jester said. “It’s cash out of the
general fund to move all of
the departments that need to
get moved off these 41 acres.
And it’s cash out of the general fund to do site work and it’s
cash out of the general fund to
pay $7 million for parks and
recreation department to be
located in that facility.”
“At no point in time is
there any revenue generated,”
Jester said. “That’s a problem.”
Iris Darden said because
she is on a limited income and
has a disabled husband, she
won’t be able to afford any tax
increase associated with the
proposed facility.
“Money is going out of the
county, but we can’t even get a

are moving in the wrong direction,”
Snook said. “[Cityhood] does not answer the problems, it’s too expensive
and it’s likely to make the problem
worst.”
Dan Chapman of LaVista Hills
YES said cityhood is not about creating a new layer of government.
“When we talk about adding another layer of government, DeKalb
government has been adding layers
upon layers upon layers,” Chapman
said. “Cities have been smart about
maintaining a light workforce and
providing services.”
Chapman also addressed claims
that a new city means higher taxes for
residents.
“Every one of the new cities that
has come through this process in being studied by the Carl Vinson Institute and passed by the legislator under
these rules has a lower property tax
rate than the county from which they
emerge,” he said.
Snook said other cities still had to
deal with costs increases.
“The cityhood proponents talk a
lot about millage rate. They say because there is a millage rate cap taxes
can’t go up,” she said. “But the fact
is that city government is extremely
expensive. The Carl Vinson Institute
said and projected that the city of

pothole filled,” Darden said.
Darden said she is not
opposed to the soccer facility.
“I’m for it for healthy purposes, but I’m against it when
it comes to my tax dollars,”
she said.
Robert Glover said he has
read the memorandum of understanding three times.
“There are things that
are not in there—a cost statement,” Glover said. “When
you’re starting a project of this
magnitude, you always run a
cost analysis. The cost analysis looks at [the] cost to start
[and the] cost to maintain.
“Also there is not a study
that looks at the financial
impact of this area,” he said.
“How will all this get funded?
That is not in these 18 pages,
either. Bonds might have to
be put up. That’s not in here
either.”
Jeff Wiggs, president of

LaVista Hills will spend six and a half
million dollars a year on city overhead.
“When the cost of government
goes up you’re paying for it,” she
added. “Sometimes that’s because assessments go up and they capture that
additional revenue…the government
has a lot of ways of getting money out
of you. You cannot have that kind of
increase in government without having to pay for it.”
Harold Clark, who lives near
North DeKalb Mall, said he knows
which side he is leaning towards but
he has not decided yet on how to vote.
“I can understand people being
interested in [cityhood] because of
what’s happening in DeKalb County
government, but outside of that it
doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Clark
said. “I fear that there are interior motives to help developers do their thing
easier.”
Clark’s neighbor Laura Zipperer
said she does not see a reason for a
new city.
“To me there is no reason why
this community should be a city,” she
said. “I’m not getting it. I don’t see any
reason for it. I think it will eventually
affect schools.”

the DeKalb Fraternal Order of
Police, said “millions and millions of dollars of equipment”
will have to be relocated to
make way for the proposed
soccer facility.
“For the commissioners
that voted ‘yes’ for this, and
the CEO, hopefully you’ll
be brave enough to say…we
should have done a little bit
more homework, admit your
wrongs and let’s stop this,”
Wiggs said. “This is crazy.”
James Tsismanakis, executive director and CEO of
Discover DeKalb, said the
proposed facility “helps to
give us the credibility for soccer.”
“We already are working
on a lot more soccer tournaments,” Tsismanakis said,
adding that Discover DeKalb
is using the proposed facility, “the home of the Atlanta
United, the home of the train-

ing facility, in our marketing
and promotions.”
“It gives us the credibility
to go after more events,” he
said.
Having the Atlanta United
facility along with the Chamblee-based Georgia Soccer Association and Doraville-based
Silverbacks soccer stadium
“can actually propel DeKalb to
being the epicenter for soccer
in Georgia,” Tsismanakis said.
“With more tournaments
then we really generate heads
in beds—people staying in
hotels, eating at our restaurants [and] shopping,” he said.
“The plan of course hopefully is it will develop Memorial Drive. We really don’t
know if it will, but with more
people coming into town, that
means more money being
generated,” Tsismanakis said.

local

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

Peachcrest Club celebrates four decades
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
Forty years ago, the
Peachcrest Boys and Girls
Club opened on Sherrydale
Road in unincorporated Decatur.
A decade later, “the Salvation Army saw an opportunity and the two became
one. The growth took off
from there,” said Salvation
Army Lt. James Sullivan,
who runs the site, along with
his wife, Lt. Rebecca Sullivan.
Now, approximately 140160 students are served each
day at Boys and Girls Club
and “just about every staff
member knows every kid by
name,” James Sullivan said.
The Atlanta Peachcrest
Corps of the Salvation Army
and Boys and Girls Club
celebrated 40th anniversary
Oct. 2-4, featuring an open
house, music extravaganza,
basketball and cheerleading
tournaments, and recogni-

Peachcrest Boys and Girls Club and Salvation Army Corps recently celebrate 40 years of service in the community. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

tion of those who have been
members of the Salvation
Army for 25 or more years.
When the Salvation
Army moved into the area,
“it changed the whole dynamic in the neighborhood
because it allowed the Army

an opportunity, to just not...
ring the bell [at Christmas
for donations], but it gave us
the opportunity to minister
to the same kids that live in
the neighborhood—to feed
them, give them the word
of God, and transform their

lives from there,” Sullivan
said.
“There’s not too many
places where [you have] a
church..., a Boys and Girls
Club, [and] social services,”
Sullivan said. “You get everything right here—three in

one.”
With matching funding
from United Way, the Salvation Army provides social
services.
“If you need assistance,...
you can come in any day of
the week...and get nonperishable foods and...get your
bills paid–light bill, gas bill,
mortgage,” Sullivan said.
The Boys and Girls Club,
located across the street
from the newly constructed
Peachcrest Elementary, has
an afterschool program that
is “open to all kids” for a
charge of $25 a year, Sullivan
said. For $20 per month,
students can be transported
from nearby Columbia Elementary and DeKalb Prep
Academy to the club.
The club’s programs include a Power Hour during
which staff members helps
youth with their homework.
Students also have an hour
of exercise in the gym and
play educational games in
the learning center. There is

See Peachcrest on page 24A

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not grow on trees.

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some great cash rewards. For more information on tips and other rebates, visit georgiapower.com/save.
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or installation. ©2014. Georgia Power Company. All rights reserved.

local

PageChampion
12A The
Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015
The
FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page
12A

Alleged serial murderer may be shackled in court
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Aeman Presley, who is
accused of murdering four
people, will be shackled during court appearances and in
front of media cameras, according to a DeKalb County
Superior Court judge.
Judge Gregory Adams
declined a motion by Presley’s lawyers that he not be
shackled when news media
are present, at a Sept. 30 motion hearing. The motion
was one of 44 motions Presley’s lawyers filed.
Jerilyn Bell told Adams that media images of a
shackled Presley could send
the wrong image to potential
jurors by making them think
he is dangerous.
“We believe that shackling someone can cause some
significant prejudice to Mr.
Presley, not only now but
also in the future at the trial,”
Bell said.
Adams pointed out that
media members had full access at the motions hearing,

Alleged serial murderer Aeman Presley (middle) converses with his lawyers before a motion hearing.

where Presley was not shackled. Adams denied the request, saying he would leave
it up to courtroom deputies
to determine what restraints
are necessary.
Adams did accept the
defense lawyers’ motion
that Presley not appear in
jail clothing during court
appearances as long as his

attorneys provide civilian
clothes.
Presley is accused of
murdering hairstylist Karen
Pearce and Calvin Gholston.
Presley, 34, is charged with
multiple felony counts, including malice murder, felony murder, armed robbery
and aggravated assault related to the murder of Pearce.

DeKalb County prosecutors are seeking the death
penalty in Pearce’s killing,
but not in Gholston’s death.
Pearce, 44, was killed
Dec. 6, 2014, by a gunshot
wound while walking in an
area adjacent to where her
vehicle was parked after leaving a Decatur restaurant.
Police said Presley shot and

killed Pearce and took her
wallet. Pearce was found
dead near a parking area in
the 100 block of East Ponce
de Leon Avenue.
Presley also faces malice
murder, felony murder and
aggravated assault charges
for the murder of Gholston,
who was residing in the Memorial Drive area. Presley allegedly fatally shot Gholston
in the head and torso on
Sept. 27, 2014.
Prosecutors in Fulton
County are seeking the death
penalty against Presley in the
killing of two homeless men
shot to death as they slept
outside. Dorian Jenkins, 42,
was killed Nov. 23, 2014, and
Tommy Mims, 68, was killed
on Nov. 26, 2014. Presley faces charges, including murder,
felony murder and aggravated assault with a deadly
weapon in Fulton County.
No trial date has been
set in that case. Presley has
pleaded not guilty in all
cases.

In

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page 13A

Nonprofit aims to rehabilitate homeless families

WEEK

Pictures

Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May shows off his “the destroyer” T-shirt before demolishing a vacant home in September. Photo
by Andrew Cauthen

Children Read Atlanta received thousands of books from a
donation drive organized by the Goddard School.

More than 100 people collected 1.2 tons of illegal signs on Sept. 19 during the the third annual “Sick of Signs” campaign,
a national effort against the proliferation of illegal signs. Photo provided

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

(404) 294-2900
www.rollingforwardtoone.com

local

PageChampion
14A The
Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015
The
FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page
14A

Brookhaven seeking
firm for traffic system
expansion project
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Brookhaven will soon
have a firm to work on its Intelligent Traffic System (ITS)
Eexpansion project.
The city issued a request
for qualifications last month
to identify firms qualified to
work on the project. Firms
had until Oct. 8 to submit
proposals. The project is
included in the city’s comprehensive transportation plan.
The project consists of
traffic signal and ITS upgrades and installation of
approximately 13 signals
on two corridors: Ashford
Dunwoody Road from Perimeter Summit Boulevard
to Peachtree Road, and Dresden Drive from Apple Valley
Road to Clairmont Road.
According to the request,
the project also includes
pedestrian improvements,
installation of fiber optic or
equivalent communications,

closed circuit television surveillance and corridor system
vehicle detection. City officials anticipate that all work
will be constructed within the
existing state or city rights of
way.
According to the city, federal funds were granted to aid
in design and construction.
“After reviewing the proposals, staff may, at its discretion, request formal presentations from one or more of the
proposers (at proposer’s expense at the city’s site) whose
proposals appear to best meet
the city’s requirements,” the
request stated.
The firm awarded the
contract must provide proof
of professional liability insurance of $1 million, along with
any other required insurance
coverage and evidence of
business or occupational license, according to the RFQ.
The current proposed let
date for the project is February 2017.

DeKalb implements new residential
garbage, recycling container collection
procedure
The DeKalb County Sanitation Division has announced it will no longer service
third-party or customer-provided garbage or
recycling containers placed at the curb for collection on residents’ designated sanitation collection day. Only county-issued garbage roll
carts and recycling containers will be serviced.
Third-party or customer-provided yard trimmings containers are exempt from this procedure, which takes effect Monday, Oct. 19.
This new procedure assists in reducing
employee injuries, and minimizes liability
and maintenance concerns with handling and
processing third-party containers. Residents
not in compliance after Oct. 19 will be issued
a notice advising of the use of an unapproved
container.
Customers who do not have a county-issued garbage roll cart, or would like to join the
recycling program and obtain a county-issued
18-gallon recycling bin should contact the
Sanitation Division’s customer service team at
(404) 294-2900 or sanitation@dekalbcountyga.gov. The use of secure, durable plastic bags
for excess garbage disposal is permitted with
the new procedure if county-issued garbage
roll carts are inadequate to meet customers’
garbage disposal needs.
Phase II of the sanitation service change
program, which will focus on recycling, is
expected to begin late October. Recycling roll
carts with a 65-gallon capacity will be available during Phase II for a one-time fee of $15.

More information on Phase II will be provided in the coming weeks.
For program updates or more details
about the sanitation service change, including a comprehensive list of frequently asked
questions, contact the Sanitation Division’s
customer service team at (404) 294-2900 or
sanitation@dekalbcountyga.gov, or visit the
“Rolling Forward to One” program website at
www.rollingforwardtoone.com.

Interim DeKalb County CEO to hold
community meetings
Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May
will hold a series of community meetings
throughout the county.
Titled “Up Close and Personal,” these
meetings are an opportunity for residents to
discuss issues important to them with May, including the county budget, government operations and other topics of community concern.
The meeting schedule is as follows:
Thursday, Oct. 8, 6:30-8 p.m., Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur;
Tuesday, Oct 13, 6:30-8 p.m., Lou Walker
Senior Center, 2538 Panola Road, Lithonia;
Thursday, Oct. 15, 6:30-8 p.m., Tucker-Reid Cofer Library, 5234 LaVista Road, Tucker;
Tuesday, Oct 20, 6:30-8 p.m., Derwin
Brown Memorial South Precinct, 2842 H.F.
Shepherd Drive, Decatur; and
Thursday, Oct. 22, 6:30-8 p.m., Welcome
Friend Baptist Church, 3198 Bouldercrest
Road, Ellenwood.

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, october 9, 2015Page 15A

Legacies Continued From Page 1A
Jackson-themed dance competition,
and a display of personal keepsakes
and heirlooms handed down from the
honorees.
DeKalb County Commissioner
Larry Johnson was one of many in
attendance and he recognized the value
in honoring the senior community. “This
is great. We are honoring our seniors and
the legacy that they have built for us in
our community,” Johnson said.
“Commemorating our seniors is
an important part of what makes our
community strong. I really appreciate
this celebration,” Atlanta City Council
member Natalyn M. Archibong said.
“Our seniors are the backbones of our
communities.”
Salone said the event welcomes all
generations to celebrate the legacies
of yesterday and tomorrow. And
that sentiment was echoed by her
daughters—Alleah, 20, and Ayana, 17.
For the sisters, it’s about the legacy
and passing it to the next generation.
“How do you fulfill what your
mother has taught you? And how do you
pass that down?” Ayana said.

That question would be answered
with Mothers Legacy—a nonprofit
organization, established by the sisters,
which supports organizations that help
others. The idea arose after Alleah
volunteered at the Atlanta Ronald
McDonald House as part of a high
school service project. Mothers Legacy
pays tribute to their grandmother
and its mission is to establish a legacy
through serving the community,
encouraging peers, embracing family and
strengthening their faith.
“It’s about love and giving back,”
Ayana said.
Their organization partnered with
WalMart to donate more than 300
bicycles for children in need. And they’ve
donated more than 30 cases of cereal to
the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House.
At the cookout, Mothers Legacy passed
out dozens of gift bags filled with school
supplies to youths in attendance.
“We look forward to bringing
awareness to more inspirational people
within our communities next year,”
Salone said.

A banner in front of the Salone residence welcomed guests. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Schools supplies were given
to children.

More than 200 people attended the event.

Lee May Continued From Page 1A
willing to do.”
A day after the report was released, Georgia
Gov. Nathan Deal asked the Georgia Bureau of
Investigation to review the investigation.
“As I have said all along, I welcome and support
all investigations into DeKalb County government, and this includes the governor’s announcement today,” May stated after the governor’s order.
“I have previously urged all county employees to
cooperate in all investigations, and that statement
still stands.”
In his report, delivered to the county Sept. 30,
Bowers stated that the county’s poor leadership
and widespread corruption “are a disgrace to its
citizens and an embarrassment to our state.”
The report states that “May and others conspired actively to block” the corruption investigation.
“I have not done that. I have not attempted to
control this report [or] the outcome of this report,”
May said. “I have not attempted to direct in any
way, shape or form the work that the [the investigators] have done.”
In addition to calling for May’s resignation, the
report recommended that:
• “A new day-to-day supervisor for all county
operations should be appointed, so the public’s
trust in the administration of DeKalb County
can begin to be restored. He or she should be
given full power and authority to manage all
county departments.”
• The county take “immediate steps to recover all

funds that were spent in violation of state law,
county policy or the Georgia Constitution. For
expenses that were improperly charged, but only
in violation of county policy, some form of amnesty should be offered if the funds are repaid.”
• “All spending by commission members and
their staffs should be posted on a public county
website each week.”
• Purchase cards should not be used and existing
accounts cards should be closed.
•“The ordinance should be enforced that forbids
department heads and elected or appointed public officers from borrowing money from subordinate employees or vendors. The sanction for this
conduct, which includes removal from office or
termination, should be enforced.”
• “All records of expenditures should be kept for at
least seven years.”
• “State funds, appropriated by the General Assembly, should be the sole source of funding for
the office of District Attorney.” This would ensure
that the DA is “free from actual, or apparent, undue influence by the county governing authority.”
• The board of commissioners “should determine
why there is a delay in getting bills paid and what
is needed to correct this problem.”
• The attorney general and a grand jury should determine “if there is probable cause to believe that
crimes have been committed.”
May said he will use the recommendations in
the report to “weed some of the bad apples.”
May said it was a great idea to bring in outside

investigators, but he picked the wrong people.
“The content of this report is at best laughable,
at worst it’s pitiful,” he stated.
“Frankly, I have to apologize to the taxpayers for this,” May said. “I erred in the selection of
Mike Bowers. I erred in the person we brought in
to do the investigation. I believe what we have to
date is disgraceful.”
May said he would ask for some of the $850,000
paid to the special investigators to be returned.
“They don’t have a blank check book. This is
about money for them,” May stated. “They started
early on saying that….this is going to cost so much
money.”
Saying Bowers’ team was paid nearly $2 million
for its investigation of the Atlanta Public Schools
cheating scandal, May added, “They will not get $2
million here in DeKalb County.
Citing various legal problems of Gwinnett
County leaders in the past few years, May said
DeKalb County’s government is “no more corrupt
than any county in this state.”
“The city of Atlanta has had challenges. Everywhere is going to have challenges. We’re going to
have challenges with people, with protocols, with
people doing the wrong thing,” May said.
“Yes, we do have challenges and we’re working to fix those challenges,” May said. “What I’m
charged to do is fix those.”

#itsinthechampion

October 2015

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

The Importance of Women in Leadership Positions
As the first female President
of The DeKalb Chamber of
Commerce, I am reminded of
how far we have grown as an
organization and a community.
I do not take the responsibilities
of this role lightly and recognize
that I would not be here today if it
were not for the women who have
lent me their shoulders to lean on
and those who have mentored and
shaped the course of my career.
Over the years, women have
made greats strides, yet still
remain a minority in executive
leadership positions. It is not out
of the ordinary for me to attend
a business meeting and be the
only woman in the room. It also
is not out of the ordinary that
I be asked to take notes when I
am the only woman in the room.
These experiences remind me that
there is a need for training and
leadership development for more
women.
Women in leadership positions
shift perspectives, influence
change and compassionately
consider all outcomes. Women
cannot make these contributions if
they are not present at the table or
given the opportunities. Imagine

the kind of world we would live in
if we could help more women rise
to executive leadership positions.
We all learn how to be our
very best when we have a role
model to emulate and form our
own standards. When young
girls see executive women in key
leadership roles, they recognize
the opportunities and possibilities
available to them. Women like
Donna Buchanan of United Way
of Greater Atlanta; Ann Cramer
of Coxe Curry & Associates; and
Susan Bell of Ernst & Young are
some leaders that I have been
fortunate enough to call my role
models and mentors.
As a result of the positive
influence I received in my life, I
wanted to give back and do more
for women in our community so
they may in turn one day help
another woman. A new program
that I developed for The DeKalb
Chamber of Commerce was the
Women Executive Leaders of
DeKalb (W.E.L.D.). This program
provides emerging leaders and
women business owners in
the metro Atlanta and DeKalb
County an opportunity to find
solutions and make an impact in

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce to
Hold Supply Drive to Benefit Cancer Center at DeKalb Medical
The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
To bring awareness to breast cancer and help provide relief to local
cancer patients, The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce will collect donation items to benefit the cancer patients receiving treatment at DeKalb
Medical.
For the supply drive, DeKalb Chamber will be collecting the following items: blankets, scarves, lip balms, hand sanitizers, individual tissue
packets, mints, ginger candy, journals, personal carry bags, and gently
used wigs.
DeKalb Chamber will collect donation items at any of their upcoming events in the month of October. If you would like to drop off any donation items, you may drop it off at our office located on 125 Clairemont
Avenue, Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030. For more details, please call our
office at 404-378-8000.

their business. Also, women who
participate in this program get
access and support from other
women leaders on how to grow
and become stronger leaders.
Regardless of the disparities,
women executives have managed
to succeed in key leadership
roles leading multigenerations
in the workplace. As this
landscape morphs to include
five generations, it becomes
increasingly important for leaders
to continue to develop their skills
and teams to collaborate with
synchronization and purpose.
On October 21, DeKalb
Chamber and AT&T will host a
women’s leadership luncheon with
Nzinga Shaw of Atlanta Hawks,
Beth Shiroishi of AT&T Georgia
and Susan Sim Oh of Telemundo
Atlanta who will share their
experiences of how they champion
the similarities and embrace the
differences of multigenerational
workforces.
The event is open to the public
for women and men and will
take place from 11:30 a.m. to
1:30 p.m. at the AT&T Corporate
Auditorium at 725 West Peachtree
Street NE in Atlanta.

We hope you will be able to
join us for this event. Tickets to
the event are $45 for members and
$55 for nonmembers and guests.
Sponsorship opportunities are still
available. For more information
and to register, please visit bit.ly/
WELDOct21.

Katerina Taylor
President and CEO
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

Upcoming Events
October 15 – 5:30 p.m. to
7:30 p.m. Business-After-Hours
presented by Farmers Insurance
- Bornelus Agency, Marlow’s
Tavern at Emory Point, 1520
Avenue Place, Suite 120,
Atlanta.
October 21 – 11:30 a.m. to
1:30 p.m. Women Leadership
in Today’s Multigenerational
Workforce presented by AT&T,
725 West Peachtree Street NE,
Atlanta.
November 17 - 11:30 a.m.
to 1:30 p.m. New Members
Orientation presented by The
Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Cornerstone Bank Community
Room, 125 Clairemont Avenue,
Decatur.
November 19 - 11:30 a.m. to
1:30 p.m. General Membership
Meeting – Economic Outlook
and Financial Impact 2016
with Keynote Speaker Dennis
Lockhart, Federal Reserve
Bank of Atlanta President
& CEO, presented by BB&T
Bank. Federal Reserve Bank of
Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street
NE, Atlanta.
Additional information
available on our events page:
www.dekalbchamber.org.

Brought to you in partnership with: The Champion Newspaper

BUSINESS

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page 17A

After opening originally on Euclid Avenue, Sevananda moved to this larger building on Moreland Avenue, but remains in the Little Five Points area. Fresh produce such as tomatoes, peppers and onions is featured daily at the natural foods market. Photos courtesy of Sevananda Natural Foods

Natural foods market celebrates 41 years in community
by Kathy Mitchell
“People like to know where their
food comes from and what’s in it.
We’re always glad to share that information. We don’t keep secrets,” said
Cheranna Dottin, marketing member services assistant at Sevananda
Natural Foods Market.
This month marks Sevananda’s
41st year in East Atlanta on the
DeKalb side of the Fulton-DeKalb
County line. While it has had ups
and downs over the years, according to Dottin, the general trend has
been growth. Sevananda, a memberowned cooperative, started as a small
store on Atlanta’s Euclid Avenue
and within a few years moved to its
current larger space on Moreland
Avenue as its product offerings and
customer base expanded.
Sevananda’s 2014 annual report
indicates that the business took a
loss in 2013 of more than $170,000,
but bounced back in 2014 to make a
profit of $143,441.
“We had some hardships and
almost closed at one point,” Dottin acknowledged, “but with excellent management and community
support we were able to turn that
around. Our general manager, Gary
Hilliard, especially deserves credit.”

Sevananda features vegan and
vegetarian food products with an
emphasis on organic, locally grown
and fair-trade products along with
vitamins and other food supplements. Dottin said the fact that the
market is a cooperative in part explains its 41-year success story. “Because we are member owned, we are
able to offer organic and fair-trade
products at a more affordable price
than consumers might find someplace else,” she said, adding that the
store has a philosophy of economic,
environmental and social responsibility.
The cooperative business model,
the market’s website explains, originated in mid-19th century when a
group of textile workers in England
pooled their resources to buy such
basic goods as flour, sugar, oatmeal
and butter at a lower price. The
model has since been used across the
globe to assure not only more affordable prices and quality products, but
honesty and respect in the marketplace.
While the store is open to the
general public, members receive a
discount and in profitable years get
a dividend. Other membership benefits include free classes and events.
Members in turn volunteer for tasks

around the store as well as at outreach programs such as those at colleges and festivals.
From when it first opened its
doors in 1974, Sevananda has emphasized what it refers to on its
website as “food integrity.” The store
excludes—to the extent that officials are aware of them—genetically
modified foods, products containing
artificial chemicals and products that
have been subjected to irradiation,
Dottin said.
“At Sevananda, we make it easy
to find out all there is to know about
the food you eat—what’s in it and
what isn’t, where it’s from, how it’s
grown, and who it’s grown by,” Sevananda’s website states.
“There’s a lot of interest in
healthy eating right now, especially
among young adults. Many celebrities have adopted vegan lifestyles and
that has prompted other people to
change their eating habits. In fact, we
get celebrities in the store from time
to time,” Dottin said.
Sevananda has some of the most
demanding food sourcing policies in
the grocery industry, according to its
website. “We have a FoodWatch program to provide educational awareness, changes in ingredients and legislative changes related to food safety

InnovatIon

and food security issues, and are
developing plans for special shelf tag/
labeling …to provide the information you need to make food choices
for your family,” the site reports. Such
labeling will tell consumers whether
foods are gluten-free, genetically
modified and whether they contain
animal products.
“We’re more than a store, we’re a
community,” Dottin said. “We have
a hot bar, where people can come
by and get a meal and just hang out
while they eat. We have classes where
nutritionists teach healthy eating or
chefs demonstrate ways to prepare
food. There are other wellness-related classes such as yoga, as well. It’s
a great store. The atmosphere here
is entirely different from what you’ll
find in other grocery stores. It’s really
homey and friendly.”
Sevananda will hold an anniversary celebration Oct. 24, 3-6 p.m. at
Montessori Academy, 1240 Euclid
Ave. NE, Atlanta. The event, which
will feature food, music and more,
is free to members; there is a $5 fee
for nonmembers. “This will be a
great opportunity for people to get to
know us,” Dottin said.

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

EDUCATION

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page 18A

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta representative Christopher
Harden voices his concerns with education for special needs
students.

DeKalb County School board members were in attendance at the
Hyatt Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina.

Wesleyan School alumnus William Lee

DeKalb County School District Superintendent Stephen Green
addresses members of the Chamber of Commerce as well as
invited guest.

Brenda Reid, co-chairwoman of the DeKalb Chamber Education
Committee welcomed attendees and introduced guest speaker
Stephen Green.

School superintendent updates
business partners
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
It’s been a little more than 90
days since DeKalb County School
District Superintendent Stephen
Green was sworn in.
On Oct. 1 Green presented
an update to DeKalb Chamber of
Commerce members and guest to
share his vision and plans to work
with the businesses and local community.
Green said the district is in the
process of “reinventing ourselves,
reimagining ourselves and rebuilding ourselves.”
He said since his inception in
DeKalb County he believes the
school district has “a tremendous
potential to grow and contribute in
several areas to this community,”
including: economic development,
workforce readiness and neighborhood revitalization.
The October general membership meeting was presented by
Publix Super Markets and GeorgiaPacific at the Hyatt Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina from 11:30
a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Among the dozens of people

who attended the event were Board
of Education Members Marshall
Orson, Stan Jester, Jim McMahan
and Joyce Morley.
Green said the primary focus of
the district currently is to “get dialed back into our core business.”
He added, “The core business
for the DeKalb County School District is teaching and learning. The
place in which that teaching and
learning takes place is in the classrooms. It becomes vitally important
that we have a system that allows
us to monitor, measure and assess
how we’re doing in our core business work.”
Green said the district building
a “system that allows us to monitor
and measure the quality of instruction in the classroom.”
He said he’s charged everyone
in the central office who are on
the director level or higher to visit
classrooms and observe “our core
business at work.”
Green said the goal of the classroom visits is to have directors lend
support and feedback in the classrooms to improve effectiveness.
“We have a ways to go before
we get the system exactly where we

want it,” Green said.
He added, “When we have a
system designed like this there can
be no doubt about knowing where
we are, what we need to do to improve and get better.”
Due to overcrowding issues the
school district has made plans to
build a new school within the Cross
Keys cluster.
Green said, “That can be a catalyst for bringing a neighborhood
back that is challenged.”
The district has also planned
to tear down and rebuild McNair
Middle School to which Green said,
“there is an opportunity for all of us
to bring back a neighborhood that
may be struggling.”
Additionally Green addressed
the DeKalb County School District’s status on Gov. Nathan Deal’s
opportunity school district list.
Green said the board soon will
unveil its plan to get off the list.
He said he envisions the plan
will “remove DeKalb schools off
the list and out of the conversation
around the opportunity school district.”

Advanced Placement
scholar recognized
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
William Lee of Dunwoody is a
National Advanced Placement (AP)
Scholar who scored a 4 or 5 on all eight
AP exams he took while in high school.
The AP Program recognizes high
school students who have demonstrated outstanding college-level achievement through AP courses and exams
with the AP Scholar Awards.
Lee took AP exams for United
States history, European history, chemistry, biology, physics, statistics, calculus and English which allows him
to receive credit toward his bachelor’s
degree.
He said, “The goal was always to
learn the material, placing out was secondary. I think if you go into it looking
to place out then you are setting yourself up for failure because your motivation is in the wrong spot.”
The class of 2015 salutatorian of
Wesleyan School was the third student
from the school to receive National
AP Scholar status, Chelsey Derks, a
spokeswoman for Wesleyan School,
said. Lee averaged 4.88 across his Advance Placement exams, Derks said.
Lee currently attends the University
of Pennsylvania where he will declare a
major by the end of this year.
He said, “Having a solid background in many subjects is really helpful when you go into your introductory
college classes.”
He advised current high school
students “not to feel the need to pigeon
hole yourself in one area.”

EDUCATION

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page 19A

DeKalb County Board of Education officials address staff, administration and parents during the business session.

District targets school performance
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
For more than three months
DeKalb County School Superintendent Stephen Green has recited his
key strategies to improve the school
district: collaboration, creative thinking, creativity, care and communication.
On Oct. 5 at the DeKalb County
Board of Education meeting Green
shared his vision and strategies during a follow up discussion on the district’s strategic plans.
The discussion was lead by Leadership Development Coordinator
Linda Frazer, who presented a review of the district’s strategic plan for
achieving student success.
The five-year plan includes the
district’s efforts to retain highly
qualified staff, develop an effective
and accountable workforce, provide
safe and orderly learning and working environments, maintain fiscal
responsibility, increase graduation
rates for all students, bridge communication with stakeholders and many
more initiatives.
The plan was first revealed in
August 2013 and in December 2013
the board of education approved the
plan’s vision, mission, beliefs, goal
areas and performance objectives.
Frazer said once those items were

approved the strategic plan became
“a living, breathing document.”
Frazer said after a year of implementation a fiscal year 2015 comprehensive review was conducted.
“This comprehensive process engaged our community and all of our
stakeholder groups so that we could
create universal ownership to support our efforts for school improvements,” Frazer said.
She added, “The desired outcome
of the strategic plan was to align the
work that we’re doing from the board
room all the way to the classroom
with the sole purpose of increasing
student achievement and organizational effectiveness.”
Frazer said the district used data
from the previous year to make the
revisions needed in the 2016 fiscal
year.
She said, “Under the leadership
of our superintendent we have added
additional initiatives and strategic
priorities with performance measures and targets.”
The plan will once again be revised and review for the 2016 fiscal
year at the Dec. 7 board of education
work session meeting.
School board member Joyce
Morley said she is thankful for the
data and input collected through
community forums, focus groups
and listening sessions to engage the

stakeholders.
“I like that we have quite a few
things in place that could make sure
that we actually achieve what we’re
supposed to be doing,” she said.
District leaders have created
performance measures, targets and
initiatives to lead each division to
achieve their goal areas and performance objectives.
A monitoring and data collection
process for the strategic plan also has
been developed and implemented.
In addition, training sessions
are offered to all principals to support the work of aligning, refining,
monitoring, and evaluating the local
school’s efforts.
Green established a task force
this year to implement his focus on
curriculum, instruction, accountability and assessment throughout the
district.
Regional superintendents Triscilla Weaver and Trenton Arnold
are co-chairs for the task force.
Green said the primary focus of
the task force is to “make sure that in
K-12 there are no gaps and we can
follow the progression of a student.”
Green recently charged the task
force to visit and exam classrooms
using a generic rubric.
He said the goal of the visits is to
have directors lend support and feedback in the classrooms to improve

effectiveness.
Arnold said, “What we started off
doing is really examining individual
schools’ definitions of rigor and what
does that look like because if you
have 140 different definitions then
you’re going to have 140 varying levels of rigor.”
“We’ve got to come up with a
norm definition of what rigor should
look like at a bare minimum and
that’s sort of our starting point,” Arnold said.
He added, “When we go back
into the school house we’re going to
go back out looking at that, in collaboration with our principals and
school house leaders so that the district can develop strategies to further
support what needs to be done and
what [the schools] need to help implement that rigor and a higher level
of thinking skills that we’re looking
for.”
Green said he plans to hire a firm
to rebuild, realign and audit the district’s curriculum.
“The next step in the process is
to add to that instrument and then
go back out into the schools again
with an enhanced version of the first
version of the rubric we had adding
more features each time as we go to
be cumulative,” Green said.

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The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page 20A

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SPORTS

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

Player profile:
Kyla Manning
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
The volleyball area tournaments are
coming up and Chamblee High School, led
by junior Kayla Manning, who on a mission to come out of the tournament with
the region title.
The Lady Bulldogs finished fourth in
the Area 6-AAAA tournament last season,
but still qualify for the state playoffs. Manning said her team members have to get on
the same page to win the region.
“We have to figure some stuff out as a
team,” she said. “We have different people
and different mindsets and we have to get
on the same page before we step into the
region tournament because we’re going in
to it to win it. So, we have to get our mindset together.”
Manning leads DeKalb County in kills
per match with 8.1 kills. She credits her
teammates for her success on the court.
“This season I feel like we have a great
group of girls and it makes it easy for
me,” she said. “You see me as No. 1 in the
county for hitting but [my teammates] are
the reason why. They allow me to be in
system and to get these kills. The biggest
part about this season is the group of girls
that we have this year has allowed me to be

Football
Scores
Oct. 2
Newton (5-1) 37, Tucker (3-3) 20
SW DeKalb (2-3) 28, M.L. King (1-4)
14
Stephenson (4-1) 34, Miller Grove (3-2)
0
Redan (3-3) 30, Chamblee (2-3) 0
St. Pius X (3-2) 30, Columbia (3-3) 15
Marist (5-1) 41, Lithonia (3-3) 8
Alcovy (1-5) 15, Lakeside (3-3) 12
Oct. 3
Druid Hills (3-2) 34, Dunwoody (2-3) 0
Arabia Mountain (2-3) 24, Stone
Mountain (0-6) 0
Open
Cedar Grove (4-1)
Clarkston (0-5)
Cross Keys (0-3)
Decatur (4-1)
McNair (1-4)
Towers (1-4)

at the top right now.”
Last season, Manning finished second
in the county in kills per match (8.5), behind Dunwoody alumna Paige McKnight.
Manning said her focus coming into the
2015 season was on becoming a better vocal leader.
“Last season I wasn’t as expressive
as I needed to be on the court,” she said.
“I didn’t show my emotions as well as I
needed to to benefit the team, but this year
I make sure that I’m loud and I’m talking
to everyone and everyone knows how I’m
feeling all of the time. I just want everyone
to know where I am in the game so that
they can contribute and they can do it too.
I’m doing my best to lead by example.
“I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a player,
not necessarily in my skill level, but in my
attitude,” she added. “I’m a lot more confident when I step out on the court than I
was last season or the year before. I feel like
I’ve grown into myself as a player.”
Although she said she feels Chamblee
(23-14) could have done better this season,
she said this season was a good one for the
Lady Bulldogs.
“This is the best year out of all the
years I’ve been here and that’s something
in itself,” she said.

Athlete of
the Week
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 carla@
dekalbchamp.com by Monday at noon.
MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Arquese Geter, Druid Hills (football): The
senior running back scored three first half
touchdowns in the 34-0 win over Dunwoody
Oct. 2. He led the rushing attack that put up
more than 300 yards on Dunwoody’s defense.
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Kayla Phillips, Arabia Mountain (softball):
The junior pitcher had a perfect game in the
18-0 win over Druid Hill Sept. 28. She had
a 0.00 ERA, allowing no hits and pitched 9
strikeouts in four innings. She also had a .750
batting average, with three hits and four RBIs.

SPORTS

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page 22A

track

Dunwoody win the boys’ title, knocking off the five-time defending champion Lakeside. Photos by
Mark Brock
Dunwoody sophomore Chloe Thomas won Dunwoody eighth grader Max Mowrer
the individual girls’ title with a time of
(11:20:30) won the boys’ individual
14:23.91.
title.

Dunwoody sweeps county JV
cross country championships
by Mark Brock
The Dunwoody Wildcats
completed the sweep of the boys’
and girls’ DeKalb County Junior
Varsity Cross Country Championships Oct. 1 for the first time
since 2010.
Lakeside last completed the
sweep in the 2010 season over
Chamblee (girls) and Dunwoody
(boys).
The Lady Wildcats (19
points) bested the Lakeside Lady
Vikings (37 points) for the fifth
consecutive year with five finishers in the Top 10. Druid Hills
followed in third (89 points) with
Chamblee (99 points) finishing
fourth, Stephenson (145 points)
in fifth and Tucker (166 points)
in sixth.
Dunwoody sophomore
Chloe Thomas took the individual title with a time of 14:23.91,
while sophomore teammate Julie
Hensley (14:39.37) was runnerup and freshman Kathryn
Marion (14:41.07) followed her
teammates in third.
Sophomore Kate Hudson
(14:57.58) was fifth and freshman
Megan Johnson (15:19.63) was
eighth as Dunwoody dominated
the Top 10.
Lakeside was led by eighth
grader Santai-Blu Boyd
(14:56.55) in fourth, while fellow
eighth grader Hana Baniassad
(15:13.73) claimed sixth for the
Lady Vikings. Sophomores Au-

drey Hewett (15:17.59) and Brittani Andrieni (15:27.77) were
seventh and ninth, respectively,
for Lakeside.
Chamblee eighth grader
Maya Torres (15:32.27) claimed
the final spot in the Top 10.
Dunwoody boys (21 points)
also claimed five spots in the Top
10, including the first three to
cross the line, to knock off the
five-time defending champions
Lakeside Vikings (53).
Eighth grader Max Mowrer
(11:20:30) averaged just over five
minutes and 40 seconds per mile
to win by 23 seconds over freshman teammate Samuel Mahle
(11:43.24) and sophomore Max
Marion (11:48.51) as Dunwoody
went one-two-three in the boys’
race.
Freshmen Phineas Haq
(12:17.03) and Alexander Herod
(12:19.40) finished seventh and
eighth, respectively, for the Wildcats.
Lakeside freshman Jay
Clinton (11:49.44) led the Vikings’ charge in fourth while
sophomore teammate Gilberto
Angeles-Quionones (12:19.58)
was ninth.
Clarkston had a pair of runners in the Top 10 in freshman
Rukundo Uwimana (11:55.44)
in fifth and sophomore Kahsay
Sahlu (12:11.46) in sixth.
Sophomore Ermais Genet of
Druid Hills took 10th with a time
of 12:22.03.

Dunwoody girls won its fifth consecutive JV title.

Stop Cyber
bullying now
Stand up and Speak out

SPORTS

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page 23A

FOOTball

Stephenson Coach Ron Gratrell credited current and former players and coaches for reaching 200 career wins. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Ron Gartrell gets 200th career win
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Stephenson Head Coach Ron
Gartrell joined an elite club
Oct. 2, becoming the 53rd Georgia
high school football coach to win
200 games.
His 200th win came after a
34-0 win over Miller Grove at Buck
Godfrey Stadium. The win improved Gartrell’s coaching record
to 200-107 (.651winning percentage) in 28 seasons as a head coach
in DeKalb County. He became the
second DeKalb coach to reach 200
wins, with legendary Hall of Fame
coach William “Buck” Godfrey
(273-89-1) for whom former Panthersville stadium was recently
renamed.
Gartrell said it felt great to
reach another career milestone.
“I’m thankful for all the people
that were a part of all of this and
making this possible,” he said. “It
hasn’t quite sunk in yet but I’m
sure it will down the road.”
Gartrell is 164-61 in 20 seasons

(1996-2015) at Stephenson and was
33-46 (1988-95) at Shamrock (now
a middle school). He has a string of
15 consecutive seasons with a playoff appearance at Stephenson and
took Shamrock to its only playoff
appearance in 1991.
Gartrell has assisted in sending
hundreds of players to college, and
some have gone on to play in the
NFL.
He said the 200th is in his top
five of coaching accomplishments.
“It’s a situation where everybody who had a hand in it can
appreciate it—all the players I’ve
had over the years and all of the
coaches I’ve worked with, all the
administrators and principals,” he
said. “Everybody who has been associated with what happened the
last 28 years, that’s the most thrilling thing. It’s just not something I
did myself, a lot of people where
involved.”
Gartrell will go for win No.
201 Oct. 9, when Stephenson (4-1)
faces Dunwoody (2-3) at Hallford
Stadium.

Gartrell is 164-61 in 20 seasons (1996-2015) at Stephenson and was 33-46 (1988-95) at Shamrock (now a middle school).

local

PageChampion
24A The
Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015
The
FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015Page
24A

Pet Week
of
the

Ines ID# 28605709 is one
smart cookie! This happy 2
year old Pittie girl knows how
to sit, shake, lay down, and will
even stand on her hind legs
when asked! Ines seems to
be very receptive to positive
training techniques and would
absolutely love to learn more
tricks. She is a lively girl who
would be an awesome hiking,
running and napping on the
couch buddy. Ines gets along
great with other dogs and would
probably do well in a home with
a canine companion. Come
meet Ines at Dekalb County Animal Services!

If you adopt Ines in October during our “Fall in Love” special;
her adoption is FREE including his spay, vaccines and microchip
all at no additional charge. If you would like more information
about Ines please email adoption@dekalbanimalservices.com
or call (404) 294-2165. All potential adopters will be screened to
ensure Ines goes to a good home.

Peachcrest Continued From Page 11A
a computer room and a teen
center.
The center has a swimming
pool which soon will be open
for neighborhood and church
programs.
Aerobics, dancing, cheerleading, cooking classes,
drama, soccer, a men’s club,
Home League, flag football
and lessons for musical instruments and Bible study, also are
available at the location.
“When I was growing up,
we didn’t have this, “Sullivan
said. “We only had a little bitty
small center and it was mostly
overrun with kids.”
Sullivan said it’s the personal touch by his 12-member
team that is affecting the children who attend the club.
“We make it a personal
point to get to know the kids.
That’s respect,” Sullivan said.
“When I talk with these
kids, I tell them my story–what
I used to do,” Sullivan said.
“And they look at me [and say],
‘You were hooked on crack for
five years? You used to drink
[alcohol]?’
“I feel like God placed me
in here because of my past,
what I went through growing
up in poverty, growing up with

a single mom [and] brothers
and sisters,” Sullivan said. “So I
can relate to what a lot of these
kids are going through.
“If I’ve been transferred
and brought out of my situation, maybe God has placed
me here to help bring some of
these kids out of theirs,” he
said.
Sullivan said many parents
have told him that the work of
the Boys and Girls Club and
Salvation Army “has really
made an impact on my kid.”
“When a kid comes up
to you and tells you, ‘I want
to start hanging out with the
church kids. I want to start doing what they’re doing–doing
Bible study and reading the
Bible–you’re doing something
right.
“We have kids come up
and tell us that all the time,”
Sullivan said. “That’s the impact that’s being made. Lives
are being changed.
“When they see you in
the building, they run up to
you and give you a hug. To
me, that’s positive,” Sullivan
said. “Something’s happening,
something’s going on right
here in this place.”