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FRIDAY, november 13, 2015 • VOL. 18, NO. 31 • FREE

thechampionnewspaper.com

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

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Investigation opened for
potential election fraud
in LaVista Hills vote
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

T

wo days after Georgia Secretary of State
Brian Kemp opened
an investigation into alleged
election fraud in the referendum of the proposed city of
LaVista Hills, proponents of
the city announced that they
will explore legal action.
LaVists Hills Alliance announced Nov. 7 that it has
retained legal counsel to explore possible legal action to
challenge the validity of the
Nov. 3 vote.

The LaVista Hills referendum was defeated by 136
votes. According to WSB-TV,
Leonard Piazza, an election supervisor at DeKalb
County’s Office of Voter
Registration and Elections,
alleged that he found an unsecured memory card Nov. 4
that contained results from
the Briarlake Elementary
precinct.
In a Nov. 5 statement,
Kemp said he takes any allegation of elections fraud
seriously.
“Our office has opened
an official investigation of

Elections volunteers line up in the DeKalb elections office late Nov. 3 to turn in poll results. Photos by
Andrew Cauthen

possible criminal activity
during the Nov. 3 elections
in DeKalb County,” Kemp
said. “Given the serious na-

ture of these allegations, I
have asked the Center for
Elections at Kennesaw State

University and the GBI to assist in this investigation.
“I asked the GBI to assist

See Lavista on page 19A

U.S. diplomat aims to spark career exploration

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas Greenfield speaks to Stone
Mountain High School Students.

by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
Educators strive to prepare students for the “real
world” by teaching them to
read, write, calculate and
to be prepared for the unknown.
On Nov. 9 Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Afri-

can Affairs Linda ThomasGreenfield spoke with hundreds of students at Stone
Mountain High School in an
effort to expose students to
career options that they may
not have heard of before.
“I think it’s really important for students to hear
about different options for
career paths that they may

Stone Mountain High School students crowd the theater to hear from the U.S. diplomat.

not be exposed to. I have
made it my mission to make
sure that young people learn
about the state department
and learn about the foreign
service so that they can consider it among many options
for their futures,” ThomasGreenfield said.
Freshmen, sophomores,
juniors and seniors filled

the school’s theater to hear
Thomas-Greenfield speak.
The school’s Navy Junior
Reserve Officers Training
Corps administered the
presentation of colors, student Cheyenne Murray led
the audience in the Pledge
of Allegiance, and scholars
Tiffany Nguyen and Astyn
Maddox welcomed students

to the event, and introduced
the speaker.
At the conclusion of the
event Stone Mountain High
School Principal James Jones
presented Thomas-Greenfield with a token of appreciation for speaking with the
students.
Thomas-Greenfield works
in a division of government

See Diplomat on page 19A

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2A The
Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november Page
13, 2015
The
FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015
2A

Lithonia businesswoman wins state position after three tries
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
Lithonia businesswoman
Doreen Carter has tried
three times to win a state political position.
In 2012, she ran unsuccessfully for House District
92. Last year, she garnered the
Democratic nomination for
secretary of state, but didn’t
win the election.
But the third time was
the right time for Carter. On
Nov. 3, she defeated Sherri
Washington 52.68 percent to
47.32 percent to win the race
for House District 92, which
includes portions of DeKalb
and Rockdale counties. The
special election was help to
fill the vacancy created when
Tonya Anderson resigned to
run in the special election for
State Senate District 43.
“Timing is everything,”
Carter said. “I think it’s a really good time to be elected
now in the state house. The
last three years I have had an
opportunity to stay engaged
doing some things in the
community.
“People have been able
to see that it’s not just about
being elected; it’s really been
about serving for me,” she
said. “Even though I didn’t
win in 2012, I stayed involved.”
Carter is the president of
the Greater Lithonia Chamber of Commerce and is a
former Lithonia City Council
member. She chaired the
South DeKalb Improvement
Alliance and the East Metro
DeKalb Community Improvement District formation
committee, and helped form
the Stonecrest Business Alliance
“Even though I didn’t win
in 2012, this is a great time
and I’ve had an opportunity
to build some constituencies
and have some initiatives that
have been positive,” Carter
said.
Carter, owner of the
Wealth and Wisdom Resource Group, a financial services firm, said, “It didn’t hurt
to be the Democratic nominee for secretary of state last
year, which gave me an even
broader view of the needs of
the people of Georgia.”
“Being able to travel
around the state and hear
from voters about their concerns…will allow me to be
more conscious of the decisions and how [they are] going to affect Georgians overall,” she said.
Carter said her run for

Doreen Carter’s failed run for secretary of state paved the way for her
to win a Georgia House seat.

secretary of state taught her
that “we really have to address
voter suppression in Georgia.”
“We have to address expanding opportunities for
people to be able to vote and
have greater access,” Carter

said.
Carter said she now
understands “from traveling around the state how far
people have to drive to vote
and how some of the decisions that leaders are making

around the state make it hard
for some people to vote.”
Carter said she also
learned that it’s important to
expand Medicaid and have
affordable healthcare.
We’re hearing about hospitals [that] are closing and
people’s lives are being lost
because they don’t have access
to quality healthcare,” Carter
said. “Traveling around the
state broaden my perspective
and increased my compassion.”
Carter said her top two
issues are education and economic development.
“You really can’t have
thriving economy without
a thriving education,” said
Carter, who is hoping she will

be able to serve on the house
education committee.
Carter said her win “feels
good.”
“I haven’t had an opportunity to soak it in,” Carter
said about her win. “That
night when we finally saw
the numbers, I just thought,
‘Wow. God is good.’
“I am humbled and
honored to have the vote of
confidence of DeKalb and
Rockdale citizens as they have
elected me as their State Representative,” she said.
“It’s a great opportunity
for us to have someone that
will stay connected in the
community and be diligent at
the State House,” Carter said.

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The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015

local

Page 3A

DeKalb honors its vets
by Andrew Cauthen
Andrew@dekalbchamp.com

Seniors gathered at the Lou Walker Senior Center on Nov. 5 to recognize the service of DeKalb’s
veterans. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

America’s veterans were honored during a Veterans Day program Nov. 5 at the Lou Walker
Senior Center.
“We have honored our heroes
here today to remember their
achievements, their courage, and
most of all, their dedication and
we say ‘thank you’ for your sacrifices,” said Bettye Davis, director
of the Lou Walker Senior Center.
“Thank you for answering the
call.”
The ceremony, titled “A Day
Of Honor–Celebrating Those
Who Served in the United States
Armed Forces and Other Countries,” featured song and dance
performances.
Among the veterans who addressed the assembly was DeKalb
County Commissioner Stan Watson.
“We have to make sure that
we remember those who served–
those that are homeless, those
that are mentally incapable, those
that didn’t have a bed last night.
Those are some of the veterans
we have to serve,” Watson said.
Watson said when he left the
U.S. Navy, one of his first jobs
was at the Veterans Administration Center.
“I had the opportunity to see
people that looked like me that
needed help [and] needed jobs,”
he said. “We want to make sure
today that we take care of our
veterans because we all are on the
battlefield.”
Interim DeKalb County CEO
Lee May, the event’s keynote
speaker, said, “Thank you all, veterans, for doing what you did and
serving our country regardless of
what the country did for you.

“A lot of people served this
country, but the country didn’t
in turn serve them,” May said.
“We’ve got too many stories about
people who have served our
country in times of war and then
they came back and didn’t even
recognize the country that they
loved.”
May said that it is shameful
that many veterans returned to
the country and did not have “a
house to live in, food to eat and a
job [so] that they can feed themselves.
“We’ve got to do better…to
take care of our precious veterans, young and old,” May said.
May said Veterans Day is
celebrated “to give our flowers...
when people can smell the roses.
We’ve got to give them their encouragement now. We’ve got to
thank them now.”
May said DeKalb County is
participating in an initiative started by President Barack Obama
to end veteran homelessness nationwide.
“We stepped forward and said
we would accept that challenge,”
May said. “It was our goal to
house 338 homeless veterans this
year. We have housed 482 to date.
“We have to be deliberate
[about] how we offer services
and help to our veterans in need.
They have done so much for us.
Freedom isn’t free. It costs something,” May said.
“When [veterans] step forward and gave us their service, we
owe them something,” May said.
“God is looking at how we
treat our vets,” he said. “You
can’t love God and not love your
neighbor. “when you talk about
helping those in need and loving
God, you have to do something.”

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015

OPINION

Page 4A

Our trashy, trashy ways
Miniature liquor bottles,
fast food bags, beer cans,
Styrofoam containers, plastic
cups, chip bags and more
littler our roadways in abundance.
In addition to seeing this
unsightly mess while driving through DeKalb County,
I’m even more aware of our
trashy habits after spending
a recent Saturday morning picking up some of this
bounty in my Stone Mountain neighborhood.
I’ll be the first to admit
that I rejected the idea when
my husband suggested at 8
a.m. that we volunteer and
join the 9 a.m. cleanup effort. “Been there, done that”

Gale Horton Gay
gale@dekalbchamp.com

Lifestyle Editor

was my immediate response
(although honestly it was
at least 10 years ago), and
“I need more notice” was a

letter to the editor

Support needed for
clean power plan
President Obama’s recent Keystone Pipeline
victory should be celebrated; however, there is
still more work to do. For example, support is
needed for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
The EPA’s Clean Power Plan is the
cornerstone of President Obama’s Climate
Action Plan, and is the most significant piece
of federal climate action ever. The Clean Power
Plan will reduce carbon emissions by 32 percent
by the year 2030.
Despite its benefits, The Clean Power Plan is
not without its opponents. Since the release of
the plan in August, 24 states and many utilities
have joined a lawsuit to stop the Clean Power
Plan from taking effect. On Nov. 19-20, the
EPA will hold one of four nationwide hearings
in Atlanta. The purpose of the hearings is to
take comment on the proposed Clean Power
Plan. Supporters of the plan are asked to testify
at the hearings being held on Nov. 19-20, at
the Sam Nunn Federal Building, 35 Forsyth St.
SW, Atlanta. To register for a speaker slot, go to
sc.org/cpphearingatl.
If you cannot testify, at least educate yourself
and others about the impact of climate change.
One way to do this is to join me in working with
our local Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). CCL is
working to convince Congress to take action on
the issue of climate change. If you want to know
more about CCL, go to citizensclimatelobby.org.
Climate Change is a people’s issue. It cuts
across all socioeconomic strata, particularly
impacting people of color and those who reside
in low-income areas. Due to its far reaching
impact, all of us need to be engaged in the
struggle. To find out what you can do, or to learn
more about the issue, please contact me.
Janet S. Young, PhD
The Natural Pathway, LLC
healthynulife@yahoo.com

tagged a lame excuse.
Apparently I wasn’t the
only one who didn’t want to
leave my bed for the greater
good because out of a neighborhood of 1,400 homes a
mere eight residents showed
up, including two teens
whose demeanors clearly
indicated this was their
mother’s idea.
Equipped with reflective vests, pick-up sticks and
plastic trash bags, we took to
Rockbridge Road.
It didn’t take long to encounter a little trash here
and there before hitting areas
where the litter that’s visible
from the roadway was scattered down a ravine. In these

areas that were difficult to
reach and potentially dangerous to maneuver within, the
garbage was thick. Our crew
of five stayed on the areas
closest to the roadway and
within 90 minutes, our bags
were full.
I found myself wondering
why so many people apparently care so little about the
places where they live and
travel through. Is it disdain
for others, the result of being
angry or learned behavior?
Say what we will about
what politicians, county
department heads and staff
need to do to improve our
county, we individually also
should consider asking if

we’re contributing to our
community’s deterioration.
Do we toss trash out car
windows or litter when walking through our neighborhoods? Do we talk to our
children and young people
about littering and how
each of us is responsible for
the upkeep of our community? Have we taken time to
roll up our sleeves to join a
neighborhood cleanup or
beautification project?
Keeping DeKalb beautiful
is more than a catchy phrase.
It requires caring, commitment to changing our ways
and pitching in to make our
keep our neighborhoods as
beautiful as we can.

OPINION

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015

Page 5A

One Man’s Opinion

Hello; Tucker; Goodbye, LaVista Hills
“Hasta la vista baby!” Arnold Schwarzenegger, quoted
from the film Terminator 2:
Judgment Day (1991).
At last, a healthy number of DeKalb voters in
what might have been municipalities number 10 & 11
have spoken. Hello, Tucker,
and goodbye, LaVista Hills
(LVH). A pending investigation may result in a re-vote,
though those are rare in
Georgia, as LaVista Hills
supporters currently have
lawyers reviewing a number
of allegations of election day
hijinks.
During high school and
college, I worked in DeKalb
County grocery stores
(Winn-Dixie) and later as a
waiter, in locations as varied
as South Hairston Road at
Covington Highway, Moreland Avenue near the city of
Atlanta line, Tucker, Emory
and Embry Hills. I gained
early on an appreciation for
and exposure to the charms
and differences of our many
towns and the communities
which surrounded them. 
Jump ahead 40 years,
and the soon-to-be 30,000plus residents of the city
of Tucker always had a
downtown, commercial
district, central post office,
well-established local businesses, a school cluster and
growing retail strip along
Lawrenceville Highway, as
well as Hugh Howell Road.

Bill Crane
bill.csicrane@gmail.com

Columnist

A nearby industrial district,
and the later retail, and white
collar office employment in
the Northlake Mall area also
formed a reasonably compact
community, of predominantly middle and upper middle
class home owners.
LaVista Hills by contrast
is a widely varied hodgepodge from Embry Hills to
Toco Hills and from the edge
of Brookhaven and DeKalb’s
PDK Airport heavy with
multifamily housing and
legal and undocumented
immigrants, to the tonier
and more upscale Lakeside,
Briarcliff Woods, Breckenridge and other major
subdivisions near the center
of the proposed city. In addition to these demographic
distinctions, there was no
logical center or “place” to
put a town center, with the
two possible exceptions of
bulldozing the Briarcliff
High School campus or tak-

ing over/locating in an existing office park, as initially
the newer DeKalb cities of
Dunwoody and Brookhaven
have done.
Despite the common and
growing contempt for the inability to properly function
of a widening array of agencies and departments within
DeKalb County government,
creating new cities has not
proven to be a panacea. 
Arguments have been
and will be made about the
costs of adding an additional
layer of government, or the
potentially better delivered
services from the smaller
governments, positioned as
being “closer” to their constituents. 
But, in Dunwoody and
Brookhaven, each new burg
will be on its third mayor by
the time same are sworn in
this upcoming January. 
Dunwoody became a city
in 2008, and Brookhaven in
2012. That degree of turnover, six mayors in a combined 10 years, may not suggest that something is rotten
in Denmark, but it certainly
does suggest that the clean
break from unincorporated
DeKalb did not overnight
deliver these communities to
the Promised Land either.
As the Georgia General
Assembly considers a complete reworking of the organizational charter for DeKalb
County in the coming year, I

will offer only five CEOs into
the current structure (elected
CEO and county commission). That, I believe, is more
about who is running and
who we elect as our leaders
than it is about structure. A
comparison to or review of
some of DeKalb’s earlier lessthan-stellar choices for the
office of sheriff, prior to the
long, strong and steady tenure of former Sheriff Thomas Brown is particularly instructive on this point.
It is unlikely that the
stronger supporters for LVH
will simply ride off into the
sunset anytime soon. Most
likely, along with the proposed burgs of Greenhaven
and Stonecrest, LVH advocates will simply emerge with
smaller boundaries and likely
another name next year. 
That said, without the
split of the Northlake commercial district, the numbers
for LVH are extremely reliant
on a predominantly residential property tax base, hardly
providing the depth for the
long list of municipal services that LVH was planning
to provide.
So again welcome
Tucker, Georgia to DeKalb’s
“league of cities”—Atlanta
in DeKalb, Avondale Estates,
Brookhaven, Chamblee,
Clarkston, Decatur,
Doraville, Dunwoody,
Lithonia, Pine Lake and
Stone Mountain. And again,

a warm embrace for those
of us in unincorporated
DeKalb, and places such as
Scottdale, Stonecrest, Toco
Hills and Briarcliff Woods—
home is right where you are
and it doesn’t necessarily require its own city hall.
And, at least until the next
election, Hasta LaVista, Baby.
Bill Crane also serves as a
political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action
News, WSB-AM News/Talk
750 and now 95.5 FM, as well
as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press
and Georgia Trend. Crane is
a DeKalb native and business
owner, living in Scottdale. You
can reach him or comment
on a column at bill.csicrane@
gmail.com. 

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

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

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

local

PageChampion
6A The
Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november Page
13, 2015
The
FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015
6A

Margo Waters
In 1994, at the height of
her career as a hair stylist
and salon owner in Tennessee, Margo Waters was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis
(MS), a long-lasting disease
that affects the immune system.
Trumped by illness and
the death of her mother Waters closed the doors of her
salon and sought help.
“It was really devastating–the disease and the passing of my mother who was
my biggest supporter,” she
said. “My biggest challenge
was not knowing that there
was life after disability.”
Waters got help from her
brother and eventually the
two moved to Georgia.
“It took a while for me
to go through the transition
of working and not working
with no resources, applying for benefits and getting
denied. It was just a rough

four to five years,” she said. It
was a situation where I didn’t
have too many choices so I
just had to keep moving, relocate and get help.”
Waters started volunteering at disABILITY LINK, an
organization led by and for
people with disabilities that
aims to promote full partici-

pation in community life.
She said once she started
volunteering with the organization she realized there were
more opportunities available.
“It seemed like a door
started to open and I’ve always been a firm believer
that when a door opens you
step through it and see what’s
on the other side,” she said.
Through Waters’ involvement with disABILITY LINK
she started to learn more
about her condition and her
options.
She said she was uninsured and unemployed at the
time so she decided to participate in a research study
at the Shepherd Center to
get the medical attention she
needed.
The study lasted for four
years.
“Throughout the whole
period I was trying to get my
benefits started,” she said.

“I was starting to get better,
I could move on with my
life and start working. Even
though my condition has
progressed, it’s been so slow
that I don’t see it. I just think,
“Keep it moving and keep it
going.
“It was challenging but
support from my family and
disABILITY LINK got me
through it,” she added.
Waters battle with MS
has affected her ability to
walk.
She said following her
initial treatments she decided
to move to Decatur and
“from there my life started
expanding.”
Waters was hired as a
mystery rider for MARTA,
learned to navigate the rail
system and “regained independence.”
For the last 12 years
Waters has worked with disABILITY LINK as a lead

independent living specialist
and housing advocate where
she spends the majority of
her time connecting people
with services and resources.
She also volunteers with
ADAPT, a national grassroots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent
direct action, including civil
disobedience.
“A lot of times I see that
people don’t have a real picture of being disabled until it
affects them and their families,” she said.
She added, “disABILITY
LINK is like a second life for
me now. I get the chance to
give back to the community
because these are people
who advocated for me to get
where I am now.”

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.

Avondale Estates
fire station reopens
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

Seventeen months after
breaking ground, the newly constructed Avondale Fire Station
No. 3 reopened.
DeKalb County and Avondale Estates elected and public
safety officials celebrated the
reopening with a ribbon-cutting
ceremony Nov. 9. DeKalb County
Fire Chief Darnell Fullum said
the department is “extremely”
happy to have the station open
and back in the community.
“This station not only serves
Avondale Estates but it has a
wider territory,” Fullum said.
We’re just excited to be back into
the community and continue to
serve.”
Avondale Estates Mayor
Jonathan Elmore said he was
happy have the station back up
and running. “This makes everybody feels safer, and we’re happy
to have the firemen back,” Elmore
said.
The new 11,339-square-foot
facility includes private sleeping
quarters and restrooms, kitchen,
dayroom, fitness room, two of-

fices and a community meeting
room. Avondale Estates City
Manager Clai Brown said the station will allow the city to use the
community room for events.
The new station also includes
an apparatus bay to accommodate three bays. The 12-person
crew from the old station was assigned to the new station.
Fullum said he was most
impressed with the size of the
station. “The old station could
probably fit in this bay area,” he
said. “We have much more room.
Firefighters are here 24 hours, so
they’re not only working here but
they’re sleeping and living here.
There is a lot more as far as the
amenities of allowing them to be
more comfortable.
“It’s also built to where if we
want to we can expand in the
future,” Fullum added. “The old
station had one bay; this one has
three so we can put more equipment in here. This station will last
us over 50 years.”
The estimated $2.6 million
project was a part of the Housing
and Urban Development (HUD)
Community Development Block
grant.

The old 3,120-square-foot
station, built in 1947, was one
of the first fire stations built in
DeKalb County. The station was DeKalb County and Avondale Estates elected and public
originally 2,430 square feet, but
safety officials cut the ribbon to celebrate the reopening of
the fire department later made
the station.
some additions to it, which included a living room, kitchen, a
second bedroom and a second
sleeping place for on-duty personnel.
The station could only hold
one fire truck and one ambulance. Because the station was
built 65 years ago, the station was
not compatible with modern fire
equipment.
Despite not having a station
in the area for 17 months, Fullum
said his department was able to
cover the area with other stations.
“We have 26 stations located
throughout the county, and at
any given time that station, that
crew can be out on a call,” he said.
“What we have is a system that
allows for the next closest unit to
respond. We felt very comfortable that we were able to provide
a high a level of service even with
the crew not being here.”
The new 11,339-square-foot Avondale Fire Station No. 3 has
reopened. Photos by Travis Hudgons

local

AroundDeKalb
The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015

Atlanta

dale Community Club is located at 59 Lakeshore
Drive in Avondale Estates.

Teen choir sets annual evergreen sale at
Shallowford Presbyterian Church

Brookhaven

The teen Chapel Choir at Shallowford Presbyterian Church announced its annual evergreen
sale offering fresh cut trees, wreaths and roping
delivered straight from a North Carolina nursery.  
Order trees online at www.shallowford.org/shop
by Nov. 22 for pick up at the church on Saturday,
Dec. 5. 
Cut from a nursery in North Carolina and
delivered the next day to Shallowford Presbyterian Church’s parking lot, the Fraser Fir trees
range in height from six to 12 feet tall, starting at
$55. Nearby home delivery is offered for an additional $20. Wreaths made from the tips of Fraser
Firs branches come in three sizes starting at $16.
Roping is available in Fraser Fir or White Pine for
$4 per yard. Visit the website for full details.
All evergreen purchases are guaranteed; if the
buyer is not satisfied, money will be refunded.
Proceeds from the evergreen sale benefit Shallowford’s Chapel Choir, a choir of more than 80
teenagers who are bound for Scotland on their annual summer tour in 2016.

Avondale Estates

City to hold storm drain marker program
Brookhaven will host its first Storm Drain
Marker Program Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Participants will meet at Brookhaven City Hall
at 9:45 a.m. to receive instructions and materials.
Volunteers will glue plastic discs to storm drains
reminding residents “Only Rain Down The Storm
Drain.” For more information or to sign up, email
stormwater@brookhavenga.gov.

Decatur

Local school promotes father involvement
On Dec. 4 Oak View Elementary School will
host its annual Guys Night Out event at 3574
Oakvale Road, Decatur.
School officials aim to increase parent involvement by inviting dads and guardians to attend the event with their sons for a night of bonding, education and fun.
During the Guys Night Out there will be basketball competitions, soapbox races, and informative sessions on teaching boys how to tie a tie and
shake hands. The event will include pizza, wings,
chips and refreshments.
Event organizers are recruiting male volunteers for the event to accompany children without
parents or guardians.
Contact Parent Liaison Wendy Jackson at
(678) 875-1302 for additional information.

Group schedules cityhood meeting
Photo by Travis Hudgons

Rains cause sinkhole to develop
Recent heavy rainfall has caused a sinkhole at a
drainage point across from 61 Berkeley Road in Avondale Estates. City officials have asked everyone to use
caution when in the area near the “significant cavity
[that] has developed in the ground.”
“The affected areas are cordoned off with tape and
everyone is asked to stay clear of the cordoned areas
until repairs have been made,” according to a statement from Avondale Estates. “The city is addressing
the issue and it will be rectified as soon as possible.”

Avon Garden Club to host breakfast
The Avon Garden Club will host a sausage and
pancake breakfast Nov. 21 at Avondale Community Club from 8 to 11 a.m. The costs of tickets
are $6 per adult, $4.50 per child ages 6-12, $3 per
child ages 3-5 and free for children younger than
3. Tickets can be purchase from any Avon Garden
Club Member, or call (404) 297-9893. The Avon-

The Concerned Citizens for Cityhood of South
DeKalb will have an informational meeting on the
proposed city of Greenhaven.
“Are you at the table or on the menu? Find
out how current cityhood movements could affect
South DeKalb,” states an announcement about the
event which will be Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. at Covington
Library 3500 Covington Highway, Decatur.
For more information, email GreenhavenGA@
gmail.com.

Lithonia

Local author to sign new book
Employment expert Jerry T. Myers will be
signing copies of his recently released book, GET
IN THE DOOR: 7 Keys to Maximizing Your Career
Search, on Nov. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Stonecrest
Library, 3123 Klondike Rd., Lithonia.
The book has job search strategies for high
school and college graduates. It provides tips for
the unemployed or underemployed from a human
resources perspective explains how leveraging so-

Page 7A

cial media will enhance a career search, and showcases the importance of one’s personal brand.

City to host farmers market
The Muhammed’s Farmers Market will be in
Lithonia Nov. 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The market, which will have fresh fruits and vegetables, will
be on Swift and Main streets. For more information, visit www. cityoflithoniageorgia.files.wordpress.com.

Tucker
Olympian to address Atlanta Health & Fitness
Expo
Dr. Flora Hyacinth, a three-time Olympian
and former world record holders will be making a
presentation on solutions for sports injury and fatigue at the Healthy Joints and Fitness Expo at the
Double Tree Hotel, 4156 Lavista Road, Tucker, on
Saturday, Nov. 14, from 3 to 6 p.m.
The expo presenters will provide techniques to
spur sport teams to peak performance and assist
with solving many injuries and fatigue.  
The expo will combine education, demonstrations, health screenings and entertainment to
increase knowledge and build awareness of various
methods to increase overall health and wellness.
Hyacinth and Dr. Cleopatra Peter, executive
director of Healthy Joints and Fitness Expo, will
introduce their own health and fitness products.
The doctors also will honor two outstanding
residents who have excelled in the fields of community service, education, the arts, health, sports
and/or business.   
For more information about The Healthy
Joints & Fitness Expo, go to www.earthlyrelief.
com.
 

Countywide

Surviving the holidays seminar scheduled
“GriefShare: Surviving the Holidays” is a seminar for people facing the holidays after a loved
one’s death.
Scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 18, 6 p.m. to
8 p.m., the seminar will feature video interviews
with “Christian experts on grief and recovery topics as seen from a biblical perspective and personal
testimonies from people who have experienced the
holidays after bereavement, according to a release.
The video seminars are combined with support group discussions of the materials presented
during the video and include a workbook that
provides additional insights and ideas on holiday
survival.
There is no charge for this event. The cost for
the workbook is $5. This seminar is sponsored by
the Agape Wholistic Life Changing Ministry. For
additional information contact the church at (404)
243-9888 or Verlene Brown at (678) 591-7323 for
more information.

local

PageChampion
8A The
Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november Page
13, 2015
The
FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015
8A

Brookhaven council approves P-card policy
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Brookhaven is the latest municipality to adopt a purchasing card (Pcard) policy for its city employees.
The Brookhaven City Council
approved the policy at its Oct. 27
meeting. According to city officials,
the P-card policy will help make the
city more efficient as well as provide
tight controls on spending.
“We have had very good policies and procedures in place to make
sure that the few people in the city
who had P-cards—which has been
none of the elected [officials], unlike
other parts of our county—did require receipts and accounting for any
expenses made,” Brookhaven Mayor

Rebecca Chase Williams said. “This
policy that we adopted is very clear,
it’s very tough. If [employees] use it
for unauthorized purchases, which
includes personal expenses, you
could be fired.”
Brookhaven’s policy reflects
the state’s purchasing card policy.
Brookhaven City Manager Marie
Garrett said purchases will be tax
exempt.
“Right now we’re just using a
standard credit card and the merchant is required to charge us the tax
without any backup data or information,” Garrett said. “So this will
be much easier and this is a better
system.”
The cards can be monitored in
real time by the city’s designated card

NEWS BRIEFS

Residents’ input solicited
for county’s form of
government

DeKalb County Super
District 6 Commissioner
Kathie Gannon will host a
town hall meeting to launch
a citizen study of local governments to guide elected
officials.
“Government is supposed
to be ‘of the people, by the
people and for the people,’”
Gannon stated in an announcement about the event.
“DeKalb citizens must be
actively involved in choosing
their form of government. It
cannot be imposed by politicians or selected by experts.
I believe citizens should educate themselves about their
options as well as the pros
and cons of those options.
“I am all for reviewing
and improving our form of
government, but I think we
should look before we leap,”
Gannon stated. “We need to
understand how changing
the form of government will
correct the problems. What
other corrections and adjustments need to be made that
will make DeKalb more accountable to the citizens? Let’s
also avoid unintended consequences of options that are
not well vetted by the public.”
Two years ago Gannon
initiated the Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb, a citizen-led
effort resulted in legislation
being passed this year to
strengthen the ethics code,
creating an internal auditor
and improve the county’s
purchasing procedures. “The
first Blueprints effort was a

successful method for citizens
to make meaningful changes.
We will start Blueprints 2 on
Nov. 16 and keep working to
reform DeKalb government.
“Now is the time for citizens to step forward and help
improve our form of government,” Gannon said.
All interested DeKalb
resident are invited to attend
a kickoff meeting on Nov. 12,
from 7 to 8 p.m. at the South
DeKalb Senior Center, 1931
Candler Road.
Interested volunteers will
organize, study, reach conclusions and make recommendations before the end of the
2016 state legislative session
in March.

Dunwoody Nature Center
launches 2015 annual
fund campaign
The Dunwoody Nature
Center has announced the
start of its 2015 annual fund
campaign with a stated goal
to raise $47,500.
The campaign recently
started with an annual invitation-only event for special
guests–the past year’s influencers and major contributors to the Dunwoody Nature
Center including donors, key
volunteers, corporate sponsors, and other long-time
friends and supporters.
Funds raised during this
year’s campaign will be allocated towards continued
improvements on both the
grounds and the facilities of
Dunwoody Park. The nature
center’s plans for 2016 are designed to continue to inspire

administrator and certain vendors
and items can be blocked.
House Bill 192 provided regulation for use of purchasing cards and
government credit cards by elected
officials of counties. The law says
no county, municipal corporation,
school system or consolidated government “shall issue government
purchasing cards or government
credit cards to elected officials on or
after Jan. 1, 2016, until the governing
authority of such county, municipal
corporation, local school system, or
consolidated government by public
vote has authorized such issuance
and has promulgated specific policies
regarding the use of such government purchasing cards or government credit cards for elected officials

a love of nature and center
around the nature center’s
core competency: education.
Plans include extending initiatives such as the Milkweed
Project and Creek Restoration and increasing passive
signage in the park. The
nature center will develop
exhibition and programming
components around a demonstration bee hive and will
work with public art councils
to incorporate art into its
offerings. Additional plans
include increasing the number of camp options, classes,
backyard camp outs, and opportunities to enjoy nature.
To learn more about the
Dunwoody Nature Center’s
Annual Fund campaign, visit
www.dunwoodynature.org/
Annual-Fund.

DeKalb County Animal
Shelter announces new
hours
Effective Dec. 1, the
DeKalb County Animal
Shelter is expanding its evening and weekend hours to
allow the shelter to be more
accessible to residents who
work during regular business
hours.
The new hours of operation will be: Monday-Friday,
11 a.m.-7 p.m.; and SaturdaySunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
These are the hours that
the shelter will be open to
the public for adoptions, reclaims, and other services.
The service hours for the
county’s animal control officers are not affected.

See Briefs on page 24A

of such county, municipal corporation, local school system, or consolidated government.”
Although, Brookhaven elected
officials do not hold a P-card or credit card, staff and city attorney recommend that a P-card policy be in place
for employees and any future officials
who elect to have a card.
Nine Brookhaven city employees have purchasing cards, and the
spending limits vary by department.
“The key to this is accountability,” said Finance Director Carl Stephens. “Users will be able to submit
receipts online, and the city’s card
administrator will have the ability to
shut cards down at any time.”

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015

local

Page 9A

With the help of donations and volunteers, the Children’s Restoration Network serves approximately 6,000 children annually.

Organization works to give homeless children happy holidays
by Kathy Mitchell
 Cliff Kinsey recalled delivering a turkey and items to
complete the meal to a children’s group home and seeing the director break down
in tears. “Now the children
won’t have to have hotdogs
for Thanksgiving dinner,” she
said.
Kinsey, along with cofounder Jim Cox, 23 years
ago started Children’s Restoration Network (CRN), a
nonprofit dedicated to serving the needs of children in
foster care and group homes
and well as children and
their mothers living in shelters.
“The holidays, particularly big family holidays such
as Thanksgiving and Christmas, are really hard for children who don’t have families
caring for them. We want
them to know that they are
loved. There are people who
care about them. We want
these deserving children to
feel normal and to have a
bountiful Thanksgiving meal
like their peers.”
Kinsey, a former paramedic who volunteered on
his days off, and Cox were
helping a veterans’ organization when they read about a
group home that needed help
feeding its resident youngsters. When they arrived
to deliver food, they were
shocked by what they saw. “If
you moved a piece of paper,
roaches scattered. The place
was in really bad shape. We
got a group of people to help
us. We cleaned and painted

and did whatever we could
to make the place nicer. That
experience helped us realize how shelters and group
homes need help. Most of
them are struggling to pay
their light bills. Things like a
nice holiday meal are a real
luxury.”
The organization that
started with two people
helping a single group home
within two years became a
registered nonprofit and has
grown to serve the entire
metropolitan Atlanta area,
with a staff of four full-time
people and one part-time
person and a core of more
than 6,500 volunteers. Kinsey
estimates that CRN serves
approximately 3,000 children
at any given time and 6,000
over the course of a year.
Although CRN serves a
21-county area, 40 of the 134
shelters and group homes in
its network are in DeKalb
County—almost twice as
many as Fulton, the county
with the next largest group.
“Local governments have
laws about how many unrelated people can live under
one roof,” Kinsey explained.
“DeKalb’s are less stringent
than others in the metro
area. That’s why children
who find themselves homeless in other metro counties often end up in a group
home in DeKalb.”
The goal of the nonprofit’s current drive is “to collect 300 turkeys and all the
trimmings to go along with
it for a bountiful Thanksgiving meal for the homeless
children we serve,” Kinsey

said. He noted that because
CRN has limited cold storage
space the organization is asking donors to consider giving
gift cards instead of frozen
turkeys. “Also,” he added,
“there are items needed to
round out the meal that
people usually don’t think
about donating and we can
purchase those with gift
cards. However, we are happy
to accept donations any way
they come.”
Kinsey said most volunteers host their own food
drives, then donate what they
collect. “That works well for
us. We’ll even send someone
to pick the donations up.”
He said that in addition
to supplying the holiday
meal, CRN wants to fill each
organization’s food pantry.

“Children are out of school
for several days during the
holidays. Without school
lunches, group homes and
shelters have to provide extra
meals. Anybody who has
lived with a teenager knows
they eat a lot.”
Almost as much as CRN
needs donations of food and
money, it needs volunteers,
according to Kinsey. “Volunteers are our lifeblood.
We wouldn’t be able to do
this without them. We need
individuals, companies,
neighborhoods, churches
and social and civic groups
to hold collection drives. We
also need volunteers to pick
up food from companies and
groups holding drives and
to sort and deliver food to
group homes and shelters

all over metro-Atlanta,” he
said. CRN can provide boxes,
flyers and signs for organizations holding food drives.
While the current emphasis is on holiday needs,
Kinsey pointed out that
homeless children have
needs all year and education
is a particular area of focus
for CRN. “As anyone might
imagine, homeless children
often need special help with
school work and we provide
such help through Project
One-on-One, our mentoring
program. Some of our volunteer mentors have worked
with the same child five or
six years.
To help with the current
drive, or for more information, visit www.ChildRN.org.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING 
AMENDMENT TO ZONING ORDINANCE RELATED TO PAWN SHOPS 
   Notice is hereby given that the Mayor and City Council of the City of Lithonia, Georgia will 
hold a public hearing for consideration of an amendment to the City of Lithonia Zoning 
Ordinance related to pawn shops.  Should the Mayor and City Council adopt the amendment, 
the existing moratorium may be lifted.  The hearing will be held on the 30th day of November, 
2015 at 6:00 PM in the Lithonia City Hall at 6920 Main Street, Lithonia, Georgia.  
   Written comments concerning the proposed amendment may be filed with the City Clerk 
prior to the public hearing or submitted at the hearing.  Individuals interested in commenting 
on the proposed amendment, either in writing or verbally, will be given the opportunity to be 
heard at the above mentioned time and place. The proposed amendment may be examined at 
Lithonia City Hall during normal office hours or on the city’s website at 
www.cityoflithoniaga.gov.  Further information may be obtained by contacting Ms. Leah 
Rodriguez, City Clerk, at 770.482.8136. 
Deborah A. Jackson 
Mayor, City of Lithonia 

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015

local

Page 10A

Wreath-making event to
support nonprofit programs
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
Wylde Center will host its
first wreath-making fundraising event at Oakhurst Garden
in Decatur, Dec. 1-5.
Participants will be provided with balsam fir wreaths,
along with a variety of garden
materials including dried berries and herbs, pine cones,
magnolia pods and more to
embellish wreaths and create
holiday decorations for their
homes.
“This will be a fun, backto-nature, seasonal activity
that I hope becomes an annual fundraising event for the
Wylde Center,” said Stephanie
Van Parys, executive director
of the center.
She added, “Participants
are invited to bring their own
refreshments and beverages,
including beer and wine,” she
said. “It’s the perfect way for
adults to celebrate a birthday,
anniversary or other special
occasion, or simply to get into
the holiday spirit. People can
be as creative as they want to
be with the wreaths, which
will be ready to take home the
same evening.”
The cost is $65 per person
and all materials are included.
Adults must register online in
advance and may choose an
evening from Dec. 1-5 from

7-9 p.m.
Funds raised at the the
event will further support the
organization’s community
efforts, educational programming and green spaces.
The center was recognized
in August by the City Schools
of Decatur’s board of education for its Farm to School
program, which provides
healthier lunch food options
for children within the district.
According to the Wylde
Center’s Education Director
Allison Ericson, the organization has established a relationship with all schools in city
of Decatur school system and
works with teachers to “bring
the kids into our gardens for
different programs.”
“They want us to come in
and do these programs. They
see the value of it. We want to
come in and do it, it’s just finding the funds to support the
programs,” Ericson said.
Through the Farm to
School program, nutrition
specialists conduct taste tests
where they bring foods from
community gardens into the
schools for students to try and
give them feedback. The results of the taste tests are used
to plan meals for the student
body.
Ericson, who has two children in the Decatur school district, said, “To see the impact

of these taste tests, even on
my children,... for them to try
foods that they wouldn’t have
had before and seeing those
foods in their cafeteria—it’s
making a difference in their
eating habits at home as well.”
The organization recently
received a grant to work with
Whitefoord Elementary
School, a Title I institution
where there are high percentages of children from lowincome families.
Ericson said, “Just to see
the sheer excitement of them
being in the garden,... exploring the area and learning about
the different animals and vegetables that are living there—it’s
been really wonderful.”
She added, “It’s really important to show the kids there
are other jobs out there that
people do and to expose them
to eating the fresh foods that
they may not have the exposure to.”
Whitefoord students will
work with the Wylde Center
each week in the gardens to
learn more about nutrition
and gardening.
The organization is also
making efforts to get their
programming in Atlanta and
DeKalb county schools.
To learn more about the
Wylde Center visit wyldecenter.org.

Money raised at the wreath-making event will be used to assist The
Wylde Center’s programming.

If you’re looking
for a job,
we’re here to serve.

Goodwill

PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE 
 
CITY OF LITHONIA GEORGIA 
FISCAL YEAR 2016 (FY16) BUDGET REVIEW AND ADOPTION 
(JANUARY 1, 2016 – DECEMBER 31, 2016) 
 
 

   PUBLIC HEARING ON FY16 BUDGET:  A Public Hearing on the FY16 Budget is scheduled for Monday, 
December 7, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the City Hall Chambers located at 
6920 Main Street, Lithonia, GA 30058.  At this meeting, the Mayor and Council will receive both written 
and oral comments about the Annual Operating and Capital Budget for the City of Lithonia, Georgia.   
  The Public Hearing on the Budget will be followed by the Council Meeting at 7 p.m. in the Council 
Chamber. 
 
MAYOR’S RECOMMENDED BUDGET AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW:  The FY16 Mayor’s Recommended 
Budget will be available for public inspection during normal office hours starting on November 16, 2015 
at the following locations: 
Lithonia City Hall, 6920 Main Street, Lithonia GA 30058   
Lithonia‐Davidson Library, 6821 Church Street, Lithonia GA 30058 
BUDGET REVIEW:  The Mayor and Council of the City of Lithonia are scheduled to review the FY16 
Mayor’s Recommended Budget on the following dates: 
Monday, December 7, 2015         (7:00 p.m. at City Hall, 6920 Main Street) 
Monday, December 21, 2015       (6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 6920 Main Street) 
 
BUDGET ADOPTION:  The Mayor and Council of the City of Lithonia are scheduled to adopt the FY16 
Budget at their regular monthly Work Session on Monday, December 21, 2015.  The meeting will be 
held at 7:00 p.m. in the City Hall Chambers located at 6920 Main Street.   
 
 
 

You did your job for the country. Now a Goodwill Career Center can
help find you one here at home. With special programs for veterans
and disabled veterans, our services include: Job Assessment,
Employment Readiness Training, Occupational Skills Training
and more. We even have a Veteran Outreach Coordinator who
understands what you’re going through and can use his contacts
to help transition you back into a civilian workplace.

Count on Goodwill for support,
training and placement.

of North Georgia

To learn more about our Veterans Services and programs
visit goodwillng.org/veteranprograms or email us at careerservices@ging.org.

Locations In:
Atlanta/Northeast Plaza, Athens,
Cartersville, Cornelia, Decatur, Duluth,
Oakwood, Rome, Smyrna,
Stockbridge and Woodstock

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015

SPORTS

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Photos by Ty Freeman/tyfreeman.com

Miller Grove guard Aaron Augustin, who committed to East Tennessee
State, is ranked 14th in the state by ESPN.

Miller Grove point guard Alterique Gilbert, a 5-star recruit and UConn
commit, is ranked 28th nationally on ESPN’s 2016 Top100 list.

Stephenson guard Miracle Gray committed to
Purdue in 10th grade.

Southwest DeKalb guard Jada Walton is a 3-star
recruit and one of the top prospects in the 2017
class.

Top prospects hope to have big year
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

D

eKalb County
has produced talented basketball
players for years; and it appears that the tradition will
continue.
Marshon Brooks
(Tucker), Kelly Cain (St.
Pius), Tahj Shamsid-Deen
(Columbia), Asia Durr (St.
Pius), William Goodwin
(Southwest DeKalb), Kayla
Lewis (Southwest DeKalb)
and Tony Parker (Miller
Grove) are some of the
names that have brought

national attention to DeKalb
County from the basketball
world.
This season is no different as several DeKalb County
players are listed as some of
the best prospects on several
national ranking lists. One of
these players is Miller Grove
point guard Alterique Gilbert.
The 5-star recruit committed to the University of
Connecticut in July. Gilbert
is ranked 28th nationally on
ESPN’s 2016 Top100 list and
ranked No. 2 in Georgia on
ESPN. He is also ranked No.
36 nationally on Rivals.com.

Last season, he averaged
17.7 points per game and
led the county in assists (6.0
per game) and steals (5.4 per
game).
Even with all of this attention, Gilbert has not let it
get to his head.
“I just try to humble myself; it’s just the beginning
[of the season],” he said. “I
still know I’m in high school
being highly recruited, but
things like that is just a little
motivation for me and also
for my teammates.”
Gilbert has been a productive player for the Wolverines since his freshman

See Prospect on Page 15A

‘I just try to
humble myself;
it’s just the
beginning [of the
season].’
-Alterique Gilbert.

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015

SPORTS

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Arabia Mountain
Rams
Head coach: Dedrick
Whiting (3rd season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 12-14
Returning starters:
Sophomore power forward/center Jermon Clark; junior guard Jamal Middleton; junior guard Darius Giles
Outlook: “The Arabia Mountain boys’
basketball team will be one of the tougher defensive teams in the region this
year,” Coach Whiting said. “They plan
to swarm the ball on every defensive
possession and just flat out utilize their
transition offense to score points on the
offensive end of the ball. Their main
expectations include: finishing as one
of the top four teams in the region, win
the Pre-Holiday Christmas Tournament,
and make a deep run in the state tournament. They are considered by many to
be a very young team, but they are very
hungry. The Mighty Rams will strive
to finish strong in the region to propel
them into the state tournament.”
Cedar Grove Saints
Head coach: James
Martin (8th season)
Region: 4A-AAA
2014-15 record: 22-5
(Playoffs)
Returning players:
Senior guard Makale Carter; senior
forward/guard Antonio Reeves; junior
center Jelani Woods
Outlook: “We’re just trying to survive,”
Martin said. “I hope we can win some
ballgames.”

Chamblee Bulldogs
Head coach: Caesar
Burgess (14th season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 6-20
Returning starters: Junior guard Odell Ferrell; junior forward Glenn Robinson;
junior forward Dazz Riggins; junior forward Tariq Patterson; junior Teedum
George-Komi
Outlook: “With the addition of a few
more kids, and the football players, we
are very optimistic and looking forward
to a successful season,” Burgess said.
Clarkston Angoras
Head coach: Julius
Thompson (3rd season)
Region: 6-AAAAA
2014-15 record: 5-20
Returning starters:
Senior forward/center Su Su Entongwe
Outlook: “We expect to have a good year
and surprise the experts in our region.
We have the most talent we have had in
the last three years,” Thompson said.

Page 12A

Columbia Eagles
Head coach: Kerry
Sandifer (4th season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 21-8
(Playoffs)
Returning starters:
Senior guard Justin Longstreet; senior
guard Rodriguez Dennis; junior guard
Jalen Cobb; senior forward Jerrick
Cobb
Outlook: “I expect to improve upon our
21-8, first round state qualifying 20142015 season.
Cross Keys Indians
Head coach: Ron
Jackson (1st year)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 0-23
Returning starters:
Senior forward Jeremiah Cross; senior guard Trey Myers
Outlook: “My expectations for the season are to first create a winning mindset
and attitude within the program, that
will become the solid foundation needed
for us build on,” Jackson said. “From a
wins perspective, a realistic goal is for
us to garnish wins ranging anywhere
between six and 10 games. This number
is based on the amount of growth already established through training and
conditioning. We are looking to compete
strongly and at a higher level than the
more recent years.”

Decatur Bulldogs
Head coach: Bill Roberts (1st year)
Region: 4B-AAA
2014-15 record: 12-15
Returning starters:
Junior guard/forward
Terrill Hal; junior power forward Dennis Bell; senior guard Kobie Davis; junior guard Antonio Myrick
Outlook: “It will be a transition year for
us with a new coach and a new system
of play, but I did have the opportunity
to work with the boys as an assistant last
year, so the transition has been a little
easier,” Roberts said. “However, like in
any transition year, it will take a good bit
of work and development of chemistry
and buy in. If we can accomplish those
things, we could definitely make some
noise this year.”
Druid Hills Red
Devils
Head coach: Jerome
Lee (8th season)
Region: 6A-AAAAA
2014-15 record: 10-17
Returning starters:
Junior forward Dillan Hall; junior forward Jordan Foote; junior point guard
Cameron Starkes; junior guard Ter-

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Outlook: “To be better than we were last
year,” Lee said. “We would like to make it
to the state playoffs.”

Dunwoody Wildcats
Head coach: Kevin
Dankosky (3rd season)
Region: 6A-AAAAA
2014-15 record: 7-20
Returning starters:
Senior forward Nate Welsh; senior forward Bernard Millard
Outlook: “As we work hard year round,
we’ll be a better defensive team and be
more fundamentally sound offensively,”
Dankosky said. “We look forward to the
rigors our region offers.”
Greenforest Christian Academy Eagles
Head coach: Larry
Thompson (1st season)
Region: 5-A-Private
2014-15 record: 27-2
(Playoffs/state runner-up)
Returning starters: Junior guard Justin
Forrest; senior guard John Ogwuche;
senior forward Precious Ayah; junior
center Ikey Obiagu
Outlook: “Our expectation this season is
to contend for the Class A-Private State
Championship,” Thompson said.
Lakeside Vikings
Head coach: Dennis
Alexander (1st season)
Region: 2-AAAAAA
2014-15 record: 10-16
Returning starters:
Senior guard Sean Atwater; senior forward/center Adonis Hall; senior guard
Bennett Fahsel; sophomore forward/
center G. Martin Haggray
Outlook: “I expect for my players to
compete really hard, smart and together
on the defensive end,” Alexander said.
“I expect them to play unselfishly offensively. Our first job as a coaching
staff was to change the culture here at
Lakeside. That started with developing a commitment to working on their
strength and conditioning, as well as
their individual games. We were able to
begin having success in those areas in
the offseason. The next step is to commit
to doing the little things to win games.
I expect that we will be very detailed in
making that happen.”
Lithonia Bulldogs
Head coach: Wallace
Corker (3rd season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 27-3
(Playoffs)
Returning starters:

Senior guard Ty’heem Freeman; senior
forward Tylon Patterson; senior point
guard Rodney Chatman; senior forward
Derious Wimbley
Outlook: “Our expectation this year is to
make to the final and possibly play for
the state AAAA championship,” Corker
said.
Marist War Eagles
Head coach: Kevin
Moore (2nd season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 9-17
Returning starters: Senior forward Patrick
Zeck; junior guard
Whid Childs; senior guard/forward
Luke Testani; junior guard/forward Ben
Duma
Outlook: “We are going to be young,
with only three seniors on the team—
one of which is recovering from a football injury that we won’t get back until
after the season starts,” Moore said. “I’ve
got a great group of hardworking underclassmen who have put in a lot of work
during the offseason. There will be a
learning curve, but I am very confident
in these younger guys. We expect to be
very competitive in an incredibly difficult region. It should be a fun season.”
M.L. King Lions
Head coach: Tony
Brinson (2nd season)
Region: 6A-AAAAA
2014-15 record: 24-6
(Playoffs)
Returning starters:
None
Outlook: “To build on last year’s success
with a young team,” Brinson said.
McNair Mustangs
Head coach: Rodney
Minggia (3rd season)
Region: 4A-AAA
2014-15 record: 3-23
Returning starters:
Senior forward Keyshawn Walker; junior
guard Demarcus Harris; sophomore
guard Josh Jenkins
Outlook: N/A
Miller Grove Wolverines
Head coach: Sharman White (10th
season)
Region: 6A-AAAAA
2014-15 record: 27-4

(Playoffs)
Returning starters: Senior point guard
Alterique Gilbert; junior guard/forward
Joshua Jackmon; senior forward Raylon
Richardson
Outlook: “To compete for regional, state,
and national championships while devel-

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SPORTS

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Arabia Mountain
Lady Rams
Head coach: Yolanda
Redmond (2nd season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 17-11

(Playoffs)
Returning starters: Senior guard Samantha Pringle; sophomore guard/forward
Marissa Mills; sophomore guard/forward Kennedi Manning; center/forward
Iyanla Kitchens
Outlook: “No excuses because we are
young, no excuses on why we lost and no
excuses on why we are not getting better
individually or as a team,” Redmond said.
“We expect each player to take responsibility for her individual development as
well as the development of the team. We
expect our defense to win games we are
supposed to win and games we are told
we won’t win.”
Cedar Grove Lady
Saints
Head coach: Shenetria Wyche (2nd
season)
Region: 4A-AAA
2014-15 record: 4-14
Returning players: Sophomore guard
Leanna Ramos; sophomore forward
Jayda Jackson; sophomore guard Mikaysha Lemon; junior shooting forward
Marciannah Jackson
Outlook: “Play more team oriented basketball and put more emphasis on defense,” Wyche said.
Chamblee Lady Bulldogs
Head coach: Josette
Barton (1st season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 8-15
Returning starters:
Senior guard Ariana Henderson
Outlook: “My expectations this season
are for my girls to understand the concept of basketball, be able to compete
with the teams one game at a time, play
this game smart,” Barton said. “As a
coach, I am looking forward to seeing
how each team competes and learn as
much as I can from other coaches in
Georgia. I feel I have a lot of improving
to do, so I am looking forward to this
season.”
Clarkston Lady
Angoras
Head coach: Corey
Martin (1st season)
Region: 6-AAAAA
2014-15 record: 1-17
Returning starters: Junior guard/forward
Tabitha Ferrell

Outlook: “Our main expectation is to be
much more competitive,” Martin said.
“Clarkston lost by an average of 34 points
last season. Before we can begin talking
about winning, we must create an atmosphere of competition. We need to compete at every practice, and we must slowly transition into the other phases of the
game, such as winning quarters, halves,
and games and individual matchups. We
play in a very tough region, and our team
is very young. We will get something
akin to a baptism this year, but, in the
end, we will be better because of it.”
Columbia Lady
Eagles
Head coach: Curtis
Gilleylen (1st season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 13-11
Returning starters: None
Outlook: “Get better every day,” Gilleylen
said.
Cross Keys Lady
Indians
Head coach: Roberta
Gibson (1st year)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 2-21
Returning starters:
Junior point guard Kahmiya McField;
junior power forward Dyani Whitaker;
sophomore shooting guard Lena Le;
junior center Temitope Igbineweka;
sophomore shooting guard Yuyan Ke
Outlook: “I currently have a young
team,” Gibson said. “So my expectations
this year is to try and build a program
where my players can reach their fullest
potential individually and collectively.”

Decatur Lady Bulldogs
Head coach: Sarah
Coleman (2nd year)
Region: 4B-AAA
2014-15 record: 29-3
(Playoffs)
Returning starters: Senior power forward/center Janay Williams
Outlook: “As in every year, our expectations are to improve consistently over the
course of the season and be in a position
to play for a region championship in February,” Coleman said. “We won our first
region championship last year and we
hope to repeat. We have a young team,
but a hard working team that I think will
be ready to get back to the state tournament this season.”
Druid Hills Lady Red
Devils
Head coach: Rosaria
Rice (2nd season)
Region: 6A-AAAAA

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2014-15 record: 10-17
Returning starters: Senior guard Nikki
Mintz; junior guard China Durham
Outlook: “We are rebuilding the foundation of the basketball program at
Druid Hills,” Rice said. “We inherited
five seniors our first year at Druid Hills.
They are all gone. We will rely on nine
freshmen to rebuild the program. We are
challenging the young ladies to be mentally tough and compete against a brutal
schedule. We want them to understand
and enjoy the process of becoming better
individually and as a team. In essence,
the young ladies must commit fully to
the program, learn how to deal with adversity, improve their skill level, and be
mentally tough.”

Dunwoody Lady
Wildcats
Head coach: Angela
Nash (22nd season)
Region: 6A-AAAAA
2014-15 record: 13-13
Returning starters:
Junior guard/forward Jazmine Bryant;
senior power forward/ center Anjanice
Cutno; junior small forward Kendall
Smith
Outlook: “We are in a rebuilding stage
with the nucleus of our squad consisting
of sophomores, however, season expectations are for the team to be competitive
on a high level as our region is loaded
with high-caliber teams,” Nash said.
Greenforest Christian
Academy Lady Eagles
Head coach: Allison
Prather (8th season)
Region: 5-A-Private
2014-15 record: 11-9
Returning starters:
Senior point guard Arielle Holloway;
senior guard Theodora Odia
Outlook: “My expectation for this upcoming season is to win more games
than last year,” Prather said. “I have some
new players that will help the two seniors
improve our program this season.”
Lakeside Lady
Vikings
Head coach: Sheila
Asher (3rd season)
Region: 2-AAAAAA
2014-15 record: 9-16
Returning starters:
Senior forward Anne Elizabeth Heyse
Outlook: “We are very young,” Asher
said. “We have five sophomores on the
varsity team. I expect the entire team to
work hard and improve throughout the
season. They are very dedicated and have
a lot of heart. We should be competitive.”

Lithonia Lady
Bulldogs
Head coach: Kanika
Richardson (1st season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 0-20
Returning starters: Senior forward Alana
Smith; senior forward Grace Puente;
junior Kaylan Adams; sophomore guard
Tiara Maiden
Outlook: “Our expectations include being highly competitive and begin building a tradition of excellence in girls’
basketball at Lithonia High School,”
Richardson said.
Marist Lady War
Eagles
Head coach: Kim
Hixon (14 season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 23-5
(Playoffs)
Returning starters: Senior guard Dominique Oden; senior guard Annabella
Farabaugh; senior guard Ansley Gross;
sophomore guard Diarra Oden
Outlook: “We are looking forward to the
new season with four returning players,”
Hixon said. “We need to stay healthy
and focused on our goals this season. We
look forward to the challenge of competing in Region 6-AAAA and defending
the region title.”
M.L. King Lady Lions
Head coach: Michael
Wilson (2nd season)
Region: 6A-AAAAA
2014-15 record: 4-21
Returning starters:
Sophomore guard
Azhana Maxwell; junior power forward/
center Zeela Smith; junior forward
Aniya Williams; senior forward Tamia
Johnson
Outlook: “I expect the Lady Lions to
compete hard and play with a chip on
their shoulders with the top teams in our
region,” Wilson said. “We won’t shy away
from the competition and after being in
the system for two years, I feel my girls
can compete with anybody. Our goal
is to learn how to win close games and
make the state playoffs. Last season, I
had multiple injuries to key players, and
it was hard establishing any continuity. I
felt that if we could have stayed healthy,
our chances for making the playoffs
would’ve increased.”
McNair Lady
Mustangs
Head coach: Byron
Parker (2nd season)
Region: 4A-AAA
2014-15 record: 4-22

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The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015

Boys Preview Continued From Page 12A

oping our players on and off the court,”
White said.

Paideia Pythons
Head coach: JoJo
Cadray
Region: 5-A-Private
2014-15 record: 12-14
Redan Raiders
Head coach: Greg
Wood (2nd season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 10-16
Returning starters:
Junior point guard
Tyonne Stuckey; senior guard Strickland Gary; senior guard/forward Daryl
Moody; senior forward Ashaki Powell
Outlook: “My expectations for any
team are always very high,” Wood said.
“Whether we have experienced and
seasoned players or kids that are ‘new’
to the program, it really doesn’t matter,
because we all have one common goal
and that is to win our very last game—a
state championship. I really do believe
in this team. I believe that they can do
some big things. I believe that they can
go extremely deep in the regional and
state tournaments. I expect for us to
compete and play as hard as we can each
and every game.”
St. Pius Golden Lions
Head coach: Aaron Parr (5th season)
Region: 6-AAAA

SPORTS

2014-15 Record: 25-5
(Playoffs)
Returning starters:
Three including leading shooters senior
forward Kerney Lane
and senior guard
Christian Merrill.
Outlook: “Our expectations this year are
high,” Parr said. “We want to focus on
the process of getting better each day to
be the best team we can be. We are excited for the opportunity to try and compete for a title in the highly competitive
region 6-AAAA.”
Southwest DeKalb
Panthers
Head coach: Eugene
Brown (3rd season)
Region: 6A-AAAAA
2014-15 record: 18-8
Returning starters:

Three
Outlook: “Continue to improve our
competition tenacity, player skill level,
statistical results, [and] team record,
while creating an opportunity to contend for the state championship,” Brown
said.

None

Stephenson Jaguars
Head coach: Rasul
Chester (1st season)
Region: 6A-AAAAA
2014-15 record: 1514 (Playoffs)
Returning starters:

Page 14A

Outlook: “My expectations for this season are to lay a solid foundation towards
building a championship program,”
Chester said. “A program each night,
will compete at a high level competition;
being led by discipline, hard work, and
integrity. As a young and inexperienced
team we will embrace this process to
represent DeKalb County School District and the state of Georgia.”
Stone Mountain
Pirates
Head coach: Tony
Stroud (4th season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 17-9
Returning starters:
Senior guard/forward Dunnell Stafford;
senior center Michael Graham
Outlook: “With only two remaining
starters back from last year, we are in
a rebuilding year,” Stroud said. “Like
always, our goal as a team is to make it
to the state playoffs but we realize how
much work we need to put into improving during the season to reach that goal.
We look forward to the season and will
work extremely hard to reach our goal.”
Towers Titans
Head coach: Anton
Kadar (3rd season)
Region: 4A-AAA
2014-15 record: 7-17
Returning starters:
Senior guard/forward

Jermaine Neal
Outlook: “My expectation for this year

is to teach a great group of guy’s defense
because we are going to be small but
quick, and great defense will give us a
chance to compete and win some games,”
Kadar said.
Tucker Tigers
Head coach: James
Hartry (16th season)
Region: 2-AAAAAA
2014-15 record: 29-3
(Playoffs)
Returning starters:
Senior guard Tyler Payne; junior forward Earmas Ghebreah; senior forward
Adonis Green; junior guard Kenton
Eldrige
Outlook: “At Tucker we play for state
championships,” Hartry said. “If you play
for me you should already know what
we’re playing for, and [a championship]
is what we play for. I try to establish a
basketball program and not a basketball
team. When you have a basketball program you have a tendency to be able to
compete year in and year out. But 29-3
is hard to beat,” Hartry added. “I know
that you don’t go to the Final Four every
year and I know that’s not something you
just do, but this team is pretty good I got
coming up.”
W.D. Mohammed
Caliphs
Head coach: Quran
Shakir
Region: 5-A-Private
2014-15 record: 9-16

Girls Preview Continued From Page 13A
Returning starters: Senior forward
Alonzia Collier; junior forward Nasha
Collins; Jehnesha Huguley
Outlook: “The expectations that I have
for our team this year is to continuously
get better game by game,” Parker said.
“More importantly, I want our team to
have fun.”
Miller Grove Lady
Wolverines
Head coach: Tamica
Jones (2nd season)
Region: 6A-AAAAA
2014-15 record: 15-12
(Playoffs)
Returning starters: Four
Outlook: “Our expectations for our athletes is to play hard, hustle, play for each
other and win a state title,” Jones said.
“The coaching staff expectations are to
create an atmosphere that is family oriented, teach life lessons, and win state.”
Paideia Lady Pythons
Head coach: Paul
Meiere
Region: 5-A-Private
2014-15 record: 15-13
(Playoffs)
Redan Lady Raiders
Head coach: Jerry
Jackson (8th season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 19-8
(Playoffs)
Returning starters:
Senior forward Taylor Tucker; senior
guard Kia Smith; junior guard Sydney
Brown

St. Pius Lady Golden
Lions
Head coach: Kyle
Snipes (7th season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 Record: 27-4
(Playoffs)
Returning starters: Sophomore forward
Macey Carson; senior guard/forward
Hannah Jones
Outlook: “We will look to compete for
another region championship and return
to the state playoffs for the sixth consecutive season,” Snipes said. “We will have
four new starters after having essentially
the same starting line-up for three consecutive seasons. We will have one senior
and three juniors—two of which have
varsity experience. The returning sophomores include one starter and two others
that saw limited action. The most pressing concern is how the young players will
adapt to varsity competition early in the
season.”
Southwest DeKalb
Lady Panthers
Head coach: Kathy
Walton (14th season)
Region: 6A-AAAAA
2014-15 record: 22-8

(Playoffs)
Returning starters: Senior guard Daisa
Alexander; senior forward/center Cori
Bostic; senior forward/center Aston
Draper; junior point guard Chantz
Cherry; junior forward/guard Jada Walton
Outlook: “We would like to finish top
four in the region and return to the state

playoffs,” Walton said.
Stephenson Lady
Jaguars
Head coach: Dennis
Watkins (17th season)
Region: 6A-AAAAA
2014-15 record: 28-5
(State Champions)
Returning starters: Senior guard Miracle
Gray
Outlook: “We have a really talented but
young team,” Watkins said. “We have
an extremely competitive region and
schedule then add on the fact that we are
the defending champions. This all will
certainly make this a great season for our
young players to grow and our veteran
players to thrive. The sky is the limit for
this group and we definitely look forward
to a challenging and successful season.”
Stone Mountain
Lady Pirates
Head coach: Stanley
Clark (10th season)
Region: 6-AAAA
2014-15 record: 9-15
Returning starters:
Senior guard Kyann Perry; senior center
Kacian Lawarence; senior guard Alexis
Warren Stephen; senior forward Jamiela
Dickerson
Outlook: “My expectations for this season are to compete for a region title and
to make the state playoffs,” Clark said.
Towers Lady Titans
Head coach: Kalley Young (2nd season)
Region: 4A-AAA

2014-15 record: 3-20
Returning starters: Senior forward
Ashley Lewis; junior
guard Mia Carradine; Jailen Keyes
Outlook: “The expectations for this year’s team are to show
improvement in the basic skill areas of
basketball with an overall better attitude,”
Young said.
Tucker Lady Tigers
Head coach: Robin
Potter (13th season)
Region: 2-AAAAAA
2014-15 record: 18-11
(Playoffs)
Returning starters:
Senior guard Najla Shamsid-Deen;
senior guard/forward Mariya Trimble;
senior forward Chiqueria Cook; junior
guard/forward Bria Bass
Outlook: “I expect a very successful season,” Potter said. “Not only do we have
four starters returning, but also have
Quinlan Hughes returning after knee
surgery last year and have added senior
Jayla Morrow and Kierra JohnsonGraham.”
W.D. Mohammed
Lady Caliphs
Head coach: Quran
Shakir
Region: 5-A-Private
2014-15 record: 2-18

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Page 15A

Prospect Continued From Page 11A
year, and was a big factor in the two
championships he won with the
team. He was unable to get a third
state title in his high school career,
but thinks it is a possibility this season.
“Last year we took a hiccup,” he
said. “We definitely want to come
in and try to win state; get back to
where we were. I think we definitely
have a shot at that.”
Gilbert will have another top
recruit alongside him this season in
Aaron Augustin. The senior guard
transferred to Miller Grove from
Peachtree Ridge in Gwinnett County
this past summer.
“I feel like it was a perfect fit,”
Augustin said. “Coach [Sharman]
White—you already know his background—and I just wanted to come
here and bring another state championship here. I know last year they
slipped up, but this year [it’s] nothing
less than a state championship.”
The 3-star recruit, who committed to East Tennessee State, is ranked
14th in the state by ESPN. He averaged 16.6 points and 4.3 assists per
game last season.

Augustin said he committed to
East Tennessee State because of its
new head coach, Steve Forbes.
“[Forbes] was at Wichita State,
and everywhere he went he won,
and he has coached some good point
guards, so I feel like I can fit that
mode,” he said.
Right now, Augustin is working
to fit in and adjust to Miller Grove’s
system.
“It’s been an adjustment,” he
said. “Preseason workouts have been
crazy. It’s just so much basketballfocused workouts. The preparation
has been different.”
Stephenson guard Miracle Gray
has worked this summer to make
sure her teammates are prepared to
defend their Class AAAAA state title.
The Purdue commit has told her
teammates since the start of offseason workouts that last year is over.
“We started right back in June,
working hard, getting on the track,
making sure we’re in shape and just
making sure that everyone is on the
same page and we all have the same
goal,” Gray said.
Gray is one of only four play-

ers returning from the championship team. She averaged 9.0 points,
3.2 assist and 2.8 steals per game.
Gray, who has a 3-star ranking from
ProsprectNation.com, committed to
Purdue her sophomore year after an
unofficial visit.
“I just felt that it was the right
fit,” she said. “The girls were great,
the coaching staff was amazing and
it just felt like a home away from
home. I committed right after that. I
had some other colleges interested in
me, but I knew from the get-go that’s
where I had to be.”
Gray and the young Lady Jaguars
will have to go through a tough region to defend their title. The region
includes a loaded Southwest DeKalb
team. The Lady Panthers have three
3-star prospects—senior guard Daisa
Alexander, junior forward Rouna
Uklusiaba and junior guard Jada
Walton.
Walton was the best scoring
sophomore in the county last season, averaging 13.6 points per game.
She also averaged 6.3 rebounds per
game. Multiple schools are recruiting Walton, including Wichita State,

Oklahoma State, Dayton University,
Memphis University and University
of North Carolina at Charlotte.
“It’s fun,” Walton said about the
recruiting process. “It’s an experience that I wish everybody can go
through, but I know everyone can’t.
It’s a fun experience and I’m just taking it slow.”
Walton said she is looking for a
program that fits her athletically and
personally.
“I just want to go to a team that’s
like a family because I know I have to
stay there all four years,” she said. “I
don’t plan on doing any transferring.
I just want to go somewhere where I
fit in and look to play right away.”
With a state title on her mind,
Walton said she worked on her leadership skills during the off-season.
“I just want to become a better
leader and help my team get a little
further than what we did last year,”
she said. “We got a couple of new
players, and I just plan on pushing
them and making them better.”

Nine basketball teams welcomes new coaches
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
DeKalb County has nine new
coaches heading up programs this
year at public and private schools.
The list includes Dennis Alexander (Lakeside girls), Josette Barton (Chamblee girls), Rasul Chester
(Stephenson boys), Roberta Gibson
(Cross Keys girls), Curtis Gilleylen (Columbia girls), Ron Jackson
(Cross Keys boys), Corey Martin
(Clarkston girls), Kanika Richardson (Lithonia girls) and Larry
Thompson (Greenforest boys).
Barton has coached for 11 years
on both the high school and collegiate level. She won a state championship in her first year as head
coach at Raymond High School in
Mississippi. Barton last coached at
Provine High School in Jackson,
Miss.
Barton said she brings to Chamblee the same style of coaching as
her college coach.
“I had one of the best college
coaches, to me, in the world, Shirley
Walker at Alcon State University,”
Barton said. “She was a demanding coach, being 110 percent true
to yourself and everything I learned
playing under her is really what I
bring to the table as a coach.”
Chamblee finished last season

with an 8-15 record. As she tries to
build a winning team with a young
group of players, Barton has no
doubt her players will win in the
classroom.
“To be a top team in the county,
of course, you’re going to have to
win some ball games, but at Chamblee we’re known for academics,”
she said. “What I can say about my
girls is we’ll definitely be known for
our academics. Whether my kids get
athletic scholarships or not, I’ll have
a lot of kids that will go to college on
academic scholarships. The seniors
that I have are 4.0 students. If we
don’t get recognized as champions,
we’ll be recognized as scholars.”
Martin is entering his seventh
year of coaching, his first in DeKalb
County. He comes from Texas
where he has coached boys’ basketball. Martin said he brings a different mentality to coaching.
“I’m a smart guy. I look at basketball in a completely different
way,” Martin said. “I want my kids to
understand the geometry of basketball, the spacing and how effort—especially on the girls’ side where the
athleticism is not nearly as great on
the boys’ side—is a skill and if they
bring effort we can always compete.”
Martin will be taking over a
Clarkston program that has not won
more than six games in a single sea-

son in the last 10 years. Although he
does not realistically expect to turn
that around immediately, he does
expect his team to be more competitive.
“When I looked at the history
of the program they’ve won [five]
games the last three years total,” he
said. “We lost by an average of 34
points last year. I can guarantee you
that we will not lose by 34 points.
“I am a veracious competitor
and if we don’t win our games we
won’t be losing by 34 points. It’s a
building thing,” Martin said. “We
have a tone of freshmen, so I do expect that we’ll take our licks against
some really good schools, but at
some point we will be extremely
competitive.”
Alexander, who comes from
Miami, Fla., is entering his 11th
year of coaching and his third year
as a head coach. He is taking over a
Lakeside program that has not been
over .500 since 2009. He said his
team has to execute better to win
more games.
“I just want them to go harder
and execute more, especially on the
defensive end,” Alexander said. “I
want them to play hard on defense
first, but offensively and defensively
have an identity of when you play
Lakeside High School you’re going
to have to play really hard to get out

of there with a win.”
Jackson is not stranger to
DeKalb. He has been coaching in
DeKalb for four year as an assistant
coach at M.L. King and head coach
at Bethune Middle School before
moving up to Cross Keys.
Jackson said he wants to instill a
winning philosophy along with developing players.
“We can walk in and try to develop players all day long, but if they
don’t buy into the program or buy
into the philosophy that you’re presenting it’s null and void. Phase One
was for me to come in and incorporate my style of play, do an overall
evaluation of what’s been going on
and do an evaluation of as far as
what I can put together.”
Jackson said playing with confidence will be the key in winning
games this year.
“We probably won’t win the state
title this year, but at the end of the
day the foundation is put together,”
he said. “The adversity they’re going to face…last year they probably
faced that adversity and would turn
around and put their head down
and give up. This year I can guarantee you they won’t put their heads
down. They’re going to fight until
the end of the game.”

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015

SPORTS

Page 16A

football

Photos by Travis Hudgons

Cedar Grove linebacker Elysee Mbem-bosse rushes Blessed Trinity quarter back Conor Davis.

Cedar Grove running back LaBron Morris runs past Blessed Trinity tacklers.

Cedar Grove, Stephenson among seven DeKalb teams in playoffs
by Mark Brock
The No. 5 ranked Stephenson Jaguars traveled
to Lakewood Stadium and, behind 10 sacks by the
Jaguar defense, nipped No. 2-ranked Mays Raiders
10-9 to win the Region 6-AAAAA championship
Nov. 6.
Mays came into the game undefeated at 9-0 and
averaging almost 41 points a game, but the Jaguar
defense had other ideas after posting five shutouts
and allowing just 25 points over its last seven games
since a loss to Florida’s American Heritage-Plantation in September.
The Jaguars had 35 sacks and 96 tackles for a
loss on the season and added the 10 sacks against
Mays quarterback BJ Phillips, the 10th sack, securing the victory and region championship. Mays was
held to a negative 39 yards rushing and 165 yards
passing in the game.
Mays recovered a bobbled snap on a punt at
the Stephenson 19 with 1:05 to play in the game.
Phillips was sacked on first down and a pass went
incomplete on second down before Ivan Staples
sacked Phillips again on third down. Amari Andrews completed the Stephenson victory with the
Jaguars’ 10th sack on fourth down to seal the region
title for Stephenson (9-1).
The Jaguars took the lead at 3-0 with 8:24 to
play in the first half with a 29-yard field goal by
Darien Tisdale. Trestan Kinsler’s four-yard touchdown run with 56 seconds left in the first half finished off a 16-play, 80-yard drive to give the Jaguars
a 10-0 lead at the half.
Mays came out in the second half driving down
into Jaguar territory before the Stephenson defense
stiffened and forced a 22-yard field goal by Trenton
Jamison with 9:35 left in the third quarter.
The Raiders scored on an 18-yard touchdown
pass from Phillips to Rondrecus Davis with 7:15
left in the third quarter to trim the lead to 10-9. The
potential tying-point blocked by the Jaguars to keep
the lead.

The Jaguars, now ranked No. 2 in Class
AAAAA, will host the Region 7-AAAAA No.
4-seed Rome Wolves (7-3) Nov. 13 at Hallford Stadium in a game set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

second consecutive trip to the Class AAAA state
playoffs.

Cedar Grove 13, Blessed Trinity 13
Lightning made officials call the Region 4-AAA
championship game with No. 3-ranked Cedar
Grove and No. 2-ranked Blessed Trinity tied at 1313.
The game was set to go into overtime as Blessed
Trinity recovered a Cedar Grove fumble inside the
10-yard line as time ran out when the lightning
moved into the area causing the game to be called.
The Saints (8-1-1) were clinging to a 13-10
lead as Blessed Trinity was driving with less than
four minutes to play and facing a third down at the
Cedar Grove three. All-State defensive tackled Antwaun Jackson then made the big play of the game
for the Saints to force a fourth down.
Blessed Trinity opted for a 20-yard field goal to
tie the game at 13-13 with 2:54 to play.
The Saints drove down field following the
ensuing kickoff, but the fumble inside the Blessed
Trinity 10 ended the game in the 13-13 tie.
Cedar Grove led 13-7 at the half behind a first
quarter Tre’ Shaw 40-yard touchdown run and
a second quarter 45-yard touchdown pass from
Jelani Woods to Israel Spivey.
The teams end the season as the Region
4-AAA co-champions. A coin flip was the deciding
factor, and Cedar Grove won it and elected to be the
No. 2 seed.

Nov. 5
Grady (6-4) 47, Stone Mountain (0-10) 6
Washington (3-7) 10, McNair (2-8) 0

Columbia 26, Arabia Mountain 6
The Region 6-AAAA battle for the last playoff spot was played Nov. 7 between the Columbia
Eagles and Arabia Mountain Rams with the Eagles
coming out on top 26-6.
Columbia (5-5) earned a trip to No. 1-ranked
Cartersville for a 7:30 p.m. game on Nov. 13 for its

Other Scores

Nov. 6
Stephenson (9-1) 10, Mays (9-1) 9
Cedar Grove (8-1-1) 13, Blessed Trinity (9-0-1) 13
Marist (8-2) 36, Chamblee (2-8) 0
Tucker (7-3) 49, Lakeside (4-6) 21
St. Pius X (8-2) 45, Redan (4-5) 12
Carver-Atl (7-3) 37, Miller Grove (5-5) 7
Creekside (8-2) 41, SW DeKalb (4-6) 7
Dunwoody (3-7) 14, Clarkston (1-8) 0
Decatur (6-4) 35, Towers (2-8) 0
Nov. 7
Columbia (5-5) 26, Arabia Mountain (4-6) 6
Druid Hills (4-6) 19, Banneker (0-10) 0
Tri-Cities (6-4) 30, M.L. King (4-6) 6
DeKalb Football Playoff Schedule
Nov. 13
Lakeside (4-6) at Westlake (8-2), 7:30 p.m.
Rome (7-3) vs. Stephenson (9-1), Hallford, 7:30
p.m.
Columbia (5-5) at Cartersville (10-0), 7:30 p.m.
Pickens (8-2) vs. Marist (8-2), 7:30 p.m.
St. Pius (8-2) vs. Ridgeland, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 14
Pierce Co. (7-3) vs. Cedar Grove (8-1-1), Hallford,
5 p.m.
Langston Hughes (5-5) vs. Tucker (7-3), Hallford, 8
p.m.

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015

SPORTS

Page 17A

profile

Former Stone Mountain girls’
basketball coach honored
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Seven decade ago, Nell Wooten was a
student at Jacksonville State University in
Jacksonville, Ala., when she was approached
about becoming a basketball coach in
DeKalb County.
“The dean called me [out of class] and
said, ‘Weepy [Wooten’s nick name], they have
a recruiter for DeKalb County and they’re
looking for P.E. teachers and coaches down
in room so-and-so and you need to go down
there,’” Wooten said. “And I said, ‘Right
now?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, go ahead.’ I went
down there and introduced myself to the guy
that was there and I signed a contract that
day.”
The recruiter informed Wooten that he
was not sure which school she will be assigned to, but it was down to Stone Mountain, Avondale and Lithonia.
“He said, ‘You’ll get a letter in a couple of
weeks or so,’” Wooten said. “I got a letter that
said that I was going to Stone Mountain, and
I’ve thanked the good Lord ever since because I could have never gotten into a better
community of people who supported me and
the girls’ basketball team.”
Wooten coached the Stone Mountain
High School girls’ basketball team for three
decades in the 1950s “60s and “70s and
won more than 300 games, including a state
championship in 1966.
Wooten, 82, was honored Oct. 24 by former players and Stone Mountain community
members at the historic Old Rock Gym in
Stone Mountain, where she won those games.
The group also remembered former boys’
basketball coach, the late E. L. Rainey, who
coached the team to a state title in 1957.
It was Wooten’s first time in Stone Mountain in 40 years. She was surrounded by a
number of former players who thanked her
for the impact she had on their lives. One of
those people was Helen Flowers-Floyd.
Flowers-Floyd graduated from Stone
Mountain in 1970 and played basketball and
volleyball for Wooten.
“She was just a very special person,”
Flowers-Floyd said. “She was an awesome
coach and teacher. She motivated us she inspired us she encouraged us to do our best
and she wanted you to be the best that you
can be. She touched a lot of hearts in Stone
Mountain.”
It was Wooten who told Flowers-Floyd to
attend college and study to become a teacher
and a coach.
“I never thought about that,” she said.
“I went home and talked to my parents and
they said, ‘If that’s what you want to do then
do it.’ I went to school, graduated and became a teacher.”
Flowers-Floyd, who is now a retired educator, coached varsity basketball for 20 years
at LaGrange High School and then went to
the middle school level as an athletic director. She also married a coach and her son and
daughter are both coaches at LaGrange High

School.
“None of this probably wouldn’t have
came about if it wasn’t for Nell Wooten,” she
said. “She was just awesome.”
Lydia Rainey McGill, who was a member of the championship team and the
daughter of E. L. Rainey, said Wooten was a
role model to all of her players.
“She was a mentor to many at that time,”
McGill said. “But she was a strict disciplinarian. She set the goal and she was prepared. It
was nice to see a woman in that kind of leadership role in 1966.”
Wooten now resides in Mexico Beach,
Fla. After she retired from coaching at Stone
Mountain, she moved to Massachusetts and
lived there for 15 years.
“I learned to ski and [learned] a lot of the
winter sports, and I finally settled in Mexico
Beach and I’ve been here 25 years,” she said.
Wooten said she still watches basketball
and any other sport that pops up on her television. Although she understands much has
changed since her coaching days, one of the
changes that stands out to her is the lack of
control some coaches have of their programs.
“I was totally in control of my kids when
I was [coaching],” she said. “I was not a mean
person, but I had their respect and they did
what they were supposed to do, acted how
they were supposed to act and made good
grades. Every time the report cards came out
they had to bring them to me. I looked at
them and if they had a C in conduct I was always very concerned about that and I would
go talk to the teacher. I’m not sure if [current
coaches] keep up with [players] like they did
in the old days.”
Wooten has many memorable moments
from her time at Stone Mountain, but winning the state championship tops it all.
“We went to the state tournament 13 out
of 18 years that I was there. The way the region was set up we played Seminole County
High School the first game [of the tournament] every year,” she said. “Seminole County’s basketball coach was the superintendent
of education, and all he did was coach the
girls. They actually recruited [players] and
we had a hard time beating them.”
Wooten said the region was eventually
changed to where if they had to face Seminole County in the tournament it would be
in the state championship game.
“The first time we played them we beat
them,” Wooten said. “They were going after
their seventh [state title] in a row. I really and
truly feel like that we would’ve had a good
chance in winning or at least get to the finals
a number of times if we had not had to face
Seminole County.”
The one thing Wooten said she miss
about coaching is the students.
“I miss the kids and the love, but I would
not want to be coaching now,” she said. “I
settled into a wonderful community [in
Stone Mountain] that really loved their girls’
basketball as well as the boys.”

Coach Nell Wooten (center) led the Stone Mountain girls’ basketball
team to its first title in 1966.

Pictures of Coach Wooten were set up around the Old Rock Gym.

Wooten’s name plate was on display at the event.

November 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

“Economic Outlook and Financial Impact 2016” Featuring Keynote Speaker
Dennis Lockhart, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Through the general membership
meetings this year, the DeKalb
Chamber of Commerce has had the
opportunity to keep you informed
about the legislative session with
President and CEO Chris Clark of the
Georgia Chamber of Commerce; the
new direction for the DeKalb County
School District with Superintendent Dr.
R. Stephen Green; and the changes in
our multigenerational workforce with a
stellar panel of C-suite executives.
On Thursday, November 19, The
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
will conclude its series of general
membership meetings for the year
with keynote speaker Dennis Lockhart,
President and CEO of the Federal
Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Lockhart will
give a presentation on the “Economic
Outlook and Financial Impact for
2016,” and share details about our

current economic activity and where
our economy is headed next year.
For several years, the Federal
Reserve has kept interest rates near
zero to help the U.S. economy recover
from the 2008 financial crisis. Lockhart,
who sits on the Federal Reserve’s chief
monetary policy body the Federal
Open Market Committee (FOMC),
plays a crucial role in deciding whether
to raise interest rates.
A hike in interest rates will impact
our local community’s buying power
and spending trends in the year ahead,
and the ability for local businesses to
expand and grow. DeKalb Chamber
will get to meet with Lockhart before
the FOMC’s final meeting of the year
in December to further explore this
decision.
Don’t miss this opportunity to stay
informed. DeKalb Chamber invites

Chamber members and members of the
community to the General Membership
Meeting to learn more about this topic.
The event will take place from
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Georgia
Aquarium, Arctic Room on 225 Baker
Street NW in Atlanta. Ticket to the
event is $100 for chamber members
and $125 for nonmembers and guests.
To register for the event, please visit bit.
ly/lockhart-nov19.
Special thanks to our presenting
sponsor BB&T Bank. Corporate
sponsors include Decide DeKalb
Development Authority, GeorgiaPacific, LLC, Georgia Power,
Oglethorpe Power and The Private
Bank. Sponsorship opportunities are
still available. For more information,
please contact Rick Young at ryoung@
dekalbchamber.org or 404-378-8000.

Dennis Lockhart, Federal Reserve Bank
of Atlanta President and CEO, to meet
with DeKalb Chamber of Commerce on
November 19.

Upcoming Events
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.

The DeKalb Chamber 2016 Legislative Preview
Breakfast and Forum Set for December 10
Key DeKalb County Delegates to Discuss Legislation Impacting the County
The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce will host its 2016 Legislative Preview Breakfast and
Forum presented by Decide DeKalb Development Authority on Thursday, December 10.
Members of the Georgia General Assembly representing cross sections of DeKalb and of
various political parties will offer their insights into the 2016 Legislative Session with 100
projected Chamber members and guests in attendance.
Confirmed delegations serving on the panel include State Senator Fran Millar, State
Senator Steve Henson, Representative Billy Mitchell, Representative Howard Mosby, and
Representative Mary Margaret Oliver among others. Additional panelists and moderator to
be announced.
The Legislative Preview will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Courtyard by
Marriott Atlanta Decatur Downtown Hotel, 130 Clairemont Avenue in Downtown Decatur.
The event is open to the public. Tickets to the event are $35 for Chamber members and $45
for nonmembers and guests. To register for the event, please visit bit.ly/2016-legislation.
Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, please contact the
Chamber office at 404-378-8000.

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.
Georgia Aquarium, Arctic Room, 225 Baker Street
NW, Atlanta.
December 10 – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 2016
Legislative Preview & Breakfast Forum presented
by Decide DeKalb Development Authority.
Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta Decatur
Downtown Hotel, 130 Clairemont Avenue,
Decatur, GA 30030.
February 2016 – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. - Savethe-Date – DeKalb Chamber 78th Annual
Meeting.
Additional information available on our events
page: www.dekalbchamber.org.

Brought to you in partnership with: The Champion Newspaper

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015

local

Page 19A

Diplomat

Continued From Page 1A

which focuses on the development and management of U.S. policy concerning Africa.
She said, “My hope is that [students] find opportunities and know that regardless of their backgrounds they can achieve greatness like every other
person.”
Thomas-Greenfield was born in Baker, La., in
1952 when the state was still segregated.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Louisiana State University and a master’s in
political science at the University of Wisconsin.
Following graduation Thomas-Greenfield began
teaching political science at Bucknell University before joining the foreign service in 1982.
Thomas-Greenfield said upon joining the foreign service, her first job was as a consular officer
in Nigeria for two and a half years. She later served
in Gambia for three years and then Kenya.
In April 1994 Thomas-Greenfield was sent to
Rwanda on an official visit to assess refugee conditions. Two days after she arrived, the plane of
Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana was shot
down and the Rwandan genocide began. Approximately 800,000 people were killed.
“The country started melting down within
hours,” she said.
“I had the misfortune of being in the house next
door to a senior Rwandan government official.
When [Hutu soldiers] went to her house to kill her
they couldn’t find her so they decided to come into
the house next door… they were expecting to find
U.S. diplomats.”
Thomas-Greenfield said at the time a U.S. diplomat was presumed to be a White American. “That’s
all they’d ever seen.”
Thomas-Greenfield was mistaken for a Tutsi and
a Hutu soldier held a machine gun to her head until
she convinced the soldiers she was an American.
After a few days Thomas-Greenfield was allowed to leave.
“The killings never stopped,” she said.
In fact, according to The Organization of African Unity, a former international organization,
during the approximate 100-day period from April
7 to mid-July 1994, an estimated 500,000–1 million
Rwandans were killed, constituting as much as 70
percent of the Tutsi and 20 percent of Rwanda’s total population.
Thomas-Greenfield said on the 20th anniversary
of the genocide she went back to Rwanda and was
taken to a mausoleum where bones were piled from
ceiling to floor—skulls, arms, legs.
“I stopped breathing. I know that my bones and
my spirit could have been there with those people
who were killed,” she said.
“We know that we can’t let genocide happen ever
again. We can’t let it happen in Burundi. We can’t
let it happen anywhere else in the world,” she said.
In Washington, Thomas-Greenfield manages a
staff of 300 who are responsible for every country
on the continent of Africa. She said her staff members are responsible for all the issues on the continent of Africa and they help manage the 49 embassies and consulates based in Africa.
Currently, Thomas-Greenfield is working on
issues affecting Burundi, a landlocked country in
East Africa which is on the verge of genocide.
Thomas-Greenfield urged students interested
in working in the foreign service to take advantage
of high school programs that the U.S. Department
of State offers to help students gain experience and
insight into the role of the division and explained
that the U.S. Department of State offers two types
of student internship programs.

An investigation into DeKalb’s handling of election materials has been launched by Georgia’s secretary of
state. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

LaVista Continued From Page 1A
due to the alleged theft of a secured memory cards and fraud
allegations,” Kemp said. “Once
completed, the investigation
will be presented to the state
elections board. We will have
no further comment until that
time.”
Mary Kay Woodworth,
chairwoman of the LaVista
Hills Alliance, said in statement that the group has been
swamped with complaints from
voters in the proposed boundaries. Woodworth said voters
said they were “disenfranchised” and “could not easily”
cast a ballot on the referendum.
“We are enormously concerned about the integrity of
the election held [Nov. 3],”
Woodworth said in the statement. “That is why we have
retained an election law expert
to explore our legal options and
review the multitude of complaints coming in about those
who could not exercise their
constitutional right to vote in a
smooth fashion—or at all.”
Piazza told WSB-TV that a
memory card that collects votes
was loose in the office. He also
said some voters were turned
away at their polling place, and
voter material wasn’t properly
secured.
The DeKalb elections’ office
released a statement Nov. 5 saying its sole purpose is to ensure
the integrity of all elections in
accordance with Georgia election code.
“We recognize the seriousness of the allegations made

and are cooperating fully with
the Secretary of State’s office
as they investigate the claims
made,” the statement read. “We
remain convinced that once the
investigation is complete, the
veracity of the November 2015
elections will be confirmed.
Until the Secretary of State
completes his investigation we
have no further comment on
this issue.”
DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester, who represents parts of the proposed
city, said in a statement that she
has confidence that Kemp and
the GBI will conduct a full and
thorough investigation and address any criminal activity.
“Voters in DeKalb deserve
to have confidence that elections are conducted with
integrity and security,” Jester
said. “Due to the nature of
the allegations, the fact that
DeKalb election officials have
themselves reported this matter, and furthermore that this
employee has been placed on
leave; I believe that the citizens
should be allowed to vote again
on this measure. Unless and
until voters are allowed an election without any shadow of illegitimacy, this vote will remain
suspect and DeKalb’s reputation will continue to erode.”
Woodworth told The Champion Nov. 9 that if voters in the
proposed city are allowed to
vote again on the referendum
she hopes the vote would be
“overwhelmingly” in favor of
cityhood, “particularly if this is

just proven to be one more example of DeKalb County corruption and disrespect of the
citizens.”
Proponents of LaVista Hills,
which would include the proposed cities of Lakeside and
Briarcliff before combining,
have advocated for cityhood in
the wake of corruption cases
involving the county since
2013. After Lakeside and Briarcliff could not agree on boundary lines, the proposed cities
combined into one.
LaVista Hills proponents
then had to battle with Tucker
supporters over boundary lines.
Both cityhood bills passed the
Georgia General Assembly
April 2. Last-minute negotiations were made between the
state House and Senate over
a disputed area in the Livsey
Elementary School area. The
House did not agree with the
altered maps approved by the
Senate State and Local Governmental Operations Committee that shifted 2,000 residents
from Tucker’s map to LaVista
Hills.
A conference committee
was formed, and it voted 5-1
to return 500 residents, along
with a WalMart and a QuikTrip, to Tucker, and 1,500
residents remained in LaVista
Hills, according to reports.
The committee also removed
the Medlock and Mason Mills
neighborhoods from LaVista
Hills’ map.

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015

BUSINESS

Page 20A

The concept for Orchard at Tucker, an assisted living facility, began when the facility’s director became disappointed when looking for a place for his grandmother.

Orchard seeks to redefine assisted living

by Kathy Mitchell

The old “nursing home” concept with its institutional feel and
uninspired atmosphere, meals and
activities makes many older people
reluctant to move into such a facility.
Even those who need living assistance
and can afford it don’t want to live in
a place where little thought is given to
their needs and preferences, according to Irina Strembitsky, care counselor at the recently opened Orchard
at Tucker.
“We wanted something completely different from the old model—a
place that feels more like a resort than
a healthcare facility,” Strembitsky said.
The facility on Tucker’s Idlewood
Road features five-star dining with
menu options every day. “If someone
doesn’t like what’s on the menu, we’ll
make something just for that person,”
Strembitsky said. There also is a bistro, a crafts area, a library, a computer
room, a putting green, a game room,
a hair salon and spa, a patio, walking
paths and gardens, cable television
and more.
The concept came from Arkadiy
Yakubov, who is now Orchard’s director. He was looking for an assisted
living home for his grandmother and
was disappointed to see what was
on the market. “She wanted to be a
part of a community where people
are treated with dignity and respect
… where her voice meant something
and where great and healthy food was
not a treat but part of a daily routine.
More importantly, she wanted to be
part of a family and not part of huge
corporation,” Yakubov notes on Or-

Irina Strembitsky, care counselor at Orchard at Tucker, said the assisted living facility
“feels more like a resort than a healthcare facility.”

chard’s website.
In response to his grandmother’s
wishes, he created a small personal
care home in Brookhaven for her
and a few others. Later he decided he
wanted to make such accommodations available to other older people.
“After eight years in business, I am
more passionate about this field than
when I started,” Yakubov continued.
“My goal is to provide each family
with peace of mind and treat every
one of our residents as my Grandma
Berta.”
“We’re not doing this to stand
out among assisted living facilities,”
Strembitsky said. “We want to inspire
other places to come up to this standard. Our motto is ‘more than assisted living, we are an assisted living
movement.’”
Orchard at Tucker held the grand
opening of the 47-apartment build-

ing in late August. Phase two, which
adjoins the current building, is scheduled to open early in 2016.
The apartments are either studio
style or one bedroom with a sitting
area and bathroom. “We encourage
residents to socialize—to eat and
engage in recreational activities with
others—so there is no need for a
kitchen or dining area in individual
apartments,” Strembitsky said. “Residents have their private space, but
also many opportunities to mingle
with others.”
She said the team that planned
Orchard are all on-site at the facility.
“There’s no corporate office overseeing us from afar,” Strembitsky said.
“That not only means that we’re here
every day seeing what’s going on, but
we save money because there’s no
corporate office to support.”
Strembitsky added that resident

input is equally important to the operation of the facility. “Some places
wait until a person has moved in to
start figuring out what his or her
needs and preferences are. We ask
questions before the person moves in
so he or she can be comfortable right
away.”
Some residents select furniture
from the home they’re moving from
so that the new setting immediately
feels like home. Others enjoy starting over with new furnishings. “Most
people keep their home for a few
months to be sure they like the new
arrangement. If they don’t like living
here, that’s not a problem. There’s not
contract; they’re free to move out at
any time,” Strembitsky said.
Orchard’s staff members are
professionally trained to provide personal care services that may include
assistance with bathing, dressing,
grooming, therapy and medication
management and care is taken to assure each person is safe. “Some people have health conditions that were
made worse by not taking medications properly or a stroke or fall that
was not attended to promptly. We
make sure nothing like that happens
here,” Strembitsky said.
There also are specialized memory care services for those living
with dementia. The care staff and the
leadership team were trained by a nationally recognized dementia expert
Teepa Snow and ongoing training
keeps staff current on dementia-related awareness, knowledge, and skill,
according to Strembitsky.

InclusIveness

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

The Champion, Thursday, November 12 - 18, 2015

EDUCATION

Page 21A

From left, Dr. Michele Pinnock, Jamaica’s western regional director of the ministry of education; Jason Richardson, principal, Watford Hill Primary School, Hanover Parish; Dr. Thelma
Mumford-Glover, Links International Trends and Services co-chair, and Carolyn Glenn, member of the national ITS Committee and a member of the Bradenton-Sarasota Chapter of The
Links Inc.

Local nonprofit, partners aid Caribbean
Dr. Michele Pinnock and
Principal Jason Richardson met Oct. 28 in Montego
Bay, Jamaica, with Southern
Area members of The Links
Inc. Links Dr. Thelma Mumford-Glover and Carolyn
Jernigan Glenn, along with
Connecting Link Dr. Earl
Glenn, executive director of
the Glenns’ nonprofit organization Unconditional Love
for Children Inc. (ULC),
discussed their collaboration
and plans for assistance on
behalf of Watford Hill Primary School. Glover and the
Glenns shared with Pinnock
details of The Links Inc.,
global initiative that will kick
off Jan. 27-30, 2016.
 More than 150 Links
from the United States and
The Bahamas will visit Jamaica to support Cornwall
Regional Hospital and three
primary schools in the Montego Bay area—Watford Hill,
Mt. Zion and St Mary’s. 
Pinnock expressed appreciation to The Links
Inc., for its support of the
three primary schools in
her region and Richardson
shared examples of what the
partnership has added to
Watford Hill Primary School
to help improve student

Pinnock

academic performance and
propel students to 10 percent
competency on national examinations. Dr. Glenn stated
that ULC is committed to the
partnership for the long haul.
“We want to follow these
students through graduation
and beyond to be sure that
our efforts have truly made a
difference,” he said.

 The support initiatives include services from
Bradenton-Sarasota Chapter
of the Links and ULC that
provide yearly mission group
projects and summer camp
programs to upgrade infrastructure, extracurricular
and academic performance.
Resources are provided in
literacy, math, technology,

the arts and parental involvement. Salaries are also provided to employ additional
teachers as well as stipends
for ULC initiated programs
in chess and band instruction.
Carolyn Glenn stated,
“Most of our mission participants have traveled to Jamaica for the six years since
the program started. They
take great pride in helping
children and communities
and experience personal fulfillment as a result of their
work. We also are very grateful to Georgia Perimeter College and their Jamaica StudyAbroad, civic engagement
and service learning programs that has sent students
for six years to our Summer
Enrichment Program to assist Watford Hill students
with basic skills.”  
ULC and The SarasotaBradenton Links are continuously creating new
partnerships in Jamaica and
the United States. Current
partners include Georgia Perimeter College, GreenforestMcCalep Baptist Church and
Academic Center, Friendship
Baptist Church (Fla.), Hanover Charities, One Love
Foundation and the South-

ern Area of The Links, Inc.  
Pinnock explained that
the collaborative partnership is working well and
stressed the importance of
documenting each step for
accountability, transparency,
outcomes and the ability to
replicate the programs in
the future as a potential best
practice model. She also
stressed the importance of 
documenting obstacles that
may occur along with resolutions so that new partners
will have an effective blueprint from which to work. 
Pinnock embraced the
successful partnership between The Links Inc., and
the three primary schools
in her region saying that she
envisions many growth opportunities for the partnership and indicated that the
organizations involved have
open-door privileges to her
office.
 Pinnock stated that
Rev. Ronald Thwarles, minister of education, for Jamaica and the Sylvie Lucas, U.
S. Ambassador to Jamaica,
also would be interested in
learning more about this successful global educational
partnership.

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015

CLASSIFIED

Classifieds
TheChampion

Page 22A

For Prices, Deadlines and Information

Visit www.championclassifieds.com
Rates: $30.00 for up to 40 words, each additional word $0.60.
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Ads Due By Friday - Noon
for next publication date.

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

AUCTIONS

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

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Mock Jurors: $ $ Earn $12 Per
Hour $ $- Spend 6-10 hours on a
given weekday night, weekday or
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of an actual court case. If you have
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VACATION RENTALS
ADVERTISE YOUR VACATION
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for only $350. Call Melissa Pearson
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gapress.org/georgianewspaperservice.html

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

The Champion, Thursday, November 12 - 18, 2015

WEEK

In

WEEK IN PICTURES

Page 23A

Pictures

Hundreds of DeKalb County pet owners take advantage of free vaccinations and other pet services Nov. 7 at Shoal Creek Park II in Decatur. Pet vaccinations were administered by
licensed veterinarians and free pet food, microchipping and other services were available, as well as vouchers for free spaying or neutering. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

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

(404) 294-2900
www.rollingforwardtoone.com

local

PageChampion
24A The
Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, novemberPage
13, 2015
The
FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, november 13, 2015
24A

Briefs Continued From Page 8A
District Attorney’s Office
to host community forum
on gangs
DeKalb County District
Attorney Robert James is
hosting a community forum
to combat the rise of gangrelated violence in DeKalb
County on Saturday, Nov.
14, at The Greater Travelers
Rest Baptist Church (House
of Hope Atlanta), located at
4650 Flat Shoals Parkway in
Decatur.
The forum, which runs
from 9 a.m. to noon, will
feature presentations from
DeKalb County Police Department’s Gang Unit, District Attorney’s Office Gang
Unit, former gang members,
and victims of gang-related
crimes. The event is being
moderated by on-air radio
personality Rashad Richey,
who was a former gang
member and now hosts “Real
Talk with Rashad Richey” on
WAOK.
“There is a real issue with
gangs, not only in DeKalb,
but across the entire region
that must be addressed,”
James said. “We want this
forum to provide a real life

perspective of the rising problem of gang violence in our
community, but also arm participants with the tools and
contacts to combat this issue
as well.”
To RSVP for this upcom-

ing community forum, please
contact Ebony Phillips at
eaphillips@dekalbcountyga.
gov. A complimentary breakfast will be served.

Grand Re-Opening Celebration
DECEMBER 10, 2015
3:00 - 5:00 P.M.

Come celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of the

Holiday Inn Atlanta Northlake
Refreshments will be served,
along with a guided tour of our
newly renovated hotel.

2158 Ranchwood Drive • Atlanta, Ga 30345

Pet Week
of
the

Mystique (ID# 29687546)
Mystique is the type
of dog that everyday
brightens up your life
more and more. This
happy, affectionate, and
people-loving one year
old has never had a bad
day. She is bright and
cheery from sun up to
sun down. Her favorite
activities include chewing
on bones and then burying them in her blanket,
saying hello to everyone
she passes, napping on
her comfy bed, chasing
bugs, and getting belly
rubs. Mystique has an injured elbow and her adopters
will need to get her the specialized care she may need.
Is Mystique the one for you? If you adopt Mystique in November during our “Thankful” promotion, her adoption fee
is half off! This includes her vaccines, spay and microchip
too! Come meet Mystique today at DeKalb County Animal
Services!
Give them a reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving
and we’ll cut your adoption fee in half! During November,
all dogs weighing 25 lbs. or more and all cats may be adopted for half off the regular adoption price. Adoption fee
includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchip and more!
If you would like more information about Mystique please
email adoption@dekalbanimalservices.com or call (404)
294-2165. All potential adopters will be screened to ensure Mystique goes to a good home.