FRIDAY, november 27, 2015 • VOL. 18, NO. 34 • FREE

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

Quick Finder
Education................................ 17A
Classified............................... 16A


County databases
on display during
annual event

Center to address
cancer among

Miller Grove

Local, 2A

local, 8A

sports, 18A

County leaders discuss
dysfunction with pastors

DeKalb County commissioners join hands during a prayer for DeKalb
County’s government. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
Volunteers place canned good items on the shelves of a food bank.

Food bank gives food to
families for Thanksgiving
by Carla Parker
This year has been difficult for Martha Shropshire
and her family.
The single mother, who
lives in Stone Mountain, lost
her mother in March. Before
her mother died, she moved
to South Carolina to care
for her. That is when her
situation took a turn for the
“Everything was fine
until my mom got sick, and
I had to go see about her,”
Shropshire said. “I ended up
losing everything. I ended
up losing my Section 8. I’m
on disability and I’m paying
a whole month’s rent that I
cannot afford. It takes all of
my check, but I have to do
what I have to do to keep a
roof over my babies’ heads. I
have to go to different places
because they don’t give me
very many food stamps. So I
have to go to different places
to get food.”
One of those places is

See Food Bank on Page 13A

Stone Mountain Cooperative Ecumenical Ministry provides various food
items including canned goods, meats and vegetables.

by Andrew Cauthen
“Bury the hatchet” was a
message a group of DeKalb
County pastors gave the
Board of Commissioners and
interim CEO during a Nov.
23 meeting.
Approximately a dozen
ministers with interim county CEO Lee May and Commissioners Nancy Jester,
Larry Johnson, Jeff Rader,
Sharon Barnes Sutton and
Stan Watson to discuss various issues in the county.
“All of y’all are injured
by one another, so every time
you sit down…and when
somebody starts talking, all
kinds of stuff starts moving inside and automatically
we’ve got a war going on
before we get the facts on the
table because ‘you called the
media on me,’ ‘you did this
to me,’ ‘you stabbed me in
the back,’ ‘I heard about the
meeting you had about this,’”
Bishop Eddie Long, pastor
of Lithonia’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, told
county leaders.
“You don’t’ trust one
another with good reason,”
Long said. “There should be
a meeting where we have a
peace treaty.”
Rev. Steven N. Dial
Sr., pastor of Rainbow Park
Baptist Church, where the

Martha Shropshire places food items for Thanksgiving in her trunk.




meeting was held, said, “The
purpose of the meeting is
to have the commissioners
come and have a discussion
with us on all different topics that we’ve been hearing
“We thought it would be
best to hear it straight from
you all—you all’s perspective
on the things that are going
on in our county,” he said.
“It’s a very friendly, laid-back
informational meeting.”
The meeting turned loud
and heated at times, and at
one point Dial had to raise
his voice to calm the county
leaders down. The meeting
ended with the pastors and
commissioners joining hands
in prayer.
Various topics were discussed during the two-hour
meeting including the failed
deal with the Atlanta United
professional soccer team to
bring its headquarters to
DeKalb; interpersonal relations among commissioners
and the interim CEO; south
DeKalb versus north DeKalb;
and alleged government corruption.
May said, “People will
say over the last decade
DeKalb County has gone
down. That’s a lie. What you
see now is really an ongoing
effect of decades—I would
say it goes back to Manuel
Maloof,” a former CEO of

See Leaders on Page 13A


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015

County databases
on display during
annual event
by Andrew Cauthen
It was all about data—and
the people who manipulate
it—when DeKalb County
held its annual Geographic
Information Systems (GIS)
Day on Nov. 18.
“Basically GIS is a database that links descriptive
information—what things are
like—with geographic information—where things are,”
said Stacy Grear, director of
the county’s GIS department.
GIS Day is a time to
“demonstrate real-world applications [about] how GIS
is used on a daily basis…
[in] the delivery of all public
services—fire, public safety,
911, planning, community
development, economic development,” Grear said. “We
basically support every department within the county.”
DeKalb’s GIS awareness
event was part of an annual
international event during
which information is disseminated about the field of geographic information systems
and the contributions they
make in the fields of science,
technology, information, and
the humanities.
Representatives from
county departments and city
governments that use GIS databases had tables in Maloof
Auditorium during the event.
Grear said one of the
GIS department’s tasks is to
maintain land records for the
county’s estimated 235 land
“Those parcels have to
be assessed and taxed,” Grear
said. “We have to accurately
depict each one of those parcels in terms of maintaining
and…subdividing. When a
new subdivision comes in it
has to be displayed so the tax
assessor can put an accurate
assessment on it.”
Additionally, the GIS
department maintains a
county database of more than
400,000 addresses. One of the
uses of this database is for the
911 system.
Accurate GIS records are
“critical to response times in
terms of public safety, 911,
police, fire [and] EMS,” Grear
During a fuel or chemical
spill from a tanker, for exam-

ple, the GIS department “can
instantaneously do a five-mile
radius [search]…and tell you
all the affected properties…
and get some type of notification out to them,” Grear said.
“In the past you wouldn’t have
been able to do that.”
The 25-year-old GIS department maintains information on county-owned surplus
properties, easements, road
management and land swaps.
Recently, it played a crucial
role in the sanitation service
delivery change in which the
county switched to one-daya-week collection for all sanitation services.
“It’s an asset to be able
to instantaneously know the
effect of a decision you’ve
made,” Grear said about the
benefits of the GIS department. “The beauty of GIS is it
allows you to show those analytics, which is very important in terms of governance,
in terms of service delivery, in
terms of public engagement
[and] in terms of constituent
County spokesman Burke
Brennan said DeKalb’s GIS
department “is a fully integrated repository of data on a
parcel level. With a couple of
clicks of the button you can
break it down by planning
and land use, or we can break
it down by some other application like infrastructure.”
The department is “very
advanced in terms of technology,” he said. “The same stuff
that you see on MapQuest
and Google Maps—the same
infrastructure that drills
down that type of data that
you need instantly—they’re
getting it from our GIS department and others of this
same caliber of technology.”
Grear said the county’s
GIS department is “ground
zero” for companies such as
Google and MapQuest.
“They have to get that
data from us because we’re
ground zero for it,” Grear
said. “When a new subdivision comes in, Google doesn’t
know when that subdivision
“When you go on your
phone and you want to
[know] how to get from point
A to point B, that’s GIS,” he


Page 2A

County and city departments that benefit from geographical information systems (GIS) were on display Nov.
18 during DeKalb’s annual GIS Day. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015


Page 3A

Local students support
domestic violence program
by Ashley Oglesby
Georgia-certified family
violence programs provided
shelter for more than 4,500
adults and 4,700 children
with 234,834 shelter nights
in 2006, according to Georgia Department of Human
Great Expressions Dental
Centers (GEDC) officials
said that number is rising and more women and
children seeking refuge in
Georgia domestic violence
shelters with just the clothes
on their backs.
To provide aid to victims
in crisis, the organization
launched its second annual
Dental Deputies program,
a community-based initiative to collect dental hygiene
items to donate to victims in
metro Atlanta shelters.
GEDC partnered with
preschools and daycares
throughout Decatur to gather donations.
On Nov. 16 through Nov.
22 students at the Phoenix
School collected more than
60 toothbrushes, toothpastes
and floss.
GEDC matched each
item collected to increase the
amount of supplies donated
to families in need.
The Phoenix School
Executive Director Bobbie
Dent said the students were
“happy to give back.
“We’re a neighborhood
school and we try to participate with the community
at all times anyway we can.
The community is wonderful
to us, we love to give back,”
Dent added.
Upon picking up the donation, GEDC officials provided free dental care education for each participating

Phoenix School Executive Director Bobbie Dent poses in front of the
school’s main office.

“Great Expressions Dental Centers of Decatur was
delighted to work with The
Phoenix School to help area
victims of domestic violence,” said Dr. Ulpa Patel.
“These students put in tremendous effort, collecting
items for those in need. It’s
our pleasure to match those
items while also teaching the
students about the importance of oral health.”
More than 48 other preschools and daycare centers
took part in the drive.
Donations will be delivered to shelters in more than
20 communities throughout
the area, such as YWCA of
Northwest Georgia, Partnership Against Domestic Violence, International Women’s
House Inc. and Women
Moving On Inc. in Decatur.
CEO of Great Expressions Dental Centers Richard Beckman said, “The effects of domestic violence are
devastating, often uprooting
victims from the lives they
once knew. Great Expressions and its partners community are working to provide relief to these victims
through access to essential
toiletries, collecting critical

dental supplies for those taking refuge while also making
sure our shelters have the
supplies needed to keep caring for those who are suffering.”

Preschools learn about dental hygiene from Great Expressions Dental
Centers staff.


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(404) 373-7779

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015

Katherine Tanner
Katherine Tanner spent a
few hours on Nov. 18 talking
to students and other residents about emergency preparedness during a DeKalb
County event promoting geographic information systems
She talked about the need
for weather radios, signing
up for the county’s CodeRed
emergency notification system and having enough food,
water and supplies during an
Tanner volunteers as an
instructor with the DeKalb
County Emergency Manage-

ment Agency’s Community
Emergency Response Team
(CERT). She also volunteers
with the DeKalb County
Fire Rescue Reserves and the
DeKalb County Amateur Ra-


dio Emergency Services.
A retired county tax commissioner’s office employee
and former school safety officer, Tanner has been volunteering with the county since
April 2008.
She got started with the
community emergency response team after receiving
an email about the organization.
“I thought it would be a
very interesting program to
go into for how to take care of
myself and my family,” Tanner said. “I took the CERT
course and… the next step

Page 6A

was to volunteer with the fire
Working with CERT “is
the best thing we could do
because we like to give back
to the county because our
guys…don’t get the credit,
they’re overworked and underpaid. And we’re there for
them,” Tanner said.
Tanner said she volunteers “because it’s fun.”
“I like helping people,”
she said. “It’s just a great joy
to give back to help someone
Tanner said she encourages others to join her in vol-

“It’s just fun to interact
with people and you feel good
about yourself because you’re
helping somebody else, especially somebody that really
can’t help themselves,” Tanner
said. “We thoroughly enjoy
Tanner and her husband
are volunteers in their church,
Connect Point Christian Center in Snellville, where they
work with media, Sunday
School and the church’s café.
“Anything that needs to
be done, we’re there,” Tanner

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

Stone Mountain considers annexation
by Carla Parker
After the passing of the
Tucker cityhood referendum,
Stone Mountain has begun
discussions about possible annexation.
The Stone Mountain Annexation Task Force, which
consists of city and elected officials, met Nov. 18 to discuss
the possibility of annexation.
Mayor Patricia Wheeler said
the purpose of the meeting
was to decide what areas to
look at annexing should they
decide to present an annexation plan during the 2017 legislative session.
“We’re here to determine
if we really want to go for annexation, to see what we want

and then how we want to go
forward with it,” Wheeler
said. “Do we think it’s feasible
to look at it, and what do we
want to do? I’m here to do
what the council wants to do.”
The areas being considered include six industrial
parks along E. Ponce de Leon
Avenue, and properties along
Memorial Drive to North
Hairston Road and to Rockbridge Road. The city will also
consider the Walmart on the
corner of Memorial Drive and
North Hairston Road. The
city will look to see if these
areas could be annexed without raising taxes.
City Manager Gary Peet
said he has previously researched some of these properties for possible annexation.

One of those area included
Smoke Rise, which is now a
part of the city of Tucker.
“I did some research into
some smaller areas,” Peet said.
“As soon as you cut out Smoke
Rise, everything is lower income, lower real estate value
areas. It just does not work at
“We realistically don’t
need to spend so much
money and time if it’s not feasible,” Councilman Richard
Mailman said. “If it’s feasible
to do, then let’s get a map of
what we really want. Let’s
make sure that we have all the
people in those areas take the
time to have conversations,
make sure they want to come
in, give that area to Gary and
say—without having to raise

Councilman Steve Wells
said the city should consider
the property values beyond
“We obviously have to
look 100 years down the road
and say what are these property values are going to look
like,” Wells said. “If Greenhaven comes in, they’re going
to take everything, and then
we’re truly stuck.”
The proposed city of
Greenhaven’s map includes all
unincorporated areas in south
DeKalb, including the areas
surrounding Stone Mountain.
Although the Greenhaven
cityhood bill did not pass the
last legislative session, it is still
under consideration.
However, Wheeler said

she has heard from several
legislators that they do not
want to work on any cityhood
or annexation bills during the
upcoming session because of
the 2016 election.
“A lot of them are up for
re-election, they all want out
of there [by the March primary election] so they’re going
to push back on doing a lot of
stuff, and annexation is one
thing they don’t want to do,”
Wheeler said. “I’ve already
heard that from too many of
them. If we pushed and really
wanted to [present an annexation proposal], they would
probably look at it.”
Peet will do research on
the areas discussed before the
city moves forward with any

Brookhaven mayor calls for outside review of councilman’s employment
by Carla Parker
Brookhaven elected officials are
questioning whether a city councilman made an ethics violation for
accepting a job with Brookhaven Innovation Academy (BIA).
Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca
Chase Williams said in a Nov. 16
press release that no ethical complaint
has been filed; however, she and the
council requested legal opinion concerning the ethics of Councilman
Bates Mattison accepting a full time
job with academy.
“The mayor and council would
like to clarify and have a better under-

standing of any legal, ethical or charter
problems, violations or conflicts of interest for Mr. Mattison to serve as both
a Brookhaven city councilman and
director of the BIA,” Williams said.
“That is why I am calling for an independent inquiry into the questions.”
Mattison has led the charge for
the creation of the academy. In 2013,
the city allocated funds in the budget for an education initiative, which
included submitting a petition to the
DeKalb County and the state for an
independent charter school. However,
the petition was denied.
The city council voted again this
year to fund an education initiative
and to submit another petition for the

charter school, which was approved.
On Oct. 16, the BIA Board of Directors voted to have Mattison serve as
executive director through “opening
of school or Sept. 30, 2016.” At its Nov.
19 meeting, the board voted to remove
commissions from current Mattison’s
contract at his request and setup an
executive compensation committee.
Williams said she “asked for guidance on any votes Mr. Mattison makes
that might prove to be a conflict or
ethical problem given his contract to
earn a portion of funds he raises for
the BIA.”
She also asked that the “same procedure be used that is called for in the
city’s ethics ordinance: the city clerk

randomly chooses an attorney she has
compiled from a list of four attorneys
chosen for their independence, integrity and ability to render a fair and
impartial decision.”
“I ask that this review be made as
expeditiously as possible so the council can move forward with its many
pressing issues without a distraction
or hint of controversy,” Williams said.
“We also believe Councilman Mattison deserves a fair and impartial
answer as quickly as possible. I am
anxious to clear up any questions, as
we must hold ourselves to the highest
of standards.”

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015


Page 4A

Soccer complex deal is not a loss
As the old saying goes,
“you win some and you lose
some.” Atlanta United’s decision to not locate its corporate offices and practice
fields in DeKalb on countyowned land is not a loss,
When the announcement
was first made that land adjacent to the DeKalb County
Jail would be the new corporate headquarters for millionaire Arthur Blank’s professional soccer team, county
officials admitted that their
offer to Blank was made
hastily and details were kept
private due to concerns that

John Hewitt

Chief Operating Officer

the deal would go to another
metro Atlanta county and
DeKalb would miss a great

Blank and company have
now announced that the
much-touted soccer complex will be located in Cobb
County. The official explanation is that the cost of land
remediation would too great.
This strikes me as an odd
reason for Atlanta United to
abruptly change its mind—
especially since DeKalb
County had already agreed
to absorb the costs of preparing the land for the complex.
Arthur Blank is not a
rookie in successful business
operations. As the cofounder
of The Home Depot, owner
of the Atlanta Falcons, chair-

man of The Arthur Blank
Family Foundation and far
too many other accolades to
mention, Blank has a proven
record of sound business decisions.
Could the ongoing
climate of legal and ethical concerns surrounding
DeKalb officials be more
than Blank cares to be associated with? According to
reports, the deal struck with
Cobb County isn’t nearly as
much of a sweetheart deal as
the DeKalb offer. There had
to have been considerations
other than the cost of land
remediation that came into

play for a sudden change of
venue that will ultimately
cost Atlanta United much
more than locating the complex in DeKalb.
Whatever the real reasons for this sudden reversal
of plans are, it’s not a loss for
DeKalb County.
The Memorial Drive corridor does, without question,
need economic stimulus
and development; perhaps
a comprehensive land use
assessment coupled with
taxpayer input would yield
suggestions that would ultimately be more beneficial for
all involved.


When can the police search your cell phone?
by Blair Chintella
I recently took a break
from my regular news sources (as I sometimes do) and
here is what I learned from
watching about 30 minutes
of the “mainstream” news.
First, “terrorists” are going
to destroy our way of life in
the near future. Second, both
Democrats and Republicans
will say almost anything to
get elected. Third, someone’s Chintella
funny cat video on YouTube
went viral. And lastly, Wolf
lice arrested Riley and then
Blitzer’s beard hasn’t grown
since the last time I tuned in. searched his cell phone withNow don’t get me wrong, out a warrant nearly 90 minutes later. The government
these stories deserve some
argued at trial that a warrant
attention–well, maybe not
Blitzer’s beard–but I’d like to was not required because the
take a break from the normal search was done “incident to
24/7 news cycle to share with arrest,” to prevent evidence
from being destroyed. Previyou (on a serious note) a recent issue that’s been impor- ously, the Supreme Court has
upheld such searches for this
tant to me both personally
reason, correctly in my opinand professionally.
ion, for this reason and also
I was pleasantly surto protect officers or prevent
prised recently when I read
an escape.
the Supreme Court’s recent
Fortunately, the Supreme
decision of Riley v. CaliforCourt
disagreed with the
nia, which held that it is
and, in a very
unconstitutional to search
opinion, outa person’s cell phone simply
likely interbecause he or she is being
rights in
arrested (also known as a
technolo“search incident to arrest)”.
In my opinion, Riley is imof
mensely important because it
recognicould determine the constitutionality of searches involv- tion that “smartphones” are
ing new electronic devices in no longer merely used to
make phone calls. They can
the foreseeable future.
be a camera, a video/audio
In Riley, the namesake
recorder, a diary or a picture
defendant was pulled over
album. Moreover, they’re
for an expired tag. The po-

frequently used to make
purchases, browse the Internet, view a bank statement
or email friends or family. I
think that Riley recognizes
the basic notion that invading of all of these personal
aspects of a person’s life is
unacceptable based solely
on the fact that he or she is
being arrested–at least get a
warrant first.
I spoke about Riley at this
year’s DragonCon event, and
I’ve talked with many people
about this and similar issues
in years past. I’d like to share
a few observations based on
my experience that I think
Riley highlights. The first is

the basic idea that everybody,
whether they admit it or not,
has some an inner sense of
liberty, justice and privacy.
Additionally, I believe that it
is much easier to browbeat or
suppress these traits in people than it is to foster them.
We need to be more careful in the future that as we
continue innovating newer
technologies we don’t alienate ourselves in the process.
“Civil liberties” is not a
catchphrase or a partisan issue. They are something that
universally increases people’s
enjoyment of life, and our
soldiers fight wars for this
belief. And I would point

out, as a practical matter, fostering these uniquely human
traits helps induce personal
development, maturity and a
more cohesive and productive society. Riley implicitly
recognized these truths and
I hope that we’ll see more
cases like it in the future.
Blair Chintella is an attorney residing in DeKalb
County. He has a general
practice including civil litigation, criminal law, and
constitutional challenges to
searches and seizures. He can
be reached at (404) 931-2090

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015


Page 5A

One Man’s Opinion

Our friend, Capitalism
“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing
of its blessings. The inherent
blessing of socialism is the
equal sharing of its miseries,”
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965).
That monument to capitalism, showcased at its best
and worst, are the looming
kick-off days of the holiday
shopping season, Black Friday, Cyber Monday...and
alas, increasingly, Thanksgiving Day. But like it or
not, millions will rush like
madmen...and madwomen
to the nearest Kohl’s, others
will camp in parking lots at
Walmart and Target, often
treating friends and neighbors like the last remnants
of civilization as they race
down the store aisles as the
doors open on the big sale
days. Ahhh....Christmas is
A recent Gallup poll
measured the general acceptance of the once deadly
phrase, “Socialist,” within
the American political spectrum. It asked the simple
question of how likely a voter
might be in supporting a
Socialist on a presidential
election ballot. Among 1830 year olds, the “Yes” answer was an astonishing 69
percent. Yes, Socialism, the
political structure of choice
in China, the former U.S.S.R
and hometown favorite of
our good friend, Kim Jong Il

Bill Crane


Jr. in North Korea.
Yet this nation and a
healthy majority of the
benefits we enjoy as a free
society are strongly tied to
a system of free and open
markets and yes, capitalism.
I’m not exactly sure when or
how the axis tilted and the
poles switched places, when
re-distribution of wealth and
taking from the producers
to make sure everyone’s piles
are equal, however as has
been proven, time and again,
Socialism may sound good
in theory, but in
seldom works as planned.
You may remember this
past April, how an enterprising Seattle tech entrepreneur,
Dan Price of Gravity Payments, gave himself a 90 percent pay-cut, and gave a huge
raise to all of his employees
to $70,000 per year. Seattle and the Seatac Airport
area are also the first major
American communities ex-

perimenting with a mandatory $15 an hour minimum
wage within certain industries. 
Price’s change doubled
the pay of nearly 30 employees, gave a significant boost
to another 40 and severely
reduced the pay of all senior managers. This change
was funded by the pay cuts
and taking a sizable bite
out of the growing enterprise’s $2 million in annual
profit. Most entrepreneurs
plow profits back into the enterprise during early years to
grow their businesses.
Besides freaking out his
largest customers who began
to wonder how this start-up
enterprise could afford to do
this...other dominoes began
to quickly fall. The senior
managers of the company,
many of whom had worked
long hours and paid their
dues during the humble beginnings of the corporation,
suddenly saw their higher
salaries vanish. Overnight
there were no incentives to
perform, log over-time or
put in all the ‘extra’ effort to
climb the ladder or continue
to build that company. The
founder’s brother filed a
lawsuit for several million,
challenging his brother’s authority and asserting Price
was ruining the long-term
value of a company which he
helped his brother build. Senior talent of Gravity began
dropping like flies, heading

for other companies, questioning Price’s judgment,
business sense and putting
their own careers and families first.
Gravity Payments is still
in business, and the jury
remains out on whether or
not Price is right... But I will
mention that although he
did take a huge pay cut himself, Price did not relinquish
control of the company, give
up his stock or future stock
warrants or surrender what
he had built to the control
of government...all things
which would have occurred
under a true Socialist regime.
Consider perhaps the
gifts given by the ultimate
poster-boy for this season, Jesus Christ. Which
of Christ’s miracles do you
think provided more benefit,
changing water into wine
for all of the wedding guests
at Galilee (John 2:1-11) or
helping a struggling fisherman improve his catch of
fish (Luke 5:3-10). Me, I’ll go
with that full kettle of fish,
for selling, sharing and consuming.
May you and yours also
have a turkey on the table
and a full pot at every meal
this holiday season...but
remember, you will most
likely appreciate the feasts
which you help to earn...versus those chosen or placed
on your plate by Uncle Sam
or some other socialist enterprise.  Just like cooking

and serving your own meal
seems to taste better and
more satisfying than nuking
something in the microwave.
Wishing you and yours
all the best this holiday season.
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 

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to publication date.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of the editor or publishers. The
Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any
advertisement at any time. The Publisher is not
responsible for unsolicited manuscripts.

John Hewitt
Chief Financial Officer:
Dr. Earl D. Glenn
Managing Editor:
Andrew Cauthen
Production Manager:
Kemesha Hunt
Travis Hudgons
Staff Reporters:
Carla Parker, Ashley Oglesby
The Champion Free Press is published
each Friday by ACE III Communications,
Inc., • 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur,
GA. 30030 • Phone (404) 373-7779.
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Statement from the
We sincerely appreciate the
discussion surrounding this and any
issue of interest to DeKalb County.
The Champion was founded in 1991
expressly to provide a forum for
discourse for all community residents
on all sides of an issue. We have no
desire to make the news only to
report news and opinions to effect
a more educated citizenry that will
ultimately move our community
forward. We are happy to present
ideas for discussion; however,
we make every effort to avoid
printing information submitted to
us that is known to be false and/or
assumptions penned as fact.


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015


City to host Christmas event
Brookhaven will host its “Light Up Brookhaven” event Dec. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Blackburn
Park. The free event will feature a special musical
performance, visits with Santa, holiday crafts, hot
chocolate sale benefitting Montgomery Elementary, refreshments and Christmas tree and dreidel
lightings. The park is located at 3493 Ashford
Dunwoody Road. For more information, visit

City facilities serving as Toys for Tots
donation sites


days—that’s why we have chosen to collect food
to be donated throughout the year. No one should
have to wonder where their next meal is coming
from and it’s unfortunate that so many people
in our community do,” said Marshall Boutwell,
president/CEO for Peach State.
“Most people wouldn’t believe how difficult it
is to keep food on our shelves, so donations like
the one from Peach State help to meet the needs
of our community/the people we serve,” said
Deborah Segue, social worker for the Greenforest Social Ministry.
The Greenforest Social Ministry is an emergency service provider dedicated to the reduction
of hunger and the elimination of homelessness in
DeKalb County. The church’s outreach ministry
and supportive services play an integral role in
meeting emergency food and short-term housing
needs of at-risk individuals and families.

Brookhaven residents can drop off donations
for Toys for Tots through Dec. 18 at Brookhaven
facilities, including City Hall, the Brookhaven
Police Department, and Lynwood and Briarwood
recreation centers.
New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at
any of the four facilities between the hours of 8:30
a.m. and 5 p.m. Donations also will be accepted
at the city’s Light Up Brookhaven event on Dec. 3,
from 6 to 8 p.m. at Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford
Dunwoody Road.

For more information, call (404) 637-0508.
Visit for additional collection sites.

Community invited to open house
The city of Brookhaven will hold its third and
final Brookhaven Bike, Ped & Trail Plan open
house on Tuesday, Dec. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. The
study team will discuss the draft recommendations from the planning effort and will be available to answer questions. 
The meeting will be held in the Council Chambers at Brookhaven City Hall, 4362
Peachtree Road.

Credit union donates food to Greenforest
Social Ministry
Peach State Federal Credit Union recently
donated food to the Greenforest Social Ministry
Food Bank of Decatur. The credit union collects
nonperishable food items throughout the year
and makes quarterly donations to food banks in
their service area.
“Hunger doesn’t just happen during the holi-


Mayor’s tree lighting set for Dec. 4
The public is invited to join Doraville Mayor
Donna Pittman, city council members and staff
for the Mayor’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, at Doraville City Hall,
3725 Park Avenue.
“As the sparkling lights glow on the great tree
in front of City Hall, youngsters are invited to
participate in arts and crafts, including decorating ornaments that will be hung on a smaller
tree just outside the entrance to City Hall, as well
as ornaments that may be taken home,” an announcement about the event states.
Refreshments and hot cocoa sponsored by
local businesses will be provided.
Sponsors for the event include Buford Highway Farmers Market, Krispy Kreme, White
Windmill Bakery and Xelapan Cafeteria!

City to host tree lighting

Collection sites:
•Brookhaven City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Road
•Brookhaven Police Department, 2665 Buford
•Lynwood Recreation Center: 3360 Osborne
•Briarwood Recreation Center: 2235 Briarwood

Page 7A

Music photographer to host local exhibit
On Dec. 2 Three Taverns Brewery will kick
off a five day exhibit of music photographer Michael Weintrob and his “Instrumenthead” collection.
Weintrob will be in The Parlour to share his
experience as a music photographer, his inspiration for “Instrumenthead” and talk about his
soon to be released book, “Instrumenthead; The
There will be local musicians who have been
photographed by Weintrob at the exhibit.
There will also be food and music from up
and coming group, Royal Johnson, whose music
crosses genres of funk, folk and soul, country
blues and rock and roll.
Tickets for the tour and tasting are $25, which
includes a Three Taverns Brewery tour and complimentary tastings of Three Taverns’ year-round
The event will be held on Dec. 2 from 6-9
p.m., Dec. 3 from 5:30-9 p.m., Dec. 4 from 5:30-9
p.m., Dec. 5 from 1-5 p.m. and Dec. 6 from 1-5
p.m. at 121 New St. Decatur.
To purchase tickets for the event visit freshtix.

Lithonia will host its annual tree lighting and
holiday celebration with Santa Dee Dec. 6 from
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. There will be refreshments,
Christmas Carols and local vendors. The event
will be held at Kelly Park, located on the corner
of Main Street and Max Cleland Boulevard For
more information, contact Lithonia City Hall at
(770) 482-8136.

Stone Mountain
Ministry to host ‘Breakfast with Santa’
Stone Mountain Cooperative Ecumenical
Ministry will host “Breakfast with Santa” Dec. 5 at
St. Timothy United Methodist Church, 8-11 a.m.
All proceeds will benefit the Christmas season
for the ministry’s clients. The church is located
at 5365 Memorial Drive in Stone Mountain. For
more information, call (770) 879-5977.

CASA collecting donations for holiday
The DeKalb County Court Appointed Special
Advocates (CASA) Program is collecting donations for the upcoming holiday season. They are
asking for donations of unwrapped toys and gift
cards that are suitable for children ages 2 to 18.
For more information about the CASA program
and this year’s donation collection, call (404) 3780038.

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015


Page 8A

From left, vocalist Yasmeen Williams, violinist Lewis Eichelberger and KISS 104 Radio Personality Art Terrell participated in the Nov. 20 groundbreaking ceremony for the African-American Cancer Center, the brainchild of Tony Barrs.

Participants ceremonially break ground at the African-American Cancer Center. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Center to address cancer among Blacks
by Andrew Cauthen
Approximately two dozen people gathered
Nov. 20 for the ceremonial groundbreaking for the
African-American Cancer Initiative Health, Wellness and Education Center.
A partnership between Greater Faith Baptist
Church and various 501(c)(3) organizations, the
initiative has as its goal raising funding to produce
a healthier and cancer-free Black community. The
center will provide cancer screening, health education and holistic resources.
The center is located at 958 South Hairston
Road, Stone Mountain, in a building owned by
Greater Faith Baptist Church.
Tony Barrs, a DeKalb resident and self-described think tank, said he came up with the idea
after meeting a dump truck driver named Marvin
Teague years ago.
“He said, ‘Tony, you’ve got to do something
about Blacks and cancer,’” Barrs said. Eventually,
Barrs came up with the idea of painting Teague’s
dump truck pink and starting a “help dump cancer” campaign.
“We were going to collect money for aware-

ness and screening,…but before we could launch
the campaign—he had survived multiple myeloma
cancer for 15 years, and it came back with a vengeance all of a sudden—he died and that kind of
sucked the air out of the campaign at that time,”
Barrs said.
Later, after reading “staggering” research
about cancer in the Black population, Barrs took
up the cause again.
“I found out that the American Cancer Society
raises about a $1 billion a year, and only gives $28
million to African-American cancer research,”
Barrs said.
“Most of the research that is done is secondary
for [Blacks] in a sense,” Barrs said. “If it’s done on
Caucasians, they hope it works on us. But, our genetic markers call for specific research.
“It’s such a hit and miss science for us because
we don’t know enough about our own genetic
markers to make a difference.
“The only way [that’s] going to change is we’re
going to have to do an independent project that’s
free of university and government,” he said. “We
can bring in our own scientists and researchers.”
Barrs said the goal of the initiative is to set
up outreach centers and research centers, and to

provide financial assistance to families with cancer
The Hairston Road facility will feature classrooms, a gymnasium and a health and wellness
team providing information and classes on exercise and proper cooking.
“This will be more for the community to get
resources and educated,” Barrs said.
Art Terrell, KISS 104.1 radio personality and
emcee for the groundbreaking ceremony, said,
“This is very important to our community. Every
three minutes, two people in the U.S. die from
cancer. That’s alarming. One in two AfricanAmerican men and one in three African-American women will be diagnosed with cancer.
“My wife is currently going through breast
cancer,” Terrell said. “Sometimes it just leaves me
speechless to see my wife going through what she’s
going through. My mother passed away from pancreatic cancer. Cancer really has touched my family in an unheard of way.
“The reason why we’re here this morning is to
help…the people going through this horrible disease, and hopefully to get a little bit closer to finding a cure,” Terrell said.

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015


Page 9A

Community project becomes professional theater
by Kathy Mitchell
“If you had told me 10
years ago that I was going to
take a community theater
and turn it into a professional theater that competes
for awards with the major
downtown theaters I would
have said you were crazy,”
remarked Robert Egizio,
who did just that with Dunwoody’s Stage Door Players.
The theater was founded
in 1974 as a Dunwoody
Woman’s Club community
improvement project. It was
housed in several places
around Dunwoody before
moving in 1988 into its present home. The building,
which originally was Dunwoody Elementary School
and is now called the North
DeKalb Cultural Center,
also houses the Dunwoody
Library and the Spruill Arts
“I came on part time in
2004 when the theater was
run largely by volunteers,”
said Egizio, who is now The
Stage Door Players’ full-time
artistic director. “In 2005 we
made the leap to become a
professional theater.”
Although Egizio said
there hasn’t been a time
since his high school years
when he wasn’t involved in
theater at some level, he took
a corporate job for a period
during which he worked
part time in the theater. “In
a corporate downsizing I
took a buyout package that
enabled me to work at what
I love without having to
worry about money. Initially,
I didn’t take a salary so any
money that came in could go
toward hiring other profes-

Artistic Director Robert Egizio helped the Stage Door Players make the leap from volunteer-run community
theater to professional theater.

sionals as well as production
Money, Egizio said, continues to be the Stage Door
Players’ biggest challenge.
“We’re a nonprofit, but we
still have to pay our own
way,” he explained. “We pay
rent and other expenses here
in addition to the actual production costs such as salaries, props, costumes, royalties and the like. I’m pleased
to say that in my years with
the Stage Door Players a play
has never gone in the red—
but it’s a challenge every
Egizio said a nonmusical
production costs between
$12,000 and $20,000 to
bring to the stage. Musicals
cost $25,000 and more. He
recalled that a production

in this year’s lineup, The
Mystery of Edwin Drood,
cost more than $40,000 to
“We’re fortunate to have
a very supportive community. We depend not only
on ticket sales, but also on
advertising and business and
individual sponsors. We’re
not yet to the level where we
can attract big grants and
corporate sponsorships,” he
Egizio chooses the projects with help from a few
colleagues. “Before I commit
to a play I have a few other
people look at it. I might
think it’s hilarious, but if other people who know theater
don’t think it will go over I
move on to something else.”
He said he takes commu-

nity tastes into consideration
as well. “Most of our season
ticket holders are older, fairly
conservative people. I might
choose something a bit edgy
once in a while, but nothing
over the top. You’re not going
to find any nudity or really
vile language here. That’s not
what our audience wants.
One of the plays we did this
year, Rounding Third, which
is about Little League baseball, was suggested by a season ticket holder.”
Egizio said that choice
of productions also is influenced by the physical possibilities. “We don’t have the
wing space to make several
major scene changes so we
look for plays that have one
or two sets. We have incredibly inventive set designers—

I keep being amazed at what
they can do—but if they tell
me that a particular play
can’t be done on this stage, I
don’t attempt it.”
Atlanta, Egizio said, has
in recent years become a
theater city, rich in talent in
all aspects of the theater. “It
used to be that an actor or
director who was successful
in Atlanta started looking to
move to New York or some
other place with a thriving
theater community. Now
it’s possible to earn a reliable living acting in Atlanta,
particularly now that many
movies and television shows
are being made here. We
have excellent talent to draw
from when we audition for a
While The Stage Door
Players initially drew audiences almost entirely from
Dunwoody, it has gained a
reputation throughout the
metropolitan Atlanta area,
according to Egizio. “When
I came about 90 percent of
season ticket holders lived in
Dunwoody. Now about 60
percent live in Dunwoody
and 40 percent live elsewhere
in the metro area. People are
learning that they can see
really high quality theater
without downtown traffic,
high ticket prices and paying
for parking,” he said.
In addition to its full season of professional theater,
the Stage Door Players offers the Stage Door Canteen
cabaret series, and Stage
Door Jr., a series of Saturday
productions for children.
For more information on
The Stage Door Players, visit

Time to invest
in yourself.

It’s not too late to apply for Spring classes.
Soon to be part of the new Georgia State University.

GPCSpringCampionAd.indd 1

11/19/15 6:38 PM

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015


Page 10A

Three defendants plead not guilty in gang case
by Carla Parker
Three alleged gang members pleaded not guilty during a Nov. 23 arraignment.
Joseph Broxton, Daniel
Pena and Christopher Hamlett are three of the nine people mentioned in a 45-count
indictment against members
of the HATE Committee, a
subgroup of the Gangster
Disciples criminal street
gang. HATE is an acronym
for “Helping All To Eat.”
The gang members are
suspected of at least five
murders since May.
Hamlett’s lawyer also
filed a motion for a bond,
which was denied by Judge
Daniel Coursey. Hamlett is
charged with malice murder,
felony murder, aggravated assault, violation of street gang
terrorism and prevention
act, and criminal attempt to
commit armed robbery.
Broxton is accused of
malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, violation of street gang terrorism
and prevention act, and
criminal attempt to commit
armed robbery.
Pena is charged with
criminal attempt to commit
armed robbery, malice murder and violation of street
gang terrorism and prevention act.
According to the indictment, HATE Committee’s
leader, Donald Lee Glass,
aka “Smurf,” approved the
robbery and eventual killing
of Torey Austin based on
the gang’s need for money.
He also approved the killing
of the Bloods gang members
because one of their members was disrespected.
The Gangster Disciples
were also allegedly targeting individuals that they
said were ‘not right’ with the
organization. By ‘not right,’
they had not paid their dues,
according to the indictment.

Three alleged gang members plead not guilty during their arraignments.

holiday season
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11/23/15 1:13 PM


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015


DeKalb County resident Lucy Chandler poses in front of a Christmas tree
at Fernbank Museum of Natural History.


Page 11A


Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May, with the help of Senior Connections, delivers food to the homes of
elderly residents. Photo provided

Larry “Gator” Rivers, a legendary Harlem Globetrotter, performs during the groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 20 for the African American Cancer center on Hairston Road. Photos by Andrew

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


The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015

Page 12A

Clarkston mayor speaks out against Syrian ban

by Ashley Oglesby

Since the terror attacks in
Paris, governors from many
states have announced they
will not accept Syrian refugees including Georgia Gov.
Nathan Deal.
Deal announced Nov.
16 that he will not accept
Syrian refugees in Georgia
and requested that President
Barack Obama suspend the
resettlement program in the
United States. Following the
announcement Deal directed
all state agencies to suspend
participation in the resettlement of Syrian refugees in
In Deal’s request to
Obama to place a ban on
Syrian refugee resettlement
in the United States he wrote:
“As I am sure you are
aware, recent reports indicate
that at least one of the suicide
bombers involved in Friday’s
tragedy made his way to Europe from Syria under claim
of political refugee status.
This, I fear, is reflective of
a broader problem with the
process by which governments screen those from war
torn areas who seek refugee
International Rescue
Committee (IRC) Executive Director J.D. McCrary
said he is “disappointed by
the governor’s reaction and
his decision to re-victimize
those most vulnerable to the
kind of attacks that occurred
in Paris.”
McCrary added, “Georgia should remain a hospitable and welcoming community for those seeking a
safe haven from persecution
and violence.”
According to McCrary,
Syrians have been coming to

For more than two decades Clarkston has accepted refugees from dozens of countries in Africa, Europe and Asia.

Georgia for approximately
two years.
He said, “The security
fears are unsubstantiated.
Refugees are the single most
scrutinized individuals vetted to travel to the United
States.” McCrary said, “Banning Syrian refugees will not
make Americans safer it will
only make refugees more
Through the IRC McCrary has worked with
families in the Clarkston
community for more than 10
years to help with efforts to
restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing and

Public Notification:

Application has been made to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) for a new communications structure along
railroad right of way near Mile Post 626.30 Goodwin, Atlanta,
GA 30341. The FCC Form 854 file number is A0983510. The
structure type is a non-lighted monopole with a total height
including antenna of 63 feet to tip. Interested persons may
review the application by going to
and entering the Form 854 File Number. Interested persons may raise environmental concerns about the proposed
structure by filing a Request for Environmental Review with
the FCC. The FCC strongly encourages interested parties to
file online any Requests for Environmental Review; instructions for making such filings can be found at
environmentalrequest , or by paper copy to FCC Requests for
Environmental Review, Attn: Ramon Williams, 445 12th Street
SW, Washington, DC 20554.

power to people devastated
by conflict and disaster.
He added, “Neither the
concerns for security or ca-

pacity are substantiated in
any way. Georgia has more
than enough capacity to welcome refugees to our state

and the vetting process is the
most rigorous and substan-

See Ban on Page 20A



MARCH 1, 2016 

   There is hereby called a City of Atlanta Special Election in conjunction with the 
Presidential Preference Primary Election to be held on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.  The 
purpose of said Special Election is to present a referendum question to voters to 
determine the reimposition or non‐reimposition of a 1% Sales and Use Tax to fund 
water and sewer projects and costs. 
The ballot shall have printed thereon the question as follows: 
"Shall a special 1 percent sales and use tax be reimposed in the City 
of  Atlanta for  a  period of time not to  exceed 16 calendar quarters 
and  for  the  raising  of  not  more  than‐Seven Hundred Fifty Million 
Dollars and  Zero Cents ($750,000,000.00) for  the  purpose  of 
funding  water  and sewer projects and costs?" 
   Voters desiring to vote for the reimposition of such 1% sales and use tax shall do so by 
voting "YES;" Voters desiring to vote against the reimposition of such 1% sales and use 
tax shall do so by voting "NO." 
   The election shall be held at all of the precincts within the City of Atlanta, and the polls 
shall be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Qualified voters must be registered to vote 
by February 1, 2016 to vote in this Special Election. 
   (This  notice is  provided pursuant to  the authorization of the Atlanta City Council and is 
published per the intergovernmental agreement between the City of Atlanta and the 
Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections.) 
Rhonda Dauphin Johnson 
Municipal Clerk/Election Superintendent 
City of Atlanta 

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015


Page 13A

LEADERS Continued From Page 1A
the county.
He said the special investigation by former attorney general Mike Bowers was designed to be a
“deep dive into what’s going on” in the county government’s administration.
Bowers’ preliminary report, which stated the
county is “rotten to the core” and called for May’s
resignation, “it went down the road of political
craziness,” May said.
Commissioner Rader said, “Maloof, in his
influence over our Organizational Act, our constitution, embedded a great deal of discretionary
authority in the office of the CEO.”
The CEO’s position is “unilaterally powerful
and…not particularly accountable to the Board of
Commissioners and…to the public,” Rader said.
“This discretionary authority issue…is a challenge.”
Dr. Cynthia Hale, pastor of Ray of Hope
Christian Church, said, “I’m clear that there is
corruption everywhere. And I know that DeKalb
County is not rotten to the core.”
Hale asked the commissioners what they are
doing about the obvious problems in the county,
“for example, the conflict that is constant.”
“That’s more telling to me: the fact that commissioners and…the interim CEO [are in] a constant conflict [and]…that there’s no unity on the
board,” she said. “If a report really did identify
some real issues, I would have no hope that…the
county could turnaround.”
Commissioner Watson said the county has a
“problem with a balance of power.
“Sometimes with a balance of power people
could get twisted. We could be self-centered. We
could even practice some racism,” Watson said.
“We’re not rotten to the core just because there’s
Black folks in charge of it right now. Do we have
challenges? Yes, we do.”
“There are great things going on in DeKalb—
that’s true—but there are also real problems in
DeKalb County that we have to deal with,” Commissioner Jester said. “If we ignore them…we will
continue to have this…conflict.”
One problem, she said, is the CEO position
“creates a number of strategic and operational
problems for the county.”
“I think we need to go to a county manager/
Board of Commissioners setup,” Jester said. “I
think that would create more unity and more ability to effectively go forward with one vision.”
Commissioner Sutton said, “We don’t have
common goals.

food bank

From left, interim DeKalb County Lee May and Bishop Eddie Long participate in a meeting between county officials and
local pastors about issues in the county. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

“You have a group of people in power who
want more power and they’re going to do whatever
it takes to get it, including being dishonest,” she
said. “We have to have more meetings like this so
that we’ll understand the real problems, what’s really going on behind the scenes.”
While agreeing that there are problems, Commissioner Johnson told the pastors that the county
is still conducting its business. He asked the pastors to look at the county’s budget to see the priorities of the county government. He cited funding
for the mobile mental health crisis unit; parks and
recreation department and the free lunches serves
to youth during the summer; sanitation services
improvements; and the hiring of additional fire
May said county leaders have a problem with
the “unity thing.”
“When you have politics and personal attacks, it’s hard for people to work together,” he
said. “When Mike Bowers did the crazy thing that
happened…, six of the seven commissioners, they
didn’t say anything. And I was thankful.
“But one commissioner came out with her sign
saying ‘Lee May resign,’” May said. “So it’s difficult
for me to sit down and have a conversation [with
Commissioner Jester].
“I don’t expect your first call to be to Adam
Murphy with CBS Atlanta to expose something
that’s going on that you didn’t even give me an opportunity to fix,” May said.
“That’s just some of the challenges,” he added.
Long told the county leaders that “it seems
like…you have inherited a functional system prob-

lem that needs to be addressed. If the legacy of this
board is to address that system so it doesn’t keep
perpetuating itself, then I think that is a vision and
a goal that must be done.
“What I hear you saying is we really can’t be
successful in saving DeKalb with the system that
we’re in at this moment,” Long said. “Somebody
has to stand up and say, ‘This won’t work.’”
Bishop Quincy Lavelle Carswell, of the Convent Church, said, “My first inclination for all of
you was that you do us a favor and resign when we
hear and heard all of the reports…and see all the
“How are you dealing with this dysfunction?
How are you all going to come together?” Carswell
said. “Personally, I’m tired of seeing our elected
officials constantly bickering, not getting anything done commission meeting after commission
He suggested that a teambuilding retreat may
be necessary county leaders.
May thanked the pastors for organizing the
meeting and asked them schedule similar meetings on a quarterly basis.
“What I think you have seen here today is a
level of transparency,” May said. “We’re putting
our cards on the table and we don’t do that because we want you to think we got it all together.
And we don’t [have] it all together.
“It’s a tough conversation but if it stops right
here, we’ve all failed,” May said, also asking the
pastors to pray for the county’s leadership “collectively and individually.”

Continued From Page 1A

the Stone Mountain Cooperative
Ecumenical Ministry. The ministry’s
food bank has provided for those in
need for 15 years. The ministry gives
food to its clients every two weeks,
and gave food the week prior to
Thanksgiving, something Shropshire
said she desperately needed for her,
her daughter and three grandchildren.
“I need help with Thanksgiving,” Shropshire said. “It’s hard. I’m a
single parent and my bills are overwhelming, so I won’t be able to buy
Thanksgiving [food] this year.”
Angela Callahan, executive director of Cooperative Ecumenical
Ministry, said they service 25 families on a daily basis, but the numbers

increase during the holidays.
“We get about 35 families during
the holidays,” Callahan said.
Callahan said their clients come
from everywhere—recommendations from churches and Division
of Family and Children Services
“When people sign up for food
stamps they have to wait until their
food stamps, come in, and [DFCS]
sends people to us,” she said. “If people are in an emergency situation—
after a fire or a domestic violence
incident—they can be sent here by
a case worker and we can help them
The ministry also has helped
people pay utilities bills and rent.

“Right now we are down on
funds so much that we can’t help
with that anymore,” Callahan said.
“Hopefully, in January things will
turn around and we start helping
again with utilities.”
The ministry provides various
food items including canned goods,
meats and vegetables.
“We have a partnership with
a community garden here,” Callahan said. “So far this year the Stone
Mountain Community Garden has
given us 1,000 pounds of fresh food.
So we give [those seeking help] fresh
Callahan said the ministry has
been a very important asset to the

“I think it helps a great deal,”
she said. “We have a lot of seniors
in this community. This community
is growing older, and a third of our
clients are senior citizens on fixed
incomes and that’s our biggest demographic in the area. We have some
single moms too and we have a big
veteran community here. So we have
a lot of veteran men.”
Shropshire has been coming to
the ministry’s food bank for a while
and she is thankful for it.
“They have been really helpful to
me and I thank God for them,” she
said. “They’re really good people.”

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015


Page 14A

Dennis Lockhart, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, far right, addressed a packed room at the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce’s November meeting. Among those he greeted are the chamber staff, upper left.

Federal Reserve official:

Economy on track for ‘normalization’ phase
by Kathy Mitchell
“I believe the national economy
is on a reasonably solid trajectory,”
said Dennis Lockhart, president and
chief executive officer of the Federal
Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
Speaking Nov. 19 at a DeKalb
Chamber of Commerce general business meeting at the Georgia Aquarium, Lockhart added, “Certainly,
there are some important aspects of
the economic picture that are weaker
than, say, a year ago. The energy sector—both investment and employment—is a prime example. The external sector—computed in the GDP
(gross domestic product) accounting
as net exports—is another aspect of
the economy that is weaker than in
2014. Domestic manufacturing has
been a bit softer as a result.”
Lockhart said national trends
closely parallel those in the Southeast. “What’s going on nationally is
what you can expect to see in your
communities and your businesses.”
Addressing his views on the position of the economy, the stance of
interest-rate policy and what is to be
expected in what he called “the normalization phase,” Lockhart noted
his observations are his personal

views and may not reflect those of
colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) or in the
Federal Reserve System.
The FOMC, a group within the
national Federal Reserve that meets
eight times a year to review economic conditions and determines federal
policy with regard to such monetary
matters as interest rates and the U.S.
money supply, is scheduled to meet
in mid-December. “I won’t predict
the outcome,” Lockhart said. “There
are more data points to evaluate over
the next four weeks. I will be processing that information to see whether
the incoming data change my sense
of the health and momentum of the
“On balance, the data have been
encouraging and affirm that the
economy is growing at a moderate
pace. Real final domestic demand
data have been quite solid, driven in
large part by robust consumer spending,” he continued.
Lockhart said the inflation picture
is not clear. “Inflation has been running below the committee’s longerrun target for a while. However, I
expect the gap to close gradually….A
key point regarding inflation is that
conditions have not been deteriorat-

ing, just hanging below the target….
Survey measures of inflation expectations are not signaling imminent
broad disinflation.”
At their October meeting, the
committee members decided to leave
rates unchanged, a policy decision,
Lockhart said he supported “because
not enough new information had
accumulated regarding the drivers
of the August volatility. I’m now
reasonably satisfied the situation has
settled down.
“I’m comfortable with moving off
zero soon, conditioned on no marked
deterioration in economic conditions. Given my reading of current
conditions and my outlook views, I
believe it will soon be appropriate to
begin a new policy phase,” he said.
The next phase, he explained, is
what is often termed “normalization,”
following a “lift-off ” phase during
which the federal government put
stimulus initiatives in place to boost
a sagging economy.
“I think the normalization phase
might look somewhat different than
one’s sense of normal based on historic episodes of rising rates,” Lockhart said, adding that three factors
are key in determining the timing
of the start of normalization. First,


some committee members may feel
economic conditions are not yet close
enough to the committee’s objective
of full employment.
“Second, there could be concern
that we have seen little or no evidence of inflation moving in the desired direction. This has been called
the ‘whites of their eyes perspective,’”
he said referring to a Revolutionary
War officer’s command not to act
until the enemy was close enough for
troops to see the whites of their eyes.
“In this case, the idea is not to raise
the policy rate until evidence of inflation moving higher is in hand.”
The third consideration, he said,
concerns risks associated the global
conditions “along with the prospect,
for example, of further dollar appreciation weighing on domestic activity
more than is currently estimated.”
Lockhart said these are serious
concerns, but he does not find them
persuasive enough to dissuade him
from supporting a near-term first
move to raise rates. “The decision to
raise the bedrock policy rate, when
and if it comes, should be seen as affirming that the economic outlook is

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

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015


Lithonia business
district growing
by Carla Parker
Lithonia has seen a positive trend
in its business district and city officials hope it continues.
Several businesses have opened
this year in Lithonia, including the
Skinny Chef Café, Luxor Lounge and
Bistro and TWO clothing boutique.
Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson
said new businesses in the city are a
trend moving in the right direction.
“We’re slated to have two additional restaurants opening probably at
the beginning of the year—a barbecue
restaurant and a Caribbean vegan restaurant,” Jackson said.
Jackson said the rise in new businesses in the area is a sign that people
see the “great potential” that the city
“We’ve had stable and enthusiastic
leadership and good staff,” Jackson
said. “When [business owners] come
into city hall to get information [the
staff] has been very helpful. There is
really a spirit of progress that’s in the

city. I think people are feeling that and
want to be a part of it.”
The progress being made on redeveloping the Lithonia Plaza has also
been a positive sign for business owners, according to Jackson. Asbestos
was removed from the city portion of
the plaza in preparation for demolition. The city has been working with
developers on ideas on what to develop in place of the plaza.
One of those ideas a proposed $12
million apartment complex. The complex would include 75 units consisting
of 24 one-bedroom, 45 two-bedroom
and six three-bedroom apartments.
“Once we have the plaza torn
down that will be a visible sign that
something is happening in the city,”
Jackson said. “We’re really encouraging people that this is a great opportunity to come in on the ground floor
because it is our intention to help the
city redevelop. We know that it has a
good infrastructure in place. We just
need to add a little more refinement
to make things happen


Page 15A

Congressman announces
app challenge
by Ashley Oglesby
Congressman Hank Johnson
announced Nov.17 that students
in the DeKalb County School
District will have the opportunity
to participate in a Congressional
App Challenge, an app development competition for high
school students.
The nationwide competition is designed to promote
innovation and engagement in
science, technology, engineering
and math (STEM) among high
school students who will compete by creating and exhibiting a
software application, for mobile,
tablet or computer devices on a
platform of their choice.
The competition aims to
encourage high school students
to learn how to code by creating
their own application.
Johnson said in a statement,
“We can’t allow our kids to fall
behind when it comes to being
a part of this new technological
economy. In fact, the time is now
for us to help our kids get ahead
of the curve.”

DA’s Office receives grant to combat gangs
through technology

of these gangs.”
This grant was approved by the DeKalb County
Board of Commissioners on Oct. 1.

The DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office
received $385,118 to combat local gangs through
technology. The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, provides the District Attorney’s
Office with software that interfaces with local law
enforcement organizations as well as federal and
nationwide agencies.
“Gang violence and crimes have become an
ever growing problem,” said DA Robert James.
“The ability to share data, leads and information
is a critical step in our office curbing gang-related
The Technology Innovation for Public Safety
(TIPS) grant will help purchase the IBM i2 Analysis software, which is currently used in other jurisdictions throughout the metropolitan Atlanta area.
This software shares information across jurisdictions and enables law enforcement to connect related gang and violent crime activities.
In 2013 and 2014, the DA’s Office handled
more than 30 gang cases charged under the Street
Gang Terrorism Prevention Act. Earlier this year,
the office announced a 45-count indictment
against memebers of an alleged street gang known
as the Hate Committee.  Other identified gangs
in the metropolitan Atlanta area includes: Bloods,
Crips, Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings and Vice
Lords – all with national affiliations.
“The gangs in DeKalb range from local hybrid
organizations all the way to highly, sophisticated
criminal enterprises,” James said. “In order to combat this problem, we have to arm ourselves with the
information and technology to stay one step ahead

Officials urge residents to sign up for
With possible severe winter weather approaching, DeKalb Emergency Management Agency
(DEMA) officials are encouraging DeKalb residents and stakeholders to sign up for the county’s
high-speed notification system, CodeRED. This
emergency notification system has the ability to
quickly deliver time-sensitive messages via voice,
email and text messages to targeted areas or the
county during emergency situations or disasters.
To sign up for CodeRED, residents and businesses should visit and
follow the link to the CodeRED Community Notification Enrollment page. Those without Internet
access should call DeKalb Emergency Management
at (770) 270-0413, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
to register via phone. Required information includes first and last names, physical street address,
and primary phone number. To receive weather
warnings, subscribers should select the Severe
Weather Warning link.
Businesses are encouraged to register for CodeRED, as well as all individuals who have unlisted
phone numbers, who have changed their phone
number or address within the past year, and those
who use a cellular phone or Internet-based phone
as their primary number.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be
one million unfilled jobs for programmers in the United States by
The deadline for students to
submit apps is Jan. 15. Students
can submit individually or as a
team. If a student or group of
students has designed an app in
the last calendar year, the app is
eligible for consideration.
All submissions must be explained in a two-three minute
video using YouTube or Vimeo.
Once the video is complete
students must submit their content on
The winning app in each
participating congressional district will be featured on the U.S.
House of Representatives’ website and displayed in a U.S. Capitol exhibit.
The school that produces the
greatest number of student submissions will also be rewarded.
For additional information,
contact app challenge coordinator Joshua Smith at (770)
987-2291 or joshua.smith@mail.

Annual 5K run/walk to benefit individuals
with rare disorder
The annual One Love, One Heart 5K Run/
Walk for CdLS is scheduled for Dec. 5 at Decatur’s
Medlock Park for a morning of family fun and
community support.
Event organizers Jim and Jen Pomfret of Decatur have hosted the event since 2005 in honor of
their daughter, Maya, who has Cornelia de Lange
Syndrome (CdLS), a genetic disorder that causes
a variety of physical, cognitive and developmental
“When asked why we started the 5K, it is always a good reminder to reflect on our purpose,”
Jen Pomfret said. “This journey with Maya and
CdLS is not always easy and the 5K gives us a
chance to engage in something positive and productive that will not only help Maya but all with
Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. This day is so good
for the soul and it is such a great day surrounded
by community runners and friends and family.”
Refreshments will be available, as well as a
playground. There will be long sleeved T-shirts for
all preregistered runners. The T-shirts will be available while supplies last for onsite registrants. New
this year, gift card awards will be given to the winners in various categories.
After Nov. 21, registration is $30. Race day registration begins at 8:45 a.m., and the 5K begins at
10 a.m.
Proceeds benefit the CdLS Foundation. For
more information, call Jen or Jim Pomfret at (404)
838-8184 or register for the event at To make a donation to the
foundation, call 1 (800)-753-2357 or visit www.

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015



Page 16A

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The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015


Page 17A

Georgia Piedmont Technical College newly appointed executive vice president is Ivan Harrell II.

Technical college appoints
new executive vice president
Ivan Harrell II has been appointed as
executive vice president for academic and
student affairs at Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC).
Harrell’s appointment was on Oct. 21.
Previously, he was vice president of student
success at Lone Star College in Texas, as well
as dean of students at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland.
GPTC President Jabari Simama said in
a Nov. 16 news release, “I am delighted to
welcome Harrell to my management team.
He has demonstrated strong leadership ability in his previous roles, and I am excited
that he will be bringing his skills and expertise to implement best practices at our college as they relate to academic and student
In his new role, Harrell will be responsible for implementing GPTC’s vision and
strategic priorities throughout the college.
Harrell said in a statement, “At some institutions, the academic affairs and student
affairs divisions are separate. But at some
point, these two become inextricably linked.
“The house must connect with its foundation,” he continued. “I view this job as
an opportunity to build on great things that
have already been established, but keeping
in mind the importance of being effective
and efficient in providing academic and
technical programs that can have a positive impact on the lives of our students and
stakeholders,” Harrell said.
Prior to joining GPTC, Harrell also held
leadership positions at J. Sargeant Reynolds
Community College in Richmond, Va., and
at Tallahassee Community College in Tallahassee, Fla. He was a lecturer at the University of Houston, where he taught “Higher
Education in the United States” in the M.Ed.
higher education program. In addition to
holding staff positions in higher education,
Harrell has been an associate professor, adjunct instructor and instructor at various
Early in his career, he taught science
courses at Stephenson High School. Harrell
completed his doctor of philosophy degree
at Florida State University in Tallahassee,
where he defended his dissertation, titled
“Using Student Characteristics to Predict
the Persistence of Community College
Students in Online Courses.” He holds a
master’s degree from Vanderbilt University
and a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg
“I’m planning to work with faculty and
staff to increase the quality of instruction;
increase enrollment; and increase the level
of creative engagement with faculty and
staff here at Georgia Piedmont,” Harrell

Columbia Elementary School students gather around volunteers for story time.

Schools seeks to increase male involvement
by Ashley Oglesby
A Real Men Read initiative,
now in its fourth year, is under
way at Columbia Elementary
Community members—all
males—have been enlisted to read
to students on Dec. 11 from 8:30
a.m. until 1 p.m.
The program was initiated
by Columbia Elementary School
fourth grade reading and social
studies teacher Makeeda Collins.
She said she was inspired to
start the program after “talking
to students and getting to know
them on a personal level.”
Collins said one of her students told her he wished he had
someone positive around him
and “I knew something had to be
“Most of our students come
from a single family home or they
live with grandparents. We don’t
see a lot of male figures come to
the school,” Collins said.

Collins said the Real Men
Read program aims to change
She said, “It’s extremely important for our young males that
may not have a positive role model. They get influenced a lot from
what they hear on the radio or on
television and a lot of them don’t
realize that the reality is you’re going to have to grow up and be an
responsible adult and be able to
take care of yourself.”
She added, “When we have
males come in to read to the kids
we also get them to talk about
their occupation and what it took
for them to make it to this level to
hopefully inspire the students.”
According to Collins, when
the program began in 2011 the
first event brought approximately
30 volunteers. Last year, more
than 200 men volunteered to participate in the program.
Collins said the school expects that number to increase this
In addition to Real Men Read,

Columbia Elementary School has
established other programs led by
male teachers to mentor students
and “give them exposure to men
that look like them and are actually doing something positive in
the community.”
Collins added, “Our main focus is on reading and increasing
our reading scores. We’re trying to
do that by any means necessary.
That’s why we have these events,
to bring in positive professionals
to the schoolhouse and motivate
the kids to actually read.”
Columbia Elementary School
is a Title I school with 98 percent
of its students from low-income
families. Collins said a small numer of the students are homeless.
School officials have organized a coat drive in partnerships
with Woodward Academy to supply children with coats for the
For additional information on
how you can volunteer or donate

Elementary students learn from GPC students
Learning math and science
is fun, and students in Marjorie
Lewkowicz’s math classes want to
prove it. For the past three years,
the Georgia Perimeter Dunwoody
math professor’s students have
volunteered at Austin, Dunwoody and Vanderlyn elementary
schools. Their mission: to create
a carnival-like atmosphere to
help elementary school students
understand math and science
From the science behind
making ice cream—and then enjoying its creamy goodness—to

creating and launching paper
rockets; to hosting the “Mathemagical Show,” GPC students
devise games that keep elementary-age students engaged, Lewkowicz said.
“We have so much fun—I
really enjoy the experience,”
said GPC student Justin Fredericksen. Fredericksen and fellow student Joe Caggiano have
devised magic card games behind
the “Math-e-magical Show” for
the STEM (science, technology,
engineering and math) field trips.
“My strong suit was never in

math as a child—I never saw how
it could be fun and exciting. Now
I enjoy getting kids interested
in math and showing them that
math can be applied in many different areas.”
First launched as math night
at Vanderlyn Elementary in 2012,
the program has expanded to
include other Dunwoody elementary schools. It also has grown to
include science and engineering
games and projects. “The students always do a super job, and
it’s a good learning experience for
them as well,” Lewkowicz said.

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015


Page 18A

Miller Grove sweeps
Stephenson in region play
by Carla Parker
It was teacher versus students at the Miller
Grove High School gym with the teacher coming out on top in the Region 6-AAAAA matchup
between Miller Grove and Stephenson.
Former Miller Grove junior varsity coach
and new Stephenson varsity Coach Rasul Chester returned home Nov. 17 to face his old program, but his Jaguars fell to the Miller Grove
Wolverines 77-44. The win improved Miller
Grove’s record to 2-0 on the season, while Stephenson fell to 1-1. And in the matchup, Chester
was pitted against the man he once worked under Miller Grove coach Sharman White.
Chester, who led Miller Grove in earning
back-to-back DeKalb County junior varsity
titles, said it felt strange at first when he walked
into the building.
“But when I got in the building everybody
showed love,” Chester said. “It was hard to concentrate in the beginning because everybody
was screaming my name, but once we got into it
at the half court and all the referee stuff, it was
“Going against Coach Chester—that’s hard
to do because he has been my right hand for the
last few years, but we both understood what was
at stake,” coach Sharman White said.
The game was close in the first quarter with
the Jaguars keeping the score with in five points
before falling to a nine-point deficit at the end of
the quarter. Miller Grove turned up the defense,
along with its fast-paced offense in the second
quarter, and Stephenson could not hit its open
“I think we played better defensively,” White
said. “It’s a game by game situation with our defense; just trying to get better each game, each
time out. We’re getting a little bit better. We had
flashes of greatness and we also had some times
when we needed to improve, but overall I liked
the performance.”
Despite the loss, Chester was pleased that
his team remained competitive throughout the
“I expected this—not the loss—but I expected them to play hard like they did,” he said. “It
lets us know where we’re at and where we need
to get to. That’s a championship team over there
with championship guys and that’s what we’re

of the

trying to do at Stephenson—[win] championships. That’s what we’re going to take from this
and learn from and when they come see us Feb.
2 it may be a different story.”
Senior Aidan Saunders led the Wolverines
in scoring with 17 points. Junior Joshua Jackmon had a double-double with 14 points and 11
rebounds, and senior Alterique Gilbert had 12
points and six assists. Newcomer Aaron Augustin had 13 points, nine assists and six rebounds.
White said Augustin has meshed well with
his new team.
“Aaron’s adjustment has been nothing but
the best since he has got here,” he said. “He has
really been a great teammate, a great kid to
coach and he understands the game very well
and he’s always looking to get better. He’s like an
energizer bunny—he never stops and he continues to play and play hard.”
Jamir Chaplin led Stephenson with 11
points and Daniel Alford finished with 10

Girls: Miller Grove 55, Stephenson 44

Miller Grove guard Alterique Gilbert tries to shoot over two
Stephenson players.

The Miller Grove Lady Wolverines took
down defending Class AAAAA state champions
Stephenson 55-44.
Stephenson had a 32-29 lead at the end of
the third quarter, but Miller Grove went on a 2512 run in the fourth quarter to win the game. Senior Chrystal Ezechukwu led Miller Grove with
a double-double of 15 points and 21 rebounds.
Scores from Nov. 17-21 (from
Nov. 21
Druid Hills 48, Paideia 39
Lassiter 41, M.L. King 38
Paideia 57, Dunwoody 54
Nov. 17
Marist 75, Lithonia 14
Arabia Mountain 34, St. Pius X 26
Chamblee 75, Cross Keys 53
Lithonia 66, Marist 46
St. Pius X 60, Arabia Mountain 53

Miller Grove forward Chrystal Ezechukwu shoots a basket as
Stephenson’s Miracle Gray defends. Photos by Mark Brock

The Champion chooses a male and female high school Athlete of the Week each week throughout
the school year. The choices are based on performance and nominations by coaches. Please e-mail
nominations to by Monday at noon.


Jelani Woods, Cedar Grove (football): The junior quarterback completed eight of his 13 passing
attempts for 210 yards and two touchdowns in the
Nov. 20 playoff game against Oconee County.


Chrystal Ezechukwu, Miller Grove (basketball): The senior forward had a double-double of
15 points and 21 rebounds in the Nov. 17 matchup
against Stephenson.

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015


Page 19A

St. Pius defensive back Grant Holloman (right) defends a pass.

St. Pius defensive back Harrison Bernhardt bats down a potential touchdown pass.

Photos by Rob Buechner

St. Pius quarterback Reed Egan is tackled by West Laurens defenders.

St. Pius takes down West Laurens, advances to quarterfinals
by Carla Parker
Same opponent, similar results as
the St. Pius X Golden Lions defeated
West Laurens 33-14 Nov. 20 in the
second round of the Class AAAA
state playoffs.
This was the second consecutive
year St. Pius faced West Laurens in
the playoffs and their second consecutive victory over West Lauerns.
The Golden Lions beat West Laurens
31-13 in the quarterfinals last season.
Head Coach Paul Standard was impressed that his injury-riddled team
was able to take down a tough West
Laurens’ team (8-4).
“[West Laurens] is a great football team and they have really come
on,” Standard said. “It’s hard to beat
a team twice, and they’re doing the
same things and we’re doing the
same things; so we’re no mystery to
each other. They might be a little bigger and faster than we are, but I’m so
proud of our kids.”
Running back Ryan Walsh had a
big game with three touchdowns and
105 yards on six carries. He scored

on the Golden Lions’ opening drive
(eight plays for 69 yards) on a 6-yard
touchdown run, giving St. Pius an
early 7-0 lead.
The St. Pius defense also had a
big game, which started with an interception by linebacker Olin Broadway on West Laurens’ opening drive.
That turnover led to a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Grant
Holloman, extending St. Pius’ lead
to 14-0.
West Laurens put together a long
drive that resulted in a 2-yard touchdown run by running back Greg Covin, cutting St. Pius’ lead to 14-7. The
Golden Lions responded with a 75yard touchdown run by Walsh, his
second score of the night, to extend
their lead to 21-7.
Defensive back Michael Bresnahan picked off West Laurens quarterback Jalen Mack midway in the
second quarter, but the Golden Lions
were unable to capitalize off the turnover.
West Laurens then put together
a 12-play, 42-yard drive which ended
in a 9-yard scramble by Mack right
before halftime to cut the score to

The third quarter was a defensive
battle with both offenses struggling
to get a productive drive going. The
Golden Lions got a drive going late
in the quarter, and Walsh opened the
fourth quarter with his third touchdown of the night from six yards out.
The extra point was blocked, leaving
the score at 27-14.
West Laurens fumbled on the following drive and St. Pius recovered it
at the 44-yard line. The Golden Lions
struggled to get in the end zone following the turnover and was facing
a fourth down. Standard and his
coaching staff gambled and won on
a fake punt with quarterback Reed
Egan running to pick up the first
The drive resulted in a 3-yard
touchdown by fullback Lawson Cooper. A failed 2-point conversion left
the score at 33-14 with 2:53 left to
play. St. Pius’ defense prevented a potential West Laurens’ comeback and
sealed the 33-14 victory.
Standard said the game was won
by the defense and offensive line in
the fourth quarter.

“Our defense was able to make
those stops,” he said. “Offensively we
were stopped in the third quarter,
but our kicking game was good. We
punted them deep and we didn’t give
up any big plays in the second half.
Our defense shut them down in the
second half.”
St. Pius (10-2) will travel to Bainbridge Nov. 27 for the quarterfinal
Other Playoff Scores
Marist (10-2) 45, Mary Persons
(11-1) 21
Marist will travel to Woodward
Academy Nov. 27 for the Class AAAA
quarterfinals matchup

Cedar Grove (10-1) 28, Oconee
County (9-3) 14
Cedar Grove will host WestsideMacon Nov. 27 at Hallford Stadium
in the Class AAA matchup
South Forsyth (11-1) 42, Tucker (84) 35

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, November 27, 2015

Ban Continued From Page 12A
tial security background process in the world.”
McCrary said there is a
“huge difference” between
Syrians in Europe and those
who have resettled in Georgia.
“Originally they both
would have fled their home
in Syria due to the same
violence and the same persecution however, the ones
who have been invited by the
United States government to
resettle in the United States
have predominantly been living in and around the refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan
and some small amounts of
Lebanon — they have gone
through the full process of
being invited into the United
States as a refugee,” McCrary
He added, “Those who
have fled to Europe have not
been through that full process.”
Clarkston Mayor Ted
Terry said he will not turn
people away.
For more than two decades Clarkston has been
identified as a safe haven for

refugees from all over the
Since then, refugee
resettlement programs
have brought families into
Clarkston from dozens of
countries in Africa, Europe
and Asia.
“In the past 15 years
since Sept. 11 when we revamped the refugee screening process. There have been
750,000 refugees settled in
America and not a single one
of them has been convicted
for domestic terrorism. I
think that proves our vetting process works. I agree
we should review it, but we
shouldn’t stop taking in Syrians,” Terry said.
Terry said he meets with
religious and ethnic communities on a regular basis.
“The one thing that I can
tell you about the Muslim
leaders and the imam at the
Clarkston mosque is they
say adamantly that they
don’t want [the Islamic State
group, known as ISIS] in
their mosque. They also say
that they want to help other
refugees because when they


were refugees Americans
and other people here helped
them. They want to pay it
Terry said he believes in
the importance of humanitarian efforts. “We spend
about $600 billion on the defense department every year
and I would argue that M1
Abrams tanks, no-fly zones
and drone strikes are only
going to help so much in the
war on terrorism, that’s our
hard power. It’s our soft power—the humanitarian aid,
direct aid that we’re giving
to Turkey, Jordan and other
parts of Iraq that are actually
keeping billions of refugees
in camps, that’s one way that
we’re helping,” Terry said.
He added, “The small
thing that we could do is to
help people who are really
the most vulnerable — the
women, the children, the
elderly, the severely disabled
and invite them to America.
That really does show that
America is a compassionate
Terry said he believe
ISIS wants us to turn away

Page 20A

all Muslims because “their
whole narrative is that
America is at war with Islam.
I think we have to show that
we’re not at war with any-

“We’re at war with criminal ideology not a religious

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