FREEPRESS

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 2016 • VOL. 18, NO. 40 • FREE

The

thechampionnewspaper.com

CHAMPION

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

• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •

2015YEAR IN REVIEW

Lithonia City Councilman Fred Reynolds recites the oath of office.

Councilmember Shameka Reynolds is sworn in by
Judge Gregory A. Adams.

Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson recites the oath of office.

Lithonia swears in mayor, two council members
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson and City Councilmembers
Shameka Reynolds and Fred Reyn-

olds were sworn in by DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory A.
Adams Jan. 4.
Jackson and Shameka Reynolds
were sworn in for a second term for
their respective positions, while Fred

pray for the mayor and city council.
“Everything is built on a spiritual
foundation, and if we can get that
right 99 percent of the other stuff
will begin to fall in place,” he said.
We’ll do our best.”

Reynolds—Shameka’s cousin—was
sworn in for his first term. Fred
Reynolds pulled out a close win Nov.
3 over former councilmember Darold Honore.
Fred Reynolds asked residents to

See Lithonia on Page 13A

Ernst sworn in as Brookhaven mayor
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
John Ernst was sworn in Jan. 4 as
the new mayor of Brookhaven.
Ernst, the former DeKalb County
Board of Ethics chairman, is the third
mayor in the city’s three years of existence. He succeeds Rebecca Chase
Williams, who was appointed mayor
by the city council after J. Max Davis
resigned as mayor to run for Georgia
House District 80 in June.
After he was sworn in by DeKalb
State Court Judge Mike Jacobs, Ernst
told Brookhaven residents that there
is “much work to be done.”
“There will be many hills to
climb and I’m sure there will be
many valleys to climb out of,” he said.
“Cities, much like buildings, are built
from the bottom up. We’ve accomplished many great things but there
is much more to be done. We have to
take time to do a complete inventory
of what we’re doing right.
“My pledge to you is to always
listen to all perspectives and to do
my best every day to make well-informed choices for the goal of com-

CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER

munity and making Brookhaven the
best it can be,” he said.
Ernst said his first day as mayor
is the start of a long process of trying
to build the “best Brookhaven possible.”
“We just really need to worry
about the basics—trying to make
sure our paving and watershed are
all right before we can even move on
to bigger and better things, including the Brookhaven Beltline,” he said.
“We need to unify this city. We had a
rough go at it at the very beginning
and it’s time to unify us and that’s
probably the biggest challenge. Once
I get that everything is possible.”
Ernst said he plans to unify the
city by doing outreach and more lis- John Ernst is sworn in as Brookhaven mayor by Judge Mike Jacobs as his wife Monica
looks on. Photos by Travis Hudgons
tening.
Councilmembers Linley Jones
(District 1) and Bates Mattison (District 3) were also sworn in into their
perspective seats. Jones was initially
appointed to fill the District 1 council seat, which was previously held by
Williams, in June.
This is Mattison’s second term as
council member.
Bates Mattison signs the oath of office.

CHAMPIONNEWS

Linley Jones shakes Judge Mike Jacobs’s
hand after being sworn in as councilmember.

CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER

CHAMPIONNEWS

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

local

Page 2A

Suspect stabs himself in neck
during SWAT standoff
A man was in
critical condition
at a local hospital after stabbing
himself during a
SWAT standoff. 
Korrie Thomas, 36, is facing
charges of false
imprisonment and
obstruction. 
On Jan. 5,
Thomas
just after 2 a.m.
DeKalb County Police responded to a domestic assault at the Rite For Us Hotel
located at 4300 Snapfinger
Woods Drive in Decatur.
At the scene, officers
found Thomas in the room
with a woman and 11 children, ages 3 months to 17
years. Armed with a knife,
Thomas refused to come out
and would not let anyone
leave the room, according to
police.

“SWAT responded to the
scene and attempted to negotiate
with the male for a
peaceful resolution
to the incident,” according to a police
statement. “After
five hours of negotiation attempts
SWAT made entry
into the room. As
SWAT entered they discovered the male suspect had
stabbed himself in the neck.”
In November 2015,
Thomas pleaded guilty to
aggravated assault and two
counts of armed robbery,
according to online court records. He pleaded guilty and
was sentenced to 15 years to
serve nine years in custody
and was supposed to turn
himself to DeKalb County
Jail on Nov. 16.

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get up and
January is Get Organized month.
When:

Every Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Where: Finders Keepers Furnishings
2753 E. College Ave. Decatur
Cost:

one canned good or non-perishable pantry item

Who:

NAPO-Ga Organizers and Finders Keepers

Why:

Help YOU get organized in 2016!
For more information call 404-377-1944
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FASHIONS

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SATURDAY

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JAN 16
9:30 am

Handy-Do or Handy-Don’t?

Start the year with a clear sense of what you
CAN do to save time, money and drama
around your home.
Rachel Johnston
www.joliresidential.com

Organize Your Life!”

Make 2016 the year to move your life from
messy to manageable.
Danielle Corley
www.lifemanagementservice.com

From Piles to Files

How to manage all of the paper in your life
and keep what really matters.
Diane Quintana and
Jonda Beattie co-present
www.dnqsolutions.com
www.timespaceorg.com

Financial Organizing
JAN 23 Made Simple

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JAN 30
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MENSWEAR

Learn how to create a system you can
USE to manage your personal or small
business finances.
Kristin Diver
www.systemhappy.com

Take Back Control

Commit to get organized once and for all
and make your house do the work for you.
Mary Paguaga
www.SOSmary.com

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The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

local

Page 3A

AroundDekalb

AVONDALE
ESTATES

Girl Scout troop to hold meeting
Girl Scout Troop 3647 will
hold a meeting Jan. 10 from 2 to
4 p.m. The meeting will be held at
Avondale Pattillo United Methodist
Church located at 3260 Covington
Highway. Troop 36x7 is a multilevel troop that moved to Avondale
Estates last year. For more information, call Bonny Wilder at (770)
469-9032.

brookhaven
City to hold zoning ordinance
rewrite public meeting
Brookhaven will hold a zoning
ordinance rewrite public meeting
Jan. 21, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Lynwood Park Community Center,
3360 Osborne Road. The purpose of
the meeting will be to give the public information on the goals of the
rewrite and provide an opportunity
for input on specific ordinance topics and areas of interest. The public
is welcome to leave comments and
sign up for updates at the Zoning
Ordinance Rewrite website: www.
brookhavenzoning.com.

decatur
Group to educate residents on
self-breast exams
On Jan. 9, a representative from
the Avon Foundation Community
Education and Outreach Initiative
will partner with Susan G. Komen
and inform people about breast cancer and examinations.
The representative will demonstrate how a self-breast exam is done
and display a breast model that allows you to feel a normal versus a
cancerous breast. There will also be
an opportunity for women who do
not have health insurance to sign up
for a free or low cost mammogram.
The event will take place from
12-3 p.m. at the Clarkston Library, 951 N. Indian Creek Drive,
Clarkston.
For additional information contact the Clarkston Library at (404)
508-7175.

decatur

School booster to host run/walk
event
The Decatur Bulldog Boosters
will host the 11th Annual Decatur
Bulldog Boosters “Run with the
Dogs 5K,” Jan.9 at 9 a.m. This run/
walk begins and ends in front of
Decatur High School and follows
a scenic course through Decatur
neighborhoods. For this unique
event, participants who are dogowners are invited to bring their
dogs. T-shirts, awards, and treats
will be available including a sporty
race kerchief for canine companions. All proceeds go to funding the
uniforms, equipment, and awards
for our student-athletes. Online registration is available at www.active.
com. Search “Run With The Dogs.”
A blank registration form can be
downloaded at dhs.csdecatur.net/
athletics/DBB.

dunwoody

City to hold town hall meeting
Dunwoody mayor-elect Denis
Shortal will host the city’s townhall
meeting on Jan. 21 from 6-8 p.m.
at All Saints Catholic Church, 2443
Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody.
Attendees are encouraged to
share their thoughts, questions and
ideas at the meeting.
City officials also will collect
public input on topics and issues
residents want to discuss at the
event. To submit topics and issues
of interest, visit www.connectdunwoody.com.
The event is free and open to
the public.  
 

Legislator to hold town hall
meetings
State Rep. Karla Drenner is
hosting several town hall meetings
to address the major issues for the
upcoming 2016 legislative session.
This will give residents an opportunity to have their questions answered.
On Jan. 25 Drenner and Sen.
Elena Parent will meet with constituents from 6 to 8 p.m. at North
Decatur Methodist Church, 1523
Church Street, Decatur.
Drenner will hold another town
hall meeting on Jan. 26 from 6 to 8
p.m. at Exchange Park Center 2771
Columbia Dr., Decatur.

State representatives to
advocacy breakfast meeting
State Reps. Karla Drenner
and Michelle Henson will serve a
home-cooked breakfast and will
have advocates in attendance to
share advocacy techniques.
“Bring your appetite, questions
and opinions about issues that matter to you and learn how to be more
successful as an advocate,” states
an announcement about the event
which will be Jan. 9, from 9 to 11
a.m., at Peace Lutheran Church,
1679 Columbia Dr., Decatur.

Car seat safety class set
Dunwoody Police Department
will host a free car seat safety class
on Jan. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. for families currently expecting a child or
who have children riding in rearfacing car seats.
The event will take place at 41
Perimeter Center East Suite 100,
Dunwoody. Parents will be instructed by certified child safety seat
technicians on Georgia law for car
seats, correct installation for rear
facing car seats, how to select the
appropriate car seat and receive current facts and statistics on car seat
safety. Space will be limited; people
interested in attending should email
carseatcheck@dunwoodyga.gov or
call (678) 382-6918 by Jan. 11 to reserve attendance.

Stone
mountain
City to host art event

Stone Mountain and the ART
Station will hold its annual ART
Stroll Jan. 9, from 7 to 9 p.m. For
more information, call (770) 4691105.

Countywide
Bat tests positive for rabies

A wild bat was captured in the
Buckhead Valley Lane area on Dec.
28 and tested positive for rabies.
Anyone who has been bitten or
scratched by a wild animal should
seek medical attention immediately.
Pets especially need to be watched
carefully, as they are easily susceptible to rabies. If pets start acting unusually nervous, aggressive, or have
excessive drooling or foaming at the
mouth, contact DeKalb County Animal Control at (404) 294-2996, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or
(404) 294-2519.
Pet owners also should make
sure their animals are vaccinated
against rabies yearly.
For more information about
how to protect against rabies, call the
DeKalb Board of Health, MondayFriday, 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (404)
508-7900.

Registration now open for
summer Volunteen program at
DeKalb Medical
DeKalb Medical is now accepting
applications for its Summer Volunteen Program. Registration closes on
Friday, Feb. 29. Registration is open
to all teenagers ages 14 to 18 with at
least one year of high school course
work completed. Approximately 20
new teens are accepted into the program each year. 
The DeKalb Medical Volunteen
program allows students to assist
hospital staff in various departments
throughout the organization’s campuses. The students also participate
in Lunch-and-Learn events with
medical professionals to learn about
various jobs in the healthcare field. 
For more information on the
Summer Volunteen Program, application guidelines or to begin your
application, visit www.dekalbmedical.org/volunteers.

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

opinion

Page 4A

Recapturing the joy of Christmas
It’s been an exhausting
Christmas season—shopping for gifts for my family,
decorating our home, getting things ready for the big
Christmas feast and planning for other celebrations at
the end of the year and into
2016.
And, of course, all those
return trips to the mall,
home improvement stores,
discount centers and grocery
stores to take advantage of
sales, specials and coupons
that could only be used on
certain days—and even
specific times of the day. Exhausting!
Most of these activities didn’t put a smile on
my face or joy in my heart
while doing them although
I know the outcome adds to
the overall enjoyment of the

Gale Horton Gay
gale@dekalbchamp.com

Lifestyle Editor

holidays. And yes, I know,
I have no one to blame but
myself.
However one decision I
made in November brought
me and my adult daughter
immense joy in December.
We decided to volunteer.

We took items we bought
at a dollar store and other
stores to a Decatur homeless shelter so children there
could pick gifts to give their
mothers on Christmas Day.
You would have thought the
lotion, nail polish, boxed
chocolates, gloves, socks and
lip gloss were from a highend retailer the way their
faces lit up as they surveyed
the goods and contemplated
which ones were ideal for
their moms. No rash decisions, these children thought
hard (and for some quite
long) before picking just the
right items. Then they chose
between an assortment of
boxes and bags—some with
glitter, others with bows—
and picked tissue paper and
name tags to complete their
gifts.

My daughter Imani
brought along plastic picture
frames, paper and colored
markers and invited the
children—ranging in age
from 5 to about 13—to draw
or write something special
for their parent. They were
quite serious as they created
something heartfelt, some
spending considerable time
on their drawings and words.
One young man’s message to
his mother almost brought
me to tears.
My daughter and I left
Hagar House in Decatur
agreeing that spending time
with those children helped
us recapture the spirit of the
Christmas season.
While money was spent
and time was involved running from store to store,
what mattered most was the

giving—from us to them and
from them to their mothers.
I imagined that on Christmas morning as my family
continues our tradition of
opening gifts before a big
breakfast, Imani and I will
think of those families, think
about homelessness and
think about family bonds.
We’ll no doubt think about
the children’s anticipation in
presenting their gifts to their
mothers and the part we
played in those special moments.
And the best thing of
all is that any of us can recapture the Christmas spirit
anytime throughout the year
just by extending ourselves
to others. Volunteering is a
gift that benefits others just
as much as the volunteer.

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

opinion

Page 5A

ONE MAN’S OPINION

“All I do is fire people all
the time, and people think I’m
a really nice guy.”–New York
developer Donald Trump,
during the first season of The
Apprentice (NBC, 2004).
In the old-school real
world there were young
students and aspiring professionals who became apprentices to a skilled master
craftsman or tradesman to
learn their business. The old
European term described a
novice, who toiled, sometimes for years, to acquire
the knowledge and skills to
become a plumber, electrician, blacksmith, carpenter,
etc., before opening his or
her own enterprise or sometimes taking on and taking
over the business from the
teacher.
In Donald Trump’s The
Apprentice and its sequel
The Celebrity Apprentice, the
famed developer and selfannointed real estate tycoon
humbly offered to share his
brilliance with others. In
the original opening credits
he said, “...I’m the largest
real estate developer in New
York. Though once...billions
of dollars in debt, I won
Big League...and I want to
pass along my knowledge to
someone else.”
Reality TV needs breakout characters and stars to
draw viewer attention, catch
their imagination and generally sweep them into their

The Real Apprentice

Bill Crane
bill.csicrane@gmail.com

Columnist

world of drama and conflict. On The Apprentice, just
hearing the name Amarosa,
nearly 14 years later, can
still conjure an image that
enthralled nearly 20 million
viewers a week, during those
earlier seasons, and still a
respectable 5 million each
week in the latter years.
One of the primary and
often repeated lessons of The
Apprentice, however, was that
ingenuity, hard work and
team building really do matter. The prima donna’s did
win on occasion, but more
often than not, leaders would
emerge who would build
teams, set goals and help
shape and form a vision that
allowed their team to more
successfully compete, even in
the highly artificial environment.
Trump would repeatedly
remind contestants as he
fired them of how or when
they dropped the ball, or

the need for them to better
understand, appreciate and
study the complexities of the
assignment at hand. I wonder if Trump the boss on The
Apprentice would fire Trump
the presidential aspirant
based on these standards.
That aside, the primary season is about to get
real. Actual voting by activists and voters in both parties
gets under way in less than
one month. Pollsters, still
stunned by the Trump phenomenon, have been doing
a deeper dive into their own
results and numbers, possibly
in an effort to later explain
how they may have gotten
things so wrong. Many leading survey organizations and
pollsters are acknowledging
the same two key findings of
nearly half of Trump’s solid,
and at times overwhelming,
levels of support. Nearly half
of those who regularly voice
support for Trump may in
fact not be actually registered
to vote. Voter disaffection
and anger is not new, though
perhaps at a current high
tide. Even in good times,
voter registration of the eligible voting age population
tends to hover between 66-75
percent. 
Another surprising finding of those Trump supporters, particularly in his home
state of New York, are selfidentified Republican voters,
who show up on voter rolls

as disaffected Democrats,
meaning that their last party
registration was Democratic,
or the last time they voted in
a primary it was a Democratic Primary. The problem is,
for those voters, in New York
and many other states, you
must reregister if your name
is purged from voter lists and
you must register by party. A
registered Democrat cannot
simply show up and request
a GOP primary or caucus
ballot, and vice-versa.
Trump is clearly striking a cord, and hopefully
has gotten the attention of
the ruling class on just how
much anger, distrust, dislike and discontent voters
have, particularly with what
appears to be an increasingly ineffective Washington,
D.C. He has real supporters,
and remains a force to be
reckoned with, but again,
even The Donald is hedging
his bets. Trump’s personal
investment, from the prior
round of campaign finance
reports, is a loan of $1.3
million, and an additional
$3 million in unsolicited
campaign contributions. For
comparison purposes, Mitt
Romney invested nearly $44
million of his own money in
his last presidential bid.
I may have watched too
many of these, and I’m far
from a typical voter, but in
Trump I see a lot more P.T.
Barnum, Ripley or even

Ross Perot, and a lot less
Einsenhower, Reagan or
even George W. Bush. I see a
political novice—some might
even say a worthy apprentice who is just about to get
schooled.
Tune in next week and
see. But stay tuned.
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
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considered for publication.
Send Letters To Editor, The Champion Free Press, P.
O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Send email
to Andrew@dekalbchamp.com • FAX To: (404)
370-3903 Phone: (404) 373-7779 . Deadline for news
releases and advertising: Thursday, one week prior
to publication date.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of the editor or publishers. The
Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any
advertisement at any time. The Publisher is not
responsible for unsolicited manuscripts.

Publisher:
John Hewitt
Chief Financial Officer:
Dr. Earl D. Glenn
Managing Editor:
Andrew Cauthen
Production Manager:
Kemesha Hunt
Photographer:
Travis Hudgons
Staff Reporters:
Carla Parker, Ashley Oglesby
The Champion Free Press is published
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.

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

local

Page 6A

Merrill White
“Volunteering gives
me a spirit of being able to
help others and being able
to help myself through that
and create a world where my
children will be able to be
leaders,” said Merrill White,
president of the Charter
School Parent Council.
In that organization,
which she founded, the Lithonia resident does “a lot of
things that deal with parents
and their right to school
choice.”
“I try to keep parents
abreast of all school issues—
the things that they need to
know in order to help their
children successfully navi-

gate the school system and
do well academically,” White
said.
White, who has two
children in a charter school,
founded the organization because she discovered “people

have a lack of knowledge
about charter schools.”
“It’s important to bring
people together who have
children in charter schools
and inform people who do
not,” she said.
Additionally, White, a retired psychologist, is the executive director of Supports
Systems Inc., a nonprofit
organization that promotes
family preservations. The
groups provide services for
children and counseling for
parents.
White, who has lived in
DeKalb County for seven
years, is a Girl Scout leader
for a south DeKalb troop,

a member of the PTO for
Leadership Preparatory
Academy, and works with
the relationship ministry for
Power of Purpose Christian
Center in Decatur.
She is co-chairwoman of
the education committee for
the South DeKalb Improvement Association and is a
member of South DeKalb
Parent Council and Parent
Councils United.
White also sponsors
Kwanzaa programs in the
community.
Much of White’s volunteerism is child oriented, said
the former teacher.
“It all revolves around

children and their families,”
said White, who have been
volunteering since she was a
girl.
“I guess it’s part of my
nature to volunteer,” White
said. “It’s something that is
rewarding to me. I believe
that people have given their
time to me and I just believe
we need to give back.”
“I would encourage other
people to take responsibility
for their fellow man and understand that we are not only
responsible for ourselves,
but we are all responsible for
each other,” White said.

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.

Petition circulating for proposed south DeKalb city of M. L. King
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
There’s a new cityhood
movement being contemplated in south DeKalb.
South DeKalb resident
Marvis McDaniel-Ivey is going around to her neighbors
pushing the idea of cityhood
for the 30032 ZIP Code in
DeKalb County—an unincorporated portion of Decatur that includes the Belvedere and Greater Towers
communities, McAfee Road
and portions of Snapfinger
Road and Columbia Drive.
The name for the proposed city is Martin Luther
King Jr., Ga.
“A city named for someone we…love and respect…
will inspire us to attain more,
and achieve the quality of
living which will support our
lifestyles, protect our assets
and gain us the prosperity…
which we deserve,” McDaniel-Ivey said.
“As [are] many Blacks, I
am troubled about our circumstances as a group, the
racism which we suffer and
are forced to suffer seemingly
because there is much opposition to legitimate solutions
to our problems,” McDaniel-

The 30032 ZIP Code is the subject of a proposed new city.

Ivey said about her proposed
city.
McDaniel-Ivey said the
new city would address the
“overwhelming need…for
relief from blight and distress
caused by high volume vacant housing.”
“This is a problem on
nearly every street in our

community, which is not to
say the problem is restricted
to our community,” McDaniel-Ivey said.
McDaniel-Ivey said the
county has “suffered drastically from the Great Recession, as well as corruption
in our county government
which research solutions

show can be addressed in the
form of mayor–council government, which I have proposed in the charter for our
city which I am now working
on.
“It is time for well researched models of residential and business development that will sustain and

profitably provide for growth
in our communities.
McDaniel-Ivey said she
has begun a petition to gain
support for the proposed
city.
“The major concern
which I have heard has been
about [an] increase in taxes.
Taxes are not expected to increase,” said McDaniel-Ivey,
who, for $29.95, is selling a
91-page report of her own
study of the conditions in
south DeKalb. McDanielIvey was unaware of the state
requirement for a economic
feasibility study.
“We are truly a distressed
community which is due
many sources of emergency
and other funding which we
cannot possibly begin to apply for without our city government,” she said.
“No one is going to advocate for us besides us,”
McDaniel-Ivey said.
The proposed King city
is within the boundaries of
the proposed city of Greenhaven, which includes much
of south DeKalb. McDanielIvey said she had not spoken
with anyone from the Greenhaven movement about her
proposal.

thechampionnewspaper.com

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

local

Page 7A

Former county CEOs’ aide dies after illness
Donna Morgan Mahaffey, a former assistant
county administrator under
three DeKalb County CEOs,
passed away Dec. 28 at Kindred Hospital in Atlanta after a long illness. She was 66.
A native of Atlanta,
Mahaffey was a public servant for more than 40 years,
working on many projects in
metro Atlanta. She did the
demographic research for
the site location of Northside Hospital and worked
closely with the hospital’s
first CEO. She was on the
MARTOC committee that
eventually built Atlanta’s
MARTA rapid rail system.
After working for state
government and Congressman Elliott Levitas, Mahaffey worked for DeKalb
County government under
county CEOs Walt Russell,
Manuel Maloof and Liane
Levetan.
Mahaffey’s “ability to get
along with people as well as
recognize problems and issues were remarkable. She
340‐381033 1/7,1/14WG 
PUBLIC SALE 
In accordance with the provisions of State 
law, there being due and unpaid charges for 
which the undersigned is entitled to satisfy 
an owner and/or manager's lien of the 
goods hereinafter described and stored at 
the Uncle Bob's Self Storage location(s) 
listed below. And, due notice having been 
given, to the owner of said property and all 
parties known to claim an interest therein, 
and the time specified in such notice for 
payment of such having expired, the goods 
will be sold at public auction at the below 
stated location(s) to the highest bidder or 
otherwise disposed of on ++Tuesday, 
January 26th 2016 at 9:00 AM++ 1890 
Briarwood Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329 
Phone: (404) 425‐5010 
Space No. Customer Name: 
Inventory: 
1193: Glorice McPherson 
Household Goods/Furniture, Other: Book 
2258: Adrian E Lopez‐Boxes, Tools 
2259: Robert Brown‐Household Goods/ 
Furniture 
2267: Cupid Weaver‐Household Goods/ 
Furniture 
2284: Paul Riddle‐Household Goods/ 
Furniture 
3044: Behailu Atnafu‐Household Goods/ 
Furniture 
3060: Raul Gonzalez‐Landscaping/ 
Construction Equip. 
3082: Darlene McFarland‐Other: Boxes 
3093: Anthony J Watson‐Household Goods/ 
Furniture, TV/Stereo Equipment 
3120: William Marable‐Household Goods/ 
Furniture, TV/Stereo Equipment, Tools/ 
Appliances 
3219: Latasha K Simon‐Household Goods/ 
Furniture, Tools/Appliances 
4015: Kaley Brown‐Household Goods/ 
Furniture, Landscaping/Construction Equip. 
4069: Toni Rhodes‐Household Goods/ 
Furniture 
4121: Nathan Siegal‐Household Goods/ 
Furniture, Other: China 

Mahaffey

got things done,” Levetan
said.
She was a liaison for
the county to the Georgia
State government. She was
instrumental in the county
receiving the All-America
City Award in 1998. Mahaffey also worked with the
DeKalb County Prevention

Alliance and was an advisor
to former President Jimmy
Carter on the Atlanta Project in 1995.
After retiring from the
county, Mahaffey facilitated
strategic planning for University Georgia College of
Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, DeKalb
County Public Health Department and Perimeter
Community Improvement
Districts (PCIDs).
Mahaffey served 14
years with PCIDs and Perimeter Business Alliance
(PBA), serving for 12 years
as the director of external
affairs and chief of staff. She
provided support for the
I-285 and Georgia 400 advocacy campaign beginning
in 2012, and won national
awards in external affairs for
the Ashford-Dunwoody di-

verging diamond campaign
in 2011 and the PCIDs annual report in 2012.
“Donna was an exceptional leader for the PCIDs
and PBA for 14 years and
she was my dear friend
and close colleague,” said
Yvonne Williams, president
and CEO of PCIDs. “Donna
was a tremendous and endeared servant leader to the
communities at large and a
special friend of many.”
Mahaffey was selected
for Leadership DeKalb and
Leadership America and
served on many nonprofit
boards, including Senior
Connections, Dunwoody
Chamber of Commerce
and the MARTA Oversight
Board.
Mahaffey was preceded
in death by her brother
James Sherwood Adams

and is survived by her
husband, Tom Mahaffey;
daughters, Shana DeLuca
(Rich), Helen Craig (Daniel); sons, Andrew Mahaffey
(Ashley), Jason Mahaffey;
grandchildren, Emily DeLuca, Oliver Craig, Grady
Craig; sister-in-law, Mary
Lou Adams; nephew, Sean
Paul Adams (Jessica); and
niece, Meghan Stabinsky
(Michael).
The memorial service
was Jan. 2 at H. M. Patterson & Son’s Oglethorpe Hill
Chapel.
The family requests that
in lieu of flowers, donations
can be made to Senior Connections where Mahaffey
served on the board (www.
seniorconnectionsatl.org) or
The Drake House in Roswell
(www.thedrakehouse.org).

PUBLIC NOTICE
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER ISSUANCE
OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS TO THE RESIDENTS AND VOTERS OF
THE CITY OF ATLANTA AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES
NOTICE is hereby given that at 1 p.m. on January 19, 2016, a Public Meeting of the Council of the City of
Atlanta (“Council”) will be held in the Council Chambers on the Second Floor of City Hall, Atlanta, Georgia, at which
time there will be considered and determined by the Council the question of whether or not general obligation bonds
shall be authorized for issuance by the City of Atlanta (“City”) in the following amounts for each of the following
purposes:
GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS in the principal amount of $4,000,000 for the purpose of providing funds to
pay, or to be applied or contributed toward, the cost of acquiring a site or sites and constructing and equipping
thereon municipal buildings and related facilities, of renovating, improving, adding to, and equipping existing
municipal buildings and facilities, of acquiring property, both real and personal, necessary or desirable for use in
connection therewith, and of paying expenses incident thereto.
GENERAL OBLIGATION SCHOOL BONDS in the principal amount of $4,000,000 for the purpose of providing
funds to pay, or to be applied or contributed toward, the cost of acquiring, constructing and equipping new school
buildings and other buildings and facilities useful or desirable in connection therewith, of renovating, improving,
replacing, adding to, expanding and equipping existing school buildings and other buildings and facilities useful or
desirable in connection therewith, of acquiring property, both real and personal, necessary or desirable for use in
connection therewith, and of paying expenses incident thereto.
It is proposed that an ordinance authorizing the issuance of bonds for each of the above purposes will be
considered and acted upon by the Council at such Public Meeting in accordance with the procedure set forth in two
special amendments to the Constitution of the State of Georgia which were ratified at the General Election held on
November 5, 1968, and duly proclaimed by the Governor of the State of Georgia on December 13, 1968 (1968 Ga.
Laws 1582 to 1584, inclusive, and Ga. Laws 1586 to 1587, inclusive), and any person having an interest in the
proposed authorization of such bonds for any of the above purposes may attend such Public Meeting and make
known his or her view or views with respect to the proposed ordinance which will authorize the issuance of such
bonds.
Each of such constitutional amendments provides that in the event that a petition for referendum is filed with
the Municipal Clerk of the City within thirty (30) days after such public hearing, containing the signatures of not less
than five percent (5%) of the registered voters of the City, the Municipal Clerk of the City is required to call an
election, at which time the question of the issuance of the bonds with respect to which the petition was filed shall be
submitted to the vote of the qualified voters of the City; provided however, that the Council, upon the filing of such a
petition for a referendum, may withdraw the proposal from further consideration and decline to issue the bonds with
respect to which the petition was filed.
Rhonda Dauphin Johnson
Municipal Clerk
Atlanta, Georgia

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

local

The leadership team at Charis Books and More and Charis Circle announced that the pastel
Little Five Points building that house both is for sale.

Page 8A

The store features material reflecting “diverse and marginalized voices.”

Bookstore plots ‘brave new chapter’
by Kathy Mitchell

  The small pastel building in Little Five
Points that now houses 41-year-old Charis Books
and More as well as its companion nonprofit, Charis Circle, may pass to other hands in 2016.
The Charis leadership team, which includes
Charis Books co-owners Sara Look and Angela
Gabriel and Charis Circle Executive Director
Elizabeth Anderson, recently decided to put the
Euclid Avenue building up for sale.
“This means only that our building is for sale,”
Anderson explained. “It does not mean that Charis Books is for sale or that the store and the Circle
are closing—we’re not. It means simply that after
looking at our work from all angles and consulting
with lawyers, real estate professionals and accountants, we have decided that owning our building is
no longer in Charis’ best interest.”
Acknowledging the move is “tinged with some
anxiety or sadness” for those close to Charis, Anderson said she and others also are excited to be
“writing a brave new chapter of the Charis story.”
Charis Books has been in the Little Five Points
area during its more than four-decade existence
and has been at the current location since 1994.
“We love the Little Five Points area. There’s a lot of
creative energy here,” Anderson said of the district
that straddles the Fulton/DeKalb county line with
Charis on the DeKalb side. “It’s at the nexus of the
city. It’s just off Moreland Avenue, one of the city’s
main arteries and it’s near I-75/85 and I-20. If we
move physically, we want to still be where our customer base in Atlanta and in DeKalb County has
easy access to us.”
While moving physically is an option, that
may not happen, according to Anderson. “We’re
open to a lot of possibilities. We’re talking to a
wide range of people in the public and private
sectors. Someone may be interested in buying the
building and having us remain. If we do move, it
may be to a larger space or a smaller one,” she said.
Among the possibilities, she said, is partnership with a complementary business or institution.

In addition to books, Charis offers periodicals and other
materials not available in most mainstream bookstores.

“Someone with a coffee shop, for example, might
be interested in sharing space with us. In this exploratory time, we have met with restaurateurs
and politicians, major arts organizations and city
planners, several different college and university
administrators, and many of our nonprofit and social justice programming partners. We are working hard to build a Charis that fits our needs and
[those of patrons], that honors our history, and
celebrates the city Atlanta is becoming,” Anderson
said.
What is important, according to Anderson, is
that Charis continues to be the unique community

institution that it has been since its inception. She
noted that for the past two years the Charis Circle
Board of Directors along with the leadership
team have been plotting “a new course for Charis
Books and Charis Circle that will allow us to continue to do all of the things we do best.”
Charis Circle is inviting the community to
provide input as to what they would like Charis’
direction to be and has set up a website, FeministFuture@chariscircle.org, for that purpose. “Our
co-authors and our fearless readers, our donors
and our supporters, who have fought for Charis to
survive and thrive” are “partners in this story we
are telling together,” Anderson said.
She explained that Charis has been able to remain in business in spite of competition from national chains and from online booksellers because
it offers something most other booksellers don’t.
“Every community needs a place for people to
gather and talk about community issues. We don’t
just have book discussions and author visits of the
type you find at most bookstores, we host events
that allow us to come together as a community
and talk about what’s on our minds,” Anderson
said.
Its name derived from a Greek word that
means grace, gift, thankfulness, Charis calls itself
the oldest independent feminist bookstore in the
Atlanta area. Those associated with it point out
that both the bookstore and Charis Circle are
more than outlets for feminist thought. Both provide space for “diverse and marginalized voices,”
including those of ethnic and religious minority
group members, members of the gay, lesbian and
transgender communities and others. In recent
years, Charis Circle has hosted discussions of
environmental issues, neighborhood transformations, evolving approaches to children’s literature
and other topics.
“No matter what we do about the building, our
core values will not change,” Anderson said. “We
will continue to host and sponsor events that…
fight for a more just world.”

2015

[

]

YEAR IN
REVIEW

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

local

Page 10A

2015YEAR IN REVIEW

septeMBer

Stadium renamed for william “buck” Godfrey
Panthersville Stadium was officially
renamed Sept. 19 the William Buck
Godfrey Stadium after football coach
William Buck Godfrey. The DeKalb
County Board of Education voted April
1 to rename the stadium.
Family, friends, former players,
coaches and colleagues of Godfrey
gathered near the scoreboard to celebrate the Hall of Fame coach and this
new honor.
During his 30 years at Southwest
DeKalb, he won 273 games (the most
wins of a football coach in DeKalb),

won the 1995 Class AAAA Georgia
High School Association state championship, 13 region titles, and helped
hundreds of players earn scholarships
to college. Godfrey never had a losing
record at Southwest DeKalb and missed
the postseason just three times.
Godfrey has received many honors,
including induction in the 2010 Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame class and in
the 2014 class of the Georgia Athletic
Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Photo by Travis hudgons

Ellis spending 18 months behind bars
Convicted DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis was
handed a five-year sentence with 18 months to serve.
Ellis, accused of strong-arming county vendors to contribute to his re-election campaign, was sentenced for attempting to commit theft by extortion, and three counts of
perjury. The sentences run concurrently.
During the July 8 sentencing hearing, Superior Court
Judge Courtney Johnson said she took into consideration
the service of Ellis, but said she did not believe he had accepted responsibility for his actions.
“You chose to serve your own interests,” Johnson said.
“Somewhere along the way, your intentions became more
focused on your own personal interests rather than those of
the citizens of this county.”
In his recommendation, DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said that while “the state believes in
mercy…we also believe in accountability.”

JulY

“Mr. Ellis has done a bad thing and Mr. Ellis has to be
punished,” James said. “It had to be done for justice to be
served in this case,” James said.
In his statement to the judge, Ellis again denied profiting from his fundraising efforts.
Ellis said, “All of the money raised in our campaign was
used to pay legitimate campaign expenses. None of it went
into my pocket.”
Ellis, who remains suspended from office while his appeal makes its way through the courts, said that while he
contacted government vendors as part of his fundraising
efforts, he never once believed he was committing a crime
or that his actions would be interpreted that way.
“I do however sincerely apologize to the citizens and
regret if any of my actions cast this county in a bad light.
That was never my intention,” Ellis said.

Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Sanitation division streamlines trash pickup
A countywide pilot program was launched
in more than 170,000 households in unincorporated DeKalb and the cities of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Lithonia to ease traffic and streamline waste collection in DeKalb.
The county sanitation department experimented with single-stream collection of recyclables and reducing pickup service for all waste
to once per week. This was in contrast to the system where garbage was collected twice per week
and recycling and yard waste collected another
day.
Once-a-week collection of garbage, recyclable materials and yard trimmings for all singlefamily residential customers within the division’s
service area began on July 6.
The new collection model aims to reduce the
cost of trash pick-up services while maintaining
the county’s sanitation fees at $265 a year, the
same rate it’s been since 2006.
 DeKalb County Sanitation officially
launched the “Rolling Forward to One” oneday-a-week sanitation collection service change
public awareness campaign on May 28.

JulY

Since then, Public Information Officer Pauline Andrea said the division hosted more than
100 community forums to “educate the public on
the program and also to receive their feedback
and hear their concerns, including the launch
of their website, door hangers and a one-month
run of a public service announcement that
played more than 7,000 times at all the theaters
in DeKalb County.
As a part of the Rolling Forward to One
initiative approach to recycling and solid waste
management, each DeKalb County resident was
issued a green 65-gallon garbage roll cart by the
end of August.
The sanitation division’s former collection
methods required collectors to pick up, on average, two 32-gallon containers or bags of garbage
each day from 1,000 residential households.
With the new program residents were given the
option of downsizing to 35- or 45-gallon garbage rolls carts at no extra charge or switch to
a 95-gallon garbage roll cart for a one-time $15
upgrade fee.
Photo by Ashley Oglesby

See Year on Page 11A

local

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

Page 11A

Year Continued From Page 10A

Same-sex marriage: it’s the law.
As couples lined up in the DeKalb County
Courthouse shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court
made same-sex marriages legal in all states June
26, Probate Court Judge Jeryl Debra Rosh said the
courts were prepared.
The Carnes-Millers were among the first couples who wedded at the DeKalb County Courthouse
hours after the ruling was announced.
The U. S. Supreme Court announced its 5-4 decision that same-sex couples have a right to marry
anywhere in the United States. As a result of the ruling, Georgia and 13 other states in the South and
Midwest could no longer enforce bans on same-sex
marriage.
Gov. Nathan Deal said Georgia will follow fed-

eral law.
“While I believe that this issue should be decided
by the states and by legislatures, not the federal judiciary, I also believe in the rule of law. The state of
Georgia is subject to the laws of the United States,
and we will follow them,” he said.
House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, who
represents part of DeKalb County called the ruling a
“groundbreaking victory.”
Rosh said the county’s updated marriage license
applications are now gender neutral.
DeKalb County Probate Court was open Saturday, June 27, from 8 a.m. to noon, to accommodate
an expected increase in marriage license requests.

June

Photo by Andrew Cauthen

School district selects new superintendent

JulY

On July 1 DeKalb County School
District officials swore in Stephen Green
as the new superintendent for the school
system.
Green was appointed to the position
in June after the DeKalb Board of Education conducted a nationwide search
using ProAct Search firm, a full service
executive search and management consulting firm.
In May, the board fired ProAct
Search firm due to the allegations of misconduct by a Chicago academy.
Green was sworn in by Superior
Court Judge Gregory A. Adams in the
presence of his wife, family members,
school board members and staff.
Previously, Green served for three
years as superintendent of the Kansas
City Public Schools.
Under Green’s leadership, KCPS
earned provisional accreditation from
the state, scored three consecutive balanced budgets and perfect financial audits, and stabilized enrollment.

Prior to assuming the superintendence in Kansas City in 2011, Green was
president and CEO of Kauffman Scholars Inc. an academic enrichment and
scholarship program that provides tutoring and life skills support to students
from middle school through college.
Green served as superintendent of
community school District No. 28 and
a local instructional superintendent in
Region 3 for the New York City Board of
Education.
Green also served as the president
and executive director of the New Jersey
Teaching and Learning Collaborative,
a not-for-profit organization founded
to provide ongoing technical assistance
and advocacy for local and state policy
reform.
Green’s focus in the DeKalb County
School District has been on meeting
the academic needs and goals of students and ensuring that the district is
maximizing all community’s resources to
achieve the best results for students.

Photo by Ashley Oglesby

MaY
St. Pius sweeps Class AAAA soccer championship
St. Pius dominated in soccer as
both the boys’ and girls’ teams took
home the Class AAAA state titles in
May.
The girls defeated rival Marist 2-1
in penalty kicks. It was the Golden Lions third consecutive state title, eighth

in program history.
The boys defeated Cross Keys 1-0
to win the title and end with a perfect
season (24-0). It was the boys 10th title
in program history. Just like the girls’
team, this is the Golden Lions third
consecutive title.
Photo by Travis hudgons

23

See Year on Page 12A

DCTV Channel 23

Photos brought to you by DCTV

@DCTVChannel23

Get your front row seat to all things DeKalb County
through your EMMY Award-winning station

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Ustream.tv/channle/DCTV-Channel-23
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E-mail us at DCTV@DeKalbCountyGA.gov

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

local

Page 12A

Year Continued From Page 11A

Slew of ethics complaints filed
Ethics complaints were filed left and right in 2015 by
residents fed up with alleged corruption and political maneuvering in the county government.
In February, the DeKalb NAACP filed ethics complaints against county Commissioners Jeff Rader, Kathie
Gannon and Nancy Jester, complaining the commissioners had purposefully held up the filling of the District 5
commission seat. Those complaints eventually were dismissed by the ethics board.
In March, the ethics board voted to dismiss other
complaints against Gannon and Rader, both for lack of
probable cause for a full investigation.
Gannon was accused of financial indiscretions and
Rader was accused of violating the disclosure requirement of the ethics code and improperly using the county
budget.
In August, the county’s ethics board found DeKalb
County Commissioner Stan Watson guilty of violating
the ethics code when he voted for Panola Slope Resort
while he was a consultant for the developer. The ethics

board voted to reprimand Watson.
In September the ethics board found probable cause
to have final hearings for the ethics complaints against
Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton and her aide, Judy
Brownlee, who both were accused of misusing county
funds.
In November, ethics proceedings against Sutton were
put on hold by a judge after Sutton’s attorney filed court
documents asking the judge to restrain the county’s ethics board from exceeding its jurisdiction and to declare a
section of the county ethics code to be unconstitutional
per House Bill 597. 
House Bill 597, approved by DeKalb voters on
Nov. 3, changed how people are chosen to serve on the
ethics board. Instead of being appointed by county commissioners and the county CEO, under House Bill 597,
ethics board members will be chosen by select county
organizations.
The bill also removed the ethics board’s power to remove elected officials from office. 

Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Pro soccer facility deal fails
DeKalb County commissioners
voted 4-3 on Aug. 4 to approve an incentive package with Arthur Blank,
a cofounder of The Home Depot to
bring major league soccer franchise
Atlanta United Football Club to the
county.
DeKalb County budgeted to
spend roughly $12 million and relinquish 41 acres of government land
for Blank’s Atlanta United to build
a $30 million soccer complex at the
intersection of Kensington Road and
Memorial Drive near Interstate 285. 
Soccer franchise owner Blank
planned to build a 3,500-seat stadium, three outdoor practice fields and
a two-story corporate headquarters
on land behind the DeKalb County
Jail. The proposal stated four additional fields and an indoor training
facility could be built later.

noVeMBer

Under the proposal, the total
cost for land preparation and demolition of 40 acres was an estimated $3
million to $5 million. Additionally,
$7 million in rent would be paid
to Blank over three years for office
space for county’s parks department.
The annual payment would be $2.33
million for the first three years and
then $10 per year for the remainder
of the ground lease.
Plans fell through for the complex on Nov. 6 after both parties
agreed that the deal was not financially feasible to proceed.
Blank announced that he’d finalized discussions with the city of Marietta and Cobb County regarding the
property located on Franklin Road.
Atlanta United’s soccer season
starts in January 2017.
Photo by Ashley Oglesby

Stephenson girls’ win basketball state title
The No. 3-seeded Stephenson Lady
Jaguars defeated their Region 6-AAAAA
foe and No. 1-seed Mays 65-56 to win the
Class AAAAA state title.
It is the third state title for head coach
Dennis Watkins and the Stephenson girls’
basketball program.

MarcH

Stephenson was the only basketball
team from the DeKalb County School
District to compete for a state title this
year. The win kept the school district’s
streak of at least one title every year since
Stephenson’s win in 2004 in effect.

Three teams took home track state titles
Cedar Grove and Southwest DeKalb boys’
track-and-field teams as well as the Marist girls’
team won state track titles this year.
For the Cedar Grove Saints, it was the team’s
first state track-and-field title in program history.
The Saints won the Class AAA state title by out-

scoring Decatur 67-45.
Southwest DeKalb closed out the “farewell” season for coach Napoleon Cobb winning the Class
AAAAA title by outscoring Banneker 58-44. Cobb
retires after 50 years of coaching. It was the program’s ninth state title and 11th for Cobb, who won

three titles with Gordon.
The Marist girls’ track team won its third consecutive AAAA trophy with a 81.50-70 win over
Baldwin.

See Year on Page 13A

local

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

Page 13A

Year Continued From Page 12A

District 5 gets representation again

JulY

For two years the District 5 seat on the
DeKalb County Board of Commissioners was a
political pawn as county leaders could not agree
on how to fill the seat.
Technically, interim county CEO Lee May
was still the District 5 commissioner, although
residents said he stopped representing their local
concerns upon his appointment in July 2013 by
Gov. Nathan Deal to the interim CEO position.
May took over that position following the indictment and suspension of DeKalb County CEO
Burrell Ellis.
May and commissioners wrangled on how
to fill the seat. May, following the county’s Organizational Act, nominated George Turner, a
District 5 Community Council president and a
retired MARTA manager, to fill the position on

Photo by Andrew Cauthen

an interim basis. The commissioners eventually rejected that nominee and May’s second
choice, Kathryn Rice, a Greenhaven cityhood
proponent. The commission then selected five
candidates of its own, none of whom were approved.

May eventually resigned from his commission
seat, paving the way for an election.
District 5 residents finally got representation
again when attorney Mereda Davis Johnson was
sworn in July 20 as their commissioner after defeating nine other candidates.
The election went to a July 14 runoff in which
Johnson, wife of Congressman Hank Johnson,
received 53.12 percent of the votes to become the
new commissioner. Her opponent, Turner, received 46.88 percent of the votes.

Sharman white wins gold medal
Miller Grove basketball coach Sharman White won
a gold medal for the 2015 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team.
White was an assistant coach on the team that won the
FIBA Americas Championship June 14. USA (5-0) came
back from a 20-point second quarter deficit to defeat Canada (4-1) 77-60 and win gold. The championship game was
held in Bahía Blanca, Argentina.
The gold medal was the fourth gold for the U16 team,

and USA now has a 20-0 record overall in U16 play since
the biennial tournament launched in 2009.
White was named one of the assistant coaches for the
2014 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team in September 2014. White coached under Don Showalter of Iowa
City High School in Iowa City, Iowa. Showalter has now
directed USA teams to seven gold medal finishes as head
coach of the USA Basketball Developmental National Team
since 2009.

June

Special investigator calls county ‘rotten to the core’

MarcH
Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Calling a corruption report he commissioned
In another document, Bowers called DeKalb
“laughable,” interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May County “rotten to the core.”
said he would not resign as it recommends.
The report states that “May and others conFormer state attorney general Mike Bowers,
spired actively to block” the corruption investigaDeKalb
CountycheatMaster Police
public safety director, described Toatwho investigated the Atlanta Public
Schools
tion.
finalrecommendations,
watch, including responding scandal, was picked inOfficer
March Kevin
by MayToatley,
to root a seven-year
Among ley’s
its other
the report
killed that
ingatonew
a “Signal
63—officer
down”
out county corruption. veteran of the department, was
suggested
day-to-day
supervisor
forat
Sept. 19
a car accident
4 p.m. Anbe
officer
had been
durBowers’ team was “charged
to in
investigate
the while
all drivcounty operations
appointed;
the shot
county
ating home
in his governpatrol car in tempt
south to recover
ing a all
gunmisspent
battle and
Toatley
was one
day-to-day operations of DeKalb
County
funds;
all spending
FultonrecommendaCounty.
of the
first officers
on the
scene.
ment and to bring back various
by commission
members
and their
staffs
should be
Fulton
County
police
DeKalb
County
Police
tions…to let us know those areas
where
we need
to charged
displayed weeklyInterim
on a public
county
website;
and
Arimentha
Best,
with homicide
Conroy,
said, “There’s
tighten reins, where we need
to work on
our65,
fiscal
the purchaseChief
cardsJames
program
be eliminated.
by vehicle
in the second
no words
controls and other opportunities
to prevent
those degree and
May saidnohewords.
wouldThere’s
use theabsolutely
recommendations
driving
the wrong
side of in
thethe reportthat
can replace
loss.
Weapples.
all owe
areas from waste, fraud and
abuse,on
” May
said about
to “weed
some his
of the
bad

roadway.
him
a great
debt.”not step down.
the 40-page report, for which
the county spent
And May
said
he would
Cedric Alexander, the county’s
$850,000.
“I’m not resigning,” May reiterated. “Now if
In his report, delivered to the county Sept. 30,
the people of DeKalb—the taxpayers, the residents
Bowers stated that the county’s poor leadership and of DeKalb—ask me to step down, then absolutely,
widespread corruption “are a disgrace to its citizens that’s something that I’m willing to do.”
and an embarrassment to our state.”

DeKalb mourns fallen officer
DeKalb County Master Police
Officer Kevin Toatley, a sevenyear veteran of the department,
was killed Sept. 19 in a car accident
while driving home in his patrol car
in south Fulton County.
Fulton County police charged
Arimentha Best, 65, with homicide
by vehicle in the second degree and
driving on the wrong side of the
roadway.
Cedric Alexander, the county’s

public safety director, described
Toatley’s final watch, including responding to a “Signal 63—officer
down” at 4 p.m. An officer had been
shot during a gun battle and Toatley
was one of the first officers on the
scene.
Interim DeKalb County Police
Chief James Conroy said, “There’s
no words. There’s absolutely no
words that can replace his loss. We
all owe him a great debt.”

septeMBer

Photo by Andrew Cauthen

See Year on Page 13A

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

local

Page 14A

YIR Continued from Page 13A

Voters say ‘yes’ to Tucker, ‘no’ to LaVista hills
Residents in the Tucker community voted in
favor of the city referendum with 73.92 percent,
while 26.08 percent of voters said “no” to a new
city.
Voters in the proposed LaVista Hills boundaries voted against the city referendum with
50.50 percent voting against, and 49.50 percent
voting in favor.
Frank Auman of Tucker 2015 said it took a
lot of hard work to incorporate Tucker.
After declaring defeat, Mary Kay Woodworth of “LaVista Hills Yes!” apologized to
supporters for “the missed opportunity for this
community to make it a better, stronger community.”
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

noVeMBer

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
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 cityhood movement, specifically LaVista Hills, had faced opposition from several
groups including DeKalb Strong, which worked
to stop the new cities from forming.
Auman said once the Tucker referendum
passed, he had no doubt that voters would support it.

Photo by Carla Parker

Ex-commissioner sentenced to 14 months in prison
Former DeKalb County commissioner
Elaine Boyer, who pleaded guilty in 2014 to federal charges of mail fraud conspiracy and wire
fraud, was sentenced to 14 months in prison in
March.
During the March 20 sentencing hearing,
Boyer said, “I’m deeply ashamed. I’m very embarrassed and humiliated. I betrayed the very
[people] who were entrusted to me. I deeply regret my actions.”
Boyer was accused of conspiring between
September 2009 and November 2011 to defraud
DeKalb County by authorizing 35 payments for
false invoices “for consulting services that were
never performed,” according to federal charges
against her. She was accused of authorizing more
than $78,000 to a financial advisor, who then
“funneled approximately 75 percent of the mon-

ey…into Boyer’s personal bank account.”
Federal prosecutors said Boyer used the
money to pay personal expenses, including purchases at hotels and high-end department stores.
“I accept full responsibility for my actions,”
she said, sobbing during the hearing. “I’m deeply,
deeply sorry.”
Boyer’s sentence, which was reduced by four
months because of the assistance she gave investigators in an ongoing case, also includes restitution of $87,000 to DeKalb County. Boyer brought
the court a certified check for $4,000 during her
sentencing hearing.
In August, Boyer’s husband, John, was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison
after pleading guilty to conspiring to commit
mail fraud. He was ordered to pay approximately
$87,000 in restitution.

MarcH

Protestors bring attention to man killed by police

MarcH

Anthony Hill, 27, an Air Force veteran from Chamblee, was
shot and killed March 9 by DeKalb County Police Officer Robert
Olsen, who responded to a call about a man acting “deranged,”
knocking on apartment doors and crawling on the ground, Cedric Alexander, deputy chief operating officer for public safety,
stated in a March news conference.
Hill became a national topic on social media with #AnthonyHill trending on Twitter. Those who knew him said Hill was an
Air Force veteran and had bipolar disorder.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation looked into the incident
to determine whether Olsen, who is White, acted properly when
he fatally shot Hill, who was Black and described himself publicly
as bipolar.
On March 11, more than 100 protestors of a police-involved
shooting death marched the streets of Decatur chanting “Black

lives matter” and “I am Ant Hill.”
Some protesters wore armbands and headbands made of
strips of purple cloth, Hill’s favorite color. They blocked traffic in
Decatur as they marched, singing and shouting and holding their
fists in the air. Twice they sat down in intersections as Decatur
Police looked on and directed traffic.
In October, a grand jury could not decide whether to recommend an indictment of Olsen “because there were contradictions
and inconsistencies in the testimonies presented.” The grand jury
recommended that the case be investigated further to aid DeKalb
County District Attorney Robert James’ decision to pursue the
case.
On Veterans Day, the family of Hill filed a wrongful death
lawsuit against the DeKalb County Police officer who shot and
killed the unarmed veteran.

Four teams win cross country state titles
Clarkston boys, Dunwoody girls and Marist
boys and girls teams brought home cross county
state titles in November.
The Clarkston Angoras won their second
consecutive state title with a 90-128 win over
runner-up Forsyth Central. Clarkston made history last year winning its first cross country title,

the fifth state title of any kind for the school.
The team made more history by becoming backto-back champions—becoming just the fourth
program in DeKalb County to win back-to-back
titles.
The Dunwoody Lady Wildcats picked up its
third state title in four seasons with a 70-113 vic-

tory over runner-up Creekview.
Marist girls won their eighth consecutive title
and 16th in program history with a 37-95 win
over St. Pius in the Class AAAA meet.
Marist boys defeated defending Class AAAA
champions St. Pius with a close 69-76 victory. It
was the program’s 11th title.

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

LoCAL

Page 15A

Husband of former county CEO dies

Simon Phillip “Phil” Levetan, husband of a former
DeKalb County CEO, died
Sunday, Jan. 3, at age 91.
Levetan, who was married to Liane Levetan for 61
years, was co-owner of Dixie
Iron and Metal Company, his
family’s scrap metal business.
He continued with the business for many years when it
was sold to a recycling company.
“DeKalb County mourns
the loss of Phil Levetan, a
steadfast pillar of our community who quietly dedicated his life to making our
community a better place,”
said interim DeKalb County
CEO Lee May in a statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers
are with the Levetan family
and loved ones during this
time.”
In an online guestbook,
DeKalb County Superior
Court Judge Gregory A.
Adams said Levetan “was a
wonderful person who will

Former business owner Phil Levetan and wife Liane, a former DeKalb County CEO, attend a 2009 event. Phil
Levetan passed away Jan. 3 at age 91.

be missed by the entire community.”
Levetan was born on
April 12, 1924, to Joseph and
Rebecca Boss Levetan at
Georgia Baptist Hospital.
A native Atlantan, Levetan graduated from Boys

LITHONIA Continued From Page 1A
Shameka Reynolds expressed her cousin’s sentiments as well.
“Please pray for us,” she
said. “We need your help, we
need your input, and we need
your commitment to the city
as well. We cannot do this by
ourselves.”
Jackson said her first four
years as mayor has been an
incredible journey.
“I am very humbled by
the fact that I have another
opportunity to continue to
serve as your mayor of this
wonderful city,” she said. “It’s
really amazing that four years
have already gone by. But
when I look at what has been
happening we’ve been getting
a lot of things done.”
Jackson gave a state of
the city address following the
swearing in ceremony and
mentioned the goals that were
accomplished during the past
four years. Those goals included forming new partnerships, improvements to the
Lithonia Plaza, improvements
to amphitheater and the
opening of new businesses.
“The state of the city of
Lithonia is very good,” she
said. “I invite you to join us
on this very exciting journey.”
Jackson said she wants to
improve youth development
and training and establish a

farmer’s market. She said she
plans to focus on following
up with the developer regarding the Lithonia Plaza.
Wendover Housing Partners is set to develop a $12
million apartment complex
that will include 75 units consisting of 24 one-bedroom, 45
two-bedroom and six threebedroom apartments.
“We want to get a good
sense of what the timeline is,
to be able to find out what
the job opportunities are.
We want to get our people
prepared so they will be able
to benefit from the progress
that’s taking place,” Jackson
said.
Jackson also mentioned
the questions and speculation around annexation and
whether the city will ever annex.
“The short answer is
‘yes,’” Jackson said. “However,
we want to do it in a manner
that makes sense for everyone
involved and creates a winwin situation. Right now it’s
very difficult to have a meaningful conversation about that
issue. So in the meantime we
will continue to strengthen
our infrastructure and build
on our existing assets.”

High School and received
his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Atlanta
Law School. He served in
the Army Air Corps during World War II where he
maintained the electrical and
mechanical systems of B29

airplanes in Saipan.
A lifetime member of
Ahavath Achim Synagogue
and member of Congregation Beth Jacob, Levetan
enjoyed coordinating the
weekly lunch-and-learn sessions for Chabad with Rabbi

Yossi New for more than 25
years.
Additionally, Levetan
was a member of the Jewish
War Veterans of the United
States of America and a life
member of the Elks 78 organization.
In addition to his wife,
Levetan is survived by his
two daughters, Claresa Levetan and Penny Levetan
Reiff of Philadelphia; four
grandchildren: Alison and
Julie Reiff, and Nathan and
Rachel Hochberger, all of
Philadelphia, Pa.; brother,
Robert Levetan; sister-inlaw Gail Raab and numerous
nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made
to the charity of one’s choice.
A graveside service was
held Monday, Jan. 4, at Crest
Lawn Memorial Park in
Atlanta and funeral arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish
Funeral Care.

2016
Wishing you happiness in the
new year with the hope that
you will have many blessings in
the year to come.

Happy New Year

classiFied

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

The

CHAMPION

Page 16A

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The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

Business

Page 17A

Before and after pictures show how Kitchen Tune-Up makes quick, simple changes to update a kitchen.

Kitchen remodeling firm sees DeKalb as next big market
by Kathy Mitchell
A business that started 28
years ago in Aberdeen, S. D.,
is looking at DeKalb County
as its potential next big market. It is now in 40 states.
Kitchen Tune-Up officials
have identified DeKalb as exactly the type of place one or
more of its franchises could
find success.
The company recently
announced a franchise
growth plan targeting major
markets throughout DeKalb
County, including North
Druid Hills, Decatur and
Dunwoody, as well as into
Atlanta.
“We look at demographics such as age of homes and
household income to determine where there might be a
lot of interest in our services.
DeKalb County, in particular, has been pinpointed
for expansion because of
its strong mix of attractive
residential and growing business communities where
the signature one-day wood
restoration service would be
in demand,” said Heidi Morrissey, Kitchen Tune-Up’s
vice president of marketing
and sales.
“We have an extra incentive to look at DeKalb
because we have gotten a
number of calls from homeowners in DeKalb wanting
to know if we have an office
that can serve them. Right
now, we have franchises in
Columbus and other Georgia cities, but nothing in the
DeKalb area,” Morrissey continued.

process to keep wood surfaces looking fresh and new.
“He had just taken his
car in for a tune-up and
thought about how the service he created does the
same thing for a kitchen that
the mechanics had done for
his car. So he decided to call
the business Kitchen TuneUp,” Morrissey said.
Because demand for the
service was so great, the
founders set out to create a
business model that could be
applied beyond their service
area. They were weighing
Heidi Morrissey is vice president
whether to launch a chain
of sales and marketing at the comof dealerships or franchise
pany founded by her parents.
the business when a relative
invited Dave Haglund to atKitchen Tune-Up was
tend a seminar on that topic.
founded by Morrissey’s par“When he left the semients, Dave and Cindy Hanar, he knew franchising was
glund. Morrissey explained
the way to go. Interestingly,
that her dad was working
for a department store chain Aberdeen is good place to
launch a franchise. There alwhen he decided to start his
own business. “He wasn’t re- ready were franchises based
ally a handyman; his strength here, including one of the
major fast food restaurant
was customer service. He
chains,” Morrissey said.
knew there was a strong
“Dad had no trouble finding
demand for kitchen ima franchise attorney and the
provements—everyone has
other experts he needed to
a kitchen—so he decided to
help him get started.”
focus there,” Morrissey said.
It wasn’t long before deAfter Dave Haglund had
operated a successful kitchen mand was booming, according to Morrissey. She said
remodeling business for 13
years, a chance remark from a small item about Kitchen
Tune-Up in a national magaa customer started him on
the road to the company that zine attracted more than
100,000 inquiries.
became Kitchen Tune-Up.
In 1988, Kitchen TuneAfter having her kitchen remodeled, the customer com- Up sold its first franchise and
mented, “I wish I could keep now has more than 170 franchise partners. Entrepreneur
my cabinets looking new
forever.” From there he con- magazine ranked Kitchen
Tune-Up No. 1 in its catsidered what it would take
egory on its 2015 Franchise
to revitalize a kitchen from
500® list. “We are proud our
time-to-time. He created a

franchise system has received
the top ranking in our category for more than 20 years,”
Morrissey said.
In addition to its signature one-day “tune-up,”
the company offers other
kitchen remodeling services
including cabinet re-facing,
re-dooring, custom cabinets,
storage solutions and more.
“Almost all of the jobs are
completed in five days or
less. We know what a nuisance it can be for a customer having work done in their
homes. We are committed to
causing as little disruption as
possible. Even when we have
to work over several days at
the end of each work day we
leave the kitchen so that it
can be used,” Morrissey said.

She noted that one of
the challenges of operating
Kitchen Tune-Up as a franchise is assuring uniform
quality. “A fast food chain
can send people out to check
individual stores to see how
well they are serving customers. More than 50 percent of
our franchise partners are
home based so we follow up
with customers to be sure
they were pleased with work
and the service. Also, we are
careful in selecting franchise
partners. We look for owners
who want a brand that prides
itself in quality. Once we find
what we call a brand warrior,
we make sure they get the
best training and support we
can give.”

Physicians’ Care Clinic

The Physicians’ Care Clinic is
the oldest and largest volunteer-led
clinic serving residents of DeKalb
County. We offer non-emergency,
comprehensive primary medical
care that includes chronic disease
management and education services
to low-income, uninsured adults who
are not eligible for Medicaid.
Check our website for patient
eligibility requirements, application,
clinic location, and hours at www.
physicianscareclinic.org or call (404)
501-7940.

Interested in volunteering?

Medical professionals and others please contact physcareclinic@gmail.com
or call (404) 501-7960.

connectedness

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

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

education

Page 18A

Students show their appreciation for Chevron and DonorsChoose.org with a group
photo and handmade banner.

Cellist Joseph Ford with his mother.

Student overcomes obstacles
to attend Columbia College
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
Applying to college can be exciting and stressful. With so many colleges to consider and deadlines to
meet, daunting might be an understatement for the work ahead.
Joseph Ford, 18, is a cellist who
writes and performs his own compositions. In 2014, he was accepted into
his top choice, Columbia College of
Chicago as an incoming freshman in
the music department. Ford had to
defer a year due to lack of money for
tuition, books, rooming and board.
Ford has spent his year of deferment attending Georgia Perimeter
College taking core classes to reduce
his overall tuition costs at Columbia.
He also has been applying for scholarships. “This isn’t just my dream” he
said. “I feel like I was born to do this.”
Ford said he has studied music
and played the cello since first grade.
While in the seventh grade family members bought him a cello from
Ken Stanton Music for about $1200.
As a student a DeKalb School
of the Arts for two years, Ford performed in two orchestras.
“It was nice just to get to play in
high school and not just being so focused on school work,” Ford said.
He added, “It’s a big balancing act
because you have to choose between
practicing and doing well in classes.”
Due to a chronic illness Ford had
to withdraw from Dekalb School of
the Arts but continued playing the
cello while being home schooled.
At age 17, Ford told his mom that
he wanted to start applying to colleges.
Ford said he found Columbia
College and visited the school.

He said the process of getting
accepted into Columbia College of
Chicago took months.
“It’s changed everything. Before
I got in I wasn’t exactly sure where I
would go to school or when. At the
time I was just going to go to Georgia
State University, but instead I ended
up going to Georgia Perimeter to
take general courses.”
He added, “At the moment, I
would love to go to Columbia but
the end result is just basically me
producing music. Whether it be for
movie soundtracks or just as a career.
Whatever I do in school is just networking to help me have an easier
start at doing that career.”
He said his mom has inspired
him to follow that dream.
Ford said when he was younger
his mom told him how she had to
pay for school on her own and how
she earned a master’s degree in art.
“I thought it was the coolest
thing. I was like wow you did that all
by yourself,” Ford said.
He added, “As I got older I realized that it’s actually a pretty difficult
thing to do.”
Ford said his advice to his peers
is “Stick with what you think is going to work for you first, but have a
backup plan. Get work experience,
find a job; because you’re going to
need one, but regardless of what you
end up doing workwise, you need to
just stick with what you think is right
for you.”
Ford is now slated to attend Columbia in August of 2016 but needs
an additional $30,000.
One of his approaches to paying
for his education is by setting up a
GoFundMe account.

Students pose with supplies they were given through the Fuel Your School program.

Approximately 49,000 students throughout Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties
were impacted by the Fuel Your School
program.

Almost 450 local public school classroom
projects were benefitted through the
program.

Chevron program funds
classroom supplies
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com

This year Chevron generated
$400,000 to help fund 445 classroom projects in Clayton, DeKalb
and Fulton counties through its
Fuel Your School program.
Through a collaboration with
DonorsChoose.org, Chevron collected money to assist teachers with
classroom supplies and materials,
including 162 projects focused on
science, technology, engineering
and math (STEM).
Chevron officials launched the
2015 Fuel Your School Program in
September.
In October, Fuel Your School
donated $1, up to a total of
$400,000, when consumers purchased eight or more gallons of
fuel at participating Chevron and
Texaco stations.
Since it’s inception in 2010,
Chevron Fuel Your School program
has helped fund 33,685 classroom
projects at 5,155 schools in the
United States. The program’s impact has grown each year to sup-

port students in many communities
where Chevron has business operations.
Chevron spokesman Brent
Tippen said, “We’ve been committed to increase access to and the
quality of education around the
world. We think an educated and
skilled workforce leads to economic
growth both for our business, our
partners and communities where
we operate. We also support STEM
fairly heavily and that’s from early
education through employment
and we support that both through
kindergarten through 12th grades
to college and career technical.
There are major skill gaps across
the country in the STEM curriculum and we want to be able to close
some of those gaps.”
Tippen said the program also
supports literacy, language and the
arts.
This year, Chevron’s Fuel Your
School program generated more
than $8.8 million for local classrooms in 21 U.S. communities and
benefitted more than 1 million students.

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

sports

Tucker coach James Hartry gives instructions to players.

Tucker’s Tyler Payne goes up for a layup as
Raylon Richardson defends. Photos by Travis
Hudgons

Page 19A

Miller Grove defeated Tucker in the Chick-fil-A Invitational championship game.

Miller Grove guard Alterique Gilbert scored 32
points in the game.

Gilbert goes up over Tucker’s Kenton Eskridge Miller Grove’s Aaron Augustin goes
for a basket.
up for a layup.

Miller Grove repeats as CFA champs against Tucker
by Mark Brock
Alterique Gilbert scored 32
points to lead the Class AAAAA No.
1 ranked Miller Grove Wolverines
to an 80-61 Chick-fil-A Invitational
championship game victory over the
Tucker Tigers Dec. 30 at Tucker.
The win was Miller Grove’s (12-2)
second consecutive CFA title, both of
which were wins over host Tucker.
Tucker (10-4) rallied from a
14-point deficit (31-17) with 4:09 to
play in the second quarter behind six
points by junior Kenton Eskridge
and five from Amir Butcher to pull
within 33-28 on Eskridge’s two free
throws at the 1:45 mark.
The Wolverines responded with
a 9-0 run to end the quarter as Gilbert
scored four of his 19 points in the
half in the run. George Wilson hit a
three-pointer and Colin Young added
a pair of free throws to put Miller
Grove up 42-28 at the half.
Gilbert picked up where he left
off in the first half as he scored nine
points in the third period, including
a drive with seven seconds left to put
the Wolverines up 62-45 with a quarter to play.
Miller Grove extended its lead

despite Tucker’s Eskridge hitting for
10 points in the third period.
Gilbert sandwiched a drive by
Joshua Jackmon with a pair of free
throws and a drive of his own as the
lead expanded to 68-45 with 6:14 to
play and both team began to sub.
Gilbert, who scored a total of 75
points in the four tournament games,
also added 22 assists and 16 steals
to be named to the All-Tournament
team. Miller Grove guard Aaron Augustin, who finished with 12 points
and eight assists in the win, was
named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after compiling 47 points
and 42 assists in the four games, including 14 assists in the opening win
over Glenn Hills and three doubledoubles (points/assists).
Miller Grove forward Raylon
Richardson was also named to the
All-Tournament after putting together back-to-back games with 11
rebounds, including his 19 points, 11
points and three blocks in the semifinal win over Lithonia Dec. 29.
Eskridge was named to the AllTournament team for Tucker as he
followed up his 28 point game against
North Clayton Dec. 29 in the double
overtime semifinal with a 21 point

performance against Miller Grove in
the final. Tucker’s Xavier Johnson
was also named to the All-Tournament team.
Third Place
Lithonia 61, North Clayton 46
The No. 3 Class AAAA ranked Lithonia Bulldogs pulled away from North
Clayton in the fourth quarter for a 6146 victory to claim third place in the
tournament.
Lithonia (10-4) held a 39-34
lead heading into the fourth quarter
and was clinging to a 41-39 lead after
North Clayton’s Kindle Vildor hit a
three-pointer with 6:21 to play in the
game.
All-Tournament selection Tyheem Freeman made a nice pass to
Derious Wembley, who completed a
three-point play with a layup and free
throw and the Bulldogs began to pull
away.
Jacara Cross and Freeman both
hit a pair of free throws with a basket
by Rodney Chatman as the lead ballooned to 51-41 with 2:04 remaining.
Cross and Ziven Alexander each
had a dunk in the final 21 seconds to
close out the game for the 61-46 win.
Chatman finished with a game-

high 18 points to lead Lithonia and
Freeman finished with 16. Ahsan
Asadullah finished the game with 14
points and seven rebounds to lead
North Clayton (7-5) and was named
to the All-Tournament team along
with Lithonia’s Freeman.
All-Tournament Team
MVP – Aaron Augustin, Miller Grove
Alterique Gilbert, Miller Grove
Raylon Richardson, Miller Grove
Xavier Johnson, Tucker
Kenton Eskridge, Tucker
Tyheem Freeman, Lithonia
Ahsan Asadullah, North Clayton
Jeremy Marte, Osceola (Fla.)
Ledarius Brewer, Meridian (Miss.)
Dajuanta Ross, Brainerd (Tenn.)
Miquel Arnold, South Miami (Fla.)
Round 4 Results
Dec. 30
Seventh Place Bracket Finals
Brainerd, Tenn. (11-3) 50,
South Miami Fla. (13-4) 46
Fifth Place Bracket Semifinals
Meridian, Miss. (16-2) 61,
Osceola, Fla. (10-2) 54

The Champion FREEPRESS, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

sports

Page 20A

Father: deceased son would have enjoyed Cedar Grove’s run
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Whenever Cedar Grove High
School football team buses drive
by Kennedy Memorial Cemetery
on River Road—before or after
games—the players hold up three
fingers.
They hold up the three fingers
to honor Richard Turner Jr., a
graduate of the Cedar Grove and
linebacker on the football team
who died from lymphoma in 2004.
Turner, also known as Mookie,
was one of top players on the team,
according to his father Richard
Turner Sr.
After his death, the football
program retired his No. 3 jersey,
and each year a player receives
the “Mookie Award” for “fighting
through adversity.”
The 2015 Cedar Grove football
team had one of best seasons in
program history. The team finished with an 11-2-1 record and
was Region 4-AAA co-champions.
The team also advanced to the
state playoff semifinals for the
third time in program history,
where they lost to Westminster.
Turner said his son would have

enjoyed watching his high school
team this past season.
“They have achieved a whole
lot and they have accomplished
a whole lot,” Turner said. “Even
though they fell short, the hope is
going on and never letting [anything] stop you from reaching
your goal.”
Mookie graduated from Cedar
Grove in 2002. He played for three
years for the football program as a
linebacker. He played one year at
McNair before transferring to Cedar Grove.
Turner said his son adapted
well to his new team after transferring.
“He liked the team and the
players liked him,” he said.
Not only was Mookie a good
player and student, he also was
well-behaved at home, according
to his father.
“At home he was well-mannered and very humble,” Turner
said.
Mookie’s success on the football field earned him a scholarship
offer to the University of Buffalo.
However, he would never get the
opportunity to play for Buffalo or
another down of football.

Three months after graduating
from high school, he was diagnosed with lymphoma.
“We went to Kaiser [Permanente] and they did a biopsy, and
they sent him to Piedmont [Hospital] and they did [another] biopsy
and it came back in August and
he did have lymphoma,” Turner
said. “At that point the cancer was
stable, he did his treatments and he
was in remission for a year.
However, the cancer came back
and it had taken over his body, according to Turner.
“Kaiser flew him up to Baltimore to Johns Hopkins Hospital in
late 2003,” he said.
“[I miss] the laughter, the fun
and how he played [football],”
Turner said. “He loved the game
of football. Ray Lewis was one of
his favorite football players. That’s
the one thing I noticed the most in
him—he loved the game of football.”
As they have since his death,
the Turner family and friends will
have a candlelight vigil on Mookie’s birthday—Feb. 23—at Kennedy
Memorial Cemetery to remember
him.

Richard Turner Jr., a 2002 graduate of Cedar Grove
and linebacker on the football team, died from
lymphoma in 2004. Photo by Richard Turner

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