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FRiDaY, apRil 15, 2016 • Vol. 18, no. 52 • FREE

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QUICK FINDER LITHONIA CITY
Business .................................21A
Classified ..............................20A
Education.........................18-19A
Opinion ...................................... 7A
Sports ...............................22-23A

ADMINISTRATOR
TO RESIGN
LOCAL, 8A

PALOOZA ATTACKS
POTHOLE PROBLEM

FRESHMAN BRIAN HERRON
TURNS LAKESIDE TRACK
INTO TITLE CONTENDERS

LOCAL, 17A

SPORTS 23A

Apartment fire safety
is concern for officials

Kathryn Rice, chairwoman of Concerned Citizens for Cityhood of South DeKalb, said residents want a chance to vote
on cityhood. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Greenhaven
proponents ponder
next steps
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
Some south DeKalb residents still want
to form the state’s second largest city even
though they won’t get a chance to vote on
cityhood this year.
Proponents of the proposed south DeKalb
city of Greenhaven want to be in the same
position as supporters of the proposed city of
Stonecrest.
“Stonecrest is doing something that we
want to do,” said Tom Walton, a board
member of Concerned Citizens for Cityhood
of South DeKalb (CCCSD). “They’re going to
have a vote. The citizens are going to vote
to decide if they want to have a city called
Stonecrest. And that’s what we were asking
the legislators for.”
Walton’s comments were during an April 5
meeting hosted by CCCSD about the future
of Greenhaven, after a bill that would have
given resident the opportunity to vote on
cityhood got stuck in the Georgia General
Assembly. After meeting on April 2, CCCSD
board members “will be forming a team to
look at where we go from here,” said board
member Sandy Johnson. “We will be
continuing to look at what our options are.
There are some things that we may want to
do differently going forward.”
The proposed city of Greenhaven would
have approximately 295,000 residents,
making it the state’s second largest city. It
would surround Clarkston, Pine Lake and
Stone Mountain, and its borders would touch
Lithonia and the proposed city of Stonecrest.
Greenhaven would have a mayor and
seven councilmembers and would be

by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com

W

hen a fire broke
out at Brannon Hill
Condominiums, it
was a normal occurrence in
DeKalb County where a fire
occurs every 2.5 days in an
apartment or condominium
complex.
Apartment fire safety is
the concern of residents and
apartment managers alike,
according to fire officials.
There have been 41
apartment fires So far in
2016, such as the one at
Hidden Villas Apartment in
Panthersville on Jan. 27
when DeKalb County Fire
Rescue received a call at
4:05 a.m.
“We got there and
there was smoke and fire
showing,” said Capt. Eric
Jackson, DeKalb County
Fire Rescue’s public
information officer.
Several people had to
jump from the building to
For the past five years, apartment fires have occurred at a rate of one every 2.5
escape the fire, which was
days in DeKalb County. Photo by Travis Hudgons
coming out of the front part
of the apartment and had
front room...on the floor,”
Two days earlier on Feb.
taken over the hallways on
Jackson
said.
“We
made
19
there
was a large fire at
the first and second floors,
entry
to
extinguish
the
fi
re,
the
Marq
at Brookhaven,
Jackson said.
noticed
he
was
there,
[and]
located
at
50 Lincoln
“Four residents were
brought
him
out.”
court
in
Brookhaven
that
transported to the hospital
The
man
was
transported
damaged
36
units.
for treatment and...as a
“We went to that fire
result of this fire, there were by ambulance to nearby
DeKalb
Medical
Hillandale
initially
we were responding
at least eight apartments
“where
he
was
subsequently
to
a
possible
stove on fire,”
that were affected,” Jackson
and
unfortunately
Jackson
said
about the
said.
pronounced
deceased,”
11:35
a.m.
“We
actually
A townhome fire on Feb.
Jackson
said.
could
see
a
column
of
22 in Lithonia ended in
Although
no
cause
of
the
smoke
prior
to
our
arrival
tragedy with the death of an
fire has been determined,
coming from that building.”
occupant.
“we
were
looking
at
the
“One part of the building
When firefighters
kitchen
very
heavily,”
was
fully involved [while] the
responded to the 4:46 a.m.
Jackson
said.
other
end was untouched,”
fire, a “person was in the

See Greenhaven on Page 5A

CHAMPIONNeWSPAPer

• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •

CHAMPIONNeWS

See Fire on Page 5A

CHAMPIONNeWSPAPer

CHAMPIONNeWS

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 2A

“We are rolling forward
together as one”
-Interim CEO Lee May

Phase II

Recycling ◊ Garbage roll cart rightsizing ◊ Additional garbage roll carts
Changes to garbage and recycling container requirements and collection procedures
The DeKalb County Sanitation Division advances through Phase II of the
Rolling Forward to One sanitation service change program. Please see
below for county-provided recycling and garbage container options,
and information on soon-to-be-implemented changes to garbage and
recycling container requirements and collection procedures.

County-provided single-stream recycling options

18-gallon bin

65-gallon roll cart

40-gallon bag

County-provided garbage roll cart options

35-gallon
roll cart

45-gallon
roll cart

65-gallon
roll cart

95-gallon
roll cart

Coming April 18, 2016

Changes to garbage and recycling container requirements and collection procedures
Only county-provided garbage and recycling containers are approved for use

Approved

Not Approved
Customer-provided
garbage container

County-provided
recycling bin,
bag and roll cart

County-provided
garbage roll cart
Secure, durable
plastic bags for
excess garbage

Customer-provided
recycling container
or bag

For more information, please call or visit: (404) 294-2900 • www.rollingforwardtoone.com • Follow @ItsInDeKalb on Twitter

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 3A

aRounddeKalB
atlanta

Church to hold ‘Growing through Grief’ series
The public is invited to participate in a free six-week series of
small group meetings to take steps toward wholeness and healing
after suffering a loss. Led by experienced counselors who maintain
confidentiality, the group is designated for listening, sharing and
supporting each other.
“In this group, participants seek to grow through the grief process
as they share their experiences with others who are also experiencing
some type of loss,” said Mary Ellen Pendergrast, one of the
organizers. “This sharing occurs in a safe and confidential space.”
The series runs on Wednesdays through May 18, from 6:45 to 8
p.m. at Shallowford Presbyterian Church, 2375 Shallowford Road,
Atlanta.
For more information, visit www.shallowford.org.

BRooKHaVen

Police to host active shooter response training
The Brookhaven Police Department will hold a free Civilian
Response to an Active Shooter Event, designed to provide the public
with a basic understanding of how to survive an active shooter incident.
The event takes place April 18 from 6:15 to 9 p.m. at Brookhaven
Christian Church, 4500 Peachtree Road. Seating is limited to 170
registrants through Eventbrite. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. for check in.
The program begins at 7 p.m., followed by Q&A from 8:30 to 9 p.m. For
more information, visit www.brookhavenga.gov.

cHaMBlee

City to participate in Georgia Cities Week
The city of Chamblee is set to join other Georgia cities in celebrating
the theme of “Go to Town.”
As part of 2016 Georgia Cities Week, celebrated April 17-23
throughout the state, Chamblee will be hosting events throughout the
week, including a book drive, family field day, community cleanup and
geo-caching contest.
This year’s theme is “Go to Town” highlights the importance of
downtown Chamblee as a hub for community involvement, services
and enjoyment. This week will include beautification events, virtual
tours of Chamblee City departments, trivia nights, a book drop-off, yard
improvement contest, a geocaching scavenger hunt, a chicken-coop
class and a field day.
For more information on the event, including event specifics, visit
www.chambleega.com/gacitiesweek.

County commissioner urges residents to support
firefighters
DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester is asking residents to
support the fire stations in District One.
Jester is “asking community residents and businesses to show
our appreciation for these hard working heroes by helping to stock the
pantry at our stations,” states an announcement about the events.
Staple food items such as sugar, salad dressing, seasonings,
cereal, snacks, coffee, tea, sodas, and sports drinks will be collected for
Fire Station 19, 3253 Mercer University Drive, Chamblee, on Saturday,
April 23, from 9 to 11 a.m.
Children are invited to come see the trucks and equipment.

doRaVille

City to temporarily waive project fees
Doraville residents wishing to begin, follow through on or finish
outdoor projects can expect to do so fee-free during an upcoming two
month period.
From April 1 to June 1, Doraville residents will not have to pay a
permit fee on residential rehabilitation projects. These include permits
on fencing; patio covers; balcony or concrete patios; retaining walls;

sheds or storage buildings; swimming pools; electronic, plumbing
or mechanical trades; tree service; driveway or parking; garage and
carports; decks; and structural roof repair at residences.
Follow-up inspection fees will also be waived for the first reinspection. Any subsequent inspections will be completed at the normal
charge.
For more information, visit www.doravillega.us.

dunWoodY

Brook Run Park hosts Lemonade Days 2016
Dunwoody’s Lemonade Days festival at Brook Run Park will be
taking place Wednesday, April 13, until Sunday, April 17. Activities for all
ages will include carnival rides, a petting zoo, an antique car show as
well as locally produced food, products and music.
In addition to local music talent, Lemonade Days will also host a
“Dunwoody Idol” competition open to vocalists ages 25 and younger.
Acts will perform between headline acts on Saturday, April 16.
According to the event’s website, Lemonade Days will be open to
the public beginning at 4 p.m. in Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. on
Saturday. Events will run until 11 p.m. Sunday will conclude with a noon
to 7 p.m. schedule.
Brook Run Park is located at 4770 North Peachtree Road in
Dunwoody. For more information, including a more specific schedule,
visit www.dunwoodylemonadedays.org.

litHonia

Democrats to elect district level delegates for
national convention
A caucus election to vote for the 4th Congressional District
delegates to represent the Democratic Party of Georgia at the 2016
Democratic National Convention will be held April 16.
Only candidates who filed an Intent of Candidacy with the DPG are
eligible to run as delegates.
All Democrats who are registered to vote in the 4th Congressional
District are encouraged to attend and vote in this election.
The election will be Saturday, April 16, at Stronghold Christian
Church, 724 Rock Chapel Road, Lithonia. Doors open at 9 a.m. and
registration is from 10 a.m. to noon. Voters must be in line before noon
to vote for the presidential delegate candidate of their choice.
To learn more about the Georgia delegation and the process, visit
the Democratic Party of Georgia’s website at georgiademocrat.org.
For more information, contact Melva Hicks, 4th Congressional District
chairperson, at melh3@bellsouth.net.

stone Mountain
Citywide yard sale announced

Stone Mountain Village’s Citywide Yard Sale will be held Saturday,
April 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the First Baptist Church lawn in the
center of town.
Set up begins at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the sale—tables will not be
provided. A limited number of spaces under the pavilion are available at
$20 each on a first come, first served basis or 10-foot-by-10-foot lawn
spaces can be rented for $10 each.
For a fee of $5 city residents, can have personal yard sales and be
listed on the Yard Sale Trail map. A list of trail participants will be given
to shoppers who visit the pavilion and lawn on the day of the sale. For
more information, contact Susan Coletti at (404) 444-5607 or City Hall
at (770) 498-8984. There will be no food vendors, no refunds and no
rain date.

City to host farmer’s market
The Stone Mountain Farmer’s Market is back beginning April 19
from 4 to 7 p.m. The market be in the municipal parking lot next to the
gazebo every Tuesday until Nov. 22. For more information, call (770)
498-8984.

local

Shene’ Heard

Shene’ Heard, a 23-yearold recent college graduate was
beaming with excitement to mentor
and tutor caseload students
participating in Communities in
Schools (CIS), an organization
partnered with DeKalb and Fulton
County public schools to remove
barriers that hinder students from
succeeding.
Heard said she was drawn to
the organization because she’s
always wanted to give back to the
neighborhood in which she grew
up.
Heard spent much of her
adolescent years in the Edgewood
area.
Through CIS, Heard assists
Maynard Jackson High School
students with literature and other
subjects.
“The most challenging part
of the work is connecting with

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 4A

students. With the demographics
that I work with, there are students
who come from different types
of backgrounds. The average
student deals with stress or [he or
she comes] from a difficult living
environment,” Heard said.
She added, “My job is to
identify their needs, make them
feel comfortable and help the best
I can.”
Heard was zoned to attend
Maynard Jackson High School but
decided to attend North Atlanta
High School after being accepted
into its magnet program.
She said, “I can relate to the
[students] because I grew up in that
same neighborhood. I’m familiar
with the demographics in the area.
I can actually remember myself
being in high school, trying to figure
everything out, dealing with things
at home and constantly thinking

what my next move was.
“Through CIS I want to at least
have an impact on one child and
ensure them that it is possible to
make it out of their neighborhood
and be whatever they want to be.
I want them to know that they do
have options,” she added.
Heard graduated from Claflin
University in 2014 with a major in
mass communications.
She loves reading, listening
to music and attending theaters,
ballets and museums.
She said she would advise
people interested in volunteering to
start with things they’re passionate
about.
“It’s important to play a part
in your community because it’s a
great way to network–meet different
people and, of course, if you’re able
to impact somebody’s life along the
way, that’s always a plus.”
Shene’ Heard

DeKalb Schools offers interim execs permanent positions
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
Three new executives have
joined DeKalb County School
District superintendent Stephen
Green in the task of bettering local
schools.
According to a release dated
March 31, Green appointed three
new senior executives following
interim terms. Leo Brown will
serve as chief human capital
management officer, Eileen
Houston-Stewart will serve
as chief communications and
community relations officer and
Manomay Malathip will serve
as executive director for student
advancement.
All three worked with Green
during his tenure at Kansas City
Public Schools in Missouri. The trio
was appointed to interim positions
in DeKalb earlier this year before
applying for permanent positions.
The interim positions totaled
$446,316 in combined salaries.
While Houston-Stewart’s position
is newly created, Brown’s was
renamed (previously known as
director of human resources) and
Malathip’s was created to combine
several others.
Former Human Resources
Director Tekisha Ward-Smith
was reassigned to DeKalb County
athletics.
Brown, Houston-Setwart
and Malathip applied through
an executive search firm and
competed with others at the
national level before being selected.
“The only promise made was
that they would be given every

Brown

consideration if they applied for the
permanent position[s],” Green said.
The search and selection
stands as a culmination to Green
fulfilling his long-term goal of
“flattening the layers of bureaucracy
to improve the teaching and student
learning.”
“Solidifying the executive
staff with experienced, trusted,
educators with strong track records
who tell me what I need to hear,
not what I want to hear, has been
among my goals since the day I first
met with the DeKalb school board,”
Green said.
Green said any organization
benefits from the qualities of
teamwork and team members who
are comfortable working with one
another. The superintendent said
this new team, what will facilitate a
cultural shift from the top down, is
no exception.
“I did my due diligence to
determine how best to improve
the functions of the central office,”
Green said. “It included personal

Houston-Stewart

Malathip

observations, conversations,
evaluations and examining previous
reviews. DeKalb is fortunate that we
have recruited these highly respected
educators to join our team.”
Green admitted he knew the
three candidates more than others
who also applied for the positions
but said Brown, Houston-Stewart
and Malathip met all the required
criteria when considering an ideal
senior staff.
“For those who question the
approach, I ask that they give it
time and observe the three do their
jobs as I have for years,” Green
said. “We now have an executive
team in place that will help the
district improve student learning in
all grades.”
Brown’s most recent experience
in a related field was senior
manager of operations at Emory
Healthcare. He also has served as
senior director of human resources
and administration at the University
of Louisville. Brown worked at
Kansas City Public Schools with

Green as chief human capital
officer from May 2011 to June 2012.
Houston-Stewart worked with
Green for four of her six years at
Kansas City Public Schools as chief
communications and community
engagement officer. According to
the release, she has 20 years of
experience in public education
systems in Ohio, Texas and other
areas of Missouri.
Malathip spent three-and-ahalf years working with Green
as director of graduation and
postsecondary outreach at Kansas
City Public Schools. She also has
experience as a vice president at
the Ewing Kauffman Foundation in
Missouri.
Green said the team can help
give parents, students and teachers
within the DeKalb County School
District a deserved transparency,
promising “quicker, more
complete responses to inquiries,
more accessibility, and better
communication.”

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016

local

Page 5A

Fire Continued From Page 1A

A forum attendee studies a map of the proposed city of Greenhaven.

Greenhaven Continued From Page 1A
subdivided into six community area
planning units, modeled after similar
units in the city of Atlanta.
The city’s feasibility study estimates
that it initially would have excess
revenue of $27 million. Plans call for
the city to initially take on the municipal
services of code enforcement, parks
and recreation, and zoning planning.
Greenhaven supporters, who have
been working since 2014 to get enough
support to get the proposed city on a
ballot, say the impetus for the city is
economic development.
“We’re not against the county,”
Walton told a crowd of approximately
60 people at the forum. “To [promote]…
economic development or to increase...
businesses in our area, we need to
have a concentrated effort by our
administration [that] will run the city.
And that’s not part of our current county
administrator’s job.”
Walton said south DeKalb is
being left behind in the economic
development race while nearby
municipalities are growing significantly.
“There has not been one major
development in our area in the last 30
years that I’ve been here. Nothing’s
been built,” Walton said. “In the city of
Atlanta, if you watch [Mayor] Kasim
Reed, he solicits businesses all over
the world to try to come to Atlanta.” 
In “the next two years there will
be 55 major developments in the
metropolitan Atlanta area,” Walton said.
“Not one of those 55 developments
will be in south DeKalb. That’s why we
want a city.”
Kathryn Rice, CCCSD’s
chairwoman, said Greenhaven can be
“a tool for us to get what we would like
to see our neighborhoods look like.
“The bottom line is we’re trying to
take control of our neighborhood, of
our communities, of our children, our
education,” Rice said. “We’re trying
to do something different with south
DeKalb.
“The primary purpose for forming
Greenhaven is to focus on economic
development,” she said. “It’s about

attracting wealth to your area. We
believe that cityhood is one of the ways
that we can get there.”
Rice addressed concerns about
whether the proposed city is too large.
“If you live in south DeKalb, for the
most part, you are [in an area that is]
less developed than the rest of the
county,” Rice said. “We want to have
more restaurants. We want to have a
higher quality of life. How do we get
there? One of the ways we get there is
by pooling our resources. That’s one of
the reasons we created a [proposed]
large city.”
Noelle Baldwin, a resident of the
Gresham community, which would be
incorporated into Greenhaven, said she
had a petition of 500 people opposed to
the new city.
“We are opposed to Greenhaven.
We do not want to be included in
Greenhaven,” said Baldwin, who
asked if there was an option of leaving
the Gresham community out of the
proposed city’s boundaries.
Rice said if the boundaries change
significantly, the group would have to
commission another feasibility study at
a cost of $30,000.
“We are not prepared to do another
feasibility study,” Rice said.
Gresham resident Chris Griffin
supports Greenhaven.
“If you don’t want to be a part of
Greenhaven, that’s your right,” he said
to his neighbors who oppose the city.
“I think you should petition the city of
Atlanta, get them to agree to annex
you.”
To get Greenhaven on a ballot,
residents must get involved, Rice said.
“That’s what’s going to help us get
the vote,” she said.
“Voice your opinion,” Rice said. “You
have every right to be for Greenhaven
or against Greenhaven. Everyone else
that met the requirements got the right
to vote on [cityhood], got the right to
determine what they wanted to do with
their piece of land. That’s what we want
to have. If you get involved, we’ll get
that right to vote.”

he said.
Everyone was safely evacuated from the building
and there were no injuries.
Jackson said, “Brookhaven Police Department
was pretty instrumental in that because they...
knocked [on] and kicked in a couple of doors just to
make sure that the units were clear and no one was
inside.”
 DeKalb firefighters also “were forcing some
doors ourselves just to make sure no one was
inside.” They also located some dogs in the building
and returned them to their owners.
Jackson said the fire spread in the three-story
apartment building because the sprinkler system
was overwhelmed by the size of the fire.
“It was just a massive amount of fire,” he said.
 Although the causes of all three fires are still
under investigation, Jackson said there are few
main causes of structure fires.
“Food on the stove tends to be a biggie,” Jackson
said.
To prevent kitchen fires, Jackson recommends
“keeping your mind on what you’re doing.”
“If you’re in the kitchen cooking, stay in there and
see it through all the way to completion,” he said.
“We don’t want folks…walking away from the food
or becoming distracted by getting on the phone or
smartphones or television or things that could pull
your attention away.
“You want to stay in there the whole time,”
Jackson said. “That way it doesn’t have the
opportunity to get [out of control].”
Another cause of fires in residences is “careless
smoking,” Jackson said.
“We still see that,” he said. “Make sure that if
you’re smoking you have the proper receptacle to
extinguish that. And make sure you’re not sleeping
on the sofa or...bed.”
Other fire causes include electrical fires or “acts
of God–lightning strikes,” he said.
 Jackson said renters play a major role in their
own safety. 
 “A lot of the safety certainly rests with the
residents—the apartment renter—to make sure that
even though their space could typically be much
smaller than a house, [they] still have a way…to
escape …when a fire happens,” Jackson said.
Jackson said that although it is the apartment
complex’s responsibility to smoke detectors and
fire extinguishers, residents should follow up to
ensure that they are properly working and inspected
regularly.
“Residents just have to be diligent in making sure
that those [smoke detector] batteries are changed
out by maintenance,” Jackson said.
At many apartments the fire extinguisher is
located in the hallways outside the apartment unit.
“The resident may have a concern or inclination
to want to know whether the extinguishers
are working in the hallway, but management
should certainly ensure that every year those
extinguishers…are maintained and checked and
tested,” Jackson said.
 Although fire extinguishers are provided in the
halls by apartment complexes, renters can purchase
them to keep inside their apartments.
“I even encourage it,” Jackson said.
 Renters can even add smoke detectors to an
apartment as long as the follow their landlords rules
about attaching items to walls, he said. 
Other fire safety tips include making sure the
windows are functioning properly and “make sure
you have an evacuation plan, even if it’s that one
way to get out,” Jackson said.

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016

opinion

Page 6A

Junk in the trunk
North Carolina has
recently passed legislation
that will require transgender
people to use restrooms
assigned to the sex on
their birth certificate. This
legislation is discrimination
at its core. It is also an
extremely odd use of
lawmakers’ time and
energies.
Transgendered
individuals have made
a conscious decision
to physically alter their
genetalia in most cases
because of identity issues.
Once the process has
begun or is completed,
based on what most would
consider to be outwardly
obvious indications of one’s
sexual identity, the person is
classified as the gender that
they chose.
I don’t particularly care
to share the bathroom
space with anyone but we
are forced to do this on a
daily basis if we use public
bathroom facilities. I recall

John Hewitt
johnh@dekalbchamp.com

Chief Operating Officer
as a young child attending
a college football game in a
crowded stadium and using
the men’s room. The urinal
trough was a huge circular
steel contraption that the
men just gathered around
to do their business. I think
I may have actually been
permanently traumatized
by this. It was a disgusting
situation that I hope to
never experience again.
To this day, if I am using
a public bathroom facility
and the only option is to

stand beside another man
at a urinal, I will hold off until
a stall becomes available.
It doesn’t matter if there is
a partition separating the
urinals; I don’t want to be
that close to anyone while
doing my business.
Bathrooms to me
represent a private place,
a place where I do my
business and others do their
business. I’m not in there
to examine anyone else’s
junk nor do I want anyone
examining mine.
I’m about as liberal as
one can possibly be, but I
would not be comfortable
if I were using the men’s
room and Caitlyn (formerly
Bruce) Jenner came in to
hike her dress and belly-up
to the urinal. I’m sorry, but
that would be too much for
me.
It’s probably a safe
assumption that most
women also would not
like to see Chaz (formerly
Chastity) Bono swagger

into the ladies room to do
his business. It would be a
bit uncomfortable for all.
For a state to enact
laws governing the use of
public restrooms is beyond
bizarre. As I ponder the
sanity of this legislative
action, I have to also
question the enforcement of
such legislation.
Will North Carolina
now hire government
workers to police public
bathroom facilities? Will
said government employees
stop each person entering a
public facility and proclaim
“Show me your junk before
using the trunk?” That
may actually become one
of the most sought-after
government jobs in history;
though the employee
should also be required
to show their junk during
the interview process in an
effort to curtail perverts who
enjoy seeing other’s private
parts on display in public.
Georgia has the so-

called religious freedom
legislation and open carry
laws that would allow guns
on college campuses that
have been the subject of
many contentious debates.
If Georgia lawmakers
and North Carolina
lawmakers got together,
they could perhaps draft
legislation that would
address all three of these
pressing social issues.
Possible wording of the
legislation could be along
the lines of “Transgendered
individuals on college
campuses will be allowed
to carry a weapon (1) if it
is concealed among one’s
junk, (2) it does not cause
said individual to appear
to be of a different gender,
and (3) does not infringe
upon another’s religious
freedoms while doing so.”
It seems that there are
much greater problems that
should be addressed by
elected officials.

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016

opinion

Page 7A

Toddlers kill more people in the
U.S. than terrorists do
This week, in my country,
considered by some of its more
embarrassing denizens to be the
“greatest country in the world,,
an outspoken Florida “gun
rights” advocate left a loaded .45
caliber handgun in the back seat
of her car and was promptly shot
and wounded by her 4-year-old
child. Truly a pinnacle of human
potential, much like the invention
of paper in second-century BC
China, or Aristotle holding forth
in the Lyceum, or whoever first
pointed out that Florida looks like
America’s penis.
What do you say about the
outspoken Florida “gun rights”
advocate who left a loaded .45
caliber handgun in the back seat
of her car and was promptly shot
and wounded by her 4-year-old
child?
I take no pleasure in violence
and pain. I’m not happy that
Jamie Gilt, 31—who has built
a thriving web presence on the
argument that guns are not only
perfectly safe around kids, but
necessary for their protection—
left a loaded handgun in reach
of her 4-year-old son, who then
picked it up, aimed it at his
mother, and pulled the trigger.
I find zero delight in the
thought of Gilt’s toddler’s almost
certain panic and horror in that
moment, nor the guilt he may
well carry for the rest of his
life (guilt that only his mother
deserves). I’m sure being shot
in the back really hurts—even
more so when it comes with

The

Champion

a side of nationwide liberal
schadenfreude.
But I have no interest in
letting Gilt off the hook. Her
child could just as easily have
shot himself, or a passerby, or
someone else’s child. With just
a few tweaks of location and
circumstance, he could have
shot my child. Someone else
still could, accidentally or with
intention—it’s a possibility you
have to consider in a country
with so many guns and so few
laws regulating them. That’s the
macabre truth of parenting in
21st-century America.
I grew up with the same
persistent, low-grade fear of gun
violence as any American—my
middle school was once locked
down because of a shooting at
the high school up the street,
and I was a junior at that same
high school when we watched
the Columbine massacre unfold
on TV—but my family didn’t
have guns, and we lived in a
liberal city so most of my friends’
parents didn’t either. Guns were
scary, but for the most part they
felt far away.
Growing up here myself
didn’t prepare me for how
distinctly, viscerally frightening
it would be to raise children
in a gun-obsessed nation. My
stepdaughters go to school in a
borderline-rural suburb, whereas
I was educated in central
Seattle. They already know of at
least one friend-of-a-friend who
was killed in a school shooting.

Many of their friends’ parents
are gun owners. Not only that,
but, over the past few decades,
the National Rifle Association
has been aggressively and
successfully rolling back
firearm restrictions, making gun
ownership as quick and easy for
anyone’s irresponsible, drunk
cousin as their meticulous, gunsafety-trained dad. When we
send our kids to friends’ houses
for sleepovers, it sometimes
feels like a leap of faith.
In the United States in
2015, more people were shot
and killed by toddlers than by
terrorist. In 2013, the New York
Times reported on children shot
by other children: “Children
shot accidentally –usually by
other children—are collateral
casualties of the accessibility of
guns in America, their deaths all
the more devastating for being
eminently preventable.”
And I’m supposed to
believe that frightened Syrian
refugees—or whomever
becomes the next rightwing
scapegoat du jour—are the
real threat to my children? I’m
supposed to be afraid of sharks?
Heavy metal music? Violent
video games? Horse meat in my
hamburger patties? Teenagers
pouring vodka up their butts
States with more guns have
more gun deaths. Keeping a gun
in your house increases your
chances of accidental death by
shooting, but does not make
you safer. A woman’s chance of

FreePress

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being murdered by an abusive
partner increases fivefold if the
partner has access to a gun.
“Good guys with guns” are a
fantasy. How much longer will
we keep participating in this
great collective lie that deadly
weapons keep us safe?
The accidental shooting of
Jamie Gilt is the object lesson
that my absurd nation deserves.
When even supposed gun
safety experts cannot keep
themselves safe from their own
toddlers, we should take that as
an unequivocal reminder that
guns are inherently dangerous.
They are exploding projectile
machines designed specifically
for killing. And that’s not
bleeding-heart hyperbole—it’s
the explicit reason why many
people are drawn to them.
Cowboy games. Vigilante justice.
Power.
America does not get to
claim some hypercivilised global
high ground when we foster—
legislatively and culturally—a
system in which incidents such
as Gilt’s are not just possible,
but inevitable.
Lindy West is a Seattle-based
writer, editor and performer
whose work focuses on pop
culture, social justice, humour
and body image. She’s currently
a culture writer for GQ Magazine
and GQ.com, as well as the
founder and editor of I Believe
You—It’s Not Your Fault, an
advice blog for teens.

Publisher:
John Hewitt

Production Manager:
Kemesha Hunt

Chief Financial Officer:
Dr. Earl D. Glenn

Photographer:
Travis Hudgons

Managing Editor:
Andrew Cauthen

Staff Reporters:
Carla Parker
R. Scott Belzer

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
DISPLAY ADVERTISING (404) 373-7779 x 110

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

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 8A

Clarkston Police brief council, public on burglaries
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
Clarkston’s city council
and mayor received a crash
course on crime April 5 during a regularly scheduled
monthly meeting.
Clarkston Police Chief
Christine Hudson and
Detective Sgt. Amanda
Pritchett presented facts,
figures and solutions regarding local burglaries to the
council during its monthly
work session. The pair detailed the amount of recent
burglaries, where they have
taken place, and what’s to
be done in stopping such
behavior.
According to Hudson,
Clarkston has experienced
46 burglaries from Jan. 1 to
March 31. The majority of
these burglaries (37) have
taken place at apartment
complexes located within
city limits. Six burglaries
have taken place at homes
while three have taken place
at commercial locations.
“We had 14 of the 37
[apartment complex burglaries] were committed by two
juveniles who have been arrested in January,” Hudson
said.
The chief said the majority of the burglaries have
taken place along Brockett
Road as well as Marquis
Park Apartments along Montreal Road.
Hudson also said the
majority of burglaries taking
place inside such apartment
complexes have been committed by juveniles. Pritchett
likened their activity to a
“systematic business operation” in which other juveniles
are recruited, trained in the

Clarkston Police Chief Christine Hudson briefed Clarkston’s city council on recent burglary activity in the area as well as preventative
measures being taken. Photo by R. Scott Belzer

art of thievery and put to
work in criminal activity.
“It’s a business operation for these kids,” Pritchett said. “They will recruit
other children who ‘learn the
game,’ bring them in, and
fence the items.”
Hudson said Clarkston’s
Criminal Investigation Division has “a lot of good
leads” on the juveniles committing such burglaries but
has yet to get substantial
evidence.
“We’re working closely
with DeKalb County’s gang
task force unit to include
their burglary detectives,”
Hudson said.
Pritchett said an issue
arises in juvenile court rarely
holding burglary offenders for an extended period
of time. The sergeant said
many offenders become familiar to police due to repeat
crimes.
“It’s a cycle,” Pritchett said. “It’s much bigger
than us. These are kids
who don’t really have good
homes where poverty may
be an issue, so they’re

stealing to sell quickly.”
To combat such activity,
Hudson said the police department participates in and
plans on hosting activities
such as “park-and-walks,”
where police conduct walkthroughs in neighborhoods
and the downtown area;
crime prevention seminars
to discuss the issues with
residents; and concentrate
patrols in problem areas.
“We’re committed to
keeping the residents of
Clarkston safe,” Hudson
said. “One final option would
be to consider unfreezing
the three patrol positions
that have been frozen.”
Hudson said the council
and police department will
be holding a meeting with
apartment managers and
owners on April 20.
“We’re going to address
concerns regarding community safety there and ways
to make their complexes
safer,” Hudson said. “We
want to be able to have better relationships between
the police department and
apartment complexes.”

City manager Keith
Barker said the council and
police department have met
with various apartment officials for the past 8 months
to help address the issue.
So far, five meetings have
taken place.
Councilman Dean
Moore said the city council
has met with the Atlanta
Apartment Association,
whose officials suggested
bringing together apartment
complex owners to take a
unified stance against repeat offenders.
“Some of the people
committing crimes may get
kicked out of one set of
apartments may just move
to another set of apartments,” Moore said. “The relationship between different
management groups could
go a long ways in preventing
that tactic.”
Barker suggested compiling a “master list” of the
major offenders in the area
and circulating it throughout
local complexes.
“The problem comes
in the fact that most of

the time, it’s not the lease
holders committing these
crimes,” Pritchett said. “Most
of the time, it’s who they’re
bringing into their home.”
Hudson concluded her
presentation by outlining
how much it would cost for
two four-hour shifts concentrating solely on burglaries
in the area during peak
burglary season. From May
7 until Aug. 7, the 70 days
when students and teens
are typically out of school,
two officers would cost the
city $9,024.
Barker recommended
absorbing the amount into
the council’s current budget
to make a valiant effort.
“We’re certainly willing to
provide additional resources
to suppress some of the
burglaries,” Barker said. “I
think $9,000 is an expense
we can absorb.”
According to Clarkston’s
official website, the
Clarkston Police Department currently has 18 fulltime officers, 35 reserve
officers and four civilian employees.

Lithonia city administrator to resign
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

Lithonia city administrator Eddie Moody will resign effective June 3.
Mayor Deborah Jackson announced Moody’s
decision to resign during
the April 4 city council
meeting.
“We brought him out of
retirement in 2012 and he
has really stepped up to
really be diligent and going
above and beyond the call
of duty,” Jackson said.
Moody said after the

meeting that it was time for
him to go back into retirement.
“You know when it’s
time,” he said. “I told the
mayor before the year
[2015] was over that it was
just time for me to go. I
think I’m actually facing
burnout, and I’m getting
older, and the kids are
moving to different parts
of the country. I’ve always
wanted to do a little traveling and I don’t want to see
my grandkids grow up and
[I] at least not have the opportunity to see them at

Moody

some point.”
Moody said he had
planned to leave on his
birthday on March 28.
“But there are some
things that I need to try to
see if I can’t get completed

and then be able to transition and turn them over,” he
said. “I don’t want to put a
whole plate of something on
somebody else’s back. I’m
trying to tie those things up.”
Moody said he will continue to stay engaged in
the city.
“I’m going to come and
do stuff,” he said. “I’m not
leaving.”
Moody was hired as
the city’s police chief in December 2012. He was the
DeKalb County police chief
from 2001-04 and the first
Black to head the county

police department.
He moved to city administration in November
2014 after the seat was left
vacant by Phil Howland,
who accepted the permitting concierge coordinator
position in Avondale Estates.
Jackson said the city
will use the services of
Tom Berry, former city
manager of Thomasville,
to assist in searching for
a new city administrator.
Berry helped the city with
the last search for a city
administrator.

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 9A

Emory acquired nine office buildings and approximately 400,000 square feet of office space in the purchase of Executive Park.

Emory University buys Executive Park
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

Emory University announced
April 5 the purchase of the
Executive Park property.
The 60-acre property is located
near the North Druid Hills Road
and I-85 interchange. Emory
purchased the property from Equity
Commonwealth, according to a
statement from the university.
Emory President James W.
Wagner said in a news release
that the university “takes a longterm, mission-oriented view” when
evaluating its real estate holdings.
“This significant parcel, which

is in a location accessible to all
of metro Atlanta, coupled with
the fact that we have successful
programs in orthopedics, brain
health, medical science education,
continuing education and health
information technology already
located in the park, presented an
extraordinary, once in a generation
opportunity for Emory and the
region,” Wagner said.
The property includes
approximately 400,000 square feet
of office space. Nine office buildings
were included in the purchase.
Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst
said the city is pleased that Emory
purchased the park.

“We expect Emory’s presence
to be a catalyst for revitalization
of this great area, which the city
welcomed into Brookhaven less
than a year and a half ago,” Ernst
said.
The city approved to annex the
property in December 2014.
Emory, along with the Atlanta
Hawks Basketball Club, also
announced that the two entities
have partnered to build a training
and sports medicine center on the
park’s property, which will serve as
the team’s official practice site.
According to the Hawks, the
team expects to break ground this
summer on the 90,000-square-foot

facility, and the Hawks Basketball
Operations Department will be
housed in the facility upon its
completion.
Hawks principal owner Tony
Ressler said in a statement that he
is pleased with the new partnership.
“It is a privilege to be partnering
with a local institution that is a
world leader in the medical field
and that also shares our vision and
passion for excellence,” Ressler
said. “In addition, we are proud
that this facility will go beyond
benefitting just our players, but will
also be a valuable sports medicine
resource available to the entire
community.”

Lithonia moving forward with sidewalk project
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

The Lithonia City Council voted
4-0 at its April 4 council meeting
to begin requesting proposals for
construction of the Bruce Street
Sidewalk Project.
The city will send requests
for proposal (RFP) to contractors
to construct a 647-foot-by-4-foot
sidewalk from Kelley Street to
Bruce Court on the southern side
of Bruce Street.
“This helps moves along the
portion of Bruce Street in terms
of the sidewalk project in 2016,”
City Administrator Eddie Moody
said. “Hopefully we’ll complete the
remainder of the project in 2017.”
Moody said the cost of the
project will not be determined
until a vendor is selected from
submissions received during
the bid process. The project is
partially funded with the Georgia
Department of Transportation

Lithonia sent requests for proposals to contractors to construct a 647-foot-by-4foot sidewalk from Kelley Street to Bruce Court on Bruce Street. The city wants the
potential contractor to remove the existing asphalt sidewalk as part of the project.
Photo by Carla Parker

Local Maintenance and
Improvement Grant.
The city held a pre-bid meeting
April 11 for potential contractors

for the project.
The city wants the selected
contractor to remove the existing
asphalt sidewalk as part of the

construction, according to the RFP.
The contractor also must install
necessary topsoil and grassing
to restore any disturbed area to
its original condition, as well as
remove and replace any disturbed
shrubbery.
The project also will include two
ADA ramps at the southeast corner
and northwest corner of Bruce
Street and Kelley Street; and an
ADA ramp at the southeast corner
of Bruce Street at Bruce Court.
According to the RFP, the
city wants to repair a section of
sidewalk near Bruce Street Park,
and install a four-foot section of
sidewalk around two utility poles
between the park and Bruce Court.
The city expects the project
to be completed within 30 days
after a notice to proceed has been
issued.
“This is just the beginning,”
Jackson said. “We are going after
some other funding to do some
other sidewalk work.”

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 10A

Two coworkers seek to be
the next solicitor-general
compiled by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
Two coworkers in the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office are campaigning for
the solicitor-general’s position.
Nicole Marchand Golden, chief assistant district attorney, and Donna ColemanStribling, a deputy chief assistant district attorney, will face each other in the May 24
Democratic primary in the race to fill the solicitor-general’s seat.
Each candidate was given a questionnaire by The Champion with instructions to
limit answers to 50 words. Answers that were more than the limit were truncated.

Qualifying begins April 18 for county
commission District 7 seat
The DeKalb County Board of Registration and
Elections has called for a special election to be held on
Tuesday, Nov. 8, to fill the Super District 7 seat on the
DeKalb County Board of Commissioners.
The special election will be held to fill the unexpired
term of Stan Watson, who resigned to run for tax
commissioner. The election will be held in conjunction
with the general election in all regular polling locations
within Commission District 7.
If a runoff is required, it will be held on Dec. 6.
Qualifying begins on Monday, April 18, at 9 a.m. and
ends at noon on Wednesday, April 20. The qualifying fee
is $1,151.24. Qualifying will be held in the office of the
DeKalb County Board of Registrations and Elections,
4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur.

Retired officer convicted of child
molestation

Name: Nicole Marchand Golden

Name: Donna Coleman-Stribling

Education:
Xavier University of Louisiana, Emory
University School of Law

Education:
Southwest DeKalb High School, 1992;
Xavier University of Louisiana, B.A. in
political science, magna cum laude, 1996;
Emory University School of Law, J.D, 1999

Occupation:
Chief assistant district attorney
What political offices have you held in
the past?
None
Why are you seeking this office?
As a mother and wife, I have a vested
interest in the safety of our families
and the future of our young people. As
solicitor-general, I will continue my work
to protect families from predators while
creating programs to educate our youth
and prevent misdemeanor offenders from
progressing to felons.
What expertise do you have that will
help you fulfill the duties of this office?
I’m the only candidate who has served
as acting solicitor-general, chief assistant
solicitor-general, and chief assistant
district attorney. I’ve managed hundreds
of staff and million-dollar budgets while
prosecuting misdemeanor and felony
crimes. With 10 years of administrative and
policy-making leadership, I’m prepared to
be solicitor-general my first day in office!
Why should you be elected (or reelected) to this office?
I will work to eradicate domestic violence
and crimes against women and children
through education, counseling, and
prosecution. I’ll create second-chance
opportunities for low-level offenders
through diversion programs aimed
at reducing recidivism. And I’ll foster
partnerships with nonprofits and schools
to educate and motivate DeKalb youth to
avoid criminal behavior.
What is your campaign website
address?
NicoleforSolicitor.com

Occupation:
Deputy Chief assistant district attorney,
Crimes Against Children Unit
What political offices have you held in
the past?
None
Why are you seeking this office?
I am seeking the position of DeKalb
County solicitor-general because I want
to improve the quality of life for the
citizens of DeKalb by prosecuting and
deterring crimes that affect the education
of our children, the sustainability of our
businesses, the value of our homes, and
safety of our neighborhoods.
What expertise do you have that will
help you fulfill the duties of this office?
My 16 years as a trial attorney, daily
courtroom supervision and balanced
perspective of handling cases as a
prosecutor and defense attorney makes
me uniquely qualified for this position.
My experience has prepared me to
lead this office by holding offenders
accountable while offering opportunities for
rehabilitation and alternative resolutions.
Why should you be elected (or reelected) to this office?
The preservation of DeKalb County is of
utmost importance. I have resided and
worshipped in DeKalb for 36 years. My
responsibility to the people of our county is
not simply professional, it is personal, and
I am dedicated to the safety and livelihood
of our citizens.
What is your campaign website
address?
www.DonnaforDeKalb.com

A DeKalb County jury on April 7
convicted a retired police officer of two
counts of aggravated child molestation
and two counts of child molestation,
according to news release by the
DeKalb County District Attorney’s
Office.
Kelless Twohearts Lory, 58, of
Stone Mountain, was sentenced to life
in prison.
Lory
The jury found Lory molested the
girl, a family member, between July 2011 and July 2012.
The victim, who testified at trial, was 9 years old when
the abuse first began, according to the news release.
Lory, who was arrested in December 2014, retired
from the Chamblee Police Department and previously
worked for MARTA Police. He was retired when the
abuse occurred, according to news release.
When the verdict was announced, Lory drank a
poisonous substance from an over-the-counter vitamin
bottle he had with him in court. He was taken to Grady
Memorial Hospital when the substance took effect. Lory
was released April 9 and taken to jail.

Child struck, killed by vehicle in
Chamblee
A 3-year-old child was struck and killed by a vehicle
in a Chamblee apartment complex on April 6, according
to a recent police report.
The Chamblee Police Department released a public
statement following the incident on April 7.
“On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, at 6:18 p.m. at the
Huntington Terraces Apartments, located at 4727 Buford
Highway, a 3-year-old girl was tragically struck by an
SUV,” the statement read.
Although Chamblee police officers and emergency
management services arrived at the scene within five
minutes of the 911 call, the child was pronounced dead
at the scene.
“All parties involved are in our thoughts and prayers
during this time of horrific loss,” the statement read.
The incident occurred inside the apartment complex
in a parking lot and was captured on Hunting Terrace’s
security cameras, according to the news release.
Footage of the incident is now part of the investigation.
The report states reckless driving and excessive
speed were not factors in the incident and that the driver
remained on the scene and cooperated with Chamblee
police officers.
According to the news release, the overall layout
and geography of the apartment complex may have had
something to do with the incident.
“We know that the SUV was cresting up a steep hill
flanked by large bushes which may have prevented the
driver from seeing the child come out into the driveway,”
the report stated.

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 11A

clarkston tightens grip on tobacco

by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

Clarkston took the first
step toward stricter tobacco
ordinances on April 5 during
a regularly scheduled
monthly city council
meeting.
Following unanimous
approval, a resolution made
up by Councilman Awet
Eyasu concerning tobacco
sales and usage will be
forwarded to Clarkston’s
community safety and legal
committee.
The resolution calls
for less second-hand
smoke within city limits
as well as less access
to tobacco products for
youth. The committee will
hear more ideas involving
stricter tobacco ordinances
following the resolution’s
passage.
Mayor Ted Terry said
groups from Clarkston
High School and Freedom
Middle School have
contacted Councilwoman
Beverly Burks, Eyasu and
the mayor to find ways to
prevent underage tobacco
use and access.
“The city council has
now determined that the
city of Clarkston desires
to update its tobacco and
indoor smoking regulations
based on current evidence
and evidence based public
health studies,” reads the
resolution.

Hookah lounges such as Kabu Lounge, located along East Ponce
de Leon Avenue in Clarkston, face stricter policies following a
resolution passed by Clarkston City Council. Photo R. Scott Belzer

Specifically, the
resolution states, “the city
of Clarkston is concerned
about youth access to
tobacco products;” and
“Clarkston has an interest
in exposure to second-hand
smoke for its residents and
workers.” A proposal will
be given to the city council
within 90 days.
Burks said an issue
raised by concerned
students included items not
recognizable because they
are from overseas.
“It would help for us to
make sure we identify those
products so stores and
other places that sell them
know them as a form of
tobacco,” Burks said.
Terry said the resolution
may help clarify licensure
issues surrounding the sale
of tobacco in Clarkston,
specifically when dealing
with alternative means of
use.

Another issue Terry
presented in support of the
resolution was the influx of
hookah lounges within city
limits. A hookah is a “water
pipe that is used to smoke
specially made tobacco
that comes in different
flavors, such as apple, mint,
cherry, chocolate, coconut,
licorice, cappuccino, and
watermelon,” according to
the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
(CDC).
Smoking hookah is
primarily done indoors
and several metro Atlanta
restaurants specialize in
offering various flavors to
customers.
Councilman Ahmed
Hassan said young people
throughout Clarkston and
surrounding areas have
taken to the hookah method
over traditional forms of
tobacco use.
“What they’re smoking,

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nobody knows,” Hassan
said. “It comes from all over
the world; it has different
scents; it has different
flavors. A large number of
people in the United States
have quit cigarettes, but
this is the new breed. We
need to study it because it’s
popping up everywhere.”
Clarkston’s concern with
hookah prevalence is not
unfounded, according to
health experts.
“Although many users
think it’s less harmful,
hookah smoking has many
of the same health risks as
cigarette smoking,” the CDC
states on its website.

The CDC also cites
a 2010 Monitoring the
Future survey in which
approximately one of five
high school senior boys
(17 percent) and one of
six high school senior girls
(15 percent) had used
hookah in the past year.
Similar studies surveying
college students saw these
numbers range from 22 to
40 percent.
Council members said
it would be important to
educate business owners
within city limits about the
various forms of tobacco as
ordinances are amended
and changed.

Saturday, April 23, 2016
11am - 5pm
Join the Junior League of DeKalb County, Inc. for
the 4th Annual Tour of Kitchens. Tour of Kitchens
showcases some of the area’s best residential
kitchens with eye-catching yet functional designs
on a self-guided tour.
This year’s tour will feature newly renovated
kitchens by Splice Design,CSI Kitchen and Bath
Studios, Home Rebuilders as well as JLD’s historic
headquarters, the Mary Gay House, with a patio
remodel by Steve Brewer Landscaping.
There will also be chef demonstrations scheduled
throughout the event at each of the kitchens
by local chefs from:
Farm Burger, Parker’s on Ponce, Revival, M572,
Growler Time, The Marlay House, Strippaggio
Bamboo Juices
If you are looking for inspiration for your
kitchen renovation, need new ideas for
cooking meals at home or just want a fun
day out, don’t miss this wonderful event!
General Admission
VIP Admission

$15
$25

For more information on this year’s
Tour of Kitchens
and to purchase tickets,
visit www.jldekalb.org.

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 12A

Autistic artist lives to create

by Andrew Cauthen
Andrew@dekalbchamp.com

Twenty-three-year-old Julius
Brown loves to draw.
“Because I just do,” the Conley
resident said. “I’m a visual artist, I’m
an animator and I’m a cartoonist at
the same time.
“This is all self-taught,” he said
while displaying a dozen of his
colorful crayon-on-cardboard pieces
in Brookhaven Park on a sunny day
in March.
Brown, who is autistic, has been
drawing since he was 2 years old.
That’s when the family “discovered
that Julius had a gift of being an
artist,” said Brown’s mother, Loreen
Booker-Brown.
“He’s a twin and he and his twin
were sitting at my mom’s dining
room table and she had given him a
coloring book,” Booker-Brown said.
“The twin was doing the normal
thing of scribbling across the paper,
but Julius was doing the complete
opposite.
“Julius had a giraffe and he
was meticulously coloring within
the circles on the giraffe,” she said.
“That was the [beginning] of knowing
he had a special gift. Kids aren’t able

Art is the “one true love” for Julius Brown, who has autism. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

to that until they are 5 years old, and
he was 2.
“He’s really been creating art
since then,” Booker-Brown said.
“It’s my only activity,” Brown said
in the park. “It’s my one true love. I
live for art and I worship art.”
Brown said he has hundreds of
the drawings that “are the greatest in
the world because [he] used up a lot

of colors.”
Brown has sold some of his art
at autism conferences and camps.
“I like lions and I also like deer,”
Brown. “Those are my two favorite
animals. Do you like the lion?”
He held up another drawing.
“Don’t you really like this lamp with
two spouts?” he asked. “Don’t you
like the enchanted pine trees?

“These are going to be part of an
animated feature when I become an
animator at Disney or Pixar,” Brown
added.
April is National Autism
Awareness Month. The U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention
reported in 2014 that autism affects
1 in 68 children, and nearly 1 in 54
boys.
“That rate has not been seen in
other countries,” Booker-Brown said.
“We’re not sure why it is such here
in the United States.”
Booker-Brown, who has worked
in the field of developmental
disabilities for more than 30 years,
said, “Autism is diagnosed between
the ages of 2 and 3.
“What happens in the brain is
the brain grows larger in the early
years...than the average brain,”
Booker-Brown said. “Then it slows
down and it winds up being smaller...
that the ‘normal’ brain size.”
Booker-Brown said “folks with
autism ...often have a unique gift,”
as in the case of her son.
“He can pretty much…draw
anything,” she said. “You can put the
Mona Lisa in front of him and he will
create the Mona Lisa.”

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 13A

WeeKinPICTURES

The Fernbank LINKS robotic team is fourth in the state and will participate
in the state competition at the University of Georgia April 15-17.

#Hashtag, the Fernbank LINKS robotic team’s robot, picks up a ball during a during a district
competition in Kennesaw April 8-10. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

An emergency repair is made to the robot between matches.

Debris is all that remains after a fire destroyed eight units at the Brannon Hill Condominium complex April 9. Seventeen people were displaced by the fire. Photos by Andrew
Cauthen

PHOTOS BROUGHT TO YOU BY DCTV
DeKalb County implements changes to garbage and recycling container requirements and collection
procedures April 18, 2016.
Only county-provided garbage and recycling containers are approved for sanitation collection service.
For more info, call or visit:

(404) 294-2900
www.rollingforwardtoone.com

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 14A

Photo by Donna Seay

MARTA changing signs, routes

Mayor Ted Terry explains to Clarkston City Council a resolution opposing the Trans-Pacific
Partnership trade agreement. Photo by R. Scott Belzer

Clarkston takes trade policy stance
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

T

he mayor and city council of
Clarkston took a stance at the federal level at a regularly scheduled
meeting held April 5.
On that date, Clarkston adopted a resolution opposing new international trade deals,
specifically naming the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as one “negotiated in secret, effectively shutting state and local governments
out of the process, limiting [their] ability to influence its rules to ensure the people of Georgia can participate in the benefits of trade.”
Mayor Ted Terry introduced the resolution to city council during its April 5 work session. He began by explaining how the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),
passed in the early ‘90s, has been detrimental to manufacturing and industrial jobs in the
immediate area.
“The NAFTA reduced trade barriers to
Mexico, Canada and America,” Terry said.
“Just for Georgia alone, and we’ve seen over
a million [United States] manufacturing jobs to
Mexico since the passage of NAFTA almost
20 years ago, Georgia has lost over 161,000
jobs.”
Terry referenced citizen.org’s Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) database in backing up his statements. The TAA database
tracks applications for temporary income
assistance and training for workers who have
been laid off because of rising imports or offshoring, according to the website.
“If you look at DeKalb County, 25 companies come up, not all of them from trade
related issues or outsourcing, but there is a
fair amount of them over the past 15 years,”
Terry said. These included local producers of
handbags, emergency lighting and catheters
that amounted to 2,568 jobs.
However, just two of the 25 companies,
Lithonia Lighting and General Motors Company, list imports as the primary reason for
layoffs.
Terry said the TPP would be more detrimental than NAFTA in hurting local manufacturing and industrial workers. According
to a summary provided by the Office of the
United States Trade Representative, avail-

able at ustr.gov, the TPP is a trade agreement
between 12 countries along the Pacific Rim
that includes the United States. The summary
states the result of such an agreement is “[the
promotion] of economic growth; creation and
retention of jobs; enhanced innovation, productivity and competitiveness; raising of living
standards; reduction of poverty in countries;
promotion of transparency, good governance,
and enhanced labor and environmental protections.”
According to Terry, however, the TPP
comes with local consequences.
“The biggest issue with this trade deal is
that it was negotiated for many, many years
in secret, behind closed doors,” Terry said.
“Once the text was released, Congress had
an option to review it for 60 days. Since the
text has been released over 60 days ago,
various labor groups, environmental groups,
human rights groups and [all four presidential
candidate groups] have come out against it.”
Terry said Clarkston’s stance on manufacturing, which includes incentives for housing
manufactured goods within city limits, along
with growing business parks, would be directly affected by such an agreement. Broader
implications involving job loss, undermining
public authority and access to medicine were
also listed in the resolution.
Terry said officials such as Rep. Hank
Johnson as well as Senators John Isakson
and David Perdue will have the chance to
speak on the agreement before it goes into
effect.
“This resolution will be urging out congressman to vote no on the current trade deal
and renegotiate it,” Terry said.
Councilmen Mario Williams and Ahmed
Hassan said the resolution was more symbolic than political. Terry confirmed that no
party lines were being drawn and the issues
raised by the TPP were “cut and dry” in terms
of right and wrong.
“In a way, it’s a small, symbolic and more
political position,” said Councilman Awet
Eyasu. “But it’s good to be proactive. We
have an industrial zone in Clarkston and I’m
definitely in support of [the resolution].”
The resolution was unanimously passed
by Clarkston’s city council at their public
meeting held later in the evening on April 5.

MARTA bus route signs are being changed at various
locations in metro Atlanta, indicating changes in the transit
system’s bus routes.
The modifications are being made to improve overall
service and on-time performance, according to MARTA’s
website.
In DeKalb County, Routes 8, 9, 24, 32, 34, 36, 74, 75,
86, 114, 117, 125 and 186 are being modified.
For details about the changes, which are effective
April 16, go to www.itsmarta.com.

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Newspaper
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local

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 15A

Ex-DeKalb sergeant denied
bond to appeal conviction

The Chamblee City Council held a special called meeting April 4 to consider the purchase of three lots
for the development of a small park. Photo by R. Scott Belzer

Chamblee invests in pocket park
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
Chamblee residents can expect a new
patch of green space following a special
called city council meeting held April 4.
The council met briefly to discuss
moving forward with the purchase of
three lots of private property located at
3090 Canfield Drive in Chamblee. The
area is known in the city as Ashford Park
and amounts to one acre of greenspace.
The idea was presented to the council
by member Darron Kusman.
“It’s a beautiful site,” Kusman said.
“There’s one home on it and a fairly large
grassy area and lot of flowers.”
Kusman said the property would serve
as an ideal location for a “pocket park,” or
a smaller park that serves potentially to
increase surrounding property value and
preserve local greenspace.
The councilman said negotiations with
the property owner have been ongoing
for about a year. Kusman said the two
parties have agreed on the price of
$290,000 with a tentative closing date of
May 2.
“It’s three lots, so it’s actually under
$100,000 per lot,” Kusman said. “That’s
in line with single lot prices for the area.”
Council member Leslie Robson
commented how the property – part of the

Ann Taylor estate–was well maintained
because of her avid gardening habits and
civic involvement.
“She was part of our garden tour,”
Robson said.
Kusman also remarked how the
current estate holders have done a fine
job maintaining the property and keeping
its aesthetic value intact.
“Ms. Taylor was very much a garden
person,” Kusman said. “It’s a great and
beautiful property. There’s a stream on
one side and a beautiful walkway.”
Robson pointed out that a house is
currently on the property and questioned
Kusman about its usefulness.
“Once we’re able to get inside we’ll
eventually be able to gather some
thoughts,” Kusman said.
The council unanimously agreed
to move forward with the property and
allocate funds from its Homestead Option
Sales Tax (HOST) funds.
A timeline on establishing the park,
what amenities it will offer and how much
it will cost Chamblee to fully build have
yet to be determined.
“This was something we’ve been
working on for close to a year and the
whole process just happened kind of
rapidly,” Kusman said. “We don’t really
know the answers to those questions
quite yet.”

DeKalb Strong to hold candidate
forum April 30
DeKalb Strong, an organization that promotes citizen engagement, will hold a
candidate forum to allow voters to meet candidates in the DeKalb County contested local
races.
DeKalb Strong has invited all candidates in contested races who have provided
emails in their qualification materials. As of April 7, 22 of the 29 candidates in contested
races had confirmed their attendance at the event which is an opportunity for the
community to meet multiple candidates in person, ask questions, obtain campaign
materials and share ideas.
The event will be held on April 30, from 2 to 4 p.m., at Rehoboth Baptist Church,
2997 Lawrenceville Highway, Tucker.

A judge March 31 ruled against a former DeKalb
County Police sergeant’s request to be released from
prison on bond, according to a news release from the
DeKalb District Attorney’s Office.
In February, a jury found Anthony Remone
Robinson guilty of two counts of felony violation of oath
by a public officer, as well as misdemeanor counts of
battery and simple assault.
Robinson, who was sentenced to serve two years
in prison and eight years on probation, is appealing the
conviction, and asked to be released on bond until the
appeal process was complete, according to the news
release.
DeKalb County DA Robert James’ office opposed
the request.
“Our law enforcement officers are held to a higher
standard,” James stated. “When they commit crimes,
they should not be able to escape punishment.”
During the trial, prosecutors showed that Robinson
ordered subordinates—Arthur Parker and Blake
Norwood—to beat up several teens who had been
arrested in 2010 and 2011.
On March 31, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge
Clarence Seeliger said he did not believe the former
policeman should have bond.
Robinson, who was sentenced in March and has
been held in the DeKalb County Jail, will now be turned
over to the Georgia Department of Corrections to serve
out his sentence, according to the news release.

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 16A

Solicitor-general
challenges district attorney
compiled by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
The county’s two top prosecutors are facing each other in the political court as they
vie for the DeKalb County district attorney’s seat.
Sherry Boston, the current solicitor-general, is seeking to unseat Robert James in
the race for the county district attorney position. The pair will face each other in the May
24 Democratic primary.
Each candidate was given a questionnaire by The Champion with instructions to limit
answers to 50 words. Answers that were more than the limit were truncated.

Name: Sherry Boston

Name: Robert D. James

Education:
Bachelor of Arts, Villanova University; juris
doctorate, Emory University School of Law

Education:
B.A. history, juris doctorate

Occupation:
DeKalb County solicitor-general
What political offices have you held in
the past?
I am currently the DeKalb County solicitorgeneral. In the past, I have served as
Dunwoody municipal court judge, associate
magistrate judge for DeKalb County and
judge pro hac vice in DeKalb Recorders
Court.
Why are you seeking this office?
I am running because DeKalb needs a
district attorney who is committed to seeking
justice for victims while working hand in
hand with the community to prevent crimes
in the future. We need a DA who will operate
at the highest level of integrity, transparency,
accountability and professionalism.
What expertise do you have that will help
you fulfill the duties of this office?
As a former judge, defense attorney and
current solicitor-general, I have worked in
every facet of the criminal justice system
for 17 years. I have handled thousands
of criminal cases, from minor traffic to
major felonies. I have created diversion
programs to help youthful offenders all while
prosecuting violent offenders.
Why should you be elected (or reelected) to this office?
This election is about integrity and
transparency. I have an impeccable
record of service, commitment to the
community, and remain a constant voice
for victims. I have responsibly managed
a large prosecution office where we work
collaboratively with community partners to
prevent crime, all with the highest level of
honesty…(answer truncated)
What is your campaign website
address?
www.sherryboston.com

Occupation:
District attorney of DeKalb County
What political offices have you held in
the past?
Solicitor-General, district attorney
Why are you seeking this office?
I am seeking office so that I can continue
to fight against gangs, human traffickers,
public corruption crimes, and mass
incarceration of youthful nonviolent
offenders. I have worked tirelessly to
address these four issues and will continue
to do so if I am re-elected.
What expertise do you have that will
help you fulfill the duties of this office?
I have tried several cases, including
murder, rape, serial rape, child abuse,
and public corruption cases. I effectively
manage a staff of more than 155 people
and a budget of more than $12 million.
Why should you be elected (or reelected) to this office?
As DA, I’m undefeated in the courtroom. I
created the county’s first human trafficking,
elder abuse, and public integrity units. I
doubled the size of our gang and domestic
violence/sexual assault units. I founded
the DeKalb Family Protection Center that
serves victims of family violence, child
abuse, and sexual assault.
What is your campaign website
address?
www.voterobertjames.com

County changes garbage,
recycling container requirements
The DeKalb
County Sanitation
Division has made
changes to the
garbage and recycling container
requirements and
collection procedures for residential customers.
Effective April 18, only county-provided green garbage roll carts, blue 65-gallon recycling roll carts, blue
18-gallon recycling bins and blue 40-gallon recycling
bags are approved for garbage and recycling collection
service, according to a news release from the sanitation
division.
Secure, durable plastic bags are approved for use
for excess garbage disposal and can be placed next to
customers’ garbage roll carts on their scheduled collection day. Customer-provided yard trimmings containers
with a 20- to 40-gallon capacity are currently approved
for use for yard trimmings collection service and will remain in effect after April 18.
The use of customer-provided garbage or recycling
containers will result in a delay in sanitation collection
service, and customers will be issued a notice advising
of the use of unapproved garbage or recycling containers, the news release stated.
For more information on these requirements and
procedures, any sanitation-related services, how to
obtain a county-provided garbage roll cart or recycling
container, or how to subscribe to the residential
curbside single-stream recycling program, contact the
Sanitation Division’s customer service team at (404)
294-2900 or sanitation@dekalbcountyga.gov, or visit
www.dekalbcountyga.gov, www.dekalbsanitation.
com, www.rollingforwardtoone.com or www.
keepdekalbbeautiful.org.

$5,000 reward offered for help
nabbing woman who punched dog
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information
leading to the arrest and conviction of a woman filmed
punching a dog in unincorporated Decatur.
On March 11, eyewitnesses filmed a woman
walking along Willa Way as she punched a small black
dog, which she was carrying by the neck, according to
a news release by People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals (PETA), which is offering the reward.
Witnesses reported that the woman, believed to be
20 to 25 years old, hit the dog with a stick before she
began to punch the animal repeatedly, according to
the news release.
PETA stated that it is offering the reward because
the DeKalb County Police Department has yet to
identify the woman in the video or locate the dog.
“If this woman was disturbed and violent enough
to punch a helpless dog in front of eyewitnesses,
it’s frightening to imagine what she might do behind
closed doors,” stated PETA director Stephanie Bell,
in the news release. “PETA is urging anyone with
information about this woman to come forward now
so that she can be prevented from hurting this dog
again.”
“According to law enforcement agencies and
leading mental-health professionals, perpetrators of
violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders
who pose a serious threat to all animals—including
humans,” the news release stated.
Anyone with information about this case should
call the DeKalb County Police Department at (678)
406-7929.

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 17A

Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May helps county workers fill a pothole on Kensington Road as part of a month-long concentrated campaign to address the pothole
problem in the county. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Palooza attacks pothole problem
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
 
eKalb County’s Pothole
Palooza, a concentrated
attack on pothole problems,
is under way.
Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee
May kicked off Pothole Palooza April
11 by helping county workers fill a
pothole on Kensington Road.
“Today is our launch of Pothole
Palooza,” May said, standing in the
middle of Kensington Road, after
filling a pothole. “We want everybody
in DeKalb County, if you’ve got a
pothole, …to [contact] to the county,
let us know about that pothole and
we’ll have a quick turnaround to fill
those potholes.”
Pothole Palooza is a part of
DeKalb County’s National County
Government Month calendar
of events. Last year during the
campaign, the county filled 1,500
potholes for a total of 4,500 for the
year.
“We’re highlighting the work that
our county does each and every
day that really doesn’t get a lot of
exposure,” May said. “That’s what our
men and women have been doing
annually—just filling the potholes as
they are coming about, making sure
that we are [filling] them in a very
quick manner.”
May, calling the problem of
potholes in the county “a growing
issue,” said the county is 417 miles
behind in repaving roads.
“[In] every road that needs to
be repaved, [you]…see potholes
developing. and they’re growing into
more than just potholes but even
craters, to some degree,” May said.
“Historically, we have not had the
funding mechanism to really address
our roads,” May said.
May is urging voters to vote
“yes” on a Nov. 8 referendum for a 1
percent special purpose local option

D

sales tax (SPLOST) that will be used
to finance capital projects.
“Get out to vote,” May said. “We
need you to vote for that question
on the ballot: Do you want to have
additional funding for our capital and
infrastructure needs? If the answer is
‘yes,’ I think you ought to vote ‘yes.’”
County officials say the proposed
1 percent SPLOST would generate
more than $540 million over five
years countywide. Those funds would
be divided between DeKalb County
and its cities, according to population.
“We can actually repave all of our
roads that we are behind in,” May
said. “That will be the goal. The sales
tax will help to fund that.
“In the meantime we have to do
the Band-Aid work, the filling of the
potholes to make sure that our roads
are safe and secure for all of our
constituents and stakeholders,” May
said.
Although the condition of roads
has been a priority for the county,
the funding has not been available to
repave the roads, May said. 
“In DeKalb County, we pay for
MARTA; we expend about $100
million to help fund MARTA,” he said.
“We pay for Grady; DeKalb County
spends about $100 million annually
on Grady. We also provide a property
tax credit; we basically give back
$100 million to all of our homestead
properties.
“That’s almost a quarter of a
billion dollars that we cannot use for
our county infrastructure,” he said.
The SPLOST will eliminate the
paving backlog, May said.
“The preventive maintenance that
we need to have done will be done
through the funding of this SPLOST,”
he said. “And you will begin to see the
number of potholes that we need to fill
diminish because we will be dealing
with our roads very proactively.”
Residents can report potholes by
calling (404) 297-3813.

education

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 18A

ManMade Mentoring impacts Stephenson Middle School
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
For five hours on March 19, a
group of 22 Stephenson Middle
School boys received a lesson in
manhood.
As part of author John Dennis’
pilot ManMade Mentoring Program,
the group scrubbed, scraped,
washed, mopped and swept
four Stephenson Middle School
bathrooms. The 22 middle school
students were joined by Dennis and
six mentors in the cleanup effort.
“This is the first of many efforts
by these young men to improve
themselves and the area around
them,” said Dennis. “All of the boys
stayed from start to finish. Space
was tight, but some guys even
asked for more work to do.”
Dennis said the 22 students
cleaned, stripped and scraped
away paint chips before painting
over vulgar drawings and language
lining the bathroom walls. The
students then took a pledge to
Author and speaker John Dennis met with students, faculty and staff at Stephenson Middle School to describe his ManMade
serve as bathroom monitors to
Mentoring program, which prompted 22 students to clean four bathrooms at the DeKalb school.
ensure such graffiti is never on
walls of the school latrines again.
“These young men are
entertaining the idea they are the
ones responsible for change,”
Dennis said. “[Principal Carolyn
Williams] came back with rewards
for the boys, but I know the internal
rewards were far better for them.”
Such initiative stems from
Dennis’s pilot mentoring program,
ManMade Mentoring, in which 524
Stephenson Middle School boys
were talked to in a group setting,
– John Dennis
put into 12 separate focus groups
and asked what changes they
would like to see in school.
“A lot of the major complaints
He said ManMade Mentoring
positive impact. The author’s goal
he mentored in prisons and work
included the bathrooms,” Dennis
is
one
third
journaling,
one
is
to
train
40-50
mentors
in
four
release programs. However,
said. “A lot of students and teachers
third
goal
setting,
and
one
third
more
DeKalb
County
schools
to
Dennis states the majority of his
said other boys were destroying the
measurements.
Students
journal
make
the
most
impact
in
DeKalb
expertise stems from his own
bathrooms. Either way, I wanted
their
own
defi
nitions
and
opinions
County
youth.
single parent childhood.
to stress that casting blame never
on
certain
terms,
share
them
with
“We’re
focusing
on
middle
“I was in the same lane as all
solves anything; it only matters who
relevant
adults
in
their
life
such
school
students
fi
rst,”
Dennis
these
young men,” Dennis said.
is going to take responsibility.”
as
a
parent
or
teacher,
and
create
said.
“Young
men
going
through
“I
grew
up with a lot of distance
Dennis said ManMade
goals
surrounding
them.
puberty
are
much
more
apt
to
join
from
my
father. I was a straight ‘A’
Mentoring seeks to tackle the
The
Georgia
author,
with
someone
in
order
to
form
student;
I
walked the good line, but
issue of single-parent families
businessman
and
Air
Force
an
identity.
By
the
time
students
I
struggled
significantly. I lacked
with little to no male influence.
veteran
said
the
workbook
reach
high
school,
it’s
kind
of
masculine
skills.
I was a good
The Eatonton, Ga., native and
accompanying
his
program
is
after
the
fact;
they’re
treated
as
kid,
and
the
good
kid often gets
author of Men Raised by Women
something
that
can
serve
as
a
adults,
some
of
them
have
criminal
neglected,
as
energy
is put into
has been looking for avenues to
lifetime
reference
tool.
backgrounds,
and
a
lot
of
their
reforming
other
kids.”
share his work and message since
“This is a developmental
forming has already taken place.
Dennis said the difference
December 2015, eventually finding
mission,
not
just
a
one-time
We’re
trying
to
reach
them
before.”
between
his advice and advice
success at Stephenson Middle.
thing,”
Dennis
said.
“You
have
The
author
said
the
threewritten
by
other professionals,
“From my research, 75 percent
some
young
guys
dealing
with
year
program,
if
applied
to
at
preachers,
gurus and leaders is
of [Black] children are growing
very
diffi
cult
home
lives
and
that
least
524
students,
will
help
simple.
up in single-parent households,”
transform whichever high school is
“You can find single parent
Dennis said. “When I asked the 524 requires a lot of mentor interaction.
It’s
going
to
stir
up
some
things,
but
attended
and
work
its
way
into
the
help
books and programs written
[Stephenson Middle] students how
they
need
to
be
stirred
up.
A
lot
of
community.
by
all
types,” Dennis said. “But
many of them lived in single parent
help
is
needed
in
a
lot
of
homes.”
Dennis
explained
his
you
can’t
find one written by the
households, 80 to 85 percent of
Dennis
said
it
takes
two
expertise
comes
from
a
lifetime
affected
boy.”
them raised their hands.”
sessions to fully explain the
of mentoring. He mentored, and
For more information on Dennis
According to Dennis,
program
to
potential
mentors.
was
mentored,
during
10
years
and
the ManMade Mentoring
mentoring can instill values such
From
there,
they
work
through
of
service
in
the
United
States
Air
Program,
visit www.johnpdennis.
as self-respect, responsibility
a
book
to
learn
how
to
make
a
Force;
he
mentored
at
his
church;
com
and accountability in young men.

‘This is the first of many efforts
by these young men to improve
themselves and the area around them.’

education

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 19A

Self-reported survey shakes up Decatur High parents
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

O

ne recent survey’s
results have some
parents of Decatur
City School
students worried about
post-curricular activities.
An anonymous selfreported survey conducted
by the Georgia Department
of Education during the
2014-2015 school year
found 45.21 percent of
Decatur High School
seniors drank alcohol at
least once in a 30-day
period. This is more than
double the state average of
22.21 percent.
This number represents
85 out of 188 participating
2014-2015 seniors and
the frequency of reported
consumption varies across
the board. For example, a
total of 17 (9.04 percent)
students reported drinking
two days of the 30-day
period while 13 (6.92
percent) reported drinking
five days.
Four seniors (2.13
percent) reported drinking
every day.
Decatur High School
juniors also beat the state
average with 38.41 percent
reporting they had also
drank at least once in a 30day span. This accounted
for 58 of 151 juniors during
the 2014-2015 school year,
but stood higher than the
state average of 17.91

percent.
Similar to Decatur High
School’s seniors, only four
of the 151 (2.65 percent)
reported drinking each of
the 30 days.
Decatur’s numbers
were also higher than the
rate reported by DeKalb
County seniors and juniors
overall. A total of 15.13
percent of DeKalb seniors
throughout 21 high schools
reported drinking at least
once in a 30-day period.
For the same period, 12.58
percent of DeKalb juniors
reported drinking at the
same rate.
When it came to
marijuana or hashish,
29.25 percent of seniors
reported use within the
past 30 days. The rate was
slightly less for juniors,
29.14 percent admitted to
using. Approximately 16.06
percent of DeKalb County
seniors and 13.41 percent
of juniors reported the
same rate of use.
Approximately 49.47
percent of seniors and
45.70 percent of juniors
report drinking and smoking
“In a car or at a friend’s
house.” The majority of
students reported their
first experience with
alcohol at the age of
15 (15.96 percent) with
others reporting 14 (10.64
percent) and 16 years old
(14.36 percent).
While steps were taken
by community members

on March 28 to discuss
such issues, many are
wondering whether the
survey’s methodology
warrants merit.
A self-report study
is defined as a “survey,
questionnaire or poll in
which respondents read
the question and select a
response by themselves
without researcher
interference,” and one
that “involves asking
participants about their
feelings, attitudes, beliefs
and so on,” according to
Whitley’s Principles of
Research in Behavioral
Science.
According to The SelfReport Method by Delroy
L. Paulhus and Simine
Vazire, the advantage
and disadvantages of selfreports arise in how one

Underage
Drinking:
Not a MINOR
problem!

presents himself or herself,
even with anonymity.
“The notion that people
are the best-qualified
witness to their own
personalities is supported
by the indisputable fact that
no one else has access
to more information,”
write Paulhus and Vazire.
“Why should we trust
what people say about
themselves? Impression
management includes such
[issues] as exaggeration,
faking and lying whereas
self-deception includes
[issues] as self-favoring
bias, self-enhancement,
defensiveness and denial.”
Approximately 300
parents were present at
Decatur High School’s
auditorium on March 28 to
voice concerns, discuss the
results of the survey and

set up the Decatur Parents
Network, which will address
underage drinking issues.
The network will seek to
hold supervised events for
students, keep parents in
the know through avenues
such as social media, and
supply information for
concerned parents.
Eric Tumperi, Decatur
High School’s PTA
president, proposed the
event with community
officials, including
Superintendent David
Dude and Decatur’s
Deputy Police Chief Keith
Lee.
For more information
on the self-report
study, visit the Georgia
Department of Education’s
website at www.gadoe.org
and search for “Student
Health Survey II.”

Did you know?

The alcohol industry targets younger audiences to buy their products through
aggressive and fun- like advertisements.
Placement of products is a serious concern in DeKalb County as most
convenience store operators have little regard for young people by placing
alcoholic products near items most often purchased by young people.
DeKalb County law enforcement is aggressive in their alcohol compliance operations and make
arrests of older adults who purchase alcohol for those under the age of 21.
The “danger zone” for alcohol and drug use for many youth is typically between 4:00 PM and
6:00 PM when many youth are out of school and unsupervised before their parents return home
from work.
Be safe DeKalb!

For more information
Call (770) 285-6037 or
E-mail: beyondthebell@comcast.net

Classified

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 20A

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religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status.

Business

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 21A

Walter Scott started a catering company after getting many compliments on his cooking. The menu for lunch prepared for a downtown Decatur company includes fried
chicken, cole slaw and baked beans. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Catering company brings Chicago flavors to DeKalb
After many co-workers
at Georgia State University,
Walter Scott’s former place
of employment, commented
on how much they enjoyed
his cooking, the Tucker resident decided to treat them to
lunch, preparing each dish
himself. The gesture led to
Scott’s first catering job and
ultimately to a new career.
“He has always loved
to cook and he loves seeing people enjoy the food
he prepares. People kept
saying, ‘You should do this
for a living,’” said Scott’s
wife and business partner
Sonya Scott, who helped
launch Taste of Chicago a
few weeks ago. The catering company’s name reflects
Walter Scott’s upbringing on
the south side of Chicago.
The Scotts were again
encouraged that Walter had
potential as a professional
chef following a chili cookoff. “We didn’t stay until the
end, because we ran out
of chili,” Sonya recalled. “I
checked the website the
next day and saw that we
had placed eighth among
the 32 entries. That’s not
bad considering it was our
first time.” More reassuring
than the official ranking, she
said, were comments from
people at the cook off who
asked what he did that made
his chili so tasty.
“At first, we were just
opening booths at fairs and
festivals, but those are seasonal,” Sonya observed.
“We decided that we needed
to start a catering service to
be in business year-round.”

She said her husband
has no formal training as a
chef, but a combination of
natural talent and skills he
learned from his mother led
to a growing demand for his
cuisine. The Scotts say they
are now prepared to cater
private or business functions
for up to 150 people.
“I can cook following a
recipe, but he never needs
a recipe. He has excellent
instincts and the results
are always wonderful,” said
Sonya, who explained that
her husband and their son
Jourdan Scott do the cooking while she handles other
aspects of the business. She
primarily helps with bookkeeping and marketing.
“Taking something you
love to do and turning it into
a business requires acquiring and applying business
skills,” Sonya said, adding
that she and her husband
work together on such matters as purchasing and pricing. “Together we figure out
the right prices for items.
You don’t want to charge so
much that people are turned
away by your prices, but you
want to charge enough to
be profitable. I’m planning to
take some business classes
so I can help my husband
even more.
“I love networking and
mingling with potential clients. That’s my strength,”
she said. A nurse who
worked 30 years for the
DeKalb County Board of
Health, Sonya also has expertise in the safe handling
of food.
“We do a lot of fairs
and festivals and the food

safety rules vary a lot.
Sometimes no one from the
health department shows
up and other times there are
people saying, ‘Oh, no, you
can’t open up until you’ve
done this, this and this.’ At
the Georgia Wing Festival
held in Albany in March,
we had to buy a tarp and a
hand washing station to be
in compliance with health
regulations. The next time,
however, we’ll be prepared.
It’s all part of the learning
experience,” Sonya said.
At an outdoor food
venue in Selma, Ala., created in conjunction with the
commemoration of the 1965
Voters’ Rights March, there
were other lessons learned,
according to Sonya. “I noticed one of the other vendors who didn’t even have

prices listed; he just had
food on display and people
were lined up to buy it. I
learned that people are very
visual. They want to see
what they’re getting. They
care about prices, but they
also care about what they’re
getting for their money.”
Another lesson from
the Selma experience is
the value of establishing a
unique brand. “You want to
stand out. You don’t want to
offer what everybody else
is offering. A lady came to
our stand in Selma and ordered a plate of rib tips. She
said, ‘I haven’t had rib tips
like this since I left Chicago
and these remind me of the
ones I had in Chicago. My
husband told her he was
from Chicago. The next day
she came back and bought

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seven more rib tip plates,”
Sonya recalled.
In addition to barbecued
rib tips, Taste of Chicago
lists among its specialties
Polish sausages, grilled pork
chops with onions, pizza
puffs and Chicago dogs.
Walter Scott also makes
cakes, cobblers, banana
pudding and other desserts
as part of his catering service.

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spoRts

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 22A

Freshman goalie Lane Edwards stops a potential scoring play. Photo provided

Oglethorpe menʼs lacrosse ends season with first-ever conference win
The Oglethorpe men’s lacrosse
team outscored the Millsaps
Majors 5-2 in the fourth quarter of
their final game of the season April
10 to win 13-12 win for their firstever Southern Athletic Association
victory.
The victory also serves as their
first of the year overall and means
that they finish in seventh place
in the league standings, marking
the highest they’ve ever finished in
the SAA and tying for their highest
conference finish ever.
Down 10-8 entering the fourth
quarter, the Petrels responded
by scoring five straight goals to
wrest control of the game from the
Majors and build a 13-10 lead with
4:15 to go. Freshman middie Tyler
Stridiron began the scoring with
13:26 left in the game, making it
10-9.
Sophomore attackman John
Hood then followed up to tie the
score with 12:05 to play. The
Petrels took the lead less than
30 seconds later when junior

Baseball Scores
April 7
Marist 5, Gordon Lee 4
Jordan (Utah) 5, Lakeside 3

attackman Andrew Houghton
found the cage to make it 11-10.
The home side was then able to
expand its lead out with another
goal from Stridiron with 6:18
remaining and what turned out
to be a huge goal from freshman
middie Thomas O’Berry with 4:15
to play.
With a 13-10 lead, the Petrels
set about trying to make the lead
stand up for their first SAA win.
Millsaps drew a goal closer with
1:16 left, then pulled to within a
single goal, 13-12, with 30 seconds
remaining. Freshman defenseman
Andrew Kwapil won the faceoff,
though, with freshman middie
Nathaniel Gillespie picking up
the ground ball. The Petrels were
then able to play keep-away for the
remainder of the contest, giving
them the 13-12 win.
Leading 7-6 after the halftime
break, Millsaps outscored the
Petrels 3-2 in the third quarter to
build their 10-8 lead. The Petrels
stayed in it, though, picking up a

man-up goal from Stridiron and a
tally from Gillespie, who broke the
single-season program record for
goals on the afternoon. He finishes
the season with 31 goals, scoring
four on the day.
The Petrels took a brief lead in
the second period. After the Majors
scored back-to-back goals to give
themselves a 5-3 lead early in the
quarter, the Petrels responded with
three straight tallies of their own.
Hood scored twice, sandwiched
around a Gillespie goal, to give
Oglethorpe a 6-5 lead with 8:36
remaining in the half. Millsaps
answered that with back-to-back
goals to take a 7-6 lead going into
the break.
The first quarter saw Millsaps
bounce out to a 3-1 lead, but
the Petrels scored consecutive
markers to end the quarter and tie
things at 3-3. Gillespie scored twice
in the period and Hood’s goal with
25 seconds left made it 3-3 through
the opening 15 minutes.
Hood joined Gillespie with four

April 8
Columbia 9, Newton 8
Southwest DeKalb 8, Arabia
Mountain 6
Stephenson 12, Cedar Grove 11
East Paulding 7, Lakeside 2

North Springs 14, Chamblee 4 Decatur 6, Tucker 5
Lakeside 7, Chattahoochee 6
April 9
IMG Academy Blue (Fla.) 10,
Arabia Mountain 13,
Lakeside 0
Stephenson 10
Columbus 5, Marist 4
Decatur 11, Druid Hills 4
GAC 8, Redan 7

goals of his own, putting seven of
his eight shots on target. Freshman
goalie Lane Edwards extended
his single-season record for saves,
tallying 24 more on the afternoon
to finish with a 238 on the season.
The Petrels won the game
despite being outshot 69-36 overall
and 36-25 on goal. The 24 saves
Edwards made proved to be a
huge difference in the contest.
“Getting our first-ever SAA
win is a fantastic result to finish
the season on,” Oglethorpe
head coach Nathan Young said.
“The guys faced such adversity
throughout this whole year. They
fought hard not only in today’s
game, but over the course of the
entire season. I could not be any
prouder of these guys and of
the character that they showed
to push through the struggles of
this season. They truly are why
I coach at Oglethorpe and why
this program will be successful for
years to come.”

spoRts

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 23A

Freshman Brian Herron turns Lakeside track into title contenders
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

B

efore the Lakeside High
School boys’ track-andfield team won the DeKalb
County title on March 28, the
program had not won a county title
since 1974.
In that same year, Lakeside won
the Class AAA state title. History
could repeat itself for Lakeside in the
Class AAAAAA track meet with the
help of freshman Brian Herron.
Herron, 15, helped lead the
Lakeside Vikings to this first county
title in 42 years with a win in the
400-meter dash—beating defending
champion Southwest DeKalb’s
Terry Conwell. Herron also finished
second in the 200-meter run and led
the 4x100 relay team to a third-place
finish and the 4x400 relay team to a
second-place finish.
Herron has given Lakeside the
edge it needs to get over the hump
to possibly win a state title, and Herron said he believes it is possible.
“I’m pretty confident about that
because we can finish in the top
three in each event,” Herron said.
Herron has become well-known
in the DeKalb track and field scene
in a short period of time. He has
been running track for only three
years and is already among the top
sprinters in the county and state. He
currently competes in the 200-meter Lakeside freshman Brian Herron, center, won the 400-meter dash at the DeKalb County track-and-field meet.
and 400-meter dash. He also has
competed in the 60-meter, 100-mefeel intimidated because the kids are
ter and 800-meter.
older than me,” he said. “But I really
Herron, who is also a member of
underestimated myself.”
Flight 400 track club, has more than
When he is on the track, Herron
30 major wins since 2014. Herron
said he stays in one zone.
said 2014 was when he realized how
“I really just think about my own
good he was.
race so that I can just relax,” he
“I started to win more and my
said. “I don’t really focus on anyone
times started dropping,” he said.
else in the race. It’s just me and my
Herron said it was his older
own race.”
brother Daniel, who is a senior
Herron has broken personal
hurdler at Lakeside, who inspired
records each year and was close
him to become a sprinter.
to breaking the county’s 400-meter
“He tried it first and then I caught
record. He was 1/100th of a second
on,” Herron said.
off. Herron said he believes he is
Herron and his brother would
close to breaking county and state
race each other in the front yard
records.
when they were younger. Herron
“I feel like I can get them next
said his older brother won most of
year,” he said. “Depending on how
those races, but these days Brian is
hard I work out.”
winning most of them.
After the county track meet,
Herron said being at the same
Lakeside coach Cardinal Clark
school and on the same track team
said Herron is a “very important key
with his brother has helped him
element” to the team. Herron said
transition from the middle school
he likes being looked to as a leader
level to high school
even as a freshman, but it does
“It feels great to be with my
have a downside to it.
brother because he’s been at the
“It feels great but it also feels
school longer and he knows ways to
stressful because they’re relying
talk to people and it really helps me,”
on me to do most of the work,” he
he said.
said. “But I really like it—just to be a
Herron is looking to lead Lakeside to its first track-and-field state title in 42 years.
Although Herron has been a
leader overall.”
Photos by Travis Hudgons
dominant force on the track, he is
The honor student is also a
still getting to used to the idea of
leader in the classroom and in
being as good as or better than
University of Kentucky. He wants
Bahama.
the community. He participates in
some of the top sprinters in the state
Herron said he is currently being to run track in college and hopes to
various community and overseas
who are upperclassmen.
looked at by college scouts from
make the Olympic team in the future.
projects, including the Ranfurly
“It’s crazy because sometimes I
the University of Florida and the
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The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, April 15, 2016 • Page 24A

Vickie Turner to Lithonia voters: vote ʻnoʼ on Opportunity School District
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

D

eKalb County School
Board member Vickie
Turner is telling voters to
know the facts when voting
on the Opportunity School District
referendum question in November.
“I’ve been telling people, for
whatever it’s worth, don’t fall for
the okey-doke,” Turner said. “Pay
attention to the fine print. Do your
homework because making a
decision to render over control
of our schools is going to cost us
dearly.”
Turner was at the April 4
Lithonia City Council meeting to
discuss the Opportunity School
District referendum, also known
as Gov. Nathan Deal’s school
takeover plan, with community
members.
If approved by voters, the
bill would allow the state to take
over up to 100 schools that failed
to meet performance targets
three years in a row. Persistently
failing schools are defined as
those scoring below 60 on the
Georgia Department of Education’s
accountability measure, the

DeKalb County School Board member
Vickie Turner told Lithonia voters to vote
‘no’ on the Opportunity School District
referendum. Photo by Carla Parker

College and Career Performance
Index (CCRPI), for three
consecutive years.
DeKalb County has 29 schools
on the list—all located in south
DeKalb.
Turner said she has done
research on the Opportunity
School District, which has

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established in other states, and
discovered it does not work.
“It was broken in Michigan,
it’s broke in Louisiana, it’s broke
in Tennessee. So what does that
mean? It didn’t work. They tried it;
it didn’t work.
“This new Opportunity School
District…something is wrong,”
Turner said. “The superintendent is
only accountable to the governor.
When [they] get in behind closed
doors [they] can come up with
anything [they] want. And all of
us out here [are subject to] your
decisions that you make behind
closed doors.”
Under Deal’s plan, Turner said
the state government can close
the school building and the local
school districts would not have
access to the building.
“And guess who has to keep
the maintenance up on the
property? We do,” Turner said.
“That’s so interesting.
“We’re going to lose local,
state and federal dollars because it
follows the children,” she said.
Turner also told voters that
there is no plan for special needs
children under Deal’s plan.
Turner encouraged Lithonia

voters to take ownership of their
community schools.
“The governor wants to take
the school,” she said. “Unless the
communities come out of their
homes, unless the community
comes out of their places of jobs
and employment and come in to
the schools and say ‘these are
our schools and we won’t let you
have them;’ if we don’t do that the
governor is going to take them.”
Turner said school board
members have met with each other
to talk about the plan and met
individually with DeKalb Schools
Superintendent Stephen Green.
She said the schools on the list
have received the support needed
to improve.
“They‘ve received increased
instructional support,” she said.
“Dr. Green has come in and our
board has committed financially.
Whatever the resources [they]
need to help [them] increase
student performance in the
classroom we’re going to give it to
[them].”
“You have to go and vote and
say what you want for your family,”
Turner said. “Go to the polls to
vote and say not on my watch.”