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the DeKalb

FRIDaY, aUGUST 26, 2016 • Vol. 19, No. 20 • FREE

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

• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •

Third Rail Studios is the first tenant at the
former GM plant site now known as Assembly.

‘TIMING IS CRITICAL’

Developers host tour of Assembly Doraville
this will create up to 8,000 jobs, generate
$2 billion in private investment, offer $1.5
billion in construction investment and
or more than two hours on Aug. 17, have a $2.5 billion regional impact.
“We’re estimating anywhere from
developers and Doraville city of6,000-8,000 jobs and close to 15,000ficials asked guests to imagine and
20,000 people that will be some way or
support a yet-to-be-built “city within a
another affiliated with the site,” said Egcity.”
bert Perry of Integral Group and owner
For the first time since its inception,
of the property.
Doraville city officials teamed with the
Schmit said development of Assembly
leaders of The Integral Group to provide a
relies on three key components: connecguided tour of the former GM Plant, now
tivity to MARTA, timing and public particiknown as Assembly Doraville. Attendees
pation.
were treated to an afternoon at Doraville
Developers and city officials have
City Hall, the Doraville MARTA station
worked on Assembly Doraville for approxand Assembly’s first tenant, Third Rail
imately five years, according to officials.
Studios.
Connectivity, is at the top of Schmit’s
Dave Schmit of Integral said the purlist. Currently, no connection exists bepose of the tour was to provide insight
tween the site and the Doraville or Chaminto what the 165-acre site can offer investors, the public and DeKalb County in blee MARTA stations. Treks around New
Peachtree Road, Peachtree Road and
general.
Motors Industrial Way—approximately
“We’re trying to help everyone undera five mile round trip—are currently restand the site and its potential,” Schmit
quired to reach Assembly’s two access
said. “We want you to hear directly from
us where we are going with the site. [The points.
Assembly’s development would create
project] will define Doraville forever.”
Once developed, according to an Inte- infrastructure between the two stations,
providing access for employees of potengral spokesmen, Assembly Doraville will
tial businesses, visitors and residents, acoffer 5 million square feet of commercial
office space, 16 acres of parks and green cording to Schmit.
“The connection to the MARTA station
space, and 2.5 million square feet of resiis the most important thing in a transitdential and retail space. Officials state

by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

F
Dave Schmit of The Integral Group said timing and public interest
are essential to seeing Assembly Doraville completed. Photos by
R. Scott Belzer.

Dave Schmit and Egbert Perry of The Integral Group said Assembly Doraville would offer modern jobs, residences and define
Doraville forever.

CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER

CHAMPIONNEWS

See Doraville on Page 5

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DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 2

Be

Choose a Positive Circle of Friends.

DEKALB COUNTY

Board of Health

BUILDING RESOURCES & AWARENESS FOR YOUTH VIOLENCE PREVENTION EDUCATION
This advertisement was supported by Grant No.YEPMP140080 from the Office of Minority Health. Its contents are solely the responsibility
of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of OMH.

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DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 3

aRounddeKalB
countYWide

doRaVille

The Salute to Doctors, Physicians and Caregivers Awards Dinner
will recognize doctors, physicians and caregivers from all walks of life for
their contributions made in their communities. The event, sponsored by
the South DeKalb Community Development Inc., will be held Sept. 10 at
6 p.m. in the Magnolia Room at Emory Conference Center Hotel, 1615
Clifton Road in Atlanta. This is a black tie event and tickets are $100.
For more information, visit www.fspsouthdekalbcommdev.org, e-mail
fspspecialevents@gmail.com, or call (770) 484-9660.

Two of Doraville’s family-oriented and city-sponsored events have
combined to bring residents fun, food and excitement.
On the first Friday of each month, Doraville will begin a feature film at
8:15 p.m. On Sept. 2, attendees can view Star Wars: The Force Awakens
free of charge at Honeysuckle Park, located at 3037 Pleasant Valley
Drive.
The film will be shown on Doraville’s recently acquired 21-foot outdoor
screen and accompanied by a video presentation regarding renovations
of the city swimming pool and Flowers Park.
The Sept. 2 event is being combined with the monthly Doraville
Food Truck Rally. Food trucks will begin serving patrons at 6:30 p.m.
Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and other outdoor
amenities to comfortably watch the film.

Group to honor doctors, physicians and caregivers

aVondale estates
Men’s club to hold meeting

Avondale Estates Mayor Jonathan Elmore will give a presentation
on the current happenings in the city and future plans at the Avondale
Estates Men’s Club meeting July 31 at noon The meeting will be held at
American Legion Post 66, located at 30 Covington Highway. For more
information, call (404) 284-1142.

cHaMblee

City hosts women’s self-defense class
Women will be taught how to defend themselves courtesy of the
Chamblee Police Department and Team Octopus free of charge on
Sept. 3 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Team Octopus is a mixed martial arts
studio based in Chamblee offering more than 100 classes per week on
a variety of subjects. The classes will take place at Team Octopus’s gym
located at 3695 Longview Drive in Chamblee. To sign up and receive
more information, contact Officer Chris Poythress at (470) 395-2441 or
cpoythress@chambleega.gov.

claRKston

The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra opens season with
violinist Justin Bruns
The DeKalb Symphony
Orchestra will open its
2016-2017 concert season
on Sept. 27 with violinist
Justin Bruns performing
Symphonie Espagnole by
Lalo. Bruns is the assistant
concertmaster with Atlanta
Symphony Orchestra (ASO)
and has played with them
since 2006. As a chamber
musician Bruns has
performed throughout the
United States and England.
He was a performer on the
Faculty Tuesdays Recital
Series at the University of
Colorado, with the String
in the Mountains Music
Festival, North Georgia
Music Festival and Georgian
Chamber Players. Bruns has
also performed cycles of the
Brahms, Beethoven, and
late Mozart sonatas.
The season opening
performance will be held at 8 p.m. in the Marvin Cole Auditorium
at Georgia State University Perimeter College, Clarkston Campus.
The public is invited to meet the conductor at a 7 p.m. pre-concert
conversation. To purchase tickets call (678) 891-3565 or visit www.
dekalbsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

City hosts First Friday Under the Stars

dunWoodY

Nineteen-week session on Judaism kicks off at
Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta
The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) will host a
19-week course on Judaism beginning Aug. 28. Classes will begin at 10
a.m. and run through 11:30 a.m.
“This course is provocative, challenging, and stimulating,” said
Rabbi Brian Glusman, MJCCA director of outreach and community
engagement.. “It is taught from a pluralistic approach, and encourages
class discussions and activities, without the pressure of homework or
exams.”
The Atlanta Rabbinic Association stated the program, Derech Torah,
is a good start for individuals considering converting to Judaism. To
register or receive more information on the 19-week session, contact
Shelley Buxbaum at (678) 812-4152.

litHonia

Church to host community event
New Bethel AME Church will host “Social Action – A Commitment to
Our Community.” The voter education and registration event will be held
Sept. 10 at 11 a.m.; the church is located at 8350 Rockbridge Road. The
public is invited to hear from local, state and community leaders who will
provide information, answer questions and discuss attendees’ concerns.
Speakers will address issues such as voting irregularities, youth, seniors
and the working poor.

stone Mountain

City to host garden event
Stone Mountain will host Community Garden Work Day Sept. 10,
from 8 to 11 a.m. The Master Gardener Talk will be given by Barcia
Chasteen on pollinators. For more information, email Columbus Brown
at columbushb@me.com.

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 4

The Tucker Community Council held its first meeting Aug. 11.

Mayor Frank Auman, right, and members of the Tucker Community Council sign the
oath of office.

Tucker’s inaugural community council appointed
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Seven Tucker residents have
been selected to serve on the city’s
first community council for 2016.
The councilmembers are
William Arroyo, Seth Burrow,
Janet Curtis, Frank Luton, Frank
Sapp, Cara Schroeder and

Jonathan Vaughters. Mayor Frank
Auman appointed the community
council on Aug. 1 and the members
were sworn in during the council’s
first meeting on Aug.11.
The community council,
an advisory board, will make
recommendations to the planning
commission about development
patterns occurring in, or proposed

for, Tucker, according to the city. The
council also will recommend policies
and interpretation of the city’s
comprehensive plan and zoning
ordinance.
The community council also
will be responsible for informing
residents about proposed
applications for amending the city’s
comprehensive plan, rezoning,

special land use permits and
zoning code text amendments. The
council will provide leadership to
public and private organizations
that are interested in planning and
development activities in Tucker.
Auman said in a released
statement that he is excited to see

See Tucker on Page 8A

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FROM ATLANTA GAS LIGHT
Every day, underground pipelines safely transport
natural gas to homes and businesses throughout the
area. Atlanta Gas Light is responsible for the security
and maintenance of pipelines in our service territory.

WATER HEATER SAFETY

Natural gas is colorless and odorless so we add an
odorant with a distinctive, rotten-egg type scent for
easy detection. It is non-toxic, lighter than air and
displaces oxygen. In severe cases, if not used properly,
it may lead to asphyxiation and has a risk of ignition
near a spark.

CARBON MONOXIDE

CALL BEFORE YOU DIG
Before digging around your property, state law
requires you call 811 to have your utility lines
professionally marked – for
free! You must wait the
required amount of time
before you begin your project.
Pipeline markers indicate the
presence of pipe and right-ofway. While they’re not present
in all areas, it’s always best to
call 811. If right-of-way is adjacent to your property,
it is your responsibility to ensure no new landscaping
or physical structure interferes with access to the
pipeline, and with our ability to keep it safe through
routine monitoring and maintenance.
Information about transmission pipelines operating
in your community is available through the National
Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) and is available
online at npms.phmsa.dot.gov.
© 2016 Southern Company. All rights reserved.
Do not reuse text or graphics without written permission. AGL-14903

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission urges
all users to lower their water heaters to 120 degrees
Fahrenheit.
Incomplete combustion of any fuel – produces carbon
monoxide. Carbon monoxide is poisonous and has no
odor, taste or color. Carbon monoxide detectors are
helpful, but they are no substitute for using equipment
safely. This includes having it inspected once a year by
a certified contractor.

APPLIANCE SAFETY
According to the Federal Emergency
Management Agency:
• It’s important that you have your furnace inspected
by a qualified specialist.
• Be sure all furnace controls and emergency shutoffs
are in proper working condition.
• Keep trash and other combustible material away
from your air heating and water heating systems.
Visit atlantagaslight.com/integritymanagementplan
to learn about our emergency response plan which
recognizes and mitigates threats and also sustains the
integrity of the pipelines.

IF YOU SMELL GAS, ACT FAST
Although natural gas pipeline incidents are uncommon, these
tips will help you identify a possible leak and know what to do.
LOOK for blowing dirt, discolored vegetation or continued
bubbling of standing water.
LISTEN near a natural gas appliance or line; there may be a
hissing or roaring sound when natural gas is leaking.
SMELL the distinctive, rotten egg odor associated with
natural gas. Natural gas is colorless and odorless so we add
an odorant with this scent for easy detection. You should take
action any time you detect even a small amount of this odor
in the air.
AVOID touching anything that may cause a spark. This
includes starting a car engine or using cell phones, lighters,
matches, cigarettes, light switches or landlines. Natural gas
is non-toxic, lighter than air and displaces oxygen. Keep
away from ignition sources because natural gas can burn
near a spark, possibly causing a fire or explosion. In severe
cases, if not used properly, it can also lead to asphyxiation.
LEAVE the area IMMEDIATELY if you detect a natural gas
leak. Don’t try to identify the source or stop the leak.
CALL Atlanta Gas Light at 877.427.4321 or 911 once you are
safely away from the possible leak site. Stay away from the
area until an Atlanta Gas Light representative or emergency
personnel indicate it is safe to return.
Note: Always leave if you suspect a leak. Do not solely rely on sense of smell.
Be aware that some persons may not be able to detect the odorant because
they have a diminished sense of smell, olfactory fatigue, or because the odor
is being masked by other odors in the area. Certain conditions may cause the
odorant to diminish so that it is not detectable.

For more information, visit
atlantagaslight.com/safety
or call 800.427.5463.

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016

local

Page 5

Doraville

Continued From Page 1

Doraville officials teamed with leaders at The Integral Group to provide the first tour of the Assembly development site. Photo by R.
Scott Belzer.

oriented site,” Schmit said. “Think
about Atlanta. Think about how
many large companies have located here because of Atlanta’s
transit system. The top 10 firms
have brought 15,000 jobs to the
Atlanta area. We have had 1,200
jobs come and go because the
connectivity was not there for potential businesses.”
Schmit said it would be necessary to change infrastructure
along New Peachtree Road and
Park Avenue in Doraville to accommodate a road under the
Doraville MARTA station and its
neighboring heavy rail line. This
would provide access to Assembly as well as additional access to
the station.
Integral spokesmen say this
will increase overall MARTA ridership by 30,000 to 45,000 per day
and reduce the same amount of
car traffic.
Third Rail Studios, a film company set to capitalize on Atlanta’s
film industry, is finishing a 140,000
square-foot space that includes
three sound stages, support offices and storage.
“When we’re finished here,
we’ll have 400 people here on site
every day,” said Michael Hahn,
real estate developer for the site.
“We can technically house three
productions at once at our site.”
Third Rail Studios is scheduled
to open Aug. 29.
Schmit insisted public support
and interest needs to continue for
the project to move forward.
“Timing is critical. People can
become weary of a project taking
too long,” he said. “We need to
make this become a reality.”
Mayor Donna Pittman has
asked for public support on the
production of Assembly and received official support from city
councils in Dunwoody, Clarkston
and Decatur as well as from the
DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce.
Officials lauded the use of a
tax allocation district (TAD), which
would “allow the public to invest
in private development” through
taxes allocated from Doraville city
taxes, DeKalb County taxes and
taxes from the DeKalb County
School District (DCSD).
While Doraville and DeKalb
County have already signed off
on the formation of a TAD, DCSD
remains reluctant in shifting its
tax revenue flow away from the
district. Doraville has developed
a community improvement district
(CID) to allow owners of the property to tax themselves for infrastructure improvements.

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016

oPINIoN

Page 6

Random thoughts on late summer
Summer is nearing an end. Fall
will officially usher in on Sept. 22 at
10:21 a.m. with the Fall Equinox.
The summer of 2016 has
included discourse between
the public and those in law
enforcement in many communities,
terrorism at home and abroad,
hotly debated political issues
and candidates on the local and
national fronts, and most recently
the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil with team USA
again making our nation proud and
somewhat united—even if only for
a short period of time.
Our region of the country has
had less than normal amounts of
rainfall and a string of more than 60
days where temperatures hovered

of Southeastern Conference are
considered to be among the best
and most competitive of all college
football teams. Granted, I may be
a bit biased, having been born and
in Georgia and an alumnus
John Hewitt reared
of the University of Georgia.
johnh@dekalbchamp.com
Fall is also a time for an
abundance of festivals in towns
above the 90-degree mark. Several and cities throughout the region. As
temperatures and humidity begin
Georgia counties and towns have
to decline, people are more likely
issued outdoor watering bans and
others are closely monitoring water to spend time outdoors enjoying
mother nature’s cool-down.
usage. Some are considered to be
Many will spend hours in their
in extreme drought conditions.
cars
escaping to the mountains and
It is also time for college
foothills
to witness the beauty of fall
football to be on the minds of
foliage.
According
to the Farmer’s
many throughout the south and
Almanac,
fall
foliage
in the north
elsewhere in the nation. For
Georgia
mountains
should
peak
many, myself included, the teams

Oct. 19-Nov. 4; in North Carolina
and Tennessee, peak times should
be Oct. 12-28.
While these peak foliageviewing times are two months
away, those interested in seeing
these spectacular displays of
nature should plan now—though
it may already be too late to find
accommodations at some of the
more popular destinations.
Fall also ushers in an
abundance of apples and all things
concocted from apples, including
apple pie in solid and liquid forms.
These next few months are
among the most pleasant times of
the year. Plan now to make the fall
of 2016 a memorable one.

oPINIoN

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016

Page 7

An early start
“Go Goldwater, Let’s go
Goldwater, Goldwater He’s
Our Man!” jingle lyrics from
Presidential campaign of
Senator Barry Goldwater in
1964.
The better known campaign
ad from that 1964 match-up
between President Lyndon
Johnson and GOP challenger
Goldwater only aired once,
but is still eye-catching. It was
a Goldwater attack ad named
“Daisy.” I didn’t see the “Daisy”
spot until years later, and though
I was only 3, I remember that
Goldwater jingle and the cartoon
caricature of Goldwater leading
a small parade of supporters.
In 1974, I saw a young state
senator, a triple amputee and
Vietnam veteran give one of
the most compelling speeches
I’d ever heard just prior to the
fireworks show that Fourth
of July. Max Cleland, the
youngest member of the Georgia
State Senate, represented
east DeKalb County and his
hometown of Lithonia, and with
the support of then Governor
Jimmy Carter, was seeking the
office of lieutenant governor.
But that fall, Cleland didn’t
win. Georgia’s next lt. governor
would be Lester Maddox,
who had previously served as
governor himself. Cleland came
in a distant third. I learned early
on that being the better, or even
the best, candidate was no
guarantee of winning the race.

‘One Man’s
Opinion’
Bill Crane

bill.csicrane@gmail.com

Carter went on to the White
House, and in the fall of 1980,
he was trying to hang on
there. As a freshman at UGA
in Athens, I had become a
College Republican that fall.
A College Republicans’ rally in
Athens for Senate challenger
Mack Mattingly days before the
election would become a high
point of his upset victory over
entrenched incumbent Senator
Herman Talmadge. I learned
that even when you are being
outspent and on someone else’s
home turf, a strong ground
game and committed volunteers
matter.
Graduating from UGA I took
my broadcast degree to Macon
and WMAZ-TV 13, the midstate equivalent in ratings and
market dominance of WSB-TV’s
Channel 2 here. When I covered
and witnessed an execution
at the Jackson Diagnostic and
Correction Center in 1986, a
fellow media witness was Steve
Dykes–then press secretary to
Secretary of State Max Cleland.
Dykes was the radio reporter at
the crime scene with the Sheriff
when the remains of the murder
victim were discovered. Dykes
was leaving state government to

move to Kansas City and work
for Sprint. He suggested that I
apply for his job; he said Cleland
wanted someone younger who
understood television.
I did, and to my surprise, I
got the job. After several years
with Cleland, an opportunity
arose with Governor-elect Zell
Miller. And later, while working
for Miller, I received a call from
another former State Senator,
trotting the globe as U.S. Peace
Corps director under then
President George H.W. Bush.
Paul Coverdell was planning
to move home to Georgia, and
challenge popular incumbent
Senator Wyche Fowler. I
joined Team Coverdell, and
after narrow primary and runoff
wins we were heading into the
general election with Fowler with
almost no campaign war chest
and a 22-point deficit in the most
recent polls—and the election
just more than a month away.
But a few nights later, we
got a late night phone call and
a jingle left on the answering
machine at Coverdell HQ. It was
72-year-old Margie Lopp of
Cuthbert, with her off-key ode to
“Putting Wyche Fowler OUT.”
The jingle was not a hit with
everyone, but with less than
$100,000 left in the campaign
a modest media buy placed
Margie’s memorable jingle
on the Atlanta Braves (during
their “Worst to First” ‘92 penant
race season) and Georgia and
Georgia Tech college football.

Margie’s tune struck a nerve and
she knocked it out of the park.
On election night in 1992,
Senator Fowler got 49 percent
of the vote, Coverdell got 48
percent and Libertarian Jim
Hudson got 3 percent in the
Senate race. Though every
network and daily paper in
Georgia called the race for
Fowler, Georgia election law
called for a run-off, which
Coverdell won three weeks later
by just more than 2,500 votes
out of 2 million cast.
Coverdell had served with
distinction in the Senate for
more than eight years, when
a brain hemorrhage took him
away from us all too early. It was
remembering Coverdell during
that July of 2000 which gave me
my start in political commentary.
Now 2016, this will be my fifth
presidential cycle as an analyst
and commentator, but in many
ways it feels like I started earlier,
in some ways seemingly since I
was 3.
Bill Crane also serves as a
political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News,
WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now
95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for
The Champion, Champion Free
Press and Georgia Trend. Crane
is a DeKalb native and business
owner, living in Scottdale. You can
reach him or comment on a column at bill.csicrane@gmail.com.

Subscribe to The Champion Newspaper
To subscribe, visit TheChampionNewspaper.com or call 404.373.7779

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FAX To: (404) 370-3903; Phone: (404) 373-7779.
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Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts.

Publisher:
John Hewitt

Photographer:
Travis Hudgons

Chief Financial Officer:
Dr. Earl D. Glenn

Staff Reporters:
carla Parker
R. Scott Belzer
Horace Holloman

Production Manager:
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The Champion Free Press is published each Friday
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114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030
Phone (404) 373-7779.
www.championnewspaper.com
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STATEMENT FROM THE
PUBLISHER
We sincerely appreciate the
discussion surrounding this and any
issue of interest to DeKalb County.
The Champion was founded in 1991
expressly to provide a forum for
discourse for all community residents
on all sides of an issue. We have no
desire to make the news only to
report news and opinions to effect
a more educated citizenry that will
ultimately move our community
forward. We are happy to present
ideas for discussion; however,
we make every effort to avoid
printing information submitted to
us that is known to be false and/or
assumptions penned as fact.

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DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 8

Zika information focus of Decatur Rotary meeting
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
It starts with a mosquito bite.
It progresses to a fever, rash,
joint pain or red eyes. In more
extreme cases, it ends with birth
defects, pregnancy problems and a
rare nerve syndrome.
This is the Zika virus, and the
world has been forced to learn
more about it with each passing
day.
The Decatur Rotary Club
hosted a guest speaker on the
Zika virus on Aug. 12 at the historic
Decatur courthouse. For more than
an hour, Emory professor Uriel
Kitron informed attendees on the
virus’s beginning, evolution and
possible ending.
Zika virus has been widely
discussed since outbreaks were
identified in South America in
2015. The virus has again become
heavily scrutinized throughout the
2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
because many outbreaks of the
virus have been found in Brazil.
The disease primarily spreads
through mosquito bites, but can
also be transmitted via intercourse
or from a pregnant mother to a
child.
Kitron’s knowledge in
mosquitoes and infectious diseases
is what led him to the Decatur
Rotrary Club.
In addition to holding degrees
in science and public health, Kitron
has done research and conducted
teaching programs that “center
around the eco-epidemiology
of infectious diseases, with an
emphasis on tropical and emerging
diseases and environmental risk

Dr. Uriel Kitron presented information on the Zika Virus to the Decatur Rotary Club
at the historic Decatur courthouse on Aug. 12. Photo by R. Scott Belzer

factors,” according to his profile on
Emory’s website.
Kitron said he has traveled
to South and Central America
to research such diseases as
Dengue, malaria, schistosomiasis,
West Nile virus as well as the
insects—vectors—that transmit
them. Research in Ecuador brought
Zika to his attention.
“Zika is a virus that typically
affects non-animals and has
spilled over into humans,” Kitron
said. “The best example of other
diseases that do this [are] Lyme
disease and West Nile virus.
Humans are an accidental part of
the cycle.”
According to Kitron, since its
discovery in Uganda in the 1940s,
Zika virus received little attention
until early 2015. The symptoms,
according to Kitron, have been
typically light—a fever, a rash, a

mild cold—and subside within two
or three days. The life-cycle of the
mosquitoes that carry the disease
is also approximately two or three
days.
“This makes [studying the
disease in the mosquito] very
difficult,” Kitron said.
However, the virus has shown
new symptoms and complications
in those affected. It has been
identified as one of the causes of
microcephaly, a condition where a
baby’s head is smaller than normal,
as well as a cause for GuillainBarre Syndrome (GBS), a condition
causing weakness in arms, legs
and breathing muscles.
“This has been devastating,”
Kitron said. “It has changed the
situation completely. It has become
a public health emergency in Brazil
and worldwide. By the time you
are diagnosed, it may be too late.

Microcephaly can occur in mothers
affected in the first trimester.”
Kitron said emerging diseases
such as Zika have become more
prevalent due to such factors as
climate change and urbanization.
Kitron compared city centers to
farm monocultures, where a single
type of corn will adopt the attributes
of the entire crop when plants are
next to one another.
These factors, Kitron said,
along with its mosquito-friendly
climate, made Brazil a ripe target
for Zika virus.
“We are now, for the first time,
living in community areas with more
people worldwide,” Kitron said.
“This is especially striking in other
countries. In the 1920s, less than
20 percent of Brazilian people lived
in cities, now more than 80 percent
of Brazilian people live in cities. If I
were a virus or bacteria, I couldn’t
ask for anything better.”
Kitron said urbanization also
allows viruses to travel and spread
at an unprecedented rate. He said,
however, the virus has passed
its peak in Brazil and will not
likely affect Olympic athletes or
attendees.
According to Kitron, the only
U.S. cases of Zika virus have been
in Florida and Texas. He said he
does not expect the virus to spread
beyond those regions, but that the
unpredictability of the virus has
astounded scientists worldwide.
“Zika has been surprising all of
us,” Kitron said. “None of us have
predicted some of the side effects
of Zika that we have encountered.”
Kitron said he expects a
credible, worldwide vaccine to be
available within the next year.

TUcKer Continued From Page 4A
Tucker’s vision come alive with the
addition of a community council.
“The community council
members were hand chosen for
their knowledge and dedication to
Tucker,” Auman said. “Our team is
sure to thrive.”
Arroyo, a Tucker resident since
1975, owns a law firm in the city.
He served in the U.S. Army and
was executive vice president and
state manager of Record Data
of Georgia Inc., and Record Title
Agency of Georgia Inc. Arroyo also
is president of the Tucker Business
Association.
Burrow, who was instrumental
in the cityhood effort, is a partner
in Sweetwater Pools. He handles
all major repair and renovation
projects in metro Atlanta and
assisted with the company’s
expansion in the Carolinas. Burrow
will work closely with the Tucker
Civic Association’s proactive

planning, land use and zoning
committee.
Curtis has served Tucker on
DeKalb County’s Community
Council for years. She is a
former EMT with Grady Hospital
and DeKalb County’s Fire and
Emergency Medical Service
and has worked in the criminal
investigation division for the DeKalb
County Police Department. She
currently works as a paralegal and
investigator.
Luton, who has been a
resident of Tucker since 1978,
was the director of the Bellsouth
Leadership Institute and continues
to be a creative process consultant
and meeting facilitator. He has
been active in Tucker, serving
as president of his community
association, a voting precinct
manager and a volunteer-in-patrol
with the DeKalb County Police
Department.

Sapp is a retired statistician
from the United States Department
of Labor. He has worked on
transportation for special events,
including the 1996 Atlanta
Olympics, 1998 Goodwill Games,
1999 World Special Olympics, 2000
Winter Special Olympics, 2002
Salt Lake City Winter Olympics
and designing the bus routes for
the 2012 Democratic National
Convention. He is currently a
training and technology specialist
with Touch the Future, a nonprofit
organization that provides
individuals who are disabled
with independent living skills and
opportunities for accessible and
inclusive services.
Schroeder has served as
the Tucker Civic Association’s first
Rivers Alive volunteer organizer.
Schroeder has supported Tucker
area parks and greenspace
projects by volunteering with

Friends of Henderson Park and
founding the Henderson Park
Community Garden. She is
president of Schroeder Resources,
a fundraising consulting service,
and has spent nearly 30 years
raising money and developing
boards for numerous non-profit
organizations focused on arts,
education, healthcare, social
services, environmental issues and
historic preservation.
Vaughters is a business
development executive for
consulting services and has worked
with companies such as IBM, Cox
Enterprises, Eastman Kodak, and
P&G. Vaughters volunteered with
public schools and youth, including
the parent-teacher council, the
football booster club and coaching
at Tucker Football League. He has
also served as president of the
Spencers Mountain Homeowners
Association.

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 9

Six arrested in death
of 15-year-old
by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com

Dave Schmit of development company Integral Group provided a tour of Assembly Doraville the
same day a 35 percent tax incentive was granted. Photo by R. Scott Belzer

Tax breaks granted for Assembly
Doraville Downtown
Development
Authority offers $82
million abatement
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
On Aug. 16—the same day of a guided
tour of Assembly Doraville—the Doraville
Downtown Development Authority (DDDA)
granted tax incentives equal to 35 percent
of the former GM plant’s property value.
Upon approval, DDDA waived 35
percent of property taxes that would have
gone to Doraville, DeKalb County and the
DeKalb County School District for the next
30 years. The value of this incentive is
estimated to be around $82 million if the
site reaches its forecasted value of $1.5
billion.
The incentives were awarded to
Doraville Sixty and Studio Sixty, both of
which are majority-owned by principal
developer Integral Group.
As presenter Dan McRae explained
to the DDDA, under the Georgia Code,
governing bodies are exempt from paying
property taxes. Development authorities
throughout the state use this loophole to
transfer property into their name and lease
the property back to owners tax free. This
is known as tax abatement.
McRae, a finance, investment and
bond lawyer said no fiscal impact study
was required by developers before the
item was presented to the DDDA.
McRae said environmental records
of the Assemby site indicate “a hefty
sum” will have to be dedicated to clearing
out the site. The DDDA is responsible
for assuring the site is environmentally

sound per guidelines of state and federal
environmental protection agencies.
Developers will be responsible for these
costs.
“If this is not the most environmentally
contaminated site in metro Atlanta, I’d say
it’s at least in the top three,” McRae said.
“When you close an automobile assembly
plant, there are going to be some
environmental issues.”
The DDDA unanimously approved
the incentives. Chairman Jack Halpern
congratulated and thanked the board after
approval and said it was a monumental
step in the city’s future.
“Please extend our congratulations to
the principals of the company,” Halpern
said after the approval. “This was done
quickly, but this is a historic undertaking on
behalf of the city of Doraville and I would
say DeKalb County and the entire Atlanta
region to enable this property to have the
means to be redeveloped. This is a great
day [for Doraville].”
Integral Group hopes to turn the 165acre site into a mutli-use office park,
creating 8,000 jobs, five million square feet
in commercial office space and 2.5 million
square feet of residential space. According
to Dave Schmit and Egbert Perry of
Integral Group, the development will have
a $2.5 billion impact on the region over 10
years.
In addition developers hope to
provide accessibility to MARTA, roads
into and around the site linking Doraville
to Chamblee, as well as parks and
greenspace. A tunnel and street providing
access to the Doraville MARTA station,
according to Integral Group, alone will cost
approximately $60 million.
The DDDA holds public meetings
quarterly at Doraville City Hall, located
at 3725 Park Ave., beginning at 6 p.m.
For more information, contact DDDA
staff member and Doraville’s economic
development director Luke Howe at (770)
451-8745 or luke.howe@doravillega.us.

The DeKalb County
Police Department (DCPD)
announced Aug. 11 that six
individuals are in custody in
connection with the death of
15-year-old Keaira Palmer.
On Aug. 3, Palmer
was walking to a nearby
convenience store from
her apartment complex
when she was caught in
the crossfire of a driveby shooting. According to
reports, Palmer died on
the way to the hospital.
Three others, two with
minor injuries and one
still hospitalized in stable
condition.
Police believe the
incident was gang related.
DCPD arrested two
juveniles along with
Roderick Harris, 17,
Sharod Jackson, 18,
Roderick Jackson, 18,
and Michael Miller, 22,.
According to DCPD Public
Information Officer Stephen
Fore, the suspects were
charged with felony murder,
two counts of aggravated
assault and six counts of
felony criminal gang activity.
“I applaud the combined
efforts of all involved
in apprehending these
individuals,” said Deputy
Chief Operating Officer
Cedric Alexander in a
statement. “Those arrested
have shown no regard for

the safety and well-being of
others and this will not be
tolerated in our community.”
Police are still in search
of one suspect wanted in
the murder. Twenty-fouryear-old Tahja Williams
remains at large, police
said.
The shooting death of
Palmer elicited a reaction
from the community.
Several prayer vigils were
held in her honor in the
days leading up to the
arrests.
A memorial in
remembrance of Palmer sits
just a few yards from where
she was shot next to a tree
in an apartment complex.
The tree is adorned with
stuffed animals, flowers and
cards.
Betty Maddox, a former
DeKalb County officer,
lost her 25-year-old son,
Michael Maddox, to gun
violence when he was shot
five times by a 16-year-old
in 1993.
Since then, Maddox
has become a “stop the
gun violence” advocate
and created the civic group
Grieving Relative In Every
Violent Event (GRIEVE).
“As a mother, I’ve
experienced both
aspects of violence. Both
judiciously and the victim
aspect,” Maddox said.
“The main problem is the

See Palmer on Page 10A

For more information & to register:
www.dfreewithsmlac.eventbrite.com
economicdevelopment@smlacdst.org

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 10

Carver Hills development
put on hold
Residents, neighboring city and timing
delay five-year plan for 249 new homes
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

D

ivided residents, a lack of
study by council members and
concerns from a neighboring
city led to the delay of a zoning
change for a new development in the city
of Doraville.
On Aug. 15, there was standing-roomonly in Doraville’s city council chamber for
a public hearing regarding Carver Hills, a
potential neighborhood set to be located
along Carver Circle and N. Carver Drive.
According to Carver Hills’ site plan,
the neighborhood will offer approximately
50 stand-alone homes, 199 townhomes,
and seven and a half acres of greenspace
on 36.4 acres.
The hearing took place to aid a
council decision in changing the area—as
well as its current 34 properties—from
R-1 status (single-family residential) to
S-2 (special zoning) to accommodate the
development.
The zoning change would allow the
developer, Century Communities LLC,
to move forward with buying the 34
properties under contract outright—the
first of many steps in making Carver Hills
a reality.
“This has been a long time coming
for all [Carver Circle and N. Carver Drive
residents],” said Mayor Donna Pittman.
“I’d really like to see this happen. This is
exciting news for the city.”
A few Doraville residents were present
to voice opposing viewpoints on the
project, insisting the site plan does not
follow building codes requiring a 75-foot
buffer between development and streams.
Members of Dunwoody North Civic
Association were also present to voice
concern as the Carver area is Doraville’s
border to Dunwoody. Gerri Penn, the
association’s president, said Doraville City
Council should meet with them to develop
a more agreeable site plan.

“We should discuss the impact a
development of this density would have
on our neighborhoods,” Penn said.
“We’re concerned about traffic impact; we
would like a traffic study. We would like
a hydrology study. We will lose a noise
buffer with tree removal. I’m opposed to a
development of 249 homes where there
are currently 34 homes.”
Dunwoody city council member
John Heneghan also voiced opposition,
referencing stormwater concerns and
water studies that were brought up by
Dunwoody planning officials.
“Development is what we do,”
Heneghan said. “This looks like a great
project and I hope something goes
forward. We want a hydrology and
stormwater analysis conducted before
this is rezoned. We want to make sure the
site is taking care of water coming off and
retention ponds are not disturbing the flow
of water.”
Enrique Bascunana, director of
Doraville’s community development,
said the opposing statements were
false and would be addressed when the
construction process begins. He also said
requiring a stormwater analysis before
zoning is granted is unheard of and unfair
to the developer.
“Those are not zoning issues,”
Bascunana said. “This is not a land use
issue. That is covered by other sections of
the city code. We have a building permit
process and codes in place to address
those issues. If this were to pass, the
developer would roll up his sleeves and
start the engineering process and focus
on those issues then.”
Developer Kenneth Woods said the
75-foot buffer would not be violated when
construction begins. Woods also said a
hydrology study would be completed as
part of the engineering process.
Carver representatives Pete Scott,

See Carver Hills on Page 15A

Betty Maddox, who created the civic organization Grieving Relative
In Every Violent Event, stands near the corner where Kearia Palmer
was shot. Photos by Horace Holloman

A memorial for 15-year-old Kearia Palmer near the apartment
complex where she once lived.

Palmer Continued From Page 9A
disconnection in the spiritual realm. We as Christians,
Muslims, Jews, we have to come together and find
solutions. If there’s a problem then there’s a solution to
that problem. I’ve been on a mission for 23 years and it
compels me to be there for that other mother.”
Maddox, who spent time working as a crime scene
investigator with the DCPD, said it’s time for the
community to take a stand against gun violence and start
to speak out.
“People don’t understand until someone has to walk in
that mother’s shoes. We have to bring awareness to the
senseless gun violence that’s being perpetrated in today’s
society,” Maddox said. “This has to stop.”
DCPD said anyone who has information on the
whereabouts of Williams should call Crimestoppers at
(404) 577- TIPS.

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 11

Double-decker bus comes to DeKalb
by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com
MARTA unveiled its doubledecker bus in DeKalb County
recently.
After initial tests in Clayton
County, the two-decker bus was
featured on route 116 in DeKalb.
MARTA officials said the bus may
be considered for future use after
pilot tests with customers.
“People love it,” said MARTA
COO Rich Krisak. “They point at it
when it comes down the street and
they take selfies when it comes.
We had it runing in Clayton County
and they hated to give it up.”
MARTA officials were contacted
by bus manufacturing company
Alexander Dennis at a convention.
The United Kingdom-based
company offered MARTA the bus
and custom wrapped it in MARTA’s
logo.
The double-decker bus seats
nearly 100 passengers, almost
twice the seating capacity of a
standard MARTA bus.
“We really like new technology
and we want to stay in the forefront
for our customers and tailor our
system to reduce operating cost,”
Krisak said.
Krisak said MARTA is working
on diversifying its fleet of vehicles.
In May, MARTA debuted its
“bendy” buses which are equipped
with Wi-Fi and onboard cameras.
MARTA also plans to add
electric buses and 30-foot buses.
“We’re always looking to
diversify our fleet. The one-size-

fits-all bus just isn’t working for us
anymore,” Krisak said. “There’s
a trend to tailor buses to the
environment its running in.”
MARTA bus driver Barnarvis
Haygood said he’s never seen
anything similar to the doubledecker bus in his decade of
experience working for the
company.
Haygood said the bus handles
well, but route times take slightly
longer because of the number of
passengers riding at one time.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea
for MARTA to get this particular

bus. It drives phenomenally; and I
think it’s awesome for the people
because of its riding capacity,”
Haygood said. “Never in my 10
years with MARTA or my 45 years
living in Georgia have I seen
anything like this.”
Haygood said he’s excited
for MARTA’s upcoming fleets and
hopes the double-decker bus will
continue.
“I think it’s great that MARTA
is looking toward the future,”
Haygood said. “It would be really
great to have this type of service
here.”

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The larger double-decker bus
has come with a few setbacks.
Because of its height, certain
routes won’t be suitable, Krisak
said. The buses’ size also makes
parking near platforms difficult.
Typical height for an overpass
is around 10 feet, while the doubledecker bus is 13 feet, 6 inches
high.
“There are some height
restrictions here and there and the
bus platforms aren’t fit for doubledecker buses. We have to be
careful with the routes we put them
on,” Krisak said.

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local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 12

County
attempts
to fill 911
operator
void
by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com

I

t’s not hard for Erica White
to think back to her best day
working as a 911 operator in
DeKalb County.
While White was on the
phone with an elderly woman
calling to report a suspicious man
at her front door, two other men
entered the woman’s home. The
elderly woman hid in her closet
while White stayed on the line to
assure her police were on the way.
DeKalb County 911 operator Tiara Jackson takes calls from the Tucker operating center. Photos by Horace Holloman
When the homeowner was on the
phone with White, a man entered
the closet she was hiding in.
Police arrived in time to
three o’clock,” White said. “If
apprehend all three suspects.
something happens in the county,
White said the experience was truly whether it’s a fire or tree down, you
rewarding.
have so many people calling about
DeKalb County is currently
the same incident. The call volume
searching for more operators such
on the dispatch side alone can be
as White—about 25 more by the
stressful.”
end of the year—said Marshall
As a result of a pay study for
Mooneyham, director of DeKalb
DeKalb County conducted by
County 911.
The Archer Company, police, fire,
Mooneyham said the
911, sanitation and watershed
department has roughly 100
employees received a pay raise.
operators but he would like to see
According to Mooneyham,
that number increase to 125.
entry level 911 operators in DeKalb
Recently the county approved
County will earn an annual salary of
the hiring of 28 operators.
approximately $33,500.
“We’re looking for highly
“The [pay study] absolutely
motivated people. We need people, helps. With that study it helped
but this is not a desperation gig,”
us become competitive again,”
Mooneyham said. “This is a good
Mooneyham said.
job and a very rewarding job.”
Experienced 911 operators
Mooneyham said rigorous
can receive up to $37,000 entering
training and an extensive
DeKalb County, said Mooneyham.
background check can “weed
Tiara Jackson, an 11-year
out” some potential employees.
veteran with DeKalb County 911
The stressful nature of the job
Center, said it took about three
could also affect DeKalb County’s
months of training for her to get
retention rate, Mooneyham said.
comfortable with the system.
“We do 16 weeks of training,
Jackson works in the dispatch
the citizens think that there should
much empty seats right now,”
which is pretty extensive in
division of the department and said
be an officer available every time
Jackson said. “That maybe would
Georgia. We’re always trying to
residents often call the center with
someone calls, but that’s not
put a stop to some of the calls that
improve our answer times and how
non-emergencies which can create
always the case.”
go pending and we could actually
fast we answer the phone. Just
more of a workload for operators.
Due to the high volume of calls
get up and take breaks because
having call takers in the room can
“People think that we don’t
coming into the center, Jackson
we have someone to cover us. It
make a big difference,” Mooneyham do anything. We go off of what
said the staff can’t take regular
would really take off [some of] the
said.
the citizens tell us,” Jackson said.
breaks away from their desk.
workload.”
White, who has worked in
“Sometimes the citizens call with
“There’s not a slow time for
Jackson said that despite the
different departments at the 911
non-emergency issues like asking
DeKalb County. We’re always
workload in DeKalb County, the
center in DeKalb County for five
for directions. You’re pretty much
receiving calls. [Getting more
experience is worth it.
years, said the job can have its
taking up an officer’s time that may
operators] would really help us a
“It’s a great county to work for—
stressful moments.
be dealing with an emergency.
great deal and fill up some of the
one of the busiest—but it’s always
“The workload can be stressful.
“It’s very tough. This is an
empty positions that are pretty
interesting,” Jackson said.
The call volume picks up at about
emergency center and sometimes

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 13

WeeKinPICTURES

Thirteen DeKalb County students were selected to attend a summer program through
21st Century Leaders. The program involved a week-long media focused program at
Georgia Tech from June 19 through June 24.

Officers at the Dunwoody Police Department “judged” a barbecue
competition on Aug. 21 at Dunwoody Baptist Church. Officers also took part
in the event’s softball game.

The Clarkston Community Center hosted a “Seniors on the GO” showcase event on Aug. 18, promoting programs available to seniors in the city.

23

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through your EMMY Award-winning station

DeKalb County Gov
Ustream.tv/channle/DCTV-Channel-23
VISIT US AT WWW.DCTVChannel23.tv

E-mail us at DCTV@DeKalbCountyGA.gov

local

Old office
building
demolished
for future
Emory Sports
Medicine
Complex

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 14

Demolition has begun in preparation for construction of the Emory Sports Medicine Complex.

by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
The old office building
at Executive Park in
Brookhaven has come
down in preparation for
construction of the Emory
Sports Medicine Complex.
Atlanta Hawks
Basketball Club
announced Aug. 18 that
demolition had begun to
prepare the site for the
90,000-square-foot stateof-the-art training and
sports medicine center
that will be used by the
basketball organization.
Emory University
announced in April its
purchase of the Executive
Park property. The 60-acre
property is located near
the North Druid Hills Road
and I-85 interchange.
Emory and the Hawks
will partner to build the
sports medicine complex,
which will be located on
nearly five acres at 22
Executive Park Drive, and
is expected to bring at
least 200 permanent jobs
to the city.
The facility is being
designed by HOK, the
largest U.S.-based
architecture-engineering
firm and second-largest
interior design firm.
Atlanta-based construction
and management firm H.J.
Russell and Company,
as well as Legends
Project Development,
are serving as the project
management team for
the project. Brasfield
snd Gorrie General
Contractors will serve as
construction manager.
The complex is
scheduled to be completed
and open prior to the
2017-18 basketball
season.

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local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 15

carver hills Continued From Page 10A

The Carver Hills development was proposed and deferred at a Doraville city council public hearing
on Aug. 15, drawing a standing-room only crowd. Illustration courtesy of Century Communities LLC.

Maxine McDaniel, William
Bailey and Shari Graham
said the Carver area was
decimated by the I-285
and I-85 interchange. The
group members said they
spoke for residents who
are too old to speak for
themselves—the majority of
the Carver population—and
said it is time for Doraville to
improve a forgotten area.
“What you have here
is a matter dealing with
progress; the council’s job
is to improve the city,” Scott
said. “There will be future
discussions about changes
and what is needed and not
needed but as a council,
think about the contribution
this would make to your
city. You have concerns, but
take care of this matter so
we can move on.”
“This is an all-Black
neighborhood,” McDaniel
said. “We haven’t seen
enough in nine years.
We’ve hurt for nine years.
Most of the homeowners
are old. I’m not sure if
you’re waiting for people
to die to improve the land.
Give them a chance to sell

the land.”
Council member Pam
Fleming said she would
like to see homes in the
area sold, but she and other
members of the council
have not had sufficient time
to review Carver Hills’ site
plan.
“We’ve had exactly
one week from Aug. 15
to look at materials; the
planning commission had
one month,” Fleming said.
“There were changes made
on Aug. 12 that we did not
receive until Aug. 15. I don’t
want to rush things. I would
be remiss, personally with
my integrity, to approve
this.”
Council members
Sharon Spangler, M.D.
Naser, Robert Patrick and
Shannon Hillard agreed
with Fleming.
“We want a good deal
for our future residents and
we need to be rid of future
complaints,” Patrick said.
The Doraville city
council voted 4-1 to defer
the project until their Sept. 6
meeting.

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 16

DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May talks to reporters during a press conference to announce DeKalb County Police Department’s partnership with Dale Carnegie Training
Aug. 18. Far left, Police Chief James Conroy with Dale Carnegie Training president Wendy Johnson and Deputy Chief Operating Officer of Public Safety, Cedric Alexander.
Photo by Horace Holloman

DeKalb County Police Department partners with Dale Carnegie
by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com

T

he DeKalb
County Police
Department (DKPD)
partnered with a
local performance-based
training company as part of
President Barack Obama’s
The President’s Task Force
on 21st Century Policing.
The task force was
created to strengthen
community policing and
create trust among law
enforcement officers.
DKPD held a press
conference Aug. 18 to
announce its partnership
with Dunwoody-based Dale
Carnegie Training.
The company generally
provides services to
business professionals;
however, Dale Carnegie
Training President Wendy
Johnson said special
training sessions were
created for the DKPD.
“Most of the [clients] we
deal with don’t have guns,”
Johnson said, laughing.
“We wanted to create a
program that was designed
to bring leadership skills
for the law enforcement of
DeKalb County. We kept
something important in
mind, which was building
the trust between law
enforcement and the
community.”

The President’s Task
Force on 21st Century
Policing highlights six areas,
or “pillars” of importance,
which includes building
trust and legitimacy, policy
and oversight, technology
and social media,
community policing and
crime reduction, training
and education, and officer
wellness and safety.
DeKalb County Interim
CEO Lee May said “We’re
trying to be proactive when
it comes to investing in
our police officers. We
want to make sure they
have the training and
equipment necessary to be
successful.”
Recently, the
DeKalb County Board of
Commissioners approved
a $738,000 contract with
Decatur-based technology
company Utility Inc.
to purchase 600 body
cameras for all uniformed
officers.
The cameras have a
“self-record” system that
turns on when officers
increase their rate of
speed and also sends
out automatic alerts in an
“officer-down” scenario.
The training with Dale
Carnegie lasted roughly two
days and was broken into
nine sessions, according to
Johnson.
Johnson said the

company plans to revisit
with the department to
“touch up” and make sure
they are implementing the
proper communication
skills.
DKPD Chief James
Conroy said the
department’s willingness
to cooperate with 21st
century policing initiatives
is why DeKalb County
hasn’t received significant
backlash from the
community.
“As you watch the news

you see events all across
the country with riots and
we haven’t experienced that
here in DeKalb County,”
Conroy said. “We’ve
had some controversial
incidents. When we have a
controversial incident, we
accept responsibility and
take appropriate action.
I think doing that is what
helps our [relationship] with
the community.”
Conroy said he’s
excited for the department
to receive body cameras.

Sienna (ID# 31205966) is a cheerful two year old girl who
loves to play, stick close to your side, and wants nothing more
than to be your best friend. She weighs about 40 pounds,
loves treats, and gets along great with other dogs.
If you would like to expand your family by 4
furry little feet; come meet Sienna at the DeKalb
Animal Shelter. If you adopt any dog over 25 lbs.
or any cat during August you’ll pay only $10 during
our “Tail End of Summer” special; which includes
spay/neuter, vaccinations and microchip at no
additional charge. If you would like more
information about Sienna please email
adoption@dekalbanimalservices.com or call
(404) 294-2165. All potential adopters will
be screened to ensure Sienna goes to a good
home.

Deputy Chief Operating
Officer of Public Safety
Cedric Alexander was
selected by Obama to
participate in the task
force. Alexander said the
partnership between the
police department and Dale
Carnegie Training is a step
in the right direction.
“The more transparent
we are, the more the
community feels a sense
that we’re connected,”
Alexander said.

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 17

DeKalb County man seeks presidential office
by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com
A DeKalb County man has
decided to throw his hat in the ring
for president of the United States
of America.
Marc Alan Urbach completed
the necessary paperwork to be
considered as a write-in candidate
for presidential office during the
upcoming election.
Urbach, who said he voted
Republican in previous years, said
he could no longer sit back and do
nothing.
“If [Hillary Clinton] and
[Donald Trump] are running and
this is all we have to vote on, why
don’t I give it a shot,” Urbach said.
Urbach, who has a
background in education, said
he began doing speaking
engagements for Tea Party
groups about two years ago.
Urbach spoke to groups such
as the Lanier Tea Party Patriots,
Forsyth County Tea Party, John
Birch Society, United Tea Party

of Georgia, Habersham County
Tea Party and Tea Party of Gilmer
County.
In the past two years, Urbach
said, people have urged him to
run for senator. However, Urbach
said numbers support making an
impact as a third party candidate.
“I’ve talked with so many
people the last two years and they
are so upset with both parties.
Both parties have greatly failed
them,” Urbach said. “I read a poll
that said 58 percent of people are
looking for a third party candidate.
I feel the same way. I’m upset
too.”
Urbach said he was inspired
by the nation’s Founding Fathers
in his presidential campaign and
plans to encourage citizens to
restore religious freedoms into the
schools.
As president, Urbach said he
will repeal Obamacare, create a
simple flat tax or fair tax system
and suspend 90 percent of
immigration.
“I believe in the Constitution; I

believe all Americans can achieve
great things and I believe in my
oath to this country. We have
approximately 85 million out of the
labor force and 48 million on food
stamps. I just can’t see bringing in
x number of immigrants,” Urbach
said. “We have to protect our
people and protect our country. I
will do everything in my power to
deport all criminal illegal aliens.”
The biggest hurdle for Urbach
has been getting the attention
of media outlets, he said.
Regardless, Urbach said he still
wants to run and if elected he
wants to restore the country to its
founding principles.
In a statement on his
website, Urbach said “In the
spirit of Thomas Jefferson, ‘we
are all Republicans, we are all
Federalists.’ Republicans drop
your ‘r’ and put an ‘a.’ Democrats,
drop your ‘d’ and put an ‘a.’
Independents, drop your ‘I’ and
put an ‘a.’All Americans put an
‘a’ in front of your name, we are
Americans.”

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

Marc Alan Urbach

The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on Thursday, September 15, 2016, at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA 30341 at 6:00
p.m. to receive public comments regarding the following matters:
Stein Investment Co., LLC requests approval of a Development of Community Impact in accordance with City of Chamblee Ordinances, Appendix A, Unified Development Ordinance, Section 280-6 for the
purpose of constructing a climate-controlled self-storage facility with commercial office space at 3693 Clairmont Rd., 1959 and 1965 Bragg St., being DeKalb County Tax Parcels #18-244-04-004, 18-244-04005, and 18-244-04-006 and zoned Corridor Commercial.
Apollo Sign and Lighting requests approval of a variance from Sec. 260-260-6(b)(2)a. of the City of Chamblee Code of Ordinances, Appendix A, Unified Development Ordinance that limits properties
occupied by a single business to one principal building sign on each street frontage with a curb cut, so as to allow an additional sign on the northwest face of the building where there is no curb cut on
property located at 5000 Peachtree Boulevard, being DeKalb County Tax Parcel ID 18-300-00-001, zoned Corridor Commercial.
Curry Honda, c/o Laurel David requests approval of a stream buffer variance in accordance with Sec. 310-19 of the City of Chamblee Code of Ordinances, Appendix A, Unified Development Ordinance for
properties located at 5525 and 5547 Peachtree Boulevard, being DeKalb County Tax Parcel IDs 18-308-12-017 and 18-308-12-014 and zoned Corridor Commercial.
Curry Honda, c/o Laurel David requests approval of variances from the following provisions of the City of Chamblee Code of Ordinances, Appendix A, Unified Development Ordinance for property located
at 5547 Peachtree Boulevard, being DeKalb County Tax Parcel ID #18-308-12-014 and zoned Corridor Commercial:
•Sec. 230-30(b)(1) that requires the first floor of a building fronting a Storefront Street to have a minimum floor-to-ceiling height of 18 feet.
•Sec. 230-28 that prohibits an exterior wall of a building façade to have the appearance of a metal building and requires such walls to be architecturally designed to have the appearance of brick,
glass, wood, stucco, or stone.
•Sec. 320-39(a)(1) that requires nonresidential sites to supplement plantings where tree replacement is necessary to meet the minimum tree density standard of 100 inches DBH per acre.
•Sec. 250-7(b)(5), Sec. 300-17(a)(7), and Sec. 350-2(c) that require interparcel driveway connections be provided for all adjacent properties having commercial, office or multifamily uses.
•Sec.350-2(a)(1)e. that prohibits driveways located between the sidewalk and a building, and requires that such driveways shall be perpendicular to any adjacent street.
C&G Property Holdings requests approval of variances from the following provisions of the City of Chamblee Code of Ordinances, Appendix A, Unified Development Ordinance for property located at 5404
Peachtree Road and 3476 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, being DeKalb County Tax Parcel IDs #18-299-16-056 and 18-299-16-057, respectively, consisting of 0.72 acres and zoned Village Commercial:
•Sec. 230-2(a) “Space Dimensions Table” that limits impervious surface in the Village Commercial zoning district to a maximum of 80 percent.
•Sec. 230-5(b) “Street Type Dimensions Table” that requires a minimum sidewalk width of 8 ft.
•Sec. 230-27(c)(1)a. that requires a landscape strip with a minimum width of 7 ft. adjacent to the street curb.
•Sec. 230-13 that requires that the side setback of a corner lot be 2/3 of the front yard setback for that street (15 ft. on American Industrial Way).
•Sec. 230-30(b)(1) that requires the first floor of a building fronting a Storefront Street to have a minimum floor-to-ceiling height of 18 feet.
•Sec. 240-13(a)(1)a. that requires each lot in a single-family attached development to have a minimum lot width of 20 feet.
•Sec. 240-13(a)(1)b. that requires each lot in a single-family attached development to have a minimum lot area of 1,600 square feet.
•Sec. 240-13(a)(1)d. that requires each lot in a single-family attached development to have a minimum of 200 square feet of private space.
•Sec. 240-13(a)(1)g. that limits the length of a building in a single-family attached development to a maximum of 8 attached dwelling units or 200 ft. whichever is less.
•Sec. 240-13(a)(1)j. that requires townhouse buildings to include a continuous 5 ft. wide sidewalk connecting front entrances of all dwellings.
•Sec. 240-13(a)(1)n. that requires townhouse facades to be separated by at least 40 ft.
•Sec. 230-29(d) that requires buildings with more than four residential units at the street level shall have front-facing entrances that are directly connected to the public sidewalk with a pedestrian
walkway that is perpendicular to the street and a maximum of five feet wide.
The City of Chamblee Mayor and Council propose to amend the Future Development Map of the City of Chamblee Comprehensive Plan by changing the character area designation of the following parcels
from “3 – Motor Mile” to “5- Central Gateway”:
18 300 08 001 215 MARRAY DR
18 300 08 016 200 MARRAY DR
18 308 11 001 3695 LONGVIEW DR
18 300 08 002 5208 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 08 017 206 MARRAY DR
18 308 11 002 5578 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 08 003 5220 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 08 018 212 MARRAY DR
18 308 11 003 5588 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 08 005 5214 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 08 019 230 MARRAY DR
18 308 11 005 3715 LONGVIEW DR
18 300 08 007 3445 SEXTON WOODS DR
18 300 10 010 5162 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 11 007 5594 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 08 008 205 MARRAY DR
18 300 10 011 5158 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 309 01 002 5600 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 08 009 180 MARRAY DR
18 300 10 012 5154 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 299 01 001 5270 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 08 015 3455 SEXTON WOODS DR
18 300 10 014 5130 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 299 01 002 5260 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 10 048 5180 PEACHTREE BLVD
The City of Chamblee Mayor and Council propose to amend the Official Zoning Map of the City of Chamblee in accordance with City of Chamblee Code of Ordinances, Sec. 280-2 of Appendix A, the Unified
Development Ordinance by changing the zoning of the following parcels from Corridor Commercial (CC) to Village Commercial (VC):
Tax Parcel ID
Site Address
Tax Parcel ID
Site Address
Tax Parcel ID
Site Address
18 299 01 001
5270 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 10 014
5130 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 11 005
3715 LONGVIEW DR
18 299 01 002
5260 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 10 048
5180 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 11 007
5594 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 299 01 003
5280 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 02 030
5300 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 13 002
3618 CHAMBLEE DUNWOODY RD
18 299 01 004
5290 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 05 008
5544 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 13 003
3614 CHAMBLEE DUNWOODY RD
18 300 08 001
215 MARRAY DR
18 308 05 010
3655 CHAMBLEE DUNWOODY RD
18 308 13 004
5388 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 08 002
5208 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 05 024
3699 CHAMBLEE DUNWOODY RD
18 308 13 005
5360 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 08 003
5220 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 05 025
3667 CHAMBLEE DUNWOODY RD
18 308 13 008
5370 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 08 005
5214 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 05 027
3695 CHAMBLEE DUNWOODY RD
18 308 13 009
3641 PIERCE DR NE
18 300 08 007
3445 SEXTON WOODS DR
18 308 05 028
3665 CHAMBLEE DUNWOODY RD
18 308 13 010
3643 PIERCE DR
18 300 08 008
205 MARRAY DR
18 308 05 029
5560 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 14 001
3645 CHAMBLEE DUNWOODY RD
18 300 08 009
180 MARRAY DR
18 308 05 031
5556 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 14 002
5410 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 08 015
3455 SEXTON WOODS DR
18 308 05 033
3685 CHAMBLEE DUNWOODY RD
18 308 14 004
5404 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 08 016
200 MARRAY DR
18 308 05 035
5516 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 14 005
5442 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 300 08 017
206 MARRAY DR
18 308 05 037
5468 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 14 006
3689 IVY LN
18 300 08 018
212 MARRAY DR
18 308 05 038
5450 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 14 007
3633 CHAMBLEE DUNWOODY RD
18 300 08 019
230 MARRAY DR
18 308 05 039
5558 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 14 008
3625 CHAMBLEE DUNWOODY RD
18 300 10 010
5162 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 14 009
5420 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 11 001
3695 LONGVIEW DR
18 300 10 011
5158 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 11 002
5578 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 19 001
3640 CHAMBLEE DUNWOODY RD
18 300 10 012
5154 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 11 003
5588 PEACHTREE BLVD
18 308 19 002
3652 CHAMBLEE DUNWOODY RD

education

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 18

District playing catch-up on school maintenance
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
On Aug. 1, a DeKalb County
School District (DCSD) parent did
what he has done many times
in many past public discussions:
voice his frustrations over a lack of
school maintenance.
“The Midvale Elementary School
council was told there is no money
in this year’s budget to do required
repairs at the facility,” said Kirk
Lunde. “The sidewalks and parking
lot were identified in a facility
condition assessment as potentially
dangerous and needing repair. This
was the same finding five years
ago. Nothing was done.”
Lunde also mentioned a leaking
roof, faulty flooring and bad
plumbing among his concerns for
the Tucker school, which was built
in the 1960s.
“When it rains, there is water
running in the hallways in the
basement,” Lunde said. “No one
seems willing to address that.”
Lunde was not the only member
of the public to voice maintenance
concerns Aug. 1. Kervin Parker,
a representative from Stone
Mountain High School, said
promises to fix the school have yet
to be kept despite several public
town hall meetings.
“It was brought to [the
community’s] attention that Stone
Mountain [High School] would
receive special attention to get to
the level it needs to be—none of
that has come true,” Parker said.
“I’m concerned about the students.”
Parker said the school’s basic
issues such as air conditioning
and outdoor lighting have not
been addressed despite formal
complaints by parents, teachers
and staff members. He said he
knows several families that have
moved out of the area because of
the facility’s façade alone.
“There hasn’t been a remodel
or renovation since the school was
built in the 1970s,” Parker said.
“When people see this school on
the internet, many people don’t
want their kids to attend Stone
Mountain [High School] simply
because of the way the school
presents itself. The school is in
desperate need of help.”
Parker said he saw science
textbooks from 1986 on his last
visit to the school.
“My sons have attended
Stone Mountain [High School]
for nine years now and nothing
has changed,” Parker said. “It’s
disheartening. I plead to make
Stone Mountain High School a
priority.”
According to the district’s official
E-SPLOST IV timeline, Stone
Mountain High School is set to
receive renovation in February

Pictures from Cross Keys High School in early August illustrate the need for maintenance across DeKalb County School
District. Photos submitted.

2017 for an estimated $5.9 million.
Midvale Elementary may or may
not be among 21 capital renewal
projects scheduled in the latter half
of 2016.
Lunde also questioned an
item presented in the June
financial report for 2016, which
lists approximately $56.6 million
budgeted for maintenance and
operations but shows only $52.6
has been million spent.
“That’s $3.9 million below the
budgeted amount,” Lunde said.
“Why wasn’t there any money
budgeted for [schools?] It doesn’t
make sense to me.”
According to DCSD chief
communications officer Quinn
Hudson, there’s a simple answer.
“The June financial report is a
snapshot of the record expenses
through June 30, 2016,” Hudson
said. “It does not include accruals
for July and August, which will
increase the total maintenance
expenses for fiscal year 2016.
For example, as of Aug. 9, 2016,
$53.7 million of the $56.5 million
budgeted has been recorded.
Within this $2.8 million variance,
only $1.5 million is related to
actual building maintenance and
the remaining value is associated
with salaries, insurance, supplies,
telecommunications, travel, utilities,
etc.”
Hudson said DCSD has
struggled to keep up with

maintenance since the workforce
was reduced by 52 percent in 2012
due to budget cuts. Hudson said an
estimated $1 billion is needed for
deferred maintenance, according
to a 2015 facilities condition
assessment.
“The district’s gross square
footage per maintenance increased
drastically and our service levels
substantially declined to a Level
5 (crisis response) standard as
defined by the Association of
Physical Plant Administrators
(APPA) for educational facilities,”
Hudson said.
Hudson said the district receives
1,700 work orders per month and
is able to complete an estimated
1,300. He said approximately 105
full-time equivalent employees
cover more than 14.8 million gross
square feet of building space.
Hudson referenced the board of
education’s approval of outsourcing
facilities maintenance services for
$8.8 million on Aug. 1 as a possible
improvement.
“The purpose of this [measure]
is to procure a qualified vendor to
supplement the District’s existing
facility maintenance staff,” Hudson
said.
DCSD receives funding through
E-SPLOST referendums but
the money cannot be used for
maintenance and operations under
Georgia law.
“The district’s E-SPLOST is

a significant funding source for
capital improvements (e.g. new
construction, facility improvements,
technology upgrades, etc.)
which can only be used for
educational purposes,” Hudson
said. “Thus, facility ‘renovations’ or
improvements are not synonymous
with ‘repairs’ or ‘maintenance.’”

education

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 19

City Schools of Decatur officials said overcapacity reports at 4/5 Academy and Winnona Park elementary schools, among others, only account for brick and mortar.

City Schools of Decatur disputes overcapacity report
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
A recent article
published by the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution on
City Schools of Decatur
(CSD) capacity levels is
misleading, according to
district officials.
Bill Banks, a reporter
for the Atlanta JournalConstitution, stated in
an Aug. 16 article that
Westchester, Oakhurst,
Winnona Park, 4/5
Academy elementary
schools and Renfroe Middle
School are over capacity.
Banks also reported
the other three district
schools—Clairemont
Elementary, Glennwood
Elementary and Decatur
High School—are nearing
similar numbers.
During the week of Aug.
15, City Schools of Decatur
(CSD) superintendent
David Dude calculated the
number of students versus
space available at each of
the eight district schools.
The space available
(capacity) includes not
only classroom space
but space in science and
computer labs, performance
and practice rooms,
gymnasiums and portable
classrooms.
While the numbers do
suggest district schools are
over capacity, according
to Noel Maloof, chief
operating officer for CSD,

they do not take into
account temporary or
modular classrooms.
“The capacity numbers
used were not reflective of
what we use as capacity
numbers,” Maloof said.
“It looks a little skewed,
but we don’t think it was
intentionally misleading.
That’s our brick and mortar
capacity.”
The list states
Westchester Elementary’s
capacity is 272 with an
enrollment of 290 students;
Oakhurst Elementary’s
capacity as 418 with an
enrollment of 458; and
Renfroe Middle School’s
capacity is 1,112 and
enrollment is 1,120.
Two of CSD’s schools
seem to have received the
most enrollment so far this
year, the report appears to
indicate. 4/5 Academy is
219 students over capacity,
as Dude lists its threshold
as 661 and enrollment
as 880. Winnona Park
Elementary is 137 over
capacity with a threshold of
293 and enrollment of 430.
The other three
schools are not far behind.
According to Dude’s list,
Clairemont Elementary’s
capacity is 334 with
320 enrolled students;
Glennwood Elementary’s
capacity is 293 with an
enrollment of 285; and
Decatur High School’s
capacity is 1,254 with an
enrollment of 1,248.

The numbers compiled
by Dude are preliminary to
an official number that will
be submitted in October to
the Georgia Department of
Education. Maloof said a
plan addressing capacity is
in place until the 2020-2021
school year and there is
plenty of room for current
and incoming students in the
district.
“Capacity is an everevolving process,” Maloof
said. “Making projections
at CSD is difficult because
our community doesn’t
follow the normal patterns
of growth. Many folks move
in and don’t follow the
typical ebb and flow of other
communities. We stay on
top of it heavily and we have
some of the lowest class
sizes in Georgia.”
Maloof said CSD’s

construction projects at
Renfroe Middle School and
Decatur High School will
address capacity issues on a
long-term level. He said the
district is considering options
to address capacity at the
elementary school level.
“We’re working with
advisory groups to finetune what we’ll do at the
elementary level—that
doesn’t mean we’re building
a new school,” Maloof said.
CSD closed on a $4.9
million real estate deal in
June along Talley Street
and South Columbia Drive.
Whether a new school will
be built—and for what grade
level—has not been publicly
announced.
Maloof said he could
not comment on the Talley
Street and South Columbia
property or what it will be

used for.
“Before we put a shovel
in the ground, we’re making
sure it’s exactly where we
want it to be,” Maloof said.
“All of our projects right
now are on time, on budget
and exactly what we have
planned from the get-go.”
According to CSD’s
resolutions to purchase the
property, the deal was made
because “the property is
necessary for public school
purposes,” which may or
may not include a new
school.
Last year, former CSD
superintendent Phyllis
Edwards said the district
will need two new schools
before the 2018-2019 school
year. These include a K-3
facility as well as a fourthand fifth-grade facility.

Did you know?

Nationally, about 1 in 3 young people age 15-20 years have been a passenger in
a car with a drinking driver at least once in the past year.
One in 4 youth are willing to ride with a driver who has been drinking.
Three percent of young people have ridden with a drinking driver 10 or more times in
the past year.
Source: MADD
The Good News for DeKalb County’s young people age 18-25 that participated in a
focus group on heavy and binge drinking stated that 55% of them did not have an
alcoholic beverage in the past 30 days, and that 1/3
of them avoid alcohol when they are around it, and
statistics show that over 30% of young adults in major
towns in DeKalb County are not drinkers.
Be safe DeKalb!

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

business

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 20

Real estate market on upturn after recession

by Kathy Mitchell

Diane McLaughlin has
been in the real estate business
approximately 10 years and has
seen the market take nearly every
possible twist and turn.
Now a broker with Better
Homes and Gardens Real Estate
Metro Brokers who handles
mostly DeKalb County residential
properties, McLaughlin said she is
glad she stayed with her chosen
profession through difficult times.
“In 2006 I was working as
graphic designer for a publishing
company, but with so many
computer design programs
coming on the market there was
less demand for the work I was
doing. I started to look around
for another possible career. One
of my company’s clients was a
real estate company and there
appeared to be lots going on there.
The top producers appeared to be
earning good salaries and I knew
I had the energy and drive to be
a top producer. I decided to get
my license and go into real estate
sales,” McLaughlin said.
She now realizes that she

chose to start a career in real
estate just as a major nationwide
recession—one in which the
real estate market would suffer
greatly—was about to hit. “Housing
developments under construction
were abandoned without being
finished. Foreclosures were coming
in record numbers. People were
being laid off and couldn’t pay their
mortgages and couldn’t sell their
homes. Almost every transaction I
was involved in was a short sale,”
McLaughlin recalled.
A short sale is a real estate
transaction in which property is sold
for less than is owed on it. Often
the lender agrees to accept less
than is owed rather than allowing
the property to go into foreclosure.
“Short sales typically take longer—
I’ve had them take up to a year—
are a lot of work and, of course, are
less profitable for the agent,” she
explained.
McLaughlin said in retrospect,
the difficult time she had early in
her real estate career provided a
valuable learning experience. “I
had to work with many complicated
situations so I learned to do almost
anything that’s likely to come up in

this business,” she said.
Now, McLaughlin said, the
housing market is much better.
Before the recession, many
developers were building large
houses—some nicknamed them
“McMansions”—on relatively small
lots, she recalled. These were
difficult to sell during a recession
because few middle income
families could afford them and the
utility bills that come with them.
“Today, developers are building
more homes that are a good
size for first-time buyers or small
families. These are affordable and
selling very well,” McLaughlin said.
“The buyer can get good square
footage for the money, but doesn’t
have to take more than the family
needs.” She said many baby
boomers are now retired empty
nesters and need smaller homes—
usually ranch style homes with no
stairs.
Now is a good time for those
interested in selling a house,
McLaughlin said. “When you make
an offer on a home, there may be
17 other offers on the same home
and the seller is going to go with
the best one. Your client may not

be able to match the top offer. It’s
always disappointing to have to
tell a client that the house he really
likes is going to someone else and
he has to start over.”
McLaughlin said working with
people and trying to help make their
dreams come true is a reason she
is glad she stayed in real estate. “A
good real estate person isn’t just
chasing the next commission. It’s
important to care about people and
want to help them find what’s really
right for them,” she said, adding
that pleasing clients pays off in the
long run.
“When clients are happy with
your services they refer other
people to you. I recently had a
very small sale that I didn’t make
much commission on, but the client
had a friend who wanted a larger
home and he referred her to me,”
McLaughlin recalled.
Although the current real estate
landscape reflects a seller’s market,
there is good news for buyers, too,
McLaughlin said. “Interest rates are
still low so now is a good time to
buy a house.”

Classified

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 21

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spoRts

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 22

Tucker played in its third consecutive Corky Kell Classic.

Tucker falls to Kell in Corky Kell Classic

by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

The Tucker Tigers had their third
consecutive disappointing loss in the
Corky Kell Classic after falling to the
Kell Longhorns 20-13 on Aug. 20 at the
Georgia Dome.
The Tigers made an effort to tie the
game with the clock winding down. With
1:30 left to play, a missed field goal by
Kell gave the Tigers the ball at their 20
yard line. The Tigers quickly marched
down the field with quarterback Xavier
Shephard finding wide receiver Joshua
Vann multiple times near the sideline.
Tucker got to the 22 yard line with
57 seconds left to play when a Kell
defender sacked Shephard, causing
him to fumble. Kell recovered the ball,
ending the game.
Tucker got off to a rough start on
defense. Kell’s first play of the game
resulted in a 66-yard touchdown run by

quarterback John Lampley, giving the
Longhorns a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers responded later in the
quarter on a 20-yard touchdown pass
from Shephard to Vann. A missed extra
point left the score at 7-6.
Kell added to its lead in the second
quarter on a 40-yard field goal by
kicker Connor Mendelson. Tucker
took the lead a minute later on a 54yard touchdown pass from Shephard to
Vann, giving the Tigers a 13-10 lead.
Kell tied the score before halftime on
a 30-yard field goal by Mendelson.
In the third quarter, a missed tackle
by a Tucker defender led to a 79-yard
touchdown pass from Lampley to Josh
Blancato, giving Kell a 20-13 lead.
Tucker had multiple opportunities to
score throughout the remainder of the
game, but could not capitalize. Tucker
(0-1) will try to get its first win of the
season Aug. 26 against Lakeside (1-0)
at Adams Stadium.

Tucker quarterback Xavier Shephard throws a pass as Kell defensive end
Kendall Bailey tries to sack him.

Week One Football Score
Aug. 18
Forest Park (1-0) 6, Towers (0-1) 2
Aug. 19
Druid Hills (1-0) 14, Chamblee (0-1) 13
M.L. King (1-0) 14, Columbia (0-1) 3
Cedar Grove (1-0) 34, Stephenson (0-1) 23
Arabia Mountain (1-0) 50, Stone Mountain (0-1) 0
Miller Grove (1-0) 65, Clarkston (0-1) 0
Carver-Atlanta (1-0) 41, Lithonia (0-1) 7
Lakeside (1-0) 36, Dunwoody (0-1) 22
Aug. 20
Kell (1-0) 20, Tucker (0-1) 13
SW DeKalb (1-0) 22, Redan (0-1) 12
Open: Cross Keys (0-0), McNair (0-0)

Tucker running back David Davis looks for running room. Photos courtesy of Dave Williamson Photography

sports

Cedar Grove linebacker Jenard Morris (13)
returns an interception for a touchdown.

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 23

Cedar Grove’s Tre’ Shaw avoids a tackle as he runs down
field.

Cedar Grove wide receiver Jadon Haselwood catches a
touchdown pass.

Cedar Grove rolls past Stephenson
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

T

he Cedar Grove Saints are
on a mission to win their first
football state title this season
as they began the season with a
34-23 win over the Stephenson
Jaguars on Aug. 19 at Hallford
Stadium.
The Saints’ offense got off to a
slow start in their first possession.
A fumble by running back Rashad
Preston led to a scoop and score
by Stephenson defensive back
Carlito Gonzalez, giving the
Jaguars a 6-0 lead.
With 50 seconds left in the first
quarter, Cedar Grove found the
end zone on a 10-yard rushing
touchdown by Tre’ Shaw. The
made extra point gave the Saints a
7-6 lead.
The Saints’ defense got a
touchdown of their own after
linebacker Jenard Morris picked
off Stephenson quarterback D’vonn
Gibbons and returned it for a
touchdown, extending the score to
14-6.
Stephenson cut the Saints’ lead
to 14-9 with 1:32 left in the second
quarter after a field goal by Darien
Tisdale. Cedar Grove responded
before halftime with a 5-yard
touchdown pass from quarterback
Jelani Woods to wide receiver
Jadon Haselwood. A blocked extra
point kept the score at 20-9.
Cedar Grove coach Jermaine
Smith said he was happy with how
his team continued to play after the
turnover.
“When things went wrong we
didn’t put our heads down,” Smith
said. “We made a lot of mistakes
though, a lot of mistakes that we
have to fix. But I like the effort and
I liked the way they bounced back

when they made a mistake.”
Cedar Grove owned the third
quarter with two trips to the end
zone. Woods hit wide receiver
Israel Spivey on a short pass and
Spivey ran 14 yard to the end zone.
Woods would then scramble his
way to the end zone on the 2-point
conversion to give Cedar Grove a
28-9 lead.
Preston redeemed himself from
his first quarter fumble with a 7-yard
rushing touchdown. A missed extra
point left the score at 34-9.
Stephenson’s offense couldn’t
get anything going until the fourth
quarter with the majority of the
Saints’ starters on the bench.
Gibbons scored on a
quarterback sneak, bringing the
score to 34-15. The Saints gave
Stephenson two points after Cedar
Grove, deep in its own end zone,
decided to run the punter out of the
back of the end zone for a safety.
With 22 seconds left to play,
running back Jaylen MarsonKnight scored from three yards out,
bringing the final score to 34-23.
Smith said his team has to
clean up some mistakes before the
next game, including eliminating
turnovers.
“I hate turning the ball over, but
we’ll fix it,” Smith said. “It is the first
game that we’ve really had contact.
We didn’t have a scrimmage
[game]. The guys didn’t get a
lot of chances to hit each other
in practice. I do a lot of hitting in
practice [to avoid] hurting the guys.
So that was the first time they had
live action against somebody else.”
Cedar Grove (1-0) will take
on Southwest DeKalb Aug. 26 at
Godfrey Stadium. Stephenson (01) will try to bounce back against
Gwinnett County’s Mill Creek (1-0)
on Aug. 26.

Cedar Grove wide receiver Dennis Bell (14) catches a jump ball over Stephenson
defensive back Hassan Littles. Photos by Travis Hudgons

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, August 26, 2016 • Page 24

Doraville begins Flowers Park renovation
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

Doraville City Council began
the process of renovating a
downtown park on Aug. 15.
Flowers Park—located
between Buford Highway and
New Peachtree Road—is set to
receive $1.7 million in renovation
and stormwater repairs following
approval by city officials.
“The Flowers Park project
has been discussed for several
years,” states the project’s agenda
item prepared by Rip Robertson,
Doraville’s parks and recreation
director. “The park renovations
will aid in the city’s desire to
add amenities to the community
pool and make this area a family
destination.”
Park renovations will include
the removal of baseball fields,
rebuilding a retaining wall, a
playground, picnic areas, a pool
area, clubhouse and restrooms.
Integrated Construction and
Nobility, based in Whitesburg,
Ga., was awarded the $1.7
million contract. The company’s
experience includes building
multimillion park projects in Wild

Doraville approved $1.7 million in renovations and stormwater repairs for Flowers
Park at its Aug. 15 meeting.

Horse Creek, Kenworth Park and
Fair Oaks Park.
The $1.7 million will also cover
stormwater repairs needed in the

area, according to city manager
Shawn Gillen.
“We have massive flooding and
erosion issues in the [Northwoods

neighborhood]; we want to take
care of that. We have to build a
retaining wall; we want to take care
of that and we want to do it right.
We have one bite on this apple
and we don’t want to come back
and pick it up,” Gillen said.
Funds for renovation will be
supplied from the city’s stormwater,
capital and home option sales
tax (HOST) fund, and a $300,000
grant.
According to Doraville’s
website, Flowers Park was
approved for a Community
Development Block Grant in
2015 to improve the pool and
park area “with respect to
functionality, aesthetics, pedestrian
infrastructure, stormwater
infrastructure and landscaping.”
The website states the park
will eventually connect to a new
city government facility, transitoriented development and more
greenspace through a planned
town square.
“Once you clear everything
away, [Flowers Park] looks like
a great central park in our city,”
Gillen said. “These renovations
mark the beginning of redeveloping
downtown Doraville.”

It’s a

to be on your
list today.