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the DeKalb

FRIDAY, november 4, 2016 • VOL. 19, NO. 30 • 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 •

Church looks to the
heavens to meet financial,
scriptural objectives
by Kathy Mitchell

B

y installing solar panels on the
church’s roof, St.
Timothy’s Episcopal
Church in Decatur is responding to a financial
need as well as to a biblical mandate to care for
others, according to Pastor Daniel Dice.
“Stewardship of the
Earth’s resources is our
responsibility,” Dice said.
“How we use our energy resources and care
for the environment affects our most venerable
populations—low income
people, children, older
people—even more than
it affects the rest of us.”
The church is taking
advantage of a federal
program, Advanced Solar
Initiative, that encourages the use of alternative energy sources. “We
would not have been
able to afford to install
the panels on our own,”
Dice explained. Working
with Decatur-based Georgia Interfaith Power and
Light, the church was able
to partner with a for-profit
solar energy company,
which benefits from federal tax provisions. The
company installed solar
panels valued at approximately $200,000 at no
cost to the church.
Dice said officials at St.
Timothy’s began in 2013
discussing with Georgia

Interfaith Power and Light
representatives—whom
he described as “awesome”—the possibilities
of solar panels for the
church.
“The panels went into
service on Easter Sunday
2015. Our benefits started
right away,” he said.
Georgia Interfaith
Power and Light is a
nonprofit that, according
to its website, “engages
communities of faith in
stewardship of creation as
a direct expression of our
faithfulness and as a religious response to global
climate change, resource
depletion, environmental
injustice, pollution, and
other disruptions in creation.”
In Georgia, “approximately 63 percent of our
electricity is generated
by coal-burning power
plants. Unfortunately, both
the mining and burning
of coal has devastating
impacts on creation,” according to the website.
“The church doesn’t
use the energy captured
by the solar panels. It is
sold to Georgia Power,”
Dice explained. Under a
long-term contract, the
church’s for-profit partner owns the panels and
rents the roof space from
St. Timothy’s. At the end
of the contract, ownership
of the solar panels, which
have a life expectancy of
20 to 21 years, will pass

See Solar on Page 5

championnewspaper

Church and community members gather to celebrate the installation of solar panels at St. Timothy’s
Episcopal Church.

Members support Pastor Daniel Dice, center, in the decision to have solar panels placed on the
church’s roof.

championnews

championnewsPaper

championnews

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 2

Avondale Estates considers changes to park and lake restrictions
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
The Avondale Estates Board of
Mayor and Commissioners had its
first read Oct. 24 of an ordinance
that would remove language that
limits use of the city’s park and lake
to residents.
At the Sept. 21 work session,
the board requested the city staff
and attorney review removing the
deed restrictions, incorporated in
a chapter of the zoning ordinance,
which allow only residents, their
children and guests to use Lake
Avondale and Willis Park and the
playground.
The current ordinance states
that George Francis Willis, who
founded the city, deeded certain
property to the city on Aug. 16,
1928 “for the exclusive use and
pleasure of the residents of the city,
their children, and guests.”
The rule is also on the signs at
the lake and park. Mayor Jonathan
Elmore said that rule does not
represent the city’s openness.
“I think the feeling is that this
is pretty unwelcoming, possibly
threatening [and] doesn’t really
speak about who we are,” Elmore
said during the Oct. 19 work

Avondale Estates considers changing the language to park and lake restriction
signs.

session. “The restriction itself, [I’m]
not sure why it’s in there, what
it’s for, but it’s most likely legally
unenforceable.”
Elmore said the city has never
enforced the rule on non-residents
at the lake or park who were not
accompanied by an Avondale
Estates resident.
While some residents who
attended the work session
agreed with the board that the

Thursday, November 10, 2016
6:30 P.M. - 8 P.M.
Maloof Auditorium
1300 Commerce Drive
Decatur, GA 30030

“unwelcoming comments” should
be removed, others said the
language should not be changed
because they want to “preserve
history.”
Elmore and the commissioners
disagreed with that stance.
“If we’re not going to enforce
it, then I don’t know why it’s there,”
Elmore said. “It’s not out of a lack of
gratitude. I know for a fact that that
line, that rule, at the park is only

interpreted one way. I don’t think it’s
a part of who we are, I don’t think
it speaks for who we are. If we’re
not going to enforce it [then] why
do we have it? That could get us
in trouble as well. But it’s not out of
any disrespect for what Mr. Willis
did. I think it’s quite the opposite
and I think the last 88 years have
shown that.”
“I don’t like what the sign says,
I don’t like what I think it implies,”
Commissioner Brian Fisher said.
“I think the city is very open and I’ll
like to see that [line] gone.”
“I do respect history, but I also
believe in legacy and the Willis’
family legacy,” Commissioner
Adela Yelton said. “Knowing that,
when we strike these items that
creates a more open, inclusive
community, which we are acting
that way anyway, so why not have
the ordinance reflect that?”
“We don’t want to be noninclusive,” Mayor Pro Tem Terry
Giager said. “I [have to] use my
heart on this and I think we just
need to move forward with this.
Anybody can come in and look at
our website or anything and can
get into different ordinance and see
that [line] and think the wrong thing
about our city.”

Town Hall Meeting:
Water Billing
and Dispute Resolution

DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May will host a community meeting on Thursday, Nov. 10, from 6:30 – 8 p.m.
to address community concerns with high water bills and provide an update on the county’s status in mitigating
those issues. Representatives of the dispute resolution team will be onsite to provide customer assistance with
water bills. The community meeting will be held in Maloof Auditorium, located at 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur,
GA 30030.

IMPORTANT:

If your account is in dispute and you pay your average bill, disregard any disconnection notices. Your
water will not be disconnected under the moratorium.

How do I dispute my bill?
Call Utility Customer Operations at 404-371-3000, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Visit 774 Jordan Lane, Suite 200, Decatur, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Email customerassurance@dekalbcountyga.gov

local

AroundDekalb

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 3

atlanta

Catholic school collecting and donating gift boxes
The Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School—located at 2885
Briarcliff Road, NE—will be spreading Christmas cheer early this year
by collecting and donating gift boxes for children in Haiti, Dominican
Republic and Guatemala.
The local effort is part of a nationwide program organized by
Cross Catholic Outreach. The organization’s goal is to help 20,000
impoverished children.
“At IHM School, we focus on the four pillars of faith, knowledge,
service and integrity,” said Carmen Graciaa, director of faith formation
at Immaculate Heart of Mary. “Through this service project, we can live
our faith as disciples of Jesus in mission to the world. We hope that our
families will acquire knowledge about those living in poverty and also
serve God by serving his children. This is a great way to share the love
of Christ with others in need. We proclaim with our actions what we
proclaim with our words.”
Participants can bring customized boxes filled with a choice of gifts
to the school until Nov. 11. Toys, hygiene items and school supplies
are suggested. A complete suggested gift list can be found at www.
crosscatholic.org/boxofjoy.

chamblee

Online Buford Highway survey available
An online survey is being conducted by the cities of Atlanta,
Chamblee and Doraville in an effort to improve the Buford Highway
corridor.
The survey will be used in the Buford Highway Masterplan, which is
implementing a livable centers initiative grant to improve connectivity,
housing and pedestrian amenities.
The online survey—open to residents, people who work along
Buford Highway and people who visit Buford Highway—asks what
options should be available in terms of infrastructure, housing and
transportation. The survey is available in five languages.
“The future Buford Highway will be a place for children; what would
make Buford Highway a better place for kids?” asks one question.
“The future Buford Highway will be a place for the elderly; what
would make Buford Highway a better place for our parents and
grandparents?” asks another.
The survey is the result of a meeting on Oct. 12 at Canton House,
located at 4825 Buford Highway in Chamblee. To take the online survey,
visit www.buhimasterplan.com

decatur

Lunch and learn focuses on Hungarian Revolution of
1956
DeKalb History Center’s next Lunch and Learn will be presented by
Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, president of Agnes Scott College.
The Kiss family—Sandor, Eva and their two young daughters
Barbara and Agnes—participated in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution
and fled in its aftermath to the United States as refugees. Elizabeth Kiss,
the third Kiss daughter, was born in New York. Drawing on her family’s
story, Kiss will provide a personal look at the Hungarian Revolution of
1956 – why it happened, what it was like for those who experienced it,
and what its legacy has been in Hungary and beyond.
The lunch and learn will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 15 from noon
until 1 p.m. in the Historic DeKalb Courthouse, 101 E. Court Square in
downtown Decatur.

doraville

City launches new Facebook page
The city of Doraville’s social media is now part of Doraville’s Parks
and Recreation Department.
The city’s official Facebook page—featuring all city news, upcoming
events and announcements—can be found at www.facebook.com/
cityofdoraville.
“Our new Facebook page joins other social media outlets, including
Instagram and Twitter to communicate events to citizens and the larger
Atlanta area,” states the city of Doraville website. “These social media
efforts join our existing array of communications including our city
website, quarterly Insight newsletter, various email channels, and press
releases to the media to keep you and the larger Atlanta area informed
on exciting events and developments in Doraville.”
Individuals wishing to relay information to Doraville’s social media
team can contact Tom McDermott at thomas.mcdermott@doravillega.
us or Carlos Reyna at carlos.reyna@doravillega.us.

stone mountain
City to host garden event

Stone Mountain will host a Community Garden Work Day Nov. 12
from 8 to 11 a.m. The Master Gardener Talk will begin at 9 a.m. For
more information, email Columbus Brown at columbushb@me.com.

Tucker

Church to hold candlelight remembrance service
Mount Moriah Baptist Church will hold a candlelight remembrance
service Nov. 12 at 9 a.m. to help people get through the holidays
after losing loved ones. Attendees can remember their loved ones by
adding their name to a scroll that will be shown during the service.
Names and photos of the deceased can be emailed to counseling@
mountmoriahnow.org. A reception will be held after the service. The
church is located at 1983 Brockett Road in Tucker. To register, visit www.
mountmoriahnow.org, or call (404) 955-7543.

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 4

Congressional, state election preview

by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Several congressional
and state seats are on the
Nov. 8 ballot for DeKalb
County voters.
In the U.S. Senate
race, Democrat Jim Barksdale and Libertarian Allen
Buckley are trying to unseat incumbent Republican
Johnny Isakson. Isakson
has represented Georgia in
the U.S. Senate since 2005.
Barksdale is the president
and chief investment officer
at Equity Investment Corporation in Atlanta, which he
founded in 1986. Buckley is
an attorney and CPA who
ran for senate in 2008.
Congressman Hank
Johnson will face Republican challenger Victor
Armendariz for the 4th
congressional district seat.
Johnson has represented
the 4th district since 2007.

Armendariz, a publisher, is
a DeKalb native and graduated from Henderson High
School. He lives in Chamblee.
Congressman John
Lewis will face Republican
challenger Douglas Bell
for the 5th congressional
district seat. Lewis, a civil
rights leader, has served in
Congress since 1987. Bell
is a small-business owner
who lives in East Atlanta.
Congressman Tom
Price will face Democrat challenger Rodney
Stooksbury for the 6th
congressional district seat.
Price has represented the
6th district since 2005.
Stooksbury is a retired
aerospace worker.
There are seven contested state seats up for
grab, while 15 seats are uncontested. Incumbent Sen.
Fran Millar will face Democrat challenger Tamara

Johnson-Shealey for the
40th district seat. Millar has
served as a state Senator
since 2011. Johnson-Shealey is an advocate who lives
in Tucker. She ran for the
same seat in 2014.
Incumbent Sen. Elena
Parent will face Republican
challenger Kenneth Brett
Quarterman for the 42nd
district state Senate seat.
Parent was elected to the
42nd district seat in November 2014. Quarterman is a
retired educator.
Incumbent Sen. JaNice
Van Ness will face Democrat challenger Tonya P.
Anderson for District 43
seat. Van Ness was elected
to the seat in December
2015 in a special election.
Anderson is the former District 92 representative in the
state house.
District 55 state Senator Gloria Butler will face
Republican challenger An-

nette Davis Jackson. Butler has been a state Senator since 1999. Jackson is a
business woman.
In the house of representative races, Rep.
Taylor Bennett will face
Republican challenger
Meagan Hanson for the
80th district seat. Bennett
was sworn into this seat
in August 2015. Hanson
is an attorney and lives in
Brookhaven.
Rep. Scott Holcomb

WorkSource DeKalb forum offers
hope to DeKalb residents

by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com

During a WorkSource DeKalb disability
awareness forum Oct. 26, a single mother broke
down in tears and thanked the panelists for
informing the public about available disability
programs in metro-Atlanta and DeKalb County.
More than a dozen participants came to
the disability awareness forum and listened to
representatives of various agencies including
Richard Moore with Georgia Vocational
Rehabilitation Services, Gwen Marshall
representing Goodwill,  Fran Durban with
Disability Link and Tracy Roberts with the
Veterans Administration.
Sherita Corbert, the mother of an 11-yearold daughter, said she was surprised at the
resources available to her.
“I didn’t know that there were so many
resources. I felt like I had been neglected for a
few months not knowing exactly what resources
were out there for people with disabilities,” said
Corbert. “This is beneficial to me and I’m actually
going to take [information about] these resources
back to other programs and people that I know
need the resources as well. This was extremely
beneficial.”
During the forum, Corbert shared her
personal story with the panelists. Corbert
said she was a victim of domestic violence,
which created a mental disability. A day prior
to attending the event, Corbert’s car was
repossessed.
Moore told Corbert the agency offers child
care as well as transportation to and from work.
“This was totally not what I expected. I sat
and thought ‘I’m not supposed to be here.’ But
as I sat and listened to people talk I thought

more and more that everyone can benefit from
this [forum],” Corbert said. “These people had
something to offer today. The next step for me is
to realize that there are resources for Sherita and
her particular circumstances.”
The forum was co-hosted by the the
One-Stop Disabilities Committee. Roderick
Wyatt said the forum served as a networking
opportunity for those suffering from physical or
mental disability.
“We shouldn’t turn our backs on the [disabled]
community. There are a lot of talented individuals
here,” Wyatt said.
Wyatt said he’s working with Corbert to help
her find employment. One of the toughest parts
of getting disabled individuals hired by employers
is making sure the employee is honest about his
or her disability to all parties involved, he said.
“The disabled community is one that is not
that approachable, so you have to be careful how
you approach it. They can try to cover up [their
disabilities], but until you actually deal with the
problem it could come out at any time,” Wyatt
said. “It takes a village. We want to take a holistic
approach and look at the whole person. [Corbert]
talked about her issues and I hope that helped
her. With expressing herself today, hopefully she
can go in her interviews with more freedom.”
Other participants in the forum expressed
frustration over the hiring process. Lester
Thomas, who also suffers has a disability, said it
can be difficult at times to keep a job.
“The worse thing in my opinion is to get on
a job when you really can’t do the job. You want
to compete and you want to be competitive, but
if you have a disability or a mental condition, it
limits you,” Thomas said. “You want to produce,
but you can’t. That’s a disability.”

will face Republican challenger Lane Flynn for District 81. Holcomb has held
this seat since 2011. Flynn,
who lives in Tucker, is a
business owner.
Republican Carl
Anuszczyk and Democrat
Vernon Jones are in the
running for the open District
91 seat. Jones is the former
DeKalb County CEO and
Anuszczyk is a CEO of a
local software development
company.

Councilman arrested
after DeKalb police
sting operation
by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com
An undercover sting operation led to the
arrest of a Roswell City Councilman who
allegedly had an inappropriate relationship
with a minor.
Roswell city councilman Kent Igleheart,
53, was arrested by DeKalb County Police
Special Victims Unit after an investigation
of Igleheart’s alleged sexual behavior with a
17-year-old female.
According to police, Igleheart had an
online relationship with the female since she
was 13 years old. During Igleheart’s four-year
relationship with the minor, he exchanged
nude photos and had “inappropriate
conversations” with her, police said.
“We will not tolerate these types of crimes
against our children. The protection of our
children is a priority,” said DeKalb County
Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander
in a statement. “This is an example of the
extraordinary work of our Internet Crimes
Against Children Unit.”
Igleheart rented a room at the Days
Inn Hotel on Northlake Parkway to see the
female, according to police. When he arrived
he was taken into custody at Northlake Mall.
Igleheart was charged with sexual
exploitation of a child, enticing a child for
indecent purposes and furnishing alcohol to
a minor.
Igleheart posted his $30,000 bond Oct.
30 and was released from the DeKalb County
jail the following day. Igleheart currently
serves as Roswell’s mayor pro tem.

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016

local

Page 5

Solar Continued From Page 1
to the church.
“We are blessed to
have a roof with a lot
of exposure to the sun,
which made us good
candidates for a project
such as this. Not every
program that applies is
accepted in this program,”
Dice said. “I believe the
Holy Spirit intervened for
us.”
Dice said some members at first had reservations about the project,
but in the end all questions were answered to
members’ satisfaction.
“Some were worried that
the solar panels might
damage the roof. Since
we had just installed a
new roof, this was a particular concern. It turns
out the panels actually
make the new roof more
durable. They are extending the life of the roof.
There is no down side to
this. We’re pretty excited.”
The approximately

$3,000 a year the church
receives from the project
is approximately 5 percent of its budget, according to Dice. “That doesn’t
sound like much, but it’s
money that can be applied to church expenses
as well as to work we do
in the community. I don’t
know of any church—in
fact, any nonprofit—that
is flush with cash. Every
little bit helps.
“Stewardship isn’t just
about money. It’s about
how we manage assets
that really don’t belong
to us. As people of faith,
we should be consumers
and investors in a global
economy who make responsible choices with
regard to energy use,
consumption of water and
other natural resources as
well as minimizing carbon
emissions,” he added,
“Any energy that can be
produced with a negative
carbon footprint helps

Dice chats with other clergy members.

sustain our planet and its
people. Again, what we’re
doing is small, but small
changes in time add up to
a big difference.”
St. Timothy’s on Flat
Shoals Road is featured
in a recently launched

Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC),
video series, Stories of
Solar. According to SELC,
the video tells “oftenoverlooked stories of the
many Southeast residents who are using and

supporting solar power.”
SELC states that despite
great potential to benefit
from solar energy, Georgia ranks 13th nationally
in solar development. To
view the video series, visit
http://www.stories.solar.

40% OF FOOD IN
AMERICA IS WASTED

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016

opinion

Page 6

Letter to the Editor
School takeover amendment bypasses our democratic processes
When what you want to
accomplish is stymied by slow
traffic, jurisdictions often solve
the problem by spending funds
to create systems of bypass.
Such is the work for the past 30
years in Georgia by ALEC, the
American Legislative Exchange
Council, which, as of last year,
had introduced 172 education
bills into state legislatures for the
express purpose of “privatizing
public schools, weakening
teachers unions and lowering
teacher’s standards.”
Slowly and with calculating
accuracy, this outside group
enters into political races to
support candidates that will
adapt and adopt their education
legislations. Funded by monies
from the Koch Brothers, the
DeVos family, Michael Milliken
and others, these bills divert
tax monies to private schools
through tuition tax credits to
unaccountable charter schools,
shifting power away from
democratically elected local
school boards. Certain words
such as “opportunity” (most
particularly for those in high
poverty areas) or “school choice”
(which appeals to those who
want private education with tax

dollars) are trademark giveaways.
Amendment 1, the so-called
Opportunity School District, has
every mark of ALEC legislation. In
fact, I would encourage an open
records request to determine
the roots of the OSD legislation.
By focusing on the high-poverty
areas that supposedly produce
poor public school education for
68,000 children, the governor
is setting up bypass systems to
“takeover” schools and “reform”
them by shifting power from duly
elected school boards to a system
he says will improve the life of the
children. He has chosen to bring
about this change by amending
the Georgia constitution.
In reflecting on the intention
behind changing the constitution,
I realized this bypass system will
allow for the swift movement
of monies and resources from
the Governor’s office to the OSD
Superintendent to 20 of the
OSD schools on the list, because
there will be no local power that
invests in an accountable system
of the checks and balances.
There will be no accountability
by the state to local districts
for fiscal responsibility. Within
the enabling legislation, there
is no indication of the plan for

improvement, so voters really do
not know what they are voting
for. If you study this field, you
come to realize there are no
for-profit companies that have
proven records of success in
educational improvement in high
poverty areas. Rather, you’ll find
long trails that indicate billions
of tax dollars removed with ease
from the state education coffer.
So what is the real purpose
behind amending the constitution
of Georgia?
The Educational Reform
Movement is targeting Georgia.
It is a movement across the
globe to end public education as
we know it and end any and all
democratic processes that give
people skin in the game. This
reform movement demonizes
school boards and finds ways
to say they are not adequately
serving people. When our
governor says school boards
have a monopoly and are the
root cause of the problems with
these schools, it is an indication
the messaging from the reform
movement is at play.
The sole purpose of the
school takeover amendment
is to privatize education. It is
a proposal that has proven to

be dangerous and destructive
in Louisiana, Tennessee, New
Jersey and Michigan. The power
behind this amendment gives
the governor, and all who come
after him, a pathway to privatize
Georgia’s schools. He has the
power with future legislators
to change the terms of “who
qualifies for tax dollars,”, leaving
the educational system open to
unfettered divestment of voters.
This sets our democratic process
at risk, and forces us to ask the
question…is a process of voting
for school board members that
share power with the district’s
stakeholders less effective in
providing quality education for
the children of Georgia, than an
authoritative takeover that makes
stakeholders advisors with the
one office holding all power?
Under which influence will
the children of today and the
people of Georgia benefit? Will
the poorest among us gain more
educational “opportunity” by
amending the constitution, giving
up our vote and transferring
power to the governor’s office
to use tax dollars to fund the
privatization of our schools, or
will we benefit more by attending
to the democratic systems

embedded in our constitution?
I believe in the latter, and we
should seek to elect school board
members that will provide for the
educational and societal needs of
our most disadvantaged students.
And perhaps the most
important question of all, “Should
we alter the constitution to allow
the state to experiment with the
poorest Georgians among us?”
Make no mistake. OSD is an
experiment in privatization of
schools. I for one do not believe
taking away our democratic
process of checks and balances
through local school elections
will serve the best interest of
any Georgian. I encourage all to
Vote “No.” And beyond that vote,
work on creating new systems
within the structures of our
school boards that will deliver to
the 68,000 children the quality
education they are promised
through our constitution.
By Rev. Diane Dougherty, ARCWP
Avondale Estates, Dougherty
is a member of Concerned
Black Clergy and active in the
Committee to Keep Georgia
Schools Local.

opinion

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016

“We must be particularly sensitive to safeguarding the department’s reputation for fairness,
neutrality and non-partisanship,”
said Deputy U.S. Attorney General, Sally Quinn Yates, earlier
this year regarding the then
ongoing investigation of e-mails
from former Secretary of State,
and current Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. 
The latest twist in perhaps
the oddest presidential election
in U.S. history again returns us
to the e-mail outbox and communication devices of Democratic presidential nominee,
Hillary Rodham Clinton. But
even odder, and despite the fact
that Clinton sent and received
e-mails on nearly a dozen Blackberry devices, laptops, PCs and
tablets—the re-opened investigation is focused on a device or
devices which the former Secretary of State never owned nor
controlled. 
Clinton has employed, in
a variety of capacities, Huma
Abedin as her longtime aide, de
facto second-in-command and
gatekeeper. Abedin recently separated from her husband, former
seven-term New York Congressman, Anthony Weiner. Weiner
was also a one-time leading
Democratic candidate for mayor
of New York, until the second
in a series of sexting scandals
made victory in that race impossible. 
Weiner apparently has a

Page 7

Weinergate
‘One Man’s
Opinion’
Bill Crane

bill.csicrane@gmail.com

problem. We won’t delve into
that here, other than to acknowledge, as the FBI has already
done so publicly, that some of
Weiner’s sexting correspondents
are underage, and the FBI had
secured several of Weiner’s
electronic devices including a
laptop, i-Phone, and others to
review such correspondence between Weiner and a 15-year-old
female. While looking through
that evidence, agents came
across another 650,000 e-mails,
on a laptop, which the former
congressman once shared with
his soon-to-be former wife. Abedin herself maintained several
e-mail accounts and electronic
devices. The laptop in question
appeared to be a shared family
piece of equipment in their once
common home. 
Disclosure of the existence
of the correspondence under
FBI investigation was brought to
public light in September by the
British tabloid, The Daily Mail of
London.   
Though investigators have
been taking a look at Weiner and
his communications since early
fall, FBI Director James Comey said in his letter to Congress

that he was not briefed on the
matter of Weiner’s review until
late October.  
Secretary Clinton, who carried
a series of Blackberry and smart
phone devices, preferred reading her e-mails via hard copy in
hand, most typically printed out
or brought to her by Abedin. Per
Abedin’s earlier interviews with
the FBI, she often had trouble
printing documents at the State
Department. For more heavily
classified documents from the
FBI, CIA or State Department,
a completely secure system is
typically required, often where
a document is reviewed, only in
electronic form, at times with an
escort, and hard copies are not
allowed. 
Abedin, Clinton and others
sometimes simply found it easier
to forward documents to their
personal e-mail accounts for
printing out or sharing later. With
normal content, this would not
be at issue, but if the documents
were marked with any number
of secret or top secret classifications—the information being
forwarded or shared into a nonsecure environment, server or
device is a breach of national
security protocol, and many contend several federal laws.
 Clinton’s base is unlikely to
be moved by e-mails which she
may not have even ever sent—
regardless of their content—but
it is also highly unlikely, in the
few remaining days of this elec-

tion cycle, that the public will
actually know the content of
what is being reviewed or in
dispute. Early voting has been
underway in 20 states for nearly
a month, and via absentee and
advance voting more recently in
34 states. In Georgia and Florida
alone, more than 2.5 million
ballots have already been cast,
prior to this most recent revelation, and those votes cannot be
recast.  
As the American political
annals gain a new chapter
and ‘Weinergate’ enters both the
public consciousness and the
later Urban Dictionary; Clinton
would do well to note that her
campaign has been damaged.
Time will tell how much, by two
of the men closest to her, and
how the former president and
congressman choose to handle
their personal lives. It does say
something about her judgment—
I’m just not exactly sure what
that is.
 
Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for
Channel 2’s Action News, WSBAM 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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DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 8

Danger zone: Study indicates dangers in school drop-off and pickup areas
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
How safe are middle and
high school students when
walking to and from school?
How pedestrian-friendly are
the campuses they walk to
each morning and leave
each afternoon?
According to a recent
study conducted by Safe
Kids Worldwide, not as safe
as expected.
Safe Kids Worldwide’s
Alarming Dangers in School
Zones report, released Oct.
27, states students are engaging in distracting and unsafe behavior on campuses
lacking low-speed limits and
marked crosswalks.
The study also found
high rates of unsafe driving in
school zones.
When observing 39,000
middle and high school students walking to and from
school in spring 2016, the
study found 17 percent of
middle school students and
27 percent of high school students were distracted.
Distractions included
headphones (44 percent),
texting (31 percent), talking
on the phone (18 percent) or
a combination of the three (7
percent).
Students are not the only
ones being distracted, according to the report. Approximately ten percent of observed drivers were distracted by devices upon arrival or
departure. About 33 percent

were observed engaging in
unsafe driving behavior such
as double parking or stopping
in an unsafe area.
“We found that school
policies governing drop-off/
pickup make a difference in
unsafe driving behavior, but
only when policies were reported to be enforced,” states
the study’s summary. “Lower
speed limits also reduced the
likelihood of unsafe driver
behavior.”
According to Alarming
Dangers, however, almost
half the observed schools did
not have lower speed limits.
The study revealed 4 of 10
schools had speed limits of
20 miles per hour or less. Approximately 3 in 10 schools
had marked crosswalks.
Alarming Dangers in
School Zones found these
environments yielded risky
behavior. Approximately 83
percent of middle school
students and 76 percent of
high school students were
observed engaging in at least
one of the following “risky
street walking behavior”:
crossing against the lights,
not looking before crossing
and not crossing at a designated crosswalk.
“[This suggests] the need
to ensure safe crossing environments and continued education regarding the risks of
unsafe pedestrian behavior
in these age groups,” states
the report. “Beyond distraction, we observed that many
school zones are not as safe

CITY OF STONE MOUNTAIN
PUBLIC NOTICE
The proposed 2017 fiscal budget was presented to the City of Stone Mountain
governing authority at the City Council Regular Session held on Tuesday, November
1, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. Beginning Tuesday, November 2, 2016, the
recommended budget was made available for public inspection at City Hall, 875
Main St, Stone Mountain, GA between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon-Fri and at
www.stonemountaincity.org. The Public Hearing to discuss and hear public input on
the proposed 2017 fiscal budget will be held on Monday, November 21, 2016 at 6:30
p.m. at City Hall, 875 Main Street, Stone Mountain, Georgia. The Mayor and City
Council of the City of Stone Mountain are scheduled to adopt the 2017 Fiscal Budget
at a Regular Council Meeting to be held on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
at City Hall, 875 Main Street, Stone Mountain, Georgia.

as they could be and that
there was a lot of other risky
behavior observed.”
Safe Kids Worldwide
recommends installing more
crosswalks, lowering speed
limits in school zones to 20
miles per hour, educating
parents and students about
dangerous walking and driving habits, and implementing
and enforcing school drop-off
and pickup policies.
According to the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, there
were 284 teen (ages 12 to
19) pedestrian deaths.
“That’s more than five pedestrian deaths every week,”
according to Alarming Dangers’ executive summary. “In
the past two years, there has
actually been a 13 percent

increase in the pedestrian
death rate for 12 to 19 year
olds, presenting a renewed
challenge for protecting kids
on the move.”
Safe Kids Worldwide is
an international organization
“dedicated to preventing injuries in children, the number
one killer of kids in the United
States.”
“Around the world, a child
dies from an unintentional
injury every 30 seconds,”
states the organization. “And
millions of children are injured in ways that can affect
them for a lifetime.”
Safe Kids Worldwide is
made up of 400 organizations throughout the United
States and beyond. Organizations in 30 countries
worldwide also aid Safe

Kids Worldwide in reducing
injuries from motor vehicles,
sports, drowings falls, burns
and poisoning, according to
its website.
“Losing one child is one
too many, and we don’t want
any parent to have to endure
the loss of a child,” Safe Kids
Worldwide states. “We’re
calling on everyone to come
together, to raise awareness
and to get involved so we
can ensure that all children
around the world have the
chance to grow up healthy
and safe, and do all the great
things kids were meant to
do.”
For more information,
including the entire Alarming
Dangers in School Zones report, visit www.safekids.org.

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Rental Customers
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“Limited damage waiver fee”, “Damage waiver fee”, “Fuel Surcharge fee” or “Environmental Fee”? If so, you may have
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local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 9

Game on!
Dunwoody Community Association
partners with high school on $2 million
athletic field campaign
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

D

unwoody residents,
teachers, students
and city officials
have committed to raising
$2 million for new athletic
features at Dunwoody
High School, according to
an announcement made
Oct. 27.
Known officially
as GAME ON! Capital
Campaign, the fundraising
effort’s goal is to
“dramatically improve and
enhance athletic facilities
at Dunwoody High School”
within three years.
“The goal of GAME
ON! is to raise $2 million
to cover the cost of adding
a multi-sport artificial turf
field with a resurfaced
track, outdoor lighting for
the softball and multi-sport
field, spectator seating, a
fieldhouse with restrooms,
concessions, locker
rooms, weight room and a
maintenance fund,” reads
a statement from Melissa
Humphries, press contact
for the campaign.
According to Humphries,
“substantial donations” have
already been promised.
“We are optimistic that
we can begin construction
on [the project] as early as
summer 2017,” Humphries
said. “It will be a pride of
everyone in the Dunwoody
community.”
The announcement of

the campaign included a
video detailing GAME ON!’s
purpose, which states,
“There are few things more
important to our families
and to the vitality of our
community than a strong
and vibrant high school.”
Dunwoody High
School principal Tom
McFerrin said the planned
improvements will “help knit
[the] community together.”
“We want the
improvements to benefit
both our athletic programs
and the entire Dunwoody
community,” McFerrin
said. “Our football, soccer,
track and lacrosse teams,
as well as our band and
physical education classes,
will be thrilled to have new
surfaces for some of their
games, their practices and
activities. We look forward
to sharing the facilities
with sponsor partners as a
way to thank them for their
contribution.”
McFerrin said an influx
of students from area
private schools and feeder
schools is increasing the
demand for a new capital
project at DHS.
“With this project,
we not only improve the
practice fields, but create
a field where we can have
games for football, soccer
and lacrosse and eventually
maybe varsity football,”
McFerrin said. “This fund
is so important and kids
deserve it.”

Dunwoody Community Association announced a $2 million campaign with the goal of installing
athletic field improvements at Dunwoody High School. Photos submitted.

Students from DHS
have said the current
practice field is dangerous
and dusty.
“It’s important that we
stay competitive with our
surrounding communities,”
said Dunwoody High
School football coach Mike
Nash. “It’s hard to sell to
kids… with the facilities that
we have now. Every student
in the building is going to
use the field at one point or
another. In the evenings,
we have parents here with
their kids.”
The campaign is the
result of a feasibility study
that gauged the capacity
and intent among potential
donors.
“We are excited the

feasibility study showed
our community is ready
to get behind this project
that will make Dunwoody
High School’s athletic
facilities a point of pride
and enjoyment for years
to come,” said Dunwoody
City Councilwoman Pam
Tallmadge. “We have a
proud heritage of strong
athletic teams from
Dunwoody High School
and the former Peachtree
High School. We feel our
entire community deserves
this improvement at the
local high school—it is long
overdue.”
The Dunwoody
Community Association
supports the efforts of
Dunwoody High School, the

community and alumni with
projects such as golf bags
for the golf team, lighted
tennis courts, new band
instruments, a batting cage,
reestablishing the school’s
Hall of Fame, student
scholarships, debate team
support, robotics team
support, sound equipment
for school theater, printers
for teachers, helmets
and headsets for the
football team and a new
gymnasium floor.
For more information,
on Dunwoody Community
Association’s GAME ON!
Capital Campaign, contact
Melissa Humphries at
info@dhsca.org or call
(770) 668-6902.

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local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 10

DeKalb County Keep DeKalb Beautiful volunteers came out to help Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation’s streetscape beautification project Oct. 29.
Volunteers planted shrubbery and bushes.

Volunteers planting seeds of success 

by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com

A

public median on Hairston Road,
just south of Redan Road looks
a little more colorful thanks to
Greater Hidden Hills Community
Development Corporation (GHHCDC)—a
non-profit volunteer organization that
promotes business development in DeKalb
County.
On Oct. 29, volunteers planted trees
and bushes to revitalize business in the
area.
According to GHHCDC officials,
thousands of people drive through the
intersection every day. Improving the
streetscape will help attract business.
Jan Costello, president of GHHCDC,
said the project supports business in the
area and the community.
“When you improve the streetscape,
it definitely improves the business in the
area,” Costello said. “It has a real profound
impact on the community.”
According to a University of Washington
urban landscape study, researchers found
that trees and manicured landscaping in
commercial areas lead to more customers,
greater customer retention, and up to 12
percent more spending.
DeKalb County’s Keep DeKalb Beautiful
provided assistance and heavy equipment
support. On Oct. 26, Keep DeKalb Beautiful
workers tilled the soil in preparation for

planting.
Costello said she’s grateful GHHCDC
was able to partner with the county.
“The county realizes how important it
is to have beautiful streetscapes,” Costello
said.  “We were able to raise the money
and we’re really grateful that so many
people pitched in.”
GHHCDC raised money for the project
through donations and fundraisers. The
group received a $3,000 pledge from State
Farm Insurance and a $500 pledge from
Hackney Real Estate Services, owner of
Crowe’s Plaza.
The group also raised $300 through
a battle of the bands fundraiser and $500
from a Gofundme account, Costello said.
“People want to shop and dine near
their homes. We are willing to invest in
making the area more attractive so that
desirable businesses will invest here and
prosper,” Costello said in a statement.
Volunteers planted 10 crape myrtle
trees and 71 bushes to fill the 400-foot-long
median. Volunteers also cleaned the area
around the median.
The project was phase one of a
revitalization plan, Costello said.
“We are going to do more at that
intersection, but this is our first stop and
the community is behind us,” Costello said.
“We are immensely grateful. We have been
knocking on businesses’ doors and two
dozen businesses have contributed. This is
really a community effort.”

Rover (ID# 32158796) is ready to wow you with
his happy smile and love for snuggling. This handsome
two year old boy enjoys going for walks, being your
right hand man, and being adorable.
If you would like to expand your family by 4
furry little feet; come meet Rover at the DeKalb
Animal Shelter. Adopt any dog over 25lbs and all
cats in October during our “Fall in Love” promotion
and the adoption fee is half price and includes spay/
neuter, vaccinations and microchip! If you would
like more information about Rover please email
adoption@dekalbanimalservices.com or call (404)
294-2165. All potential adopters will be screened to
ensure Rover goes to a good home.

local

weekinpictures

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 11

Some members of Martin Luther King Jr. High School’s cheerleading squad kneel during the National Anthem in protest of
social injustice. Photo by Carla Parker

Michael Thurmond will be honored by
Leadership Georgia with its H.G. “Pat”
Pattillo Honorary Membership Award
on Nov. 4 at the Georgia Aquarium. The
award is presented to an individual who
has never participated in Leadership
Georgia, but has demonstrated
consistent support to the program.

The Georgia Department of Transportation met with students at Cross Keys High School to
discuss the future of infrastructure in DeKalb County. Photo submitted.

Netherworld Haunted House’s anti-bullying program, “Don’t Be a
Monster,” toured schools in the metro-Atlanta area throughout the
month of October. Photo by Mario Ochoa.

The Cross Keys Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative met to discuss affordable housing in the
north DeKalb area on Oct. 27. Photo submitted.

Have you created programming you’d like to air on TV?
Do you have an interest in Public Access TV in DeKalb County?
Submit your show to DeKalb County’s Public Access channel, DeKalb 25.
Drop off DVD or USB copies to the Manuel J. Maloof Center at
1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, GA 30030, or upload your content via the internet.
(404) 371-2325

DeKalb25@outlook.com

DeKalb25.com

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 12

Dunwoody holds first read of land deal with DeKalb Schools
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
Dunwoody City Council
held the first of two readings
regarding an ordinance
exchanging real estate
with DeKalb County School
District (DCSD).
Dunwoody Finance
Director Chris Pike
presented the official
ordinance to the council
on Oct. 24, approximately
three weeks after its original
announcement on Oct. 5.
The $3.6 million deal
would place 10.28 acres of
Dunwoody Park under the
ownership of DCSD and an
approximate 18 acres under
city control from the school
district.
Should the deal become
official, Dunwoody will
own property at Roberts
Drive (the former Austin
Elementary site) as well
as near Peachtree Middle
School. In return, DCSD
will receive property that
currently holds two baseball
fields.
Since the two
organizations’
announcement, hundreds
have come forward to
criticize the decision.
Hundreds attended a
public meeting on Oct.
17 to voice opposition
relating to the availability
of planned baseball fields
during the school day, traffic
and the ideal location of
replacement baseball fields.
Pike presented the
concerns to city council on
Oct. 24.
“The intergovernmental
agreement (IGA) anticipates
a five-hour window where
the district requests use
of the facilities,” Pike said.
“That was at the request of
the school district, initially,
and we did not put any
specific requirement as to
what those five hours would
be. We anticipated maybe 9
a.m. to 2 p.m., but they can
choose other hours.”
At the Oct. 17 meeting,
Pike said there were also
“a lot of positive comments”
and comments “that raised
alarm for a lot of people.”
He said city representatives
contacted the district
regarding the concerns only
to hit a brick wall.
“The school district
said it does not intend on
revisiting the terms of the
IGA,” Pike said. “The district
is concerned about the time
but adamant about keeping

a schedule in opening
Austin Elementary by 2019.”
Councilman Terry Nall
asked about the potential
benefits and consequences
of conducting a traffic study
before making the deal
official.
“Are we prepared to
take a look at that, or how
we might mitigate traffic by
the school?” Nall said.
On Oct. 17, DCSD
Director of Planning Dan
Drake said, “[The district is]
not willing to go ahead with
a traffic study until the deal
has been signed.”
Pike said typical traffic
studies are more relevant to
immediate concerns rather
than projects that may be
completed two years after.
Nall asked Pike about
moving the planned
baseball fields to Brook Run
Park, an idea suggested by
Dunwoody Senior Baseball
president Jerry Weiner.
Weiner has spoken to the
city council several times
about moving the baseball
fields to Brook Run Park to
get better use from the park
and received applause for
the suggestion on Oct. 17.
Weiner spoke again on
Oct. 24. He opposed the
agreement on the grounds
Dunwoody Senior Baseball
will not have 24-hour control
of the field as they do at
Dunwoody Park.
“We are not against the
agreement per se, we think
Austin students and Austin
parents deserve a great
school,” Weiner said. “The
city needs that as well. But
one of the things we were
promised is that Dunwoody
Senior Baseball will be kept
intact and we’ll be able
to run it the way we run it
today. Peachtree Middle
needs multi-purpose fields.”
Resident Meredy
Shortal also spoke in
opposition to the deal,
stating the council should
have listened to public input
before putting an agreement
in motion. She suggested
completely renegotiating the
deal.
Pike said staff is
revisiting the issue and that
a logistical sizing problem
exists. According to Pike,
baseball fields at Brook Run
risk encroaching on a tree
line that serves as a buffer
to residents neighboring the
park.
Councilman John
Heneghan suggested
placing the baseball

Dunwoody is on the cusp of a $3.6 million deal exchanging land with DeKalb County School District
for a new Austin Elementary School and new baseball fields at Peachtree Middle School. Renderings
provided by the city of Dunwoody.

fields at Peachtree
Middle could expedite the
process of dedicating the
area discussed in Brook
Run Park to a multi-use
rectangular field.
“The area now is
currently used by Peachtree
Middle’s lacrosse team,”
Heneghan said. “We may
be able to bring it up to
specs for a soccer field for
the community to use.”
Councilman Jim
Riticher said the issue
of negotiating the IGA is
delaying the completion
of Austin Elementary by a
year. Councilwoman Lynn
Deutsch agreed with this
sentiment and said the
tentative 2019 date should
be the main priority.
Dunwoody Homeowners
Association president
Robert Wittenstein praised
the board for uniting the
area by Peachtree Middle
School and Brook Run Park
and earning $3.6 million in
the process.
“I know we waited a
long time for this, but it was
worth the wait,” Wittenstein
said.
Parents in the Austin
Elementary area also spoke
at the meeting, hoping
the new facility will unite
the community and give
students a facility they
deserve.
“We should place
priority in education needs
and on the 700-plus Austin
Elementary students,” said
Steven Moss. “This is what
Austin parents want. This
results in net gain of park
land and recreational needs
to the city.”
See related story on
page 4A

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DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 13

Austin Elementary rebuild necessary?
Analysis, comparison of facility condition assessment reveals structure problems

by R.Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
“I’m concerned that a lot of people
possibly don’t know the condition of
Austin. Last year, we received a letter
sent to a lot of parents informing us that
the school was infested with snakes
and rats. My pest control professional
said that, by the time a building is
infested with snakes, you’ve had at
least a multi-year problem of your
building being infested with rats. We’re
not talking about a little bit—we’re
talking about children seeing rats run
out in front of them in the classroom.”
These are the words of Heather
Sable Sowers, a parent of two children
who attend Austin Elementary School
in Dunwoody.
“This is in addition to problems
such as water literally pouring through
the roof into hallways and crumbling
ceilings falling onto the ground,”
Sowers said. “We’re sending 4 yearolds into conditions a lot of us would
reject as learning conditions or
conditions for workspace.”
Sowers was one of many
Dunwoody residents to speak at a
public meeting held Oct. 25. The
meeting was in regards to a $3.6
million intergovernmental agreement
(IGA) between Dunwoody and DeKalb

County School District (DCSD). The
deal will see a new 900-seat Austin
Elementary built on a site that currently
holds two baseball fields.
While many have opposed the
deal based on the history of the
baseball fields and their primary tenant,
Dunwoody Senior, not as many have
come forward to defend the idea of the
school’s rebuild.
“This is about the students first,”
said Dunwoody resident Eric Oliver.
“I’m a sports guy, but I have to remind
my son, a linebacker, that they’re called
‘student-athletes’ and it’s not the other
way around.”
“I now sub at Austin and I’ve
seen what these students have had
to go through,” said another resident.
“We’re overcrowded. This is not about
redistricting or adding students.”
“As an Austin parent, I cannot
stress enough how much this cannot
be delayed,” said a parent. “We cannot
be delayed again or anymore.”
Austin Elementary, built in 1975,
has a facility condition assessment
(FCA) score of 46 of 100. FCAs
analyze a building’s structure, service
life and remaining use, the latest of
which was completed in 2015.
Austin’s FCA states the school’s
foundation and structure is at about
60 percent of its service life. Aspects

nearing the end of their service life
or, in some cases, past it, include
the building’s electrical system,
air conditioning system, roof and
interior. The FCA estimates it will
take approximately $8.2 million for a
full repair and projects being at 119
percent capacity by 2022.
Another report that may play a
role in a school’s rebuild is the facility
educational adequacy assessments
(FEAAs), a document analyzing how
well buildings could accommodate
educational programs and teachers.
Austin’s FEAA score is 60.
According to its FEAA report,
the school’s general classroom
environment was rated as poor
because of consistent heating and air
problems, size issues, light fixtures,
non-enclosed classrooms and portable
classrooms.
“The school does not have flexible
learning spaces for small groups, large
groups and individualized construction,”
states the report. “[Kindergarten] toilets
are not age appropriate. The rooms
lack doors, sinks, bubblers and storage
for equipment and supplies.”
Based solely on other reports,
more schools in Region 1—making
up areas of Brookhaven, Doraville,
Chamblee and Dunwoody—may also
have cause for a rebuild.

Dresden, Chesnut, Huntley Hills,
Kingsley, Cary Reynolds and John
Lewis elementary schools all have
FCA scores below Austin’s in Region 1.
Ashford Park, Cary Reynolds, Dresden,
John Lewis and Montclair elementary
schools also have worse FEAA scores.
Earlier this year, The Champion
reported that children, teachers
and staff regularly become ill due to
disrepair at Cary Reynolds Elementary.
Cary Reynolds’ overall service life
was averaged to be 15.3 percent, with
issues concerning interiors, plumbing,
air conditioning, electrical, equipment,
furnishings and exteriors. Cary
Reynolds’ FEAA score is 51.
Huntley Hills Elementary’s
remaining service life average is about
19 percent, according to its FCA report.
Its issues are comparable to those at
Austin Elementary in areas of roofing
and air conditioning, but worse in
plumbing, exteriors and equipment.
Huntley Hills’ FEAA score is 71.
For more information on the
Austin Elementary School rebuild and
Dunwoody land exchange with DCSD,
visit http://www.dunwoodyga.gov/index.
php?section=projects&projectsection=7
&project=44.
Dunwoody City Council is expected
to approve the agreement on Nov. 14.
See related story on page 16A

VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT 1

STOP THE TAKEOVER OF OUR SCHOOLS
Amendment 1 is a political power grab
that would silence our communities
and fire our teachers.
Join Former Mayor Andrew Young,
the NAACP, Georgia’s teachers, the
Georgia PTA, and hundreds of elected
officials and clergy.
KeepGeorgiaSchoolsLocal.org

VOTE NO

Paid for by the Committee to Keep Georgia Schools Local.

on Amendment 1.

Classified

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 14

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local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 15

Where customers create with clay
by Kathy Mitchell

Shannon Brown first
walked into That Pottery
Place in Decatur as a customer. A few months later
she was the owner. The day
Brown visited the paint-yourown-pottery studio in North
DeKalb Mall she was looking
to resume a hobby she had
pursued as a child. 
“I had done some pottery
as a girl and I remembered
that I really loved it. I wanted
to try it again and see whether
it still had the same appeal,”
she recalled. Brown also was
looking for a new career since
the dental office where she
had worked for 12 years had
closed.
“I started chatting with the
owner and mentioned that I
was interested in starting my
own business. She said that
she, coincidentally, was thinking of selling her business.
The process took more than
18 months since the owner
had some loose ends to tie
up but we were able to make
it work,” said Brown, who has
owned the business a year.
Visitors to the shop find
shelves of unfinished pieces
available to be painted however the client chooses. For
example, there are fist-sized
football helmets that can be
decorated in the customer’s
favorite team colors. Brown
said when customers want
something that’s not in stock,
she tries to find it and order it.
Customers also can hand
mold items from lumps of clay.
“I don’t have a pottery wheel
right now, though I might get
one at some point. Pottery
wheels aren’t as easy to use
as most people think they
are,” she observed.
Some items are purely
decorative and some have
practical uses, Brown explained. “Among our most
popular items are serving
dishes and caddies that can
hold anything from kitchen
utensils to make-up brushes.
They can be decorated to
match the décor of the room
where they’ll be used.”
Items are individually
priced and include glazing
and firing—the process that
gives the piece a finished look
and makes it nonporous so
it’s safe to eat or drink from.
“The finished pieces are also
dishwasher safe; however,
they last longer if they are
hand washed,” Brown said,
adding that the finishing process takes a few days after
which the customer can return
for the item.
She said customized
items are often created as

gifts. “People choose wedding gifts on which they write
the couples names or the
wedding date. Milestone birthdays, anniversaries and new
babies all can be commemorated with a hand-painted
item.”
Many families like to create holiday items to use year
after year, Brown said. “It
might be a turkey platter with
the family name on it that’s
used every Thanksgiving.
Some people bring in family
members visiting for Thanksgiving and have them all
make handprints on a Christmas platter or personalized
ornaments for the Christmas
tree.”
Some customers simply
find the artistic endeavor relaxing. “I have one customer
who comes in and says, ‘I’m
here for my weekly therapy.’”
Individual customers can
walk in without a reservation
and be guided through the
process by Brown or a member of her staff. “You don’t
need any experience; we take
you through it step-by-step,”
said Brown, who explained
that she has taken a number
of art courses and keeps her
skills sharp through workshops offered by a professional guild she belongs to.
“There are good workshops at the Tucker Recreation Center, too,” she said.
“It’s important to keep up. A lot
of new and interesting techniques have been developed
since I was a child.”
Pottery finishing, she
said, is a hobby for nearly all
ages. “It’s something children
through senior citizens enjoy,”
according to Brown. “For children we have animals, popular comic book heroes, princesses and other such items.
A big favorite with the children
is a keepsake box made to
look like a giant cupcake. We
can’t keep those in stock.”
Brown said some parents
who bring their children to
help them find a hobby become intrigued themselves
and end up finding a piece
they would like to paint.
That Pottery Place hosts
parties for both children and
adults. “It’s a fun social event.
People bring food, drinks and
snack while they work on their
pieces. At first the groups are
fairly quiet while they figure
out what they want to do with
their art pieces, but soon
they’re talking and laughing and having a great time.
We do bridal showers, birthday parties, girls’ night out
events—just about any small
party,” Brown said.

Shannon Brown shows a caddy for holding brushes or kitchen utensils, which she said is among the
shop’s mort popular items.
NOTICE OF SALES AND USE TAX ELECTIONTO THE QUALIFIED
VOTERS OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA
YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that on the 8th day of November 2016, an election will be held in all of the precincts of the City
of Atlanta (the “City’’). At the election there will be submitted to the qualified voters of the City for their determination the question
of whether an additional 0.4 percent sales tax shall be collected in the City of Atlanta for 5 years for the purpose of transportation
improvements and congestion reduction.
Voters desiring to vote for the imposition of such sales and use tax shall do so by voting “YES” and voters desiring to vote against the
imposition of such sales and use tax shall do so by voting “NO,” as to the question propounded, to wit:
“Shall an additional 0.4 percent sales tax be collected in the City of Atlanta for 5 years for the purpose of transportation improvements
and congestion reduction?”
The several places for holding the election shall be in the regular and established precincts of the City, and the polls will be open from
7:00a.m. to 7:00p.m. on the date fixed for the election. Those qualified to vote at the election shall be determined in all respects in
accordance and in conformity with the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America and of the State of Georgia.
This notice is given pursuant to joint action of the City Council of the City of Atlanta and the Municipal Election Superintendent of the
City, subject to action taken by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 48-8-269.995(b)(1).
City of Atlanta
Municipal Clerk/Election Superintendent
Rhonda Dauphin Johnson

NOTICE OF SALES AND USE TAX ELECTION TO THE QUALIFIED
VOTERS OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED on the 8th day of November 2016, an election will be held in all of the precincts
of the City of Atlanta (the “City’’). At the election there will be submitted to the qualified voters of the City for their
determination the question of whether an additional sales tax shall be collected in the City of Atlanta for the purpose of
expanding and enhancing MARTA transit service in Atlanta.
Voters desiring to vote for the imposition of such sales and use tax shall do so by voting “YES” and voters desiring to
vote against the imposition of such sales and use tax shall do so by voting “NO,” as to the question propounded, to wit:
“Shall an additional sales tax of one-half percent be collected in the City of Atlanta for the purpose of significantly
expanding and enhancing MARTA transit service in Atlanta?”
The several places for holding the election shall be in the regular and established precincts of the City, and the polls
will be open from 7:00a.m. to 7:00p.m. on the date fixed for the election. Those qualified to vote at the election shall
be determined in all respects in accordance and in conformity with the Constitution and the laws of the United States of
America and of the State of Georgia.
This notice is given pursuant to joint action of the City Council of the City of Atlanta and the Municipal Election
Superintendent of the City.
City of Atlanta
Municipal Clerk/Election Superintendent
Rhonda Dauphin Johnson

education

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 16

Parents and stakeholders in the DeKalb County School District have disputed reports about school conditions, stating the district is placing priority on schools that may
not need it. Photos submitted.

Public disputes state of schoolhouses
DCSD fails to respond to E-SPLOST fund questions
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
Following a vote in May, five
public meetings in October and
several online surveys, the DeKalb
County School District (DCSD) will
present a detailed list of tax-funded
construction projects to the board of
education on Nov. 7.
How those projects were
chosen, what criteria were used and
who did the choosing are all being
questioned by the public—without
any answers from DCSD.
In May, DeKalb County voters
approved a penny sales tax
(E-SPLOST V) that will fund capital
and construction projects in DCSD
until 2022. In preparation of approval
of the tax, DCSD hired MTG of
America, Parsons and Education
Planners to conduct an in-depth
assessment of the district’s 140
facilities in 2015.
A similar report was conducted
in 2011 in preparation for E-SPLOST
IV.
The reports, known as facility
condition assessments (FCAs),
detail when buildings were built,
how much service life has been
used, as well as how much
service life remains. Another set
of reports, facility educational
adequacy assessments (FEAAs),
documents how well buildings could
accommodate educational programs
and teachers.
Based on the FCAs, FEAAs,
population forecasting and input
from the public, Planning and
Development Director Dan Drake
and MTG of America consultant Joe
Clark presented a tentative project
list to the public on Oct. 4 at Tucker
High School.
The list divided DCSD’s
incoming $525 million in E-SPLOST
funds into six categories with
varied amounts: safety and security

improvements ($15 million); new
facilities and additions ($255 million);
facility condition improvements
($100 million); technology ($65
million); buses, vehicles and other
capital equipment ($40 million); as
well as management support and
program contingency ($50 million).
Drake and Clark were
questioned on the decision to
rebuild Indian Creek Elementary and
provide additions to Jolly, Chesnut
and Rowland elementary schools.
Drake said the four were chosen
based on overcrowding and overflow
from the Cross Keys Cluster.
“Why was the school with the
lowest FEAA score [Henderson
Mill or Montclair Elementary] not
included in all of this?” asked one
parent.
Henderson Mill and Montclair
Elementary both have FEAA scores
of 50 with respective FCA scores of
27 and 64.
“Those are good questions to
have in a small group,” Drake said.
The pair was also questioned on
air conditioning, roofs, electrical and
plumbing systems, parking, paving
and utilities at various schools.
Each option—worth $72 million, $83
million and $69 million—presented a
list of 18, 22 and 17 schools.
All three options include
improvements for Briar Vista,
Brockett, Canby Lane, Cary
Reynolds, Champion Theme,
Chesnut, Columbia, DeKalb High
of Technology, Eldridge L. Miller,
Hawthorne, Kingsley, Livsey,
Oakcliff, Rock Chapel, Salem
Middle, Stoneview and Toney.
Henderson Mill has one of the
lowest FCA scores and the lowest
FEAA score in the district but is not
included in any of the three lists.
Other schools with comparable
FCA and FEAA scores, such as
Briar Lake, Montclair, Ashford Park,
Redan Elementary, Miller Grove

Middle and Fairington, were also not
included.
“Schools were selected based
on scores, certainly, but they were
also chosen based on capacity,
ability for growth because of site
size—there’s a pretty complex
analysis that went on to arrive at the
[chosen] schools,” Clark said. “Does
that say this is a closed door? It’s
not. It’s what [the consultant firms]
came together and decided to do.
If there’s good group discussion
across the community engagement
sessions in the next two weeks, the
district is going to respond to that.”
As of press time, DCSD had
not responded to questions from
The Champion regarding the
importance of FCA and FEAA scores
in determining a list of projects for
E-SPLOST.
Another school not mentioned
other than with regard to American
Disability Act compliance and
accessibility improvements is
Midvale Elementary.
According to Kirk Lunde, a
Tucker resident and former Midvale
parent, Midvale—along with other
district schools—has been kept out
of the discussion of this E-SPLOST
and former E-SPLOSTS for “not
having enough political clout.”
Records indicate that water has
intruded Midvale’s hallway since
2008.
“The FCA scores do not reflect
the conditions of the schools,”
Lunde said. “Overall, my concern is
that Midvale Elementary will not be
remodeled, refurbished, or refreshed
in SPLOST V even though none
of the things identified as being 20
plus years past their life expectancy
in 2011 have been addressed in
SPLOST IV. I am concerned that
Midvale is 50 years old and newer
(politically connected) schools have
significantly lower FCA scores even
though they have been updated

within the last 20 years.”
Similar concerns have come
from stakeholders representing
Henderson Mill, Briar Lake and
Columbia Elementary schools
concerning exposed HVAC systems
and inadequate plumbing systems.
Lunde said many decisions
made by Parsons and MGT of
America do not follow guidelines
of not showing partiality. Specific
schools such as Redan High School,
Kittredge Magnet School and Oak
Grove Elementary may have been
shown preferential treatment in
the past at the detriment of other
schools.
Lunde said his concerns
presented to the E-SPLOST
Advisory Committee, the citizen
board responsible for oversight,
were addressed.
However, when Lunde attempted
to contact DCSD directly for a
discussion involving FCA and FEAA
inconsistencies, he claims he was
ignored.
The Tucker resident also said
Drake told him nothing could be
done regarding the upcoming
ESPLOST V list.
“Dan Drake spoke to me
briefly after the meeting Oct. 4,”
Lunde said. “When presented
with inconsistencies in Midvale’s
FEAA and FCA, his response was
the ESPLOST V train has left the
station.”
As of press time, DCSD had
not responded to questions from
The Champion regarding accuracy
of FCA and FEAA reports. The
district also declined to respond to
questions regarding FCA and FEAA
fact-checking and whether such a
process exists in the district.
To visit the tentative E-SPLOST
project list and view complete
FCA and FEAA reports, visit www.
dekalbschoolsga.org/buildingspaces.

education

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 17

Propelling education
Retiree brings childhood wonder to life in DeKalb schools

by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
According to Eugene Fleeman,
each chance to relate knowledge
about physics, propulsion, stability
and thrust is a chance to revisit his
childhood.
“When I was growing up,
aviation was cool. Rockets were
cool,” Fleeman said. “I was born
in 1941 before World War II. I can
remember the first intercontinental
ballistic missile (ICBM) and our race
with Soviet Russia in the ‘50s and
‘60s. I always wanted to be a fighter
pilot but couldn’t, so I did the next
best thing.”
Fleeman, a retired aerospace
engineer and Stone Mountain
Rotary Club member, is the man
responsible for the Soda Straw
Rocket Competition, a program
where students engineer rockets
from drinking straws.
Fleeman is touring such DeKalb
County schools as Smoke Rise
Elementary, Brockett Elementary,
Wynbrook Elementary, Dekalb
Early College Academy, DeKalb
Tech, Champion Middle and
Stone Mountain Middle in an effort
to engage students in science,
technology, engineering and
mathematics (STEM).
“I first did this 14 years ago with
my grandsons, who were 4 and
7,” Fleeman said. “I wanted to get
them into engineering. They told
their friends in scouts, who told
their friends at school. It has now
evolved into a school program.”
What makes his program a
success, Fleeman said, is that it
can be done anywhere. Traditional
rocket programs that use explosive
materials or water cannot be done
indoors, he explained. More often
than not, such rockets also require
more time to set up.
Fleeman’s program uses a
drinking straw and typical art
supplies to allow students to design
a lightweight paper rocket. Students
answer questions such as “What
will make my rocket fly farther?”,
“What will make my rocket fly more
accurately?”, “What’s the best angle
to launch my rocket at?” and “What
is the ideal rocket chamber length?”
before constructing and launching
rockets.
“We use air-powered rockets,”
Fleeman said. “It gives students
the chance to be hands-on and
create a rocket. We can do it in
the classroom if it rains or outside
the classroom to examine wind
resistance.”
Students also answer questions
relating to rocket invention, thrust,

Eugene Fleeman, a retired aerospace engineer, is the creator of the Soda Straw Rocket Competition, a program that recently
taught Smoke Rise Elementary students entry-level rocket physics. Photo submitted.

drag and space travel.
According to Fleeman, more
traditional rocket programs are
“more fun, but less instructive.”
“In a little under or over an
hour, we can run 19 experiments,”
Fleeman said. “We can conduct
a structure test, a wind tunnel
test—and many others—before we
even get to a flight test. Students
learn the whole process using the
scientific method.”
The Soda Straw Rocket
Competition allows students to
learn about engineering practices
from someone with more than 50
years’ worth of experience. Before
becoming an educator at Georgia
Tech in 1999, Fleeman worked as
a program director at Boeing—
which designs planes—Rockwell
International—which designs
missiles—and the US Air Force
Flight Dynamics Laboratory.
Over the course of his career,

he has published more than 200
works, including three textbooks
and 93 course offerings.
“I really want students to get
more involved; it’s a great learning
experience when you design, build
and test something,” Fleeman said.
“It’s good to show how careers
work early on and students are
getting an idea on what it’s like to
be an engineer: we work in teams
and we work with math, science
and literature. It’s a good blend of
education and fun.”
Fleeman said he has enjoyed
the transition into working
with college students and now
elementary and middle schoolers.
He said his experiences working
with high-ranking military officials
have nothing on the experiences
he’s had working with college-level,
middle and elementary school
students.
“Kids are very engaged and

seem interested and motivated,”
Fleeman said. “You pick up on
their enthusiasm and learn things.
Kids always ask the best questions
because they are absolutely
fearless. The material I pick up with
every interaction is inspiring.”
Fleeman said the United
States is playing “catchup” to
most countries in the world when
it comes to STEM related fields of
study.
“Kids are just interested in other
things now,” he said. “There’s much
more interest in other countries.
There, it’s considered cool to be
engineers. What we’re doing is
giving them the idea and getting
them involved. We’re giving them
some creativity and a first exposure
to an idea.”
For more information on the
Soda Straw Rocket Competition,
contact Lizbeth Dison at ldison@
shinycomm.com or (678) 372-8164.

sports

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 18

Red All-stars capitalize on big innings to defeat Blue 15-8
by Mark Brock
The DeKalb County School District Red
Senior All-Stars used big third and fourth inning
rallies to knock off the Blue Seniors 15-8 in
the 12th annual DCSD Softball Senior All-Star
Classic Oct. 26 at Chamblee High School.
Leading 3-1 heading into the bottom of the
fourth inning, the Red All-stars exploded for six
runs keyed by a two-run double off the bat of
Miller Grove’s Lashayna Lee and a RBI double
from Decatur’s Olivia Brozek. Lakeside’s
Taylor Parker drove in a run on a ground out in
the inning as the Red extended the lead to 9-1.
Six more runs would come in the fourth
inning for the Red seniors with most of the
damage coming with two outs in the inning. A
fielding error led to a pair of runs while Arabia
Mountain’s Marcella Ferguson hit a two-out
single and Towers’ Kayla Brown hit the rightcenter gap for a bases-clearing double to
extend the lead to 15-1.
Most of the damage by the Blue seniors
came in the eighth and ninth innings as they
closed the gap to the final of 15-8.
Dunwoody’s Megan Pierce led off the eighth
with a double down the left field line and scored
on Alexandra Towner’s ground out. Tucker’s
Kayla Hodgson lined a triple down the right
field line to score Chamblee’s Tia Gordon and
then scored on a wild pitch to make it a 15-4
game heading into the ninth inning.
McNair’s Karleta Telismat singled in the

Arabia Mountain’s Kayla Phillips, left, won the MVP
award for the Red All-star team and Dunwoody’s
Megan Pierce won the Blue MVP Award. Photo by
Mark Brock

top of the ninth to push Taylor Jacobs of
Lithonia across the plate to start a four-run rally.
Telismat, Stephenson’s Kayla Ambler (single)
and Dunwoody’s Robin Talon (reached on
error) would take advantage of wild pitches and
another Red error to cross the plate to make the
final margin of 15-8.

The Blue seniors first run of the game came
following a one-out triple by Pierce with Towner
singling to right to score the run for an early 1-0
lead.
Arabia Mountain’s Kayla Phillips pitched
the first four innings and after allowing the first
inning run shutout the Blue seniors the next
three innings without allowing another hit and
striking out seven. Lakeside’s Clare Hunter
would pitch the fifth, sixth and seventh innings
allowing just one hit and no runs.
Team Blue managed to shut out the Red
over the final four innings.
Phillips would finish the day with three hits
on five at-bats and score two runs in the game
as she won the Most Valuable Player Award for
the Red with the four solid innings of pitching to
start the game.
Brown also went 3-of-5 with three RBIs,
while Lee went 2-of-5 with two RBIs. Brozek
was 2-of-3 with a double, triple and RBI, Towers’
Jasmine Johnson was 2-of-2 and Martin
Luther King’s Amanda Bell was 2-of-4.
Dunwoody’s Megan Pierce won the Blue
MVP Award as she went 2-3 with a double, triple
and two runs scored in the game. Chamblee’s
Alexandra Towner was 1-3 with two RBI for the
Blue.
The Red team leads the series 3-1 since
going to the Red-Blue format in 2014. The
North-South format ended in 2013 with both
teams tied 4-4 over the first eight games in the
classic.

MLK’s homecoming spoiled by loss to Stephenson
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
What started as a homecoming celebration
for the Martin Luther King Jr. Lions turned into a
homegoing service as the Lions were trounced
41-12 by the Stephenson Jaguars Oct. 28 at
Hallford Stadium.
The game looked as if it would be a
competitive matchup when the Lions scored
on their opening drive on a 1-yard run by
quarterback Andreas Wyatt, giving M.L. King a
6-0 lead.
However, Stephenson went on a 41-0 run
before M.L. King found the end zone again. The
Jaguars responded to the Lions’ touchdown with
a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback
D’Vonn Gibbons to wide receiver Khalil
Newton. The made extra point gave the Jaguars
a 7-6 lead late in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Hassaan
Littles’ 4-yard touchdown run extended the
Jaguars’ lead to 14-6. Midway in the quarter,
kick returner Shaun Jolly returned a punt for a
touchdown. A failed 2-point conversion attempt
after the touchdown left the score 20-7. Littles
would get his second touchdown of the game on
a 5-yard run before halftime, extending the lead
to 27-6.
Gibbons threw his second touchdown of the
game in the third quarter on a 38-yard pass to
Marquise Whitmire, extending the lead to 34-6.
Later in the quarter, Eric Johnson intercepted
a Wyatt pass and returned it for a touchdown,
extending the lead to 41-6.
M.L. King’s second score of the game came
in the fourth quarter on a 12-yard pass from

Wyatt to Emory Johnson, bringing the score to
a final of 41-12.
Stephenson (6-3, 5-1) could cause chaos
in Region 4-AAAAAA on Nov. 4. The Jaguars
will take on region-leader Tucker (8-1, 6-0) at
Hallford Stadium, and if Stephenson wins there
will be a three-way tie with Lovejoy (6-4, 6-1) for
first place.
M.L. King (2-7, 0-6) will try to close out its
season with a region win against Mt. Zion on
Nov. 4 at Tara Stadium.

Week 11 football scores
Oct. 27
Tucker (8-1) 45, Mt. Zion-Jonesboro (3-6) 0
Oct. 28
Arabia Mountain (8-1) 14, Southwest DeKalb (54) 7
Cedar Grove (7-2) 64, McNair (3-6) 0
Lakeside (5-4) 44, Berkmar (0-10) 17
Marist (6-3) 47, Chestatee (4-6) 14
St. Pius X (1-8), North Oconee (0-9) 7
Stephenson (6 -3) 41, M.L. King (2-7) 12
Alpharetta (6-3) 52, Dunwoody (2-7) 17
Jackson-Atlanta (3-6) 35, Decatur (1-8) 6
Patuala Charter (1-5) 34, Cross Keys (1-5) 14
Westminster (7-2) 44, Towers (4-5) 14
Woodward Academy (9-1) 35, Druid Hills (3-6) 6
Oct. 29
Chamblee (2-7) 13, Columbia (2-7) 6
Lithonia (4-5) 77, Miller Grove (3-6) 14
Redan (3-6) 31, Stone Mountain (1-8) 14
Forest Park (1-9) 47, Clarkston (1-8) 0

Photos by Travis Hudgons

sports

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 19

Coach Rasul Chester, center, will try to lead
Miller Grove to another state title in his first
year as head coach.

The Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers are looking
forward to defending their state title.
The Southwest DeKalb Panthers hopes
to make the state playoffs for a second
consecutive year.

Dr. Phillip McCrary, who led Columbia to five state championships, is back as head coach. Photos by Carla Parker

The Stephenson Lady Jaguars will try to compete for
another state title in a higher classification.

The Tucker Tigers hopes to be competitive in
their new region, Region 4-AAAAAA.

New regions, new coaches: the
hot topics at basketball media day
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

D

eKalb County high school
basketball tips off Nov. 8
and a few new coaches are
eager to begin their new
regime, while other coaches are
looking forward to see how their
teams competes in a new region.
The DeKalb County School
District held its annual basketball
media day for the upcoming 201617 season at Tucker High School
Oct. 25. There were discussions of
the new region alignments that the
reclassification committee of the
Georgia High School Association
announced last year.
Region 5-AAAAA is expected
to be one of the more competitive
regions this season. The region
features four boys’ and three girls’
teams that made the state playoffs
last season, including defending
champions Miller Grove boys and
Southwest DeKalb girls.
Southwest DeKalb boys
were among the teams to make
the playoffs and Coach Eugene
Brown said the new region will
help his team prepare for another
possible playoff appearance.

“These [players] had a great
experience last year,” Brown
said. “It was our first [playoff
appearance] since [2013]. Last
year, we saw what it’s going to take
for us to go on and try to get back
to that level.”
Southwest DeKalb lost to Kell
in the first round of the playoff.
Brown said the playoff was a great
experience for his players despite
the loss. He said his team worked
hard over the summer to improve
and prepare for another playoff
appearance.
“They know what we did not
do well and they have taken those
things to heart and actually put
in time to correct those specific
things,” Brown said. “I feel really
good about where we are. I’ll feel
better once we get in the gym and
start practicing.”
Southwest DeKalb will be in a
region with a couple of teams that
have new leadership—Columbia
and Miller Grove. Dr. Phillip
McCrary, who led Columbia to
five state championships (2006,
2008, 2010-2012), returns to the
program after spending the last
four years as an administrator with
the district’s athletic department.

Former Miller Grove assistant
basketball coach Rasul Chester
is back with the program as head
coach after one season as head
coach at Stephenson.
McCrary said he is happy to be
coaching again.
“Administration was great. I
enjoyed the experiences of being
an administrator, but sometimes
you have to go back to your first
love,” McCrary said. “And going
back, whether it was Columbia or
anywhere else, it’s just good to be
back in the game.”
McCrary replaced former
head coach Kerry Sandifer,
who took over the program when
McCrary initially retired at the
end of the 2012 season. During
Sandifer’s three-year tenure,
Columbia remained a competitive
team and made the playoffs each
year, including two title game
appearances. But the Eagles failed
to win a state title.
McCrary hopes his coaching
style will bring another state
championship trophy to Columbia.
“Every coach has their own
philosophy. Coach [Sandifer] was
a great coach,” McCrary said. “I’ve
known him for years, we were

always friends and we’ll always be
good friends. But each coach has
their own philosophy and a lot of
times teams play off on the coach’s
mentality going towards the game.
I’m more of a hard-nosed, oldfashioned type coach that’s going
to demand a lot from the kids, and
hopefully that can seep into them
and they can buy into the things
that we expect for them to do.”
Chester, who won several
state titles as an assistant at
Miller Grove with former coach
Sharman White, is looking forward
to continuing that championship
tradition as the head coach, and
he plans to do so with little to no
pressure.
“At Miller Grove we’ve always
been taught that there is no
pressure when you prepare,
and in our building everything is
championship or bust,” Chester
said. “That’s our goal. That’s
the foundation that has been
built there so that’s what we’re
trying to do. We’re not trying to
do anything else. There’s no
pressure. We’re going to prepare
for [a championship run] and we’re
going go out and try to get that
[championship].”

sports

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 • Page 20

MLK retires former star running back’s jersey
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Before the start of Martin Luther King Jr.
High School’s homecoming game Oct. 28,
the school retired former running back Mack
Brown’s No. 33 jersey.
Brown, a 2010 M.L. King graduate,
is sixth all-time on the DeKalb County
career rushing list with 3,994 yards and
42 touchdowns. He went on to play for the
University of Florida where he played in
49 games from the 2010 to 2014 seasons,
rushing for 805 yards and scoring four
rushing touchdowns.
Brown signed as a college free agent
with the Houston Texans on May 11, 2015.
He was waived by the Texans in June and
was signed by the Washington Redskins a
month later.
He had a breakout game in the
preseason, rushing for 149 yards on 19
carries and scored one touchdown in
Washington’s 20-13 win against the Tampa
Bay Buccaneers.
Of his 149 rushing yards, 130 came in
the first half. He was signed to the practice
squad and spent most of the season there
until Oct. 28—the day the school retired his
jersey—when he was promoted to the 53man roster before the matchup against the
Cincinnati Bengals in London, England.
Brown’s family accepted the No. 33
jersey on his behalf.

Photo by Travis Hudgons