See foreclosure listings

See page 6 for locations

the DeKalb

FRIDAY, november 18, 2016 • VOL. 19, NO. 32 • FREE

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


For Seekers of Housing Affordability Solutions, Less is More
See HOUSE on Page 5






DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 • Page 2

DeKalb County breaks voting records
by Horace Holloman


s Americans cast their final
votes Nov. 8, a record-number
of DeKalb County voters let their
voices be heard early.
The county’s board of elections
reported that more than 193,000 people
cast ballots, including more than 13,000
mail-in ballots.
With 518,947 registered voters in
DeKalb County, nearly half of active
voters decided to vote early, said Maxine
Daniels, DeKalb Registration and
Elections director.
“To see nearly 4,000 people come out
and take advantage of Sunday voting is
impressive,” said Interim DeKalb County
CEO Lee May in a statement. “DeKalb
County led the state in the effort to make
early voting more accessible and these
numbers show adding that Sunday option
makes a difference.”
The county opened Sunday voting on
Oct. 30. More than 1,014 voters cast their
ballots at the Chamblee precinct. In total,
3,935 DeKalb residents voted on Sunday.
The last day of early voting, Nov.
4, had the biggest turnout with 23,654
DeKalb residents casting their votes. That
was an increase of almost 30 percent from

Photo by Donna Seay

the day prior.
DeKalb elections officials said the
average wait time during the first two
weeks at early voting locations was less
than 15 minutes. The final week averaged
30 minutes across the county.
“We expected this. We compared this
to 2008,” Daniels said in a statement.
“This is right in line with the 175,000 who
voted early in 2008.”
Daniels said the county also broke
a record with the number of registered
voters in the county. The number of
registered voters increased from 493,147
in April 2016 to 518,947—a 5-percent
“There are two contributors to these
numbers. The continued growth of DeKalb
County and because the state did not
purge voter rolls,” Daniels said.
According to Daniels, the county could
have lost nearly 30,000 voters had the
state purged inactive voter rolls.
DeKalb County voters elected Mike
Thurmond as the county’s new CEO and
re-elected Sheriff Jeff Mann by a large
margin. Doug Denton was elected the
county’s soil and water supervisor.
Despite the national outcome of the
election, Hillary Clinton received more
than 78 percent of the vote among DeKalb
County voters.

Apply to have your felony arrests and youthful, nonviolent
convictions (ages 20 and under) cleared from your record.

Saturday, December 10, 2016, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
DeKalb County Courthouse, 556 N. McDonough Street, Decatur, GA



1. Only Arrests by DeKalb County
Police Department or DeKalb
County Sheriff’s Office
2. Felony Arrests Only
Nonviolent, Youthful
Convictions (ages 20 and under)

Driver’s License or state ID
Certified copy of Case Disposition (available from the Clerk of Superior Court)
For more information, call 404-371-2770 or e-mail


Avondale Estates
City to host annual Christmas tree lighting

Avondale Estates will host its annual Christmas tree lighting Nov.
28 at 6:30 p.m. at Clarendon Avenue and South Avondale Road. Boy
Scout Troop 6 will be giving away cookies in a tent adjacent to the tree.
The Avondale First Baptist Church choir will begin caroling at 6:30 p.m.
The Christmas tree lighting will be 6:45-7 p.m. and hot apple cider and
Krispy Kreme Donuts will be served after the tree lighting. Santa Claus
will make a special personal appearance for the occasion. For more
information, visit

Museum School charter renewed
The Dekalb County School District (DCSD) renewed the charter for
the Museum School of Avondale Estates during its monthly meeting on
Nov. 7.
The school serves 588 kindergarten through eighth grade students
with a “hands-on, experiential learning approach focusing on expository
and self-directed learning,” according to DCSD officials.
“The school has performed well during the past contract term, and
the DeKalb County School District Raters’ Committee determined many
concepts envisioned by the petitioner would be of benefit to DeKalb
students,” DCSD officials said.
DCSD estimates the five-year renewal will have a financial impact of
$26.4 million.


City to host Ashford Dunwoody corridor study open
The final draft recommendations for the Ashford Dunwoody
corridor will be presented at a public open house Nov. 29, from 6 to 8
p.m. at Brookhaven City Hall in the council chambers located at 4362
Peachtree Road. For more information, contact the project team at or call (770) 754-0755.


DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 • Page 3

Adult wreath-making events announced
The Wylde Center
will offer wreath-making
classes for adults at the
Oakhurst Garden, 435
Oakview Road in Decatur.
Participants will be provided
with balsam fir wreaths,
along with a variety of
garden materials to use to
embellish the wreaths and
create one-of-a-kind holiday
decorations. Participants
may bring their own
refreshments including
beer and wine. The cost is
$65 per person, or $55 for
Wylde Center members,
and all materials are
included.  Participants must
register online in advance
and may choose an evening
from Nov. 30-Dec. 3 and
Dec. 6-10 from 7-9 p.m. For
additional information visit 

School receives national recognition
Oakhurst Elementary School has joined four other schools in the
country recognized for achievement beyond test scores.
On Nov. 3, Oakhurst joined schools from Wisconsin, New York,
Oregon and Colorado in obtaining the EL Education credential, which
“measures academic performance, high-quality work and positive
character,” according to a press release.
EL Education is in its third year of credentialing schools through
professional coaching, curriculums and free resources, according to a
press release.
Oakhurst Elementary students reportedly “outperformed their peers”
in Georgia and demonstrated they are “developing positive character
traits,” including “perseverance, empathy and sense of service to
Oakhurst has been one of EL Education’s top five schools in Georgia
since 2013, according to the organization.

Community Wind Ensemble to perform
Perimeter College’s Community Wind Ensemble will be performing
a winter-themed concert at the Clarkston Campus’s Cole Auditorium on
Dec. 1 at 8 p.m.
Works being performed will include “Highlights from Frozen,”
arranged by Stephen Bulla; “Polovetsian Dances,” by Alexander
Borodin; “Chester,” by William Schumann; “Slavonic Dance No. 1,” by
Antonin Dvorak; “Cavatine,” by Camille Saint-Saens and other holiday
Perimeter College Community Wind Ensemble’s conductor Slava
Michael Prudchenko will be conducting most of the evening, but the
event also will feature guest conductor Thomas Cremer.
The event is free and open to the public.
Perimeter College’s Clarkston Campus is located at 555 Indian
Creek Drive. For more information, call (678) 891-3572.


Turkey giveaway announced
The Women In NAACP—DeKalb County Branch and Commissioner
Larry Johnson-District 3 present the 4th Annual Turkey  Give Away
for needy families on Nov. 19 at The Gallery at South DeKalb Mall.
The event will be  held in the mall parking lot in front of Macy’s,
near SunTrust Bank from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.. South DeKalb Mall  is
located  at 2801 Candler Road in Decatur
Sponsors “HUGLIFE” and radio station STREETZ 94.5 and 87.7 Old
School will provide live remote broadcasts and giveaways.
For more information contact  the NAACP office at (404)-241-8006.

Photo by Travis Hudgons

stone mountain
City to host annual Christmas event

Stone Mountain will host its annual Christmas parade and fireworks
event Nov. 25, from 4 to 8 p.m. The event will include children’s
activities, marshmallow roasting, hot chocolate and fireworks. All
restaurants, shops and art galleries will be open for shopping. For more
information, visit


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

Interim CEO Lee May held a town hall meeting Nov. 10 to discuss a “water billing crisis” in DeKalb County. More than 100 people were in attendance at the meeting.

DeKalb residents still frustrated over water bills
by Horace Holloman
Jennifer Tate, a Brookhaven resident
who said she’s still dealing with high water
bills from the county, said she has little faith
in the county to resolve her issues. Some
DeKalb residents seemed to share Tate’s
sentiment at a town hall meeting Nov. 10 to
discuss high water bills.
The meeting, held in the auditorium of
the Maloof Building in downtown Decatur,
was hosted by interim CEO Lee May.  
More than 100 people were in
attendance to discuss high water bills in
DeKalb County.
Tate said she commuted nearly an
hour from Brookhaven to attend the town
hall and felt like the meeting “was a waste
of her time” and a “dog-and-pony show”
by the administration. Tate said she called
the water billing department this summer
because she hadn’t receive a water bill.
After calling the water billing department
multiple times, she received a water bill for
“I went from a bi-monthly bill that was
no more than $120 historically for 11 years
to suddenly having a $1,700 bill. Nothing
changed,” Tate said. “There were no extra
people in the house. I didn’t do anything
Tate said she was able to resolve the
$1,700 bill to a “manageable amount,”
however, the next month she received a
$450 water bill.
Tate said she went through the county’s
water billing dispute process and was
told to pay an average of $113 while the
department sorted out her issues.
“I said I’m not paying two outrageous
water bills. This is ridiculous. I’m not doing
it. Luckily more people know about this
now, because if this had been a year ago I
would have been shafted. It’s sad to hear
what they’re doing,” Tate said. “There’s no
empathy for people who don’t know about

this issue. I’m fortunate that I’m on social
media and found out about this and can get
Unbelievable DeKalb Water Bills, a
Facebook group informing residents about
the county’s efforts to rectify water billing
concerns, had roughly 900 members during
the first town hall meeting to discuss high
water bills in early October. As of Nov. 10,
the group’s membership has more than
May said 10 days prior to the Nov. 10
meeting, he “yelled” at his water billing staff
to stop telling customers their issues were
due to a water leak.
On Sept. 20, May issued a moratorium
through the end of 2016 on the
disconnection of residential water accounts
that have been contested through the Utility
Customer Operations Center.  
Water customers who believe their
bills are in error should notify the Utility
Customer Operations Center at 774
Jordan Lane in Decatur, or call (404)-3713000 to speak with a customer service
representative, county officials said.
During the town hall, May said county
officials have identified several issues that
are contributing to high water bills including,
billing errors and errors with water meters.
“We’ve noticed a litany of issues that
has got us to this point,” May said.
Currently, the county has roughly
180,000 residential water accounts with
nearly 11,000 accounts experiencing
“exceptions” or unusually high bills.
May said he would like to make sure
all residential accounts are using the
same water meters in the future. May said
there are four different water meters in
use across the county.There are roughly
45,000 IPerl meters installed throughout
the county. In an earlier town hall meeting,
manufactures of the IPerl meters said the
meters can malfunction at times if water
gets inside.
May said the other 70 percent of water
meters used by residents are outdated and
need to be replaced.
“Some of these were manufactured
between 1992 and 1998. The lifespan of
those water meters [is] about 15 years so
all of those water meters are past their
lifespan,” May said. “We know that we
have challenges, so the good majority of
our water meters we just don’t know. A part
of the long-term fix is getting to one-meter

Photos by Horace Holloman

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016

HOUSE Continued From Page 1
by Matt Amato
Housing prices in DeKalb
County are one the rise. According
to real estate website Zillow, the
average home price in DeKalb is
$153,000. That’s an 8.9 percent
increase from last year, and
welcome news for thousands of
local homeowners still recovering
from the Great Recession, when
a nationwide real estate crash
left millions ‘under water’ on
mortgages or with homes valued
far less than previously.
However, such sharp gains,
which Zillow predicts will
continue trending in DeKalb next
year with a hefty 5.4 percent
jump, have renewed concerns
about affordable housing. For
one ubiquitous movement of
empowered home builders and
owners, the solution is clear:
scaled-down living spaces, better
known as tiny or micro homes.
Atlanta-based developer
Kim Bucciero is banking on
it. A relative newcomer to the
movement, Bucciero hopes to
break ground next year on the
metro area’s first-ever micro-home
community in East Point, which
could be a bellwether of things to
come. Already, the development
has a waiting list of potential
homeowners—people, she
believes, who represent a growing
cultural shift away from excessive
consumerism toward a more
prudent lifestyle of sustainability.
It’s a sentiment shared by Will
Johnson, founder of the nonprofit group Tiny House Atlanta,
what he describes as the nation’s
largest member-driven tiny house
movement. Motivated by a sense
of personal dissatisfaction with a
consumerist culture, the 36-yearold started the organization after
traveling to New Zealand three
years ago.
“The houses are the tip of
the iceberg and promote a
conversation that we need to
have,” he said. “It’s about using
what you need and to not have
An online search of “tiny
homes” revealed some owners
needed only enough stuff to fill
dwellings as small as 100 square
feet, which can snugly fit on a
trailer and be towed around.
Many houses were crafted
using salvaged materials, with
owners often doing the work
themselves, having learned
building skills for the first time
at workshops or through online

In July, a micro-house expo
in Decatur, featuring 11 model
homes and a symposium of
speakers, drew 5,000 visitors.
“There were 2,500 tickets per
day at $20 per ticket and we sold
out,” said Bucciero, noting that the
attendance was another sign of
growing interest.
Municipalities across the
metro area are taking notice.
Atlanta is currently studying how
to incorporate micro homes into
the community, and Bucciero said
there have been preliminary talks
with other cities.
One issue facing developers
of tiny home communities such
as the one proposed in East
Point is minimum square footage
requirements, which vary by city
and county. Decatur, for example,
has no minimums, whereas
DeKalb does. However, with
micro homes seen as a barrier to
wider community housing issues,
such as the displacing effects of
gentrification and affordability,
there appears to be considerable
appetite in reviewing these
“Bringing back affordability
and not gravitating towards
‘McMansions’ that cause
gentrification is a great solution,
and I see it as an option,”
said Bucciero, who was first
acquainted with the micro house
movement two years ago after
attending a local event and is now
transitioning away from a career in
the telecommunications industry in
favor of property development.
She’s since found that smaller
does not necessarily mean easier
when it comes to construction.
“One of our goals is to keep costs
down, and civil engineering is a
huge part of that cost,” she said.
For that reason, she was reluctant
to give specifics on house prices
after construction. Still, for all their
uniqueness, many of the homes
at the proposed site won’t be
too dwarfed by those in adjacent
neighborhoods, which were
constructed in the ’30s, ’40s and
In 1950, the average home size
was just 1,000 square feet—half
of what it is now. Sizes in the 40home proposed development in
East Point would range from 2501,000 square feet. It’s this point
that Johnson and many others
see as a sign of the movement’s
long-term viability. “It’s an old way
of living that’s coming back,” he
said. “It’s a way for us to revitalize
areas to become stronger, more
sustainable communities.”


Page 5


DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016


Page 6
Nov. 10 - 16, 2016 • Page 7A

Honoring soldiers being treated dishonorably

Veteran’s Day is right around
the corner. It’s a time to honor
the American men and women
who put self aside to serve
the United States. They made
commitments to this country to
serve in the armed forces without
knowing exactly what they might
have to do. They trained and
have been ready to be called
upon at a moment’s notice to
go anywhere and do whatever
their commanders said needed
to be done. They served in
conflicts and war, relief efforts as
well as being a show of force in
situations at home and around
the world.
Our soldiers—past and
present—deserve our praise and
At a time when we should

Gale Horton Gay

be focused on expressing our
gratitude to veterans comes news
that in California, some vets are
being asked to return bonuses
that were given as enticements
to re-enlist. Those bonuses were
doled out over a decade ago
at a time when the guard was
short on troops. It turns out that
those bonuses—as much as
$15,000 per enlistee—were, in
some cases, given to soldiers
who weren’t eligible for them,

apparently through no fault of
their own.
According to various news
reports, the fault lies with
California National Guard
officials—some of whom
were convicted of fraud and
mismanagement and were given
sentences of federal prison time,
probation and restitution.
According to the Los Angeles
Times, the California National
Guard had told 9,700 current and
former soldiers that they must
repay some or all of the bonus
money they received.
Whether this is a widespread
problem or an isolated situation,
it is nevertheless reprehensible.
Men and women, some of whom
served in Iraq and Afghanistan,
being asked to undergo financial

hardship to repay money due to
the wrongful actions of others is
not right.
Since the scandal broke,
Defense Secretary Ash Carter
has ordered the Pentagon to
suspend its collection efforts until
a better process to evaluate each
case can be established.
I suggest that this year we
honor our veterans by contacting
congressional representatives
and expressing our outrage
over this situation and asking
that actions be taken to ensure
that these soldiers not bear the
financial burden of repaying
funds they accepted in good
faith. They certainly upheld their
end of the bargain and for that
they deserve our gratitude and

Our Republic shall survive
“America will never be
destroyed from the outside. If
we falter and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed
– President Abraham Lincoln.
Our nation has survived
a war among its own people
costing the lives of millions and
pitting brother against brother.
Later two world wars; the long
overdue Civil Rights movement
and healing which continues to
this day; unholy acts of terrorism
and barbarism; and more
than a bad presidency or two.
Regardless of the outcome of
the race for the White House,
our republic will survive.
I am writing this column
before those polls close, and
after record advance voting
has been completed here in
Georgia, with 2.2 million ballots
already cast, and more than
100,000 absentee ballots yet
returned. There has been early
voting in more than 30 states,
most out-pacing their voting
rates of the 2012 election.
Trump’s supporters appear
more energized. Clinton’s base
seems more subdued, and
advance voting among Black
voters is 5-10 percentage points
lower than the 2008 and 2012
cycles, depending on the state,
when Barack Obama topped
the ticket.
Clinton has the more
significant polling lead and

‘One Man’s
Bill Crane

larger block of blue states and
seemingly locked electoral
votes. In the waning hours of this
election year, the F.B.I. again
called off the email dogs and
indicated no change in their plan
of non-prosecution announced
in July. Certainly a reprieve for
Secretary Clinton’s campaign,
but hard to assess how much
impact the re-opening of that
same investigation had during
the final week of early voting.
Trump’s advocates claim
a Nixonian “silent majority”
of voters are just waiting
for Election Day to secretly
express their support for the
man who wants to “drain the
swamp” which they believe
Washington, D.C. has again
become. Maybe, but by the
narrowest of margins, it does
appear that the GOP may even
hang on to its Senate majority,
by 1-2 seats. Here in Georgia,
popular incumbent U.S. Senator
Johnny Isakson appears likely
to receive the required 50%, plus
one vote, to avoid a run-off.
The presidency is the
most powerful office in our
land. Though we are not
electing a dictator, potentate,

king or queen. We are selecting
the leader of our republic’s
executive branch. We still will
have Congress, the legislative
branch and our judicial system
represented by the local, state
and federal courts.
Mr. Trump may speak of the
presidency as if the powers of
the office are absolute.They are
not. His supporters may speak
of ending or banishing those of
dissenting voice. They cannot.
So whether you are smiling,
gnashing your teeth, collecting
winning bets or saying “I told you
so” to friends and neighbors—
starting November 9, let’s all try
and remember again that we are
Americans and we are in this
mess together.
No matter our differences
individually, we have a much
longer list of commonalities. It
should not require an attack of
the magnitude of 9/11 to bring
our people together.
This will actually be 50 state
elections, each their own closed
loop, not dumped into a common
mainframe or tallied in a cloud
on the Internet. Though Mr.
Trump is alleging a conspiracy
in advance, governors in 38
states are Republican as are
the majority of those state’s
secretaries of state. The
GOP currently controls twothirds of state legislative
bodies. The voting machines
in place in a majority of states
are technology funded after
the 2000 cliff-hanger election
and implemented during the

2004 and 2006 cycles, with a
Republican in the White House.
On the plus side, I cannot
tell you how enthused I am
about the new leadership team
about to take the helm here
in our DeKalb County. Our
new CEO, county commission
and district attorney all bode
well for our county, as do our
likely returning sheriff, tax
commissioner and clerk of
Superior Court It appears at
least for now, that DeKalb’s best
days may yet again be ahead
of us. If that is true, given what
we have all been through—then
I have no doubt our United
States can get back there again
as well—but it is going to take
effort, sacrifice and commitment
from all of us again to get there.
Try and remember that even
if your candidate lost on election
day, the fact that we still get
to select and elect our leaders
remains a major win for the
American people.

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.

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016


Page 7

Pr-resident Donald J. Trump...repeat it softly
“Love the fact that the small
groups of protesters last night
have passion for our great country.  We will all come together
and be proud,” as Tweeted on
Veteran’s Day, 11/11/2016, by
President-elect Donald Trump or
a campaign staffer for same.
Not all of the protests were
small. Portland, Oregon declared
the protests at one point there to
be riots, and one protester was
killed in a clash with local police.
For the second time in two decades, and fifth time in the history
of our nation, one presidential
candidate won the Electoral College, and another the popular
vote. Tempers and passions will
likely continue to flare for the
foreseeable future, but the results
were clear and the win was a sizable victory. Those challenging or
questioning the legitimacy of the
Trump win may just want to hunker down and pay less attention
to CNN, Fox and the major networks for the next few months.
My first Presidential election
as a voter was 1980. Incumbent President Jimmy Carter survived a bruising presidential
primary challenge from Mass.
Senator Ted Kennedy running
from his party’s left. Sound familiar?
Kennedy eventually endorsed
Carter, but many of his supporters never got on board with
the Peanut Brigade. Carter was
challenged by former California
Governor Ronald Reagan, and
though still struggling with the
Iran Hostage Crisis and a weak

ultimately by the U.S. Supreme
Court ending recounts in Florida,
‘One Man’s where Bush’s brother was governor and a Republican Secretary
of State oversaw the recounts.
Bush won the Electoral College
Bill Crane
by only five votes, and Gore
the popular vote by more than
 And again for weeks, the puneconomy, Carter looked good
dit class and many political oppofor re-election until the debates.
nents said that Bush’s presidency
Reagan’s performance and public would always be greeted with an
reaction shifted the campaign’s
asterisk or comma, questioning
direction and momentum. Reagan his legitimacy in office. Yet, less
won in a landslide, carrying all but than nine months later, as the
three states.  
nation came together in the chal Pundits and the Washington
lenging aftermath of the terrorist
elites all but pronounced Reagan attacks of 9/11, Bush’s approval
a simpleton and actor with few
ratings rose above 90 percent.
other talents or skills, and some
 We need to see more of the
of his more jingoistic speeches
moments of civility and statescaused many to feel that he
manship, as we witnessed
would have a fast trigger and
during the brief White House
itchy finger for using America’s
meeting between President
nuclear arsenal. Reagan instead
Obama and President-elect
began the negotiations for the
Trump. It would be helpful if both
SALT I and SALT II treaties  which of these men, as well as Secreeventually reduced the nuclear
tary Clinton, each issued statearsenals of both the United States ments requesting/directing their
and the former Soviet Union, and supporters to stand down and
later Russia.
stop protesting or questioning the
legitimacy of the Trump victory.
Two decades later, in a hard
 An online petition claiming the
fought contest between Vicesignatures of more than 3 million
President Al Gore and Texas
is requesting that unbound Trump
Governor George Bush, Bush
delegates to the Electoral Colwas portrayed, particularly in pop lege switch their votes to Hillary
culture by outlets such as SatClinton. This would of course
urday Night Live as a simpleton
require a shift of more than 50 of
cowboy, despite degrees from
the GOP’s most stalwart donors
Harvard and Yale and two sucand officials in probably as many
cessful terms as governor of the
as a dozen states to disregard the
nation’s second largest state. The popular vote of their respective
Bush/Gore contest was decided

Georgia and many other
Southern states, following the
states’ rights mantra of old, do
not bind their electors by law to
follow the popular vote. A similar
effort was undertaken during the
2000 election, when flipping two
electors would have changed
the outcome in favor of Gore. No
electors flipped.
It is not a coincidence that we
end our year and election season
heading into the holidays. Though
not the time established by our
Founding Fathers, the general
election often begins the end of
each year with a divided electorate.  
But I promise, before the Electoral College convenes, or certainly before Inauguration Day, I
will be able to pair those words
together President-elect Donald
Trump without gagging. Perhaps
we should all just practice that
a bit as we head into the holidays. God bless you and yours.
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

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

the DeKalb

Let Us Know What You Think!
Send Letters To Editor,
The DeKalb Free Press,
P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347;
Send email to
FAX To: (404) 370-3903; Phone: (404) 373-7779.
Deadline for news releases and advertising:
Thursday, one week prior to publication date.

THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encourages opinions
from its readers. Please write to us and express your
views. Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain
the writer’s name, address and telephone number for
verification. All letters will be considered for publication.

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

John Hewitt

Travis Hudgons

Chief Financial Officer:
Dr. Earl D. Glenn

Staff Reporters:
Carla Parker
R. Scott Belzer
Horace Holloman

Production Manager:
Kemesha Wadley

The DeKalb Free Press is published each Friday
by ACE III Communications, Inc.,
114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030
Phone (404) 373-7779.
DISPLAY ADVERTISING (404) 373-7779 x 110

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


DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 • Page 8

Northcrest accepted into National Register of Historic Places

Lynn Speno, national register
specialist, presented a case for
the Northcrest Historic District
before the Georgia National
Register Review Board for
historic designation on Aug. 26.
Photo by R. Scott Belzer

by R. Scott Belzer
Sleek, mid-century
modern, contemporary,
retro, suburban, stylish and
desirable are all attributes
that are associated with the
Northcrest neighborhood
by DeKalb County real
estate agents, residents and
On Aug. 26, the National
Register of Historic Places
and Georgia Historic
Preservation District (HPD)
assigned the neighborhood
another quality: historic.
The Northcrest
by Chamblee-Tucker
Road to the south,
Northcrest Road to the
west and Pleasantdale
Road to the north and
four subdivisions totaling
396 acres: Northcrest,
Northcrest East, Hidden
Acres and Concord Manor.
Constructed between
1959 and 1975, Northcrest
offers a concentration
of A-Frame, split-level
and ranch homes of
contemporary design. In
the neighborhood, it’s not
unusual to see brick veneer,
wood siding, glass walls,
open carports and large
The style became
popular during the
suburban sprawl period
following World War II and
epitomized in California.
Developers Walter Tally,
Howard Hardrath and
Paul Edwards teamed
with Georgia Tech grad and
architect Ernest Mastin
to provide metro Atlanta
with a subdued version of
California contemporarystyled living.
Georgia’s National
Register Review Board
met Aug. 26 to consider
Northcrest’s significance

and offer registry as a
historic district. Such
designation offers districts
favorable tax treatments,
historic home values and
eligibility for federal grants.
Georgia State University
teamed with the Northcrest
Civic Association to submit
an application for historic
significance and develop a
formal presentation.
National register
specialist Lynn Speno
presented Northcrest’s case
to nine board members.
The board is made up
of historians, architects,
archaeologists and
professors from throughout
Speno presented
Northcrest’s characteristics
through pictures—many
trees, no sidewalks, a
school, a park—to relate
the neighborhood’s
concentration and
consistency in the
contemporary style.
“Northcrest contains one
of the largest collections of
contemporary houses in the
metro Atlanta area,” Speno
said. “There are 12 houses
with the unusual A-frame
[structure] in Northcrest.
There are split-levels in
Northcrest of many styles.
It’s significant in the way
of architecture for its intact
collection of mid-20th
century houses that followed
national trends at the time.”
According to Speno,
uniquely modern amenities
offered by Northcrest
houses at the time included
a full kitchen and airconditioning. A fireplace, bar
and recreational room on a
lower level also made the
neighborhood stand out to
potential buyers from a postWorld War II middle class.
“There’s also a very
unusual bathroom design
in many of these houses,”
Speno said. “There are two
sink areas separated by a
common bathtub, called
Hollywood bathrooms.”
Pictures from the interior
of houses presented by
Speno showed living rooms,
bedrooms and sitting rooms
flooded with light.
Board member and
associate professor of
University of Georgia’s
college of environment and
design Cari Goetcheus
commended the
neighborhood’s rolling hills,
untouched platting and
defined setting.
According to Richard

Laub, professor at
Georgia State and head
of the college’s Heritage
Preservation Program,
Northcrest’s engineers
created the neighborhood
to keep as many trees and
natural features as possible.
Northcrest resident
Paige Lozier was
present to commend the
neighborhood’s architecture,
atmosphere and interest in
The National Register
Review Board unanimously
approved Northcrest’s

Northcrest’s mid-century modern and ranch style homes, unique
in Atlanta, are being considered for nomination into the National
Registry of Historic Places. Photo used courtesy of domoREALTY.

Tucker Middle School’s STEM program received a statewide honor from the Technology Association
of Georgia’s 2016 STEM Education Awards on Nov. 4. Photos courtesy of Technology Association of

Tucker Middle honored
at STEM awards
by R. Scott Belzer

Tucker Middle School was honored
for its dedication to science, technology,
engineering and mathematics (STEM) on
Nov. 4 at the 2016 STEM Education Awards.
Since 2011, the Technology Association
of Georgia (TAG) has honored schools,
programs and businesses for their efforts in
supporting and promoting STEM disciplines
in the classroom.
Tucker Middle School is a STEM
Certified School, meaning it has been
recognized by AdvancED, which provides the
national standard on implementing relating
disciplines nationwide.
On Nov. 4, TAG recognized Tucker
Middle as the best STEM Certified School in
the state.
“High-tech careers are some of the
most in-demand and highest paying jobs
in our country and the anticipated shortage
of employees is staggering,” said Amanda
Hendley, chief operating officer for TAG.
“Our 2016 STEM Education Award winners
are the best of the best and are making a
major impact on workforce development in

“These awards were created to recognize
and celebrate schools, extracurricular
programs, public-private partnerships,
science agencies and post-secondary
education outreach programs for outstanding
efforts and achievement in supporting and
promoting STEM education in Georgia,”
reads a statement from TAG.
DeKalb County School District’s
Hightower Elementary also was honored
at the 2014 STEM Education Awards in the
Elementary School category.
According to its website, TAG is “the
leading technology industry association in the
state,” serving more than 30,000 members
throughout Georgia.
“TAG’s mission is to educate, promote
and unite Georgia’s technology community
to foster an innovative and connected
marketplace that stimulates and enhances a
tech-based economy,” the company states.
TAG’s Education Collaborative includes
internship for high school students,
statewide challenges to STEM programs and
For more information on TAG’s STEM
Education Awards, visit


DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 • Page 9

Jack Wheeler, 62, receives the keys to his new house on Summit Hill Lane
in Tucker during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The house was provided by
DeKalb Community Service Board and will house two other individuals with
developmental disabilities.

DeKalb Community Service Board recently opened its sixth residential home for
developmentally disabled individuals in DeKalb County Nov. 10 in Tucker. Photos by
Horace Holloman

DeKalb CSB reunites
three men for fresh start
by Horace Holloman


hree individuals with developmental
disabilities received the keys to a
new home Nov. 10, thanks to the
efforts of the DeKalb Community Service
Board (CSB).
The CSB hosted a grand opening of
the home, located on Summit Hills Lane
in Tucker. It is the sixth residential home
for developmentally disabled individuals in
DeKalb County.
CSB officials said they were excited
to finish the housing process and the
house will allow the three residents to fully
integrate into the Tucker community by
offering living and work options designed
to meet their needs.
The mayor of Tucker, Frank Auman,
was at the grand opening to show his
support for CSB.
“Our vision for Tucker is to have
a place that people can live and work
and pray their entire lives, regardless of
age or ability or disability. We want our
residents to never be forced to leave
due to life’s circumstances,” said Auman
during a speech before a group of nearly
20 people. “This is a great example of a
way to do that. This is a thrill for us and the
place looks great.”
The home is a split level house
complete with a fenced backyard and
furnished. Jack Wheeler, 62; Mark
Golsan, 67; and Jim Stewart, 49, will be
Summit Hill’s newest residents.
“Tucker is a very pleasant place to
work and the neighbors have been very
accepting,” said Keith Ricketson, director
of developmental disability services. “It’s
just been a very positive experience from
that point of view.”
Ricketson said the trio were previously
separated after a house they were leasing
was put up for sale. CSB worked with
a real estate agent who showed the

Know Your
Know Your

organization roughly 15 to 18 properties,
Ricketson said. The process of acquiring a
new house took roughly nine months.
“That was a long process. These guys
had to go and live in temporary housing
waiting for this place to be licensed,”
Ricketson said.
One person who is thrilled to have the
three men living in Tucker is Stewart’s
mother, Dot Stewart. Now her son lives
less than five miles from her, she said.
“They separated the three men
temporarily. So they bought this house
and got the three fellas back together. I
know they’re delighted,” said Dot Stewart,
smiling. “They’ve been living together for
several years and we’re all happy because
they all get along so well. I live in Tucker
so this is ideal for me.”
Jim Stewart said he was happy to get
the keys to his new home.
“I like it. It’s cool,” he said.
Alvin Glymph, a member of the
Brighter DeKalb Foundation board, said
he was pleased to be a part of the ribboncutting ceremony and is proud of how the
house turned out.  
FREE rapid HIV tests
“I’m just pleased. To have these
20 minutes
20 minutes
services and this home and community
offered to the people that we serve is
a great thing. I didn’t see the previous
Monday - Friday, 8:15 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Friday,
8:15 a.m.
4 p.m.
- Friday,
8:15- a.m.
- 4 p.m.
property, but this is a really nice home. To
have them here and living this lifestyle, it
Clifton Springs Health Center North DeKalb Health Center
just feels good.” Glymph said.
3807 Clairmont Road
3110 Clifton Springs Road
Joan Gage, also a member of the
North DeKalb
GA 30341
Brighter DeKalb Foundation board, said
3807 Clairmont
(770) 454-1144
3110 Clifton Springs Road
(404) 244-2200
she enjoys seeing the three men back
together again.
Decatur, GA 30034
East DeKalb Health Center
“I’m just very happy to finally see it (404) 244-2200
T.O. Vinson
Health Center
S. Stn. Mountain-Lithonia Rd.
440 Winn Way
come to this day, this ribbon-cutting day.
Lithonia, GA 30058
Decatur, GA 30030
A lot of people have been working behind
(404) 294-3762
the scenes and I’m very proud East
of each
Health Center
T.O. Vinson Health
every one of them,” Gage said.2277
Stn. Mountain-Lithonia Rd.
440 Winn Way
have we provided a house that’s going
Lithonia, GA 30058
Decatur, GA 30030
to provide shelter and meaningful life to
these people, but for these men, their
(404) 294-3762
family has been restored.”

Get a
free HIV
Know Your Status
Get a free HIV test

HIV tests



DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 • Page 10

DeKalb fire
department hosts
child car seat event
by Horace Holloman
The DeKalb County Fire and Rescue
Department hosted a child car seat
program to help residents understand
Georgia’s child safety laws and how to
install car seats properly.
The event, held on Nov. 9, was in
Decatur on Memorial Drive at the Super
Wal-Mart Center. Fire Rescue officials said
they wanted an event that could serve
residents of South DeKalb and target
mothers and grandparents who don’t work
a “typical” work schedule.
The child car seat events are typically
held twice a year—in the fall and spring—
according to public education specialist
Kristi Hill.
Participants come with their own car
seats and car seat technicians walk them
step-by-step through how to properly install
them, she said.
Hill said parents should pay close
attention to information in the vehicle
manual on how to properly install car seats.
“The vehicle ownership manual will
always outweigh the instruction manual on
the car seat. We’re here to bridge the gap
between the manual and what it looks like
when the parents are reading that manual
and they have questions,” Hill said.
Hill said the event was not meant to

assess penalties or fines as the case with
a “click it or ticket” traffic stop, it was meant
to help prevent future fines or penalties.
Installment and reading and understanding
the vehicle owner’s manual can take up to
45 minutes.
In Georgia, having a child in improper
safety restraints can result in a $50 fine
if convicted on a first offense and $100 if
convicted on a second offense. Points can
also be assessed on the driver’s license,
according to state law.
“A common misconception is that
parents think if their child is old enough to
look and enjoy [the] surroundings that you
can turn your child [front facing] in a car
seat. But we know the American Academy
of Pediatrics recommends keeping your
child rear-facing until [his or her] seventh
birthday,” Hill said.
Hill said it may become awkward for
children who are taller to still be rear-facing
but said the philosophy of the department
is that they would rather have “broken legs
than a broken spine.”
The department recommends child
restraints be installed with no more than
one inch of movement from side-to-side or
front-to-back, rear-facing child restraints
should never be placed in front of an active
airbag and children 12 and under should
remain in the back seat of the vehicle
whenever possible.


Public Education Specialist Kristi Hill at the child car seat event at
Wal-Mart in Decatur on Memorial Drive.


@ 30+ ShOPS
NOV. 10 + 17 | DEC. 1, 8, + 15
Decatur C

Rocket Fiz





Join JenCare to experience healthcare just for Seniors!
Our Senior Medical Centers are designed to give you the
access you need to respectful doctors who listen. Call us
today or visit to schedule a tour and
select your JenCare PCP. We accept a number of different
Medicare Advantage plans designed for Seniors like you.




Fine Jewelry

Kar m

Iday dEalS

(678) 460-4171
Decatur-champion-nov-10-2016.indd 1

11/7/16 3:51 PM


DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 • Page 11


Members of the Dunwoody Police Department enjoyed a tailgate party on Nov. 13 courtesy of
Discovery Life Church, located at 2197 Peeler Rd. Photos courtesy of the Dunwoody Police

DeKalb Community Service Board recently opened its sixth residential home for
developmentally disabled individuals in DeKalb County Nov. 10 in Tucker. Photo by Horace

Clarkston Community Center hosted an Atlanta
Underground market on Nov. 12, inviting local chefs
and business owners to showcase their talent and
food to the community. Photos courtesy of the
Clarkston Community Center.

DeKalb County School District honored veterans past and present with
a ceremony at its Administration & Instructional Complex on Veteran’s
Day, Nov. 11. Photos courtesy of DeKalb County School District.

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


DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 • Page 12

Developer submits new site plan for Dresden Village proposal
by Carla Parker
Connolly Investment
and Development has
made new changes to its
proposed Dresden Village
development to Brookhaven
Oct. 26.
Brian Fratesi of
Connolly said the developer
submitted an updated
amendment for the
proposal—a mixed-use
development on Dresden
Drive, between Caldwell
Road and Parkside Drive.
Fratesi said Dresden
Village will fill the missing link
and complete the pedestrian
and retail experience along
Dresden Drive.
“The stores will have a
local flavor, with individually
designed storefronts and
signage and building
architecture to resemble a
vintage village downtown,”
he said. “The Dixie Moon

will be constructed with the
same exterior design as
planned, but with parking
now located in the Dresden
Village parking structure.
“The height of the
project is in keeping with
surrounding structures and
the top residential along
Dresden will be stepped
back so the top level will
disappear from most angles
and also provide a premium
larger unit with an enhanced
outdoor patio,” Fratesi
Connolly also made
changes to the proposal in
June. In August, Brookhaven
Planning Commission
recommended that the city
council deny Connolly’s
application. The council
deferred making a decision
on the application, allowing
Connolly to make the most
recent changes.
The original plan
included 20,000 square feet

Connolly made new changes to its proposed Dresden Village mixed-use development

of boutique shops and local
restaurants with outside
patios managed by local
operators, pedestrian friendly

streetscapes with wide
sidewalks and interesting
storefronts, 206 luxury multifamily apartment homes and

approximately 200 parking
spaces for retail customers
and the general public.

Henderson Middle set for technology upgrades
by R. Scott Belzer

Henderson Middle School is
set for a $626,000 technology
renovation following DeKalb
County School District’s (DCSD)
most recent board of education
meeting on Nov. 7.
The school will receive new
computers, interactive “chalk’
boards, student laptops, mobile
charging carts, 3D printers, iMacs,
iPad minis and more, according
to DCSD Chief Information Officer
Gary Brantley.
“The technology installed
with support administrative,
instructional staff and students,”
Brantley said.
For $626,358, Henderson
Middle will receive 35 teacher
computers ($26,000), 35
interactive boards ($145,000),
66 student laptops ($32,670),
two 3D printers ($3,146), 200
Chromebooks ($74,000), five
iMacs ($7,000), two microphone
and speaker systems ($10,400),
and a new camera system
The majority of the technology
renovations (approximately
$300,000) will be dedicated for a
new network and security system.
The district approved spending
$123,000 on data and voice
cables as well as $26,000 on new
wireless access points.
DCSD employed the services
of 14 different vendors, including
Apple, Ackerman, ATT, CDW, ICN,
Layer 3, Lexmark, Nisewonger,

TIG, Tiger Direct, Troxell,
Virtucom, Windstream and Zayo.
These purchases will aid
Henderson Middle’s computer
labs, student resources, fine
arts programs, science labs,
infrastructure and security,
Brantley said.
“This plan ensures that
Henderson Middle has the
capacity to support a flexible and
mobile learning environment with
increased access,” Brantley said.
“These elements support the
innovative, rigorous and engaging
instructional needs of students at
Henderson Middle.”
Brantley said DCSD’s Division
of Information Technology met
with Henderson Middle’s Digital
Learning Team as early as June
2016 to decipher the school’s
Members of the school’s digital
learning team include Principal
Rochelle Patillo, Assistant
Principal Donnie Davis, Assistant
Principal Trellis Davis, Assistant
Principal Tameka Muhammad,
Assistant Principal Angela
Jackson, teacher Reygan Reid,
as well as district representatives
Monika Davis, Reesa Azar,
Natalie Terrell, Ikeysha Arnold
and Joseph Swing.
“Information from the meeting
was used to develop the proposal
and reviewed with Henderson
Middle School staff on Aug. 3,”
Brantley said. “What we have
developed is a plan that included
a school selection committee and
staff from Information Technology.”

DeKalb County School District Chief Information Officer Gary Brantley proposed a
complete technology renovation at Henderson Middle School, which was approved by
the board. Photo submitted.

Henderson Middle School was approved for a complete technology renovation by
DeKalb County School District’s board of education on Nov. 7. Photo courtesy of
DeKalb County School District.


DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 • Page 13

An annexation application by property owners and residents
who reside off Woodcliff Drive and Briarcliff Road.

Two armed men assaulted and robbed a Dunwoody woman on the morning of Nov. 9 as she returned
from dropping her children off at a nearby bus stop. Photos courtesy of the Dunwoody Police

Dunwoody resident robbed
by two armed men
by R. Scott Belzer
A Dunwoody woman narrowly escaped
two armed robbers on Nov. 9 after returning
home from her children’s bus stop.
According to the Dunwoody Police
Department, at approximately 6:30 a.m.,
the woman—whose name has not been
disclosed to the public—walked her children
to a nearby bus stop.
When she returned to her residence,
located on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard,
she discovered two armed men who
reportedly entered her home through an
unlocked window.
The two men punched her in the face,
struck her in the head with a handgun
and tackled her while demanding money,
according to police.
The woman was able to fight off and
escape her attackers, but the men stole a
large safe containing valuables. According
to police, the men left the house through the
same window they came in through.
Images of the two suspects were
captured on a security camera at the

Police officials say the two men are 17
to 25 years old.
One suspect is approximately 6 feet tall
with a thin build and of unknown ethnicity.
At the time of the attack, he was wearing
sweat pants with a star pattern below the
knee, a long-sleeve sweatshirt, gray mask,
gloves and boots. The suspect was armed
with a small back handgun.
The second suspect was approximately
5feet, 3 inches to 5 feet, 8 inches in height
and is described as a light-skinned Black
male with light facial hair. He weighs
between 150 and 170 pounds and, at the
time of the robbery, was wearing a black
and grey sweater, khaki pants and gloves.
The second suspect was armed with a knife
and metal pipe.
Anyone with information pertaining to
this crime is asked to contact Dunwoody
Detective Jesus Maldonado at (678) 3826914 or jesus.maldonado@dunwoodyga.
Anonymous crime tips can be submitted
at or www.

Residents submit
annexation application
to Brookhaven
by Carla Parker
A group of residents and property owners have
requested to be annexed into Brookhaven.
The proposed annexation, known as the Woodcliff
Annexation, was announced at the Brookhaven City
Council work session on Nov. 9. The residents who
filed the application reside in the Woodcliff Drive
and Briarcliff Road area. The group had to meet the
60 percent method of annexation, which requires
60 percent of land owners and electors who reside
within the proposed area to be in agreement of an
“These are folks who live immediately adjacent
to us in currently unincorporated DeKalb who have
asked to come into the city limits,” City Attorney Chris
Balch said. “They collected the requested number of
petitions and signatures from both voters and property
owners in the [proposed] annexed area. Those were
reviewed by community development and by my office
for verification and also to ensure that they passed the
threshold to get to the 60 percent number.”
The area is east of the Children’s Healthcare of
Atlanta and Executive Park area, which the city council
approved to annex into the city in 2014.
The Neighborhood Association Executive Parkview
Townhome Association, Children’s Healthcare of
Atlanta, Hailey Realty Company, Columbia Properties,
Ken Edwards Enterprises, the Enclave at Briarcliff
Condominium Association, the Pine Hills and
chairman of the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce
all sent letters to the city in support of the proposed


A copy of the proposed 2017 Operating Budget for the City of
Chamblee will be available for review at City Hall on Tuesday,
November 15, 2016.
A budget work session will be held on Monday, November
28, 2016 at 6 p.m. A public hearing on the proposed budget
will be held on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 6 p.m. Both
meetings will be held in the large conference room at City Hall,
5468 Peachtree Road. Any persons wishing to be heard on the
budget may appear and be heard.
The City Council will adopt the budget at the Regular Council
Meeting on Tuesday, December 20, 2016. The meeting will
begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at the Civic Center, 3540
Broad Street.


DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 • Page 14

Angela Gabriel of College Heights, left, Natalie Bundschu of Clairemont Elementary, middle, and Jessica Sturm of Renfroe Middle School were three of nine teachers
selected as City Schools of Decatur’s teachers of the year. Photos courtesy of City Schools of Decatur.

City Schools of Decatur announces teachers of the tear
Nine individuals
honored by
peers, superiors
and district
by R. Scott Belzer
City Schools of Decatur
(CSD) announced its nine
2016-2017 teachers of the
year on Nov. 8.
The accolades given
to each teacher differed
in specificity but shared
a common theme: each
teacher helps make his
or her school a positive,
welcoming and top-notch
place for learning, according
to district officials.

College Heights Pre-K
teacher Angela Gabriel
is described by her peers
as an advocate for early
“Ms. Gabriel believes
her students are capable
of achieving great
things in their short
time in her classroom,”
reads a statement from
CSD. “She fosters a
community of learners
who are empowered with
knowledge, empathy and
the skills to succeed. She
has touched so many lives
in Decatur.”
Clairemont Elementary
third-grade teacher Natalie
Bundschu is praised for
her calm demeanor, focus
and service in her school’s
community as a role model.
“[Bundschu] has a love
for people and learning

Aurora ID#33330896 is bursting
at the seams with personality. This goofy
lovebug enjoys zooming around the room
for about five seconds before flopping on
the ground frog-leg style. She is sure to
keep you laughing! Aurora would love a
family of her own. Meet her at LifeLine’s
DeKalb Animal Services!
If you would like to expand your
family by 4 furry little feet; come meet
Aurora at the DeKalb Animal Shelter. This
Thanksgiving season please “Give them a
Reason to be Thankful”. During November
we are thanking adopters by offering halfpriced adoptions for dogs over 25lbs and
all cats. Adoption fee includes spay/neuter,

that the kids recognize
and imitate,” CSD states.
“Natalie loves her students
and goes above and
beyond to help them
and enrich the school
Glenwood Elementary
kindergarten teacher
Susanna Shewan was
chosen for her caring
attitude and ability to
analyze the students she
works with every day in the
“Susanna understands
the developmental needs
of her students and works
to challenge every student,”
CSD states. “This guides
her instruction; this ageappropriate instruction
motivates and encourages
students to take risks with
their learning.”
Oakhurst Elementary

vaccinations and microchip! If you would
like more information about Aurora please
call (404) 294-2165 or email adoption@ All potential
adopters will be screened to ensure Aurora
goes to a good home.

third-grade teacher
Cindy Aldridge earned
her Teacher of the Year
title through garnering
meaningful, constructive
relationships with her
“[Aldridge] has very
high expectations for what
she knows her students
can achieve,” CSD states.
“Cindy’s students trust that
she wants and knows the
greatness that resides in
each of them. Her students
believe in themselves
and want to learn; she
provides the classroom
community and genuine
encouragement students
need to achieve their best.”
Westchester Elementary
kindergarten teacher
Allison Mansfield was
selected based on her high
expectations and ability to
communicate them to her
“[Mansfield] believes
that all students have the
innate ability and right to
learn and grow,” reads a
statement from CSD.
Winnona Park
Elementary kindergarten
teacher Kim Houston
received her nomination
through accolades
regarding a variety of
instruction and observation.
“Kim really knows her
students’ strengths and
areas of growth,” CSD said.
“She plans mini-lessons
for different groups she
works with. The learning
targets and resources she
uses for one group will
be totally different for the
next group—it really is a
wonderful thing to witness.”
Fifth-grade teacher
Julie McFadden at 4/5
Academy at Fifth Avenue
is praised for her creativity
and inspiring lesson plans.

“Ms. McFadden ensures
that all of her students
are reached by creating
engaging, challenging and
thought-provoking learning
opportunities,” CSD said.
“This allows all students
to learn and inspires them
to rise to the challenges
she presents. [She] cares
about each student as an
individual and ensures that
her classroom is a place
where all students can
Renfroe Middle School
seventh-grade teacher
Jessica Sturm is praised
for being personable and
welcoming in and out of the
“Ms. Sturm makes it
her goal to know each
and every student at
Renfroe,” CSD states.
“In the classroom, she
challenges students to think
critically and make new
discoveries while ensuring
that all students, teachers
and staff feel supported,
acknowledged, cared
for and happy to be at
Decatur High School
teacher Jenna Black was
chosen for providing a safe,
welcoming and positive
“Walk into [the school’s]
Frasier Center and you will
see children happily playing
and learning,” CSD states.
“Ask any of her students
about her class and the first
thing you notice is that their
faces light up. They will tell
you that they love Ms. Black
and her class. Many of her
students say they want to
become teachers because
of what they have learned
from Ms. Black and the
example she sets.”


DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 • Page 15

District unveils $531 million ESPLOST project list

Meeting room filled to capacity
as public voices opposition
by R. Scott Belzer
DeKalb County School
District (DCSD) officials
submitted a detailed list of
proposed tax-funded capital
projects with members
of the board of education
on Nov. 7, drawing public
opposition and a standingroom only crowd at the
district’s administrative
DCSD Chief Operations
Officer Joshua Williams
and Director of Planning
Dan Drake presented a list
of potential schoolhouse
improvements and projects
funded by the education
special purpose local option
sales tax (ESPLOST), a
one-penny sales tax in
DeKalb County.
The tax was approved
by 71 percent of voters in
May and will go into effect
July 1, 2017.
According to the
proposed list, from 2017
to 2022 DCSD will spend
$531 million on safety and
security ($15 million), new
facilities and additions
($261 million), facility
improvements ($100
million), technology ($65
million), school buses and
equipment ($40 million)
and management and
contingency ($50 million).
For safety and security,
DCSD will devote $6.32
million to fire sprinkler
installation at 26 schools,
$5.15 million to security
upgrades at 45 schools and
set aside $3.53 for “other
life safety upgrades.”
The $261 million
dedicated to new facilities
and additions will be used
for a new Cross Keys
High School at the former

Briarcliff High School site
($84.8 million), converting
the current Cross Keys
High to Cross Keys Middle
($9.5 million) and additions
accomodating 450 seats
to 750 seats at Chamblee
High, Clarkston High,
Dunwoody High, Lakeside
High, Freedom Middle and
Peachtree Middle.
Approximately $58.5
million will fund the new
John Lewis Elementary
at Skyland Park and
$28.5 million will fund the
demolition and rebuild of
Indian Creek Elementary
School. Approximately $5
million will go to Cedar
Grove High School for a
new auditorium.
The majority of the
$100 million set aside
for facility improvements
will go toward electrical,
plumbing, air-conditioning
and utility improvements
at 16 schools, costing
approximately $71.4 million.
Other facility condition
improvements will include
19 high schools in the
district receiving artificial
turf, estimated to cost
around $14.54 million.
Approximately $1.3 million
will go toward playground
replacement at 19
elementary schools, $4.2
million will replace restroom
fixtures at 12 schools and
$3.4 million will be used for
accessibility improvements
at 24 schools.
The $65 million set
aside for technology will go
toward a new finance and
human resources system
($12 million), a computer
refresh at all schools ($22
million), telecommunications
upgrades for middle and
high schools ($6 million),
safety and security

The DeKalb County School District presented a detailed project list that will use tax-funded dollars
during its monthly meeting on Nov. 8. Photo by R. Scott Belzer

technology upgrades
($10 million), active
board replacements
($10 million) and
technology infrastructure
enhancements ($5 million).
An additional 257
school buses will be
purchased for $25.1
million while 35 service
vehicles will be purchased
for public safety, facilities
maintenance, school
nutrition and warehouses
for $1.5 million. DCSD will
also spend $10 million on
musical instruments and
$2.199 million on portable
The district will also
spend $1.2 million for new
kitchen equipment at 68
According to Williams
and Drake, the list is the
result of 18 months of
stakeholder engagement
sessions, online surveys,
assessments and capacity
Hilary Phillips, a Chamblee
resident and DCSD parent
who spoke on Nov. 7,
said the proposed project
list does not adequately

address secondary school
problems in the Cross Keys
“To address
overcrowding in the Cross
Keys Cluster, the options
have been either a new
high school at the Briarcliff
site or one in Doraville,”
Phillips said. “The best
long term solution is and,
not or. When we take into
account the impacts of
the redevelopment of the
Buford Highway corridor, it
becomes clear we will not
need a 2,500 seat school
near Cross Keys and an
addition at Chamblee will
not address overcapacity
Phillips said creating a
new Cross Keys school and
a Doraville cluster would
alleviate overcrowding
without creating “mega
schools” with millions spent
for additions, which she
referred to as Band-Aids.
Sagamore Hills parent
Andrew Flake requested
the board defer the list
on the grounds it will
redistrict the internationally
recognized school outside

of Lakeside High School.
Dozens were present at the
meeting to support such a
“This modified
[secondary school study]
and modifications are a
significant breach in trust
with the Sagamore Hills
community and with the
county as a whole,” Flake
said. “Families have been
moving to Sagamore Hills
because they know it works.
There’s continuity from the
elementary school to the
high school. It’s a model for
what works; it’s a school
that’s vibrant and diverse.
Why change it?”
Parent Eleanor
Attwood challenged
the legality of moving
Sagamore Hills students
out of the Lakeside Cluster
because the route required
travel to a faraway high
To view the detailed
project list as well as the
presentation given by Drake
and Williams, visit www.

Coming to Decatur
in December!
Register now to check the health
of your arteries

5 important screenings for only $149
Carotid artery screening (plaque)
Heart Rhythm Screening (A Fib)
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Peripheral Arterial Disease Screening
Osteoporosis risk assessment

Dec. 2, Green Pastures Christian Ministries- DECATUR
Dec. 17, First Christian Church of Decatur- DECATUR
Pre-registration is required call 1-888-653-6450 to receive a $10 discount


DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 • Page 16

Holiday shoppers urged to remember small local stores
by Kathy Mitchell


oliday shopping this
year is expected to
“increase a solid 3.6
percent to $655.8 billion
— significantly higher than the 10year average of 2.5 percent and
above the seven-year average of
3.4 percent since recovery began
in 2009,” according to the National
Retail Federation (NRF).
The figures include not just
purchases of gifts, decorations
and the like, but also concomitant
spending such as gas and
restaurant sales. Many independent
retailers are hoping to be among
the beneficiaries of what is
traditionally the biggest retail sales
period of each year.
“As America’s big box stores
get even bigger, it’s more important
than ever to recognize the power
of small business ownership,”
said Brian Mattingly, founder and
CEO of Welcomemat Services
Mattingly’s company is a franchise
system made up of small business
owners who work to enhance the
visibility of fellow small business
owners. Headquartered in Atlanta,
Welcomemat has franchises in 22
Big box stores, Mattingly said,
tend to be the focus of “Black

Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving
when many use time off from work
to start their holiday shopping.
The day after black Friday has
been designated “Small Business
Saturday,” when consumers are
encouraged to shop at locally
owned retail stores.
Founded in 2010 by American
Express, and now supported by
such organizations as the U.S.
Small Business Administration,
Small Business Saturday
encourages shoppers—especially
holiday shoppers—to include small
local merchants as they look for
gifts and items to brighten their
homes for the season. “Although
the designation has only been
around six years, it’s proving to be
a success,” Mattingly said. “It gets
bigger every year.”
Welcomemat recently
compiled a list of America’s Top
25 Best Neighborhoods for Small
Businesses. Decatur ranked #2,
second only to Lakewood Ranch
in Florida. Neighborhoods were
ranked based on “community vibe
to shop local, popularity of the
neighborhood, sense of community
belonging” and other measurable
factors. “We’re a data driven
company,” Mattingly said. “We look
at a lot of facts and figures.”
He said that the large number of


independently owned businesses,
along with the walkability of the
downtown business area and
the city’s support of the business
community all are factors in making
Decatur a great place for small
The city of Decatur promotes
its small businesses in a number
of ways from its active business
association to an ongoing “Keep
it Indie-Cator” campaign. Each
year during the holiday shopping
season, the city sponsors a special
promotion called Terrific Thursdays.
On the first three Thursdays in
November and the first three in
December many downtown Decatur
stores offer special in-store events,
discounts, and treats at shops,
restaurants, and services. Most of
the approximately 35 participating
businesses are locally owned.
Mattingly called small
businesses the “heartbeat of
America’s economy.” He added.
“Community culture is shaped by
the entrepreneurs who invest their
resources to open businesses in
neighborhoods, townships, and
boroughs throughout our nation.
Communities become vibrant and
thrive when local businesses thrive.
“When people shop locally,
they keep dollars in their own
communities. When local

merchants and consumers
come together that translates
into a community that’s stronger
economically with a higher quality
of life—better parks, schools and
the like. Also, many owners of
small shops live in the community
so shoppers are buying from their
neighbors,” Mattingly continued.
“Small Business Saturday is
designed to call attention to
the advantages of shopping at
independent local stores, but
we want to take the celebration
beyond just one day and encourage
consumers to think in terms of
patronizing small businesses
through the entire holiday season.
We hope this year to celebrate the
first ever Small Business Season,”
he continued. 
As consumers discover
the variety of locally oriented
merchandise and personalized
service that often are offered in
small retail shops, Mattingly said,
they may begin visiting these
businesses throughout the year.
According to NRF, retail is
the nation’s largest private sector
employer, supporting one in four
U.S. jobs – 42 million working
Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion
to annual GDP, retail is a daily
barometer for the nation’s economy,
NRF reports.    




DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 • Page 17



The Champion is not responsible for any damages resulting from advertisements. All sales final.
rates: $30 for up to 40 words, each
additional word $0.60. All ads are
prepaid. All major credit cards accepted.

in over 100 newspapers for only
$350. Your 25-word classified
ad will reach more than1 million
readers.  Call Bruce Washington at
the Georgia Newspaper Service,

AVIATION Grads work with
JetBlue, Boeing, NASA and othersstart here with hands on training
for FAA certification. Financial aid
if qualified. Call Aviation Institute of
Maintenance (888)873-4120 www.

accepting applications for FULLTIME PARAMEDICS. Starting
salary is $46K. Must be licensed
by GDPH. Application available at or by callinf
(706) 283-2003.

Ads due by Friday at noon for next
publication date. For more information

Become a driver for Stevens
NEEDED! New drivers earn $800+
Stevens covers all costs! 1-877649-3153
Entry Level Heavy Equipment
Operator Career. Get Trained-Get
Certified_Get Hired! Bulldozers,
Backhoes & Excavators. Immediate
Lifetime Job Placement. VA
Benefits. 1-866-362-6497

SAWMILLS from only $4397.00MAKE & SAVE MONEY with
your own bandmill-Cut lumber
any dimension. In stock ready to
ship! FREE Info/DVD: http://www. 1-800-5781363 Ext. 300N
Looking to earn money on your
schedule? Have a car? Drive with
Uber. Call 800-315-8524.
Lung Cancer? And Age 60+? You
and Your Family May Be Entitled
To Significant Cash Award. Call
844-499-2074 for Information. No
Money Out of Pocket.

DISCLAIMER: We do not knowingly accept advertisements that
discriminate, or intend to discriminate, on any illegal basis. Nor
do we knowingly accept employment advertisements that are not
bona-fide job offers. All real estate advertisements are subject
to the fair housing act and we do not accept advertising that is
in violation of the law. The law prohibits discrimination based on
color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status.

Suffering from hearing loss? You
might qualify for ListenClear’s
FREE 45-day, in home trial of
revolutionary, practically invisible
hearing aids. Experience the
difference-FOR FREE! Call 866932-3958
Stop paying too much for SR-22,
FR-44, or similar High-Risk Car
Insurance! Call our FREE hotline
today and SAVE money! 877-8743961
DISH SPECIAL! Get 47% off our
best TV package, Plus get a FREE
$50 prepaid card with signup,
courtesy of SatelliteDeals! Start
saving now! 855-400-4334
Owe more than 10k to the IRS?
We can Help! Call Tax Mediation
Services to stop collection and
Harassing Letters. Call for FREE
case review! 888-5517351
REPAIRS! Get discounted warranty
coverage from the wholesale
source, and don’t pay for expensive
covered repairs! Start saving now!
Call 855-226-4187

Struggling with DRUGS or
ALCOHOL? Addicted to PILLS?
Talk to someone who cares. Call
The Addiction Hope & Help Line for
a free assessment. 888-497-5176.
SELL your structured settlement or
annuity payments for CASH NOW.
You don’t have to wait for future
payments any longer! Call 1-800481-0635.
Georgia Press Association is
offering two cubicles (which make
four work stations) free to anyone
willing to remove them from GPA’s
third floor office and haul them
away. Contact Jennifer Labon at
770-454-6776 for information.

PROPERTY, to more than 1
million Georgia newspaper
readers. Your 25 word classified
ad will appear in over 100 Georgia
newspapers for only $350. Call
Bruce Washington at Georgia
Newspaper Service, 770-454-6776
or online at


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

Jadon Haselwood returned a punt for a touchdown.

Cedar Grove running back Grant Walker scored three touchdowns. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Tre’ Shaw 33-yard touchdown.

Walker has big night in Cedar Grove’s playoff win
by Carla Parker
Cedar Grove running back
Grant Walker put on a show Nov.
12, scoring three touchdowns in the
Saints’ 63-17 win over Union County
in the first round of the Class AAA
Walker rushed for 180 yards
on nine carries, 171 of those yards
came in the first half in addition to
his three touchdowns.
The Saints jumped out to an
early 7-0 lead on a 57-yard punt

return for a touchdown by Jadon
Haselwood. On the following drive,
Union County cut Cedar Grove’s
lead to 7-3 on a field goal by kicker
Brian Smith.
On Cedar Grove’s next drive,
Walker followed his blockers and
dove at the pylon for a 27-yard
touchdown. A missed extra point left
the score at 13-3. Later in the first
quarter, Saints quarterback Jaleni
Woods threw a short pass to wide
receiver Israel Spivey, who then
ran 5 yards to the end zone for a
touchdown, giving Cedar Grove a

First round scores
Nov. 11
Tucker (10-1) 48, Bradwell Institute (3-6-1) 15
Arabia Mountain (9-2) 34, Villa Rica (5-6) 14
Stephenson (7-4) 34, Effingham Co. (7-4) 7
Kell (9-2) 31, SW DeKalb (6-5) 22

20-3 lead.
In the second quarter, Tre’
Shaw ran past Union County
defenders for a 33-yard touchdown,
extending the Saints’ lead to 27-3.
Walker got his second touchdown of
the game on a 15-yard run. Woods
hit Dennis Bell on the two-point
conversion to give Cedar Grove
a 35-3 lead. The rout continued
in the second quarter with a
9-yard touchdown run by running
back Darrell Neal and a 51-yard
touchdown run by Walker, giving the
Saints a 49-3 lead at halftime.

Carrollton (10-1) 48, Lithonia (5-6) 14
Rome (9-2) 56, Miller Grove (4-7) 0
Sandy Creek (8-3) 23, Marist (7-4) 20
Ridgeland (9-1) 21, St. Pius X (2-9) 14

Nov. 12
Cedar Grove (9-2) 63, Union Co. (8-3) 17

Cedar Grove scored 14
more points in the third quarter
on a 4-yard pass from Woods to
Haselwood and a pick-6 by Bell,
extending the lead to 63-3.
Union County scored two late
touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Cole Wright scored on
an 11-yard run and hit Logan Dyer
on a 28-yard touchdown pass to
bring the final score to 63-17.
Cedar Grove will travel to
Savannah Nov. 18 to take on
Jenkins in the second round of the
Class AAA playoffs.

Second round schedule

Harrison (10-1) vs. Tucker (10-1), 7:30 p.m.
Adams Stadium
Stephenson (7-4) at Dacula (7-4), 7:30 p.m.
Griffin (10-1) vs. Arabia Mountain (9-2), 7:30
p.m. Hallford Stadium
Cedar Grove (9-2) at Jenkins-Savannah
(10-1), 7:30 p.m.


DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 • Page 19

Arabia Mountain makes history with first playoff win
by Carla Parker
In their first appearance in the state
playoffs, the Arabia Mountain Rams sent
a message that they are here to compete
and win after a dominating 34-14 victory
over the Villa Rica Wildcats Nov. 11 in the
first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs.
Coach Stanley Pritchett, who took
over the program in 2013, said it felt great
to get that first playoff win.
“I told my kids before the game that
I didn’t want to stop practicing,” Pritchett
said. “They came through for me for 48
minutes and we put up 34 points and gave
up the 14 points. It was a great team win.
I’m proud of the kids and I’m proud of the
program today.”
The game started a little rocky for
Arabia Mountain. The Rams put together a
nice drive and got down to the 3-yard line
when running back Brandon Snowball
fumbled. The ball was recovered by Villa
Rica’s Christian Farmer, who returned
it 97 yards for a touchdown, giving the
Wildcats a 7-0 lead.
However, the Rams quickly put the
fumble behind them and went on to score
19 unanswered points in the first half.
“Adversity hit early but my guys stuck
in there,” Pritchett said. “They didn’t give
up, they didn’t get tight, they stayed loose
and played hard the whole game.”
After Villa Rica’s touchdown, the Rams
responded on the following drive led by
quarterback Samad Noble who threw
and ran for big yardage, which set up a
25-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver
Eric Ross II, tying the game at 7-7.
The Rams took a 13-7 lead in the
second quarter on a 14-yard touchdown
run by running back Carl White. The
extra point was blocked. Arabia Mountain
extended its lead to 19-7 on a 3-yard run
by Snowball. The Rams failed to convert
on the 2-point conversion.
With time running down in the second
quarter, Villa Rica put together a nice drive
but the Rams’ defense kept the Wildcats
out of the end zone to hold on to the 19-7
lead at halftime.
The Wildcats would find the end
zone in the third quarter on a 23-yard
touchdown run by Elijah Fluker, cutting
Arabia Mountain’s lead to 19-14. The
Rams responded with a 9-play, 63-yard
drive that ended in a 1-yard touchdown
run by Snowball. A fake reverse on the
two-point conversion had from Noble
pitching the ball to backup quarterback
Joshua Campbell, who then threw it to a
wide-open Noble in the end zone to make
it a 27-14 lead.
Later in the third quarter, Nobel hit
wide receiver DeAnthony Garrett on a
59-yard touchdown pass, bringing the
score to a final of 34-14.
Arabia Mountain will host Griffin Nov.
18 at Hallford Stadium in the second
round of the Class AAAAA. Game time is
set for 7:30 p.m.
“We have to clean up a little bit more
and we have to continue to get better
each week and each day,” Pritchett said

Arabia Mountain’s Brandon Snowball run for a touchdown. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Arabia Mountain defenders stop the run.

Eric Ross II runs the ball.

DeAnthony Garrett runs to the end zone on a 59-yard pass.


DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 • Page 20

Four SWD
athletes sign
letters of intent
by Carla Parker
Three Southwest DeKalb High school basketball
players and a baseball player had their official signing
day Nov. 9.
Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers Chantz Cherry,
Jada Walton and Ogheneruona Uwusiaba, and
baseball player Channing Walker signed letters of
intent to their respective schools. Cherry signed with
Stony Brook University, Walton signed with Texas
A&M University, Uwusiaba signed with the University
of Central Florida and Walker with Alabama State
Cherry, Walton and Uwusiaba led the Lady
Panthers to win the Class AAAAA girls state basketball
championship in March. Walton was second on the team
last season in scoring, averaging 12.5 points per game.
Cherry led last year’s team in assist with 2.5 per game
and Uwusiaba led the team in rebounding with 6.8 per
Walker, who pitches for the Panthers baseball team,
had a 6-3 record with a 2.98 ERA last season. He also
threw 55 strikeouts.

Chantz Cherry

Jada Walton

Ogheneruona Uwusiaba
Photos by Travis Hudgons

Campaign Office 404-944-7330 • • @Mangham4Dekalb

Select the coupons you like and
save instantly at checkout.
Sign up at