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FreePress
the DeKalb

FRIDAY, December 2, 2016 • VOL. 19, NO. 34 • 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 •

by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com
eKalb County residents who enjoy going
to the Oakhurst Dog Park in Decatur may
have more to look forward to than just
watching their pups play now that the Audubon
Society has certified the park as a wildlife
sanctuary.

See Dog on Page 5

championnewspaper

Oakhurst Dog Park champion Lee Goldsmith (left) stands with Atlanta Audubon Society representative Melinda
Langston and Decatur Active Living Director Greg White as Langston presented the new wildlife sanctuary sign. Photo
provided by Lee Goldsmith

championnews

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local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 • Page 2

Avondale Estates police provide holiday safety tips for residents
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
The Avondale Estates
Police Department is
helping residents keep
their homes safe when
they are out of town.
Last December, two
burglaries occurred as
well as seven thefts.
The police department
is encouraging residents
to complete a security
check form, which can
be found on the city’s
website, when going out
of town. The form allows
residents to inform the
department when they
are scheduled to be
out of town and provide
descriptive information
about their home.
The form can be
emailed to Debbie
Revzin at drevzin@
avondaleestates.org
Monday through Friday,
dropped off at city hall
Monday through Friday
from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or
faxed to (404) 299-8137.

The department
also recommends that
residents inspect their
homes by using the
home security inspection
checklist, which was
provided by the National
Neighborhood Watch
Program. The file can
be found on the city’s
website.
According to the
checklist, security
inspection begins at the
front door and includes
side and rear doors,
windows, locks, lights and
landscaping. Residents
can check in the orange
column of the checklist
to indicate security
weaknesses or hazards
that require attention.
An officer can be
requested to visit a
resident’s home to
conduct an inspection
and make suggestions on
how to improve security.
Residents can contact
(404) 391-4526 to have
an officer visit their home.

Avondale Estates residents can request to have the police check on their home when they are out of
town.

CRIMINAL RECORD EXPUNGEMENT DAY
Apply to have your felony arrests cleared from your record!
When:
Where:

Saturday, December 10, 2016, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
DeKalb County Courthouse, 556 N. McDonough Street, Decatur, GA
Eligibility:
1. Only Arrests by DeKalb
County Police Department or
DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office
2. Felony Arrests Only
3. NO CONVICTIONS

WHAT TO BRING:

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 expungement@dekalbcountyga.gov

local

AroundDekalb
countywide

DeKalb Hydrant rental offices moving
DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management (DWM)
hydrant water meter rental operations moved to a new location. As of
Nov. 21, applications for renting hydrant meters will be completed at 774
Jordan Lane, Suite 200, Decatur.
Customers who are not licensed contractors will schedule a delivery
date within one to three business days. Licensed contractors will
complete the application at the Jordan Lane location, but will pick up the
meter at 1580 Roadhaven Drive, Stone Mountain.
Beginning Dec. 5, an online application and hydrant meter
rental process will be available by emailing fire hydrant rental meter
representatives at hydrantrental@dekalbcountyga.gov.

Family holds road race for CdLS Foundation
Jim and Jen Pomfret are preparing for the twelth year of the One
Love, One Heart 5k race Dec. 3. The race helps individuals with a
genetic disorder called Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS).
All profits raised go to the CdLS Foundation, which provides free
services and support to families. Refreshments will be provided and
the top male and female runners overall and in each age group will
be awarded. Long sleeve t-shirts are guaranteed for all pre-registered
runners, and while supplies last on race day.
Registration is $25, but increases to $30 on race day. Immediate
family members—moms, dads and siblings of an individual with CdLS—
receive free entry, but still need to register.
For more information on the race, contact Jim or Jen Pomfret
at pomfretj@comcast.net or (404)-228-3915. Race Coordinator Ed
Williams can be reached at roadraceservices@comcast.net.

BROOKHAVEN
City to host holiday ball

The Red and White Ball will be held Dec. 10, 7 to 11 p.m. at
Lynwood Park Community Center in Brookhaven. This holiday ball and
toy drive will benefit people of all ages. The ball will feature dinner with
a jazz band providing the entertainment. Attendees may donate toys
that will be given to Toys for Tots to go to children in need during the
holidays. Lynwood Park Community Center is located at 3360 Osborne
Road. For more information, visit www.brookhavenga.gov.

City to host Christmas event
Brookhaven will host its annual “Light Up Brookhaven” event Dec.
8, from 6-8 p.m. at Blackburn Park. The free event will feature musical
performances, visits with Santa, holiday crafts, hot chocolate sale,
refreshments, Christmas tree lighting and a Hanukkah display. The park
is located at 3493 Ashford Dunwoody Road. For more information, visit
www.brookhavenga.gov.

chamblee

Antique district hosts annual holiday open house
Chamblee’s Antique Row, located along Broad Street, will host its
annual Christmas Open House on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to 5
p.m.
The event will feature refreshments, giveaways and sale prices to
celebrate the holiday season. A few lucky shoppers will be treated to
$200 in gift certificates to ring in the occasion.
Antique Row features more than 250 antique dealers and 200,000
square feet of space, making it the “Antique Capital of Georgia,”
according to the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism.
“Providing shoppers with holiday treats as a token of appreciation
has been a tradition of Antique Row for nearly 40 years,” said Syl
Turner, president of Chamblee Antique Dealers Association. “With such
a great quantity and variety of vintage goods, Chamblee’s Antique Row
is known as a giant prop house for Atlanta’ growing film and television
industry.”
For more information about the event and Chamblee’s Antique Row,
call (770) 458-6316 or visit www.antiquerow.com.

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 • Page 3

decatur

DeKalb school district hosts School Choice Expo
The first of two DeKalb County School District (DCSD) School
Choice Expos will be held at The Gallery at South DeKalb, located at
2801 Candler Road, on Dec. 3 from noon to 2 p.m.
Representatives from 40 choice programs will present informational
materials, creative displays and answer questions from event
participants. Members of DCSD’s School Choice Office will be on-hand
to help enrollment and navigating the district’s lottery process.
The event will also feature giveaways and other activities for
participating families.
DCSD’s school choice program allows students and families to
apply for magnet programs and specialty campuses such as the DeKalb
School of the Arts. Open enrollment for DCSD school choice will begin
Jan. 11.
For more information, visit www.dekalbschoolsga.org/school-choice.

doraville

City hosts tree lighting ceremony
Doraville will host its annual Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting
ceremony on Dec. 2 at Doraville City Hall, located at 3725 Park Ave.
Festivities, which will begin at 6:30 p.m., will include Christmas
carols, a performance by Dunwoody High School’s a cappella singers,
Christmas crafting and refreshments.
The event will also include a Santa Claus appearance and
opportunity for family Christmas photos.
The event’s festivities will conclude with a screening of the movie Elf
at Honeysuckle Park’s Fleming Arena, located at 3037 Pleasant Valley
Drive.
Admission to Doraville’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
is free. For more information, visit www.doravillega.us.

local

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

Porter Road community receives cold shoulder from Barnes-Sutton

by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com
Residents of the Porter Road
community said they are upset
with DeKalb County commissioner
Sharon Barnes Sutton after
she said she would meet with a
representative regarding a historic
cemetery in the area, but has yet
to show.
Some residents around Porter
Road in Decatur are speaking out
against a proposed “low-income”
housing development planned for
the area.
Housing development
company LDG Development
submitted an application to amend
its land use plan from “suburban”
to “commercial development
corridor.”
LDG Development plans
to build an 11-acre multi-family
apartment complex with a density
of 15.3 units per acre. The
complex would feature a total
of 198 units on the north side of
Covington Highway beginning
at the northwest intersection of
Covington Highway and Porter
Road.  
In a Nov. 15 board of
commissioners zoning meeting,
commissioners agreed to defer
LDG Development’s application
until Dec. 13.
A representative of LDG
Development said the company is
working on a traffic study for the
area and requested to defer.
During the zoning hearing,
Sutton said she wanted to visit
the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church
cemetery and meet with some
area residents before making a
decision.
According to Thaddeus
Moore, a Porter Road resident,
that meeting never happened.
“No, I have not heard from
[Sutton] and she has yet to
respond to any of my emails,”
Moore said. “She called my name
out saying that she wanted to see
this cemetery and wanted to meet
with me to see what it is that I’m
talking about.”
Mount Pleasant Baptist
Church has been recognized as
one of the oldest known Black
congregations in DeKalb County
and the surrounding cemetery
holds significant historical value,
Moore said.
Mount Pleasant was built
on 2.5 acres donated by slave
owner Joseph Walker. In 1903,
Frank Henry Porter became one
of the first Black owners of rural
land in DeKalb County when he
purchased Walker’s former home.
Community activists have asked
DeKalb’s Historic Preservation
Commission to designate the area
and Porter family cemetery as
historic landmarks.

Some residents said the extra
foot traffic from a 198-unit complex
could damage the area they’re
trying to preserve.
“The way she said she wanted
to see the church, it was almost
like she thought I was lying about
[the history] or something,” said
Moore, a descendant of the Porter
family.
Sutton did not return phone
calls made to her office from The
Champion. Moore said he, along
with several other community
activists, had emailed and
called Sutton for weeks with no
response.
Nwandi Lawson, who lives in
the Shamrock Forrest subdivision
across from Porter Road, said
she’s opposed to the development
and wants the area to continue to
be “economically diverse.”
“I’m very hopeful that the
commissioners will defeat this
measure,” Lawson said. “We live
in an area that’s very diverse
and I’m primarily concerned with
[the complex’s] ability to impose
economic segregation.”
Lawson said Sutton was willing
to speak with Moore because she
“didn’t want to talk to everybody.”
“I think it’s unusual.
Usually when we go and talk
to commissioners we go as a
group. Usually three or four of us
go together,” Lawson said. “The
behavior she exhibited inside
and outside of the meeting was
unusual.”
According to Moore, Sutton
spoke briefly to the group of
Porter Road supporters outside
the Nov.15 meeting saying “I am
not a developer...I am not making
money off of this deal. I am from the
people.”
“A hit dog will holler,” Moore
said about the alleged encounter.
“We never insinuated that she
was making money off of the
development.”
A petition against the
development started by Kate
Teague has more than 200
signatures. According to the petition,
the development would “overburden
a failing sewer system and increase
traffic at a busy intersection.”
The petition also stated, “there
are already at least a dozen aging
apartment complexes within a mile
of this site and we do not feel an
additional complex would add any
value to our community.”
A representative for LDG
Development disagreed.
“The [existing] housing is 40
years old and has had no major
improvements,” a representative
from LDG Development said during
the meeting. “Ownership has
changed hands more than six times.
They are continuing to deteriorate
and the county is being forced to
deal with these issues.”

Porter Road community members are adamant about blocking a potential “lowincome” housing development in the area from developer LDG Development.

According to residents, the Porter Road area holds significant historical value. Some
residents have filed an application with the DeKalb Historic Preservation Commission
to have the area recognized as a historical landmark.

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016

local

Page 5

DOgs Continued From Page 1
After two years of
working toward getting
certified, Oakhurst Dog
Park received Audubon
Society certification and
new signage for the park.
Lee Goldsmith, a
dog park champion
who helped the park
get recognized as a
wildlife sanctuary, said
the changes the park
made should attract more
wildlife in the future.
Goldsmith said he
expects to see more
squirrels, rabbits,
chipmunks and predatory
birds such as hawks in
the future.
“I looked into [getting
certified] a couple of
years ago and looked at
the list of criteria. We had
a lot of non-native [plant]
species choking off the
forest and we had to cut a
lot of the invasive species
down,” Goldsmith said. “I
think this reminds people
to take care of such a
beautiful space. When
people see the sign, I
think it will encourage
them to continue to cut
back invasive species and
help trees just as much as
we can.”
According to the
Audubon Society’s wildlife
sanctuary program, an
area needs to meet
four basic standards
to become certified.
The area needs wellmaintained bird feeders,
food-producing native
plants, and insect and
small animal habitats. It

also must have at least
one water resource,
at least one shelter
area, including but not
limited to dense shrubs,
evergreens, wattles
(brush and stick piles,)
rock piles or walls, snags,
fallen logs, ground cover,
and/or roosting boxes
and must be at least 50
square feet.
Goldsmith said park
officials also plan to plant
honeysuckle to attract
more birds.
“Ever since we started
applying, I really pay
more attention to the
birds and what’s there
and I certainly hope
other people will as well,”
Goldsmith said.
Oakhurst Dog Park
is the first dog park in to
be certified as a wildlife
sanctuary by Atlanta
Audubon Society.
Manon Soprano, 26,
a resident of DeKalb
County for more than
a year, said he enjoys
coming to the dog park at
least once a week.
“I like being able to
socialize my dogs. We
have three at home and
this is a great place to
socialize. We hike a lot
and we like to be outside,”
Soprano said. “We like
this dog park a lot.”
Oakhurst Dog Park
is one of the few green
spaces left in Decatur,
said DeKalb County
resident Travis Harrell,
46.
More than a year ago,

DeKalb County residents gather around the Oakhurst Dog Park in Decatur which was recently named by the
Atlanta Audubon Society as a Wildlife Sanctuary.

developers tried to buy
part of the dog park from
the Boys and Girls Club
and create single-family
homes.
“The possibility was
very real that two houses
were going to be put
up where the forest is,”
Goldsmith said.
Harrell said he is
adamant about preserving
the park and spoke at
local meetings to voice
his concerns.
“I was really
disappointed when they
talked about selling the

park off a year ago. I
went to all the meetings,”
Harrell said. “[Building
houses] would have cut
off the whole wooded
section of the park;
and if they would have
developed that the trees
would be gone and the
flooding would be worse. I
think it’s great.”
Harrell said he looks
forward to seeing more
than just dogs at the dog
park in the near future.
“Most of the wildlife
here so far is just dogs
and squirrels—brave

SPOT A STROKE
StrokeAssociation.org

squirrels at that,” Harrell
said, laughing. “But I
have seen some hawks
and some different types
of birds so I think this is
great to preserve this.
There are not many green
spaces left and I’m proud
of them for stepping up
and making sure this is
here for a long time.”
To keep the park’s
wildlife designation, park
officials will continue to
fight invasive plants and
plant more shrubbery
along the park, Goldsmith
said.

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016

opinion

Page 6

Letter to the Editor

DeKalb DA to host Records Expungement Day

Unemployment and
underemployment are significant
contributors to crime in DeKalb
County. Helping people of
working age find adequate
employment goes a long way
toward preventing crime.
Having a criminal record,
however, makes finding a job
more difficult.
But if you’re able to clear
that blemish from your record,
your chances of finding work–or
perhaps finding a better job–are
greatly improved.
This is why I am creating
an opportunity for qualifying
individuals with DeKalb County
felony arrest records to have

their records cleared.
On Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016,
the District Attorney’s Office will
host DeKalb County Record
Expungement Day at the DeKalb
Courthouse from 9 a.m. to 3
p.m.
A state law in 2013 made it
easier to expunge–or restrict–the
arrest records of people who
have had brushes with the law.
In particular, if you were
arrested for a felony by DeKalb
County Police or the DeKalb
County Sheriff’s Office, but
weren’t convicted, you could be
eligible for expungement.
All we ask is that you bring
a certified copy of your Case

Disposition, which is available
from the DeKalb County
Superior Court Clerk, and a
driver’s license or state ID.
Sometimes, a second chance
is all a person needs to improve
their lives. And where we can,
our office wants to be a springboard to redemption and better
opportunities.
So we will have organizations
working with DeKalb Workforce
Development on-site to provide
career information, as well
as volunteers to help prepare
individuals to earn their GED.
My primary goal in DeKalb is
to fight crime. It has been proven
that offenders who are gainfully

employed are less likely to reoffend.
And I believe that helping
people to eliminate a significant
obstacle to employment – or to
better employment – is a large
step towards reducing crime.
Please take advantage of this
opportunity to possibly clean
your slate.
For more information, please
call 404-371-2770 or email
expungement@dekalbcountyga.
gov.
Robert D. James
DeKalb District Attorney

opinion

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016

Page 7

Being a sore loser is never attractive
“I will do a recount in any
state where the deadline has
not passed. Help my staff find
state deadline.” –Tweet by
Green Party nominee Jill Stein,
November 26, 2016.
Then GOP nominee Donald
Trump rightfully received heaps
of criticism from his own party,
campaign opponents and
the public following his third
presidential debate comments
regarding potentially not
accepting the will of the voters
and the outcome of the Nov. 8
general election. Though I don’t
‘Tweet’ I commented in print and
on the air on the irony of how
Team Trump completely dropped
the subject of rigged elections
and voter fraud following the
election’s outcome in his favor.
Yes, Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton won the
popular vote by more than 2
million ballots (the bulk of that
margin coming from the state of
California); but our presidential
elections have never been
decided by raw popular vote
totals.
For the fifth time in our
nation’s history, the Electoral
College results have been
won by one candidate, and the
popular vote by another. There
are 535 electors, representing
each of the 535 members of
Congress—two Senators for
each state and one member
of Congress for roughly every
half-million in population of each

‘One Man’s
Opinion’
Bill Crane

bill.csicrane@gmail.com

state. 
Green Party nominee
Jill Stein is now at least
fronting calls for recounts in
the three states that put the
Trump candidacy over the
top, specifically Michigan,
Pennsylvania and Wisconsin
giving him the required 270
votes to win the Electoral
College. Trump’s total, based
on still non-certified vote tallies
is 306 electoral votes, with a
margin of 74 electoral votes over
Clinton at 232.
The vote margin between
Trump and Clinton in those
three states is 107,000 and
the total number of Electoral
College ballots they represent is
46 (Pennsylvania 20, Michigan
16, Wisconsin 10). Michigan
is tightest, but the margin in
Pennsylvania is more than
68,000 votes. Perhaps it is rude
to mention at this point but if
Stein had simply not run her
campaign, Clinton would very
likely now have 131,702 more
votes from these same three
states.
In most states, a losing
candidate may petition a race

recount when the results are
separated by less than one
percentage point. Under other
circumstances, a petition may
be filed by interested parties (ie,
Jill Stein), but the petitioner must
also fund the recount. The Green
Party reports raising nearly $6
million toward those costs at
this point, though it could also
be very easily financed by any
number of Super PACs or major
donors affiliated with the losing
campaign of Clinton.
Having been involved over
the years in a few recounts, one
statewide in Georgia involving a
vote margin of more than 2,500,
against a vote total of nearly 1
million, I can tell you that though
margins may tighten but the
actual outcomes seldom change.
In the recount I’m referencing,
a shift of as little as one vote in
each of Georgia’s 3,000-plus
precincts would have forced a
statewide run-off. The margin
tightened, but not by 2,500
votes.
It is highly unlikely that in
three statewide recounts more
than 100,000 votes are going to
shift columns. Though votes are
tabulated and technologies used
vary by state, each is a closed
loop system, with votes cast
at the precinct level, tallied at
those precincts, reported to the
county board of elections, and
after retabulating for verification,
transmitted to the secretary of
State’s system in each state.

Each SOS office certifies those
vote totals.
Absentee ballots represent
the greatest opportunity for
organized fraud, but that type
fraud would need to occur at
the level of each individual
ballot. Like a majority of voters
in the metro Atlanta core, I
find the realities of a Trump
presidency still a tough pill to
swallow, but his team won by the
current rules of the system and
game—and if or until those rules
change, the outcome has been
determined, and it is time for
all parties to move on. For our
nation to heal and for us to move
forward together as a republic,
we all need to accept that.
Having spent a wonderful
Thanksgiving holiday weekend
with my youngest child, and
focusing on what actually
matters most in life, I am
reminded of the words of that
great stateswoman, Queen Elsa
of Arrendale—”Let It Go.”
 
Bill Crane also serves as a
political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News,
WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now
95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for
The Champion, Champion Free
Press and Georgia Trend. Crane
is a DeKalb native and business
owner, living in Scottdale. You can
reach him or comment on a column at bill.csicrane@gmail.com.

Subscribe to The Champion
404.373.7779 ext. 100

FreePress
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 Johnh@dekalbchamp.com
FAX To: (404) 370-3903; Phone: (404) 373-7779.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reflect the opinions
of the editor or publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. The
Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts.

Publisher:
John Hewitt

Photographer:
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.
www.championnewspaper.com
DISPLAY ADVERTISING (404) 373-7779 x 110

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

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 • Page 8

Examining the Dunwoody Daily Bulletin
City councilman discusses online arrest record
by R. Scott Belzer

sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

Dunwoody Police Department’s
“Daily Bulletin” tracks all tickets,
arrests, incidents and ordinance
violations within city limits. The
website lists alleged offenders’
names and the site of an infraction,
and sometimes the exact address.
Offenders ages 17 and older can be
listed on the website, regardless of
the outcome in court.
According to Dunwoody city
councilman John Heneghan, the
website acts as a proof of public
service. On Nov. 19, Heneghan
addressed public commentary
requesting more police presence,
visibility and enforcement with a
description of the Daily Bulletin and
the function it performs.
“The city of Dunwoody has
worked very hard from day one to be
transparent in everything we do and
that includes telling the community
what our police department is doing
on a daily basis,” Heneghan said.
“This public page could be a gauge
as to what the department is doing
to be responsive to community
desires.”
Heneghan’s praise is mixed with
criticism. On his blog, Heneghan
provided a screenshot of what the
website looks like. In the screenshot,
all names are blacked out; on the
live site, they are not.
“Juveniles age 16 and below are
protected by not having their names
in the database and the same
goes for being the victim of specific
crimes, but after your 17th birthday,
it is a different story,” Heneghan
said.
Heneghan said the issue of

The Dunwoody Police Department’s Daily Bulletin lists alleged offenses and
police activity dating as far back as March 2009. Photo used courtesy of
Dunwoody North blog.

17-year-old offenders being listed
on the Daily Bulletin has come up
twice in 2016 and cited a specific
instance.
“A 17-year-old—who just
celebrated his birthday the month
before—is named publicly, booked
in the DeKalb County Jail with
a permanent record, mug shot
taken, and the record is now able

to be found forever on the DeKalb
Online Judicial System’s webpage,”
Heneghan said. “The 16 year-old is
basically released to his parents and
is very thankful that his 17th birthday
is still another couple weeks away.”
Former DeKalb County district
attorney Tom Morgan, mentioned
by Heneghan, spoke to the
Dunwoody community in 2012

regarding legislative reform on the
topic. Morgan has served on the US
Advisory Board on Child Abuse and
Neglect as well as the Georgia’s
Child Abuse Prevention Panel.
“There are only four states in
the country that treat our teenagers
as adults when they’re 17, Georgia
being one,” Morgan said. “I testified
before the state legislature [in 2011]
about raising the age to 18 to fit
with the rest of the country and
was told ‘Oh Mr. Morgan, we can’t
do that because we don’t want our
constituents in Georgia to think
we’re soft on crime.’”
Heneghan said it may be time to
revisit the issue in Dunwoody and,
in the interim, persuade parents to
educate their children—primarily
teenagers—about Georgia law.
The Daily Bulletin logs alleged
offenses dating back to March 2009
and does not list the court outcome
of the offense.
If Camille Barnes was cleared
of following too close in traffic—
alleged by Dunwoody officer
Robert Parsons on April 14,
2009—the public may never know
the outcome of the case. Friends,
family members, neighbors, past
employers, future colleagues and
potential bosses will know, however,
that she received a traffic ticket in
Dunwoody.
More serious offenses, such
as battery, child abuse, and sexual
exploitation of a child, as well as
alleged offenders, have the same
shelf life on the Daily Bulletin.
To examine Dunwoody’s Daily
Bulletin, visit http://p2c.dunwoodyga.
gov/p2c/dailybulletin.aspx. John
Heneghan’s blog can be found at
dunwoodynorth.blogspot.com/.

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 • Page 9

‘High number’ of school bus violations in DeKalb County
by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com

D

eKalb County drivers are
continuing to violate the school
bus stop passing law, according
to reports released by the
DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.
Officials from the sheriff’s office said
a “surprisingly high number” of drivers
are passing school buses when the bus
is stopped and picking up or dropping off
passengers.
The Uniform Field Division for the
sheriff’s office has issued 231 tickers
specifically for “arm stop violations” since
Aug. 1. The statistics were shared as part
of a training session for DeKalb County
School District bus drivers.
DeKalb School Superintendent
Stephen Green said he appreciates
the efforts of the sheriff’s office to cite
offenders. According to the school district,
nearly 60,000 students are transported
each school day.
“Parents and guardians trust us to
keep their children safe, and we take
that trust very seriously,” said Green in a
statement. “Violating school bus passing
laws endangers the lives of our children,
so we support the sheriff’s assistance
with holding offenders accountable for
irresponsible actions.”
DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann
said the “arm stop violations” are
disappointing.
“It is disappointing.” Mann said. “Since
we began ticketing offenders in 2014, there
has been a heightened awareness of the
school bus passing law. Other county law
enforcement agencies have also started to
crack down on this violation, so the public
is certainly more mindful of the threat to
young children and of the consequences
they face by breaking the law. Yet, they
continue to offend.”

The DeKalb County Sherriff’s Office is cracking down on school bus stop violators, according to sheriff’s office
officials. Photo by Travis Hudgons

The penalty for passing a school bus
illegally can include a fine of up to $1,000,
court-ordered community service, six
points on the driver’s license or courtordered probation.
Mann said it’s important to educate
the community on school bus passing
laws. According to Mann, deputies will
regularly patrol areas in DeKalb County
where residents have voiced concern
after witnessing violations and in densely
populated communities along busy
streets where children use school bus
transportation.
“We have been working with the
school systems and [Stephen] Green to
make sure we identify the problem areas
and we recognize when people are not
paying attention. We want to increase
community awareness,” Mann said.
“You have to stop [your vehicle] unless
there’s a raised median and people don’t
understand that. It’s a problem.”

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Adoption includes spay/neuter, vaccinations and
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local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 • Page 10

Clarkston man arrested for false imprisonment
by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com
A Clarkston man held
two women against their
will and forced them to
have sex with other men,
according to DeKalb
County police.
Henry Milton, 28, was
charged with two counts
of false imprisonment and
two counts of pandering
Nov. 9 after officers
received a call from one
of the victim’s mothers
claiming her daughter was
being held against her will
by her boyfriend.

Officers arrived at
the America’s Best Inn
Motel in Tucker. Milton
told officers that two other
women “were staying
there.”
One of the victims
assured officers she
was “OK” but “her body
language appeared that
she was timid,” one officer
wrote in a police report.
Milton began yelling

at one of the women in
an “intimidating manner”
asking if she was going
to leave with the officers,
according to a police
report.
One of the women ran
to a nearby Waffle House
and then collapsed on
the ground and said she
was “scared for her life.”
According to her, Milton
held her and the other

women captive and forced
them to have sex with men
for money. Milton would
also hold guns to their
head and beat them if they
mentioned  leaving, she
said.
One of the women had
known Milton roughly three
to four weeks and wasn’t
allowed to leave his side
since they met, the police
report said.

Henry Milton was charged
with two counts of false
imprisonment and two counts
of pandering after officers
received a call from one of the
victim’s mothers.

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local

weekinpictures

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 • Page 11

Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst along with city council members, staff and park conservancies celebrated new pedestrian bridges at both Murphey Candler (pictured above)
and Briarwood parks. The bridges were installed as part of the parks master plan process, with more park improvements to follow in the coming year.

A DeKalb County Fire and Rescue truck sits outside the DeKalb County Fire
and Rescue Training Academy in Decatur.

Travis Harrell, 46, enjoys a day at the park at the Oakhurst Dog Park in Decatur on
Thanksgiving.

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, Dec. 2, 2016 • Page 12

Early learning center receives $50,930 in grants

O

ne DeKalb
County early
learning center
can guarantee funds for
education and a new
playground thanks to
grants from a national retail
chain and two nonprofits.
Scottdale Early
Learning, located at
479 Warren Ave., was
granted $50,930 in funding
courtesy of the Community
Foundation for Greater
Atlanta, Target and
KaBOOM!.
Originally founded in
1977. Scottdale Learning
Center is a nonprofit
that provides early care
and education services
to children up to age 5.
According to its website,
the school specializes
in preparing up to 90
children for kindergarten
via a curriculum which
encourages learning by
doing.
“We help a diverse
group of children develop
social, emotional and
physical skills as well as
pre-reading, language,
literacy and math skills,”
states the nonprofit’s
website. The school also
provides a limited number
of scholarships for eligible
families thanks to funding
from partnering agencies.
“Scottdale is committed
to providing access to
affordable, high equality
early care education to
low and moderate income
families,” the organization
states.
“We are extremely
gratified by the support of
the Community Foundation,
Target and KaBOOM!,” said
Maryum Lewis, executive
director of Scottdale Early
Learning.
According to Lewis,
the grant awarded by the
Community Foundation
is highly sought after
and obtaining it was
a competitive, lengthy
process. In addition to an
application, the center
participated in site visits,
research into its curriculum
and board of director
engagement.
“Our due diligence
process ensures that the
nonprofits receiving grants

conform to best practices
and strong operating
procedures,” said Alicia
Philipp, president of
Community Foundation
for Greater Atlanta. “By
awarding the grant, we
recognize Scottdale Early
Learning is working hard
to address critical needs in
our region.”
Since 1951, Community
Foundation has connected
donors to nonprofits in
23 counties. According to
its website, the nonprofit
donates an estimated $100
million per year.
Lewis said the $30,000
awarded by the Community
Foundation will be used
for school facilities, the
center’s Parents as
Teachers program and the
Clarkston READY School,
a free “learning and family
engagement program for
Arabic speaking children” in
Clarkston.
The $15,930 awarded
by Target and KaBOOM!
will be used to purchase an
Imagination Playground,
according to Lewis. The
playground is made up of
custom-designed, oversize
foam parts that allow
children to build, tear down
and rebuild play spaces.
“The grants allow us
to augment our existing
playgrounds to give
our children access
to enhanced learning
opportunities through
imaginative play,”
Lewis said. “Numerous
studies have shown that
unstructured, child-directed
play helps children develop
physically, emotionally,
socially and intellectually.”
KaBOOM! is a national
nonprofit founded in 1996
in Washington, D.C.
According to its website,
the organization has served
8.1 million children by
building or improving more
than 16,300 playgrounds.
“We appreciate the
ongoing efforts to help
make wellness more
affordable and accessbile,
and we are excited to
incorporate this new
learning environment into
our programs,” Lewis said.
For more information on
Scottdale Early Learning,
visit www.scottdale.org or
call (404) 294-8362.

Children at the Scottdale Learning Center enjoy the new Imagination Playground, an interactive foam
playground that can be built by children, purchased with grant funding. Photo submitted.

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local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 • Page 13

DeKalb School District official receives high marks
Chief Information Officer named to national board, named leader by national publication

by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
November seems to be
an exciting time for DeKalb
County School District
Chief Information Officer
Gary Brantley.
On Nov. 7, five-year
DCSD employee Brantley
was appointed to the
International Socierty for
Technology in Education
(ISTE) board of directors.
ISTE is a nonprofit
organization serving
educators and education
leaders, according to its
website. The organization
states it serves more
than 100,000 education
stakeholders throughout
the world by implementing
technology standards in
educational environments.
“[Brantley] brings an
outstanding combination of
experience as a technology
leader in education,
government and corporate
environments to the ISTE
board,” said ISTE board
chairperson Kecia Ray.
“We’re honored to have him
join the board and share
his unique perspectives
with us moving forward.”

DeKalb County School District
Chief Information Officer Gary
Brantley has been recognized
twice in the month of November
for his contributions to the
field of technology in business.
Photo submitted.

Brantley will join board
members from such
places as Tennessee,
Illinois, Oregon, Kentucky,
Missouri, Minnesota,
Maryland, California,
Indiana, Virginia, Kansas
and Australia. His term will
begin January 2017.
According to
Computerworld, the
self-described “voice of
business technology” and
national publication for
technology professionals,
Brantley is also among the
Premier 100 Technology

Leaders for 2017.
Brantley’s nomination
was also announced in
mid-November.
The annual distinction
recognizes technology
industry professionals who
build their careers from
the ground up, develop
essential leadership skills
and solve problems at the
top of their profession.
“I am thankful
to be recognized by
Computerworld for my
contributions to the district,”
Brantley said. “This award
is more a reflection of the
hard work and dedication
of our information services
team toward supporting
student achievement.”
Brantley joined
professionals hailing
from such companies as
General Motors, Bank of
America, Kroger, AT&T,
Coca-Cola and PayPal.
In January 2016,
Brantley was interviewed
by Innov8tiv for his
accomplishments
and membership to
underrepresented
communities within the tech
space.
“Every CIO is faced with

the challenge of looking at
the needs of the business
and is tasked with finding
ways to improve on those
needs; most times it’s not
as clear-cut or transparent,
so you really must
understand the business
and the space you’re
operating in,” Brantley
told the publication. “The
community within DeKalb
County is extremely diverse
with close to 147 different
languages spoken within
our school district. Mobile
technology was the key to
help break that barrier and
reach those parents and
community stakeholders
who didn’t have the
ability to travel to onsite
meetings.”
Brantley said he believs
relevant experience and
diversity are missing from
technology careers and
communities.
“When I speak to inner
city students, most of them
have no idea what a CIO
is,” Brantley said. “They

can’t begin to craft a career
path because they have no
idea jobs like [mine] exist.
I am happy to see that
computer science classes
are starting to hit some
[DeKalb] schools.”
Brantley also ha
been featured in EdTech
Magazine in both 2014 and
2015.
According to DCSD
officials, Brantley leads
a department that serves
more than 118,000
district teachers, staff
and students. On Nov. 7,
Brantley helped Henderson
Middle School receive
board of education
approval on $626,358 in
technology upgrades.
Brantley also has
experience working with
IBM, MCI WorldCom, the
Ohio State Department and
Lorain City School District
in Ohio where held the
titles of regional operations
director and director of
technology in addition to
chief information officer.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
The Mayor and Council of the City of Pine Lake will hold
a Public Hearing on the proposed 2017 General Fund,
Capital Improvements, and Storm Water Budgets on
Monday, December 12, 2016 in the Council Chambers,
459 Pine Drive, Pine Lake GA, 30072, beginning at 7:30
PM. Final adoption is scheduled for December 19, 2016
in a meeting to be held at the above location A copy of the
proposed budgets will be available for public inspection
beginning Wednesday, November 28, 2016, at City Hall,
462 Clubhouse Drive, Pine Lake, GA 30072 during
normal business hours 8:30 – 12:30 and 1:30 to 4:30.

education

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 • Page 14

Redistricting plan may be against policy
Board of Ed
member argues
against future
district action
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
A DeKalb County School District
(DCSD) board of education member
has alleged the administration may
be violating policy with a proposed
redistricting.
As part of the Secondary Schools
Facility Study, which plans to address
certain overcrowded middle and high
schools in DeKalb County, as many as
5,755 students may be redistricted.
Residents in the Sagamore Hills
area of Brookhaven have voiced
opposition to being redistricted out of the
Lakeside High School cluster. Residents
of Chamblee and Doraville have say
the plan does not adequately address
overcrowding in the Cross Keys cluster.
Resident Eleanor Attwood
challenged the legality of such a
proposal, stating students cannot legally
traverse a long, dangerous route to
school.
On Nov. 19, board member Stan
Jester said such a proposal goes
against district policy. On his blog, Jester
said he was informed that, “school
district officials may target certain
elementary schools for redistricting
on the basis of socioeconomics and
demographics.”
“DCSD has a policy on school
attendance zones,” Jester said.
“[The policy] does not contain any
considerations for demographic or
socioeconomic factors when proposing
attendance zones or redistricting.”
The policy referenced by Jester,
known officially as Policy AD: School
Attendance Areas, states attendance
areas may be altered for reasons
such as population changes, capacity
or operating efficiency, change in a
school’s use, closure of a school, the
opening of a new school and more.
Other criteria includes safety and
traffic patterns, previous redistricting,
intact neighborhoods, special programs,
facility condition, school feeder
alignment, efficient operations, economic
operations or “other criteria to be publicly
disclosed at or prior to a final decision by
the board.”
Jester said under the proposed plan,
set for board approval in December,
an estimated 250 students from the
Lakeside cluster may be redistricted
to a new high school cluster to be
established in Brookhaven.
Jester referenced a Nov. 10
neighborhood meeting at Oak Grove
Methodist Church in which DCSD

Director of Planning Dan Drake met
with residents to discuss the issue.
At the meeting, Drake reportedly said
“the school system had not made a
determination about which school might
be redistricted,” and that it could possibly
include Sagamore Hills, Oak Grove or
Hawthorne elementary schools.
“Drake’s response seems to indicate
that the district intends to move an
elementary school out of the Lakeside
feeder pattern to a new Brookhaven
High School,” Jester concluded.
According to DCSD minutes,
Sagamore Hills was redistricted from the
Druid Hills cluster to Lakeside in March
2011. According to Policy AD, previous
redistricting should be considered by
the administration before formulating a
recommendation. How much time must
pass, however, is not defined.
According to Sheri Lake,
chairperson of the Sagamore Hills
Elementary school council, residents
were informed that the two biggest
concerns in the area were “expressed
concerns over potential future
redistricting” and that “all other clusters
asked to keep existing attendance areas
intact.”
“Sagamore Hills parents and
stakeholders are among those who
loudly voiced these concerns; we were
also told that the Secondary Schools
Plan satisfied these two concerns,” Lake
said Oct. 3. “In fact, the plan does not
honor those concerns at all for members
of the Lakeside cluster. Sagamore Hills
is part of the Lakeside community. We
play sports within this community, we are
on swim teams within this community,
we go to church within this community,
we are members of neighborhood civic
associations in this community.”
More Sagamore parents spoke
during the November meeting.
DCSD officials released an updated
frequently asked questions (FAQ)
form on Nov. 18 with certain answers
regarding redistricting.
“If redistricting is needed for
additions and a new high school, it
would follow an extensive community
engagement process,” states one
answer. “The three meeting process of
redistricting would occur one year prior
to an opening of a school facility/addition
and be based upon the criteria set
forth in Policy AD. The first redistricting
meeting would simply introduce the
process and gather comments related
to Policy AD criteria; no plans would
be shown. The second redistricting
meeting would present two or three
redistricting plans and collect input on
these plans as they relate to Policy AD
criteria. We would then use the input
from the second meeting to draw one
staff recommended redistricting plan.
At the third meeting, we would receive
input from the community on the staff
recommended plan. The input from
the third meeting would be used for
the superintendent to recommend a
redistricting recommendation to the
board of education for its approval.”

Sagamore Hills Elementary School Council chairperson Sheri Lake
told DeKalb County School District in October that the Secondary
School Facility and Feasibility Study does not satisfy concerns of
redistricting in the Sagamore Hills community. Photo submitted.

Lakeside High School is slated to receive an additional 750 seats
through upgrades but is planned to redistrict 250 students to a new
Brookhaven area high school. Image courtesy of DeKalb County
School District.

education

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 • Page 15

Doraville High a high priority?
Conflicting reports raise more questions than answers
by R. Scott Belzer

sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

M

any questions remain
regarding DeKalb County
School District’s (DCSD)
pending E-SPLOST
V list, set to be approved at its
December board of education
meeting.
E-SPLOST V is a specialpurpose, 1-percent sales tax
that generates funds for new
school facilities and other capital
projects. The tax, estimated to be
worth approximately $500 million,
received support from 71 percent of
DeKalb County voters in May.
DCSD unveiled a detailed list
of projects that will be completed
during E-SPLOST V’s run, which
will last July 2017 to June 2022,
on Nov. 7 during a meeting of the
Committee of the Whole.
Controversy has surrounded
the topic before and after the list’s
unveiling.
According to the list, the
majority of the $500 million ($261
million), will be spent on a new
Cross Keys High School at a costneutral site, conversion of the
current Cross Keys into a Cross
Keys Middle School, and additions
ranging to 750 seats at Chamblee,
Clarkston, Dunwoody and
Lakeside high schools as well as
at Peachtree and Freedom middle
schools.
The decision to spend funds
on such projects is the result of
the Secondary Schools Feasibility
Study, which presented three
options to DCSD parents, teachers,
staff and students.

Aside from the option chosen
Nov. 7, two other options were
presented to stakeholders. Both
proposed a new Sequoyah area
(Doraville) high school and is
expected to cost approximately $60
million-80 million more than the
option chosen.
At the Committee of the Whole
meeting, DCSD board of education
member Stan Jester reserved his
feelings about the proposed list until
its conclusion.
“With the stakeholder
engagement, it looked like,
month after month, there was
overwhelming support for a new
Sequoyah high school and a new
Sequoyah cluster,” Jester said. “I’m
wondering why—when everybody
and their dog wanted a Doraville
cluster—why didn’t we go in that
direction?”
DCSD Director of Planning
Dan Drake said there was a trend,
early on in the process, where
the community advocated for a
Doraville cluster. However, he said,
that changed in following months.
“There was a strong push at the
meetings for an additional cluster,”
Drake said. “As the process went
on and the input came in online, it
actually pushed the other way to
expand the size of these schools.”
Jester asked whether DCSD
had contacted Doraville mayor
Donna Pittman regarding a new
Doraville cluster.
“We met with the mayor but that
topic did not come up,” said DCSD
superintendent Stephen Green.
“We talked about Cary Reynolds
Elementary. Once they realized a
new elementary school would be

coming to their area, it changed the
conversation. It was specifically to
advocate for Cary Reynolds.”
Green said the topic of a
Doraville cluster did not come up.
Drake, however, said a discussion
about high schools took place but
said there was no discussion about
a Doraville cluster.
In an email made public by
Cross Keys High teacher Rebekah
Morris, mayor Pittman clarified
that she and City Manager Shawn
Gillen discussed the possibility
of renovating or rebuilding Cary
Reynolds.
According to Pittman and
the final E-SPLOST project list,
$5.8 million will be allocated for
upgrades to Cary Reynolds and
$30 million will be allocated for a
northern district elementary school.
“Dr. Gillen, myself and school
staff will be working together to
identify a site in Doraville as well
as collaborating together to move
this project forward to address all
issues,” Pittman wrote.
In a second email—sent directly
to Morris—Pittman wrote, “I do feel
Option B is the best option. Our
priority right now is improving the
conditions and overcrowding in
our current elementary schools as
well as working with Doraville staff,
DCSD staff and city council for a
new elementary school.”
Jester said he disagrees with
Drake’s assertion that the public
does not want a Doraville cluster,
stating certain schools agreed
to DCSD’s plan under certain
pretenses that have not come to
fruition.
On his blog, Jester wrote,

“Lakeside HS and Dunwoody HS
select ‘Option B’” which is what
was ultimately selected by DCSD.
The post goes on to explain why
Lakeside High School arrived at the
decision.
In a second post, Jester wrote,
“Here’s a news flash—Doraville
doesn’t want [its] own cluster.”
“Doraville and the Cross Keys
community want to go to Dunwoody
Middle and Dunwoody High,
Chamblee Middle and Chamblee
High, and what is shaping up to be
a Brookhaven High,”
On Nov. 7, Jester said these
statements were made under the
impression they would receive
complete renovations.
“What they thought was going
to happen isn’t going to happen,”
Jester said. “People don’t like to be
redistricted. There is a huge need
for capacity up North. Doraville
needs a cluster and people want
to stay in their own cities. There’s
huge support—at least west of
I-85—for a new cluster.”
In a 2015 National Public Radio
interview, Pittman said, “We do not
have a high school in our city and
our children go a very long way [to
attend school]. I would love to see
a high school in our city. It brings a
sense of community to our children.
It’s hard for children to participate
in activities and afterschool
activities because they have no
transportation.”
DCSD’s board of education
is scheduled to approve to the
proposed E-SPLOST list at its Dec.
3 meeting.

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business

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 • Page 17

Studio offers wide variety of fitness approaches
by Kathy Mitchell
The key to finding a
fitness routine one is likely
to stick with is incorporating
variety and fun, according
to Patrice Peters, owner
of Cosmic Energy Studio in
Northlake Mall.
“I like to mix it up, offer
a variety of music and
types of classes. That way
people don’t get bored with
a routine,” said Peters,
who has instructors in
a wide variety of fitness
approaches from kickboxing
to Zumba. There’s also
stretch, Pilates and other
fitness routines.
“We offer a relatively
new type of exercise called
pound. Not many people
in the South are familiar
with it. It was developed
by a drummer and uses
lightweight sticks,” she said.
“People who do pound find
it not only beneficial, but a
lot of fun.”
Peters, who is certified
by such agencies as the
Aerobics and Fitness
Association of America,
teaches some classes and
has regular instructors for
others. “Sometimes I bring
in guest instructors to add
something different to the
mix,” she said.
A native of the
Caribbean, Peters includes
Caribbean dance in the
studio’s offerings. “People
can come and do salsa,
reggae, and calypso. It’s
good exercise and a lot of
fun,” she said.
Unlike many fitness
studios, Cosmic Energy has
no stationary equipment.
“There are no machines
here and that makes us
different from studios
where people come in
an exercise on their own.
We’re basically all classes
except personal trainers are
available,” said Peters, who
is certified as a personal
trainer.
“I choose instructors
not only for their skill but
also for their passion for
what they do. I believe
you have to have passion
to inspire others. Each
instructor brings his or her
own style and flavor to the
class. Some clients just like
working with a particular
instructor,” Peters said.
The classes are all one
hour and are offered on a
regular schedule. “People
know, for example that on a
particular day and hour they

Patrice Peters says variety and fun are keys to an appealing fitness program.

Most of the programs at Cosmic Energy are classes that use no stationary equipment.

will find a specific instructor
teaching a specific class.
Clients can pay per class,
buy a package that includes
a specific number of classes
or get a monthly pass that
lets them have unlimited
access for the month,”
Peters explained.
Peters, who owned a
studio in Tucker for eight
years and two years ago
moved to Northlake Mall,
said she has lived in the
area for many years and
really likes it. “My children
went to school in Tucker.
It’s a community that’s
quite invested in health.

It’s a vibrant area that’s
continuing to grow,” she
said.
She said her studio is
for people of all ages and at
all fitness levels, including
children’s classes as well as
classes for the group she
calls “active older adults.”
Recalling that she
discovered “the fun of
movement” when she was
in college in New York,
Peters said, “I just love
the way exercise—in all
its various forms—makes
you feel. I enrolled in a
fitness program as an
extracurricular activity in

college and it’s been part of
my life ever since.
“It’s not about getting
skinny,” she continued. “It’s
about staying active and
reaching your personal
fitness goals. We don’t
compete and we don’t
judge. We support each
other whatever fitness level
we’re trying to achieve.”
Peters said she chose
the name Cosmic Energy
because she is all about
energy. “Whenever people
talk about me, the word
energy always comes
in, but I know the energy
doesn’t come from me; it

comes from a higher power
in the universe. That’s why I
paired the word cosmic with
energy.”
“The mall location is
great. It’s safe, clean and
there’s plenty of parking.
Sometime people are
surprised to find a fitness
studio in the mall, but if you
come to shop for clothes,
why not shop for fitness at
the same time?”
Right now, the Northlake
Cosmic Energy is the only
one, but Peters envisions
opening additional
locations.

local

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

sports

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 • Page 19

Cedar Grove knocks off Calhoun to reach semifinals

by Mark Brock
Senior quarterback and
Oklahoma State commit Jelani
Woods passed for three
touchdowns and ran for two more to
lead the No. 6 ranked Cedar Grove
Saints to a 47-21 victory over the
No. 4 ranked Calhoun Yellowjackets
Nov. 25 at Calhoun.
Woods, who threw for 267
yards in the game, helped the
Saints (11-2) jump out to an early
14-0 lead with a pair of firstquarter touchdown passes. Woods
connected for 34 yards and 68
yards with senior receiver Dennis
Bell for the scores.
A 17-yard run by Woods led
to a 24-yard touchdown pass to
Jadon Haselwood, giving the
Saints a 28-7 lead at halftime.
Cedar Grove scored once in
the third quarter on a 2-yard run by
Woods to take a 35-14 lead into the
fourth quarter.
Grant Walker (155 yards
rushing) and Demetrius Tharpe
would add rushing touchdowns in
the fourth quarter for the final of 4721 over Calhoun (10-3).
The Saints advance to the
Class AAA semifinals for the third
time in school history and for
the second consecutive season.
Cedar Grove was 12-1 in its 1976
appearance and finished 14-1 in
1991 when the team advanced to
the state finals.
Cedar Grove goes on the road
for the third consecutive week as
the team heads to Cordele to take
on No. 5 ranked Crisp County (130) Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

The Cedar Grove Saints advance to the Class AAA semifinals for the third time in school history and for the second consecutive
season. File photo by Travis Hudgons

Tucker 28, Mays 21
The No. 4 ranked Tucker Tigers
went into Atlanta’s Lakewood
Stadium and came away with a
28-21 victory over the No. 3 ranked
Mays Raiders to advance to the
Class AAAAAA state semifinals for
the first time since 2013.
The Tigers (12-1) put together
a 63-yard drive that took over five
minutes to expand an early 7-0
lead to 14-0. Tucker’s go-to man on
the goal line, Chris Broadwater,
scored the first of three touchdowns
in the game as he went in from
1-yard out.
Mays closed the gap to 14-7 by
recovering a Tucker fumble in the
end zone.
Tucker would make it 21-7 at
the half with an answering 69-yard
drive with Broadwater, who had
three touchdowns in the Tigers
second round win, got his second
touchdown of the night with a
2-yard run up the middle.
The Raiders came out swinging
in the second half as quarterback
B.J. Phillips connected with
Norman Price on a touchdown

The Tucker Tigers are in their seventh semifinal and will take on a Northside-Warner Robins team that is 1-2 against the Tigers
in the state playoffs. Photo by Cindy Brewer

pass to again cut the lead to one
score at 21-14 on the half’s opening
drive.
The Tiger defense came up big
as Mays drove to Tucker’s 16-yard
line. Brian Strozier came up with
a big sack on third down and Mays
failed to convert on fourth down to
give Tucker the football on downs.
Broadwater got away for a
44-yard run to the Mays 31 and a
few plays later scored what would
be the clinching touchdown on a
3-yard run, giving the Tigers a 2814 lead.
Mays answered to pull within
28-21, and with the Raider defense
deflecting and intercepting a
Tigers’ pass at the Tucker 31
were, threatening to knot the
score. However, on the first play
following the interception the Tigers
recovered a Raider fumble to again

thwart one of the Raider’s patented
comebacks.
Tucker drove down the field
into Mays territory, used all but 10
seconds of the remaining game
clock before turning the ball over on
downs.
Mays got off one long pass play,
but the receiver was tackled as time
ran out in the game.
The Tigers are in their seventh
semifinal and will take on a
Northside-Warner Robins team that
is 1-2 against the Tigers in the state
playoffs. They will face off again
Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. on at Hallford
Stadium.
Valdosta 31, Stephenson 21
The No. 1 ranked Valdosta
Wildcats defeated Stephenson
Jaguars’ squad 31-21 at Bazemore-

Hyder Stadium in Valdosta Nov. 25.
Stephenson held a brief 14-10
lead with 7:50 left in the first half
only to fall behind 24-14 at halftime
as the Wildcats pulled out some
trick passing plays to gain the
momentum.
Valdosta (12-1) extended the
lead to 31-14 in the third quarter.
Stephenson could only must one
score of its own in the second half
with a fourth quarter touchdown to
make the final margin of 31-21.
The Jaguars finish the season
8-5 with a strong run in the state
playoffs.
Playoff schedule
Northside-Warner Robins (11-2)
vs. Tucker (12-1), Hallford Stadium,
7:30 p.m.
Cedar Grove (11-2) at Crisp
Co. (13-0), 7:30 p.m.

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 • Page 20

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