the DeKalb FRIDAY, FEB. 10, 2017 • VOL. 19, NO. 45 • FREE

Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Stone Mountain, Stonecrest and Tucker • A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •

children’s home
to sell Decatur

Photo by Kathy Mitchell

Sisters Aishvarya and Vaishali Prahalad partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association at Emory University after creating by Kathy Mitchell
a book that helps people write an autobiography. Photo by Horace Holloman

Local girls fight Alzheimer’s I
n what the organization
characterized as an
“overwhelming” vote of approval,
the Board of Trustees of The

disease one book at a time
United Methodist Children’s Home
(UMCH) decided to sell the property
that makes up its Decatur campus.
The property, located on South
by Horace Holloman Grandstories was created. so we’ll buy one from you’ Columbia Drive near Columbia The sisters, with the help of but we realized people really Theological Seminary, is approximately
their parents, developed a liked the product. We realized 77 acres and provides onsite services
What started as two self-help autobiography book there was something in it for approximately 80 people. “That’s the
DeKalb County girls wanting that allows anyone to create that people actually wanted,” equivalent of 59 football fields. We don’t
to know more about their their own autobiography Vaishali said. need 59 football fields of space to care
grandfather quickly blossomed through answering probing A year after creating their for 80 people,” said John P. Cerniglia,
into something no one in the questions. own book, Grandstories has UMCH vice president of development.
family expected. The book is broken been shipped to 18 different UMCH’s DeKalb property originally
Sisters Aishvarya,7, and down into different chapters countries. The only continent was 226 acres, but over the years 149
Vaishali, 11, Prahalad are including “all about you,” “a Grandstories hasn’t touched acres were sold as the organization’s
described by their mother as trip down memory lane,” “more is Antarctica, according to the needs and the focus of its ministry
precocious little girls. The two of your favorite things” and girls’ mother. changed.
love to read and spend time in “words of wisdom.” Neeraja Prahalad, the “Money from the sale will be
the library. Their favorite books Individuals can fill out mother of Aishvarya and invested, so resources to serve an
happen to be autobiographies. the pages in their own hand Vaishali, said she’s very proud additional 63 people each year are
After a trip to the library writing or have someone write of her daughters for publishing expected to come in perpetuity,”
the duo wondered why they for them while they’re being their own book, but it’s what according to Cerniglia, who said the
couldn’t read a book about interviewed. the girls are doing with the organization will not purchase other
someone they know. At first, the girls weren’t money that’s really making a property, but will rent facilities as
“We were wondering why sure how the idea would be difference. needed.
our grandparents didn’t have received by the community. The girls give 10 percent The proposal to sell the Decatur
a book of their own so we The girls started out selling the of the proceeds to charity and property came as a result of “thoughtful
could read about them. So books in their neighborhood Aishvarya and Vaishali are research and consideration of how and
we said how about we create and within minutes sold out partners with the Alzheimer’s where the organization might expand
something where anyone can and soon had to take pre- Association at Emory its ability to deliver on the organization’s
write their own biography,” orders. University. mission and to keep up with, or
Vaishali said. “We were expecting maybe anticipate, the times in which the
That’s how the idea for people saying, ‘oh you’re kids See Book on page 5 See Sell on page 5

LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 2

Congressmen Hank Johnson, John Lewis and
congress candidate Jon Ossoff investigate
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport on Jan. 28
following a controversial executive order from
President Donald Trump on Jan. 27. Photo

‘Chaos at the border’
Refugees supported by U.S.
reps Johnson, Lewis and
candidate at airport

by R. Scott Belzer officials to enforce temporary mistake about it—Americans airport also serves as the and frightened Georgia stays. Following protests on Jan. who respect the Constitution country’s border for immigrants families, impaired commerce
28, Georgia was named among must rise up and oppose this and citizens. He referred to and wasted taxpayer dollars.
them. injustice, and the suffering that activity at airports as chaos and This is a distraction from the
President Donald Trump’s Johnson, Lewis and Ossoff it wreaks upon innocent men, a result of executive missteps. real work of border security;
executive order involving arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson women and children whose “The chaos at the border this our border agents are in an
immigration—signed Jan. on Jan. 28 after a day on the only offense is that they are weekend is an extreme example untenable position, under
27—has garnered a reaction campaign trail for Ossoff, Muslims.” of mismanagement,” Ossoff political pressure and without
from one DeKalb County who hopes to win Tom Price’s According to Ossoff, the said. “It has inconvenienced clear orders.”
congressman, his well- congressional district that
known colleague as well as a encompasses parts of north
congressional candidate. DeKalb County. Price’s seat
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, will be vacant following his MORRISS and SHIM, Attorneys at Law
who represents a sizeable nomination for U.S. Secretary
portion of DeKalb County,
was joined by Atlanta-based
of Health and Human Services.
Referred to as the busiest
Is pleased to announce the firm’s new name
U.S. Rep. John Lewis and airport in the world, Hartsfield-
6th Congressional District
candidate Jon Ossoff at
Jackson accommodates MORRISS ǀ SHIM ǀ JAMES
approximately 100 million
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson passengers per year and is
Airport on the afternoon of Jan. estimated to service 260,000
29 in response to Trump’s order. daily, according to the Atlanta
The order puts an
indefinite ban on Syrian
Department of Aviation and
Airports Council International.
refugees until further notice, Johnson said the purpose ATTORNEYS TOLL FREE:
restricts immigration from of the trip was to facilitate the AT LAW 1.866.946.8800
six predominantly Muslim release of Georgia residents
countries—Iraq, Iran, Somalia, held unconstitutionally in
Sudan, Libya and Yemen— for custody.
120 days, bars entry from these “I applaud this weekend’s and that
countries for 90 days, and emergency decision by a
allows Customs and Border
Patrol (CBP) the discretion to
federal judge to ban the
enforcement of President
question U.S. citizens traveling Trump’s unconstitutional
home from each. Has joined the firm as a partner.
executive order, which sought
The order also suspends to ban Muslims from certain Robert James is the former elected District Attorney and Solicitor-General of DeKalb County.
the entry of refugees into the nations from entering the
country for 120 days. United States,” Johnson said. Robert will be practicing in the areas of personal injury and criminal defense.
The order resulted in “This Muslim ban is contrary
protests around the world, to our values, and ironically,
primarily at U.S. airports, as is dangerous to U.S. national
well as legal action from state WWW.MSJLAWGROUP.COM
security interests. Make no
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 3

AVONDALE ESTATES according to event officials. Each year, CRSA
welcomes more than 200 volunteers to the capi-
March 2 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn
tol to engage legislators and show support for more about CASA as well as a volunteer’s role and
new Americans. responsibilities. The organization, whose motto is “I
Garden club to host monthly program am for the child,” hopes to make positive differences
in the lives of children affected by abuse or neglect.
Sara Henderson, director of gardens at Oakland The CASA volunteer orientation will take place
Cemetery, will lead the ‘Back to Our Roots: Restor-
ing Oakland’s Gardens’ presentation Feb. 17 dur-
ing the Avondale Estates Garden Club’s monthly
CHAMBLEE at the Gregory A. Adams Juvenile Justice Center
located at 4309 Memorial Drive in Decatur.
For more information or to register online, con-
program. Henderson’s presentation will cover the tact Justine Ferreira at justine.ferreira@dekalbcasa.
history, research and plants that are still important org or call (404) 378-0038.
for today’s gardens. The presentation will take place
10:30 a.m. at the Avondale Community Club, 59
Lakeshore Drive. For more information, visit www.
Ninth annual Black History Month
BROOKHAVEN celebration scheduled

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond will
deliver the opening remarks at DeKalb History
City to host ‘parent’s night out’ Center’s ninth annual Black History Month
Celebration at the Historic DeKalb Courthouse.
Brookhaven will host Parent’s Night Out on Feb. 17, The event will feature a symposium on the
from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Lynwood Community Center. history and preservation of DeKalb’s historic
The event is a way for parents to drop off their chil- African-American communities, Flat Rock and
dren on a Friday and have time to themselves. The Shermantown.
event will include dinner, games, activities and op- The event will be held Feb. 23, 11 a.m. to 2
tions to keep children entertained. Pre-registration p.m. Catered buffet will be included and individual
is required and pick-up is promptly at 9 p.m. Cost is tickets range from $30 to $40.
$15 per child; ages: 5-12. For more information call
(404) 637-0512. Georgia Relay and GCDHH to host free
lunch for veterans

City to host parks and recreation information Georgia Relay and the Georgia Center of the
fair Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GCDHH) host a free
lunch and learn for veterans living with hearing loss.
The Brookhaven Parks and Recreation department The event will be held Feb. 21, from 11:30 a.m. to
will host an information fair Feb. 18, 10 a.m. to 12 1:30 p.m., at the GCDHH center on 4151 Memorial
p.m. at Briarwood Community Center. The event is
Onion Man stage to host Closer Drive Decatur.
designed to have the public visit and speak with the Guests will have the opportunity to meet
Onion Man Productions the play Closer from representatives and learn more about local
department’s instructors to get more familiar with Feb. 9 through 26 at its 5522 New Peachtree Road
what the department has to offer, ask questions and organizations and services dedicated to helping
venue. veterans manage the impact of hearing loss.
check out demonstrations. The community center is Closer, written by Patrick Marber, won the
located at 2235 Briarwood Way. For more informa- Veterans and their families can also learn about
Drama Critic’s Circle for best foreign play in New the latest assistive telecommunications solutions,
tion, visit York and was nominated for a Tony award for best and how veterans may qualify for assistive
play. equipment through the Georgia Telecommunications
The production follows the drama, comedy Equipment Distribution Program.
and heartbreak of four Londoners—two men, two
CLARKSTON women—who become romantically and sexually
entangled over the course of four years.
To attend the lunch, contact (678)-620-6776 or by Feb. 14.

New Americans to be celebrated It has since been adapted into a film starring
Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman, Jude Law and Church to celebrate 143rd anniversary
The city of Clarkston, in partnership with the Clive Owen.
Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies (CRSA) Onion Man Productions is a nonprofit theater Rainbow Park Baptist Church in Decatur will
and the Georgia state capitol, announced it will company based in Chamblee. Productions run celebrate the church’s 143rd anniversary. The church
take part in a New Americans Celebration at the Thursday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 will have a “musical extravaganza” Feb. 18 at 5 p.m.
p.m. For more information, contact James Beck at and a celebration worship service Feb. 19 at 10:30
capitol on March 7. (404) 519-7591 or a.m.
“Stand in solidarity with refugees and im-
The events will be free to the public. The church
migrants in Georgia and join us for our New is located at 2941 Columbia Drive. For more
Americans Celebration on March 7,” Clarkston
officials said in a statement.
COUNTYWIDE information, contact or contact
the church office at (404)-288-1910.
The New Americans Celebration is an annual Volunteer orientation to be held at CASA
day of education and outreach for refugees, im-
migrants and all Georgians who support them, DeKalb County’s Court Appointed Special Advo-
cates (CASA) will host orientation for volunteers on
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 4

Tucker officials address residents’ concerns
by Carla Parker center, but we have to define
the areas [that] we’re calling our downtown development
area. Then we have to appoint
Hundreds of Tucker members to the board of this
residents packed the Tucker authority—it’ll be exactly seven
Middle School cafeteria Jan. [members].”
24 to ask the Tucker mayor The council also
and city council questions on a addressed questions about
wide variety of topics at a town the city’s comprehensive
hall meeting. plan. Macauley requested the
Some of the topics included city’s comprehensive plan be
development, traffic, code amended. The city is currently
enforcement and the city’s using DeKalb County’s
strategy to take over the parks. comprehensive plan while in
The meeting came a day after the process of developing its
the council voted to accept a own plan with tesidents’ input.
developer’s withdrawal request “This is a state required
of three application items plan that we must follow,”
needed to build a mixed-use Councilwoman Michelle
development for the vacant Penkava said about the
Sears Distribution Center process. “It dictates our zoning.
property. Some people think it’s a very
Developer Stephen casual process but it’s not and
Macauley’s decision to we’re required to follow it.”
withdraw came after city “We get to do [the
council members made comprehensive plan] for
motions to either defer their ourselves for the first time,”
vote or deny the applications Auman said.
due to several concerns. One There were also questions
of those concerns was the about roads, specifically
city not having a downtown safety concerns about the
development authority in place Lawrenceville Highway and
Fellowship Road intersection Tucker residents packed the Tucker Middle School cafeteria for a citywide town hall meeting.
yet to evaluate the project.
Mayor Frank Auman and where residents said there have
city council members opened been several illegal cutovers. top priority. We’re making sure “We have a big problem things that we’re doing. We’re
the meeting by addressing Councilwoman Anne that it moves close to the top of at Hugh Howell Road where trying to get a lot of the traffic
the timeline of developing Lerner said that intersection the [traffic] list.” that light is actually turning lights synced.”
a downtown development has been in the DeKalb traffic To help with other traffic green but no cars were The council also said the
authority. study for a while. issues, Councilman Bill there,” Rosenfeld said. “It was city will do studies on the parks
“We have to declare what “It’s hard, but we’re going Rosenfeld said the council is stopping traffic. So we got the to help with the transition of
our downtown area is. It to work on solutions together,” seeking to add traffic lights to county to come out and see control of the parks and how to
doesn’t have to be just the city’s Lerner said. “So know that it’s a help the traffic flow. this. So, those are some of the improve them.

Man in custody after
child-involved wreck
in Atlanta. According to
by Horace Holloman reports, Fletcher pretended he was going to slow down for
officers and then sped up and
A Decatur man is in led authorities on a car chase.
custody after a car chase with Fletcher eventually crashed
police led to a child being his car at a Texaco gas station,
ejected from a vehicle in
resulting in a 7-year-old being
ejected from the car. Fletcher 40% OF FOOD IN
Kadeem D’Anto Fletcher,
25, was arrested by the DeKalb
fled the scene on foot.   
Sheriff ’s Office. Warrants were Sheriff ’s Office Fugitive Unit
issued for Fletcher on Jan. received the warrants on the
30, on charges of speeding, day they were issued and
reckless driving, fleeing or began looking for Fletcher.
attempting to elude a police He surrendered to the DeKalb
officer, hit and run, license County Sheriff ’s Office Feb. 2.
never issued and serious injury Fletcher is currently in custody
by vehicle, according to a at the DeKalb County Jail.
release from the sheriff ’s office. The 7-year-old was taken
On Jan. 30, Fletcher led to the Children’s Healthcare of
police on a chase after he Atlanta. As of press time the
failed to stop for speeding at child’s condition not reported.
I-20 East at Gresham Avenue
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 5

SELL Continued From Page 1
organization now operates and no plan exists for property. He
ministers,” an announcement of added that there is not a specific
the move states. timeline for the sale. “Board
Selling the Decatur property approval just came through in
will allow UMCH to respond mid-January, so we’re in the
to “the growing needs of the early stages of this process,” he
children and families it serves,” said, adding that assuring high-
according to the announcement. quality, uninterrupted care for
DeKalb County sisters Aishvarya and Vaishali Prahalad published a book that Currently UMCH serves UMCH clients, including those
helps individuals write their own autobiography. According to their mother, 10 approximately 240 people, living on the Decatur campus is
percent of the proceeds goes toward charity.
including children in foster a priority for the organization.
homes. Cerniglia said the sale of Among those who have
BOOK Continued From Page 1 the property would immediately expressed an interest in the
enable UMCH to serve an property is the city of Decatur.
“Imagine someone reading “It’s just amazing to see additional 60 to 63 people with “There are athletic fields and
one of these books 20 or 30 some of the stories. We had one that number increasing each other facilities that we would
years later. It’s just amazing,” person that remembered when year. be able to use. If this works
Neeraja said. “The Alzheimer’s gas prices were only 27 cents [a UMCH estimates there are out we would have to look at
Association at Emory does a gallon]. It’s funny to read some 13,000 Georgia children who how we could incorporate the
lot of great charity work and of the things they have done,” have been separated from their property into the city plan,” said
we want to do what we can to Neeraja said. “My mother-in-law families, and are in state custody Decatur City Manager Peggy
spread awareness. People have filled the book out and she said because of neglect, abuse or Merriss, who said no offer
been blown away by this and she accidentally went to the abandonment. The organization has been made. “We’re just in
[doctors at Emory] have given wrong wedding. We thought it reports that the number has conversation at this point.”
these books to their Alzheimer was a cute idea, but parents are doubled during the past five The United Methodist
patients.” always biased. When people years. Children’s Home was
Knowing that they are were willing to give money for The organization states established in 1871 as a facility
making a difference in the a cute idea, we realized it was that currently because of to care for children orphaned
community puts a smile on more serious than cute.” limited resources it must refuse during the Civil War. Today it
Aishvarya’s face, she said. The girls also hope to one approximately 30 state requests cares not only for children whose
“It makes me happy,” she day meet Oprah Winfrey. each year on behalf of children parents are dead or unable
said. “I like the way I put the Aishvarya said she’s already needing a foster home. “And to care for them, but provides
borders around each section.” started doing her research and each week families at risk of services for young adults
The children also gave a knows who Winfrey’s best friend homelessness are turned away transitioning from foster care to
check to Children’s Healthcare is as well as her favorite color. for the same reason,” according independent living and families
of Atlanta to be used to “We hope that 100,000 to the UMCH announcement who are homeless or at risk of
purchase a therapy dog. The people document their stories “We appreciate the UMCH homeless.
dog already has a name. using our books. This is not Board’s thoughtful consideration “I could not be more proud
“It’s going to be named meant as a profit organization. of multiple options regarding the of UMCH’s history, the impact
Tidings,” said Aishvarya, It’s not like we’re going to retire future of The United Methodist of our current work and ministry,
smiling. off of this, that would be nice Children’s Home campus in and the enormously positive
The girls have lofty goals though,” said Neeraja Prahalad, Decatur,” Hal Jones, UMCH effect this decision will have
for the future. Aishvarya and laughing. “This is more of a president and CEO, said in a on so many more people in
Vaishali said they want to have purpose-driven thing. We want news release.  “I am energized our future,” Jones stated. “Too
an online version in addition people to write more and the by our board’s decision, many organizations tend to balk
to getting Grandstories in the older people can feel a sense which embraces the changing when the values they espouse
hands of 100,000 people by the of achievement. There’s a landscape in providing services are tested, and our board didn’t
time the two are of college age. sense of appreciation for the to children and families while hesitate when faced with the
It seems the girls are well on older generation. According to empowering UMCH to deliver opportunity to operationalize
their way to that goal. Neeraja Emory’s research, the more you on, and continuously improve its our values of agility, embracing
said individuals will often buy understand your heritage the important mission.” change and continuous
the book in bulk for other family better you are as a citizen of the Cerniglia said no specific improvement, and loving
members. world.” buyer has been identified and people.”
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 6

What’s operating right under our noses
An alleged major criminal official said about the Dunwoody could have easily ignored it,
enterprise has been based arrests. but instead action was taken
in Dunwoody for years in a No matter where one lives and as a result the suspects
neighborhood of apartment in DeKalb County, some form of are now going through the legal
dwellers and across the street crime is operating in one’s midst. system. Many situations in our
from the Dunwoody Police Gale Horton Gay Drugs, stolen goods, fraud, communities have gotten out of
Department. However recently robbery and sex trafficking are hand because no one has cared
that enterprise, described by just a few of the illicit activities enough or had the courage to
police as a prostitution ring taking place near our schools, step up and notify authorities.
operating in Dunwoody and one apartment unit was normal homes, churches, parks and This should serve as a
Atlanta, was broken up after 50 activity and obviously wanted to businesses. While the average reminder to us all of the role an
people were arrested. see the situation investigated. individual is ill-equipped to get individual can play in effecting
What led to the dismantling The authorities no doubt did to the bottom of questionable change in our neighborhoods.
of the alleged “high-end” sex what law enforcement is charged activities that one suspects may There are many ways to be a
trafficking business was a to do—investigate, surveil, be illegal, our tax dollars support part of having a positive impact
concerned resident sharing his gather evidence and, when the law enforcement personnel in the places where we live. One
or her knowledge/suspicions time was right, make arrests. whose responsibility it is to way is to simply say something
with police. This person either “Crime is no respecter of investigate. to the right persons and/or
knew of or had suspicions that geographic boundaries,” is what The individual who brought organizations when we suspect
not everything taking place in one Dunwoody law enforcement this matter to police attention that something just isn’t right.

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OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 7

Discover DeKalb?
“Founded in 1938, the voice Individually taken, these would have immediate economic
of business in DeKalb County,”
from the website of the DeKalb
‘One Man’s might all seem small decisions,
but collectively this becomes
impacts, perhaps followed by a
greater sense that participation
Chamber of Commerce. Opinion’ a pattern that even among in DeKalb’s Chamber is of
our county’s business and benefit and worthwhile for
Our DeKalb County was Bill Crane political leadership, we view DeKalb County. But clearly,
formed in 1822, out of parts of our own home county as the voice of DeKalb’s business
Henry, Gwinnett and Fayette somehow second class. These should more often than not do its
counties, and named for choices support employment, most visible business inside the
Revolutionary War hero, Baron other hotels elsewhere, including government budgets and county, which it seeks to speak
Johann de Kalb, a Bavarian- the Crowne Plaza in Dunwoody, infrastructure re-investment for and represent.
born officer in the French Army a former Hilton property near elsewhere, when our own county If our business, civic and
who fought gallantly in the Northlake in Tucker and two remains in need on all of those government leaders, for any
Continental Army. Even in 1822, Marriotts at Century Center in same fronts. Our hotels also number of reasons, consistently
we represented diversity. Brookhaven and in Dunwoody, employ several thousand people choose and do business outside
The DeKalb Chamber of as well as the Porter Sanford collectively, and those jobs of DeKalb County, when similar
Commerce will be 80 years old Arts and Community Center in remain constant only so long as or equally unique venues and
next year, and for many of those South DeKalb–all easily up to business flow remains steady. choices exist inside DeKalb, how
years, it was the dominant voice this task. Our new DeKalb CEO and can we expect anyone else to
of our business community. It’s Somewhat similarly, several county commission should not do exactly the same thing?
coming annual meeting will be years back our DeKalb County demand a contract amendment
held somewhat surprisingly in government put its employee from Kaiser. Our 7,500
downtown Atlanta at the Georgia healthcare plan out to bid. The employees and their premium Bill Crane also serves
Aquarium. What is stranger winner was an HMO, Kaiser dollars are nothing to sneeze as a political analyst and
about this choice is that this is Permanente. Kaiser expanded at. Add DeKalb Medical Center commentator for Channel 2’s
the third year there in a row. its operations in DeKalb, for (which employs another 5,000 Action News, WSB-AM News/
A quick glance at our the convenience of DeKalb’s across three campuses) and Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM,
chamber’s website finds employee base, and operates a Emory University Healthcare as well as a columnist for The
a newsletter touting news large medical office in downtown to the in-network options for Champion, Champion Free
of DeKalb’s business Decatur. Again strangely, for delivery of health care services Press and Georgia Trend. Crane
community. It’s called “The reasons stated to be about cost, via the Kaiser HMO, or if they is a DeKalb native and business
DeKalb Business Report.” The the in-network hospitals for the refuse, re-bid the contract. owner, living in Scottdale. You
masthead is a beauty shot of HMO and DeKalb government’s Community pride can and can reach him or comment on a
Piedmont Park, and the Midtown roughly 7,500 employees are often does have real impacts. column at bill.csicrane@gmail.
Atlanta skyline–again very Piedmont Hospital and Northside In this case demonstrated pride com.
attractive–but also not in DeKalb Hospital. Again, both fine
County. medical operations, but again
There are any number of neither is in DeKalb County.
venues in our county that could Everything from joint
host the chamber gala. Our replacement to stroke care and
largest employer, Emory childbirth is routed to hospitals
University, and its adjoining in Fulton County. And though
Emory Healthcare operations, Northside does lead our region
operate an incredibly beautiful in baby delivery, not every
conference center nestled in the mother chooses to plan her
woods of nearby Druid Hills. This Caesarean and some still opt
is the same Emory and Druid for natural childbirth. Imagine
Hills contemplating departure yourself an expectant mother on
from DeKalb County into the DeKalb’s south side, employed
incorporated arms of the city of by the county. In the event of
Atlanta. a rapid or troubled labor, or a
Stone Mountain Park has difficult or high-risk pregnancy,
two hotels, including Evergreen this additional travel distance
Conference Center, which could could have critical impacts on
easily host the chamber’s annual either newborn or mother before
meeting luncheon, and there are reaching the hospital.

the DeKalb
Publisher: Photographer: STATEMENT FROM THE
John Hewitt Travis Hudgons
Chief Financial Officer: Staff Reporters: We sincerely appreciate the
discussion surrounding this and any
Let Us Know What You Think! Dr. Earl D. Glenn Carla Parker issue of interest to DeKalb County.
SEND LETTERS TO EDITOR, R. Scott Belzer The Champion was founded in 1991
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encourages opinions Production Manager: Horace Holloman expressly to provide a forum for
The DeKalb Free Press, discourse for all community residents
from its readers. Please write to us and express your P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Kemesha Wadley on all sides of an issue. We have no
views. Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain Send email to desire to make the news only to
FAX To: (404) 370-3903; Phone: (404) 373-7779. The DeKalb Free Press is published each Friday report news and opinions to effect
the writer’s name, address and telephone number for Deadline for news releases and advertising: by ACE III Communications, Inc., a more educated citizenry that will
verification. All letters will be considered for publication. Thursday, one week prior to publication date. 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030 ultimately move our community
forward. We are happy to present
Phone (404) 373-7779. ideas for discussion; however,
EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reflect the opinions we make every effort to avoid
of the editor or publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. The printing information submitted to
us that is known to be false and/or
Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. DISPLAY ADVERTISING (404) 373-7779 x 110 assumptions penned as fact.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 8

County completes homeless count
county officials, this year’s official
by Horace Holloman homeless count number will not be tallied for a few weeks.
On the homeless count
In the late hours of the night a year ago, there was a
night Jan. 26, DeKalb County decrease in chronically homeless
volunteers helped the county persons. Twenty-four chronically
conduct its annual homeless homeless people were counted in
count. 2016 compared to 83 chronically
More than 80 volunteers homeless individuals the year
helped count the number of prior.
homeless in the county. The To collect the data, volunteers
purpose of the count is to working in groups of four—
provide the community with data driver, navigator, recorder and
to use in planning, funding and surveyor—used a smartphone
implementing services that meet app to allow real-time mapping
the needs of homeless people and from DeKalb County’s
increase awareness on homeless Geographic Information System
issues, county officials said. (GIS) department. The count was
“The U.S. Department typically performed by carrying
of Housing and Urban paper maps for navigating and
Development requires each locating encampment sites.
community to conduct a biennial The GeoForm app allowed
point-in-time homeless count,” volunteers to mark their
said Allen Mitchell, director locations, collect data and attach
of community development, in images while workers receiving
a statement. “For the past five data could get the information
years, DeKalb has conducted an instantly.  
annual count in order to identify The app has been so
the scope of homelessness, effective that the county’s GIS
document the impact of actions department was recognized
to address homelessness and with an Achievement Award
identify any additional resources from the National Association
that are required.” of Counties, said county Public
Volunteers were deployed Information Officer Sarah Page.
in three areas of the county— “We log the different people
north, east and west. A year and it goes straight to the people
ago, the county counted 473 on the community development
people on the homeless count team,” Page said. “When we do
day. Of homeless people counted [the homeless count], we want to
last year, 214 people were in see what type of services we can
transitional housing and 158 offer them.” Clothes, food and other personal items left behind by two homeless sisters in DeKalb County last year. Recently, the
were unsheltered. According to county conducted its annual homeless count to help identify how many homeless individuals there were on a given

County sells land to Brookhaven
Land will likely add to city’s greenspace
decommissioned a runway that was airport was transferred to DeKalb ability to preserve this gem in our city
by Horace Holloman being used for less than half of a County,” Rader said. “We serve the for current residents and for future percentage of the airports flights. airport’s need to be able to extract the generations.”
Airport and Federal Aviation fair market value from the property and According to a DeKalb County
In a regular meeting with the Administration (FAA) officials we serve a broader public interest in release, Brookhaven officials have
DeKalb County commissioners, the decided that the cost to maintain the ensuring that the property is dedicated agreed to deed restrictions that would
county agreed to sell surplus land to the runway was too much for that volume, to public use….it’s appropriate for us to maintain the property in perpetual
city of Brookhaven. according to a release from the county. move this thing forward.” use as greenspace. Residents of
The land, located at 2951 Skyland “The airport decided they didn’t City of Brookhaven officials said unincorporated DeKalb County will
Drive, features a 33-acre airport tract need it anymore,” Rader said during they are interested in keeping the land have the same level and cost of access to
valued at $5.7 million.   the Jan. 24 board of commissioners for a greenspace and purchased the the property as Brookhaven residents.
DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff meeting. “FAA regulations require they land at the appraised $5.7 million value. “This is an example of how we have
Rader said the deal is essentially a win- appraise that property and then get the “The City of Brookhaven is fulfilling cooperated with one of our cities to
win for all parties involved. fair market value for it. We have done its promise to keep Brookhaven green increase greenspace in the county and
“It is a reflection of our that and the transaction value is $5.7 and vibrant,” said Brookhaven Mayor provided them that opportunity at a
collaboration with Brookhaven to give million.” John Ernst in a statement. “At 33 very reasonable cost,” Rader said. “We
them something that they needed and FAA regulations also require the acres, this purchase represents one have also been able to provide another
give us the opportunity to release the proceeds to be returned to the airport’s of the largest continuous green space $5.7 million for improvements to our
latent value of the property to fund enterprise fund. acquisitions inside the Perimeter. airport facility. So it’s a win-win for
other improvements,” said Rader, “That piece of land was deeded to Our thanks to Jeff Radar, and all the both sides.”
whose district contains the property. the county by the federal government commissioners, CEO Mike Thurmond
The DeKalb Peachtree Airport back in the 1950s or ‘60s when the and staff at DeKalb County for the
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 9

Mighter than the sword
Board of education policies change to accommodate free speech
a body in public meetings; Kim Gökçe, Kirk Lunde, Bill
by R. Scott Belzer and the board chair’s status Armstrong, Lynn King and as official spokesperson. All Rebekah Cohen Morris come
of these should be considered together and debate district
DeKalb County School in weighing any use of social activities. Jester also regularly
District (DCSD) board of media in communications with joins discussions.
education members Michael the public. The use of social Morris, a teacher at Cross
Erwin, Vickie Turner, Joyce media by board members can, Keys High School, also runs
Morley and Stan Jester took in certain circumstances, be a blog, as dues Jester’s wife,
their oaths of office on Jan. 3, perceived as undermining any Nancy, who serves as a DeKalb
or each of these principles by County commissioner. The DeKalb County School District board of education is
Jan. 9 and Dec. 23, respectively. scheduled to vote on new board policies on Feb. 13, potentially
Under the potentially which the board has agreed to Jester, who is often the sole
be guided.” opponent to votes at meetings, eliminating of policies restricting free speech. Photo submitted.
defunct Section IV of the
Board Member’s Handbook, The Georgia legislature said it is self-evident that his
members of the board are recently ruled such policies blog in no way undermines
provided guidelines in as contrary to the First the actions of DCSD or his speech of another person in lack confidence in their own
regards to social media, Amendment of the United fellow board members. He any circumstance? Do they position?”

communications with the States Constitution, which said current policies are
public and patrons and general protects freedom of speech. unconstitutional and the state
conduct. DCSD is currently in the legislature is right to change
“We will not make any process of modifying its code them.
effort to assume the role of of ethics and will vote on the “The [state legislature]
evaluators of administrators issue on Feb. 13 at its monthly passed a law that reiterates that
working with staff or other meeting. boards of education shall ‘not
employees within DCSD; this Board member Jester’s adopt or follow any code of

is the sole responsibility of the blog—factchecker.stanjester. ethics which prevents Board
superintendent,” reads one com—is updated on a regular members from discussing
rule. basis. The majority of his posts freely the policies and actions
“We will do our best to are district related and he does of the Board outside of a Board
compromise on issues before not hesitate in writing his meeting,’” said Jester. “It is
us; engage in consensus opinion. interesting that the speech
building until we reach a “The purpose of my blog of board members was being
decision as a collective unit,” is to provide the public with so threatened that the state

reads another. “We will information, news, perspective, legislature found it necessary
support the decisions, words, and a forum to discuss and to pass a law reminding
and actions agreed upon by the give me feedback about everybody that members of a
full board, both privately and the DeKalb County School board of education retain their
publicly.” District,” Jester said. “I have 1st Amendment rights.”
Social media use is not received praise and criticism Jester said he will continue
unregulated under the current about my blog. People that to write his blog as a resource
policy. tend to agree with me, or want for his constituents and symbol

“Public postings by a information and place to go of free speech.
board member that express to stay informed, routinely “Blogs and social
an opinion about pending thank me for all the effort and media provide a free, fast
items of school business can time I put in to providing this and responsive way to
be viewed later as evidence of platform—they appreciate my communicate,” Jester said.
bias,” the protocol states. “In transparency. From time to “I believe that trying to
addition to these concerns, time, I get criticism, usually shut down free speech in
board members must consider from people who disagree with any circumstance seeks
the board’s identity as and me.” to undermine the U.S.
commitment to functioning The comments section Constitution. I think the
as a corporate body; its of Jester’s blog is a place question to ask is: Why would
commitment to deliberate as education advocates such as anyone try to prevent the free


Notice is hereby given, The City of Doraville, Georgia shall
Local. Real.
hold a Nonpartisan Municipal General Election on Tuesday,
November 7, 2017 from 7:00am-7:00pm, for the purpose of
electing a Council Member for District One , a Council Member
for District Two, and a Council Member for District 3.
For Subscriptions
Qualifying fees were set by the City of Doraville Mayor and
Council in accordance to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-131(a)(1), during a
regularly scheduled Council Meeting held on January 17, 2017.
Call (404) 373-7779 ext: 0
The Qualifying fees for each seat is $252.00, which is (3)
three percent of the total gross salary of the office paid in the
preceding calendar year.
Each candidate must meet the qualifications of the Charter
and Code of the City Doraville, as well as applicable State

Sherry D. Henderson
City Clerk/ Election Superintendent
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 10

MARTA cancels Brookhaven/Oglethorpe project
by Carla Parker retail space; 120,000 to 400,000 rooms. square feet of office space; Ernst thanked residents for
10,000 to 40,000 square feet of their participation in MARTA’s
MARTA has decided to pull civic space and a community outreach efforts on the project,
the contract and discontinue green transit plaza. and urged them to continue
work on the Transit Oriented After several meetings providing feedback.
Development (TOD) project with residents who voiced “This MARTA TOD is
for the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe concerns of traffic, building not just another development
station. density, a parking deck, lack project—it is Brookhaven’s
In a statement, MARTA of a gathering space and more, future; it is MARTA’s future,”
announced that the transit MARTA submitted a revised Ernst said. “We look forward to
system’s board of directors voted plan that featured 507 housing partnering on a development
Feb. 2 to cancel the agreement units, 200,000 square feet of which reflects our residents’
following Brookhaven Mayor office space, more than 55,000 desire for a truly innovative
John Ernst’s order for the city’s square feet of restaurant and project that fits the growing
staff to suspend all work on retail space and a hotel with 125 dynamics of our city.”
a tax incentive request made MARTA cancelled the award and discontinued work on the Transit Oriented
Development (TOD) project for the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe station.
by Brookhaven City Center
Partners as part of the proposed
TOD project.
“Mayor Ernst’s statement
clearly articulates the need for
further delays in implementing
the Brookhaven TOD project
without a clear path forward,”
What if
MARTA said. “The city has
been working on this project
for years and has had multiple
Rosa didn’t sit down
opportunities to ensure Ida didn’t stand up
that the Brookhaven TOD
project provides a city center Ruby never went to school
perspective. Furthermore, the
need for public financing to they never said enough
support the project has been
communicated to the city since
the inception of the public the Simones weren’t focused on the gold
solicitation process, which
afforded the city adequate time Misty never danced
to coordinate with the various
stakeholders and establish Serena didn’t grand slam
city required policies and they never took their chance
“MARTA appreciates the
time and effort invested by
the community in planning Black inventors didn’t pursue their dreams
for Brookhaven TOD Project,”
MARTA said. “We are we would have had to pay the price
disappointed that we will not
be able to advance this project
Granville wasn’t the Black Edison
to implementation. MARTA Lewis let the bulb suffice
staff will now shift focus to
implementing TOD projects at
stations where greater readiness
exists.” What if all that came before you
Ernst also released a
statement following the
each had never fought the fight
MARTA board of directors’
“While the city recognizes
the tremendous effort that What if you don’t use your
MARTA has put into this
project, we feel that more power to shine and
work is needed to make the
development a true city center,” #bethelight
Ernst said. “We’re sorry that we
had to stop negotiations on the
financing of this project. The
developer’s asks kept growing
and the guarantees on delivery
kept shrinking. But we look
forward to a public/private Follow us on social media to share this poem of
partnership that has more reflection, in celebration of Black History Month,
and engage with us all year long.
private dollars than public.”
MARTA originally proposed
a mixed-use development for
the station with residential
space of 680-700 apartments;
40,000 to 60,000 square feet of
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 11


Commissioner Steve Bradshaw visits DeKalb County Fire Station 23. The seventh grade Marist girls basketball team won the Wesleyan League
Championship Feb. 4 after defeating St. Pius 35-31 in the championship game.

Topple Construction worked along Peachtree Road on Feb. 4 to widen thoroughfares
in northern DeKalb County. Photo submitted.

DeKalb County commissioners Greg Adams, Larry Johnson and Steve Bradshaw stand side by side at the Atlanta
Falcons pep rally in the Maloof Auditorium in downtown Decatur, hosted by CEO Michael Thurmond.

Officer William Robbins of the Chamblee Police Department was named the 2016
Officer of the Year by the Rotary Club of North Atlanta on Jan. 27. Photo submitted. Dunwoody was named a Plan First Community by the Department of Community Affairs on Jan. 26. Photo

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
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 12

Decatur man
wins national
service award
by Horace Holloman
There’s an old saying that
no good deed goes unpunished. That didn’t apply to Decatur
native Forrest Tuff, whose good deeds were met with praise and
admiration from the highest elected office in America.
Tuff recently received the President’s Volunteer Service
Award/MLK (Martin Luther King) Drum Major for Service
Award for volunteering more than 500 service hours in a year. Forrest Tuff at an event with the American Heart Association
Tuff, who grew up in the Gresham Park area, said it’s
important to give back to the community any way you can.
“Gresham Park was my stomping ground. I was really into
sports and the older guys in the area would teach us how to play.
That’s how I got my interest in the community,” Tuff said. “I’m
an advocate for the community and I work a lot on economic
opportunity. I have donated more than 500 community service
hours with different organizations.”
Tuff works with several different groups, but his main
focus is with the national service group SCORE—a nonprofit
organization that gives free business advice and workshops to
individuals looking for business help.
Tuff has multiple years under his belt as a business owner.
With no formal training in videography, he created his own
production company.
“We mentor aspiring business owners and young
entrepreneurs. A lot of people may not be familiar with the
organization, but it gives free business advice. Most of the
mentors are either retired business professionals or young
professionals like myself,” Tuff said.
Tuff also gives his time to the American Heart Association
as an ambassador. He said his work with the AHA is personal
because in 2011 his brother died of a massive heart attack at the Forrest Tuff, a Decatur native, received the President’s Volunteer Service Award/MLK (Martin Luther King) Drum Major for
age of 30. Service Award for volunteering more than 500 service hours in a year.
“That’s something that stuck with me. My brother died at a
young age. That became a passion for me and I just stayed with
them doing different community events,” Tuff said.
With all the activities Tuff is involved in, he said it’s sometimes
hard to balance it all considering he’s the father of three girls. But
through community service, Tuff said he and his family are able
to bond.
Tuff is also a member of youthSparks, a group that raises
awareness to stop human sex trafficking in Georgia.
“It works for me because I have three daughters. As far as
balancing the time, you have to balance how much time you’re
going to spend. My daughters are heavily involved in community
service and that’s the way we get to spend time together,” Tuff
Tuff said he doesn’t plan on slowing down in the future.
He plans to increase his service hours by partnering with his
childhood friend Bobby Frazier.
Frazier and Tuff plan to create the 1911 Foundation to
help young adults in the DeKalb County area. Tuff said it’s his
relationship with Frazier that keeps him grounded in community
“If you care about people, then you can make a stance to help
other people besides yourself. I was honored to be a part of that,”
Tuff said.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 13

A walkthrough of the Northlake business area was held Feb. 4.

Tucker developing comprehensive plan
a blueprint for achieving the charge of the planning process. said.
by Carla Parker desired future for Tucker. The proposed
Angela Parker, senior vice Parker and her staff comprehensive plan is The city has been gathering president of the Collaborative, will present more findings
input from residents through scheduled to be presented to
said her team is still pulling on March 16, including city leaders and residents May
Tucker is in the process of an initiative called “Tucker together their findings from identifying major issues and
Tomorrow.” The Tucker 18 at First Baptist Church on
developing its comprehensive the public meetings, surveys opportunities. They will also Main Street.
plan and the group gathering Tomorrow website allows and more. collect more comments and
information for the plan will residents to fill out a survey, “We have a public meeting suggestions from residents.
soon present its preliminary which will give city leadership on Feb. 16 and at that meeting “[We’ll] then go back to the
findings. an idea of what residents we will present our initial drawing board to make sure
According to the city, the care about regarding the findings and major issues that that we’re taking into account
comprehensive plan will define city’s future. Residents can we’ve identified that we believe the community’s comments,”
the vision for the future of leave suggestions and ideas Tucker should capitalize on,” she said.
Daniel Preparatory
Tucker, establish community for specific places in Tucker Parker said. Parker said one area of Academy, Inc. admits
goals and prioritize steps for through the interactive map on Parker said her team is focus that many residents have students of any race, color,
the website. national origin, and ethnic
achieving those goals. Topics still going through new data addressed is pedestrian trails. origin to all the rights,
being looked at for the plan There also have been being received. A walkthrough “The one thing that we’ve privileges, programs,
include land use, economic public meetings and walking of downtown Tucker and the heard over and over again and activities generally
tours of three business centers accorded or made available
development, housing and Northlake business area was is that the [residents] would to students at the school.
natural resources as well as in the city, which allows held Feb. 4. Parker said the like to see more pedestrian It does not discriminate on
parks and recreation. residents to provide their input public participation has been trails—light connectivity the basis of race, color,
regarding future growth and national origin, and ethnic
The city set a nine-month good during the planning between downtown and origin in administration of
planning process, which development of the areas. process. neighborhoods, between its educational ploicies,
includes engagement of the A consulting firm, the “We’ve had good attendance parks and neighborhoods and schlorships and loan
Collaborative, has led the programs, and athletic and
community that will result in at our public meetings,” she schools,” she said. other school-administered

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LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 14

DeKalb County
offering wastewater
retainage program
by Horace Holloman
DeKalb County residents and business owners may have a
viable option when it comes to saving money on their sewer
The county recently announced its Wastewater Retainage
Credit Program. The program allows for an adjustment in The Brookhaven City Council approved the proposed Dresden Village mixed-use development,
the wastewater-related charges for industrial, commercial which will be built along Dresden Drive between Caldwell Road and Parkside Drive.
and residential users who routinely discharge significantly

Brookhaven approves
less wastewater into the sewer system compared to the water
consumed. Currently, sewer consumption charges are applied at
the same rate as water consumption charges.  
“This innovative program ensures our commercial customers

Dresden Village development
can keep their costs down in a competitive global economy,
while also providing equity for residential customers who are
using water, but not allowing it to flow into the drainage system,”
said DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond in a statement.
For customers who use more than 40,000 gallons per Proposed on-site parking try to find a way to shove 169
bimonthly billing cycle, the standard rate for water service is by Carla Parker increased from 397 to 485 apartments at a site that can
$4.63 per 1,000 gallons and sewer service is $11.34 per 1,000 spaces. One parcel at 2536 only handle about 110?”
gallons, or $15.99 per 1,000 gallons combined. The applicable Caldwell Road was added to Councilman John Park,
irrigation rate is $8.08, or nearly a 50 percent savings, according The Brookhaven City
the rezoning proposal, and who represents the district
to a release from the county. Council voted unanimously
included the redevelopment of where the project will be
The program was discussed by county officials at a committee Jan. 24 to approve the
a standalone restaurant. constructed, said he doesn’t
of the whole meeting. In the meeting, county COO Zach proposed Dresden Village
The council approved like the project because of the
Williams said the program could attract future business to development.
the project with seven density but said the developer
DeKalb. The future mixed-use
townhomes, 169 apartments, has rights to the property.
“We’re convinced that this is the type of thing that makes development will sit on 3.73
20,700 square feet of retail “For me, ultimately what it
our county more business friendly and we’re actually being true acres along Dresden Drive
to the sewer system,” Williams said. “We have had a historic between Caldwell Road and
practice of granting certain sewer credits prior to the board Parkside Drive. The council
adopting a practice.” approved the project with 31
To qualify, customers can choose between one of two
methods. One method is to install a meter on any water
lines feeding any consumptive use. The other option is to
Before the council’s vote,
supporters of the project and
‘We may not agree
but it’s a basic
use a wastewater meter to measure all combined wastewater Timothy “J.R.” Connolly II,
discharged to the DeKalb’s sanitary sewer system.   chief executive officer of the
DeKalb County residents who use water to fill a private developer, pleaded their case to
swimming pool can also qualify if they are located more than the council.

fairness issue, it’s a
1,000 feet from a fire hydrant and have a smart meter connected “We believe we have
to the county’s metering system. the right plan, the right
In the case of a pool, one adjustment can be made per year architecture, the right density,
based upon the documented volume of water required to fill the the right retail, the right
“Customers would only be charged the amount of waste
that they use to the county’s water system,” said DeKalb County
restaurants, we have the
right sponsors for this site,
and now is the time to move
basic rights issue.’
Department of Watershed Director Scott Towler. forward and finish off this
missing section of the Dresden – John Park
According to county officials, 22 companies are planning to
enroll in the program. corridor,” Connolly said.
The approval came three
and restaurant space, a six- comes down to is balancing the
weeks after the Brookhaven
story parking deck with 473 property rights of the owner
Planning Commission
spaces and a fifth story to the with the health and welfare
approved the city’s community
apartment buildings. of the neighborhood, and so
development department’s
Several residents spoke we have to look at all of those
report for the proposal, which
against the project. Karen various components,” Park
recommended approving the
Dernavich said changes said. “There is no one gotcha
project with 29 conditions.
made by the developer were thing that will definitely say we
The city council approved two
done within hours before have to approve this or we have
additional conditions.
the hearings and none of the to deny this. There are a lot of
In October 2016, Connolly
changes address density or different factors and I spent
submitted an updated
building height. the past year listening to both
amendment for the proposal,
“They have not brought sides…and taking a step back
which reduced the number of
their A game,” she said. “How and trying to assess the basic
multifamily residential units
many last-minute changes fairness of the process and how
from 194 to 169, added 10
are we going to put up with are we going to go about.
townhomes and increased the
that do nothing to address the “We may not agree but it’s a
amount of commercial space
density and height issue here? basic fairness issue, it’s a basic
from 20,000 to 20,700 square
How many bites of the apple rights issue,” he added.
feet,” according to the report.
are we going to give them to
EDUCATION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 15

DeKalb Schools superintendent
speaks on diversity
Political climate results in penned statement
love them and we respect what School. the course of assimilation
by R. Scott Belzer their presence here says about “We have expectations for rather than hinder it.
DeKalb County School District
Superintendent Stephen Green the goodness and generosity of our teachers,” Green said at the “Imagine how hard it is released a statement Jan. 30
addressing diversity in county schools.
America—our diversity is our time. “Even though they have to come to a new country Photo submitted.
DeKalb County School strength.” personal feelings, they have and start life over without
District superintendent DCSD came under to realize that they have an familiar ties to family, culture
Stephen Green released a statewide scrutiny in audience who’s watching them or language,” Green said. help learning in our schools to
statement on diversity Jan. November when two teachers and counting on them.” “DeKalb schools give an become love—love for a new
30 addressing the district’s were removed from Cross Keys According to Green, the anchor to our new citizens. place, a new way of life and,
position in the current political High School for alleged anti- Jan. 30 statement sought to Our role as school leaders is to ultimately, for one another.”
climate. immigration remarks. grant students assurance
Green said he wanted Cross Keys High School’s that DCSD officials remain
to “make sure all our student body is, according committed to being culturally
principals and teachers clearly to DCSD data, 80 percent responsive, diverse and
understand” the district’s Hispanic or Latino, 11 percent supportive of DeKalb County’s
position, specifically regarding Black, 6 percent Asian, 1 immigrant population.

immigrants and refugees. percent White, and 1 percent “Our schools will be
“We are hearing a lot other races. safe places for learning and
of conversation right now, In January, a Cary Reynolds teaching,” Green said. “We
some of it extreme, about
how residents originally from
Elementary school nurse was
investigated for alleged anti-
will not tolerate any form of
bullying or discrimination on TAKE A GENIUS
outside our country should be immigration remarks on social or off district property that
treated,” Green said. “We have
102,000 students here. They
Cary Reynolds has an
interferes with learning or the
rights of others.”
come from more than 180 equally diverse student body Green referred to DCSD
countries, and they speak 140 and feeds into Cross Keys High campuses as places that help
languages. We value them; we

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For over 20 years the Georgia Lottery has contributed over
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BUSINESS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 16

Newest restaurant in Mexican chain comes to Tucker
by Kathy Mitchell Centre on Hugh Howell. as fast food,” Pilkington said, what we stand for—affects the Chipotle offers beer and
“We’ve eyed the location adding that Ellis is a classically bigger picture: the health of margaritas along with its
Founded and headquartered for a long time. Tucker is a trained chef who appreciates the planet. Nutrient-rich soil selection of non-alcoholic
in Denver, Colo., Chipotle flourishing city and we feel the difference serving food reduces the need for pesticides beverages.
Mexican Grill now has many its vibrant population will prepared by a skilled, highly and synthetic fertilizers, Pilkington said
fans in Georgia, especially be attracted to the food at trained staff makes. buying locally reduces vehicle Chipotle’s success also is
in metropolitan Atlanta, Chipotle.” Among the places Ellis emissions from transportation, attributable to its policy of
according to company He said the busy area east lived and worked is San and humane animal husbandry hiring “great people” and
marketing strategist Mark of I-285 has lots of daytime Francisco, where he noted means diminished reliance on offering them exceptional
Pilkington. traffic and he anticipates that the popularity of Mexican antibiotics.” benefits. He said providing
Chipotle, which opened many who work in the area food and decided to feature it Pilkington said the Chipotle rewarding opportunities for
its first restaurant in 1993, on will try the new restaurant. when he opened a restaurant. website offers detailed employees leads naturally to
Feb. 2 opened its latest Atlanta The Tucker Chipotle is 2,120 He named his restaurant for information on the food so a more satisfying customer
area restaurant in Tucker. It square feet and can seat the chipotle, a smoked, dried that those who follow vegan experience. The new restaurant
joins other DeKalb stores in approximately 55 patrons pepper that’s common in or vegetarian diets as well initially employed 25 people
Northlake, downtown Decatur, inside and 20 outside. Mexican and Mexican-inspired as those who are restricting and may add to its crew in the
North Druid Hills and the Pilkington said Chipotle cuisine, and incorporated the calories or who have allergies coming weeks.
Emory University area. stands out from other pepper into its logo. can know what is in each dish The company, which
“We opened our first restaurants in its category Chipotle has a Food With before they order. started as a lone eatery 24
Atlanta area restaurant in because of “fresh, high-quality Integrity program that outlines “Fine dining elements years ago, is now a chain of
2003 and we’ve been growing food and classic cooking its commitment to what it calls were brought to a quick-serve more than 1,700 restaurants
rapidly in Atlanta ever since. techniques.” “meticulously sourced meats environment, giving diners many of which offer catering
The Tucker location is a “Our founder, Steve Ellis, and produce.” The corporate an experience that defied services. In addition to those
perfect spot for us; we’re so started with the idea that food website states: “Every choice categorization when we first in the United States, there are
excited to be there,” Pilkington served fast doesn’t have to be we make—about who we opened,” Pilkington said. Chipotle Mexican Grills in
said of the restaurant in The what people typically think of work with, what we serve, and The Chipotle menu offers the United Kingdom, Canada,
such Mexican standards as Germany and France. All of
burritos and taco as well as Chipotle’s restaurants are
salads and bowls—which it owned by the corporation;
describes as “burritos without there are no franchises.
Valentine’s Day spending dips; still significant the tortilla.” Unlike most
area quick-serve restaurants,
In what the National Retail restaurant meals, candy and notes.
Federation (NRF) describes clothing continue to be popular Retailers that offer
as “a market correction,” the Valentine’s Day purchases. experience gifts are trying to
industry research organization According to NRF, “gifts get a share of the $18.2 billion
reported that U.S. consumers of experience” such as tickets that will be spent nationally
this year plan to spend less on to a concert or sporting event, by offering special promotions
average for Valentine’s Day a gym membership or an such as those at Julian’s in the
than was spent in the two just outdoor adventure are popular Brookhaven area, which offers
prior years. this year. “While 40 percent of spa services and cosmetics
Still, spending for the mid- consumers want an experience either as gifts as opportunities
February commemorative day gift, only 24 percent plan to to prepare for a special night
is expected to be significant, give one,” the NRF report out.
reaching a national total of
$18.2 billion. “Valentine’s Day
continues to be a popular
gift-giving occasion even if
consumers are being more
frugal this year,” NRF President
and CEO Matthew Shay said.
Those celebrating
Valentine’s Day this year are
expected to spend an average of
$136.57 for gifts, cards, dining
out, decorations and the like,
down from last year’s record-
high $146.84. Jewelry, flowers,
CLASSIFIED DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 17

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SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 18

Tucker High School. Photo by Judy Spain

Cedar Grove signees Netori Johnson, Grant Walker and Justin Shaffer. Photo by Laura Walker

NAME SCHOOL COLLEGE OL Charlie Clark Marist Georgia Tech
WR Michael Miller Arabia Mountain Catawba P Bill Rubright Marist Georgia
DB Christopher Williams Arabia Mountain Point DL Trae Johnson McNair Hutchinson CC
DE Falcoe Johnson Arabia Mountain Wingate OL Reginald Curtis Miller Grove Albany State
LB Terray Bryant Arabia Mountain Youngstown State DB Dijon Williams Miller Grove Georgetown
LB Marvin Spencer Cedar Grove Alderson Broaddus DB Grant Holloman St. Pius X Holy Cross
DB Korey Hernandez Cedar Grove Arkansas DL London Lewis St. Pius X Furman
DB Khayree Wilson Cedar Grove Cincinnati Christian OL Blake Harrison St. Pius X The Citadel
DB Tyrique Williams Cedar Grove Columbus State DB Shaun Jolly Stephenson Appalachian State
OL Netori Johnson Cedar Grove Georgia DB Carlito Gonzalez Stephenson Auburn
OL Justin Shaffer Cedar Grove Georgia LB Aaron Greene Stephenson Avila University
RB Grant Walker Cedar Grove Georgia Southern DB Hassan Littles Stephenson Ball State
DB Tre’ Shaw Cedar Grove North Carolina WR Khalil Newton Stephenson Ball State
DB Sollee Fofana Cedar Grove North Georgia Prep Academy DB Myles Hannah Stephenson Ball State
QB Jelani Woods Cedar Grove Oklahoma State DL Ivan Staples Stephenson Campbell University
OT Maurice Campbell Cedar Grove Southern University LB Michael Makins Stephenson Coastal Carolina
DE DeAngelo Malone Cedar Grove Western Kentucky TE Deiontray Fagin Stephenson Miles College
DE Gavin Holton Chamblee Kennesaw State LB Gethro Georges Stephenson Morehouse
OL Michael Alexander Columbia Apprentice School QB D’Vonn Gibbons Stephenson Savannah State
OL Nicholas Bowman Columbia Apprentice School DB Isaiah Jennings Stone Mountain LaGrange
LB Marquavious Linner Columbia Bethune-Cookman DE Thomas Incoom Stone Mountain Valdosta State
DB Dante Hobbs Columbia Iowa Western DE Darian Bernard Stone Mountain West Georgia
LB Quentin Palmer Columbia Savannah State DB Mitchell Edwards SW DeKalb Alabama A&M
OL David Velazquez Cross Keys Georgia Prep Sports OL Demonte Lampkin SW DeKalb Edward Waters
WR Terrill Hall Decatur Georgia Military JC OL Jerry Marshall SW DeKalb Columbus State
DB Isaiah Dawson Druid Hills Berry College DB Malik Smith Towers Arkansas Baptist
SS Michael Malinovsky Lakeside Presbyterian WR Irah Thompson Towers Arkansas Baptist
DB Tariq Stewart Lithonia Catawba LB Da’Shon Robinson Towers Arkansas Baptist
LB Addison Ford Lithonia Fort Valley State DL Devonte Wyatt Towers Georgia
RB Kamarie Mullins Lithonia Fort Valley State DL Adrian Burse Towers Shorter
DE Deion Hadley Lithonia Fort Valley State LB Quintavious Terrell Towers Shorter
DB Keyshawn Garrett Lithonia Georgia Military OL Joequavious Robinson Towers Virginia Lynchburg
DB Malachi Jenkins Lithonia Morgan State OL Jamiah Burke Towers Virginia Lynchburg
RB Courtney Lott Lithonia Nichols College WR Keith Best Tucker Liberty
DB Keyoundric Buchanan Lithonia Nichols College S Eugene Brown Tucker West Virginia
WR Ta’lon Mack Lithonia Nichols College DE Aaron Sterling Tucker South Carolina
LB Jaylin Bolden Lithonia Nichols College RB Chris Broadwater Tucker UT-Chattanooga
QB Robert Hatchett Lithonia Tennessee Tech TE Cameron Richardson Tucker Grambling State
OL Octavian Williams Lithonia Tennessee Tech OL Cedric Heard Tucker Jacksonville University
DL Jaden Cunningham M.L. King Jr. Hutchinson CC OL Parker Wiggins Tucker Guilford College
QB Brandon Dickerson M.L. King Jr. Shorter WR Deon Watkins Tucker Delta State
DE Ben Page Marist Furman
FB Michael Addcks Marist Vanderbilt
SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 19

From left, Jerry Marshall, Machop Chol (Soccer), Demonte Lampkin and Mitchell Edwards. Photos by Travis Hudgons Sounthwest DeKalb’s Mitchell Edwards

From left, Falcoe Johnson, Michael Miller, Arabia Mountain head football coach Stanley

Pritchett, Christopher Williams and Terray Bryant.
Terray Bryant, left, poses for pictures after signing day at Arabia Mountain.

83 players sign on National Signing Day
by Carla Parker and Towers’ Devonte Wyatt good academics,” Bryant said. time in school history. We just teammates Jerry Marshall
(Georgia). “I plan on winning a national want to celebrate them as they (Columbus State) and DeKalb’s signing day championship there.” go on to the next level.” Demonte Lampkin (Edwards
mostly featured players who Bryant led the Arabia Southwest DeKalb had Waters College), signing their
As in years prior, National signed with Division I Football Mountain Rams in tackles last three signees, including letters of intent capped off a
Signing Day 2017 was a Championship Subdivision season with 193 total tackles defensive back Mitchell season that started with the
success in DeKalb County. (FCS) schools, Division II and 140 solo tackles. He also Edwards, who signed with loss their head coach Michael
Eighty-three players from schools or Division III schools. led the team in forced fumbles Alabama A&M. Edwards Tanks. Edwards said dealing
DeKalb public and private Arabia Mountain had four (eight) and fumble recoveries finished fourth on the Panthers’ with the up and down of
schools and Decatur High players to sign with a school (eight). defense in tackles with 64 emotions this past season was
School signed letters of intent from one of these divisions, Bryant was a part of Coach (29 solo) and tied second in overwhelming.
Feb. 1 during the “national including linebacker Terray Stanley Pritchett’s first interceptions with three. “I didn’t expect coach
holiday.” As usual, DeKalb Bryant, who signed with freshman class. Pritchett said Edwards said he chose Tanks to pass away like
has several four- and three- FCS school Youngstown State the 2017 signing class was the to sign with Alabama A&M that, but it definitely gave us
star recruits who signed with University in Youngstown, foundation of his program. because he wants to go to motivation to go out there
Division I schools, including Ohio. “This was my first ninth- a school designated as an and win,” Edwards said.
Cedar Grove offensive linemen Bryant said he signed with grade class. I’m so proud of Historically Black College and “We didn’t go all the way to
Netori Johnson and Justin Youngstown because of the them,” Pritchett said. “We University. state but we did well enough
Shaffer, both of whom signed family atmosphere surrounding started off good; [then] we had “I feel like Alabama A&M because in four years we never
with Georgia; Tucker’s Aaron the football program. a couple of rocky seasons in was a good fit for me,” he said. went to the playoffs. So we
Sterling (South Carolina) “They take care [of the middle and we ended with “The coaches were nice and I went to the playoffs just for
and Eugene Brown (West the athletes], [the football a region championship, going just think that’s the place for him.”
Virginia); Stephenson’s program] have a lot of support to the second round [of the me.”
Carlito Gonzalez (Auburn) from the school and they have playoffs], which was the first For Edwards and his
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 • Page 20

The Cedar Grove Saints boys and girls basketball teams final regular season games against Redan ended in victo-
ries. The boys game went into overtime, with a final score of 57-54. With that victory over the Raiders, the Saints end
the regular season with a 14-3 overall record. Although, no overtime was needed for the Lady Saints’ 42-39 victory
the game did go down to the wire. The victory pushed the Lady Saints to the top spot in the 5-AAA region placing
Redan second. Photos by Travis Hudgons

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