FREEPRESS

the DeKalb FRIDAY, FEB. 17, 2017 • VOL. 19, NO. 46 • 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 •

College student allowed
to run for city council
Mary-Pat Hector becomes 208 states that candidates must be of
voting age to be qualified to run, which
youngest woman in Georgia Hector is.
The decision by the board allowed
to run for city council Hector to become the youngest woman
in Georgia to compete for elected
office.
“I am honored and thrilled with
by Horace Holloman the decision recognizing my right to
horace@dekalbchamp.com run for Stonecrest City Council in
DeKalb County. Justice was served,
Mary-Pat Hector, 19, made and the law prevailed,” Hector said.
national headlines after the DeKalb “The board’s decision is a testament to
County Elections Board decided the inclusion of the next generation’s
her age would not be an issue while participation in the democratic process.
running for a city council seat in As the youngest woman to be eligible
Stonecrest. to run for City Council in the history
Hector had her application of the State of Georgia, I thank the
challenged by District 4 opponent DeKalb County Board of Registration
George Turner under the Georgia and Elections and those who stand
statute O.C.G.A-45-2-1 which states The DeKalb County Elections Board recently approved 19-year-old
individuals must be at least 21 to run Mary-Pat Hector as eligible to run for the city of Stonecrest city
for public office. However, Senate Bill See Hector on page 5 council.

Avondale Estates named Tree City USA
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

Avondale Estates prides
itself on having a strong tree
canopy.
The Avondale Tree Board
works hard to make sure the
city’s tree canopy is properly
managed and the board’s hard
work has paid off. Avondale
Estates was named a 2016
Tree City USA by the Arbor Day
Foundation for its commitment
to effective urban forest
management.
The city also received a
Tree City USA Growth Award for
demonstrating environmental
improvements and a higher
level of tree care. To receive a
Tree City USA recognition, cities
must meet the program’s four
requirements—having a tree
See Trees on page 5 Avondale Estates was named a 2016 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest
management. Photo by Carla Parker

CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER CHAMPIONNEWS CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER CHAMPIONNEWS
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 2

Business denied in Doraville
City council denies moving and storage company in light manufacturing zoning district
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

A Doraville business owner’s request to open a moving and storage
company was denied by city council Feb. 7 due to its proximity to a
neighborhood and hotel, according to city officials.
Michael Usuriaga’s Next Door Relocators, LLC was denied a
conditional use permit (CUP) along 3613 and 3615 Clearview Place by
council despite the presence of similar labor companies and occupying
space that once housed a moving and storage company.
The denial came after a public hearing that included support and
opposition from residents and questions by council.
CUPs allow establishments uses that may only be suitable at certain
locations within a zoning district.
According to Doraville city literature, “Conditional uses are those uses
which are generally compatible with the permitted land uses in a given
zoning district, but which require individual review of their proposed
location, design and configuration, and the imposition of conditions in
order to ensure the appropriateness of the use at a particular location
within a given zoning district.”
According to a presentation by Doraville’s community development
director Enrique Bascunana, Next Door Relocators is consistent with
Doraville’s comprehensive plan beacause it is in a light manufacturing
zoning district, is compatible with the character of the surrounding area,
causes no pedestrian or vehicular traffic, has minimal adverse effects and
owners have agreed to specific limitations and conditions.
The company has four 26-foot moving trucks and 10 employees.
“Staff recommends approval to the CUP with conditions of limiting the
hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and limiting the number of trucks
to four,” Bascunana said. A final condition included replacing a potential
fence with oak trees.
Bascunana said the CUP was in line with Doraville’s comprehensive
plan, which outlines plans for the city for an extended period of time.
“If it was not in line with our comprehensive plan, we would not have
recommended its approval,” Bascunana said. “The comprehensive plan is
our overarching legal document that outlines our land use goals.”
Usuriaga’s business is currently on Ashford-Dunwoody Road in
Dunwoody. He said he planned to move to Doraville for the warehouse
space and easy access to highways and interstates.
“You have access to 85, 285 both north and south,” a spokesman for
Next Door Relocators said. “For a moving and storage company, you can’t
ask for a better location than this.”
Councilwoman Dawn O’Connor and Mayor Donna Pittman voiced
concerns about the business’s proximity to a hotel as well as established and
planned neighborhoods.
“I can see a lot of traffic coming,” O’Connor said.
“My concern is the neighborhood there and the future neighborhood,”
Pittman said. “At what point do we start transforming into a more
conducive version of what we want to see in that neighborhood? It’s a great
business, but that’s a thought.”
Former councilman and resident Tom Hart supported the business,
saying the city was attempting to complete a “backyard deal” with a
townhouse community that doesn’t exist yet.
“You have too many other problems that are impacting our
neighborhood negatively,” Hart said.
Resident Stewart Anderson said he was ready for Doraville to take the
next step in development.
“I’d like to see this area upgraded,” Anderson said.
Councilman Robert Patrick made the motion that council approve the
CUP, as it is consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan. It failed 2-4.
“Just to be clear, our comprehensive plan defends this CUP, so if we
didn’t want to get the city into another lawsuit for not following our
comprehensive plan, we should vote accordingly,” Patrick said.
Councilwoman O’Connor made the motion to deny the CUP on the
basis that the proposed location is “in a neighborhood that is changing.”
“There are already homes in the area,” O’Connor said. “It is going
to create noise, as the applicant stated. With the hotel, I’m not going to
stay there when people are clanging around at 6 a.m. The business is not
conducive to this neighborhood.” Michael Usuriaga’s Next Door Relocators, LLC was denied a conditional use permit (CUP) along 3613 and
The motion to deny the CUP passed 4-2 with Patrick and 3615 Clearview Place by Doraville City Council Feb. 7 despite the presence of similar labor companies and
Councilwoman Pam Fleming opposing. occupying space that once housed a moving and storage company. Photo submitted.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 3

AROUNDDEKALB
ATLANTA opportunity to learn about complimentary Discover
DeKalb reunion services, local hotel/lodging
DUNWOODY
accommodations, local attractions and family Round table group to host monthly meetings
activities. The workshop will conclude with a vendor
showcase from noon to 2 p.m. The hotel is located The Dunwoody-based Atlanta WWII Round
at 1501 Lake Hearn Drive. To pre-register for one of Table announced it will hold monthly meetings at
the workshops, contact Moore at (770) 492-5018. Dunwoody United Methodist Church, located at
1548 Mount Vernon Road, beginning at 10:45 a.m.
Meetings are held every third Thursday.

DORAVILLE The Atlanta WWII Round Table, established in
1986, hears and records experiences involving World
War II. Past speakers have shared stories involving
Registration open for youth spring sports Anzio, Midway, Luzon, Leyte Gulf, Egypt, France,
Germany and Hiroshima.
Registration for Doraville Spring Sports—made “Although many of our World War II veterans
up of youth soccer, tee-ball and baseball—is open are now entering their 80th year of life or in some
until Feb. 27. cases nearing their 90s’, the membership of the
Children age 4 to 12 can register for soccer for organization continues to grow due to the younger
$50 to $70 depending on age. Tee-ball players age 3 people of Atlanta who have a special interest in the
Atlanta Science Festival or 4 may register for $45 and baseball players age 5 history of World War II,” group officials state. “At
to 9 may register for $55. last count we had 296 registered members. Our
The Atlanta Science Festival, a celebration of science Children and teams may register at Fleming members continue to make presentations before
and technology, will be held March 14-25. The fes- Arena at Honeysuckle Park, located at 3037 Pleasant school and college groups, participate in parades
tival will feature interactive and educational events Valley Drive. According to Doraville’s parks and and exhibitions and most importantly encourage
at different venues throughout metro Atlanta. The recreation department, volunteer coaches are still and demonstrate pride in our country and its armed
festival culminates in a free, family-friendly Explora- needed. forces.”
tion Expo–an interactive day of hands-on activities For more information, visit Doraville’s Facebook Meetings consist of a social half-hour and a
and shows at Centennial Olympic Park on March 25. page at www.facebook.com/cityofdoraville or call buffet as well as an official meeting. The group’s Feb.
For details, visit AtlantaScienceFestival.org. (770) 936-3850. 16 meeting includes a banquet.
For more information, visit www.
atlantawwiiroundtable.com or call adjutant John
Kovach at (770) 928-4579.
CLARKSTON
Amani Women Center hosts sewing classes
Clarkston’s Amani Women Center will host daily
sewing classes from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Me-
morial Drive Presbyterian Church located at 5140
Memorial Drive. NOTICE-CITY OF LITHONIA
“Sewing opens up a world of opportunities and REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR EVENT MANAGEMENT SERVICES
possibilities for expressing your creative side while The City of Lithonia (City) is seeking qualified individuals and firms with professional
earning an income,” states a representative from experience in providing management services for the purpose of providing community-oriented
Amani Women Center. “There’s nothing more won- activities and events at Lithonia Park.
The City of Lithonia’s goal is to attract high quality performing arts and community events
derful than the feeling of pride you get when you from May to September to support and promote the long-term growth and development of arts
create something yourself.” and culture in Lithonia, and Southeast DeKalb County. The Management Firm is expected
Curriculum topics include: an introduction to to provide booking of event rentals for the Park beginning in April-October annually, give
sewing; choosing a fabric; patterns; pattern instruc- professional advice, make recommendations, serve as a public relations representative when
tions; notions and thread; tools; layout and cutting; needed, and work closely with the City of Lithonia pertaining to the operation and maintenance
of Lithonia Park.
setting up a sewing machine; sewing; techniques; A voluntary pre-proposal meeting will be held at City Hall, located at 6920 Main Street,
pockets, zippers and buttonholes; sleeve installa- Lithonia, GA 30058 on Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Proposers
tions; darts and pleats; needle and thread charts and are strongly encouraged to attend the pre-proposal meeting to have any questions answered
more. about the RFP.
For more information, visit www.amaniwomen- To be considered, the proposer shall submit eight (8) copies of the proposal in a sealed
envelope to City Hall at 6920 Main Street, Lithonia, Georgia 30058 by 4:00 PM, Monday, March
center.org or call (404) 333-5122. 6, 2017. Fax and e-mail proposals are not acceptable. The Mayor and City Administrator

COUNTYWIDE will open the sealed proposals at 4:15 PM on the respective due date, at the above address.
Copies of the RFP are available from City Hall or can be downloaded at www.cityoflithoniaga.
org.
For additional information, please contact:
Discover DeKalb to host family reunion City of Lithonia
workshop ATTN: Cheryl Foster, City Administrator
6920 Main Street
Discover DeKalb Convention and Visitors Lithonia, Georgia 30058
Bureau will host a family reunion planning Telephone: 770-482-8136
Fax: 678-526-0252
workshop Feb. 18, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Email: cheryl.foster@lithoniacity.org
Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Perimeter Center in
Atlanta. The complimentary workshop, presented The City of Lithonia reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and to request clarification
by Reunion Specialist Penny Moore, is an in-depth of information from any proposer. The City will not reimburse responding firms for any
training experience to make planning reunions expenses incurred in preparing proposals in response to this request.
and gatherings a success. Attendees have the
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 4

Done deal for
Doraville TAD
Tax allocation district created, approved

by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

Doraville City Council
approved an amended
intergovernmental agreement
(IGA) with DeKalb County on
DeKalb County’s board of commissioners approved an agreement between the county and Doraville regarding the former
Feb. 7, setting in motion the General Motors plant, now known as Assembly, establishing a tax allocation district. Photo by R. Scott Belzer
redevelopment of the former
General Motors plant, now can earn? It depends on the (DCSD). The district never creation of a TAD advisory
known as Assembly. family. It’s around $38,000 but approved participating in the board. The board will consist
Council unanimously that increases to $54,000 for a TAD and officials stated they of two members appointed by
approved the IGA, which family of four. Police officers would prefer not to direct Doraville City Council, two
diverts property tax revenue make around $37,000. This is funds away from school members appointed by DeKalb
Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman has
on the 165-acre site to help been a proponent and supporter of the the target area we’re looking projects. County and a fifth member
fund infrastructure, a covered tax allocation district, which diverts
for.” “That piece has been independently appointed by
connection to the Doraville property tax revenue to redevelop-
ment past a certain threshold. Photos Doraville’s city council removed,” said Gillen. the four appointed members.
MARTA station and other submitted. approved a similar IGA with “Everything else council has On Feb. 7, Doraville
non-private redevelopments DeKalb County in 2015, which talked about and passed by City Council unanimously
through a tax allocation Commissioners heard from had the caveat of requesting council last year is still there.” appointed Pittman and
district (TAD). DeKalb’s chief financial officer participation from DeKalb According to Gillen, a new Gillen as their TAD advisory
Council also appointed two Dianne McNabb as well as County School District caveat added to the IGA is the representatives.
members to advise the TAD deputy chief financial officer
during its 30-year lifespan. Luz Borrero before putting
“We’ve had some nice the matter to a vote. Borrero
discussions; this has been voiced concerns regarding the
going on for about four years number of units projected to
now,” said Doraville Mayor be built at Assembly.
Donna Pittman. “This is Borrero insisted the
exciting news for Doraville number be at least 20
and Assembly. Within months percent of units available, as
we should finally begin to see recommended by the U.S.
tangible work begin on the Department of Housing and
site. This is a game-changer for Urban Development (HUD).
Doraville, DeKalb County and This stipulation was agreed
the whole region.” upon, according to the IGA,
City councilwoman Pam and Doraville officials will be
Fleming said she has been a responsible for its enforcement.
supporter of Assembly since its On Feb. 7, Doraville
original proposal. She credited resident Thom Abbott said it
officials at Integral Group, is up to the city, not HUD, to
which owns the property, determine Assembly’s future.
for providing transparency “It’s time for the city of
throughout the process. Doraville to establish the
“The principals involved process, not HUD,” Abbott
in this—Egbert Perry, Eric said. “There should be
Pinckney and David Schmit opportunities for a manager of
as well as our attorneys—have a McDonald’s, a QuikTrip or a
been very upfront with us,” Starbucks—we can all dream—
Fleming said. “They’ve given to live in Assembly. After all,
us some excellent knowledge this is Doraville: diversity,
to go by; we’ve researched vitality and community. That’s
it ourselves. I am in full what our website says—let’s go
agreement with what’s going out and do it.”
on at Assembly. We move Councilwoman Dawn
forward by passing this.” O’Connor said she heard from
Councilwoman Shannon residents that the percentage
Hilliard said she has received of affordable housing units was
many emails supporting the 40 percent, not 20. According
Assembly TAD. to City Manager Shawn Gillen,
The IGA was presented that is false.
to Doraville City Council “The IGA speaks to 20
following unanimous approval percent of housing units sold
at the DeKalb County or rented,” Gillen said. “What
Commissioners meeting on is the maximum someone
Jan. 24.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 5

HECTOR Continued From Page 1
with me and support my will focus more on issues facing wanted to address. Hector, who attends Spelman
candidacy.” young adults in the area. “I’m running as a candidate college, said she’s ready to
Hector has been involved in “Certain things need to be for the city of Stonecrest continue her campaign after the
youth and social activism since addressed before economic because I understand the board’s decision.
an early age. She is also the development can come about,” importance of ensuring the “I look forward to continuing
national youth director for Al Hector said in a recent press people of Stonecrest are thought my campaign and serving as
Sharpton’s National Action Now. conference. “I believe in about before decisions are the first council member for
Stonecrest will hold its elections companies will not come [to made,” Hector said. “It’s not just the fourth district of the city of
March 21. Last year residents Stonecrest] if their children are about economic development. Stonecrest,” Hector said.
voted to create the new city. not properly educated and we We need to keep the people in Also running in the District 4
Many candidates running need to fix what’s happening in mind and that’s why I decided to Stonecrest City Council race is
for city council have focused Stonecrest.” run.” Geraldine Champion, Jesse
their campaigns on economic Hector also said public safety Stonecrest is an area of Cunningham and Jonathan
development. Hector said she in Stonecrest was an issue she close to 50,000 residents. Phillips.

TREES Continued From Page 1
board or department, a tree-care Foundation, in partnership with streets, and he created those tree board meets periodically
ordinance, an annual community the U.S. Forest Service and the lovely avenues we enjoy today,” to talk about the health of the
forestry budget of at least $2 National Association of State Cross said. “With drought, city trees and what projects we
per capita and an Arbor Day Foresters. Arbor Day Foundation disease and natural aging, would like to plan for the coming
observance and proclamation. President Dan Lambe said in many of these original giants year. With the development
Having been recognized as a a statement that Tree City USA have had to be cut down. The that’s occurring in Avondale
Tree City for 32 years, Avondale communities see the impact an Avondale Estates Tree Board, Estates, we are staying on top of
Estates is the second city in urban forest has in a community in conjunction with Trees Atlanta what accommodations are being
Georgia behind Columbus (38 first hand. and Arborguard Tree Specialists, made to preserve and or replace
years),” according to Stephany “Additionally, recognition has been planting approximately trees.”
Cross, chair of the Avondale brings residents together and 50 trees per year to counter the Cross also said there
Tree Board. creates a sense of community loss of these magnificent trees.” is a large turnout each fall of
“We pride ourselves in pride, whether it’s through Along with the city’s tree residents who volunteer with the
managing the canopy that volunteer engagement or public board, residents also look out for annual tree planting event.
graces many of Avondale’s education,” Lambe said. the tree canopy, keeping an eye “We usually plant up to 50 to
streets, and we have made Cross said when Avondale on diseased and dying trees and 60 trees in the verge [the area
serious efforts in the past seven Estates was created in the late notifying the city. between the street and sidewalk]
to eight years to advance the 1920s in a pasture, there were “We try to stay on top of in an effort to maintain the loss
growth of the canopy,” Cross few trees. possible dangerous situations of the original trees,” she said.
said. “George Willis, the creator where injury, loss of life and “Residents are also asked to
The Tree City USA program of Avondale Estates, envisioned or other damage can result in water the trees in front of their
is sponsored by the Arbor Day a city with beautiful tree-lined unsafe trees,” Cross said. “The homes when there is a drought.”
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 6

Three strikes!
In 2008 a relative political Sanders’ campaign manager, political office and was best known
newcomer who had served three Jeff Weaver, issued the following for a reality television series and
terms in the Illinois Senate and one statement in response to false his global business empire, beat a
term as a US Senator, was elected claims by the Clinton campaign: “It large field of political heavyweights
the 44th President of the United is very disturbing that, as the Clinton including Jeb Bush, Chris Christie,
States. John Hewitt campaign struggles…, they have Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Mike
Barack Hussein Obama become increasingly negative and Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John
johnh@dekalbchamp.com
secured the Democratic presidential dishonest. No, Bernie Sanders will Kasich, George Pataki, Rand
nomination against former first not dismantle health care programs Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio
lady and New York Senator Hillary in America…Bernie Sanders is not and Rick Santorum.
Rodham Clinton in what to political establishment by defeating ‘attacking’ Planned Parenthood… Trump’s continued rise in
many was a surprise upset. Many another career politician when he Bernie Sanders is not ‘protecting’ popularity baffled even the most
assumed that Clinton would be the was reelected as president over the gun lobby. He has a D- record seasoned of political pollsters and
Democratic nominee. This upset Republican heavyweight opponent from the NRA. prognosticators; many of whom
sent shockwaves throughout the Massachusetts Governor Mitt “Today’s attack from Secretary contended, until the Republican
Democratic party. Romney. Clinton, whose super PAC received National Convention, that Trump
Obama later defeated long- With Obama at the helm, the $15 million from Wall Street, is even would never receive enough support
time politician Arizona Republican Democratic Party and the Clinton more absurd. Bernie Sanders, who to secure the party’s nomination.
Senator John McCain in the machine were busily prepping has never accepted corporate PAC Trump obviously received the
General Election to win the for the next presidential election money in his life, is now accused by GOP nomination, but did not have
presidency. Obama was sworn positioning Clinton as the nominee Secretary Clinton of taking ‘about the support of many within the ranks
into office in January of 2009 and and hopefully the first female $200,000 from Wall Street firms.’ of the GOP.
became the first Black president of president of the United States. How do they reach that false and Trump’s win was the third, and
our nation. Obama’s election was Clinton entered the 2016 absurd conclusion? They assume what may have been the final, strike
seen around the globe as a major presidential race and was that every nickel Bernie Sanders against the political establishment.
change for our country and an upset challenged by yet another relatively received from the Democratic One may wonder what the next
to the political machine that had unknown Senator by the name of Senatorial Campaign Committee step in American politics will be.
governed our nation for decades. Bernie Sanders. Sanders gave for his Senate campaign came Beginning in 1789 when George
This was strike one against Clinton a run for her money and from Wall Street. That is obviously Washington was elected as the
politics as usual. The people of the was gaining a lot of support by preposterous.” nation’s first president, the political
United States sent their first in a Democratic voters who did not want Many who supported Sanders machines have been hard at work
series of messages of discontent; another Clinton in the White House. became disillusioned by the power trying to maintain power and control.
albeit, a bit less subtle than the Sanders’ popularity continued to plays of the Clintons and the Our nation may have just
most recent one, but a message of soar and it was then discovered Democratic National Party and experienced the end of politics as
discontent nonetheless. that Clinton and officials of the began considering Republican usual. At the very least, the political
Four years later Obama Democratic party had intentionally nominee Donald Trump. machine has three strikes against it.
delivered strike two against the planted falsehoods against Trump, who had never held
Sanders.
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 7

The battle of bloody mimosas
“The Brunch Bill is independent restaurants depend have a same hour start time, in
addressing a fairness issue. We
want to level the playing field
‘One Man’s largely on their weekend
business. Lopping Sunday
those communities that elect to
allow Sunday sales–10 or 11
for all businesses. State-owned Opinion’ income in half or reducing a.m. seems reasonable to me,
facilities and private clubs can it substantially can be the or holding to a common noon
serve two hours earlier on Bill Crane difference between making start for all facilities at least
Sundays than restaurants,” bill.csicrane@gmail.com and breaking many a smaller again levels the playing field. As
says Karen Bremer, CEO restaurant. with the micro-brewers and
of the Georgia Restaurant  Church services of multiple brewpubs, it can take a while
Association. “Passage of this tailgate to watch our Atlanta denominations now occur for our legislative leadership
bill also has a huge economic Falcons. And while several of across the week. Most Muslims to get the cotton and yeast out
impact, not only for restaurants, these restaurants may be just do not imbibe at all, as part of from between their ears and see
but for the state in terms of tax across or down the street from their faith. Though we remain a the green and grains awaiting
revenue.” one another, who can pour predominantly Judeo-Christian Georgia Department of Revenue
and when, is purely a decision population, Jews go to temple coffers. Pass that pitcher of
After years of being bloodied, determined by a patchwork on Saturday and during the mimosas. I’ll drink to that.
lied to, double-crossed and of local ordinances with often week, and many Christian  
left behind, Georgia’s micro- unclear boundary lines costing faiths hold services outside Bill Crane also serves
brewers and brew pub owners many restaurants access to one of the old Sunday morning as a political analyst and
finally were again given of their highest profit margin norm. The former rationale of commentator for Channel 2’s
hope. Georgia’s State Senate product lines. not having Sunday sales was to Action News, WSB-AM News/
finally passed a long in demand  The surge in spirit sales just not encourage intemperance on Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM,
and logical bill to allow local after the noon hour makes clear the Lord’s day. Well, depending as well as a columnist for The
brewers to bottle or sell limited the demand, as does the high on which Lord and faith you Champion, Champion Free
amounts of their product directly level of morning package sales observe, that might now take out Press and Georgia Trend. Crane
to consumers, minus the of beer and wine in grocery, all seven days. is a DeKalb native and business
three-tier system in place with drug store and convenience  These blue laws are owner, living in Scottdale. You
wholesalers, retailers, etc. And store locations before service beyond antiquated even for can reach him or comment on a
those suds again soon flowed in begins. These divides and a conservative Red-led state. column at bill.csicrane@gmail.
Muddville. start times are arbitrary and Pouring permits should logically com.
 Meanwhile across Georgia, nonsensical, and often place the
the equally muddied waters of restaurant server on the front
Sunday spirits pouring continued lines of explaining the ever-
to confuse customers, police varying rules of engagement
and restaurant owners alike. In in the “Battle of Bloody Mimosas”
downtown Atlanta, restaurants  The Georgia Restaurant
ringing the tourism district and Association (GRA) has long
Centennial Olympic Park, on taken point on the need for a
their generally second busiest common start time for pouring
day of the week, cannot pour a on Sundays. The playing field
bloody Mary until 12:30 p.m. on should also be even for private
Sunday.Yet just up the hill, at the versus publicly owned facilities.  
Georgia World Congress Center,  Distilled spirits, beer and
owned and managed by the wine are among the most
state of Georgia, state-run and heavily taxed products sold
concession-managed facilities in Georgia. Georgia leads
may start the spirits flowing at the nation in excise taxes on
10:30 a.m. packaged beer. By containing/
 In multiple counties across curtailing sales hours, the state
Georgia, where there is still a of Georgia is making the unusual
slight hangover of blue laws, choice of leaving money on the
the after-church crowd heads to table.  
their favorite brunch spot, sports Sunday brunch and supper
bar or watering hole of choice, also tend to be bigger family
or perhaps out for a big meal and friend occasions, with a bit
before heading to a Sunday more license to splurge. Many

FREEPRESS
the DeKalb
Publisher: Photographer: STATEMENT FROM THE
John Hewitt Travis Hudgons
PUBLISHER
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 Johnh@dekalbchamp.com 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
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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 www.championnewspaper.com we make every effort to avoid
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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. 17, 2017 • Page 8

Former Decatur mayor Elizabeth Wilson is the Black person to hold the office of city commissioner. She was also the city’s first Black mayor.

Elizabeth Wilson reflects on her time as Decatur’s first Black mayor
by Horace Holloman
about the impact she’s made in Wilson was perceived by said. “Most of the time I was was time Decatur had a Black
horace@dekalbchamp.com the community she served for many as a natural leader, even like ‘OK’ and that seemed to person represented on the
so many years. though she said she never continue on in my life.” council.
After retiring from public Wilson helped desegregate thought of herself as one. Even running for public In the meeting, Wilson said
office years ago, former Decatur the county’s public library “You know how people office was somewhat of an she intended to nominate her
mayor Elizabeth Wilson said system in 1962. She was one think of you as something accident, Wilson said. In 1984 friend Jackson to run for the
she has more free time on her of the first Black individuals to different than what you actually Wilson, along with a group position. When the group was
hands. get a library card at the Decatur are? Growing up, I did not see of Decatur residents and her asked who should run for the
Despite staying active in library. Later, Wilson would myself being a leader. I think best friend Joy Jackson, met position, Jackson beat Wilson
the Beacon Hill community, become the first woman and I’m a very good follower, but with the president of Decatur to the punch and nominated
Wilson said she hasn’t spent Black person to become the other people always pushed me Federal Bank and decided it Wilson.
much of that free time thinking city’s mayor. or asked me to do this,” Wilson
See Mayor on Page 12A

DeKalb super responds
to DeVos appointment
Requests new education secretary to ‘lead a transformation’

by R. Scott Belzer poverty causes issues involving Secretary of Education on Feb.
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com mobility, nutrition, emotions, 7. She is a staunch supporter
family stability and more. of school choice and charter
DeKalb County “We ask Secretary DeVos school programs, both public Betsy DeVos was appointed United DeKalb County School District
to lead a transformation in and private, according to past States secretary of education on Superintendent Stephen Green
School District (DCSD) released a statement Feb. 7 following
superintendent Stephen Green solving the most serious speeches. Feb. 7. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
the appointment of Betsy DeVos as
problem facing public schools In March 2015, she outlined Commons.
released a statement on Feb. 7 United States secretary of education.
today—a real and growing six “inconvenient truths” at Photo submitted.
regarding the appointment of
Betsy DeVos as U.S. secretary need for dedicated services the SXSWedu conference that
of education. and programs that help affect education and student
address the consequences of performance: American kill all the really good ideas DCSD board member Stan
Green’s statement opens and, generally, all the really bad Jester posted Green’s statement
with a simple welcome and an poverty,” Green said. “These education is antiquated;
problems affect education in American education has ideas; they favor middle ground on his blog Feb. 7 and stated
invitation to join the fight in mush.” “DeVos and DeKalb schools
bettering the lives of children. ways no standardized tests can fallen behind for the past half-
measure.” century; the country is stuck DeVos called the last belief underline the differences in
“We invite Secretary DeVos the “worst of the worst,” and philosophy in how to fix public
to join us at a point of common Green requests the political in a partisan rut; government
climate be set aside for the is failing; teachers aren’t paid that children deserve an equal education.”
understanding for DeKalb educational opportunity. “From reading DeVos’
public schools and public betterment of the district. enough and held to a high
“For kids to succeed, we enough standard; and America “That concept is a myth in speeches, she believes that we
schools everywhere: the true America today,” she said. “It can’t keep dumping money
mission of education should must shift from politics to does not provide an equal
problem-solving,” Green said. educational opportunity to is not defensible that you can into chronically failing schools
be providing every student— predict educational outcomes and school districts,” Jester
gifted, mentally challenged, “We invite Secretary DeVos children.
to become our partner in “Government tends to by the zip code in which said. “Either school districts
expatriated or burdened by someone lives. We do not have need to succeed or we need to
distracting socioeconomic finding ways to give public favor top-down decisions and
schools what they truly need fear bottom-up decisions,” equal educational opportunity give parents the ability to go to
or family needs—with the in America. This is not just another school that will better
foundational elements to to succeed. It’s time to bring DeVos said. “Government
together resources—and stifles innovation and abhors an inconvenient truth—it is serve them. Unfortunately,
succeed,” Green states. immoral.” Georgia has no mechanism
Green then identified what resourceful collaboration— improvisation. Government
to support socioeconomic tends to favor “one size fits all” DeVos called for education to address chronically failing
he considers public education’s spending to follow the child schools or school districts.
“most serious problem” and improvements that boost solutions handed down from
schools and students. central command. It favors rather than the other way In many other states you can
one that is exemplified by around. create new school districts.”
DCSD: poverty. Green said DeVos was appointed committees—a lot. Committees
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 9

A focus on success
Georgia Piedmont Technical College student
vows to change future, wins award
“It was expensive—I enjoy it. So I looked back at
by R. Scott Belzer needed to work, I had to work,” previous jobs and looked at
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com Bingham said. “One by one, what I loved doing; I love
things started to fizzle out. numbers and I love figuring
If someone had asked School got fizzled out.” things out when it comes to
Sonya Bingham five years Bingham decided to money.”
ago where she thought she return to school in 2014 Bingham decided that a
would be today, completing an after her husband observed future in accounting was right
associate’s degree program at how dissatisfied she was. She for her, especially considering
Georgia Piedmont Technical decided on GPTC for its price the options available upon
College (GPTC) would not and scheduling. completion of an associate’s Accounting student Sonya Bingham was chosen as Georgia Piedmont Technical
College’s 2017 GOAL Award winner for her academic excellence and leadership
have been an answer. “When I began researching degree. in the classroom. She was announced and congratulated during a Feb. 2
“For 13 years, I was stuck for my return to college, my Just over two years later, luncheon by GPTC President Jabari Simama (pictured). Photos submitted.
in an endless repetition of biggest concerns were price Bingham is set to graduate
menial, dead-end jobs with and scheduling,” Bingham said. with that degree. She has
“Much to my surprise, due to also been selected as GPTC’s

!
mediocre pay,” Bingham said.

N
“I had not completed my the reasonable tuition rates Georgia Occupational Award

TIO
higher education. I was broke, that I could handle, I was able of Leadership (GOAL)
undereducated, unhappy … to fund my entire first year at award winner. The award is

AC
and thus began the cycle of Georgia Piedmont Technical a statewide program of the
dead-end jobs.” College without any loans. I Technical College System of
Bingham started her higher started as a paralegal major.” Georgia, which recognizes
education at a large private Knowledge gained from students who excel in the
university based in Atlanta by GPTC opened new doors. classroom and provide
way of Effingham County, Ga., Her skills landed her a job at leadership to fellow students.
in 2001. Because of expenses, a family-owned law firm. The “[Being recognized] is
Bingham spent more time work, however, did not speak almost indescribable,” Bingham
working than she did in the to her soul. said about the award. “Out of
classroom or studying. Most of “Working at the law firm, 4,000 students—who all work
her time was spent answering I realized I didn’t love it,” hard—there were 29 nominees.
phones at call centers instead Bingham said. “The main To think I competed against GEORGIA PIEDMONT TECH
of studying or completing reason I went back to school the best of the best and won is Now Offering
assignments. was to get into a career field, a huge accomplishment.”

GEORGIA
not just a job—I wanted to Bingham said the award
See Success on Page 12A
FILM ACADEMY
COURSES
CLASSES MARCH 7, 2017 www.gptc.edu

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To learn about getting fit and eating
healthy and to get involved in DeKalb
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Contact Gretchen Kyles at 404-297-9522, ext. 1829
As set forth in its student catalog, Georgia Piedmont Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin,
sex, religion, disability, age, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, veteran status, or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances
permitted or mandated by law). Contact Lisa Peters, the ADA Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1154, ADA504Coordinator@gptc.edu or at the main
DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-170; or Dr. Debra Gordon, the Title IX Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext.
1176, TitleIXCoordinator@gptc.edu or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-103 for assistance. For more
information about our graduation rates and other important program information, please visit our website at https://www.gptc.edu/gainfulemployment
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 10

Retirement a priority in Clarkston
City employees
granted
updated plan
from council
Clarkston City Council updated the retirement plan for city workers following Clarkston Police Chief Christine Hudson and Public Works
recommendations from city manager Keith Barker and city staff. Photo by R. Scott Director Rodney Beck urged council for a better retirement plan
Belzer to attract and retain talented workers.
by R. Scott Belzer Clarkston City Manager What has attracted you to “[A good plan] is what than they used to be,” Beck said.
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com Keith Barker said the plan was another jurisdiction?’ Based keeps us here,” Kern said. “With Beck said the new plan will
long overdue, as Clarkston’s on that information, we are police officers, we do a very more than double an employee’s
plan before the Feb. 7 meeting recommending these changes.” hard job. We’re not going to retirement salary from
Police officers, laborers, was established in January of Clarkston Police Chief be rich. A lot of places don’t approximately $500 per month
public safety officials and 2000. Christine Hudson said offer plans such as this. This to $1,175.
administrative workers working “The city made some she supports the new plan, will keep more people here “This will really benefit
for the city of Clarkston were small changes to the plan especially after discussing such and bring more people. We are those who have been here for
granted an updated retirement in 2014, but they were very matters with colleagues at a small but we have a lot that we more than 15 years,” Beck said.
plan on Feb. 7 following small,” Barker said. “Given recent Georgia Association of can do in this community.” “It will be good for the ones
approval from city council. our difficulty in recruiting Chief ’ of Police’s conference. Court clerk Susie Keys said coming in now, as they can
The new plan, approved qualified employees—especially “One of the big discussions retirement benefits often come build it up quicker.”
in Clarkston’s 2017 budget, police officers, which is very is trying to hire officers— up in normal conversation. Clarkston employee Debra
allows employees of five years competitive in today’s market— everyone is in the same boat the “Being able to say you have Samuels, 62, said her 14-year
to count up to three years of we had our actuaries conduct a city of Clarkston is in,” Hudson a great retirement package and career with the city, as of 2015,
military service and prior local study.” said. “People are asking ‘What that you work here in Clarkston would only grant her $300 per
governmental service toward Barker said the costs to the type of benefits do you have?’ is a great thing,” Keys said. month. She spoke in February
retirement. city were calculated in 2016 and ‘What kind of toys do you “I’m very proud of this city. 2015 to encourage the city to
It also establishes a 2.5 and adopted into the approved have?’ That’s what new officers Everyone that comes into the adopt a competitive plan.
percent benefit formula, budget. He said action was are interested in. This is huge city, I’d like for them to be able “I couldn’t understand how
adjusts the average earnings taken after discussing the for us.” to come here and retire here.” someone could work all these
to the highest 36-month matter with various city Clarkston police sergeant Public works director years and that’s all they would
period recorded, doubles post- workers. Brian Kern, who has been with Rodney Beck said he is get,” Samuels said. “It hurt. I’m
retirement benefits for elected “We asked them, ‘What the city since 2010, said he asks currently conducting interviews here to thank the city council.”
officials from $17 to $35 a are you looking for in an about retirement before each and the majority of candidates Councilman Dean Moore
month per year of service, and employer?’” Barker said. “More city council meeting. Kern said ask about retirement benefits as said the unanimously adopted
offers employees payment for importantly, we talked to the there is only one officer who their first question. plan will help Clarkston attract
accrued sick leave hours upon folks who leave. We asked was on the force seven years “Benefits are becoming very and retain top talent in Georgia.
retirement. them, “Why are you leaving? ago. important to people—more so

Work stops on Stone Mountain sidewalk project
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Worked has been stopped
on the East Mountain Street
Sidewalk project in Stone
Mountain due to a dispute with
the contractor, according to
Mayor Pat Wheeler.
Wheeler announced during
the Feb. 7 city council meeting
that the city is in discussions Work on the East Mountain Street Sidewalk project has stopped due to a dispute with the contractor. Photos by Carla Parker
with the contractor and there
statement Feb. 9 about the on the parts of all parties, we to the community and the construct the side walk in April
is a work stop order on the
situation. are in negotiations to reach construction site currently 2016. According to the minutes
project, which includes the
“There have been overages a settlement in the matter. In paints an unsightly picture. from several council meetings,
Second Street project phase.
invoiced within pay requests the interim, and upon mutual Please know that the city is the council continued to have
“That’s all we can tell you
issued by the contractor,” agreement of the parties, working towards a timely discussions about additional
at this time,” Wheeler said to
states the release. The city construction has been ceased. project completion and is payments for materials and
residents at the meeting.
wants to make sound fiscal In a collaborative effort with hopeful of a finished product other changes.
After the regular meeting,
and financial decisions the contractor and the engineer that citizens, business and The city previously added
the mayor and council went
with regards to project of record, we are working to property owners, and visitors sidewalks on Main Street from
into a closed executive session
expenditures and is disputing provide a timely resolution. alike will enjoy.” Manor Drive to Poole Street
to discuss the issue and come
the overages. Additionally, in “The city understands that The city council awarded and on Manor Drive from Main
up with a conclusion on how to
an effort to ensure that contract construction projects often the contract to Atwell LLC Street to Third Street in Phase I
move forward with the project.
requirements are being met, render an inconvenience in the amount of $22,507 to of the project.
The city released a
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 11

WEEKinPICTURES

Mayor Frank Auman, center, administered an oath Feb. 10 to four men who will serve Tucker in varying capacities: building official Steve Holder, building inspector Mike
Sargent, Code Enforcement officer James Duncan and Community Council member Thomas “Tommy” Lupo.

A fire truck pulls into the Decatur Fire and Rescue Department at Station No. 1. Photo by Horace Holloman.

Onion Man Productions in Chamblee began a two week Jack Leff, a member of Boy Scout Troop 77 at Oak Grove
run of Patrick Marber’s Closer on Feb. 9. The production United Methodist Church in Decatur, earned his Eagle
Members of the Dunwoody Explorers program, which helps participants gain insight will run until Feb. 26. For tickets and times, visit www. Scout rank in January. For his Eagle project, Jack cre-
into careers in the field of law enforcement in a learning environment, participated in onionmanproductions.com. Photo submitted. ated a picnic area at Frazier-Rowe Park that included
a competition that included honor guard, sobriety testing, uniform inspection and a pathways and picnic tables accessible for people with
written exam in Gatlinburg, Tenn., on Feb. 11. Photos submitted. disabilities. Photo submitted.

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

(404) 371-2325 DeKalb25@outlook.com DeKalb25.com
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 12

Stone Mountain continues negotiation
with school district on Rock Gym
district. already has general liability
by Carla Parker “Once we notified the insurance.
carla@dekalbchamp.com [district] that the council had “With taking the medical
approved [the agreement] insurance requirement off, they
Some Stone Mountain the [district] sent me an decided to add an indemnity
officials and residents would amended copy of the terms and clause that would state that the
like to use the historic Rock conditions,” Thornton said. city is responsible for anything
Gym for events and other “Within those terms there are that happens because of the
activities but the city is having two things that changed.” condition of the gym,” she said.
a hard time coming to an One of the terms changed “We all know the condition the
agreement with the DeKalb was the amount of money that gym is in. I thought that would
County School District. the city would pay for water be a lot of responsibility for the
The school district currently usage at the gym, according to city to take on under the lease Stone Mountain continued negotiations with the DeKalb County School District
owns the gym, which was once Thornton. agreement.” on the use of the Historic Rock Gym.
the gym of Stone Mountain “I called the [district] and “It’s up to the council
High School. The city has been we got the water stipulation whether you want to agree to the school district to remove ask them to remove that,
in talks with the school district taken care of because there is the terms with the indemnity the indemnity clause from the otherwise there is absolutely
on a use of facilities agreement. only one meter,” she said. “So clause in it, which pretty agreement. no way [we can approve this],”
In November, the council we needed to know how the much states that we’re liable if “If that’s not negotiable then Councilman Richard Mailman
approved the agreement for the [district] decides how much any damage, death, injury or I think we need to reconsider said.
gym. water we actually use.” anything happens because of use of the building until we “I do not think this is a good
At the Feb. 7 city council The other change made to the condition of the gym in or can come to some type of move for the city to take this
meeting, City Manager the agreement was the addition around the premises,” she said. consensus,” she said. on,” Councilwoman Chakira
ChaQuias Miller Thornton of a medical liability insurance If an accident happens in The council agreed to table Johnson said. “It’s way too
said the council approved the clause. Thornton said the the gym’s parking lot or on the the agreement until they hear much liability for a piece of
agreement before knowing the district said that they would surrounding sidewalk, the city back from the school district. property that we have very little
terms of the agreement would take the medical insurance could be party to a lawsuit. “We have to go back and control of.”
be changed by the school stipulation off because the city Thornton said she will ask

MAYOR Continued From Page 8A
Wilson would go on to win and office was difficult because “she had no to the Beacon Hill community in 1949, what she believed in, she said. Wilson
become the first Black person to serve idea what she was going to do.” Decatur’s said she had to learn how to build up her also played a key role in desegregating
on Decatur’s city commission while first Black city commissioner said she confidence throughout her childhood. Decatur’s school system.
Jackson became Wilson’s campaign didn’t have anyone to talk to so she In the 1960s, she recalled seeing the Ku In 2000, a sculpture located in
manager. could figure out exactly what she was Klux Klan in Decatur for the last time. the downtown Decatur plaza titled
“At the meeting I was ready to say supposed to do. As she recalled, the KKK held ‘celebration” was made in her honor.
[Joy Jackson] should be elected. I was “I had to start at zero because no one a meeting in the Decatur square Recently, Renfroe Middle School’s
shocked because I never thought the had ever been in that position,” Wilson and marched throughout different Black History Month Program featured
president of a bank’s guests would said. “If nothing else happens, I hope neighborhoods in the area. Wilson said Wilson in a performance titled, “We
support an African American running that young people will step out on faith instead of hiding, her and a small group remember Beacon Hill: Stories of history
for city commission. Before my hand like I did. I love my neighborhood and I of neighbors got together where they and hope through the eyes of Elizabeth
could go up Joy said ‘I think Elizabeth lived my life in the Beacon community. could be seen by the Klan. Wilson.”
should be our candidate,’ and everyone Black people need to have a seat at “We wanted to let them know we “I didn’t sit on the commission
agreed,” said Wilson, laughing. “That’s the table. I hope young people realize could see them. I wasn’t scared. I can just to vote on something. I sat on the
how it all started.” that you need to be at the table where remember I thought as a child they commission because I wanted to make
Wilson said she defeated six other decisions are made with you, not for would just come and kill me, but this a change and if something was going
candidates, which according to her, was you.” time I wasn’t scared,” Wilson said. “They to affect my community I wanted to let
the most candidates to run for a position Being one of the first Black people would say terrible things like nigger this them know,” Wilson said. “That’s how we
at that time. to hold public office in Decatur wasn’t and nigger that.” make a difference. My serving in all of
Wilson said being elected to public easy, Wilson said. Wilson, who moved Wilson continued to stand up for my capacities has made a difference.”

SUCCESS Continued From Page 9A
process—which involves one round of Bingham said she was not sure exceptional environment and support. “I have a saying—no matter what,
speaking in front of GPTC directors, what set her apart from other GOAL She specifically mentioned her mentor, focus on success,” Bingham said.
teachers and administrators and one nominees and left that opinion to the Tomeika Williams, as a source of “However you get there, however long
round of speaking in front of DeKalb judges. inspiration. it takes. It may take a little longer than
County community leaders—is intense “I have met with and talked to the “I have dubbed my teachers the usual, but that’s the way life works. Let
and borderline stressful. other top four finalists—they were ‘accounting dream team,’” Bingham success always be in your thoughts
“During the first round, you amazing,” Bingham said. “I’m not sure said. “They are superheroes who somewhere—write it on the mirror, put
realize that these are the people you’re if I have anything that’s better. I know are just determined to make their it on the fridge. Give technical education
representing, who work at the school I have a strong passion to help the students succeed. This school has a vast a chance—it’s good enough and you’re
and that your excellence or lack of college succeed and students succeed. I appreciation for students and wanting us good enough.”
excellence is going to be reflected on know [the other finalists] have the same to be successful in our community.” As GTPC’s goal winner, she will
what they do on a daily basis,” Bingham passion I do.” Bingham encourages those interested compete in a regional completion Feb.
said. “The second round wasn’t as Bingham said she could not have in continuing their education to look 28 and, if successful, a state competition
hard for me, but it was still very nerve completed her associate’s degree into options at technical colleges and to April 13.
wracking.” or won the award without GPTC’s never give up.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 13
COMBINED NOTICE
NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC OF FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND NOTICE TO
THE PUBLIC OF REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF FUNDS

February 16, 2017

DeKalb County Community Development Department
3486 Covington Highway
Decatur, Georgia 30032
Telephone (404) 371-2727
TO ALL INTERESTED AGENCIES, GROUPS AND PERSONS:
The DeKalb County Community Development Department gives notice that it will submit a request for release of grant funds and an environmental
certification pertaining to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 15 days following this publication. The request and
certification relate to the following projects.
Project: DeKalb County – Glenwood Road Sidewalk Project
Location: Glenwood Road, Decatur, GA 30032 (Candler Road to Columbia Drive)
Purpose: The Glenwood Road Sidewalks project, utilizing $400,000 of CDBG funds, includes the construction of approximately 1.93 miles of
new and improved sidewalks along both sides of Glenwood Road from Candler Road to Columbia Drive in Decatur, GA 30032. The sidewalk project
will incorporate ADA accessibility and compliance to the greatest extent feasible and allow residents within the surrounding areas to better access
MARTA bus stops along this length of Glenwood Road. Glenwood Road would consist of four 11-foot lanes, 10-foot to 16-foot urban shoulders,
including a 2-foot stamped concrete buffer and a 5-foot sidewalk behind existing or proposed 24-inch curb and gutter. It is expected that a majority
of the existing curb would be replaced. Retaining walls would also be used at a number of locations along the project length to minimize property
impacts. The proposed speed limit for Glenwood Road would remain 40 mph and the proposed right-of-way would vary from 80 to 100 feet. The
need for sidewalks has been identified by the residents as a major need and top priority to improve the quality of life along the corridor. The total cost
of this phase of the Glenwood Road sidewalk project, including ADA pedestrian improvements, is estimated at $4,000,000.

FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT (FONSI)
It has been determined that such request for release of funds will not constitute an action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment
and, accordingly, DeKalb County has decided not to prepare Environmental Impact Statements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
(P.L. 91-190).
The reasons for such decision not to prepare such Statements are as follows:
An Environmental Assessment has been made for the project which concludes that all adverse effects will be minor, short-term impacts will be
mitigated by either the requirements of the construction contract documents or by the requirements of applicable local, state or federal permits and
environmental ordinances. The positive effects of eliminating public health hazards and improving environmental conditions for low and moderate-
income families outweigh any potential negative impacts. This project is consistent with the goals and objectives of DeKalb County Government and
the Community Development Department.
The Environmental Review Record, respecting the proposed project, has been made by DeKalb County which documents the environmental review
of the project and fully sets forth the reasons why such Environmental Impact Statements are not required.
The Environmental Review Record is on file at the DeKalb County Community Development Department, 3486 Covington Highway, Decatur, Georgia
30032 and is available for public examination and copying upon request between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
No further environmental reviews of the subject project are proposed to be conducted prior to the request for release of Federal funds.
Public Comments on FONSI
All interested agencies, groups, and persons disagreeing with this decision are invited to submit written comments for consideration by DeKalb
County to the Community Development Director. Written comments will be received at 3486 Covington Highway, Decatur, Georgia 30032 on or
before March 3, 2017. All comments received will be considered and DeKalb County will not request the release of Federal funds or take any
administrative action on the proposed projects prior to the date specified in the preceding sentence.
NOTICE OF INTENT TO REQUEST RELEASE OF FUNDS (NOI/RROF)
At least one day after the termination of the public comment period for the FONSI, but not before comments on the FONSI have been considered and
resolved, DeKalb County will submit a Request for Release of Funds (RROF) and certification to HUD. By so doing DeKalb County will ask HUD to
allow it to commit funds to this project, certifying that (1) it has performed the environmental reviews prescribed by HUD regulations (“Environmental
Review Procedures for Title I Community Development Block Grant Program” - 24 CFR part 58), and (2) the Certifying Officer, Allen Mitchell, Director,
DeKalb County Community Development Department, consents to accept and enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental reviews or
resulting decision-making and action. The legal effect of the certification is that by approving it, HUD will have satisfied its responsibilities under the
National Environmental Act, thus allowing DeKalb County to commit CDBG funds to this project.

Objection to Release of Funds
HUD will accept objections to its approval of the release of funds and the certification only if it is on one of the following basis: (a) that the certification
was not in fact executed by the Certifying Officer; or (b) that the applicant’s Environmental Review Record for the project indicated omission of a
required decision, funding, or step applicable to the project in the environmental review process. Objections must be prepared and submitted in
accordance to HUD at the Regional Environmental Branch, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 40 Marietta Street N.W., 15th floor,
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-9812.
Objections to the release of funds on basis other than those stated above will not be considered by HUD. No objection received after March 21, 2017
will be considered by HUD.
Allen Mitchell, Director
DeKalb County Community Development Department
3486 Covington Highway Decatur, Georgia 30032
Date of Publication and
Dissemination of Notice
February 16, 2017
February 2017

News and events of the
DeKalb Chamber of CommerCe
Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave. Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030 • (404) 378-8000 • www.DeKalbChamber.org

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce to Celebrate
79 Years of Business Success
O
n Thursday, February 23, the DeKalb then voters approve the Constitutional programs, business innovation, contribution
Chamber of Commerce will host its Amendment, MGM Resorts has expressed to DeKalb County, and overall involvement
79th Annual Meeting and Business interest in developing a truly unique resort and support of the Chamber.
Luncheon. More than 400 members, in the Atlanta metropolitan area creating Presenting sponsors include MGM
community partners and key stakeholders thousands of jobs and generating tens of Resorts International and AT&T. Tickets to
will join us as we celebrate the Chamber’s millions of dollars in annual spending with the event are $150 for members and $175
accomplishments and impact on DeKalb local businesses. for nonmembers and guests. For more
County and our region. During this meeting, outgoing Chair information and to register, please visit
The 79th Annual Meeting will take place Diane McClearen, Director of Community www.bit.ly/dcoc79am.
from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Georgia & External Relations at Oglethorpe Power,
Aquarium, Oceans Ballroom, 225 Baker will pass the gavel to incoming Board
Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30313. Chair Frederick L. Daniels, Jr., Chief Credit
MGM Resorts International
This year, we are excited to have Bill Officer and Executive Vice President at Bill Hornbuckle will serve
Hornbuckle, President of MGM Resorts Citizens Trust Bank. as the keynote speaker at
International, serve as our keynote speaker. New board members will be recognized, DeKalb Chamber’s 79th Annual
He will discuss MGM Resorts International and select companies and individuals will Meeting.
and what a destination casino resort could be honored for their exemplary standards
mean for Georgia. If the Legislature and in business development, employee

DeKalb Chamber Welcomes Five to Board of Directors
The DeKalb Chamber of
Commerce announces the
appointment of five new
members to serve on the
organization’s Board of
Directors. New board members
will serve a three-year term. Elaine Armstrong Pete Hajjar Joe Quatro Beverly Thomas Catherine Downey
Vice President of Marketing Founder & CEO VP of Commercial Banking – VP of Communications
The new board members Middle Markets Founder & CEO
Goodwill of North Georgia PRIME Business Advisors and Public Affairs CATMEDIA
include: Fifth Third Bank Kaiser Permanente

Upcoming Events
February 23, 2017 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Thalia N. Carlos Hellenic Center
79th annual Meeting & business Luncheon
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Georgia aquarium, Oceans ballroom April 11, 2017
brookhaven and DeKalb
February 27, 2017 Chamber of Commerce business Luncheon with
u.S. Senator David Perdue
Chambers of DeKalb County Day at the Capitol
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Georgia State Capitol atlanta Marriott Century Center

March 8, 2017 October 18, 2017 –
2017 PaGe STar Student/Teacher
awards Luncheon
October 26, 2017
Discover and explore Tuscany with DeKalb
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Chamber
Stone ridge event Center
additional information available on our events
March 30, 2017 page: www.dekalbchamber.org.
DeKalb State of the County
EDUCATION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 15

A lesson in
cyber safety
DeKalb students participate in the
inaugural Cyber Safety Day
by R. Scott Belzer [students] face today, and to
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com be honest, I’m kind of glad.
Students are under a lot of
DeKalb County School pressure.”
District (DCSD) hoped to Students said they think Peachtree Charter Middle School teacher Byron Thompson works with students on the subject of cyberbullying the
spread knowledge on safely people cyberbully out of fear, morning of Feb. 7. Photos by R. Scott Belzer.
surfing the web by hosting an because they have no friends
inaugural Cyber Safety Day on and for attention. Students also Robbie Barber.
Feb. 7. said they knew the school has Cyber safety has been an
The district celebrated measures in place to protect ongoing concern at DCSD
the occasion with in-
class lessons on digital
citizenship and a live Twitter
them.
“We had that one play this
year about bullying and we had
since National Cyber Security
Awareness Month in October IT DOESN’T
TAKE A
2016.
discussion through DCSD’s @ another play last year,” said one At the beginning of the
dekalbschools account and the student. 2016-2017 school year, DCSD

ROCKET
#CyberSafeDeKalb hashtag. “Isn’t there something Superintendent Stephen
The purpose of Cyber Safety about it in our student code of Green said the “U” portion of
Day was to “raise awareness conduct?” said another. DCSD’s teaching and learning,

SCIENTIST
of emerging online issues and Students were divided relevance, unity, support
to encourage students and on how to deal with and transparency (TRUST)
staff to use the internet and cyberbullying. Some students acronym has to do with
social media more safely,” said the best way to deal with creating a safe, structured and TO HELP KIDS WITH
state district officials. “Social a bully is to ignore him or her.
websites and smartphone apps Other students said the only
secure online environment.
DCSD has a dedicated
THEIR EDUCATION.
can be a fun, exciting and way to face a bully is to stand cyber safety webpage with
convenient way to connect up to him or her. links to resources at the Nope. All it takes is a scratch or two.
with our family members, “Think it, don’t say it,” said National Center for Missing & Because every time you play the Lottery,
friends and new people across one student. “When you say Exploited Children. According Georgia kids are the real winners. That’s
the world. But if not used something back, it only gets to the Center, being cyber because for over 20 years the Georgia
properly, they can also expose bigger and bigger.” aware means pledging to Lottery has contributed over $18.1 billion
unsuspecting children to risks “Honestly, I would say thinking before posting; to education. On top of that, more than
such as child predators, human something back,” said another respecting other people online; 1.7 million HOPE scholars have gone to
traffickers, cyberbullies and student. “If someone is going being careful when meeting
college and more than 1.4 million four-
other criminals.” to be mean to you, and pushing year-olds have attended a Lottery-funded
online friends in-person; and Pre-K Program. That qualifies as a rocket
At Peachtree Charter you, you have to push back.” protecting one’s self online.
Middle School, seventh Thompson said booster in our book.
DCSD staff and students
grade science teacher Byron cyberbullying is one of the are required to adhere to
Thompson took a break from reasons for Cyber Safety Day social media guidelines while
his lesson plan to hand out and for students to start having on district computers or
cyber safety worksheets, show these conversations with connected to the district’s
videos and lead a discussion on parents. network. Guidelines include
the importance of safely web- “At Peachtree, we want projecting a positive digital
surfing. students to go through the image; remembering
Students answered such avenues we have set up for accountability through a
questions on cyberbullying— them,” said teacher Derek district IP address; posting
what it is, what the school James. “This is one of the last responsibly and considering
has in place to counter it, things we want students to do.” the audience; and taking
whether they have ever sent Throughout the day, cyberbullying seriously.
a mean message, what they teachers tweeted about their “We have to get busy on
believe they should do when experiences with students, this; we have to catch up to
encountering cyberbullying parents shared advice and our kids,” Green said. “Our
and who they should talk to. administrators counseled babies are at risk. There’s stuff
“Do you think teachers on engaging students. out there you don’t even want
cyberbullying only happens “As a working single mom to know about. Do you know
to people [at students’ ages] to two teenage boys, we what the ‘darknet’ is? I didn’t
or does everyone have to deal educate each other,” said parent and now I wish I still didn’t.
with it?” Thompson asked. Ramona Mills. “Teamwork for We have to have a community
“Our purpose is to educate digital citizenship!” conversation.”
students so they don’t [bully] “Encourage your teen to For more information, visit
like some people our age. explain social media to you— http://www.dekalbschoolsga.
When I was growing up, I their understanding will help org/cyber-safety/. galottery.com
wasn’t faced with the issues to focus your teaching,” said
BUSINESS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 16

Family entertainment center unveils upgrades
by Kathy Mitchell much kids today love games
that were popular 30 and 35
The first Stars and Strikes years ago. We now have the
family entertainment center world’s largest Pac-Man and
opened almost 12 years ago Space Invaders and there’re
after longtime friends and always kids playing them,”
neighbors Jack Canouse and he said, noting arcade games
Chris Albano decided the introduced in 1980 and 1978,
metro Atlanta area needed a respectively.
place where people of all ages The Laser Tag game room,
could go for safe, wholesome where teams in high-tech gear
entertainment as well as food shoot lights at one another
options from snacks to full in a darkened area, has been
meals with bar service. upgraded to Laser Tag Next
There now are 10 Stars Dimension and now operates
and Strikes locations in on two levels. “Some of the
Georgia with an Alabama changes enhance safety and
location scheduled to open some just make it more fun,”
soon. The Stone Mountain Harris said.
center on Mountain Industrial “Although there’s plenty
Boulevard, which opened in here for adults to enjoy, we’re
2011, has consistently been really all about the kids. Just
in the top three in terms of about everyone who works
popularity, according to Scott here has kids and we know
Harris, corporate director of what kids enjoy. Their interests
marketing. change with time,” he said,
“This is definitely a highly “Kids right now are all about
successful location. We’re winning tickets.”
always busy with birthday “We wanted to do something special for our Stone Mountain customers because they have been so supportive,” says Stars Harris said the Stone
and Strikes Director of Marketing Scott Harris, showing off upgrades, including new flooring at the bowling area.
parties, special events and Mountain location added a
people who just come by for Winner’s Club store where
a good time,” Harris said at maze, bumper cars, private we’re in,” Harris said, noting and Strikes right off U.S. 78 is tickets won in the arcade area
what Stars and Strikes called events rooms and other the company’s contributions really convenient for us,” he can be traded for merchandise
its “grand re-opening” of the amenities. to charities, including hosting said. ranging from candy and
Stone Mountain location. “We wanted to do special events for children in Most youthful visitors to trinkets to gaming systems and
Although the facility never something special for our foster care. the Feb. 11 event were eagerly high-definition televisions.
closed, the “re-opening” Stone Mountain guests since Harris works in the trying the new options in the “You can’t buy anything in here
marked the unveiling of a they have supported us corporate office, but said he arcade area, which is now the with money,” he said of the
renovation that introduced consistently since we opened,” and his family are frequent largest at any Stars and Strikes newly opened room. “You can
new and upgraded games as Harris said. He added that visitors to the Stone Mountain location. It includes classic only buy things with tickets
well as some cosmetic changes. the city of Stone Mountain location. “I live in Decatur in games brought back in a new you’ve won. The kids love it.”
“We did some painting, has been supportive as well. the Belvedere area so this Stars format. “It’s amazing how
installed new digital signage “City officials have been just
and put in new flooring in the great. Whatever we need,
bowling area,” he explained. they are always willing to
The bowling area with more
than 20 lanes and an Atlanta
help and the DeKalb County
Police Department has been MORRISS and SHIM, Attorneys at Law
skyline mural backdrop—as wonderful in helping us with
the name Stars and Strikes
suggests—is a main feature
security.
“Stars and Strikes is very
Is pleased to announce the firm’s new name

Morris Shin
of the entertainment center, much a part of this community,
which also includes a laser as we are in every community MORRISS ǀ SHIM ǀ JAMES

M S J TELEPHONE:
404.525.8000
MORRISS SHIM JAMES
NOTICE OF NOTICE OF ATTORNEYS TOLL FREE:
NONDISCRIMINATORY NONDISCRIMINATORY AT LAW 1.866.946.8800
POLICY AS TO POLICY AS TO
STUDENTS STUDENTS
Intown Community School Daniel Preparatory
admits students of any Academy, Inc. admits
race, color, national or students of any race, color, and that
ethnic origin to all rights, national origin, and ethnic
privileges, programs,
and activities generally
origin to all the rights,
privileges, programs, ROBERT D. JAMES JR.
accorded or made available and activities generally
to students at the school. accorded or made available Has joined the firm as a partner.
It does not discriminate to students at the school.
on the basis of race, It does not discriminate on
color, national or ethnic the basis of race, color, Robert James is the former elected District Attorney and Solicitor-General of DeKalb County.
origin in administration of national origin, and ethnic
its educational policies, origin in administration of Robert will be practicing in the areas of personal injury and criminal defense.
admissions policies, its educational ploicies,
scholarship programs, and schlorships and loan
programs, and athletic and
THE ASTORIA-SUITE 212, 2233 PEACHTREE RD., NE, ATLANTA, GA 30309
athletic and other school
administered programs. other school-administered
programs WWW.MSJLAWGROUP.COM
CLASSIFIED DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 17

The
CHAMPION CLASSIFIEDS
The Champion is not responsible for any damages resulting from advertisements. All sales final.
RATES: $30 for up to 40 words, each Ads due by Friday at noon for next
DISCLAIMER: We do not knowingly accept advertisements that
discriminate, or intend to discriminate, on any illegal basis. Nor
additional word $0.60. All ads are publication date. For more information
do we knowingly accept employment advertisements that are not
bona-fide job offers. All real estate advertisements are subject
prepaid. All major credit cards accepted. visit www.championclassifieds.com
to the fair housing act and we do not accept advertising that is
in violation of the law. The law prohibits discrimination based on
color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status.

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SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 18

REGION TOURNAMENT SCORES
Photos by Travis Hudgons

Region 4-AAAAAA
Feb. 6 Region 4-AAAA Feb. 9 Tucker 68, Stephenson 51
North Clayton 82, Druid Hills 30
Boys Boys Feb. 11
Region 5-A Region 7-AAAA Region 4-AAAA
W.D. Mohammed 65, Galloway 49 Marist 52, White County Druid Hills 61, Eastside 55 Boys
Region 5-A
Region 4-AAA Region 8-AAAA Feb. 10 Championship
Cedar Grove 79, McNair 44 St. Pius X 36, Oconee County 31 Greenforest 67, Southwest Atlanta Christian 55
Westminster 44, Stone Mountain 41 Boys
Lovett 80, Towers 68 Region 5-AAAAA Region 5-A Region 7-AAAA
Pace 69, Redan 46 Chamblee 47, Miller Grove 38 Greenforest 79, Wesleyan 46 Championship
Blessed Trinity 56, Marist 42
Region 4-AAAA Region 4-AAAAAA Region 5-AAA
Druid Hills 56, Woodward 46 Stephenson 50, Mundy’s Mill 40 Championship Region 8-AAAA
Tucker 63, Drew 37 Pace 64, Cedar Grove 54 Championship
Region 6-AAAAA St. Pius X 84, Stephens County 59
Decatur 58, Banneker 41 Region 7-AAAAAA Region 7-AAAA
Northview 76, Dunwoody 43 Marist 47, White County 29 Region 5-AAAAA
Region 4-AAAAAA Consolation
M.L. King 58, Lovejoy 35 Region 7-AAAAAAA Region 8-AAAA Southwest DeKalb 65, Lithonia 56
Lakeside 57, Central Gwinnett 55 St. Pius X 61, North Oconee 34 Championship
Region 7-AAAAAAA Miller Grove 58, Columbia 58
Lakeside 57, Central Gwinnett 55 Feb. 8 Region 4-AAAA
Henry County 68, Druid Hills 65 Region 4-AAAAAA
Girls Boys Consolation
Region 5-A Region 5-A Region 5-AAAAA Tucker 69, Forest Park 48
Galloway 46, W.D. Mohammed 33 Greenforest 80, Paideia 53 Columbia (20-6) 47, SW DeKalb (15-12) 34 Championship
Miller Grove 61, Lithonia 39 Stephenson 61, Jonesboro 58
Region 4-AAAAAA Region 5-AAA
M.L. King 49, Mt. Zion 36 Cedar Grove 39, Westminster 34 Region 4-AAAAAA Region 7-AAAAAA
Stephenson 62, Tucker 58 Championship
Region 7AAAAAA Region 5-AAAAA Pope 61, Dunwoody 58
Dunwoody 52, North Atlanta 37 Southwest DeKalb 56, Chamblee 55 Region 7-AAAAAA
Columbia 82, Clarkston 36 Dunwoody 70, Alpharetta 59 Girls
Feb. 7 Region 4-AAAAAA
Region 6-AAAAA Girls Consolation
Boys Lithia Springs 48, Decatur 47 Region 5-A Jonesboro 52, Stephenson 33
Region 5-A Holy Innocents’ 67, Greenforest 40 Championship
Paideia 51, Mount Vernon 45 Region 4-AAAAAA Tucker 53, Lovejoy 48
Holy Innocents, W.D. Mohammed39 Jonesboro 67, M.L. King Jr. 38 Region 5-AAA
Consolation Region 5-AAAAA
Region 5-AAAAA Region 7-AAAAAA Lovett 70, Cedar Grove 65, OT Consolation
Lithonia 58, Arabia Mountain 57 Dunwoody 59, Chattahoochee 48 Championship Columbia 56, Chamblee 42
Redan 52, Pace 32 Championship
Region 4-AAAAAA Girls Southwest DeKalb 53, Arabia Mountain 39
Stephenson 67, Mundy’s Mill 58 Region 5-A Region 7-AAAA
Tucker 72, Drew 38 Greenforest 60, Paideia 28 West Hall 45, Marist 32 Region 6-AAAAA
Consolation
Region 7-AAAAAAA Region 5-AAA Region 8-AAAA North Springs 42, Decatur 40
Brookwood 42, Lakeside 40 Redan 58, Lovett 37 North Oconee 44, St. Pius X 30
Pace 47, Cedar Grove 44 Region 7-AAAA
Girls Region 5-AAAAA Consolation
Region 5-A Region 5-AAAAA Arabia Mountain 55, Columbia 53, OT Marist 57, Blessed Trinity 27
Paideia 45, Atlanta International 15 Columbia 63, Lithonia 25 SW DeKalb 66, Chamblee 21
Region 5-AAA Arabia Mountain 65, Clarkston 21\ Region 8-AAAA
Cedar Grove 53, McNair 30 Region 6-AAAAA Consolation
Redan 61, Towers 31 Region 4-AAAAAA Lithia Springs 59, Decatur 54 Madison County 48, St. Pius X 39
Lovett 57, Stone Mountain 38 Lovejoy 62, M.L. King Jr. 33
SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 19

Southwest DeKalb High School alum Damien Wimes was named the school’s new football coach. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Controversy surrounds SWD football coach hiring
be supportive and I’ll just conversation, which was “I just know I interviewed, Jermaine Andrews said. “But
by Carla Parker try to get it done and do the viewed by members of The I was called, I was offered the it’s [Glanton’s] decision to
carla@dekalbchamp.com best I can here and extend the Champion staff, Glanton job and I accepted,” Wimes make. He has the last call on
legacy of producing young responded to the alumni said. “That’s all I know. I’m that and there’s nothing we can
Black men that this school has member’s rant and asked to just happy to be here.” do about it.
Former Miller Grove High
produced and try to extend the speak with him by phone. When asked when he was “We’re glad that
School football coach Damien
legacy and dream of [former] It was during that the offered the job, Wimes said he Wimes is from Southwest
Wimes was named the new
coach [Buck] Godfrey in the conversation when word received the offer the day of DeKalb,” Andrews said. “He
Southwest DeKalb High
community.” got out that the school hired the announcement. understands the tradition and
School football coach.
Several people from the Wimes. During the alumni session the pride and we’re happy he
Wimes, a 1991 graduate
community and the alumni Glanton told The Champion of the meet and greet, several got the job, but we like the first
of Southwest DeKalb, was
voiced their support for at the meet and greet that people questioned Glanton candidate too. I just think what
introduced to the players,
Wimes, but questioned whatever announcement about the hiring process and happened is [Glanton] divided
parents and alumni at the
whether he was the original was made prior to the asked whether he offered the alumni with that decision.”
school Feb. 9 for meet and
candidate selected for the job. announcement of Wimes’ another candidate the job and Alumnus Danny Davidson
greet sessions. He coached at
Hours before the school hiring was a rumor. then rescinded the offer. said the other candidate was
Miller Grove for six seasons,
announced the hiring “We’re very clear on Glanton said he could not distraught about the situation.
accumulating a 30-30 record
of Wimes, news spread our process and we had this speak on the hiring process “As he expressed to me
before he was fired after the
among alumni that another particular session today due to it being a personnel this was a longtime job that
2015 season. Wimes spent the
candidate—a Southwest to announce who the head matter. he wanted,” Davidson said.
2016 season as an assistant
DeKalb graduate—was offered coach was,” Glanton said. “As an employee of “He said to me this morning
coach a Starr’s Mills High
the job and he accepted. A flyer “So whatever rumors or DeKalb Schools, all I can that as a kid being here you
School before applying for the
had been distributed online conjectures that was out there share is that we made a think about being the coach
Southwest DeKalb job.
announcing the other candidate prior to today I’m not privy of decision of Coach Wimes and here. And when you say that
“Everything truly happens
as the new head coach. that. I don’t know who created that’s who we’re going with. I out loud, then it actually
in God’s timing,” Wimes said
Later that afternoon, The such a flyer. cannot speak, as an employee, happens, it comes to fruition.
about getting his dream job.
Champion received phone “All I can speak on is about any other candidate who He’s a little torn up, but he’s a
“It’s kind of a thing where
calls from alumni saying that who was selected as the head has applied for the position.” Panther so he’ll bounce back.”
you have to be patient with
the offer was rescinded from coach at Southwest DeKalb,” After the session, several Davidson also expressed
the process, you have to trust
the candidate after someone Glanton said when asked if alumni confirmed that they his support for Wimes.
the process and I just trusted
from the alumni group went someone else was offered spoke with the other candidate “This alumni are strong,
in God and I know he would
on a rant against the candidate the job. “We’re excited about who said he was offered the we will support him and we’re
make everything OK. That’s
and Southwest DeKalb moving forward with Coach job first. behind him 100 percent,” he
what got me here.
Principal Thomas Glanton on Wimes and he’s going to be an “I spoke to not only that said. “Whatever he needs,
“It’s a lot of work to do,”
Facebook, saying the candidate excellent candidate.” particular candidate, but we’ll rally the community as
Wimes added. “But I just have
wasn’t a good hire and Glanton Wimes said he did not I talked to someone that we did when we were here at
to put the people around me
should be fired. know whether someone else understood and got firsthand Southwest DeKalb.”
who can really get it done.
In that Facebook was given the job before him. news that he was appointed,”
I know the community will
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 • Page 20

Miller Grove JV boys’ basketball team won its fourth consecutive county title. Photo by Carla Parker

Miller Grove boys, SWD girls win county JV basketball titles
beginning of the season. due to the Wolverines stout halftime. Down nine points in Panthers to a 53-40 victory
by Carla Parker “We lost some players—had defense. the fourth quarter, Lithonia over Stephenson in the JV girls’
carla@dekalbchamp.com some players suspended from “We’re predicated on went on a 7-2 run to get within title game.
the team and they still fought defense,” Robinson said. “We four points (35-31) with 1:12 After a back and forth
For the fourth consecutive
back every day,” Robinson don’t score a lot of points, but left to play. game through three quarters,
year, Miller Grove’s JV boys’
said. “It’s been an up and down our defense is what wins us Miller Grove closed out the Southwest DeKalb entered the
basketball team is DeKalb
season but my guys worked games.” game with free throws to bring fourth quarter with a one-point
County champions.
hard and I’m really hard on Miller Grove had an 8-7 the final score to 37-31. Miller lead (33-32).
The Wolverines (12-1)
them. They worked their lead in the first quarter before Grove’s Torrance Edwards was Kimbrough opened the
defeated the Lithonia Bulldogs
[butts] off and I’m so proud of Kyree Rice hit a three-pointer named tournament MVP. fourth quarter with two free
(11-2) 37-31 in the JV title
them. They really deserve this.” with 25 seconds left to end throws and a layup, extending
game Feb. 11 at Cedar Grove
The score was tight for the the quarter within an 11-7 Girls Championship the Lady Panthers’ lead to 37-
Middle School.
majority of the game, except in lead. Lithonia got within three SW DeKalb 53, Stephenson 40 32. Southwest DeKalb would go
Coach John Robinson, who
the third quarter when Miller points (16-13) midway in the on to outscore Stephenson 16-8
won his second title as head
Grove had a 10-point lead (25- second quarter. Jayla Kimbrough, who to win the county title.
coach, said it feels awesome
15). Lithonia continued to fight However, the Wolverines scored 12 of her 18 points Kimbrough was named
to win the title after the rough
their way back into the game closed the quarter with a 4-0 in the fourth quarter, led tournament MVP.
start the team had at the
but could never take the lead run to take a 20-13 lead into the Southwest DeKalb Lady

It’s a

to be on your
list today.