FREEPRESS

the DeKalb FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2017 • VOL. 19, NO. 49 • 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

A celebration
of creators
Third annual Atlanta
Science Fiction and
Fantasy Expo brings
together artists,
fandom, gamers Event organizer Antonio “Tony” Cade said the event grew from hosting local authors three years ago to a full-
blown weekend festival through word-of-mouth and a growing appreciation of some for all things science fiction
and fantasy. Photos by Travis Hudgons

by R. Scott Belzer One comic artist, Michael Archie, to her imagination. It focuses on twins who
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com sold and discussed his work—Work Force inhabit the same body, have different powers

O
Comics—on March 11. His series, which is and seek another body.
n March 11 and 12, it was not dominated by Archie’s unique humanoids Raine said she began sketching
unusual to see comic book and dry wit, is a humorous spin on the daily characters without a story approximately
charters such as Deadpool, Storm grind of a retail chain worker. 10 years ago. She continued to draw until
or Luke Cage casually strolling at “It’s about a group of friends in a fictional a story began to develop around them. She
North DeKalb Mall. store, with a boss that nags them, customers said she plans to write four more books in
For the third year in a row, the Atlanta who get on their nerves, they have to come the series.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Expo gave in on Sundays and get paid $7.25 with a “I’ve always loved the grim reaper ever
metro Atlanta residents, artists, creators and 30-minute break,” Archie said. “I worked at since I was a little girl,” Raine said. “My
vendors a space to share their products, Wal-Mart for a year, Sears for a year—after brother had a tattoo of the grim reaper
gaming abilities, talents and enthusiasm—all the Sears job, I knew I could [pull from my on his shoulder. Since then, I’ve seen the
free of charge. encounters at work] and do something with character around and it’s always been an
Comic vendors, writers, artists and it. Once I got the humor together, it came inspiration, mainly because Death is seen
authors set up vending tables alongside face together.” as a neutral character. In [my book’s] world,
painters in North DeKalb’s food court while Author Ellie Raine was in attendance he’s a protector who prevents people from
panelists talked in stores about costuming, to spread the word about the first book in becoming demons.”
fan-based fiction, screenwriting, pottery and an epic fantasy series, The NecroSeam Writer Dedren Snead brought his
theory. Meanwhile, dice-rollers and card Chronicles. According to Raine, the book— Afrocentric, female-based comic Sorghum &
dealers faced off in a room set up specifically Willow of Ashes—features necromancy, Spear to North DeKalb to show the potential
for gaming. demons and a mapped environment unique
See SciFi on page 5

Michael Archie discusses his comic Work Force. The NecroSeam Chronicles author Ellie Raine. Writer Dedren Snead explains his Afrocentric, female-
based comic Sorghum & Spear

Visit www.championnewspaper.com for local, real DeKalb County news. @DeKalbChampNews
s
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 2

Finding convenient
Finding convenientplaces
places toto exercise
exercise
A technician from Trinity Innovative Solutions demonstrates a trailer purchased
by Doraville Police Department to combat speeding, stolen vehicles, expired tags
and other violations. Photo submitted. maymay
bebeeasier
easier than
than you
youthink!
think!

Doraville Police 2017 2017Exercise
Finding convenient
Classes
Exercise Classes at
places to exercise
Faith-Based Community Centers
may be easierat
go high-tech Austin Drive Community
than you think!
Faith-Based 1989 Austin Dr., Decatur, GA 30032
$50 for 3 months, Monday and Thursday, 6:30 p.m. /
2017 Exercise Classes at
Center at Bethesda
CathedralCommunity Centers
License plate recognition, traffic, vehicular Saturday, 10:00 a.m.
analysis system costs city $61,047 Faith-Based Community Centers For more information: 404-534-3322

Stronghold Christian
Austin Drive Community 724 RockAustin
1989 Chapel Dr.,
Rd., Lithonia,
Decatur, GAGA
30058
30032
Austin
CenterDrive
Church Community
at Bethesda $50
1989 for
Austin 3 months,
Dr., Decatur, Monday
GA 30032 and Thursday,7:00
$45 for 3 months, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 6:30
p.m. /
Doraville City Council speeds, identify stolen vehicles p.m./Saturday, 10:00 a.m.
Center at Bethesda
Cathedral $50 for 3
Saturday,months,
10:00 Monday
a.m. and Thursday, 6:30 p.m. /
unanimously approved a and vehicles with expired
Doraville Police Department registrations.
For
For more
Saturday,
more information:
10:00 404-534-3322
a.m. 770-322-9010
information:
Cathedral
purchase for a traffic and “Wanted vehicles, stolen For more information: 404-534-3322
vehicular analysis system vehicles, expired tags—this
Stronghold Christian 724 Rock Chapel Rd., Lithonia, GA 30058
worth more than $61,000 will help us manage that,” King R.E.A.C.H.
Stronghold Community
Christian 724 Rock
6212-B
$45 for
Chapel
Memorial Rd.,
Dr.,Lithonia,
3 months, Stone GA 30058
Mtn.,
Monday, GA 30083 and
Tuesday,
during its Feb. 21 meeting. said. Church $45 for 3 months, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday,
Doraville Police Chief John The radar speed trailer Church
Development Center Free classes,
Wednesday, Saturday,
7:00 11:30
p.m./ a.m.
Saturday, 10:00 7:00
a.m.p.m. /
King made the request for the included in the purchase is Saturday,
For more
For more 10:00 a.m.
information: 404-931-7532
information: 770-322-9010
system, which includes a radar capable of clocking car speeds For more information: 770-322-9010
speed trailer, three camera and displaying it to drivers. R.E.A.C.H. Community 6212-B Memorial Dr., Stone Mtn., GA 30083
mounting kits for police Color license plate recognition Clarkston
DevelopmentFirst Baptist
Center Free
3999 classes,
Church Saturday,
St., Clarkston, 11:30 a.m.
GA 30021
cruisers as well as license cameras are also mounted to R.E.A.C.H. Community For
6212-B
$10 more
Memorial
a month, information:
Dr., Stone
Monday, 404-931-7532
Mtn.,
Tuesday, GAThursday,
and 30083 6:30 p.m.
plate and facial recognition the trailer in addition to solar Church
Development Center Free classes,
For more Saturday,404-292-5686
information: 11:30 a.m. ext. 248
equipment. panels.
“This is a trailer that will King said the trailer, Clarkston First Baptist For3999
moreChurch
information:St.,404-931-7532
Clarkston, GA 30021
have a radar that will detect the provided by Trinity Church Baptist $10 a month, Monday, Tuesday, and Thrusday,
speed of vehicles,” King said. Innovative Solutions, will Fairfield 3999
6:30Church
p.m. St., Clarkston, GA 30021
“It will also have a computer move from neighborhood Clarkston First Baptist
Church 3999
ForaChurch
$10 moreSt.,
month, Clarkston,
Monday,
information: GA 404-292-5686
Tuesday,30021
and Thursday, 6:30
ext.p.m.
248
that will read tags—to check to neighborhood to combat
Church $10 a month, Monday, Tuesday, and
For more information: 404-292-5686 ext. 248Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
expired tags, Amber alerts, speeding and other traffic Fairfield Baptist For6133
more Redan
information: 404-292-5686
Road, Lithonia,ext. GA248
30058
speeding—and send a signal to violations. He said the plan,
patrol cars in the area.” eventually, will be to have Church 2nd & 4th Fridays, 6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
“[This system] helps law trailers at all subdivision
Clarkston International 3895ForChurch
more St., Clarkston, GA770-482-7660
information: 30021
Fairfield Baptist 3999activities,
Free Church St., Clarkston,
Tuesday, 7:00GAp.m.
30021
/ Friday, 5:00 p.m.
enforcement find vehicles of entryways and exits as well as Bible Church $10 a month, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
interest, develop investigative along Buford Highway. Church For more information: 404-296-6483
leads, solve cases, improve “We want to tie it in [with Clarkston International For3895 Church St., Clarkston,
more information: 404-292-5686 ext. GA24830021
officer safety and save lives,” road improvements],” King Bible Church Free activities, Tuesday, 7:00 p.m./Friday, 5:00 p.m.
states a demo from the system’s said. “When Winter’s Chapel For more information: 404-296-6483
manufacturer. “Our cameras goes through its big change, Clarkston International 3895 Churchinformation:
For more St., Clarkston, (404)
GA 30021 508-7847
rapidly analyze every frame I plan to ask permission to Free activities, Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. / Friday, 5:00 p.m.
Bible Church
For more
of video for the presence of install one of these; all the For more information: 404-296-6483
license plates, using optical major thoroughfares in and
character recognition to out of neighborhoods. This will
translate images into text. Data
is limited and anonymous;
allow us to gather data and see
how it’s needed.” information:
For more information: (404) 508-7847
drivers’ identities are unknown Councilwoman Pam
and protected by the Federal
Divers Privacy Protection Act.”
Fleming said the purchase is
something that will benefit the
(404) 508-7847
Doraville police officers residents of Doraville.
will be able to use such “I’m sorry to say that it’s so
technology through their expensive for one,” Fleming
agency-issued smartphones, said. “I wish we could have one
according to King. According in each neighborhood.”
to the council’s memorandum, “This is a great safety
the system will also analyze feature for our community,”
traffic coming into and out said Mayor Donna Pittman.
of neighborhoods, identify
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 3

AROUNDDEKALB
AVONDALE Catering, Avenue Catering Concepts, Endive Fine
Catering, Farm Burger, Fox Brothers Bar-B-Q, Soiree DeKalb Clerk of Superior Court to host free
Catering & Events, Sun in my Belly, and Zest Atlanta notary training
will be available for sampling. Décor or services pro-
Spring into adoption vided by PeachyKeen Planners & Décor, Spectrum DeKalb County Superior Court Clerk Debra
Entertainment & Events, and PeachTree Tents and DeBerry and the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’
LifeLine Animal Project is offering $40 adoptions Events.
on all dogs weighing more than 25 pounds and all Cooperative Authority are hosting two free notary
This event is free and open to the public and will training sessions on Fri., March 24. The first ses-
cats throughout March and April. The promotion is be held at the Historic DeKalb Courthouse, 101 E.
valid at all of LifeLine shelters, including the Life- sion is 9: – 10:30 a.m. and the second session is 11:
Court Square in downtown Decatur. a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The training sessions will be held
Line Dog House and Kitty Motel, the LifeLine Cat
Center, LifeLine at DeKalb County Animal Services at the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive in
NARFE announces meeting schedule downtown Decatur.
and LifeLine at Fulton County Animal Services. For
more information, visit www.lifelineanimal.org. This training workshop is open to the public and
The National Association of Active and Retired recommended to anyone who is a notary public in
Federal Employees (NARFE), DeKalb Chapter 380, the State of Georgia or would like to become one.
holds its monthly meeting on the second Tuesday of It is important to remember that a notary public
every month (except July and December).  
CLARKSTON  The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, April
11, at Piccadilly Restaurant, Galleria at South
should perform their duties to the utmost extent of
the law, failure to do so could result in costly law-
suits and penalties as a notary is liable for his or her
DeKalb Mall, 2801 Candler Road in Decatur, begin- actions.
First Baptist Church to host health fair, screen- ning at 1 p.m..    Contact Twinette Jones to reserve your seat to
ings All active and retired federal employees, their attend either session at (404)-371-2250 or tajones@
spouses, and surviving spouses who are not cur- dekalbcountyga.gov
Clarkston First Baptist Church, located at 3999 rently a member of NARFE are welcome to attend
Church St., will host a free health fair and health this free meeting to learn more about the benefits of
screenings on March 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. NARFE.  For more info, visit www.ganarfe.org, or
The event will host professionals from the Center contact Chapter President Calvin Stevens at (404)-
for Pan-Asian Community Services’ Cosmo Health
Center as well as Northside Hospital’s Corporate &
288-3604.
LITHONIA
Community Health Solutions. Wylde Center to offer outdoor programs
Offered screenings will include cholesterol; glu-
cose; blood pressure; weight; body-mass index; can- As part of its 20th anniversary, The Wylde Cen- Business forum announced
cer risk; pulmonary function; osteoporosis; diabetes; ter—located at 435 Oakview Road—will host two
coronary risk; and sleep quality. upcoming outdoor nature programs with partners in The purpose of the “Raise the Bar for Your Busi-
Participants should prepare for blood testing the metro Atlanta region. ness” event is to disseminate legislative informa-
through a finger stick and low-level x-rays. On Mach 18, the center will host The Buzz About tion and the facts on the new DeKalb County LSBE
Appointments for screenings are required. To Honeybees, a one-hour program based on the Ordinance, according to an announcement from the
register, call (770) 936-0969. book of the same name. The event will take place at South DeKalb Business Association.
Mulberry Fields, located at 1301 Iverson Street in Guest speakers include Rep. Billy Mitchell and
Atlanta. It begins at 2 p.m. DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond.
DECATUR On March 25, the center will host Mammals and
More, a one-hour program based on local and exotic
The event will be March 22 at 6; p.m. at the Lou
Walker Senior Center, 2538 Panola Road in Litho-
animals. The event begin at 2 p.m. will take palce at nia. Appetizers will be served. For more information
Sugar Creek Herb Farm, located at 415 East Lake contact Richard Younge at (678)-743-5032 or Anna
Drive in Decatur,. Henderson at (770)-366-3349. RSVP @ joinus@
The cost for each event is free to members, $5 SDBA-inc.org
for non-member adults and $2.50 for non-member
children 12 and under. Participants are encouraged
to RSVP at wyldecenter.org/nature. TUCKER
Community Service Board announces March
meeting Civic association to host neighborhood cleanup
The March 23 board meeting of the DeKalb The Tucker Civic Association will host a neigh-
Community Service Board is open to the public borhood cleanup March 25 from 9 a.m. to noon.
for those who are interested in services for mental The cleanup will be held at tree neighborhood entry
DeKalb History Center’s largest annual event health, addiction and developmental disabilities. ways along Cooledge Road—Gloucester Drive, Mary
announced The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. at 445 Winn Way, Anna Drive and Sarahs Lane. Volunteers will trim
Room 421 in Decatur. and dig up overgrowth, dig holes, add soil, plant new
DeKalb History Center will host its Annual  The Community Engagement Committee meet- flowers and shrubs, clean up trash, bag up debris and
Meeting and Silent Auction on Friday, March 24, 6 ing will be held in the same room at 3 p.m. and is more. For more information, call Josh Wallace at
– 8:30 p.m. Attendees will experience “a free evening also open to the public.  (678) 591-9245.
of delicious food, and music while bidding on items The Audit, Finance and Compliance meeting will
donated by generous local businesses,” according to be held in the same room on March 21 at noon and
a release from the organization. is also open to the public.
Silent auction packages may include event tickets,  For those with disabilities in need of assistance
golf, dinner certificates, art, jewelry, hotel stays, or accommodations to participate in the meeting,
special tours, books, professional services, children’s should notify Community Relations at (404) 508-
activities, fitness opportunities and more. 7875.
Hors d’ oeuvres from caterers such as Avalon
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 4

Lithonia to consider
park management
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

The Lithonia City Council will decide between two companies
to manage events at Lithonia Park.
D.L. Johnson Consulting Agency and Juanita Parks
responded to the Request for Proposals (RFPs) notice the city
sent out last month.
The council voted Feb. 6 to release a RFP notice to find
a qualified management firm that can attract “high quality”
performing arts and community events from May to September,
according to the RFP. The city is also requesting that the firm
support and promote the long-term growth and development of
arts and culture in Lithonia and southeast DeKalb County.
Before releasing the RFP, the city considered entering an
agreement with Jason Lary of Jason Lary Management to
manage events at the park. Jason Lary Management currently
Doraville City Council denied a rezoning request of a former automotive repair location on the grounds of environment and
traffic concerns, marking the second denial in as many months. Photos courtesy of Doraville. manages events at the Lithonia Amphitheater.
When the city attorney reviewed the agreement, the attorney

Doraville denies dry
told the mayor and council that they could either do a RFP or
adopt an ordinance that would allow the city to not do a RFP for
the management of park events and appoint a management firm,
according to Mayor Deborah Jackson.
Several council members said they would rather go through

cleaning business
the RFP process than adopt an ordinance to appoint a firm.
“It would seem like it is favoritism,” Councilwoman Diane
Howard said. “How can we say we’re going to let this person
manage something and someone else come up and say, ‘I didn’t
know anything about it. Why wasn’t I included?’ I think the
[RFP] process is fair because it puts it out that if anyone is
and will create a hazard.” 21 and March 6. Bascunana interested, they at least know what’s going on rather than for us
by R. Scott Belzer On Feb. 21, informed O’Connor, to just appoint someone to manage the park.”
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com councilmembers heard a Fleming and Spanger that Councilman Ric Dodd, who voted against the RFP, was
presentation from community environmental issues are concerned about the timing of the RFP.
Despite support from development director Enrique handled by code enforcement. “It’s a season here, there is a booking season and we’re already
city staff, approval from Bascunana as part of a “What about the air? well into the start of booking season,” he said.
the planning and zoning public hearing. He said city What about the airborne Jason Lary Management did not respond to the RFP.
commission and completing staff supported the rezoning contaminants?” O’Connor The management firm is expected to provide booking of
a public hearing with a 59- because it eliminates the last asked. “We’ve got other event rentals for the park from April until October annually, give
page presentation, business parcel of light manufacturing businesses there. He’s going to professional advice, make recommendations, serve as a public
owner Chris Cho was denied zoning in the area, supports be doing dry cleaning, all the relations representative when needed, and work closely with the
permission to operate a Doraville’s comprehensive plan dry cleaning from his other city pertaining to the operation and maintenance of the park.
dry cleaning and laundry and opens the property up to businesses. That’s an awful lot
establishment in Doraville by future commercial uses. of releases of environmental
city council on March 6. “This would make the toxins. I’m not in favor of it at
“I think we’re doing the zoning consistent with all.”
applicant an injustice,” said surrounding properties,” Bascunana informed
Councilwoman Pam Fleming. Bascunana said. “Right now, it’s O’Connor that there is a dry
Cho applied to rezone inconsistent with our plan for cleaning plant less than a block
a former automotive the Buford Highway Cultural away from Doraville City
maintenance facility at 3747 Corridor. [The rezoning] adds Hall. Planning Commissioner
Longmire Way from light value to the property.” Susan Crawford said that
manufacturing to general According to Cho, who Environmental Protection
business, but was denied bought the property before the Agency (EPA) standards are
on March 6 for reasons March 6 denial, the proposed enforced by state law.
having to do with traffic and business would have served as In addition, Cho said 95
environmental concerns. a cleaning location for other percent of the business is
“Is the building going locations owned in Doraville, regular washing and 5 percent
to be able to accommodate Buckhead, Dunwoody and is dry-cleaning.
this amount of dry cleaning midtown Atlanta. The business Cho provided EPA
using these super high-power would have employed 10 information to council
chemicals that are dangerous?” people. between the Feb. 21 and March
asked Councilwoman Dawn Future easements would 6 meeting to no avail.
O’Connor. “Dry cleaners are have also allowed Cho to offer Councilman Robert
notorious. [There] is going to drive-through services. Patrick and Mayor Donna
be an awful lot of dry cleaning O’Connor, Fleming and Pittman said they prefer a dry
here. This is going to be an Councilwoman Sharon cleaning location to a potential
extremely busy location that Spangler questioned Cho auto repair business.
cannot accommodate traffic about chemical usage on Feb. “This is a good use,”

See Doraville on Page 8A
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 5

Gamers preparing for a battle. A panel discussion on fantasy costumes.

There was a variety of games and tournaments held on site. Photos by Travis Hudgons

SCIFI Continued From Page 1
product he and his team of eight have confession, sacrifice, understanding, love, a haven for local talent and pop culture
created. discipline, diligence and obedience. enthusiasts. Though the store regularly
Snead said he receives his inspiration Upyri, which has taken six years to holds tournaments and local authors, the
from people close to his heart, including develop, offers lessons through comics and festival allows such activity on a large
his mother, Nichelle Nichols who played virtual reality interactions with characters. scale.
Lt. Uhura on the Star Trek television series “That’s our world; we wanted to create “This actually all began as an author
and others. He said he enjoys researching something we can all relate to because we get-together in my store,” Cade said. “It
ancient indigenous cultures and discussing all go through this every day,” Jackson said. seemed like a pretty good thing and we
ideas with historical experts to make sure “Our characters should be able to do the talked about taking it to the next level. We
even background pictures are accurate. same. You see the issues characters have decided to go ahead and go with it. The
Snead said he collaborates with local in their stories and see how they strive to mall loves it because it brings in a lot of
nonprofits and plans to incorporate social be redeemed.” people who wouldn’t regularly come here.
issues into his product, which is developed Jackson said he collaborates with eight Vendors love it because it brings a crowd.”
by artists from as far as Trinidad. others, including artists from Iceland and Cade said more than 40 vendors set up
“It’s all fantasy, it’s all women-based,” New Zealand. The team also offers free in North DeKalb Mall in a two-day span.
Snead said. “The women demonstrate seminars and workshops through Upyri, “This is a celebration of the creators,”
not only physical strength but diplomatic including how to get creative properties up Blank said. “The authors, the artists, the
strength. I want to write a narrative not and running. animators and the cosplayers—people
based on what society thinks you’re Event organizer Antonio “Tony” Cade who work on their crafts. It gives people
supposed to be, but who you choose to be. said the event grew from hosting local a chance to show others their works and
We’re telling stories that aren’t necessarily authors three years ago to a full-blown become interested in new things.”
told in mainstream media.” weekend festival through word-of-mouth For more information on the Atlanta
Lonnie Jackson, executive producer of and a growing appreciation of some for all Science Fiction and Fantasy Expo or similar
Upyri, said his team’s series—told through things science fiction and fantasy. events hosted by Challenges Games &
three separate storylines—tells the story of Cade owns and operates Challenges Comics, visit www.atlantascifiexpo.com.
redemption through the seven lessons of Games & Comics at North DeKalb Mall,
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 6

Breed specific legislation is discriminatory
Discrimination of any kind, in any It baffles me that Waites is Staffordshire terrier. I routinely
form, is unacceptable, but our state concerned that responsible pet take her to Home Depot and other
officials are considering legislation owners are not unfairly targeted. dog-friendly establishments, her
that is discriminatory to its core. How can any legislation that targets most likely reaction when she
I’d be willing to bet that Rep. specific breeds—whether purebred sees someone is to begin fiercely
Keisha Waites of House District John Hewitt or mixed—not be unfair? wagging her tail and smilin–yes,
60, an openly gay member of the If we apply this same rationale she does smile!
johnh@dekalbchamp.com
Georgia General Assembly who to humans, the absurdity becomes When dog attacks occur—
proposed HB 331, would be among even more evident. According to the particularly if the dog is suspected
the first to object to discrimination Washington Post and the Federal of being a bully breed—the media
directed toward her, those she Included in HB 331’s proposed Bureau of Investigation, from jumps all over it because it garners
cares about or those who contribute list of breeds deemed to be 2004 to 2013, there were 1,051 viewers; however, it is rarely
to her campaign coffers. Yet, she is potentially “violent and aggressive” law enforcement officers killed revealed whether the victim was
proposing legislation that imposes are “a canine that is entirely or as a result of a criminal act; the antagonizing the animal in any way.
restrictions on owners and handlers partly of the American pit bull offenders were 52 percent White It is unfortunate that any person or
of dogs that may be considered terrier, American Staffordshire and 43 percent Black. other dog is injured by another dog,
by some as exhibiting “violent or terrier, American bully, Staffordshire If Waites rationale is applied but it happens and far too often the
aggressive behavior.” bull terrier, Doberman pinscher, to humans, would legislation be families and media blame it on the
Waites’ HB 331 reads in part: “to Rottweiler, German shepherd, needed to inform any person who breed–even if the dog may just bear
require the transfer of any dog to Chow chow, Husky, Great Dane, interacts with a White person that a remote resemblance to a breed
provide an informational document Akita, Boxer or Wolf hybrid breed”. they may be in danger. Of course, deemed potentially vicious.
including dog bite statistics as The above reference of “entirely not. Government can’t, and shouldn’t,
part of the transaction.” Rescue or partly” is as absurd as the old I’d like to know who is able attempt to protect the public from
organizations, shelters and/or “one drop rule” that was commonly to look at an individual dog and every possible danger. It is not
individuals would be required to observed in the early history of our accurately determine its genetic possible without discrimination
distribute government propaganda nation. Any person who had, or makeup. It is possible to determine being somehow involved.
regarding any dog that was adopted was assumed to have, one drop of a dog’s genetic makeup with a Waites should reconsider her
or purchased. African or Native American blood DNA test that normally costs in the obviously discriminatory proposal.
HB 331 would require owners of was considered non-White. $100 range, but its doubtful that There may be a lot of constituents
dogs that are considered by some Waites said in a release. “While county or city shelters can afford to in her district who have dogs that
as having potentially violent and I am committed to the passage of test each dog put up for adoption are entirely or partly one of the
aggressive behaviors to register comprehensive dangerous dog to determine whether it may be referenced breeds and she may
for special ownership permits and legislation, I am also interested “entirely or partly” one of the find herself voted out of office
would include language allowing in ensuring that responsible pet specific breeds. for discriminatory practices and
local municipalities and jurisdictions owners are not unfairly targeted, My dog, a rescue, that never legislation.
to increase fines and penalties and I do not think outlawing pit bulls meets a stranger and sleeps
related to dog attacks. is the correct course of action.” with a rescue cat is three-fourths
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 7

Don’t punish the victims
“We are arresting them. I’ve the crime of second-degree stock up” for their own safety. 
taken them out. I’ve taken them
out. I’ve taken them out. They
‘One Man’s carjacking, and carry with it
a felony-level conviction and
These entrepreneurs
understand that improving
come back and come back Opinion’ sentence of up to 20 years lighting and other similar
and come back,” said Fulton in prison. While lacking the measures will hopefully restore
County Police Chief Gary Stiles, Bill Crane violence typically associated their customers’ sense of
describing the repeat offender bill.csicrane@gmail.com with carjacking, this penalty security. 
juveniles who are plaguing significantly ups the ante for the Local law enforcement are
Atlanta and south Fulton County thug considering his/her next making cases and locking up
with “slider” crimes and auto sighted response, the Fulton “slider” crime.  the offenders; it is now the
thefts, primarily at gas stations County Commission passed A similar adjustment to responsibility of the juvenile
and convenience stores. an ordinance—by a margin of Georgia criminal statutes in 2013 court system, the Georgia
  one vote—aimed at requiring helped to significantly reduce juvenile justice code and our
You are pumping gas into convenience stores and gas the then flood of smash-and- State House to also pass SB 17
your car. Your proximity to your stations to hire 24-hour security, grab crimes plaguing southside and send on to the desk of Gov.
vehicle creates a false sense or risk the loss of their liquor retailers, jewelers and pawn Nathan Deal. 
of security. Before you know it, licenses. Stores that comply shop owners. By making smash- Without some additional help
you notice a young thief sliding and hire off-duty, post-certified and-grab a felony crime, coupled here, only the crime and those
into your car from the passenger police officers for 24-hours a with stronger enforcement, community victims will continue
side, grabbing your wallet, day, seven days a week, will on there was soon a massive drop- to be penalized
mobile phone or laptop—and average be shelling out more off in this type of crime. This
then quickly hopping into a than $300,000 on security per is punishing the offender, or  
getaway vehicle, another stolen year.   potentially future career criminal Bill Crane also serves as a
car. Or worse, you leave the  The industry is composed and wrong-doer, and not the political analyst and commentator
keys in your car, or the engine of independent store owners, victims of these crimes. for Channel 2’s Action News,
running, while you pump gas, petroleum company owned- ARA members and other WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and
the thief locks you out and stores, oil jobber (fuel convenience store operators now 95.5 FM, as well as a
speeds away in your car. wholesalers) stores and a are in the process of improving columnist for The Champion,
 These nightmares have growing number of retailers window signage and visibility Champion Free Press and
become a regular occurrence such as RaceTrac, QuikTrip between the store clerk and Georgia Trend. Crane is a
across areas of south and Circle K, as well as large pumps, adding security cameras DeKalb native and business
Fulton county and Atlanta’s grocer-retailers such as Kroger, and enhanced surveillance owner, living in Scottdale. You
southside. Though not limited Walmart and Costco.  equipment, and deploying pump can reach him or comment on a
to the southern crescent, One of the larger players in signage reminding customers column at bill.csicrane@gmail.
“slider crimes” have reached the industry in metro Atlanta is to “Lock up, fuel up and then com.
a near-epidemic level. Area the Atlanta Retailer Association
residents have become fearful of (ARA), a trade association of
pumping gas at gas stations and more than 1,000 independently
convenience stores. owned and operated, primarily
High-profile auto thefts family-managed small business
of Fulton County Judge Marvin locations.
Arrington’s and Queen  Adding a $300,000 line-item
Latifah’s vehicles added to the to the bottom line of most small
notoriety of the crimes, but the family businesses will end up
area has been plagued by these putting that enterprise out of
generally non-violent, gang- business. Though ARA members
related thefts for nearly a year.   and other convenience stores
 Fulton County Chairman and gas station operators pay
John Eaves and Stiles indicated millions in motor fuel taxes, sales
that 22 individuals between taxes and taxes on cigarettes,
the ages of 15 and 17 are beer and wine, they are being, in
committing the bulk of these effect, treated as second-class
crimes, and the majority of the citizens.
offenses are taking place at  A south Fulton legislator is
roughly half a dozen locations. sponsoring Georgia Senate Bill
 Yet strangely, in a short- 17 (SB 17), which will create

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
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views. Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain Send email to Johnh@dekalbchamp.com desire to make the news only to
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LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 8

The ArtLot is officially open
Avondale Estates holds ribbon-cutting Avondale Estates and South City Partners held a groundbreaking ceremony
for the Sams Crossing development. Photos by Carla Parker

ceremony for The ArtLot
City officials, developer
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
into a pop-up art park where
residents and visitors can
Day,” when adults and children
played various board games. break ground for Sams
Crossing development
explore a “creative experience” “Last Saturday’s event was
that would include sculptures the kickoff for many Saturday
Although The ArtLot has and visual art installations, [events] ahead through
been open since October 2016, green walls and a performance October,” Singh said. “We hope
Avondale Estates officials space. It also could be used for to have something going on
and art enthusiasts cut a big other activities. every Saturday…whether it’s by Carla Parker
red ribbon to celebrate the Jen Singh, president of the live painting, performances, carla@dekalbchamp.com
completion of the city’s newest Avondale Arts Alliance and just having fun.”
attraction. project manager for the ArtLot The Avondale Arts Alliance Avondale Estates officials, the city’s Downtown
The city held the ribbon- project, said she and the other is gearing up for the rail art Development Authority and associates from South City
cutting ceremony March 9. alliance members are excited district studio cruise in April Partners gathered March 10 to break ground on the Sams
The ArtLot was an idea beyond belief. and The ArtLot will have Crossing development.
formed by the Avondale “It is exactly what we performances every hour. The multi-use development, which will be built on 3.17
Arts Alliance, residents envisioned for the most part “So, that’ll probably be our acres, will feature approximately 8,000 square feet of retail/
and businesses to create a and we’re excited to get it biggest day,” Singh said. “It’s restaurant space on the ground floor, approximately 197
temporary city park. The programed,” Singh said. going to be very fluid. The residential units in four stories above, a gateway park—which
concept of The ArtLot is to The ArtLot had one idea of this space is for it to will preserve the mature trees—a rear parking deck with
take unused land and turn it program on March 4, “Game spontaneously unfold.” additional on-street parking, sidewalks and trees.
A week after Avondale Estates officials announced Jan.
11 that South City Partners closed on the property at Sams
Crossing and East College Avenue, construction crews began
work to build the future development.
After months of working with South City Partners to
DORAVILLE Continued From Page 1A design the project to everyone’s liking, Mayor Jonathan
Elmore said it is awesome to see it finally being built.
“This is the first big development we’ve had I think since
Pittman said. “The alternative Naser in favor of denying and taxes residents to pay lawyers anybody can remember,” Elmore said. “I honestly think it
is another car place, and we council members Patrick and to fight lawsuits made by represents the turning point in Avondale’s history. I hope this
have plenty of car places Fleming opposing. residents. is the first of many to come. It’s pretty exciting. South City
here. Citizens have asked As he was leaving, Cho The denial marks the Partners have been great to work with.”
for different businesses. said he would see city second in as many months by A thrift shop, restaurant and auto shop that were
Environmental stuff is not part representatives in court. Doraville City Council. previously on the land were demolished to construct the
of this zoning issue. You can “Every year this [council] On Feb. 7, council also development. The project is a part of the city’s efforts to
ask questions, but it should not has pressures to reduce the denied Michael Usuriaga’s redevelop its central business district and the city. The
be a part of your decision.” millage rate and we can’t Next Door Relocators—a property is within the Western Gateway area from Maple
O’Connor also said balance a budget if we don’t moving and storage company Street to Sams Crossing, which was annexed into the city.
Longmire Way is too small have businesses to make up composed of four trucks and Elmore said the big aspect of the project is the new
of a road to accommodate the difference [for] revenue 10 employees—was denied a residents it will bring into the city.
incoming traffic due to the necessary to operate the conditional use permit at 3613 “It’ll probably bring a lot of younger, single residents that
proximity to a nearby Zaxby’s government—police officers, and 3615 Clearview Place due will hopefully start to use our businesses more, especially on
restaurant and the Buford librarians, city staff,” Patrick to its proximity to a future this side of the road in our central business district,” he said.
Highway Farmer’s Market. said on March 6. “We can’t hotel and neighborhoods. “I think the impact is just having people living in the central
The application was denied populate the city with ice business district.”
2-3 with council members cream shops. The project is expected to be completed in 18 months.
O’Connor, Spangler and M.D. Patrick joked that Doraville
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 9

Blue Breeze Cards
must be replaced
with Silver Cards!

Improvements coming
After March 31, 2017
to Friendship Forest Blue Breeze cards cannot be reloaded.
Clarkston’s Urban Redevelopment After July 9, 2017
Agency outlines $161,942 in Blue Breeze cards will not be accepted.
purchases, remains contested

by R. Scott Belzer Avoid losing any trips or value still loaded on
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com your Blue Breeze card: Use all remaining trips or
value on your Blue card before July 9, 2017.
Clarkston’s newly established Urban Redevelopment Agency
(URA) is planning to make its first three purchases, according to Purchase a new, secure Silver Breeze card for
information released in a meeting held March 7. $2.00 at any rail station vending machine, Ride Store
The URA outlined three contracts totaling almost $162,000
for hardscape design, wetland design and permitting, as well as or online at www.Breezecard.com.
vegetation removal and clearing services at Friendship Forest
Wildlife Sanctuary, located at 4399 East Ponce de Leon Ave.
“We sat down with the project manager and mapped out a
schedule of activities associated with delivering this project,” said
City Manager Keith Barker. “There are three things that need to
happen immediately.”
According to Barker and city attorney Stephen Quinn, the Go to www.itsmarta.com for FAQs or call
contracts will be reviewed for two weeks before being discussed MARTA’s Customer Service at 404-848-5000, M-F 8-5.
for approval during a special-called meeting of Clarkston City
Council on March 21.
An amount of $95,105 is planned for hardscape design, which
includes construction plans and specifications for two restrooms,
one pavilion, interpretive signage, boardwalks, a septic tank
and sewer line and a parking lot with lighting, according to city
documents.
Contracts were awarded to Hayes James & Associates, a civil
engineering firm based in Norcross. The firm was one of two

See Forest on Page 13A
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 10

Logans Law legislation withdrawn bill that I believed might help rates in DeKalb County.
by Horace Holloman in preventing future tragedies, “At Lifeline we believe
horace@dekalbchamp.com legislation that would simply that you should judge the dog
require dog bite statistics to be based on the dog’s action, not
Proposed legislation distributed upon purchasing or on the dog’s breed. Different
to protect people from adopting a new pet.” breeds have no reflection on
“potentially dangerous However, some who whether the dog is going to
animals” has been withdrawn opposed the legislation said be a nice dog or not,” Hirsch
by State Representative Keisha it unfairly targets certain said. “A lot of it has to do with
Waites. breeds. The breeds listed in whether the dog is cared for
March 3 Waites decided to HB 313 included American and socialized.”
withdraw her proposed House pit bull terrier, American According to 2016 U.S.
Bill 313, otherwise known as Staffordshire terrier, American dog bite statistics, 41 people
“Logan’s Law.” bully, Staffordshire bull were killed in dog attacks.
HB 313 proposed that terrier, Doberman pinscher, Of the 41 deaths, 71 percent
the Department of Public Rottweiler, German shepherd, were caused by pitbulls.
Health provide information chow chow, husky, Great Dane, The second deadliest dog
to customers considering Akita, boxer and wolf hybrid in 2016, based on statistics,
purchasing or adopting a Lifeline Animal Project spokesperson Karen Hirsch with 1-year-old shelter dog breeds. were labradors to which 10
Kojak at the DeKalb County Animal Shelter.
certain breeds of dog. According to reports, three percent of total deaths were
The information includes 6-year-old boy was killed in a take the necessary precautions dogs attacked the children attributed. American bulldogs
the reported number of dog attack in January. to ensure Sandi does not bite and were identified as a pitbull and Belgian malinois were
humans bitten by dogs, the Logan Braatz was on the or injure others,” Waites said in mix, border collie and one responsible for 12 percent
total medical costs related to way to school when he and two a statement after withdrawing dog whose breed could not be of total dog attack deaths in
injuries caused by dogs in the other students were attacked HB 313. “Unfortunately, identified. 2016. In 2016 two dog breeds
United States and the total by three dogs. my community has suffered Karen Hirsch, each contributed to one death,
amount of damages awarded “I am an avid animal lover several tragedies as a result spokesperson for the Lifeline including an Australian cattle
to victims of dog bites or dog and proud dog owner, and of irresponsible dog owners, Animal Shelter which controls dog and shar pei.
attacks in the United States. my pet Chow Chow Sandi and we recently lost a little shelters in Avondale Estates “Studies have proven that
Waites, who covers Atlanta is a beloved family member. boy, Logan, to a violent fatal and DeKalb County, said the one factor they found in
and parts of DeKalb County, However, I understand that as dog mauling. In the wake of the legislation would have dog bites and fatalities was that
proposed the legislation after a a responsible pet owner, I must Logan’s death, I introduced a negatively affected adoption
See Law on Page 13A

dek parks and rec
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 11

WEEKinPICTURES

The Arabia Mountain High School football program had seven players to sign letters of intent to their respective colleges on
March 8. Photo by Carla Parker

Members of Seniors on the Go at Clarkston Community Center take part in decorating boxes on March 8. Photo submitted. The Old Town Tucker Merchants Association hosted its 4th Annual Tucker
Chili Cook-Off. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Students from Cross Keys High School talk to representatives from Chamblee
Police Department on March 9 during a career fair. Photo submitted. Students at Panola Way Elementary School were treated to a State Farm HERO demonstration on March 8 as part of
the school’s Career Day event. 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, March 17, 2017 • Page 12

Everyone’s welcome, but may not feel comfortable
Best friends open church catering to women
said Wilcox. Hill said, laughing. “But it’s
by Horace Holloman “We just talked about how mostly women and women who
horace@dekalbchamp.com we both grew up in churches identify as queer or bisexual.
that didn’t have women Instead of being a safe place,
Best friends and co- pastors,” Wilcox said. “We both or offering a safe place, we are
pastors of the Church of Mary felt a call to ministry, but we them. Our focus is on queer
Magdalene admit that their still struggled finding jobs and women.”
newly created Decatur-based finding our place. We’re both Both founders of the
church isn’t everyone’s cup of pretty outspoken and we had a Church of Mary Magdalene
tea. hard time finding a place being grew up with strong religious
In fact, Hannah Hill and ourselves.” ties. Wilcox, born and reared
Ashley Wilcox—founders Wilcox said she had a dream in Alaska, grew up as a Quaker
of the Church of Mary where she preached to women while Hill, a Texas native, grew
Magdalene—said everyone is and from that dream the two up with a Southern Baptist
welcome at the church, but not started the Church of Mary minister father. Hill describes Best friends Hannah Hill and Ashley Wilcox created the Church of Mary Magda-
everyone will feel comfortable. Magdalene. herself as a rebel, and said she lene to give women a voice and place to speak.
The longtime friends “I wanted to have a place was surprised that her father
described the church as “a to preach,” Wilcox said. “It all came to her ordination. strong allies. For me, to create attending Candler School of
place where women preach” started really fast.” “He is a Trump-voting, ultra a safe space, it meant creating Theology.
and “a community where the Most of the congregation conservative,” Hill said. “I’m a place where not only do we Hill had an addiction to
voices of women, queer people is made up of women, some very aware that I would never preach, but women who attend drugs—she is now 10 years
and others on the margins are of whom are bisexual or be able to preach in his pulpit. our church are welcome to sober.
centered.” transgendered, said Hill. Both Not necessarily because he has preach as well.” “I didn’t have a career before
The church’s congregation, women said they are “queer,” a problem with it, but because Although Wilcox and Hill this. I just really liked drugs,”
which meets Wednesdays at which helps them relate to their the church wouldn’t respond are connected through the Hill said, laughing. “We both
7 p.m. at 701 West Howard congregation. well to it and he’s not willing church, both had different had two very different paths.
Avenue in Decatur, gives “There was one week where to take that step for me. It’s the paths getting there. Wilcox We didn’t think we would end
women and women in the the men outnumbered the realization that men, at least in had a career as a lawyer prior up doing this.”
LGBTQ community a home, women, which is odd for us,” my life, have never really been to leaving the profession and

D.A. presents new team to
prosecute officer charged with
murder
call of a naked man acting erraticly
by Horace Holloman outside of the complex. Hill, who
horace@dekalbchamp.com was unarmed, was shot by Olsen.
Hill’s family said he suffered from
Sherry Boston, DeKalb mental health issues.
County’s newly elected district According to a release from the
attorney, has assembled a new DA’s office, Boston introduced the
team of attorneys to prosecute team to the Hill’s family during a
the case against former DeKalb case briefing.
County Police Officer Robert Civil rights activist Amos
Olsen. King, a friend of the Hill family,
In January of 2016 Olsen, a said the family does not believe
Local news at its best!

OBJECTIVE
White police officer, was charged Olsen was acting in a racist manner
with two counts of felony murder, when he shot hill, however, they
aggravated assault, two counts of do believe a lack of training led to
violation of oath by public officer Hill’s death.

ACCURATE
and making a false statement, in “He just failed to do his job,
connection with the shooting death according to his training. [The Hill
of 27-year-old veteran Anthony family] is holding on to the due
Hill. process and we’re going to wait
Hill was killed during a police and see what happens,” King said.

OBJECTIVE BALANCED
encounter outside an apartment “This guy should be convicted,
complex on Chamblee Tucker according to the law, but you
Road on March 9, 2015. never know what will happen. The
The lead prosecutor in the case family is just waiting right now.”
will be Chief Assistant District The case is currently on appeal

ACCURATE $25/year
Attorney Pete Johnson. The team in the Georgia Supreme Court. fOR A LIMITED TIME GET 52 WEEKS OF HOME OR OFFICE
of prosecutors will also include DELIVERY FOR ONLY
“There’s nothing the family
Deputy Chief Assistant District can do but wait. People give them
Attorney Anna Cross, Deputy information so they have to go on

BALANCED
Chief Assistant District Attorney what the D.A.’s office calls and
Lance Cross, and Senior Assistant tells them,” King said. “They seem
District Attorney Buffy Thomas. upbeat about it and they realize it’s Call 404.373.7779 for details. TheChampionNewspaper.com
In 2015, Olsen responded to a a process.”
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 13

LAW Continued From Page 10A
the dog was not socialized. “I think it’s pretty
In 85 percent of the cases, unnecessary. I think the reason
the owner was considered a for the bill is people are afraid
reckless owner where they let of what they don’t understand,
the dog loose or didn’t get the which is typical throughout
dog fixed,” Hirsch said. “It’s human history,” Mathis said.
also really hard to tell what dog “To punish breeds for whatever
is a pitbull and what dog isn’t. reason, I don’t think that’s
They say that 1 percent of a justifiable.”
dog makes up its look. So the Mathis worked as a vet
dog could be 1 percent pitbull technician for five years. He
and 99 percent something else said he has never been bitten
but still look like a pitbull.” by a dog on the HB 313 list.
According to the CDC’s “Believe it or not, I’ve never
dog bite related fatalities, 92 been bitten by a dog that’s
percent of fatal dog attacks on that list. I’ve been bitten
involved male dogs, of which more by the toy breeds like
94 percent were not neutered. chihuahuas or pugs,” Mathis
Approximately 25 percent of said. “Animals are instinctive.
fatal dog attacks involved dogs They pretty much go off their
that were chained. instinct. I don’t think any dog
Richard Mathis, 30, owner is born vicious.”
of the Village Pets pet sitting Waites said she plans to Forty Oaks Nature Preserve in Clarkston—a 10-acre park featuring a farmhouse, drainage stream, organic
community garden, trails and access to Milam Park—was transferred to Clarkston ownership following an approved
and pet care, said he is often revisit legislation that would intergovernmental agreement on March 7. Photo by R. Scott Belzer
in possession of, or looks after, hold owners more accountable
dog breeds that were listed in for dog attacks.

Forty Oaks transferred to Clarkston
HB 313. For additional multi-media
He said the legislation coverage of this topic visit
unfairly targets certain breed thechampionnewspaper.com
owners.
Nature preserve now owned by city
FOREST Continued From Page 9A make sure we’re using it as the preserve also features
companies to solicit services contract for the removal of
by R. Scott Belzer a park and not trying to a rainwater harvesting
and requested $12,605 more invasive species along a paved sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com develop it for housing or irrigation system and offers
than TSW Planning, a firm trail path, pruning of trees, condominiums,” Barker said. access to nearby Milam Park,
based in Atlanta. removal of dead or diseased “We’ve been lobbying for also owned and operated by
“Staff negotiated the scope trees, removal of ivy on trees After being owned this for many years,” said Clarkston.
and fees with both firms,” state within a 40-foot work zone, by DeKalb County for councilman Dean Moore. According to Decton
city documents. “Although the hand removal of evasive species approximately 45 years, Forty “This is great.” Hylton, community
HJA fee is higher than TSW’s, in the wetlands area, and Oaks Nature Preserve has Clarkston City Council development manager for
HJA offered alternative design selective cleanup of park paths. been transferred to the city of considered Forty Oaks Nature Clarkston at Global Growers
concepts that will provide “There are a lot of dead Clarkston. Preserve as one of its main and a regular face at Forty
greater value to the city on this trees that just need to be taken The transfer of ownership projects when signing an Oaks, the organization has
project.” up,” Barker said. of the park, located at 3790 IGA with DeKalb County helped rid the property of
According to Barker, the Monroe-based Premier Tree Market Street, was requested in July. The IGA supported invasive plants such as kudzu
greater value is “a greater & Shrub Care is expected to by Clarkston mayor Ted Terry an extension of the special- by expanding community
understanding of the project.” be awarded the contract. The and city council members, purpose local option sales tax gardens and clearing land.
“They sent an architect and company submitted the lowest according to city manager (SPLOST) worth one penny on “We are using raised beds,”
walked down into the area, bid of three. Keith Barker. the dollar and directed cities to Hylton said. “All of this was
whereas TSW did not,” Barker Councilman Awet Eyasu “The mayor and various include projects they wished to invasive. We took it out and
said. “They gave us some really said the contract would members of city council have have worked on—Forty Oaks transformed it into this oasis.”
good construction and design be approved as long as the been lobbying for DeKalb among them. Hylton said the farmhouse
ideas, especially with regards to company chosen is confirmed County government to According to its deed— has fallen into slight disrepair
the pavilion.” as environmentally conscious. consider transferring Forty dated Dec. 28, 1972—DeKalb because it has not been used.
A contract for $30,775 was The URA was established as Oaks Nature Preserve back County acquired Forty Oaks The gutters are growing their
discussed with Environs Design a governing agency on Feb. 7 to to the city of Clarkston,” Nature Preserve for $10 from own species of plants because
Studio for wetlands design and obtain funding for Clarkston’s Barker said. “We’re happy Hazel Sutton approximately they have not been cleaned out
permitting, which includes Friendship Forest Wildlife to announce that the 45 years ago. The property is a and panels are falling off the
soil analysis, construction Sanctuary. Under Georgia DeKalb County board of 10-acre site featuring trails, a roof.
and mapping plans, state and law, cities have the ability to commissioners approved an small bog, a drainage stream, “It’s starting to deteriorate
federal permitting, as well as create URAs for the purpose [intergovernmental agreement a farmhouse and an organic where water overflows because
graphics. of rehabilitation, conservation (IGA)] at their meeting on community garden. the gutters are blocked up with
“There are grant and redevelopment in the Feb. 28, 2017.” Community activists see leaves,” Hylton said. “Buildings
opportunities out there with interest of public health, Barker said stipulations the transfer of ownership as an are like living beings. If they’re
DeKalb County, and one of the safety, morality and welfare of included in the IGA require opportunity to provide a sense closed up and there’s no one in
things we’ve asked this firm to residents. that maintenance is provided of community in Clarkston. it, it deteriorates much faster
do is to help us with scope and Clarkston City Council by Clarkston city employees, Global Growers, a than if people are there to
graphics,” Barker said. “ approved the establishment of that the park welcomes all nonprofit focusing on utilize it. It’s pristine inside.”
Environs, a design firm its URA on Dec. 6, 2016. By DeKalb County residents and connecting new Americans Hylton said he hopes
based in Madison, was granted Feb. 7, city council approved a that Clarkston not sell the with local farms, operates a Global Growers negotiates
the contract over Hayes James $1.35 million bond issuance to property. quarter-acre garden known with Clarkston to utilize the
& Associates, whose bid is the agency. On the same date, If the park is ever deemed as Clarkston International building and transform it into
$1,160 more than the amount the URA obtained ownership no longer suitable as a park, Garden at Forty Oaks a multi-purpose building for
budgeted for wetland design of the property. according to Barker, DeKalb with plots for 35 families. the community.
and permitting services. County will retain ownership. According to the organization,
The URA outlined a $36,862 “[The county] wants to
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 14

Dunwoody, Chamblee officials
endorse Slotin for Congress
by R. Scott Belzer at the March 6 Doraville City
Council meeting to engage
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com with 6th Congressional District
constituents.
One of five Democrats “There’s 18 people running
in the race for Georgia’s 6th for this seat—what the experts
Congressional District has don’t know is that if I can get
landed two endorsements my relatives to come out and
directly from DeKalb County. vote, I should make the runoff,”
On March 7, candidate and Slotin joked. “One thing I’ve
former state senator Ron Slotin learned from the State Senate
announced he has received is to work across party aisles
endorsements from Dunwoody and work with congressmen
councilwoman Lynn from all over the state. There’s
Deutsch as well as Chamblee
councilwoman Leslie Robson. Georgia 6th Congressional District
too much fighting, bickering
and gridlock in Washington.
Brookhaven grants
MARTA’s request to withdraw
Slotin was elected to the Democrat candidate Ron Slotin has
picked up two local endorsements for We need to put the needs of the
Georgia State Senate at the his campaign to fill a seat vacated by district first.”
rezoning applications
age of 29 in 1993 to represent Tom Price. Photo submitted. Slotin has been cited by
Georgia’s 39th District. The local and national publications
district spans from southwest to as the main Democratic
north Atlanta and encompasses about [district] families and the competition for Jon Ossoff, by Carla Parker
several neighborhoods. future of our country.” who has received endorsements carla@dekalbchamp.com
While in office, he supported “I’m tired of the chaos in from political action
the founding of the HOPE Washington!” Robson said. “We committees (PACs) as well as Four weeks after MARTA the inception of the public
Scholarship, which awards need thoughtful, experienced congressmen John Lewis and canceled the agreement solicitation process, which
funds to Georgia students. leadership coming from the Hank Johnson. for the Transit Oriented afforded the city adequate
Slotin, a Sandy Springs 6th Congressional District that The pair have much Development (TOD) project time to coordinate with the
resident, currently works for will put our priorities ahead of work to do in a field of 18 for the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe various stakeholders and
BrightWell Talent, an executive personal political ambition.” candidates and a district station, the transit system establish city required policies
search firm based in Atlanta. Slotin said Deutsch and that has been represented by requested to have the rezoning and procedures. MARTA
Deutsch touted Slotin’s Robson are now part of a Republicans since 1978. Former applications withdrawn. appreciates the time and effort
experience in working across “transformative team” focused congressman Tom Price was The Brookhaven City invested by the community in
party lines as reason for on working for the district. the last to represent the district Council voted Feb. 28 to planning for Brookhaven TOD
endorsement. “We are working in until his confirmation as U.S. approve MARTA’s request. Project.”
“I am proud to stand with the trenches, building our secretary of health and human “The city is appreciative Ernst said more work
Ron Slotin,” Deutsch said in a campaign from the ground services in February. of the tremendous amount was needed to make the
release. “He understands the up with people who actually A special election for the of work that MARTA has put development a “true city
needs of our communities; live and serve in the 6th 6th Congressional District— into this project,” Brookhaven center.”
he has an established record Congressional District,” Slotin which includes parts of Mayor John Ernst said. “We’re sorry that we had
of working collaboratively in said. “[Deutsch] and [Robson] Fulton and Cobb counties “However, the MARTA TOD to stop negotiations on the
the state senate to get results, are the ones taking calls from in addition to Dunwoody, needs to function as the financing of this project,” Ernst
including helping to pass the their constituents, meeting with Doraville, Chamblee, Tucker residents of Brookhaven wish, said. “The developer’s asks kept
Hope Scholarships. I also think residents to solve problems and Brookhaven—will take and much more work is needed growing and the guarantees on
he is the Democratic candidate and working daily to make place on April 18. If no to make that happen. We look delivery kept shrinking. But
best suited to make things Dunwoody and Chamblee candidate receives at least 50 forward to partnering with we look forward to a public/
happen in Washington.” a better place. [They] are percent of the vote, a runoff MARTA on an innovative private partnership that has
Robson praised Slotin’s phenomenal women and I’m election between the top two project that achieves a world- more private dollars than
track record of getting results proud to have their support.” candidates, regardless of party class city center.” public.”
for constituents. She said she DeKalb County seems affiliation, will take place on On Feb. 2, the MARTA MARTA originally
has seen Slotin working in the to be a high priority for June 20. board of directors voted to pull proposed a mixed-use
district and that he “truly cares the Democratic candidate. the contract and discontinue development for the station
Slotin made an appearance work on the TOD project with residential space of 680-
following Ernst’s order for 700 apartments; 40,000 to
the city’s staff to suspend 60,000 square feet of retail
all work on a tax incentive space; 120,000 to 400,000
request made by Brookhaven square feet of office space;
City Center Partners as part 10,000 to 40,000 square feet of
of the proposed TOD project. civic space and a community
MARTA officials said the green transit plaza.

There is a U in bullying
Ernst’s order showed the After several meetings
need for further delays on the with residents who voiced
project. concerns of traffic, building
“The city has been working density, a parking deck, lack
on this project for years and of a gathering space and more,
has had multiple opportunities MARTA submitted a revised

STOPBULLYING.GOV
to ensure that the Brookhaven plan that featured 507 housing
TOD project provides a city units, 200,000 square feet of
center perspective,” MARTA office space, more than 55,000
said. “Furthermore, the square feet of restaurant and
need for public financing to retail space and a hotel with
support the project has been 125 rooms.
communicated to the city since
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 15

Park receives
grants to expand,
improve trails
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

Henderson Park trails will
soon get an upgrade.
Friends of Henderson Park
announced March 8 that the
group secured grants totaling
$62,384 to fund the expansion
and improvement of the trails
in the park, located in Tucker.
Atlanta Park Pride’s board of
director approved a community
building grant funded by the
Home Depot Foundation in
the amount of $20,384. DeKalb
County matched those funds
with a $40,000 grant.
Cara Schroeder of Friends
of Henderson Park thanked
Park Pride, Home Depot and
The Towers Action Group will be hosting a “Take Back Your Community” event March 28 to raise awareness about sex trafficking in the DeKalb for the funds.
community. Photo by Towers Action Group “The current trails within

Community event to discuss sex
the 121-acre park are over 20
years old and many sections
have been affected by erosion,
tree roots and wear and tear,”

trafficking issues in DeKalb County
Schroeder said in a statement.
“We will use the grants to
design new eco-friendly trails,
rehabilitate the existing White
Trail, add directional signage
“Sex trafficking is a trillion- and install pet waste-stations
by Horace Holloman dollar industry,” Darden said. for dog-walkers.”
horace@dekalbchamp.com “I see so much solicitation in The group said design work
the area. Our goal is to make on the new trails will begin
It’s a moment that longtime people more knowledgeable. immediately with construction
DeKalb County resident Iris It’s everywhere. I call the police to follow later this year. It
Darden will never forget. all the time if I see something will hold volunteer work days
Roughly three years ago, near that doesn’t look right.” throughout this year to facilitate
a hotel off Covington Highway, During the community the project.
Darden noticed a young event, North Central Precinct “Not only do we welcome
woman running to her— officers, Tapestri Inc. officials, hands-on involvement,
naked. and a DeKalb County Police but there are also naming
The girl approached Department detective are opportunities for individuals,
Darden’s car. The young scheduled to give presentations couples or families who
woman reportedly was held and answer questions from would like to make a financial
captive for eight months as attendees. Iris Darden, chairperson of TAG, stands with TAG’s secretary contribution to Henderson
Victoria Anglin and treasurer Beverly Hall. Park,” Schroeder said.
part of a sex trafficking ring in TAG is also partnering with
DeKalb County. conviction since its formation Friends of Henderson Park
Partners in Action for Healthy Action Group has put a mark
“It shook me to my core and when a Lithonia man was works to maintain and improve
Living Inc. and The DeKalb to let everyone know we care.”
it still shakes me,” said Darden. sentenced to life in jail for the park.
County JAG Committee.
“It could have been my child his involvement in the sex
Darden said the group has
or one of my grandchildren. It trafficking of two girls—both
passed out nearly 3,500 flyers DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
shakes me to the point where 16 years old.
about the event.
I wish I could just take all the Darden said TAG is
“We want to get everyone PUBLIC BUDGET INPUT MEETING
[victims] home with me. We committed to community
involved. We’re going to FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2018
need to let these young men involvement. This year TAG
churches and we want to touch
and women know there’s a hosted a Beautification Day
somebody. Somebody will walk
better way.” at Bethune Middle School. In Monday, March 20, 2017
away knowing that they can
Because of so many 2016 the group hosted a back
get help if they need it,” said
incidents involving teens, to school expo at Peachcrest TIME LOCATION
Darden.
Darden said she, along Elementary to provide dental 5:30 p.m. J. David Williamson Board Room
The county has worked
with Victoria Anglin and and health screenings and Robert R. Freeman Administrative Complex
to address issues related to
Beverly Hall, is committed school supplies. 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard
sex trafficking in the past few
to informing the community “These are all our babies,” Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083
years. In September of 2016,
about the dangers of sex Darden said. “All the kids
the DeKalb County board of
trafficking in DeKalb County. know me or Victoria [Anglin] The DeKalb County Board of Education will hold a public budget
commissioners declared a day
The Towers Action Group or Miss [Beverly] Hall. We input meeting to solicit feedback from the public regarding the
for sex trafficking awareness.  
(TAG) plans to host a “Take want to make sure that they are 2017-2018 school system’s budget.
DeKalb County also created
Back Your Community” public safe. We are just three women
an Anti-Trafficking and
safety event March 28 at that believe in our community.
Exploitation Watch unit last FOR INFORMATION, CALL THE OFFICE OF THE

Bethune Middle School from No matter what they say about CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AT 678-676-0069.
year. The unit got its longest
6:30 to 8:30 p.m. south DeKalb County, Towers
BUSINESS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 16

James Maggard, who with his partner Jason Hylton owns several area restaurants, decided the Pallookaville concept was The building at Avondale and North Clarendon roads houses Pallookaville’s first
too good to pass into restaurant history. bricks-and-mortar restaurant.

The food truck that started it all is still in operation. Although there have been some changes in the décor, much of the cartoon An old poster reflects the restaurant’s circus
art remains. theme.

New owners rescue and revamp Pallookaville
by Kathy Mitchell health conscience items such as salads, grilled dishes doors opening to a patio to allow outside dining when
and vegetarian fare,” Maggard said, adding that the weather permits. The 2,000-square-foot space
It appeared briefly that one of the Decatur/ the old favorites such as fries prepared a variety upstairs, available for private events, is the meeting
Avondale Estates area’s most distinctive eateries was of ways—including with pimento, veal gravy or place for a dart league on Monday evenings.
about to close its doors. The owner of Pallookaville jalapenos—and the iconic corndogs are still there. The name, however, remains. One definition of
in the heart of Avondale Estates decided last year he “The milkshakes are big favorites, too,” he added. the slang word “pallooka” (also spelled palooka) is
wanted to let the lease on the building at Avondale “They’re handspun and we make them with real an ordinary guy with no pretense about him, Maggard
and North Clarendon roads expire so he could focus ice cream and in some creative flavors.” In addition pointed out. “That’s who we appeal to with everyday
on other interests. to the usual vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, grub done very well,” he said.
Fortunately for Pallookaville fans, restaurateurs milkshakes are available in such flavors as Mexi “We want Pallookaville to be more than a
James Maggard and Jason Hylton, who own other hot chocolate, which includes cumin and a dash of novelty destination; we want people in Decatur
dining establishment in the Atlanta area, felt it was cayenne and chili power. There are also cinnamon and Avondale Estates to think of it as a regular
too special a place to pass into restaurant history. toast crunch, which includes a bit of the cereal of the neighborhood hangout,” Maggard said. In the interest
“We’ve always loved the concept,” Maggard said same name as well as butterscotch, brown sugar and of promoting that image, the owners are adding
of the old-fashioned-circus-themed restaurant with cinnamon, and PB&J with peanut butter and fruit special Thursday evening entertainment. Comedian
carnival food but with beverages and other menu preserves. and drag personality Brent Star hosts adult bingo
items for adults as well as youngsters. The same shakes are available to adults as booze nights with a drag twist. The entertainment was tried
Pallookaville started out as a food cart with shakes with a shot of alcohol. The cinnamon toast over the holidays and Maggard pronounced it “an
specialty corndogs as the signature offering. Patrons crunch, for example, includes a shot of a cinnamon entertainment home run.”
were attracted to such variations on the standard whisky called Fireball. The restaurant’s busiest times are weekends and
corndog as Corndogski with a Polish kielbasa, Pallookaville also offers custom syrup sodas in evenings, Maggard said, describing the weekday
Cornoleon with Italian sausage and Fryinstein the more than 25 flavors any one of which is available lunch traffic as “a steady ebb and flow.”
Monster with beef, Polish and Italian sausages. After with a cream shot, making it a cream soda. “We’re right down the street from the Avondale
the mobile eatery got national television exposure “We wanted to stir some nostalgia for the soda Municipal buildings and lots of employees come
when it was featured on The Tonight Show, its fountains customers may remember from their here. We’re hoping more will come and try us,” he
popularity led to the bricks-and-mortar restaurant childhood, but with an updated twist—old style said, noting that the city has been accommodating
in Avondale Estates with an expanded menu that mixed with the new,” Maggard said. in allowing overflow traffic to park on city-owned
included deli sandwiches, chili, chicken wings and Some changes have been made to the décor, but property.
other offering—and a bar. the old-timey signs and cartoons are still around and Maggard said Pallookaville remains rooted in the
With the new owners the menu has again been the televisions still run such classic comedy as the community and regularly sponsors community and
expanded. “We added burgers as well as some more Three Stooges and Albert and Costello. Also new are charity events.
CLASSIFIED DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 17

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SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 18

Buford’s Tory Ozment (No. 1) scored 18 points and played tight defense in Buford’s 60-42 win over Southwest DeKalb in the Class AAAAA state title game. Photos by Travis
Hudgons

BUFORD’S DEFENSE STIFLES SWD
SWD girls fall to Buford in Class 5A title game
by Carla Parker her players that she is still proud of what Southwest DeKalb turned the ball over from the field, but was 0-for-6 from the
they accomplished this season. 18 times and Buford scored 25 points three-point arch. Buford had no trouble
carla@dekalbchamp.com “A lot of teams would have loved off those turnovers. The Lady Panthers hitting three-pointers, hitting 47.1
The Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers to be in this position,” she said. only scored six points off Buford’s 12 percent of their three’s. Walton said they
could not get past Buford’s full-court “Unfortunately, we waited until this turnovers. tried everything defensively to contain
press defense and were unsuccessful in game to not play well, to not play our Walton said her team knew Buford Buford’s three-point shooting.
defending their state title. best and it’s not one of those games you was going to play the full-court press “We tried several defenses but again
The Buford Lady Wolves defeated want to lose but sometimes you learn defense. we just didn’t execute our game plan,”
Southwest DeKalb 60-42 in the Class more from a loss than you do from a “We knew it. They have played that she said.
AAAAA championship game March 8 win. As the seniors move forward to press all year long,” she said. “We saw Senior Ogheneruona Uwusiaba led
at the Stegeman Coliseum in Athens. the next level, when the returners come three to four tapes on the press, but I Southwest DeKalb with a double-double
The Lady Panthers are now 5-3 in back [this] will be a lesson learned and think each one of [the players] didn’t of 16 points and 16 rebounds. Senior
championship games in program history let’s not let this situation repeat itself.” have the confidence to execute what we Jada Walton scored 13 points and had
under coach Kathy Walton. The Lady Panthers struggled had worked on.” six rebounds.
Despite the loss, Walton said she told from tipoff against Buford’s defense. The Lady Panthers shot 41.9 percent

St. Pius’ comeback falls short
by Carla Parker point shooting, which was 3-5
carla@dekalbchamp.com from the three-point arch.
Upson-Lee extended its
Down by as many as 15 lead by nine early in the fourth
points, the St. Pius X Golden quarter on a layup by Michael
Lions fought their way back to Smith, who was fouled and
a three-point deficit with 26 made the following free throw.
seconds left to play. However, a jumper by Brian
However, their comeback Gonzalo and a three-pointer
attempt fell short and St. Pius by Lane brought the Lions
lost to Upson-Lee 53-48 in the within four points of the lead.
Class AAAA title game March With two minutes left in the
10 at the McCamish Pavilion at game, Upson-Lee gained an
Georgia Tech. eight-point lead on a jumper
St. Pius struggled by Tavias Fagan. Lane cut the
offensively in the first half, lead to five after another three-
shooting 32.7 percent from pointer with 1:11 left to play. The St. Pius X Golden Lions receive the runner-up trophy after losing to Upson-Lee 53-48 in the Class
AAAA title game.
the field. The Lions were 4-23 A driving layup by Lane with
from the field in the first half, 57 second left in the game cut
2-10 from the three-point arch Upson-Lee’s lead to three. by Travon Walker, who was 29 points, and he had five with seven points and five
and only scored 14 points. The After a timeout called by then fouled by Lane and rebounds. Seramur finished rebounds.
team’s leading scorer, Everett Upson-Lee, Fagan extended Walker made both of his free
Lane, scored six points in the the lead to five, but a layup by throws, extending the lead
first half. Matthew Gonzalo brought to 52-45. A three-pointer by
CORRECTION
Lane woke up in the the Lions within three points. Carson Seramur cut the score An article in the Feb. 9 edition on The Champion and
second half, scoring 23 of his Upson-Lee begin to pull away to 52-48 with two seconds left the Feb. 10 edition of The Champion Free Press had the
29 total points. Down 27-14 as time wound down with in the game, but time ran out incorrect headline. The headline “Marist girls, St. Pius X boys
at halftime, the Golden Lions free throw shooting and good on the Lions during their quest win swim and dive state titles” should have read “Youth
worked their way to a six-point defense. for a comeback. swim team finishes top 5 at swim meets.” We apologize for
deficit at the end of the third With 18 seconds left, Lane was the only Lion to the mistake.
quarter behind Lane’s three- Gonzalo’s jumper was blocked finish in double figures with
SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 19

Greenforest players celebrate with the trophy. Photos by Ty Freeman

Abayomi Lyiola kisses the championship trophy

MISSION COMPLETE
Justin Forrest led the team with 36 points Jandan Duggan goes up for a layup.

Greenforest cruises to second consecutive state title
by Carla Parker a good group of kids that come together “You expect for it to be back-and- and how tough he is,” Thompson said.
carla@dekalbchamp.com for the same common goal, and to forth,” Thompson said. “Both teams “I can’t wait to see him on the next level
see them do it two years in a row—I competed hard all year long to get to and flourish like he did tonight.”
A 24-10 third quarter run was couldn’t be more proud of them.” this point and I didn’t think anyone Senior guard Jandan Duggan was
the turning point for the Greenforest The Eagles went into halftime with a would lay down in the beginning of the second in team scoring with 14 points
Eagles as they cruised to a 81-57 win nine-point lead over the scrappy SACA game. I knew it would be one of those and he led the team in assists (three).
over Southwest Atlanta Christian in the Warriors, but Greenforest pulled away things where everybody would come The senior class scored a combined 74
Class A-Private state title game March in the third quarter with sound defense. out and compete.” points in the game. Thompson said the
10. The Eagles forced nine turnovers and Senior guard Justin Forrest led the senior class was the backbone of this
This is the second consecutive title out-rebounded the Warriors 16-8. team with 36 points. Thompson praised team.
for the Eagles and third in five seasons. Greenforest scored nine points off Forrest for his perseverance this season “They’re the reason why we have
Head coach Larry Thompson said turnovers and eight second-chance after suffering an injury early in the [back-to-back] championships,”
winning this title is the reason this team points in the third quarter. Thompson season. Thompson said. “Without them there
comes together and works hard. said the back and forth between the “To bounce back the way he did and wouldn’t be any of us. Great class, great
That’s what we come together for, teams in the first half is what’s expected have the performance that he had today group and I can’t wait to see those guys
what we compete for and this is what in a championship game. [is] a testament to that kid’s character on the next level.”
it’s all about,” Thompson said. “Getting
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 17, 2017 • Page 20

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