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the DeKalb FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017 • VOL. 19, NO. 50 • 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

Several Stone Mountain residents
want a dog park to return to the city
after Red Dog Park was shut down.
Photo by Donna Seay

“Future officer” Oliver Knowles sits in the lap of Officer Kersey during his Oliver Knowles has become a regular visitor at A dog’s
place
visit. the Decatur Police Department and recently met

Playing police
with Chief of Police Mike Booker March 16.

Stone Mountain council
begins discussion on
Decatur boy brings smiles to local police department new dog park location
by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
The job of a police officer
isn’t an easy one. At times Red Dog Park in Stone
facing criticism, the profession Mountain has been closed
can be stressful as well as life- since 2011 but there are
threatening. citizens who are willing to help
However, one 4-year-old bring it back.
Decatur boy helped lighten The Stone Mountain City
the mood of a local precinct by Council discussed the future
bringing smiles to officers at the of the dog park at its March
Decatur Police Department. 7 regular meeting. The park,
Oliver Knowles, known by which was located at 5392
the Decatur Police Department as Third Street, was closed in
“future officer Oliver,” recently met December 2011 following
with officers and Decatur Police complaints from residents who
Chief Mike Booker. Oliver has Oliver Knowles takes a photo with Sgt. Nembheard and Officer Alexander. live the park.
his own custom police uniform, Public Works Director Jim
complete with his name “officer Tavenner said the complaints
Oliver” stitched on the front. “He’s getting to know the officers responded with a picture of her varied from parking to noise.
What started out as a nice as people and what the job of a son in his custom uniform riding “There were complaints
gesture has turned to love and police officer is all about.” a toy police motorcycle with the about parking issues down
admiration for Oliver, said a It all started on social message “I know someone who there. It’s kind of a residential
Decatur Police spokesperson. media during the department’s would love to join the force, but area and the streets are
“I was very excited to have recruitment process. In January, there’s one tiny problem-he’s very narrow,” Tavenner said.
him come. I was out on medical the department posted on its 4. But keep him in mind for one “The times that people were
[leave] when he came by the Facebook page asking if anyone day. He’d love to come to the going into the dog park [were]
first time and I really wanted to was interested in joining the station and visit, if you guys another issue. Some were
see him this time,” said Booker, Decatur Police Department. allow that sort of thing.” getting there early in the
who met Oliver on March 17. Oliver’s mother Jill Knowles
See Oliver on page 5 See Dog Park on page 5

Visit www.championnewspaper.com for local, real DeKalb County news. @DeKalbChampNews
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 2

A different complexion
DeKalb County Online Judicial System classifies Asian man’s skin as ‘yellow’

by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

Merriam-Webster
dictionary defines complexion
in four different ways.
One definition is “the
combination of the hot, cold,
moist, and dry qualities
held in medieval physiology
to determine the quality
of a body.” A second is “an
individual complex of ways of
thinking or feeling.” A third is
an “overall aspect or character.” John Cho mugshot.
The fourth is “the hue or
appearance of the skin and (driving under the influence),
especially of the face.” height (66 inches), weight (161
One DeKalb County pounds), race (Asian), hair
agency is using the last color (black) and eye color
DeKalb County Superior Court’s online judicial system, which lists inmates, refers to an Asian man as “yellow” in its com-
definition on its website, often (brown) are all listed online plexion description. Photos courtesy of DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.
toeing racial lines. through the county’s Online
On March 1, Dunwoody Judicial System (OJS) for
public viewing. reads “yellow.” America, the term “yellow” in a broad range of skin colors
resident John Cho was booked
One more characteristic is According to Asian to describe Asians is both and hues—to think otherwise
into DeKalb County jail for a
also listed on DeKalb County American blogger Koji offensive and racist. is ignorant,” Stevens said. “In
misdemeanor crime. As with
OJS—complexion. Cho’s listing Stevens, who writes about “People of all races come fact, if you have yellow skin,
other inmates, his charges
issues faced by Asians in
See Complexion Page 4A
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 3

AROUNDDEKALB
AVONDALE City to host touch-a-truck event
Part one, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., will feature
Decatur Active Living will host its annual Touch- Andrew Cauthen, an award-winning journalist and
a-Truck event March 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The the current communications manager for DeKalb
Avondale Estates Men’s Club to hold meeting event gives children of all ages an opportunity to County’s CEO office. Cauthen will teach attendees
touch, explore and see their favorite government to use action words and bulleted sentences to make
The Avondale Estates Men’s Club will hold its resumes more attention-grabbing as well as how to
monthly meeting March 29 at noon. The meeting trucks or equipment on wheels. The city of Decatur
and DeKalb County dump trucks, fire trucks, trac- structure resumes to highlight strengths.
will be held at American Legion Post 66, located at Part two, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, will feature
30 Covington Highway. At this month’s meeting, tors, police cars and motorcycles, and other types of
vehicles will be on display. This year’s event will be WorkSource DeKalb’s mobile team connecting job-
men’s club member John Pomberg will share his seekers with employment opportunities.
experience working in an Iowa prison. For more in- held in the East Lake MARTA station north park-
ing lot. In case of inclement weather, the event will For more information, visit yourehiredresume-
formation, visit www.avondaleestates.org. workshop.eventbrite.com.
be rescheduled for April 15. For more information,
contact Cheryl Burnette (678) 553-6541 or cheryl.
burnette@decaturga.com.
Library to host after school movie screening
CHAMBLEE Pre-teens and teens ages 9 to 14 can attend an

New sanitation schedule coming in April
DUNWOODY after-school movie screening March 27 at Stone
Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
The title of the movie will be announced on the
The city of Chamblee’s Public Works Department day of the screening. The event is open to the first
will adjust its sanitation schedule to make its work- Brook Run Park to host Rescue Dog Olympics 35 participants. The library is located at 952 Leon
load more manageable. Street. For more information, call (770) 413-2020.
Customers who live on Caldwell Road, Clair- Brook Run Park in Dunwoody—located at 4770
wood Terrace, Dyer Circle, 8th Street, 4th Street, N. Peachtree Road—will host a Rescue Dog Olym-
Hardee Avenue, Knox Avenue, Parkridge Crescent, pics on March 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event, described as a “romping fun-silly
Skyland Drive, Canfield Drive, Hickory Road, Law-
son Drive, 5th Street, Ham Drive, Jefferson Street, field day to celebrate your rescue dog,” is free to the
public and will include live music, a beer garden,
TUCKER
Park Lane, 6th Street and Wingate Road will have
brush, recycling and garbage pickup on Wednesdays food vendors and local shops. Informational booths
regarding pet cancer, pet spas, adoption agencies and
instead of Mondays beginning April 1.
pet products will also be available to attendees.
Prayer breakfast plans announced
For more information and to have concerns
addressed, contact the Public Works department at Owners can also compete in fun, easy dog
The Kingdom Builders Gospel Awards will host
(770) 986-5019 or visit www.chambleega.gov. Olympic competitions to celebrate their rescued
its first prayer breakfast on March 25 from 9 a.m. –
companion. Each Olympic game station will have a
1 p.m. at Restoration Church of Deliverance, 4874
gold, silver and bronze winner and participants are
North Royal Atlanta Road in Tucker. The theme,
encouraged to practice.
“Activate Your Now Faith,” will “equip, empower and
To receive more information, including top-
enable men and women to pray with greater power,”
DECATUR secret info on the various games, participants are
encouraged to pre-register at www.rescuedogolym-
pics.com.
according to an announcement.
Speaker Evangelist Valerie Curtis of Open Door
Outreach Center in Riverdale, will be the keynote
DeKalb Clerk of Superior Court to host free speaker. Curtis serves as an associate minister of
notary training the Open Door Outreach Center and a ministerial

DeKalb County Superior Court Clerk Debra
LITHONIA liaison to Apostle Mary D. Lawrence.
The prayer breakfast will highlight the impor-
DeBerry and the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ tance of the relationship between prayer and faith
Cooperative Authority are hosting two free notary and engage attendees in lively praise and worship
training sessions on Friday, March 24. The first ses- Library to host book sale with recording artist Patrick Parker Jr., producer of
sion is 9 – 10:30 a.m. and the second session is 11 Unified Praise and Waiting. Elder Donna Frazier of
a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The training sessions will be held The Friends of the Lithonia-Davidson Library Worshippers Interceding For Excellence Church and
at the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive in will be hosting a Book Sale April 7 and April 8 Executive Producer of Metro Café: Sanctified in the
downtown Decatur. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library is located at 6821 City will serve as mistress of ceremonies.
This training workshop is open to the public and Church Street. For more information, call (770) 482- Prophetess Alicia Cardwell Alston, who founded
recommended to anyone who is a notary public in 3820. the Kingdom Builders Gospel Awards three years
the State of Georgia or would like to become one. ago, said the attendees can look forward to being
It is important to remember that a notary public spiritually recharged and rejuvenated. “This prayer
should perform his or her duties to the utmost ex- breakfast is timely as many are seeking answers to
life challenges and constant changes in their lives.
tent of the law, failure to do so could result in costly
lawsuits and penalties as a notary is liable for his or STONE MOUNTAIN Prayer is the foundation to a life of faith in God,”
Alston said.
her actions.
Contact Twinette Jones to reserve your seat to
attend either session at (404)-371-2250 or tajones@ Resume writing workshop to take place at
dekalbcountyga.gov Grace Church for All Nations
Grace Church for All Nations—located at 650
Rowland Road in Stone Mountain—will host a
resume writing and job seeking workshop on March
25 from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 4

Drew Charter receives $2.5 million grant
Funds will benefit early childhood education
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
Charles R. Drew Charter
School—located at 301 E Lake
Blvd SE—was announced as
the recipient of a five-year $2.5
million grant by way of the
East Lake Foundation and the
James M. Cox Foundation on
March 13.
The funds will contribute
to research-based professional
development classes and
e-coaching for early childhood
teachers, according to Cox Drew Charter School and the East Lake Foundation were named the recipient of a five-year $2.5 million grant courtesy of the James M. Cox Foundation, which will
be used for the school’s Pre-K and early childhood education program. Photos submitted.
Foundation spokesman and
Cox Enterprises Chairman Jim charter school with a current Foundation said the grant support and investment. second received from the
Kennedy. enrollment of more than will provide an extra teacher “The Cox Foundation was James M. Cox Foundation.
“My grandfather started out 1,750 students in preschool to in the classroom and that the an early believer in the power She said obtaining it involves a
as a teacher and my daughter, 12th grade. The school is part professional development and of early childhood education five-month application process.
sister and cousin have been of a “holistic neighborhood e-coaching may serve as a as a way of eliminating The first of five payments was
teachers. We are proud to revitalization effort” by East model to schools throughout the achievement gap for received in December.
support Drew Charter School Lake Foundation, which is the the country. economically disadvantaged “In December 2011, the
because it plays an important, actual recipient of the grant. The Cox Pre-K Program children,” Shoy said. “[This] East Lake Foundation was
hands-on role in educating The East Lake Foundation at Drew Charter provides will ensure that the Pre-K awarded a $2.5 million grant
both young children and describes itself as a provider professional development for program provides a high over five years to support
teachers,” Kennedy said. “It of “the tools for families of early education, according to quality early education for the Pre-K program at Drew
also serves as a learning lab the Villages of East Lake and officials. This includes on-site our youngest scholars and a Charter School,” Woodling
and provides great resources students of Drew Charter training, coaching, and free replicable model for programs said.
that can be accessed online by School to build a better life online resources—all funded across Georgia and the nation.” For more information on
teachers across the nation— for themselves and future through grants from the James According to Catherine Drew Charter School and the
creating a far-reaching impact.” generations through education, M. Cox Foundation. Woodling, director of East Lake Foundation, visit
Opened in 2000, Drew mixed-income housing and East Lake Foundation communications and www.eastlakefoundation.org.
Charter is Atlanta’s first public community wellness.” president Daniel Shoy, Jr., marketing at the East Lake
Officials from the East Lake said it was an honor to receive Foundation, the grant is the

COMPLEXION Continued From Page 1A
Asian or otherwise, you might have jaundice. If you Cho said no one would use the word “yellow” than “light skinned” or “light brown.” Races listed as
don’t have jaundice, there are 432 causes of yellow to describe an Asian in the modern world, instead “other” range the entire spectrum.
skin.” calling them Asian or naming their country of origin Cho’s was the only one described as “yellow” in
Stevens said the origin of the term is based as a descriptor, such as Korean, Chinese, Japanese or February. Others classified as Asian were listed as
on the works of Carl Linnaeus and his protégé Malaysian. “fair skinned,” and “olive.”
Johann Blumenbach, whose work—now referred Cho said the issue may be that people do not According to DeKalb County Sheriff ’s Office
to as “scientific racism” by experts—attempted to realize “yellow” is offensive and outdated. spokesman Cynthia Williams, the description for
anthropologically define race as Caucasian or white, “People just don’t realize it’s a slur,” Cho said. “We Cho’s March arrest has been deleted. In addition,
Mongolian or yellow, Malayan or brown, Ethiopian still have incidents where a child will be at school and Williams said DeKalb County is in the process of
or black, and American or red. have a ‘chinky-eyed’ incident. People literally don’t switching to a new operating system that will be
Linnaeus and Blumenbach’s work attempts to understand that it’s offensive so people don’t actually easier to use and will have a different classification
create racial hierarchy between the races based on know it’s a problem.” system.
physical similarities. Cho suggested DeKalb County Superior Court, “The personal identification description to which
According to Jiang Tsu’s Failure, Nationalism and which handles OJS, rid the website of such a [inquiries] referred to has been deleted from his files,”
Literature: The Making of Modern Chinese Identity classification and educate its members on proper Williams said. “We regret that this occurred and will
and Tim Yang’s The Malleable Yet Undying Nature of terminology. reiterate with our officers the use of standardized
the Yellow Peril, when people from Asian countries “The reality is that people need to understand terminology when processing individuals into the jail
began to immigrate to the United States, Canada, fully that it’s an antiquated term—it’s not just a matter database.”
Australia and New Zealand, it was classified by of sensitivity—that ‘yellow’ is not a way to describe Cho’s previous arrest, which occurred in
nationalists as “the yellow peril,” “the yellow terror” an Asian person,” Cho said. “Sometimes people November 2015, still retains the complexion
and “the yellow spectre.” just don’t know that people don’t use those words description.
According to Stephanie Cho, who serves as the anymore. There needs to be some level of education As of press time, Williams did not clarify who
executive director for Asian Americans Advancing about it.” makes complexion descriptions, if such a description
Justice’s Atlanta chapter, the term “yellow” is an When scanning other entries on OJS, complexion is checked or what safeguards are used by the agency
antiquated term used to describe and even mock descriptions vary. to prevent such descriptions from occurring.
Asian Americans. Inmates whose race is listed as Black, for example, According to the New York Daily News, a
“It’s deeply offensive to use that word to describe are described as “fair skinned,” “black,” “dark brown,” description of Shamir Allen as a “dark negro” by
Asian Americans,” Cho said. “It comes from a time “dark skinned,” “medium brown,” “medium,” or the the Lockport Police Department in Illinois caused
when it was associated with ‘yellow face,’ which was description is left blank. controversy in 2014. At the time, county legislators,
used to mock Asians’ skin tones in America and Hispanic inmates are either listed as “olive,” “light authors and NAACP officials called the description
a time when Asians weren’t able to act in films as skinned,” “light brown,” “medium” or left blank. No insensitive, ignorant and disgusting.
Asian.” description is put down for White inmates other
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 5

Oliver Knowles stands in front of Decatur Chief of Police Mike Booker’s desk during his visit to Oliver’s mother Jill Knowles sent in this photo to Decatur Police via
the Decatur Police Department Facebook after the department asked if anyone wanted to join the
department.

OLIVER Continued From Page 1
Not only did the department “allow ever an emergency I would want him to seek At just 4 years old, Oliver isn’t quite sure
that sort of thing,” but the Decatur Police out a police officer and not be afraid.” what he wants to do when he gets older.
Department welcomed Oliver and he Oliver has received several gifts from In an interview with The Champion he said
met with Sgt. Nembheard and Officer the Decatur Police Department including a he’d like to do “all the jobs,” most of which
Alexander and toured the department. necklace, pencils and pens, safety manuals involve public safety.
Since his initial meeting, Oliver has become and a book bag. His mother said she’s been Oliver’s meet and greet with Chief
somewhat of a mascot for Decatur Police. overwhelmed by the department’s response. Booker lasted a few hours with different
“This can enhance our relationship The Knowles family moved from Clayton Decatur officers dropping by to say hello to
between [community] and police. I’m glad County to Decatur in August 2016 and they “future officer Oliver.”
that he came and I’m glad that we could do say they enjoy the family environment and “He’s kind of a local celebrity, whether
this for him,” Booker said. atmosphere. he realizes it or not,” Jill Knowles said. “This
Booker said it was refreshing to see “I just wanted to show [the officers] that makes me feel really good. I submitted that
someone so young becoming so receptive they had a fan and I just thought they would photo to make [the officers] feel better and
toward police officers. Jill Knowles said her get a kick out of it. I thought they might say let them know we supported them and they
son wasn’t always so unabashed when it thank you but I didn’t expect this. This is turned around and made us feel better. It
came to uniformed officers. huge. Sometimes it feels like I have dust in means a lot to me and him.”
“He showed some interest in police my eye,” She said, laughing while wiping Booker said Oliver could have a bright
officers, but he was also a little skittish away a tear. “These officers have a lot more future with the Decatur Police Department.
around them. I just wanted him to not be important things to worry about, but to let Now all Oliver must do is wait patiently—for
afraid and hopefully encourage him to feel him come down here and meet with them is about 17 years.
comfortable,” Jill Knowles said. “If there was just tremendous.”

DOG PARK Continued From Page 1
morning and there are houses Tavenner. He also said there “We will be having a meeting locations that might possibly
right across from the dog park were talks in the past about with them to see exactly where work without any construction.
and behind the dog park. possibly moving the dog park we’re going and we have The people who are interested
There were a lot of issues to V.F.W. Park on Gordon looked at some of the ideas of in [the dog park] are interested
about people letting their dogs Street. how we’re going to operate it.” in getting out there and
run and bark at [certain] times “I’m not sure how far they Coletti said those residents physically helping.”
in the morning. And there were have gotten with that,” he said. have gotten together and “To me, this is a very
certain issues about people During the regular council discussed what they would like good base to start from and a
bringing dogs that wouldn’t meeting, Mayor Patricia to see and how they would like good foundation,” she added.
play nice with other dogs.” Wheeler said she and to have the dog park operated. “Instead of having us run it we
A verbal confrontation councilmember Susan Coletti “There are different ideas want the people who are going
broke out once between a have communicated with from each person and they’re to be involved in it to run it. It
resident and a dog owner several residents who want all very willing to flush it out might take a little while but I
because the dog owner the dog park to return. because they all want it to be think we’re off to a good start.
parked in front of the “Susan is keeping a list of successful,” Coletti said. “We Hopefully we’ll keep moving
resident’s driveway, blocking people who are interested in don’t want it to be an expense forward.”
the resident in, according to the dog park,” Wheeler said. to the city, so we’re looking at
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 6

Time is on our side for enjoying spring
Once again those of us or have undergone facelifts— that are beginning including
fortunate to live in the South renovations or expansion—that outdoor art, nature, food and
have dodged a bullet. This might leave us surprised at the music events in Dunwoody,
winter has been relatively mild changes. Brookhaven, Clarkston,
and for folks living in DeKalb Among my favorites are Avondale Estates, Decatur and
County and metro Atlanta, Gale Horton Gay Arabia Mountain, Woodland Chamblee. Later in the spring
we’ve not had to contend with gale@dekalbchamp.com Gardens, Wildwoods and and summer, it will be hard not
snow, ice and endless days of Fernbank Forest, Stone to find a beer, wine, crafts or
bitter cold. What a blessing! Mountain Park and so many barbecue event taking place in
Now we’ve turned back the homes and start spending of the county’s public parks. one of DeKalb’s communities
clocks for Daylight Saving Time more time outside reconnecting Driving through Pine Lake, on a weekend.
and on March 20, it is officially with nature, our neighbors Lithonia, Doraville, Tucker and The diversity of DeKalb
spring. and community members and Stone Mountain Village can County provides us with
The days are growing exploring the places around us. open one’s eyes to changes enormous opportunities for
longer, plants are blooming In DeKalb County there’s taking place in these cities enjoying the spring season.
and animals are ending their so much to explore—whether and opportunities to get out Now it’s up to us to leave our
hibernation and beginning their it’s new places to discover or of the car and get involved in couch potato ways behind us.
migration. As part of the animal spots we’ve been before but are something new. Spring is here and it’s time for
kingdom, we, too, should end so worth revisits. Many of our There is no shortage of us to spring into action.
our hibernation inside our favorite haunts are undergoing festivals and outdoor events

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OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 7

Boogeyman - Mother Russia
“Mankind must put an end term of U.S. President Barack Soviet enemies and their
to war, or war will put an end to
mankind.”  President John F.
‘One Man’s Obama. The ambassador
attended both the Democratic
motivations as a child, I also
well remember the oft-told
Kennedy, September 25, 1961. Opinion’ and Republican National tale of young Russian Peter,
  Conventions during 2016, and his constant warnings
As a Baby Boomer and Bill Crane and is known to the leaders of of a hungry wolf threatening
child of the Cold War, I can well bill.csicrane@gmail.com both national political parties, the children and people of his
remember weekly bomb drills the U.S. Senate and the U.S. village. Peter, who too often
of “duck and cover” under our House. Developing relationships cried “wolf,” soon found the ears
school desks and the weekly independently and then shared and access to centers of power of his friends and neighbors to
Wednesday midday air raid electronically, later re-tabulated and influence is in fact what be deaf to his warning cries. As
warning sirens. The threat and certified. In Georgia alone ambassadors and consul they look ahead to the 2018
of assured mutual and mass there are more than 3,300 generals do. mid-term elections, Democratic
destruction by nuclear warhead, voting precincts spread across  Among more ardent leaders might similarly heed the
between the United States and 159 counties, each with its own supporters of former Secretary downsides of their repeated cries
former United Soviet Social elections superintendent. of State Hillary Clinton as well of “The Russians are coming!
Republics (U.S.S.R.) was real. In the case of the most as more vocal opponents of The Russians are coming!”
 The sentiment of volatility recent U.S. presidential election, President Donald Trump, it  
was strong–and fed by close contests in Pennsylvania, appears simpler and easier to
leaders of the day, such as the Wisconsin and Michigan gave constantly tout the latest Russian Bill Crane also serves as a
U.S.S.R.’s Nikita Khrushchev - the Electoral College majority interference conspiracy theory political analyst and commentator
“If you don’t like us, don’t accept and three recently reliable Blue than to accept the results and for Channel 2’s Action News,
our invitation and don’t invite us states to Team Trump and the will of the voters during the 2016 WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and
to come to see you. Whether GOP. The combined winning elections. If the Russian hackers now 95.5 FM, as well as a
you like it or not, history is on our margin in those three states was are all that good, it would seem columnist for The Champion,
side. We will bury you.”  slightly more than 110,000 votes. that we might have seen pieces Champion Free Press and
Then as now, the words  If in fact Russian hackers of their work all across the Georgia Trend. Crane is a
of our world leaders matter. were smart enough to hack and country, not just in a handful of DeKalb native and business
Khrushchev fueled, as well as crack the elections tabulations states where it would be difficult owner, living in Scottdale. You
lit the spark, which led to the or precinct machines in three to know in advance which state’s can reach him or comment on a
Cuban Missile Crisis, which states–how would they have election results might be close.  column at bill.csicrane@gmail.
brought the world to a level known, in advance, which In addition to fearing our com.
of brinkmanship seldom seen states and precincts to hack
before or since. The long road to give Trump’s candidacy a
to power and lasting longevity majority when turn-out is not
of Russian President Vladimir known in advance and ballots
Putin has again imperiled U.S./ are not tabulated until the polls
Russia relations and increased close on election day?  How
tensions between our two would the Russians know which
countries. precincts to flood with Trump
 But there is a “H-U-U-G-E” votes? Which states could be
difference between being in the swayed without touching/hacking
periscope sites of a U.S.S.R. every precinct? Only one of
submarine carrying nukes, or these states prior to the election
living in a named target city was forecast as being close,
for Soviet-controlled inter- with two being predicted as safe
continental ballistic missiles and Clinton territory.
being on the receiving end of a  And for all the fuss being
supposed Russian-led attempt to raised about U.S. senators and
hack or influence U.S. elections. or Cabinet level appointees
 As a reminder, there is no having “contact” with Russian
huge main-frame computer government representatives, the
system tallying presidential current Russian ambassador
election results. U.S. elections to the United States is Sergey
are controlled at the local and Kislyak. Kislyak was appointed
state level, with results tallied in July of 2008, during the first

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
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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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of the editor or publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. The printing information submitted to
us that is known to be false and/or
Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. DISPLAY ADVERTISING (404) 373-7779 x 110 assumptions penned as fact.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 8

Construction has begun on the future Tucker City Hall Annex meeting room.

Renovations underway
for Tucker city hall annex
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Tucker will soon have a permanent meeting room for city council
meetings.
On Feb. 27, the Tucker city council voted to approve rehabbing a
city hall annex and meeting space on First Avenue. The rehab project
was awarded to Tucker-based construction company D.K. Lippy
Dave Schmit of Integral Corporation was one of many officials to host a tour of the former General Motors as-
sembly plant site, now known as Assembly. Photo by R. Scott Belzer Construction, which placed a $71,155 bid on the project.
In a video posted on Tucker’s Facebook page, work has already

Assembly CID to issue
begun on the meeting space.
“We came in and took all of the walls down, removed sheetrock,”
said Dennis Lippy of D.K. Lippy Construction. “Right now, we’re in
the process of tearing the ceiling out—the ceiling grids, the ceiling

$55 million in bonds
tiles—removing abandoned wiring.”
Lippy said they’ve also begun working on the plumbing.
“It’s going along pretty good,” Lippy said. “It’s going to be a nice
meeting room. I think the idea of going in and removing the ceiling
and putting in new ceiling tiles, fresh paint, new carpet is really going
to make a good presence for the city.
Community Improvement District issues funds “It’s exciting,” Lippy added. “The opportunity to be doing it, being
Tucker-based and being a part of the new city, it’s very exciting.”
to start Assembly site pending court approval The city said it expects construction to be completed in April, with
a grand opening celebration and open house planned for May 12.

by R. Scott Belzer other facilities, according to the resolution
passed by council.

Tucker creates web page
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com In addition, Doraville created a
tax allocation district (TAD) with
Doraville’s Assemby Community DeKalb County on Feb. 7 through an

for city budget
Improvement District (CID) is set to issue intergovernmental agreement. The TAD
$55 million in assessment bonds for the also collects tax revenue to be used for
Assembly development, according to a infrastructure improvements.
March 2017 public notice.
According to the notice, the Assembly Tucker has posted its approved budgets and itemized monthly
On March 7, Doraville City Council
CID and Doraville city officials will plead financial reports to its website, the city announced March 16.
held a special-called meeting to approve an
their case to DeKalb County Superior Court The new webpage will show monthly revenues and expenses
agreement between the city and Assembly
on March 28, which will potentially clear dating back to Tucker’s incorporation in May 2016. The numbers are
CID. Approval allows the CID to levy taxes
the bonds for issuance. Judge Asha Jackson expressed in detailed spreadsheets. Residents can look at specific line
should the site run low on funds.
is scheduled to hear the case at 2 p.m. items to see how much money is coming into the city and being spent
“As you recall, we created a special tax
The $55 million will fund Doraville’s by the city.
district then created a CID,” said Doraville
Assembly project, which is designed to “When we campaigned for cityhood, we promised transparency,”
city manager Shawn Gillen. “The CID will
bring multi-family housing, office, retail Mayor Frank Auman said. “Just to say you’re transparent isn’t
be issuing bonds for infrastructure on the
and other commercial space to the former enough. It’s incumbent upon us to make sure residents can easily find
Assembly site. The CID is there as a credit
General Motors assembly plant site. and understand these budget numbers. An informed community will
enhancement. If there’s ever a shortfall of
The funds also will be placed in accounts make for a stronger city.”
CID revenue, we would levy taxes in the
related to administrative costs, debt service The webpage will be updated after the second city council meeting
special district.”
reserves and capitalized interests. of each month, meaning the financial report for February 2017 will
Councilwoman Pam Fleming said
Doraville City Council approved the be made public by March 27.
she is excited to get the Assembly started
creation of the Assembly CID in May 2016. The city’s accounting manager Jennifer Davis, who has overseen
and “going vertical,” while Mayor Donna
CIDs are self-taxing districts created to development of the webpage, said this has been an important project
Pittman said the project is one of the most
help fund infrastructure improvements. Tax for the city.
exciting things going on in the city.
revenues collected in CIDs go toward street “We’re going to make sure that residents know about every cent of
“I’m very excited to see what’s going to
construction and maintenance, parks and revenue that comes into and out of the city,” she said.
happen,” Pittman said. “I know it’s going to
recreational areas, sewage and stormwater Tucker is currently on a six-month budget which expires on June
be great.”
systems, public transportation, parking and 30. City staff is in the process of building its first 12-month budget,
which will cover Fiscal Year 2018.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 9

Fifty tons of debris collected
by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com

Streets in DeKalb County may be a
little cleaner after a recent cleanup effort
by county officials. In the first Saturday of
the county’s Operation Clean Sweep, 50
tons of debris were removed from a 12-
mile stretch of south Stone Mountain and
Lithonia on Panola and Redan roads by
county crews.
On March 11, crews from sanitation, DeKalb County officials kicked off the Operation Clean Sweep initiative DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond honors the inspiration for Operation Clean
March 11. Sweep, Cynthia Houston, as District 7 Commissioner Greg Adams looks on.
beautification, roads and drainage and simplified, classic version of their current logo. Image courtesy of the city
parks and recreation removed litter of Dunwoody.
and debris along street curbs and storm
drains, performed street sweeping on
sidewalks and mowed the area. community responses and while we effort on Saturdays. This adds that level of on the side of the road, picking up trash,
The initiative will be year-round and were out there people were clapping detail to make sure the streets are clean,” no matter the weather,” said Thurmond
improve the livability and cleanliness of and saying ‘thank you’ for cleaning the Kellum said. during the event. “We’re kicking off
the county by targeting litter and debris streets,” Kellum said. “This is the new face During the budget meeting, Operation Clean Sweep today in her
in storm drains, streets, sidewalks and of DeKalb and our focus is to deliver a Thurmond told commissioners it was honor.”
rights-of-way, said DeKalb County CEO product and service that the residents can important the amendment be approved so On March 18, the operation clean
Michael Thurmond. be proud of.” road crews could get to work. sweep crew traveled north on Panola
“Anyone who lives, works or who The initiative is one of several ”I want to thank the staff for putting Road from Snapfinger Road to Salem
visits here should be able to walk and amendments added to the CEO’s 2017 [Operation Clean Sweep] together. It Road. The clean sweep crew plans to
drive along the streets of DeKalb County budget. The funds for the $2.6 million was a great outcome and outpour of continue work each Saturday through
without encountering excessive litter and project were already available for the concerned citizens trying to keep DeKalb August to clear grass, trash and debris.
debris,” said Thurmond in a statement. operation and were reallocated, a county beautiful,” Commissioner Greg Adams According to the county, once the
Blight in DeKalb County has been official said. said. initial clearing of roadways is complete,
a longstanding issue. Marcus Kellum, Kellum said the departments are using During the operation kickoff street sweepers will service and maintain
director of beautification, said Operation a phased approach to handle debris in event, Thurmond recognized DeKalb all 2,000 miles of DeKalb roadway and
Clean Sweep helps bring together DeKalb. He said the plan put forth by the County resident Cynthia Houston as 4,000 miles of curbs four times a year.
different DeKalb departments to focus on administration should be successful. the inspiration behind Operation Clean “You have to have respect for where
a common goal. “We knew [debris] was an issue and Sweep. you live and your environment,” said
“We’ve received some very positive this is a start. This is an effort that will “Long before I ever thought about Houston. “If you don’t, then nobody else
continue and the initiative adds that extra being CEO, I noticed Houston always out will.”

REPORT SEWAGE SPILLS ASAP
Call 770.270.6243 and press 2 report
or email dekalbwaterops@dekalbcountyga.gov
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 10

Blue Breeze Cards
must be replaced
with Silver Cards!
After candidates challenged his financial status, Jason Lary released his
tax returns and FICO score to be more “transparent.” He called the move
“unprecedented” in a local race for mayor.  

Stonecrest mayoral candidate
releases tax returns, challenges
other candidates to do same
by Horace Holloman with real bills and real
opportunities and real kids that
horace@dekalbchamp.com we put through real colleges,”
said Lary. “Then you can start
After accusations of a poor to judge the type of person I
financial status, Jason Lary am and judge what kind of grit
decided to do something he and determination I have.”
considers unprecedented for Lary’s FICO numbers
a mayoral candidate before showed a score of 728.
an election—release his tax According to nerdwallet.
returns. com, anything above 720 is
During a press conference
at This is It! BBQ and Seafood
“an excellent credit score.”
In 2015 Lary earned more After March 31, 2017
than $150,000 and more than
restaurant in Lithonia, Lary
displayed his tax returns, $160,000 in 2014. In 2013 he Blue Breeze cards cannot be reloaded.
FICO score and the deed to earned more than $172,000.
his house. After showing the
documents, Lary challenged
“Clearly I’m not [running
for mayor] for the money,”
After July 9, 2017
his opponents, Charles Hill Lary said.
On March 21, voters
Blue Breeze cards will not be accepted.
and Douglas Favors II, to do
the same. decided the makeup of the
Lary also signed a medical local government of the new
records request to prove he has city of Stonecrest by voting for
the “stamina” to do the job. the city’s first mayor and five Avoid losing any trips or value still loaded on
“I challenge Mr. Favors and council seats.
Mr. Hill to do the same. I know In an interview with The your Blue Breeze card: Use all remaining trips or
I’m mentally and physically Champion, Lary said he value on your Blue card before July 9, 2017.
fit to do exactly what we need plans to continue being as
to do in regards to the city of transparent as possible. He said Purchase a new, secure Silver Breeze card for
Stonecrest,” Lary said. “This he would like to see Stonecrest
is part of being transparent. create an independent review
$2.00 at any rail station vending machine, Ride Store
If you want to be out there board. or online at www.Breezecard.com.
and you want to make these “To take us to the next level
statements share everything and beat other cities we have
that I’m sharing.” to do things that are different.
In candidate forums and in It cannot be the status quo. We
interviews, Hill has suggested have to continue to do things
that Lary is not qualified to be that are unprecedented,” Lary
mayor of Stonecrest due to his said. “We’re going to create Go to www.itsmarta.com for FAQs or call
bankruptcy filings. a transparency commission MARTA’s Customer Service at 404-848-5000, M-F 8-5.
“I take pride in this so they can determine at all
statement. I am a real grownup times that we’re doing the right
thing.”

TheChampionNewspaper.com
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 11

WEEKinPICTURES

Valorie Wilson, executive director for the Georgia School Board Association, talks to a crowd in downtown Decatur during the
“stand up for Democracy” event March 11. Photo by Horace Holloman.

Stonecrest mayoral candidate Jason Lary talks to DeKalb residents after
releasing his tax returns at a press conference at This it it!

In areas too thick for the street sweeper to clean, crews manually dig debris to clear the curb at the first Operation Clean
Sweep March 11. Photo provided by DeKalb County.

The Dunwoody Nature Center celebrated the grand opening of its Wildcat
Mayor Denis Shortal administers the oath of office to new Dunwoody Police Officer Jordan Laverty on March 13. Photo submit- Creek restoration project on March 10, welcoming dozens of residents.
ted. 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 24, 2017 • Page 12

Dunwoody City Council unanimously approved allowing elected officials into the city’s 457(b) plan, which allows retirement benefits and savings. Photo submitted.

Elected officials granted retirement benefits in Dunwoody
Councilmen, mayor allowed tax-funded salary referrals, vesting, investments
by R. Scott Belzer money for retirement at the potentially limited amounts of The item was unanimously of city council’s Feb. 27 consent
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com same time. Since federal time. approved via Dunwoody City agenda where it received
income taxes are calculated Councilman John Council’s March 13 consent zero discussion and received
on your income after your Heneghan, who stated he would agenda. The plan was also part unanimous approval.
Dunwoody councilmen retirement plan contribution not be taking part in the 457(b)
and Mayor Denis Shortal will has been deducted, you may plan, requested City Manager

!
be granted retirement benefits pay less in federal income Eric Linton and Mayor Shortal

N
following a city council-

GEORGIA PIEDMONT
taxes. Thus, you may actually explain the agenda item for the

O
approved amendment to the

I
have more spendable income public’s benefit.

T
city’s employee handbook on than you would if you were According to Linton, this
!
C W
March 13. contributing a comparable allows city council members
O
A ENRO LN
Dunwoody City Council amount to a savings account to put away any funds they
unanimously approved to
amend the city’s tax-funded
where contributions and
earnings are subject to current
earn while in office with no
match or additional city funds.
L 2017
457(b) Comprehensive income tax rules.” Linton called the 457(b) the SUMMER Semester
Retirement Plan to include According to the city’s “government version” of a
elected officials. employee handbook, the plan 401(k). • HIGH JOB PLACEMENT RATE—98.7%
According to OneAmerica, provides employees a plan to “There’s no cost or
the company that facilitates • LOW COST—1/3rd of the cost of other institutions
dedicate paychecks to savings additional cost to the city,”
Dunwoody’s retirement plan, under $18,000; catch-up Linton said. “Of course, there’s • FLEXIBLE SCHEDULES—online, hybrid, evenings,
a 457(b) is a retirement plan weekends
contributions up to $6,000 for always an administrative cost
where contributions are those ages 50 and older; as well when adding new members.” • IN-DEMAND PROGRAMS—40+ programs in
made on a pre-tax basis until as investment options. “There are no additional high-demand fields
withdrawn. Following the amendment, public funds coming to myself • ACCREDITED—continuously for 50 years
“Participating in a 457(b) elected officials as well as or anyone else on council,” said
plan is a great way to invest employees are eligible for such Shortal. “This will only be the PLUS!
money for retirement,” reads a savings, despite the mayor and funds we earn in our salary— FREE COLLEGE CLASSES FOR HIGH SCHOOL
statement from OneAmerica. STUDENTS—High School students can earn
council being paid amounts you know, those giant salaries college credits by enrolling in summer
“You can reduce your current classes through MOVE ON WHEN READY.
lower than $20,000 per year for we earn.”
income taxes and set aside

Stone Mountain to hold
contractor to sidewalk contract
they are working with the contactor and engineer
by Carla Parker to provide a timely resolution.
carla@dekalbchamp.com “At this time, there is nothing further to
report; however, the constituents of the city will
The Stone Mountain City Council has decided be notified as updates arise,” a statement from the
to hold a contractor to a contract involving the city said. “The city understands that construction
East Mountain Street Sidewalk project, the city projects often render an inconvenience to the CHOOSE THE BEST CAMPUS FOR YOU!
announced. community and the construction site currently
In a statement posted on the city’s website, the paints an unsightly picture. Please know that
council, after a March 7 executive session, agreed the city is working towards a timely project MAIN CAMPUS
Equal LOCATIONS:
Opportunity Institution
to have the construction contract attorney inform completion and is hopeful of a finished product
DEKALB CAMPUS SOUTH DEKALB CAMPUS
the contractor of the city’s intent to enforce the that citizens, business and property owners, and 495 N. Indian Creek Dr. 2460 Wesley Chapel Rd.
terms of the contract as executed. visitors alike will enjoy.” Clarkston, GA 30021 Decatur, GA 30035
“The city is currently involved in a contract The city council awarded the $22,507 404-297-9522 ext. 1602 404-297-9522 ext. 6000
dispute with the contractor of record,” the contract to Atwell LLC to construct the side
statement reads. “There have been overages walk in April 2016. According to the minutes NEWTON CAMPUS
invoiced within pay requests issued by the 16200 Alcovy Rd.,
from several council meetings, the council had Covington, GA 30014
contractor. The city is expecting a response several discussions about additional payments for 404-297-9522 ext. 3100
from the contractor immediately following the materials and other changes.
contractor’s receipt of the city’s letter of intent.” The city previously added sidewalks on Main
Last month, the city ordered work to stop on Street from Manor Drive to Poole Street and on
the project, which includes the Second Street Manor Drive from Main Street to Third Street in Contact us at (404) 297-9522 | www.gptc.edu | Equal Opportunity Institution
project phase, due to a dispute with the contractor Phase I of the project. www.gptc.edu/gainfulemployment
over the project expenditures. City officials said
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 13

Brookhaven launches city council meeting children’s program
Brookhaven has launched the city said is the first of its city council work sessions and available. permanent program,” Sigman
Kids Night In, a pilot Parks kind in local government, has business meetings, beginning “As a single parent who said.
and Recreation Department its origins in the private sector. at 3:30 p.m. on the second wants to stay informed and Ernst said he believes
program designed to provide “Large entities like Ikea, and fourth Tuesdays of every engaged with the many Kids Night In will be very
supervised recreation activities Home Depot and Children’s month. The program will exciting things happening in successful.
for children while their parents Healthcare of Atlanta utilize continue until the end of the Brookhaven, this initiative by “Citizen involvement
attend city council meetings at on-site child care to promote city council meeting, no matter the city is great news,” resident should not compete with
Brookhaven city hall. families while achieving how late. Marian Liou said. “I love this families or family values,” he
“The city of Brookhaven maximum engagement in the “We’ll have professional idea and I hope many families said. “I think that if families
should be as open and available workplace,” City Manager Parks Department staff on with young children take this aren’t forced to make that
as it can be for residents,” Christian Sigman said. “We hand at city hall until the opportunity to get involved. choice, they will choose
Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst thought, why not modify that closing gavel,” Parks and Date night at city hall, see you to participate. If this is as
said. “People who want to strategy to make our local Recreation Director Brian there.” successful as I think it will be,
engage their government can government more accessible in Borden said. “We’ll be here After the six-month pilot you’ll see other cities following
do so in Brookhaven without Brookhaven?” until the very end.” concludes, the program will be Brookhaven’s lead.”
worrying about what to do Kids Night In will feature Children must be in good reviewed and evaluated.
with the children. They can a supervised area for children health, and between 5 and 12 “By September, we should
bring them here.” to play games, watch movies years old to attend Kids Night have a clearer idea on whether
The pilot program, which or work on homework during In. Light refreshments will be we should make this a

Vista Gove community forms group to address issues, possible cityhood
by Horace Holloman “We think there’s some conducting collaborative “If this discussion is done way toward healing the divide,”
horace@dekalbchamp.com value to starting the legislative discussions in the future. the right way, it can go a long Flake said.
process early and having a
placeholder bill introduced,”
Residents in the Vista Flake said. “What we’ve heard
Grove footprint are exploring
potential cityhood in an
is that our approach to this is Proposed Substantial Amendment to the 2014-2018
refreshing.”
unincorporated area of North Flake, 43, a lifetime DeKalb Consolidated Plan, including the
DeKalb. County resident and father 2016 Annual Action Plan
Andrew Flake, one of the of two, said he hopes VGI’s
founding members of the Vista commitment to informing
Grove Initiative—a nonprofit and engaging the community
group of residents in the Vista DeKalb County is proposing to amend to the 2014-2018 Consolidated Plan,
will help restore trust between including the 2016 Annual Action Plan in order to provide a more efficient
Grove footprint (VGI)—said residents after the talks of a city
the group’s objective “is to and effective revolving loan fund for DeKalb County small businesses.
of LaVista Hills went sour. Specifically, prior committed funds for the Doraville Downtown Development
preserve our area’s civic options In 2015, a referendum
for discussion, including Authority will be combined with prior committed funds for Access to Capital
to create a city of Vista Hills for Entrepreneurs (ACE) to reflect one aggregate Revolving Loan Fund for
possible cityhood.” failed. Flake said talks of
“VGI is taking a fresh look the County, in an amount not to exceed $450,000.
creating a city during that time
at the questions related to both became divisive.
annexation and cityhood,” In an effort to create a more streamlined small business loan model and to
“The level of redirect got leverage economies of scale, the $200,000 in CDBG funding which was set
said Flake. “Vista Grove is the very heated and it became a
unincorporated area between aside in 2016 for the Doraville Downtown Development Authority Revolving
bit negative,” Flake said about Loan Fund will be moved to the ACE Revolving Loan Fund. The ACE
Brookhaven and Tucker. A discussions leading up to the
group of us were looking Revolving Loan Fund which was previously funded at $250,000 will now have
denial of the city of LaVista a budgeted funding amount of $450,000 and will service all of DeKalb County,
at ways to communicate Hills. “Some of the debates
issues across different areas to include Doraville.
seemed to be more about
and we came up with the criticisms and less about
idea of creating our own All citizens are invited to review the proposed substantial amendment
building up the community. to these programs from March 23, 2017 – April 7, 2017 on the DeKalb
communications platform.” Many of us have spent our
VGI had its first town hall County Community Development website, https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/
whole lives in the county community-development/public-notices, and at the locations identified below.
meeting March 2 at Oak Grove and we love the potential for
United Methodist Church growth and new leadership.”
in Decatur with about 70 Flake said VGI is committed
individuals in attendance, Flake to hearing everyone’s concerns. DeKalb County Community Development Department
said. In a release the group said 3486 Covington Hwy, Decatur, Georgia 30032
According to a release, VGI members of VGI’s leadership
plans to have future discussions (404) 371-2727
team were not involved in
about a potential cityhood. LaVista Hills or any previous
The group hopes to introduce cityhood effort in the area. Chamblee Branch Library Decatur Branch Library
legislation in the 2017 session If residents seem receptive 4115 Clairmont Road, 215 Sycamore Street,
about the proposed city. to the idea of a new city, Flake Chamblee Decatur
Regulations about said the group will try to raise (770-936-1380) (404-370-3070)
introducing a cityhood bill funds to conduct a feasibility
in the General Assembly study for the area. Please contact the libraries for days and hours of operation.
would require legislation to be Whether or not residents
introduced this year for a city Comment forms may be obtained and completed at each of the above listed locations.
agree to a new city in DeKalb Comments may also be faxed or emailed to the Community Development Department.
of Vista Grove to be possible County, Flake said, VGI will
within the next two years.
Fax: (404) 371-2742
Email: bhcamp@dekalbcountyga.gov
EDUCATION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 14

Burnette Elementary School student Abhiram Kapaganty won the 56th Jahnvi Bhagat was the runner-up on March 17, and will take Druid Hills Middle School student Aditi Shankar competed at the
Annual Georgia Association of Educators State Spelling Bee and a place Kapaganty’s place should he not be able to compete at Scripps 56th Annual Georgia Association of Educators State Spelling Bee
at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Maryland in May, representing National Spelling Bee in Maryland in May. on March 17 and was eliminated in the 9th round.
Georgia. Also pictured, Sid Chapman of Georgia Association of Educators.
Photo by R. Scott Belzer

Druid Hills 7th grader places well at State Spelling Bee
“Nisi” trips up DeKalb County middle schooler eliminated in 9th round
by R. Scott Belzer “nisi.” until round 23, when Bhagat representing Georgia. McIntyre—featured more
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com Other troublesome words misspelled “vorlage” with an “I feel really good about than 200 words, including law
for students were “quesadilla,” “f ”. going to nationals,” Kapaganty terms, Itlalian dishes, German
“junco,” “succotash,” Kapaganty, who was said. “I have never been to terminology and unheard-of
Merriam-Webster “embarcadero,” “vapidity,” required to spell two words the Washington [D.C.] area. I adjectives.
dictionary defines the word “solace,” “hoick,” “exigible,” correctly to claim victory, then thought I wasn’t going to win “Usually, the competition
“nisi” as “taking effect at “minestrone,” “panary,” spelled both “schipperke” and because so many others were goes about 15 rounds,”
a specified time unless “epistrophe,” “hircine,” “vireo,” “wedel” without fault, and in the spelling bee last year.” McIntyre said. “This year,
previously modified or avoided and “fluoroscope.” won this year’s state title. The The 23-round because the students are so
by cause shown, further Dozens of parents looked Burnette Elementary School competition—one of the smart, it’s gone well over 20
proceedings, or a condition on as students were eliminated. 11-year-old earned a place at longest in memory, according rounds.
fulfilled.” Certain parents appealed the Scripps National Spelling to event proctor and GAE
The word has Latin roots words, found favorable Bee in Maryland in May, Spelling Bee chairman Richard
and its first recorded use dates spellings online, but could only
back to 1738. look on as words knocked out
On March 17, it became one student after another.
known as the word that For example, one parent
eliminated Druid Hills Middle found a favorable spelling for
School student Aditi Shankar “hoick” online, but judges
from the 56th Annual Georgia referenced a giant Collegiate
Association of Educators Dictionary as the central Meet Landers! (ID# 34633185)
(GAE) State Spelling Bee
competition at Georgia State
authority. In another instance, This stubby little guy can’t wait to win
parents swore they heard a you over with his playful personality and
University. child spell a word correctly
Shankar competing on adorable smile. Landers is about two years
but judges blamed the false old and only weighs 27 pounds. Meet him
March 17 means she outspelled acoustics of Georgia State’s
more than 69,000 students in at LifeLine’s DeKalb Animal Services!
State Ballroom.
Georgia that come from 1,112 More than 30 minutes
public schools, 81 private passed between rounds If you would like to expand your family
schools, 16 parochial schools, 10 and round 16, which by 4 furry little feet; come meet Landers
15 charter schools, and four featured students Sophie at the DeKalb Animal Shelter and have a
homeschools. Fang (Cobb), Aya Salma loving friend forever. During March and
Shankar was also the only Haddad (Gwinnett), Jahnvi April you can “Spring into Adoption” with a
student to represent DeKalb Bhagat (Cobb) and Abhiram new furry friend. Adoptions are $40 for all
County. Kapaganty (Gwinnett) spelling
Shankar, 12, was the 10th dogs over 25 lbs. and all cats and includes
such words as “balalaika,” spay/neuter, vaccinations and microchip!
contestant eliminated overall “pfeffernusse,” “zwinger,”
and one of eight students If you would like more information about
“pogrom,” “engastromythic,” Landers please call (404) 294-2165 or
eliminated in the ninth “zeitgeber,” “prosciutto,” and
round. Shankar successfully email adoption@dekalbanimalservices.
more.
spelled “macaroni,” “praline,” “Reniform” knocked out com. All potential adopters will be screened
“denture,” “rupee,” “tatami,” Fang, while “autophagy” to ensure Landers goes to a good home.
“vernacular,” “ameliorate,” and eliminated Haddad in the Hours: Mon-Fri; 11am-7pm / Sat-Sun;
“vaquero” until faced with 20th round. The pair faced-off 11am-6pm
EDUCATION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 15

Puppets conclude Stone Mill afterschool program
Atlanta’s Center for the Puppetry Arts visit Stone Mountain school
thrives—tracking attendance,
by R. Scott Belzer we’ve seen results. We’ve seen
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com homework improve; we’ve seen
academic growth,” Clark said.
Thirty Stone Mill Elementary “Children get excited about
students received a two-hour turning their homework in the
lesson on puppetry on March next day. Children have turned
16 as part of the school’s around and become peer tutors
homework-centered afterschool to other children. This is an
program. enlightening experience and
Paticipants in Stone Mill’s we’re very appreciative.”
SCANA Energy-sponsored Fourth-grade student
homework center were visited Mikayla Jones said she only
by WSBTV’s Rikki Klaus and missed one homework center
Atlanta Center for Puppetry session and appreciates getting
Arts education coordinator homework done and having fun
Jeff Domke as part of a puppet at the same time.
building workshop celebrating According to SCANA Energy
the end of the school year. community relations manager
While Atlanta anchor Klaus Simone McKinney, SCANA
read stories to students, Domke Energy funds Stone Mill
guided students through the Elementary’s homework center
history of puppetry, various and seven others in East Point,
puppetry styles, how to create Lilburn, Lithonia, Marietta and
the perfect puppet and basic Norcross.
Jeff Domke with the Center for Puppetry Arts visited Stone Mill Elementary’s afterschool homework cen-
puppet manipulation. “We fund teachers’ salaries, ter to celebrate the end of the year on March 17. Photo by R. Scott Belzer
Domke said the event was snacks, incentives and events
all in a day’s work, as the 15- like the one we’re hosting today,”
year puppet master spends the McKinney said. “This is our
majority of his time traveling first year [at Stone Mill] and we
to classrooms across the metro always like to have something
Atlanta area and educating extra fun and special for
students on puppetry. Students students at the end of the year
were wowed by each type of where they can learn something
puppet as Domke made a jester as well. Puppetry is always a
talk, a dragon dance and donned big hit with students—and for
a full-body puppet uniform and adults too!”
even made a container talk with McKinney said SCANA
full personality. Energy works with community
“I bring puppets from leaders, superintendents and
around the globe to show kids others to identify schools
and give them the five basic needing sponsored homework
types of puppets seen around centers. The centers provide
the world,” Domke said. “The space for students to complete
five basics are hand puppets, rod class assignments, learn proper
puppets, shadow puppets, string study skills and receive certified-
puppets and body puppets. teacher input on an intimate
It’s one of my passions; I love basis.
inspiring younger minds and McKinney said help in math
older minds with creativity and and English has translated into
ways to tell stories.” improved grades, behavior and
Stone Mill principal Kyia attendance in students.
Clark said she has had great Nicole Meadows, Sponsored by SCANA Energy, the event featured reading by WSBTV’s Rikki Klaus as well as a puppet dem-
development coordinator with onstration and building workshop. Photo by R. Scott Belzer
experiences in working with
SCANA Energy’s homework 21st Century Leaders—the
center at her former school, nonprofit that manages SCANA
Princeton Elementary in Energy’s homework centers—
Lithonia. She called the event said students are selected on
an in-school field trip and very criteria involving academic
important to participating goals.
students. “Math is especially an area
“A lot of these students that students need extra help
don’t travel outside of the Stone in,” Meadows said. “We give
Mountain area,” Clark said. them enrichment and different
“Being able to be exposed to this opportunities to enhance their
enriched program and seeing learning. We’ve seen a lot of
how learning can be fun and growth in kids’ confidence,
exciting is a very rewarding study skills, problem solving
opportunity for our children.” and peer tutoring. It’s a great
Clark thanked SCANA program.”
Energy for providing a program For more information on
that translates into academic SCANA Energy’s Homework
results. Centers, visit www.scanaenergy. Jeff Domke with the Center for Puppetry Arts said inspiring students is one of his passions. Photo by R.
“I’ve seen how this program com. Scott Belzer
BUSINESS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 16

Sean Black, front row right, joins partners and associates in celebrating Knock’s launch in the Atlanta real estate market.

Online home-selling platform debuts in Atlanta area
by Kathy Mitchell founded Trulia.com, designed “Often homes don’t sell quickly there are approximately arranging paperwork and
  to simplify the home search because they are priced too 1,550 listings on the market, coordinating the closing. Using
For many families selling process for buyers. “We high for the market. After the according to Knock, which this platform, sellers can see
the place they have called decided technology also could home has been on the market reports that in 2016 the then accept, counter or reject
home for many years can come improve the process from the a while, the seller may reduce median sale price for a DeKalb offers. Black said that Knock
with a number of stressful seller’s perspective,” said Black, the price sharply to get a quick County home was $222,600 prescreens perspective buyers
complications. Nearly 27 adding that the name Knock sale. All this can be avoided by with the original listing price so that only serious perspective
percent of Atlanta homes was chosen to suggest the setting the right price at the averaging $239,400. That same buyers visit the home. “The
sellers take price reductions time-honored way of seeking start.” year, approximately 10,175 homeowner doesn’t have the
of 8.8 percent or more and entry to a home. The inspection, Black said, DeKalb County properties inconvenience of dealing with
offer an average of $2,500 “Often people selling their identifies needed repairs and were sold. They averaged 54 people who are just curious or
in concessions as they try to homes are in the process of modifications. Knock then days on the market. who do not have the approved
complete the sale, according to buying another and they are arranges for the work and Black said a mobile web credit to buy the home,” he
Knock, an online home-selling depending on money from the monitors its progress. platform streamlines the said.
platform recently introduced sale of their current home for “Atlanta listings see far process of showing the home,
in the Atlanta area market. the down payment on the new too many price reductions
Sean Black, Knock co- one. If the home sale takes too and failed sales,” Glenn stated
founder and CEO, said his long, the deal on the new home in an announcement of the
company offers an easier way. may fall through. We guarantee program. “In fact, more than
He said Knock is changing the the house will sell in six weeks 25 percent of metro Atlanta
industry by offering “the only or less, or we buy it ourselves homes see a price reduction
foolproof, full-service way to at the market price we agreed before a sale is complete and
sell a home in six weeks or less on,” he said. When a home sells more than 10 percent of deals
or it will purchase the home at for more than the price Knock fall through. With pricing and
full market value.” has established, the additional sale certainty, Knock removes
“The internet has certainly money is returned to the the stress of selling a home and
changed the way buyers look homeowner, Black added. puts the power of home selling
for homes; however, the selling The key to being able back into the hands of the
process is about the same as it to make such a guarantee, homeowner.”
was 50 years ago,” said Black, according to Black, is using Atlanta is the first market
who founded Knock along “competitive and accurate in which Knock is available.
with partners Karan Sakhuja home pricing.” Black said his company chose
and Jamie Glenn. He said Knock uses the Atlanta area for the rollout
Black said he and his data science to price homes of the program because it’s a
partners are changing what he accurately. “In addition to a vigorous real estate market.
calls an “antiquated industry” proprietary algorithm and He said later this year the
with a service that guarantees a 200-point inspection we company will expand to
a home will be sold within six use local market expertise another market that it is not
weeks for full market value. to ensure homes are priced yet ready to identify.
The partners earlier right the first time,” he said. In DeKalb County alone
CLASSIFIED DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 17

The
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SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 18

SWD tennis teams give
back to communities
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

Southwest DeKalb boys’ and girls’ tennis teams recently took
time off the tennis court to lend a helping hand.
Tennis coach Lance Thomas-Davenport said 20 tennis
players volunteered at Atlanta’s Grace Fellowship, in partnership
with Hands on Atlanta’s Teen Service Feb. 18.
“The team sorted and packed donated clothing items, [and]
worked in the kitchen preparing meals,” Thomas-Davenport
said. “They also packed food into care package boxes. The
clothes and meals were prepared to be delivered to metro-area
families and residents in need.”
The following Saturday, Feb. 25, 10 members of the team
spent time in the Hartwood Estates Subdivision in Decatur for
the community’s common property revitalization. Thomas-
Davenport said players cut and removed overgrown bushes
and trees, assisted with mulching, prepared the area to build a
walking trail and build piers around the Hartwood Estates lake.
Hartwood Estates subdivision is located less than one mile
from Southwest DeKalb High School. The newly renovated
30-acre common area will include a path and trail around the
community lake, lakefront piers, creek-crossing bridges, and a
community pavilion, according to Thomas-Davenport.
“Southwest DeKalb tennis team’s involvement in these worthy
community service efforts is a part of its coach-mandated annual
day of service and volunteerism,” he said.
Thomas-Davenport said he requires players to actively engage
in community service, which connects them to and places them
in service of their community. He said he also hopes to influence
the students in the direction of continuing such community
Members of the Southwest DeKalb tennis teams participated in community service projects. Photos by service work beyond high school, into their adult lives.
Lance Thomas-Davenport

The Emory men’s and women’s swim and dive team won the Division III national championship.

Emory swim teams win national championship
by Carla Parker consecutive year. Emory set four new Division III Muir followed by winning the 100-freestyle, also
records and collected 28 All-American finishes—23 setting a school record at 49.28.
carla@dekalbchamp.com individual and five relays and added 15 honorable The 400-freestyle relay team featuring Muir, seniors
The Emory University swimming and diving teams mention All-America certificates. Emory finished Marcela Sanchez-Aizcorbe, Marissa Bergh and
dominated the Division III championship swim meets with 645.5 team points, more than 200 points ahead of freshman Caroline Olson won the event with a time of
in Shenandoah, Texas. second place Williams (445). 3:19.56, a new Division III record.
The women’s swim and dive team won its eighth Head Coach Jon Howell was named the Collegiate Adding All-America honors for Emory were
consecutive national championship and the 10th Swimmers Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Bergh (5th, 50.60) and Sanchez-Aizcorbe (6th, 50.77)
overall in program history, while the men’s team won Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year after the in the 100-freestyle, junior Cindy Cheng in the
its first national championship in program history meet for the sixth time in his career and the second 200-backstroke (3rd, 1:58.62) and senior Annelise
March 18. The two titles mark the 21st and 22nd consecutive year. Howell was also named the CSCAA Kowalsky (4th, 2:15.63) and sophomore Ashley
Division III championships in the history of the Emory Men’s Coach of the Year. Daniels (6th, 2:17.50) in the 200-breaststroke.
Athletics program. Sophomore Julia Durmer won the 1,650-freestyle Emory’s honorable mention All-Americans
The women’s team won nine event national titles, title with a school record time of 16:27.82, more than were junior Ming Ong in the 1,650-freestyle (11th,
including a sweep of all five relay events for the second 12 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. Fiona
See Swimming on Page 20A
SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 19

Arabia Mountain defeated Southwest DeKalb 9-3 on March 20.

Cedar Grove fell to Lovett 10-0 on March 15. Photos by Travis Hudgons

March 15
WEEKLY BASEBALL SCORES
Arabia Mountain 11, Clarkston 1 March 16
Druid Hills 6, Luella 3
Marist 5, Chestatee 0
Columbia 7, Chamblee 6 Arabia Mountain 17, Clarkston 2 Marist 11, Chestatee 1
Druid Hills 10, Luella 2 Chamblee 12, Columbia 3 Miller Grove 9, Lithonia 5
Lithonia 15, Cross Keys 0 Decatur 14, Grady 1 Redan 17, McNair 0
Redan 21, McNair 1 Dunwoody 10, Cambridge 3 Stephenson 15, Mt. Zion 5
Stephenson 8, Mt. Zion 6 Redan 5, St. Pius X 4 Tucker 10, Drew 6
Tucker 13, Drew 1 Southwest DeKalb 12, Miller Grove 5 Johns Creek 9, Dunwoody 8
Lovett 10, Cedar Grove 0 Lovett 10, Cedar Grove 0
Northview 6, Dunwoody 4 March 17 Mundy’s Mill 8, M.L. King 3
Mundy’s Mill 12, M.L. King 2 Arabia Mountain 11, Southwest DeKalb 4 Norcross 4, St. Pius X 2
Norcross 3, St. Pius X 1 Chamblee 15, Cross Keys 0 Pace Academy 14, Towers 1
Pace Academy 13, Towers 1 Columbia 9, Clarkston 4
Westminster 12, Stone Mountain 0 Decatur 10, Grady 0
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, March 24, 2017 • Page 20

FREE CUSTOMER SERVICE CLASSES
SWIMMING Continued From Page 18A AND REUNION PLANNING WORKSHOPS
17:06.48), Olson (11th, 50.77) in the 100-freestyle, junior Sia
Beasley in the 200-backstroke (15th, 2:03.24), sophomore
Hannah Lally (10th, 2:18.16) and junior Megan Campbell in the
200-breaststroke (15th, 2:20.87).
The men’s national title comes after the program finished in the
top-three at nationals 13 times including second-place finishes in
2001, 2004, 2005 and 2009. In past championship meets, Emory
never won more than three events. The Eagles won eight during
the four-day championship meet.
Emory finished with 438 points, 54 more than second place
Kenyon College. Emory also set five Division III records, had
16 All-America finishes and had four honorable mention All-
Americans.
Senior Andrew Wilson was named the Swimmer of the
Year for the second time in his career after winning three April 11 (Customer Service) / May 20 (Reunions)
individual titles—200-individual medley, 100-breaststroke and Preregistration is required - 770-492-5000
200-breaststroke. He was also a part of the 200- and 400-medley
relay teams that won the events. All of Wilson’s five wins set new Discover how to provide outstanding Customer Service at our
Division III records. Service Centric Academy.
Following Wilson’s win in the 200-breaststroke, the
400-freestyle relay team of sophomore Trey Kolleck, juniors Learn everything you need to know to plan the perfect
Alexander Hardwick, Oliver Smith and senior Hayes Burdette- Family Reunion in DeKalb County at our Planning Workshops.
Sapp defended their title, breaking the school record with a time
of 2:56.68. Visit us at
DiscoverDeKalb.com to learn more about our free services.
All-America honors went to Smith in the 100-freestyle, who
finished third overall. During preliminaries, he broke his previous
#DISCOVERDEKALB
school record, touching the wall at 43.54. Sophomore Matt Rogers,
who also received All-American honors, finished fifth overall in
the 200-backstroke.
Junior Henry Copses, Kolleck and freshman Sage Ono also
earned honorable mention All-America honors. Copses was 14th

WWW.THECHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM
in the 1650-freestyle (15:46.31), Kolleck was 16th overall in the
100-freestyle, while Ono was 14th in the 200-backstroke.

THERE’S STRENGTH IN GIVING

$
62 million Publix would like to thank our associates and
Publix Super Markets Charities for strengthening our
communities through their generous support of United Way.