FREEPRESS

the DeKalb FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 2017 • VOL. 20, NO. 4 • 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

Watchdog for Justice founder Clara King speaks in front of a group of adults and young Participants in the “keeping kids out of prison” workshop act out a scenario
teens at the eighth annual “keeping kids out of prison” workshop at Wesley Chapel- to demonstrate how making bad choices can lead to prison.
William C. Brown Library April 22.

Non-profit keeping DeKalb kids out of jail
by Horace Holloman the criminal justice system, what Justice may help save a life.
horace@dekalbchamp.com to do if you’re stopped by the “[Young adults’] mindset is
police, when to talk and when that they know everything and
Clara King, a retired to keep silent, the penalty for they have an it-can’t-happen-
employee of the Internal Revenue Georgia’s seven deadly sins and to-me attitude. But when you
Service, restarted her career as what “three strikes and you are look at television [you realize]
an attorney after the age of 50. out” means. it’s happening to us every day,”
The DeKalb County-based “A lot of them get tricked by Derek Graham said. “What [Clara
lawyer said she enjoys her new their friends because they go King] and them are doing is just
career but noticed a troubling along with something and don’t awesome and we want to spread
trend early. King said she noticed want to look like a coward. It’s a it out even more. I’m glad to be a
too many young adults, especially double-edged sword because a Deputy Davis with the DeKalb County part of it.”
young Black males, were ending part of it is injustice, but we have Sherriff’s Office speaks at the “keeping King said she hopes to
up in the prison system for to control what we can control kids out of prison” workshop. partner with a police precinct
making the wrong choices. on our end,” King said. “It’s also in the community in the future
That’s why King, along with important for the parents to get contacted [Watchdog for Justice] so participants can get a full
a group of other female criminal involved because when your and they actually came to our perspective of what not to do
defense attorneys, started child leaves home, there’s certain house.” when an officer stops you.
the Watchdogs for Justice things you want them to know.” Soon after Graham joined During an interview with The
organization. The nonprofit Daisy Graham, who joined the program, her husband Derek Champion, King shared a story
educates young adults on the the organization in 2015, has Graham joined as well. Derek of what an officer once told her
“do’s and don’ts” while interacting been a part of the Big Sister Graham, who retired from the regarding a traffic stop. King said
with police and helps participants program for six years and said military, said anyone can benefit the officer was approaching a
understand their rights. she joined Watchdog For Justice from the Watchdog for Justice young Black male’s car when
“We looked at the whole because the organization sends a seminars. the boy reached under his seat.
picture and we started talking positive message. Derek Graham said it’s According to the officer, she
to the young people to figure During the seminar, Graham important to instill discipline in raised her gun and pointed it at
out why they were in jail in the acted out scenarios based today’s youth. the young man who had tears in
first place and a lot of it was just on actual court cases to help “I’ve seen a lot of younger kids his eyes once he saw the officer
ignorance,” King said. “Some had participants understand the come into the military, and as we with her gun drawn. Apparently,
no idea you could get 10 years consequences of their decisions. know, times change and people the boy was reaching for his
in prison for robbing somebody, Graham said she joined change. What I saw then is an license—not a weapon.
even if it’s just a cell phone.” partly because of her nieces and entirely different culture,” Derek “She said the only reason she
On April 22, the organization nephews. Graham said. “We have to have didn’t shoot him is because she
held a “keeping kids out of prison” “One day I thought about something like this.” was a Christian Black woman.
workshop at the Wesley Chapel the organization that [King] Derek Graham said today’s She had every right to shoot him
William C Brown Library. started and I realized my nieces kids have a lack of respect for and that’s what our young people
The workshop covered and nephews were growing up authority and parental figures, don’t understand,” King said.
constitutional rights and how to and this is something that they but gaining information from an “We want to help and make a
exercise them, tips on avoiding needed to know,” Graham said. “I outside source like Watchdog for difference.”

Visit www.championnewspaper.com for local, real DeKalb County news. @DeKalbChampNews
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 2

by Horace Holloman
SPLOST talk heats up
summer time is coming and it will
be hard to get everyone in a room,”
horace@dekalbchamp.com Commissioner Kathie Gannon said.
“We still have to find a way to move
A few months after the word forward with this process.”
“tolled” derailed a Special Purpose If SB 156 is signed into law, the
Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) county would be limited to spending
referendum in DeKalb County, funds on transportation improvements,
commissioners are now revisiting the public safety facilities related to capital
issue and hope to talk with constituents equipment and the repair of capital
about SPLOST in the upcoming outlay projects.
months. Last year a project list was submitted
Commissioners, county officials and for approval by a citizen advisory
residents are awaiting the Governor’s committee. Two members of the DeKalb County commissioners discussed the possibility of new provisions for SPLOST under Senate
signature on two bills that would affect committee were appointed by former Bill 156 at the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners legislative retreat April 14.
SPLOST in DeKalb County. interim CEO Lee May. The committee’s
Senate Bill 143 “corrects” the tolling project list included road improvements “We get caught up in all these meetings 156. State law defines a capital outlay
language that would have caused and a $40 million government center. and November is going to be here project as a “major, permanent, or long-
a property tax increase for DeKalb Officials in the county’s law before you know it. The goal for us is lived improvement” such as land or
homeowners if SPLOST was passed last department said the SPLOST list to re-engage the community as soon as structure. Under SB 156 the repair of
year. Senate Bill 156, which is currently would have to be analyzed against possible because if we’re not going to capital outlay projects shall not exceed 15
under review by the governor’s office, the new requirements to determine if have the government center, you almost percent of the total SPLOST proceeds.
makes certain provisions on what the the proposed expenditures would be have $35 million that you can use for “I just want to know what I can leave
county can spend with the proceeds allowed. sidewalk [improvements]. ” on. Time passes by so fast. The citizens
from SPLOST. According to information presented According to the county’s budget have already told us what they wanted,”
During a DeKalb County Board of to commissioners during the legislative office, if SPLOST were implemented said Commissioner Mereda Davis
Commissioners legislative retreat held retreat, construction items such as the for five years starting in 2018, it would Johnson. “But you can’t say we didn’t
at the Decatur library, commissioners government center, libraries and parks raise approximately $382 million in have a [project list] approved, because
said they wanted to begin talks with would not be allowed under SB 156. unincorporated DeKalb County. we didn’t vote on it. And we didn’t vote
their constituents. “The [project list] that was put County officials also will have to on it because we were told a week before
“We’re all feeling a little anxious together by District 3 was a great list,” consider what projects qualify as “capital voting about the [tolling language].”
to move forward on this because the said Commissioner Larry Johnson. outlay projects” under the proposed SB

REPORT SEWAGE SPILLS ASAP
Call 770.270.6243 and press 2 report
or email dekalbwaterops@dekalbcountyga.gov
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 3

AROUNDDEKALB
AVONDALE ESTATES Farms Dairy, which was located in Chamblee during
the early 19th century.
Officials state PMAP’s goal is to install and
children will hear a story and work on an art project
based on the theme of the program.
“Welcome Wednesdays” is designed for children
maintain 88 public pianos throughout the metro ages 2-5 with an accompanying adult. Each program
Garden Club celebrates 85 Years Atlanta area. Other pianos are currently stationed is the second Wednesday of the month 10:30-11:30
at Chastain Park, the Woodruff Arts Center, the a.m. beginning June 14. Cost is $6 for non-members,
The Avondale Estates Garden Club will celebrate Memorial Arts Building, Callaway Plaza, Colony $3 for members. There is no charge for infants less
its 85th anniversary with a luncheon on May 7. The Square and the Dunwoody Nature Center. than 12 months and accompanied by an adult.
club is looking for descendants of women who at- For additional information contact Marissa
tended the club’s first meeting on June 10, 1931. For Howard at howard@dekalbhistory.org
more information, contact Mary Crowell at (213)
308-0040 or mqcrowell@gmail.com. Chamblee Middle to host Fun Mud Run
Playground opening at Bouldercrest Park
City to host website class The annual Chamblee Fun Mud Run will take
place at Chamblee Middle School on April 29, starting DeKalb County Department of Recreation,
at 8 a.m. Parks and Cultural Affairs and the Cedar Grove
Avondale Estates will hold a day of training classes Community Association will hold an official opening
to educate residents on how to navigate the city’s The Fun Mud Run is a 5K foot race with obstacles,
water and mud that benefits the Chamblee Middle and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Bouldercrest Park’s
website May 10 at 7 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 new playground on April 29, at 10 a.m., located at
p.m. at city hall, 21 North Avondale Plaza. Communi- School Education Foundation, the school’s booster
club. 4184 Bouldercrest Way. The public is invited to join
cations Manager Debbie Revzin and City Clerk Gina county officials and parks department staff at the
Hill will lead attendees through the city’s website A child-friendly version of the race—titled the 3K
Muddy Buddy—will take place immediately following dedication ceremony.
explaining how to find and download agendas and For more information, contact LaShanda Davis,
minutes, how to register for website notifications, how the Fun Mud Run.
The event is the largest fundraiser for Chamblee at (404)-371-3643 or lsdavis@dekalbcountyga.gov.
to view the city’s website calendar and more. For more
information, email Revzin at drevzin@avondalees- Middle School.
tates.org. According to event officials, the 2016 event—
which attracted 1,200 participants—raised $43,000 Caliber Collision food drive in DeKalb
for students and teachers at Chamblee Middle
School. The funds secured two classrooms; iPads;  In its ongoing commitment to fight childhood
hunger, Caliber Collision is raising the bar with a
BROOKHAVEN Chromebooks; software; laptops; computer
workstations in the media center; two drone national goal to collect 5 million meals during its sixth
annual Restoration Food Drive, from April 17 to May 19.
competition teams; conferences and training for
teachers; and a new floor scrubber. In Doraville and Decatur, food and cash donations
City to host pageant and talent show For more information, visit www. collected by Caliber will benefit Atlanta Community
chambleefunmudrun.com . Food Bank.
The Junior Miss Pageant and Talent Show will be held Caliber’s annual food drive is a grassroots effort
April 29, 4-7 p.m. at Lynwood Park Recreation Center driven by teammates nationwide who challenge each
in Brookhaven. Participants will demonstrate talent other in friendly competitions while hosting a variety of
or skills for the chance to win prizes and a trophy.
All participants will get to ride in the Brookhaven
DECATUR activities in local communities to donate cash and food
items, according to a release. 
Community Day parade the next week. Age groups Collection centers are set up at each of Caliber’s
Downtown tour announced 13 Atlanta area store locations for food and cash
4 and 5-year-olds; 6 and 7, 8 through 11; and 12 and
13. Refreshments and finger foods will be served. The contributions. Donations can also be made online at
“Bring a sandwich, bring a friend, and enjoy caliberDonations.com.
event is $15 per entry. The recreation center is located some history!” a release from DeKalb History Center
at 3360 Osborne Road. suggests. “High Noon History” is a new tour offering
on Fridays in May. The tour will last 30 minutes with 100 Black Women Decatur to host ‘ABC’s of Breast
topics including architecture of the Historic DeKalb Cancer’ health talk
Courthouse and the history of Decatur Square.
CHAMBLEE Tours will begin at noon on the south steps of the
Historic DeKalb Courthouse and last until 12:30 p.m.
An advocate for women’s health education, the
Decatur/DeKalb chapter of 100 Black Women will
“High Noon History” will be offered every Friday in host the “ABC’s of Breast Cancer” health talk April
City reveals latest public piano May. Reservations are not required. Cost is free for 27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Keeton Auditorium of
members of DeKalb History Center and $3 for non- DeKalb Medical Center on 2701 North Decatur Road.
Chamblee officials unveiled the newest public members. All forms of payment accepted. The health fair is co-sponsored by the DeKalb
piano—“Irving”—on April 23 during its Rail Trail For additional information contact Marissa Medical Breast Center and the Decatur/DeKalb
Makers Festival. Howard at (404) 373-1088 ext. 20 chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black
Nico Brett, 11, was the first to play Irving at Women Inc.
its new location under Clairmont Bridge along History center announces new program for Participants can bring a brassiere to “bling out”
Chamblee’s Rail Trail. As a public art piece, following toddlers with decorations from 6:30 to 7 p.m. The bras will
Brett’s performance, the public is allowed to play be donated to the breast center. Doris Jones, a breast
Irving at any time. DeKalb History Center has announced a new cancer survivor, will also lead a discussion on ways to
“I love the idea of having a piano located under the monthly program for toddlers and their guardians detect the disease in its early stages.
Clairmont Bridge, not only does it highlight one of called “Welcome Wednesdays.” The series of The health talk is free and open to the public.
our newest assets with the Rail Trail, but I also believe programs begins June 14 and will emphasize play
the acoustics under the bridge are perfect for this art and learning through art, science and literature. Each
piece,” I hope the piano-playing residents and visitors class will feature a central theme designed to assist
who pass by will entertain others while enjoying this children in learning about the world.
linear park.” The first class will explore the colors that make up
Donated by Play Me Again Pianos (PMAP), Irving the world. Instruction will focus on how to make new
is named after former Chamblee business Irvingdale colors by mixing primary colors and a hunt for colors
in the history center’s exhibits. In each program,
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 4

Soccer field use
draws public ire
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

Kittredge Magnet School’s public-private partnership with Concorde Fire Soccer
Brookhaven resident Gary Association has stirred controversy with surrounding neighbors. Photo by R. Scott
Harris said it’s time DeKalb Belzer
County School District (DCSD)
does something about a local
soccer association and its use with the neighborhood and Harris left the board with a
of Kittredge Magnet School had unique circumstances. He single question.
property. said none of these could be “Would you tolerate this
“Kittredge Magnet School found between the Concorde from your neighbors—stadium
has gone into a private contract soccer games and Kittredge lights and soccer games keeping
for non-governmental use, Magnet School’s surrounding children awake every night of
turning school playgrounds and neighborhood. the week?” Harris said.
a baseball field into a stadium-
lit soccer complex without due
process, following the lay of the
law, or notifying any neighbors
within our community,” Harris
said.
Harris addressed the DCSD
board of education on April
17 during its regular monthly Harris said neighbors have said.
meeting. He said he represented unwillingly been subjected Before Concorde, Neely
hundreds of residents who do to stadium lights, whirring said the previous field’s
not appreciate Kittredge Magnet generators, screams and cheers condition was little more than
School allowing Concorde Fire from players, coaches and a “dustbowl” on dry days and
Soccer Association to use the parents, horns and whistles. a pool on wet days. She said it
field for games and practice, “Our research has shown was mostly made up of mud
citing disagreements with that school districts are not and clover.
legality, land use, lights, traffic immune from local zoning Neely said the field has an
and noise disruptions. laws—they have to follow irrigation system, a paid water
Harris asked the board zoning ordinances when bill, grass and over seeding in
Doraville is set to get tropical at its 2017 State of the City Address by hosting
to investigate the school’s allowing proprietary use,” winter—all thanks to Concorde A1A, a Jimmy Buffett tribute band.
agreement with Concorde. He Harris said. “This project is in Fire Soccer Association. She

Doraville gets tropical
said allowing such a contract to violation of our constitutional called it a “lush green playing
proceed could potentially result rights to enjoy the privacy of space for children.”
in a “massive decline in home our home. Other schools that According to Neely,
values,” for neighbors. we have researched have main Concorde has done everything The city of Doraville’s and original music.
Agreements between schools road access, traffic lights and asked, including landscaping Flowers Park—located at 5921 The event will be the first
and private organizations’ use of stop signs. We have none of that and cancelling soccer practice New Peachtree Road— is of several scheduled Concert
ball fields exist throughout the in our neighborhood.” on behalf of the school. set to host a Jimmy Buffett in Flowers events. Attendees
county. Harris said, however, Kittredge Magnet School “All partnerships serve to tribute band on April 28 in can expect live music, food
Kittredge Magnet School’s principal Laura Neely also benefit the students of DeKalb conjunction with its 2017 State trucks and activities suitable
case is exceptional because spoke at the April 17 meeting. County,” Neely said. “They of the City Address by Mayor for family members.
the school is located within a She said Concorde Fire are vital to enrich the lives Donna Pittman. According to Doraville
residential neighborhood. Soccer Association has been a of schoolchildren in DeKalb The tribute band, officials, Pittman’s address
Kittredge and the benefactor to Kittredge. County.” A1A, regularly headlines will include a review of
surrounding neighborhood is “Prior to this partnership, Harris cited cases Jimmy Buffett Parrot accomplishments throughout
zoned R-100—single-family our field was practically where similar situations Head Conventions and 2016 as well as events and
residential—by the city of unusable due to previous use by have been allowed because has released three original development plans to be
Brookhaven. According to neighborhood baseball teams the arrangements did not albums. Concert goers can expected in 2017 and beyond.
Harris, such designation does and weekend cricket—neither have adverse effects on the expect Buffett favorites Doraville’s Concert in
not permit stadium lights or one of which provided any neighborhood, was compatible such as “Margaritaville,” Flowers and 2017 State of the
after-hours events. benefit to our school,” Neely “Cheeseburger in Paradise” City are free to attend and
and “Son of a Son of a Sailor” open to the general public.
in addition to classic reggae

EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD HAS A Naturehood

DiscoverTheForest.org
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 5

Bringing HOPE to DeKalb
Single parents
receive college
assistance
by Gale Horton Gay

If all goes as planned, in a
year and a half Antesha Wright
will complete her criminal justice
and forensic science degree
at American InterContinental
University (AIU) and land a job with
the GBI or another agency as an
investigator. When that happens, it
will be the fulfilment of a long-held/
hard-fought for dream.
Wright, a single mother of two,
has found support for achieving
her dream in an appropriately
named organization HOPE, which
stands for Helping Other People Participants interact in a HOPE counseling session.
be Empowered.
HOPE provides Wright and
her family with rent assistance Financial stress is the main
and support services that she reason students don’t finish
credits with helping her reach her college, according to HOPE’s
educational goal. website.
“It’s a wonderful program,” said “Our goal is to target those
Wright. “I am very fortunate.” single parents who do not qualify
HOPE founder and CEO for government assistance, but
Kenita Pierce-Lewis said the without assistance are unable
program is individually tailored to to provide for their children and
each participant. plan for a better future. Our
The program provides up purpose is to help single parents
to $400 a month in rental and focus on their academics without
childcare assistance as well as the anxieties of shelter lost and
financial training and counseling. childcare issues.”
The nonprofit organization is The way the organization
funded through grants and operates is providing single
donations. It serves people in parents with subsidized housing
Lawrenceville-Duluth Kappa Alpha Psi Alumni Chapter (LDAC) donated $1,000 in
DeKalb, Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett vouchers and child care vouchers gift cards to HOPE. From left: Kenneth Haynes, LDAC Foundation treasurer; Arthur
and Clayton counties. while they attend school. The Lusby, LDAC Foundation president; HOPE CEO Kenita Pierce-Lewis and Steve
vouchers are directly paid to the Dowdley, LDAC Foundation vice president, along with HOPE board members.
To participate in the program,
single parents must be enrolled full apartment leasing offices and child
time in an accredited two- or four- care providers on behalf of the mentoring and given information She said the woman was not
year college to obtain an associate program participants. about home ownership. She added encouraged in her quest to get her
or bachelor degree, maintain a 2.7 Wright, who lives in the that HOPE also helped her teens degree.
or higher GPA and work part time Panthersville area, said she’s been be involved in sports by paying Pierce-Lewis said starting
or full time. receiving financial assistance from some activity fees. and running HOPE has been
Before she started the HOPE for almost a year—$200 a Pierce-Lewis said she easily challenging. She said she didn’t
organization, which is based in month for rent and $85 a month relates to the people she now take a salary from the organization
Duluth, Pierce-Lewis was the for childcare. At one time Wright helps. She recalls her struggles for three years and has had to deal
manager at a hospice facility. She was working two jobs as well as while a former single parent with upheavals in her personal life.
shared her vision for HOPE with attending classes at AIU, and completing her bachelor and “All the sacrifices and
a doctor at the facility who was so because of HOPE she was able master degrees. commitments have paid off,” she
impressed that he gave her start- to quit one of the jobs. However She said she’s been inspired said. “I know what I am doing is
up funds. the organization’s support is by many of the individuals HOPE actually making a difference and
To date, HOPE has assisted 36 broader than just monetary has helped and cited a woman it’s worth it.”
single parents and 75 children and help. Through the organization, who’s about to graduate, has five For more information on
21 parents have graduated from she’s attended support groups, children and will be the first person HOPE, go to www.hopebe.org.
college. received counseling about in her family to go to college.
domestic violence, had one-on-one
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 6

Passengers have rights, so do airlines
The recent uproar of the Dao and the viral sharing of should keep in mind. Always
passenger being forcefully videos of the incident, United’s confirm your ticket as quickly
removed from a United Airlines stock took a $255 million loss. as is allowed—typically 24
flight has likely taught many Granted, Dao could have hours in advance of the flight,
a lesson that we either never been a bit more agreeable and arrive at airports at least two
knew or thought it would be John Hewitt not made such a scene, but hours prior to the scheduled
highly unlikely that the rule johnh@dekalbchamp.com regardless of how one feels departure time for domestic
would be enforced. about what Dao did, the airline flights and three hours prior
The mice type that we never and security officers could for international flights. And,
look at until there is an issue for compensation. Many have also handled the situation if given the opportunity and
gives an airline the right to people are highly agreeable more professionally. your schedule permits it,
bump passengers against their to being bumped if they are Since the incident, Dao’s accept an offer from the airline
will if flights are overbooked— not on a tight schedule as background has been exposed if airline representatives ask
which is a common practice they can often catch the next and shows a prior conviction for volunteers to willingly
among all major carriers. flight and receive financial for soliciting gay sex in surrender their seats. Often,
In 2016, Southwest Airlines compensation. exchange for prescription agreeable passengers will get
led U.S. airlines in involuntary The legality of removing a drugs and that he is also a financial compensation and a
bumping with 14,979 ticketed passenger may give professional poker player. Dao, complimentary flight voucher
according to Department of the airline the authority to do a physician, surrendered his for another flight.
Transportation (DOT)data. In so but it in no way portrays medical license in February Overbooking by airlines is a
comparison, Atlanta-based an environment that most 2005 after being convicted standard practice and a reality
Delta Airlines had 1.238 during travelers want to be in. From of drug-related offenses, that all must accept. We can,
the same period. a public relations perspective, according to The Courier- however, make the best of
The top three U.S. airlines United’s debacle has become a Journal of Louisville, Ky. an unpleasant situation and
in involuntary bumpings are nightmare. Memes, jokes and Though interesting, Dao’s take advantage of whatever
Southwest, American and fake commercials for United background has nothing to do offers are extended to those
United respectively. are flooding social media sites. with the incident onboard the willing to give up their seats.
DOT regulations require that There have also been huge United plane and should not If we don’t, we could end up
airlines first ask for passengers financial losses for United. even be part of the discussion. being removed from the flight
who are willing to voluntarily In the first day following the There are lessons in all anyway.
give up their seats in exchange removal of passenger David of this that anyone who flies
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 7

Let the broadcast onslaught begin–again
And the political eyes of the majority female and Republican— consolidation and Handel win
nation are upon us… ‘One Man’s based on voter registration may remain much easier to
  data. But Handel has not always forecast, but she exited the
Despite approval ratings in Opinion’ done best among women voters bruising primary with challenged
low double digits, incumbent and it remains to be seen if the finances, and has demonstrated
members of our U.S. Congress Bill Crane bruises and intra-party/campaign in prior races a mean streak in
continue to enjoy re-election rates bill.csicrane@gmail.com shots fired between the many attack ads and mailers which
in the upper 90 percentiles.  earlier GOP contenders will have don’t always flatter her candidacy.
In 2016, 393 of 435 House healed in time for this likely lower-  All voters across the 6th may
of Representatives members five Democrats and 11 turnout mid-summer runoff.  vote in the runoff, regardless of
sought re-election. In the Senate, Republicans, was whittled down A win by Ossoff in a whether they voted in April. 
29 of 34 members up for election to two by the Special Election historically GOP district, in a Expect to see unheard of
ran for another term. In the of April 18.  With no candidate reliably Red state would not Super PAC donor dollars and
House, 13 incumbents lost, receiving a majority, the runoff bode well for Trump or GOP national surrogates on the stage
and in the Senate, two; giving election will be Tuesday, June 20.  congressional incumbents in the at many a shopping center, city
incumbent re-election rates The front-runner, Democrat coming 2018 mid-terms, which hall and county park. The stakes
of 97 percent (House) and 93 John Ossoff, at 48 precent of rarely favor the party in power in are high and the odds can be
percent (Senate). A much higher the vote, is running primarily on the White House. viewed as long, no matter which
percentage of membership a platform of holding Trump and  However the 6th District does side you see as the likely winner.
change occurs via retirement, Congress accountable, while not have the high minority voter
taking another job (in a new emphasizing his experience as a populations of the 4th and 5th
administration) or death.  congressional staffer.  Districts, and there is limited Bill Crane also serves as a
This greatly increases the While Ossoff, a 30-year- Democratic Party infrastructure in political analyst and commentator
value and comparative rarity of old documentary film-maker, place.  for Channel 2’s Action News,
an open seat election, such as is is not a resident of the 6th The majority of this district’s WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now
currently underway in Georgia’s District, and the vast majority voters are White, suburbanites 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist
6th Congressional District.  of his contributions have come (70.1 percent). Ossoff has to for The Champion, DeKalb Free
The 6th District was from out of state (95 percent- connect not only with Democrats Press and Georgia Trend. Crane
redrawn after the 1990 census, plus), his GOP-style messaging and independents, but lock down is a DeKalb native and business
acknowledging solid population clearly connected with district thousands of Republicans still owner, living in Scottdale. You
growth in Atlanta’s northern voters. During the special election unsure of a Trump presidency, or can reach him or comment on a
suburbs, as well as packing he raised and spent in excess of already often repeating “I told you column at bill.csicrane@gmail.
GOP voters in north DeKalb, $9 million, delivering a record- so.”    com.
Fulton and Cobb counties into breaking media airwaves assault.  A come-from-behind GOP
one congressional district, by the  Ossoff brings a young and
then Democratic Party controlled fresh face to the race, and it
Georgia General Assembly. The appears the GOP standard bearer
first to occupy the newly (with 20 percent of the vote) will
configured seat in 1992 was then- be a well-established hand, in the
Congressman Newt Gingrich.  form of former Secretary of State
When Speaker Gingrich Karen Handel. 
left the U.S. House in 1998, his Handel has a track record of
successor was longtime GOP achievements, as chair of the
stalwart and then State Senator Fulton County Commission, in the
Johnny Isakson, now our senior private sector and as Georgia’s
U.S. senator. When Isakson secretary of state. Her name
ran for the U.S. Senate, he was identification among Republicans
succeeded by Congressman is also off the charts, including
Tom Price who last won the one near-miss race for the GOP
district by 23 percentage points gubernatorial nomination in 2010
in November of 2016. In contrast, and a more recent run for the
President Donald Trump won U.S. Senate. 
the same district by only two The race for Handel may
percentage points. seem uphill, given the momentum
 An initial field of 18 and financial advantages enjoyed
candidates, two independents, by Ossoff. The 6th District is

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
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LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 8

A DeKalb voter registration official said thousands of people were turned away after finding out they Maxine Daniels (left) tells a DeKalb resident that she is not able to vote in the District 6 special
did not live in District 6. election.

DeKalb voters confused during special election
voter registration and elections civic duty as a Black man to Goldsmith said. “Then I found voters because as you can see
by Horace Holloman office in DeKalb is not a polling vote, but was unaware that only out it was just for District 6.” they were excited to come
horace@dekalbchamp.com station on election day. voters residing within District 6 Daniels said it’s voters’ out and vote, but there was
“It’s extremely frustrating,” could vote. responsibility to know which nothing for them to vote on,”
Anyone who listened to Daniels said. “We’ve taken shifts “I woke up early this polling station to go to, but Daniels said. “There’s some
the radio or watched television all day long. At one point, we morning and went to my said she can sympathize with responsibility for the voters,
leading up to the April 18 had people that were very irate. polling place and it was closed. DeKalb residents who may but the biggest responsibility is
District 6 special election likely It’s been a really tough road So I came here and saw all have been confused by recent on the campaign ads because
heard advertisements stressing because of that. As I heard the the cars and thought ‘oh, I advertisements. they’re the ones that are

FRITO
the importance of residents commercials, I knew this was am supposed to vote [here],’” “It’s unfortunate for the misleading.”
getting to the polls and voting. going to happen.”
Some DeKalb residents took With most polling stations
that message quite literally, closing at 7 p.m., groups of
which resulted in confusion on people were being told they
Election Day. could not vote because they
Maxine Daniels, director were not residents of District 6
of voter registration and as late as 6:55 p.m.

LAY
elections in DeKalb County, Resident Francine Weaver,
said thousands of voters were who lives near the Glenwood
turned away April 18 after they area, said she was frustrated by
found out they live in the wrong the process.
district to vote for the District 6 “I thought it was DeKalb
Congressional race. County but [today] I was
“I’ve never experienced it told that I live in the district
like this before because there’s of Atlanta and not in north
never been a race so widely DeKalb,” Weaver said. “This
publicized in a special election,” was a waste of gas and I
Daniels said. “Most of the ads
said, ‘if you live in DeKalb,
wanted my vote to be counted.
[Advertisements] told us if you Lung Cancer • Other Cancers
Fulton or Cobb [counties] come live in DeKalb to vote, so I still
out and vote.’” don’t understand why I’m not Special trusts have been set up by vendors and suppliers
Daniels said once she heard allowed to vote.” of Frito Lay to pay asbestos victims:
the advertisements she knew Monique Hobbs went to
several polling stations before If you ever worked at Frito Lay you may have been exposed to asbestos -
there would be a problem. In an
and not even know it. You could be entitled to multiple cash settlements without going
effort to lessen confusion, voter she realized that she was not
to court, filing a lawsuit, or even leaving your house.
registration officials posted eligible to vote in the District 6
special election. If you ever worked at Frito Lay, and have been diagnosed with
the names of Hank Johnson
Lung Cancer (even if you are a smoker) - or Esophageal, Laryngeal, Pharyn-
and John Lewis on a poster “They should have been
geal, Stomach, Colon, Rectal Cancer or Mesothelioma, or know

1-800-478-9578
of a districting map displayed more clear. The communication someone who died from one of these cancers, call
to help residents understand should have been better. There
which district they could vote are too many people that are
in. willing to vote,” Hobbs said. “It’s
Even some voters who live my civic duty to vote. It’s not
in the 6th District and were fair. That communication was
eligible to vote showed up at not put out the way it should
be.”
Free www.getnorris.com/asb
the county elections office and Nationwide Service
found out they were in the DeKalb resident Todd Claims Analysis
wrong location. Daniels said the Goldsmith said it was also his No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 9

No place like home
United Methodist Children’s Home sells property
City of Decatur officials also
by Horace Holloman agreed to name the existing
horace@dekalbchamp.com administrative building in
memory of Cochran.
“I think, overwhelmingly,
After decades of service to we’ve had a favorable response
at-risk children in the DeKalb [to selling the property] on
county area, the United social media. Our residents
Methodist Children’s Home in seem to be excited about the
Decatur sold its property to the opportunity to be living in a
city of Decatur for $40 million. community,” Cerniglia said.
In an April 17 city “Initially, I think some of our
commission meeting, neighbors were concerned
commissioners voted to about what would happen with
purchase the 77 acres of the property, but now I think
property currently owned they’re very happy because the
by the United Methodist
Children’s Home of the North
Georgia Conference Inc.
John Cerniglia, vice
president of development for
UMCH, said the organization
is working to find a location
that fits the needs of its 80
residents who are currently
living on campus.
“We’re in the process of The United Methodist Children’s Home announced the sale of its
researching options to relocate property to the city of Decatur for $40 million. As part of the deal,
Decatur agreed to preserve Moore Chapel and the grave site of its
the 80 people who live on founder. Photos by Horace Holloman
campus,” Cerniglia said. “We’re
focusing on DeKalb County
so it’s not too much of a move Children’s Home to greatly conduct a community-based
and people can feel close. We expand local, community- master planning effort for the
want to be on the MARTA line. based ministries in towns and future use of the property once
Ideally, we want to be where we cities across north Georgia the sale is final and the city has
are in a community.” and partnership with many possession of the property.”
Cerniglia said the more churches,” said UMCH The sale also will help create
agreement with the city of a preservation covenant for Cochran, who led the ministry city of Decatur is committing
President and CEO Rev. Hal for more than four decades.
Decatur is a win-win for Jones. former CEO of UMCH Bev to preserving green space.”  
all parties involved because The only official offer
the city agreed to preserve UMHC received was from the
the Moore Chapel and the
June 5 -
P olice Athletic League
city of Decatur, though many dekalb county p.a.l.
gravesite of UMCH’s founder expressed interest, UMHC
Rev. Dr. Jesse Boring. The
proceeds from the sale also will
officials said. In January, the July 28
UMCH board voted to release Lithonia Middle
help children around the state,
Cerniglia said.
assets tied to the property by
selling its Decatur campus.
summer academy School
According to UMHC
officials, the nonprofit will
Decatur city officials will
ultimately decide what to do
Ages 7-14
invest $30 million in its with the property’s buildings
endowment and the rest will and greenspace.
be used for preserving the “The purchase of this
chapel, the sale, leasehold property fits with the city’s
improvements for residential mission, vision and values
housing and offices across and is an investment for
north Georgia and associated ACTIVITIES
current and future families and Art, career exploration, community
relocation costs. children,” said Decatur Mayor
“Funds from the sale will service, fitness fieldtrips, guest
Patti Garrett in a statement. speakers, sports workshops,
help the United Methodist “The city of Decatur will swimming, tutorial and more!

.
Call now to

E
S SE. LE.
reserve space

U
770-724-7479

E D
R RE EC U Y C $55
per week

R www.dekalbcountypalplus.org
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 10

East DeKalb Boys & Girls Club partnered with Buffalo Wild Wings at Stonecrest for a second consecutive year of “Boys &
Girls Club Day,” when 10 percent of profits were donated to the club. Photos by R. Scott Belzer

‘East DeKalb tough’
Boys & Girls Club receives donations from
BEWA R E OF T H E
Buffalo Wild Wings
FAKE NEWS
INVASION
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

On April 19, Buffalo
Wild Wings at Stonecrest
transformed into a fundraising
haven benefiting a DeKalb
County nonprofit.
Leaders at the East DeKalb
Boys & Girls Club and Buffalo
local news at its best!
OBJECTIVE
Wild Wings partnered to make
April 19 “Boys & Girls Club
Day”, with 10 percent of the
day’s profit donated to the club.

ACCURATE
The event follows the success of my heart; it’s one thing I will local organizations to assure
a similar event in 2016, which cherish for the rest of my life community awareness,
brought approximately $500 to and one of those things I will inspiration for children and
the DeKalb nonprofit. never forget because they didn’t long-term investment.

BALANCED
More than 25 children forget about me. I have four Riley said the donations
celebrated the event at Buffalo children, and [the club] helped help fund Boys & Girls Club
Wild Wings. Several items me make sure I’m there for activities such as Passport to
supplied by Buffalo Wild Wings them before anything else. The Manhood and Global Girls,
were raffled with the proceeds Boys & Girls Club taught me which helps guide children into
benefitting East DeKalb Boys & that—how to be a man.” productive young men and FOR A LIMITED TIME GET 52 WEEKS OF
Girls Club. Boys & Girls Club parent women. Funds will also help HOME OR OFFICE DELIVERY FOR ONLY
General Manager Nicholas of four Astrid Varner said it’s Torch Club, a middle school

$ 25
Hall, who was reared with important that children receive leadership group, as well as I
the help of Boys & Girls Club the benefit of such partnerships. Can Club, a 5- and 6-year-old
in Memphis, Tenn., said he “It brings great awareness to leadership group.
would not be the man he is our community,” Varner said. Riley said East DeKalb
today without the organization’s “It encourages our kids to do Boys & Girls Club’s mantra is
support. better and be more active in the “East DeKalb tough,” which
Hall, who has been an community. The Boys & Girls celebrates the character of
Atlanta resident for two years, Club has made a huge impact the club following several
said connecting with the local in my kids’ lives—it’s caused transitional periods.
Boys & Girls Club was one of a lot of leadership in them, To support the East DeKalb
his top priorities upon arrival. volunteerism and activity.” Boys & Girls Club—located at
He said it was surreal to emerge “It’s a huge blessing to have the Redan Recreation Center
from a tough neighborhood people come in and donate at 1839 Phillips Road in
and begin the process of giving to our club,” said East DeKalb Lithonia—visit www.bgcma.
back.
“I used to be one of those
Boys & Girls Club director
Brandon Riley.
org. CALL 404.373.7779
kids,” Hall said. “The Boys
& Girls Club is very close to
Riley said it is important
for the club to partner with FOR DETAILS
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 11

WEEKinPICTURES

Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson said DeKalb County ignored the city’s request for paving for so long that John Cerniglia, vice president of development for United Methodist Children’s Home, speaks
the city took over the service. On April 18, the city announced it will pave eight miles of roads in Chamblee. to a group of people after the nonprofit announced it sold its property to the city of Decatur
Photo submitted. for $40 million. Photo by Horace Holloman

Seniors at the Clarkston Community Center broke into dance on April 18 to Southwest DeKalb High School students were among the first A Cross Keys pitcher throws a pitch to a Clarkston
celebrate a “warm and creative energy” at the center’s core dance class. to receive full ride scholarships to Georgia State University and batter. Photo by Carla Parker
Officials said it was a nice way to refresh and unwind after adult ESL celebrated on April 18. Photos submitted.
classes. 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, April 28, 2017 • Page 12

4US hosted community beautification party on March 25 at Redan Mercado Shopping Center on Wellborn Road to clean up the area. More than 50 volunteers came out to pick up trash, tires and other debris
along Covington Highway and Wellborn Road.

Residents come together to serve community
by Carla Parker County and doing cleanups 25 at Redan Mercado Shopping do [the project] there.” Along with their efforts
carla@dekalbchamp.com and hosting events to unify the Center on Wellborn Road. Along with the Cove Lake to clean up communities,
community” McKenzie said. More than 50 volunteers came Community, C-Lo’s Barber McKenzie said he, his brother
Tired of seeing “We’re also getting involved out to pick up trash, tires and Shop also partnered with 4US and friend want to go into
communities neglected, three with the school system to start other debris along Covington on the project and gave free classrooms and talk to students
south DeKalb County residents the education part of it.” Highway and Wellborn Road. haircuts. Volunteers filled about taking care of their
have taken matters into McKenzie said 4US was McKenzie said 4US decided more than 100 bags with community and other topics.
their own hands to clean up created to serve communities to tackle that area first after trash, extracted a dozen tires, “We want to teach them
unkempt neighborhoods. that are not being served. attending a community three beds and other waste basic things about financial
John McKenzie, 23, his “We’re just stepping in and homeowners’ association on Covington Highway and literacy that are not normally
brother Kithan Caines, 28, filling that void because a lot of meeting at the Cove Lake Wellborn Road. taught in schools— such as
and friend Jasmin Gresham, the areas that we’re focused on Community. “People came out to taxes, taking out student loans,”
24, co-founded 4US in January don’t get as much attention as “They talked about the support us,” McKenzie said. he said. “I feel like that’s a void
to unify their communities, far as funding or programs,” he neglect that was going on in McKenzie said 4US is that we have. Just teaching
through acts of service, said. “We’re coming in to bring that area,” he said. “There is a planning to host a cleanup them about the real world,
education and economic awareness and appreciation for ‘no dump’ area over there that event at Shoal Creek Park on things they can apply to their
empowerment. these areas.” looks bad. People have dumped Glenwood Road on April 30. lives.”
“We’re going out to different 4US hosted a community beds, tires and a lot of stuff The event will feature a 3-on-3
neighborhoods in DeKalb beautification party on March there. That’s why we decided to basketball tournament.

Keep DeKalb
beautiful turns
blight into art
by Staff Reports

Keep DeKalb Beautiful is working with communities to
convert blight into art with its Barriers to Beauty program.
The program installs brightly painted concrete barriers to
prevent illegal dumping in key areas. Its most recent project
was installed off River Road.

“These barriers are used to prevent dumping in key areas,
and when they are bare, they look institutional,” said
Gordon Burkette, program director of Keep DeKalb
Beautiful, in a statement. “This hands-on project is
designed to give young people the opportunity to improve
how their own communities look through creativity.”

Barriers to Beauty promotes community involvement and
educates citizens about how illegal dumping affects them.
Participants spray paint the base of the block, then use
recycled signs to create stencils of picket fences, flowers,
butterflies and more.

For more information about Barriers to Beauty, or to
organize a project, contact Keep DeKalb Beautiful at (404)-
249-2010 or kdb@dekalbcountyga.gov. Colorful barriers off River Road block a former illegal dump site and beautify the community.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 13

DeKalb County code enforcement officials said the department is working on a resolution for the blighted property located at 680 Waverly Place.

DeKalb’s code enforcement
seeks help on blighted property
by Horace Holloman process will require taxpayer “It will give jurisdictions
horace@dekalbchamp.com money, litigation and a court like DeKalb a much greater
order. opportunity to identify and
“Taxpayers have to pay for seek court remedies and
One DeKalb County that. Number one, we really ultimately eliminate blighted
commissioner called the don’t have the resources, and residential and or commercial
remains of Waverly Place number two, do the taxpayers properties,” Thurmond said.
Apartments a “mini-Brannon want us using their money to Georgia House Bill 434,
Hills” while touring what used clean up someone else’s stuff. which the House sent to the
to be an apartment complex That’s the challenge,” Clark governor’s office on April
on the outskirts of the city of said. “We are engaging in 5, would shorten the time
Clarkston. conversations trying to figure municipalities must wait
The complex, located out a solution. We have not to convert a property after
at 680 Waverly Place in neglected it, contrary to belief. acquiring it through eminent
A final notice of violation posted on a burned support beam at a Waverly Place
unincorporated DeKalb apartment complex.
We are trying to find a way domain. Currently law states,
just behind Indian Creek around state law.” “All condemnations shall
Elementary School, is a to addressing issues such property. We have to take
One of the issues is not be converted to any use as blighted properties,” them to court. First, we have
situation DeKalb code identifying and finding other than a public use for
enforcement officials are all Thurmond said. to locate them to even get
the multiple owners of the 20 years from the initial Clark said dealing with them into court,” Clark said.
too familiar with. However, property, Clark said, as well condemnation.”
the process of remedying the blighted properties is a “When they get to court and
as getting permission from If the county acquires a complicated issue that takes the judge orders, they still may
situation is at a standstill, a Superior Court judge to property through eminent
according to DeKalb time because each owner of the not clean up the property. The
go on private property and domain, HB 434 would property is allowed due process missing part that we have to do
County Code Enforcement demolish the building. She reduce that time to five years
administrator Tonza Clark. under the law. a better job with is educating
said the cost of litigation will instead of 20 years after initial “We have to give people the residents on what we do
Clark said code vary based on the number condemnation.
enforcement is seeking due process. So with that being so we can partner and share
of attorneys needed and the “If this law is signed by said, we can’t force anyone or information.”
help from the Thurmond hourly rate they charge, among the governor, we will be very
administration and the make someone clean up their
other factors. She did note aggressive moving forward
county’s legal department to the process would be “very
determine what steps can be expensive.”
taken on the blighted property.
“It’s a very difficult situation
In September of last year,
Chester Meisel—owner
Your Opinion Counts!
and we’re actually calling on of the blighted Creekside
our law department [for help],” The Housing Authority of DeKalb County is preparing a
Forest Apartment Complex Community Transformation Plan for the neighborhoods
Clark said. “We’re actually in DeKalb—was issued a off of N. Decatur Road from Scottdale to east of Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
putting together a task force. $338,000 bench warrant from The Plan will focus on improving access to transportation, education, health, and
We need some help. We’ve hit employment services in this area.
a DeKalb County judge for his
a brick wall and we can’t move failure to clean up his property. Please plan to attend the community forums for a discussion of these important issues.
forward because of state law.” During a press conference Your input will inform and help shape fair housing in DeKalb County for years to come!
Because the complex is to announce a code
considered private property, Public Forum #1: Public Forum #2:
enforcement sweep around Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 6:00 PM Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 6:00 PM
despite its condition, Clark Moreland Avenue April 12, Hamilton Recreation Center Clarkston Public Library,
said the owners still have rights DeKalb CEO Michael 3262-B Chapel St. 951 N Indian Creek Dr.
to the area. Clark also said Thurmond said new legislation Scottdale, GA Clarkston, GA
code enforcement wants to put *
awaiting the governor’s Children Welcome and Refreshments Provided*
the property in rem—a legal signature may help DeKalb For more information or for any special needs relating to accessibility, vision
process that uses public money County with its blighted impairment, hearing impairment or foreign language assistance, please contact:
to demolish a property. The property issues. Keri Taylor, 404-270-2500
EDUCATION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 14

A DAY OF
EMPOWERMENT
Miller Grove High event emphasizes
community relationships

by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

For more than three hours on April 22, students, parents and
community stakeholders in southeastern DeKalb County had
the opportunity to become empowered, as officials from DeKalb
County School District (DCSD)’s Region IV hosted an inaugural
Empowerment Day event. Region IV Empowerment Day featured breakout sessions where students and parents could learn about financial aid,
“Today, April 22, is a day [parents] can look back on as a day technology and other aspects of enriching local education. Photo by R. Scott Belzer
they made a positive impact on their family,” said DCSD Region
IV parent facilitator Tamesha Favors.
Favors said Empowerment Day for Region IV—which
includes the Miller Grove, Lithonia, MLK Jr., and Southwest
DeKalb high school clusters—sought to bring together the
community and support DeKalb County residents.
The event featured door prizes, giveaways, entertainment
and snacks in addition to more than 25 college representatives,
community resources, financial experts and other vendors.
Attendees were also invited to attend breakout sessions involving
financial aid, student engagement, parent involvement and
technology.
Jabar and Christina Stephens from the Stephens Agency, an
Atlanta-based financial advisory company, said they attended the
event to provide education on savings and investing.
“We’re here to show students such things as compound
interest, how money works and those types of things—our
money did not come with instruction,” Jabar Stephens said.
“Hopefully we can inspire some people to take the next step and
come up with their own financial game plan. We want to see
people in a better place and willing to grow their finances.”
Jasmine Douglas of Beulah Heights University and William
Walker of Georgia Piedmont Technical College were present at
Region IV’s Empowerment Day to educate students and parents
about opportunities at their respective colleges.
“I love the fact that the event is family [focused],” Douglas
said. “The average age at [Beulah Heights] is 42 … I’m
encouraged by parents who come out and get the resources
themselves.” Betsy Miller with the CT Foundation talks with Region IV community members during the DeKalb County School District’s
inaugural Region IV Empowerment Day event. Photo by R. Scott Belzer
Walker said the purpose of his visit was to inform students
and parents that college level education is always a possibility.
“We’re affordable,” Walker said. “We have accessibility. We’re
providing good education opportunities for students.”
Betsy Miller of the Children & Teenagers Foundation
was present to let community members know about her
organization’s services. The foundation provides therapy,
psychiatry, nursing and skill-building in the Region IV
community for more than 300 families per month.
Miller said Empowerment Day provided starts for
relationships in the Region IV community.
“Some [people today] talked about recent deaths in their
family—one a pet and one a father,” Miller said. “Teenagers really
benefit from today. Nowadays, parents are very busy, people are
stressed, and there’s a lot of concentration on self. Kids always
need good role models and positive influences.”
Favors said the overall goal of Empowerment Day was to
provide support for families.
“We want to empower our parents and let them know there
are a lot of resources,” Favors said. “We’re coming together today,
as a family, and experiencing it together. We’re making an impact
as a family.”

Parents and students engaged with college representatives throughout the day on April 22 during the Region IV
Empowerment Day at Miller Grove High School. Photo by R. Scott Belzer
EDUCATION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 15

DeKalb County School District approved a $1.2 million donation for athletic facility improvements to Dunwoody High School on April 17 that stirred debate on E-SPLOST V projects. Photo
submitted.

Dunwoody donation causes debate trouble,” Johnson said. “I don’t
by R. Scott Belzer have a problem with a donation
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com but if we do it for this category
what’s going to prevent us from
An approved $1.2 million another scenario on the same
donation from a Dunwoody track? We’re opening up a box.”
booster club stirred controversy Board member Vicki
April 17 during a DeKalb Turner said she was fine
County School District (DCSD) with the current policy and
board of education meeting. appreciated reallocating
The donation—which funds from projects that are
will go toward artificial turf, completed under budget. She
seating, outdoor lighting, track was supported by fellow board
replacement, restrooms and a members Joyce Morley and
concession stand—will be used Michael Erwin.
in conjunction with $790,000 The board of education
in E-SPLOST V funds already approved the donation without
allocated to Dunwoody High adopting a new policy pending
School from the district. an architectural feasibility study.
Proposed restroom and concession space for Dunwoody High.
According to DCSD The study will analyze whether
officials, the combination of budget. $700,000—due to a donation “If we’re going to do it for the project will interfere with
funds will allow the project Board member Marshall or similar source of outside [Dunwoody High School], we an incoming 26-classroom
to be completed faster than Orson said he appreciates funds— the remaining $90,000 have to do it for everyone… [If addition to Dunwoody High
originally scheduled. While setting a precedent in public- should be used for continued we didn’t] we would almost be School.
the project wasn’t originally private partnerships, but improvements on the same exacerbating inequality. We’re Dunwoody High School’s
scheduled to begin until July suggested the board make a project. saying to those schools that booster club, the DHS
2020, DCSD chief operations ruling on over-funded capital He said the ruling should don’t have the ability to generate Community Association,
officer Joshua Williams said projects. remain consistent throughout those kinds of donations, outlined its intent to raise funds
the funds will allow the project Currently, E-SPLOST funds the district—even if it means ‘Sorry, you don’t get the benefit for the school—titled the Game
to begin within nine months. for projects that are completed modifying policy—and not of retaining those funds for on! Capital Campaign—in
Before approving the under budget return to the allow exceptions, as is the case additional investment.’” October 2016. The organization
donation, board members district and are used on other with Dunwoody High School, Board chairman Melvin has raised more than $400,000
raised questions concerning scheduled E-SPLOST projects. because of a donation. Johnson said setting such a and plans to continue raising
the use of E-SPLOST funds, Orson suggested that if “We have schools that precedent could be dangerous funds for the next few years
particularly with regards to a project is scheduled for cannot generate this kind of for the district. to match the approved $1.2
completing a project under $790,000 but is completed for contribution,” Orson said. “I think we’re asking for million.

To Subscribe to The Champion Newspaper. Call 404.373.7779 ext. 0
BUSINESS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 16

Retirement is coming—are you ready? study asks
by Kathy Mitchell Security, the government- long-term care insurance in with your financial advisor. indicates that among those
sponsored program rarely retirement. Even when it’s tough to in the region that includes
Many Americans who are provides enough for a Communication, Singh acknowledge that your savings DeKalb 37 percent say
working and caring for families comfortable retirement, said, is an important starting is less than you’d like it to be they know a lot about their
may consider themselves too Singh said. For most people, point. “Talking about how or that you have more debt children’s financial situation,
busy to think about what retirement income is what much money you have and than you’re comfortable with 74 percent say they feel
their retirement years will be he called “a three-legged how much you need is not or your credit score isn’t where uncomfortable discussing their
like. That could be a mistake, stool”—with money coming a comfortable conversation you want it to be, it’s best to be debt and 59 feel uncomfortable
according to DeKalb resident from the government, the for many people,” he forthcoming on these matters.” discussing credit scores.
Tom Singh, who’s a senior former employer and personal acknowledged, “but adjusting Singh said adult children “For many, sound financial
resident director and wealth savings. Local data from the for a more secure retirement should be part of the planning means pushing past
management advisor at Merrill study indicates that among means having full and frank conversation as well so that discomfort and talking
Lynch. those in the region that discussions about money the person contemplating openly and honestly about
Two factors in recent includes DeKalb County the with your family members— retirement knows what their matters that affect you and
generations have made it more expectation breaks down this especially your spouse—and expectations are. The study your loved ones,” Singh said.
important than ever for people way: government 49 percent,
to make financial plans for employer 30 percent, and
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
their retirement years, Singh personal savings 21 percent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
said. Fewer companies now The study also found that . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
offer pension plans and people 47 percent wrongly think that . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
are living longer. Medicare will cover nearly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“For most companies, all their health care costs in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
401(k) plans have replaced retirement. The three biggest
the traditional company- retirement-related financial
. ANNUAL
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sponsored pension,” Singh worries for most Americans
& EXHIBITS
. . . . . . . . . .
. .
.
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observed. “Even when are a costly health issue . . . . .
companies contribute to 401(k) impacting them or loved ones;
accounts, it’s up to the person inflation—the rising cost of
to plan so he or she has enough living—and not having enough
to live on in a retirement that money to do what they would
could last almost as long as the like.
person’s working years.” “Some working people
Singh referenced a recently also expect to receive an
released study, Finances in inheritance from their parents
Retirement: New Challenges, or other family members,
New Solutions, conducted by
Merrill Lynch in partnership
with Age Wave. The study
but I advise against factoring
that into retirement plans. It
may not be as much as the
Atlanta Hosts the
examines priorities, hopes
and worries leading up to and
person expects. If parents are
still living, they may have to
2017 NRA Annual
during retirement in addition
to a range of adjustments pre-
use those funds to meet their
own needs. In some instances,
Meetings & Exhibits!
retirees may take for a more working people at some point April 27-30, 2017 • Georgia World Congress Center
financially secure retirement. have to give financial assistance
It indicates that while most to their parents. If there is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
people say they want to live to an inheritance, it should be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
age 90, only 27 percent of pre- considered a bonus.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
retirees ages 50 and older feel While 44 percent of those . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
financially prepared to fund a surveyed say not having . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
retirement that lasts 10 years, enough money to do what they . . . . . . . . . Wayne
. . . LaPierre,
. . . . . .
let alone 20-30 years. want in retirement is a top Chris W. Cox,
. . . . . . . . . . .Vice
NRA Executive . President
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“When working people are worry, Singh suggested that . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
focused on buying a home, rather than worrying, those not . . . . . . . . . . . .
educating their children prepared for retirement should . . . . . . . .
and other immediate issues make changes. “They need . . . . . . . . . . .
retirement may not seem like to make a course correction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
a priority, but the sooner they so they will be prepared,” he . . . . . . . In Concert:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Special . . Guests:
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start, the better off they’ll be,” explained. “This may involve . . . . . . Hank
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Singh said, adding that the significantly adding to a . . . . . . . &. Lee
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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . & Colion Noir
study found that while most retirement account—even . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Americans realize retirement when that means bringing in . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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While most American in other regions to cut back Friday, April 28: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. • Saturday, April 29: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. • Sunday, April 30: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
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UNI_17-NR-147_2017_AM_NP.indd 4 4/7/17 2:26 PM
CLASSIFIED DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 17

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SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 18

“ANYTHING YOU CAN DO….”
Five girls try their hands at baseball at Cross Keys
to the outfield or playing boys.
by Carla Parker She played softball for three
carla@dekalbchamp.com years while living in Augusta.
She joined the baseball team
A winless season would be because one of her male friends
forgettable for most baseball is on the team. For Lutterloah,
players. she didn’t see much difference
However, for five young between playing baseball and
ladies at Cross Keys High softball.
School, the 2017 baseball season “As an outfielder, I didn’t see
won’t be one they will forget a difference in playing the same
soon—although the team did position in baseball,” she said.
not win a game or score a run. Adams said the girls each
Sophomores Jessica Cotom, have their own strength,
Soyalina ‘Lina’ Green and athletically and mentally, that
Nicole Herranz, and juniors they brought to the team.
Hannah Lutterloah and Vanesa “We have girls that can field
Rubio were members of the and that’s their strength, we have
Indians baseball team. girls that are great outfielders,
According to Georgia High Vanesa Rubio, Hannah Lutterloah and Soyalina ‘Lina’ Green were three of five girls to play on the Cross Keys baseball girls that are great infielders,
School Association’s by-law team in 2017. some of them have strengths at
1.47(a), “girls may participate practice, play and prepare just of his wrestler asked about “I wanted to try something the plate and for some its’s the
on boys’ teams when there is no like any other kid on our team. playing baseball—that wrestler new because normally I would team spirit,” Adams said. “Our
girls’ team offered in that sport We don’t make a distinction was Vanesa Rubio. do another sport and I was like girls have been—more so than
or activity by the school.” Cross between our young men and “She said, ‘Coach, is it ok if a I’ll try something new,” Rubio the boys—indestructible inside
Keys does not have a softball our young ladies, they’re just girl plays baseball?’ and I said it said. in regard to our struggle to win,
team, which allows girls, by law, expected to be great teammates is,” Adams said. “Vanesa came, Green, who plays short stop, and it helps a lot to have their
to play baseball. and they don’t let us down at then she had a friend come wanted to try something new as positive outlook. It’s really been
Cross Keys coach Mark all.” along, then another friend…we well. a positive for our team.”
Adams said having the girls on Adams said the girls started ended up having five girls. Each “I never played baseball Despite the losing season,
the team this season has been showing interest in baseball one of them has been a unique before but I felt like trying the girls said they each learned a
great. after he announced to the asset in their own way.” something new would be good,” lot about baseball and improved
“They’re not treated wrestling team, which he also Rubio, who also runs cross Green said. “[The experience] each game. They also said they
[differently] than other coaches, that he would be country and track, said baseball was good. I feel like I improved will continue to practice during
teammates, we don’t make coaching baseball in the spring. attracted her because it was since my first day.” the offseason to get better and
exceptions for [them] [in] our After that announcement, one something new to her. Lutterloah is no stranger prepare for the 2018 season.
routine,” Adams said. “They

MILLER GROVE WINS GIRLS’ TRACK AND FIELD REGION TITLE
by Carla Parker McGill won gold in the shot put going to do very well. That’s the
with a throw of 34-11.25 and goal—to finish in the top eight at
carla@dekalbchamp.com bronze in the discus throw (93- sectionals to go to state.”
01). The Arabia Mountain Lady
The last time the Miller Grove
Sophomore Tacari Demery Rams were led by senior Mikayla
Lady Wolverines track and field
and junior Tiara Williams Jordan, who won the 100-meter
team won both the DeKalb
finished second and third dash (12.14) and the 200-meter
County and region titles in the
respectively in both the 100- and dash (24.26). Jordan also led the
same season, they went on to win
200-meter dash. Junior Jakeeyah 4x100 (47.58) and 4x400 (3:52.95)
the state title.
Seymour won silver in both the relay teams to a first-place finish.
Miller Grove has won the
100- and 300-meter hurdles, Senior Destinee Rocker won
county title and region title this
and silver in the triple jump. The the 100-meter hurdle (14.33) and
year and hopes to have the same
Miller Grove A relay team finished the 300-meter hurdle (46.17).
results this year as they did in 2014
second in the 4x100 and 4x400 Freshman Patra Williams won
when they won county, region and
relays, and the B team finished the high jump (5-04.00) and
state. Miller Grove won its second track and field region title in program history.
third in the 4X400. senior Cicely Kendrick finished
“It’s a long way to go,” coach
Freshman Kayla Williams second (5-00.00). Freshman
Eric Keddo said.
finished third in the high jump Samaria Allen won the long jump
Miller Grove won the region
(5-00.00). Keddo said this was a (17-05.00) and junior Attallah
5-AAAAA title April 20 at
good win for the team competing Smith finished second (17-03.75).
Godfrey Stadium. The Lady
in a new region with tough Senior Jasmine Blackwell finished
Wolverines out-scored Arabia
competition. second in the discus throw.
Mountain 171-156 to claim the
“Arabia Mountain has been Chamblee finished third at the
title.
fishing us all [season] long, so meet with 110 points, led by junior
Miller Grove was led by
kudos to Arabia Mountain,” Beining Xiao, who won gold in
sophomore Emoni Coleman, who
he said. “We have a very tough the 3,200-meter run (11:37.83)
won the 800-meter run (2:19.03)
sectional with region 4, the Henry and second in the 1,600-meter
and the 1,600-meter run (5:23.24).
County region, and with region 8 run. Senior Rachel Edler won the
Freshman Lauryn Griggs finished
and it’s going to be very tough. We triple jump (38-01.00) and third in
second behind Coleman in the
have to keep them healthy, take the long jump. Senior Oni Tunson
800 with a time of 2:25.91.
it day-by-day and prepare, so we won the discus throw (106-02.50). Miller Grove’s Emoni Coleman hands the baton to Jakeeyah Seymour in the
Sophomore Marguerite
4x400-meter relay.. Photos by Carla Parker
SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 19

ARABIA MOUNTAIN BOYS WIN FIRST
TRACK AND FIELD REGION TITLE
Chamblee and S.W. DeKalb take second and third
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

The Arabia Mountain High School boys’ track and
field team made history April 20.
The Rams won its first region title after out-scoring
Chamblee 144-132 in the region 5-AAAAA meet at
Godfrey Stadium. Head coach Nathaniel Webb said it
was good to see the team win its first region title.
“The kids put in a lot of hard work and I’m very glad
for them to see their hard work and dedication pay off,”
Webb said. “We have a bunch of talent and hard work
paid off.”
Arabia Mountain was led by senior Tyler Jones, who
won three individual medals—two golds and one silver.
Jones won both the long jump (23-01.00) and the triple
jump (45-03.00). Jones’ teammate, freshman Jordan
Barrow, finished second in the long jump with a 22-
03.00 jump.
Jones finished second in the 100-meter dash with a
time of 11.14. He was also a member of the Rams 4x100
A relay team, which won the race with a time of 41.66.
The 4x400 relay team finished second with a time of
3:23.71.
Senior Michael Willingham won two individual gold
medals—winning the shot put (48-11.00) and the discus
throw (173-01). Senior Berhane Johnson won gold in
the 110-meter hurdles (11.91) and finished third in the
200-meter dash (22.20).
Senior Kameron Gomez finished third in the
300-meter hurdles (41.40), and juniors Sam Garrett (5-
10.00) and Zion Greer (5-08.00) finished second and
third respectively in the high jump.
The Chamblee Bulldogs were led by freshman
Andrew Rodgers, who won the 800-meter run (2:01.02)
and the 1,600-meter run (4:42.04). Senior Will West
won three individual medals—gold in the pole vault (6-
10.00) and silver in the 110-meter hurdles (14.92) and
300-meter hurdles (40.30).
Senior Liam Henderson finished second behind West
in the pole vault (6-04.00) and sophomore Jordan Cole
finished third in the long jump (18.11.00). Chamblee’s
4x100 relay team finished third with a time of 43.35.
Defending state champions Southwest DeKalb
Arabia Mountain’s Tyler Jones edges Southwest DeKalb’s Terryon Conwell to win the 4x100-meter relay.
finished third in the regional meet with a score of 109.
The Panthers were led by seniors Terry and Terryon
Conwell. Terryon won the 100-meter dash (10.87) and
Terry won the 400-meter dash (48.99). His teammate,
junior Justin Tomlin, finished second (49.35) in the 400.
Terry (21.54) and Terryon (21.82) finished one-two in
the 200-meter dash.
The twins teamed up with junior Marcellus Boykin
and freshman Devin Brewington to win the 4x400-
meter relay (3:22.48), despite dropping the baton.
Brewington mishandled the handoff to Terry during the
second and third leg exchange, but Terry was able to
finish his leg in the top three and Terryon closed it out,
running past the leaders on the last leg to win the race for
the Panthers.
The same relay team finished second in the 4x100
relay behind Arabia Mountain with a time of 41.71.
Junior Nicholas Edwards finished second in the shot put
(48-02.00) and the discus throw (140-10).
Other gold medalists in the boys’ competition
were Clarkston’s Bineyam Tumbo in the 3,200-meter
run (10:09.33) and Jahsun McNeil in the high jump
(6-00.00), and Miller Grove’s Fereday Chipere in the
300-meter hurdles (39.42). The Arabia Mountain Rams won its first track and field region title. Photos bu Carla Parker
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, April 28, 2017 • Page 20

DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann held his third annual volunteer appreciation banquet April 20 at the DeKalb County jail.

Sheriff Mann: ‘volunteers make this prison work’
Sheriff’s office and organizations that provide volunteer
services to the DeKalb County jail,
Each chaplain gives roughly eight hours
a week of volunteer service and talk to
“I see the need and you have to have
something that you know is your calling.

hosts volunteer
were honored at DeKalb County Sheriff the inmates and staff. I have not been able to walk away from
Jeffrey Mann’s third annual volunteer “The volunteers love this event. it. I’ve tried to walk away but I can’t,” said
appreciation banquet April 20. Everyone wants to be recognized for Muhammad, laughing. “We want to talk
appreciation day The banquet, held at the DeKalb
County Jail in Decatur, was a way of
what they do and we’re happy to do it for
them,” Mann said. “We hope to be able
to inmates and get them out of prison
and we want them to stay out of prison.”
showing gratitude for the jails numerous to do it more often. We really just want Mann said the jail can house up to
volunteers, Mann said. to thank everyone for volunteering.” 3,900 inmates. Currently the jail has
by Horace Holloman According to Mann, volunteers save Lead chaplain Curtis Crocker Jr. around 1,750 inmates, he said. Many of
horace@dekalbchamp.com the jail roughly $286,000 each year. delivered a speech during the banquet the inmates benefit from the volunteers
“This is to recognize and honor our and thanked the chaplain program for and Bibles and books that are donated
Furqan Muhammad, a chaplain who volunteers. Our volunteers are extremely the members’ hard work. from service organizations.
volunteers at the DeKalb County Jail, important. The more volunteers we Crocker said those who serve in the “Without the continued support
said his line of work is a calling. Once have, the more programs the jail can do,” program believe in something greater of our dedicated volunteers, we would
the guard doors close everyone can’t Mann said. “Our chaplaincy program than themselves. incur an enormous additional expense
handle it, he said. are all volunteers.” Muhammad said he wants more for inmate programs that we believe
Chaplains such as Muhammad, along DeKalb County’s chaplaincy program Muslim chaplains to donate their time to make a real difference in inmates’ lives,”
with the Sheriff ’s Office Reserves Unit has roughly 70 chaplains, Mann said. the jail. Mann said.

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