the DeKalb FRIDAY, MAY 5, 2017 • VOL. 20, NO. 5 • 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

Celebrating pet wellness
Pets, pet owners
experience Clarkston’s
“Small town, big
heart” in action
by R. Scott Belzer

or three hours on
April 29, Clarkston
Community Center’s
activity field area was
transformed into a
mecca for pets and pet-lovers, as Pets and pet owners made their way to Clarkston Community Center on April 29 to celebrate Pet Wellness Day. Photos by R.
the city hosted its inaugural Pet Scott Belzer and Beverly Burks
Wellness Day event.
The event featured free Barbara Cole, a the way the public thinks about injury to a person, a lot of times it
resources to pet owners, including representative from the certain dog breeds—such as pit makes it on the news because it’s
opportunities for vaccinations, Stubby’s Heroes program, said bulls—and subsequently change a pit bull,” Cole said. “Politicians
microchips, neutering, training, her organization is one such local, county and state legislation try to implement breed-specific
workshops and therapy dog community resource. Cole said banning or restricting dog breeds.
sessions. City officials said the Stubby’s Heroes hopes to change “When there’s a catastrophic See Pets on page 5
event led to 54 vaccinations,
25 microchip donations as
well as opportunities for local
organizations to educate the
Line dancing lures seniors to turn, step and sway
According to Clarkston city by Kathy Mitchell
councilwoman Beverly Burks,
the event provided Clarkston the “Cha-cha up, step back,
opportunity to be “ahead of the do a half turn, then turn
game” in terms of pet legislation. back—come on, give it a
She said Pet Wellness Day gave little flair,” shouted dance
residents as well as community instructor Senella Watson
officials the tools to be better “pet as she demonstrated steps
parents” and legislate responsibly. to somewhat reluctant senior
“I always like to educate citizens April 27 at DeKalb
before I legislate,” Burks said. County’s Scott Candler Library.
“We want to make sure, with The event was an hour of
whatever ordinances we have or hip-hop line dancing, the April
put in place, that we have the right program in a monthly library
ones made with experts. We don’t series called Seniors First!
want to be reactionary after a bite. Each month’s Seniors First! Dance instructor Senella Watson, left, and assistant instructor Billie Hill show
moves that are used in the dances they will be leading.
We do need to be proactive and program is different and may
find out what’s the best thing for involve a speaker, a movie,
our community and educate our a technology class or “other she’s not much of a dancer. She said although the
neighbors on what to do.” engaging activities designed “You don’t have to be an library will be closed on what
Burks specifically referenced especially for seniors,” excellent dancer to participate. would normally be the Seniors
issues with aggression that may according to the library. Who cares if you’re turning left First day this month, May is
be related to a need to spay or “Everybody has talent; when the others are turning Senior Citizen Month and will
neuter a pet. She said the event everybody can do something,” right? The idea is to be active
provided a place for residents to commented branch manager and to have fun.”
obtain such information. Maveita Richards, who said See Dance on page 5

Visit for local, real DeKalb County news. @DeKalbChampNews
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 2A

Local man impacting
DeKalb youth
by Horace Holloman
Growing up, Frank the dots started connecting.
Johnson assumed that chess In hindsight, I was in my own
was something “old guys did.” way.”
Johnson’s father played chess Johnson isn’t in his own
but didn’t teach his son the way anymore. In fact, he’s at
game. During Johnson’s youth, the top of his game. Johnson
chess just seemed out of reach recently returned from
for him. participating in the 2017 World
Now, Johnson is giving Amateur Chess Championship
young adults the opportunity held in Spoleto, Italy, where he Frank Johnson teaches students the game of chess. Johnson said his students range from ages 4 to 71.
he didn’t have by introducing placed second in his category.
them to the game of chess at He currently teaches chess
an early age. to more than 190 students
Johnson, who has been ranging from ages 4 to 71.
teaching chess for roughly Johnson has also directed more
15 years, teaches at the than 250 national chess events
Checkmate Chess Academy— with the United States Chess
an initiative of DeKalb-County Federation.
based nonprofit Unconditional “Chess is more than a
Love for Children Inc. game. Chess can teach life
“For me personally, it’s lessons as well,” Johnson said.
been fulfilling to see some “Some of the kids that
of the students having huge are being exposed to adult
achievements and some of decisions as youth could
the other students starting to benefit from chess,” Johnson
get it,” Johnson said. “Any said. “They’re having to make
teacher wants their students to decisions outside of the game
be successful. It’s not difficult and if you have the ability to
to pick out the shooting star, be able to calculate multiple
but when you can get the decisions and the impact of
average student in the class to it, it can help you. This is a
start getting it, then you know microwave generation, but
you’re making process.” there’s a lot that happens in According to Frank Johnson, a chess teacher teaching chess in the DeKalb County area, the game of chess can help young
Johnson’s introduction between. That stuff in between adults with life decisions.
to the game was purely by matters.”
accident, he said. One day Johnson said he plans to
while Johnson was in ninth continue to spread his love for
grade, he and a friend were the game to youth in the metro
trying to find a computer area. The “old man’s game”
lab. The duo happened to that was once out of reach is
stumble into a math lab where now a part of his daily routine.
students were learning how “My dad played chess but See all funeral homes.
to play chess. The instructor he didn’t teach me. He had
told Johnson he could use
the computers under one
one of those fancy marble
chess sets. Chess was out
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play chess.
of reach for most of my
generation,” Johnson said. “It
All in one place.
From that point, Johnson was something that the old
said his love for the game grew guys an old man’s
as chess challenged him in game. Fast forward years later, Funeralocity welcomes Atlanta.
a unique way. Eventually he I realized that I can expose
would join the school’s chess other people to chess much Introducing Funeralocity, the new website where you can see and compare
team.   earlier. That’s why I speak ratings, reviews and prices of funeral and cremation services of all funeral
“I ended up being the worst out, because learning chess at homes in the Atlanta area.
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LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 3A

AVONDALE ESTATES Caliber Collision food drive in DeKalb
In its ongoing commitment to fight childhood
City to host ham fest pre-party hunger, Caliber Collision has a national goal
to collect 5 million meals during its 6th annual
Avondale Estates will host a May Ham Fest pre- Restoration Food Drive until May 19.
party May 5 at Avondale Towne Cinema at 7 p.m. In Doraville and Decatur, food and cash
Avondale May Ham Fest is a one-day feast on May donations collected by Caliber will benefit Atlanta
6. The pre-party will get attendees in the mood for Community Food Bank.
the ham fest, which will feature 12 bands, artists and Caliber’s annual Food Drive is a grassroots effort
vendors, pre-1971 car show, two big screen movies driven by teammates nationwide who challenge
and a pig roast. Avondale Towne Cinema is located each other in friendly competitions while hosting a
at 106 North Avondale Road. For more information, variety of activities in local communities to donate
visit cash and food items. 
Collection centers are set up at each of Caliber’s
13 Atlanta area store locations for food and cash
contributions. Donations can also be made online at


Community day announced STONE MOUNTAIN
The Brookhaven Community Day will be held May
6, 12-to-5 p.m. at Lynwood Park Recreation Center.
The annual celebration will kick off with a parade at Mother and son fun night to be at trampoline
noon starting at Lynwood United Church of God in park
Christ to Lynwood Community Center. The free event
is open to all ages and will include a cookout, music DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural
and fun games and activities. The recreation center is Affairs will host a Mother and Son Fun Night May 11
located at 3360 Osborne Road in Brookhaven. at 7:30 p.m. at the Get Air Trampoline Park.

Mayor to host town hall meeting Registration for the event, located at 2075 W. Park
Place Blvd., Stone Mountain is open through May 5.
Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst will hold a town hall The event will offer a night of jumping to music,
meeting May 11 at city hall from 6:30 to 8 p.m. City arcade games and food. Mother and son may register
hall is located at 4362 Peachtree Road. as a couple for $25. To access online registration, go to and click the “register
now” button on the department’s homepage, or regis-
ter in person at any DeKalb County recreation center.

DECATUR Wylde Center to host garden tour For more information, contact Recreation, Parks
and Cultural Affairs at (404)-294-3150.

Oprah to speak at Agnes Scott commencement Decatur’s Wylde Center—located at 435 Oakview
Road—is scheduled to show off its greenspace in
Oprah Winfrey is scheduled to speak at Agnes
Scott College’s commencement ceremony on May 13
a two-day event titled Into the Wylde: A Tour of
Gardens. TUCKER
at 9:30 a.m. The weekend event allows the public
“We are educating our students to become global opportunities for self-guided tours from 10 a.m. to 5
change agents who have the courage, compassion p.m. on May 6 and noon to 5 p.m. on May 6. Nonprofit hosts annual banquet
and commitment to make a difference in the world,” “We are excited to open up some very lovely
said Agnes Scott President Elizabeth Kiss in a related public and private gardens to the public,” said Aditi Nonprofit organization Boys to Men Christian
press release. “Winfrey is a phenomenal model of Bhardwaj, chairman of the tour. “The tour is self- Mentors will hold its annual banquet event on May
leading a purpose-driven life with her impressive guided, so attendees can spend as much time as 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton Atlanta-
legacy of leadership, philanthropy and service. We are they wish at each stop and plan their own route, and Northlake, located at 4256 Lavista Road in Tucker.
honored and thrilled to welcome her to our college to volunteers will be stationed at the gardens to answer Presented as the 20th Annual Deacon Oliver
share an inspiring and empowering message with our questions. In addition to the private gardens, we Lindsey Saving a Generation Scholarship and
2017 graduates as they embark on the next stage of encourage everyone to include a stop at Woodlands Achievement Banquet, the event will provide
their life’s journey.” Garden, Scott Park Garden, the five Wylde Center members of the DeKalb County community an
In addition to delivering the commencement ad- greenspaces and other public gardens on the tour.” opportunity to engage with and join a nonprofit
dress, Winfrey will also receive an honorary degree. Tickets for the event begin at $20 in advance ministry targeted to at-risk Black male youth.
Winfrey is known around the world for her career or $25 the day of the event. Proceeds will benefit Scholarships also will be awarded to those helped
in television, film, publishing, philanthropy and em- the Wylde Center, which is celebrating its 20th by the organization. Guest speakers at the event
powering women. anniversary. will include author Marcus Johnson Jr., as well as
Agnes Scott College is located at 141 E. College For more information, visit www.wyldecenter. members Eroll Hooper and James Knowles.
Avenue in Decatur. Tickets will be required for admit- org. Tickets can be purchased for a tax-deductible
tance. For more information, visit donation of $40 by calling (770) 469-9245 or at
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 4A

Tucker Tomorrow comprehensive
plan process update
Consultants have been vision for the future.”
working for nearly six months Before that plan is
to gather and analyze input in presented, there are several key
Tucker’s comprehensive plan dates left in the comprehensive
process known as “Tucker plan process.
Tomorrow,” according to city
officials. • April 30 – Last day for
After more than a half- residents and other
dozen walking tours, several stakeholders to take the
Doraville resident Tom Hart did not Colin Baenziger of Colin Baenziger & Doraville city manager Shawn Gillen community forums and Tucker Tomorrow survey
agree with Doraville’s contract with Associates was hired to find a suitable will be leaving his post for a differ-
an executive recruitment firm. Photo candidate for Doraville’s now-vacant ent climate as city manager for Tybee countless surveys, the team • May 9 – Tucker Tomorrow
submitted. city manager position. Photo submit- Island, prompting action from Doraville from The Collaborative is Steering Committee Meeting
ted. City Council. Photo submitted. steering the process into its • May 18 – Community Forum
final stages. 5: Tucker Tomorrow Plan

Doraville seeks city manager
“We are entering the final and the Community Work
phase of Tucker Tomorrow,” Program
The Collaborative’s Senior • June 6 – Tucker Tomorrow
Vice President Angela Parker Steering Committee Meeting
said. “[We] look forward • June 15 – Community Forum
Will spend $24k for search to presenting a plan that
implements the community’s

See Tucker on Page 9A
by R. Scott Belzer ($3,000), recruiting ($10,000), in the Doraville city manager’s screening ($9,000), interviews position.
and attorney selection ($1,500) According to city officials,
How much does it cost to and contract negotiation the Doraville city manager is
find a new city manager? ($1,000). responsible for “implementing
For the city of Doraville, the According to the firm’s the vision of the elected
answer is $24,500. website, CB&A represents leadership and directing the
Doraville City Council hundreds of clients across 32 activities of city departments,” in
approved a contract in the states in the private, education, addition to serving as the city’s
amount of $24,500 with nonprofit, municipal and state chief administrative officer.
Colin Baenziger & Associates sectors. Pittman said it was Gillen’s
(CB&A), a national executive Resident Tom Hart called hiring in 2013—at a rate of
recruiting firm based in the firm a “city manager $113,000—and success over the
Daytona Beach Shores, Fla. headhunter” and criticized the course of four years that made
The contract was drawn up lack of legal postings by city her want to rehire Baenziger’s
in the wake of the departure officials related to the position. firm for service. Councilpersons
of Doraville’s first city “There are people who Pam Fleming and Robert
manager, Shawn Gillen, who are applying for this position Patrick shared the same
has accepted a city manager already even though there’s been thoughts.
position in Tybee Island. Gillen no legal posting,” Hart said. The council approved the Dunwoody Police Department settled a fourth lawsuit involving Officer Dale
Laskowski for $52,000, bringing the total spent on the officer to $187,000.
has been with Doraville since Doraville announced contract 5-0 with councilwoman
Gillen’s intent to depart on Shannon Hillard absent.

Dunwoody settles
2013, when he was recruited by
Colin Baenziger & Associates. March 31 on amicable terms. Gillen will officially leave his
The duties and costs outlined Mayor Donna Pittman said post as city manager in June,
she was not familiar with any according to Doraville officials.

fourth police lawsuit
by the contract include analysis
and information gathering submitted resumes or interest

Officer remains employed, costs city $187,000
The Mayor and the Atlanta City Council will adopt a
millage rate which will require no tax increase. by R. Scott Belzer fourth individual to claim civil
rights violations by Laskowski.
All concerned citizens are invited to the public Dunwoody settled the three
hearing to be held at the Atlanta City Hall Complex, lawsuits by agreeing to pay
$45,000 to each complainant
55 Trinity Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia in the City Council Dunwoody has settled a
and a denial of any wrongdoing
fourth lawsuit in the calendar
Chamber located on the Second Floor on Thursday, year involving Dunwoody from Laskowski and the
May 11, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. Police Officer Dale Laskowski, Dunwoody Police Department.
according to court documents Laidlaw’s lawsuit—which brings
dated March 20. the total settlements involving
An amount of $52,000 was Laskowski to $187,000—bears
agreed upon between legal the same caveat.
representatives from Dunwoody According to Laidlaw’s
and Colton Laidlaw, a man complaint, Laskowski
who alleges he was illegally unlawfully searched his vehicle
detained and searched by for 14 minutes in March 2014,
Laskowski in March 2014. when he was 17 years old.
Laidlaw filed a legal “For [several] minutes,
complaint against Laskowski in Laskowski lectured Laidlaw
August 2016, joining Jermaine about the dangers of having and
Muhammad, Daniel Green being caught with marijuana,”
and Joseph Anderson as the the complaint reads. “[He]

See Dunwoody on Page 12A
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 5

Pet owners in Clarkston had the opportunity to receive free vaccinations, City council members Mario Williams and Beverly Burks said Pet Wellness Day in Clarkston
microchips and pet advice from professionals during Clarkston’s Pet helps address issues related to pets—such as bites and strays—before they become a
Wellness Day event on April 29. problem for residents. Photos by Travis Hudgons.

PETS Continued From Page 1
legislation as a knee-jerk
reaction to those catastrophic
events. We have been seeing
this for a lot of years and we
want to get out ahead of that
catastrophic event.”
Cole said Stubby’s Heroes
achieves such a goal by
interacting with the public
and educating children on
proper dog handling. She said
appropriate behavior includes
informing parents there’s a dog
nearby, making sure it’s OK
to pet the dog, not pulling on
Gloria Brown, right, and Watson, center, encourage a visitor
tails, not lying on animals, not to give the cha-cha a try.
“Just relax and get into,” says Watson, left, as she shows
Hill and others steps she has choreographed.
disturbing them while they’re
sleeping, not pinching them and
other similar behavior. DANCE Continued From Page 1
“Hopefully we can put a dent include activities for older library like to stay active; I hike, bike themselves doing a cha-cha or
in stopping these catastrophic patrons throughout the month. and climb and this looked like a stroll much as they did back in
events,” Cole said. “It really “We have a class in making fun,” he said, “but these ladies the day.
begins with kids at home.” paper flowers, one on planning are good. I don’t want to get out “It’s easy; you just have to
Therapy Dogs International healthy meals and several on there and look foolish.” relax and get into it,” insisted
representatives Helen improving computer skills.” While some born not long Watson, who choreographs the
Thompson and Karen Gloria Brown, who’s a after World War II might find the dances. “You won’t find these
Thornton brought out Crash coordinator with TPC—Tenacity, term hip-hop a bit intimidating, on the internet; I make them all
and Amanda to demonstrate the Purpose and Commitment— Watson assured students that up myself.” The dance instructor
difference between service dogs the umbrella organization for she chooses music across a said she’s always enjoyed
and therapy dogs. The dogs Seniors First!, said her group broad spectrum all with one dancing and studied it as part of
demonstrated a calm demeanor is invited to various library goal—that it is easy to dance to. her drama studies program at
and really embodied what a branches to engage retirees Some of the music she Florida A&M University. “I didn’t
“comfort dog” can do. in an array of activities. Brown chooses may be familiar do much dancing for a while, but
The pair said the dogs said she was a bit disappointed enough to bring back memories after I retired, I went back to it.”
respond to traumatic events to in the April session turnout of of long ago dances in teen “We’re just here to have a
provide comfort in the wake of fewer than a dozen people, centers and high school good time,” added Billie Hill,
disasters. but speculated that storm gyms. There is, for example, a the assistant instructor. “If I
Pet owners Courtney and predictions may have kept rendition of Everyday People. don’t know the steps, I make
Sarah Jewell said the event people away. It’s not the Sly and the Family something up.”
embodied the Clarkston motto “This library is next door to Stone version, but there are Prancing and swaying
of “Small town, big heart.” a senior center and sometimes portions that likely will sound across a dance floor may give
They said free shots for dogs our activities may conflict with familiar. There’s even music seniors more than a fun way
are a great thing for a city to theirs,” Brown added. “I’m from an artist who has spanned to spend time, according to
offer considering the typical hoping we’ll be able to plan so the decades—Tina Turner. several recent studies, including
expense—which ranges from that our activities give visitors to “Miss Tina and I go way ones by the American Heart
$50 to $100—as well as the the senior center more options.” back,” declared Watson, who Association, the University of
number of dogs the two own. The only man to show up at describes herself as 70-plus. Illinois at Chicago and the Albert
“There are needs in the hip-hop line dancing event “I loved her music back in the Einstein College of Medicine in
the community that are not decided he’d rather watch than 1960s and she hasn’t quit yet. New York. The studies found
necessarily addressed,” Sarah try the dance steps, noting that She’s an inspiration to us all.” that dancing reduces the risk
Jewell said. “Providing access with a larger group that included The steps, too, are of heart disease and improves
to residents who may not more men, he might have been likely to lead down memory mobility and brain function
have it is important. We live in tempted to try the dances. “I lane. Participates may find among older people.
Clarkston for that reason.”
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 6

Out of the mouths of babes and seniors
For many years, my wife and give me a beautiful antique tin whatever the product was—and I
I have joked about an incident container filled with chocolates. now have no idea what the item
that occurred a year or so after I know my aunt meant was that piqued my interest.
we married. My wife had gained absolutely no harm by her I turned to see that a young
a few pounds since our wedding. comment, but I admit it has man who appeared to be in
We were visiting my family John Hewitt bothered me a bit. She was his late teens or early 20s had
for Easter, if memory serves me spot-on with her assessment taken my place in line. Without
correctly, when a young niece and it was just what I needed to hesitation, I placed my hand
with a syrupy-slow southern motivate me to curtail my caloric firmly on the back of his shoulder
accent approached my wife, is on her mind and I have never intake and be a bit more active. and said “Oh, hell no. You will
patted her belly and innocently been one to be easily shocked Sometimes our mental filters not cut in front of me.”
asked “What’s in they-ah?” And or offended but she shocked me don’t block thoughts that are The guy turned around as
no, my wife was not pregnant. with her comment. best internalized and not shared if in shock, began to apologize
I’m not sure who was more When I entered their home, with the public. I think the older profusely and motioned for me
embarrassed by the situation— my aunt and I embraced and told we get, the less our filters work. to assume my original position. I
my wife, or my sister—whose each other how good it was to My first recollection of an angrily took my spot and fumed
daughter had posed the see one another. She then put unfiltered comment by me was for a minute or two before
question. the palms of both of her hands a few years back while standing offering him my sincere apology
The tables have now turned on my cheeks and said “Baby, in a long line to pick up a and attempting to explain the
and I’m the one getting the you look so handsome.” I’m prescription. concept of mental filtering to
weight comments. Over this beaming with pride right about I was already miserable and him.
year’s Easter weekend, I visited now. At a worn and tattered suffering the effects of a nasty We both had a chuckle and
my aunt J-Net and uncle Don 60 years of age, it is rare that cold or sinus infection and did hopefully both learned a lesson
whom I love dearly, as they are I am told by anyone that I look not want to stand in line any in public behavior. I learned
the only family members of my handsome. longer than necessary. that I am quickly becoming a
mother’s generation who are My aunt then backed up a bit There was an end-cap crotchety old man.
still living and have become like and gave me a good once-over, display in the store that caught
parents to me. head-to-toe, visual assessment my attention and I momentarily
My aunt has never been one and added “But, you’re getting stepped a few feet from the
to hesitate about speaking what fat!” She then proceeded to queue line to get a closer look at
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 7

United we fall…
“Our employees followed domestic business and tourism carrier’s decision-making and
established procedures for ‘One Man’s destination. Better technology common over-booking procedure
dealing with situations like this.  and yield management has full is broken. 
While I deeply regret this situation Opinion’ flights now the norm, with carriers Carriers need to review
arose, I also emphatically stand maximizing the value of every over-booking, and understand
behind all of you, and I want to Bill Crane seat. An empty seat holds no that customer goodwill is also
commend you for continuing value to the carrier once it pulls a valued commodity. Since
to go above and beyond to away from the gate. the departure of AirTran from
ensure we fly right,”  – United  But it was not only the the Atlanta market, Delta
Airlines CEO, Oscar Munoz, in  United admits that rather series of bad decisions, pratfalls Airlines again enjoys a practical
an internal email to employees than random selection, the and battery that has beaten monopoly on business travelers
following the forced removal of carrier actually reviews prices down United’s “friendly skies” of choice; but it can only take
a paying passenger from United of airfare, frequent flier mileage reputation since Dao got tossed one or two really bad decisions
Airlines Flight 3411, at Chicago redemption and general travel off his flight—it was the denials to change that. Just ask United
O’Hare International Airport, loyalty with the carrier, before and attempts to defend that Airlines or the folks at Chicago’s
bound for Louisville, Ky. on April selecting passengers for re- decision that made the black eye O’Hare–and remember to try and
9, 2017. accommodation. Though this look more like a professional beat still fly the friendly skies.
  clearly should have been down.
Though over-selling handled prior to boarding, United The initial United
passenger jet seats has become Express also had other options spokesperson justification Bill Crane also serves as a
a longtime industry practice, for getting four flight crew for Dao’s violent removal political analyst and commentator
allowed by the “Contract of members to Louisville for another was, “We followed the right for Channel 2’s Action News,
Carriage” which underpins most flight the next day. They could procedures. That plane had to WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and
every airline ticket, the rules of have bought seats on another depart.” now 95.5 FM, as well as a
passenger/carrier engagement carrier, hired an Uber or shuttle  Munoz went from backing up columnist for The Champion,
have changed greatly since 9/11. for a one-way drive or put the his crew’s decision and indicating DeKalb Free Press and Georgia
On April 9, an end of spring break crew in a rental car heading Dao was becoming increasingly Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native
Sunday, passengers across the south. Instead they chose to disruptive and belligerant, to a and business owner, living in
nation were heading home, road- force the fine print of that contract 48-hour about-face admission Scottdale. You can reach him
weary and already frustrated by of carriage.   that “no one should ever be or comment on a column at bill.
weather or carrier-related delays, Dr. David Dao, a 69-year old mistreated this way.”  Munoz has
flight cancellations or alterations physician from Elizabethtown, Ky. made a personal vow that “we
to their travel plans. is reportedly no saint. He acted will fix this.” The clear implication
 As a frequent business like a petulant child in some being that something in the
traveler, I often travel solo, so respects before Chicago Airport
accepting a $500 or more future Security began its man-handling;
flight voucher and/or overnight but United, and its affiliate, had
accommodations for giving up the obligation to do more to
a needed seat is generally a cause Dao to voluntarily give up
non-issue for me. I have often his seat. 
released my seat, to allow a Three people asked to de-
senior citizen or family with plane did so, reportedly given up
children, access to that same to $800 in future travel credits
flight. Nothing heroic, just another with United. But if you don’t plan
case of compensated Golden to fly United again, or are an in-
Rule behavior. frequent flyer, that offer had little
I was also in Chicago that value. Flying four crew members,
evening, awaiting boarding of my one way to Louisville on another
own oversold Delta flight, while carrier would likely cost United
elsewhere in the world’s second upwards of $1,000. That cash
busiest airport, United Express offer perhaps should have been
gate agents boarded their the starting point for Dao and his
over-sold flight 3411, and then fellow passengers.
announced that a computer  Pre-9/11 the major legacy
would randomly select four carriers flew almost hourly from
passengers to deplane. their hubs to most every major

the DeKalb
Publisher: Photographer: STATEMENT FROM THE
John Hewitt Travis Hudgons
Chief Financial Officer: Staff Reporters: We sincerely appreciate the
discussion surrounding this and any
Let Us Know What You Think! Dr. Earl D. Glenn Carla Parker issue of interest to DeKalb County.
SEND LETTERS TO EDITOR, R. Scott Belzer The Champion was founded in 1991
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encourages opinions Production Manager: Horace Holloman expressly to provide a forum for
The DeKalb Free Press, discourse for all community residents
from its readers. Please write to us and express your P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Kemesha Wadley on all sides of an issue. We have no
views. Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain Send email to desire to make the news only to
FAX To: (404) 370-3903; Phone: (404) 373-7779. The DeKalb Free Press is published each Friday report news and opinions to effect
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Phone (404) 373-7779. ideas for discussion; however,
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LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 8A

The Tucker Recreation Center currently hosts Tucker City Council meetings in addition to other
gatherings throughout the year. Photo submitted.

The Chamblee Civic Center hosts Chamblee City Council meetings in addition to other
Georgia state representative Scott Holcomb speaking in Chamblee in February. Photo by R. Scott Belzer gatherings throughout the year. Photo submitted

State rep calls for more early voting locations
DeKalb County Registration locations are the only early of an additional early voting made up of Michael Coveny,
by R. Scott Belzer and Elections, requesting voters voting locations available in location within the 6th Anthony Lewis, Leona Perry, in District 81 be allowed to vote DeKalb County. Congressional District on the Samuel Tillman and Baoky
at either the Chamblee Civic “I am making this request eastern side of the district (since Vu—will decide whether there
According to DeKalb Center—located at 3540 Broad based on my own experience Dunwoody covers the western will be additional sites at its
County state representative Street—or Tucker Recreation and after hearing from side of the district),” Holcomb’s May 11 meeting.
Scott Holcomb (D-81), Center, located at 4898 Lavista constituents and leaders in the letter concludes. “I believe this “The letter was addressed
who represents parts of Road. community,” Holcomb states is a common-sense request that to me, yes, but the board
Doraville, Chamblee, Tucker Both proposed locations in his letter. “For those who will make it easier for DeKalb’s will be the ones to make the
and unincorporated DeKalb are available on election day live in the State House District citizens to vote.” decision,” Daniels said. “Like I
County, at least two more early according to DeKalb election that I represent, neither the According to Daniels, told [Holcomb], the board will
voting locations are needed for officials. Dunwoody nor the Memorial the DeKalb County Board of consider additional sites at its
an upcoming runoff election. According to Holcomb, Drive locations is convenient. Registration & Elections— next meeting.”
The election in question is his constituents in District 81 And with the heightened traffic
for Georgia’s 6th Congressional are not served well by the two challenges that metro-Atlanta is
District seat on June 20 between current early voting locations— facing, the drive is even worse.” JOB OPENING
Democrat Jon Ossoff and Dunwoody Library, located at Holcomb said he cast an The City of Stone Mountain is accepting applications
5339 Chamblee Dunwoody early ballot vote for the April for the position of City Clerk. This is a full time position.
Republican Karen Handel—the Benefits include medical insurance, paid holidays,
two frontrunners of a special Road, and the DeKalb County 18 special election at the Tax vacation leave, sick leave, short term disability insurance
election held April 18. Tax Commissioner’s Office, Commissioner’s office but and retirement. Compensation will be based on
In an email obtained by The located at 4380 Memorial Drive admitted, “it took considerable qualifications. Associate Degree in Public Administration,
Champion, Holcomb wrote in Decatur. time to make the commute.” Business Administration or related field required; Bachelor
Maxine Daniels, director of The Dunwoody and Decatur “I would urge the opening Degree preferred. Minimum of three years of progressively
responsible public administration work experience or
Georgia City Clerk Certification required.

Decatur hires new project manager
To apply: Interested candidates may email a résumé to no later than May 31,
2017. Job description and additional requirements can
be found on the city’s website at www.stonemountaincity.
The City appropriate other transportation and org. The City of Stone Mountain is an equal opportunity
of Decatur technology and sustainability related projects. employer.
Public Works a double minor
announces that
in sustainable
Coming to
Courtney Frisch and urban and Lithonia & Decatur
has joined the
department as
regional planning
from Appalachian
in May!
the new project State University. Register now to check the health of your arteries
manager. Frisch She also holds a
came to the master of science 5 important screenings for only $149
city in 2016 as Frisch in planning with Carotid artery screening (plaque)
city planner. a specialization in Heart Rhythm Screening (A Fib)
Previously she worked as a transportation planning from Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
transportation planner for the Florida State University. Peripheral Arterial Disease Screening
city of Roswell. As project manager, she will Osteoporosis risk assessment
A graduate of Decatur manage the Complete Streets
High School, she received program, the Environmental May 17- New Love Tabernacle, Lithonia
her bachelor’s degree in Sustainability Board, and May 30- Decatur First United Methodist Church, Decatur
Pre-registration is required call 1-888-653-6441 to receive a $10 discount
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 9A

The Tucker City Council celebrates the opening of the new Tucker City Hall

Lithonia is looking for new management for the Lithonia Amphitheater. Photo by Travis Hudgons

Lithonia seeking new
manager for amphitheater Mayor Frank Auman, left, reads the proclamation declaring April 24, 2017, as
Tucker Historical Society Day.

its goal is to attract high- an awarded management Tucker holds council meeting in
by Carla Parker
quality performing arts events
from May to September to
contract,” the RFP reads.
The LDDA is requesting new city hall annex
support and promote growth that 12 items be addressed The Tucker City Council downtown development
After the breakup between and development of the by applicants to demonstrate held its regular called meeting authority (DDA). This was
Lithonia and new Stonecrest entertainment arts in Lithonia. expertise in managing an for the month April 24 at the a discussion with no formal
mayor Jason Lary, Lithonia “The management company outdoor facility. The 12 items new city hall annex, located at action taken. A DDA, if
is now looking for new is expected to provide include projected season 4228 1st Avenue. instituted, would be an
management for the Lithonia professional advice, make length, number, and types The council heard a first appointed body focused on
Amphitheater. recommendations, serve as a of performances or events; read of a petition to annex spurring redevelopment in
The Lithonia Downtown public relations representative projected revenues for the five properties on and around Tucker.
Development Authority when needed and work closely season; proposed staffing levels E. Ponce de Leon Ave. on the The highlight of the meeting
(LDDA) posted a request for with the LDDA on matters and costs and event parking south side of the city. A final was a mayoral proclamation
proposal (RFP) on the city’s pertaining to the operation plans. vote on that annexation will declaring April 24, 2017, to be
website to find “qualified and maintenance of the Management firms have likely happen at the council’s Tucker Historical Society Day.
individuals or [management amphitheater,” the RFP reads. until May 18 at 4 p.m. to May 8 meeting. This proclamation comes 125
company] with professional The LDDA said the respond to the RFP. The The council also examined years to the day that the first
experience in facilities schedule of fees, rental response must be delivered to boundaries of a proposed train rolled through Tucker.
management and cultural and ticket prices set by the Lithonia City Hall.
program development to management company should
submit qualifications for the be submitted, in writing, for
management and promotion of approval by the LDDA.
the Lithonia Amphitheater.” “The LDDA does recognize
Lary currently has a that the management company
contract to manage events until may be presented with
the summer, but will not renew options for negotiating with
his contract after he completes subcontractors to compete
the events he is contracted to with other facilities, therefore
manage. the method for resolving such
The Lithonia Downtown situations will be reviewed
Development Authority said and decided at the time of

TUCKER Continued From Page 4A Please join us for the

decisions in the city for years
By mid-summer, the to come.
recommendations from The “The level of community SATURDAY, MAY 20, 2017
Collaborative will be presented engagement in the Tucker 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
to the mayor and city council, Tomorrow Plan has been DeKalb County Extension
who will have the final say on outstanding,” Parker said. 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur, Georgia
what Tucker’s comprehensive “Clearly, Tucker citizens care FUN, FOOD and PRIZES!!!
plan should look like. deeply about their new city.” ALL PRODUCE 50% OFF
The plan, which is For more details about
mandated by state law, is the comprehensive plan Live Remote Radio with DJ Nabs from and Veda Howard from
a document that dictates process and what it means For more info, call 404-298-4080
public policy on issues like for Tucker, visit www.
transportation and zoning. It is
designed to guide development
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 10A

Doraville mayor:
residents can expect more
improvements in 2017

Doraville’s downtown core.
by R. Scott Belzer “Doraville’s new downtown started as a vision and is now
becoming a reality thanks to our
wonderful staff,” Pittman said.
According to Doraville Pittman credited each
Mayor Donna Pittman, department in city hall as well as
residents have much to celebrate their department heads. Doraville city officials hosted the 2017 State of the City Address at Flowers Park on April 28. Photo by R. Scott Belzer
when reflecting on the past The address also credited
year and looking forward to the Doraville Police Department
future. and Chief John King for the department does a great job and is just over the horizon. farewell to city manager Shawn
“It’s been quite a year here in department’s 43,287 calls for we want to provide whatever is Stanton Eckstut, the chosen Gillen, who will be taking on the
Doraville,” Pittman said. “ service, 2,160 arrests, 11,869 needed to keep them safe.” architect for Assembly, as well role of city manager for Tybee
Pittman delivered the 2017 traffic stops, 54 community According to Pittman, the as Egbert Perry and Dave Island in June. Pittman said
State of the City Address on engagement meetings and local library—headed by Tammy Schmidt, financial backers Gillen is directly responsible for
April 28 in front of a packed 12,999 neighborhood patrols in Henry—is second to none in for Assembly, also offered many of the accomplishments
and newly renovated Flowers the last twelve months. providing books to readers. She insight about the upcoming listed.
Park. Pittman used the occasion Pittman lauded the referenced the branch’s 54,648 development. “A wise person once told me,
to commend city staff, share department’s aggressive circulated items, 56,350 visitors, “The growth of the Assembly we don’t remember the years—
accomplishments and outline the approach to drug trafficking 37,297 in available materials and and the evolution of Doraville we remember the moments,”
upcoming year. as well as the department’s 515 new library cards. is an example that people and Pittman said in conclusion. “We
Pittman began by describing focus on community-oriented Pittman also said residents jurisdictions all around Atlanta remember the instances in our
the venue for the event— policing. She also credited a city- should look forward to the are going to be learning from life that set us on one path or
Flowers Park—and its $1.7 wide effort to increase patrol new Carver Hills home for a long time,” Eckstut said. another. Here we are in one of
million revitalization. With its cars, improve body armor and development, New Peachtree “It’s a vision of a way of living those moments , an instance
pool renovations, playground provide body-cameras for police Road improvements and new in the future which hasn’t been in life we will all remember as
additions, landscaping, officers. elementary school. practiced enough, where it is a point Doraville became an
pedestrian infrastructure and “These efforts have made Pittman reminded residents more sustainable and based even greater place to live, work
other improvements, Pittman Doraville one of the safest cities that Assembly—a major more in a walkable set of and play. This is Doraville’s
said the park is the first of many in the metro region and the mixed-use office and living neighborhoods.” time to shine, this is Doraville’s
projects included in redesigning state,” Pittman said. “Our police development, what she calls a The event was also moment—this is your moment.”
“hard fought battle” to approve— bittersweet, as Pittman said

GDOT approves road diet for Highway 278
of the road diet.”
by Carla Parker In January 2014, the Atlanta Regional Commission
announced it would award the
Avondale Estates got its wish city a $50,000 Livable Centers
to make Highway 278 safer. Initiative (LCI) grant to conduct
Mayor Jonathan Elmore a feasibility study to determine
announced April 24 that the best design for U.S. 278,
the Georgia Department of including the intersection at
Transportation has approved the U.S. 278 and Clarendon Avenue.
city’s road diet model. Elmore The city received three
said he received an email from a proposals from firms to
state traffic engineer at GDOT, complete the study and selected
who informed the mayor that Nelson\Nygaard. In December
GDOT approved the model. 2014, the city conducted a
“We have previously asked road diet and roundabout
for that and they had turned us Mayor Jonathan Elmore announced that the Georgia Department of Transportation has approved the city’s road diet demonstration, which is
down,” Elmore said. “After some model. Photo by Travis Hudgons
proposed in the city’s downtown
time, we decided to make a master plan update.
second go at it and we went and fewer curb cuts, pedestrian converting an undivided four- making changes to the road
crossings and bike lanes. lane roadway into three lanes— diet model, so we would like The consultant team and
approached them…. we made city staff presented the concept
our case, they did some studies “Basically, what currently is two through lanes and a center for them to take a second look
a state highway is going to seem two-way left turn lane. Last year, at that after we have modified plan and associated research
and they came back and said, at a public meeting in March
‘Well, [we] think you can pull more like main street—give our Elmore said the city wanted to it and tweaked it, which we just
city more identity, make it safer get advice on the model before didn’t do the first time,” Elmore 2015. Since then, there have
this off.” been no public meetings about
Elmore said there will be for pedestrians and hopefully spending money to have the said last October. “We’re not
bring about more sustainable model revised, which could cost asking them to look at the same the project before Elmore
reduced lanes along 278, as well announced the city will go back
as wider sidewalks from Sams growth.” $45,000 to $65,000. thing again. We want them to
A road diet involves “We want to consider consider a modified modeling to GDOT about revising the
Crossing down to Ashton Place, road diet model.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 11A


DeKalb County Board of Commissioners recognized DeKalb County’s Office
of Senior Affairs, DeKalb County Public Library, DeKalb Recreation, Parks and
Brookhaven has contracted with Dewberry Consultants LLC to produce the Emergency Action Plan for the Murphey Cultural Affairs, Senior Coalition of DeKalb and Senior Connections at the
Candler Dam. Photos provided April 25 commissioners meeting.

City of Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett, right, the United Methodist Children’s
Home (UMCH) President and CEO, Rev. Hal Jones, middle, and Debby Commissioner Kathie Gannon speaks
Stikes, chair of the UMCH Board of Trustees, met to sign the sale agree- during the April 25 board of commission-
ment for the $40 million purchase of the approximately 77 acre UMCH ers meeting to raise awareness about
property. Child Abuse Prevention Month.

An Allied Barton security vehicle flipped in the early morning hours of
April 25 in Dunwoody, resulting in no injuries. Photo courtesy of the
Dunwoody Police Department
The Wildcat Whizzes from Sagamore Hills Elementary took home the top honor at the FIRST Lego League Robotics World
Expo in Houston, Texas on April 24. 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
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 12A

DORAVILLE Continued From Page 4A
then advised Laidlaw he was he had a number of speeding
going to put Laidlaw, who was tickets on his record. That was
a minor at the time, in the found to be false.
city of Dunwoody’s system as Muhammad, Green and
‘possibly, might be in possession Anderson’s complaints are all
of marijuana’ and any time he similar in nature.
was stopped in Dunwoody, Throughout court
Laidlaw would be ‘red-flagged’ proceedings, Laskowski has
as possibly having marijuana.” issued several citations and
According to court conducted several arrests.
documents, Laskowksi Some arrests involve marijuana
maintains he conducted a possession.
lawful traffic stop complete As of press time, Dunwoody
with a verbal warning. During Police Department had no
the course of the warning, he comment on Laskowksi’s
maintains he “observed from case. Whether Laskowksi’s
outside of the vehicle and later responsibilities have changed
found [what] he believed to be as well as the department’s
marijuana seeds, shake, stems rationale on keeping Laskowski
and leaf.” on the police force—despite
Laskowski allegedly costing the city nearly
informed the then-teenager that $200,000—remains unknown.
Mayor Deborah Jackson talks about new development in the city.

Lithonia’s future envisioned Celebrating
84 Years
of Service in the
Metro Atlanta

by Carla Parker community and not let the
Board Chairman William Taggart &
railroad tracks continue to be a mental divide,” Jackson said.
President & CEO Leona Barr-Davenport

The right side of the tracks Cordially Invite You to the
Lithonia Mayor Deborah
Jackson is hoping new also includes the Bruce Street Annual CEO
developments under way in the community, the historically Appreciation Luncheon
city will attract millennials. African-American community,
Jackson gave the state of where Jackson said the city is
the city address April 24 in hoping to develop. In 2015, Tuesday | May 16, 2017 | 11:30 AM
which she highlighted the the city partnered with the Networking Begins at 11:00 AM | Luncheon Begins at 11:30 AM
progress in the city, including University of Georgia to Hyatt Regency Atlanta, 265 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30303
the construction of a 75-unit develop a master plan for
apartment complex. Bruce Street and will look for 39th Annual CEO Awards Luncheon Honorees
Granite Crossing apartment funding to bring the plan to Herman J. Russell Visions of Excellence League Leadership

complex, a $14.7 million fruition. CEO of the Year Award Award Award

development, will include Jackson also discussed the
24 one-bedroom units, 45 new initiatives in the city, such
Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson
two-bedroom units and six gives the state of the city address. as the farmer’s market and the
three-bedroom apartments for AmeriCorps Volunteers in
residents with annual incomes Service to America (VISTA)
population base and getting program. She also mentioned
of up to $40,000. some more millennials
The development will the increase in revenue the city
considering moving into the saw in fiscal year 2016. Dan T. Cathy Dr. Joyce J. Dorsey Thomas W. Dortch, Jr.
include a pool, gazebo, city.” Chairman & CEO President & CEO President & CEO

computer room, community “[We] had an increase in Chick-fil-A, Inc. Fulton/Atlanta Community Action Authority TWD, Inc.
Jackson said the city is revenue—$85,000—which Visions of Excellence Entrepreneur of
room and other amenities. also in talks with the owner of Award
Catalyst Award
the Year Award
Wendover received low- was an 8 percent increase
Wayfield Foods to improve that from what our revenue was in
income housing tax credits portion of the Lithonia Plaza to
from the Department of 2016,” she said. “In June, we’ll
blend in with the complex. The do a budget review to see how
Community Affairs for the apartment complex is expected
development. we have been trending. A lot
to be completed at the end of of the building that has been
Jackson said the city is the year.
looking at ways to market the taking place in the city…has
Single-family homes are contributed to an expanded
complex, along with other being constructed on Max Grace Fricks Dana L. Lemon Gregory B. Levett, Sr.
aspects of the city. revenue based on permitting President & CEO State Transportation Board Member of GA, Founder & CEO
Cleland Boulevard on the east and those kind of things.”
Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. 13th Congressional District Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Home, Inc.
Georgia Department of Transportation
“We want to do more side of the railroad tracks,
marketing of the city to not The state of the city address
where Jackson said the city will concluded with a presentation
Each year the Atlanta Business League (ABL) recognizes local chief executive officers (CEOs) for
outstanding participation in minority vendor development and community activities. The honors
only attract investors but to move its development focus. we confer are based in part on the willingness of extremely busy executives to take on work vital
also attract residents,” she by Georgia Tech students,
“We’ve done a lot of things who have been researching
to carrying forward the agenda of the ABL and the business community, which is establishing and
building economic equality for minority enterprises. In addition to CEOs, the ABL recognizes a
said. “We have this new unit on [the west] side of the tracks, number of individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the develop-
that is going up and how do air quality in the areas
now it’s time to go across surrounding Lithonia.
ment of minority business in the metro Atlanta area.
we market it? We’re really the tracks and really help SPONSORS
interested in diversifying the demonstrate that there is one

WWW.THECHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM For more details, visit our site at
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 13A


May 4, 2017

DeKalb County Community Development Department
3486 Covington Highway
Decatur, Georgia 30032
Telephone (404) 371-2727

The DeKalb County Community Development Department gives notice that it will submit a request for release of grant funds and an environmental
certification pertaining to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 15 days following this publication. The request and
certification relate to the following projects.

Project: Senior Residences at Mercy Housing
Location: 5134 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 30341

Purpose: The purpose of the senior housing development at this location is to provide much needed affordable senior housing to the
growing senior population in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The development will allow seniors to age in place in an area with access to surrounding
amenities. According to Novogvadac & Co., LLC, there is a definite need for affordable housing units for the aging population in the immediate area of
the proposed units which is located in the NE Atlanta Urban Area which includes the cities of Chamblee and Doraville. The purpose of the proposed
development is to provide the needed affordable housing to the area. The Atlanta Regional Commission has also well documented the need for more
affordable senior housing in the Atlanta metropolitan area to meet the needs of the growing senior population. DeKalb County will provide $250,000
of HOME and/or HOME Investment Partnership Program Income funds to the total estimated cost of $13,109,737 to complete the Senior Residences
as Mercy Housing Development.


It has been determined that such request for release of funds will not constitute an action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment
and, accordingly, DeKalb County has decided not to prepare Environmental Impact Statements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
(P.L. 91-190).

The reasons for such decision not to prepare such Statements are as follows:
An Environmental Assessment has been made for the project which concludes that all adverse effects will be minor, short-term impacts will be
mitigated by either the requirements of the construction contract documents or by the requirements of applicable local, state or federal permits and
environmental ordinances. The positive effects of eliminating public health hazards and improving environmental conditions for low and moderate-
income families outweigh any potential negative impacts. This project is consistent with the goals and objectives of DeKalb County Government and
the Community Development Department.
The Environmental Review Record, respecting the proposed project, has been made by DeKalb County which documents the environmental review
of the project and fully sets forth the reasons why such Environmental Impact Statements are not required.

The Environmental Review Record is on file at the DeKalb County Community Development Department, 3486 Covington Highway, Decatur, Georgia
30032 and is available for public examination and copying upon request between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
No further environmental reviews of the subject project are proposed to be conducted prior to the request for release of Federal funds.

Public Comments on FONSI

All interested agencies, groups, and persons disagreeing with this decision are invited to submit written comments for consideration by DeKalb
County to the Community Development Director. Written comments will be received at 3486 Covington Highway, Decatur, Georgia 30032 on
or before May 19, 2017. All comments received will be considered and DeKalb County will not request the release of Federal funds or take any
administrative action on the proposed projects prior to the date specified in the preceding sentence.


At least one day after the termination of the public comment period for the FONSI, but not before comments on the FONSI have been considered and
resolved, DeKalb County will submit a Request for Release of Funds (RROF) and certification to HUD. By so doing DeKalb County will ask HUD to
allow it to commit funds to this project, certifying that (1) it has performed the environmental reviews prescribed by HUD regulations (“Environmental
Review Procedures for Title I Community Development Block Grant Program” - 24 CFR part 58), and (2) the Certifying Officer, Allen Mitchell, Director,
DeKalb County Community Development Department, consents to accept and enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental reviews or
resulting decision-making and action. The legal effect of the certification is that by approving it, HUD will have satisfied its responsibilities under the
National Environmental Act, thus allowing DeKalb County to commit CDBG funds to this project.

Objection to Release of Funds

HUD will accept objections to its approval of the release of funds and the certification only if it is on one of the following basis: (a) that the certification
was not in fact executed by the Certifying Officer; or (b) that the applicant’s Environmental Review Record for the project indicated omission of a
required decision, funding, or step applicable to the project in the environmental review process. Objections must be prepared and submitted in
accordance to HUD at the Regional Environmental Branch, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 40 Marietta Street N.W., 15th floor,
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-9812.

Objections to the release of funds on basis other than those stated above will not be considered by HUD. No objection received after June 6, 2017
will be considered by HUD.

Allen Mitchell, Director
DeKalb County Community Development Department
3486 Covington Highway Decatur, Georgia 30032

Date of Publication and Dissemination of Notice May 4, 2017
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 14A

Clarkston sends message to ICE
City to pass “symbolic” non-detainer policy to help protect immigrant residents
custody,” reads a memo to have been—detained by
by R. Scott Belzer Clarkston city officials from ICE in the past few months. city attorney Stephen Quinn. This prompted resident
“In the last year alone, state Tom McClellan to say that
“Somalians have been and federal courts in four ordinances—even if symbolic
coming here since the 1980s. states—Minnesota, Texas, only—are needed in Clarkston
We have integrated into this Rhode Island and New York— to send a message to the rest of
great country. We have paid held that ICE detainers… raise the country.
our dues for passes. We’ve the specter of routine Fourth Bryan Cox, spokesman
raised our children here. When Amendment violations. ICE for ICE’s southern regional
we saw the raids by ICE, it detainers are not probable office, said ICE is conducting
affected us. It hurt our feelings. cause that a person is in the routine “targeted enforcement
It’s not something we’re used country illegally.” operations” throughout the
to here and expected from this Quinn said a non-detainer country. He said those arrested
country. In this country of policy will not violate Georgia or detained in Clarkston or
freedom, everyone is judged law, but he does acknowledge elsewhere were unlawfully Clarkston’s Public Safety Committee held a meeting April 27 informing residents
by who they are. Now, our potential retaliation from present foreign nationals who of their intent to pass a non-detainer policy in the city. Photo by R. Scott Belzer
families are being raided, federal authorities in the form had a day in court in front of
terrorized, profiled, separated of withholding funding. immigration judges.
and destroyed. This is not the Dozens of residents were Cox references Musa’s
American way. present at Clarkston’s meetings husband as a person with
I’ve been here for 35 years, on April 27 and May 2 to show a removal issue from 1998.
been educated here. I’ve never support for Clarkston’s policy. He also said, Abdull Issak,
seen anything like this—this is Some, such as Azadeh has “numerous criminal
the work of the devil.” Shahshahani, legal director convictions in DeKalb County.”
These are the words of for Project South, Stephanie DeKalb County has no
Omar Shekey, president of the Ali, civic engagement director records of Issak or Musa on the
Somali American Community with New American Pathways, county’s online judicial system.
Center in Clarkston. Stephanie Cho, executive Councilmen Ahmed
Shekey is one of many director of Asian Americans Hassan, Dean Moore, Jamie
Somali-Americans living in Advancing Justice-Atlanta, and Carroll and Awet Eyasu
the Clarkston community. Dawn O’Neal of Black Lives urged constituents to remain
According to Shekey and Matter, were present to offer strong while Clarkston officials
others, approximately 10 legal advice, social support consider options for protecting

Clarkston residents showed up by the dozens to voice support for a Clarkston
Immigration and Customs and options to the Clarkston residents. non-detainer policy when dealing with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Enforcement (ICE) arrests community. Photo by R. Scott Belzer
and raids have taken place, Shashahani said a lack of a
resulting in hysteria unseen detainer policy places Fourth
since Somalian refugees fled Amendment liability on
their native country. Clarkston.
“The country we left is Others, such as Nema

waging a civil war right now,” Musa, were present to share
Shekey said. “People are dying stories of family trauma–losing
by famine; there’s a terrorist husbands, fathers and mothers
group suicide bombing every in the middle of the night.
day. How can we allow people Musa, a mother of five,
to go back to Somalia at this said ICE officials approached
time? How can we allow her family looking for a man
people to hurt and separate named Hussein at her address.
families at this time? This is One day later, her husband was
irrational, unconstitutional and arrested.
inhumane.” According to Musa, her
Following these reports, husband, Ibrahim Ahmed
Musa, suffers from mental
Lung Cancer • Other Cancers
Clarkston’s public safety
committee met April 27 illness and is being inhumanely
to inform residents a non- held at the Irwin County Special trusts have been set up by vendors and suppliers
detainer policy will be passed Detention Center on suicide of Frito Lay to pay asbestos victims:
May 2 at Clarkston’s monthly watch. She said he is being If you ever worked at Frito Lay you may have been exposed to asbestos -
city council meeting. denied medication and has lost and not even know it. You could be entitled to multiple cash settlements without going
According to Clarkston a significant amount of weight. to court, filing a lawsuit, or even leaving your house.
officials, the non-detainer “This is not right and this is If you ever worked at Frito Lay, and have been diagnosed with
policy will urge law not the America we know and Lung Cancer (even if you are a smoker) - or Esophageal, Laryngeal, Pharyn-
enforcement not to enforce this is not fair,” Musa said. “My geal, Stomach, Colon, Rectal Cancer or Mesothelioma, or know

requests from ICE unless husband has a Social Security someone who died from one of these cancers, call
presented with judicial card, his parents are citizens.
warrants. He has work authorization he
“An ICE detainer request pays for every year. He checks
is a voluntary request from in every six months with
ICE to state or local law immigration.”
enforcement to arrest or Others present shared Free
hold an individual until ICE similar stories involving fathers Claims Analysis Nationwide Service
can take that person into and mothers who are—or
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.
EDUCATION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 15A

Code enforcement on portable classrooms
by R. Scott Belzer cities from legal liability. rules, but not rules of higher He said ordinances have be unfruitful. He, too, was Jester summarized her government, such as state or been formed under the unsure whether cities have the
concerns in an email sent [federal government]. DCSD nuisance abatement that authority to enforce code on
DeKalb County to Dunwoody city council, is considered a local governing would allow a city to repair governing bodies.
Commissioner Nancy requesting they “enforce these authority.” a property and put a lien on DCSD schools in Clarkston
Jester has raised questions supplementary powers on the On April 18, following it, if the property is out of include Indian Creek
about code enforcement on recent activity that has taken pressure in the wake of Jester’s compliance by posing a serious Elementary, Clarkston High
school property following place at Dunwoody High blog post, Dunwoody city health or environmental risk to School and Jolly Elementary—
the installation of portable School” and provide her with spokesman Bob Mullen and residents. each currently features at least
classrooms at Dunwoody High accompanying documentation. DCSD officials stated city and Terry was unsure if such two portable classrooms.
School. Jester also released school district staff will meet ordinances apply to other The school district has
Jester posted concerns details of an email sent to before April 21 to clarify who governments, but said city plans to utilize several recently
on her blog on April 12, a Dunwoody Chamber of has the authority to enforce officials should have a good purchased trailers in the wake
approximately one week after Commerce member from a ordinances on school property. line of communication with of its $500 million E-SPLOST
DeKalb County School District Dunwoody city councilman. City officials from other governing bodies should capital improvement plan.
(DCSD) placed modular According to Jester, the email Clarkston, another DeKalb conflicting issues arise. Among other projects, the plan
classrooms on school property. states the city has a “don’t ask, County city with their own Clarkston city councilman hopes to address overcrowding
The post contends—citing don’t tell” policy when it comes code enforcement division, Mario Williams said he in Region 1 of DCSD, which
a 2002 Georgia Court of to code enforcement. said they would only enforce would also only resort to code includes Dunwoody High
Appeals case—that the city of Jester detailed an April 9 municipal ordinances as a last enforcement if contacting School.
Dunwoody, along with other conversation via Facebook resort. school officials proved to
DeKalb County municipalities, with Dunwoody councilman “I’m a big proponent of the
have a say in enforcing city Terry Nall who contended the age-old adage, ‘You get more
ordinances and codes relating school district is exempt from flies with honey than vinegar,’”
city code. Nall said DCSD is said Mayor Ted Terry. “There CITY OF STONE MOUNTAIN
to permitting, plumbing,
building, electrical, land exempt from city government may be mechanisms to act, but PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE
disturbance, storm water and but not from state or federal generally speaking, that seems
more. authorities. like a last resort, not usually an The City of Stone Mountain hereby gives notice that
The 2002 ruling stated “DCSD isn’t exempt from opening offer.”
complying with applicable That should not suggest a Public Hearing will be held to consider proposed
county governments are regulations regarding short-term rentals, such as Air BnBs.
exempt from zoning laws— building codes, life safety cities do not have the power
as long as they are able to reviews, etc. As a separate, to act, according to Terry. The Mayor and City Council will hold a Public Hearing
perform a function such as sovereign government, He referenced a nuisance on this matter on Tuesday, May 15, 2017 at City Hall
education or government— they have a number of ways abatement law, which he said is located at 875 Main Street, Stone Mountain, GA at 6:30
but not from city ordinances to accomplish it without used by most municipal code
necessarily coming through enforcement departments to P.M. Anyone wishing to attend the public hearing may do
dealing with code enforcement. so and be heard relative thereto. A copy of the proposed
According to its summary, the the city,” Nall said. “DCSD pass ordinances relating to
ruling was made to protect is exempt from city-specific issues raised by Jester. regulations will be available at City Hall.
BUSINESS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 16A

Immigration attorney deals in international marriages
the law is followed, Christian
by Kathy Mitchell
Because her practice is
Stone Mountain-based
cloud-based with much of the
attorney Jamene Christian
work done online, Christian
knows what it’s like to fall in
works from a home office and
love with someone who’s a
her practice is not limited to
citizen of another country then
clients who live in the area.
help that person come to live in
“Even though I am a ‘woman of
the United States. Now her law
a certain age,’ like my millennial
practice is limited to assisting
peers, I am successfully
such people.
embracing new technologies
“I am the proud wife of
and social media to earn a
an immigrant,” Christian
living and promote my brand.
explained. “Thirty-one years
I consult and ‘meet’ with
ago my husband and I sat on
prospective clients from all
the other side of the desk and
50 states and U.S. territories
I petitioned for him as my
via Skype and FaceTime,” she
fiancé, so I get it—I truly do. I
said. “If my client is local, I
understand the apprehension,
bring my immigration law
anxiety and concerns that my
practice to them by meeting the
U.S. citizen clients experience
prospective client in their office,
when they petition for their Jamene Christian, who describes herself as “the proud wife of an immigrant,” focuses her law neighborhood library or local
foreign-born fiancés and practice on fiancé/spouse immigration law.
coffee house.”
spouses. My clients like that I than ever need an attorney who officials don’t care about romance, they want to see that
‘get it.’” is thoroughly knowledgeable in
Christian said many Atlanta this area.”
Christian acknowledges
immigration law across the that there are those who
spectrum–family, business, try to misuse federal law Notice of Public Hearings
refugee/asylum, deportation designed for those planning Notice is hereby given that the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
and other areas. “Not me,” to marry American citizens. will hold public hearings for the purpose of considering the
she said.  “Immigration law is She emphasizes that she has no
complex and I focus on one interest in dealing with such Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Operating and Capital Budgets,
area—fiancé/spouse visa law.” clients. “I usually can sense Modification to Partnership Program Discount Structure, and
Her clients are usually when a couple is not sincere. Proposed Bus Service Modifications for August 5, 2017 for the following routes:
seeking a K1 visa, a special There are small things that tip
government endorsement me off. For example the person Route 12: Howell Mill Road/Cumberland; Route 30: LaVista Road; Route 75: Tucker; Route 81: Ve-
issued to the fiancé or fiancée keeps using the phrase ‘my netian Drive/Adams Park; Route 82: Camp Creek/Welcome All; Route 84: East Point/Camp Creek;
of a United States citizen to fiancé,’ rarely calling the person Route 93: East Point/Delowe Drive; Route 119: Kensington/Hairston Road; Route 120: E. Ponce
enter the United States. Foreign by his name. I do my own de Leon Avenue/Tucker; Route 121: Stone Mountain/Memorial Drive; Route 162: Headland Drive/
nationals are required to marry vetting before I accept a client. Alison Court; Route 191: Justice Center/SR 85 – Riverdale Road/Maynard H. Jackson Jr. Int’l Termi-
the U.S. citizen petitioner within My name and my reputation are
90 days of entry to remain in the nal; Route 192: Justice Center/Tara Blvd./Old Dixie; Route 193: Justice Center/SR 54/East Point;
at stake.” Route 194: Justice Center/Mt. Zion/SR 42-Moreland Avenue/East Point; Route 195: Forest Park/
country. Also, she added, there are
Christian said the process U.S. citizens who sincerely Roosevelt Highway; Route 196: Church/Upper Riverdale/Mt. Zion; Route 221: Stone Mountain/
for her and her husband was believe they are part of a love Central Drive limited; Route 800: Lovejoy/Justice Center.
relatively simple compared with match, but who are being
what some couples in a similar Mobility: Adjust complementary ADA service to reflect the modified route alignments to
duped by a person just trying
position today face. “Our to get a green card and even comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
interview lasted maybe two someone who has no intention All route information, a video with Hearing information & comment forms are available at
minutes. Immigration officials of marrying them or of entering
deal with thousands of people the United States; they are only Tuesday, May 16 Wednesday, May 17 Thursday, May 18
in this situation. They develop a trying to get the person to send
keen instinct for who’s real and them money. Maloof Auditorium Clayton County Fulton County
who’s faking it. They could tell She said there are 1300 Commerce Dr., Commission Chambers Assembly Hall
that we really were in love,” she circumstances immigration Decatur, GA 30030 112 Smith Street, 141 Pryor St., SW Atlanta, GA 30303
recalled. authorities see as “red flags” Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m. Jonesboro, GA 30236 Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m.
While in earlier years of her that might indicate the HEARING: 7 p.m. Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m.
career Christian focused on HEARING: 7 p.m.
proposed marriage is a sham. Riding MARTA: Walk one block west HEARING: 7 p.m. Riding MARTA: Bus Routes 32, 49, 55,
other areas of the law for the “When there is a large age of Decatur Rail Station Riding MARTA: Route 193. 74, and 186.
past three years she has defined gap—particularly when the
herself as “a fiancé/spouse visa man is much younger than the Copies of the proposed Budgets and Bus Service Modifications will also be available for public viewing at MARTA’s Headquarters Office of External
lawyer with a unique approach woman—or a substantial gap Affairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30324 during regular business hours, Mon-Fri 8:30 am to 5 pm.
to the delivery of immigration in education or socioeconomic
legal services.” For formats (FREE of charge) in accordance with the ADA and Limited English Proficiency regulations contact, (404) 848-4037. For those patrons
status, authorities will take a requiring further accommodations, information can be obtained by calling the Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 404 848-5665.
The process has become closer look. I don’t automatically
more complicated during write such couples off—a
In addition, a sign language interpreter will be available at all hearings. If you cannot attend the hearings and want to provide comments you may: (1)
leave a message at (404) 848-5299; (2) write to MARTA’s Office of External Affairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, GA 30324-3330; (3) complete
the current presidential 22-year-old man could fall in an online Comment Card at; (4) or fax your comments no later than May 26, 2017 to (404) 848-4179.
administration, according to love with a 50-year-old woman, All citizens of the City of Atlanta and the counties of Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton and Gwinnett whose interests are affected by the subjects to be consid-
Christian. “Immigration vetting but it’s not what you usually see.” ered at these hearings are hereby notified and invited to appear at said times and places and present such evidence, comment or objection as their
is more meticulous now than Perspective clients should interests require.
it was a few years ago,” she remember the immigration
commented. “Couples more Keith T. Parker, AICP, General Manager/CEO
CLASSIFIED DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 17A

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RATES: $30 for up to 40 words, each Ads due by Friday at noon for next
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prepaid. All major credit cards accepted. visit
to the fair housing act and we do not accept advertising that is
in violation of the law. The law prohibits discrimination based on
color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status.

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SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 18A

The Tucker Lady Tigers defeated Brunswick 3-2 in the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs. Photos by Carla Parker

by Carla Parker Rome 8, Chamblee 7 Girls
DeKalb County is still well-represented Chamblee 7, Kell 1
in the soccer state playoffs as 13 teams Decatur 6, Johnson-Gainesville 0
advanced to the second round. Paulding County 10, Southwest DeKalb 0
Teams from DeKalb County School Carrollton 4, Cross Keys 0
District, City Schools of Decatur and Rome 7, Arabia Mountain 0
private schools played in second round
matchups May 2-3. Scores were not Class AAAA
available by press time. Below are scores Boys
from the first round, which took place Druid Hills 5, Spalding 0
April 25-28. Marist 6, Troup 0
St. Pius X 7, Heritage-Catoosa 0
Girls Girls
South Forsyth 4, Lakeside 0 Marist 10, Central-Carroll 0
St. Pius X 10, Gilmer 0
Class AAAAAA Howard 1, Druid Hills 0
Tucker 5, Brunswick 0 Class AAA
Girls East Hall 5, Stone Mountain 1
Tucker 3, Brunswick 2
Effingham County 10, M.L. King 0 Girls
Glynn Academy 10, Stephenson 0 Greater Atlanta Christian 10, Redan 0

Class AAAAA Class A
Boys Boys
Clarkston 5, Cass 0 Paideia 5, Lakeview Academy 1
Cross Keys 3, Villa Rica 0
Decatur 4, Loganville 0 Girls
Carrollton 5, Arabia Mountain 0 Paideia 1, Hebron Christian 0
SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 19A

Chamblee was swept by Kell in two games in the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs. Photos by Carla Parker

Five baseball teams advance to second round of playoffs
1-seed Tucker Tigers swept Class AAAAA Kell 11, Chamblee 3 April 29
by Carla Parker Brunswick in two games to win Carrollton 10, Southwest East Paulding 10, Columbia 1 Class AAAA
their first-round series. Tucker DeKalb 0 East Paulding 13, Columbia 1 West Laurens 18, Druid Hills 1
won the first game 14-2 and Carrollton 22, Southwest
Only five of the 11 DeKalb closed out the series in game 2
County baseball teams that DeKalb 3 Class AAAA
with a score of 9-7. Tucker will West Laurens 10, Druid Hills 0
made the playoffs remain after host River Ridge in the second
the opening round. Kell 14, Chamblee 0 Druid Hills 3, West Laurens 2
round with a double-header on
Arabia Mountain, Decatur, May 4, and a game 3 on May 5 if
Marist, Redan and Tucker all necessary.
won their first-round matchups The No. 2-seed Marist War
April 28-29. Eagles also had a 2-game sweep
June 5 -
P olice Athletic League
The No. 1-seed Arabia dekalb county p.a.l.
in their first-round match up of
Mountain Rams advanced to
the second round of the Class
the Class AAAA playoffs. Marist July 28
AAAAA playoffs after beating
defeated Cedartown 4-1 in game
Lithonia Middle
Villa Rica two games to one in
the best-of-three series. The
1, and completed the sweep with
a 7-1 win in game 2. summer academy School
Rams lost the first game of the
Marist will travel to Cairo for
the second-round matchup with Ages 7-14
series 6-3, but came back and a double-header on May 4, and a
won games 2 and 3 with a score game 3 on May 5 if necessary.
of 11-5 and 10-5. On Class AAA, the No.
The Rams will host McIntosh 1-seed Redan Raiders swept
in the second round with a Fannin County in the first
double-header on May 4, and a round—winning the first game
game 3 on May 5 if necessary. 3-0 and the second game 16- ACTIVITIES
The No. 1-seed Decatur 2. The Raiders will host Crisp Art, career exploration, community
Bulldogs had a memorable first County in the second round service, fitness fieldtrips, guest
round series against Walnut with a double-header on May speakers, sports workshops,
Grove. The Bulldogs won the 3, and a game 3 on May 4 if swimming, tutorial and more!
best-of-three series and did so in necessary.
31 innings in less than 24 hours. Call now to
Decatur lost the first game of the Other playoff scores reserve space
series 3-2 in 11 innings, won the
second game 7-5 in 13 innings April 28 770-724-7479
and won the third game 7-6. Class AAAAAAA

Decatur will host Union Lambert 5, Lakeside 0
Grove in the second round of Lambert 6, Lakeside 0
the Class AAAAA playoffs with per week
a double-header May 4, and a Class AAAAAA
game 3 on May 5 if necessary. Richmond Hill 15, Stephenson 5
In Class AAAAAA, the no. Richmond Hill 14, Stephenson 2
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 5, 2017 • Page 20A

Bring it to the table.
The food, the stories, the same old jokes and
games. All the year’s happenings. Everyone and
everything. Bring it all, because that’s what family is
about. And this wouldn’t be a reunion without it.

Learn how Publix can help make it a family reunion to remember at