the DeKalb FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2017 • VOL. 20, NO. 6 • 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

Dr. Sandra Elizabeth Ford’s
M.O.R.E. program for moms
And her personal clean home. That is an example of how
perfect Ford expected and wanted things
to be.

Mother’s Day greeting The person Ford had planned to
be with her during her delivery wasn’t
available on short notice so she called
to all mothers on her grandmother to be with her.
After her initial examination at the
hospital, Ford was told that her child was
in distress, that she had a compromised
delivery and needed an immediate

by John Hewitt C-section. She asked the attendants to
find her grandmother, who was in the
eKalb County District dining area. Ford said her grandmother
Director of Public Health scrubbed up and off they went to the
Dr. Sandra Elizabeth operating room. The scenario was far
Ford is a woman who from what Ford had so meticulously
precisely plans every planned.
aspect of her life. She Ultimately, everything turned out
also has a passion for young moms and well for Ford and her son Nicholas. Dr. Sandra Elizabeth Ford and son Nicholas
wants to provide support to those moms Reflecting on the situation Ford said
and their infants. She has drawn from she asked herself what she really
personal experience of the uncertainties needed at that time. The answer to her
of childbirth and single motherhood in own question was that she needed her
creating a program to help others. mother.
As a young full-time pediatrician, Fast forward to 2005, when Ford
Ford was expecting her first child and became district director of the DeKalb
was about to be a single mother. She County Board of Health. She was
described herself, as well as other reviewing infant mortality rates and
doctors, as control freaks. In addition to discovered what she referred to as “a
practicing medicine, Ford was attending staggering difference” between the rates
night classes while pursuing her MBA reported by the cities of Dunwoody and
and was pregnant. But she had her life Lithonia. The mortality rate for moms in
under control. She had planned every the Lithonia area was 13.5 percent—
detail of her delivery and the days and compared to a national average of 5-6
nights following. percent, which was also the rate in the
Ford’s plan was to deliver her child Dunwoody area.
in the hospital where she was working. Around that same time, DeKalb
She had picked her specific room—a Commissioner Larry Johnson shared
corner room with more privacy. Ford said with Ford that he had funding available
she had planned who would be with her to address infant mortality rates and
during her delivery, who would be with that he wanted a program designed
her during her recovery and who would with a goal of reducing infant mortalities
be with her when she brought her new countywide. Ford accepted the challenge
bundle of joy home. She had the perfect and told Johnson she could handle the
plan, so she thought. When recalling request. This was the beginning of the Kassie Bennett, a M.O.R.E. staff member, with Minton
this, Ford chuckled and said “When you M.O.R.E (Mothers Offering Resources
plan, God laughs.” and Education) Moms program.
However, all of those plans for the M.O.R.E. matches young mothers with the “moms” would help during and after
birth of her first child did not play out trained resource moms who help before, their pregnancies with issues such as
the way she thought they would. Ford’s during and after pregnancy health care for the new moms and their
water broke unexpectedly while she Six women were initially recruited as infants, healthy eating, breastfeeding,
was at home, in bed and alone. Her first “moms” to serve as mentors and provide parenting skills and even how to properly
inclination was to change the linens on support to young mothers. The message use a child safety seat.
her bed so she would return home to a conveyed to expectant mothers was that See Moms on page 5

Visit for local, real DeKalb County news. @DeKalbChampNews
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 2

gets tropical
with A1A,
tribute band

by R. Scott Belzer

Doraville kicked off an
inaugural event, Concert in
Flowers, in style on April 28 by
hosting what has been called
the world’s leading Jimmy
Buffett tribute band, A1A.

Flowers Park—located at
5910 New Peachtree Road in
Doraville—echoed the sounds
of steel drums, trumpets,
saxophones, bongo drums,
keyboards, maracas and
guitar as the seven-piece band
played Buffett favorites such
as “Cheeseburger in Paradise,”
“Margaritaville,” “Son of a
Son of a Sailor,” “Fins,” “Come
Monday,” “It’s Five O’Clock
Somewhere,”, sending attendees
straight to the dance floor.
Jimmy Buffett tribute band A1A—named after the coastal Florida highway—played Buffett favorites such as “Fins,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Margaritaville,”
A1A also treated guests to “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” Come Monday,” “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” as well as classic reggae and original music. Photos by R. Scott Belzer
classic reggae and original
music in the trop-rock genre.
Three food trucks kept guests’
stomachs full.

Since forming in 1991, A1A
has repeatedly headlined
“Meeting of the Minds,” an
annual festival celebrating
Jimmy Buffett’s music and fans,
also known as Parrot Heads.
The band describes itself as
the original and official Jimmy
Buffett tribute show.

Doraville will host numerous
concerts at the newly renovated
Flowers Park, which was
approved for a Community
Development Block Grant in
2015. Improvements include
pool renovations, playground
additions, landscaping,
pedestrian infrastructure and
more. Construction began in
2016 and finished in 2017.
Doraville city officials hosted an inaugural Concert in Flowers event to celebrate the reopening and renovation of Flowers Park, located at 5910 New Peachtree Road.
Photos by R. Scott Belzer
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 3

AVONDALE ESTATES DeKalb watershed management to host work-
Comedy show to benefit CARE  
The DeKalb County Department of Watershed
Avondale Estate’s Towne Cinema will host the Management (DWM) will host its second Industrial
sketch and improve comedy show Folks to Give on Pretreatment Program (IPP) Stakeholder Workshop
May 25 from 8 to 11 p.m. May 25, 1:30-3:30 p.m. at 4572 Memorial Drive in
The event—a partnership between Atlanta Ex- Decatur.
plained, Flying Giants and—will At the workshop, companies permitted by the
benefit CARE, a non-profit organization focused on county’s IPP program will receive updates on organi-
fighting global poverty. zational and programmatic changes implemented to
Flying Giants is a comedy team responsible for improve compliance with county rules and ordinances,
The Internet is Trying to Kill You, sketch comedy show the Federal Clean Water Act and the Georgia Water
as well as bimonthly comedy shows throughout the Quality Control Act. Attendees will have an opportu- City to host Color Vibe 5K
metro Atlanta area. nity to discuss the program implementation and ask
Atlanta Explained is a comedy show based on questions or suggest modifications. Stone Mountain will host the annual Color Vibe 5K
news media and how people consume it. The troupe DeKalb County is currently under a federally May 20 at VFW Field beginning at 9 a.m. VFW Field
regularly performs at the Village Theatre. The team is mandated consent decree related to the operation and is located at 888 Gordon Street. For more information,
responsible for The Atlanta Banana, Atlanta’s satirical maintenance of the sewer system. The goal of IPP is to visit
prevent further deterioration of pipes and other parts

online newspaper.
According to event organizers, the talent and event of the system. The IPP also prevents the introduc-
space are being donated. tion of pollutants to county treatment plants that may
Folks to Give tickets are $20 for general admission pass through into rivers, lakes and streams, adversely
and $35 for VIP passes. VIP passes grant front row impacting the environment.
seats. While these requirements have been in place for Middle school to host chess fair
Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets early. years, DWM has enhanced enforcement to ensure that
For more information, visit http://www.brownpaper- the county and industries in the county permitted by Stone Mountain Middle School—located at 4301 the IPP are up to current regulatory standards. Ad- Starr Parkway—is scheduled to host the fifth annual
ditionally, DWM is actively identifying industries that DeKalb County School District (DCSD) Chess Fair on
are required by law to be permitted by the program. May 13 from 9 a.m. to noon.
DeKalb County’s IPP is under the oversight of the DCSD officials invite all district parents and
BROOKHAVEN Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
students to participate in the fair, which will host
games at the novice, intermediate and expert levels.
The IPP Workshop is limited to 60 participants and After 15 minutes, point rules will be enforced to
is open to both regulated industries and the public. To ensure a game for all attending players.
City to host meeting on overlay project reserve space in the workshop, send an email request Parents must register students at the welcome table
to Questions about and go to the designated parent area. All students must
The first Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay Update public the event should be addressed to Bernard Bethea, be accompanied by an adult.
meeting will be held May 18 at 6:30 p.m., at St. Mar- pretreatment supervisor, at brbethea@dekalbcountyga.
tin’s Episcopal Church. The church is located at 3110 gov or 404-687-7147. General inquiries or questions
Ashford Dunwoody Road. For more information, visit about the IPP may be sent to IPP@DeKalbCountyGA. City to have state of the city address gov
Tucker will have its first state of the city address
May 12 at city hall annex, 1-3 p.m. City hall annex is
located at 4228 1st Avenue. For more information, visit

Community Service Board announces May
The May 25 board meeting of the DeKalb Commu-
Public invited to paint mural
Local artist Shannon Willow is inviting the public
nity Service Board is open to the public for those who to help her paint a mural at Refuge Coffee Company
are interested in services for mental health, addiction on May 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Construction hiring event announced
and developmental disabilities. The meeting will be Titled “Human Family Forest,” the mural—is to be
held at 4 p.m. at 445 Winn Way, Room 421, in Decatur. located at 4170 E Ponce de Leon Ave. N.E.—Willow WorkSource DeKalb is teaming with Archer
The Community Engagement Committee meeting will hopes public participation will build bridges between Western for a hiring event May 18 from 9 a.m. until
be held in the same room at 3 p.m. and is also open to cultures, bring people together and ultimately express 1 p.m. at 4572 Memorial Drive in Decatur. Positions
the public.  shared values. include concrete finishers, equipment operators,
The Audit, Finance and Compliance meeting will Willow has completed the primer as well as the carpenter foremen, carpenters and pipe fitter/layers
be held in the same room on Tues, May 23 at noon overall background. Details will be provided by the All qualified tradesmen are to register online at:
and is also open to the public.  community at large.
Those with disabilities in need of assistance or Willow has completed three similar, murals in For more information about WorkSource DeKalb
accommodations to participate in the meeting should Clarkston with public participation and others in the visit 
contact community relations at (404) 508-7875. metro Atlanta. She has been endorsed by Clarkston
Mayor Ted Terry as well as East Atlanta business
For more information, visit www.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 4

come to
by Horace Holloman
Longtime DeKalb County resident Patricia
Culp said she was disappointed about the
condition of a playground where local children
play. She, along with members of the Cedar
Grove Neighborhood Association (CGNA),
decided to do something about it.
Culp, president of CGNA, said the
association worked with county officials to
fund a new playground for the area.
The process took nearly two and a half
years but on April 29, Culp and CGNA
members witnessed their hard work come to
fruition as the county unveiled Bouldercrest
Park during a ribbon cutting ceremony with
DeKalb County Department of Recreation,
Parks and Cultural Affairs.
The park, located at 4184 Bouldercrest
Park Road, features a new playground and a
recently installed library box.
“The original playground was in really
bad shape. We decided we wanted to get an
initiative started to get a new playground,”
Culp said. “We just wanted a better
playground for our kids. I have lived here for
25 years and I’m happy to live in this part of
DeKalb County.”
She said community support helped the
process along with the support of the county.
She said she’s pleased to see the county is
committed to keeping the park’s green space
DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond
at the dedication ceremony said CGNA’s effort
is something to be admired.
“This is wonderful. This is a great day,
not just for the Cedar Grove Neighborhood
Association, but a great day for DeKalb. This
is evidence that when citizens take control of
their destiny, we can improve the quality of
life throughout the county,” Thurmond said.
Culp said the improvements for the park
are not finished. She said she would like to add
signage to the park as well as an informational
booth about the park’s history.
More than 35 children, adults and CGNA
officials were on site for the dedication
ceremony. Many of whom wasted no time
enjoying some of the new equipment.
“We’re trying to encourage people to step
up and be a part of their community. We had
to come together and make this a park that
people want to be proud of,” Culp said.

DeKalb County Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs and the Cedar Grove Neighborhood Association held the official opening
and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Bouldercrest Park’s new playground April 29. Photos provided
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 5

A Mother’s
Staff members Kassie Bennett and Dorothy Winfrey distribute M.O.R.E. information at a community
event. Day Message
MOMS Continued From Page 1
For the next several years, the
M.O.R.E. program flourished under “Wishing a Happy
Ford’s guidance with its limited Mother’s Day to all those who
budget and staff.
At the eight-year celebration take on the toughest yet most
of M.O.R.E., Ford had a chance
encounter with pregnant 13-year-old rewarding responsibility on
who was attending the event. The
young woman asked Ford, “Does it earth, and to the villages that
hurt to have a baby?” Ford said she
replied with “Yes! Have you had any
support us—most especially
classes or anything?” “No ma’am,” my wonderful M.O.R.E.
the soon-to-be mom replied, “I’m
in a girl’s home.” Ford asked who Moms!  I am so proud of
would be with her when she had her
baby. The girl replied she would be
both the women that join the
alone. “That ripped me to shreds,” program, and of our team
Ford said.
Ford’s chance encounter with
M.O.R.E. Moms participant Lisa Tullis and
that assists them in every
this young lady was the catalyst
to include more services to young
daughter Ebony
imaginable way. Though
mothers and Ford set up training
programs for the “moms” to act as Ford hopes the next expansion I love what I do at DeKalb
of the M.O.R.E. program will be
doulas who can assist the expectant
to have a residential facility where
Board of Health, being a
mothers during their delivery.
Most of the women who receive young mothers can come for mother is the job I love the
assistance through the M.O.R.E. additional life-skills training. She
program are single teens, Ford said, said having a facility would be a most, and I am grateful to
and “don’t have any concept of what “really, really big component.”
childbirth is like.” The program has helped more have a program that does
As the M.O.R.E. program than 5,000 mothers and babies so much to support both
continued to expand its since opening its doors and now
services, it morphed into a more serves more than 1,000 moms with mothers and children.”
comprehensive program that an annual budget of $250,000. She
provides self-esteem training, plans to ask DeKalb CEO Michael
language skills, job training and Thurmond for a portion of DeKalb’s
support services so the young SPLOST funds to increase the
mothers can continue their services provided and hopefully – Wishing you peace and pampering
educational pursuits. Ford said find a physical facility. “This is my (and rest),
one former participant now has baby; M.O.R.E. Moms is my baby,
everybody knows it,” Ford said.
Nick’s Mom
her Ph.D. and often attends
meetings presented by M.O.R.E. She credits the success of the aka Elizabeth Ford, MD, MBA
to encourage the mothers to take program to the women who serve district health director/CEO
advantage of the program and to as surrogate moms. “The women on DeKalb County Board of Health
continue to pursue their dreams and our team are so phenomenal,” she
careers. said.
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 6

Letter to the Editor
What happened to President Trump’s “great” Healthcare plan?
He said he was going to take necessary. I believe humans Sankofa, keep the good of the that would have included the
care of everyone. It sounded have evolved to where we can past and use it to serve us as we Democrats, energized and
like a strange proclamation for communicate effectively, and move forward. Life should be encouraged the people, and
a Republican to make, but okay, therefore, eliminate the need about improving as we advance. moved the country forward in a
I was open to hearing his plan. for war. Why should a leader’s Why get rid of regulations good way–fix what is not working
Now, I’m learning that his plan, ego (as it often the case) be that exist to keep the air and well with the Affordable Care
which Congress passed last the determinant for a nation water clean, and those that allow Act. Why reinvent the wheel?
Thursday, is not great and does engaging in war? students some help paying off Either fix it and make it more
not cover everyone. In fact, it I had hoped, without any college loans? Do mentally ill affordable, or replace it with a
eliminates many of those who basis for such, that once Mr. people really need legal access single-payer system. He likes
need it most. Trump became president he to guns? Why build a wall to universal healthcare. Think what
I have been observing would somehow become a keep people who are fleeing a hero Mr. Trump would now be
the president since he was stable leader interested in dangerous situations out of to the majority of Americans if
candidate Trump. I was not America’s good. That didn’t our country, a country that has he had done that. (Okay, I know
shocked, only disappointed and happen. He remained who been a beacon of freedom and the Republicans don’t believe
saddened, when the Electoral he has always been. He is hope for those seeking refuge? in the government taking care
College gave the presidency consistently incontinent in his I wonder if President Trump of people.) How can America
to him. My disappointment had words and behaviors. He doesn’t realizes what he is signing. I continue to claim that it is the
nothing to do with a Republican seem affected in any real sense think he is simply doing “busy greatest country in the world if
winning the White House. In by what others think or say work” and enjoying photo- it cannot effectively take care
fact, I don’t see that Mr. Trump about him. He only gets his ops. Seems each president of its sick citizens? He could
is a Republican. He seemed feelings hurt. should build on the good of his have signed an executive order
then and now to be whatever I’ve been watching him predecessor and also work their making healthcare a human
was and is expedient. I believe as I have watched no other own agendas. right. Why not?
I would feel differently about the president, not even President If Mr. Trump is a jobs I am still waiting for President
presidency if, say, John Kasich Obama who I admired for his president, he should hire Trump to give a speech unifying
had won. His agenda would be intelligence, dignity, and his workers to fill numerous the country rather than only
contrary to what I as a Democrat desire to serve the people. I vacant government positions. addressing his base and those
would want, but I believe he appreciated that he included all That action could help the who voted for him. I expected
would seek to bring out the best Americans as he governed. I government function better. He it after he won the election.
in the American people and have watched President Trump could put an infrastructure bill on Someone in his administration
uphold the dignity of the office. grandstand with his signing the table that would hire people is capable of writing such a
As an American, I want of each executive order. He in the cities and in the rural speech. Oh, I forgot, Mr. Trump
whoever is president to succeed signs those orders as if he is areas and cut the unemployment would step all over it with his
in ways that affect the economy accomplishing great things for rate. President Obama couldn’t adlibs.
and public safety. I am against the country and for his legacy. I get that done. Trump could have
war no matter what party is don’t know how anyone thinks it as his victory. Barbara Armstrong,
involved or how many times returning to the past is a good I could have given the Stone Mountain
I hear people say that war is thing. We need to practice president some real work

Tragedies should prompt talks with teens about driving
When I started my journalism Sadly, this will not be the important to instruct and advise.
career decades ago, I often last of these tragedies to occur. No doubt these are messages
found myself with an assignment Motor vehicle accidents are the that have been shared before
I absolutely hated—knocking on leading cause of death for teens, but deserve repeating.
the doors of grieving parents’ according to the Centers for Cautions about speed,
homes to ask questions about Gale Horton Gay Disease Control and Prevention. distractions, rules of the road,
their teens who had just died. In 2015, 2,333 teens in the wearing seatbelts and knowing
The circumstances differed United States ages 16–19 were when to decline the offer of a
each time but usually involved a killed and 221,313 were treated ride are just a few of the topics
vehicular accident and it seemed brothers (14 and 18) were killed in emergency departments for that should be covered. They are
far too often these incidents in Cobb County in a collision injuries suffered in motor vehicle likely to say “Yes, yes, I know,
occurred in the spring—just with a school bus. crashes in 2014, the CDC states I know” but keep talking and
before graduation and the end of One doesn’t have to know the on its website. emphasis the huge responsibility
the school year. families to get a sense of just Parents, guardians, relatives that comes with getting behind
I was reminded of this when how devastating these incidents and anyone with a sincere the wheel.
six teens from metro Atlanta are for family, friends and their interest in the welfare of our Once our children are beyond
were killed in two separate car communities. Six lives that had young people would be wise our grasp and outside earshot,
accidents. Four boys (ages so much potential and, no doubt, to take time for a serious talk they are on their own. Let’s do
14,15 and 16) from South Fulton brought love, joy and pride to with the teens about what can all we can to drive home the
County died on April 24 in an those who knew them best, happen when they grab the keys most important messages while
accident involving a tractor- have been cut short. The pain is and head out. Whether they we have the opportunity to do
trailer. On the same day, two difficult to imagine. are drivers or passengers it’s so.
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 7

Tough time erasing history in the Big Easy
“We will no longer allow the Hitler. Though a much more will not be an easy path for the
Confederacy to literally be put
on a pedestal in the heart of our
‘One Man’s recent wound, the Germans
smartly left many of their horrific
Big Easy either, and I certainly
hope it does not become a trend. 
city,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Opinion’ concentration camps and gas Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Landrieu. chambers intact, as stark and hoped to hear freedom bells
Bill Crane grim reminders of some of ringing from the top of Stone
On April 24, more than Germany’s darkest days. The Mountain, but neither King, nor
coincidentally the once- tiny attic that housed Anne his primary living lieutenants,
venerated Confederate Memorial Frank and her family, remains have ever suggested erasing the
Day, New Orleans public works   heavily trafficked by tourists and carving for which that mountain
crews began the controversial But wait, Jackson was also once inside almost impossible is best known. History matters—
task of removing and storing four a life-long slaveholder, and as to fully describe the paranoia, warts and all.  
statues and monuments meant a general, in addition to great claustrophobia and non-quality And today’s majorities, which
to honor former heroes of the victories during the War of 1812 of life that multiple generations could again someday become a
Confederacy. Due to significant (including the Battle of New of a close-knit Jewish family minority, should not be in charge
public outcry and threats against Orleans), Jackson would begin experienced for years in of which and what history we
the monument removals, the to implement the policies of virtual captivity from their own choose to retain, and which gets
public works crew toiled as Native American relocation and government.  relegated to the dust bin.
armed police guards stood by.   removal. Jackson was a populist, History, when documented  
 Six members of the New credited with creating the and fact-based, simply is what
Orleans City Council, including modern Democratic Party and it was. It can be painful and at
Mayor Landrieu, made the after three attempts successfully times emotionally charged to
decision last year to remove was elected America’s ninth look back. Though the horror Bill Crane also serves as a
statues of General Robert E. president.  of slavery still exists in parts of political analyst and commentator
Lee, Confederate President Jackson’s administration the world, most predominantly for Channel 2’s Action News,
Jefferson Davis and others made Indian relocation a priority, on the continent of Africa, and WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and
from prominent squares and signing more than 70 treaties sexual slavery runs rampant now 95.5 FM, as well as a
public parks. There was some with Indian nations, while in cities across the globe, you columnist for The Champion,
outcry in reaction, and limited attempting to convince their will be hard pressed to find its DeKalb Free Press and Georgia
public debate, but no public leadership to convert their tribes current champion or defender. Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native
referendum in setting this rather to agrarian farmers, and lay  Removing these statues will and business owner, living in
significant historic precedent down their weapons for moves not erase or undo any wrongs. Scottdale. You can reach him
occured. to the west. Jackson began the It is not an apology on behalf of or comment on a column at bill.
 Like Georgia’s Savannah, Trail of Tears, a largely on-foot those former slave owners. This
or Charleston in South Carolina, migration from North Georgia
New Orleans is a city steeped in and the Carolinas to Oklahoma
its culture, history and traditions. by 16,543 Cherokees, with a
In addition to giving us the gifts reported 6,000 fatalities along
of jazz, New Orleans’ legendary the way.
cuisine and riverboats still rolling  I am not a Southern
along the Mississippi River, apologist, and I fully
the French Quarter remains acknowledge the primacy of the
the tourism and hospitality issue of slavery as being the
focal point of the city. Southern primary catalyst for the American
hospitality here is a given, as Civil War. And yet we ended
is the slightly slower pace, as that division with a Southern
well as the famous and hard-to- surrender followed by a period of
describe New Orleans drawl. brutal reconstruction more than
 And history seeps from 150 years ago, so I keep waiting
most every corner with offerings for that scab and wound to heal.
ranging from the beignets of I increasingly have resigned
Cafe DuMonde to the prominent myself to the realization that will
placement of a large statue and not likely occur in my lifetime.
monument honoring General  The history of Germany
and later President Andrew will forever bear the stain and
Jackson in Jackson Square. scar of the leadership of Adolf

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
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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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LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 8

Clean Sweep’
Ordinance to protect beautifies
playground users Redan Road
discussed by city officials Operation Clean Sweep
removed almost six tons of
debris in DeKalb County on
April 29 along Redan Road.
To date, Operation Clean
by R. Scott Belzer safe atmosphere for Clarkston Sweep crews have removed children. more than 190 tons of debris
“If a car runs up on the curb, from county roads. The
they won’t hit the fence and
City officials in Clarkston initiative is targeting arterial
injure children outside playing,”
are considering an ordinance roadways before turning a
Burks said.
requiring playgrounds and play focus to collector, residential
Should businesses not be
areas to be 50 feet away from and then streets. Crews clear
able to comply with the 50-foot
major roadways, including grass, trash and debris from
setback, city attorney Stephen
East Ponce de Leon Avenue, roadway drains and curbs,
Quinn said the alternative of
N. Indian Creek Drive, Church mow rights-of-way and remove
installing a guardrail approved
Street, Norman Road, Montreal litter.
by the Georgia Department of
Road and Brockett Road. On May 6, crews continued
Transportation is included in
The ordinance was Operation Clean Sweep on
the ordinance.
discussed by council on May Wesley Chapel Road between
Quinn advised the council
2 during its monthly meeting. A childcare facility on Church Street in Clarkston may violate a potential 50-foot Covington Highway and Flat
to give 30 days or a similar
Councilwoman Beverly setback ordinance on the table with city officials. Photo by R. Scott Belzer Shoals Parkway.
timeframe to allow childcare
Burks, the chief sponsor of facilities to comply.
the ordinance, said she plans Burks said the committee
to discuss the ordinance in meeting will allow the public METROPOLITAN ATLANTA RAPID TRANSIT AUTHORITY
committee before voting in to voice concerns they may
“At a previous council
have before the ordinance goes Notice of Public Hearings
into effect. She said she drove Notice is hereby given that the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
meeting, we had someone around herself to investigate
bring up a concern about some will hold public hearings for the purpose of considering the
claims before doing her part as a
of the daycare facilities on public official. Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Operating and Capital Budgets,
Church Street, how it was in “I want to make sure,
close proximity to the curb and
Modification to Partnership Program Discount Structure, and
from a city perspective, that Proposed Bus Service Modifications for August 5, 2017 for the following routes:
how that could be a danger to we do something to have a
children,” Burks said. safe community,” Burks said. Route 12: Howell Mill Road/Cumberland; Route 30: LaVista Road; Route 75: Tucker; Route 81: Ve-
Burks said the overall goal “We’re looking at our main netian Drive/Adams Park; Route 82: Camp Creek/Welcome All; Route 84: East Point/Camp Creek;
of the ordinance— rather thoroughfares, any[place] where Route 93: East Point/Delowe Drive; Route 119: Kensington/Hairston Road; Route 120: E. Ponce
than changing the overall large amounts of children may
zoning code or enforcing spot de Leon Avenue/Tucker; Route 121: Stone Mountain/Memorial Drive; Route 162: Headland Drive/
be, to make sure we’re not Alison Court; Route 191: Justice Center/SR 85 – Riverdale Road/Maynard H. Jackson Jr. Int’l Termi-
variances—was to provide an all endangering children.”
nal; Route 192: Justice Center/Tara Blvd./Old Dixie; Route 193: Justice Center/SR 54/East Point;
Route 194: Justice Center/Mt. Zion/SR 42-Moreland Avenue/East Point; Route 195: Forest Park/
Roosevelt Highway; Route 196: Church/Upper Riverdale/Mt. Zion; Route 221: Stone Mountain/
Central Drive limited; Route 800: Lovejoy/Justice Center.

Mobility: Adjust complementary ADA service to reflect the modified route alignments to
comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
All route information, a video with Hearing information & comment forms are available at

Tuesday, May 16 Wednesday, May 17 Thursday, May 18

Maloof Auditorium Clayton County Fulton County
1300 Commerce Dr., Commission Chambers Assembly Hall
Decatur, GA 30030 112 Smith Street, 141 Pryor St., SW Atlanta, GA 30303
Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m. Jonesboro, GA 30236 Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m.
HEARING: 7 p.m. Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m.
HEARING: 7 p.m.
Riding MARTA: Walk one block west HEARING: 7 p.m. Riding MARTA: Bus Routes 32, 49, 55,
of Decatur Rail Station Riding MARTA: Route 193. 74, and 186.

Copies of the proposed Budgets and Bus Service Modifications will also be available for public viewing at MARTA’s Headquarters Office of External
Affairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30324 during regular business hours, Mon-Fri 8:30 am to 5 pm.
For formats (FREE of charge) in accordance with the ADA and Limited English Proficiency regulations contact, (404) 848-4037. For those patrons
requiring further accommodations, information can be obtained by calling the Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 404 848-5665.
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
an online Comment Card at; (4) or fax your comments no later than May 26, 2017 to (404) 848-4179.
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-
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
interests require.

Keith T. Parker, AICP, General Manager/CEO
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 9

Kyle Brooks said he was told by a DeKalb County Code Enforcement officer that the displays in his yard are not art.

Art or violation?
Local artist told displays violate code
College student vows to change future, wins award
supporters and friends.” who is he to tell me what’s art?’”
by Horace Holloman Brooks created a post on Brooks said. his Facebook page “Black Cat County officials said the
Tips—the art of Kyle Brooks,” issue isn’t with the content
Local artist Kyle “black cat and shared his accounts of of Brooks’ art, but the size of
tips” Brooks has made a name what happened. He wrote, his displays. According to the
for himself selling his artwork “We moved here because we county, Brooks was cited for
in the Atlanta area. Brooks, wanted to make the area even non-permitted signs. Kyle Brooks, who lives off Klondike Road in Lithonia, said he removed his lawn
a DeKalb County resident better and be a light in the “DeKalb County Code, displays because he didn’t want any trouble.
for more than a decade, said community. Happy, fun art Chapter 21, prohibits the
he purchased his home and should not be illegal.” posting, displaying or erecting
land near Lithonia because he As of May 8, Brooks’ of signs without a valid sign
wanted a place to display his Facebook post was shared permit. Signs in residential
material. more than 1,000 times. areas shall be no greater than
However, some people Nonetheless, Brooks’ front yard 24 square feet in size and no
are questioning whether his does not currently showcase [higher than] 4 feet above
artwork is in violation of the any large displays of smiling the ground. In this case, the
county’s code. Brooks said he faces. Brooks said he removed resident’s signs are greater than
was told by DeKalb County his artwork because he “didn’t the measurements allowed
Code Enforcement that his want any trouble.” under the code. His court
displays were illegal. Without Brooks, who lives off date is not punitive; rather, a
warning, Brooks was given a Klondike Road in Lithonia, decision will be made by the
court date for May 23 to answer said he’s overwhelmed by judge whether the pieces on his
to his alleged violations, he the community support he’s property fit the definition of
said. receiving. He said several a sign or not,” county officials
“No letters, no calls... people called code enforcement said in a statement.
nothing,” Brooks said. “I got officials on his behalf. Brooks said he wants
a visit last week from a code Initially, Brooks said his his house to be known as
enforcement officer and he interaction with the code a stopping point for the
went on to tell me I was in enforcement officer didn’t community and create a
violation of the county’s code bother him until he was told conversation.
and what I was doing was that his displays were not art. “Most of my art is just dogs,
illegal. I can go to court and “The [code enforcement bears, smiley faces and funny
I can talk to the judge and officer] pointed at the different stuff. It makes me happy, and
maybe they could just give me things in my yard...he said in turn it makes other people
a fine, but I thought ‘no, this anything with words on it can’t happy,” Brooks said.
happened to me for a reason’ be my head I thought ‘I According to county officials, DeKalb County resident Kyle Brooks is in violation
and I want to tell all my art don’t think that’s legitimate... of county code because of the size of his lawn displays.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 10

Brookhaven closes
on purchase of
greenspace at PDK
by Carla Parker
Brookhaven finalized
the purchase of 33 acres of
greenspace near DeKalb-
Peachtree Airport (PDK) April
28, the city announced May 1.
The closing came three
months after Brookhaven
City Council signed off on an
intergovernmental agreement
to purchase and preserve
the space. The council’s
action followed a unanimous
vote by the DeKalb County
Commission authorizing
the sale of the tract for $5.7
Former Liverpool player and team legend Phil Neal visited local soccer players at the Clarkston Community Center on April 29 thanks to the efforts of one supporter’s million to the city. As part of
club and one metro Atlanta nonprofit. Photos submitted.
the agreement, Brookhaven

Liverpool legend visits Clarkston
will preserve the land for
greenspace and cannot sell it
for development.
“This is an exciting
milestone for Brookhaven
European ex-professional soccer player plays with local youth and its residents who worked
so tirelessly to preserve
Brookhaven’s green and vibrant
Liverpool legend Steve Nicol. environment,” Brookhaven
by R. Scott Belzer According to Butler, Soccer Mayor John Ernst said. “We in the Streets benefits minority, still have work to do to ensure
immigrant and refugee teens that the property is safe for
Phil Neal isn’t a name at low-performing schools, all residents to enjoy, but I’m
known by many in America, low-income housing, high- looking forward to exploring
not even by many in DeKalb crime and high-unemployment this greenspace with my sons
County. areas by introducing them when it opens.”
It is, however, a name to culturally competent role The property, located
known by millions around the models through the game of west of Clairmont Road at
globe thanks to his 11-year soccer. the intersection with Tobey
career at Liverpool Football What starts out as a Road, contains mature trees,
Club, one of the most popular friendly kick-around turns
soccer teams in the world. into teaching life-skills, See Brookhaven on Page 12A
During his career, personal responsibility and
Neal won the European job readiness, according to
championship four times, the organization officials. Soccer
Union of European Football in the Streets teams with other
Associations champion nonprofits, local schools,
ship once, the English community centers and parks.
championship eight times “These kids are refugees—
and many more titles familiar there’s not much of a support
to the most diehard soccer system,” Blank said. “What
fans—making him the most [the program does] is play
decorated Liverpool Football soccer, but also installs
Club player in the team’s 124- interpersonal skills, teamwork
year history. and elementary skillsets a lot of
Neal has also represented these kids probably won’t get.”
England’s national team on 50 After Soccer in the Streets
occasions and racked up five was described to Neal, he
goals. requested to meet local youth
On April 29, thanks to personally. Please join us for the
the efforts of Atlanta-based Blank said he expected
nonprofit Soccer in the Streets Neal to watch players and give
and LFC Atlanta—the metro helpful advice, but before he
Atlanta Liverpool supporter’s knew it, Neal was out on the
field, breaking a sweat. About SATURDAY, MAY 20, 2017
club—Neal spent the majority
20 kids of 15 nationalities 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
of his day passing, shooting,
joined Neal for a friendly DeKalb County Extension
tackling and blocking with 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur, Georgia
local Clarkston soccer players. game.
“He played for about an FUN, FOOD and PRIZES!!!
Ben Butler, a board
hour,” Blank said. “He just ALL PRODUCE 50% OFF
member with Soccer in the
Streets, and Stuart Brennan loves the game.” Live Remote Radio with DJ Nabs from and Veda Howard from
with LFC Atlanta, said the For more information on
Soccer in the Streets, visit www. For more info, call 404-298-4080
organization flew Neal to
Atlanta for a question-and-
answer event with fellow
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 11


The Georgia chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness awarded
A yard sign in Clarkston displays a refugee-friendly message. Photo by Travis Hudgons Brookhaven Police Chief Gary Yandura, center, the Law Enforcement Leader-
ship Award at its annual conference.

Mercedes-Benz USA CEO and President Dietmar Exler (center) joined students from Emory University Goizueta Busi-
DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston visits with leaders ness School May 4 as the keynote speaker for the Goizueta IMPACT Showcase Day. Photo provided
representing the East DeKalb Boys & Girls Club on May 3, announcing a
partnership between the county and the club. Photo submitted.

Students at Peachtree Charter Middle School represented Georgia at
the National Science Bowl April 29 and 30 in Washington, D.C. Photo Dunwoody began hosting its Food Truck Thursdays event on April 27. The event features food trucks and family-oriented
submitted. activities each Thursday 5 to 8 p.m. at Brook Run Park. 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 12, 2017 • Page 12

Stone Mountain native switches gears mid-career,
national design mag highlights success

by R. Scott Belzer “In high school, I was branding design projects, so I
drawn to anything that allowed became more interested in the me to be visually expressive,” graphic design side of visual
Lanier said. “But I was also communication.”
For Stone Mountain native involved in a lot of different Lanier said an opportunity
Jenny Lanier, it’s never too late activities, ranging from student to attend SCAD Atlanta
to understand the ins, the outs council to the golf team. arrived soon afterward and Stone Mountain native Jenny Lanier, who was named as one of Graphic Design
and creative side of business. I’ve always been interested that it seemed like a “natural USA’s Students to Watch in 2017, says to never stop learning to be successful.
With hard work and a healthy Photo submitted.
in random things that are transition.” She said the college
curiosity, it is possible to seemingly unrelated to each played a big role in obtaining
become a professional in a other.” her new job, mainly because down the street; Learn how ego, no matter how good you
totally different area, she says. Lanier said this randomness of the out-of-classroom to animate a short cartoon by are at what you do,” Lanier
Not only does Lanier have led to working in advertising opportunities it offers each watching a Skillshare tutorial; said. “It’s important to be a
a bachelor’s degree in creative and transitioning to graphic semester. listen to a podcast about nice person who brings value
advertising from Southern design. She said the transition “Courses cultivate creative peanut farming,” Lanier said. in terms of teamwork, attitude,
Methodist University and was necessary to become an expression while emphasizing “Don’t be complacent with desire to do better, and being
several years of experience as expert on client needs, which vital production skills and what you know and always teachable. Attitude and work
an arts director, she is also on greatly differ. She said her techniques,” Lanier said. yearn for more knowledge.” ethic are incredibly important
course to receive her master of thirst for knowledge and need “Their focus on the design Lanier said it also doesn’t to any employer—often, those
fine arts degree from Savannah to be better at her job soon led process and research are hugely hurt to remain humble, kind attributes are more powerful
College of Arts and Design’s her down the path to become a important to my development and pleasant to be around. than your talent.”
(SCAD) Atlanta Campus in designer. as a designer.” “No one wants to work with
June. “My first job exposed Lanier encourages students a jerk or someone with a big
After that, she will pack her me to incredible learning not to limit themselves to one
bags and head to Austin, Texas opportunities—I was able career or interest. She said that
to work as a user experience to mature a lot in terms of UX or UX design did not exist
(UX) designer for IBM Design
responsibilities as well as my when she was a teenager but Faith & Fun Summer Camp
more technical skills,” Lanier a healthy curiosity, work ethic
Her accomplishments have
earned her a place in Graphic
said. “While I was working, and open-minded attitude Field trips, arts & crafts
Design USA’s Students to
app and web design became
a more important skill that
landed her where she is today.
“Take a do-it-yourself class New Jerusalem
Watch in 2017 list.
According to Lanier, her
I didn’t feel like I knew at Home Depot; make a goal Church
enough about. I also really to visit somewhere new every 5721 Miller Grove Road, Lithonia
career success can be attributed enjoyed package design and month, even if it’s just a park
to randomness. Call Dr. Edmondson
at 770.981.7408 to reserve space!
$45 per week

See all funeral homes.
All prices and reviews.
Council Member John Park, Mayor John Ernst and Parks and Recreation
Director Brian Borden visit the greenspace property on the day it legally
All in one place.
transferred to the city.

BROOKHAVEN Continued From Page 10A Funeralocity welcomes Atlanta.
a stream, wildlife and native said. “This fall, our work Introducing Funeralocity, the new website where you can see and compare
plants, according to the city. should be complete and we will ratings, reviews and prices of funeral and cremation services of all funeral
The site will remain closed be able to open the area for all homes in the Atlanta area.
to the public throughout to enjoy.”
Whether you’re planning for the future, or have an upcoming or immediate
the summer so staff and “We delivered on our
need, Funeralocity helps you make a more informed decision for your family
community partners can promise to the dedicated
by putting all the information you need at your fingertips.
address environmental and citizens in this community
safety issues as well as conduct who have been lobbying Visit today and see for yourself.
a cleanup. for years to have this land
“To maximize the preserved,” Brookhaven City
accessibility of this 33-acre site, Councilman John Park said.
we will need to fix the issues “The hardest part is finished.
caused by the storage of old Now, Brookhaven is solely
fuel tanks and construction responsible for the future of
material for many years,” City this priceless urban forest.”
Manager Christian Sigman
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 13

Councilman Ahmed Hassan had doubts about passing a Clarkston City Council passed a symbolic non-detainer policy on May 2 following outcry Glory Kilanko urged Clarkston City Council to keep its
non-detainer policy following a closed-door meeting with from the public and a meeting with immigration officials. Photo by R. Scott Belzer word and pass a non-detainer policy on May 2. Photo
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials on by R. Scott Belzer
May 2, but the measure unanimously passed. Photo by R.
Scott Belzer

by R. Scott Belzer immigration-related lawsuits.
“ICE detainers are not
Council members met
Clarkston passes non-detainer policy, limiting

with ICE representatives on
cooperation with immigration officials
up, I’m not sure this is the
best strategy for our city…
[defend] this.”
“I don’t see it as a credible
warrants,” Quinn said. “If you’re the morning of May 2 after It’s a non-issue. It lays another threat,” Carroll concluded.
seizing someone without a the representatives refused to layer of confusion onto the Shashahani said federal
Clarkston city council warrant, you are violating their attend a town hall meeting with issue. To pass legislation on a authorities threatened to
passed an official policy limiting constitutional rights and they residents on April 27. Hundreds non-issue is not a good way to withhold only funding
the city’s cooperation with can sue you.” attended the town hall to air govern. We should [support our from localities that refuse to
Immigration and Customs Currently, Fayette, Fulton grievances and share their community] in a different way communicate with ICE. Thus
Enforcement (ICE) detainment and DeKalb counties have non- stories of detainment following than poking Donald Trump far, she said, no cities have
on May 2 following two detainer policies, according to claims from Omar Chekey that in the eye and risking federal passed such an ordinance.
separate meetings. Project South attorney Azadeh Somali-American immigrants funding.” Glory Kilanko, director
The policy will allow Shahshahani, who verified are being targeted by ICE According to city manager with Women Watch Afrika, said
Clarkston Police Department Quinn’s claim on litigation. officials in Clarkston. Keith Barker, Clarkston is Clarkston councilman should
not to comply with detainment While Clarkston does not According to councilman currently receiving funding “keep the promises made”
requests unless there is an and will not receive detainer Dean Moore, on May 2, ICE from the Federal Highway during the April 27 meeting,
official judicial warrant from requests from ICE due to officials told city officials they Administration for a $4 million where councilmen Hassan,
federal authorities, an act the city’s lack of jail cells, as would be placed on a “naughty streetscapes project to revitalize Eyasu and Moore guaranteed a
termed as “symbolic in nature” confirmed by Clarkston Police list” should they proceed with a its downtown core. policy would be passed.
by city officials. Chief Christina Hudson, city non-detainer policy. Councilman Mario “I can’t imagine [the]
Detainment requests are council passed the policy to ICE officials said the city Williams said he does Clarkston constituency’s belief
just that—requests—and are show support for residents who may risk a loss of federal not believe federal threats [in you] if you don’t pass the
typically sent to municipal have been effected by ICE raids. funding, causing Moore as are credible and believed ordinance,” Kilanko said. “You
law enforcement agencies “Clarkston has a history of well as councilmen Ahmed cutting off federal funding gave your word. A word is like
to streamline immigration standing up for its principles,” Hassan and Awet Eyasu to unconstitutional. Councilman an egg—you cannot drop it and
enforcement. They are not, said Mayor Ted Terry. “[The hesitate passing the ordinance. Jamie Carroll agreed. pick it back up again. You’re
however, required to be policy] is more symbolic than They instead suggested passing “I personally think listening to people not in your
honored under any existing practical, but there are larger the ordinance in June or July [Trump’s executive orders] are constituency. I’m glad this is an
state or federal law, according to forces at work here, not just in after further research and legal unconstitutional and the whole election year.”
Clarkston city attorney Stephen Clarkston but across Georgia advice. thing is crazy,” Moore said. “But Council unanimously
Quinn. and the nation. Symbolic or not, “My feelings are that is an aspirational policy worth passed the ordinance on May 2
In addition to showing Clarkston should be a leader. we could use a lot more passing to jeopardize future and received a standing ovation
residents city-stamped support, We want to keep our principles information about a lot of funding and put Clarkston from meeting attendees.
Quinn said the policy will also intact. This is our moment to be issues,” Moore said. “Since behind the 8-ball? Clarkston
protect the city from potential courageous.” we don’t have ICE calling us will have to pay to go out and

Developer submits revised proposal for Sears property
by Carla Parker a daycare and an elementary detailed site plan and review of and wellness facility, a 300-seat Macauley’s meeting with
school on the old Sears site at the design standards. performing arts center and a Tucker Community council Mountain Industrial Boulevard Macauley filed applications 600-person school. is the first step in the city
and Hugh Howell Road. with the city to rezone the Several residents from review process. Community
A developer has not given The Tucker Community property, amend the city’s the Smoke Rise community council members will be able to
up on building a mixed-use Council will hear Macauley’s comprehensive plan and grant spoke in favor of the plan and question the developer, as will
development on the vacant proposal May 10. a special land use permit for asked the council to approve members of the community
Sears Distribution Center In January, Macauley senior housing. City staff Macauley’s applications. The who show up to the meeting.
property in Tucker. withdrew his previous plans recommended the council deny Smoke Rise Community After the community council
Stephen Macauley of for the site after city council all three applications. Association endorsed the offers its feedback, the plan
Macauley Investments, LLC members made motions to The project consisted of 684 project after meeting with would then head to the city’s
submitted revised plans for his either defer their vote or deny living units: 308 multi-family Macauley and his staff. planning commission, then to
project—”The Rise”—on April the applications due to concerns units, 68 townhouses, 33 single- A few residents spoke the city council.
24. The revised plans feature expressed by council members family homes and 275 senior against the application
192,000 square feet of retail about the timing of the living units. The plan includes stating that it goes against the
space, 88,000 square feet of project, the uncertainty of tax a grocery store, retail space, city’s zoning ordinance and
office space, 705 housing units, abatements, the need for a more office space, child care, a health comprehensive plan.
BUSINESS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 14

Micro-entrepreneurs gather to celebrate success, claim awards
by Kathy Mitchell competing for peer-selected
loans from a $60,000 loan
Owners of small area pool,” according to material
businesses gathered May 4— published by Start: Me. A
during National Small Business highlight of the evening was the
Week—at Agnes Scott College announcement—in dramatic
to celebrate the completion of Oscar style—of those selected
a program designed to help to receive the low-interest loan.
them develop and sustain their Those awarded loans in
ventures. Business owners in the East Lake Cohort celebrate completion of the 14-week Start: Me training and mentorship program. the Clarkston Cohort are
Start: Me, a program TwinSpirit Rosby, Art Houze
developed through a delayed many coming to the Clarkson area that would & Company and Russell New Alive, a performing arts,
partnership among local program. In addition to the benefit from this program, Urban Development LLC, education and special events
colleges, businesses and food-related businesses there but we did. It just gets better called small businesses the center for businesses and
foundations, held its annual were those offering cut and every year,” commented lifeblood of their communities. professionals in the arts and
showcase to recognize sew manufacturing, therapy Brian Bollinger of Friends of He said that his father, H. J. entertainment sector; Tiffany
participating businesses in for autistic children, vintage/ Refugees, who works with the Russell Sr., founder of H. J. Powell of Tiffany Powell
the Clarkston and East Lake custom eyewear, public Clarkson Cohort. Russell & Company, started as Photography, which offers
communities and award peer- relations, handmade leather “I was reluctant to apply a small business owner. “He boutique portrait photography
selected loans. handbags and other goods and to this program because I learned to be a plasterer when services; and Reggie & Roger
The program for Start: Me services. had been involved in other he was quite young. By age Ramos, Grow with the Flow
2017 Showcase, describes the Micro-businesses, those accelerator programs that really 16, he was a master plasterer,” LLC, a certified naturally grown
organization as “an intensive with no more than four didn’t help me that much, but Russell said. From a small market garden serving local
14-week accelerator program employees, may apply to Start: this one was different,” one plastering business, the senior communities.
that leverages the Village Me, which accepts between 15 member of the “graduating Russell built a construction Those awarded loans in the
Capital Model to provide and 18 entrepreneurs in each class” remarked. The major company along with ventures East Lake Cohort are Jasmine
the most promising micro- community for each year’s difference, according to several in banking, food and beverage Walker, King and Lola, an
entrepreneurs in metro Atlanta program. Sponsors include participants was the mentorship and other areas, eventually online clothing boutique
communities business training, Emory University’s Goizueta component through which establishing one of Atlanta’s offering clothing for newborns
mentorship support and Business School, the East more than 50 volunteers from largest and most prestigious and toddlers; Yetunde Jude,
early stage financing needed Lake Foundation Friends of established businesses and companies. Yelani (Archer Place Global
to develop their businesses.” Refugees, PNC Bank, Drew institutions, including such Russell said much of his LLC), which offers plant-
The three major components Charter School and others. large high-profile local entities father’s success is attributable to based hair care products for
of Start: Me are knowledge, The program started in 2013 as Home Depot, Delta Airlines, successful networking. Urging kinky to curly hair; and Ajah
networks and capital. with a focus on refugees in the Coca-Cola and Georgia Tech, business owners to nurture Myers, Myers Assessment and
The evening featured a Clarkston community. In 2015, worked with the nascent interactions with others, he Therapeutic Services, which
marketplace at which business an East Lake Cohort was added. businesses. said, “you never know where a provides tutoring and therapy
owners were able to spotlight Since its inception, Start: Me The evening’s keynote relationship will lead you.” services to children and adults
their companies with food- has supported more than 110 speaker, H. Jerome Russell The entrepreneurs with developmental disabilities.

related businesses catering businesses in the two areas. Jr., president of H. J. Russell “supported one another while
the dinner, which included Participants in the 2017
traditional foods from Syria, Clarkston and East Lake
Estonia and West Africa. cohorts are 93 percent minority
“I know this gives the owned, 72 percent female
food businesses a little higher led, 28 percent foreign born.
profile at this event,” remarked Approximately 41 percent
have employees other than the

Brian Goebel, Start: Me
program director, who joked owners and 31 percent have
that it would have been nice started previous ventures.
to have had a tree-trimming “After the first couple of
program since trees that fell years, I thought there was no
during an afternoon storm way we could find another
16 small businesses in the


Lung Cancer • Other Cancers

Monday, May 15, 2017 Special trusts have been set up by vendors and suppliers
of Frito Lay to pay asbestos victims:
TIME LOCATION If you ever worked at Frito Lay you may have been exposed to asbestos -
5:30 p.m. J. David Williamson Board Room
and not even know it. You could be entitled to multiple cash settlements without going
Robert R. Freeman Administrative Complex to court, filing a lawsuit, or even leaving your house.
1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd.
If you ever worked at Frito Lay, and have been diagnosed with
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Lung Cancer (even if you are a smoker) - or Esophageal, Laryngeal, Pharyn-
geal, Stomach, Colon, Rectal Cancer or Mesothelioma, or know

The DeKalb County Board of Education will hold a public budget someone who died from one of these cancers, call
hearing to solicit feedback from the public regarding the 2017-
2018 school system’s budget. The proposed FY2017–2018 General
Fund Tentative Budget contains full funding for the salary
increases granted by the Board during mid-year FY2017 (1.5% and
Claims Analysis Nationwide Service
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 12, 2017 • Page 15

According to DeKalb County School District board member Stan Jester, classroom sizes throughout the district have shrank. Champion file photo

DeKalb County class sizes shrink
by R. Scott Belzer are generally below the state max,” Jester concludes. “A
number of things go into
According to a two-year class size. Different types of
independent study by DeKalb students can affect class size.
County School District The ability of a principal to
(DCSD) board member Stan maximize funding makes a
Jester, class sizes throughout huge difference… If your class
the district are waning. size isn’t what you want it to
Jester released two blog be, ask your school council,
posts on May 1 and 2 that board member and principal
serve as updates to an original why.”
post made in September 2015. The public responded to
The original post contained Jester’s blog with opinions on
an analysis outlining the the subject.
average class size of each “Class size matters! The
DCSD elementary school and difference between having a
compared those averages to class of 18 fifth graders (Briar
the legal maximum as well as Vista) and 30 fifth graders
the maximum allowed by a (Indian Creek) is huge,” one
strategic waiver. commentor said.
DCSD was awarded For more information, visit
Strategic-Waiver status in
2015. Under such a status, 2015 post, Rock Chapel, funded capital project list. “Middle school class
DCSD is allowed flexibility Rainbow, Narvie Harris, Jester’s May 2 blog post sizes have gone down and
under certain state laws that Pleasantdale, Wynbrooke, discusses middle school class
include class size. Under Flat Rock, Dunwoody, Pine sizes. No waiver exists for CITY OF STONE MOUNTAIN
DCSD’s specific waiver, the Ridge, Woodward and Oakcliff DCSD middle schools and, PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE
district allows 24 students per elementary schools were at the currently, no middle schools
kindergarten class, 27 students waiver limit or over it. violate state law allowing 34
per first, second and third The City of Stone Mountain hereby gives notice that
According to Jester’s students per class in sixth,
grade class, and 34 students update on May 1, averages seventh and eighth grade. a Public Hearing will be held to consider proposed
per fourth and fifth grade class. have dwindled so none The schools coming the regulations regarding short-term rentals, such as Air BnBs.
“I have been a tireless violate DCSD’s waiver. The closest to violating state law The Mayor and City Council will hold a Public Hearing
advocate for pushing money school with the largest class include Mary McLeod Bethune
into the classroom and class on this matter on Tuesday, May 15, 2017 at City Hall
size average—Indian Creek (30 student class average for
sizes on average across the located at 875 Main Street, Stone Mountain, GA at 6:30
Elementary—is scheduled sixth grade) and Chamblee
county have been drifting for a rebuild and one of the (31 student class average for P.M. Anyone wishing to attend the public hearing may do
down,” Jester states. first projects on DCSD’s tax- eighth grade) middle schools. so and be heard relative thereto. A copy of the proposed
According to Jester’s regulations will be available at City Hall.
may 2017

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

DeKalb Chamber to celebrate local businesses
at 2017 APEX Business Awards
Nearly 150 guests will attend the 2017 Director of Marketing & Broadcast Promotions mirrors verticals of the company’s federal client
DeKalb Chamber APEX Business Awards on for a Memphis-based television station. Through base and CATMEDIA Entertainment.
Thursday, May 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. this and other executive level positions, she An innovator at her core, Catherine is
at the Georgia Piedmont Technical College, honed her skills in media buying, budget named on two Patent-pending applications
Conference Center, 495 North Indian Creek development, staff and project management, for communication and training technologies.
Drive in Clarkston. Catherine Downey, Founder, and creative processes such as writing, She is deeply in touch with the creative world,
CEO & Creative Director of CATMEDIA will directing, and producing. Perhaps one of the propelling CATMEDIA in its capability to offer
serve as the keynote speaker, sharing how she most important things she learned was the innovative training and creative solutions.
founded and evolved it to a highly-respected value of building and maintaining solid customer The event is open to the public. Tickets are
company. relationships. $60 for Chamber members and $75 for guests.
The APEX Business Awards recognizes Fifteen years later, after continued growth Sponsorship opportunities are available.
local businesses for their exemplary standards and success in the television and advertising For more information and to register, please
in business development, employee programs, arenas, Catherine struck out on her own and visit
business innovation and contribution to DeKalb founded CATVIDEO in 1997.
County and the metro Atlanta region. During In 2011, with an astute awareness of the
the event, there will be a presentation of the ever-changing world of technology and a
following awards: Business of the Year ($1-5M, steadily growing portfolio of federal clients, Catherine Downey, Founder,
$5-10M and $10-20M revenue categories), Catherine transformed CATVIDEO into CEO & Creative Director of
Business Advocacy, Emerging Business, CATMEDIA. In 2016, Catherine added two CATMEDIA will serve as the
Community Workforce and Youth Initiative. new divisions to her company: CATMEDIA The keynote speaker.
Catherine began her career in media as Agency, a commercial advertising agency that

Metro Atlanta leaders to address DeKalb Chamber members
DeKalb Chamber has community during the General Pete Correll Roosevelt Council
invited Pete Correll, Grady Membership Meeting in June Grady Memorial Hospital Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta
Memorial Hospital former and July, respectively. International Airport
Chairman, and Roosevelt The General Membership Thursday, June 15
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 13
Council, Hartsfield-Jackson Meetings are open to the 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Atlanta International Airport public. Tickets are $45 for
General Manager, to speak to Chamber members and $55 for
its members and the business guests.

Upcoming Events
May 16 July 13
Business-after-Hours - 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. General membership meeting Featuring Roosevelt
Harken Health, 158 West Ponce de Leon avenue, Council, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International
Decatur airport - 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

May 25 August 28
2017 apex Business awards - 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. • 13th Annual Golf Classic - 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Conference • 4th Annual WELD Women’s Golf Clinic – 1:00 p.m.
Center, 495 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston to 3:30 p.m.

June 1 September
young Professionals of DeKalb after Hours General membership meeting Featuring Chris Carr,
5:30 to 7:00 p.m. attorney General, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Fogo de Chau, 4671 ashford Dunwoody Rd NE,
Dunwoody October 18-26
Discover and Explore Tuscany
June 15
General membership meeting For more information and to register for any of these
Featuring Pete Correll events, please visit www.dekalbchamber.
Grady memorial Hospital - 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
CLASSIFIED DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 17

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RATES: $30 for up to 40 words, each Ads due by Friday at noon for next
DISCLAIMER: We do not knowingly accept advertisements that
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SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 18

Arabia Mountain boys’ and girls’ track and field teams are hoping to win their first state titles. Photos by Carla Parker

he helped lead the girls to a state May 11-13. The boys won the region jump.
by Carla Parker championship in 2013. When he 5-AAAAA title, its first region title in Rocker, who has been battling a first took over, Webb said Arabia program history. They also finished hamstring injury most of the season,
Mountain had the talent to compete second at the DeKalb County track and said she can defend her state title.
Last year, the Arabia Mountain
at the highest level despite the lack of field meet behind Lakeside. “It’s not going to be easy,” she said.
Rams track and field program had one
resources, but the athletes had to build Arabia Mountain girls’ team have “It’s going to be a challenge still, but as
individual champion at the state meet—
a championship mindset. been battling with Miller Grove this long as I believe in myself I feel like I
Destinee Rocker in the 100-meter
“When I got here I noticed that a lot season. They finished second behind can still do it.”
hurdles, the second individual gold
of the kids did year-round track,” Webb the Lady Wolverines in both the county Williams is also confident that she
medalist in school history.
said. “So, they were exposed to track, and regional meets. Bohler said her could win her first state title in the high
This year, the Rams hope to make
but just getting that mental toughness girls have to do all of the little things jump.
more history at the state track meet
that they need to get over that last right if they want to beat Miller Grove “I’ve been working really hard,
with more individual gold medalists
hurdle when the competition gets thick for the state title. practicing at home, practicing wherever
and a team championship. Coaches
is the main thing I’ve been impressed “That’s what Miller Grove is doing I can because we don’t have a [jump] pit
Nathaniel Webb and Sherrie Bohler
with—seeing the kids develop. The because they know they’re going to here at Arabia,” she said.
said both the girls’ and boys’ teams are
first year here was a little challenging, see Arabia,” she said. “I keep on telling The boys will have a tougher road
capable of winning individual state
I got a little pushback for being stern, them that [Miller Grove] already knows ahead at the state meet due to lack of
titles or team titles.
but they saw the results. It’s all about about us, so, we have to go out there depth. The Rams leading sprinter Priest
“What we have to do is come out
the hard work they have put in and the and run our best. Don’t think about Foust went down with a hamstring
and do what we’ve been doing all year—
dedication that they have.” them because that’s what they want us injury and hurdler Berhane Johnson,
competing, going out and giving the
Bohler is in her first year with to do. They want to get in our heads, who won the 110-hurdles at the region
best that we have,” said Bohler, head
the program and she immediately and once they’re in [our] heads they’ve meet, false-started at sectionals and did
coach of the girls’ team. “These girls
addressed the division between the got you. I have to let the girls know that not qualify for the state.
have really worked hard and they want
boys’ and girls’ teams. [Miller Grove] is scared of them and The Rams will need strong
“I worked really closely with Coach we have to get out there and do the best performances from the relay team that
“It’s going to take a lot,” said Webb,
Webb and I think that helped us come that we can do.” won the 4x100 at regionals, senior Tyler
head coach of the boys’ team. “Anything
together more as a unit and the kids The Lady Rams will lean on Rocker, Jones—who won the long jump and
can happen. We’re going to go there and
enjoy it,” she said. “It’s not just the boys’ who won the region title in the 100- triple jump at county and regionals, and
do the best that we can, finish as high as
team and the girls’ team, we are [one] and 300-meter hurdles, as well as senior senior Michael Willingham—region
we can and represent DeKalb.”
team.” sprinter and region champion Mikayla and county champion in the discus
Webb, who is in his second year
The unity and hard work led to Jordan (100- and 200-meter) and throw and region champion in the shot
with the program, came to Arabia
both teams having some early success sophomore Patra Williams—who won put.
Mountain from Dunwoody where
this season before the state track meet the region and county titles in the high
SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 19

by Carla Parker

Chamblee won its first state title.

Chamblee wins first tennis championship; Marist wins fourth consecutive title
by Carla Parker a state title since the Lakeside
boys’ tennis team won it all in 2001.
The Marist War Eagles are
The Chamblee High School now four-time consecutive
girls’ tennis team completed champions after beating North
its undefeated season with a Oconee 3-0 to win the Class
state championship, its first in AAAA state championship.
program history. This was the 16th state title
Chamblee beat Starr’s Mill in program history. Coach
3-1 to win the Class AAAAA Thomas Marshall credited
state title May 6 at the Clayton his senior class for the success
County International Park. of the program the last four
“It feels amazing,” Coach seasons.
Larisa Tulchinsky said. “Our “The eight seniors have
team was undefeated. We been with me for four years; Marist won its fourth consecutive state title. Photos by Carla Parker
played 26 matches and they three of them got injured
never lost. It’s our 27th win.” this year and they missed Kelly won the No. 2 singles and senior Hunter Williams The St. Pius X Lady Golden
Junior Olena Bilukha a month and a half. So, we match with a score of 6-2, 6-1, clinched the championship for Lions lost 3-0 to North Oconee
improved to 52-0 in her career faced some adversity but they and the No. 2 doubles team the War Eagles with with a 6-4, in the girls’ Class AAAA
after winning the No. 1 singles stayed focused,” Marshall of junior Kiernan Corbett 6-3 victory. championship.
match. The No. 1 doubles team said. “We’re very blessed and
of sophomore Madeline Meer we know that. We beat a very
and freshman Madison Trinh good team. Each year we faced
June 5 -
P olice Athletic League
won its match and sophomore that challenge and these guys dekalb county p.a.l.
Grace Pietkiewicz clinched have been able to rise to meet
the championship win for the that challenge. I’m excited for July 28
Lady Bulldogs with her victory them.” Lithonia Middle
in the No. 2 singles match.
Chamblee became the
Senior Jefferson Dockter
won 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 1
summer academy School
first DeKalb County School
District tennis program to win
singles match. Senior Grant Ages 7-14

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Junior Olena Bilukha improved to 52-0 The No. 1 doubles team of sophomore
in her career after winning the No. 1
singles match.
Madeline Meer and freshman Madison
Trinh won its match.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, May 12, 2017 • Page 20

Golden Glide closes its doors
I remember. You’re in a skating “Just hearing about it
by Horace Holloman rink locked in all night,” said reminded me of all the DeKalb County resident memories of when I used to go
Joshua Bowens, 30. there when I was younger,” said
Bowens, who currently Jeff Killins.  “I could barely
Social media was abuzz
resides in Tucker, said he skate, but I’d still go out there.”
the first week of May as many
grew up with fond memories Killins said he found out
DeKalb County residents
of Golden Glide. He said the via social media that Golden
discovered a popular skating
experience is similar to the Glide would be closing. He
rink would be shutting down.
movie ATL—a metro-Atlanta said the rink was one of the last
Golden Glide, a skating
based film starring rapper Tip positive landmarks in that area Popular DeKalb County skating rink Golden Glide officially closed its
rink in Decatur, announced doors April 30, according to a company administrator.
Harris that follows the life of of DeKalb County.
it would be closing due to
four friends participating in “I went to school in
financial difficulties.
skate battles. DeKalb County from when I
The rink, located on
“You had crews out there was 4 until I was 13. A large
2750 Wesley Chapel Road, is
that could actually skate. They part of my childhood was in
advertised as a family-friendly
had games and benches and DeKalb County and going
business. An administrator
girls out there. You try to do to skating rinks and going to
with Golden Glide confirmed
your thing. At that time, I liked Golden Glide,” Killins said.
that the business officially shut
the inline skates because I used “You’ve got liquor stores and
down April 30. The Champion
to be a blader,” Bowens said. 12 wing places within a block
made phone calls to the owner,
Golden Glide had a from each other. To see our
but the calls were not returned
“farewell” skate party April only skating rink go away,
as of press time.
30 attended by an estimated it’s just sad. But at the same
Many people said they hate
1,300 people. On the business’s time, times are changing. We
to see the once-popular skating
website is a message that states, need another way to get kids
rink rolling out for the last
“Effective immediately, Golden involved.”
Glide is closed for business.”
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