the DeKalb FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, 2017 • VOL. 21, NO. 28 • 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

Leaving a legacy
Officers and civilian employees involved in all aspects of jail information management train on the new Odyssey solution system.

New tech program replaces
outdated software at sheriff’s office

allows the sheriff’s office to spend less time
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN training new hires because the Odyssey

system is more intuitive than the prior
16-year-old system.
n an interview with the Champion This isn’t the first time DeKalb County
Newspaper, DeKalb County Sheriff implemented Odyssey. In 2016, DeKalb
Jeff Mann said he wants to leave Superior Court Clerk Debra DeBerry
behind a legacy during his tenure in selected the Odyssey Case Manager to
office. One of the keys to leaving a manage the court database system.
lasting impression is upgrading the As with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s
technology at the sheriff’s office, he said. Office, DeBerry said the DeKalb Superior
Mann came a step closer to achieving Court was operating on an “antiquated”
that goal when the sheriff’s office system prior to 2016.
implemented a new jail information office is amazing. Whenever a goal is “All the courts relied on the [old system]
management system. achieved, that’s satisfying.” and it just wasn’t functional. Our prior
“When I first became sheriff, I talked The DeKalb County Jail is the state’s system could not support images and we
with my staff about future goals and one of largest single-facility adult detention spent a good bit of money on it annually,”
those goals was technology. What I want center. In 2017, the daily jail population is DeBerry said. “The new system is just more
one of my legacies to be while I’m in office estimated at 1,900 inmates. DeKalb County comprehensive and better for all.”
is to have a paperless environment,” Mann Sheriff’s Office officials said the new Currently, Tyler’s Odyssey solution is
said. “What this does is move us a long Odyssey program will handle all aspects of being used in more than 900 counties in 24
way toward that. It’s very impressive.” inmate processing, allow for data sharing states. DeKalb County’s new all-Odyssey
On Aug. 14, the sheriff’s office replaced with other agencies and manage the site is,
a 16-year-old system with a customized processing of all civil papers. replacing the old OJS site.
version of the Tyler Technologies Odyssey Chief Xernia Fortson oversaw the According to DeKalb officials the
solution. implementation of the new Odyssey Odyssey site will give users access to both
The new program allows for easier program. Fortson said the work and how the DeKalb courts’ case information and the
intake of data and helps to unify the jail the program was developed came from DeKalb jail inmate information.
management system, Mann said. people who will work with the system daily. DeBerry said the new technology is
Mann said the sheriff’s office invested “That’s the piece that makes it exciting. better for the environment and better for the
approximately $2.8 million in capital The work and how this was developed people who use it.
improvements for the Odyssey program came from the people that are in the “Right now, everyone is not willing
and was part of a year-long process. Odyssey management system all the time,” or ready to give up paper. But this is a
“We want to work in the paperless Fortson said. “The people who need to step in the right direction. It’s better for
environment that I envisioned. All of adopt it are the ones who helped create the attorneys or anyone trying to use the
our divisions and the courts and district and build it.” system. We will continue to evolve with
attorney’s office will benefit from this Fortson said the new system will technology and I think we’ll have greater
system. It’s a critical part of the criminal improve the sheriff’s office security of savings,” DeBerry said. “We did a lot of
justice system and we’re very excited about confidential jail management databases training and it’s a great system. We’re really
it. It’s state of the art,” Mann said. “To be as well as eliminate the cost and time excited. This is a monumental change and
able to get to this point and see the hard associated with duplicating data. improvement and it allows us to keep up
work and enthusiasm of the entire sheriff’s Fortson also said the new system with technology.”

Visit for local, real DeKalb County news. @DeKalbChampNews


to $100k
DeKalb County school employees and residents responded favorably to a district-wide convocation at Gwinnett’s Infinite Energy Arena on
Aug. 4. Photos submitted.

BY R. SCOTT BELZER colors or wore school-specific $100,000 event, the majority of T-shirts to show pride in their which were favorable.
community. The pictures and DCSD received mixed initial
videos also showed school reactions in July when the
DeKalb County School officials speaking, dancing, convocation was announced.
District (DCSD) held a celebrating and welcoming the Teachers said they wanted

Officials, residents convocation at the Infinite
Energy Arena in Gwinnett
County on Aug. 4, bringing
incoming 2017-2018 school
“My superintendent is better
to keep the last day of pre-
planning—Aug. 4—inside the
classroom. Others questioned
together more than 13,000 than yours!” read one Tweet the use of funds for a pep-rally,
provide feedback employees for a day of
performances, inspirational
featuring DCSD Superintendent
R. Stephen Green dancing.
citing a similar event hosted by
former superintendent Crawford
speeches and fellowship. “Every little step he takes is for Lewis in 2002.

on Aug. 4 On Aug. 4, official DCSD
Twitter accounts and accounts
from district employees were
our DeKalb County students!”
Less than one week later,
at the Aug. 7 DCSD board of
DCSD board of education
chairman Melvin Johnson
opened the Aug. 7 board of

fellowship event flooded with images and videos
of the event. In both, groups
from each school donned school
education meeting, employees
and DeKalb County residents
expressed reactions to the See Convocation on Page 17A

player Mike Glenn beginning at 9 a.m., and a
summer celebration festival at 3 p.m. The festival
will include food, music and activities. The park is
located at 735 Ridge Ave. For more information,
email David Dorbin at
Church to offer free clinic
Fundraiser to honor doctors, physicians
and caregivers Clarkston First Baptist Church—located at
3999 Church St.—will host a “Hope Through
The third annual Salute to Doctors, Health,” clinic on Aug. 19 from 9 a.m. until 4
Physicians and Caregivers Awards Ceremony, p.m.
sponsored by the FSP South DeKalb The free clinic, will offer attendees such
Community Development, Inc., will be held services as medical care, vision tests and
Sept. 9 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel, dental screenings as well as food and clothing.
1615 Clifton Road in Atlanta. The clinic is a result of a partnership
The event recognizes doctors, physicians between Clarkston First Baptist Church, Ray of
and caregivers who have made contributions Hope Christian Church, DeKalb County Board
in their community through personal services of Health and Clarkston Community Health
and sacrifices that have impacted the lives of Center.
others. For more information, visit www.rayofhope.
The black-tie affair begins at 6 p.m. with a org or call (770) 696-5100.
ticket price of $100. For ticket and additional
information visit www.fspsouthdekalbcommdev.

org or call (770) 484-9660.

Smoke Rise Academy to showcase Bye Bye
Back-to-school carnival planned
Veterans of Foreign Wars will host a back-to-
school carnival on Aug. 26 from noon until 5 p.m. As part of its summer schedule conclusion,
Admission to the event is free. There will be horses, Smoke Rise Academy of the Arts, housed at Smoke
cowboys, games, prizes, food, live entertainment Rise Baptist Church, 5901 Hugh Howell Road, will
and school supplies while they last. show its production of Bye Bye Birdie on Aug. 18
Veterans of Foreign Wars is located at 5362 and 19.
Covington Highway in Decatur. For additional Bye Bye Birdie, originally produced for Broadway
information contact Betty at (678) 523-3598 in 1960 by Michael Stewart, Lee Adams and
Charles Strouse, is a satire musical set in 1958.
Nature Center to host Butterfly Festival The plot involves a nationally loved rock star joining
Cub Scouts to host ice cream social the army and participating in a last-ditch publicity
The Dunwoody Nature Center—located at 5343 stunt.
Cub Scout Pack 175 will host an ice cream Roberts Drive—will host the 24th Annual Butterfly Both shows are free and begin at 7 p.m. at
Festival on Aug. 19 at 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Smoke Rise Baptist’s Fellowship Hall. For more
social Aug. 20 at Glenwood Elementary information, visit or
The Butterfly Festival features two tents with
in Decatur. Attendees will participate in a hundreds of live butterflies in addition to a birds of call (678) 533-0562.
traditional pack meeting, and afterward prey show, animal encounters, games, educational
everyone, including siblings, can join in on
booths, crafts, music, food and drinks. Attendees
organized games and ice cream. Glenwood will be able to feed butterflies, encounter live
Elementary is located at 440 E. Ponce de reptiles, see owls and eagles in action, and educate
Leon Ave. For more information, email David themselves in the process.
Leonard at Admission for the event is $10 for adults and $5
for children. Children ages 3 and younger get in for
Library to host author expo
free. Attendees are instructed to park at Dunwoody
Community Fun Day scheduled Church of Christ, located at 5676 Roberts Drive or
The DeKalb County Public Library will host its
New Hope Church, located at 5477 Roberts Drive.
Pruitt Health Decatur in association with first Author Expo Aug. 19 at Tucker-Reid H. Cofer
For more information, visit www.
Library. The event will celebrate local authors from
the Annie W. Thomas Foundation will host a or call (770) 394-
across metro Atlanta. Authors will be on hand to
Community Fun Day on Saturday, Aug. 19, 3322.
discuss their work, sell and autograph books and
10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. The event is free and open talk about their personal journeys as authors.

to the public. There will be food, a bounce Featured genres will include fiction, non-fiction,
house, games, crafts, giveaways and a live inspirational, self-help, children’s, science fiction and
performance from the Mekoi Boyz. Pruitt Health
more. The library is located at 5234 LaVista Road.
is located at 3200 Panthersville Road, Decatur. For more information, call (770) 270-8234.
For more information or to inquire about being
a vendor, email Buffie McCoy @awtf@ymail.
com. City to host Rock the Block event
Stone Mountain will host a Rock the Block event
Aug. 26 at Medlock Park. The event will include
a 3-on-3 basketball tournament with former NBA


New Air Force recruiter
on the job in Tucker

The U.S. Air Force
Recruiting Office in Tucker
has a new face.
Staff Sargent Morgan
Berresford of East
Palestine, Ohio, was
assigned to the recruiting
office in May.
Berresford graduated
from the Air Force

MARTA nabs would-
Recruiting School in San
Antonio, Texas, in March. Morgan Berresford
She was trained in various
areas of study, including the interesting. I definitely got to

be fare evaders
job classification system, learn a lot of new skills.
testing and enlistment “In Abu Dhabi, that
processing procedures and deployment was amazing,”
public speaking. she added. “The travel
Berresford said her experience was out of
new job is different than this world—being able to
what she is used to. She travel all over that area,
was stationed with the 23d BY HORACE HOLLOMAN customers while monitoring problem” button that allows
Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The activity at the fare gates has riders to send text and
Force Support Squadron, at mission there was similar
Moody AFB as a food shift been essential in quickly photos of potential suspects
to stateside, so we were apprehending individuals to MARTA authorities.
supervisor. pretty much at our regular In a six-week time
“This job is like a human looking to circumvent the The app also disables the
jobs, but just overseas. We frame the MARTA Police payment system,” said phone’s flash when taking
resources job, so it’s just assist the pilots in the Department arrested
different from what I was Dunham. “We encourage photos.
mission.” more than 500 individuals all of our customers to The fare evasion effort
doing before,” she said. Today, Berresford is attempting to avoid paying
“I was working in a dining be on the lookout for any is a part of a MARTA
looking for the best and the fares at multiple MARTA inappropriate activity and initiative called the “Ride
facility before, managing brightest to recruit. stations.
airmen and serving food with Respect” initiative which
“The mechanical and As part of an effort to focuses on passenger safety
to the base. It’s similar to electrical section is what catch riders attempting to
customer service, but this and the transit agency’s
we’re hiring for the Air Force avoid paying fare, the MPD customer code of conduct.
job is definitely amazing right now, and as a recruiter created the Fare Evasion
because I have an impact “We are pleased that we
my job is to go out and find Task Force. The task force are able to target a practice
on changing people’s lives those people that are best arrested 538 fare evaders as
by bringing them into the Air that goes against our Ride
for the Air Force and how of Aug. 4. With Respect initiative.
Force, which is amazing.” we can change their lives MPD Chief Wanda
Berresford joined the We want to re-educate the
and make it better for them,” Dunham said riders attempt public and reiterate that
Air Force in 2009 and was she said. to avoid paying fare in a
stationed at Langley AFB in paying your fare to ride
Berresford said she number ways. MARTA is not an option, but
Hampton, Va., until 2010. and her staff make it their “Our fare evasion task
She was transferred to the law,” said MARTA Police
mission to be active in the force has worked around the Chief Joseph Dorsey.
Moody AFB, where she community. clock to focus our attention
served until 2017. She was “This is an ongoing effort
“We’re always looking for to those seeking to avoid with no expiration date. We
deployed overseas twice— more ways to get out and paying fare at our stations,”
to Jordan and to Abu Dhabi. are committed to this effort
meet people and tell them said Dunham. “We have until we see change in the
She was deployed for six what the Air Force is all watched riders piggyback
months at each location. behavior.”
about,” she said. “My goal behind a person when the MARTA General Manager
“Jordan was definitely right now is to get out and fare gates open and some
an experience, a little bit and CEO Keith Parker said
put my face to a name and even attempt to go over or the rail system is actively
out of the normal as a meet as many people as I under the gates.”
base because we were just working to catch fare
can in the community so if According to MARTA evaders.
starting up,” she said. “So, they know someone who officials, plainclothes officers
we were kind of able to download MARTA’s See “We take fare evasion
wants to join the Air Force surveyed MARTA’s 38 rail Something, Say Something extremely seriously and will
build the base up from the they’ll know exactly where stations across the metro-
bottom up, which was very mobile app or call MPD at continue to work to ensure
to find me.” Atlanta area and monitored (404) 848-4911 to report the safety and security for
fare gates. Individuals any suspicious or criminal all of our customers,” said
who were caught received behavior.”   Parker. “Every year, transit
an automatic suspension The See Something, authorities across the nation
from MARTA’s bus and rail Say Something app, also lose millions of dollars in
services. known as the See and Say revenue due to fare evaders.
AMERICA IS WASTED Dunham said she wants app, allows riders to send We are actively working to
riders to report anyone messages directly to MARTA curb this behavior through
attempting to skip fare. police using a smartphone. the efforts of our Fare
“Our officers’ ability The app features a “report a Evasion Task Force.”
to blend in with other

Old rail yard may get landmark designation
by Kathy Mitchell

he future of an industrial
property that once played
an important role in At-
lanta’s economy is being
considered by local officials as
some hope it will be developed in
a way that preserves and show-
cases its history.
“The Pratt-Pullman Yard is
not only unique in its architec-
tural character but it reflects an
important chapter in the history
of our city,” said Atlanta Coun-
cilmember Natalyn Archibong
whose district— District 5—in-
cludes the site. “The buildings
are emblematic of a time when
railroads played a significant role
in our city’s growth. It is for these
reasons that we want to preserve
as many of the existing buildings
as possible.” Design Commission approved
A former rail yard on Rog- a resolution nominating Pratt-
ers Street in Kirkwood, Pratt- Pullman Yard as a Landmark
Pullman Yard “is associated with District, indicating that it would
the broad industrial history that officially be recognized for its
was the economic backbone historical significance. During
of the neighborhood from the the hearing process, the com-
early 1900s through the mid- mission allowed property owners
1950s,” according to information and city planners to determine
provided by the city. “In 1904, the historical importance of each
the site was built by the Pratt of the brick masonry buildings
Engineering and Machine Com- located on the 25.88-acre site.
pany as a production facility for The commission is charged with
chemical refining machinery to preserving the city’s physical
develop sulfuric acid for use in heritage through the nomination
agricultural fertilizers. The Pratt of buildings/sites of historical
Engineering Company plant was and architectural significance.
The next step is consider- Atlanta Councilmember Natalyn Archibong wants to see as many of the historic
also a large producer of carbonic building at the Pratt-Pullman rail yard preserved as possible. Photos provided.
gas, which was used to carbon- ation by the Zoning Review
ate soda fountain soft drinks. In Board, which will hold a public
1917 the property also briefly hearing and land-use review,
served as munitions manufactur- before the matter goes to the country. With this landmark des- and restaurants. Based on the
ing facility during World War I. zoning committee for its recom- ignation, and the preservation of historic value of the buildings on
“In 1926, Chicago-based mendation. The Atlanta City these magnificent buildings, the this property, a gallery or small
Pullman Company purchased Council could make the final city will be actively reinforcing its museum that highlights the rail-
the Pratt Engineering property designation action as early as commitment to honor the legacy road industry could become an
and poured over $1 million in late November. of our past,” active learning environment for
renovations to the site to convert Atomic Entertainment, which She added that the property the public. Local curators could
it for use as the southeastern purchased the site for $8 million has particular significance for readily share information on the
repair shop for the company’s earlier this year, indicated that it the Black community. In 1922, trade and of the era when the
popular railroad sleeper cars,” plans to build a self-inclusive en- Chicago-based Pullman Com- Pullman Company was actively
the city reports. “The renova- tertainment district with a movie pany purchased the property servicing this area.
tions included the addition of studio, production and post-pro- and turned it into a rail car re- “Lastly, it is my hope that the
two, distinctive, saw-tooth-roofed duction offices, digital incubator, pair station that recruited Black five-plus acres of forested land
buildings and construction of a music and sound recording facili- workers from local porters and and the portion of the Hardee
railroad car transfer table that ties, food and beverage concepts car cleaners. “During that time, Creek that runs through this
allowed Pullman workers to and boutique hotel onsite. Pratt-Pullman became a major property will be protected and
move train cars laterally down Archibong said she hopes the employer of African Americans in preserved,” Archibong contin-
the production line, saving space property’s historic significance this country,” Archibong noted.   ued. “The natural environment
and time on repairs and allow- with not be forgotten. “Out of the The Distict 5 councilmem- of the proposed protected acre-
ing work to occur on 14 cars at 11 buildings that stand on this ber said she hopes the property age will present another edu-
a time. Following the decline in site, there are five that are 100 “will become an iconic destina- cational opportunity for school
railroad travel after World War years old,” she said. “The archi- tion not only for the Kirkwood students and for the general
II, the Pullman Company closed tectural character of those build- neighbors but for the southeast public. One idea is to create an
operations at the Pratt-Pullman ings tells the story of the city of side of Atlanta. The develop- outdoor learning environment
site in 1954.” Atlanta. It speaks of a time when ment possibilities include: hous- for the students at the nearby
After public hearings that railroads played a greater role ing, an employment center, Toomer Elementary School.” 
started in July, the Atlanta Urban in the growth of our city and our maker spaces, entertainment

Letter to the Editor
It is time for the carving on Stone Mountain to be removed
New Orleans has removed governments both had a legacy and, consequently, signals to the Georgia history, then it should
their Confederate monuments, of immoral practices and laws. omitted that they are not truly be removed. It is not acceptable
Stone Mountain should be next. The legacy whether intended free. to allow a misrepresentation
We are being led to believe that or not, of the Civil War was an The advocates of such of history to be prominently
the carving of White men on amended Constitution and a new symbols need to understand that displayed on public land.
horses and the Confederate flag found freedom for Native and there was no major Civil War Who should be included in
represent the Southern heritage, African Americans. battle at Stone Mountain. There is the Stone Mountain carving?
instead of segregation, bondage The Civil War started because no one buried at Stone Mountain The answer should be Native
and unequal justice? The of uncompromising differences who was involved in the Civil Americans, African Americans,
argument being used against it is between the freed slave states War. None of the men carved on women, Lincoln, Sherman, Grant,
that it’s our heritage just as much over the power of the national the side of Stone Mountain were and McCallum. I do believe that
as the American flag association government to prohibit slavery in from Georgia. The carving does there are circumstances in which
with slavery. the territories in order to establish not reflect the true representation good deeds can outweigh the
Every time we recite the an indivisible Union under God of the people involved in the Civil bad ones, and that society can
National Anthem—Star Spangled with liberty and justice for all. War. forgive those transgressions and
Banner, or the Pledge of Hence, it is contradictory to the These symbols were made trespasses of our natural rights.
Allegiance, our voices of liberty pledge that we so faithfully recite prominent years after the I recognize that not all objects
and justice sing throughout the every morning in schools: “I Civil War. Their prominence or images can fit into a museum
land. This cause is a work in pledge allegiance to the flag of represents both defiance and or be moved. Special situations
progress to establish a more the United States of America and a challenge to the concept of should be considered on a case
perfect Union. So, what do the to the republic for which it stands, the Union flag that celebrates by case basis as to what should
Confederate flag and the Stone one nation under God, indivisible, indivisibility with and justice for be done. I believe in freedom of
Mountain carving have to do with with liberty and justice for all.” all. It should be observed that the speech, however, not all images
liberty and justice? The continued display of South’s rich legacy was not born and statutes belong on public
History should not be the Confederate flag and other of only white Americans. The land property.
destroyed. However, it should symbols after the South’s on which Stone Mountain lies, These are the questions
at least represent reality? The acceptance of the principle of the and the history of it did not start I would ask about historical
vision of the founders believe in Union, as stated in the pledge, with the Europeans. If one is to images or figures and whether
liberty and justice for all. While represents non-acceptance, be fair and objective, both the they should be displayed on
some want to hold on to images, defiance and passive aggression Union and Confederate South public property. What did the
objects, symbols and laws from against other social groups in have a lot of history to get right. person do in terms of the public
the past as their history and the Union and severely restricts The legacy of the KKK and interest? What is its purpose
heritage, not all of these images the growth and development the Confederacy’s version of the and relevance? What was the
or structures should be permitted of our nation’s conscience as a story of the South do not reflect connection with the location?
if it has a connection to a person safe harbor for liberty and justice the true reality of the history. Does it advance the cause of
who has committed treason, for all. The problem with these The true history of the people social justice, liberty and justice
terrorism or racism. images (Confederate flag and of Georgia included all the for all? Does it represent a
The American flag like carving on Stone Mountain) people; Native Americans, white historical truth?
the story of America changed is that they do not represent Europeans, African Americans,
every time a new state was all the people who lived in and Women. But none of them
added. It was the expansion the South and they are not a are represented in the carving Ed Williams. Ed.D. Chair
of America and slavery for true reflection of the Civil War on Stone Mountain. Unless the Concerned Citizens For Effective
which the Civil War was fought. that included Indians, African Confederate carving is changed Government
The confederation and union Americans, women and others, to reflect the true legacy of

Summer’s not over yet
The Labor Day weekend is decreased attendance as many of to Florida, Tennessee and other
often viewed as the unofficial end the younger set head off to school. neighboring states are a few
of summer, but for many of us in The beauty of this time of year suggestions for late-summer
metro Atlanta the beginning of is that most hotels and resorts are getaways.
the school year signals that the offering, or soon will be offering, Locally many municipalities
sunshine and fun season is just Gale Horton Gay shoulder season discounts to are announcing outdoor “fall”
about over. attract customers. For example, festival events focused on art,
Back-to-school shopping condos by the beach that might music, food and drink that start in
frenzies and all those yellow have been leased for $300 a night the weeks to come.
school buses clogging our live in the South can look forward during the height of the summer August and September really
morning commute are often what to warm weather and sunny days may be available in September or are some of the best months to
we associate with the end of one well into October and sometimes October for $150 or less a night. plan to discover something new or
season and the beginning of November. There are no shortages of revisit an old favorite.
another. An added benefit of the dog places in the north Georgia So before you bid summer
However, fall doesn’t officially days of summer is that so many mountains, along the coast farewell and wipe tears from your
launch until Sept. 22 so there’s places that were previously and throughout the state worth eyes, know that the best of the
still plenty of summer ahead of congested with children and visiting that now are an incredible seasons is ahead of us. Get out
us. In fact, those of us fortunate to families now are experiencing value. Georgia state parks, trips there and enjoy it.

A place to start: part II
Resuming our discussion of treatment for. Preventing the on- residency are now met on the
low- or no-cost common ground
for Congressional Democrats
‘One Man’s set of such diseases could save
health care systems billions, as
back-end with much lower pay
and greater difficulty in focusing
and Republicans to kick-start bi- Opinion’ well as adding decades to the on the patients, versus the insur-
partisan health care reform. quality of life of healthier con- ance and the business end of
  Bill Crane sumers. health care.
Overturn federal ban on   Medical and nursing school
negotiating pharmaceutical Capitated care, concierge applications are down, while the
prices medicine and employer spon- aging baby boomer population
To add prescription coverage tion. Incent small businesses, in- sored clinics retires and health care demand
to Medicare, during the first term dividuals and employers to form, Some private-practice physi- soars. Our nation has been
of President George W. Bush, or join, insurance buying coop- cians, as well as a limited num- importing a healthy percent-
the Medicare Reform Act of 2003 eratives and trade associations ber of health care systems and age of our medical professional
banned negotiating pharmaceuti- to purchase insurance in bulk. hospitals are offering ‘capitated’ population from other countries,
cal prices with major manufac- My nearly retirement age direct cash payment plans— via green cards and HB-1 vi-
turers for all state and federal parents purchased insurance instead of insurance—where sas. This too needs to be revisit-
governments.  very affordably and effectively monthly direct payments are ed, given the coming shifts in im-
The U.S. government is the through a small business co- made in exchange for defined migration law and policy—if—or
largest purchaser of prescription operative offered by the Metro benefits and health care ser- until—the U.S. medical markets
drugs in the world. U.S. consum- Atlanta Chamber of Commerce vices. begin to produce more physi-
ers on average pay three-four and Blue Cross/Blue Shield for Complimented with either cians and nurses. 
times higher prices for many more than a decade. supplemental health coverage, The best advice I can give
drugs than those in neighboring Consider small insurance or catastrophic care coverage you...stay healthy.
countries, as well as the entire premium taxes and fees which (both comparatively affordable),
developing world.  fund risk pools for the underin- allows providers to offer lower Bill Crane also serves as
Successful lobbying led by sured and uninsured, in much prices without the paperwork a political analyst and com-
former U.S. Representative Billy the same fashion we are all now hassles and cash flow challeng- mentator for Channel 2’s Action
Tauzin of Louisiana allows the required to pay additional pre- es currently plaguing modern News, WSB-AM News/Talk 750
pharmaceutical industry to dic- miums to cover for uninsured medicine. and now 95.5 FM, as well as a
tate pricing without negotiation motorists. With most all making Our nation is also in the columnist for The Champion,
or competition or other market a modest contribution, over time, midst of an ongoing shortage DeKalb Free Press and Georgia
forces at play. Drug makers con- billions have a way of piling up. of doctors, nurses and special- Trend. Crane is a DeKalb na-
tend that the healthy industry Encourage faith-based ists in an ever-growing number tive and business owner, living
profits which result are plowed buying cooperatives such as of categories. The expense and in Scottdale. You can reach him
back into research and devel- Medi-share, now covering all the student loans often required to or comment on a column at bill.
opment of the next round of medical expenses of more than complete medical studies and
blockbuster drugs, treatments 300,000 Americans. Medi-share
and cures. Some of that may be is not insurance. Member fami-
true, but U.S. consumers pay 40 lies make monthly plan payment
percent more than do Canadi- contributions and share medical
ans—the next largest purchaser expenses for all members of the
of pharmaceutical products. group.
Repealing the ban on price
negotiations would overnight Preventative and alterna-
cause the largest customer of tive care
pharmaceutical products to be- Staying healthy through prop-
gin shopping and comparison er diet, exercise and the use of
pricing, and costs would likely lower cost alternative care such
drop overnight. as chiropractic, osteopathic and
  acupuncture are each much less
Incent innovation with the expensive than traditional medi-
tax code cal care. 
Instead of artificially high Diabetes, obesity and heart
drug pricing, use the corporate disease are three of the most
and personal income tax codes chronic and expensive medical
to incent research and innova- conditions to provide ongoing

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
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Tucker City Council will vote on the proposed mixed-use project for the vacant
Sears property.

Tucker City Council to vote on proposed
development for Sears property
Photo by Travis Hudgons BY CARLA PARKER inside the city council

chambers can watch the meeting on closed circuit
A decision on the television and still line up to
offer public comment.”

Success comes through observance,
proposed mixed-use
development for the vacant The first read of the
Sears property is expected project was held Aug. 14
and Stephen Macauley

outreach and positivity
to come Aug. 30.
The Tucker mayor presented the new details
and city council will hold of the plan and proponents
a special called meeting and opponents weighed in
Aug. 30 to hold a second as well.
a home,” Jones said. “We In January, the city
BY R. SCOTT BELZER need those stakeholders’ read and vote on the
proposed 88-acre mixed- council voted to accept input here at school to help
use development known Macauley’s withdrawal
us make our gains. Parents request of three application
According to Stone are excited to come out and as The Rise. City officials
said the second read items needed to construct
Mountain High School see our school and hear the development.
(SMHS) principal James about the important things and vote was initially
scheduled to be taken Macauley’s decision to
Jones, success in the happening here at Stone withdraw came after city
classroom comes through Mountain.” up at the regular called
meeting on Aug. 28 but is council members made
the consistent monitoring Positive news, according motions to either defer
of classrooms, community to Jones, is a key driving being moved to a different
date to accommodate the their vote or deny the
outreach and good news. force in finding, directing applications due to several
Jones, embarking on his and maintaining success. increased public interest.
When the development concerns. One of those
40th year in the education “It’s always great to concerns was the city
field, released his 2017- share positive news from went before Tucker’s
Planning Commission last not having a downtown
2018 Opening Address via our school, about what’s development authority in
Stone Mountain High School principal month, city officials said the
YouTube on Aug. 3. James Jones released a 2017- going on with students, place yet to evaluate the
In the address, Jones 2018 opening address Aug. 3 via faculty and our parents,” meeting lasted more than
YouTube pledging to maintain the four hours and drew an project.
warned parents about Jones said. Macauley also requested
school’s recent CCRPI success. Photo overflow crowd.
school construction and submitted. Jones said he’s looking the city’s comprehensive
tout SMHS’s 10.7 overall forward to the 2017-2018 “With public hearings
for a comprehensive plan plan be amended. The city
increase in its College school year and maintaining is currently using DeKalb
and Career Readiness SMHS’s academic success. amendment, a rezoning
we meet in my office County’s comprehensive
Performance Index (CCRPI) “One of my mentors told petition and a special land
every Monday. If we saw a plan while in the process of
score. me, ‘treat every day as if it’s use permit, this promises
deficiency, it was all about developing its own plan.
For the 2015-2016 your last day,’” Jones said. to be a long meeting that
offering help and providing Since withdrawing
school year, SMHS scored “My pledge to my teachers draws a lot of interest,” City
professional learning for his request, Macauley
58.7 overall. Last year, and students is to work Manager Tami Hanlin said.
those teachers.” has submitted a
2016-2017, SMHS brought every day as though it’s my The city council will still
Jones said SMHS’s revised proposal for the
that score up to 69.4. last day. It will offer me the hold its meeting on Aug. 28
success is wholly development, which is
Jones named classroom opportunity to say as often to deal with other agenda
dependent on having a tentatively named The
monitoring as the first as I can, the motto we’ve items.
good relationship with its Rise. The proposal features
contributing factor to come up with—‘Yes, we “We abide strictly by our
community. He named 192,000 square feet of retail
SHMS’s success. can. Go pirates!’” fire marshal’s occupancy
“Muffins for Moms,” and space, 88,000 square feet
“My team and I pledge To view Jones’s opening standards,” Hanlin said.
“Donuts for Dads” as of office space, 705 housing
to observe classrooms—at address in its entirety, visit “We will have an overflow
exciting and engaging units, as well as a daycare
least five daily,” Jones said. area set up where residents
community programs. and an elementary school.
“After we observe classes, who don’t have a spot
“Every child comes from




BY CARLA PARKER University graduate was an
assistant coach for two years at Jones County High School in
Several high school football his hometown. He then moved
programs in DeKalb County have to Tucker in 1996 and was an
a high turnover rate with head assistant coach and strength and
coaches. condition coach for 10 years. He
New athletics coordinator also coached the boys’ track and
of football James Jackson field team at one point.
is hoping to fix that. Jackson, Jackson said leaving Tucker
the former Tucker High School for the school district’s athletics
principal, was named athletics department gives him a chance to
coordinator for football, soccer, work with his passion—athletics.
debate/study hall and inventory He said his first priority is to help
control earlier this year. Jackson football coaches improve.
was principal at Tucker for 11 “I want to try to put
years. professional learning
The Georgia Southern
See Jackson on Page 13A

BY CARLA PARKER replaced, new fencing, an artificial
field turf and a new polyurethane
track surface. James Jackson, the
When the regular season kicks district’s athletics coordinator for
off Aug. 18, all five of DeKalb football, said the new turf and other
County School District’s stadiums renovations are game-changers for
will be completely renovated with the schools.
new field turf, track surfaces, lights, “Our kids deserve to play on
paint and more. the best [turf] surfaces and our
Last summer, renovation work surfaces are outstanding,” Jackson
was done at Adams, Godfrey and said. “We’re really excited about
Hallford stadiums. The past two it and thankful for the support of
months, construction crews were the [Board of Education] and the
at Avondale and North DeKalb superintendent in getting those
stadiums to renovate the remaining fields new turf.”
stadiums. Avondale, the oldest stadium in
As with the other three stadiums, the county, received $2.1 million in
Renovations at North DeKalb (pictured) and Avondale stadiums were completed Avondale and North DeKalb had
during the summer break. Photo by Carla Parker stadium and parking lot lights See Stadiums on Page 13A

(2nd season) • Region:
2016 record: 5-5

OUTLOOK: Lakeside started
the season 4-1 under first-year
Arabia Mountain Rams head coach Cam Jones, but
Head coach: Stanley Pritchett
DC struggled when they faced more
(5th season) • Region: 5-AAAAA region opponents in the second
2016 record: 9-3 (Playoffs) half of the season. The Vikings
hope to have better results this

OUTLOOK: The Rams are season with a more experienced
coming off a season during team with several top players
which they won their first region returning, including quarterback
title and had their first playoff Matthew Holt, running back
appearance. The team aspires Max Guggenos, wide receiver
to have a second consecutive Damonte Pressley and
playoff appearance, but will have the results show on the field. The linebackers Miles Miccichi and
to do so with a young defense. Bulldogs will look to quarterback Matthew Watkins.
Eight of the team’s top 10 Stuart Steel to lead the team this
tacklers graduated, and coach season.
Pritchett and his staff will depend
on the young players to fill the
void. Cross Keys Indians Druid Hills Red Devils
Head coach: Mark Adams Head coach: Myron Burton
(2nd season) • Region: 5-AAAAA (2nd season) • Region: 4-AAAA
2016 record: 1-5 2016 record: 4-6
Lithonia Bulldogs
OUTLOOK: Only three players OUTLOOK: The Red Devils are Head coach: David Edwards
Clarkston Angoras from the 2016 Indians team in rebuilding mode this season (1st season) • Region: 5-AAAAA
Head coach: Terrence Hughey graduated, which means Cross after graduating a majority of the 2016 record: 5-6 (playoffs)
(4th season) • Region: 5-AAAAA Keys has majority of its team starters from last season. They
Cedar Grove Saints 2016 record: 1-9 returning. Coach Adams said the will have their leading tackler OUTLOOK: After five seasons
Head coach: Jermaine Smith team had 30 players to participate back in defensive lineman Xavier of leading the Columbia Eagles,
(5th season) • Region: 5-AAA OUTLOOK: Clarkston has in summer workouts, and he Perkins, who recorded 72 tackles David Edwards is now at
2016 record: 13-2 (Playoffs) struggled to win more than hopes to get up to 40 players last season. One of their sack Lithonia and expects to improve a
one game under fourth-year for the first time in a while by the leaders, linebacker Tyrique team that made the playoffs last
OUTLOOK: The 2016 Class head coach Terrence Hughey. first game. One of the returning Robinson, will also be back. season. The Bulldogs graduated
AAA state champions will have Clarkston has not had a winning players is three-time starter Hau many starters from last year’s
a larger target on their back season since going 5-5 in 2012. Vo, who recorded 20 tackles last team, but have enough talented
this season, but the team has Returning starting quarterback season. players to step in to make another
enough talent to live up to the Foday Tarawally will have an run to the playoffs. Those players
challenge. The Saints have their opportunity to lead the Angoras to include quarterback Tareq Shaw,
top two wide receivers—Jadon its first winning record in his last running back Rayshad Baldwin
Haselwood and Dennis Bell— season at Clarkston. and defensive end Tre’ Wilkins.
returning, as well as playmaker
Israel Spivey. They also added
former Redan quarterback Dunwoody Wildcats
Xavier Dennis. The Saints will Head coach: Michael Nash
be young on defense but have Decatur Bulldogs (3rd season) • Region: 7-AAAAAA
a couple of their top defensive Head coach: Cody Cory 2016 record: 2-8
players returning in linebacker (1st season) • Region: 6-AAAAA
Isaiah Ratcliff and defensive 2016 record: 1-9 OUTLOOK: The 2016 Wildcats
end Roderic Forts. started the season 2-1, but lost
Columbia Eagles OUTLOOK: With a new coach seven consecutive games once Marist War Eagles
Head coach: Brian Montgomery and an expected 16 seniors on they entered region-play in their Head coach: Alan Chadwick
(1st season) • Region: 5-AAAAA the roster, the Bulldogs hope to first season in Class AAAAAA. (33rd season) • Region: 7-AAAA
2016 record: 2-8 bounce back after a rough season With a year under their belt in 2016 record: 7-4 (Playoffs)
in a new region. Some of the the Region 7-AAAAAA and a few
OUTLOOK: Last season, the experienced players returning playmakers returning—leading Outlook: Alan Chadwick,
Eagles had their first losing include wide receiver/safety Coby receiver Turner Nims, leading the longest tenure high school
season in six years. Enters new Webb, wide receiver Christian rusher Josh Hudgins and leading football coach, is entering
Chamblee Bulldogs coach Brian Montgomery, who Haddock, quarterback Brayton tackler Jack Oliver—the Wildcats his 33rd year as head coach.
Head coach: Curtis Mattair will try to get the Eagles back on Reed and linebacker/fullback should win a region game or two Last season ended with a
(2nd season) • Region: 5-AAAAA the right side of .500. Columbia Jermaine Harkness. this season. disappointing overtime loss in
2016 record: 2-8 will have its leading rusher back
in Thaddeus Easley, who rushed
OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs for 777 yards and scored three
struggled to win during coach touchdowns last season.
Mattair’s first year as head
coach, but hope to turn things
around in 2017. Assistant coach
Brandon Rhodes said the team 2017 FOOTBALL PREVIEW
worked hard in the spring and Lakeside Vikings
summer to improve and hopes Head coach: Cam Jones

the first round of the playoffs, quarterback Connor Egan will Pirates into a winning program.
but with a large senior class this also compete for QB playing He has a few top defensive
year, Chadwick and the War time and will also line up at wide players returning from last year’s
Eagles are ready to show that receiver and cornerback. team, including leading tackler
they can compete with the best Max St. Juste, Lorenzo Weaver
in Class AAAA. Marist will have a and Mason Litt.
few playmakers to lead the team Miller Grove Wolverines
Tucker Tigers
this year, including quarterback Head coach: Justin Larmond
Head coach: Bryan Lamar
Chase Abshier, tight ends John (2nd season) • Region: 5-AAAAA
(6th season) • Region: 4-AAAAAA
Fitzpatrick and Middleton 2016 record: 4-7 (Playoffs)
2016 record: 13-2 (Playoffs)
Parker, linebacker Paul Stanley
and cornerback Dean Johnson. OUTLOOK: The Wolverines
OUTLOOK: Tucker had a
made the playoffs for the first
disappointing end to the 2016
time in program history, despite Southwest DeKalb Panthers season with a loss in the state
having a losing record in coach Head coach: Damien Wimes Towers Titans championship game. The Tigers
Larmond’s first season. Miller Region: 5-AAAAA Head coach: Robert Tigner are hungry to get back to the
Grove is expected to have a 2016 record: 6-5 (Playoffs) (1st season) • Region: 5-AAA big game, but have a different
talented defense this season, led 2016 record: 1-9 result. They have the talent to
by defensive end Caleb Tannor OUTLOOK: The Panthers do so with players such as wide
and cornerbacks Jalen Williams overcame the tragic loss of OUTLOOK: After going 5-5 receiver/punt returner Josh
M.L. King Lions and Brandon Booker. their coach, Michael Tanks, to in 2013, the Titians had three Vann, offensive tackle Dylan
Head coach: Deante Lamar finish the regular season with consecutive losing seasons with Wonnum, running back Taurean
(1st season) • Region: 4-AAAAAA a 6-4 record and advance to a total record of 5-25. Robert Taylor, linebacker Tre Leslie and
2016 record: 2-8 the playoffs, where they lost in Tigner is the third head coach linebacker Michael Harris, who
the first round. With a new, but in five seasons and hopes to get transferred from Lovejoy.
OUTLOOK: The Lions had their experienced, coach (Damien the team back to .500. They have
worst record in the program’s Wimes), an experienced a couple of offensive starters
14-year history in varsity play in quarterback (Justin Tomlin) and returning, including quarterback
2016. Former Lithonia assistant the team’s leading tackler (Eris Terry Dennis and wide receiver
coach Deante Lamar hopes Redan Raiders Walker) back, Southwest DeKalb David Mangino.
to rebuild the program and get Head coach: Roderick Moore is poised to win its first region title
M.L. King back to its winning (4th season) • Region: 5-AAA since 2009.
ways in his first season as head 2016 record: 3-7
coach. The Lions will have a few
returning starters to help with the
rebuild—including running back/
OUTLOOK: The Raiders are
hoping to have their first winning
season under fourth-year head Below are Carla Parker’s record predictions for DeKalb
linebacker Jaelon Thomas, wide County football teams.
receiver/safety Antonio Fletcher coach Roderick Moore. Moore
said the coaching staff made Region 7-AAAAAAA
and defensive/offensive lineman School Region Overall
De’Marque Johnson. changes to the offensive and Lakeside 2-4 6-5
defensive schemes that they
hope the players will execute well Stephenson Jaguars Region 4-AAAAAA
enough to win more games. The School Region Overall
Head coach: Ron Gartrell Tucker 7-0 9-1
Raiders will depend on several (22nd season) • Region: 4-AAAAAA Stephenson 6-1 7-3
two-way players this season— 2016 record: 8-5 (Playoffs) M.L. King 2-5 2-8
including Nehemiah Adams,
Region 7-AAAAAA
Kareem Bennett, DeAnthony OUTLOOK: The Jaguars made a School Region Overall
Colbert, Jachob Collins and surprising run in the playoffs—to Dunwoody 2-6 3-7
McNair Mustangs Kendic Matthew. the third round—last season with Region 5-AAAAA
Head coach: Shelton Carleton many young players contributing. School Region Overall
(5th season) • Region: 5-AAA Those players are back this SW DeKalb 5-0 7-3
Arabia Mountain 4-1 7-3
2016 record: 3-7 season and Stephenson is Miller Grove 3-2 6-4
expected to be in the mix again Chamblee 2-3 5-5
OUTLOOK: The Mustangs have for a region title and another Lithonia 1-4 2-8
Columbia 0-5 3-7
struggled to reach five wins in postseason run. Clarkston* 0-0 1-9
Shelton Carleton’s tenure, but Cross Keys* 0-0 1-5
Carleton said his team is looking *non-region
to get over .500 and possibly a Region 6-AAAAA Region Overall
playoff spot. The Mustangs will St. Pius Golden Lions Decatur 3-4 3-7
depend on a large junior class Head coach: Paul Standard
(17th season) • Region: 8-AAAA Region 4-AAAA
to lead the way, which features School Region Overall
quarterback Jayden Wooden, 2016 Record: 2-9 (Playoffs) Druid Hills 3-3 4-6
receivers/cornerbacks Darius
OUTLOOK: The Golden Lions Region7-AAAA
George and Jalen Brown and School Region Overall
cornerbacks Kyron Fisher and had its first losing season during Stone Mountain Pirates Marist 3-1 7-3
Dontavious Brewer. coach Standard’s 16-year tenure Head coach: James Collier
due to youth, injuries and other Region 8-AAAA
(1st season) • Region: 5-AAA School Region Overall
adversities. Standard said he 2016 record: 1-9 St. Pius X 5-0 6-4
expects his players to use last
season’s disappointment to fuel OUTLOOK: Stone Mountain has Region 5-AAA
them this season. Ben White, School Region Overall
only won one game in the past Cedar Grove 4-2 8-2
who was one of the injured three seasons, with the one win Redan 3-4 4-6
players, is expected to lead coming last season. New head McNair 2-5 4-6
the offense at quarterback for Towers 1-6 1-9
coach James Collier will have Stone Mountain 0-7 1-9
the Lions, but returning starting a tough task transforming the


Cody Cobb Deante Lamar Brian Montgomery Robert Tigner Damien Wimes

Seven high schools hire familiar faces as new football head coaches
BY CARLA PARKER hired as the new head coach at Southwest do well this season. DeKalb, but he has moved on and is focused on “I think we’re going to [equal] our record or do
bettering the players on and off the field. better,” he said. “I don’t see us doing any worse
“We’ve been trying to instill some core than that. Our goal is to make the playoffs and
A few veteran DeKalb County football head values of mental toughness, discipline and I feel like we got enough people in position to
coaches will be wearing different school colors accountability,” he said. “Any time you come in as make the playoffs.”
this season. a new coach there are some changes you don’t Lamar has been coaching for six years and
Three of the seven new coaches hired during have to fix. We’re getting people, who are used is getting his first chance to lead a team at M.L.
the off-season had been head coaches at other to doing things their own way, to doing things King.
county high schools, while the other four are first- your way. The kids were very receptive, the “It’s exciting and nerve-racking at the same
time head coaches. administration was very receptive, the student time, but every day brings a new adventure,”
Former Columbia head coach David body and the teachers were very receptive to Lamar said.
Edwards is now at Lithonia, former Towers what we are trying to do.” M.L. King had its worst record in the
coach Brian Montgomery replaced Edwards at Wimes, who is a Southwest DeKalb alum, program’s 14-year history in varsity play last
Columbia and former Miller Grove coach Damien said he wants to continue the legacy of former season. Lamar hopes to rebuild the program and
Wimes is now head coach at Southwest DeKalb. longtime coach Buck Godfrey, and the vision of get M.L. King back to where it used to be.
Robert Tigner was promoted from defensive Michael Tanks, who died last August. “I think it starts with our culture and character
coordinator to head coach at Towers, Cody “The program was built from the legacy building with our kids,” he said. “Our kids
Cory was promoted from defensive coordinator of coach Godfrey, and this latest edition of definitely want to be successful and we have to
to head coach at Decatur, Deante Lamar was Southwest DeKalb is from the vision of coach put them in the right situation to be successful.
the defensive coordinator at Lithonia last season Tanks,” Wimes said. “[Tanks] had these kids From my standpoint it’s about culture, about
and is now the head coach at M.L. King and when they were in ninth and 10th grade and he changing their mindset—that we can be
James Collier is the new head coach at Stone played a lot of kids early. By doing that, he set successful, we can bring back tradition to Dr.
Mountain. the stage for last season, he set the stage for this Martin Luther King Jr. High School.”
Montgomery, who spent the last three season. I’m just really trying to fulfill the mission Cory has been a head coach of golf and
seasons at Towers, said the Columbia job was that he set forth.” track and field, but this is his first football head
an opportunity he could not pass up. Tigner has been coaching football for 25 years coaching job in the 12 years he has coached in
“I know [Columbia] had a great tradition and now has his first opportunity to be a head the sport.
of winning, so I just wanted be a part of it, coach. “I’ve always been a football guy and it feels
build it and get it back to where it used to be,” “It’s an honor,” Tigner said. “To be honest, great to be in charge of a football program and
Montgomery said. it’s something that I didn’t overly pursue during to be able to do it my way,” he said. “I’m a team
Last season, Columbia had its first losing my career. I was content being a coordinator, player, so at the end of the day whoever is in
season in six years. Montgomery said his players but it’s for the kids. I figured if I didn’t take it they charge I’m going to do it their way. Now I finally
have worked hard during the off-season to get might’ve brought somebody in late and I want have an opportunity to do it my way.”
better and have the potential to make the playoffs to give [the players] a fair chance to have a He started his coaching career in Texas,
and anything less than that is a failure. successful season.” where he coached for nine years before moving
“Anything short of the playoffs is a waste Tigner and his coaching staff made a few to Georgia. Cory said the offseason has been
of time for us, so we’re definitely looking to get changes to the play book, specifically on productive during his transition from assistant to
in the playoffs,” he said. “We want to play in defense. He said the offense will be similar but head coach at Decatur.
that new [Mercedes-Benz Stadium] that they’re has added triple-offense plays. With a good-size “We’ve been working hard and we’re excited
building. That’s what we’re looking forward to.” senior class, Tigner said his team has enough to to get started,” he said.
There was controversy when Wimes was

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Continued From Page 9A
opportunities in front of the coaches to
help them better themselves,” he said.
“I want to try to develop some longevity
with the coaches. It’s important for the
schools, it’s important for the community
to not have coaches [who are] just there
for one or two years and then they’re
leaving. We’re going to try to work with
coaches to help them develop and try to
keep them.”
Jackson said having a line of
communication with coaches and
working together as a team would solve
some issues coaches may have with
building a consistent winning program.
“The biggest thing to me is helping
the coaches and seeing what they think
we need to do to make it better,” he
Last season, Stephenson defeated Cedar Grove in the semifinals of the county’s Trail to the Title series.
said. “They’re the first line of defense.
For me to say we’re going to do this, this
and this…that would be wrong. I want to
listen to them, I want to pick their brains
on what they think and if we can do it
we’ll do it.”
Jackson said one thing he wants to
see in every football program is a solid
strength and conditioning program.
“That’s the x-factor; that’s the thing
that changes kids,” he said. “When
Cedar Grove, Miller Grove, have gone to each title game you work out you want to win and you
BY CARLA PARKER Stephenson and Tucker have with an undefeated record, but don’t want to give up; you want to battle had three or more appearances haswon only one title. The Tigers to the end. Kids that work hard in the
in the title game. have the talent and the coaching weight room tend to have a little bit more
The Stephenson Middle self-confidence. I want to look at each
School Jaguars had an incredible strength and conditioning program.”
comeback to win the DeKalb He said he wants to go to various
County Middle School Football universities and other high school
Trail to the Title Championship programs to see how their strength and
last November and could be conditioning program‘s are run.
in the mix this season to win a “It’s super critical,” he said. “Being a
second consecutive title. former strength and conditioning coach,
The middle school football I understand that part.”
season kicks off Aug. 26 and Jackson also addressed the
Stephenson, as well as Trail Stephenson leads all to make another run to the title controversy of players transferring from
to the Title runner-up Tucker programs with four titles, followed game, but must find a way to one program to winning program. Last
and semifinalists Cedar Grove by Miller Grove with three, Cedar bring the title back to Tucker. season Cedar Grove, which won a state
and Chapel Hill are projected Grove with two and Tucker, Bethune, which finished 5-2 championship, and Tucker, which played
contenders for the middle school Lithonia and disbanded Avondale last season, could also be in in the state title game had several
championship. Since the Trail with one each. Tucker has been the hunt for the title, as well as players who played for another school in
to the Title was created in 2004, in the last four title games and Freedom (5-2). 2015. Jackson said he doesn’t believe
coaches go out and recruit players from
another school.
“I think the school sells itself,” he
STADIUMS Continued From Page 9A said. “I don’t think coaches purposely
try to get a kid to come to their school.
Parents want their kids to be in good
renovations, and North
programs, just like academics—parents
DeKalb received $1.9
want their kids to go to a good academic
million. The funds were
school and some parents want their kids
allocated under the voter-
to go to a good athletic school.
approved E-SPLOST IV.
“It’s up to me to help the coaches,
Sports Turf Company
at all schools, become better and help
Inc. did the renovations at
their assistant coaches become better,”
Avondale Stadium, which
Jackson added. “Kids and parents are
was built in 1958 and
going to go where they want to go.
located behind The DeKalb
They’re going to make up their mind; no
School of Arts, formerly
one has to go and talk to them. If they
Avondale High School.
want to leave, then you wish them well
The stadium has a seating
and you keep moving because the world
capacity of 6,500.
is not going to stop. I don’t think it’s that
Deluxe Athletics did the
big a deal as some people make it out to
renovations at North DeKalb
be. You have to just get better coaches
Stadium, which is located
and a better staff and then they can
behind Chamblee Charter
work with the kids and do the things they
High School. The stadium
need to do to keep those kids.”
was built in 1962 and also The stadiums received new paint as part of the renovation projects. Photo by Carla
seats 6,500. Parker


Origin enables government contractors to support one another

The Government
Contractors Association
(GCA) on Aug. 8 cut the
ribbon opening Origin,
its first co-working space
for new and established
business owners marketing
their services to the
government. Located on
the access road of I-85 near
Chamblee, the collaborative
space offers “hot desks,”
private offices, conference
rooms and other amenities.
“Co-working space is
easy to find in downtown
Atlanta, but there’s nothing
else like this in this area,”
Richard Brooks, chief
financial officer of GCA,
said at the grand opening
GCA describes Origin
as “an innovation center for
government contractors,”
adding, “This will be a
place for entrepreneurs to
immerse themselves in a
learning and vibrant culture.
Working with and around
Officially opening the Origin office with a ribbon cutting is Origin CEO and Founder Abraham Xiong, center with scissors, flanked by,
different companies will from left, Government Contractors Association Chief Financial Officer Richard Brooks; Chamblee Mayor Pro Tem Brian Mock; State
provide entrepreneurs the Senator Elena Parent; Director of Area III Government Contracting for the federal Small Business Administration Carol Thompson and
opportunity to grow and Origin Vice President of Service Delivery Myra Cisse.
expand their business.
Each company will also with other business people farmer took the rock to town left out. We want to help for example, you’ve been
have the ability to learn and is the opportunity to discuss and asked a jeweler what them not just have one told that you don’t have the
engage with government ideas, share information it was. The jeweler fell to successful venture but to financial strength to fulfill
contracting ventures.” and support one another. his knees. What he had have sustainable success,” the contract—but you know
Brooks said “When smart people get was the largest ruby that he said. you do—we can help you
the approximately together, great things had ever been discovered Carol Thompson, create the documentation
4,000-square-foot space happen,” he said. at the time,” Xiong said. director of Area III you need to prove that you
may be rented as dedicated Xiong illustrated the Both farmers went from Government Contracting can handle the job.” 
space—the client has an concept with the story of desperate poverty to for the Small Business  
office only he or she uses— two Cambodian farmers great wealth and are now Administration,
or as co-working space in in the 1970s. “One farmer international jewelers, acknowledged that applying
which clients may use any
available space. There also
realized he wasn’t going to according to Xiong. The for government contracts In need of a car?
are conference rooms and
be able to support his family
that year and he asked his
story illustrates what can
happen when neighbors
can be daunting for first
timers. “That’s what we’re
Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Jaguar
event space. “We’re finding neighbor for a loan. The support each other, he there for—to help small Call Vincent:
so far that most people
want dedicated space,” he
neighbor said that he too
was struggling but would
continued. “We can all
be farmers, feeding not
businesses through what
may seem like a tough
said. The offices also house give him whatever he had just our families, but our bureaucratic process. If, Special Financing Available
GCA’s new headquarters. left after he had taken care communities and the world.”
State Sen. Donzella of his own family. Brian Mock, mayor PUBLIC NOTICE
James was not among “Both families barely pro tem of Chamblee, said CITY OF DORAVILLLE, GEORGIA
the speakers, but issued made it through the year applying for a government
a statement calling Origin and the first farmer worried contract can be a complex
“a place of vision, hope, that even years later he and discouraging process. Notice of Intent to Take Action to Increase
and possibilities….It will was unable to repay his “There’s a lot of red tape, the Compensation of the Mayor and Council
be a place to empower neighbor. One day as he but there’s no reason for members of the City of Doraville, Georgia.
veterans, women business was plowing, he found a each small business owner PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Mayor and Council,
owners, minorities and rock that looked special to have to re-create what at their August 21, 2017 Council Meeting, intend
other members of our in some way. He didn’t others have already been to consider and to vote upon an ordinance that will
community.” know what it was, but he through. Chamblee is provide for an increase in compensation for the
Abraham Xiong, CEO gave it to his neighbor. The experiencing growth like Mayor and members of the City Council, and if so
and founder of Origin, neighbor didn’t know what we’ve never seen before. approved, will become effective January 1, 2018.
at the opening said that it was either, but thanked We strongly believe in small Copies of the proposed ordinance are available for
people often operate one- him and told him he could businesses and as the area examination and inspection with the Doraville City
or two-person businesses consider the debt paid. grows we want to be sure Clerk. All concerned citizens are invited to the public
from their homes, but the “One day the second small businesses are not hearing, which will be located at Doraville City Hall,
advantage of sharing space 3627 Park Ave. Doraville, Georgia at 6:30 p.m.


DeKalb County School District’s board of education approved a one-year legal services contract extension with Nelson Mullins, also known as Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, worth more than $1 million
on Aug. 7. Photo by R. Scott Belzer

DeKalb Schools extend contract with Atlanta law firm
The approved contract and property matters; and budgeted $3.6 million
BY R. SCOTT BELZER stipulates Nelson Mullins concluded 24 litigations. for legal fees and legal will receive $65,000 per “In addition, they have settlements for its fiscal
month for non-SPLOST provided outstanding year 2017 budget. The
DeKalb County School related services and and highly responsive budget has since been
District (DCSD) extended a $25,000 per month for ongoing legal assistance amended to $4.9 million,
contract worth more than $1 SPLOST related services. for all aspects of district and $1.2 million went to
million with an Atlanta law Any extra services and board operations, Nelson Mullins, according to
firm on Aug. 7. performed by Nelson complementing the [DCSD] DCSD officials.
Nelson Mullins, also Mullins will cost DCSD division of legal affairs,” Board member Marshall
known as Nelson Mullins between $125 and $275 an Green said. “Continuing the Orson said the district is in
Riley & Scarborough, had hour. Other costs, such as engagement with Nelson “a much better place” legally
its services extended for photocopying, messenger Mullins enables the district than in previous years.
one year as outside general and delivery service, and board to meet its legal “We were, quite frankly,
counsel and special local computerized research, needs in an efficient and in a terrible place,” Orson
Neeru “Nina” Gupta, who specializes effective manner. Nelson said. “We were spending
option sales tax (SPLOST) expert and consultant fees, in education law, has been DCSD’s
counsel following approval travel (including airfare, main outside representation through Mullins offers the district $10 million per year,
by the DCSD board of lodging, meals, ground Nelson Mullins. Photo submitted. deeply discounted rates which is absurd. I want to
education. transportation, parking which represent the lowest commend the work Nelson
“The law firm has and mileage), printing, rates offered to any public Mullins has done and work
performed with excellent, necessary secretarial the last fiscal year, Nelson education entity.” they’ve done in conjunction
efficient legal services to overtime, filing fees, will be Mullins has provided DCSD chief financial with our legal staff. They
the district,” said DCSD paid in advance, according legal advice regarding officer Michael Bell said have the mindfulness that,
superintendent R. Stephen to the contract. E-SPLOST; legal guidance DCSD works with several ‘These are public funds, we
Green. “The team that This means DCSD will on more than 130 student law firms throughout the have a responsibility to the
has been working with pay Nelson Mullins at least matters; reviewed and year, paying an average of students of our district and
the district… has deep $1.08 million for one year of overhauled special approximately $90,000 per taxpayers in our district.’”
experience in [these] service. education legal compliance; month.
areas.” According to Green, in helped execute real estate DCSD originally

*For new subscriptions only


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

Nearly 150 DeKalb and metro Atlanta leaders will participate in the DeKalb Chamber’s 13th Annual Golf Tournament.

DeKalb Chamber convenes leaders for day of business growth and development
The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce returns to continue to grow together. The 19th Hole Reception and Ceremony will take
the Druid Hills Golf Club on Monday, August 28 The day will begin with breakfast, sponsored by place at 4:00 p.m. Players returning from the greens
for its 13th Annual Golf Tournament, presented by Chick-fil-A Wesley Chapel, and networking in the can cool off, participate in the Chamber’s mobile
Discover DeKalb Convention and Visitors Bureau and morning, followed with a Shot Gun Start at 10 a.m. silent auction, receive awards, and enjoy a masterful
Fifth Third Bank. As one of the largest fundraising Golfers will break into their teams and complete 18 meal.
events for the Chamber, the tournament provides an holes on the course. They will also compete in Hole- We invite you to join us in our efforts to build a
opportunity for nearly 150 DeKalb and metro Atlanta In-One, Closest to the Pin, Longest Drive and Putting stronger DeKalb on August 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4
business leaders to enjoy a relaxing day of golf while Green contests. p.m. at the Druid Hills Golf Club, 740 Clifton Road NE
exploring ways to foster business relationships and From 1:30 to 3:00 p.m., women and men will in Atlanta. Register online at
cultivate new business interests. participate in the WELD-hosted Women’s Golf Clinic, Local businesses interested in sponsoring the
To align with our work to support business sponsored by Intown Doula. Pro golfers will give tips Golf Tournament may contact Emily Yang at eyang@
interests, DeKalb Chamber is focused on unifying on the fundamentals of playing golf and address or 404-378-8000.
the business community. By offering this tournament, participant’s individual needs. Register separately
the Chamber is able to convene metro Atlanta for the WELD-hosted Women’s clinic online at bit.
businesses and help them discover how they can ly/4thweldgolf.

Text to participate in DeKalb Chamber Mobile Silent Auction
DeKalb Chamber will open computers.
mobile bidding for the 13th Annual Silent auction items include
Golf Tournament Silent Auction hotel stays, family packages to
on Monday, August 21 and close local entertainments, catering and
Monday, August 28 at 4:30 p.m. bakery packages, private charter
Proceeds from the auction will for 2 from Ultimate Air Shuttle,
benefit the DeKalb Chamber of and more.
Commerce. Local businesses interested
By using a mobile bidding in donating gift certificates or
service, participants do not items for the silent auction may
have to be present at the contact Emily Yang at eyang@
tournament to participate or win. To participate
Participants can start bidding in the silent auction, text
from their smartphone with texting “dekalbgolf17” to 247-00 or visit
capabilities or through their Text “dekalbgolf17” to 247-00 to participate in DeKalb Chamber’s silent auction. Mobile bidding
opens August 21.

Upcoming Events
August 17 October 12
New Members Orientation – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. State of the District Address – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Government Contractors Association Stone Ridge Event Center

August 28 October 18
13th Annual Golf Tournament - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. DeKalb Opportunity Outlook – 8 to 11:30 a.m.
Druid Hills Golf Club Thalia N. Carlos Hellenic Center

August 28 November 9
4th Annual Women’s Golf Clinic – 1 to 3:30 p.m. DeKalb and Dunwoody Perimeter Chambers 2018
Druid Hills Golf Club Legislative Preview –11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Doubletree by Hilton Atlanta Perimeter Dunwoody
September 28
General Membership Meeting featuring Chris Carr, December 7 For more information and to register for
Attorney General –11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. General Membership Meeting featuring Pete Correll, any of these events, please visit www.
Atlanta Marriott Century Center Grady Health Foundation – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Continued From Page 2A
education work session meeting
by expressing appreciation for the
convocation to Green and other
DCSD staff.
“It was exceptional; it was very
motivational—at one time I thought
we were in a rock session with all the
music, smiles, shouting and whatnot,”
Johnson said. “It was exceptional and
good for the county.”
Board of education member
Marshall Orson also spoke favorably
about the event.
“There was a very good feeling on
[Aug. 4],” Orson said. “People were
enthusiastic and I’ve heard nothing
but positive feedback from it. It was
an opportunity to bring a lot of people
throughout the county together who
don’t have an opportunity to do so. It
was incredible.”
Resident and Redan High School
supporter Sandy Purkett said she felt
Photo by Travis Hudgons
compelled to rush and thank district
officials on Aug. 7 for a successful

Four announce candidacy
“Thank you and all your
supporting staff for a job well
done on the convocation,” Purkett

for Decatur commission
said. “I appreciate you taking the
recommendation to have an event
that was all-inclusive for staff of all
levels to give their all and show that
we, as a DeKalb family, plan to defeat
the odds and kick off a great year for
at the United Methodist Children’s of housing options.” success. I believe that every step you
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN Home. Manrow, a member of the take this year will go toward positive “We have to be sure that it Decatur Planning Commission change.”
remains greenspace. I would also and former executive board Resident Sundra Burdette
work hard to ensure that we have member of the Decatur Heights wrapped up her public input by
Those interested in serving on
a strong tree ordinance with an Neighborhood Association, said stating, “Dr. Green, I didn’t know
the Decatur city commission have
emphasis on preserving our tree she plans on building on Decatur’s you could move like that!” causing
until Aug. 23 to qualify. So far, four
candidates have announced their laughter from both the board and
candidacy to replace longtime attendees.
commissioner Fred Boykin. DeKalb County NAACP education
Boykin, after 15 years chairman Lance Hammonds had
of serving as District 1 mixed feelings about the event.
commissioner, announced he “The perception was those are
would retire at the end of the year, dollars that could have been used
leaving his seat open. somewhere else. We’re not going to
Elections will be held Nov. 7. get into how [the district] use [funds,]
The Decatur city commission we all understand the value of a team
features two commissioners from and motivating a team,” Hammonds
District 1, two commissioners said. “The biggest perception was,
- Betty Blondeau why would we spend our money in
from District 2 and one at-large
commissioner. Gwinnett County? Maybe we didn’t
Decatur native Betty have a place in DeKalb, but we don’t
canopy,” Blondeau said. success by collaborating with like seeing our money spent in other
Blondeau is the most recent
Tim Martin, Kelly Walsh and the city’s law enforcement and counties, especially a county that
to announce her candidacy.
Melissa Manrow are among developing a plan for the future. raids our teaching staff.”
The former high school English
the other candidates who have “I have the policy and In July, DCSD director of strategic
teacher said she wants to
announced their candidacy for management experience to communications Andre Riley said
continue to grow the city.
the Decatur District 1 commission facilitate thoughtful succession the venue was chosen because of its
“As a lifetime Decatur resident,
seat. planning to ensure smooth size as well as the district’s desire to
I am committed to the continued
Martin, who has served as transitions, integrating new, house all staff.
growth of this city where I have
president of the Decatur Business qualified professionals into the “It’s one of the few facilities near
my roots. [I want to] add what’s
Association, said he would like to culture and success that is the [the district] in greater Atlanta that
needed to assure sustainable,
expand the housing options made city of Decatur,” Manrow said in a could host more than 13,000 people,
livable development that will set
available in the city. statement. or nearly all of our staff,” Riley said.
Decatur apart, plus preserving
“We’re a product of our own According to Walsh, she’s “There are no facilities in DeKalb
the character that says ‘Decatur,’”
success and when you have focused on pedestrian safety County large enough to host the
said Blondeau in a statement
a successful development like by increasing crosswalks and majority of our staff.”
regarding her candidacy.
Decatur has become, it brings sidewalks throughout the city. She According to DCSD’s website,
One of Blondeau’s core issues
issues like housing affordability,” also said she wants to help create James R. Hallford Stadium near
is preserving the green space in
Martin said. “The school system housing affordability for city and Clarkston High School has a capacity
the city and properly managing
has driven prices up and I want to school employees. of 15,600.
the newly acquired green space
make sure we have a wide variety

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Woman beaten by officer represented by former DeKalb DA
involving DeKalb officer be. They have to make
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN P.J. Larscheid.  A video decisions at the blink of of the incident was posted an eye. However, when
on multiple social media there are certain instances,
platforms and showed they should be held
When former DeKalb
Larscheid striking McCrary accountable,” James said.
County District Attorney
in the legs with a baton. James, who works
Robert James watched
According to the incident for the firm Morris, Shim,
the viral video of Katie
report, McCrary was James, said McCrary is
McCrary, a homeless
allegedly asking customers thankful the firm will take
woman who was struck
for money at a gas station the case on her behalf.
several times in the leg by
in Decatur. When Larscheid The Georgia Bureau of
a DeKalb officer, he said he
arrived at the scene, Investigation is currently
felt two emotions—sorrow
McCrary allegedly told the investigating the matter. In
and anger.
officer she was a federal a statement, DeKalb County
James, who was
agent and gave him a fake Police Chief James Conroy
defeated last year by
badge number then tried to said the GBI’s involvement
former DeKalb Solicitor
grab the officer’s badge and came after he met with Former DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said he will represent
Sherry Boston, said he Katie McCrary free of charge following an incident in which she was struck by
a scuffle ensued. DeKalb CEO Michael
will represent McCrary in a an officer with his baton.  
Larscheid said he struck Thurmond.
criminal case free of charge.
McCrary an “unknown” “The Georgia Bureau of
“I just felt extreme sorrow
Weekly Friday Quick
number of times on her left Investigation has agreed
watching her lie on the
leg. In the video posted to conduct an investigation
floor and being beaten like
that. When I watched the
video, I just watched it as a
online, McCrary can be
seen grabbing the officer’s
of a June 4 use of
force incident involving Chess Practice
citizen and I think anyone
watching that would feel for
baton while she’s being
struck. Larscheid can be
DeKalb Police Officer P.J.
Larscheid.  The request was Tournaments
her,” James said. “I also felt
heard responding, “let it go made following a meeting $10 entry fee
anger watching that video
or I’m going to shoot you.” with DeKalb County CEO USCF Rated. G/15;d5 5 rounds.
Civil rights groups have Michael Thurmond, who
and seeing the way in which
released statements saying stressed the importance 1st Round starts at 7pm.
she was beaten.”
According to James,
the officer’s actions were of a factual, independent Tournament normally ends at 10:30.
McCrary was charged
excessive and an example investigation based on the Students allowed one bye
of police brutality. new video evidence and
with felony obstruction
“Officers are given a lot other pertinent information,” in the last round.
Saturday Chess
after a June 4 incident
of latitude, as they should said Conroy.

9am - 12 noon.
Three hour chess curriculum
$25 per Saturday
Snacks provided.

The Glenn
Youth Center
4178 Snapfinger Woods Drive
Decatur, Georgia 30035
(470) 299-4152


United Methodist Children’s Home signs leases in DeKalb
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN wider path to continue “It’s a really smart
providing services to people location for us. The new in DeKalb County and to locations really fit with our
serve many more people culture and our mission...
The United Methodist in new communities across Tucker and Clarkston are
Children’s Home (UMCH), North Georgia,” said Rev. perfect for us,” Cerniglia
which announced earlier this Hal Jones, president and said.
year it would be leaving its CEO of UMCH.  “The new Cerniglia said nonprofits
Decatur location after 144 space is perfectly suited divesting their real estate
for UMCH staff to provide property is a “new trend.” The United Methodist Children’s Home announced Aug. 7 it signed
years, will soon have two leases to move residents and administrative property to Clarkston
new locations, the nonprofit services to clients in foster When UMCH was first and Tucker.
announced Aug. 7. care, family housing, established, having a 77-
UMCH officials independent living and acre property made sense, The new properties will be homes, Cerniglia said.
announced they will begin transitional living,” Jones he said. Cerniglia said a couple miles from the “I think I speak for
the process of relocating said. “The site also provides moving and downsizing northern corner of Interstate [UMCH] when I say this is all
its residents, administrative a new location for the UMCH the number of acres is a 285 and Interstate 85.” about the children and the
building and flea market by flea market, a decades-long strategic move. Cerniglia said 80 group of people
mid-August to Tucker and tradition that will continue.” “We are a ministry that residents will be relocated would choose to vacate
Clarkston. On April 17, the Decatur serves 52 counties in north to their new homes over the unless they were motivated
Currently located on Commission approved the Georgia and location is next month. Since 1973, by mission,” Cerniglia said.
a 77-acre campus at 500 purchase of the UMCH’s 77- a strategic choice. One UMCH has cared for more “We are called to serve
Columbia Drive in Decatur, acre campus for $40 million. hundred-forty-four years ago than 6,000 at-risk young more families and children
the nonprofit signed a According to John when we occupied Decatur adults by providing foster than we [serve] today. We
lease for property at 1967 Cerniglia, vice president it was farmable land that care homes. Currently hope to serve 300 next year
Lakeside Parkway in Tucker. of development for UMCH, we needed, but since then UMCH serves 240 children and 700 a day by the year
“We now have a new selling the Decatur property cars and highways were and adults daily. However 2020. This will be a historic
residential base from which was the best choice for invented,” said Cerniglia, due to limited resources, day and week as we move
to expand our ministry. This serving the children and laughing. “This property is UMCH weekly turns away off the property.”
milestone opens a much families in their care. not situated on an interstate. 30 children who need foster

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