the DeKalb FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2017 • VOL. 22, NO.

42 • 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

Sexual harassment
investigation cost DeKalb
more than $23,000

Gift of giving
Hosea Helps hosted its annual turkey drop-off event at the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office loading dock Nov. 9.

Wright Adams

by Horace Holloman
Hosea Helps hosts annual turkey drop off
n the DeKalb County Board of
Commissioners official website,
by Horace Holloman Office,” said Hosea Helps massive storage for these Ashlee Wright is still listed CEO Elisabeth Omilami. food items.” as the primary contact for

“We could not cook for 5,000 DeKalb County jail officials Commissioner Gregory Adams.
t’s that time of year again to 6,000 people each event said volunteers will work up to However, it’s unlikely Wright will return
in DeKalb County. On without this kitchen. We would 11 p.m. on Nov. 22 preparing to work for Adams after she accused
Nov. 9, nonprofit orga- have a hard time finding food for Thanksgiving. the District 7 commissioner of sexual
nization Hosea Helps somewhere to go. They are During the press confer- harassment.
hosted its annual “great turkey critical to our efforts.” ence, the organization re- The county paid Nelson Mullins
drop off” at the DeKalb County Every year in the jail’s ceived several donations, Riley and Scarborough LLP $23,240
Sheriff’s Office jail. kitchen volunteers prepare the including a $10,000 check to investigate the allegations and
For nearly two decades, turkeys that are distributed for from Kroger and a $50,000 concluded that Adams violated the
Hosea Helps has used the Hosea’s annual Thanksgiving check from 411-Pain. Hosea county’s anti-harassment policy. The
facilities of DeKalb County meal. Hundreds of volunteers Helps recently relocated its company suggested Adams attend sexual
to prepare its Thanksgiving start early the day before headquarters after rent at its harassment training.
meals. This year will be the Thanksgiving preparing nearly old location doubled to $8,000 Former DeKalb County
organization’s 48th Thanks- 500 turkeys. a month. District Attorney Robert James, who is
giving meal, which are usually “The sheriff’s office and “These are not donors that representing Wright in her lawsuit against
held at the Georgia World Hosea Helps have been in we could do without. Some the county, said the county needs to do
Congress Center in downtown partnership for the last 20 donations you can say ‘we more than send Adams to sexual harass-
Atlanta. years and we have partnered can do without,’ but without ment training.
According to DeKalb Sher- with them without hesitation,” these donors there would be “We are pleased that they confirmed
iff’s Office officials, the jail has said Maj. R. Akies. “We ap- no Hosea Helps Holiday Fes- what we already knew, which is Adams
one of the largest industrial preciate these sponsors who tival,” Omilami said. “We need violated the sexual harassment policy...a
kitchens in the southeast. have sponsored food items the help. Especially this year policy I am very familiar with,” James
“We just want to thank for the Hosea Helps program because we were displaced said. “We’re disappointed that they
the DeKalb County Sheriff’s and we’re happy that we have from our 26-year location.” minimized what he did to my client. This is
quintessential sexual harassment but [the
investigation] says he wasn’t aggressive.
We disagree and that’s why we have
a judicial system. I’m disappointed in
DeKalb. They had a chance to make this
According to documents provided by
the county and Nelson Mullins, Adams
claimed that some of his behavior was due
to a prescription medication.
While attending a conference in
See Investigation on page 5

Visit for local, real DeKalb County news.


Last year, DeKalb County School District was criticized for holding graduations outside of DeKalb DeKalb County School District announced plans on Oct. 30, to hold high school graduations at the
county. Photo by R. Scott Belzer Georgia World Congress Center for the second consecutive year.

DeKalb County graduations return
to Georgia World Congress Center
BY R. SCOTT BELZER DeKalb, Miller Grove and commencement ceremonies times for people to be getting time, when parents could
Druid Hills. at GWCC. Several students, out of work to attend a high be earning a living or when On May 23, Destiny parents and teachers voiced school graduation,” Sobczak brothers and sisters could still
Academy will go first, opposition to the decision said ironically. “But that’s what be getting their educational
All 23 high schools in
followed by Arabia Mountain, because of GWCC’s distance we’re asking parents to do. experience? I’m not sure it
DeKalb County School
Stone Mountain and DeKalb from schools. During the school week, we’re can be changed at this point,
District (DCSD) will have three
Early College Academy. On Nov. 6, Southwest asking parents and students but definitely for 2018-2019,
hours each to conduct their
On May 24, the order DeKalb teacher Daniel to drop everything else they we need to make sure we are
2017-2018 commencement
will be McNair, Columbia, Sobczak spoke at DCSD’s are doing to attend our high looking at the interests of all
ceremonies at the Georgia
Redan and Clarkston. Last board of education meeting, school graduations. I’m really stakeholders when setting
World Congress Center
year, Clarkston graduated citing similar concerns. wondering where this plan these [schedules].”
(GWCC), according to a recent
on campus after inclement “Monday, 10 a.m. Tuesday came from and why we are
weather prevented the 10 a.m. Monday 1 p.m.— doing this during the school
On Oct. 30, DCSD
ceremony from taking place these all sound like good day. Why do this during work
released its 2017-2018
at Hallford Stadium.
commencement schedule,
On May 25, the order of
which will take place May 21
schools will be Stephenson,
through May 26. Schools will
have three-hour blocks at 10
Towers and Cross Keys. Last PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE
year, Cross Keys High School
a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. CITY OF LITHONIA, GEORGIA
students graduated at Adams
of schools will be Lithonia, (JANUARY 1, 2018 – DECEMBER 31, 2018)
GWCC is located at 285
Elizabeth Andrews,
Andrew Young International
Dunwoody and Chamblee.
Blvd., N.W., in Atlanta. PUBLIC HEARING ON FY18 BUDGET: A Public Hearing on the FY18 Budget is scheduled
On May 22, the order for Monday, December 4, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the
In October 2016, DCSD City Hall Chambers located at 6920 Main Street, Lithonia, GA 30058. At this meeting,
will be Lakeside, Southwest
announced it would hold its the Mayor and Council will receive both written and oral comments about the Annual
Operating and Capital Budget for the City of Lithonia, Georgia.

The Public Hearing on the Budget will be followed by the Council Meeting at 7 p.m. in
Notice of Budget Public Hearing and the Council Chamber.
2018 Budget Adoption
The Clarkston Council will hold a Public Hearing Recommended Budget will be available for public inspection during normal office
on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, starting at 6:30pm, hours starting on November 20, 2017 at the following locations as well as on the City’s
Clarkston City Hall, 3921 Church Street for the purpose website at
of taking public comment on the 2018 Proposed City
of Clarkston Budget. The Council will hold a second Lithonia City Hall, 6920 Main Street, Lithonia GA 30058
Public Hearing on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, starting Lithonia-Davidson Library, 6821 Church Street, Lithonia GA 30058
at 7:30pm, Clarkston City Hall, 3921 Church Street for
the purpose of additional public comment on the 2018 BUDGET REVIEW: The Mayor and Council of the City of Lithonia are scheduled to
Proposed City of Clarkston Budget. The Council will review the FY18 Mayor’s Recommended Budget on the following dates:
vote to adopt the Clarkston 2018 Budget at their regular
Council Meeting on December 5, 2017 at 7:30pm. The Monday, December 4, 2017 (7:00 p.m. at City Hall, 6920 Main Street)
public is invited to attend. Monday, December 18, 2017 (6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 6920 Main Street)

AVONDALE Stone Mountain Elementary, Freedom Middle
School, Stone Mountain Middle, Clarkston High
Financial literacy workshop announced

and Stone Mountain High. Stone Mountain resident Arlene Fitts Winfrey,
DeKalb County School District (DCSD) officials a speaker for Georgia Watch, will present a
are expected to present potential plans for financial literacy workshop on Nov. 18 from 10:30
redistricting on Nov. 30. a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Stone Mountain-Sue
Avon Garden Club to host breakfast DCSD will host another discussion on Jan. 11, Kellogg Library, 952 Leon St. in Stone Mountain.
2018 before presenting a final plan for approval to Participants will hear about the common causes of
The Avon Garden Club will host a sausage the DeKalb County board of education in February debt, how to avoid debt, plans for getting out of
and pancake breakfast Nov. 18 at Avondale 2018. debt and their debt collection rights, according to
Community Club from 8 to 11 a.m. Tickets a release about the event.
are $7 per adult, $5 per child age 6-10, $3
per child age 3-5 and free for children under DORAVILLE Winfrey retired from Tucker High School where
she taught family and consumer sciences. She is
a recipient of many honors and awards and is a
3. Tickets can be purchased from any Avon
member of the American Association of Family
Garden Club member, or by calling (404) Celebrate the season at City Hall and Consumer Sciences and a past president of
297-9893. The Avondale Community Club is the National Coalition for Black Development in
located at 59 Lakeshore Drive in Avondale The public is invited to celebrate the holiday
season with Doraville city officials Dec. 1 and 2. Family and Consumer Sciences.
Doraville City Hall—located at 3725 Park
Ave.—will open the holiday season with the
Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 1 at 6:30

BROOKHAVEN p.m. Mayor Donna Pittman will light a 18-foot
Christmas tree decorated with ornaments from TUCKER
many cultures.
Light Up Brookhaven The event will also feature a s’mores making
pit, a Panamanian marching band, Chinese yo-yo
Brookhaven will host its annual “Light performers, a light show, holiday movies, chorales,
Up Brookhaven” event Nov. 30, 6-8 p.m. at singers from the U.S. Marine Corps and the arrival
of Santa Claus.
Blackburn Park. The free event will feature On Dec. 2, the Doraville Library will host a
musical performances, visits with Santa, Santa’s Workshop event, a classic Mustang car
holiday crafts, hot chocolate sale, refreshments, display, storytelling, arts & crafts, informational
Christmas tree lighting and a Hanukkah display. booths and other activities geared toward the
The park is located at 3493 Ashford Dunwoody whole family.
Road. For more information, visit www. Events will take place at the Doraville Library from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
For more information, visit

CLARKSTON STONE MOUNTAIN Smoke Rise Academy of Arts to present
Clarkston High to host second redistricting holiday show
talk City to host annual Christmas parade event
The Smoke Rise Academy of Arts will
Clarkston High School—located at 618 N. Stone Mountain Village will hold its annual present its holiday show at Smoke Rise Baptist
Indian Creek Drive—will host a second round of Christmas parade and fireworks event Nov. 24 Church on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 1: p.m. The
discussions regarding possible redistricting in from 4 to 7 p.m. The event will include children’s event will showcase students of the academy
the Stone Mountain and Clarkston High School activities, marshmallow roasting, hot chocolate
clusters on Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. with ensembles, solos, instrumentals, singing,
and fireworks. All restaurants, shops and art dancing and drama.
Schools expected to be impacted by the
possible redistricting include Allgood Elementary galleries will be open for shopping. For more The show is free to the public, no tickets
l, Dunaire Elementary, Hambrick Elementary, information, call Kim Cumbie at (770) 630-1727. required.
Indian Creek Elementary, Jolly Elementary,
Rockbridge Elementary, Stone Mill Elementary,


More than $11k approved
via PTA, school district
BY R. SCOTT BELZER which will be placed on the
school’s gymnasium, will read, “Druid Hills Middle School”
as well as “International
Students, teachers and
Baccalaureate World School.”
staff at Druid Hills Middle
The $8,600 will cover the
School—located at 3100 Mt.
cost of letter manufacturing
Olive Drive in Decatur—can
and the $2,875 will cover
look forward to new signage
the cost of manual labor
celebrating the school’s
for installation. APCO Signs,
accomplishments following
based in Atlanta, will install
approval of funds at a DeKalb
the signage over a six-month
County School District (DCSD)
board of education meeting
Current signage at Druid
on Nov. 6.
Hills Middle includes two Druid Hills Middle School is scheduled to receive new lettering on the school’s gymnasium following approval by DeKalb
“Druid Hills Middle School, County School District Nov. 6. Photo rendering submitted.
marquees at the southeastern
now in its 50th year of
corner of the campus and
operation as a DeKalb County
east of the front lobby
school facility, currently
entrance. Druid Hills Middle School we believe is worthy of being administrative staff as well as
has no identifying signage
According to the Druid students who will take pride identified and promoted the PTA to facilitate a smooth
attached to the building
Hills Middle PTA’s proposal, in identifying with their as an integral part of the installation.
itself,” reads a proposal
the new signage will schoolhouse, but for families schoolhouse itself.” Board member Marshall
drafted by Druid Hills Middle’s
underscore the importance of across DeKalb County and According to Joshua Orson asked Williams how
Parent-Teacher Association
learning and remind students [Georgia] who come to Druid Williams, chief operation many middle schools are still
of the “pivotal role they play” Hills for athletic events and officer for DCSD, the new without electronic signage.
Druid Hills Middle PTA
as international baccalaureate academic competitions,” the signage aligns with the “As we’re making
requested the board approve
learners. The PTA also states proposal states. “That Druid district’s vision of supplying renovations specifically
a donation of $8,600 and
the signage will greatly Hills Middle is one of the few a safe and healthy learning under E-SPLOST V, we will be
dedicate $2,875 of district
enhance the beauty and middle schools in the greater environment. He said the going back to modify existing
funds to building affixed
stature of the building. metro area with International facilities maintenance marquee signs for digital and
signage to the school’s
“[This is] not just for Baccalaureate authorization, department will work closely electric,” Williams said.
entrance. The new signage,
is a point of distinction that with Druid Hills Middle

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Continued From Page 1
Savannah in April,
Adams invited himself to
Wright’s hotel room at 3
a.m. He also requested
to see Wright in a bikini.
According to
documents from the
investigation, “Adams
maintains that he had
taken a [prescription
drug] which he believes
may have caused him
The annual Police Appreciation Luncheon held last yea attracted a crowd of police
to do or say things he
officers. The 19th annual event put on by Pride Rings Around Stone Mountain will be would not normally. He
held on Dec. 15. Photos by Doug Yancey asked Wright about the
text and explained that
he was on [prescription
medication] and not in
his right mind, to which
Wright responded,
‘don’t worry about it
commissioner; I know
you’re playing.’”
Wright, who worked
for former DeKalb
County Commissioner
Sharon Barnes-Sutton,
is seeking a $750,000
from the county to settle
out of court.
“I’m not a doctor and
I’m not a psychiatrist.
All I know is what the
text message said. At
3:29 in the morning he
sent a very detailed

PRISM appealing for cash
text message and while
under the influence, he
selected her number,
choose to contact her
and was clear enough

for recognition event
to write a few sentences
that was grammatically
correct,” James said. “At
some point, someone
other than me will have
to judge his veracity.”
by Gale Horton Gay However, one event organizer what the group refers to as the Although the
Betty Efird said cash donations “heart of DeKalb,” but not last year county’s independent
An annual event to show are desperately needed to ensure due to lack of funds. investigation confirmed
appreciation for police officers that the event takes place. PRISM is seeking donations Adams violated
and firefighters is in need of one “I think that after 9/11 gradually of cash from individuals and DeKalb’s anti-
element for its continuation— it got to the point…they just don’t businesses and gift cards from harassment policy,
money. feel as compelled to give,” she corporations such as gas stations Wright has not received
The 19th Annual Police said. and grocery stores. Efird is an apology from Adams
Appreciation Luncheon put on Efird said that when she encouraging groups such as or any county official,
by Pride Rings Around Stone attended past luncheons officers garden clubs, civic associations James said.
Mountain (PRISM) is scheduled often heard it was the only time of and neighborhood groups also to “Ashlee Wright was
for Dec. 15 at Georgia Perimeter the year that officers were thanked make donations. harassed and was
College, Clarkston Campus. for their efforts. Checks should be made out humiliated. We believe
Police officers and support staff A holiday-style meal is served to PRISM and sent to the event that’s worth more than
of the Center/North DeKalb and at the luncheon with such foods chairman Tony Nastri, P.O. Box him having to go to
Tucker precincts; Stone Mountain, as turkey, ham, dressing, green 2478, Stone Mountain, GA 30086. sexual harassment
Pine Lake and Clarkston police beans and an array of 25 different Inquiries about the event training,” James said.
departments and Georgia desserts, according to Efird. should be made to Nastri at (404)
Perimeter College Security are In past years, gift cards also 333-8669.
invited to the event. were distributed to fire stations in

Turning sexual misconduct revelations into teachable moments
In the last few weeks, The mounting number of OK for anyone to touch them
there’s been a barrage of accusations has opened a sexually, attempt to coerce them
high-visibility accusations of window, making it clear that into a sexual relationship, make
sexual harassment involving women have been and continue personal sexual comments/
celebrities. It started with to face unwanted sexual innuendos or question them
Harvey Weinstein, a powerful Gale Horton Gay attention when they are striving about their sex life.
and one-time highly regarded to gain professional experience, Young people need to be
movie studio head, who’s been make meaningful contributions advised that adults—teachers,
accused by scores of women of and earn respect as members of coaches, employers, pastors
being sexually inappropriate in a of groping, inappropriate sexual society. (anyone a position of power
number of ways. comments, unwanted touching These accusations will be or influence over them) are
Accusations by women to be lodged against other played out in a number of ways: expected to act respectfully
and some men soon followed individuals including college public debate, settlements and appropriate in their
of similar bad, and possibly, professors and business hammered out in law offices and interactions with them. If they
criminal behavior by other executives. some resolved in courtrooms. cross the line, they should be
actors, directors and Hollywood Some incidents related to the What we can do, aside from reported to parents, teachers,
executives. Kevin Spacey alleged misconduct occurred simply giving lip service to the administrators, human resources
and Dustin Hoffman are two decades ago, some far more current and future revelations, and, if necessary, the police.
Hollywood A-listers who’ve recent. In October, the principal is start conversations with our Just as we teach our children
issued apologies, which some of Mary McLeod Bethune Middle young people—boys and girls— what to do in other challenging
say were vague and half- School in Decatur was placed about the issue of appropriate life situations, we must empower
hearted, after they too were on administrative leave after behavior at home, school and in them to know what to expect
accused of sexual improprieties. “serious employee misconduct” the workplace. and how to react if they ever
It didn’t take long for claims that reportedly involved groping We should tell them it’s not encounter sexual improprieties.
a school district employee.

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To subscribe, visit or call 404-373-7779

United we stand
I first started playing soc- purchase seats all over the sta- becoming citizens, all stand at
cer on a YMCA team at age ‘One Man’s dium for a fraction of the cost of attention and with respect dur-
7. My brother Brian and I
usually played on the same
Opinion’ a Falcon’s game, personal seat
license or season ticket. My pair
ing our Pledge of Allegiance and
national anthem. Not to politi-
team. Through elementary and for the entire season—and I’ve cize this column, but it is again
high school, our Hawks and later
Bill Crane already paid for next year—runs refreshing to see something so
Chiefs won several county and roughly what you might spend simple and symbolic as a source
regional championships. About for a family of four on two or of inspiration and unity versus di-
the same time, Atlanta got its three Falcons home games. This vision and conflict.
first professional soccer team, ironies of being sold out for virtu- United fan base is energized, Though one of the United
also The Chiefs—aligned in that ally every match, typically not the constantly attired in red and black Kingdom’s most successful ex-
day with the Atlanta Braves and case with much of the Tech foot- striped spirit wear and stands for ports to the United States, the
playing initially at Atlanta-Fulton ball season, and having this sta- almost the entire game. AU flags game is not yet everyone’s cup
County stadium. The long season dium draped in the AU’s red and dot the city scape. of tea. I gifted many pairs of tick-
often meant cold or wet Saturday black colors and banners was a With no TV or other timeouts, ets to clients, friends and family
afternoons and evenings from particularly sweet sight for this the game is two intense 45-min- this season, as I will likely do in
summer through late fall, with the Georgia Bulldog fan. And after ute halves, with overtime and future years; and each and every
baseball diamond still clearly vis- Mercedes Benz Stadium opened, shootouts ending time blocks and attendee has had nothing but
ible on the field. Atlanta United moved into its new deciding victors during the play- compliments and cheers for their
Several soccer franchises, home. offs in the event of a tie game, experience and day in the stands.
including an indoor arena league The Atlanta Falcons NFL which is also not unusual in soc- United, we stand. Give them
and a women’s team have come, team will play roughly a dozen cer. Atlanta United twice beat ri- a try, I can almost assure you that
lasted a bit and then moved on Sundays each season in this vals Columbus Crew from central you’ll get a kick out of it.
from the Atlanta market—with stadium, and now Atlanta United, Ohio, but fell in the final moments  
varying degrees of success—de- which sells out more frequently of a penalty kick shootout by a
spite decades of built-in fanbase that its older winged sibling, will single successful penalty kick into Bill Crane also serves as a
across the region. more than double that number of the goal box during the playoffs. political analyst and commentator
And now it appears that one home stands, including Saturday Our team roster reads like a for Channel 2’s Action News,
owner and one team have finally and several mid-week games. United Nations delegate meet- WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and
developed the winning recipe, In addition, with this stadium, ing. Player countries of origin now 95.5 FM, as well as a
Major League Soccer’s (MLS) the Falcons take the adjacent range from America to the United columnist for The Champion,
Atlanta United, which just com- parking concessions and a piece Kingdom, Argentina, Canada, DeKalb Free Press and Georgia
pleted its inaugural season with of every hot dog, beer and Chick Mexico, Ireland, Greece, Chile, Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native
a playoff berth. Atlanta United Fil A sandwich sold in the new Paraguay, Uruguay and Guinea.  and business owner, living in
set league records in both atten- facility. Twenty-four or thirty mega As one might expect, this Scottdale. You can reach him
dance and average game ticket events generate millions more team of Americans and immi- or comment on a column at bill.
sales. They are only the second than a dozen. grants, many in the process of
team in the history of the 22-team Atlanta United founders could
league to make it to the playoffs
during their expansion season.
Atlanta United is owned and
managed by the AMB Group,
which also owns the Atlanta
Falcons and the new Mercedes
Benz Stadium, as well as other
holdings. AMB CEO Arthur
Blank brought resources to play
and has made a major invest-
ment, which is another key ele-
ment of this team’s success,
compared to prior attempts at
professional soccer team launch-
es in the ATL.
The team started their season
at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd
Stadium, which had the dual

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 DEKALB FREE PRESS encourages opinions from Production Manager: Horace Holloman expressly to provide a forum for
The DeKalb Free Press, discourse for all community residents
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Members of the Lakeside High School community are voicing opposition to proposed expansions nearly one year after they were approved. Photo by R. Scott Belzer

Parents, board member speak against 750-seat, 38-classroom, two-story addition
BY R. SCOTT BELZER concerns; provide more time for stakeholders to understand what has been
decided and why; and prepare to reopen
A group of community stakeholders discussions with the goal of adopting
from the Lakeside High School attendance long-term solutions.
area have united to oppose the school’s “We stand ready to take on much of
scheduled expansion. the work required to get people out to
The expressed opposition is in response learn from our BOE officials, the DCSD
to the planned construction of a two-story, administration, and other experts who
750-seat, 38-classroom addition as well as best understand the issues,” the letter
a three-story parking garage. concludes. “Further, the school district’s
The project is part of DeKalb County own enrollment projections show that
School District’s (DCSD) E-SPLOST V list, these schools will be at capacity when
which also calls for the expansion of these expansions are complete and to our
Chamblee Charter High and Dunwoody knowledge, there is no identified plan for
High. DCSD hosted more than 20 public additional growth. This fact heightens our
meetings during an 18-month period assessment that this is the right time to
about items on the list beginning in 2015, stop and ensure longer-term solutions are
including several on additions and new considered so that our students will be
facilities. inspired and able to achieve [the district’s]
On Nov. 4, DCSD board of education vision of educational excellence.”
member Stan Jester published a letter on The letter was addressed to DCSD’s
his blog from members of the Lakeside board of education, the DeKalb County
High community. The letter states DCSD Board of Commissioners, CEO Michael
should rethink its decision on five factors: Thurmond, the Lakeside High school
Lakeside High School’s student population administration, SPLOST oversight
has already increased to its breaking committee, members of DeKalb County’s
point; too few residents are aware of the Planning, Development & Public Works
decision; the DeKalb County Commission department, as well as DCSD chief
recommended a new high school; the operations officer Joshua Williams,
expansion will negatively impact the executive director of operations Daniel
student experience; and watershed Drake and Region 2 superintendent Trent
flooding issues will impact student safety. Arnold.
Rather than expand Lakeside, Jester introduced the letter by stating,
Chamblee and Dunwoody, the letter “Various residents and civic associations
suggests the board halt planned have caught wind of the 750-seat
expansion actions to listen to community expansion project and are doing the



Veterans group
urges CEO to
take action

It’s an issue that retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Amos
King holds near and dear to his heart—the safety of
veterans in DeKalb County.
King said veterans with mental health issues are at
risk while in DeKalb County because the county police
department hasn’t established a set of guidelines to
deal with mental illness under CEO Michael Thurmond.
The group Justice for Veterans held a rally outside
the DeKalb County courthouse on Nov. 11.
King said the situation involving the shooting
death of DeKalb resident Quintas Harris, 27, could
have ended differently if a plan was in place to address
veterans with mental illness. On Aug. 3 Harris, a veteran
who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD), bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, was killed
by DeKalb County Police officers after Harris opened fire
on officers, injuring one officer in the hand.
Officers also responded to a call at Harris’ residence
earlier in the day.
“Something like this can happen again if they don’t
do something,” King said. “We’re going to keep pushing
and fighting for justice for veterans.”
King also served as a spokesperson for Anthony
Hill, a DeKalb County man who was shot and killed by
a DeKalb County Police officer after officers responded
to a call of a naked man acting erratic outside of an
apartment complex. Hill, a veteran who was unarmed,
was shot by former DeKalb Officer Robert Olsen. Hill’s
family said he suffered from mental health issues.
King said the veterans group would like to meet
with Thurmond, but have yet to get a response.
“If he doesn’t want to meet with us that’s his
prerogative, but he’s going to have to answer to the
voters when the time comes,” King said. “We’re not any
Joe Blows off the street. We’re not coming in here with
our own personal agendas or trying to tell someone
how to do their jobs. We just want to help because
veterans can talk to veterans.”
King said officials with the DeKalb County Police
Department (DKPD) said they are willing to meet with
the group. However, King said he won’t meet with the
DKPD unless the CEO is present.
“We want to hold [Thurmond] accountable because
we don’t want there to be a situation where he says
he didn’t know,” King said. “We want to talk about
prevention. We understand these veterans and we want
to help because something like this can happen again.
We want to stop the killing of veterans.”
DeKalb County resident Amos King held a justice for veterans rally outside the DeKalb County Courthouse on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11.

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ROTC students participated in marching, spinning rifles, brandishing sabers and meticulously standing Career Technology & Agriculture Education (CTAE) Director Delmas Watkins explained the
at attention at DeKalb County School District’s Administrative Complex & Instructional Center in Stone importance of ROTC programs in local high schools.

ROTC programs focus on character development, citizenship, self-confidence, mental toughness and physical discipline.

Veterans Day celebrated
by DeKalb schools
More than 500 JROTC cadets host
districtwide drill to honor military
BY R. SCOTT BELZER spinning rifles, brandishing sabers and
meticulously positioning their bodies to stand at attention. For nearly two hours,
By the break of dawn on Nov. 10, students demonstrated such activities while
students from throughout DeKalb County being thoroughly reviewed by teachers and
were arriving at DeKalb County School military personnel.
District’s (DCSD) Administrative Complex After being reviewed, JROTC programs
& Instructional Center—located at 1701 from Arabia Mountain, Cedar Grove,
Mountain Industrial Boulevard in Stone Chamblee, Redan, Clarkston, Columbia,
Mountain—to honor veterans. Miller Grove, Stone Mountain, Cross Keys,
More than 500 DCSD Junior Reserve Dunwoody, Druid Hills, Towers, Lakeside,
Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadets Lithonia, MLK, Tucker, McNair, Southwest
participated in a district-wide drill and review DeKalb and Stephenson united in a mass
in observance of Veterans Day. formation across the administration office’s
JROTC programs are military-themed sizeable parking lot.
electives and co-curricular activities at The event concluded with an explanation
high schools nationwide. Representing of what JROTC is and what it can bring
various branches of the military—Navy, to students’ lives by Career Technology &
Army, Air Force and Marines—the programs Agriculture Education Director Delmas
typically emphasize character development, Watkins, recognition of veterans past,
citizenship, self-confidence, mental present and future, as well as closing remarks
DeKalb County School District’s 19 Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps toughness and physical discipline. from DCSD superintendent R. Stephen
(JROTC) programs united on Nov. 9 to honor local veterans through a On Nov. 9, dressed in pressed uniforms, Green.
districtwide drill and review. Photos by R. Scott Belzer DCSD cadets participated in marching,


DeKalb County School District honored its district psychologists on Nov. 6 during a regularly scheduled monthly
board of education meeting. Photo courtesy of DeKalb County School District.

Decatur is in the Christmas spirit early with reefs lining the streets of the city. Photo by
Carla Parker

DeKalb County Fire E-1, also known as the Emory Guard, participated in an elevator rescue at the Emory Briarcliff
building on Nov. 8. Photo courtesy of Shane Shifflett.

Doretta Fleet-Thomas and Andrea Mukoko of Margaret Harris Comprehensive School were named as 2017 March The Arabia Mountain High School marching band performed at the Stonecrest City Hall
of Dimes Georgia Nurse of the Year finalists on Nov. 3. Photo courtesy of DeKalb County School District. grand opening Nov. 11.

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


DCSD Board member Stan Jester states the district allowing the Cedar Grove
High School softball team to kneel but not allowing his son’s shirt is hypocritical.

Jester claims ‘hypocrisy’
at DeKalb schools

DeKalb County School
District (DCSD) board of
education member Stan Jester
posted claims of hypocrisy
against district officials on Nov.
In October, a video
circulated through social media
and news outlets showing
DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond addresses a crowd at the Historic DeKalb Courthouse in Decatur.
the Cedar Grove High School
softball team taking a knee
Stan Jester’s son, Jaxon, was forced
during the national anthem.

Tax increase celebrated
to change a shirt that read Fake
A Cedar Grove student on News Network with an “F” on the
the team said the kneeling CNN logo before a field trip to CNN
headquarters, prompting a call of
was a protest to the flag, “hypocrisy.”
stating, “the flag doesn’t mean
what it’s supposed to, to me.” son Jaxon on Nov. 10. Jester

County, city officials ‘celebrate’ SPLOST referendum The protest mirrors those
by former NFL quarterback
Colin Kaepernick, who
states his son was forced to
change a shirt that reads, “Fake
News Network” with an “F” in
kneeled to draw attention the CNN logo before a field
to the mistreatment of the trip to CNN headquarters in
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN the passage of the SPLOST,” as long as the SPLOST is in Black community by law Atlanta.
said Thurmond. “We take this effect. Unprepared food and enforcement officials. “The hypocrisy. This year vote of trust seriously and will drugs are exempt from the DCSD took a stance of when the CNN tour was
The voters of DeKalb continue to work with our city sales tax increase, according support for the team by announced, my seventh grade
County have spoken and partners on a better future.” to the legislation. stating, “If students should son Jaxon asked me if he could
the majority, approximately More than $151 million “Seventy-percent [of elect to express their free purchase an FNN-Fake News
70 percent, said they want of the SPLOST proceeds will the vote]. That means the speech rights, we want to Network shirt to wear for his
to raise taxes to provide be used for road resurfacing. people spoke and they did create and provide a safe field trip. As an advocate for
improvements to public The tax will also fund new not whisper,” Commissioner space to do so. The goal is not the First Amendment, I agreed
safety and roads. fire stations and police cars Larry Johnson said. “This is to interfere with the students’ to his request,” Jester wrote.
A day after the election, as well as the renovation of a great day in DeKalb. This is constitutional right to freedom “He was fully aware of the
county and city officials parks, libraries, senior centers all about us working together of speech.” implications of his decision and
celebrated the outcome of and health centers. and being transparent. We’re District officials also stated made the affirmative choice
the Special Purpose Local “We couldn’t do this all in and we’re going to be a there would be no punishment to wear his shirt. We received a
Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) without the support of the one DeKalb.” for the protest. phone call from the principal at
referendum with a luncheon men and women on our DeKalb County firefighter Shortly after the protests the middle school this morning
and press conference at the county commission,” said officials said they’re were reported, Jester posted informing us that he was
Historic DeKalb Courthouse Thurmond. “Their support excited about the SPLOST about the protest on his blog. forced to change his shirt.”
in downtown Decatur. and investment has helped referendum passing because “Many Americans see Jester said the situation was
SPLOST will raise the sales us secure a victory on this it means new facilities and kneeling during the national not held to the same standard
tax in DeKalb County from SPLOST initiative.” updated equipment for the anthem as disrespectful. This as the Cedar Grove softball
7 percent to 8 percent and DeKalb cities will receive fire and rescue department is arguably one step short of team’s protest.
generate more than $600 $249 million for projects across the county. burning the flag and is a slap “I’m disappointed by the
million over the next six years. within their jurisdictions, “We have to make this in the face to everyone who hypocrisy of this decision,”
It’s the first time a SPLOST allocated by population. Each happen and build quality has served to defend it,” Jester he said. “Some students are
has passed in DeKalb, said city has its own project list. buildings in our community. wrote. “I advocate for the First celebrated when they make a
DeKalb County CEO Michael More than $110 million We need to make these Amendment across the board. controversial display during the
Thurmond. annually of the 1-cent facilities state-of-the-art I hope the freedom of students National Anthem. My student
“For the first time in sales tax will go toward facilities. We don’t want to let to express themselves will be was forced to remove his
DeKalb County’s history, residential property tax you down. This is all about vigilantly defended across shirt because someone didn’t
voters have approved a relief.  Homeowners will have making the county better,” the political, religious, etc … like it. I defend speech and
blueprint for success with their tax assessments frozen Johnson said. spectrums.” expression, even if I disagree,
Jester again referenced the or it makes me uncomfortable.”
protest in a blog post about his


‘No city like Stonecrest’
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN Johnson. Plez Joyner. “This just goes
“This is what makes a to show that this can be city great. Having a group done.”
As residents enjoyed of people [who] can work The grand opening
a block party Nov. 11 together to move things celebration featured
for the grand opening forward,” Adams said. live music, food and
of Stonecrest’s city hall, Stonecrest officials performances from the
Stonecrest officials basked said the new city hall has Arabia Mountain High School
in the national exposure been years in the making. marching band.
thanks to a “unique” pitch Last year voters approved “Stonecrest is built for the
to bring a second Amazon to incorporate the city of community and we wanted
headquarters to the newly Stonecrest, which serves this to be a community
formed city. approximately 50,000 event,” Joyner said. “It’s a
Stonecrest’s city hall, residents and is the largest community effort all the
located at 3120 Stonecrest city by population in the way around. Welcome to
Boulevard, will serve as county. Stonecrest.”
offices for Stonecrest “We’ve been waiting for During the event,
officials and staff. The grand this for four or five years. Stonecrest officials took
opening ceremony featured This is the culmination of a moment to address the
remarks from DeKalb County five years of hard work and national exposure received
commissioners Gregory I couldn’t be happier for from the city’s pitch to
Adams and Mereda the people of Stonecrest. lure a second Amazon
Davis Johnson as well This is a big deal for us,” said headquarters to the area.
as representative Hank Stonecrest assistant manager If Amazon chooses

The city of Stonecrest held a grand opening ceremony for its city hall, located at
SEE STONECREST ON PAGE 20A 3120 Stonecrest Boulevard.


New councilwomen hopes to improve communication
voiced their disappointment business owners—we have a “I think what I can
BY CARLA PARKER in the council, specifically Van lot of professionals, we have do is bring some of the De Kreke, on the community’s people in just about every analytical components [to
Facebook page. walk of life within Smoke Rise,” the council] in terms of who
Newly elected Soltys said there were she said. “With people in the are the residents, what do
Tucker District 1, Post 1 several reasons why she ran greater district, it’s even more we represent, what do we
councilwoman Pat Soltys for city council, one of them diverse. So consequently, the need, what kinds of things
understands that she cannot being that Van De Kreke, opinions of those people and are even there or lacking
start making changes right according to Soltys, was open the volunteerism needs to be and really be able to bring
away to improve the district in stating that she didn’t vote incorporated. that in terms of what kind of
and the city. the way the constituents she “I think I can do that by planning we need to have,
However, one aspect represented asked. making sure that the people and then hopefully have that
she said she hopes to “The biggest thing was have the opportunity to serve incorporated in terms of the
improve immediately is the to be a representative and in volunteer capacities, to thought process of the final
communication between the a voice of the district,” she be able to be a voice, to be comprehensive plan,” she said.
residents of the district and its said. “To recognize and be able to be a resource and to “So, I will be working to make
representative. representative after receiving able to make sure that the very much feel engaged and sure that the comprehensive
“The number one issue in 65.5 percent of votes over diversity of the district was informed,” she added. plan addresses District 1 and
this campaign, which people incumbent Honey Van De well positioned in the city of The city is currently I’m going to make sure I do as
didn’t understand, was Kreke, who received 34 Tucker, for both being able to working on its comprehensive much as possible on that.”
communication,” Soltys said. percent of votes. be a resource and a benefit. plan, and Soltys said she
“That was the number one Van De Kreke was elected And the third thing, because I wants to make sure District 1
issue. Everything else paled to Tucker’s inaugural city have a very good background is addressed in the plan.
beside it. A lot of people tried council in 2016. She fell out in exempt development and
to make it about The Rise, of favor with some voters I think I have something to
and it wasn’t. It was about after voting against “The bring to the city.” FOOD SERVICE CONTRACTORS
communication. If you can’t Rise,” a proposed mixed-use Soltys said District 1 NEEDED
have your representatives development that would is more than the Smoke
communicate with you and Summit is seeking subcontractors to support
have replaced the vacant Rise community and it is
engage you then something important to her that all a potential foodservice contract with the DeKalb
Sears warehouse at the
is wrong.” intersection of Hugh Howell residents in the district County Sheriff’s Office for inmate meals in
Soltys spoke with The Road and Mountain Industrial have an opportunity to be the following areas: food, cleaning solutions
Champion two days after Boulevard. Many residents in incorporated into the fabric of and supplies, paper products and catering. If
her election victory. Soltys the Smoke Rise community, Tucker.
was elected as Tucker’s interested, please send an email outlining your
which is in District 1, “We have a huge brain
District 1, Post 1 city council trust here—in that we have qualifications to
supported the proposal and


DeKalb County School District reaches
agreement with Sears Roebuck & Co.
BY R. SCOTT BELZER seat Smoke Rise Elementary
School, currently located at 1991 Silver Hill Road in
Stone Mountain. The new
DeKalb County School
campus is approximately two
District (DCSD) announced
miles away from the school’s
a land-purchase agreement
current location.
worth approximately $4.4
According to district
million on Nov. 6.
officials, construction on the
Following an extended
new school is scheduled to
executive session on Nov. 6,
begin in 2018 and open at
the DCSD board of education
the beginning of the 2020-21
reached an agreement with
school year.
Sears Roebuck & Co for 12.4
According to a facility
acres at 4740 Hugh Howell
condition assessment
Road in Tucker.
completed in May 2016,
The land—approximately
Smoke Rise was built in 1969
1.8 miles from DCSD’s
with a gymnasium addition
Administrative Complex
in 2003. It scored a zero out
and Instructional Center—is
of 100 as an official score and
currently the site of unused The current Smoke Rise Elementary, built in 1969, was deemed 10 percent over its service life in 2016. Photo submitted
was deemed to be 10 percent
Sears Roebuck & Co. offices
over its remaining service life.
and warehouses near
DCSD superintendent
Mountain West Church and a The rebuild of Smoke Rise an education-specific special the rebuild could not take
R. Stephen Green said
Sears Outlet store. Elementary was approved purpose local option sales place at its current location
negotiations for the new
The acreage is to be used in 2011 as part of DeKalb tax (E-SPLOST IV). In 2015, because of the school’s septic
school site have taken more
for the campus of a new, 700- County voters’ approval of however, it was determined system.
than two years.

LAKESIDE Continued From Page 8A
research the school district should Colson said she didn’t know about you hire an interior designer before intersections of two-lane roads.”
have done in the first place.” the expansion until April 2017. She you remodel your house. You hire Maki said classrooms are
On Nov. 6, Debbie Miller, Kay said DeKalb County Commissioners an architect before you build a new inadequate in addressing Lakeside’s
Colson, Ed Ewing, Kenneth Lippe, are not supportive of the plan school building, and you hire a overpopulation problem.
Mike SanFratello, and Angela Maki because it is a bad, short-term plan. strategic planning consultant before No realistic renovations can
expressed their concerns during “Far too few residents were you expand a school system,” Ewing enlarge the original building’s
DCSD’s November public input involved in the discussion,” Colson said. corridors or the narrow staircase
session. said. “Who speaks for the community Lippe said traffic around Lakeside where literally thousands of students
Miller said, “it’s never too late when a major decision like this is is “pretty much abysmal.” He said any enter and exit Lakeside each day,”
to do the right thing.” She said the going to impact more than buildings further additions to Lakeside would Maki said. “These narrow hallways,
stormwater management system being upsized to house more only bring more. which access key common spaces,
near Lakeside is frequently flooded students?” “A three-story parking garage will provide an effective place to hide
by rain, suffers from erosion and that Ewing said Lakeside’s expansion cause unprecedented daily traffic,” unsavory activities in plain sight due
no development should take place lacks critical economic, social, political Lippe said. “Imagine three stories to the wall-to-wall congestion, and
until such issues are addressed in the and technological considerations. of parking spaces attempting to be have been the location of violent
Briarcliff area.” “If you want to do the job right, filled or emptied while dealing with fights as recently as this fall.”




Students share personal narratives for upcoming book
we lived, what motivated want to go with you.’”
BY R. SCOTT BELZER Jarquin said she felt like
us to come here in the first place and explain how we she gave up her culture when
now contribute. We need to arriving in America. She
Those who may have said she missed celebrating
visited the chorus room explain what our dreams and
hopes are and what we hope national events such as Dia
at Cross Keys High School de los Muertos and Mexican Green Card Voices visited Cross Keys High School the week of Nov. 6 to hear
during the week of Nov. 6, to contribute so that we can stories from immigrant students in DeKalb County School District. Photos by R.
have a constructive dialogue.” Independence Day and has Scott Belzer
may have witnessed Tea already lost a lot of her ability
Rozman Clark collecting tales Clark asked students six
open-ended questions to to speak Spanish fluently.
of hardship, perseverance and Growing up in America,
triumph from DeKalb County elicit each narrative. She
said each student received Jarquin said she witnessed
School District students. her father and mother
“It was very hard for me the questions one month in
advance to prepare. sacrifice meals so she could
to make friends,” said one. eat. Today, she plays on Cross
“There’s a language barrier. “The key is to do active
listening,” Clark said. “By the Keys’ volleyball team and
People ask you, ‘Why is your participates in other clubs,
hair so dark? Why are you so time they are here to record
they are confident, prepared hopes to graduate from high
dark? What can’t you speak school, attend college and
English?’ It makes you feel and know what they are
going to talk about. The become either a lawyer or
like you’re inferior. But how the head of a human rights-
do you explain to someone, idea is to have the narrative
flowing uninterrupted.” focused nonprofit.
a child, ‘This isn’t my country “I’m a firm believer in that,
and this isn’t where I’m from’?” On Nov. 7, Clark and
three students—Abdoulaye if you want to see change,
Clark is the executive you have to be a part of it,”
director for Green Card Diallo-Guinea of Senegal,
Yamileth Jarquin of Mexico Jarquin said. “I want to be
Voices, a Minneapolis-based someone who stands up for
Abdoulaye Diallo-Guinea of Senegal shared his story of being homeless and his
nonprofit that focuses on and Monico Gomez Mendez aspirations to become a music producer with Tea Rozman Clark.
of Guatemala—allowed The and educates others. I’ve had
sharing personal narratives a lot of support and my life
from America’s immigrants. Champion to observe the
process. and I want to give that to
Green Card Voices records others.”
and shares the narratives Jarquin shared her story
of being born in a small For Jarquin, sharing her
in hopes of breaking personal story is essential
stereotypes, reducing bias town in Mexico. Though
she grew up in a loving to breaking the stereotype
and empowering immigrants. of Mexican immigrants. She
Through such recordings, environment surrounded by
family, she said her father said she was nervous about
the nonprofit has produced sharing her story but now
three books: Green Card Youth came to America several
times because of financial feels empowered in doing so.
Voices: Minneapolis, Green “We don’t want to invade
Card Youth Voices: Fargo, and hardships.
“My mother was or destroy the country and
Green Card Youth Voices: St. take your job,” she said. “It’s
Paul. One student featured in depressed, I think, because
she tried to do everything on much more deep—there’s
one of the books received an so much more depth to
opportunity to speak in front her own,” Jarquin said. “Being
a single mother is looked everybody. I remember living
of the United Nations. in a cocoon of fear after the
After speaking with 30 down upon in many cultures,
and so my father’s side of most recent [presidential
students from Cross Keys election]. But knowing I have Monico Gomez Mendez of Guatemala shared his story of travelling to the United
High School and International the family looked down on States alone at age 16.
her. They would criticize her support and that this is my
Student Center, Green Card voice, my story lets me know
Voices will publish and share and criticize me. She had to
constantly carry that with I won’t let anyone else dictate
Green Card Youth Voices: my life. I’ve lost that fear and
Immigration Stories from an her and carry me with her.
Despite all of that, my family I want someone to read my
Atlanta High School in April story and lose that fear.”
2018. has always been the rock of
who I am. When I left them, Clark said there’s a wide
Clark said she was inspired array of reasons that students
to collect stories and publish it was like leaving who I was
behind.” share their stories with her.
the books in the past two “I do believe a lot of
years because of the current Jarquin said she and her
mother soon joined her father students who participate
political and social climate. are starting to understand
“Even before this in America. She describes
saying goodbye to her that they are the story they
[president’s] administration, tell—to themselves and to
people just had grandparents and extended
family as one of the hardest others,” Clark said. “As an
misunderstandings about immigrant, you’re not part
who immigrants are,” things she has ever done.
“I had never seen my of the dominant narrative. Yamileth Jarquin said she hopes to eventually advocate for immigrants by
Clark said. “I came to this Ultimately, it’s a choice of
grandfather cry in his entire becoming a lawyer or director of a nonprofit.
country when I was 20, from defining yourself and who
Yugoslavia right after the life,” Jarquin said. “I was
confused. It wasn’t until I you are rather than letting
war. I didn’t speak English. It other people tell your story.
really helps if we immigrants saw my grandmother break you to understand what different geography. Every
down that I understood. I Young people are learning an immigrant is, you need story is so uniquely different
do our part in helping people they need to become part
here understand who we remember clinging on to my to understand different from others.”
grandmother and saying, ‘No, of the narrative to see it dynamics—different states,
are and what kind of life completed. In order for
this is my whole life, I don’t different family cultures,


Rye crackers available from Esto Etno, like rye Stollen, which is more German than Estonian, is
bread, are made from pure rye flours. popular internationally during the Christmas season.

An apple pastry, made with fresh apples and oats, is less sweet than most pastries made in the United Tiina D’Souza slices dark rye bread, the signature product at Esto Etno Fine Bakery.

Specialty bakery brings taste of
Eastern Europe to Decatur
BY KATHY MITCHELL rye bread as well as other Eastern especially during the holiday season. equipment and ingredients. The name
FREELANCE REPORTER European-style baked goods. Friends “I get a lot of requests for stollen for Esto Etno, she said, is an abbreviated
complimented the culinary creations the holidays. I’m not ready this year to form of Estonian ethnic.
When Tiina D’Souza moved to the and urged her to consider starting a produce a high volume of products, Although she studied baking
United States from her native Estonia business. but I should be ready by the 2018 in Estonia and worked for a while
she discovered that among the things "They mostly liked that my baked holiday season,” she said. in a chocolate factory, D’Souza
she missed most was the rye bread goods are healthier than what D’Souza started Esto Etno Fine said she never considered starting
that was part of nearly every meal in they’re used to. In the United States, Bakery through Start: ME, an intensive a business before she moved
her home country. especially here in the South, sweet 14-week accelerator program to the United States. “Creativity
“What they call rye bread here baked goods tend to be very sweet. created in 2013 by Emory University’s and entrepreneurship were not
is made with a mixture of rye and People tell me, ‘Oh, I don’t eat pastries. Goizueta Business School. Start: ME encouraged in the old Soviet Union,”
wheat flour. It has the texture most They have too much sugar.’ Then they leverages the Village Capital model to explained D’Souza, who has lived in
Americans expect in bread, but it’s not taste mine and they like them. They provide micro-entrepreneurs—those the United States 13 years.
the same at all,” she said. “At home, also like that I never use things like with four or fewer employees— As a home-based bakery, D’Souza
dense dark bread is made with a corn syrup or preservatives and my training, mentorship support and has a limited business license that
blend of pure rye flours and is served baked goods are made with whole early-stage financing. She launched allows her to sell at only directly to
with almost everything. It serves as grains,” D’Souza said. her business in the spring in time consumers and only in Georgia. “My
an anchor to the meal. We rarely eat She said traditional Estonian to exhibit at the Start: ME 2017 products are sold mostly at farmers’
white bread.” baked goods often use fresh fruit, Showcase. “It’s an excellent program markets and fairs. There’s a lot of
Every time she went back to incorporating what is seasonal. “I can and I found a really good mentor. The competition to sell those places so
Estonia, she recalled, she would bring get apples all year-round so I use mentors are really the best part of the getting accepted is not easy.
back as much rye bread as she could them a lot,” D’Souza said, indicating program. They help you find answers “I sell some online, but I don’t want
and freeze it. “When the supply was an apple pastry that’s among her even to questions you didn’t know to to promote online sales until I’m sure
getting low, my husband would say, specialties. “This is made with oats ask.” I can find a carrier who can guarantee
‘Go ahead and have your rye bread; I’ll and is about half apples so it’s sweet, The bakery is operated from her fast delivery. Although I don’t use
eat something else,’” she said. but not too sweet.” Decatur home, but D'Souza hopes to preservatives, the products naturally
Although she was not able to find Another of her specialties, stollen, move it soon to a commercial kitchen. have a long shelf life. Still, I don’t want
exactly the rye flours used in Estonia, is more German than Estonian, but “It has pretty much taken over the them aging in the shipping process,”
D’Souza started baking her own is popular in many places in Europe, house,” she said, pointing to shelves of she said.

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Southwest DeKalb’s Jamel Starks avoids a tackle. Michael Pace outruns Banneker defenders. SWD linebacker Eris Walker (No. 5) attempts to tackle a Banneker
runner. Photos by Travis Hudgons

playoff game.” 7-0 lead. angle, but kicked it to their a 56-yard touchdown pass,
BY CARLA PARKER Quarterback Justin Banneker responded on fastest player, and then he extending to lead to 28-10. Tomlin, who missed the final the following kickoff, with did it again. So, we have to In the fourth quarter, Starks
two games of the regular Tarique Dennis returning correct that and not let the gave his team a 35-10 lead on
The Southwest DeKalb season after spraining his the kickoff 70 yards for a best player beat us.” a 7-yard touchdown run.
Panthers (8-3) won its first shoulder against Lithonia touchdown, tying the game. Southwest DeKalb Banneker scored with 30
playoff game since 2009 after Oct. 27, led his team with four In the second quarter, responded to Banneker’s seconds left in the game on
beating the Banneker Trojans touchdowns—three in the SWD’s Jamel Starks score with a 20-yard an 11-yard pass, bringing the
(8-3) 35-17 in the first round air and one on the ground. intercepted a Banneker pass touchdown pass from Tomlin final score to 35-17.
of the Class AAAAA state Tomlin said he did not feel and returned it to the 1-yard to Myles Litt, extending their Tomlin, who has been the
playoffs at William “Buck” any effects from his injury line. Tomlin would score on lead to 21-10 before halftime. Panthers’ starting quarterback
Godfrey Stadium, named during the game. the next play on a 1-yard In the third quarter, since his freshman year, said
after the football program’s “I felt great tonight,” Tomlin touchdown run, giving the Banneker put together a nice it was an honor to win his first
former coach. The win also said. “This team is my family, Panthers a 14-7 lead. drive to start the second half playoff game at Southwest
gave the program its 500th so when I was down they Banneker would again and got inside the 20-yard DeKalb.
win in program history. picked me up. They picked take advantage of SWD’s line. However, the Panthers’ “We haven’t won a playoff
Head coach Damien me up the whole week during special teams play on the defense kept them out of the game since 2009 and to do it
Wimes, who was an assistant practice to get back right and kickoff. Dennis fielded the end zone again and forced with these boys who I’ve been
coach on the team that won to do good.” kickoff again and returned it a field goal attempt, but this with for four years now, it’s
the playoff game in 2009, “He’s back,” Wimes said of to the 7-yard line. However, time Efrimea missed the 19- just a great honor,” he said.
said the win was good for Tomlin. “He worked hard to the Panthers’ defense kept yard attempt. The Panthers will travel to
the players, school and get back for this game. When Banneker out of the end zone The Panthers took Rome Nov. 17 to take on the
community. Justin Tomlin is on he’s the and forced the Trojans to kick. advantage of the missed Rome Wolves in the second
“[The players] laid a brick best high school quarterback James Efrimea made the 25- field goal with Tomlin hitting round. Game time is set for
tonight…they’re building I’ve ever coached.” yard field goal to cut SWD’s Aquil Muhammed deep on 7:30 p.m.
and bringing the foundation After a couple of punts lead to 14-10.
of the program back,” Wimes early in the game, Tomlin and Wimes said he and the
said. “I’m just happy they are the Southwest DeKalb offense coaching staff will address
successful, and whatever part got rolling midway through special teams in practice.
I played in it I thank God for it, the first quarter when Tomlin “We have to develop
but I’m just happy they were
successful, and they get to
hit Michael Pace on an 11- better ways to angle-kick SECOND ROUND
yard slant pass in the end the ball,” he said. “He was
see what it feels like to win a zone, giving the Panthers a supposed to kick it at an PLAYOFF MATCHUPS
Nov. 17
Northside-Warner Robbins (8-3) vs. Tucker (10-1), Adams, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 1
Class 6A Class 3A Class 5A
Tucker (10-1) 55, Lakeside-Evans (2-9) 7 Cedar Grove (11-0) 48, Adairsville (6-5) 13 Carrollton (9-2) vs. Arabia Mountain (9-2), Hallford, 7:30 p.m.
Heritage-Conyers (8-3) 20, Stephenson (7-4) 7 SW DeKalb (8-3) at Rome (11-0), 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 11
Class 5A Class 5A Class 4A
Arabia Mountain (9-2) 35, North Springs (6-5) 21 Jackson-Atlanta (9-2) 14, Miller Grove (5-6) 0
Carver-Atlanta (10-1) 36, Columbia (5-6) 0 Cedartown (10-1) at Marist (11-0), 7:30 p.m.
Troup County (9-2) at St. Pius X (6-5), 7:30 p.m.
Class 4A
Marist (11-0) 38, Madison County (4-7) 14 Class 3A
St. Pius X (6-5) 44, West Hall (5-6) 31 Dawson County (8-3) vs. Cedar Grove (11-0), Godfrey, 7:30 p.m.
SPORTS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16 - 22, 2017 • Page 19


Eight baseball players sign
college scholarships
such a difficult sport to get
BY CARLA PARKER a scholarship in,” he said. “Most of these guys got 80 The Redan baseball program had an historic signing day with eight players signing.
to 100 percent of scholarship
Nov. 9, 2017 was an [coverage], and [there are]
historic day for the Redan eight of them. It’s a great
High School Raiders baseball accomplishment to have
program as eight seniors these guys on this [stage] and
signed national letters of signing before the season. So
intent to play baseball on the that’s just a big compliment
college level. for Redan High School.”
Six players—Orlando Todd, who had the second-
Adams (Kentucky), Chayce best batting average (.440)
Bryant (Georgia State), on the team last season, said
Kameron Marshall (Alcorn one of the reasons he signed
State), Kelvin Smith with the Florida A&M (FAMU)
(Missouri), Hunter Todd Rattlers was because of a
(Florida A&M) and Lyndon similarity with his childhood
Weaver (Eastern Kentucky)— baseball team—the mascot.
signed scholarships with “When I [visited] it felt like
Division 1 schools, while Taj family,” Todd said. As a child,
Bradley and Ja’Shaun Franks he played for the Gresham
signed with Hillsborough Park Rattlers.
Community College, A JUCO Todd had 40 hits, 22 RBIs
(junior college; community and scored 32 runs for the
college) school in Plant City, Raiders last season. He said
Fla. FAMU will be getting “an
Redan’s former longtime all-around player as far as
baseball coach Greg fielding, hitting and speed on
Goodwin, who helped many the bases.”
players advance to the college “I feel like I’m a gap-to-gap Kelvin Smith signs his letter of intent to Missouri as his parents look on.
and professional levels, said [hitter],” he said.
it was amazing to see eight Adams said Kentucky gave
players signing baseball him a home-like feeling as
scholarships at one time. well.
“Statistically, it’s not “The coaches treat you well
supposed to be but one and and I love the campus,” Adams
a half kids up [on the stage],” said. “It’s a good atmosphere
Goodwin said. “That’s the there.”
average that play high school Adams hit a .393 average
ball who go on to play college last season on 33 hits. He
ball—it’s about 1.5 from said his leadership skills are
each high school team. And the most important asset
we have eight and maybe a Kentucky will get from him as
couple of more to sign later.” a player.
Current head coach “I’m always holding my
Alexander Wyche said it is a teammates accountable and
blessing. make sure they’re on top of
“Eight signees—six D1s their stuff at all times,” he said.
and two JUCO guys—are Last season, the Raiders
just unheard of,” Wyche said. fell to Coahulla Creek two
“We’re just blessed to have an games to zero in the Class
opportunity, blessed that [the AAA playoffs quarterfinals at
administration] gave me an home. Wyche said just as last
opportunity to be here and year, the goal is to win a state
then having the opportunity championship and they can
to put these guys in the best fully focus on that goal with
situation they can be in.” the signings out of the way.
Wyche said it is amazing “If it’s not a state Chayce Bryant puts on a Georgia State hat after signing his letter of intent to play for the university’s baseball team after
to see eight of his players, high school.
championship, then it’s not a
and potentially more, receive successful season for us, even
athletic scholarships in though last year we won the win the state championship Baseball] as possible. That’s first week of school to try to
baseball. region and made it to the Elite and then get as many guys our goal this year. We’ve accomplish that goal.”
“The game of baseball is Eight.” he said. “Our goal is to drafted [into Major League been working hard since the

Continued From Page 13A

Stonecrest, Mayor Jason Lary
said the city would annex
more than 300 acres of land
and rename it “Amazon.”
“I have one trick, and
that’s vision. I can see where
we’re going from here and I
see greatness,” Lary said. “We It only takes a moment to make a moment.
have a great council and the
best staff.”
According to Amazon,
the company will invest
approximately $5 billion
into the city it chooses for its Stonecrest city council members and Mayor Jason Lary cut the
ribbon during a city hall grand opening ceremony.
second headquarters. The
commerce trade business
also is expected to create an
estimated 50,000 jobs.
“Folks we’re just not going
to be denied,” Lary said. “It’s
just that simple. We won’t
trade in our name, we’re
just going to add a name
for them. We will still be the
mighty Stonecrest. Period.
We’re just willing to carve off
a piece to bring commerce,
jobs and infrastructure.”
From left, Stonecrest Communications Director Adrion Bell, Take time to
Mayor Jason Lary, council members Rob Turner and George be a dad today. #makeamoment

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