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the DeKalb FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2017 • VOL. 22, NO.

46 • 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

in the Grove

Christmas in the Grove, a home on Oak Grove Drive in Decatur, has become a popular Christmas light display during the Christmas holiday. Photos provided by Tony and Katie Paradowski

Visit for local, real DeKalb County news.

DeKalb orders 200
DON’T LOSE FOCUS ‘high-tech’ body cams
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN start recording automatically if shots are fired. The video will recall two
minutes of audio and video prior to
the incident and send a call for help
Each officer and detective in the along with the officer’s location.
DeKalb County Police Department “If an officer forgets to record,
(DKPD) will be fitted with state-of- the gunshot detection is pretty
the-art equipment after DeKalb powerful and will automatically
officials approved the purchase of begin recording. The [system] can tell
approximately 200 body purchases. you who fired first and what caliber
According to DKPD Police Chief weapon was used,” Conroy said.
James Conroy, the purchase will Conroy said the department
allow the department to provide all plans on making a few adjustments
officers and detectives body cameras. to the system for officer’s safety and
The body cameras, provided by accountability.
Decatur-based Utility Associates, Inc., Conroy said upgrades will include
are top of the line, Conroy said. updating the department’s Computer
“I’m excited about these cameras,” Aided Dispatch [CAD] system.
Conroy said. “They’re scalable, they’re “Turning on the cameras is one of
upgradable and the company we our challenges,” Conroy said. “With
purchase from is a DeKalb County the new CAD system we’re already
company and they like to keep us working on the technology so if you
happy. We like to be guinea pigs for get a call once you’re within 100 yards
some of the new technology they’re The DeKalb County Police Department will receive approximately 200 body cameras for officers.
of the [dispatched area], the cameras
DeKalb officials and Utility Associates announced the partnership in July of 2016. File photo
testing.” will automatically activate, which is
According to Utility Associates, wonderful.”
the BodyWorn technology is the most create situational awareness. in the event of an “officer down” In January, a grand jury charged
advanced police body camera on the Conroy said that the cameras will situation. The cameras are also DeKalb police officer Robert Olsen
market. Using artificial intelligence to automatically alert fellow officers designed to detect gunshots and will with two counts each of murder and

Publix Charities donated $5 million to
Habitat for Humanity affiliates, homeless
shelters, and other nonprofits helping
provide housing to those in need. Publix
is filling the pantries of the 40 Habitat
homes Publix Charities is funding.

AVONDALE playing favorite dance hits. Admission includes
appetizers from Soiree Catering and Events,
promotion and special events to our new
visitors signs, we want to be sure people are

ESTATES two drink tickets, sodas, a champagne toast
at midnight and holiday party favors. Guests
welcomed and can find their own special place
in the Arabia Mountain National Heritage
may purchase additional drink tickets for Area. The award is reaffirming of our work
beer, wine or cocktails. Festive holiday attire is and commitment to creating a world-class
Avondale Estates Woman’s Club monthly encouraged! destination,” says Arabia Alliance Executive
meeting Tickets are available at the DeKalb History Director Mera Cardenas.
Center offices or online at www.dekalbhistory. Mera Cardenas, Arabia Mountain Heritage
The Avondale Estates Woman’s Club will hold org. Area Alliance Executive Director along
its monthly meeting Dec. 21 at the American The event will be held Sunday, Dec. with James Tsismanakis, Discover DeKalb
Legion Post 66 at noon. The American Legion 31, 8:30 p.m. – 1: a.m. at the Historic DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive
Post 66 is located at 30 Covington Road. Those Courthouse, 101 E. Court Square in downtown Director; Bill Hardman, Jr. Southeast Tourism
interested in learning more about the club and Decatur. Society President & CEO; and Brian Mock, City
the projects they are working on, call Carolyn Advance tickets are $40/$55 per adult are of Chamblee Mayor Pro Tem and Discover
Meeks at (706) 897-5202 or Diane Pomberg at available until December 29 at noon (all prices DeKalb Board Chairman during Discover
(319) 759-0531. go up by $10 after this deadline). Advance DeKalb’s 25th annual holiday gala and award
tickets are $15 for guests younger than 21. presentation. (Photo by JandDImages)
The gala was held on Saturday, Dec. 2 at the
Christmas decorating contest Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort

in Stone Mountain Park.
Judging for the annual Avondale Estates
Christmas and Holiday Spirit Awards Decorating
Contest will take place Dec. 18 and awards will be
presented Dec. 19. Judges will view decorations
on residences, storefronts, building exteriors COUNTYWIDE
and display windows from a vehicle passing or
stopping in front. For more information, visit CEO to give sewer consent decree update
DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond
BROOKHAVEN will detail progress made toward fulfilling the
sewer consent decree on Dec. 19, at 6:30 p.m.,
at Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library at 5234 Lavista
Road in Tucker.
Mayor to host town hall meeting In December 2011, DeKalb County reached
a Clean Water Act settlement in the form of a
Brookhaven mayor John Ernst will hold a town Arabia Alliance executive director honored consent decree with the U.S. Environmental
hall meeting Dec. 21 at city hall from 7 to 8 Protection Agency and the Georgia
p.m. Brookhaven City Hall is located at 4362 Environmental Protection Division. The eight-
Peachtree Road. For more information, visit Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance year consent decree calls for sanitary sewer has announced that Executive Director Mera system inspection, assessment, rehabilitation
Cardenas was honored during the Discover and repair.
DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau’s 25th The consent decree update will be
annual holiday gala. Cardenas was the available live on DeKalb County’s Facebook
DECATUR recipient of the Bill Hardman, Jr. Award,
a recognition presented to an individual
page and live-tweeted with the hashtag
who exemplifies outstanding service and Citizens unable to attend the meeting may
New Year’s Eve party announced dedication to Discover DeKalb’s mission of submit questions on DeKalb’s Facebook page
promoting DeKalb as a destination for tourism. or Twitter account, @ItsInDeKalb.
A release from DeKalb History Center “I was incredibly surprised, touched and The update will be broadcast on Comcast
announcing the organization’s annual honored to be recognized by Discover DeKalb. Cable Channel 23 and live streamed at www.
celebration reads “Ring in the New Year with I had no idea I was being considered. The
the best party in Decatur!” Arabia Alliance and our partners have worked
DeKalb History Center’s holiday for many years to promote the area as a tourist
extravaganza will feature a professional DJ destination. From published brochures, digital

Sheriff’s office searching
for shooting suspect

The DeKalb County
Sheriff’s Office is seeking
the public’s help in finding
a suspect connected with a
shooting in Tucker
A warrant has been
issued for 20-year-old
Kaylon Janard “Hooty”
Jiles, who is accused of
fatally shooting Eric Fisher
in the parking lot of the
Motel 6 on Chamblee- Jiles
Tucker Road on Nov. 5.
According to the sheriff’s be armed, in possession of
DeKalb residents voice their concerns during a DeKalb County Board of Commissioners meeting Dec. 5.
office, the warrant was drugs and affiliated with a

Business owners concerned
issued Nov. 6 and Jiles is gang.
charged with felony murder Anyone with information
for shooting Fisher “multiple on Jiles’ whereabouts can
times." call the DeKalb County

with county ordinance
Police said Jiles fled the Sheriff’s Office at (404) 298-
scene in a black sedan. The 8402 or Crime Stoppers at
sheriff’s office said Jiles may (404) 577-TIPS (8477).


Amy Carter, manager
at late-night establishment
Mr. Cues Billiards, said the
county’s decision to move
closing time from 4 a.m. to 2
a.m. will greatly impact their
On Dec. 12, county
commissioners voted
to adjust the hours of
operations for late-night
establishments countywide.
DeKalb County Commissioners approved the purchase of more than 200
body cams for officers. Businesses labeled as late-
night establishments can stay
open until 2 a.m. as opposed bartenders and our cooks are the hours will not solve the
CAMS Continued From Page 2A to 4 a.m.
Carter said one reason
already on the lower pay scale
anyway and they’re going to
problem, it will move the
violations from 4 a.m. to 2
Mr. Cues Billiards has thrived suffer a bit in their paycheck.” a.m. Most owners of late-
violating oath of an office. Olsen shot and killed a mentally in DeKalb County over the Carter added that a part- night establishments are like
ill unarmed veteran. Olsen was not equipped with a body last two decades is that the time employee is likely going us...they’re good people.”
camera. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. business could stay open late. to lose his or her job because Residents in support of
In June, a video of a DeKalb County police officer “We’ve stayed open late of the change in hours. the time change said it will
striking a homeless woman with a baton went viral. every day of those 20 years. Ivan Faulkenberry, who help prevent crime in the
According to sources, the officer, P.J. Larscheid, did not We don’t have loud music, we said he owns a late-night area. Many voiced concerns
activate his body camera. don’t have a dance floor, we establishment with his son in that 4 a.m. was too late for a
“This [purchase] will outfit our entire department with don’t charge a cover charge the North Druid Hills area for business to be open.
body cams and a little extra for spares,” Conroy said. “This and we don’t serve by the 10 years, said the time change “I’ve been in the real
will allow us to outfit the officers that didn’t have [body bottle,” Carter said. “We have would greatly impact their estate business since 1978,
cams] before because we didn’t have enough at the time.” customers that are there to bottom line, while having never once has a buyer
play pool. We are the leader little impact on preventing walked into my office and
in the billiards industry and crime. said, ‘Where are the late-
we often host tournaments “What’s so big about two night establishments?’”

late into the night.” hours? If you’re an individual said Rob Holley, president
Carter said the change working 40 hours a week and of the DeKalb Realtors
in hours of operation could you lose two hours for five Association in 2012. “Late-
also hurt the business’s
days, you have lost 25 percent night establishments serve
employees. of your earning ability. This the need of our neighbors
“Losing a couple of hours would be a big hit for people and friends, however late-
in our industry hurts us
in the bar business because night establishments present
because we run tournaments they tend to be at the lower increased crime…this is a
that run into those late-night end of the pay scale anyway,” public safety issues.”
hours,” Carter said. “Our Faulkenberry said. “Changing

Letter to the Editor
We must speak now for choice in cancer care
Patient choice is everything After talking with family I can’t imagine being turned concerned citizens because we
when you’re fighting cancer. and friends and meeting with away from a cancer hospital believe that Georgia patients
Trust me. doctors at a few area hospitals, because of a law. Luckily, I deserve better. And I urge
I’ll never forget the three I chose care at a treatment didn’t have to, but others have, you to act now. Visit www.
words that my doctor said to center in Newnan. and others will. Contact
me when I was diagnosed. “You And that’s when I learned Every Georgian should your state legislators and sign
have cancer.” not everyone has that choice. have a choice in their cancer the petition to change this
So many things rushed A state law says my hospital treatment. I’m so thankful I did. ridiculous law.
through my mind. How bad is can treat only a limited number It was a deeply personal choice, Cancer doesn’t wait, and
it? Do I need chemo? Will I of Georgia patients. Just 35 and no one should be robbed of neither should Georgia.
survive? percent. The rest have to come that choice because of a law.  
And decisions had to be from other states. I joined Speak Now
made. The biggest one—where I was shocked, sad, and Georgia, along with other Vanessa Brown-Mason
do I go for treatment? furious. patients, caregivers and Decatur.

Seeing kindness, courtesy and connection around us
In the lead-up to Thanksgiv- While at the farmer’s market, awkward angle, asking if she
ing, I, too, was a part of the I watched as an older Black needed assistance. It was just
madness. man asked a younger White guy a brief interaction, someone
One day at Kroger, another about an item in his cart. The seeing that another might need
day at Your DeKalb Farmer’s young guy explained what the help and who stepped up.
Market and, of course, stops Gale Horton Gay item was and how he used it and Throughout the weekend
at Publix and assorted other the two talked and laughed as I observed smiles and nods
stores. Preparing for the annual registers beeped and shopping among strangers, people holding
feast required getting just the carts jangled around them. doors for one another and
right things from the right places. a store mid-day to get a much- At lunch at a seafood spot, a interacting in kind and courteous
Despite strategic plans to sough-after Christmas yard family of four caught my eye. I ways and with an upbeat and
lessen the load on the big day decoration), choosing instead suspect they were grandparents positive spirit.
by doing prep days before, it still to go to lunch with my husband dining with two granddaughters Could it be that the season is
came down to rising early and and hit a few of our haunts who were all giggles and smiles making many of us more civil,
staying on my feet to deliver the where folks congregate for while polishing off platters of communal, welcoming and kind?
meal that my family was highly bowling, libations and karaoke. fried fish. The girls colored at Naysayers, I suspect, will
anticipating. Hearing the oohs While out and about I never the table under the watchful conclude I’ve been in the holiday
and aahs and the silence that saw any of the craziness that and clearly loving eyes of their punch a bit too much. That may
comes when plates and mouths makes the news—the bizarre elders. The warmth, love and be true, but I’m going to keep
are so full that conversation tradition of pulling, tugging, caring were evident. looking for these moments. They
is secondary is the payoff that tackling over merchandise, In the parking lot of a strip make me feel good and make
brings me satisfaction. but I did observe moments shopping center, I noticed a man me want to keep seeing the
I didn’t fully participate in of kindness, courtesy and approaching an elderly woman good in my community.
Black Friday (only one stop at connection. who had parked her car at an

Gifts that keep giving
“No act of kindness, no of thousand acres including earthquake all but obliterates
matter how small is ever ‘One Man’s a self-sustaining farm, retreat civilization in Haiti; the Salvation
wasted,” Aesop (620-564 B.C.),
Greek philosopher and author of
Opinion’ house, green and natural burial
grounds, exquisite hand-crafted
Army is on the ground first
providing care, relief and the
Aesop’s Fables. stained glass and a wide array basic human necessities of
Bill Crane of Abbey trades and goods are life. Salvation Army thrift stores
As you gather with family available for purchase in the support their mission of helping
and friends in the coming gift shop. The PATH Trail now those suffering addiction find
weeks to celebrate Hanukkah, an educational gift and a pair of winds past Arabia Mountain and their path to recovery and
Kwanzaa, Christmas and this socks (stockings). along the South River giving salvation, with clients most often
holiday season, it is important to another scenic way to travel serving as store employees. 
remember that not every hearth FODAC - to and from the monastery.  One may instead want to
or belly is full and that Santa Friends of Disabled Adults The monastery’s mission and support the mission of one’s
may still have trouble finding and Children (FODAC), based operations all are locally funded own church, local school or
a few thousand households in Stone Mountain has been and self-sustaining. community. What is most
thanks to a malfunctioning improving and changing the important is that if you can give
GPS and lingering effects of lives of thousands of mobility The Salvation Army - that you do so—and that you
the prior recession. Please impaired adults and children encourage others to do the
take a moment during all of this for decades. Its annual Santa “Doing the Most Good” same. We are, after all, our
hustle and bustle to select in Breakfast, a primary fundraiser wherever the need is greatest, brother and sister’s keepers.
your heart and your mind those was held recently at Marriott across the globe, is the God bless us—every one.
organizations most worthy of Evergreen in Stone Mountain Salvation Army, and the Metro
your support this year. Here Park. It is one of the charities Atlanta Salvation Army has a Bill Crane also serves
are few charities and nonprofits largest annual events, but vast mission and annual budget as a political analyst and
of good reputation and long its need is year-round, as exceeding $2 million. Volunteers commentator for Channel 2’s
standing, with low administrative is the gap between serious are needed to ring the red Action News, WSB-AM News/
costs, a record of service and accident/injury and temporary kettle bells at more than 150 Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM,
thrift, and a demonstrated ability disability and being officially locations, which fund programs as well as a columnist for The
to stretch most every donated declared “disabled” by Social ranging from the Angel Tree Champion, DeKalb Free Press
dollar to do the most good.  Security or the U.S. Veterans to Boys & Girls Clubs to food and Georgia Trend. Crane is
Administration. FODAC charges pantries, family shelters and a DeKalb native and business
The Empty Stocking Fund - a one-time membership fee emergency displacement owner, living in Scottdale. You of $25, and provides recycled relief. If an apartment building can reach him or comment on a
Since its founding by The and gently used mobility and burns, Hurricane Katrina column at bill.csicrane@gmail.
Atlanta Journal in 1927, the durable medical equipment devastates the Gulf coast or an com.
Empty Stocking Fund (ESF) to veterans, the disabled or
has been helping Santa find anyone temporarily sidelined by
the homes of Atlanta’s families serious injury.
most in need. Medicaid-
recipient children to age 13 Monastery of the Holy Spirit -
are eligible, their parents come
to shop at a Santa village on Particularly for my Catholic
Memorial Drive. The thinly readers, though all are
staffed nonprofit will distribute welcome, the Monastery of
nearly $4 million of gifts to an the Holy Spirit, just off Georgia
estimated 60,000 children this Highway 212 and now the PATH
year—an increase of nearly Trail in Conyers is a place for
20 percent over last year. The peaceful reflection, prayer and
ESF buys close-outs and last just pausing to remember what
year’s toys directly from the this holiday season is really all
manufacturers, often right after about. Where one finds Trappist
each holiday season, stretching Monks, there is normally a
each donor dollar further. A society, productive farmlands
gift of $25 covers an age and and a place for thoughtful
gender appropriate gift packet prayer. This monastery is no
for a child containing four toys, different, nestled on a couple

the DeKalb Publisher: Photographer:
John Hewitt Travis Hudgons STATEMENT FROM THE
Chief Financial Officer: Staff Reporters: We sincerely appreciate the
Dr. Earl D. Glenn Carla Parker discussion surrounding this and any
Let Us Know What You Think! Horace Holloman issue of interest to DeKalb County.
THE DEKALB FREE PRESS encourages opinions from SEND LETTERS TO EDITOR, Production Manager: The Champion was founded in 1991
expressly to provide a forum for
The DeKalb Free Press, Kemesha Wadley Social Media Manager: discourse for all community residents
its readers. Please write to us and express your views. P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Donna Seay on all sides of an issue. We have no
Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain the Send email to desire to make the news only to
FAX To: (404) 370-3903; Phone: (404) 373-7779. The DeKalb Free Press is published each Friday report news and opinions to effect
writer’s name, address and telephone number for verifi- Deadline for news releases and advertising: by ACE III Communications, Inc., a more educated citizenry that will
cation. All letters will be considered for publication. Thursday, one week prior to publication date. 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030 ultimately move our community
forward. We are happy to present
Phone (404) 373-7779. ideas for discussion; however,
EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reflect the opinions we make every effort to avoid
of the editor or publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. The printing information submitted to
us that is known to be false and/or
Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. DISPLAY ADVERTISING (404) 373-7779 x 110 assumptions penned as fact.


Mold plagues DeKalb fire station
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN mold,” said DeKalb County
Fire and Rescue Chief Darnell Fullum during an Employee
Relations and Public Safety
Mold at a DeKalb County Committee meeting Dec. 6.
fire station has created a “This mold was the result of
“serious health problem” for an air conditioning unit that
workers and DeKalb County was placed at the station
could spend more than about two years ago.”
$111,000 to fix it. Fullum said the mold was
DeKalb County officials found in the ceiling above the
approved spending an station’s living quarters.
estimated $111,234 to DeKalb County COO Zach
remove mold that was found Williams said the county will DeKalb County officials said mold was found at Fire Station No. 24 in Stone Mountain.
at Fire Station 24 in Stone look into updating the HVAC
Mountain. systems with proceeds from [for firefighters] will help with According to DeKalb include upgrades to
The mold was found in the the Special Purpose Option the issue,” Johnson said. officials, approximately $44 firefighter radio systems and
fire station’s living quarters Sales Tax (SPLOST) proceeds. On Nov. 7, DeKalb voters million will be used to repair, the purchase of fire quick
and workers stated it posed a “This is not a problem approved the SPLOST replace and construct fire response units totaling an
serious health problem to the that’s unique to [fire station referendum for the first time stations. Other expenditures estimated $3.5 million.
staff assigned to the station. 24]. This is a countywide in county history, according
On Sept. 7, the county issue,” Williams said. “The fact to DeKalb County CEO
approved approximately Michael Thurmond.
$93,000 as an emergency
request to remove the
is, now is the time to fix this
so we’re not just replacing With 85 percent of the
SPLOST proceeds going
mold. While repairs were DeKalb County toward road repairs,
being made more mold was Commissioner Mereda Davis approximately $50 million
discovered. Johnson said the SPLOST will be used for capital
“We are not aware of proceeds will do more than improvement projects in
any specific issues of any update HVAC systems. DeKalb fire stations. The
firefighters as it relates to the tax will also fund new fire
“Of course, a new building
stations in the county.
@ 20 S

DeKalb Sheriff’s office beefs up security Eyeworks

BY HORACE HOLLOMAN “The average citizen does Mann said that in 2016, the
not realize the range of our sheriff’s office was responsible FR mandate, but it is broad and for the security of more than
multifaceted.” 1.3 million individuals.
DeKalb County Sheriff, Sheriff’s office officials “We ensure the safety of Trinity Mercantile
Jeff Mann has stated that he said the new access system is the individuals who use these
wants to be remembered for and Design
“state of the art” and will use a facilities,” Mann said. “We
bringing the sheriff’s office single proprietary system for were there to also protect
into the 21st century. access to all facilities secured the hundreds of courtroom
Mann called improving by DeKalb County Sheriff’s participants, such as judges,
technology at the sheriff’s Office instead of a multi-use judicial system employees, Mellow
office part of his “legacy.” system. and attorneys. Finally, we Mushroom
On Dec. 5, Mann added to According to Mann, access provide for the safety of
that legacy as the sheriff’s to secure areas requires law enforcement agency •••FEST
office announced it would authorized, agency-issued employees and the nearly IVE P
be installing new security IES
•• •
credentials. The updated 1,800 inmates at the jail.”
systems for courts and jails.
SH O •
system standardizes access Mann said the new system
The new system with newer technology and is state of the art compared
updates will guard against could potentially reduce to other sheriff’s offices in q/Ft
unauthorized access and risk in the case of a security Georgia.
improve activity monitoring, breach. “Reliability is a major
according to sheriff’s office The DeKalb sheriff’s office element in the life of any
officials. is responsible for the security security system,” Mann
“The DeKalb County of the jail, DeKalb County said. “In 2017, we spent

Sheriff’s Office is responsible courthouse, the magistrates some $370,000 to provide
for the security of all of court in the Bobby Burgess these services, so we need
DeKalb County’s detention Building and the DeKalb to be able to depend on
and justice system facilities,” Juvenile Justice Center on the systems to function at
Mann said in a statement. Memorial Drive in Decatur. maximum efficiency.”

Visitors Center | 113 Clairemont Ave. |

Decatur-champion-dec-14-2017.indd 2 12/12/17 1:39 PM


Firefighter cancer bill
to take effect firefighters would have pay a maximum of $25,000,” DeKalb officials discussed legislation that will provide local firefighters with
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN cancer insurance.
to prove their cancer was Jacobs said. caused by exposure to a
known carcinogen they were

Our gift to you
Eligible firefighters in exposed to because of their
DeKalb County will receive job.  
insurance coverage for cancer “That’s something that’s
in the event the disease is difficult to prove. The good
developed while on the job. thing is [in HB 146] firefighters
House Bill 146, which are not required to prove they

52 weeks for just
was signed into law by Gov. got cancer from work. The
Nathan Deal after he vetoed diagnosis of cancer is enough
a similar bill, will require for a payout,” Larry Jacobs,
organized fire departments DeKalb County assistant
to offer insurance coverage to director for risk management
pay claims for cancer. services, said.
The law, which goes into ACCG will be the coverage
effect Jan. 1, 2018, will require provider. To be eligible for
fire departments to provide coverage, a firefighter or
a lump sum payment to any firefighter volunteer must
firefighter diagnosed with work for a legally organized
certain types of cancers and fire department and serve 12
up to three years of disability consecutive months with the *New subscribers only.
payments to firefighters who department.
cannot work due to illness. According to the bill, the
DeKalb County officials most serious stages of cancer
discussed the new law during would trigger a payment of
an Employee Relations and $25,000 to the firefighter.
Public Safety Committee Less serious stages of cancer,
meeting Dec. 7. which still require significant
DeKalb officials said the treatment, would trigger a
coverage will differ from payment of $6,250 to the
workers compensation firefighter. The lifetime benefit
insurance because firefighters per firefighter would be
will not be required to prove $50,000 and a maximum limit
the cancer is work related. In of $25,000 for each diagnosis.
May, Deal vetoed a House Bill “The bill describes what
216, which would have given is considered severe forms
the approximately 35,000 of of cancer and what’s less
the state’s firefighters help severe. Let’s say you have less
with workers’ compensation severe form of skin cancer, the
benefits. payout is $6,250, but if you
have throat cancer it could
Under House Bill 216,


Christmas in the Grove got additional decorations with the snow storm. Photo by Tony Paradowski

Sleet covers the grass and flowers in Decatur. Photos by Carla Parker

Jasmine and Emmarie Wadley pose next to the Snowman they
helped their dad make on Dec. 9. Photos by Kemesha Wadley Snow accumulated first on side streets such as New Street in Decatur.
Snow blankets the trees along Katie Kerr Dr. in Decatur. Photos by Travis Hudgons

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

County receives legal decision PLEASED WITH
on Confederate monument MONUMENT
Several grassroots groups have
DeKalb County officials can expressed their support of the legal
move forward with removing decision given on the removal of
a Confederate monument a Confederate monument from
from downtown Decatur—if downtown Decatur.
they choose to do so. DeKalb County officials received
After months of research, a legal opinion from county attorney
DeKalb officials received a O.V. Brantley, who said the county
legal opinion from county owns the monument and the land
attorney O.V. Brantley on the monument is located on. It is
whether the Confederate now up to county officials to decide
monument could be moved whether to move the monument.
from its current location “State law authorizes the county
near the historic county to relocate the monument to
courthouse. another site where it would remain
According to Brantley, the visibly displayed or contextualize
county owns the monument the monument with explanatory
and the land the monument is signage that puts the monument in
located on. historical context,” Brantley said.
“State law authorizes Leaders and members of Hate
the county to relocate the Free Decatur and the Beacon Hill
monument to another site NAACP, along with other coalition
where it would remain visibly partners, said they were pleased
displayed or contextualize that Brantley agreed with the legal
the monument with opinions that they have been
explanatory signage that puts hearing from private attorneys.
the monument in historical “It has been our desire that the
context,” Brantley said. Decatur monument be moved to a
A violent protest that place where it can be interpreted
left a woman dead in in its historical context, be that a
Charlottesville, Va. in August museum, a cemetery or another
sparked calls to remove public place,” Sara Patenaude of
Confederate monuments Hate Free Decatur said. “We do
across the nation. not seek to erase history. In fact,
On Oct. 10, Mereda that is what United Daughters of
Davis Johnson introduced the Confederacy sought to do by
a resolution to remove the erecting this Lost Cause monument,
statue. but to correct the historical record
“[The county] is not in regard to the Civil War while
required to take any action simultaneously righting a horrible
regarding the monument injustice perpetrated against Black
under state law and the status residents of DeKalb County.”
quo could be maintained Patenaude said the county needs
by leaving the monument
Photo by Travis Hudgons to act through another resolution to
in its current condition and move the monument.
location,” said Brantley. Confederate monument,” Davis said. preventing the visible display.” “We are confident that a suitable
Local civil rights advocacy “The monument romanticizes a period “Transfer of the monument to a location will be found, and that the
groups praised the legal in our history of White supremacy. Now third party in order for it to remove commissioners will pass a resolution
ruling, stating it was a step that the legal department has issued or conceal the monument, while not to relocate the monument away
in the right direction for the its decision, we ask that you move explicitly prohibited under the plain from Decatur square,” she said.
county. forward in removing this monument.” language of the law, would pose a risk “We are reaching out to possible
Mawuli Davis, president Brantley said removing the statue of being found violative of the statute locations, as are the county
of the Beacon Hill Chapter and concealing or hiding it from because it would seem to be an effort commissioners. We also recognize
of the NAACP, said DeKalb public view could cause legal action to circumvent the spirit and intent of that even if the monument is gone
should act immediately to against the county. According to the state legislation,” Brantley said. the systems of White supremacy still
remove the monument. state law OCCG 50-3-1 (b) (1), it is Local advocacy group Hate Free remain, and will continue our work
“One of the issues that unlawful to “mutilate, deface, defile, Decatur stated they would like with coalition partners to bring
we think should be clear is or abuse contemptuously” or for local commissioners to make a decision on about fair treatment to all residents
that you now have the power governments to “remove or conceal the monument’s fate before 2018. in DeKalb County and throughout
and we hope you remove the from display…for the purpose of Georgia.”

Subscribe to The Champion Newspaper 404.373.7779 •

Decatur family entertains Christmas enthusiasts
with synchronized lights/music
by Carla Parker he said. “Obviously, they didn’t have the “It’s a pretty big task but not as big as technology that we have now, but it was just some, and obviously bigger than most,” he

a beautiful home and gorgeous to look at. I said.
ince 2010, the Paradowskis’ home remember [thinking] back then that I wanted They have nearly 150,000 lights and
has been a go-to spot during the to do that someday.” about 350 decorations in the display.
Christmas season to see Christmas Forty years later, Paradowski said he Paradowski said their electric bill for
lights and decorations. saw YouTube videos of people with light December is nearly $350 every year due the
Known as “Christmas in the Grove,” displays synchronized to music. After further LED lights they use.
Tony and Katie Paradowski turned their research, he found the company that makes “Our first year we had the fewest number
home into a holiday attraction for five the equipment whichmost people use to of lights, about 15,000 back then, and that
weeks with its animated light show that is synchronize lights with music. was the most expensive year because we
choreographed to popular Christmas songs. “They make these computerized were using incandescent lights,” he said.
From Thanksgiving night to New Year’s day, controllers where one control box lets you “Each year, we’ve bought thousands and
thousands of people visit the home at 1428 plug in 16 things into it, and with the software thousands of LEDs, but we’ve slowly but
Oak Grove Drive in Decatur each year to they provide you’re able to make those 16 surely got rid of the incandescent lights.”
see the magical display. things turn on and off however you want to,” Their display gained national attention
Although 2010 was the first year the he said. “I bought the one controller—we after they were featured on “The Great
Paradowskis put on an animated display for didn’t use music the first year—I just wanted Christmas Light Fight” on ABC in 2013. The
Christmas, Tony said he has always put up a to see if I liked it and what the reception was Paradowskis won the $50,000 prize, beating
lot of Christmas lights. from the neighborhood. All of it went well, I out three other contestants. They collect
“I’ve [put up lights] all of my adult life— enjoyed doing it, the neighbors loved it and donations from visitors and give the money
anywhere I’ve ever lived I’ve always been that’s when I was bitten by the bug.” to their favorite charity, the ALS Association
able to put up some sort of Christmas lights, Since then, Paradowski said the display of Georgia.
but not to the extent that we do now,” he has gotten bigger and better. They even Paradowski said they are changing it
said. include Santa Claus, who will be at the up this year with the donations—giving the
Paradowski, who grew up in Niagara house Dec. 16. money to two people who have ALS, his
Falls, N.Y., said it was a neighbor from his The Paradowskis begin putting up lights step-daughters’ father and a family friend,
hometown who inspired him to fully decorate and decorations Nov. 1 and turn on the to help them with their needs. He said if the
his home. display Thanksgiving night. Paradowski said public can’t make it out to see the display,
“When I was a little kid there was a on occasion friends and family help them put they can still donate to the ALS Association
house on our street that looked spectacular,” up lights. of Georgia.


Sailor provides medical services BRIEFS
to Puerto Ricans after hurricane Brookhaven approves agreement
with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
When Hurricane Maria
devested Puerto Rico in The Brookhaven Development Authority approved a
September, people from Community Investment Agreement (CIA) with Children’s
around the world did what Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) that city officials are calling
they could to provide aid to historic.
the people of Puerto Rico. The agreement totals $45.1 million in proceeds.
One of those people was City officials said the city council will consider a
Lithonia native Petty Officer mutual intergovernmental agreement Dec. 12 with the
1st Class Tivey D. Mathews. development authority, which will activate to the CIA if
Mathews, who has served for approved.
16 years as a Navy hospital “This agreement represents a significant investment
corpsman, spent six weeks by Children’s in infrastructure – roads, sidewalks and
in Puerto Rico to provide sewers – that serves as a model for future developments
relief to those affected by of this magnitude,” Brookhaven City Manager Christian
Hurricane Maria. Sigman said. “Children’s could have chosen to build
Mathews and more than anywhere, but they chose Brookhaven and DeKalb
800 Navy medical personnel County, and their investment underscores their degree
and support staff arrived of commitment to our community for the long term.”
in Puerto Rico aboard the CHOA’s investment in the CIA includes $4.2 million
USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) for I-85 underpass improvements and bike/pedestrian
Oct. 2. Mathews said he was connection from underpass to Peachtree Creek
saddened by the condition of Greenway, $6 million for sewer line upgrades supporting
the area when he arrived. redevelopment in the Buford Highway corridor and
“There was a good deal of $300,000 for I-85/North Druid Hills Interchange
work that needed to be done, modification report and area beautification.
but I’m happy that I was able “The bottom line is that this investment kick-starts a
to be part of it,” he said. Lithonia native Petty Officer 1st Class Tivey D. Mathews spent six weeks lot of projects that we all want to accomplish but are not
Mathews said he in Puerto Rico to provide relief to those affected by Hurricane Maria. Photo able to with current resources without a tax increase,”
worked mostly on patient provided Sigman said.
administration during the six
weeks. onboard a Navy aircraft for me to help people in
“I supervised the check- carrier in the Hampton Roads need.”
in and tracking of admitted area and at medical facilities He currently works at Lithonia city manager receives municipal
patients—patients from
FEMA, local hospitals and
in the national capital area.
While aboard the Comfort,
the Bureau of Medicine and
Surgery (BUMED) in Virginia
revenue administration certificate
other organizations—making he serves as the surgical where he assists in making
certain they received all services program manager policies that govern Navy BY CARLA PARKER
relevant medical documents for the surgical technician Medicine’s surgical services.
and made it to the point community and instrument “In January, I will be
of care with the medical sterilization processes. transferring to the Walter
providers,” he said. “My During his career he has Reed National Military Lithonia City Manager Cheryl Foster received a
department helped as many received a Navy Achievement Medical Center in Maryland," municipal revenue administration certificate from Georgia
as we could on a daily basis.” Medals with Combat "V," three he said. Municipal Association (GMA).
A 1997 Lithonia High Navy Achievement Medals Mathews said his goal is GMA’s Municipal Revenue Administration Certificate
School graduate, Mathews and a Combat Action Ribbon. to earn a degree in health program helps strengthen the understanding of city
said he joined the Navy to Mathews said it wasn’t his care management to pursue managers, city clerks, finance officers, customer service
help people. goal to work in the medical a new career after his military staff, elected officials and other city employees on different
“[I wanted to] learn a field in the Navy, but that has service. municipal revenue sources and appropriate laws of the
useful job skill and better been his focus since enlisting. “I’m interested in administration and collection process. To receive the
myself,” he said. “I saw the “It was an opportunity healthcare management certificate, applicants must complete all six program
Navy as an opportunity to go to better myself,” he said. and accessibility,” he said. “I courses: Ad Valorem Tax 101, Delinquent Tax Collection,
further in life.” “As a kid, I wanted to be a really enjoyed working on the Governmental Fund Revenue Sources 101, Occupation Tax
Mathews became a Navy doctor and help people. This Comfort and it changed my and Regulatory Fees, Alcohol Excise Tax and License Fees
hospital corpsman (medic) deployment to Puerto Rico perspective on time and life. and Customer Service and Best Practices.
and has served in Iraq with really allowed me to be hands You really can’t take anything “As stated when I first started, the city of Lithonia is
the Marine Corps, Rota Spain, on and it was a great honor for granted.” trying to make strides forward to being more efficient to
improve city services,” Foster said.
“We are proud to have members like Cheryl, who
commit to strengthening their understanding in a wide-
range of general fund revenue sources and professionalism
in customer service,” GMA Interim Executive Director Bill
Thornton said.
Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non profit
organization that provides legislative advocacy,
educational, employee benefit and consulting services to
its 521-member cities.


A tasting featuring Caribbean seasonings was one of the special events held at Duckanoo Grill in December.

Owner Dave Vaz said he wanted to make Duckanoo Grill “a bit above” what was typical for the area. Jamaica native Dave Vaz said he wanted to bring flavors and atmosphere from his home country
as well as other Caribbean nations.

Duckanoo Grill brings taste of Caribbean to Stone Mountain
BY KATHY MITCHELL sauces and flavorings that contain are similarities in the flavors of foods specialties such as Bahama
“the essence of the Caribbean from the various islands, but each mamas—a punch-like rum drink—
through unique fusions and authentic has unique elements in its cuisine. I and Bob Marleys—a colorful frozen
flavors of the West Indies,” held a wanted to bring all of that together,” drink named for a famous Jamaican
When a trip to the Caribbean is tasting at which customers were he said. reggae musician. “The food is the
too expensive or time-consuming, offered samples of dishes made with The name derives from a main thing, however,” he noted. “In
area residents can still have an island their products. Vaz said the event was dessert that originated in Africa the late evening we get primarily 21
experience without leaving DeKalb an example of businesses—especially and is popular in many variations and older, but lots of families come in
County. Duckanoo Grill, which those rooted in the Caribbean throughout the Caribbean. earlier for dinner.”
opened earlier this year in Stone community—supporting one “Duckanoo is known by other names While Vaz said the food is what
Mountain, features the flavors and another. “One hand washes the other,” such as duckunoo and dokonon,” he sets Duckanoo apart from other
atmosphere of such countries as he observed. said of the sweet dish typically made establishments, the extensive bar area
Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada and Haiti. Other ongoing special events with batata, cornmeal, coconut, spices with numerous big screen televisions
Owner and general manager include such regular promotions as and brown sugar, tied up in a banana suggests a sports bar. “People can
Dave Vaz, a native of Jamaica, Thursday evening karaoke, Takeover leaf and cooked in boiling water. come here and watch sports events.
said Duckanoo Grill is his second Tuesdays and Fashionably Late Along with such island specialties In addition to popular American
restaurant venture in the area. “I have Friday, a fashion mixer. “Many of our as callaloo, jerk chicken and fried sports such as football and basketball,
a Jamaican restaurant near here and customers are from the islands or plantains, the menu offers quesadillas they can see international sports such
I had my eye on this spot for a long come from island families. It’s a good and pasta dishes, he said, adding that as soccer and cricket—especially
time,” he said of the Memorial Drive place for people from various island those foods along with standard bar when there are big games,” he noted.
location. “It’s a busy area—lots of traditions to mix and mingle, but it’s fare such as loaded potato skins and Vaz said he set out to create
traffic—I felt this would be a good also popular with people who have chicken wings are available with a a restaurant that would be “a bit
place for a restaurant.” no island roots, but enjoy the food Caribbean flair. “There are many foods above” what was typical in the
Duckanoo Grill opened in March and atmosphere. Our customers familiar to Americans but given a neighborhood. “I didn’t think that a
and Vaz said it took a few weeks for represent a broad cross section of the Caribbean twist. That’s what we do at high-end restaurant would do well
people to discover the eatery but now community,” Vaz said. home. At Duckanoo Grill, Caribbean in the area, but I did want to create
business is quite brisk. An extensive Vaz chose to make Duckanoo flavors are there, but we tone them something a notch above what was
schedule of special events has helped Grill a Caribbean fusion restaurant down a little to suit the American already on that stretch of Memorial
bring attention to the establishment. rather than purely Jamaican to bring palate,” Vaz said. Drive,” he said.
On Dec. 1, for example, Flavour De in other tropical traditions. “There He said the bar serves island
La Baye a company that sells spices,

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Marist junior Kathleen Maley, third left, was named to the to the 2017 All-Metro Cross Country 1st Team. Photo by Paul McPherson.

Cross country runners honored by Atlanta Track Club
Maley will receive a $500 to All-Metro teams, including three to the All-Metro Team all four years of
BY CARLA PARKER scholarship from the Atlanta Track others from Marist. Senior Josie Wirtz their high school careers. Club Foundation. She was the was named to the All-Metro Girls’ 2nd DeKalb runners named to the
runner-up at the Class AAAA state Team, and seniors William O’Rielly 3rd team were Decatur sophomore
Marist junior Kathleen Maley was championship meet and recorded a and Knox Pittman were named to the Haley Rose, Paideia seniors Griffin
named to the 2017 All-Metro Cross season-best time of 18:32. All-Metro Boys’ 2nd Team. McCauley and Sophia West and
Country 1st Team at Atlanta Track Along with Maley, eight other Wirtz was recognized as one of St. Pius X senior Jordan Perez and
Club banquet Dec. 5. runners from DeKalb were named two graduating runners to be named sophomore Morgan Vaden.


Marist to host Class 4A championship game
BY CARLA PARKER Spalding Stadium. Game inclement weather. just too much of a concern,” This will be the second time is set for 7:30 p.m. The “There were hopes on GHSA said in a press release. time in school history that
championship was originally Friday [Dec. 8] that at least “We regret very much not the War Eagles will host
The Marist War Eagles scheduled to be played Dec. 9 two of the four scheduled being able to play our full the championship game.
will have an opportunity to at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Saturday [Dec. 9] games schedule of championship Marist host the Class AAAA
win the Class AAAA state Atlanta. However, the game, might be played, but melting games at Mercedes-Benz championship in in 2003
championship on its home and five other championship snow around the stadium and Stadium, but GHSA’s priority when they won title after a
field. games, were postponed by then the expected refreeze is the safety of teams and 21-6 win over Statesboro.
Marist will host Blessed the Georgia High School later in the day when fans fans traveling to and from the Marist is seeking its third
Trinity Dec. 15 at Hughes Association (GHSA) due to would be driving home were game.” state title in program history.

Eight county schools
recognized for academic County school district responds
Eight more DeKalb County School
to possible Emory annexation
District (DCSD) schools have been removed Stephen Green, clear. The expansion is irrelevant
from the Federal Focus and Priority lists for superintendent of DeKalb and unnecessary: it was not
underperforming Title I schools following County School District (DCSD), included in the original plan and
increases in student achievement. Since in a released response to the was shoehorned in at the 11th
2016, a total of 13 DCSD schools have been proposed Emory annexation hour. The expansion is about
removed from the Focus and Priority lists, said, “The DeKalb County money: the change in boundaries
according to district officials. School District will always and impacts just 10 students yet will
The following DCSD schools are no longer empathically stand against strip $2.5 million in vital resources
considered Focus or Priority schools: Barack H. the placement of political from DCSD,” Green said.
Obama Elementary, Canby Lane Elementary, considerations over the welfare Green concluded the response
Clarkston High, Columbia High, Cross Keys and education of children. The with “The DeKalb County School
High, Freedom Middle, Mary McLeod Bethune decision to include the unchecked District soundly rejects this
and Smoke Rise Elementary.  expansion of the Atlanta Public overreach and its implications
“Year after year, more of our schools Schools’ (APS) boundaries as part for the future. We recognize that
are raising their achievement and meeting of the proposed annexation of the desires of the Druid Hills
their potential. The progress is clear, and the Emory University by the city of community have been ignored.
evidence is emphatic with this latest round of Atlanta is a clear example of such We face the reality that precious
results,” said Superintendent/CEO R. Stephen an action.” resources will be forcibly taken
Green. Green said families in the Druid from our students. And, most
Focus schools are those that rank in the Hills area want to maintain “the importantly, we are dismayed that
lowest 10 percent of schools statewide based Green
100-year alignment with DCSD.” the promise not to change school
on a three-year average of Achievement Gap Green also said the inclusion neighbors and chip away at a less district boundaries as part of the
scores. Priority schools rank in the lowest of the APS boundaries in the affluent school district’s ability to Emory annexation was broken.”
5 percent statewide based on a three-year proposed annexation could allow serve its children.
average of Content Mastery scores and have one of Georgia’s most affluent "The facts in this unfettered
a graduation rate of less than 60 percent for school systems to “prey upon their overreach and deal-making are
two consecutive years.

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