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the DeKalb FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2018 • VOL.

23, NO 8 • 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

Second Life raises $1 million for homeless pets

BY CARLA PARKER million, which will serve as grant money for animal rescue charities.
“It’s just a milestone,” Tanya said.

housands of cats and dogs “A million dollars is unbelievable.”
across Georgia will be saved Before opening Second Life,
thanks to Tanya Mahrous Tanya was working in the corporate
Tobias and Toby Tobias. world when she decided to leave to
The Tobiases own Second Life follow her passion.
Atlanta in Avondale Estates, a thrift “I wanted to do something to
store that they have run since help animals,” she said. “But I didn’t
January 2011. Second Life Atlanta quite know what that was.”
is more than just a thrift store. The It was their dog Lucky, a
money generated through the Dalmatian and rescue dog that she
store, as well as donations received and her husband adopted, as well
from the community, is donated to as a thrift store in Tanya’s hometown
animal rescue charities across the of Lincoln, Neb., that inspired her
state. to open her own store and use the
The store recently raised $1 funds to help homeless animals and
Toby Tobias and Tanya Mahrous Tobias opened Second Life Atlanta in 2011. Photos by
SEE PETS ON PAGE 5 Carla Parker

Fourth positive rabies case reported in DeKalb

racoon runs into the woods. Well we
BY CARLA PARKER can’t find the racoon, or the body of the raccoon was not able to be tested
for whatever reason,” she said.
Another raccoon has tested In 2016, there were 14 inconclu-
positive for rabies in DeKalb County, sive cases, but none positive. In 2015,
county officials announced March 21. there were two bats and one raccoon
The raccoon was captured in the that tested positive. In 2014, there
1600 block of Drayton Woods Drive were four bats and two raccoons that
March 19 and later tested positive for tested positive. In 2013, there were
rabies. Raccoons that tested positive two bats and six racoons; in 2012,
for rabies were also captured March there were two foxes and five rac-
3 in the 3900 block of Garfield Drive coons that tested positive.
and Feb. 23 in the 3200 block of Cov- “The most prominent species for
ington Highway. rabies in our community…are bats,
“Raccoons are the most promi- raccoons, foxes, and then bobcats
nent infector, meaning it is the most and skunks are also in there, but
prominent animal that we see that is we don’t see very many bobcats or
rabid,” said Xan Rawls, director of en- skunks.”
forcement at DeKalb County Animal Rawls said squirrels, rabbits and
Control. possums rarely carry the rabies virus.
Rabies is a disease that affects “The body temperature of a pos-
the brain and usually passed from sum is so low that the rabies virus
animal to animal, but can be passed does not live in the body,” she said.
from animals to humans. The virus is To avoid wildlife approaching a
spread through saliva, usually from a residence, Rawls said homeowners
bite of an animal that has the disease. should bring pet food indoors, secure
Rawls said a raccoon acting oddly garbage, not feed wildlife and keep
A fourth raccoon captured in DeKalb County tested positive for rabies
more than likely has rabies. the yard cut.”
“If they’re just running across the “We’re coming up on spring and
street and they’re not abnormally people will put out bird feeders and
gated—they’re not stumbling, falling nistic feeders and they’re omnivores, comes out at 11 o’clock is rabid.” they’ll drop bird seeds, which at-
over or turning in circles—you’re go- so they pretty much eat anything In 2017, there were nine cases of tracts squirrels and chipmunks, which
ing to recognize odd behavior, even and if they’re hungry they’ll come rabies—one bat, three raccoons and attracts the snakes that wants to eat
though you haven’t defined it in your out during the day. Most of the time five inconclusive, or not tested, cases. chipmunks,” she said.
head,” she said. “Raccoons will come you’re going to see them at dusk, “[Inconclusive] might be a dog
out during the day. They’re opportu- but that doesn’t mean that one that that tangles with a raccoon and the

Visit for local, real DeKalb County news.


Outstanding citizens honored by nonprofit

Unconditional Love for many annual mission trips
Children, Inc. (ULC) on March and endeared himself to
15 recognized outstanding many of the students.” Sparks
volunteers and supporters of after a military career with
the nonprofit during the first his wife Dannetta founded
10 years of its existence. Sparks Christian Academy
A reception was held to 33 years ago in Decatur. A
honor the late Honorable memorial Resolution was read
Ollisteen (Steen) Miles, the and presented to Sparks’ wife.
late Dr. Frank Glover Sr., the The Boyds have been
late DeMond Sparks, and enthusiastic supporters and
Bennie and Barbara Boyd. volunteers with ULC for many
The reception was held at years, according to Glenn.
the Glenn Youth Center in “Committed to making
Decatur. a difference, the Boyds
ULC cofounder Carolyn generously sponsored their
J. Glenn said, “All esteemed daughter Kimberli, a dance
honorees were passionate instructor, who traveled to
volunteers and or supporters Jamaica and taught dance
of ULC.” Proclamations were classes in the summer
presented by ULC founders enrichment program," Glenn
Dr. Earl and Carolyn Glenn said. Bennie Boyd served in
highlighting the honorees’ the United States Military,
service to ULC and its mission Department of the Interior for
to empower children in 20 years, earned a Vietnam
Jamaica and DeKalb County Bronze Star and retired
through education, health, as a major. Barbara Boyd,
personal development and From left, Dr. Thelma Mumford-Glover, Bennie Boyd, Barbara Boyd, Dr. Danetta B. Sparks; back row –L-R: Kellea Lovejoy, a nurse practitioner and
athletic programs. Kellie Walker, Heather Bailey, Dr. Earl Glenn and Carolyn Glenn. diabetes educator, directed
According to Carolyn the Diabetes Department
Glenn, Miles’ contributions to $1,000. A memorial resolution Love for Children who of $1,000. A memorial at Grady Hospital until
ULC “made a huge difference was read and presented gave generously. He resolution was presented to retirement. The Boyds
as a volunteer and PR to Miles’ daughters Kellie demonstrated a passionate Glover’s spouse, Dr. Thelma were also honored with a
consultant.” ULC announced Walker and Heather Bailey. commitment to service.” ULC Mumford-Glover. resolution of appreciation.
its sponsorship of the annual Glover was recognized announced an annual Frank According to Glenn, Sparks For more information on
Steen Miles Journalism by Glenn as “a devout Glover Community Service was a “committed volunteer ULC, visit
Scholarship in the amount of supporter of Unconditional Scholarship in the amount who traveled with ULC on

Advisory board questions water billing officials

BY HORACE HOLLOMAN as ours,” said board member Sandy Johnson. “Would it not make sense for
us to set our own standard based on our
Ann Brown and other members of experiences in DeKalb County? If my
the Watershed Customer Service and bill is twice as high [than the previous
Billing Advisory Board expressed their month] I’d like for somebody to say
concerns at a March 22 meeting with something.”
watershed officials. Advisory board An audit of the county’s water billings
members shared their personal billing performed by KPMG stated that lowering
issues regarding the county’s policy of the automatic review policy resulted
automatically reviewing bills with a 300 in staff turnover and more bills being
percent or more increase. flagged. “High numbers of exceptions
During the meeting, Brown, a resident result in increased workloads for billing
of DeKalb County for 40 years, said the specialists and delayed resolution times
county recently resolved a billing issue for customers,” the audit stated.
on her account that dated back to 2016 According to the audit, from 2011
that was 200 percent higher than her to 2017 the county averaged eight to
normal billing amount. 12 billing specialists but had a turnover
“I wanted a full investigation of why of 10 to 40 percent. “The county lost
my bill escalated like that...if there’s any important institutional knowledge
increase a customer should have a right because the organization lacked
to say I’m disputing it [regardless of the formal knowledge transfer policies and
percent],” Brown said. procedures for transitioning employees,”
Members of the board felt the the audit states.
automatic flag of 300 percent should be Board members and watershed
lowered. The county’s 300-percent billing department officials agreed to meet
flag policy, which automatically reviews and discuss water billing policies in an
bills that are 300 percent or higher than April 12 meeting. An official with the
average, was lowered from a previous watershed department said customers
threshold of 500 percent. can dispute their bill at any time,
“Three-hundred percent is a regardless of the amount.
ridiculous number for a system as broken

AVONDALE ESTATES CHAMBLEE refreshments and opportunities for one-on-
one conversations with the candidates. The
library is located at 3123 Klondike Road.
Easter egg hunt and dog parade announced Self-massage techniques to be taught
Avondale Estates will host its annual
Hiring mixer scheduled
Cindy Stark Reid, licensed massage
Easter egg hunt and dog parade on March therapist and professional counselor, will The Arabia Mountain Heritage Area
31 from 10 a.m. to noon at Willis Park. teach self-massage techniques at Chamblee Alliance will host a hiring mixer April 5 at the
Children up to 10 years old are welcome Library April 7 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Nature Center parking lot from 8 to 9 a.m.
to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt. class is limited to 25 students. To register, The event will allow people to network and
The dog parade will take place at 10:30 call (404) 508-7190, ext. 2257 or email get in a workout. Bring business cards and
a.m. This event is free and costumes are not walking shoes. The parking lot is located at
required to participate. Award categories 3787 Klondike Road. To register, visit www.
include best behaved, best costume,
best owner/dog duo, and most spirited/ DORAVILLE
Check in/register onsite from 9:30-10:15
a.m. The first 50 registered participants
Class on natural cleansers, health and
beauty products offered
to check in will receive a free bag of Livsey Elementary to hold Color Run
goodies. For more information, visit www. Doraville Library will be offering a “Naturally Homemade” class April 26 at 2 Livsey Elementary School PTO will host its
p.m. In the class, students will be taught to “My School Color Run” April 14 from 7:30 a.m.
BROOKHAVEN make eco-friendly products using household
ingredients. Participants will make natural
to noon at the school.
Participants can run, walk or jog while
cleansers and health and beauty products. helping the school raise awareness for health
Annual Easter egg hunt to be held at All supplies will be furnished. For more and wellness.
Blackburn Park information, contact the Doraville Library at Throughout the course, participants will
(770) 936-3852. experience color splash zones where they will
Brookhaven Parks and Recreation will
be doused in color. There will also be a final
hold the fourth annual Easter egg hunt
March 31 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Blackburn STONECREST color toss celebration, a post run celebration
featuring vendors and a bounce house.
Park at 3493 Ashford Dunwoody Road. Light
The race begins at 8:15 a.m. Registration
breakfast will be provided, and the egg hunt Meet the candidates event set is open until March 30 and includes a race
will begin at 10 a.m. Egg hunters will be split
bib, color packet, and a t-shirt. To register,
into three age groups: ages 3 and younger; The DeKalb Section of the National
ages 4 to 6; and ages 7 and older. Each Council of Negro Women will host a “Meet
group will have a separate hunting area. The the Candidates” event April 2 at Stonecrest
Tucker–GA. The school is located at 4137
event is free. For more information, contact Library from 6 to 7:30 p.m. All DeKalb
Livsey Road.
Brookhaven Parks and Recreation Director County and state candidates have been
Brian Borden at (404) 637-0542. invited to the event. There will be light



DeKalb hires public

works director

The DeKalb County Public

Works Department has a
new man at the helm, the
county announced March
Richard Lemke was
named as the director
of public works and will
manage the department’s
1,600 employees and $460
million budget.
Lemke has previously
worked in Green River,
Wy. and most recently as a
director of public works in
Maitland, Fl.
According to county officials, Lemke will oversee the
Department of Watershed Management, and the divisions
of fleet maintenance, roads and drainage, transportation
and sanitation.
Scott Towler, the former Director of Watershed
Management resigned March 5, accusing DeKalb County
CEO Michael Thurmond and DeKalb deputy COO of DeKalb County officials released a statement saying all 194,000 water and sewer customers have returned to a normal
infrastructure William Rhinehart of “ongoing retaliatory billing cycle. Photos by Horace Holloman
Thurmond issued a statement regarding Towler’s
resignation, stating that his allegations have no merit.  
Lemke’s first day in his position with the county was County officials:
Billing cycle back to ‘normal’
March 26.

DeKalb County’s water billing issues have
been described by residents as unlawful,
irresponsible and a crisis, but officials with the
county say the billing cycle has returned to
March 20, the county released a statement
saying that all 194,000 customers had been
returned to a normal billing cycle. For months,
the county held bills for some water and
sewer customers in an effort to validate the
bills’ accuracy. DeKalb County CEO Michael
Thurmond said approximately 1,300 bills will
be released the week of March 19.
According to county officials, 253 of the
37,000 previously held bills are still in the
dispute process.
“Resolving the problems associated
with the water billing crisis is a major step
toward restoring public trust and rebuilding
confidence in our billing process,” said
Thurmond. “Less than 1 percent of customers
who had bills held remain in dispute with the readings, meters malfunctioning, understaffed
county. That is significant progress.” customer service reps and field technicians
The 37,000 bills were held in December being unable to verify the accuracy of meters.
of 2016 when Thurmond addressed According to county officials, DeKalb
longstanding issues with the water billing increased the watershed department’s call
process. center staffing and reduced the average
During a public meeting titled the “New customer service wait times by more than four
Day Project,” Thurmond outlined water billing minutes.
issues such as inaccurate billing and meter

Tanya Mahrous Tobias quit her corporate job to help homeless animals. Second Life Atlanta has raised more than $1 million for animal rescue charities.

PETS Continued From Page 1

animal rescue charities. mark,” Tanya said. “We knew last year that we “We cannot begin to say thank you for
“It wasn’t like a lifelong dream or anything, were really close, so it’s been about a year in the all that you do for the animals in our state,”
but once we adopted our first Dalmatian and making.” SpayGeorgia Executive Director Jean Ebert said
got started in animal rescue, and realized They have given grants to nearly 70 different in a letter to Second Life. “Your organization is
how much help the rescues needed, saw that animal rescue charities, including LifeLine so selfless and giving. We cannot tell you how
[the Nebraska] store had already created this Animal Project. much your quarterly grants have helped us
concept and made it successful, I decided— “There are so many great groups out there, help so many animals.”
sink or swim—we’re going to jump in and try to hundreds of groups that are doing amazing Their grants have also saved the lives of pets
make a difference for animals,” she said. work trying to save lives,” she said. “We’re also who needed surgery or other medical care
Toby said the original plan for the store was big proponents of spaying and neutering that their owners or pet rescues organizations
to be a boutique—high-end women’s clothing, because we can’t adopt ourselves out of this. couldn’t afford.
shoes and more. So, we give quite a few grants to organizations “It’s just really heartwarming,” Tanya said.
Toby said they wanted to do more than that help families that can’t afford to spay or “Writing the grant checks, getting the happy
just focus on rescuing homeless pets, so they neuter.” tail stories, that’s what this is all about. I wanted
turned their focus to raising funds for animal Through their grant, they have spayed and to open a store, but I didn’t just want it to be
rescue charities, which led to the pledge to neutered 5,000 to 6,000 pets. SpayGeorgia is a thrift store. We wanted it to be community-
raise $1 million. one of the groups that have benefited from focused, we wanted to educate about fostering
“We grew faster than we expected and once the grants. The organization uses grant funds and adopting.”
we reached the half-million mark a couple of to provide spay/neuter services at no cost to
years ago, we set our sights on the $1 million active or retired military pet owners.

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Proud of all of those who chose to walk out

I was not a part of the official As I approached the a stand, expressing their views
reporting team for The Champion school just past 10 a.m.—the and facilitating change locally as
Newspaper that covered the designated walkout time—it well as nationally. In adulthood,
National Walkout Day events was clear that they knew, they their challenges to the status quo
that occurred at local schools on Gale Horton Gay cared and they were adding will have greater power.
March 14. Derek Smith, Carla their voices to the millions For these teens, walking out
Parker and Horace Holloman of others who participated. maybe their critical first step in
did an excellent job of capturing Hundreds of students emerged realizing the power of individuals
the day’s events for print and the other finishing her MBA from Stephenson High School and groups and what can be
online editions. and establishing a career in and assembled on the front and accomplished if they aren’t
However, I couldn’t resist marketing. side of the school. Some carried complacent and unengaged.
inserting myself in the coverage So much is often made of signs, some held balloons. For 17 I hope that all our young
and going by one of my the deterioration of our schools minutes, these freshmen through people keep finding ways to
neighborhood schools to see to educate and prepare our seniors stood outside on a frigid express themselves on the
what, if anything, was going on. children for tomorrow and the morning when the temperature vast array of issues affecting
My son attended Stephenson self-centeredness and apathy hovered at 41 degrees. us all—gun violence, taxation,
High School in Stone Mountain of youth. I was curious whether For me it was inspiring. the environment, international
and my daughter went to my community’s children were In just a few years these affairs, discrimination,
Stephenson Middle and aware of this national issue young people will be able to development, education, poverty
Chamblee High schools. and to what extent they might do more than protest, they will etc. I sincerely hope that their
Both are now adults—one find it important to be part of be able to vote, run for public first step in being heard and
working in the virtual reality/ supporting the protests against office and take on a variety of demanding change isn’t their
artificial intelligence field, and gun violence. responsibilities involved in taking last.

One more class with professor Miller

“We can’t all be born rich and Democrat.”  It was in many ways a would do the better job, post-9/11,
handsome and lucky. And that’s ‘One Man’s breaking point for Miller with the of keeping America safe.
why we have a Democratic Party.
My family would still be isolated
Opinion’ DNC leadership, as the partisan These last few years were not
split in the Senate was 50/50, easy for Miller, nor his family. Sadly
and destitute if we had not had Bill Crane with Vice-President Dick Cheney, he passed March 23 after a long
F.D.R’s Democratic brand of a Republican, often acting as illness. But I am certain where he
government. I made it because presiding officer of the Senate to is now, he is at peace, at least until
Franklin Delano Roosevelt provide a tie-breaking vote. Miller he gets a chance to settle in, and
energized this nation. I made it the Georgia State Senate. When however remained a Democrat for then the Zell so many of us love will
because Harry Truman fought for Coverdell died due to a brain the rest of his life. have a few thoughts on improving
working families like mine. I made it hemorrhage on primary election  Yes, Miller was only one man, things, because even heaven
because John Kennedy’s rising tide day July 2000, Democratic Gov. the one man who had nominated can be better than it might be
lifted even our tiny boat. I made it Roy Barnes debated a chosen Bill Clinton, “The Comeback Kid,” today. Even God can use a bit more
because Lyndon Johnson showed successor to appoint. who later dethroned the elder hope.
America that people who were born  Barnes favored fellow Cobb President George H. W. Bush. It Give’em hell, Zell.
poor didn’t have to die poor. And I County Democrat, former was also Miller who introduced
made it because a man with whom I Congressman Buddy Darden, Clinton to his campaign manager, Bill Crane also serves as a political
served in the Georgia Senate, a man who lost his seat in 1994. South the colorful James Carville. And analyst and commentator for Channel
named Jimmy Carter, brought Dakota U.S. Senator Tom Daschle, then 22 years later, that same 2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/Talk
honesty and decency and integrity briefly Democratic Senate Miller would keynote the GOP 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a
to public service,” from 1992 Majority Leader, convinced Barnes convention, in part re-nominating columnist for The Champion, DeKalb
Democratic National Convention that the party needed to recoup George W. Bush for the second term Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane
speech by then Georgia Gov. Zell that Georgia Senate seat, and that which escaped his father. Thanks to is a DeKalb native and business owner,
Miller nominating Arkansas Gov. with Miller it would be easier to Miller’s efforts, one became Bush- living in Scottdale. You can reach
Bill Clinton as the Democratic raise the necessary funds and win, whacked, and the younger Bush him or comment on a column at bill.
nominee for President of the United rather than building statewide was soon after propelled to a
States. name identification and support second term, as Miller believed he
  for Darden. Barnes took Daschle’s
Zell Miller was many things— strong suggestion and appointed
author, Marine, governor, senator, Miller.
husband, father and more; but to Miller easily won the Special
many who knew him well, he was Election against former GOP
first and foremost a student and a Senator Mack Mattingly to
teacher of history.  fulfill the remaining four years of
The one-time college professor Coverdell’s term. Heading soon
from Young Harris, Georgia, made after to Washington, Miller found
history, and in many ways defined the partisan divide on Capitol Hill
the shifting sands of Georgia much deeper than he expected. 
politics in the modern era.  Miller, a lifelong Democrat, also
Miller left office with a vibrant felt that his party had drifted from
and well-established legacy, its moorings as the party of the
including the HOPE scholarship people. Miller began frequently
for thousands of young Georgians voting with Republicans in the
who otherwise would never Senate, and after the tragedy of
have attended college. Infants 9/11, he increasingly broke with
and toddlers whose minds his party on votes and concerns
were expanded by Miller’s of national security. The Georgian
gift of classical music, or later also began to develop a friendship
public-school pre-K, Georgia’s with Texan and President George
educational and collegiate history W. Bush. 
may now be measured in pre- and In 2003, Miller penned one
post-Zell Miller. of his many books–a best seller
Republican U.S. Senator Paul entitled, “A National Party No More:
Coverdell served with Miller in The Conscience of a Conservative

the DeKalb Publisher: Staff Reporters:
John Hewitt Carla Parker STATEMENT FROM THE
Horace Holloman PUBLISHER
Chief Financial Officer: Derek Smith We sincerely appreciate the
Dr. Earl D. Glenn discussion surrounding this and any
Let Us Know What You Think! Social Media Manager: issue of interest to DeKalb County.
THE DEKALB FREE PRESS encourages opinions from SEND LETTERS TO EDITOR, Production Manager: Donna Seay The Champion was founded in 1991
expressly to provide a forum for
The DeKalb Free Press, Kemesha Wadley discourse for all community residents
its readers. Please write to us and express your views. P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; 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
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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
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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.

Decatur musician Kitty Snyder sings to Lifeline Animal Project shelter animals in DeKalb County. photo by Kaitlyn Garrett


Local woman sings to cats, dogs at shelter
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN “My daughter usually does her Snyder said. to use her musical gift to help animals
own thing and my dogs and cats have Snyder said she plans to continue and children. heard me a million times,” Snyder
Decatur resident Kitty Snyder is said. “The [shelter animals] were so
used to playing in front of a crowd amazing. They were all just perfectly
of people, but recently the local quiet and some were sitting up and
musician opted to play in front of a watching me and some were looking
four-legged audience instead. around and they were all so peaceful.”
Snyder, who has released an Lifeline Animal Project
album and toured throughout her spokesperson Karen Hirsch said the
singing career, said she got a call from organization is grateful for Snyder Konz’s (ID# 37536819)
her friend Tracy Thompson, shelter performing at one of their DeKalb smile is one of a kind!
director at Lifeline Animal Project, shelters and spending time with the This happy boy has great
with an unusual request.   animals. She said animals listening to manners, loves being
music is a fantastic way to keep them brushed, and is eager to
Thompson watched a viral video learn new tricks - especially
of animal control officer Chad calm in a stressful environment.
“We think she’s one of our amazing if treats are involved! Konz
Olds singing to shelter animals is waiting for his special
in Henderson, N.C. Thompson supporters and we’re grateful for
someone at DeKalb Animal
then asked Snyder if she would be everything she does. We know that Services!
interested in doing something similar. the animals really enjoy being sung to If you would like to
“It was such an easy yes because and she makes eye contact with them expand your family by 4
I needed to practice anyway,” said and it just soothes them,” Hirsch said.   furry little feet; ask to meet
Snyder, laughing. “[The animals] are Snyder said she wants people to this great pup and have a
happy with anybody doing anything know you don’t have to sing to the loving friend forever. All
around them. People can just go animals to make them feel better, just adoptions include spay/
spend time with them. neuter, vaccinations and
spend time with them. We thought it microchip! If you would
would be a cool, unique idea.” “It’s tough for me when I’m on
stage, but it’s worth it because I love like more information about
Snyder, who had an upcoming Konz please call (404) 294-
performance at Eddie’s Attic in to sing. With the animals, it’s easier
2165 or email adoption@
Decatur, said practicing at home can because they know I’m connecting dekalbanimalservices.
be boring at times because her pets with them through my music and KONZ com All potential adopters
are so accustomed to her singing they appreciate any attention they will be screened to ensure
they sometimes ignore her. However, get. People always have that fear Konz goes to a good home.
the animals at Lifeline Animal Shelter of being judged but a dog or cat Hours: Mon-Fri; 11am-7pm /
were the perfect audience, she said. will listen to it passively or enjoy it,” Sat-Sun; 11am-6pm


Lithonia High School students read NFL and former University of Georgia football player Malcolm Mitchell’s book “The Magician’s Hat” to Stoneview Elementary students March 22. Photo
courtesy DeKalb County School District.

GLOBE Academy students visit the Georgia State Capitol March 20 as part of Stone Mountain Code Enforcement Officer Sanja Roseberry was honored during a city council
International Day. Photo courtesy DeKalb County School District. meeting for completing the first part of her compliance training. Photo from City of Stone
Mountain Downtown Development Authority’s Facebook page

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


Former employee files

complaint against county
waste and abuse in any state
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN operations. The allegations stem
from Slayton participating
Teresa Slayton, who in various “whistleblowing
previously worked for activities” from 2016 until July
DeKalb County as a senior 2017.
procurement agent, is suing According to court
her former employer, alleging documents, the issues
the county violated the state’s started in November 2016
Whistleblower Protection Act. when Slayton told Capital
Slayton was fired in Improvement Projects
August of last year. Her Manager Warrick Sams that
separation notice indicated the Department of Watershed
her termination was due to Management had a conflict of
performance issues. Slayton’s interest with contractor John
lawsuit against the county Jones. Slayton also disclosed
alleges she was fired because to Sams that a contractor,
she “uncovered and disclosed Tetra Tech, was overbilling the A former employee with the DeKalb County’s Department of Watershed Management and Procurement and
wrongdoing involving county on change orders. Contracting is accusing the department of bid rigging and pay-to-play activities.
contracts and her knowledge In January 2017,
of this wrongdoing Slayton told Sams and
contributed to her demotion, Chief Procurement Officer
the failure to promote her and Sams was fired March 6 County’s Department of interference in bid selections.
Talisa Clark that watershed
her termination.” and 11 days later Slayton was Watershed Management and In May 2017, Slayton filed
employees were providing
Slayton, who was stripped of her supervisory Procurement and Contracting, a complaint with the Equal
inside information to a bidder
employed by DeKalb County duties and team lead among other actions, of Employment Opportunity
on a capital improvement
from August 2016 to August responsibilities. collusion, bid rigging, bid Commission, alleging that
project worth an estimated
2017, alleges in the complaint According to the suit, steering, destruction of she suspected “illegal activity
$7.7 million to rig the bid
that the county violated her demotion was a direct department files, false relating to contracting in
for the project, the court
O.C.G.A. 45-1-4. The state’s result of her engaging in performance rating forms on DeKalb County,” according to
documents state.
whistleblower act protects whistleblower activity, which contractors, unsecure bid files the suit.
In February 2017, Slayton
public employees who is protected under state law and financial records, poor Slayton is suing for
contacted Sams and told him
disclose an alleged violation O.C.G.A. 45-1-4. contract management and attorney’s fees, back pay and
Clark “asked [her] to engage
or non-compliance with any Between April 6, 2017 and storage, pay-to-play activities, compensation damages to be
in unethical and untruthful
federal, state, local law, rule Aug. 9, 2017, Slayton met double billing labor costs, determined by a jury.
conduct,” according to the
or regulation regarding fraud, with the FBI, accused DeKalb inflated change orders and

WATER Continued From Page 4A Brookhaven receives additional funding

As of February 2018, the county had replace aging water meters and address the
from Atlanta Regional Commission
49 water billing call center staff members unpaid portions of formerly held bills.
compared with 37 in July of 2017. “There will be no surprises for DeKalb
County officials said “Phase II” of restoring water bill customers,” Thurmond said. “Prior
the public’s trust in the water billing system to any final decisions about unpaid portions
will focus on the system’s management and of previously held bills, I will present a plan
oversight. The county plans to complete the of action to a public meeting of the Board of
installation of an electronic billing system, Commissioners.” The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has voted to award
Brookhaven $400,000 in federal Transportation Improvement
Plan (TIP) funding, the city announced March 23. The funding
will be used in the planning work for the interchange at I-85
and North Druid Hills Road. 

According to Brookhaven officials, the Interchange
Modification Report would be the first step toward
determining best design to accommodate the current and
future traffic volume.
The ARC has awarded Brookhaven $3.66 million in total

funding so far this year.
Previously, the ARC voted to award Brookhaven $560,000
in TIP funding toward the Ashford Dunwoody and Windsor
Parkway intersection and complete street improvements to
Ashford Dunwoody Road between Oglethorpe Drive and

Windsor Parkway. The ARC also approved $2.7 million toward
Phase II of the Peachtree Creek Greenway.
“I want to thank the leadership and staff at the ARC for
having the wisdom to rework and rebuild this intersection
before the Children’s Healthcare and other significant
developments planned in this area are completed,” Brookhaven
Mayor John Ernst said. “The ARC’s commitment addresses
future traffic capacity in this area, and the future is bright for
other great opportunities.” 

Movie on Ponce
City shuts down
street for movie night
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN the location, Lee said.
“We thought let’s have it in the street. It sounded crazy at
Four nearly seven hours, first, but as we thought about
a main thoroughfare in it more we thought it could
downtown Decatur was work,” Lee said. “We did some
closed to vehicular traffic, but planning and got a task force
it wasn’t a traffic accident that together.”
caused the closure— it was a The first West Ponce
movie night. Movie Night was scheduled
On March 23, city officials for December of 2017 when
blocked West Ponce de Leon participants were set to watch
in Decatur for the city’s first White Christmas and Frosty’s
“West Ponce Movie Night.” Winter Wonderland. However,
The movie night turned Decatur had its own “white
the generally busy area of Christmas” when the city
downtown Decatur into an cancelled the event due to
open-air movie theater. snow and rain.
Attendees set up lawn Participants of the event
chairs to watch Wonder, said they enjoyed the movie
starring Julia Roberts and night idea.
Owen Wilson. Decatur “This is what I love about
officials said they picked the Decatur. There’s always
movie because of its anti- something going on,” said
bullying theme. resident David Fiebelkorn.
“This is just a reason to “It’s really fun that a
bring the community out community can do something
and enjoy a different part like this. It really gives you
of Decatur,” said Decatur that community spirit.”
Downtown Development Before the showing of the
Manager Catherine Lee. movie, city officials passed
Lee said the business out prizes, had a Decatur Decatur residents participated in the first West Ponce Movie Night event March 23.
owners along west Ponce trivia competition and played
suggested the idea. After music. Business owners along
a few meetings, business West Ponce also talked to the
crowd about their businesses manager at Farm Burger in people that don’t venture far may plan more events around
owners and Decatur officials
and appreciation for the city. Decatur. “It’s nice to have from the square. They get to West Ponce in the future.
decided to have a movie
“For us it’s a big deal,” something on this end, see more of [West Ponce].”
night. The only problem was
said Chance Walls, general entertainment wise, for Decatur officials said they

Officers save driver


from fiery I-285 crash

The City of Stone Mountain hereby gives notice that a Public Hearing will be held on
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 6:30pm to consider a Variance request for the property located
at 5325 Manor Drive, Stone Mountain, GA, parcel number 18 089 04 003.

BY DEREK SMITH Anyone wishing to attend the public hearing may do so and be heard relative thereto.
Please contact the City of Stone Mountain Administration Office at 770-498-8984 for
further information.

Officer intervention saved the life of a driver involved in a

fiery crash on I-285 in the early-morning hours of March 22.
According to Dunwoody Police Department spokesperson
Coming to Stone Mountain
Sgt. Robert Parsons, officers responded to the Ashford and Tucker in April
Dunwoody Road exit of I-285 westbound at 4:53 a.m. March 22 (more locations and dates available)
after several calls of an overturned vehicle. Register now to check the health of your arteries
Officers responding found the vehicle overturned and
on fire. Officers used fire extinguishers to prevent the fire
from spreading while they removed the driver through the 5 important screenings for only $149
passenger-side door. The driver was the only occupant. Carotid artery screening (plaque)
According to Parsons, the vehicle was traveling westbound Heart Rhythm Screening (A Fib)
when it struck a guardrail before overturning and catching fire. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
The driver was transported to an area hospital for Peripheral Arterial Disease Screening
treatment. Police said his injuries were non-life threatening. Osteoporosis risk assessment
April 11: Stone Mountain Seventh Day Adventist Church
April 7: First Christian Church (Tucker)
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Recent trends good news for local home sellers

KATHY MITCHELL of affordable regions in the country.” to make a major purchase such as a preferences,” she noted.
FREELANCE REPORTER In DeKalb, 449 houses were sold home.” It remains to be seen whether
through Realtors in February for a She said a Lindmoor Woods home recent changes in federal tax
median sale price of $257,000 and attracted 40 showings the weekend regulations will significantly affect
In its February report of housing an average price of $303,000. Those it came on the market recently. the real estate market. Apartment
statistics, Atlanta Realtors® reported numbers are within the range that “A handful of offers came almost List, an online apartment rental
a trend that metropolitan area local real estate professionals regard immediately,” Girardot recalled. marketplace, March 21 released
homeowners planning to sell may find as normal for first-time buyers, “I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s the results of a survey the national
good news. Both the average (total according to Brookhaven-based definitely a seller’s market right now.” company conducted on how potential
dollar figure divided by the number of Realtor Paige Girardot of Atlanta Fine The sales picture is likely to be homebuyers are responding to The
sales) and the median (the midpoint Homes Sotheby’s International Realty. even better in the next few months, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by
between the highest and lowest) “Homes in the $100,000 to Girardot predicted. “Spring tends to Congress in December. The survey
sale price increased 10.1 percent in $300,000 range are selling really be the biggest home buying season. indicates the impact on the real estate
the past year and in the past month fast right now, especially in some People are finishing school, getting market is likely to be slight with more
increased more than 2.5 percent. metro communities, including married—making major lifestyle than half of future homebuyers saying
At the same time Atlanta area Brookhaven,” said Girardot, adding changes—this time of year. Often that the new tax rules have had no impact
inventory—the number of houses for that residential properties in higher means buying or selling a home.” on their plans for homeownership.  
sale—decreased 25.3 percent since price ranges also are selling well, Girardot said factors that attract In Atlanta, 65 percent of potential
February 2017, and there were 1.5 but the first-time buyer market buyers to a particular home or homebuyers participating in the
percent fewer new listings in February is especially active. Ashford Park, community vary and may not be the survey say that tax reform has had
2018 than in the corresponding Lindmoor Woods, Lavista Park, same for one generation as another. no impact on their homeownership
month in 2017. The report compiles Chamblee, Medlock Park, Valley “Right now there’s a huge demand for plans; 18 percent say that the changes
data from 11 metropolitan Atlanta Brook and Belvedere Park are “hot” homes inside the perimeter and less have had a negative impact on their
counties, including DeKalb. right now, she said, “and, of course, interest in going to the suburbs where plans, while 18 percent report a
“Steady positive growth has been anything in downtown Decatur flies homes may sit on larger lots. Many in positive impact. Overall, 26 percent
the trend for metro Atlanta although off the shelf.” the current home-buying generation of potential buyers say that they
low inventory continues to be an Girardot, who has worked in the value their leisure time and don’t want plan to delay purchase in response
issue into 2018,” Atlanta Realtors industry more than 30 years and has to spend it commuting to and from to the changes. On the other hand,
President Bill Murray stated in the been a Realtor for four years, said the work or keeping up a large piece of 13 percent say that they expect to
announcement. “Median and average real estate market tends to mirror the property. For those people a home in have a lower overall tax bill and
prices are reflecting that pressure and overall economy. “When the economy the city where they can get to know plan to use those savings to achieve
continue to rise over last year’s prices, is good—as it is right now—people their neighbors is ideal. Of course, homeownership sooner.
but nationally Atlanta is in the top tier are more likely to have the confidence this is always a matter of individual

Jennifer Nettles to
deliver Agnes Scott
Pleasantdale Elementary was originally built in A new Pleasantdale Elementary building will be built on a 7.3 acre plot of
1968 and renovated in 1998. Photos submitted. Pleasantdale Park. Photos submitted. Singer-songwriter Jennifer
Nettles will deliver the

School district, county

commencement address at
Agnes Scott College’s 2018 spring
Nettles is a 1997 graduate of

exchange three properties

Agnes Scott. Since then, she has had
a successful career in country music
as a member of the group Sugarland.
“With her many achievements
and noteworthy contributions
school will house 900 students. The The first is a 2.4-acre portion of to the world of music, she is an
BY DEREK SMITH location is adjacent to the current the Margaret Harris property at 1634 exemplary and inspirational model Pleasantdale Elementary location at Knob Hill Drive NE in Atlanta which for our seniors of a Scottie finding
3695 Northlake Drive. sold for $250,000. The second is the her passion and fiercely and bravely
The original Pleasantdale 2.8-acre Rehoboth Park property blazing her own path,” Agnes Scott
DeKalb County School District President Elizabeth Kiss said of
Elementary was constructed in 1968, located at 3105 Tolbert Drive in
(DCSD) officials have completed Nettles.
according to a 2016 Facility Condition Decatur, which sold for $280,000.
a deal with DeKalb County that Since graduating from Agnes
Assessment. It was renovated in 1998. DeKalb County plans to use both
involves properties at three locations, Scott, Nettles has won five awards
District officials said the properties for parks.
according to a district press release. from the American Society of
construction of the new school is The exchanges were approved
On March 20, DCSD announced Composers, Authors and Publishers
expected to be completed by January by the DeKalb County Board of
it had purchased from the county for her songwriting. She also won
2020. Education at its monthly meeting on
7.35 acres of Pleasantdale Park. The two Grammy awards, an Academy of
In addition to the purchase of the March 19.
purchase cost the district $3.22 Country Music award and a Country
Pleasantdale property, DCSD sold two
million and will be the site of a new Music Association award for the
properties to DeKalb County.
Pleasantdale Elementary. The new Sugarland song “Stay.”
In addition to music, Nettles also
has a notable career as an actress.
She made her Broadway debut
in 2015 as Roxy Hart in the Tony
award-winning musical Chicago
and most recently starred as Donna
in the Hollywood Bowl’s summer
production of Mamma Mia!
In television, Nettles has starred
twice as Dolly Parton’s mom Avie
Lee Parton in the films Coat of Many
Colors and the holiday-themed
sequel Christmas of Many Colors:
Circle of Love.
The commencement ceremony
will be held May 12 at 9:30 a.m. on
the Presser Quadrangle.
The 2018 spring commencement
will be the last for Kiss, as she steps
down to join the Rhodes Trust in
August as its first female CEO and
warden of the Rhodes House.
“It is particularly meaningful for
me to have [Nettles] speak at my last
commencement,” Kiss said.

Tucker Middle School's boys’ track and field team won its third DeKalb County School District middle school track and field title in Lithonia eighth-grader Rusanek Tyler-Thompson
five seasons. Photos by Mark Brock broke the county’s record in the 100-meter dash.

Tucker eighth-grader Abdul Kerebo and Chamblee eighth-grader Jordyn Chamblee Middle School's girls’ track and field team won its fifth DeKalb County School District middle
Parker won MVP honors. school track and field title in 10 seasons.

Chamblee girls, Tucker boys win county middle school track & field titles
and seventh-grader Lilly Nicaruagua in the 1600-meter run (5:39.76) and finished first in the 1600-sprint medley
BY CARLA PARKER finished third in the 1600-meter run. silver in the 800-meter run (2:34.63). (3:58.94), second in the 800-sprint Parker also finished third in the long Other gold medalists in the girls’ medley (1:45.20) and third in the
jump with a jump of 15-09.00. Parker meet were Tucker eighth-grader 4x400-meter relay (3:53.88).
Chamblee Middle School girls’ won the Most Valuable Girls’ Track Mallory Hodge (400-meter dash), Chapel Hill was led by eighth-grader
and Tucker Middle School boys’ track Athlete Award after contributing 23.5 Druid Hills seventh-grader Taleah Jacob Webb, who won gold in the
and field teams each outscored their points to the team’s score. Casurra (800-meter run), Peachtree 1600-meter run (5:01.89), and won
opponents by 30 or more points to Lithonia won three gold medals seventh-grader Trinity Williams (long bronze in the 800-meter run (2:17.87)
win the DeKalb County School District behind eighth-grader Rusanek Tyler- jump), Freedom eighth-grader Sydni The 4x400-meter relay team
middle school track and field titles Thompson. She broke records in the Thomas (shot put) and Champion’s finished first with a time of 3:50.79, the
March 20 at Godfrey Stadium. 100-meter dash, topping Miller Grove’s 4x400-meter relay team. 1600-sprint medley finished second
Chamblee won the girls’ title with Tiara Williams record of 12.31 with In the boys’ meet, Tucker won its (4:05.37) and the 4X100-meter relay
96 points, 40 more points than runner- a 12.26 in the preliminary round on third title in five seasons after an 84.50- finished third (46.82).
up Lithonia (56 points). Henderson March 17 and then broke her own 54 win over defending champion Bethune’s third-place finish was led
finished third with 33 points. This is record with an 11.92 in the finals. The Chapel Hill. Bethune finished third with by gold-medal winner Janiran Bonner
Chamblee’s fifth title in 10 seasons time puts her 12th nationally in her 41 points. (shot put/ 42-01.50), silver-medalist
(2009, 2010, 2012, 2017, 2018). age group, according to the district’s Tucker eighth-grader Abdul Kerebo Xavier Boyd (400-meter/55.85) and
Chamblee was led by its relay athletic department. and MVP winner won two individual Emmanuel Clement (1600-meter
teams, which won gold in the 4x100 Tyler-Thompson won gold in the medals—gold in the 800-meter run run/5:02.86).
meter (50.57 seconds) and 1600-sprint 200-meter dash (25.24) and with the (2:11.05) and silver in the 1600-meter Other gold medalists from the
medley (4:32.70). Chamblee finished 800-sprint medley team (1:54.34). run (5:02.05). His teammate Denijil boys’ meet were Cedar Grove eighth-
second in the 4x400-meter relay She also won silver in the long jump Nelson finished second in the grader Eric Jordan (100-meter), Miller
(4:24.06) and third in the 800-sprint (16.06.00). Lithonia also finished 800-meter (2:16.59) Grove eighth-grader Dylan Griggs
medley (1:58.17). second (Caseyona Hight) and third Eighth-grader Joshua Morgan (200-meter), Columbia’s Elijah Hobson
Eighth-grader Cydney Bowe (Kailey Elliot) in the 400-meter dash. added to Tucker’s score with a first- (long jump), the Columbia 800-sprint
finished second in the 100-meter Henderson was led by eighth- place finish in the 400-meter dash medley relay team and Stephenson’s
dash, eighth-grader Jordyn Parker grader Abigail McHoul, who won gold (55.12). Tucker’s relay teams also 4x100-meter relay team.
finished second in the 200-meter dash

2018 congressional art competition announced

BY CARLA PARKER educators and leaders select the winning entries. Winners
are recognized in their district
High school students and at an annual awards
interested in art may now ceremony in Washington, D.C.
enter this year’s Congressional The grand prize winner’s work
Art Competition. is displayed for one year at the
Congressman Hank U.S. Capitol.
Johnson (GA-04) announced First, second and third
the contest is open to students place winners’ work will be
who reside or attend a school displayed in the Congressional
in the 4th Congressional District office. This year, all
District—parts of DeKalb, work will be unveiled under
Gwinnett and Newton Johnson’s “Full Steam Ahead”
counties and all of Rockdale program on the education
County. exhibit hall at the High
“Each year, we gain a new Museum of Art in Atlanta
appreciation for every piece during the month of May.
of art entered for our annual All entries are due to
competition because no Johnson’s district office, 5240
matter what colors they use, Snapfinger Park Drive, Suite
no matter their interpretation, 140, Decatur, GA 30035, by
this is their art,” Johnson said April 13. For more information,
in a press release. “Freedom rules and guidelines for the
of speech and freedom of 2018 competition, visit www.
expression are rights we hold
dear, and I’m sure all of the Michelle Carmona, a senior from Brookwood High School in Gwinnett County, won the 2017 Georgia Fourth serving-you/art-competition
pieces submitted will speak to District Congressional Art Competition. or call Xeron Pledger or Eric
us in some way.” Hubbard at (770) 987-2291.
The Congressional Institute and in each congressional More than 650 students college scholarships worth a The 2018 Arts Competition
sponsors the Artistic Discovery district. Since the competition from the 4th Congressional total of $47,000. reception will be held on April
competition to recognize began in 1982, more than District have competed in the Students submit entries 21, 9 a.m. at the Lou Walker
talented students in the nation 650,000 high school students contest since 2007. Last year’s to their representative’s office Senior Center, 2538 Panola
have participated. winners were awarded four and panels of district artists, Road in Lithonia.

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