DeKalb State house honors boy who saved library School candidates face tough questions

by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com

FREEPRESS
hen 12-year-old Sekondi Landry found out that his neighborhood library was closing because of county budget cuts, he began a campaign to keep it open. Visiting the houses surrounding the library, Landry collected 107 signatures and subsequently became the face of a grassroots movement to save the library he visits nearly every day. Flanked by his great grandfather and friends, Landry, 12, was honored by members of the Georgia House of Representatives on March 30. After viewing a television news clip on his work to keep the Scott Candler Library open, the house members gave Landry a standing ovation. “He saved his local library,” said Rep. Stephanie Benfield to the house members. “He’s very ambitious. He may sit in one of these seats one day.” In fact, Landry is planning to enter politics when he is older. Ultimately, he would like to be a member of the U. S. House of Representatives. Landry, who is homeschooled, also wants to go to Harvard University for his bachelors degree and then to Yale University for his masters. “That way I can go to both,” Landry said. Scott Candler Library was set to close on April 1 in an effort to save money as part of the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners’ mandate to cut 8.9 percent from most departmental budgets. The board voted in February to cut $33.64 million from the chief executive officer’s proposed budget to avoid a tax increase. But Landry’s efforts led to a special meeting on March 21 of the DeKalb

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by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com
The DeKalb County School System’s three superintendent candidates fielded tough questions about their qualifications to run Georgia’s third-largest school district at a public forum on March 31. Each candidate was given 50 minutes to make a brief introduction and then answer questions submitted by community members. All three candidates come from districts with fewer than 10,000 students, compared to 99,000 in the county system. Lillie Cox, superintendent of Hickory Public Schools in North Carolina and Arthur Culver, superintendent of Champaign Public Schools in Illinois, both said that their previous experience working with larger districts made them comfortable with DeKalb’s size. “I do come from a smaller system, but fortunately I’ve had the opportunity to work at the senior staff level of a very large system of 73,000—not quite as big as yours. However, I do understand the dynamics that happen at that level,” Cox said of her previous work with the Guilford County School System in North Carolina. Culver cited his experience teaching in the Houston Independent School District with more than 200,000 kids and his work as an area superintendent in Fort Bend as an asset. “That’s really not a problem for me because, again, I’ve been in a large system,” he said. “Also, [I’ve been] an area superintendent in a district with 56,000 kids; that’s not a small system. I was engaged at the administrative level and I was involved in the community, so I know how that functions.” Gloria Davis, the only candidate without any experience in such a large district, said that similar problems arise in districts both large and small and the changes DeKalb needs have to be made quickly and thoroughly. “I often say, ‘If you work with me you need two pairs of roller-skates, one on your feet

Twelve-year-old Sekondi Landry holds a resolution that credits him with keeping his neighborhood library open. He is joined by (left to right) Rep. Stephanie Benfield; his friend Summer Williams; his grandmother Rosetta Jones; and his great grandfather Nathan Knight. Photo by Ben Scarborough

County Public Library Board of Trustees, which voted to keep the Scott Candler Library open on a reduced schedule, at least through June 30. In addition to the signatures, Landry attended a public meeting and a community rally for the library. “It’s pretty cool that they kept it open,” Landry said. In a statement Acting Library Director Alison Weissinger said the library board will continue to watch the budget and the staffing situation closely to determine if the Scott Candler Library can remain open after June 30. A new Scott Candler Library facility is under construction and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. And Landry will be keeping his eye on the decisions of library board regarding his library. In fact, he has begun writing libraries all over Georgia to urge them to stay open for the children who need them. Landry’s actions caught the attention of Rep. Tyrone Brooks, who represents parts of Douglas and Fulton counties. Brooks asked him to lead an annual march on April 2 that commemorates the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The march to Moore’s Ford Bridge in Walton County also highlights the unsolved lynching of four blacks at the bridge on July 25, 1946. “I’m proud of him,” said Landry’s great grandfather Nathan Knight. “But I’m proud of him everyday. A lot of children do a lot of positive things. They just don’t get credit for them.” This is not the first time Landry has taken up a cause. When he attended his old school, Annistown Elementary in Snellville, he once protested against a change in the lunch schedule. “The lunch was 15 minutes,” Landry said. “No one had time to eat.”

Lights outs
Hundreds of people wait for their day in court, or at least near it, after a storm caused a power outage at the DeKalb County Recorder’s Court on April 5. Officials decided to conduct business outside the building, giving a new meaning to courtyard. At right, a folding table acted as the judge’s bench for Chief Judge Nelly Withers of the DeKalb County Recorders Court. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

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NEWS

The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 8, 2011

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City manager referendum looming in Doraville
by Robert Naddra robert@dekalbchamp.com Doraville residents will soon be able to vote to change their form of government if Gov. Nathan Deal signs a bill that passed the Georgia House and Senate recently. HB 544, sponsored by District 81 Rep. Elena Parent, allows for a referendum to be placed on the ballot in Doraville in November. This would allow residents to vote on making the office of mayor a parttime position and creating a city manager-led government. Doraville had a city manager-run government until 1982 when it was changed to its current system. The possibility of reinstituting a city manager form of government has been a hot topic in the community for years. “This was brought to me after a unanimous resolution by the city council, asking me to adopt a bill,” Parent said, whose district includes Doraville. “In a city manager, you will get someone who is a true professional when it comes to managerial functions.” If the bill is signed and the referendum passes, the office of mayor will remain a full-time position until Jan. 1, 2014. That will allow the city enough time to search for and hire a city manager. The city manager would begin his or her term at that time and the mayor would then become a parttime position, Parent said. City councilwoman Donna Pittman has been serving as acting mayor since mayor Ray Jenkins died Feb. 2. A special election will be held June 21 to determine who will finish out Jenkins’ term, which will end Dec. 31, 2011. Another mayoral election will be held in November for the four-year term beginning 2012. “It’s very important that the citizens of Doraville are the ones to make the decision about the city manager position,” Pittman said. “With a city manager the city will run more like a business. That person will handle the day to day business of the city. It will free up the mayor to do more marketing of the city.” Both Pittman and councilwoman Maria Alexander acknowledged that many cities are moving away from the mayoral form of government and that a change is something the residents should have a chance to consider. “We need to have a detailed job description in place so when voters go to the polls in November they will know exactly what they are voting for and what the job description is,” Alexander said.

DeKalb County Schools and Heery submit mediators
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com The DeKalb County School System and Heery/ Mitchell submitted their candidates for mediation on April 4, and argued over whether to add 12 additional names to the list of defendants in connection with the ongoing lawsuit. The school system named George Reid, a Georgia based mediator who specializes in complex construction disputes, as a possible mediator. Heery recommended Leah Ward Sears and Norman Fletcher, former Georgia Supreme Court chief justices, Stanley Birch, a retired 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judge, and Jonathan Marks, who mediated the case in July 2009. Judge Clarence Seeliger discarded both Reid and Fletcher because he wanted to make sure that any mediator chosen, “[had] no direct contact with [either] side in the case,” and both of them had contact in one way or another with the plaintiffs or the defendants. Heery also filed a motion attempting to have King and Spalding, the firm representing the school system, disqualified due to allegations that the firm has a conflict of interest. However, the motion relied on testimony from former Superintendent Crawford Lewis, who is now being represented by Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta). Since Lindsey is a legislator he had the option to postpone any testimony on behalf of his client for up to three weeks after the legislative session has ended, which he chose to do. According to David Rubinger, a spokesperson for Heery International, Seeliger has requested that Rep. Lindsey let him know the soonest possible date he is available, which is expected to be in late May. The judge also ruled in favor of King and Spalding adding 12 names to the list of defendants who, the firm claims, are either active participants in the alleged fraud or individuals in executive positions who knew of the activity. School attorney Ray Persons claimed that high ranking executives at Heery were warned that what they were doing was illegal unless they had written consent from the school board. “They are the ones who received the fruits of this fraud and they are answerable in these proceedings,” Persons said of the 12 individuals. Heery said that the individuals who were added were being sued merely because of their position in the company and that none of their activities, at the executive or management levels, were fraudulent. “There is not the requisite level of specificity to call these individuals crooks,” said Paul Monnin, a lawyer for Heery International. “It’s not enough, judge, to simply say Heery, as an entity, [engaged] in fraudulent conduct, therefore, so [did these individuals].” Heery managed the school SPLOST account from 200206. In 2006 the school system terminated the company, citing overbilling and questionable work. Heery then sued DeKalb County School System for $400,000 that it said the system still owed them. The school system then countersued for $100 million, alleging fraud and claiming that the company mismanaged projects. Heery denies those claims and contends that the real reason the company was fired was because then Chief Operations Officer Pat Pope wanted to award the contracts to people that she knew and had connections with. Both Lewis and Pope are currently awaiting trial after being indicted on racketeering and corruption charges for allegedly running a criminal enterprise within the school system. The school system wants to take the case to trial but Seeliger said, for it to move forward, all witnesses must be able to testify with full disclosure. “In all honesty and truth, two of the three witnesses in this case can’t testify… we need them to waive their Fifth Amendment rights before they [do],” Seeliger said of Lewis and Pope. Seeliger ordered DeKalb County Schools and Heery into mediation on March 22, citing concerns for taxpayers and mounting legal fees on both sides; the school board has already paid an estimated $15.5 million in legal fees.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 8, 2011

Page 3A

Son allegedly stabs mother, siblings to death
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com Three Lithonia family members were stabbed to death allegedly by a relative who was under a court order to stay away from them. Eugene Quatron McCoy, 21, has been charged with three counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault and remains McCoy in the DeKalb County Jail. At 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 3, police were called to 7101 Rockland Road in Lithonia where a mother and two of her children had been killed. The mother’s teenage daughter was also attacked but was able to escape to a neighbor, who then called police, according to Mekka Parrish, public information officer with the DeKalb County Police Department. The deceased victims have been identified as Sheila Irons, 45; her son Zion McPherson, 11; and daughter Chasity McPherson, 8. Candice McCoy, 17, remains in critical condition. Each victim was stabbed multiple times, Parrish said. Police found a knife believed to be the murder weapon at the scene. Later, a journalist reportedly found a second bloody knife on the porch of the home. The killings were “prompted by some sort of dispute,” Parrish said. “We have not determined the nature of the dispute.” The suspect was detained and arrested Sunday night when police found him walking away from the crime scene. McCoy has a criminal history that started when he was 17 years old. His record includes burglary, misdemeanor battery, probation violation and contempt of court. Just this year, he spent nine weeks in jail for a criminal trespass charge when he violated a family protection order to stay away from the people he is accused of killing. McCoy was released on March 16 in that case. On the recent charges, McCoy appeared before a magistrate judge on April 4 and will have a preliminary hearing on Aug. 28.

Downgraded credit rating could bring a county tax increase
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com The DeKalb County government has a credit problem. Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Ratings Services announced on March 28 that it had lowered the county’s general obligation debt from AA- to BBB and its long-term rating on the county’s appropriation-backed debt from A+ to BBB-. The rating on DeKalb’s outstanding water and sewer bonds was dropped from AA+ to AA-. After the ratings were lowered, they were withdrawn by S&P, a financial services company that publishes financial research and analysis on stocks and bonds. Commissioner Jeff Rader said the immediate impact of the ratings on the operation of the county government will be marginal. However, the impact of the downgrading of the water and sewer debt could be “very detrimental” to the county as it seeks to raise money for the water and sewer improvements, according to Rader. In December, the county’s Board of Commissioners approved $1.345 billion in improvements to DeKalb’s water and sewer system, which will be financed by an 11-percent rate hike each year for three years beginning in 2012. “We need to correct it [the rating] in order to be able to use that money more cost effectively,” Rader said. “We’ve been eroding our financial position and making ourselves vulnerable to these bond downgrades.” To address the problem, Rader is planning to introduce legislation to amend the 2011 budget to raise taxes, not for additional services, but for the budget reserves. The current budget has $12 million for reserves, but the county needs $45 million—enough to keep the county running for a month. Rader is proposing a 3.3-mill increase, which would bring in approximately $51 million in tax revenue. That would add $33 million to the county’s budget reserves and raise an extra $17.7 million that could be used to adjust other tax funds departmental budgets. “That’s going to be a tough thing for some people in the public to swallow,” Rader said. “What it says is ‘we’re going to raise your taxes and we’re not going to give you anything else in addition for that.’” Rader said he does not know if the proposed tax increase would have enough votes to pass. “I’m not a big fan of tax increases but at this point I think we’ve really got to do something to restore the fundamental confidence of the financial market,” Rader said. In downgrading the county’s credit rating, S&P cited the county’s Board of Commission’s rejection of the proposed 2011 budget of Chief Executive Officer Burrell Ellis, which called for a 12-percent property tax increase. “I presented a lean and responsible budget proposal to the Board of Commissioners and they have been playing politics with it ever since,” Ellis said in a statement. “Their actions are costing DeKalb taxpayers more in the long run, and this is another example of that.” Rader said it is no secret that the commission and the administration have been at odds over the budget. “The debate over the budget is a healthy thing for us, because… we really do have to learn how to live within more limited means now,” Rader said. “We can’t expect our tax digest to expand every year.” Rader said the administration has responded to the commission’s unwillingness to approve budget increases by cutting more than $100 million from the budget over the past few years. In the current budget, the board of commissioners mandated 8.9 percent in cuts from most departmental budgets. The budget of the fire and rescue department was cut by 29.41 percent, while the sheriff’s office and police department were cut by 4.46 percent. The human resource department’s budget was cut by 25 percent. To adhere to the budget, county departments have been implementing various plans including: laying off 82 fire recruits; postponing training for 40 police recruits; eliminating police crime scene investigators for nonviolent crimes; restricting the use of the police helicopter; reducing library services; and cutting hours for the tax commissioner’s office. Several other departments are considering furloughs, layoffs and a reduction of hours.

Former court clerk says resignation invalid
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com DeKalb County Superior Court Clerk Linda Carter, who according to the Governor’s office resigned her position on March 24, wants her job back, claiming she really did not resigned. County officials are in possession of a letter from Carter’s attorney, Lee Parks, which requests the revocation of her resignation. DeKalb County spokesman Burke Brennan said county officials are looking into allegations by Carter that the resignation letter to the governor was fraudulent. “The request is something we have not ever had to deal with in DeKalb County,” Brennan said. Debra DeBerry, former chief deputy clerk, was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the clerk old position after Carter’s resignation. Carter, who was elected to the position in 2000, in the letter cited health reasons for stepping down. The position of superior court clerk is an elected position.
Linda Carter

OPINION

THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 2011

PAGE 4A

The DeKalb County Board of Education will soon select a new, permanent superintendent. We’re at a critical juncture and it is crucial that we get the right one for the job. On Thursday, March 31, at the Administration and Instructional Complex in Tucker, the board hosted a forum to give the public an opportunity to see and hear from the three finalists. It just has to be said. The attendance by the community was abysmal! It was all inside baseball. Those in attendance were mainly people associated with the system – staff, board members past and present, teachers and union reps along with a small army of news media. Perhaps parents felt the forum was merely an exercise, that the selection was fait accompli, already done. Whatever the excuse, the auditorium should have been packed. It wasn’t. So, let’s not boo and hiss when the selection is made and we don’t feel we got the right person. One is reminded of the poor attendance at political forums. Typically there are more campaign workers and news media than voters. We carp and complain about elected officials but we fail to adequately educate ourselves about the candidates on the front end. We get what we get DeKalb. People locate to an area for its employment potential, housing in a safe, secure, clean environment and schools. We have lost ground in each of those areas over the past several years and it is a DeKalb

County problem. We need a strong, visionary problem solver at the helm of our schools, one who can fix what’s broken and put our children on course to compete in a technologically advanced global society. The question wasn’t raised, but neither did any of the candidates offer to talk about the challenges of continuing to use archaic teaching methods to cyber savvy students. The board should make certain that the candidates are queried about innovations in technology to take us to the next level in educational instruction. Otherwise, we’ll get an experienced caretaker who will see to the status quo—budgets, staff, stale curricula leading to bored, non-learning, non-productive students. The three candidates each are from small communities and have not had any experience managing a $1.5 billion budget and huge systems like ours. Observers at the forum were heard to say more than once “I wish we had better choices” and “I wish they didn’t come from such small systems.” A sage soul once said, “It isn’t what you have but what you do with it.” It’s quality over quantity. Given our school system’s overall sorry state of affairs, the candidates should be given high marks for even applying. That said, here is my assessment of the candidates in preferential order: Dr. Lillie Cox, superintendent of Hickory N.C., Public Schools - Dr. Cox was the best of the lot. She was poised, knowledgeable, credible, passionate and possessed excellent communication skills. The other two candidates relied on the podium. She came around front of the lectern, immediately establishing camaraderie with the audience. Dr. Cox is accustomed to diverse populations. She has a proven track record of improving a low-performing district.

The right one

The Newslady

Dr. Cox was very specific about the SACS Report. She also offered specifics about goal setting, accountability, educational trends, training and issues of trust and integrity. Most importantly she was laser-focused on children and her belief that every child could learn. Her philosophy was clear: Focus on the child with great expectations. Establish and clearly communicate procedures and goals. Provide the best teachers at each school, quality instruction and monitor. The only big negative in this writer’s opinion was her Hillary Clinton pants suit. Let’s not hold that against her.

Dr. Gloria Davis, superintendent of Decatur, Ill., Public Schools – Dr. Davis came across as engaging, credible, witty, knowledgeable, poised, great communication skills and expertly tailored and coifed. Appearances do make a difference. But it was substance over style with Dr. Davis. She has a passionate, no-nonsense approach to educating children. By her own assessment she is skilled in instruction and believes there should be a seamless transition from pre-K to graduation with an emphasis on early education. She stressed repeatedly the need for constant, consistent communication between school officials, elected officials and the overall community. She is data driven, high on structure, procedures, communication and accountability. It looked like a bobble-head factory in the auditorium when she touched on subjects like financial waste and fraud and how she would put in place an iron-clad system of fiscal checks and balances. Dr. Davis puts children first. She seems to have a great sense of humor and a nurturing mother/ sister quality. She believes strongly in structure, team-building, staff development, communication and accountability. Dr. Davis is a great second choice.

Arthur Culver, superintendent of Champaign, Ill., Community School District #4 – Arthur Culver is a really nice guy. But to hear him talk is to watch paint dry. Several people were nodding, fighting sleep. He waxed anecdotal with more sage saws and clichés than Benjamin Franklin. His is a wonderful Horatio Alger story. He grew up poor, one of 10 children and learned early the importance of education. Admirably he has been married to the same woman for 28 years and they have three sons. My view of Mr. Culver as a viable candidate was shattered when I thought I heard him say something to the effect of what we needed to do “for the childrens.” I turned to my neighbor and asked incredulously, “What did he just say?” Nervous? Perhaps. But good grief, while some of us may have lapses when it comes to plurals versus possessives and collective nouns, not my school superintendent, not the individual who is at the pinnacle of education in my community. No. Not. Good grammar is imperative. Mr. Culver says he doesn’t take excuses. Neither do we. One has to agree with Mr. Culver’s assessment that DeKalb County is a gold mine of great potential given the right resources, the right attitude and the right effort. Add one more thing, the right person at the top. That person is obvious among our superintendent candidates. Dr. Cox is the standout. The pants suit wearing young lady out of Hickory, N.C., just might be the right person at the right time to do the right thing for DeKalb County children. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Milies at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.

by Judge Greg Mathis

Investigate standardized testing
Coincidence? Maybe not. In 2006, 10 percent of the school’s students “passed” the standardized math test. In 2008, nearly 60 percent did. Tests scores showed the school made similar gains on the reading portion of the test. Perhaps the teachers simply worked harder and ensured students absorbed the lessons? Maybe. But it’s important, for comparison, to note that the average wrong to right erasure for seventh graders throughout the D.C. public school system was less than one. Noyes Elementary School isn’t the only one with questionable score improvement. Fifty-eight Atlanta schools are under investigation because high rates of wrong answers changed to right on student answer sheets raised flags. Similar occurrences have raised red flags in Detroit as well. If this is, in fact, cheating, who is responsible? Teachers? School principals? No one is sure but one thing is certain: if it’s happening in D.C., Detroit and Atlanta, it is happening in other cities. Changing test answers to fake

For several years, ever since the No Child Left Behind Act took effect, students, teachers and school districts have felt the pressure that comes from living in a nation that uses standardized tests as its sole method for measuring student proficiency. When too many students at one school perform poorly on these tests, teachers can be fired, principals replaced and schools closed. Hundreds of teachers were fired in D.C. schools because of poor performance by students on Mathis tests. The stakes are high. But no one would have guessed that the pressure would lead to alleged cheating on these exams. An investigation by USA Today into drastic test score turnarounds at Noyes Elementary, a Washington, D.C., public school, revealed that seventh grade students in one classroom at the school each had, on average, nearly 13 wrong answers that were erased and changed to the correct answer.

improvement doesn’t help our students. It hurts them. That is why a federal task force needs to be formed to investigate drastic improvement on standardized tests at our nation’s public schools. We want to believe that our teachers and principals are honest but we also know that fear – of being fired if students perform poorly – or greed – teachers and principals at Noyes received bonuses when scores improved – are powerful motivators. There also needs to be another way to measure student performance. We cannot simply rely on standardized tests. Periodic monitoring can easily show how students and teachers perform in the classroom. Required essays and math “projects” will show us that students can actually apply what they are taught. Diversifying the way we measure student performance – and deciding the fate of teachers, principals and schools – will also help keep things honest. Judge Greg Mathis currently provides legal advice to more than three million listeners on the Steve Harvey Morning Show and also on his website, www.askjudgemathis.com.

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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 2011

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“The English should give Ireland home rule – and reserve the motion picture rights,” Will Rogers, humorist, The Autobiography of Will Rogers, 1949 Dad’s side of my family is Scotch/Irish/Welsh. Following a homecoming trip in 1998 to the southern crescent of Ireland we are all firmly convinced that our Irish blood runs deep. And like most everyone else in America, we look for most any occasion to celebrate that heritage, including St. Patrick’s Day. Much like Americans during the tequilasoaked celebration of Cinco de Mayo, which has only a negligible connection to the actual Mexican Independence Day, I guess I will go with “it’s the thought and sentiment that counts.” Having visited the actual Blarney Stone, which the locals will tell you some disgusting things about, I

can attest that by the time the various Irish legends and tales of pots of gold and rainbows made it across the Atlantic, they had grown significantly in transit. And though we often hear about the luck o’ the Irish, I can also tell you I experienced considerably more of their charity, thrift and common sense. And I was not surprised, during this explosion of global deficit spending, to see the Irish among the first to go through some painful belt tightening. The governments of Ireland cut public sector jobs and spending, and slammed the breaks on entitlement spending indexing for inflation. It appeared briefly, after some pretty heady days in the ‘90s and last decade that Ireland might be among the first in the European Union to emerge intact from this Great Recession. Unfortunately, as practical as Ireland was being about cutting spending, the nation had also blindly committed to honor all the obligations of its five largest and predominantly state-owned banks. Thus far, bailing out those institutions has cost an investment of 46.3 billion Euros. This may not sound like a great deal by U.S. standards, but consider that Ireland’s entire population and GDP is closer in size to that of the state of Georgia.

Luck of the Irish?

One Man’s Opinion

As here in the states, the crux of the banking crisis in Ireland, as well as questions of ongoing solvency, are tied to a real estate bubble that burst hard in 2008, but has yet to reach its bottom. Whereas here stateside, the “American dream” of home ownership has developed a sequel of The Money Pit with a growing number of home owners owing more than their primary asset is currently worth, in Ireland, this perfect storm of declining wages, Gross Domestic Product and real estate values has much of the island nation drowning in a sea of debt, with narry a rainbow or pot of gold in sight. Fortunately, I am not alone in believing more in the “pluck of the Irish” than their legendary luck. I believe that the same country that largely exported its strongest and most able, to help build out the great American cities of our industrial age, and who survived multiple rounds of famine and potato blight will also rally and survive these challenging times. Myths are sometime replaced, or even laid to rest during times of great adversity. One of my favorites was the speed with which locals supposedly race to the nearest pub at the stroke of 5 p.m. and traditional end of the work day. As I said, the

stories only grow in translation. In truth, in Ireland, the pubs are small and simple restaurants, usually in the center of each township. They are the informal town hall, and where the locals gather to commiserate, socialize and discuss the challenges of their lives. In Ireland, a man not only buys his own drink, he buys a “round” for his circle of friends—and his/her friends return the favor by spotting the “next pint.” This typically continues until each in a circle has bought the group a cordial. Arriving early, or first, at the stroke of five, simply means buying a smaller round, as the crowds and tabs tend to grow as evening arrives. So even in this charming tradition, the Irish thrift and pluck trump the legend and the luck, making a two-pint buy simply a smarter bargain than five, 10 or a baker’s dozen. So on this non-Irish holiday, please join me in a toast, and wishing luck to our good friends—the Irish. Bill Crane is a DeKalb County native and business owner, living in Scottdale, Georgia. He also serves as chief political analyst and commentator for 11Alive News and WSB Radio, News/Talk 750. Contact Bill Crane at Bill@dekalbchamp.com.

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Sarah Palin and the dozen dwarfs
The tea party effect: no Republican who can win the general election in 2012 can be nominated.
There are those–I won’t name them, they know who they are–who have taken to calling the slate of Republican presidential hopefuls “Sarah Palin and the Seven Dwarfs.” That’s unfair. There are way more than seven GOP politicians ready to run. I put the list right now at about 12, give or take a dwarf. And there’d be more except that John Thune withdrew from the race a month or so ago. Most of the rest of the GOP gang showed up in Washington a few months ago to try out their acts at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Generally speaking, the candidates spoke with one voice–for God, guns, and Ronald Reagan. They were uniformly against health care, taxes, and Barack Obama. (Have I mentioned that the conference was about a quart low on new ideas?) The 10,000 attendees listened to all of the speeches, then made Ron Paul, the Texan flat-earther, their choice for president. (Did I also mention that its sense of reality was running on empty?) Ironically, the only Republican that a clear majority of Americans could pick out of a police lineup–Sarah Palin–failed to show up at the conference. She and Mike Huckabee, the comfortfood candidate, were busy organizing their sock drawers. Or something. To call the Republican field weak is to understate of marriage, but both times this do-whatI-say-not-what-I-do adulterer got divorced, he was dumping a wife suffering from a severe illness. The first was recovering from uterine cancer and the second had recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Go through the list. Everyone’s got something about him for conservatives to hate. No wonder they look back so fondly on Ronald Reagan, the mythological figure bearing the name of our 40th president. To hear Republicans talk, Reagan was George Washington, Winston Churchill and John Wayne rolled into one. He really wasn’t. The real Ronnie wasn’t as bad as Democrats made him out to be, but he was guilty of one great sin: He convinced the American people that they could have all the government they wanted without having to pay taxes for it. He tripled the national debt during his time in office and set his party on the disastrous course the United States still travels. Yet, given the yahoos and know-nothings the Republicans are left with today, I can see why they look back upon Reagan with fondness. He was a man of great charm. Then again, so was Bernie Madoff. OtherWords columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. www. otherwords.org
by Donald Kaul Columnist

the obvious. It’s a collection of has-been (Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour, Mitt Romney), neverwere (Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Mitch Daniels) and “who’s he?” candidates (Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman). The real problem the Republicans have, however, isn’t the relative anonymity of their candidates–after all, hardly anyone knew who Obama was two years before he was elected. It’s the fact that no Republican who can win the general election in 2012 can be nominated. Call it the tea party effect. Republican candidates aren’t merely afraid of tea party conservatives, they’re terrified. One after another, they’ve repudiated past votes, policies, and beliefs in fear of offending those wild-eyed people in the funny hats. Romney? As Governor of Massachusetts he advocated and got passed a health care plan much like President Obama’s. He’s now against it. Pawlenty? When he was Governor of Minnesota he backed cap-andtrade legislation, a scarlet letter to real conservatives. He has apologized for the error. Newt Gingrich? The former Speaker of the House may be a great advocate for the sanctity

The following comments are pulled straight from our website and are not edited for content or grammar.

‘Sovereign citizens’ indicted for property thefts This is a warning to potential renters that they should do some research on a property before they sign a lease and pay rents to anyone. This information is easily verified here, http://www. foreclosurecourt.org/find-out-if-your-home-is-inforeclosure.html – KevinWilliams posted this on 3/30/11 at 3:04 p.m. Fire department cuts 82 recruits to save cash I am involved with another municipality that was facing the same situation in its police dept. We let our academy graduates graduate. Though we could not hire them, the belief was that they could go elsewhere, get a couple of years experience, and then when we were ready to hire again we would have a pool of experienced officers from the academy who might want to come back home. Our belief that at least letting them finish developed some trust and loyalty for them to return when revenues improve. We would also not have to begin another training program anew; and letting them graduate could actually save us money. – Loxly posted this on 4/1/11 at 9:08 a.m. County to examine all government jobs Yawn. Just another study generated by yet another budget retreat to pay some more consultants. – Chatty posted this on 3/31/11 at 11:57 p.m

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Champion of the Week
DeKalb Services Center in Brookhaven garden, where he helps disabled people work in gardens. Dorsey also judges various contests for school 4-H programs at least twice a year. He recently consulted with a local school on its plans to make a garden and has written gardening columns for local newspapers. At the DeKalb Farmers Market, he has helped teach residents about yard waste recycling such as composting and mulching. He also spends time in the office where he fields phone calls from people who have questions about gardening. For the past five years, Dorsey has worked with some neighbors on four plots of land that they call “bridge gardens,” where Shallowford Road crosses I-85. “Most people do like gardening…particularly in retirement,” Dorsey said. Dorsey retired in 1995 after spending the last 38 years of his career as the director of pharmacy for Grady Memorial Hospital. Dorsey’s favorite plants to work with are perennials. “I like roses,” Dorsey said. “I don’t think they’re a lot of trouble. And they’re pretty, too.”

Jimmy Dorsey

House passes celebratory gunfire resolution
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com The 15 months since her son was accidentally killed by a bullet during a New Year’s Eve church service have been difficult. “Some days it’s hard,” said Natalee Peters. “But I’m hanging in there.” Peters’ son, 4-year-old Marquel, was a victim of celebratory gunfire. As he sat next to his mother in church, Marquel was struck and killed by a bullet that came through the roof of the sanctuary and struck him in the top of his head. The bullet is believed to have been fired by a New Year’s Eve reveler. Georgia’s House of Representatives voted 139-23 on March 28 to pass HR 341, a measure that urges “increased public awareness of the dangers of celebratory gunfire.” By adopting the resolution the house “committed to studying and adopting tougher criminal sanctions for those who commit celebratory gunfire which results in injury or death to another person.” “Now is the time for Georgia’s leaders to come together and to work together to help prevent the senseless loss like the loss of beautiful little Marquel Peters,” states the resolution which was introduced by state Rep. Michele Henson of District 87. “What we hope is that this resolution can put an end to celebratory gunfire and we’ll never have another senseless death,” Henson said. “Marquel should still be with us today.” Henson said the purpose of the resolution is to eliminate the practice by getting people to recognize the danger and “unintended consequences” of celebratory gunfire. “The loss of an innocent human life is always tragic, but it seems even more so when it is caused by a thoughtless random act,” Henson said. “There are times we all want to celebrate special occasions, but it is never right to celebrate in a way that endangers human life. It is never right to celebrate with random gunfire.” Natalee Peters said she is hoping to see positive results from the resolution and the county’s campaign. “I appreciate what the county has done since his death to ensure no one will be a victim of this anymore,” Peters said.

Jimmy Dorsey has a thing for longevity He has been married to his wife Mary Sue for 47 years. They have lived in the same house in Chamblee for 47 years. And Dorsey has a car that is 47 years old. And for the past 10 years of his retirement, the 78-year-old former pharmacist has volunteered as a master gardener with the DeKalb Cooperative Extension service. “Jim has been a wonderful volunteer, helping us out in the community now for about 10 years,” said Gary Peiffer, horticulture manager for the DeKalb Cooperative Extension. He is an “extraordinary volunteer.” Next month, Dorsey will be recognized for 10 years of service. As a volunteer, Dorsey works with several local gardens, including the Plant A Row For the Hungry garden near Brookhaven and the

If you would like to nominate someone to be considered as a future Champion of the Week, please contact Kathy Mitchell at kathy@DeKalbchamp.com or at 404-373-7779, ext. 104.

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NEWS BRIEFS
DeKalb County women’s prison closed to save money
ATLANTA (AP) The state of Georgia has closed a prison in DeKalb County to save money. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Metro State Prison was shuttered April1 to save $19.1 million a year. The Department of Corrections said it has moved the almost 800 female inmates who were housed there to two rural prisons—Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto in Banks County in northeast Georgia and Pulaski State Prison in Hawkinsville in south Georgia. DOC Commissioner Brian Owens told legislators earlier this year that he chose to close Metro because despite the 27.5 percent rise in the overall prison population over the last decade, the number of women coming into the system had dropped. Owens said in January a private prison operator may be interested in the building. regions. The sale will be held on Friday, April 15, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the school library, at 2855 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta. Catholic Relief Services partners with SERRV, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting poverty and promote fair trade. These organizations buy and provide a market for high quality, fairly traded handcrafts and gourmet food items from disadvantaged artisans and farmers around the world. This means that the people who produce them earn a fair price, get access to credit and training, and other forms of community support to improve their lives. For more information visit: www.ihmschool. org. the Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training Practices Act or BEST Practices Act, which prohibits the use of animals in live combat trauma injury and chemical and biological training.

Dunwoody Police officers recognized for DUI arrests
Two Dunwoody Police officers were recognized by the Georgia chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving recently at the seventh annual Golden Shield Honors Program. The event honored police departments and officers who are committed to making the roads safer through DUI enforcement. Officer Tim Waldron received the Bronze Award for making 39 DUI arrests in 2010. Officer Alvin Rodriguez received the Silver Star for making 68 DUI arrests in 2010.

Registration ongoing for fine arts camp
DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs is partnering with the Erintunde Youth Institute to present an International Fine Arts Camp. There will be four two-week summer sessions that run June 6 through July 29 at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Community Center. Each two-week session will be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and focus on a different part of the world, ending with a presentation distinct to the culture studied. The International Fine Arts Camp is for ages 6-14 and will be held Monday through Friday at a cost of $200 per child and $150 for each additional child. Scholarships are also available on a first come, first served basis. Online registration is under way. Also, residents can register at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts & Community Center on April 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will be provided with breakfast and lunch during the camp.

County to showcase its services
At Northlake Mall (lower level near Macy’s) 4800 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta, DeKalb County will showcase its departments together in one place Saturday, April 9, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., offering residents an opportunity to learn about resources and services available through county government. The neighborhood resource center is designed as a “one stop” service center for information on and assistance with county services and provides informational pamphlets, brochures and educational literature on county departments to the public.

Fourth suspect arrested for shooting at apartment complex
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a fourth person in the March 7 shooting death of Donovan Austin. Destiny McDuffie, 20, was arrested March 29 and charged with murder for her part in the killing. Austin was shot several times in the parking lot of Creekside Corner Apartments at 6306 Turnberry Place in Stone Mountain at approximately 3:45 a.m., according to DeKalb police spokeswoman Mekka Parrish. Austin and another man had returned from a night club where they apparently had an altercation with the group of suspects involved in the shooting. The suspects followed the two men to the apartment complex. Austin was found dead at the scene and the second victim was taken to an area hospital. McDuffie was arrested at Wesley Place Apartment Homes in Lawrenceville. Others who have been previously arrested for their roles in the shooting are Jacques Thornton, Marquette Mackie and Sentelle Williams.

Assistance for heating bills available
DeKalb County residents can apply for a one-time assistance payment of either $310 or $350 to help with the rising cost of winter heating bills. The assistance is available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Residents who heat with gas or have a totally electric household, meet the income guidelines of 60 percent of the median household income for Georgia, and who can provide the following information may apply: proof of income for the past 30 days for all household members ages 18 and older; most recent home heating bill; and verification of Social Security cards for household members or some other legal proof of Social Security numbers. For more information, call (404) 5374300.

Humane Society honors Rep. Johnson
The Humane Society of the United States on March 30 awarded Judiciary and House Armed Services committee member Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) with its annual Legislative Leader award for his work in 2010. The Humane Society praised Johnson for his leadership on appropriations language encouraging the secretary of defense to develop alternatives to the use of live animals in battlefield trauma training. Johnson will receive his award at a reception in the Capitol. Johnson also announced March 30 that he will cosponsor H.R. 403 in the 112th Congress,

IHM sale to benefit artisans, farmers
Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) School is hosting a Work of Human Hands Sale, a program where fairly traded gifts, accessories and other hand-crafted items are sold to help artisans and farmers living in developing

The City of Dunwoody, Georgia: Notice of Public Hearing
A Public Hearing pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 36-60-13(g), as amended, will be held before the Mayor and City Council during the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting on Monday, April 25 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall (41 Perimeter Center East, Suite 100, Dunwoody, GA 30346), for the purpose of due process of the following: financing, by installment sale agreement or such other method, the purchase of real property located on Parcel 001 of Land Lot 345, District 18 of DeKalb County, Georgia, addressed at 4000 Dunwoody Park, a 16.18 acre parcel of land and the construction of facilities thereon. All persons residing in the City having questions concerning, or views on, the proposed acquisition of real property, the construction of facilities or the financing may appear and be heard at the public hearing. For more information, contact Finance Director Chris Pike at chris.pike@dunwoodyga.gov or 678-382-6751.

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MARTA wants flexibility in budget
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com If a one-cent sales tax for regional transportation projects is passed next year, local leaders want to make sure the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) gets its fair share. But state law does not allow the transit system to use its funding wherever it is needed, leaders said. And that lack of inflexibility is a major impediment for the transit system. “We’ve done the best that we can,” said Beverly Scott, chief executive officer for MARTA. Representatives from DeKalb and Fulton counties and the city of Atlanta met with MARTA officials on March 31 to discuss their efforts to develop various transportation projects in the Atlanta area. Last year, Georgia’s legislature enacted the Transportation Investment Act (HB 277), which provides for regional referendums in 2012. As a result, voters in the Atlanta metropolitan area will be able to vote on a penny sales tax to fund various transportation projects, including transit, roadway, safety, bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The sales tax is expected to generate approximately $8 billion in revenue. March 31 was the deadline for cities and counties to submit proposed projects to be considered by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and a regional roundtable of city and county leaders. From those projects, a project list will be recommended for the 2012 referendum. Among the projects being considered for DeKalb County is the construction of a MARTA light rail along I-20 from Atlanta to Stonecrest Mall at a cost of $1.35 billion. Another proposed light rail would cost $465 million and run from Decatur to the Lindberg MARTA station in Atlanta. MARTA has a capital improvement program of $188 million, which is well under the $325 million the system used in each of the past 10 years. “All we are doing in capital right now is if it breaks, I fix it,” Scott said. MARTA also makes improvements for safety and regulatory compliance. Scott said MARTA’s $400 million operating budget is not enough. The transit system is falling short by $100 million for operations and another $100 million for capital improvements. MARTA has approximately $150 million in reserves, but after next year, that money will be gone. “We’re just about at the end of everything MARTA had in reserves,” Scott said. Last year, MARTA cut services, reduced its workforce by 15 percent, mandated a 10-day furlough for workers, and signed a zeroincrease labor union contract to stabilize the transit system until the funding comes in from the possible sales tax increase, Scott said. “We’re being very clear: the reality is that MARTA is not sustainable without increased investments.” Local leaders have criticized HB 277 because it does not permanently give MARTA the financial flexibility it needs. Currently, under state law, MARTA must use 50 percent of its funding for operations and 50 for capital improvements. That regulation was suspended by HB 277 for three years and Scott said MARTA benefitted from that waver: $61 million in MARTA funding was freed up. “HB 277 is lacking in many respects,” DeKalb Commissioner Lee May said. “By shoring up some of those loose ends in HB 277, we’ll be more confident in having a project list that can pass a public referendum. Right now there is no confidence. Public sentiment is very questionable on whether a referendum on any list will pass.” DeKalb Commissioner Jeff Rader said the region should support the MARTA heavy rail system because it is the “basic backbone of regional transit” that allows the Atlanta region to attract Fortune 500 companies, major sporting events and large events. “Fulton and DeKalb are the jurisdictions that most people come to or come through when they are commuting in this region,” Rader said. “Any improvement, frankly, in our jurisdictions are almost by definition regional. Almost any investment in MARTA will be a regional investment.” A final list on the proposed projects for the referendum is expected to be release in October.

City of Doraville Municipal Court Amnesty Day
The City of Doraville Municipal Court will hold a day of Amnesty for those individuals who have past due, unpaid traffic citations and those who have active Failure to Appear Bench Warrants. Amnesty day will be held on Saturday, April 30th, from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Municipal Court building located at 3765 Park Ave., Doraville, GA 30340. During that time contempt fees will be waived from past due citations and individuals with bench warrants will not have to pay warrant fees. A Judge will be present to hear those cases where a court appearance in required. The forms of payments that will be accepted are cash, money order, cashiers checks, and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover). You may call the Doraville Municipal Court at 770-455-1001 for further details.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 8, 2011

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Suspects named in killing of armored car courier
by Robert Naddra robert@dekalbchamp.com Two people who are in the Gwinnett County Jail have been identified as suspects in the killing of an armored car guard in DeKalb County, police said. Ashley Henderson, 27, and Stacy Dooley, 34, have been charged with murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon for their role in the March 15 shooting death of Garda armored car courier Gary Castillo, said DeKalb Police spokeswoman Mekka Parrish. Castillo was robbed and killed as he finished servicing an ATM at the Kroger in the Toco Hills Shopping Center. Henderson and Dooley were arrested by Gwinnett County Police in March in connection with armored car robberies in that county. Edwin Thornton, who also has been charged in connection with the March 15 incident, turned himself in to DeKalb County police on April 1, Parrish said. Thornton along with Henderson, Dooley and 34-year-old Quinton Booker face charges in connection with an armored car robbery on Jan. 21 in DeKalb County. The four men have been charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. In the Jan. 21 incident, police said a courier for Loomis was servicing a Wells Fargo ATM on Redan Road in Stone Mountain when he was ambushed and shot at several times by one suspect. Suspects got away with an undisclosed amount of cash in both robberies, police said. The ongoing investigation is being conducted by DeKalb County and Gwinnett County police departments, the DeKalb District Attorney’s Office and the FBI.

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Dunwoody daycare murder suspect pleads not guilty
by Andrew Cauthen Andrew@dekalbchamp.com Hemy Neuman, the man accused of the November 2010 death of Dunwoody entrepreneur Russell Sneiderman pleaded not guilty in DeKalb County Superior Court on April 4. Neuman’s attorney, Doug Peters, was granted a 30day extension to review the state’s mountainous evidence and to prepare pretrial motions. The 45-year-old Neuman was indicted by a grand jury of malice murder and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the death of Sneiderman, 36, who was shot multiple times outside Dunwoody Prep daycare, where he had just dropped off his son. Prosecutors have collected more than 6,200 pages of evidence and dozens of hours of recordings, according to DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James. “This is not your average murder case,” James said. Peters said the additional time to study the evidence was necessary because “this is probably one of the more complicated criminal cases that have ever been brought in DeKalb County.” Added to Neuman’s legal troubles are allegations by his wife Ariela of an affair between Hemy Neuman and Andrea Sneiderman, the victim’s wife. Andrea Sneiderman worked under Hemy Neuman, an operations and quality manager at GE Electric Energy in Marietta. Ariela Neuman filed for legal separation from her husband in February. Peters would not discuss the details of Ariela Neuman’s allegations because of an agreement with prosecutors not to discuss the case publicly in order to ensure a fair trial. “Nothing about these charges that are filed is going to change what’s most important to him and that’s his own children,” Peters said. “He’s had an entire life of providing for his children. Hemy Neuman worships his children. He loves his family.” Last month, a motion by Ariela Neuman’s attorney to question Andrea Sneiderman and Hemy Neuman about the alleged affair was denied by a judge. Esther Panitch, Ariela’s attorney, is hoping to get access to evidence being held by the state to prove her clients allegations. Panitch said she is particularly interested in hearing statements from Andrea Sneiderman “That will give a picture of what was happening,” Panitch said. “We still have enough to go forward with or without the state’s evidence,” Panitch said. “That state’s evidence, we believe, will make our case that much stronger.” Ariela Neuman is “doing as well as can be expected under these horrific, awful circumstances,” Panitch said. “Imagine anybody waking up and having the police … [say] their spouse is now accused of murder when they’ve never had a history of any type of criminal activity,” Panitch said. “It’s devastating. It’s a little dif-

Hemy Neuman, left, and his attorney Doug Peters listen to judge in Neuman’s arraignment hearing. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

ferent from a death. They can’t mourn this person and now they’re living with the

shame of what he’s brought upon her family.”

DeKalb County Wants to Hear From You Regarding the Proposed Franchise Agreement Renewal with Comcast Cable Communications
Send your comments and/or concerns regarding Comcast’s current performance under the current franchise agreement and/or the future cable-related needs and interests of your community to cable@co.dekalb.ga.us.

The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast THURSDAY
Sunny High: 75 Low: 57

April 7, 2011
Today's Regional Map Weather History
April 7, 1980 - Severe thunderstorms spawned tornadoes which ripped through central Arkansas. The severe thunderstorms also produced high winds and baseball size hail. Five counties were declared disaster areas by President Carter. April 8, 1926 - An oil depot fire set by lightning boiled over and engulfed 900 acres near San Luis Obispo, Calif. Many tornado vortices resulted from the intense heat of the fire. One such tornado traveled 1,000 yards, picked up a house, and carried it 150 feet, killing the occupants. Dunwoody 73/56 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 74/57 74/57 74/57 Snellville Decatur 75/57 Atlanta 75/57 75/57 Lithonia College Park 76/57 76/57 Morrow 76/57 Union City 76/57 Hampton 77/58

In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see sunny skies with a high temperature of 75º, humidity of 41%. South wind 5 to 10 mph. The record high temperature for today is 85º set in 1959. Expect mostly cloudy skies tonight with a slight chance of showers, overnight low of 57º.

FRIDAY
Partly Cloudy High: 78 Low: 62

*Last Week’s Almanac
Hi Lo Normals Precip Date Tuesday 53 42 69/46 0.00" Wednesday 57 50 69/47 0.74" Thursday 54 44 69/47 0.01" Friday 57 40 69/47 0.00" Saturday 68 42 70/47 0.00" Sunday 78 40 70/47 0.00" Monday 82 52 70/48 0.49" Rainfall . . . . . . .1.24" Average temp . .54.2 Normal rainfall . .1.02" Average normal 58.2 Departure . . . . .+0.22" Departure . . . . .-4.0
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport

SATURDAY
Mostly Sunny High: 82 Low: 62

SUNDAY
Mostly Sunny High: 83 Low: 61

MONDAY
Isolated T-storms High: 76 Low: 58

TUESDAY
Mostly Cloudy High: 73 Low: 51 First 4/11

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:17 a.m. 7:15 a.m. 7:14 a.m. 7:13 a.m. 7:12 a.m. 7:10 a.m. 7:09 a.m. Sunset 8:02 p.m. 8:03 p.m. 8:04 p.m. 8:05 p.m. 8:05 p.m. 8:06 p.m. 8:07 p.m. Moonrise 9:25 a.m. 10:13 a.m. 11:07 a.m. 12:06 p.m. 1:08 p.m. 2:14 p.m. 3:21 p.m. Moonset Next Day 12:06 a.m. 12:59 a.m. 1:49 a.m. 2:35 a.m. 3:17 a.m. 3:56 a.m. Last 4/24

Tonight's Planets
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise 7:18 a.m. 5:54 a.m. 6:47 a.m. 7:21 a.m. 7:33 p.m. 6:40 a.m. Set 8:19 p.m. 5:20 p.m. 6:57 p.m. 7:55 p.m. 7:25 a.m. 6:43 p.m.

WEDNESDAY
Mostly Cloudy High: 68 Low: 52 Full 4/17

New 5/3

Local UV Index

National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with a few showers today, scattered showers and thunderstorms Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 71º in East St. Louis, Ill. The Southeast will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 88º in Punta Gorda, Fla. The Northwest will see scattered rain and snow today, mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with isolated rain Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 60º in Medford, Ore. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today, isolated showers and thunderstorms Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 88º in Artesia, N.M.

Weather Trivia
How far is the sun from the Earth?
Answer: 93 million miles.

0 - 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11+

?

UV Index 0-2: Low, 3-5: Moderate, 6-7: High, 8-10: Very High 11+: Extreme Exposure

www.WhatsOurWeather.com

StarWatch By Gary Becker - Dancing with the Stars
Last Tuesday under transparent skies, I had my Moravian College students over to Bill Jacobs’ Farm in Pleasant Valley, PA. Friends, Marcella Gustantino and Joe Zelinski, brought telescopes to help to reduce the viewing lines. None of us had used our “big” scopes since last fall, and we were somewhat like groundhogs becoming conscious from hibernation after a long, cold, winter—a little slow on the uptake, but thank goodness, we didn’t have to cross any busy highway. We would have been all roadkill. Students started arriving about ten minutes before sundown, so I got them familiar with chasing down jet aircraft as they headed into the sunset, their short crimson contrails indicating dry conditions aloft. I pointed out the gray mask of the Earth’s shadow rising in the east. Then Sirius the Dog Star was spotted by keen-eyed, Justin Miranda, no more than 15 minutes after sundown. I was impressed. A few minutes later, more and more luminaries began to battle their way into visibility as a turquoise sky faded to denim. In the west a few degrees above the tree line, Mercury was spotted with binoculars, then with the unaided eye, and then seen through my scope. It was only the second time I had viewed the most elusive of the naked eye worlds through a telescope. Cranky computer drives notwithstanding, that made the evening into a rousing success. For the next hour or so we picked out the Orion Nebula here, the Pleiades there and various other late winter charmers, as we telescopically cruised the ocean of stars. Junior, Kristin Popovice, used my bright green laser to find all of the constellations successfully, as well as down a few planes. I didn’t pack up until nearly 11 p.m., but students had discovered that in the carriage house, Bill and John had prepared a feast fit for any college crowd. Someone reportedly said, “No Taco Bell tonight.” Thanks to all for a great, great evening. www.astronomy.org

hEalth

The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 8, 2011

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Bernie Marcus stands with youngsters who have received help at the Marcus Autism Center as they hold a thank-you message handmade for him. Photo by Kathy Mitchell

Blue skies ahead for autism treatment
Switch flipped at Marcus Center symbolically sets aglow blue lights across the country to raise awareness of autism
him that with his help Atlanta could children is being diagnosed with to underscore April as Autism become the nation’s capital for some form of autism.” That’s a good Awareness month, celebrate the During the past decade the early diagnosis and intervention deal of the problem, he continued. 20th anniversary of Marcus’ number of Americans who know of Autism and that by leveraging No one knows exactly what autism commitment to improving the lives what autism is has risen from 28 Marcus Autism Center’s high is or what causes it. of children with autism and related percent to 78 percent, but families clinical volumes, research will have What doctors and other scientists disorders and to kick off Light it affected by autism and caregivers a transformative impact on autism. have learned about autism is that Up Blue–a campaign by Autism who work with those families say Marcus acknowledged that he the earlier it’s diagnosed, the more Speaks encouraging prominent that percentage should be higher— knew little about autism before successfully it can be treated, buildings throughout the world to close to 100 percent. meeting a family that struggled according to Klin. “It’s much light their locations blue on World 100 Crescent Center Pkwy., Suite 680. Tucker, GA 30084children And they’re turning on blue with it. Bob and Suzanne Wright, more malleable in small (404) 378-8000 www.DeKalbChamber.org Autism Day, April 2. This year more lights across the country to remind grandparents of an autistic child because their minds are much more than 300 locations have agreed to people of the little understood and founders of Autism Speaks, malleable,” he said. Increasing participate, including the Empire condition, starting at an event at the an organization founded in 2005 awareness, he said, improves the State Building, Niagara Falls and Marcus Autism Center on March “to change the future for all who likelihood that parents and doctors CN Tower in Toronto. In Georgia, 31. struggle with autism spectrum will recognize the condition when Fernbank Museum of Natural Speaking at the event, Dr. Ami disorders,” prompted Marcus’ early symptoms appear and would History, the city of Douglasville, 100 named Klin, the center’s recently Crescent Center Pkwy., Suite 680.than 40,000 30084 (404) 378-8000 www.DeKalbChamber.org interest in autism. More Tucker, GA help attract the funds needed to the Atlanta Hawks, Viewpoint and director, said that in his early years children have been treated at the continue research. Metropolis condominiums also in the field when he told people that Marcus Autism Center since it was Kimberly Dick, walk chair for agreed to support Light it Up Blue. he works with autistic children, they founded in 1991 as the Marcus Georgia Walks Now For Autism During a highlight of the would respond, “Oh, you work with Developmental Resource Center at Speaks, brought her son Caleb to event, Marcus and Klin flipped an artistic children—that’s nice.” Emory University. the lectern and said that after Caleb oversized mock-up of a light switch Klin was personally recruited “I thought it was a very rare started exhibiting behaviors the in front of a crowd of supporters from Yale University by Bernie disease—condition, problem, family didn’t understand she was wearing blue to symbolize the 100 Crescent Center a small 680. Tucker, GA a diagnosis and Marcus, the center’s founder. what ever it is—with onlyPkwy., Suiterelieved to receive30084 lights and awareness taking place 404-378-8000 Although Klin was operating population affected by it,” he said. www.DeKalbChamber.org bring him throughout April. to have a top-tier place to what he called a highly successful “I was very wrong. It’s a large for help. program at Yale, Marcus persuaded population. As many as one in 110 The March 31 event was by Kathy Mitchell

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A Section • Page 13A

From left, Candidates Lilie Cox, Arthur Culver and Gloria Davis each had 50 minutes to convince the citizens of DeKalb that they were the best candidate for superintendent. Photos provided

Candidates
and [another] in the trunk of the car,’ because we are going to make sure that the things that need to be addressed get addressed, and they get addressed quickly,” she said. All three candidates spoke about the importance of data driven development within the district and said that the focus needed to be switched back to the children. They also noted that financial oversight and proper procedural programs must be put in place and frequently monitored in order to eliminate waste, fraud and maintain a system of checks and balances. Davis and Culver stressed the seriousness of having a strong internal auditor but Cox said that she thinks it is important, instead, to have an external audit. “I think that it’s important to have [an audit] done by an external contracted company or an employee that’s an external auditor [who] reports directly to the board,” said Cox. Chris Adams, a citizen who sat taking notes on his laptop, said that although all of the candidates seemed like they were qualified, Lillie Cox was the only one who he felt had demonstrated success at every level. “She provided the most specifics as to how she would hold schools and teachers accountable…it was clear that she had done her homework on DeKalb County, its opportunities and its challenges,” Adams said. President of the Organization of DeKalb Educators David Schutten said that he thought Culver was the strongest candidate because he seemed to be the most knowledgeable of the problems the county is facing. “He had done his research about the county and gave in-depth, thoughtful answers. I think he sees that it’s about more than just the test scores,” Schutten said. “I thought Davis didn’t go indepth enough and gave too many sound bytes; I’m not looking for people who can give good sound bytes, I’m looking for someone who can go to work and make some tough decisions,” he said. After each candidate finished speaking, those attending the forum were asked to fill out an evaluation form. The forms were then collected

Continued From Page 1A
for consideration by the school board during its selection process. Board Chairman Tom Bowen said that, now, the next step is for the board to begin deliberations on each candidate based on formal interview questions and public feedback. “When we developed a profile we said there are a variety of key characteristics that we we’re looking for. Well, all the candidates are going to have those characteristics in different quantities and the question is, ‘Who has the overall best package?’” Bowen said. “We’ve got to make the best choice for where we think DeKalb is today and where we’re going and [where] the resources [are] that we most urgently need,” he said.

EducatioN

The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 8, 2011

Page 14A

Dr. Tarah Hadley shows her parrot to students at the Flat Shoals Elementary career day. Photo by Daniel Beauregard

Exotic vet gives students something to ‘squawk’ about
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com Students lined up in front of the stage at Flat Shoals Elementary on March 30, eagerly awaiting a chance to come face-to-face with a chinchilla, a snake, a parrot, a turtle and a bearded dragon. However, there was no need to panic; the school wasn’t being overrun by wild creatures from the jungle, it was just Dr. Tarah Hadley and her exotic animals. Hadley, an avian and exotics veterinarian, was one of 35 professionals who presented at the school’s career day. “It’s important for students to know the different careers out there,” said Chavonne O’Rear, guidance counselor at Flat Shoals. O’Rear said that the career day is a way for kids to realize that they can do what they love and get paid for it too. “I want the kids to ask questions like, ‘I love animals. How can I work with animals?’ ‘How can I do these things I enjoy and get paid for it and make it my career?’” she said. Each group of students took its turn visiting Hadley on the stage, and she went around to each animal, describing what it was and how she worked with it. Then, at the end of the demonstration she asked each class, “Which animal would you most like to pet?” The younger students all asked to pet the small turtle, which she kept in a box filled with grass, but as the older classes began to cycle through, more and more of them opted for the snake. “This is Melvin,” Hadley said as she pulled a medium-sized red and black milk snake out of a mesh container. “Now line up and I’ll come around and let each of you touch him…you don’t have to if you don’t want to.” As the students lined up to pet “Melvin the Milk Snake” some of the girls stuck out their tongues and refused to touch him, others reached their hand out, hesitantly, and barely laid a finger on him as Hadley walked by with the snake around her neck. Principal Keith Reynolds said that this gives the students a more “hands on” chance to experience some of the things they are learning about in class. “Learning has so many different avenues and venues and we want to captivate the kids and get them interested in a variety of things,” Reynolds said. “This is the first time that Dr. Tarah has been here, but the kids seem to be very excited about veterinary medicine and she’s brought a few creatures with her so it’s been a good experience.” While the last student petted the snake and wandered off stage, Hadley explained why visiting schools was so important to both her and the children. “I think it’s important for kids to see something different…a lot of them probably don’t know that there’s a veterinarian for dolphins and a veterinarian for zoo animals,” she said. “It’s important for them to see that there’s more than one thing to do [within] a career.” Hadley said she has always had a connection with animals but didn’t become a vet until later in her life. Had someone like herself come to visit her school when she was younger, she said, things might have been a bit different. The main thing that Hadley wanted the kids to take away from their experience with her and the animals was that they can do anything they want, the doors to the future are wide open for them. “I want kids not to be afraid to try anything, to have the courage to try anything; it doesn’t matter to me what they do… [as long as they] know that they can do anything they want… even if it seems hard,” she said.

buSiNESS

The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 8, 2011

Page 15A

Two Avondale favorites come back with a bang
by Kathy Mitchell kathy@dekalbchamp.com Folks who’re in Avondale Estates when hunger strikes will be glad to know that two old favorite restaurants—Sweet-NSinful and Our Way Café—are reopening and taking their eateries to another level. Sweet-N-Sinful The Sweet-N-Sinful bakery didn’t close completely—only the retail business and that for just three days—as it moved down the street into a new, larger location. “We were still filling orders,” said owner Layne Lee, who explained that the shop’s specialty is unique custom-designed cakes and confections. “We had a podiatrist order a cake shaped like a foot and recently we had someone who wanted a kangaroo, complete with pouch and baby,” she recalled. Lee said the bakery has more than 300 cookie-cutter shapes and can make custom cookies for about any occasion. She said that while some custom items could get a bit pricey, there are lots of regular items at competitive prices—$1.95 cupcakes and $1 cookies, for example. The business, which opened in Stone Mountain in 2004 and has been in Avondale Estates since 2006, outgrew its old space in the city’s Tudor Village as it continued doing a booming business despite a slumping economy. The new space on Pine Street—formerly a paint supply house—is 2½ times the size of the old one. “People are still having weddings and birthdays, so there’s still a big demand for what we do,” Lee said. Following the grand opening on April 2, the shop will have some new breakfast offerings when the retail shop is open Thursday through Saturday. “We’ll have coffee and items like cheddar cheese muffins for people who don’t really want sweets,” Lee said. Lee, who has a 7-month-old child, describes the shop as kid-friendly. “We’ll be having events like kids’ decorating parties. We’re super excited,” she said.
Kelly Lynch, manager and lead pastry chef at Sweet-N-Sinful, prepares for the bakery’s reopening at its new location on Pine Street. Photos by Kathy Mitchell

Our Way Café After a year and three months of insurance negotiations, paperwork and physical rebuilding, Avondale Estates’ popular meat-and-three Our Way Café reopened April 4 with longer hours, patio space and something it’s never had before—a beer and wine license. The dining room will look very different, too, according to owner Eve Roswall. “Before we looked like a Cracker Barrel gone wild,” she said with a laugh, referring to the copious collection of memorabilia on the walls and even hanging from the ceiling. This time there will be old photos of Decatur and Avondale Estates, including one taken in 1932 of the old general store that was just down the from where Our Way now stands. There also will be paintings by local artists that will be offered for sale on consignment. Long time Our Way customers will be pleased to learn that the menu will be basically the same—a selection of four entrees and 18 meat-free vegetables every day. Roswall said she’s especially proud of the restaurant’s fresh, locally grown vegetables. “We were offering farm-to-table back in 1992, long before it got trendy,” she said. While the restaurant welcomes children anytime, Roswall said, she plans to open the restaurant once a month on Saturday—a day it’s normally closed—just for children and their parents, with clowns, face painting and perhaps a movie. She said that Our Way had such a children’s day shortly before an electrical fire forced the restaurant to close in January 2010. “We played the movie The Wizard of Oz and even had an actor who played one of the Munchkins—he was in his 90s—come by. We went from our most fabulous day to our worst day—the day of the fire.” Roswall said that her past success left no doubt in her mind that she would rebuild and reopen in spite of the extensive damage. “I’m thrilled. The food is here, the catsup is on the table. I’m ready to feed the people.”

Our Way owner Eve Roswall reviews photos taken shortly after the 2010 fire that forced the popular restaurant to close for more than a year. It reopened April 4.

Page 16A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 8, 2011

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AROUND
ATLANTA
information, visit www.sweetwater420fest.com. Concert to have Asian theme Echoes of Asia will be the theme as Emory World Music Ensembles perform in a free concert Sunday, April 17, at 7 p.m., under the direction of Tong Soon Lee. The Emory World Music Ensembles program was formed in fall 2007 as a part of the ethnomusicology curriculum in the Music Department. Taught by Emory faculty and artist affiliates from the Atlanta community, the ensembles comprise Emory students across different disciplines and schools, and perform frequently within and outside Emory. This concert features all six ensembles performing a range of genres from the North Indian, South Indian, Japanese, Korean and Chinese musical traditions. The event will be held at the Performing Arts Studio, 1804 N. Decatur Road, Atlanta. For more information, call (404) 727-5050, email boxoffice@emory.edu, or visit www.arts.emory.edu. Republican women to meet The North DeKalb Republican Women will meet at the DeKalb Republican Party Headquarters, 3583G Chamblee Tucker Road (Embry Hills Shopping Village), at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 9. The guest speaker will be Tara Hassell Dorman, who will speak on life after prison. The public is invited. The NDRW is a non-profit organization involved in public service, working with the USO, Ronald McDonald House, the V.A Hospital and local schools. The NDRW is currently collecting diapers for the families of U.S. military. Those who would like to contribute should bring the diapers to the DeKalb GOP Headquarters on any meeting date or when the office is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. For more information, contact Wyolene Richardson at (770) 4918708. SweetWater now a three-day festival The annual SweetWater 420 Fest in its seventh year is adding a third day. From Friday, April 15, through Sunday, April 17, the multiday, Earth-inspired celebration is offering more music, larger stages, new partners, art and a variety of brews. In addition to the music lineup, the festival will feature a variety of eco-friendly and environmentally themed onsite events and activities suitable for all ages. New this year is the Relapse 420 Comedy Tent. Film crews will canvass the crowd recording jokes to replay in the tent. Improv workshops will also be offered during the day for all ages to attend. For adult entertainment, Dad’s Garage and Relapse Theater, along with other popular ATL comics, are performing each evening. The festival will be in Candler Park in east Atlanta. Hours are Friday, 4:20 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 12:30 to 7 p.m. Admission is free, however, those choosing to purchase alcohol must pay $5 for a wristband that establishes that they are older than 21. A portion of proceeds from wristband sales will be donated to park improvement. For more

DEKALB
Ave., Decatur. For additional information call (770) 761-3020. Pet event to focus on awareness, adoption DeKalb County District Robert James, Reps. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Michele Henson and Mary Margaret Oliver will join a host of community partners for the third annual Paws For The Cause. The community awareness event will be on Saturday, April 9, at the DeKalb Square, 101 East Court Square in downtown Decatur. Starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m., Paws For The Cause is a collaborative effort with Partnership with Animal Action Rescue, Village Vets, DeKalb County Animal Services & Enforcement, DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office and other groups to combat crimes against animals by increasing awareness around issues of animal neglect and cruelty. The event will include live music, food vendors, moonwalks, agility/ frisbee performances and more. An on-site veterinarian will administer low-cost immunizations and $20 microchipping. Animal Action Rescue and DeKalb Animal Services, Village Vets & Enforcement will have puppies and dogs available for adoption. “Protecting animals from cruel and neglectful behavior is one of my top priorities,” said James. “These partnerships and this outreach event are essential to combating animal cruelty in our community and promoting animal adoption.” For more information, contact Clarissa Brown at cjbrown@dekalbcountyga.gov or (404) 371-4961. ed at 3748 Central Ave., Doraville. For more information, call (770) 936-3852 or (770) 263-0262.

OAKHURT
Earth Day event announced The Decatur community will celebrate Earth Day Sunday, April 17, 2:30 - 4 p.m. at the Oakhurst Community Garden Project. Presented by Latham Home Sanitation, the event begins with the Earth Friendly Parade, which starts at Harmony Park in the center of the Oakhurst Business District. Visitors are invited to join the Feed and Seed Marching Abominable Band and decorate a bike, wagon, stroller or themselves and march in the parade that will open the festival. There will be a cake contest, crafts for the children, a raptor show, food vendors, the community pavilion, live music and more. This year’s event features more than 30 Earth-friendly vendors and non-profits in the Community Pavilion, including the City of Decatur Recycling Trailer and a Community Phone Book Recycling Project. For more information and a complete schedule, visit www.oakhurstgarden. org.

DECATUR

Theater and film camps scheduled PushPush Theater, located in East Decatur Station, is currently accepting enrollment for June and July summer theater camps. The camps will focus on a classic text and will use theater, film and improvisation to enhance participants’ imagination, communication, confidence and collaboration skills. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Tennessee Williams’ birth, this year’s program will include an adaptation of one of his classic works. Each camp will culminate in a public performance. The first camp is scheduled from June 13 – July 1; the second camp will be July 11–July 29. Seperate camps will be held for age groups 8 -12 and for teens 13 years and older. For additional information visit www.pushpushtheater.com or email pushpushtheater@gmail.com. Soil and water conservation meeting scheduled The DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation District monthly meeting will be held on Friday, April 8, at 10 a.m. at the Clark Harrison Building, 330 W. Ponce de Leon

STONE MOUNTAIN

Judge Rosh to speak at PRISM meeting Pride Rings In Stone Mountain has announced that Probate Judge Jeryl Debra Rosh will speak Thursday, April 14, 7 – 9 p.m. at St. Timothy United Methodist Church. She has served as judge of the Probate Court of DeKalb County since January 2005 and will speak on estate planning in DeKalb County, how guardians of both children and adults are appointed, mental health concerns and the law, little known facts of the legal system and more. St. Timothy United Methodist Church is located at 5365 Memorial Dr., Stone Mountain. For further information, contact State Representative Michele Henson, program chair, at (404) 296-1442 or michelehenson@ earthlink.net

DORAVILLE

Book sale to feature ‘great bargains’ The Friends of the Doraville Library are having a book sale April 16, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Doraville Library. Organization officials say there will be “great bargains” in paperbacks, hardbacks, CDs and DVDs for children and adults. Hotdogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks will be sold by the Doraville Business Association to benefit the FODL and the Doraville Library. Book donations for the sale are welcome at the library any time it’s open. The Doraville Library is locat-

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Page 18A

100 meter hurdles winner Jessika Banks of Dunwoody. Photos provided

On the rightboys county title track Dunwoody gets lift from first
by Robert Naddra robert@dekalbchamp.com One team did what it was expected to do and another team did what it had never done. Still, the winners of the recent DeKalb County Track Championship were linked by a common bond—teamwork. The Dunwoody boys earned their first county track title on the strength of five first-place finishes. The Wildcats scored points in 13 of 16 events and had two athletes place in four events. Southwest DeKalb’s girls team, the defending county and state Class AAAA champion, won their fifth straight county track title and sixth in the past seven years. The Panthers won three events and had two place in eight events. [It was] definitely a surprise to win but it was a total team effort,” said Dunwoody boys coach Brad Hendrickson. “That’s what I’m most proud of. Everyone worked together and just tried to put points on the board.” The Wildcats unseated defending champion Southwest DeKalb, which finished second, 95-71. Two Dunwoody runners each won two events—Dazel Claytor won the 100 and 200 meters while James Dwyer finished first in the 1600 and 3200. Dunwoody’s other first-place finish was earned by Kuaniyal Chol in the 800. Southwest’s Malcolm Brock was the only participant to win three events—the 300 hurdles, high jump and triple jump. The Wildcats hope to use the momentum gained from winning the county title to help prepare for the upcoming region and state meets. Dunwoody moved up from Class AAA last season and joined Region 6-AAAA. It will see most of the same teams—with the exception of Mays, Carver Atlanta and Douglass—in the region meet April 18-21. “This gives us a lot of confidence going into the region meet,” Hendrickson said. “We’ve fared well in AAA but this is a whole different game up here [in AAAA]. We’ve got a large team with a lot of hard-working athletes.” Kyle Sexton gave the Wildcats a boost with a third-place finish in the 3200 and Josiah Terrell-Perica finished third in the discus with a personal best throw 140-6.5. In the girls meet, Morgan Snow won both the 100 hurdles and the triple jump. The Panthers’ only other first-place finisher was Kenya Snow in the shot put. Two other athletes were double winners in the girls meet. Meghan Wetterhall of Lakeside won the 1600 and the 3200. Also, Jada Martin of M.L. King won the 100 and 200 to help the Lions finish second in the team standings behind the Panthers. Lakeside’s Carla LaRotta set a county record in the pole vault, winning the event with an effort of 9-3. Boys: 1. Dunwoody, 95; 2. Southwest DeKalb 71; 3. Tucker, 66; 4. Cedar Grove, 58; 5. Redan, 48. Girls: 1. Southwest DeKalb, 105; 2. M.L. King, 83; 3. Redan 65; 4. Chamblee 62; 5. Cedar Grove 61.

Madeline Wetterhall of Chamblee, from left, and Greciana Cooper of Southwest DeKalb try to keep pace with winner Meghan Wetterhall of Lakeside during the 1600 meter run.

Marlon Coley (Cedar Grove), from left, Greg Terrell (Cedar Grove), winner Dazel Claytor (Dunwoody) and Jonathan Norris (Miller Grove) drive for the finish line in the 100 meters.

Boys Champions

100: Dazel Claytor, Dunwoody, 10.92; 200: Dazel Clator, Dunwoody, 22.18; 400: Tammarick Johnson, Stone Mountain, 48.97; 800: Kuaniyal Chol, Dunwoody, 1:59.29; 1600: James Dwyer, Dunwoody, 4:24.30; 3200: James Dwyer, Dunwoody, 9:41.74; 110 hurdles: B.J. Burney, M.L. King, 15.01; 300 hurdles: Malcolm Brock, Southwest DeKalb, 40.02; 4x100 relay: Cedar Grove; 4x400 relay: Cedar Grove; high jump: Malcolm Brock, Southwest DeKalb, 6-4; pole vault: Jeff Jernigan, Chamblee, 13-0; long jump: Diavonte Smith, Redan, 22-3.75; triple jump: Malcolm Brock, Southwest DeKalb, 45-4.50; shot put: Antonio Kohn, Clarkston, 49-10; discus: Alex Dyer, Redan, 142-10.

Jada Martin, left, of M.L. King won the 200 meters and teammate Felicia Brown placed second.

Girls Champions

County Track Championships results
Team Standings (top five)

100: Jada Martin, M.L. King, 12.15; 200: Jada Martin, M.L. King, 24.46; 400: Felicia Brown, M.L. King, 57.6; 800: Kayla Pryor, Cedar Grove, 2:19.99; 1600: Meghan Wetterhall, Lakeside, 5:13.84;

3200: Meghan Wetterhall, Lakeside, 11:24.59; 110 hurdles: Morgan Snow, Southwest DeKalb, 14.36; 300 hurdles: Jessica Banks, Dunwoody, 44.63; 4x100 relay: M.L. King; 4x400 relay: M.L. King; high jump: Jalissa Terrell, M.L. King, 5-6; pole vault: Carla LaRotta, Lakeside, 9-3; long jump: Tiffany Flynn, Miller Grove, 18-5; triple jump: Morgan Snow, Southwest DeKalb, 37-3; shot put: Kenya Wheeler, Southwest DeKalb, 37-6; discus: Shannon Williams, Towers, 124-4.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 8, 2011

Page 19A

2011 All-County Basketball Team
Underclassmen make presence known among county’s best
by Robert Naddra robert@dekalbchamp.com Prolific scorers and a group of talented juniors highlight The Champion Newspaper’s boys and girls 2011 all-county basketball teams. Three of the seniors on the list already have signed college basketball scholarships, including girls player of the year Jasmine Camp of Chamblee. The senior guard will attend Stanford University next season. Boys player of the year Tony Parker of Miller Grove highlights a solid junior class. Of the 20 players chosen, nine are juniors. Here is a look at The Champion’s top 10 boys and girls basketball players for 2010-11.

Player of the Year
Girls Boys

ing Georgia and UCLA. He has surpassed 1,000 points in his career and averaged 18 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. G Trumon Jefferson, Decatur, 6-1, Sr. Jefferson was the engine that got the Bulldogs offense going this season. He averaged nearly 20 points per game and showed great versatility on the floor as he could score from the perimeter and drive to the basket. G Algie Key, Columbia, 6-4, Sr. A transfer from Lakeside, Key was instrumental in helping the Eagles win their second straight Class AAA state title. He averaged 5.8 assists per game and had the ability to score when needed, twice reaching 20 points in a game. F Brandon Morris, Miller Grove, 6-7, Jr. Morris averaged 7.7 rebounds per game and showed a knack for big plays on offense and defense in clutch situations. He has scholarship offers from Clemson, Georgia and Auburn. G Keenan Palmore, Paideia, 6-2, Jr. Palmore is always a threat in transition and can hold his own close to the basket. Palmore scored at least 30 points in a game three times and had numerous doubledoubles while leading the Pythons to the Class A state playoffs. G Jordan Price, Southwest DeKalb, 6-5, Sr. The solid shooter already has offers from Georgia and Georgia Tech. Price led the Panthers in scoring at 19.1 points per game and shot 53 percent while taking 328 shots, the second-most in the county. G Tahj Shamsid-Deen, Columbia, 5-8, So. A solid floor general, ShamsidDeen led the county in assists (289) and three-point shooting (28 of 47 for 60 percent). He also was second in the county in steals (98) and led the Eagles in scoring, averaging 12.9 points a game. G Jonathan Tinch, Stephenson, 6-2, Sr. Tinch was second in the county this season averaging 20.1 points a game and had a season-high 41 points against Campbell. He scored at least 30 points four times and reached double digits in both points and rebounds in four games.

THE CHAMPION 2011 ALLCOUNTY BASKETBALL TEAMS

GIRLS
F Queen Alford, Decatur, 5-8, Sr. Alford is effective either driving to the basket or shooting from the perimeter. She leaves Decatur as one of its most prolific scorers in school history. Alford had a season-high of 48 points, and had at least 20 points in 17 games. She scored 30 or more five times. C Aneesah Daniels, Redan, 6-0, Sr. The University of Alabama signee averaged 14.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Daniels showed great strength close to the basket and made 54 percent of her field goal attempts. She surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career this season. G Zuri Frost, Columbia, 5-3, Jr. A starter for the second season in a row, Frost proved to be one of the best all-around point guards in the county. She averaged 10.6 points per game on a team that shared the basketball, led the county with 121 assists and was second in DeKalb with 130 steals. G Olivia Gibbs, Southwest DeKalb, 5-10, Jr. The junior became one of the floor leaders after the graduation of eight Panther seniors a year ago. Gibbs led the Panthers in scoring, averaging 13.8 points per game and scored 27 points or more in a game twice.

G Jasmine Camp, Chamblee, 5-8, Sr. The Stanford University signee became a more complete guard this season while leading the Bulldogs to the team’s first undefeated regular season in school history. Camp averaged 10.8 points per game, averaged 46 percent shooting from the field and was fifth in the county with 81 assists. She had a season-high 23 points against Miller Grove.

C Tony Parker, Miller Grove, 6-8 Jr. Parker is a dominating presence who developed into one of the top post players in the state. He led the county by averaging 15.5 rebounds per game had had at least 20 rebounds in six games. He scored an average of 17.5 points per game, was second in the county with 125 blocks and shot 58 percent from the field.

G Katrice Harris, McNair, 5-6, Sr. Harris led the county in scoring at 18 points per game and was among the top shooters in the area. She was second in field goals attempted with 257 and second in accuracy, making 57 percent. C Jen Heider, Marist, 6-3, Sr. One of the most prolific scorers in Marist history, Heider ended her career with more than 1,500 points. She averaged 19.3 points and eight rebounds this season and has signed a basketball scholarship with Bucknell University. F Terri Jacobs, Cedar Grove, 5-9 Jr. Jacobs was a force on defense, leading the county in rebounding (14.5 per game) and blocks (76 on the season). She also proved to be a solid scorer, with a good short jumper, and averaged 12.6 points per game. G Lucy Mason, Chamblee, 5-6, Jr. Mason was one of many weapons on a very athletic team. She averaged 16.5 points per game to lead the Bulldogs in scoring and was

among the best shooting guards in the state, making 56 percent of her shots. G Kierra Paige, Redan, 5-7 Sr. Paige is among the best long-range shooters in metro Atlanta. She averaged 15.4 points per game and led the county in 3-point shooting (61 of 137 for 45 percent). Paige reached the 1,000-point milestone for her career in January.

BOYS
F Henry Brooks, Miller Grove, 6-8, Sr. Parker’s frontcourt mate, Brooks has signed a basketball scholarship to attend the University of Pennsylvania. Solid on both ends of the floor, Brooks scored a season-high 21 points against Tucker and averaged six rebounds per game. C William Goodwin, Southwest DeKalb, 6-8, Jr. Goodwin is garnering interest from schools across the country and already has several offers, includ-

Page 20A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 8, 2011

www.championnewspaper.com

Chris Epps, Clemson (baseball): The senior outfielder from Dunwoody had two hits, two RBIs and scored three runs in the Tigers’ 11-5 win over Georgia on March 29. Epps has started in all but one game for the Tigers this season and had a .296 batting average with five home runs and 16 RBIs through the Georgia game. Jasmin Riley, Alabama A&M (softball): The sophomore catcher from Southwest DeKalb broke a 4-4 tie with a bases loaded, two-RBI singles in the ninth innings to give the Bulldogs a 6-4 win over Mississippi Valley State on March 29. Riley also hit her sixth home run of the season earlier in the game. She is batting .476 with 16 RBIs.

McNair basketball player Tyrone Patterson enjoys a light-hearted moment with basketball legend and retired Atlanta Hawks star Dominique Wilkins at the Powerade Pros 3-on-3 invitational basketball tournament held recently in Atlanta. Wilkins spoke to the players about life on and off the court. Photo by Johnny Crawford, courtesy of Coca-Cola North America

Legendary encounter

Hudson Randall, Florida (baseball): The sophomore pitcher from Dunwoody leads the Gators’ pitching staff in several categories this season. Randall is 4-0 in six starts with a 0.66 earned run average. He has allowed only three earned runs and one walk in 40 2/3 innings pitched, with 25 strikeouts.

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