DeKalb County crime on the decline

by Andrew Cauthen While some police departments have had to consider furloughs and hiring freezes, the Chamblee Police Department has maintained a ratio of one officer per 500 residents. “Our people have free time to drive through neighborhoods, talk to businesses and be visible,” Chamblee Police Chief Marc Johnson said. The staffing level of Chamblee’s police force is a major factor in the city’s decrease in crime. In 2007, Chamblee reported 138 violent crimes and 732 property crimes. Last year, there those numbers dropped to 105 violent crimes and 698 property crimes. The bulk of the property crimes in 2010 were 546 thefts. The drop in Part 1 crimes–major criminal offense classifications tracked nationwide by the Federal Bureau of Investigation–is a trend seen throughout DeKalb County. According to statistics compiled by The Champion Newspaper from the county’s 10 municipal police forces and from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, violent crime has decreased 27 percent since 2008 while property crime has gone down approximately 18 percent. Last year, there were approximately 3,340 violent crimes in the county. Of that number, there were 97 murders or nonnegligent manslaughters, 205 rapes, nearly 2,200 robberies and 877 aggravated assaults. In the property crime category, there were approximately 10,200 burglaries and 5,240 vehicle thefts. Proactive policing The fact that the Chamblee Police Department has a full force gives its 45 officers the opportunity to try to find ways to prevent crime in the city of 15,500 instead of being stuck in a reactive mode, Johnson said. And when the city added 6,000 residents and 1.5 square miles through an annexation this year, Chamblee added 12 officers to the department. “Our city council has always given a very high priority for public safety,” Johnson said. “I empathize with the DeKalb police department,” Johnson said. “I imagine when you see a [DeKalb County Police] car pass by, they are going to a call and have one or two pending.” But William Miller, DeKalb County’s public safety director, said the county police department has used selective and directed patrolling to help decrease crime. Increased police moral under the leadership of DeKalb Police Chief William O’Brien has also helped. Miller said the department is also using crime statistics to “massage the data to determine crime trends.” A study of shootings a few years ago pinpointed apartment complexes along interstate highways as troubled areas. With that information, the department began coordinating with the Georgia State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies to provide enhanced enforcement around those complexes. The department also met with apartment complex managers to promote video cameras and improved fencing, Miller said.


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Photo illustration by Travis Hudgons

“We wanted to let people know we were not going to tolerate that type of behavior,” Miller said. Crunching the numbers The numbers given to The Champion by the DeKalb County Police Department are significantly different than those on file with FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program. For example, statistics given to The

Champion show that in 2008, in the county police jurisdiction, there were 112 homicides or non-negligent manslaughters, 226 rapes and 11,100 burglaries. For the same year, FBI records show 100 homicides or non-negligent manslaughters, 184 rapes and 11,474 burglaries. Miller said the difference is due to when the numbers are reported. The county reports the prior month’s totals on the fifth of every month to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The GBI compiles all the data

See Crime on Page 13A

Revelry and remembrance
—area Memorial Day events abound
by Kathy Mitchell Memorial Day is a time for both revelry and remembrance. Many families enjoy greeting summer on this first three-day weekend of the season with such outdoor activities as picnics, ball games and festivals. Of course, its true purpose is to pay tribute to those who gave their lives on battlefields in defense of our country. There will be many opportunities here in DeKalb County and nearby to honor the nation’s fallen heroes and to welcome summer. Here are some of them: Stone Mountain Park introduces new laser show Stone Mountain Park’s Memorial Day weekend celebration, which it touts as “Atlanta’s largest,” will include the introduction of an all-new laser show. May 28-30 the park will honor America’s troops and their families in a three-day celebration of American spirit on its Memorial Lawn. In addition to the park’s other attractions, including the all-new Yogi Bear 4D Adventure, which will be offered for the first time on May 28, Memorial Day weekend will mark the debut of Stone Mountain Park’s Mountainvision Lasershow. “This unprecedented new show is taller than the Statue of Liberty and up to five times the size of an IMAX screen and promises to wow your family. State-of-the-art graphics and awe-inspiring effects create multi-dimensional magic on one of the world’s largest outdoor screens—Stone Mountain,” an announcement from the park states. The park will salute America’s troops during the new laser show with a special fireworks finale. “Marvel as the skies above light up in a specially choreographed musical tribute honoring the brave men and women who protect our country,” the announcement states. The special fireworks display can be seen Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Memorial Weekend after the laser show. Free passes are available to active and retired military personnel with valid ID along with other special offers, including discounts on food and merchandise throughout the weekend. Elks Lodge to hold flag-burning ceremony Some may think that burning the United States flag is a gesture of disrespect—not always. The AtlantaNorthlake Elks Lodge 78 reminds the public each year that the Federal Citizen Information Center of the U.S. General Services Administration, states, “When a flag is so worn out that it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.” An Elk Lodge ceremony May 28, starting at 10 a.m., is designed to demonstrate the proper method of disposing of worn American flags and provide

See Events on Page 13A

MARTA riders oppose fare hike
senior with disabilities, said she already cannot afford to ride MARTA Mobility. And when Mobility is late for her doctors’ appointment, she has to pay $20 for being late. Terence Courtney, coordinator of the Atlanta Public Sector Alliance, a union of transit riders, told MARTA board members that the proposed fare increases were unnecessary. “They won’t solve MARTA’s fundamental financial problems,” Courtney said. “MARTA’s response is the wrong response.” Courtney said the number of transit riders decreases with each fare increase. “This hurts riders and workers in their pocketbooks,” Courtney said. “Families won’t be able to earn incomes, won’t be able to get to work, healthcare [or] schools. We believe this violates our human right to mobility.” Another rider, Herman Smith, said previous schedule and service changes have been very disruptive. “You have impacted unemployment over the entire city of Atlanta,” Smith said. “People have lost their jobs because somebody has screwed up the schedule of the buses.” Some MARTA patrons complained about bathrooms being closed to riders throughout the MARTA system. “It is a civil right for us to have access to bathrooms,” Smith said. “It is humanly abusive. It is medically abusive for us to be paying the money we are paying and for the increases that you are announcing for us to be denied access to the bathroom. “This is where civil rights were born,” Smith said. “We need our civil rights to transportation restored.” “If you’re going to raise the fare, please do something to better the service,” English said. “It’s really an abomination that you all raise the fare and the service is getting crappier.” MARTA’s fixed route bus drivers need to go through sensitivity training, said patron Bernard Baker. “Every time I ride my bus I have drivers get real mad because I’m in a chair and I’m getting on a bus,” Baker said. “I have the right to ride the bus just like anybody else. As a matter of fact, I fought to get to ride the bus under Americans with Disabilities Act.” MARTA patrons complained of poor service, repeated breakdowns, dirty seats and seatbelts. “We’re not going to continue to keep spending money and then nothing’s clean,” one rider said. “You say ‘no eating, no drinking’


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but then you turn around and put a vending machine in every station.” If approved by the MARTA board, bus service changes would be implemented on Sept. 24, and fare increases would take effect Oct. 2.

by Andrew Cauthen atrons of MARTA at a public hearing in DeKalb last week said proposed fare hikes need to accompany improved services. “I know that there’s a lot of people … who would be willing to go up $3 or $4,” Delilah Black, of Lithonia, said. “Y’all went up last year. That makes no sense to keep going up every year. These fare increases are absurd.” MARTA’s proposed budget calls for a base fare increase from $2 to $2.50. Weekly MARTA passes would increase $6.75 to $23.75, while the cost for monthly passes would rise from $68 to $95. Monthly passes for MARTA Mobility, the transit’s advanced reservation, paratransit service for persons with disabilities would increase to $122, up from $115. “MARTA’s fiscal challenges remain very real,” said Walter Jones, the transit authority’s director of financial management and budget. Transit service has already been reduced during the past two years. “It is necessary for MARTA to increase fares,” Jones said. “Raising fares is the most effective way to maintain current transit service levels.” In its proposed 2012 operating budget of $413.76 million and capital budget of $185.5 million, salaries for all workers would continue to be frozen for a fourth straight year. MARTA also plans to modify bus routes 3, 25, 50, 51, 99 and 181. Francine English, a


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DeKalb parents rally for charter schools
by Daniel Beauregard Mark and Gina Hill said public school was never an option for them until the Museum School opened in Avondale Estates. That was why they found themselves on the steps of the state Capitol on May 17. The Hills, along with several hundred parents, teachers, students and education advocates, were gathered to speak out against the recent Georgia Supreme Court vote declaring the Georgia Charter Schools Commission (GCSC) unconstitutional. There are 16 charter schools in the state supported by the GCSC. The 4-3 ruling struck down HB881, which created GCSC as a state-level commission established to approve and fund charters that were denied by local school boards. Now, only local boards have the right to create and fund charter schools, which can be publicly funded but privately run. Some parents are worried about what will happen to the existing charter schools funded by the state without local approval. Currently there are 172 charter schools in the state of Georgia serving approximately 72,000 students. The schools that are impacted by the court decision are the 16 that were approved by the commission, nine of which are currently open and have approximately 6,000 students enrolled; the other seven have plans to open in the fall. The Hills, who live in Avondale Estates, said they never considered sending their 7-year-old son Dodge to the public schools in Avondale because they just didn’t have a good reputation. “We sent him to private school for three years before the Museum School opened and he’s done better at Museum School than any of the other private schools,” Gina Hill said. Gina Hill said that she attended the rally to put pressure on her elected officials to change the constitution, or do whatever needed to be done to keep the state-funded charter schools open. “I don’t know about the legalities of anything; to me it’s more of a common sense issue. This school does better so it should stay open,” she said. Rep. Jan Jones (R- Milton), who authored the bill along with Rep. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) and several others, told children in the crowd that the fight had only just begun.
See Schools on Page 8A

Judge to rule on request to seal motions in Neuman trial
by Andrew Cauthen A defense attorney for Hemy Neuman asked Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Adams to keep the media and public out of the hearings of three motions. Bruce Rubin, an attorney for Neuman, asked the neuman judge to seal three motions: the motion to suppress; the motion to suppress the statement from the defendant; the motion to suppress identification testimony. “We are not asking the court to close …the motions forever,” Rubin said. Rubin requested that the motions be sealed until a jury is impaneled in the trial, which is expected to begin in October. Neuman, 45, has pleaded not guilty to charges of malice murder and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. The charges stem from the November 2010 death of Russell Sneiderman, 36, who was shot multiple times outside Dunwoody Prep daycare, where he had just dropped off his son. Rubin said the media coverage of the trial is “inflammatory” and is “affecting the potential jury pool.” “The case is being tried in the press,” Rubin said. “The facts are out there. When there’s an article out there, people actually…are having discussions about it, whether it’s accurate or not.” “We’re talking about balancing the Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial against the First Amendment right of public access to the court proceedings,” Rubin said. “There comes a time when the First Amendment actually infringes on the right of a defendant to a fair trial.” Thomas Clyde, an attorney representing the Atlanta JournalConstitution and WSB-TV, said the evidence presented by the defense team was solely about the volume of media coverage. “The Georgia Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized that volume of reporting is not the issue,” Clyde said. “The issue is prejudice.” “There has been reporting about this case,” Clyde said. “But that reporting does not reflect a level of prejudice or venom that could support closing proceedings at this juncture.” DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said the prosecution did not have a position concerning the request by Neuman’s defense team. “We’re not opposed to the media being in,” James said. “I don’t see that the publicity that’s taken place thus far or that may transpire in the future will compromise our ability to seek justice.” Richard Lenz, president of Lenz Inc., a Decatur marketing firm, testified that the case has received significant media attention. An internet search resulted in 160 articles published in a six-month period, Lenz said. Under cross-examination, Lenz stated that there were many duplicates in that number.
City Schools of Decatur Office of Public Information 758 Scott Boulevard Decatur, Georgia 30030 404-370-4400 ext. 927 Contact: Maria Lewis Date: 05/19/2011

Lenz also stated that a Google search of various key phrases in the case, such as “Dunwoody daycare killer,” netted 122,000 hits. Dick Williams, editor and publisher for the Dunwoody Crier, testified that there is “keen public interest” in the Neuman trial.

“I told our people this is our highest priority going forward,” said Williams, who was a witness for the defense. “This is a case that has caught the public fancy,” Williams said. “It is the kind that is discussed at the water cooler and at lunch.”


On Tuesday, May 10, 2011, City Schools of Decatur Board of Education tentatively adopted a General Fund budget of $41,502,676 for the fiscal year July 2011 through June 2012. The current millage rate of 19.90 will increase to 20.90. From fiscal year 2004-2008 district staff developed budgets that have enabled the board to reduce the millage rate and increase homestead exemptions in spite of reduced revenues from the state. The millage rates met the rollback requirements as prescribed by the Tax Payer Bill of Rights three out of these four years. Additionally, the first millage rate reduction was greater than what was required by law. Fiscal year 2009 was the first year City Schools of Decatur raised the millage rate in four years and the millage rate for Fiscal Year 2010 and 2011 remained at 19.90. Over the last 5 years, the digest has grown on average 3-4%. However during FY 2011, the digest did experience a reduction of .85%. Exemptions are increasing by 2% which will reduce the sources of tax revenue. This coming year, City of Decatur's tax digest is assumed to grow at 1%. Factors contributing to the establishment of the budget and millage rate for 2011-2012 are: • Opening Glenwood Elementary as a K-3 school and Fifth Avenue as the new 4-5 Academy. • Adding teacher and paraprofessional positions for Exceptional Student Services due to growing enrollment and the new Fifth Avenue 4-5 Academy • Absorbing positions previously funded by federal stimulus dollars • Assuming full cost of the nursing program due to discontinuation of partnership with DeKalb Medical • Implementing a 1.25% cost of living adjustment for employees Decreases in expenditures have been realized through the elimination of positions at the Central Office, Decatur High, the middle and K-3 schools and the reduction of operating budgets at the department and school level. The special funds show a significant decrease due to the sunset of federal stimulus funds and reductions in the areas of Title I, Special Education and Homeless Grants. The Capital Funds reflect an expenditure budget of $3.8 million to be expended in Fiscal Year 2012 for the completion of Fifth Avenue and the Decatur High Career Academy. In addition, the District will make annual lease payments on the Early Learning Center with the balance being used for the repayment of the SPLOST Bond issued in 2009. The Board of Education will vote to adopt its final Fiscal Year 2012 General Fund Budget and millage rate on Tuesday, June 14 at 6:30 PM in the auditorium of the Central Office at Westchester. Copies of the proposed Fiscal Year 2012 General Fund Budget may be reviewed on the district website, at any of the school media centers, at the Central Office Finance department, or in the reference section of the Decatur Public Library .


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We ought to end this whole nuclear business right now.
by William A. Collins Promoters say To have no fear; We know it couldn’t Happen here. Just to be sure we’re all on the same page, here are a few things we ought to acknowledge right off the bat about nuclear power: • It’s the most costly form of electricity. • It’s also the most dangerous. • It’s enormously subsidized by the federal government. • It contributes a lot more to climate change than you’d think. And about the nuclear power industry, which: • has a cozy relationship with the watchdogs that supposedly regulate it; • spends a fortune on lobbying, campaign contributions and false advertising; • is exempt from most liability in case of disaster; and • lies. True, many of these traits don’t distinguish the nuclear industry from other big businesses. But the unique dangers of nuclear power should give us pause. Every day, our 104 nuclear reactors turn out “spent fuel” that we simply don’t have a clue what to do with. Mostly, it gathers in pools like those you may have heard about at the Dai-Ichi power station in Fukushima, Japan, except that ours are more densely packed. Those pools, it turns out, are even more dangerous than the reactors themselves. While the American public may be misled by the tsunami of misinformation pooh-poohing the idea of risk, industry leaders themselves are not so deluded. The long standing Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act severely limits their liability in case of meltdown. Poor Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) wasn’t quite smart enough to get such a guarantee, and may well wash out to sea on a tide of lawsuits. Our guys are exempt. Our bankers are similarly savvy. For the most part, they steer clear of financing nuclear reactors without federal loan guarantees in case their operator goes belly up. Reactors are phenomenally expensive to build, renowned for immense cost overruns, and subject to agonizing delays. These risks are on top of the mischief caused by their escaped neutrons. Obligingly, President Barack Obama has placed $36 billion in his budget to cover loan guarantees for new reactors. What a boondoggle. Another advantage the industry enjoys is the length of time it takes for irradiated victims to die. Most end up with cancer, which incubates and kills rather slowly. Thus there is always the argument that many sufferers would have gotten cancer anyway. The scope of the disaster is never as immediately plain as it was with, say, Union Carbide’s 1984 Bhopal calamity. But the deaths are no less real. Health statisticians calculate that by now more than 900,000 victims have died from the Chernobyl accident. Luckily we have the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to protect us from such incidents. It’s fondly known in the trade as the “sleeping watchdog.” Recently, the Union of Concerned Scientists faulted the NRC’s handling of 14 serious plant incidents. And those are just the ones that were reported. Further, the NRC has recommended that Americans presently in Japan evacuate to at least 50 miles from Fukushima. But its official emergency evacuation zones around our own reactors stretch only 10 miles from accident sites. Fifty-mile evacuation zones would include New York City, which is only 25 miles south of the Indian Point nuclear power station. Meanwhile, the outmoded plant’s corporate operator is now applying for a 20-year permit extension. The folks who live in the Big Apple and its suburbs had better stock up on those potassium iodide pills. Nuclear power boosters claim that the industry can help slow climate change because the way it generates electricity doesn’t release carbon into the atmosphere. However, whole coal-fired power plants are devoted to processing uranium ore for nuclear reactors, and tanker-loads of oil are burned for the mammoth construction projects required to build them. Additionally, uranium mining can poison groundwater. Indeed the whole nuclear industry is so based on peril and profit that lying becomes increasingly inevitable. Japan is the momentary leader in post-disaster prevaricating, but the United States is near the top in danger-denying deception. We ought to end this whole nuclear business right now. OtherWords columnist William A. Collins is a former state representative and a former mayor of Norwalk, Conn. www.

Fukushima, USA

A little less corporate political corruption
Obama is thinking about issuing an executive order that would mitigate some of the damage done to our democracy by the Supreme Court's dastardly Citizens United edict.
by Jim Hightower Columnist

Come on, Obama, do it. Stand up, stand tall, stand firm. Yes, you can! President Barack Obama is thinking about issuing an executive order that would mitigate some of the damage done to our democracy by the Supreme Court’s dastardly Citizens United edict, which unleashes unlimited amounts of secret corporate cash to pervert America’s elections. Obama’s idea is simply to require that those corporations trying to get federal contracts disclose all of their campaign donations for the previous two years, including money they launder through such

front groups as the Chamber of Commerce. This approach says to those giants who are sucking up billions of our tax dollars for endless war, the privatization of public services, etc.: You’re still free to shove trainloads of your shareholders’ money into congressional and presidential races, but — hey, just tell the public how much you’re giving and to whom. Neat. It would be a clean, direct, and effective reform — so, of course, the corporate powers and their apologists are squealing like stuck pigs. Steven Law, a Bush-Cheney operative who is now both a Wall Street Journal editorialist and the head of a secret corporate money fund, recently decried the very idea of public disclosure of contrac-

tor campaign contributions: “When I was in the executive branch,” he sniffed, “mixing politics with procurement was called corruption.” Yes, Steve, and y’all were corruption experts. Perhaps you’ve forgotten about Halliburton, the Cheney-run corporation that helped put Bush in office and then snagged tens of billions in contracts, becoming the poster child of corrupt, no-bid procurement. Come on, Obama, don’t back down under pressure from these corporate sleazes — sign that disclosure order. If they’re going to steal our elections, let’s at least make them admit it. Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

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As I stood there dopey-eyed and slack jawed, counting the change in my hand, a helpful stock clerk, quickly sizing up my situation asked, “How much are you short?” I was probably nearing a dollar short of what I expected I’d need. The clean-cut, tie-wearing kid—just a few years older than me—said, “Our Publix brand is cheaper, and I bet you won’t be able to tell the “I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers,” utters fading difference.” He then smiled, handed me the Publix generic and 50 cents southern belle Blanche DuBois, in from his own pocket and said, Tennessee Williams ’ A Streetcar “Remember to shop at Publix when Named Desire, 1951. you’re in Florida.” I was hungry, sunburned and That was customer service. I did probably a bit hung over—hardly a not ask for this assistance, and I was candidate for charity or welcoming kindness. It was high school spring practically dumbfounded to have food to break in Daytona Beach, circa 1979. the cash, and now enough the week. get me through the rest of Though I had packed plenty of day- I’m sure you are now wondering old bread and discounted cereal (I where I’m going with this. Publix worked part-time at Winn-Dixie did not arrive in metro Atlanta back in the day), I had not planned until 1993, but this random act of for the consumption patterns of a kindness and excellent customer half-dozen ravenous fellow high service made me a primarily loyal school seniors. Publix customer ever since. Even We had run through our money, today if you ask a Publix employee and still had a few days left at the where to find an item, they will beach. Our beer stock was not yet often stop what they are doing and fully depleted, but we were almost walk you to the shelf and the item out of food. I was staring at the bag clerks who peanut butter section of what would in question. Theirloading their cars assist shoppers in be my first Publix grocery store. I wear name tags requesting that you didn’t quite have enough cash for not tip them. the jar of Peter Pan or Jif chunkySimilarly, I eat several times style that I was coveting. a week at Chick-fil-A, with my

The kindness of strangers
favorite location being in downtown Decatur. Those CFA clerks never cease to smile, thank you for your order, saying “My pleasure..” and “How can we help you?” This very same restaurant location had previously been an unkempt Hardee’s, which might as well have been in a ghost town for all the customers it did not have. Chick-fil-A charges a slight premium in its restaurant category over such competitors as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King or KFC. Industry experts say they average two to three dollars per head per meal more in price, yet their per store sales volume increases well above the industry average. You can almost never find an uncrowded Chick-fil-A at meal time. And that is because for good customer service and a quality product, customers are willing to pay more. I’ve lived in DeKalb County long enough to have been a customer of the original Home Depot on Memorial Drive. The closest and replacement location is now nearby on Lawrenceville Highway. The newer store has vastly more inventory, and is in a much improved location—but in the area of customer service, Big Orange has taken its old motto of “Do It Yourself” to whole new lows. I can lug a couple of

One Man’s Opinion

hundred pounds of potting soil, and several hundred dollars worth of merchandise into my Jeep or pick-up truck, but I can’t stand to watch the senior citizens, stretched soccer moms and others struggling to simply load merchandise, or manage their rolling cart in the store without any offers of assistance. As I mentioned regarding call centers in a prior column, customer service is largely about treating others as you would prefer to be treated. American businesses, particularly the large ones, are run by smart people. They do have to manage and reduce costs, and sometimes the corners they cut impact customer service. A little of that is understandable. But I am often reminded of something my mother said to me as a young man growing up as she was attempting to hone my own etiquette and fashion me into a southern gentleman of a sort. “Manners and courtesy don’t cost anything, and they usually pay you back very nicely.” Thanks again, Mom. 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

Let Us Know What You Think!
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encourages opinions from its readers. Please write to us and express your views. Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain the writer’s name, address and telephone number for verification. All letters will be considered for publication.
Send Letters To Editor, The Champion Free Press, P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Send E-Mail to FAX To: (404) 370-3903 Phone: (404) 373-7779 Deadline for news releases and advertising: Thursday, one week prior to publication date. EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. The Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts.

Publisher: Dr. Earl D. Glenn Managing Editor: Kathy Mitchell News Editor: Robert Naddra Production Manager: Kemesha Hunt Graphic Designer: Travis Hudgons The Champion Free Press is published each Friday by ACE III Communications, Inc., 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030 Phone (404) 373-7779.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 27, 2011

Debt ceiling Kabuki
Trying to hold down the deficit by not raising the debt ceiling is like trying to balance your family budget by deciding not to pay the rent or your mortgage
by Donald Kaul Columnist

The Kabuki tradition in Congress over raising the federal government’s debt ceiling is in full flower. It’s a more reliable Washington ritual than the Cherry Blossom Festival. Here’s how it goes: The president, whoever he is, says: “It’s time to raise the debt limit because… well, we need the money.” The party out of power responds with: “Oh no you don’t. Borrowing more money is irresponsible. The national debt is too big already. We’re going to vote against it.” They go on like that for a while and finally the debt ceiling gets raised, with the vote (with rare exceptions) going pretty much along party lines. I used to think Republicans were guiltier of this kind of hypocrisy than Democrats. A Wall Street Journal article by Gerald Seib convinced me I was wrong. Seib chronicled how from 2003 until 2006, when Bush the Younger was president, the debt ceiling got raised with virtually no Democratic votes. The junior senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, voted against raising it, calling the need a “leadership failure.” Now that he’s the one leading, he calls that vote a mistake. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, now a staunch opponent of raising the ceiling without getting draconian budget cuts in return, voted to raise the ceiling six times while Bush was in office. So, apparently, hypocrisy exists on both sides of the aisle in Washington. Who knew? When all is said and done, the debt ceiling will be raised, despite the fact that in a recent poll 63 percent of Americans said they were against raising it. It will be raised because there is no rational alternative. Trying to hold down the deficit by not raising the debt ceiling is like trying to balance your family budget by deciding not to pay the rent or your mortgage. Life just

doesn’t work like that. The real question is whether Republicans, looking over their shoulders in terror at their wild-eyed tea party constituents, can successfully win this game of chicken they’re playing and extort concessions from the Democrats. The answer should be no. All the Democrats have to do is hold their ground and the Republicans will be forced to fold their cards, which amount to a busted flush. As this battle reaches crisis proportions, if it does, the pressure on the Republicans to make a deal will become irresistible. The pressure will come not from the crazies in the tea party movement but from the moneyed classes that bankroll them. Those people understand the level of disaster a Treasury default — which is what we’re talking about here — would trigger. They won’t let their little helpers in Congress bring the temple down around their ears — and a $1,000 bill is far more effective than a tea bag when you’re trying to get the attention of a politician. Were I a Democratic operative, I would push the issue even further. “You want to cut the deficit?” I’d say, “OK, how about we revisit the Bush tax cuts and get rid of them for people who earn $200-250 thousand a year? That would cut the deficit.” The Republicans would then be faced with defending tax cuts for the rich at the expense of a Treasury default. I’m not sure President Obama is up for that kind of fight. That’s not his style. He’s more of the compromising kind. Sooner or later he’s going to have to learn that you can’t compromise with tea party Republicans. They think that Orrin Hatch is a liberal. Even Haley Barbour isn’t conservative enough for them. They are, in short, nuts. I’m encouraged by the way Obama and the Democrats have gone after the Republicans on the issue of tax cuts for the rich. It’s a popular issue and Democrats are on the right side of it, just as cutting Medicare is an unpopular issue that the Republicans are on the wrong side of. It gives one hope for the future. Not much, but some.

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

Task force takes on rising animal euthanizations
Don’t waste 8 months. The No-Kill Equation is solving this problem wherever it is implemented. You can start today. It will also point out the misconceptions expressed here, mistakes which entrench failure. Good luck, don’t reinvent the wheel, it takes more than spay/ – Jack Carone posted this on 5/20/11 at 2:13 p.m.

Residents oppose cell towers in DeKalb Schools
Are all of most of these schools in predominately black areas? Adults, our job is to protect our children!!! If bringing cell towers near our school is harmful to our children, the discussion s/b over. – carolyn posted this on 5/22/11 at 8 p.m.

Two murder suspects arrested
Getting out of a car with a loaded hand gun to shoot a cop. This story belongs on TRU TV. Dumbest Criminals –dennis posted this on 5/19/11 at 2:06 p.m.

Printed on 100% postconsumer recycled paper

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Darryl Jennings Sr.
The award is presented to a non-lawyer who encourages residents to take an active role and learn more about the justice system. Jennings balances a full-time job and a family with a full plate of volunteer responsibilities. At present, he is president of the Gresham Park Homeowners Association, chairman of the DeKalb Neighborhood Consortium, co-chairman of the social justice ministry at his church, First Iconium Baptist Church, and is a recent graduate of county commissioner Larry Johnson’s leadership institute. Last year Jennings served on the DeKalb Schools’ Citizens Planning Task force in the county and has served on several boards with the DeKalb County chapter of the NAACP. He challenges all residents of DeKalb County to get involved to help make the area a better place to live. “We should embrace what the police force, solicitor’s office and the district attorney’s office are doing,” Jennings said. “If we can do that, it will only make our community stronger. “It’s all about serving,” he continued. “We have to understand first that some citizens are not going to speak up and speak out and some believe ‘my voice doesn’t count.’ Both are wrong. I’m willing to lead and if we do what we can DeKalb County will be back to where people want to move here again.”

Champion of the Week

he champion newspaper is used as a prop as a marTa commercial is filmed in Decatur. The commercial will be shown on comcast in early June to promote the sixth annual Dump the pump Day, June 16. Dump the pump Day is a nationwide initiative sponsored by the american public Transit association in which commuters are encouraged to park their cars, use public transportation and save money. photos by andrew cauthen


Darryl Jennings Sr. developed his sense of compassion by virtue of being the son of a pastor. “I’ve been an advocate all my life for people who have been left out or locked out,” Jennings said. “My father was a pastor and I was raised in the church, and that’s all I know.” Jennings has been putting his passion to work for the people of DeKalb County for more than 20 years. He is a member of numerous boards and associations and particularly spends time helping seniors and residents of south DeKalb. Jennings has a threepronged philosophy about serving he calls AIM. “Advocate, inform and motivate,” Jennings said. “I get up every morning and say ‘I have to aim.’ As long as we’re aiming, we’re going to hit our target.” That mantra has led him to serve with many different organizations and to be recognized for his service. Earlier this month Jennings won the Liberty Bell Award presented by the DeKalb Bar Association.

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

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, may 27, 2011

County ponders land bank to address foreclosures
by Andrew Cauthen There may be a new bank coming to DeKalb County, but don’t expect to be able to use an ATM or take out a loan there. DeKalb County and city of Decatur officials are considering starting a regional land bank, a public authority created to hold, manage and develop foreclosed and other properties acquired by the bank. During an informational presentation to the county’s Board of Commissioners last week, Ray Christman, executive director of the Livable Communities Coalition of Metro Atlanta, said the land bank would work to address local concerns about public safety and economic development. “It’s a tool for converting vacant, abandoned or distressed property into productive use,” Christman said. “It’s taking property that’s not tax-paying now, that is not in productive use now and making it productive.” Land banks do not have taxing or eminent domain authority and are used to complement existing government programs, Christman said. Land banks can clear titles, extinguish liens, hold a property tax free, and lease or manage properties. They can also support code enforcement programs. Last year in DeKalb County there were 18,781 foreclosures, Christman said. Of those foreclosures, some houses are totally dilapidated, some are reusable as homes, and some are good for commercial development. existence for 14 years. Since its inception, the Fulton County land bank has acquired more than 500 properties and has conveyed approximately 350 properties back into use. A land bank gives the county another medium to address foreclosures that are hurting neighborhoods, said Chris Morris, the county’s director of community development. “This is one of the ways for getting property back into the hands of the private sector,” Morris said. “Right now there’s no good framework for handling property where there are no bids” or buyers, said Andrew Booth, a deputy tax commissioner for the county. The land bank would be governed by a fourmember board, two from the county and two from each municipality, which in this case would be the city of Decatur. Initially, the land bank would be funded by monies from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that the county has available, Morris said. That money would be used to hire a couple of staff members. Long-term financing for the land bank would come from Community Development Block Grant, HOME and Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds. Additional funding could come from foundation grants, revenue from property sales and allocations from municipal general funds. Morris said some lenders are already interested in donating some properties to the land bank, which could be started as early as late July.

Commissioner Lee May said the land bank is an excellent opportunity for economic development. “There are so many [PVC] pipe farms around here: abandoned developed properties that aren’t going anywhere because they’re in foreclosure,” May said. “I think this is a dynamic opportunity.” Commissioner Kathie Gannon said the land bank is a “wonderful opportunity to take properties that are vacant…that haven’t been able to turn around in this economy.” The properties could be used for work-force housing or mixed-use developments “to get the properties back on the tax rolls,” Gannon said. If formed, the DeKalb land bank would be the second such entity in the region. The Fulton County/City of Atlanta Land Bank Authority has been in

Continued From Page 3A “We passed HB881 in [to create] this charter school 2008 because the legislature commission to begin with,” realized how important it is Roberts said. to give children and their parRoberts said, the Supreme ents’ different types of public Court’s decision earlier in the schools; you know, one size week only served to fire up doesn’t fit everyone and you Georgia’s legislators. He said are evidence of that,” Jones he thinks they will step in and said. work with the governor to Jones also told the crowd find a solution. that she expected the legisla“Right now our immediture to pass a constitutional ate concern is to make sure amendment to make sure that these schools are serving that parents and children will their students well [and] will have all the choices they need be able to continue to operwithin the public school sysate whether they’re supported tem. by the local school district or “I’m disappointed that with a special appropriation these activist judges struck from the state level,” he said. down something that is wideAnne Marie Eades, presly supported by the public, ident of the parent-teacher widely supported by the legorganization at the Museum islature and it was obviously School, said that she has a divided decision. Three out worked with a lot of the parof the seven judges did not ents and one of the beneficial agree with what [the majoraspects of the model that the ity] decided,” Jones said. school has in place is parental Tony Roberts, president involvement. and chief executive officer of “We all dedicate a sigthe Georgia Charter Schools nificant portion of our time Association, a non-profit to see to it that the school is advocacy organization, said successful in whatever way that they were not there to we’re able to do that. It’s devcomplain about the recent Su- astating to me that it could preme Court decision but to all possibly go away,” Eades plan for the future. said. “I think there’s general Eades sent her two chilagreement by a good majority dren to private school before in the House and the Senate the Museum School opened that this is a good idea or they in August 2010. She said that wouldn’t have passed the law many who spoke at the rally,


herself included, indicated that their job was far from over. “We want our voices heard and we want, more importantly, for the individuals that can make a

change from a legislative standpoint, to know the difference that these charter schools are making not only in our kids lives but our community and ultimately society at large,” Eades
City Schools of Decatur Budget for Fiscal Year 2012 July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012

said. “Today my children are thriving from an educational standpoint and it’s a result of me being given the opportunity to choose a good public school,” she said.

General Fund ESTIMATED REVENUES Local Taxes Local Other State General State Other Federal General Fund Balance Obligated Capital Fund Balance Restricted Total Revenues ESTIMATED EXPENDITURES Instruction Pupil Personnel Improvement of Instruction Educational Media General Administration School Administration Business Services Maintenance and Operations Student Transportation Central Support Services Nutrition Community Services Facilities Total Expenditures 24,669,100 2,707,850 11,214,340

Special Funds

Nutrition Fund

Capital Funds 2,364,000 123,000

671,250 683,700 1,734,900 30,000 550,500

2,911,386 41,502,676 2,418,600 1,251,750 1,351,189 3,838,189

26,364,729 1,264,433 1,311,314 847,666 1,053,956 3,437,836 376,000 4,820,792 891,082 540,057 591,524 3,287 41,502,676

2,108,201 19,901 273,498

10,000 1,242,652 7,000 2,418,600 1,242,652 3,838,189 3,838,189

The Fiscal Year 2012 Tentative Budget will be considered for final adoption by the Board of Education at 6:30 PM at the regular board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 14, 2011. The meeting will be held in the Auditorium of the Central Office at Westchester on 758 Scott Boulevard.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, may 27, 2011

Page 9a

Brown promotes Dunwoody seven to deputy suspects accused of entering autos Seven DeKalb County
Sheriff’s Office employees were promoted to deputies by Sheriff Thomas Brown. Five detention officers and two detention sergeants were promoted. The two sergeants will maintain their rank and be assigned to the jail while the remaining five will take positions in the court or field divisions. Three of the officers were promoted after graduating from Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council courses at DeKalb Technical College. The remaining four completed their courses at Georgia Public Safety Training Center. The new deputies are Charles Dix Jr., Becky Zollicoffer, Derrick Cole, Terrell Gairy, Larresia Turner; Sgt. Nicola Walden and Sgt. Bud Nolan. The Dunwoody Police Department is seeking assistance identifying two suspects captured on video using stolen credit cards at a Wal-Mart in Ellenwood. The suspects took the credit cards from several residents in Dunwoody since May 1, according to police. There have been 19 reports of entering autos, with the thefts happening between midnight and 7 a.m. The majority of the crimes occurred in the northern end of the city, police said. The suspects are described as two White males in their late teens to early 20s. One of the suspects has a buzz haircut and the other has bushy hair, police said. They were last seen driving a newer model silver Ford Edge—the vehicle was seen at the Wal-Mart on Anvil Block Road in Ellenwood. The suspects purchased two X-Box 360s and some clothing. Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Detective Andrew Thompson at (678) 382-6921.


tute, a national organization dedicated to enriching the lives of adults age 50 and older. The camp, run by the City of Decatur Children and Youth Services, is June 13-July 11. Volunteer training is June 1-2. For more information contact Mary Newton, CATCH Healthy Habits program coordinator, at (404) 463-0437, e-mail, mnewton@atlantaregional. com or visit www.oasisnet. org.

Lithonia seeking to replace fired clerk
by Andrew Cauthen Lithonia has been without a city clerk for two months, after the firing of its former clerk. Missye Varner, the city’s former clerk, was fired on March 28 over a controversy of missing documents. “The blame was placed with her,” said Lithonia Mayor Tonya Peterson. A temporary worker is handling some of the clerk’s duties. “The city has suffered a lot,” Peterson said. “It’s not good for me. It’s not good for the city. It’s not good for business.” Varner was dismissed by the city council, which has the authority to hire and fire the city clerk and attorney since a revision in its charter in 2006. Doreen Carter, Lithonia’s mayor pro tem, said the council terminated Varner for personnel reasons. The council will hire a replacement “as soon as we find a good candidate,” Carter said. “Hopefully, we’ll find a great person.” Varner did not respond to calls to her cellphone.

Stone Mountain man indicted on sex trafficking charges
A 37-year-old Stone Mountain man was indicted May 10 on federal charges relating to a sex trafficking ring operating in the Atlanta area, according to United States Attorney’s Office spokesman Patrick Crosby. Soloman Manasseh Mustafa faces federal charges of sex trafficking, kidnapping, transporting women across state lines for prostitution and document servitude. He also faces charges of receiving material involving the sexual exploitation of a minor and coercion and enticement of a minor for sexual activity. The indictment alleges that Mustafa and a co-defendant, 24-year-old Kalandra Annette Wallace of Jonesboro, physically assaulted women and prevented them from leaving hotels or apartments and forcing them to engage in commercial sex acts. The sex trafficking, kidnapping and coercion of a minor charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Woman wanted for Tucker armed robbery
DeKalb County Police is searching for a woman who is suspected of robbing a Walgreen’s at 2320 North Druid Hills Road. The suspect walked up to a clerk at the checkout counter, pulled out a handgun and demanded money, according to DeKalb County Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish. The suspect left the store with an undisclosed amount of cash. The woman drove away in a tan or gold Jeep Liberty, police said. The suspect is described as a White female, 5 feet, 6 inches tall, from 60-70 years old, weighing approximately 130 pounds. According to witnesses, she has red, swollen cheeks. She was last seen wearing a baseball cap with a white and red “G” in the center, sunglasses, a brown jacket and stone-washed blue jeans, police said. Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the DeKalb County Police Department’s Major Felony Unit at (770) 724-7890.

Volunteers age 50 and older needed for youth program
Volunteers are being sought for a new intergenerational health program that pairs older adults with children to encourage healthier eating and physical activity. Volunteers age 50 and older are needed for the CATCH Healthy Habits program that will be part of the Ebster Explorer Youth Summer Camp in Decatur. Many of the volunteers will work with children in kindergarten through the fifth grade in weekly onehour sessions to play active games, learn about food choices and make healthy snacks. Volunteers can also help with training, community awareness, coordination and other leadership roles. The program was created by the OASIS Insti-

The City Schools of Decatur has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 5.03 percent. All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held in the Auditorium of the Central Office at Westchester on Monday, June 6, 2011 at 6:30 PM. Additional hearings will be held in the Auditorium of the Central Office at Westchester on Monday, June 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM and on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 5:30 PM. This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 20.90 mills, an increase of 1.0 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 19.90 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $295,000 with various exemptions applied is:
No Senior School 70 and Disabled Exemptions School Tax older Veteran $147.50 $97.50 $137.50 $97.50 $97.50


Sundays at 9 a.m. Serving Conyers, Covington, McDonough & Stockbridge



1500 Klondike Road, Ste. A105, Conyers 404.317.0038

And the proposed tax increase for nonhomestead property with a fair market value of $295,000 is approximately $147.50.

Notice of Proposed Amendment to the Charter of the City of Chamblee, GA Notice is hereby given that an ordinance has been introduced to amend the Charter of the City of Chamblee, Georgia (Ga. L. 1935 p. 976 et seq., approved March 28, 1935) so as to amend Article 3, Section 1.1 of the Charter so as to reapportion election districts, to repeal conflicting portions of the Charter and for all other lawful purposes. A copy of the proposed Ordinance to amend the Charter is on file in the Office of the City Clerk of the City of Chamblee, Georgia and the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court, DeKalb County, Georgia for the purpose of examination and inspection by the public. This 26th day of May, 2011. Nancy Williams, CMC City Clerk, City of Chamblee, Georgia

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, may 27, 2011

School bus made green in more ways than one
by Kathy Mitchell Through the efforts of Georgia Tech and Ford Motor Company, an Atlanta Public Schools (APS) bus serving Mary Lin Elementary is now green—literally and figuratively. The organizations are partnering on the nation’s first conversion of a traditional school bus to a hydraulic hybrid vehicle that runs on biofuel created from used cooking oil. It is expected to be operational this summer. Mary Lin Elementary is in Atlanta’s Candler Park area in DeKalb County. On May 13, eager Mary Lin pupils donned smocks to complete the paint job, which transformed an APS vehicle from traditional school bus yellow to bright green decorated with leaf images. The children painted actual leaves in assorted shades of green then pressed them against the side of the bus and pulled them away, leaving the imprints of leaves of several types and sizes. The children also are involved in a drive to collect the used cooking oil that will fuel the bus. “This is a pilot project. We hope to learn whether it will be practical to fuel more school buses this way,” explained Michael Leamy, a Georgia Tech assistant professor of mechanical engineering, who along with a team of students designed and developed the hybrid system for the 16-passenger bus. “We expect our research will lead to cleaner, more efficient school buses that will help school districts like APS significantly reduce fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions,” Leamy said. The reduction of fuel costs is a significant goal for the project, he pointed out. By using recycled vegetable oil, including filtered fryer oil from school kitchens and local restaurants, the school system hopes to bring about a major reduction in the millions of dollars spent each year for diesel fuel. The Georgia Tech team analyzed two designs for a hydraulic hybrid retrofit then developed and installed the better design. One of the primary attributes of a hydraulic hybrid power train is its recovery of lost braking energy, which is especially helpful for vehicles that operate in stop-and-go traffic and on hilly terrains as Atlanta school buses do, according to material distributed by the FordGeorgia Tech team. Mary Lin Elementary already was committed both to being environmentally sensitive and educating children about green energy. A sign in front of the school reminds bus drivers to shut down their engines while they’re parked in front of the school because “small lungs are at work.” “Our students are eager to learn about new ways to care for the environment,” said Brian Mitchell, the principal at Mary Lin. “The Green Eco School Bus turns a theoretical

photos by Kathy mitchell

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concept into a fun and exciting reality that stimulates their learning.” James Vella, president of Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, explained that Ford had given $50,000 to Georgia Tech for the project. “The Ford C3 grant program is a national challenge grant competition that matches

the resources of colleges and universities with an urgent community need related to sustainable communities,” Vella said. He added that five such grants are awarded nationally each year. To be considered for selection, a project must involve significant student leadership and involvement.

We’re looking for you.
Whether you attended DeKalb College, DeKalb Community College or Georgia Perimeter College, we’re all family. All former students who completed at least one credit hour are eligible to join our Alumni Association. Access outstanding benefits, special programs, athletic events and so much more.

DeKalb Technical College 404-297-9522

Don’t miss out on the fun – Join Today!


The Champion Free Press, Friday, may 27, 2011

Page 11a

Avondale residents take to the streets
by Daniel Beauregard Avondale Estates resident Suzanne Kosmerl said nowadays it is too easy for kids to spend time inside playing video games. That was why she made it a point to get her son out of the house for the Sunday Ride. “Things like this are really great for getting everyone together outside. I think the biggest thing is community; it gets everybody out and active, which is really important these days,” Kosmerl said as she stood under a shady tree and watched her 7-year-old ride his bike. Kosmerl, who has been living in Avondale Estates for a year, said that events like the Sunday Ride were good because they helped people get to know their neighbors. She also said her son bikes a lot in the neighborhood and “it teaches the kids the importance of wearing a helmet and how to ride.” On May 22, several streets in the center of Avondale Estates were closed 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. and residents were encouraged to meet with neighbors and enjoy any type of “active” transportation. The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition was also there doing helmet checks and a tire-changing clinic, and there was a bicycle safety rodeo for kids, which took children through a path around the street marked off in chalk to illustrate bike safety. Carol and Tom Brooks, who helped organize the Sunday Ride, modeled it after one they attended several years ago while visiting their son in Portland, Ore. The streets were closed so the community could come together for a day to walk, bike, rollerblade and do anything else on wheels without worrying about traffic. The Brookses saw no reason why they couldn’t do the same thing in Avondale Estates so they and fellow residents Angie and Tom Graver contacted City Manager Clai Brown to get the idea off the ground. “I think the first one was in Bogotá, Columbia and it was called a ‘ciclovia.’ We started back in February so it took about three months to plan. We wanted to do it in the spring and it’s also bike month,” Carol Brooks said. City Planner Keri Stevens said that the Sunday Ride was one of four events funded by the city’s new Community Participation Program. “They received $1,000 from the city to put this event on, plus we helped them get things set up. It was $15,000 total and then it was broken up into the four events,” Stevens said. To get additional funding for the event, yard signs were sold to residents for donations of $50 that said “Friends of the Sunday Ride,” and according to Stevens, the organizers made close to $2,000. Stevens said that events like the Sunday Ride are important because they promote the city and also bring a lot of people who live in surrounding areas such as Oakhurst and Kirkwood into Avondale. “It brings people to our businesses,” Stevens said. She also said it was important to have events that highlight pedestrian safety. Organizers were working with the Museum School, a charter school in Avondale serving kindergarten through eighth grade, to develop a Safe Routes to School Program. “A lot of people don’t even know we’re here. It’s just important to get the word out that we have these kinds of community events,” Stevens said.

avondale residents came out on may 22 to enjoy the weather and participate in the sunday ride. photo by Daniel Beauregard

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

The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast THURSDAY
Isolated T-storms High: 86 Low: 67

May 26, 2011
Today's Regional Map Weather History
May 26, 1917 - A tornado touched down near Louisiana, Mo. about noon and remained on the ground for a distance of 293 miles, finally lifting seven hours and 20 minutes later in eastern Jennings County, Ind. The twister cut a path of destruction two and a half miles wide. May 27, 1896 - A massive tornado struck St. Louis, killing 306 people and causing 13 million dollars in damage. The tornado’s path was short but cut across a densely populated area. It was the most destructive tornado of record in the United States at that time. Dunwoody 84/66 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 85/67 85/67 85/67 Snellville Decatur 86/67 Atlanta 86/67 86/67 Lithonia College Park 87/67 87/67 Morrow 87/67 Union City 87/67 Hampton 88/68

In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see partly cloudy skies with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms, high of 86º, humidity of 38%. South wind 5 to 15 mph. The record high for today is 94º set in 1936. Expect mostly cloudy skies tonight with a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Isolated T-storms High: 82 Low: 66

*Last Week’s Almanac
Hi Lo Normals Precip Date Tuesday 62 49 80/60 0.00" Wednesday 68 46 80/60 0.00" Thursday 78 48 81/60 0.00" Friday 88 55 81/61 0.00" Saturday 91 61 81/61 0.00" Sunday 93 63 81/61 0.00" Monday 90 64 82/62 0.00" Rainfall . . . . . . .0.00" Average temp . .68.3 Normal rainfall . .0.91" Average normal 70.8 Departure . . . . .-0.91" Departure . . . . .-2.5
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport

Partly Cloudy High: 86 Low: 67

Mostly Sunny High: 88 Low: 68

Mostly Sunny High: 90 Low: 65

Sunny High: 91 Low: 67 New 6/1

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 6:30 a.m. 6:29 a.m. 6:29 a.m. 6:28 a.m. 6:28 a.m. 6:28 a.m. 6:27 a.m. Sunset 8:39 p.m. 8:40 p.m. 8:40 p.m. 8:41 p.m. 8:42 p.m. 8:42 p.m. 8:43 p.m. Moonrise 2:39 a.m. 3:07 a.m. 3:36 a.m. 4:07 a.m. 4:42 a.m. 5:21 a.m. 6:06 a.m. Moonset 3:13 p.m. 4:07 p.m. 5:02 p.m. 5:58 p.m. 6:56 p.m. 7:53 p.m. 8:49 p.m. Full 6/15

Tonight's Planets
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise 5:36 a.m. 5:24 a.m. 5:15 a.m. 4:40 a.m. 4:07 p.m. 3:33 a.m. Set 7:05 p.m. 6:49 p.m. 6:42 p.m. 5:36 p.m. 4:04 a.m. 3:41 p.m.

Mostly Sunny High: 88 Low: 64 First 6/8

Last 6/23

Local UV Index

National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see isolated showers and thunderstorms today, widespread showers and thunderstorms Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 89º in Philadelphia, Pa. The Southeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with scattered thunderstorms today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 96º in Columbia, S.C. The Northwest will see scattered showers today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 78º in Ontario, Ore. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 100º in Gila Bend, Ariz.

Weather Trivia
How many planets from the sun is the Earth?

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

Answer: Earth is the third planet from the sun.

StarWatch By Gary Becker - Safe Solar Viewing
On all Christmas Eves into my late 30s my family would gather at my grandparents’ apartment. My grandfather, Ewald Marcus, would always have his shortwave radio tuned to a station in Germany. It was six hours later there, early on Christmas day. Inevitably during the course of our vigil he would say, “In just 24 hours it will all be over.” Often with tears in his eyes he lamented the end of Christmas before it had even begun. In just one year the annular (solar) eclipse will be just a memory. The moon covers the sun during the late afternoon of May 20, 2012. It happens across a relatively narrow path from northern California southeastward to the central Texas plains. Here during mid-eclipse, a smaller moon will be placed in front of a larger sun, forming an annulus (ring), around the moon. If you are planning to watch this eclipse, you will need some type of apparatus to project the sun or a filtering system to guard your eyes from dangerous infrared radiation which is what causes blindness if you stare at the sun. Projection systems can be as simple as being near a tree with leaves in motion or crisscrossing your fingers. In both instances tiny pinholes are created which will easily project the eclipsed sun. A long tube, similar to those used for wrapping gifts, can be made into a projection system by capping one end with tinfoil perforated by a pinhole. Light projects down the tube to fall on a white “screen” at the other end. Near the bottom of the cylinder, a much larger hole is placed in the tube which allows the observer to see the screen. Another very inexpensive way to observe the eclipse is to buy solar glasses. These glasses will not only diminish the sun’s brightness to a comfortable level but prevent harmful IR and UV light from entering the eye. Go to to purchase these glasses for safe solar watching.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, may 27, 2011

May 26, 2011 DeKalb County Community Development Department 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330 Decatur, Georgia 30030 Telephone (404) 286-3308 TO ALL INTERESTED AGENCIES, GROUPS AND PERSONS: The DeKalb County Community Development Department gives notice that it will submit a request for release of grant funds and an environmental certification pertaining to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 15 days following this publication. The request and certification relate to the following projects. Project # 1: NSP 3 Program: Neighborhood Stabilization Program 3 Location: The DeKalb County Neighborhood Stabilization Program will take place in Areas of Greatest Need as outlined in the NSP 3 Substantial Amendment to HUD dated February 28, 2011. The areas of greatest need were determined based on public input, coordination with local stake holders, a partnership with Emory University and a local market analysis. A HUD Foreclosure Need Score 18, 19, & 20 Map for the County was developed. These Need Score Maps identify the Hidden Hills Neighborhood Area in Stone Mountain, GA as the target area. Purpose: The NSP 3 Program will provide emergency assistance to acquire and redevelop abandoned and foreclosed properties. The activities include acquisition of abandoned, foreclosed properties; rehabilitation and resale of those properties; funding mechanisms to assist buyers of the foreclosed redeveloped properties; and demolition of blighted structures. Project # 2: CDBG Program - North DeKalb Community Senior Center Project Location: 3393 Malone Drive, Chamblee GA 30341 Purpose: DeKalb County plans to build a new North DeKalb Community Senior Center to better serve the aging population and the growing demands for senior services and community needs in the northern portion of the County. The new Senior Center will provide proposed activities that augment and substantially improve the County’s efforts towards supporting seniors in this targeted area of the County. Project # 3: CDBG Program - South DeKalb Community Senior Center Project Location: 1931 Candler Road, Decatur, GA 30032 Purpose: DeKalb County plans to build a new South DeKalb Community Senior Center to better serve the aging population and the growing demands for senior services and community needs in the southern portion of the County. The new Senior Center will provide proposed activities that augment and substantially improve the County’s efforts towards supporting seniors in this targeted area of the County. PROJECT #1 - FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT (FONSI) It has been determined that such request for release of funds will not constitute an action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment as the specific sites are unspecified at this time. Prior to approving any loan or grant, all projects, as they are selected, will be subject to site specific environmental compliance including Historical Preservation, Explosive and Flammable Operations, Airport Clear Zones, Toxic Substances and Hazardous Materials. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (P.L. 91-190) is not required. The Environmental Review Record, respecting the proposed project, has been made by DeKalb County which documents the environmental review of the projects and fully sets forth the reasons why such Environmental Impact Statements are not required. The Environmental Review Records are on file at the DeKalb County Community Development Department, 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030 and is available for public examination and copying upon request between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. PROJECT #2 and #3 - FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT (FONSI) It has been determined that such request for release of funds will not constitute an action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, accordingly, DeKalb County has decided not to prepare Environmental Impact Statements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (P.L. 91-190). The reasons for such decision not to prepare such Statements are as follows: An Environmental Assessment has been made for the project which concludes that all adverse effects will be minor, and any short-term impacts will be mitigated by either the requirements of the construction contract documents or by the requirements of applicable local, state or federal permits and environmental ordinances. The positive effects of providing activities that augment and substantially improve the county’s efforts towards supporting seniors the targeted areas of the County outweigh any potential negative impacts. This project is consistent with the goals and objectives of DeKalb County Government and the Community Development Department. The Environmental Review Records, respecting the proposed projects, has been made by DeKalb County which documents the environmental review of the projects and fully sets forth the reasons why such Environmental Impact Statements are not required. The Environmental Review Records are on file at the DeKalb County Community Development Department, 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030 and is available for public examination and copying upon request between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. No further environmental reviews of the subject project are proposed to be conducted prior to the request for release of Federal funds. Public Comments on FONSI All interested agencies, groups, and persons disagreeing with this decision are invited to submit written comments for consideration by DeKalb County to the Community Development Director. Written comments will be received at 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia on or before June 10, 2011. All comments received will be considered and DeKalb County will not request the release of Federal funds or take any administrative action on the proposed projects prior to the date specified in the preceding sentence. NOTICE OF INTENT TO REQUEST RELEASE OF FUNDS (NOI/RROF) At least one day after the termination of the public comment period for the FONSI, but not before comments on the FONSI have been considered and resolved, DeKalb County will submit a Request for Release of Funds (RROF) and certification to HUD. By so doing DeKalb County will ask HUD to allow it to commit funds to these projects, certifying that (1) it has performed the environmental reviews prescribed by HUD regulations (“Environmental Review Procedures for Title I Community Development Block Grant Program” - 24 CFR part 58), and (2) the Certifying Officer, Chris Morris, Director, DeKalb County Community Development Department, consents to accept and enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental reviews or resulting decision-making and action. The legal effect of the certification is that by approving it, HUD will have satisfied its responsibilities under the National Environmental Act, thus allowing DeKalb County to commit CDBG funds or NSP Program Income funds to these projects. Objection to Release of Funds HUD will accept objections to its approval of the release of funds and the certification only if it is on one of the following basis: (a) that the certification was not in fact executed by the Certifying Officer; or (b) that the applicant’s Environmental Review Record for the project indicated omission of a required decision, funding, or step applicable to the project in the environmental review process. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance to HUD at the Regional Environmental Branch, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 40 Marietta Street N.W., 15 th floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-9812. Objections to the release of funds on basis other than those stated above will not be considered by HUD. No objection received after June 28, 2011 will be considered by HUD. Chris H. Morris, Director DeKalb County CommunityDevelopment Department 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030 Date of Publication and Dissemination of Notice May 26, 2011

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 27, 2011

Page 13A

Crime Continued From Page 1A
for the state and conveys that information to the FBI. Often, the county has to change the category of a crime. For example, if a call comes in as an aggravated assault but is later downgraded to an attempted aggravated assault, the county would change its statistics. “But we can’t change what the GBI has,” Miller said. There is another difficulty in comparing the crime data: the DeKalb County Police Department does not track most Part 1 larcenies, according to Mekka Parish, police department spokeswoman. The only Part 1 larcenies tracked by the county police are vehicle thefts and charges of a suspect entering a vehicle. According to its website, the UCR Program defines larcenytheft as “the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another.” “We don’t track that indepth,” Parish said. Nonetheless, county police records show that theft was lowered from approximately 9,300 in 2008 to nearly 8,100 in 2010. During that same time, there was a slight decrease in shoplifting, from 2,200 to 2,000. Traffic crackdown Between 2007 and 2009, violent crime in Clarkston dropped from 77 to 61, while property crimes dropped from 343 to 281. Clarkston Police Chief Tony Scipio said crime is decreasing in the city as the department aggressively enforce code and traffic violations. That’s the benefit of Clarkston being a small city. “We’re able to be visible and out there,” Scipio said. The image of crime in Clarkston is skewed by the amount of crime just beyond the city’s borders, Scipio said. Much of the crime reported in the news media as being in Clarkston is not really in the city limits. “When you watch the news you see DeKalb County Police cars,” Scipio said. district. The department holds monthly in-house crime meetings to review crime trends and problems and there are plans to create a bicycle patrol. Officers also regularly attend community meetings where they collect information about problems in the city. “You can’t prevent it all from Staffing helps Decatur happening,” Booker said. “But our officers are very proactive.” Staffing has been a key to In 2007, there were 65 violent lower crime rates in Decatur, Chief crimes in Decatur. Last year, that Mike Booker said. number dropped to 35. In that Photo provided “We’ve been fortunate,” same span, property crimes deBooker said. “We’ve gotten more creased from 728 to 577. help.” “I’m very happy with what For the first time in several we’ve done,” Booker said. “We’re years, there are only a couple of very proud of our efforts.” openings among the 47 sworn positions in the Decatur Police Department. Implementing social media Because of its staffing, the department formed a visible trafIn Dunwoody, the police defic unit and placed extra officers partment has been recognized for in Decatur’s downtown business its use of Facebook and Twitter to keep residents informed about crime. Although the county’s newest police department only has 24 months of crime data to analyze, Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan said there is a downward trend in his city. Crime has dropped 3.7 percent in the first quarter of 2011 as compared to the same time period in 2010. Grogan said he hopes to keep the momentum through the summer months, which are typically times of higher crime. The crime prevention efforts in DeKalb County are aided by a regular meeting to the DeKalb County Police Chiefs Association, Grogan said “We really work closely together to try to disseminate information and share training opportunities,” said Grogan, the association’s president.

Events Continued From Page 1A
area residents a way to dispose of their tattered or torn flags. The DeKalb Police Color Guard will participate in this year’s ceremony, presenting the colors during the ritual followed by a POW-MIA dedication. The ceremony will be at lodge headquarters at 1775 Montreal Road in Tucker. The event will include a traditional holiday meal of a hot dog or hamburger plate, including chips and a drink, which is free to those wearing a military uniform or who show military ID. The meal is available to others at for a break-even price of $2. This is the fifth year the Northlake Elks Lodge has provided a venue to help local residents properly dispose of their worn American flags. “Many citizens know there are procedures for properly disposing of a torn or worn flag, but aren’t sure exactly what they are,” said Edward Carmine, a member of the Northlake Elks Lodge 78 who coordinates the annual event. “Our ceremony creates a particularly dignified and solemn occasion for the retirement of unserviceable flags,” Carmine said. The ceremony is expected to last between 30-45 minutes. The public is invited and encouraged to bring their worn American flags for disposal at the ceremony. Area residents also can drop worn flags off at the lodge, where a closed container will be provided in front of the building for drop offs when the lodge is closed. For more information, call (770) 908-0835. DeKalb County Memorial Day commemoration event County offices will be closed May 30, but the Maloof Building will open that morning for this year’s annual DeKalb County Memorial Day commemoration event. Vietnam veteran and aviator Marvin Myers, president of the Georgia Vietnam Veterans Alliance, will be the guest speaker. The theme of this year’s program, “Vietnam Veterans: A Tribute to Service and Sacrifice,” is part of the continued celebration of welcome home events for all Vietnam veterans, who historically were not well received upon their return home, according to an announcement from the county. “The United States Senate (Senate Bill 74) recently declared that March 30, 2011, be designated as ‘Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day,’” the county announcement states. “It marks the 38th anniversary of the withdrawal of U.S. combat and combatsupport units from Vietnam. Senator Johnny Isakson was a co-sponsor of the bill. The significance of the date was March 30, 1973, when all U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam. Upon these soldiers return, there were no marches or speeches as there had been at the end of each of the World Wars and no ticker-tape parades honoring these Veterans. America’s Vietnam Veterans returned home to silence and unfair criticism having served their country during a divisive war.” The event will be at the Manuel Maloof Auditorium at 1300 Commerce Drive at 11 a.m. in downtown Decatur. The list of those invited to participate in the program includes the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, Sen. Johnny Isakson, Congressman Hank Johnson, Major General James Donald (ret.) and Chaplain Tommy Thompson, LTC (ret.). Traveling Memorial Vietnam Wall comes to Griffin Another opportunity to honor those who fought and died in Vietnam requires driving a short distance to the south. Helping to mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War, the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall, a three-quarterscale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be open for public viewing May 27-30 at Wiomia Tyus Olympic Park, 1301 Cowan Road in Griffin. Viewing is free and open to the public 24 hours a day. The replica is 8 feet high and 240 feet long. Its black reflective surface is inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 servicemen and women who died or are missing in Vietnam. Paper and pencils will be provided so visitors can make rubbings of names etched on the wall. An opening ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, May 27. Multiple groups, including branches of service as well as veterans and government organizations, will hold several ceremonies throughout the Memorial Day weekend. A closing ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. Monday, May 30, as part of the annual local VFW Memorial Day service. Decatur Arts Festival returns Among the Memorial Day events many families look forward to is the popular Decatur Arts Festival. More than 160 artists from around the nation will be selling paintings, jewelry and more. There also will be cutting-edge dance; storytellers and improvisational comedy; a parade and balloon art for children at the 23rd annual Decatur Arts Festival Memorial Day weekend, May 28-29. This interactive, inclusive arts extravaganza, presented by the Decatur Arts Alliance, includes art and artists from all disciplines and features hands-on participatory art as well as demonstrating and performing arts at venues throughout Decatur. All events are free. Among the events at the Decatur Arts Festival are: ArtWalk – Held on Friday, May 27, 5-10 p.m., the Decatur ArtWalk gives local businesses and galleries an opportunity to get involved. Attendees visit the local businesses that have invited an artist or have displayed a collection of art. Many offer complimentary food and beverages. Music will be playing from the Community Bandstand on the Square. Artists Market – Saturday, May 28, 10am6pm, Sunday, May 29, 11a.m. -6 p.m. – Artists set up tents to display and sell their works on the Square in downtown Decatur. This highly competitive, juried show offers talent from all over the nation. Performing Arts Stage – Saturday, May 28, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, May 29, noon-5 p.m. There will be continuous performing arts every hour from the community bandstand on the Square. This year’s line-up includes performances by ConunDrums, Cowboy Envy, Nicole Chillemi Band, Mieka Pauley, Von Grey, 7 Day Fool, Sewhee Village Percussion, Doria Roberts, The Bonaventure Quartet, Davin McCoy and The Coming Attractions and ending the weekend with Delta Moon. Fine Arts Exhibition – The annual juried Fine Arts Exhibition will open on May 24 through June 5. The exhibition features works from more than 60 artists and is held at Agnes Scott College’s Dalton Gallery within walking distance from the weekend festival. Kids and Teen’s Arts Festival – Saturday, May 28, 9:45 a.m. – 2 p.m. There will be activities for toddlers, elementary-aged kids and teens with lots of hands-on art projects, performers, balloon artists and a rock climbing wall. Located on the lawn of Decatur First Baptist Church, the Kids and Teen’s Festival kicks off with the Children’s Parade led by the city fire department. Theater and Literary Arts Festival – through May 29 – It is a celebration of theater and literary arts that includes short plays, improvisational comedy, poetry, storytelling, author readings and more. Events are held throughout the week in conjunction with the Georgia Center for the Book. The Theater and Literary Arts Tent on the Old Courthouse lawn will be open all day Saturday and Sunday with a full line-up of performers for both adults and children. Family events are on Sunday. New this year is the Decatur LOL stage located on Clairemont Avenue, which will feature local comedians and open mic opportunities for the public. The “Speak…Easy!” – Friday, May 27, 7-9 p.m. – This evening of storytelling and music for the soul and spirit, at the Old Courthouse on the Square, kicks off the theater and literary arts festival for the weekend. New Dance Festival – The Beacon Dance Company will present three shows at the Beacon Hill Arts Center, 410 West Trinity Place on May 27 and May 28 at 8 p.m. These performances feature the newest works by local and national choreographers. “With a roster of cutting-edge artists, Breaking New Ground promises a rich evening of thought- provoking entertainment and excitement,” the festival announcement states. A reception will follow each performance. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly encouraged. For more information and a program guide, visit or call (404) 371-9583.


The Champion Free Press, Friday, may 27, 2011

Page 14a

missi wolf says equipment at the studios is state of the art. photos by Kathy mitchell

Fitness studio in Dunwoody makes working out a BLAST

instructor nathan rogers demonstrates a stretch near the end of a class.

more than 10 years ago in an effort to get in treadmills. shape after the birth of her second child. Wolf said that her sessions are priced at Just 5 feet tall, Wolf had reached more mid-range to slightly above mid-range comthan 200 pounds and found herself uncompared to other studios. “It’s important to fortable even sitting on airplanes. She tried realize that you’re not only getting state-ofboot camps, spinning classes and marathon the-art equipment, but you’re also essentially training. She was meeting her goals, but getting the services of a personal trainer.” She only with a huge investment of time. “I was added that each of her instructors is certified training for three or four hours a day to get and no two classes are ever the same. everything in—aerobics, strength training. I Another factor that makes BLAST900 decided there had to be a better way,” Wolf stand out from other fitness studios, accordrecalled. Ultimately she decided that if there ing to Wolf, is “it’s totally about customer was to be a better way, she would have to cre- service.” ate it. From there she started to design her “Our clients don’t have to do anything own fitness regimen. but come in and work out. We clean up and The result was the high-intensity 60-minput the equipment away. We even provide waute workout that’s the basis for BLAST900. ter and towels as they need them,” she said. The BLAST is for balance, levels, aerobics Instructor Nathan Rogers explained that and strength training; 900 is the approximate clients are treated as individuals. “Not everynumber of calories a person burns in a onebody is at the same point; everybody is difhour session, she explained. Wolf lost 100 ferent,” he said. “Each client gets a workout 100 Crescent Center Pkwy., Suite 680. Tucker, GA 30084 (404) 378-8000 pounds, but she also was inspired to teach customized for him or her.” others how to reach their own fitness goals Rogers, who has trained athletes, said the while investing just an hour a day. regimen not only makes people fit physically In 2008, BLAST 900 opened as a busibut it also heightens mental acumen. “Your wolf shows a client the correct way to use hand-held ness. The wife of Wolf Camera founder thinking is clearer, sharper when you’re fit. weights. Chuck Wolf, she said she has an entrepreThat’s important in sports and it’s important neurial spirit that’s GA 30084 (404) 378-8000 independent of his. “I in everyday life,” he said. by Kathy Mitchell 100 Crescent Center Pkwy., Suite 680. Tucker, have a passion for fitness and talent for busiThe business has a staff of about 15, of ness,” she said. “The two fit together perwhom 10 are instructors. The Dunwoody stufectly.” dio is one of two now operating—the other sweat-soaked client on her way Each 60-minute workout consists of short is in Buckhead. Wolf said she plans to build out the door of BLAST900 on but intense treadmill blocks alternating with 13 more studios along the Eastern Seaboard Chamblee-Dunwoody Road in challenging full-body strength training. “If within the next five to six years. Dunwoody shouted, “That’s the you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, just best workout I’ve ever had.” “They all feel that way,” said Missi100 Crescent Center45 seconds and you’ll be doing Wolf, wait about Pkwy., Suite 680. Tucker, GA 30084 something else,” of the instructors shoutfounder and owner of BLAST900, a fitness 404-378-8000 ed to the class members as they ran on the studio designed around a regime she created

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, may 27, 2011 Page 15a EducatioN GPC president receives national award Lithonia students awarded James L. Thornton Memorial Scholarship Dr. Anthony Tricoli is the first two-year college president in the nation to receive The American Association of University Professors Ralph S. Brown Award for Shared Governance. The award is created in memory of Ralph S. Brown, a Yale law professor and former AAUP president and general counsel. The national AAUP presents the award only when an individual’s accomplishments in the area of shared governance are identified as “outstanding.” The successful candidate must demonstrate a strong commitment to shared governance and an ability to work with multiple constituencies to implement effective change. Only five college presidents have been honTricoli ored with the award since its inception in 1998; Tricoli will be the sixth recipient in the award’s 12-year history. The award was last presented in 2007. The AAUP expressed its appreciation to Tricoli for his accomplishments in making governance at George Perimeter College a collegial and collaborative endeavor. “Although I am being acknowledged by the AAUP, I believe that all of our faculty, staff, administrators and students should be recognized for their willingness to participate in a genuine shared governance model,” Tricoli said. Tricoli will receive the Ralph S. Brown Award for Shared Governance and speak at the AAUP banquet on June 11 in Washington, D.C.
The James L. Thornton Memorial Scholarship Fund awarded scholarships May 16 to three Lithonia High School seniors. The 2010-11 recipients are Rodny Joseph ($2,100) who plans to attend DeVry University, Clayton State University or Georgia State University; Erin Levering ($1,600) whose list of possible schools includes Polytechnic Institute NY, Ohio State and Harvard; and Andrae Phillips ($1,100), who plans to attend either Georgia Southern University, Georgia State University, West Georgia or Georgia Gwinnett. The scholarships are awarded to Lithonia High School seniors in memory of James L. Thornton who was a 2002 rising senior at the school and was a passenger in a fatal automobile accident in August 2002. To be eligible for the scholarship, each student is required to write an essay on safety, have at least a 3.0 grade point average and be in good academic standing. If the student possesses a driver’s license he or she must not have had any moving violations in the past 12 months and must attend an accredited institution of higher education.

Agnes Scott College announces budget cuts
As part of a long-term plan to strengthen the financial future of the college, Agnes Scott College has cut 16 staff positions. Staff who held eliminated positions will receive severance pay of two weeks per year of service with a minimum of six weeks and a maximum of 26 weeks. They will also receive two weeks’ notice pay and up to four weeks of vacation pay. The college is providing outplacement services and counseling support. The college also offered retirement packages to eligible faculty and staff older than 62 and with at least 10 years of service to the college; nine members of the faculty and 15 staff members accepted the package and will retire at the end of June. Earlier this year, Agnes Scott committed to cutting $3 million in spending out of its $43 million budget to better align the college’s budget with its revenue. The spending cuts represent one component of a long-term strategic financial plan developed by the college’s Board of Trustees. Other strategies include increasing enrollment, reducing debt and decreasing the college’s annual draw on its endowment.

Victoria Weiss receives Oglethorpe University’s School Bell Award
Oglethorpe University honored outstanding alumni and faculty during the 2011 Alumni Weekend gala awards ceremony. Oglethorpe University Professor of English Victoria Weiss, a resident of Atlanta, was awarded the School Bell Award, presented to alumni or past or present faculty members who have made lasting contributions to the field of education. Weiss recently retired after more than 30 years at Oglethorpe University, including decades as professor of English and stints as director of the theater program, director of the core curriculum program, retention specialist, director of development, vice president for university relations and interim provost.

The City Schools of Decatur has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 5.03 percent. All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held in the Auditorium of the Central Office at Westchester on Monday, June 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM. Additional hearings will be held in the Auditorium of the Central Office at Westchester on Monday, June 6, 2011 at 6:30 PM and on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 5:30 PM. This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 20.90 mills, an increase of 1.0 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 19.90 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $295,000 with various exemptions applied is:
No Senior School 70 and Exemptions School Tax older $147.50 $97.50 $137.50 $97.50 Disabled Veteran $97.50


City Schools of Decatur Estimated Tax Digest for 2012 Fiscal Year Budget July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 Fiscal Year Assessment Ratio Real Property Personal Property Public Utilities Motor Vehicle Total Digest School Fund Exemptions Net School Operations Digest School System Millage Levy Percent Change Dollar Amount Change 2007 50% $1,040,878,000 $18,709,100 $19,348,397 $43,697,000 $1,122,632,497 $60,537,475 $1,062,095,022 18.95 $20,126,701 11.05% $2,003,420 2008 50% $1,088,563,600 $17,577,800 $18,632,600 $47,267,600 $1,172,041,600 $66,510,000 $1,105,531,600 18.90 $20,894,547 3.82% $767,846 2009 50% $1,124,007,000 $18,342,500 $16,893,389 $49,014,800 $1,208,257,689 $64,210,729 $1,144,046,960 19.90 $22,766,535 8.96% $1,871,988 2010 50% $1,162,026,535 $20,387,550 $16,473,600 $50,081,000 $1,248,968,685 $66,710,729 $1,182,257,956 19.90 $23,526,933 3.34% $760,398 2011 50% $1,159,205,210 $21,391,124 $11,673,736 $46,119,588 $1,238,389,658 $63,620,529 $1,174,769,129 19.90 $23,377,906 -0.63% ($149,027) 2012 (est) 50% $1,170,797,262 $21,391,124 $11,673,736 $46,119,588 $1,249,981,710 $65,078,635 $1,184,903,075 20.90 $24,764,474 5.93% $1,386,568

And the proposed tax increase for nonhomestead property with a fair market value of $295,000 is approximately $147.50.

The Fiscal Year 2012 Tentative Budget will be considered for final adoption by the Board of Education at 6:30 PM at the regular board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 14, 2011. The meeting will be held in the Auditorium of the Central Office at Westchester on 758 Scott Boulevard.

Page 16a

The Champion Free Press, Friday, may 27, 2011

Around deKAlb
Saxophonist opens Callanwolde series
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center opens its 2011 Jazz on the Lawn outdoor concert series with saxophone artist Nick Longo on Friday, June 3 at 7:30 pm. “His powerful style, amazing solos and ensemble of top jazz musicians create a lively, energetic opening night performance,” according to an announcement from the fine arts center. In case of rain, the concert will be moved to Callanwolde’s indoor courtyard. Tickets are $15 through advance purchase online at TicketLeap or $20 at the door. Parking is free and on-site. For more information, call (404) 872-5338 or visit Callanwolde Fine Arts Center is located at 980 Briarcliff Rd, NE, Atlanta. and learn how to eat healthy. The one-hour tours will be held in June and July on Tuesday mornings at 9 a.m. and Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. at the Kroger located in downtown Decatur. The tours are free and participants will receive a free gift. Tours are limited to six participants and reservations are required. To register, e-mail or call (678) 553-6541 or (678) 553-6541. When requesting a reservation, indicate preferred date and time. House). The programs are for children ages 6-12. Ages 4-5 may attend if accompanied by an adult. The cost is $6 per child per session. Tickets are required; call Stacey at (404) 373-1088 extension 26 or e-mail for reservations or more information.

Alumni to picnic in park
Fisk University alumni will hold their annual Family Day Picnic June 4, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. in Stone Mountain Park. This is also the Kiss 104.1 SoulFest Day in the park. There will be a general alumni meeting before the picnic and fireworks afterward.


Decatur Active Living to offer free “Supermarket Tours”
The City of Decatur Active Living Department has partnered with Kroger to offer free supermarket tours led by a trained nutritionist. The nutritionist will take participants on a “tour” of the Decatur Kroger using a hands-on approach to label reading, healthy meal planning and avoiding marketing traps. Participants will have nutrition questions answered

Story event to focus on pioneer life
In a June 1 DeKalb History Center Log Cabin story telling event, Fran Frantz presents storytelling and authentic frontier crafts “with a twist.” Frantz is a local historian and enthusiastic storyteller who creatively weaves fascinating tales of pioneer life including children’s chores, entertainment, bartering and science. The session will be presented by B.J. Abraham and Feriel Feldman. Log Cabin storytelling activities are Wednesdays, 10 11:30 a.m., at the historic Biffle Cabin, located at 720 West Trinity Place (behind the Swanton

Movie night in Stone Mountain
Main Street Stone Mountain, Comcast and SunTrust Bank will be hosting Movies on Main, a free outdoor community movie event. The summer movie series will be held on the lawn in Stone Mountain Village. All movies will begin at dusk beginning on May 28 with Shrek Forever After. The other movies planned are MegaMind on June 18, Never say Never on July 16, Rango on August 20, Rio on September 17 and Tangled on October 15 to close out the series. These movies are open seating on a first come basis. Restaurants and shops in the village will also have movie night specials.

Golf tournament to benefit abused children
DeKalb CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) will host a golf tournament on Friday, June 3 at Mystery Valley Golf Course, 6094 Shadow Rock Dr. in Lithonia. Proceeds from the event will be used to help represent abused and neglected children who are under court protection. The event will include a 4-person best ball tournament, breakfast/lunch, green fees, cart and an awards reception. Registration and breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m., shotgun start begins at 9 a.m. For additional information call (678) 830-7791 or visit and click on the golf link.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, may 27, 2011

Page 17a


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Long hours worth it for adapted sports coach
Fogle-Patterson, a para-professional at Laurel Ridge Elementary, spent four years as a volunteer and assistant coach with the DeKalb Adapted Sports junior varsity Eagles team before becoming the head coach of the Eagles for the past three seasons. “I wouldn’t trade working with these kids for anything,” said FoglePatterson. “Just being able to see them light up and be so happy at practice and the games is a great reward. It is a great outlet for them and we always have fun, win or lose.” The Eagles won the adapted sports junior varsity basketball state title in 2010 under her leadership and took second in the handball state championships. “She does a very good job teaching and working with the athletes,” said DeKalb Schools Adapted Sports Coordinator Scott Coleman. “These kids are learning fundamentals and skills working with her.” The adapted sports program competes in junior varsity (Eagles) and varsity (Silver Streaks) sports including wheelchair handball, basketball and football throughout the school year. Each sport has a state championship with the basketball state title game played on Friday before the Class AAAA and Class AAAAA high school basketball championships at Gwinnett Arena. The athletes that compete have physical disabilities, including cerebral palsy and spinal bifida. “These kids have little or no social interaction except through these sports, and they get so excited just to come to practice,” said Fogle-Patterson. “It takes a lot of strength for them to participate from a wheelchair.” Coleman’s extended teaching duties have limited his time for planning and paperwork. “Lisa picked up and started taking care of acquiring transportation without even asking,” said Coleman. “She does a lot more of the planning and paperwork that I used to do. She goes above and beyond just being a coach.” Travel and roster paperwork such as eligibility for the athletes to play adapted sports, along with her coaching duties, keeps Fogle-Patterson on the run. On Saturdays, Fogle-Patterson arrives at school at 7:30 a.m., to prepare for the teams to travel as far away as Warm Springs to play games. The away-game preparations include getting wheelchairs loaded and ready for competition as well as having bathroom equipment/supplies and lunches ready for travel. Home games require setting up the gym with equipment needed for the various sports and then taking it all down afterwards. It can make for some long days for someone who works a full-time job, but Fogle-Patterson can’t resist seeing the smiles and enthusiasm that result from her preparations.

Working for smiles
The Champion Free Press, Friday, may 27, 2011


Lisa Fogle-patterson

by Mark Brock DeKalb Eagles coach Lisa Fogle-Patterson joined the DeKalb Schools Adapted Sports program as a volunteer seven years ago and could not be happier working with her athletes.

Miller Grove Middle wins Lee member of 2011 all-sports trophy Oglethorpe’s hall of Miller Grove Middle School won fame team
the 2011 all-sports award by the narrowest margin in the four-year history of the competition. Miller Grove won county championships in football and girls’ basketball and finished as the county runner-up in boys’ track on the way to compiling 86 points to win the all-sports trophy for the second time. Miller Grove also won the award in 2009 with a then-record of 94 points. Stephenson Middle won with 94.5 points in 2010. The Wolverines won the county football championship in both 2009 and 2011. Champion Middle School has made a steady climb up the rankings, moving from 13th in 2008 to second in 2011 with a total of 77 points. Champion won county championships in boys’ basketball and girls’ track. Chapel Hill and Columbia tied for third in the points’ standings with 76 points each. Columbia claimed the runner-up spot in the county football championship. Henderson Middle was fifth overall in the standings with 71 points and won the county championship in boys’ track. A Stone Mountain resident is among several players from the Oglethorpe University 1968-69 basketball team recently inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Randy Lee played on the team that won the NCAA South Atlantic Regional tournament by beating St. Mary’s 74-56 in the championship game. The Petrels were among the top 20 teams in the country that season.

Columbia holding charity golf tournament
The Columbia High School Athletic Association is hosting a charity golf tournament June 25 at Southland Country Club. The proceeds of the tournament are to benefit the athletic programs at Columbia, including the boys and girls’ basketball teams as well as the baseball, football, golf, soccer, softball, tennis and track teams. The boys basketball team has won two straight state titles and the girls won a state championship in 2010. The entry fee is $120 per player, and includes lunch and the awards ceremony. The tournament is set for a 9 a.m. shotgun start and is presented by CYC Enterprises and National Christian Golfers Association. A pairing party is scheduled for June 24 at CYC located at 2724 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Suite 205, Tucker. Sponsorships for teams, holes and the tournament are available by calling Michea Randolph at (770) 820-4997 or the CYC offices at (770) 987-3558. Several different levels for giving are set for sponsors to choose. Registration is available online at http://www.ncgatour. com/NCGACYCCHS_TourRegistration.html.

Middle school players chosen for all-star game
More than 20 middle school football players from DeKalb County have been chosen to represent Georgia in the 2011 Georgia-Florida Future Stars Game on June 18 at Woodward Academy. Players were selected from a field of hundreds of players at recent tryouts. Prior to the game the team will spend a week at Emory University practicing. Khalil Ladler of Stephenson Middle School was named the most outstanding seventh grader at tryouts. The other players from DeKalb selected to the team are sixth graders Marque’ Andrews, Breon Dixon, Shaun Jolly, London Lewis, Camryen Makins, Khalil Newton and Darren Peterson; seventh graders Myles Donaldson, Shomar Jackson, Colby Patterson, Akeem Peters, Tabarius Peterson, Alex Sands, Jeremiah Shelley, Kameron Smith and Derrion Warner; and eighth graders Javon Barnes, Darius Goodwin, Nick Lundie and Duke Shelley.

Southwest DeKalb sponsors tennis camp
The Southwest DeKalb Panther Community Camp, for boys and girls ages 5-18, will be held June 6-10 and July 11-15. The camp is at the Dottie Bridges Tennis Center at Flat Shoals Park, 4522 Flat Shoals Parkway in Decatur. Each camp is 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Campers are expected to report at 8:15 a.m. each day. Lunch and a light snack will be provided. For more information or to register, call (404) 610-1840 or visit

The Champion Free Press, Friday, may 27, 2011

Page 19a

marist had gone 12 straight games without allowing more than two runs in a game, but Loganville snapped the streak with an 8-2 win in the state semifinals. marist tied the series 1-1 with a 4-3 win in the second game of the double-header may 24. photos by robert naddra

Marist pitching tested in state semifinals
by Robert Naddra Runs have been hard to come by for Marist opponents all season. The War Eagles entered their Class AAAA baseball state semifinal series with Loganville having allowed only seven runs in the past 12 games. In the previous 25 games, Marist had allowed more than two runs only twice on its way to compiling a 29-3 record after the state quarterfinals. Loganville ended Marist’s 12game streak of not allowing more than two runs in a game in an 8-2 win May 23 in the first game of a three-game series. The War Eagles won Game 2 4-3 in eight innings and the deciding game was played May 24 after The Champion deadline. The 12 runs scored by Loganville equaled the number of runs Marist had given up in the previous 16 games. “I have enough respect for Loganville to know exactly what we’re going to get when we play them,” Marist coach Mike Strickland said. Loganville has advanced at least to the second round eight times in the past 11 seasons with a state championship in 2008 and a runner-up finish in 2002. Marist needed three games to eliminate Loganville in the second round last season. Having allowed only one home run in the previous 12 games, Marist gave up five to Loganville in the double-header. Starting pitcher Blake Stevens allowed four home runs as Loganville built a 5-2 lead, then the Red Devils added a two-run homer in the sixth inning. A two-run home run off undefeated Marist starter Brandon Liebrandt, a Florida State signee, gave Loganville a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning of Game 2. But the War Eagles battled back to tie the game 3-3 on a sacrifice fly by Chesny Young. Jack Mohan walked with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run in the eighth inning. Liebrandt ran his record to 11-0 and struck out 12 batters. Marist’s hitters were challenged by Loganville as much as Stevens and Liebrandt were on the mound. Marist had scored 54 runs in its previous six state playoffs games and had scored at least four runs in 15 of the past 16 games. “The pitching we’ve faced in this series is a little different than what we’ve seen up to this point,” Strickland said. “We had to scratch to get something positive to happen, and it’s been a while since we needed to do that.” Daniel Spingola had two hits and a home run, and Mitchell Anderson had a home run in Game 1. Anthony Sherlag and Kevin Gale

each had an RBI in Game 2. The War Eagles beat Greenbrier 6-2 and 10-1 in the third round May 17 to advance to the semifinals. Spingola and Gale each had two-run homers and three RBIs in the series. Stevens and Sherlag hit solo homers. Stevens pitched a four-hitter with nine strikeouts to win Game 1 against Greenbrier and Liebrandt struck out 10 batters in the second game. Dunwoody, the No. 2 seed from Region 6-AAAA, closed out its season with a loss to Effingham County on May 17 in the state quarterfinals. The Wildcats lost the opener 10-0 in five innings despite allowing only two earned runs. Dunwoody lost the second game 5-2 as the Wildcats ended the season 24-9. It was the first time the Wildcats have advanced to the state quarterfinals since winning with Class AAA state championship in 2007.

Page 20a

The Champion Free Press, Friday, may 27, 2011

For me, the week’s not complete without a big Sunday Dinner with lots of family and friends. I plan my menu all week and then head to Publix. Nothing but the finest, freshest ingredients go into my spread! My specialty is making traditional dishes healthier. For instance, I’ll add flavor with fresh herbs instead of salt. That’s why every Sunday people ask me the same two questions: “Beverly, how do you make your food taste so good and so good for you?” and “What’s for dinner next Sunday?”.

Herb Chicken with Red Pepper Sauce, Sugar Snap Peas and Rosemary Garlic Potatoes
© 2011 Publix Asset Management Company

Find recipes, tips and more at
Don’t forget your neighborhood Publix will be open during regular store hours Memorial Day, Monday May 30, 2011.

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