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Chick-fil-A fans show their spots

DeKalb Clerk of Superior Court employees Lisa Oakley and Demarco Pennington pose with Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy at the Decatur restaurant during Cow Appreciation Day, a time when customers receive free food for wearing cow costumes. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Grandparents stepping forward to raise their grandchildren
by Gale Horton Gay

Second-time around parenting
day-to-day responsibilities of rearing their children’s children. According to federal statistics, there are 3.9 million (6 percent) children in the United States living in a grandparent’s home, up 76 percent from the 2.2 million who did so in 1970. The U. S. Census Bureau reports that 2.4 million of the nation’s families are maintained by grandparents who have one or more of their grandchildren living with them–an increase of 400,000 (19 percent) since 1990. And according to a Pew Research Center study released in 2010, one in 10 American children now lives with a grandparent. A just released June 2011 Census Bureau report shows a jump again in the grandparent-headed households from 1.9 percent in 2001 to 2.2 percent in 2004 to 2.5 percent in 2009.
See Grandparents on Page 12A

See Chick-fil-A on Page 12A


our years ago Devel and Janice Spencer had life on cruise control. He was a truck driver and she worked for the state in a clerical position. Visual arts have been her passion, and she had begun fulfilling her dream of creating work and displaying her creations at shows and festivals. Their lives were turned around when they learned their two grandchildren were in foster care. In fact, the sisters—both younger than 3– had been ferried through six foster homes in six months, according to Janice Spencer. They were shocked. The Spencers, who are in their late 50s, stepped up to the plate and opened their home to the girls. In doing so they joined a growing legion of grandparents nationwide who have assumed the

Janice Spencer has story time with her granddaughters, Mariah, left, and Emani Conway. Photo by Kathy Mitchell

Advice for grandparents considering parenting their grandchildren
• Don’t be pressured by DFACS into making a decision. • Seek a grandparents organization to nd out speci cally what you are entitled to and have it set up before you agree to take in children. • Be willing to spend time uncovering resources and programs that may pay for such extras as summer camp. Try to keep children exposed to an array of activities.

– from Janice Spencer

Page 2A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

DeKalb transportation wish list cut to 25 projects
by Andrew Cauthen If some DeKalb County officials get their way, some $76.6 million will be allocated for corridor improvements on Covington Highway from I-285 East to Turner Hill Road. And another $70.4 million would be used to widen and improve Panola Road from Snapfinger Road to Covington Highway. Those are two of the 25 DeKalb County projects, which would cost an estimated $655 million, still remaining on a list of metropolitan Atlanta transportation projects being considered for funding through a regional referendum. The updated list was released July 7 after a meeting of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable. Last year, Georgia’s legislature enacted the Transportation Investment Act (HB 277), which provides for regional referendums in 2012. As a result of this referendum, voters in the Atlanta metropolitan area will be able to vote on a penny sales tax to fund various transportation projects, including transit, roadway, safety, bicycle and pedestrian improvements. A major part of regional transportation planning has been geared toward improving and expanding the MARTA system. “We are heavily focused on our investments that we’ve made in transit and the expansions to the system as well as the state of repair [in] the existing MARTA system,” said DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, who, along with Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd, represents DeKalb County on the regional transportation roundtable. “We are heavily focused on making sure we can get people to work…because we think that’s the key to really stimulating economic activity and reducing congestion,” Ellis said. Of the 217 projects on the current regional list, 31 are transit projects costing $5.5 billion, including $4.3 billion for expanding the transit system and $1.1 billion for maintenance and modernization. DeKalb and Fulton officials have complained about how their counties have been the only counties supporting MARTA for decades. “MARTA is a great system but it’s just two counties,” Floyd said. “Its problem is it’s

DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed participate in a meeting of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

not regional. If we pass this tax, we begin to spend 1 percent of 10 counties’ money on the MARTA system. “People have to understand that there is no backup plan,” Floyd said. “If we want to solve the MARTA issue—equity in funding— we have to pass this tax. If we don’t pass this, you can forget equity in funding.” The goal of the referendum is to raise funds

through a penny sales tax for transportation projects that can be completed within 10 years. “We’re making a 10year promise,” said Kirk Fjelstul, chief counsel for the Georgia Regional Transit Authority. “A sales tax is a promise. It takes a lot of commitment and focus and up-front decision-making to make the right choice for 10 years.”

The estimated cost of the remaining regional projects is $12.2 billion. Since this amount is double the target amount of $6.1 billion, the projects will be reduced further. The penny sales tax is expected to generate approximately $6 billion to $9 billion over 10 years. Ellis said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the chances of the referendum passing.

“It’s about an investment that we’re making in the quality of life of our citizens,” Ellis said. “Essentially we have to help people understand what the investment is and what the return on that investment will be.” The regional roundtable has until Oct. 15 to finalize the project list, which will go to voters in a regional referendum in July 2012.

Accused rapist on trial after DNA evidence reopens cold case
by Andrew Cauthen A series of sexual assaults in the Glenwood area of DeKalb County went unsolved for several years, but now a man is on trial for the crimes. A jury was selected on July 11 in the trial of Sylvester Antonio Ray, who was indicted by a grand jury on 16 counts surrounding the rapes of four women in 2002 and 2003. Ray is facing charges of rape, aggravated assault, aggravated sodomy, false imprisonment, armed robbery and kidnapping with bodily injury. Ray was linked to the crimes after DNA testing by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Ray is accused of raping four females in DeKalb County during a nine-month period. Some alleged victims were also kidnapped, sodomized and robbed at gunpoint. In one rape allegation, Ray is accused of holding a handgun to the head of a victim and ordering her to remove her clothing. In another incident Ray is accused of using a knife to cut off the victim’s underwear. In April 2003, a female was allegedly choked with a belt by the suspect. The case was considered a “cold case” until DNA evidence linked Ray to the attacks. The trial was expected to last all week.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

County passes property tax increase
by Andrew Cauthen DeKalb residents will be paying more in county taxes. A 4.35-mill increase became official after several months of wrangling by the county’s Board of Commissioners and CEO Burrell Ellis’ administration. The increase means the owner of an average home valued at $155,700 would pay $672 in county property taxes. The increase passed 4-3 with commissioners Elaine Boyer, Lee May and Sharon Barnes Sutton voting against it. “I don’t want a property tax increase,” said Commissioner Kathie Gannon, who voted for the increase. “We do not take this responsibility lightly, but I think this is the fiscally responsible thing to do to move DeKalb County forward. “We have to be able to keep our county fiscally sound and stable so we can get ready for the next generation,” Commissioner Larry Johnson said. “We are not out of the water yet,” Johnson said. “I’m still not totally happy with the budget but this is the hand we had.” Before the budget was passed residents had the opportunity to speak about the increase. “I am certainly against any tax increase for this county,” said resident Jerry Myer Jackson. “Are you out of your mind? Every Republican in this country realizes that the citizens cannot afford a tax increase.” Ruby Boseman Davis said she opposed a tax increase until the county performs a financial audit. “What about our budget?” Davis asked. “Are you giving any consideration about our budgets? We don’t have the money for this budget or the large tax increase.” South DeKalb resident Anne Randolph said her neighbors could not afford a tax increase. “The south DeKalb community has been hit hardest with foreclosures, unemployment and high crime,” Randolph said. “When we walk out of our doors, many of our communities look like ghost towns. How can you think in terms of asking for an increase on homes we cannot even sell or secure loans on? “Our communities are so cheap now they are being sold to the highest bidders for pennies,” Randolph said. There were several residents who said a tax increase is needed for the county’s stability. “We know we are going to have to raise some taxes,” said Charles Peagler. “You can’t balance this budget with cuts. You can’t cut your way out of this budget. Taxes are going to have to be raised.” Kenneth Taylor said he believes the county’s financial burden needed to be shared by taxpayers. “I am willing to pay the extra $90 or $100 a year if it means it will help in getting our county on sound financial footing,” Taylor said. “This does not mean however I endorse throwing good money after bad. The bottom line is we need better management, better fiscal management and better resource management.” To make the budget process more manageable, Ellis and the board have agreed that the fiscal year be changed from a calendar year to a July to June year. Currently, the CEO’s proposed budget is presented to the board in December and the board adopts a budget in February. After the tax digest is released by the tax commissioner in June, the board sets a final millage rate in July. “Because of this recession and the changes …on an almost monthly basis in terms of our revenue resources, it’s just extended the budget process out almost into a yearlong process,” Ellis said. “I think we need to consolidate the millage setting with the adoption of the budget.” Ellis said the tax increase is necessary to provide for the “essential services of our citizens”– public safety, criminal justice and infrastructure needs. “We’ve got a considerable decline in our revenues as a result of the drop in our tax digest,” Ellis said. “Our property values have fallen significantly because of the recession, because of the impact of foreclosures in our county. “I’ve always said that we need to rein in our spending before we raise taxes. But we’ve done that. We’ve done a good job of that by reducing government and consolidating departments and becoming extraordinarily efficient.”

Local News

Page 3A


July 6, 2011

DeKalb County Community Development Department 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330 Decatur, Georgia 30030 Telephone (404) 286-3308

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: Location: Purpose: Project #2: Location: Purpose: Project #3: Location: Purpose: DeKalb County – Briarwood Park and Recreation Center Renovation 2235 Briarwood Way, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329 The project is to renovate the existing Briarwood Park and Recreation Center to meet the needs of current and future populations. The Briarwood Park and Recreation Center serves the Buford Highway Corridor. City of Clarkston – Friendship Forest Nature Preserve 4380 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Clarkston, GA 30021 The construction work proposed is to demolish the dilapidated impervious surfaces within Friendship Forest to make way for future improvements consistent with the Nature Preserves Conceptual Master Plan. City of Doraville – New Peachtree Road Sidewalks New Peachtree Road, Doraville, GA 30340 The City of Doraville will be constructing approximately 2,000 linear feet of sidewalk along New Peachtree Road from the Georgia Power Substation extending to the border of the Doraville-Chamblee City Limits.


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 projects which concludes that all adverse effects will be minor, 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 eliminating public health hazards and improving environmental conditions for low and moderate-income families 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. 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 July 29, 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. 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 to these projects.


Public Comments on FONSI


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., 15th 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 August 15, 2011 will be considered by HUD.

Objection to Release of Funds

Chris H. Morris, Director DeKalb County Community Development Department 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030 Date of Publication and Dissemination of Notice July 14, 2011

The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

Opinion The Newslady

Page 4A

Commissioners beware, part II
bias in favor of the people of DeKalb County where I have lived, worked, worshipped and served for the past 30 years in more capacities than can be listed in this space. The Beware article was in response to people in the community who are fed up with the foot dragging, grandstanding and petty politics that permeates DeKalb County government. The article was extremely well received and is the second most popular I have written in the nearly three years of contributing toThe Champion. I stand by every word of it. It is necessary to be crystal clear. Politics is the business of the people. The people in Commissioner Lee May’s district spoke loudly and clearly that they did not want the gasification plant. The fact is he chose to vote against their wishes. I have not, nor am I questioning his motives. I do question his judgment when it comes to such a colossal parting of the ways with voters in his district. Instead of wasting my tax dollars whining and whimpering and trying to silence this voice, Commissioner May in his role as chair of the budget committee might want to expend that energy working aggressively to find ways to get our bond ratings restored. The small mileage increase passed recently should have been done months ago. Instead, Commissioner May was pounding his chest in letters to constituents bragging that he did not raise our taxes as the administration proposed, knowing full well that a mileage increase was inevitable. It is this type posturing that only serves to weaken the county’s financial standing. We’ve raided our reserves to dangerously low levels and had our bond ratings lowered as a result. The lowering of our bond ratings results in higher interest rates when we try to borrow money. In short, it costs us more money. In common lexicon, we cut off our noses to spite our faces with these political shell games. As to the proposal to strengthen our code enforcement ordinances that is languishing in Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton’s committee, it is necessary to reiterate. Why not move it out? It is the will of the people. The job of the legislative branch is to legislate. The executive branch does not create policy. That’s the commission’s job. The proposed code enforcement ordinance is the result of months of work that began with a 45-member task force led by then Commissioner Connie Stokes. The work culminated with an ordinance hammered out by a 10-member core group that put in dozens of hours with the administration’s legal department and others to make certain it would stand legal muster. Best practices from neighboring counties and around the country were included. So why the delay in cleaning up the blight? Why destroy the will of the people? It is intimated that commissioners in the south end of the county are being unfairly targeted. Nothing could be further from the truth. It happens that this writer lives in the south end of the county. Please do not employ Tea Party tactics of truth twisting and personal attacks. Don’t even think about play-

There is an old Southern saw that is applicable here – “A hit dog will holler.” Well the hoots and howls of indignation are reverberating throughout south DeKalb because this writer had the unmitigated gall to offer an opinion about the lack of movement on a code enforcement ordinance and the vote for the biomass gasification plant against the overwhelming wishes of the community. First of all, I am a contracted columnist for The Champion offering my opinion and observations on a variety of subjects mostly local and often national. I am not a news reporter for The Champion, which would require that I be balanced and objective and refrain from offering my opinion. There is a distinct difference. As a columnist or commentator, it is expected that one has a personal opinion or even bias. However, as a result of some 30 plus years as a working journalist, I still lean heavily toward objectivity and facts, none of which were in error in the “Commissioners Beware” column. There is the suggestion that I am opposed to the Board of Commissioners and biased in favor of the Ellis administration. Please know that my

ing the race card. It should be made clear that I do not do the bidding of the Ellis administration nor do I consult with them. I have never been anyone’s puppet. Finally, I do not currently have a contract with the county. I had a threemonth and a half- month contract with the county that ended in February. During that time, my personal ethics would not allow me to write pro or con about any branch of the county. The contract was perfectly legal and above board. It was to provide the administration with a blueprint to help the community understand the urgency of a water rate increase in the face of impending federal and state sanctions. The media had a copy of it before I did. That contract cost this writer dearly in terms of Social Security benefits and badly needed surgery. While there was no conflict of interest, I do apologize for even the appearance of same. I am not whining and complaining about the toll service to my community has cost compared to the modest compensation received. If The Champion chose not to publish another word by this writer, I will continue to speak for the people through one forum or another. I know where the bodies are buried and the bones scattered. Commissioners should be thanked for their service and sacrifice. But beware of putting political ambition ahead of the needs and wishes of the community. We will watch and report. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Milies at

Bring our troops home
The Afghan war is over
their lives shattered), and almost half a trillion of our tax dollars siphoned from crucial needs here at home. And what did we buy with this precious outlay? An Afghan government that is flagrantly corrupt and embarrassingly inept; a nation that remains impoverished, largely illiterate, anarchic, split into factious ethnic groupings and roiled by an unresolved civil war that’s been simmering (and occasionally boiling over) for nearly 40 years. Chances are good that it will spiral into civil war again, no matter what we do. “We won’t try to make Afghanistan a perfect
by Jim Hightower Columnist

At long last, America’s overdue withdrawal from Afghanistan has begun. “The tide of war is receding,” President Barack Obama declared as he announced that 10,000 troops would come home this year and 23,000 more next year. That tide has been a deadly one for our country–1,650 of our troops killed, more than 11,000 maimed (many horribly,

place,” Obama said, apparently with no irony in his voice. Yet, the withdrawal he spoke of is proceeding at an excruciatingly slow and costly pace. For more than a year, we’ll continue to dump $10 billion a month into that war — money desperately needed for nation-building in America. Even with Obama’s announced reduction in our forces, 67,000 U.S. troops will still be in Afghanistan at the end of next year. And despite his pledge of a total military drawdown by 2015, it will cost taxpayers about $8 billion a year after that to meet his commitment to recruit, train

and fund a 300,000-member Afghan army and police force. This is a classic case of throwing good money after bad. Far worse, for at least three more years, we’ll be throwing more American lives into a war that the president has declared to be over. America has achieved its goals there, he told us. Fine. So let’s leave. Now. Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

Opinion One Man’s Opinion
Beverly Hall was an inspiring leader, possibly even able to achieve miracles in academic performance. However, I will share that before and during her tenure, I periodically volunteered as a classroom reader and career day speaker in APS elementary and middle schools. I met some inspiring principals, teachers and had some heart-warming experiences working with students, but other than two visits to Drew Charter School (also in the city of Atlanta), I was amazed over time how little things appeared to me to be changing. Broken English, from students and teachers, was still often the norm. Written communication was rife with grammatical and spelling errors even in later middle school grades; and I often felt or wondered how these children were being readied and prepared for the real world awaiting them after high school. But I do know that at Drew Charter and other schools where I witnessed the “miracle of education” parents were a part of the equation, siblings and

Page 5A

Lessons earned and learned
ment, homework, parental involvement and rigor, and self-discipline by individual students can build a path to greatness. Though system leadership matters greatly, there is no Messiah or single hire who can miraculously “charm” or press release a school system’s way to the top. What is perhaps most incredible about this entire imbroglio is that no one noticed sooner things like the test scores of an individual school improving as much as 46 percent in a single year. As I mulled this column, I kept replaying in my mind that if you reverse the letters of “teach,” you get cheat. Well, actually you get hceat, but my point is just how fine the line (at least to some of these educators) appeared to be between “teaching the test”—a decades long practice for improving performance, and simply erasing, and changing answers to make student performance appear improved. I am among those who wanted to believe that Dr. students in families all understood that academic performance and achievement mattered, and when I occasionally tutored, I was often heartened to hear a student say things like, “This is hard, but when I study, I learn,” or “I don’t really like homework, but when I do it, the next day often seems so much easier at school.” Here is a suggestion for salvaging assessment of the education of our APS children, though it will come with a cost. Select a well-accepted, and credible standardized test such as the Iowa Basic Skills, CRCT or even tests from the Princeton Review. Test all children at all grade levels in APS twice in one year— at the beginning of fall, to establish the benchmark, and again toward the end of spring. Resume the regular testing schedule the following year. In the span of 18 months, you should have three measurements of academic performance, cognition and ability to compare with other systems, as well as to gauge academic ability and achievement within APS. The Georgia General Assembly may want to consider a one-time match grant to the APS system as an incentive. We owe these children and their families a “make good.” The cheating took years to evolve and become such a culture of corruption. It will likely take years to weed out the wrong-doers and reverse the overnight reputational hit. Recruiting the best teachers and administrators may also be challenging for some time. Again, there is no easy way out. However, the city of Atlanta has been dealt harsher hands, and found its way back into the light before—and it will again. That’s another lesson earned and learned from all those years of Georgia history. 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

“If anyone at all is to have the privilege of lying, the rulers of the State should be the persons; and they, in their dealings either with enemies or with their own citizens, may be allowed to lie for the public good.” Plato (427-347 B.C.), philosopher and student of Socrates, writing in The Republic. As the new interim Atlanta Public Schools superintendent, re-organized APS Board of Education and others work to pull the reputation and credibility of the system out of the wreckage, there is at least one irrefutable and important lesson to be learned, and which this illicit behavior has earned. There is no easy way to learn, improve performance or become a true scholar. Study, active teacher/ student classroom engage-

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The Champion, Thursday, July 14 - 20, 2011


Page 6A

President concession
by Donald Kaul

Every time Obama tries to make nice with the Republicans he gets hit in the face with a cream pie
If he fears alienating potential voters he should consider this: People I’m starting to worry about Barack like leaders who aren’t walking around Obama. with whipped cream on their faces all I didn’t worry about him before. the time. I thought he was the best Democrat I’m particularly worried about the running in the 2008 primaries, and I upcoming battle in Congress over raisthought he was far superior to John ing the debt ceiling. The Republicans McCain in the general election. I still have vowed not to raise the ceiling unthink that. (By the way, did you hear less the president agrees to cut the fedthe latest on McCain? He blamed the eral budget to the bone, then remove forest fires consuming the southwest the bone. on undocumented immigrants. When Obama in turn has vowed — I he opens his mouth these days, you don’t know, to negotiate, or somedon’t know whether to laugh or cry.) thing. He ignores the fact that the curI’ve defended Obama against his rent Republican model doesn’t differright-wing enemies (that was easy be- entiate between negotiation and total cause their charges were ludicrous), surrender. and I’ve defended him against many of I’m afraid that Obama and his his allies on the left (people who yearn Democratic colleagues are going to for a Ralph Nader-Dennis Kucinich cave in to Republican demands, thus presidential ticket). setting the tone for the next two-andMy argument has been essentially a-half years. this: “Yeah, his health care plan wasn’t My idea of a sensible negotiation good enough, and his stimulus packis for the Democrats to give in on cuts age wasn’t big enough, and he’s slow to the budget and the Republicans to to get out of wars he’s promised to let go of the Bush tax cuts for rich get out of, but let’s cut the guy some people. That’s pretty much the formula slack. He was handed a terrible situaneutral observers come up with when tion, with a collapsing economy, two they discuss deficit cuts. wars raging, and a toxic political opAnother thing neutral observers position dedicated to his failure. He’s agree on is that not raising the debt done reasonably well in difficult circeiling would be a disaster of enorcumstances.” mous proportions. But I’m starting to have my But I’m not sure Republicans see it doubts. that way. I find his unwavering attempts to They seem to be willing to let the find bipartisan solutions to controvereconomy go smash if they don’t get sial problems uplifting and all. Inspir- their way, which consists of continuing even. But there’s such a thing as ing to build a society of great pricarrying moderation too far. vate wealth and equally great public Every time he tries to make nice poverty: a society with rotten public with the Republicans he gets hit in the schools, pathetic public transportation, face with a cream pie. That’s not lead- and crummy infrastructure. ership; that’s masochism. Those are the stakes in the debt Which, of course, is exactly what ceiling battle. You would think that a my progressive friends have been president of Obama’s rhetorical skill arguing for the past 18 months. Why could convince the public that the doesn’t he articulate what he believes Republicans were razing the nation’s in and stand up for it, they keep askfuture in favor of lining the pockets of ing. a few fat-cat political donors. I’m running out of answers to that But he can’t do it unless he tries, question. and I’m not sure he’s up for the game. What, is he afraid he’ll make conWhich is why I’m worried. servatives mad? You can’t make conservatives madder than they already OtherWords columnist Donald Kaul are. They wake up mad in the morning lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. www.othand spend the rest of the day getting really ticked off.

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

Residents speak out against tax increase
This is insane!!!! For how long they are going to increase taxes and property taxes to generate millions. From homeowners!!! With the economy down the drain, high foreclosures and unemployement. Wow, I’am speechless. It’s gonna get worse. I see more empty houses. – maribel posted this on 7/11/11 at 12:45 a.m. To the resident who suggested that a 30 percent cut in employees would go unnoticed, I would like to say this: “Be careful what you wish just might get it. Remember this when you have a water leak in your yard and the water and sewer people can’t get to you for a week and your yard floods, remember this when you have to take your own trash to the landfill because there is not enough staff to run the garbage trucks, remember this when you want to check out a library book and have to drive ten miles to a branch that is open, and especially remember this when someone armed with a gun kicks in your front door and no one answers your emergency call because the 911 call center is understaffed!”
– DeKalb Resident and Employee posted this on 7/8/11 at 9:44 a.m.

New Birth burglary suspect pleads not guilty
Nah, sounds more like a pimp. – Jay posted this on 7/9/11 at 12:10 p.m. A minister with $100,000 of jewelry and electronics in his office? Sounds like a wall street broker – Simplicity posted this on 7/7/11 at 9:06 a.m.

DeKalb County School System administrator suspended
10 days? I guess no one takes education seriously anymore. They should be fired. No questions asked. Way to set the example for our children. I won’t even go into the fact that Bishop Eddie Long is a co-author on this...cuz we want our administrators and teachers following his example? – Corrie posted this on 7/7/11 at 9:10 a.m.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

Local News

Page 7A

Community organizer retires after 40 years of service
by Andrew Cauthen After four decades years of service, the unofficial mayor of the section of Atlanta in DeKalb County has retired. At the time of her retirement earlier this summer, Sarah Fitten worked as the liaison for community and government relations for the Fulton-Atlanta Community Action Authority, a safety Sarah Fitten, who worked as the liaison for community and governnet organization that assists ment relations for the Fulton-Atlanta Community Action Authority, is recognized by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners for her residents with emergency 40 years of service. Photo by Andrew Cauthen needs. Fitten stood on the front and initiatives, including senior citizen lines of community involvement for many centers, day care programs, community years, acting as the unofficial mayor of the libraries, the MARTA rail system, a Grady Atlanta-DeKalb area, DeKalb CommisHospital satellite clinic and the annual sioner Larry Johnson said. Edgewood Day Festival. The Board of Commissioners recently Additionally, she has served on more recognized Fitten with a resolution and a than a dozen professional organizations, day in her honor. including the Early Head Start policy adviDuring her career, Fitten “guided and sory board, advisory board of the DeKalb strengthened so many families who did not branch of the United Way and the DeKalb have the proper things for them to live,” County NAACP. Johnson said. Fitten can be directly credited “Wherever there was a problem …they with the expansion of the DeKalb Atlanta would call Sarah Fitten and she would try Human Services center. to make some things happen,” Fitten said. “My mother has been a true cham“It’s not about Sarah,” Fitten said. “It’s pion,” said daughter Yolanda Fitten. “She about the people that Sarah has helped. I’m has sacrificed a lot for her family, her a servant for the people. It’s not about me. church and her county.” I’m a servant for the least these.” Her son Joseph Fitten Jr., said, “She’s “This woman is phenomenal,” said loved every minute of it. She’s been the Joyce Dorsey, CEO of Fulton-Atlanta spearhead of a lot of good stuff for this Community Action Authority. “I don’t county.” know what we are going to do without her.” A resident of the Edgewood community, Sarah Fitten said she will continue to be Sarah Fitten is credited with working with involved in the community. hundreds of children, teaching them how to “I’m retired but I’m not gone,” Sarah vote and get ready for jobs. She intervened Fitten said. “I don’t have to ask Ms. Dorsey in school problems and nurtured students or get permission get from Ms. Dorsey now into adulthood. to get out here and hold up a picket sign Sarah Fitten was an advocate and comand do what I need to do when I see some munity organizer for a long list of projects wrong things.”

Jacqueline Morrison
a DeKalb County organization that serves women and children who have experienced domestic violence. It provides counseling services, food, clothing and shelter in a safe house when a family needs to relocate. She is one of the volunteers who operate the 24-hour crisis hotline. She answers callers questions and tries to find immediate shelter for them if they need it. “This requires you to be a problem solver. Some people just want to have someone listen to them and [be an open ear],” Morrison said. “The hardest time for me is when a woman needs shelter and space and [our safe house is full]. They have nowhere to go. It took time for me to adjust. I [eventually] became emotionally strong enough to turn people away.” Among her many duties, she helps get these women and children back on their feet by acting as a “catalyst.” Volunteers are a main part in keeping the safe house running. The safe house is a 32bed space that provides shelter for a family for a maximum of 90 days. They help get MARTA cards, build resumes, as well as searching for permanent homes. Morrison said she will continue her work at the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence because she knows “that there is a large need.”

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As a volunteer at the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence, Jacqueline (Jackie) Morrison has made an impression on the organization and fellow volunteers in the eight months she has served as a hotline operator. “I have volunteered for 20 years at various places. This may sound like a cliché, but I totally believe that giving back to community is the right thing to do,” said Morrison. In the past, she has worked with Habitat for Humanity, Atlanta Community Food Bank and many different fundraisers. Ten months ago she began researching non-profits that focused on the issues of domestic violence. “I was attracted to [Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence] because I thought that this was a top-notch organization,” Morrison said. Morrison has taught classes for women who have experienced domestic violence and she knows women who have suffered from domestic abuse. The Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence is

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

Local News

Page 8A

Former DCFS employee pleads guilty to fraud charges totaling $600,000
A Decatur woman was one of two people who pleaded guilty July 1 to wire fraud charges in a scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Agriculture of nearly $600,000, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman. Kristy Nicole Williams, 27, a former Georgia Department of Human Services employee in the Family and Children services division, pleaded guilty in federal district court to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud. Williams and Gene Tell of East Point, who also pleaded guilty to the same charges, were case managers in the DeKalb County office of the DCFS. According to U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Patrick Crosby, from November 2009 through March 2010, Tell and Williams fraudulently created EBT cards to be reactivated or created new EBT cards to be issued that were for fraudulent accounts. Tell and Williams received multiple payments because of the scheme. Each could receive a maximum of 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for each count, Crosby said. economic issues facing the state and nation. EXCEL is a partnership between the GDOL and the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. The graduation ceremony was held recently in Athens.

Two juveniles killed on same day
by Robert Naddra DeKalb County Police investigators are piecing together details in two homicide investigations involving juvenile victims who were both killed on July 6. Eight-year-old Solomon Zellner was shot and killed in his home at 3579 Salem Glen Road in Lithonia at approximately 5:30 p.m., according to DeKalb County Police spokesman Mekka Parish. Zellner’s cousin, 16-year-old Charlie Oliver, was arrested and charged with murder. He is in the DeKalb County Youth Detention Center, Parish said. Zellner’s mother was in the home at the time of the shooting, but not in the same room, police said. Investigators are trying to determine who owned the gun and where the gun came from. DeKalb Police also are searching for the killer of 13-year-old Marquise Overstreet, whose body was found in a field at approximately 9:15 a.m. at 5335 Biffle Downs Road in Stone Mountain. Overstreet was shot once and stabbed multiple times, Parish said. Police said Overstreet was shot July 4 or 5. Police are trying to determine a motive and have not named any suspects, Parish said. No weapons were found.

Grand opening planned for Exchange Park center
A grand opening ceremony for the Exchange Park recreation center will be held July 25, 5:30-7 p.m. The center is located at 2771 Columbia Drive in Decatur.

Extension office offers money management course
A money management course will be offered later this month as part of the DeKalb Cooperative Extension’s 2011 Personal Development Series. Money Management Basics I and II will be offered July 25 and 26, from 6:15-8:30 p.m. The fee is $7 and classes will be held at 4380 Memorial Drive in Decatur. The two-day course will concentrate on the importance of having a checking account, keeping good financial records and reconciling a bank account. For more information call the extension office at (404) 298-4080.

Run-off for Doraville mayor on July 19
Doraville voters will go to the polls on July 19 to elect a new mayor in a run-off forced by a political newcomer. Carol Gilman, who spent 30 years in the business world before retiring a few years ago, will face former acting mayor Donna Pittman, who resigned to run for the mayor’s position. In the election last month, Gilman garnered 43 percent of the vote, while Pittman received 42 percent. Just nine votes separated Gilman and Pittman. The winner of the run-off election will fill the remaining term of former mayor Ray Jenkins, who died in February.

Steelers’ Ward arrested on DUI charge
by Robert Naddra All-Pro Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was arrested by DeKalb County Police on a DUI charge July 9, police said. Ward, 35, allegedly was seen committing several traffic violations along the 3000 block of Buford Highway by a MARTA officer at approximately 2:30 a.m., according to DeKalb Police spokes- Hines Ward woman Mekka Parish. A DeKalb Police DUI Task Force officer responded and gave Ward a field sobriety evaluation, police said. Based on the results of the evaluations, Ward was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. He was taken to DeKalb County Jail at 3:40 a.m. and was later released on $1,000 bond. The 2009 Aston Martin that Ward was driving was released to passenger Cory Allen. According to the report, Ward failed to maintain his lane, struck a curb and changed lanes without using a turn signal while being followed by police. Ward told police he had two bottles of beer at a club in Buckhead approximately three hours before the traffic stop. Ward also told police that he failed to maintain his lane because he had dropped his cell phone. Ward was given a breath test and registered a .128, according to the police report. The legal limit of blood alcohol content for a Georgia driver is .08. Ward played quarterback at Forest Park High School in Clayton County and later played football at the University of Georgia. He has been selected to play in the Pro Bowl four times and was named MVP of Super Bowl XL in 2005. He is the only player in Steelers’ history to amass more than 11,000 receiving yards in his career. Off the football field, Ward is known for his charity work. He donated $1 million in 2006 to start the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation and in September 2010 President Barack Obama appointed Ward as a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Also, Ward won the reality television series Dancing With the Stars earlier this year.

GDOL employee graduates from leadership program
DeKalb County resident Mildred Lewis, a social services program consultant in the Georgia Department of Labor’s employment services division, recently graduated from the department’s Executive Commitment to Excellence in Leadership (EXCEL) program. Classes explored the major political, social and

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The City of Doraville is requesting Statements of Qualifications from G‐DOT, pre‐qualified engineering firms to administer the construction of the New Peachtree Road Sidewalk Project. Approximately 2,000 linear feet of sidewalk would be constructed, extending from the Georgia Power sub‐station to the Chamblee border on New Peachtree Road. This is a Federally Funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) project contingent on contract approval by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners. The pre‐qualified firm must be experienced in federally funded projects and the regulations associated with these project that include The Davis‐Bacon Act, Section 3, the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act and federal regulations, especially Davis Bacon and Section 3. The City reserves the right to cancel this Request for Qualifications at any time. Statements for Qualifications must be submitted to the City by 4:00 pm, July 28, 2011. For RFQ details, please contact City Hall (770‐451‐8745) or visit the City’s website at .

The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

Local News

Page 9A

by Nigel Roberts

the country.” In briefings with top Several DeKalb elected administration officials, officials went to Washingwhich included U.S. ton, D.C., in June to meet Education Secretary Arne with President Barack Duncan, the delegation Obama. They were among learned about several White the nearly 200 members of House initiatives. Some of the Young Elected Officials the policy areas included Network who attended a the economy and educahalf-day of briefings with tion. administration officials and First-term lawmaker a reception with the presiDar’shun Kendrick (D – dent. Lithonia), a business law Rep. Alisha Thomas attorney, said the briefings Morgan (D – Austell), a informed her of several YEO cofounder, led the federal level resources that 10-member Georgia delega- she plans to share with her tion. YEO is a national asconstituents. Obama’s Start sociation of more than 800 Up America initiative is elected officials 35 years one that caught her attenold and younger. She said tion and could help small the White House visit gave business owners in her disdelegation members the trict, she said. opportunity to engage the Start Up America is a administration on issues im- public–private partnership portant to their constituents. that seeks to promote en“It is critical that Wash- trepreneurship through unington understand the locking capital, connecting important frontline work entrepreneurs with mentors happening at the state level and reducing barriers to and in the communities we business success. It is a represent,” Morgan said. part of the Obama strategy “Each and every day we to boost and sustain job are called on to make the growth. best possible decisions we “In terms of policy, it can. Intrinsic to that deciwas clear to me that Presision making is our partner- dent Obama is focused on ship with the president and the economy and getting his administration.” people back to work,” MorRep. Rahn Mayo (D gan stated. “At the same Decatur) added: “We’re tre- time, it was refreshing to mendously proud to be able learn that he is also focused to help the president get to on other policy areas, such know our communities and as technology, education discuss the issues affecting and energy alternatives.” states and localities across Elected officials 18 to

DeKalb’s young elected officials meet with Obama

A group of elected officials from DeKalb County met recently with president Barack Obama in Washington to discuss issues that affect Georgia and area communities. Photo courtesy of the Young Elected Officials Network

35 represent 4.8 percent of all elected leaders in congressional, gubernatorial, legislative, city and county commission seats in the United States, according to the organization’s website. The site highlights a 2004 Rutgers University study that notes 50 percent of members of Congress, governors and presidents were first elected to office younger than 36 years of age. Rep. Dee Dawkins Haigler (D – Lithonia), County Commissioner Lee May, and Lithonia city Councilman Al Franklin were among the DeKalb officials who also attended the White House meetings.

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Join AARP’s fight to stop Congress from making harmful cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Call 1-800-580-5739.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

Local News

Page 10A

Leadership DeKalb class of 2011 graduates
Fifty-two members of the 2011 class of Leadership DeKalb recently completed a 10-month training program designed to educate local leaders on the issues facing the county. Members of the program learned about diversity, education, economic development and transportation, government, health, history and justice issues in the county. John Abercrombie, director of Common Focus and a keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony, urged participants to use their experience in the program to bring about positive change and become leaders in their communities. “I have a much greater understanding of DeKalb: the good, the bad and the ugly; but, that’s where community action starts,” said Shoshana Ben-Yoar, president of GrantScribes and a 2011 graduate of Leadership DeKalb. The 2011 Leadership DeKalb graduates are John Anderson, administrative operations manager, DeKalb County Parks and Recreation; Errin Baugh, watershed manager, City of Atlanta; Mike Bean, partner, Key Planning; Shoshana Ben-Yoar, president, GrantScribes; Amin Bhatia, director of corporate services, DeKalb Medical Center; Darrell Black, chief information officer, DeKalb County; Dave Butler, greenspace environment manager, DeKalb County; Clarence Callaway, principal, DeKalb County School System; JD Clockadale, project manager, RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.; Tom Crawford, vice president of human resources, DeKalb Medical; Pat Desamours, financial advisor, Edward Jones Investments; Toni Dixon, fire chief, City of Decatur; John Dutko, vice president of SBA Lending, Cornerstone Bank; Angela Evans-Afflick, senior assistant county attorney, DeKalb County Law Department; David Fisher, facilities management director, DeKalb County; Theodros Hailegiorgis, agency manager/owner, TIPS. Inc./ Allstate Insurance Agency; Wendy Ho, team lead of sales and marketing, SouthStar Energy Services; Luke Howe, assistant to the mayor, City of Doraville; Charles Huddleston, shareholder, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz; Tres Indermark, owner/president, Howard Indermark, P.C. Attorney At Law; Deborah Jackson, CEO/ owner, DAJ Associates LLC; Janea Johnson, policy writer, Kaplan Higher Education; Patrece Keeter, supervising engineer, DeKalb County Public Works Transportation Division; Andrea King, assistant principal, Kittredge Magnet School for High Achievers; Milton Kirby, president, Allied Logistics, Inc.; Annette Lane, deputy chief criminal investigation division, DeKalb County Police Services; LaTasha Lewis, CEO, Tadda’s Fitness Camp; Lisa Loften, chief financial officer, Halpern Enterprises, Inc.; Dax Lopez, State Court Judge, State Court of DeKalb County; Cornell McBride, president, McBride Research Laboratories; Julie McKay, conference center manager, DeKalb Technical College; Peter Michelson, CEO, Renewal Design Build; Michele NeSmith, research and policy development director, Association County Commissioners of GA; Bill O’Brien, police chief, DeKalb County Police; Darius Pattillo, assistant district attorney, DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office; Russ Pennington, water business group manager, HDR; Mindy Pillow, associate, Kilpatrick Stockton LLP; Angela Pringle, area assistant superintendent for Region 2, DeKalb County School System; Bernita Reese, recreation program manager, DeKalb County Government; Rodney Russell, area sales executive, Georgia Power Company; Sue Schroeder, artistic director, Several Dancers Core; Garrick Scott, president, National Federation of the Blind of Georgia; Spencer Smith, attorney, Hall, Booth, Smith & Slover; Tim Sobon, HR recruiting and retention manager, Moore Stephens Tiller LLC; Lorine Spencer, health poicy analyst, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Dia Taylor, senior advisor, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Rolanda Thomas, senior project manager, DeKalb County Office of Economic Development; Amanda Thompson, planning director, City of Decatur; Jyotnsa Vanapalli, assistant director of programs, Emory University Office of Equal Opportunity Programs; Amber Weaver, director of Keep DeKalb Beautiful, DeKalb County; Tom Woodward, vice president, Heery International, Inc.; Nancy Wright, branch operations coordinator, DeKalb County Public Library.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

County youth academy promotes leadership
by Andrew Cauthen Usually, Shaquilla Jackson, 17, a senior at Redan High School, would spend her summers “at home, watching TV, being bored.” That was before she began participating in DeKalb County’s Youth Leadership Academy. Developed by Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton, the academy is a three-year program for students entering the 10th grade that promotes conflict management, communication, academic achievement and leadership skills. The academy’s goal is to meet the needs of youth through education, enrichment and community service and leadership development. “It gives me something to do,” Jackson said. “It’s not just being there taking classes. You’re actually having fun.” For her, being in the program “is all about talking and interacting with peers and meeting new people and growing a bond with them and being comfortable,” Jackson said. “We’re learning together, so that makes it more fun.” Held July 9 at the Holiday Inn in downtown Decatur, a
Participants of the Youth Leadership Academy, sponsored by Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton (above) are recognized during a breakfast with approximately 400 community and government leaders. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Local News

Page 11A

See Youth on Page 12A

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

Continued From Page 11A

Local News

Page 12A

special breakfast provided an opportunity for the participants to network with elected officials, business leaders and community members. The breakfast, which was attended by approximately 400 people, was the second such fundraiser for the Youth Leadership Academy. Currently, there are 46 students in the academy, which is held Monday-Friday for six weeks during the summer. To participate in the academy, students must be recommended by a guidance counselor. Sutton said the leadership academy “is designed to help our youth with life skills, leadership skills, community service and overall development so that they can be prosperous and successful citizens here in DeKalb County.” The participants learn “how to make good decisions, how to stay away from negative influences; how to be a positive person; how to dress for an interview; how to conduct themselves; what to say; how to be good parents when they become parents; [and] how to cope with stressful situations,” Sutton said. “We focus on the whole child,” Sutton said. Participants shadow business owners and learn speaking skills through Toastmasters. They participant in a ropes course and receive academic enrichment by tutoring. “The academy is here to make sure that …they have meaningful, positive activities,” Sutton said. “If they’re here with us, they’re receiving proper guidance and they’re not on the streets being influenced by negative peers.” Stephanie Gray, 17, a senior at Chamblee Charter High School, said “the academy, in a safe environment, with new friends that you probably just made, keeps you out of trouble.” “When you get home…you don’t really have time to get into things,” Gray said. During the breakfast, Congressman John Lewis, who told stories about his civil rights protests during the 1960s, encouraged the participants to “speak up, speak out, and get in the way.” “My generation of young people got arrested and went to jail,” Lewis said. “I’m not suggesting that you get arrested and go to jail. But if you see something that is not right, know how to e-mail, right? You know how to get on the cellular telephone, right? You know how to send messages. Use it for good. And do good.”

Zhani and Zion Moore, who make up the dance duo Raize the Praize, perform inspirational moves during the leadership breakfast. Congressman John Lewis urges the teens in the Youth Leadership Academy to “get in the way.” Photos by Andrew Cauthen

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

Local News
was incomplete,” Nicole Knighten, director of governmental relations and special projects said of Ivy Preparatory Academy. The board also moved a vote on the petition from Peachtree Hope Charter School for a fiveyear charter until a later date. The board recently allowed both the Museum School of Avondale Estates and Peachtree Hope Charter School a one-year waiver to continue operating as they prepared to submit a five-year application. That waiver was revoked from Peachtree Hope after the board found out that the school had fired its management team, SABIS, a global education management organization. After holding three public hearings on the millage rate, the board also voted unanimously to keep the rate at 22.98 mils. “I’m just going to make one comment,” Vice-Chairman Paul Womack said. “We have not increased the millage since 2003.”

Page 13A

DeKalb Schools approves cell towers, denies charters
by Daniel Beauregard The DeKalb County School Board on July 11 approved an amended contract on to allow T-Mobile to install several cell towers at schools throughout the county. The original proposal from the cellular provider recommended towers at Margaret Harris Center, Briarlake, Brockett, Flat Rock, Jolly, Princeton, Smoke Rise, Narvie J. Harris, Meadowview and Medlock elementary schools, and Lakeside and Martin Luther King Jr. high schools. However, the board decided to remove Meadowview, Medlock and Brockett elementary schools from the plan after residents expressed concerns about having the towers so close to their homes and to their children. “It’s going to bring a lot of money to the school system so it’s very seductive, but folks, we don’t know what the health effects are yet,” Melinda Lehrer, who lives in the Medlock neighborhood said. School spokesman Walter Woods said the revenue from the towers would be split by the board with the Parent Teachers Associations of the schools where they were located. Woods said that, in some cases, the PTA could receive approximately $25,000 and the board could approve it as early as this summer. Residents of Meadowview, Medlock and Brockett also expressed concern about long-term health effects and how the towers might affect real estate values if the towers were installed in their neighborhood. “We have heard from basically two communities, and I’ve always supported a community’s right to determine the kind of things they want. These folks have made it very clear that this is the way they feel about the cell towers so I’m supporting their opinion,” said board member Donald McChesney, who proposed the amendment. The board also denied several applications for five-year charter schools based on staff opinions that they were incomplete and represented more of a preliminary draft rather than an action plan. Applications were presented for DeKalb Preparatory Academy, Ivy Preparatory Academy at DeKalb and Ivy Preparatory Young Men’s Leadership Academy. “We met with the petitioners for two hours to go over the petition with the charter review team and it was a unanimous decision based on the petition that was submitted to us...we felt it

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 Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

Local News

Page 14A

Chic-fil-A Continued From Page 1A

Maya Frazier, 6, poses with the chick-fil-A cow while Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy (in the suspenders and cowboy hat) visits the Decatur Chick-fil-A restaurant for Cow Appreciation Day last week. While there, Cathy toured the building, talked with customers and passed out coupons. During Cow Appreciation Day, customers who went to the restaurant dressed as cows received free food. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Grandparents Continued From Page 1A
As a result a number of programs and services have popped up across the country to aid both grandparents and grandchildren. The National Center on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, based at Georgia State University, lists on its website 14 resources including AARP, Grandfamilies of America and the American Bar Association Kinship Care Legal Research Center. In DeKalb County Twania Carr-Ferguson is the liaison with the Kinship Care Navigator program, which works with grandparents and other relatives providing children with care. Through the program, support group meetings are held and caregivers such as the Spencers are guided through the maze of regulations, paperwork and deadlines in an effort to get a range of support including financial and mental health. Carr-Ferguson, who has been with the state program nearly from when it started five years ago, said grandchildren end up being displaced due to drugs, alcoholism, mental illness, etc. And the grandparents she deals with range in age from 30s to 80s. Some, she said, are even great-grandparents. At a monthly support group meeting she holds, an average of 17 to 20 grandparents and other caregivers attend. “DFACS can’t raise your children. They can only put them in foster care,” said Carr-Ferguson, who applauds the task they’ve taken on. The challenges grandparents face are many. “You have to go back to school,” said Carr-Ferguson. “You also have to be at school.” School activities, teacher conferences, sports and other events and activities are what grandparents find themselves immersed in. “My grandparents do it,” she said. “Most of them have bad health. Lots of kids have their own problems. Anytime you are not with your parents something is going on. They need to see a doctor, a psychiatrist.” Back at the Spencer home, the family works to make what Janice and Devel thought would be a shortterm fix into a longer term solution. The children’s mother has struggled with substance abuse, according to Janice Spencer, and after meeting with Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS) case workers, the grandparents decided to take the children in for what they initially thought would be a few months. It’s been three years. “I didn’t know what I know now,” she said. And despite coming up with a plan for the children’s mother to secure a GED and employment, her daughter-in-law didn’t follow through and became pregnant again, she added. “She wants to get her children back,” said Janice Spencer. “She’s trying to get her life in order.” The Spencers, who reside in Decatur, have had their share of ups and downs. Health issues sidelined Devel from working as a truck driver for a while, but in recent weeks he’s gone back to work. Janice, who describes the arthritis in her knees as “severe,” said she isn’t working and has applied for Social Security benefits. Janice Spencer says her granddaughters are loving children who desperately want to be with their mother. Each time they have a visit with her they are joyous and excited, but later they “grieve” when she’s gone. Since they have been receiving counseling from an agency, their grandmother said she’s seen positive improvements. “They are a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s a challenge every day with them.” And Janice Spencer has learned to cherish positive moments spent with the children. She said she’s learned to be more patient and has seen her husband’s tender side when he plays dolls with his granddaughters.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

Local News

Page 15A

Members of the DeKalb County Amateur Radio Emergency Service met at Stone Mountain Park for the Radio Field Day, sponsored by the Alford Memorial Radio Club.

Amateur radio enthusiasts ‘ham’ it up at Stone Mountain
by Daniel Beauregard Barry Kane grew up watching his grandfather put together radios as a hobby before it really was a hobby. “I was 13 and my grandfather actually was my influence. He used to build radios before there were radios and he was an early pioneer in electronics,” said the 71-year-old Kane. Now, six decades after he became a ham radio enthusiast, Kane sits in a gray air-conditioned camper surrounded by computer screens displaying what look like various wavelengths and call numbers. “My radio is actually a computer, a computer that thinks it’s a radio,” Kane said with a chuckle. On June 25, Kane and other radio enthusiasts gathered in a field at the base of Stone Mountain, as they do every year, for the Radio Field Day sponsored by the Alford Memorial Radio Club (AMRC). Recently, Gov. Nathan Deal signed a proclamation declaring the week of June 19-25, 2011 as Amateur Radio Week. AMRC President Steve Garrison said that the field day is the culmination of a weeklong celebration. “Using only emergency power, ham operators construct radio communications stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and even backyards around the country. Our volunteers demonstrate what we do in a real emergency,” Garrison said. The event is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association for amateur radio, and participants from across the United States and Canada show off their radio skills for 24 hours at the same time each year. According to an ARRL spokesman, there are more than 738,000 amateur radio licensees in the United States and more than 2.5 million around the world. One goal of many amateur radio groups is to volunteer their services for public safety. Kane was at the field day both for fun and to represent the DeKalb Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), of which he is the emergency coordinator. “The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is a subset of a larger organization called the Amateur Radio Emergency Service Radio Relay League. So basically, the purpose of the ARES is to provide public safety and support on a volunteer basis through emergency management organizations or civic organizations,” Kane said. Kane explained that much of the volunteering the group performs is for events such as road races and parades; it provides emergency services and keeps in touch with police, and fire and rescue in case of an accident. “We also have people who are interested in weather and each year we hold a class that is run by the National Weather Service and teach them enough about weather…with that info, when there are severe storms our people are good observers,” Kane said. ARES holds meetings at the DeKalb Fire and Rescue headquarters on the last Saturday of every month, and anyone interested in radio is encouraged to get involved. Back at Stone Mountain, Kane, whose call number is W4TGA, sat in front of his computer and pointed out on his screen all the places his group had made contact with so far—in Canada and other places outside the United States. “The mission is to make as many contacts with as many sites as you can within 24 hours using a variety of the methods like voice, Morse code, off the grid. It’s basically 24 hours of putting our money where our mouth is,” Kane said.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011


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‘Sickle cell is my family’s enemy, but it will not defeat us’
by Kathy Mitchell

Stone Mountain woman:


rowing up with sickle cell trait Lillie Thomas had to be careful of her diet, limit her physical activity and avoid exposure to temperature extremes. But until her daughter Jessica Smith was born 22 years ago with full-blown sickle cell disease she had no idea how profoundly sickle cell could impact a person’s life. “Jessica’s sickle cell problems started when she was a few months old,” Thomas recalled. “Her first complications were numerous infections like the common cold, ear infections, pneumonia, etc.—and the worse complication of this disease: the excruciating pain crises. Around the age of 3 she had to receive her first of many blood transfusions.” Smith also has had several surgeries. Most devastating to her, Thomas said, was having her gall bladder removed on her 12th birthday. “I feel like I own part of the parking lot at Scottish Rite Hospital, I’ve spent so much time there,” Thomas joked. Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder in which red blood cells become sickle (crescent)shaped rather than the usual round shape. Such cells do not live as long as normal ones or carry oxygen through the body as well. The disease is most common in west and central Africa and among people of African decent. The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America estimates that 70,000 100,000 individuals in the United States have sickle cell disease and 3 million have sickle cell trait, a milder form of the condition. In addition to having to usher her child through endless rounds of medical treatments, Thomas has lived with the frustration of receiving what she feels is inadequate support from the medical community, the community at large and—most surprisingly— the community of people

Lillie Thomas, right, says that her daughter, Jessica Smith, has faced health challenges few could imagine.

Thomas, in white pants suit, is joined at the conference where she spoke on sickle cell anemia by family members, including her daughter, left.

affected by sickle cell. “I’m always astonished at how little people know about sickle cell. The way sickle cell sufferers are sometimes treated in emergency rooms is disgraceful. [Medical personnel] don’t believe the pain is real. They treat people who are in excruciating pain like they’re addicts just trying to get drugs,” she said. Now a resident of Stone Mountain, Thomas said she is disappointed that families affected by sickle cell aren’t more willing to band together to demand that the disease get more attention. “That’s what happened with autism,” she said. “People spoke up and got the funds needed for research, treatment and education. Many people with sickle cell want to hide the fact that they have it.” Thomas was a featured speaker at a late June World Sickle Cell Awareness Day program in Atlanta, sponsored jointly by The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Sickle cell disease has been my family’s No. 1 enemy,” she told a group that she said included far too few families affected by the disease. “However, it has not defeated us and will not defeat us, because we continue to pray and to wait for the following changes: for the sickle

cell community to finally unite as a single sickle cell family; for us to advocate together for more national and global awareness and for a universal cure and for more knowledgeable healthcare providers who know how to treat our disease, especially the emergency room doctors. “When God blessed me with my beautiful daughter Jessica Niccole 22 years ago, I would have never imagined that in 2011we still would lack national and global awareness for her disease, and we would also still lack unity from the families who suffer with this disease,” she continued. Thomas said she is delighted that the CDC is now more active in research and education concerning sickle cell disease than the federal agency was a few years ago. In the hope of rallying the sickle cell community to speak up for itself and to create opportunities for members to discuss their challenges with others in similar circumstances, Thomas has organized a sickle cell support group. “I said, ‘We’ve got to start getting together someplace other than funerals.’” But for now, the funerals continue, Thomas said, noting that when Jessica was 8 she attended a camp for children who have sickle cell. They have since attended the funerals of many of her campmates.

Great strides have been made in the treatment of sickle cell over the past 50 years; however, the new drugs and treatments are not effective in all cases. Smith has been taking one of the newer drugs since she was 12. It has helped to stabilize her and reduce the number of crises and infections over the years, but blood transfusions remain a regular part of her life. She was advised never to have children, but decided to take the risk, saying that she refuses to allow the disease to keep her from reaching her life goals. Smith, now a fulltime student at Georgia
REVISED June 2011

Perimeter College majoring in early childhood education and nursing, is the mother of a 3 year old and is expecting a second child this month. Some people have had bone marrow and stem cell transplants that have enabled them to live normal lives, but these are not a universal cure. The best transplant donor usually is a full sibling and her daughter doesn’t have one, Thomas said. Still, she added, she is thankful that her child was born in the United States. “If she had been born in a Third World country she probably wouldn’t have lived to be 5.”

The DeKalb County School System, Department of Special Education, announces its intention to destroy records that were developed to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in DeKalb County Schools. This notice is in compliance with the federal, state and local policy. Records will be destroyed on October 1, 2011 based on the following criteria: • Students who graduated with a high school diploma in 2010. • Students who became twenty-two (22) years old between June 1, 2009 and June 1, 2010. • Students with disabilities born during 1986 who graduated with a Transition Diploma, Certificate of Performance or reached maximum age of 22. • Students who became deceased between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010. These records will be destroyed as they are no longer needed for educational planning purposes. The parent, legal guardian or the student (18 years old or older) may request records prior to destruction by contacting the Special Education Records Office at 678-676-1802. You will be required to produce identification or provide verification data to acquire these records.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011


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Decatur’s Trackside Tavern lives again
by Daniel Beauregard Sometime in mid-July, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Decatur’s oldest continually operating bar will reopen its doors after a devastating fire in 2009 forced it to close for two years. Trackside Tavern will reopen with larger restrooms, a nicer kitchen and a few more dart boards, according to the owner Al “Doc” Czakowski. He said that he hopes when people walk through the doors they will feel like the place never burned down. “Hopefully, when people walk down those steps they’re going to look in and they’re going to see the u-shaped bar and they’re going to see the brick and the wood and friendly faces behind there that they knew from years before and say, ‘Yeah, we’re in Trackside again,’” he said. Trackside will still have its old air hockey table, pool tables and Czarkowski said he is beefing up the dart area with more boards, wider aisles and bright spotlights in hopes to Doc Al Czarkowski, owner of Trackside tavern, leads a group of patrons in a toast on the anniversary create the best dart venue in Decatur and sponsor a few teams. of the fire that forced the bar to close in 2009. The original sign was also salvaged and hangs out front, newly painted neon green to draw customers in from across the road. Some familiar faces will also be behind the bar. Bartenders Stacey Albrecht and Steve Gilley are coming back. “Stacy and Steve are coming back to work again and that 100 Crescent Center Pkwy., Suite 680. Tucker, GA 30084 (404) 378-8000 makes me real happy because they were my cornerstones of people behind the bar before,” Czarkowski said. Although Czarkowski can’t give an exact date when the bar will open again, he said it will likely be mid-July, and they are planning to have a big grand opening weekend and a celebrity bartending day. “Some of the bartenders who used to work here years 100 people that even own other bars ago, along with some of theCrescent Center Pkwy., Suite 680. Tucker, GA 30084 (404) 378-8000 now…they’re coming back in and they’re all going to work for an hour or two behind the bar,” Czarkowski said. Some celebrity bartenders who have moved away from the city will also be taking a trip to town for a few days to sling drinks as well. “People will get to see faces that they haven’t seen behind that bar in 10 or 12 years,” Czarkowski said with a smile. Center Pkwy., Suite 680. Tucker, GA 30084 100 Crescent 404-378-8000 This article is the second in a two-part series on the reopening From left, Contractor Jeremy Sanford, Owner Doc Al Czarkowski, Trackside's new manager and lead of Trackside Tavern in Decatur. bartender Stacey Albrecht and longtime patron Shane Harrison.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

Agnes Scott’s Bradley Observatory is out of this world
from the sun to the earth,” he said. Although there is no astronomy major offered by Agnes Scott, students can choose between physics and astrophysics and the school has been teaching astronomy since 1947, when Harvardeducated Bill Calder came to the school. Calder accepted his teaching position under the condition that the college purchase a telescope, which it did the same year. The school then built the observatory to house the telescope in 1949. Over the past several decades the college has hosted open house observatory nights and, recently obtained several more telescopes, one of which is halfway across the world. “It’s actually really cool because we can connect to the telescope and the entire computer screen becomes the telescope; and you can fiddle with it and do anything you want,” said Nicole Makely, a third-year astrophysics major who is the summer intern at the observatory. Agnes Scott is now a member of the Southern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA) with nine other colleges. Each college in the association has specific nights assigned in which they can remotely access two observatories. “The idea is that we have guaranteed access to two telescopes, one in each hemisphere, which is really wonderful because you have access to the whole sky then,” De Pree said. One of the observatories is on a mountain top in Tucson, Ariz., and the other is in La Serena, Chile. Makely, who is conducting research this summer using the telescopes, said she would be lost without them. “We’ve only had them for three years tops and really, thank God we have [them]. It’s incredibly important to have research experience if you’re going to go to grad school. Now we have a gateway to actually do real research,” Makely said. De Pree echoed Makely on the importance of doing research and said that part of the reason he liked teaching at Agnes Scott was because he could concentrate specifically on undergrads. He said that when he was a student at Duke he found that most of his professors would concentrate on graduate students and only taught undergrads because they had to. “I enjoy, as a teacher, being able to focus on the undergrads and get them involved in research projects, and I think it’s a very good way for students to see whether or not they want to be scientists,” De Pree said. This summer De Pree will be teaching a new class called “The search for other worlds” while Makely will be using the SARA telescopes to do exactly that. “Basically I take a bunch of pictures of the sky and what I’m looking at is the magnitude or how bright a star is and, if during my pictures—there are 400 of them over a span of three or four hours—my star or my source dims at any point, I can say that there’s something moving in front of it,” Makely said.


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The telescope housed at Agnes Scott’s Bradley Observatory was purchased for the school in 1947.

by Daniel Beauregard


ave you ever wondered what it would be like to travel through the universe at the speed of light, whipping weightlessly as you orbit the sun? The Bradley Observatory at Agnes Scott College helps get visitors one step closer to traveling the galaxy with its Metro Atlanta Solar System. Astronomy Professor Chris De Pree and nowretired art professor Terry McGehee decided when the observatory was being renovated in 2000 that they wanted to design an entire plaza in front of the observatory. “We thought it would be interesting to imbed a lot of information in the plaza. So, the size of the sun and all the planets is in there, the relative sizes of all the orbits are in there and the compass points are in there,” De Pree said. That was just the begin-

ning. When the plaza had been completed and the granite had been laid, De Pree wanted to go one step further. “A couple of times I would have students figure out, if that was the sun, how big the orbits would be,” De Pree said as he pointed out the window to the granite plaza. “So, I was thinking for a while that it would be cool to have a Metro Atlanta Solar System that would be a scale-model solar system.” De Pree, with help from some of the staff at Agnes Scott, figured out where each planet would be if the sun on the plaza were the center of the solar system. “It turned out that the inner solar system, the terrestrial planets, all ended up within the city of Decatur and the outer planets ended up in the city of Atlanta,” De Pree said. Each location within the Metro Atlanta Solar System is marked by a blown up image of the planet, a scalesized image showing the planet’s actual size in relation to the sun and a map of where the other planets are located throughout the metro area. De Pree said that the when talking about distances in the solar system it was sometimes hard to convey the immensity of space but the Metro Atlanta Solar System is useful because it is something the students can walk around in. “We also figured out that if you walk at a normal pace you’re walking at the speed of light in this model solar system. So, it takes about eight or 10 minutes to walk from here to the Decatur public library and that’s how long a photon takes to get

The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

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Sealed proposals will be received by DeKalb County, Georgia, in the Department of Purchasing and Contracting, The Maloof Center, 2nd Floor, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, Georgia 30030, until 3:00 p.m. on the 11th day of August, 2011, at which time and place they will be publicly opened and read aloud, for furnishing all labor, materials, equipment, and all things necessary pursuant to Drawings, Specifications, conditions, etc., for DeKalb County Police – South Precinct Roof Replacement. This project involves the installation of a new energy efficient Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) adhered roof for a 48,400 Square Feet (SF) South Precinct to serve the DeKalb County Police Department at 2842 H.F. Shepherd Drive in Decatur, Georgia. The project includes the removal of 47,000 Square Feet (SF) of existing single ply membrane roofing, rigid insulation, rooftop mechanical units, gutters, downspouts, and all roof accessories from the former Toys R Us building. The rough openings from the previous rooftop mechanical units are to be patched, and new openings created and curbs installed for the rooftop mechanical units and various plumbing and mechanical appurtenances that will be installed in a subsequent phase under a separate contract. The exposed metal roof deck as well as the recently installed roof decks at the 1,400 SF Entrance and Garage Additions are then to be covered with new rigid insulation and roofing along with new prefinished metal copings, gutters and downspouts. The General Contractor shall be responsible for the abatement and disposal of hazardous materials in the existing roofing system as identified in the attached environmental report from Corporate Environmental Risk Management dated April 3, 2009. The hazardous materials were found to be primarily located in the flashing systems at the roof. The general contractor shall hire an abatement company that is professionally licensed to perform hazardous materials abatement work in the State of Georgia. Proof of licensure shall be provided with the bid documents. Attention is called to the fact that this project is being funded ultimately through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The bidder is asked to pay special attention to the Federal Regulations included in the bid package. These regulations include The DavisBacon Act, HUD Section 3, the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, the Copeland (Anti-Kickback Act), and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Contract Documents, Drawings, and Specifications for this Work are on file and open for inspection at AGC Builders Exchange, 1940 The Exchange SE, Suite 300, Atlanta, Georgia 30339; National Association of Minority Contractors – Atlanta Chapter, Care of C.D. Moody Construction Company, Inc., 6017 Redan Road, Lithonia, Georgia 30058; Reed Construction Data, 30 Technology Parkway South, Suite 100, Norcross, GA 30092; and the Department of Purchasing and Contracting, The Maloof Center, 2nd Floor, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, Georgia 30030. A complete set of documents may be obtained from The Sizemore Group, 1700 Commerce Drive, NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, Telephone 404-605-0690. A non-refundable payment of $100.00 is required for a complete set of said bid documents. Proposals will be considered only from experienced and wellequipped contractors. BID BOND Bids must be accompanied by an official bank check or Bid Bond in an amount of not less than ten percent (10%) of the amount bid. Prior to beginning of construction, the successful Bidder will file with the County a Contract Performance Bond and a Payment Bond, each equal to 100% of the Contract Price, with the terms and surety to be approved by the County; and furnish satisfactory proof of carriage of the insurance required. GENERAL CONTRACTORS LICENSE NUMBER Bidders responding to this Invitation to Bid must provide a copy of their current General Contractors License Number in accordance with O.C.G.A. §43-41-6, et. seq. or be subjected to injunctive relief reprimands, or other penalties as may be required by law. Bidders shall submit their General Contractors License in a separate sealed envelope. ASBESTOS ABATEMENT LICENSE An Asbestos Abatement License is required from the Contractor/Sub-Contractor performing the Abatement work for this Invitation to Bid. Bidders shall submit their Asbestos Abatement License in a separate sealed envelope. MANDATORY PRE-BID CONFERENCE AND SITE VISIT A mandatory pre-bid conference and site visit will be held at 2:30 p.m. on the 25th day of July, 2011 at The Clark Harrison Building, Conference Room A, 330 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, Decatur, Georgia 30030. Bidders are required to attend and participate in the pre-bid conference and site visit. Failure to attend the pre-bid conference and site visit can be cause for rejection of your bid. For information regarding the pre-bid conference and site visit, please contact Kimberly Chambers at 404-371-3641 or email: QUESTIONS All questions concerning the project shall be submitted to the Director of The Department of Purchasing and Contracting, The Maloof Center, 2nd Floor, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, Georgia 30030, in writing no later than close of business on July 27, 2011. Questions received by the Director of The Department of Purchasing and Contracting after this date will not receive a response. LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS ENTERPRISE ORDINANCE It is the objective of the Chief Executive Officer and Board of Commissioners of DeKalb County to provide maximum practicable opportunity for all businesses to participate in the performance of government contracts, including Local Small Business Enterprises (LSBE), Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and Women Business Enterprises (WBE). The County’s Schedule of Local Small Business Enterprise Participation, Minority Business Enterprise and Women Business Enterprise Opportunity Tracking Form (Exhibit A) and Letter of Intent to Perform as a Subcontractor or Provide Materials or Services (Exhibit B) are included in the Invitation to Bid, along with sample report forms (Exhibit C). The current DeKalb County List of Certified Vendors is included as Exhibit D. For PROPOSALS MUST BE SUBMITTED TO DEKALB COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING, THE MALOOF CENTER, 2nd FLOOR, 1300 COMMERCE DRIVE, DECATUR, GEORGIA 30030. No bid may be revoked or withdrawn until sixty (60) days after the time set for opening the bids. The contractor shall coordinate a start date with Bob Sims, the Deputy Director within ten (10) calendar days from the date of receipt of the Notice to Proceed, as evidenced by official receipt of certified mail or acknowledgment of personal delivery, and must be completed within 45 calendar days from and including the date of receipt of such notice. THE COUNTY RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REJECT ANY AND ALL BIDS, TO WAIVE INFORMALITIES IN BIDDING, AND TO READVERTISE. This 14th day of July, 2011. DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA

details relative to DeKalb County’s Local Small Business Enterprise Ordinance, contact the Contract Compliance Division at or 404.371.4795.

By: ___________________________________ Kelvin L. Walton, CPPB Director and Chief Procurement Officer

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

Wright Caughman named head of Emory Health Sciences Center
S. Wright Caughman, M.D., has been named Emory University’s executive vice president for health affairs, CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and chairman of the board for Emory Healthcare. Effective July 1, the appointment was approved unanimously by the University’s Board of Trustees at its June meeting. “It was a pleasure for me to able to recommend to the board that we remove the ‘interim’ label in front of Wright’s job titles,” said Emory University President James W. Wagner. “He is a seasoned physician-executive who knows the Emory system inside and out after having spent the last 21 years here in positions of increasing responsibility. Over the course of this past academic year, he has gained nothing but plaudits from colleagues across the University as well as from national academic health center leaders.” Caughman said, “I feel honored and privileged by the opportunity to lead one of America’s great academic health science centers…where the faculty and staff are so deeply committed to collaborative discovery and innovation—all to improve the health of the people we serve, including the broader global community.” Trained as a dermatologist, Caughman joined the Emory School of Medicine faculty in 1990 after serving in the dermatology branch of the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

26, to reserve a seat and meal. To request a vegetarian meal, e-mail Parking is available in the deck directly behind the bank. The Community Room entrance is at the back of the bank building facing the parking deck.

Linnemier. Twining is an anthropologist and folklorist. She possesses extensive experience in African-American folklore, folklore and the culture of Georgia’s coastal islands. Linnemier is a self-described “visual mythologist,” who “re-imagines historical incidents using photography, painting, oral histories, and primary source documents to tell the stories of people in communities,” according to an announcement from the center. For additional information and to register on-line visit The Quilt Exhibition will also feature quilting classes, workshops and lectures throughout the weekend.

Fire safety classes offered
The City of Dunwoody and the DeKalb County Fire Rescue public education unit present four free Fire Safety 101 classes at Dunwoody City Hall. The courses are July 18, 10:30-11:30 a.m. and 2:30-3:30 p.m.; and July 20, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., and 3-4 p.m. The sessions, which are open to all residents, include home, office and business fire safety tips; keeping home or business safe from the outside in; reminders on keeping exit pathways clear; identifying fire extinguisher locations; mitigating and preventing cooking fires and electrical fires; and how to respond if a fire happens. Dunwoody City Hall is at 41 Perimeter Center East, Suite 103 in Dunwoody. For more information about the sessions, visit

History Center Lunch & Learn program announced
The DeKalb History Center has announced that the lecture A Mind-Opening Influence of Great Importance: Arthur Raper at Agnes Scott College will be held at the center (Old Courthouse on the Square in Downtown Decatur) on the second floor on Tuesday, July 19, noon - 1 p.m. The guest speaker is professor Clifford Kuhn, a specialist in 20th-century southern history and in oral history. “In the 1920s and 1930s, Decatur resident Arthur Raper was one of the South’s leading liberals. Raper’s work as research secretary for the Commission on Interracial Cooperation and as a founding member of the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, his classic works on lynching and the plantation South, and his involvement with the New Deal have all been amply chronicled in the historical literature. However, from 1932 to 1939, Raper also taught sociology at Agnes Scott College, an experience largely neglected in the literature,” states an announcement from the history center. There is no charge to attend the event and attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch.

City to hold rain barrel workshop
The City of Dunwoody Sustainability Commission invites interested parties to a rain barrel class hosted by the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeepers. The commission is holding a class to educate the community on the importance of water conservation and the effects of stormwater runoff while enjoying the benefits of maintaining a beautiful landscape. Participants will receive a 60-gallon rain barrel hose spigot, overflow valve, down-spout attachment and filter screen. Staff and commission will assist in the assembly. Reservations are required; call Rebecca Keefer at (678) 382-6811 or e-mail Rebecca.keefer@ The cost is $35 per person. Space is limited to 25 people per class. Participants should drive a vehicle that can carry a 60-gallon rain barrel. The event is Thursday, July 21, at 6 p.m. at the city of Dunwoody Mayor and Council Chambers. 41 Perimeter Center East Dunwoody.


City to hold community input meetings
The City of Chamblee is hosting several meetings during the summer to solicit community input into a major amendment to Chamblee’s comprehensive plan. As part of this process, the Chamblee Business Association will host a Community Roundtable on Thursday, July 21, to allow the business community to be a part of the visioning process. The purpose of the city’s comprehensive plan is to design a road map for the community’s future. The community agenda is a key part of the plan; it includes the community’s vision for the future, as well as key issues and opportunities the community chooses to address during the planning period. Since the previous update to the city’s comprehensive plan was completed in 2006, the city has undergone economic change and significant growth. The Chamblee City Council seeks to have one plan that represents the vision of the entire city. The meeting will be 8 – 10 a.m. at the Chamblee Civic Center, 5480 Broad St., Chamblee. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. and the program will begin at 8 a.m. A continental breakfast will be served.

Water quality plan to be unveiled
South River Watershed Alliance members and friends will meet July 30, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at the Decatur Library, 215 Sycamore St., Decatur. The organization will roll out South River 2020, its eight-and-a-half-year initiative to improve water quality in the South River. For more information, call Jackie Echols at (404) 285-3756 or Doug Denton at (404) 931-5008.

Social media workshop scheduled
Noon Knowledge Sessions is a new event series Leadership DeKalb is launching to offer additional leadership learning and development opportunities. The social media workshop will be held on Thursday, July 28, noon - 1:30 p.m. in the Cornerstone Bank community room, 125 Clairemont Ave., Decatur. Cost is $15 for active Leadership DeKalb members and $25 for non-members and includes a boxed lunch. Topics covered are the basics of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube; the benefits of business applications of social media; reviews of case studies and a discussion of how to connect and build a following with social media. Social media and digital communications expert Jennifer Jones of Anderson Jones PR will lead the discussion, Jones has been involved in digital communications since the early ‘90s. Members and non-members of Leadership DeKalb are welcome. Space is limited, register online at, click on the events page. Reservations and payment must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July

Improv/poetry workshop scheduled
Pine Lake City Arts is sponsoring an “improvoetry” workshop on July 17. The workshop will be led by Pine Lake resident and poet Alice Teeter and Decatur resident Lesly Fredman. The event is scheduled 2-5 p.m. For more information, contact Teeter at

Quilting exhibition scheduled
Ebony Stitchers Quilt Guild is in partnership with the Porter Sanford Center will host a quilt exhibition at the center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. The opening night reception is Thursday, July 21; the exhibition is July 22 – July 24. The opening reception will host two national visual and quilt artists, Dr. Mary Arnold Twining and Lynn


Stroke info offered
Northlake Gardens Assisted Living, 1300 Montreal Road, Tucker is hosting a free Lunch & Learn on stroke awareness, sponsored by Gwinnett Medical. This event is on Friday, July 15, 12:30 -1:30 p.m. For more information, call (770) 934-0034.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011


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Passing fancy:
by Robert Naddra M.L. King football coach Mike Carson is in the process of finding replacements for two wide receivers who earned college scholarships last year. He also is trying to get his quarterback (Jonquel Dawson) and top receiver (Blake Tibbs), both returning after strong 2010 seasons, as much time on the field as he can this summer. For Carson and many other coaches across the state, the burgeoning number of 7-on-7 passing tournaments is the answer. The Lions had one of the top passing games in the state last season and Carson likes to use the summer tournaments to bring his younger receivers up to speed as well as to condition his returning players. “It really helps a team like us that throws a lot,” Carson said. “We graduated a large number of kids and this is a way for the younger guys to get a lot of reps.” M.L. King had participated in five 7-on-7 tournament through the first week of July and won four, Carson said. The only loss was to Grady in an NFL Player Development tournament that the Lions won last summer. The Lions participated in a tournament at Middle Tennessee University on July 16 and will finish the summer with a tournament at Dalton July 22-23. St. Pius was one of many schools in metro Atlanta that hosted a 7-on-7 tournament this summer. A tournament that was part of a national series at Shiloh High School in Gwinnett County drew DeKalb schools M.L. King, Stephenson, Druid Hills, Columbia, Cedar Grove and Arabia Mountain, according to the event’s website. But while many schools find the tournaments useful in many ways, some teams choose not to participate. Some tournaments, including the one at Shiloh presented by ESPN football analyst Mel Kiper Jr., have come under fire as the NCAA is concerned about the influence of non-high school coaches on high school recruits who participate. “I don’t believe in it,” Southwest DeKalb coach Buck Godfrey said. “It doesn’t give you a good indication of how good your passing game is. A true scrimmage would show you different coverages.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011


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Summer tournaments draw mixed opinions from coaches
events as long as they were helpful to his team’s development. Dunwoody participated in a three-team 7-on-7 scrimmage at Centennial on July 16 and will go to a similar event at Stephens County later this summer, Showfety said. “For us 7-on-7 tournaments are not something we excel in because of our offense,” he said. “But defensively it can help us. At St. Pius as the day went on we gradually improved. Our kids started recognizing formations and they became more vocal defensively.” For proponents of the tournaments, the bottom line is being able to compete and being able to help the team prepare for the season. “It’s always good getting the kids to compete,” Showfety said. “It’s nice to be able to go up against some of the top teams in the area.” Said Carson: “[The tournaments] give us an idea of what we can do. We’re where we want to be at this particular point, but at the same time, we don’t want to wear the kids down.”

Dunwoody, which is a triple-option team on offense, did not win a game in the St. Pius tournament, but coach Jim Showfety said the events still have merit even for run-heavy offenses. “Two or three years ago I was concerned that they were becoming the AAU of high school football where teams of all stars were being put together instead of teams with players all from the same school.” Showfety said he has not been to tournaments that had all star teams and would continue to play in selected

340-296566 7/14,7/21

NOTICE OF PUBLIC SALE Pursuant to the Georgia Self-Service Storage Facility Act, Ga. Code Ann. §§ 10-4-210 et seq., the undersigned will conduct a public auction on JULY 28, 2011 of the below-listed units. Each of the below units generally contain the following: furniture, clothing, tools, and other household/ business items. PUBLIC STORAGE PROPERTY: 20601 3687 FLAT SHOALS RD DECATUR, GA 30035 (404) 241-2979 TIME: 9:30 AM STORED BY THE FOLLOWING PERSONS: B001 - Pugh, HoraceB006 - Starr, ChristopherB022 - Lindsey, LabronC002 - Jones, LakeshaC024 - Alston, AubreyC046 - Dickerson, TakiyahD011 - AVANT, EDWARDF014 - Atkinson, RoseG005 - Bone, TamathaG019 Fortune, NatashaH007 - Carroll, AnthonyH008 - Ivey, JohnnyH016 - Baker, Marilyn DeniseH021 Diallo, MamadouH037 - Anderson, VictorJ012 - MUHAMMAD, JESSICAJ032 - Smith, MarkeeviusJ035 - Harden, MarcusK006 - Hodges, HoratioK012 - ROGERS, SHEENAK020 - Dozier, KarenL002 - Smith, LouiseL034 - Stephens, DanielL045 - Horward, HaroldL048 - Linton, ViolaL080 Nowon, JohnnyL081 - Schifino, JeanineL105 - Griffin, DelicahL131 - Kilpatrick, BaronL136 - Love, DarleL140 DORSEY, NICOLEM014 - Conner, TrininaM035 - Baldwin, Lakesia PUBLIC STORAGE PROPERTY: 21712 4200 SNAPFINGER WOODS DR DECATUR, GA 30035 (404) 284-6697 TIME: 11:30 AM STORED BY THE FOLLOWING PERSONS: A017 - EDINBOROUGH, LLEWELLYNB028 - Kinder, EricC010 - Dunn, LeonaC067 Thompson-Callahan, AdrienneC083 - Mosby, JohnD069 - Adams, BeverlyE004 - Jones, JohnE057 - Jones, TheresaE061 Williams, SylviaE087 - EVANS, DEMETRIUSE124 - Ware, KellyE144 - Caldwell, LonnieG051 - Body, Michael PUBLIC STORAGE PROPERTY: 25592 5260 MINOLA DR LITHONIA, GA 30038 (404) 593-7000 TIME: 12:30 PM STORED BY THE FOLLOWING PERSONS:

0007 - Ward, AngelicaA0114 Kilpatrick, BeverlyA0301 - Williams, TarrenA0809 - Robinson, AlexisA3028 - Nunnery, MARTHAB0005 - Elgin, JosephB0022 - Rucker, Sidney GloverB0040 - Henry, SharonB0609 - Ash, Connie AnnB0801 - McClung, LacretiaB0908 - Williams, MichelleB2004 - Walker, JacquelineB3008 - Davis, LaShondraC48 - Smith, Victor PUBLIC STORAGE PROPERTY: 08050 840 HAMBRICK RD STONE MOUNTAIN, GA 30083 (404) 296-1999 TIME: 1:30 PM STORED BY THE FOLLOWING PERSONS: 0236 - Bibbs, Micaela0240 Carrington, Gerald0243 - Wilson, Melvin0310 - Grant, Marchel0548 Countee, Elizabeth0735 - Langley, Trina0839 - Warner, Keyonna1015 sabree, joshua1020 - Henson, Scott1026 - Hughes, LaRahna1030 - Williams, David PUBLIC STORAGE PROPERTY: 27313 1964 ROCKBRIDGE RD STONE MOUNTAIN, GA 30087 (770) 879-8632 TIME: 2:30 PM STORED BY THE FOLLOWING PERSONS: B004 - Ivey, AntionetteC025 Biggins, JacquelineC041 - Hickey, KarendaC057 - Johnson, MarlynD015 - Johnston, StephanieD066 - MERRIWEATHER, BERNARDE005 - Daniels, BruceE069 - JOHNSTON, ALYCEANDREA NOTICE OF PUBLIC SALE Pursuant to the Georgia Self-Service Storage Facility Act, Ga. Code Ann. §§ 10-4-210 et seq., the undersigned will conduct a public auction on JULY 29, 2011 of the below-listed units. Each of the below units generally contain the following: furniture, clothing, tools, and other household/business items. PUBLIC STORAGE PROPERTY: 28136 2940 N. DECATUR RD DECATUR, GA 30033 (404) 296-2100 TIME: 9:30 AM STORED BY THE FOLLOWING PERSONS: 0109 - Davis, Tina0304 - Kimber, Leron0443 - Forte-Kitchen, Kamara1265 - GALLMAN, JOY PUBLIC STORAGE PROPERTY: 28152 3748 COVINGTON HWY DECATUR, GA 30032 (404) 288-1172 TIME: 11:00 AM STORED BY THE FOLLOWING PERSONS:

1129 - madlock, charlotte1244 Miller, Ashanti1255 - Williams, Jackie1331 - WHITE, MILTON1403 - Thomas, Patricia1513 - Gates, Shakeena1519 - Madlock, Olivia1613 - edwards, michael1622 - Wyatt, Charlett1733 - White, Randy1813 - MURRAY, ALFRED1851 - SMITH, Anita1853 Gregory, Gloria1913 - GOTELL, RAYMOND1935 - WILLIS, FELICIA2031 - Crawford, Dwight211 - BURTON, JALESTINE419 - collie, erika712 RILES, NICOLE834 - HOLLOWAY, CALVIN PUBLIC STORAGE PROPERTY: 23207 4343 COVINGTON HWY DECATUR, GA 30035 (404) 288-0066 TIME: 12:30 PM STORED BY THE FOLLOWING PERSONS: A056 - KANGOMA, JOHNA067 ABRAMS, DONNITTAA104 Richards, SheenaA151 - SMITH, ZAMETRICEB278 - JOHNSON, DORETHAB293 - Long, LarryB341 - Harvey, PamelaC430 - DAWSON III, HERBERTD511 - Middlton, AnitaD533 - GRANT, PATRICKD536 - DRAKE, NICOLED538 - MASON, SHERYLD551 - LIVERMAN, MONTRINAD569 - GRIFFIN, ANTIONIOE609 - Evans, TearaE618 - JOSEPH, JOYELLEE643 - Meyers, ErrikF716 - WILLIAMSSMITH, W DENISE PUBLIC STORAGE PROPERTY: 20490 5038 COVINGTON HWY DECATUR, GA 30035 (404) 288-8339 TIME: 2:00 PM STORED BY THE FOLLOWING PERSONS: A010 - Semple, OritaA076 Lewis, JamiesonA112 - Slowe, SteveB013 - Hightower, ShakiraB025 - Dunson, KenneB038 - Grant-Bell, SamariaB039 - McDowell, MarleneB043 - Bellamy, DonnieC039 - Drew, DanilynC045 - Hendley, SatchelD039 - Jones, EricD043 - Nelson, MariskaE015 Middleton, TyricE016 - Johnson, StevieE019 - Arnold, MarvinF024 Center of FaithG002 - Ransom, JernaireG033 - FOWLER JR. S, SHELTONJ007 - Nelosn, Veronica All sales are subject to cancellation. Public auction terms, rules, and regulations will be made available prior to the sale. Dated this 14th and 21st day of JULY 2011 by PS Orangeco, Inc., 701 Western Avenue, Glendale, CA 91201. (818) 244-8080, Bond No. 6004928.

Former Redan star earns second MLB all-star selection
Former DeKalb County and Redan High baseball standout Brandon Phillips was selected to participate in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 12 at Chase Field in Phoenix. Phillips, the starting second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds, was chosen as a reserve for the second consecutive season. He went 0-1 in his only All-Star plate appearance in the 2010 game. Phillips entered the all-star break batting .292 with eight home runs and 45 RBIs for the Reds. For his career he is batting .269 with 120 homers and 487 RBIs in nine-plus seasons with the Indians (2002-05) and Reds (2006-present). Phillips was drafted as a shortstop in the second round of the 1999 MLB draft by the Montreal Expos. Phillips had a career-high batting average of .288 in 2007 and hit a career-high 30 homers and had 32 stolen bases. He had a career high 98 RBIs in 2009. The Reds’ second baseman has become recognized for his impressive play in the field and has earned a pair of Gold Gloves (2008, 2010). During his high school career, Phillips led DeKalb County in several categories from 1997 to 1999. He had 12 home runs and 50 RBIs during an outstanding junior season and capped his career with a county leading .610 batting average as a senior in 1999 while playing for coach Greg Goodwin.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011


Finishing strong
by Robert Naddra The Peachtree Road Race falls in the middle of Trevor Sprague’s training for the college cross country season. A second straight finish among the top 80 overall in the prestigious Fourth of July 5K race is a good sign for the Dunwoody resident, a fifth-year senior at the University of Georgia. “It’s a good framework to see what my fitness level is,” Sprague said recently from Athens in a telephone interview. “Then I can decide to ramp up my miles or workouts. This year, I’ll run more miles. I’m excited about the cross country season.” And he should be. Sprague spent last school year as a redshirt after transferring from the College of Charleston. Sprague rewrote the cross country record books in three seasons at Charleston. He was the No. 1 cross country runner for the Cougars and left with the top three times in school history. Sprague set the cross country (8K) school record with a time of 25:42 during his junior season in 2009-10. He was named the most valuable runner at the school for both the 200809 and 2009-10 seasons. Rising tuition at the College of Charleston and the ability to take advantage of the HOPE Scholarship, plus Georgia’s state-of-the-art athletic facilities, were some of the things that led Sprague to Athens, he said. Sprague’s success in the Peachtree Road Race leaves him optimistic for a successful cross country season at Georgia. Sprague was 77th overall in the Peachtree this year with a time of 33:06 after placing in the top 60 a year ago with a time of 32:46. With parents who were avid runners, Sprague fell into the sport naturally. Sprague’s father Steve

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Road race helps prepare Sprague for final college season
ran cross country at Northwest Missouri State and later ran in Michigan for Adidas. His mother Teresan began running competitively after college, Sprague said. “When I was a kid my mom always used to have me in those jogging strollers,” Trevor Sprague said. “They liked to put me in local races and I ran some Fun Runs in Dunwoody.” Sprague played several sports in high school at St. Pius but his passion for running eventually put cross country and track at the top of his list. He played baseball, basketball and swam for the Golden Lions but was most successful as a runner. “I naturally gravitated to cross country and track,” Sprague said. He was named the most valuable runner at St. Pius and set the 5K record in cross country in 2006, which stood until last season. “I think I’ll fit in well at Georgia,” Sprague said. “We should be among the top programs, and we have a good chance to make the NCAA Nationals.” Fourteen of the 20 members of the Bulldogs’ men’s cross country team are from Georgia. Sprague ran against many of them in high school and has gotten to know them last year during his redshirt season. “I was able to practice and train with team; everything except put the jersey on and go to the meets,” Sprague said. Sprague said he hopes to help the Bulldogs earn a trip to the NCAA Nationals for the first time in five years this fall. The Bulldogs placed sixth in the Southeastern Conference championships and fifth in the NCAA South Regional championships last fall. “We have a really strong group of Georgia runners. With so much homegrown talent, to go to nationals would be a really big deal. That says something about the level of high school talent in this state.”

Former St. Pius standout and Dunwoody resident Trevor Sprague set the recored for the fastest cross country time at the College of Charleston before transferring to the University of Georgia last year. Photo courtesy of Willis Glassgow

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 15, 2011

Hawks camp tour stops in Doraville
Several young DeKalb County basketball players recently got a chance to spend the day with the Atlanta Hawks basketball development team at a camp at Oakcliff Elementary School in Doraville. The free camp held July 8 was part of the fifth annual Atlanta Hawks Kia Summer Hoops Tour, which offers 20 clinics in 25 days in July throughout metro Atlanta. The campers at Oakcliff were taught basketball fundamentals as well as the importance of school, character and fitness. “We’re ecstatic because the kids have a great time,” said Godfrey Milliner, director for the Four Seasons Basketball Camp. “They’re learning so many essential tools that are going to help push them forward to the next level of basketball.” The clinic also included a shooting competition, which was won by 8-year-old Tommy Robb.

Photos courtesy of the Atlanta Hawks

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