Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake





More than 1,500 people from across metro Atlanta took part in the Center for Pan Asian Services, Inc. 7th annual TEA (Together Empowering Asian Americans) Walk in October. Organizers said it is the largest walk of its kind in the South.

Charities offer thanks for sponsors and volunteers
See Story on Page 15A Metro Atlanta residents welcomed Sunday alcohol sales at local retailer The beer Growler in Avondale Estates on Nov. 20. Photo by Daniel beauregard

Several cities welcome Sunday sales, others get ready
by Daniel Beauregard


Children work on an outdoor mural while visiting the Dunwoody Nature Center for a class field trip.

hirsty metro Atlanta residents stood in a line stretching out the door of the Beer Growler in Avondale Estates on Sunday, Nov. 20, waiting for the chance to buy beer. Avondale was one of the first cities in the metro area to enact Sunday retail sales of alcohol after residents passed a referendum on Nov. 8 allowing it. Paul Thompson, a history professor at North Greenville University in South Carolina, said in a recent report online that he thought Georgia’s ban on Sunday sales could go back as far as colonial times. “My guess is this is the first time in Georgia’s history that this has ever been allowed,” said Thompson, who is working on a book on the temperance movement. Co-owner of the Beer Growler Paul Saunders said it was busier than they could have ever expected on Sunday. Saunders said from the time

the store opened at 12:30 p.m., there was a steady stream of around 50 people in line until they closed that evening. “We actually ran out of beer,” Saunders said. “Originally we had scheduled two people to work and by the end of the day we had our entire staff there.” The Beer Growler sells “growlers” or quarts of draft beer that are sealed in a jug and sold for retail—customers are able to take a distinct draft beer home with them rather than spending time at a bar. “We sold 1,200 growlers yesterday,” Saunders said. “I think some people wanted to be part of history. We had a countdown and Mayor [Ed Reiker] was here and he was the first person to buy one.” As Decatur resident Kristin Frazier stood in line holding two empty growlers, she said being able to purchase alcohol on Sundays would help cities financially and be cheaper for residents. “It was a really silly law; you can go to a restaurant and buy alcohol there on Sunday,”

Frazier said. She also pointed out that it might be safer too because now, residents wouldn’t have to go to a bar if they wanted a drink on Sunday. Avondale City Manager Clai Brown said the city was quick to go through the steps allowing Sunday sales because it wanted to be progressive and friendly to business owners in the area. Most cities had to make slight changes to their ordinances for sales to take effect and most in DeKalb are projecting to begin Sunday sales over the next few weeks. “I’m happy for the business owners because you know how the economy is today and anything that can help them put additional revenue in their pocket [helps],” Brown said. Sales went into effect in the city of Decatur on Nov. 27, Doraville and Dunwoody on Dec. 1, and will become effective in Clarkston and Stone Mountain on Dec. 6 and Chamblee Dec. 25.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011

Ponce de Leon Court on historic list
A tract of 26 homes near the Decatur Square developed nearly 90 years ago was listed earlier this month in the National Register of Historic Places. The Ponce de Leon Court Historic District is a single street that was developed in the 1920s by John L. Womack. He and his wife Margaret purchased the first tract in 1921, where they built their house at the end of the street. This house was converted into apartments in 1958. More tracts were purchased in 1922 and 1924, and subdivision plats for the street date from 192426. John Womack was a smallbusiness owner, builder, developer, salesman and amateur horticulturalist. Most lots have single-family, one-story homes dating from the 1920s, but there are also a few duplexes and three small apartment buildings in the district. The street maintains a unified character street from others in the area. House types include bungalows and side-gabled cottages. Stylistic influences are primarily Craftsman and Colonial Revival. The district also includes three buildings at the beginning of the street facing East Ponce de Leon Avenue, including a 1922 two-story brick apartment building with classical features typical of many built in the Atlanta area at that time. The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of historic buildings, structures, sites, objects and districts worthy of preservation. The National Register provides formal recognition of a property’s architectural, historical or archaeological significance. It also identifies historic properties for planning purposes and ensures that these properties will be considered in the planning of state or federally assisted projects.

Photo by John Hewitt

through similar setbacks, subtropical vegetation, sidewalks with planter strips on both sides and

houses that are generally the same scale. A few surviving palm trees and bamboo also distinguish this

We recognize that there have been times when we’ve all had to pinch pennies. With our EarthCents Home Energy Improvement Program, learn how a few small changes can make a big difference on your electricity bill. Plus, you could earn individual rebates from $50 to $400, with total incentives of up to $700. A few small changes to your home and habits can leave you some extra spare change in your pockets. To find out about available rebates plus more ways to save money and energy, visit

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Local News

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011

The Georgia Conservancy, a group studying revitalization in Lithonia, says developing the land around the city’s rock quarry could spur economic growth in the area. More than a century ago, Lithonia was founded as workers moved into the area to work in the quarry. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Planners: Quarry, plaza key to Lithonia rebirth
by Andrew Cauthen For decades, it was Lithonia’s raison d’etre and the 83acre quarry area could once again be an economic engine for the south DeKalb city. “Since the quarry was the economic heart of Lithonia and the reason why the city was here, we propose bringing it back to be the driver of economic growth again,” said Allison Bane, one of a group of Georgia Tech students working with Blueprints for Successful Communities, a program of the Georgia Conservancy that helps communities promote growth. The concept for the revitalized quarry is a mixed-use development with guided tours showcasing the history and nature of the site, and a network of walking and bicycling paths connecting proposed parks. The ideas include residential developments overlooking the quarry, community gardens, dog parks and an inn. “I think everybody is stunned,” said Mary Ann Cowan, a fifth generation Lithonian, who has lived there for 74 years. “To us Lithonians, it’s just a big rock.” Most of the residents at the meeting said they had never been to the now-closed quarry, which is just a short walk from the city’s downtown area. Hall to the center. The group suggested extending Stone Mountain Street to Main Street to make the area more pedestrian-friendly. “Lithonia has the potential to be a very vibrant, very active downtown,” Schaeffing said. While all these concepts have no associated development funds now, Lithonia residents will soon get some tangible examples of what some of the improvements would be like. The Georgia Tech students will make Main Street more bicycle-friendly by painting temporary bike signs on the road to direct cyclists and remind drivers to share the road. Temporary historical markers, story-telling benches and outdoor cafes will also be set up by the students in the next couple of weeks, said Georgia Tech student Jacob Davis. “We’ve been looking at what we can do right now,” Davis said. Moore said that when the final community master plan is developed and released to Lithonia residents by February, the process will not be over. “The real hard work begins then,” Moore said. “Then it’s time for them to become real and for the community to put its sweat and time and energy and effort into [implanting the plans].”

The re-purposed quarry was one the ideas put forth by the Blueprints group during a community meeting on Nov. 21. One of the goals of the students was to “find some things that are already here, especially those things that are unique to Lithonia that would turn it into a destination,” said Katherine Moore, program manager of the Blueprints for Successful Communities program. And the quarry fits that bill, she said. “It’s a really significant asset…as a redevelopment tool,” Moore said. Since July, the Georgia Tech team, under the direction of Georgia Tech professor of architecture and urban design

Ellen Dunham-Jones, has been walking around town with notepads and cameras, studying the town. Their work is a part of Blueprints, which has a $50,000 price tag that was paid by funds from a community development block grant, the Arabia Mountain Heritage Alliance and the city of Lithonia. “We can now see the fruits of the efforts of the students,” said Deborah Jackson, Lithonia’s mayor-elect. In addition to the quarry redevelopment, the Blueprints group presented a concept for an improved downtown Lithonia area. “It has a lot of really good bones to it,” said Georgia Tech student Phil Schaeffing. “There are some great old

buildings there.” But the area also has some problems, most notably the Lithonia Plaza in the center of the city. Once it was a pedestrian-friendly street grid with several buildings, including a fire station, churches and the train depot. Now the plaza, considered an eyesore to many residents, is home to a Wayfield Foods grocery store and several retail stores. A large part of the plaza is owned by the city of Lithonia and contains vacant, rundown buildings. To reinvigorate downtown Lithonia, the Blueprints group suggested tearing down part of the plaza, establishing a farmers market fed by a community farm in the plaza, and moving the Lithonia City

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 2, 2011

Opinion The Newslady

Page 4A

Southern Baptists on track in child sex abuse prevention
immerse themselves in the flocks of many churches. Many church leaders are reluctant to report suspected abuses or even to report cases brought to their attention. Just as the situation at Penn State, a powerful, wellrespected and admired leader of an academic institution is accused of the unthinkable, raping a boy in the college locker room. An eye-witness says he reported the incident to college authorities, but there is no record of a police report. It’s often hard to fathom that someone who professes to be a Christian and belief in God could stoop to abusing God’s innocents. But as we have seen time and time again in the headlines nationally and locally it does happen and with alarming frequency it seems. Dr. Phil on one of his recent shows said in cases of suspected child sexual abuse err on the side of the child, even when there is not enough information or evidence. Believe them. When someone reports child sexual abuse, believe them. Go to the authorities. The Southern Baptists through its LifeWay Ministries have come up with a set of laudable safeguards to prevent child sexual abuse, including most importantly conducting background checks on every current and future worker. The SBC also recommends requiring all volunteers to submit an application to serve and to institute a six months/two people rule. That policy would require potential volunteers who would work with children to have been an active member of the church for at least six months and also require at least two adults in the room with minors at all times. These preventative measures have been in force at my place of worship for several years. Youth workers and Sunday school teachers in the children’s division go through background checks and there are at least two teachers in each class at any given time. It is a good thing. It is not an invasion of privacy. It is for the protection of our most precious resource, the children. Another thought in closing— now if more of our religious leaders would speak candidly from their pulpits about this scourge on society instead of planned, canned series sermons, we would all be the better for it. Some child predator who professes to be a Christian, like the dope addict, thief or harlot sitting in the pews might hear the error of his or her ways and seek repentance. Yes, the Southern Baptists are right on track to bring the child sexual abuse issue in the church to the forefront of discussion at the very least. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Milies at

The LifeWay Ministries of the Southern Baptist Church is right on track in its call for religious leaders to be more vigilant in preventing and ferreting out child abuse in the wake of the horrific child abuse scandal at Penn State. While there has been plenty published about the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church, there are few reliable statistics on sexual abuse in churches overall. But according to Southern Baptist Church leaders it is high time that religious leaders take a more proactive stance in protecting children from sexual predators who

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011

Not much super about the Super Committee
of the cliff to appreciate the depth or the danger involved. Compromise is required It is an adage that watching law being crafted is similar to the production of sausage—not exactly a pretty sight, even if you like the final result. Given the varying perspectives and viewpoints that exist within each major national party, building consensus and compromise has long been instrumental in completing the path of major legislation. There are simply not enough millionaires to tax our way out of this deficit spending gap. And though 4 percent annual growth in GDP (currently only 2 percent) would be a major step in the right direction, growth alone will not pull us out of this ditch. And though the Super Committee considered billions, and potentially trillions in long term spending cuts, they were actually discussing slowing or freezing the growth in spending on these programs to more manageable levels. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are by far the largest drivers in growth of federal spending. To rein in these budget behemoths, we need to consider reducing benefits, delaying eligibility or possibly short and midterm freezes on benefits levels and checks. Means testing and income caps for potential recipients should also be on the table. We have had divided government before Following the U.S. Congressional mid-term elections of 1994, then first-term President Bill Clinton, then new U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and a GOP Majority Senate balanced the U.S. budget—twice. One of the thenmajor drivers in escalating the federal budget was welfare, or more specifically, AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children). Though a Workfare Reform Joint Committee (a better named twin to the more recent Super Committee), Congress passed and the president signed TANF, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. TANF requires the able-bodied recipient of assistance to complete job skills training or provide some community service, and the aid is not permanent. TANF now annually provides assistance to more indigent families, with a higher degree of later self-reliance and a lower expenditure of federal dollars. Its passage was not easy, or a miracle, but it might provide a template for further consideration on other issues. Return of the Gang of Six Georgia’s senior U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss is one of the unofficial chiefs of a bi-partisan group of senators, The Gang of Six, who earlier unveiled a “go big” plan with $4 trillion in spending cuts and new revenue. Their earlier offering, not without controversy, does include reducing tax rates, as well as phasing out or ending a significant number of tax deductions and exemptions. Yes, that means some people will pay more taxes. But ending an exemption is not a tax increase, it is simply taking away the benefit created by earlier legislation, which made that investment, choice or path more tax favorable. Some will be harder to swallow than others. Ending the deduction for mortgage interest on investments or vacation homes will hurt those real estate markets—but not as much as ending the mortgage interest deduction for all homes. There is no way to close this gap of 40 cents being borrowed for nearly every dollar of current federal expenditure without pain. Reducing or eliminating benefits will hurt, as will ending or minimizing tax exemptions. The enabling legislation establishing the Super Committee and timetable for balancing the budget gives until Dec. 23 for a bill to leave Congress for the president’s desk. I’m revising my wish list for Santa this year, and hoping that our Gang of Six finds quite a few more converts and statesmen in the days and weeks ahead. How does the Gang of 60 sound? 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

Opinion One Man’s Opinion

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“Be thankful we are not getting all the government we are paying for,” humorist Will Rogers. As Congress badly cobbled another 11th hour, Hail Mary compromise just before the markets re-opened in August, averting a potential default on U.S. bond obligations, transfer payments and related government expenditures, I held out little hope for the work of the yet to be appointed, special bipartisan and then later “Super Committee” on deficit reduction. Unfortunately, it appears my gut was right. As we watch the economies of Greece, Turkey—and now potentially Italy and the entire European Union— move toward free fall, we should be able to demonstrate the collective wisdom to make a mid-course correction. You don’t have to actually fall off

Let Us Know What You Think!
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encourages opinions from its readers. Please write to us and express your views. Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain the writer’s name, address and telephone number for verification. All letters will be considered for publication.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011


Page 6A

Shocked and disappointed
Walmart's sales are down because people are skimping on things like milk and food while Saks Fifth Avenue is selling lots of $1,000 handbags and $2,000 suits.
at the Penn State scandal. On another front, I'm not so much shocked as disappointed at the number of people who don't have a clue when it comes to Occupy Wall Street and the rest of the Occupy movement. Talking heads and editorial writers have looked disapprovingly at –– the (mostly) young people setting up camp in financial districts around the nation and asked, "What do they The following comments are pulled straight from our website and are not want?" Or even, without irony, "Why edited for content or grammar. don't they get a job?" And that's the point, isn't it? There are no jobs; not the kind the protesters have gone to college and trained for. Times are hard for new graduates these days. I doubt that their future has been this bleak since the Great Depression. On average, they graduCommissioner Gannon would probably favor a time chosen ate more than $25,000 in hock, often by the “homeowner” to foreclose. That way, the non-paying facing bleak job prospects. Then they look at Wall Street and the big banks homeowner could live forever without paying any loan and see the very people who gamed payments and those nasty bankers would suffer as they this economy into disaster still makshould. ing millions of dollars a year playing the same games and complaining – Dundevil posted this on 11/26/11 at 10:51 a.m. about taxes. Walmart sales are down because people are skimping on things like Such attitudes only continue to patronize a sense of milk and meat. At the same time, Saks entitlement fostered by Obama.. Fifth Avenue is selling lots of $1,000 handbags and $2,000 suits. – Flyboy posted this on 11/25/11 at 8:23 p.m. What do they want, the protesters? They want justice, for openers. They want the kind of society they were promised, one that gives people an equal chance at success if they're willing to work for it. They don't want a society where the top 1 percent of the population commands more than one-fifth of the nation's income and more than 35 peI like this new Dog Andy, let’s make the Dog our new DeKalb cent of its wealth, a society ruled by a DA ? At least maybe the Dog will bite some of these Career corporate elite whose only religion is Criminals walking away from the DeKalb Court House with greed. nothing for their crimes, some not even a slap on the wrist ! They don't want a society where in tough times the only people asked to DA Robert James a big dissappointment ! make sacrifices are the old, the young and the poor. – No1Safe N DeKalb posted this on 11/25/11 at 4:09 p.m. More than anything, they want their future back. It's not a lot to ask, actually, not if we really are the exceptional nation we pretend to be.

In the spirit of the holiday season I have a gift for you: a freshly minted Herman Cain joke. Q: Mr. Cain, what about Libya? A: I never laid a hand on her. But life isn't all jokes and foolishness. It just seems that way when you're dealing with politics. There are serious issues to be addressed — college football, for example. The grimmest college scandal in memory has erupted at Penn State, a quiet university deep in the Pennsylvania mountains, dedicated to academic excellence and watching football. One of its most widely respected football figures — a retired assistant coach of national reputation — has been persuasively accused of being a serial pedophile who used his access to the university and its athletic department to enhance the practice of his perversion. Worse yet, the entire hierarchy of the school — from head coach to athletic director to president — seems to have turned a blind eye to the situation. For years. Which would be bad enough if it happened at just any football-firstand-everything-else-be-damned school (of which there are many), but Penn State has long been considered the gold standard of football integrity. It was big-time football the way it should be. Its ancient coach, Joe Paterno, was without rival when it came to reputation. Now the president, the athletic director, and Paterno have been fired, and Paterno's name has been taken off the trophy awarded to conference champions — the football equivalent of being brought before the troops at dress parade and having the epaulets and brass buttons ripped from your uniform. Not many things shock me anymore, but I confess to being shocked

Commissioners want to lengthen foreclosure process

Canine veteran hired to help district attorney’s office

Saying goodbye to four-legged friends

OtherWords columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

What a great article explaining home euthanasia for pets! It is so much more peaceful to do this service in the home. I really think this is a compassionate final gift we give our pets. This is also my calling as I do home hospice and euthanasia in North Carolina. Dana Lewis, DVM – Dana Lewis posted this on 11/18/11 at 9:52 p.m.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011

Local News

Page 7A

Thomas McGhee
homes that have lawns in need of mowing or shrubs in need of trimming. McGhee also helps keep the community uncluttered by removing solicitation signs from telephone poles. “We’ll send people a letter if we see things that are unacceptable,” McGhee said. “If nothing is done, then we’ll send a copy to code enforcement.” McGhee also helps make life better for the community’s residents. He and other members of the Greater Towers Community Association work with a local church to ensure that the community’s disadvantaged children have presents for Christmas. Also, there is a large elderly population, and many of the residents are out of work, McGhee said. In an effort to help those who need assistance, McGhee graduated from the DeKalb Neighborhood Leadership Institute in 2007. The DLI is a year-long adult leadership development program that acquaints participants with the various levels of government, education, business, economic and community development, engaging them in the decision-making process. McGhee also regularly attends meetings hosted by groups such as OneDeKalb, which works with community organizations to promote community engagement. The agency also assists community associations with information about county departments and programs. “A lot of people don’t even know what kinds of programs exist,” McGhee said. “We’ll go to the meetings and bring back applications or tell them where they can find information online. “I think it has made a difference,” he said. “A lot of people say they don’t know, but it’s just a matter of not being informed. And we try to keep people informed of what kind of help is available.”

Champion of the Week

Community prosecutor to tackle ‘frequent flyers’
by Andrew Cauthen Immediately before joining the office of DeKalb’s Solicitor General Sherry Boston as a community prosecutor, Sonja Brown found working with victims of abuse to be extremely satisfying work. “When you give a victim of abuse an opportunity to be heard and an opportunity to face their abuser, that empowers them,” said Brown, who worked in the unit of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office that worked with crimes against women and children. “They have an opportunity to face their abuser,” Brown said. “They have an opportunity to see justice done and they have an opportunity to tell the world, ‘Look, this is what this person did to me.’ “You can imagine the shame and the guilt that’s attached with abuse,” Brown said. “You can’t get them back whole but you can give them, hopefully, an opportunity to get their lives back as whole as possible.” Brown, who is DeKalb’s first full-time community prosecutor, said her current role provides a different kind of satisfaction. A community prosecutor serves as a liaison between the prosecutor’s office, law enforcement and the community “to ensure that justice, whatever that may be, is done,” Brown said. “You’re helping the community,” said Brown, who has been on the job in DeKalb for a month. “You’re empowering them. They’re not sitting back waiting for law enforcement [or] the prosecutors to do something.” Brown is a past president of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys and a member of the Georgia Bar’s committee to promote inclusion in the profession. She is also a minister at Central United Methodist Church in Atlanta. Before working in criminal law, Brown served as a staff counsel for 11 years for Convergent Media Systems, now a part of Sony Electronics, in Alpharetta, where she worked on contract negotiations and employment issues. “I thought I went to law school in order to do business, but I realized that I wasn’t as fulfilled,” Brown said. “I wanted to try to do something new. I found that criminal law, and in particular the prosecution side, was where I enjoyed being.” After leaving business law, Brown worked for five years in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, first as the director of offender re-entry and then as a community prosecutor for south Fulton County. Traditionally, a prosecutor takes cases from law enforcement. “You review the case, you work the case, you try the case or you come to some sort of plea agreement,” Brown said. Community prosecution is a more grassroots approach to law enforcement. “As a community prosecutor you are out in the community working with law enforcement and the community to identify issues that are particular to a community,” Brown said. Focusing on a specific community, Brown said, she will work with the stakeholders, identify their public safety and quality of life issues, and “see what’s causing a problem in a particular area.” “Rather than just prosecute those defendants, you look at what needs to be done,” Brown said. “We need to address core issues.” Brown said, unlike parttime community prosecutors the county has had, she intends to carry a caseload.
See Prosecutor on Page 9A

Sonja Brown, DeKalb’s new community prosecutor working with Solicitor General Sherry Boston, says her priority is to address the “frequent flyers” in the court system—repeat offenders who are nuisances to communities. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Thomas McGhee has seen a lot of changes in the Greater Towers community since he moved there in 1974. The once-vibrant community has fallen on hard times. Several of the area’s elementary schools were closed last year and numerous foreclosures dot the 11 or 12 neighborhoods that make up the community. “We used to have things like the yard of the month or yard of the week; people had incentives for keeping things nice,” McGhee said. “But the neighborhood has changed. Many people died or moved out and things fell through the cracks.” McGhee, 68, has been helping to improve the aesthetics of the area and life for its residents since he retired in 2001 after working 32 years for the U.S. Postal Service. McGhee has been a member of the Greater Towers Community Association for 12 years and currently serves as assistant to the treasurer. He previously serves as treasurer for more than five years. “I felt more of my time was needed to improve my community and help make a difference,” McGhee said. Over the years, McGhee has worked with others in the community to help plant trees and flowers as well as paint neighborhood entrance signs and help with clean-up efforts. He regularly drives through the area, scouting for foreclosed

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011

Local News
percent of the votes while Hart garnered 31 percent. Two Doraville City Council seats are still up for grabs in the run-off election. With 47 percent of the vote, Trudy Jones Dean was ahead of Bob Roche, who had 31 percent of the vote during the general election. Dean and Roche are vying for one of the seats, while incumbent council member Maria Alexander and Sharon Spangler are campaigning for the other seat. Alexander received 48 percent of the vote while Spangler received 31 percent in November.

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Doraville, Dunwoody runoff elections set for Dec. 6
by Andrew Cauthen Voters in Doraville and Dunwoody will go to the polls Dec. 6 for a run-off election. In Doraville, incumbent Mayor Donna Pittman is trying to keep the position she won during a special election in July. In that vote, she was elected to fill the remaining term of former mayor Ray Jenkins, who died in office. Retired chemist Tom Hart is the other candidate seeking the position. In the Nov. 8 election, Pittman received 46 Dunwoody voters will decide who will be their second mayor, replacing Ken Wright, who did not run for a second term. Attorney Bob Dallas, who received 43 percent of the vote last month, will face businessman Mike Davis, who received 39 percent. Two candidates are in the run-off for a Dunwoody City Council seat: Terry Nall, with 45 percent of the general election vote, and incumbent Robert Wittenstein, with 42 percent of the vote.

A new complex being built by the Decatur Housing Authority will feature a state-of-the-art rainwater collection system. Photos by John Hewitt

Decatur housing unit will have stateof-the-art rainwater collection system
by Daniel Beauregard water, from the rooftop and condensation from the air conditioners….it will then For Bob Drew, recycling be pumped for irrigation rainwater is one of the oldand further treatment for the est ideas on the books, but toilet facility,” Drew said. today it seems old-fashRecycling rainwater is ioned. important to Drew because “The ancient Romans in most cases, he said, huand Egyptians did it, its man beings are depleting nothing new,” Drew said. their water supplies and “What’s new now is that re-using rain water is a relathere are some technologies tively easy effort at conserthat make it better.” vation. Drew owns ECOVIE, a “During irrigation seacompany that provides the son we estimate that we’ll design and installation of provide nearly all of their rainwater collection systems water, nearly 80 percent,” throughout metro Atlanta, Drew said. and he is installing one of Don Dressel, program his systems in a new 80-unit director for DHA, said housing development being he was first introduced built by the Decatur Housto Drew’s company after ing Authority (DHA). researching greywater ir“It will be a varied cisrigation and coming to the tern that will collect rainconclusion it would be too costly. “I think he was very adamant that things be done with this development in a more sustainable way than other developments,” Drew said of Dressel. Greywater irrigation recycles water from washing machines, bathroom sinks and showers but Dressel found it required too much processing to clean the water and put it back into the building. Dressel decided to go with ECOVIE because he thought it would be easier to install and maintain in the new development off Commerce Drive. “I talked to some folks where its being done with other places [such as] residences and restaurants,” Dressel said, “and first of all, this is a green building, the whole project is.” The new housing development is currently in its second phase—the first phase was constructed as housing units for families. The DHA is working with Earthcraft, a green building certification program serving states in the southeast. “In the first phase we did a lot of energy conservation things but this time we decided to take it a step further on water conservation,” Dressel said. According to Dressel, the payback period on the ECOVIE system is estimated to be anywhere from six to eight years, but he said that could vary depending on the city’s water costs over time. “If we were to get into a situation where water spikes like in Atlanta, the payback period could be in two years, and that could happen,” Dressel said. “When you spread it out over 80 units and the total cost of the buildings, it’s a relatively low amount of money.” Dressel said the second phase is slated to be completed in 2012 and a third phase will be finished in 2014. He said it would most likely be the last public housing project in Decatur for at least the next several years. “We’ve got one more phase to do and we’re pretty much built out,” Dressel said, “but in the event we do more in the future we’re certainly going to look at it.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011

Local News

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State DOE proposes new ways to rate success
by Daniel Beauregard Earlier this month Georgia was among several states to formally submit a waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education allowing for exclusions of certain provisions in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). According to Matt Cardoza, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Education (GDOE), since Georgia was one of the first states to submit a waiver request it would find out whether its request was granted in the next few months. The request, submitted by State School Superintendent John Barge on Nov. 14, asks the state be allowed to implement a new Career and College Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) to take the place of some of the provisions of NCLB. Currently under NCLB, end of the year results are based on AYP measurements that use standardized test results to determine how each public school and school system in the country is performing academically. The results then determine how much federal and state funding a system receives based on the number of schools it has making AYP. The act also calls for all schools in the country to meet AYP by the year 2014. However, the new index will use three specific areas to assess individual schools such as Achievement Score (based upon current year data); Progress Score (based upon current and prior year data); and Achievement Gap Closure Score (based upon gap closure at the state or school level). The schoolwide scores in these three areas will be weighted to produce the school’s overall CCRPI score. Since NCLB only measures English/language arts, reading and math, Barge said an unintended consequence of the measurement system is that students struggling in one content area maybe pulled from other content areas for remediation. He said in some cases students taking a double dose of content to prepare for tests miss out on some of the vital learning in other subject areas. But, Barge said the CCRPI will focus on student achievement across the board and attendance, content mastery and nextlevel preparation. It also emphasizes college readiness and career development—through a number of indicators such as Advance Placement, ACT and SAT scores—which is not currently provided by data collected for AYP. Recently at a panel discussion hosted by the Council of Chief State School Officers, a non-profit, nationwide child advocacy organization, Barge told an anecdote about his 15-yearold daughter passing her multiple choice drivers’ test. “She said to me, ‘I didn’t memorize the signs dad, I just took the test.’ She passed it but she wasn’t ready to drive,” Barge said. Barge said through talking to post-secondary partners and business and industry leaders throughout the state, he found many thought students weren’t prepared for college or a career out of high school. “We looked at developing a new system. It has been in development for about a year, a new accountability system for Georgia,” Barge said. “We have retained those aspects of NCLB that were essential to a quality accountability system.” According to Cardoza, the feedback the GDOE has recieved from school systems, teachers/teacher organizations and community members has been extremely positive so far. “We really feel like this index is going to appropriately measure the progress of our schools, and a large majority of stakeholders feel that way, too,” Cardoza said.

Trial reset to Feb. 13 for Dunwoody daycare killing suspect
The man accused of killing a Dunwoody man outside his son’s daycare center will go on trial on Feb. 13. Hemy Svi Neuman was arrested in January for the murder of Russell “Rusty” Neuman Sneiderman, a 36-year-old entrepreneur who was shot several times outside Dunwoody Prep daycare, where he had just dropped off his son. Neuman, who worked at GE Electric Energy in Marietta, was the supervisor of Andrea Sneiderman, the victim’s wife. In September, Neuman’s attorneys filed a notice in court of Neuman’s intention to change his plea from not guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity. The plea change led to the trial start date being changed from Oct. 17 to Feb. 13 by Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams after the prosecution expressed concerns that more time would be needed to allow a court-appointed psychologist or psychiatrist to examine Neuman in reference to the insanity defense.

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Prosecutor Continued From Page 7A
Her goal is to identify the “frequent flyers”—repeat offenders known in the community to go through the courts like going through a revolving door. Brown said she will work to “ensure that our frequent flyers are getting the appropriate sentences where need be and the treatment if need be.” “When cases come up that involve these repeat offenders, I [will] personally handle those cases,” Brown said. The native of the Bahamas said a primary goal will be convincing residents to trust that law enforcement and prosecutors want to partner with them. “It isn’t an overnight fix,” Brown said about decreasing crime. “It is going to be a process. We are here for the long haul.”

Nearly 40 shops and restaurants all around the City of Decatur stay open late with refreshments and special deals every Terrific Thursday through December 15
Downtown Decatur

Advertising funded by the Decatur Craft Beer Festival.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011

Local News
by Kathy Mitchell Radio personality Wanda Smith said she adores her three sons, but for years felt a little disappointed that she had no daughter whose hair she could style and with whom she could shop for frilly clothes. Then Kennedy came into her life. One of the speakers at the Nov. 19 National Adoption Day program sponsored by the DeKalb County Department of Family and Children Services, Smith told her personal story to the crowd in the Manuel J. Maloof Auditorium as a way of honoring other adopting parents and encouraging those who are considering adoption. Smith said that she had not set out to adopt a child, but fate brought her the daughter she had always wanted. When Smith met Kennedy’s birth mom, the young mother had six other children and little income. She was eking out a living entering karaoke competitions. Smith gave the woman a ride home and saw for herself how the family was living. “She opened the door and there were kids coming from everywhere,” Smith recalled. The home, she said, had “no beds, no food, no pictures on the wall. I realized how blessed I was. I also realized that I needed to help these people. “I told her story on the radio,” Smith said, and help poured in. She remained close to the family, but Kennedy, 5 years old at the time, especially seemed eager to spend time with “Aunt Wanda.” The affection was mutual. “I fell in love with her. She even looked like me. Everything seemed so right,” Smith said. Kennedy’s birth mother agreed to the adoption, but remains very much a part of Kennedy’s life. The mother, who was identified simply as Sabrina, spoke at the program as well. “She (Smith) adopted me first,” Sabrina said.

Page 10A

Families and county officials celebrate National Adoption Day
“She was taking care of me before she even knew it,” she added, explaining that the fact that Smith kept naming her the winner of cash prizes in the karaoke competitions provided income that helped her family. Sabrina said she and Smith now consider each other family. “We laugh together; we cook together. It’s great,” she said. A number of other new parents who were among the approximately 50 adoptions completed in DeKalb County during the past year brought their sons and daughters for the event, which had the theme, Celebrating A Family for Every Child. Each adopted child in attendance was presented with a teddy bear. Adoption, the department’s material noted, is both a social and a legal process. DeKalb County judges who are involved in the process were present for the celebration. “As a mother, I know that there are things every child deserves—someone to read you a bedtime story, someone to cheer for you at your Little League games, someone to call when you forget your lunch money, someone to buy you a musical instrument and come hear you play at your recital,” said Judge Desiree Peagler. “We have to find the right family for each child,” Peagler said. “It’s not easy to make these matches. The most exciting news I hear is that we’ve completed an adoption. We can close a case out.” “Even as we commend those parents who have stepped up to the plate and taken on the responsibilities of making a child a member of their family, we must remember that nationwide there still are more than 170,000 children available for adoption,” said Judge Gregory Adams. An anonymous quote printed on the program seemed to sum up the spirit of the day: “No, I didn’t give you the gift of life, life gave me the gift of you.”

Parents bring newly adopted youngsters forward to be recognized on National Adoption Day. Photos by Kathy Mitchell

Maestoso Orchestra of Camp Creek Middle School, under the direction of Bridgette Yancy, provides entertainment at the event.

Teddy bears await presentation to the youngsters in attendance.

World’s largest collegiate display of AIDS Memorial Quilt at Emory
by Daniel Beauregard Emory University will host the largest collegiate display of The AIDS Memorial Quilt in the world on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, with 1,432 panels. Each single panel of the quilt tells the story of one of the approximately 3,000 lives cut short by HIV/AIDS listed on the quilt. To date, it is the largest dedicatory service Emory has ever hosted. Presented by Emory Hillel, a Jewish organization on campus, the seventh annual “Quilt on the Quad” is scheduled to be held on McDonough Field in the heart of the Emory campus. Director of Emory Hillel Michael Rabkin provided the keynote address. “The concept is to promote the central Jewish ethic that to save one life is to save the entire world and that’s been the motivation for behind doing this event each year,” Rabkin said. In addition to the quilt display, 25 panels were arranged at various locations around campus. Of the 25 panels, 12 will include QR code integration so that smartphone users can link to online “Quilt Stories” containing voiceovers. “That was something that we just started doing so people can get more informed behind the panels that they’re viewing,” Ben Spurling, a member of the Quilt on the Quad student committee. Spurling said two weeks before World AIDS Day panels are placed throughout campus at locations, including the gymnasium, the school of public health and nursing, and the library, to create awareness of the upcoming event. “We normally have the panels around campus but sometimes people don’t know what they’re looking at, but the QR codes help,” Spurling said.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011

Local News
provide information as to how they planned to manage the county’s near-term projected cash flow imbalances,” according to a Nov. 23 statement by S&P. During the presentation in New York, S&P credit analysts “asked a lot of questions about quirks in our finances” that led to the county’s “fiscal ailments,” Johnson said. Johnson said the county’s hard work in addressing concerns by the rating agencies demonstrated its “willingness to do what it takes to preserve the financial integrity” of the county. “Our credit card has been moved up a notch,” Johnson said. “But we still have to get back to that AAA bond rating. That’s the standard for DeKalb County.” Joel Gottlieb, the county’s finance director, said an increased property tax millage rate earlier this year also led to the improved ratings. “The outlook is stable based on our expectation that the system will maintain solid operations and preserve its healthy financial position aided by the county’s timely implementation of rate increases as it addresses its significant capital investment program,” said S&P credit analyst Paula Costa. Since March, the county has instituted monthly cash flow monitoring of the restricted and unrestricted funds in its pooled cash account; provided additional cash flow management information to S&P; and has recently taken steps to segregate its water and sewer funds from the rest of the county’s pooled cash funds, thereby mitigating previous credit risks related to the utility funds, according to the S&P statement. The ratings company said it may consider lowering the water-sewer system’s rating if the county does not proceed with “timely and appropriate rate adjustments.” Last December, the county’s Board of Commis-

Page 11A

County’s bond ratings restored for ‘healthy’ operation
by Andrew Cauthen eight months after S&P lowered the county’s general obligation debt from DeKalb County’s water AA- to BBB and its longand sewer system has a term rating on the county’s healthy outlook—financially appropriation-backed debt speaking. from A+ to BBB-. The ratOn Nov. 23 Standard ing on DeKalb’s outstanding & Poor’s Ratings Services water and sewer bonds was (S&P) gave the county’s dropped from AA+ to AA-. various existing water and After the ratings were lowsewer revenue bonds and ered, they were withdrawn revenue refunding bonds its by S&P, a financial services AA- long-term rating. The company which publishes county’s series 2011A water financial research and analyand sewer revenue bonds sis on stocks and bonds. received an A+ long-term Ellis and Commissioner rating. Larry Johnson made a “S&P has recognized presentation regarding our efforts to reorganize the county’s finances to government, reduce staff representatives from S&P and cut expenses, as well as and Moody’s Investors raise revenue,” said DeKalb Service Inc. over the sumCounty CEO Burrell Elmer. Moody’s reaffirmed lis. “They recognize that DeKalb’s Aa3 credit rating DeKalb is serious about for general obligation debt fiscal responsibility. This in August. restored rating allows us to The ratings were withmove forward with the imdrawn because “county portant work of upgrading officials were unable to our water and sewer sysprovide sufficient and tems and create thousands consistent information reof jobs.” garding the county’s curThe ratings update comes rent liquidity position [or] sioners approved $1.345 billion in improvements to DeKalb’s water and sewer system, which will be financed by an 11-percent rate hike each year for three years beginning in 2012. Gottlieb said the S&P ratings allow the county to market the water-sewer bond totaling approximately $400 million to determine what interest rates are available. On Dec. 6, the board is expected to approve a resolution that would lock in the interest rates for the revenue bond that will finance the acquisition, construction and equipping of various improvements to the watersewer system. County officials expect to close on the bonds in the next 30-45 days with construction contracts being awarded soon after that time. At the end of 2012, the county will seek a second bond of approximately $300 million, Gottlieb said.



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Page 12A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011


date to date
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(1) Based on ePa estimates. Chevrolet is a registered trademark of general motors. ©2011 general motors. all rights reserved.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011

Local News

Page 13A

Doraville forced to schedule special election to fill vacant council seat
by Daniel Beauregard The city of Doraville has unanimously passed an ordinance to hold a special election on March 6, during the presidential primary, to fill a council seat left vacant by current Mayor Donna Pittman. In NoPittman vember, Doraville City Councilman Bob Roche (District 2) resigned for the remainder of his term, but is running for another term beginning in 2012. Due to a recent resolution giving the option of Roche appointment of council members to only one seat, the city was forced to schedule a special election to fill the seat left open by Pittman. Luke Howe, Pittman’s assistant, said the city has forwarded the ordinance declaring the special election to DeKalb County and is waiting to hear what the final cost of the election will be. Howe said it could range anywhere from $4,000 to $7,000 but thought it would be closer to $5,000. However, Roche said he doubted it would be a significant cost to hold the election in March. “Even so, $6,000 or $7,000 is a small price to pay to make sure that everybody in Doraville is evenly represented,” Roche said. Roche resigned citing allegations that both Pittman and the city council tried to cover up the mismanagement of funds by city employees and refused to produce financial statements for fiscal year 2010-11 showing budget and actual spending. “The motive appears to be protecting city employees who may have overspent budgets or diverted funds to unapproved uses,” Roche said. However, Howe said Roche has had access to all the reports and information that currently exist and The Champion was provided with both a financial audit and a full financial report through June 2010. Howe said staff members were in the process of completing the rest of the reports. “We recently got a new finance director and there has been a lot of catching up to do,” Howe said. Roche recently ran as an incumbent for District 2 against candidates Chris Avers and Trudy Jones Dean on Nov. 8 and faces a runoff against Dean on Dec. 6. “This has no effect on my candidacy for the Doraville City Council term beginning Jan. 1, 2012, except I will not be running as an incumbent,” Roche said in his resignation letter. To appoint a seat the council needs a majority of four votes, and Roche said he didn’t think that would have happened, which would have left Pittman’s former seat vacant for the next two years. “The whole point was to get a full council instead of having two more years with just five people,” Roche said.

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

The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast THURSDAY
Sunny High: 56 Low: 33

Dec. 1, 2011
Today's Regional Map Weather History
Dec. 1, 1989 - Heavy snow blanketed the mountains of New Mexico, with 12 inches reported at the Angel Fire Ski Basin. Strong northerly winds, ushering cold air into the north central United States, gusted to 55 mph at Devils Lake, N.D. Dec. 2, 1925 - A late season hurricane caused extensive damage across the Florida peninsula, then moved off the Georgia coast crossing Cape Hatteras as a tropical storm. The storm produced whole gales along the Middle Atlantic and Southern New England coast. Dunwoody 54/32 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 55/33 55/33 55/33 Snellville Decatur 56/33 Atlanta 56/33 56/33 Lithonia College Park 57/33 57/33 Morrow 57/33 Union City 57/33 Hampton 58/34

In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see sunny skies with a high temperature of 56º, humidity of 61%. East wind 5 to 15 mph. The record high temperature for today is 79º set in 1991. Expect clear skies tonight with an overnight low of 33º. The record low for tonight is 18º set in 1964.

Sunny High: 62 Low: 35

*Last Week’s Almanac
Hi Lo Normals Precip Date Tuesday 75 59 61/42 0.98" Wednesday 61 46 61/41 0.00" Thursday 67 34 61/41 0.00" Friday 66 33 60/41 0.00" Saturday 68 51 60/41 0.00" Sunday 71 59 60/40 0.00" Monday 63 40 59/40 0.72" Rainfall . . . . . . .1.70" Average temp . .56.6 Normal rainfall . .0.98" Average normal 50.6 Departure . . . . .+0.72" Departure . . . . .+6.0
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport

Sunny High: 63 Low: 42

Partly Cloudy High: 61 Low: 43

Few Showers High: 56 Low: 43

Mostly Cloudy High: 58 Low: 46 First 12/2

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:23 a.m. 7:24 a.m. 7:25 a.m. 7:26 a.m. 7:27 a.m. 7:27 a.m. 7:28 a.m. Sunset 5:29 p.m. 5:29 p.m. 5:29 p.m. 5:29 p.m. 5:29 p.m. 5:29 p.m. 5:29 p.m. Moonrise 12:19 p.m. 12:49 p.m. 1:18 p.m. 1:47 p.m. 2:17 p.m. 2:50 p.m. 3:26 p.m. Moonset Next Day 12:13 a.m. 1:08 a.m. 2:03 a.m. 2:57 a.m. 3:52 a.m. 4:47 a.m. Last 12/17

Tonight's Planets
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise 7:55 a.m. 9:33 a.m. 12:16 a.m. 3:23 p.m. 3:55 a.m. 1:58 p.m. Set 5:51 p.m. 7:17 p.m. 1:14 p.m. 4:28 a.m. 3:17 p.m. 2:03 a.m.

Partly Cloudy High: 61 Low: 45 Full 12/10

New 12/24

Local UV Index

National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with isolated snow today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 56º in Taunton, Mass. The Southeast will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 75º in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Northwest will see scattered snow today, mostly clear skies Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 62º in Colville, Wash. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today, isolated showers Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 75º in Santa Ana, Calif.

Weather Trivia
In what month is an avalanche most likely to occur in the United States?
Answer: February.

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


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

StarWatch By Gary Becker - Catch Venus in the Southwest
A few nights ago it was clear, and when I went to a local pizzeria to pick up my dinner, there was a brilliant “star” low in the SW that unexpectedly caught my attention. Maybe you’ve seen it too. At mid-twilight it is less than a fist held at arm’s length above the horizon, scintillating in the amber glow of dusk. I knew it was Venus, but still I gave pause because this apparition of the goddess of Love has been more of a hide-and-seek affair than its usual brilliant evening displays in the west. Venus was at superior conjunction with the sun—in line with the Earth and the sun, but on the sun’s far side on August 16. After that date it moved into the evening sky. If this would have occurred in the spring instead of August, Venus would have rapidly risen into the heavens becoming visible in three weeks. However, this time the sun was headed south as Venus pulled away, and because of Venus’s orbital path which nearly mimics the sun’s path, Venus drew away from the sun in a direction that kept it nearly parallel to the horizon. That meant that when the sun set, so did Venus. Now, after three months of separating from Sol, Venus has gained enough altitude to become noticeable after sundown, and it will only get better in the New Year. Early next year, Venus reaches its angle of greatest eastern elongation, meaning that it will have pulled away from the sun to its greatest extent. Venus then begins to slide back towards the sun reaching inferior conjunction (Earth-Venus-sun) on June 5, 2012. On that date, Venus will pass between the Earth and the sun so precisely that observers equipped with proper solar filters will view Venus as a black dot against the sun’s disk. That last happened on June 8, 2004. The next transit of Venus occurs on December 11, 2117, and that is no typo. Even though Venus’s performance this year has been more than lackluster, “Love” will triumph in the end.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011


Page 14A

the joy of a smarter,



You may have heard. AT&T and T-Mobile are planning to come together. What will that mean to you? More cell sites and spectrum means better service sooner. And it means your Internet is about to take a big leap forward with LTE — a super-fast mobile broadband technology. We are going to deploy it to more than 97 percent of all Americans, giving you access to a cutting-edge wireless network and all the opportunities it brings. So, the moment something worth celebrating happens in your friends’ lives, you’ll know.

© 2011 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011

Local News

Page 15A

Charities offer thanks for sponsors and volunteers
Wish lists filled with dreams of unrestricted funds, canned food and a pickup truck
by Gale Horton Gay he season of thanksgiving and gift giving has arrived. We checked in with several DeKalb charitable organizations to find out what they are giving thanks for in 2011 and what’s ahead for next year. We also inquired about what is on their wish list from those wanting to support their philanthropic efforts. Jayne Watson, interim executive director of Habitat for Humanity DeKalb What are they thankful for this year? “All the community support we have received around our primary mission of building affordable housing.” She cited the support of two new fundraisers—Playhouse Build, in which 10 groups built playhouses that were then sold, raising some $15,000, and the Golden Hammer Awards, which 150 people attended and garnered $10,000. Watson specifically thanked Zurich Insurance, Lowe’s, Shallowford Presbyterian Church, Tucker High School and the Tucker community. She also said Habitat for Humanity DeKalb is appreciative of the generosity of First Baptist Church of Tucker, which provided them with a new home that they moved into several weeks ago. 2011 a “transitional” year Watson noted that midway through the year the organization made a change in leadership and a search remains under way for a new executive director. That transition resulted in a slowdown in operations as only two homes were completed this year, compared to nine houses in 2009. Watson said the organization projects to build/renovate five homes this year. “It was a challenging year,” said Watson. She added that economic downturn has affected both the number of donors and the amounts of their donations.


What’s on your wish list? On the top of Habitat for Humanity DeKalb’s wish list is a pickup truck, additional sponsors, volunteers and cash donations. “Specifically what we do in DeKalb is address the needs of DeKalb County,” she said. “Right now…part of it is to absorb blighted and abandoned properties that destabilize neighborhood and rehabilitate the houses, getting families in there as permanent homeowners. “We build one or two [from the] foundation up. We focus on existing inventory. “The marketplace does not need new construction. Housing needs to be rehabilitated. “We enjoy when we can bring the community together, bring a church and a business and a school and various volunteers together in our DeKalb community.” Debra Furtado, chief executive officer, and Sally Eggleston, chief marketing officer, both with Senior Connections What are they thankful for this year? “Our supporters, and they come in all shapes, sizes and types. Our volunteers—we couldn’t do what we do every day without them. Our donors—from the $25 senior citizen helping out on a fixed income to our presenting sponsor for the Prom, Fidelity Bank; and business partners— DeKalb County’s Office of Senior Affairs and our clients as far away as Macon. They all believe in the work we do and support us daily.” How was 2011? “It was a solid year for Senior Connections. It had its ups and downs but several high points come to mind: honoring Liane Levetan at the 2011 Senior Prom and the awareness the event raised; the visit to Senior Connections by Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee and her compliments on our programs, producing and delivering

more than a half million meals, and our first clients in our Seniors Raising Minors Food and Nutrition program. There’s so much work to still be done, but we’ve a solid base of funders helping us.” What’s on your wish list? “Unrestricted funding – we’re very lucky with our grants and program funding but those dollars are designated for specific programs – meals, for example. With more unrestrictive funds—that is, donations from people who say ‘here, use this where it is most needed’ allows us the joy of never having to say no to a senior in need. The dollars are there for emergencies when we need it. A senior who has been living with cold water because he can’t afford to replace his water heater, a senior carefully maneuvering around buckets trying to catch the water through a leaky roof, an elderly couple choosing between prescriptions and food—we can help with all those things with continued and expanded funding.” Chaiwon Kim, CEO/president, and Leng Leng Chancey, director of development, Center for Pan Asian Community Services, (CPACS) Inc. What are you most thankful for this year? “We are thankful for dedicated staff who continue day in and day out to provide high-quality services and at the same time championing for equal access and providing hope and opportunities for thousands of individuals and families in our community. We are also thankful to be honored by the Champion Newspaper as a Community Champion. After opening our doors over 30 years ago we are still vibrant because of the commitment and support of local government, private corporations, individual donors and community volunteers that support us year after year.” What kind of year was 2011 for your organization? “It was both a challenging yet

exciting year here at CPACS. The economic downturn has increased the numbers of clients served from a monthly average of 1,800 in 2010 to an average of 2,300 in 2011, with many in dire situations. Some of the highlights of this year were being recognized by DeKalb County CEO Award as a Community Hero and increasing our youth program to nine locations, which leads to serving some 380 youths every day. We also opened a center in Gwinnett County.” What’s on your wish list? “New laptops for our youth and employment programs, Christmas toys to give out to our needy families, canned foods for our food pantry, MARTA cards, grocery gift cards. Also, any financial donation to go to a myriad of programs.” Alan Mothner, executive director, Dunwoody Nature Center What are you most thankful for this year? “The Dunwoody Nature Center is thankful for our dedicated volunteers throughout the community, for the oasis of the 22 acres of Dunwoody Park in the heart of our suburban city, and for our generous donors and business partners that make achieving our mission a reality.” What kind of year was 2011 for your organization? “[This year] will be remembered as a year of foundation for the Dunwoody Nature Center. On Jan. 20 the board of directors along with input from staff, the city of Dunwoody, and, of course, our membership approved and implemented a five-year strategic plan that will guide the Nature Center.” What’s on your wish list? “The Dunwoody Nature Center always appreciates the support of our programming and other key initiatives whether it be financial, volunteer oriented or business related.”

Page 16A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011

Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave. Suite 235, Decatur, GA, 30030 • 404.378.8000•

News and events of the DeKalb Chamber of CommerCe

Chamber unveils new logo
The DeKalb Chamber is proud to announce that it has a new look for 2011 and the years beyond. The DeKalb Chamber unveiled the new logo during its open house to celebrate its relocation back to Decatur. The logo is representative of DeKalb international flavor and the fact that business is being conducted in a global economy. Also new to the DeKalb Chamber is its name and motto. Moving forward, “of Commerce” will no longer be a part of the DeKalb Chamber. Not to mention, the moniker has changed to “The Power of One Voice.” The past year has been a year of change for the business membership organization. In September, the DeKalb Chamber relocated its office from the previous four years at 100 Crescent Centre Parkway, Suite 680, Tucker to Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Avenue, Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030. DeKalb Chamber president, Leonardo McClarty commented, “This logo depicts both the image and role we want to play in the business arena. The new logo accurately reflects the fact that while the sizes may vary, we present one business voice.” DeKalb Chamber Chairman, John Kelley added, “This year has been one of rebranding for this Chamber. We have sought to tackle tough issues, engage in economic development, and provide more services for our members.” The Chamber recognizes the array of talent available to us through our membership and business partners. We would like to recognize the integral part Earl Walker of Indigo Signs (Tucker) and his team played in rebranding the DeKalb Chamber. To obtain more information on the DeKalb Chamber, interested parties may visit www. or call 404-378-8000.


Save these important dates for December:
Dec. 5 – First Monday Lunch – CEO Burrell Ellis – Keynote Dec. 7 – Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – Gwinnett Federal Credit Union Dec. 9 – Coffee & Conversation Dec. 23 – DeKalb Chamber Office Closed – Christmas Holiday Dec. 27 – DeKalb Chamber Office Closed – Christmas Holiday

Brought to you in partnership with:

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011


Page 17A

by Daniel Beauregard

Friends School partners with universities to implement new science curriculum
Currently, Kalman and his colleagues are partnering with Baylor University through a grant they received to bring that type of curriculum to The Friends School of Atlanta (FSA) in Decatur. The $30,000 grant from the National Institute of Health will be distributed over five years. Waman French, head of the school located off Columbia Drive, said its relationship with Emory and Baylor will allow it to aspire to be a school with cutting-edge science and technology resources, and teacher training. “That’s a long-term vision,” French said. “The shortterm vision is to bolster our science program and to bring in other aspects of science, in particular, the fields of genetics.” The Quaker school serves kindergarten through eighth grade students and has a mission of providing challenging academics in a diverse environment drawing on Quaker values. French said there is a high level of excitement among students about a new class on microbes being offered during the school’s third quarter in January. “We’re going to build on our experiences in this one program and developing this partnership with Emory and Baylor. The class will be offered through an exploratory as an elective…something that students will seek out because they want to be there,” French said. Additionally, Kalman and French said that eventually the classes being offered at FSA will be used as a platform to train teachers in new science education. French said he was particularly excited about people the students, as well as the teachers, will have a chance to meet. “They’ll be able to travel to labs and speak with experts in the field, and we will bring graduate students and experts to our school who will help conduct experiments…that’s an exciting area for us to develop, those community relationships that connect middle school students with professionals and their work places,” French said. “Also, I think that developing a science curriculum should go much deeper than the typical middle school textbook,” French said.

The Friends School of Atlanta is partnering with Baylor and Emory universities to bring a new science curriculum to its students. Photos by John Hewitt

Dan Kalman, an associate professor at Emory University, said the scientific community is in a crisis due to lack of funding and public awareness, and one way to curb it is to change the way science is taught in classrooms. Kalman, who works in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine, said science education in schools today can be discouraging because it emphasizes “rote” memorization rather than experimentation. “Teaching students how to think experimentally is what America has been really good at for a long time but it has been replaced in recent years,” Kalman said. “There are a lot of initiatives at the government level to improve science education and these include curriculum development as well as implementing curricula that has been developed into public schools.”

Agnes Scott now diverts 73 percent of waste from landfills, continues sustainability efforts According to a press release, Agnes Scott College now diverts 73 percent of its waste which would otherwise have gone into landfills, by recycling and composting. The college, which has increased its diversion rate from 65 percent last year, has also introduced several new sustainability initiatives in recent years including tray-less dining and reusable take-out containers. In 2008, the college diverted 28 percent of its waste and created a singlestream recycling program that allowed students to put all materials to be recycled into one container. In addition to recycling and composting, the college teams with Terracycle to recycle chip bags and candy and cookie wrappers on campus. Terracycle then transforms the wrappers into a variety of products, such as tote bags and toys. In 2010, the college completed a comprehensive, long-term Climate Action Plan, part of a commitment made with approximately 650 other colleges and universities across the country that signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment to reduce their impact on the environment. Agnes Scott’s CAP outlines strategies and five-year targets designed to achieve “climate neutrality” in time for its 150th anniversary in 2039.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011


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Like many other malls across the county and across the nation, North DeKalb Mall was teeming with shoppers on Black Friday. Photo by Kathy Mitchell

Black Friday weekend kicks off what promises to be stronger than average holiday shopping season
In a tradition that appears to grow every year, the weekend that follows Thanksgiving has become an almost around-the-clock shopping marathon. What was once Black Friday—a day for shoppers to find super bargains and retailers to pull a handsome profit—has become Black Friday weekend, often starting Thanksgiving evening and extending through Sunday. According to a preliminary Black Friday shopping survey conducted for the National Retail Federation by BIGresearch, approximately 152 million people this year planned to shop Black Friday weekend, higher than the 138 million people who planned to do so last year. According to the survey, 74 million people said they will definitely hit the stores and an additional 77 million said they would wait to see if the bargains are worth braving the cold and the crowds. “Though many retailers are already touting select Black Friday ads, there’s no doubt we’ll all be blown away by what retailers still have in their bag of tricks for shoppers,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “We fully expect to see excited shoppers as early as midnight at stores around the country, as many holiday shoppers would rather stay up all night to take advantage of retailers’ Black Friday deals rather than set their alarm to wake up the next morning.” A number of local merchants, including the Macy’s at Perimeter Mall, geared up for the event in a big way. Store manager Leigh Ott said the store was anticipating a 4-4.5 percent increase in sales compared with the corresponding time period last year. She said the store for the first time was opening at midnight for Black Friday shopping. “We’ve got some great specials and limited time items.” Ott said that while an uncertain economy isn’t keeping holiday shoppers away, it is making people shop more thoughtfully—and bargain hunting is part of that. “People are looking for value for the money they spend,” she said. Macy’s was among many stores not only advertising specials but offering coupons for still more bargains. The Thanksgiving Day Atlanta Journal and Constitution was thick with advertising circulars to help Black Friday shoppers plan their sprees. For the first time, NRF asked shoppers how they plan to keep track of retailers’ holiday sales and promotions announcements. More than half (50.5 percent) said they will keep up with advertising circulars throughout the holiday season and nearly onethird (31.7 percent) said they will tune in to watch retailers’ holiday commercials. Additionally, nearly one-quarter (23.1 percent) will check coupon websites such as and, and 32.3 percent will specifically keep track of the e-mail coupons they receive from retailers. Overall NRF officials said they are expecting the 2011 holiday shopping season to be an average one. While the 2010 season outperformed most analysts’ expectations, holiday retail sales for 2011 are expected to increase 2.8 percent to $465.6 billion, according to the NRF. While that growth is far lower than the 5.2 percent increase retailers experienced last year, it is slightly higher than the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 2.6 percent. “Retailers are optimistic that a combination of strong promotions and lean inventory levels will help them address consumer caution this holiday season,” Shay said. “While businesses remain concerned over the viability of the economic recovery, there is no doubt that the retail industry is in a better position this year to handle consumer uncertainty than it was in 2008 and 2009.” Ott said the Perimeter Mall Macy’s already has hired a number of extra employees for the holiday season. While policies at Macy’s don’t allow the reporting of numbers for a single store, Ott said that nationwide Macy’s has hired 78,000 employees for the holiday season.

A copy of the proposed 2012 Operating Budget for the City of Chamblee will be available for review at City Hall on Thursday, December 1, 2011. A Public Hearing on the proposed budget will be held on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in the Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street. Any persons wishing to be heard on the budget may appear and be heard. The City Council will adopt the budget on Tuesday, December 20, 2011. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in the Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street.


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The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011

Page 19A


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The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011

Around deKAlb d
Author to speak on New World exploration
Charles C. Mann, whose book 1491, a study of pre-Columbian Americas, received a host of awards, will be at Emory University’s Michael Carlos Museum Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. to present the sequel, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created. In this book, Mann writes of how the discoveries of Christopher Columbus accidentally set off an ecological convulsion as European vessels carried thousands of new species to new homes across the oceans. It is “an eye-opening scientific exploration of our past, unequaled in its authority and fascination.” Mann is a correspondent for The Atlantic and Science magazine and has written for major newspapers, HBO and NBC’s Law & Order. He is the recipient of writing awards from the American Bar Association and the American Institute of Physics. The Michael Carlos Museum is located at 571 South Kilgo Circle, Atlanta. For more information, call (404) 727-4282. Library on Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 -11:30 a.m. The event is open to first 66 participants. The Clarkston Library is located at 951 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston. For more information, call (404) 508-7175.

Children’s literature author makes appearance at Agnes Scott
The Little Shop of Stories children’s bookstore in downtown Decatur announces a visit from children’s literature icon Norton Juster on Friday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m., at Agnes Scott College’s Presser Hall. Juster is the author of the classic, The Phantom Tollbooth, originally published in 1961. This fall marks the 50th anniversary of this quirky adventure full of puns, word play and unforgettable characters. This milestone in literature has already garnered significant press, including recent interviews with the author on NPR and in The New Yorker. Juster’s appearance is part of the bookstore’s city-wide reading initiative, On The Same Page (OTSP.) The goal of this program is to foster a community of readers, both young and old, by bringing families together around the same book. Each year, OTSP will select a book for local children and their families to read, with The Phantom Tollbooth as the inaugural book selection. Leonard Marcus, author of The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth, will also appear. Seating is limited and tickets are required. Tickets are available at the bookstore and are limited to two per person. More information is available at

artisans and farmers worldwide. Also, visitors can purchase an animal for a family in a developing nation through God’s Global Barnyard. Animals such as chickens for $10 or a goat for $50 provide families with income and food. These gifts can be made in the name of a family member or friend. Attendees can enjoy arts and crafts for children, music, a Christmas performance, lunch and sweets while they shop. Admission to the festival is free. The church is located at 465 Clairemont Ave., Decatur.

Shaakira Akbar and Shante’ Smith will offer support for parents in helping elementary-age children with math assignments. The event is Monday, Dec. 5, 6 - 7 p.m. at the Salem-Panola Library and is open to first 40 participants. The Salem-Panola Library is located at 5137 Salem Road, Lithonia. For more information, call (770) 987-6900.

Event to benefit Asperger Spirit
An Evening to Benefit The Asperger Spirit Inc. (TAS), a non-profit corporation that provides funds for services for individuals with Asperger’s (a form of autism), will be held at Vecoma at the Yellow River in Stone Mountain on Dec. 3. The event’s theme will be “Flying in a New Direction;” it will feature a special evening of dining, entertainment and live and silent auctions. Items featured include fabulous winery tours, unique handmade jewelry and high-end bath fixtures. A number of musicians from the area will also be performing, including a chamber ensemble and a blues band. A limited number of seats remain for the event. Guests must register at For more information, visit

Presentation to focus on brain health
The Doraville Library will present Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives on Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m. - noon. Norma Miller and Connie Keck of the Life Enrichment Center in Decatur will demonstrate how to prepare recipes that are good for the brain. No registration is required. The Doraville Library is located at 3748 Central Ave., Doraville. For more information, call (770) 936-3852.

City to host tree lighting ceremony
Mayor Emanuel ransom and the Clarkston City Council will host the Clarkston annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m. A fireworks display will light Santa’s way for arrival by helicopter. Holiday music will ring in good cheer. Light refreshments will be on hand and there will be special gifts for the kids who attend. The Tree Lighting ceremony will be held at the Clarkston Women’s Club, 3913 Church St., Clarkston. The public is invited.

Library to present Chocolate 101
Those looking for a unique gift to give family and friends this holiday season may want to attend Chocolate 101 at the Redan-Trotti Library Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m. – noon for what the library describes as “a fun-filled morning as we demonstrate how to create interesting gifts using some simple techniques with chocolate.” The event is open to first 15 participants, who should call or visit the branch to register. Funding for the event is provided by the Friends of the Redan-Trotti Library. Redan-Trotti Library is located at 1569 Wellborn Road, Lithonia. For more information, call (770) 482-3821.

Tour of homes sponsored by women’s club
Members of the GFWC Stone Mountain Woman’s Club have announced their annual Christmas Home Tour Saturday, Dec. 10, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The tour includes homes in the Stone Mountain and Smoke Rise areas have prepared for the holidays. Some of the homes have been renovated, some remodeled and some redecorated. Tour tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the tour and include a box lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the GFWC Stone Mountain Woman’s Club Clubhouse, 5513 E. Mountain Street, Stone Mountain. Tickets are available at ART Station in Stone Mountain, the Stone Mountain Old Post Office Emporium, the Stone Mountain Village Visitors Center or from any member of the GFWC Stone Mountain Woman’s Club.

Lutheran church presents Festival of St. Nicholas
The Lutheran Church of the Messiah will celebrate its first Festival of Saint Nicholas, Dec. 18 at noon. During the festival, such gifts will be available as coffee, tea, cocoa and handicrafts made by people from around the world, to help eradicate poverty by providing opportunity and support to

Children’s theater to present Four Tall Women
Georgia Perimeter College’s Children’s Theatre will present Four Tall Women, a retelling of four tall tales centered on women, at the Clarkston

Teachers offer math support for parents
During the presentation How Can I Help My Child With Math? elementary school teachers Pamela reaves,

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011


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Stephenson, M.L. King will remain in highest class
by Robert Naddra Stephenson and M.L. King will petition before Dec. 5 to play in the Georgia High School Association’s highest classification. The GHSA, which consists of 440 schools, reclassifies every two years based on enrollment and will expand to six classifications beginning with the 2012-13 school year. Stephenson and M.L. King had AAAA enrollment numbers two years ago but opted to play in Class AAAAA. “We’ve been in 5A without the numbers so we’ll continue to keep playing up,” Lions football coach Mike Carson said. “We’d love to have more of a pool to choose from, but it is what it is.” Carson said he spoke with DeKalb County Athletics Director Ron Sebree, who told him it is preferred that both schools continue to play in the highest classification. The two schools would have been among the smallest in Class AAAAA. M.L. King’s enrollment is 1,194 and Stephenson’s is 1,148, according to the GHSA. Dunwoody will be the smallest school in Class AAAAA with 1,124 students. In contrast, Brookwood— which lost to M.L. King on Nov. 18 in the second round of the Class AAAAA football playoffs—has 2,550 students. Lowndes, Stephenson’s opponent in the first round of the state playoffs, has 2,346 students. The biggest surprise among DeKalb County schools is that Druid Hills, now a Class AAA school, will be among the 65 schools in the GHSA’s largest classification. Druid Hills will be among the smallest schools in AAAAAA with an enrollment of 1,450. Mill Creek in Gwinnett County is the largest school in the state with an enrollment of 2,766. Schools that desire to play up have until Dec. 5 to petition the GHSA, which will announce the region alignments on Dec. 6. After that schools can petition to move laterally to a different region within the same classification. The new regions are expected to be finalized on Jan. 10. Private schools St. Pius and Marist also are expected to play up, as they have been doing for years. “We certainly will play up, it’s just a matter of where,” Marist football coach Alan Chadwick said. Chadwick said Marist’s coaches and athletic staff will meet before the GHSA deadline to determine which class the school will petition for. Under the reclassification, Marist, with 591 students, is slated to play in Class AA. In the past the school has chosen to align itself with Tucker and Lakeside, among other DeKalb schools that are close geographically. Many of the schools participating in the current Region 6-AAAA with Marist, such as Tucker, Lakeside, Miller Grove, Southwest DeKalb and Dunwoody, have been delegated to Class AAAAA. “Coaches in each sport have an idea of what is best for their team,” Chadwick said. “That’s the dilemma of it—[deciding] which is best for the overall athletic program.”

GHSA realignment
The Georgia High School Association has expanded to six classifications. Here is a look at where DeKalb schools are placed, with enrollment numbers in parentheses: AAAAAA: Druid Hills (1,450) AAAAA: Lakeside (1,425), Arabia Mountain (1,295), Tucker (1,277), Miller Grove (1,232), M.L. King (1,194), Stephenson (1,148), Clarkston (1,135), Southwest DeKalb (1,129), Dunwoody (1,124) AAAA: Chamblee (1,037), Columbia (1,024), Lithonia (996), Redan (960), Stone Mountain (883) AAA: St. Pius (845), Cross Keys (819), Towers (814), Cedar Grove (703), Decatur (664) AA: Marist (591) A: Paideia (318)


Playoff teams well-represented on all-county team
by Robert Naddra There was plenty of softball talent in DeKalb County as five teams qualified for the state tournament this past season. Marist won its seventh region championship in a row and St. Pius won its fourth straight region title. However, no team advanced past the first round of the state playoffs this year. Still, the county produced some of the top players in the state, some of whom set school records this season. Miller Grove’s Shelby Eccles posted the third-highest batting average for a DeKalb public school at .732 and set a school record with 30 hits in a season. St. Pius senior Liz Schneider will graduate with school records for batting average, RBIs, triples and hits in a season. Also, Lakeside’s Marie Collop had 42 RBIs this year, one shy of tying the county singleseason record. Collop, who made the all-county team as a freshman, had led DeKalb public schools with a 13-1 record and posted a 1.70 earned run average. The Champion 2011 All-County Softball Team INF Julia Banks, Decatur INF Susanne Boden, Lakeside INF Taylor Bradley, Marist INF Trenece Nash, Southwest DeKalb INF Bria Smith, Tucker INF Sara Payne, Decatur OF Jessie Bragg, Chamblee OF Shelby Eccles, Miller Grove OF Elyse Ferguson, Dunwoody OF Erin McDevitt, Marist OF Ashley Parker, Southwest DeKalb OF Natasha Sherrod, St. Pius C Aijah Crockett, Chamblee C Liz Schneider, St. Pius P Marie Collop, Lakeside P Grace Packer, Marist P Rebecca Ponce de Leon, St. Pius

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011


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Tucker’s winning formula modeled after Camden County
by Robert Naddra Franklin Stephens was part of a football program that went 63-5 and won a state championship in his five seasons as an assistant at Camden County. Using Camden coach Jeff Herron’s winning formula as a blueprint, Stephens has crafted his own model for success in five seasons at Tucker. The Tigers (13-0) are in the state semifinals for the fourth time in five seasons under Stephens. Tucker plays at Northside-Warner Robins on Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. “My work ethic I learned from my mom and dad,” Stephens said. “But as far as what goes into a program such as offense, defense, strength and conditioning, it resembles Camden County.” Stephens led Tucker to its first football state title in 2008 and is 62-6 in five seasons at the school. As humble as he is hardworking and demanding, Stephens credits his success to those around him. “I don’t think I’ve done a lot,” Stephens said. “I’ve been blessed with great players, great community support and a great administration. Plus, we have great coaches and when you put all that together you can be successful. “I don’t make the plays,” he said. “[The players] are the ones out there making the plays. I couldn’t do any of this without our coaches. Overall, I just feel blessed by the good Lord.” Tucker’s opponent this week also has a storied history, especially recently. Northside has played in four state championships since 2005, the last being in 2009. It won state titles in 2006 and 2007 and finished runner-up in 2005 and 2009. Northside has made the state playoffs every year since 1992 and has advanced past the first round for 14 straight seasons. In the only meeting between the two schools, Northside rallied from a 28-7 deficit to beat Tucker in the 2007 semifinals. Stephens and his staff were able to learn from the loss. “You’ve got to be able to finish games,” Stephens said. “We didn’t do a good job of finishing that game. I understand as a coach if you have an opportunity to finish a team, you’ve got to be able to do it.” It’s not a coincidence that Tucker won its first state title the next season, avenging a regularseason loss to Marist with a win over the War Eagles in the state championship. Stephens credits the strength and conditioning program and the attitude of his players for being able to put away opponents in the second half. Last week’s 42-34 win over Flowery Branch was a good example as the Tigers rallied from a 14-0 deficit and needed a fourthquarter touchdown to put the game
See Tucker on Page 23A
Tucker's defense stopped Flowery Branch when it counted in a 42-34 win on Nov. 25 in the Class AAAA state playoffs. Offensively, Jordan Landry (21) rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers. Photos by David Sibley

‘I don’t think I’ve done a lot,’ I’ve been blessed with great players, great community support and a great administration. Plus, we have great coaches and when you put all that together you can be successful.’
- Tucker coach Franklin Stephens

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011


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DeKalb High School Sports Highlights
State playoffs, third round Tucker 42, Flowery Branch 34: Jordan Landry rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers (13-0), who play at Northside-Warner Robins in the Class AAAA semifinals on Dec. 2. Landry’s 45-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter put the game out of reach at 42-27. Yusuf Minor added 115 yards and a 40-yard touchdown run, and Juwaan Williams ran for 51 yards and three touchdowns. The Tigers fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter and gave up 515 yards in total offense, but rallied to make their fourth semifinal appearance in five seasons under coach Franklin Stephens. Lassiter 24, M.L. King 14: Jonquel Dawson’s 29-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Stanford moved him into second-place on the state’s career touchdown passes list with 93, but it wasn’t enough. The Lions (12-1) fell behind 21-7 at halftime after a 55-yard interception return by Niles Clark. The Lions had a chance to get back into the game but were stopped on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard-line with 8:35 remaining in the fourth quarter. Dawson finished with 245 yards passing. The Lions have won 10 or more games in six of the past nine seasons but have reached the state semifinals only once. Cairo 21, St. Pius 0: The Golden Eagles (12-1) were shut out for the first time since 2007. St. Pius came into the game averaging 354 yards rushing, but were held to 142 yards. The Golden Lions missed field goal attempts of 40 and 43 yards. started off 2-0 in the Neymour Thanksgiving Classic in the Bahamas. Jarmal Reid scored 15 points and Damian Gooden added 12 points in the Eagles’ 54-38 win over Lausanne Collegiate. The Eagles won their first two games in the tournament by an average of 32 points. Tucker: After a 73-69 loss to Alpharetta in the Parkview Classic tournament, the Tigers rebounded with wins over Stephenson (55-51) and Riverdale 53-43. Stephenson: The Jaguars have started the season 0-5 but three of the losses have been by four points or less. In the Parkview Classic Nov. 19-22, the Jaguars lost to Henry County 65-48, Lassiter 53-52 and Tucker 55-51. In the Big Apple/Big Peach Classic Nov. 25-26, the Jaguars lost to Lovejoy 69-66 and Fayette County 73-38. Derek Harper scored 40 points against Lovejoy, including 21 in the fourth quarter, and averaged 21 points in the five games. Trey Gresham had 11 points against Lassiter and 10 against Henry County, and Bamidele Oluwadare had 16 against Tucker. Paideia: The Pythons went 1-3 against AAA and AAAA opponents through Thanksgiving. Paideia beat Stone Mountain 69-66 in double overtime on a 3-pointer by Elliot Allan. Keenan Palmore led the Pythons with 22 points.

Chamblee: The Bulldogs (3-0) beat Osborne 75-38 on Nov. 22. Lucy Mason had 39 points, six rebounds and seven assists, while Breana McDonald added 19 points, 14 rebounds and five steals. Decatur: Queen Alford scored 27 points and Jordan Dillard added 19 as the Bulldogs (3-0) beat Woodward Academy 49-39 on Nov. 22.

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Tucker Continued From Page 22A
away. It was only the second time this season Tucker has won by fewer than 10 points (the other was a 15-11 win over Marist). Northside also has been able to put away opponents this season. A 32-24 win over rival Warner Robins is the only game decided by fewer than 21 points. “When I first came to Tucker I didn’t want to be successful one season, and then have a down year,” Stephens said. “I wanted to be successful over a period of time and compete for the state championship. I had the privilege to work under coach Herron at Camden and that’s the program I look at as far as a model. “However, I do look at what Northside has done over the years,” Stephens said. “Another program we look at is Buford. We strive to have a Buford or Northside-Warner Robins type program as far as success. But I model our program after Camden.” Stephens said he still keeps in contact with Herron and other Camden coaches, often seeking advice about upcoming opponents. Northside, which played in Class AAAAA along with Camden in 2008 and 2009, was eliminated by the Wildcats in the state playoffs in both of those seasons. Stephens and Herron spoke a few days before the Northside game. “We talked about what he thinks about the game,” Stephens said. Stephens is hopeful his next conversation with his former boss will be a pleasant one.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 2, 2011 The Champion chooses a male and female high school Athlete of the Week each week throughout the school year. The choices are based on performance and nominations by coaches. Please e-mail nominations to by Monday at noon. MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Jordan Landry, Tucker (football): The senior rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns, including a 45-yard score to put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter, in a 42-34 win over Flowery Branch in the Class AAAA state quarterfinals. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Queen Alford, Decatur (basketball): The senior guard scored 27 points in a 49-39 win over Woodward Academy on Nov. 22 and is averaging 22 points for the Bulldogs through the first three games of the season.

Each week The Champion spotlights former high school players from the county who are succeeding in athletics on the college level. Darrius Morrow, East Carolina (basketball): The senior from Columbia scored 20 points in a 78-62 win over Chowan College on Nov. 26 and had 15 points in a 67-47 win over Appalachian State on Nov. 22. He made 15 of 24 field goal attempts in the two games. Jasmine Camp, Stanford (basketball): The freshman from Chamblee came off the bench to score a season-best 14 points in 21 minutes in a 68-58 loss to Connecticut on Nov. 21. Camp made 3 of 4 shots from 3-point range. Henry Brooks, Penn (basketball): In 14 minutes of playing time, the freshman from Miller Grove came off the bench to score a seasonhigh 10 points in a 60-58 loss to James Madison on Nov. 26. Brooks has played in six of the Quakers’ first seven games.

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