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

Stone Mountain.




State’s Black Democrats fight against redrawn districts

by Andrew Cauthen Cracked, stacked and packed. Those are terms used to describe the redrawing of legislative districts to minimize minority voting power. And that’s what minority lawmakers in Georgia say has happened with recently drawn state Senate, state House and Congressional maps. “That’s the ultimate power grab in the General Assembly,” said Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-10), chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus. “The Voting Rights Act is Amanda Farahany, left to right, Sheryl McCalla, and Edward Buckly at a water pump in Leogane, Haiti. Photo provided designed to prevent this from happening.” Cracking is when a voter group is split between several districts to restrict it from having a majority vote in any one district. Packing refers to grouping likeminded voters in a district to eled with the organization Dec. 6 – 9 Calla’s second trip to Haiti. McCalla, by Nigel Roberts limit their effect on multiple an attorney residing in Avondale Esto facilitate projects in remote comdistricts. In stacking, a large tates, said she felt an urgency to help munities in desperate need of clean, lthough water covers group of minorities is placed the Haitian people. safe drinking water. nearly three-quarters of in a district with a larger majority group. “I’ve traveled in Europe, Africa, Buckley, who lives in Decatur, is our planet, fresh water Districts are redrawn evSouth America and North America, a veteran of these missions. He went represents just 2.5 percent ery 10 years based on popubut I’ve never seen anything like to Jamaica eight years ago on his of it. And according to the National lation changes detailed by the poverty I’ve seen in Haiti,” she Geographic Society, only 1 percent of first Food For the Poor mission. His the U.S. Census. In August, emphasized. second trip was to Haiti, a country that fresh water is easily accessible. the Republican-controlled The people of Haiti, the poorthat he developed a keen interest in Water scarcity is becoming such a General Assembly passed est in the Western hemisphere, have because “the need is great.” Since serious problem—especially in unmaps with redrawn districts myriad needs that range from food derdeveloped countries with growing then, he has made regular trips to that Democrats said were and shelter to medical care. Why the populations, that the World Economic Haiti every year. racially gerrymandered to focus on water? “Water is important For almost a decade, Buckley, a Forum predicts a 40 percent global reduce the minority vote. civil rights and employment attorney, to life,” McCalla stressed. “Try going shortfall by 2030. Passed in 1965, the Vota day without clean water—just one.” has spearheaded fund-raising camAccess to fresh water is already ing Rights Act requires the U.S. Department of Justice “We all have a human right to paigns to drill and install wells with at crisis level in Haiti. For several to preapprove changes made clean water,” Buckley insisted. “It is the assistance of Food For the Poor. years, Food For the Poor, an interdeto election procedures, the most fundamental human right; nominational Christian relief agency, His efforts led to the construction of including the altering of has organized missions to address the more than 100 artesian wells through- without it, we cannot enjoy our other districts, in states with a hishuman rights.” out Haiti, with each well providing problem in the impoverished CaribBecause tory of online from the The Champion. Becauseto fresh waternews updates online from the The Champion.(mainlyshe gets her news updatesracial discrimination. she gets her for about 5,000 Buckley said Champion. Haitians access bean nation. Because she gets her news updates online fromand children) often have to the The Georgia is one of nine states women people. Two DeKalb residents, Edward And you can too!are required to have that Follow us. walk long distances to obtain clean The December mission was McBuckley and Sheryl McCalla, travpreclearance.

WHYIS SHE WHYIS SHE SO SO HAPPY ? HAPPY ? IS SHE HYDeKalb residents help to bring clean water to ? HAPPYremote Haitian villages WHY



ews updates online from the The Champion.

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See Water on Page 15A

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The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011

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The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011

File Photo.

Suburban Plaza Walmart parking plan approved
by Andrew Cauthen It was neighbor against neighbor and residents against developers during a Dec. 14 public hearing before a decision was made to give Walmart the parking variance it needed for its proposed Suburban Plaza location. DeKalb County’s Zoning Board of Appeals approved Selig Enterprises’ request for a parking variance allowing the developer to have 3.91 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of floor space, instead of the required 5.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet. Selig Enterprises developed the 290,000-square-foot Suburban Plaza, located at the junction of North Decatur Road, Church Street and Scott Boulevard, in 1959. New plans would increase the shopping center to 324,614 square feet. That variance reduced the required spaces for the development by 517 spaces, from 1,786 spaces to 1,269 spaces. A report by a traffic engineer hired by Selig Enterprises, conducted an occupied parking space analysis on Dec. 3 between 2 and 3:30 p.m., showed that the additional spaces are not needed, according to Steve Rothman, an attorney representing Selig Enterprises. The 235,000-square-foot Chamblee Village shopping center used 2.23 spaces per 1,000 square feet. The District at Howell Mill required a 2.8 ratio. Both shopping centers have a Walmart Supercenter. “We’re above what is actually needed,” Rothman said. “Nobody needs 5.5 parking spaces for a shopping center. There really is no need to have a huge sea of concrete or more parking out there.” Melanie White, who had a petition with 378 signatures, asked for a 90-day extension so a study on the impact of the development on the community could be performed. “In our view, you cannot decide on parking until you know enough [about] how limited parking will affect the traffic,” Parker said. Studies should be conducted on the impact of traffic on the six-way intersection at North Decatur Road, Medlock Road and Scott Boulevard and the effect of emergency vehicular traffic between DeKalb Medical Center, Emory Hospital and Egleston Children’s Hospital. “We are not against development, but we are against [inconvenience to] our neighbors that can result in danger both to individuals transferred in emergency vehicles as well as those who will potentially be parking and driving in the area,” Parker said. Resident Jan Hubbard asked the zoning board “not to change the rules for Selig.” “I’m not here to debate the merits or the demerits of Walmart,” Hubbard said. “I’m here because I believe that this Walmart … is the wrong land use for this location.” Other residents said they welcomed a Walmart to the struggling shopping center. Sharon Johnson, president of the Medlock Area Neighborhood Association (MANA), said the group’s board was very excited about the parking variance. “We like less parking,” said Johnson, adding that the MANA board is pleased that there will be underground parking and no parking deck in the shopping center. Charles Pursley, vice chairman of the church council for North Decatur United Methodist Church, said his church welcomes the proposed development. “We believe that his development and parking required for it… is beneficial to our church and the people we serve,” Pursley said. Pursley, who lives near Suburban Plaza, said the additional traffic would be beneficial to the community. “I drive this all the time,” Pursley said. “I am aware of the traffic and I think the development and what it brings to the neighborhood is worth the extra traffic that it may bring.” Before the vote, zoning board member Bonnie Jackson urged her fellow board members to set aside personal feelings about Walmart and concerns about traffic. “We are not here to say whether a Walmart can be here,” Jackson said. “Traffic is going to be traffic regardless of what goes in on that corner. What we’re here for only is for the parking.” Scott Selig, of Selig Enterprises, said the decision by the zoning board upheld the property rights of commercial developers. “I am in favor of individuals expressing themselves,” Selig said. “But there comes a point where we have a constitutional right to operate a company.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011

Opinion The Newslady

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DeKalb school officials: Overkill
ties and FAMU officials are doing their due diligence and appropriate action is expected. Meanwhile the band instructor and school president are currently suspended pending conclusion of the various investigations. This is an absolute necessary course of action. Too many students have died on college campuses around the country as a result of this senseless tradition called hazing, which should be called what it is—a violent assault. While often the practice is underground, it must stop completely before more lives are lost and serious injuries inflicted. That said, why are DeKalb school officials suspending all band activity at 21 high schools pending an investigation of hazing here? Talk about overkill. That’s like blasting the entire tuba section when the music score calls for a piccolo. Apparently there have been reports of “inappropriate activity” at two high schools. Why penalize an entire program system-wide for months? Is this a pre-emptive anticipating a possible lawsuit? Why when parents ask the probing questions and need answers from school officials they are ignored? This paints the new administration in a very poor light and absolutely sends the wrong message about openness and cooperation. Before going public with their action, it might have been more prudent to discuss the matter with individual school officials along with parents and students impacted. If there is merit to shutting down the programs, parents and students might be more accepting if they knew the magnitude of the problem and the real reasons behind it. School officials say they are deliberately being tight-lipped to get more information. While each complaint should be thoroughly investigated and carefully probed, it does not appear that the action taken by the system should have risen to the level of shutting down the entire band program system-wide. Because Robert Champion and another FAMU hazing victim, Bria Hunter, were products of DeKalb’s Southwest DeKalb High School and because many Southwest DeKalb students attend FAMU and play in its famed band is not a justification to shut down programs here. That’s throwing the baby out with the bath water and a kneejerk reaction rivaling the highest steppers in some of the best HBCU (historically Black colleges and universities) marching bands in the country. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Milies at

DeKalb School officials are way off tune when it comes to suspending all band activities in the county pending an investigation of hazing among band students in the system. This all comes on the heels of the tragic hazing death of former Southwest DeKalb student Robert Champion at Florida A&M University. Officials say Champion, a drum major for FAMU’s famed “Marching 100,” died as a result of a beating during a hazing incident. His parents have filed a lawsuit against the school. Florida State authori-

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 23, 2011

Through the eyes of a child
Christmas in 1995 awakening in the pre-dawn hours at her grandparents’ home in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Despite a heavy coating of snow, Santa had found her, and left a bevy of gifts as well as a beautiful and freshly decorated Fraser fir in the den, lit only by the warm incandescent glow of Christmas lights. Toddler Barclay stood with her jaw wide open and her eyes expanding to the size of quarters just taking in the tree as its lights reflected in her eyes. It is a moment frozen in time and memory, she stood transfixed for nearly a full minute before bolting toward the pile of toys and surprises Santa had left for her. That was the last Christmas Eve or morning I have been able to spend with her. I tried to distract myself in the ensuing years with an annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas and/or the ski slopes of Colorado and Utah. My thinking was it might be easier to escape “visions of sugar plums” and the Christmas morning I was not experiencing, if I was at the tables or on the slopes. Though those years had some fun and occasionally blurry memories, they were also not quite the same thing. I developed another tradition of holding a large party, surrounded by clients, friends and family to move me early into the Christmas spirit, not long after Thanksgiving. This helped, and I finally started to put up a tree again at home. Lest you think I spent the ‘90s or past decade home alone on Christmas Eve or Christmas, I did not, but I did sorely miss the treasure and pleasure of Christmas through the eyes of a child. Though I did not ask Santa to bring another child to fill this hole in my heart, which I did not even really know was there, he did just that with a Christmas in July of 2007. Olivia arrived on July 1, and each year since her love and awareness of Christmas has grown exponentially. She has visited each year with Santa, and this year she was happy and well able to do so alone, as well as to share her brief list of requests. Her mother has lovingly decorated their home for the season, as I have mine—and Olivia often runs from room to room and tree to tree, just to take in the twinkling lights, as her half-sister did so many years ago. As the holidays often bring occasional stress, some from family, some from finances and even some from the incessant tugs of the calendar during this extended season, I have found very few stress relievers or mood elevators that work better than watching any of the many touchstones of the season, again, through the eyes of a child. Take a trip to the mall and witness a few visits with Santa, head to Lennox and re-visit the Pink Pig, or spend a morning/evening at Stone Mountain Park at Snow Mountain. If the Christmas spirit has not already enveloped you, I can almost assure you that if you can create or re-create these moments, and get back in touch with your own “inner child.” Santa should bring him or her right back to you in the twinkle of your mind’s eye. Either way, or if you instead celebrate Hanukah, Kwanzaa or even “Festivus,” I wish you and yours all the best this holiday season and New Year. Merry Christmas. Bill Crane is a DeKalb County native and business owner, living in Scottdale. 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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“No one day can be so sacred but that the laugh of a child will make it holier still,” Robert Ingersoll (1856-1899), American political figure, orator and Union Civil War veteran, nicknamed “the Great Agnostic” in Liberty of Man Woman and Child (published 1898). Thanks to God, and their respective mothers, I am the proud father of two daughters, Barclay and Olivia. Due to earlier failing in judgment, and desire to end a broken marriage as simply as possible, I agreed that my older daughter could spend every Christmas with her mother and extended relations in Virginia. I thought at the time that we could substitute most any other day and make it our Christmas. Though we have established our own holiday traditions, and do celebrate the holy day on a floating calendar, I didn’t realize until it was too late that this would not really be the same. I still have the most vivid recollection of young Barclay, born on 12/18, on the eve of her third

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The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011


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What you call credit card debt is what some other person calls a job.

At peace with Christmas
known as the Battle of Trenton — came the day after Christmas. Taking advantage of the fact that the German troops took Christmas more seriously than Americans and would be celebrating, he seized the opportunity to rout them as they recovered from It’s now officially too late to do their feast. your Christmas shopping early. I wonder if Richard Nixon knew That’s OK. Doing your Christmas he was following in the footsteps of shopping late counts too. Remember, that George W. when he ordered the it’s not the thought behind the gift Christmas bombing of North Vietnam –– that counts; it’s what you spend on it. in 1972? Oh, I imagine you Xmasologists The dating of Christ’s birth is arout there are offended by such crass bitrary, in any case. There’s virtually The following comments are pulled straight from our website and are not materialism. You say that Christmas no evidence that December 25 is the edited for content or grammar. should be all about the birth of Christ actual birth date of Jesus of Nazareth. and we should walk around looking (The New Testament, for example, pious. makes no mention of a date.) It’s Residents fighting placement of approved cell I say that’s nonsense. more likely that the 25th was chosen Historically, you could even argue because it coincides with the Roman towers at schools that the ultra-religious Christmas is winter solstice, the day when winter un-American. The Pilgrims certainly begins to recede and the full light of Six on Zoning Board need to go ! thought so. day begins its return journey. Three on Board of Ed need to go ! Like the English Parliament of In other words, it’s a festival of Seven on DeKalb BOC need to go ! that time, they considered the holiday lights, and that’s the way I choose to Last but not least our King, “Little Lord Faunteroy” Ellis sure needs to go a “popish” festival that lacked any celebrate it. If some choose to celalong with the Cell Towers ! “Biblical justification.” As a matter of ebrate something else, so be it. fact, Christmas was banned in Boston My Christmas is essentially the - JerryMyer Jackson Jr posted this on 12/16/11 at 12:11 p.m. for a time in the 1600s, as though it Christmas of Charles Dickens. It’s were a dirty book. a Christmas of family, goodwill, I happen to be an expert on secular compassion and presents — lots of Christmas. I was born on Christmas presents. Dickens’ A Christmas CarSuburban Plaza Walmart parking plan Day into a family of non-believers ol, written in 1843, is credited with approved and grew up thinking that they deco- reviving the holiday in the Englishrated the lampposts in downtown De- speaking world. It co-exists happily You just don’t understand. WalMart is like coyotes--it’s ok for. you know, troit in my honor. Imagine my shock with the Christmas of Christians, who some people, but it doesn’t belong in a place where we pay high property when I discovered that somebody had are free to buy each other presents or taxes to sip out lattes without having to mingle with, you know, some gotten there before me. not. people. I never held it against Him, howSome of those Christians complain ever, which is why I’ve never partici- about the presents. The holiday has – NIMBY posted this on 12/16/11 at 11:43 a.m. pated in the Christmas wars that swirl become too commercial, they say. around the holiday every year. NonPerhaps. But a Dickens Christmas, I can’t believe anybody would be against the redevelopment of the Christians, many of them claiming to marked by wretched excess though it eyesore that Suburban Plaza has become. Not only will it add a significant commercial tax base but it will also add badly needed jobs. If you don’t be liberals, rail against the placing of sometimes can be, is also about givlike Walmart exercise your right and don’t shop there! Nativity scenes in public places or the ing and sharing — qualities that are singing of carols in schools. They go often in short supply the rest of the – decnole posted this on 12/16/11 at 10:00 a.m. to court to block such activities, argu- year. Besides, the economy would ing that they violate the separation of collapse if people stopped buying People need jobs, in all sectors, construction, managers and most of all church and state guaranteed by the things for Christmas. the sale associates. We know about all the traffic but we also need most First Amendment. The only thing I really don’t to feed our families and have some kind of healthcare. Any job market is Picky, picky, picky. like about the holiday is “The Little welcome in this economy. Georgia have the highest unemployment rate in I tend to side with the religionists Drummer Boy.” It’s the musical the nation. in these matters. I doubt whether the equivalent of waterboarding. founding fathers had Christmas decoAnyway, have a happy holiday, – ddona stwert posted this on 12/16/11 at 12:55 a.m. rations in mind when they created the whatever you choose to call it, and church-state separation. Christmas go out and buy something. What you simply wasn’t that big a deal in those call credit card debt is what some DeKalb halts marching band activities, days. other person calls a job. As a matter of fact, one of George OtherWords columnist Donald launches full-scale investigation Washington’s great military victoKaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. ries — his 1777 defeat of a Hessian Realize the ‘inappropriate behavior’ could be hazing based on the actual mercenary force in what became
behavior. Marching Band participation has provided scholarship opportunities to many students that might not have the opportunity to go to school. They have been positive for DeKalb County. If there is evidence of hazing with our high school bands, let’s hope the investigation uncovers it and the situation is promptly addressed. - ErnestB posted this on 12/15/11 at 3:35 p.m.

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011

Local News

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Police arrest suspect charged with alleged killing of Avondale football player
by Daniel Beauregard Florida police have arrested a man accused of killing former Avondale High School football player Matthew Hardeman. Verlaine LaGuerre, 20, was arrested on Dec. 13 in Hallandale, Fla., north of Miami, and LaGuerre brought back to Atlanta. LaGuerre is being held in the Fulton County Jail for allegedly shooting Hardeman with an illegal sawed-off shotgun. According Atlanta Police, at approximately 6:40 p.m. on Oct. 15 police were called to a home off of the 1800 block of Lakewood Terrace in southwest Atlanta and found Hardeman, 19, with multiple gunshot wounds, lying in the yard. Police spokesman Carlos Campos said witnesses told officers that several Black men got out of a vehicle and exchanged words with Hardeman. They then began shooting him. All shooters then re-entered their vehicle and fled in an unknown direction. LaGuerre is charged with murder, possession of

Rashaad King
could have more opportunities for community service. Now 22, King has started his own nonprofit called The Dream Community Outreach Foundation to provide for hungry and homeless people in Lithonia and nearby areas as well as downtown Atlanta, where he said many homeless people sleep outdoors near the Capitol. He said he was inspired by Luke 3:11, which urges those who have to share with others, and Matthew 25:35-36, which says that those who provide for others in need are serving Jesus. His most recent effort was a coat and food drive called Winter B.L.A.S.T. –Building Love And Strength Together. Through a local radio station and other media he solicited donations of food, blankets and coats. Four days before the Dec. 16 event, he already had more than 100 coats donated toward his goal of 1,000. The owner of an entertainment production company, King said that lately he hasn’t had as much time for volunteering as he would like. “If I could I would serve the community 100 percent of the time. Right now, I can only do it about 40 percent, but I plan to do more in 2012,” he said.

Champion of the Week


a sawed-off shotgun, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and aggravated assault.

Man indicted in triple homicide
A man who is accused of stabbing to death three family members was indicted recently on murder charges. Eugene Quatron McCoy, 21, was indicted in the deaths of his mother, Sheila Irons, his 11-year-old half-brother Zion McPherson and 8-year-old half-sister Chasity McPherson. McCoy also is charged with aggravated assault in the stabbing of his 17-year-old sister, Candice McCoy. The killings happened April 3 at the family’s home on Rockland Road near Lithonia. McCoy remains in the DeKalb County Jail without bond.

Festival donates $10,000 to Police Alliance
The DeKalb Police Alliance on Dec. 13 was presented with a $10,000 check as proceeds from the inaugural DeKalb International Food and Music Festival. The event, held Nov. 12 at the General Motors property in Doraville, celebrated the county’s diverse culture with an international mix of music, entertainment and food. Organizer Stan Watson, a DeKalb County commissioner, is hopeful the event will become an annual affair that sparks economic development and tourism. All proceeds from the event benefit the DPA and the Police Athletic League.

Dunwoody Police stop burglary in progress
Dunwoody Police stopped a burglary on Dec. 13 in the Dunwoody North subdivision after receiving a call on a suspicious vehicle in the area, according to police spokeswoman Kelly Boyer. A witness gave police a tag number and officers spotted the silver 2006 Audi A4 shortly after arriving in the area. The driver, 17-year-old Corey Freeman of Decatur, was detained and further investigation revealed he had been waiting on two men who were burglarizing a residence nearby. Officers searched the area and located the two males, Dondre McDade of Conley and Emmanuel Lett of Lithonia, both 17. All three suspects were transported to Dunwoody Police headquarters.

Dunwoody Police arrest armed robbery suspect
An armed robbery suspect turned himself in to police Dec. 13 after eluding Dunwoody Police officers on a chase through Atlanta more than 12 hours earlier, according to police spokeswoman Officer Kelly Boyer. Phillip Redmond III, 21, of Douglasville, led police on a chase Redmond beginning at 3:45 a.m. from I-285 at Ashford Dunwoody Road to southwest Atlanta. He crashed his 1997 Cadillac Deville into a pole in an apartment complex, then he and a passenger got out of the car and ran into the woods. Redmond was later contacted and turned himself in. According to police, Redmond and an accomplice, both armed with handguns, approached a woman in her car at the Walton Apartments on Ashwood Parkway and demanded her purse. The two took every bag in the woman’s car and ran away. Police still are searching for the second suspect. Anyone with information on the incident or the identity of the second suspect is asked to contact Dunwoody Police Det. Robert Bentivegna at (678) 382-6911 or You may also submit an anonymous tip by accessing www.dunwoodypolice. com and clicking on “submit a tip.”


Lithonia resident Rashaad King said his involvement in community service goes back to his childhood. “My mother was always working in the community and I remember helping her even at the age of 6,” King said. “It’s been a part of me for as long as I can remember.” King said his mother founded a community service organization called Dream Nation that focused on providing at-risk youngsters with experiences they might not otherwise have. “She’d take them to places like World of Coke that their parents weren’t able to take them to,” he said. King added that his mother stayed involved in everything from food drives to voter registration efforts and he often was right beside her helping however he could. In high school, he joined the Key Club, a junior auxillary of the Kiwanis Club, so he


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 23, 2011

Local News

Page 8A

Clothing and skeletal remains are all that exist from ‘Dennis,’ a boy who has been unidentified since being found near a cemetery in 1999. Investigators say it is highly unusual for a child to remain unidentified for so long and hope a recently released FBI rendering will lead to his identification. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Child’s remains still unidentified after 12 years
by Andrew Cauthen They call him “Dennis.” That’s not really his name, but investigators with DeKalb County’s Medical Examiners’ office say every child deserves a name. “[We] couldn’t stand to call him ‘the kid’ or ‘Johnny Doe,’” said forensic investigator Linda Gochenouer. “Every child deserves that much. They deserve a name.” Dennis is the name given to the remains of a child found on Feb. 26, 1999, in a wooded area near a cemetery across the street from Clifton Springs United Methodist Church. “It’s not really some place you find by accident,” Gochenouer said. “I think somebody had to be familiar with the area.” The boy is described as a Black male, four feet tall and approximately 5-7 years old. He was wearing a dark blue, hooded sweatshirt with plaid sleeves, size 8 red denim jeans and boys sized 11 Timberland brown suede boots, which were nearly new. The actual skin tone and eye color are not known. Toxicology reports found acetaminophen and anti-nausea medicine in Dennis’ system. “This child appeared to be well cared for,” said forensic investigator Greg Johns said. “And for him to just be dumped out like that and all these years with nobody coming by, it just makes it that much more unusual.” The medical examiner’s analysis in 1999 found no signs of trauma and no cause of death could be determined. Investigators believe the remains were in the woods for three to six months before they were found, putting the possible date of the death late in 1998. “It’s awfully difficult to time deaths from skeletonized remains,” said Chief Medical Examiner Gerald Gowitt, who originally examined the remains in 1999. “You can be off months.” Dennis has gone through four different renderings. In 2000, a clay reconstruction was done by using the skull. A few years later, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation made a sketch of Dennis based on measurements and data analysis. In the early 2000s another clay rendering was done by Sam Buice, a former forensic investigator with the DeKalb Medical Examiner’s Office. In the current rendering, just completed in December, an artist and anthropologist with the Federal Bureau of Investigation used advances in science and technology to make a 3-D plastic model of the skull. “We feel it’s very realistic,” Gochenouer said. “If somebody knows this child, they can identify him from this picture.” The case, which was featured in Atlanta Magazine in 2000 and on America’s Most Wanted show in 2004, is listed in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, a clearinghouse for missing persons and unidentified decedent records. DeKalb County currently has six other unidentified remains, but Dennis is the only one the investigators have named. “We’ve got ‘hip replacement girl’
See Cold case on Page 9A

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011

Local News

Page 9A

Cold case Continued From Page 8A
and ‘mohawk man’, but he’s Dennis,” Gochenouer said. “This is a child and this is our priority. This little boy needs to go home. He needs to be with his family and we all are very committed to seeing that that happens.” Investigators say Dennis is their top priority unidentified remains case. “We’d like to see all of our unidentified [persons] get identified, but when you’re dealing with a child as opposed to adults, the child–not that he’s more important– seems to take precedent,” Johns said. “We don’t know what the circumstances were and we’re not here to demonize the parents,” Gochenouer said. “This little boy needs to go home.” Gowitt called the case “very puzzling.” “I’ve been doing this now for almost 28 years,” Gowitt said. “I’ve seen thousands and thousands of deaths. I’ve never seen an unidentified child that went unidentified for this length of time. “I’ve spoken to many medical examiners in many jurisdictions and they just don’t have unidentified kid,” Gowitt said. “Unidentified adults are not all that uncommon, but unidentified kids this age are very, very uncommon.”

Forensic investigators Greg Johns and Linda Gochenouer (left and right) and Pat Bailey (center), director of DeKalb’s Medical Examiner’s Office, visit the site where the remains of boys were found 12 years ago. Investigators say this cold case is their top priority. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Suspect’s fractured jaw leads to county lawsuit
by Andrew Cauthen A Lithonia man, arrested last year on a drug possession charge, is suing DeKalb County after receiving a fractured jaw in a police car accident. But a judge’s ruling last week would keep key evidence from a jury. On May 15, 2010, DeKalb County Police officer Junior Lamont Stephens arrested Earnest Corbett, of Lithonia, on an outstanding Newton County warrant for possession of marijuana. According to the lawsuit and police department documents, Corbett was handcuffed and placed into the police vehicle without being fastened into a seatbelt. In statements for an internal investigation of the incident, the officer said that while transporting Corbett, he swerved and slowed his police vehicle abruptly to avoid a car that turned in front of him. During the process, the suspect, who had been leaning forward, hit his face on the Plexiglas divider. “Mr. Corbett advised that his filling in his tooth had knocked out due to his face impacting the prisoner glass window,” according to Stephens’ statement. “Mr. Corbett also [spat] out a little bit of blood while getting out [of] the patrol unit.” The officer said he notified corrections officers at the Newton County jail. “The deputy looked at Mr. Corbett’s mouth and said that it was a dental injury problem, not a major injury,” according to the officer’s statement. “An additional co-worker inside of intake documented this incident. Mr. Corbett did not complain about any other injuries except his tooth.” Stephens stated that the jail nurse gave Corbett some Motrin and accepted him into the jail. After being released from jail two days after his arrest, Corbett went to Rockdale Medical Center and then to Grady Hospital where he received medical treatment for a fractured jaw, according to the lawsuit. He was hospitalized for two days and his jaw was wired shut with 10 wires. The lawsuit, filed Jan. 18, accuses Stephens of “negligence and failure to exercise ordinary care, and disregard for the safety of others.” Because of his injuries, which have some permanent effects, Corbett lost significant income, and continues to have “significant pain and suffering,” according to the lawsuit. An Aug. 12, 2010, disciplinary report signed by DeKalb Police Chief William O’Brien shows that Stephens was suspended for one day without pay for violation of departmental rules and failing to report the incident to his supervisor. In September, attorneys for the county filed a motion to exclude any evidence or testimony concerning the failure to use a seatbelt, including use of the police department’s employee policies regarding fastening seatbelts for passengers. State Court Judge Eleanor Ross granted the motion on Dec. 15 along with a motion removing Stephens as a defendant. Corbett’s attorney, Aaron Marks, who learned of the judge’s ruling when contacted by The Champion, said he was disappointed in the decision. “It’s a very bad ruling in my opinion,” Marks said. “I’m quite surprised.” DeKalb County Police spokeswoman Mekka Parrish would not discuss the case. “As a matter of policy, we do not comment on pending litigation,” Parrish said. A trial has not been scheduled.

Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 48-8-122 and the Transparency in Government Act, the DeKalb County Board of Education is publishing its approved Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax schedule.


PROJECT Property acquisition, construction and equiping a minimum of eight (8) new schools and two (2) new centers; renovations, modifications, additions and equipment for existing schools; acquisition and installation of information systems harware and infrastructure at all schools and selected other facilities; purchase of both new school buses and school buses currently under lease. Property acquisition, renovations and expansion, construction and equipping, roofing, site improvements of new and existing schools; acquisition of buses, technology -media center upgrades, HVAC systems, roofing, school improvement projects throughout the district, technology additions, renovations and upgrades, transportation improvements and site acquisitions; paying capitalized interest on General Obligation Bonds. $















609,460,500.00 1,133,864,830.00

584,461,307.67 1,108,541,715.68

117,948,252.59 120,361,160.98

264,969,284.33 769,335,435.24


(1) The School District's original cost estimate as specified in the resolution calling for the imposition of the Local Option Sales Tax. (2) The School District's current estimate of total cost for the project. Includes all cost from project inception to completion. (3) The voters of Dekalb County approved the imposition of a 1% sales tax to fund the above projects and retire associated debt. Amounts expended for these projects may include sales tax proceeds, state, local property taxes and/or other funds over the life of the projects.

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011

Local News

Page 10A

DeKalb halts marching band activities, launches full-scale investigation
by Daniel Beauregard The DeKalb County School System has suspended all marching band activities after hazing allegations at a Florida university have led the system to launch a full-scale investigation of its own. School spokesman Walter Woods said on Dec. 14 that Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson advised all principals and personnel to suspend marching band activities at DeKalb’s 21 high schools until further notice. “It could take just 30 or 60 days, or longer, until we get to the bottom of it,” Woods said. Woods said the recent death of Robert Champion, a Southwest DeKalb High School graduate attending Florida A&M University (FAMU) who died during an alleged hazing incident in November, led the system to send a note to principals and band directors to “be vigilant.” The letter also reminded officials of the system’s zero tolerance policy toward all harassment of any kind. The situation at FAMU snowballed as allegations of another incident were brought to light. Bria Shante Hunter, a Southwest DeKalb graduate, said in a recent lawsuit that she suffered a beating which caused a cracked thigh bone a few weeks before Champion died. Hunter was allegedly beaten by three members of FAMU’s Marching 100; two of the accused are also graduates of DeKalb schools, according to reports. All three of the accused band members have been arrested in Tallahassee and charged with assault. According to reports, Sean Hobson, 23, Aaron Golson, 19 and James Harris, 22, were charged with allegedly assaulting Hunter. Hobson is a graduate of Southwest DeKalb High School and Harris attended Druid Hills High School. James O. Seda, the current band director at Southwest DeKalb, and assistant band director at the school Steven Cooper, are both graduates of FAMU’s band program. Seda has been the band director at Southwest DeKalb since 2001. While at FAMU, both Seda and Cooper were members of the Marching 100 and studied with Dr. Julian E. White, who was fired after Champion’s death. “We started talking to people in the district and received some complaints from parents and there’s at least one documented incident related to band at one of the high schools that happened over the summer,” Woods said. Woods said those factors played a role in the superintendent’s decision. He emphasized the incident that occurred over the summer was “inappropriate behavior” and not hazing. The only band event that isn’t being cancelled is the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in Stone Mountain, in which four DeKalb marching bands are participating. Although football season recently ended, Woods said it was just a coincidence the system has waited until now to suspend all band activities. Woods said what was occurring at the college level regarding hazing is troubling to the system but he didn’t want the public to assume that the system has made conclusions about the existence of a culture of hazing within DeKalb Schools. “We don’t know what’s happened there,” he said of the allegations at FAMU. “We don’t know if anything inappropriate has happened in [DeKalb Schools], but we need to ensure that our students are safe and that band is a safe and productive environment and experience for our students.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011

Local News

Page 11A

Students tweeted about an incident that happened at Arabia Mountain High School on Dec. 15. According to school officials it was a prank that got out of hand and DeKalb County Schools Police had to respond.

Incident in Arabia Mountain High School leads to investigation
by Daniel Beauregard Nearly a dozen DeKalb County Schools police cars responded to an incident at Arabia Mountain High School on Dec. 15, which started in the school cafeteria. Walter Woods, a spokesman for DeKalb Schools, said the alleged incident began in the cafeteria then escalated to the bathroom, where a student set off a fire alarm. “I think it was a school prank that got out of hand,” Woods said. Woods said an investigation regarding the incident is under way and the system is looking into who the instigators were and what action needed to be taken to address those involved. Woods said the system was hoping to make an arrest today of at least one student regarding the incident in the cafeteria. The event was discussed on Twitter throughout the day and over the weekend, referencing something called #TurnUpThursday. However, Woods said some of the information mentioned in the tweets and on other websites was unreliable. “It’s unfortunate and we’re still investigating how many students were involved,” Woods said. “I know there was an altercation in the cafeteria and one student set off the fire alarm but some of the facts being discussed on [social media] sites aren’t accurate.” A search on Twitter revealed tweets posted on Dec. 15 and throughout the weekend by students who were involved in the incident. They ranged from comments such as, “So how many strapped up cops we got here? Lol ya’ll too much! #TurnupThursday, to ones that simply said, “I survived #TurnUpThursday at Arabia Mountain High School.”

Merry Christmas
Publix will close at 7 p.m.Christmas Eve . Be closed Christmas Day. And open regular hours December 26.

Page 12A

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011

Decatur announces 2011 Hometown Heroes
Decatur recently honored 14 Hometown Heroes in 2011 for contributions made to the Decatur community. The recognition came Dec. 6 at the December Decatur Business Association meeting at Agnes Scott College. Those honored were Alan Ashe, Marc Brennan, Roger Bryant, Jodi Dick, Daniel Flores, Walter Kellar, Lori Leland Kirk, Louis Rice, Sandra Rice, Susan Riley, Mark Sanders, Melissa Stratton, Seegar Swanson and Kyle Williams. Hometown Heroes are volunteers who work, often behind the scenes, to make the city a better place to live, work and play. They are nominated by people in the community and are judged by professionals who work with volunteers on a regular basis and do not know the nominees. Decatur’s Hometown Hero program began in 1996 at the close of the Hometown to the World Festival held during the Olympics. At the close of that festival, the City Commission honored the volunteers, and since then has presented Hero awards annually. With the 2011 presentations, Decatur has designated 245 Hometown Heroes. There is a “Hometown Hero Wall” in City Hall with a photo and the names of all of the Hometown Heroes by year. It is located on the first floor stairs going down to the City Commission Meeting Room. The 2011 heroes will join the photo display in January. All of the Hometown Heroes are also featured on the City of Decatur website at

We know that a parent’s toughest job doesn’t start until after they’re home from their regular job. Time spent with your children is an investment in their futures. The resources Georgia Power spends on new plants, more power lines and cleaner energy sources is an investment in Georgia’s future. We are on the job to make sure you have the power to be also, even on those nights when your energy is running just a little low.

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011

Local News

Page 13A

Chauncey Davis Foundation’s Bike 4 Life giveaway

Jerome Dunn, 6, (above) puts on a new helmet he received along with a new bike during the Chauncey Davis Foundation’s Bike 4 Life giveaway. This was the third year Chicago Bears football player Chauncey Davis (top left), a former Atlanta Falcons player, has donated bikes to DeKalb children. Seventy-five children received bikes as part of the program that focuses on educating youth about health and wellness issues. “We hope y’all use this opportunity and get outside more and ride your bikes,” Davis said. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

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
Showers Likely High: 69 Low: 52

Dec. 22, 2011
Today's Regional Map Weather History
Dec. 22, 1983 - On the first day of winter, 75 cities reported record low temperatures for the date. Twelve of these reported record lows for the month. The mercury plunged to 51 degrees below zero at Wisdom, Mont. Waco, Texas set an all-time low at 12 above zero. Dec. 23, 1989 - A historic arctic outbreak spread to the Gulf Coast region and a total of 122 cities across the central and eastern United States reported record low temperatures for the date. Forty-one of those cities reported record lows for the month of Dec. Dunwoody 67/51 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 68/52 68/52 68/52 Snellville Decatur 69/52 Atlanta 69/52 69/52 Lithonia College Park 70/52 70/52 Morrow 70/52 Union City 70/52 Hampton 71/53

In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see mostly cloudy skies with a 70% chance of showers, possibly a record-tying high temperature of 69º, humidity of 88%. South wind 5 to 10 mph. The record high temperature for today is 69º set in 1948. Expect cloudy skies tonight with a 60% chance of showers.

Few Showers High: 65 Low: 50

*Last Week’s Almanac
Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 66 41 55/37 0.00" Wednesday 69 41 55/36 0.00" Thursday 71 44 55/36 0.00" Friday 72 49 54/36 0.01" Saturday 52 38 54/36 0.00" Sunday 53 32 54/36 0.00" Monday 60 29 54/35 0.00" Rainfall . . . . . . .0.01" Average temp . .51.2 Normal rainfall . .0.84" Average normal 45.2 Departure . . . . .-0.83" Departure . . . . .+6.0
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport

Few Showers High: 57 Low: 40

Mostly Sunny High: 56 Low: 33

Mostly Sunny High: 51 Low: 29

Mostly Sunny High: 54 Low: 30 New 12/24

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:38 a.m. 7:39 a.m. 7:39 a.m. 7:39 a.m. 7:40 a.m. 7:40 a.m. 7:41 a.m. Sunset 5:33 p.m. 5:34 p.m. 5:34 p.m. 5:35 p.m. 5:36 p.m. 5:36 p.m. 5:37 p.m. Moonrise 5:21 a.m. 6:27 a.m. 7:27 a.m. 8:19 a.m. 9:04 a.m. 9:43 a.m. 10:17 a.m. Moonset 3:42 p.m. 4:42 p.m. 5:46 p.m. 6:52 p.m. 7:57 p.m. 8:59 p.m. 9:59 p.m. Full 1/9

Tonight's Planets
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 5:55 a.m. 4:11 p.m. 9:52 a.m. 7:57 p.m. 11:28 p.m.12:15 p.m. 1:57 p.m. 3:01 a.m. 2:41 a.m. 1:59 p.m. 12:36 p.m.12:41 a.m.

Partly Cloudy High: 52 Low: 34 First 1/1

Last 1/16

Local UV Index

National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today, scattered rain and snow Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 60º in Stockton, Md. The Southeast will see partly cloudy to cloudy skies with a few showers today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 82º in Ft. Myers, Fla. The Northwest will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with a few showers today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 62º in Colville, Wash. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 69º in North Island, Calif.

Weather Trivia
What type of lightning occurs most frequently?

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


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

Answer: Cloud to cloud lightning.

StarWatch By Gary Becker - Low Sun, High Hopes
This has been a strange autumn, at least for those living along the Eastern Seaboard. After coasting along under mild conditions during most of October, we were lashed by a crippling nor’easter on the 29th, the earliest major snowfall in recorded history. Within a week the ice was gone and so was the cold snap. Through November, most outdoor activities happening during the afternoon hours could still be conducted with just a light jacket. Now that we are approaching the Holidays, more seasonal conditions have become apparent, but the air still does not have the bitter bite of December. The National Weather Service’s long range forecast through mid-January predicted a much colder than normal autumn with higher amounts of precipitation and multiple major winter events before the New Year. Autumn seems to have pounced early, and then rolled over to play dead. Even if the meteorological chronometers are having trouble ticking to the calendrical dates, the clockwork universe “tocks” to a precision that cannot be denied. The sun’s southward motion has slowed to an almost imperceptible rate and will halt completely on the morning of December 22 at 12:30 a.m. EST, to be precise. Old Sol will be at its winter standstill position, or as astronomers call it, the winter solstice. Fall will be gone, and winter will be upon us. At that moment I plan to be outside listening very intently to the first telltale sounds of “creaking” as the sun reverses itself and begins that barely noticeable rise against the celestial vault. It will take a month before people start to perceive the slight increase in the length of daylight, and another month before cars parked in the afternoon sun begin to feel cozy upon entering; but gradually the changes will occur as the sun continues to climb ever higher into the sky, melting winter into a budding spring. I guess you could simply call it high expectations for a low sun.

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011


Page 14A

CDC issues recommendations on use of new TB treatment option
Health care providers in the United States have a new way to treat latent tuberculosis infection, according to recommendations released Dec. 8 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The new recommendations, published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, provide guidance on how to administer a new 12-dose regimen for TB preventive therapy that will significantly shorten and simplify the course of treatment from about nine months to 12 weeks. The recommendations are based on the results of three clinical trials, as well as expert opinion. The new regimen has a significant benefit over the previous standard of treatment by cutting the doses required from 270 daily doses to 12 once-weekly doses. “This regimen has the potential to be a gamechanger in the United States when it comes to fighting TB,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden. “It gives us a new, effective option that will reduce by twothirds–from nine months to three months–the length of time someone needs to take medicine to prevent latent TB infection from progressing to active TB disease.” Latent TB infection occurs when a person has TB bacteria but does not have symptoms and cannot transmit the bacteria to others. If the bacteria become active, the person will develop TB disease, become sick and may spread the disease to others. Although not everyone with latent TB infection will develop TB disease, some people, such as those with weakened immune systems, are at higher risk of progression to TB disease. Many of those at high risk of developing TB disease never even begin the cumbersome nine-month course of standard treatment, and among those who do, many do not complete it. In the United States, the number of persons with TB disease is at an all-time low (11,182 total cases were reported in 2010); however, approximately 4 percent of the U.S. population, or 11 million people, are infected with the TB bacterium. TB continues to disproportionately affect “people of color and foreign-born persons in this country.” “If we are going to achieve our goal of TB elimination in the United States, we must ensure that those with latent TB infection receive appropriate evaluation and treatment to prevent their infection from progressing to TB disease and possibly spreading to others,” said Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/ AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “It is critical that we accelerate progress against TB in the United States in order to avoid a resurgence of the disease.” The new 12-dose regimen adds another effective treatment option to the prevention toolkit for TB, and is not meant to replace other preventative treatment regimens for all patients where the new regimen is not the best option, according to the CDC. CDC officials note that these recommendations are only for the United States. Countries with a high incidence of TB, especially those with high HIV prevalence and where the risk of TB re-infection is greater, will likely require additional studies before considering whether to recommend this regimen.

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis reminds you to dispose of FOG properly!


FOG (Fats, Oils, and Grease)
FOG enters plumbing through garbage disposals, sinks and toilets. It coats the inside of plumbing pipes and also empties into DeKalb County's sewer system. Here are three simple guidelines to help keep FOG out of our pipes and sewers: Do not pour fats, oils, or grease down the drain or the toilet. Pour it into a sealable container, allow it to cool and throw it in the trash. Scrape plates and cookware before washing. Do not throw food scraps of any kind down the drain. Instead, place them in waste containers or garbage bags. Wipe excess FOG from all plates, pots, pans, utensils, and surfaces before washing. row greasy paper towels away.


Printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper

Plumbing and sanitary sewer systems are simply not designed to handle the FOG that accumulates in pipes. When it gets into the pips and hardens, blockages occur and cause sewage to backup and over ow out of manholes or into homes. is is expensive for you, and for the County. e damages caused by fats, oils, and grease in the sewer system are costly to repair. Over time, they increase the costs of our water and sewer services.



The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 23, 2011

Local News

Page 15A

Continued From Page 1A
Georgia Republicans sent the new maps to the Justice Department for preclearance while filing a lawsuit against the Justice Department asking the courts to approve the state’s maps on the grounds that they comply with the Voting Rights Act. To counter the state’s legal action, the Black Caucus filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit on behalf of minorities “to ensure that our voices are heard,” Jones said. “That’s our duty,” Jones said. “That’s our responsibility. These are our constituents.” Jones said the redrawn districts dilute minority votes “such that minorities can no longer elect candidates of their choice.” “We’re not just talking about Blacks electing Blacks,” Jones said. “We’re talking about minorities electing candidates of their choice whoever they may be. That’s what America is all about.” Sen. Fran Millar (R-40) said in redrawing the maps, which have fewer deviations than the current Justice Department maps, his fellow Republican lawmakers “adhered to every guideline put forth by the Justice Department—the Democratic Justice Department.” “I expect these maps to be approved,” Millar said. “I would be very, very surprised if they are not.” In DeKalb, the newly drawn District 81 would encompass parts of DeKalb County—including Chamblee, Doraville, and Mercer University— and a section of Gwinnett County surrounding Best Friends Park. The district would pit Rep. Scott Holcombe (D-82) against Rep. Elena Parent, who currently represents District 81. Rep. Howard Mosby (D-90) would face Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield (D-85) in a race to represent District 83, a slice of the county stretching from North Druid Hills to parts of South DeKalb. A large section of south DeKalb would be included in Senate District 44, which is currently based in Clayton County and represented by Sen. Gail Davenport, a Democrat. “This is not a Democratic issue,” Jones said. “This is not a Republican issue. It’s a voting rights issue. It’s about protecting the voter rights and voting strengths of minorities.” Georgia is not the only state with redistricting problems. The Justice Department is fighting Texas’s redistricting plan and the U.S. Supreme Court announced on Dec. 9 that it will hear oral arguments next month in the case. Jones said he hopes the Justice Department, which has drawn Georgia’s maps for the past 40 years, will once again deny preclearance for the state’s maps. In the event that the maps are approved, the Black Caucus plans to challenge the maps under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act which prohibits minority dilution.

Edward Buckley and villagers near a Food For The Poor water well that he raised funds to install in 2010. Photo provided.

Water Continued From Page 1A

water, which is usually in short supply. They typically walk more than a mile to a potable water source to fill a 5-pound bucket that they carry on their head—causing numerous cases of compression fractures, he pointed out. Buckley, 55, said he tried carrying a 5-pound bucket of water on his head uphill for one mile. “It’s not easy!” he exclaimed. Buckley explained that the mission that he and McCalla were involved in did not involve digging wells but facilitating projects. Facilitation includes meeting with engineers and project managers to begin developing new projects. It also involves evaluating ongoing and completed projects so that they could report back to donors. One project on their agenda during the mission was in a village called Grand Boulage. The plan is to pump water from a low-lying gulley, too dangerous to access by foot, uphill to a mountain reservoir and then redirect it back down the mountain to kiosks strategically placed where people in surrounding villages could access the clean water. The project will take about 12 to 18 months, serve about 7,500 families and cost $130,000 to $150,000.

Following the devastating hurricane that struck Haiti in 2010, McCalla said there is still much suffering. She observed that many people are still living in tent cities and dilapidated shantytowns. “But I came away with hope,” said. “People are working and doing for themselves and using available resources to make life better in Haiti.” As an example, she pointed to a microfinanced project in the village of Vialet. Entrepreneurs there are breeding tilapia in a nearby lake. They reinvest the profits into their village. And in the farming community of Olivier, a female leader in the town spearheaded a tree-planting project with the help of Food For the Poor. These trees provide fruit for local consumption, income and an anchor to prevent soil erosion. McCalla and Buckley emphasized that these projects are not handouts. Indeed, many of the villagers dig the wells, as well as learn how to maintain and repair the systems. In a moment of reflection, McCalla said: “We are privileged in the United States. We have an obligation to help our neighbors in Haiti. I feel more committed.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011


Page 16A

‘I told him if he got his license I would be the first one in the family to go up in the plane with him. I thought it was just a fad.’
-Mary Pat Martin

Colin Martin sits in the cockpit of one of his instructors small planes. So far, the St. Pius High School senior has logged 60 hours of airtime. Photo by Daniel Beauregard See Story on Page 17A

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23 2011

Page 17A

Schools honored for excellence in student achievement
St. Pius High School senior Colin Martin stands beside the plane he did his first solo flight in. Martin began flying when he was 13 and paid his entire way through flight school by working odd jobs.

St. Pius student keeps head in the clouds
by Daniel Beauregard When he was a child, Colin Martin’s mother Mary Pat took him to play on the playground at DeKalbPeachtree Airport (PDK). Now, she gives a friendly warning to the parents there. “You better watch out,” Mary Pat said. “I used to bring him here to play too when he was a child, now flying is his hobby.” Four years ago, at the age of 13, Colin and a friend of his participated in a Young Eagles Association event at Briscoe Field in Gwinnett. The event was designed to get young people interested in aviation. Apparently it worked. Colin said after he went up in a plane the first time he was hooked. “It’s probably just in my blood. My grandfather was a private pilot,” Colin said. After his experience at Briscoe Field, Colin began looking for flight schools and found one at PDK. To pay for his lessons he mowed lawns and did other odd jobs. “I thought the money would get to him because, as much as we would have loved to pay for it for him, that was just not something we could do, but he found a way,” Mary Pat said. Colin, 17, is a senior at St. Pius High School and recently got his private pilot’s license. Mary Pat is afraid of flying, but after Colin got his license she had to make good on a promise she made four years ago. “I told him if he got his license I would be the first one in the family to go up in the plane with him,” Mary Pat said. “I thought it was just a fad.” As Colin stood by the small Cessna he did his first solo flight in, he said the experience of being alone in the plane for the first time was surreal. When he took his first solo flight, Colin’s entire family came out to PDK and sat on the bleachers next to the playground to watch. “The instructor said, ‘We’ll go up a couple of times and do some touch and go’s and when he’s ready I’ll get out on the runway and he’ll do his first [solo],’” Mary Pat explained. So, the family sat and watched patiently as Colin’s plane took off the runway, circled around, and touched back down. After an hour, Mary Pat began to wonder if Colin would be able to take the solo flight. “We watched him do it seven times and we thought, ‘He’s not going to do it, he’s too nervous.’ But sure enough, all of a sudden we saw the door open and the instructor got out,” Mary Pat said. Colin said when his instructor stepped out he pretended he was still there. In the air, the plane felt a little more left heavy, and at times was so silent it seemed as if the engine wasn’t on, Colin said. There is a ritual among pilots, Colin said, where after his or her first solo flight the instructor and their friends cut the back of the pilot’s shirt. “That goes back to when people trained on biplanes and they did that to remind you there’s no one behind you. Usually, they write on it but they couldn’t write on mine because it was so sweaty,” Colin said. Now his shirt hangs in a hallway in the flight school at PDK, with all of the other students who have completed their training. Mary Pat and Colin’s father Jim said they trust their son completely in the air by himself. Mary Pat finds comfort in the fact Colin’s instructor trusts him enough to let him fly such an expensive plane alone, and Jim, whose father was a pilot, said at times it was a little “unnerving.” “He’s so responsible and so mature about the methods he follows, I know he’s doing stuff the way he’s told so I trust him,” Jim said. Colin saved nearly $7,500 to pay for his pilot’s license and plans on going to college to make a career of flying. He said he plans to attend either Middle Georgia College or Auburn to obtain his commercial pilot’s license. He wants to work for Delta or another major airline. To date, Colin has spent nearly 60 hours in the air (the FAA minimum to obtain a license is 40). He said his favorite thing about flying is the freedom it offers him. “I’ve come here and taken friends from St. Pius up just for fun flights around and sightseeing,” Colin said. “It’s neat just to be able to just come out here and go fly.” Mary Pat said it would probably be a while before she stepped on another small plane with her son, but it was still nice to have a pilot “on call” in the family. “He said, ‘Mom, I could rent a six person plane and we could fly to Florida,’” an option Mary Pat said she was all too happy to think over.

State Superintendent John Barge recently named the 2011 Georgia Schools of Excellence in Student Achievement honoring 26 schools that have shown the greatest improvement or highest achievement across the state. Several of the 26 schools are in DeKalb County including Clairemont Elementary from City Schools of Decatur, noted for demonstrating some of the greatest continuous gains in student achievement for the past three years as measured by assessments in reading and mathematics. Oak Grove and Vanderlyn elementary schools, of the DeKalb County School System, were noted for being in the top 10 percent in Georgia as measured by assessments in reading and mathematics. Each school will receive a $1,000 check from Georgia Natural Gas to be used however it wishes.

According to a press release, this is especially impressive for a fourth grade student. Since Jason began participating in this program he has averaged 210.4 points per quarter. The average number of points of his peers per quarter is 40. Schools throughout the country use the Accelerated Reading Program to encourage reading and to strengthen reading comprehension. To participate, students read a fiction or non-fiction book and take a quiz. Varying points are given for each test taken. In many schools participation is mandatory, but at IHM it is voluntary.

Emory joins international scholars at risk program for academic freedom
In support of academics whose work, convictions or lives are under threat, Emory University has joined the Scholars at Risk Network. The United States-based international program matches at-risk professors with member universities willing to provide temporary teaching positions as sanctuary when the scholar’s home country becomes too dangerous for them. The organization is an international network of universities, colleges and individuals that pledge to protect threatened colleagues and promote academic freedom.

IHM student awarded for accelerated reading progress
Jason Anandappa, an Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School student, was recently honored at a school assembly for earning 1,272.1 Accelerated Reading Points during the 2010-11 academic year.

U.S. Baseball Academy
Get a jump of the competition with six weeks of hitting, pitching, catcher, and elding/baserunning lessons as low as $99. Sessions start soon.

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     The City of Avondale Estates announces the availability of funding under the 2012 Community  Promotion Program (CPP).  The City will make $15,000 available to a non‐profit or individual for  activities which promote the City and occur within the City boundaries.  Eligible activities  include special events, festivals, projects or other promotional activities.  A full explanation of  the CPP, the application form and application instructions can be found online at or picked up at City Hall, 21 North Avondale Plaza, Avondale Estates,  Georgia 30002.    The City of Avondale Estates will be accepting applications until January 31, 2012 no later  than 5:00 p.m. at City Hall.      Please contact Keri Stevens, City Planner and Community Development Officer, with any  questions or concerns at 404‐294‐5400 or by email at   

Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) 

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011

Officials at the sales and marketing firm The Marketing Directors, LLC, announced recently that 5300 Lofts, a 242-loft-condominium community in Chamblee reported a successful fall sales effort with 21 homes sold since September. According to The Marketing Directors’, 5300 Lofts is now one of Atlanta’s top-selling condominium communities. In its third quarter report, 5300 Lofts was ranked eighth of the top 10 selling condominium communities in Atlanta, with 12 homes closed in the third quarter of 2011. The Marketing Directors President David Tufts attributed the sales success to a combination of factors. “With its phenomenal value pricing, incredible location and its home interiors and community amenities, 5300 Lofts offers buyers an unbeatable buying opportunity,” Tufts said. “In fact, special fall pricing was so competitive that we sold all of our featured homes, with two-bedroom homes priced from $95,900. Buyers are definitely feeling a sense of urgency to purchase now so that they don’t miss the opportunity to own a new 5300 Lofts home.”

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Chamblee loft community reports third quarter sales success
Tufts noted that the Peachtree Road location in the heart of historic Chamblee, across from MARTA and within close proximity to a variety of restaurants and shops, was a plus for many buyers. “Neighboring communities of Brookhaven, Buckhead and Decatur also offer some of Atlanta’s best dining, shopping and recreation,” he said. Amenities at 5300 Lofts include a rooftop deck with a grill and entertaining areas, and a lighted tennis court, a heated lounge pool, fitness center and club room with flat-screen TVs and a pool table, a business center, garden courtyards, controlled access entry, covered parking, storage spaces and on-site property and facility management. The lofts range from 624 to 1,230 square feet, and all homes feature 10foot ceilings, hardwood or concrete floors, exposed ductwork, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, spacious walk-in closets and more. Domus Group LLC, which acquired 5300 Lofts earlier this year is a singlepurpose investment group headed by Angus Rogers and Alan Rainey.

In The Marketing Directors’ third quarter report, 5300 Lofts is ranked eighth among the top 10 selling condominium communities in Atlanta. Photo by John Hewitt

MARTA board of directors elects 2012 officers
The MARTA Board of Directors elected officers for the 2012 calendar year during its Dec. 12 board meeting. They include Chairman Frederick L. Daniels Jr. (DeKalb), executive vice president of Citizens Trust Bank; Vice Chairman Barbara Babbit Kaufman (Fulton), entrepreneur; Secretary Juanita Jones Abernathy (Atlanta), former educator, retired sales director; and Treasurer Harold Buckley Sr. (DeKalb), owner/ broker, Precision Realty. Board bylaws require that officers be elected by Dec. 31 of each year. Officers are elected for one-year terms. The MARTA Board is responsible for setting policy and making decisions for the authority ranging from finance to customer service. The board is composed of three representatives each from the city of Atlanta and Fulton County, four representatives from DeKalb County as well as the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation. The executive director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority serves as the board’s sole non-voting member. are honored that these individuals will be serving for another term. “The group has many changes envisioned for 2012 as they continue the momentum created in 2011. Their experience and leadership in the hospitality industry and local community will be a valuable asset to the organization as we work to promote DeKalb County as the preferred destination for meetings, group travel, sports and leisure tourism,” the announcement states. DCVB was established in 1984 as a non-membership organization to promote DeKalb County as a destination for meetings and tourism. The marketing organization has established itself as one of the top convention & visitors bureaus through a number of innovative programs and marketing techniques. to Dunwoody on Nov. 18 as bank officials opened their first branch in Dunwoody and said they look forward to growing their network, providing services and being a strong community partner. C&S Bank on Ashford Dunwoody Road is a member of the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce.

DCVB executive committee to remain for 2012
The DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (DCVB) Board of Directors voted for the 2011 executive committee members to remain for 2012. They are Brian Mock, general manager, Hampton Inn Northlake - chairman; Sonny Horton, vice president of sales and marketing, Stone Mountain Park - vice chairman, Steve Spiegel, development partner, Hendon Properties - secretary; Neel Patel, general manager, Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta East Stonecrest treasurer; Tom Thibadeau, owner, The University Inn at Emory - immediate past chair; and Kathryn Johnson, general manager, Emory Conference Center Hotel - at large. Officials at DCVB say they

DBA announces early membership renewal cutoff
The Decatur Business Association has announced an early cut-off date for membership renewals. The date for 2012 is Jan. 15. The organization states that more than 98 percent of its members renewed online in 2011 so the DBA is officially going “green” for 2012 by encouraging their membership to renew online at www.DecaturDBA. com. “One of the most attractive benefits of DBA membership is your inclusion in the DBA Directory,” states the an-

nouncement from DBA. “One of the most frequently heard comments about our organization are words of praise for the high quality of our membership directory.” Monthly membership meetings are usually on the fourth Tuesday of each month except for November and December, which is held on the first Tuesday of December.

Credit union ribbon cutting held
In partnership with the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, Gwinnett Federal Credit Union in Decatur held its official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony Dec 7. The new Gwinnett Federal Credit Union office is at 5381 Panola Industrial Boulevard, Decatur, and is a member of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce.

Bank opens in Dunwoody
The Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce helped welcome Community and Southern Bank

The Voice of Business in DeKalb County
Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave., Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23 2011

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The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011

Around deKAlb
dale Emergency Relief, which supported families with unexpected emergencies. Jackman was also an active Final Dine and Dance member of the Conyers Kiwancomes to Northlake is Club and served on its board of directors, the Rockdale Northlake Mall recently Chamber of Commerce serving announced that its final Dine on several fundraising commitand Dance for the year will tees, and was nominated as be on Tuesday, Dec. 27. Small Business Person of the Visitors to the mall will have Year in 2002. a chance to reminisce to the Jackman and her husband tunes of the Atlanta-New York moved back to Decatur in 2006. Connection. The monthly As Visitors Center manager, Big Band event is held in Jackman is busy establishing Northlake Mall’s Food Garden. the Visitors Center and building Held the last Tuesday night a team of volunteers. of every month, 6-8 p.m., this The Visitors Center will open social affair is free and open in early 2012. to the public. Those attending may choose to come early to Movie to be shown at have dinner before dancing the night away. Northlake Mall library is located at 4800 Briarcliff Road, N.E., Atlanta. For more Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams information, call (770) 938Library has announced that 3564. the Dec. 30 movie in its Friday Movies series will be Bridget Jones’s Diary, starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. The 2001 R-rated movie starts at 1:30 p.m. and runs Jackman to lead approximately 97 minutes. When available, movies in Visitors Center the series are presented with The Decatur closed captioning to assist the hearing impaired. Toco Tourism BuHill-Avis G. Williams Library reau recently is located at 1282 McConnell hired Sherry Drive, Decatur. For more Jackman as information, call (404) 679the Visitors 4404. Center manager. Jackman is a Decatur resident who has been in the travel and tourism business for the past 20 years. In 1995, Jackman co-founded Conyers Travel and grew City announces new the business from a start-up to more than $1.5 million in sales development director within three years. While in Conyers, Jackman The City of Dunwoody was active in the community, announces Steve Dush as serving on the board for two the new community developnon-profits. She served as vice ment director, effective Jan. president of Project Renewal, a 23, 2012. Dush is currently domestic violence shelter and the community development intervention facility and Rockand neighborhood services




Director for Fort Collins, Colo., named twice as a Money Magazine’s top place to live. “We are thrilled to welcome Steve to Dunwoody,” said City Manager Warren Hutmacher. “His wide experience, continuous track record of success and his passion for community building provides the city with a great leader for this department. There are considerable challenges ahead for Dunwoody as we move this department forward. Steve is the right person to lead this department.” Dush has experience managing short and long-term planning, development services, zoning analysis, code compliance, historic preservation and redevelopment activities. He has more than 19 years of experience working for different municipalities and counties around the country. Dush earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in community and regional planning from the University of Nebraska. He is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). “I am honored to be Dunwoody’s community development director,” Dush said. “The ability to be part of maintaining and enhancing Dunwoody through thoughtful and collaborative planning is a great opportunity.” The City of Dunwoody’s Community Development Department is responsible for managing the planning and zoning functions of the city as well as development regulation, code compliance and sustainability programs. The community development director will play a key role in managing development and land use matters, and will work with the city council, planning commission and homeowners and businesses involved in the development process.

City recognized for green initiatives
The City of Dunwoody recently received the Green Communities Silver Level Certification from the Atlanta Regional Commission in recognition of the city’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint. The ARC recognized sustainable policies and ordinances adopted by the city council. “This award recognizes Dunwoody’s continued dedication to sustainability by reducing our environmental footprint” stated Rebecca Keefer, Dunwoody’s director of sustainability. “The Green Communities Silver certification supports Dunwoody’s positive image as an amazing place to live and conduct business while setting a strong example for those seeking to reduce their environmental impact.” Some of the policies implemented include requiring all new government buildings to have high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and implementing a Complete Streets Policy emphasizing the need for the public right-of-way to accommodate motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders. Also, the city council adopted an LED Traffic Signal Policy in 2010, which eliminated the use of incandescent halogen bulbs in traffic signals. All lights have been converted to LED bulbs, three years ahead of schedule. The Sustainability Commission, established in December 2008, meets monthly to share research, ideas and draft eco-friendly policies and ordinances in which to minimize environmental impacts of the city and the surrounding area.

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011


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Will become head football coach, AD at Social Circle
by Mark Brock

Sebree retiring as county athletic director
ball, soccer, baseball and track. “I feel the department was able to accomplish many of the goals we set out to do while I was the athletic director, including improvements at the football stadiums and campus facilities,” said Sebree. “We also improved accountability for funds we collected through ticket sales, stadium rentals, concessions, advertisements and sponsorships as well as for the expenditures in purchasing equipment, uniforms and supplies. Of course we could not have done this without the help and support of the superintendent, board of education, support staff and parents throughout these years.” Sebree also put the department through a national study by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association to determine the needs and strengths of the department. The study recognized the department for its excellence in providing the services to its athletes and schools with the resources available. “I’m leaving a great staff in place that can get the job done and continue the progress we’ve made over these past nine years of working together,” Sebree said. “The department will continue to work on the foundation that’s been laid.” Sebree will become the athletic director and head football coach at Social Circle in east Georgia. He will be what is called a 49 percenter or part-time employee. Social Circle was Sebree’s first coaching and teaching position when he moved to Georgia in 1981. Sebree served as offensive line coach and defensive coordinator as well as junior varsity basketball coach until 1986 when he joined the staff at Columbia High School in DeKalb County. He served as head football coach at Columbia from 1988 to 1998, became assistant principal for 1.5 years before joining the Central Office Athletic Department as athletic coordinator in the fall of 2002. “I’m excited to face this new challenge at Social Circle and appreciate Superintendent Dr. Betty Ray and Board Chairman Tim Lemons for giving me the opportunity to return home,” Sebree said. “I will get the opportunity to work with some of my former players and their children in a place that has always been special to me after serving there for five years.” Sebree joins the Social Circle School System officially on Feb. 1, 2012 in his new position.

DeKalb County Schools Athletic Director Ron Sebree retired after 25 years of service effective Dec. 16, 2011. Sebree served as the athletic director for four years. During that time nearly 800 students received more than $45 million in scholarships in 13 different sports to continue their academic and athletic careers. He guided the DeKalb’s athletics department in improving the quality of equipment and uniforms for all schools that met all Georgia High School Association and National Federation of High Schools standards, the enhancement of the athletics webpage and the implementation of senior all-star events


for DeKalb athletes in football, baseball, basketball, soccer and softball. “I will always have a special place in my heart for DeKalb County Schools,” said Sebree. “I am indebted to the school system that gave me the opportunity to grow from a football coach, to assistant principal and leave as the athletic director.” One emphasis of Sebree’s tenure has been on middle school sports to aid in the building of the varsity programs that have led to team state championships in football, basket-

High profile players dominate Champion’s all-county list
by Robert Naddra ucker, M.L. King and Stephenson lead The Champion’s 2011 All-County football team with five selections each. Tucker, which won its second state championship on Dec. 9, placed three players on offense and two on defense. Running backs Jordan Landry and Yusuf Minor accounted for 27 of Tucker’s 66 rushing touchdowns. Landry, a senior, ran for 907 yards and 13 touchGeno Smith Jonquel Dawson downs, and Minor led the Tigers with 945 yards and 14 scores. THE 2011 CHAMPION ALL-COUNTY FOOTBALL TEAM The Tigers, who averaged more than 300 yards rushing per game, deOFFENSE DEFENSE feated Lovejoy 22-7 to win the Class QB: Jonquel Dawson, M.L. King DL: Josh Dawson, Tucker AAAA state title. Senior offensive RB: Mike Davis, Stephenson DL: Jarontay Jones, Stephenson lineman Michael Young, a threeRB: Jordan Landry, Tucker DL: Arthur Wainwright, Cedar Grove year starter, also made the team. RB: Yusuf Minor, Tucker DL: DeAndre Harrison, Miller Grove Linebacker Jacob Sealand and RB: Kenno Loyal, Lithonia LB: Raphael Kirby, Stephenson defensive lineman Josh Dawson, TE: William Goodwin, Southwest DeKalb LB: Kendarius Whitehead, M.L. King both of whom have committed to OL: Nick Brigham, Marist LB: Markuss Eligwe, Stone Mountain scholarship offers from Vanderbilt, OL: Brandon Greene, Cedar Grove LB: Dareon Herring, Stephenson made the team on the defensive side OL: Joe Harris, Lithonia LB: Jacob Sealand, Tucker for Tucker. Dawson led the team OL: Michael Young, Tucker LB: Toronto Thomas, M.L. King with eight sacks and 11 tackles for OL: Jayson Black, Redan DB: Geno Smith, St. Pius losses. WR: Blake Tibbs, M.L. King DB: Toran Davis, Southwest DeKalb Stephenson’s five members are WR: Xavier Cooper, Cedar Grove DB: Kyle Fleetwood, Stephenson among the leaders in the county in WR: Joshua Stanford, M.L. King DB: Case Woodward, Arabia Mountain several categories. Running back ATH: Johnathan McCrary, Cedar Grove ATH: T.J. Holloman, St. Pius Mike Davis was the top rusher in K: Austin Hardin, Marist P: Ben Wheeler, Druid Hills DeKalb with 1,928 yards and 21


touchdowns. The Jaguars landed four defensive players on the list. Linebackers Raphael Kirby and Dareon Herring rank first and third, respectively, in total tackles among county players. Kirby led DeKalb with 121 total tackles and was second with 18.5 sacks. Herring had 105 tackles and 19 tackles for losses. Stephenson lineman Jarontay Jones had 103 total tackles, including 11.5 sacks and 17 tackles for losses. Defensive back Kyle Fleetwood led the county with seven interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. M.L. King quarterback Jonquel Dawson ended his career second on the state’s career passing yardage list with 3,415 yards passing and 39 touchdowns this season. His top two targets also made the team— Blake Tibbs led the county with 66 catches for 1,086 yards and 15 touchdowns, and Joshua Stanford had 56 catches for 1,014 yards and 11 touchdowns. Defensively, M.L. King linebackers Kendarius Whitehead and Toronto Thomas made the team. Whitehead tied for the county lead with 19 sacks and had 114 tackles while Thomas had 110 tackles and returned an interception 93 yards for a touchdown.

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011


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DeKalb High School Sports Highlights
Miller Grove: The Wolverines won two games before heading to Fort Myers, Fla., for the City of Palms tournament on Dec. 16-21. Justin Colvin and Tony Parker each scored 16 points, and Tony Evans added 11 in a 67-34 win over Douglass on Dec. 13. The Wolverines, ranked No. 2 nationally, lost to No. 3 Oak Hill (Va.) 82-78 on Dec. 15 at Morehouse College. Parker led the Wolverines with 29 points, on 10 of 14 shooting, and 10 rebounds. Colvin added 17 points and nine assists, and Brandon Morris had 14 points. Southwest DeKalb: William Goodwin had 33 points and 15 rebounds in a 79-51 win over Mays on Dec. 13. Jordan Price added 22 for the Panthers, who played in the Chick-fil-a Classic in Columbia, S.C., beginning Dec. 20.

Stone Mountain: Chara Reeves had 45 points and Danielle Clark scored 44 in two wins Dec. 16-17. Clark scored 26 and Reeves added 23 points and eight rebounds in a 69-62 win over Druid Hills on Dec. 17 in the DeKalb Holiday Basketball Tournament American Division. Shelita Holmes had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Pirates. In a 45-26 win over Cedar Grove on Dec. 16, Reeves led with 22 points and Clark had 18.

St. Pius: The Golden Lions improved to 8-0 after a 52-47 win over Lovett on Dec. 17. Emma Ucinski scored 19 points, while Dylan Krause and Asia Durr each scored 10. The Golden Lions are off until the 12th annual St. Pius X Christmas Classic Dec. 27-29.

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 Willie Zachery, Druid Hills (basketball): Zachery scored 49 points in three wins Dec. 16-19, including 23 points in a 60-55 win over Clarkston in the DeKalb Holiday Basketball Tournament. He also had 15 in a win over Grady and 11 in a win over Creekside. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Chara Reeves, Stone Mountain (basketball): Reeves had 45 points in two games—23 along with eight rebounds in a 69-62 win over Druid Hills and 22 in a 45-26 win over Cedar Grove in the DeKalb Holiday Basketball Tournament.

Tucker: The Tigers won its first two games in the DeKalb Holiday Basketball Tournament National Division and played M.L. King Dec. 20 in the championship game. Erica Davenport scored 25 points, Tori Robinson added 12 and Kristen Dunwoody: The Wildcats went 4-0 Dec. 13-19. Kennebrew had 10 in a 68-20 win over Shiloh on Bradley McKnight and Paris Ballinger each scored 16 points as the Wildcats defeated Riverwood Dec. 16. Aniya Hamilton scored 14 and Davenport had 11 in a 54-38 win over Clarkston on Dec. 19. 75-66 in overtime on Dec. 13. David Ani and Richard Carrington each scored 13, and DeChard The Tigers (8-3) also beat Georgia Military College 47-24 on Dec. 17. Davenport led with 17 points and Hamilton had 11 for the Wildcats. In a 58-37 win over Stone Mountain on Dec. 16, Hamilton led with Kennebrew chipped in with 10. 15 and McKnight chipped in with 12. Carrington M.L. King: The Lions beat Clarkston 67-25 and had 13 points, and Ballinger and Ryan Elmore Shiloh 50-44 in the DeKalb Holiday Basketball each chipped in with 10 in a 60-42 win over North Tournament and faced Tucker on Dec. 20. Against Atlanta on Dec. 17, then Hamilton had 15 points, Shiloh, Amber Mendes scored 15 points and McKnight 14 and Ani 12 in a 62-61 win over Tenisha Wallace had 19 rebounds. Mendes also Mundy’s Mill on Dec. 20. scored 15 against Clarkston while Wallace had 14 points and 17 rebounds. Chamblee: The Bulldogs beat Cedar Grove 6241 and Lovejoy 54-49 in the DeKalb Holiday Basketball Tournament National Division, and faced Lithonia Dec. 20 in the championship game. Against Cedar Grove, Jockuel Jones scored 15 points and Isaiah Mason added 12. Jones scored 16 and Mason 13 in the win over Lovejoy. The Bulldogs lost to Tucker 61-59 on Dec. 13. The Bulldogs missed three free throws in the final minute and had a shot blocked at the buzzer. Jones led the Bulldogs with 17 points and Mason added 11. Druid Hills: The Red Devils beat Clarkston and Creekside in the DeKalb Holiday Basketball Tournament National Division Willie Zachery had 23 points and Jacob King added 18 as the Red Devils beat Clarkston 60-55 on Dec. 17. Zachery scored 11 points in a 49-34 win over Creekside on Dec. 19. Deshon Burgess led the defense with five of his team’s 19 steals. Burgess scored 16 points, Zachery added 15 and Clarence Williams had 14 in a 57-55 win over Grady on Dec. 16. St. Pius: Collin McKay scored 20 points to lead the Golden Lions in a 46-45 win over Lovett on Dec. 17. The Golden Lions are participating in the Mountain Brook tournament in Alabama Dec. 21-23. Lithonia: The Bulldogs beat South Atlanta 68-58 in the DeKalb Holiday Basketball Tournament on Dec. 20 for their sixth win of the season, matching last year’s win total. The Bulldogs, 6-4, have not had a winning season since 2004. Lithonia also beat Arabia Mountain 50-37 in the tournament.

Each week The Champion spotlights former high school players from the county who are succeeding in athletics on the college level. Kevin Dukes, BethuneCookman (basketball): The junior from Stephenson scored 11 points and made three 3-pointers in a 77-52 loss to St. Mary’s (Cal.) on Dec. 17. Dukes has scored in double figures in three of his past five games. Diamond Marchand, Salt Lake Community College (basketball): The freshman from Cedar Grove came off the bench to score a seasonhigh 18 points and six assists in the final game before Christmas break on Dec. 3. Marchand is averaging nearly six points per game Aric Miller, Armstrong Atlantic State (basketball): The junior from Tucker scored a season-high 25 points in a 103-81 loss to South Carolina-Aiken on Dec, 14, and had 12 in a 97-94 loss to Francis-Marion on Dec. 17. Miller leads the Pirates with a 17.2 scoring average.

Decatur: The Bulldogs head into Christmas break on a four-game winning streak. Queen Alford scored 22 points and Jordan Dillard added 16 in a 66-27 win over Grady on Dec. 13, then Dillard had 16 and Alford 12 in a 47-42 win over Greater Atlanta Christian on Dec. 16.

M.L. King’s Amber Mendes (3), top photo, drives for a layup against Shiloh while teammates Dominique Moulton (25) and Latravia Lee try to block a shot. Photos by Travis Hudgons

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011


Page 23A







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The Champion Free Press, Friday December 23, 2011








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