by Nigel Roberts s the sun sets on 2011, it is only natural to reflect while looking forward to the new year. One cannot help but wonder whether this was a good year for other DeKalb residents and what plans or resolutions they have made for 2012. Gelia Dolcimascolo described 2011 as “a productive year.” Among other accolades, she won poetry prizes from the Atlanta Writers Club and Kennesaw University’s the Art of the Golden Generation competition. For more than two decades, Dolcimascolo has worked as a Gelia Dolcimascolo looks forward to exhibiting her poetry at local venues writing tutor at Georgia Perimeter in 2012. Photo provided College’s Dunwoody campus. She also facilitates the college’s Writing on longer pieces.” fessional modern dancer described ers’ Circle, a group of writers that In 2012, Dolcimascolo looks dancing as “part of her ID.” After she said ranges from published auforward to exhibiting her work at reaching a certain age, she said it is thors, those “on the cusp” of getting the Marietta-Cobb Museum of Art important to stay physically active. published and beginning writers. and the Poetry Pallet at Georgia Pe- In addition to dancing, she plans to Though several of her poems have rimeter College. Now in her “upper do more swimming and walking in been published, Dolcimascolo is a 60s,” she also plans to get back into 2012. new writer of sorts. the ballet studio to take classes, afAnother DeKalb educator made This year she completed a 15ter her sprained ankle heals. a significant mark in 2011. Redan year labor of love: a fairytale book A native New Yorker, DolciHigh School language arts teacher for adults. “I’m slow,” she admitted, mascolo began dancing when she Julius Thompson published the “but steady when it comes to workwas 12 years old. The former profinal installment of his trilogy this



Residents recall the highs and lows of 2011 as they prepare to enter the new year
year–Ghost of Atlanta–and won the 2011 National Gold Medal award for it. His mission to compose the trilogy began in 1995. “I’ve waited for over 15 years for a chance to see my novels recognized on a national level,” said Thompson, who also teaches creative writing courses at Emory University. “Now I could use the phrase ‘award winning author’ in my description.” Thompson also finished writing his fourth novel this year. The former sports reporter for The Philadelphia Bulletin completed Purple Phantom, a story about the haunting of a mythical high school basketball team, which he said is now on his editor’s desk. He is thankful for all he achieved this year and expects an equally fruitful 2012. “My mother used to tell me, ‘Reach for the berries on the highest branch. They are closest to the sun and the sweetest,’” he recalled. With that advice in mind, Thompson plans to reach higher and achieve greater things as he pens 10,000 to 15,000 words next year for his fifth novel. In 2012, he also plans to have a closer spiritual walk with God and maintain great health.




Sharing the holiday spirit

See New Year on Page 15A

see more on page 20A

Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion.
DeKalb County Detention officers J. Powell and D. Burroughs give gifts and receive a high five from an excited child. Sheriff Thomas Brown and his staff partnered with Total Grace Christian Ministries and New Life Church to provide gifts for 37 children and 13 families.

ews updates online from the The Champion.

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Sgt. V. Dix places gifts in the bag of 3-year-old Dontavious Brown as Lt. C. Bivins, Capt. R. Stringer and Maj. of Tolbert look on. “I am just so very proud my team here at the DeKalb Sheriff’s Office and their wonderful gifts of giving,” Sheriff Thomas Brown said.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

Abdominal fat reducer provided to Hollywood stars by famous plastic surgeon now available to public
An advanced line of products produced by famous Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Ryan is now available to the public. Previously these products had only been available to Dr. Ryan’s clients which included Oscar winning Hollywood movie stars and celebrities across the nation. These products substantially improve personal appearance without plastic surgery. Dr. Ryan, perhaps the most famous Hollywood plastic surgeon in recent times, was extensively featured on television and in magazines across the nation. Dr. Ryan was also one of the first professional staff members of Endless youth and Life which provides products and services that make celebrities look and perform many years younger than their age. On August 16, 2010 Dr. Ryan died in a tragic car accident. It was Dr. Ryan’s wishes that Endless youth and Life would make his advanced non-surgical product line available to the public in the future. Endless youth and Life is now complying with Dr. Ryan’s wishes. The first product being offered to the public is Dr. Ryan’s most popular non-surgical personal appearance enhancement product, Dr. Frank Ryan’s Abdominal Fat Reducer. Abdominal fat is the most stubborn fat to reduce and it is also the most hazardous fat to health. Abdominal fat produces destructive hormones that spread throughout the body. A clinical study has shown that Dr. Frank Ryan’s Abdominal Fat Reducer can reduce your pot belly without changing your diet or physical activity. A double blind clinical study was conducted on Dr. Frank Ryan’s Abdominal Fat Reducer. The study was commissioned by Advanced Supplement Research and used a research group which conducts clinical studies for the major drug companies. The test subjects in the study lost significant weight and reduced their pot belly without changing their diet or physical activity. People who were not exercising or dieting lost weight and pot belly as well as those who were exercising and dieting. The study also showed that Dr. Frank Ryan’s Abdominal Fat Reducer significantly increased calorie burning so that you lose weight faster or you can eat more food without gaining weight. And, the study found that the all natural Dr. Frank Ryan’s Abdominal Fat Reducer pill produced weight loss safely. How does Dr. Frank Ryan’s Abdominal Fat Reducer work? It was found in a number of research studies that a substance called Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) decreases abdominal body fat in three ways: 1.) CLA decreases abdominal body fat mass by decreasing the amount of abdominal fat that is stored after eating; 2.) CLA increases the rate of fat breakdown in abdominal fat cells; and 3.) CLA increases the rate of abdominal fat metabolism which decreases the total number of fat cells. you can think of CLA as a match that lights the fuse in abdominal fat. This fuse also increases metabolic rate that can result in more fat loss. Dr. Frank Ryan’s Abdominal Fat Reducer contains the effective dose of CLA. CLA interferes with an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL). LPL is an enzyme that helps store fat in the body. 2 So, by inhibiting this fat-storing enzyme LPL, CLA can help reduce the reaccumulation of fat. CLA also helps the body use its existing abdominal fat for energy, thereby increasing fat oxidation and energy expenditure. Dr. Frank Ryan’s Abdominal Fat Reducer also contains other super highly advanced all-natural ingredients that help reduce abdominal fat. Studies have shown that Dr. Frank Ryan’s Abdominal Fat Reducer ingredients increase the rate of fat metabolism, which reduces both surface and intestinal abdominal fat and helps inhibit future formation of these abdominal fats.3, 4, 5 One of these ingredients is a very high quality and
Fat in the abdominal area is different than fat in the rest of the body. It is difficult to reduce and is hazardous to health. Abdominal fat produces destructive hormones that spread throughout the body. There are 2 types, outer fat and intestinal fat. Excess fat on outer abdomen Stubborn fat around intestines



Fat on outer abdomen reduced Stubborn fat around intestines reduced

Dr. Frank Ryan, famous plastic surgeon to the Hollywood stars, was featured on television and in magazines across the nation on an extensive basis. Before he died in a tragic car accident on the Pacific Coast Highway near his ranch in Malibu, Dr. Ryan fulfilled his lifelong dream of developing a line of products which would substantially improve personal appearance without plastic surgery. This product line, which includes an advanced abdominal fat reducer was previously only available to Dr. Ryan’s clients. It has now been made available to the public.




(To view this clinical study, log on to


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1Int J. Obesity 2001 25:1129-1135 2LLP (Lipoprotein Lipase) reference Lipids, 3 AMJ Clin Nuff. 1989 Jan; 49(1):44-50 4 AMJ Physol. 1995 Oct: (4pt1):E671-8

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2 Times Reduction

Page 3A

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

Deadbeat dads arrested in roundup
Ten deadbeat dads were arrested on Dec. 21 by a special task force of DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office deputies. “There are some fathers out there that could help their babies to have a nice Christmas,” said Sheriff Thomas Brown about the roundup that was conducted overnight. Although the department serves warrants throughout the year for noncustodial parents charged with abandonment or child support negligence, the roundup puts “a real special emphasis” on serving the warrants, Brown said. An original list of 400 warrants was narrowed down to 189 for the roundup. Of that number, the task force attempted to serve 114 warrants. Brown said the 10 arrests could help 10 families during the holiday season. “If these guys have money and want to get out of jail for Christmas, that’s 10 more families that will be helped,” Brown said. This was the sixth year of the holiday season roundup. 4203 Clevemont Road, Ellenwood (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.) Home Depot 2295 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur, 4343 Tilly Mill Road, Atlanta 4325 New Snapfinger Woods Drive, Decatur

Water, sewer rates to increase by 11 percent in 2012
by Andrew Cauthen After being warned for a year, county residents will see their water bills go up effective Jan. 1. DeKalb County’s water and sewer rates will increase by 11 percent to help finance more than $1 billion dollars in improvements to the county’s water and sewer system. The rate will also increase in 2013 and 2014 by 11 percent, according to a plan adopted by the Board of Commissioners in December 2010. The increases mean customers with county water and sewer services currently using 6,000 gallons per month would see their rates increase from $59.52 in 2010 to $94.41 in 2014. “This gives us the necessary revenue to support the long-term payment of the bonds,” said Joe Basista, director of the county’s watershed management department. In December, the Board of Commissioners approved a $381 million water and sewer bond. With an interest rate of 4.46 percent, the loans will cost taxpayers $766 million over the 30 year loan period. The county plans to secure a $390 million bond in 2012 as part of several anticipated bonds during the watershed improvement process. Of the $1.345 billion in capital improvement projects, approximately $1 billion will be funded by the bonds and the rest will be financed by the watershed department’s cash reserves, Basista said. In 2012, the county will begin approximately $400 million of capital improvement projects. Of that amount, approximately $250 million will go to rebuild, upgrade and expand the Snapfinger Wastewater Treatment Plant. “This is simply the biggest project we will do in the capital improvement plan,” Basista said. Bid requests for the first phase of the Snapfinger project, which will entail clearing and grading the site where the new structure will be built, will go out in January. The actual construction phase is expected to be bid out in the second or third quarter of 2012. Approximately $150 million will be used for the design and construction of 20-25 other projects. “We will see actual construction in 2012,” Basista said. “You won’t see massive construction in 2012, but we will be at a pretty good pace.” DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis has touted the capital improvement plan, which he says will create approximately 4,000 jobs, as the county’s stimulus plan. “This is the heart of our economic development program,” Basista said. The county’s water and sewer system, which serves more than 730,000 people and 20,000 businesses, has about 5,200 miles of water and sewer lines, one treatment facility for drinking water and two for waste water. The system is plagued with pipe breaks and sewer spills. As of Dec. 20, there have been 187 county sewer spills, many caused by grease blockages in pipes. According to county officials, approximately $20 million-$30 million will be allocated to address requirements of a proposed consent decree in which the county would agree to pay a $453,000 penalty from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for excessive sewage spills. The county also agreed to implement a $600,000 stream cleanup project, focusing on debris removal from parts of the South River, South Fork Peachtree Creek and Snapfinger Creek. Basista said the watershed department has already begun addressing some of the issues that brought about the proposed consent decree. The county is in the process of physically surveying the entire sewer system, with 70 percent of the mapping already complete. Workers are also in the process of building a computerized hydrological model of the system. Some limited system rehabilitation and closedcircuit monitoring is also under way, Basista said.

Construction on the Snapfinger Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant is expected to begin in 2012. The plant’s price tag will be paid by an 11 percent water and sewer rate hike which goes into effect in January. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Atlanta VA nurses win awards
Five nurses from the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur have been named 2011 nurses of the year by Georgia March of Dimes. The winners were selected from nearly 500 nominations throughout Georgia and recognized for their work to provide care, comfort and support to patients in the community. The Atlanta VA, with 46 finalists, captured five of the 16 categories. The winning nurses are Mary Roberts, MSHA, BSN, RN, for behavioral health; Rita Walker, MS, BSN, RN, for general medical/surgical services; Ora Douglass, MN, RN, for hospice, home health and palliative care; Marie Mompoint, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, OCN, CHPN, for nursing administration; and Zina Floyd, MSN, RN-BC, for long term acute care/rehabilitation.

‘Bring One for the Chipper’ event set
Keep DeKalb Beautiful’s (KDB) annual “Bring One for the Chipper” event is Jan.2-7 at several locations throughout the county. Monday, Jan. 2 – Saturday, Jan. 7. KDB encourages DeKalb residents to recycle their Christmas trees after the holidays through DeKalb County Sanitation Division’s Curbside Recycling Program or by drop-off at the Seminole Road Landfill and three Home Depot locations across the county. DeKalb residents receiving sanitation services can place their tree at the curb for pick-up on regular yard debris collection day. Trees should not exceed four feet in length for curbside pick-up. The recycled trees will be chipped into mulch or used as wildlife habitat. Mulch is used for public beautification projects and is free to DeKalb residents. Christmas tree recycling drop-off locations are listed below: Seminole Road Landfill

Green woodworking demo to be held
The DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs will host a green woodworking demonstration on how to make hiking sticks, Dec. 30, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, at 3787 Klondike Road in Lithonia. The demonstration will teach patrons how to create hiking sticks out of natural resources. After each demonstration, hiking sticks will be distributed to one person per household. All materials will be provided by the recreation staff. For more information, contact Monica Hayes or Charlie Monroe at 404-4843060.

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

Opinion The Newslady

Page 4A

Happy New Year!
tragic occurrences in 2011. Too many to recount and quite frankly there is no desire to. For many of us our faith in our institutions and leaders was shattered. But important to remember is the motto coined by our founding fathers, “In God We Trust.” Those four words are powerful. For those of us who believe in a higher power there is the understanding that men and women will often fail us one way or another. But the Creator of this vast universe and everything therein will never fail nor forsake us. Everything else is just this journey called life. We experience sorrow and joy, tragedy and triumph, prosperity and lack. Unless we give up and give in, somehow we manage to make it through just as we did in 2011 and just as we will in 2012. As long as there is breath, there is another day, another opportunity to get it right or at least make the attempt. So dear readers for 2012 I sincerely wish you health, love, joy, peace and prosperity. When the health challenges come, when love is lost, when joy turns to sorrow and peace and prosperity seem unattainable, please know that as long as you have faith in a God who loves us infinitely and unconditionally as Scarlett O’Hara opined, “Tomorrow is another day.” Two-thousand and twelve is another year. A profound lesson came to mind for this writer in 2011 and that is the importance of each and every one of us no matter the endeavor. Remove the sanitation workers from the county. Remove the police. Remove the doctors and nurses from the hospitals. Remove the clerks and the teachers. Remove the homemakers. Sad to say, they would be missed in some instances more than some of the leaders we’ve lamented the past year. While we strive to be one nation under God, let us understand that we are one family under God with distinct characteristics, abilities and talents. Everyone is important. So for this last thought in 2011, I leave a favorite old Irish blessing: “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine brightly on your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again (in the new year) may God hold you in the palm of his hand.”

Dear Readers: I hope you had a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and are having a Happy Kwanzaa as we move toward a glorious New Year. Whether or not we make resolutions, each year one thing never changes. We eagerly anticipate new and renewed relationships and new opportunities. We also know that there will be challenges and obstacles to overcome. But we look forward with great optimism. There were so many sad and

Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Milies at

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 30, 2011

Hell YES Wal-Mart
casional contrarian and someone who had plenty of experience with Wal-Mart in other locations, I created a handcrafted sign, in a bright and patriotic color emblazoned, “YES WALMART!!!” and plunked it out in front of my condo unit. My sign went solo for quite a while. You will not be surprised to hear that Avondale City Hall quickly caved, and reversed its offer of annexation. Wal-Mart then simply moved its negotiations to the DeKalb County Commission, bought and tore down the old mall, and built a traditional Wal-Mart Super Center without any of the many concessions it had previously made to the city of Avondale Estates. The store opened in roughly a year, and has been tremendously successful ever since, bringing in nearly 300 full-time jobs, many filled by area residents, and millions in sales tax and property tax dollars to DeKalb County (not to Avondale Estates) as well as millions more in charitable donations and man hours given back to the community. Though I don’t do all my shopping there, I find myself picking up the basics and often comparison price shopping big ticket items a couple of times a month at this store. I take tremendous delight in running into many of my Avondale neighbors—more than a few of whom sported NO WALMART signs in front of their homes–and touted the store entering their community as being akin to the end of civilization as we know it. I’m happy to report that another Wal-Mart may soon be coming to similarly save the day at Suburban Plaza, an ailing strip center in Decatur. Once home to Belk-Gallant, Eckerd Drugs, Winn-Dixie, H.H. Kress (parent of K-Mart) and other leading retailers, Suburban Plaza is now just hanging on. Developer Steve Selig recently cleared the first hurdle to bringing a smaller Wal-Mart to the aging plaza with a parking variance approved by the DeKalb County Commission. His battle is far from over as there will certainly be organized opposition from within the socialist stronghold of Decatur. Selig is fighting a similar and concurrent battle in Athens, to locate a Wal-Mart just on the other side of downtown on a currently blighted parcel near the Oconee River. In both cases, based on the opposition arguments, you might think that Wal-Mart exists to destroy small businesses and communities. However, if you go inside the modern Wal-Mart, you will find small business tenants thriving, in space provided by the retail giant, at a significant per square foot market discount. You will also find other businesses surrounding that same Wal-Mart doing quite well off the traffic and spillover. Wal-Mart customers are also often themselves small businesses. Pardon my ignorance, but a thriving enterprise, employing a couple hundred folks, with health care and other benefits, offering customers a wide array of competitively priced merchandise, paying millions in property and sales taxes and even supporting other small businesses in the area (Wal-Mart is an occasional advertiser in The Champion Free Press) all sound like good news to me. Unemployment across Georgia remains in double-digits, including the discouraged unemployed, and those no longer eligible for benefits. It is estimated to exceed 15 percent in several counties, including DeKalb. I am a taxpayer and property owner in DeKalb, as well as Athens-Clarke County. As my neighbors in Avondale can tell you, I know a thing or two about yard signs. So where I can, and whenever Wal-Mart wants to come in to my neighborhood, be on the lookout for a sign that reads, “Hell YES Walmart!!!” I’ll be looking for y’all later in the check-out lines. 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 billcrane@

Opinion One Man’s Opinion

Page 5A

“Capitalism works better than it sounds, while socialism sounds better than it works,” Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994), America’s 37th President, in his book Beyond Peace (posthumously published in 1994). Several years ago, retail giant Wal-Mart had been holding quiet negotiations with the mayor and council of Avondale Estates to acquire the nearby abandoned Avondale Mall. Avondale Estates was to annex the parcel, and WalMart had agreed to a long list of requests regarding the store exterior, entrances to the property and even to not sell guns or ammunition. Word of the deal and coming economic development strangely was not welcomed by the community. Avondale City Hall soon found itself under assault by Avondale Estates residents, as the front lawns along the city’s main boulevard, Clarendon Avenue, became littered with placards shouting NO WALMART!!!! Being both a capitalist, oc-

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Send Letters To Editor, The Champion Free Press, P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Send E-Mail to FAX To: (404) 370-3903 Phone: (404) 373-7779 Deadline for news releases and advertising: Thursday, one week prior to publication date. EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. The Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts.

Publisher: Dr. Earl D. Glenn Managing Editor: Kathy Mitchell News Editor: Robert Naddra Production Manager: Kemesha Hunt Graphic Designer: Travis Hudgons The Champion Free Press is published each Friday by ACE III Communications, Inc., 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030 Phone (404) 373-7779.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

Reading frog entrails


Page 6A

Although the media may behave otherwise, Iowa's oddball caucuses are as apt to choose a loser as a winner.
who had been George McGovern's running mate four years earlier. Oh, and the relatively unknown former governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter. Carter finished ahead of them all in Iowa and was propelled to a successful run for the presidency, more’s the pity. In fairness to Iowa voters, it should be pointed out that Carter finished second to “uncommitted.” The rules for the caucuses–one set for Democrats, another for Republicans–are almost impossible to fully understand, though in my many years of covering them as a reporter and newspaper columnist I always found that drinking helped. The Democrats keep breaking apart into ever-smaller groups with more emphasis on making sure every group, gender, race and sexual preference is represented than on whom the candidate should be. The Republicans, as I understand it, vote in their precincts on caucus night, pass the results on to the press, then forget about them. Months later, at the state convention where delegates to the national convention are actually chosen, everyone votes for whomever they choose without reference to the caucuses. These things take place at hundreds of venues in the dead of an Iowa winter and can consume as much as two or three hours, with no absentee voting. Nor is there a secret ballot. It's no more or less democratic than a Russian election, I suppose. Out of this mess comes an avalanche of stories. I'm guessing that many will have headlines such as this one: “Newt Gingrich has seized the reins of the campaign." The best thing about the caucuses is that they are really fun. Iowa campaigns are retail politics at their most charming, and the people are great. I remember one caucus at which Orville Armstrong, a legendary if rough-hewn Polk County supervisor, became incensed at what the speaker in front of him was saying, so he punched him between the shoulder blades, sending him flying over a row of chairs. You don't get action like that with a secret ballot. As far as being a crystal ball into the future, however, reporters would be better served by reading the entrails of frogs. OtherWords columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Iowa caucuses may be over by the time you read this. But it doesn’t matter. The caucuses are the second-most fraudulent event on the nation's political calendar. The first, of course, is the Ames Straw Poll. It's entirely meaningless, but political reporters pay attention to it because if they didn’t, their editors would make them cover a real story, like a meeting of the local water board. Quick! Who won the Ames Straw Poll in August? Did you forget already? I thought so. Michele Bachmann won it and was immediately anointed a serious contender for the presidency. That’s of the United States, mind you. By Thanksgiving, her candidacy had shrunk to Lilliputian proportions. Told you so. The Iowa caucuses are the oddest oddball of the political year. They have virtually no predictive value, but reporters and commentators act as though they do. Historically, they are as apt to choose a loser as a winner. Don't believe me? Here are some of the people who have won the caucuses that preceded presidential elections past: Democrats Tom Harkin and Dick Gephardt, and Republicans Mike Huckabee and Pat Robertson. None of them ever got within spitting distance of their party's nomination. Bob Dole won the Iowa caucuses once. It wasn't the year he secured the GOP nomination. In 1988, Democrat Mike Dukakis and Republican George H. W. Bush both finished third in their respective party caucuses and went on to win their nominations. In 1980, Ronald Reagan finished second in Iowa and first in the hearts of his countrymen. The first President Bush won Iowa the year he lost the nomination to Reagan. He lost it in 1988, the year he defeated Dukakis. In 1976, Democrats put up a strong array of strong candidates. The contenders for their party's nomination included Sen. Birch Bayh of Indiana, former Sen. Fred Harris of Oklahoma, Rep. Morris Udall of Arizona, Sen. Scoop Jackson of Washington state, and Sargent Shriver,

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

DeKalb County physician indicted for Medicaid fraud
Actually, it’s the patients and not the doctor who are defrauding all of us by accepting Medicaid - a program for the greed of those who choose to take from society and not give. Gimmee my benefits!
– Telkonequi posted this on 12/21/11 at 9:50 p.m.

FAMU student’s death ruled homicide as a result of hazing
This is not hazing. This is murder. Call it like it is.
Nancy Verhey posted this on 12/22/11 at 9:28 a.m.

Police departments tell residents how to stay safe for the holidays
1. Buy a gun. 2. Fence your yard. 3. Put bad dog in yard. 4. Good video camera.
-- The SnoopyDog posted this on 12/21/11 at 12:03 a.m.

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

Local News

Page 7A

DeKalb County physician indicted for Medicaid fraud
by Daniel Beauregard A DeKalb County physician has been indicted on charges that he and his former office manager fraudulently used Medicaid payments to fund abortions. Dr. Tyrone Malloy and CathyAnn Warner were indicted Malloy by a DeKalb County grand jury on Dec. 8 on two counts of Medicaid fraud. According to a press release from the Georgia Attorney General’s Office, Malloy owns and operates Old National Gynecology, a medical practice located in College Park, which performs abortions. The indictment alleges that beginning around Dec. 9, 2007 and continuing until approximately Aug. 9, 2010, both Malloy and Warner “knowingly and willfully” received approximately $131,615 they were not entitled to for billing services associated with performing elective abortions. Malloy and Warner were also charged in the indictment for billing Georgia Medicaid approximately $255,024 for detailed ultrasounds that were never performed. The Georgia Medicaid program is funded by the state of Georgia and by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, acting through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Since 1976, a federal law known as the Hyde Amendment has prohibited the use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions and services associated with them. Abortions are only covered by Medicaid in cases where the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest or circumstances where continuing the pregnancy will endanger the life of the mother. According to the Attorney General’s Office, Medicaid fraud is punishable by one to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Senior Assistant Attorney General Nancy Allstrom is prosecuting the case on behalf of the state of Georgia. Malloy could not be reached for comment and the Attorney General’s Office would not comment any further on an ongoing investigation. Reports state the reason the case is being tried in DeKalb County Court rather than Fulton County Court is because the Medicaid payments were allegedly sent to Malloy’s Atlanta Ob-Gyn office located off Rainbow Drive near Decatur.

Champion of the Week

David Gaynes
Avis Williams Library in Toco Hills,” Gaynes said. “The elderly seem to have a lot of issues with retirement, taxes and planning. I wanted to give some of that knowledge back to people who might not be able to afford it.” Soon, Gaynes found himself chairing the board at Life Enrichment Services, another non-profit organization in the area. There he realized many non-profit and volunteer organizations were competing for the same grants and offering the same services. So, he began speaking with Senior Connections CEO Debra Furtado and a year later, the organizations merged. Gaynes, who has been working for Senior Connections for three years, said volunteering is important for another reason: his children. “We’re trying to pass it on and teach them, part of your job as a good citizen is to donate time and serve your community,” Gaynes said. He said whether it’s repairing a home, helping with taxes or delivering meals, anything he can do to help people help themselves gives him a good feeling at the end of the day. “If you ever are having a bad day, all you have to do is deliver meals to snap out of it,” Gaynes said.

David Gaynes was born at DeKalb General Hospital, owns a financial business in the county and is a product of the DeKalb County School System. Now, he says, it his turn to give back. “Volunteering was just instilled in me from a lot of my family members. My mom and grandmother were very community oriented,” Gaynes said. Recently, Gaynes was named chairman of the Senior Connections board of directors. Senior Connections is a non-profit organization that provides services by professionals and volunteers such as Meals on Wheels, house cleaning, home repairs and financial assistance. Gaynes grew up giving a helping hand in his neighborhood doing chores and odd jobs. After graduating college he realized he could have a greater impact by volunteering his financial knowledge to those who needed it. “I started volunteering doing tax returns for the elderly over at the

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 30, 2011

Local News

Page 8A

2011 Year in Review
2011 Top DeKalb news stories Long steps down at New Birth
The settlement of a lawsuit filed by four men claiming sexual coercion by megachurch pastor Eddie Long in May was not the end of Long’s problems. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed by attorneys on either side. Five months later several members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia filed suit against Long, alleging he was responsible for the members losing nearly $1 million in a fraudulent investment scheme. According to the lawsuit, in October 2009 Long sponsored a series of investment seminars at the church titled “The Wealth Tour Live.” The suit alleges that Long used his position at the church to “coerce those in attendance” to trust Ephren Taylor, then CEO of the City Capitol Corp. Taylor, who was in his early 20s at the time, was presented by Long as a “self-made millionaire,” and an ordained minister. Then, on Dec. 4 Long announced he was taking time off to focus on his family after his wife Vanessa filed for divorce.

Death of 4-year-old prompts state resolution
The accidental shooting death of a 4-year-old boy led to a state resolution calling for an end to celebratory gunfire on holidays such as the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. Marquel Peters was killed by celebratory gunfire as he sat in church on New Year’s Eve 2009. Police said the gun that fired the bullet that killed the boy could have been fired from as far as a mile away. Peters’ family embarked on a crusade to alert the public to the dangers of celebratory gunfire. In March 2010, the Georgia House of Representatives voted 139-23 to pass HR 341, a measure that urges “increased public awareness of the dangers of celebratory gunfire.” By adopting the resolution the house “committed to studying and adopting tougher criminal sanctions for those who commit celebratory gunfire which results in injury or death to another person.”

Snow and ice shut down county
There were school cancellations, slippery driving conditions, road closures and empty government offices across DeKalb County the second full week in January, when a winter storm dumped four to five inches of snow on the Atlanta area. Much of north Georgia came to a standstill for nearly a week as frigid temperatures and cloud cover prevented inch-thick ice from melting off interstates and roads. Because of the inclement weather, DeKalb County schools used an unusual five snow days in a row. Between Sunday, Jan. 9, and Wednesday, Jan. 12, the DeKalb County 911 center received 13,967 calls. The police department responded to 165 vehicle accidents on Jan. 12 alone, but there were no fatalities or serious injuries.

DeKalb Schools hires Dr. Cheryl Atkinson as new superintendent
After a long search, the DeKalb County School System hired Cheryl Atkinson to run the nearly 100,000 student system as superintendent. Earlier in the search, leaks to the media by board members impeded the process and cause at least one candidate in the running to pull out of the race after contract negotiations were revealed. Atkinson, formerly the superintendent of Lorain City Schools in Ohio, replaced Ramona Tyson. Tyson was appointed interim superintendent after former Superintendent Crawford Lewis and former Chief Operations Officer Patricia Reid were indicted in 2010 for allegedly running a criminal enterprise within the school system.

See Year in Review on Page 9A

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

Local News

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Year in Review Continued From Page 8A

Dunwoody daycare suspect arrested, set to use insanity plea
Hemy Neuman, a supervisor at GE Electric Energy in Marietta, was arrested in January and charged with the murder of Russell Sneiderman, a 36-year-old entrepreneur who was shot several times outside Dunwoody Prep daycare, where he had just dropped off his son. Neuman, who was the supervisor of Andrea Sneiderman, the victim’s wife, at first pleaded not guilty but in September changed his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity. Investigators for DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said they believe that an extramarital affair between Neuman and the victim’s wife was a motive for the killing. In February, Neuman’s wife Ariela, filed for legal separation alleging an affair between her husband and the victim’s wife. The trial is scheduled to begin in February.

First lady brings fitness campaign to DeKalb
First lady Michelle Obama brought her campaign against childhood obesity to DeKalb County Feb. 9, when she visited the Burgess-Peterson Academy in a section of Atlanta that’s within the county. “We’re going to need you to be big and strong because we need you to grow up and do important things,” Obama told the excited elementary school pupils, reminding them to exercise regularly and eat lots of fruits and veggies. She is working to combat what many health experts are calling a national epidemic of obesity, particularly in children—one in three U.S. children is overweight or obese.

Commission approves Lithonia gasification plant
After a community debate that lasted several months, the Board of Commissioners approved the construction of a so-called gasification plant outside the city of Lithonia. The company’s planners said the proposed 10-megawatt facility would convert yard waste into renewable natural gas using a method called pyrolysis and would employee nearly 100 people. Citing environmental concerns, residents filed a lawsuit against DeKalb County to prevent the construction of the plant, which subsequently failed to get proper permitting from a state agency.

Firefighter helps make 9/11 memorial a reality
DeKalb County firefighter Doug Harms led an effort to build a Sept. 11 memorial in front of the police and fire rescue headquarters in Tucker. The memorial, built on a 2,200 square-foot roundabout, is in the shape of a cross that is part of the insignia of the New York Fire Department. The memorial was dedicated to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the center of the memorial is a 22,000-pound piece of granite in the shape of the pentagon. Flight markers on pedestals surround the pentagon and there are seven flags representing the United States, Georgia, DeKalb County, fire department, police department, POW/MIAs and 9/11.The granite is topped by a phoenix-winged sculpture and a piece of steel from the World Trade Center.

Man awaits trial for rape of church worker
An Atlanta man has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial in connection with the rape of a female church worker at St. Timothy United Methodist Church in Stone Mountain. John Russell Carter, 50, was indicted in April for the assault and charges in the 12-count indictment include rape, armed robbery, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, burglary and possession of a knife during commission of a felony. According to police, the 53-year-old female victim was working in a church office on a Saturday afternoon. When she answered an exterior office door, the suspect allegedly forced his way into the building and attacked the victim.

See Year in Review on Page 10A

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

Local News

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Year in Review Continued From Page 9A
Voters pass SPLOST to improve schools
DeKalb County voters passed a referendum to allow a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) to be implemented to pay for school construction projects. The tax, which is a 1 percent sales tax, is projected to bring approximately $450 million in revenue for the DeKalb County School System. The recent vote, which occurs every five years, was the fourth one implemented by DeKalb County and will help pay for school renovations, capital improvement projects and revamping technology in schools.

Henderson High grad pilots space shuttle
Eric Boe, a 1983 graduate of Henderson High School was the pilot on the final Space Shuttle Discovery mission in March. It was Boe’s second space shuttle trip. The 46-year-old has logged a total of 27 days in space on the two missions. Boe, 46, attended the United States Air Force Academy after graduating from Henderson. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1987 with a bachelor of science degree in astronautical engineering and earned a master of science degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1997. Boe now lives in Texas with his wife and two children. He was selected as a pilot by NASA in 2000 and was a member of the space shuttle Endeavor crew in 2008. Boe became interested in becoming an astronaut in elementary school and attended a 10-week science course at Fernbank Science Center. He has returned to DeKalb County many times to speak about space travel to students.

State implements I-85 hot lanes
In an effort to reduce traffic congestion, a 16-mile stretch of I-85 high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes were converted to tolled express lanes. Residents looking for a quicker ride to work would be tolled at a rate between 10 and 90 cents per mile, depending on congestion. However, soon after the new lanes were opened on Oct. 1, Gov. Nathan Deal reduced the maximum charge to travel the full 16 miles from $5.50 to $3.05 after the lanes had a bad rush-hour showing. The lanes are available to two classes of drivers: those with a Peach Pass (an electronic toll collection device also used on Georgia 400) who pay nothing, and those with a Peach Pass and two or fewer people who are willing to pay a toll (motorcyclists and alternative-fuel vehicles also travel free.)

Voters pass Sunday retail alcohol sales
On Nov. 8, voters in each city in DeKalb passed a referendum allowing the sale of alcohol by retail establishments on Sundays from 12:30 to 11:30 p.m. The controversial vote came after Gov. Nathan Deal signed SB 10 into law, allowing each local government within the state to decide whether to allow the sales. Each city in DeKalb voted yes and Avondale Estates was the first one in DeKalb to sell on Sunday, Nov. 20. DeKalb County has elected to hold the vote for Sunday sales in unincorporated areas of the county on March 6, 2012, during the presidential primary.

Alcohol incident leads to demotion of firefighters
Four DeKalb County Fire Rescue employees were demoted in February after a month-long investigation concerning alleged drinking on duty during the January snowstorm. Assistant Chief Joseph Tinsley was demoted to captain; Capt. Marcus Reed was demoted two ranks to firefighter level 2; and fire apparatus operator William Corbett and firefighter Joshua Crawford also were demoted, according to Fire Chief Eddie O’Brien. The incident happened on Jan. 11. Several firefighters met at Savage Pizza in Avondale Estates for dinner and consumed alcohol, then most of them went to Twain’s Billiard & Tap in Decatur where more food and alcohol was consumed, according to the report. Reed, Corbett and Crawford all brought alcohol back to the fire house.

DeKalb School System completes school closing/redistricting
Amid much controversy, interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson saw her redistricting plan for the DeKalb County School System come to a close this year. The vote to implement the plan was passed by the board of education on March 7. The redistricting plan closed eight schools and was projected to save approximately $12 million. The eight schools closed under the plan were Atherton, Glen Haven, Gresham Park, Medlock, Peachcrest and Sky Haven elementary schools, Avondale High School and Avondale Middle School. However, part of Avondale High has remained open to house the DeKalb School of the Arts. Recently, the board of education approved the International Community School, a K-6 grade charter school, to use the building as a new location.

See Year in Review on Page 11A

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

Local News

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Year in Review Continued From Page 10A
Cities choose their mayors
Voters in Avondale Estates and Lithonia chose their mayors in a Nov. 8 election, while leadership for Doraville and Dunwoody was decided in a Dec. 6 runoff. In Avondale Estates, voters re-elected incumbent Mayor Edward Rieker who was running against mayor pro tempore David Milliron. In Lithonia, where four candidates were running for mayor, former council member Deborah Jackson was selected as the new mayor after defeating incumbent Tonya Peterson Anderson. Donna Pittman had to run for mayor four times during 2011, but in the end was selected for the post. A special election following the February death of longtime mayor Ray Jenkins required a runoff, which Pittman won. But because Jenkins’ term was to expire at the end of the year, a November election, which also required a runoff, was held. The election to choose Dunwoody’s second mayor also required a runoff, which resulted in the triumph of businessman Mike Davis over attorney Bob Dallas.

Newspaper celebrates 20 years; recognizes Community Champions
Dr. Earl and Carolyn Glenn, publishers of The Champion Newspaper, decided to celebrate the newspaper’s 20th anniversary by honoring DeKalb County residents “who have dedicated their time, talents and in many cases financial resources, to making DeKalb County a better place for all.” Nominations of individuals and organizations were accepted from the community at large and narrowed by a committee to a list of 20 winners. Those selected were recognized at the Celebration of Community Champions Gala luncheon in September and received a commemorative trophy and a financial contribution to enable them to continue their community work in DeKalb. An exhibit at the DeKalb History Center gave residents the opportunity to read about the Community Champions and view mementos of their lives and work.

Foreclosure registry gets mixed reviews
Implemented in October 2010, DeKalb County’s foreclosure registry is designed to “protect residential neighborhoods from becoming blighted through the lack of adequate maintenance and security of abandoned properties as a result of the foreclosure crisis,” according to the ordinance passed. The foreclosure ordinance requires any beneficiary or trustee of a foreclosed property to register the property and pay an annual fee. It also requires trustees to maintain the property or pay a fine. A year later, some residents declared the program a success; others said it only created a “slush fund” and a few jobs. State and county officials are implementing measures to assure the program is working as intended, including legislation to limit registry fees and a county plan to account for the funds collected and document the delivery of services.

Former Superior Court clerk receives $75,000 settlement over job
The case over who legitimately holds the position of the county’s clerk of Superior Court was settled quietly in October at a cost of $75,000 plus $10,000 in attorney fees. DeKalb County reached a settlement with former Superior Court Clerk Linda Carter who sued the county and current clerk Debra DeBerry to get her job back. Carter, who is being treated for early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, claimed that she was tricked into resigning during a period of dementia. In March, Gov. Nathan Deal’s office received a letter of resignation which purported to be from Carter and named DeBerry, who was Carter’s chief deputy clerk, as Carter’s replacement. Carter was first elected to the Superior Court clerk position in 2000 and was re-elected in 2004 and 2008. She would have been up for re-election in 2012.



See Year in Review on Page 12A

Page 12A

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

Year in Review Continued From Page 13A

Herman Cain bows out of presidential race
“False accusations about me … they have sidetracked and distracted my ability to present solutions to the American people,” Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said to supporters in DeKalb as he ended his campaign on Dec. 3. Cain bowed out of the race after allegations of a 13-year extramarital affair by Dunwoody resident Ginger White. The Georgia businessman was a top candidate in the polls until accusations surfaced that he sexually harassed several women and groped one while he was a high-ranking official at the National Restaurant Association. Cain, accompanied by wife, Gloria, said, “My wife, my family and I know that those false and unproved allegations are not true.”

Transportation project list passes; DeKalb could get $1.1 billion
After taking seven months to come up with a list of $6.14 billion in transportation projects, the Atlanta Regional Roundtable on Oct. 13 approved a list that will go to voters 2012. Among the $1.1 billion in proposed DeKalb County projects are a $700 million Clifton Corridor Transit that would run from Lindbergh Center to Emory University and a $225 million I-20 corridor project. Many DeKalb residents, who pushed for full funding for an I-20 rail system that would extend MARTA from the Indian Creek station to Stonecrest Mall, were upset after getting only half the funding needed for the project and vowed to fight against the tax. The final transportation project list includes $225 million for the I-20 corridor. MARTA officials said that money would pay for five park-and-ride bus stations in south DeKalb that would eventually be converted to highcapacity transit stations.

Doraville hosts first DeKalb International Food and Music Festival
This year, the DeKalb International Food and Music Festival brought life back to the old GM plant in Doraville, which has sat vacant for nearly three years. The festival was held on Nov. 12 and featured food vendors and music representing many different countries. Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman, DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis and DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson attended the festival and encouraged residents to enjoy the ethnic foods such as Ethiopian, Jamaican, Korean and Caribbean.

County officials plan for $1 billion sewer improvements
As the county’s sewer system continued to be plagued by spills, most caused by grease blockages, county officials spent the year gearing up for a billion-dollar improvement project to fix the aging system. County officials worked on DeKalb’s finances, which resulted in positive grades from bond rating agencies. In December the county locked in a 4.46 percent interest rate for a $381 million water and sewer bond. The funds will finance the acquisition, construction and equipping of various improvements to the water-sewer system beginning in 2012. At the end of 2010, the Board of Commissioners approved $1.345 billion in improvements to DeKalb’s water and sewer system. Some of that money will address requirements of a proposed consent decree in which DeKalb County would agree to pay a $453,000 penalty from the federal Environmental Protection Agency for excessive sewage spills. The county also agreed to implement a $600,000 stream cleanup project, focusing on debris removal from some of the county’s waterways.

See Year in Review on Page 12A

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

Local News

Page 13A

Year in Review Continued From Page 12A
FAMU hazing results in death and ongoing scandal
On Dec. 16 officials ruled the recent death of Robert Champion a homicide as the result of hazing. Champion was a Decatur resident attending Florida A&M University (FAMU), who was a member of the college’s famous “Marching 100” band. On Nov. 19, Champion, who attended Southwest DeKalb High School, was found unresponsive on the band’s bus. Soon after his death, band FAMU Band Director Julian White was fired. In a press release, FAMU President James Ammons said White was dismissed for “alleged misconduct and incompetence involving confirmed reports and allegations of hazing.” Several weeks after Champion’s death, another member of the “Marching 100” came forward alleging a hazing incident caused her to suffer a cracked thigh bone. Bria Shante Hunter, said the incident occurred several weeks before the death of Champion. Both Hunter, who is suing FAMU, and Champion were members of a group within the band called the “Red Dawg Order,” made up strictly of members from Atlanta. Hunter said her injuries were from a hazing incident inducting her into the group. Investigations into both of the incidents are ongoing.

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

Community says farewell to radio personality Royal Marshall
The funeral service for radio personality Royal Marshall on Jan. 22, at Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur was filled with stories of professional accomplishment, dedicated volunteer work and close personal relationships, punctuated with funny stories and recollections. A longtime DeKalb County resident, Marshall was honored by talk show hosts Neal Boortz and Rahul Bali, both colleagues at WSB Radio, and by DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, who presented a proclamation on behalf of the citizens of DeKalb County. Like many others who spoke that day, Ray of Hope Pastor Cynthia Hale remembered Marshall for his devotion to his family, his church and his community. “If there is one word that describes Royal it’s ‘faithful,’” she said.

The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast THURSDAY
Sunny High: 55 Low: 37

Dec. 29, 2011
Today's Regional Map Weather History
Dec. 29, 1830 - A very heavy snowstorm ushered in the “winter of the deep snow”. The storm produced 30 inches of snow at Peoria, Ill. and 36 inches at Kansas City, Mo. The snow continued until the middle of February, causing great suffering among pioneers. Dec. 30, 1988 - Unseasonably cold weather prevailed in the southwestern United States. A week of subfreezing temperatures in Southern California claimed the lives of five people. Redding, Calif. was blanketed with four inches of snow. Dunwoody 53/36 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 54/37 54/37 54/37 Snellville Decatur 55/37 Atlanta 55/37 55/37 Lithonia College Park 56/37 56/37 Morrow 56/37 Union City 56/37 Hampton 57/38

In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see sunny skies with a high temperature of 55º, humidity of 57%. West wind 5 to 15 mph. The record high temperature for today is 72º set in 1984. Expect mostly clear skies tonight with an overnight low of 37º. The record low for tonight is 17º set in 1961.

Sunny High: 58 Low: 39

*Last Week’s Almanac
Hi Lo Normals Precip Date Tuesday 59 44 54/35 0.30" Wednesday 65 56 53/35 0.85" Thursday 67 55 53/35 1.04" Friday 56 43 53/35 0.00" Saturday 58 38 53/35 0.00" Sunday 49 41 53/35 0.47" Monday 53 34 53/34 0.02" Rainfall . . . . . . .2.68" Average temp . .51.3 Normal rainfall . .0.85" Average normal 44.0 Departure . . . . .+1.83" Departure . . . . .+7.3
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport

Sunny High: 61 Low: 44

Sunny High: 63 Low: 37

Sunny High: 52 Low: 31

Sunny High: 57 Low: 35 First 1/1

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:41 a.m. 7:41 a.m. 7:41 a.m. 7:42 a.m. 7:42 a.m. 7:42 a.m. 7:42 a.m. Sunset 5:38 p.m. 5:38 p.m. 5:39 p.m. 5:40 p.m. 5:40 p.m. 5:41 p.m. 5:42 p.m. Moonrise 10:49 a.m. 11:18 a.m. 11:47 a.m. 12:17 p.m. 12:49 p.m. 1:23 p.m. 2:02 p.m. Moonset 10:57 p.m. 11:52 p.m. Next Day 12:47 a.m. 1:42 a.m. 2:37 a.m. 3:32 a.m. Last 1/16

Tonight's Planets
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 6:07 a.m. 4:11 p.m. 9:53 a.m. 8:12 p.m. 11:10 p.m.11:53 a.m. 1:29 p.m. 2:34 a.m. 2:16 a.m. 1:33 p.m. 12:08 p.m.12:14 a.m.

Sunny High: 52 Low: 34 Full 1/9

New 1/23

Local UV Index

National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see partly cloudy to cloudy skies with scattered rain an snow today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 53º in East St. Louis, Ill. The Southeast will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 75º in Hollywood, Fla. The Northwest will see scattered rain today and Friday, partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain 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 82º in Chino, Calif.

Weather Trivia
How many years is the sun's solar cycle?
Answer: Eleven years.

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


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

StarWatch By Gary Becker - Cold Quadrantids Await
The one page article in Sky and Telescope magazine began with “Have you ever seen a single Quadrantid meteor? I smiled because I had seen a whole bunch of them back in the mid-1970s. My single Quadrantid observing experience involved taking a group of students to Pulpit Rock, my local astronomy club’s dark sky observing site west of Allentown, PA. The evening started cold and windy, but clear. Then it got partly cloudy; and then it snowed for a while. Afterwards it got even colder. One of my students forgot his gloves. He was the lucky one because he got banished to the car. Those were the days when observing meant staying out the entire night; that’s 15 hours in early January. You may have already guessed that my stalwart group and I did not last for more than a couple hours—four to be exact. But we did see Quadrantid meteors flash in between scudding low clouds and more during a few clear patches. Except for the big chill that comes along with winter star watching, this year is idea for Quadrantid viewing. The shower peaks between 2-3 a.m., EST, January 4th, and the moon sets by 3 a.m. The Quadrantid shower has a very short duration of maximum activity, so by 5 a.m. things should be pretty much over. Be outside by 1:30 a.m. Face NE and observe near the zenith, usually the darkest part of the sky. If shooting stars seem to be fanning away from a location below and to the left of the Big Dipper’s handle, you will be seeing Quadrantid meteors. Make sure head, hands, and feet are well insulated against the cold. Long johns are a must and so is a sleeping bag. Consider purchasing disposable charcoal hand and feet warmers from a local hardware store for added comfort from the cold. Remember, even if you see nothing, the best part of Quadrantid watching is the long, hot shower that awaits your reentry into the house at the end of the night.

Page 14A

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

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

News and events of the DEKALB CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

It is so hard to believe that we have come to the conclusion of another year. It seems as if yesterday, I could not wait for 2010 to end. Like so many, the recessionary environment of the past two and a half to three years took its toll both on the organization and its personnel. I recall vividly that during this time in 2010, people were simply drained and worn out mentally and emotionally. To paraphrase the late University of Georgia announcer Larry Munson the recession stomped on our face with a hob-nailed boot and broke our nose. While bloodied, we remained unbowed. Throughout its 73 year history, the DeKalb Chamber (Chamber) has been resolute and in this spirit, 2011 has been a year of breakthrough. With the coming of night so comes the dawning of a new day complete with a shining sun. As I reflect upon 2011, I am thankful that the sun does rise as the Chamber has accomplished many of its goals. We have revamped and enhanced existing programs; instituted a much anticipated 2012 Small Business Capacity Building Series; and partnered with a host of people organizations and institutions to begin addressing the many challenges that beset this county and region. Partnering aside, I am most thankful for the people we get to serve in this community each and every day. The Chamber is fortunate to interact with various public servants both elected and appointed as well as corporate citizens who understand the importance of civic engagement and community involvement. It is through this spirit of giving that the Chamber’s Board of Directors gives of their time, talents and treasures and for this, I am indebted. Just as important as the volunteer leadership, are our members at large. In this day

Thankful that the sun still rises

of shrinking budgets and doing more with less, I recognize that money and time are a premium, yet we have businesses – small and large as well as non-profits, who understand the value of the Chamber and continue to support us. Moreover, there is an unsung group of members known internally as our Ambassadors who aid us often serving with little fanfare, yet they are vital parts of our organization. Our Ambassadors serve unselfishly-filling in the gaps and doing whatever is asked and for them, I am most appreciative. Lastly, I am thankful for a staff that quietly goes about their business each and every day. As I mentioned earlier, the past few years have impacted the Chamber significantly. Budget challenges impacted certain purchases, equipment upgrades and professional development opportunities. However, the Chamber staff pressed on often finding creative ways to perform their duties in a more efficient manner. I was reminded in a book just recently that painters on a ladder often gain visibility from passers-by but without the person below holding the ladder steady, the painters ability to climb higher and paint are limited. The position of President often leads to acclaim and various opportunities but it is the work of “ladder holders” below that allows me to climb high and paint on. To my staff, thank you for holding my ladder. As the book of 2011 quickly comes to a close I am thankful to have been a story in one of its many chapters. There is a great excitement and anticipation for 2012 as the Chamber looks to build upon the successes of this year. There are still many challenges that lie ahead but with a dedicated board and staff, supportive members, selfless volunteers, and community partners, we will have an impactful 2012.

What are you most looking forward to in 2012?
Response from CEO Burrell Ellis: 1. More jobs for DeKalb citizens through our OneDeKalb Works initiative 2. Restored neighborhoods in DeKalb County through our OneDeKalb Lives initiative; and 3. A cleaner, greener DeKalb County through OneDeKalb Volunteers initiative which will launch in January.

Response from Betsy Mercier: I am most looking forward to continued community engagement in the economic recovery that is giving hope back to consumers and small business throughout Dekalb County!

Response from Betty E. Willis: “I am most looking forward to passing the transportation referendum so we can finally begin to address the daunting transportation challenges and needs in the Metro region!”

Save these important dates for January:
January 2 January 5 January 10 January 11 January 26 – DeKalb Chamber office closed – New Year’s Day Holiday – State of the County Address – Keynote speaker CEO Burrell Ellis – New Members Lunch Reception – Presented by Atlanta Journal Constitution – Preview & Kick-Off Reception Capacity Building Series – 74th DeKalb Chamber Annual Meeting

Brought to you in partnership with:

The Champion Free Press, Friday, December 30, 2011

Local News

Page 15A

FAMU student’s death ruled homicide as a result of hazing
by Daniel Beauregard The death of 26-year-old Florida A&M University student Robert Champion was the result of hemorrhaging incurred during a hazing incident, according to medical reports. Champion’s death was ruled a homicide by Orange County officials on Dec. 16. A graduate of Southwest DeKalb High School, Champion was a member of FAMU’s famous “Marching 100” band. According to reports, on Nov. 19 Champion was found unresponsive on the band’s bus. Several days afterward officials stated hazing as a possible cause of death. In the medical report, officials concluded “the death of Robert Champion, a 26-year-old male, is the result of hemorrhagic shock due to a soft tissue hemorrhage, incurred by blunt force trauma sustained during a hazing incident.” According to a statement released by the Orange County Sherriff’s Office, homicide investigators have interviewed the majority of individuals present during the incident that led to Champion’s death. “In the coming days and weeks investigators will be working to identify the charges that are applicable,” officials stated. No additional information will be available until charges are announced. Several days after Champion’s death, FAMU Band Director Julian White was fired. In a press release, FAMU President James Ammons said White was dismissed for “alleged misconduct and incompetence involving confirmed reports and allegations of hazing.” Recently, “Marching 100” band member, Bria Shante Hunter, another Southwest DeKalb High School graduate has come forward alleging band members beat her so badly she suffered a cracked thigh bone and had to be taken to the hospital. This incident allegedly occurred several weeks before the death of Champion. Both Hunter, who is suing FAMU, and Champion were members of a group within the band called the “Red Dawg Order,” made up strictly of members from Atlanta. Her injuries were from an alleged hazing incident inducting her into the group. According to reports, Sean Hobson, 23, Aaron Golson, 19 and James Harris, 22, were charged with assaulting Hunter. Hobson is a graduate of Southwest DeKalb High School and Harris attended Druid Hills High School.

New Year Continued From Page 1A
At 64, he is preparing for retirement in three years and plans to work earnestly in the mean time to prepare his students for college. Although Thompson has retirement in sight, he is “still going strong.” He stays young by coaching basketball and heeding the twin admonishments of a friend who lived to 104 years old: “Don’t let stress get to you and drink a glass of cabernet every day.” For some of our neighbors, 2011 has been a year of significant career advancements mingled with difficult personal challenges. Barbara Emmanuel, a psychotherapist with an addiction and recovery-focused practice in downtown Decatur, became president of the Georgia Society for Clinical Social Work this year. In 2011, she also learned that a close family member has an aggressive form of cancer. “This experience has taught me how important it is to live each day by appreciating our loved ones,” Emmanuel said. “I resolve in 2012 to cherish those I love and to appreciate life.” Professionally, she plans next year to learn and ultimately teach a method of stress and anxiety reduction called Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction. This method, she explained, involves meditation (sitting or moving) with light yoga. For Debra Kelley, owner of Decatur Yoga & Pilates, 2011 had its trials. Surgery sidelined the yoga instructor. Consequently, she has not been able to practice fully the exercises and postures of the discipline. And the death of her beloved pet boxer created not only personal grief but also a void in her life. But Kelley is resilient. She adopts the practical Buddhist view of accepting life as it is— not how one thinks life should be—while moving forward. Accordingly, she now works with Atlanta Boxer Rescue, a nonprofit organization that rescues, rehabilitates and finds homes for unwanted or abandoned boxers in the metro area. Kelley temporarily provides foster care for two boxers that have brought joy to her life. Although she is moving toward a full yoga practice again, her recent surgical recoveries have led her to offer therapeutic yoga classes and private therapeutic sessions as a bridge for those who are on a healing journey. “I am so grateful that I’ve created this business,” she said. “It is a labor of love.” Still, Kelley expressed the

Julius Thompson spoke about Ghost of Atlanta at his 2011 book launch at Eagle Eye Bookstore in Decatur. Photo provided

Debra Kelley shares a happy moment with her beloved pet boxer that died this year. Photo provided

need for balance between her professional and personal life. “In 2012, my goal is to move forward by slowing down,” she said. “I need to carve out more time for myself, and I am taking the responsibility to do that.” In a quintessentially Eastern way of approaching this type of challenge, Kelley explained that moving forward and slowing down are not contradictory. Rather, these opposites balance each other to create harmony. With classes at her studio becoming more popular, Kelley has plans in 2012 to expand into a space across the hall at the current downtown Decatur location. She stated: “I want the business to grow in an organic way by addressing needs as they arise.” For many DeKalb families, financial hardships in 2011 created numerous difficulties. Yet this year offered reasons to cheer, said DeKalb State Rep.

Stephanie Benfield. The Democrat stated that, though her party was in the minority during the legislative session, they heard the outcry from families and teachers when the GOP pushed a plan to make cuts to the state’s pre-kindergarten program. She said her colleagues successfully pressured the governor to salvage full day pre-K. The lawmaker, a mother of two, said in 2012 she plans on spending more time with her family. A longtime proponent of pre-K, Benfield added that she will focus on a handful of issues next year: promoting full pre-K funding, improving the quality of school lunches and expanding recycling in DeKalb schools. Shortly, 2011 will appear in the rearview mirror. For DeKalb residents it was a year of highs and lows. But many are driving into the new year with confidence.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

Officials promise sweeping changes in DeKalb Schools
by Daniel Beauregard DeKalb County School officials said that Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson has promised significant personnel changes at every level of the school system at the beginning of 2012. Atkinson is nearly finished with her 90-day entry plan and school spokesman Walter Woods said the personnel changes, which would occur throughout January, would bring the plan to a close. “We are expecting significant changes throughout the district at all levels, particularly the higher central office levels,” Woods said. Woods said the reason for the personnel changes is to ensure the system has the right staff in place to carry out the mission both the superintendent and the board are committed to, which is to improve student success throughout all areas of the school system. “We have pockets of excellence; we need a system-wide school system of excellence and to do that we need the right people in place,” Woods said. Recently, the system began a complete personnel audit, which is slated to be finished Jan. 13. Woods said some of the personnel changes would come as a result of the audit. He said the changes include principals. “I think that we have to make sure that there’s a leader in every building,”

he said. “This has come up with every parent forum we’ve had and this has come up with every employee forum we’ve had over the

past couple of weeks and the superintendent can tell you there’s going to be major changes.” Woods would not be

specific about any changes in particular but said they would be drastic.

DeKalb’s CEO vetoes form of government study
by Andrew Cauthen In a rare use of his veto power, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis tried to suppress the discussion on changing the county’s form of government. Ellis is opposed to a resolution passed by the Board of Commissioners on Dec. 13 that would ask DeKalb’s state legislative delegation Ellis to create a commission to study the county’s form of government. Currently, the county is run by the seven-member Board of Commissioners, which is the legislative branch, and an elected CEO who runs the day-to-day operations of the government. “A change in the form of government would, at this time, bring instability and create a distraction from addressing the ongoing financial issues that the county faces,” Ellis said in his veto memo to the commissioners. To study the form of government would “send the wrong signal to financial rating agencies that could jeopardize the recent restoration of the county’s credit ratings,” Ellis said in the statement. Two agencies have upgraded the county’s credit ratings on outstanding debt after the ratings were downgraded earlier in 2011. “The rating agencies expect stability in management and that all branches of government will work in concert to address structural financial issues,” Ellis said. Commissioner May Lee May, in a statement after the veto, said Ellis’ reasoning for vetoing the resolution is flawed. “The rating agencies do not care what form of government we have as long as it is professionally run,” May said. “These are the same agencies that earlier this year stated that CEO Ellis’ administration has a ‘budgeting methodology that, in (the rating agency’s view), incorporates revenue assumptions that are unrealistic.’ “It was [Ellis’] failure to manage the county that caused the uncertainty,” May said. “They even criticized him for not having a financial plan. It was astonishing to me after three years in office, CEO Ellis did not have a sound financial plan to run this county.” Ellis also cited the Georgia General Assembly’s 2008 adoption of a bill that gave the Board of Commissioners the authority to chair its own meetings. This change gave the board “additional powers and responsibilities to bolster the checks and balance,” Ellis said. “Three years is not enough time to fully determine the effectiveness” of the Boyer bill, Ellis said. Commissioner Elaine Boyer, in the statement, said the law “was a great change, but it didn’t go far enough. There still seems to be a daily intertwining of the political and professional management of this county.” “To not allow the citizens of DeKalb to study the form of government is beyond belief,” Boyer said. “The fact that [Ellis] does not want to have an objective study is the hardest thing to swallow. Only people trying to protect their own power would be against having public discussions on the topic.” Kathie Gannon, the sole commissioner who opposed the resolution, said the move to study the form of government is “simply an issue of power.” “I think it has ‘personal agenda’ written all over it,” Gannon said. “Some commissioners didn’t complain when they had power on their side” with a different county administration. Gannon said it would be “very political” to put the Board of Commissioners, which she said does not use the power it already has, Gannon in charge of making day-to-day decisions for the county. “If people don’t like the way the CEO is managing, they can vote one person out,” Gannon said. Change would be more difficult with seven commissioners in charge. The Board of Commissioners is expected to address Ellis’ veto, which could be overridden with five votes, at its Committee of the Whole meeting on Jan. 3. “One thing I was incredibly proud of was that this resolution passed 6-1,” May said. “It was not a partisan resolution. For CEO Ellis to veto a resolution that had that much support shows that he is out of touch with the citizens of this county.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

Page 17A

Dogs’ attack could land owner in jail
by Andrew Cauthen A Lithonia woman will face a jury beginning Jan. 3 on charges that her two dogs attacked and severely injured an 8-year-old girl in March 2010. Twyann Vaughn, the owner of the dogs, is facing two counts each of reckless conduct, violation of the vicious dog act and violation of the rabies ordinance. If convicted, Vaughn could spend up to five years in prison. Erin Ingram, a Rock Chapel Elementary School student, was allegedly attacked while playing in her neighborhood on March 9, 2010. The animals were usually kept in Vaughn’s garage. According to a police report, several witnesses unsuccessfully tried to tear the dogs away from the girl before a DeKalb County police officer arrived and pulled the dogs off the girl. The officer shot one of the dogs in the head when it jumped toward the officer. The other dog, which ran away, was later located and euthanized. Ingram lost part of an arm in the attack and she suffered severe injuries to her other arm, including scarring and muscle atrophy that has caused some deformation, according to Sherry Boston, the county’s solicitor general who will be prosecuting the case. “This was one of the more severe victim cases [with a] child victim that sustained life-changing injuries,” Boston said. Ingram also suffered bites and scarring on her face and legs. Undergoing several surgeries, she has had multiple skin grafts from her leg to her arm. “The doctors were lucky to save the one arm,” Boston said. “Her injuries were extensive. Erin is lucky to be alive.” Boston said that if it weren’t for the neighbors and the police officer assisting Ingram, “it’s extremely likely that she would have lost her life.” “This is one of the more egregious dog bite cases our office has prosecuted,” Boston said about the case, which is only the second case prosecuted by Boston’s office under the Vicious Dog Act. “We expect the evidence to show that [Vaughn] had knowledge of prior aggression toward others on the part of the dogs,” Boston said. “We absolutely believe that the tragedy was avoidable.” Boston said she believes that owners of aggressive dogs have a responsibility to control their animals to protect the public, and said her office will prosecute those who do not control their animals. “We hope to bring closure to the nightmare that this family has gone through,” Boston said. “Erin will wear those scars forever.” Jury selection will begin on Jan. 3 and the victim is expected to testify in the trial with Judge Dax Lopez presiding.

The Saade family of Decatur is happy to have Chipper, their 6-year-old shih tzu, home for the holidays after a neighbor was convicted of stealing the dog. Photo provided

Decatur man found guilty of stealing neighbor’s shih tzu
After a jury trial over a stolen dog, a family’s pet is home in time for the holidays. DeKalb County Solicitor General Sherry Boston announced that a guilty verdict was returned Dec. 19 in a theft case against James Jeffrey Berryhill, who had been charged with theft of lost property, for refusing to return a shih tzu named Chipper to his rightful owners. Chipper, who belongs to the Saade family of Decatur, dissappeared in December 2010, and was later discovered to be living in Berryhill’s home across the street from the Saade family. Berryhill, who renamed the dog Ralph, claimed that he had bought the dog from his housekeeper for $400 in June 2010. Despite the family’s pleas, Berryhill refused to return Chipper. In January 2011, when he took the dog to be microchipped, groomed and vacinated, Berryhill could not provide any paperwork that linked him to the dog prior to Jan. 29. Judge Janis Gordon sentenced Berryhill to 12 months of probation, a $700 fine, reimbursement to the solicitor general’s Notice of Availability DeKalb County 2012 Executive Budget Recommendation The Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County presented the 2012 Executive Budget Recommendation to the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners on December 15, 2011 for their consideration. A copy of the entire Executive Budget Recommendation is available for public inspection in the office of the Director of Finance, 6th Floor, Maloof Center during normal business hours. The Executive Budget Recommendation is also available electronically at and at DeKalb County Library locations. The DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer and Board of Commissioners will hold Public Hearings on the 2012 Executive Budget Recommendation at times and places to be announced later. office of $295 for the cost of boarding the dog, no contact with the Saade family or Chipper, and submission of a surrender letter so Berryhill can make no claim of ownership of Chipper. “We thank the jury for their service and returning the pet to its family,” Boston said in a statement. “This reunion is a special holiday blessing for this family and their children.” The case was tried by Assistant Solicitor Jocelyn Whitfield with assistance from Assistant Solicitor Timothy Owens and investigator Christopher Emerson.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011


Page 18A

Oglethorpe University receives landmark grant for new construction
by Daniel Beauregard Oglethorpe University recently received a $5 million grant, the largest in its history, to replace a student center currently housed in a building more than 50 years old. The university is in the planning stages of a comprehensive campaign and the grant from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation will help complete one of several capital projects outlined in the effort. According to Oglethorpe University President Lawrence Schall, more than $30 million has been raised during the past nine months to go toward revamping the school both cosmetically and academically. “The board of trustees in the spring of 2010 adopted a series of strategic initiatives and one of them was the new campus center,” Schall said. “We also want to connect the experience we have with our students in the real world by building internships, study abroad and civic engagement.” Additionally, Schall said some of the $30 million will be offered to students through scholarships. Over the past five years, Schall said, Oglethorpe’s full-time enrollment has grown more than 20 percent and tuition revenue has increased more than 30 percent. He attributed this to the location and the learning environment. “I think with the twin aims of providing students an education where they learn how to think and being in Atlanta gives us an opportunity to connect our students with the real world that other schools find hard to do because of where they are,” Schall said. Schall said there was a wave of students recently graduating college with business and communications degrees who were focused on the “idea” of being trained for a job. Schall said that students need to be flexible because of the job market and economy. Oglethorpe’s enrollment is 1,100 and Schall said it hopes to grow to 1,500 over the next eight years—they receive more than 5,000 applications a year. “Our strategic plan has us growing at about 5 percent a year and we’ve generally exceeded that,” Schall said.

Oglethorpe receives grant from Office of Highway Safety
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has awarded a $5,000 grant to Oglethorpe University to continue its participation in the Georgia Young Adult Program, a statewide initiative to combat alcohol abuse. This is the fourth year in a row the university has been awarded the grant. The Georgia Young Adult Program focuses on peer education in order to promote and bring awareness to highway safety issues including alcohol education, alcohol abuse prevention, impaired driving, underage drinking, safety belts, speeding, risk reductions and other destructive decisions. Oglethorpe University will use this Peer Education grant to continue to educate its students about the detriments of drinking and driving and other alcohol misuse. gas emissions in the future by 85 percent per square foot by 2050. The plan proposes a comprehensive approach to reach these goals and recommends emission reduction strategies in a number of categories. These areas include sustainable building and construction, energy, transportation, waste management, food, procurement, academic programs and individual action. At the mid-point of Emory’s 10-year strategic plan, the university is on track to achieve many goals outlined in its sustainability initiative. The university has made steady progress in the area of energy reduction. Over the last five years, total energy use is down more than 15 percent per square foot.

Immaculate Heart of Mary holds open house in January
Immaculate Heart of Mary School (IHM) Catholic School will hold an open house on Sunday, January 22, from 3 to 5 p.m. for all prospective K-8 students and their parents. A special presentation at 3:15 p.m. will provide an overview of IHM from both the administrative and student perspective. Students and parents will be able to meet teachers and administrators and tour the campus.

Emory announces climate action plan, carbon reduction goals
Emory University has adopted a “Climate Action Plan” that chronicles the university’s sustainability efforts to date, and sets forth a series of goals and recommendations for reducing greenhouse

Special Revenue Capital Projects
Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission $ 168,250 $ 168,250 $ $ Total Nonmajor Governmental Funds 2,861,660 956,250 655,026 4,472,936 2,592,212 137,828 506,170 6,740 2,000 14,062 1,158,080 32,943 4,450,035 22,901 (13,442) 9,459 269,433 278,892

REVENUES Federal sources State sources Local sources Total revenues EXPENDITURES Instruction Support services: Pupil services Improvement of instructional services Educational Media Services General administration Student transportation services Food services operation Community services operation Total expenditures Excess (deficiency) of revenues over (under) expenditures OTHER FINANCING USES Transfers out Net change in fund balance FUND BALANCE, beginning of year FUND BALANCE (DEFICIT), end of year

School Food Services $ 517,232 32,476 655,026 1,204,734 1,158,080 1,158,080 46,654 (13,442) 33,212 (8,089) $ 25,123 $ $

Lottery Programs 31,997 923,774 955,771 862,410 68,950 6,740 5,672 21,122 964,894 (9,123) (9,123) (9,123) $ $

Federal Programs 2,312,431 2,312,431 1,729,802 68,878 506,170 2,000 8,390 11,821 2,327,061 (14,630) (14,630) 109,272 94,642

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011


Page 19A

Customers can find such treats as cookies and petit fours ready for purchase at the store or they can special order cakes.

Saba Rewald says the bakery’s cookies are popular with customers. Photos by Kathy Mitchell

The walls at Kalonji Bakery are decorated with paintings by local artists that customers can buy on the spot.

Bruno Kalonji takes out his favorite of his mother’s culinary creations, strawberry cake.

European-style pastries come to Stone Mountain Village
by Kathy Mitchell As downtown Stone Mountain continues to revitalize as an arts community, those who come to visit the galleries and other attractions have a new place to grab a bite to eat. Kalonji Bakery, which opened recently around the corner from ART Station, is more than a baked goods shop. It’s a café that also offers salads, sandwiches, ice cream and other food and drink that can be consumed on the premises. “Actually, we want a homey feel like at our other bakery on Lawrenceville Highway,” said Bruno Kalonji, son of owner Angelica Kalonji, who like the rest of the family has been involved in opening the new business. He chose the colors and many design features of the restaurant. In addition to such touches as live plants, Kalonji Bakery is decorated with paintings from Stone Mountain galleries that customers can purchase along with their cake and specialty breads. Officials from the city of Stone Mountain visited the Lawrenceville Highway store and liked what they saw. They provided the owners with incentives to move to Stone Mountain. Like many other businesses in Stone Mountain Village, Kalonji Bakery is housed in what had once been a shuttered retail store. The new store is still a work in progress and the baking for now is all done at the original Kalonji Bakery. “We may put in televisions and start offering breakfast,” said Bruno, who with his father, did a good deal of work to get the Stone Mountain store ready to open. “I cannot express how thrilled we are to be a part of the Stone Mountain community,” said Jessica Kalonji, who helps her mother with the cooking and other aspects of the business. “Not only is our business growing but we are grateful to be a part of a very positive movement that will hopefully restore and revitalize Stone Mountain Village.” The Kalonjis want customers to see their eatery as an alternative to fast food chains. “People compare our sandwiches to the ones in chain sandwich shops and say, ‘Wow, this really is better,’” said Bruno, who added that everything in the café is made fresh from high-quality ingredients. While business is not yet as brisk as the family would like, Bruno said he is confident that once people taste the food the café will attract a loyal customer base. “This is the kind of food we grew up eating— made from scratch without preservatives and artificial ingredients,” said Bruno, who is a soccer coach at Georgia Perimeter College. The specialties are the cakes and pastries, which the family say are made in the European tradition. Angelica is from Romania and learned to bake there before marrying Jean-Joseph Kalonji, a native of the Congo. The family lived in Africa until for political reasons they moved in the late 1990s to the United States. Saba Rewald, a longtime family friend who works in the store, said that some customers at first see their cake prices as a bit high. “People who really like good cake can see that it’s worth it,” she said. Rewald said the chocolate delight cake is very popular, but Bruno said the strawberry cake is his favorite. The bakery also makes wedding and other special occasion cakes and its cakes are featured in other Atlanta area restaurants.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

Atlanta Falcons’ Jonathan Babineaux traded in his number 95 jersey for a bright red Santa Claus hat to hand out presents to refugee families in Clarkston on Dec. 21. Babineaux visited three refugee families from Bhutan and Burma to deliver bicycles, microwave ovens, pajamas and boots, among other things. He also spent time autographing “Babineaux’s Unit” Falcons T-shirts, a gift for all those present. Photos by Daniel Beauregard

Christmas helpers

Volunteers prepare to distribute turkey dinners to 500 unemployed and low-income DeKalb County families. The DeKalb County Workforce Development Department, the county’s Office of Neighborhood Empowerment and Goodwill of North Georgia also partnered with several private companies to donate the dinners.

The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011


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The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011


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by Robert Naddra Robert@

2011 sports year in review


ndividual and team state championships in seven sports highlight the accomplishments of DeKalb student-athletes in 2011. Here is a look at some of the top sports stories of the year in the county.

beat Rockdale County 67-59 with junior Tony Parker leading the way. Brandon Morris scored all 11 of his points in the second half for the Wolverines. Miller Grove finished with its best record in school history at 32-1. Columbia ended with a 30-3 record and defeated Butler 56-37 for the Class AAA title. Tahj Shamsid-Deen led the Eagles with 22 points against Butler and Jhaustin Thomas had 10 rebounds.

McCrary reaches 500 wins
Long-time Columbia boys basketball coach Phil McCrary reached the 500-win milestone when the Eagles defeated Jamesville-Dewitt (N.Y.) 55-40 in the University of West Virginia Prime Time Shootout on Jan. 22. The Eagles have won state titles under McCrary’s direction in four of the past six seasons. McCrary has guided the Eagles to 12 state tournament appearances since taking over the program in 1988, including seven in a row. His teams have averaged more than 20 wins per season and from 2006-10 McCrary and the Eagles compiled a 150-14 record.

Eight basketball players reach 1,000 points
Eight DeKalb County public school seniors finished their careers last season with more than 1,000 points. Three juniors also reached the career milestone in 2011. Seniors Algie Key of Columbia and Jonathan Tinch of Stephenson reached 1,000 points, as did girls players Chamblee’s Jasmine Camp, Redan’s Aneesah Daniels and Kierra Paige, McNair’s Katrice Harris, M.L. King’s Keyonna Benton and Columbia’s Destinee Smith. Juniors Tony Parker of Miller Grove, and William Goodwin and Jordan Price of Southwest DeKalb, also reached the milestone last year.

County dominates state track meet
Three boys and eight girls won individual titles while M.L. King (AAAAA), Southwest DeKalb (AAAA) and Decatur (AA) each won girls team championships at state track meets last spring. It was M.L. King’s first team state title in any sport. For the boys, Tamaric Johnson of Stone Mountain won the 200 and 400 meter races, and Nikita Kirillov of St. Pius won the pole vault in Class AAA. James Dwyer of Dunwoody won the 800 in the Class AAAA meet. Also, Cedar Grove won the 4x100 and 4x400 relays in Class AAA. Two girls won multiple titles. M.L. King’s Jada Martin won both the 100 and 200 in Class AAAAA and Shunika Jarrells of Avondale won the 100 and 200 in Class AA. Other individual state champs were Morgan Snow, Southwest DeKalb (triple jump); Jalisa Terrells, M.L. King (high jump); Shelby Ashe (discus) and Erin Osment (3,200) St. Pius; Christian Pryor, Cedar Grove (800); and Ashley Reed, Decatur (triple jump).

More than 100 players sign football grants
Columbia had a record-setting 15 football players sign scholarships during the early signing period in February. Stephenson, which set a record with 29 signees in 2010, had 20 players sign scholarships this year. Some of the top signees were Columbia’s Demarcus Sherrod (Oklahoma State); Tucker’s James Vaughters (Stanford), Chris Sanders (Georgia) and Justin Garrett (Auburn); Cedar Grove’s Vincent Dallas (Tennessee); M.L. King’s Demarco Robinson (Kentucky); Southwest DeKalb’s Terrance Smith (Florida State); and Kadetrix Marcus (South Carolina), Jared Boyd (Duke) and Willie Davis (South Florida) of Stephenson.

Marist girls win fifth straight state swimming title
The Marist girls won their fifth straight high school state swimming championship and three swimmers won individual state titles in February. Marist beat Westminster in the team standings and St. Pius was third. The War Eagles won the title without winning a single event. Haley Durmer of St. Pius won the 200 individual medley. In the boys meet, Lakeside’s Jack Lane set a state record in winning the 100 butterfly with a time of 48.72 seconds and he won the 200 freestyle. Also, Gunnar Bentz of St. Pius won the 100 breaststroke.

St. Pius earns boys and girls soccer titles
St. Pius in May won both the boys and girls Class AAA soccer titles for the second time in the past three seasons. Playing a double-header at home, the girls beat Woodward Academy 4-0 then the boys beat Woodward Academy 5-4. Tiffany Rodriguez, Diana Solaga, Kelsey Keown and Kaitlyn Orman each scored a goal as the girls won their third straight state championship. It was their eighth shutout of the season and the 15th straight shutout in the playoffs over the past three years. The boys rallied from a 2-0 deficit to avenge a 2010 loss to Woodward in the state semifinals. Tyler Alexander scored two goals while Alex Kowalski, Sam Bonnie and Drew Morgan each scored one for the Golden Lions.

Two teams win state basketball titles
Columbia won its fourth Class AAA state title in the past six seasons and Miller Grove was crowned Class AAAA state champions for the third consecutive season. Columbia beat Butler 56-37. Miller Grove

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Five players chosen in pro basketball drafts
Chris Singleton (Dunwoody), Marshon Brooks (Tucker), Andrew Goudelock (Stone Mountain) and Travis Leslie (Columbia) were chosen in the 2011 NBA draft. In the first round Singleton, who played at Florida State, was taken by the Washington Wizards and Brooks (Providence College) was drafted by the Boston Celtics and traded to the New Jersey Nets. In the second round, Goudelock (College of Charleston) went to the Los Angeles Lakers and Leslie (Georgia) was picked by the Los Angeles Clippers. Also, former Redan and Georgia star Porsha Phillips became the first DeKalb female player to be chosen in the WNBA draft.

St. Pius wins second straight cross country title
The St. Pius boys won their second straight Class AAA state cross country championship with five runners placing among the top 27. Two runners placed in the top 10—Austin Sprague placed third overall with a time of 16:05.09 for the Golden Lions while Calvin Tirrell was seventh in 16:34.23.

Marist wins 12th state baseball championship
Marist swept Whitewater 11-5 and 8-1 to win its second straight Class AAAA state baseball championship and 12th in school history. In the second game, pitcher Brandon Liebrandt struck out 10 and allowed six hits in six innings. Liebrandt finished the season 12-0. Offensively, Kevin Gale went 4-for-6 in the series with two home runs and five RBIs. He was 3-for-3 in Game 2 with a three-run homer in the fifth inning that put the game out of reach. Georges Durot also hit a home run and a grand slam in Game 2 that put the War Eagles ahead 5-0 in the second inning. Marist finished the season 34-3, marking the third straight season with at least 29 wins.

Athletic scholarships surpasse $14 million
Nearly 200 DeKalb County public school students received more than $14 million in athletic scholarships for the 2010-11 school year. Football led with 117 athletes receiving scholarships totaling more than $9.3 million. Football accounted for 64.7 percent of the scholarship amounts awarded for 2011. Basketball, which had 26 signees reported at a total of $2.37 million, was the next largest percentage. Stephenson had 22 football signees with scholarship totals reaching $2.54 million. Stephenson’s total for athletic scholarships was $2.94 million. Martin Luther King Jr. was second on the list with $1.55 million in signed scholarships, followed by Chamblee ($1.07 million) and Miller Grove ($1.02 million).

Tucker wins Class AAAA state football title
Tucker beat Lovejoy 22-7 on Dec. 9 in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to win the Class AAAA state football title. The Tigers, who finished 15-0 for the first time in school history, also won state in 2008. Jordan Landry led the offense with 199 yards rushing and a touchdown. Yusuf Minor and Dallas Rivers also ran for touchdowns. The 22 points scored on the Wildcats were the most in a single game all season. Tucker gained 258 yards on the ground and held Lovejoy to 197 yards in total offense.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday December 30, 2011

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