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WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 2012 • VOL. 14, NO. 44 • FREE

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PATH trails to be extended this year
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com

HYIS SHE HAPPY ?

n 1993, the first mile of the PATH trail network was constructed in DeKalb County and now, 20 years later, there are 160 miles in the system. The PATH Foundation this year has more trail projects planned for DeKalb County, which has “more trails than any other county in the state,” according to Ed McBrayer, executive director and co-founder of PATH. PATH launched a campaign in November 2011 to raise $11.4 million from private sources to build another 34 miles of trails in the state. The threeyear campaign focuses on extending existing trails, including constructing a tunnel under Bouldercrest Road to Intrenchment Creek that will connect to a model plane airport on Constitution Road. The cost of this project is approximately $500,000 for the tunnel and another $500,000 for the trail. Another project would connect the trail at Clifton Church Road to Georgia Perimeter College (Decatur campus) at a cost of $1.2 million. Workers are expected to construct a bridge over I-285 for the heavily used Stone Mountain PATH trail at a cost of $1 million. PATH, which has a 20-year vision to make Atlanta the most trail-connected city, is also planning a trail along Georgia 400 from the Atlanta BeltLine near Piedmont Road and Peachtree Creek to just south of the Georgia 400 toll booth. Other construction includes trails through downtown into Centennial Park, and extensions to the Arabia Mountain/ South River trails through Panola Mountain State Park to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers. PATH also plans to begin new trails in Conyers, Panola Mountain State Park and on St. Simons Island. Each project is funded differently but overall the PATH construction represents a “true private-public partnership,” McBrayer said. McBrayer said the PATH Foundation has always had a good relationship with the county. “DeKalb has always been supporter in putting money in their budget,” McBrayer said. “DeKalb has always had willing elected officials.” The network, which has trails in nine counties, “goes a long way toward setting DeKalb County up for economic development,” McBrayer said. When PATH organizers first conceived the network, “we started off trying to connect the trails to create a commuter system,” McBrayer said. Now, the trails have become “an amenity that people want to live around.” The trails are “a venue for a stress-free workout session,” said McBrayer, who moved to Atlanta from Denver where as a cyclist he was accustomed to bike lanes. “I was used to having my own space,” McBrayer said. Cycling on streets with cars is “a whole different level.” Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. Because McBrayer said PATH, which maintains all of she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. Because its trails, does not know how many people use the she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. And you can too! Follow us. trails each year. The PATH Foundation, which built 160 miles of pedestrian, bicycle and skate trails in the state, is planning to “We’re too busy building trails to count people,” www.facebook.com/championnewspaper extend existing trail in DeKalb in 2012. File photo. McBrayer said. ews updates online from the The Champion. www.twitter.com/championnews

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

DA: Senior exploitation rises with aging population increase
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com An 81-year-old DeKalb County woman was defrauded of approximately $25,000 beginning in February 2010 and her ex-sonin-law faced a judge for the crime on Jan. 19. Chester Wright, 57, of Tucker, is charged with identity fraud and exploitation of an elder person for allegedly defrauding Margaret Flowers, according to.... Wright “moved in with [Flowers] at a time when she needed some assistance in overseeing her retirement and helping here manage her financial day-to-day activities,” said Angel Riley, a DeKalb County assistant district attorney during a hearing in the case. Chester allegedly created an on-line business called the Narrow Gate Recovery Center and used Flowers’ Bank of America credit card and checking account to make transactions via PayPal to Narrow Gate, Riley alleged. Chester is accused of making 59 transfers between February 2010 and February 2011 to Narrow Gate which, according to its website, “provides faithbased spiritual healing and discipleship for the chemically addicted and others struggling with life issues.” When Flowers realized that the funds in her account were not increasing, she contacted the DeKalb County Police Department, Riley said. “That’s a big hit to anyone, but if you’re 81 years old and you’re retired… something like that could cast you into poverty,” said DeKalb’s District Attorney Robert James. “Unfortunately, we see this all too often,” James said. “It’s often times someone that they trust, that they know. It’s a family member, it’s a caregiver, it’s a trusted neighbor. We see stranger on stranger, but we see a lot of abuse by a caregiver.” James said seniors are targets for financial exploi-

‘ If you’re on a fixed income and all you have is a Social Security check and savings or investment fund, if somebody messes with … your nest egg, you’ve all of a sudden been cast into poverty.’

steals tens of thousands of dollars from a senior citizen, we rarely get that tens of thousands of dollars back.” In Wright’s case, his attorney, William Hankins, said his client is unemployed and is in a masters’ program for Christian counseling. “He’s trying to turn himself around,” Hankins told the judge as he asked for probation for his client. Wright turned down an offer by Judge Clarence Seeliger of two years in jail with an eightyear probation. – DeKalb District Attorney Robert James Wright changed his plea to not guilty and will to our seniors’ hard-earned if somebody messes with seek a jury trial. and long-saved dollars,” your nest egg, you’ve all James said society needs James said. “It is an unfor- of a sudden been cast into to better educate seniors tunate reality in the society poverty.” to protect themselves. Sewe live in.” Law enforcement is niors who are able should Elder exploitation will only part of the solution, continue to check their ficontinue to rise as the seJames said. nances, he said. nior population increases, “When we prosecute “Don’t just blindly trust James said. them, yes, we get jail time, someone because they are “Not only do we have but the reality is you can’t a family member,” James more people aging because get blood out of a turnip,” said. of the baby boomers, but James said. “If someone James said other steps people are living longer,” James said. “Because of the increasing number of senior citizens, law enforcement and the business community are going to have to address ways to protect the finances of the elderly,” James said. “People are preying on our seniors, but if you think it’s bad right now, fast-forward 15 years and it’s only going to get worse because there’s only going to be more seniors that need care.” In another case, Carla Thorton Ewing and Craig R. Matthies are facing charges of exploitation of an elder person, identity fraud, and financial transaction card fraud. Impersonating 71-yearold Frances Matthies, Ewing allegedly reported the victim’s bank card as missing and ordered a replacement card, James said. The victim reported the fraud to police and was able to identify Ewing by listening to a recording of the defendant reporting the

tation because they are often stable, having substantial savings or retirement income. “There are so many different ways where people can …purport to be somebody else and gain access

card stolen, James said. “These people have fixed incomes,” James said. “When they lose money it’s gone. If you’re on a fixed income and all you have is a Social Security check and savings or investment fund,

seniors can take to protect their finances include: • Do not talk to telemarketers or give personal information to callers. • Buy a shredder and destroy sensitive documents. • Get a lock for home mailboxes. • Partner with a caregiver and regularly check personal finances. “It’s OK to have someone helping you take care of your bills, but you have to know what’s in your bank account,” James said.

Dr. Robin McGhee
has relocated to Walmart Vision Center 1825 Rockbridge Rd Stone Mountain, Ga. 30087

Dr. McGhee practiced optometry at Lenscrafters on Memorial Drive for almost 20 years. She welcomes previous patients. Appointments can be made at

770-413-4111

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Flap continues over county’s interim planning director
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com The flap between DeKalb’s Board of Commissioners and CEO over the county’s planning director is not over. The board on Jan. 24 decided not to vote on the appointment by DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis of Gary Cornell to the position of director of planning and sustainability, although Cornell is serving as the interim director to the opposition of some commissioners. “I believe this action is illegal,” said Commissioner Lee May, who said he wants an outside legal opinion on Ellis’ decision. In its previous meeting, some board members expressed concern that Ellis had hired an interim planning director when interim positions are usually filled by an existing employee. Ellis made an appearance at that meeting to defend his appointment of Cornell, who has 33 years of professional experience in city and regional planning, including seven years as the director of Gwinnett County’s Department of Planning and Development, seven years as a principal transportation planner at the Atlanta Regional Commission, three years as a planner in residence at Florida State University and 11 years as a senior community planning consultant for Jacobs Engineering. “There was a bit of a dust up here,” May said about that meeting. “Our CEO decided to come and disrupt the meeting for a bit.” May said that Ellis had been warned late last year that he did not have the votes on the commission to put Cornell in place. The planning director is one of five positions that the board of commissioners, by law, must confirm. “In the spirit of lowering any kind of public conflict

Bishop Eddie Long, right, announces that New Birth Christian Academy has reopened thanks to a partnership with Aurora Day Schools. Photo by Daniel Beauregard

New Birth Christian Academy reopens under new management
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com because we’re able to have an international outreach in providing education for students all over the world but most of all, to be able to continue to service this community,” Long said of the partnership. Kellie Huff, founder and CEO of Aurora Schools, said when she heard New Birth Academy was closing she called the school and offered her assistance. “Over the past two weeks the financial team has come together, looked at the [academy’s] financial situation, and figured out a way to reopen its doors on a solid financial footing. Our position at Aurora Day Schools is to come in and create leaner, more efficient teaching methodologies while keeping a traditional and Christian-based curriculum,” Huff said. According to Huff, New Birth Academy will also offer online classes “to expand the global reach of the academy.” She said Aurora Schools and New Birth Academy officials worked with financial consultant Michael Elkourie to develop a new model for the school’s operations. “We needed to do some streamlining because the size of the student population had dropped and also to identify the fact that the school, in the past, had not taken advantage of a couple of scholarship programs that are available,” Elkourie said. One of the scholarship programs Elkourie mentioned was the Georgia Tax Credit for Private Schools, which he said will allow Aurora and New Birth Academy to operate under a partnership where tax credits will supplement the tuition paid by parents. Officials couldn’t comment on how many former students would be returning to the school but Aurora Schools COO Bill Aragon said since Long announced its reopening the response had been “tremendous.” “I think we’re going to see a very healthy return, very similar to the numbers where we were at the end of last semester and we’ll continue enrolling,” Aragon said. Enrollment began on Jan. 18, and Aragon said tuition and admission fees would remain the same. Tuition for the school ranges between $5,000-$7,000 a year for each child, with non-members paying more than New Birth Missionary Baptist Church members. “We will do all we can to maintain the extracurricular activities that were offered before and that includes the basketball team,” Aragon said. “But that’s contingent, of course, upon how many students enroll.” Last year, Long settled a sexual coercion suit filed against him by four former New Birth Missionary Baptist Church members. Most recently, his wife of 21 years, Vanessa, filed for divorce. Aurora officials said they had heard no concerns from parents regarding Long’s personal life and were trying “to focus on the children.”

Bishop Eddie Long thanked parents, students and staff of New Birth Academy at a Jan. 18 press conference for being cooperative through the “tough” transitions the school has faced in recent weeks. In late December parents and students were notified New Birth Academy would shut its doors at the end of the year and remain closed indefinitely. Economic reasons were cited for the closure. “We operated New Birth Christian Academy for years at a deficit…it started to become a great burden on the church,” Long said. The closing forced the school’s students to enroll elsewhere. However, New Birth Academy reopened on Jan. 19 through a partnership with Aurora Day Schools. Long said Aurora had come to them like “a godsend” and offered to help the K-12 school get back on its feet. See Director on Page 10A “I’m excited about that

The Champion Free Press, Friday January 27, 2012

Opinion The Newslady

Page 4A

School superintendent progress report: failing
assigning key personnel before her expensive audit and the band debacle give rise to serious questions about her management ability. Four lessons and no more: No. 1. Put the children’s interest ahead of ego. Take time to learn the lay of the land before making wholesale changes. If you’re going to spend tens of thousands of our tax dollars for expensive personnel audits, why not wait for the audit findings before making wholesale changes that call into question the integrity and competencies of people being shifted? Good managers don’t leave blood on the carpet. Executions are swift. Torture is just not good form. To quote published reports from your spokesperson, drafts of the audit have guided some of your staffing changes. If we’re top heavy by 1,400 plus people and you plan to cut perhaps 300 you’ve got 1,400— not 300—people wondering if the ax will fall on them. How’s that working for you in boosting morale? It seems no good deed goes unpunished under this new regime. Good, dedicated, competent people in operations and technology, the deputy superintendent for teaching and learning instruction, chief of curriculum, purchasing, the nationally recognized, award-winning, “I told you so” CFO have all been sidelined. Why? Because you wanted to bring in your own people? Fine. We realize a new broom sweeps clean. But an old broom knows the corners. Know the lay of the land. Sometimes cuts are too deep. Brain drains and the lack of institutional knowledge have been the bane of many organizations that have found themselves having to rehire the very people they let go. No. 2 Take time to learn the “culture” of the system. Band as an extra-curricular is to DeKalb what football is to the University of Georgia. You better have some awfully good reasons to suspend those activities and for goodness sake, don’t do it piecemeal. Opined in this space before, suspending band activities at 21 schools around the county to investigate “inappropriate” activity was foolhardy. This followed the hazing death of Florida A&M band member Robert Champion, a former DeKalb County student. To add insult to injury the announcement is made that the investigation is continuing into a number of adults including volunteers and former students. Are not these band members continuing to interact with the people under investigation? She took off like a bull in a china cabinet on that one. Oy! No. 3 Talk to your board and key stakeholders before making major decisions. Get buy-in. No good manager works in isolation and should not have the appearance of same. The power of consensus is inclusion. Morale is said to be at an all-time low and speaking about the problems to anyone including board members could be a “career decision.” Fear is never a good motivator of people. President Eisenhower said people are sometimes like strings. You can pull them along almost anywhere, but you can’t get very far trying to push them. No. 4 Don’t allow a “spokesperson” to speak for you on major issues. Don’t let your constituents hear about major changes from the media before you give them the courtesy of sharing your decisions with them. Own your decisions if you are confident about them. The time-tested PTA slogan might apply: “The school cannot live apart from the community.” Our hard-working staff and teachers (no matter who they’re related to) need to be appreciated not deprecated so as to give the best to our children. How well does our new superintendent know the people she is bringing in? I’d dare say quite well. Careful, someone might call that cronyism. Atkinson might yet hold out some promise if she gets some badly needed counseling and a crash course in managing a large school system. It has to be noted that she cuts a striking figure as a parade grand marshal. Someone wondered out loud whether she exempted the parade from the ban on band activities so that the boys and girls could trumpet her ride down Main Street. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Milies at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.

If one had to assess the overall performance of new DeKalb School Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson to date she’d have to get a failing grade. Just when we thought things were on the uptick with the election of Dr. Eugene Walker as chairman of the school board, more highly publicized dunderhead activities on the part of the new school superintendent come to light. One can only hope with Dr. Walker’s years of leadership, education experience and political acumen, that he will tutor Atkinson and help her make a passing grade. If not, her tenure here should be short-lived. As one parent so aptly put it, Atkinson is “clearly over her head.” Perhaps one shouldn’t hold over the dear lady’s head the fact that she came from a 7,500-student system in Ohio to a system more than 10 times larger at some 95,000, but something has to be said of the need for comparable experience of which she is sorely lacking. It’s akin to allowing someone with crop duster experience at Uncle Ned’s farm to take a Boeing on a transatlantic flight. Atkinson’s recent actions of shifting and re-

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Keeping bad guys locked up
On the plus side, “keeping the bad guys locked up” and the push for longer sentences during the ‘90s and past decade helped to dramatically lower violent crime rates statewide, as well as decrease some of the backlog in our court system previously clogged by shorter sentences and high rates of recidivism. Former Gov. Zell Miller champi“The time for the state to protect oned his “two strikes and you’re out” and “seven deadly sins” legitself against the criminal is before islation as centerpieces of his 1994 the criminal is made. Most criminals are not born; they are MADE... re-election campaign, resulting in an almost doubling of Georgia’s prison What the state really punishes in a population since the mid-‘90s. criminal is its own neglect, its own With current sentencing guidefailure to do its duty to the citizen,” lines in place, projections are that newspaper magnate and publisher, Georgia’s population behind bars by William Randolph Hearst (18632016 will rise to 60,000, requiring 1951), in an editorial in the San Francisco Examiner, April 8, 1926. an additional $264 million for new prison construction. Fortunately, for nearly a year a Georgia’s prison population is Special Council on Criminal Justice roughly 56,000, nearly equivalent Reform, appointed by Gov. Nathan to the population of the city of AlDeal (who began his career in pubpharetta, or three times the population of Decatur. This gives Georgia lic service as a district attorney), has been reviewing existing sentencing the nation’s fourth highest rate of incarceration per capita. When you guidelines. The council has since issued a report to the governor and add in the number of folks under Georgia General Assembly, makprobation or parole, the number rises to one out of every 13 in Geor- ing significant recommendations to reduce sentencing options for nongia–the highest per capita populaviolent and minor drug offenders as tion under correctional control in well as funding incarceration alterthe nation. The current budget for natives such as drug and DUI courts the Department of Corrections is or diversion centers for the mentally nearing $1.2 billion. Only educaill, often currently warehoused in tion (K-college), health care (Medour county jails and state prisons. icaid funding) and transportation Housing an inmate in a hard remain larger budget line items for prison bed on average is costing the state. Georgia taxpayers $51 per day. Add in the costs of an aging prison population, higher and maximum security beds, sky-rocketing costs of inmate health care (mandated by federal law) and the costs of the significant management bureaucracy in the Georgia Department of Corrections and the per head cost of an inmate behind bars comes in at roughly $61,000 per year. Compare that to the annual state expenditure per year on a public school student, or a senior citizen or veteran receiving Medicaid. Those come in at a fraction of that cost. There is no question that a primary responsibility of local, state and federal government is keeping our citizens safe. With that said, other states, further along with alternative options, are finding that technological advances such as electronic monitoring and work release programs are reducing recidivism rates, as well as taxpayer cost—and more quickly helping turn a tax burden back into a tax-paying productive member of society. Other states, including California, Hawaii and Texas, have not all made these changes out of altruism. Prison over-crowding and conditions in California prisons resulted in a federal court order mandating a reduction of the prison population there by 30,000 inmates by the end of 2013. Texas, with the second largest population incarcerated (156,000) and largest number of prisoners serving life without parole (8,665) as well as the highest rate of executions, is committing nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to alternative sentencing programs. Those initiatives include stepped-up probation and parole, electronic monitoring, special courts for drug and DUI offenders and moving the mentally ill out of prisons. Border crimes and increasing violence related to the drug cartels of neighboring Mexico also helped focus Texas lawmakers’ attention on the differences between an inmate or recidivist we expect to cause additional harm or injury versus someone we are simply put out with. Like anything else, tight budgets require tough choices, even for states that pride themselves on being “tough on crime.” It is tough to argue that judicious expenditure and resources invested on the front end, such as public education, may also later help relieve greater expense on the back end as it relates to the Department of Corrections.

Opinion One Man’s Opinion

Page 5A

Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at billcrane@ earthlink.net.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

A zero on the home front's Richter scale

Opinion

Page 6A

The end of the Iraq War was accompanied by the sound of one hand clapping.
New York and Chicago and San Francisco and every other city of size in the country. Compare the conduct of that war to the Iraq conflict. Was anything asked of the American people in the Iraq War? Anything at all? Certainly not taxes. They were cut so that “job creators” could create jobs, which they did — mainly in China. Nor participation. We’ve got an all-volunteer armed force coupled with a large number of contracted mercenaries. You didn’t join up unless you wanted to (or couldn’t get a better job). I remember President George W. Bush being asked at the beginning of the conflict what the American people could do to contribute to the war effort. “Go shopping,” he said. That was the great sacrifice we were asked to make. The young men and women we sent to fight that eight-year war bore virtually the entire burden of it — nearly 4,500 U.S. military deaths, along with about 1,500 military contractors, and God knows how many thousands of Iraqis, both friend and foe. Thousands more Americans were maimed or psychologically damaged, their futures truncated. (The unemployment rate for returning veterans 20-24 years old is 30 percent.) The war cost well more than $800 billion and counting, mocking Bush adviser Paul Wolfowitz’s prediction that it would pay for itself. It was a lousy war from the beginning, sold to the American people on false pretenses, and it has done us precious little good. We were hardly out of the door when the sectarian rivalries that existed before we got there began to shred the country again. So much for creating a model democracy, which was one of the stated goals of the invasion. The chief result of the war was the strengthened position of Iran, our sworn enemy in the region. Some wars end with a bang, others with a whimper. The end of the Iraq War was accompanied by the sound of one hand clapping. OtherWords columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. otherwords.org

Among the strange things that happened last year — and there were many — perhaps the strangest was the end of the Iraq War. Did you notice it? I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. It hardly even registered on the home front’s Richter scale. We didn’t leave in triumph (that was World War II). We didn’t leave in confused embarrassment (that was Vietnam). We just left. We practically tiptoed away, hoping nobody would notice. And nobody did, hardly. I remember the end of World War II. I was a 10-year-old in Detroit. My parents took me downtown to experience the celebration, for which I am forever grateful. It was an extraordinary moment — an explosion of joy and relief and sense of victory, unlike any I had seen before or since. They didn’t call it “V-J Day” for nothing. It stood for Victory over Japan, and the entire nation gloried in that triumph. That’s why hundreds of thousands of Detroiters, along with millions elsewhere, spilled out of our homes to share our feeling of exultation with the people who had shared the pain of that war. That was the key, I think: World War II was a shared experience. People hung one-star flags in their windows to indicate the military service of a family member — a sad gold star to indicate a death. Butter and meat were rationed, as was gasoline. Middle-aged neighbors volunteered as “air raid wardens” to patrol the streets in their white helmets during practice drills. Even I, a kid, pulled my red wagon around the neighborhood collecting newspapers for the “paper drives,” all in the name of the war effort. The war, for us, only lasted four years. But it had seemed an eternity, and the nation reacted to its abrupt end like an inflated balloon suddenly unsealed. That was Detroit that night, and

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

DeKalb school board elects seasoned educator as new board chair
Walker was the best choice to maintain the status quo for the bloated system and to protect the friends and family. I hope that I am wrong. But only time will tell. – Dundevil posted this on 1/19/12 at 8:58 p.m. he’s seasoned all right. he is the wrong man for the job. i can’t believe the dekalb delegation is protecting him. this election by his peers all but solidifies his presence on the board. Mary Margaret Oliver and others should be ashamed of the way the bait and switch was done on the splost 4. The at large (walker, speaks) should have lost their seat. period. yes, they were elected but the seat was no longer needed, so they should just go. – Whatdoyamean posted this on 1/19/12 at 2:39 p.m.

Commissioners say proposed budget has issues
Burrell Ellis, Larry Johnson, Gannon and Rader, most like a Hippopotamus, All Mouth! – Iva Ben Hadd posted this on 1/21/12 at 8:23 a.m. Yada, Yada Yada. Not one intelligent or meaningful comment. The County still has about 1,000 too many employees. That is what the CEO and the majority of the Commissioners want, no matter what they say. – Dundevil posted this on 1/19/12 at 8:50 p.m.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Local News

Page 7A

Champion of the Week
Tyler Dupont
the refugee families feel more at home when they arrive in Clarkston. “My specific job is to be a friendly face instead of just the social worker or government employee,” Dupont said. “So, once or twice a week I visit them to see how things are going. I teach them little things like how to operate a thermostat or how to count money and shop at a grocery store.” Dupont said he recently worked with a Burmese family who lived in a camp in the forest and ate mainly roots and things they found growing in the wild. He said the family members had never seen canned food before. So, Dupont helped them identify the foods they wanted, and which were the best to buy for a family on a tight budget. In high school, Dupont volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and the Aflac Children’s Cancer Center. He said his parent were very insistent on giving back to the community. Dupont, who is originally from Marietta, said he comes from a family of immigrants. “Two of my grandparents were some of the last people through Ellis Island and they came here very poor. My work kind of echoes my family and I’m able to make a contribution to someone’s life, just like people did for my family when they came here,” Dupont said.

School system lifts ban on marching band activities
by Kathy Mitchell kathy@dekalbchamp.com DeKalb County School System Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson announced at a news conference Jan. 18 that the suspension of all marching band activities announced Dec. 14 has been lifted. “We feel confident that our students are safe and that normal band activities can be resumed,” Atkinson said. The suspension was put in place following hazing allegations at a Florida university that involved former members of a DeKalb County high school marching band. Robert Champion, a Southwest DeKalb High School graduate attending Florida A&M University (FAMU), died following what is being investigated as a hazing incident in November. His death has been ruled a homicide. Another FAMU student, Bria Shante Hunter, also a Southwest DeKalb graduate, said in a recent lawsuit that she suffered a beating that caused a cracked thigh bone in a separate hazing incident a few weeks before Champion died. Atkinson said that although the suspension has been lifted, a system-wide investigation is continuing to be sure there have been no violations of the school system’s anti-bullying and antiintimidation policies. She said that school officials have met with principals, band directors and others involved with school band programs to be sure band remains a positive experience for all involved. School system spokesman Walter Woods said once the issue of hazing had been raised the system decided it would be better to “err on the side of caution” to be sure every student is safe. “We needed to make sure our house is in order,” he said. Woods added that if any policy violations are found there would be disciplinary action. He described the investigation as comprehensive and said that it did not target particular schools or music programs. Woods said school officials are confident that school policy is being followed at each of the 19 high schools in the DeKalb County system with band programs. He said that the investigation, which started Dec. 14, is expected to last 30 to 60 days “Band is a great experience here in the DeKalb schools,” Woods said, adding that the system wants scholarships and other benefits of band to continue to be available to students. Tyler Dupont, 24, said he likes working with refugee families because it’s down and dirty work and “you really get to make a difference in people’s lives.” Dupont said when he graduated from Duke University he had extra free time and wanted to put it to good use so he began volunteering for Catholic Charities Atlanta. “What Catholic Charities does is find an apartment for refugees when they come to Atlanta and help set them up with furniture, appliances, stuff like that,” Dupont said. Since April, Dupont has been working with refugees in Clarkston, a city with one of the largest refugee populations in the United States. Catholic Charities’ mission is to help each refugee family become self-sufficient within several months of their relocation. Dupont said in many cases, refugees who are relocating have no idea where they are going until several days before leaving their country, which can be traumatizing. His job is to help

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Officials see significant decrease in DeKalb unemployment rate
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com DeKalb County’s unemployment rate and unemployment insurance claims decreased in 2011, according to the most current Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) statistics. The county’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.5 percent in November 2011, down from 10.6 in November 2010, according to GDOL spokesman John Ard. In November 2011, there were approximately 35,821 unemployed in DeKalb County compared with 39,635 unemployed in 2010. In December 2011, 3,825 unemployment insurance claims were filed compared to 4,221 in December 2010. Ard pointed out the current GDOL numbers were as accurate as possible but it is difficult to speculate an exact number of unemployed because the numbers reported are residential numbers and the resident may not work in the county. In addressing unemployment concerns Burke Brennan, a spokesman for DeKalb County, said the county takes a three-tiered approach to job creation and development. “The Office of Economic Development recruits businesses to the county to create capital investment jobs and The Workforce Development Department trains workers for various positions where there is demand,” Brennan said. “There is also the ONE DeKalb Works program.” ONE DeKalb Works is a public service jobs initiative that will use the completion of $1.35 billion of water and sewer infrastructure improvements to cultivate a skilled workforce and promote local business contracting with government to get DeKalb County residents back to work. The program will create up to 4,000 direct jobs per year and result in a total economic impact of $1.77 billion, according to a study done by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute,. Brennan said nearly 90 percent of businesses in DeKalb are small businesses and part of the initiative is to spur development contracts between them and the county. Leonardo McClarty, president of the DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber has begun to offer a series of workshops to help build small businesses. “It’s basically to help them secure larger contracts through the public or private sectors and we think it’s particularly important as DeKalb continues with [ONE DeKalb Works]. We want to make sure DeKalb-based businesses are able to get some of those funds,” McClarty said. Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler announced recently that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined for the third straight month in December, dropping to 9.7 percent. The jobless rate was 10.4 percent in December 2010. Another major boost for the state of Georgia, but more importantly DeKalb, will be the implementation of the Transportation Investment Act of 2012 (TIA), McClarty said. In 2010, the TIA was developed as a funding mechanism for regional transportation projects. Residents will vote this summer whether to impose a 1 percent sales tax to fund transportation projects. “You’re talking anywhere around $1 billion in DeKalb. Hopefully some of those DeKalb businesses will get that work but also the new developments will allow the county to go out and sell DeKalb to bring other larger businesses to the area,” McClarty said. McClarty said he isn’t sure if businesses would ever be hiring and spending at the levels of previous years. He said he has seen short-term growth, however. “I think overall what we’re seeing is, despite the political environment, businesses have begun to loosen up the reins a little bit compared to 2009 and 2010,” McClarty said.

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Current labor force estimates from the Georgia Department of Labor
Nov. 2011 (GDOL officials said Dec. is currently being calculated for DeKalb) Labor Force Employment Unemployment Number Rate 378,653 342,832 35,821 9.5 Oct. 2011 Nov. 2010 377,944 374,999 339,492 335,364 38,452 39,635 10.2 10.6

Current Unemployment insurance claims from the Georgia Department of Labor Dec. 2011 3,825 Nov. 2011 3,436 Dec. 2010 4,221

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Local News
COMBINED NOTICE

Page 9A

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC OF REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF FUNDS
January 19, 2012 DeKalb County Community Development Department 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330 Decatur, Georgia 30030 Telephone (404) 286-3308

TO ALL INTERESTED AGENCIES, GROUPS AND PERSONS:
The DeKalb County Community Development Department gives notice that it will submit a request for release of grant funds and an environmental certification pertaining to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 15 days following this publication. The request and certification relate to the following projects. Project: HOME Program: Lane Manor Housing

Location: 4683 Redan Road, Stone Mountain, GA Purpose: The purpose of the project is to provide supplemental funding to assist in the development of 54 units of multifamily housing for seniors. 53 units will serve seniors and 1 unit serves as an employee unit. The property will serve seniors at or below 50% of AMI. The property will have a HUD based rental assistance contract for all residential units so that the resident pays no greater than 30% of income towards rent and utilities. It has been determined that such request for release of funds will not constitute an action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, accordingly, DeKalb County has decided not to prepare Environmental Impact Statements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (P.L. 91-190). The reasons for such decision not to prepare such Statements are as follows: An Environmental Assessment has been made for the project which concludes that all adverse effects will be minor, and any short-term impacts will be mitigated by either the requirements of the construction contract documents or by the requirements of applicable local, state or federal permits and environmental ordinances. The positive effects of providing activities that augment and substantially improve the County’s efforts towards supporting affordable senior housing in the targeted areas of the County outweigh any potential negative impacts. This project is consistent with the goals and objectives of the DeKalb County Community Development Department, approved Consolidated Plan. The Environmental Review Records, respecting the proposed projects, have been made by DeKalb County which documents the environmental review of the projects and fully sets forth the reasons why such Environmental Impact Statements are not required. The Environmental Review Records are on file at the DeKalb County Community Development Department, 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030 and is available for public examination and copying upon request between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. No further environmental reviews of the subject project are proposed to be conducted prior to the request for release of Federal funds. All interested agencies, groups, and persons disagreeing with this decision are invited to submit written comments for consideration by DeKalb County to the Community Development Director. Written comments will be received at 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia on or before February 3, 2012. All comments received will be considered and DeKalb County will not request the release of Federal funds or take any administrative action on the proposed projects prior to the date specified in the preceding sentence. At least one day after the termination of the public comment period for the FONSI, but not before comments on the FONSI have been considered and resolved, DeKalb County will submit a Request for Release of Funds (RROF) and certification to HUD. By so doing DeKalb County will ask HUD to allow it to commit funds to these projects, certifying that (1) it has performed the environmental reviews prescribed by HUD regulations ("Environmental Review Procedures for Title I Community Development Block Grant Program" - 24 CFR part 58), and (2) the Certifying Officer, Chris Morris, Director, DeKalb County Community Development Department, consents to accept and enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental reviews or resulting decision-making and action. The legal effect of the certification is that by approving it, HUD will have satisfied its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act, thus allowing DeKalb County to commit CDBG funds to these projects. HUD will accept objections to its approval of the release of funds and the certification only if it is on one of the following basis: (a) that the certification was not in fact executed by the Certifying Officer; or (b) that the applicant's Environmental Review Record for the project indicated omission of a required decision, funding, or step applicable to the project in the environmental review process. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance to HUD at the Regional Environmental Branch, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 40 Marietta Street N.W., 15th floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-9812. Objections to the release of funds on basis other than those stated above will not be considered by HUD. No objection received after February 21, 2012 will be considered by HUD. Chris H. Morris, Director DeKalb County Community Development Department 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030 Date of Publication and Dissemination of Notice January 19, 2012

FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT (FONSI)

Public Comments on FONSI

NOTICE OF INTENT TO REQUEST RELEASE OF FUNDS (NOI/RROF)

Objection to Release of Funds

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Local News

Page 10A

State Supreme Court upholds life sentences for convicted murderer
From staff reports The Supreme Court of Georgia announced on Jan. 23 that it has unanimously upheld the murder convictions and consecutive life sentences given to a DeKalb County man in the disappearance and murders of two young men. After two cold cases were solved in 2002, Eric Rogers was convicted in 2010 for the murders of 15-year-old Mark Birmingham, who was killed in 1991, and of 18-year-old Darnell Patterson, who was killed in 1995. According to the court’s opinion summaries, the evidence shows that when Rogers was 19 years old, he began sexually abusing his 6-year-old nephew. The abuse continued until the boy was 12, resumed when he was 15 and ceased by the time he was 18. In 1991, Rogers met Birmingham, who lived a block from Rogers’ house. According to briefs filed in the case, Rogers, who was 30 years old at the time, befriended Birmingham and bought him clothes, expensive tennis shoes and haircuts. Rogers began taking Birmingham into his basement where he sexually abused the teen. After a while, Birmingham disappeared. According to prosecutors, Rogers shot Birmingham in the chest with a .380 handgun. He later took his nephew into the woods near his DeKalb County home where Birmingham’s bloated body lay. Rogers had his nephew help bury Birmingham’s body. The nephew, by then 17, did not tell anyone what his uncle had done. He later testified he was scared of his uncle and what would happen. In 1994, Rogers met Patterson, who was attending DeVry Institute. Rogers, also a DeVry student, befriended Patterson and eventually began having sex with Patterson in his basement, according to court documents. Patterson, who was last seen with Rogers, disappeared in 1995. Patterson’s body was never found. In 2000, after Rogers befriended and then attacked another teenager who later escaped, Rogers was arrested, convicted of aggravated assault and sent to prison. While Roger was there, in 2002, his adult nephew went to police and led them to the wooded spot behind Rogers’ DeKalb County house where Rogers had buried Birmingham’s body. According to the prosecutors headed by DeKalb District Attorney Robert James, the evidence showed that “Eric Rogers is a sexual predator who, using the same methodology, sexually abused and murdered or attempted to murder available young Black males from 1980 through 2000, when an uninterrupted span of imprisonment finally ended Rogers’ pattern of criminal conduct.”

Director Continued From Page 3A
and disarray, I personally went to the administration…. and made them aware that the votes were not there to confirm his nominee,” May said. “[I] asked that they just withdraw the name so that we wouldn’t have to publicly vote down Mr. Cornell or publicly make the CEO look bad.” But in December Ellis announced that he had hired Cornell as an interim planning director. A majority of commissioners had an issue with Ellis’ “back door way of putting [Cornell] in charge of the planning department,” May said. In a statement released after the board’s meeting, Ellis stated, “Gary Cornell is the interim director of planning and sustainability for DeKalb County, which is in complete accord with the Organizational Act of DeKalb County.” May, who said he is going to ask Ellis to bring forward another nomination for confirmation or to bring Cornell for a vote, also said the issue over the planning director highlights a deeper issue with DeKalb’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 opSee Director on Page 11A

Officer in charge of Lithonia Police Department
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com A Lithonia police officer is now in charge of the Lithonia Police Department. Washington Varnum was selected during a recent closed session of the Lithonia City Council to be the officer in charge of the department, according to Lithonia City Administrator Gerald Sanders. Varnum will oversee the police department’s operations until the council hires a permanent replacement for former chief Kennis Harrell, who suddenly resigned effective Dec. 30 without giving the city a chance to look for another chief. Harrell, a former deputy chief of the DeKalb Police Department, said there was “no controversy” that led to his resignation. Harrell had been on the job just 13 months. Varnum, who had been a reserve officer for approximately a year, was chosen to temporarily head the department over a higher-ranking sergeant. Lithonia city councilmembers “were just looking to get someone in to maintain some stability,” Sanders said. The council is “well aware of his reputation and supervisory skills. Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson said Varnum was put in place because “people had indicated that they wanted a different change.” The council decided “to give him an opportunity to help us through this transitional phase,” Jackson said. Sanders said it will probably be 60-90 days before the council begins the hiring process for a new chief. The city council plans to hire an outside firm to perform an assessment of the police department before seeking to hire a new police chief to run the force which currently has five fulltime officers and five reserve officers, Jackson said. “We want to make sure that we provide good public safety for the community,” Jackson said.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

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Director Continued From Page 10A
erations of the government. In December, Ellis vetoed a resolution passed by the board that would have asked DeKalb’s state legislative delegation to create a commission to study the county’s form of government. “We really need to study our form of government,” May said. “The CEO doesn’t want to study this form of government. He seems to think everything is fine and everything is hunky-dory.” After the board meeting, Commissioner Larry Johnson said the form of government study needs to go forward. Johnson cited a 2006 state senate committee report that recommended that there needed to be “legislation to balance control between the CEO and the Board of Commissioners on budgeting, spending and contracting, and bidding.” “We’re not there,” Johnson said. “We still need to complete that. “It’s been 30 years since this government has been this way,” Johnson said. “My constituents want something done.” John Evans, president of the DeKalb NAACP, said his group wants a resolution of the problems board and the CEO. “We know it’s broke,” said Evans, who asked for a public hearing on the form of government issue. “We hear it all the time.”

Senior centers could feel grip of county’s 2012 budget
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com Some DeKalb County seniors say they are victims in the county’s proposed 2012 budget. “It seems as though you’re trying to budget on the backs of seniors just like Republicans,” said Conneva Hall, who complained that the budget contained cuts for senior centers but had increases for the CEO’s office and the Board of Commissioners. “Would you treat your grandmother like that?” The 2012 budget by DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis contains an increase of $102,000, or 6.5 percent, for his office and an increase of $165,000, or 5.8 percent, for the Board of Commissioners. But, at $353,000 the proposed budget for senior citizen centers is just 53 percent of last year’s budget. “The seniors in DeKalb County have not been treated fairly,” said Hall, a retired teacher who lives in Lithonia. “We have worked our full lives looking for the golden years. “We need to look at that budget again,” Hall said. “We need to revisit that again.” Hall’s comments were made at the first of several public hearings sponsored by the Finance, Audit and Budget Committee to discuss Ellis’ proposed $547.3 million budget, which is 1.2 percent higher than the 2011 budget which and contains no tax increase and no county employee furlough days. The proposal also includes funding for all county holidays, a lowercost health care option for county employees and implementation of a recently announced home-buying initiative and jobs stimulus program tied to a billiondollar water-sewer improvement plan. In his proposed budget, Ellis predicts a 5 percent drop in property tax revenues. Commissioner Lee May, who chairs the board’s FAB committee, says is too optimistic. “Everything rises and falls on the revenue the administration assumes,” Lee said. “If your revenue assumptions are off everything else is off. If that number is too optimistic that means we’re going to bring in less revenue.” The effect on the budget of the possible incorporation of Brookhaven was another topic during the public discussion. “If that happens, that going to pull revenue out of DeKalb County’s cofers,” said May, who has been a proponent of a multi-year budget forecast. When Dunwoody incorporated in 2008, the county lost approximately $16 million in revenue. May said that loss could be approximately $25 million if Brookhaven incorporates. “It likely will happen at some point moving forward,” May said. “We as a county need to plan forward. We’ve been making decisions this year that adversely affect next year because we’re not looking at the budget in a three- to five-year window.” Joel Alvarado, the legislative liaison for DeKalb County, said all county residents should voice their opinions about future incorporation “when the time is right.” “This is a DeKalb County issue,” Alvarado said. “I don’t see why all of DeKalb County shouldn’t have a voice in this matter. You’re going to be affected one way or the other. My challenge to the rest of the county is, ‘What are you going to say?’” The Board of Commissioners has until March 1 to adopt a budget and typically does so during its final meeting in February.

DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management Public Advisory Superior Avenue Sanitary Sewer Improvements Project
January 19, 2012 Advisory Close Date February 19, 2012 Advisory Issue Date

This advisory is issued to inform the public of a receipt of an application for a variance submitted pursuant to a State environmental law. The public is invited to comment during a 30 day period on the proposed activity. Since the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has no authority to zone property or determine land use, only those comments addressing environmental issues related to air, water, and land protection will be considered in the application review process. Written comments should be submitted to: Program Manager, Non Point Source Program, Erosion and Sedimentation Control, 4220 International Parkway, Suite 101, Atlanta, Georgia 30354. Type of Permit Application: Variance to encroach within the 25-foot State waters buffer. Applicable Law: Georgia Erosion and Sedimentation Act O.C.G.A. 12-7-1 et seq. Applicable Rules: Erosion and Sedimentation Control Chapter 391-3-7 Basis under which variance shall be considered {391-37.05(2)(A-J)}: d Description and Location of Proposed Activity: Applicant proposes to impact 300 linear feet of buffer along a tributary of South Fork Peachtree Creek to conduct sanitary sewer improvements along Superior Avenue near the intersection with North Decatur Road. Map of the project worksite and location can be seen on the DeKalb County Watershed Management website at http://dekalbwatershed.com.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is studying ways to keep stormwater from damaging the habitats of local waterways such as Indian Creek. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

No fish means no help for ‘exquisite’ creek
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com The water quality of DeKalb County’s Intrenchment Creek is so bad that federal engineers won’t try to fix the habitat there. That’s what a representative from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said on Jan. 19 during a presentation of ways to protect Indian, Sugar, Intrenchment and Snapfinger Creeks. The so-called ISIS study was authorized by Congress in 1994 to formulate a plan for cost effective and sustainable aquatic ecosystem restoration. When biologists surveyed Intrenchment Creek in 2005, they found no fish. Intrenchment Creek has “some beautiful, exquisite habitat,” said Brian Zettle, a biologist with the Corps of Engineers. “It looks like A River Runs Through It. Somebody ought to be out there fishing. “What should be good habitat and should support a large abundance and diverse group of fish species, we got zero fish,” Zettle said. The mission of the biologists and engineers working on the ISIS study is not to improve water quality, Zettle said. “We can go in and fix habitat and fix flow, but we couldn’t address everything that needed to be addressed how high peak flows during storms affect the watershed. “When it rains the water hits the concrete, goes in a ditch …and hits the creeks,” Childers said. “A lot of these backflows cause stream banks to wash out. And that sediment has to settle [and] it usually settles in areas where bugs would attach to rocks or fish would live and hide during those high flows.” During the public comment session, DeKalb resident Joe Arrington expressed concern about the coordination of the future Army Corps projects with PATH, transportation and public works projects. “Is there anybody at a higher level looking at how all of these impact each other?” Arrington asked. Willie Greene, a public works project manager with DeKalb County, said that is job of Ted Rhinehart, the county’s deputy chief hope to “improve the habitat and improve the fish and operating officer over the bug conditions,” said Jamie infrastructure group. “We are coordinatChilders, a water resource scientist and project manag- ing, I think, much better er at Tetra Tech, a company today than we were in the that has contracted with the past,” Greene said. “We’ve stopped the practice hopeArmy Corps of Engineers fully of paving the street to help with the study. The creeks being studied and the next week we come are “generally urban water- out and tear it up so that we can put in a new water line sheds that were developed or a new gas line.” in the 1970s before best The Army Corps of Enmanagement practices and retention ponds were really gineers will hold another presentation of the ISIS put in,” Childers said. study on March 6. The study will address

from a water quality standpoint,” Zettle said. “So we couldn’t get the bang for our buck, so to speak.” In the ISIS study, the Army Corps of Engineers is conducting stream walks, habitat scoring, fish and macroinvertebrate sampling, and water quality sampling in an effort to stabilize and improve habitat in the target watersheds. The goal of the scientists is to “look at the habitat and the biological species that make it up and whether

there is something we can do through engineering to address the degradation that has occurred there,” Zettle said. According to the preliminary study, problems that will be addressed include continued loss and degradation of aquatic and riparian habitats, altered hydrology, excessive bank failure and high stream banks, replacement of native tree cover by invasive species are and impaired water quality. Engineers and biologists

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Local News

Page 13A

DeKalb History Center to honor community champions
The DeKalb History Center will host its fifth annual Black History Month Celebration by honoring five DeKalb County leaders—SheriffElect Derwin Brown, Dr. William C. Brown, John Evans, William “Buck” Godfrey and Gregory B. Levett Sr. Derwin Brown, who ran for office on a promise to remove corruption in the DeKalb County Police Department, was gunned down in the driveway of his home days before he was to have been sworn into office. Educator William C. Brown was the first African American to serve on the county’s Library Board of Trustees. Evans, a former county commissioner and former president of the DeKalb branch of the NAACP, continues his community involvement as president of Operation LEAD, an organization he founded. Godfrey, the first Black football coach at Southwest DeKalb High School, has won 258 games in 28 seasons and was inducted into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. Levett, a business executive, community leader and philanthropist, has along with family members donated more than $1 million to charities and organizations. These individuals are among the “Community Champions” recognized in the history center’s temporary exhibit presented in conjunction with The Champion newspaper. The event is sponsored in part by the DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau. The celebration will take place at the historic DeKalb County Courthouse in Decatur on Thursday, Feb. 9. Champion Publisher Carolyn Glenn will serve as mistress of ceremonies. The annual event begins at 11:30 a.m. and includes a seated luncheon and entertainment. Tickets are required and seating is limited. The cost is $30 for members and $35 for non-members. Sponsorships are still available. For more information, call (404) 373-1088 or visit www.dekalbhistory.org.

The honorees from 2011 were Arthur Anderson, Ray Jones, Jim Gray and Rev. Thomas Bristow.

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 www.dekalbcountyga.gov.

The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast THURSDAY
Showers Likely High: 65 Low: 51

Jan. 26, 2012
Today's Regional Map Weather History
Jan. 26, 1983 - The California coast was battered by a storm that produced record high tides, 32-foot waves and mudslides causing millions of dollars in damage. The storm then moved east and dumped four feet of snow on Lake Tahoe. Jan. 27, 1772 – On this date the “Washington and Jefferson Snowstorm” occurred. George Washington reported three feet of snow at Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson recorded about three feet at Monticello. Dunwoody 63/50 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 64/51 64/51 64/51 Snellville Decatur 65/51 Atlanta 65/51 65/51 Lithonia College Park 66/51 66/51 Morrow 66/51 Union City 66/51 Hampton 67/52

In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see mostly cloudy skies with a 60% chance of showers, high temperature of 65º, humidity of 78%. South wind 5 to 10 mph. The record high temperature for today is 77º set in 1950. Expect cloudy skies tonight with a 90% chance of showers, overnight low of 51º.

FRIDAY
Few Showers High: 59 Low: 38

*Last Week’s Almanac
Hi Lo Normals Precip Date Tuesday 62 44 52/33 0.18" Wednesday 53 32 52/33 0.01" Thursday 55 27 52/33 0.00" Friday 55 43 52/33 0.15" Saturday 62 49 52/33 0.75" Sunday 53 42 52/33 0.01" Monday 51 42 52/34 0.08" Rainfall . . . . . . .1.18" Average temp . .47.9 Normal rainfall . .1.19" Average normal 42.6 Departure . . . . .-0.01" Departure . . . . .+5.3
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport

SATURDAY
Mostly Sunny High: 56 Low: 34

SUNDAY
Sunny High: 51 Low: 32

MONDAY
Mostly Sunny High: 53 Low: 31

TUESDAY
Mostly Sunny High: 57 Low: 35 First 1/30

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:37 a.m. 7:37 a.m. 7:36 a.m. 7:36 a.m. 7:35 a.m. 7:34 a.m. 7:34 a.m. Sunset 6:02 p.m. 6:03 p.m. 6:04 p.m. 6:05 p.m. 6:06 p.m. 6:07 p.m. 6:08 p.m. Moonrise 9:18 a.m. 9:47 a.m. 10:17 a.m. 10:48 a.m. 11:22 a.m. 11:58 a.m. 12:39 p.m. Moonset 9:40 p.m. 10:36 p.m. 11:31 p.m. Next Day 12:26 a.m. 1:21 a.m. 2:16 a.m. Last 2/14

Tonight's Planets
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 7:19 a.m. 5:19 p.m. 9:38 a.m. 9:07 p.m. 9:35 p.m. 10:15 a.m. 11:44 a.m.12:51 a.m. 12:32 a.m.11:47 a.m. 10:20 a.m.10:24 p.m.

WEDNESDAY
Mostly Sunny High: 61 Low: 38 Full 2/7

New 2/21

Local UV Index

National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see partly cloudy to cloudy skies with scattered rain and snow today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 52º in Georgetown, Del. The Southeast will see scattered showers and thunderstorms today and Friday, mostly clear skies Saturday, with the highest temperature of 83º in Ft. Myers, Fla. The Northwest will see scattered rain today, mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with isolated rain and snow Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 55º in Medford, Ore. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 84º in Los Angeles, Calif.

Weather Trivia
What year was the earliest photo taken of a tornado?
Answer: 1884.

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

www.WhatsOurWeather.com

StarWatch By Gary Becker - Season of the Young Moons
I was amazed to see the sun setting slightly more than a half hour later than its earliest setting time which occurred last December on the 8th. Even though we are in the midst of the meteorological winter, the coldest time of the year, we are rounding the corner and soon signs of a higher, warmer sun will become evident. Speaking about higher suns, another object, the moon, is also fun to watch because of its steep ascent into the spring evening skies after its new phase. The moon orbits the Earth nearly in the Earth’s orbital plane called the ecliptic. The angular difference is just over five degrees. In late winter and early spring, the ecliptic is tilted steeply to the western horizon, so that the first four or five days after new moon, Luna will seem to rise almost vertically from the western horizon after sundown. The effect is best witnessed after the new moon nearest to the vernal equinox, the first day of spring, but now is a great time to start “young” moon watching. The moon is new early on Monday, but will still be too close to the sun that evening to be visible. By Tuesday, however, look for a razor thin crescent about 10 degrees above the WSW horizon, 45 minutes after sundown. The moon will be just three percent sunlit. By Wednesday, an eight percent lit crescent approaches brilliant Venus above and to the moon’s left. Thursday, Luna is 14 percent sunlit, and now it is located above and to the left of Venus. During the following three evenings a thickening crescent approaches Jupiter, so that by Monday, January 30, a quarter moon, half on, half off is near Jupiter for the first five hours of the evening. Keep in mind that if bad weather prevails during the week, there will be replays occurring on the evenings of February 22-25, March 23-26 (probably the best sequence), April 22-25, and May 21-24. It is more evidence that spring is just around the corner. www.astronomy.org

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING The DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer and Board of Commissioners will hold Public Hearings on the 2012 Proposed Budget at the times and places listed below: Tuesday Tuesday February 14, 2012 10:00AM February 28, 2012 10:00AM Maloof Center Auditorium 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur Maloof Center Auditorium 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur

Local News

SPECIAL TAX DISTRICT - UNINCORPORATED ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Taxes Licenses and Permits Fines and Forfeitures Miscellaneous Other Financing Sources Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - S T D - UNINCORPORATED FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: C E O Office - Cable TV Support Finance - Business License Recorder's Court Planning & Development- Zoning Analysis Non - Departmental TOTAL - S T D - UNINCORPORATED FUND HOSPITAL FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Taxes Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - HOSPITAL FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: POLICE SERVICES FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Taxes Licenses and Permits Charges for Services Miscellaneous Other Financing Sources Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - POLICE SERVICES FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: RENTAL MOTOR VEHICLE EXCISE TAX FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Taxes Fund Balance Carried Forward

$29,640,001 25,452,265 21,000,000 (73,825) (70,119,749) 1,979,748 $7,878,440

Page 14A

$379,672 504,233 4,044,383 2,652,827 297,325 $7,878,440

$20,457,414 (1,354,510) $19,102,904 $19,102,904

All interested citizens are invited to attend these hearings and have the right to present comments pertaining to the proposed budget. The recommended budget is available for public inspection in the office of the Director of Finance, 6th Floor, Maloof Center, at all DeKalb County Libraries during normal business hours, and electronically at www.dekalbcountyga.gov.
BUDGET RESOLUTION 2012 CEO Recommended

$28,679,303 1,030,000 218,000 106,000 66,613,762 5,647,447 $102,294,512 $102,294,512

TAX FUNDS GENERAL FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Taxes Licenses and Permits Intergovernmental Charges for Services Fines and Forfeitures Miscellaneous Other Financing Sources Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - GENERAL FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: Chief Executive Officer Board of Commissioners Ethics Board Law Department Geographic Info Systems Facilities Management Purchasing Human Resources & Merit System Information Systems Finance Property Appraisal Tax Commissioner Registrar Sheriff Juvenile Court Superior Court Clerk of Superior Court State Court Solicitor - General District Attorney Child Advocate's Office Probate Court Medical Examiner Public Defender Police Magistrate Court Fire & Rescue Services Planning & Development Public Works - Director Economic Development Library Cooperative Extension Public Health Community Service Board DFACS Human Services Contributions to Capital Projects Non - Departmental TOTAL - GENERAL FUND FIRE FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Property Taxes Licenses & Permits Charges for Services Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - FIRE FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: Fire & Rescue Services Non - Departmental TOTAL - FIRE FUND SPECIAL TAX DISTRICT - DESIGNATED SERVICES ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Taxes Charges for Services Miscellaneous Other Financing Sources Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - S T D - DESIGNATED SERVICES FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: Public Works - Transportation Public Works - Roads & Drainage Parks & Recreation Non - Departmental TOTAL - S T D - DESIGNATED SERVICES FUND SPECIAL TAX DISTRICT - UNINCORPORATED ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Taxes Licenses and Permits Fines and Forfeitures Miscellaneous Other Financing Sources Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - S T D - UNINCORPORATED FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: C E O Office - Cable TV Support Finance - Business License Recorder's Court Planning & Development- Zoning Analysis Non - Departmental TOTAL - S T D - UNINCORPORATED FUND

$258,498,615 130,000 3,627,500 25,259,595 9,636,220 5,884,300 4,210,453 (1,500,000) $305,746,683

TOTAL - RENTAL MOTOR VEHICLE EXCISE TAX FUND

$358,990 353,235

$712,225

PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: DEBT SERVICE FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Taxes Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - DEBT SERVICE FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: SPECIAL TAX DISTRICT - DEBT SERVICE FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Taxes Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - STD - DEBT SERVICE FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: TOTAL RECOMMENDED 2012 TAX FUNDS BUDGET SPECIAL REVENUE FUNDS DEVELOPMENT FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Licenses and Permits Charges for Services Investment Income Miscellaneous Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - DEVELOPMENT FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: Planning & Development Land Development TOTAL - DEVELOPMENT FUND PUBLIC EDUCATION & GOVERNMENT ACCESS FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Investment Income Miscellaneous Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - P E G FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES:

$712,225

$1,673,178 3,031,903 5,000 3,198,186 1,732,476 17,111,026 3,066,317 3,212,569 18,452,339 5,758,118 4,295,644 6,330,975 4,795,026 73,283,563 9,258,788 7,902,744 5,529,743 12,071,748 5,430,254 10,119,427 1,836,439 1,543,299 2,025,927 7,685,283 3,108,035 2,531,991 10,049,938 1,085,591 284,891 697,194 12,065,256 $299,796 4,077,973 1,624,803 1,279,674 3,624,927 12,000,000 43,666,642 $305,746,683

$3,434,741 6,197,217 $9,631,958 $9,631,958

$25,753,751 1,980,218 $27,733,969 $27,733,969 $547,329,279

$5,552,883 21,000 (800) (20,000) 853,186 $6,406,269

$5,661,386 744,883 $6,406,269

$10,000 145,000 1,730,099 $1,885,099 $1,885,099

$45,733,474 1,000,000 20,000 2,444,878 $49,198,352

COUNTY JAIL FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Intergovernmental Fines and Forfeitures TOTAL - COUNTY JAIL FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES:

$210,000 2,022,000 $2,232,000 $2,232,000

$46,380,254 2,818,098 $49,198,352

FORECLOSURE REGISTRY FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Charges for Services TOTAL - FORECLOSURE REGISTRY FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: HOTEL / MOTEL TAX FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Taxes Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - HOTEL / MOTEL TAX FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: VICTIM ASSISTANCE FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Fines and Forfeitures Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - VICTIM ASSISTANCE FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: RECREATION FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Charges for Services Investment Income Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - RECREATION FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: LAW ENFORCEMENT CONFISCATED MONIES FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Fund Balance Carried Forward

$716,100 $716,100 $716,100

$15,444,568 3,163,900 401,200 3,505,987 2,514,581 $25,030,236 $2,169,337 9,791,209 10,192,160 2,877,530 $25,030,236

$2,000,000 103,542 $2,103,542 $2,103,542

$950,000 351,172 $1,301,172 $1,301,172

$29,640,001 25,452,265 21,000,000 (73,825) (70,119,749) 1,979,748 $7,878,440

$1,070,573 (281) (316,445) $753,847

$379,672 504,233 4,044,383 2,652,827 297,325 $7,878,440

See Budget on Page 11A
$6,177,329

$753,847

PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: RECREATION FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Charges for Services Investment Income Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - RECREATION FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: LAW ENFORCEMENT CONFISCATED MONIES FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - L.E.C.M. FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: Sheriff District Attorney State Court Marshal Public Safety - Police TOTAL - L.E.C.M. FUND JUVENILE SERVICES FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Charges for Services Investment Income Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - JUVENILE SERVICES FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: DRUG ABUSE TREATMENT & EDUCATION FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Fines and Forfeitures Investment Income Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - D.A.T.E. FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: STREET LIGHT FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Charges for Services Investment Income Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - STREET LIGHT FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: EMERGENCY TELEPHONE SYSTEM FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Investment Income Miscellaneous Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - EMERGENCY TELEPHONE SYSTEM FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: SPEED HUMPS MAINTENANCE FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Charges for Services Investment Income Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - SPEED HUMPS MAINTENANCE FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: GRANT - IN - AID FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Miscellaneous Revenue TOTAL - GRANT - IN - AID FUND GRANT - IN - AID FUND (continued) PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: Community Development Workforce Development Sheriff Juvenile Court Superior Court Solicitor-State Court District Attorney Police Public Defender Fire Public Works Parks Planning & Sustainability Family & Children Services Human Services Other Justice Assistance Grants TOTAL - GRANT - IN - AID FUND

$1,301,172

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012
Budget Continued From Page 10A

$1,070,573 (281) (316,445) $753,847 $753,847

Local News

Charges for Services Investment Income Miscellaneous Other Financing Sources Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - SANITATION FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: Public Works - Sanitation Finance - Revenue Collections TOTAL - SANITATION FUND

$67,867,000 30,000 54,000 147,143 7,938,858 $76,037,001

Page 15A

$6,177,329 $6,177,329

$75,841,947 195,054 $76,037,001

$1,209,456 74,911 27,988 4,864,974 $6,177,329

$30,000 500 309,059 $339,559 $339,559

DEKALB - PEACHTREE AIRPORT ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Investment Income Miscellaneous Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - DEKALB - PEACHTREE AIRPORT PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: Airport Operations Transfer to Capital Projects TOTAL - DEKALB - PEACHTREE AIRPORT STORMWATER UTILITY OPERATING FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Charges for Services Investment Income Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - STORMWATER UTILITY FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: Stormwater Operations Reserve for Appropriations TOTAL - STORMWATER UTILITY FUND INTERNAL SERVICE FUNDS FLEET MAINTENANCE ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Intergovernmental Charges for Services Miscellaneous TOTAL - FLEET MAINTENANCE PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: Public Works - Fleet Maintenance TOTAL - FLEET MAINTENANCE VEHICLE FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Charges for Services Other Financing Sources Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - VEHICLE FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: Vehicle Acquisitions Interdepartmental Services Reserves and Other Miscellaneous TOTAL - VEHICLE FUND RISK MANAGEMENT ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Charges for Services Payroll Deductions and Matches Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - RISK MANAGEMENT PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: Unemployment Compensation Group Health & Life Buildings & Contents Boiler & Machinery Non- Immunity Expenses Vehicle Airport Liability Helicopter Money & Securities Loss Control Other TOTAL - RISK MANAGEMENT WORKERS' COMPENSATION ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Charges for Services Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - WORKERS' COMPENSATION FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES:

$25,000 4,822,000 6,904,905 $11,751,905

$8,651,905 3,100,000 $11,751,905

$50,000 125 97,334 $147,459 $147,459

$17,000,000 (130,000) 4,607,058 $21,477,058

$16,135,779 5,341,279 $21,477,058

$4,500,000 300 1,452,341 $5,952,641 $5,952,641

$200,000 33,012,404 100,000 $33,312,404

$10,000 10,560,000 6,681,630 $17,251,630 $17,251,630

$33,312,404 $33,312,404

$14,295,345 300,000 6,581,139 $21,176,484

$285,000 3,000 1,500,000 $1,788,000 $1,788,000

$17,006,384 260,241 3,909,859 $21,176,484

$47,662,925 $47,662,925

$6,765,075 98,746,508 9,354,864 $114,866,447

$27,148,379 5,736,726 839,195 146,724 545,318 148,431 1,150,456 2,766,965 195,255 2,709,149 332,146 249,135 43,213 1,097,941 2,375,053 164,319 2,014,520 $47,662,925

$303,384 105,184,445 1,095,000 50,000 2,000,000 3,107,500 6,100 120,000 50,018 350,000 2,600,000 $114,866,447

$7,962,234 6,098,465 $14,060,699 $14,060,699

ENTERPRISE FUNDS WATER & SEWERAGE OPERATING FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Charges for Services Investment Income Miscellaneous Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - WATER & SEWERAGE OPERATING FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: Public Works - Water & Sewer Finance - Revenue Collections TOTAL - WATER & SEWERAGE OPERATING FUND WATER & SEWERAGE SINKING FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Miscellaneous Other Financing Sources Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - WATER & SEWERAGE SINKING FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: SANITATION FUND ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Charges for Services Investment Income Miscellaneous Other Financing Sources Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - SANITATION FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: Public Works - Sanitation Finance - Revenue Collections $67,867,000 30,000 54,000 147,143 7,938,858 $76,037,001

REVENUE BONDS LEASE PAYMENT FUNDS BUILDING AUTHORITY LEASE PAYMENTS ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Miscellaneous Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - BUILDING AUTHORITY PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: PUBLIC SAFETY AND JUDICIAL FACILITIES AUTHORITY LEASE PAYMENTS ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Miscellaneous Fund Balance Carried Forward TOTAL - PS&J FACILITIES AUTHORITY PROPOSED EXPENDITURES: URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY BONDS DEBT SERVICE ANTICIPATED REVENUES: Miscellaneous TOTAL - URA DEBT SERVICE FUND PROPOSED EXPENDITURES:

$219,630,100 25,800 20,000 18,252,828 $237,928,728

$3,714,234 18,144 $3,732,378 $3,732,378

$231,284,303 6,644,425 $237,928,728

$3,058,503 46,299 $3,104,802 $3,104,802

$663,040 61,299,709 141,424 $62,104,173 $62,104,173

$775,874 $775,874 $775,874

$75,841,947 195,054

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Education

Page 16A

A student in Angela Gabriel’s pre-kindergarten class at College Heights Early Learning Center makes letters out of clay. Photos by Daniel Beauregard

by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com

Handwriting and cursive still a mainstay in schools
students get older and are introduced to newer technologies. Gabriel, who teaches at College Heights Early Learning Center in Decatur, said she thinks cursive is being thought of more as an art form than a useful skill. “I think if you’re a 21-year-old and you’re still printing everything and you’re trying to convey a message to somebody, it doesn’t have that same quality to it if it isn’t in longhand,” Gabriel said. “I also think, even more importantly, ‘How are you going to sign your check?’” Little echoed Gabriel and said regardless of technology, students still need to be able to sign checks or fill out job applications, and cursive streamlines that process. “There is a time and a place for technology but we know with early literacy development there is a link between reading and writing. We also know that cursive helps their cognitive ability,” Little said. In both City Schools of Decatur and the DeKalb County School System, cursive is part of the curriculum until fifth grade. Both systems use the Handwriting Without Tears program. “It is very important that students have both handwriting skills as well as 21st century technology skills to communicate for various purposes and with different audiences,” DeKalb Schools spokeswoman Joye Burton said. However, College Heights’ Instructional Coach Zeke Alejandro said focus has moved away from teaching cursive. Teaching students how to form letters and have the proper hand development is still important, he said. Cursive is still an important learning tool that shouldn’t be put aside, Alejandro said, as schools introduce new technologies into the curriculum they use. Alejandro previously worked at Midway Elementary School in the DeKalb County School System where he taught cursive from pre-K through third grade. He said with cursive a student is more likely to follow through

Susan Little, the southeast curriculum specialist for Handwriting Without Tears, said when Georgia adopted the Common Core Standards it elected to include cursive writing in its performance standards for third and fourth grade. “Quite honestly, because it’s a standard, teachers have to do it. If it wasn’t in the standards, and teachers and principals thought that teaching it took an exorbitant amount of time then it might get pushed to the side,” Little said. Handwriting Without Tears is a program adopted by the Georgia Department of Education that uses hands-on learning to teach writing in the classroom. In addition to handwriting, the program also offers cursive instruction for grades 3-5. However, some teachers such as Angela Gabriel feel cursive has become more of an afterthought as

and understand a thought because he or she doesn’t pick up the pencil until the end of a word. College Heights, a City Schools of Decatur school, is one of the only public schools in Georgia that offers early childhood learning, from six months through pre-kindergarten, and Alejandro said handwriting is important at such an early age. “A lot of what we focus on is the strokes that make each letter,” Alejandro said. Both Alejandro and Gabriel, who teaches pre-K, said there is still some writing done with pencil and paper in her class but the main focus is on motor skills development. “It goes past handwriting—it’s how you hold your utensils when you’re eating and how to lace shoes and clothing,” Gabriel said. “Now we’re giving kids the opportunity to explore each letter and to understand them.”

EDUCATION BRIEFS
Renowned surgeon to speak at Emory’s commencement
Internationally renowned neurosurgeon and humanitarian Benjamin Carson will deliver the keynote address at Emory University’s 167th commencement ceremony May 14. He will also receive an honorary doctor of humane letters. Carson is a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he has directed pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for more than 25 years. In 2008, Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. March 30: • Reading by Jacqueline Pardue Goldfinger. Winter Theatre, 1 p.m. • Reception and book signing in Dalton Gallery, 2 p.m. For tickets call (404) 4716430.

Agnes Scott College announces writers’ fair schedule
Agnes Scott College has released the schedule for its 41st Annual Writers’ Festival to be held March 29-30. March 29: • Reading by Benjamin Percy in the Winter Theatre, 4 p.m. • A reception and book signing will follow in the Dalton Gallery, 5 p.m. • Reading by Joy Harjo Gaines Chapel, Presser Hall, 8 p.m. • Reception. Rebekah Scott Hall, 9:30 p.m.

Rollins Foundation gives $15 million for theology building
Emory University’s Candler School of Theology has received a $15 million gift from the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation of Atlanta. The grant will fund the construction of the second phase of the school’s new building program. In recogni-

tion of the gift, the first building—a 65,000-square-foot facility completed in 2008— will be named in memory of the late Rita Anne Rollins, the first grandchild of the foundation’s namesake. This latest gift from the Rollins Foundation is part of Campaign Emory, the university’s $1.6 billion fundraising endeavor.

Woodruff Arts Center partners with ICS
The Young Audiences Woodruff Arts Center program announced it is partnering with the International Community School (ICS) to help raise money to bring arts programming to ICS students.

Funds will be raised through Young Audiences’ new membership program, according to a recent press release. Young Audiences Woodruff Arts is an affiliate of the nation’s largest arts-in-education organization, Young Audiences Inc., and Georgia’s leading provider of educational arts programming. Membership for Young Audiences Woodruff Arts Center is $50. Half of the money raised will fund the delivery of arts-based educational programming at ICS, a K-6 charter school where nearly 50 percent of the students are immigrants or refugees.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Local News

Page 17A

God of Carnage raises unsettling questions about ‘civilized’ people
zation…There are big, complex questions explored, but the exploration is always on a human scale, engaging our hearts and our The play God of Carnage, now on the heads.” Alliance Theater main stage is as funny at The movie version of the play is curmoments as it is unsettling at others. rently in theaters as Carnage. I have not Two couples decide initially to be exseen the movie yet, but it should make for tremely civilized in their response to the an interesting comparison because I think fact that one couple’s son hit the other’s son that the fact that the Alliance produced its with a stick, breaking two of his teeth. At version with an all-Black cast infuses nuthe home of the injured child’s parents, the ances that may not be present in the origifour meet to try to agree on a description nal. The one woman’s interest in African of what happened in the conflict between culture, for example, might be subject to a the children. The refined upper middleclass different interpretation with an all-White gathering starts as quasi-social with snacks cast, as is the case in the movie. served amid very polite conversation. “We will not change the text,” Gash Almost like tiny trickles of water grow- notes. “We will simply tell the story ing to a massive flood, small irritations and through this cultural lens.” The fact that offhand remarks build until not only does the play is a translation of one originally couple turn against couple, but marriage written in French, however, speaks to the partners turn on one another. Adults who universality of the story. started out wondering how a playground The Alliance production of God of confrontation could have escalated to vioCarnage, written by Yasmina Reza and lence come close to reaching that point translated by Christopher Hampton, stars themselves. Jasmine Guy, Keith Randolph Smith, Director Kent Gash in his program Crystal Fox and Geoffrey Darnell Wilnotes states, “God of Carnage is seductive- liams. ly entertaining while always testing who we The play is at the Alliance through Feb. are, who we think we are and what primal 4. The Alliance Theatre is located at 1280 instincts lurk beneath the veneer of civiliPeachtree St., NE, Atlanta. by Kathy Mitchell kathy@dekalbchamp.com

From left, Keith Randolph Smith as Michael Novak, Jasmine Guy as Veronica Novak and Geoffrey Darnell Williams as Alan Raleigh Photo by Greg Mooney

Old Blue Eyes is back in a musical tribute by Dunwoody’s Stage Door Players
by Kathy Mitchell kathy@dekalbchamp.com I grew up in a house where a few voices from the little stereo in the dining room were as familiar as family voices. Frank Sinatra’s was among them. In introducing My Way—A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, one of the Stage Door Players actors said that some of the songs would be familiar and some might not be. I chuckled to myself; there won’t be any that aren’t familiar to me, I thought. My mother owned virtually every album Sinatra made. OK, they managed to slip in a few songs I didn’t know, but most I knew every lyric to. Some I hadn’t heard since those days so long ago with the dining room turntable. Nearly 60 songs—some sang all the way through and others as part of a medley—include the numbers that no Sinatra tribute would be complete without—New York, New York, Fly Me to the Moon, Strangers in the Night, The Lady Is a Tramp and, of course, My Way. They even included my personal favorite, The Way You Look Tonight. Those who love Sinatra and those who can be mesmerized by the romantic music of the early to mid-20th century—from the clever word plays of Cole Porter to the hummable ballads of Rogers and Hart—are likely to have a fun evening as singer/actors Drew Archer, Courtney Godwin, Marcie Millard and Bryant Smith create vignettes set within a post World War II- style smoky bar. They are backed up by musicians Linda Uzelac on piano, Dan Bauman on bass, and J.D. Williams on percussion, who add to the illusion as they sit like the house band with 1950s style microphones. Even as it celebrates the romantic Sinatra the production hints at the more complicated person that “Old Blue Eyes” was. Once again, the amazing little theater company that performs in a building shared with the Dunwoody Library and the Spruill Arts Center has put on a production that’s engaging and professional from the lighting to the set design. My Way—A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra will be at the Stage Door Players Theater through Feb. 12. The theater is located at 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road.
Frank Sinatra

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Business

Page 18A

The residence sits on a quiet street in Dunwoody.

Residents can stop by the coffee shop for a snack or buy items from the country store with bingo winnings.

Such touches as the fireplace in the dining room give Plantation South a homey feel.

Assisted living home director helps residents live rich, full lives
by Kathy Mitchell kathy@dekalbchamp.com Yonnie Stevens, who recently was named director of Plantation South of Dunwoody, an assisted living and memory care home, said she has a heart for older people that began with visits with her grandfather when she was growing up. “He was nearly 100 when I got to know him,” she recalled. “We lived in St. Louis and came to visit him in Georgia every year. I would walk and talk with him and listen to his stories. He didn’t just know history, he lived it. He had 14 brothers and sisters and saw some of them sold on the auction block.” Stevens, whose actual first name is Audrienne, was close to her grandfather until his death at age 114. Her interest in caring for older people continued as she volunteered at nursing homes when she was out of school for the summer. When she learned that she could make an occupation of caring for older people she decided that was the path she wanted to follow. Stevens is a graduate of Fisk University with a degree in health care administration offered through a partnership between Fisk University and Meharry Medical College, adjacent institutions in Nashville, Tenn. She now has been in the business nearly 20 years and is one of only 20 certified caregiver trainers as recognized by the state of Georgia. Based on her family experience, Stevens became sensitive to the fact that older people need more than food, medicine and a place to sleep. They need to live the same rich, full lives they’ve always led, she said, noting that she is proud of the programs at Plantation South of Dunwoody that create a vibrant lifestyle for its residents that includes opportunities to interact with pets. “Pets are welcome here,” she said, adding that local organizations bring pets in from time to time that residents can pet, walk and interact with. Steven Piazza, CEO of Senior Management Advisors, the Florida-based company that owns Plantation South, said of Stevens, “Her understanding of the needs of seniors and their family members, as well as her creativity and management skills, allow us to continue to provide an exceptional experience for residents at Plantation South Dunwoody.” The Plantation South community has assisted living facilities for residents who need medication supervision, light housekeeping help and companionship. Personal care services such as hygiene assistance and staff escort to meals and activities are available to those who require them. A separate facility houses those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. There, residents participate in activities designed for memory support. “I want to build the activity calendar based on what the residents are interested in,” Stevens said. “If someone tells me he likes to play poker, I try to find others who are interested so we can set up games.” She said that residents are encouraged to form clubs to explore such shared interests as photography, woodworking, crafts and cooking. There also are art and computer classes, religious services, games, musical entertainment and more, she said. “We keep a full calendar.” The grounds include a patio and garden area and inside there’s a coffee shop where residents can have a snack anytime and a “country store,” where they can spend their bingo winnings. Most residents live at Plantation South all year except for brief visits with family; others come for short periods under the respite care program while family members take a vacation or tend to business or personal matters. Stevens said that no two days at Plantation South are the same. “You have to be prepared for anything,” she said, noting that her day is focused on keeping residents safe, healthy and happy.”

Yonnie Stevens, the new executive director, is one of only 20 certified caregiver trainers in Georgia.

Rooms are decorated by family members using items from the resident’s home. Photos by Kathy Mitchell

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

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
404-378-8000 www.DeKalbChamber.org

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Health

Page 19A

Deep brain stimulation shows promising results for depression
A new study shows that deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a safe and effective intervention for treatmentresistant depression in patients with either unipolar major depressive disorder or bipolar II disorder. The study was published Online First by Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The study was led by Helen S. Mayberg, professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Neurology and Radiology at Emory University School of Medicine, with co-investigators Paul E. Holtzheimer, lead psychiatrist and now associate professor and director of the Mood Disorders Service, Dartmouth Medical School, and neurosurgeon Robert E. Gross, associate professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology at Emory. Gross served as chief neurosurgeon for the study. “Depression is a serious and debilitating medical illness,” Mayberg said. “When we found that the potential for effective and sustained antidepressant response with DBS for patients with otherwise treatment-resistant major depressive disorder was high, the next step was to determine if patients with intractable bipolar depression could also be successfully treated.” Bipolar spectrum disorder, sometimes referred to as manic-depression, is characterized by bouts of mania or hypomania alternating between episodes of depression. Although people with bipolar II disorder do not have full manic episodes, depressive episodes are frequent and intense, and there is a high risk of suicide. A major challenge in treating bipolar depression is that many antidepressant medications may cause patients to “switch” into a hypomanic or manic episode. DBS uses high-frequency electrical stimulation targeted to a predefined area of the brain specific to the particular neuropsychiatric disorder. Here, each study participant was implanted with two thin wire electrodes, one on each side of the brain. The other end of each wire was connected under the skin of the patient’s neck to a pulse generator implanted in the chest – similar to a pacemaker – that directs the electrical current. A significant decrease in depression and increase in function were associated with continuing stimulation. Remission and response rates were 18 percent and 41 percent after 24 weeks; 36 percent and 36 percent after one year and 58 percent and 92 percent after two years of active stimulation. Patients who achieved remission did not experience a spontaneous relapse. Mayberg and her colleagues continue to refine this intervention. “Most of these patients have been in a depressed state for many years and are disabled and isolated,” Holtzheimer said. “As their depression improves, they need a process to help them achieve full recovery that includes integration back into society. “We hope to optimize the rate of improvement for these patients by using a model of care that provides psychotherapeutic rehabilitation built on evidence-based psychotherapy but tailored to the specific individual’s situation.”

Page 20A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

AROUND DEKALB
ATLANTA
Kiddie Algebra program offered at YMCA
Michelle Brown-Stafford presents a Kiddie Algebra gathering for budding mathematicians at the East Lake YMCA on Jan. 28. The free program is 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Brown-Stafford and her son Stephen Stafford, who attended Morehouse College at the age of 11, will introduce algebra to students in third through fifth grades. The teaching approach of Stanford University’s Gifted Program (EPGY) will be used. The program is limited to the first 20 students. Light refreshments will be served and students will be given a certificate upon completion. Pictures will be taken with Stephen, a mathematics prodigy who was the youngest student to attend Morehouse College in its 150-year history. Michelle Brown-Stafford was featured in “A Smart Mom’s Guide to Raising Brilliant Kids” in Essence Magazine and “Not Your Traditional Educator” in Rolling Out magazine. Stephen has appeared on the Mo’Nique Show, Tyra Banks, CNN, Headline News, MSNBC and other media outlets. To reserve a spot in the program call (678) 278-8424.

Soil and water conservation meeting announced
The DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation District monthly meeting will be held on Friday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. at the Clark Harrison Building, 330 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. in downtown Decatur. For additional information call (770) 761-3020.

a child’s college education and more. Call (770) 482-3828 or visit the branch to register. Stonecrest Library is located at 3123 Klondike Road, Lithonia.

Church Mess comes to M.L. King High
C3 Entertainment Co. presents Church Mess, The Play on Feb. 4, 7 p.m., at the Martin Luther King Jr. High School auditorium. The play is billed as America’s No. 1 live urban comedy gospel stage play and has been seen in more than 100 cities. The play features gospel rapper Ason, aka Big Sonny; recording artist Leofric Thomas; Chad Cooper, star of Church Mess The Movie (scheduled for release in June); and Alicia Robinson Cooper, a recording artist and lead singer for John P. Kee and the VIP Choir. To buy tickets in advance, call (888) 977-2282, ext. 100. For more information, visit www.churchmess.com. M.L. King Jr. High School is at 3991 Snapfinger Road in Lithonia.

Nature photography exhibit upcoming
Waterscapes, a nature photography exhibit showcasing the work of three Decatur-based photographers, will open Feb. 1 at the Decatur Public Library and will run the entire month. Also, the photographers will share insights into the making of their photographs during an artists’ talk on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 4 p.m. A reception will follow until 5:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Taking water as their source of inspiration, the photographers— David Foster, Jerome Walker and Virginie Drujon-Kippelen—express their appreciation for nature and wilderness. Their images capture a wide range of features and scenery, from little-known areas of the American West to wellhidden local settings. Youth safety/health fair announced A Youth Safety/Health Fair will be held at Gresham Park Christian Church Saturday, Feb. 4, 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. The fair will include: • Janet Weisman of Safety Kids • The Colgate Dental Mobile • Sheila O’Rear of the DeKalb Police Dept. • Kristy Hill of DeKalb County Fire and Safety• Representatives of DeKalb County Animal Control • Healthy eating information • Adolescence/adult health information presented by retired Lt. Col. Lillian Williams, nurse practitioner Gresham Park Christian Church is located at 2819 Flat Shoals Road, Decatur. Lamar Cochran is the pastor. For more information, call (404) 241-4511.

Program to cover grant-writing basics
Grant Writing 101, to be presented at the Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library by Chataun R. Denis with Grant Source, is designed to teach the basics in securing funding for a nonprofit. Scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 31, 6 - 7:30 p.m., this program will include how to structure a proposal and get people emotionally involved in the project. Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library is located at 952 Leon Street, Stone Mountain. For more information, call (770) 413-2020.

STONE MOUNTAIN

CHAMBLEE

Chamblee Library hosts English as second language class
On Feb. 6, 10-11:30 a.m., Chamblee Library will host a free class for those interested in speaking Englis h as a second language. The class is sponsored by the Literacy Volunteers of America-Metro Atlanta. This is a repeating event occurring at several other DeKalb County Public Library locations. Those interested can call the Literacy Volunteers of America-Metro Atlanta at (404) 3777323 or DeKalb County Public Library Literacy Services at (404) 370-8450 ext. 2240.

Stone Mountain government moving into new city hall
Nine months after construction began, Stone Mountain’s government will move into its new city hall on Jan. 30. “We will be in the building and functional on Jan. 30,” said City Manager Barry Amos. “We may not be fully functional, but we will be functional.” At 10,750 square feet, the new building is approximately 4,000 square feet larger than the old city hall. In addition to having more office space, the city council chambers will hold approximately 100 people versus 30-35 people in the current chambers. The administrative offices of the old city hall will be turned into a visitors center and museum, Amos said. “We are excited about it,” Amos said about the $1.7 million building located 875 Main St., a block away from the old city hall.

Family show to be at Eddie’s Attic
A family show, Gustafer Yellowgold’s Infinity Sock, starring that little guy from the sun, Gustafer Yellowgold, will be at Eddie’s Attic Saturday, Jan. 28, at 11 a.m., 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children younger than 12. For more information, call (404) 377-4976 or visit http://www.eddiesattic.com.

DECATUR

LITHONIA
Library to hold financial symposium
Stonecrest Library will hold a financial symposium Saturday, Jan. 28, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. The event will be a day of mini workshops and seminars offering practical solutions and strategies for financial success. Financial experts will facilitate sessions covering such topics as credit vs. debt management, estate and retirement planning, understanding foreclosure, funding

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Page 21A

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Sports

Page 22A

County titles up for grabs in swimming, wrestling
by Robert Naddra robert@dekalbchmap.com County bragging rights in swimming and wrestling will be at stake Jan. 27-28 as the county championship in both sports will be determined. Defending champion Southwest DeKalb will be led by heavyweight Gabe Echols in the 2012 DeKalb County Wrestling Championships at Miller Grove on Jan. 27-28. Echols, who won the heavyweight class in the county meet last season, was 15-0 through Jan. 11. A team title this year will give Southwest its third county championship and back-to-back titles for the first time. Marist, which won the county title in 2010, recently won two matches in the state duals tournament after winning the Area 6-AAAA Duals tournament. Stephenson, McNair and Southwest also participated in the state duals. Columbia and Redan are tied for the most county championships with eight. In swimming, Lakeside has long dominated both the boys’ and girls’ county meets. Dunwoody snapped the Lakeside girls’ streak of 14 straight county titles last season. It was Dunwoody’s first girls’ county title since 1996, when it won its 11th consecutive championship. The Lakeside boys won their eighth straight county championship in 2011. Lakeside and Dunwoody hold the top individual times in the county in every boys and girls event except one this season. The finals of the county swimming championship will be Jan. 28, beginning at 11 a.m., at the Dynamo Swim Center in Chamblee. Dunwoody’s Shawn Pyne has the county’s top girls’ times in three events–the 50 freestyle (26:04), 100 backstroke (1:05.60) and 200 freestyle (2:06.41)–and the second best time in the 100 freestyle (58.25). Lakeside’s Anna Ewing has the fastest time in the 100 freestyle (58.07) and is just behind Pyne in the 50 (26.42) and the 200 freestyle (2:06.47). Erin Collins of Lakeside has the fastest reported time in the county for the 100 butterfly (1:04.00) while teammate Lizzy White follows at 1:04.82. For the boys, Dunwoody’s Matt Kizer has the county’s top times in the 100 backstroke (58.07) and 200 free (1:51.04), while teammate Justin Wulff has the top time in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.65).

Tall order
Columbia seniors, from left, Damian Goodwin, Jarmal Reid and Chris Horton, are a big reason why the Eagles are ranked No. 1 in the state. Photo by Robert Naddra

Corralling Columbia’s post players is no easy task

by Robert Naddra robert@dekalbchamp.com

hil McCrary knows the questions are coming so he keeps his scorebook handy after basketball games. The Columbia boys’ basketball coach needs the statistics to settle friendly challenges between his post players, who are the cornerstone of the Eagles’ brutish defense. “They have a running competition of who can get the most blocks, rebounds and have the best dunks,” McCrary said. “All in all, it’s fun, but they’re very competitive. After a game, they’re always asking me about statistics.” Seniors Jhaustin Thomas, Jarmal Reid, Chris Horton and Damian Goodwin give opposing offenses fits and give the Eagles something they don’t usually have—versatility in the post. “We’ve always had size,” McCrary said. “We’ve got size now, but they all bring something different to the table. The guys we used to have were more bangers

P

and bruisers. Horton and Reid are more finesse-type players.” The foursome has helped Columbia earn a No. 1 ranking in the Class AAA Georgia Athletic Coaches Association poll with an 18-1 record before the Jan. 24 game against Arabia Mountain. Reid, Horton and Goodwin were part of the Eagles’ state championships in 2010 and 2011. Reid and Goodwin have known each other since middle school, while Reid and Horton have been teammates since their sophomore season. Thomas, who was concentrating on football, joined the team last season. “Most of them have been in the program a long time,” McCrary said. “And Jhaustin brings that football savvy…. The guys all put the work in.” Horton leads the county with 85 blocked shots and is among the county leaders in rebounding, averaging 10.6 per game. Thomas leads the Eagles in scoring, averaging 12.2 points and has scored at least 12 in the past eight games. He also averages 10.3 rebounds a contest. Reid is

County champion winning streaks
Wrestling 5: Columbia (1999-2003); Briarcliff (1963-66) 3: Chamblee (1977-79); Walker (1969-71) Boys swimming 8: Lakeside (2004-11) 7: Dunwoody (1989-95) 5: Redan (1982-86) Girls swimming 14: Lakeside (1997-2010) 11: Dunwoody (1986-96)

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Sports

Page 23A

DeKalb High School Sports Highlights
BOYS BASKETBALL
Chamblee: The Bulldogs upset Miller Grove 56-54 on Jan. 20 and beat Lithonia 58-48 on Jan. 17. The Bulldogs who never trailed against Miller Grove, led 18-5 in the first quarter and by 10 points heading into the fourth quarter. Jade McClendon and Isaiah Mason each scored 16 points while Devin Bellamy and McClendon each grabbed 12 rebounds. Against Lithonia, Joquel Jones had 24 points. The Bulldogs (14-4, 9-1 in Region 6-AAAA) have won five in a row heading into the Jan. 23 game against Southwest DeKalb. Southwest DeKalb: William Goodwin scored 51 points and had 21 rebounds as the Panthers defeated Lakeside 79-45 and Carver Atlanta 75-53. Jordan Price added 17 points against Lakeside and 29 against Carver. The Panthers (10-4, 9-1 in Region 6-AAAA) played Chamblee on Jan. 24. Miller Grove: The Wolverines had won 36 consecutive regular season region games before their 56-54 loss to Chamblee on Jan. 20. The last regular season region loss for the three-time defending state AAAA champions prior to that came Dec. 4, 2009 against Tucker. Miller Grove rebounded from the Chamblee loss with an 85-52 win over Dunwoody on Jan. 21. Columbia: The Eagles extended their winning streak to 12 games with wins over Cedar Grove (65-46) and United Faith Christian Academy, N.C., (49-47). Druid Hills: Willie Zachery had 14 points, and Clarence Williams had 12 points and six blocks in a 55-54 win over North Springs on Jan. 12. The Red Devils also beat St. Pius 55-44 and Riverwood 52-47. Zachery and Williams each scored 17 points against the Golden Lions while Williams scored 18 and Zachery 10 against Riverwood. Arabia Mountain: Bakari Copeland scored 22 points and Bryan Baptiste added 13 in a 74-66 win over McNair on Jan. 17. The Rams (6-9, 3-3 in Region 5-AAA) made 20 of 26 free throw attempts in the game. Arabia Mountain, which played Columbia on Jan. 24, has won four of its past six games after starting the season 2-7. Dunwoody: The Wildcats lost three games Jan. 16-21—to Wesleyan 73-52, to Douglass 60-45 and to Miller Grove 85-52. Paris Ballinger had 11 points in the loss to Wesleyan; Richard Carrington scored 19 and DeChard Hamilton had 13 against Douglass; and Ballinger led the Wildcats with 12 in the loss to Miller Grove.

Dunwoody’s Paris Ballinger (12), left photo, leaps to make a pass between Miller Grove’s Tony Parker and Justin Colvin in the Wolverines’ 85-52 win on Jan. 21. James Walker of Miller Grove, right photo, puts up a shot as Dunwoody’s Ryan Elmore (33) defends. Photos by John Page

scored 11 points and had 10 rebounds in a 45-35 win over Campbell and Stroud had 10 points and 13 rebounds. The Jaguars were 15-4 before their Jan. 24 game at East Coweta. Decatur: The Bulldogs won three games Jan. 17-21 to improve to 17-3 overall. Queen Alford scored 18 points, Jordan Dillard added 16 and Akila Haynes had 12 in a 68-18 win over Clarkston on Jan. 17. The Bulldogs also beat South Atlanta 54-32 and Westminster 68-25. Alford scored 27 points and Dillard added 17 in the win over Westminster. Southwest DeKalb: Nekia Sockwell scored 16 points in a 58-38 win over Carver Atlanta and 12 in a 56-18 win over Lakeside. Against Carver, Nicole Martin added 16 points while Nicole Razor had 10, Davion Wingate had 10 and Jasmine Coleman had 12. Wingate also scored 12 in the win over Lakeside and Martin added 10. The Panthers improved to 12-6 overall and lead Region 6-AAAA, Subdivision A at 9-1. Redan: The Raiders lost to Marist 52-29 on Jan. 17 and defeated Carver Atlanta 65-47 on Jan. 20. Brea Elmore led the Raiders with 18 points against Carver and Jada Byrd added 17. Fatia Sams had a team-high nine rebounds. St. Pius: The Golden Lions (15-3, 7-0 in Region 5-AAA) defeated Druid Hills 58-17 and Washington 60-9. Emma Ucinski and Asia Durr each scored 11 points while Sydni Payne scored 10 against Druid Hills. Durr scored 12 points and Anna O’Donnell added 10 in the win over Washington.

by 2.5 points. Stephenson, Lithonia and Redan also had first-place finishers. Stephenson finished fifth, Arabia Mountain eighth and Lithonia ninth. Here are the top individual DeKalb finishers. McNair: Darius Harris (106), third; Khalil Williams (120), first; Deniko West (126), second; Zeontaye McCoy (138), third; Michael Corley (160); second; D.J. Jackson (225), first; Kevin Barner (285), first. Stephenson: Dexter Brown (106), second; Stephen Wylie (152), second; Darion Perry (160), first; Christopher Marion (170), third; Mike Gales (195), second. Lithonia: Larry Reeves (138), fourth; Anthony Smith (152), first; Jaquile Fitzpatrick (160), third; Lajuan Fulmore (182), second. Arabia Mountain: Aleema Favors (113), second; Marie Dumas (126), fourth. Redan: James Philpot (182), first; Anthony Lake (225), fourth.

MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Khalil Williams, McNair (wrestling): Williams won four matches to win the 120-pound division at the Wildcat Rumble on Jan. 21 at Lovejoy. Williams helped the Mustangs win the team title in the 18team event and improved his season record to 35-0. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Kaliyah Mitchell, Stephenson (basketball): The junior had two double-doubles and scored 39 points total in wins over Newnan, Luella and Campbell. She had 10 rebounds each against Newnan and Campbell, and helped the Jaguars improve to 15-4 overall.

GIRLS BASKETBALL
Stephenson: The Jaguars have won five games in a row, including wins over Newnan, Luella and Campbell since Jan. 17. Kaliyah Mitchell and Marnasha Eugene each scored 15 points in a 72-52 win over Newnan. Joylyn Stroud added 12 points and Mitchell led with 10 rebounds. In a 69-50 win over Luella, Naima Jackson scored 17 points, Kyana Johnson and Mitchell each had 13, and Kerry Watson added 11. Mitchell

WRESTLING
Wildcat Rumble, Lovejoy High School McNair had seven wrestlers place in the top three and won the 18-team tournament. The Mustangs scored 214.5 points to beat second-place Shiloh

Page 24A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 27, 2012

Columbia
Continued From Page 22A

the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 11.6 points. Goodwin has been solid off the bench all season and averages five points and five rebounds per game. “We’re very competitive and we know what each other can do,” said Reid, 6-foot-6, who has signed a basketball scholarship with Oregon State “We always try to come up with something new to push each other. I do things that help them out and they help me by making me work very hard.” Columbia has one of the best defenses in the state and allows a county-low 42.3 points per game. The Eagles are tied with Miller Grove in the county in rebounding and are second as a team in blocked shot average. Reid and Thomas (6-5) are the more physical players, but Horton (6-8), who has signed with Austin Peay University, worked to improve his strength in the off-season. “He’s always had people ahead of him,” McCrary said of Horton. “He’s had to go against those guys and it’s made him that much better.” In addition to having versatility under the basket, the fact that each player understands his role makes them more effective as a group. Said Horton: “I definitely block more shots. My length helps me go up against stronger opponents. We definitely have a defense first mentality.” Goodwin, who has committed to a scholarship at Southern University, can play on the wing as well and battle on the boards, while Reid and Thomas are more physical. “My physicality is my strength,” Reid said. “I’m stronger than they are and have more of a physical presence. I do things that help them out and they help me by making me work very hard.”

Congregational Wellness Advocates Training
Heart Disease is the leading cause of death.
Risks can be reduced by: 1. Eating a healthy diet 2. Maintaining a healthy weight 3. Exercising regularly 4. Limiting alcohol use 5. Not smoking Help prevent heart disease in your congregation. To learn more, attend the

Search Your Heart Training 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, February 16, 2012.
Bohan Auditorium DeKalb County Board of Health

445 Winn Way • Decatur, GA 30030
RSVP at 404-294-3724 or to dmtimar@dhr.state.ga.us

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