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WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2012 • VOL. 14, NO. 46 • FREE

• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •

Bishop Long apologizes after being wrapped in Torah
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com

A

HYIS SHE HAPPY ?

fter being wrapped in a Torah and declared a king, Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, apologized for the ceremony that many Jewish leaders found offensive. A Youtube video of the Jan. 31 event shows Long being wrapped in a Torah and later lifted in a chair by four men who carry the bishop around the stage in front of a worshipping congregation. “He is now raised up from a commoner to a kingship,” said Rabbi Ralph Messer, who performed the ceremony. “He’s raised from earth into a heavenly realm. “He is a king,” Messer said. “God’s blessed. He’s a humble man. But in him is kingship. In him is royalty.” In an apology to the Jewish community, Long said, “The ceremony was not my suggestion, nor was it my intent, to participate in any ritual that is offensive in any manner to the Jewish community or any group. “Furthermore, I sincerely denounce any action that depicts me as a king, for I am merely just a servant of the Lord,” Long said. “I apologize for any action on my part that may have caused damage to the Jewish faith.” Long said he understands that the ceremony caused harm to the Jewish community, but believes Messer had “good intentions.” Messer’s website says he is the president and founder of Simchat Torah Beit Midrash, a congregation and school based in Colorado. He is described as an internationally acclaimed Bible teacher, conference speaker and

Bishop Eddie Long, of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, is wrapped in a Torah during a service at his church on Jan. 31. The ceremony was performed by Rabbi Ralph Messer of Colorado who declared Long a king. Source: Youtube

“Jews and people of faith take great strides to ensure that the Torah is not touched....To wrap someone in a Torah is to show disrespect.” – Rabbi Joseph Prass

WHYIS SHE WHYIS SHE SO SO HAPPY ? HAPPY ?

WHYIS SHE SO HAPPY ?

Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion.
Rabbi Joseph Prass, of Temple Emanu-El in Sandy Springs, demonstrates the care and respect given to a Torah. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

ews updates online from the The Champion.

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See long on page 15a

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Brookhaven supporters push for vote on cityhood
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com It was neighbor against neighbor on Jan. 31 when DeKalb residents voiced their views to state lawmakers about a proposed city of Brookhaven. “There’s no reason whatsoever that we shouldn’t be able to do what Dunwoody has done,” said Rep. Mike Jacobs, who authored House Bill 636 that calls for a referendum on Brookhaven’s cityhood. “It is a city of roughly the same population. It is a city located in the same county.” Last year, the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute released a study showing that the proposed 12-square mile city would be financially feasible. If it incorporates, Brookhaven would have 49,000 residents and would be the state’s 16th largest city. Jacobs said residents supporting the proposed Brookhaven feel they would be better represented by a city government. “This is about your neighbors making decisions about your local government services,” Jacobs said. “I am today to put forward a bill in this General Assembly to give you the opportunity to vote whether or not you want that.” Rep. Elena Parent said the cityhood of Brookhaven is a controversial topic, but many of her constituents “feel that this is being rushed and they would just like it to slow down.” “Most of my constituents that are in the Brookhaven map are not ready to vote on it this summer,” Parent said. “I’ve got people who are ‘yes’ and I’ve got people who are ‘no.’ I’m talking to you about the prevailing sentiment which is ‘let’s just chill out a little bit.’” Instead, Parent said that many of her constituents want to know what problems would be solved by incorporation. “The vast majority don’t seem to have a problem with the services they currently receive from DeKalb,” Parent said. “They want to know what the effect is going to be on the rest of the county. They want to know if the county is going to have to raise taxes.” DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader, who sponsored a resolution asking for a comprehensive study of impact incorporation on the unincorporated areas, said more time is needed before making a decision on Brookhaven. “I’m not against new cities,” Rader said. “I’m not against the existing cities. We need to look carefully and make a good decision. We need to look before we leap.” CEO Burrell Ellis said the process of incorporation has shortcomings that need to be addressed. “We’ve looked at the feasibility of cost on those 49,000 citizens within these proposed boundaries, but we haven’t looked at the full impact of all of the decisions we’re making on the 735,000 citizens who live throughout DeKalb County,” Ellis said. Another problem with the process is the estimate of the finances needed to run the proposed city, said DeKalb resident Jim Eyre. “The two-year-old budget snapshot used for the proposed city of Brookhaven does not take into account the reality of today’s skyrocketing cost of public works,” Eyre said. “The feasibility study does not accurately reflect the true costs to maintain the older infrastructure in Brookhaven.” The proposed budget of Brookhaven would put the city on “perilous financial footing from day one,” Eyre said. Supporting the movement for a new city, Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis said his three-year-old city is “very comfortable in what we have done.” “We became a city primarily to represent ourselves,” Davis said. “DeKalb county commissioners represent 140,000 people. [Dunwoody’s] council people represent 15,000. Your neighbor is actually your representative.” Many supporters asked

Members of the governmental affairs committee of the Georgia House of Representatives hold a hearing on the proposed incorporation of Brookhaven. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

the committee members to allow the Brookhaven community to vote. “I’m just here to say ‘please give us the right to vote,’” said Jeff Keller, board member of Citizens for North DeKalb, a group pushing for Brookhaven’s cityhood. Let the political process ride its course. When you vote for HB 636, you’re simply voting on voting.” Resident J. Max Davis said, “If you vote ‘no,’ we don’t get a say. Voting ‘no’ on this bill will deny us that right.” Jacobs said if Brookhaven residents vote to incorporate, they would not “stop being citizens of DeKalb County.” “At the end of the day, 88 percent of our tax dollars will continue to go to DeKalb County government and the DeKalb County government will continue to provide … certain services,” Jacobs said. “We’re not breaking away from DeKalb County. We’re still a part of DeKalb County, but we’re choosing for our truly local services…administered at a more local level.” Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell), a member of the governmental affairs committee, said she wished the decision to allow residents of Brookhaven to incorporate “would go through the normal process of going through the delegation so that people who don’t live in DeKalb don’t have to hear your business.” “I don’t live in DeKalb County but I feel I know more of your business than any other county,” Morgan said.

With this many seniors going to college, a high-five just wouldn’t cut it.
Thanks to you, over 1.4 million Georgia high school seniors have had something more to celebrate on graduation day—the chance to go to college. Every time you play the Georgia Lottery, you help fund the HOPE Scholarship Program that provides Georgia students with financial assistance at any of Georgia’s colleges, universities or technical colleges. That’s awesome! And on top of that, you’ve helped send over 1.1 million 4-year-olds to a Lottery-funded Pre-K Program and raised more than $13 billion for education. That’s an A+ in our book.

Page 3A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Local arborist Gretchen Musser instructs two employees how to properly prune a newly planted tree at Clarkston’s Friendship Forest. Photo by Daniel Beauregard

Clarkston residents, officials work to revitalize green space
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com Two and a half years ago Vinh Glover and his wife Martha Brown moved into a house directly behind Clarkston’s Friendship Forest. “I remember walking behind the house and discovering these nature trails back there that looked like they hadn’t been used in years,” Brown said. The trails Brown had discovered were, at one point, part of Friendship Park, which had become overgrown and had fallen into disrepair. Soon, Brown and Glover began working to revitalize the area. “We started volunteering but it was more like the military coming in because we didn’t have the support of anyone else,” Glover said. He said the early cleanup projects consisted of him and a large group of volunteers “invading” the forest to spend hours cleaning trash and other debris. Glover then decided to document one of those early cleanup efforts with a video camera. “We made a movie and showed it at city hall and let everyone know that we would like to take care of our own backyard,” Glover said. Clarkston City Manager Keith Barker said over the past years the city was sometimes at odds with residents’ volunteer efforts at the forest because they felt like taking care of the forest was the city’s responsibility, not theirs. “There’s been a void of leadership and you’ve got the citizens like Vinh and other organizations who have sought to fill that void,” Barker said. Barker was hired last year, and Glover said since then he’s seen the forest, and the neighborhood, get healthy. Glover attributed it to the city’s new willingness to work together with residents to revitalize the area. “I feel like our city council has definitely gotten more progressive,” Glover said. Last month, the Clarkston City Council passed a community gardens policy and ratified a memorandum of understanding to allow a community garden to be established at Friendship Forest and other locations throughout the city. “We’ve also received a grant from the DeKalb Department of Health to hire a part-time employee to help us forward that effort,” Barker said. The city also received a $25,000 grant from the DeKalb County Community Development Department to remove cement from an old parking lot, basketball court and tennis court from the forest grounds. “Additionally, we’re going to apply some of our own funds and plant ground cover grass in those newly exposed areas, as well as trees and wildflowers,” Barker said. “Lastly, there’s a little stream down there backed up with debris and we’re probably going to use storm water utility funds to trench that out.” Barker said having green space in Clarkston was a tremendous advantage for the city, and residents like Glover and Brown helped turn what was once an old park in disrepair into a beautiful forest and wildlife sanctuary. “You could look at this as a potential headache, and it probably was at one time. But, with the proper attention and management it could turn from a headache into a tremendous benefit for the community,” Barker said.

the Champion free press, friday, february 10, 2012

School superintendent progress report Part II
There have been a couple developments since the progress report article a couple weeks ago which was based on personnel moves before the personnel audit and suspension of the band activities. That was the past. It’s time to move on. Now, the superintendent publicly states she is doing her own methodical assessment before making changes—$175,000 for what? Secondly, Dr. Atkinson is delivering up a draft of her five-year strategic plan, of which a final report was due this month, according to the published timetable on the school system website. We won’t hold that against her since she just got here in September and certainly has not had the time to create a strategic plan appreciably different from what was offered up by her predecessors. In fact, the draft report, called “Excellence in Education” sounds remarkably like her predecessors’ “DeKalb Schools of Excellence.” Please do no insult the public’s intelligence by rehashing the same old mish mash that has produced much of nothing to date. I pray the ladies and gentlemen on the school board will scrutinize the report for specifics of implementation, measurements and goal attainment before it is approved as the guidepost for the next five years. The public doesn’t need to hear more of what we need to do but more specifics about is being done and what will be done to achieve the stated goals. In fairness, Dr. Atkinson’s guiding principles are encouraging. No new ground broken, but encouraging nonetheless. They are: 1. Students come first. Student achievement is our business and must be the central theme in all initiatives. How about will be the central theme? 2. Every school must believe that parents are our partners. It is the school system’s responsibility to include and value parent and guardian input into their children’s education and school. How about administrators at each school will include and value parent and guardian input? 3. Leadership and accountability at all levels are key to success. Every classroom, every school and central office department must have a strong leader. How about will have a strong and competent leader? 4. We are not alone in this endeavor. It takes the entire community to ensure the success of the district, and we must tap into the knowledge, skills and support they can offer to assist in providing a quality education for all students. 5. Victory is in the classroom. Daily teaching and learning is where the battle for improvement in student achievement is fought. Dr. Atkinson says her Excellence for Education Plan 2017 is the explicit and tactical strategy to improve the achievement of all students and improve internal operations, reporting and accountability systems. She then drills down to say the same thing two additional times with more and varied verbiage, i.e. “The ‘Excellence for Education Plan 2017’ has also been designed to actualize and prioritize the levers necessary to deliver a balanced scorecard and an aligned management system that reiterates and executes our core values and mission.” This “Excellence for Education Plan 2017” will become the district’s essential and critical guiding document for continuous improvement. Blah, blah, blah. Questions that beg answers: How will technology be used to track student progress and teacher performance? What are some best-practice teaching methods that will be implemented to bolster student achievement? What policies and procedures will be implemented to demonstrate the value of parental and guardian input? What is the criterion for district-level promotions and accountability? What is the timetable for all schools to be technologically aligned, specifically wireless connectivity and computers? What is the inventory process for all schools to have compatible facilities, resources and equipment? Who is responsible for the maintenance and cleanliness of the schools and supplying them with basic necessities such as paper towels and toilet paper? What are the guidelines for hiring relatives? How are those guidelines enforced? Who enforces them? What safeguards are recommended to prevent board interference in hiring and firing? What protections are there for whistleblowers? What thought has been given to the impact on schools when new lines are drawn for seven districts instead of nine? A quote from the pre-eminent late educator Narvie Harris is worth noting. “You cannot teach what you do not know any more than you can come back from a place you did not go.” That should be self-explanatory. We’ll watch and report. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Milies at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.

Opinion The Newslady

page 4a

There’s an old Southern saw that says, “A hit dog will holler.” Well the yelps and howls from some quarters of the county for my having the unmitigated gall to question or criticize the actions of our new school superintendent reverberated from Panola State Park to Stone Mountain and over to Perimeter Mall. Interestingly enough, the overwhelming majority of those against the observations were from north and central DeKalb while south and east DeKalb were cheering. There will be no attempt to analyze that one. No one took issue with the facts of the piece, just the tone and tenor and the feeling that the new superintendent hadn’t been given time to prove herself. One well-known education leader even resorted to name calling, referring to this writer as the “Hatchet Lady” a play on the moniker “News Lady.” There’s no hatchet to wield, no ax to grind and certainly nothing personal against Dr. Atkinson. The concern is for our school children and the gnawing fear that despite the protestations, it appears we are headed down the same road when it comes to student achievement. I hope I am proven wrong when the final report comes in and that our new superintendent will make high marks. That is my sincere wish, but she’s been off to a rocky start.

Letters to the Editor
Dear Ms. Miles, Thank you for writing about the school system and our new superintendent. Usually I believe any attention is a positive for our students and taxpayers but your editorial concerns me. You make accusations toward Dr. Atkinson’s desire to bring in new blood; temporarily halt programs that may support hazing; make employees sweat for their jobs, and not personally address the media. Really? With all that is going on in the school system, this new superintendent–after just months on the job- inflames you to write. Wow. I sincerely question your priorities when one considers the state of the DeKalb County School System. Let’s list what’s on Dr. Atkinson’s and the school system’s plate right now: DCSS has a past CEO and COO under indictment. We have an extended drawn-out lawsuit against the giant of industry, Heery-Mitchell. A loss could bankrupt our system. We have another lawsuit over cancelling teacher retirement. That loss could drop us to our knees. The board supports legal bills much greater than other counties. • The Grand Jury wants further investigation of the system. We are on SACS probation. Past board minutes are often missing. Bookkeeping irregularities found in local schools and in the athletic department
Statement from the publiSher
We sincerely appreciate the discussion surrounding this and any issue of interest to DeKalb County. The Champion was founded in 1991 expressly to provide a forum for discourse for all community residents on all sides of an issue. We have no desire to make the news only to report news and opinions to effect a more educated citizenry that will ultimately move our community forward. We are happy to present ideas for discussion; however, we make every effort to avoid printing information submitted to us that is known to be false and/or assumptions penned as fact.

demonstrate poor oversight and policy enforcement to blatant illegal activities. • We have too many central office employees. The personnel department is mistrusted as an instrument of cronyism and someone in the finance department cut illegal checks. We have a SPLOST program that for all its spending offers no cohesive vision of school planning. • We have paid for numerous studies concerning demographic changes, employment classifications, etc. Many have been dismissed with the wave of the hand because the results did not sit well with board leaders. • And concerning Dr. Atkinson’s failing grade, remember when information concerning the first superintendent candidate was leaked. (Allegations were that it came from a school board member.) It was a flawed process to say the least ... but, remember, it was Dr. Walker’s strong political acumen that helped to bring Atkinson here. So why not level blame at the board? From their track record I can’t help but feel they are the ones completely over their heads. Most respectfully, Faye Andresen

Steen Miles’ article in your Jan. 27, 2012 issue was not about the new superintendent job performance. Instead it was about trying to protect the jobs of our central office and administrative personnel. I presume she has a lot of friends in high places. If Steen Miles main interest is the children, she would not have been concerned about these job cuts, but how eliminating these positions might save our school district. Dr. Cheryl Atkinson has stated time and time again that, she needs to put the resources where there is the greatest need to effect student achievement. She cannot allocate the resources with the greatest need if we are three to four hundred positions over budget. She cannot put the resources with the children if we are grossly overpaying people for what their responsibilities are. She cannot put the resources with children if positions that have been created are not needed. She cannot put the resources with the children if people have been hired or promoted based on something other than merit. Additionally, teachers in DeKalb are not demoralized as she depicted in this article. Under Dr. Cheryl Atkinson’s leadership, we finally feel we have a voice in this school district. Dr. Atkinson took a lot of time during her first initial weeks on the job to hear our concerns from a variety of stakeholders—employees, parents, interested citizens, community and business leaders. She set aside many hours

during her “fireside chats” to meet with teachers, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, administrators and other support personnel. Hundreds of staff voiced their concerns directly about what they felt needed to be improved in this school district. Ms. Miles says Dr. Atkinson needed to take time to learn the culture of the system. I think she got plenty of information from these “fireside chats” about the culture of DeKalb. Teachers are confident that Dr. Atkinson has the educational background and leadership experience to bring about true student achievement. We have had enough of incompetent administrators, hiring and promotional practices based on cronyism and nepotism. We are very pleased that she is making tremendous strides in turning this system around. The practices Dr. Atkinson is tackling, like the bloated central office, have been discussed for decades. We had a job audit that was conducted under Dr. Johnny Brown’s administration during the early part of 2002. This audit was never implemented under Dr. Crawford Lewis’ tenure. We are encouraged that Dr. Atkinson’s has the tenacity to tackle this decade old problem, and finally to begin the process of moving this school district forward! Miriam Martin Area Representative ODE,Organization of DeKalb Educators

the Champion free press, friday, february 10, 2012

Fly me to the moon!
bates is also the Newt who helped lead the Republican Revolution in 1994 and win a Congressional majority on the back of his proposed “Contract with America.” But those with longer political memories, or time spent on the Hill during those years also recall that Congressman Gingrich might have been more effective as a grenade thrower and regime change agent than he was at leading. Many of the current members of GOP Congressional leadership, including House Speaker John Boehner, served then with Gingrich on Capitol Hill. It is worth noting that among members of the current Congress, 72 have endorsed Mitt Romney. Gingrich has the nod of only 11 members, five of those from Georgia. Gingrich’s primary strength in the debates and among the Tea Party has been his lack of fear to “say what needs to be said”—such as his frequent references to the “food stamp president.” While others see hidden racial references in that remark, Newt remains unapologetic. The morning prior to Newt’s pronouncement of a lunar colony—coming soon—Defense Secretary Leon Panetta laid out the plan for standing down thousands of U.S. military and cutting U.S. defense spending by more than half a trillion dollars. Like it or not, the bulk of pending major budget cuts, as triggered automatically by Congress’ inability to reach a long term spending reduction plan, come out of the hide of national defense. Just more than a year ago, NASA, under presidential directive, spent billions more retiring the last of our space shuttles, and we no longer have an operating space station. Yet during the two Florida debates, there was angry Newt, fuming, protesting and defending his moment in the sun, then basking in front of an adoring throng—and as he often does, simply talking and talking and talking—going off script, off the reservation and in this case, into outer space. When President John F. Kennedy made having a man on the moon a goal of his administration during his first inaugural address, the United States was already behind in the space race. Sputnik had orbited the earth, and concerns were rapidly building, militarily as well as globally, that the next great “Super Power” would control space. The Apollo program, though built by NASA and armed with science, was an adjunct of the Cold War. And though we may one day return to peaceful space exploration, against the back-drop of current economic realities and government spending, now is not the time. Florida’s voting reinforces that conclusion, from Cocoa Beach to Cape Canaveral, up and down the Florida Space Coast, the speaker’s promise of another Space Renaissance landed with the thud of an earthbound hunk of space junk no longer able to maintain its orbit. The margins in those counties, all in Romney’s favor were not even close. Timing can be everything in building and maintaining momentum during a presidential campaign. Newt has surged and ridden the crest of a momentum wave twice already during this presidential campaign—and he may do so yet again. With shorter stops ahead in caucus states such as Nevada, the focus and delegate battle largely shifts to Super Tuesday on March 6, and Gingrich’s last best shot at a large delegate state is likely Georgia. If things don’t go as the speaker plans, the historian in him might well look back and recall that his big wipeout began on the Florida Space Coast when his ego and hubris took him flying a bit too close to the sun, and those wings of whimsy simply melted in all that hot air. 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.

Opinion One Man’s Opinion

page 5a

“By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American,” GOP Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Jan. 25, 2012 on Florida’s ‘space coast.’ Beyond the inherent arrogance and presumption in the statement above, this was a flight of fancy, even for a candidate and former U.S. House speaker known for his tangents and grandiose rhetoric. This was a perfect example also of “letting Newt be Newt.” And the voters of Florida responded— loudly. When Newt Gingrich is castigating the “media elite” or taking the high road during debates and stating that “every candidate on this stage would make a better president than Barack Obama,” you can almost hear the GOP base rising to its feet to applaud. Positive Newt, high road Newt, “thinker” Newt and more often than not, the Newt Gingrich who performed so well in the bulk of the GOP de-

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Opinion

Page 6A

Profiting from the Pentagon

A two-war strategy is like a two-car garage–you'll own two cars sooner or later.
most war-prone people on earth. Over the past 60 years we’ve invaded, bombed, or sought to subvert more countries — Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Cuba, Somalia, Ethiopia, Panama, Iraq (twice), Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chile, Laos, Cambodia, the Balkans, Grenada, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Indonesia, Guyana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Brazil, Greece and Libya, as well as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Angola and El Salvador by proxy — than our bean counters can count. Some of these operations transpired under a NATO or United Nations umbrella, but most didn’t. One of the chief targets of the budget cutters is the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a stealth model that theoretically eludes radar detection and is presently budgeted at $400 billion for 2,500 planes, or $160 million-a-pop. And if past history is any indication, it won’t work. Which won’t matter, because very little of this is about “defense.” It’s about the money and political profit to be gained from the building of ever more expensive weapons systems of dubious utility. A friend of mine, Nick Kotz, once wrote a book on the development of a similar weapons system, the B-1 bomber. Built in the 1980s, it cost $28 billion (not chump change in those days) and hardly ever saw combat. It was designed for nuclear war, you see, and we haven’t had one of those yet (unless you count Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which no one does). A few can still fly, but they’re hideously expensive to operate, so they don’t. Toward the end of his book Kotz takes us through a B-1 assembly line in Palmdale, Calif. First we learn about the forward fuselage, which was made in Ohio, then the middle and rear elements (Texas), the tail section (Maryland) and the nose landing gear (California) with tires from Ohio. And so it went. Before the plane was fully assembled, more than 70 manufacturing sites were accounted for, each represented by a pious member of Congress with a handout. That’s what military spending is all about and why it’s so difficult to cut. It’s called the military-industrial complex. OtherWords columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. otherwords.org

Washington’s talking about cutting the military budget. Whoopee. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently revealed plans to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the Pentagon’s budget in the next decade, with possibly more reductions on the way. We’re going to have fewer soldiers, fewer warplanes and ships, and not so many missiles. We’ll cut back a bit on nuclear weapons. If Congress buys this plan, the Pentagon’s $530 billion-a-year base budget, which excludes extras like the wars we’re actually fighting, would shrink to a mere $472 billion by 2013. Double whoopee. Not everyone is happy with the plan. Critics say that so piddling a sum as $472 billion would leave us naked to our enemies. We wouldn’t even be able to fight two wars at a time, they say. To which Panetta replies, maybe not. But we’ll be able to fight one major war and have enough strength left over to “spoil” a second enemy’s malign intentions elsewhere. Half a whoopee. I’ve always been suspicious of the two-war strategy. To me, it’s like having a two-car garage. You may not really need two cars, but if you have a two-car garage, chances are you’ll own two cars sooner or later. Oneand-a-half wars are plenty. If we have more enemies than that, let them take a number and form a line. There’s also a contingent of critics who complain that cutting troop levels might leave us unprepared to fight a grinding and long land war in Asia. Oh darn, and that’s what I wanted for my birthday this year — another protracted land war in Asia. Now I’m going to have to settle for diplomacy, sanctions and boring stuff like that. Buck up, folks. Even with those cuts and more like them we will still be — by far — the most militarily powerful country on earth by several orders of magnitude. We just can’t go off and invade a country anytime we had a hint of a suspicion that they might be planning to do something bad to us. Which is what we do. We’re the

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

School board appeals in hope to avoid another lengthy lawsuit
Just another case of teachers wanting “benefits” they are not entitled to without regard to financial conditions. The School Board really needs to fight this to shut down teachers who are not there to teach, but to get what they can get. – Trevor posted this on 2/5/12 at 10:25 p.m.

Call me crazy, but wouldn’t the most obvious way of avoiding a lawsuit be to honor the agreement with teachers? Generally one can avoid legal trouble by, you know, not doing things that are not legal. – Ned posted this on 2/4/12 at 6:22 p.m.

Commissioners want control of county’s auditors
Hopefully this will bring us closer to abolishing the office of CEO in DeKalb County! DeKalb County can no longer afford a King? –JerryMyer Jackson Jr posted this on 2/2/12 at 1:05 p.m.

Baby boomers reflect on school during Civil Rights Era
I congratulate each and every one of these people! I grew up and went to school in Atlanta. I graduated from Druid Hills High School in 1964, sadly, the year before Integration. I applaud their parents for instilling that strength of community, and them for continuing that legacy. Today’s parents could take a lesson from these distinguished people, as could all of Society. – Mary Morris posted this on 2/3/12 at 10:19 p.m.

Protestors seek to stop proposed Decatur Walmart
C’mon people - save your outrage for something useful! Suburban Plaza is currently a retail wasteland. Anything is going to be better than what’s there. Furthermore, Walmart wouldn’t want to put a store there if they didn’t think that people would shop there. People will only shop there if it makes their lives better via lower prices or more convenience or whatever versus their current options. Not everybody needs friendly, knowledgeable staff and locally-sourced handmade products - some of us just want to buy cheap stuff at one store and move on with our lives. Right now we have to drive to Tucker to do it. How is that helping traffic? –AEO posted this on 2/1/12 at 4:25 p.m.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Local News

Page 7A

DA, solicitor warn commissioners about effect of possible budget cuts
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com DeKalb District Attorney Robert James told county commissioners on Feb. 2 that his proposed 2012 budget is “unacceptable.” “Frankly, I’m struggling to understand why it looks the way it looks,” James said. “It’s completely unacceptable and it’s not workable.” In 2011, the district attorney’s office had a budget of $10.6 million, but spent $11.2 million. James requested $12.8 million for 2012, but DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis’ proposed budget allocates $10.1 million for the district attorney. Ellis has proposed a $547.3 million budget, which is 1.2 percent higher than last year’s. “We went over budget not because I was having a party, or throwing a tickertape parade or doing anything qualitatively different than I do every year protecting the citizens of DeKalb County,” James said. “We went over budget because we didn’t have enough money. “How do I go over budget one year by hundreds of thousands of dollars…and I get less money in the recommendation the next year?” James said. The effect of the proposed budget decrease would be no additional staff in recorder’s court, no drug court attorney, no part-time salaries and no budget for needed furniture, James said. He said the cuts would also take away funds used to supplement the attorney salaries that the county pay scale caps at approximately $90,000. The proposed budget has $410,000 less in salaries than spent in 2011 and $1.9 million less than James asked for. “In a DA’s office I’m not prosecuting DUIs and shoplifting and simple batteries,” James said. “I’m going after the Mexican mafia. I’m going after a drug gang in south DeKalb that has 16 members. I’m going after a pill mill that spans six different counties. I cannot take someone…that has virtually no experience handling these types of cases, pay them $91,000 and expect for them to do this.” James said his office has received one million pages of discovery related to a pending indictment involving former DeKalb school officials. “I have two attorneys working that case,” James said. “But these two attorneys are also working every public integrity case that I have in this county,” including grand jury investigations of the county’s watershed management department and the school CRCT cheating scandal. “I’ve got to pay them,” James said. “I can’t pay them $90K. They’d probably laugh and go elsewhere.” DeKalb Solicitor General Sherry Boston, who just completed her first year on the job, said she ran her office just as she ran private practice and as she handles her home finances. “Don’t spend what you don’t have and you have to save money for a rainy day,” Boston said. “I am proud of the fact that we came in at 94 percent of our budget in 2011. We ran a very frugal office in 2011.” Boston’s staff recycles paper clips, uses the backs of old business cards instead of PostIt notes, and uses duct tape to
See Budget on Page 11A

Dorothy Neason
dancing, card-making and other crafts for the 19 member seniors of the Scottdale center. Neason also makes sure the seniors get exercise. “It’s very hard to get yourself up out of the bed, stretch your legs, get in the chair and do chair aerobics at home,” Neason said. “You’re not going to do it. But at the center, participants get encouragement from each other.” Neason, who will be leaving the center in November, said her goal is to continue to make positive changes for the seniors. “I want do everything I can to get programs started, the atmosphere going, fix the place up so that if I’m gone, somebody else can do it,” Neason said. Neason and her husband William have a son who is a graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary. The family attends Word of Faith Church in Austell. A professional artist, Neason has a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College in fine arts with a minor in education. She enjoys painting, drawing, sketching, costume making and writing stories. “I’m a talented, young woman—just broke,” Neason said.

Champion of the Week

“For me, it’s a God thing,” said Dorothy Neason, about her volunteer work at the Scottdale Senior Center. “When I was a little girl, my mama taught one thing that has stuck with me: ‘Only what you do for Christ will last,’” said Neason, 58. “If all I was concerned about was trying to make money, I wouldn’t be here.” Neason originally worked for Senior Connections at the Scottdale center. “When the budget cuts came, they could no longer run the center,” said Neason, who has been at the center for a year. Now, she’s an AARP volunteer managing the center and “trying to get a job.” Volunteering at the center 18 hours each week, Neason manages various programs and services including computer literacy, line

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, February 10, 2012

Local News

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Seniors concerned that Scottdale center may close
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 68-year-old Betty Swinson goes to the Scottdale Senior Center. If she didn’t, Swinson would be “sitting in the house looking at the four walls.” “It’s my outlet,” said Swinson, who has been a member of the center since 2006, when she moved to Georgia. Swinson and the 18 other seniors at the small center in the Scottdale community are concerned that the center may not survive the 2012 DeKalb County budget process. “If they close it up, we wouldn’t have anywhere to go,” Swinson said. “That’s just like kicking us to the curb. How would they feel if it were their mama or their daddy? “We need our center open to keep our minds together,” Swinson said. “Leave Scottdale alone. Let us be happy. Let us have our outlet.” The Scottdale center, which has been open since 1974, is the second oldest in DeKalb. Residents ages 60 and older are eligible to become members of one of the county’s six senior centers. In addition to Scottdale are the DeKalb/Atlanta, Lithonia, Lou Walker (also in Lithonia), North DeKalb and South DeKalb centers. The maximum membership for the Scottdale center is 49, if the county allows the center to reach that number, said Dorothy Neason, an AARP volunteer who manages the center. At the center, the residents hear presentations about medication and health issues, Neason said. tions officer, said none of the senior centers are being closed under the proposed 2012 county budget of DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, which, at $547.3 million, is 1.2 percent higher than the 2011 budget. The administration is in the process of establishing partnerships with volunteers and non-profit organizations to manage the county’s senior centers “to live with our budget realities,” Brennan said. Maintaining some of the county’s programs “depends upon a rather large volunteer contingent,” Brennan said. At $353,000, the proposed budget for senior citizen centers is 53 percent of last year’s budget. “The decrease in budget doesn’t mean anything is closing,” Brennan said. Clarkston resident Rachel Brotherson, 69, said if the Scottdale center is closed, “it would be terrible because I couldn’t find anything to do every day.” Brotherson, who has been attending since 2008, worked for Senior Connections for two years and was transferred to work at the Scottdale center, which used to be open five days a week. “Then they cut it down to three,” Brotherson said. “If it were left up to the county, it would be down to nothing. Because we’re a small center, they want to kick us to the curb.” Brotherson said she goes to the center “to have fun, to meet people and to go on trips. It makes my day.” The seniors are not asking for a new building, upgrades or enhanced programs. “We’re not asking for anything,” Brotherson said. “We’re alive and well and kicking. Just leave us alone.” Marjorie Daniels, 88, said it is “a horrible thought” to consider the closing of the center. “I’d deteriorate,” Daniels said. “I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. What would I do?”

ect e eff ut th attend t o d ab s, who uck a t erne r conche senio ould be s are nter udget. T , they w e or C 012 b er cent Seni dale enter ’s 2 out the cott he c h t the S t in t y that wi a cu ttend ho a $24,000 week, shen a t ors w d Seni propose ree daysdrew Cau of a enter th s by An the c e. Photo hom

They make crafts, go on trips and grocery shopping and they receive a nutritious meal. “All of that helps add to the health of the seniors,” Neason said. “It’s very important for them not to be alone. “Older people need to be in a community setting,” Neason said. “They don’t need to sit at home alone and do nothing. That’s when they deteriorate and get sick.” Neason said the seniors are very concerned about what will happen if the center is closed. “No one from DeKalb County management has talked to the seniors about anything,” Neason said. “They shouldn’t have to hear stuff from the wind.” Burke Brennan, the county’s chief communica-

The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

As deadline approaches, reapportionment committees continue to seek input
by Kathy Mitchell kathy@dekalbchamp.com There were maps labeled “DeKalb Proposed Commission Districts” available on a table in the back of the Maloof Auditorium before a DeKalb County Commission and school board reapportionment public hearing the evening of Jan. 31. During the meeting Commissioner Jeff Rader explained that the staff-prepared maps had not been voted on by the commissioners. Later in the meeting Commissioner Larry Johnson brought in a larger, modified version of the map that he explained had been discussed in town hall meetings, but also had not been accepted by the commission. School board member Paul Womack brought a map, but emphasized that it was his proposal and did not have the board’s endorsement. Another board member, Donna Edler, expressed the hope that the school board could meet and agree to recommend a reapportionment plan, but said that had not happened. Results of the 2010 census, which became available in spring of 2011, indicated that some districts had gained population and others had lost population. As a result, the Georgia General Assemment, which has 60 days to accept or reject it. Because Georgia is among the states with a history of voting rights abuses, changes in political districts must be approved at the federal level. About 60 people, many of them elected officials, were in attendance. There were complaints that the meeting wasn’t announced sooner so that more people could learn about it. Bell said the committee was hoping to have maps endorsed by the county commissioners and by the school board that the public could comment on. When that didn’t happened, she said, “we just decided to go ahead and schedule a meeting. I’m really sorry about the short notice.” “We will not draw a map until we’ve heard from the public,” Bell said, adding that the task is complicated by the fact that a change in state law forces DeKalb County to reduce its school board from nine to seven members. A few unaffiliated residents stepped up to the microphone to comment. Most urged the committee not to break up districts where people already were working well together. Several were concerned about potential changes in the ChambleeBrookhaven area where commission districts 1 and 2 meet.

Local News

Page 9A

bly must adjust district maps for both the schools and the county commission. While every district will not have the same number of people in it, the goal is to have a variance of no more than 2 percent. The responsibility ultimately rests with the state, explained District 58 Rep. Simone Bell, chairwoman of the reapportionment committees, but the committees of DeKalb representatives are seeking as much input from affected communities as possible. She said committee members are especially interested in

DeKalb County Commissioners Larry Johnson, at microphone, and Jeff Rader, holding map, show a map with proposed districting changes that have been discussed at several town hall meetings.

receiving recommendations from the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners and the DeKalb County School Board. John Evans, representing the DeKalb County chapter of the NAACP, said his organization would like to submit a proposed map, but had not yet prepared one. “When is the deadline?” he asked. Bell said proposed maps should already be in the hands of the committee, but the group of state legislators would still accept them to get as much community input as

possible before submitting a report to the delegation. The school board and the county commission were meeting on the issue at press time. The deadline for a reapportionment plan, she noted, is Feb. 14. “Although the legislature has given us a deadline of Feb. 14 to have this decision completed, we must be sure that the process remains open, fair and transparent to write the best possible legislation for DeKalb County,” she said. Once the General Assembly has approved a plan it has to go the U.S. Justice Depart-

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Local News

Page 10A

Suburban roasters emphasize organic approach
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com Country music and the smell of roasting coffee wafted out of a small warehouse into the Decatur air on a chilly Friday afternoon. Inside the warehouse, the walls were stacked with burlap sacks, and Steve Franklin and Ian Lanz prepared to put another batch of coffee in the roaster. In 2001, Franklin and his wife Heddy Kuhl moved from Atlanta to London shortly after becoming engaged. After sightseeing at a church or museum, they often wound up at a café. “The cafés over there are more multi-dimensional than the U.S. café—people bring their dogs and their families, and at all the cafés there’s good coffee,” Franklin said. After a year, Franklin and Kuhl moved back to Atlanta and started Java Vino, a coffee and wine house located on North Highland. He said the idea for the business started in Europe, as he and his wife sat in cafés taking notes on the back of napkins. Kuhl, originally from Nicaragua, is part of a family who has been farming coffee since 1880. Franklin said since she is familiar with coffee making opening a café was a perfect fit. To start their venture, Franklin and Kuhl imported one container from Selva Negra, the farm Kuhl’s family owns. Each container consists of 275 bags, approximately 37,500 pounds of coffee. The couple then opened a roasting company, Beaneology. The first year Franklin and Kuhl were in business they only sold around half of the coffee, either to Java Vino customers or other small roasters such as themselves. However, since that first slow year, their business has grown and this year they plan to buy five containers. “Now we’ve got all of these roasters throughout the southeast all the way to Nevada who are roasting it because it’s singleorigin estate coffee,” Franklin said. Single origin means the coffee comes from a single farm and isn’t mixed from different farms throughout the country. At their warehouse in Decatur, tucked behind a unassuming bungalow style home, Franklin and Lanz were trying to finish vacuumpacking an order of freshly roasted beans to be delivered later in the day. “We’ve been roasting since day one,” Franklin said. “We roasted on Mondays at Java Vino and that was when we’d roast all of the coffee for the week.” Lanz, who does most of the roasting, has been working with Franklin for several years. He started out in the coffee shop but when the roasters were moved to the warehouse several years ago, he went with them. He now works 40 to 50 hours a week. Recently, Franklin hired a third person to help fill orders and he is working with Agnes Scott College to develop an internship program to lessen the load for Lanz. “It’s a little different every day but I clean out the roasters and empty the chaff into the gigantic compost pile, which is starting to get a little big,” Lanz said of his morning routine at the warehouse. “Then I vacuum out all of the airflow ducts and then go through emails and figure out the orders.” Franklin said most of the orders for the coffee are filled on a weekly basis and then delivered on Wednesday or Thursday, except the beans for Whole Foods, which are done on Friday. Recently, the Fresh Market also began carrying Beaneology coffee beans. Selva Negra, which translates to “Black Forest” or “Black Jungle,” is named after the Schwarzwald mountain range in Germany, and is approximately 5,000 feet above sea level. Franklin said the coffee from the farm maintains a number of certifications such as Organic, Shade Grown, Rainforest Alliance and Smithsonian Institute “Bird Friendly.” Franklin explained the “Bird Friendly” certification is one of the hardest to get. “You have to get certified Organic first and have 70 percent shade cover and three to four different layers of canopy and support the migration of the birds. We have anywhere from 150-280 different bird species on the farm and pumas, anteaters, howler monkeys and sloths; it’s like a little nature preserve,” Franklin said. Although the coffee farm only produces 10 containers a year, a relatively small operation compared to most farms, Franklin said there are nearly 1,000 people who live on the farm or in the surrounding area. “We have a school on the farm, a medical facility and a kitchen. So, all that and the housing is paid for,” Franklin said. The farm hires private teachers for the school on the farm, and Franklin said that if a student graduates from elementary school, the farm pays for them to go to a private high school in the city; if they graduate from high school the farm pays for them to go to college. “We have eight kids in university right now. I mean, nobody does that,” Franklin said.

Ian Lanz organizes bins of freshly roasted coffee at Beaneology’s warehouse in Decatur. Photos by Daniel Beauregard

The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Local News

Page 11A

News Briefs
Man sentenced in vehicular homicide case
James Miles of Loganville pleaded guilty Feb. 2 on vehicular homicide charges and was sentenced to five years, two of which are to be served in a work release program. DeKalb State Court Judge Johnny Panos also sentenced Miles to perform 240 hours of community service, attend three victim impact panels and attend a defensive driving course. The court ordered Miles’ license to be suspended for five years as a condition of his sentence. Miles pleaded guilty to charges relating to an accident in which the Dodge Stratus he was driving struck a commuter van, causing it to crash on Stone Mountain Freeway. Three Southern Company employees died in the crash and six others were injured. Miles also pleaded guilty to reckless driving, following too closely, failure to maintain lane, and improper lane change. drove a Lexus sedan through the front door. No one was injured during the lunch time accident.

Budget Continued From Page 7A
hold together carts and boxes to prolong their usefulness. “And we are still using software that was released in 1998 that is no longer being supported by the county’s [information systems] department,” Boston said. “We were very specific about not spending money when we didn’t have the money,” Boston said. “When you talk to me about decreasing my funds it means that I am letting people go.” Cutting her budget by 5 percent, or $272,000, would cut the recently created pretrial diversion program and four staff positions, or the special victims unit and three positions. “These reductions will not only lessen our ability to prosecute crimes, they will also adversely affect the amount of revenue that we can return to the county,” Boston said. A 10 percent cut would eliminate all diversion programs and the relatively new community prosecutor position. “With these cuts, crime prevention and intervention go by the wayside and our prosecution becomes reactive and the bare minimum,” Boston said. The finance committee of the Board of Commissioners is holding meetings each week until commissioners vote to adopt a 2012 budget on Feb. 28.

Animal Services offers pet adoption special
DeKalb County Animal Services will offer a Valentine’s Day Adoption Special, Feb. 14 – 17, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday,

Feb. 18, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the DeKalb Animal Services and Enforcement Center, 845 Camp Road in Decatur. Adoptions are $60 and include spay/neuter services, vaccines, de-wormer, and HW or FIV/FeLV testing. To view animals available for adoption, visit www.dekalbcountyanimalservices.com. For additional information, contact DeKalb County Animal Services at (404) 294-3088.

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

Mobeta Wings in Decatur reopens
After being shut down for three months after a car ran into its building, Mobeta Wings has reopened. Steve and Insoon Lee, who run Mobeta Wings in Decatur on East College Avenue, reopened the decadeold business on Feb. 5. “We have been surprised and are grateful for the support the community has given us all this time,” said Kristie Lee, daughter of the owners. The business was forced to shut down on Oct. 13 after a woman accidentally

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.

Printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper

The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Local News

Page 12A

Stone Mountain barbershop quartets bring music and fun to Valentine’s Day
by Kathy Mitchell kathy@dekalbchamp.com Romantics who would like to serenade their sweethearts for Valentine’s Day don’t need a balcony, a guitar or even a singing voice. For $50, Stone Mountain Barbershop Chorus will send a quartet to sing two love songs and present a personalized Valentine’s card and an artificial rose. “People love it—usually,” said Bill Banks, the chorus’ project chairman, who admits that occasionally a bashful recipient is a bit embarrassed by the attention. He said that eight quartets, many award winners, present approximately 100 singing Valentines on or near Feb. 14. “We never know exactly how many we’ll have since some are ordered very close to the date,” Banks said. He noted that the greetings in song, now a 20-year tradition, are delivered all over the metro Atlanta area. Banks coordinates the engagements making quick adjustments when necessary to be sure all the dates are kept. Using a big map and multicolored pushpins, he keeps track of engagements for the day. “If a group is delayed in traffic, I try to see if another one can fill in. We don’t want to disappoint anyone,” he said. He said that quartets going to busy areas where parking is a challenge have a driver who drops them off then comes around and picks them up. “The quartets enjoy it as much as the recipients,” said Banks, who added “The effect is most dramatic when an audience is present to witness the event,” Banks said. “It’s great when the whole office comes out to join in the fun.” The quartets come from among Stone Mountain Barbershop Chorus’ 60 members, who regularly perform the a cappella four-part close harmony that characterizes the classic barbershop quartet. The group, which formed in 1980 with 22 members rehearsing at a Chamblee church, has grown to be the largest group in the regional Dixie Chorus. Both a performing and competing chorus, the group has twice won the annual regional competition, most recently in 2010. The Stone Mountain Barbershop Chorus now meets every Monday night at Rehoboth Presbyterian Church in Decatur. The Stone Mountain Chorus is a non-profit organization that donates a portion of its Singing Valentine proceeds to Families of Children Under Stress, a local charity. In addition to giving a spring and a fall concert each year, the chorus—or groups from within it—perform at such events as the Stone Mountain Park Memorial Day Salute to the Troops and at Christmas visits to nursing homes. Its website notes that throughout its history “the Stone Mountain Chapter has proudly represented our community as ambassador songsters and cheerful good citizens. We continue our dedication to ‘keep the whole world singing!’”

Jaynette Atkinson is surprised by a quartet made up of, from left, Mark Hyde, Bill Banks, Earl Volpert and Mike Walsh. Photos provided

Bill Banks uses a map and pushpins to keep track of where the Valentine’s Day quartets are scheduled to perform.

that the singing groups usually leave giggling with glee. They dress in their own spiffy outfits—most with at least a splash of red—that suggest a turn-ofthe-20th-century barbershop quartet. Banks calls barbershop quartets a uniquely American contribution to music—much like the banjo. “This is one of our most enjoyable projects because we get to deliver a unique ‘I love you’ message to that special sweetheart,” he said. While the serenade usually evokes

an image of a gentleman singing to his lady love in some romantic setting, Banks said the reality varies greatly. “We have serenaded both men and women in such spots as supermarkets, college and elementary school classrooms, business offices, retail shops, doctor’s offices, living rooms and residential driveways,” he said, adding that about of a third of those serenaded are men. He recalled a third grade class that had the barbershoppers sing to their teacher.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Local News

Page 13A

Art exhibit offers rare glimpse into minds of Swiss psychologist’s patients
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com Denise von Herrmann said the works in Oglethorpe University’s most recent art exhibition are beautiful, come from an important tradition and have a lot to say about the role of psychology in society today. Herrmann, vice president for academic affairs and provost of Oglethorpe University, said “The Sacred Round: Mandalas by the Patients of Carl Jung” exhibit was a perfect example of how the university’s art museum is stretching the boundaries. “This exhibition really started in 1994 when I went to Zurich,” Oglethorpe University Museum of Art Director Lloyd Nick said. “There was a debate within the Jungian Institute on whether they should be shown because they were private works.” The works on display are 40 different mandala painting created by patients of the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung on loan from the C.G Jung Institute in Kusnacht, Switzerland. Mandalas, meaning “holy circles” in Sanskrit, were used during Jung’s therapy sessions with his patients to express both the conscious and subconscious. “This is the first time these have ever been seen outside of the Jung Institute and we’re very grateful for it allowing us to show them. The information on the walls is the analysis of five Jungian analysts describing what you’re looking at,” Nick said. Although the idea might seem abstract to some, Dr. Vicente de Moura an archivist at the C. G. Jung Institute and a Jungian analyst, said everybody can find something to relate to within each mandala if they look close enough. “Once you start to look at the paintings, what you’re going to see is the person behind the paintings,” de Moura said. De Moura said the average person on the street is so involved with what is going on outside of them they don’t pay attention to what is going on inside themselves. “Each one of those behind the paintings has the same issues that we have in us: conflicts, hope, imbalance and balance. In America we are extremely extroverted—everything is outside—but what Jung was saying was that everything happening inside of you was just as important as what’s happening outside,” de Moura said. The exhibition runs through May 6, and during that time the museum will also feature lectures and music in conjunction with the exhibit. “My hope is that if someone comes here and sees the exhibition there will be a click, and they will ask, ‘What is going on inside of me and why is that important?’” de Moura said.

Dr. Vicente de Moura, an archivist at the C. G. Jung Institute and a Jungian analyst, spoke at the opening of the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art’s newest exhibition “The Sacred Round: Mandalas by the Patients of Carl Jung.” The exhibition, running through May 6, features paintings by the patients of the famous Swiss psychologist. Photo by Daniel Beauregard

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
Mostly Sunny High: 55 Low: 36

Feb. 9, 2012
Today's Regional Map Weather History
Feb. 9, 1933 - The temperature at Moran, Wyo., located next to Teton National Park, plunged to 63 degrees below zero to establish a state record. The temperature at the Riverside Ranger Station in Montana hit 66 below zero to establish a record for the nation that stood until 1954. Feb. 10, 1978 - As much as eight inches of rain drenched Southern California, resulting in widespread flooding and mudslides. The heavy rainfall produced a wall of water that ripped through the mountain resort community of Hidden Springs, drowning at least 13 people. Dunwoody 53/35 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 54/36 54/36 54/36 Snellville Decatur 55/36 Atlanta 55/36 55/36 Lithonia College Park 56/36 56/36 Morrow 56/36 Union City 56/36 Hampton 57/37

In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see mostly sunny skies with a high temperature of 55º, humidity of 46%. North wind 10 to 15 mph. The record high temperature for today is 79º set in 1994. Expect partly cloudy skies tonight with an overnight low of 36º.

FRIDAY
Mostly Sunny High: 58 Low: 38

*Last Week’s Almanac
Hi Lo Normals Precip Date Tuesday 67 32 53/34 0.00" Wednesday 67 45 54/34 0.15" Thursday 67 45 54/34 0.00" Friday 60 41 54/34 0.00" Saturday 69 49 54/35 0.10" Sunday 69 51 54/35 0.00" Monday 56 42 55/35 0.00" Rainfall . . . . . . .0.25" Average temp . .54.3 Normal rainfall . .1.18" Average normal 44.2 Departure . . . . .-0.93" Departure . . . .+10.1
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport

SATURDAY
Partly Cloudy High: 53 Low: 32

SUNDAY
Mostly Sunny High: 55 Low: 34

MONDAY
Mostly Sunny High: 55 Low: 31

TUESDAY
Mostly Sunny High: 59 Low: 35 Last 2/14

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:27 a.m. 7:27 a.m. 7:26 a.m. 7:25 a.m. 7:24 a.m. 7:23 a.m. 7:22 a.m. Sunset 6:16 p.m. 6:17 p.m. 6:18 p.m. 6:18 p.m. 6:19 p.m. 6:20 p.m. 6:21 p.m. Moonrise 8:32 p.m. 9:38 p.m. 10:46 p.m. 11:54 p.m. No Rise 1:01 a.m. 2:06 a.m. Moonset 8:12 a.m. 8:47 a.m. 9:24 a.m. 10:02 a.m. 10:45 a.m. 11:32 a.m. 12:25 p.m. First 2/29

Tonight's Planets
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 7:42 a.m. 6:21 p.m. 9:24 a.m. 9:31 p.m. 8:31 p.m. 9:17 a.m. 10:53 a.m.12:04 a.m. 11:33 p.m.10:53 a.m. 9:27 a.m. 9:31 p.m.

WEDNESDAY
Partly Cloudy High: 58 Low: 37 New 2/21

Full 3/8

Local UV Index

National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see mostly clear skies today, mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with scattered snow Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 50º in Georgetown, Del. The Southeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with a few showers today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 81º in Marathon Key, Fla. The Northwest will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with isolated rain today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 65º in Medford, Ore. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 79º in Fullerton, Calif.

Weather Trivia
What is the term for airflow around a high pressure system?
Answer: Anticyclone.

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

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StarWatch By Gary Becker - Moon, Planets Reveal More
Perhaps you have been noticing that dazzling bright star in the SW after sundown. Alas, it is the planet Venus. There is no brighter “star” in the heavens. Above Venus and to the left is Jupiter, the ruler of the solar system, but not quite as bright. Saturn and Mars come along later in the evening, although Mars is rising about 8 p.m. What’s nice about the planets, from Mercury to Saturn, and the moon, is that they are bright and can reveal other interesting celestial gems as they wander among the stars. On Monday, February 6, a bright waxing gibbous moon is 5.5 degrees to the SSW of the Beehive, an old open cluster of stars in Cancer the Crab. Binoculars will be needed to view this swarm of luminaries that have been around for some 600 million years and might well be related to another more famous open cluster, the Hyades, which is represented by the “V” of Taurus the Bull minus its brightest star, Aldebaran. Likewise on Thursday the 9th, a full moon visits Mars. Moonrise is about 8 p.m., but give the moon and Mars a few hours to gain altitude, and the experience will be more productive. The moon will be about two fists held at arm’s length (thumb on top) above the horizon by 10 p.m. A bright warm-colored star will be about one fist’s distance to the moon’s left, and that will be Mars. The sneakiest rendezvous this week, however, will also occur on Thursday evening right after it gets dark. Look at Venus using binoculars in the WSW about 45 minutes to an hour after sundown. To Venus’ left and very close to the Goddess of Love, less than half a lunar diameter away, will be a much fainter starlike object, also a planet. You’ll be looking at Uranus. Any small to mid-sized telescope will also reveal the two objects in the same field of view. The day before and after are still good views through binoculars, but with wider separations. Much success! www.astronomy.org

The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Health

Page 14A

CDC:

Diabetes amputations falling dramatically
by Mike Stobbe ATLANTA (AP) Foot and leg amputations were once a fairly common fate for diabetics, but new government research shows a dramatic decline in limbs lost to the disease, probably due to better treatments. The rate has fallen by more than half since the mid-1990s, according to what is being called the most comprehensive study of the trend. For older diabetics, amputations dropped from more than 11 to about four per 1,000 people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported recently. Other diabetes studies have shown declines in lost toes, feet and legs, but not as dramatic. “What jumped out to me was the scale of the improvement,” said Dr. John Buse, a University of North Carolina diabetes expert who was not involved in the new study. The study was released Jan. 24 by the medical journal Diabetes Care. Diabetes is a disease in which sugar builds up in the blood. Roughly one in 10 U.S. adults has it, and it is the seventh leading cause of death, the CDC says. Complications include poor circulation and nerve damage in the lower limbs, resulting in numbness and slow healing of sores and infections. That’s most common in elderly patients and those with diabetes for at least 10 years. While diabetes has been growing more common in the United States—driven by obesity-related Type 2— researchers have noted recent declines in some of the other most dreaded complications, including blindness and kidney failure. Buse recalled seeing such problems constantly when he first became director of UNC’s Diabetes Care Center in the mid-1990s. “Pretty much every minute of every day in the waiting room, there would be somebody missing a limb, or with a seeing eye dog or white cane,” he said. But he hasn’t seen a patient like that in his waiting room for a few years, he added. In the CDC study, the researchers checked national hospital discharge records for 1988 through 2008, looking for patients ages 40 and older who had lost a toe, foot or leg to diabetes. They found that though the number of people with the disease more than tripled over those two decades, foot and leg amputations fell after 1996. The researchers also looked at people who did not have diabetes, and found the rates of amputation were flat. It’s not clear what happened to start the drop among diabetics, said Nilka Rios Burrows, a CDC epi-

demiologist who co-authored the study. But experts note that was a decade in which studies clearly demonstrated the value of close monitoring and stepped-up patient education. It’s also when Medicare began paying for blood sugar monitoring and for protective shoes and other medical devices for elderly diabetics. CDC officials saw increases in the proportion of diabetics who got annual foot exams, and believe the enhanced care is the main reason for the decline in amputations. But another element may be that larger numbers of diabetics are being diagnosed earlier and with milder disease, Burrows said.

420-310495 2/9,2/16,2/23,3/1

Georgia, DeKalb County Under and by virtue of the Power of Sale contained in a Security Deed given by Kipchoge K. Thompson to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., As Nominee For Ownit Mortgage Solutions, Inc., dated May 19, 2006, recorded in Deed Book 18806, Page 276, DeKalb County, Georgia records, as last transferred to U.S. Bank National Association, As Successor Trustee, To Bank Of America, National Association As Successor By Merger To Lasalle Bank National Association, As Trustee, For Ownit Mortgage Loan Trust, Ownit Mortgage Loan Asset Backed Certificates, Series 2006-5 by assignment recorded or to be recorded, DeKalb County, Georgia records conveying the after-described property to secure a Note in the original principal amount of ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-SIX THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY AND 00/100 DOLLARS ($126,750.00); with interest thereon as set forth therein, there will be sold at public outcry to the highest bidder for cash before the courthouse door of DeKalb County, Georgia, within the legal hours of sale on the first Tuesday in March 2012 the following described property: All that tract or parcel of land lying and being in Land Lot 11 of the 16th District, DeKalb County, Georgia, being Lot 9, Block D, Windsor Estates Subdivision, Section III, as per plat recorded in Plat Book 54, Page 32, DeKalb County, Georgia Records, which recorded plat is incorporated herein by this reference and made a part of this description. said property being known as 3215 Sunnford Lane according to the present system of numbering houses in DeKalb County, Georgia. The debt secured by said Security Deed has been and is hereby declared due because of, among other possible events of default, failure to pay the indebtedness as and when due and in the manner provided in the Note and Security Deed. The debt remaining in default, this sale will be made for the purpose of paying the same and all expenses of this sale, as provided in Security Deed and by law, including attorney’s fees (notice of intent to collect attorney’s fees having been given). Said property will be sold subject to any outstanding ad valorem taxes (including taxes which are a lien, but not yet due and payable), any matters which might be disclosed by an accurate survey and inspection of the property, any assessments, liens, encumbrances, zoning ordinances, restrictions, covenants, and matters of record superior to the Security Deed first set out above. The entity that has full authority to negotiate, amend, and modify all terms of the mortgage with the debtor is: Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, Attention: Home Retention Department, 1661 Worthington Road, Suite 100, West Palm Beach, FL 33409, 877596-8580. Please understand that the secured creditor is not required by law to negotiate, amend, or modify the terms of the mortgage instrument. To the best knowledge and belief of the undersigned, the parties in possession of the property are Kipchoge K. Thompson or a tenant or tenants and said property is more commonly known as 3215 Sunnyford Lane, Lithonia, GA 30038. The sale will be conducted subject (1) to confirmation that the sale is not prohibited under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and (2) to final confirmation and audit of the status of the loan with the holder of the security deed. U.S. Bank National Association, as Successor Trustee, to Bank Of America, National Association As Successor By Merger To Lasalle Bank National Association, As Trustee, For Ownit Mortgage Loan Trust, Ownit Mortgage Loan Asset Backed Certificates, Series 2006-5 As Attorney in Fact for Kipchoge K. Thompson Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco, PC Attn: Ocwen Team One Alliance Center 3500 Lenox Road Atlanta, GA 30326 Our File# 011118 THIS IS AN ATTEMPT TO COLLECT A DEBT. ANY INFORMATION  

NOTICE OF SALE UNDER POWER

 

OBTAINED WILL BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE. 

the Champion free press, friday, february 10, 2012

Local News

page 15a

Long Continued From Page 1A
Spirit-filled minister who teaches the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith. Rabbi Joshua Heller, of Congregation B’nai Torah in Atlanta, described the ceremony as “a misuse and abuse” of the Torah. “When I saw the video online, I was really disturbed,” Heller said. “The way we are lifted by the Torah is by reading it and following its teaching, not by using it as a garment.” “There is nothing in the Jewish tradition where we would wrap someone in a Torah,” Heller said. “There are cases in history where Jews were burned alive wrapped in a Torah, but clearly that is not anything someone would want to emulate.” Heller said Messer is “a selfdeclared rabbi.” “The title for him is something of a misnomer,” Heller said. “He is not regarded as a rabbi by the vast majority of the Jewish community.” Heller said he was “really disturbed, offended, put off, confused” by the ceremony. “What is portrayed is not really reflective of Judaism or Christianity,” Heller said. “It is outside the bounds of both.” Heller said it is possible that the Torah used in Long’s ceremony could be one of the “thousands of Torah scrolls that survived the Holocaust.” “Even if it were a Holocaust Torah, it is upsetting to see it used that way,” Heller said. “I wouldn’t want to take the ritual objects of

The covering for the Torah is never called a “foreskin,” as it was called during a ceremony at Bishop Eddie Long’s church in Lithonia, said Rabbi Joseph Prass, of Temple Emanu-El in Sandy Springs. It is simply called a cover. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

and encouragement for Long. “The presentation of the scroll of Torah was simply a way of bringing honor to a man who had given his life to the Lord and had given so much to his church, the Atlanta metro area and throughout the world,” Messer said. “It was not to make Bishop Eddie L. Long a king.” Messer said lifting Long in the chair was a way to “acknowledge and honor him.” “It is done all the time at Jewish weddings and bar mitzvahs,” Messer said. Rabbi Joseph Prass, of Temple Emanu-El in Sandy Springs, said the lifting of the chair is never done during a worship service. Messer’s ceremony was an “awkward and odd blending of JewBishop Eddie Long, of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, holds a Torah as he is ish elements,” and the incorporation elevated in a chair during a church service. Source: Youtube of the Torah in the ceremony was an “inappropriate and made-up use,” Prass said. another faith and use it in my wor- in a ceremony that doesn’t have “Jews and people of faith take ship.” connection with anyone’s religreat strides to ensure that the Torah Rabbi Michael Bernstein, of gion,” Bernstein said. “I don’t find is not touched,” Prass said. “To Congregation Gesher L’Torah in that appropriate.” wrap someone in a Torah is to show Alpharetta, said Long’s ceremony Rabbi Steven Lebow, a re“doesn’t represent anything of the formed rabbi in Cobb County, said disrespect. To wrap it around Bishop Long is just a careless and disrereligion that I represent. that “wrapping Bishop Long in a “I don’t think that it represents Torah scroll is a cynical attempt to spectful treatment of a scroll.” Rabbi Fred Greene, of Temple Christianity either,” Bernstein shore up his failed ministry. Beth Tikvah, said the video “was not said. “Bishop Long, by having easy to watch.” People who understand the himself declared king, has sunk “I find it to be really sad and Jewish traditions “relate to the to a new depth in the history of quite offensive to use a sacred Torah and show a lot more respect religious hypocrisy,” Lebow said. text…to repair his image,” Greene than to use it for a ceremony that “The guy exhibits an incredible said. “The whole act was disrespectis self-aggrandizing,” Bernstein sense of chutzpah. He is a legend ful.” said. “There isn’t going to be any- in his own mind.” New Birth church members one in the Jewish community … Messer could not be reached for were “sold a phony bill of goods” by that sees the Torah as a symbol of this story, but New Birth released coronation.” a statement from Messer, who said Messer, Greene said. “The leadership should know better.” The Torah was “used as a prop his message was about restoration

The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Education

Page 16A

Avondale Elementary School students act as bank tellers, taking deposits and filling out receipts, at the school’s student-run bank. Photo by Daniel Beauregard

Avondale Elementary students get hands on banking experience
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com The teachers of one Avondale Elementary School classroom could barely be heard above the jingle of coins and excited chatter on Feb. 3. That morning, students crowded into Dr. Tanika Henry’s classroom to make a deposit at the Avondale Elementary student-run bank, an event held on the first Friday of every month. The school recently began a partnership with Capital City Bank and Trust Corp designed to teach participants the basics of banking. Henry said each student who is interested in banking needed only a dollar to open a savings account—if they didn’t have one, Capital City would provide one for them. “Number one we want to teach them basic financial literacy—saving their money, not withdrawing it every time they want to buy something,” Henry said. Student-bank employees, acting as managers, helped each participating child fill out their account paperwork. At the front of the room was a make-shift teller window with four students working as bank tellers. The children in the room were loud, but above the din as each student walked up to the teller window, one could still make out a “Good morning, ma’am, how may I help you?” “We’re teaching them how to be employees, and how to run a business and be professional as well. Not only are they getting that experience but the math skills play in, the reading skills play in and everything else we teach them. They’re getting that practical hands-on experience,” Henry said. The students acting as managers handed each new customer’s information to two young men who sat at a computer in the corner of the classroom, entering customer information into a database.
See Bank on Page 17A

Decatur superintendent says bill involving charter systems sends ‘terrible message’
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com City Schools of Decatur Superintendent Phyllis Edwards said if House Bill 651 passes, the school system would lose $350,000 in funding it has been getting for the past five years. In 2008, a bill was passed that allowed school systems in Georgia to become charter systems and receive state funding of approximately $100 per student. “This bill strikes out all of the places where we had received small amounts of additional funding in [becoming a charter system],” Edwards said. Additionally, Edwards is concerned about more than the loss of funding. Currently, there are 14 charter school systems in Georgia but bigger systems, such as the Fulton County School System, are considering the move. “What we’re hearing is that, ‘You’re doing a good job,’ but now other bigger systems are coming into this and the question is how to fund it,” Edwards said. If Fulton County was approved as a charter system it could cost the state upwards of $10 million, said Andrew Lewis, executive vice president of the Georgia Charter Schools Association, a nonprofit group that advocates for charter school in Georgia. “Members of the General Assembly are saying that the state simply cannot afford to provide that innovative funding,” Lewis said, Edwards said she has spoken with local legislators Jason Carter, Mary Margaret Oliver and others, who have also expressed concerns. A year from now, CSD would have to apply for another five-year charter and Edwards said if the bill passes, “next year when we meet we need to decide whether we need to be a charter or not.” “Clearly we want to continue with the path that we’re on right now but it costs money for the things that we’re doing in terms of training and technology. Just like any system, if we lose that money, we need to make some choices and determine what our path is going to be,” Edwards said. “I think it sends a terrible message not just to those who have been working on this but also the number of systems who are thinking about becoming charters,” Edwards said.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Page 17A

Bank Continued From Page 16A

EDUCATION BRIEFS
He also plays football for the St. Pius X middle school team and plays the alto and tenor saxophone for the St. Pius Middle School Honors Band. grams in the Georgia Educational System,” will be held at GPC’s Decatur campus on Panthersville Road. The purpose of the discussion is to heighten community support for afterschool programs. The free event is open to the public and will be held in Classroom Building B, room SB1190.

Georgia DOE hosts poster contest
The Georgia Department of Education (GDOE) is holding a contest for grades nine through 12 to call attention to victims of sex trafficking. Additionally, the poster contest is to promote the national hotline (888) 3737888, where individuals can report any suspicion of sex trafficking in their school or community. The primary focus of the posters should be the national hotline, presented in a creative way that would grab the attention of students and teachers, a news release from GDOE said. Submissions will be judged by a panel of state officials. There will be two winners selected from each of GDOE’s 16 regional education service areas, one for an English poster and one for a Spanish poster. The winning posters from each region will be printed and sent to the respective area to be distributed. The regional winners will receive a cash prize of $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place. The regional winners will be notified by May 1.

The bank tellers were required to count each deposit then issue a yellow carbon-copy receipt, like a real bank “We want to teach them about debt and teach them how their money can work for them. Also, we want to make sure they understand the concept of saving money over a long period of time,” Henry said. Tregonie Lawson, the inschool banking coordinator for Capital City Bank, said the student-run banking program was started in 1994 as a way to help underserved communities in the metro Atlanta area. Since then, the bank has opened more than 27 student

banking programs. “Each banking day there is always a Capital City Trust banking employee present but really we just provide the model,” Lawson said. Lawson said that at the end of the year each student involved in the banking program is issued a cashier’s check with the amount they saved. Henry said next bank day she hopes the classroom is a little less hectic but she was grateful the kids were having so much fun learning. “It’s working—the kids are excited and the parents are excited. It’s a good partnership,” Henry said.

Dunwoody Elementary names teacher of year
Dunwoody Elementary has named James Unger as teacher of the year. Colleagues said Unger, who teaches science, math and writing, comes up with unique ways to relate topics to his fourth grade students. Unger’s co-worker Adrienne Thornton, said he thinks of new ways to teach and engage his students every day. “In science, he is constantly giving children life experiences to tie learning to, from sending smoke into the air, to sending light bouncing around the classroom,” Thornton said.

IIHM Catholic School names Davidson Scholar
Josh Forbes, an eighthgrade student at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School (IHM), was recently named a Davidson Scholar. To be eligible for a Davidson scholarship, a student must score in the 99.9 percentile on a qualified talent or standardized IQ test. As a scholar, Forbes has been given a personal consultant who will provide support services in the areas of educational advocacy, and talent and interest development. There is also the possibility of financial assistance to help meet his educational goals. Forbes is a member of the IHM math team, writing club, student council, band and basketball team.

GPC to hold discussion on after school programs
Georgia Perimeter College’s (GPC) Office of Education and Field Experience Programs, Green Pastures Christian School and the Georgia Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers will conduct a round table discussion on Feb. 21. The discussion, “The Role of After School Pro-

The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Business

Page 18A

John Howard’s camera is topped with a flash refractor he invented to eliminate shadows in flash photos.

Couples can have a traditional wedding album even if they have a courthouse marriage ceremony. Photos provided

Avondale Estates ‘chapel’ provides a fancy setting for modest weddings
by Kathy Mitchell kathy@dekalbchamp.com A wedding with flowers, a cake, a reception and other traditional touches can cost Last Valentine’s Day approximately $27,000, acJohn Howard was busy cording to theknot.com. “In preparing for weddings— the current economy, not six of them. His business, A many people can afford that, Perfect Wedding Chapel in so they get married in the Avondale Estates, provides courthouse instead,” Howa setting for quick, simple ard said. events—weddings especialHe said the money saved ly—with photographs and is not the only advantage videography that might sug- to the wedding chapel apgest a more elaborate event. proach. “Planning a wedUsually, he explained, ding can be very stressful. there are no more than 10 Sometimes women end up guests and no elaborate regetting upset with their fiception—maybe cake and ancés because they’re not punch. Sometimes, there’s helping enough. There are not even a wedding. The problems with musicians, couple may already be mar- problems with the flowers, ried; they just want wedding problems with the cake. You pictures. don’t have to worry about Howard, who’s been a any of that here. It’s all professional photographer here; you just show up and for more than 20 years, get married.” said he was often hired to Howard also pointed out come to the courthouse to that instead of months of photograph a marriage. “A planning, everything can judge’s chambers is not rehappen very quickly. “You ally a good place for wedcan call me on Monday ding pictures. In the backmorning and get married ground are the judge’s diMonday afternoon,” he said. plomas, pictures, awards— “You can even get a wedit’s not very romantic,” he ding album the same day.” said. “I thought it would be He said even couples nice to have a setting where opting for a low-budget traditional wedding pictures wedding want it to have could be taken even without special touches, noting that a full-blown wedding.” some couples come to the courthouse in tuxedos and full-length bridal gowns. “You’d be surprised,” he said. “But when they’re dressed that nicely, they should have the pictures to go with it. Sometimes after the fact, they regret not having a photo album.” Howard said his plan when he first conceived the idea two years ago was to find a place close to the DeKalb County courthouse. He settled on a space a few miles east in Avondale Estates, which raised other issues. “Zoning is very restrictive here,” Howard said, noting that all buildings in downtown Avondale Estates must maintain the city’s distinctive English Tudor look. Because the word “chapel” is in the name of the business, Howard had to convince the city that what he was opening is not a church. “They have strict rules about churches—they must have a certain number of parking spaces, for example. It’s not a church. There’s no pastor. No one attends services here. I wanted chapel in the name because people searching the internet for a setting in which to be married are more likely to put ‘chapel’ in the search engine than ‘studio.’ The retail space, previously a hair salon, had to be completely revamped. “It took a lot of work to create the look we wanted. I’m not a decorator,” said Howard, who explained that he got ideas from friends, family, customers and pictures of wedding chapels in the nation’s unofficial wedding chapel capital—Las Vegas. He pointed out an oil lamp that his mother contributed. Howard describes the place as similar to a Hollywood set. Actually, it’s like several small sets. There are such props as an arch of artificial flowers, electric candles, a mirror ball under which a couple can have their first dance, even a fake wedding cake. “But in a photo it all looks very real,” he said. At the heart of it all, however, is Howard’s real love—photography. He, in fact, is the inventor of a piece of photographic equipment that he calls the Perfecta Flash Pod, a flash refractor for which he recently received a patent. “It allows you to take flash photos with no shadows,”

Richard Howard as Ryche Rych specializes in model and entertainment photography.

he said of the device that looks like a rectangular lampshade. “Ordinarily photographers have to set up special lights, white umbrellas—all that—to get this effect, but this one simple piece will do it. I’m so proud of it—U.S. patent D650,000S granted to Johnny Howard Dec. 6, 2011.” Along with his son Richard Howard—who as Ryche Rych also has a business that specializes in model and entertainment photography—Howard keeps a full calendar photographing family reunions, anniversaries, birthdays and especially weddings. “Even when you spend thousands of dollars on an event, what you have of the day once it’s over are the photos. If you can’t afford to do the whole thing, you should do the part that lasts,” he said.

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, February 10, 2012

Page 19A

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

AROUND DEKALB
ATLANTA
‘Read dating’ fundraiser announced
Charis Circle is holding a fundraiser, “Read Dating:” Speed Dating for Bibliophiles, Friday, Feb. 10, 7-10 p.m. “We encourage people of all ages, genders and orientations to attend because even if you aren’t a love match with someone you might find that you are a great match for a collaborative writing project, book club or friendship,” the announcement states. Registration, 7 -7:30 p.m., is $20 and includes a complimentary glass of wine and light refreshments as well as a chance to browse the bookstore. “Read dating” rounds begin at 7:30 p.m. and the evening ends at 10 p.m. Organizers urge those planning to attend to RSVP though it is not necessary. Charis Circle is located at 1189 Euclid Ave., NE, Atlanta. To RSVP or for more information, e-mail orders@ charisbooksandmore.com. ducting a food drive through Feb. 14 to benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank. More than 58,000 families in metro Atlanta rely on food donations from the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Gannon said. The beginning of the calendar year, after a busy holiday season, is typically a time when church and community food pantries are depleted, according to a news release from Gannon. Food collection barrels are located in the lobbies of the DeKalb County Maloof Building at 1300 Commerce Drive, at the Clark Harrison Building at 330 Ponce de Leon Ave., at the DeKalb County Courthouse on North McDonough Street and at the Tax Commissioners Office at 4380 Memorial Drive. held on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 11 a.m. The program will highlight Scottish music and will emphasize the traditions of the reformed church. A shortbread reception will follow in the church’s fellowship center.

TUCKER

Forum focuses on community issues
DeKalb Commissioner Stan Watson is sponsoring community forum to discuss critical quality of life issues that continue to impact those who work and live in DeKalb. The forum, called “Soul of DeKalb--Reflections of Our Progress” is a follow-up to last year’s State of DeKalb forum. There will be several panel discussions covering economic development, politics, education, healthcare and community partnerships. Panel members include elected officials, community leaders and concerned citizens. The event will be held at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Community Center, located at 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur, on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 6:30-8:30 p.m

Business association names board
The Tucker Business Association has announced its 2012 board of directors. Burke Brennan, chief communications officer of DeKalb County, continues his role of president for a second term. Honey Van De Kreke, Elrep Sales, who served as senior vice president in 2011, moves to an ex-officio role. Other board members are: secretary – Bob Smith, Insphere Insurance Solutions; treasurer – Richard Biro, Ashworth & Associates, P.C.; vice president, membership – William Rosenfeld, Rosenfeld Jewelry Ltd.; vice president, events – Bob Peppel, Peppel and Peppel Inc.; vice president, programs – Josh Batchelder, Financial Service Professionals; vice president, media relations – Lizbeth Dison, Orotek Broadband LLC; vice president at large – Jon Coward, Spiral Cities Marketing; vice president at large – Brian Mock, Hampton Inn Northlake; vice president at large – Art Wood, Hometown Lenders.

Exhibit highlights abandoned buildings
An exhibition of paintings by artist Christina Bray is running through March 23 at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. Bray’s paintings depict a fascination with many of Atlanta’s abandoned commercial buildings and the graffiti they have recently attracted. Her subjects include many now-defunct Atlanta landmarks such as the Pullman Railyard and Glidden Paint Factory. The gallery is located on the second floor of the main building in the Callanwolde mansion at 980 Briarcliff Road. Viewing hours are 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturday. For more information call (404) 872-5338.

DECATUR
Community Arts weekend slated
The first Community Arts Weekend will be held Feb. 11-12 at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts & Community Center. There will be a free acting workshop Feb. 11, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., where participants will play theater games, read scripts and be taught improvisation. Space is limited; no previous experience is required and advanced registration is encouraged. A $5 Black Box concert on Feb. 12 will feature performances by the gospel music group Theory. To register for both events or for more information, visit www.portersanfordarts.org or call (404) 687-2775, ext. 6. The Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center is at 3181 Rainbow Drive.

ART Station announces lunchtime show
ART Station in Stone Mountain Village recently announced that its presentation for Feb. 13 Lunchtime Series is a sampling of the current performance in the theater, Name That Show, an improvisational show in which performers work off audience suggestions. The presentation will be at ART Station, noon – 1 p.m. This monthly lunchtime series showcases performances, lectures or art experiences. Tickets are $10 for the presentation and a boxed lunch and $5 for the presentation only. Water, iced tea and lemonade will be provided at no additional charge. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more two days in advance. ART Station is located at 5384 Manor Drive in historic Stone Mountain Village. For more information, call (770) 469-1105 or visit www.artstation.org.

STONE MOUNTAIN

LITHONIA
Nature preserve to hold work day
The Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve will host a tree pruning work day, Saturday, Feb. 11, 9-11 a.m. at Lyons Farm, located at 4506 Lyons Road in Lithonia. Park Ranger Robby Astrove will lead the work day, which will focus on the art and science of pruning and summer tree care. Participants will be provided with information about fruit trees, pruning techniques and tree care, and will also apply mulch to a grove of historic fruit trees during the hands-on work day. Tools and gloves will be provided. For registration and additional information, please contact the nature center at (770) 4843060 or rlastrove@dekalbcountyga.gov.

Church will celebrate Scottish heritage
Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Stone Mountain will hold its annual service reflecting on the Scottish heritage of the Presbyterian church. The service, called Kirking of the Tartans, will be

Commissioner conducting food drive
County commissioner Kathie Gannon is con-

The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Page 21A

M.L. King's signees prepare for a group photo on National Signing Day. Photos by Robert Naddra

The family of M.L. King receiver Blake Tibbs–parents Cheryl and Torrey Tibbs, and grandparents Sandra and James Tibbs–cheer when Blake announces Georgia as his choice.

Stanford’s journey highlights M.L. King’s recruiting class
Record number of county players sign football scholarships

North Carolina State signees Jaynor Jones, left, and Kenderius Whitehead.

Wide receiver Joshua Stanford.

Defensive back Jordan Moore.

T

wo years ago Joshua Stanford was playing high school football in his hometown of Mississauga Valley, Ontario in Canada. Less than two weeks ago Stanford was one of 23 M.L. King football players who signed football scholarships. It was a journey, he said, he could not have made by himself. “God is a big part of my life and I believe God opens doors for you,” said Stanford, who will be attending Virginia Tech. “I put God before football this [past] season and that’s what sped things up for me.” Stanford said he always has been a spiritual person and grew up with a value system instilled by his parents, June and Michael Stanford. “Earlier in the season, I wasn’t doing as well and that’s when I realized I couldn’t do it without God,” he said. “I made sure I found happiness with God because nothing can take that away. It’s who I am and I’ve got to be true to myself.”

this past season and advanced to the third round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs. Stanford was one of five M.L. King receivers to sign scholarships. Blake Tibbs, who signed with Georgia, led the

“The coaching staff and the kids worked all year to prepare for this moment.”

be a part of this program and to start something like we did means something really big.” This is the third year in a row that more than 100 studentathletes have singed football scholarships in the county.

“ “ “ “
– Mike Carson M.L. King Coach

by Robert Naddra robert@dekalbchamp.com

There were a record 144 student-athletes from schools in DeKalb County who signed football scholarships on Feb. 1, National Signing Day. Stephenson led the way with 26 signees and M.L. King’s group was its largest in the 10-year history of the school. The Lions finished 12-1

county in catches (66), yards (1,082) and touchdowns (15). Stanford, meanwhile, caught 56 passes for 1,014 yards and 11 scores. “I’m happy to be a part of this graduating class [at M.L. King],” Stanford said. “There are a lot of good character people. And to

Columbia had 17 signees and Cedar Grove had 13 this year. Stephenson led the way with 11 players signing with Football Bowl Subdivision teams, including Mike Davis, Kyle Fleetwood and Carlos Hood at Alabama and Jafar Mann at Florida. Thirty-five players signed with FBS teams, including 18 in the Southeastern Conference and seven in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Sixty-seven colleges and universities are represented among the signees, including schools as far away as California (College of the Sequoias) and as far north as Ohio (Ohio University and Miami of Ohio) and Delaware (Delaware State). Schools in Kansas, Iowa and Oklahoma also are represented. “The coaching staff and the kids worked all year to prepare for this moment,” M.L. King coach Mike Carson said. “The type of season we had attributed to the number of kids that signed. It’s truly a blessing for the program.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Sports

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2012 DeKalb County football signees
Arabia Mountain: DB Case Woodard, Carson-Newman; WR NaVontez Wyche, Carson-Newman Cedar Grove: OL Brandon Greene, Alabama; RB Marlon Coley, Benedict; OL Dwayne Love, Benedict; OL Nevrone Thomas, Benedict; DE Arthur Wainwright, Benedict; LB Tarvis Hall, Chattahoochee Tech; DE Langston Williams, College of Sequoias; RB Rodney Garvin, Georgia Military; DE Darryl Williams, Miles; DL Sean Johnson; Miles; LB Casey Canino, Morehouse; DB Joshua Austin, Morehouse; WR Xavier Cooper, Morehouse. Chamblee: RB Theo Jones, Davidson. Columbia: QB Jabari Menefee, Albany State; WR Mials Woodberry, Albany State; TE Peterson Cheridor, Atlanta Sports Academy; WR Gerald Everett, Butler Community College; LB Antonio Montgomery, Edward Waters; FS Paul Smith, Edward Waters; DB Montrez Williams, Edward Waters; LB Diondre Wynn, Edward Waters; DB Darrius Jones, Fort Valley State; DE Talon Green, Lane College; DB Dextin Love, Marshall; DE Jordan Johnson, Mercer; OL Demerris Smith, Miles; RB O’Kenno Loyal, Mississippi; DE Jhaustin Thomas, South Carolina; WR Keithon Redding, Southern Mississippi; DB Jeremy Huntt, Tusculum. Druid Hills: DB Dia Andrews, CarsonNewman; DE Chaz Dowdell, Chattahoochee Tech. Dunwoody: OL Eliot Arno, Air Force; DL Connor Weaver, Centre College; WR Yannic Francis, Centre College; DB Nick Willis, Citadel; LB TeMyrick Mosley, Citadel; LB Jake Hudgins, Davidson; DL Darien Foreman, Georgia Southern; LB Justin King, Tennessee; TE Chris Hale, Middle Tennessee; Dazel Claytor, Iowa Western. Lithonia: DB Bret Love, Johnson C. Smith; RB Denzel Veale, Miles; DT Maurice Antoine, Miles; OL Joe Harris, South Carolina. Marist: Nick Brigham, Maryland; Jack Burke, Samford; Will Curran, Davidson; Preston Furry, Furman; Austin Hardin, Florida; Trey Lewis, Georgia Southern; Matt Orr, Georgia Southern. Martin Luther King Jr.: LB Toronto Thomas, Air Force; WR Carnell Boyd, Alabama State; DB Giles Bess, Western Arizona; WR Chris Burgess, Bluefield College; K Sahar Komba, Concordia; LB Eddie Pippins, Concordia; WR Fred Addison, Concordia; OL Torrey Presscod, Concordia; LB Justin Peterson, Delaware State; WR Blake Tibbs, Georgia; DL Ernest Echols, Grambling State; DB Alan Carson, Johnson C. Smith; DB Chazz Wilson, Langston University; C Chase Elliott, Langston University; WR Dontavious Heard, Memphis; OL Cameron Mobley, Mercer; QB Jonquel Dawson, Miles; DE Kenderius Whitehead, North Carolina State; FS Jaynor Jones, North Carolina State; DB Jordan Moore, Texas Christian; RB Andrecas Jackson, Tusculum; WR Joshua Stanford, Virginia Tech. McNair: DE Kadeem Holmes, Coffeyville Community College; WR Mike Davis, Elite Performance; DE Shaquille Bass, Elite Performance; OT Darquez Dunn, Elite Performance; QB Antonio Hambrick, Elite Performance; RB Jeremiah Anderson, Miles; OL Jordan Head, Miles. Miller Grove: WR Chris Starks, Appalachian State; WR Melquan Benton, Dean College; WR Terrence Wortham, Georgia Military; LB Dustin Ingram, Kentucky Christian; LB J’Terius Brown, Miami of Ohio; DL Deandre Harrison, North Alabama; OL Demetrius Greenwood , Tusculum; TE Keon Mingo, Tuskegee. Redan: WR Tevin Isom, Albany State; OL Ricardo Jones, Albany State; OL Jayson Black, North Carolina Central; DL Andrew Williams, Virginia State. Stephenson: LB Kadeem Murray, Carson Newman; RB Mike Gales, Concordia (AL); RB Jordan Fitzpatrick, Concordia (AL); OL Michael Turnipseed, Concordia (AL); RB Pernell Whitehead, Concordia (AL); OL Jafar Mann, Florida; OL Najee Daniels, Johnson C. Smith; WR Demarkus Sweat, Kentucky; WR Shawn Blaylock,

Jacob Sealand

Josh Dawson

Jordan Landry. Photos by Travis Hudgons Kentucky; DB Sir David Brooks, Mars Hill; DB Kristoff Ricks, Mars Hill; LB Raphael Kirby, Miami; OL Nicohlas Gibbons, Ohio University; RB Terry Moon Jr., Richmond; OL Amos Harper, Samford; OL Steve McKenzie, South Alabama; RB Mike Davis, South Carolina; DL Carlos Hood, South Carolina; DB Kyle Fleetwood, South Carolina; DE Joshua Parris, Syracuse; WR Lontario Collier, Tusculum; LB Brandon Blaylock, Tusculum; OL Brandon Addison, Tusculum; LB Darreon Herring, Vanderbilt; DL Jarontay Jones, Virginia Tech. St. Pius: LB Joseph Crochet, The Citadel; LB T. J. Holloman, South Carolina; LB Logan Rosborough, Campbell University; DB Geno Smith, Alabama; QB Trey White, The Citadel. Stone Mountain: WR Armageddon Draughn, Albany State; LB Markuss Eligwe, Florida State; DL Blake Rushing, Miles. Southwest DeKalb: DT Jalon Davis, Edward Waters; LB Toran Davis, Ohio University; QB Jalil Young, Point University; WR John West-Grant, Point University; DL Gabriel Echols; Southern U.; WR Desmond Douglas, William Penn; DT Demarcus Jackson, William Penn. Tucker: WR Adaryl Jones, Averett University; DE Josh Dawson, Georgia; OL Michael Young, Georgia Southern; OL Nick Collins, Lafayette; CB Marqeeye Biggs, Tusculum; LB Justin Rivers, Tusculum; OL Kenneth Crenshaw, Tennessee-Martin; RB Jordan Landry, Tennessee-Martin; LB Jacob Sealand, Vanderbilt.

Wrestling: Marist wins Area 6-AAAA meet, qualifies 11 for state with McNair
Jackson (113), Matt Andres (138) and Kenneth Brinson (195)—and had eight wrestlers in championship Marist won its second consecutive matches. Patrick Lange (120), Peter Area 6-AAAA wrestling championNguyen (126), Ian Kirchner (145), ship on Feb. 4 and qualified 11 wresJack Trainor (220) and Steven Waltlers for the upcoming Class AAAA lace (285) all placed second. sectional tournament. Dunwoody, Miller Grove and The War Eagles were the only Southwest DeKalb also had three team in DeKalb County to win an individual champions. Dunwoody’s area title. McNair placed second in weight-class winners were Sunny the 5-AAA tournament, winning Sharma (106), Keith Palmer (160) six divisions and qualifying 11 for and Elias Fleishman (170). Carlton the Class AAA sectionals. StephenBenjamin (120), Alton Hill (132) son finished second in the Area and Jacob Mitchell (220) were area 2-AAAAA tournament at East Cowe- champions for Miller Grove. For ta and qualified eight wrestlers for the Southwest, Anthony Kaigler (126), AAAAA sectionals. Cory Strickland (145) and Gabriel Marist outpointed Southwest Echols (285) won area titles. DeKalb 212.5 to 165.5 and had three Miller Grove and Southwest weight-class champions—Patrick DeKalb each qualified nine wrestlers by Robert Naddra robert@dekalbchamp.com for sectionals, while Lithonia will send eight. In all, 55 county wrestlers qualified for sectionals from the 6-AAAA meet. Stephenson was beaten in 2-AAAAA by Newnan 156.5-152. The Jaguars had five weight class champions—Jabari Collins (120), Steven Wiley (152), Darian Perry (160), Mike Gates (195) and Brandon Addison (285). M.L. King qualified three wrestlers for sectionals, including Aubrey Seals, who placed second at 170 pounds. In Area 5-AAA, Woodward Academy won the team title with 227 points while McNair was second with 214. Area champions for the Mustangs were Khalil Williams (120), Zeontae McCoy (132), Michael Corley (160), Dontavious Smith (182), D.J. Jackson (220) and Kevin Barner (285). Mustangs’ coach Ramon Tillery said that Williams, 46-1, and Jackson, 45-1, are strong contenders for state titles. Three other wrestlers from DeKalb schools won individual titles in 5-AAA—Aleema Favors (113), Arabia Mountain; Cole Waldron (145), St. Pius; and Damian Schofield (150), Stone Mountain. The Golden Lions qualified eight wrestlers for sectionals while Arabia Mountain will send five, and Stone Mountain and Columbia each qualified four. In the Area 6-AA meet, Clarkston qualified two wrestlers for sectionals. Gashaw Belete finished second at 126 pounds and Leqwan Petty was third at 145.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

Sports

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DeKalb High School Sports Highlights
BOYS BASKETBALL
Miller Grove: Tony Parker had 20 points and 20 rebounds in a 59-53 win over Southwest DeKalb on Feb. 3 as the Wolverines (13-6, 12-1 Region 6-AAAA, Division B) maintain a onegame lead over the Panthers in the sub-region. Justin Colvin added 13 points, and Brandon Morris and Christian Houston each had 10. With the Wolverines leading 55-53 with 56 seconds to play, Parker made four straight free throws to seal the win. Also, Parker scored 26 points, Tony Evans had a season-high 15 while Morris and Colvin each scored 10 in a 73-53 win over Mays on Jan. 31. Southwest DeKalb: William Goodwin had 16 points and eight rebounds, Jordan Price added 12 and Kaderius Turner had 11 in a 59-53 loss to Miller Grove on Feb. 3. Columbia: The Eagles extended their home winning streak to 76 games after defeating McNair 76-48 on Feb. 3 in their final regular season home game of the season. The Eagles’ senior class has not lost a home game and since 2005 Columbia is 198-18 overall with four state titles. Druid Hills: Clarence Williams had two double-doubles in games Jan. 31-Feb.4. He had 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Red Devils lost to Washington 56-49 on Jan. 31, then got 15 points, 11 rebounds, seven steals and five blocks in a 51-37 win over Stone Mountain on Jan. 3. Willie Zachery had 12 points in the loss to Washington and 13 against Stone Mountain. Zachery scored 28 points and Kyle Simmons added 11 in a 64-60 win over North Springs on Feb. 4. Arabia Mountain: The Rams (8-10 overall) beat Woodward Academy 59-53 and Stone Mountain 54-49 to move into third place in Region 5-AAA, Division B at 5-4. Bakari Copeland scored 24 points, while Matt Citron and Nathan Schultz each added 11, and Brian Woods grabbed 14 rebounds against Woodward. In the win over Stone Mountain, Austin Henderson led with 15 points, Copeland had 14 and Bryan Baptiste 13. Dunwoody: DeChard Hamilton scored 13 points, Richard Carrington added 12 and Bradley McKnight 10 in a 66-54 win over Carver Atlanta on Jan. 31. The Wildcats also lost to Tucker 60-28 on Feb. 3. Paideia: Keenan Palmore hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Pythons to a 57-55 win over Pace Academy on Feb. 4. Palmore finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds. The Pythons also defeated Eagle’s Landing Christian 6146, as Cameron Myers scored 15 points and Jonathan Garrett chipped in with 14.
Miller Grove’s Tashi Thompson (22) and Klarissa Weaver (30) try to block a shot by Southwest DeKalb’s Jasmine Coleman during the Wolverines’ 55-47 win on Feb. 3.

Two of the state's top players, Tony Parker of Miller Grove, left photo, and William Goodwin of Southwest DeKalb each made their presence known with a slam dunk in the Wolverines' 59-53 win on Feb. 3. Photos by Travis Hudgons

overtime. The Wolverines also beat Mays 53-32 on Jan. 31, with Thompson scoring 19 points and Hunt 10. Weaver led with 10 rebounds. Decatur: Queen Alford scored 30 points and Kristin Munson added 11 as the Bulldogs, ranked No. 5 in the Class AA coaches poll, defeated No. 6 Greater Atlanta Christian 57-55 on Feb. 3. The Bulldogs lost to No. 3 Buford 69-41 on Jan. 31. Chamblee: The Bulldogs (22-1, 13-1 Region 6-AAAA) ran its winning streak to nine games with wins over Marist (49-37) and Carver

Atlanta (72-59). St. Pius: The Golden Lions defeated Riverwood 37-27 and North Atlanta 61-44 to clinch the top seed in Region 5-AAA, Division A. Emma Ucinski scored 15 points against Riverwood, while Asia Durr had 15 against North Atlanta, Dylan Krause added 13 and Ucinski had 11. Southwest DeKalb: Nicole Martin scored 16 points in a 55-47 overtime loss to Miller Grove. Jasmine Coleman had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Panthers, while Nekia Sockwell added 11 points.

GIRLS BASKETBALL
Miller Grove: Tashi Thompson had 20 points, Katie Hunt added 12 and Tabitha Fudge had 11 points and 13 rebounds in a 55-47 overtime win over Southwest DeKalb on Feb. 3. Klarissa Weaver also contributed 10 rebounds and four blocked shots. Thompson scored eight points in

Page 24A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, February 10, 2012

College lacrosse game to benefit Dunwoody

Parker chosen for national all-star game

Miller Grove senior Tony Parker is the only Two of the country’s top-ranked college lacrosse teams will play at North DeKalb Sta- player in Georgia to be chosen to play in the Jordium in Chamblee on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 1 p.m. to help the Dunwoody Wildcats lacrosse dan Brand All-American Game, April 14, in Charteam raise money for its first season. No. 6 lotte, N.C. Boston College will face No. 8 Florida State. Parker, a 6-foot-8 Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for forward who has helped adults, with the proceeds going to help fund lead Miller Grove to three the 2012 season for Dunwoody. The DeKalb consecutive Class AAAA County School System sanctioned teams state titles, will play for to play as a Georgia High School Associathe East team in a game tion (GHSA) varsity sport. Dunwoody will featuring many of the be fielding boys’ and girls’ teams this seatop high school players in son competing in Area 4 in Class A-AAAA. the nation. He is averagThe Wildcats’ first scheduled home game is against Southwest DeKalb on Feb. 22 at North ing 17.2 points and 10.9 rebounds this season and DeKalb Stadium. recently surpassed 1,500 career points.

NEXT LEVEL
Each week The Champion spotlights former high school players from the county who are succeeding in athletics on the college level. Langston Hall, Mercer (basketball): The sophomore from Chamblee scored 13 points in a 61-47 win over South Carolina-Upstate on Feb. 4 and had 20 points with five 3-pointers on Jan. 30 in a 75-66 win over Florida Gulf Coast. Schyanne Halfkenny, Manhattan (basketball): The senior from Stephenson scored 13 points, with three 3-pointers in a 56-53 win over Siena on Feb. 2. Halfkenny is averaging 10. 3 points per game and had a seasonhigh 22 points in a win over Canisius in January. Brandon Wheeless, Norfolk State (basketball): The senior from Stone Mountain, who made 11 of 20 field goal attempts in two games, scored 13 points in a 67-50 loss to Delaware State on Feb. 4 and 10 in an 87-82 loss to Coppin State on Jan. 31.

Football recruiting summit upcoming

Tony Parker. Photo by Travis Hudgons

The Phi Kappa Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. will host its sixth annual Football Recruiting Summit at Miller Grove High School on Feb. 11. Invitations have been sent to NCAA Division II schools and junior colleges across the Southeast. Students and parents will have an opportunity to meet with college representatives, ask questions and provide a high school transcript and highlights DVD. Miller Grove is located at 2645 DeKalb Medical Parkway, Lithonia. For more information, contact Calleb Obumba at (678) 464-2611.

The Champion chooses a male and female high school Athlete of the Week each week throughout the school year. The choices are based on performance and nominations by coaches. Please e-mail nominations to robert@dekalbchamp.com by Monday at noon.

MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Tony Parker, Miller Grove (basketball): The senior helped the Wolverines remain atop Region 6-AAAA with 20 points and 20 rebounds in a 59-53 win over Southwest DeKalb. He also scored 26 points in a 73-53 win over Mays. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Tashi Thompson, Miller Grove (basketball): The junior scored 39 points in two games as the Wolverines defeated Southwest DeKalb 55-47 and Mays 53-32. She had 20 points, seven rebounds and four steals in the win over Southwest.

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