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

and Stone Mountain.




Photos by John Silas

by Robert Naddra wo of the most dominant high school basketball programs in the state sent a message March 9-10 at the Georgia High School Association state tournaments—they’re only getting stronger. Miller Grove and Columbia accounted for four state titles, the Wolverines winning the boys’ and girls’ Class AAAA titles at Gwinnett Arena in Duluth on March 9 and the

Columbia, Miller Grove addIS SHE to basketball tradition with 4 titles IS SHE
Eagles’ claiming the AAA boys’ and girls’ crowns in Macon on March 10. This is the first time two DeKalb schools have swept titles in the same season. Columbia won both Class AAA championships in 2010. Columbia, led by coach Phil McCrary with more than 500 wins, defeated Drew 65-46 to give the Eagles three state championships in a row and five in the past seven years. The last program to win five titles in seven seasons was Lanier of Macon in the 1940s. With a 62-57 win over Southwest DeKalb on March 9, Miller Grove became the first boys’ team in the state to win four straight state championships since Westover did it 1990-93. But the weekend was about more than the success of boys’ basketball in the county. In girls’ games, Columbia defeated No. 1 Washington County 57-33 in AAA and Miller Grove upended Southwest DeKalb 46-39 for the AAAA championship. Columbia coach Chantay Frost has catapulted the Eagles into the


See Basketball on Page 15A

state spotlight in each of the four seasons she has been at the school. Frost has won at least 23 games per season and is 99-23 with two state titles in four years at Columbia. Before Frost’s arrival, Columbia’s girls’ program had won more than 20 games only four times since 1971. Miller Grove’s girls won its first title in its first championship game appearance. Miller Grove began its

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ews updates online from the The Champion.

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Photos by Matt Amato

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

Accused Dunwoody killer’s fate in hands of jury
by Andrew Cauthen Testimony is over in the trial of accused killer Hemy Neuman and now it is up to jurors to decide whether he was insane at the time of the crime. Neuman is on trial for the November 2010 killing outside Dunwoody Prep daycare center of Russell Sneiderman, a 36-year-old entrepreneur who was shot four times after he had dropped off his son. Neuman has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. In his closing arguments, DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James told the jury that Neuman has “lied to everybody about everything.” “He created lies,” James said. “He’s the father of lies. Is there any truth that he’s told?” James said the psychiatrists that determined Neuman was insane “either lack sincerity …or they’re dense.” “If you have a problem with what he’s telling you… if you have a problem with the ingredients in the sandwich and if you don’t trust the cook—Lord knows he’s a liar—then you don’t have to eat the sandwich,” James said. James countered defense attorneys’ claims that Neuman’s alleged insanity, depression and bipolar disorder were the results of being beaten by his father as a child. “If he had been smacked with a belt more maybe he wouldn’t have killed a man,” James said. Defense attorney Doug Peters said the “case is about one bad, one really bad woman: Andrea Sneiderman.” Neuman, who worked at GE Energy in Marietta, was the supervisor of Andrea Sneiderman, the victim’s wife. Throughout the trial, the alleged affair between Neuman and Andrea Sneiderman has been a central theme of both the prosecution and defense teams. “The gun was in Hemy’s hand, but the trigger was pulled by Andrea Sneiderman,” Peters said. Peters told jurors that if they believed that “Andrea Sneiderman did not know what she was doing, did not manipulate Hemy, did not suggest to Hemy, did not plant seeds in Hemy, I suggest you’re not taking a reasonable look at this case. “Hemy Neuman did not have the capacity to distinguish between right and wrong,” Peters said. The testimony portion of the trial ended March 12 after jurors heard from rebuttal witnesses, during which William Brickhouse, the head psychiatrist at the DeKalb County jail, said he never witnessed any suicidal tendencies from Neuman. “Though the defendant may tell you he has depression, though the defendant may tell you he is considering suicide, did you see any evidence that that really existed?” asked Don Geary, chief assistant district attorney. “No, I did not,” Brickhouse said. On March 9, Brickhouse
See Neuman on Page 8A

CEO’s Community Hero Awards
presented by The Champion Newspaper and DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis
Nominate a community servant, community organization or an individual in the DeKalb community who tirelessly volunteers his or her service for the betterment of DeKalb County.
Please complete this nomination form and return it to The Champion o ce by March 30, 2012. A panel of civic, corporate and government volunteers will select the winners. Recipients will receive charitable contributions to help further their e orts in the county. Winners will be honored at the CEO’s Community Hero Awards Gala at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center on Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 4 p.m. Nominations may be faxed to: 404-373-7721 Or mail nomination to: The Champion Newspaper • P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30030 Email nomination forms to: Nominator’s name ___________________________________________________ Nominator’s address __________________________________________________ City _________________________________ State ____ ZIP Code _____________ Nominator’s phone number ____________________________________________ Nominator’s email ____________________________________________________ Deadline to submit nominations is March 30, 2012. For more information, please contact Erica M. Brooks at 404-371-3695 or John Hewitt at 404-373-7779 x110.

Announcing the 2012

Award Nominee Information (attach additional page if needed)

*All individual nominees must live in DeKalb County. Any organization nominated must be able to demonstrate a clear presence and direct impact on DeKalb County. Please indicate below which category best describes your nomination: COMMUNITY CHAMPION AWARD This award acknowledges an individual and non-pro t organization whose work has had a positive impact in strengthening communities and improving the lives of others in DeKalb County. ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AWARD This award honors a community member and/or organization that works to preserve, protect, and raise awareness about our environment. YOUTH VOLUNTEER AWARD This award will recognize two DeKalb County youths 18 years old and younger who exemplify volunteerism and community service. NEIGHBORHOOD EMPOWERMENT AWARD This award recognizes an individual and organization that fosters civic engagement and promotes community involvement. THE VANGUARD AWARD This award recognizes an individual and organization whose contributions most exemplify the National County Government Month theme as established by NACo each year. This year’s DeKalb theme is “Healthy Counties, Healthy Families; ONE Healthy DeKalb”. Nominee’s name______________________________________________________ Nominee’s Agency, Community Organization, or Individual Volunteer Focus ____________________________________________________________________ Nominee’s address:____________________________________________________ City______________________ State____ ZIP _________________ Nominee’s contact info (required so nominee can be noti ed if selected) Name ____________________ Phone ____________ E-mail address _________________ Please tell us why this nominee should be honored as a CEO’s Community Hero: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________
Attach additional information if needed

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

School board defers vote to cover projected shortfall
by Daniel Beauregard DeKalb County School Board members deferred a vote on March 12 to cover a projected shortfall of nearly $40 million on SPLOST II and III projects. Rather than vote on a proposed corrective action plan, board members voted unanimously to accept a subsequent motion put forth by DeKalb County School Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson. “What you will be approving is our ability to move whatever projects we can to SPLOST IV within the legal limits and understanding two budgetary issues,” Atkinson said. Atkinson said the district would not take out bonds to jumpstart work on SPLOST IV, saving it $11 million that was set aside to pay for them. She said this would mean all projects would be paid out-ofpocket by the district. Additionally, Atkinson told board members the district would ensure that all projects within SPLOST IV would be able to be completed, and then look at what the contingencies were for adding the SPLOST III projects to the list. At the end of February, school officials told the board that due to accounting and over-budgeting from SPLOST II projects, as well as issues involving SPLOST III and the Chamblee High School replacement project, the school system faces a projected shortfall of nearly $40 million if corrective action was not taken. Officials presented board members with a corrective action plan that reallocated some funds, closed out other projects from SPLOST II and halted 35 SPLOST III projects to cover the gap. However, board members tabled the vote twice. Bill Wildman, who represents the school system, said its legal team would have to do some research as to whether the language on the SPLOST IV referendum was broad enough to cover moving some of the SPLOST III projects onto the SPLOST IV project list. “My understanding is that you would first have to complete the SPLOST IV projects that were on the referendum then if we had any additional money come in from SPLOST IV we could apply it. But, I believe we first have to finish SPLOST IV projects that were on the referendum and voted on by the public,” Wildman said. If the projects weren’t able to be added, Atkinson said the board would then vote on a corrective action plan. “I’m not sure how long that would take us to check the language of the referendum. We should probably have an answer within 24 or 48 hours,” Atkinson said. Board member Pamela Speaks said that if it is possible to move some of the SPLOST III projects to the SPLOST IV list, she wanted to make sure the legal team looked at whether it could move those SPLOST III projects to the front of the line. “I just want to make sure that we’ll also be looking at the order in which we do those,” Speaks said. “If it’s possible we should move some of these projects to the front of SPLOST IV.”

DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330 Decatur, Georgia 30030 Telephone (404) 286-3308

an environmental certification pertaining to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 15 days following this publication. The request and certification relate to the following projects. Project: Location: HOME Program: Columbia Mills Apartments – Demolition and Redevelopment Project 2229 Flat Shoals Road SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

TO ALL INTERESTED AGENCIES, GROUPS AND PERSONS: The DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department gives notice that it will submit a request for release of grant funds and

Purpose: The DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department plans to provide HOME funds to supplement other funding and assist the developer (New Affordable Housing Partners, LLC) with the demolition and redevelopment of the Columbia Mill Apartments located on approximately 6.1 acres of land at 2229 Flat Shoals Road in DeKalb County Georgia. It has been determined that although well maintained, the existing buildings are functionally obsolete and in need of extensive renovations. An analysis has determined that it would be more cost effective to demolish the existing buildings and construct new housing. New construction will allow for an increase in the total number of safe and affordable units available to the community. The redeveloped Columbia Mill Apartments will be garden style apartments for low to moderate income families and workforce housing households. 80 of the 100 units are set-aside for low income rental at or below 60% AMI while 20% of the units are unrestricted (market) rental.

It has been determined that such request for release of funds will not constitute an action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, accordingly, DeKalb County has decided not to prepare Environmental Impact Statements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (P.L. 91-190). The reasons for such decision not to prepare such Statements are as follows: An Environmental Assessment has been made for the project which concludes that all adverse effects will be minor, and any short-term impacts will be mitigated by either the requirements of the construction contract documents or by the requirements of applicable local, state or federal permits and environmental ordinances. The positive effects of providing activities that augment and substantially improve the County’s efforts towards supporting affordable senior housing in the targeted areas of the County outweigh any potential negative impacts. This project is consistent with the goals and objectives of the DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department, approved Consolidated Plan. The Environmental Review Records, respecting the proposed projects, have been made by DeKalb County which documents the environmental review of the projects and fully sets forth the reasons why such Environmental Impact Statements are not required. The Environmental Review Records are on file at the DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department, 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030 and is available for public examination and copying upon request between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. No further environmental reviews of the subject project are proposed to be conducted prior to the request for release of Federal funds. Public Comments on FONSI
All interested agencies, groups, and persons disagreeing with this decision are invited to submit written comments for consideration by DeKalb County to the Human and Community Development Director. Written comments will be received at 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia on or before March 30, 2012. All comments received will be considered and DeKalb County will not request the release of Federal funds or take any administrative action on the proposed projects prior to the date specified in the preceding sentence. At least one day after the termination of the public comment period for the FONSI, but not before comments on the FONSI have been considered and resolved, DeKalb County will submit a Request for Release of Funds (RROF) and certification to HUD. By so doing DeKalb County will ask HUD to allow it to commit funds to these projects, certifying that (1) it has performed the environmental reviews prescribed by HUD regulations (“Environmental Review Procedures for Title I Community Development Block Grant Program” - 24 CFR part 58), and (2) the Certifying Officer, Chris Morris, Director, DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department, consents to accept and enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental reviews or resulting decision-making and action. The legal effect of the certification is that by approving it, HUD will have satisfied its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act, thus allowing DeKalb County to commit HOME funds to these projects. HUD will accept objections to its approval of the release of funds and the certification only if it is on one of the following basis: (a) that the certification was not in fact executed by the Certifying Officer; or (b) that the applicant’s Environmental Review Record for the project indicated omission of a required decision, funding, or step applicable to the project in the environmental review process. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance to HUD at the Regional Environmental Branch, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 40 Marietta Street N.W., 15th floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-9812. Objections to the release of funds on basis other than those stated above will not be considered by HUD. No objection received after April 18, 2012 will be considered by HUD. Chris H. Morris, Director DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030 Date of Publication and Dissemination of Notice March 15, 2012



Objection to Release of Funds

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

DeKalb’s Trailblazing 20
owned the first African-American car dealership in DeKalb. Alice Bussey – Trailblazer in the florist business. A founder of the Atlanta Business League, a selfless community servant. The Late Mary Crane – Wife, mother trailblazing businesswoman who founded the Crane publishing dynasty and DeKalb newspaper The Decatur News. Frances Edwards – The first Black female school board member who possessed a stellar love for all children. Gwen Keyes Fleming – Wife, mother, youngest and first AfricanAmerican and female DeKalb solicitor and district attorney. Carolyn Glenn – Wife, mother, visionary and humanitarian. Owner and publisher with her husband Dr. Earl Glenn of The Champion Newspaper, DeKalb County’s legal organ, the first African-Americanowned publication in the nation to achieve that designation. The late Sara Gonzalez – Founding member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and longtime Director of the Latin American Association of Atlanta. A CubanAmerican who fled to the United States during the early days of the Castro regime, she and her Harvard-educated husband once owned an Atlanta restaurant listed in USA Today as one of the best in the nation. The late Narvie Harris – The quintessential educator who made the DeKalb County School System live up to the segregationist mandate of the ‘40s and ‘50s—“separate but equal.” She was the first living person to have a DeKalb school named in her honor. Liane Levetan – DeKalb’s first female chief executive officer, former senator and county commissioner. A highly successful businesswoman, great wife and mother. A friend every woman should have. Cynthia McKinney – Quintessential community servant. First African-American woman elected to Congress from the great state of Georgia. Barbara Mobley – A veteran state representative and first African-American elected to DeKalb State Court. Mary Margaret Oliver – A champion of women and children’s rights who has served ably in both the State House of Representatives and Senate. She was the first woman to seek the office of lieutenant governor. The late Eleanor Richardson – Former state representative, active in matters of family, women and health, staunch ally of seniors and one of the founders of Senior Connections. Jeanette Rozier – First AfricanAmerican Superior Court clerk. Devoted public servant and friend to many. Cathey Steinberg - Recognized as a leader for consumer, family and women’s rights through her work in the Georgia House of Representatives and Georgia Senate. She was the primary sponsor of the resolution to ratify the ERA in the early 1980s. Nadine Thomas –First AfricanAmerican female elected to the Georgia Senate. A dedicated public servant, wonderful spirit and a friend every woman should have. Elizabeth Wilson – The first Black mayor of the city of Decatur, DeKalb’s county seat. She served from 1993 to 1998. A statue is in the town square in her honor. She is a tireless community servant in the public and private sectors and a friend any woman should have. Lani Wong – Known locally, nationally and internationally as a fierce advocate for Chinese-American relations. Founding member of the Chinese-American Association. Businesswoman and quintessential community servant of uber style and grace. If you know any of the women on this list, take the time to just say “thank you.” These women have blazed incredible trails. The old saw is applicable: The trailblazer never walks a smooth path. Salute women achievers everywhere. She could be as near as your own mother. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Milies at

Opinion The Newslady

Page 4A

It’s Women’s History Month, started in the month of March to recognize women of distinction who have made great contributions in the history of our nation. Here in DeKalb there are many women in our midst who have contributed significantly to the great county that is DeKalb. Some names you will immediately recognize. Some have transitioned. All are real DeKalb County women of distinction— trailblazers. Ozie “Jackie” Adams – A former president of the Decatur Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. and a driving force behind the Delta Sigma Theta/Kappa Alpha Psi Community Action Center in DeKalb. Wife, mother, friend to many and a dedicated community servant. The late Elizabeth Andrews – A DeKalb School Board member who before her transition was the longest serving elected official in the country. Attorney Juanita Baranco – Wife, mother, lawyer, highly successful businesswoman, humble humanitarian, who with her husband

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

There’s gotta be a better way!
Connecticut/Maine, versus a shrimp liberal from Tax-a-chusetts—or so said many of the pundits and wags of that day. State legislatures and secretaries of state in 13 states across the old South were aiming to nominate a Sam Nunn, but ended up with Alfred E. Neuman, grinning and ill-suited for driving a tank. Super Tuesday in 2012 was not a Southern regional primary as it had been for the prior five presidential election cycles, though it still did deliver and represent the largest block of delegates for both parties’ national nominating conventions this summer. In 2008, it was Super Tuesday that helped Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) put away Arkansas conservative former Gov. Mike Huckabee and complete his march to the GOP nomination. The Democratic contest was not decided by Super Tuesday, as then-senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continued their battle until early June, when simple mathematics made it clear that Sen. Clinton could not take the nomination prize. Our current nominating process is skewed in favor of party activists, elites and regular donors, and weighed inordinately heavily toward the early caucus and primary states—though small in population looming large on the contests and lives of the candidates and individual campaigns. The entire population of Iowa would fit into metro Atlanta, with considerable room to spare. Only a couple of hundred thousand Iowans even participate in the caucus process delivered by both parties. Iowa convention delegates are actually secured by both political parties at almost the end of the nominating process, and yet since former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter came in a surprise second to “none of the above” in 1976, and then went on to win the White House, the Iowa Caucus has become a major procedural and costly stepping stone to the White House. Well, again let’s look to our secretaries of state, who administer the elections in which we all vote. Their national association has been advocating a major change for several years, which I do believe could in fact become a better way. Subdivide our nation into four to eight geographic regions with linked economies and similar cultures— the northeast, southeast, mid-west, Rocky Mountains, west coast, are among some of the logical options. These states would as a group draw straws one year prior to each presidential election cycle to determine voting order. Elections would then be held on four to eight primary election days, with the order changing for each region with each presidential election. Possibly require broadcast and cable networks to donate, for both parties, blocks of airtime prior to each election date for debates. By the end of the second quarter, with roughly 30-90 days between elections in each region, the campaigns would have the ability to focus and spend time in each region of the country, hopefully causing less “flyover” campaigning to major media markets and delegate heavy states. As order would rotate, national media and activists could not simply break out the game plan of four years prior, and campaigns would not be stuck with treating the partisans in certain states like royalty awaiting a kiss on their respective rings. Exposing the candidates and campaigns to a wider range of states earlier and more often might also hopefully make them a bit more attune to the number of voters who actually live in the political middle, and not just focus on appeasing the activists and extremists who are always more visible and vocal in either camp. A lot of establishment types would have to yield for this re-invention, but no one in Great Britain would have likely forecast a coalition government there four years ago either.

Opinion One Man’s Opinion

Page 5A

“Super Tuesday was basically designed to nationalize the message, to try to reduce the influence of the so-called ‘Iowa syndrome.’”— U.S. Senator Chuck Robb (D-Virginia) a co-architect of Super Tuesday. Sifting through the aftermath of the Super Tuesday Presidential Preference Primary, I am left with the decided bias that there simply has got to be a better way to nominate candidates for president. During 1987-88, Southern Democrats created the super Southern primary election to help Democrats nominate a “Southern conservative” as well as raise the profile of the South in the nominating contests. But as again proof of the unintended consequences of well-intended legislation that first Super Tuesday in 1988, brought voters “Southern conservative” Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts. And the GOP nominated then Vice President George H.W. Bush as their standard bearer. Voters got a choice between an Ivy League-educated wimp from

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

Let Us Know What You Think!
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encourages opinions from its readers. Please write to us and express your views. Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain the writer’s name, address and telephone number for verification. All letters will be considered for publication.
Send Letters To Editor, The Champion Free Press, P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Send E-Mail to FAX To: (404) 370-3903 Phone: (404) 373-7779 Deadline for news releases and advertising: Thursday, one week prior to publication date. EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. The Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts.

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

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.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

Pumping gas prices for all they're worth
Can our nation survive $5-a-gallon gas?


Page 6A

that it’s all Obama’s fault. They say he’s rejected every single plan to increase our oil and gas production. Drilling in the Arctic wilderness? Building a pipeline from Canada down through the United States? Lifting job-killing regulations aimed at preventing oil spills in the Gulf of Oh my God. Gasoline is headed for five bucks a gallon. I read it in the Mexico? Obama has been against (or kind of against) them all. newspaper, so I know it’s true. The He, of course, claims that the risnational average is already creeping ing gas prices aren’t his fault. up on $4, and it’s bound to climb He says that as the recession imhigher as the summer surge in travel proves, demand for oil and gas inapproaches. creases, driving up the price. FIVE DOLLARS A GALLON! Why, Obama even advocates conOh the pain. The suffering. How servation. Can you believe that? The will we survive as a nation? man will stop at nothing. He and the You know, they talk about the wimpy environmentalists around him courage, fortitude and resolve of want us to use less oil and gas. They the Greatest Generation, the cohort go so far as to suggest we travel on that came of age in the 1930s and buses and trains. ‘40s and overcame great obstacles Well, you listen up, Mr. Obama, to make the United States into Fat and you listen up good. We are City. And in truth they had a lot to deal with — World War II, the Great Americans and we do not believe in Depression, polio epidemics, manual buses and trains, which if I’m not mistaken are Communist ideas that transmissions — but they never had originated in Europe. to put up with $5 gas. If they had, Did the Greatest Generation have history might have told a very differto conserve things? Not on your life. ent story. (Unless you count that gas rationing Could the Greatest Generation — along with meat, butter and eggs have pulled out of the Depression in time to conquer the Nazis, subdue the — during World War II.) We patriotic Americans think that Japanese and rebuild Europe if they’d the way to happiness is drill, frack, been saddled with $5 gas? Could it have funded the GI bill or established strip mine and clear-cut our way back to $2.50-a-gallon gas. Oh, and we a nationwide system of hospitals to need to do what it takes to go back to deal specifically with military vetbuying Cokes for a nickel too. erans and their problems? Could it And don’t tell me about global have invented the computer or instant warming, that hoax perpetrated by 10 replay? or 20,000 climate scientists who are No. They’d have spent all of their time trying to convince us that the earth is and money lining up at gas stations to getting warmer. Don’t you know that it snowed in North Dakota just the buy gas at five dollars a gallon! They wouldn’t have been so great other day? We global warming deniers have if they’d had our problems. hundreds, or maybe that’s dozens, of Fortunately, we have a slate of Rescientists on our side saying: publican presidential candidates anThe earth isn’t getting warmer. gling to save us from this crisis. Why, If it is, it’s not our fault. Newt Gingrich alone has promised And anyway, it’s good for you. $2.50-per-gallon gas by next summer So there. Everything is good. Or if he’s elected. Sure, that’s a big if, it will be as soon as we get rid of and he hasn’t let us in on how he’ll Barack Obama and his $5-a-gallon do it yet. But the common thread in Republican rescue plans is this: “Vote gas. for me instead of Barack Obama.” OtherWords columnist Donald Yes, surprisingly enough, RepubKaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. licans have looked out on the sea of troubles that confront us and decided

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

Commissioners concerned about recently discovered $12 million surplus
Be Cool My Little Babyz don’t wake up the District Attorney – The Snoopy Dog posted this on 3/11/12 at 9:31 p.m. Budget time in DK County is always a kabuki dance. Commissioners talk the talk but no savings are ever made. Too many friends and voters on the payroll to protect. The name of the game is keep those jobs. – Dundevil posted this on 3/8/12 at 5:45 p.m.

DCSS Discovers $41 million budget shortfall for SPLOST projects
P. T. Barnum is in awe of some of the Clowns on the School Board !!! – Jerry Myer Jackson Jr posted this on 3/8/12 at 6:03 p.m.

Tucker Middle School math teacher charged with rape
Yes, as Thomas states, it appears he did enjoy “working” with students. However, I don’t see how the school can appear to so callously just brush it off as an “isolated incident” – Skodarskycrup posted this on 3/8/12 at 10:32 p.m.

Printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

Local News

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Sharon Prater
empower and renew the lives of [abused] women through workshops, seminars, retreats, job training and counseling in order to facilitate the healing process, break the cycle of violence and develop healthy relationships.” For more than three years Prater has been volunteering to do whatever Pettigrew needs to keep her organization going. “I take picture and shoot video at the seminars she gives. If she has a dinner for women she’s helping I do whatever is needed to help with the dinner,” she said. Now living in Decatur, Prater is the caretaker for disabled family members, but makes a point of carving out time in her schedule to volunteer with Fresh Start for Women as much as possible. “It’s just too important for me not to do everything I can. Women are dying at the hands of abusing men. Their children are in danger. Sometimes all they need is to talk with someone, someone they can trust, to gain the strength to get out of the abusive situation. All you have to do is talk to the women they have helped to realize the good Fresh Start for Women is doing,” she said. Prater recalled that when she was a child, foster parents would sometimes force her to sing for money. “It seemed everything always had a dollar attached. Today, I want to do things for people without asking for any money,” she said.

Champion of the Week

Grant will bring more fresh vegetables to East Lake
by Andrew Cauthen An $82,000 grant by DeKalb County and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will help the East Lake Farmer’s Market build its own farm. The East Lake Farmers (ELF) Market, located at Second Avenue and Hosea Williams Drive in east Atlanta, and the Southeastern Horticultural Society (SHS) were recently awarded a CDC-funded Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program grant from the DeKalb County Board of Health. The grant, designed in part to curb obesity, will help the ELF Market to “increase the hours and seasons for the farmers, increase the amount food grown in DeKalb County and … increase the consumption of fresh, chemical-free fruits and vegetables,” said Lou Lindsey, market and farm manager. “We will also look for ways to reduce the cost of chemical-free fruit and vegetables,” Lindsey said. The grant will be used to develop an urban farm on the current ELF Market location and promote the East Lake community learning garden, located at 56 Second Avenue SE. The market, a non-profit organization, was founded in 2009 by setting up a farmers market at an intersection formerly known for crime and drugs. The farm is on a lot that had been the home of several buildings that have been leveled, Lindsay said. “The farm increases our options to improve access to fresh produce and build community partnerships to get healthy local produce on the plates of more of our neighbors,” said Doug Williams, founder and president of the market. Plans for the urban farm include approximately 75 raised beds and a 15- to 20foot high greenhouse tunnel where crops can be grown during colder months. An assistant farm manager has been hired to help with the construction of the farm, which is expected to be operational in late March. “We are excited about this new endeavor with the East Lake Farmer’s Market,” said Kate Chura, executive director of SHS, a nonprofit organization that provides horticulture and environmental education and works to connect people to nature throughout the southeastern United States. “These new additions will only help expand the reach of the community learning garden and urban farm that was established in 2010 in partnership with the East Lake Foundation.”

File Photo

Sharon Prater’s life has been a roller coaster ride. As a young child, and the daughter of Dave Prater of popular 1960s singing duo Sam and Dave, she lived in an upscale home with servants and attended private school. By the time she was 12 things had fallen apart for her. She had been abused and had spent time living in foster care and even in the streets. While she survived the difficulties of her childhood, they left her angry and with poor self-esteem, she said. Then she met Janice Pettigrew, founder and director of Fresh Start for Women, and the meeting was a life-changing event for Prater. “Janice Pettigrew and her husband were helping my daughter get spots singing on the radio. As soon as I met her I knew we were kindred spirits. I knew she was engaged in a great work and I just wanted to help her any way I could,” Prater explained. Fresh Start for Women, according to its website, is “designed to rebuild the self-esteem of women spiritually, physically and emotionally while encouraging wiser life choices.” The organization seeks “to

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

Local News

Page 8A

Both Coan Middle and East Lake Elementary schools are among the 13 schools slated to close under Atlanta Public School Superintendent Errol Davis’ redistricting plan. Photos by Daniel Beauregard

APS superintendent proposes to close 13 schools, two in DeKalb
by Daniel Beauregard Atlanta Public School Superintendent Errol Davis has proposed a redistricting plan that would close 13 schools, two of which are located in DeKalb County. If approved, Coan Middle School, located off Hosea Williams Drive, and East Lake Elementary School, located off Fourth Avenue in Atlanta, will close their doors. Davis presented a draft of his plan to the Atlanta Board of Education at a meeting on March 5. However, the final plan will not be voted on until April, and officials said details of the plan are likely to change. If the plan passes, Inman Elementary will use the former Coan facility as a sixthgrade academy for a savings of $20 to $30 million. East Lake Elementary will close and all its students will be rezoned to Toomer; the building will not be repurposed. “Although APS serves 47,000 students, we have seats for 60,000 students—heating, cooling and lighting 13,000 seats is expensive,” the proposed plan states. Schools officials said the majority of empty seats are in the southern part of the school district, while the northern section of the district is experiencing overcrowding. According to the redistricting plan, enrollment is low because families with schoolaged children have either moved or there is a perception that specific schools lack academic rigor and adequate support. Davis said, if passed, the plan would close the 13 schools and the remaining schools within the system would be divided into 10 clusters “composed of dedicated elementary schools feeding into dedicated middle schools and ultimately into dedicated high schools.” Currently, APS is divided into four school zones. “Our proposal will eliminate approximately 7,200 of our 13,000-seat excess and generate substantial savings. As a result, we will be able to allocate more funds in direct support of students,” Davis said. Community input meetings have been scheduled for March 21 and 22 at various schools throughout the district. Each meeting is 6:30-8 p.m. Additionally, officials said proposed boundary maps are posted on the APS website. “We fully anticipate that changes will take place as a result of community input,” Davis said. For more information, visit the Atlanta Public Schools website at www.atlanta.k12. and go to the “Demographic Study” page.

Proposed Substantial Amendment to the 2008-2012 Consolidated Plan, including the 2011 Annual Action Plan For the Emergency Solutions Grant Program
The DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department is proposing a substantial amendment to the 2008-2012 Consolidated Plan, including the 2011 Annual Action Plan. The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009 changed the name of the Emergency Shelter Grants Program to the Emergency Solutions Grant Program, and changed many of the program rules. This was effective upon the publication of the Interim Rule on January 4, 2012. On November 15, 2011, HUD announced that DeKalb County was to receive a second FY11 allocation of Emergency Solutions Grant funds in the amount of $141,774. A grant agreement has not yet been received. HUD requires a substantial amendment to the Annual Action Plan in order to receive the funds. The purpose of the substantial amendment is to revise the budget of the Emergency Shelter Grants Program submitted to HUD as part of the 2011 Annual Action Plan to show the planned use of additional FY11 program funds in the amount of $141,774 under the new rules for the Emergency Solutions Grant. The budget categories for eligible activities include administration, HMIS (homeless management information services), street outreach, shelter, rapid re-housing, and homeless prevention. All activities must comply with new Emergency Solutions Grant Program requirements as published in the Interim Rule. All citizens are invited to review the proposed budget and accompanying information regarding the allocation of $141,774 in Emergency Solutions Grant Program funds during the comment period March 15, 2012 – April 16, 2012. The information can be reviewed at the DeKalb County website,, and at the location identified below.

Neuman Continued From Page 2A
said “there was never any documented evidence of any delusions. “There was never any documented mental health requests,” Brickhouse said. “[Neuman’s] behavior was exemplary. “In my gut I didn’t really believe that he was suicidal,” Brickhouse said. Under cross-examination by Peters, Brickhouse admitted he found razor blades in Neuman’s possession and that Neuman told him that he was planning to use them to commit suicide. “Did it concern you that he was collecting razor blades?” Peters asked. During the trial, James asked Eric Gebhardt, Neuman’s former boss, whether Neuman ever exhibited “mood swings in one direction or the other.” “Did Mr. Neuman ever, at any time in the six years that you’ve known him, give you a reason to question his mental state?” James asked. “Did Mr. Neuman…ever seem that he was having a problem keeping his grip on reality?” Gebhardt answered “no” to each question. Jury deliberation was expected to begin on March 14.

DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department 150 East Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030 Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Comment forms may be obtained and completed at the above listed location. Comments may also be faxed or emailed to the Human and Community Development Department. Fax: (404) 286-3337 Email:


The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

Local News

Page 9A

Dunwoody residents get a look at conceptual plans for an initiative to revitalize the Georgetown community. The city has issued an invitation for proposals asking developers to submit ideas for developing 35 acres in the community. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Dunwoody unveils plan to create city gateway
by Andrew Cauthen the IFP process will ensure future redevelopment adheres to the community-developed Georgetown master plan. “This plan allows us to control 35 acres, instead of 16 [acres] we own, without having to buy any more stuff, ” Davis said. “We believe that having a hand in the development

veloped into the city’s gateway, Dunwoody residents will “immediately be able to Dunwoody officials are say ‘ah, I’m home,’” Davis hoping that developers want said. to transform 35 acres of unDunwoody city manager used property into a gateway Warren Hutmacher said the for the city. city is “committed to high On March 8, city leaders quality redevelopment of unveiled Project Renaissance, Georgetown.” its plan to redevelop the “The city wants to imGeorgetown area prove the beginning with the Georgetown 19-acre site of the area and take former Dunwoody advantage ‘...Once the property is Emory Hospital of its great and 16 acres of location, safe developed into the city’s city-owned propneighborerty known as the hoods and gateway, Dunwoody residents “PVC pipe farm.” proximity will “immediately be able to say The sites are across to Perimeter from each other on Center and ‘ah, I’m home.’” North Shallowford Dunwoody Road. Village,” – Michael Davis “This is a Hutmacher Mayor of Dunwoody pretty exciting day said. in the history of The $5.6 Dunwoody,” said million, soMichael Davis, called PVC mayor of Dunwoody. of the 35 acres and not just farm, purchased in SeptemProject Renaissance will the 16 [acres], puts us in the ber 2011, “was originally be a public-private partnerposition to be able to fundabought by the city as a deship consisting of parks, mentally transform this area fensive measure to prevent trails, neighborhood retail, and kick-start the renaissance more apartments from being owner-occupied low-density of what we consider to be the built—we have over 9,000 development, and a possible gateway of Dunwoody,” he units currently in the city— city hall-police headquarters added. and an opportunity to add site, Davis said. Development of the prop- park land,” Hutmacher said. The city issued an invitaerty is part of the “critical first Hutmacher said the protion for proposals (IFP) ensteps in what will be a transposed public-private partcouraging interested develop- formational redevelopment nership to complete Project ers to submit ideas, concepts initiative,” Davis said. Renaissance will allow and designs for the develop“We stand in front of an Dunwoody’s overall financial ment of the property in partopportunity to stimulate the contribution to the land purnership with the city. Georgetown area,” he said. chase to be less than the $5.6 Dunwoody officials said Once the property is demillion already obligated.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

Local News

Page 10A

Clarkston acquires historic home for new offices
by Daniel Beauregard Nancy Faye said when she was younger the field behind her childhood home was filled with wild daffodils, roses and irises during the springtime. “They’d put you out in the morning and you weren’t supposed to come back until the end of the day,” Faye said. “Unfortunately, Aunt Mary thought it was OK to run over all of that with a riding mower and killed them off…horticulture wasn’t her thing.” Mary Morris, Faye’s aunt and longtime Clarkston resident, died at the age of 104 last November, and the city is now in the process of buying the historic house she lived in her entire life. Edward Griffin, a great grandson of Morris’ mother whom she cared for until her death, said he remembered visiting his great grandmother’s house on Sundays and holidays. Flipping through an old photo book, Griffin stopped and pointed to a picture of a mule in a field. “Here’s her brother’s mule, which he named Mary,” Griffin said. “I think it was a dig at her that she was a little bit stubborn.” Built in the 1850s near the end of the antebellum period, the two-story home sits on the corner of Rowland Street right across from the Clarkston City Hall. The Clarkston City Council approved the purchase of the house at a meeting on March 6. “We saw it listed and I contacted the agent immediately. I think the asking price was $175,000 and we negotiated it down to $150,000,” Clarkston City Manager Keith Barker said. Barker is now in final closing negotiations for the property and said the city plans to eventually use the home for administrative offices. “It makes more sense to do this rather than build a new city hall,” Barker said. Barker said the city will hire an architect to look at the building and decide what cosmetic work needed to be done on the inside, and then solicit bids for the work from local contractors. He estimated the work could cost $350,000-400,000. “We really want to do all we can to maintain her legacy and the community needs to celebrate that. I had a structural engineer come and look at the house and he said for its age it was in remarkably good condition,” Barker said. Outside the home, Barker said he hoped to create a memorial garden and an area for residents to use for small gatherings and concerts. Inside, Barker said he wanted to maintain the integrity of the original building and hoped to put in period furniture to match the age of the house. “It’s our desire to have it eventually be Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design (LEED) certified and on the National Register of Historic Places,” Barker said. LEED certification means a building is designed and operated with as little harm to the environment as possible. Barker said when restoration is completed the old home will feature a reception area, conference room, kitchen, two large bathrooms and offices for the director of planning and development, the city clerk and the finance officer. Faye, the executor of Morris’ estate, said she was glad the building was being used by the city rather than being torn down to make way for a commercial property. “We’re at a point in our family now where the young people are too young to take it over and the old people are too old,” Faye said.
The city of Clarkston is in the final stages of purchasing the Morris house, built in the 1850s, to turn it into administrative offices. Photos by Daniel Beauregard

Nancy Faye speaks with Clarkston City Manager Keith Barker about the city’s plans for her childhood home.

Clarkston City Manager Keith Barker looks at archival photos of the Morris home taken in the 1920s.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

Dunwoody Police to tap into county’s electronic warrants system
by Andrew Cauthen When a Dunwoody Police officer needs a search warrant, a drive to DeKalb County Magistrate’s Court, 30 minutes and 16 miles away on Camp Circle Road is required. And then wait in line. “It can be a very time consuming process,” said DeKalb County’s Chief Magistrate Judge Berryl Anderson. After a vote by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners on March 13, the process will be simplified. The board voted to allow the Dunwoody Police Department access to the electronic warrant information system used by the county’s magistrate’s court to issue warrants since 2003. “It enables police officers to electronically input a warrant at one location… while the magistrate judge is sitting at our location off of Memorial Drive at Camp Circle on the other end of a computer taking sworn testimony, [and] reviewing the information that’s been input by the officer,” Anderson said. The magistrate judge can “issue that warrant instantaneously versus having the Dunwoody Police officer or any other DeKalb police officer get in a car and drive 20 minutes [or] 30 minutes to Camp Circle [and] wait in line to speak to with a judge,” Anderson said Anderson said the system would provide “greater efficiency and ultimately will benefit all the citizens of DeKalb County.” “We’re sometimes talking about…life-threatening situations,” Anderson said. “It would allow the officer to have instant access to a judge and a warrant.” Although any DeKalb city can have access to the system, “Dunwoody is the first one that has stepped up and decided to actually pay for it,” Anderson said. Curtis Rawlings, the county’s interim chief information officer, said there in no cost to the county to allow access to city police departments. The set-up cost would be paid by the participating city. Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan estimated the cost for Dunwoody at $5,000-$7,000, which will be paid for from asset forfeiture funds. That will pay for software, licensing, a computer, web camera and an electronic signature pad. Grogan said the electronic warrant system will not be used for all warrants. “If an officer had to take a suspect to jail, then he would take [the warrant] out there,” Grogan said. “If a detective has been investigating a case, he would do it from the office.” Grogan said he has been working for two years to make access to the system possible. Before Anderson, “there was nobody in DeKalb County driving the issue and pushing it forward,” said Grogan, who was hired from the Marietta Police Department, which had access to a similar system in Cobb County. “Through DeKalb Chiefs Association, we’ve worked to try to encourage all the other municipalities to also start trying to use the product,” Grogan said.
We are looking for a few highly mo vated, honest, hard-working people who are concerned about their overall well-being and that of others and would like to work from home with our dynamic team to supplement their income or eventually even replace it! To nd out more, call Gayle Abbo at 770.323.9339 or send email to GayleAbbo

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“We feel it’s a great way to be efficient and save the officers’ time and gas,” Grogan said. Anderson, who has addressed the chiefs association twice about the system, said, “Everybody is watching to see how smoothly this works with Dunwoody. “It will be smooth,” Anderson said. Commissioner Jeff Rader said, “It seems like a good idea for everybody to get on this…[to] protect life and property.”

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

Local News

Page 12A

DeKalb’s CEO vetoes auditors’ transfer to commissioners’ control
by Andrew Cauthen A plan to move county auditors from the finance department to under the control of the Board of Commissioners has been rejected by DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis. In a letter to commissioners at the end of the business day on March 9, Ellis vetoed the line item of the 2012 county budget that would have moved the auditors. Ellis’ letter said proposed action by the county’s Board of ComEllis missioners is in violation of the organizational act that delineates the balance of power for the county. “The administration acknowledges and supports this authority of the Board of Commissioners to hire an internal auditor,” Ellis stated. “However, that authorization does not extend to the establishment of an auditing division, department or multiple auditors within the department of the Board of Commissioners [BOC]. “Furthermore, the authorization does not extend to the transferring of auditors from the finance department staff to the BOC,” Ellis said. “It should be noted that the position of internal auditor has been funded in past county budgets and remains so in the adopted budget, but the BOC has yet to fill the position.” Ellis also stated that the CEO has the “exclusive power to supervise, direct and control the administration of the county government.” With its proposed move, the Board of Commissioners “is exercising the power of the chief executive” in violation of the organizational act, he said. Commissioner Lee May said the idea was to move three of the five auditors from the administration as part of the internal auditor’s staff. “They will maintain the lion’s share of their responsibilities in auditing department by department,” May said. “That [group] would be the staff of the internal auditor to have oversight over and guide that entire program. “It is essential that we bring on board an auditing function within the Board of Commissioners,” May said. “To allow the CEO to handle the day-to-day operations and … to audit himself, disclose those findings and fix those issues himself is problematic.” In addition to the county’s $559 million budget, May said the county has an upcoming $1.3 billion water and sewer capital improvement project. “We have to be very diligent about monitoring …each and every penny that is being spent,” May said. Commissioner Kathie Gannon urged the board to fill the internal auditor position already in the commissioners’ budget. “We have the money to do it,” Gannon said. “We have a position in our budget for an auditor. We have the power in … the organizational act. “That position has been in the BOC budget for two years now and that position has not been filled,” Gannon said. “I would encourage my fellow commissioners to move forward in that regard so that we can dispense with the rhetoric and actually get some action done. May said he “wholeheartedly” supports filling the internal auditor position. “The problem is we are a billion-dollar enterprise and to have one person to do all the auditing functions is something that … cannot take place,” May said. May said commissioners will continue to address the auditor issue over the next few weeks.

Don’t Just Dream of a Better Life

Minimum Cost • Maximum Benefit

Formerly DeKalb Technical College

404-297-9522 Application/Documentation Enrollment Deadlines: Summer Semester: April 10 Fall Semester: July 17

Taking Music to Jamaica
Unconditional Love for Children, Inc. An Initiative of the Earl and Carolyn Glenn Foundation Invites you to Help us take music to Jamaica ULC is Sponsoring a Summer Enrichment Program for the Mount Zion School in Montego Bay Jamaica. The following Instruments are needed: Keyboard, Guitar, Violin, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Percussions and Horns Also need: Soccer Equipment, Digital and Video Cameras
Please make donations by March 23 , 2012 • To Donate, contact Betty Palmer (404) 309- 4305

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

Proposed composting facility gives in to community resistance
by Andrew Cauthen After persistent opposition from Lithonia residents, a proposed composting company has decided not to open a plant there. The decision comes approximately a week after the DeKalb County Planning Commission decided on March 6 to defer voting on Greenco’s application for a special land use permit to operate the facility. The planning commission decided to wait until the Atlanta Regional Commission reviews the plans. Tim Lesko, Greenco’s president, said he recently learned that the ARC must review Greenco’s plans because the agency has jurisdiction over metro Atlanta companies that process recovered materials. “We did not know we had to go through the ARC,” Lesko said. “That was an oversight by the county. It was a surprise to all of us.” The March 6 meeting was the third public hearing on the proposal and some Lithonia residents opposed Greenco at every turn. Enna Hall, who started an online petition called “No to Greenco in Southeast DeKalb” on www.change. org, lives approximately three miles from the site and opposed the project “for health reasons.” “We don’t want them in our community,” Hall said. Greenco Environmental had plans to move its composting operation from Barnesville to an old rock quarry on Rock Mountain Road in unincorporated Lithonia. Greenco collects food waste from schools, restaurants, hotels, manufacturers and grocery stores and combines it with yard waste to create organic compost. The compost is sold in bulk to farmers and manufacturers of bagged garden products. Last year, Greenco composted four million pounds of food waste from DeKalb County customers, according to Lesko. In February, Greenco’s proposal was unanimously rejected by the District 5 Community Council, which provides recommendations to the Board of Commissioners on applications for amending the county’s comprehensive plan, rezoning, special land use permits and zoning code text amendments. Hall said she was concerned about the site’s proximity to Rock Chapel Elementary School and Rock Chapel Park and the smell the facility would have emitted. “With millions and millions of pounds of trash, there’s going to be a smell,” Hall said.” I don’t want that in my community.” Hall said she already has

Local News

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to deal with cats, raccoons and deer. “What else is it going to bring?” Hall asked before Greenco’s decision to pull out. “It’s not going to raise our property values for sure. I don’t see it as being a big asset to the Lithonia area.” Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick (D-94) vowed during the meeting to help her constituents opposed the facility. “I rarely get involved in local decisions because I

respect the body, the Board of Commissioners, that we have set up to handle these issues, but this issue couldn’t be ignored based on attending the first meeting at Rockbridge Elementary,” Kendrick said in a statement. “I only have power because of the people and the people have resoundingly said “no” to a special use permit for Green Co.” Lesko said it is “disappointing” that Lithonia area residents did not support

Greenco’s endeavor which he said would have been good for the economy and environment. “You don’t want to be somewhere where they don’t want you,” Lesko said. “They’re not against composting. They just don’t want it there. Lesko said Greenco will look for a site elsewhere in DeKalb. “You can’t open a composting facility that serves DeKalb County in Savannah,” Lesko said.

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

The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast THURSDAY
Mostly Sunny High: 83 Low: 58

March 15, 2012
Today's Regional Map Weather History
March 15, 1988 - More than one hundred hours of continuous snow finally came to an end at Marquette, Mich., during which time the city was buried under 43 inches of snow. Unseasonably cold weather prevailed in the southeastern U.S., with forty-one cities reporting record lows for the date. March 16, 1989 - A winter storm brought heavy snow and high winds to the southwestern United States. Winds gusted to 60 mph at Lovelock, Nev., Salt Lake City and Fort Carson, Colo. Snow fell at a rate of three inches per hour in the Lake Tahoe area of Nevada. Dunwoody 81/57 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 82/58 82/58 82/58 Snellville Decatur 83/58 Atlanta 83/58 83/58 Lithonia College Park 84/58 84/58 Morrow 84/58 Union City 84/58 Hampton 85/59

In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see mostly sunny skies with possibly a record high temperature of 83º, humidity of 44%. South wind 5 mph. The record high temperature for today is 81º set in 1946. Expect mostly cloudy skies tonight with an overnight low of 58º.

Partly Cloudy High: 80 Low: 56

*Last Week’s Almanac
Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 60 32 62/41 0.00" Wednesday 65 47 62/42 0.00" Thursday 74 51 63/42 0.00" Friday 60 46 63/42 0.45" Saturday 65 34 63/42 0.00" Sunday 66 43 64/43 0.00" Monday 64 57 64/43 0.02" Rainfall . . . . . . .0.47" Average temp . .54.6 Normal rainfall . .1.26" Average normal 52.6 Departure . . . . .-0.79" Departure . . . . .+2.0
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport

Partly Cloudy High: 79 Low: 56

Partly Cloudy High: 78 Low: 54

Partly Cloudy High: 76 Low: 50

Mostly Cloudy High: 73 Low: 51 New 3/22

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:47 a.m. 7:45 a.m. 7:44 a.m. 7:43 a.m. 7:41 a.m. 7:40 a.m. 7:39 a.m. Sunset 7:46 p.m. 7:46 p.m. 7:47 p.m. 7:48 p.m. 7:49 p.m. 7:49 p.m. 7:50 p.m. Moonrise 2:58 a.m. 3:48 a.m. 4:33 a.m. 5:12 a.m. 5:46 a.m. 6:18 a.m. 6:49 a.m. Moonset 1:19 p.m. 2:21 p.m. 3:22 p.m. 4:23 p.m. 5:22 p.m. 6:19 p.m. 7:16 p.m. Full 4/6

Tonight's Planets
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 8:02 a.m. 8:35 p.m. 9:43 a.m. 11:26 p.m. 6:15 p.m. 7:27 a.m. 9:53 a.m. 11:13 p.m. 10:10 p.m. 9:33 a.m. 8:14 a.m. 8:22 p.m.

Mostly Cloudy High: 68 Low: 49 First 3/30

Last 4/13

Local UV Index

National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today, scattered showers and thunderstorms Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 78º in Alton, Ill. The Southeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with a few thunderstorms today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 86º in Marianna, Fla. The Northwest will see widespread rain today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 72º in Torrington, Wyo. The Southwest will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today and Friday, scattered showers Saturday, with the highest temperature of 85º in Gila Bend, Ariz.

Weather Trivia
What is the highest wind speed ever recorded on the surface of the Earth?

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

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

Answer: On top of Mount Washington, N.H., a gust of 231 mph was measured.


StarWatch By Gary Becker - Chachapoyas or Bust
In the litany of psyching myself for summer, it begins with the first day of March, continues with setting the clocks ahead (March 11), with the beginning of spring (March 19), with Easter (April 8), and culminates with Memorial Day (May 28). When I was working in the public schools, there was still almost four weeks of teaching remaining before the big summer break, but somehow Memorial Day, with its cookouts and outdoor activities, captured best the spirit of summer. In my crazy way of marching towards those “lazy days,” we have straddled the first two hurdles and are now headed for the vernal equinox late on March 19, when the sun will shine directly over the equator. For my former student, Sarabeth Brockley, who is now in the Peace Corps stationed in Chachapoyas, Peru, six degrees south of the equator, the magic moment of a zenith sun already happened on March 4. What does this mean for us living at a mid-latitude location of 40 degrees north? When Sarabeth saw a zenith sun, it was only 44 degrees above the horizon at noon, still snow time for us. On the Vernal Equinox, after 16 days of climbing, the sun will stand at an altitude of 50 degrees at 1 p.m., EDT. That’s a six degree jump in just under 2-1/2 weeks. By Good Friday, April 6, a 17-day interval, the sun will rocket another six degrees northward, gaining a degree in altitude in our sky for each degree that Sol treks northward. On that day the sun will reach a height of 56 degrees, a 12 degree jump in just one month’s time. For Sarabeth, the sun will be 12 degrees lower in her sky, transiting in the north at 78 degrees, but her equatorial location will always preclude warm conditions. In fact, her situation would be downright miserable if it were not tempered by Chachapoyas’ 7,700 foot elevation. Happy summer, Sarabeth, in a land where it’s always summertime…

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

heart of the global flu epidemic movie Contagion. The research was posted online Feb. 27 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The CDC has an international outpost in Guatemala, and that’s where researchers collected more than 300 bats in 2009 and 2010. The research was mainly focused on rabies, but the scientists also checked specimens for other germs and stumbled upon the new virus. It was in the intestines of little yellowshouldered bats, said Donis, a veterinarian by training. These bats eat fruit and insects but don’t bite people. Yet it’s possible they could leave the virus on produce and a human could get infected by taking a bite. It’s conceivable some more conventional flu strains. people were infected with But it still could pose a the virus in the past. Now threat to humans. For examthat scientists know what it ple, if it mingled with more looks like, they are looking common forms of influenza, for it in other bats as well as it could swap genes and humans and other animals, mutate into something more said Donis, who heads the dangerous, a scenario at the Molecular Virology and Vac-

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Bird flu, pig flu, now bat flu? Human risk unclear
by Mike Stobbe ATLANTA (AP) For the first time, scientists have found evidence of flu in bats, reporting a never-before-seen virus whose risk to humans is unclear. The surprising discovery of genetic fragments of a flu virus is the first welldocumented report of it in the winged mammals. So far, scientists haven’t been able to grow it, and it’s not clear if—or how well—it spreads. Flu bugs are common in humans, birds and pigs and have even been seen in dogs, horses, seals and whales, among others. About five years ago, Russian virologists claimed finding flu in bats, but they never offered evidence. “Most people are fairly convinced we had already discovered flu in all the possible” animals, said Ruben Donis, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientist who coauthored the new study. Scientists suspect that cines Branch in the CDC’s flu division. At least one expert said CDC researchers need to do more to establish they’ve actually found a flu virus. Technically, what the CDC officials found was genetic material of a flu virus. They used a lab technique to find genes for the virus and amplify it. All they found was a segment of genetic material, said Richard “Mick” Fulton, a bird disease researcher at Michigan State University. What they should do is draw blood from more bats, try to infect other bats and take other steps to establish that the virus is spreading among the animals, he continued. “In my mind, if you can’t grow the virus, how do you know that the virus is there?” Donis said work is going on to try to infect healthy bats, but noted there are other viruses that were discovered by genetic sequencing but are hard to grow in a lab, including hepatitis C.

some bats caught flu centuries ago and that the virus mutated within the bat population into this new variety. Scientists haven’t been able to grow the new virus in chicken eggs or in human cell culture, as they do with

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

Lessons from the Liberian Civil War
Lithonia resident overcame brutalities of war to become successful businessman
by Nigel Roberts When civil war in Liberia erupted in 1989, Sam Divine was a 12-year-old, middle class child with no worries in the world. His comfortable life changed suddenly, with the vicious conflict impacting him in profound ways. “People tend to romanticize war in movies; but it is brutal,” Divine emphasized in a serious tone. “You go through a lot of unknowns. My family suddenly had to worry about where food will come from. I had friends who starved, and seeing dead bodies on the streets was common.” Now a resident of Lithonia, Divine recalled an incident during the conflict when two armed soldiers entered his family’s home. The two men spoke with his parents, but one of them slipped away. The family later discovered that the missing soldier violently raped a woman who was a family member of someone who worked on the compound. Today, Divine is a successful businessman. He shares his journey in a memoir titled Battlegrounds to Boardrooms: Life Lessons from the Liberian Civil War to Corporate America. “My children (3 and 6 years old) were the main inspiration for writing this book,” Divine said. “My children are American and have not been back to Liberia yet. I wanted to write this book for them to read maybe 10 years from now so they could learn what life was like in Liberia and understand why I stress education and other things to them.” He added that Battlegrounds to Boardrooms is also a motivational story that could inform, especially African-American youth, how to navigate corporate America. One lesson he teaches in the book is the importance of learning to speak the corporate language. “Like many people, I was raised to say what I think, but working in corporate America requires diplomacy,” Divine pointed out. At the same time, his memoir is deeply personal. He writes about the respect and admiration he gained for his father, a banker and highly educated man. During the war, his father stepped out of his comfort zone to secure his family’s survival. “I learned that you cannot put your trust in money. The war made families lose everything and had to start all over again,” he explained. An estimated more than 250,000 people died in the struggle that ebbed and flowed for nearly 15 years, which left the West African country of about 3.8 million people decimated. At the core of the conflict was longstanding tension between the descendants of freed American slaves (the so-called Americo-Liberians) and the 16 different ing and finance degree. He later earned an MBA from Georgia State University in International Business. His experience in the corporate world began with Grant Thornton, a large accounting firm in the Boston area. From there he moved on to Atlanta’s Ernst & Young. He successfully launched his own company, Cross Atlantic Business Advisors, a consulting

Local News

Page 15A

I learned that you cannot put your trust in money. The war made families lose everything and had to start all over again.

indigenous ethnic African groups native to the country. The Americo-Liberians, representing just 5 percent of the population, dominated the native Africans politically and economically for more than a century before a coup displaced them from government. Ultimately, ethnic-based rivalries erupted into one of Africa’s bloodiest civil wars. Divine said the war experience taught him that life is precious. “Life is not promised,” he said. “During the war, you could walk outside and get hit by a stray bullet. You could be in your home and get hit. In that environment, you learn the value of life.” Empathy is another lesson from the war. “Growing up in Liberia, I had better life options than others did,” Divine said. “But my parents taught us never to look down on others. Through the war, I have learned what it is to be hungry.” Divine’s family “scraped enough money together” to send him to college at the University of Massachusetts, where he earned an account-

firm that helps other businesses develop products, optimize business practices and enter new overseas markets. Often the new markets are in Africa, where Divine finds both challenges and opportunities. The complex challenges include navigating the disparate laws, languages barriers and poor transportation systems. At the same time, sub-Saharan African economies are growing at a rate of 6 percent and have an emerging middle class that is increasingly able to afford smart phones and luxury items, he said. Much has change in Liberia, which Divine describes as one of the continent’s most progressive governments. Today Liberia has Africa’s first elected female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, widely seen as a reformer and peacemaker. Although optimistic about Liberia’s future, Divine said he is unlikely to return there to live but plans to build a trans-Atlantic nest for him and his family.

- Sam Divine

Basketball Continued From Page 1A
basketball program in 2005. This season’s state titles only magnify the dominance of teams in the county over the past several years. There has been at least one boys champion for eight years in a row and girls’ programs have won two titles in four of the past five seasons. “We have a lot of AAU teams, good middle schools and a farm program, and that’s why the high schools are doing what they do,” Frost said. Southwest DeKalb, which made it to the finals after missing the state tournament a year ago, set the standard for girls’ programs with three championships in a row from 2008-10. “We’ve been watching Southwest DeKalb win championship after championship, and our girls learned what it takes to do that,” said Miller Grove girls’ coach Renee Breedlove. “You have to get in the gym and work hard. Our motto has been “32 Minutes of Grove” and that means 32 minutes of hard defense. That’s what we gave [Southwest]. We’re ecstatic about winning our first championship.” Columbia’s boys and girls won going away while Miller Grove had strong challenges from county and region rival Southwest in both games. McCrary praised the county’s athletic department for providing a winning environment over the years. “They put a lot of pressure on us, making sure we’re doing the right thing as coaches,” McCrary said. “You can’t say enough about them. Without them, there’s no us. And without the kids there’s no athletics. With the good leadership down there, you can’t say enough about them.” Kadeejah Vaughn scored 15 of her 19 points in the first half as the Columbia girls raced out to a 33-16 halftime lead. Drew kept it close for most of the boys game before Columbia finished with a 16-3 run over the final five minutes. Junior Tahj Shamsid-Deen scored 17 points and Jhaustin Thomas added 10 for the Eagles. In the AAAA title games, the Miller Grove girls led 30-13 at halftime but weathered a Southwest rally that saw the lead dwindle to seven points in the fourth quarter. Klarissa Weaver led with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The boys made 14 of 18 free throw attempts over the final 3:11 to put away Southwest. “There was more pressure this year than in any of the other tournaments,” said Miller Grove boys’ coach Sharman White. “We had won three straight and we played a much tougher schedule this year. We had more adversity to overcome in terms of wins and losses. I wanted this one more for these guys.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012


Page 16A

Accrediting agency said improvements still needed at DCSD
by Daniel Beauregard Officials from AdvanED, the DeKalb County School District’s (DCSD) accrediting agency, said even though the school system has made several positive changes, it still has more work to do. A panel from AdvancED, the parent corporation of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), presented its findings to DCSD officials as part of the district’s fiveyear accreditation review. “The team that visited DeKalb makes a recommendation based on their review. The report then goes through a review process and has to be approved by the accreditation commission,” said Jennifer Oliver, a spokeswoman for AdvancED. Last year, DCSD’s accreditation status was placed on advisement after an AvancED report recommended the district work on eight key points, including hiring a new superintendent, implementing a new strategic plan and redistricting. Oliver said the accreditation commission would be making its final decision in June as to whether DCSD would remain on advisement. She said the panel found several areas where DCSD needed “required action.” “Establish and enforce a policy that board members honor the chain of command when communicating with stakeholders,” was one of the required actions, the report stated. Last year, the district’s search for a superintendent was compromised when alleged leaks to the media by board members caused finalist Lillie Cox to withdraw her application. Other areas of required action include conducting an internal audit on the technology available in schools across the district, developing a new assessment program to monitor student progress and communicate among stakeholders the differences among programs and financial resources available to schools. The review team based its assessment on a number of factors, including schools visits, interviews with parents and teachers, and the collecting and organizing of assessment data. According to the findings, the team visited “a sample” of 26 schools and interviewed all nine DeKalb County Board of Education members, as well as 443 teachers and 139 administrators. Additionally, the team interviewed several hundred parents and students. “We do have areas where they want us to improve but it’s gratifying that SACS and AdvancED understand where we’re going, the direction we’re going in and they endorse that,” DeKalb Schools spokesman Walter Woods said. DCSD was commended by the review team for hiring a new superintendent who has implemented a new strategic plan, increased district communication with stakeholders has an “exceptionally passionate and caring” school-level leadership team. “It’s an endorsement and an affirmation of the changes we’re making,” Woods said. “Obviously we want to keep working with them to get to full accreditation…but our status is not in danger. So, we thought it was very positive and the superintendent made similar comments.”

Some of the AdvancED’s “Required Actions”: - An internal audit on the available technology across all schools in order to identify areas of need. - Ensure a robust district diagnostic assessment program (universal screener, progress monitoring probes and benchmarks included). Include a variety of formative assessment tasks and tools to monitor student progress. - Provide students with tools to monitor their success. - Establish a formal change management process for new system initiatives to address development, implementation, timeline, monitoring, communication, and evaluation effectiveness.

Sealed proposals for PEACHTREE ROAD STREETSCAPE PROJECT NUMBER: CSSTP0006-00(982) P.I. 0006982 for the Development Department, will be accepted at the Chamblee City Hall, 5468 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA, on Friday, April 6, 2012. All proposals submitted must be sealed, and received no later than 11:00 a.m. local (Eastern) time on the stated date. Proposers names will be publicly read at 11:05 a.m. on the stated due date at Chamblee City Hall at the above address. Scope of Work: The project consists of the construction of 6 foot wide sidewalk, and a 2 foot wide brick pavers along Peachtree Road, beginning at Chamblee Tucker Road and ending at Pierce Drive in Chamblee, Georgia, including, but not limited to, utility relocation, and installation of drainage system. All construction would meet ADA regulations. General instructions, specifications and/or plans for this project can be downloaded at the City of Chamblee Website, under “Government, Procurement Information”. Fee: Copies of the plans and specifications can be purchased for $50.00 per set A Pre-Bid Conference will be held on [March 23, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.] at the Chamblee City Hall to provide proposers with information regarding the project and to address any questions. If you have any questions regarding this project please contact Niles Ford, Chamblee City Manager, at 770-986-5013. Chamblee reserves the right to accept or reject any or all bids and to waive technicalities.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

Page 17A

Decatur Career Academy helps student realize dream of helping family
by Daniel Beauregard Lacrimioara Sava Cross, an 18-year-old junior at Decatur High School, is realizing her dream to become a midwife who with help from the school’s career academy. Lacree, as she is called, was born in Romania to a single mother—she was the sixth child. For two years her family struggled to care for her, until the government placed her in an orphanage. “I was only 13 pounds, which is very malnourished for a 2 year old, so the government came and took me,” Cross said. Several months later Lacree’s sister Andrea was born. She was immediately adopted by a Norwegian family. Lacree was adopted three years later at age 5 by a family who lived in Decatur. Her adoptive mother Stephany Cross later received paperwork from the adoption agency in Romania with information about Lacree’s past. “They accidentally gave her all of my birth family information, including information about my sister, so we’ve always been in contact,” Lacree said. Last summer, Lacree traveled to Romania to visit her birth family for the first time. She spent two days in Bobata, the small village where she was born, and the rest of her two-week trip in Zaulo, a town several miles away. Her sister from Norway also came on the trip and it was the first time they had met each other, and their birth-family. Lacree said it was this trip to Romania that made her want to become a midwife and then move back to that country to start her own practice. “When we went on our trip it was so life changing. I planned what my career was going to be around that,” Lacree said. “I wanted to go to school—I wanted to do well so I could go back and help my family. They have no water…they barely make enough money to get breakfast every morning and the family lives in mud houses,” Lacree said. When Lacree got back from her trip, she said she enrolled in the Decatur Career Academy, an extension of Decatur High School that enables students to take college-level courses while still in high school. “It’s amazing that almost 10 years later the dream I had, to do something with medicine, is coming true. A lot of it has to do with this program I’m in; without it a lot of stuff wouldn’t be possible. It’s given me a huge leg up in everything,” Lacree said. When she graduates from Decatur High School, Lacree will have a twoyear associate’s degree in health sciences from Devry University. She said she plans to enroll in nursing school at Kennesaw State University, then train to become a midwife. Additionally, part of Devry’s program requires health science students to complete an internship, which Lacree said would be an added benefit to her resume. “The greatest part about it—even though it’s also hands-on—is that it’s completely free. [I] even calculated that it would be $45,000 for four years of Devry. So, the fact that [I] did two years of that for free is amazing,” Lacree said. Lacree said she is grateful to make a career in something she really loves and that she had the opportunity to accomplish it by attending the career academy. She said after traveling to Romania it wasn’t a difficult decision. “If you find that one thing you love and you want it to be your career, go for it, even if it’s hard at times and you want to quit. Trust me, I’ve had that feeling but it gets better at the end,” Lacree said. Lacree also said she is planning to write a book about her and her family’s experiences. “The even chapters are going to be my life from adoption and up; the odd chapters are going to be Andrea in Norway from adoption and up; and the last few chapters are going to be how all the little bits and pieces came together. It’s going to be a panorama of all the families and the title is either going to be jigsaw or puzzle pieces,” Lacree said.
Lacrimioara Sava Cross, middle, stands with her mother Florica Sava during a tearful homecoming. Last year Cross, who was adopted from a Romanian orphanage at age 5, traveled back to the country and visited her birth family for the first time. Photo provided

Educating, Engaging, and Empowering Parents
Title I Annual Meeting: Parental Involvement Conference
Saturday, March 17, 2012 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Stone Mountain Middle School 4301 Sarr Parkway, Stone Mountain, GA 30083

• Keynote Speaker: Dr. Joe Martin – Parental Involvement and How it Affects Your Children’s Educational Success • Test-Taking Strategy Workshops: Math, reading and language Arts on all Grade levels • Special Education Workshops • Early Childhood Workshops for Pre-K and K • language Translators/Interpreters • Title I Parental Involvement Policy and Budget • Child Care for School-Aged Children • Special Workshops for Middle and High School Students • Exhibitors from: DeKalb County Schools, Community Agencies and Educational Companies • light refreshments will be served • Door Prizes (Donated by Exhibitors)
For additional information, contact Jackie Marshall, Chairperson at 678-676-0376 or by email:

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012


Page 18A

Chuy’s restaurant offers fresh Tex-Mex in a playful setting
by Kathy Mitchell Chuy’s Mexican restaurant prides itself on its whimsical atmosphere— tiles that don’t match, bright uncoordinated colors, hubcaps hanging from the ceiling and a black velvet Elvis portrait that’s the centerpiece for the Elvis “shrine.” One of the newest additions to the Chuy’s chain, started 30 years ago in Texas, opened in December 2011 in Dunwoody. It too has a number of playful touches, including an open car trunk of help-yourself chips and sauces and a bar decorated with framed photos of customers’ dogs. Folks at Chuy’s say the only thing they take seriously is the food. “We’re lunatics about quality,” said area supervisor John Mountford. “Everything is made fresh. There’s not one thing on the menu that comes in pre-made. We don’t even have a freezer, except a small one for ice cream. The tortillas come in as flour; the salsa comes in as fresh vegetables. We even grate the cheese here,” he said. Mountford said that many Tex-Mex restaurant chains start with a freshfood philosophy, but at some point start cutting corners. “Chuy’s has been around for 30 years and we haven’t diluted our commitment to quality in any way. There probably are things we could compromise on, but we don’t know which ones would matter to our customers, so we don’t compromise anything,” he said. A veteran of the restaurant business, Mountford said when he was introduced to Chuy’s by its CEO, a friend of his, he was taken not only with the food, but also with the corporate philosophy, which is that the business is operated to the benefit of all involved—employees, customers, vendors. The hand-painted original art has become its own industry for some small villages in Mexico, he said. One has built the local economy on the Chuy’s hand-carved and painted fish. Mountford said he went to Texas and submerged himself in the business for a while, learning every job and attending every opening. He said he knew that he wanted to open a Chuy’s in the Atlanta area and when the property near Perimeter Mall that had been Fire of Brazil became available, he jumped on it. “We needed a large building with lots of parking space and that’s not always easy to find,” he said. Making sure customers have an enjoyable experience is at the heart of everything Chuy’s does, Mountford said. “If a customer wants something different from the way it’s presented on the menu we do what we can to accommodate them. If they want a half order, we’ll do that. If they want a gluten-free meal—and when you think of gluten-free, you normally don’t think of Mexican food—we’ll do that for them. We like to say, ‘why say no, when you can say yes?’” Mountford said he was pleased to discover that Atlantans are adventurous and sophisticated in their food tastes. He said sometimes customers come to Tex-Mex restaurants expecting to find everything covered in “that same thin red sauce.” “We have a wide variety of sauces and food like the best of what you’d find served at home in south Texas. It’s light and fresh and won’t leave you with that heavy feeling that people sometimes associate with Mexican food. I’m glad to see so many customers who appreciate that,” he said. Mountford said the restaurants are designed to be welcoming for the entire family. “We love children,” he said, pointing out such touches as the halfhidden monkeys and iguanas in the décor that children have fun—and can even win a free dessert—looking for. Among the restaurant chain’s several sayings is “If you’ve seen one Chuy’s, you’ve seen one Chuy’s.” That’s Chuy’s officials’ way of saying that although they’re a chain each restaurant is unique. Each ownermanager decorates according to his own whims and even customizes the menu based on customer preferences. There are signature dishes available at all Chuy’s restaurants and customers can count on finding an eclectic décor that features bright colors, original Mexican art, hand-carved fish, hanging hubcaps and an Elvis shrine. As with most aspects of Chuy’s, there’s a story behind the décor. The original Chuy’s was started on the cheap in an abandoned building that had once been a barbecue joint. Instead of carefully selecting tiles and paints, the owners bought marked-down odds and ends then covered a ceiling that was in need of refurbishing with used hubcaps. At the end of the process, they had $20 left in their decorating budget. They used it to buy two black velvet portraits—one of Stevie Wonder and one of Elvis Presley. Customers started donating Elvis memorabilia to go with the portrait and thus the Elvis shrine has become one of the restaurant’s signatures. As to the name Chuy’s—that’s a story, too. On one of the early buying trips to Mexico, the owners discovered that Chuy is an oft-used nickname for one of the most common names in Mexico, Jesus (pronounced HEYzoos). “Sometime when you don’t know a fellow’s name, you might say, ‘hey, Chuy,’ the way we might say, ‘hey, Mack.’ They decided that would be a good name for the restaurant— Chuy’s,” Mountford explained.

John Mountford says making sure customers have an enjoyable experience is at the heart of everything Chuy’s does.

An open car trunk of chips and sauces is one of the fun touches at Chuy’s.

Every Chuy’s is different, but each has an Elvis shrine. Photos by Kathy Mitchell

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

Page 19A


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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

Around deKAlb
John Bell to lead evening of song at Emory Emory University’s Cannon Chapel will be the site of an evening of song that “promises to be an extraordinary experience that will bring out ways of singing that people don’t even know they have within themselves,” according to an announcement from the university. Hymn writer John Bell, who travels throughout the world to equip congregational leaders and members to delve more deeply into worship and scripture, will lead the event Tuesday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. Bell’s appearance at Emory is part of Candler School of Theology’s conference “The Singing Church,” a three-day program on the current practices and emerging trends of congregational song. General admission tickets to the John Bell event are $20. Students are admitted free with a current student ID. IHM hosts Fair Trade Sale Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School will host its spring Fair Trade Sale on March 23, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Fairly traded gifts, jewelry, scarves and other handcrafted items as well as fair-trade coffee, tea and chocolate will be available. All items are from developing regions around the world. For 12 years IHM students, alumni, teachers and parents have volunteered their time to sponsor the event. The sales are part of the Work of Human Hands program, a partnership between Catholic Relief Services and SERRV, nonprofit organizations dedicated to fighting poverty. Every purchase made enables an artisan or farmer in a developing nation to better provide for the basic necessities of life, to educate her or his children and to work in a safe environment. For more information contact Carmen S. Graciaa, IHM School director of faith formation and Catholic Relief Services trade ambassador at (404) 636-4488, ext. 237, or email at


Family Fun Day planned at Museum School The Family Fun Fitness Day will be held March 17, 10 a.m.3 p.m. at The Museum School. Food, physical activities for all ages, health screenings and educational sessions will be available. Attendees can purchase fresh produce from local farmers and sample food from gourmet chefs. Activities for children include fitness demos, drills and relays, rock climbing, an obstacle course, a bounce house, face painting and more. Also, screenings will be done for blood pressure, glucose and Body Mass index. Admission is $5 per person. Senior citizens and those attending only for the screenings will be admitted free. For more information, visit or e-mail The Museum School is at 3191 Covington Highway in Avondale Estates.


for people who are being sued in consumer debt cases in DeKalb County. There will be an opportunity for short one-on-one conversations with the attorneys present. Participants are requested to bring all documents related to their cases. The clinics will be Tuesday, March 27, 5:30 - 7 p.m., at the Decatur Library, 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur, where the phone number is (404) 370-3070. Area seniors invited to St. Patrick’s celebration The Regency House independent retirement community, located at 341 Winn Way in Decatur, invites the area seniors to its free St. Patrick’s Day weekend events March 16-18. Events include an Irish stew supper on March 16 at 5:30 p.m., an Irish lunch with traditional favorites on March 17 at 12:30 p.m., and a Luck of the Irish party with refreshments and arm-chair travel on March 18 at 7 p.m. To RSVP, call The Regency House at (404) 296-1152. Animal Services offers adoption special DeKalb County Animal Services is offering a St. Patrick’s Day adoption special through Saturday, March 17. The special runs March 15-16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and on March 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the DeKalb Animal Services and Enforcement Center, 845 Camp Road in Decatur. Adoptions are $60 and include spaying and neutering, vaccinations, de-worming, and HW or FIV/FeLV testing. To view animals available for adoption, visit www. For additional information, contact DeKalb County Animal Services at (404) 294-2996.

issues. Stonecrest Library is located at 3123 Klondike Road, Lithonia. For more information, call (770) 482-3828.

Church to hold Family and Friends Day Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 821 Third St., Stone Mountain, will host its annual Family and Friends Day on Sunday, March 18, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The Rev. Jeanette Jackson, associate pastor of Saint Philip A.M.E. Church in Atlanta will preach during the regular 10 a.m. worship service. The 3 p.m. worship service will feature inspiration by the Rev. W.W. Morris, pastor of the Philadelphia Baptist Church in Atlanta. The Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Hercules, senior pastor of Saint Paul Worship Center in Lithonia, is the guest preacher. Musical selections will be provided by the choirs of Philadelphia Baptist Church and the Saint Paul Worship Center. Dinner will be served between services from 1 - 3 p.m. For more information, contact event co-chairs, James and Winsome Bond, at (770) 469-4995. Stone Mountain pastor receives sabbatical grant The Reverend Orea G. Parker, pastor of Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Stone Mountain, is among 45 grant recipients selected to participate in The Louisville Institute’s Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders program. A pool of 434 applicants from across the United States and Canada applied for the grant. Parker was included among this year’s grantees for a sabbatical plan titled Grounded and Rejuvenated. Founded in 1990 as a center for research on and leadership development for North American religion, the Louisville Institute seeks to nurture inquiry and conversation regarding the character, problems, contributions and prospects of the historic institutions of North American Christianity.


History center to hold fundraiser


The DeKalb History Center is holding a fundraiser auction, Friday, March 23, 6 - 8:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Historic DeKalb Courthouse, 101 East Court Square, Decatur. The event, which is free and open to the public, features an evening of food, wine, beer and music during which guests bid on a wide variety of items donated by more than 160 local businesses. The master of ceremonies for the evening is local talent Widdi Turner. Local library to hold debt clinics A debt clinic for those struggling with debt or being sued for a debt and have questions about how to respond, will be held at two Decatur libraries. The clinic will cover how the process works and what the debtor’s rights are. Representatives of the DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation will be on hand with information

Library to hold social networking program


Stonecrest Library has announced that it will hold a program called Social Networking Round Table for Parents, Tuesday, March 13, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Parents and their teens are invited to explore social networks together to look at what sites teens use and discuss privacy

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012


Page 21A

Boys and girls continue basketball dynasty with state titles
by Matt Amato Nearly a two-hour drive from DeKalb County, the city of Macon has become a showcase for the county’s most prolific basketball dynasty. For the third year in a row, the Columbia High School boys’ team won the Class AAA state basketball championship. The Eagles became the first school since Macon’s Lanier in the 1940s to win five titles over a seven-year span. For coach Phil McCrary, who holds the distinction of the most wins in DeKalb County history, familiarity with glory showed no creeping signs of apathy. The hard-fought 65-46 victory over Drew was his sixth state championship. McCrary reached the 500-win plateau last season. “They stepped up and did the things they were capable of doing to pull it out,” he said in tribute of his players, whose respectful postgame composure was noted by a few court onlookers. “We’ve pushed for that goal to stay ahead.” Saturday started according to plan. The girls wasted little time in stamping their mark, racing into a 33-16 halftime lead that ballooned to 42-28 by the third quarter’s finish. Senior Kadeeja Vaughn had a performance to savor in her last Columbia outing, scoring 19 points with 18 rebounds. The Lady Eagles (24-5) went on a 13-0 run to start the fourth quarter to put the game away as five different players scored. Alisha Gray ended the Washington County (31-1) drought with a 3-pointer with 48 seconds remaining and Columbia ahead 55-31. Miah Spencer, who handled the tough job of defending Gray for much of the night, scored 15 points for Columbia. Point guard Zuri Frost added nine points and was instrumental in consistently breaking the Washington County press. The fourth quarter was a partying procession. Washington County had no realistic way back, and

Columbia does it again
the chanting from the stands began in earnest. A favorite: “We’re number one…we’re number one!” “It’s sweet, it really is sweet,” said jubilant girls coach Chantay Frost moments after ousting Washington County 57-33 in the final. “We played hard, we had intensity and got the job done.” Frost led Columbia to its first girls state basketball title in 2010. But if the mood was initiated by the girls, the boys showed up like wallflowers. Their opponent, Drew, was intent on stifling Columbia’s offense by playing ugly. It worked for much of the first half. Despite being ahead 32-22 entering the third quarter, the Eagles were nowhere near at their ruthless best. And having missed a slew of foul shots early in the fourth quarter, their lead slimmed to 49-43 with 4:46 remaining. That’s when they rediscovered their championship mettle. Tahj Shamsid-Deen sank four straight free throws to help seal the win. For team member Jhasutin Thomas, his teammates had to find another gear to outlast Drew in a test of nerves. “Most teams don’t get to do this,” he said. “I was thinking, don’t give up—we can win.” McCray was animated throughout the topsyturvy fourth quarter. “We lost our composure down the stretch but ended up gaining it back,” he said. “I always tell the guys, ‘what legacy do you want to leave? Do you want to go out as winners or do you want to go out as runners up?’” Shamsid-Deen finished with a game-high 17 points and was joined in double figures by Thomas with 10. Seniors Damian Goodwin and Chris Horton added 10 rebounds each in the game they dominated on the boards 40-18. With six rings and players like Shamsid-Deen only a junior, there’s every reason to believe that the Eagles and their legacy will be around to for a long time.

Tahj Shamsid Deen scored 17 points for Columbia.

Miah Spencer works against a Washington County defender. Photos by Mark Brock

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012


Page 22A

Family affair: Miller Grove’s girls join boys’ team as state champions

by Robert Naddra

Minutes after Miller Grove won its first girls state basketball championship, there was a bonding moment a long time coming. As the players and coaches walked off the court March 9 at Gwinnett Arena and into a walkway leading to the locker room, they were met by players and coaches from the Miller Grove boys’ team. The Wolverines were minutes away from attempting to win their fourth straight Class AAAA state title. Standing in a single file line, each player extended a hand and with a smile congratulated their female counterparts after a 46-39 win over Southwest DeKalb in the girls’ AAAA final. “It was celebrating time,” said boys coach Sharman White, after hugging girls coach Renee Breedlove. “That gave us some extra mojo for our game. If it’s good for the girls, then it’s good for us. We didn’t want them to be No. 1 and not us.” White and his team didn’t disappoint. The Wolverines survived a physical game against Southwest DeKalb to win 62-57 for their fourth consecutive championship. Westover was the last team to accomplish that feat from 1990-93. “We should be having a parade,” White said of the sweep. “These are two quality programs and we both finished the drill.” It proved to be no easy task for either team. The Miller Grove boys had beaten rival Southwest DeKalb three previous times this season, all by six points. Southwest made up a three-point halftime deficit to lead by as many as five points in the second half. The game turned when the Panthers’ William Goodwin fouled out with 3:31 to play and his team ahead 49-48. The Wolverines responded by making 14 of 18 free throws the rest of the way. “It was a big point of emphasis for us to go after [Goodwin],” said Miller Grove’s Tony Parker. “We had to.” Said White: “He’s a great player and if we take out someone like that it limits what a team can do. When he fouled out it gave us that extra edge we needed.” Parker led with 21 points and 13 rebounds while Justin Colvin added 17 points. Goodwin fouled out with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Panthers. In the girls’ game, Miller Grove opened up a 30-13 halftime lead and still was ahead by 15 after three quarters. The Wolverines survived a fourth-quarter rally by the Panthers who trimmed the deficit to seven points. Klarissa Weaver led the Wolverines with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Tabitha Fudge had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Southwest forced 26 turnovers in its attempt to rally for its fourth state title in five seasons. The Panthers won three straight from 2008-10 and had a streak of 19 straight state playoff wins snapped in the final. “It’s awesome to be able to follow in the boys’ footsteps,” Breedlove said.

“We’re family and they all support each other.” The girls’ players point to a weekend at a tournament in Naples, Fla., over holiday break that helped them come together as a team. The boys’ had a similar experience last season. “That’s when we bonded,” senior Fudge said. “I came out at the beginning of the season and told them I was going to give my all and asked them to do the same.” While Miller Grove’s boys’ team had five seniors, including all-American Parker, Colvin, and Georgia signee Brandon Morris, the girls’ team earned their title with only one senior—post player Fudge who has signed a scholarship to High Point University in North Carolina. “We plan to win it again next year,” Weaver said. “We have a strong program and coach Breedlove does a great job. We love our coach. She has made everybody a better player.” For the boys, Parker and some of the other seniors end their high school careers a perfect 20-0 in postseason games. “We learned how to fight and keep our heads up this season,” Parker said. “I’ve been able to play with five players who I love and 17 players who have all been together for a long time. This championship is absolutely the most special.”

Tony Parker gets a hug from Miller Grove coach Sharman White in the final seconds of the Wolverines’ win in the Class AAAA championship game. Photos by John Silas

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012


Page 23A

DeKalb High School Sports Highlights
Dunwoody: The Wildcats went 3-0 last week with wins over Centennial (10-0), Arabia Mountain (10-1) and Cherokee (15-5). Jerric Johnson and James Farnell each had two hits against Centennial and Jared Martin drove in two runs. Johnson had three stolen bases and Farnell had an RBI. Logan Elliot was the winning pitcher, allowing one hit over six innings. Against Arabia Mountain, Eric Yost had three RBIs. James Cunningham pitched a one-hitter and struck out seven in six innings. Against Cherokee, Martin had three hits, including a home run, and five RBIs. Adam Julian and Will Hudgins each had two hits and Johnson had two RBIs. Marist: The War Eagles dropped three close games last week and fell to 1-6 on the season. Griffin Davis drove in two runs in the War Eagles’ 6-3 loss to Fernandina Beach (Fla). Marist also lost 2-1 to Brookwood and 3-1 to Parkview. Jordan Baker took the loss against Brookwood, despite allowing four hits and two runs in five innings. He also struck out four. Anthony Sherlag drove in the War Eagles’ only run. Davis also drove in the only run against Parkview and Sean Guenther was the losing pitcher. St. Pius: The No.1-ranked Golden Lions improved to 6-0 with two shutouts. Caroline Wootten scored three goals in a 6-0 win over Grady and Amanda Vocelka scored five goals in a 10-0 win over North Atlanta.

the boys meet, Amos Harper of Stephenson won the shot put and Peterson Cheridor of Columbia placed first in the discus. Lakeside won the 1,600 sprint medley. Second-place finishers for the Vikings were Brent Reynolds (800) and Austin Sanders (high jump).

St. Pius: The Golden Lions got two shutout wins, beating Grady 3-0 and North Atlanta 6-0. Ryan Heard scored two goals against Grady and J.D. Mango had two goals against North Atlanta.

Eagle’s Landing Chick-fil-A Invitational, McDonough Cedar Grove placed second in the girls meet and third in the boys meet. Individual winners for the girls’ were Christian Pryor (800), Kayla Pryor (300 hurdles), Amber Townsend (triple jump) and Angel Davis (discus). Marlon Coley won the 200 for the Cedar Grove boys. Running With the Devils Invitational, Loganville Southwest DeKalb won the girls meet while Redan placed second in the girls’ and boys’ meets. Three participants from county schools won two individual events in the girls’ meet. For Southwest, Demetria Dickens won the discus and shot put, while Greciana Cooper placed first in the 800 and 3,200. Also, Ariel Walker won the long jump for the Panthers. India Hammond of Redan won the triple jump and the 100 hurdles. In the boys meet, both Southwest and Redan had two individual winners. For Southwest, Malik Wheeler won the 1,600 and Christopher Morris finished first in the 300 hurdles. First-place winners for Redan were Jamar Sims (long jump) and Troy Howard (110 hurdles).

Eagles Early Bird Invitational, at North Clayton The Stephenson girls and the Lakeside boys won team titles. In the girls meet, Kaliah Neal won the long jump for Stephenson, the Jaguars’ only individual title. Second-place finishers for Stephenson were Jessica McCall (100 and 300 meter hurdles), Ashandria Henry (discus) and Amber Davis (shot put). The Jaguars also placed second in both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. First-place finishers for the Lakeside girls were Meghan Wetterhall (3,200), Carla Larotta (pole vault) and Leah Chisolm (triple jump). The Vikings also won the sprint relay. In

Four records fall as Chamblee, Henderson win track championships
by Mark Brock
The Chamblee girls’ and Henderson boys’ claimed the 2012 DeKalb County Middle School track titles March 13 at Panthersville Stadium as four meet records fell. Chamblee claimed the girls’ title by edging out Peachtree 69.50 to 66 with Henderson a close third with 63 points. It was Chamblee’s third middle school championship in the past four seasons, having won in 2009 and 2010. For the Chamblee girls, Venida Fagan won the 200 meters in a time of 25.74 and then took the 400 in 58.63. Peachtree picked up three gold medals: 4x100 relay, Lauren Jackson in the 800 (2:29.64) and Ansley Heavern in the 1600 (5:37.66). Henderson’s third place finish was paced by Ly’ric Bolden’s victory in the long jump (15-11). Columbia finished fourth over in the girls’ standings with 49 points led by wins in the 100 by Alexandra Andrews (12.73) and the sprint medley team ‘B’ with a meet record of 1:53.74, breaking the record of 1:54.15 set by Columbia in 2011. Cedar Grove’s Jazmine Johnson won the triple jump with a new record of 39 feet, 8 inches, breaking the old record of 37-4.5 by Tanycia Wooden of Chapel Hill (2008). Stephenson’s Kimberly Molden was second with a jump of 37-10. Henderson claimed its second consecutive boys’ track championship in a tight 62-60 battle with Stephenson. The Henderson had two individual champions—Denzel Harper in the long jump (19-10.5) and Davis Stockwell in the 1600 (4:55.56). Brandon Hines was Stephenson’s lone individual champion with a time of 2:07.57 in the 800. The Jaguars also placed second in the 400, 1600 and 800 sprint medley relays. Chapel Hill was third in the team standings with 47 points, with first-place finishes in the 400 relay (45.38) and a record-setting performance of 1:39.28 in the 800 sprint medley, breaking Sequoyah’s record of 1:41.78 set in 2011. Freedom was fourth overall with 37 points as the A relay team won gold in the 1600 relay in a time of 3:42.83. Cedar Grove was fifth with 36 points as record-setting Korey Banks won both the 100 and 200. Banks broke the 200 record of 23.21 set by Byron Walker of Champion in the 2008 meet with a time of 23.19, and won the 100 in 11.52.

Class AAAA championship action. Photos by John Silas

Page 24A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 16, 2012

Tucker football coach accepts job at Lamar County
District football coach to leave since the end of last season. A former assistant coach at Camden County, Stephens held his first head coaching position at Tucker. He was 64-6 in five seasons with two state championships. He brought the school its first state football championship in 2008 and followed up with another state title in 2011. News of the move hit Stephens’ Facebook page late on March 7. Jonathan Vaughters, father of former linebacker James Vaughters, who is now a freshman at Stanford, wrote “Congratulations Coach Franklin Stephens! Glad to see a great coach, good man and a good friend get a great, new opportunity! Thanks for your commitment, passion and leadership over the last 5 years. 2 Championships and 64-6. Unbelievable!” Three county schools have filled football coaching vacancies recently. Former Henry County coach Mike Rozier has been hired to replace interim coach Marcus Mitchell at Lakeside and Marcus Johnson has been hired to replace James Soza at Chamblee. Johnson was an assistant with the Bulldogs last season and this will be his first head coaching job. Also, Terrance Amos has been hired to replace Clinton Lawrence at Redan. Lawrence was 8-12 in two seasons at Redan. Amos was a former assistant in the county. Columbia is searching to replace Mario Allen, who took the head football coaching job at Rockdale County. Allen was 15-16 in three seasons at Columbia, but led the Eagles to a 6-5 record in 2011 and their first state playoff berth since 2005.

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@ by Monday at noon. MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Tony Parker, Miller Grove (basketball): The senior had 51 points and 24 rebounds in the final two games to help the Wolverines win their fourth straight AAAA state basketball title. Parker had 21 points and 13 rebounds in the 6257 win over Southwest DeKalb in the championship. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Kadeeja Vaughn, Columbia (basketball): The senior had 19 points and 18 rebounds, including 12 points in the second quarter, to help Columbia defeat No. 1 Washington County 57-33 for the girls’ Class AAA state championship. It was the Eagles’ second title in the past three seasons.

Franklin Stephens. Photo by Travis Hudgons

by Robert Naddra ucker coach Franklin Stephens has accepted the head coaching job at Lamar County in Barnesville, south of


Atlanta. Lamar County had its best season in school history last season at 12-1 and has qualified for the state playoffs three consecutive years. Stephens is the fifth DeKalb County School

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