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

and Stone Mountain.

by Daniel Beauregard



African student builds windmill to help family and villagers
story motivates us all,” Ramming said. Kamkwamba is currently attending Dartmouth College and plans to major in From an early age, William Kamkenvironmental engineering. wamba was fascinated with how things Kamkwamba is from a small farming worked. village in Malawi, Africa. When he was “I used to think that inside the radio growing up, his parents farmed corn, tothere were tiny people who spoke,” Kamk- bacco and soybeans, each year harvesting wamba said. enough food to sell and to feed the family Kamkwamba later found a radio and until the next rainy season. pulled it open to see whether there really “One year, because of a drought, the were tiny people. What he found inside crops only yielded a quarter amount of surprised him. what they usually did. As a result a lot of “Are these the people who speak in people ran out of food and many of people the radio?,” he asked himself of the differ- starved to death,” Kamkwamba said. ent components. “I thought the only way I Like the rest of the village, Kamkcould tell if they were people would be to wamba’s family didn’t have enough food twist one of them to see if it screamed.” to last them through the year. To suppleNothing screamed when Kamkwamba ment their income, his parents started a twisted the small component and from business selling cakes made of corn flour. then on, he spent hours taking apart radios However, the flour was imported from piece by piece. Tanzania and because of the drought the “That’s how I learned to fix radios,” price tripled when sellers realized it was Kamkwamba said. an in demand commodity. Kamkwamba spoke March 21 to stu“We started eating only one time a dents and faculty at Georgia Perimeter’s day—that time was tough for everyone,” College’s (GPC) Clarkston campus about Kamkwamba said. his book The Boy Who Harnessed the That year Kamkwamba began high Wind. English Professor Mary Helen school but was forced to drop out after Ramming said she read Kamkwamba’s two weeks because his parents couldn’t book two years ago when she designed a afford it–only primary school was free in curriculum for refugee students. Malawi. “I knew at that point it was a dream I “One day, I looked out at all of the dry had to sell to my colleagues, to get him to fields—it was a future I couldn’t accept,” come to our campus, because I believe his Kamkwamba said. Kamkwamba wanted to continue his William Kamkwamba spoke to students and faculty at Georgia Perimeter College in Clarkston about his struggles growing up in a education, so he began checking out books small village in Malawi, Africa, and how he overcame them. at the library and copying notes from his friends still in school. When the famine ended, Kamkwamba hoped his parents would send him back to school. “One day I went to the library and found this book Using Energy by professor Mary Atwater,” Kamkwamba said. Atwater was a professor at the University of Georgia. “Inside the book it said windmills pump water and generate electricity. I figured, if we built a windmill we could grow food two or three times a year, instead of just one time a year and wait for the rainy season to come.” Kamkwamba then began to construct a windmill using discarded scraps he found in a junkyard. He built a windmill to generate electricity for his home and the village. He said many of the villagers thought he had gone crazy and most of them had no idea what a windmill was. “My mom said to me at one point, ‘No one’s going to want to marry you beBecause you’re news updatesKamkwambaChampion. online from the The said. Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. cause she gets hercrazy,’”people were saying I “Regardless of what Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. didn’tyou can too! Follow us.windmill. And stop and I built my first




ews updates online from the The Champion.

Kamkwamba signs a copy of his award-winning book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, about how he built a windmill to bring electricity to his village. Photos by Daniel Beauregard

And you can too! Follow us. And you can too! Follow us. See Wind on Page 15A www.

too! Follow us.

by Daniel Beauregard

Voters will cast ballots Nov. 4 on a constitutional amendment to decide whether the state should fund charter schools that have been denied charters by local school boards. In 2008, the Georgia Charter Schools Act was passed, which created the Georgia Charter Schools Commission. The commission allowed charter schools that had been denied charters by local school systems to continue to receive state and local funding. The commission was created as a way to circumvent the process of appointing charter schools because many local school boards were voting against them. However, last year the Georgia Supreme Court voted the bill that created the commission unconstitutional stating that it took away local control. Now after a contentious battle in both the Georgia House and the Senate, voters will decide on a resolution that would allow charter schools that weren’t approved by local school boards to receive state funding. “First thing is that 1162 doesn’t create a commission or do anything. It just removes the constitutional obstacle,” Tony Roberts, president of the Georgia Charter Schools Association

kEEps up On cuRREnT Voters to decide charter HunGER EVEnTs, school funding in November kEEps TOO. up On cuRREnT EVEnTs, TOO.
Page 2A (GCSA), said. GCSA is a nonprofit organization that advocates for charter schools in Georgia. Roberts said if HR1162 passes then the state would be allowed to fund charter schools. “The major change is that no funding is tied to local school funds,” Roberts said. “It was the single reason the school districts sued to close the Georgia Charter Schools Commission. Prior to that, it was never a problem until the local school districts began to see their income going down to reflect the children going to that charter school.” There are currently 12 charter schools in the DeKalb County School District (DCSD), five that are conversion charters, which started out as regular public schools but converted to charter schools. The rest are startup charters, or schools that are non-traditional public schools created by private individuals or organizations, or by the state. Roberts said the only charter school that would be directly affected by the passing of HR1162 is Ivy Preparatory Academy, located off Memorial Drive in Kirkwood. Nicole Knighten, director of governmental relations and special projects at DCSD said that although Ivy Prep is in DeKalb County, it was approved by the state board of education rather than DCSD. “If 1162 does not pass on Nov. 4, Ivy Prep is in jeopardy,” Roberts said. “They could possibly continue as a state special school as they are now but their funding would be at such a low level that they could not be sustained. It would be about half of what other schools receive.” Roberts said opponents of the resolution fear the state won’t be selective enough in approving charter schools denied by local school boards. However, he said in the two years the Georgia Charter Schools Commission was in existence, it only approved 15 charters. “The goal is not to saturate the state with charter schools but to have them sprinkled across the state for children who aren’t doing well in a traditional public school setting and need an alternative,” Roberts said. “That’s the ideal situation—we don’t think that the best thing to do is to go around the school district.” The majority of charter schools in DCSD have been approved by the district and Roberts said, overall, he thinks the district had done a good job of approving charter schools that were successful. “I would give DeKalb County a good grade,” Roberts said. “But HB797 answers the complaints of the local school districts who want to make sure that their funds aren’t impacted.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012

1 in 6 AmERicAns sTRuGGlEs WiTH HunGER.

1 in 6 AmERicAns sTRuGGlEs WiTH HunGER.


Hunger is closer than you think. Reach out to your local food bank for ways to do your part. Visit today.


Hunger is closer than you think. Reach out to your local food bank for ways to do your part. Visit today.

Page 3A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012

Policeman and county employee under investigation for interfering in rape case
by Daniel Beauregard A DeKalb County police officer and an employee for the DeKalb County solicitor general’s office are under investigation for interfering in a rape case. Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said the DeKalb County Police Department is investigating allegations of a rape that took place on Dec. 16, 2011. “As part of this investigation we are trying to determine if one of our officers influenced a witness or obstructed justice in this case. Sgt. Eric Adkison is on restrictive duty pending the outcome of this investigation,” Parish said. Adkison, as well as Jeff Jaudon, an employee for the solicitor general’s office, both are Jaudon members of Front Runnerz Motorcycle Club. The club’s website lists Adkison as its president and Jaudon as its business manager. According to reports, the alleged victim was bartending a private event at the club where she said she was drugged, then later woke up in a home in Lithonia after allegedly being raped. Although neither Adkison nor Jaudon were named as suspects in the incident, the victim said both men wanted to handle the situation “inhouse,” and told her to keep quiet about the rape claim. The DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office is investigating to determine whether Adkison and Jaudon interfered with the case by telling the victim to keep quiet. “I can confirm we’re looking into the matter and we’ll determine the right course of action,” DeKalb District Attorney spokesman Erik Burton said. Emily Gest, a spokeswoman for the solicitor general’s office, said Jaudon is on administrative leave with pay. Jaudon was hired in April 2005 as a senior investigator in the office’s Special Victims Unit, which handles pending high-risk domestic violence, stalking and sex offense cases. “We take seriously any allegation regarding the conduct of our employees,” Gest said. “We learned that the DA’s Office is investigating the conduct of several individuals—including an employee of this office—who belong to the same motorcycle club.”

In a room at the jail, Sheriff Thomas Brown looks at a split screen that shows him and Judge Berryl A. Anderson, who is in her courtroom at the courthouse, in real time. Photo by Kathy Mitchell

Video conference first-appearance hearings introduced at DeKalb Jail
by Kathy Mitchell The law requires that persons charged with a crime have the opportunity to appear before a judge within 48 hours when no warrant was involved and 72 hours when a person is arrested under a warrant. Until recently, this required transporting the person charged from the jail to a courtroom. “This is not a great distance,” said Sheriff Thomas Brown, “but it involves bringing the inmate through the same entryways used by the general public. There are risks to staff, law enforcement officials and the public.” The DeKalb County Sherriff’s Office has initiated a pilot program that offers an alternative. The accused can be brought to a small courtroom inside the jail and face a judge through video conferencing. Chief Magistrate Judge Berryl A. Anderson and Brown demonstrated the system at a March 26 news conference. The judge and the defendant face one another on a video screen. Attorneys and others can be present just as they are at a faceto-face hearing. In addition to creating a safer situation for the public and for jail employees, video conferencing is safer for the judge and the accused, the sheriff said. He added that eliminating the need to transport the inmate to the courthouse also saves manpower and money. Brown explained that such systems are widely used in California and Florida, and have been implemented in other metro Atlanta jurisdictions, including Cobb and Gwinnett counties. “Normally, we’re out front with the newest innovations, but budget restrictions kept us from doing this sooner.” He explained the $40,000 needed to set up the system came from confiscated drug money at no cost to taxpayers. “Sheriff Brown is very creative about finding money to get what we need,” Anderson said. Video conferencing, which DeKalb County has been using for approximately 60 days, is being implemented in phases. It will be used for firstappearance hearings for inmates charged with felonies. “We’re starting with inmates charged with the most serious crimes—what we call ‘the seven deadly sins,’ murder, rape, etc. These are the situations in which emotions normally run high and there is the greatest need to look out for the safety of those the inmate is exposed to.” Anderson explained that at first-appearance hearings there is a formal reading of the charges against the defendant, bail is set and the judge determines whether a public defender needs to be appointed. Brown said the video conferencing in no way abridges the rights of the accused and neither inmates nor lawyers have complained. “All they want is a chance to appear before a judge as quickly as possible and have an opportunity for bail. They get that.”

In the March 22 edition, in the article on page 16A titled ‘Museum School in Avondale gets ready to move,’ The Champion misstated construction costs. The correct amount is $1 million out of the school’s operating budget over the next five years.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012

Stand your ground
SB396 was ill-advised when enacted by the Georgia legislature in 2006 and even more dangerous today given the deteriorating racial climate in this country. This writer was one of 13 senators to vote against Georgia’s stand your ground law. My fears echoed those of other critics who argued the legislation was too broad, encouraged vigilantism among the more aggressive members of society and made it more likely that confrontations would turn deadly. In short, it is a license to kill with immunity from prosecution if one feels “threatened” on the streets, in a parking lot or at home. We fought the good fight but the GOP majority prevailed. It’s too late for this session, but given the events of late, serious consideration ought to be given to repealing the law next year. A special session or extended session is not likely to happen. One can take some comfort in the fact that the U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation into the Martin death. The police chief has voluntarily stepped aside, but he should be fired. It is heartening to see citizens from all walks of life expressing their outrage at the slaying of this unarmed teen. It is also a very good thing that the hot light of the news media remains on the case. The news media is often maligned and even vilified, but it is important to acknowledge and appreciate the major role the media has played in bringing about social change in this country, particularly civil rights. The media helped turn the tide in the civil rights struggle. Speaking of civil rights, many people have the mistaken notion that racism no longer exists in America because of the election of President Obama. Think again. If anything, the election of a Black man has perhaps stoked the fires of bigotry and hatred. Never has there been such blatant disrespect for a president and first lady. That’s another subject. But could it be that the nation’s attitude on race might cause the president to be over-cautious? Given the magnitude of the Trayvon Martin case and so many like it, political expediency should be set aside. The president should call the Martin family and offer his condolences in the loss of their son. He took the time to personally reach out to Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke when Rush Limbaugh called her a slut. President Obama had officer James Crowley and noted Harvard professor Louis Gates to the White House for a beer after Crowley arrested Gates because he appeared “suspicious” at his own house. Gates was insulted. Fluke’s feelings were hurt. Both are still alive. Trayvon Martin is dead. A promising life has been snuffed out—his only crime being a Black male. Justice Department intervention is a process. A phone call from the president to the Martin family would show compassion. Trayvon Martin’s death is a tragic unintended consequence of “stand your ground”—or is it INtended?

Opinion The Newslady

Page 4A

Georgia’s “stand your ground” law, SB396, is a National Rifle Association-sponsored stealth attack on African-American men patterned after the Florida law that police and Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman are hiding behind. Florida was the first state to enact a “stand your ground” law intended, says the NRA, to stem the tide of increasing violence in this country by allowing “law abiding” citizens to meet force with force to protect their property. In addition to Florida and Georgia, 20 other states have enacted similar legislation. On the surface such laws as stand your ground, immigration and voter ID might seem reasonable, but at their core they are as racist as past lynch laws, poll taxes and literacy tests.

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012

I wouldn’t wish that on a dog!
population of nearly 700,000 residents. “Three-quarters of DeKalb County households have a pet or pets (187,500 households), roughly 2.5 percent of those pets per year land in the DeKalb Animal Shelter for one reason or another. Of that number, only one in three ever walks back out,” reports Susan Neugent, chairwoman of the DeKalb Citizen’s Task Force. Neugent is a committed community leader, as well as the CEO of the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. DeKalb County is only able to reunite about 30 percent of lost or unclaimed pets with their owners, or adopt them out. That leaves more than 5,000 per year to be put down. Last year euthanizing those animals cost DeKalb taxpayers $1.75 million. That is more than eight times the amount ($210,000) spent on animal adoption. If we are in fact “lord of the beasts” then compassion alone says that more emphasis should be put on pet adoption. Failing compassion, saving tax dollars makes an equally strong and compelling argument. Following action by DeKalb Commissioner Kathie Gannon (Super District 6), and now CEO Burrell Ellis, immediate help is on the way in the form of $365,000 in rainy day funds to install air conditioning at the aging shelter. Yes, you heard me correctly, installing air conditioning in 2012, after we have already experienced a few 80 plus degree days. Imagine what the air feels like inside that building during July. To his credit, Ellis and the board of commissioners are responding— in extremely tight budget times—to the compelling need, allocating reserve funds for the A/C upgrade. Two already county-owned vacant sites are being reviewed for a new shelter, as well as a third on Covington Highway. “We can do better, and our citizens are demanding that we do better,” Ellis said after sharing his plans for improvements with the DeKalb County Commission. In metro Atlanta, only DeKalb and Fulton counties currently require pet owners to license their pets. A small discount is offered if animals are spayed or neutered. The task force recommends DeKalb increase those fees and work with veterinarians, pet stores and related businesses to increase pet registration participation above the current 10 percent of owners in compliance. DeKalb County annually collects only $100,000 from animal registration. The task force recommends that additional funds collected fund more staff and the establishment of a county-funded spay/neuter program. The DeKalb commission is expected to release additional funding later this month for hiring six additional animal control officers, just under double the current staffing. “Our goal, my goal, is to ensure that there is real change from this report. I imagine we are going to fast track what we can do,” said Gannon, a strong advocate for animals. So, in conclusion, go adopt a pet. My mother and father just adopted a rescue dog, a golden retriever named Ginger. I’m betting that dog will get them to do what their four and six grandchildren have been urging for years—take a nice walk every day. If you can’t afford a pet, join Fernbank Museum—another good cause. If you can’t do either, go to the Second Life Upscale Resale Boutique just off Covington Highway in the Avondale Village and spend a few bucks. Second Life donates its sales proceeds to animal rescue and related causes across metro Atlanta. You’ll find some great buys for a great cause. 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

Opinion One Man’s Opinion

Page 5A

“It’s a dog’s life—hunger and ease.”—17th century proverb. Hunger maybe—ease not so much. A visit to the DeKalb County Animal Shelter on Camp Circle off Memorial Drive is not for the faint of heart. Tough economic times have been particularly cruel to man’s best friend, as well as several thousand cats and kittens each year in DeKalb County. Animals are being left to fend for themselves, dropped at the animal shelter or simply left behind in abandoned or soon-to-be-foreclosed homes. A chilling report issued last week by a citizens’ task force called for immediate changes and improvements at the DeKalb Animal Shelter. A palpable stench, from years of neglect and a troubled ventilation system make the building, located near the former DeKalb County incinerator, a tough place for animals as well as the volunteers who help care for them. DeKalb County Animal Control has only eight field officers and an annual budget of $2.7 million to serve a

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.
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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 30, 2012


Page 6A

Grand old pedagogy
We're a diverse nation of many religions and each has the same rights as any other group, including the right to be left alone.
Christianity–Republicans, Rick Santorum chief among them, insist we are a Christian nation and that other religions and non-believers should defer to certain Catholic beliefs, especially in matters where priests are experts, like marriage and reproductive rights. The truth is that we’re a diverse nation of many religions and each has the same rights as any other group, including the right to be left alone. If the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion doesn’t mean that, it doesn’t mean anything at all. Education–Republicans pretty much agree that our educational system is a disaster and that it is the fault of teachers in general and teachers’ unions in particular. They think this can be remedied by doing away with the education department, cutting federal support for education, and, of course, firing teachers. Where to begin? There are bad teachers, certainly, and teachers’ unions sometimes go too far in protecting them, but you can hardly blame them. They do a hard job in difficult, sometimes impossible, circumstances. Most teachers I’ve known are hard-working, dedicated people who try their best for our children and get precious little credit for it. Particularly from people like Santorum who think home schooling is the answer to our problems. Ye gods, that’s what we need for the 21st century: young people who don’t know anything their parents didn’t know and are innocent of chemistry, physics, trigonometry and biology. Still, it’s been a fascinating and educational campaign. My favorite discovery has been that you can be baptized a Mormon even though you don’t want to be a Mormon and are dead. Apparently Mormons baptize dead people all of the time if they take a liking to them. Anne Frank, for example. They also did it to Romney’s father-in-law, who was not only dead but an atheist. I don’t know what I can do with that information, but I’m glad it’s out there. OtherWords columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

It seems as though the 2012 Republican presidential primaries began the day before forever. But oh the lessons we’ve learned. We’ve been treated to startlingly original theories about the economy, international affairs, history, biology, theology and climatology, as well as an -ology or two we didn’t know existed. The only downside–and I’m not carping about it–is that the lessons have been utterly, totally and in every respect wrong. Let me count the ways: The economy–the Republicans would have us believe that the way to revive a faltering economy is to cut government spending by cutting programs, firing public workers and getting rid of frills like roads, bridges and schools. That’s counterintuitive when you think about it. How can putting people out of work in an environment where too many people are already out of work be good for the economy? Name me one time when cutting spending, ostensibly to balance the budget, pulled the country out of the economic doldrums…I’m waiting. (And don’t tell me Ronald Reagan. He tripled the national debt while he was in office.) Republicans apparently are willing to go down with the ship rather than change course. Unfortunately, the rest of us will be going down with them. Europe–it’s an article of faith among Republicans that Europe is a bad, bad place and all contact with it should be avoided if possible. One of the criticisms of John Kerry in 2004 was that he spoke French. Mon dieu, so does Mitt Romney. Ironically, with their cries for austerity, austerity and more austerity, today’s Republicans are sounding a lot more European than the Democrats are. And how is that working out for Europe? Its economy is going down the toilet, Greece first. We’ll be lucky if it doesn’t take us with it, which it will if the Republican deficit hawks have their way.

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

Obama executive optimistic about GM plant
Gee, I never even heard of this federal office. Wonder how many more are hidden away and manned by “executives.” Hope the future Republican Administration will eliminate these feel good, but do nothing public relations offices. – Flyboy posted this on 3/25/12 at 12:16 a.m.

Auto Insurance premiums are based partly on the price of the vehicle, which affects the replacement cost if it is stolen or “totaled” in an accident check “Clearance Auto” for insurance if you ever had an accident – Rickzellis posted this on 3/24/12 at 7:35 a.m.

I hear Comish Larry Johnson is proposing the World’s Largest WalMart for the area ? such a visionarhe is ? LOL – Iva Ben Hadd posted this on 3/24/12 at 6:50 a.m.

Museum school in Avondale gets ready to move
Congratulations to the Museum School on getting this space. You are providing another choice option the families in that area. Best wishes. – Ebrown posted this on 3/23/12 at 11:25 a.m.

Advocates voice concern about DSCD’s projected SPLOST shortfall
Of course you would be concerned Mr. Orson - your precious Fernbank Elementary rebuild is in SPLOST IV. So, those projects in SPLOST III should just be eliminated to make sure your pet project is not put “at risk”. It was also your group “Friends of DeKalb” that disseminated all of the deceitful mis-information about SPLOST IV and/or the promise of a new Board of Education all over DeKalb County prior to the SPLOST IV vote. I’m surprised you have the wherewithall to “reappear” after the damage your group has done to the entire school district. – Concerned4DCSD posted this on 3/23/12 t 1:10 p.m.

Excellent points by both Marshall and David! We should look at the amended projects to the CIP first to determine if eliminating them would help cure the shortfall. This is also dependent on where they are with respect to the project. Otherwise, unless this can be shifted into SPLOST IV, we may need to consider a special bond to address the shortfall. At the end of the day, we are still benefiting from having these upgrades to our schools. – Ebrown posted this on 3/23/12 at 11:30 a.m.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012

Local News

Page 7A

12-hour shift once or twice a month at Grady. In addition to answering phone calls, she serves as a patient advocate and sits with the women while they are examined. Prior to her current duties, she volunteered at Grady’s teen center where she worked with teens on different theme programs including education, how to fill out college applications and safe sex. “That wasn’t as fulfilling as being in the rape crisis center,” Slone. “Hearing those kind of things [at the rape crisis center] is not fun, but I know it’s important.” Slone is an associate in the corporate law practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP in Atlanta and her work with the Pro Bono Partnership over the past two years gives her a chance to work with nonprofits in the area related to women’s health. In addition to her work with the Pro Bono Partnership and Grady, she also serves on the board of DeKalb’s Feminist Women’s Health Center and the national Girls on the Run (GOTR), which has several programs in the county. “My personal life is all about fitness development and that’s why I wanted to work with Girls on the Run,” said Slone, a resident of Decatur. “I’d love to be a coach but I just don’t have the time.” She does outreach work for GOTR that has included volunteering at a water stop and cheering station at the Atlanta Marathon. Slone also helps with the agency’s marketing communications.

Champion of the Week

Convention bureau seeking sports revenue
by Andrew Cauthen After six months on the job, the sports marketing manager with the DeKalb Convention & Visitor’s Bureau said it is easy to market DeKalb. “We have some of the most outstanding athletes,” said Dan Bell, who recruits under the banner of Sports DeKalb. “We have former Olympians that came out of DeKalb County. From parks and recreation all the way up to middle and high school, we have some of the top athletes. “That makes us unique in that we produce so many outstanding athletes,” Bell said. “That makes it easy to promote because a lot of people come here to recruit.” Bell’s job is to bring youth and collegiate sporting events into DeKalb by promoting the county’s facilities and partnering with current tournaments. He will also promote the county’s parks, recreation department and public school facilities, including golf courses, tennis courts, soccer fields, and track and field locations. Bell said his aim is “bringing out of town visitors to stay in our hotels and then showcasing what we have as far as tourism.” “My goal is to definitely to fill our hotels,” Bell said. “Sports is year-round,” Bell said. “People travel to send their kids to tournaments. We have the facilities; we have the goods right here. We have everything they need to host quality events in DeKalb County. It is just a matter of showcasing it now,” Bell said. Bell said some specific events he is seeking to attract include a volleyball tournament, lacrosse tournament and race walk. “Those will be our signature events,” Bell said. A DeKalb County plan to construct a soap box derby facilty in south DeKalb will be “huge,” Bell said. “Hopefully, we’ll land the next soap box derby in 2014-15,” Bell said. “We’re looking for great things from that.” Additionally, Bell plans to ask hotels to initiate a special recruiter’s rate. “When college coaches come into town recruiting kids from DeKalb County, we want them to stay in DeKalb County,” Bell said. Bell said Sports DeKalb has already had some success this year: Sugar Creek will be hosting the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) collegiate tennis tournament and

Dan Bell, the sports marketing manager for the DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau, says the number of top high school athletes in DeKalb makes it easy to market the county as a sports venue. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

the two teams for the inner city football classic will be staying in DeKalb. Bell’s marketing experience comes from 20 years in the hotel business. Most recently, he spent three years at Ramada Atlanta Airport Conference Center and a year at Wyndham Garden Hotel. “I’ve always wanted to work for a convention and visitors bureau,” said Bell, a former DeKalb resident of nine years who now lives in Fulton. “I’m very familiar with the county.” Bell, 45, graduated from Clark Atlanta University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and a minor in hospitality management. This is not the first time the CVB has had someone dedicated to sports marketing. Approximately 15 years ago, the bureau had a consultant who concentrated on sports. “No one has actively been going after sports revenue” since then, Bell said.
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Volunteering has long been a part of life in Drew Slone’s family. Growing up in Kentucky, Slone was part of four generations— herself, her mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother—who annually threw a Christmas party at a local senior center. Slone, who earned an undergraduate degree at Transylvania University in Kentucky and her masters at the University of North Carolina, said she was named volunteer of the year in college. “I’m a huge advocate for women’s health issues,” Slone said. “Women’s health care issues have always been important to me.” It started while I was in college. I volunteered at Planned Parenthood in college and reorganized the school’s health care system. I even did a research paper on it.” Slone’s passion for volunteering and women’s health issues has not waned. She volunteers in the rape crisis center at Grady Hospital in Atlanta and with the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta. She volunteers for a

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 30, 2012

Local News

Page 8A

Johnson welcomes return of Congressional Arts Competition
Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) looks forward to hosting this year’s 2012 Congressional Arts Competition, an annual event displaying the community’s finest artistic talent. Eligible high school students throughout the congressional district, which includes parts of DeKalb, Gwinnett and Rockdale counties, are encouraged to apply and display their talent in this year’s contest. Entries must be designed according to specifications in the competition guidelines, which can be found at at www.hankjohnson. Each district will honor its winning artwork by hanging it in the tunnel leading to the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C., for a year. The 2012 Congressional Art Competition winner from the 4th District will also receive transportation for two to Washington, D.C. for the ribbon-cutting event to unveil the 2012 winners. In addition to having his/her artwork at the Capitol, winners of the competition will be eligible for college scholarships from the Art Institute of Atlanta ($10,000, $5,000, and $2,500) or the Savannah College of Art and Design ($1,500 per year). All art entries must be received in the congressman’s district office, 5700 Hillandale Drive, Lithonia, on April 26-27. For more information, e-mail Eric Hubbard at eric. or Betty Dixon in the Lithonia office or call (770) 987-2291.

Aaron Tucker of Meadowcreek High School, winner of the 2011 Congressional Arts Competition, visits Congressman Hank Johnson with his parents – Stephanie and Richard Tucker Sr. – in Washington, D.C., last summer. Photo provided

Man arrested after allegedly beating officer
A DeKalb County Police officer was beaten when she responded to a call about a suspicious person on March 23. The officer, whose name has not been released, went to 1209 Columbia Drive at approximately 6:50 p.m. The suspect was intoxicated and refused to comply with officers’ verbal commands, according to police. The 25-year-old man became combative and began to fight officers at the scene. The suspect picked up the female officer and slammed her face-first to the ground, according to police. The suspect, whose name has not been released, is charged with felony obstruction and aggravated assault. The officer was taken to an area hospital and was reported to be in stable condition, police said.

Man sentenced to year in prison for animal cruelty
Aaron Laws was sentenced March 23 by State Court Judge Alvin Wong to one year in prison on two counts of animal cruelty. Laws was found guilty of locking his female pit bull in a closet and leaving her there to die, according to the

solicitor general’s office. The dog’s remains were discovered during an eviction at a rental property in Clarkston where Laws had been living in 2010. The decomposing animal, which had been dead at least a week, was found inside a living room closet, surrounded by empty Tupperware containers and its own fecal matter, officials said. Inside the closet, the carpet had been dug up by the animal in an attempt to escape and the door was covered in deep claw marks. Outside the closet, a towel was found on the floor in an attempt to mask the odor of the decaying animal. Lysol cans were also found nearby. “This horrific case demonstrates how vulnerable animals are to thoughtless, careless owners,” said Solicitor General Sherry Boston. “This poor animal suffered needlessly. Sadly, any number of animal rescue groups could have found this vulnerable dog a good, loving home.”

his home at 3573 Manhattan Drive in Decatur being watched by his adult son, according to an incident report. Parks’ son stepped away to the backyard briefly and when he returned Parks was gone. Parks is 5-foot-9, 164 pounds, with short gray hair. He was last seen wearing a maroon jogging suit, gray T-shirt and brown slippers. Parks also suffers from high blood pressure and has had a history of strokes.

Deadline upcoming for Community Hero Award nominations
The deadline to submit a nomination for the 2012 CEO’s Community Hero Awards is Friday, March 30. The event, presented by DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer Burrell Ellis and The Champion Newspaper, honors individuals and organizations that have made a significant impact in DeKalb County through volunteerism. Award winners will receive charitable contributions to help further their efforts in the county. Nomination forms are available online at Nominations are being accepted for the following five categories: Community Champion Award – Recognizes an individual and non-profit organization whose work has had a positive impact in strengthening communities and improving the lives of others in DeKalb County. Environmental Change Award—Recognizes an individual and/or organization that works tirelessly to preserve, protect and raise awareness about the environment. Youth Volunteer Award—Recognizes the outstanding efforts of a DeKalb County youth between the ages of 5-18 that exemplifies volunteerism and community service. Neighborhood Empowerment Award—Recognizes an individual and organization that fosters civic engagement and promotes community involvement. The Vanguard Award—Recognizes an individual or 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.” Nominations must be e-mailed to, faxed to (404) 373-7721 or received by mail at The Champion Newspaper, P.O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30030 no later than Friday, March 30, to be eligible for consideration. The CEO’s Community Hero Awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, April 29, at 4 p.m. at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Road in Atlanta. For more information, contact Erica M. Brooks at (404) 371-3695 or John Hewitt at (404) 373-7779, ext. 110.

Prosecutor in solicitor general’s office honored by MADD

DeKalb County Assistant Solicitor Teri Walker was recognized March 22 by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for her leadership and dedication to the prosecution of drunken driving. Walker was recognized at MADD’s annual Golden Shield Honors, an event that recognizes law enforcement officers, agencies and prosecutors for their work in keeping Police looking for impaired drivers off the road. missing dementia Walker received the Jerry Thompson Law Enforcement patient Partnership Award, which DeKalb Police are looking recognizes a prosecuting for an elderly dementia attorney in Georgia who has patient who was reported shown excellence in DUI from Decatur March 24 at prosecution and assisting 7:45 p.m. law enforcement in the courtroom. Roger Parks, 70, was sitting on the front porch of

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012

Local News

Page 9A

Soap box derby park stopped in its tracks for now
by Andrew Cauthen A proposed $1.6 million soap box derby park was shelved March 27 by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, which is questioning whether the facility would get widespread use. “People are not ringing my phone for a soap box derby,” said Commissioner Elaine Boyer. “I do have my phone ringing off the hook for soccer [and] football. Those are the things that my constituents want. “This is not where I want to spend $1 million of our money, especially when I heard today that we have problems with our animal shelter,” Boyer said. “What is the best priority use of money? It is not for a soapbox derby [park]. That is not what the people are crying for out in the community– any of the communities.” Plans call for the 890foot, two-lane derby track to be constructed at 1253 Rock Chapel Road adjacent to the Bransby YMCA on 10.9 acres. The land was purchased last year with funds from a parks bond approved by taxpayers in 2001. The derby park would have a multi-use building for tors Bureau, said in a letter of support that the soap box derby park would be a “great addition” that would solidify the county as a family destination and bring in more tourism revenue. Tsismanakis said his organization would promote the derby in marketing materials, conventions and trade shows throughout the Southeast. “The benefit to the community is obviously additional opportunities for youth, learning experiences, partnerships with schools and clubs and the economic benefit” from hosted tournaments,” said Ted Rhinehart, the county’s deputy chief operating officer for the infrastructure group of departments. The projected annual revenue for the venue is $55,000 while the projected annual expenses were $40,000. At that rate, Commissioner Lee May said, it would take 106 years to recover the $1.6 million price tag of the facility, according to the current plan by the county’s administration. Even if the facility does not recover its costs, May said the derby park’s plan should include a way to give DeKalb residents more than the eight planned events per year. “The financials are the most important thing,” May said. “The issue with this is not the concept. The concept is unique.” Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton said the park should be affordable, attractive and organized “for the average kid to be able to use and not just people who are competing from all over the county.” “If we’re going to make this kind of investment, it should be for our own people,” Sutton said. “I’m open in investing in our youth, but I’d like to make sure that they are actually going to use it.” The soap box derby park plan is expected to be on the board’s agenda on May 15.

supplies and cars, a classroom, concession stand, a finish-line pavilion and a grandstand. Although DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis’ administration in January recommended awarding a contract for the project to Astra Group Inc., of Woodstock, some commissioners asked for a business plan for the track. According to the business plan, a permanent track would “expand the racing season and provide families many hours of working together to build the cars and a place to test them in a safe, controlled environment. “These races are usually held in school and church parking lots or on a closed street,” said Roy Wilson, director of the county’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, a

week before the board voted put the plan on hold for more information. “So to have a dedicated track is going to be great for us here in DeKalb County.” The soap box derby facility, which would be the first permanent one in Georgia, has the endorsement of the Marietta Soap Box Derby, Dunwoody/Northeast Georgia Soap Box Derby Association and the Sports DeKalb arm of the DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau. James Tsismanakis, executive director of the DeKalb Convention & VisiMoms, work at home with us!

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012

Local News

Page 10A

Elected officials joined thousands of residents for the Georgia Rides to the Capitol event on March 27. Photo provided

Bicyclists ride to Capitol to support bike advocacy
by Daniel Beauregard Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd said there is still a lot of work to do to make residents of Decatur, and all of Georgia, feel safe riding a bicycle. “One of the things that hit me hard this year was that just a month ago a resident’s son got hit by a truck while he was at the University of Georgia,” Floyd said. “People don’t realize the impact it could have on somebody’s life if they’re not paying attention.” On March 27 Floyd, along with several thousand others, participated in Georgia Rides to the Capitol. The event was hosted by the statewide advocacy organization Georgia Bikes and the Metro Atlanta Mayors Association. Residents from across metro Atlanta rode to the Capitol to show their support for cycling. This year, cyclists were hoping to raise support for the development of a regional-scale bicycle network of both on-road facilities and multi-use trails, as well as cycling connections focused around major transit facilities. Brent Buice, executive director of Georgia Bikes, said his organization was looking for people to support a “complete streets” policy. “In a nutshell what it says is that public roads are for moving people, not just combustible machines such as cars and trucks,” Buice said. “Really what we’re talking about is dedicated funding at both the national and state level.” Buice said Georgia Bikes recently conducted a survey and found many Georgia residents choose not to bike because they don’t feel safe on the road. Floyd said he supports the complete streets policy because it is important to make people aware that transportation is more than just motorized vehicles. “It’s practical when you do an addition to any type of road project you could take the complete streets policy into consideration. We’re just trying to make people consider all forms of transportation when they’re doing design work,” Floyd said. Decatur Commissioner Fred Boykin said the event started years ago when Roswell Mayor Jere Wood gathered cyclists and rode to the Capitol to promote better roads for cyclists. Boykin, who owns Bicycle South in Decatur, said since its inception the ride has steadily grown each year. “It’s one of the largest bicycle advocacy events in the state and actually one of the largest in the country. To have 2,000 riders going to the state Capitol and having your senior elected officials come out and speak is pretty powerful,” Boykin said. Boykin said the event helped to put a face on the cycling community and allowed residents and elected officials to see the importance of bicycle safety and living a healthy lifestyle. Last year Gov. Nathan Deal spoke at the event and two months later signed into law the Better Bicycle Bill, which modernized several outdated bicycling laws and implemented a number of significant improvements for bicyclist and motorist safety. “It’s amazing to look out on the steps of the Capitol at the sea of all of the different types of people coming together,” Boykin said. “It’s just people out there supporting a healthy, alternative way to not having to take a car everywhere.” This year, nearly 30 elected officials from the metro area participated in the ride, including Floyd, Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson, Doraville City Council member Brian Bates and Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson. Boykin said the ride was a great opportunity for residents to meet elected officials who are usually surrounded by security or extremely busy. “Folks are riding with the lieutenant governor and just chit-chatting with him because they’re only going six or eight miles an hour. We have mayors from all over the metro area and it’s a great opportunity to just sit and talk to folks,” Boykin said. This year, officials from the Georgia Department of Transportation and officials from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety spoke at the event. Boykin cautioned it was important to remember that “transportation is not just moving cars, it’s about moving people.” “If we can keep improving our local infrastructure to make it safe and appealing to cycle instead of drive, then we can help reduce congestion, improve our air quality and encourage a healthy way to travel,” Boykin said.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012

Local News

Page 11A

File Photos

Possible sites selected for proposed animal shelter
by Andrew Cauthen After years of complaints from residents about the county’s animal control facility and program, DeKalb leaders have vowed to correct the problems. “We’re going to roll up our sleeves,” said DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis after the release of a report by a resident-led animal task force. “We’re going to get busy.” The most expensive part of the plan to improve animal services is the proposed replacement of the shelter with a 31,000-square-foot facility on at least four acres of land with an improved kennel area, space for educational opportunities, an outdoor exercise area and a pet mall. With a construction cost of $250 per square foot, such a building would cost taxpayers $7.75 million, according to figures in the report. The current facility is not “an inviting place…to adopt a pet, to work or to volunteer,” said Susan Neugent, who headed the task force. According to the task force’s report, “the administrative areas [of the shelter] can be described as an embarrassment at the very least, [and] the kennel areas, especially the areas housing dogs, are an abomination.” The task force said the building “has reached obsolescence and cannot sustain its current mission.” Ellis said the current facility is not “meeting the standard that needs to be met.” “Our workers do a tremendous job at keeping it as clean as they possibly can, but we can do better,” Ellis said. “Our citizens are demanding that we do better.” Neugent said there is “irrefutable evidence that these conditions…. can be reversed in very short order.” A new facility would be a “place where families want to come to adopt, where employees want to come to work and volunteers are eager to go.” Ellis announced last week that the county government had identified three potential countyowned sites for a new animal services facility. The sites are a building on Camp Circle Road, one on Covington Road and at the corner of Kensington Road and Memorial Drive. “Within 12 months we may be able to start construction of either a new facility or an upgrade of an existing building,” Ellis said. County staff is currently developing cost estimates for each site. In addition to studying the replacement of the facility, Ellis has asked commissioners to approve $133,000 to fund six additional animal services officers. The six officers, in addition to four positions previously authorized, will bring the total to 10 additional officers for these operations. Ellis asked for $365,000 to fund HVAC improvements, which will be in addition to $100,000 already approved to correct deficiencies with the current air conditioning system. “We are considering it an emergency,” Kelvin Walton, chief procurement officer, said during a Board of Commissioners’ finance committee meeting. Commissioner Lee May said, “This is one of those emergencies… that meets the threshold of us being able to pull from our rainy-day fund.” May apologized publicly for not taking an active role in addressing the problems of the shelter when he took office. “It was horrible six years ago,” May said, reflecting on a tour of the shelter he took at the time. “It’s something that didn’t [rise] to the level of importance that it should have within me.” Ellis said that a request for proposals to potentially outsource all, or part of, the animal control function is in final review and will be ready to publish in two weeks. “One of the things that we hear very loudly from the citizens of DeKalb County is they want a quality animal services operation,” Ellis said. “We’re going to do everything we can with the resources we have available to deliver that. “We have an opportunity now to be a model for animal services in the state of Georgia,” Ellis said. Ellis said finding the money to address all of the task force’s concerns will be a challenge. “We can’t do everything in that report in one day,” Ellis said. “We’re going to have to do it piecemeal and we’re going to have to set priorities.” One of those priorities, Neugent said, should be to follow the lead of successful animal service programs that save the lives of 90 percent of the animals that go into their care. “Reducing our 60 to 70 percent euthanasia rate to below 10 percent, vastly improving the quality of life for our family pets, and building a program to make DeKalb a national leader in Georgia and even the Southeast in fairly short order is well within our reach if we implement this plan,” Neugent said. Commissioner Kathie Gannon said the task force’s report is “on target.” “It would be very beneficial for our citizens to go to the center to see the center with the idea of actually looking at adoption, perhaps, so that they can understand what we’re going through,” Gannon said. The issue with animal services is not just about the animal shelter, said Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton. “It’s also about making sure that our citizens are safe to go for walks in their neighborhoods [and] they’re not afraid to walk off their porches,” Sutton said.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012

Local News

Page 12A

Sen. Fran Millar (R-40), above, raises his hand in support of a referendum allowing voters the opportunity to vote on the formation of the proposed city of Brookhaven. Sen. Emmanuel Jones (D-10), below, who opposes the referendum, calls the proposed city “racially gerrymandered.” Photos by Andrew Cauthen

City of Brookhaven a step closer
by Andrew Cauthen The city of Brookhaven is a step closer to reality after a state senate vote March 26. State senators voted 3614 to allow voters a chance to decide whether they want the new city. The bill calls for a July 31 referendum on Brookhaven’s cityhood. Sen. Fran Millar (R-40), who introduced the bill to the state Senate, told his fellow senators that the bill would be “giving people the right to vote on how they choose to be governed.” “We’ve done it in Sandy Springs,” Millar said. “We’ve done it Johns Creek. We’ve done it in Milton. We’ve done it in Dunwoody. We’ve done it in Peachtree Corners. And now we’re talking about doing it in Brookhaven.” Sen. Emmanuel Jones, (D-10), objected to Millar only speaking five minutes on the bill and not taking questions from other senators. “How will this particular city impact all of the voters of DeKalb County?” Jones asked. “What is the racial makeup of this particular city? I wish I had some answers to some of these basic questions.” Jones said the bill “circumvents the local delegation and really disenfranchises… the 700,000 [voters] in all of DeKalb.”

Don’t Just Dream of a Better Life

“Here we go again,” Jones said about the incorporation movement and the Brookhaven bill, which he called “racially gerrymandered.” “Where is the state headed with these designer cities?” Jones asked. “Perhaps those in this area want to separate themselves from a majority Black county [government] to their own White city not much unlike what’s happened in some of the other cities.” Sen. Steve Henson (D41) said “a city can be a vital tool for a community and it can help build and improve a community.” But Henson also complained that the local delegation was “skirted.” “This measure has only been in the legislature for one

year,” Henson said. “Dunwoody took several years. “This is …a rush to pass a piece of bad legislation,” Henson said. Sen. Donzella James (D-35) said she had received 3,500 petitions from residents who are against the city of Brookhaven. “We have all received numerous e-mails from not only people in that affected area but throughout DeKalb County saying, ‘Please say “no” to Brookhaven,’” James said. At The Champion’s press time, the bill was headed back to the House of Representatives for a vote on amendments of the bill. If it passes the house, the bill will go to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature.

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012

Local News

Page 13A

Three arrests made in shooting death of teenager
by Robert Naddra to the women, police said. charged at the guards. came from the home on ferson’s, was identified as As Scott and Jackson “He made aggressive Pleasant Wood. The guards the person shooting from were questioning the wommoves toward the guards took cover. One guard fired the house. He was arrested Three men have been aren, Jefwhile at Jefferson March 26 and charged with rested in connection with ferson and making and one possession of a firearm by a a shootout March 25 that his sister profane fired at the convicted felon and reckless resulted in the death of a drove up statehouse, Parconduct. DeKalb County teenager. in a black ments,” ish said. Scott and Jackson were Ervin Jefferson, 18, SUV. AcParish After the arrested March 25 and each was shot and killed near his cording said. “He shooting, were charged with impersister’s residence at 2625 to police, probably Parish said, sonating a police officer, Pleasant Wood Drive by a Jefferson’s thought the guards police said. security guard who had been sister and the guards Jackson called 911 The investigation is still Scott investigating possible illegal Hubbard the women and the at approxiopen and Parish said it is not activity at an adjacent apart- in the car had been involved girls were together.” mately 10 p.m. yet known if more charges ment complex, according in an ongoing dispute. JefAs Jefferson charged the Bobby Hubbard Jr., will be filed. to DeKalb County Police ferson got out of the car and guards, police said, gunfire 35, a family member of Jefspokeswoman Mekka Parish. Jefferson, who was shot in the abdomen, was taken DeKalb County Wants to Hear From You to an area hospital and proRegarding the Proposed Franchise Agreement Renewal nounced dead, she said. with Comcast Cable Communications As the guards, Curtis Scott and Gary Jackson, Send your comments and/or concerns regarding Comcast’s current performance under returned to their car from the current franchise agreement and/or the future cable-related needs and interests of the Village at Wesley Chapel your community to Apartments, they saw four women in a red car parked The Champion Weather March 29, 2012 by the home. The guards, employed by Shepperson Weather History Seven Day Forecast In-Depth Local Forecast Today's Regional Map Security, falsely presented Today we will see mostly sunny skies with a March 29, 1987 - Thunderstorms themselves as police officers THURSDAY near record high temperature of 81º, humidity spawned tornadoes in Mississippi,
Mostly Sunny High: 81 Low: 54

Mostly Sunny High: 80 Low: 57

of 41%. West wind 5 to 15 mph. The record high temperature for today is 84º set in 1945. Expect partly cloudy skies tonight with an overnight low of 54º.

*Last Week’s Almanac
Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 82 60 66/45 0.00" Wednesday 77 60 66/45 0.00" Thursday 77 62 67/45 0.00" Friday 73 65 67/45 0.01" Saturday 74 53 67/45 0.02" Sunday 73 49 68/46 0.00" Monday 82 52 68/46 0.00" Rainfall . . . . . . .0.03" Average temp . .67.1 Normal rainfall . .1.19" Average normal 56.1 Departure . . . . .-1.16" Departure . . . .+11.0
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport

Isolated T-storms High: 76 Low: 57

Partly Cloudy High: 78 Low: 56

Dunwoody 79/53 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 80/54 80/54 80/54 Snellville Decatur 81/54 Atlanta 81/54 81/54 Lithonia College Park 82/54 82/54 Morrow 82/54 Union City 82/54 Hampton 83/55

and produced high winds and heavy rain in Louisiana. Thunderstorm winds gusted to 92 mph at Houma, LA, and caused a million dollars damage in Terrebonne Parish. March 30, 1987 - A storm spread heavy snow across the Ohio Valley and lower Great Lakes region. Cleveland received 16 inches of snow in 24 hours, their second highest total of record. Winds gusting to 50 mph created 8-12 foot waves on Lake Huron.

Isolated T-storms High: 77 Low: 55

Isolated T-storms High: 76 Low: 52 First 3/30

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:28 a.m. 7:26 a.m. 7:25 a.m. 7:24 a.m. 7:22 a.m. 7:21 a.m. 7:20 a.m. Sunset 7:56 p.m. 7:57 p.m. 7:58 p.m. 7:58 p.m. 7:59 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 8:01 p.m. Moonrise 11:50 a.m. 12:44 p.m. 1:42 p.m. 2:42 p.m. 3:45 p.m. 4:50 p.m. 5:57 p.m. Moonset 1:33 a.m. 2:20 a.m. 3:04 a.m. 3:45 a.m. 4:23 a.m. 5:00 a.m. 5:36 a.m. Last 4/13

Tonight's Planets
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 6:47 a.m. 6:48 p.m. 9:29 a.m. 11:43 p.m. 5:02 p.m. 6:19 a.m. 9:07 a.m. 10:32 p.m. 9:10 p.m. 8:35 a.m. 7:21 a.m. 7:31 p.m.

Mostly Cloudy High: 72 Low: 51 Full 4/6

New 4/21

Local UV Index

National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with a few showers today, mostly clear skies Friday, scattered showers and thunderstorms Saturday, with the highest temperature of 73º in Harrisburg-Raleigh, Ill. The Southeast will see mostly clear skies today and Friday, scattered thunderstorms Saturday, with the highest temperature of 86º in Tampa, Fla. The Northwest will see partly cloudy to cloudy skies with scattered showers today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 74º in Torrington, Wyo. The Southwest will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 88º in Gila Bend, Ariz.

Weather Trivia
Do some people sneeze after they look into the sun?

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: Yes, it is due to an allergic reaction of the lower eyelid.

StarWatch By Gary Becker - Titanic Sky
It is difficult to think of a more terrible way of dying than what was suffered by the passengers of the Titanic one hundred years ago this April 15. The temperatures of the black North Atlantic, where the great ship sank, were between 28 and 31 degrees F. Once in the water, individuals would have died of hypothermia or cardiac arrest within minutes. For the survivors in lifeboats huddling to stay warm in the dark, the moonless sky may have been equally frightening. The Titanic was sailing under a huge high pressure dome of air. The ocean was calm, and the night sky was perfectly clear. Survivor Lawrence Beesley wrote, “…the stars, clustered so thickly together that in places there seemed almost more dazzling points of light set in the black sky than background of sky itself.” Stars “…near the clear-cut edge of the waterline… lost none of their brilliance.” The Titanic sank at 2:20 a.m. at a latitude equal to that of Nantucket, MA, but 21 degrees to the east. The sky, indeed, would have been ablaze with stars as Beesley wrote. The summer Milky Way would have been prominent, stretching from the north to nearly the zenith, and intersecting the horizon in the south. The Great Summer Triangle would have been high in the east, the summer constellations of Scorpius and Sagittarius standing out against the southern horizon. Jupiter would have been to the east (left) of the Scorpion’s brightest star, red Antares. Arcturus of Bootes and Spica of Virgo would have been settling in the west. People would have begun to notice the first light of dawn less than an hour later. Beesley wrote about how the stars died, “…save one which remained long after the others just above the horizon; and near by, with the crescent (moon) turned to the north, and the lower horn just touching the horizon, the thinnest, palest of moons.” The last star to “die” was the planet Venus, the first star of our present evening sky.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012


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CDC launching graphic anti-smoking ad campaign
by Mike Stobbe ATLANTA (AP) In a graphic new ad campaign announced March 15, the U.S. government is trying to shock smokers into quitting with the sometimes-gruesome stories of people damaged by tobacco products. The new effort confronts a hard truth: Despite increased tobacco taxes and bans in many public places, the adult smoking rate hasn’t really budged since 2003. “When we look back on just a few decades to the days of smoking on airplanes and elevators, it can be easy to focus on how far we’ve come,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Kathleen Sebelius, at a news conference. But smoking continues to take a devastating toll on the American public, and the new ads are meant to be “a wake-up call” to smokers who may not truly grasp the dangers that still exist, she added. The billboards and print, radio and TV ads show people whose smoking resulted in heart surgery, a tracheotomy, lost limbs or paralysis. The $54 million campaign is the largest and starkest anti-smoking push by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its first national advertising effort. The agency is hoping the spots, which began March 19 and will air for at least 12 weeks, will persuade as many as 50,000 Americans to stop smoking. “This is incredibly important. It’s not every day we release something that will save thousands of lives,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a telephone interview. That bold prediction is based on earlier research that found aggressive anti-smoking campaigns using hard-hitting images sometimes led to decreases in smoking. After decades of decline, the adult smoking rate has stalled at about 20 percent in recent years. Advocates say it’s important to jolt a weary public that has been listening to government warnings about the dangers of smoking for nearly 50 years. “There is an urgent need for this media campaign,” Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a statement. One of the print ads features Shawn Wright from Washington state who had a tracheotomy after being diagnosed with head and neck cancer four years ago. The ad shows the 50-year-old shaving, his razor moving down toward a red gaping hole at the base of his neck that he uses to speak and breathe. An advertising firm, Arnold Worldwide, found Wright and about a dozen others for the ads who developed cancer or other health problems after smoking. Federal health agencies have gradually embraced graphic antismoking imagery. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved nine images to be displayed on cigarette packages. Among them were a man exhaling cigarette smoke through a tracheotomy hole in his throat, and a diseased mouth with what appear to be cancerous lesions. Last month, a federal judge blocked the requirement that tobacco companies put the images on their packages, saying it was unconstitutional. Experts say some waves of antismoking ads have been hugely successful. Those that aired in the late 1960s helped drive a 10 percent decline in per capita cigarette consumption from 1967 to 1970. And the American Legacy Foundation’s “Truth” ads from the early 2000s deserve substantial credit for a large drop in youth smoking at the time, they say. The CDC ads are more graphic than spots that have aired nationally before. The idea behind such ads is to create an image so striking that smokers and would-be smokers will think of it whenever they have an urge to buy a pack of cigarettes, said Glenn Leshner, a University of Missouri researcher who has studied the effectiveness of anti-smoking ads. Leshner and his colleagues found that some ads are so disturbing that people reacted by turning away from the message rather than listening. So while spots can shock viewers into paying attention, they also have to encourage people that quitting is possible, he said. The CDC campaign includes information on a national quit line and offers advice on how to kick the habit, CDC officials said. Two of the largest tobacco companies issued statements, both acknowledging the health dangers of smoking but neither addressing the CDC ad campaign. “We agree smoking is addictive and causes serious disease and for those who want to avoid the health effects of smoking, the best thing to do is to quit,” said the statement by Richmond, Virginia-based Altria Group Inc., owner of Philip Morris USA—the nation’s biggest tobacco company.

, 2012

Local News
tunity for them to come again back to farming like they used to do when they were in Bhutan. “They could at least do something,” Khaling said. “They could make some income from this farming. They would be happy emotionally, psychologically… to get again another chance to go back to farming.” Dr. Elizabeth Ford, director of the DeKalb County Board of Health, said the Decatur Kitchen Garden is a good start. “We’re going to have access to fresh fruit and vegetables so our children don’t have to run by fast-food places and eat things that are loaded with salt and other preservatives,” Ford said. “There are children in this community who don’t even know what fresh vegetables taste like. “We really need to have one of these gardens in every neighborhood in the county,” Ford said. “I think it’s going to be an opportunity for [residents] to have the feel for what fresh produce tastes like, how easy it is to grow, how much better it is and how less expensive it is.” Ford said the garden is another weapon in the fight against obesity. “The more opportunities we have to provide communities with fresh fruits and vegetables, I think the faster we’re going to get rid of this obesity epidemic that we’re suffering from so badly in Georgia,” Ford said. Through a Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control, the county Board of Health has provided $60,000 for the garden. “When you think about what the cost of chronic illness is, $60,000 is a drop in the budget,” Ford said. “For two diabetics you’re going to spend that in six months.” The garden is a collaboration with the United Methodist Children’s Home, Oakhurst Community Garden Project, Edible Yard & Garden, the city of Decatur and DeKalb County Board of Health; it is expected to be ready for planting by April 21.

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Decatur children’s home sets aside land for community garden
by Andrew Cauthen A brief rain shower did not stop 50 people who gathered on March 14 to mark the start of a community garden in Decatur for low-income and refugee DeKalb residents. “It’s appropriate that it rained today,” said Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Decatur Kitchen Garden. “[The garden] needs sun and rain and it needs God’s help.” Located on the grounds of the United Methodist Children’s Home at 500 S. Columbia Drive Decatur’s Kitchen Garden will be used to grow produce that will feed families and generate supplemental income for the urban farmers. “The garden will host more than an acre of urban market garden space, to be cultivated by culturally-diverse community producers from our local refugee communities and nearby neighborhoods,” said Susan Pavlin, director of Global Growers Network. “A range of annual and perennial foods, with an emphasis on specialty cultural crops, will be grown at this community market garden site.” It will have 30 plots for community producers and organizers said they already have a list of 80 people interested in working the plots. Seedlings and some tools for the garden will be provided by Global Growers Network. Floyd said over the next 30 years, the garden will furnish the community with food “and the opportunity to learn where that food comes from, how its grown and how healthy locally grown food can change your life.” D. J. Khaling, a Bhutanese community organizer, said many of his fellow refugees will benefit from the garden. “There are [refugee] people between the ages of 45 and 65 [who] have never been to school and …are finding a very tough time trying to find a job in the United States,” Khaling said. “To those…[it] would be very a good oppor-

A new community garden on the campus of the United Methodist Children’s Home in Decatur will be “cultivated by culturally diverse community producers from our local refugee communities,” said Susan Pavlin, director of Global Growers Network. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Continued From Page 1A
“One day I went to the library and the librarian asked me, ‘Why do you always check out the same book?’ and I told her about the windmill,” Kamkwamba said. The librarian visited him to see the windmill and soon word about his accomplishment spread throughout the country. Kamkwamba was invited to speak at a technology, energy and design (TED) conference in Tanzania. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to bringing people together with those interests from around the world. “After I spoke, people came up to me and asked how they could help. I told them I wanted to continue my education. They helped me go back to school,” Kamkwamba said. When he got back to his village, he constructed a new windmill that pumped water and generated electricity. Kamkwamba said this allowed his family to grow vegetables year-round and become financially stable again. Since then, Kamkwamba has started a nonprofit organization teaching communities in Mulawi modern farming techniques, in addition to reading and writing. He also built a classroom powered by solar ponds and windmillsat his old high school. “I built the windmills with the children from the school because I was hoping to share my skills with other people in the area by teaching them,” Kamkwambi said. Beza Gebremedhine, an Ethiopian student at GPC, said Kamwamba’s book helped her through the cultural shift she experienced when she first arrived in the United States. “There’s a big difference between how Americans think about food and how we think about food. It’s very inspirational,” Gebremedhine said. “I’m studying pre-med now and this book has inspired me go back to Ethiopia, where there is a huge HIV and AIDS epidemic, and help people with that.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012


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Charter school in Avondale is focus of new documentary
by Daniel Beauregard Filmmakers William Reddington and Adam Maurer said they first heard about the International Community School (ICS) while they were in film school at the Savannah College of Art and Design. In 2007, The New York Times ran an article highlighting the school’s unique demographics and its importance to its community. The article convinced Reddington and Maurer to travel to the school. “We were still in school at the time and we needed to do a 15-minute thesis film to graduate so we called the school and went there—we were going to shoot for four months,” Reddington said. After the four months, Reddington and Maurer realized that what they had in front of them was much more than a short film. Their fascination with the school led them to create a feature documentary about its students, families and the community it serves. “One year turned into two, and then two years turned into three years,” Reddington said. While Reddington and Maurer were in college, both took a class about how global borders were beginning to dissolve because of increasing technology. Both said they were fascinated with the idea that–as these borders dissolved–people would be forced to adapt in a way they never had to before. “I think what we were really attracted to was that these kids were learning from each other and seeing something completely different from what their parents were seeing growing up,” Maurer said. ICS, a DeKalb County charter school that opened in 2002, is located in Avondale Estates. The city of Clarkston, considered to be one of the largest refugee resettlement areas in the United States, is only a few miles away. According to the ICS website, approximately half of its students are immigrants/refugees, many of them child survivors of war. The other half of the student population is native-born Americans from surrounding neighborhoods. The school serves 400 K-sixth grade students, from more than 40 countries speaking 25 different languages. “So many of these types of children really fall behind in traditional public schools because they aren’t getting the attention they really deserve and require,” Maurer said. “One of our goals for this film is to really just shed light on the model that this school presents because there are a lot of communities similar to Clarkston all over the country,” Reddington said. While filming, Reddington and Maurer said they tried to be as integrated as possible in the ICS community. They didn’t want to just show up with the cameras, take a bunch of shots and leave. To connect with students, families and teachers at the school, the filmmakers went to the school nearly every day. “It was great. A lot of people at school were ‘subjects,’ but at the end of the day we were all friends,” Reddington said. “I think first and foremost it’s a school— these kids are in classes and they’ve got a curriculum and tests just like any other school—but I think it’s an added bonus they’re surrounded by kids who come from different cultures.” Reddington and Maurer’s film A Place in the World is in the post production stage and they expect to have a final product by mid-April. They plan to submit the film to national festivals in hopes of having it picked up by a major film distribution company. “We just hope this film can act as not just a guide but an inspiration. It’s been an amazing experience for us in so many ways,” Reddington said.

Still photos from A Place in the World, a documentary about the students, families and community surrounding the International Community School in Avondale Estates. Photos Provided

DeKalb County School District launches new alert system The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) is launching a new automated service that sends school news via e-mail, text message and voice mail. The new service, called K12 Alerts is free and available to anyone who wants to know more about DCSD. The alert system will keep parents, staff members and residents informed of everything from school closings and early dismissals to other important news impacting the district. Additionally, the alert system works on iPads/iPhones and any Internet enabled device. Those interested in receiving messages from DCSD can register for the service at portal/dekalbcountysd or by visiting the district’s website at www.dekalb.k12. Student named president of youth leadership organization Redan High School junior Gift Baanen was named the first DeKalb County Schools student to serve as president of Georgia’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America organization (FCCLA). Baanen was named president March 16 at the annual Georgia FCCLA State Leadership Meeting in Athens. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria and relocated to the United States in 1999. Baanen has been a member of FCCLA for six years and previously served two consecutive years as the FCCLA state vice president of competitive events.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012

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A trail behind Indian Creek Elementary School was covered in trash and debris before 200 volunteers cleaned it up in early March. Photos provided

Teacher organizes school cleanup in Clarkston
by Daniel Beauregard Andrew Ross, a physical education teacher at Indian Creek Elementary, said for years the school’s grounds were used for illegal dumping but he and his students are trying to change that. The Indian Creek campus, located in Clarkston, is approximately six acres. Ross said many residents use the various trails on the school grounds as a shortcut. Additionally, he said an estimated 700 of the nearly 1,000 students use the trails to walk to school each day. “We’ve kind of had an extensive amount of issues on our school grounds,” Ross said. “An area behind our gym was used for a number of years for dumping mattresses, car doors—there were even some burnt couches. Since it’s so large it operates as sort of a community park at different times” Ross said. Ross recently partnered with Clarkston Active Living Initiative, Keep DeKalb Beautiful and Atlanta Tool Bank to clean up the grounds. In early March, 200 volunteers participated in a school cleanup day. Nearly 100 of those volunteers were his students. “We had some educational pieces in the classroom and that helped out tremendously,” a unique position to see every child at the school. So, I took each class back behind the school before we did the cleanup to show them how bad it looked. Most of them didn’t even know it was a part of their school,” Ross said. “They saw all of the different things like empty bottles, mattresses and discarded couches.” After the cleanup, Ross said students from Campbell University, a Christian university in North Carolina, helped them turn the area they cleaned into a half-mile trail. In addition to the cleanup effort, Ross said the school installed 20 trash cans for students, or people passing through, to use. Each homeroom at the school has adopted a trash can and is responsible for emptying it each day and making sure the area around it is clean. Before undertaking this beautification Ross said. Many of the students at Indian Creek project, Ross helped the school partner come from immigrant/refugee backgrounds and with the DeKalb County Board of Health and Ross said, the students speak nearly 30 different the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention languages. (CDC) to obtain a $90,000 grant to improve the “We have a very multicultural school and each school’s field/playground. one of these students may have a very different “Prior to that the field was just sand,” Ross view on litter,” Ross said. said. Ross said he focused on how trash affected “Beautifying the campus wasn’t one of those a community’s nearby water supply to help the things we expected to change overnight,” Ross children understand the importance of keeping said. “But with the trash cans we’re seeing a their surroundings clean. remarkable difference.” “Since I’m a physical education teacher I’m in

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012


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Grow Your Business Days coordinator Jacqueline Whitening, left, and Lithonia Postmaster Charles Swann, center and right, offer local business owners tips on the most economical and efficient ways to use the U.S. Postal Service for advertising. Photos by Kathy Mitchell

Postal Service holds mini-seminars for business owners
A small group of Lithonia business owners and representatives met March 22 at the Lithonia Post Office with U.S. Postal Service officials to learn more about how the post office might help them meet their business goals. Atlanta District Grow Your Business Days coordinator Jacqueline Whitening and Lithonia postmaster Charles Swann were on hand to provide tips to home-based businesses and other entrepreneurs on how to save money on postage and use the mail to increase revenue. Swann explained that the U.S. Postal Service’s “Grow Your Business Days” event was one in a regular series to explain how small companies can benefit from the Postal Service’s products and services. “We want to get out in the community more and interact with our customers—learn what their challenges are and explain how we can help them,” he said. The topic on March 22 was Every Door Direct Mail, an online service that allows postal customers to send messages directly to a delivery route at a reduced rate, with no fee or mailing permit required. Using the program, which went into effect in January 2011, allows business owners to send mailings to a desired audience without the need to acquire an address list or print specific names on mail pieces. Instead, the mail may be address to “Postal Customer,” Residential Customer” or “PO Box Customer.” The participants included owners of a cleaning service and a representative of a car dealership. “Can we send ads to apartments?” one person asked. “We can’t guarantee the person will read it, but we’ll definitely deliver it,” Swann said, drawing a chuckle from the audience. The postal officials also provided information on the new postage rates how the new rate structure provides opportunities to reduce mailing costs. Grow Your Business Days sessions are free and open to the public.

Overweight employees put a financial burden on businesses
by Laura Smith Public Health News Bureau It’s known that obesity takes a toll on physical health, often leading to such chronic conditions as diabetes, hypertension and joint problems. What many don’t recognize is the financial burden associated with obesity—costs that go far beyond the obese individual. Health care costs linked to excess weight in Georgia’s adults are currently estimated at around $2.5 billion per year, according to a 2009 report from United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention. But if current trends continue, the report projects these costs could reach $10.8 billion by 2018. At the current rate, by 2018 as many as 41 percent of Georgia adults could be obese and spending more than $1,000 each for obesity-related health care annually, according to the report. “An obese adult spends about 40 percent more on health care than a normal weight adult does in a given year,” said Kenneth Thorpe, lead researcher for the report and a professor of health policy and management at Emory University. “It adds expenditures, results in lower workplace productivity and a higher prevalence of chronic health conditions.” While obese individuals pay more for their own health care, they aren’t the only ones who pay the price for their extra weight— businesses and taxpayers shoulder the burden as well. In Georgia, Medicare and Medicaid are estimated to pay 28 percent of the state’s obesity-attributable expenditures, according to a recent study published in the journal Obesity. And the costs continue to add up, for everything from the price of heavy-duty chairs in offices to the extra gasoline needed for cars carrying heavier people. Georgians consistently rank among the lowest in health-promoting behaviors like physical activity, with less than half of Georgia adults and only one in four kids getting the recommended amount of physical activity—two and a half hours of moderate activity per week – in 2009. Only 17 percent of Georgia’s youth consume the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Unhealthful foods, such as those found in vending machines or at fast food restaurants, are often cheaper and easier to find than nutritious meals. In addition, urban sprawl encourages people to drive instead of walk to work, school or stores, a Georgia Department of Public Health spokesperson said in an e-mail. Every additional hour spent in a car translates to a 6 percent greater chance of being obese, according to a transportation study conducted by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The most obvious and direct costs of obesity are the diagnosis and treatment of the numerous chronic conditions that go along with excess weight. Add in lost wages due to disability or illness, and a lower quality of life, and obesity becomes more than just the cost of changing a diet and buying a gym membership. According to a George Washington University study, obese women employed full-time earn 6 percent less than their healthier counterparts. With more treatment for obesityrelated illness comes larger bills and higher insurance premiums and higher costs for publicly funded programs like Medicaid and Medicare. And it’s not just individuals who pay: employees with additional pounds raise health care costs for everyone, including the businesses covering them. According to a 2010 Duke University study, obesity costs U.S. employers $73.1 billion annually in medical costs and lost productivity. Some Georgia businesses have started to see the value in addressing the problem directly. “One way to start is to work with the business community,” said Thorpe. “It’s just getting the programs into place and then providing incentives for workers to engage in them.” Worksite prevention programs or employer referrals to wellness initiatives can result in healthier individuals, improved worker productivity, and a better bottom line.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012

Republican women to meet The North DeKalb Republican Women will meet at the DeKalb Republican Party Headquarters, 3583-G Chamblee Tucker Road, Atlanta (Embry Hills Shopping Village), on Saturday, March 31, at 10 a.m. The guest speaker will be DeKalb County School Board member Nancy Jester. The public is invited. The NDRW is a non-profit organization involved in public service working with the USO, Ronald McDonald House, the V.A Hospital and local schools. The NDRW is collecting diapers for the families of American military. Those who would like to contribute should bring the diapers to the DeKalb GOP Headquarters on any meeting date. For more information, call Tammy Johnson at (404) 294-6314. Palm Sunday service to have Southern folk theme Actress Brenda Bynum will read the Passion of Christ from the Gospel of St. Mark at the Southern Folk Passion service on Palm Sunday, April 1, at 4 p.m. at the historic Druid Hills Baptist Chuch.. Admission is free and no tickets are required. A free-will offering will be taken. Wondrous Love: Southern Folk Passion interweaves Southern folk hymns with the Gospel narrative central to the Christian faith and is modeled on historic musical Passion settings similar to those of J.S. Bach. Conductor and folk music scholar Steven Darsey will lead the Meridian Chorale and the congregation in folk hymns from Georgia’s famous 19th century tunebook, The Sacred Harp. The tunes from The Sacred Harp, some of which were featured in the motion picture Cold Mountain, will be sung by the Meridian Chorale and its soloists. These Southern folk tunes embody and express a haunting spirituality, affording a uniquely American interpretation of the Passion of Christ. Druid Hills Baptist Church is located at 1085 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, at Highland and Ponce de Leon avenues.


Easter egg hunt planned The Easter Egg Hunt and Dog Parade will be held April 7, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Lake Avondale Community Club. Children up to 10 years old can participate in the Easter egg hunt. There will be awards for several categories in the dog parade. Also, there will be music and the Avondale Community Club will be hosting a bake sale and barbecue fund-raiser. In case of rain the event will be cancelled. Antique car parade set The annual Antique Car Parade will be held April 8 at the Twin Oaks Shopping Plaza in Avondale Estates. Lineup begins at 1:30 p.m. and the parade is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. on South Avondale Road. The parade will end at Willis Park, where the cars will remain for display. Refreshments will be provided by the Model A Restorers Club. Those who would like to enter an automobile should contact Lamar Hart at (770) 496-9928 or lamarhart@ Twin Oaks Plaza is at 2853 East College Ave.

Styrofoam recycling day will be held March 31. The hazardous waste collection event, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., will be at the DeKalb County Central Transfer Station, 3720 Leroy Scott Drive in Decatur. Household hazardous waste is classified as products that contain potentially dangerous chemicals and are no longer used. These products should not be mixed with regular trash and can be potentially harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. For more information, call (404) 294-2172. The paper shredding and Styrofoam recycling day, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., will be held at Decatur Public Works at 2635 Talley Street off Columbia Drive. For more information, visit http://www.decaturga. com/index.aspx?page=638. Movie recalls early days of television The March 30 movie in the Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams Library Friday Movie series will be Good Night, and Good Luck, a film that recalls the early days of television. It stars David Strathairn, George Clooney and Patricia Clarkson. The 2005 movie is rated PG and runs 93 minutes, starting at 1:30 p.m. Movies in this series are a mix of new releases and old favorites. When available, movies are presented with closed captioning to assist the hearing impaired. Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams Library is located at 1282 McConnell Drive, Decatur. For more information, call (404)6794404. Church announces marriage workshop The founders of Maximizing Marriages, Pastor Stewart Reese III and Wanda Reese, who have been married for almost 31 years, are holding a marriage workshop at Bethesda Cathedral of the Apostolic Faith Inc. The workshop also will feature Atlanta author, columnist, radio host, TV commentator and financial advisor Lee Jenkins. Doors open at 8:30 a.m.. Bethesda is located at 1989 Austin Drive, Decatur. For registration fees and more information call (404) 936-1320 or visit www.maximizingmarriages. com.

Senior living community to hold April Fools frolic The Regency House, an independent senior living community located at 341 Winn Way in Decatur, invites area seniors to its free April Fools weekend events March 30 through April 1. Events include a bingo bash on March 30 at 7 p.m., Magic Man Entertainment with refreshments on March 31 at 2 p.m., and a music show with Duke Zecco performing ‘30s and ‘40s hits on April 1 at 3 p.m. To RSVP, or to learn more, call The Regency House at (404) 296-1152 or visit

Selling on eBay class offered at library The Doraville Library is offering a class on the basics of how to sell items on eBay Saturday, March 31, 1 - 2:30 p.m. Participants must be familiar with eBay. No registration is required. The Doraville Library is located at 3748 Central Ave., Doraville. For more information, call (770) 9363852.

Reality TV show therapist to lead workshop


TTAG to hold tea party


Dr. Sherry Blake, a therapist known as “Dr. Sherry” on the television reality show Braxton Family Values, will lead a personal empowerment workshop hosted by DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johnson. The workshop will take place on Saturday, March 31, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Porter Sanford Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. The event is free and open to the public. Anyone wishing to attend should pre-register by contacting Johnson’s office at (404) 964-4936 or e-mailing him at Recycling events planned A hazardous waste collection day and a paper shredding and

Trinidad and Tobago Association of Georgia Inc. (TTAG) has announced that its inaugural tea party will be held Sunday, April 1, 4 - 8 p.m. at the Redan Events Center, 4964 Redan Road, Stone Mountain. Tickets are $20. There will be competitions for best dressed table and best hat. For more information or to RSVP, call (678) 318-1460. Book sale announced Friends of the Stone MountainSue Kellogg Library will hold a book sale Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. both days. Stone MountainSue Kellogg Library is located at 952 Leon St., Stone Mountain. For more information, call (770) 413-2020.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012


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Back to basics
Coaches like effect new bat rules have on game
ing the sound traditions of the sport.” While many coaches around the county said they have seen a drop in home runs and highscoring games, they also agree that the changes have allowed the game to get back to basics. “It makes you be more of a true hitter,” said Dennis, whose team is 8-5 and hit its first home run of the season on March 23. “You can’t get away with missing the center [of the bat’s sweet spot] and getting a good hit.” Games that match two good teams oftentimes have resulted in close low-scoring affairs this season. Columbia beat Redan 3-2 earlier in the season and recently lost to Woodward Academy 4-1 and Southwest DeKalb 3-0. Lakeside had losses of 3-2 to Mays and 1-0 to Chamblee last week. “It’s not slow-pitch softball anymore,” Vikings’ coach Bill Newsome said. “This is real baseball.” The less active bats are causing teams to rely on defense, pitching and the ability to manufacture runs. “Pitchers can pitch for contact now,” Newsome said. “They don’t have to be afraid of a guy getting jammed and hitting a ball 320 feet. We’ve seen that balls hit on the ground don’t get through the infield as much as they used to. There have been a lot more double plays, as far as our games are concerned. “There’s more of an emphasis on defense and now you have to work for runs,” he said. “Every 90 feet is extremely important.” The Marist-Southwest DeKalb game on March 21 was a perfect example of that. Marist led 4-3 after six innings, but the Panthers scored two runs just one hit in the top of the seventh for the win. A dropped third strike allowed by Robert Naddra


olumbia first baseman Xavier Floyd drilled a ball off the outfield fence in a recent game, leaving Eagles’ coach Steve Dennis thinking about what used to be. “In years past, that ball would have left the park,” Dennis said. “I’ve seen a lot of balls hit against us this year that would have gone the distance in previous years.” The reason isn’t a lack of power by hitters. Instead, coaches around the county are adapting to new bats regulated by the National Federation of State High School Associations. According to the Georgia High School Association, the new bats are designed to “limit bat performance at or near the maximum performance limits of a wood bat, thereby minimizing additional risks and promot-

the Panthers to get their leadoff runner on base. A sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly advanced the runner to third, and a walk by Marist put the go-ahead runner on for Southwest. A balk plated the tying run and a single drove home the go-ahead run. “The changing of the bats puts everybody on the same playing level,” said Redan coach Marvin Pruitt. “You really have to play baseball now. You can’t rely only on power and strength.” Pruitt said that his pitching has benefited from the effect of the new bats. The Raiders (9-4) are on a five-game winning streak and have allowed only five runs during that span. Last season the Raiders allowed at least five runs in 14 of their 25 games—and five of those games were wins. “Our pitching has really stepped up,” Pruitt said. “We’re doing a much better job collectively this season as a staff.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012


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DeKalb High School Sports Highlights
Dunwoody: The Wildcats climbed into a three-way tie in Region 6-AAAA with wins over Chamblee and Mays before losing to defending state champion Marist. James Farnell pitched a onehitter, allowed no earned runs, one walk and struck out six in a 12-1 five-inning win over Mays on March 19. Adam Julian had two hits and two RBIs while Chris Hale had one hit and two RBIs. Zach Tonner had two hits and five RBIs in a 15-3 win over Chamblee on March 23. Jerric Johnson had two hits and an RBI while James Cunningham and Farnell each drove in two runs. Cunningham pitched four innings to earn the win with four strikeouts while allowing three hits and two walks. The 7-2 loss to Marist on March 25 snapped a seven-game winning streak after a 0-4 start. Redan: The Raiders had won five consecutive games before the March 26 contest against Mays. Miles Fore pitched a four-inning perfect game in a 15-0 win over Douglass on March 23. The Raiders also beat Tucker 15-0 on March 19 and Miller Grove 6-3 on March 21. Brandon Baker pitched 5 2/3 innings and struck out nine to earn the win against the Wolverines. Wesley Jones, who is 3-0 and leads the team in batting average, earned the save. The Raiders (9-4, 4-1 in Region 6-AAAA) face Dunwoody on March 29 in what should determine first place in the region. after a 6-1 start. St. Pius: The Golden Lions defeated Grady 9-3 and Druid Hills 8-1 in games March 21-23 to increase their winning streak to eight games. St. Pius, 12-1-1, has outscored opponents 58-12 during the streak. Lakeside: The Vikings took advantage of 17 walks to beat Douglass 20-1 on March 19, but lost to Mays 3-2 and Chamblee 1-0. Andrew Doesch pitched seven innings and allowed no earned runs, no walks, six hits and struck out five in the loss to Chamblee. Daniel Comer had two hits against the Bulldogs. Adam Hall allowed three runs in six innings against Mays. The Vikings had runners on second and third with one out in the seventh inning against Mays but could not score. Marist: Griffin Davis was 6 for 11 with three RBIs as the War Eagles went 2-1 in games March 1923, defeating Carver-Atlanta 15-0 and Dunwoody 7-2, but losing to Southwest DeKalb 5-4. Against Carver, Davis, Thomas Seitz and Devin Kalil each had two hits while Seitz and Kalil each drove in three runs. Davis had three hits and Seitz two against Dunwoody. Sean Guenther earned the win, scattering five hits in five innings. Anthony Sherlag and Kalil each had two hits against Southwest. The War Eagles led 4-3 after six Columbia: The Eagles defeated innings, but the Panthers scored McNair 13-1 on March 19, but lost two runs in the top of the seventh. to North Springs 7-6 and Woodward Academy 4-1. Demetrius Jones hit the Eagles’ first home BoYS SoCCER run of the season in the loss to Woodward. Against North Springs, St. Pius: The Golden Lions went Trent Nash had two hits and two 2-0-1 March 19-23 to improve to RBIs while Jalen Atterbury had 11-1-1. After an 8-1 win over Miltwo hits and three runs scored. ton, the Golden Lions tied Starr’s The Eagles are 2-4 since March 14 Mill (ranked No. 3 in AAAA)

4-4 and defeated Whitewater 7-1. Drew Morgan had two goals against Starr’s Mill and Whitewater. Calvin Jackson and Tyler Alexander each scored a goal in the win over Starr’s Mill while Alex Kowalski also had two goals against Whitewater.

Tucker: The Tigers defeated Marist 2-1 on penalty kicks on March 22 and beat Douglass 10-0 on March 25 to improve to 8-2 overall and take the lead in Region 6-AAAA. Solomon Roberts, who has 11 goals on the season, scored the Tigers’ goal in regulation. William Gomez and Henok Kebede gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead in the second round of penalty kicks. Goalkeeper Steven Duffy stopped a shot by Marist’s Patrick Jackson for the win.

St. Pius: The Golden Lions defeated defending Class AAAAA state champion Milton 3-2 on penalty kicks and Starr’s Mill 2-0 to improve to 11-0-1. Diana Solaga and Caroline Wootten scored goals in regulation against Milton. Kate Ward and Amanda Vocelka scored goals in the win over Starr’s Mill.

Youth association celebrating 50 years
Druid Hills Youth Sports is planning a 50th anniversary celebration in conjunction with opening day ceremonies on April 13. The DHYS was formed in 1990 when Briarcliff Community Sports (formed in 1962) and North Decatur Youth Sports merged in 1990. The DHYS currently plays at Medlock Park, which also is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The opening day celebration, 6-9 p.m., will feature a live band, barbecue, a home run derby, dunk tank and plenty of children’s activities. State Sen. Jason Carter, state Rep. Mary Margaret oliver and county commissioner Jeff Rader will be in attendance. Association officials are trying to honor as many former players, coaches, past presidents and board members as possible at the event. For more information or to participate in the festivities, contact DHYS past president Jim Laubenthal at (404) 520-3686 or e-mail him at pastpresident@ Each week The Champion spotlights former high school players from the county who are succeeding in athletics on the college level. Kash Manzelli, Navy (baseball): The sophomore first baseman from Marist, who is a resident of Dunwoody, is batting .292 with nine RBIs through 19 games for the Midshipmen. Manzelli has started 18 games and scored 10 runs. Tamela Daley, Shorter (track & field): The junior from Redan won the triple jump in the NAIA national indoor championships earlier this month with an effort of 39 feet, 9.75 inches. Daley helped lead the Hawks to a fourth-place finish in the women’s team standings at nationals. Linwood Roberds, LaGrange College (baseball): The junior catcher from Druid Hills went 3 for 7 with an RBI as the Panthers swept three games from Maryville (Tenn.) March 24-25. Roberds is batting .280 with 10 RBIs this season for the 11-15 Panthers.

The Champion chooses a male and female high school Athlete of the Week each week throughout the school year. The choices are based on performance and nominations by coaches. Please e-mail nominations to by Monday at noon. MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Kyle Sexton, Dunwoody (track): The senior won the 3,200 meters with a time of 9:56 and placed fourth in the 1,600 to help the Wildcats win the boys’ DeKalb County championships by one point over Lakeside, 71-70. He finished 17 seconds ahead of the runner up in the 3,200. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Shunika Jarrells, Southwest DeKalb (track): The senior accounted for 21 points in individual events to help the Panthers win the girls’ DeKalb County Championships. She finished second in the 100 and 200 meter races, and was fourth in the triple jump.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012


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Southwest girls, Dunwoody boys win county track titles
by Robert Naddra The Southwest DeKalb girls track team did not win a single running event at the DeKalb County Track and Field Championships that concluded March 26—and that was just fine with Panthers’ coach Antoinette Tyrell. “Our strategy was not to win anything, just to finish in the top three in as many events as we could,” Tyrell said. The Panthers placed among the top four in 11 of the 16 events and won their sixth straight county championship. Southwest finished with 113.5 points while Dunwoody was second with 90 and M.L. King was third with 82. The Panthers have four state championships and two runnerup finishes in the past seven years. Dunwoody won the boys meet for the second year in a row, edging second-place Lakeside 71-70. Only 12 points separated the top four teams in the boys meet. In the girls’ meet, Kenya Wheeler was Southwest’s only individual champion. She won the shot put with an effort of 39 feet, 9 inches. The Panthers’ Demetria Dickens was second in the shot and the discus. The Panthers placed second in several other events. Shunika Jarrells, who ran at Avondale last year before the school closed, placed second in the 100 and 200 meters, and was fourth in the triple jump. Greciana Cooper was second in the 1,600 and 3,200 for Southwest. “It was a great collective effort.” Tyrell said. “We did great in the field events and we had a lot of seconds and thirds in the running. With all the elite performances that come out of this [school] system, it says a lot when you can win it six years in a row. I’m proud of them.” Two athletes were double-winners in the girls’ meet. Sophomore Alex Cameron of Dunwoody swept the 1,600 and 3,200, while Nikia Jefferson of Redan won the 100 and 300 hurdles. M.L. King had the most first-place finishes in the girls meet, winning the 100, 200 and both relay events. Dunwoody claimed three first-place finishes in the boys’ meet. Dazel Clator won the 100 with a time of 10.84 seconds, Kyle Sexton placed first in the 3,200 at 9:56.37 and Coleman Gordon tied Lakeside’s Jeff Jernigan for first place in the pole vault with an effort of 11-0. Dunwoody locked up the championship with a fourth-place finish in the 4x100 relay. “It was totally a team effort. We weren’t expected to win this time because we graduated a lot of seniors last year,” said Wildcats’ coach Brad Hendrickson. Lakeside’s other individual winner was Brent Reynolds, who finished first in the 800 with a time of 1:56.42. The performance of the Southwest DeKalb girls, who won state last year with only seven participants, leaves Tyrell anxiously awaiting the state meet in May. “There is more talent in [the county meet] than there is in the state meet,” Tyrell said. “You see times at county that you won’t see at state. This is some of the best competition in the Southeast.”

Nikia Jefferson of Redan won both the 100 and 300 hurdles.

Jordan Moore of M.L. King ran a 13.65 to win the 100 hurdles in the boys meet.

Lakeside’s Brent Reynolds outruns Andrew Whetten of Druid Hills to the finish line in the 800.

Christian Pryor of Cedar Grove, left, and Tatiyana Caffey of Miller Grove finished 1-2 in the girls’ 800. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Boys results Team standings (top five): Dunwoody 71; Lakeside 70; Cedar Grove 63; Stone Mountain 59; Stephenson 48. Event winners 100: Dazel Clator, Dunwoody, 10.84; 200: Ezkiel Lee, Miller Grove. 21.67; 400: Tamaric Johnson, Stone Mountain, 48.76; 800: Brent Reynolds, Lakeside, 1:56.42; 1,600: Andrew Whetten, Druid Hills, 4:26.26; 3,200: Kyle Sexton, Dunwoody, 9:56.37; 110 hurdles: Jordan Moore, M.L. King, 13.65; 300 hurdles: Bryan Earl, Towers, 38.86; 4x100 relay: Stone Mountain; 4x400 relay: Cedar Grove;

high jump: Darius Fisher, Tucker, 6-4; pole vault: Coleman Gordon, Dunwoody, and Jeff Jernigan, Lakeside, 11-0; long jump: Yusuf Minor, Tucker, 22-7.5; triple jump: Kareem Nicholas, Cedar Grove, 44-6.5; shot put: Amos Harper, Stephenson, 51-5; discus: Peterson Cheridor, Columbia, 148-5. Girls results Team standings (top five): Southwest DeKalb 113.5; Dunwoody 90; M.L. King 82; Cedar Grove 66; Chamblee 48. Event winners 100: Jada Martin, M.L. King, 11.98; 200: Tiffany Camper, M.L. King, 24.95; 400: Felicia Brown,

M.L. King, 55.36; 800: Christian Pryor, Cedar Grove, 2:17.69; 1,600: Alex Cameron, Dunwoody, 5:03.86; 3,200: Alex Cameron, Dunwoody, 11:11.48; 110 hurdles: Nikia Jefferson, Redan, 14.86; 300 hurdles: Nikia Jefferson, Redan, 45.02; 4x100 relay: M.L. King; 4x400 relay: M.L. King; high jump: Lucy Mason, Chamblee, 5-6; pole vault: Erin Berger, Dunwoody, 7-6; long jump: Alyssa Felton, Chamblee, 18-6.5; triple jump: Ashleigh Rasheed, Decatur, 37-4.25; shot put: Kenya Wheeler, Southwest DeKalb, 39-9; discus: Angel Davis, Cedar Grove, 12910.5.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 30, 2012

Terrific Tigers: Defense, unity mark Tucker’s rise to top of region
by Robert Naddra The Tucker boys’ soccer team is no longer an afterthought for playoffbound teams. Wins earlier this month made sure of that. In a span of five days, the Tigers (9-2) defeated No. 9 ranked Lakeside 1-0 on March 16 and followed that with a 2-1 win in penalty kicks over Marist on March 20. The team that has lost four first-round playoff games in a row is now 7-0 in Region 6-AAAA, where it usually makes the state tournament as the third or fourth seed. “It’s a big accomplishment,” said co-captain Josiah Saydee. “It makes the team have confidence that we can beat anybody.” A 10-0 win over Douglass on March 26 gave the Tigers their eighth straight win and they have outscored the opposition 27-2 in that span. Tucker’s only losses this season have come against McIntosh 3-0 and Paideia 2-0. Both of those teams are stateranked and have a combined record of 19-2. “I think people know we’re playing ball,” said coach Tim Newmyer. “I like to play tough teams. It gives us a good indication of where we are.” is a big part of the Tigers’ staunch defense that has allowed only 11 goals through 11 games. McIntosh is the only team to score more than two goals against the Tigers. Four of the past five matches have been shutouts. On offense, junior striker Solomon Roberts leads with 11 goals. “Nobody is scoring a bunch of goals,” Newmyer said. “Our nemesis has been trying to finish off games. We play a skill game that features very solid defense.” It is that strategy that Newmyer and his players hope will lead to a breakthrough in the playoffs this season. The Tigers have made the state playoffs four times in the past five seasons, but have been eliminated in the first round in each of those seasons. Last year was especially difficult, when the Tigers rallied from a 3-0 deficit with 18 minutes to play against Habersham Central. Tucker tied the game and sent it to overtime, only to lose on penalty kicks in sudden death. “This team has more poise and we’re much better top to bottom than last season,” Newmyer said. “We’re still a work in progress and we still have to be better finishers. But overall, we pull together as a group. We’re a lot like a family.”

Senior George Kapeh, from left, and juniors Steven Duffy and Josiah Saydee anchor a defense that has helped Tucker defeat region rivals Lakeside and Marist this season. Photo by Robert Naddra

Newmyer credits team unity, speed, strong defense and solid play throughout the entire starting lineup as the main ingredients to the success of this season. The Tigers’ international roster has helped the team bond and it carries over onto the field. Players hail from Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East and the United States.

“This team has been together for a while and we’ve just grown together,” Saydee said. “Tucker is like a melting pot and we’re a prime example of that.” Saydee, a sweeper, and goalkeeper Steven Duffy, both juniors, have been on the varsity for three years while senior defender George Kapeh is a four-year starter. The threesome

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