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

and Stone Mountain.

Stress test

Students and faculty at the Georgia Perimeter College Clarkston campus spent time petting dogs recently during exam week to relieve stress as part of the college’s Library Paws program. Nellie, a Great Pyrenees owned by GPC-Newton library director Elaine Bryan, left, and Freckles, a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever, were big hits with those who participated. Photos by Robert Naddra




therapy dog that was sprawled on the floor school when I’m here.” after the national Reading Paws program, which of the Georgia Perimeter College library, Several students visited the animals more has a chapter in Georgia. Reading Paws uses naor GPC sophomore Rebecca Miller. than once, including 17-year-old Kianna Little tionally registered animal/owner therapy teams Miller, taking a break from her final exam and 18-year-old Afom Haile. Both spent time to go to schools, libraries and bookstores as readschedule May 2, sat on the floor and spent more petting Freckles and Nellie after exams on May ing companions for children. Using the dogs on than 30 minutes fawning over the dog. 2. college campuses is a trend that has taken off in Nellie was one of nine dogs that were a part “I just came from my last final and this helps recent years. of GPC Clarkston’s Library Paws program that a lot,” Haile said. “It’s a good way to let go of An animal therapy program also was done at allowed students, faculty and staff a chance to some stress.” Emory University this year and over the past few relieve stress by petting the animals. Miller also Haile was in the library finishing an essay years at campuses across the country, including spent time petting Freckles, a 6-year-old Nova when he saw the dogs during the first day of the University of California, University of ConnectiScotia duck tolling retriever. The dogs were program. cut, Rutgers University, University of Texas and available for a few hours April 30-May 2 during “It motivated me to finish my paper so I at small colleges in Illinois and Pennsylvania. exam week. could go see the dogs,” Haile said. “They had to “Our library staff was all excited when we “Studies have shown that stress can be throw me out of here and I’ve been back every decided to do this,” Lautemann said. “It was a reduced by petting animals,” said Eva Lautday.” group effort and the Reading Paws people have emann, GPC Clarkston’s library director. “I read Lautemann said she is hopeful that the probeen great to work with.” an article [that stated] several major universities gram can become a twice-a-year-event and be The event is something many students are were doing it, and I figured we could do it at Because she gets herthe school’s other campuses. The Champion. Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. introduced at news updates online from the looking forward to seeing again. BecauseLaura Tartak, the updatesdirectorfrom the The Champion. And youday and I’ll come back she gets her news library online at GPC’s GPC.” “I was here every The program was a hit with the participants Newton campus, got a firsthand glimpse at the next time,” Little said.can too! Follow us. at GPC. popularity of the program in Clarkston. Tartak For Miller, it was an easy choice. “Free food For Miller, who hadn’t had a dog since her said she rushed over after picking up her car and dogs will always bring in students,” she said. ews updates online from the The Champion.

Dogs provide relaxing outlet for college students during final exams by Robert Naddra previous pet died when she was 8 years old, the from a mechanic’s shop. event was cathartic. “I had to make the mechanics hurry up and IS SHE “It’s been a while since I actually sat down finish so I could get over here before Nellie left,” SO t was difficult to tell which was more reand petted one,” Miller said with a smile. “This Tartak said. laxed—Nellie, a 7-year-old Great Pyrenees has been really relaxing. I don’t even think about GPC’s Library Paws program is modeled




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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012

DeKalb CEO vetoes $75,000 for commissioners’ proposed communications specialist
by Andrew Cauthen After overriding a veto by DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, the Board of Commissioners has set in motion plans to move $75,000 from his budget to fund a public information officer Ellis position for the board. But commissioners are leaving the door open for some internal communications between commissioners and Ellis. “We need to sit down… and work this out,” said Commissioner Elaine Boyer. “I think there’s opportunity to clear this up.” Commissioners proposed getting their own public information officer after Ellis’ administration denied requests to cover the board’s February budget process. The board voted to use the funds for its own public information officer who would broadcast via the internet all public meetings of the Board of Commissioners and its various committees. Burke Brennan, the county’s chief communications officer, said the administration will “continue to work with the Board of Commissioners and try to address their needs and balance them with the county’s needs. “As the legislation stands now we stand to lose $75,000 out of the DCTV budget, which is going to be very detrimental to our operations,” Brennan said. The board’s plan will go into effect in July unless commissioners decide to leave DCTV’s budget in place. “The question is whether there will be four people on the Board of Commissioners that will introduce, support and pass a piece of legislation supporting DCTV between now and July,” Brennan said. Commissioner Lee May said the board intent was not to be “divisive.” “It was meant to offer more transparency to the general public about the real work that this board does during the committee process. What the public generally sees is when we take our official vote in our official Board of Commissioners’ meetings. The real questions, the real answers and the real debate…occur during our committee meetings.” Commissioners voted 6-1 take the money from the CEO’s budget to force a conversation between board members and Ellis “about what our real needs are,” May said. “We took that step, which I admit was a drastic step, in order to get this done,” May said. “Hopefully we can sit down and come up with a consensus that allows our meetings to be aired. That was the ultimate point.” At the first of the year, the commissioners’ finance, auditing and budget committee,
See CEO on Page 3A

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012

CEO Continued From Page 2A
chaired by May, requested that the committee’s meetings about the 2012 budget be televised on DCTV, which is shown on Comcast channel 23. DCTV’s response was that covering the additional meetings would adversely affect its onging operations, according to an internal memo. When commissioners could not get additional airtime on DCTV, Boyer spent less than $400 to set up Board of Commissioners TV, an online site with streaming and ondemand video of commissioners’ committee meetings. Ellis’ April 30 veto states that moving the funds would also take away a $75,000 reimbursement from the county’s special tax district unincorporated fund. “At a time when the county faces a number of potential adverse financial impacts…it would be irresponsible to burden the tax funds with an additional $75,000 expenditure,” Ellis stated in a memo to commissioners. Ellis also said that “the operation of broadcast, digital and cable television services by the Board of Commissioners violates” the county’s organizational act. “If there are some resources that the board needs in order to implement a public information officer function we may be able to support [it], but we’ve got to be able to have a discussion first and foremost about where the funds could potentially come from and how we do that without impacting our tax funds and our revenue picture,” Ellis told The Champion. “What I understand is that the board has now passed this ordinance, made it effective July 1 so that they can have an opportunity to sit with the chief communications officer and have some direction over how he operates [DeKalb County TV] and communications,” Ellis said. This is against the county’s organizational act, he said. Ellis said commissioners should have approached him about their communications needs before voting to take the money. “They didn’t talk to me about it,” Ellis said. “To my knowledge, I’ve never had a commissioner come to me and say, ‘We’d like to put our committee meetings on television.’ I’ve never had a request for that.” May agreed that there was not much face-to-face talk between him and Ellis. “The CEO and I rarely talk,” May said. “I feel like if I’m talking to his staff, his department heads, his executive assistants, then I’m talking to the CEO.” Ellis said DCTV has already implemented some of the programming requested by commissioners, including Commissioner’s Corner, which highlights the work of commissioners. “Probably, at the end of the day, we’re going to do a lot of what the board has asked us to do,” Ellis said.

Inquisitive employers increasingly demand Facebook access
by Nigel Roberts Picture someone on a job interview that is going extremely well. After being unemployed for more than a year, she believed her financial nightmare would finally come to an end. But just before the employer reaches across the desk to shake hands and welcome her to the team, there is just one more thing. The employer asks the candidate to volunteer her Facebook password. What should she do? According to an Associated Press report, that scene has become commonplace. Employers are increasingly reviewing Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and other social networking sites before hiring job candidates. To conduct their search, the news agency reports, employers are requesting passwords or asking candidates to log in to their Facebook account on a company computer during interviews. Moreover, some companies are also asking their employees to friend human resources mangers to allow the company to monitor postings. Can employers legally demand Facebook passwords and dismiss employees for their private exchanges with Facebook friends? “Yes,” said DeKalb attorney Cary S. King. Georgia is an at-will employment state, explained the labor and employment lawyer, which means that an employer could terminate employment for any reason. “You are at the mercy of the employer in Georgia, except in matters of discrimination or when there is an employment contract in place,” he stated. King added that while one has a free speech right online, the boss could terminate an employee for posting disparaging statements—whether on Facebook or in person. Emory Law School professor Charles A. Shanor said privacy rights in Georgia do not extend to social media content. Shanor, a labor and employment expert, said that in the absence of federal privacy laws with regard to social media, state lawmakers must pass a statute that bars employers from firing employees who refuse to share their passwords. And job seekers who refuse to share their passwords “just don’t get hired” and have to find employment elsewhere, he said. It is difficult to know the exact pervasiveness of employer Facebook monitoring, but Shanor suspects that it is particularly widespread in jobs involving security. Three years ago, CareerBuilder. com conducted a wide survey of hiring managers and reported that 45 percent of employers admitted using social networking sites to screen potential employees. And according to a survey released last year by Proskauer Rose, a law firm that practices privacy law, one out of four businesses admitted to monitoring employee use of social networking sites. Following the Associated Press report, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, Erin Egan, posted a statement that blasted employers for pressuring employees and job seekers for their password. He advised users: “If you are a Facebook user, you should never have to share your password, let anyone access your account or do anything that might jeopardize the security of your account or violate the privacy of your friends.” Egan also warned employers about possible liability lawsuits. King agreed. “In my opinion, it is risky for the employer because there is no legal basis to require someone to turn over their password,” he said. “It is like demanding that you turn over your wife’s medical records or else be fired.” Maryland recently became the first state to bar employers from requiring workers and job applicants to turn over passwords as a condition of employment. Privacy rights advocates praised the legislation for setting limits on employers’ reach into the private lives of their workers, as well as the lives of their workers’ family and friends. Shanor said no such protection exists at the federal level. However, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have asked the U.S. Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to launch an investigation into the growing practice of demanding Facebook passwords. Still, there is a question as to the extent of such a federal ban. “Should it be limited to Facebook, or should it include e-mail and online banking passwords too?” Shanor asked. He underscored that many employers have a legitimate concern about employees revealing company secrets online. In some cases, an employer who fails to conduct a thorough background check could be held liable for the criminal actions of their employees, Shanor explained. In the end, most experts agree: There is no real privacy on Facebook, so people should be careful about what they post. But King added, “You should be able to expect not to have to turn over your password.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012

Another penny for a promise
for a bus. Mind you, we already pay a one-cent tax to MARTA, which is the ninth largest system in the nation and gets no help from the state and doesn’t go where we need it to go. Now we’re being asked to pay another penny tax on top of the one we already pay for a promise that may not be realized as plans now stand. Educating ourselves to this important issue is key. Leadership DeKalb with support from the DeKalb League of Women Voters put on an excellent forum last week on TIA. The breakfast was wellattended and informative. The panel included Todd Long from the Georgia Department of Transportation, Dr. Beverly Scott, CEO of MARTA, DeKalb Commissioner Lee May and Ted Rhinehart, DeKalb deputy chief operating officer. Chief of Staff Jabari Simama sat in for CEO Burrell Ellis, who was stuck in so much traffic he never showed. Talk about the need for transportation and transit improvements. The star of the show was Scott, who has 30-plus years transit experience under her belt at some of the top agencies in the country. No one on the panel disagreed that the TIA is crucial to economic development, cleaner air and a better overall quality of life in the state and region. But Scott with her refreshing straight talk pointed out that while the vision is there, and the funding will be in place, a key element is missing—governance. Worth repeating is a quote from Scott, “We can have individual accomplishments, but we can only have collective success.” The billion-dollar question is who is going to manage the money? Who will provide oversight or will jurisdictions simply cannibalize projects to suit their needs? The issue of governance was a perfect segue for May, who last year stood with his fellow commissioners and CEO Ellis in opposition to the TIA referendum. May tried to make it clear he is in favor of the TIA conceptually, but could not support it if the I-20 rail project was not a priority for the metro region. Makes perfect sense. As it stands now, we would not only compete for federal dollars with other areas of the country to build rail at some point in the future, we would also be in competition with counties in our own 10-county region. Go figure. Former CEO Liane Levetan, in a departure from the protocol of the forum, took to the podium with characteristic chutzpah and promised to make the necessary phone calls to elicit a pledge for the I-20 rail project. If anyone can make it happen, it’s Levetan. She almost single-handedly made Stonecrest Mall a reality by some heavy lobbying and arm-twisting with the developers. A project that languished for nearly 20 years came to fruition largely through her efforts. Here’s where the rubber meets the road. We must decide on July 31 whether our billions of dollars investment in MARTA the past 35 years has yielded the kind of results that would have us trust a state and a region that has largely ignored that gem—except for special events, like games or big festivals. Another penny for a promise from whom for what, when? Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Milies at

Opinion The Newslady

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There’s a well-oiled machine cranking out a very slick campaign to get the Transportation Investment Act passed when it comes for a vote July 31. There are TV ads, bumper stickers, lapel buttons, “forums”— you name it— pushing a yes vote. TIA is a statewide transportation improvement measure that calls for each county to tax itself one cent to pay for transportation projects. Proposed projects for DeKalb include three major transit projects and seven major road and pedestrian projects. One of the transit projects is an I-20 east bus rapid transit, touted as a “down payment” on rail in the I-20 corridor at a later date. Bus rapid transit is a bus. Yes, it has a designated lane and mimics rail in design, but it is still a bus. People are not going to get out of their cars

Letter to the Editor

DeKalb County Schools: ‘A culture of fear and intimidation’
As a recent retiree of the DeKalb County School System with over 31 years of classroom and administrative experience, I have watched in dismay as a culture of fear and intimidation has engulfed the system during the last several months. Almost weekly, I am informed about another veteran employee who has been demoted, forced to resign or terminated. Interestingly, most of these employees are minority. Further, Dr. Atkinson, the recently appointed superintendent, has sent a message to employees that communication with Board of Education members will be viewed negatively and may result in demotion and/or termination. Surely, employees, many of whom are also parents, have a right to communicate with the board. The board is an elected body which has an obligation to communicate with all employees if they are to provide effective oversight for what is arguably the most important enterprise in the county. The DeKalb School System has been racked by scandal, improprieties and negative commentary by the community and the media over the last several years. Clearly, change is needed. Unfortunately, citizens and the media often celebrate a heavy-handed approach to effecting change and history demonstrates that a heavy-handed approach to necessary change is ineffective. One only has to look at DeKalb’s neighbor, the Atlanta Public School System, to see the result of an organizational culture dominated by fear and intimidation. Dr. Atkinson, as part of her vision for DeKalb, has outlined what she calls a “Theory of Action for Change.” According to the description posted on the system’s website, this plan is reflective of W. Edwards Deming’s “Total Quality Management theory, a Plan-Do-Check-Act process for ongoing operational effectiveness and improvement.” Even though this document effectively uses the organizational management jargon that is presently in vogue to paint a picture of a plan that will lead to school district improvement, it is clear that Dr. Atkinson does not understand Dr. Deming’s theories or his work. Dr. Deming stated in one of his seminal works on Total Quality Management that leaders should “encourage effective two-way communication and other means to drive out fear throughout the organization so that everybody may work effectively and more productively for the company.” Further, Deming elaborated that in most cases, fear results in people “keeping their heads down and their mouths’ shut.” That is not a good thing because management isn’t told about problems out of fear of sanctions, which causes a decrease in productivity and leads to continuous failure and not organizational change. As an experienced administrator and educational leader who received national recognition from both President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of Education Richard Riley for improving a low-performing elementary school (accomplished without fear and intimidation) I recognize the fact that employee behavior is, at times, inappropriate and may need to be addressed. However, good human resources practices recommend progressive administrative sanctions including formal reprimand, suspension, and probation, not immediate termination. This is certainly not the case in DeKalb, where all infractions, no matter how miniscule, result in demotion, termination or a demand for resignation, even when no law or school district policy is violated. If employees are making mistakes so egregious [that] the only solution is demotion or termination, it seems the district has a major training responsibility. Employees should be trained to handle situations to be consistent with state and federal law as well as DeKalb Board of Education policy. Further, employees must clearly understand the superintendent’s vision so that their decisions and actions are consistent with her vision. If there is no understanding of the superintendent’s vision as well as a lack of understanding about policy and procedure, it is the responsibility of the school district’s leadership to correct these deficiencies. To place the blame fully on the backs of employees without implementing training protocols is an abdication of responsibility by the superintendent and her staff. State law in Georgia requires school boards to approve all personnel actions, including hiring, termination and demotion. The DeKalb County School Board would serve the system well by thoroughly reviewing all the superintendent’s demotion and termination recommendations to insure that employees are treated fairly and equitably. Further, the board should conduct a survey to determine employee perceptions of the culture and climate of the school system as well as support structures in place to help all employees succeed. The children being served by the district should clearly be the board’s first concern. Yet, employees who serve the children must also be of primary concern. It is not possible for employees to effectively do their work when operating in a climate of fear and intimidation. – Wendolyn Bouie Liburn

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012

The Legend of Margie Lopp
recently proofreading the Cuthbert Times. As a Randolph County GOP volunteer, she had met Paul Coverdell, a former state senator, state party chairman and most recently Peace Corps director during the first Bush administration. Margie was frustrated watching the polls surge in favor of then U.S. Sen. Wyche Fowler (D-Atlanta), a 16-year congressional incumbent, with 10 years in the U.S. House representing Atlanta, and then seeking a second term in the U.S. Senate representing Georgia. Fowler had already raised and spent almost $2 million (a considerable media buy in those times) blanketing the state with a folksy song, “Wyche Fowler...He’s Our Georgia Man.” Fowler was tall, folksy and Southern, articulate and of good humor. Coverdell was short, bespectacled, and resembled Dana Carvey doing a George Bush impression with a voice to match. Less than a month prior to Election Day, Fowler’s lead was 22 points. But then, a funny thing and Margie Lopp’s zippy jingle came along. “Let’s put Paul Coverdell in the Senate and put Wyche Fowler out. Wyche has proved we don’t need him in it. And Georgia wants him out. But with Paul Coverdell we’ll have a leader Of that there is no doubt So vote Paul Coverdell in the Senate and put Wyche Fowler OUT!” The first media buy for Margie’s jingle was roughly every dollar left in the campaign following a brutal primary run-off election victory just a few weeks prior. That $88,000 bet was placed on Braves baseball (then in their worst to first season) as well as Georgia and Georgia Tech football. A nominal TV buy was placed in metro Atlanta only, also featuring Margie and her jingle. Love for the ad, and the jingle was far from universal. Some found the spot insulting to senior citizens, others asked for refunds of earlier campaign contributions. But then a funny thing happened—the jingle caught fire. Folks could not get it out of their heads. Election night was just a few weeks later. Then President George Bush lost decisively to challenger Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas. Fowler came in first with 49 percent of the vote, Coverdell second with 48 percent and Jim Hudson, the Libertarian Party nominee, was third with 3 percent. Due to a quirk in Georgia law, a majority was required to win a statewide election, not just a plurality. The first U.S. Senate run-off in Georgia history would occur three weeks later. Coverdell narrowly won

Opinion One Man’s Opinion

Page 5A

“The force of many. The power of one!”— Anonymous One of my favorite political debates is the oft repeated, “Why bother, one person, one voter or a regular Georgian really can’t make much difference anymore.” I almost always reply, with a smile, “Well, what about Margie Lopp?” My first encounter with Margie Lopp was a campaign headquarters’ answering machine. On a Wednesday fall evening, in mid-September, Margie had left a message and lilting jingle on the answering machine, after consuming a bit of liquid courage in the form of a couple of vodka and orange juices. Ms. Lopp was a retired grandmother and widow, age 72 at the time, living modestly in Cuthbert, Ga., the county seat of Randolph County, just south of Columbus. Ms. Lopp had raised her children on her own, working part-time, most

that run-off, by fewer than 25,000 votes, roughly six to eight votes per precinct. Margie led a large crowd in Atlanta singing the jingle on runoff election night as Coverdell was declared the winner just in time for the 11 p.m. newscast, and after the results had been swinging back and forth all evening. Margie recorded two later jingles to assist the campaign efforts of other candidates, including former Attorney General Mike Bowers and former U.S. Senator Mack Mattingly (who was seeking to replace Coverdell in a special election following his untimely death). Lightning did not strike twice, though Margie was still in good spirit and voice, until she succumbed after a long and multi-pronged fight with cancer. It’s been more than 20 years now, and I still never tire of hearing her sing that jingle. Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at billcrane@

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.
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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.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012


Page 6A

Vegan confessions

The vegetable is a quick cure for much if not most of our health problems.
Studies have found that a little meat is better for you than a lot, no meat is better than a little, and a vegan diet — no meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products (in others words, 90 percent of the farm economy) — is best of all. Good luck trying to sell that one. The Bad Food lobby is one of the most powerful in Washington, up there with guns and oil. Any suggestion that our toxic agricultural industry is less than noble will bring instant political extinction. (Can you imagine a politician trying to win Iowa on a vegan platform? A gay atheist would have a better chance.) I myself am a vegan of sorts and I’m here to tell you that it’s not an easy life. You’re OK when you can cook your own food (really), but going out is hard. Most restaurants offer very limited, unappetizing fare for people who don’t eat meat or dairy. Grocery stores, while better than they used to be, still aren’t great. And you have to get used to that sickening silence on the other end of the line when you tell the person who’s inviting you to dinner that you don’t eat meat, cheese, fish, soup made from beef stock, or anything else he or she was planning to cook. The way I handle that is…I cheat. I’ll order fish in a restaurant and eat what I’m served in someone else’s home. And when I go to a ballgame, I declare hotdogs a vegetable for the day. Mostly, though, I’m a vegan. Why not? Catholics, for example, profess a high moral standard but still sin from time to time. That doesn’t mean they’re not Catholics; it simply means they’re human. As a matter of fact, I’m thinking of starting a Church of the Holy Vegetable and offering online confession booths to vegans who fall off the wagon from time to time. They could confess, be assigned a small penance and receive absolution. The life of a vegan is hard enough without walking around feeling guilty all of the time. OtherWords columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

If you invented a pill that offers long life, good health and a body to be proud of, you’d make a fortune. Bottles would fly off the shelves. Suggest a change in behavior that achieved the same result, however, and what do you get? Catcalls, derisive comments and rude e-mails. Such was Michelle Obama’s reward when she launched her “Let’s Move” campaign more than two years ago. All she did was recommend feeding our kids better meals — fewer sweets, more vegetables, fewer calories — combined with more exercise. You would have thought she’d advocated giving the little dears rat poison for lunch. Sarah Palin was characteristically obnoxious in her response, flaunting her passion for s’mores (that chocolate bar-toasted marshmallow-graham cracker horror) while she mocked the First Lady for attempting to substitute the judgment of the “Nanny State” for that of parents. Even for her, it was dumb. After all, Let’s Move addresses a real issue: the super-sizing of our children. Studies have estimated that nearly one in five of our young people are obese and more than a third of them are overweight. Apparently we’re raising a generation of youngsters who think the basic food groups are fat, salt and sugar, and that changing the battery in your Gameboy is exercise. This isn’t merely a recipe for being fat; it’s an invitation to diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, asthma and even cancer. Actually, the main problem with Ms. Obama’s efforts is that they’re too timid. If you really want to make the nation healthier, you have to declare war on American agriculture in general and meat in particular. There are mountains of persuasive research that indicate a plant-based diet is far, far healthier than the meat-based model.

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

DCSD cuts jobs, eliminates programs due to over staffing
I agree with SunDee, great story! Unfortunately most citizens are asking for staffing reductions throughout the district. The greatest number of reductions will be in the central office however it is hoped that due to annual attrition, many of those will find other jobs albeit at lower salaries. The reality is that expenses are continuing to rise while property tax income continues to fall. I don’t envy the BOE and superintendent in making the tough decisions that have to be made. – Ebrown posted this on 5/3/12 at 2:55 p.m. Great reporting Daniel. It’s a shame that decisions like cutting teachers are based on numbers and not on “the human factor”. Some great teachers who truly improve the community are on the chopping block, including teachers in our German program,...a program that has been recognized as one of the best language programs in the state. The German program at Chamblee has recently been designated as a PASCH program, ...which designates our school as producing high-acheiving students that are practically fluent in the German language, ready to be hired by German companies in Georgia, or attend school in Germany (our German program also allows the students to pass the DSD2 exam, which awards a diploma to our students allowing them to attend university in Germany). – SunDee posted this on 5/2/12 at 3:19 p.m.

Scottdale center serves community in need
Commissioners Larry Johnson and Kathie Gannon and the entire Board of Crooks and their Staffs continue to feed their Gluttonous and Sorry selves while DeKalb’s Senior Centers suffer for funding. The Current FBI investigation of DeKalb’s Contracts and Procurements will most likely spread out to other factions and bodies of DeKalb Government . Take the DeKalb Director of Green Space and Park Bond Money to a Grand Jury TOMORROW. – The SnoopyDog posted this on 5/6/12 at 11:07 a.m.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012

Local News
to be taken to the hospital. This incident allegedly occurred several weeks before the death of Champion. According to reports, Golson and two others were arrested and charged with assaulting Hunter. Both Hunter and Champion are graduates of Southwest DeKalb High School and members of a group within the band called the “Red Dawg Order,” made up of members from Atlanta. Danielle Tavernier, a spokeswoman for the Florida State Attorney’s Office, said the identities of defendants who have not been arrested have not been released because they are not public record. At a recent press conference in Atlanta, Champion’s parents Robert Sr. and Pam Champion called for the disbanding of the Marching 100. “FAMU cannot go on with business as usual…they need to clean house,” Pam Champion said. The family’s lawyer, Christopher Chestnut, said there was a cover up surrounding Champion’s death and FAMU officials coached those involved as to what to tell investigators.

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13 charged in FAMU hazing incident
by Daniel Beauregard The Florida State Attorney’s Office has charged 13 individuals in the hazing death of DeKalb-native Robert Champion. Champion, a student at Florida A&M University who was a member of the school’s famous “Marching 100” band, was found unresponsive on the band’s bus on Nov. 19, 2011. Officials termed his death a homicide resulting from “a hemorrhagic shock due to a soft tissue hemorrhage, incurred by blunt force trauma sustained during a hazing incident.” Several days after Champion’s death, FAMU band director Julian White was fired. In a press release, FAMU President James Ammons said White was dismissed for “alleged misconduct and incompetence involving confirmed reports and allegations of hazing.” Eleven people are charged with felony hazing resulting in death, and the other two are charged with hazing misdemeanors. All 11 individuals charged with felony hazing have turned themselves in to various law enforcement agencies

Sunny Aasgaard
homes and many other places that are so grateful for them. Many social workers refer to this directory as their ‘bible,’” Mangum continued. Aasgaard said that the one recreational break she fits into her schedule is playing softball once a week. The directory, which Aasgaard meticulously researches and verifies, has gained a reputation for being thorough, accurate and easy to use that has reached far beyond DeKalb County. “I got a call from a woman in Dade County, Fla., who wanted to know whether I publish a directory for her area,” Aasgaard recalled. In fact, the directory started as a DeKalb County resource and is now published in five editions that cover various sections of the metropolitan Atlanta area. It is updated annually and approximately 25,000 copies are printed for each area. The publication is now in its 10th years, and Aasgaard recently developed a website to make the same information available online. Knowing that her directory is “absolutely beloved” to people is “all that keeps me going,” said Aasgaard, who added that her dream is to have someone donate money or volunteer time so she can have some help. “People tell me that my directory is more useful than anything the government puts out,” she said, adding that it includes many difficult to find contacts.

Champion of the Week


throughout Florida. According to Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) officials, Aaron Golson, Jessie Baskin, Harold Finley, Bryan Jones, Benjamin McNamee, Shawn Turner, Caleb Jackson, Rikki Wills, Lasherry Codner, Ryan Dean and Jonathan Boyce have turned themselves in. Golson, 19; Boyce, 24; and Turner, 26, are all from metro Atlanta. Turner attended Stephenson High School. Golson also was arrested in connection with another hazing incident involving a member of FAMUs marching band. Following Champion’s death, band member Bria Shante Hunter alleged band members beat her so badly that she suffered a cracked thighbone and had

Sunny Aasgaard’s Senior Resources Directory is not officially a nonprofit, but she laughs at the idea that the small amount of money its advertising generates could be considered a profit. “What I do might not be considered volunteer work in the traditional sense, but I volunteer just about all my time. I think if you calculated the number of hours I work you would discover I make about 23 cents an hour. I’m sure I would qualify for nonprofit status, but I don’t have the time or the money to apply,” she said. Those who interact with Aasgaard and her free directory know that it’s a labor of love. “I have known Sunny for many years and she works harder than anyone I know—[including] nights and weekends. She works tirelessly to help seniors and others by making this annual directory the best it can be. She does the jobs of three people, so she doesn’t have time for a personal life,” said Nancy Mangum, who nominated Aasgaard as a Community Hero. “Besides doing everything else, Sunny personally delivers boxes of books to DeKalb County senior centers, hospitals, nursing

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, May 11, 2012

Local News

Page 8A

Notice of Public Hearings
May 15 & 17, 2012
Notice is hereby given that the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority will hold public hearings for the purpose of considering

Proposed Fiscal Year 2013 Operating & Capital Funds Budget, and Proposed Fare Increases on Reduced (Half-Fare) and Mobility for October 7, 2012*

Reduced (Half-Fare) Mobility Base (One-Way) Mobility Pass

$0.95 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1.00* $3.80 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4.00* $122.00 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $128.00*

*This is the last step in the 3 year staggered process that began in FY10 for reduced and mobility fares.

Tuesday, May 15
7741 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, 30350

Thursday, May 17
55 Trinity Avenue, Atlanta, 30303

SERVICE CENTER Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m. HEARING: 7:00 p.m.
Riding MARTA: Bus route 87 from either the Dunwoody or North Springs rail stations.
also on Tuesday


COUNCIL CHAMBERS Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m. HEARING: 7:00 p.m.Bailey Riding MARTA: Bus route 49 from Five Points Station. Special bus shuttle also provided.
also on Thursday


Wade Walker YMCA on schedule for September opening
by Andrew Cauthen DeKalb County’s newest YMCA recreation center is on schedule to open in early September. The $17.1 million construction project is set to be completed in early July and turned over to the YMCA in August, said Roy Wilson, director of the county’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs. The facility, which is located in the county’s Wade Walker Park on Rockbridge Road in Stone Mountain, is the first such facility constructed by the county to be turned over to another entity for management, Wilson said. “For us, it’s an honor to partner with them, ” Wilson said. “The county is successful because of the various partnerships it has established.” The county is providing $14.5 million for the project, while the rest of the money is coming from the YMCA, Wilson said. The 60,000-square-foot Wade Walker YMCA will provide health and wellness, child care, youth sports and indoor/outdoor aquatic services to more than 140,000 households, half of which have children younger than 18. The facility will be one the YMCA’s larger buildings and will have a double gym, teen multipurpose rooms, an aerobics studio, a sauna, whirlpool and an indoor track. It will be the county’s sixth YMCA. YMCA officials believe the Wade Walker YMCA will become the most used of its facilities. Initially, the county and the YMCA were each considering constructing smaller recreation centers, but decided to combine funding to build the facility. While the YMCA will manage the center, the county will retain ownership of the building, Wilson said. DeKalb County will have occasional use of the facility for programs. Residents in five zip codes will be eligible for membership discounts to the YMCA. “When you have a reputable organization like the YMCA, we have no qualms about success of that facility and what it will bring to that area of the county,” Wilson said. “I can’t think of any other I would want to turn the keys over to.”

A $17.1 million YMCA at Wade Walker Park in Stone Mountain is expected to be open this fall. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, 30030

3717 College Street, College Park, 30037

MALOOF AUDITORIUM Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m. HEARING: 7:00 p.m.
Riding MARTA: Walk one block west of Decatur Station.


PUBLIC SAFETY COMPLEX Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m. HEARING: 7:00 p.m.
Riding MARTA: Bus route 172 from College Park Station.


Copies of the proposed budget will also be available at MARTA’s Office of External Affairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30324 during regular business hours, Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For formats (FREE of charge) in accordance with the ADA and Limited English Proficiency regulations contact (404) 848-4037. For those patrons requiring further accommodations, information can be obtained by calling the Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 404 848-5665. In addition, a sign language interpreter will be available at all hearings. If you cannot attend the hearings and want to provide comments you may: (1) leave a message at (404) 848-5299; (2) write to MARTA’s Office of External Affairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, GA 30324-3330; (3) complete an online Comment Card at; (4) or fax your comments no later than May 25, 2012 to (404) 848-4179. All citizens of the City of Atlanta and the counties of Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton and Gwinnett whose interests are affected by the subjects to be considered at these hearings are hereby notified and invited to appear at said times and places and present such evidence, comment or objection as their interests require.
Beverly A. Scott, Ph.D. General Manager/CEO

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012

Local News

Page 9A

DeKalb police sergeant resigns amid investigation
A DeKalb County Police sergeant under investigation for interfering in a rape case has resigned from the department. Sgt. Eric Adkinson, who was on restrictive duty pending the outcome of the investigation, resigned May 4, according to Mekka Parish, police spokeswoman. In its investigation of a December 2011 rape, police are trying to determine whether Adkinson influenced or obstructed justice in the case, Parish said in March. According to reports, the alleged victim was bartending a private event at the Front Runnerz Motorcycle Club, of which Adkinson is the president. The alleged victim claims she was drugged at the club, then later woke up in a home in Lithonia after being raped, according to reports. The victim said Adkinson and another club member wanted to handle the situation in-house and told her to keep quiet about the rape claim. five packages containing cremated human remains,” a press release said. Officials identified the suspects by placing a tracking device in a mail container bound from Phoenix to Atlanta. responded to the area but no suspects were located. However, Parish said two juveniles, who were seen running from the area during the time of the incident, were arrested but she is unsure of the charges against them. No officers were injured during the incident, which is still under investigation.

County property appraisals drop 6 percent for 2012
by Andrew Cauthen DeKalb County home appraisals dropped 6 percent lower than last year’s home values and county leaders see that as positive. The county’s board of assessors voted May 3 on a tax digest that drops an average of 6 percent for properties in DeKalb cities and 8 percent in unincorporated areas. That drop was 1 percent greater than projected in CEO Burrell Ellis’ 2012 budget. “We were pretty close to the mark,” said Burke Brennan, the county’s chief communications officer. “We are somewhat heartened that it is not worse.” The tax digest shows improvement over last year and is a sign of stabilization in the housing market, Brennan said. That, combined with increased activity in the county’s permitting department, points to a possible rebound in the local economy, Brennan said. County leaders must address the financial impact of the additional 1 percent drop, which amounts to $2 million over what was predicted in the budget. “The CEO is already ahead of this,” Brennan said. In an April 19 memo, Ellis instructed county department heads to make contingency plans to cut up to 10 percent of their budgets by 2013 to prepare for “a number of issues that can have substantial budgetary impact on both the 2012 and 2013 tax fund budgets.” Those issues include the possible incorporation of Brookhaven, the proposed expansion of Chamblee and annexations by Avondale Estates, Decatur and Doraville, according to Ellis’ memo. Some county commissioners, including Commissioner Lee May, were expecting a bigger drop in the tax assessments. “It could have been much worse. I’m very much pleased,” May said. “We are all excited because that means we have more revenue that we thought. Now we just have to deal with the annexations and incorporations.” Although the appraisals are “exciting” compared to what they could have been, May said, “Unfortunately, it’s still down 6 percent.” And the 8 percent drop in property values in unincorporated DeKalb is “still a bit alarming,” May said.

Police investigate hotel shooting
DeKalb County Police are investigating a shooting that happened May 3 at the Budget Inn at 2859 Panola Road. Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said police received a call at approximately 5:15 a.m. Officials said a woman staying at the hotel invited a man to her room. According to the victim, once there the man attempted to rob her. The suspect later pulled out a gun and shot the victim in the thigh. Parish said the suspect has not yet been located.

Summer block party to promote safety
Commissioner Stan Watson and Texting Organization Against Distracted Driving (TOADD) will hold a Safe Summer Block Party on May 19. The free block party will feature live entertainment, prizes, community information and games. The event will be held 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Macy’s stage at the Gallery at South DeKalb, 2840 Candler Road, Decatur. The block party is in support of National Youth Traffic Safety Month. TOADD is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a safer mobile environment by addressing issues such as being distracted while driving, sexting and cyberbullying. For more information, contact Marie Burrell at (480) 788-6233 or send an e-mail to

Officers fired upon during domestic dispute
DeKalb County Police officers responded to a domestic call May 3 at 3535 Lawrenceville Highway. Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said as the officers returned to their vehicles, shots were fired from an adjacent building in their direction. Parish said a helicopter, K-9 unit and backup

Decatur man sentenced for mail theft
Decatur resident Shawn Edwards, 39, and two others were sentenced May 3 on charges stemming from a scheme to steal shipments of registered mail. Edwards was sentenced to three years’ probation for stealing registered mail shipped to Atlanta by commercial airline carriers. United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in 2010, the Postal Inspection Service received numerous complaints that registered mail sent from Arizona was not received by the intended recipients throughout the southeastern U.S. “The inspection service determined that on July 31, Aug. 14, and Aug. 21, 2010, registered mail shipments bound for Atlanta from Phoenix, Ariz., via commercial airliners were never received by the Postal Service in Atlanta. The three shipments contained more than $600,000 worth of gold, gold coins and expensive jewelry. The shipments also contained

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012

Local News

Page 10A

DeKalb legislators talk about highlights from recent session
by Daniel Beauregard House Minority Leader Rep. Stacey Abrams (District 84) told DeKalb business leaders at the May 7 DeKalb Chamber of Commerce luncheon that several key bills passed during the recent legislative session that are important to residents. Abrams was joined at the luncheon by Sen. Emanuel Jones (District 10). She said among the legislation that would be important to DeKalb residents in the coming years is HB386, a tax reform bill passed earlier in the year. “HB386 is the culmination of a two-year process on tax reform legislation,” Abrams said. She said aspects of the bill include an elimination of the ad valorem tax on vehicles and stronger regulation of “e-commerce” in Georgia. “The bottom line is, whether you have a street address or an Internet Protocol address, if you’re selling products in the state of Georgia you’re supposed to pay the tax,” Abrams said. Abrams said stricter regulations of online retailers such as Amazon would allow the state to cash in on “millions of dollars” collected from Georgians, which could be used as revenue. “We have some of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the world in Georgia who pay the tax, and they compete with companies that don’t live here in Georgia who are forfeiting the tax, and that’s just wrong,” Abrams said. Both Abrams and Jones talked extensively about criminal justice and education reform in DeKalb County and Georgia. Abrams said Georgia faces issues within the criminal justice system that are “bankrupting the state.” Abrams said HB1176, passed in March, is a small step in the right direction toward improving the criminal justice system. Abrams said the bill will pave the way for the expansion of “accountability” courts such as DUI, mental health and drug courts. She said DeKalb County leads a number of counties in the

Program helps East Atlanta residents in need of emergency home repair
by Daniel Beauregard For the past two years the East Atlanta Village Community Association’s Neighbor in Need program has been helping elderly or low-income residents with emergency home repairs at no cost to them. Jeff Whitehouse, chairman of the Neighbor in Need Committee, said the repairs include fixing holes in a neighbor’s roof, replacing old pipes and water heaters and rewiring old electrical systems. “A lot of the people we’ve helped, I’d say the majority of them, have lived in the community for over 30 years,” Whitehouse said. Whitehouse said usually a neighbor of someone in need calls, or sends a letter or email about an elderly person living in the neighborhood who needs home repair. In most cases, Whitehouse said they have little money and are living alone or have others to support. In some cases those in need may have been living for weeks without running water, air conditioning or working plumbing. “A neighbor told us about a house on Oak Grove Road; the plumbing in her kitchen wasn’t working and she couldn’t use her kitchen sink,” Whitehouse said. “Recently we did a job on Monument Avenue. We took care of an 80-plus-year-old female living by herself who didn’t have hot water—we replaced her water heater and gave her a new roof.” One of the reasons these houses have so many problems, Whitehouse said, aside from being old is that often residents can’t afford to hire a licensed contractor. “With these particular people, due to their funds, they can’t exactly peel open the Yellow Pages and call somebody—they use a friend of a friend of a friend from down
See East Atlanta on Page 11A

Sen. Emanuel Jones, left, and Rep. Stacey Abrams spoke about the recent legislative session a luncheon hosted by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Daniel Beauregard

state because it has already implemented several types of courts that focus more on rehabilitation than incarceration. “[DeKalb] also has one of the highest population of criminals so we need a lot of help and this will allow divergence into drug courts, DUI courts, mental health courts; treating people who need addiction treatment, not as criminals but as people in need. They should certainly hold people accountable for their crimes but that accountability can’t be linked to a long-term obligation on the part of the state¾instead of spending $15,000 a year for treatment we spend $80,000 a year for incarceration,” Abrams said. Jones echoed Abrams’ stance but said the state also needs to put more resources into its juvenile justice system. Both legislators spoke about significant changes made to education throughout the state and in DeKalb County. Abrams said she opposes the recent charter school bill and resolution passed during this session. The resolution creates a referendum during the July primary, which would allow the state to decide whether to approve the creation of local charter schools. The bill, HB797, pertains to the funding of “state special charter

schools.” Last year the Georgia Supreme Court struck down the bill that created the Georgia Charter Schools Commission (GCSC), declaring it unconstitutional. The GCSC was the state agency that approved charter schools that had been denied petitions by local school boards. Additionally, the bill that created GCSC allowed for those charter schools to receive both state and local funding. “The state charter school issue is a very complicated one…I oppose the bill, I don’t like it,” Abrams said. “Proponents of the bill will tell you that it’s important because it allowed the state to create charter schools in communities where charter schools were not being created.” Abrams said she thinks charter schools are an important tool for education reform but they serve only 2-4 percent of the entire population. She said even within the 4 percent that charter schools serve, their success rate is on par with traditional public schools. “I support charter schools. What I don’t support is changing the fundamental nature of our government in order to solve problems for 4 percent of the population,” Abrams said. Jones spoke about the pro-

cess of redrawing the DeKalb County School Board and Board of Commissioners. He said the map of the commission districts was relatively painless and remained the same except for a few minor tweaks. Two years ago, Gov. Nathan Deal signed SB79, a bill to reduce school boards to no more than seven members—the DeKalb County School Board currently has nine. Jones said it was a delicate situation because legislators don’t want to do away with any district in which the board member has yet to serve their term limit. “The end result was that we got to where we wanted to be in a really roundabout way of getting there and we delayed the process for another two years,” Jones said. “We’re hoping that with these changes that we’ve made we’re going to see better governance with the school board in DeKalb County.” Additionally, Jones said some of the changes made to the board of education were to ensure the school district did not lose it accreditation, which he referred to as a “cloud” hanging over the county. “It’s still in jeopardy,” Jones said.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012

Local News

Page 11A

East Atlanta Continued From Page 10A
the street who probably doesn’t have a license and they do shoddy work. Sometimes these older people give them half their money up front and [go] walking off and they never get anything done,” Whitehouse said. The program is funded by grants through such organizations as the National Association of Realtors. Local churches, residents and events such as the East Atlanta Beer Fest also donate money to the program. Last year, the program raised nearly $20,000. Additionally, members of the program host a poker tournament each year at the Midway Bar in East Atlanta Village and raise money by selling pumpkins at the East Atlanta Farmers Market each year. “We get a lot more awareness out there by being at the farmers market because it’s a big social thing, so it’s good to get the word out that way,” Whitehouse said. “We’re trying to help as many people as possible. Sure there are a lot of houses that we could sink $40,000 into just to get it back into a habitable condition but we’re trying to help as many people as possible.” Each project the program undertakes has to first be approved by the East Atlanta Community Association. Whitehouse said many of times when contractors visit the house of a neighbor in need, they say, “You’d be better off just bringing this one down to the foundation.” However, he said that is not an option for the program or the homeowner. “That’s why we call it ‘emergency home repairs,’ because we’re trying to do what we can to keep them in the home. We’re not like a home makeover. We want to make sure they have hot water, a roof that doesn’t leak, and safely repaired windows and doors,” Whitehouse said. Currently, the Neighbor in Need program is working with several residents, including Gwen Jones, who recently lost her husband and daughter, and suffered a stroke. Whitehouse said so far the program has put approximately $7,500 into Jones’ home—it replaced a water heater and fixed her roof. Recently Jones learned her pipes have all corroded and she currently has no running water. “We kind of try to set a limit as to how much we can put into any single house,” Whitehouse said. He said as of now the limit has been reached, so he and other committee members are trying to raise more money to repair Jones’ plumbing. “We’ve got another project where we’re helping a guy who has actually moved out of his house because it was so bad and is now looking to move back in. We’re going to see what we can do but that house needs so much work it’s going to be difficult to get our arms around,” Whitehouse said.

A local contractor hired by the East Atlanta Community Association’s Neighbor in Need program works on a house in the neighborhood. The Neighbor in Need program helps elderly or low-income residents with emergency home repair. Photo provided

Time spent with your children is an investment in their futures. The resources Georgia Power spends on new plants, more power lines and cleaner energy sources is an investment in Georgia’s future. We are on the job to make sure you have the power to be also, even on those nights when your energy is running just a little low.



Page 12A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012

Southwest DeKalb track coach suspended
by Robert Naddra The girls’ varsity track coach at Southwest DeKalb High School has been suspended with pay pending an investigation into alleged inappropriate contact with a student, according to DeKalb County School District spokesman Walter Woods. Antoinette Tyrell, who has been at Southwest since 2003 and teaches health and physical education, was removed from the classroom immediately after a parent complaint, Woods said in a statement. After the complaint, the district began an ongoing investigation, according to the statement. “Any allegation of this nature is of serious concern to the district,” Woods said. “We are hoping to conclude the investigation as soon as possible and take any necessary action.” Tyrell began her tenure with the school district in 1999 at Chapel Hill Middle School. “I would love to comment but I cannot speak until everything is clear,” Tyrell said in a phone interview. “I will be willing to share my story but right now I am not at liberty to speak about anything personal.” Southwest DeKalb won the Class AAAA girls’ state track championship in 2011 and placed second in the state meet May 3-5 in Albany.

Grand jury urges DA to investigate board of education, again
by Daniel Beauregard A grand jury, in a recent presentment, urged DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James to convene a special grand jury to investigate the actions of the DeKalb County Board of Education. This is the second time in the past six months that grand jurors have called for a special investigation into the actions of the school James board. “He has already said publicly he is going to ask the [state] Supreme Court for a special grand jury to investigate the school board,” said Erik Burton, a spokesman for the DeKalb District Attorney’s Office. In the presentment, jurors listed several areas of concern regarding the school board including fiscal responsibility, legal representation, and policies and procedures. Additionally, the presentment lists concerns regarding litigation the district is currently in with construction firm Heery/ Mitchell. “The grand jury asked each member if they would agree to a forensic audit of the entire school system, with the goal being to uncover any potential financial land mines, and to ensure that the proper checks and balances were in place,” the presentment states. All school board members questioned by the grand jury were in favor of an outside audit, except DeKalb School Board Chairman Eugene Walker, according to the presentment. “The audits completed by the state of Georgia did not uncover anything of concern,” Walker told jurors as the reason he voted against a forensic audit. According to the presentment, Walker told jurors the board had inherited a list of problems. Another issue jurors raised was why the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) retains two law firms as legal counsel, one of which was reportedly $400,000 more expensive than a competing law firm that represents districts such as Fulton, Cobb and Clayton. Currently, the DCSD retains law firms Alexander and Associates as well as Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan. The presentment alleged that Budget, Finance and Facilities Chairman Paul Womack couldn’t recall the differences between the two firms. “The third firm, Brock Clay, was not selected even though…they submitted a bid which was more than $400,000 lower than the bid submitted by Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan. Brock Clay specializes in education law,” the presentment states. “The decisions made to retain two firms while not selecting a highly qualified and significantly less expensive firm when the school system is in financial distress are highly questionable.” Board members were also asked about whether providing funds for former Superintendent Crawford Lewis’ legal defense in a criminal case was against board policy. Grand jurors also questioned the agreement with legal firm King and Spalding, which is representing the board of education in its suit against construction firm Heery/Mitchell. The construction firm managed the school system’s Special Option Local Sales Tax (SPLOST) account from 2002-06. In 2006 the school district terminated the company, citing overbilling and questionable work. Heery then sued the DCSD for $400,000 it said the district still owes them. The school district then countersued for $100 million, alleging fraud and claiming that the company mismanaged projects. “According to the board, the suit does not request Heery/Mitchell to pay the board’s attorney’s fees as part of the settlement, and at last count approximately $18 million had been paid to King and Spalding and an additional $19 million of fees was currently accrued,” the presentment states. “Even a successful judgment in this case would appear to create a deficit of approximately $107 million ($70 million in repair and building projects [plus] $37 million in paid or accrued legal expenses).” Late last year a grand jury cited similar concerns with the school board’s actions and stated it was in “turmoil.” It cited board interference and leaks to the media during the process to hire a new superintendent, and whether school funds were used to promote the recent SPLOST. James decided not to call for a special grand jury investigation then, agreeing with Walker that many issues had been “inherited” by the school board. However, James did express concerns regarding several items mentioned by the grand jury, including the “alleged” leaks during the superintendent hiring process. School officials were contacted for comment on this story but did not return repeated calls or e-mails.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11 2012

Page 13A

Plans to move north police precinct may change
by Daniel Beauregard DeKalb County officials said it still plans to relocate the north police precinct from Dunwoody to land next to the DeKalb Peachtree Airport (PDK), but that those plans may change if Brookhaven residents vote “yes” to cityhood. Currently, the precinct is across from Perimeter Mall on Ashford Dunwoody Road. The county wants the precinct in an unincorporated area of DeKalb instead of in a city such as Dunwoody with its own police force. When Dunwoody incorporated in 2008, the county began looking for other locations and found a plot of land off Clairmont Road next to PDK. Recently, a bill was passed to allow residents in the Brookhaven area to vote to become a city. If Brookhaven does become a city, county officials expect the city of Chamblee to annex the area where the county planned to relocate the precinct. DeKalb County spokesman Burke Brennan said although the county is looking at all its options, it is still planning to relocate the precinct next to PDK until it hears otherwise. In a statement to The Champion, DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis said his administration is evaluating its options regarding the location and construction of a new precinct. “If the referenda in Brookhaven or Chamblee are approved, any site within those proposed city limits would have to be reconsidered, as it would be outside of the DeKalb County Police Department’s jurisdiction. Until the outcomes of the referenda are known, no final decision will be made,” Ellis said. Reports have stated the relocation of the precinct is expected to play a role in residents’ vote on cityhood.

GPC President Tricoli steps down
Georgia Perimeter College president Dr. Anthony Tricoli has resigned in the wake of financial difficulties at the college, according to the University System of Georgia. Hank Huckaby, chancellor of the university system, announced this week that Tricoli has resigned following the discovery of an approximately $16 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2012 at GPC. Huckaby cited the need for “a fresh approach” as the reason Tricoli has stepped down. The chancellor stated that GPC had already taken steps to control spending for the remainder of fiscal year 2012, which ends June 30. “These steps were expanded when the size of the shortfall was determined. These steps include curtailing travel, canceling various encumbrances and purchase orders, delaying hiring and suspending contracts. In addition, the system will reallocate funds internally and will ensure that GPC will finish FY12 with a balanced budget,” he said in a prepared statement. “GPC and system staff are preparing a plan to balance FY13 since the underlying shortfall will continue into next fiscal year. Similar steps as those outlined above will be taken to reduce spending. We do not know at this time precisely the impact in every budget area, but it will be significant and will likely impact personnel. These actions are necessary to address a shortfall of this magnitude. To be clear, tuition and fees will not be increased beyond what the Board of Regents already approved at its April board meeting,” according to the statement. Huckaby said Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Alan Jackson will serve as acting president until he appoints an interim president, which he expects to do within a few days. The sixth president of Georgia Perimeter College, Tricoli was inaugurated as president in 2007.


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

The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast THURSDAY
Sunny High: 77 Low: 54

May 10, 2012
Today's Regional Map Weather History
May 10, 1987 - Jamestown, N.D. soared to a record high of 96 degrees. Thunderstorms along the central Gulf Coast deluged Lillian, Ala. with 14.5 inches of rain and nearby Perdido Key, Fla. with 12.8 inches of rain. May 11, 1987 - Early morning thunderstorms produced up to four inches of rain in southern Texas, with flooding reported from Maverick County to Eagle Pass. Evening thunderstorms in northern Illinois produced hail the size of golf balls and wind gusts to 70 mph. Dunwoody 75/53 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 76/54 76/54 76/54 Snellville Decatur 77/54 Atlanta 77/54 77/54 Lithonia College Park 78/54 78/54 Morrow 78/54 Union City 78/54 Hampton 79/55

In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see sunny skies with a high temperature of 77º, humidity of 41%. North wind 5 to 10 mph. The record high temperature for today is 96º set in 1936. Expect clear skies tonight with an overnight low of 54º. The record low for tonight is 44º set in 1966.

Sunny High: 80 Low: 55

*Last Week’s Almanac
Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 88 69 77/55 0.00" Wednesday 88 63 77/55 0.00" Thursday 84 65 77/56 0.00" Friday 85 65 77/56 0.38" Saturday 88 65 77/56 0.00" Sunday 89 65 78/56 0.15" Monday 80 66 78/57 0.03" Rainfall . . . . . . .0.56" Average temp . .75.7 Normal rainfall . .0.87" Average normal 66.6 Departure . . . . .-0.31" Departure . . . . .+9.1
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport

Sunny High: 78 Low: 57

Partly Cloudy High: 79 Low: 57

Partly Cloudy High: 79 Low: 58

Mostly Sunny High: 78 Low: 54 Last 5/12

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 6:39 a.m. 6:39 a.m. 6:38 a.m. 6:37 a.m. 6:36 a.m. 6:36 a.m. 6:35 a.m. Sunset 8:28 p.m. 8:29 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 8:31 p.m. 8:32 p.m. 8:33 p.m. Moonrise 12:24 a.m. 1:09 a.m. 1:48 a.m. 2:22 a.m. 2:54 a.m. 3:24 a.m. 3:54 a.m. Moonset 11:04 a.m. 12:08 p.m. 1:10 p.m. 2:09 p.m. 3:06 p.m. 4:01 p.m. 4:56 p.m. First 5/28

Tonight's Planets
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 5:55 a.m. 6:58 p.m. 8:28 a.m. 11:16 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 3:33 a.m. 6:52 a.m. 8:34 p.m. 6:11 p.m. 5:41 a.m. 4:41 a.m. 4:56 p.m.

Isolated T-storms High: 74 Low: 55 New 5/20

Full 6/4

Local UV Index

National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see isolated showers today, mostly clear to partly cloudy skies Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 74º in East St. Louis, Ill. The Southeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with a few thunderstorms today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 88º in Ft. Myers, Fla. The Northwest will see isolated showers and thunderstorms today, mostly clear skies Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 80º in Torrington, Wyo. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 99º in Bullhead City, Ariz.

Weather Trivia
Can a rainbow appear at night?

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. When the moon is extremely bright, it can produce a rainbow.


StarWatch By Gary Becker - Safe Solar Observing
Two events involving the sun are forthcoming within the next month. On May 20, a ringed solar eclipse tracks across the western US from Crescent City, CA to Sundown, TX during the early evening hours to sunset. See last week’s StarWatch at to get the full details. The second event happens on June 5 and involves a transit of Venus across the solar disk, the last opportunity to see such an event until December 11, 2117. The Venus transit will be the topic of next week’s StarWatch. The task at hand when observing the sun is to diminish to safe levels the ultraviolet light, and particularly, the infrared radiation (heat) coming from the sun. To this effect, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use sunglasses, multiple pairs of sunglasses, UV absorbing sunglasses, colored cellophane, colored filters, neutral density filters from photo stores, polarizing filters, fully exposed color negatives or fully exposed black and white photographic negatives (not containing a silver base), or glass smoked by the soot of a candle flame to make filtered, direct observations of the sun. All of the above methods can cause retinal burns and vision loss. So what is a solar enthusiast suppose to use? You can purchase a #14 welder’s glass or use any combination of welder’s glass that adds up to 14. To combat the green image that will result, purchase a gold-coated #14 welder’s glass for a few dollars more. Check for welding supplies online. Another consideration would be to purchase eclipse/transit glasses from a company like Rainbow Symphony— They are constructed from black Mylar, offer full protection for both eyes, a natural yellow view of the sun, and are under one dollar per unit. If you order this week, you’ll have the glasses by e-day for sure. Safe solar observing!

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012

CDC: 2011 was worst measles year in U.S. in 15 years
by Mike Stobbe ATLANTA (AP) Last year was the worst year for measles in the United States in 15 years, health officials said April 19. There were 222 cases of measles, a large jump from the 60 or so seen in a typical year. Most of the cases last year were imported—either by foreign visitors or by U.S. residents who picked up the virus overseas. U.S. children have been getting vaccinated against the measles for about 50 years. But low vaccination rates in Europe and other places resulted in large outbreaks overseas last year. So far this year, 27 U.S. cases have been reported and it’s too early to gauge whether 2012 will be as bad as last year. But with large international events like the London Olympics coming up, health officials are urging everyone—particularly international travelers—to make sure they’re fully vaccinated. “For those of you traveling abroad, bring back memories and not measles,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Generally, the Americans who got measles last year were not vaccinated. At least two-thirds of the U.S. cases fell into that category, including 50 children whose parents got philosophical, religious or medical exemptions to skip the school vaccinations required by most states, CDC officials said. The vaccine is considered very effective but a few vaccinated people still get infected. Measles is highly contagious. The virus spreads easily through the air, and in closed rooms, infected droplets can linger for up to two hours after the sick person leaves. It causes a fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body. In rare cases, measles can be deadly, and is particularly dangerous for children. Infection can also cause pregnant women to have a miscarriage or premature birth. No measles deaths were reported in the United States last year; the last one occurred in 2003. But about a third of the 2011 cases were hospitalized, and one child was touch-and-go for about a week before finally recovering, one CDC official said. Officials traced 200 of last year’s 222 cases to measles in another country, said Schuchat, director of the CDC’s Office of Infectious Diseases. The largest outbreak was in the Minneapolis area where 21 cases were traced to a child who got sick after a trip to Kenya. The last time the United States had more measles was in 1996, when 508 cases were reported. Before the vaccine was available, nearly all children got measles by their 15th birthday and epidemics cycled through the nation every two to three years— generally peaking in the late winter or spring. In those days, about 450 to 500 Americans died from measles each year. Two doses of a measles-mumpsrubella vaccine are recommended for all children, including a first dose given around a child’s first birthday and a second dose around the time of preschool. These vaccinations are believed to last for a lifetime. Children as young as 6 months can get a first dose if they’re going to a country with measles outbreaks, health officials say.


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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11 , 2012

Local News
sional expertise and certifications, performance and seniority. Under the program elimination category, 37 graduation coaches and specialists, who receive an average salary of $70,000, who will be cut. Ward-Smith said the reason for eliminating these positions is because originally, the salaries were paid by a state grant. “Five or six years ago the governor gave us money and a dropout prevention grant whereby graduation coaches were placed within schools. That was a program that was funded by the governor up until about three years ago,” Ward-Smith said. “Through the restructuring we’re going to be able to absorb some of the tasks and responsibilities that those individuals currently perform.” Ward-Smith said the elimination of graduation coaches and specialists will save the district approximately $2.6 million. As with schoolbased employees, those whose positions were eliminated will be eligible to apply for another teaching job within the district as long as they are certified. Officials said the cuts are coming now because May 15 is the latest the district can inform employees if their contracts will not be renewed due to state mandates. Ward-Smith said all those affected

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DCSD implements cost-saving measures, cuts jobs
by Daniel Beauregard The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) recently implemented cost-saving measures such as reducing teachers’ salaries by 6.25 percent, and cutting jobs. District spokesman Walter Woods said the reduction has been written into the teacher contracts in past years but the board always restores the reductions. “Every year we send out the same contract and we put in the 6.25 salary decrease,” Woods said. “Nothing is new this year.” Woods said the board would decide whether to restore the salary levels after the budget process is completed. The budget was originally slated to come before the board in April but has been delayed because of an anticipated shortfall in revenue. Additionally, the DeKalb County School Board voted April 27 to cut 133 jobs, a move school officials say will save the district $9.3 million. Tekshia Ward-Smith, chief human resources officer for DCSD, said in past years the district based school staffing on the number of contracts given out rather than on the actual allotment for each school. However, Ward-Smith said that will change for the 2012-13 school year. “The superintendent has developed a needs-based budgeting approach to determine the actual student-based needs of local schools and the school district as a whole. The resulting data to date has shown funds available to the classrooms can be maximized by addressing overstaffing and program elimination,” Ward-Smith said. The cuts are the result of a district-wide analysis Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson tasked officials with earlier this month and represent less than 2 percent of DCSD’s entire workforce, according to Ward-Smith. Officials said the cuts fall into two categories: school-based overages and program elimination. Ward-Smith said the district has identified 96 school employees, with an average salary of $70,000, who will be cut due to overstaffing. This will save the district approximately $6.7 million. “Any school-based employee identified in a position that is proposed for elimination will be eligible to seek a teacher contract in another content area should such a vacancy, due to teacher attrition, become available,” Ward-Smith said. Ward-Smith said the schoolbased cuts were determined by assessing each employee’s profesby the cuts will receive notification by May 11. “We’re hoping to be able to absorb a lot of these particular individuals through natural attrition in the district,” Atkinson said. Woods said each year approximately 200 teachers retire or leave the district for various reasons, and officials hope the positions will be able to be filled by the 133 employees. “We looked at this very clearly based on student allotment–exactly what we do need–and we made sure that these needs were covered by other individuals,” Woods said. Board member Don McChesney pointed out that even if those 133 individuals did manage to obtain another contract from the district due to attrition, it would still be an entirely different position and salary range. “This is not a pleasant thing, but overstaffed is overstaffed, and we’ve got to move on it. A lot of this started because of what is now an unfunded mandate by the state,” McChesney said. “I hope in the future as these items come up—because I know they will from time to time—that we can [tell] the board this was an item originally started under a state mandate that has now fallen [to us].”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012


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2012 DeKalb County graduation dates

DCSD launches social networking initiative
by Daniel Beauregard The DeKalb County School District has launched a social networking initiative to interact with stakeholders and promote student success. Officials unveiled DCSD’s new Twitter handle @ DeKalbSchools at a May 3 event recognizing salutatorians and valedictorians within the district. School spokesman Walter Woods said when Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson met with parents and community members during her 90-day entry plan, they said “loud and clear” they wanted more ways to interact with the district. “Other districts have been fairly successful with using social media,” Woods said. “We really wanted to create a channel so we could report student success that doesn’t always make the news.” Additionally, Woods said officials wanted to use social media as a way for people to keep up with what was going on in the district and to improve visibility. “This is just the first phase and we’re going to do more. The reason why we chose the valedictorian event was because we really wanted to focus on the student achievement aspect. The next phase will be Facebook but we don’t have a timeline on that yet,” Woods said. A press release for the event stated DCSD would be streaming it live on the district’s Twitter page and would be using its social media channels to promote “upto-the-minute news, photos, video and other content to promote student achievements, as well as district news and information for parents and residents.” In total, the district posted five tweets that consisted

The DeKalb County School District recently launched a social networking initiative to promote student success. However, some were critical of the district’s “5 tweet social media debut.”

mainly of quotes from Atkinson such as, “These students will be our first posts on social media. We have arrived!” and “Our social media channels are dedicated to our students…Because there are miracles in DeKalb every day!” In response to DCSD’s Twitter debut, resident Lauren S. Shankman tweeted, “@DeKalbSchools where was the dialogue? Insight? Conversation? Better luck next time.” Additionally, Parents for DeKalb Schools tweeted, “After @DeKalbSchools 5 tweet social media debut, we hope to see a more impressive showing soon. Social media guru needed!” In addition to its Twitter page, DCSD’s YouTube channel 1DekalbSchools posts videos of events and information for students, parents and community members.

May 11: Margaret Harris Comprehensive School, 10 a.m. at the school. May 19: St. Pius High School, 9:30 a.m. at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta. May 20: Destiny Academy, 3 p.m. at the DCSD Administrative and Industrial Complex Auditorium. May 22: McNair High School, 2 p.m. at Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church. May 23: Elizabeth Andrews High School and DeKalb Alternative School (graduating together), 2 p.m. at New Beginning Full Gospel Church; Eagle Woods Academy, 12:30 p.m. at the school; Miller Grove High School, 7 p.m. at the Georgia Dome. May 24: Stephenson High School, 4:30 p.m. at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church; Stone Mountain High School, 6 p.m. at the Georgia Dome; Clarkston High School, 5:30 p.m. at Hallford Stadium; Towers High School, 6 p.m. at Greater Travelers Rest Baptists Church; Dunwoody High School, 5:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Atlanta; Cross Keys High School, 7:30 p.m. at Adams Stadium; Druid Hills High School, 5 p.m. at Thomas Murphy Ballroom. May 25: Academe of the Oaks, 6 p.m. at the school; Lithonia High School, 9 a.m. at Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church; Southwest DeKalb High School, 3:30 p.m. at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church; DeKalb Early College Academy, 6 p.m. at the DCSD Administrative and Industrial Complex Auditorium; Lakeside High School, 2 p.m. at Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church; Columbia High School, 7:30 p.m. at Georgia State University; Redan High School, 10 a.m. at the Georgia Dome; Chamblee High School, 5:30 p.m. at North DeKalb Stadium; DeKalb School of the Arts, 6:30 p.m. at Avondale Baptist Church. May 26: Marist School, 2 p.m. at the school; Martin L. King Jr. High School, noon at the Georgia Dome; Tucker High School, 10 a.m. at Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church; Cedar Grove High School, 10 a.m. at Georgia State University.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11 2012

Page 17A


DeKalb Schools lease of Fernbank Forest to end in June
by Daniel Beauregard Soon the DeKalb County School District will no longer be responsible for the care and maintenance of Fernbank Forest, a 65-acre tract of mature mixed hardwood forest that serves as a nature preserve. On June 30, a 45-year lease of the preserve to DCSD will expire, and the care and maintenance of the forest will fall to owner Fernbank Inc. “We had been negotiating back and forth,” school district spokesman Walter Woods said. “The lease is as old as I am. About 6,000 children a year visit the forest and people in the community use it as well.” ‘The lease is as Woods said since 2009 the district had old as I am. About been negotiating with Fernbank Inc. 6,000 children to come up with another long-term a year visit the lease, but the owners forest and people decided to let the district’s current in the community lease expire and not give it the option of use it as well.’ renewing. “It costs us $250,000 to maintain - Walter Woods the forest each year but that wasn’t a budgetary concern for us,” Woods said. He said now the district is working with the county to find something that will provide students the same hands-on, outdoor experience that the forest did. “There are a number of options with parks and stuff around the county.” Woods said DCSD will still maintain the Fernbank Science Center, which sits across from Fernbank Elementary School. Brandi Berry, a spokeswoman for the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, said the decision to let the lease run out coincides with the history museum’s 20th anniversary. “It wasn’t really so much a decision not to,” Berry said. “It was just that the lease ran its course. It didn’t catch anybody by surprise; it was always kind of known.” Berry said there are some invasive species and ecological issues the forest is facing and the first goal for the history museum in regards to the forest was to take care of those issues. “We’re not taking access away from anyone,” Berry said. “We’re working on an entire master plan of the campus, including the forest, and developing some programs to make it even better than it is now.” Although Berry said a lot of improvements need to be completed within the forest, she said it wasn’t fair to say that DCSD let it fall into disrepair during the 45 years it held the lease with Fernbank Inc. Berry said the museum is working with nationally recognized ecologists and landscape technicians to make sure everything is in place for the next phase of the forest. She said the museum will soon announce its new plans for the forest. “We’re excited that people are taking an interest in what’s happening to the forest. I think it needs more attention and there are a lot Work from Home of improvements that need Business Opportunity to be made,” Berry said. “It’s not fair to ask someone who 770-323-3993 is leasing your property to make those improvements.”

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School (IHM) was awarded the designation of “No Place for Hate,” by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Ira Genser, an ADL representative, presented the award to IHM Principal James Lee and school counselor Angela Walsh at a recent assembly.

IMH presented award by Anti-Defamation League
Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School was awarded the designation “No Place for Hate” by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for the second year in a row. Ira Genser, an ADL representative, presented the award to IMH Principal James Lee and school counselor Angela Walsh during a student assembly April 26. “Our mission statement at IHM is to develop positive, productive, Christians serving society, which is why the No Place for Hate program is so important to us; it reminds us to serve everyone,” Lee said. “No Place for Hate” is part of the ADL’s diversity education program, which empowers communities across the country to challenge prejudice and bigotry.

GPC Clarkston campus graduate earns honors scholarship
Georgia Perimeter College graduate Tracy-Ann Griffiths was awarded a $1,500 scholarship to continue taking honors courses when she attends Georgia Southern University this fall. Griffiths’ scholarship comes through an honors articulation agreement between GPC and Georgia Southern, designed to increase the number of students who leave the Griffiths GPC Honors Program and wish to continue in the honors program at a four-year college. Griffiths graduates from GPC this summer with an associate degree in business administration and a 3.8 GPA. She will major in fashion merchandising at Georgia Southern.

Emory University biologist receives top scientific honor
Emory University biologist Bruce Levin has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for excelling in original scientific research. Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States. Levin, the Samuel C. Dobbs Professor of Biology at Emory University, will be inducted into the academy next April during its 150th annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Levin, elected along with 83 others this year, is the fifth member of Emory faculty elected to NAS. Levin is a leader in using mathematical and computer simulation modeling to study the evolutionary biology of bacteria and their viruses.

Alabama State University honors students from DeKalb
Alabama State University (ASU) announced seven of its students from Lithonia were recognized during the ASU’s 2012 Honors Convocation for high academic achievements To be recognized, students must have completed at least 15 semester hours of core courses at ASU with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. The students recognized are: Christina A. Okolo; India M. Williams; Richard F. Key; Robert Lee Graham; Sasha Uriah Middlebrooks; Shenicka Hohenkirk; and Felisea Smith.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11 2012


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Northlake Mall announces opening of new stores
Northlake Mall shoppers will soon have more choices when visiting the DeKalb County shopping center. Best Buy Mobile, Subway, 4 Ever Young and T-Mobile will join the mall’s retail roster in upcoming months. In addition, Encore by Shoe Department’s expansion was completed in April. In total, these new and renovated stores will account for more than 31,000 square feet of enhanced retail space in the mall. Encore by Shoe Department, an accessories store carrying such brands as Nike, New Balance and Timberland, is expanding into a renovated 17,900-square-foot storefront. This is the only Encore store in Georgia. 4 Ever Young, a local store specializing in trendy juniors apparel, jewelry and accessories, opened in April in a 11,625-square-foot storefront between Ashley Stewart and Sears on the upper level. Best Buy Mobile opened in April near New York & Company on the lower level of the mall in a 1,340-square-foot store. Best Buy Mobile stores, a smaller version of the company’s big-box stores, is a full-service wireless retailer with an emphasis on mobile products. Subway, a sandwich chain, will open in the Food Garden in late spring. T-Mobile, a nationwide wireless carrier, plans to open a 957-square-foot store near the Food Garden in June.

Paulette Smith speaks from experience on the need for an emergency financial kit.

Celeste Brewer gives advice on divorce and child support. Photos by Kathy Mitchell

Women talk to women about acquiring and keeping financial resources
by Kathy Mitchell

An afternoon of free financial advice drew approximately 25 women to the Wesley Chapel Public Library April 28 as the Decatur/DeKalb chapter of Coalition of 100 Black Women hosted the first seminar in its My Sister’s Keeper series. Although the series was prompted by “research that shows that the average net worth of African-American women in 2010 was $5,” according to chapter President Norma Johnson, the seminars are open to any who choose to attend. Among the April speakers was retirement specialist Paulette J. Smith, who spoke from experience on the need to have an emergency financial kit. “Before my family evacuated New Orleans fleeing from Hurricane Katrina, my son videotaped the interior of our home and I photographed the outside. We left so quickly that when I arrived in Atlanta I was overcome with the fact that I had very little documentation with me,” she recalled. “Imagine my relief when my mother presented me with a package I had sent her two years before with the words written on the front, ‘Open in the case of my death or if I am in trouble.’ You see, I had actually obeyed the advice I give my clients and forgot that I had sent her the package.” Smith recommends sending a relative or

close friend a packet that includes such documents as a bank statement, an investment statement, real estate titles, prescriptions, birth certificates, passports, photocopies of driver’s licenses and of all credit cards. She added that the package should include personal photos taken throughout one’s lifetime. “That’s just to make you feel good, if you lose everything else,” she said. With a laugh, she added, “Send it to someone who lives in another region of the country. It won’t help to send it to someone in Lithonia. If a disaster hits Atlanta, they’ll probably be having trouble, too.” Felicia Johnson, an attorney who specializes in personal injury, spoke on what people should do before or after an accident to assure they are properly compensated for such expenses as medical bills and lost wages. “I advise people as to what they should include in their insurance policies,” Johnson said. “Some item that makes very little difference in the premium can make a big difference when you have a claim.” Johnson also advised choosing an attorney carefully following an accident. “I’m not putting down the lawyers you see on television,” she said, “but they may not value you as a client if they don’t see the potential for a huge settlement.” Another attorney, Celeste Brewer, specializes in family law and gave advice

on divorce, child support and proof of paternity. Always seek the services of an attorney, she said. “And always choose one who specializes in your specific problem. Lawyers these days are like doctors—everybody specializes,” she said. Brewer said that family law cases can become very emotional and people may either “accept anything just to get the case over with” or make unreasonable demands because they are angry. Lawyers, she said, help people sort through what’s fair. Sheryl Barnes, also an attorney, spoke on wills and estate planning. The goals of estate planning, she said, are to minimize costs, taxes, complications for loved ones and the time needed to dispose of an estate as well as to control disposition of assets, maximize inheritance for heirs and provide for minors or any other heirs with special needs. “The next generation will lose more than $2 billion annually to the probate process,” Barnes said, quoting AARP statistics, “and conservatively 4 percent to 10 percent of every estate will be consumed by probate unless proper steps are taken.” Barnes added, “Some people think that estate planning is only for wealthy people. It is for everyone who wants to be sure those they leave behind get what they want them to have.” The next seminar in the series is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 25. Details will be announced later.

Handyman business opens east Atlanta franchise
HandyPro, a national handyman services and senior home modification franchise company, recently announced that it has opened a franchise location in east Atlanta. The new franchise is owned and managed by area resident Brian Potter and will provide a variety of maintenance services for homeowners in the eastern Atlanta communities, including Atlanta, Chamblee, Clarkston, Doraville, Dunwoody, Stone Mountain and Tucker. The company will also provide home modifications for seniors and disabled homeowners to help them remain in their home. “In the current housing market, more homeowners are fixing up their homes instead of moving, and we provide the home maintenance services to help people finish their ‘to do’ lists,” Potter said. “And with the aging of our society, more senior citizens need their home renovated to help them age in place, and we have the capability to do any type of modification from building wheelchair ramps to renovating a bathroom with a walk-in tub.

Agency owner recognized for customer service, business results
Allstate Insurance Company has recognized Allstate exclusive agency owner Kirt Lattanze with the National Conference award for high standards in customer satisfaction, customer retention and profitable business growth. The Kirt Lattanze Agency in Dunwoody is now one of the top Allstate agencies in the nation in auto, property, commercial, power sports insurance and financial services sales. “It’s a tremendous honor to earn National Conference recognition,” said Lattanze. “My agency’s commitment is to serve customers and the Dunwoody community.”

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11 2012

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012

Republican women to meet The North DeKalb Republican Women (NDRW) will meet at the DeKalb Republican Party headquarters, 3583-G Chamblee Tucker Road, Atlanta (Embry Hills Shopping Village), on Saturday, May 12, at 10 a.m. The guest speaker will be Virginia Galloway, Georgia state director of Americans for Prosperity, presenting “Making the Grade in Georgia.” a school choice DVD. The public is invited. The NDRW is a non-profit organization involved in public service working with the USO, Ronald McDonald House, the VA Hospital and local schools. The NDRW is collecting diapers for the families of U.S. military. Those who would like to contribute should bring the diapers to the DeKalb GOP headquarters on any meeting date. For more information, contact Natalie Olmi at (770) 396-4101. The City of Chamblee, Chamblee Police Department, DeKalb County Health Department and DeKalb County also will have booths with representatives on hand. For more information, visit www.chambleega. com or call (770) 986-5010. Confucianism class at Chamblee Library In celebration of Asian Heritage Month, the Chamblee Public Library is offering a Confucianism 101 class May 16, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Emory University associate professor Cheryl Crowley will discuss Confucianism, the way of life propagated by Confucius in the 6–5th century B.C. and followed by the Chinese people for more than two millennia. Although transformed over time, Confucianism still plays a large role in the substance of learning, the source of values and the social code of the Chinese. Its influence has also extended to other countries, particularly Korea, Japan and Vietnam. The suggested age group for the class is 18 and above. For more information contact the Chamblee Public Library at (770) 936-1380. event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (404)9197322 or e-mail at Library to show movie The Help The Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams Library will screen The Help, starring Viola Davis and Emma Stone, on May 18, 1:30—3:30 p.m., as part of its Friday movie series. This 2011 film is rated PG-13 and runs approximately 146 minutes. The series features 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) 679-4404. Healthy Belvedere offers chi walking instruction Sandy Bramlett, a certified chi walking instructor, will educate those at the May Healthy Belvedere Initiative on the chi walking method and lead a 30-minute walk to allow participants to practice their new chi walking skills. Chi walking is a technique, based on the principles of t’ai chi, which focuses on body alignment and use of core muscles to make walking easier on the body and eliminate discomfort. The event will be Saturday, May 12, 9-11 a.m., at Shoal Creek Park located at 3642 Glenwood Road, Decatur. It is free and open to all who live, work, play, worship or learn in the Belvedere community. Healthy Belvedere hosts monthly initiatives to educate the community on health and nutrition. Author to discuss mental health issues Author Darlene Nazaire will sign copies of her book Leaping Over the Hurdles of Life on May 18 at Java Delight Café, 4153 Flat Shoals Parkway in Decatur. Nazaire will share information about mental distress and its impact on families and communities. The event will be 2-4 p.m. Decatur church to hold recycling event Decatur First United Methodist Church will hold a recycling bonanza on May 12. The church will be accepting household items, clothing, shoes, books and electronics. TVs can be recycled for a $10 charge, papershredding is $5 per banker’s box and paint can be recycled for $1 per can. Some items will be donated to the United Methodist Children’s Home, First UMC Decatur Prison Ministry, Soles for Souls, Southface and local Decatur clothes closets. The donations will be collected in the parking lot of the church located at 300 East Ponce De Leon Ave., Decatur. For more information, send an e-mail to For an extensive list of items that can be recycled, go to

Genealogist to speak at library Dr. D. L. Henderson, historian and genealogist, will be at the Salem-Panola Library Saturday, May 19, 1 - 3 p.m., to discuss how to use cemeteries and related records to expand genealogy research. Topics will include strategies for locating and interpreting death records, conducting on-site research in cemeteries and interpreting genealogical and cultural information on gravestones and in the cemetery landscape. Salem-Panola Library is located at 5137 Salem Road, Lithonia. For more information, call (770) 9876900.

Celebrate Chamblee promises family, food, fun Family and community are the focus of the first Celebrate Chamblee, a community festival set to become an annual family event for the city. Celebrate Chamblee, which will showcase diversity through cultural activities and offerings, will take place 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. Food vendors and entertainers will line the streets near Chamblee City Hall at 5468 Peachtree Road. Celebrate Chamblee has something planned for all ages — music, arts and crafts, food, a kids’ play area and more. Those attending are invited to bring chairs, blankets and the whole family for a day of fun and celebration. The event is free and open to the public, with food — both local and international dishes — beverages and desserts available for purchase from participating vendors from Chamblee and surrounding areas. Visitors will have the opportunity to take part in festivities such as salsa lessons and line dancing, and see performances by a mariachi band, Asian drummers, and Chinese and Taiwanese dancers, along with pop, R&B and more — provided by area music groups. There will be a kids’ play area that features moon walks, clowns, an art studio and face painting, among other activities.

Church to host financial classes Bethesda Cathedral has announced that it is hosting Financial Peace University (FPU), a 13-week course taught by Dave Ramsey on DVD. “FPU teaches families and individuals common-sense principles like how to make a plan with their money so they are able to free themselves of debt and build lasting wealth, according to an announcement from Bethesda Cathedral, which is located at 1989 Austin Drive, Decatur. The classes will begin Monday, May 21, at 7 p.m. Call (404) 289-3751 for more information or to register. SDBA to hold political forum South DeKalb Business Association has announced it will hold a political forum on Thursday, May 17, 5:30-9 p.m. at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Community Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. Jocelyn Dorsey of WSB-TV will be the moderator, as the association presents candidates and their platforms for the upcoming DeKalb County elections for CEO, county commissioner, school board member, clerk of courts, judge, state legislator, U.S. Congress, etc. The

Archaeology Day announced New South Associates has announced Archaeology Day Saturday, May 12, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature hands-on activities, including games, demonstrations and displays geared toward kids and families. The group will be aided by Abby the ArchaeoBus. Its goal is to involve and enlighten the community about Georgia’s archaeology and historic sites. New South’s archaeologists, mortuary archaeologists and historians will be guiding mock digs and excavations, pottery making and stone tool recreations. Visitors can also bring items of their own for their archaeologists to identify. They will also give tours of Stone Mountain’s Civil War-era cemetery. The event is free and open to all ages. There will be food on sale to benefit the Society for Georgia Archaeology. New South Associates is located at 6150 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Stone Mountain.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012


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DeKalb native Appling honored at Oglethorpe
Courtesy of Oglethorpe University Sports Communications


observance of the inaugural “NCAA Division III Week,” Oglethorpe University on April 14 hosted the family of 1932 alum and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Luke Appling on the Brookhaven campus. Four generations of Appling family members were in attendance as Oglethorpe hosted a pre-game reception before Luke’s daughter, Linda Appling Sumpter, tossed out the first pitch at Anderson Field prior to the Stormy Petrels’ game against BirminghamSouthern. When the Oglethorpe athletic department first conceived the idea to host a “Luke Appling Day” during baseball season, Sumpter helped coordinate getting four generations of the family together for the afternoon celebration. The NCAA’s “Division III Week” initiative to celebrate the division’s unique philosophy that equally values academics, athletics and student-athletes’ involvement in a full and rich campus life, created the perfect time to bring the family to the campus. Lucius “Luke” Appling had a stellar college career at Oglethorpe. In 1930 he led the Stormy Petrels to a perfect 15-0 record. In Appling’s final game of collegiate competition, he hit three home runs against Mercer University. Appling was signed to a professional contract and spent the next 20 seasons wearing the No. 4 jersey and playing shortstop for the Chicago White Sox. He made seven All-Star ap-

pearances and won two American daughter Erin, Appling’s great League batting titles, including hit- grandchild, served as the Stormy ting .388 in 1936 and being named Petrel ball girl for the game. the best shortstop in baseball. In In addition to Lisa Dunbar, six 1964 he was elected into the Major of Appling’s grandchildren were in League Baseball Hall Fame. attendance with their families. The Among the attendees at the other grandchildren present were Oglethorpe ceremony were two of Brett Sumpter, Ben Sumpter, Appling’s three children – Carol Jack Tribble, Tammy McLaughTribble and Sumpter. Their brother, lin, Jimmy Cox and Luke Appling Luke Appling III, was unable to at- IV. Joining the immediate famitend but his daughter, Lisa Dunbar, ly were members of the Dodd, Senwas on hand for the occasion. Lisa’s kbeil and Choron families of Linda

Linda Appling Sumpter, the daughter of former Oglethorpe legend and baseball Hall of Famer Luke Appling, throws out the first ball at a recent Oglethorpe game. Photo provided

Sumpter’s mothers’ family. The pre-game reception included a historical display of artifacts depicting Appling’s career provided by the Oglethorpe University archives. A booklet of press clippings detailing Appling’s rise in the world of baseball was presented to family members, many of whom remained to attend an in-game barbecue in the right field pavilion for all Oglethorpe student-athletes celebrating Division III Week.

Redan clears SWD hurdle to win girls’ track title
by Robert Naddra Redan’s girls track coaches waited patiently through the first two days of the Class AAAA state championship May 3-5 in Albany. Defending champion Southwest DeKalb built a lead through the field and distance events while the Raiders entered the final day on May 5 without a point. Anchored by hurdlers India Hammond and Nikkia Jefferson, Redan scored 58 points to beat runner-up Southwest, which scored 41. It was Redan’s second girls’ state track championship, the first coming in 2005. “We knew we had the best hurdlers; they’re the backbone of our team,” said Redan coach Takilla Smith. “We were ranked high in the running events so we knew if we could qualify in those events we’d do well at state.” Jefferson ran a personal best time of 43.35 seconds to win the 300 meter hurdles and Hammond placed second. Hammond was second in the 100 hurdles while Jefferson was third. The duo teamed with Crystal Gray and Jay Johnson to win the 4x100 relay. Also, Gray placed second in the 400 and the Raiders were second in the 4x400 relay. DeKalb teams swept the top three spots in the AAAA meet with Dunwoody placing third with 38 points. There were two other individual champions from DeKalb schools. Kenya Wheeler of Southwest DeKalb won the shot put, Tatiyana Caffey of Miller Grove won the 400 and Dunwoody placed first in the 4x400 relay. Also, Marist’s Morgan Ilse and Dunwoody’s Alex Cameron were second and third, respectively, in the 3,200; Demetria Dickens of Southwest was third in the shot put; and Dunwoody’s Erika Banks was second in the 200. “We knew going into this year that us, Southwest DeKalb and Dunwoody would be very good,” Smith said. “We felt like the state champion would come out of our region and we knew all three would do well at state.” Unlike many other track programs in the county, Redan’s boys and girls teams train together and participate in the same meets. All three coaches—Smith, head boys coach Willie Griffith and Khary Wright—accompanied the girls to the state meet. And all three will make the trip to Jefferson on May 10 for the boys’ state meet. “Our better girls compete with the younger guys at practice and it helps both of them get better,” Smith said. “It creates that level of competition for both teams.” In other classifications, defending Class AAAAA champion M.L. King came up one point short, finishing second to Walton 48-47. Decatur, which won the Class AA title last year, placed third this time. In the AAAAA meet, Felicia Brown of M.L. King won the 200 with a time of 23.78 seconds and the 400 in 53.89 seconds. The Lions also placed first in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. The only other champion from a school in the county was Ashleigh Rasheed, who won the triple jump for Decatur in the Class AA meet. Rasheed jumped 38 feet, 11.5 inches to win the triple jump. She also placed second in the 300 hurdles. Decatur’s Alaina Cook was second in the 110 hurdles and the Bulldogs were runner up in the 4x400 relay. Decatur scored 52 points as the top four teams were separated by 8.25 points. In the Class AAA meet, Cedar Grove’s Kayla Pryor was second in the 800 and third in the 300 hurdles. Also, Arabia Mountain’s 4x400 relay team placed second. Cedar Grove, in eighth place, was the top county team in AAA.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012


Page 22A

Dunwoody's Jerric Johnson fields a throw as a Pope player slides into second base. The Wildcats were eliminated by the Greyhounds in the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs. Photo by Al Farnell

Nyonkouor Karlar (9) works between two South Paulding defenders in Tucker’s 5-1 win in the first round of the Class AAAA state tournament. Photo by Travis Hudgons

DeKalb High School Sports Highlights
Class AAAA state championship: Marist won the team championship May 7 in Augusta by one stroke over Lakeside-Evans. Jack Larkin shot a 72 to lead the War Eagles, followed by John Quirk (75), Will Maggard (76), Mitchell Yates (77), Will Duma (78) and Sean Murphy (81). Ryan Elmore shot a 77 to lead Dunwoody to a 12th place finish. Will Trask shot an 83. Also, Lakeside’s Austin Bowman shot an 81. AAAA state tournament. Dunwoody had four hits in the opener of the best-of-three series. James Cunningham hit a home run. Pitcher Ryan Gaines threw 118 pitches, allowed 11 hits and struck out six batters. Pope scored two runs in the seventh inning for the win in the second game. With the game tied 3-3 after six innings, James Farnell drove in Gaines to give Dunwoody a 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the seventh, Pope’s David Bohn hit a fly ball to deep center field with the bases loaded and two outs to score two runs for the win. Chris Hale, Jared Martin and Farnell each had two hits for the Wildcats, with Farnell driving in two runs. St. Pius: Tyler Alexander scored three goals to help the Golden Lions (15-2-2) defeat LaGrange 6-0 on May 4 in the first round of the Class AAA state tournament. Edmundo Robinson, Calvin Jackson and Jeremy Crawford each scored one goal. It was the 10th shutout for the Golden Lions this season. St. Pius faced Drew on May 8 in the second round. Other first-round games: In Class AAAA, Lakeside defeated Alexander 3-1 and Marist beat Pope 3-0. Lakeside faced McIntosh and Marist played Forest Park in the second round. Also, Chamblee was beaten by Kell 4-0 in AAAA and Stephenson lost in AAAAA 10-1 to Tift County. Druid Hills (8-6-2) lost its Class AAA opener to Columbus 7-6 on penalty kicks. The game was tied 0-0 after regulation.
See Highlights on page 24

Marist: The War Eagles rallied after a loss in Game 1 to beat Villa Rica in the best-of-three series in the first round of the Class AAAA state tournament. After a 4-3 loss in nine innings, Marist won the next two games 9-2 and 11-5. Steven Taylor led Game 2 with four hits, Jackson Armstrong had three hits while Anthony Sherlag and Patrick Anhut each had two. The War Eagles opened the game with five runs in the first inning. Sean Guenther was the winning pitcher and held Villa Rica to four hits. In the deciding game, every Marist starter had a hit, with Anhut leading the way with three and Nick Carrier had two. Sophomore Liam Cotter, in his first varsity appearance of the season, came on in relief in the fourth inning and held Villa Rica to three hits. The second round began May 9 with Marist hosting Mundy’s Mill in a doubleheader. The third game, if necessary, will be played May 10. Redan: The Raiders were eliminated in the first round of the Class AAAA state tournament by East Paulding, losing the third game in the bestof-three series 15-4. Redan won the opener 11-9 in nine innings, then lost the second game 14-6. Kaderius Dorsey pitched three innings in relief to earn the win in Game 2. Brandon Baker got a hit to drive in the winning runs. The Raiders end the season 21-8. Dunwoody: The Wildcats were eliminated by Pope 4-2 and 5-4 in the first round of the Class

Chamblee: The Bulldogs lost to Alexander 5-3 in the deciding game of the best-of-three series and were eliminated in the first round of the Class AAAA state tournament. Chamblee lost the opener 4-3, then won Game 2 3-2. Patrick Gaulden picked up his 10th win to set the school record for wins in a season. He pitched seven innings, allowed one earned run and seven hits while striking out six. Jared McKay and Chris Burgess each drove in a run in the third inning to give the Bulldogs a 3-1 cushion. Somto Egbuna, who also had an RBI, and Burgess each had two hits. The Bulldogs end the season 18-10-1. Arabia Mountain: The Rams lost to No. 1-ranked Columbus 10-0 and 14-0 in the first round of the Class AAA state tournament. The Rams, the fourth seed from Region 5-AAA, end the season 15-11.

Tucker: Lucky Teah scored two goals to lead the Tigers to a 5-1 win over South Paulding in the first round of the Class AAAA state tournament. Solomon Roberts, William Gomez and Manthe Nsukami each scored one goal for the Tigers, who entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed from Region 6. Tucker, which had not won a state tournament game since 19990, faced Dutchtown on May 8 in the second round.

Tucker's Lucky Teah (8) scored two goals in the Tigers' 5-1 win over South Paulding. Photo by Travis Hudgons

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012

On the right track
M.L. King hurdler has sights set on state title and beyond


Page 23A

by Robert Naddra Jordan Moore might be on a different athletic path had he not yielded to his parents’ direction before he began high school. Moore was one of several promising sprinters on the Union Grove Middle School track team in Henry County as a seventh grader. His coach saw potential with Moore as a hurdler and moved him to the hurdles instead of the 100 meters. Despite winning the Henry County middle school championship in the hurdles in seventh and eighth grades, Moore wanted to return to the 100 and 200. That’s when Jackie Moore voiced her opinion. “My mom wouldn’t let me,” said Moore, now at senior at M.L. King. “My mom and dad were not going to let me stop doing the hurdles.” That bit of parental intuition proved fruitful for Moore. He won the 110 hurdles at state in each of the past two seasons at Union Grove High School. This season, after transferring to M.L. King, Moore will try to make it three in a row. He has qualified for the Class AAAAA state track and field championships May 11-12 in Jefferson in the 110 meter hurdles and the 200. His time of 13.39 seconds in the hurdles is 5/100ths of a second off the state high school record and is the fastest in the state, regardless of classification, this season. Moore also is a member of the Lions’ 4x100 relay team that has qualified for the state meet.

Jordan Moore has the fastest time in the state in all classifications in the 110 meter hurdles. Photo by Robert Naddra

In addition to his success in track, Moore was a standout on the Lions’ football team that advanced to the semifinals of the AAAAA state playoffs last season. He will attend Texas Christian University in the fall on a football scholarship and will play both sports. Moore said he originally com-

mitted to LSU for track but had always been looking for “a top school that played football at a high level.” TCU fit the bill. “He’s a great kid. He’s spiritually grounded, a good student and he knows what he wants to do,” said Mike Carson, the head football and track coach at M.L. King. “That’s a

testament to his upbringing. He’s a very humble kid.” Moore has had the benefit of a private track coach since the summer after his ninth grade year. Moore’s mother was a former coworker with Eric Merriwether, who coaches for the track club Sprint Athletics in Atlanta. “I’ve been blessed to meet up with a coach like that,” Moore said. Merriwether is just part of a large support system for Moore. “My mom and dad, my whole family and the coaches here have all been great,” Moore said. “I’ve been blessed with a lot of support in my life.” Moore said he has used his support system to keep things fun despite the growing distractions of recruiting and increased media attention over the past year. “Every day is fun for me,” Moore said. “That’s how I feel. The whole community is behind me. I know there are little kids that look up to me and I just take it in stride. It’s fun.” Although he is having fun, Moore said he is serious when it comes to competing at the state level and beyond in track. Moore said he will compete in two events this summer and if he runs fast enough he could qualify for a chance to go to the Olympic Trials. “He’s improved a lot since last year,” Carson said. “He runs the indoor [track] season on a national level. Every time he’s run during the high school season he’s set his personal best. We expect big things from him at the state meet.”

On May 5, in the gym of Southwest DeKalb High School, friends and family of McDonald’s All-American basketball player William “Shaq” Goodwin gathered to celebrate the retiring of his jersey. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Former coaches and teammates listened as stories about Goodwin were shared.

Southwest DeKalb alumni Lonnie Edwards Jr, left, whose jersey was retired in 1998, also spoke at the event.

William Goodwin

Page 24A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 11, 2012

Highlights Continued From Page 22A
St. Pius: Amanda Vocelka scored four goals on May 4 and the Golden Lions defeated Central Carroll 10-0 in the first round of the Class AAA state tournament. It was the 14th shutout of the season for St. Pius. Grace May and Caroline Wootten each scored two goals, and Taylor Glenn and Lauren McKeever added one goal each. The three-time defending state champion Golden Lions faced Spalding on May 9 in the second round. Marist: Liliana Rios scored two goals as the War Eagles defeated Alexander 10-0 in the first round of the Class AAAA tournament. Claire Sullivan added a goal and an assist for the War Eagles, the No. 1 seed from Region 6. Other first-round games: Lakeside, Chamblee and Dunwoody were eliminated in the first round of the AAAA tournament. The Vikings were beaten by Kell 1-0 (4-2 on penalty kicks). The Bulldogs were shut out 3-0 on penalty kicks and lost to North Paulding 2-1 while Pope defeated Dunwoody 9-0.


Each week The Champion spotlights former high school players from the county who are succeeding in athletics on the college level. Trey Griffin, Santa Fe College, Gainesville, Fla. (baseball): The sophomore from M.L. King is batting .311 with three home runs and 36 RBIs this season. He had three hits and two RBIs in a 7-5 win over Indian River State College in the FCSSA state tournament. Alexus Cobbs, Troy (track): The freshman from Cedar Grove had the best indoor performance on the team in the long jump in March. She had an effort of 5.33 meters and finished ninth in the Vulcan Invitational. She placed sixth in the Coach O Invitational outdoor meet on April 28. David Bourbonnais, Birmingham-Southern (baseball): The freshman from Marist is batting .288 with three home runs and 28 RBIs, and has a 1-1 record with three saves and a 3.20 earned run average as a pitcher. BSC recently won the SCAC tournament.

The Champion chooses a male and female high school Athlete of the Week each week throughout the school year. The choices are based on performance and nominations by coaches. Please e-mail nominations to robert@ by Monday at noon.
MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Lucky Teah, Tucker (soccer): Teah scored the Tigers’ first two goals in a 5-1 win over South Paulding in the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs. It was the Tigers’ second playoff win in school history, the first coming in 2001. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Nikkia Jefferson, Redan (track): Jefferson won the 300 meter hurdles, was third in the 100 hurdles and was part of the Raiders’ winning 4x100 relay team in the Class AAAA state meet. The senior helped the Raiders beat Southwest DeKalb for the championship.

Lakeside: DeKalb County all-around champion Meg Stephens placed fifth in the balance beam with an average score of 9.4 in the state championship meet April 28. Stephens’ score was .11 behind the thirdplace finisher and .45 behind state champion Beth Roberts of Tift County.

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