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

and Stone Mountain.




Bobbie Wakamo looks over the thousands of books donated to the United Methodist Children’s Home that must be sorted by type and subject. Photos by Kathy Mitchell

by Kathy Mitchell

Organizing donated items a labor of IS SHE volunteer IS SHE love for 80-year-old SO
still in decent shape; we donate those zations and faith communities,” he to another charity.” Some items, said. she said, aren’t suitable for sale or Jane Howland, who nominated giveaway and are sent for recycling. Wakamo, said, “Bobbie Wakamo There are usually three sales a year, can be found almost any day of but donations are accepted all year the month rummaging through old long, so Wakamo stays busy not only clothes and dusty, discarded furnisorting by quality, but putting like ture…though most of us couldn’t items together—even down to orgathink of anything much worse.” nizing clothing by size.” Wakamo calls her work at the Wakamo’s devotion to volunteer South Columbia Drive facility “my work has led to her being named this job” and attends it as faithfully as year’s Georgia winner of the Home any paid employee might. Instead Senior Care network’s Salute The more than 550 volunteer to Senior Service award. The sponhours she puts in each year includes soring organization, Home Instead helping to oversee the work of 60 Senior Care, provides non-medical volunteers at the home. Wakamo in-home services to older people. explained that she doesn’t want volIn the nationwide competition, unteers who aren’t serious. “Anyone launched this year to honor seniors’ who thinks they can just drop by for commitments to their causes and a couple of hours and it’ll be fun communities, she emerged as one doesn’t understand what we’re doof 50 winners from among approxiing here. This is hard work. There’s mately 1,330 entries. a system and we want volunteers Jeff Huber, president and chief to understand that system. We want operating officer of Home Instead consistency in the way we select and Inc., called Wakamo “a senior hero price the items.” to many.” A retired nurse, Wakamo said she “She has shown that volunteer believes her training and experience opportunities for older adults should in health care have The Champion. Because she gets her news updates online from the contributed to Because she gets her news her organizing skills The Champion. not diminish because of age. Seniors updates online from theand attention to such as Bobbie are making important detail that are so valued at the chilcontributions to their communities dren’s home. through charities, nonprofit organiIn her work with the children’s



ews updates online from the The Champion.

ears of shopping flea markets and yard sales have left Bobbie Wakamo with a good eye for quality used goods and a talent for pricing such items. That has made her an ideal volunteer with United Methodist Children’s Home, whose principal fundraisers are its flea markets. “I know what I’m doing,” said 80-year-old Wakamo, who’s been volunteering with the children’s home approximately 20 years. “We have a reputation for good value and we don’t sell junk. I identify the items that are up to our standards. Some aren’t what we want, but are

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home over the years, Wakamo has sorted through countless donated clothing, sports equipment, books, jewelry, shoes, toys, games, furniture and china. Two buildings on the Methodist Children’s Home campus are devoted largely to storage of donated items. In a building erected in 1907, china and glassware alone fill a large room. Another is filled with clothing. In the adjacent building are rooms of furniture and a collection of books larger than one might find at many libraries. “The flea markets are such an important fundraiser for the home,” said Wakamo, who estimated that each raises about $35,000. “I’m proud to be associated with this organization,” she said of the home founded to care for Civil War orphans. It has been at the Decatur location since the 1870s. Thanks to the meticulous work of volunteers, the flea market has a reputation as one of the best in the metropolitan Atlanta area. “People know they can get great bargains here. They line up outside even beBecausewegets her news updates online from the The Champion. fore she open,” Wakamo said. she AndShe said withplans to Methodyou can United continue to volunteer too! Follow us. ist Children’s Home as long as her schedule allows.



Page 2A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

People lined the steps in front of the old courthouse on the Decatur Square on May 23 to honor DeKalb County law enforcement officers who had died in the line of duty. Among those in attendance were the family members of Robert Shane Wilson, who died last year when he was responding to a home invasion call and was killed by an alleged drunken driver traveling the wrong way on I-20. Photos by Daniel Beauregard

Fallen Doraville officer honored at ceremony
by Daniel Beauregard Liam Wilson, 9, stood proudly saluting as dozens of friends and family members of deceased law enforcement officers watched as color guards marched slowly by the steps of the old Decatur courthouse. Late last year, Liam lost his father, Doraville Police officer Robert Shane Wilson, 27, who died after colliding with a drunken driver traveling the wrong way on I-20. Liam was invited to take part in the presentation of colors May 23, as DeKalb County honored law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty. To date, there have been 40 in DeKalb County. As Liam and the color guard finished their salutes, the mood was somber. “It’s so humbling for my son to be honored here for losing his life in the line of duty,” Wilson’s stepfather Jim Hanson said. Both Hanson and his wife, Gayle Hanson, are retired from the DeKalb County Police Department. Hanson said life has been painful since his son’s death but his family appreciates the support of the community and the law enforcement community. On Nov. 14, 2011, Wilson, the overnight on-call police officer in Doraville, was responding to a reported home invasion when 39-year-old Dunwoody resident Gene Jones allegedly struck and killed him. Jones was later charged with first degree vehicular homicide and DUI. Hanson said his grandson Liam was fortunate to know his father for the eight years he did, and both he and his grandson knew Wilson died a hero. “At the moment Shane lost his life on I-20 when he was struck by a drunk driver going the wrong way, if he did nothing else in the line of duty, he stopped that drunk driver from hitting someone else,” Hanson said. Doraville Police Chief John King said this wasn’t the first time he has lost an officer but it wasn’t any easier. “In a small agency like Doraville you participate in the hiring of almost every one of these kids and you personally end up going out on calls with all of these young men and women,” King said. “It’s a small agency and we’re grieving; our agency is grieving and our community is grieving. It’s tough and it really pushes every strain it takes to be an effective leader and member of the police department.” DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis thanked Liam and the rest of Wilson’s family for being present and taking part in the ceremony. Ellis said the list of officers killed, dating back to 1852, has become far too long. “Although we understand the risks associated with their

selfless service it does not prepare us for the time when one of our own is lost,” Ellis said. “Every day they don their uniforms could be a day that they won’t return home.” The ceremony drew to a close as a firing squad offered a three-round salute to the fallen officers. As the smell of gunpowder rose into the air, a lone bugler stationed beneath the gazebo played Taps to an audience who bowed their heads in silence.

Work from Home Business Opportunity 770-323-3993

Page 3A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

Report alleges leaks by Dunwoody attorney, city council member
by Daniel Beauregard An report released May 21 indicates Dunwoody City Attorney Brian Anderson and a city council member may be responsible for alleged leaks from an executive session regarding a complicated land deal. The 40-page report issued by law firm Wilson, Morton and Downs details findings regarding the improper release of confidential information from executive sessions of the mayor and city council. Attorney Robert Wilson said his firm was hired by the city in early February to investigate the allegations. The beginning of the report, which is addressed to Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis and the rest of the council and signed by Wilson states, “We have determined that the confidentiality of executive sessions was breached and by whom. Our investigative reports and findings are attached.” The report then describes how Anderson and City Councilwoman Adrian Bonser allegedly leaked details of a land deal they disagreed with to a reporter at the Dunwoody Crier newspaper and a political blogger. In Anderson’s case the report states that on Jan. 23 and Feb. 3 the Dunwoody City Council went into executive sessions to discuss the “Georgetown Project,” a city revitalization plan involving a complex real estate transaction. According to the Georgia Open Meetings and Records Law, the sale is not covered under executive session. However, the project included a complex land transaction involving the sale of portions of a 16-acre farm known as the PVC Farm to purchase a 19-acre parcel of property in an area known as Georgetown. “Brian Anderson advised the council that the sale and acquisition, as part of a single transaction, were proper subjects for discussion at these closed meetings,” the report states. “After this investigation was under way, however, he claimed, for the first time that the sale should not have been discussed in executive session.” Following the Jan. 23 executive session the report states that Anderson breached confidentiality by asking a Dunwoody Crier reporter whether he was aware of the land deal. The report claims Anderson then made another breach of confidentiality when an Open Records Act request was received. “At that time, Anderson suddenly took a different position and claimed that the sale of the PVC Farm was not confidential or exempt from public disclosure, even though it was inextricably intertwined with the acquisition of real estate. Anderson began pushing the city clerk and city manager to immediately release, in redacted form, the documents discussed during the executive session,” the report states. According to the report, Anderson wanted to release the documents to make his previous leak a “moot” point. Councilwoman Bonser allegedly leaked information to a source who gave blogger Bob Lundsten details regarding the Feb. 3 executive session. When Bonser was interviewed by investigators, the report states she “was not truthful in her responses.” “She insisted that she was ‘warming up’ to the project at the Feb. 3 meeting and went on to claim that she declared in the meeting that she ‘liked it,’ the report states, alleging emails to her constituents following the meeting dispute that claim. In the evidence portion of the report’s findings, Bonser states in an email to one of her constituents, “There is nothing going on with the sale or trading of this land that could not be discussed in public…there is no need for executive session discussions.” The report states Bonser had a personal interest in leaking details from the session because she opposed the land purchase. At a May 14 council meeting Davis and Councilman Terry Nall called for Anderson’s dismissal but failed to reach a majority. Several council members said they want to read the full report before making a decision. The item is expected to be brought up again during the May 29 council meeting. Bonser disputes the reports claims and claims investigators didn’t approach the investigation as “a search for truth.” “Mr. Wilson and his associate had a specific agenda and set of targets,” Bonser said in a statement provided to The Champion. “I fundamentally disagree with the findings and believe the integrity of the investigation itself is highly questionable and, the expenditure of an estimated $50,000 of Dunwoody taxpayer monies on said report wasteful.” Anderson could not be reached for comment on this story but claims he did nothing wrong, according to reports.

GPC plans layoffs to close $25 million budget deficit
by Daniel Beauregard Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) is planning to lay off 185 people to help close an anticipated budget deficit of approximately $25 million next year. Interim President Rob Watts announced his plan May 25 and said it will be “dynamic” and subject to change according to input from the college’s financial staff and as final revenue and expenditure amounts come in at the end of summer semester. “We do not know what will happen with fall and spring enrollment, and the corresponding effect on revenue,” Watts said. “We need to re-examine the way our functional areas are organized and staffed. We must reduce our personnel costs, which represent more than 90 percent of the college’s budget, by $10.7 million.” Watts stated in his plan that the 185 employee reductions will not include “tenured and tenure-track” faculty members but that staff would need to “stretch to take up the slack that will be created.” University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Hank Huckaby named Watts interim president of the college in early May. Former President Anthony Tricoli stepped down May 8 after a $16 million budSee Budget on Page 11A

City of Decatur Georgia Ad Valorem Tax Digest History Decatur - Digest Assessment Ratio Real Property Personal Property Public Utilities Motor Vehicle Total Digest City Operations General Fund Exemptions Net City Operations Digest City Operations Millage City Operations Levy Percent Change Dollar Amount Change $157,384,000 $ $1,014,657,600 13.035 $13,226,062 5.93 $740,585 157,384,000 $ 118,900,000 $1,130,068,600 13.035 $14,730,444 7.54 $1,032,306 $122,579,000 $ $1,113,167,200 13.035 $14,510,134 -1.50 ($220,310) 125,075,000 $ 126,914,000 2007 50% $1,088,563,600 $17,577,800 $18,632,600 $47,267,600 $1,172,041,600 2008 50% 2009 50% 2010 50% 1,157,883,900 20,069,600 11,673,700 46,119,000 $1,235,746,200 2011 50% 2012 50%

$ 1,124,007,000 $ 1,162,026,500 $ $ 18,342,500 $ 20,387,500 $ $ 16,893,389 16,473,600 $ $ 49,014,800 $ 50,081,000 $ $1,208,257,689 $1,248,968,600

$ 1,149,844,600 $ 1,174,037,800 $ 21,146,700 $ 19,962,600 $ 18,933,750 $ 14,299,300 $ 46,119,000 $ 49,311,000 $1,236,044,050 $1,257,610,700

$1,050,873,689 13.035 $13,698,139 3.57 $472,077

$1,110,969,050 13.000 $14,442,598 -0.47 ($67,537)

$1,130,696,700 13.000 $14,699,057 1.78 $256,459

The Decatur City Commission announces that the 2012 tentative millage rate was adopted at their meeting on Monday, May 21, 2012. Hearings on the budget and millage rate will be held on: Monday, June 4, 2012 at 7:30 pm Monday, June 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm The hearings will be held at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street, Decatur, GA. Final adoption of the 2012 millage rate and fiscal year 2012-2013 budget is scheduled for consideration at the Decatur City Commission meeting on Monday, June 18, 2012. The above table is presented pursuant to O.C.G.A. 48-5-32 showing the estimated current year's digest and proposed millage rates along with a fiveyear history of the tax digest and millage rates.

Page 4A

Eat more chicken, buy more gas
stretch of Glenwood between Candler Road and Covington Highway there are an astonishing 15 gas stations and another six convenience stores interspersed among a few churches, occasional daycare centers, used tire shops and various other storefront businesses, including hair salons. Surprisingly, there are no nail salons the likes of which one usually finds among the purveyors of commerce in the hood. I’ve driven down Glenwood any number of times, but never paid much attention to the scenery as the blight, trash and junk yards were certainly not appealing for the eye to linger. But this day with my trusty guide pointing out the stations and doing the count, I got an eyeful as I drove the six-mile stretch. Especially glaring were the proliferation of gas stations, on every corner and often across the street at the same intersection. Someone said if you run out of gas on Glenwood then you deserve to, as it absolutely would not be because there was a dearth of places to “fill ‘er up.” O’Neal and his wife Jocelyn along with a number of other dedicated members of the Code Enforcement Task Force have fought long and hard to try to get our neighborhoods cleaned up and looking like the affluence we boast about. It has been an uphill battle with slow, but steady progress. By the way, kudos to Gary Conner and his team for hiring new code enforcement Manager Marcus Kellum. By all accounts he is impressive with the kind of certifications, education and experience necessary to move the department forward in a cohesive and effective manner. It appears the Code Enforcement Task Force led by Gil Turman is pleased with the selection and will give Kellum a warm welcome and pledge its support. In the meantime, it’s time to look to next steps such as strengthening our sign ordinance requirements perhaps. While there are already ordinances on the books, it might not be a bad idea to take a fresh look at those policies with an eye toward eliminating the crudely lettered, hand painted signs so often seen on some business establishments. Other communities regulate signage. We can too. At the same time, is it possible to address the basic quality of life issue of too many dollar stores and gas stations in a given area? If we can prohibit certain establishments from locating near a church or a school, why can’t we control the number of businesses in a given locale? Also, here’s hoping the administration’s economic development team can make it a priority to entice businesses and restaurants to locate in unincorporated DeKalb other than auto repair shops, gas stations, dollar stores, drug stores, and fast food chicken outlets that have come to roost. Fifteen gas stations and five convenience stores in a six-mile stretch! Incredible. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Milies at Steen@dekalbchamp. com.

Opinion The Newslady

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

Far too often economic development in certain areas of DeKalb means more fast food restaurants, usually of the chicken variety and mega-pump gas stations, whether or not the community wants them. As one commissioner put it recently, “When it’s zoned commercial there is nothing we can do about it and sometimes it’s better to have a nice new gas station than old tires and blight.” It is that defeatist attitude among some of our elected officials that prevents us from really attempting to attract quality, value-added businesses into the community. Case in point: Longtime community activist and code enforcement task force member William O’Neal took this writer on a tour recently. Along a six-mile

Letter to the Editor
People who are undecided about a city of “Brookhaven” from Buford Highway to Perimeter Mall ask us why we don’t need to be a city.Here are some of our serious concerns: Why the rush? Dunwoody had three studies over 10 years. If a city is a good idea, won’t it still be a good idea next year when we get a chance to get a second opinion? A city will cost you more.There is no tax savings. In fact there is a tax increase for most residents. People who live in cities pay higher taxes on power and telephone bills than people in DeKalb County. The power and telephone companies collect franchise fees that are then paid to the city.The city government needs these optional fees to balance the budget from the beginning.These franchise fees (a hidden tax) far outweigh the tax savings of $6/$100,000 home value. A city will cost you money! The proposed city begins operations in a precarious financial position. According to the latest study by the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute, the proposed city would have first year revenues of $25.2 million, expenditures of $25.1 million and a budget surplus of less than one-half of one percent–no margin for error in the budget and no reserves to help the city get started up. Since residents will already be paying more for the proposed city, either your taxes will go up or services will be cut. Fewer police officers and less police protection.The proposed police force is estimated to be 53 officers.There should be at least 83 officers.DeKalb has 1.7 officers per 1,000 residents. For Brookhaven this would mean a police force of 83 officers.Dunwoody’s police chief told his city council that similarsized cities have 2.06 officers per 1,000 residents.For Brookhaven this means a police force of 100 officers.The proposed city budget calls for less than 1.1 officers per 1,000 residents. DeKalb County Police lowered crime 30 percent in our precinct. Our poverty rate is 12.2 percent–three times that of Dunwoody’s 4.6 percent. City reserves will be drained to service the highly concentrated population around Buford Highway. The proposed city will create five new politicians–a mayor and four city council members–as well as lots of new bureaucrats to interfere in your life. We all know that once created a bureaucracy never gets smaller and it never looks for ways to be less involved in your life. Do we really need more politicians and bureaucrats?More permits, fees, licenses and regulations? Local control isn’t the answer.No government is everything to everybody. Look at the new cities of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Johns Creek. They evolved into typical bureaucratic governments exercising their newly found power as they justify it. The reality is that the community loses local control very quickly.Governments love to govern and bureaucrats love the power.This is like jumping from the pan into the fire! Laurenthia Mesh AshfordNeighbors.Org

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

Opinion One Man’s Opinion

Page 5A

Time to curb curbside pick-up?
missioner Jeff Rader proposed shifting DeKalb’s residential garbage pick-up from twice to once per week. The county would continue to pick up refuse once per week, along with recyclables, and yard waste on a separate day.The resulting cut in man hours spent on the long and thousands of pick-up routes would allow sanitation workers to be deployed to other tasks, such as roadside trash and shoulder clean-up as well as other county needs. Long term, the county would need to hire fewer sanitation workers, as the number of routes and pick-ups would be essentially halved.If the county moves to cut curbside service to once a week, which is certainly worthy of debate in these days of declining tax digest, property values and property taxes, it should also consider a few other related options. Bin/receptacle standards “Herbie the Curbie” and other uniform and standardized trash receptacles make the work of the sanitation worker, as well as the tipping vehicles faster and often simpler. The cracked and handle-less state of repair of many trash cans curbside presently across the county barely hold, and often more closely resemble the trash that they contain. If the county cuts curbside service to once weekly, we would do well to create a local standard trash can, much as the county has already done with its optional waste recycling bins and program. Privatization of service Though perhaps this measure is politically unpopular, the CEO and county commission need to give serious consideration to privatizing curbside pick-up.There are regional as well as national firms such as Waste Management and Browning Ferris Industries with decades of experience and performance well-documented across the region. DeKalb and the city of Atlanta remain the sole larger government entities in the metro region providing these services solely with government employees. With no harm or criticism intended to our public workers who serve as sanitation engineers, their private sector, and typically hourly counterparts are much less well compensated. And though these workers are far from being the county’s highest paid employees, they are both large in number, and due to the challenges of this work, prone to injury and illness. Those costs are borne by county taxpayers in three large bins, current health care costs and claims, pension and retirement costs and health care costs in retirement. The cost of a contracted/priva-

“I’ve worked in a factory. I was a garbage man. I worked in a post office. It’s not that long ago. I like to think that I’m just a regular guy.” – actor Denzel Washington. Regular guys, rich and poor alike, put out a lot of trash each week across DeKalb County.Largely due to the savings as well as revenue generated by the Seminole Landfill in south DeKalb County, DeKalb’s sanitation rates, per household, remain among the lowest in the region.Owning the large landfill, as well as generating energy sales from methane gas, first to Georgia Power and now converting the landfill gas to natural gas for use as fuel in DeKalb’s sanitation truck fleet are saving DeKalb millions each year. However, the largest cost of sanitation service, as with most any government service rendered, is the cost of payroll and labor. Earlier this year, DeKalb Com-

tized sanitation worker ends with that contract, or that employee’s service with that waste hauler. I’m not suggesting an overnight transition, but with a fiscal eye toward the future, it makes no sense to hire additional or future sanitation workers with the current labor model. As New Yorkers familiar with many a garbage strike can well attest, folks really don’t pay much attention to trash until it is piling up and isn’t getting picked up at all. Our DeKalb County CEO and commission are facing some tough budget times, for at least the next couple of years. Doing old things in a new way is really the only smart choice left before drastic levels of service cuts become required across the board.I applaud Commissioner Rader for raising the issue, and I’ll tip my “Herbie the Curbie” at home in his honor, as refusing to cut our costs of refuse disposal is a luxury we can no longer afford. Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at

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

Publisher: Dr. Earl D. Glenn Managing Editor: Kathy Mitchell News Editor: Robert Naddra Production Manager: Kemesha Hunt Graphic Designer: Travis Hudgons The Champion Free Press is published each Friday by ACE III Communications, Inc., 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030 Phone (404) 373-7779.
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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, June 1, 2012


Page 6A

Walmart’s unsurprising bribes
Bribery is as American as apple pie.
That’s what we do, who we are. If you don’t like it, move to Canada. That said, I’m not altogether happy with the fact that so much is being made of Walmart bribing its way into choice locations in Mexico. From all reports, those are the rules they play by down there. I can’t put too much blame on Walmart for playing by them. Particularly because we play by the same rules up here. Bribery is as American as apple pie. It’s as ingrained in our Constitution as freedom of speech. As a matter of fact, it is freedom of speech — and if you don’t believe me, ask the Supreme Court. The court has ruled that you really can’t keep rich people, corporations or unions from putting as much money as they want into a political campaign, so long as they do it in a phony, indirect manner. So the Republican primaries have seen (in Newt Gingrich’s case) a billionaire stepping up to fund an entire campaign, or (in Romney’s case) many millionaires bonding together to pony up a bursting war chest to destroy political opponents. And you ain’t seen nothing yet. The 2012 elections will bring into the political system cascades of dollars from both parties. You think all those political donors are giving hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars because they want good government? If so, I’ll bet you still clap for Tinker Bell. Those people want something back for their money — and if history is any guide, they will get it, with interest. So why isn’t that a form of bribery? Because the Supreme Court says it isn’t, I suppose. The court thinks it’s free speech. But it looks like bribery, it walks like bribery, and it talks like bribery. It even smells like bribery. I say it’s bribery. So don’t get all hot and bothered about Walmart laying a few bucks on some Mexican officials. They’re merely doing things the American way. OtherWords columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

I’ve never been a great fan of Walmart. I like little towns, towns where Main Street is lined with small shops and stores — drugstores, hardware stores, a café where you can get breakfast or lunch, maybe a clothing store or two — that kind of little town. In its heyday, it was a place you could go to shop and meet friends by accident, perhaps sit down with them for a cup of coffee. It was a business district of angle parking, no meters. Main Street was charming. Once there were thousands of places like that in this country — not exactly thriving perhaps, but surviving. Then Walmart and its imitators came along and started planting big box stores just beyond the city limits, where taxes and land costs were negligible. By taking advantage of the economies of size and computerized inventory control, they were able to undercut the poor townies on price, variety and convenience. Almost instantly the economic vitality of those little towns was sucked out of them, as though a tornado had gone up one side of Main Street and down the other. The big-box tornado left in its wake little ghost towns composed of crumbling buildings with empty storefronts, some of them boarded up. “The United States of Walmart,” an OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib. I hate that. I think the cost of the loss of that small town culture is far greater than what we gain by being able to buy cheap toilet paper. But that’s me. I’m a romantic, moreover one who can afford to pay a little more for toilet paper. Walmart represents progress, the God we worship above all others in these United States of Capitalism. Kill the competition, slash prices, break the unions, lobby against the minimum wage, make a lot of money, then make a lot more but don’t share it around.

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

Pastor loses TV broadcast for supporting same- sex marriage
Regardless of who said what and when this is still the “dirty-south”.If you notice the bible belt stands united.
–MasterGRB posted this on 5/24/12 at 1 p.m.

Cases involving former superintendent, school board, moving forward
18 million in legal fees for a 100 million lawsuit, with 19 million piling up for unpaid fees. Pupils to teacher ratio is growing, the Science Center is once again on the chopping block, our summer will be spent, again, fighting the ineptitude of whoever has been in charge of this mess.
–Carolyn Rader posted this on 5/25/12 at 10:12 p.m.

Superintendent proposes changes to combat deficit
Are you kidding? The schools do need some support from the central office. You can’t cut all those positions and expect everything to run smoothly! Everything can’t be handled from the local schools!
– Kai Carter posted this on 5/26/12 at 1 p.m.

Printed on 100% postconsumer recycled paper

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

Local News

Page 7A

Family of murdered man sues widow
by Andrew Cauthen Andrea Sniderman, the widow of Rusty Sneiderman, who was killed outside a Dunwoody day care facility in November 2010, is being sued by her former brother-in-law. Steven Sneiderman, the sole surviving sibling of Rusty Sneiderman, filed the suit on behalf of Sneiderman’s children on May 18 in Fulton County Superior Court. The lawsuit alleges that Andrea Sneiderman “caused or contributed to the death of Rusty Sneiderman by the commission of tortious conduct, including but not limited to participating in a conspiracy which resulted in the murder of her husband” after “an inappropriate relationship of intimacy and deceit arose” between Andrea Sneiderman and Hemy Neuman. After a jury found Neuman guilty but mentally ill in March, he was sentenced to life without parole for the killing of Russell Sneiderman. The lawsuit, which asks for an unspecified amount that would “sufficiently are not enough rabbis in the world to wash away those stains,” said Steven Sneiderman, who is being represented by the law firms of Sherffius, Ballard, Still and Feagle, and the Panitch Law Group. Prosecution and defense attorneys both have questioned Andrea Sneiderman’s role in her husband’s death. “Mr. Neuman was ill and manipulated by Andrea Sneiderman,” said Neuman defense attorney Doug Peters, after the trial. “We are very hopeful that all of the evidence regarding her responsibility for the death of Rusty Sneiderman will also be presented in court on another day at another time.” DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said Andrea Sneiderman’s possible role in her husband’s death is the “1,000-pound pink gorilla in the corner.” “It’s something that we have under review right now,” James told reporters in March. “Stay tuned.” A month later, a grand jury subpoenaed the video testimony of Sneiderman’s widow.

Ted Daniel

Champion of the Week
our neighborhood other than in a car,” Daniel said. In 2011, the event raised $180 for each of the four parks groups, Daniel said. “We improved in 2012 and raised $400 for each of the four ‘friends of parks’ groups that our race supports for $1,600,” Daniel said. The event “also urges people to get out and get some fresh air,” said Daniel, who is already working on plans for the 2013 Embrace Our Greenspace Race. Daniel is also a member of Civic Association Network, which he helped to organize several years ago to facilitate the “sharing of information between neighborhoods about interests of concern,” he said. Daniel is a board member and past president of Leafmore Hills Creek Park Civic Association and vice chairman of the District 2 Community Council, of which he has been a member for approximately six years. “I’ve found that even though I’m one small guy, if you work with your neighbors, you can accomplish some real goals to protect and preserve the quality of life,” said Daniel, who works in advertising sales for Pentagon Publishing and is married to Dianna.

Andrea Sniderman

punish” the defendants, alleges that Andrea Sneiderman used her relationship with Neuman to “manipulate and influence him to attempt to murder Rusty Sneiderman.” Neuman, who is incarcerated at the Augusta State Medical Prison, is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. During a news conference after the trial in March, Steven Sneiderman said that the Sneiderman family “has long suspected Andrea’s involvement with Rusty’s death” and the court proceedings only “confirmed my suspicions.” “Andrea is covered in Rusty’s blood and there

For Ted Daniel, who was reared in the Druid Hills area, community service was a family tradition. His parents were active in the Druid Hills Civic Association. But Daniel, 57, got his start in volunteerism when a developer wanted to construct a four-story apartment complex “hanging over our property,” Daniel said. “We didn’t like that idea,” Daniel said. “We were able to slow that down to the point that they never got it built. “I’m sure the developer wasn’t too pleased with that,” Daniel said. For the past two years Daniel has organized the Embrace Our Greenspace Race, which is composed of various running, walking and cycling events. The event, which has raised money for several area parks, including Clyde Shepherd Preserve, Kittredge Park and Mary Scott Nature Park, is designed “to attract people in and allow them to tour

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, June 1, 2012

Local News
wood waste, called biomass, will be fed into a “combustion system, which is a close-coupled gasification process,” according to the permit. “The combustion system gasifies the biomass fuel in the lower portion of the furnace and in the upper portion in close proximity to the water walled hybrid boiler,” the permit application stated. Approximately 96 percent of the emissions from the process, which includes sulfur dioxide, mono-nitrogen oxides and hydrogen chloride, will be removed by a ceramic filter system, according to the 62-page permit application. The proposed gasification plant came under fire from opponents who expressed concerns about the health risks associated with emissions from the proposed project. In response Neville Anderson, chief executive officer of Green Energy Partners, maintained that similar facilities around the country have had no negative health impact. Anderson did not return phone calls for this story. After the Board of Commissioners approved the facility in June 2011, an environmental group, Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment, filed a lawsuit against DeKalb County to prevent the construction of the facility. The lawsuit claims the county engaged in “contract rezoning” when it granted a

Page 8A

Middle school teacher indicted on sex charges
by Robert Naddra A 42-year-old former Tucker Middle School teacher could face a mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison after being indicted May 24 on sex charges, District Attorney Robert James said. A DeKalb County grand jury indicted Almarcus Dwayne Thomas on 22 counts, including child molestation, and statutory rape and sexual battery. He is accused of carrying on a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl while she was a student at Tucker Middle School. Thomas was indicted on eight counts of aggravated child molestation and five counts of statutory rape. The aggravated child molestation charges carry a mandatory sentence of 25 years. The incidents involving the student occurred from February through August 2011, according to the indictment. “The child’s father realized there was a relationship, and then there was an altercation between he and the defendant,” James said. “Police were called and an arrest warrant was issued.” There are two other victims in the case, James said. Thomas also faces an invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking photos under the dress of a Tucker Middle School teacher, according to James. The third victim, James said, is an adult relative of Thomas. He is charged with invasion of privacy after allegedly using a hidden camera to videotape the woman bathing in her home. “These alleged crimes involve a man who preyed on a minor while in a position of authority and respect as an educator,” James said. “This 22-count indictment reflects a man who molested, abused and took advantage of women and children. We fully intend to prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law and seek justice for all those who were affected by these crimes.”

Proposed Lithonia biomass plant seeks permit
by Andrew Cauthen It has a new name, but it’s still the proposed gasification plant for Lithonia. Green Energy Partners filed a permit with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division in April to construct a 10- to 12-megawatt “biomass fuel electric generating facility,” on 21 acres at 1770 Rogers Lake Road in unincorporated Lithonia. Construction would begin in August on the facility, which would be called the Green Energy Resource Center. The plant will process approximately 165,000 tons per year of untreated wood and yard waste. The special land use permit for the facility after the county already had signed a contract with Green Energy Partners to sell wood waste for an estimated $200,000 per year. In July 2011, Green Energy Partners pulled its permit application after developers failed to complete the environmental permit application in time. The withdrawal was in response to an EPD request for additional information on the planned gasification process to be used in the plant. Anderson has said that during construction the project would bring 500 temporary construction jobs and add $60 million to the county’s tax base. Nearly 100 permanent jobs would be created to run the facility.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT DeKalb County Regional Land Bank Authority Board Meeting
Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 11:00 AM Maloof Auditorium 1300 Commerce Drive Decatur, GA


HunGER kEEps HunGER up On kEEps cuRREnT up On , EVEnTs cuRREnT TOO. EVEnTs, TOO.

1 in 6 AmERicAns sTRuGGlEs WiTH HunGER.

1 in 6 AmERicAns sTRuGGlEs WiTH HunGER.


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

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

Local News

Page 9A

The city of Clarkston celebrated the reopening of its pool at Milam Park on May 25, and dozens of residents came to cool off in the 90-degree heat. Music blared as children and adults got their feet wet in the deep end or under the waterfall in the kiddie pool. The pool, which offers Clarkston residents a discounted rate, will be open until Aug. 5, Monday through Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays noon - 6 p.m. For fees and pool rules visit

Fun in the sun
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARINGS ON THE 2012-2013 PROPOSED BUDGET FOR THE CITY OF DECATUR, GEORGIA There will be public hearings on the proposed 2012-2013 budget for the City of Decatur at 7:30 p.m. on June 4, 2012 and on June 18, 2012 in the City Commission Meeting Room at City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street, Decatur. The proposed budget is summarized below and is available in its entirety for public inspection at Decatur City Hall. All citizens are invited to attend the public hearings, to provide written and oral comments, and ask questions concerning the entire budget.

Photos by Daniel Beauregard

REVENUES Taxes Licenses, Permits & Inspections Penalties, Fines & Forfeitures Interest Charges for Current Services Intergovernmental Revenues Miscellaneous Revenue Sale of Fixed Assets Operating Transfers Appropriation From (To) Fund Balance TOTAL REVENUES EXPENDITURES Governmental Control Department General Government Department Community & Economic Development Department Planning, Zoning & Inspections Division Administrative Services Department Police Department Fire & Rescue Department Public Works-Sanitation & Facilities Maintenance Public Works-Engineering Active Living Division TOTAL EXPENDITURES

14,829,600 771,800 1,575,000 2,000 1,359,900 382,320 189,000 10,000 71,360 886,980 $20,077,960 142,400 1,567,220 1,219,600 917,630 2,828,250 5,064,820 3,378,390 2,746,560 787,010 1,426,080 $20,077,960

Local News The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

Belvedere gardeners plant seeds of health
by Andrew Cauthen ment,” Moday said. “It’s kind of like a billboard for Healthy BelveIn a community garden dere,” Moday said. “It brings on Columbia Drive in south people into the Healthy DeKalb County, residents Belvedere initiative. It’s are growing greens, collards, been a great way for me to kale, cabbage, strawberries, meet people that I wouldn’t potatoes, carrots, squash, cu- have met.” cumbers and radish. Gardening fulfills Healthy “Just about most of the Belvedere’s goal to provegetables you can buy in mote active living because the store, somebody’s tryit provides “good physical ing to grow it,” said John exercise and good mental Brooks. exercise,” Moday said. Approximately 30 people Healthy Belvedere has work the 53 raised boxes in a youth program, called the garden that was started Garden for All, which is three years ago. Another a six-week session during three boxes are elevated 3.5 which students gather for feet above the ground to altwo hours on Saturdays to low wheelchair users and plant vegetables, learn about those with back problems to composting, water conservagarden more comfortably. tion and insects. The gardeners are part “We try to make a conof Healthy Belvedere, a nection with the food they program in its fifth year that eat,” said Maria Rossoto, promotes healthy eating, ac- director of Healthy Belvetive living and environmendere. “We teach them that it tal change. doesn’t just come out of a “It’s a major interest of package.” mine,” said Brooks, who, afHealthy Belvedere, which ter the idea of a community is in the process of transigarden was introduced at tioning into a nonprofit ora Healthy Belvedere meetganization next year, is one ing, presented the proposal of eight programs around to leaders at Peace Lutheran the country set up by Kaiser Church in Decatur where the Permanente with a five-year garden is located. mission of improving the “I see it as an opportunity health of the community and for us to do something to becoming a self-sustaining give back to the commuentity. nity,” Brooks said. “We have a tremendous Approximately 20 percent health disparity” in south of the garden is used to grow DeKalb, Rossoto said. “In food for the community. one out of two households, “We just simply give it there was someone with a away,” said Stefan Moday, preventable chronic disa head gardener and market- ease.” ing director for Healthy Bel“The ultimate goal is to vedere. “We’re just trying reduce the health disparity,” to get food from the ground Rossoto said. and into people.” In addition to the comOnce the food is harvest- munity garden, Healthy able, the gardeners plan to Belvedere sponsors walking give food away on most clubs, monthly neighborSaturdays depending on the hood walks, fitness classes harvest. and progress parties which “We want to pick it, wash offer peer support. At fitness it and give it away,” Moday demonstrations, participants said. have learned about various In addition to fresh, fitness programs such chi organic foods, the garden walking and kickboxing. “provides a visible energy “People will more likely that people can see that stick with a fitness program shows community involvethat they like,” Rossoto said.

Neighborhood walks and a community garden at Peace Lutheran Church on Columbia Drive are two ways Healthy Belvedere is trying to address a health disparity in the community. Healthy Belvedere is a 5-year-old program that promotes healthy eating and active living. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

Local News

Page 11A

Candidates qualify for July primaries
by Andrew Cauthen certainly be doing anything and everything in my power to make sure he stays as As candidates were the representative for Disqualifying for the July 31 trict 81.” Democratic and Republican Holcomb said the two primaries, one state reprerepresentatives “knew sentative announced that that we would not be well she would not run against served by a campaign her friend. against each other.” “Our districts were com“We want what’s best for bined during redistricting to our district and what’s best the dismay of both of us,” for our district is for one of said Rep. Elena Parent (D- us to continue fighting for 81) during a May 25 news what is reasonable, to conconference during which tinue fighting for a better she announced that she Georgia,” Holcomb said. would not run against Rep. Holcomb said Parent’s Scott Holcomb (D-82). decision to accept the job The two are old friends at Georgia Watch did not and political compatriots automatically mean that he who met eight years ago would run for the Georgia when they worked at the Assembly position. same law firm. “I am very concerned “Really I see it as a com- about the political climate pliment that there are those that we have in our counwho did not really want to try,” Holcomb said. “It’s see either of us come back,” unbelievably coarse. It’s Parent said. Parent left the unbelievably nasty. So I door open for a future run still reflected on it. for an elected position. “I thought deeply about “We knew that we it and know that I can make would not run against each contributions,” Holcomb other because we can take said. “I’d like to continue the long view,” Parent working very hard to adsaid. “We knew that there’s vance our state.” plenty of time for both to On the county level, serve in an elected office in DeKalb CEO Burrell ElGeorgia.” lis is facing two political Parent will be execunewcomers–businessman tive director of Georgia Jerome Edmondson and Watch, a 10-year-old nonformer DeKalb County profit consumer advocacy Police officer Gregory organization that focuses Adams, not to be confused on issues such as health with Superior Court Judge care, energy and utility Gregory A. Adams who is issues, identity theft, forerunning unopposed for anclosure, predatory lending other term on the bench. and access to civil justice. Four county commisThe group develops prosioners are up for re-elecconsumer policies and adtion and all have opposivocates for Georgians at the tion. District 1 Commisstate Capitol and the Public sioner Elaine Boyer faces Service Commission. Larry Danese, a county “I’m very excited about soil and water conservation this new venture,” Parent district commissioner. said. “I’m very sad not to District 4 Commissioner be running for re-election Sharon Barnes-Sutton at the current time, but I’m has two opponents–Steve really excited to be able to Bradshaw, a businessman work full time on policy is- and adjunct professor in the sues that I really care about Andrew Young School of [and] that impact every Policy Studies at Georgia single Georgian. State University, and Cly“Of course, I wholeburn Halley. heartedly endorse [HolCommissioner Lee comb],” Parent said. “He’s May of District 5 will exactly what we need in face off against attorney an elected office and I will Gina Mangham, Kenneth Samuel, pastor of Victory For the World Church, and Andre White, publisher of The Sentinel newspaper. Super District 6 Commissioner Kathie Gannon is being challenged by Edmond Richardson, chief of staff for commissioner May. On the school board, District 2 incumbent Don McChesney faces Marshall Orson. Paul Womack, the District 4 incumbent, has three challengers: Tom Gilbert, Jim Kinney and James McMahan. With District 6 School Board member Thomas Bowen not seeking re-election, the position is up for grabs with four contenders: Melvin Johnson, Denise McGill, Terrilyn RiversCannon and Latasha Walker. In District 8, incumbent Pamela Speaks is being challenged by Michelle Jenkins-Clark. For the clerk of Superior Court, incumbent Debra Deberry is being challenged by John Carter, husband of former clerk Linda Carter who resigned last year. Other contenders are Oretha Brown Johnson, Frank Swindle and Cheryl Vortice. Tax Commissioner Claudia Lawson is being challenged by Melvin Tukes while State Court Division 6 Judge Dax Lopez will face Dionne McGee.

Budget Continued From Page 3A
get deficit was discovered. Since then, the projected deficit has grown from $16 million to $25 million because the college is required to pay back a $9 million loan next year. Initially, Tricoli was reassigned to work in the college’s central office but recent reports state that at the end of June, Tricoli will no longer be employed by the college. Tricoli claims to have known nothing about the details of the growing deficit and has alleged fraudulent behavior by key financial personnel. Georgia Perimeter’s student newspaper The Collegian recently published a May 10 email obtained through an open records request addressed to Huckaby from attorney J. Mathew Maguire Jr., who works for the law firm Parks, Chesin and Walbert. The email states, “Lee Parks and I will be representing Dr. Tricoli in connection with his removal as president from Georgia Perimeter College and his termination of employment. We will correspond with you more formally as soon as possible (hopefully by the end of the day), but in the interim, we ask that you not make any public statement about Dr. Tricoli’s termination until we have a chance to discuss with you. As you know, it can be very difficult to ‘unring’ a bell such as this.” Both Parks and Maguire were contacted for this story but did not return repeated calls or emails. Additionally, reports have stated the Georgia Attorney General’s Office is performing an investigation related to Tricoli’s fraud accusations. A spokeswoman for Attorney General Sam Olens said, as a matter of policy, she could neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation. John Millsaps, a USG spokesman, said Tricoli’s employment application was not renewed by the Board of Regents, the governing body of the USG, for fiscal year 2013. Millsaps also said there is a current investigation of GPC being conducted by the USG’s audit department. This is the second time Watts has served as interim president of GPC, the first being 2005-06. In addition to cutting 185 positions, his plan includes a $6 million reduction in operating expenses by eliminating “non-essential” out-of-state travel and reducing in-state travel; reducing expenditures for supplies and material; reducing advertising and marketing; delaying the replacement of staff computers and upgrading the campuses computer network; and scaling back on campus-wide events such as convocation. Other cost-saving measures include having more administrators teach courses in 2013, continuing a hiring freeze and increasing class sizes and teacher workload.

The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA 30341 at 6:00 p.m. to receive public comments regarding the following zoning matters: 1. Appendix A, “Zoning”, Section 1004, “Space Dimensions”. The subject property is located at 1779 Huntington Chase. The applicant is requesting a variance to the 30’ minimum rear setback required for NR-2 zoned districts to reduce the setback requirement to 15’ to allow the conversion of a deck into an enclosed patio (2012V-005). 2. Appendix A, “Zoning”, Section 504, “Building additions”, Section 803.D, “Walls and Fences”; Sections 902.B1 and 902.C4 “Sidewalks”; Section 903, “Street type dimensions”; Section 907.A1 and 907.A4, “Storefront streets requirements and fenestration”; Section 908.D1, “Site Design”; Section 1205, “Parking and landscaping requirements”; Section 1206, “Minimum off-street loading requirements”; and Section 1207.C, “Handicapped parking requirements”. The subject property is located at 5130 Peachtree Blvd. The applicant is requesting variances to provide site improvements and a 13,200 square foot addition and 7,500 square foot renovation to the existing building (2012V-003).



Page 12A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

Decatur Arts Festival
Residents and artists crowded the streets of downtown Decatur Memorial Day Weekend for the 24th annual Decatur Arts Festival. More than 160 artists displayed their work, which ranged from fiber and ceramic works to jewelry and printmaking. Photos by Daniel Beauregard

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

Page 13A

This Memorial Day, members of American Legion Post 66, Unit 66 in Avondale Estates held a flag burning ceremony. Flag etiquette calls for old flags to be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner. Photos by Travis Hudgons

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
Scat'd T-storms High: 87 Low: 68

May 31, 2012
Today's Regional Map Weather History
May 31, 1990 - Afternoon and evening thunderstorms developing along a warm front produced severe weather from northwest Texas to southeastern Louisiana. The thunderstorms spawned 16 tornadoes, including 13 in northwest Texas. Dunwoody 85/67 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 86/68 86/68 86/68 Snellville Decatur 87/68 Atlanta 87/68 87/68 Lithonia College Park 88/68 88/68 Morrow 88/68 Union City 88/68 Hampton 89/69

In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see partly cloudy skies with a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms, high of 87º, humidity of 58%. Southwest wind 5 mph. The record high for today is 95º set in 1953. Expect mostly cloudy skies tonight with a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Scat'd T-storms High: 82 Low: 63

*Last Week’s Almanac
Hi Lo Normals Precip Date Tuesday 79 63 81/61 0.01" Wednesday 83 59 82/62 0.00" Thursday 88 60 82/62 0.00" Friday 92 66 82/62 0.00" Saturday 94 66 82/62 0.00" Sunday 89 72 83/63 0.00" Monday 87 70 83/63 0.04" Rainfall . . . . . . .0.05" Average temp . .76.3 Normal rainfall . .0.90" Average normal 72.1 Departure . . . . .-0.85" Departure . . . . .+4.2
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport

Mostly Sunny High: 82 Low: 64

Sunny High: 88 Low: 69

Sunny High: 90 Low: 68

June 1, 1812 - Apple trees at New Haven, Conn. did not blossom until June 1, the latest such occurrence during the period beginning in 1794. Snow whitened the ground in Cleveland and Rochester, N.Y.

Mostly Sunny High: 87 Low: 65 Full 6/4

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 6:28 a.m. 6:27 a.m. 6:27 a.m. 6:27 a.m. 6:26 a.m. 6:26 a.m. 6:26 a.m. Sunset 8:43 p.m. 8:43 p.m. 8:44 p.m. 8:45 p.m. 8:45 p.m. 8:46 p.m. 8:46 p.m. Moonrise 4:39 p.m. 5:49 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 8:09 p.m. 9:14 p.m. 10:11 p.m. 11:01 p.m. Moonset 3:15 a.m. 3:55 a.m. 4:41 a.m. 5:33 a.m. 6:32 a.m. 7:37 a.m. 8:44 a.m. New 6/19

Tonight's Planets
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise 6:44 a.m. 6:58 a.m. 1:42 p.m. 5:46 a.m. 4:43 p.m. 3:21 a.m. Set 9:11 p.m. 9:22 p.m. 2:27 a.m. 7:35 p.m. 4:15 a.m. 3:38 p.m.

Isolated T-storms High: 85 Low: 64 Last 6/11

First 6/26

Local UV Index

National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with a few showers today, scattered showers and thunderstorms Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 82º in Georgetown, Del. The Southeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with scattered thunderstorms today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 93º in Orlando, Fla. The Northwest will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with isolated showers today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 88º in Medford, Ore. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 111º in Bullhead City, Ariz.

Weather Trivia
What meteorological instrument is used to measure wind speed?

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: In 1450, the anemometer was invented to measure wind speed.

StarWatch By Gary Becker - Milky Way Awaits
The sun sets in a rural location. The sky darkens, and the stars begin to be revealed, first in a denim lapis sky followed by more points of light as the heavens fuse into a deep cobalt blue, and finally to black. It is a wonderful night to view the Milky Way. Stare as hard as you can, but there will be no faint, gossamer band of light straddling the cosmos, no fuzzy cotton candy path representative of 400 billion stars arching across the boundless sky. It’s May, and you’ve just picked the worst time of the year to view our galaxy because it is surrounding you all the way around the horizon. There is hope, however, because what is down must eventually come up, and what is now on the eastern horizon and nearly invisible is the best that the Milky Way has to offer for the Northern Hemisphere. In the NE after sundown lurk the star clouds of Cygnus, the Swan, which are not quite overhead by dawn. In the east and SE rises the dark rift of obscuring dust from countless supernovae that seems to split our galaxy in two. A little farther south, the swirls and knots of stars and glowing gases mark the broadening bulge of our galaxy which meets the horizon just beyond its widest expanse. If this sounds like a fairy tale, plan a summer sojourn away from the light domes of our cities to a rural locale where stars and horizon meet. Two-thirds of Americans have lost touch with our island universe. Civilization has its perks, but communing with the heavens fills a primordial need as old as humanity. I vividly remember as a teenager one star filled night when through the bare branches of skeletal trees, I spied a white mist encroaching upon my clear sky. I mentally prepared myself for when the haze would obscure everything, but it was moving so slowly. I realized finally that the clouds which would ruin my night were actually the best clouds of the heavens, the star clouds of our Milky Way.

Page 14A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

Golden Shuttle for seniors may be parked
by Andrew Cauthen Some DeKalb County senior citizens are concerned that a free shuttle service may be ending. Funding is running out for the Golden Shuttle, a free service to people 60 and older who register at Senior Connections. There are three Golden Shuttle buses in the county–Chamblee, Toco Hills and south DeKalb. Shuttle user Carole Feinberg said the service “allows people who either never drove or have given up driving or who want to save money to be mobile.” In Toco Hills, where Feinberg lives, the shuttle runs “only two days which is better than zero days a week,” she said. It picks up seniors at several senior complexes and takes them to grocery stores, Decatur, a farmer’s market, DeKalb Medical and two malls. “I’d love to see this every day,” said Feinberg, who has ridden the shuttle nearly every Friday since it began operating in March. “It would be a sad thing to offer something to us for a few months and then take it away,” Feinberg said. Toco Hills riders are holding fundraisers to keep it running past June when the funding runs out. Feinberg said the shuttle “stops at several of our senior developments and …enables some [seniors] to get out and about.” “I have heard riders express gratitude for this bus, because it enables them to maintain a degree our taxes here, and we wish to remain here to live independently as long as possible,” Feinberg said. “The Golden Shuttle enables seniors to easily reach areas that have been off bounds to them if they had no car.” The shuttles, which are funded through a$150,000 grant from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), “started as a pilot to see how it would work,” said Karl Williams, deputy director for the county’s human and community development department. “They kind of went off like gangbusters.” The shuttles are free to seniors, but a fee may be added later if the program continues, Williams said. County officials have applied for funding from DHHS to keep the shuttles running. The Chamblee shuttle, which began in May 2011, runs five days a week with about 150 people registered to use it. In Toco Hills, the shuttle runs on Mondays and Fridays with 182 registered passengers. The south DeKalb shuttle, which began in March 2012, runs on Saturdays and has 100 registrants. The route for each shuttle is a one-hour loop through senior high-rise complexes and is tied into a MARTA route. The routes change based on consumer input, Williams said. “They have the choice of where the bus route goes,” Williams said. “It takes them where they want to go during the time of day they want to move.”

of independence, or achieve a degree of independence they had lost,” Feinberg said. “This Golden Shuttle bus service adds to the quality of life of seniors. “Many of us have lived in DeKalb County our entire adult life—raising our family here, paying

General (K-12) Anticipated Funds Available Local Taxes Other Local Sources State Funding Federal Funding Other Total Revenue Anticipated Transfers from Other Funds Beginning Fund Balance 7/1/2012 Total Funds Available Budgeted Expenditures Instruction Pupil Services Instructional Staff Services General Administration School Administration Transportation Maintenance & Operations School Nutrition Capital Outlay Support Services Other Support Services Debt Service Agency Transfers to Other Funds Total Expenditures Ending Fund Balance 6/30/2013 Total Funds Allocated $405,245,638 504,025 357,538,291 0 0 $763,287,954 $0 $11,169,232 $774,457,186

Special Revenue $0 7,200,553 13,981,230 71,328,400 0 $92,510,183 $15,000 ($6,752,002) $85,773,181

Debt Service $0 0 0 0 0 $0 $52,439,750 $63,512 $52,503,262

Capital Outlay $101,196,323 25,000 0 0 0 $101,221,323 $0 $120,588,172 $221,809,495

Sch. Nutrition & Athletics $0 12,583,457 39,812,400 0 0 $52,395,857 $900,000 $3,110,479 $56,406,336

Trust & Agency $0 0 0 0 19,625,500 $19,625,500 $0 $1,600,621 $21,226,121

Total $506,441,961 20,313,035 411,331,921 71,328,400 19,625,500 $1,029,040,817 $53,354,750 $129,780,014 $1,212,175,581

$496,990,399 37,007,152 10,562,573 17,005,659 56,981,684 36,133,285 81,314,128 0 4,159,665 18,948,701 587,787 0 0 15,000 $759,706,033 $14,751,153 $774,457,186

$64,840,004 4,600,845 12,879,969 3,133,113 282,903 963,073 1,000 0 6,755,215 854,752 835,240 0 0 0 $95,146,114 ($9,372,933) $85,773,181

$0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 52,439,750 0 0 $52,439,750 $63,512 $52,503,262

$0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 96,850,298 0 0 0 0 52,439,750 $149,290,048 $72,519,447 $221,809,495

$0 0 0 0 0 0 279,392 51,060,290 870,243 900,844 0 0 3,000 900,000 $54,013,769 $2,392,567 $56,406,336

$0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 87,824 0 0 19,537,676 0 $19,625,500 $1,600,621 $21,226,121

$561,830,403 41,607,997 23,442,542 20,138,772 57,264,587 37,096,358 81,594,520 51,060,290 108,635,421 20,792,121 1,423,027 52,439,750 19,540,676 53,354,750 $1,130,221,214 $81,954,367 $1,212,175,581

Adoption of the Approved Budget for Fiscal Year 2012-13 is scheduled for the official meeting of the DeKalb Board of Education, at 6:00 P.M. on June 11, 2012, in the Board Room at 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain , Georgia, 30083.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1 , 2012

Local News

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Diverse camps promise to keep children enthralled
by Gale Horton Gay School’s out for summer but that’s no reason for children to be bored. Camps throughout DeKalb County and the surrounding area have an exciting lineup of programs that are sure to pique the interest of most children. Writing, Shakespearian acting, filmmaking and circus skills are just a few of the specialty camps available this summer. There are also a plethora of sports camps (soccer, baseball, football and tennis, to name a few). A quick Internet search will yield a variety of camp listings. Here’s a few of the some of the unusual camp experiences one can find locally: Circus Camp This camp is a 20-year metro Decatur institution at which children are introduced to circus, performing and visual arts. Trapeze, juggling, magic, clowning, puppetry, hand balancing and tightwire walking are among the special skills that are taught. The camp runs from June 4 through Aug. 3 at three locations: the Davis Academy in Dunwoody, the Friends School in Decatur and the Epstein School in Sandy Springs. Weekly fees begin at $250. A “Try Me” day is offered for $60 to $70 (depending on location) and that fee will be deducted from the weekly fee if families decide to have their child stay for the remainder of the week. For more information, go to or call (404) 370-0001. Camp Flix If a little actor or filmmaker needs some direction this summer, consider sending them to Camp Flix, where the focus is on filmmaking and acting. This camp is run by professionals in the film and commercial field, and covers the technique, language and processes of filmmaking and acting. A Hollywoodstyle gala premiere is held on Friday for each session. The camp takes place on Emory University’s campus July 16-20 and at Oglethorpe University July 23-27. Cost for the camp, designed for ages 11 to 17, is $595 for the day camp and $1,295 for the overnight camp. For more information, visit www.campflix. com or call (855) 296-9723. Shakespeare Superheroes Camp Shakespeare Superheroes at the New American Shakespeare Tavern is designed to introduce youth to the language, stories, characters and ideas in Shakespeare’s plays. Camp activities incorporate voice, movement and acting to enable students to “explore Shakespeare’s text emotionally, physically and intellectually.” Daily recess, a pizza party and arts and crafts activities are also part of the camp experience. For more information, visit shakespeare_superheroes Camp Jam Know a kid dying to be a rock star? Camp Jam may be ideal for him or her. This camp describes itself as the “ultimate rock ‘n’ roll experience” with “no canoes lots of rock.” Founded by Jeff Carlisi of 38 Special, this camp promises to have wannabe rockers rehearsing, recording and performing on a stage. A Friday concert by campers is the culmination of each week. Three camps are offered: one for children ages 7 to 10 ($399 per session), another for those 11-17 ($549 per session) and an overnight camp ($1,595 per session). Weekly sessions run June 10-30 on the campus of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. For more information call (800) 513-0930 or visit Teen Arts Camp ART Station is offering an arts camp just for teens (ages 1316) July 30-Aug. 3. A variety of art experiences are scheduled, including painting, drawing, working with clay/pottery, creative dramatics and acting. Held at ART Station in Stone Mountain, the camp offers a half day ($75$85) experience as well as a full day ($150-$170) session. A camp for children ages 5 to 13 is also available June 25-July 20. For more details, call (770) 469-1105 or visit

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012


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Protect children from accidental medication overdoses
While it may seem like common knowledge to store medications and vitamins out of the reach of children, each year one of every 150 2-year-olds ends up in an emergency room for an unintentional medication overdose, most often after getting into medicine while their parents or caregivers were not looking, according to Dan Budnitz, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Medication Safety Program. Annually, more than 60,000 children ages 5 or younger are treated in emergency rooms for accidental ingestion of household medicines. “Parents may not be aware of the danger posed by leaving medications where young children can reach or see them,” said Budnitz. “A few simple steps–followed every time–can protect our children.” In partnership with the CDC’s PROTECT Initiative, CDC and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Educational Foundation created the Up and Away and Out of Sight educational program to help parents understand how to best store and safeguard medicines they use at home so young children can’t access them. Returning medicines to a safe storage location every time they are used can help prevent the accidental ingestions that drive many avoidable emergency room visits by young children each year. “Children are curious and can quickly get into medicines or vitamins when parents and caregivers aren’t looking. Our goal with Up and Away and Out of Sight is to emphasize to parents the importance of making sure medicines are safely stored in the home in ‘up-and-away’ places, rather than on bedside tables that kids can easily reach or in purses that kids love to rummage through,” said Emily Skor, vice president of communications and alliance development at CHPA. Families should practice safe medicine storage year round. Whether it’s during the winter when cough and cold season is at its peak, or in the spring and fall when many rely on allergy medications to treat symptoms, always remember to remove vitamins and medicines from any areas that children could possibly reach; instead, put them up and away and out of sight every time they are used. Use these tips and resources to make sure your child is always protected: • Never leave medicine or vitamins out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside, even if you have to give the medicine again in a few hours. • Always relock the safety cap on a medicine bottle. If it has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you hear the click. • Never tell children medicine is candy so they’ll take it, even if your child does not like to take his or her medicine. • Tell children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them. • Remind babysitters, houseguests and visitors to keep purses, bags or coats that have medicines in them up and away and out of sight when they are in your home. • Program the poison control center number (800) 222-1222 into your home and cell phones so you will have it when you need it. For more information on Up and Away and Out of Sight, safety tips, and resources, visit (Family Features)

Cancer Genomics Center targets protein networks for drug discovery
A new Emory cancer genomics center that targets networks of interactions between proteins is expected to make significant contributions to drug discovery for the treatment of cancer patients. The Emory Molecular Interaction Center for Functional Genomics (MicFG) is funded by a five-year, $4.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). It will focus on proteinprotein interactions (PPI), a new dimension of cancer genome and drug discovery that is considered challenging but highly promising. MicFG will be a key participant in the Cancer Target Discovery and Development (CTD2) network of the NCI. Emory is the only southeastern center in the nine-member network. Recent large-scale cancer genome initiatives have generated large amounts of data about genomic alterations in a number of cancer types, but sorting through this data and translating the knowledge into effective therapies remains a daunting challenge. The new center aims to bridge this gap by focusing on PPI networks. “Genomic alterations in tumors often lead to re-wired PPI networks that drive tumor development and progression,” said Haian Fu, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, hematology and medical oncology in Emory School of Medicine and principal investigator and leader of the MicFG. “Our central hypothesis is that these tumor-associated PPI hubs and pathways play pivotal roles in transmitting oncogenic signals. Our goal is to map these PPI hubs and pathways, identify new molecular targets, and disrupt these hubs through new ‘pathway-perturbing’ drugs.” The existing Emory Chemical Biology Discovery Center, led by Fu, houses stateof-the-art high-throughput technology platforms that enable the efficient identification of PPI networks and potential drug targets in addition to small molecule drug discovery. The center has extensive research experience, including earlier NCI-funded projects, in functional genomics research and genomics data mining and analysis. In the MicFG, researchers will use powerful protein biosensor technologies to systematically establish cancer-specific PPI hubs and networks that signal tumor initiation and progression. Through bioinformatics analysis they will mine cancer genomics data and integrate PPI data into maps and models that will be coupled to experimental studies to establish potential drug targets. Fadlo Khuri, M.D, deputy director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, will co-lead the MicFG center and focus on translational cancer biology – directing new drug discoveries into patient therapies. Joel Saltz, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Emory Center for Comprehensive Informatics and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, will co-lead the center and direct its genomics bioinformatics component, including developing algorithms and bioinformatics tools for genomic mining and analysis of high throughput data. Project leaders of the MicFG in the CTD2 include Yuhong Du, PhD, associate director of the Emory Chemical Biology Discovery Center and assistant professor of pharmacology, and Carlos Moreno, Ph.D., scientific-director of the Cancer Genomics Shared Resource and associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine. “Significant genetic alterations associated with cancer have been identified over the past three decades, but only recent genomics initiatives have allowed the systematic discovery of critical changes throughout the entire cancer genome and the generation of tremendous amounts of data for different tumor types,” Khuri said. “The development of high-throughput methods for sorting out cancer genomics is a critical next step for linking this data to treatments for patients. Our technologies and expertise will allow Emory researchers to rapidly discover cancer PPI networks for each tumor type and identify novel targets for therapeutic intervention,” he said. Researchers expect that targeting PPIs through new drugs will provide a synergistic effect with conventional therapy and reduce drug resistance. The MicFG, as a critical component of the CTD2 network, will provide expertise in high-throughput PPIbased cancer target and drug discovery, a highly collaborative project-team culture, and collaborations with other CTD2 network centers. For more information about the Cancer Target Discovery and Development Network (CTD2): http://ocg.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

Dunwoody agent recognized for volunteerism

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As construction continues on Emory Point, retailers and restaurants continue to sign on to be part of the more than $100 million mixed-use project. Photos by Kathy Mitchell

Allstate agency owner Kirt Lattanze, based in Dunwoody, received the 2012 Agency Hands in the Community Award. With this award came a $1,000 grant from The Allstate Foundation for the Captain Bob Foundation in Dunwoody, where Lattanze volunteers. “The Agency Hands in the Community Award celebrates the spirit of service and commitment to communities where we live, work and do business.” said Allstate’s Southeast Region Field Senior Vice President Bob Holden. “With support from The Allstate Foundation, Kirt is making our hometown a stronger, safer place.” Finder’s fee offered for Decatur homes Those who have a neighbor, family member, friend or colleague selling a home in Decatur might do well to contact Decaturbased Renewal Design Build. The company has several clients looking for homes in Decatur and in the neighborhoods of Oak Grove, Toco Hills and Sagamore Hills. Information should be sent to Heather@ If the home referred is purchased by a Renewal Design Build client, the person making the referral receives a $1,000 finder’s fee. Pizza’s free if you ask for it in Spanish Pizza Patrón is launching its PIZZA POR FAVOR™ event at restaurants nationwide. Every customer who orders in Spanish on June 5 between 5 and 8 p.m. will receive a free large pepperoni pizza, which is the company’s top-selling product. The only Pizza Patrón in Georgia is located in Doraville. “Spanish is the language that is the common bond that unites all Hispanics and we want to celebrate this in a fun way,” said Armando del Bosque, local Pizza Patrón franchisee. PIZZA POR FAVOR is the first of three 2012 campaigns the company has planned to celebrate the brand’s Hispanic focus and honor the positive force of change immigrants have made in communities throughout America. Andrew Gamm, brand director for Pizza Patrón, called the promotion “an opportunity for us to strengthen the relationship we have with our core customer.” “Nearly half of our corporate staff says Picza (PEEK-za) instead of Pizza,” Gamm said. “And when we dug a little deeper, we soon realized that a good number of our Hispanic customers also say picza (“PEEKza”) too. We thought it would be fun to incorporate that cultural component into the campaign.” Pizza Patrón gained attention in 2007 when company executives received threats over its PIZZA POR PESOS® program – the decision to accept Mexican pesos at all of its U.S. locations. The company continues to accept Mexican pesos (bills only) as a form of payment, providing change in U.S. dollars. Pizza Patrón is headquartered in Dallas with 104 locations in seven states and more than 80 under development.

Emory Point 80 percent committed as grand opening approaches
Cousins Properties Inc. has signed three new retailers and a sixth restaurant at Emory Point, a more than $100 million mixed-use project being developed in partnership with Gables Residential in northeast Atlanta. The new leases include three locally owned women’s boutiques – fab’rik, Lizard Thicket and American Threads – and a new restaurant. The team behind West Egg – a popular Westside Atlanta eatery – will open a Jewish-style deli called The General Muir. The restaurant is a partnership between Jennifer and Ben Johnson, who originally opened West Egg in 2004, and Shelley Sweet, West Egg’s current general manager. Sweet was formerly with Hugh Acheson’s Empire State South and Concentrics Restaurants. A chef will be announced this fall. The General Muir will serve traditional deli classics, from pastrami and corned beef to chopped liver, smoked fish and hand-rolled kettle-boiled bagels. The menu will also include innovative takes on traditional deli and Jewish dishes. The fullservice restaurant will have a bar, coffee shop and pastry counter. It will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Three new women’s boutiques also have chosen Emory Point. Each, according to Cousins, has “a different type of flare.” The company described fab’rik’s, which already has seven metro Atlanta locations, as “offering exclusive and limited designs that look like they just walked off the runway or the pages of a magazine, with most pieces under $100.” Lizard Thicket, established in 1981, sells “the latest trendy, young contemporary styles at affordable prices at its three metro Atlanta locations.” American Threads, with a current location at The Avenue Forsyth, is “for the freespirited girl who loves indie and local designers, vintage clothing and unique accessories.” “We’re thrilled these businesses, representing the latest fashions and proven restaurant concepts, have chosen Emory Point,” said Mike Cohn, Cousins’ executive vice president. “We believe the diverse mix of retailers and restaurants affirms our commitment to serving the surrounding neighborhoods and shows the interest retailers have in the trade area.” Cousins previously announced retailers including CVS/pharmacy, f2o (Fresh To Order), Jazmin Spa, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, La Tagliatella, Marlow’s Tavern, Tin Lizzy’s and Which Wich Superior Sandwiches. Emory Point has 80,000 square feet of retail space and 443 luxury apartments in Phase I. Located in the heart of the Clifton Corridor, the project is a partnership between Cousins, Gables Residential and Emory University. It is the first new retail construction in the area in more than 20 years and the largest private development to start inside the Perimeter in more than three years. Cousins and Gables—two Atlanta-based development companies—are collaborating for the first time on Emory Point. The second and third phases of the project will be developed according to market demand.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012


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Students building solar car for summer competition
by Daniel Beauregard Cross Keys High School engineering teacher Patrick Gunter told students May 22 they need to be prepared to work 50 hours a week, from Tuesday through Saturday, if they want to finish building their car in time for the Solar Car Challenge. Gunter, who has been working at Cross Keys a little more than a year, said each week until July 12 he is prepared to be in his classroom 7 a.m.-10 p.m. and he expects the same from members of DeKalb County 2012 Solar Car team. “We just completed the molds and we’re getting ready to lay out our carbon fiber in the molds. We’ll be working with Delta and some different companies to use the molds to build the body of the car,” Gunter said. The solar car team is made up of students throughout the DeKalb County School District who are members of the DeKalb County Engineering and VEX Robotics teams. Gunter said the solar car team held its first meeting May 2. The team is working out of the competitive events center at Georgia Tech and students from Tech’s Solar Jackets car team are walking the DeKalb County students through the process of building a solar racing car. Originally, the team was scheduled to compete in a cross-country solar car race but Gunter said the founders of the Solar Car Challenge, which began in 1993, decided this year not to make the race cross country. “It was going to be a crosscountry race but with the uncertainty involving gas prices they decided to change that,” Gunter said. Gunter, who has traveled cross country in a solar car he built, said usually a team has to have multiple vehicles, including the solar car, a large truck pulling trailers and a car or SUV for team members to travel in. “Could you imagine traveling 1,600 miles with three vehicles doing a cross-country for two weeks? It would be very expensive—I’ve done that before,” Gunter said. “They’ve put that on the back burner until the gas situation and the economy gets a little bit better.” Instead of doing an expensive cross country tour, which Gunter said would limit a lot of high school teams from participating this year, the race will be held at the Texas Motor Speedway. The team will race for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon, over a period of four days. Gunter said last year, the firsplace team finished with approximately 5,000 laps. As Gunter discussed the logistics of seatbelts and what type of harnesses the solar car would need, brothers Elvis and David Chu stood in the back of the classroom listening. “I have strong ties with this school and stay close with a lot of teachers. I come back every once in a while and visit and see and check up on everything,” David said. He graduated from Cross Keys in 2006 and his brother in 2008. David recently graduated from Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta with a degree in mechatronics engineering and was at the meeting to offer his expertise and work with the students. “I heard they were doing this through Facebook and by following along with the Cross Keys Foundation. What better way to help out than this?” David said. Over the past year, through grants and donations from the Cross Keys Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps students enrolled in the high school’s attendance zone, enrollment in its technology and engineering program has increased. Gunter’s classroom, built as a new addition several years ago, is filled with robots and machinery that have either been donated or purchased by the school district. The DeKalb County VEX Robotics Team, which is based out of Gunter’s classroom at Cross Keys, was

Members of the DeKalb County School District Engineering and VEX Robotics teams have begun building a solar car to compete in the Solar Car Challenge at the Texas Motor Speedway in July. Photo by Daniel Beauregard

recognized as the 2011-12 tournament champions last year. “This entire room right here was not here when I was going to Cross Keys. This is all brand new to us. I wish they would have had this while I was here. I would have learned so much more and school would have been so much easier for me,” Elvis Chu said, pointing around Gunter’s classroom. Elvis is in his senior year studying engineering at Southern Polytechnic. “For whoever has joined this club and they go to college and have to take these classes again it will make it much easier,” Elvis said. In addition to the Chu brothers, Gunter has enlisted the help of several volunteers including Gilbert Rodriguez, an engineer at AT&T whose son is on the engineering team. “I’m very excited to be participating in this. I’ve never done anything like this before,” Rodriguez said. “I’m finding that a lot of the alumni really want to give back to the school and that’s the best way to do it. The only way we’re going to get this car completed is to put a lot of man hours in,” Gunter said. The solar car team is relying primarily on donations for building the car and its trip to Texas. Their progress can be followed at www.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

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DCSD salary restructuring to save $2 million
by Daniel Beauregard The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) announced May 24 that its new aligned salary structure will save the district more than $2 million over the next three years. The district announced in April it would consolidate more than 380 job titles into 17 job classifications, each with a new uniform salary structure across all departments and aligned with the current market for salaries and positions. Officials said the new salary structure will be implemented over a three-year period and will adjust the salaries of 489 positions, including central office secretaries, counselors, psychologists, physical therapists and others. “The process will realize savings of more than $800,000 in FY2013 and more than $2 million over the next three years,” a press release stated. Earlier this year Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson announced the district will be reorganizing its central office and created a new organizational chart for all employees. “The new job classifications and salary structure will create more equitable compensation across departments, bring our salaries in line with similar school systems and produce significant cost savings for the district,” Atkinson said. In November 2011, the school district began the reorganization of the central office with an independent audit of central office and school-based personnel, the first such audit in several years. The reorganization has eliminated 73 central office positions for a savings of approximately $5 million. The second phase of the reorganization, which is scheduled to be completed by mid-fall, is currently under way and relates to the district’s facilities and operations. In addition to central office positions, the district has also eliminated or reassigned 3,197 positions to schools that were formerly coded to the central office budget. According to a press release these positions are now accurately allocated directly to the schools where the services are delivered. With the reorganization, the DCSD central office has been streamlined from 4,098 positions to 814 positions, which represents 6 percent of the district’s total workforce and is comparable to districts with similar student enrollment.

Band students at Clarkston High School and Sequoyah Middle School recently received a donation of $100,000 worth of band instruments from the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which donates instruments to approximately 200 schools throughout the country each year.

Schools receive $100,000 in band instruments
by Daniel Beauregard Earlier this month Clarkston High School and Sequoyah Middle School received $50,000 each in instruments donated by the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which awards grants to TitleI school music programs throughout the county. Tricia Steel, program director for Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, said each school was chosen from among 500 grant applicants. “They were selected because they both have very strong music programs with dedicated music teachers,” Steel said. Steel said Sequoyah Middle is doing great things with its music program but it didn’t have enough instruments for all the students interested in band participation. “Kids were almost as excited to get their own mouthpiece as they were their own instrument.” “At Sequoyah kids were spraying sanitation spray in the instruments and sharing them during each class,” Steel said. She said the school received 43 instruments, which will allow each student interested in the band program at Sequoyah to participate. In Clarkston’s case, Steel said the instruments being used were old and, in some cases, falling apart. Although the $100,000 was evenly split, Steel said the instruments provided to Clarkston were more expensive, so it received fewer. “Clarkston received 16 instruments such as tubas, euphoniums and timpani,” Steel said. The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation donates instruments to approximately 200 schools each year.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

Series on financial success starts Duane White, president of Need to Know Information Inc., will teach What’s My Credit Got To Do With It?, the first session in his five-part series on strategies for financial success, at the Clarkston Library, Saturday, June 2. All classes meet the first Saturday of the month and begin in June. This month will focus on what credit is and how it works. No registration required. Sessions are 11 a.m. 1 p.m. The Clarkston Library is located at 951 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston 30021. For more information, call (404) 508-7175. Church to hold jumble sale benefiting youth The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany will hold its annual jumble sale Saturday, June 2, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hundreds of items including toys, books, glassware and furniture will be available at low prices. The sale will benefit the church’s youth program. The Church of the Epiphany is located at 2089 Ponce de Leon Ave. at the corner of Ponce de Leon and East Lake Road, about one mile west of Decatur. The entrance to the parking lot is off East Lake Road. For information call (404) 3738338 or visit Group asks for memories of 1962 As Trinidad and Tobago approaches its 50th anniversary of independence, the Trinidad & Tobago Association of Georgia, based in Decatur, is preparing for a celebration the last week in August. The organization invites locals to send their memories of Aug. 31, 1962, no later than May 31. Some will be selected for inclusion in the commemorative program to be distributed at its Aug. 25 gala. Send memories that may be published to Trinidad & Tobago Association of Georgia. P.O. Box 370197, Decatur, GA 30037, email or phone (404) 210-9493 or (678) 3181460. Watson to host community breakfast DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson will hold his monthly Community Cabinet Breakfast on Saturday, June 2. National Homeowner’s Appreciation is the theme. DeKalb County Community Development and APD Solutions are partnering with Watson to coordinate an expo that will provide information and resources for new, current and future homeowners. The breakfast will be 9 to 11 a.m. at Chapel Hill Middle School, 3535 Dogwood Farms Road, Decatur. Topics to be covered at June’s breakfast include: • Saving your home from foreclosure • Resources for purchasing your home • Resources for modifying your loan • Resources for helping you find your home • Information on reverse mortgages • Information on ways to improve your home and its value • Tips on recycling and protecting your home • State and county homeownership programs • Resources to help your home save money The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required. For more information, call Kelly LaJoie at (404) 371-3681. feature a Super Kids Race for children with disabilities. Winners in each category will race in Akron, Ohio, in July at the 75th Annual All-American Soap box Derby World Championships. The event is presented by Dunwoody NE Georgia Soap Box Derby Association.

VBS announced Crossroads Presbyterian Church will hold its vacation Bible school June 18-22, 7 - 9 p.m. with a light dinner 6:15 - 6:50 p.m. The theme is Gospel Light’s Sonrise: National Park—Meeting the Challenges of Life with the Help of Jesus. The church is located at 5587 Redan Road, Stone Mountain. PRISM to take summer break Pride Rings In Stone Mountain (PRISM) has announced that in addition to its usual July break, the organization will have no general community meeting for June. PRISM’s next meeting will be on Thursday, Aug, 9, at 7 p.m.

MJCCA announces pool parties The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) has announced its summer series Dive Into Shabbat - Shabbat Pool Party for June 1, June 15, June 29, July 13, July 27 and Aug. 17, 5 - 7:30 p.m. at MJCCA at Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. The sessions are free and open to the community. The schedule for the Dive Into Shabbat summer series is: 5 p.m. - Open swim begins 5:30 p.m. - Shabbat songs with Rabbi Brian Glusman 6:15 p.m. - Prayers and blessings Those attending are invited to bring their own picnic, share a vegetarian potluck dinner with friends, or purchase food at the pool from Goodfriend’s Mobile Grill, which will be open until 7:15 p.m. The pool will remain open until 7:30 p.m. There will be free ice pops for all children. For more information, contact Brian Glusman at (678) 812-4161

Conservation meeting scheduled The DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation District monthly meeting will be held on Friday, June 8, at 10 a.m. at the Clark Harrison Building, 330 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. in downtown Decatur. For more information call (770) 761-3020. Author to talk about ‘food revolution’ Former pro basketball star and business executive Will Allen will be at the Decatur Library Monday, June 4, at 7:15 p.m. to talk about his new book The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities. Allen, a pioneering urban farmer and winner of a MacArthur “genius” grant, has written a plea for the development of healthy food systems across the country. The son of a sharecropper, Allen was an executive at Kentucky Fried Chicken and Proctor & Gamble who built the country’s first urban farm— a food and educational center that now produces enough vegetables and fish year-round to feed thousands of people. In the process, his farms have given employment to impoverished and disadvantaged youths and brought entire communities closer together. The Decatur Library is located at 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 370-3070.

New Air Force recruiter arrives

Tech Sgt. Mubarak Rashid has been assigned to the Air Force recruiting office in Tucker at 3983 LaVista Road, Suite 180 D. Rashid is responsible for recruiting qualified people in DeKalb County for the Air Force. He is a recent graduate of the Air Force Recruiting School in San Antonio, Fifth annual Dunwoody soap where he was trained in various box derby set areas of study, including the job classification system, testing, enThis year mark’s the fifth year of listing processing procedures and the Dunwoody-NE Georgia Soap public speaking. He was selected Box Derby and the fourth as a for the special course and recruitfully sanctioned competition. ing duty as a volunteer with an The 2012 Dunwoody Soap Box outstanding Air Force record. Derby is set for June 2 at the First Prior to his assignment in TuckBaptist Church Atlanta, located at er, Rashid was assigned to Kade4400 North Peachtree Road, with na Air Base in Okinawa, Japan as a rain date of June 9. an aircraft fuel technician. Opening ceremonies will begin For information about Air Force at 8:30 a.m. and the races begin opportunities, call Sgt. Rashid at 9 a.m. at (770) 934-9882 or email to In addition to racing stock and super stock cars, the event will

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

Former custodian enjoys long career helping disabled athletes
by Mark Brock Working as a 19-year old custodian at Peachcrest Elementary School, Mike Miller began a 28-year journey that changed his life and the lives of many students. In 1985, Miller was asked to help coach a group of disabled students who play sports from wheelchairs in a league involving just two teams in Georgia (both in DeKalb). “Kim Grass approached me and said she noticed how well I worked with the various handicapped students and wondered if I would like to coach wheelchair sports,” Miller said. “Saying yes to her and getting involved with these great young people really made me the person I am today.” The sports program was called DASH and the only teams playing wheelchair basketball and football were DeKalb teams the Red Hot Rollers and the Silver Streaks, who still compete in varsity competition in both sports as well as handball. During the 1990s, Bev Vaughn became involved in the program and brought other counties in by having exhibition games. DASH evolved into what is now er began to see kids grow up and move on to better things in their lives. He could not be happier to see those athletes succeed. “These kids and even the opponents’ team members became like family,” Miller said. “They all talk, text and get together for movies and hang out.” “Mark has been an outstanding coach all of these years,” said adapted sports coordinator Scott Coleman. “He’s been in it longer than I have and always has given of himself for these kids. He has taught these students life values, teamwork, skills and sportsmanship. We are going to miss him a lot and hope he will continue to help us find these students to play in the program.” Miller’s 2007 DeKalb Eagles junior varsity basketball team won the state title. He’s helped coach the Silver Streaks and got to see one of his predictions come true when Georgia Public Broadcasting began televising the wheelchair basketball state championship from Gwinnett Arena. One of his former players, Daniel McLaughlin, has even returned to referee games in the program and Miller sees how he has matured from the student he coached for so many years. “I was so proud of Daniel when he made a bad call and the other coach was really getting on him. He just turned and started rolling away saying ‘Coach, I made my call’ and never looked back,” Miller said. Several of his former players returned for his final game as a coach to help celebrate his retirement. “I knew something was up when I started noticing players I hadn’t talked to in quite a while were there and cheering the team on,” Miller laughed. “This program is such a life-changing situation for these kids. They learn teamwork, responsibilities and develop friendships they may never have a chance to form. It has to continue.” The program already has a new coach. Mark Miller Jr. takes over at the same age his father was when he began his 28-year journey. “Mark first came to practice with me when he was 2 years old and he would ride in the players’ laps on the wheelchairs while they practiced,” Miller said. “I guess that helped him develop the same kind of feelings for these athletes and the sports that I have.”

Adapting to success


Page 22A

Mike Miller, standing, spent 28 years as an adapted sports coach in DeKalb County. Photo by Mark Brock

the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs (AAASP). “When we started we just had old hospital wheelchairs that were nothing like the sport chairs they play in these days,” Miller said. As the sports developed and handball was added Mill-

er and the program moved to Laurel Ridge Elementary where it is currently based. “I just moved with the program to Laurel Ridge and I just didn’t look at the kids and their disability but saw what they could do if taught,” Miller said. As the years passed, Mill-

Ram football player selected to all-star team
Arabia Mountain linebacker Kight Dallas has been selected to the 2012 U.S. Under-19 National team, chosen by the USA Football. As part of the team, Dallas will participate in the eight-team International Federation of American Football World Championships Under-19 World Championships in Austin, Texas, June 30-July 7. Dallas, at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, had 42 tackles, including four sacks last season as a junior for the Rams. Dallas committed to a football scholarship to the Dallas University of South Carolina in April. He also has offers from Arkansas, Auburn, North Carolina, Wake Forest and several other schools.

this year. Dillon Pottish and Brian Kowalski won a point in doubles, while Ian Wagner, Alex Ruderman, Eric Halpern and Kowalski all won singles matches. It was the first undefeated season in any sport for Emory. Pottish was named the Division III National Senior Player of the Year. The Emory women defeated Amherst College 5-4 to finish third in the women’s NCAA Division III tennis tournament.

Dogwood Invitational adds junior event
The Dogwood Invitational, one of the top amateur golf tournaments in the country, has added a junior event. The Junior Dogwood will be held July 16-17 at Druid Hills Golf Club. The event will be part of the Southeastern Junior Golf Tour. The winner of the event will earn a spot in the 2013 Dogwood Invitational. “The Southeastern Junior Golf Tour has done a superlative job of providing a membership of more than 1,000 junior golfers with exceptional tournaments to increase their golfing expertise and prepare them for a potential collegiate golfing career,” said Edward Toledano, chairman of the Dogwood Invitational. “It’s this kind of bench strength that creates competitive golfers, and teaches the values of the game to the next generation.”

Emory men win national tennis title
The Emory University men’s tennis team completed an undefeated season when it beat Kenyon College 5-3 on May 23 to win the NCAA Division III national title. It was the third national title for the Emory men, 25-0

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012


Page 23A

Historic day for Southwest DeKalb tennis
Riddick overcomes spinal surgery to earn scholarship
by Robert Naddra


wo years ago Jasmine Riddick was more concerned with learning how to walk again than what she might do after graduating from Southwest DeKalb High School. Spinal surgery in June 2010 corrected a severe case of scoliosis, changed the disproportionate length of her legs and made her two inches taller. Eight months later Riddick was on a tennis court rediscovering the game she had only started playing competitively a year before the surgery. Riddick’s rehabilitation came full circle May 24 as she was one of four Southwest DeKalb tennis players recognized for earning scholarships. Earlier this month Riddick signed an athletic/academic scholarship to play tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, an NCAA Division II school in North Carolina. She also was recruited by Savannah State and Fisk University. “I don’t like getting my hopes up about things and when I started hearing about the possibility of a scholarship I shied away from it,” Riddick said. “I thought who would want somebody who just had back

Jasmine Riddick, right, and her mother Janet are all smiles after the Southwest DeKalb senior signed a tennis scholarship with Johnson C. Smith University. Photo by Robert Naddra

surgery?” Riddick, who ended her high school career with a 3.89 grade-point average, was granted $9,000 a year in athletic scholarship money and $15,000 a year in academic scholarship funds. Three of her teammates also celebrated signing tennis scholarships at the ceremony in the school’s media center. Felicia Penn, who gave up basketball to play two years of ten-

nis, earned a scholarship to Tuskegee University. Penn, who has a 3.26 GPA, will receive $24,000 yearly in athletic scholarship money and $2,000 per year in academic money. Two members of the boys’ team also signed scholarship—Kalin Harrison and Odell McCree each signed with Fisk University in Tennessee. Harrison was 11-6 this season at No. 1 singles after going 5-7 as a junior. Harrison was awarded $20,000 annu-

ally, divided between academic, athletic and leadership scholarships. McCree, who earned an athletic scholarship of $10,000 per year was part of Southwest’s No. 1 doubles team that posted a 9-6 record this season. Before this season, there had been only one Southwest player to earn a tennis scholarship. “I didn’t expect [the scholar
See Tennis on Page 24A

New football schedules bring new challenges
by Robert Naddra There will be plenty of unfamiliar territory treaded when DeKalb County schools open the high school football season in two months. The Georgia High School Association earlier this year approved a six-classification format, up from five classes. Regions have been overhauled and many county schools will be playing teams they have never faced before. Arabia Mountain’s entire schedule is new as the Rams move up from 5-AAA to 6-AAAA and face the likes of Tucker, Stephenson, Southwest DeKalb and M.L. King. Tucker will face Stephenson for the first time this year after the two teams have met in preseason scrimmages the past two seasons. “I think this is something for people in DeKalb County who like football to look forward to,” said Stephenson coach Ron Gartrell. “There’s going to be a lot more interesting games in the county.” Seven teams in 6-AAAAA were in 6-AAAA a year ago. Clarkson is also in the 11-team region and will play a non-region schedule, giving the teams one non-region game at the beginning of the season. Many teams are using the opportunity to play teams outside the area while others are using the game to keep rivalries alive. Dunwoody, now in 6-AAAAA, opens with Chamblee, which remains in AAAA this season. Miller Grove, which also moved up, opens with nearby rival Lithonia. The Bulldogs, like Chamblee, remain in AAAA this season. Stephenson had three non-region games in each of the past two seasons but will have only one this year. “We used the extra games to get ready for our region schedule,” Gartrell said. “We’re used to peaking when the region schedule starts. Now, you play one game and you’ve got to be ready to go. “I like this region, but you have to be up every week,” Gartrell said. Another team absent from 6-AAAAA is Marist, which also will remain in AAAA along with county teams Chamblee, Columbia, Lithonia, Redan and Stone Mountain. The 12-team region is subdivided, giving teams the chance to open with four non-region games. The War Eagles open with Clarke Central, Thomas County Central and Lovett. This will be Marist’s first meeting with Lovett and Clarke Central. Druid Hills is the only DeKalb County school in the state’s largest classification. The Red Devils moved up from AAA after taking in students from the now-closed Avondale district. Enrollment also increased because Druid Hills is an AYP school. The Red Devils will compete in 2-AAAAAA with teams from Clayton and Henry counties, among others. Clarkston and Chamblee are among the Red Devils’ non-region opponents.

Region realignment 2012-14
Region 2-AAAAAA: Alcovy, Druid Hills, Lovejoy, Luella, Morrow, Newton, Rockdale County Region 6-AAAAA: Arabia Mountain, Clarkston, Dunwoody, Lakeside, M.L. King, Mays, Miller Grove, North Atlanta, Southwest DeKalb, Stephenson, Tucker (Clarkston will play a non-region football schedule) Region 6-AAAA: Banneker, Carver-Atlanta, Chamblee, Columbia, Grady, Lithonia, Marist, Redan, South Atlanta, Stone Mountain, Therrell, Washington Region 6-AAA: Blessed Trinity, Cedar Grove, Cross Keys, Decatur, McNair, St. Pius, Towers, Woodward Academy

Page 24A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 1, 2012

Jasmine Riddick was 5-3 at No. 1 singles for Southwest DeKalb in 2012. Photo provided

Tennis Continued From Page 23A
ship],” Riddick said. “It made me very happy and I’m grateful.” Riddick spent her junior season working through the pain of the surgery. She went from 4-10 at No. 1 singles as a junior to 5-3 this season. The Panthers finished 8-8. She also placed in the top six in

Southwest DeKalb’s Kalin Harrison, from left, Jasmine Riddick, Felicia Penn and Odell McCree all signed tennis scholarships recently. Photo by Robert Naddra

two USTA junior satellite tournaments last summer in the 16-year-old division. Riddick placed sixth at the North Atlanta at Sandy Springs tournament and fifth in the One Love Summer tournament at Racquet Club of the South. “Even now I can tell it’s not as

easy to get to shots as it used to be,” Riddick said. “It’s a little bit harder since the surgery but now I know I can do it. I feel a lot better, but athletically, it’s a little harder.” Southwest tennis coach Lance Davenport and assistant coach Thomas Pickens stayed in contact

with college coaches to help his players earn the scholarships. “We didn’t realize a scholarship was a possibility until probably a few weeks ago,” said Riddick’s mother Janet Riddick, who attended the signing ceremony with her husband Peter. “We’re really proud of her.”

Once you know, there’s only one place to go.
Perhaps you’ve been running all over town to save a little bit here and a little bit there. When all the time, you could save just as much at Publix, and enjoy the shopping experience, too. So relax—we’ve got you covered. Go to right now to make plans to save this week.