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Downtown Decatur officially named historic district
by Daniel Beauregard The Decatur Downtown Historic District was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. Plans for the city were laid out in the 1820s and many of those early buildings are still intact today. Lynn Speno, who works for the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said it’s hard to imagine a city like Decatur flourishing without the help of the railroad. “The railroad in Georgia played a big part in development in almost every small town because that was the main means of transportation in the early 20th century,” Speno said. Plans for the city of Decatur, named after naval hero Stephen Decatur, began in 1823 and consisted of a courthouse, with two streets leading to the center of the square. The arrival of the railroad in the 1840s spurred commercial and economic development, and helped the small city grow into the metro hub it is today. “Students came to Agnes Scott College by rail and people were able to easily travel into Atlanta,” Speno said. Decatur’s significant historic period spans 18231967. Speno said many of the city’s historic buildings are still intact


and being used today such as the old courthouse, which now houses the DeKalb History Center, and the old bank building that currently houses a Starbucks in addtion to several other shops and restaurants on the Decatur Square. The official historic district is bordered by North McDonough Street on the west, East Howard Avenue on the south, Hillyer and Commerce streets to the east and East Ponce de Leon Avenue to the north. In addition to places such as the old courthouse and bank, many Decatur homes and buildings


are examples of architectural styles built in Georgia cities from the end of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century. City of Decatur Planning Director Amanda Thompson said in 2009 the city performed a historic resources survey, which identified all parts of the city that could be added to the National Register. Thompson said being added to the register benefits the city for several reasons, including tax incentives. “Cakes and Ale is an example of one of those

projects for us,” Thompson said. “The owners saved upward of $600,000, and for us that’s a win because they’re renovating Decatur historic buildings instead of just tearing them down and building a new one, and it’s a win for them because of the tax write off.” Thompson said each city is defined by its physical form and that allows people to distinguish downtown Decatur from Alpharetta—the differences between its buildings and streets. She said being added to the register helped ensure more of the city’s historic buildings would remain intact. Decatur’s strategic plan, developed in 2010, has a section dedicated to historic preservation. Thompson said during the process of developing the plan, residents asked the city to try to add any building deemed eligible to the register. Now, she said, hundreds of residents and property owners in the city have access to tax incentives to pay for renovation and restoration work. “I think the main thing to emphasize is that if a property is listed on the National Register it’s voluntary, it’s a recognition and tax incentives, but the owner doesn’t have to participate,”


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The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012

New development coming to Covington Highway
by Andrew Cauthen Running from Avondale Estates to near Stonecrest Mall in unincorporated Lithonia, 12-mile Covington Highway is the focus of some new economic development. A month-old RaceTrac gas station is causing traffic jams along Covington Highway as it engages in a price war with a nearby QuikTrip. An apartment complex on the road has begun a complete renovation, a new Citgo retail center is being constructed and Superior Chevrolet has redesigned its store. Between South Hairston and Panola roads, an 11-acre mixed-use development that sat unfinished for years opened June 5. Panola Slope, at 6660 Covington Highway, “was experiencing foreclosure in the economic crisis head-on because the previous developer who had attempted to bring it to market was foreclosed on by three different institutions,” said Vaughn Irons, CEO of APD Solutions, a national neighborhood revitalization firm. The property had been split up and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. had closed at least one of the banks that owned a part of the property, Irons said. The property was approximately 40-50 percent finished when it was acquired by APD solutions. Panola Slope, with 15 commercial units and 23 brownstones, is one of the first mixed-use developments in south DeKalb County. More units are planned in a future phase, Irons said. “We’ve made the units very nice,” Irons said. “They’ve got gourmet kitchens, hardwood floors, 10foot ceilings, crown molding throughout, upgraded appliances.” Irons said his firm hopes to have the first family moving in by the end of the month. A sales office will open soon and property managers will move into units until at least 50 percent of the property is occupied. “That way the first few families that go in don’t have to feel that they’re out there alone,” Irons said. “In this environment where there’s so much theft and vandalism…we don’t want theft out there before we can put hardworking families
See Development on Page 3A

Economic development on Covington Highway is a mixed bag with businesses coming and going. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012

Development Continued From Page 2A
in the units. It’s better for us from a management standpoint to put home managers on-site.” Irons said his company spent more than $5 million in this first phase of Panola Slope with another $2 million phase planned. The investment was made because APD Solutions feels “very strongly that the bridge for this part of Covington Highway to come back is this property,” Irons said. “I live very nearby and my company does community development all across the nation,” Irons said. “I really wanted to be able to create a catalyst for my own neighborhood and community. “If this property stayed vacant and undeveloped it would be very hard pressed for any of the other measures that are focused on this corridor to take hold,” Irons said. “We needed to be the catalyst. We wanted to rebuild the community.” Irons said his company cannot take full credit for some of the recent development activities on Covington Highway, “but I think we’ve been a catalyst for people understanding that this part of Covington Highway…is a safe investment as the economy starts to cure itself.” Commissioner Larry Johnson said the revitalization of Covington Highway started with infrastructure improvements the Board of Commissioners approved a few years ago. Those improvements include new sidewalks along the corridor. Johnson said the board has also denied several zoning permits that would have brought more car repair and used car shops to the corridor. Instead of those types of businesses, Johnson said Covington Highway needs more knowledge-based businesses such as Omnitech Institute. Since 1999, Omnitech, located at 4319 Covington Highway, has provided technical solutions and training. “They put kids right into the workforce,” Johnson said. Additionally, Covington Highway, a state road, would be greatly benefited by a proposed I-20 MARTA rail stop. “That would just make it improve tremendously,” Johnson said. “Rail would drive economic growth and development and make the Covington area a true live, work and play, transit-oriented area. “We still have a long way to go,” Johnson said.

Developers of the once defunct Panola Slope mixed-use project hope the complex spurs economic development on Covington Highway. A recently opened RaceTrac gas station is causing traffic jams and a price-war with a nearby QuikTrip. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Boston elected to Board of Governors
DeKalb County Solicitor General Sherry Boston was elected to serve on the Board of Governors of the 43,000-member State Bar of Georgia, and was installed June 2 during the organization’s annual meeting. Boston will serve in the Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit, Post 9 seat on the board. She is a graduate of Villanova University and the Emory University Law School, and was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1999. Prior to becoming solicitor general, Boston was in private law practice and served as a Municipal Court judge for the city of Dunwoody, where she was the first woman appointed to the court. She also was judge pro hac vice on the DeKalb County Recorder’s Court and magistrate judge for the DeKalb Magistrate Court. She is active in the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, the DeKalb Bar Association, Atlanta Bar Association and Lawyers Club. She is a faculty instructor at both The Basic Litigation Course hosted by the Prosecuting Attorneys Council and The Kessler-Edison Program for Trial Techniques at Emory University School of Law.

Tax appraiser’s office works to correct assessment errors
Because of computer problems, flawed property appraisals have been generated in some areas of the county. The DeKalb County tax assessor’s office discovered problems with appraisals recently
See Briefs on Page 9A

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President Barack Obama, Congressman Hank Johnson, Congressman John Lewis, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, former Attorney General Thurbert Baker, Former Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, Sheriff Thomas Just think. Without fathers there Brown, Al Ashe, Jerry Carnes, JoJo Johnson, Kevin Rowson, would be no me or you. Ironically, the idea for Father’s Day came from Paul Crawley, David Ries, Javaro a “daddy’s girl” listening to a Moth- Edwards, Commissioner Larry er’s Day sermon in Spokane, Wash. Johnson, Commissioner Lee May, Sonora Smart Dodd was raised by former judge Winston Bethel, her father, William Jackson Smart, Imam Plemin El Amin, Phil Leafter her mother died. Sonora want- vetan, Gregory Levett, Kenley ed him to know how special he was Waller, attorney David Chesnut, to her, and since his birthday was in Rev. William Flippin, Richard Davis, Brad Davis, Lee Sanders, June, Sonora chose to hold the first Joel Alvarado, Rep. Billy Mitchell, Father’s Day celebration on June Sen. Ron Ramsey, Lance Ham19, 1910. Decades later in 1972, President Richard Nixon officially ilton, Sen. Emanuel Jones, Rev. established the third Sunday in June Joseph Lowery, Brad Bryant, Porter and Brandon Sanford, Rev. as Father’s Day. This is a special time for fathers. Tom Cutts, Stan Washington, Dr. Eugene Walker, Dr. Earl Glenn, Take Dad to dinner, Take him fishMatthew Ware, Dale Cardwell, ing. Take him to his favorite sportBryan Adleman, Rev. Raleigh ing event. Send cards or purchase Rucker, “Lank” Atkins, Bill cologne or golf clubs for him. Just Carter, Dr. Thomas Coleman, Dr. call, email or text him. It is also a Gil Turman, Dr. Lonnie Edwards, good time to reconcile with fathers from whom we have been estranged. Joel Edwards, Joey Edwards, Bob Miles, Art Roman, attorney TimoSome of us have to make a trip to thy McCalep, Michael McCalep, the cemetery to leave flowers. I have met and observed many great dads in Greg Baranco, Charles Peagler, metro Atlanta. Some names are read- Nicolo Dewitt, Thomas Harper, ily recognizable, others perhaps not. Rev. Jessie Curney III, Rev. Jerry Black, Rev. Dennis Mitchell, Bill These are real men. Some actually Crane, Reggie Peagler, John Eveat quiche and some do not. Permit ans and Judge Gregory Adams. me to name just a few.

Honoring fathers

Opinion The Newslady

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012

I could name more but the aforementioned are a few standout. These men are pastors, priests, rabbis and imams helping to build their children’s character. They are providers, toiling under dangerous, thankless and arduous conditions. They cut grass, pump gas, cook, drive trucks, embalm, shepherd flocks, report and shoot the news, argue cases, run companies and count the beans so that basic necessities and many extras are met. Kudos to fathers who, though divorced from their children’s mothers, continue to provide emotional and financial support. These men protect their children. There is a degree of comfort in knowing that dad will resolve issues at school or with the bully’s parents. There is a sense of safety during a storm when the lights go out and dad with his flashlight brightens the dark, or the knowledge that he is right down the hall protecting the household from intruders. Remember the joy felt when you looked into the audience at honors day or a concert and saw Dad? What about picking out his face in the crowd or hearing him cheering in the stands during a game? Maybe he joined you for some driveway hoops or made you both uncomfortable with that talk about the “birds and bees.” How he whirled you around the dance floor at the debutante ball or “got something

in his eye” as he walked you down the aisle. Perhaps you can recall laughing hysterically as he showed you his “old school” moves. Who can forget being scared straight with the dreaded words “wait until your father gets home” or his stern look? Certainly we dare not forget those fathers who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives for our freedoms. Some warrior fathers came home physically but left their souls on foreign shores. We owe our fathers a debt we cannot begin to repay. So, however we honor our great dads this Father’s Day, the important thing is that we do or say something to let them know how much they are appreciated. This unabashed daddy’s girl is grateful that I had an opportunity to tell mine how much I appreciated his love, his sacrifice and his guidance before he tragically transitioned Labor Day weekend 1968. My father was a courageous, funny, God-centered family man and community servant who provided well for us nine and died in the trying. He was taken from us in a vehicle crash when he was a young 47 years of age. Dad didn’t leave a lot of material wealth, but he left a rich legacy of love, faith and service. Happy Father’s Day! Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Milies at

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012


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“Where the union movement gets weak is where you have all those g------n paid union staff organizers, who are no longer workers. They build a union bureaucracy which is just as decadent and as inflexible as management bureaucracy.”—New York Congressman Ben Rosenthal (D-NY) in 1975. The U.S. labor movement, long in a period of heavy decline, took another body blow last week in the unsuccessful recall election of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). Last Tuesday, June 5, 2012 is likely to later be remembered as the beginning of the end for public-sector unions. Their trajectory may well follow the long and shrinking profile of private-sector unions, now accounting for less than 7 percent of the American work force. Walker is only the fourth governor in U.S. history to face a recall election, and the first to beat the recall back. In fact, Walker’s 8-point margin of victory was 2 points higher than his original margin when elected governor.

Why was Walker being recalled? Just two weeks after his swearing in during early 2011, Walker pushed a package of public sector union reforms through the Wisconsin legislature to close a multi-million-dollar budget gap. Walker increased state employee health care insurance premiums (or actually the portion paid by the employees), forced increased pension contributions and reduced collective bargaining rights for public sector unions, in the same state that first gave public sector employees that right in 1959. And although it received little discussion or attention at the time, the most critical reform ended the mandatory collection and transference of union dues from state employees to unions by the state of Wisconsin. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), one of the nation’s largest public sector unions, also born in Wisconsin, found that voluntary dues caused a near stampede for the door. AFSCME’s Wisconsin membership dropped by more than half in just over a year. Petitions were gathered and one million Wisconsin voter signatures were secured to recall Walker—but then a funny thing happened, the unions had to defend and explain their reasons for the recall. At first they made the fight about their “right” to collective bargaining. This was problematic for the unions,

Walker, don’t run

One Man’s Opinion

as the concept is a bit challenging to explain to non-union voters and federal government workers remain banned from collective bargaining, a position supported by President Barack Obama, and even previously challenged by union advocate and supporter President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. “All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with government employee organizations,” Roosevelt stated in an August 1937 letter regarding federal employee strikes. Related recalls took out two state senators, and have returned the Wisconsin State Senate to Democratic control next year. In April 2011, recall supporters pushed a candidate for chief justice of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, who was widely expected to strike down Walker’s reforms. She lost. In a state as progressive as Wisconsin, what most likely tipped the hand so far away from the public sector unions? Exit polling data suggests that a surprisingly high percentage of current and former private sector union

members voted against the recall. As the automotive sector remains in heavy decline across the Rust Belt, there are fewer and fewer private sector union members who can relate to their public sector cousins receiving 80 percent of their peak salaries for life, or lifetime health care benefits at next to non-existent premiums. Those private sector union employees have something more in common with their non-union next door neighbors, who also pay taxes, think that government is wasteful and that the quality of services which they receive from government are in decline. Labor activists and members until recently reviled the non-member or member crossing a picket line, making the scab the lowest of possible life forms. That focus of hatred may now shift from scabber to Walker, as talk of reining in public labor unions run amok is now making its way to the Beltway, as well as the top of GOP candidate talking points and campaign speeches across the nation. Just in time for Labor Day. 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.

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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.

Recalling the gilded age

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012


Page 6A

Americans just won't take greed from their next-door neighbors.
outspent his opponent by at least a 7-1 margin, thanks to the Supreme Court’s removal of the lid on campaign spending by corporations and unions. (You know how everybody’s favorite oxymoron has always been “military intelligence,” or perhaps “jumbo shrimp?” I’ve got a new one: “The Supreme Court.”) And yet those pesky exit polls showed that 90 percent of the voters had made up their minds before May, when the big money really started to make itself felt. So again, who knows? Interpretation No. 3: The election is a sign that most people think unions, particularly public service unions, have gotten out of hand and need to be brought to heel. You may be on to something here. Surely the results can be interpreted as nothing less than a massive repudiation of unions and their members. The recall was triggered after Walker and the Republican legislature voted to strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights, once an unthinkable development in a relatively liberal northern state like Wisconsin. The voters — 53 percent of them at any rate — said “right on, Guv.” The unions have to take a share of the blame for this — they got greedy. They negotiated salaries that often were higher than private companies pay for similar work, they got very generous health insurance plans, and they arranged for fat pensions that could be accessed at a young age. The American people will accept greed from the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy and its Wall Street cohorts — they don’t see that as their money, even though it is, indirectly. But they won’t take it from their next-door neighbors. They get jealous. Mark Twain co-authored The Gilded Age, a book about the excesses at the end of the 19th century — when the rich had it all going their way. They lived like kings while the average stiff scratched out a living. It was a time of weak unions, low wages, and little (if any) government regulation. Does that sound like the Republican Party platform or what? OtherWords columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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

Organized labor, liberals in general, and President Barack Obama in particular got their heads handed to them by the good people of Wisconsin, with a little help from the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. The state, once home to Fighting Bob LaFollette — the father of the progressive movement — has now given us his photographic negative: union-busting Scott Walker, father of the regressive movement. The election, an attempt by a liberal coalition to recall Walker two years after he’d been elected governor, wasn’t really that close. Conservative commentators have been sent into a mass gloat. “Obama’s goose is cooked,” crowed Sarah Palin, to the accompaniment of chortles from the conservative commentariat. I don’t know about that. If I were her —a thought that fills me with a revulsion I cannot fully express — I wouldn’t cook my geese until they were hatched. Or something like that. Let’s look at the possible interpretations of the election. Interpretation No. 1: Obama’s goose is cooked. Hardly. A curious phenomenon of the Wisconsin vote was that exit polls showed that 18 percent of the people who voted to retain Walker also said they’d vote for Obama in November. Go figure. Obama, shrewdly as it turns out, really didn’t engage himself in the Wisconsin election. Other than a single tweet offering his support for Walker’s Democratic opponent, he sat it out. Die-hard liberals (with the emphasis on die) criticized him for it, but he and his advisers apparently figured the recall was a losing proposition and didn’t want to be identified with it. Not heroic perhaps, but probably wise. But maybe not. Sometimes it’s better to have fought and lost than never to have fought at all. Interpretation No. 2: The election demonstrated the power of outside money to turn a local election. You might think so, since Walker

Commissioners question work at unapproved derby park
This is not something that the county really needs. If Mr. Ellis spent money without permission, Mr. Ellis should be the one paying the tab, not the tax payers who had no say in his decision. A soapbox derby is the last thing DeKalb needs. It’s a want and with so many needs in the county we cannot afford wants. Mr. Ellis needs to go as CEO, my budget can’t afford his wants. – LaDawna posted this on 6/8/12 at 9:47 p.m. While DeKalb’s Seniors programs cry out for funding and our animals in DeKalb’s Shelters are abused with little chance of adoption, Ellis & Stogner ignore all rules for spending in DeKalb! Nothing new there! PETA = STAND UP SPEAK OUT at the next DeKalb BOC meeting! AND ELLIS MUST GO! – PETA Peoples Alert posted this on 6/7/12 at 12:40 p.m.

School board proposes more than $75 million in budget cuts
Superintendent Atkinson forced audit of the $1Billion DeKalb County School System (DCSS) budget revealed omissions so blatant that any rational economic person would conclude malfeasance or gross incompetence by former administrators. Superintendent Atkinson: Thank YOU and keep up the good work. I say it is unwise to expect a citizen-elect Board to manage a $1Billion enterprise. Voters spoke loudly to eliminate the most obvious Board-level choke-points. Now, a management system review, with a mandate to implement changes, is required. The review ought to be conducted by respected, outside experts. Budgets exclusion of operating costs is proof for DCSS to more toward a more manageable District level structure. The current monolithic, ‘one-size-fits-all’ structure is proven as unmanageable. Many will resist decentralizing DCSS, but now is the time to call on our DeKalb delegation to lead a ‘Blue Ribbon’ study group to examine the benefits of a District approach. The status quo is unacceptable; taxpayers pay too much for too little, our kids cannot afford poor outcomes in this competitive world. –Max posted this on 6/8/12 at 8:58 a.m.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012

Local News

Page 7A

Champions of the Week
Shaye Sauers
Sheila said. Since her return to Decatur, Shaye has been living in her own condo and volunteering weekly at Disability Link in Decatur, an organization led by people with disabilities designed to increase independence and empower the disabled. She has also been working with the city of Decatur and volunteerSince an early age, ing for its various festiShaye Sauers has envals. dured numerous life“She feels she has threatening illnesses but had her own ‘cheering her mother Sheila said squad’ of special people she has been “an inspiin her life and wants to ration to all that know encourage others. She is her.” happiest when helping “She has struggled since she was 5 months others,” Sheila said. “Because of years of illness old with brain cancer, and hospitalizations, bone cancer, brain and spine surgeries, numer- Shaye has led a shelous brain infections, ra- tered life. Now, watching her is like seeing a diation, chemotherapy butterfly emerge from and the ongoing late its cocoon as she begins effects of treatments,” to spread her wings.” Sheila said. Recently, Shaye was For several years diagnosed with lupus Shaye, 32, lived at Anbut Sheila and her fanandale Village in Suther Rick said she is mowanee, a group home tivated more than ever for those with develto continue volunteeropmental disabilities. While there, Sheila said ing and working with her daughter quickly be- others who have disabilities. She is also curcame a peer counselor, rently studying for her encouraging others to GED and hopes to enroll live comfortably with in college in the fall. their disabilities. “She refuses to ever In 2011, Shaye quit and believes wholemoved back to Decatur and immediately began heartedly in positive volunteering in the com- thinking. She has purchased bracelets with munity. “Working in her com- the word ‘positivity’ on them to give out to munity was ingrained anyone she thinks might in her early on as her need a boost of happy grandparents founded energy,” Sheila said. Decatur’s first free weekly newspaper,”

Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver sits among DeKalb County legislators and school board members during a meeting to discuss redistricting. Recently, Oliver filed a complaint with Attorney General Sam Olens’ office alleging members of the DeKalb County School Board violated Georgia’s open meeting law. Photo by Daniel Beauregard

Legislator files complaint against school board
by Daniel Beauregard Representative Mary Margaret Oliver has filed a complaint alleging the DeKalb County School Board violated Georgia’s Open Meeting Law during the redistricting process which took place earlier this year. In the complaint sent to Attorney General Sam Olens’ office, Oliver claims the board violated the law when it submitted a proposed map that represented a majority action by the board. She said the board “failed to take action in an open meeting, failed to give notice of a proposed action and failed to record a vote in relation to an action.” “There was no public vote and public discussion by the school board,” Oliver said. “I don’t believe they can meet just among themselves and pass something around and adopt it informally. “Whatever action or vote the DeKalb School Board may have taken to propose a redistricting map to the DeKalb delegation was not taken in public and [violated] Georgia’s open meetings law…I ask you to open an investigation into this complaint as soon as possible,” she said. In early May DeKalb Board of Education (BOE) Chairman Eugene Walker sent an email to the United States Department of Justice alleging the alternative redistricting map presented by the board to the local delegation was ignored. “During the legislative process an alternative redistricting map was submitted to the DeKalb County legislative delegation by a majority of the board,” the email states. “The board understands that the delegation refused to consider this alternative even though the alternative more closely conforms to the school district’s attendance zones.” Walker said Oliver’s complaint is nothing more than political bullying and the school board didn’t violate any laws. “Some board members wanted to present a map and I told them if they brought a map with a majority signature I would sign off on it,” Walker said. “Why doesn’t she concentrate on doing her job and we can concentrate on doing ours? We have not broken the law.”

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 15, 2012

Local News

Page 8A

CDC: Teen dating violence ‘serious problem’
by Andrew Cauthen “Everybody is entitled to a healthy relationship,” said DeKalb County Solicitor General Sherry Boston. That is why she and Commissioner Larry Johnson are sponsoring a forum designed to teach parents and other adults the signs of teen dating violence. “What we’re seeing now historically is an increase in domestic violence among young people,” Boston said. “We describe domestic violence in many ways,” Boston said. “It’s more than just physical touching. It could be emotional. It could be financial. It could sexual. It could be violence via Facebook and social media and Twitter. This just doesn’t happen to married people or people with children who are older adults.” Boston said this behavior among teen partners is happening as early as age 14, 15 and 16—“anytime you have young people that are starting to do the boyfriend-girlfriend thing.” Boston said her office has had cases with teenage victims of simple assault, particularly when at least one partner is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. “People get under the influence of these substances and tend to lash out,” Boston said. Other teens have reported that “they’ve been harassed on Facebook or Twitter by verbal abuse or the dissemination of naked photos which we put into this teen dating violence issue,” Boston said. “We have more and more teens coming to court to get protective orders,” she said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen dating violence is a serious problem in the United States that is often unreported. Approximately 10 percent of students nationwide report being physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the past 12 months, according to recent statistics published by the CDC. Among adult victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner, 22.4 percent of women and 15 percent of men first experienced some form of partner violence between the ages of 11 and 17, according to the CDC. Teen victims of dating violence are more likely to be depressed, perform poorly in school, engage in unhealthy behaviors such as drug and alcohol use, have eating disorders and commit suicide, according to the CDC. In the forum, parents will be educated about some of the signs of teen dating violence. “Everybody knows that if they see a bruise they’re going to ask about a bruise,” Boston said. “But there are also things which may not be physical.” These other signs of teen dating violence include “stalking, or boyfriends or girlfriends that have a tight leash on each other by wanting to always know where they are, tracking them with the cell phone GPS, wanting to have passwords to access their emails or phone, sending threatening texts [and] Facebook issues.” “Basically, it’s the same things that can happen to adults,” Boston said. Boston said there have been several cases in the metro Atlanta area in which teen dating problems ended violently. “We want to look for the signs before a death occurs,” Boston said. The Teen Dating and Violence Advocacy forum, part of Johnson’s Leadership Institute, is scheduled for June 14, 10 -11:15 a.m., at the Exchange Park Intergenerational Center, 2771 Columbia Drive, Decatur.

The DeKalb County Board of Education does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be held at the DeKalb County School District Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain, Georgia on Monday, July 9, 2012 at 6:00 p.m., and pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. 48-5-32, does hereby publish the following presentation of the current year's tax digest and levy, along with the history of the tax digest and levy for the past five years.

M & O DIGEST REAL & PERSONAL MOTOR VEHICLES MOBILE HOMES TIMBER - 100% HEAVY DUTY EQUIPMENT GROSS DIGEST LESS M&O EXEMPTIONS NET M&O DIGEST GROSS M&O MILLAGE LESS ROLLBACKS NET M&O MILLAGE NET TAXES LEVIED NET TAXES $ INCREASE NET TAXES % INCREASE 2007 22,733,547,716 1,318,080,060 749,797 0 4,646,669 24,057,024,242 3,021,895,215 21,035,129,027 22.98 0.00 22.98 $483,387,265 $14,682,246 3.13% 2008 23,682,799,490 1,357,307,770 779,464 0 581,681 25,041,468,405 3,038,896,350 22,002,572,055 22.98 0.00 22.98 $505,619,106 $22,231,841 4.60% 2009 22,743,672,353 1,385,428,820 740,987 91,018 163,106 24,130,096,284 3,029,052,913 21,101,043,371 22.98 0.00 22.98 $484,901,977 ($20,717,129) -4.10% 2010 22,184,019,392 1,254,986,790 656,584 0 65,347 23,439,728,113 3,039,974,697 20,399,753,416 22.98 0.00 22.98 $468,786,333 ($16,115,643) -3.32% 2011 19,310,211,337 1,225,978,410 510,171 0 82,712 20,536,782,630 1,919,082,084 18,617,700,546 22.98 0.00 22.98 $427,834,759 ($40,951,575) -8.74%

PROPOSED 2012 17,759,977,950 1,265,293,750 440,056 0 77,829 19,025,789,585 2,134,869,314 16,890,920,271 23.98 0.00 23.98 $405,044,268 ($22,790,490) -5.33%



The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012

Local News
Briefs Continued From Page 3A
mailed to property owners and new notices will be sent, according to Commissioner Kathie Gannon. There are approximately 2,700 properties that were identified with errors, according to Gannon. There have been concentrations of errors within the Briarcliff corridor from Clairmont north to Northlake Mall and inside the city of Decatur. Usually, a property owner who believes that their appraisal is not accurate or fair has 45 days to file an appeal. Because of the large number of inaccuracies, the tax assessor’s office is asking that property owners wait until July 2 to see whether they receive a revised notice. If no revised assessment is received by July 2, the property owner has until July 13 to file an appeal. If the property owner receives a revised assessment that he does not find satisfactory, it “resets the clock,” Gannon said. The property owner has 45 days from the

Page 9A

Teacher lawsuit could lead to costly trial for school board
by Daniel Beauregard

before reducing the funding provisions of the Alternative Plan to Social Security.” The DeKalb County However, in 2009 the School Board is facing anschool board, facing budget other lawsuit that could cost cuts and financial strain, it millions of dollars if it voted to freeze contribugoes to trial. tions to the Tax Sheltered The suit, filed by DeKalb Annuity Plan (TSA Plan) County School District without giving the required (DCSD) teachers Elaine two-year notice. The suit Gold and Amy Shaye last also alleges the board realyear, alleges the board owes ized the mistake and tried to them, and thousands of “paper over” it by waiving other teachers, money that the policy that required twohas been withheld from a year notification. Notice of Property Tax Increase tax sheltered annuity fund According to the lawsuit: since 2009. “On May 10, 2010, the Former Gov. Roy Barnes Board realized its error. DurThe City of Stone Mountain has tentatively adopted a is representing the plaintiffs ing a meeting the Board was millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes and was present June 6 as informed that its terminalawyers from the district tion of the funding for the by 27.77 percent. All concerned citizens are invited to a argued an appeal. Earlier plan constituted a violation public hearing on this tax increase to be held at City Hall, this year, Judge Clarence of the Board’s own policies, Seeliger ruled against the including the two-year no875 Main Street, Stone Mountain, GA 30083 on Tuesday, district’s motion to have the tice requirement…the Board case thrown out. decided to ‘waive’ the Board June 26, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. “The court denied the policy that required it to Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax motion to throw the case out give a two-year notice to its and that was what the appeal employees.” increase are at City Hall, 875 Main Street, Stone Mountain, was about,” Barnes said. “A A decision on the appeal GA 30083 on Monday, July 9, 2012 at government should not be could take several months able to lie and promise their but Barnes said he considers 11:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. employees one thing and it a clear case. The tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 18.8 then do another.” “These people came out According to the lawsuit, of Social Security based on mills, an increase of 4.086 mills. Without this tentative tax Gold has been teaching the promise that they would increase the millage rate will be no more than 14.714 mills. in the system for 18 years continue to have this benefit and is currently a teacher and now they’re trying to The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market at Evansdale Elementary. renege on the promise and Shaye has been employed that’s just wrong. If an invalue of $52,000 is approximately $212.47 and the proposed for more than two decades dividual did that we’d call tax increase for nonhomestead property with a fair market and is a school psychologist it cheating and swindling,” serving several schools in Barnes said. value of $70,000 is approximately $286.02. the area. The plaintiffs filed the suit on behalf of “themNOTICE selves and all others similarly situated.” If the case The Mayor and Council of the City of Pine Lake hereby announces that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be goes forward, Barnes said, held at the Pine Lake Council Chambers, 459 Pine Dr., Pine Lake Georgia, 30072 on July 9, 2012 at 7:30 PM and pursuant to they have asked for it to be O.C.G.A. Section 48-5-32 does hereby publish the following presentation of the current year's tax digest and levy, along with the considered a class action history of the tax digest and levy for the past five years. suit. Currently, DCSD faces a $73 million deficit and is CURRENT 2012 TAX DIGEST AND 5 YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY involved in another lengthy INCORPORATED 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 lawsuit with construction firm Heery/Mitchell, which Real & Personal 23,795,246 24,593,428 23,763,315 23,212,367 19,484,475 15,898,594 has already cost upwards of Motor Vehicles 967,808 1,155,430 1,246,900 1,182,020 1,119,240 1,141,400 $20 million in lawyer fees. Mobile Homes “I don’t consider it to Timber - 100% be costing them anything,” Heavy Duty Equipment Barnes said if the case Gross Digest 24,763,054 25,748,858 25,010,215 24,394,387 20,603,715 17,039,994 moves forward. “They’re Less M& O Exemptions 1,081,408 1,087,370 1,063,817 1,069,933 1,059,679 1,003,602 obligated to do it. I consider Net M & O Digest $23,774,148 $24,661,488 $23,946,398 $23,324,454 $19,544,036 $16,036,392 it holding them accountable State Forest Land Assistance to what they have contracted Grant Value 0 to do.” Adjusted Net M&O Digest 23,774,148 24,661,488 23,946,398 23,324,454 19,544,036 16,036,392 In 1979, the DeKalb County School Board beGross M&O Millage 14.300 14.300 14.300 17.100 20.604 24.190 gan seeking alternatives to Less Rollbacks Social Security, and, accordNet M&O Millage 14.300 14.300 14.300 17.100 19.600 24.190 ing to the lawsuit, passed a resolution authorizing an Net Taxes Levied $339,927 $352,659 $342,433 $398,849 $383,063 $387,210 alternative plan and also Net Taxes $ Increase/Decrease $22,055 $12,732 -$10,226 $56,416 $15,786 $3,489 requiring that “the board of Net Taxes % Increase/Decrease 1.07% 1.03% -2.90% 14.00% -3.90% -0.79% education shall give a twoyear notice to employees

receipt of the revised notice to appeal. Tax appraisers say they are working to adjust land values to “more realistic” levels based on market conditions. “DeKalb County Tax Appraisers office is under a tremendous workload now. They will try to answer your questions, but it may take some patience. There are 66 employees and 230,000 properties,” states an announcement from Gannon’s office.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012

Local News

Page 10A

Kirkwood, an east Atlanta neighborhood in DeKalb County, boasts a burgeoning business district, which has grown exponentially in the past decade. Photos by Daniel Beauregard

Kirkwood boasts growing business district, small-town feel
by Daniel Beauregard Kirkwood resident Joe Alcock said he has seen a lot of changes in the east Atlanta neighborhood since he and his wife moved there more than a decade ago. “A lot of people are moving back into the city and buying old houses and renovating them,” Alcock said. “Houses in disrepair are being bulldozed and bigger houses are being built. The Kirkwood neighborhood is situated entirely in DeKalb County, located near the Lake Claire, East Lake and Oakhurst areas. Alcock, 39, is a member of the Kirkwood Business Owners’ Association. He and his wife relocated to the area from Sandy Springs in 1999, where they moved after graduating from Auburn University. “A lot of the things we were doing were downtown. So, when we decided to buy a house, one of our friends lived in Oakhurst and we began to look in the area,” Alcock said. “We really wanted a little bungalow and we found one in Kirkwood.” When he and his wife first moved into their home, Alcock said, their closest neighbors were a single mom, a young widower “who loved to garden” and a grandmother with several children. “Each house has its own life cycle to it and that makes each street unique,” Alcock said. “I love my neighbors and that’s probably my favorite thing about living here. I’ve got a lot of friends in the neighborhood and I can call them at 2 in the morning and say, ‘My toilet is blowing up and I need a wrench,’ and they’ll be there to help.” Alcock said the area has seen a spur in business recently—a new Sherwin Williams store is being built and several businesses have expanded. Additionally, six years ago the neighborhood added a six-acre park with a pavilion and has several community gardens. Although the neighborhood is relatively small, Alcock said there’s always a lot happening such as the Kirkwood Spring Fling, a 5K road race that donates part of its proceeds to Special Olympics. The neighborhood also participates in a celebration of the Battle of Atlanta each July with its East Atlanta neighbors and was awarded a national historic designation three years ago. “There was probably a little bit more crime when we first moved in but that has diminished,” Alcock said. “There’s a good police presence and the neighborhood has hired off-duty police officers for additional security.” Emily Wimbush moved to Kirkwood in 2007 and is one of the many Atlanta transplants who moved from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Like Alcock, who spent the weekend making homemade ice cream with his neighbors, Wimbush said she chose Kirkwood for its small town appeal and diversity. Wimbush lives in Kirkwood Station, a mixed-use development on the corner of Hosea Williams Drive and Warren Street. She said when she moved to Kirkwood it was the only area she liked with a mixed-use development where she could both live and run a business. “I’m a jewelry designer—I do a combination of sales and custom work for clients and online sales. I also sell from boutiques and my studio as well,” Wimbush said. Once she settled in, Wimbush joined the business association and started a wine stroll to raise money for the area, which has flourished each year since its inception. She said over the past five years several businesses have opened such as Le Petit Marche, a café/market attached to the Kirkwood Station building, and businesses such as Kirkwood Bark and Lounge, a pet day care and boarding facility. Wimbush said although the business district is flourishing, the area is still in need of commercial real estate to attract more businesses. The Atlanta Police Department’s Zone 6 Precinct is located in the heart of downtown Kirkwood, which is another reason Wimbush chose to move there. She said she wanted to move to an up-and-coming neighborhood that is also relatively safe. “When I first moved in I would see the random prostitute walk down the street but now the zone commanders come to all of our meetings. We also have a new fire station down the street and our own library and a post office just a few blocks away,” Wimbush said. Wimbush said she thinks the fire station, police precinct, post office and Kirkwood Elementary School are big attractions for couples looking to move into the area and start a family. Alcock, who has two daughters, said over the past few years residents have put a lot of energy into rebuilding the school and developing relationships with the staff. “We’ve got an amazing principal over there who really knows how to manage the school,” Alcock said. “It’s a fun place to live and I’ve really enjoyed it…I don’t think I could ever get my wife to move even if I tried.”

Businesses coming to DeKalb despite shaky economy
by Andrew Cauthen After experiencing four record sales months, Steelmart owners have no regrets about relocating their company from Gwinnett County to DeKalb County earlier this year. “We’re happy with our move,” said Brian Satisky, co-owner of the full-service steel center that warehouses and sells steel products, including pipes, plates, sheets, beams and ornamental iron. Services provided by the company include shearing, forming, saw cutting, punching, drilling, plate burning and galvanizing. “DeKalb County was a pleasure to work with,” Satisky said. “And our employees are pleased.” Satisky said the company had no problems with Gwinnett County. “There was nothing bad about Gwinnett,” Satisky said. “We just had the opportunity to buy a facility.” The company, founded in 1993, purchased a 60,000-square-foot foreclosed facility on Lawrenceville Highway. The moved allowed the company to quadruple its previous space and combine three locations into one. “At first, we were apprehensive about DeKalb County because we didn’t know anything about it,” Satisky said. Steelmart is one of several companies that have moved or announced plans to move operations to DeKalb County in the past couple of years. In March, CHEP, an international pallet and container leasing company, leased 60,000 square feet of office space in Dunwoody to house its U.S. headquarters. The company predicted the move would bring more than 170 executive level positions and $2 million in investments to Dunwoody. During the announcement of the move, Michael Starling, Dunwoody’s director of economic development said the city’s “strategic location, superior infrastructure and access to a highly educated workforce” led to CHEP decision to move there. “Georgia offers CHEP excellent proximity to many of our key customers, provides advantages in recruiting and attracting talent into our organization and offers an outstanding quality of life for our employees who will relocate,” said Kim Rumph, president of CHEP USA. A month later, Elekta Inc., the developer of Leksell Gamma Knife, a brain cancer treatment device, announced that it will move its North American headquarters from Norcross to Dunwoody and add 100 jobs. Other businesses with a new or increased presence in DeKalb County include Marten Transportation, Energy Systems Group and IMS Electronic recycling. An undisclosed plastics company is currently planning to move to DeKalb, according to Charles Whatley, DeKalb County’s economic director. “People don’t move their headquarters often,” Whatley said. When businesses do decide to relocate, it is for many reasons, including access to supply chains and proximity to universities that provide a highly educated employee pool, Whatley said. DeKalb County, Whatley said, offers businesses an extensive and easily accessible road network, quick access to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International and DeKalb Peachtree airports, and an educated workforce. “Businesses are going to make decisions based on the availability of the infrastructure they need,” Whatley said. “The largest challenge is the availability of land in metro counties. The land is more expensive. One reason the land, if available, is so expensive is the number of plots it takes to get 100 or more acres. In DeKalb, 200 acres might be an assemblage of properties with various owners, while 200 acres in a rural area may have one landowner, Whatley said. “If you’re looking for 100 acres or more, that’s a problem [in DeKalb],” Whatley said. “Other parts of the U.S. will have the advantage.” Strong business sectors in the Atlanta metro region include health care analytics, telecommunications and logistics, Whatley said. DeKalb Development Authority recently induced $15 million of financing to help the international logistics leader UPS upgrade its Pleasantdale hub near Doraville, the company’s largest facility in the Southeast. The move will help the company retain 750 jobs in DeKalb. “That’s a good location and they are here to stay,” Whatley said. Whatley said DeKalb County’s economic development department does not focus on attracting a specific business sector. “Economic developers that try to pick winners don’t win,” Whatley said. “We try to help people who want to move to DeKalb County. It needs to make sense for them.” Since a diverse economic base is desirable, the county seeks “everything but smoke stacks,” Whatley said. The local economy is “somewhat shaky,” but there are still “plenty of opportunities” for businesses like call centers, health information technology or new media, Whatley said.

Page 11A Local News

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Page 12A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012

Budget deficit grows, school board tables vote
Board member Don McChesney echoed Cunningham and said he too The DeKalb County wanted to table the vote beBoard of Education tabled cause the board didn’t have a final vote on its proposed enough facts to make an budget June 11 after school informed decision. officials revealed it needs to “We’re spinning out of make an additional $12 mil- control here,” McChesney lion in cuts due to dropping said. “These are serious property tax values. items and there are some Hundreds of students, things that you can’t take as community members and one piece set apart from all school officials crowded the others.” into the board room of the Board members voted DeKalb County Schools unanimously to table adoptDistrict’s (DCSD) Adminis- ing the budget for a week trative and Industrial Comand have a special called plex in Stone Mountain, meeting June 20 at 1 p.m. some standing in the doorThe current proposed way and hall. budget also includes reduc“Last week I spoke to the tions in employee insurance county with regard to the tax subsidies, calls for an addigest and unfortunately the ditional two furlough days numbers are changing, and and a one student increase they’re not changing for the in class size as well as a tax better,” said Michael Perincrease of one mill. rone, DCSD chief financial Perrone said the district officer. is required to submit its Originally, officials premillage rate July 10. The dicted a 6 percent drop in district’s fiscal year begins the county’s property tax July 1 but Perrone said the digest but recently that num- board could adopt spendber has grown to 9 percent, ing resolutions to allow the leaving the total deficit at district to continue normal $85 million. operations while it balanced The district’s budget tothe budget. However, he tals more than $1 billion and didn’t recommend it. is split into several funds, A lawyer for the school the largest being its general district said the “drop dead operations fund, which is date” to submit a budget to approximately $760 million. the state is Sept. 30. Over the past two The proposed budget months, school officials and would also cut $3.2 milboard members developed lion in funding from the a proposed budget with $73 Fernbank Science Center, million in cuts. Now board which operates on a budget chairman Eugene Walker of approximately $4.7 miland other members said it lion. Originally, closing the would have to go back to the center was proposed then drawing board. taken off the table after resi“Based on the informadents voiced their concerns tion we just received I don’t at a number of public budsee how we can move forget hearings. The item was ward tonight,” board memadded to the proposed cuts ber Jesse Cunningham last minute before the June said. 11 business meeting. Superintendent Cheryl School district spokesAtkinson advised board man Walter Woods said the members that the longer it science center would remain waits to approve a budget, open and continue to offer the less it will save in rehands-on learning about sciserves. The proposed budget ence and nature, but many also includes staff reducof its programs and 56 staff tions, which could be affect- members would be reduced. ed by delayed board vote. “The tax digest is one “I would like to say that of the big items that hurt us many of these action steps this year and additional cuts require advance notice, so from the state, so that’s why we would ask the board to we’re in the situation that consider the options that we’re in,” Woods said. “We they’ve chosen thus far so have been in daily contact that staff can get working on with the county and trying it,” Atkinson said. to get a firm number.” by Daniel Beauregard

DeKalb County School District Chief Financial Officer Michael Perrone speaks with Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson and Chief Communications Officer Walter Woods at a business meeting June 11. Photos by Daniel Beauregard

Hundreds were present at a recent meeting where the school board tabled a vote to adopt the budget.

Election 2012
Guide to the Candidates
To reserve your advertsing space in the election guide, contact Louise Dyrenforth Acker at

• Election 2012-Guide to the Candidates questionnaires will be sent out to all qualifying candidates. • Candidates must complete and return questionnaires in order to be included in the election guide.
Questionnaires will also be available online

Election 2012 - Guide to the Candidates will be published in the July 12th issue of The Champion Newsaper.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012

Page 13A

Dead in its tracks: Soap box derby facility on hold
by Andrew Cauthen Site preparation on the proposed soap box derby park in Lithonia has been halted by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners— pending approval by DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis. In a 6-0 vote June 12, commissioners passed a resolution requesting Ellis to stop preparation work on the 11-acre site adjacent to the Bransby YMCA on Rock Chapel Road in unincorporated Lithonia. The resolution, introduced by Commissioner Elaine Boyer, states that “no county funding previously appropriated by the county was intended for construction on or the site preparation of this property as only the commission is authorized to prioritize capital improvements.” “The board has the authority to prioritize capital projects and we never did that,” Boyer said. “ [Ellis] ignored the Organizational Act that says we prioritize capital projects. The law is the law. And he disregarded it.” “When you have a clear directive from six commissioners, that’s a full vote,” Boyer said. “[Ellis] needs to pay attention.” The proposed $1 million soap box derby facility, located at 1253 Rock Chapel Road, is being funded by a 2001 parks bond. The derby park would have a building for supplies and cars, a classroom, concession stand, finish-line pavilion and grandstand. Commissioners have expressed concerns about how much use the proposed 890foot, two-lane derby track would get. The resolution also requests Ellis to “prepare a financial report to the commission reporting all expenditures and estimates of expenditures concerning the development of this property.” The stop work resolution remains in effect until January 2013 or until further action by the Board of Commissioners. In response to an open records request by The Champion, county officials provided records showing that the county has spent $91,819 clearing, grading and preparing the site for the proposed soap box derby facility. The resolution comes after DeKalb County commissioners asked Ellis’ administration to provide the specifics of all costs incurred in preparation of the derby track. A memo by Morris Williams, the Board of Commissioners’ chief of staff, stated that this was an “informal request for information to clarify” a May 24 story in The Champion that “indicated that county workers have begun work on preparing the proposed soap box derby track in advance of approval by the board.” Ellis he was disappointed to hear about the board’s intent to stop work on the project after the commissioners’ vote. “I would have expected that, in the spirit of transparency and communication, the board would have at least let me know that they were going to do that,” Ellis said following the vote. “I just received this minutes ago,” Ellis said about the resolution. “I’m going to read it and then I’m going to follow the law.” Ellis said that Boyer, the resolution’s author, should have knocked on his door and said, “I need to talk to you about this before I put it on the agenda. “It also [raises] the question: Why is the sole Republican on the Board of Commissioners controlling the [parks] projects in District 5?” Ellis said. “Why is Elaine Boyer controlling projects in Lee May’s district? It’s a very unusual action.” May said Ellis’ comments were unacceptable. “He’s playing politics,” May said. “He talking Democrats and Republicans and we’re talking about the fact that [he’s] clear-cut 11 acres of land without Board of Commissioners approval.” May is the commissioner who brought to light the administration’s work on the site. “We were told by the administration that they were prepping the land,” May said. “Little did we know that prepping the land means clear-cutting 11 acres of land.” Ellis said that the soap box derby track was approved by the Board of Commissioners initially on March 22, 2011. “It was subsequently approved for the design work,” Ellis said. “It was specifically approved by the Board of Commissioners. And we began the work in accordance with that approval. I don’t know that today’s action has defunded that project, so I’m not sure what the next steps are.” Ellis said the board’s action “may mean nothing.” “It may mean that we continue to work because it may continue to be budgeted. It may mean that we have to stop the work,” Ellis said. “Obviously we will follow the law.”

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The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast THURSDAY
Mostly Sunny High: 87 Low: 67

June 14, 2012
Today's Regional Map Weather History
June 14, 1903 - The “Heppner Disaster” occurred in Oregon. A cloudburst in the hills sent a flood down Willow Creek and a 20-foot wall of water swept away a third of the town in minutes, killing 236 and causing 100 million dollars in damage. June 15, 1953 - Dust devils are usually rather benign weather phenomena. However, two boys were injured by one near Prescott, Ariz. One of the boys suffered a black eye and the other boy had two vertebrae fractured by wind-blown debris. Dunwoody 85/66 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 86/67 86/67 86/67 Snellville Decatur 87/67 Atlanta 87/67 87/67 Lithonia College Park 88/67 88/67 Morrow 88/67 Union City 88/67 Hampton 89/68

In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see mostly sunny skies with a high temperature of 87º, humidity of 54%. East wind 5 mph. The record high temperature for today is 96º set in 1948. Expect partly cloudy skies tonight with an overnight low of 67º. The record low for tonight is 54º set in 1968.

Mostly Sunny High: 84 Low: 64

*Last Week’s Almanac
Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 77 66 85/65 0.17" Wednesday 82 63 85/65 0.00" Thursday 84 62 85/66 0.00" Friday 85 62 85/66 0.00" Saturday 85 62 85/66 0.00" Sunday 80 65 86/66 1.02" Monday 80 68 86/66 0.69" Rainfall . . . . . . .1.88" Average temp . .72.9 Normal rainfall . .0.77" Average normal 75.5 Departure . . . . .+1.11" Departure . . . . .-2.6
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport

Mostly Sunny High: 83 Low: 63

Mostly Sunny High: 83 Low: 64

Mostly Sunny High: 86 Low: 62

Sunny High: 87 Low: 65 New 6/19

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 6:26 a.m. 6:26 a.m. 6:26 a.m. 6:26 a.m. 6:26 a.m. 6:26 a.m. 6:27 a.m. Sunset 8:50 p.m. 8:50 p.m. 8:50 p.m. 8:50 p.m. 8:51 p.m. 8:51 p.m. 8:51 p.m. Moonrise 2:59 a.m. 3:33 a.m. 4:11 a.m. 4:53 a.m. 5:39 a.m. 6:29 a.m. 7:23 a.m. Moonset 4:39 p.m. 5:34 p.m. 6:28 p.m. 7:20 p.m. 8:10 p.m. 8:57 p.m. 9:41 p.m. Full 7/3

Tonight's Planets
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 7:47 a.m. 10:19 p.m. 5:43 a.m. 7:39 p.m. 1:16 p.m. 1:46 a.m. 5:02 a.m. 6:56 p.m. 3:46 p.m. 3:19 a.m. 2:27 a.m. 2:44 p.m.

Mostly Sunny High: 85 Low: 64 First 6/26

Last 7/10

Local UV Index

National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 86º in Carbondale, Ill. The Southeast will see scattered thunderstorms today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 94º in Sanford, Fla. The Northwest will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today and Friday, isolated showers Saturday, with the highest temperature of 91º in Torrington, Wyo. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 107º in Bullhead City, Ariz.

Weather Trivia
How long does it take light to travel from the sun to reach the earth?

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


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

Answer: It takes about 8 minutes.

StarWatch By Gary Becker - True Grit
The meal started as a seven out of ten. It ended as an F3. It was a perfect day in Chaco Canyon National Historical Park, near Nageezi, NM. A cool, breezy, sunny day, perfect for hiking and viewing the abandoned towns of the Ancestral Puebloans who were keen observers of the sun and the moon and had flourished here in the San Juan Basin of NW New Mexico 1000 years earlier. During the seven mile loop trail that overlooked major ruins and brought us to several other mesa top remains, the sky grayed and the wind picked up. Virga hung lazily below the clouds, like wispy cotton candy, a testament to rain aloft, but none reaching the ground. When we returned to our campsite around 6 p.m., all was calm and my friend, Jesse Leayman, built a fire and began preparing a steak dinner, complete with crunchy green salad, while I reviewed the day’s photography. I was going to set up my scope for some evening stargazing, but luckily dinner came first. Without warning as we ate, a screeching howl of angry wind tumbled over the mesa that faced our campsite. Whoosh, dust enveloped everything, almost flattening our tent. Jesse and I ran to grab the tent struts, trying to keep the fabric from ripping while leaning our backs into the tempest. For several minutes, waves of dusty air pummeled us, and then suddenly, all became ghostly quiet. Our food had a new dressing, “grit ala true.” Our tent, bags, pillows—everything—had a new feel of “true grit.” After dark the sky rapidly cleared, and Jesse and I reclined against our picnic table deep in conversation under a black vault illuminated by a thousand twinkling points of light. I asked him if he had ever experienced anything like what we had just gone through. Jesse said, “Yes.” I asked, “Where?” He laughed and pointed to his left, “In Chaco, seven years earlier, in the campsite next to ours.”

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012

Neighborly fun
The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department celebrated its fifth annual open house at Station 13 on Flat Shoals Avenue in DeKalb County. Attendees were treated to plenty of food, live music, dancing, face painting and other activities for children. Volunteers for the event included firefighters, area college students and members of Evening Star Lodge 611. Photos provided

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012

Page 15A

40 years of food, fashion and fun on display at history center
by Daniel Beauregard Lallie Hayes, 68, said her father Guy Hayes grew up in Kirkwood and even after leaving and traveling around the Southeast as a professional freelance photographer, he always considered DeKalb County a place to call home. Hayes was the youngest of four boys. Lallie said her grandfather left the family when Guy was 2 and he was raised primarily by his older brother, mother and grandmother. “He grew up relatively poor like most during the Depression,” Lallie said. “Because he was brought up that way he was satisfied with having just enough, rather than going out and trying to make a lot of money with commercial photography or starting his own studio.” After graduating from Clarkston High School, Hayes served in the Navy during World War II. Throughout his career Hayes was a regular contributor to many Georgia newspapers including The Atlanta Journal, The Atlanta Constitution (the two editions combined in 2001), and The DeKalb News/Sun. “I saw photographs all the time while I was growing up—I really didn’t get too involved in the process but my mother kept scrapbooks and I was out climbing trees mostly,” Lallie said. Lallie said her father enjoyed his job and the opportunity to travel throughout Georgia taking photographs and meeting interesting people such as former presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower. “He never knew what he was going to see the next time they sent him out and that kept him in that job,” Lallie said. Hayes retired when he was 65. In the mid-1980s his wife Dottie, a volunteer at the DeKalb History Center (DHC) and his friend Walter McCurdy, a DHC board member and past president, convinced him to donate his extensive files of photographic negatives to the center. Over the past several years DHC archivist Jill Sweetapple has been working to process and preserve the collection of approximately 11,000 images. Sweetapple said former intern Erica Duvic played an instrumental role in the archiving process early-on. “He was not an archivist and he would gather all the pictures and they would all be stuffed in brown envelopes,” Sweetapple said of Hayes. “I had an intern and she found me a scanner, which we bought with money from the Decatur Beer Festival, and she just kind of took it on.” Sweetapple said many of the negatives depict images from areas throughout Georgia and the Southeast, including many important Atlanta buildings that are now gone. Currently, the DHC is featuring 40 prints of Hayes’ work in an exhibition, which runs for the rest of the year. “The focus is food, fun and fashion. We’ve got really cool pictures from oldfashioned fairs and we have some pictures of people in kitchens preparing things,” Sweetapple said. The pictures range from staged photographs requested from newspapers Hayes worked for, to candid moments he captured on the fly, such as one depicting two women donning caps made of folded newspapers to avoid getting their hair wet from an approaching storm. Melissa Forgey, executive director of the DHC, said the collection and the photos offer a “slice of life across Georgia,” which spans nearly 40 years. She also said preserving and digitizing the negatives will offer an invaluable historic resource. “Part of the importance is actually saving the images and being able to see them,” Forgey said. “He was a really artistic photographer and the staged shots he did really show an incredible artistic eye.” Forgey said some of the images depict well-known DeKalb landmarks such as the old courthouse on the Decatur square, where the DHC is now located. Additionally, since Hayes worked in the South during the era of segregation, Forgey said, it’s also important to note that newspapers reflected that. “There’s very little repre-

Above; photographer Guy Hayes sits in the middle of the road with his camera. Below; two women cover themselves with newspaper in anticipation of a coming rain storm. Both photographs are from a larger collection of Hayes’ negatives, which the DeKalb History Center has been scanning and archiving for the past two years. Photos provided by the DeKalb History Center

sentation of African Americans in the collection,” Forgey said. In fact, Sweetapple said the only photographs of African Americans she has seen in the collection so far are from a sanitation strike in the 1960s where civil rights icon Hosea Williams was arrested. Sweetapple said there are several boxes of negatives left to digitize and when that process is completed she hopes to apply for a grant to purchase a large freezer to store and preserve the negatives. Forgey said the DHC plans to have more themed exhibits of Hayes’ work,

since the collection is so vast. Lallie, who lives in Mableton, said she is a little surprised about the exhibit of her father’s photographs because he was such a lowkey person. She hasn’t made it to Decatur yet to see the work in person but is pleased there’s an interest in her father, even if he wasn’t a famous commercial or studio photographer. “DeKalb was always a kind of home to him and he was big on giving back if he could,” she said of Hayes’ decision to donate the collection.

The City of Avondale Estates Board of Mayor and Commissioners does hereby announce the 2012 Millage Rate of 12.165 will be set at Avondale Estates City Hall, 21 N. Avondale Plaza, on June 20, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. and June 25, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. and pursuant to requirements of O.C.G.A. Section 48-5-32 does hereby publish the following presentation of the current year's tax digest and levy, along with the history of the tax digest and levy for the past five years.

Real & Personal Motor Vehicles Mobile Homes Timber - 100% Heavy Duty Equipment Gross Digest Less M& O Exemptions Net M & O Digest State Forest Land Assistance Grant Value Adjusted Net M&O Digest Gross M&O Millage Less Rollbacks Net M&O Millage Total City Taxes Levied Net Taxes $ Increase Net Taxes % Increase 10.500 $1,697,020 $0 0.00% 11.000 $1,820,775 $123,755 7.29% 11.000 $1,835,502 $14,727 0.81% 11.000 $1,816,036 -$19,466 -1.06% 10.957 $1,821,315 $5,279 0.29% 12.165 $1,846,420 $25,105 1.38% 161,802,831 181,873 161,620,958 0 161,620,958 10.500 165,729,484 167,032,705 165,213,345 166,326,326 204,451 168,873 119,131 102,456 165,525,033 166,863,832 165,094,214 166,223,870 0 0 0 0 151,997,418 216,067 151,781,351 0 151,781,351 12.165

152,603,991 9,198,840





143,982,438 8,014,980

156,800,494 157,621,535 157,295,925 158,471,976 8,928,990 9,411,170 7,917,420 7,854,350

165,525,033 166,863,832 165,094,214 166,223,870 11.000 11.000 11.000 10.957

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012


Page 16A
Jonah McDonald teaches about chickens at an Atlanta school and says he always advises students to wash their hands after handling them. Mail-order chicks that appeal to kids and backyard farmers have been linked to the U.S.’s longest running salmonella outbreak, sickening more than 300 people–many of them young children. McDonald said he doesn’t know of anyone who’s gotten salmonella from handling chickens. “The kids in my neighborhood come over and feed scraps into the cages,” he added. “It’s a real community thing.”

Jonah McDonald holds freshly laid eggs from chickens at his Atlanta home. McDonald says he washes the eggs thoroughly before eating them. (AP Photos/ John Bazemore)

Hundreds of salmonella cases tied to chicks
by Mike Stobbe ATLANTA (AP) Those cute mail-order chicks that wind up in children’s Easter baskets and backyard farms have been linked to more than 300 cases of salmonella in the United States—mostly in youngsters—since 2004. An estimated 50 million live poultry are sold through the mail each year in the United States in a business that has been booming because of the growing popularity of backyard chicken farming as a hobby among people who like the idea of raising their own food. But health officials are warning of a bacterial threat on the birds’ feet, feathers, beaks and eggs. “Most people can tell you that chicken meat may have salmonella on it,” said Casey Barton Behravesh of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “But surprisingly, we found many people are not aware that live chicks and chickens can spread salmonella to people.” Since 2004, at least 316 people in 43 states got sick in an outbreak tied primarily to one mail-order hatchery. Health officials believe thousands more illnesses connected to the business were probably never reported. No one died, but three dozen people were hospitalized with bloody diarrhea or other symptoms. The illnesses were detailed recently in the New England Journal of Medicine. Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and stomach pain but is rarely fatal. It is most dangerous to very young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. The infection is usually contracted from food, but live animals can transmit it, too, because the bacteria can be in their feces. Salmonella outbreaks have been linked to hatcheries for more than 50 years. And health officials have long warned that people can get salmonella from touching chickens— especially children, who tend to put their fingers in their mouths. Indeed, the CDC says children younger than 5 shouldn’t be allowed to touch chickens at all. Health officials also advise people not to bring birds into their homes and to wash their hands thoroughly after handling live poultry. About 20 hatcheries mail live chicks overnight in the United States, supplying not only feed stores and farms but amateurs with backyard coops. The mail-order houses have been seeing record sales in recent years. “It’s all part of this greener, healthier lifestyle,” said Behravesh, a veterinary epidemiologist. Jonah McDonald, a 32-year-old Atlanta man who keeps three hens and insists a backyard egg tastes better, said he does not know of anyone who has gotten salmonella from handling chickens. “The kids in my neighborhood come over and feed scraps to my chickens,” he said. “It’s a real community thing.” The CDC described an eight-year investigation into salmonella illnesses, with more than 80 percent of the cases tied to a single hatchery in the western United States. While CDC officials refused to identify the business, a previous report on the investigation by the health agency indicated it is in New Mexico. Investigators interviewed victims and concluded many had caught salmonella from touching chicks or ducklings, often at home. From there, most of the illnesses were traced to the hatchery. Behravesh said the hatchery has taken steps to curb the spread of salmonella—including replacing equipment, adopting new eggcleaning procedures and vaccinating chickens—and is not considered a health threat. She said she was not aware of any fines or penalties against the business over the outbreak. During the eight years studied, the annual number of illnesses linked to the hatchery ranged as high as 84, with 29 cases last year and only one so far in 2012.

Election 2012 – Guide to the Candidates will be published in the July 12th issue of The Champion Newspaper.

Notice of Public Hearing for Clarkston Millage Rate
Notice is hereby given that prior to setting the tax millage rate for 2012, the Clarkston Mayor and Council will hold a Public Hearing at City Hall, 3921 Church Street, Clarkston Georgia, on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 7:00pm on the proposed millage rate. The City Council is proposing to adopt a millage rate for 2012 that does exceed the rollback rate. All concerned citizens are invited to attend.  

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 17 , 2012

Local News
and find these guys,” Racine said. “I think that everybody is realizing perhaps what some of our limitations may be. Here in DeKalb if we stumble upon a huge international ring we’ll hand it over to the feds because they’re very adequately prepared to handle these cases.” Each runaway case is unique, Racine said, because they span all socio-economic demographics. She said the majority of the cases she sees involve runaways who are being abused physically or sexually by a custodial parent or boyfriend. “We’ve seen parents prostituting their children; we’ve seen boyfriends doing it; we’ve seen the random guy who approaches them and becomes the pimp; and we’ve heard of females becoming pimps now too, so it’s not staying in traditional gender roles as to who’s doing what,” Racine said. The bill allows for additional funding for law enforcement training and resources for victims of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. Racine said the DA’s office is also working closely with the DeKalb County Cybercrime Unit, a new branch of the DeKalb County Police Department. She said as more pimps and human traffickers move toward the Internet to post in personals, the investigative unit will be a vital resource. “They do have an excellent task force over there and they are aware of what we’re trying to do—through their techniques and their abilities

Page 17A

DA’s office addresses child exploitation issues
sponsored by Sen. Renee Unterman, which passed last year that amended parts of Georgia law as it relates to trafficking people for sexual servitude. According to statistics, it won’t It also provides greater protections take long before a female runaway to people subject to such crimes by is approached by a sexual predator, DeKalb County Assistant District At- broadening certain aspects of the law. torney Dalia Racine said. Under Georgia law, child prosRacine, who focuses on the sexual titutes can be charged as criminals exploitation of children and human even if they have been coerced into trafficking, said runaways often are it. However, Racine said many juvecommercially sexually exploited chil- nile court judges have begun to offer dren (CSEC). alternative sentencing as the bill al“That goes across the spectrum lows a child to have an affirmative whether we’re in rural Georgia or defense based on the human traffickthe metro area like here in DeKalb ing statute. County. Statistically, one in every “It’s also geared toward adults four runaways will be approached who are brought into trafficking within the first 72 hours by a pimp,” through direct coercion or deception. Racine said. At the minimum it doesn’t really take According to reasearch done by much,” Racine said. DeKalb County Police and Racine, Examples of coercion, Racince three out of five girls who have run said, are blackmail, or someone being away three or more times in the past kept under the influence of drugs or six months have confirmed they were alcohol. “It’s now also a felony for a either a prostitute or invited into person who is of age and being prosprostitution. tituted,” she said. “We’re saying that if this is one of Racine said CSEC falls directly the biggest triggers or indicators, then under the umbrella of human traffickwe’ll start with that and work our ing. Those involved with prostitution way back to see if these girls are in of children can range from pimps and fact being approached by the pimps the johns using their services, to the and if they are being trafficked. I people transporting child prostitutes think once we get our resources and and hotel managers who knowingly our strategy aligned and we can have allow johns to rent rooms. a united response to this issue, the “I don’t think we’re going to numbers are going to be overwhelm- have much difficulty in pursuing ing,” Racine said. Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Some of the resources Racine Organizations Act (RICO) charges, referred to could come from a bill it’s just that we’ve got to get out there by Daniel Beauregard ideally they’ll be finding us some cases as well,” Racine said. For victims of child sexual exploitation or human trafficking who are looking for a way out, there are several nonprofits, including Georgia Care Connection, that provide services and rehabilitation, Racine said. However, she said, funding for such programs is limited due to the economic downturn. Some religious organizations in the metro area such as Street GRACE also help spread awareness of CSEC and rehabilitate victims. Street GRACE works to unite Christian churches with an array of public, private and nonprofit entities to bring about the end of sexual exploitation of children. “When we rescue a girl or boy, initially we think they are going to return to the life. There are many complicated layers that we have to deal with–there’s physical and sexual abuse, there’s domestic violence. We have the fact that they have completely devalued their bodies and self worth…you have to work through all of these very complicated layers that, within themselves, are huge issues to conquer let alone when you have them piled on top of each other,” Racine said. Racine said although many positive changes have been made in the effort to combat CSEC and human trafficking, it will take more time. She compared it to 30 years ago when people

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012


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Emory University professor named next U.S. poet laureate
by Daniel Beauregard The Library of Congress recently announced the appointment of Emory University English professor Natasha Trethewey as the next poet laureate of the United States. Trethewey, who will be the 19th poet laureate, succeeds poet Philip Levine and will open the Library of Congress’ literary season with a reading of her work Sept. 13 at the library’s Coolidge Auditorium. “Natasha Trethewey is an outstanding poet/historian in the mold of Robert Penn Warren, our first poet laureate consultant in poetry,” Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a press release. “Her poems dig beneath the surface of history—personal or communal, from childhood or from a century ago—to explore the human struggles that we all face.” Born in Gulfport, Miss., in 1966, Trethewey earned a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia, an M.A. in poetry from Hollins University, and an M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. At Emory University, Trethewey is the Charles
collaborative, creative and highly energetic artistic administrator who will be a tremendous asset to the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art and the entire campus community,” said Dr. Denise von Herrmann, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Oglethorpe University. Peterson has 15 years of experience in museum management, and exhibition and gallery programming. Prior to

Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing. Trethewey will reside in the Washington, D.C., area from January-May 2013 and work in the Poets Room of the Poetry and Literature Center, the first time a poet laureate has done so since the inception of the position in 1986. Her term will coincide with the 75th anniversary of the library’s Poetry and Literature Center and the 1937 establishment of the Consultant-in-Poetry position, which was changed by a federal law in 1986 to Poet Laureate Consultant in
her time at Eastern Connecticut State, she was director of the Print Research Foundation, a privately owned fine print and library collection in Connecticut and for seven years worked for the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Peterson earned her undergraduate degree at Wells College and a master of science, with a concentration in art history and conservation, from Pratt Institute.

Poetry. Trethewey also is serving as Poet Laureate of Mississippi. She was named to the position in January for a four-year term and will continue in the position while serving as U.S. poet laureate. She is the author of three poetry collections–Native Guard, (2006), winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002); and Domestic Work (2000). Her newest collection of poems, Thrall, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2012. Trethewey is also the author of a nonfiction book,

Natasha Trethewey

Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2010).
Accounts, where her team audited school systems, colleges and state agencies. After five years with the state, she left to work in the finance department of the DeKalb County School District, first as an accountant and then as the director of school budgets. Hurst was with DeKalb County Schools for the past 10 years.

Congressman recognizes Arabia Mountain High
Congressman Hank Johnson recently recognized Arabia Mountain High School as one of 78 schools nationwide named Green-Ribbon Schools by the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency. Green-ribbon schools are recognized for implementing a comprehensive commitment to reducing their environmental footprint, promoting health and environmental and outdoor education. “This is an enormous achievement that shows the value of conservation and green design and highlights a successful collaboration between government and schools. This award will inspire Arabia Mountain students and help improve the next generation of schools,” Johnson said.

City Schools of Decatur hires new finance director
City Schools of Decatur recently hired Susan Hurst to serve as the new finance director for the school system. Hurst has been working in the field of school finance for the past 15 years and started her career with the Georgia Department of Audits and

The Governing Authority of the City of Clarkston has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes

by 20.51 percent.

All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held at City Hall on June 26, 2012 at 7:00pm. Additional Public hearings will be held at City Hall on July 3, 2012 at 10:30 am and on July 3, 2012 at 7:00pm.

This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 17.95 mills, an increase of 3.05 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 14.895 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $75,000 is approximately $91.65. The proposed increase on a nonhomestead property with a fair market value of $225,000 is approximately $274.95

Oglethorpe names new art museum director
After a nationwide search, Elizabeth H. Peterson has been selected as the director of the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. Most recently, Peterson was director of the Julian Akus Art Gallery, coordinator of Gallery and Museum Services, and an adjunct professor at Eastern Connecticut State University. Peterson will begin Aug. 15 and succeeds founding director Lloyd Nick, who is retiring at the end of June after 28 years. “Elizabeth Peterson is a

Note: Due to the decrease in property valuations on the Net Tax Digest, the rollback rate has increased to receive the same year. tax revenue as the preceding year.

City Tax
Real & Personal Motor Vehicles Mobile Homes Timber - 100% Heavy Duty Equipment Gross Digest Less M & O Exemptions Net M & O Digest Gross M & O Millage Less Rollbacks Net M & O Millage Total County Taxes Levied Net Taxes $ Increase Net Taxes % Increase

95,303,703 5,370,110 0 0 0 100,673,813 1,411,977 99,261,836 11.000 0.000 11.000 $1,091,880 $2,665 0.25%

93,427,911 5,820,820 0 0 0 99,248,731 1,403,454 97,845,277 11.00 0.000 11.00 $1,076,298 -$15,582 -1.43%

91,445,833 6,178,880 0 0 0 97,624,713 1,424,977 96,199,736 11.000 0.000 11.000 $1,058,197 -$18,101 -1.68%

87,540,369 5,223,890 0 0 0 92,764,259 1,629,182 91,135,077 11.313 0.000 11.313 $1,031,011 -$27,186 -2.57%

72,710,992 5,088,980 0 0 0 77,799,972 1,595,543 76,204,429 11.313 2.687 14.000 $1,066,862 $35,851 3.48%

64,816,123 5,462,080 0 0 0 70,278,203 1,618,667 68,659,536 14.000 3.950 17.950 $1,232,439 $165,577 15.52%

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012


Page 19A

DeKalb County program helps consumers through home buying process
by Kathy Mitchell Elonda Dixon said the day she moved into her home in Ellenwood she just walked through the house crying and praising God. “It was a long-time dream for me, and I was so excited to see it finally come true,” said Dixon, who in February became the 100th customer to purchase a home through ONE DeKalb Lives—Get Home NOW! The program combines new mortgage capital and home renovation products with flexible credit requirements to stimulate affordable vacant-home buying, rehabilitation of distressed homes, and home sales in a countywide outreach effort. Dixon was able to purchase her home using homebuyer assistance programs through DeKalb County government and APD Solutions. DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer Burrell Ellis, and Vaughn Irons, president of APD Solutions—the company the county has hired as the program administrator— recognized Dixon at the June 5 grand opening of The Brownstones at Panola Slope, a mixed-use development on Covington Highway. Dixon discovered the homebuyer program on DeKalb County’s cable television network and learned more about it through Home Depot, which helped to renovate the 15-year-old house before she and her three children moved in. Dixon has two children in college and another who’s a student at Cedar Grove High School. “Get Home NOW! is one of a number of resources that are available to homebuyers in DeKalb County,” Ellis said. “Our partnerships with APD Solutions, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Obama administration are making the American Dream of home ownership a reality Get Home NOW!, she hesitated for a couple of days before making the phone call that started the process. “The staff was very pleasant and helpful,” recalled Dixon, who was directed to a counseling agency that educated her on the requirements and responsibilities of home ownership. “After going through counseling, I felt confident that my dream of owning a home would come through. It was an uphill journey, but I have reached the top of the hill.” Dixon is among the applicants who qualified for the First-Time Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Program. County officials said that since the program launched in June 2011, it has drawn 75,600 telephone and website inquires. There have been more than 750 referrals to lenders and 130 approvals. More than 200 are pending.

As county officials and others look on, DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, right, and APD Solutions President Vaughn Irons present a gift of an emergency kit to Elonda Dixon, the 100th person to purchase a home through the county’s Get Home NOW! program. Photo by Kathy Mitchell

for multitudes of hardworking DeKalb County citizens who want to invest in their future.” At the June 5 event, Irons said that getting families into previously vacant houses does more than help the family, it helps the community. “Just as people get sick, neighborhoods get sick. We’re working to help DeKalb’s neighborhoods get well,” he said. “The story isn’t the number of homes we’ve made livable and available; the story is the number of lives we’ve touched. “We are proud to offer a continuum of services that are designed to help families achieve the dream of homeownership,” Irons continued. “Since the introduction of the Get Home Now! program, we have been able to work with DeKalb government to ensure that people have access to the resources they need to get into homes and improve neighborhoods with developments such as Panola Slope.” “I always thought it would be hard to get into a home,” said Dixon, who explained that her parents had not been homeowners. “This

was a challenge for me. I was willing to take the necessary steps to prepare myself for whatever obstacles there were.”

Dixon said that she started researching the process of becoming a homeowner, but found it confusing at first. Even after learning about

The City of Stone Mountain does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be held at City Hall, 875 Main Street, Stone Mountain, GA, on July 9, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. and pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. 48-5-32 does hereby publish the following presentation of the current year's tax digest and levy along with the history and levy for the past five years.


117,173,512 6,814,590

Real & Personal Motor Vehicles Mobile Homes Timber - 100% Heavy Duty Equipment Gross Digest Less M& O Exemptions Net M & O Digest State Forest Land Assistance Grant Value Adjusted Net M&O Digest Gross M&O Millage Less Rollbacks Net M&O Millage Total City Taxes Levied Net Taxes $ Increase Net Taxes % Increase

116,141,917 6,510,110

102,732,611 6,667,830

97,052,662 5,667,510

68,582,587 5,558,380

67,583,220 5,831,000

2,545 123,988,102 1,285,467 122,702,635 0 122,702,635 10.000 10.000 $1,227,026 -$62,876 -4.87% 122,652,027 1,444,754 121,207,273 0 121,207,273 10.000 10.000 $1,212,073 -$14,954 -1.20% 109,402,986 1,859,151 107,543,835 0 107,543,835 10.000 10.000 $1,075,438 -$136,634 -11.27% 102,720,172 2,060,566 100,659,606 0 100,659,606 10.000 10.000 $1,006,596 -$68,842 -6.40% 74,140,967 1,578,133 72,562,834 0 72,562,834 14.300 14.300 $1,037,648 $31,052 3.08% 71,600,907 18.800 18.800 $1,346,097 $308,449 29.73% 73,414,220 1,813,313 71,600,907

The Voice of Business in DeKalb County
Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave., Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012

Callanwolde kicks off lawn concerts Callanwolde Fine Arts Center will hold the first of five concerts scheduled in this year’s Jazz on the Lawn series Friday, June 15, at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature Atlanta Latin band Serenata, “creating an unforgettable, international sound experience,” according to an announcement from Callanwolde. Luis Cordero leads a seven-piece band that plays Latin jazz, samba, salsa and other creative styles with sax, flute, congas, bongos and timbales. Tickets bought online at TicketLeap are $15; they are $20 at the door— cash or check only. Members and persons 65 and older may purchase tickets for $15. Concerts are held on the front lawn of the histori c mansion at 980 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta. In case of rain, the concert will move to Callanwolde’s indoor courtyard. Parking is free. For more information call (404) 872-5338. and a Tribute to Dad dinner with live entertainment from Peter Garrison and an ugliest tie contest on June 17 at 12:30 p.m. The Regency House is located at 341 Winn Way in Decatur. Guests are asked to RSVP by calling (404) 296-1152. For more information, visit Author to tell of overcoming adversity Abandoned at age, 15, Sam Bracken battled homelessness, poverty and abuse to earn a full-time football scholarship to Georgia Tech. When he left for college, everything he owned fit into an orange duffel bag. Now, in an award-winning, illustrated memoir, My Orange Duffel Bag: A Journey to Radical Change, he charts his personal life transformation. He will be at the Decatur Library Monday, June 25, to talk about his life and his book. “It’s a fascinating and inspirational story, giving anyone the motivation and hope they need to make dramatic changes in their own lives,” states an announcement from the library. Bracken currently is the general manager of Franklin Covey Media Publishing Company. The event is at 7:15 p.m. The Decatur Library is located at 215 Sycamore St., Decatur. For more information, call (404) 370-3070 Author to discuss Obama biography Journalist, modern historian and winner of two Pulitzer Prizes David Maraniss will be in Presser Hall at Agnes Scott College Tuesday, June 26, to discuss his new biography, Barack Obama: The Story. The Georgia Center for the Book describes the biography as “a deeply researched and brilliantly written generational biography of the president filled with fresh insights and revealing information—and it couldn’t be timelier.” The book is based on hundreds of interviews, including talks with President Obama in the Oval Office, and a trove of personal and official letters, journals, diaries and other documents. Maraniss is associate editor of The Washington Post, winner of the 1993 Pulitzer for national reporting and the 2007 Pulitzer for team reporting about the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy. The author of an award-winning biography of President Bill Clinton, he also has written biographies of Roberto Clemente and Vince Lombardi and They Marched into Sunlight, a book about Vietnam and the 1960s. This is a free program, first come, first seated. The event starts at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6 p.m. War Horse to be shown at library The June 22 selection for Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams Library’s Friday movie series is War Horse, starring Emily Watson and David Thewlis and directed by Steven Spielberg. The 2011 movie is rated PG-13 and runs 146 minutes. Films in the Friday movie series are a mix of new releases and old favorites and are shown 1:30—3:30 p.m. When available, movies are presented with closed captioning to assist the hearing impaired. The Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams Library is located at 1282 McConnell Drive, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 679-4404. p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.; and Sundays, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Library to hold Friends and Family Day The Friends of Stonecrest Library will hold Friends and Family Day Saturday, June 16, noon—4 p.m., to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the opening of the branch. Activities will include games, crafts, prizes, food and a book sale. Funding for the event is provided by the Friends of the Stonecrest Library. The Stonecrest Library is located at 3123 Klondike Road, Lithonia. For more information, call (770) 482-3828.

Doraville Library hosts reptile petting zoo The Doraville Library, located at 3748 Central Ave. in Doraville, will be hosting an interactive animal presentation June 27, 10:30-11:30 a.m. My Reptile Guys, an Atlanta family that has worked with children for 20 years and gives presentations at places such as Fernbank, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta and schools throughout the metro area, will give a presentation with live reptiles. The event is free and features a petting zoo and photo opportunities and is recommended for children ages 17 and younger.

Wade Walker Park Family YMCA membership office opens The membership office is open for the new Wade Walker Park Family YMCA in Stone Mountain. The off-site membership office is located in the Food Depot shopping center adjacent to the park at 5723-D Rockbridge Road. The Wade Walker Park Family Y will open in August and is a healthy living collaboration of the YMCA of Metro Atlanta and DeKalb County. Located at 5605 Rockbridge Road, the new Y will offer health and wellness classes for all ages; THE COACH APPROACH®, an exercise support process for new or returning exercisers; physical activity programs to help prevent childhood obesity; and the YMCA’s diabetes prevention program. Youth development programs such as summer day camp, after-school child care, swim lessons and Teen Leaders Club will be offered, along with opportunities for community engagement and volunteerism. Membership office hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Through the partnership with DeKalb County, residents in 30058, 30083, 30087, and 30088 zip codes will not pay joining fees. Members have access to programs and services at all YMCAs in metro Atlanta as well as Ys across the country when traveling. For more information, visit http://, http://www. or call (678)781-9622.

Chamblee prepares for Fourth of July celebration The city of Chamblee is holding a celebration July 4 at Keswick Park, located at 3540 Broad St. in downtown Chamblee, 2-10 p.m. The events are free and open to the public and will include a fireworks display and live music, including Chris Cauley, a soul singer from Atlanta who was featured on the television show The Voice; Nathan Ware, a country music singer from Woodstock; and Atlanta blues musicians The Mike Veal Band. Additionally, the event has activities for children including moonwalks, clowns, face painting, carnival attractions and food.

Bat mitzvah’s exhibition to open at MJCCA The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA,) presents an exhibition in its Katz Family Mainstreet Gallery titled Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age, celebrating bat mitzvah’s 90th anniversary. This traveling exhibition features the story of how, in less than a century, individual girls, their parents and their rabbis challenged and changed communal values and practice to institute this now widely practiced Jewish ritual. Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age opens June 18 and continues through Sept. 19. The Katz Family Mainstreet Gallery is located at the MJCCA, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Gallery hours are Mondays -Thursdays, 6 a.m. - 10p.m.; Fridays, 6 a.m. – 6

Dads invited for Salute to Father’s Day The Regency House, an independent senior retirement community, is hosting free Salute to Father’s Day events June 15-17. Events include dad’s root beer float special with moon pies on June 15 at 3:30 p.m., a father-son barbecue with donations to benefit prostate cancer research on June 16 at 5 p.m.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012

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Patrick Gaulden

All-county baseball
Juniors lead the way on The Champion’s list
cluding two juniors. Chamblee junior Patrick Gaulden leads the all-county pitching staff with a 10-2 record and a 1.56 ERA. His 10 wins broke the Chamblee school record of nine set in 1985 by David Jensen. The other junior pitcher to make the team is Dunwoody’s Logan Elliott, who tied Gaulden with a countylow ERA of 1.56. He posted a 4-1 record with 36 strikeouts in 36 innings. Two sophomore pitchers also made the team—Sean Guenther of Marist and Kelvin Wimbish of Southwest DeKalb. Guenther was the workhorse on the mound for the War Eagles, pitching a county-high 65 2/3 innings with 62 strikeouts. He was 6-4 with a 2.33 ERA. Guenther was strongest in the postseason, going 3-0 as the War Eagles advanced to the third round of the Class AAAA state tournament. Wimbish was 5-1 with a 2.66 ERA and was strong at the plate, hitting .469 with 23 RBIs and a county-best 13 doubles. Several other underclassmen made their presence known as well. Junior catcher Quincy Nieporte of St. Pius led the county with seven home runs and did not make an error all season. Junior James Moody of Miller Grove led the county with 39 stolen bases and batted .456. Arabia Mountain junior Alfred Francis batted .519 and tied for the county lead with 32 runs scored. The seniors on the allcounty team also were very productive this season. Decatur’s Brent Polston and Miller Grove’s Sean Charleston both had a batting average higher than .500 and Michael Frechette led the county with 39 RBIs.

Jabari Gayle

Wesley Jones

Brent Polston

by Robert Naddra A promising crop of juniors highlights the 2012 Champion Newspaper allcounty baseball team. Redan junior pitcher/ shortstop Wesley Jones is the Player of the Year after leading the county with a .538 batting average. He was also one of the top pitchers in the area, posting a 4-1 record with a 2.21 earned run average. Although no DeKalb players were taken in the Major League Baseball draft earlier this month, Jones could be the next in a long line of Redan players selected. The Raiders have had seven players drafted since 2007. Several are on major league rosters, including Brandon Phillips, P.J. Phillips and Chris Nelson. Four of the six pitchers selected to the all-county team are underclassmen, in-

P Brandon Baker, Redan, Sr. P James Cunningham, Dunwoody, Sr. P Logan Elliot, Dunwoody, Jr. P Patrick Gaulden, Chamblee, Jr. P Sean Guenther, Marist, So. P Kelvin Wimbish, Southwest DeKalb, So. C Zachary Lowe, Arabia Mountain, Jr. C Jared Martin, Dunwoody, Sr. C Quincy Nieporte, St. Pius, Sr. INF Griffin Davis, Marist, Sr. INF Somto Egbuna, Chamblee, So. INF Alfred Francis, Arabia Mountain, Jr. INF Jabari Gayle, Miller Grove, Sr. INF Wesley Jones, Redan, Jr. INF Devin Kalil, Marist, Jr. INF Chad Mabini, St. Pius, Sr. INF Deion Sellers, Cedar Grove, So. INF Myles Sims, M.L. King, Sr. OF Sean Charleston, Miller Grove, Sr. OF Michael Frechette, Druid Hills, Sr. OF James Moody, Miller Grove, Jr. OF Brent Polston, Decatur, Sr. OF Denzel Washington, Cedar Grove, Sr. OF Sean Wilson, Lakeside, Jr.

Dunwoody grad excels in tennis nationals
Dunwoody graduate Asia Boyd of Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) advanced to the consolation bracket finals recently at the 2012 national junior college women’s tennis tournament in Tyler, Texas. Boyd lost her first match of the tournament in the round of 32, then won three consecutive matches in the consolation bracket to reach the finals. Boyd helped the Jaguars’ women’s team place 12th in the nation. The GPC men’s team placed third in the national junior college tournament. Menford Owusu and Ismail Lemtouni won national championships in the No. 1 and No. 2 singles flights, respectively. Davis Dawson and Lemtouni won the No. 1 doubles championship. With the titles, each player earns a berth on the NJCAA Division I All-America team.

Golf event to benefit sickle cell foundation
The fifth annual Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia Celebrity Golf Tournament will be held June 29 at the Lakemont course at Stone Mountain Golf Club. Early registration begins at 10 a.m., brunch and warm-up is 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a pre-event chipping challenge is set for noon to 12:45 p.m. The tournament begins at 1 p.m. with a shotgun start. There will be cocktails, dinner and an awards ceremony after the tournament. Proceeds from the tournament help students ages 6-17 attend Camp New Hope, a recreational and educational camp for children with sickle cell disease. The Stone Mountain Golf Club is inside Stone Mountain Park at 1145 Stonewall Jackson Drive. To register online and for more information, visit

Asia Boyd


The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012

their many contributions to the sport of basketball. The late Furman Bisher and Carey were remembered, and the Emory women’s swimming and diving team and Kyle Maynard were given 2012 Star of Year Awards. Godfrey stepped to the podium following the ceremonies for Bradford and Hartman and delivered a special introduction for McCrary that highlighted his accomplishments at Columbia both on and off the court. Aside from the obvious coaching lessons passed on by McCrary, Godfrey also singled out the character that the 25-year leader has instilled in his players. Discipline and classroom excellence were two of the primary themes mentioned. McCrary, meanwhile, turned emotional when speaking of his family and the support they have provided to him over the years during his pursuit of basketball excellence. The mention of his mother and her influence on him led to a

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Columbia’s McCrary enters Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame
by Chris Chilton
DeKalb County Schools Athletic Specialist

Another DeKalb County coaching legend is now a member of the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame. Columbia head boys basketball coach Dr. Phil McCrary was one of five new members inducted in the latest class June 9 at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center. McCrary joined Jackie Bradford, Bill Hartman, Melvin Pender and Randy Rhino as the honorees at the event. Legendary Southwest DeKalb football coach Buck Godfrey introduced McCrary to rousing applause from several DeKalb County and Columbia supporters. Godfrey became the first DeKalb County individual to be inducted into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame two years ago in the class of 2010. The event featured appearances by former inductees Tommy Nobis, Jeff Van Note, James “Red” Moore and Godfrey. The wife of the late Skip Carey and

Dr. Phil McCrary

the daughter of the late Bobby Dodd were also recognized. Former Georgia Tech men’s basketball coach Bobby Cremins, another past honoree, saluted both Bradford and McCrary by taped video for their inductions and for

couple of long pauses. McCrary also praised his wife as being “his rock.” He also singled out other family members as well as many individuals who have been positive influences in his career. Several Columbia cheerleaders made the trip and turned vocal whenever McCrary’s name was mentioned. McCrary then closed his induction speech by inviting a large contingent of former players to join him on the stand. He again turned emotional while describing how proud he was of them and the things they have accomplished since graduating from Columbia. McCrary just completed his 25th season as the head coach at Columbia and has produced a record of 546-185. He has won five state championships in the past seven seasons—2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Columbia also lost in the state final to Southside in 1990, Dougherty in 1997 and Tucker in 2007, giving McCrary eight state title game appearances overall.

Lakeside claims county record 13th all-sports award
and girls’ state titles in basketball, and Stephenson (204). The DeKalb County High School AllLakeside’s 33.5-point advantage was Sports Award returns to Lakeside for the first the seventh-largest winning margin in the time since 2008. 31 years of the award. Lakeside holds the Lakeside won nine DeKalb County record for the largest winning margin for the All-Sports Awards from 1996 to 2004, but award. The Vikings claimed the 2002 title had only won the 2008 crown as the best by 59.5 points. all-around athletic program in DeKalb over the past seven school years. The award is given to the top public high school athletic program in the county. Lakeside finished second to Dunwoody twice (2009, 2010) in that seven-year span as SCHOOL POINTS the Wildcats’ program won four out of the sev1) Lakeside 317.5 en, including three in a row from 2009 to 2011. 2) Dunwoody 284.0 In the 2011-12 school year Lakeside 3) Chamblee 279.0 won county titles in gymnastics, boys’ and girls’ cross country, boys’ and girls’ swim4) Southwest DeKalb 259.0 ming and girls’ golf to climb past second 5) Tucker 248.0 place Dunwoody by 33.5 points (317.5 to 6) Columbia 238.5 284). The win gives Lakeside county- lead7) Druid Hills 226.0 ing 13 all-sports awards. Dunwoody has 12, 8) Arabia Mountain 221.5 Redan three, Southwest DeKalb two and 9) Miller Grove 213.5 Tucker one. Chamblee came up just shy of second 10) Stephenson 204.0 with 279 points for the program’s 14th top11) Redan 194.0 five finish. Southwest DeKalb as fourth with 12) M.L. King 167.5 259 points for the program’s 19th top five 13) Stone Mountain 165.5 finish and Tucker picked up its 20th top-five 14) Lithonia 156.0 finish with 248 points on the strength of its 15) Cedar Grove 131.0 Class AAAA state title in football. Columbia, which won boys’ and girls’ 16) Clarkston 129.5 state titles in basketball, finished sixth with 17) Towers 113.0 238.5 points. Rounding out the top 10 are 18) Cross Keys 109.0 Druid Hills (226), Arabia Mountain (221.5), 19) McNair 90.0 Miller Grove (213.5), which also won boys’ by Mark Brock

2012 All-Sports standings

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 15, 2012

– Chef Tony Morrow
Celebrity Chef, Restaurateur | Atlanta, GA

These lamb chops have won awards. But more importantly, it’s my son’s and my favorite meal. That’s why I’m sharing this and other recipes, so you can show Dad he’s your favorite too. Publix has the whole meal planned for you on their site. We have such busy households these days, but Publix makes it easier to get together and reconnect as a family with great food on the table.

Chef Tony’s Lamb Chops with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans


© 2012 Publix Asset Management Company