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the DeKalb FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2019 • VOL. 24, NO.

30 • FREE

Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Stone Mountain, Stonecrest and Tucker • A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS

turn guilt

rimrose Schools─an educational childcare
provider─wants parents to let go of their
guilt and make something beautiful of their
Primrose Schools has 400 schools nationwide Primrose Schools created an art installation as a way to release parental guilt.
that educate and care for children from the age
of 6 weeks to when they reach kindergarten. It
started a national initiative Aug. 20, asking parents
to write down guilts they’ve felt since becoming
a parent. The initiative is in correlation with
Working Parents Day Sept. 16. The comments were
written on origami paper, folded origami-style
and then hung as an art installation in Primrose’s
headquarters in Atlanta.
“It’s that cathartic activity of actually writing
it down; it feels like you’re doing something about
the worry,” said Sarah Young, public relations
director for Primrose Schools.
According to Young, parental guilts include
putting a child into daycare, spoiling a child, being
tired after work and being too controlling.
“Studies show that when you harbor those
feelings of regret and worries that you’re missing
out on those special moments that happen every
day,” said Young. “So it’s an initiative to be in the
moment and not worry because you’re doing a
great job.”


Volunteers help hang the art installation Aug. 20 in Atlanta. Photos by Taylor Robins.

Visit www.TheChampionNewspaper.com for local, real DeKalb County news.



Lithonia mayor will not seek re-election

hall building in 2014. Jackson said goal was to bring a level of stability
BY CARLA PARKER acquiring that building is one of the and credibility back to the city,”
carla@dekalbchamp.com accomplishments she is most proud Jackson said.
of. Jackson said the only thing she
After eight years in office,
“We have a professional-looking regrets not getting done during her
Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson
city hall space for the community to tenure is annexation.
has decided to not seek re-election
meet, as well as host different types “I would have liked for the city
in November.
of events,” she said. to have acted on the opportunity to
Jackson, who served on
Jackson said she is also proud do some annexation,” she said. “I
Lithonia’s city council before
of the city’s efforts to redevelop the think that should still be pursued.
she was elected mayor, told The
city-owned portion of the Lithonia Even though I won’t be the mayor,
Champion that she is ready to do
Plaza. as a citizen I am willing to be
other things.
“We turned a dilapidated involved and continue to support the
“I plan to do some teaching and
building into a beautiful apartment city in any way that I can.”
consulting work to [share] some of
building for the community,” she Jackson said as her legacy,
the knowledge that’s based on the
said. Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson has decided not to she hopes Lithonia residents will
experience that I’ve gained [as an
Under Jackson’s leadership, seek re-election. Photo by Carla Parker remember how hard she worked to
elected official],” she said. “Maybe
Lithonia partnered with Arabia improve the community and that she
[consult] smaller communities that their historical significance.
Mountain Heritage Area Alliance to left the city as a better place than it
could use some of the tools that we “We’ve been able to adopt a
have the city listed on the National was before she became mayor.
were able to develop in terms of number of different ordinances, and
Register of Historic Places, the “And, that the citizens would
accessing different resources.” help to improve the city’s credibility
United States federal government’s be proud to say that they are from
During Jackson’s tenure as from a public perspective because
official list of districts, sites, Lithonia,” she said.
mayor, the city accomplished many there had been a lot of turmoil that
buildings, structures and objects
goals, such as acquiring a new city had been going on and part of my
deemed worthy of preservation for


Tucker resident announces

candidacy for city council
BY CARLA PARKER commitment to Tucker to a Services, a nonprofit
higher level by running for organization in Tucker.
city council. She is also an entrepreneur
One of the three Tucker “We’re still a fairly and has owned four local
city council posts will be new city and while we businesses. She said she is
contested this election are growing and making living her dream of helping
cycle. great strides economically, others through Omega
Tucker resident several needs of the Support Services, which
Christine Bloodworth will community continue to be provides resources and
challenge city councilman overlooked and as someone education to start-up and
Bill Rosenfeld for the who engages frequently small businesses.
District 1, Post 2 seat. with the community, [I] Bloodworth said she is
Rosenfeld has held the seat would like to see more engaged in the community
Tucker resident Christine Bloodworth will challenge city councilman Bill Rosenfeld for
since the city’s first election positive changes occur,” in ongoing projects and the District 1, Post 2 seat. Photo from Christine Bloodworth’s Facebook page
in 2016. Bloodworth, who Bloodworth said in a awareness programs such
has lived in Tucker for 26 released statement. as financial seminars, homeownership. She also and participates in other
years, said she decided Bloodworth is executive homeless assistance and said she is a volunteer community activties.
to take her love of and director of Omega Support workshops on steps to driver for women’s shelters

404.373.7779 EXT. 100

Clarkston seeking teens to
serve on youth advisory council

Clarkston’s teenage residents can help the city address

their issues and needs by joining the newly created Youth
Advisory Council (YAC).
The Youth Advisory Committee’s primary
responsibilities include reviewing, presenting and rendering
input on projects, plans, partnerships and city programs
related to youth, and bringing forth any issues or concerns
to the city’s elected officials.
The council will recommend events, initiatives and
projects that may be implemented within the city to
increase youth and community engagement. The council
also will advise the mayor, city council and city manager on
community issues and issues of interest to youth, including
recommending policies and sponsoring educational and
social events for youth.
The Youth Advisory Council is open to Clarkston
residents ages 12 to 18. All appointments to the council,
Chamblee will break ground on a new public safety building in November. Photo provided by the city of Chamblee. which will be appointed by the mayor and city council
members, will be for a one-year term.

$22 million construction project to begin The council will consist of five to 10 members. Each
city council member may appoint one youth and the mayor
may appoint the remaining number based on applications
for new public safety building and park submitted, or up to four youth to the reach maximum
number of members.
The mission of the council, which was established in
equipment. according to city officials. June, is to provide the mayor, city council and city manager
BY TAYLOR ROBINS with recommendations and input on how Clarkston can
The public safety facility “We have locked in
Taylor@dekalbchamp.com address the needs, community issues and other matters
and park space will share a great interest rate that
parking for public safety allows the city to build a affecting youth.
facility visitors and park tremendous asset in the “The purpose of this is to educate and expose and bring
Chamblee plans to awareness to community and youth issues by allowing
attendees. It also will serve Buford Highway corridor,”
break ground on a new youth to provide recommendations to our issues that
as overflow parking for the said Chamblee City
public safety building and we’re currently having and that we’ll continue to have,”
adjacent Dresden Park. Manager Jon Walker. “This
recreational complex in City councilwoman Y.T. Bell said during a June council
Construction cost for the is the culmination of more
November. meeting. “We would love to get their advice.”
project is projected at $22.5 than two years of planning
The building will be City officials said they appreciate talented and diverse
million and is scheduled to that began as part of the
between 40,000 and 50,000 youth who are committed to improving their community
be complete by December Town Center master plan. It
square feet and the park area through leadership skills and the sharing of ideas that will
2020, according to city is the first city project and
will stretch across 17 acres, improve the quality of life for all Clarkston residents.
officials. investment along Buford
both located at 4445 Buford “Our youth will continue to be a very important part of
The city purchased the Highway and provides a
Highway. the city’s continued development and growth serving as key
land for $4.5 million in much-needed space for
The building will influencers in our future and the overall role the Clarkston
2017. The former Jim Hearn community meetings.”
house Chamblee Police municipal government will play,” city officials said
Golf Center was acquired “Our top-level
Department, Municipal The US Census, 2013-2017 American Community
through a low-interest ratings are a testament to
Court operations and Survey estimated Clarkston’s youth account for 31.7
lease program through Chamblee’s position in
a 2,700-square-foot percent (4,030) of Clarkston’s total population of 12,702.
the Georgia Municipal the market and our sound
community room that’s To join the council, applications must be submitted to
Association (GMA). financial practices,” said
accessible to the public. the city by Sept. 13. To apply, visit www.clarkstonga.gov.
The city is financing Chamblee Mayor Eric
The recreational
the project through bonds Clarkson. “This is great
complex will include a
issued by the Urban news for our residents.
nature trail, a regulation- CALL FOR A GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION
Redevelopment Agency We have a fiduciary
size athletic field, two CITY OF STONE MOUNTAIN
of the city of Chamblee. responsibility to them, and
multi-use courts, restrooms,
The city was able to secure we take this very seriously.
concessions, bleachers, Notice is hereby given that, in accordance with
the bond funding to build We want to exceed
athletic lighting, a O.C.G.A § 21-2-9, a general municipal election
the facility and park at expectations and offer the
playground, dog park, shall be held in the City of Stone Mountain, DeKalb
an overall interest rate of best service possible while
community garden and County, on November 5, 2019 to fill the office of
2.72 percent for 30 years, keeping costs low.”
storage for maintenance three (3) Council Member seats for four-year terms.

All persons who are not registered to vote and who

desire to register to vote in the general municipal

Visit us online at election may register with the DeKalb County Board
of Elections and Voter Registration, 4380 Memo-
rial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032 through

www.thechampionnewspaper.com the close of business on Monday, October 7, 2019.

Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on
Election Day.

Let’s tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth
Last time I wrote an opinion sacrifice and service. rapper, entrepreneur and community
piece, I expressed frustration with I have always thought a benefit activist has lived on and his loss
some readers. This time, I’m going of military service included has been deeply felt by many in the
to turn my attention to the media education funding. I read the music and Black communities.
after seeing some online posts. articles for some sort of statistic Asghedom had nothing to do
A local news outlet posted TAYLOR ROBINS or student loan average debt for with Arsenio Gravesande’s death.
on Aug. 20 an article titled “New taylor@dekalbchamp.com disabled veterans. There were none The article does not reference the
DeKalb high school to cost nearly listed in these articles. The only two’s friendship nor Asghedom.
$90M, much more than school items from Evergreen, according to statistic I found was “currently, The article’s first few sentences
miles away” and naturally the the construction company. Americans hold around $1.6 trillion read, “A mortally wounded
article caused a stir with residents The DCSD building project in student loan debt,” according gangbanger hated cops so much,
concerned about their tax dollars. is designed to mirror the district’s to Fox News. Well, that statistic he defiantly refused to identify
The article compares the total new McNair Middle School that is includes people such as myself who his killer—instead telling officers,
costs of the not-yet-built Cross described as “future-ready.” Along have never served. So, what’s the “F–k you, son!” with one of his last
Keys High School to newly built with the building being designed total debt that was cancelled for breaths, law-enforcement sources
Gwinnett County schools. The to support additional classrooms these 25,000 veterans? told The Post.”
Gwinnett schools cost the school that can be added at a future date, With student loan debt being There was no reason to call
district $127 per square foot and the new McNair Middle building a hot topic for the upcoming Gravesande a gangbanger. Even
the DeKalb County School District is innovative in its features and elections, this executive order if he was affiliated with gangs.
(DCSD) project is expected to cost rivals some college campuses. seems suspiciously timed. There was an insinuation that he
$256 per square foot. Evergreen also recently increased An Aug. 22 email from another hated police because he refused to
The Gwinnett and DeKalb its prices, according to a company news outlet included the title identify his killer and cursed at a
school districts’ projects are being spokesperson. “Dying pal of Nipsey Hussle tells police officer.
handled by Evergreen construction On Aug. 21, news outlets NYPD cops ‘F—k you’ when asked Articles such as these set a tone
company, however the school reported that President Donald to ID shooter.” that doesn’t need to be set.
districts have different agreements Trump canceled student loan Ermias Asghedom─who So, as I end my rant, I want
with the construction company. debt for “permanently” disabled went by the stage name Nipsey to encourage both readers and
DCSD also purchases kitchen veterans. On the surface, I’m happy Hussle─was a Grammy nominated writers─including myself─to dig
equipment, lockers, landscaping for that group of people. They rapper who was shot and killed a little deeper and report fairly and
and other items from Evergreen. deserve something like that for their in California March 31. Since his accurately.
Gwinnett does not purchase such death, Asghedom’s legacy as a


Refugees have reaffirmed my faith in the

American dream. We can’t shut them out
end, only one resident decided to vacate.   billion in spending power, according to the
Ten years ago, Atlanta experienced historic Today, approximately 30 of my more than immigration nonprofit New American Economy.
flooding that damaged more than 20,000 homes 100 full-time employees are refugees and hun- In Georgia, refugees have $1.2 billion in
and businesses, including mine. Today, as presi- dreds of my residents are also foreign-born. I’ve spending power to invest in our communities.
dent of R. James Properties, Inc., I manage 35 seen firsthand how grateful these individuals are According to New American Pathways, the
apartment communities around the metro Atlanta for the opportunities afforded them in this coun- largest refugee resettlement agency in Geor-
area. But in 2009, I lived in Clarkston, a refugee try. My refugee employees work hard for me, gia, more than 90 percent of the refugees they
resettlement zone, where I supervised two apart- and our collections at our properties in Clarkston place are self-sufficient within six months. Refu-
ment properties. are consistently among the strongest in our port- gees do not come to this country to abuse the
I was asleep at one of those communities folio. These individuals come to this country in welfare system. Furthermore, refugees are not
when Kareem, an Iraqi refugee who had just re- search of a better life and work extremely hard to a threat to our safety. On the contrary, refugees
cently joined our company, woke me up at 4 a.m. make ends meet. Refugees have reaffirmed my must undergo a strict years-long vetting process
to tell me the property was flooding. That night, faith in the American Dream.  before being allowed to enter this country. FBI
with the help of many of our refugee residents, Therefore, I was disappointed to hear that the statistics show that in nine out of the 10 cities
we pushed two dozen cars uphill to keep them Trump administration is considering cutting refu- that resettled the most refugees between 2006
from being submerged. In the days that followed, gee admissions to zero, effectively shutting down and 2015, crime rates fell.  
we worked around the clock, pulling up carpet the refugee resettlement program. Nationally, Refugees work to build new lives here. They
and replacing drywall in 50 flooded apartments. refugees fill jobs in such industries as healthcare don’t just adapt; they thrive. We have much to
Kareem was beside me every step of the way and and manufacturing that are already facing worker gain by welcoming them to this country, and
the residents, many of whom were also refugees, shortages given our record-low unemployment much to lose by closing our doors.
were patient and understanding as we worked to rate. One in 10 refugees works in such service
restore their homes. In fact, many residents vol- industries as dry cleaning, housekeeping and  —Kelly James, Decatur
unteered to help with the cleanup. It was amaz- machine repair. With these jobs, refugees
ing to watch the community pull together. In the pay $20.9 billion in taxes, leaving them $56.3

Thank you, Johnny

Not even a decade out of the as well as a healthy percentage of and focused on GOP priorities
University of Georgia (Class of
1966), Johnny Isakson was first
‘One Man’s moderates and independents who
long followed and supported him,
and his vision for Georgia and our
nation.  I will miss those jingles and
elected to the Georgia House of Opinion’ he only lost the one political contest upbeat ads as well. 
Representatives in 1976 in the in 1990.  Thank you, Johnny.
aftermath and GOP wreckage of Bill Crane Isakson is the only Georgian to  The bumper of my late model
Watergate. Most Americans were bill.csicrane@gmail.com have served in both chambers of the Jeep Liberty proudly holds a
still running from the party of Georgia General Assembly, as well bumper sticker in its right-hand
Nixon, while Isakson and a handful as in the U.S. House and Senate. He corner, touting Isakson’s last
business, Northside Realty, which
of others in Georgia were instead is also the only GOP U.S. senator to statewide contest, it says simply
would go on to become one of
trying to build a two-party system.  win three terms and the only current “Johnny 2016.” It definitely says
the largest independent real estate
Throughout the remaining ‘70s member of our Senate to chair two something about the place you
forces in the Southeast. Through the
and ‘80s, Isakson, soon the Georgia committees, Veterans Affairs and have reached in life when one word
Reagan/Bush and later Bush–again
House Minority Leader, would join Ethics.  clearly tells folks who you are and
years, Isakson was continually
his State Senate counterpart Paul Thank you, Johnny.  what you are asking about–Cher,
seen as a voice of consensus and
Coverdell, along with DeKalb Slowed by the onset of Farrah, Prince–Johnny. 
moderation, reaching across the
GOP Senator Bob Bell, in building Parkinson’s Disease, which Isakson We now know that Johnny
aisle whether from the minority or
a party calling for smaller, more made public in 2013, Georgia’s won’t be seeking our votes again,
majority position.   
efficient government, free markets, senior senator was still walking though he will always have
“I’ve been in the minority
individual responsibility and the 10 miles each day on his home mine. They don’t make ‘em like
and the majority. The majority is
fiscal conservatism which would treadmill to maintain muscle that anymore. And that sticker isn’t
better (pause, wink and smile),
long define the Georgia Republican strength and coordination. Though coming off the Jeep. 
but you still need the other side
Party.  his steps are smaller and slower, his Again, thank you, Johnny.
to reach a solution, pass laws and
Isakson, Bell and Coverdell mind remains sharp as ever.   
solve the problems facing our
were a strong trio, raising funds, His recall for detail, names and Bill Crane also serves as a
nation. Compromise may seem
credibility and visibility, traveling faces, figures to the decimal point political analyst and commentator
to some a dirty word, but it is
the state and particularly seeking as well as minor amendments made for Channel 2’s Action News, WSB-
necessary to the infrastructure of
support from Georgia’s fast- to legislation is legendary. And AM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5
building legislation,” Isakson said. 
growing business community.  though some of his critics would FM, as well as a columnist for The
This moderation would be
Congressman Newt Gingrich occasionally forget his role Champion, DeKalb Free Press and
viewed by some critics as weakness
would arrive later on the scene, as architect and builder of the Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb
and caused a few election nights
create GOPAC and begin building Georgia GOP, calling him a rhino, native and business owner, living
to last longer than they otherwise
the machinery that would result moderate or worse, Isakson was in Scottdale. You can reach him
might have for Isakson. But
in the GOP takeover of the U.S. never one to exchange that kind of or comment on a column at bill.
thankfully, in part due to a loyal
Congress in 1994 (as well the fire. His political campaigns and csicrane@gmail.com. 
core of support in metro Atlanta,
Georgia Congressional delegation commercials would remain positive
majority which it has held
since). But while Gingrich was a

grenade thrower always seeking the
spotlight and attention, the man who
would later hold his Congressional
seat—Isakson—was instead focused Tax Sales/Ads for Bids
on building consensus and getting
results.  Trade Name Registrations
Thank you, Johnny. 
Isakson would carry the mantle Public Notices/Public meetings
for a GOP contest for governor in
1990, losing to then–Lt. Gov. Zell Sheriff Sales/Local Legislation
Miller. Miller thought enough of
his opponent that he would later Notices of Incorporation
appoint him chair of the state school
board. Isakson would serve as state To subscribe, visit DeKalbLegalNotices.com
GOP party chair, a member of or call 404-373-7779, X 0
the State Senate and all the while
continuing to build the family #ItsInTheChampion

the DeKalb Publisher: Staff Reporters:
John Hewitt Carla Parker STATEMENT FROM THE
Horace Holloman PUBLISHER
Chief Financial Officer: Taylor Robins We sincerely appreciate the
Dr. Earl D. Glenn discussion surrounding this and any
Let Us Know What You Think! Social Media Manager: issue of interest to DeKalb County.
THE DEKALB FREE PRESS encourages opinions from SEND LETTERS TO EDITOR, Production Manager: Donna Seay The Champion was founded in 1991
expressly to provide a forum for
The DeKalb Free Press, Kemesha Wadley discourse for all community residents
its readers. Please write to us and express your views. P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; on all sides of an issue. We have no
Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain the Send email to Johnh@dekalbchamp.com desire to make the news only to
FAX To: (404) 370-3903; Phone: (404) 373-7779. The DeKalb Free Press is published each Friday report news and opinions to effect
writer’s name, address and telephone number for verifi- Deadline for news releases and advertising: by ACE III Communications, Inc., a more educated citizenry that will
cation. All letters will be considered for publication. Thursday, one week prior to publication date. 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030 ultimately move our community
forward. We are happy to present
Phone (404) 373-7779. ideas for discussion; however,
EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reflect the opinions www.championnewspaper.com we make every effort to avoid
of the editor or publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. The printing information submitted to
us that is known to be false and/or
Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. DISPLAY ADVERTISING (404) 373-7779 x 110 assumptions penned as fact.



Six properties at Hillside Condos were demolished on Aug. 30 as part of the county’s efforts to address blight. Photos provided by DCTV 23.

Demolition efforts continue throughout the county

BY HORACE HOLLOMAN last two and a half years repeated citations. coming after the owners of “Code compliance is
Horace@dekalbchamp.com in demolishing unsafe and “This is another good these properties and we’re a critical piece to what
unsecure properties.” day in DeKalb County,” demolishing blight within you see here today,”
In the last three years, At the beginning of said DeKalb County our community.” said DeKalb County
DeKalb County workers 2017, DeKalb County Commissioner Mereda Solicitor-General Donna Commissioner Lorraine
have demolished or abated board of commissioners Davis Johnson. “We have Coleman-Stribling also Cochran-Johnson. “I am
approximately 400 blighted approved $3.8 million in heard the citizens of DeKalb formed a Quality of Life excited and I’m proud to
or dilapidated properties, funds to enhance blight- County and we have Unit, which is responsible support this effort and I
according to county CEO fighting initiatives and acted...we will not tolerate for the prosecution of am committed to ensuring
Michael Thurmond.  address derelict properties blight in our community. cases involving code resources are in place so we
On Aug. 30, six more in DeKalb.  It may be slow, because violations, blight, nuisance can continue these efforts.”
properties were added to The county hired 11 new the courts are slow, but and other issues plaguing
the list when workers tore code enforcement officers to you will know that we are communities.
down units at Hillsides enforce ordinances related
condominums in Decatur.  to property maintenance,
The demolition is part zoning, planning, special
of a county-wide effort to land use, signs and permits. 
address blight, Thurmond DeKalb Magistrate
said.  Court and the solicitor-
“When we reduce general’s office also created
and eliminate blight, we blight-fighting programs.
are also reducing crime... Chief Magistrate Judge
this represents a new Berryl Anderson formed
day in DeKalb County,” a three-judge Magistrate
Thurmond said. “We’ve Court Ordinance Division
made major, multi-million- to review cases involving
dollar investments over the properties that have failed
to be improved despite
Thursday, September 19 • 7:00 p.m.

Decatur Marriott Conference Center
130 Clairemont Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030
All proceeds from the event support DeKalb County Public Library.

NEWS TIP? Tickets may be purchased for $70.00 per person at dekalblibraryfoundation.org

We’d love to hear from you.

DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, SEPTEMBER 6, 2019 • Page 7


DeKalb County Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson, right, greets U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson, center, also attended “Family Fun Day.” Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson cohosted “Family Fun Day.”
comedian Hurricane Andrew after his performance at “Family Fun


BY CARLA PARKER fourth annual “Family Fun Day” Aug.
31 in Lithonia. The event feature music,
food, vendors, musical performances and
a dance performance by the Lou Walker
DeKalb County District 5 Commissioner
Dance Troupe and Bruce Street Line
Mereda Davis Johnson and Lithonia Children were able to get their face painted.
Mayor Deborah Jackson hosted the

A representative from Sno Biz makes shaved ice for a customer.

Vendors offered a variety of items. Photos by Carla Parker The Lou Walker Dance Troupe performed.

Have you created programming you’d like to air on TV?

Do you have an interest in Public Access TV in DeKalb County?
Submit your show to DeKalb County’s Public Access channel, DeKalb 25.
Drop off DVD or USB copies to the Manuel J. Maloof Center at
1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, GA 30030, or upload your content via the internet.

(404) 371-2325 DeKalb25@outlook.com DeKalb25.com


Don’t Wait.

Parents wrote reasons for feeling guilty on origami paper that was folded and made into an art installation. Photos by
Taylor Robins.

Volunteers put together an art installation at Primrose Schools’ headquarters Aug. 20.

ART Continued From Page 1A

An unidentified parent shared his story media or seeing what’s going on in the
about guilt with Young. According to world. So I’m guilty of that. After a long
Young, the parent feels guilt about missing day at work, sometimes I just want to sit on
his son’s last living moments; the son died my couch and waste away on my phone and
in May from cancer. I could be spending time with my daughter Make your
“We’re really encouraging parents to be or teaching her something.”
present and mindful and not carry that guilt Greg Rossino said parents may not think emergency plan today.
around,” said Young. highly of themselves as parents at times, but
DeKalb County parents contributed to shouldn’t be hard on themselves. “This is a Visit Ready.gov/communicate
the 10,000 pieces of paper that created the good exercise to realize that we all are good
art installation. parents and everyone wishes they were
Greg Rossino of Chamblee is the father better. We all have an opportunity to do that
of 2-year-old Elodie Rossino who attends today,” he said.
school at a Chamblee Primrose location. “As long as you’re making an effort to
“I said I feel guilty about being on my be part of your child’s life on a regular basis
phone too much around her,” Greg Rossino and you want to be, you’re doing a great job
said. “Everyone feels like they need to be as a parent,” Greg Rossino said.
connected all the time whether it is social
ADC29448_3.75x21_Newspaper_NATFire_Eng.indd 1 9/25/15 3:07 PM

C.H.A.M.P.S. comes to DeKalb


DeKalb County Sheriff’s office started its first

educational C.H.A.M.P.S. program at DeKalb County Hutmacher has been named executive director of
School District’s Toney Elementary School in Decatur. nonprofit. Photo provided by the Playworks Georgia.
“Our mission is to provide an educational program for
Georgia’s youth which provides guidance and the skills,
ability and knowledge to be safe, healthy, and happy in Emily Hutmacher
preparation for a successful life,” DeKalb County Sheriff
Jeffrey Mann said.
The C.H.A.M.P.S.─ Choosing Healthy Activities and
becomes executive
Methods Promoting Safety─program started in DeKalb
County Aug. 23 but was founded in 2003 by the Georgia
Keith McNeil juggles for Toney Elementary students. Photo provided by DeKalb
County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriffs’ Association to address social issues faced by
young people.
DeKalb County Deputy Keith McNeil will teach Taylor@dekalbchamp.com
the class and cover topics such as the harmful effects of
alcohol and drug use; bullying; consequences of good Emily Hutmacher is no
and bad decisions; avoiding gang activity; managing peer stranger to philanthropic work
pressure; coping with stress; and avoiding violent behavior as she adds the title of executive
in conflict resolution. director of Playworks Georgia to her
“[McNeil], a certified instructor for this 12-week resume.
program, is also experienced in guiding and mentoring “I’m excited to help improve
young people in the DeKalb community. As a popular school climate for all kids and
juggler off duty, he relates well with young people,” said school staff throughout Georgia,”
Mann. said Hutmacher. “The beginning of
According to the sheriff’s office, the C.H.A.M.P.S. the school year is when our coaches
program can help students progress into adolescence and hear about needs that schools would
encourages parents to participate through class workbook like to address.”
projects and discussions on lessons. Playworks Georgia is a
The program targets fifth graders and is taught each nonprofit organization that
DeKalb County Deputy Keith McNeil, left, and Sheriff Jeffrey Mann, right, start implements recess back in school
school day for approximately an hour. All instructors must the county’s C.H.A.M.P.S. program at Toney Elementary. Photo provided by
be certified in the program. According to the Georgia DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. to help improve children’s social
Sheriffs’ website, the program will eventually extend to and emotional learning skills. Its
middle and high schools. play a pivotal role in fulfilling that commitment… We are programs and services help reduce
“We are delighted and honored to have [McNeil] delighted the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office has chosen bullying, improve conflict resolution
educate [DCSD] students on such important subject to partner with us.” skills, increase physical activity and
matter,” said DCSD Superintendent R. Stephen Green. The program is scheduled to launch at DCSD’s Rock improve academic performance.
“McNeil’s expertise as a law enforcement officer will Chapel Elementary in Lithonia early September. The organization announced
Hutmacher’s new position Aug. 15.
Hutmacher’s experience
EDUCATION BRIEFS includes executive director of the
Sandy Springs Arts Foundation,
Tidd graduates at summer 2019 Balloon graduates from Troy achievement list, a student must board member of the Fulton County
commencement University have earned at least 12 credit Court Appointed Special Advocate
hours at GSW, be enrolled in three (CASA), board member of her local
University of North Georgia Germany Balloon of Lithonia to 11 hours of courses, and earn a synagogue, volunteer work in local
held commencement exercises for graduated from Troy University with 3.5 or higher GPA. schools with PTAs and 20 years
nearly 300 graduates Aug. 2 at the a master of social work degree during of fundraising for metro Atlanta
Convocation Center on UNG’s the summer semester of the 2018- Cook named to Union College organizations such as United Way
Dahlonega Campus. Graduates 2019 academic year. dean’s list of Greater Atlanta, Year Up, Emory
include Zoe Kate Tidd of Decatur Healthcare, Piedmont, Visiting
who earned a bachelor of science DeKalbites make Georgia Octavious Cook of Decatur was Nurse Health System and Hospice
degree in art marketing degree. Southwestern State University’s named to the summer 2019 dean’s list Atlanta. She is also experienced
academic list at Union College. in project management, capital
Decatur residents graduate from Cook is a member of the class of fundraising, special events, board
Clemson University Angelic Hogan and Rhonda 2019 majoring in anthropology and engagement and community
Johnson of Lithonia and Olivia sociology. relations.
Students graduating from King of Decatur made the summer Hutmacher graduated from
Clemson University Aug. 9 include 2019 academic achievement list the University of Texas with a
Decatur residents William Haston, at Georgia Southwestern State phychology degree and holds
Emily McLaughlin and Bethany University (GSW) and were a MBA from Rice University.
Thompson. The students were among 400 students recognized for She is also the wife of Warren
among more than 1,000 who received scholastic achievement. Hutamcher, former Avondale
degrees at Littlejohn Coliseum. To be eligible for the academic Estates and Dunwoody city
DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, SEPTEMBER 6, 2019 • Page 10


Theater school opens in south DeKalb

by Kathy Mitchell started doing tour shows youth between the ages of crucial to any career,
in college to elementary 8 and 12, holds classes on I believe, for it forces
Mickey Cole and middle schools. I Saturdays and Sundays at the individual to be
Jr. said he first became loved performing for kids a facility in the Edgewood communicative as well as
enthralled with theater and and have since been in Building on the campus creative. I emphasize the
acting when he was a child. numerous children’s plays of Greater Travelers Rest ‘play’ aspect of acting for
Now, he hopes to pass for audiences ranging in Baptist Church on Flat it forces the individual to
the skills and passion he age from babies to high Shoals Parkway in Decatur. create the unknown and
developed at an early age on school age teens. I furthered Cole said he is excited about unexpected as well as be
to the current generation of that love for children in the establishing a business in themselves, being real.
youngsters. theater with summer camps the area he called home as I work toward their
“I’ve been acting in and workshops, teaching a child. “I was born and sense of play growing, their
theater since the age of 7 kids theater skills and raised in south DeKalb imagination expanding,
and in film since the age of now I wish to teach them and love Atlanta. I want and their vulnerability and
10,” explained Cole, who film acting skills too,” he to share my experiences empathy to shine brighter
recently announced that he continued. from far away with those than all else. All these things
is opening Kids on Camera, Cole has appeared in in my hometown,” he said, make a great actor.”
a school for children mime, clowning, improv, more than 30 productions, adding that his classes are Georgia is an especially
interested in theater arts. acting, dance, singing, including theater for “the newest of newbies” good place now for
“Every year since then I’ve lighting and sound, and appearances in Death of as well as for experienced aspiring entertainers,
been involved in the theater have taught children theater a Salesman, Don’t Fly professionals. according to Cole, who
or film industry one way or skills for the past 10 years and Other Known Facts, Cole said in preparing said recent growth of the
another from acting, prop at summer camps and Spamalot and Lyle the for a career in the industry within the state is
making, stage managing, workshops,” he said. Crocodile as well as several entertainment field “two “providing a door for the
directing, costumes, camera “I first got a taste for television productions and skills a person must new and inexperienced to
work, self-taping, coaching, children’s theater when I commercials. have [are] improv and not only look in, but step
and much more. I’ve studied The school, open to imagination. Both are through and try something



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The Champion’s game of the week:

Chamblee vs. Dunwoody
by Carla Parker • carla@dekalbchamp.com
The Golden Spike trophy will be on the line
Sept. 6 as the Chamblee Bulldogs take on the
Dunwoody Wildcats at North DeKalb Stadium.
Although the rivalry between the two football
teams began in 1974, the “Battle of the Golden
Spike” began in 2014. The Golden Spike trophy is
representative of a railroad that connected the cities
of Chamblee and Dunwoody.
The schools have faced each other 21 times in
44 years. Dunwoody leads the series 12-9 and is 5-0
in the Golden Spike series. Chamblee is hoping to
bring home its first Golden Spike trophy this year.
Both teams are coming into this game winless
and looking for their first victory. The sixth annual
“Battle of the Golden Spike” will kick off at 7:30
Dunwoody and Chamblee will face off for the sixth annual “Battle of the Golden Spike.” Dunwoody leads the series 5-0. (file


SWD graduates earn

tennis scholarships
BY CARLA PARKER finished the season 9-4, second overall
carla@dekalbchamp.com in the county. He competed in singles
in his junior and senior years with a
combined 25-7 record and finished
Two recent graduates of Southwest seventh and third overall in the county
DeKalb High School are now attending in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
college on tennis scholarships. Wimes, son of Southwest DeKalb
Southwest DeKalb’s tennis football coach Damien Wimes,
program announced last month that competed in doubles during the 2018
2019 graduates Khalil Moss and and 2019 seasons. He finished the
Southwest DeKalb 2019 graduate Khalil Moss signed a tennis scholarship with Fort Valley State 2018 season with an 11-9 record, ninth
University. Photos provided Khalen Wimes were awarded tennis
scholarships. Moss signed with Fort overall in the county. Last season,
Valley State University and Wimes Wimes and his teammate Kevin
signed with Point University. Vazquez-Reyes finished the season as
Moss was a four-year letterman for the best doubles team in the county with
Southwest DeKalb’s tennis team. He a 12-4 record.
began his career in No. 1 doubles and Moss and Wimes are the eighth and
finished third overall in DeKalb County ninth tennis players from Southwest
doubles with an 8-3 in 2016 with DeKalb to receive a tennis scholarship
teammate Kevin Butler. In 2017, Moss since 2012.

Southwest DeKalb 2019 graduate Khalen Wimes signed a tennis scholarship with Point
DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, SEPTEMBER 6, 2019 • Page 12

THEATER Continued From Page 10

new. With the laws surrounding the film industry here, an actor
without an agent or manager, without joining the union, can still
find bountiful work here.”
Cole emphasized the need for patience in those pursuing
the arts. “A common mistake is thinking they will become a My name is Strawberry
star overnight,” he said. “Though that kind of story is loved and
admired, it rarely happens. I’ve been doing this for 16 years and (ID# 42206059).
have friends that have been in this career far longer. Very little I love to play and have never
success has come from it, so don’t expect to become a celebrity met a stranger. I'm good with other
in a day or even 10 years. If it does happen, then congratulations, dogs and would love to share my new
but more often than not we will be doing this ‘til the day we die home with a doggie friend or be your
for no other reason than loving it.” only love. I came in very skinny and
While those taking theater classes most often think of
acting careers, there is a broad array of possibilities within the
in rough shape, but the people at the
industry—“everything from directors to producers to personal shelter gave me lots of food and now
assistants and everything in between,” according Cole. “The I'm quite svelte. My coat is so shiny.
trick is finding the right person who will help you step in. This It's amazing what a little love can do. I
industry is built on supporting others. The more selfish you are, love to snuggle, but can also be your
the less likely you are to be hired,” he said. hiking/jogging buddy. Will you be my
“Don’t be afraid of any type of class,” Cole advised. new family?
“Learn anything and everything you can about this industry. It
will force you to respect the careers of those around you more I'm ready to go home today!
when you know how much work everyone does in their job.” more information about Strawberry
Cole said there are benefits even for those who If you would like to expand your
ultimately choose careers outside the entertainment industry. family by 4 furry little feet; ask to please call (404) 294-2165 or email
“The classroom of any art form can greatly help anyone with meet Strawberry and have a loving adoption@dekalbanimalservices.com.
any career. With my class, students will learn how to speak friend forever. All adoptions include All potential adopters will be screened
publicly to anyone; they will learn critical but creative thinking
your new pet's spay or neuter, to ensure Strawberry goes to a good
to problem solve, and especially how to have fun with anything home. Hours: Mon-Fri; 11am-7pm /
given to them.” vaccinations, microchip and more! For
Sat-Sun; 11am-6pm

Salmon in season now!

image courtesy of Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute

10" x 6.5"