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No home sweet home

Refugee community plagued by crime, dilapidated buildings

by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com

Debris from a condominium, top, in Brannon Hill remains ve years after it was leveled. Units in several buildings, below, are in such poor repair that they have been boarded up for years. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

he graffiti-adorned sign and boarded-up guard shack at the entrance of Brannon Hill Condominiums are symbolic of the rest of the residential community just off of Memorial Drive near Clarkston. Just past the entrance, rubble from a condominium building leveled by the communitys homeowners association in 2006 has weeds growing in it. Another building, devastated by a fire in May, is in need of demolition. Scores of units have been

uninhabitable for years and are boarded up. But in many of those condominiums, residents say the boards have been removed by homeless people seeking shelter. One problem is the lack of money in the community, which is populated mostly by Somalian refugees. There is very little income here, said property manager Haji Said. The 30-acre site in 1973 was once a vibrant community with 31 buildings, 368 residential units, a pool and two tennis courts. Now, due to the cost of ongoing maintenance and liability insurance, the See Brannon Hill on Page 14A

DeKalb County residents see little growth in job market

by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com With the passing of Labor Day many DeKalb residents said they have little to celebrate this year. Hundreds of job seekers, such as Stavoney Brooks, stood in sweltering heat in a line for a job fair at Atlanta Technical College on Aug. 18. Brooks waved her hand and said she had a message for the president. We need jobs, Obama, she shouted amid nods of approval. Brooks had been waiting in line for more than three hours. More than 3,000 people throughout Georgia showed up to the fair, which was hosted by Congressman John Lewis (D-5), Congressman Hank Johnson (D-4) and members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Ninety employers, all of them sweaty wait. Eighteen-year-old John Hunter said he didnt expect to see half as many people there. Hunter said that seeing all the people waiting to get inside opened his eyes as to how bad the job market in the state and metro Atlanta is. Its crazy because its old and young people. Its everybody, Hunter said. According to a news release from Johnsons office, a few job seekers suffered from heat-related illnesses while waiting in the long lines to meet with employers. The people are desperate for work, said Johnson. Today the urgency of the crisis was on vivid display. Leonardo McClarty, president of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, said that the number of jobs created in
See Jobs on Page 14A

Thousands lined up outside of the Atlanta Technical College for a jobs fair hosted by Congressmen John Lewis and Hank Johnson. Photo by Daniel Beauregard

with job openingsa requirement for participation in the fairwere

present, but those job seekers who didnt pre-register faced a hot and

Page 2A

The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011

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Page 3A

Local News

The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011

Commissioners gearing up for code enforcement vote

by Andrew Cauthen

After deferring a vote for four months, the countys Board of Commissioners appears to be ready to pass a tougher code enforcement ordinance. We believe we have something that actually works for the county and is doable and is in compliance with the laws of the county, said Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton, chairwoman of the boards county operations and public safety committee. So when it gets to court [judges] can actually adjudicate the ordinance. The ordinance is in response to complaints from residents about overgrown grass and weeds, inoperable vehicles, commercial vehicles in residential areas, and unmaintained pools. Im a citizen that has spent an enormous amount of time over the years trying to ensure that where I live looks decent, said Gil Turman, who served on a code enforcement task force that looked into the problems of county code violations. If you ride down I-20 and you get off on any exit in DeKalb County, its shameful as to what you start to see, Turman said. Under the proposed ordinance, violators could receive a fine of up to $1,000. Some county residents said they want the Board of Commissioners to establish a minimum fine of $250 for code violators. We want to be a beautiful county and we have high expectations, said Gil Turman. If you violate the law then youre going to pay for it. I dont think we need to play games, Turman said. Thats why we got the nastiest-looking county in the metro area.

Neighbors say snakes are known to be in the overgrown grass of this vacant duplex on Janmar Drive in DeKalb County. The countys Board of Commissioners has been considering a tougher code enforcement ordinance for several months. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Sutton said the $250 minimum is not needed but judges will decide what fine is fair in each case. The reason that we have judges in the judicial system is so they can hear each individual case and make a judgment, Sutton said. We set the minimum and maximum fines and I believe we should let the judge do their job. Commissioner Lee May objected to Turmans characterization of the county. We dont have the nastiest county, May said. Weve got sections that are nasty. This is only one baby step to get us to where we need to go, May said. Now we need to look at the comprehensive plan. The code compliance ordinance is on the agenda for the Board of Commissioners Sept. 13 meeting.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011

Opinion The Newslady

Page 4A

Hosea Feed the Hungry property taxes

the drug boys openly sell their wares in full view. Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless is one of the best run, transparent and effective charities in the state. Founded by the late civil rights icon Hosea Williams, it is now run by his daughter, actress Elisabeth Williams Omilami. It is a ministry. Hundreds of thousands of the poor and homeless in metro Atlanta have been fed at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Martin Luther King Day and Easter over the years, not to mention other assistance to the needy including help with employment, clothing, rent and utility assistance. The organizations overhead is minimal, its outreach is maximum. One might consider the home on East Lake as the Mother Ship from which its vital ministries are launched. It is the Martin Luther King Church of Love founded by Hosea Williams. The mission of the church was to feed the hungry. The mission remains so today. Who is an assessor to determine whether the home qualifies as a religious site or not? Must there be a printed order of service with choirs singing and Elizabeth preaching and passing a plate at the home each Sunday in order to qualify? In the Christian tradition, the question is raised whether you fed the hungry, clothed the naked and visited those behind prison walls among other charitable deeds. It is the work of the church. Hosea Feed the Hungry can answer in the affirmative to all those questions and yes in this writers view the home unequivocally qualifies as a religious site. It is the base of operations for HFTH. Removing the religious exemption for Hosea Feed The Hungry and Homeless could mean at least a $2,000 tax bill for the East Lake Drive property which is reportedly valued at just more than a half million dollars. While the $2,000 wont break the organization, in this austere economic environment, that money could be used to help people struggling to make ends meet and/or pay astronomical utility bills. DeKalb officials are quoted as saying that the good works of HFTH is not the issue, but that the focus is on the East Lake property not being a religious site. Fortunately the taxexempt status of the charity is not being threatened. It sets a dangerous precedent when a tax assessor gets into the business of deciding just what is or is not a church or religious site. Where are the guidelines for arriving at such conclusions? Where in the county code does it set out just what is a religious site and who shall make that determination? Ga. Code 48-5-41 sets out clearly that religious organizations are tax exempt. A tax assessor should not be in the business of deciding where God dwells. If the Good Book is the standard, then HFTH definitely qualifies. The assessors view is subjective and could be defined as punitive taxation, repressing a form of religious worship. The first amendment gives us the basic right in this country to choose how and where we worship. Let the work HFTH does speak for it. A religious site does not have to be a towering, spiraled cathedral. HFTH does its religious work from a home on East Lake Drive with a fervor that should be emulated not punished. We perhaps have too many traditional church buildings and not enough church.

The DeKalb County Tax Assessors office is dangerously close to treading on a basic human right under the First Amendment of our Constitution and that is freedom of religion. Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless is being threatened with having to pay taxes on the home it owns in DeKalb County that serves as its headquarters. According to published reports, DeKalbs assessor has declared that the Williams home on East Lake Drive in DeKalb is not a church and wants to remove the religious tax exemption for the home. How unfortunate. Given the skyrocketing numbers of challenges to the plummeting home values in DeKalb, one would think the assessors office might have better things to do. Its akin to the little old lady getting pulled over for driving too slow while

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


The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 9, 2011

Who said that re-districting was fair?

er places, and Georgia has seen more than its fair share of districts shaped more like Rorschach Ink Blots than the counties, cities or communities that legislative districts are intended to represent. That said, while a growing state like Georgia gains population and U.S. congressional seats, states with declining population, such as Michigan and Ohio lose seats and political clout in the process. It is instructive to note that Georgias wide swing from Blue to Red largely began in 2002, following one of the most partisan re-mapping and redistricting sessions in modern times, controlled by then Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes and a solid majority Democratic General Assembly in 2001. One of the state Senate district maps re-drawn during that special session in 2001 covered the northwest and northeast corners of Georgia looking like a giant, draping pair of elephant ears. The district stretched across 12 counties, with the two ears connected by a small land bridge in Union County, roughly the size of a football field. Republican state Senator Bill Stephens of Union County won the seat, and went on to become the state Senate majority leader, as well as Senate Floor leader for Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue. These practices of packing, stacking and more recently cracking are not new, and have been used with gleeful abandon by both political parties in most states for decades. The primary difference with the 2011 re-mapping is that the GOP posted some record wins during the 2010 mid-term elections in state legislatures and governors mansionsso the current re-mapping process is expected to have a decidedly red tilt. Southern states must continue to submit their district maps for review by the U.S. Justice Department under the authority of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The law was primarily enacted to end discriminatory practices at the polls and overturn state Jim Crow Laws, which either discouraged or outright prevented African Americans from voting. President George W. Bush signed a 25-year extension of the Voting Rights Act in 2006. When Georgia district lines were re-drawn in 2001, Georgia Democrats controlled the governors office, General Assembly and most constitutional offices, but only held three of the states 11 congressional districts. After the new blue maps were drawn, Democrats picked up the 3rd and 13th Congressional Districts. But the Red Sea was coming and the best computer maps drawn could not re-route the coming political tide. Georgias 2002 elections were a blood-bath for Democrats. Barnes lost in a surprise upset to Sonny Perdue. U.S. Senator Max Cleland was routed by Congressman Saxby Chambliss of Moultrie. The Georgia GOP maintained its congressional majority while splitting state constitutional offices and racking up some impressive down-ticket wins in the Georgia General Assembly, including several of those drawn safe districts lost by their Democratic incumbents. Yes, we have the secret ballot in Georgia, but it is no secret as to which partys general primary, primary run-off or presidential preference primary members of a household have previously voted in. If a particular district is already considered 60 percent Republican, with incumbents winning by wide margins, like minded voters and politically I.D.d households will be shipped into another district nearby where a GOP challenger or incumbent is perceived to need a little help. The reverse is true if Democrats are in majority and running the process. The Guvinator, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, proposed a 2005 ballot initiative in California, putting the redistricting process in the hands of retired judges, instead of the incumbent office holders drawing their own district maps. Proposition 77 was soundly defeated (60/40) by California voters in a decidedly Democratic majority voting state. But if these mad maps keep springing up like the Alien, maybe hell be back. Bill Crane is a DeKalb County native and business owner, living in Scottdale, Georgia. He also serves as chief political analyst and commentator for 11Alive News and WSB Radio, News/Talk 750. Contact Bill Crane at billcrane@earthlink. net.

Opinion One Mans Opinion

Page 5A

To the victor belong the spoils. In war or other contest, the winner gets the booty. U.S. Senator William L. Marcy of New York in 1832, defending the conduct of the administration of Democratic President Andrew Jackson, over what was perceived to be an unparalleled string of partisan patronage appointments. The term, gerrymandering originated in a critical column and editorial cartoon in the Boston Gazette in 1812. Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry signed a bill redistricting state senate seats in Massachusetts, creating a contorted district wrapping itself around Boston that resembled a giant salamander. The serpentine map and district were drawn to benefit an incumbent in Gerrys Democratic-Republican Party of that day. Gerrymandering has long since moved south, among oth-

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Send Letters To Editor, The Champion Free Press, P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Send E-Mail to Kathy@dekalbchamp.com FAX To: (404) 370-3903 Phone: (404) 373-7779 Deadline for news releases and advertising: Thursday, one week prior to publication date. EDITORS NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reect 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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The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011

Meet the new superintendent: a Q & A session with Dr. Cheryl Atkinson

Page 6A

Apples Steve Jobs: not quite Henry Ford

Above all, he brought an elegant sense of aesthetics to an industry that was, up to then, innocent of it.
crossed with paved highways lined with cars capable of traveling 100 miles an hour. It was a world of exploding suburban growth, with an interstate highway system just over the horizon and the decline of our great industrial cities just about to begin, victims of their (and his) success. Ford didnt invent the automobile any more than Jobs the computer. Yet, like Jobs, he brought his remarkable machine within reach of the average man and eventually made it all but a necessity of life. In doing so he changed where we live, where we shop, where we work, and the very air we breathe. Parenthetically, he also did a lot for teenage sex. Under Jobs leadership, Apple offshored most of its factory jobs to contractors employing hundreds of thousands of poorly paid Chinese workers. Ford, however, championed the first auto assembly line, making his cars affordable for the middle class. Then he instituted the $5-a-day wage (worth about $110 in todays dollars), allowing his workers to join that class. Its difficult to overestimate how shocking that was to the nation in 1927. The Wall Street Journal (no more far-seeing then than now) wrote that Ford had sown the seeds of the destruction of our society. Instead, the best workers flocked to his plant and he got richer, as did the rest of society. Not all of the changes wrought by these two great men worked out for the better, unfortunately. It can be said, if somewhat uncharitably, that Steve Jobs created gadgets that robbed our youth of their attention span, while Ford created an economic environment that, while it fueled the greatest prosperity the world had ever known, released forces that now threaten to destroy the planet through climate change. Ford was a crank genius, a virulent anti-Semite with fascistic tendencies. He was undeniably a greater force for both good and evil than Jobs has been. Still, for a guy who dropped out of college after one semester, Jobs has done all right for himself. There arent many Henry Fords in our history. Jobs came closer than almost anyone else.

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

I Pray For This Ladys Success ! Our children, our parents, our teachers and DeKalb County need for this to be A Great Thing so badly ! Good Luck and Best Wishes to Dr Atkinson ! JerryMyer Jackson Jr posted this on 9/1/11 at 10:51 p.m. Im not sure this is 100% possible: putting children first and student successletting the adult issues fall to the side and really focusing on whats best for children. Part of putting children first in DCSS is inevitably going to involve refocusing resources ($, staff) on the classroom and away from whatever it is Crawford had them doing, and that is going to involve confronting some those adult issues of nepotism, corruption, incompetence, and connections. The irony is that, if Dr. Atkinson really does take on this challenge, the Board members backing her are more likely to be Mondays no voters than at least some of the yes voters. Ed posted this on 8/31/11 at 11:52 a.m. Good article, Daniel! ErnestB posted this on 8/31/11 at 10:03 a.m.

Steve Jobs has the rare privilege of attending his own funeral. Who among us hasnt wanted to do that to see whos there, whos not; whos crying and who seems perfectly calm, even bored? Hes not dead, of course, but ever since he stepped down as chief executive of Apple last month, people have treated him as though he were. Virtual obituaries, eulogies and testimonials are flowing unendingly. And Im sure hes pleased with the reviews. Theyre very, very good. A visionary on the level of Henry Ford, they say. The greatest entrepreneur of his time. A business genius. And so he was, I mean is. More or less. He didnt invent the computer or the cell phone or the Internet. But he did bring them to the fingertips of the average person and make them a virtual necessity. He was a hard-driving executive who hired brilliant engineers and drove them relentlessly to do things they didnt realize they could do, all with the consumer in mind. Above all, he brought an elegant sense of aesthetics to an industry that was, up to then, innocent of it. Just walking into an Apple store makes you feel cleaner. Once, having been ousted as Apples leader, he bought Pixar. He developed it into the most innovative and best of the animated film companies and made himself another fortune in the bargain. He owns nearly 300 patents, but his main skill was (there I go again is) as a kind of editor. He worked with his teams to craft and shape their inventions to correspond with his signature style and unique vision. It can be said that he transformed his industry and in doing so changed the way we live. Yet, even with all that, he was no Henry Ford. Ford was born during the Civil War in 1863 into a world of horses and wagons, oil lamps and outdoor plumbing. By the time he died in 1947, just after World War II, it was in a world largely of his making, dotted with giant factories and criss-

DeKalb County residents see little growth in job market

@Angry Taxpayer: While I personally dont like public back&forth chats, I did want to respond to your comments. The DeKalb Chamber has not neglected its small business members. Most of what we do involves small businesses and/or is to support them in their business development efforts. As we speak, we are in the midst of strengthening our small business offerings. Should you desire a meeting and conversation, I would be more than glad to sit down and discuss further. I can be reached at 404-3788000 ext 222. Leonardo McClarty posted this on 9/2/11 at 10:58 a.m. @Houton. To be honest, the reason why I focused on non-agricultural jobs is because those are the ones that comprise the majority of the workforce in DeKalb and the metro area. I assume that agricultural jobs have taken a significant hit but its an industry that is doing better than most...people have to eat. If youre curious there is a wealth of information on the Georgia Department of Labors website. Daniel Beauregard posted this on 9/2/11 at 9:30 a.m. The article states that some non-agricultural jobs in Atlanta saw significant losses.. Does this mean that farms in Atlanta are hiring? Houton posted this on 8/31/11 at 11:36 p.m. DeKalb Chamber, thanks for your neglect of your small business members and your fear of getting involved in county policy for small businesses! DeKalb County, thanks for the corruption and all of contract purchases made outside of the county! Solutions to generate revenue and jobs: 1. The county needs to make its businesses a priority to create jobs. Spend the dollars here for the cpaital improvements instead of with international firms that do not desire to even open an office here. 2. Thanks CEO Ellis, the LSBE Program is a joke. Fix it the LSBE Program by getting rid of the LSBE-MSA portion that hurts this county. There is no local benefit whatsoever, its all regional. Either make 51% of owners reside in the county or 51% of their staff reside in county. 3. Publish Quarterly Reports at the BOC meetings for all purchases, including the LSBE/MBE/WBE and the First Source Jobs Programs. Make it transparent and let the public know how bad the numbers look! Angry Taxpayer posted this on 8/31/11 at 10:49 a.m.

The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011


Local News

Page 7A

Notice is hereby given that, in accordance with O.C.G.A. 21-2-540, a special election shall be held in the City of Dunwoody for the purpose of submitting to the voters the following question for approval or rejection: Shall the governing authority of the City of Dunwoody, Georgia, be authorized to permit and regulate package sales by retailers of malt beverages, wine, and distilled spirits on Sundays between the hours of 12:30 P.M. and 11:30 P.M.? The special election will be held on November 8, 2011. All persons who are not registered to vote and who desire to register to vote in the special election may register to vote through the close of business on October 11, 2011. Early/advance voting will be held October 17 November 4, 2011 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday-Friday. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on election day. This the 8th day of September, 2011. Sharon Lowery Municipal Election Superintendent City of Dunwoody, Georgia

Carolyn B. Taggart
came a part of what we believe in and what we think should be done in the community, she said. Taggart, a retired educator, has been the president of the Belvedere Athletic Association for the past 12 years. She oversees the Little League baseball games, recruits volunteers to train boys and girls in baseball and establishes and manages the annual budget for the association. In 2010 and 2011, Taggart served as the tournament director for the Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree. The 2010 jamboree was important to Taggart because she said it was the first year that the jamboree was held in the Southeastern United States. I do not believe that all learning takes place within the confines of the classroom, Taggart said. Children need a safe, nurturing environment to experience interactive, hands-on fun activities to become wellrounded individuals. Taggart has also been instrumental in getting resources for the athletic association and Shoal Creek Park. Through writing grants, she was able to find the funds to install new baseball field lighting, renovate the field house, build a batting cage, hold training clinics for players and buy equipment for children, as well as offer registration fee scholarships. Taggart said her proudest achievement of 32 years of service at the Belvedere Athletic Association was giving children a chance to have things that the county could not give them. Just being able to get things to the community that the county did not have in its budget; being able to get those kinds of things for our kids makes me feel good at the end of the day, Taggart said.

Champion of the Week


Notice is hereby given that, in accordance with O.C.G.A. 21-2-540, a special election shall be held in the City of Dunwoody for the purpose of submitting to the voters the following question for approval or rejection: Shall the Act be approved which authorizes the City of Dunwoody to exercise redevelopment powers under the Redevelopment Powers Law as it may be amended from time to time? The special election will be held on November 8, 2011. All persons who are not registered to vote and who desire to register to vote in the special election may register to vote through the close of business on October 11, 2011. Early/advance voting will be held October 17 November 4, 2011 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday-Friday. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on election day. This the 8th day of September, 2011. Sharon Lowery Municipal Election Superintendent City of Dunwoody, Georgia

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Carolyn B. Taggart said she is a woman who really likes baseball and volunteering, but most importantly, she likes being able to help the children in her community. Taggart began volunteering 32 years ago at Shoal Creek Park as a team mom when her son started playing T-ball. Her son, now 37, has long since left the game but she is content to remain on the field. I started as a team mom and worked in just about every capacity from concession stand manager to league president and now Im the president of the Belvedere Athletic Association, Taggart said. Also a member of the advisory board for the DeKalb County Parks and Recreation Department, Taggart said that she thinks it is important that every community have a wellmaintained park. Its very important to have an outlet for kids as well as adults to come out and play, have fun and exercise. It should be a place thats safe and well run and well maintained, thats one of the things that Im very passionate aboutparks that are well maintained. That hasnt always been the case in DeKalb, Taggart said. Taggart said that she saw her mother going out into the community to volunteer when she was growing up and it has always stuck with her. I guess that just be-

For additional information call 404-373-7779 or visit us on line at ChampionNewspaper.com

If you would like to nominate someone to be considered as a future Champion of the Week, please contact Kathy Mitchell at kathy@DeKalbchamp.com or at 404-373-7779, ext. 104.

The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011

Local News

Page 8A

DeKalb seniors remember life before, during and after freedom in a new book of memoirs
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com Estelle Ford-Williamson said she never imagined teaching a two-week creative writing class at DeKalbs Lou Walker Senior Center would become one of the most rewarding 10week journeys of her life. Ford-Williamson said she realized that these seniors needed to tell their stories and collaborated with members of the class to create the Lou Walker Senior Center Writers Anthology Volume 1. Ford-Williamson, a former United Press International reporter and author of a historical fiction novel about Atlanta, said that she originally held a two-week session (four hours) on Writing Your Story at the center. Ford-Williamson said that she thought the group would have experiences similar to her ownactive participation in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. My fantasy was that I might find in my class people on the barricades from the Chicago Democratic Convention of 1968, or the historic march at Selma, or at least maybe Id find a neighbor of Atlantas most famous resident, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Ford-Williamson said. She realized that the group had many stories to tell. We saw how our stories really reflected a theme: Before Freedom During Freedom After Freedom, as reflected in the Second Freedom, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, Ford-Williamson said. The collection of memoirs features 13 authors from the center and the content ranges from essays to short stories and poetry with a personal feel. The book begins with a piece titled Sunset by Ruby J. Thomas, who wrote a reflection about life a few blocks from the Vine City home where King grew up. The pieces full title, SunsetA Childhood Memory in Memory of Mama on Mothers Day, reflects on a hot summer night when her mother and other mothers on the street sat gathered in one of their neatly swept, dirt yards, and whispered juicy secrets for adult ears onlyThey rocked back and forth in their caned-back chairs and white lattice swings humming some old, sad church song that I didnt understand or like. Thomas also retells her experience of trying to attend Kings funeral. She had just bought a used Volkswagen Beetle and hadnt yet learned to drive a stick shift. I put the key in the ignition and cranked it up. The car jerked, and I quickly turned the engine off. I thought I had torn it up. I sat there for a moment trying to figure out what to do nextI finally remembered that I had to step on the clutch or put the car in neutral before starting the engine, Thomas wrote. On the day of Kings funeral she said that she learned what true determination was. I can still remember it like it happened today. Im getting chills right now even thinking about it, said the 64-year-old Thomas, who is a judge pro-tem in the DeKalb County Juvenile Court. This car was just sitting in the yard and the only way I was likely to get to Martin Luther King Jr.s funeral was to drive that car; not knowing how to drive that car was not going to deter me. Toward the latter part of the compilation, Harold Kenney lightens the mood with a humorous tale about publishing and editing a family newsletter. The story stems from an experience that Kenney had at a family gathering. When you see a family member that you may not have seen in a long time, the conversation is almost predictable after the usual greeting, Kenney says in the story. He felt that, in most cases, members of the family knew little

From left to right; writers Jackie S. Henderson and Ruby J. Thomas stand at a booth displaying The Lou Walker Senior Center Writers Anthology at the Decatur Book Festival. Photo by Daniel Beauregard

about each other. This is what motivated him to start the newsletter. Kenney said the newsletter, titled The Kenney Herald, is produced four times a year and its readership has grown over the years from around 15 to 100 people. Relatives who dont receive the newsletter via e-mail are mailed a hard copy. He also said that if he has not heard from members of his quirky family by deadline, he simply makes the news up. I put one story in that my niece had won the lottery, I didnt say how much, but she said that soon she had cousins she hadnt spoken to in years calling up with investment advice, Kenney said with a chuckle. The book also features stories that are vastly different in tone such as Dr. Jackie S. Hendersons Protected House Play, about she and her siblings playing on the floor of her Birmingham home because her parents, who were deeply involved in the Civil Rights Movement, were worried someone might come and shoot up the house; Jennifer E. Bennets tale Garrison, which describes the tough times she faced growing up in the garrisons of Jamaica; and Judy McCoy Venugopals I Like Ike, about former President Dwight D. Eisenhower stopping by occasionally to drink homebrew on her fathers farm.

County police to receive grant to fight child sex abuse

by Nigel Roberts The U.S. Department of Justice announced Aug. 30 that it awarded the DeKalb County Police Department a $496,793 grant from its Child Sexual Predator Program (CSPP). These funds will be used to enhance the departments ability to investigate child sex abuse and exploitation cases. DeKalbs police department is one of 20 law enforcement agencies nationwide that will receive a portion of the Justice Departments $9.2 million Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant to fight child sex abuse. Fulton County police will also receive grant funding totaling $331,241 for its child exploitation unit. One of CSPPs primary functions is to foster community policing by promoting partnerships among local police departments, federal law enforcement agencies and community stakeholders. DeKalb County Police Chief William OBrien said that the community policing approach has become an integral part of his departments efforts to protect DeKalb residents. When it comes to ensuring our children are safe, it is important that we strengthen relationships with all community partners, and I am grateful to COPS for supporting our agency in doing so, he said. DeKalb police spokeswoman Mekka Parish stated the department will not disburse the funds to the countys municipal police agencies. Instead, it will use the money to purchase equipment, such as a mobile forensic processing unit and computer software to analyze evidence, which would enable the department to solve cases more efficiently and to uncover evidence that would contribute to successful prosecutions of child sexual predators. At the same time, this new funding will improve the departments ability to coordinate case information and to share digital media summaries and evidence with other agencies. It will also help cover overtime expenses for detectives, as well as provide specialized training and technical assistance. Public Safety is our number one priority in DeKalb County, said DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer Burrell Ellis, and thanks to this COPS grant, we can further our efforts to protect young people from the dangers of sexual predators. At a time of belt tightening and fiscal austerity, this type of funding may become less common, as Congress examines ways to cut federal spending. U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D Ga.) and others in Congress are working to protect COPS from federal budget cuts. Johnson, who voted in July to continue funding the program, said in an earlier statement, At a time when states are struggling to balance their budgets, they need federal support to ensure they have the resources they need to keep their communities safe. COPS is vital to this equation. In 2009, the COPS office distributed $1 billion in grants to police departments to hire and rehire officers. Georgias law enforcement agencies received $31 million of the grant to pay the salaries of 184 police officers. DeKalbs share was $3.1 millionused to hire 15 new officers.

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that on the 8th day of November, a special election will be held in the CITY OF LITHONIA to fill the vacancy in the office of City of Lithonia City Council. The special election will be held to fill the unexpired term of Deborah A. Jackson and Al T. Franklin. Each candidate will file notice of his or her candidacy and the appropriate affidavit in the office of DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections, 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur, GA 30032. Qualifying for candidates will begin on Monday, September 12, 2011, and continue until Wednesday, September, 14, 2011, between 8 AM and 4:00 PM each day. The qualifying fee is $122.40. The last day to register to be eligible to vote in this special election is Tuesday, October 11, 2011. The special election will be held in the regular polling place, Union Missionary Baptist Church, 2470 Bruce Street, Lithonia, GA 30058, in conjunction with the General Municipal Election. The polls will open at 7:00 AM and close at 7:00 PM. This call is issued by the City of Lithonia. This 2nd day of September, 2011

The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011

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Hosea Feed the Hungry loses taxexempt status on East Lake property
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com A building owned by the Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless organization may lose tax-exempt status, according to DeKalb County Chief Tax Appraiser Calvin Hicks. The property, a house located off of East Lake Drive, was originally granted tax-exempt status as a place of worship and according to Hicks, has not paid property taxes since approximately 2004. However, Hicks said that during a recent audit, the DeKalb County Board of Assessors found that the property was not being used as a place of worship; therefore the tax exemption was revoked. Hicks said he was unsure of the amount of back taxes the property owed. According to Hicks, the building, appraised at $549,700, is owned by the Martin Luther King Jr. Peoples Church of Love. Hicks pointed out that the Hosea Feed the Hungry organization was not at risk of losing its tax-exempt status, only the property was. Weve taken no action against the Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless organization. The property at East Lake Drive is owned by Martin Luther King Jr. Peoples Church of Lovenow I understand that there is some relationship between those two entities, Hicks said. Hicks said that the property was at one point the residence of Hosea Williams and the Martin Luther King Jr. Peoples Church of Love was begun by Williams and others. At that time the organization was to create a Baptist church but they went back and changed the church to a nonprofit, Hicks said. Also, Hicks said there were two separate organizations running out of the propertythe MLK Jr. Peoples Church of Love and Hosea Feed the Hungry. In a prepared statement, Elizabeth Omilami, president and CEO of Hosea Feed the Hungry, said that she had not received any word from tax assessors indicating their plan to revoke the organizations tax exempt status. We trust DeKalb County Chief Appraiser Calvin Hicks will be able to work with us to maintain our exemption or qualify for a different one, so that as many of our dollars as possible can be used to fulfill our important mission, Omilami said. Omilami was contacted for comment but did not return calls by deadline. Hicks said that the property owner has a 45-day window to contest the board of assessors decision and that they have until mid-September to file an appeal.

September 1, 2011

DeKalb County Community Development Department 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330 Decatur, Georgia 30030 Telephone (404) 286-3308


The DeKalb County Community Development Department gives notice that it will submit a request for release of grant funds and an environmental certification pertaining to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 15 days following this publication. The request and certification relate to the following projects. Project: CDBG Program: 1905 Candler Road Demolition and Parking Lot Construction Location: 1905 Candler Road, Decatur GA Purpose: The purpose of the land and building acquisition, proposed demolition and construction activity is to provide safe vehicular access, shared parking opportunities, and potential green space for the new Candler Road Library and the future South DeKalb Senior Community Center. The County plans to demolish the existing building and incorporate the property into the Overall Mixed Use Development Master Plan, including the Library, the Community Senior Center, and future Senior Housing. These facilities will serve the community, including seniors, across all ethnic, racial and economic lines. CDBG funds will be used to assist in the demolition of an existing vacant fast food restaurant, and the construction of a new parking lot, including grading and drainage, storm water detention, curb and gutter, and asphalt paving and striping. The area has a population of more than 60% low to moderate income level persons. It has been determined that such request for release of funds will not constitute an action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, accordingly, DeKalb County has decided not to prepare Environmental Impact Statements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (P.L. 91-190). The reasons for such decision not to prepare such Statements are as follows: An Environmental Assessment has been made for the project which concludes that all adverse effects will be minor, and any short-term impacts will be mitigated by either the requirements of the construction contract documents or by the requirements of applicable local, state or federal permits and environmental ordinances. The positive effects of eliminating public health hazards and improving environmental conditions for low and moderate income families outweigh any potential negative impacts. This project is consistent with the goals and objectives of the DeKalb County Community Development Department, approved Consolidated Plan. The Environmental Review Records, respecting the proposed projects, have been made by DeKalb County which documents the environmental review of the projects and fully sets forth the reasons why such Environmental Impact Statements are not required. The Environmental Review Records are on file at the DeKalb County Community Development Department, 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030 and is available for public examination and copying upon request between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. No further environmental reviews of the subject project are proposed to be conducted prior to the request for release of Federal funds. All interested agencies, groups, and persons disagreeing with this decision are invited to submit written comments for consideration by DeKalb County to the Community Development Director. Written comments will be received at 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia on or before September 16, 2011. All comments received will be considered and DeKalb County will not request the release of Federal funds or take any administrative action on the proposed projects prior to the date specified in the preceding sentence. At least one day after the termination of the public comment period for the FONSI, but not before comments on the FONSI have been considered and resolved, DeKalb County will submit a Request for Release of Funds (RROF) and certification to HUD. By so doing DeKalb County will ask HUD to allow it to commit funds to these projects, certifying that (1) it has performed the environmental reviews prescribed by HUD regulations (Environmental Review Procedures for Title I Community Development Block Grant Program - 24 CFR part 58), and (2) the Certifying Officer, Chris Morris, Director, DeKalb County Community Development Department, consents to accept and enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental reviews or resulting decision-making and action. The legal effect of the certification is that by approving it, HUD will have satisfied its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act, thus allowing DeKalb County to commit CDBG funds to these projects. HUD will accept objections to its approval of the release of funds and the certification only if it is on one of the following basis: (a) that the certification was not in fact executed by the Certifying Officer; or (b) that the applicants Environmental Review Record for the project indicated omission of a required decision, funding, or step applicable to the project in the environmental review process. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance to HUD at the Regional Environmental Branch, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 40 Marietta Street N.W., 15th floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-9812. Objections to the release of funds on basis other than those stated above will not be considered by HUD. No objection received after October 3, 2011 will be considered by HUD.


Public Comments on FONSI


Objection to Release of Funds

Chris H. Morris, Director DeKalb County Community Development Department 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030

The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011

Bank robber sought in Dunwoody


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Dunwoody Police are searching for a man in connection with the Aug. 26 armed robbery of a RegionsBank at 1547 Mount Vernon Road. The suspect, allegedly armed with a semi-automatic handgun, entered the bank at approximately 10:15 a.m. and demanded money, according to Dunwoody Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Carlson. He left the bank with an undetermined amount of cash. According to police, the suspect is described as a Black male, approximately 5-feet-6 to 5-7, wearing a red baseball cap bearing a yellow stripe across the front, a gray long-sleeve shirt buttoned all the way up and denim Capri-style shorts with a designer patch on the left leg. The suspect was carrying a blue bag on his left shoulder. Anyone with information regarding the robbery is asked to contact Det. Andrew Thompson at (678) 382-6921 or Andrew.thompson@dunwoodyga.gov.

Police searching for suspect in robbery

DeKalb County police are searching for a suspect in connection with an armed robbery on Aug. 29 at the Kensington Station Apartments, police said. The suspect is a Black teenager, 17 to 19 years old and had a black bandana over his face at the time of the incident, police said. The suspect approached a 24-year-old Black female who was sitting in her car in the complex parking lot. The suspect demanded the victims wallet, and then shot her in the leg before running away, police said.

File photo /Travis Hudgons

Commissioner appointed to national committee

DeKalb County District 3 Commissioner Larry Johnson has received the National Association of Counties (NACo) Presidential appointment to serve on the NACo International Economic Development Committee. The purpose of the committee is to pursue opportunities for NACo and its member counties to participate in international trade development and investment activities that benefit local economies through partnerships with the international community, federal and state governments and the private sector. Appointment to this national committee helps to raise the profile of DeKalb County internationally. Johnson continues his leadership role with the NACo Healthy Counties Advisory Board by moving from vice-chair of the committee to chairman.

Yellow Daisy Festival set for Sept. 8-11

The Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain Park is Sept. 8-11, and is free with a park admission of $10 per vehicle. More than 400 artists and crafters from 38 states and two countries will have their works displayed and available for purchase. In addition to the arts and crafts vendors, there is daily live entertainment, Childrens Corner activities, clogging and crafter demonstrations. Also, numerous vendors will provide a wide variety of food and beverages. The JaneDear Girls, nominees at the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards, headline the live entertainment with a performance on Sept. 11 from 4:30-6 p.m. There are more than 15 acts scheduled to perform throughout the four-day event. The festival runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sept. 8-9; 10 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 10; and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sept. 11.

Students help clean up Stephenson Road corridor

More than 120 students from Stephenson Middle School and Stephenson High School participated in a cleanup of Stephenson Road between South DeShon and Rockbridge roads. More than 50 bags of garbage and illegal signs were collected and hauled off. The effort was spearheaded by commissioner Stan Watson, and county employees from the police, sanitation, code enforcement and other departments also participated.

Library brick dedication honors Tucker families

Nine-year-old Lauren Robb, an avid reader, considers the library her home away from home. She said she was thrilled to find her engraved brick in the sidewalk entrance to the Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library. Lauren and her family were among families and friends who attended a brick dedication ceremony at the library on Aug. 20 to locate their names among the 93 engraved bricks. These bricks honor early Tucker families, the Friends of the TuckerReid H. Cofer Library, Tucker Nature Preserve, Tucker Garden and Womans Clubs, the DeKalb Library Foundation and library staff as well as local businesses. An outside bench was dedicated to the Hogan Construction Group, which built the new Tucker branch in 2008, along with a brick in memory of the project supervisor, Rick Robinson. At the ceremony, the librarys community room was rededicated as the Cofer Room, in honor of Reid H. Cofer for whom the library is named. In 1988, his children made a generous contribution for the community room at the original Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library. Attending the program were daughter Betty Cofer Adams and her husband Roy Adams; Nita Cofer, wife of late son Gene S. Cofer; and their daughter Janie Cofer Lee. The DeKalb Library Foundation raised $7,500 for the library through donations of bricks and a bench. Sales of additional bricks may be available soon and one bench plaque is available. Bricks are also available at the expanded Hairston Crossing and Salem-Panola branches and the new Stonecrest Library. For more information, call (404) 370.8450, ext. 2238 or e-mail foundation@dekalblibrary.org

Walking event to raise awareness

DeKalb WalksFor the Health of It will be held Sept. 10 at Arabia Mountain Park in Lithonia. The walk will begin at the trailhead near Murphey-Candler Elementary School, 4775 S. Goddard Road, Lithonia. The event is free and open to all. Cash prizes will be given to the group with the most team members participating and drawings for individual cash prizes will also be held. Cash prizes range from $25 to $250. The event is part of the DeKalb Walks Initiative, a six-year program that raises awareness of the health advantages of walking. Registration is 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m. For more information or to preregister for DeKalb Walks, contact the office of Commissioner Larry Johnson at (404) 371-2425.

The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011

Advocate helps victims get justice outside of courtroom

by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com For Jill Reich justice does not end with a courtroom verdict. For me, justice is a little bit broader, because it may be finding resources for somebody who has been in a violent relationship for years, said Reich, director of the Victim-Witness Assistance Program in the office of DeKalb Countys district attorney, Its empowering victims to get on a path thats less traumatizing, Reich said. Thats justice for me. The Nebraska-born Reich, who has lived in Georgia for 30 years, started working for DeKalb County in 2000, first working under former solicitor-general Gwen Keyes Fleming. When Keyes Fleming became the countys district attorney in 2005, Reich moved to that office where she oversees a staff of eight fulltime victim-witness advocates. Jill is a tremendous leader in our office, said District Attorney Robert James. The jobs of our victim-witness advocates often go unrecognized but are essential to providing justice for those affected by crime. The Victim-Witness Assistance Program helps victims deal with the effects of domestic violence, elder abuse, sexual assault, crimes against children, homicide, and property crimes. Supporting the relatives of homicide victims is the most difficult part of the advocates jobs, Reich said. You talk about the murder of a loved one and that pain and suffering is just so intense and life-changing and you cant make it better, Reich said. We want to make it better for people. The Victim-Witness Assistance Program has three different service levels for victims. At Level 3, advocates call the victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, sexual assault, crimes against children and homicide within the family. Those are the cases where the victims have the most severe trauma or long-lasting impact because of the crime, Reich said. Advocates reach out to these victims within two weeks of the case being opened and perform needs assessments and resource coordination with other agencies. The advocates arrange services such as crime scene cleanup and help victims obtain death certificates. In the Level 2, victims of any other crimes against a person are referred to the program by an attorney, social worker, law enforcement officer or any resident. These victims receive the same level of service as those in Level 3. Level 1 is for victims of property crimes where the trauma is a less severe, Reich said. The advocates function in a social service capacity, assisting with housing, counseling and food. That, to me, is truly what helping a victim is all about, Reich said. DeKalb really focuses on reaching out to victims early on and places heavy emphasis on social services. We may be the only person theyre talking to. Because advocates are daily immersed in other peoples pain and trauma, the profession has a high burnout factor, Reich said. I started to feel it years and years ago, then I started to get into other things to balance that feeling of being involved in someone elses trauma, said Reich, who has been working with victims for 21 years. Now Reich balances directing the advocates with program development and writing grants. She also uses her hour-long commute to her home in Loganville to decompress. At home, the married mother of two girls, ages 3 and 6, enjoys playing with her kids. Theyre a handful at this point, she said. Reich, who earned a bachelors degree in child and family development from the University of Georgia and a masters degree in community counseling from Georgia State University, also likes reading mystery thrillers. I stay away from crime, Reich said. And I watch Spongebob when I get home. The news is not on at my house. I try to As director of the Victim-Witness Assistance Program in the office of really desensitize my home from the real DeKalb Countys district attorney, Jill Reich aids the justice the system by helping victims deal with effects of crime. Photo by Andrew Cauthen worldcrime.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011

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The city speaks: A glance at Decaturs Living Walls murals

by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com Living Walls, The City Speaks, was founded in 2009 by Monica Campana and Blacki Li Rudi Migliozzi and is a conference on street art and urbanism that took place in August 2010 in Atlanta. The artwork of 36 influential street artists from around the world flooded the streets of Atlanta as part of a coordinated effort to engage the public via street art. This year, 43 artists from the United States, Canada, Peru, Argentina, Belgium, Spain and South Africa came together to create 27 murals that can be seen throughout the metro Atlanta area. The conference also sets out to highlight a number of problems facing the city, showcases art and encourages dialogue. Here is a look at several of the murals located in downtown Decatur.

The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011

Local News
According to her obituary in the Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal, Along with her legal work, she also worked tirelessly to improve the lives and living conditions of abandoned and injured animals. Her pets, mostly rescue animals, were her live-in family and she helped place scores of animals in loving homes. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on the Emory University campus. Workman is to be buried in

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Judge Workman to be laid to rest in her native South Carolina

The DeKalb County legal community is mourning the death of Judge Anne Workman. A senior judge for the Superior Courts of Georgia Workman, 63, died Sept. 2 following a brief battle with melanoma. Among her accomplishments were being named the first female prosecutor in DeKalb County in 1973. She later was named to DeKalbs Magistrate Division of Recorders Court, making her the countys first female judge Judge Workman was a dear friend to me and my family and also an exemplary jurist. Her distinguished career of 35 years of service to the people of DeKalb County included 26 years as a judge who was committed to the fair and equal administration of justice for all. She demonstrated her dedication to serving the legal profession as a member of both the Board of Governors and the Investigative Panel of the State Disciplinary Board of the State Bar of Georgia among her work on a host of other bench and bar committees and associations, Kenneth L. Shigley, president of the State Bar of Georgia said in a statement.

her native South Carolina.

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 9, 2011

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Continued From Page 1A

the county has remained stagnant. I think if you look at the stats it would say that quite frankly it has not improved, McClarty said. However, McClarty said that when work begins on some of the capital improvement projects in DeKalb he thinks more jobs will become available. Its hard to say right now exactly how [many], McClarty said. I think that most of the jobs are going to continue to come from your everyday small business person. They are going to come from private industry. McClarty said that traditionally a lot of jobs are created by government but even now DeKalb County has had to cut back on hiring. Most likely, he said, the county would see small businesses creating five jobs here or 20 jobs there, but there would be no big business boom in the near future. I think that the question can be asked, Could more be done? and I guess you could always find something else that you could possibly do. I think that one thing that can always be done is to ease regulatory burdens and hurdles, McClarty said. He said that this would create an environment where more small businesses could prosper. McClarty said that there is evidence of small businesses interested in creating jobs throughout the county300 people attended a recent small business summit organized by the countys Office of Economic Development. According to the most recent Georgia Department of Labor Statistics (GDOL), metro Atlantas unemployment rate declined to 10.4 percent in July, the same number it was a year ago. Initial unemployment insurance claims in DeKalb County, fell 6.6 percent between June and July from 4,238 to 3,958 and fell 8.4 percent since last year, according to the GDOL. Some non-agricultural jobs in the Atlanta area saw significant losses when compared to last year. The number of construction jobs dropped 8.9 percent and government jobs fell 5.2 percent since July 2010. Other industries such as real estate and internet service providers saw significant job losses annually, according to the GDOL. County-wide unemployment statistics from the GDOL are available at the beginning of each calendar year. There is monthly employment data available for DeKalb County, but GDOL spokesman Sam Hall said that those numbers shouldnt be confused with job growth numbers. A job is very specific. Its a job that would be located in DeKalb County, but employment numbers are based on the number of residents that are living in the county that are employed. They might live in DeKalb and work in Fulton, Hall said. In a spreadsheet provided to the Champion Newspaper by GDOL, the industries with the largest long-term projected annual growth between 2008 and 2018 are health care and technology. Sheryl Chapman, director of the DeKalb County Office of Workforce Development, said that many of the people who come through her office receive training in health care, office administration and support or project management. Chapman said her office helps place those who have lost their jobs into certain industries by giving them the resources they need, helping them pay for tuition at certain technical schools and assessing their skills to help place them in an industry that is right for them. We are 100 percent federally funded and when a person comes we put them through an orientation section. We also have a facility where people can come and work on things like their interview skills, Chapman said. Chapman also said that throughout the week the office offers free workshops for potential jobseekers to help expand their skills. Chapman said that she thought there had been some small improvement in the job market but that many businesses were still reluctant to hire new employees. She said that stronger relationships need to be developed through the government and the small business sector. We need to work with our small businesses to encourage them, whether its through tax incentives or other things, to hire more people. But, I do think that there has been some small improvement, Chapman said.

Remains of a Brannon Hill Condominium building badly burned in May is one of the many eyesores in the community off of Memorial Drive. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Brannon Hill Continued From Page 1A

pool is filled in with grass growing on top. Grass-filled cracks cross the tennis courts now converted to basketball courts surrounded by a rusty, dilapidated chain-link fence plagued by holes and weeds. Many of the condominiums are owned by investors who do not pay association fees. According to Said, one man, Tavakolian George Gholamreza, owns 14 units and has never paid the monthly association fees, which range from $135 to $245, depending on the number of bedrooms in the condominium. In addition to general maintenance and staffing, the fees cover sanitation, water and sewer bills. He drinks water and we take his trash, Said stated. When asked about his nonpayment of association fees, Gholamreza said, Thats my business. According to Said, other units are owned by people who are currently unemployed and who pay what they can afford in association fees. What they have, they give. These are poor people, he said. They cannot move from here. They dont have jobs. Based on the number of occupied units, the association should collect $66,000 each month in fees. Instead, the association usually collects $17,000-$18,000 monthly. Compare that with Brannon Hills July water bill of $13,000. County records show that the association is $347,000 behind on its water bill, although Said and other residents said the bill was approximately $200,000. If people were all paying monthly [association fees], I think we could afford it, Said maintained. On Aug. 9 DeKalb County code enforcement officers descended on the complex, issuing 28 court summons to the Brannon Hill Condominium Association, Inc. The violations cited included: overgrowth of grass and weeds, failure to remove a dead tree, inoperable vehicles, open storage of trash and debris, failure to repair exterior walls, failure to remove graffiti, failure to replace damaged windows, failure to secure vacant structures, failure to replace damaged fascia and soffit boards, failure to repair or replace railings, and failure to demolish deteriorated buildings. Crime is also a problem. The Crimetrac website, which has a link on the DeKalb Police Departments website, lists 28 crimes in the community between February and August, including simple assault, armed robbery with a gun, car theft, possession of cocaine and loitering for drugs. In May, a 17-year-old male, Mohamed Hussien, died after being shot while he and another man were walking between two buildings in the community. Gunshots are common in Brannon Hill. We dont have gates, Said explained. We dont have security. We cant afford security. In 2009, the Brannon Hill Homeowners Association commissioned a $10,000 physical needs assessment. The bottom line in the 13page report is that $10.2 million is needed to bring the property and buildings up to what would be considered a well-maintained complex. I could build, but if you dont have money you cant build, stated Said, who was an engineer in Somalia. We would be willing for the government to rebuild the place, otherwise we would sell it. Worried that their properties may one day be condemned, residents are eager to sell. They have no where to go, Said added. If you give them some money, they have some hope. We want the county to give us an offer, said Brannon Hill resident D. D. Guster, who has been living in Brannon Hill since 2004. Dont tell me what the county cant do. The county can do whatever it wants to do. Guster, who has spoken at county Board of Commissioners meetings about the complex, said another idea is that the county could use some of its federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds to fix up the community. Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton said the public health and safety of the community needs to be a top priority. Its dangerous over there, Sutton said. Some people say its better there [in Brannon Hill] than where they come from, but theyre in America now. Sutton said a coalition of county government and public health officials along with leaders from the surrounding communities needs to go in there and just demand that something be done. It will be a fight, but we have to take on the fight, Sutton said. Im ready. Like many residents, Guster, who owns four units in the community, believes the county has been wanting to get rid of Brannon Hill. I cant stop worrying about it, Guster said. There are hundreds of people here that really need help.

The Champion, Thursday, Sept. 8 - 14, 2011


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Alternative hip replacement procedure gaining popularity

Orthopaedic surgeons at Emory are offering a hip replacement procedure that allows the surgeon to enter through the front of the hip and work between the muscles, reducing the pain and recovery time after total hip replacement. The technique is called anterior approach hip replacement. Thomas Bradbury, orthopaedic surgeon at Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center, and colleagues are part of a small group of orthopaedic surgeons in the country who are trained to perform this procedure. With traditional surgical approaches, the muscles surrounding the hip must be cut to allow access to the joint. These muscles are then repaired after the hip components are implanted. Most surgeons feel that motion of the joint should be restricted until these muscles have healed back to the bone. This restriction of motion is called hip precautions and is often enforced for two or three months after surgery. Restrictions include the avoidance of crossing the legs, sitting in a low chair, tying shoes or any other activity that requires the combination of bending and internal rotation of the hip. Certainly, the pain and time to full recovery after total hip replacement is multifactorial, explained Bradbury, who is an assistant professor of Orthopaedics at Emory University School of Medicine. Because the anterior approach minimizes disturbance of the muscles surrounding the hip, the joint

remains stable. Hip precautions are not considered necessary and the patient is ableand encouraged to move the leg in any position during the healing process without concern that the hip will become dislocated. Since patients are allowed to move the hip as their comfort allows, there is much less fear and anxiety about movement. The result is confidence for the patient during the recovery period. This confidence encourages patients to resume activities more quickly after surgery. We have yet to see a dislocation, despite elimination of hip precautions, after this procedure. Another benefit of the proce-

dure is a potential reduction in two complications associated with total hip replacement: improper positioning of the components and leg length difference. Because the surgery is done with the patient facing up, we can use fluoroscopy or live x-ray during the procedure. This allows us to see the components and make appropriate adjustments to both the placement of the components and the length of the leg. This information is difficult to obtain during traditional approaches to the hip because the patient is lying sideways. The surgical team performs the procedure on an orthopaedic table

that can be turned and rotated in any direction, improving access to the anterior entry of the hip. The surgery requires a small three- to four-inch incision instead of the conventional five- to eight-inch one, preserving soft tissue. Bradbury, who has done more than 350 of these surgeries, has seen a decrease in hospital time. Most patients are able to leave the hospital on the first or second day after surgery. Im not sure if the reduction is because of a less traumatic approach or better patient confidence, said Bradbury. Regardless, an earlier discharge from the hospital is nice.

Cause for racial disparities in kidney failure explained

Emory University researchers have found that African Americans are more likely to excrete protein in their urine than Whites, a condition that may contribute to a much higher incidence of kidney failure in African Americans. According to the National Kidney Foundation, kidney failure has a disproportionate impact on minority populations, especially African Americans. The incidence of kidney failure in African Americans is nearly four times greater than in Whites. Led by Emory University Professor of Medicine William M. McClellan Jr., researchers examined data from 27,911 individuals, finding that African Americans are more likely to excrete larger amounts of protein in their urine than Whites. The study, Albuminuria and Racial Disparities in the Risk for ESRD, was published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011

First public health graduate at Agnes Scott wants to stop disease before it starts
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com Agnes Scott senior Kaitlyn McCune, who will be the first graduate of the schools public health program, said she originally she wanted to follow in her fathers footsteps and become a surgeon. However, McCune took a genetics class with biology professor Harry Wistrand. In the class McCune said students learned a lot about public health. One thing she learned that fascinated her was the way the public health arena would use the flu virus from the previous season to develop a vaccination in anticipation of the coming flu season. I like the idea of preventing the disease rather than reacting to it, McCune said. Soon after the genetics course, she changed her minor to public health her sophomore year then changed it to her major her junior year. The 21-year-old McCune said she was excited to be the first standing graduate of the public health program. She said she had always been interested in the medical field because both of her parents work in it, but college opened her eyes to the disparities in the world and fueled her passion even more. You grow up in the U.S. thinking that its one of the best countries in the world but even here there are people without basic health care and who have never even seen what basic health care is like, McCune said. Although the major did not require her to take a internship, McCune applied for a Bevier internship, named after Pamela Bevier, an alumna who in large part helped fund the public health program. I applied for this internship and got one working at the Rickettsial Zoonoses Lab at the Centers for Disease Control. I worked with a man named Greg Dasch and I was the person who did the preliminary research, McCune said. According to McCune, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is one of the most well known strains of rickettsial zoonoses and it causes all different types of diseases. The problem is, theres not really a good way to tell the species and actively diagnose which strain of the bacteria that you have, McCune said. That is what her research focused on, being able to identify the strain quicker. McCune said that early in her internship she spent several weeks at Panola Mountain State Park, walking through the woods collecting ticks in a big bag for her research. We had to collect ticks in order to isolate different strains of disease from the ticks. Im from Oklahoma so ticks


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Decatur YMCA helps children in need of safe after-school program

According to the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness advocacy organization, one in five local children is alone and unsupervised after 3 p.m., leaving them responsible to take care of themselves. The YMCA offers after-school programs that help children learn and grow and keep them safe and surrounded by adults. Children in the Decatur YMCAs after-school program receive homework time and engage in yoga, karate, tennis, hop sports, arts and crafts, and other activities. Students who attend Clairemont, Winnona, the Friends School, Glennwood, Oakhurst and Henderson Mill elementary schools, and Fifth Avenue 4 & 5 Academy, will be provided with transportation to the Decatur YMCA. On site after-school locations include Avondale, Idlewood, Laurel Ridge, Rockbridge and McClendon elementary schools. The program begins at school dismissal and continues until 6:30 p.m.

Emory remembers 9/11 with several events through Sept. 13

Agnes Scott College graduate Kaitlyn McCune. Photo provided

never really bothered me, but at least now I know that if I get it off within 24 hours I wont get sick, McCune said. Wistrand, who taught McCune, founded the public health program with his colleague, Professor of Anthropology Martha Rees. Public health is so much about service and one of the things about Agnes Scott students is that they really have a desire to serve, so it was a perfect fit, Wistrand said. Previously, the college only offered a public health minor but Wistrand said they decided several years ago to offer it as a major because so many students were signing up for classes. Now, this is seating beyond our wildest dreams. In five years I think well probably have 25 to 30 majors here and lots of faculty, Wistrand said. Wistrand has been teaching at Agnes Scott for 37 years and said that only lately has he become interested in public health because it crosses many areas of study. He said that since they began offering the major every single course has filled up. McCune, who has been applying to medical school, echoed Wistrand and said that one of the most unusual things about the program and Agnes Scott in general, was that students had the opportunity to take a variety of classes that fell under one umbrella. I think that the thing I love about the program is that its so interdisciplinary. I took classes on religion, anthropology as well as biology the program really lets you take classes from a bunch of other fields, McCune said. McCune also said that she thought a lot of other doctors dont get the liberal arts training available at Agnes Scott and in the field of public health. They might not fully understand the culture that that patient comes from,
See McCune on Page 17A

The Emory University community will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with a weeks worth of academic, worship, service and artistic events Sept. 7 to13 to mark the day, its aftermath and the far-reaching changes wrought upon the country and world. Events for Emory Remembers 9-11 include: Emory Remembers 9/11: Day of Service 12:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11 Emory volunteers will sort medical supplies for developing nations at MedShare or help beautify Kittredge Park off North Druid Hills Road. The projects are part of a national 9/11 day of service. Panel discussion, Islamophobia and the Impact on American Life 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 13, Center for Ethics, Room 102, Emory. Panelists include representatives from the Muslim Student Association, Georgia Association of Muslim Lawyers and the American Friends Service Committee. In addition, Emory Healthcare is hosting a system-wide event Team EHC Remembers 9/11 from noon-1p.m., Friday, Sept. 9 at various locations, including the Emory University Hospital Auditorium. The event will include a message from Dave Wilkinson, president and CEO of the Atlanta Police Foundation, who spent 22 years in the Secret Service and was given a Distinguished Service award from President George W. Bush for his supervision of agents and actions on 9/11. For more information and other locations, call (404)-727-5686.

Tucker Middle School hosts inaugural 5K Run/Walk to fight childhood obesity

The Picture of Health Foundation, Tucker Middle School, DeKalb County Board of Health and their partners will host a 5K walk/run and community health fair on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. The event begins at Tucker Middle School, located at 2160 Idlewood Road in Tucker. It is followed by a community health fair with checks for diabetes, posture and blood pressure, with body mass index screenings as well as health education on childhood obesity and secondhand smoke prevention. The event is being held in conjunction with National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in September. Registration on the day of the event begins at 7:15 a.m. and the walk starts at 8 a.m. followed by the health fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Proceeds from the race benefit the Picture of Health Foundation to fight childhood obesity. Pre-registration is $25 for adults and $30 the day of the race. Students younger than 18 years old can register for $10. For more information about the event, contact Picture of Health Foundation at (770) 807-7813.

The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011


Page 17A

McCune Continued From Page 16A

which she said was very important. The patient is not just the symptoms they present. Its a multitude of background information, genetics and cultural information. The thing about public health is that it takes it to a whole [different] level because its preventing disease for a population, McCune said. For anybody who wants to follow in McCunes footsteps, she said to take as many classes at Agnes Scott as possible. If youre on the fence about a major in general at Agnes Scott you can usually do [more than one]but if you have to choose, take a class with Dr. Wistrand or you can just go talk to him because he is so passionate about public health, McCune said.

By virtue of the power of sale contained in a Security Deed from Kenneth B. Todd to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., as nominee for Accredited Home Lenders, Inc. dated March 18, 2004 recorded in Deed Book 16006, Page 256 , DeKalb County Records, and last assigned to U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee for MASTR Asset Backed Securities Trust 2004-HE1, Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2004HE1, conveying the after-described property to secure a Note in the original principal amount of NINETY-SEVEN THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY AND 00/100 ($97,750.00), with interest thereon as set forth therein, there will be sold at public outcry to the highest bidder for cash, before the Courthouse door of DeKalb County, Georgia, during the legal hours of sale on the first Tuesday, October 4, 2011 the following described property, to wit: All that tract or parcel of land lying and being in Land Lot 191, 192 and 194 of the 15th District of DeKalb County, Georgia, being Lot 89, Block H, Woodridge Subdivision, Unit Two, as per plat recorded in Plat Book 56, Page 105, DeKalb County Records, which plat is made a part of this description by reference thereto; and being improved property known as 1470 Walnut Ridge Way, according to the present system of numbering property in DeKalb County, Georgia. The Debt secured by said Security Deed has been and is hereby declared due because of nonpayment of the indebtedness when due and in the manner provided in the Note and Security Deed. The debt remaining in default, the sale will be made for the purpose of paying the same and all expenses of sale, as provided in the Security Deed and by law, including attorneys fees, notice of intent to collect attorneys fees having been given. Said property will be sold subject to any outstanding ad valorem taxes, any assessments, liens, encumbrances, zoning ordinances, restrictions, covenants, and matters of record superior to the Security Deed first set out above. To the best knowledge and belief of the undersigned, the party in possession of the property Kenneth B. Todd or, a tenant or tenants, and said property was or is commonly known as 1470 Walnut Ridge Way, Stone Mountain, GA 30083. The sale will be conducted subject (1) to confirmation that the sale is not prohibited under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and (2) to final confirmation and audit of the status of the loan with the holder of the security deed. U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee for MASTR Asset Backed Securities Trust 2004-HE1, Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2004 HE1 As Attorney in Fact for Kenneth B. Todd Martin & Brunavs 2800 North Druid Hills Rd. Building B, Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30329 (404) 982-0088 M&B File No.: 11-10905 THIS LAW FIRM IS ACTING AS A DEBT COLLECTOR, ATTEMPTING TO COLLECT A DEBT. ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED WILL BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE.

The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011


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Local entrepreneurs launch product for drowsy drivers

by Kathy Mitchell My schedule includes running three businesses and traveling at least three days a week. My car logs many hours commuting, and as a result drowsy driving is very familiar to me, said Inga Harmon-Cunningham, who along with DeKalb County native Bill White launched Drivers Alert, a device designed to reduce the number of accidents resulting from drivers falling asleep at the wheel. They say that the device is the first of its kind. The two Atlanta entrepreneurs cite statistics from the National Sleep Foundation when explaining the need for Drivers Alert. According the foundation, 28 percent of American drivers admit they have fallen asleep behind the wheel within the past year and 54 percent said they have driven while drowsy. They add that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving results in 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than 100,000 accidents each year. The lightweight, compact Drivers Alert device is attached to the dashboard or anywhere convenient to the drivers reach. When the driver feels himself getting drowsy he presses the on button and waits for a beep. The driver then must press the alert button within a few seconds. If the driver fails to press the alert button the device emits a loud piercing sound. It varies the intervals at which the beeps soundbetween four and 14 secondsto keep the driver from getsells for approximately $25. Decatur customer Grace Griggs predicted that the Drivers Alert will save lives because it forces drivers to remain active even though they are fatigued. The business owners say that people with obstructive sleep apnea are especially at risk of falling asleep at the wheel, and they are pleased that physicians who treat this disorder have endorsed the product. Dr. Paula Harmon-Goodman, an ear nose and throat surgeon, said that obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic medical condition in which the affected person repeatedly stops breathing during sleep, adding that statistics show one in three truckers suffers from mild to severe obstructive sleep apnea leading to drowsy driving. Sleep-related motor vehicle accidents are a serious safety hazard both for the driver who falls asleep and for others on the road. Drivers Alert can be an important tool in increasing the awareness and acuity of the drowsy driver especially those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, Harmon-Goodman said. Harmon-Cunningham, who is the mother of a teenager and is expecting another child, said she especially hopes that the device will help young drivers. She cited a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that found that drivers 16-24 years old were nearly twice as likely to be involved in a drowsy driving crash as drivers 4059.

Bill White shows the device for keeping drowsy drivers alert that he and partner Inga Harmon-Cunningham, below, are marketing.

ting used to a pattern and ignoring the sounds. We have received tremendous feedback from trucking safety officers and various other groups, White said. The best feedback has been from mothers and fathers who are forced to work two and three jobs just to make ends meet. Our customer base includes people who find it impossible to get enough sleep because of the hours that they have to work. The product is really making a difference in the lives of people who drive fatigued every day. Lucretia Andrews, whose work

regularly takes her to various central Georgia locations commented, I travel over 176 miles to and from work some days and the device has been helpful in keeping me alert on those long drives. White said, My business partner [HarmonCunningham] lost a cousin to drowsy driving, which was part of the reason we began to develop this product. Our goal before spending a year and half developing this product was to create an affordable and practical product that would make a difference in the lives of people every day. Drivers Alert

Decatur car washes So many reasons to join! provide clean drinking water to those in DeKalb Chamber Bank Owned need of Commerce
Two Properties

100 Crescent Center Pkwy., Suite 680. Car washes all over the countryincluding both Swifty Car Wash locations in Tucker, GA 30084 (404) 378-8000 www.DeKalbChamber.org Decaturhave joined a cause with hopes of providing 5 million days of drinking water to villages in Guatemala, Kenya and India by Dec. 31. After seeing the water epidemic firsthand during a trip to Guatemala, Jim Dudley wanted to see how he could use his car washes in Atlanta to help others. So last September, he started donating enough money with every car that came through his car washes to provide about 350,000 days of drinking water for people continents away. 100 Crescent Center Pkwy., Suite 680. Tucker, GA 30084 (404) 378-8000 www.DeKalbChamber.org The program wont solve the water problem that affects nearly 1 billion people, Dudley said, but it will help. Instead of sending crates of drinking water from the 2178 Highway 138, Stockbridge, Henry Co., GA 30281 2600 H.F. Sheperd Drive, Deactur, DeKalb Co., GA 30334 United States, Dudleys Wash Away Thirst campaign has partnered with Wasrag, a Features: Features: Rotary group that builds wells and provides filters to harvest rainwater. 53,000 SF Church / School 51,472 SF Church / School There are nearly 100 participating car washes as far north as New York and Connecticut and as far west as Texas. And it all came from a single question Dud15 Acres 54 Acres ley asked himself: If all I had was a successful car washCenter Pkwy., Suite 680. Tucker, GA 300842 Buildings business, is that what I 2-Story Building 100 Crescent wanted to be remembered for? For more 404-378-8000the Wash Away Thirst information on www.DeKalbChamber.org campaign, visithttp://www.washawaythirst.org. For more information on the WaTOM GARLAND FRANK RIVERA ter and Sanitation Rotary Action Group, visit http://www.startwithwater.org. 404 812 4060 404 812 4076

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404 812 4000 | fax 404 816 3939 | www.naibg.com Suite 1100 | 5555 Glenridge Connector | Atlanta GA 30342

Information is deemed from reliable sources. No warranty is made as to its accuracy.



Your competitor is likely a member!

100 Crescent Center Pkwy., Suite 680. Tucker, GA 30084 (404) 378-8000 www.DeKalbChamber.org

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011


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Survivor to speak on breast cancer
Church of Christ at Bouldercrests next Not By Bread Alone family breakfast forum will feature Beth BordenGoodman, a stage 2 breast cancer survivor and founder of Kingdom Klothes. The theme of the breakfast is breast cancer awareness. Borden-Goodman will speak about serving and enhancing the mental, emotional and spiritual needs of women. Men are also welcome. The event is Saturday, Sept. 10, at 8 a.m. at the Church of Christ at Bouldercrest, 2727 Bouldercrest Road, Atlanta (enter rear of building to fellowship hall). There is a $5 cost for breakfast. Reservations can be made at info@nbbalone.com or by calling (404) 622-9935.

Game night announced
Trinidad and Tobago Association of Georgia Inc. has announced that its Game Night Friday, Sept. 16, will include all4s, rummy, bingo, dominoes and more. Bingo player should bring quarters and dollars. There will be eating, drinking, socializing and game playing 8 p.m. - 2 a.m. at Tiburon Clubhouse, 215 Tiburon Drive, Lithonia.


Co-op offers small business seminar

The DeKalb Cooperative Extension offers the final class in its 2011 personal development series on Sept. 14. Success Strategies for Small Businesses in Tough Times will be held from 6:15-8:30 p.m. at the DeKalb Extension office at 4380 Memorial Drive in Decatur. Cost for the class is $7 For more information or to pre-register, contact the extension office at (404) 298-4080.

Event to support marrow transplants

Taste of Chamblee set for Sept. 17

The fourth annual Taste of Chamblee features local restaurants, arts, live entertainment, kids activities and more. The festival will be held Sept. 17, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., in downtown Chamblee at Peachtree and Broad streets in front of city hall (5468 Peachtree Road). Admission to the festival is free. The event is produced by the Chamblee Business Association in conjunction with the city of Chamblee. Chamblee is known for its diversity of ethnic food and more than 20 local restaurants will serve up their specialties. Food tickets are $1 each and sample-sized portions of each restaurants specialties will be available for four tickets per serving. Also at the festival is an Art Walk, which features local and regional artists offering a variety of art, including paintings, photography, pottery, graphics, sculptures, jewelry and more. The Kidz Zone will feature an array of interactive games and art projects for kids of all ages. New to the festival this year is the Chamblee Sustainability Fair, which is a festival within a festival. Businesses will showcase sustainable products or services or provide examples of business practices that contribute to a sustainable way of life. There also is a Beer Garden and live entertainment featuring local bands playing country, rock and R&B. Yacht Rock Revue headlines the entertainment with a set beginning at 6 p.m. For more information on the festival and a complete lineup of entertainment, visit www.thetasteofchamblee.com.


At birth, Finn was diagnosed with a fatal immune deficiency disease. But Finn was fortunate: He found his marrow match on the Be The Match Registry and received his life-saving transplant. Now a healthy 4 1/2-year-old, Finn and his parents will meet his donor for the first time at the 2011 Tribute to Patients event. The evening will include stories of patients and their families who have overcome the challenges of a marrow transplant as well as recognition of people who have made exceptional contributions to Be the Matchs mission. There also will be opportunities to bid on auction items including restaurants gift certificates, spa and massage packages, beach house rentals, artwork, jewelry, designer purses, professional sports event tickets, autographed sports memorabilia and a trip to Costa Rica, airfare included. The event is Friday, Sept. 16, at Letitia Pate Evans Hall, Agnes Scott College, 141 E. College Ave., Decatur. The reception and silent auction start at 6 p.m. and the program will be 7-9 p.m. Tickets and sponsorships are available online at www.bethematchfoundation.org through Sept. 14. For more information, call (404) 377-4430 or email chettich@nmdp.org.

Lake expected to be relled by October

According to the city of Pine Lake website, the largest portion of the lake bed is complete and it is estimated that ofcials will begin lling the lake by early October. Habitat structures have been assembled and repurposed tree trunks and root balls have been positioned for optimum swimming and spawning for sh, according to the website. The remaining steps to completion, not including a vote on budget amendments that could affect the project, are lowering the road between the lake and the western wetlands below the tennis courts to create a spillway; and creating a bioretention area next to the gazebo.


Family Fun Day announced


Ministry of Hope to hold lawn sale

Dr. Sadie T. McCalep invites community and corporate assistance and recognition of what she said is the urgent need for the continued existence of Christian academies such as the Greenforest-McCalep Academy, which promotes academic excellence Gods way. The founding director of the Ministry of Hope, McCalep announced the ministrys sustained support for the Greenforest-McCalep Academy, founded by her late husband Dr. George O. McCalep, former pastor of Greenforest Community Baptist Church. The Ministry of Hope is organizing several public events over the next couple of months. The next of these events is a lawn sale on the campus of Greenforest Community Baptist Church, 3250 Rainbow Dr., Decatur, on Saturday, Sept 24, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. For additional information about support of the Ministry of Hopes assistance for the Greenforest-McCalep Academy, contact McCalep at (404) 288-9727.

Trinidad and Tobago Association of Georgia Inc. will hold its annual Family Fun Day Saturday, Sept. 24, noon 8 p.m., at Wade Walker Park, 5557 Rockbridge Road, Stone Mountain. Admission is free and food and drink will be for sale. There will be music and family activities.

PRISM to hold town hall meeting

Pride Rings in Stone Mountain has announced that is will hold a town hall meeting on zoning and building code compliance Thursday Sept 8, 7 9 p.m. at St. Timothy United Methodist Church, 5365 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain. Residents, business professionals, government ofcials and interested persons are invited to learn how zoning laws and building codes affect property values and the roles county residents play in the enforcement of these laws and codes. Presenters include Andrew Baker, interim director of DeKalb County Department of Planning and Sustainability; Nick Goebeler, owner of the Memorial Drive Chick-l-A and president of Memorial Drive Business Association; and Emory Morsberger, president of the Stone Mountain Community Improvement District. For further information contact: State Representative Michele Henson, program chairman, (404) 296-1442 or michelehenson@earthlink.net.

DECATUR City to hold Car-Free Day

Wednesday, Sept. 21, is Car-Free Day in Decatur and the community is invited to gather at the Community Bandstand during the Blue Sky Concert for a special celebration, noon - 1 p.m. Decatur Active Living will be giving out special Car-Free Day stickers and tattoos to those who walk, bike or carpool to the concert. The city is encouraging residents to make a commitment to reduce automobile use on Sept. 21 by biking or riding MARTA to work, walking to the store or the Blue Sky Concert, sharing a ride with friends and neighbors or riding the bus. Car-Free Day aims to reduce excessive automobile use for one day out of the year and to remind the community that the car is not the only or best way to make many trips. Most trips people take are less than three miles. Walking not only saves gas, but it contributes to individual health and the health of the community, states an announcement from the city.

Annual Feed My Neighbor event set

The First Saint Paul A.M.E. Church Womens Missionary Society presents the eighth annual Feed My Neighbor 5K Charity Walk/Run/Bike event on Sept. 24. Early registration is $15 and walk-up registration is $20. Senior registration is $10. Registration for all participants also requires a donation of non-perishable food items. Walk-up registration begins at 7:15 a.m. and the race starts at 8 a.m. Registration will be held in the parking lot of the First Saint Paul A.M.E. Church, 2687 Klondike Road in Lithonia. The event will take place on the Davidson-Arabia Nature Trail. For more information, contact the church office at (770) 484-9660.


Give an Hour to focus on disaster preparedness

Tucker Civic Associations September Give an Hour will focus on disaster preparedness. To be held Saturday, Sept. 10, 10 a.m. 3 p.m., in the First Baptist Church parking area, the second annual DeKalb County Disaster Preparedness Festival will feature many county agencies and private organizations offering advice to protect families. They will focus on man-made and natural disasters and have vendors representing safety and preparedness. The event is sponsored by DeKalb Emergency Management Agency. First Baptist Church is located at 5073 La Vista Road For more information, contact Jonnie Johnston at publicsaftey@tuckercivic.org.


The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011


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DeKalb High School Sports Highlights

M.L. King 33, South Gwinnett 23: Blake Tibbs caught three touchdown passes and ran for another for the Lions in their season opener. Tibbs caught scoring passes of 9, 5 and 31 yards, and scored on a 76-yard reverse. Also, Andrecus Jackson scored on a 1-yard run as the Lions rushed for 282 yards. Jonquel Dawson completed 12 of 20 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 82 yards. Stephenson 41, Cedar Grove 12: Justin Holman completed 4 of 5 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns for the Jaguars (2-0). Demarcus Sweat had touchdown catches of 70 and 38 yards. Raphael Kirby was one of several defensive standouts with a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown and six tackles. Darrieon Herring led the Jaguars (2-0) with eight tackles, while Kyle Fleetwood had five tackles, an interception and forced a fumble. The Saints dropped to 1-1. Tucker 15, Marist 11: The Tigers held Marist to 154 yards total offense. Tucker (2-0 overall and in Region 6-AAAA) piled up 296 yards rushing as Jordan Landry had two touchdowns and 112 yards on two carries. He scored on runs of 35 and 77 yards. Defensively for Tucker, Jacob Sealand and Jerry Shippy each had seven tackles, and Sealand recovered a fumble. Gray King scored Marists only touchdown on a 15-yard run. William Curran had 10 tackles and Jack Burke had seven for the War Eagles (1-1 overall and in Region 6-AAAA). Chamblee 21, Douglass 6: Jordan Branch completed 10 of 12 passed for 198 yards and three touchdowns for the Bulldogs (2-0 overall and in Region 6-AAAA). Quincy Watford caught two scoring passes and Theo Jones had one touchdown catch. Davin Bellamy led the defense with six tackles and a sack. The Bulldogs face Marist on Sept. 10 followed by Southwest DeKalb and Tucker. The Bulldogs are 0-9 against the trio since moving up to AAAA in 2008. Miller Grove 12, Dunwoody 7: The Wolverines (2-0 overall and in Region 6-AAAA) held the Wildcats to less than 100 yards total offense and won despite five turnovers. The Wolverines first score, a 2-yard run by Deandre Harris in the third quarter, was set up by a 70-yard punt return by Devonte Parks. The other score came in the fourth quarter on a 35-yard pass play from Ken Allen to Chris Starks. Ray Tillman led the defense with 12 tackles, while Courtney Miggins had eight tackles and caused a fumble. Dunwoodys only score was set up by a Miller Grove fumble that was recovered by the Wildcats (0-2 overall and in 6-AAAA) at the Wolverines 1-yard-line. St. Pius 35, Benedictine 0: The Golden Lions (2-0) amassed 430 yards rushing as Trey White ran for three touchdowns and Geno Smith scored twice. Lithonia 28, Lakeside 6: Denzel Veale ran for 246 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries for the Bulldogs (2-0). Also, Jamile Jones caught a 20yard touchdown pass from Elijah Thomas. David Johnson was effective on both sides of the ball. He ran for a touchdown and on defense had five tackles, two sacks and blocked a field goal attempt. Bret Love led the defense with 11 tackles. The Vikings fall to 0-2.

Raphael Kirby intercepts a Cedar Grove pass. Photo by Travis Hudgons

Aug. 31. Mason also had two RBIs and Laura Nuttall had two hits. In a 10-5 win over Southwest DeKalb, Nia Wright had three hits, including to doubles, and Aijah Crockett had two hits. Bragg was the winning pitcher in both games, striking out seven against Miller Grove and six against Southwest. Lakeside: Susanne Boden was 5-for-7 with eight RBIs in two wins last week. The senior captain had three hits and an RBI in a 4-2 win over Dunwoody and two hits with seven RBIs in a 30-0 win over Douglass. Marie Collop was 5-for-8 with three RBIs and Aubrey Blackstock drove in six runs for the week. Collop also was the winning pitcher against Dunwoody, going seven innings and allowing six hits and a walk while striking out seven.

Stephensons Carlos Hood tackles Cedar Groves Deion Sellers in the backfield. Photo by Travis Hudgons

South Atlanta 20, Decatur 6: Nick Bentley had 90 yards rushing and a touchdown on 14 carries for the Bulldogs (1-1). Chamblee: The Bulldogs won two games last week to improve their record to 9-2 and remain undefeated in Region 6-AAAA at 4-0. Jessie Bragg, Lucy Mason and Taylor Harris each had three hits in a 13-5 win over Miller Grove on

DeKalb County Race 1, Aug. 30 Boys Team scores: Cross Keys 18, Tucker 107, Lithonia 129, Clarkston 187. Top five individuals: 1. Tony Ramos, Cross Keys, 19:06.29; 2. Franky Guzman, Cross Keys, 19:25.01; 3. Juan Garcia, Cross Keys, 19:26.80; 4. Miguel Hernandez, Cross Keys, 19:27.76; 5. Justin Goodson, Lithonia, 19:28.34. Girls Team scores: Cross Keys 33, Cedar Grove 50. Top five individuals: 1. Christian Pryor, Cedar Grove, 23:21.10; 2. Kayla Pryor, Cedar Grove, 23:34.75; 3. Marah Williams, Tucker, 23:36.96; 4. Patricia Alvarez, Cross Keys, 23:49.52; 5. Katherine Narvaez, Cross Keys, 25:03.80.
See Highlights on Page 24A



The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011


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Pierce makes history for DeKalb School of the Arts

by Mark Brock History was made at the DeKalb School of the Arts (DSA) this year as senior Jande` Pierce became the first known student from the school to sign an athletic scholarship. Pierce recently moved to Tallahassee, Fla., where she will be on a track scholarship at Florida State University. Unlike 19 other DeKalb public schools, DSA does not field athletic teams. Pierce, who grew up in the Stephenson district, started running track in the county recreation programs as a 9-year-old and continued to compete in the summer programs as she enrolled in DSA Elementary and was later accepted into DSA High School. Running in only four or five track meets each summer and excelling on the USA Track and Field circuit got Pierce recognition from college coaches across the country. Balancing her training and schedule at DSA was not easy. Ive been running track since I was 9 years old and made the USA Track and Field Nationals when I was 10, said Pierce. Keeping up with training and schoolwork was tough at DSA. I might have two rehearsals after school, take off to track practice and back to another rehearsal. It was a matter of balance in time management and making sacrifices. DSA Principal Susan McCauley watched Pierce juggle her two loves for five years while becoming an honor graduate with a 3.90-plus GPA and gaining national recognition to become a highly recruited track athlete. She was very active in both drama and dance at DSA, said McCauley. DSA is unique in that we dont offer athletics. Her parents (Gary and Toni Pierce) nurtured her talent in the summer with very little impact on academics during the school year. Pierce was the lead vocalist in the jazz group at DSA and a member of the DSA tour group Highleite. Jande` is very driven to do the very best she can in whatever she is involved in at the time, McCauley said. She has a lot of energy and an

Jande Pierce, middle, is joined by DeKalb School of the Arts Principal Susan McCauley, left, and her father, Gary Pearl Pierce as they celebrate her track scholarship to Florida State. Photo provided

amazingly powerful voice for her size. She is also very hard on herself when she thinks she hasnt performed at the level she should. Pierces work ethic enabled her to balance her DSA schedule and take advantage of her limited training time. She has been nationally ranked in the top eight since 2003 in both the 200 and 400 meters. She placed third in the nation in the 400 in 2005 as a 12-year-old and fourth in the 200 in 2010. She was also a candidate for the USA World Youth Team in 2009. Her talent is a gift from God and I want her to always remember it, said her father, Gary Pearl Pierce. Im proud she realizes that is where she gets it. She was also fortunate to have a coach in Louscelle Lewis that was able to get the best out of her in such a short training time to prepare for her meets. Gary Pierce recognizes how much tougher it was for his daugh-

ter to train while attending DSA instead of a regular high school. When you are in a regular high school you have a set schedule and offseason training, but we had to squeeze that training in between rehearsals while also getting her from point A to point B, said Gary Pierce. She would go into these summer meets competing against other high school athletes who are peaking after their high school seasons. Her being able to get in good enough shape to compete at a high level helped her get recognized by college coaches who really did not know anything about her since she was not listed as participating in any state meets. Recognition came quickly as she was noticed at regional meets in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina and in national meets as far away as Los Angeles. Pierce won state and regional titles and placed high at national meets, which

caught the attention of coaches from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida Atlantic, Central Florida, Clemson, Stanford and Florida State. I got to take five official visits and though I thought Florida State might be too close to home, a New Horizon teammate and now my college roommate convinced me to take a visit, Jande` said. I had been to Clemson and when I got to Florida State I fell in love with it. They had real performing arts programs and good academics, as well as a top-10-ranked track program. The coaches and everyone made it feel homey and just treated me so well. The honor student is set to major in political science with a minor in business, but still has an eye on her love of performing arts as well as the possibility of becoming an agent in the athletic or music industries.

The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011


Page 23A


Tia Bolden. Photo provided

Arabia Mountains Bolden shines in softball World Series

Tia Bolden, a 15-year-old junior at Arabia Mountain High School and a member of the varsity softball team, participated in the 19th annual Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Softball World Series recently in Minnesota as a member of the 18-under Atlanta RBI team. Atlanta went 3-1 and placed second in the American League division in the eightteam tournament. Bolden, a catcher, had two hits, including a home run, and scored two runs in a 7-6 win over Harrisburg. In an 11-6 win over Matthews-Dickey, Bolden had a hit, three RBIs and scored two runs.

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Decatur baseball team advances to national semifinals

The Georgia Yard Dogs of Decatur advanced to the semifinals of the New Era National Youth Baseball Championships in the 10-under division. The Yard Dogs qualified for the tournament, held Aug. 25-28 in Memphis, Tenn., by winning the American Amateur Baseball Congress championship. In Memphis, the Yard Dogs beat the Mississippi Athletics 8-7, Oakley Stingrays 4-3 and Hamburg 12-0 before falling to Team Miami 4-1 in the semifinals. Through the first three games, Andrew Gore was 8 for 10 with two RBIs and Jake Holland was 6 for 8. Kameron Marshall led the Yard Dogs with six stolen bases in the tournament. Winning pitchers in the first three games for the Yard Dogs were Donovan Chambers, Holland and Dalton Thomas. Other team members are Sieas Elliot, Derius Hulbert, Rashad Preston, Elijah Hammonds, LaVictor Lipscomb, Sidney Snyder, Hunter Todd, Tramaine Callaway, Demetrius Collins, Michael Harris, Antawan Smith and Chris Williams.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday September 9, 2011

Continued From Page 21A

The Champion chooses a male and female high school Athlete of the Week each week throughout the school year. The choices are based on performance and nominations by coaches. Please e-mail nominations to robert@ dekalbchamp.com by Monday at noon. MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Jordan Branch, Chamblee (football): The quarterback completed 11 of 13 passes for 98 yards and three touchdowns in a 21-6 win over Douglass on Sept. 2. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Greciana Cooper, Southwest DeKalb (cross country): The senior won the second DeKalb County race on Aug. 30 in 19:59.36 and five days later placed sixth overall in the 4-5A division in the Clara Bowl Invitational in Rome with a time of 19:06.

DeKalb County Race 2, Aug. 30 Boys Team scores: Stone Mountain 29, Dunwoody 50, Redan 180. Top five individuals: 1. Nahome Abera, Stone Mountain, 17:33.98; 2. Abel Abay, Stone Mountain, 17:38.19; 3. Malik Wheeler, Southwest DeKalb, 18:22.61; 4. DaJaques Williams, Southwest DeKalb, 18:31.44; 5. Roberto Magriga, Stone Mountain, 18:37.01. Girls Team scores: Dunwoody 23, Stephenson 105. Top five individuals: 1. Greciana Cooper, Southwest DeKalb, 19:59.36; 2. Jennifer Hardister, Dunwoody, 23:11.40; 3. Elizabeth Hardister, Dunwoody, 25:17.31; 4. Charlotte Williams, Southwest DeKalb, 25:45.51; 5. Ellie Conoley, Dunwoody, 25:51.07.

Nahome Abera of Stone Mountain, left, and Greciana Cooper of Southwest DeKalb, won county cross country races on Aug. 30.

Berry College Clara Bowl Invitational, Rome Boys 4-5A Austin Sprague of St. Pius was the top county finisher, placing seventh with a time of 16:08. Kyle Sexton of Dunwoody was 11th in 16:26. St. Pius was fourth in the team standings. Girls 4-5A Three county runners placed in the top 20Greciana Cooper, Southwest

DeKalb (sixth, 19:06); Alex Cameron, Dunwoody (10th, 19:17); and Meghan Wetterhall, Lakeside (17th, 19:45.) Lakeside placed fifth in the team standings. Girls A-3A Devon Dabney of St. Pius finished seventh overall with a time of 20:40 to help the Golden Lions place fourth in the team standings.

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