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the DeKalb FRIDAY, JULY 7, 2017 VOL. 21, NO. 23 FREE

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

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Cedar Grove graduate making international impact
by Horace Holloman Singh to be more innovative, she said. In the United States, Singh said during
a gallbladder removal surgery doctors
Staff Sgt. Jennifer Singh, a United would use an instrument to hold the
States soldier and graduate of Cedar contents from the surgery. Here,
Grove High School, is getting a crash Gaboneese doctors got creative by
course on how to do more with less. using what Singh called a makeshift
Singh, who works in the operating bag.
room as a technician and is currently The surgeon used a glove and cut
on a mission in Gabon, is experiencing into a makeshift bag...watching them
Africa for the first time though the do that helped me put my innovative
U.S. Army Africa Medical Readiness cap on and in another surgery, I came
Training Exercise (MEDRETES). up with a way to make my own, Singh
The mission provides a team of said.
American medical professionals an Each year the U.S. Army
opportunity to partner with Gabonese Africa facilitates five MEDRETES
military medical personnel to share programs in various countries in
practices and improve treatment Africa. In a statement, U.S. Army
processes. Africa officials said they hope that
Singh, who has been in service for the missions are mutually beneficial
roughly 17 years, said the experience and will allow medical professionals
in Africa has been rewarding. This is from both militaries to share best Cedar Grove High School graduate Jennifer Singh participated
in the U.S. Army Africa Medical Readiness Training Exercise in
the first time Singh has been in direct practices, strengthen medical Gabon.
support of a humanitarian mission, she treatment processes, and promote
said, and shes making the best of it. partnerships. MEDRETE allows U.S.
Its been a great experience so forces to train in an alternatively
far, Singh said. Weve had a lot of resourced environment, share
interaction with the local Gabonese medical procedures, and build lasting
and they welcomed us with open arms. relationships with Gabonese medical
Coming to Africa was something Ive professionals.
never done before and [U.S. Army Singh said she wont just come
Africa] allowed me to experience this. I home with a different medical
wasnt sure what to expect, but I came prospective but a different perspective
over hoping to learn from them. on life as well. During her time in Africa
Singh said shes learning quite a Singh said she noticed a difference in
bit, including how to do more with less. American and African culture.
During her time in Gabon, Singh The philosophy of more with
said she assisted doctors with a neck less trickles into the everyday life
surgery. In the United States, Singh of Gabonese, she said. Singh said Staff Sgt. Jennifer Singh works in the medical room during her
said, during that type of surgery in America the culture is engulfed in Medical Readiness Training Exercise in Gabon, Africa.
doctors would have more than 30 entertainment like social media and
different instruments available. In smart phones, but in Africa children are
Gabon, she had 13. Singh said despite more prone to sit outside and talk or
the number of instruments available, play soccer than to play video games.
the surgery was a success. The kids are usually back there
Ive learned to make do with playing in a soccer tournament or
less, Singh said. Ive learned whats outside talking. Youre not watching
important and whats not. Theres people look down at their phones,
a lot of instruments we have in [the Singh said. The country itself is
United States] that you think would be beautiful and the people are beautiful,
necessary for surgery, but thats not but the houses are very simple. Its an
the case here. Thats not an issue for extreme level of simple living. They
them. They perform the surgeries well dont have everything we have, but
and its not a problem. they make do. Thats why we came
Her time in Gabon has taught here. We came here to learn.

Visit for local, real DeKalb County news. @DeKalbChampNews

LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 2A

DeKalb judge appointed to

judicial qualifications commission
Decatur Commission candidate focused
on affordability, investments Were a product of our
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN own success and when
DeKalb County State you have a successful
Court Judge Stacey development like Decatur
Hydrick has been has become, it brings issues
appointed to the judicial Tim Martin, who like housing affordability,
qualifications commission. has been president of Martin said. The school
Georgia Supreme Court the Decatur Business system has driven prices
Chief Justice P. Harris Association for the past up and I want to make sure
Hines announced June two years, officially we have a wide variety of
27 that Hydrick was one became the third person housing options.
of three appointed by the to run for the open District In the coming years,
court to the reconstituted 1 commissioner seat to Decatur commissioners will
commission, effective July replace Fred Boykin, who decide what to do with the
1. Judge Louisa Abbot of is retiring. 77-acres recently acquired
the Superior court of the In an interview with The from the United Methodist
DeKalb County State Court Judge Tim Martin formally announced June
Eastern Circuit (Chatham Stacey Hydrick was appointed to
Champion Martin said hes 26 that he will be running for city of Childrens Home. The
County); Judge Robert C.I. serve a four-year term on the judicial committed to improving the Decatur District 1 commissioner seat. purchase was approved for
McBurney of the Superior qualifications commission. citys housing affordability $40 million in April.
Court of the Atlanta Circuit and making sure Decatur Were all paying taxes
and Atlanta attorney members. The Supreme makes wise decisions with Martin said he has met to live in the city and we
Jamala S. McFadden Court appointed four its green space and newly with key stakeholders want to make sure the new
were also appointed to the members to the new acquired assets. in Decatur to gauge their property and is developed
commission. commission, and the Decatur is a wonderful concerns and thoughts. One properly, Martin said.
The commission is governor, the lieutenant place and its a home for of the issues Martin plans to Martin said he also
the constitutional body governor and the speaker of people in all stages in life. focus on if elected is making wants to focus on making
that educates Georgia the house each appointed On the commission, we sure houses and property in Scott Boulevard safer. The
judges about their ethical two members. need to make sure were Decatur are affordable. street has been cited by
duties and conducts The Georgia Supreme doing it smart while moving According to Martin, many in the area as a safety
investigations and Court strongly supports forward. [Decatur] is like a people tend to move to concern, Martin said.
hearings regarding judges the important work of 30-year overnight success, Decatur for the downtown Martin will join Melissa
misconduct, according the judicial qualifications Martin said, laughing. Now livability and school system. Manrow and Kelly Walsh
to the state supreme commission, Hines that were a success, we Martin said he would like to as they compete for the
court. In November 2016, said in a statement. We need to make sure were expand the housing options District 1 seat.
Georgia voters approved believe the reconstituted smart moving forward. in the city.
an amendment to abolish [commission] will provide
the existing judicial more effective regulation of
qualifications commission judicial ethics with a higher
and to authorize the general level of due process, and
assembly to replace it. we are grateful to these
In April, House Bill 126 extraordinary appointees
was passed to reform for their willingness to serve
and reconstitute the our state in such a crucial
commission. role.
Hydrick will serve a In April 2011, Hydrick
four-year term as a judge was appointed by Gov.
member of the investigative Nathan Deal to the DeKalb
panel of the commission. State Court and she has
Under the legislation, the been elected to two full
new commission will have terms since. She began her
two separate panelsa legal career as an assistant
seven-member investigative district attorney in Augusta,
panel that will handle the then worked as an assistant
investigative, prosecutorial attorney general in the
and administrative Georgia Attorney Generals
functions of the commission Special Prosecution
and a three-member Division.
hearing panel that will be She then became a chief
responsible for arbitrating senior assistant district
formal charges filed against attorney for the Fulton
judges by the investigative County District Attorneys
panel and making Office. For nine years, she
recommendations to the worked at a Dunwoody law
Georgia Supreme Court firm where she specialized
regarding disciplinary and in insurance defense
incapacity orders. litigation.
Each panel has judge,
attorney, and citizen
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 3A

at 101 E. Court Square in Decaturwill
host Welcome Wednesdays, programs
emphasizing learning through the arts,
ESTATES sciences and literature, for six months
beginning in July. Organization to host car show
Welcome Wednesdays will feature a
Farmers market opens for summer central theme used to rediscover or learn Tucker Cruise-In, a nonprofit, old-
about the surrounding world, state event fashioned meet and greet car show will
The Avondale Estates Farmers Market officials. Each program will require children be held July 8 on Main Street in Tucker.
will be held July 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 to listen to a story and work on an art There will be a variety of cars ranging from
p.m. in the parking lot of My Parents project based on its theme. antiques to street rods and motorcycles
Basement. The market will take place On July 12, Welcome Wednesday will to imports. The Cruise-Ins are held on the
every Sunday until October and will feature showcase Nature!, which will teach through second Saturday of every month now until
local produce and goods. My Parents leaves, flowers and rocks. Children will September. The event begins at 5 p.m.
Basement is located at 22 North Avondale walk in Decatur Square using magnifying and ends with the presentation of awards
Road. For more information, visit www. glasses to learn more about the sense of around 8 p.m. There is a $5 registration fee touch. to enter a car into judging. The cut off time
Other dates include Aug. 16, Sept. to have a car to be entered into judging is
13, Oct. 11, Nov. 8 and Dec. 13. Other 6:30 p.m. on the day of the event. For more

themes will include shapes, community, the information, call (770) 527-1521.
courthouse, leaf colors and winter.
Admission is $3 for members and $6
Movie night announced
for non-members. Admission is free for
children ages 12 months and under with
accompanying adults.
Brookhaven will host a dive-in movie Reservations are encouraged and
night July 14 at Briarwood Park at 8
p.m. Secret Life of Pets will be played at
recommended. To RSVP, visit www. Free pet adoptions in DeKalb, Fulton For more information,
the event. The park is located at 2235 contact Marissa Howard at howard@ Adoption fees for Lifeline Animal Project
Briarwood Way NE. For more information, or (404) 373-1088 ext. shelters will be waived until July 31. This
visit 20. promotion applies to all pets at all LifeLine
shelter locations, including DeKalb County

Animal Services (DCAS), Fulton County

DECATUR Animal Services (FCAS), the LifeLine Dog

House and Kitty Motel, and the LifeLine Cat
Adoption Center.
Growing the arts in Decatur Jewish community center to host Adopters will receive a dog or catwho
has been spayed or neutered, has had all
Spirit and Truth Sanctuarylocated at bestselling author vaccines and is microchipped, an estimated
2915 Midway Road in Decaturwill host value of $250. Adoption counselors will be
Its Showtime on July 9 at 6 p.m. The Marcus Jewish Community Center on hand to ensure the animals are being
Its Showtime is a concert tribute of Atlanta (MJCCA)located at 5342 Tilly placed in good homes.
to George Gershwin and movie music Mill Road in Dunwoodywill host New York
Times bestselling author Ben Mezrich on
by other composers, according to event
July 9. DeKalb courts looking for volunteers
officials. Gershwin was an American
musician and composer best-known for Mezrich is best-known for his work The
Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down The public is invited to attend a volunteer
the compositions Rhapsody in Blue, An informational session hosted by DeKalb
American in Paris and the opera Porgy and the House, which were made into the films
The Social Network and 21, respectively. County Court Appointed Special Advocates
Bess. Aug. 31 from 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. at the
The concert will feature the talents of On July 9, Mezrich will discuss his latest
work, Woolly: The True Story of the De- Gregory A. Adams Juvenile Justice Center
Bishop Carlton Pearson, Tony Thompson on 4309 Memorial Drive in Decatur.
& New Creation Chorale and Band, Joyful Extinction of One of Historys Most Iconic
Creatures, a nonfiction story involving This session will provide an overview
Sound Chorale and Clariece Miller Paulk. of the program for those interested in
Admission is $8 for adults and $3 for the genetic resurrection of the woolly
mammoth. becoming a CASA volunteer. Volunteers
children ages 12 and under. must attend an information session and
For more information, contact Virgie Mezrichs visit is part of MJCCAs A
Page from the Book Festival author talks complete a screening interview with
Seltzer at or Spirit staff before beginning training. The next
Truth Sanctuary at (404) 243-5020. and signings, which has also featured actor
and author Alan Alda. Traditional Training Session will begin
Admission to the July 9 event is $10 in September; details regarding meeting
History center to teach science for members and $15 for non-members. dates and times will be provided upon
acceptance into the program.
through art, literature For more information, contact the MJCCA
For more information regarding the
Box Office at (678) 812-4005 or visit www. volunteer informational session visit www.
The DeKalb History Centerlocated or call (404) 378-0038.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 4A

Avondale Estates adopts millage rate, property taxes to increase

of the millage rate because
BY CARLA PARKER elected officials had done a good job of managing the
financial resources of the
city without a tax increase.
Avondale Estates
I think todays [millage
millage rate will remain the
rate public hearing] was a
same at 9.957 mills, but
good eye-opener for me in
residents will see property
the amount of investment
taxes increase.
that needs to be made in
The Avondale Estates
the city on a consistent
Board of Mayor and
basiswhether it be roads,
Commissioners voted June
whether it be sidewalks,
26 to keep the millage
whether it be downtown
rate the same with a 4-1
development, whether it be
vote. Commissioner Terry
with trucks, police vehicles
Giager voted against.
and so forth, Fisher said.
Property taxes in the
Were going to need that
city will increase by 4.84
in order to make those
percent under the millage
commitments to the city
rate. The tax increase
and see that progress.
for a home with a fair
Thats the reason why Im
market value of $305,056
voting in favor for keeping
is approximately $56 previous six years when This year, Social Security Fisher said he initially the rate where it is.
and the increase on non- we didnt have an increase went up .91 percent struggled to vote in favor
homestead property with and we always seemed to maybe, but insuranceif
a fair market value of make things happen. youre on Medicare B
$244,929 is approximately Last year, Giager went up 3.5 percent, so
$45, according to the city. voted against setting the they actually lost money.
Giager said he could not millage rate at 9.957 mills, So now, theyve even lost
vote for a tax increase. preferring to have it at more of their income.
A comment was made 9.487 mills. Giager said the Maybe Im speaking for
earlier that we had three tax increase could affect that small segment, but Im
years at this millage rate, those, who are on a fixed also [saying] that I think
but three years ago, that income specially seniors. the city can do a better job
was suggested to be the Social Security, last of how theyre spending
rollback millage rate, year, had a zero increase. money, Giager added.
Giager said. In six years, Nobody got an increase Im disappointed in what
I have never voted for on Social Security, but we we voted forI voted no
a tax increase for our had a five-point-something and I voiced my opinion on
citizens and Im not going increase in tax, he said. itbut I just think we need
to this time either. There Thats a locked income, to get back to the old ways
are several things I think thats a frozen income for and deal with what we got.
have worked well for the those folks, those retirees. Commissioner Brian

Tonya (ID# 35132548) is ready to relax -

whether it be on your couch, your lap, or
even a comfy dog bed that she hopes to
have in her forever home. This calm gal
prides herself in being a couch potato.
She enjoys walking around slowly, surveying her
surroundings, and nudging you for pets. Meet
Tonya at LifeLine's DeKalb Animal Services!

If you would like to expand your family by 4

furry little feet; come meet this sweet pup at
the DeKalb Animal Shelter and have a loving
friend forever. Through July in preparation for
the opening of the new DeKalb shelter we
are Celebrating our Clear the Shelter event!!
Adoptions fees are waived on all dogs and all
cats and includes spay/neuter, vaccinations
and microchip! Please help us make this a
successful event and a fabulous shelter opening.
If you would like more information about Tonya
please call (404) 294-2165 or email adoption@ All potential adopters
will be screened to ensure Tonya goes to a good
home. Hours: Mon-Fri; 11am-7pm / Sat-Sun;
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 5

Charis on campus
Oldest independent feminist bookstore to move to Agnes Scott College
by Kathy Mitchell Agnes Scott College. has continued to operate at a time when

Anderson said Chariss long relationship many bookstores have been forced to
fter years of exploring and planning, with Agnes Scott led naturally to close because we have always remained
42-year-old Charis Books and consideration of the128-year-old womens true to our vision and values. As a
More, which bills itself as the college in Decatur as a partner. Several feminist bookstore and nonprofit with a
nations oldest independent feminist of our current and former Charis Circle commitment to the expression of diverse
bookstore, has announced it will be moving board members are Agnes Scott alums and and marginalized voices, we know what
to its new home on the campus of Agnes we often have student interns from Agnes kinds of books we will carry and what kinds
Scott College in January 2018. Charis Scott. Dr. [Elizabeth] Hackett, the head of of programs we want to host. We have also
held an open house June 17 to give new the womens studies department, was the been very fortunate to be in Atlanta and
neighbors and old friends a look at the first to approach us about the possibility adjacent to Decaturalways in DeKalb
building that in six months will be its home. of partnering with the college to become a Countywhere people care deeply about
Staff-guided tours of the largely vacant school store, she said. books and about their communities and
building included explanations of how the When we began talks in earnest about know that it means a lot to support local
rooms will be used along with renovation where they might have space for us on their businesses and nonprofits.
plans. As with the current space, the new campus this building was an ideal fit. Its The wonderful thing about Agnes Scott
one will house both the bookstore and its a house, so its warm and inviting like our College is that they are true partners in
nonprofit programing arm, Charis Circle, current location, and it is right next to the this plan. They recognized the value of
founded in 1996. Candler parking lot so we would not need to having an independent bookstore as their
For more than four decades, Charis do much to make it suitable for institutional school store and they recognized the value
has been a fixture in Little Five Points on and commercial use, Anderson said of the specifically that Charis as a unique 42-year-
the DeKalb side of a community straddling facility on South Candler Drive. By situating old feminist bookstore would bring to the
the DeKalb-Fulton county line. In an online us next to an existing parking lot that is college. So they have really worked with us
personal history, Charis founder Linda underused we would not add any parking to adjust plans as we go and make it work.
Bryant recalls, Little Five Points was very burden to the neighborhood, which we knew We start construction very soon so Im sure
different back thenno trendy little stores, would be important. there will be hiccups, but our relationship
no place to eat.In fact, it was full of gun In anticipation of opening the building with the college is so positive that I have
shops, pawn shops, liquor stores, and seedy as a retail space, Charis is working with no doubt we will be able to figure it out,
bars, except for one old appliance store.We the college to reinforce its structural Anderson continued.
thought it was the perfect place to be of integrity and make the building functional Obviously the partnership with the
service to a community and we never looked and accessible for people with disabilities, college means we will be much busier all
at another place besides the place where Anderson said, adding that the renovation the time, which is exciting. We thrive on
we opened the store on Moreland Avenue. will open up the space to create more sight being busy and love getting to share our
Charis Circle Executive Director Elizabeth lines for retail. favorite books with readers. It will also allow
Anderson explained the decision to leave Little She said the Charis staff is thrilled for the us to host many more daytime meetings
Five Points for a building on the campus of Agnes opportunity to serve the entire Agnes Scott for parenting groups and book clubs, she
Scott College. Bookstores and nonprofits are community but also the Decatur community, which said. In our current location we are only
always looking for ways to lower our bottom line is one of the most book-friendly communities in able to host meetings and events before
and increase our margins so even though we Georgia. We are also proud to share our nonprofit and after the stores retail hours. In our new
owned our building we were looking for a new programming with a new community as well. space we will be able to have discussions
location that would allow us to do our work as Patrons can expect the same thoughtfully curated throughout the day. We also will have the
a mission-driven bookstore and nonprofit and mix of items we have always carried, including a benefit of the amazing intellect and energy
worry less about day-to-day survival. We explored large childrens section focused on diverse and of the students, faculty, and staff of Agnes
many possibilities over the last four years with marginalized voices, with the addition of Agnes Scott right on our front door and that energy
other nonprofits and other Atlanta colleges and Scott College school store items throughout. is priceless.
universities before choosing this partnership with Anderson said she believes Charis
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 6

Fighting for what we believe is the American way

For those of us weary from Over the last decade, weve As divided as we are in
the spectacle that was the 6th witnessed our electorate being 2017, it is our continued
Congressional District political responsible for unprecedented determination to fightthrough
race, the upcoming Fourth of changes that few could have protests, discourse and backing
July holiday should be welcome predicted in our nations political candidates who support our
relief. Gale Horton Gay scenean African-American idealsthat keeps shaping and
It is a day to celebrate the elected to Americas highest reshaping our nation. Whether
birth of our nation with patriotic office followed by a billionaire its fighting city hall, the county
events such as parades, road with no political experience. commission or the school
races, concerts, cookouts and, Georgia in the tough and, at Both men were supported by board, we share an obligation to
of course, fireworks. The nation times, ugly runoff that resulted different factions of Americans let our voices be heard and fight
will be awash in Americas in Republican Karen Handel who passionately wanted to see for what we believe and against
colors of red, white and blue, winning more votes than the country taken in decidedly bad policies.
giving us a momentary feeling Democrat Jon Ossoff in a different directions. So do not despair when the
of truly being united. It will be contest thats been declared However, fighting for what last firework explodes brilliantly
a fleeting feeling though and the most expensive House we believe in is the cornerstone lighting the night sky on July 4
by July 5, our countrys deep race ever. They held radically of our nation. America, after all, and we return to disagreeing
divisions will be apparent once different views on healthcare, formed after colonists became and fighting over the direction
more. the economy, national security disgruntled with British policies of our country. Its the American
For weeks all eyes were on and foreign affairs. over taxes and voting rights. way.

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OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 7

Well worthy of your support

We can no longer simply during a one-month pre- are well worth your support.
afford to allow the gang- Christmas break. I won by a Hudson will continue to
bangers and neighborhood One Mans healthy margin and my grand try to put teens considering
thugs to offer the only game Opinion prize was a beginner chess set. gangsters and thugs wearing
in town for our youth. We I knew nothing of the game, their trouserswell below their
have an opportunity for you Bill Crane but by Christmas that year, I waistsas exemplars in check
to be part of the solution, and was occasionally beating my with a much better model.
we already have the funding father, who taught me the game. While Thurmond continues
to pay for it,DeKalb County Never a world-champion to lead our entire county, he will
government CEO Michael commissioner, DeKalb schools player, I eventually won a few always have at least one eye,
Thurmond,announcing the superintendent and now CEO. minor tournaments and many a and a hand up, for our youth of
DeKalb Works Summer Youth He has not forgotten what its wager through high school and challenged circumstances, not
Employment Program. like to have a lot of potential, college.Im a bit rusty now, but of their own creation.
and few opportunities. the majority of chess lessons Neither Thurmond or
As we enter the dog days While one DeKalb leader is learned were more about Hudson is simply providing a
of summer, up to 300 DeKalb paying it forward on this grand foresight, the importance of hand out, and they both deserve
County youth between ages of scale, another is moving one planning ahead, having a plan a round of applause.
14 and 24 are learning about piece and player at a time to B and often playing the long-
the working world during a six- build minds, spirits and the game to win.
week program of 20 hours a countys brain trust with lessons Graduates of DeKalb Works, Bill Crane also serves
week at $9 an hour (well above learned from the age-old game as well as Hudsons chess/life as a political analyst and
Georgias current minimum of chess. strategies workshops, will leave commentator for Channel 2s
wage).While schools out Since 2000, Air Force better equipped for our ever Action News, WSB-AM News/
typically brings smiles and veteran and former more challenging world. Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM,
summer vacation for many Alabama state trooperOrrin We are now mid- as well as a columnist for The
DeKalb high school and college- Checkmate Hudsonand his summer, with both programs Champion, DeKalb Free Press
age residents, it can also often nonprofit, Be Someone Inc. underway.Providing a and Georgia Trend. Crane is
mean weeks of idle hours, has been sharing life-affirming scholarship for Hudsons nine- a DeKalb native and business
with time in abundance and messages of peace, positivity week program is only $200. For owner, living in Scottdale. You
opportunities for employment and purpose to more than employers, being a host site can reach him or comment on a
and good works all too few. 55,000 students.Hudson uses next year forDeKalb Worksis column at bill.csicrane@gmail.
Among his first acts as the game of chess to ask, and providing invaluable payback to com.
DeKalbs new CEO, Thurmond then answer, the contemplative our community.Both initiatives
joined withWorkSource questions of what is your next
DeKalbto launchDeKalb move, and how can you learn to
Works,a paid summer out-think your competition.
internship program placing Hudson said graduates of
young adult DeKalb residents his nine-week program learn
with nearly 60 private and to think before making choices
public-sector employers, and to respect authority as well
and included funding to pay as others.While Hudson travels
them.For many of these youth, the Southeast as the Johnny
facing a shrinking job market Appleseed of the 8-by-8 chess/
for first-time employment, this checker board, a smile is never
experience may be life-altering. far from his face, nor a friendly
Thurmond was born near arm, listening ear or warm
Athens. He is the son of a embrace for the thousands he
sharecropper and often shares has helped to make the right
that indoor plumbing was a late choices and turns in what might
addition to his childhood and otherwise become a troubled
family life. Born and raised in life.
humble circumstances long A gifted educator inspired
prior to becoming Athens first me to become an avid reader
state representative of African- in the first grade with a reading
American descent. Thurmond competition, based upon the
later became Georgia Labor total number of books read

the DeKalb
Publisher: Photographer: STATEMENT FROM THE
John Hewitt Travis Hudgons
Chief Financial Officer: Staff Reporters: We sincerely appreciate the
discussion surrounding this and any
Let Us Know What You Think! Dr. Earl D. Glenn Carla Parker issue of interest to DeKalb County.
SEND LETTERS TO EDITOR, R. Scott Belzer The Champion was founded in 1991
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The DeKalb Free Press, discourse for all community residents
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FAX To: (404) 370-3903; Phone: (404) 373-7779. The DeKalb Free Press is published each Friday report news and opinions to effect
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LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 8A

Boarding house discussion continues in Doraville

Ongoing complaints blamed on transients
monitor street conditions
BY R. SCOTT BELZER themselves. We dont [apply these
laws] to our rental homes
here in Doraville, and
because of that [renters]
Littered streets and can rent to whoever they
sidewalks, smells, want and as many as they
unleashed dogs, damaged want because [council]
lawns, crowded driveways chooses not to change the
and lack of street codes, Pannier said. We
parking remain ongoing have requested this time
complaints in one Doraville and time again and yet time
neighborhood. and time again [council]
Historic Northwoods choose not to stand up for
residents Bonnie Grey us. I dont work for the city;
Flynt and Bernadette its not my job to police the
Pannier spoke against streets.
multi-family homes in their Flynt specifically named
neighborhoodreferring to renterswhom she called
them as boarding houses transientsas the source
at Doraville City Councils of problems in Northwoods.
June 19 meeting. She said she takes pictures
Issues involving code of trash as evidence while
enforcement and multi- on jogs each morning.
tenant homes in Doraville We have an
have been discussed overcrowding problem in
at three consecutive Northwoods and we all
council meetings as well know it, Flynt said. Single Doraville neighborhoods are on alert to issues such as curbside garbage, following a stabbing incident on Mothers Day
as planning and zoning family homes could not weekend. Photo by R. Scott Belzer
meetings following a generate that much trash
stabbing incident along These irresponsible, single-
Raymond Drive on May 13. family home residents
The house in which the could not care less about
stabbing took place was broken glass in the street
found to be in violation of in front of their single-family
city ordinances and deemed home. Why? Because
uninhabitable by both they are transients. They
Doraville Police Department are [not] invested in their
and Clark Patterson Lee, community.
Doravilles outsourced code Flynt said a single-family
enforcement authority. home should have no more
On May 15, Pannier than two adults, 2.2 children
implored council to consider and a white picket fence.
the safety of children Instead there are
and said such homes probably five to six adults,
often contain indentured four to five children and a
servants and victims of broken, rotted picket fence,
human trafficking. living in a two-bedroom,
On June 5, Pannier one bathroom home,
returned with suggestions Flynt said. It is absolutely
that include reducing unacceptable and we Residents in Dorvaille spoke out against renters within the city because of recent issues involving trash, street parking
driveway width, capping the as a community should and a stabbing. Photo submitted.
number of cars allowed in be more concerned with
neighborhood driveways, the human condition of
registering rental properties these individuals and not a mobile camper or a third You want to talk about fire code inspectors to
and renters, checking encourage it. car. volunteerism? Fleming better enforce violators.
renters citizenship status, Other residents said Resident Tom Hart said said. Ill tell you about On June 19, a staff
limiting occupancy and such suggestions are non- code enforcement officers volunteerism since 1979, for member presented a
limiting parking to one side enforceable, stating non- are not doing their job. 29 years. Dont look at me written resolution to make
of the street. traditional arrangements are Its a problem with city and complain about what boarding houses a priority
On June 19, Pannier becoming more common. hall, Hart said. I havent done for this city. in Doraville.
expressed disappointment They said mandating such Councilwoman Pam Im sorry, but you dont have Doraville City Council
that her suggestions were standards may create more Fleming took issue with a clue about how this city is expected to discuss and
not formally adopted. hardships than solutions Pannier stating council does runs. redevelop a written policy
She said council tells for law-abiding citizens not volunteer to clean up Mayor Donna Pittman within the next two months.
anyone who complains to who own hot-rod projects, city streets. said city staff worked with
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 9A


DeKalb County School District certified Innovative Educator Trainers completed training on June 21. Photo courtesy of Monika Davis.

Officer Jeffrey Leach of the Dunwoody Police Department helped a The DeKalb County Fire Rescue Explorers receive a guided tour of county facilities located along Memorial Drive in Decatur.
driver purchase and install a car seat after a routine traffic stop in Photo submitted.
lieu of a ticket. Photo submitted.

Have you created programming youd like to air on TV?

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

(404) 371-2325

LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 10A

Decades in the making

DeKalb County addressing sewer capacity issues

DeKalb Countys CEO to thank the board of

Michael Thurmond said commissioners for their
its been years since the support. Our quality of life
county addressed cleaning is depending on cleaning
its sewers linesmore these sewer lines.
than 50 years to be exact. According to county
With county officials, more than 80 tons
commissioners, Thurmond of sediment and debris
held a press conference from clogged sewer lines
June 28 at Marist High were removed to reduce
School to discuss the sewer overflows. More
countys efforts at than 800 miles of sewer
remedying its sewer lines were documented
issues. as needing immediate
We are here to share maintenance due to age
with the citizens and and repeat overflows. DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond held a press conference June 28 to address the countys efforts on cleaning its
the public some of the The county was fined sewer lines.
outstanding work thats $294,000 June 20 by the
being done in the county Environmental Protection
over the last 12 months, Agency for multiple
Thurmond said during the overflows and, in some
press conference. I want instances, not reporting
our citizens and some of overflows.
our business leaders to The county released a
know that we are working statement regarding the
to address some of these fine.
critical issues. The letter from EPA,
During the press dated June 20, 2017,
conference, Thurmond represents an amicable
said he believes the county resolution of spill events
will be able to restore its reported in 2015 and 2016,
sewer capacity. According as well as unreported
to county records, the and under-reported
countys sewer system spill events from 2012
has not received a to 2016. The DeKalb
comprehensive cleaning in County government has
more than half a century. undertaken an aggressive
In April, the county sewer cleaning program
announced that the aimed at the most
Department of Watershed congested lines based
Management submitted on age, repeat overflows
two contracts totaling and known maintenance
$35.4 million that were problems, Thurmond said.
approved by the board of According to the county,
commissioners. roughly 73 percent of the
A $28.25 million countys priority large
contract will be used for sewer lines with diameters
sewer replacement, pipe greater than 18 inches
bursting, sewer lining, have been inspected and
point repairs, manhole 38 percent have been
interior coating, manhole assigned for cleaning.
height adjustments, The countys cleaned
manhole frame and cover sewersheds include Indian
adjustments and manhole Creek, Shoal Creek,
replacements. Cobb-Fowler Creek, North
Nearly one-half of Fork Peachtree Creek,
the large lines contain Nancy Creek and Peavine
blockage which [increases] Creek. Those six areas are
sewer overflow, Thurmond attributed with 27 percent
said. We have an of the sewer overflows
aggressive cleaning during the past three
program and I want years.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 11A

A recent YouTube video details how students at Cedar Grove High School were able to raise $1,000 by selling Saints United T-shirts. The money will be donated to United Way of Greater Atlanta with a
matching donation of $1,000, making a $2,000 impact. Photos courtesy of the Regional Commission on Homelessness.


Cedar Grove student organization raises $1,000 for United Way
BY R. SCOTT BELZER we just help out, Williams Atlanta was able to locate
said. We can help people a matching donor to the get off the street. We can $1,000 raised by Cedar
show people we care about Grove, making students
On June 23, a two- the community. efforts worth $2,000 total.
minute video surfaced on United Way of Greater United Way is a
the Regional Commission Atlanta regional director nationwide nonprofit
on Homelessnesss Denise Townsend said organization benefitting
(RCOH) YouTube page the Cedar Grove students societal health, education
detailing compassion, lived up to their mascots and financial stability.
fundraising and youthful namesakethe Saint. According to RCOH
initiative. Saints United because , United Way of Greater
the saint is their mascot Williams Young Atlanta has placed more
The video details Cedar
Grove High Schools but its not just a mascot. than 2,280 individuals into
Saints United initiative, Its people who care, reach in their community, permanent housing since
According to Townsend,
a schoolwide program out and make a difference Townsend said. its creation.
United Way of Greater
designed to combat
homelessness in metro
Atlanta. NOTICE
Through selling black
T-shirts with the slogan The Board of Education of the City of Decatur does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be held at the
Saints United printed in Board Room of the Central Office at 125 Electric Avenue, Decatur, Georgia on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 6:30 PM
and pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. 48-5-32, does hereby publish the following presentation of the current year's tax digest
white, students at Cedar and levy, along with the history of the tax digest and levy for the past five years.
Grove High School
in Decaturwere able to PROPOSED
Fiscal Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
donate $1,000 to United
Way of Greater Atlanta. Assessment Ratio 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50%
According to Cedar
Grove student Kyra Young, REAL PROPERTY 1,168,366,733 1,168,516,565 1,326,224,078 1,593,567,251 1,693,241,224 1,835,432,425
who appears in the video, PERSONAL PROPERTY 22,174,136 23,211,680 22,086,973 23,124,213 23,627,668 25,528,165
the mission was born out of PUBLIC UTILITIES 14,297,200 14,639,953 15,152,714 15,236,377 15,658,734 16,521,530
compassion for others. MOTOR VEHICLE 49,311,000 52,979,900 47,331,663 35,521,587 26,623,700 23,481,413
GROSS DIGEST 1,236,044,050 1,259,348,098 1,410,795,428 1,667,449,428 1,759,151,326 1,900,963,533
In our community and in
LESS M&O EXEMPTIONS 65,244,138 66,558,918 65,251,923 65,148,453 84,745,047 230,801,050
our school, you never know NET M&O DIGEST 1,170,615,415 1,192,789,180 1,345,543,505 1,602,300,975 1,674,406,279 1,670,162,483
what someone is going
through, Young said. GROSS M&O MILLAGE 20.90 20.90 20.50 18.66 18.66 18.66
Cedar Grove student LESS ROLLBACKS 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Lauren Williams, also NET M&O MILLAGE 20.90 20.90 20.50 18.66 18.66 18.66
featured in the video,
said there are not enough NET TAXES LEVIED $24,848,113 $24,929,294 $27,583,642 $29,898,936 $31,244,421 $31,165,232
youth giving back to their
NET TAXES $ INCREASE $382,251 $81,181 $2,654,348 $2,315,294 $1,345,485 ($79,189)
respective communities.
NET TAXES % INCREASE 1.56% 0.33% 10.65% 8.39% 4.50% -0.25%
We can make it better if
BUSINESS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 12A

Behind artist Phillip Parker is his portrait of his daughter, one of many pieces offered at Brush and Pen, which he and partner Charles Bennafield recently opened in Stone

Longtime friends and neighbors, now business partners

BY KATHY MITCHELL of the same familyand Brush and Pen, including Bennafields writing. The when they were little. Ive
not work well as business depictions of the crucifixion poems I write often express always liked it. We looked
FREELANCE REPORTER partners. Were both frugal, of Jesus, T-shirts with in words ideas reflected for an affordable location
hard-working and share the scripture quotes and in his art, Bennafield here. At first, we thought it
A multidimensional same values. I think that a wall with numerous explained. might be too expensive. We
relationship that has makes our relationship work interpretations of the 23rd Parker said he has been kept checking and finally
lasted more than a quarter as a business partnership. Psalm. an artist essentially all his found this building within our
of a century has taken Parker is an artist and Another recurrent theme life. If you go to my old high price range. The building
on a new dimension as Bennafield is a writer as is African American culture. school in Kentucky, youll has a downstairs that serves
Charles Bennafield and well as a dozen others My Black community is find some of my murals as the retail area. Upstairs
Phillip Parker become things, according to dear to me, Parker said. I on the walls from my days is Parkers studio and also
business partners as well his partner. Its largely want to express that through as a student, he said. His will be the location when
as neighbors, friends and Bennafields writing my art. interest in creating murals he begins conducting art
pastor-parishioner. The skills that come into play Parker, who is self- continued when his children classes.
two recently opened Brush at the business. Their taught, offers artwork in a were at Stephenson High. Classes in which
and Pen, a shop featuring complementary talentsart variety of media, including Visitors today can find his participants complete an
original art and other items, and writingare reflected pen and ink, oils and artwork on the schools art piece while they sip a
in Stone Mountain Village. in the shops name and its pastels. There are nature walls. beverage are popular right
The partners have logo. scenes, images of friends Thinking he could not now, Parker said. We plan
been close since meeting The brush symbolizes and family members make a living as an artist, to offer those soon.
26 years ago, according my painting and the pen along with those of such Parker for most of his Parker admits that
to Parker. We met as symbolizes his writing, celebrities as the late life earned a living as an paperwork is his least
neighbors and really liked but the initial lettersB boxing great Muhammad architectural engineer. favorite part of operating
each other right away. Our and Palso suggest our Ali and former President But even that requires a business. If I could just
wives are like sisters. Weve names, Bennafield and Barack Obama. Along with a certain artistic flair; its paint and let someone else
been on vacation together. Parker, Parker noted. In the artwork, the shop sells not all hard science, he run the business part of the
Anytime one of us needs the logo, the instruments T-shirts and mugs designed explained. operation, I would be happy,
something, the other one is intersect to form a cross, by Parker, personalized Parker said he and his but I know it has to be done,
there for himand hes also which symbolizes something plaques with poetry or prose partner chose the Stone so a set aside a day every
my pastor, he said. else dear to the friends and by Bennafield and jewelry Mountain Village location week and take care of the
You have to be careful partnerstheir Christian designed by Bennafields because of a longtime more mundane details of
who you partner with, faith. wife. fondness for the area. We operating a business.
Parker said. You can be Faith also is a frequent Many pieces in the shop used to bring our children
great friendseven members theme in items for sale at combine Parkers art with here for various events
EDUCATION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 13A

A new era for

school health
School districts late on update to
wellness standards mandated by USDA
July 2017. Local wellness
BY R. SCOTT BELZER advocates say school districts will not likely be
ready by the beginning of
the 2017-2018 school year.
Beginning the 2017- The CSD board of
2018 school year, DeKalb education discussed a draft
County School District wellness policy on June
(DCSD) and City Schools 13 at its monthly meeting.
of Decatur (CSD) will begin CSD originally announced
the process to develop its intention to update its
healthier, more health- wellness policy in August
conscious children as 2016 following the final
mandated by the federal federal ruling.
government. We have developed
By July 2017, in a policy that honors the
accordance with the requirements of the Hunger
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Free Kids Act while also
Act of 2010an update guiding the continued
to the Child Nutrition and review and development
Special Supplemental of administrative rules that
Nutrition Program for promote health and well-
Women, Infants and
Children (WIC) Act in 2004
with a final ruling in 2016
school districts throughout
the country will be required
to make changes to existing School districts throughout the country are required to have updated wellness
policies by July 2017 as mandated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Photo
health policies. courtesy of WikiMedia Commons.
The changes were
developed over a six-
year period by engaging kick-off event, where new and beverages; provide
input from citizens, school members will be welcomed rules and guidance for food
districts, associations, and leadership will be and beverages sold on
state and local agencies, decided. campus; and provide rules
advocacy groups and non- The majority of CSDs and guidance on food and
profits. draft policy includes beverage marketing.
The updates goals of engagement Implementation of the
proposed by the United with stakeholders to goals will fall upon CSD
States Department of promote wellness and Superintendent David
Agricultures (USDA) Food physical activity; providing Dude, the draft policy
Nutrition Services (FNS) opportunities, support states.
require written wellness and encouragement for According to district
policies that address physical activity; provide records, no policy has
food and beverages a safe, clean and hygienic been discussed publicly
allowed throughout the restroom; serving U.S. by DeKalb County School
school day, food served Dietary Guidelines for District (DCSD).
during celebrations and Local wellness advocate Tom Keating states local school districts are behind Americans-approved food
fundraisers, as well as in implementing updates to their wellness policies, lamenting a lack of public
process. Photo by R. Scott Belzer
marketing messages in
school hallways.
School districts must PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE
also document public being inside and out of the (such as a nurse) and
involvement, including classroom, states a memo administrators to review the The City of Stone Mountain hereby gives notice
engaging with physical from district staff. districts current wellness
policy and develop rules
that a Public Hearing will be held to receive public
education teachers, health Under the proposed draft
to better implement the comment on a Council initiated Amendment to
professionals, nonprofits policy, CSD will assemble a
and others in developing a team of students, parents, policy and measure its Appendix A, Zoning for the Establishment of Article
new policy. community members, effectiveness. XVI, Vacation Home Facilities, of the City of Stone
School districts are physical education On June 13, it was Mountain Code of Ordinances.
required to be in the teachers, nutrition teachers, proposed that the team
The Mayor and City Council will hold a Public
implementation process by a district health professional meet in August 2017 at a
Hearing on this matter on Tuesday, July 17, 2017
at City Hall located at 875 Main Street, Stone
Mountain, GA at 6:30 P.M. Anyone wishing to attend
the public hearing may do so and be heard relative
CLASSIFIED DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 14A

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SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 15A

Vince Byams has resigned as head coach of the Tucker

baseball to be the athletic director and assistant principal
at Newton High School. Byams led Tucker to a 73-41 record
during his four-year tenure. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Vince Byams leaves Tucker for Newton

Tucker junior varsity coach and
BY CARLA PARKER varsity assistant coach Matthew Masce will replace Byams as the
head coach. Masce has been with
Former Tucker High School the baseball program for five years.
baseball coach Vince Byams has Byams said he is confident Masce
left the program after receiving a will continue the winning tradition at
promotion. Tucker.
Byams is now the athletic Im pretty confident because
director and assistant principal at hes been ready; hes been a really
Newton High School in Newton good assistant, he said. Whatever
County. Byams, who taught social was needed for the program he
studies at Tucker, spent four would do it, whether its been an
seasons as the varsity baseball assistant varsity coach or stepping
coach and accumulated a 73-41 in to help with our ninth-grade team
record. He also led the Tigers to or being the JV coach. Even in
the playoffs each year during his my transition of becoming a head
tenure. coach, he was already there doing
Byams said it was hard to leave field work and helping me out. It
Tucker. was only a matter of time where
I had a lot of great relationships he would get the opportunity to be
with, not only my players, but the head coach. Im glad he was
with the parents, the people in at Tucker. Its not easy, but its also moment at Tucker. able to come into Tucker and stay
the community and my students I time for growth. To get in the playoffs we had there.
taughtmy [Advance Placement] Before Byams took over the to beat Lakeside in a best-of-three Byams said he will miss the
and [International Baccalaureate] program in 2014, Tucker had not series, he said. We beat them entire Tucker community,
students, he said. Its hard made the playoffs since 2007. once in the regular season and Tucker is a special place, he
[to leave] when you build those Tucker finished the 2013 season we had to beat them two times said. It definitely has a place in my
relationships. [But] when you with a 9-15 record, but the team [at home] to get into the state heart. Although Im going to be a
move on to the position that Im at went 17-9 in Byams first season playoffs. We had a huge crowd. Newton Ram, Ill always be a Tiger
now. I can truly affect and have a and advanced to the playoffs. It was probably one of the best at heart. Ive met some really good
positive influence on 2,300 kids as Byams said getting Tucker to the momentsto see the growth of the people and had a lot of growth
oppose to 130, at best, that I had playoffs for the first time in seven program within one year and it kind there.
years was his most memorable of took off from there.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, July 7, 2017 Page 16A

CAN CREEKSIDE REBUILD? New owner has plans


Creekside Forest Apartments, a

complex that has become known
in DeKalb County for its blight and
poor living conditions, has a new
owner according to county officials.
The new owner, Falcon Ga
Investments, LLC, has submitted
a plan to the county that includes
Creekside Forest Apartments has a new owner according to county officials. Falcon Ga Investments, LLC submitted plans in May to renovate and rebuild
rebuilding and repairing all units the property.
and rebuilding nine structurally
damaged units.
the new owner has secured all the community and for us and for because of damage. The company
Prior to being purchased by
the buildings and no one currently the folks that will take residence also plans to demolish two buildings
Falcon Ga Investments, [Creekside
resides at the property. at that property. Theres a building which were compromised by fire
Forest Apartments] sat vacant for
In September 2016, squatters manager on site to make sure damage.
many months in a state of disrepair.
were asked to leave the property the property is safe and secure, This shows that there are
Many of the units have been greatly
and a warrant was issued to Kellum said. people that are committed to
neglected and all have experienced
Chester Meisel, former owner of In Falcon Ga Investments investing in DeKalb County. They
significant damage and vandalism,
the apartment complex, for failing concept plan, the company will are promising to make a change.
according to county documents. A
to appear in a DeKalb County renovate the propertys clubhouse Theyve submitted a full renovation
small number of units have become
courtroom. Judge Matthew and pool area to a common plan and a concept plan for the
structurally unsound due to either
McCoyd issued a bench warrant of amenities area. The company also entire property, Kellum said. Any
fire damage or rot and decay.
$338,000. plans to convert a building that was company that wants to relocate
Buildings at the development,
Marcus Kellum, beautification formerly used for a day care area here [to DeKalb County] we have to
which sits on roughly 21 acres
director for DeKalb County, said into a fitness room. be a part of the conversation. If the
at the end of Ember Drive near
Creekside having new owners is As it makes development plans, place looks bad, people wont be
Decatur, could be demolished in
beneficial for the community and the company said its unsure what interested in coming here.
early July.
the county. to do with building 3022 of the
According to county officials,
Its a win-win for everybody. For property, which is no longer usable