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the DeKalb FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2018 • VOL.

23, NO 45 • 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

Businesses, police prepare


for final holiday rush
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN
horace@dekalbchamp.com

According to the National Retail


Federation, 40 percent of yearly sales for small
and mid-sized retailers take place within the
last two months of the year and retailers,
shoppers and police officials are getting ready
for the rush.
Terry Young, store manager of Macy’s at
the Gallery at South DeKalb, said the holiday
season is a hectic time. Despite the added
stress, Young said it’s her favorite time of the
year.
“It’s very, very busy. I’m going back and
forth,” Young said, who also manages a store in
Macon. “We want to make sure our customers
have a great holiday experience. Even though
behind the scenes we’re a little bit frenzied and
stressed trying to get the new merchandise out
and making sure it looks good, we make sure
we keep the store looking good.”
Young said the store has promotional
events throughout December and also gives
back to the community by partnering with
local organizations and community leaders
such as DeKalb County Commissioner Larry
Johnson, the Decatur Chapter of Delta Sigma
Theta and the Heart of South DeKalb Festival.
The store also hosts a Believe event. Macy’s
donated $2 for every letter written in the store
to Santa to the Make a Wish Foundation.
“Every year we donate to the local homeless
shelter, we give out bookbags, sheets and
towels,” Young said. “We want people to
shop with us, but South DeKalb Macy’s also
cares about the community. We’re part of this
community and this is our family here.”
In Decatur and Avondale Estates, city
officials are urging customers to shop local
stores. Throughout the month of November
and December, Decatur’s blog, decaturminute.
com has featured local shops. Every Thursday
in December, until Dec. 20, Decatur will give
shoppers added discounts at participating local

SEE SHOP ON PAGE 5


Shoppers at Macy’s in the Gallery at South DeKalb Mall pick up items during the holiday shopping season.

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


LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2018 • Page 2

COUNTYWIDE

Booting regulations approved


regulations for companies photographs that clearly depict
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN that boot and immobilize the parking space, the parked
horace@dekalbchamp.com private vehicles deemed to vehicle and license plate of the
be in violation of parking parked vehicle.
For the first time in his restrictions.
career as a DeKalb County Davis-Johnson said
According to county the ordinance is the best
commissioner, Steve officials, some booting
Bradshaw said he was compromise for everyone
companies in DeKalb County involved.
unsure what to do after the charge as much as $650
commission couldn’t decide “We spoke with the
to $800 to remove a boot. public, booting companies,
whether to regulate booting or Booting companies also had no
ban the practice. public safety [officials] and
obligation to remove boots in a people from the trucking
DeKalb officials had to timely manner.
notify the county’s CEO, industry…and they resolved
Regulations included in their differences in each
who wasn’t present at the the new ordinance will require
meeting at the time, to group and we came up with a
signage that informs drivers compromise,” Davis-Johnson
deliver the final vote after that their vehicle is subject
commissioners voted 3-3 said. “I think we took all the
to booting, a maximum $85 precautions we could.”
on an ordinance intended to fine for booting passenger
regulate booting practices in Gannon, who initially
vehicles, a maximum $150 sponsored the ordinance, said
unincorporated DeKalb. fine for tractor trailers and
Approximately an hour she changed her mind and
semi-trucks and booting wanted to completely ban the
after the item was put on hold devices must be removed from
by commissioners, Thurmond practice of booting.
a vehicle no more than one “During the course of
voted in support of the hour after initial request and
regulations. [discussing the ordinance]
receipt of payment. If a boot I have totally changed my
Commissioners Jeff is not removed within one
Rader, Bradshaw and Mereda mind,” Gannon said. “I’m
hour of contact with a booting voting no. I’ve come to the DeKalb County officials voted 4-3 to approve an ordinance to further regulate booting
Davis-Johnson voted to company representative, fees
approve the ordinance while conclusion that booting is practices in unincorporated DeKalb County.
shall be waived. predatory and it’s problematic.
commissioners Nancy Jester, Parking lot management
Larry Johnson and Kathie I think there are other ways to county’s police force. In defense.
companies must also wait deal with this and I think we
Gannon voted against the at least 20 minutes before northwest Atlanta, two men “I think we need to ban
item. Commissioner Gregory should outlaw [booting].” face criminal charges after a [booting],” Jester said.
booting can occur. According Jester said the booting
Adams was not present during to the ordinance, just cause for booting company employee “There’s so much at risk. We
the Dec. 4 meeting. ordinance could be shot a man over a parking need more officers on the
booting a vehicle parked for troublesome and put an
The purpose of the more than 20 minutes must be dispute. The shooter claims street as it is. I think regulating
ordinance is to establish additional burden on the he fired his weapon in self- this will be too much.”
proven by two time-stamped

Preparing for possibility of Police utilizing patrols to


extreme winter weather catch holiday thieves
flashlight, first-aid kit, face masks, BY TAYLOR ROBINS
BY TAYLOR ROBINS wet wipes for personal hygiene and Taylor@dekalbchamp.com
Taylor@dekalbchamp.com maps. Other items can be added to
the ready kit based on specific family The Grinch will not steal
With cold weather and possible needs, such as infant formula or Brookhaven’s Christmas this season.
snow heading for Georgia this prescription medication. Brookhaven police are warning
winter season, the DeKalb County DEMA advises drivers to slow residents that the number of stolen
Emergency Management Agency down, avoid stopping on hills or packages increases during the holiday
(DEMA) is giving tips on how to making abrupt steering maneuvers. season and are reminding residents
endure possible sleet and snow. The agency suggests dripping faucets that precautions can be taken to
Before severe weather begins, to avoid freezing of pipes. DEMA prevent “porch pirates” from striking.
DEMA recommends developing a also recommends that ovens not be Brookhaven also will have increased
communications plan with family used as heaters and to use flashlights police presence for the season.
members, in case all family members instead of candles to avoid fires at thieves take the delivery. Residents are
“Residents are strongly encouraged encouraged by the police to call 9-1-1 to
are not together when unsafe weather home. to report a package theft to police so
strikes. Included in the plan should The organization also advises that report suspicious vehicles.
that we know when and where these Brookhaven police also are
be a familiar and easy to find meeting residents become familiar with winter incidents occur,” Major Brandon
place. weather terminology such as winter encouraging residents to provide specific
Gurley said. “We set up extra patrols instructions for delivery companies
DEMA also recommends a storm watch, winter weather advisory in areas where there are package thefts.
“ready kit” to be made prior to severe and winter storm warning─ which is on where to leave packages or to have
Reporting these crimes will help in packages delivered to workplaces, with
weather which includes: water, the most significant of the three. better deployment of our patrols.”
non-perishable food items, a can More about winter weather safety employer permission.
According to a Brookhaven press “Remember, if we make this easy for
opener, radio, batteries and chargers, can be found at http://ready.ga.gov/. release, thieves follow delivery trucks the Grinch, he will continue to steal our
and once a package is delivered Christmas,” Gurley said.  
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2018 • Page 3

Giving beyond Tuesday


It’s been a rough time for wallets large. Changes in employment, health, kettles in front of grocery stores to
everywhere considering the frenzy of housing, relationships and emergencies solicitations by mail to requests for
spending on Black Friday followed by that couldn’t be anticipated leave many canned goods and gifts to be placed
the push to make purchases locally families vulnerable. beneath Christmas trees.
on Small Business Saturday and the Often our donations to charitable Another aspect that is often
intensity of enticing deals on Cyber Gale Horton Gay organizations are what make the overlooked is the benefit we can be to
Monday. gale@dekalbchamp.com
difference to people and situations that others and causes through giving of our
Hopefully consumers didn’t are on the brink. We may never know time and talent. Money is important to
overlook the significance of Giving who we help or exactly how we’ve just about any endeavor, but hands and
Tuesday when charities worldwide helped, but someone or something minds are also invaluable in making a
appealed for donations so they can 2016 and 2017 with Americans giving benefits because we were thoughtful difference.
carry on their work. $410 billion to charities in 2017, up 5 enough to give. Giving Tuesday is over until next
Giving Tuesday, which was Nov. 27 percent from the previous, according to The beauty of giving is that there year but giving from the heart should
this year, resulted in 2.5 million online nonprofitsource.co. is a charitable organization to match be a year-round activity. I challenge
gifts totaling $300 million from 150 How donation numbers will shake just about every interest—whether each of us to find ways to get involved
countries, according to givingtuesday. out for 2018 is yet to be determined, it’s the environment, high-risk youth, and stay involved in giving what
org. The site states that Giving but let’s hope our generosity continues creatures great and small, research, we can, when we can this year and
Tuesday, in its seventh year in 2018, as the needs are great in some many education, families in crisis and on and throughout the new year.
is an international movement “fueled areas. on.
by the power of social media and The holiday season is a good During the holiday season there
collaboration.” time for each of us to reflect on our will be no shortage of opportunities
Charitable giving has grown in personal situation and the situation of to give—from the red Salvation Army
our neighbors and the community at

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Georgia can lead again on criminal justice reform


BY J TOM MORGAN sentences are arbitrarily chosen by a 30% reduction in the number of this deal will get a vote.
powerful politicians who don’t live Black men in prison and an almost  Our eyes, therefore, are on
In an age of hyper-partisanship, in the community. Each ten-year 40 percent reduction in the number Georgia’s federal representatives,
one area of agreement that has sentence costs taxpayers around a of Black women in prison. especially Senators Perdue and
emerged is the need to reform our million dollars.  As Deal leaves office, the rest Isakson. Perdue was sent to the
criminal justice system. Our country  With the election of Governor of the country is poised to follow Senate as a solutions-oriented
locks up too many people, for too Deal, I saw how we could Georgia’s leadership. President outsider, initially supporting broad
long, at great human and financial reform our justice system to Trump stands behind criminal sentencing reform. He should
cost. Maddeningly, we do this with reflect the American values of justice reform. After awarding embrace this opportunity to provide
no demonstrable benefit to public freedom, prosperity, and personal clemency to Alice Johnson, serving real change. Isakson has shown
safety. In Georgia, Governor Deal responsibility. He did not like the a life sentence for a first-time compassion on public health
led the way on criminal justice fact that the United States has 5 drug offense, Trump turned his solutions to the overdose crisis.
reform, implementing changes that percent of the world population, attention to broader reform. Jared Hopefully he also recognizes that
reduced incarceration and increased but 25 percent of the world Kushner, the President’s son-in- harsh sentences do nothing to keep
public safety. Now, at the federal population behind bars is within law, has played a key role in the people addicted to drugs alive long
level, Georgia can lead again.  our borders. On his watch, the push. Kushner’s father spent time in enough to recover.
I spent years on the front lines of state legislature passed bills that prison, so this issue is personal for  Georgia’s progress on criminal
the War on Drugs. As a prosecutor, reduced prison sentences for drug him. justice reform is setting an example
I helped put away my fair share of possession, reformed the cash bail Kushner and Trump have backed for the rest of the country. It’s time
people who were a danger to society. system, and gave judges back more a package that would reform the for Congress to follow suit and
Whenever I worked small-time authority to choose appropriate prison system and reduce sentences demonstrate that we truly are a
drug cases, I had a nagging feeling sentences. He also increased access for certain non-violent drug nation of justice for all.
that I wasn’t making my community to drug treatment because he offenses. A recent study by the  
any safer. I prosecuted low-level recognized that incarceration is Federal Sentencing Project found J Tom Morgan served as District
drug sellers, many of whom sold not the answer to the opioid crisis. that the recidivism rate, 37 percent, Attorney for DeKalb County. He is
drugs to feed their own addiction, Recidivism declined by 19 percent, was the same for drug offenders a speaker for the Law Enforcement
or joined gangs as children for an important signal that those who got early release compared Action Partnership (LEAP), a
their own safety. Many of these reentering society used their second with those who served their entire nonprofit group of police, judges, and
people received harsh mandatory chance to put their lives on track. sentence. Keeping them in prison prosecutors who support criminal
minimum sentences. Mandatory  Communities of color–those longer did not prevent future justice solutions that will improve
minimums force judges to give long who bear the brunt of harsh drug criminal behavior. Even though public safety.
sentences without considering the sentence–saw improvements in the there are only a few legislative days  
unique circumstances of each case. criminal justice system as a result of left this year, Senate leader Mitch  
These one-size-fits-all minimum Deal’s work. To date, there has been McConnell has given his word that
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS • DECEMBER 14, 2018 • Page 4

A curse is lifted
Atlanta’s professional sports champs, the Braves were welcomed team captain, 34-year old Michael
franchise history began with the ‘One Man’s home after beating back a strong Parkhurst, has also not yet had his
transplantation of the Milwaukee challenge by the Cleveland Indians, contract renewed for next season,
Braves in 1966, followed by the Opinion’ with a massive parade down though negotiations with the team
start-up Atlanta Falcons and Peachtree Street, a perfect stage continue.
later relocation of the Atlanta Bill Crane setter for the Centennial Olympic  Whether a one-time wonder,
Hawks. Atlanta’s Chiefs brought bill.csicrane@gmail.com Games yet to come. The United or the beginning of an MLS team
soccer, but the fan base wasn’t ready also had a champion’s parade dynasty remains to be seen, but for
quite yet, nor for the later indoor an MLS soccer franchise in 2014 down Peachtree, followed by a fan now, let’s just all celebrate the glow
arena club. Hockey came, got hot, before finishing construction on celebration in the Home Depot and the end of the curse. A pretty
melted and left with the Atlanta his showplace, Mercedes Benz Backyard, adjacent to the Georgia nice holiday gift to wrap up the year
Flames leaving for more northern Stadium. Atlanta United was World Congress Center and MB in a town more than once compared
climes, and lights were out on the supposed to open the stadium, stadium, attended by dignitaries to Mudville.
Atlanta Knights only a few seasons however construction delays moved including Georgia Governor Nathan
after they were lit. roughly half of their inaugural Deal and Atlanta Mayor Keisha
 Atlanta’s first major league season in 2017 to Georgia Tech’s Lance-Bottoms.  Bill Crane also serves as a political
soccer franchise, the Atlanta Chiefs, Bobby Dodd Stadium. I have to  Savor these moments. United analyst and commentator for Channel
won the National Soccer League mention that Bobby Dodd had coach Gerardo Martino is 2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/Talk
(NSL) Championship in 1968. never looked quite so grand, with its departing the team, MLS League 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a
Georgia’s capital city would then go stands filled to capacity and every MVP Josef Martinez, also the columnist for The Champion, DeKalb
for 27 years before “America’s Team” level and concourse draped in red league’s leading scorer and mid- Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane
and then Ted Turner’s Atlanta and black.  fielder and the team’s "Charlie is a DeKalb native and business owner,
Braves won their first World Series Our Five Stripes fast built Hustle" and sometimes hot dog, living in Scottdale. You can reach
in 1995, and now, 23 years later, out a large family following. An Miguel Almiron, will reportedly him or comment on a column at bill.
our Atlanta United has just won MLS soccer gameday outing is not be returning. American, and csicrane@gmail.com.
the Major League Soccer (MLS) comparatively affordable, at a
Championship Cup. Our Atlanta small fraction of the cost of every
“Loserville” curse is finally officially other major league franchise. And
lifted. Blank’s acquisition of the MLS team
 Now a top 10 metropolitan originally had as much to do with
statistical area, Atlanta is not the 18 more home game days and the
city or market with the longest resulting parking, concession and
losing streak, nor the longest streak merchandising revenues as it did
of non-championship winning; with bringing soccer back to the
but the Loserville label has stuck ATL.
and stung over time, as combining  Surprising most, including
all the seasons, playoffs, pennant the team’s owner, within only a
series and titles attempted by the few home games, Atlanta United
Braves, Falcons, Hawks, Flames and jerseys, colors and fanatic groups
Knights, Atlanta realized only one like the Footie Mob, Terminus and
national championship out of 175 others made each home game a
seasons. spectacle with the electric energy
 And the challenge was further of a long-established franchise on
aggravated by our Atlanta Falcons a winning streak. The talent of the
painful NFL Super Bowl loss, as team certainly helped, as the young
well as back-to-back clincher losses crew of 18 is a small United Nations,
to another “Big A” team hailing with most players hailing from other
though from Alabama, taking on countries. Yet at each game there is
and taking down the SEC’s Georgia a surprisingly strong and patriotic
Bulldogs. Though not officially an moment, as the players, most of
Atlanta team, the Bulldog Nation’s whom speak English as their second
fan base of nearly 100,000 metro language, all stand with their
Atlanta alumni almost makes them hands on their hearts at attention
so. during performance of our national
 Atlanta United team owner, anthem.
Arthur Blank began looking into  As with our 1995 World Series

FREEPRESS
the DeKalb Publisher: Staff Reporters:
John Hewitt Carla Parker STATEMENT FROM THE
Horace Holloman PUBLISHER
Chief Financial Officer: Taylor Robins We sincerely appreciate the
Dr. Earl D. Glenn discussion surrounding this and any
Let Us Know What You Think! Social Media Manager: issue of interest to DeKalb County.
THE DEKALB FREE PRESS encourages opinions from SEND LETTERS TO EDITOR, Production Manager: Donna Seay The Champion was founded in 1991
expressly to provide a forum for
The DeKalb Free Press, Kemesha Wadley discourse for all community residents
its readers. Please write to us and express your views. P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; on all sides of an issue. We have no
Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain the Send email to Johnh@dekalbchamp.com desire to make the news only to
FAX To: (404) 370-3903; Phone: (404) 373-7779. The DeKalb Free Press is published each Friday report news and opinions to effect
writer’s name, address and telephone number for verifi- Deadline for news releases and advertising: by ACE III Communications, Inc., a more educated citizenry that will
cation. All letters will be considered for publication. Thursday, one week prior to publication date. 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030 ultimately move our community
forward. We are happy to present
Phone (404) 373-7779. ideas for discussion; however,
EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reflect the opinions www.championnewspaper.com we make every effort to avoid
of the editor or publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. The printing information submitted to
us that is known to be false and/or
Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. DISPLAY ADVERTISING (404) 373-7779 x 110 assumptions penned as fact.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2018 • Page 5

SHOP Continued From Page 1


retail stores and restaurants.    
Avondale Estates hosted its annual holiday
market Dec. 9 featuring local vendors selling
crafts, jewelry and gourmet foods.
Whether residents shop at larger retailers or
local businesses, police are warning customers to
be attentive.
According to DeKalb County Police
Department officials, crime generally picks
up throughout the county during the holiday
shopping season.
According to Sgt. J.D. Spencer, the most
common crimes during the holiday season are
robberies, burglaries, vehicle thefts and vehicle
break-ins.
“During the holiday season, the DeKalb
County Police Department operates under a
strategic holiday plan that is prepared each year
using historical crime data, Spencer said. “For
the current holiday season, the DeKalb County A sign at Avondale Estates business Mama Bath and Body encourages customers to shop locally.
Police Department will track, analyze and compile
information on crime trends, and prepare and
execute specific operational plans to combat
holiday crime. The police department also will use
all available overtime for officers to work special
details in retail areas.”
Spencer suggests last-minute shoppers park in
well-lighted parking spaces, lock car doors, pay
with a credit card or check to avoid carrying large
amounts of cash and keep purses close to the body.
Wallets should be put in a front pants pocket or
inside a coat.
“The DeKalb County Police Department public
education specialists will provide training and
awareness through neighborhood and community
meetings and social media posts to help DeKalb
residents stay safe during the holiday shopping
season,” Spencer said.

Various soaps on display at Mama Bath and Body in Avondale Estates.

Foreclosures
Tax Sales/Ads for Bids
Trade Name Registrations
Public Notices/Public meetings
Sheriff Sales/Local Legislation
Notices of Incorporation
To subscribe, visit DeKalbLegalNotices.com
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LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2018 • Page 6

DECATUR

Decatur gives city manager surprise send off attributed to me,” Merriss said. “I always choke up a bit
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN “I just want to say thank you when I talk about Mr. Davis.
horace@dekalbchamp.com to the city commission and a He was around when the city
special thanks to the Decatur made the decision to hire a
Business Association.” 32-year-old young woman as
After 35 years with the
Merriss also received the the city manager. I think a part
city of Decatur, long-time
Thomas O. Davis Award, an of the reason they did it was
city manager Peggy Merriss
award given to a city worker because they knew Mr. Davis
is scheduled to retire at the
who helps strengthen the bond was around to help me,” Merriss
end of the year. During a
between government and the said, crying. “For those of you
Dec. 4 Decatur Business
community, serves as a role who didn’t get a chance to meet
Association meeting, Decatur
model for others in public him, he was such an amazing
officials wished Merriss a happy
service and contributes to the man.”
retirement in their own special
well-being of the community. After Merriss concluded
way. Friends and coworkers of Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss helped celebrate PeggyPalooza
following a Decatur Business Association meeting at Decatur Conference Center.   “The city commission her award acceptance speech,
At the end of the DBA
nominated a very special those present began to parade
meeting, held at Courtyard
employee this year. Someone into the ballroom to celebrate
Decatur's conference center, for six years and was named During Merriss’ tenure she who served the city of Decatur PeggyPalooza. A video montage
several community members, assistant city manager in 1989. oversaw Decatur’s purchase of for more than 35 years. She of Decatur officials giving
Decatur city workers, In 1993 she was named city under used parking lots that fully exemplifies this award in Merriss well wishes also played
commission members and manager and celebrated 25 were redeveloped to residential every way,” Garrett said. on a projection screen.
Mayor Patti Garrett celebrated years as Decatur’s city manager housing units and the purchase Merriss said she knew Merriss’ retirement is
“Peggypalooza” in honor of in June. of the former United Methodist Thomas O. Davis, for whom effective Dec. 31. She said she
Merriss. Garrett said Merriss has Children’s Home with its 77 the award is named, on a plans to explore roles that will
Merriss joined Decatur’s contributed greatly to the city’s acres of green space. personal level. He was the city continue her passion for local
staff in 1983 as the personnel art community and put the city “I’m speechless. Not attorney while Merriss served as government.
director. She held that position in a strong financial position. something that’s normally the city manager.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2018 • Page 7

WEEK in PICTURES

DeKalb Chief Magistrate Judge Berryl A. Anderson, back, awarded 47 “diplomas” to the first graduating class of the newly implemented People’s Law School. Photo provided

Dunwoody Public Works staff made a tribute to the Beatles Abbey Road iconic photo at the new crosswalk on North Peachtree at Barclay Drive Nov. 30. (Dunwoody Twitter Page)

Briarlake Elementary fifth grade Jr. Beta Team placed in six events at the State Convention in
Santa arrives by helicopter during Brookhaven’s “Light up Brookhaven” holiday event Nov. 29. Savannah.

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


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

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


LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2018 • Page 8

ATLANTA

Education Briefs
BY TAYLOR ROBINS • taylor@dekalbchamp.com

REACH scholars recognized


Four Renfroe Middle School eighth graders
were recently awarded a REACH Scholarship. Jada
Chester, Jayden Coer, Dylan Elder and Gabriell
Smith are this year’s recipients.
Realizing Educational Achievement Can
Happen (REACH) is Georgia’s first public-private
school scholarship program. The mission of REACH
is to provide Georgia’s academically promising
students with the academic, social and financial
support needed to graduate from high school and
Joyce M. Gilliard, left, Tiffany Hasbourne, center, and Ben Cory Jones, right, spoke to college students Dec. 5. Photo by Taylor college prepared for work. City Schools of Decatur
Robins wishes to thank our partner The Decatur Education
Foundation for their financial support of the

Boomerang panel inspires


REACH program and scholars.

County school district receives $40,000

with personal stories


for STEM-based education
The DeKalb County School District’s commitment
to providing the best science, technology, engineering
and mathematics (STEM) education was recently
BY TAYLOR ROBINS do,” Jones said. a job as an assistant costume reaffirmed by a national foundation.
After taking a TV writing designer for the HBO show DCSD was recently awarded $40,000 by the Bosch
taylor@dekalbchamp.com class at New York University, Ballers. Community Fund for the purpose of providing STEM/
Jones moved to Los Angeles “Somebody posted that they STEAM projects to schools throughout the district. The
to pursue a television writing needed an ACD,” she said. “I funds will be used to enhance existing activities that
The Art Institute of Atlanta
career. He worked his way didn’t even know what that support project-based learning, support teacher efficacy
students Dec. 5 heard about the
up from production assistant stood for.” through professional development, and provide for new
journey to success from three
to writer for the HBO show Before getting the job, experiences for students.
creatives who are helping to
Insecure. Hasbourne said she was honest “The recent grant funding from the Bosch
bring the new television show
“I’ll be honest,” Jones about her lack of television Community Fund is further proof that DeKalb
Boomerang to BET.
said. “Being a Black man and experience. She also said that County School District is poised to reach a new level
The panel featured Ben
moving to Los Angeles and she believed the job was “her of education, one that is truly unprecedented in the
Cory Jones, showrunner and
working in television was not job” and that helped during metro Atlanta area,” said DCSD superintendent Dr. R.
executive producer, Tiffany
an easy thing because there’s the interview process with Stephen Green. “These funds will support projects that
Hasbourne, head costume
not a lot of people who look the costume designer and reinforce problem-solving skills and new technologies,
designer and 1997 Art Institute
like me that do what I do. executive producer of the aiding our mission of developing future-minded
of Atlanta graduate, and Joyce
“You don’t always have to show. Hasbourne also admitted students. With such support from our community,
M. Gilliard, head hairstylist for
know exactly what you want that she didn’t know what an their futures are made brighter and abundant with
the show.
to do,” Jones said. “Just have a executive producer does. opportunity.”
“This panel discussion gives
keen eye for the opportunities “Now when I think back
our students a unique look into
that present themselves.” on it, being naïve about the
the creation and production
Hasbourne, who has a situation is what helped me,”
of a series, while it is taking
degree in computer animation Hasbourne said. “I didn’t know
place,” said Newton Myvett,
from the Dunwoody school, is a to be that nervous. I just knew
institutional president for The
well-known stylist and costume that was my job.
Art Institute of Atlanta. “It Notice of Availability
designer. She said the degree “If you feel in your gut that
provides insight for them as
helps her because she visualizes something is yours just claim it
they prepare to enter creative
industries themselves.”
people and color differently. and go after it,” she said. DeKalb County 2019
After graduating and The stylist has also worked Executive Budget Recommendation
Panelist talked about
realizing she wanted to be a on Shooter and Atlanta.
their career journeys and the
stylist, Hasbourne moved back Gilliard’s experience as a The Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County
adversities they faced perusing
to her home state of New York hair stylist started at the age of will present the 2019 Executive Budget
creative careers─the same
to pursue her dream. 5 in her grandmother’s South Recommendation to the DeKalb County Board of
careers the students will soon
“[The students] have access Carolina hair salon. Although Commissioners on December 14, 2018 for their
pursue.
to television shows and music she felt a “calling” as a hair consideration.
Jones, a Morehouse college
being [in the Atlanta area],” stylist early on and planned to
graduate, who originally started
an investment banker career on
Hasbourne said. “Atlanta is go to college, Gilliard’s plans A copy of the entire Executive Budget
Wall Street describes himself as
such a rebirth of creativity. were halted when she became a Recommendation will be available for public
We didn’t have [the same single mother at 17 years old. inspection in the Office of Management & Budget,
“always attracted to the written 6th Floor, Maloof Center during normal business
opportunities] when I was Gilliard said while working
word.” hours. The Executive Budget Recommendation
[going to school] here.” at “every” fast-food restaurant,
After the market crash of will also be available electronically at www.
Styling for music videos she continued to “do hair on the
2008 Jones was out of a job in dekalbcountyga.gov and will be available at DeKalb
and football players, Hasbourne side.”
New York City. County Library locations.
decided she wanted to style Gilliard married and became
“Those are the moments in
for television shows. With a military wife causing her to
your life that you really have
no experience as a costume leave salons when her family
The DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer and
to figure out what you want to Board of Commissioners will hold Public Hearings
designer, Hasbourne got on the 2019 Executive Budget Recommendation at
See Panel on Page 9 times and places to be announced later.
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2018 • Page 9

DUNWOODY

Artist and bookstore owner hopes


to bring communities together
BY KATHY MITCHELL their children. Now they’re
FREELANCE REPORTER truly delighted to find them for
their grandchildren. “
Christie opened his shop
R. Gregory Christie said in 2012 in North DeKalb Mall
he wants patrons to think and moved earlier this year to
of his Perimeter Mall shop, Perimeter Mall. “I just wasn’t
GAS-Art Gifts Children’s getting the volume of foot
Bookstore, primarily as a traffic I need at North DeKalb
bookstore although he said it’s Mall. Art and books are often
much more. “It’s an art shop impulse purchases. People
and studio as well, but my goal usually don’t wake up in the
is to help people see art and morning thinking ‘I’m going to
books in a new way. I want to go looking for some art today’
bring the community together or ‘I think I’ll look for a book
through art and literacy.” today.’ They see something they
Christie is an award- like and decide to buy it,” he
winning artist who has said.
illustrated more than 60 Because the Perimeter Mall
children’s books and continues store has not been as busy as
to illustrate at a rate of two Christie had hoped, another
to three books a year. He has move is planned for 2019.
received such recognitions as “Some changes are being made
the NAACP Image Award and at Stonecrest with a focus on Although R. Gregory Christie says he wants his Perimeter Mall shop seen primarily as a bookstore, it offers framed and unframed
his art was selected by the U.S. sports and attracting families. art created by him and his wife.
Postal Service for its Kwanzaa I think that might be the right
stamp. place for me,” Christie said, The GAS in the store name he said. All his books are from GAS-Art Gifts Children’s
“My art is for everyone,” adding that he plans to open was a whim, Christie said. traditional publishers, he Bookstore offers art, framed
Christie said, “but I think there in February. He said if A fellow artist called him noted. “People ask me to carry and unframed. All the store’s
it’s especially important that store fails to bring the gregarious, “so it could be their self-published books on art is Christie's work or that
for children of color to see volume of business he needs, gregarious art statements or consignment, but that would of his wife, who is also an
illustrations of people who he may conclude that Georgia great art statements or great make me a different kind of artist. Many are pieces that
look like them. The largest is wrong place for his concept. art store,” he suggested with a store. That’s not what I want to have illustrated books. “One
segment of my customer base “It’s a sound concept,” laugh. do right now.” day we may sell the work of
is Black grandmothers. They Christie said, explaining The books Christie Although he doesn’t guest artists, but that’s after
are so excited to see books that he believes interesting illustrated are available in sell self-published books, I become a bigger business.
with positive images of Black illustrations will get children his store along with other workshops for people wanting You have to crawl before you
children. They remember when interested in reading. “I want judiciously chosen selections. to create and bind their own walk,” Christie said. He said
the Dick and Jane books that them to pick something up “I am careful about what I books are among his shop’s by featuring his own work he
featured only White children because it’s visually appealing choose for my store. I want to services along one-on-one controls the prices. “I want the
were the standard. Many of then become interested in the be careful about the subject art instruction and painting art to be affordable,” he said. “I
them say they had a hard time story. Children today need matter. I don’t choose on a classes, including sip and paint want children to be able to pick
finding books with children of more quiet activities such political basis, but I think of sessions. Christie said he caters something they like and for the
color when they were children as reading and painting,” he this as a specialty store with a to all ages and skill levels. parents to be able to buy it for
or even when they were raising added. focus on history and culture,” In addition to books, the child’s wall.”

PANEL Continued From Page 8 CITY OF STONE MOUNTAIN


had to move around. While in Soon after, Gilliard my life and my passion.”
PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE
New York, Gilliard’s husband became the first Black person Gilliard wrote her first book
was deployed and she opened to become part of the hair The Little Book About Toxic The City of Stone Mountain hereby gives notice that a
her own hair salon and also and makeup union in South Friends, while recovering. Public Hearing will be held to receive public comment
became a salon consultant. Carolina. She still remains When word got out that she on a Text Amendment application to Appendix A,
Networking as a salon the only person of color in the wanted to work again, Gilliard
consultant led Gilliard to South Carolina union. received 18 calls in two weeks Zoning, Article V. District Regulations, Sec. 5-8. – Office
become the hair stylist for the Even when Gilliard was to work on sets in Atlanta. Professional Institutional District of the City of Stone
television show Run’s House. struck by a train in 2014 The television series is Mountain Code of Ordinances for the property located
Gilliard’s family moved while on the set of Midnight loosely based on the ‘90s film at 6804 James B Rivers Memorial Dr, Stone Mountain,
back to South Carolina after her Rider─breaking her arm in Boomerang that stars Eddie Parcel #18-126-07-012.
husband’s retirement. However, half─ she continued to do hair Murphy and Halle Berry. The
Army Wives was filming in with eight screws holding her television series being filmed The Mayor and City Council will hold a Public Hearing
Gilliard’s home state at the arm together. in the Atlanta area is co-created on this matter on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at City Hall
time. Gilliard came to the set as “The doctors told me I’d by Emmy winner and executive located at 875 Main Street, Stone Mountain, GA at 6:30
a background artist and asked never do hair again,” she said. producer Lena Waithe and P.M. Anyone wishing to attend the public hearing may do
the producer if she could style “They weren’t going to tell me Jones, with Berry also serving
hair for the show. what I was going to do. This is as executive producer.
so and be heard relative thereto.
DEKALB FREE PRESS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2018 • Page 10

AROUNDDEKALB
CLARKSTON DJ playing favorite dance hits. Admission
includes appetizers from Gotta Have It
at one of the recreational facilities during
normal operating hours. The Lucious Sanders
Library offers social benefits and Catering, two drink tickets, a dance floor with Recreation Center is located at 2484 Bruce
employment assistance DJ, sodas, a champagne toast at midnight and Street.
holiday party favors.
Admission is $45 for History Center
Residents who need assistance with
applications for social benefits can meet members or $60 for non-members. For guests STONE MOUNTAIN
with a caseworker from International Rescue younger than 21, the cost is $15. Group rates
are available. To purchase advance tickets and Library to host holiday craft activities
Committee Dec. 21 at Clarkston Library
from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A caseworker will save 10 percent, visit squareup.com/store/
dekalb-history-center. Enter code DHD18 Crafters can make ornaments at Stone
assist residents on a first-come, first-served Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library Dec. 18 from
basis. An employment specialist will also during checkout for 10 percent off.
1 to 3 p.m. The event is open to the first six
provide employment assistance. The library is participants. The library is located at 952 Leon
located at 951 North Indian Creek Drive. For
information, call (404) 508-7175.
LITHONIA Street. For more information, call (770) 413-
2020.
Coats wanted for clothing drive

DECATUR DeKalb County Department of Recreation, COUNTYWIDE


Parks & Cultural Affairs is accepting new or
New Year’s Eve event announced gently used coats for its first coat drive now DeKalb schools take holiday break
until Dec. 21 at Lucious Sanders Recreation
“Ring in the New Year with the best party in Center in Lithonia. As the temperature starts City Schools of Decatur and DeKalb County
Decatur,” states a release from DeKalb History to drop, the Department of Recreation School District will take a holiday break from
Center announcing the organization’s holiday Parks & Cultural Affairs is working to provide Dec. 24 to Jan. 4 in observance of Christmas
extravaganza. It features a professional some comfort to those in need. Residents and New Year’s. The districts will start the
are encouraged to drop off coat donations second semester of school Jan. 7.

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SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2018 • Page 11

Soccer player Allie Berk signed with University of Alabama. Sebastian Thomas signed a baseball scholarship to Auburn University.

Runner Kathleen Maley signed with the University of Tennessee. Baseball player James MacCallum signed with Mercer University.

Golfer Matthew Larkin signed a scholarship to Wofford College. Katie Goldberg signed a softball scholarship to the University of Virginia.

Six Marist athletes sign on the dotted line


BY CARLA PARKER recently signed letters-of-intent in front and was a First Team All-State selection team.
carla@dekalbchamp.com of family and friends. as a junior. Maley signed with the University
Berk signed with the University of Larkin signed a golf scholarship to of Tennessee. She finished first in the
Six student athletes from Marist will Alabama. She led Marist to two state Wofford College. He helped lead Marist individual standings at the Class AAAA
be student athletes at the college level runner-up titles (2016, 2017), and she to a third-place finish at the Class cross country meet this year, leading
next year. plays for Top Hat Soccer Club. AAAA state tournament last May. Marist to its 19th girls’ cross country
Seniors Allie Berk (soccer), Katie Goldberg signed with the University MacCallum signed a baseball state title. She was named to the 2017
Goldberg (softball), Matthew Larkin of Virginia. She was an infielder and scholarship to Mercer University, and All-Metro Cross Country 1st Team by
(golf), James MacCallum (baseball), team captain for Marist and earned his teammate, Thomas, signed with the Atlanta Track Club.
Kathleen Maley (cross country/track) Most Valuable Player honors. She was Auburn University. Both were members
and Sebastian Thomas (baseball) named the Region Player of the Year of Marist’s 2017 state championship
DEKALB FREE PRESS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2018 • Page 12

DECATUR

Fifteen recognized as hometown heroes


BY HORACE HOLLOMAN honored the volunteers, and
since then, the Hometown
horace@dekalbchamp.com Heroes Awards have been
presented annually.
Since its inception in 1996, This year’s winners
Decatur officials have handed included Mike Barcik, who
out hundreds of hometown volunteers with the MLK Jr.
hero awards to deserving Service Project Weatherization
volunteers in the community. Program; Emily Berg, founder
This year, Decatur of the Mead Road Mardi
recognized 15 individuals with Gras Parade; Beth Byrnes,
the Hometown Hero Award founder and president of
at the December meeting of the Clairemont Gateway
Decatur Business Association Association; Anne Clarke,
at the Decatur Conference operator for the Oakhurst Jazz
Center. Night series; Joyce Cohrs,
“These hometown heroes, volunteer for The Friends Decatur city officials honored 15 hometown heroes during a December Decatur Business Association meeting.
they make a huge difference in of Decatur Library; Kristin
the community,” said Decatur Ebersold, community leader Amina Mohamad, a leader “This was such a big photo placed in the “Wall of
Mayor Patti Garrett. and volunteer; Quonisha in the Somali community and surprise when I got the letter Heroes” in the Decatur City
According to city officials, Jackson, Middle Georgia Decatur Housing Authority in the mail from the city Hall where the names of all
the hometown heroes program Bears Elite football coach and apartment neighborhood; saying that I was a Hometown past Hometown Heroes can be
was created in 1996 at the student tutor; Linda Lael, Beate Sass, creator of the I Am Hero,” Martin said. “Being a found.
close of the Hometown to the longtime AARP tax aide and Decatur photo project; Sara past president of the Decatur “I was shocked. I had no
World Festival held during the volunteer income tax counselor Shay Sullivan and Christy Business Association, I used to idea [I would win this award],”
Atlanta Olympic Games that at Decatur Recreation Center; Amador, former co-chairs of emcee this event and I always Clarke said. “It was really
year. Officials said the 14-day Tim Martin, Decatur Business the Better Together Advisory wondered what it would be like great. I have lots of community
festival was a success because Association volunteer; Ellyn Board and Anna Summerlin, to be a Hometown Hero and support. The community has
of the hundreds of volunteers. Mathys, founder of the volunteer with A Season of now I get my chance. This was been great, and I couldn’t do
At the close of the festival, the Oakhurst Pollinator Garden Giving/Christmas Decatur. great.” what I do without the support
Decatur City Commission at the Oakhurst Dog Park; Winners also have their of the community.”

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