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  • 8/20/2019 FREEPRESS 100915

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    F REE P RESS 

    championnewspaper championnewspaper champnewschampionnews

    thechampionnewspaper.com

     FRIDAY, OctObeR 9, 2015 • VOL. 18, NO. 27 • FREE

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

    See Lee May on page 15A

    See Legacies on page 15A

    Honoring legaciesLOcAL, 2A  LOcAL, 10A    SPORTS, 23A 

    Business .................................17A 

    ducation..........................16-17A 

    Sports ............................... 21-23A 

    Opinion ......................................5A classifed ..............................20A 

    QuIck FINDeRcItYhOOD pROpONeNts,OppONeNts mAke theIRcAses tO VOteRs

    RON GARtReLLGets 200thcAReeR wIN

    ResIDeNts QuestIONPROPOSED SOCCERFAcILItY 

    A Decaturfamily honorsthe past whilelooking to thefuture

    by ravis [email protected]

    Recently, on a quietesidential street off College

    Avenue, local matriarchs andongtime Decatur residents

    Thelma Faverand, 94, Carrie Cook , 86, and Gussie MaeLowe (posthumously) werehonored at the HometownCountry Cookout—an

    annual event hosted byCarrie Salone.“This year [we] wanted

    o give tribute to threeegendary women who have

    truly touched the lives ofthose around them. Theyare mothers, grandmothers,caretakers, providers,

    motivators, spiritual leadersand inspirational women,who have created anastonishing legacy,” Salonesaid.

    Salone, who is the ownerof the downtown DecaturMcDonald’.s, wanted to honorthese women whom she said

    made a positive impact in thecommunity. The inauguralcelebration honored Salone’smother Leila Johnson,now deceased. This year’s

    event hosted more than twohundred friends, relativesand neighbors who gatheredat the Salone residence to

    fellowship and honor thepast.“My daughters and I were

    honored to be able to givethem their flowers while they

    could enjoy them,” she said.More than a typical

    backyard cookout—thered carpet event featured

    plenty of food and music,a mac-and-cheese cookingcompetition, a Michael

    Carrie Salone, right, with her daughters Alleah, left, and Ayana hold awards thatwere presented to the honorees. Photos by Travis Hudgons

    Thelma Faverand with her award.Larry Johnson and Natalyn M. Archi-bong pose with honoree Carrie Cook.

    Interim CEO criticizes ‘laughable’ corruption reportnterim DeKalb CEO Lee May said he made a mistake in the team he chose to investigate corruption in DeKalb. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

    by Andrew [email protected]

    Interim DeKalb County CEOLee May  said a corruption report heommissioned is “laughable” and he

    will not resign as it recommends.Former state attorney general

    Mike Bowers, who investigated theAtlanta Public Schools cheating

    scandal, was picked in March by Mayto root out county corruption.

    “Tey were charged to investigatethe day-to-day operations of DeKalbCounty government and to bringback various recommendations…to let us know those areas where weneed to tighten reins, where we needto work on our fiscal controls andother opportunities to prevent those

    areas from waste, fraud and abuse,”May said.

    Te 40-page report, for which thecounty spent $850,000, May said, is“laughable.”

    “Read that report…and remove…the salaciousness…and the one thingthat they knew would get your atten-tion, that I ought to resign this seat,”May said during a news conference.

    “Look through that report and seeif you see anything…that is worthyof me resigning,” May said. “I haveread through it and I don’t see any-thing.

    “I’m not resigning,” May reiter-ated. “Now if the people of DeKalb—the taxpayers, the residents ofDeKalb—ask me to step down, thenabsolutely, that’s something that I’m

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    The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015 Page 2A LOCALPage 2A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015

     

    LOCAL

    by Andrew [email protected]

    There were more questions thananswers when the three commission-ers who voted against the proposedAtlanta United soccer facility held acommunity conversation Sept. 28.

    Nearly 100 people were presentwhen DeKalb County CommissionersKathie Gannon, Nancy Jester and JeffRader hosted the public conversationabout The Home Depot co-founderArthur Blank ’s proposed AtlantaUnited soccer facility in DeKalb.

    On Aug. 4, the board of commis-ioners voted 4-3—with Commission-

    ers Larry  Johnson, Mereda Davis Johnson, Sharon Barnes Sutton andStan Watson supporting the mea-sure—to bring the facility to DeKalb.

    Former District 5 commissioncandidate Harmel Codi said, “I amwondering what is the likelihood offiling an injunction…to figure outwhat the actual costs will be for thisproject prior to the final contract be-ing executed?

    She continued, “What are thecommitments that have been negoti-ated…on behalf of the community?”

    Rader said, “There have beensome actions taken...as apparentlysports actions have been taken in

    this region, with no public commentand with very little consultation as towhether or not the public wants theirresources invested in this particularway.”

    Blank plans to build a $30 millionsoccer complex at the intersection ofKensington Road and Memorial Drivenear Interstate 285 in Decatur. Thesoccer campus will include a 3,500-seat stadium, three outdoor practicefields and a two-story corporate head-quarters on land behind the DeKalbCounty Jail. The proposal states fouradditional fields and an indoor train-ing facility could be built later.

    Atlanta United is expected to em-

    ploy approximately 83 people in itscorporate headquarters in 2017. Thatnumber is predicted to grow to 123people in 2018 with salaries that aver-age $150,000 per year, according tothe memorandum of understandingproposal. Approximately 123 con-struction-related jobs are estimated tocreated with 10 percent of the jobs go-ing to DeKalb residents.

    “The decision was made with verylittle consideration of some of theweaknesses and defects of the actualmemorandum of understanding ordeal structure,” Rader said.

    Residents question proposed soccer facility 

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    See Soccer on page 10A

    rom left, DeKalb Commissioners Nancy Jester, Jeff Rader and Kathie Gannon held a forum for residents to air their views on the proposed Atlanta United soccer facility. Right, JamesTsismanakis, executive director of Discover DeKalb, said the proposed facility would give the county “credibility for soccer.” Photos by Andrew Cauthen

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    The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015 Page 3A LOCAL

    didn’t receive our latest issue?Call

    (404) 373-7779thechampionnewspaper.com

    #ItsInThechampionSUBSCRIBE NOWchampionnewspaper

    championnewspaper

    championnews$39PERYEAR

    by Ashley Oglesby [email protected]

    Dunwoody officialshave drafted a plan to shareecreational programs andpace with Peachtree Charter

    Middle School. The plan willbe presented to the DeKalbCounty Board of Educationoon.

    The agreement proposesor the school district and

    Dunwoody to have joint useof property that is currentlyowned by the school district.

    City staff met withPeachtree Charter MiddleSchool Principal ScottHeptinstall to create theagreement, which wouldallow the city to use the

    school’s playing field andinterior school facilities, ex-cluding the gymnasium afterregular school hours with atminimum a one-week noticeto the principal.

    Dunwoody officials ap-

    proved the agreement onSept. 28.Parks and Recreation

    Director Brent Walker saidthe agreement signifies thatDunwoody’s mayor and citycouncil want to work withPeachtree Charter MiddleSchool in particular.

    Walker said, “The citybenefits in a lot of ways–we’re kind of land poor as faras open space. One of ourbest opportunities is to seewhat’s out there and where

    we can partner with otherorganizations to utilize thefield space that is alreadyin town, and of course theschools have a lot of thatproperty.”

    According to Walker

    the partnership would be abenefit to Peachtree CharterMiddle School because hasone maintenance person re-sponsible for the premises.

    Walker said the city hasbeen working for a while tocreate shared space and pro-gramming.

    “The deal benefits theschool because Dunwoodyagrees to take responsibilityfor maintaining the turf. Theparks department has theresources and the crews that

    have the know-how to main-tain the parks to a certainstandard,” he said.

    He added, “To be able toutilize their athletic facilitiesand also to be able to pro- vide them with park space

    for any events and needs forthe school system would behelpful to them. It also givesthe city an opportunity tohave athletic space withoutthe city having to invest alot funds toward purchasingproperty and developing thatproperty into athletic space.”

    The deal doesn’t obligatethe city in any other main-tenance or infrastructurerepair issues, Walker said.Existing problems wouldhave to be addressed in the

    future.He said the intergovern-

    mental agreement is some-thing the city has alwayswanted.

    “When we took overBrook Run Park from

    DeKalb County it was obvi-ous that it would be a nicepartnership between us andPeachtree Charter MiddleSchool,” he said.

    Walker said he’s been incontact with Heptinstall for acouple of years to “iron out”the agreement.

    It is uncertain when theproposal will be presented tothe board of education.

    Walker said the goal is to“have a presence over thereby spring of next year.”

    Dunwoody officials draft agreement with school district

    by Ashley Oglesby [email protected]

    The Decatur Mural Proj-ct was established in 2012o create partnerships with

    artists, property owners, lo-al volunteers, sponsors andunding agencies aimed toreate murals for the beautifi-ation of Decatur buildings.

    Since its inception, cityofficials have approved sever-

    al art projects by local artists.Decatur’s latest effort toncrease public art will be a

    mural installed on the MAR-TA overpass at West Trinityand Atlanta Avenue.

    Atlanta Regional Com-mission (ARC) granted theity of Decatur $15,000 on

    Sept. 18 to support the costand technical details of theproject.

    According to a memo-andum presented by Linda

    Harris, Decatur assistantdirector of community andconomic development, “The

    Decatur MARTA overpassintersects] several diverseommunities while shelteringhildren waiting for school

    buses, as well as neighborsand employees walking andiding bikes. Many cars tra-

    verse the corridor daily, andhousands of citizens from all

    over the Atlanta region ridehe Blue Line MARTA train

    across the overpass every day.n essence, it creates a gate-

    way into these economicallyand racially diverse commu-

    nities and provides an oppor-tunity for real connectionsthrough meaningful art onthis large, durable concretecanvas.”

    Harris said, “It will bea visual reminder of wherethese communities intersect.”

    The grant was inspired by

    the Philadelphia Mural ArtsProgram in 2014. A group ofmetro Atlanta leaders collab-orated with ARC and raisedfunds to create the AtlantaRegional Public Art Program.The new program providesmatching funding througha competitive grant processto help communities installpublic art in their communi-ties.

    Each work of art is ex-pected to celebrate a commu-nity’s unique identity while

    symbolizing its commonali-ties.

    Harris said the art instal-lation will “really enliven thatarea and remind people of thecommunities that live aroundthere.”

    The city of Decatur, theDecatur Housing Authority

    and the Decatur Arts Alli-ance plan to collaborate withMARTA and the surround-ing community to create themural.

    The mural will be locatedwhere the resident of TrinityWalk, Allen Wilson Terraceand Henry Oliver Housemeet.

    ARC Senior Communica-tion Coordinator Jim Jaquishsaid the grant requires a 100percent match from the city.He said the grants are part-

    nerships between ARC andthe Community Foundationof Greater Atlanta.

    Sixteen jurisdictions fromsix counties submitted ap-plications in the first cycleof funding and were askedto focus on interpreting thetheme: “There is ample op-

    portunity to participate inmaking history in our re-gion.”

    “ARC and its partnersbelieve that this program cantruly be transformative forcommunities throughout theAtlanta region,” said DougHooker, ARC executive di-rector in a statement.

    He said, “To get 16 appli-cations in the first year provesthat our local governmentleaders feel the same way. Welook forward to finding long-

    term funding sources andhelping create more public artthat instills pride and interestin all of our communities.”

    Grantees were selected bya panel of regional civic lead-ers, community engagementprofessionals, artists anddesign professionals selected

    grantees.Projects were selectedbased on the community en-gagement processes proposedfor interpreting the themein their communities andthe anticipated quality of theprojects.

    Decatur officials arecurrently accepting propos-als from artists for designs.Those interested in par-ticipating can contact LindaHarris at [email protected]

    Decatur receives grant for community mural

    The mural will be installed on the MARTA overpass at West Trinity and Atlanta Avenue. Photo by Travis Hudgons

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    Sometimes the best part the DeKalb County Board Commissioners’ meetings

    s the public comment ses-ion. Tis is a period in the

    meetings when anyone canalk about anything or three

    minutes. Te idea is to allowhe public to voice county-elated requests, concerns orpinions.

    Stephen Binney  oClarkston used his time toalk about division in theounty. He reerenced adiscussion a ew weeks agobout spending $20 mil-on or natural gas uelingecause south and central

    DeKalb County have land-fills but north DeKalb doesnot.”

    “Tis is unair,” Binneyaid, “and I think northDeKalb needs its own land-fill.”

    Binney proposed “a studyo determine i near the pro-osed new cities o LaVista

    Hills or ucker would be thebest location or a landfill.”

    “Tey are taking awayour tax money; perhaps weshould give them a gif,”Binney said. “We could ne-gotiate with them each tosee which one would give usthe most money to build thelandfill near them.

    “It is in its own way kindo like a soccer stadium,”Binney said. “Maybe they

    would even consider notleaving the county i wepromise not to build thelandfill next to them.”

    On a more serious note,Binney addressed the “el-ephants in the room: racismand greed.”

    He said he grew up inPlantation, Fla., west o FortLauderdale, where there wasa large population o Blacksbetween the two cities.

    “Te city limits o bothcommunities looked like a

     jigsaw puzzle piece to avoidhaving the Black populationin their respective com-munities, leaving BrowardCounty alone to try to pro-

     vide needed services or thehuddled masses yearning to

    be ree,” he said.“I have heard people saythat racism no longer existsin America. Tis is a lie,”said Binney, a White man.

    “Look at DeKalb Countyand you will see history re-

    peating itsel—rich, mostlyWhite people orming theirown communities to keeptheir tax dollars away romthe needier parts o DeKalbCounty that have been ig-nored or years.

    “I this is not greed andracism I do not know what itis,” Binney said. “We can usenicer words and talk aroundit all you want, but it doesnot change what it is.”

    Many times in DeKalbI have heard the sentimentthat the cityhood movementis a type o resegregation orneo-White flight, in whichWhites try to distance orseparate themselves romBlacks. It has happened be-ore in DeKalb County, and

    some believe it is happeningagain.Cityhood proponents

    have a long list o thingsthat they say are wrong withcounty government, yetmost o them have never

    tried to address their con-cerns through the machinethat exists. Most have notrun or office or served onthe county’s many citizencommittees or called theircommissioners or even at-tended a commission meet-ing. I these proponents had,the commission meetingswould have to be held in alarge high school auditoriumand things probably wouldbe different in DeKalb.

    Tere is one thing thatmany orget as they supportnew cities: the new cities arestill in DeKalb and wouldstill be impacted by DeKalbCounty decisions. Tus,each city resident still needsgood government on the

    county level. Incorporationdoes not fix every problem.As Binney said, “Let us all

    work together instead o fid-dling as Rome burns.”

    The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015 Page 4A OpINION

    GUEST EDITORIAL

    Let’s work together

    @AndrewChampNews

    Andrew Cauthen

    [email protected]

    Managing Editor

    It is not about interim CEOLee May  or the DeKalb Board oCommissioners or their intents.t has to do with integrity, and

    whether Mr. Lee May and the othersmay have violated their oaths ooice and the laws o the state. It isnot about people holding the oice;t is about the kind o government

    we want to represent us. We are agovernment o laws and not people.Mr. Lee May was not elected CEO.He was appointed by the governoras interim CEO because o theproblems with corruption in thecounty. We expect our leaders to beheld to higher standards. When youdo wrong the chickens will comehome to roost. Now the chickensare coming home to roost. As M.L.King  stated, and I recognize that“there comes a time when one mustake a position that is neither sae,

    nor politic, nor popular, but he mustake it because conscience tells himt is right.”

    A leader at the county or statehould be able to lead employees

    and citizens to accomplish goalsor the best interest o the public.hey should protect the public, andook out or the general welare.

    Leadership is doing the right thing

    when no one is watching. We haveo recognize that being an electedoicial is not synonymous withbeing a leader. One can hold anelected position, and at the same

    time be void o leadership and canbe, in act, incompetent. We havemany people holding positionso authority that are not leaders.hese leaders oten practice the“do as I say, not as I do” approach.Perpetuating the bad behavior byexample and what they do as othersobserve.

    We have to go beyond supportingan elected oicial because weknow them, whether we like them,riends or amily; oten lookingthe other way to protect them.When someone violates our code oconduct, lacks ethics and trust and

     jeopardizes our own well-being thenwe have to call them to task, andmake them accountable. No matterwho they are.

    Being silent is not an option.M.L. King stated, “Our lives beginto end the day we become silentabout things that matter.” Our socalled leaders, who are out there,must start speaking out and providereal leadership. King also said, “heultimate measure o a man is notwhere he stands in moments ocomort and convenience, but wherehe stands at times o challengeand controversy.” Let the peoplerepresent.

    Our county oicials and othergovernment leaders should not beabove the law, and should not beable to spend taxpayer money as iit were their own money. his is an

    abuse o power and authority, andrepresents greed and arrogance,which causes our business andsigniicant capital investment toleave a community and or othersnot to come, and it will erode andinect the community at all levels ilet unchecked.

    Our community leaders must notremain silent and allow this kindo unchecked behavior to continue.We must let our voices be heard andlet it ring rom Stone Mountain,Arabia Mountain to the state capitol,that we want good government, allover Georgia. While there are someprepared to march on Washington,D.C., we need to be marching to ourlocal governments and state capitol.

    oday, it seems manygovernment oicials work orthemselves, when they are supposedto be working or us. I am rustratedlike many others citizens with thisbusiness as usual attitude with thepublic trust being violated. Nocustomer service and being treatedlike an invisible man. Our electedoicials should be accountable andresponsible or how they spend ourtax money. It makes it bad or allo us, when a ew bad apples spoilthe whole barrel. Citizens should

    be able to know everything ourgovernment does in our name,and the government should beresponsive to our needs. hegovernment employees should tell

    the people what is really going on.he employees on the inside knowwhat is really going on.

    I believe we have honorableand trustworthy people in ourcommunities who can do the joband provide good leadership or ourcounty government. We need to putout a job description looking orgood citizens with good judgment.he candidates must not be greedyand they must respect the rightso residents, as cited in the U.S.Constitution and the Bill o Rights.Particularly, the reedom o speechclause and the right or citizens toassembly and redress governmentand recall corrupt politicians ascited in the Georgia Constitution.

    It cannot be easier to create a cityor town, than to get rid o a no-goodpolitician.

    he reputation and charactero a man is very important, andall we need is a ew good citizens.“In the end, we will remember notthe words o our enemies, but thesilence o our riends.”—M.L. King

    I like my county and I want itto be the best it can be, so that Ican be the best I can be or uturegenerations.

    Ed Williams, chairmanConcerned Citizens or EectiveGovernmentCitizens Against Cityhood in DeKalb

    I like my county of DeKalb and I want to make it better

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    The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015 Page 5A 

     

    Let Us Know What You Think!

    THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encour-ages opinions from its readers. Pleasewrite to us and express your views. Lettersshould be brief, typewritten and containthe writer’s name, address and telephonenumber for verification. All letters will beconsidered for publication.

    Send Letters To Editor, The Champion Free Press, P.

    O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Send emailto [email protected] • FAX To: (404)370-3903 Phone: (404) 373-7779 . Deadline for newsreleases and advertising: Thursday, one week priorto publication date.

    EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by colum-nists and contributing editors do not necessarilyreect the opinions of the editor or publishers. ThePublisher reserves the right to reject or cancel anyadvertisement at any time. The Publisher is notresponsible for unsolicited manuscripts.

    Publisher: John Hewitt Chief Financial Ocer:Dr. Earl D. GlennManaging Editor:Andrew CauthenProduction Manager:Kemesha Hunt Photographer:Travis HudgonsSta Reporters:Carla Parker, Ashley Oglesby

    The Champion Free Press is publishedeach Friday by ACE III Communications,Inc., • 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur,

    GA. 30030 • Phone (404) 373-7779.

    www.championnewspaper.com

    DISPLAY ADVERTISING (404) 373-7779 x 110

    F REE P RESS

    STATEMENT FROM THE

    PUBLISHERWe sincerely appreciate thediscussion surrounding this and anyissue of interest to DeKalb County.The Champion was founded in 1991expressly to provide a forum fordiscourse for all community residentson all sides of an issue. We have nodesire to make the news only toreport news and opinions to effect

    a more educated citizenry that willultimately move our communityforward. We are happy to presentideas for discussion; however,we make every effort to avoidprinting information submitted tous that is known to be false and/orassumptions penned as fact.

    OpINION

    The upside of Down syndrome

    Bill Crane

    [email protected]

    Columnist

    ONE MAN’S OPINION

    “And no, she’s never gonnaook like the other kids. Andhe may not learn to talk likehe other ones did. And I

    uess she’s always gonna walkust a little behind, but I don’t

    mind.”  lyrics rom the songGod Doesn’t Make Mistakes 

    y Steve Moser, ather o adaughter with Down syn-drome.

    Once a year, here andround the nation, Downyndrome amilies and com-

    munity come together orheir annual Buddy Walk.

    he events and surround-ng activities in dozens oities collectively raise bothunds and awareness, to

    he tune o roughly $3 mil-ion per year. Metro Atlantatages one o the largest andraditionally most success-ul walks, with 3,000-4,000

    people annually showingup in support and walking

    roughly hal-mile loopround Centennial Olym-

    pic Park. his year’s AtlantaBuddy Walk will be Sunday,Oct. 18, at 3 p.m.

    Originally identiied byDr. John Langdon Down inEngland in 1866, what wenow reer to as Down syn-drome (named or the good

    doctor), is a genetic disorderhat begins almost at concep-ion. he zygote has extra

    data on the 21st pair o our3 pairs o chromosomes,hus the clinical name o ri-

    somy 21. his extra data hasmany typical maniestations,some o them visible, suchas no hand crease across thepalm, or the broader aces

    with typically smaller andslightly latter noses, or theslightly slanted.

    Down syndrome occursin roughly one in every 1,000live births. he incidencesare higher or mothers be-yond their mid-30s. houghthe U.S. population could bemuch higher, excluding theact that upon such diagno-sis, a majority o these preg-nancies are terminated.

    Living and loving thechildren and amilies in thiscommunity or nearing a

    decade, one will periodicallyhear one o our children sug-gest that they wish that Dr.Down had been named, Dr.Up or Upson, which wouldhave translated into Up syn-

    drome.I have two daughters,

    Barclay, 22, and Olivia, 8,and could not be prouder o

    the pair. And though untilyou live the experience youmay not believe me; the up-sides o Down syndrome inmore ways than I can innu-merate here, easily outweighthe down sides.

    Yes, our children maynever grow up in the exactsame way as every otherchild. hey will typicallymaster most every neededskill set, things will just takea bit longer, and their speechand vocabulary may havelimits, but there is no limitto their capacity or joy oror love. I can’t and won’t saythere were not moments oear, concern or even mo-mentary regret, but I can sayall o that was soon sweptaway once our bundle o joyarrived in July 2007.

    Our children and adultsseek nothing more, andnothing less, than what therest o us want out o lie.Close riends, acceptance,a loving amily, our goodhealth and the chance to en- joy these things with others.Increasingly, thanks to events

    like the Buddy Walk, thereis more acceptance, thoughwe are not immune to or un-aware o the occasional hurt-ul comment or pained stare.

    So or at least one day,

    surrounded by amily andriends these kids are thestars o the show. he At-lanta Buddy Walk will raise

    nearly $300,000. he bulk othose dollars stay local, und-ing a wide variety o supportprograms and initiatives,ranging rom occupational,physical or speech therapysessions to job skills train-ing and group home housingoptions or adults. On thenational level, research intothe causes o risomy 21, aswell as treatments to improvecognition and learning abili-ties are also unding recipi-ents.

    We all have many drawson our time and purse. heBuddy Walk alls during thebusy all ootball season, andwe know that conlicts willkeep many o you rom at-tending, but that does nothave to present you romparticipating. You, too, can virtually attend, or at leastsupport the cause, by pick-ing a team or just making amodest git, www.ds-stride.org/atlantabuddywalk.

    As a veteran o this cause,our Olivia has typically beenone o the top perormingteam captains raising sev-

    eral thousand dollars, land-ing her in the op 5 or op10 among several hundredteams. And I would be re-miss, i I didn’t mention thatyou will most likely come

    away with a smile or even aslight bounce in your stepthat wasn’t there at the starto your day. And remember

    God doesn’t make mistakes.

    Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commen-tator for Channel 2’s ActionNews, WSB-AM News/Talk750 and now 95.5 FM, as wellas a columnist for  he Cham-pion, Champion Free Pressand Georgia rend. Crane isa DeKalb native and businessowner, living in Scottdale. Youcan reach him or commenton a column at [email protected] gmail.com. 

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    The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015 Page 6A LOCALPage 6A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015

     

    LOCAL

    If you would like to nominate someone to be considered as a future Champion of the Week, please contact Andrew Cauthenat [email protected] or at (404) 373-7779, ext. 117.

    WILLIAM JOHNSON

    #ItsInTheChampion

    by Andrew Cauthen

    [email protected] new trial has been set for Hemy  

    Neuman, who in 2012 was foundguilty but mentally ill of the 2010 mur-der of Russell “Rusty ” Sneiderman outside a Dunwoody daycare center.

    Neuman will face a jury again inAugust 2016, more than a year afterthe Supreme Court of Georgia over-turned his murder conviction. Thestate’s top court ruled in June that theDeKalb County Superior Judge Greg-ory Adams “erred by allowing in asevidence the notes and records of twomental health experts who examinedNeuman before trial.”

    The Supreme Court stated it madethe ruling despite evidence that“wassufficient to enable a rational trier offact to conclude beyond a reasonabledoubt that Neuman was guilty of thecrimes of which he was convicted.”

    Because Neuman’s request forbond was denied prior to trial, he hasremained in custody.

    Neuman’s recently appointedpublic defenders, Letitia Delan andDuana Sanson, told Adams that they

    needed a year to prepare their case.

    “I don’t normally set them out thatfar,” Adams stated before setting thedate 11 months out.

    While Neuman’s previous triallasted five weeks, prosecutors and thepublic defenders agreed that the retrialwould take approximately two to threeweeks. Adams said he would block outa month for the trial, and he set juryselection to begin Aug. 1, 2016.

    Adams requested motions to befiled by Jan. 1 and said he would starthearing them shortly thereafter.

    Neuman pleaded not guilty byreason of insanity for the November2010 killing of Sneiderman, outsideDunwoody Prep daycare center where

    Sneiderman a 36-year-old entrepre-neur, was dropping off his 3-year-oldson.

    Neuman, donning a bearded dis-guise, allegedly approached Sneider-man in the parking lot and with a re-cently purchased .40 caliber handgunshot Sneiderman four to five times inthe neck and torso, according to thestate’s case.

    Neuman retrial set for August 2016

    In 2007, William John-on was a successful busi-

    nessman with PT Servicesnc., but had a passion to

    help at-risk youth.Johnson, 50, saw high

    percentage of teens doingdrugs, drinking alcohol,ngaging in sexual activity

    and dropping out of school.ohnson, who lives in Stone

    Mountain, saw that therewas a need to help at-risktudents, and he addressedhat need through his Thrive

    Youth Development ProgramTYD).

    “My heart was brokeno see many of our young

    people dropping out ofchool, getting pregnant, noto mention seeing hundreds

    of youth that had made poorhoices getting locked up inocal youth detention centershat I would visit,” John-

    son said. “From a businessperspective I noticed that alot of our youth lacked thecharacter, skills and work

    ethic to be employable. Theyneeded employment skillsbut mainly needed to be po-sitioned for on-time gradu-

    ation as well as the hope,plans and assets necessary tolive out their dreams of go-ing to college, trade school,become young entrepreneursor at least productive citizens

    that would add value to theircommunities.”

    In 2013, Johnson soldhis business to work withstudents full-time. ThriveYouth Development Inc. is a5013c non-profit youth out-reach organization focusedon giving youth a blueprintfor life and assets that trans-forms them into leaders.TYD mentors more than100 students a year throughits leadership programs andsmall group charter coachingin middle school and high

    schools.Johnson said the organi-zation has grown “tremen-dously with our ability to

    have greater community im-pact by key partnerships withorganizations such as OnPoint out of Chattanooga,which has provided us withevidence-based curriculum

    to further improve studentperformance and outcomes.”

    “These partnershipshave deepened our roots andexpanded our services inDeKalb,” he said. “We havehad a huge increase withindividual and communitysupport, which has allowedus to sustain and serve morethan 100 students in 2014and what will be over 200students in 2015.”

    Johnson said the biggestadjustment after selling hisbusiness was “letting go of

    what was familiar to me for23 years and not defaultingback to that when times gotdifficult.”

    “Other challenges includ-edtrying to do everythingand solve every problem onmy own and learning to bemore patient with people andthis process,” he said. “It has

    required a lot of personalgrowth and coaching for usto get this far.”

    Johnson said he hopes inthe next five years TYD willbe equipped to develop 1,000students in multiple countiesand schools.

    “I also see Thrive YDhaving its own buildingthat will serve as a hub thatprovides apprenticeship op-portunities, entrepreneur in-cubators, S.T.E.M. program-ming, robotics, agricultureand culinary arts and various

    opportunities,” he said, “notto mention its own mediaproduction arm that will bestudent directed.”

    Dressed in his orange prison outt, convicted murderer Hemy Neuman learns thedate of his retrial. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

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    Avondale Estates

    City to host candidate forum

    Avondale Estates will host a candidate forumOct. 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at City Hall. Can-didates running for the two expiring seats on theBoard of Mayor and Commissioners have beennvited to attend the forum. City Hall is located at

    21 North Avondale Plaza. For more information,visit www.avondaleestates.org.

    Brookhaven

    City to host arts festival

    The Brookhaven Arts Festival will be heldOct. 17-18. The event is on Apple Valley Roadbetween Dresden Drive and North Druid HillsRoad, located behind the Brookhaven MARTAtation at 4047 Peachtree Road NE. The festival

    will feature more than 100 artists from aroundhe country, as well as music, food, beverages and

    a classic car show on Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. For morenformation, visit www.brookhavenga.gov.

    Decatur

    University Consortium for Liberia honorsMedShare leaders for Ebola response

    On Sept. 26, the University Consortium forLiberia commemorated two MedShare execu-ives–CEO and President Charles Redding  and

    Vice President of Corporate and InternationalRelations Nell Diallo–with the Community ser-vice award.

    The award was presented to MedShare for theorganization’s swift response in providing lifesav-

    ing medical supplies and equipment during the2014 Ebola virus outbreak in Liberia.

    “MedShare is grateful for the recognitionof our efforts in controlling and preventing thespread of certain infectious diseases like Ebola vi-rus,” Redding said. “It’s because of the generosityfrom our donors, sponsors and volunteers that weare able to effectively respond to global disastersand strengthen healthcare systems worldwide.”

    The efforts of MedShare in West Africa dur-ing the Ebola virus outbreak involved shipping30 40-foot containers of supplies and equipping20 medical mission teams with more than 18,000pounds of medical supplies to various hospitalsand clinics where the disease was prevalent. Addi-tionally, nearly 157,000 pounds of donated medi-cal supplies were diverted from local landfills.

    During the event, Redding announced that

    MedShare will be send an additional 40-foot con-tainer of medical supplies to Liberia to help withthe rebuilding efforts.

    Downtown Decatur Neighbors to hostcommission candidate forum

    On Monday, Oct. 12, Downtown DecaturNeighbors will host a forum for Decatur citycommission candidates.

    The forum will have an emphasis on issuesthat impact downtown Decatur, including devel-opment, transportation and parkland. Citywideissues such as the school bond and annexation arelikely to be discussed.

    Six of the seven commission candidates haveconfirmed participation in the event, which willbe moderated by Downtown Decatur PresidentGeorge Dusenbury .

    The event is being held with the support ofWoodlands Garden, a not-for-profit, seven-acreforest preserve open to the public.

    The forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the De-catur Library auditorium, 215 Sycamore Street.

    Downtown Decatur Neighbors is a neighbor-hood group that advocates for the residents of thecommunity.

    Ellenwood

    Local pastor celebrates 30th anniversarymarks ministry milestone

    Love Life Christian Fellowship Church willcelebrate the 30th pastoral anniversary of its se-nior pastor and organizer Rev. Grace C. Wash-ington.

    A banquet will be held Oct. 10 at the Renais-sance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel.

    The festivities will include a 10 a.m. worshipservice on Sunday, Oct. 11, at Love Life Chris-tian Fellowship Church. Pastor E. Dewey Smith of Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church (TheHouse of Hope) will be the guest speaker.

    The anniversary theme is “A Journeyof Grace…filled with Promise, Power, and Pur-pose” and the scriptural focus is Genesis 33:12.

    In addition to being called to the pastorate,Washington has mission work has extended tothe Virgin Islands, China, Soweto, Ghana andBethlehem. Additionally, she has authored fivebooks.

    Love Life Christian Fellowship Church is lo-cated at 3980 Panthersville Road in Ellenwood.

    For more information, contact Elder Alonia 

    Jones at (770) 256-4337 or the church’s office.

    LithoniaCity to host collard greens festival

    Lithonia will host the Original CollardGreens Cultural Festival Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to7 p.m. at the Lithonia Amphitheater, 2501 ParkDrive. The event will include food, music andcollard green ice cream. For more information, visit www.collardgreensculturalfestival.com orcall (678) 828-4008.

    CountywideDeKalb-based Georgia Center for Child Advocacy names new CEO

    The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy(GCCA) has a new champion for the childrenand families it serves throughout Fulton andDeKalb counties. The GCCA board of directorsannounced that it has named Sheila Ryan to therole of CEO, effective Oct. 19. Ryan assumes themantle from retiring CEO Nancy  Chandler.

    Ryan comes to the GCCA from the Marchof Dimes, where she managed a staff of 35 andmore than 8,000 volunteers as state director of theorganization’s Georgia chapter. She managed and

    attained a fundraising goal of $6.5 million.Previously, Ryan was responsible for similarfundraising and team leadership success as direc-tor of the Tocqueville Society for the United Wayof Metropolitan Atlanta, as well as CEO of TheGirl Scouts Audubon Council in Baton Rouge,La., where she managed operations and fundrais-ing for an organization of more than 9,300 girls.

    “This opportunity with the Georgia Centerfor Child Advocacy means that I can continue topositively impact our community through help-ing families and children,” Ryan said of her newrole. “I have long admired Nancy and her teamfor the incredible work they have been doing toserve the needs of abused children and help themheal. It is a great honor to join them.”

    For more information, visit www.Georgia-

    CenterforChildAdvocacy.org.

    AROUNDDEKALB

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    LOCAL

    by Kathy Mitchell

    When Rhonda Shakur Cart-er was homeless in the streets

    of Los Angeles, she paintedunder overpasses and sold herpaintings on the lawn of an artmuseum. Her work now hangsn prestigious galleries acrosshe country and in the homes ofuch celebrities as actress Angela

    Bassett. “I have to paint. It’s some-

    hing that’s always been in me.Whatever else is going on in myife, I have to create art. Fromhe time I opened my first box

    of crayons, drawing is all I’vewanted to do. I’ve tried work-ng at other things, but this is

    what I always come back to,” saidCarter who opened an exhibit ofher work Oct. 2 at the HairstonCrossing Library in Stone Moun-ain. The exhibit will be on dis-

    play until the end of the month.Now a resident of Stone

    Mountain, Carter, a self-taughtartist, has lived in Dallas, Texas;New Orleans; Scottsdale; Ariz.,and other major U.S. cities, seek-ng in each to introduce her di-

    verse art styles. She works in oils,acrylics, watercolors, pencil andother genres. She has developedher own woodcut style that shealls FAWD for fine art in wood

    dimensions.“I became interested in cre-

    ating art from layers of woodbecause I’ve always liked jigsawpuzzles, but I rarely saw brown-kinned people in those puzzles,”he recalled. An aunt gave her acroll saw as a gift and wood is

    now among her favorite mediaxpressions.

    Carter said many of hernspirations come from family,specially the grandmother sheived with during many of herormative years. “Some of my fa-

    vorite pieces are of older women.

    My favorite of the almost 1,000works of art I have created is ofan elderly Black woman. Shedoes not physically look like mygrandmother, but with the deepwrinkles in her face that tell atory she in many ways embod-es her spirit.”

    The favorite piece was notold, but like much of Carter’s

    work, was donated. “An organi-zation to help young artists washolding a fundraising auctionand I donated the painting. Ihated to part with it, but I enjoyknowing that it helped some up-oming young artists and some-

    one somewhere is enjoying it,”he said.

    Another source of inspira-ion growing up was television,

    Carter said, and many of herpieces were inspired by Western-themed shows. One of these,“Cowgirls,” is on display at the

    Stone Mountain Library.Another painting in that ex-

    hibit, done primarily in shadesof blue, is of a woman beingembraced by a younger woman.“That’s me and my daughter,”Carter explained. “She passedaway not long after I paintedthat. I knew I was about to loseher and I woke up one night andstarted work on that painting.Just doing it made me feel moreat peace.”

    Inspirations come frommany different sources, Cartersaid. “Sometimes I see images in

    my dreams and when I wake up Itry to reproduce them.”Carter said her early life

    was difficult—some of it spentin foster homes. “I was a sassylittle thing,” she acknowledged.“I really loved my family, but Iguess I wasn’t always that easyto live with.” Now, Carter said,she hopes her work will promptpeople to think about family andhow important it is.

    A bright spot Carter recalledfrom her early years is the sum-mer she was 12 years old and wasselected to participate in a pro-gram for artistically gifted youth

    at the University of SouthernCalifornia. “Before that, I didn’trealize girls could be artists. Ihad a teacher who really encour-aged me. She told me that I hadtalent and that I should plan tocome back and study art therewhen I was ready for college.But there was no money for col-lege. By the time I was 18, I washomeless,” she said.

    When she was living eitherunder overpasses or in $2-a-day“flop houses,” she made a friendwho arranged for her to live withhis sister. The new friends helped

    her get on her feet and buy artsupplies.“Since then, my life has

    had ups and downs, but I feelultimately it has been movingupward. I moved to Georgia sixmonths ago because I want tosee how well my work will be re-ceived on the East Coast.

    “My dream is to have mywork exhibited in the major gal-leries in New York City. In themeantime I just want to get ex-posure for my work, to have peo-ple enjoy it. Some of my friendssay I don’t charge enough formy work, but I want to keep it

    affordable for people in my com-munity. I don’t feel original art is just for well-to-do collectors. It’sfor everybody,” Carter said.

    Artist brings diverse stylesto Stone Mountain exhibit

    From left, Rhonda Shakur Carter and Elizabeth Costello, a member of the Hairston Crossing Librarystaff, show “Cowgirls,” an art piece in layered wood that is part of the library exhibit.

    A painting primarily in shades of blue reects the artist’s emotions as her daughter neared death.

    “Cowgirls,” like many of Carter’s pieces, reects an interest in Western themes that goes back to theartist’s childhood.

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    by Andrew [email protected]

    The same corruptioneport that calls for the res-gnation of DeKalb’s interim

    CEO accuses the county’s topprosecutor of not cooperat-ng with the investigation.

    In his report on thenvestigation into countyorruption, special investiga-or Mike Bowers accused

    DeKalb County District At-orney Robert James of aclear violation of the Geor-

    gia Open Records Act.”James “flatly refused

    o even respond to our let-

    ers requesting documentshat could have explained

    his questionable spending.nstead, he complained to

    Mr. May about our request,”Bowers stated in his report.

    “The law requires thesepublic records, indicatinghow funds were spent by Mr.ames, to be available for in-pection at all times to any-

    one,” Bowers stated.Bowers said interim

    DeKalb County CEO LeeMay  interfered into the in-vestigation by telling Jameshat the investigators’ requestor documents from the

    DA’s Office was “beyond thecope of the executive order”alling for the investigation.

    In a news conferenceSept. 30 James said that is itflatly untrue” that he vio-ated the Open Records Act.

    May “indicated becauseof the Organizational Act,which is state law, he doesnot have purview over ouroffice [and] he has no con-rol over our expenses,”ames said.

    “Because of that he said

    we were not in the scope ofhe investigation” and heescinded the Open Recordsequests, James said.

    The report listed $23,000

    in “questionable spending,”which James told reporters is

    “easily explainable.”James said the chargesfor catering services were formeals for the “our grand jurywhen they have marathonsessions.”

    Explaining the car repairexpenditures, James said,“We have forfeited vehicles.Some of those…do not getfixed by fleet maintenance.Sometimes it costs us lessmoney to go out and get[them] fixed at some of theplaces around town.

    “These are county ve-hicles,” James said. “Nobodyis using a purchasing card toget their personal automobilefixed.”

    The Bowers report statesthat the district attorney’s of-

    fice regularly overspends itsbudget.

    “We have gone overbudget,” James said. “We justcame out of a recession, but

    crime didn’t stop.“It’s not a matter of us

    wasting money,” he said.“It’s a matter of us not beingfunded appropriately to carry

    out our constitutional duties.“We didn’t go over

    budget because we were…throwing parties and bring-ing in circus animals,” Jamessaid. “We went over budgetbecause we were doing thework that I was elected todo. And quite frankly, itwas much more than I wasfunded for.”

    James said he has “beencoming back to the commis-sion for two years and askingfor additional resources todo our job and up until twoweeks ago we were deniedthose resources.

    “The authors of the re-

    port were given a milliondollars,” James said. “I askedfor $200,000 and the com-mission said ‘no.’ Perhaps ifI had been given a milliondollars things would be dif-ferent.”

    STONE MOUNTAINVILLAGE

    CITY-WIDE YARD SALE

    922 Main St. behind Gazebo

    Saturday, October 17

    8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Setup begins 7:30 a.m.on day of sale

    For info call City Hall

    (770) -498-8984

    District Attorney says he wasn’t requiredto cooperate in corruption investigation

    COMMUNITY 

    INPUT 

    MEETINGS 

    FOR 

    BUILDING 

    S.P.A.C.E.S. 

    INITIATIVE 

    The DeKalb County School District is holding five (5) regional public input meetings, to discuss and gather 

    information related to its Master Planning of  the E‐SPLOST V program, called the Building S.P.A.C.E.S. 

    Initiative. The Building S.P.A.C.E.S. Initiative is an effort to determine how, where, and why future 

    resources should be dedicated to the improvement and modernization of  our buildings and 

    infrastructure to support the District’s vision “to inspire our community of  learners to achieve 

    educational excellence.” 

    The meetings will be held on the following dates and times at the locations shown: 

    Region  Time/Date of  Meeting  Meeting Location 

    Region 1  Tuesday, October 20, 7‐9 PM 

    Chamblee High School 

    3688 Chamblee‐Dunwoody  Road  

    Chamblee, GA 30341 

    Region 5  Thursday, October 22, 7  – 9 PM 

    Columbia High School 

    2106 Columbia Drive 

    Decatur, GA 30032 

    Region 4  Monday, October 26, 7  – 9 PM 

    Miller Grove High School 

    2645 DeKalb Medical  Parkway  

    Lithonia, GA 30058 

    Region 3  Tuesday, October 27, 7  – 9 PM 

    Stone Mountain High School 

    4555 Central  Drive 

    Stone Mountain, GA 30083 

    Region 2  Thursday, October 29, 7  – 9 PM 

    Tucker High School 

    5036 LaVista Road  

    Tucker, GA 30084 

    DeKalb County DA Robert James said his ofce’s so-called “questionable spending” is “easily explainable.”Photo by Andrew Cauthen

    Public Notifcation:

    Our client is proposing to construct one 63-foot positive train

    control tower within Atlanta, DeKalb County, GA. The tower

    (#41405) will be located approximately 450-feet east of the

    intersection of Peachtree Rd. NE and Redding Rd NE, along

    the railroad right-of-way at railroad mile post 626.3. Golder

     Associates on behalf of our client invites comments from any

    interested party regarding specic location information and/

    or the potential effects of the towers on historic properties.Comments may be sent to Angela Kappen, N27 W23960 Paul

    Rd., Suite 210, Pewaukee, WI 53072 or [email protected]

    Comments must be received 30 days following published date.

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    That memorandum ofunderstanding, which Raderaid commissioners receivedwo business days before the

    vote, “raised a myriad…ofquestions which we tried toget answered.”

    That attempt was unsuc-essful, he said.

    “We…need to know fromyou what you would like toee come out of it and how

    you would propose that weontinue to protect the pub-ic’s interest as we make thisnvestment,” Rader said.

    Residents and the threeommissioners complained

    hat there will be no financialbenefit to the county’.

    “I would like one goodolid example of how this will

    help my constituents,” Gan-

    non said. “I have not beenable to get that answered yet,but I am going to continue toask that question.”

    “It’s not a revenue genera-

    tor. It is just a practice facility,”Jester said. “It’s cash out of thegeneral fund to move all ofthe departments that need toget moved off these 41 acres.And it’s cash out of the gener-al fund to do site work and it’scash out of the general fund topay $7 million for parks andrecreation department to belocated in that facility.”

    “At no point in time isthere any revenue generated,”Jester said. “That’s a problem.”

    Iris Darden said becauseshe is on a limited income andhas a disabled husband, she

    won’t be able to afford any taxincrease associated with theproposed facility.

    “Money is going out of thecounty, but we can’t even get a

    pothole filled,” Darden said.Darden said she is not

    opposed to the soccer facility.“I’m for it for healthy pur-poses, but I’m against it when

    it comes to my tax dollars,”she said.Robert Glover said he has

    read the memorandum of un-derstanding three times.

    “There are things thatare not in there—a cost state-ment,” Glover said. “Whenyou’re starting a project of thismagnitude, you always run acost analysis. The cost analy-sis looks at [the] cost to start[and the] cost to maintain.

    “Also there is not a studythat looks at the financialimpact of this area,” he said.“How will all this get funded?

    That is not in these 18 pages,either. Bonds might have tobe put up. That’s not in hereeither.”

    Jeff Wiggs, president of

    the DeKalb Fraternal Order ofPolice, said “millions and mil-lions of dollars of equipment”will have to be relocated tomake way for the proposed

    soccer facility.“For the commissionersthat voted ‘yes’ for this, andthe CEO, hopefully you’llbe brave enough to say…weshould have done a little bitmore homework, admit yourwrongs and let’s stop this,”Wiggs said. “This is crazy.”

    James Tsismanakis, ex-ecutive director and CEO ofDiscover DeKalb, said theproposed facility “helps togive us the credibility for soc-cer.”

    “We already are workingon a lot more soccer tourna-

    ments,” Tsismanakis said,adding that Discover DeKalbis using the proposed facil-ity, “the home of the AtlantaUnited, the home of the train-

    ing facility, in our marketingand promotions.”

    “It gives us the credibilityto go after more events,” hesaid.

    Having the Atlanta Unitedfacility along with the Cham-blee-based Georgia Soccer As-sociation and Doraville-basedSilverbacks soccer stadium“can actually propel DeKalb tobeing the epicenter for soccerin Georgia,” Tsismanakis said.

    “With more tournamentsthen we really generate headsin beds—people staying inhotels, eating at our restau-rants [and] shopping,” he said.

    “The plan of course hope-fully is it will develop Memo-rial Drive. We really don’tknow if it will, but with more

    people coming into town, thatmeans more money beinggenerated,” Tsismanakis said.

    Cityhood proponents, opponents make their cases to votersby Carla [email protected]

    A few hours after the release of aeport that claims DeKalb County hasappalling corruption and a stunning

    absence of leadership,” proponents ofityhood used that report to validate

    heir argument for a new city.Proponents and opponents ofLaVista Hills made their case to vot-rs Sept. 30 at a legislative forum onhe proposed city at Lakeside High

    School. Referendums for proposedities of LaVista Hills and Tucker will

    be on the Nov. 3 ballot.Allen Venet, co-chairman of

    LaVista Hills YES, said he and otherityhood supports are “fed up withhe embarrassment that is the current

    DeKalb County.”“And make no mistake, creation of

    a city will not solve all of the problemsn DeKalb County, but it will in fact

    help,” Venet said. “The clear reason tovote [yes] is to look around. How arehings run better? Are things betterun in a city or in an uncorroborated

    area?“People who go to the voting both

    an either vote ‘no,’ which is a vote forhe status quo,” he added.

    Marjorie Snook  of DeKalbStrong, a group against cityhood ref-

    erendums, said voting ‘no’ for LaVistaHills is not voting for the status quo.

    “I agree that there are profoundproblems in DeKalb County and I donot argue otherwise,” Snook said. “Butyou do not solve the problem of cor-rupt politicians by adding new politi-cians to the mix.

    “The fact is that cities have hadtheir share of corruption as well, andin cities there is actually less oversightthan they have in DeKalb County,”Snook said. “There are no indepen-dent ethics boards in most of the newcities and so when there are ethics violations there are no consequences.”

    Snook mentioned that voters canhelp better the county by voting fornew legislation that will help reformthe county. In March, the state Sen-ate passed three DeKalb reform bills:one that would empower the county’sEthics Board, one that would tightenup its purchasing rules and one thatwould appoint an internal auditor tokeep tabs on county spending.

    Those referendums will be on theNov. 3 ballot. Snook said those newsmeasures will help improve the coun-ty, not add a new layer of government.

    “If we create a new layer of gov-ernment and seven new politiciansthat have less oversight in what we’retrying to institute in DeKalb, we

    are moving in the wrong direction,”Snook said. “[Cityhood] does not an-swer the problems, it’s too expensiveand it’s likely to make the problemworst.”

    Dan Chapman of LaVista HillsYES said cityhood is not about creat-ing a new layer of government.

    “When we talk about adding an-other layer of government, DeKalbgovernment has been adding layersupon layers upon layers,” Chapmansaid. “Cities have been smart aboutmaintaining a light workforce andproviding services.”

    Chapman also addressed claimsthat a new city means higher taxes forresidents.

    “Every one of the new cities thathas come through this process in be-ing studied by the Carl Vinson Insti-tute and passed by the legislator underthese rules has a lower property taxrate than the county from which theyemerge,” he said.

    Snook said other cities still had todeal with costs increases.

    “The cityhood proponents talk alot about millage rate. They say be-cause there is a millage rate cap taxescan’t go up,” she said. “But the factis that city government is extremelyexpensive. The Carl Vinson Institutesaid and projected that the city of

    LaVista Hills will spend six and a halfmillion dollars a year on city over-head.

    “When the cost of governmentgoes up you’re paying for it,” sheadded. “Sometimes that’s because as-sessments go up and they capture thatadditional revenue…the government

    has a lot of ways of getting money outof you. You cannot have that kind ofincrease in government without hav-ing to pay for it.”

    Harold Clark , who lives nearNorth DeKalb Mall, said he knowswhich side he is leaning towards buthe has not decided yet on how to vote.

    “I can understand people beinginterested in [cityhood] because ofwhat’s happening in DeKalb Countygovernment, but outside of that itdoesn’t make a lot of sense,” Clarksaid. “I fear that there are interior mo-tives to help developers do their thingeasier.”

    Clark’s neighbor Laura Zipperer said she does not see a reason for anew city.

    “To me there is no reason whythis community should be a city,” shesaid. “I’m not getting it. I don’t see anyreason for it. I think it will eventuallyaffect schools.”

    Signs showing support and opposition to LaVista Hillswere placed outside the auditorium. Photos by CarlaParker

    Residents look at the proposed map of LaVista Hills.Hundreds of people packed Lakeside High School auditorium to hearboth sides of the proposed LaVista Hills’ argument.

    Soccer Continued From Page 2A 

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    See Peachcrest on page 24A

    Because money doesnot grow on trees.

    I saved money by instal l in g the thermostat myself . I a lso qual i f ied for the ful l $100 Georgia Power rebat e.By fol lowing just a fe w of the easy, money-saving t ips on Georgia Pow er ’s website, I ’ ve been able to reapsome great cash rewards. For more information on tips and other rebates, visit georgiapower.com/save .

    Georgia Power customers may be eligible to receive a rebate of 50% of the installed cost up to $100 for upgrading from a standard to a programmable thermostat. Certain preconditionsand requirements must be met in order to qualify for this rebate. Rebate available through December 2014. Application and receipt/invoice must be submitted within 60 days of purchase

    or installation. ©2014. Georgia Power C ompany. All rights reserved.

    That’s why I installed a programmable thermostatand got a $100 rebate.

    Peachcrest Club celebrates four decadesby Andrew [email protected]

    Forty years ago, thePeachcrest Boys and GirlsClub opened on SherrydaleRoad in unincorporated De-catur.

    A decade later, “the Sal-vation Army saw an oppor-tunity and the two becameone. The growth took offfrom there,” said SalvationArmy Lt. James Sullivan,who runs the site, along withhis wife, Lt. Rebecca Sul-livan.

    Now, approximately 140-160 students are served eachday at Boys and Girls Cluband “just about every staffmember knows every kid by

    name,” James Sullivan said.The Atlanta PeachcrestCorps of the Salvation Armyand Boys and Girls Clubcelebrated 40th anniversaryOct. 2-4, featuring an openhouse, music extravaganza,basketball and cheerleadingtournaments, and recogni-

    tion of those who have beenmembers of the SalvationArmy for 25 or more years.

    When the SalvationArmy moved into the area,“it changed the whole dy-namic in the neighborhoodbecause it allowed the Army

    an opportunity, to just not...ring the bell [at Christmasfor donations], but it gave usthe opportunity to ministerto the same kids that live inthe neighborhood—to feedthem, give them the wordof God, and transform their

    lives from there,” Sullivansaid.

    “There’s not too manyplaces where [you have] achurch..., a Boys and GirlsClub, [and] social services,”Sullivan said. “You get ev-erything right here—three in

    one.”With matching funding

    from United Way, the Salva-tion Army provides socialservices.

    “If you need assistance,...you can come in any day ofthe week...and get nonper-ishable foods and...get yourbills paid–light bill, gas bill,mortgage,” Sullivan said.

    The Boys and Girls Club,located across the streetfrom the newly constructedPeachcrest Elementary, hasan afterschool program thatis “open to all kids” for acharge of $25 a year, Sullivansaid. For $20 per month,students can be transportedfrom nearby Columbia El-ementary and DeKalb Prep

    Academy to the club.The club’s programs in-clude a Power Hour duringwhich staff members helpsyouth with their homework.Students also have an hourof exercise in the gym andplay educational games inthe learning center. There is

    Peachcrest Boys and Girls Club and Salvation Army Corps recently celebrate 40 years of service in the com-munity. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

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    The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015 Page 12A LOCALPage 12A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015

     

    LOCAL

    by Carla [email protected]

    Aeman Presley , who isaccused of murdering fourpeople, will be shackled dur-

    ng court appearances and inront of media cameras, ac-ording to a DeKalb County

    Superior Court judge.Judge Gregory Adams 

    declined a motion by Pres-ey’s lawyers that he not behackled when news media

    are present, at a Sept. 30 mo-ion hearing. The motion

    was one of 44 motions Pres-ey’s lawyers filed.

    Jerilyn Bell told Ad-ams that media images of ahackled Presley could sendhe wrong image to potentialurors by making them think

    he is dangerous.“We believe that shack-

    ing someone can cause someignificant prejudice to Mr.

    Presley, not only now butalso in the future at the trial,”Bell said.

    Adams pointed out thatmedia members had full ac-ess at the motions hearing,

    where Presley was not shack-led. Adams denied the re-quest, saying he would leaveit up to courtroom deputiesto determine what restraintsare necessary.

    Adams did accept thedefense lawyers’ motionthat Presley not appear in jail clothing during courtappearances as long as his

    attorneys provide civilianclothes.

    Presley is accused ofmurdering hairstylist KarenPearce and Calvin Gholston.Presley, 34, is charged withmultiple felony counts, in-cluding malice murder, fel-ony murder, armed robberyand aggravated assault relat-ed to the murder of Pearce.

    DeKalb County prosecu-tors are seeking the deathpenalty in Pearce’s killing,but not in Gholston’s death.

    Pearce, 44, was killedDec. 6, 2014, by a gunshotwound while walking in anarea adjacent to where her vehicle was parked after leav-ing a Decatur restaurant.Police said Presley shot and

    killed Pearce and took herwallet. Pearce was founddead near a parking area inthe 100 block of East Poncede Leon Avenue.

    Presley also faces malice

    murder, felony murder andaggravated assault chargesfor the murder of Gholston,who was residing in the Me-morial Drive area. Presley al-legedly fatally shot Gholstonin the head and torso onSept. 27, 2014.

    Prosecutors in FultonCounty are seeking the deathpenalty against Presley in thekilling of two homeless menshot to death as they sleptoutside. Dorian Jenkins, 42,was killed Nov. 23, 2014, andTommy Mims, 68, was killedon Nov. 26, 2014. Presley fac-

    es charges, including murder,felony murder and aggra- vated assault with a deadlyweapon in Fulton County.

    No trial date has beenset in that case. Presley haspleaded not guilty in allcases.

    Alleged serial murderer may be shackled in court

    Alleged serial murderer Aeman Presley (middle) converses with his lawyers before a motion hearing.

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    The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015 Page 13A LOCAL

    Nonprofit aims to rehabilitate homeless families

    Photo brought t you by DCTV 

    DeKalb County begins one-day-a-week sanitation collection service July 6, 2015

    Residential customers will have same-day garbage, recyclable materials and yard trimmings collection

    For more info, call or visit:

     (404) 294-2900

    www.rollingforwardtoone.com

    WEEKPICTURESIn 

    More than 100 people collected 1.2 tons of illegal signs on Sept. 19 during the the third annual “Sick of Signs” campaign,a national effort against the proliferation of illegal signs. Photo provided

    Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May shows off his “the destroyer” T-shirt before demolishing a vacant home in September. Photoby Andrew Cauthen

    Children Read Atlanta received thousands of books from adonation drive organized by the Goddard School.

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    The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015 Page 14A LOCALPage 14A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015

     

    LOCAL

    by Carla [email protected]

    Brookhaven will soonhave a firm to work on its In-elligent Traffic System (ITS)

    Eexpansion project.The city issued a request

    for qualifications last montho identify firms qualified to

    work on the project. Firmshad until Oct. 8 to submitproposals. The project isncluded in the city’s compre-

    hensive transportation plan.The project consists of

    raffic signal and ITS up-grades and installation ofapproximately 13 signals

    on two corridors: AshfordDunwoody Road from Pe-imeter Summit Boulevardo Peachtree Road, and Dres-

    den Drive from Apple ValleyRoad to Clairmont Road.

    According to the request,he project also includes

    pedestrian improvements,nstallation of fiber optic or

    equivalent communications,

    closed circuit television sur- veillance and corridor system vehicle detection. City of-ficials anticipate that all workwill be constructed within theexisting state or city rights ofway.

    According to the city, fed-eral funds were granted to aidin design and construction.

    “After reviewing the pro-posals, staff may, at its discre-tion, request formal presenta-tions from one or more of theproposers (at proposer’s ex-pense at the city’s site) whoseproposals appear to best meetthe city’s requirements,” therequest stated.

    The firm awarded thecontract must provide proofof professional liability insur-ance of $1 million, along withany other required insurancecoverage and evidence ofbusiness or occupational li-cense, according to the RFQ.

    The current proposed letdate for the project is Febru-ary 2017.

    Brookhaven seekingfirm for traffic systemexpansion project

    DeKalb implements new residentialgarbage, recycling container collectionprocedure

    The DeKalb County Sanitation Divi-sion has announced it will no longer servicethird-party or customer-provided garbage orrecycling containers placed at the curb for col-lection on residents’ designated sanitation col-lection day. Only county-issued garbage rollcarts and recycling containers will be serviced.Third-party or customer-provided yard trim-mings containers are exempt from this proce-dure, which takes effect Monday, Oct. 19.

    This new procedure assists in reducingemployee injuries, and minimizes liabilityand maintenance concerns with handling andprocessing third-party containers. Residentsnot in compliance after Oct. 19 will be issueda notice advising of the use of an unapprovedcontainer.

    Customers who do not have a county-is-sued garbage roll cart, or would like to join therecycling program and obtain a county-issued18-gallon recycling bin should contact theSanitation Division’s customer service team at

    (404) 294-2900 or [email protected] The use of secure, durable plastic bagsfor excess garbage disposal is permitted withthe new procedure if county-issued garbageroll carts are inadequate to meet customers’garbage disposal needs.

    Phase II of the sanitation service changeprogram, which will focus on recycling, isexpected to begin late October. Recycling rollcarts with a 65-gallon capacity will be avail-able during Phase II for a one-time fee of $15.

    More information on Phase II will be provid-ed in the coming weeks.

    For program updates or more detailsabout the sanitation service change, includ-ing a comprehensive list of frequently askedquestions, contact the Sanitation Division’scustomer service team at (404) 294-2900 [email protected], or visit the“Rolling Forward to One” program website atwww.rollingforwardtoone.com.

    Interim DeKalb County CEO to holdcommunity meetings

    Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May  will hold a series of community meetingsthroughout the county.

    Titled “Up Close and Personal,” thesemeetings are an opportunity for residents todiscuss issues important to them with May, in-cluding the county budget, government opera-tions and other topics of community concern.

    The meeting schedule is as follows:

    Thursday, Oct. 8, 6:30-8 p.m., Maloof Au-

    ditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur;Tuesday, Oct 13, 6:30-8 p.m., Lou WalkerSenior Center, 2538 Panola Road, Lithonia;

    Thursday, Oct. 15, 6:30-8 p.m., Tucker-Re-id Cofer Library, 5234 LaVista Road, Tucker;

    Tuesday, Oct 20, 6:30-8 p.m., DerwinBrown Memorial South Precinct, 2842 H.F.Shepherd Drive, Decatur; and

    Thursday, Oct. 22, 6:30-8 p.m., WelcomeFriend Baptist Church, 3198 BouldercrestRoad, Ellenwood.

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    The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015 Page 15A LOcAL

    Legacies Continued From Page 1A 

    Lee May Continued From Page 1A 

    #ITSINTHECHAMPION 

    ackson-themed dance competition,and a display of personal keepsakesand heirlooms handed down from thehonorees.

    DeKalb County CommissionerLarry Johnson was one of many inattendance and he recognized the value

    n honoring the senior community. “Thiss great. We are honoring our seniors andhe legacy that they have built for us in

    our community,” Johnson said.“Commemorating our seniors is

    an important part of what makes ourommunity strong. I really appreciatehis celebration,” Atlanta City Council

    member Natalyn M. Archibong  said. Our seniors are the backbones of ourommunities.”

    Salone said the event welcomes allgenerations to celebrate the legaciesof yesterday and tomorrow. Andhat sentiment was echoed by her

    daughters—Alleah, 20, and Ayana, 17.For the sisters, it’s about the legacy

    and passing it to the next generation.“How do you fulfill what your

    mother has taught you? And how do youpass that down?” Ayana said.

    That question would be answeredwith Mothers Legacy—a nonprofitorganization, established by the sisters,which supports organizations that helpothers. The idea arose after Alleah volunteered at the Atlanta RonaldMcDonald House as part of a high

    school service project. Mothers Legacypays tribute to their grandmotherand its mission is to establish a legacythrough serving the community,encouraging peers, embracing family andstrengthening their faith.

    “It’s about love and giving back,”Ayana said.

    Their organization partnered withWalMart to donate more than 300bicycles for children in need. And they’vedonated more than 30 cases of cereal tothe Atlanta Ronald McDonald House.At the cookout, Mothers Legacy passedout dozens of gift bags filled with schoolsupplies to youths in attendance.

    “We look forward to bringing

    awareness to more inspirational peoplewithin our communities next year,”Salone said.

    More than 200 people attended the event.

    A banner in front of the Salone residence welcomed guests. Photos by Travis Hudgons

    Schools supplies were givento children.

    willing to do.”A day afer the report was released, Georgia

    Gov. Nathan Deal asked the Georgia Bureau onvestigation to review the investigation.

    “As I have said all along, I welcome and supportall investigations into DeKalb County govern-ment, and this includes the governor’s announce-

    ment today,” May stated afer the governor’s order.I have previously urged all county employees toooperate in all investigations, and that statementtill stands.”

    In his report, delivered to the county Sept. 30,Bowers stated that the county’s poor leadershipand widespread corruption “are a disgrace to itsitizens and an embarrassment to our state.”

    Te report states that “May and others con-pired actively to block” the corruption investiga-ion.

    “I have not done that. I have not attempted toontrol this report [or] the outcome o this report,”

    May said. “I have not attempted to direct in anyway, shape or orm the work that the [the investi-gators] have done.”

    In addition to calling or May’s resignation, the

    eport recommended that:“A new day-to-day supervisor for all countyoperations should be appointed, so the public’strust in the administration o DeKalb Countycan begin to be restored. He or she should begiven ull power and authority to manage allcounty departments.”Te county take “immediate steps to recover all

    unds that were spent in violation o state law,county policy or the Georgia Constitution. Forexpenses that were improperly charged, but onlyin violation o county policy, some orm o am-nesty should be offered i the unds are repaid.”

    • “All spending by commission members andtheir staffs should be posted on a public county

    website each week.”• Purchase cards should not be used and existingaccounts cards should be closed.

    •“Te ordinance should be enforced that forbidsdepartment heads and elected or appointed pub-lic officers rom borrowing money rom subordi-nate employees or vendors. Te sanction or thisconduct, which includes removal rom office ortermination, should be enorced.”

    • “All records of expenditures should be kept for atleast seven years.”

    • “State funds, appropriated by the General As-sembly, should be the sole source o unding orthe office o District Attorney.” Tis would ensurethat the DA is “ree rom actual, or apparent, un-due influence by the county governing authority.”

    • Te board of commissioners “should determine

    why there is a delay in getting bills paid and whatis needed to correct this problem.”

    • Te attorney general and a grand jury should de -termine “i there is probable cause to believe thatcrimes have been committed.”

    May said he will use the recommendations inthe report to “weed some o the bad apples.”

    May said it was a great idea to bring in outside

    investigators, but he picked the wrong people.“Te content o this report is at best laughable,

    at worst it’s pitiul,” he stated.“Frankly, I have to apologize to the taxpay-

    ers or this,” May said. “I erred in the selection oMike Bowers. I erred in the person we brought into do the investigation. I believe what we have to

    date is disgraceul.”May said he would ask or some o the $850,000paid to the special investigators to be returned.

    “Tey don’t have a blank check book. Tis isabout money or them,” May stated. “Tey startedearly on saying that….this is going to cost so muchmoney.”

    Saying Bowers’ team was paid nearly $2 millionor its investigation o the Atlanta Public Schoolscheating scandal, May added, “Tey will not get $2million here in DeKalb County.

    Citing various legal problems o GwinnettCounty leaders in the past ew years, May saidDeKalb County’s government is “no more corruptthan any county in this state.”

    “Te city o Atlanta has had challenges. Every-where is going to have challenges. We’re going to

    have challenges with people, with protocols, withpeople doing the wrong thing,” May said.

    “Yes, we do have challenges and we’re work-ing to fix those challenges,” May said. “What I’mcharged to do is fix those.”

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    DEKALB CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

    Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave. Suite 235, Decatur, GA, 30030 • 404.378.8000• www.DeKalbchamber.org

    Brought to you in partnership with: The Champion Newspaper

    October 2015

    News and events of  the

    October 15 – 5:30 p.m. to7:30 p.m. Business-After-Hourspresented by Farmers Insurance- Bornelus Agency, Marlow’sTavern at Emory Point, 1520Avenue Place, Suite 120,Atlanta.

    October 21 – 11:30 a.m. to1:30 p.m. Women Leadershipin Today’s MultigenerationalWorkforce presented by AT&T,725 West Peachtree Street NE,Atlanta.

    November 17 - 11:30 a.m.to 1:30 p.m. New MembersOrientation presented by TheAtlanta Journal-Constitution.

    Cornerstone Bank CommunityRoom, 125 Clairemont Avenue,Decatur.

    November 19 - 11:30 a.m. to1:30 p.m. General MembershipMeeting – Economic Outlookand Financial Impact 2016with Keynote Speaker DennisLockhart, Federal ReserveBank of Atlanta President& CEO, presented by BB&TBank. Federal Reserve Bank ofAtlanta, 1000 Peachtree StreetNE, Atlanta.

    Additional informationavailable on our events page:www.dekalbchamber.org.

    The Importance of Women in Leadership PositionsAs the first female President

    of The DeKalb Chamber ofCommerce, I am reminded ofhow far we have grown as anorganization and a community.I do not take the responsibilitiesof this role lightly and recognizethat I would not be here today if itwere not for the women who havelent me their shoulders to lean onand those who have mentored andshaped the course of my career.

    Over the years, women havemade greats strides, yet stillremain a minority in executiveleadership positions. It is not outof the ordinary for me to attenda business meeting and be theonly woman in the room. It alsois not out of the ordinary thatI be asked to take notes when Iam the only woman in the room.These experiences remind me thatthere is a need for training andleadership development for morewomen.

    Women in leadership positionsshift perspectives, influencechange and compassionatelyconsider all outcomes. Womencannot make these contributions ifthey are not present at the table orgiven the opportunities. Imagine

    the kind of world we would live inif we could help more women riseto executive leadership positions.

    We all learn how to be our very best when we have a rolemodel to emulate and form ourown standards. When younggirls see executive women in keyleadership roles, they recognizethe opportunities and possibilitiesavailable to them. Women likeDonna Buchanan of United Wayof Greater Atlanta; Ann Cramer of Coxe Curry & Associates; andSusan Bell of Ernst & Young aresome leaders that I have beenfortunate enough to call my rolemodels and mentors.

    As a result of the positiveinfluence I received in my life, Iwanted to give back and do morefor women in our community sothey may in turn one day helpanother woman. A new programthat I developed for The DeKalbChamber of Commerce was the

    Women Executive Leaders ofDeKalb (W.E.L.D.). This programprovides emerging leaders andwomen business owners inthe metro Atlanta and DeKalbCounty an opportunity to findsolutions and make an impact in

    their business. Also, women whoparticipate in this program getaccess and support from otherwomen leaders on how to growand become stronger leaders.

    Regardless of the disparities,women executives have managedto succeed in key leadershiproles leading multigenerationsin the workplace. As thislandscape morphs to includefive generations, it becomesincreasingly important for leadersto continue to develop their skillsand teams to collaborate withsynchronization and purpose.

    On October 21, DeKalbChamber and AT&T will host awomen’s leadership luncheon withNzinga Shaw  of Atlanta Hawks,Beth Shiroishi of AT&T Georgiaand Susan Sim Oh of TelemundoAtlanta who will share theirexperiences of how they championthe similarities and embrace thedifferences of multigenerational

    workforces.The event is open to the publicfor women and men and willtake place from 11:30 a.m. to1:30 p.m. at the AT&T CorporateAuditorium at 725 West PeachtreeStreet NE in Atlanta.

    We hope you will be able to join us for this event. Tickets tothe event are $45 for members and$55 for nonmembers and guests.Sponsorship opportunities are stillavailable. For more informationand to register, please visit bit.ly/WELDOct21.

    Katerina TaylorPresident and CEODeKalb Chamber of Commerce

    Upcoming EventsDeKalb Chamber of Commerce toHold Supply Drive to Benefit Can-cer Center at DeKalb Medical

    The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.To bring awareness to breast cancer and help provide relief to local

    cancer patients, The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce will collect dona-tion items to benefit the cancer patients receiving treatment at DeKalbMedical.

    For the supply drive, DeKalb Chamber will be collecting the follow-ing items: blankets, scarves, lip balms, hand sanitizers, individual tissuepackets, mints, ginger candy, journals, personal carry bags, and gentlyused wigs.

    DeKalb Chamber will collect donation items at any of their upcom-ing events in the month of October. If you would like to drop off any do-nation items, you may drop it off at our office located on 125 ClairemontAvenue, Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030. For more details, please call ouroffice at 404-378-8000.

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    BUSINESSThe Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015 Page 17A 

    DeKalb Chamber of Commerce • Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave., Suite, Decatur, GA 30030 • 404.378.8000 • www.dekalbchamber.org INNOVATION

    by Kathy Mitchell

    “People like to know where theirood comes from and what’s in it.

    We’re always glad to share that infor-mation. We don’t keep secrets,” saidCheranna Dottin, marketing mem-ber services assistant at SevanandaNatural Foods Market.

    This month marks Sevananda’s41st year in East Atlanta on theDeKalb side of the Fulton-DeKalbCounty line. While it has had upsnd downs over the years, accord-ng to Dottin, the general trend has

    been growth. Sevananda, a member-owned cooperative, started as a smalltore on Atlanta’s Euclid Avenuend within a few years moved to itsurrent larger space on Moreland

    Avenue as its product offerings andustomer base expanded.Sevananda’s 2014 annual report

    ndicates that the business took aoss in 2013 of more than $170,000,

    but bounced back in 2014 to make aprofit of $143,441.

    “We had some hardships andlmost closed at one point,” Dot-in acknowledged, “but with excel-ent management and communityupport we were able to turn thatround. Our general manager, Gary

    Hilliard, especially deserves credit.”

    Sevananda features vegan and vegetarian food products with anemphasis on organic, locally grownand fair-trade products along with

     vitamins and other food supple-ments. Dottin said the fact that themarket is a cooperative in part ex-plains its 41-year success story. “Be-cause we are member owned, we areable to offer organic and fair-tradeproducts at a more affordable pricethan consumers might find some-place else,” she said, adding that thestore has a philosophy of economic,environmental and social responsi-bility.

    The cooperative business model,the market’s website explains, origi-nated in mid-19th century when agroup of textile workers in England

    pooled their resources to buy suchbasic goods as flour, sugar, oatmealand butter at a lower price. Themodel has since been used across theglobe to assure not only more afford-able prices and quality products, buthonesty and respect in the market-place.

    While the store is open to thegeneral public, members receive adiscount and in profitable years geta dividend. Other membership ben-efits include free classes and events.Members in turn volunteer for tasks

    around the store as well as at out-reach programs such as those at col-leges and festivals.

    From when it first opened its

    doors in 1974, Sevananda has em-phasized what it refers to on itswebsite as “food integrity.” The storeexcludes—to the extent that offi-cials are aware o

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