Issuu on Google+

COMMUNITY SCENE EXPO On the birthday of the late tax commissioner, family, friends, former coworkers and supporters made the honor official. A3 It’s no Blarney! Green or not, if you drink and drive on St. Paddy’s Day, the police are going get you, Irish luck and all. A5 More than two dozens operators of dance, academic, church and allaround camps will be at the March 19 expo at Stonecrest. Section B Tom Scott Interchange Copyright © 2011 CrossRoadsNews, Inc. Sober drive March 12, 2011 Summer camps Volume 16, Number 46 Parents file lawsuit to halt school closings By Carla Parker The DeKalb School Board’s March 7 vote to close eight schools, seven of them in south DeKalb County, is now the subject of a lawsuit. The day of the controversial vote, four parents – Kim Ault, Annette Davis Jackson, Kendall London and Latasha Walker ­– filed suit in DeKalb Superior Court asking a judge to intervene and halt the decision to shutter the schools and redistrict thousands of students until an audit of school operations is done. In the lawsuit, parents said the children have no voice in redistricting and that the “We want an audit of the entire system because we want to know the numbers, the finances, and how the district operates each dollar.” Annette Davis Jackson decisions have “threads of segregation and gentrification.” Jackson, whose two children used to attend DeKalb schools, said parents want the school system to stop the closings. “We want an audit of the entire system because we want to know the numbers, the finances, and how the district operates each dollar,” said Johnson, who relocated to Lilburn. Her ex-husband and children’s father still lives in DeKalb, and she has been advocating for DeKalb students for six years. She said the school system does not have the interest of every child in the district and is giving more resources to schools in the north. “Most students are going to northside schools because southside schools don’t have the best instructional quality,” Jackson said. The lawsuit also lists the citizens of DeKalb and DeKalb NAACP President John Evans as a petitioner, but Evans said his name was added without his approval. Still, he said he supports what the parents are doing. “It is the right move to make,” he said. “Sometimes you have to go through the justice system to get what you want.” The case has been assigned to Judge Michael Hancock, but his office said Thursday that no court date has yet been set. Monday night, the School Board voted 7-2 to redistrict 6,000 to 7,000 students and close eight schools to save about $12.4 million a year. District 7 board member Donna Edler and District 3 board member Sarah CopelinWood were the only dissenting votes. The vote closes Atherton, Glen Haven Please see LAWSUIT, page A4 Antioch Manor Begins Expansion 106 new units going in at senior living complex By Jennifer Ffrench Parker By early winter next year, 106 new elderly families will be moving in at Antioch Manor Estates in Stone Mountain. They will join 120 residents, 55 years and older, who are already living at the gated independent-living facility developed by Antioch AME Church. Antioch Manor, which bills itself as “gracious living for seniors,” offers studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments. On March 5, the church held a ceremonial ground breaking for a three-story building with 60 apartments and a second building with 46 villas. The ground-breaking ceremony, which was forced indoors by rainy weather, included AME Church leaders, lenders, contractors, elected officials, church members, and current and potential residents. The Rev. Dr. Stafford J. Wicker, Antioch’s pastor, hailed the $14.6 million expansion as evidence that the church is meeting community needs. “These buildings will be here long after we are gone,” he said. Antioch AME, which was Decatur’s first black church when it started in 1868, relocated to South Stafford Wicker Hairston Road in 1995. When Wicker arrived in October 1992, the church had 350 members. Today it has 2,100 members at two locations in Stone Mountain and Conyers. Antioch Manor is located on 32.5 acres the church purchased in 2000 across the street from the Hidden Hills subdivision on South Hairston Road. Wicker said Antioch’s Community Development Corp. has not had to put any of The Rev. Dr. Stafford J. Wicker (from left), pastor of Antioch AME; wife Connie; Bishop William Phillips Deveaux; and state Rep. Ernest “Coach” Williams participated in the March 5 ceremony. its own money into the construction project, which has been funded with federal lowincome housing tax credits. Between the $7 million first phase and this expansion, the total construction cost is $21.6 million. “In 10 years we have gone from zero holdings to $30 million,” he said. “You can see that somebody has been at work.” The Stone Mountain-based church broke ground on the first 120 studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments in 2004. Its 450-square-foot studios lease for $387 to $775. Its 600-square-foot, onebedroom apartments are $415 to $975, and its two-bedrooms range from $498 to $1,395 monthly, depending on whether they have one or two bathrooms. The community includes a mix of subsidized and market-rate apartments. To qualify for the subsidized units, seniors must meet federal low-income guidelines. The market-rate apartments lease for $1,300 a month. The facility opened in 2005 and has been full since its opening. Cora Outlaw, who was among the first residents to move there in 2005, said she has enjoyed living in the community. “It’s comfortable and peaceful,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to live anyplace else.” Outlaw said she downsized from a threebedroom ranch in the Woodmere subdivision in Lithonia after her kids grew up and left the house. “I didn’t want to cut no yard or do any upkeep of a home anymore,” she said. After visiting Outlaw’s apartment, which was open for a tour after the ceremony, Annie Simmons of Decatur said an apartment like that would be perfect for her in-laws. Shirley and Nathanial Simmons, in their 70s and 80s, live in Dayton, Ohio, and their daughter-in-law said it would be great to have them closer. “They have no other family in Ohio and we are spending a lot of time going back and forth to visit them,” Annie Simmons said. “I am thinking of putting their name on the Antioch Manor Estates, 4711 Bishop Ming Blvd., Stone Mountain 2000 – Antioch AME Church bought 32.5 acres on South Hairston Road, across the street from the Hidden Hills subdivision entrance. 2004 – Church broke ground on 10.25 acres of the property to build a three-story, 48,822-square-foot apartment building with 120 units and 100 parking spaces. Construction was funded by $7 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits to enable the church to provide low-cost, upscale housing for seniors. 2005 – Antioch Manor, which included a chapel, fitness center, library, beauty and barber salon, juice bar, art center and card room, opened. It’s been full since it opened. 2006 – Church announced an 85-unit expansion at Antioch Manor on 5.79 acres. It was delayed because of funding issues. 2011 – Construction under way on 106 units – 60 apartments and 46 villas – slated to open winter 2012. Leasing rates are not yet available but applications are being taken for this phase. list for an apartment here. I think it’s just beautiful here.” Lucinda Belin of Atlanta doesn’t have an immediate need for senior housing but said the facility was beautiful. “I would live here,” she said. “It’s wonderful.” Congressman Hank Johnson, who attended the ground-breaking ceremony, congratulated the church on having the vision to develop the facility to serve seniors. His mother, Christine, is a resident. “Now I am thinking I may be a Phase 2 resident,” he said. State Rep. Ernest “Coach” Williams said Please see ANTIOCH, page A4

CrossRoadsNews, March 12, 2011 - Section A

Related publications