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SOUTHSIDE Monthly Inspirational Letter INSIDER L Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins... The Southside’s Business and Civic Newspaper for Twenty Eight Plus Years, Serving Clayton • N. Fayette, N. Henry, S. Fulton and S. DeKalb Counties. Volume 31 Number 8 FREE , REALLY TAKE ONE January 15 - February 15, 2013 Student Wins Water Conservation Essay Contest S RoboTigers Win First Lego League Region Challenge T he RoboTigers, a robotics team at North Clayton Middle, ruled the eight competition tables Saturday at Georgia’s First Lego League Senior Solutions Regional Competition held at Clayton State University. More than 40 public, private and home school teams were entered into competition. The team composed of Bailey Jordan, Dagm Behailu, Jason Purce, Ali Sesay, Terrance Dorsey, Kendall Jordan, Victoria Haggwood, and Camille Taylor finished the day-long event with its first championship win. The team emerged earlier this competition season with a second place win at the leaguequalifying tournament that was held at Drew Charter School. This is the team’s first season competing in the Lego League events. Members began working with robotics this summer while participating in the Morehouse College Trio Program, which has continued to support the See ROBOTIGERS page 13 Excellence Awards for Gateway Center Development T he city of College Park has received two development awards recognizing outstanding land use and construction for its Gateway Center, the public-private development surrounding the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC). The Gateway Center, College Park’s $230 million mixed-use development consists of the 403-room Marriott Headquarters Hotel, the 147-room SpringHill Suites and a class A office building. “The Gateway Center Project is, in my opinion, the cornerstone of South Fulton and North Clayton counties,” said College Park Mayor Jack Longino. College Park was presented the awards by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC). The organizations recognize exceptional real estate development and land use that lead to sustainable, thriving communities. “It was a tremendous honor to be recognized by ULI for the Gateway Center project,” said College Park’s Economic Development Director Barbra Coffee. “ULI members take very seriously their role and responsibility in awarding projects that make substantial contributions to sustainable and green building practices. Our Gateway Center office and hotel developments exemplify these standards.” The construction was part of a master plan adjacent to the 400,000 square foot GICC and the AtlSkyTrain light rail station, which opened in 2009. Located less than a mile from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Gateway Center See GATEWAY CENTER page 13 eventh grader Brinison Perkins of Fayette Middle is the county’s winner in the 2012 Water Essay Contest sponsored by the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District. The Water District is responsible for developing comprehensive watershed, wastewater and water supply and conservation plans to be implemented by local governments in the 16-county metro Atlanta region. The “Clean Water Campaign” and “I’m In” are public education campaigns designed to educate and promote behavior changes in water conservation and water quality. Perkins received her award at Fayette Middle in December when Kostoula Vallianos, the Water District’s senior education program specialist, presented her with a certificate and a $50 cash award. Essays had to include an explanation of storm water pollution and why it is a problem, what can be done to reduce or prevent it, and the best ways to encourage people to protect rivers, lakes and streams. Entries were judged Photo: Kostoula Vallianos of Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, Jessica Perkins (mom), Brinison Perkins (student), Lori Tallman (teacher). on creativity, clarity and content. After Perkins read her winning essay to her classmates in Lori Tallman’s language arts class, Vallianos shared a hands-on activity to help illustrate the importance of protecting water resources. In Henry County Tourism Isn’t Just For Tourists T he businesses and facilities that residents consider just a part of the quality of life in Henry County actually helped save them money last year. While businesses such as restaurants, event facilities and recreational facilities add to the quality of life for residents, they also dramatically impact the economy of Henry County by attracting tourists. In 2011, travelers to Henry County spent more than $202 million resulting in almost $6 million in local taxes and almost $8 million in State taxes. 2011 Tourist expenditures increased almost $15 million from 2010. When broken down to a daily average, this amounts to more than $554,000 per day being spent by tourists. In Henry County much of the influx of these tourism dollars flows in from what for many may be an unlikely source – youth sports tournaments. While our county’s recreational facilities give local youth the opportunity to participate in a variety of athletic activities, large, out-of-town tournaments also use these same facilities and in just six months this year have had an economic impact of more than $14 million. Not only do tourists contribute to Henry County’s economy, they require little, if any, services – in essence they represent “free” money for our county. They spend money at hotels, restaurants, gas stations and retail centers, helping to support the more than 2,000 local jobs created by the tourism industry. The big question when referencing statistics is often “So what?” “What do these numbers mean to me?” For Henry County residents, it means that without tourist spending, each household would have had to pay approximately $209 more in taxes in 2011 Best Restaurant - The French Market & Tavern in Locust Grove to enjoy the same level of government services. The contribution of restaurants, hotels, attractions, retail centers and events to the local economy in the form of sales tax and jobs See TOURISM IN HENRY page 13

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