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D e c e m b e r 1 , 2 0 1 6 | N o r t h F u l t o n . c o m | A n A p p e n M e d i a G r o u p P u b l i c a t i o n | 5 0 ¢ | Vo l u m e 3 4 , N o . 4 5

Graduation rates Slight increase in 2016 ►►PAGE 12

New tax in town

Roswell changes occupation tax formula for businesses ►►PAGE 4

Big agenda on tap

Alpharetta to consider City Center, bond and TSPLOST projects at Dec. 5 meeting ►►PAGE 5

Big plans for small businesswoman

With a background in running her own company, new chamber president sets goals for coming year ►►PAGE 16

Real Estate Report

Chopin Society a bittersweet celebration this year

Sponsored section ►►PAGE 22

Football playoffs AGA SULEWSKA/SPECIAL

The family of Elzbieta and Krzysztof Krawczynski created a fund in their name to help in the work of the Chopin Society. From left are Alexandra, Anna, Kiki and Richard Pare. See story page 34.

Roswell, Fellowship Christian move on to semifinals ►►PAGE 37-38

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2 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | 


Woman robbed at gunpoint at home 770-442-3278 | 319 N. Main Street, Alpharetta, Ga. 30009 PUBLISHER Ray Appen EDITORIAL QUESTIONS: Alpharetta-Roswell: ex. 118 Forsyth Herald: ex. 143 Johns Creek Herald: ex. 121 Milton Herald: ex. 143 Business Post: ex. 116 Northside Woman: ex. 102


TO SUBMIT EDITORIAL: News: Press Releases: Calendar/Events: ADVERTISING QUESTIONS: General Advertising: ex. 101 Classified Advertising: ex. 119 Circulation/Subscriptions/Delivery: ex. 100 Our Weekly Publications

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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — A couple reported an armed robbery Nov. 18 when the wife was ambushed as she arrived home. The wife pulled into her garage on Glenbarr Drive a little before 7:30 p.m., when she was jumped by two men. One of the men was brandishing a gun at her as she opened her car door and demanded that she give him all her money and valuables.

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Visit for more information. The Herald Newspapers are published by Appen Media Group, 319 N. Main Street, Alpharetta Ga. 30009.

All crime reports published by Appen Media Group are compiled from public records. Neither the law enforcement agencies nor Appen Media Group implies any guilt by publishing these names. None of the persons listed has been convicted of the alleged crimes.

Scammer threatens woman’s brother MILTON, Ga. — A woman reported a scam Nov. 21 after she was contacted by an unknown man threatening to shoot her brother. The woman had received a text from the man saying that her brother had been in a car accident and that she needed to call immediately. When the woman called back, the man said that he was holding her brother at gunpoint. He said the wreck was her brother’s fault, and they needed money for medical care. He said that the woman needed to send $300 to Puerto Rico or her brother would die. The price went up to $460 during the conversation. The woman contacted police about the call. When they contacted the woman’s brother, he said that he was fine and had been in the shower during that time. The man never gave his name, and the woman did not give any of her personal information to him. Police advised the woman that it was a scam and to block the number.

$9K worth of jewelry missing from home ALPHARETTA, Ga. — A woman re-

The woman, in fear of her safety, didn’t try to confront the duo and gave them her purse. Over $1,000 worth of items was in her purse, including a smart phone, Louis Vuitton wallet, keys and cash. The two unknown men then drove off in a dark-colored Toyota Corolla without harming anyone. There were two witnesses for the incident, including the woman’s husband.

ported a theft Nov. 11 of $9,000 worth of jewelry from her home. The last time the woman saw the jewelry was Nov. 8 in her master bedroom. When she came home the next day, she saw some items in the room and the dresser drawers had been moved, but she did not notice anything missing at the time. The woman once again saw Nov. 10 that some items in her room had been moved. This time, she looked more thoroughly and realized that several pieces of jewelry and four gift cards were missing. The woman said that she did not have any workers in her house recently, but her son frequently has guests over.

Stolen identity used to open bank accounts MILTON, Ga. — A man reported identity theft Nov. 21 after he received multiple letters about accounts that he had not opened. The man first became suspicious when he received a letter stating that he had been approved for a bank account with a $16,900 credit line. He then received a card application from another bank that needed information and a debit card from yet another bank that needed activation. The man had not applied to any of these banks. The man finally realized that someone had stolen his identity when he received a confirmation letter from the U.S. Postal Service about an

DUIS & DRUGS All crime reports published by Appen Media Group are compiled from public records. Neither the law enforcement agencies nor Appen Media Group implies any guilt by publishing these names. None of the persons listed has been convicted of the alleged crimes.

DUI arrests ►► Sean Kevin Foley, 44, of Abbotts

Bridge Road, Johns Creek, was arrested Nov. 15 on Abbotts Bridge Road in Johns Creek for DUI and hit and run. ►► Rajan Gupta, 39, of Coventry Lane, Johns Creek, was arrested Nov. 17 on Coventry Lane in Johns Creek for DUI and brake light violation. ►► Gregory Gene Smith, 58, of Nesbit Lakes Drive, Alpharetta, was arrested Oct. 28 on Hembree Parkway in Roswell for DUI, failure to maintain lane and too fast for conditions. ►► Melissa Diane Hughes, 34, of Cedar Run, Atlanta, was arrested Oct. 27 on Atlanta Street in Roswell for DUI, child endangerment, failure to maintain lane, reckless driving and texting while driving. ►► Jorge Rafael Lopez, 33, of Barrett Creek Blvd., Marietta, was arrested Oct. 27 on Riverside Road in Roswell for DUI and failure to maintain lane. ►► David Andrew English, 31, of Ashland Parkway, Woodstock, was arrested Oct. 26 on Manor Creek Court in Roswell for DUI, no license on person and improper stopping.

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Is Laser Cataract Surgery Really Better? By Cameron Johnson, M.D.

In recent years there has been much publicity about laser–assisted cataract surgery. This surgery uses a laser to perform portions of the procedure. These include making small incisions, creating a round opening called a capsulorhexis on the front of the cataract, and breaking the lens into pieces which can be sucked out. These portions of the surgery are usually performed manually with surgical instruments.

Is Seeing the Crossword Puzzle Harder than Solving It? Could be Cataracts.

Cameron Johnson, M.D.

Using a laser allows these steps to be performed more precisely and to the same specifications every time. It has been predicted that by making the capsulorhexis with a laser, it may improve patient’s chances of not needing distance glasses after surgery due to the lens sitting in a more predictable location in the eye. Cataract & Refractive Surgeon

Also, when the laser is used to “soften” the lens up prior to removal, it takes less energy to remove the lens and this may result in less swelling of the eye and faster visual recovery. At this time, clinical trials have not yet proven laser cataract surgery to be superior to manual cataract surgery. One study did show less swelling and improved vision at 1 day and 1 week after surgery, but there was no difference in outcomes at 6 months. Most studies looking at the need for glasses after surgery have shown no difference in the percentage of patients dependent on glasses, although one showed a small improvement with laser surgery. Complication rates have been shown to be very low with both manual and laser cataract surgery, although there have been slightly higher rates reported with laser surgery. It is a testament to the great outcomes that are currently achieved with standard cataract surgery, that so far it has been difficult to prove that lasers are superior. More studies are needed to find the definitive answer to this question.

Does Cataract Surgery Last Forever? I am occasionally asked by a patient, “If I have cataract surgery now, will I need it again in the future?” They are always relieved when I tell them that cataracts do not grow back. In order to understand why, it is important to know that a cataract is the natural human lens that has gotten cloudy. When cataract surgery is performed, this cloudy lens is removed while leaving behind the “bag” that the lens was sitting in. A new, clear artificial lens it then placed in this bag. Once the natural lens is removed, it does not come back. The artificial lens is designed to last for the rest of your life. There are some patients who note their vision gradually becoming cloudy starting some months after cataract surgery. This can happen in about 20% of patients due to microscopic lens cells that remain in the “bag” after cataract surgery. Sometimes, these cells multiply forming a sheet of scar tissue behind the artificial lens. It this occurs, a low risk procedure can be performed with a laser to create a window in the scar tissue, returning the vision to the clarity that was present right after cataract surgery.

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Occupation Tax Rate Table

By PATRICK FOX ROSWELL, Ga. – Roswell businesses will begin paying occupational taxes based on a new formula following action Monday night by the City Council. The new formula will tax businesses based on gross receipts as opposed to the number of employees which should more than double the revenues the city receives each year from commercial businesses from $800,00 to $2 million, according to Roswell Finance Director Keith Lee. During earlier discussions in City Council workshops, Lee said, there was little protest from the business community. “We had one company who said they wanted to make sure that it was fair,” he said. “He wanted to make sure it was simple and that the forms were not complicated.” Lee said the city studied other municipalities to come up with a system that is both fair and simple. Roswell is one of only a handful of jurisdictions still imposing the occupational tax based on the number of employees. Gwinnett, Cobb counties and most of Fulton County cities tax businesses on gross receipts. The term “gross receipts” means the total revenue generated through: • Total income without deduction for the cost of goods sold or expenses incurred • Gain from trading in stocks, bonds, capital assets, or instruments of indebtedness • Proceeds from commissions on the sale of property, goods, or services • Proceeds from fees charged for services rendered • Proceeds from rent, interest, royalty, or dividend income The new taxing structure is expected to generate just over $2 million in annual revenues to the city. Currently, the city receives about $800,000 in occupational tax revenue.





0% to 3.50%



3.51% to 6.50%



6.51% to 9.50%



9.51% to 12.50%



12.51% to 15.50%



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An exemption of $50,000 shall be applied to the total Gross Receipts. It will have no impact to the 1,800 home-based businesses operating in Roswell. It will affect about 3,000 other businesses which will be required to file taxes based on their estimated gross receipts for the year. Those 3,000 businesses will be taxed at one of seven different rates based on traditional profitability standards for professions as established from data collected by the Internal Revenue Service. For example, wholesale and retail trade businesses traditionally operate with a profitability of 3.09 percent. Under the new tax system, these businesses would pay a rate of 0.01 percent on their estimated gross receipts. Arts, entertainment and recreation operations, on the other hand, generally post 14.8 percent profitability. These businesses would pay a rate of 0.05 percent on gross receipts. “In truth, this particular system works better with the economy,” Lee said. “So as a business makes more money, they’ll pay more taxes. As they make less money, they’ll pay less taxes.

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Group holds second rally to protest police incident Roswell City Hall was again the scene of a demonstration by members of Atlanta Black Lives Matter. A group of about five people stood in front of the building calling for swift action against a Roswell Police Officer involved in the Nov. 9 arrest of Shanita Maeberry at a local service station. Maeberry suffered a broken jaw in an altercation with police after she was confronted about possession of marijuana. Sirmajor Page, president of the Atlanta group, said the Police Department should call upon a third party to handle the investigation into the incident. About seven residents gathered nearby the demonstration to say they were assembled as a show of support for local police. Police Chief Rusty Grant said the official investigation into the incident remains ongoing. “We want to do it as quickly as we can, but the most important thing is we do a thorough investigation,” he said. —Pat Fox


NEWS | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 5

Alpharetta council adds to heavy December agenda City Center tops the list of items up for approval By PATRICK FOX ALPHARETTA, Ga. - Hours before it was set to convene, the Alpharetta City Council announced it would not hold a council meeting Monday night. That leaves city leaders two more meetings, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12, before the holidays when official business often goes into hibernation. Monday’s agenda carried one item, consideration of a master declaration agreement between the city and the group in charge of developing City Center. The item is another document in the formal process for turning over possession of the property to the developer, MMS Alpharetta LLC, according to Assistant City Administrator James Drinkard. The agreement spells out obligations the new owners will have in following municipal zoning and development guidelines. It also specifies obligations for property maintenance and design. Alpharetta remains in possession of the acreage surrounding City Hall

until the closing, which city officials say is expected sometime in the next few weeks. The development group is in the process of signing up businesses to establish restaurants and shops along the perimeter of the City Center complex. “[The declaration agreement] is just a matter of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s,” Councilman Mike Kennedy said. Back in September, the city renegotiated terms of its contract with MMS Alpharetta. The amended contract provided for a tax abatement on the property. One parcel, a half-acre tract at the south end of the complex, was also reduced in price by $105,000 because it is smaller than the size listed on the original contract. MMS agreed to pay $5.4 million for the five acres in December 2015. The property lies west of City Hall to Main Street. , The revised contract in September also called for: • Assistance with costs associated with moving Georgia Power utilities in right-of-way. The city will work directly with the utility to reduce any additional costs balanced by increased revenue to Georgia Power based on development. It obligates

the city to assume costs, if any, above $100,000. • City will assist in funding hard costs for installing new sidewalks in public right-of-way, with the city’s obligation limited to $350,000. • City will assist in funding trees to be installed in public right-of-way from the municipal tree fund. MMS will be responsible for replacing existing trees damaged during construction. • The tax abatement would mean a reduction in city taxes of about $316,000 over the 10 years it is in effect, according to Alpharetta Finance Director Tom Harris. Big projects on tap The Dec. 5 meeting will also include consideration to award contracts for major projects associated with the voter-approved bond and the transportation sales tax. The $50.8 million bond, approved by voters in May, will be used to fund transportation, parks and recreation projects within the city. Money from the TSPLOST, estimated at about $62 million, will be used to fund a slew of road improvement projects, including widening of Haynes Bridge Road, McGinnis Ferry Road and Windward Parkway.

Deck decision deferred The City Council’s Dec. 5 agenda will be packed, according to Alpharetta Assistant City Administrator James Drinkard. One item that is not on the agenda is discussion of a new parking deck on the west side of Main Street. Drinkard confirmed this week that the city has no plans to discuss the $5 million to $6 million project until after the holidays. “The plan is to bring it up after the first of the year,” he said. The city originally approved a site for the deck in an area lying between Roswell Street and Old Roswell Street, but that decision was reversed when residents demanded a chance to weigh in on the decision. A second site under consideration lies about two blocks west of Main Street on Milton Avenue, just north of Resthaven Cemetery. The city has brought on a new consulting firm, Pond & Co., to finalize plans that will allow it to evaluate costs and construction details for both sites.

6 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | 


Halcyon breaks ground on Greenway extension 12-foot paved trail expands along Big Creek By KATHLEEN STURGEON FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth County’s future mixed-use development, Halcyon, recently broke ground on an extension to the Big Creek Greenway, expected to be completed next year. The Greenway is a 12-foot wide multi-use trail that currently spans 9.6 miles through Forsyth County. Halcyon’s developer is constructing an extension that will lengthen the trail by 0.75 miles along Big Creek. The expansion includes a new paved and lit parking lot, restrooms and a trailhead. This expansion will tie into the sidewalks along Ronald Reagan Boulevard, and will lead to the eventual connection to the Alpharetta Big Creek Greenway. The trail will weave into the Halcyon development, which is being developed by RocaPoint Partners and The Georgetown Company. Plans call for the extension to weave seamlessly into the walkable community of Halcyon, according to Patrick Leonard, principal of RocaPoint. “With the development of the Atlanta BeltLine and all of the wonderful economic, community and

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Progress is underway for an expansion to the Big Creek Greenway.

environmental progress that has resulted, we strongly believe we will see a similar pattern of success here in Forsyth County,” Leonard said. Nature trails and parks connect to the Big Creek Greenway, which has additional phases planned to expand the trail to 15 miles.

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Halcyon, currently under construction, will include more than 480,000 square feet of office and retail space, the only dine-in movie theater in the county, two hotels and 690 residential units, once completed. It will be located off Exit 12 on Ga. 400.


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Tickets at: or 770-663-8989 ACT1 Theater is located inside nside Alpharetta Presbyterian Church 180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009 MERIDITH WILSON’S “Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical” Boo Book, Music and Lyrics by Meridtith WIlson; Based on the 20th Century Fox Picture; Story by Valentine Davies, Scr Screen Play by George Seaston. Mi Miracle On 34TH Street: The Musical is presented through sp special arrangement with Music Theater International (M (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also su supplied by MTI.www. MTISHOWS.COM. M Mike Glatzer Photography. Pictured are Jim Gray as Kris KKringle, Emily Sloboda as Susan Walker, Adam Darby as Fred Gailey and Carlye McLaughlin as Doris Walker. | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 7


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8 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | 


Governor’s idea for failing schools needs rethinking Gov. Nathan Deal’s plan to help Georgia’s failing schools had its heart in the right place but not its head. Georgia’s high school graduation rate is a dismal 72.5 HATCHER HURD percent according to Executive Editor the National ter for Education Statistics. That is not news. It has been dismal for the 60-plus years I have lived in this state. The idea of the governor of the state coming forward with a bold new initiative to help turn around those schools with the worst test scores is truly wonderful. But the Georgia voters read between the lines. The idea that some state-operated school district would be set up to take on up to 20 of those “failing schools” just didn’t pass the smell test. First, where are these students going to go? Was the plan to bus them all to the state Capitol for remedial math, English and ‘rithmetic? There were precious few details. Just how would the state miracle up these super teachers who would turn mostly poor students into scholars? Of course the first chink in the plan was to blame the schools, and by extension the teachers. (Note of disclosure here. My daughter is a teacher.) Yes, let’s blame the schools and not look at any of the socio-economic problems that affect students’ abilities to learn. Let’s not think about generational poverty and the fact that today’s high school diploma is not a ticket to a job paying more than minimum wage. This was the wrong election year to ask voters to trust the career politicians to fix broken schools. The governor won no points either in the way the state would fund what it was calling a “state-operated school district” for up to 20 schools among the 127 schools identified as failing. The Augusta Chronicle described the funding as coming from “a per-student share of all local, state and federal funds coming into the school districts in which the schools are located.” That’s right, the state would bleed white the poorest school districts

Yes, let’s blame the schools and not look at any of the socioeconomic problems that affect students’ abilities to learn. Let’s not think about generational poverty and the fact that today’s high school diploma is not a ticket to a job paying more than minimum wage.

– which is where these 127 failing schools are most likely to be – to pay for what exactly? Details of just what this state-operated school district would look like are sorely lacking, except to say they would stay in the system for up to 10 years, all the while sucking local school districts dry. And who would be teaching these students? Why for-profit “charter schools.” That goes a long way toward explaining the money behind the expensive TV ad campaign leading up to the Nov. 8 constitutional referendum. There is a lot of profit in for-profit education. Look at the success Louisiana, Tennessee and North Carolina have had, we were asked. The truth is the jury is still out if these “cures” for the failing schools have made any real differences at all. No, this looks like just another attempt to make public tax money portable for any parent who wants to take their child to a private school. A school district spends between $5,000 and $8,000 to educate one child. So the charter schools want $5,000 to $8,000 to educate that same

child. There is just one problem. That figure is not the cost to educate anyone’s child. That number is simply created by dividing a school’s budget by the number of students. That is not the cost of educating a child. It’s a meaningless number actually. What a school budget includes is teacher salaries, teaching materials, bus driver salaries, buses (with gas and maintenance), the maintenance of buildings and grounds, maintenance people’s salaries, a cafeteria and cafeteria salaries … Well, you get the point. It is about 10 times what any virtual school incurs. So we understand where the profit is derived in for-profit schools. That is a pipe dream that politicians seem to favor because it makes them look like they are trying to solve a problem without using any of their tax dollars. Oh, it costs the taxpayers just the same. It’s just a political game of three-card monte. It’s all about misdirection. Now, should the governor and the General Assembly really want to put their skin in the game, let’s create a trouble-shooting program that sends additional assistance to these low-per-

forming schools. I don’t mean throw money at it. Throw teachers at it. You have students who are not performing. It is not because they can’t learn. So ramp up the instruction time. At 3:15, bring in the tutors. We have the bricks and mortar already in place. Start with kindergarten through third grade. That is where the twig is bent. Get them up to speed in reading, math and all the rest. Why start with the youngest under-performers? Well, when the bathtub is overflowing, the first thing you do is turn off the faucet. The money spent there will have the largest and most long-term effect. Give children the academic reinforcement they don’t receive at home. It’s not that poor parents don’t care. But if you are a single mom working the night shift, you can’t give that reinforcement. The payoff is a better educated workforce, which means people paying taxes and not receiving assistance. It means people going to work and not to jail. It means breaking the cycles of poverty and ignorance. Of course there is no profit in those kinds of schools. Or is there?

Follow Us | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 9


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10 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | 



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By EMMA LAYTON ALPHARETTA, Ga. — A young Alpharetta actor has been making a name for himself recently in what could be considered one of the toughest job industries. Hours spent memorizing lines, networking, auditioning and traveling have paid off as 14-year-old Dylan Michael Rowen has recently co-starred in two major NBC movies. Rowen played brother Denver Parton in both “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” and “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.” The former had over 15 million views, earning the title of the highest rated TV movie in the past four years, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Dylan’s more recent film, “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love,” was released Nov. 30 on NBC. After “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” was released last year, Rowen and the rest of the youthful cast were honored with a Young Entertainers Award for Best Young Ensemble Cast. This production gave Rowen the opportunity to rub elbows with stars such as Dolly Parton, country singer Jennifer Nettles, singer Stella Parton, producer Ricky Schroder and Disney actress Kelli Berglund. “Everyone there was so nice, and I worked so well with them. They were very interesting, and I was so honored and privileged to be there alongside them,” Rowen said. When he’s not filming, Rowen dedicates his time to two to three auditions per week, hours of acting classes and memorizing lines, all while balancing school and upholding his academics as a freshman at a local high school. “Most of the auditions are taped and sent to Los Angeles. I have to miss school sometimes, and it’s a challenge keeping everything balanced,” Rowen said. In preparation for the many auditions, Rowen takes acting classes at Whole World Theatre, Atlanta Workshop Players and Gray Studios. His agent, Barbara Garvey of East Coast Talent, establishes the auditions, and Rowen is required to memorize a script usually within 48 hours. Rowen said that he attributes his success to years of work, preparation and dedication to his passion. “You can’t just say ‘I want this,’ you have to do it and believe you can do it.


Dylan Rowen, at just 14 years old, stars in two of Dolly Parton’s movies.

It doesn’t land in your lap; you’ve got to work for it,” Rowen said. “People sometimes say, ‘Oh, you’re an actor and you don’t have to do much,’ but in reality, I do a lot. Filming takes up a lot of time and requires hard work, but even when you aren’t filming, just trying to get cast takes just as much effort and hard work.” Rowen has worked his way from the bottom, a humble dream to someday star on a late night comedy show, to walking the red carpet alongside known cinema stars. “Being successful in this career doesn’t just happen. It takes 50-100 auditions to possibly get cast in one acting opportunity. And the casting might be in a commercial, not something like this [movie]. I get an audition, and I have to be off the book within 24 hours knowing my lines.” Rowen said that his most recent roles have helped him grow, not only as an actor, but as a person too. “Acting has helped with my confidence and self-esteem. I used to not be as outgoing, but after I started acting it gave me the confidence to have a voice, to speak out,” Rowen said. For information on Rowen and his budding career, visit nm6438672. | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 11


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12 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | 

Fulton’s grad rates climb slightly in 2016 Nearly 90 percent graduate in four years BY CANDY WAYLOCK NORTH FULTON, Ga. – With one year remaining on a 5-year strategic plan, Fulton graduates are closing in on the 90 percent graduation goal by 2017. For the Class of 2016, the graduation rate of 86.6 percent was a slight increase over the previous year’s rate of 85.3 percent. But many schools remain far below the goal of a 90 percent graduation rate outlined in the 2012-2017 Strategic plan. Despite the challenges in some pockets of the school system, Fulton School leaders say they are pleased with the progress to date, and on track to hit the mark. “The work that our schools are doing to increase students’ graduation opportunities is amazing and inspiring,” said Superintendent Jeff Rose, Ed.D “Five years ago, some of our schools had stagnant progress in their graduation rates. Now, these schools have increased 20-30 percent in getting students to graduate on time.” In North Fulton, six of the eight traditional high schools have already exceeded the 90 percent graduation rate; the remaining two are less than 1 percent behind the goal. “At a 2016 rate of 86.6 percent, we continue to be on track for meeting our strategic plan goal of 90 percent of all students graduating by 2017,” Rose said. He pointed out the key numbers to look at are the increases made over a five-year period system-wide. “From 2011 to 2016, Fulton’s graduation rate increased 16.5 percent. While nearly all schools have shown gains, 10 of the district’s 18 high schools reported double-digit increases,” he said, pointing out in 2011 just 7 of 10 students graduated in four years. Statewide, Georgia’s 2016 high school graduation rate rose for the fifth straight year, from 78.8 percent in 2015 to 79.2 percent in 2016. “The 2016 graduation rate shows our schools continue to make progress by offering students an education that is relevant, keeping more students in school and on a path to a better quality of life,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “As part of our VISION 2020, we have a goal of exceeding the national average graduation rate by the year 2020, ensuring that more students will receive a meaningful high school diploma that prepares them for

Area High School Graduation Rates 2015 SCHOOL 2016 Grad +/Rate Alpharetta 94.4 93.5 0.9 Cambridge 96.6 92.3 4.3 Centennial 89.3 87.9 1.4 Chattahoochee 93.8 94.7 -0.9 Independence 58.8 59.0 -0.2 Johns Creek 96.3 97.6 -1.3 Milton 97.4 94.7 2.7 Northview 95.4 98.3 -2.9 Roswell 89.3 86.8 2.5 North Fulton 90.1 89.4 0.7 Average System Average 86.6 85.3 1.3 State Average 79.2 78.8 0.4 Metro Area 2016 Graduation Rates Forsyth 92.7 Fulton 86.6 Cherokee 84.7 Cobb 83.8 Gwinnett 79.6 Atlanta City 71.1 DeKalb 70.3 a successful and productive future.” As expected, the 2016 data showed a much smaller increase than in 2015 when the state eliminated the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT), a significant graduation hurdle for thousands of Georgia students. In addition, 2015 was a “hold harmless” year for the Georgia Milestones Tests – a mandatory test which counts for 20 percent of a student’s grade in core subjects. These two factors contributed to a 6 percent hike in graduation rates both statewide and in Fulton Schools for the Class of 2015. This is the sixth year the Georgia Department of Education has calculated the graduation rate using the adjusted cohort rate, which is now required by the U.S. Department of Education. Rates are calculated using the number of students who graduate within four years and includes adjustments for student transfers. In contrast, Georgia’s former graduation rate calculation defined the cohort upon graduation, which may have included students who took more than four years to graduate. | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 13


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14 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | 


JC Christian high school opens in fall Providence Christian Academy plans 9th, 10th grades to start By HATCHER HURD JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – A new Christian high school will open its doors to the ninth and 10th grades next fall – well maybe it is not so new. Providence Johns Creek, the second high school campus for Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn, will be a continuation of the success the school has known for combining a Christ-honoring school culture with a top-tier academic program since 1991. Brad Williams has been tasked with launching the new school. Williams has been with Providence almost from the beginning and will serve as associate head of school when it opens with two grades in the fall. “We will add the 11th grade in 2018 and the 12th grade in 2019, to complete the school,” Williams said. “By year three we expect to have 100 students.” The parent school in Lilburn has a K-12 program with a total of 660 students. It has no plans to expand the Johns Creek campus beyond high school grades, he said. Providence Academy was not looking to expand, but instead answered a call to meet unserved families. Williams, who lives in Johns Creek while working at Providence, was approached by four families he knew who wanted advice on starting a Christ-centered high school in the area.

“That got the leadership at Providence Academy talking. These families are entrepreneurial at heart, and while talking with us convinced the school that a second campus would be successful,” he said. “They convinced us that this corner of Johns Creek and South Forsyth County would be well served by a Christian campus. And they found common ground with Providence’s mission.” With additional growth slated to come to the area, the second Providence campus would be well-placed and well-suited to meet the growing demand. “The momentum in the community is really strong, and we have some smart people involved. We think the school will be ideal for Johns Creek-South Forsyth,” Williams said. “There are not a lot of schools like Providence.” Students at Providence Johns Creek will take advantage of Providence’s athletics, arts and academics, while in what officials are calling “the dynamic and innovative environment of the Johns Creek campus.” For the last 25 years, Providence has thrived as an independent, non-denominational K-12 school. Providence sees its mission as developing and equipping the next generation to “stand strong and firm in their faith” while encouraging each student’s spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social and physical growth by “applying Biblical truth in the context of real life.” Providence promises a challenging and demanding curriculum that includes advanced placement and honors courses. In the National Merit Scholarship competition,


Providence Christian Academy has gained prominence as a top educational institution in a Christcentered environment.

Providence students repeatedly earn status as Commended Students and National Merit Scholars. Williams said he was in business for 20 years before selling his company. It was then God led him to become involved with Providence Academy. The campus will be in a remodeled business campus with “room to grow.” The student body here, as in its current campus in Lilburn, will be mostly protestant and taught with a Biblical worldview. What kind of students does Williams think Providence Johns Creek will produce? “We will equip these kids to go out and be successful moms and dads with a mission to spread the Gospel and be a light in their community,” he said. | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 15

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I think Hans did a remarkable job of making the Alpharetta Chamber very fun. KELSEY LYNCH, Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce President 16 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 

New Alpharetta Chamber president brings small business perspective Former cupcake dynamo wants to double membership By PATRICK FOX ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce President Kelsey Lynch is no stranger to small business. She’s owned one of the smallest businesses in the country. For four years, Lynch, 33, operated a successful pastry business out of her own kitchen, selling upward of 2,000 cupcakes and confections a week throughout metro Atlanta. “I’m definitely my father’s daughter,” said Lynch, who grew up in Rockdale County with a father who made a living by installing high-end accessories on after-market vehicles. “I always knew I wanted to have my own business,” she said. “I also learned from him that it’s not easy to have your own business. You have to understand exactly how to run it, the finances – there’s so much involvement. You have to be there seven days a week.” From an early age, Lynch loved to cook, and by the age of 20, she felt the itch to strike out on her own. She went to culinary school at Sullivan University in Louisville, Ky., not to learn cooking, but to learn how to run a restaurant. “They’re very thorough,” she said. “I had a great education there.” She earned a bachelor’s degree in pastry arts and spent the next three years as executive pastry chef in Louisville’s Makers Mark lounge.

that was about to sweep the country. “I just went to the bank and said I need a business loan, and they basically just laughed me out the door because I didn’t even have one client,” she said. “So I did it the Paula Deen way. I started making cupcakes out of my own house.” She drew up a menu and began selling and marketing her pastries everywhere she went. “I would make cupcakes for anyHATCHER HURD/HERALD body that would look Kelsey Lynch, the new Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce at me,” she said. “I president, takes the reins with a businesswoman’s perwould give people spective. cupcakes at the grocery store, at the bank, anywhere.” “I got to a point where I was 26 Then, one day, while meeting a years old and I thought ‘I’ve got to get friend for a meal at Tin Lizzy’s Cantina out of here because I’m going to end in Grant Park near her apartment, she up meeting someone and creating real decided to bring some cupcakes for her roots here, and I’m not going to do friend’s children. that.’” “The owner of Tin Lizzy’s actually So, she left Maker’s Mark and delivered our food to the table and nomoved back to Atlanta. ticed the cupcakes,” she said. “He saw That’s when she began brainstormthem and said ‘Where’d you get those?’ ing about how to start her own busi“When he saw some cool, ness. funky-looking cupcakes, it was interAt that time, there were some esting.” small cupcake shops opening up and She gave him a cupcake and he left. they were beginning to get some buzz Minutes later, he returned and told around town. her the cupcake was delicious and he In 2008, she decided to jump in, would like to add them to his menu. just ahead of the big cupcake boom “I was shocked. I couldn’t believe

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this was happening,” Lynch said. So she went home and created an array of cupcakes to fit the motif of a Mexican cantina. “They had a fit over it. They thought it was the coolest thing ever,” she said. “A week later, I’m on their menu. We come up with a price point and he bought 50 cupcakes to last for the weekend. I delivered them on Friday morning.” He said he’d call her Monday to set up another order. “They called me at 8 o’clock that same night and said they’re out,” she recalled. “Can I bring more? I said I don’t have more. I make them fresh.” She asked them how many more they wanted. They said 200. “So I stayed up all night and I cooked 200 cupcakes from scratch for the next morning,” she said. That marathon weekend was the beginning of a four-year relationship with Tin Lizzy’s in which she supplied 2,000 cupcakes a week to Tin Lizzy’s five locations. But the business took off beyond the cantina. Customers would run into her delivering the cupcakes or pick up her business card and request cupcakes for corporate events, birthdays or weddings. “I made a cake for a playboy bunny who won Playmate of the Year once,” she said. “Someone had my cupcakes and told them about it. She had this party at Tongue and Groove in Buckhead and they called and asked me to make a cake. “So I made a huge, big bunny and delivered it to this Playboy playmate

See LYNCH, Page 18

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BUSINESSPOSTS | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 17

Interest rates skyrocket after election

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For the last three years, I have been comparing mortgage interest rates to a helium balloon being held low by external forces. Well, the turbulence from the GEOFF SMITH presidential elecAssurance Financial, tion shook that balloon free. On Nov. 8, Election Day, average mortgage interest rates for a 30-year fixed conventional loan as reported by Mortgage News Daily, sat quietly at 3.62 percent. The very next day, rates jumped to 3.75 percent, then to 3.87 percent, and they opened up the next week at 4 percent. Since Donald Trump’s election win, rates have steadily increased. Last Friday they closed at 4.19 percent. In the history of mortgage rates, 4.19 percent is still incredibly low. If you look at Freddi Mac’s average rate since they started tracking it back in 1971, the graph would show a steady decline from rates that peaked at 18.45 percent in October of 1981. It has only been since 2009, a year into the downturn, that rates first dropped below 5 percent. After the downturn, the Federal Reserve put in place two practices that helped drive mortgage interest rates down in hopes of stimulating the economy. They started buying about $90 billion in bonds a month, and they lowered the short-term interest rate they give to large banks for storing their money to almost 0 percent. The bond purchases lowered mortgage interest rates because movement of those rates typically run in lockstep with the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield. And when 10-year U.S.

Treasury bonds are bought in high volume, the yield goes up and thus, so do mortgage interest rates. By lowering their shortterm rates to banks, they encouraged banks to loan their money instead of storing it, which brings back higher returns to those banks. The higher returns help to pay for operating costs and lower mortgage interest rates. Since January 2014, experts have been predicting a large jump in mortgage interest rates as the Federal Reserve eased out of these two stimulus measures. They no longer buy bonds, and last December they barely increased their short-term rate to about 0.25%. But rates did not really go up. Investors from Europe and other parts of the world started buying up U.S. bonds. You see, bonds are seen as a safe bet because their returns are relatively stable, compared to those in the more-jumpy stock market. When investors are unclear about the stability of the economy, they move their money from the stock market into the bond market. So as the Federal Reserve backed out of its stimulus because it saw positive U.S. data, Europeans and others started buying bonds in reaction to poor European and Chinese economic data. I have been calling rates a helium balloon because it’s the bondpurchases that have been holding rates low. As soon as investors around the globe found something

in the stock markets to bet heavily on, experts knew that rates would jump. With Mr. Trump being elected president, investors moved all-in. According to articles in the Wall Street Journal, investors have bet heavily on expectations for reduced corporate taxation and regulation and great infrastructure spending. They have invested in companies that they think will benefit from this. Three of the major stock indexes including the Dow Jones, the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500, all closed last Friday at alltime highs. For years I have been telling active home buyers that they are in the unenviable position of hoping for bad economic data to push investors to bonds so that interest rates would lower. I quoted several people the week before the election at rates near and below 3.625 percent. In the last two weeks, many of them came back with houses under contract and I had to open their eyes to the reality that rates had jumped to over 4 percent. We are still historically very low. But try explaining that to a homebuyer who, just because it took them an extra week to go binding on a $400,000-house, now has to pay about $100 more a month. Geoff Smith 770-674-1433 Personal: NMLS#104587 Business: NMLS#70876 *The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of Assurance Financial Group

Managing inventory can improve your bottom line Are you happy with how many times you are turning your inventory? Have you run out of certain items that are in demand? Are you overstocked with other items that haven’t sold in a while? Inventory is a big asset DICK JONES for small businesses Founder & President who either manufacJones Simply Sales ture or sell products, and managing your inventory efficiently and effectively can have a big impact on your bottom line. ,Inventory management is primarily about specifying the size and placement of stocked goods. It requires constant and careful evaluation of external and internal factors and is controlled through continuous monitoring, reviews, and interactions with production, procurement and finance departments. Prior to the computer age, inventory management was basically done manually. Counting stock-keeping units (SKUs) on an annual, quarterly or monthly basis was a normal routine to make sure you have enough in stock, but not too much. Technology has significantly improved the efficiency and effectiveness of this process. Accounting systems like QuickBooks now provide an inventory management module that allows you to “connect” your sales projections to your inventory and make it easier to manage. Inventory is a very expensive asset. Making sure your customers can get your products when they want them while at the same time minimizing your investment in inventory will help you maximize your profits. Ongoing planning, taking advantage of discount terms with your vendors, and utilizing inventory management technology will help you to manage inventory in your small business and improve your bottom line results.

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Outside vendors welcome. Contact Carol Anderson-Wood, or call 404-402-5389 for more information.

18 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | 


Forsyth enacts emergency billboard moratorium By KATHLEEN STURGEON FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners approved a 30-day emergency moratorium Nov. 17 regarding the conversion of billboards to LED signs. The moratorium bars applications for the conversion. County Attorney Ken Jarrard said billboards are legal in the county under its sign code. But the county doesn’t allow any new billboards and hasn’t for some time. “However, technology changes,” Jarrard said. “We certainly have seen the changes when the push to convert signage to LED signs occurred.” Nonconforming sign structures, or 

billboards, have been allowed in the past to change to LED signs, he said. There is a requirement the billboard owners work with the county to publish public safety notifications. Now, the county has seen some challenges on Buford Highway, he said. “We have an overlay on Buford Highway that no longer allows electronic message boards,” Jarrard said. “And yet right now we have at a minimum three signs that are in some sort of a position, asking for an upgrade to an LED sign.” Jarrard said there is an interest in reviewing as a “matter of right.” “Right now there are no limitations,” he said. He suggested discussing the issue further at a work session.


Lynch: Continued from Page 16

Newtown Family Dental opens in Johns Creek Business name: Newtown Family Dental Owner: Alim J Grant DDS About: Newtown Family Dental offers general and cosmetic dentistry for the entire family with an emphasis on patient comfort. The office facilitates a relaxing and non-threatening envi-

Metro Diner opens in Roswell Business name: Metro Diner Owner: Charity Chancellor About: The Metro Diner comes all the way from Jacksonville, Florida, where it was first opened in 1992. The diner offers contemporary culinary techniques, a commitment to creating dishes from scratch, an award-winning presentation, unique recipes and imaginative twists on old classics. Opened: Oct. 25, 2016 Address: 880 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell, Ga. 30076 Phone: 678-539-0879 Website:

ronment so that patients will want to return again and again. Opened: November, 2016 Address: 3280 Old Alabama Road, Suite 200, Johns Creek, Ga. 30022 Phone: 404-437-7331 Website:

party at Tongue and Groove. Some of the most ridiculous things would come through, and I’d say, ‘Sure, I’ll do that.’” The pace never let up, and she said she would never hire help because she was so careful about how her products were made, delivered and marketed to the public. “I felt the integrity of the company would be damaged if I didn’t have every single finger in every single part of it,” she said. “I didn’t want somebody to deliver the cupcakes for me because they would be a representative of the company.” The business kept Lynch either in front of an oven or on deliveries for seven days a week with no vacation, no days off. Then, in 2012, she learned she was about to make one of the biggest deliveries of her life. “When I got pregnant, it was not possible to continue because of how hard I worked,” she said. So, after talking it over with her husband, they decided to put the business on hold and possibly pick it up in a few years if the demand was still there. But, after the birth of her son Hayes, Lynch went to work as director of sales at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Alpharetta where she joined the Chamber of Commerce in 2014. She takes over from retiring President Hans Appen as the head of the 350-member organization. “I think Hans did a remarkable

job of making the Alpharetta Chamber very fun,” she said. “When I was a member while at Ruth’s Chris, I always enjoyed going to the events. They were fun, and they were just no pressure.” She said she wants to continue that legacy because it makes members feel more welcome. “I’m going to continue to do that,” she said. “I want our events to be fun and interesting and I want it to feel like a break from work.” She said such a system allows businesses to grow their reputations organically rather than through forced networking with people you may have nothing in common with. As for other goals, Lynch has set a mark of adding another 350 members within the next year. “There are 6,000 businesses in Alpharetta that can be a part of a chamber of commerce,” she said. “I know firsthand what it’s like to head up a small business. You have to get down on the ground and network and it’s just blood, sweat and tears every day. I know exactly how that feels.” She also knows that if she’d been introduced to the benefits of chamber membership back in her cupcake days, she would have jumped at the chance. “That’s the biggest mistake and regret I have,” she said. “Being a prior business owner and not knowing what a chamber was back then, I just didn’t know. I would’ve killed to have been a part of such an organization. “It’s such an easy thing for $250 a year and to be put in front of so many people in such a great platform. It’s phenomenal.” | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 19

Herald |  20 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Forsyth Herald |



Celebrate the incorporation of Johns Creek with the 10th Annual Founders Day Parade. Highlights include musical groups, local neighborhoods, schools, community organizations, civic clubs and businesses. The parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 3 starting at 10 a.m. on State Bridge Road, between Kimball Bridge and West Morton roads in Johns Creek. For more information, visit Looking to get the word out about your event? Submit it to our online calendar at NorthFulton. com/Calendar.


What: Get a running start to your day by participating in the Jingle Jog 5K. All preregistered runners are guaranteed to receive a technical, long sleeve T-Shirt. When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 8:30 a.m. Where: Cumming Town Center, 2085 Market Place Blvd., Cumming Cost: registration starts at $25 More info and registration:


What: Meet over 40 fine arts artisans, artisans of the farm and kitchen and instrumental artisans – all while supporting local vendors selling handmade, eco-friendly goods. Free admission. When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell More info:


What: Annual fundraising event to provide feed and care for over 100 horses and other animals at this horse rescue facility. Activities will include hay rides, horse/reindeer rides, games, vendor booths and much more. When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Save-the-Horses Farm, 1768 Newt Green Road, Cumming More info:


What: Find out how to volunteer at and support Habitat for Humanity during this 30-minute volunteer information session. When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 10:30-11 a.m. Where: Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 11060 Alpharetta Highway, Roswell More info and registration: vgibson@ or 770-415-1650


What: Roswell Fine Arts Alliance presents the Bizarre Bazaar. Artisans will offer a variety of items for kids and adults along with beautiful original seasonal paintings in the gallery. When: Dec. 3-4, times vary Where: Gallery on Fouts Road, 9100 Fouts Road, Roswell More info: christmas-2016


What: Art Center West studio’s annual holiday event offers handmade ceramic artworks for sale created by more than 40 members of Roswell’s Clay Collective. When: Through Dec. 7, times vary. Reception Dec. 1, 7-9 p.m. Where: Roswell Art Center West, 1355 Woodstock Road, Roswell More info:

What: The Sounds of Sawnee Concert Band is taking the audience “Home for the Holidays” this year with traditional melodies. Join the celebration of Christmas, Chanukah and New Year’s Eve with joyous songs of the season. When: Thursday, Dec. 8, 8 p.m. Where: The Cumming Playhouse, 101 School St., Cumming Cost: $15 More info:


What: Come see the classic holiday musical about a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa and must prove his authenticity. When: Through Dec. 18, times vary Where: Alpharetta Presbyterian Church, 180 Academy St., Alpharetta Cost: $20 for adults, $17 for children and seniors More info and tickets:


What: Thirteen artists from the Brushwork Society of Atlanta will present their artwork in the 2016 exhibition. Enjoy a variety of paintings, including landscape, still life and figurative work. All are for sale. When: Through Dec. 30 Where: Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forest St., Roswell More info:



What: This year’s show features tons of family entertainment, from old TV Christmas specials to country Christmas, Christmas around the world and celebrating the troops in a USO segment. When: Through Dec. 4, times vary Where: Cumming Playhouse, 7030 Grassmoor Grange Way, Cumming Cost: $25 More info and tickets: or 770-7819178


What: Gather at Roswell’s grand Bulloch Hall for an intimate 45-seat performance of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic once again. Reservations required. When: Through Dec. 18, times vary Where; Bulloch Hall, 80 Bulloch Avenue, Roswell Cost: $16 for children and seniors, $18 for adults More info and tickets: bullochhall. org/a-christmas-carol.html


What: Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting with children all evening in the gazebo during the lighting of the 45-foot live spruce tree with 10,000 white lights in the Corner Park of downtown. When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 5-9 p.m. Where: 2 South Main St., Alpharetta More info:


What: This quaint holiday tradition has become a Milton staple including Santa photos, photographic arts, caroling, s’mores, hot cocoa and fun. When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 2-5 p.m. Where: Broadwell Pavilion, 12615 Broadwell Road, Milton More info:


What: This family event includes carolers from local schools, lighting of Town Square, a reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” by the mayor, and a special visit from Santa Claus. When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 2-5 p.m. Where: Roswell Town Square, 610 South Atlanta St., Roswell More info:


What: Each year, Northside Hospital honors those affected by cancer with the lighting of giant Christmas trees. Enjoy live entertainment from local schools and groups, children’s activities and photos with Santa. When: Friday, Dec. 2, 6–8 p.m. Where: Northside Hospital-Forsyth, 1200 Northside Forsyth Drive, Cumming More info:


What: Get individual or family holiday photos with Santa taken for free. The photographer will be using a “green screen” so it is recommended that attendees not wear green clothing. When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-noon Where: Alpharetta Welcome Center, 178 South Main St., Suite 200, Alpharetta More info:

What: Children ages 12 and younger can enjoy affordably-priced holiday shopping, making arts and crafts, and face painting. Pictures with Santa are available Sunday. When: Dec. 3, 6—8:30 p.m.; Dec. 4, 1-4 p.m. Where: Adult Recreation Center, 830 Grimes Bridge Road, Roswell More info:


What: Ice skate on the Rockefeller Center-sized ice skating rink in the plaza. Watch for theme nights and enjoy warm, tasty treats rink side. Enjoy special events throughout the season and sign up for ice skating lessons. When: Through Jan. 22, 2017, times vary Where: Avalon, 2200 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta Cost: general admission starts at $18 More info:


What: Meet Santa Claus in this immersive holiday experience. This season, the all-new attraction lets the family join Po and Friends for interactive games and an immersive, cinematic journey. Photo packages available. When: Through Dec. 24, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Where: North Point Mall, 1000 North Point Circle, Alpharetta More info:


What: The Alpharetta Library will be hosting a book sale. All proceeds will go toward supporting the library and its programs. When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Alpharetta Library, 10 Park Plaza, Alpharetta More info:


What: Join for a discussion of this month’s mystery book, “The Mountain Story,” by Lori Lansens. For ages 18 and up. When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 2-3 p.m. Where: Alpharetta Library, 10 Park Plaza, Alpharetta More info and registration: marcia. or


What: Join African “Freestyle” Storyteller, Babatunde (Jason Louder) as he presents stories based on a young boy named Kweku and characters found in traditional African tales. When: Monday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m.-noon Where: Roswell Library, 115 Norcross St., Roswell More info:


What: Join the group to enhance your conversational English as a Second Language techniques for beginner to intermediate English speakers. Ages 18 and up. No registration needed. When: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 4-6 p.m. Where: Ocee Library, 5090 Abbotts Bridge Road, Alpharetta More info: or 770-360-8897


What: Valerie Frey, author of Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions, will explore various aspects of your family’s heirloom recipes. When: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 6-7:30 p.m. Where: Milton Library, 855 Mayfield Road, Alpharetta More info:

CALENDAR | Alpharetta-Roswell | Forsyth Herald | December 1, 2016 | 21


Volunteers help stock the Chattahoochee Last week, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and an army of wader-clad volunteers of all ages helped stock several thousand rainbow and brown trout in the ChatSTEVE HUDSON tahoochee River Get Outside Georgia, Chattahoochee Media Group “Delayed Harvest” water at the Whitewater Unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area near Mount Paran Road. One of several “volunteer-assisted” stockings that will take place over the next few months, this event provided a family-friendly opportunity for handson involvement in Georgia’s Delayed Harvest trout fishing program. The volunteers served as part of a “bucket brigade,” transporting fish from the hatchery truck to parts of the river that the truck cannot reach directly. Near-perfect conditions, including great weather and low water, combined to make this one of the most successful volunteer stockings in recent memory. “The low water let us spread the fish out in the river,” one volunteer observed. “Last year, it seems like I remember the water being a lot higher, and it was hard to move around in the river. But this time the low water made it easy and a lot more fun.” If you’ve never been part of a volunteer-assisted stocking event, you’re missing out on a great deal of fun. It goes like this: First, the volunteers gather at the Whitewater parking area. After putting on their waders they swap fish stories from previous DH seasons (yes, there may be a little exaggeration now and then) while waiting for the fish to arrive. Then, as the hatchery truck appears around the last curve leading to the parking lot, somebody shouts “Here they come!” and it’s time to get down to business. The truck maneuvers into position near the trail leading to the river, and the volunteers line up nearby with five-gallon buckets in hand. That’s when the fun begins. The volunteers bring their buckets to the truck, and the buckets are filled with water and loaded with trout. It’s a splashy, exciting and totally fun sight to see, and within minutes the first bucket is loaded and ready to go. Then, it’s a matter of carrying the fishladen buckets to the water, wading out

into the Chattahoochee and turning the fish loose. Do the fish stay where they’re released? “I’d like to think they do,” said one stocking veteran. “Though we’d like to believe that they’ll be waiting where we put ‘em, the fact is that those trout move around. They’ll spread themselves out fairly quickly.” That’s good news for Delayed Harvest anglers, too, for it means that you’ll soon find fish in many parts of the Delayed Harvest section of the Hooch. Once the stocking was completed, a number of folks stayed around to do a bit of fishing. The trout were cooperative, to say the least, and I heard a lot of excitement in the voices drifting across the water. It was especially encouraging to see the number of young people participating, and there was no sweeter sound than the words “Daddy, I caught one!” drifting across the water. And yes, some of the trout were big, but the smiles were even bigger. What’s the best fly for DH fishing? Favorites include pink Sucker Spawn or Y2K egg imitations, bright and flashy streamers, and buggy-looking nymphs such as Pheasant Tails. Black Wooly Bugger flies worked well too as do many other patterns. But you don’t have to be a fly fisher to pursue Hooch DH trout. Light spinning gear is also effective. Try a Roostertail, a Mepps Spinner or a white curly-tailed grub-and-jig. Just remember that on Delayed Harvest water, each lure can have just one single hook. Lures with treble hooks are not permitted with DH areas, and of course all fish must be immediately released.

In addition to the Delayed Harvest portion of the Chattahoochee, which extends from the mouth of Sope Creek downstream to the U.S. 41 bridge, Georgia has four other great Delayed Harvest fisheries. These include designated sections of Amicalola Creek, Chattooga River, Smith Creek and Toccoa River. Delayed Harvest regulations apply to the designated waters from Nov. 1 through May 14. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has done a stellar job of creating a great Delayed Harvest trout fishery in north Georgia, and I hope you’ll be able to get in on the fun. Plan to include some Delayed Harvest trout fishing in your wintertime outdoor activities this year. You’ll be glad you did. And watch for the next volunteer-assisted stocking. Most years, one is scheduled for the week of Christmas, a time which makes it easy for the entire family to participate. I’ll look forward to seeing you there! This is the perfect time of year to enjoy Georgia’s great Delayed Harvest trout season. Learn more about it in Steve Hudson’s comprehensive 84-page book entitled “GEORGIA DELAYED HARVEST TROUT GUIDE.” Packed with info on access and tactics for each of Georgia’s DH streams, it’s available from local outfitters, on Amazon, or direct from the author at

22 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | 

22 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 

Sponsored Section

Why investing in real estate is easier than ever (NAPSI)—There is no shortage of reasons why investing in residential real estate can be a good idea: home prices declined during the recent financial crisis, the number of renters has skyrocketed, it’s often considered a stable alternative to the stock market and the list goes on and on. At the same time, residential real estate investing has shifted from a local proposition to one without geographic limitations. That’s because of developments in technology, financing, services and processes that can make it easier for investors to search for opportunities, purchase properties and manage them from afar. In the past, a long-standing issue with the single-family rental sector has been a weak debt market. Investors were generally limited to loans from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which allow a maximum of four and 10 properties, respectively. Even worse was that these loans are highly dependent on the personal income of the borrower, not the income

of the real estate. This limited obtaining attractive financing to only the wealthiest of investors. A new lending sector has emerged, however, that can provide financing for investors of various sizes and neither limits the number of properties available for financing nor underwrites the loan amount based on personal income. Meanwhile, online auction marketplaces, property management software and crowdfunding may help to make more efficient decision—making and investing. “Small investors can now diversify their portfolio,” he says, “because they can research, acquire, finance and manage properties from afar.” The singlefamily residential market can present opportunities for “mom and pop” investors, particularly those who consider five key points: 1. Understand the total costs: Operating expenses and fixed costs, such as taxes, can vary greatly from state to state. Property management fees are gen-

erally higher in less populated areas that have little scalability or no competition. Hurricane, flood or earthquake insurance can be expensive but may not be relevant in all markets. 2. Choose your tenants wisely: If you decide to invest out of your local market (and even in your own market), consider using a property manager to identify and qualify tenants and detail exactly the criteria and standards required. Common metrics are a certain FICO score, no bankruptcy in the last few years and a minimum rent-to-income ratio. Landlord references are also important, as is understanding local laws about tenant selection and advertising for tenants. 3. Know the market as if you lived there: Talk to local brokers, read the local newspaper to understand the economy and visit the area. Identify the drivers behind the housing market and know the history. A healthy, educated workforce and population growth are generally good indicators of long-term price appreciation. Lower home ownership rates may

produce strong yields as there could be a consistent demand for your investment property, but appreciation may be lacking as the market fundamentals are not dynamic enough. 4. Choose either appreciation or yield or a little of both: Deciding which type of market you want to invest in will help with focus. Diversifying can be a reason to look beyond local opportunities. Some markets straddle yield and appreciation, and researching the long-term trend for market dynamics is especially important as these may quickly shift to only yield or appreciation. 5. Know your exit strategy: The number of owner-occupied houses is important because a higher rate of home ownership may make it easier to sell the home. The overall liquidity of the market is also important. Data now exists that can help investors understand the vibrancy of a market even without much buying and selling. Find your next single-family real estate investment at

REAL ESTATE REPORT • Sponsored Section | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 23

When is the right time to sell your home? By Bill Rawlings, Vice President/Managing Broker, North Atlanta. Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty The decision to sell your home is both a financial and emotional one. The choice to buy or sell a home is completely individual; therefore, when deciding on the perfect time to sell your home the following should RAWLINGS be considered. Market conditions, selling reasons and is your home ready to sell? Reasons to Sell. Whether you have an expanding or shrinking family, a job change or a desire to move to a particular school district — your reason for selling ultimately impacts when you should put your home on the market. Market Conditions. Take a look at market conditions and where you see them going in the future. This is a good time to find out your loan payoff amount. You should have an accurate idea of what your sales proceeds will be after you have paid off all home loans and closing costs. Research recent sales prices of comparable homes in your community. Find a REALTOR® that is a great match for you and what you are looking for in the home selling process, as well as someone who knows the current market conditions to estimate a listing price and how long it may take for your home to sell. Selling for the Season. You can choose to sell at any time of year, with the new year quickly approaching this is great time. Once the holiday season has died down, you should consider putting your home on the market. If your home attracts families and is in a sought-after school district, you are just as likely to get offers at the beginning of the new year as you are in the summer. Buyers want to settle into their new home before school starts. Is your home ready to sell? An important element in determining when to list your home is its condition. You will need time to make repairs and improvements, deep-clean your home and clear away many of your possessions. If you have a large, disorganized home with overflowing closets and a garage with

See HOME, Page 24

24 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald |

REAL ESTATE REPORT • Sponsored Section

Crye-Leike continues to grow in the Atlanta market now open in Gainesville It’s been eleven years since Harold Crye, CEO of Crye-Leike Real Estate, expanded the company’s footprint into the Atlanta metro area. The fourth largest privately owned real estate company in the nation recently opened its eleventh office in the Atlanta Metro area at 956A Dawsonville Highway, Suite 301 in Gainesville. Crye-Leike is pleased to welcome Christy Crumbley as the new Managing Broker. Crye-Leike’s Gainesville office is currently open for business and ready to assist clients with all of their real estate buying and selling needs in Hall, Lumpkin, Dawson and surrounding counties. The office will host a grand opening ceremony this fall. “The Atlanta real estate market is strong and greatly improving like many of the markets Crye-Leike serves,” said Cofounder and CEO Harold Crye. “We see a lot of potential for the local market and are very happy to be expanding in and around the Atlanta area with additional offices opening soon in Lawrenceville, Dahlonega and Marietta.” “Being a full-service real estate brokerage firm, our goal is to make it convenient for our customers and sales associates to utilize all of our services before, during and after a home pur-

Home: Continued from Page 23 no space for a car, you may need weeks or months before you are ready to put your home on the market. Today’s buyers have high expectations of your home’s condition, so do not expect to be able to work on your home after it

chase by offering reliable, efficient and convenient services for today’s busy lifestyles,” said Steve Brown, president of Crye-Leike Residential Sales. Crye-Leike Real Estate Services had a great year in 2015 achieving $5.7 billion in sales volume. Over a nine-state region, 3000 highly skilled Crye-Leike agents sold 31,400 properties. Crye-Leike’s sales outperformed the national average in the real estate market. Crye-Leike Atlanta has sales offices in Alpharetta/ Roswell, Norcross, Cartersville, Cumming, McDonough, Riverdale, Smyrna/ Vinings, Johns Creek and Woodstock in addition to a Residential Property Management, Commercial and Relocation division. As a full service real estate company, Crye-Leike offers real estate and related services, including: relocation services; commercial business and investment real estate services; property leasing and management services; insurance services; title & closing services; mortgage services; home warranty services; home services; auction services; business brokerage services; REO services for bank-owned & foreclosed properties and real estate schools. is listed. Your home should be priced correctly and in prime condition on day one in order to sell quickly and for the best price possible. Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty agents deliver results. Allow one of our dedicated professionals to assist you by visiting or calling our office at 770.442.7300.

REAL ESTATE REPORT • Sponsored Section | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 25 85,000 Agents | 3,000 Offices on 6 Continents | 110-Year Legacy

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Roswell / 3BR/2.5BA / $340,000 Susan Craig / 678-6564909 2630 Camden Glen Court FMLS# 5757423 on

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Jasper / 3BR/2.1BA / $219,900 Caroline Wilson / 404-518-8669 125 Indian Beach Trail FMLS# 5744305 on

Alpharetta / 4BR/2.1BA / $314,900 Leslie Hawkins / 770-855-1489 11655 Windbrooke Way FMLS# 5776070 on

Gainesville / 5BR/5.3BA / $1,650,000 Jenifer Cusick / 404-932-4962 4164 Greyfield Bluff Drive FMLS# 5760626 on

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Alpharetta/North Point 3800 Mansell Rd., Suite 100 | Alpharetta, GA 30022 | 770.642.0399

The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage are independent contractor agents and are not employees of the Company. ©2016 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker, the Coldwell Banker logo, Coldwell Banker Previews International and the Previews logo are registered and unregistered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. 12132ATL_4/16

Administered by American Home Shield

26 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald |

REAL ESTATE REPORT • Sponsored Section


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Smart home technology By Kathy Weeks Managing Broker, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Alpharetta Smart Home Technology - it’s here. It’s no longer just for the affluent or tech-obsessed young consumers. Smart home technology is becoming an integral part of our everyday lives. What is a smart home? It’s a home equipped with smart products connected through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to control or automate the functions of a house. Thermostats that learn to adjust the temperature automatically based on your schedule, lightbulbs that you can control from your phone, doors that automatically lock when you leave the house are just a few examples of home automation. Smart Home tech can add value to a seller’s home and influence what buyers expect. A recent survey conducted by the Coldwell Banker® brand and CNET indicate that homes with smart technology are selling faster than those without. 72% of smart home tech owners say their products provide peace of mind.* 45% of Americans say smart home products save them an average of over $1,100 per year.** 87% of those who own smart home products say it makes their lives easier.* 62% of brokers and agents see homebuyers interested in controlling smart home tech with their phones or tablets.* Below are some Smart Home features and suggestions: LIGHTING The ability to program specific

moods, to light the way to exits in an emergency, or just to turn off the downstairs lights without getting out of your warm bed takes lighting far beyond a simple on/off switch. SAFETY RAWLINGS Safety systems typically go unnoticed until they are needed, but the smart home revolution hasn’t left them out of the mix. The ability to integrate systems allows smoke or carbon monoxide detectors to trigger additional systems and deliver more critical information than ever before. SECURITY Features such as smart locks and networked security cameras provide additional convenience and a greater sense of security. For example, the ability to provide single day access via a smart lock instead of loaning out a key, or to see who’s at the front door remotely, even when you’re not near the door. TEMPERATURE Smart thermostats not only yield a more comfortable experience, but also improve efficiency, allowing you to adjust temperature remotely as well as learning your habits and behavior to help lower heating and cooling costs. ENTERTAINMENT Smart TVs, streaming services, and integrated home entertainment systems can enhance the experiences our homes deliver, making an ordinary

See SMART, Page 28

REAL ESTATE REPORT • Sponsored Section | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 27

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28 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald |

REAL ESTATE REPORT • Sponsored Section

Easy curb appeal One of the easiest but often overlooked enhancement to a house to improve the curb appeal is to add or update your exterior shutters. Historically exterior shutters served a purpose by offering light control, ventilation and protection from the elements. Today exterior shutters are mostly decorative. “Exterior shutters add the finishing touch to a house”, says Hennie DuPreez, CEO of Dupbel Millworks Inc. “But it is important that they are appropriately sized and look like they are supposed to be there.” Whether you’re adding or replacing shutters to add curb appeal or as part of a remodel, consider these tips from Dupbel Millworks Inc., one of the leading shutter manufacturers in North Georgia. Style: Make sure the style adds visual interest to the house, whether you choose traditional Raised panels, a Board and Batten style, Louvers or one of the more modern styles. Depending on the style you can make your house look more traditional, contemporary or modern. A reputable shutter provider will be able to help you choose the look you are trying to achieve. Size: One of the biggest mistakes people make with shutters is the size. It is important that the shutters are sized correctly for your windows, while taking into account the features of the house, obstacles that could be present, and the look you are trying to achieve. Your shutters are going to be mostly decorative, but make sure they are sized as if they would be functional and as if they belong there. Hardware: Traditionally shutters were attached to the window frames with hinges. Today hardware plays an important role in the appearance of your shutters. Various options are available depending on the style of the shutters and the type of windows. Adding hardware adds to the curb appeal and the authentic look. It also put the shutter at a slight angle, adding visual interest and creating better shadow

Smart: Continued from Page 26 movie night extraordinary. OUTDOOR

lines that brings out the design features of the shutter style. Material: Exterior shutters are available in various material and you need to find the right balance between price, how long they will last and the look you are trying to achieve. Vinyl shutters are typically the cheapest option for obvious reasons, wood looks great but do not necessary withstand the elements, and then you have various composite materials that could provide you with the authentic look and long lasting criteria. Installation: Make sure you are confident working on a ladder, or make sure you use a professional crew with the necessary insurance. The installation cost is typically in addition to the price of the shutters and hardware. Ensure there is a suitable mounting surface and that the window frames are in good shape before installation. Dupbel Millworks Inc. manufactures exteriors shutters using only weather resistant materials. Our core business is shutters made from a composite wood material that is rot, insect and weather resistant. This is especially important in Georgia’s hot, humid conditions. Although we carry a series of shutters styles, we are fully equipped to help you design the specific look you desire, and every shutters is custom made based on your house, windows and design. We use your house as our showroom, knowing very well how difficult it can be to see what a specific style of shutter will do the look of your home. We come to your house with samples and will help you to choose the perfect style of shutter for your house. Our business is located in Alpharetta, GA and we are proud to serve the residential and commercial market of North Georgia. We are small enough to provide you with personal attention, yet strong enough to handle complex designs and the volume from our commercial customers. Smart Home technology extends outdoors with smart plant sensors and watering systems that deliver the right amount of water to the plants that need it, keeping plants healthy and reducing water use. Coldwell Banker Residential Bro-

kerage’s Alpharetta office has affiliated sales associates who are experts in Atlanta’s communities and can help you quickly turn your dream into reality. If you’ve been thinking of putting your house on the market, now is a great time. We have buyers searching for

properties right now– we’d love to sell them your home! Contact our office today by calling 770-642-0399. *Coldwell Banker/CNET Survey, August 2015 **Coldwell Banker Smart Home Technology Network Survey, March 2015 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 29

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The fourth-grade NAFL Bears stand victorious after their championship game.

The third grade NAFL Bears team is just one of three NAFL teams who recently won a championship.

NORTH FULTON, Ga. — Three North Atlanta Football League teams recently took home the gold at their respective championship games. The fourth-grade NAFL Bears won Nov. 19 the Lanier Bowl Championship at Forsyth Central High School. The Bears’ 18 players brought home the hardware after a tough battle against

onship at Johns Creek High School. The Bears’ 12 players brought home the hardware after a battle against the Northview Titans.  Head coach Randy Guy led his team to victory, 34-6. At the same time, the K-2nd Grade (Flag) NAFL Bears Blue won on Nov. 12 in the North Metro Football League

NAFL teams win championships the Bennett Park Raiders. This year, the tackle teams were affiliated with Forsyth County Youth Football Association.  Head coach Neal Counts led his team to victory, 20-6. The third and fourth grade (Flag) NAFL Bears also won on Nov. 12 in the North Metro Football League Champi-

Championship at Johns Creek High School. The Bears’ 11 players brought home the hardware after a battle against the NAFL Bears White.  Head coach Doug Ward led his team to victory, 18-0. For more information on NAFL and to get involved, visit


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37 Old Roswell Street Downtown Alpharetta 770-609-6311 • | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 33

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34 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald 


Chopin Society a bittersweet celebration Gala remembers Krzysztof & Elzbieta Krawczynski, who meant so much to society’s founding DUNWOODY – Ensconced in the elegant Dunwoody Country Club, the Chopin Society of Atlanta’s annual gala took a serious moment to remember two members who meant a great HATCHER HURD deal to the society Executive Editor and its members. Drs. Krzysztof Krawczynski and Elzbieta Gürtler-Krawczynska died in a tragic automobile accident in January. Their deaths were felt throughout the Atlanta SPECIAL Polish community, but most closely to Drs. Krzysztof Krawczynski and Elzbithe Chopin Society of Atlanta. eta Gürtler-Krawczynska Elzbieta Gürtler-Krawczynska was a founding board member, and she and her husband were staunch supporters Chopin Society activities. Family memof the Chopin Socibers Anna, Richety for 17 years. ard, Alexandra and “They were Kiki Pare were in truly a Renaisattendance. sance couple,” said This year’s Dorota Lato, presigala was also the dent of the Chopin largest yet with Society of Atlanta. some 200 guests “They both had in attendance. careers as medical The Chopin doctors. They were Society presented internationally two of its music known scientists scholarship recipand they were dedients, GSU music icated to the arts. students Marina They were deterBengoa and Derek mined to preserve Vann, who were Polish culture for able to study the next generamusic abroad DOROTA LATO tion.” supported by the Chopin Society of Atlanta president In their memsociety. ory, their family Bengoa went has created the Elzbieta and Krzysztof to Paris, where Chopin attained his Krawczynski Fund to aid in all of the greatest fame, and Vann went to Valde-

They were internationally known scientists and they were dedicated to the arts. They were determined to preserve Polish culture for the next generation.”


When the dancing begins in earnest, so does the fun. mossa, Majorca. It was at this Spanish island that Chopin in 1838 composed some of his most beloved music. The Chopin Society of Atlanta is one of a global network of Chopin Societies dedicated to the preservation and understanding of Fryderyk Chopin’s music


and its legacy. It does so primarily by introducing youth of metro Atlanta to classical music and to understanding and appreciating how Chopin’s music in particular has enriched the world.


Providing the entertainment are four Georgia State University pianists from left: Daniel Padovan, Marina Bengoa, Jungju Lee and Derek Vann.

this year


Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 35


Aleksander and Halina Czlam take a quiet moment at the gala. They have been supporters of the Chopin Society of Atlanta from its beginning.


The Chopin Society Board of Directors makes it all happen. From left are Anna Holub–Standish, Barbara Bugajska, Joanna Krauz, Aleksander Szlam, Dorota Lato, master of ceremonies John Lemley, Halina Szlam, Elizabeth Pelypenko, Renata Cichocka and Anna Pare.


Student art winners in attendance at the Chopin Society Gala are, from left, Sarah Hunter (top prize winner, elementary school); Maria Scamrej (third prize winner, middle school); Emilia Olson (third prize winner, elementary school); and Robert Hunter (top prize winner, high school).


Buying raffle tickets are, seated, Eric and Dorota Olson and Renata Cichocka. Selling tickets are Marina Bengoa, Eliza Folkert and Emilia Folkert.

36 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | 


Taylor Road teacher nominated for Grammy Nicole Thompson one of 25 national semifinalists By JULIA GROCHOWSKI JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Johns Creek residents might see a familiar face while watching the Grammys this year. A local orchestra teacher has made it as a semifinalist for the fourth annual Grammy Foundation’s 2017 Music Educator Award for a chance to appear in the 59th annual Grammy Awards Ceremony. Nicole Thompson, the Director of Orchestras since 2000 at Taylor Road Middle School, is one of 25 semifinalists nationwide to receive this distinction. She is one of two semifinalists from Georgia. Thompson and the other semifinalists were chosen from an initial pool of over 3,300 nominees from all 50 states for their contribution to music education. “I am honored to be a semifinalist and was touched to learn last year that one of my students and her mom, Da-


Nicole Thompson builds relationships with all of her students.

niela and Solange Leonardo, nominated me for this award,” Thompson said. “It brings me such joy every day to see my students work together as a family to learn and then show love by sharing their music with others.” The semifinalists were not just

chosen for their teaching abilities and involvement with music education, but for their involvement and impact in students’ lives. The orchestra is like her family, Thompson said, and she strives to keep a relationship with her students as they go on to Chattahoochee High School, which is next door to the middle school. “It’s a unique relationship,” Thompson said. “Orchestra and music provides a connection that nothing else can provide. We put everything else aside and create music together - our emotions and our feelings. And we have to rely on each other to succeed. In math class, it’s just you and your math. If one student is really great at math and one person is struggling, they don’t really affect one another. In orchestra, everybody works together, because we work as a team, as a family.” Thompson continually supports and keeps in touch with her students long after they have left her classroom and encourages her students to do the same. She has created multiple mentoring programs for the high school and middle school students to interact with and help one another. Thompson also encourages her students to regularly share their time and

music with the community, including at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. “My students are very loving and generous,” Thompson said. “At the beginning of the year, unfortunately, there was a bus driver who passed away, and the students gathered up money for the bus driver’s family. They’re always helping out like that – that’s just one small example.” That generosity goes both ways between the students and teacher. Recently, Thompson’s orchestra family became literal when she adopted one of her former students after his family was killed in an accident. “I went to the funeral and offered anything I could do to help,” Thompson said. “I have a relationship with all of my students, and it just made sense for me to help. And over time, he’s become a part of my family.” The finalists for the Music Educator Award will be announced in December. The winner will be flown out to the 59th annual Grammy Awards Ceremony Feb. 12, 2017 in Los Angeles to pick up a $10,000 personal grant. To learn more about the award and to nominate an educator for the 2018 award, visit


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SPORTS | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 37

Roswell rolls over North Cobb to advance to semifinals Malik Willis accounts for five touchdowns in 42-21 win By JOE PARKER ROSWELL, Ga. – Roswell kept its unbeaten streak alive and will play in the semifinals this Friday after downing North Cobb 42-21 last week at Ray Manus Stadium. As has become the story of the Hornet’s (13-0) WILLIS three playoff wins, it was a stout defensive performance and an offensive showcase by quarterback Malik Willis that led Roswell over the Warriors of North Cobb (10-3). Roswell’s defense recorded six sacks, forced three turnovers and held North Cobb to negative yards rushing. Meanwhile, Willis and the Roswell offense compiled over 500 total yards of offense. Willis threw for 187 yards and three touchdowns, to Corey Reed, Christian

Ford and Jayden Comma, while rushing for over 120 yards and two touchdowns, including two touchdowns on rushes of 24 and 72 yards. Willis has recorded 13 touchdowns in the playoffs. Sheldon Evans, who missed the opening round of the playoffs and saw limited action last week due to an ankle injury, returned with force, rushing for nearly 200 yards and a touchdown. LeAnthony Williams recorded an interception, and Xavier McKinney and Koby Cumberlander had fumble recoveries for the Hornets’ defense. North Cobb’s 21 points was the most the Roswell defense has given up all season. Roswell controlled the first half, scoring three touchdowns in a short span late in the first quarter and into early in the second. Roswell scored its first 21 points of the game off North Cobb turnovers.

Williams’ interception set up Willis’ first touchdown pass to Corey Reed. Cumberlander’s fumble recovery set up a Willis to Comma pass for a score, and McKinney’s strip and fumble recovery set up Willis’ first rushing touchdown. North Cobb bounced back in the third quarter to cut the Hornets’ lead to 21-14 with passing touchdowns of 72 and 17 yards, the latter set up by a Willis fumble. After Roswell’s offense struggled to move the ball effectively in the third quarter, it was back to business in the fourth. Evans put the Hornets up 35-14 with a 7-yard rush, and Willis hit Christian Ford for 52-yards and scored on a 72-yard rush to put the nail in the coffin of the Warriors’ season. With the win, Roswell will make its second straight appearance in the semifinals this Friday against Westlake (10-3).

Sheldon Evans, who missed the opening round of the playoffs and saw limited action last week due to an ankle injury, returned with force, rushing for nearly 200 yards and a touchdown. Since both teams were No. 1 seeds from their respective regions, a cointoss decided that Westlake would host, putting Roswell on the road for the first time in the playoffs this season. Westlake’s stout defense is allowing 17 points per game in the playoffs, while its balanced offense has put up 24 points or more in the Lions’ previous six games.

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Fellowship Christian still perfect, moves on to the semis Paladins earn first-ever semifinal berth with lopsided win over Mt. Paran By JOE PARKER ROSWELL, Ga. – Fellowship Christian earned its first-ever 12-win season and first win in a quarterfinal game with a dominant 45-13 win over Mt. Paran (10-2) last Friday at Bob Lord Field. Fellowship (12-0) will face Prince Avenue Christian this Friday. Fellowship’s win was the second over the Eagles this season. The Paladins handed Mt. Paran its only previous loss of the season on Aug. 26, a 14-7 win as both teams began region play. Fellowship quarterback Jack Hardin continued his impressive season by throwing five touchdowns in the win, accumulating 216 yards passing and adding 122 yards rushing. Ryan Reid also had a standout performance, collecting six passes for 156 yards with three touchdowns. Mark Haigler had two receptions, both for touchdowns, as well as leading the Paldins in tackles. Though Mt. Paran accumulated 390

Offensively we moved the ball all night throwing the ball, and we ran the ball effectively. It’s a great night for Paladin football.” AL MORRELL FCS head coach yards of total offense, the Paladins’ defense held the Eagles in check throughout the game. Fellowship forced two Eagles’ fumbles in the red zone, and Fellowship’s Cameron Gill returned an interception 49 yards for a touchdown. Mt. Paran was just 5-12 on third down conversions and 0-3 on fourth down

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conversions. “They beat a good football team in Mt. Paran,” Fellowship Christian head coach Al Morrell said of his players. “Mt. Paran is a smash-mouth football team, and our kids hung in there with them, played tough defensively and held them to two scores.” The triple-option of Fellowship’s offense had much of its success through the air with 242 yards passing compared to 267 yards rushing. Hardin was 8-12 passing. “Offensively we moved the ball all night throwing the ball, and we ran the ball effectively. It’s a great night for Paladin football,” said Morrell. Mt. Paran looked poised to take the first lead of the game in the first quarter before a holding penalty negated a 22-yard rushing touchdown. On first and goal from the 8-yard line, an Eagles’ fumble was recovered by Fellowship defensive end Zach Murray. Fellowship responded with nineplay, 87-yard drive to take the 7-0 lead.


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FCS quarterback Jack Hardin (11) threw for Mt. Paran tied the game early in the second quarter, and again had the ball first-and-goal when Fellowship forced a fumble, recovered by Billy McCurry. A 52-yard touchdown pass from

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SPORTS | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 39

Fellowship Christian’s defense held Mount Paran to two touchdowns and forced three turnovers. PHOTOS BY JOE PARKER

216 yards and five touchdowns in Fellowship’s 45-14 win over Mt. Paran. Hardin to Haigler and a 33-yard field goal by Garrett Depew to end the half gave FCS a 17-7 halftime lead. The Paladins extended the lead to 24-7 early in the third quarter on the

first of three Hardin-to-Reid touchdowns. Mt. Paran would score on a 70-yard drive in the fourth, but Fellowship quickly responded with Gill’s 49-yard

pick-six to seal the win for the Paladins. The Paladins will travel this week to take on Prince Avenue Christian, the No. 2 ranked team in the state in Class A-Private. The Wolverines have a balanced offense, averaging 158 yards per game passing and 172 yards rushing.

Its defense has held opponents to just 8.5 points per game. Morrell said that his team will focus this week on preparing their game plan accordingly, but the game will undoubtedly be a tough test and the Paladins, “have our work cut out for us.”

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40 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | 

Join the Fun!

Blessed Trinity loses heartbreaker to Mary Pearsons Titans fall 28-27 to Bulldogs in quarterfinals By JOE PARKER

Thirsty THURSDAY December 1st • 5:30pm-7:30pm Join the Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce for our monthly get-together/networking event. Enjoy delicious food and drinks, and meet other professionals in the Alpharetta area.

L ti Ceviche Location: C i h Taqueria T i • 42 Milton Milt Ave, A Alpharetta, Al h tt GA 30009 Fees/Admission: $15 members • $25 guests Contact Kristen Franks at

FORSYTH, Ga. – Blessed Trinity saw its season come to an end in harrowing fashion as the Titans fell to Mary Pearsons in a game decided in the final seconds. Mary Pearsons led 28-27 with just 37 seconds left before lining up for a fourth and 1 on BT’s 49-yard line, seeking a first down to run out the clock and end the game. The Bulldogs thought they had done just that when a pre-snap flag was thrown as a BT defender crossed the neutral-zone. However, the Bulldogs were charged with a false start, turning the fourth-and-short into a fourth and 6. After the penalty, the Bulldogs elected to punt. The Bulldogs’ punt, off the side of the kicker’s foot, sailed out of bounds at BT’s 45-yard line, a punt of just nine yards. BT was within striking distance with 31 seconds remaining. BT quarterback Jake Smith connected with Ryan Davis for 12 yards and then scrambled for 20 yards to put BT in field goal range at the 23-yard line with 14 seconds left. Smith completed a pass to Wes Leckie at the 11-yard line with seven seconds remaining to set up Brooks Hosea for a 28-yard field goal attempt. Hosea, with talent and consistency not often seen in high school kickers, was 4-4 on field goals on the night, hitting kicks of 44, 47, 26 and 38 yards. The latter two both came in the fourth quarter when BT was unable to maintain drives late. The Bulldogs called two timeouts in an effort to freeze Hosea, a Citadelcommit, in an effort to shake him into missing a field goal for just the second time this season. Whether the attempts to freeze him worked or whether the kick was untrue, Hosea’s kick sailed wide-right.

The loss was BT’s first to a Georgia-based opponent all season. Its previous two losses were to St. Peter’s Prep (N.J.) and McCallie (Tenn.). Blessed Trinity was making its fourth straight appearance in a quarterfinal game and its first since joining Class 4A. In a back-and-forth affair, BT took the lead in the first quarter on a 41yard touchdown pass from Jake Smith to Ryan Davis. Smith was 13-23 passing for 207 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Two Mary Pearsons touchdowns and two Hosea field goals gave the Bulldogs’ a 14-13 lead at the half. BT opened the third quarter with a 50-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Will Carlton, but the offense would not find the end zone for the rest of the game. Mary Pearsons scored on a 1-yard rushing touchdown and on a 69-yard pass to take a 28-24 lead. Hosea’s made a field goal of 38-yards with eight minutes remaining, but it would be the last score of the game. It was the end of BT careers for BT seniors Hosea, Colin Davis, Matt Maloof, Griffin Gilder and Jacob Bolton. BT should return Smith, a sophomore, as well as Steele Chambers, Jake Rudolf and J.D. Bertrand next year.

The loss was BT’s first to a Georgiabased opponent all season. Its previous two losses were to St. Peter’s Prep (N.J.) and McCallie (Tenn.).

SCHOOLS | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 41

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Peachtree Park Prep students donate items to veterans and troops as part of their studies.

Peachtree Park Prep donates to veterans NORTH FULTON, Ga. — Peachtree Park Prep recently held a donation drive for Veterans Day. Both locations of Peachtree Park Prep, the Johns Creek and Alpharetta campuses, collected donations for veterans and troops during the month of November to complement their monthly unit of study: “Our City, Our State, Our Country, Our World.”  On Veterans Day, they had their big push, and the donations just rushed in, Peachtree Park Prep owner Kay Paschal said. Everything from office supplies, toiletries, books, DVDs, socks and the students’ Halloween candy was donated.

Peachtree Park Prep also held a ceremony by saying the Pledge of Allegiance, singing the National Anthem and “God Bless America,” which occurs in their classrooms each and every day.  “Civic duty and national pride is a cornerstone of the philosophy of Peachtree Park Prep,” Paschal said.   The enormous amount of items will be distributed to the VA Hospital and local Veterans of Foreign Wars offices, and the bulk of the candy will go to a community dental office that works with organizations to send candy to deployed troops. To learn more about Peachtree Park Prep, visit

Little Helpers volunteer for Thanksgiving project MILTON, Ga. - A group of young volunteers put some muscle into a community Thanksgiving project. Little Helpers from Marietta, Roswell, John’s Creek, Milton, Acworth and Lithonia rolled up their sleeves to help the Agape Youth and Family Center in Atlanta with its annual Great Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway. They unloaded trucks filled with donated food, sorted the items and bagged them for needy families. Nearly

1,000 bags of food along with a turkey were handed out as part of this program. Agape empowers and supports underserved families within its community to discover and embrace their full potential. Agape is fully enrolled and operating at capacity with 220 students K-12 in after-school programs and 80 students in the summer enrichment programs in a high-crime service area of over 2,000 low-income families. 

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42 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | 

Religious Rediscover the meaning and miracles of Christmas You are invited to connect with a loving community Dec. 24 at 4:00*, 6:00* & 11:00pm *A caring nursery is provided for children 4 years old and younger.

December 25 at 10:30am for a family-friendly experience

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December 3rd at 6:00pm December 4th at 3:00pm

FREE ADMISSION Jeff Jackson, Senior Pastor (678) 513-9400 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 43


An evening of traditional and contemporary Christmas music celebrating the birth of the Savior. Free Concert presented by the Alpharetta Methodist Choirs, Orchestra and Handbells Located at Alpharetta First United Methodist Church 69 N. Main St., Alpharetta, GA 30009



44 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | 


for UPS and that the system, which had his personal information on it, was hacked a while back.

Continued from Page 2 address change that he had not made. He immediately called police and major credit bureaus to have monitors placed on his accounts. The man told police that he works

Yoga studio reports break-in, items missing ALPHARETTA, Ga. — A local yoga studio recently reported a burglary with

ONLINE AUCTION BY CITY OF ALPHARETTA The City of Alpharetta, in conjunction with GovDeals, will conduct a CONTINUOUS online auction to sell surplus material, equipment, and vehicles. To view the surplus items or to place a bid, please visit All sales will be final to the highest bidder and sold as is, where is, with no warranty expressed or implied. The City of Alpharetta and GovDeals reserves the right to reject any and all bids, and the right to waive formalities. Once the items are sold, the coordination of and actual removal of the items must be completed by the selected party. For further information, visit or contact Joshua Amusa with the City of Alpharetta, Department of Finance at (678) 297-6095 or

ADVERTISEMENT FOR STATEMENTS OF QUALIFICATIONS CITY OF ALPHARETTA, GEORGIA FOR LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE SERVICES: SR 400 AT FIVE INTERCHANGES RFQ 17-1009 The City of Alpharetta (City) is requesting statements of qualifications from qualified landscape maintenance contractors for the City’s Landscape Maintenance of five Interchanges at SR 400 contract. Awarded Contractor will also be responsible for the installation of replacement landscape and maintenance of the new landscape at the interchanges, so must demonstrate relevant installation experience. The Request for Qualifications document will be available online Thursday, November 17, 2016 at our bid posting website, Interested parties are required to log in to review the RFQ documents. Statements of Qualifications will be due on Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 10:00 AM at Alpharetta City Hall, 2 Park Plaza, Alpharetta, Georgia 30009. For information, please contact Debora Westbrook at the City of Alpharetta Finance Department via email at or at 678-297-6052.

over $1,000 worth of items reported stolen. The owner reported the incident after she came into the studio in the morning and saw that several items were missing. The lock box, with the key to the business, on the rear door had been broken into and the door was unlocked. Inside, a speaker, bladeless fan, an iPad mini and several pieces of workout equipment were missing. All of them were last seen the night before after the last yoga class.

Attempted purchase with fake ID fails ALPHARETTA, Ga. — A man was arrested Nov. 20 for first degree forgery after attempting to buy a phone using someone else’s account. Police were called to the Apple Store at North Point Circle by a loss prevention officer about a suspicious transaction. The man, later identified as Yamil Guerrero-Diaz from Alpharetta, had attempted to upgrade and purchase a $750 iPhone 7 using someone else’s account number and a Pennsylvania driver’s license.

While police were speaking to Guerrero-Diaz, he said that the account information was not his and that the license was fake. He also said that he is currently homeless. Guerrero-Diaz was arrested without incident.

Wanted person found in gym parking lot JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — A wanted man was found and arrested Nov. 14 while police were conducting a business check. While police were checking in on a Lifetime Fitness on Johns Creek Parkway, they noticed a black Hyundai sedan parked in the back of the business, away from all other cars. The gym had recently reported multiple thefts and entering auto incidents. Police ran the car’s tag through their system and found a hit for the registered owner, 24-year-old Anthony Sayles of Johns Creek. Sayles was wanted by the Douglas County Sherriff’s Office on failure to appear on a shoplifting incident. Police arrested Sayles without incident when he returned to his car.



PLACE City Hall Two Park Plaza Council Chambers December 1, 2016 3:00 P.M.

PLACE City Hall Two Park Plaza Council Chambers December 1, 2016 3:00 P.M.

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Share your opinions | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | December 1, 2016 | 45

Arrests: Continued from Page 2 ►► Angelea Gale Motz, 22, of Onagh

Court, Milton, was arrested Nov. 1 on Old Dogwood Road in Roswell for possession of marijuana, possession of drug related items, headlight required and possession of a schedule I & II controlled substance. ►► Lucious Wright, 27, of Rampart Place, Stone Mountain, was arrested Oct. 29 on Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell for possession of marijuana.

DEATH NOTICES Phyllis Brown of Roswell, GA, passed away on November 22, 2016. Arrangements by Northside Chapel Funeral Directors & Crematory Mary Connolly, 69, of Roswell, passed away on November 15, 2016. Arrangements by Roswell Funeral Home and Green Lawn Cemetery. Betya Datsenko, 81, of Roswell, passed away on November 19, 2016. Arrangements by Roswell Funeral Home and Green Lawn Cemetery Joanne Ewing of Alpharetta, GA, passed away on November 20, 2016. Arrangements by Northside Chapel Funeral Directors & Crematory

►► Harold Gardo Mentoe, 22, of Terrace

Club Court, Norcross, was arrested Oct. 28 on Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell for possession of marijuana and failure to maintain lane. ►► Nicholas Delan Chapple, 33, of Old Dogwood Road, Roswell, was arrested Oct. 30 on Old Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell for possession of marijuana, improper display of license plate and brake light violation. ►► Justin Tyler Ivy, 23, of Landover Way, Suwanee, was arrested Oct. 24 on Holcomb Woods Parkway in Roswell for possession of marijuana. ►► Andrew Gene Lovelace, 28, of

Flatbottom Road, Ballground, was arrested Oct. 24 on Clubfield Drive in Roswell for possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. ►► Rachel Maria Kohn, 23, of Skulley Drive, Roswell, was arrested Oct. 23 on Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell

In Memoriam

Dana Katherine Rullman Connor D

Mrs. Dana Katherine Rullman Connor passed away peacefully at her home Monday, November 21, 2016 surrounded by her loving family. Dana was born August 11, 1962 in Miami, Florida to Mr. John Mahoney Rullman and Mrs. Sharon Kay Blue. Dana bravely battled cancer over the last six years, and never gave up. She lived her life to the fullest every day, and brought joy and happiness to everyone around her. Dana’s life was her family and friends, and she gave herself unconditionally. Dana leaves a legacy of laughter, love, courage, compassion and grace. She is and always will be the heart and soul of our family. Dana will forever be in our hearts. Forever the dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend… Dana is survived by her husband Steven E. Connor, daughter Nicole R. Staubly, sons Stephen E. Connor, Jr. and Brendon S. Connor;

Jerome P. Goldstein, 80, of Roswell, passed away on November 15, 2016. Arrangements by Roswell Funeral Home and Green Lawn Cemetery.

Richard Moses, 88, of Roswell, passed away on November 14, 2016. Arrangements by Roswell Funeral Home and Green Lawn Cemetery.

Louis W. Hill, 80, of Johns Creek, passed away on November 20, 2016. Arrangements by Roswell Funeral Home and Green Lawn Cemetery.

Lawrence Reid of Roswell, GA, passed away on November 21, 2016. Arrangements by Northside Chapel Funeral Directors & Crematory

Ruth Jameson of Milton, GA, passed away on November 21, 2016. Arrangements by Northside Chapel Funeral Directors & Crematory

for possession of marijuana, failure to yield and no license. ►► Jahbarie Othaniel Stewart, 25, of Parkmont Drive, Roswell, was arrested Oct. 26 on Old Roswell Road in Roswell for possession of marijuana and suspended license.

Rose Mary Stewart, 95, of Dawsonville, passed away on November 17, 2016. Arrangements by Roswell Funeral Home and Green Lawn Cemetery.

grandsons Connor J. Staubly, Caden C. Staubly and Maximus A. Connor; brothers John M. Rullman, Jr. and Erik J. Rullman; sisters Michelle R. Beaulieu, Shannon L. Rullman, Erika A. Lisman. Dana was preceded in death by her mother, step-father Clyde M. Blue and brother Mark Rullman. A friend to everyone that knew her, Dana’s love for family also includes her step-mother Maggie Rullman, “sister” Cindy Fitzpatrick, “son” Chris M. Staubly & a host of beautiful nieces, nephews & cherished friends. We would be honored for you to join us in celebrating Dana on Wednesday, November 30th, 3:00 PM at the Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to any of her favorite charities: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the American Red Cross or the American Cancer Society.

Eugene Alvin Wich, 97, passed away Saturday, November 19, 2016, at home and surrounded by family in Cumming, GA after two months under the care of hospice. Arrangements by McDonald and Son Funeral Home Eugene Alvin Wich, 97, passed away Saturday, November 19, 2016, at home and surrounded by family in Cumming, GA after two months under the care of hospice. Arrangements by McDonald and Son Funeral Home Barbara Ann (Paff) Weyenberg, age 79, passed away on Tuesday, November 22, 2016. Arrangements by McDonald and Son Funeral Home. Mohammad Saeed Yazdani, 86, of Roswell, passed away on November 15, 2016. Arrangements by Roswell Funeral Home and Green Lawn Cemetery.

46 | December 1, 2016 | Alpharetta-Roswell Herald | 


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Alpharetta-Roswell Herald - December 1, 2016  

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