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‘Newslady’ remembered

Competition never gets old

Veteran journalist, politician and community advocate Steen Miles died Wednesday after a fierce battle with cancer. 3

Residents 50 and older have until April 15 to register online for the DeKalb Senior Olympics. Standard registration closes on April 14. 7

Let’s Keep DeKalb Peachy Clean Please Don’t Litter Our Streets and Highways


Copyright © 2017 CrossRoadsNews, Inc.

April 1, 2017

Volume 22, Number 49

Applications open for 330 summer jobs for youths By Terry Shropshire

This summer, more than 330 DeKalb young people will get $9-an-hour jobs funded by DeKalb Works. The temporary jobs in manufacturing, telecommunications, construction, logistics, automotive and other sectors will be available to eligible 14- to 24-year-olds across the county. Summer interns will work up to 20 hours a week from June 5 to July 14. DeKalb Works also is taking applications from private and public sector employers who will provide work sites for the young people. DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond, who

“We should not allow people with nefarious ideals – people like gang-bangers and pimps – to be the only people recruiting our young folks for work.” CEO Michael Thurmond

launched the program on March 29, said the employment opportunities for teens and young adults are very important. “We should not allow people with nefarious ideals – people like gang-bangers and pimps – to be the only people recruiting our young folks for work,” he said at the kickoff at the Maloof Auditorium surrounded by

get, approved Feb. 28, Thurmond earmarked $250,000 for the initiative with DeKalb WorkSource Development. The county is funding 155 young people. The rest will be funded by $450,000 in federal money. Thurmond decried the fact that DeKalb’s 30.7 percent unemployment rate among 16to 24-year-olds is nearly double the national average of 15.8 percent. For companies providing work sites, WorkSource will cover all intern payroll and workers’ compensation in return for interns completing an interview before beginning job assignments and getting work-readiness training.

DeKalb commissioners, law enforcement officials and employers from the public and private sectors. Thurmond, a former Georgia Department of Labor commissioner, made creating employment opportunities for young people among his highest priorities when he took office in January. In the county’s 2017 bud- Please see JOBS, page 3

Friends group transforming Chapel Hill Park $100,000 fishing pier to go to bid by mid-April

With the many improvements, Chapel Hill Park has become popular among residents who organized a community walk on a recent Saturday.

By Rosie Manins

In a once neglected corner of Chapel Hill Park in Decatur, children play, athletes exercise, students learn, elders relax, men fish, and lovers walk hand-in-hand along a tree-lined lake. This is the culmination of efforts by a small community group to enhance its neighborhood’s main public nature preserve. Linda Cotten-Taylor, Friends of Chapel Hill Park leader, said the park at 3985 Lehigh Blvd. was not always so popular. “Neglected was the right word for it,” she says. Before the group began to implement its vision of a vibrant community resource, Cotten-Taylor said it was a sometimes desolate place. “People who remember what the park was like before are loving it now,” she said. “We now have mothers pushing their babies in strollers. It’s a safe place for people to bring their children.” Cotten-Taylor, a longtime neighborhood advocate, has been instrumental in the transformation of the 35.4-acre park since 2010. In 2015, she received a $50,000 Park Pride Inspiration Award to help transform the park into usable community space. The Friends of the Park group worked with DeKalb County government to construct restrooms and a playground on-site. Old tennis and basketball courts, built in the late 1960s, were removed. That was just the beginning. These days, the park also boasts an outdoor classroom, a pollinated “butterfly” garden, a community library box, students’ art installations, exercise stations, a pavilion, a young children’s playground, a sports field, an information kiosk, barbecue grills, and numerous picnic tables, swing seats, signs,

Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews

hot coal disposal bins, benches, and trash cans. There is also a paved car park with disability spaces, a well-maintained soft walking trail, and plans for the construction of a fishing pier on Lehigh Lake. Today, the group is just $10,214 shy of its $100,000 fundraising goal for the next stage of enhancements and a couple of weeks away from the county-managed project going to bid. Revonda Cosby, the county’s greenspace manager, said on March 28 that the project should go to bid by April 11. After the review of bids and permitting, which could take up to 60 days, construction could be complete in 10 to 21 days. “It should be completed by late summer/ early fall,” Cosby said. “Once it’s completed, there will be nothing to prevent them from using it.” This week, Cotten-Taylor said the park’s

Friends had raised $89,786 – a $50,000 Park Pride grant she won last December for park improvements as one of Cox Conserves 2016 Heroes; $25,000 from District 3 Commissioner Larry Johnson’s parks bond fund; and $14,786 from various fundraisers and donations. On March 21, she had a walk-through of the park with the Greater Atlanta Neighborhood Fund, which is considering the group for a $10,000 grant. Cotten-Taylor said she will know on April 11 if they will get it. “We are so close,” she said Tuesday. “I really can touch it, feel it. I really can.” On April 8, the Friends group is partnering with Hipsters of Atlanta on an encore community yard sale at the park. Last October, a similar yard sale raised $3,000 for the project and Cotten-Taylor is hoping to reach or better that amount this year. If the group comes up short, CottenTaylor said she will plug the gap herself.

“I will write the check for the rest,” she said. “I don’t want it to start and we can’t finish it. I am preparing for contingencies and cost overruns because I know how these things are.” Friends of Chapel Hill Park also plans to link the park to others nearby with more walking trails, perhaps even connecting it to Arabia Mountain, which is eight miles away. Commissioner Johnson, who represents the area, has been supportive of the group’s efforts because he says public reserves and walking trails double as affordable exercise facilities for all citizens. He is thrilled with the asset Chapel Hill Park has become. “Those volunteers in the Friends group have done a phenomenal job of collaborating with Park Pride and working with my Please see PARK, page 4




April 1, 2017

Last year, customers disputed 8,702 water bills, of which 4,940 remain open.

Thurmond vows to fix county’s water billing and sewer issues By Terry Shropshire

DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond vowed to fix the county’s most pressing problem and what he termed his highest priority since coming into office 90 days ago: the county’s water billing debacle and the sewer system problems. Delivering his inaugural State of the County address before a sold-out business crowd at the Thalia N. Carlos Hellenic Community Center in Atlanta on March 30, Thurmond informed his listeners of his ceaseless effort to make the water billing system more accurate and to re-establish the integrity of the sewer system in order to stimulate future economic growth. “Sadly, recognizing that we have neglected and mismanaged DeKalb’s most important resource, which its water and sewer system. Greed, selfishness, narrow-minded little gamesmanship has brought us to this disturbing place, to the point where the integrity of our water system has been damaged and the capacity of our sewer system to support future economic growth. This state of affairs will not – and I will repeat myself, will not – be allowed to continue under my administration,” he said to rousing applause. “It will not happen.” During the first 90 days, Thurmond’s administration completed a root-cause analysis of the crisis that overwhelmed the water billing system and then got the DeKalb Board of

April 3 deadline for homestead, special tax exemptions DeKalb residents who owned and were living in their home on Jan. 1, 2017, have until April 3 to apply for 2017 homestead exemptions. The homestead exemption, which provides a significant tax savings to homeowners, is not automatically granted and residents must apply either in person, by mail or via the internet. DeKalb Tax Commissioner Irvin J. Johnson says mortgage and other companies cannot file applications for property owners and there is never a fee to file. Johnson said applications are accepted year-round, but those received after April 3 will be granted for the 2018 tax year. Once granted, homestead exemptions remain in place as long as homeowners own and occupy the property. Special exemptions also are available for citizens 62 years of age and older; disabled veterans, their widows or widowers; and disabled residents as well as for spouses of peace officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty. Applicant(s) for special exemptions must apply in person so that required documentation can be reviewed. Applicants for senior or disability exemptions must present copies of the previous year’s federal and state income tax returns, all Social Security Form 1099s, proof of age and/or proof of 100 percent total and permanent disability. Disabled veterans also should be prepared to provide a letter of adjudication or other documentation regarding disability or widow(er) status. If disabled, disability must be 100 percent permanent and total. For questions, comments, or to schedule a representative from the Tax Commissioner’s Office to speak about exemption options and property tax bills, email, visit www., or call 404-298-4000.

DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond speaks on March 30 at the first of two “State of the County” addresses on his first 90 days in office.

Terry Shropshire / CrossRoadsNews

Commissioners to approve $1.5 million that will provide funding for staffing, training and auditing of excessive water bills. Thurmond plans to update residents on April 5 about his administration’s progress addressing the water billing situation. He said that to comply with the federal consent decree and to support economic development, he has issued a full-scale review of all Watershed Management Department policies. “We will now have more updates and have a more refined process for the availability of sewer capacity in DeKalb County,” he said to nods and applause. The event was co-sponsored by the Council for Quality Growth and the DeKalb

Chamber of Commerce. Water and sewer systems were far from the only major issues that Thurmond has tackled since taking over the county. In his first 90 days, he also started the Operation Clean Sweep to clean the county’s curbs and pick up litter. On March 29, Thurmond, accompanied by county officials, law enforcement personnel and private business owners, launched a $700,000 DeKalb Works summer jobs program to hire more than 300 young people ages 14 to 24. During his State of the County address, Thurmond reiterated his pledge to continue to chip away at the invisible racial barriers that separate North and South DeKalb,

which he said has caused incalculable harm to the county. But water billing, which has frustrated county residents, was at the top of his mind. Thurmond said his respect for water and sewer systems emanates from being the son of a sharecropper who picked cotton and didn’t have indoor plumbing until he was 16 years old. “The water is no respecter of city or county lines,” he said. “We all depend on this water. Fresh water must be pumped in and waste must be pumped out. If that does not work, you can’t have a city, you can’t have a county … I don’t care how accommodating your tax breaks are. If businesses don’t have access to clean water, if the students don’t have access to fresh water and cool water, then you can’t attract future economic growth and businesses … and by the way that is no respecter of race, color, creed or religion.” Thurmond said DeKalb problems took decades to create and “won’t be solved in 30, 60 or even 90 days” but that he intends to accomplish his stated goals during his administration. “My word is my bond,” he said, adding that he can’t do it alone. “It’s too big for me,” Thurmond told his audience. “It’s too complex for me. It’s too demanding for me. But it’s just right for us. We are all connected to the water. It unifies. It is the source of life.”

CEO fills 5 key positions in his administration DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond’s administration is taking shape with the hiring of five key personnel – a chief procurement officer, an intergovernmental affairs manager, Talisa Clark Delores Crowell Quinn Hudson Meredith Lilly chief communications officer, external affairs manager, and a of current and new technologies to continuously improve the procurement process and policy analyst. Since taking office on Jan. 1, Thurmond offer world-class service to internal and has hired veteran government official Talisa external stakeholders. As intergovernmental affairs manager, Clark as chief procurement officer; retired AT&T executive Delores Crowell as intergov- Crowell is responsible for advancing the ernmental affairs manager; Quinn Hudson as county’s efforts with federal, state and local chief communications officer; Meredith Lilly officials and acting as a liaison between Thuras external affairs manager; and Jeremiah mond and the Board of Commissioners. Before joining the county, she was reOlney as a policy analyst. Clark, who has been DeKalb’s interim gional director for external affairs at AT&T chief procurement officer since December Georgia for 15 of her 27 years with the company, serving in marketing, diversity, sales 2015, is now the department’s chief. She has been with the county since 2005, and corporate communications offices. Hudson has more than 30 years of serving as buyer assistant and administrative operations supervisor before becoming professional experience in corporate comdeputy chief procurement officer and pro- munications, issues management, crisis comcurement deputy director. In 2014, she was munications, public affairs and community instrumental in the department’s reorganiza- relations. He comes to the county from the tion and development of new policies and DeKalb School District, where he was direcprocedures. Clark has a B.A. and an M.B.A. tor of communications when Thurmond was schools superintendent. from nearby Clayton State University. A longtime resident of DeKalb County, Thurmond praised her leadership of the department and said she leveraged the use Hudson is a member of Decatur First United

Methodist Church. He lives in north Decatur with his wife, Millie, who is director of development for Wesleyan College. They have three daughters, a son and three grandchildren. Jeremiah Olney As external affairs manager, Lilly is focusing on constituent services and community-based engagement. She was Thurmond’s campaign manager when he ran for CEO. An attorney and political strategist, Lilly began her political career in 2007 with the Obama for America campaign and served as a regional political director, managing multiple campaign offices in several states. President Barack Obama appointed her a senior adviser to the regional administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration. Lilly is a graduate of Talladega College and Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law As policy analyst, Olney will be responsible for analyzing federal, state and local legislation, making recommendations to the CEO and ensuring that all policy decisions benefit DeKalb’s citizens. Previously, he served as deputy director of communications for the Georgia Senate Democratic Caucus. Olney graduated from Georgia Tech in 2015 with a B.S. in international affairs.

Residents to get progress update on water billing crisis 5DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond will update residents on progress made toward addressing the county’s water billing crisis on April 5 at a meeting in the Maloof Auditorium in Decatur. Thurmond will discuss the most recent steps taken to resolve the crisis that has visited large bills on customers and led to a growing chorus of complaints, anger, and frustration with the quality of service most of the county’s 185,700 residential and 6,100 commercial customers get from the county. Of the 40,000 meters installed between 2011 and 2014, Thurmond has said that most

are defective and prone to malfunction and that since 2007, the average bimonthly water bill has increased by 212 percent. Last year, customers disputed 8,702 water bills, of which 4,940 remain open. In February, 37,000 bills dating back to September 2016 were on hold pending verification. Thurmond, who got more than $1.5 million to overhaul the system, says the 15-yearold water billing system is outdated; meter readers and other employees are understaffed, undertrained, and underpaid; there is poor communication between departments; old meters are not recording accurate usage;

some meters have been installed incorrectly; about 3,000 meters have been buried under sidewalks, structures or landscaping; and computing systems are not integrated. The April 5 meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m., is part of Thurmond’s commitment to be transparent by regularly updating residents about the county’s efforts to improve customer service in water billing. It will be broadcast live on Comcast Cable Channel 23 in DeKalb and will be streamed live at The auditorium is at 1300 Commerce Drive.

April 1, 2017




“Fresh water must be pumped in and waste must be pumped out. If that does not work, you can’t have a city, you can’t have a county.”

Steen ‘Newslady’ Miles remembered as a fierce journalist, mentor, friend August 20, 1946 - March 29, 2017 By Jennifer Ffrench Parker

Steen “Newslady” Miles, who lived her life in service to her community, died March 29 after a valiant battle with cancer. During her illness, Miles kept friends and family abreast of her progress with the hashtag #cancerPickedTheWrongChick. On Wednesday, her daughters Kellie Walker and Heather Bailey posted on her Face­book page that they claimed the victory. “Cancer surely picked the wrong chick because Mom is VICTORIOUS against the ravages of this disease,” they posted. “This morning, she joined our Lord and Savior and is resting peacefully without pain, worry or any maladies of this earthly world.” Miles, 70, was a retired TV journalist and anchor and community advocate. She was a Georgia state senator from 2005 to 2007 and a MARTA spokeswoman. She ran twice, unsuccessfully, for DeKalb CEO in 2000 and 2008 and for lieutenant governor in 2006. In 2014, she made a run for the U.S. Senate. In 2007, she published “Teenie: Newslady in Training,” the autobiographical comingof-age story about a young African American girl whose parents from a poor, segregated rural area of Mississippi raised her in a white, middle-class northern Indiana neighbor-

Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews

Family and friends of Steen Miles (right) wore purple – her favorite color – at her birthday party in August 2016.

hood during the 1950s and early ’60s. Friends and former colleagues remembered her this week as a fierce, determined, no-nonsense reporter; a mentor to young journalists, especially women of color; a

staunch defender of truth and justice; a sister friend; and an awesome lady. A gracious lady with a well-modulated voice and a laugh to match, Miles was also a minister and “go-to” mistress of ceremony

in DeKalb County, presiding over galas, banquets, expos, and other special events. She was a favorite moderator for political forums and discussions on community issues. Miles, who was born Ollisteen Davis in South Bend, Ind., on March 20, 1946, to Rose and Austin Davis, a pastor, worked in radio in Cincinnati and Chicago before coming to Atlanta in 1980 to be state broadcast editor at United Press International. In 1984, she moved to NBC affiliate WXIA-TV and spent the next 15 years at 11Alive working before and behind the camera as assignment editor, managing editor and reporter-anchor and endearing herself to metro Atlanta viewers. In 2001, Miles was hired as MARTA’s chief media relations officer and spokesperson. Over her long distinquished career, Miles received three Emmy Awards and the coveted Pioneer Journalist of the Year by the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists. She was recognized with 275 awards, and honors from businesses, government, civic organizations, Greek organizations, churches, schools and universities. She was was also honored with the 4th Congressional District’s Outstanding Citizen Citation. Mi les als o is sur vive d by two grandchildren, William and Kellea. Funeral arrangements were not available at press time Thursday.

Chapel Hill Middle boys dominate at Track and Field Championship By Terry Shropshire

It was Panthers Day at the March 20 DeKalb County Middle School Track and Field Championship when Chapel Hill boys dominated the event and were crowned District Champions. The Decatur–based middle school’s boys track team, anchored by budding track superstar Lorenzo Lee, broke the county’s relay team record in the long-distance 1600-sprint medley during the semifinals and went on to capture Player of the Year and Coach of the Year. Lorenzo, who also runs 800 meters and is a standout basketball player, was awarded the district’s Most Valuable Player for running three relays and winning the 100-meter dash in 11.76 seconds. Head coach Bob Mullen attributes part of Lorenzo’s success to his ravenous hunger for knowledge and ceaseless desire to get better. “He is an outstanding all-around athlete,” Mullen said. “He’s exceptional on the basketball court and the track field. He’s very coachable. He’s a young man that likes to listen and takes the comments and teaching that you give him and runs with it.” Mullen said the team did well in the preliminaries on Saturday and then came “back on Monday and performed at the best of their abilities in the finals.” “I’m very proud of them,” said Mullen, who was named the championship’s Coach of the Year. “They did an excellent job. We try to showcase these guys and they deserve

Chapel Hill Middle boy team, led by Most Valuable Player Lorenzo Lee (far left), set a new record at the DeKalb County Middle School Track and Field Championship on March 20.

to be rewarded.” As the Panthers turn their attention to the April 21-22 State Championship, Mullen said Chapel Hill needs to just capitalize on its success in the county and grow from the experience. “They can take what they’ve done on the county championships, and understand what it took to get there, see what they can do to get better and then train hard to perform well in the state championships,” he said.

CEO earmarked funds for initiative JOBS,

from page


DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston, who attended the kickoff, said that gangs are out on our streets, recruiting youth at a very young age. “We want to expose these youths to opportunities they may not otherwise see,” she said, adding that without something productive to do, too many young people end up in her office or sitting across from her in court facing serious charges. Crystal Thomas, a DeKalb Works alumna,

said that after graduating from college with a broadcast journalism degree, she mostly drifted from odd job to odd job until she got a job with the county television station. “I have learned so much since I’ve been here,” she said. “I’ve been reporting, I’ve done shows, I’ve done camera work. So this is a wonderful program and I’d encourage all the youth to get involved. And it’s nice for someone to take a chance on us and believe in us.” For more information, visit




April 1, 2017

“It’s a peaceful spot, but if you decide to come on a Saturday or Sunday, people will be everywhere.””

2346 Candler Rd. Decatur, GA 30032 404-284-1888 Fax: 404-284-5007

Editor / Publisher Jennifer Parker General Manager Curtis Parker Assistant Editor Terry Shropshire

Rosie Manins / CrossRoadsNews

Chapel Hill Park now has an outdoor classroom, above. At left, Friends of the Park President Linda CottenTaylor stands beside the new kiosk with information for park-goers.

Assistant Editor Brenda Yarbrough Staff Writers Jennifer Ffrench Parker Editorial Intern Rosie Manins Front Office Manager Catherine Guy Multimedia Editor Sharif Williams CrossRoadsNews is published every Saturday by CrossRoads­News, Inc. We welcome articles on neighborhood issues and news of local happenings. The opinions expressed by writers and contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor those of any advertisers.

Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews

Several geese have taken up residence at the lake at Chapel Hill Park in Decatur. Rosie Manins / CrossRoadsNews

Erosion, vandalism remain pressing problems PARK,

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office to bring back a hidden jewel,” Johnson said. The effort has not gone unnoticed. Cotten-Taylor, who also was awarded a DeKalb County Environment Hero Award on Dec. 27 for her work with the Chapel Hill Park, facilitates volunteer cleanup of the park and works with the county’s Parks Department on security issues. She says that graffiti in the men’s toilet is a recurring vandalism problem at the park. Last year, the restroom had to be repainted twice. Vandals also have destroyed some of the artwork done by Chapel Hill Elementary School students that decorates the park. The drawings, inspired by the park, were laminated and mounted on timber posts throughout the park. To combat that problem, Cotten-Taylor plans to create a single, more secure art station in the park this year so that visitors can enjoy the children’s contributions. She also wants to install game tables for chess and checkers, pave the park’s soft walking trail, and plant more fruit trees. In the meantime, erosion is the most pressing concern and large ropes have been placed in the ground to limit soil runoff into the lake. There also are tight restrictions on which trees can be removed. Cotten-Taylor said the park, home to many living creatures and

This DeKalb County artist rendering shows what the fishing pier will look like when it is built later this year.

native trees, is a prime learning environment for children, hence the outdoor classroom where wooden benches form a semicircle around a teaching podium under the shade of large trees. “You can see the life cycle in this park,” she said. Of all that she has helped achieve, Cotten-Taylor is most proud of the park’s Friends group, which has more than 200 volunteers for some projects. She said people treat the facility with more respect because of the

work they have put into it. She is organizing a series of awareness activities aimed at bringing residents together to learn about how the park can be a positive part of their lives, whether for exercise, fresh air, relaxation, recreation, socializing, or education. Cotten-Taylor encourages people to establish Friends groups for their own public parks in collaboration with local authorities, church groups, nonprofits and volunteer agencies. She also invites those want-

ing solace from their stressed and challenging lives to visit Chapel Hill Park. “It’s a peaceful spot,” she said. “But if you decide to come on a Saturday or Sunday, people will be everywhere.”

Want to help? Donations to Friends of Chapel Hill Park can be made through Park Pride at 223 Peachtree St. N.E., Suite 1600, in Atlanta. To volunteer at the park, email

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April 1, 2017




“I don’t have any regrets about stealing jewelry. I regret getting caught.”

Notorious ‘granny jewel thief ’ banned from DeKalb malls By Jennifer Ffrench Parker

Gray-haired jewel thief Doris Payne, whose trail of thefts spans multiple states, the Atlantic Ocean and six decades, pleaded guilty to stealing a high-priced necklace from the Von Maur department store at Perimeter Mall and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years probation. As part of her plea deal, Payne, 86, of Chamblee also was banned from all Van Maur stores and all DeKalb County malls, including Perimeter. Payne, a career criminal once wanted on two continents, pleaded guilty on March 29 in DeKalb Superior Court to a felony count of theft by shoplifting for pocketing a $1,995 Lagos necklace in her coat moments after viewing several items of jewelry with a sales associate on Dec. 3, 2016. Payne’s jail time was reduced to time served and she was ordered to serve 120 days on house arrest by DeKalb Superior Court Judge Linda Hunter, who presided over the case. Payne, whose lengthy criminal history dates back to the 1960s, was caught on the store’s surveillance video stealing the necklace. In the 2013 documentary “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne,” she bragged that there was never a day she went to steal that she did not get what she went to do. “I don’t have any regrets about stealing jewelry,” she said in the documentary. “I regret getting caught.” Over her long criminal career that spanned some of the most expensive stores

Doris Payne’s trail of thefts spans multiple states, countries and six decades. Payne, 86, pleaded guilty to theft by shoplifting on March 29.

across the globe, including Britain, France, Italy, Monaco and Japan, Payne has been connected to 20 aliases, nine dates of birth, and five Social Security numbers. She once gave her occupation as “jewel thief ” in court papers. When she was “on the job,” Payne dressed well and carried designer handbags. Faced with a charming “well-to-do” woman, store associates brought out multiple high-value pieces at once. When they lost track of the pieces, Payne would quickly leave with one in hand or pocket. Her U.S. criminal record is pages long and her Interpol file dates back to the 1970s. She also has served a string of jail terms,

including nearly five years in a Colorado prison. In a 2005 jailhouse interview, Payne remembered her exploits with amusement and explained how she stole diamonds because they were easiest. When she was 75, she vowed to give up the life but was soon back to her old ways. In October 2015, she was caught stealing a $690 pair of Christian Dior earrings from an Atlanta Saks Fifth Avenue. In July that year, she was linked to the theft of a $33,000 diamond-studded ring in Charlotte, N.C. Years ago, Payne, also known as “the granny thief,” gained notoriety for stealing a 10½carat diamond in Monte Carlo.

Loss prevention officers stopped her before she could exit the store. Payne quickly discarded the necklace in a trash can before being questioned by security. At the time of her DeKalb County arrest, she was on probation for a theft conviction in California and was awaiting trial for a 2015 theft charge in Fulton County. Payne was arrested on a DeKalb bench warrant on March 13, 2017, after failing to appear for an arraignment hearing the previous week. Her DeKalb case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Drew Shumate. Officer M. Pham of the Dunwoody Police Department led the initial investigation.

Fulton County opening new Vital Records Office with touch-screen kiosks Starting April 7, Fulton County residents can find birth and death certificates in a newly renovated and technologically updated Fulton County Vital Records Office at the Fulton County Government Center in downtown Atlanta. The county’s new Vital Records Office will open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in a spacious office in Suite 1029A on the first floor of the government center, 141 Pryor St. S.W. The office at the Aldredge Health Center,

99 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive S.E., less than a mile away, closed at that location on March 30. Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Fulton County’s district health director, said the move is a plus for residents. “Our residents can expect state-of-the-art technology and more efficient and friendly service – all delivered in a comfortable and more accommodating customer service waiting area,” she said. The new Vital Records Office will feature:

n Expanded ADA-accessible customer registers records for births and deaths that

service waiting room that seats up to 52 people. n State-of-the-art touch-screen kiosks for faster self-check-in and shorter wait times. n Four customer service counters/cashier windows. n On-demand printing of birth and death certificates. n Designated personnel and service area for funeral homes. The Fulton County Vital Records Office

occurred in Fulton County, but it has the ability to issue certificates for any birth or death that occurred anywhere in Georgia. Between April 3-7, residents in need of a birth or death certificate can visit the nearest vital records office in any county or can order records at and follow the prompts. For more information about the Fulton County Office of Vital Records, call 404613-1260.




April 1, 2017

The Easter Bunny bearing a basket of decorated eggs is popular in Western culture, especially with children.

Multiple DeKalb locations for kids to hunt Easter eggs Brightly colored eggs and ribbon-bedecked baskets, fancy hats and frocks, and natty suits are headed our way as Christians celebrate Easter. Eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus’ resurrection, and the Easter Bunny bearing a basket of decorated eggs is popular in Western culture, especially with children. The Easter tradition has been around for centuries, and area churches, organizations and parks hold egg hunts annually.

Kids will have plenty of opportunities to hunt for Easter eggs for the next two weeks at local events and Georgia State Parks sites.

Village of Stone Mountain The Easter Bunny is hoppin’ down the bunny trail early on April 8 at First Baptist Church in the Village of Stone Mountain. The church is hosting its annual Easter Egg Hunt from 1 to 2:30 p.m. for children 2 to 10 years old on the pavilion lawn. Hot dogs will be served at 11:30 a.m. for participants. The church is at 5306 Mimosa Drive. For more information, call 770-469-6121. Night Eggstravaganza Kids and adults can find outdoor Easter activities at Night Eggstravaganza on April 7 at F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain. It takes place 6:30 to 8:45 p.m. Participants should arrive early for a hot dog supper, egg games and the petting corral at the park. The event begins with competition games: egg tossing and ribbon runs for ages 10 to adult. The young set can bring a basket and flashlight for a candy egg hunt separated by age groups: up to 3 years, 4-6, and 7-9. The park is at 2970 Georgia Highway 190. For fees and more information, visit or call 706-663-4858.

The park is at 307 Feld Ave. The free event takes place 1 to 4 p.m. and Oakhurst Park in Decatur For more information, email mbeventsChildren ages 1 to 12 can bring their bas- is presented by MB Events for You., visit www.mbeventsfoThere will be a moon walk, sack race and kets for an Easter egg hunt and an afternoon or call Miko Brown at 770-316the Bunny Hop as well as food, face painting of activities with the Easter Bunny on April 9 2840. and prizes. at the city of Decatur’s Oakhurst Park.

ITC hosting ministry conference

Renowned lecturers from the ITC faculty and preachers from the ITC Administrative Dean’s Council are featured at the 2017 Conference on Ministry – Where Christian Tradition Meets the African American Experience on April 10-12 at the James H. Costen Lifelong Education Center on the ITC campus in Atlanta. The conference exposes those in ministry or contemplating ministry with an interest in attending seminary to theological education and campus life at the Interdenominational

Theological Center. At ITC, students are engaged in theological reflection through an Africentric approach to Scripture and church tradition. ITC constituent seminaries represent the United Methodist Church, Baptists, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Church of God in Christ, and the Richardson Ecumenical Fellowship. The center is at 700 MLK Jr. Drive. Visit or call 404-527-7793.

Mbongi service at First Afrikan Church First Afrikan is hosting its first Congregation Mbongi for 2017 on April 8 at the Lithonia church. It takes place 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – email or call 770-981-2601 to reserve a seat. Mbongi is Kikongo for “learning place,” and the ministry will share the vision for a

different worship experience and more details on its work. Kikongo or Kongo, one of the Bantu languages, is spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, and Angola. The church is at 5197 Salem Road. Visit

Women at the Cross worship arts service The performing worship arts service Women at the Cross 2017 takes place April 12 in the ITC Chapel of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. “Familiar Spaces for Resurrected Bodies”

begins at 7 p.m. It is presented by the Sankofa Center at ITC and the “Souls of Black Girls” Initiative. The chapel is at 700 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. For more information, call 770-981-2601 or 404-527-7729.

Spring Revival at Truth Tabernacle The Rev. Leon Bertram of Mount Vernon, N.Y., is the guest speaker on April 9 for the Spring Revival of Truth Tabernacle United Pentecostal Church. Services will be held at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Bertram is missions director at Oneness Rehoboth Apostolic Church in Mount Vernon. Truth Tabernacle also provides a free breakfast on Sundays from 9 to 9:45 a.m. as well as free transportation – contact the church to schedule pickups. The church is at 5268 Snapfinger Woods Drive in Decatur. For more information, call 770-322-9950. Leon Bertram

Info session on reverse mortgages Baby boomers, seniors and others can learn more about reverse mortgages on April 5 at Berean Christian Church in Stone Mountain. The free informative session starts at 11 a.m. at the Community Center, Building 1, 2440 Young Road. Registration is available at

“Reverse Mortgages: Who and What Are They Good For?” is presented by the Wise & Seasoned Saints Ministry. A reverse mortgage is a loan available to older homeowners that allows them to convert part of their equity into cash. For more information, call 770-5934421.



April 1, 2017


Cooking Matters helps families to shop for and cook healthy meals on a budget.

Senior Olympics seek competitors from DeKalb, other counties DeKalb residents 50 and older have until April 15 to register online for the DeKalb Senior Olympics. Registration is available at – click Register Now on the home page and search for Senior Olympics. Registration packets also are available at all recreation centers, libraries and select senior centers – standard registration closes on April 14. Seniors in surrounding counties also may participate. No late or on-site registration is available. DeKalb Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs is host for the 31st annual event, which takes place May 1-10 at venues across the county. Participants are encouraged to register as individuals or as teams and will compete in a variety of sports, including free-throw basketball, bowling, horseshoes, track and field, billiards, swimming, table tennis and water volleyball. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each event. Seniors needing special assistance with transportation should call MARTA Mobility at 404-848-5389. The event was established in 1986 as a program held at the Mason Mill Recreation Center. Since then, the program has expanded into a countywide event that plays an important role in DeKalb communities by promoting sports for seniors. For more information, call 404-371-2711.

Residents 50 and older will compete in a variety of sports, including water volleyball, swimming, freethrow basketball, and track and field, at DeKalb Senior Olympics.

WIC cooking demo, grocery tour Families enrolled in the DeKalb WIC program can attend a cooking demonstration and pop-up grocery tour on April 3 at the Clifton Springs WIC Center in Decatur. The demo takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the tour is 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The event is part of Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters No Kid Hungry campaign. The federally funded Women, Infants and Children nutrition program provides healthy foods, nutrition education and counseling, breast-feeding support, and

Sites can apply for summer meals Day care centers, summer camps and agencies interested in becoming a program site for the Recreation Department’s Summer Food Service Program have until May 12 to apply. The program runs from June 5 to July 28 – call Rose Myrick at 678-698-1114 with questions. The ongoing effort ensures that students have nutritious meals during the summer. Applications and full program site participation requirements can be found at www. under Park News or picked up from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Tucker Recreation Center at 4898 LaVista Road in Tucker or the Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs Department at 1950 W. Exchange Place, Suite 400, in Tucker. Current program sites can be found at For more information, contact LaShanda Davis at lsdavis@ or 404-371-3643.

Clinic provides breast-feeding help Mothers, moms-to-be and families with questions about breast-feeding can get answers at ROSE Atlanta’s free drop-in support clinic, Baby Cafe, on the Greenforest Community Baptist Church campus. The nonprofit member network Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere Inc., which is located in Building 3, is offering the cafe on Mondays from 1 to 3 p.m. with a breast-feeding professional available to talk and assess clients’ needs. Its Breast-feeding 101 classes on April 22 and May 20 from 10 to 11 a.m. are designed for expectant moms or residents who are thinking about planning their family, and they provide information on the importance of breast-feeding and how to breast-feed a newborn. RSVP at www.breastfeedingrose. org/bfclass. ROSE was established in 2011 in DeKalb County to address breast-feeding disparities.

Its goal is to increase health equity among people of color communities through culturally competent training, education, advocacy and support. ROSE provides outreach, education and technical assistance to prenatal care providers and delivery centers to encourage them to adopt practices that support breast-feeding. Baby Cafes offer support on all aspects of breast-feeding and its impact on daily life from prenatal to weaning as well as assistance with pumping and maintaining supply if moms return to work outside the home. ROSE has received a three-year, $1,100,500 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for a national breast-feeding blueprint for diversity and inclusion. The ROSE office is at the church, 3250 Rainbow Drive in Decatur. For more information, visit or call 404-990-3497, Ext. 104.

Dr. Jonathan Flacker

brings more compassion to senior medical care.


Summer camps, such as this one visited by U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, and day cares and other agencies have until May 12 to apply to participate in DeKalb’s Summer Food Service Program.

referrals for health care at no cost. Cooking Matters helps families to shop for and cook healthy meals on a budget as part of Share Our Strength’s campaign to end childhood hunger in America. Founded in 1993, Cooking Matters ( was featured by former first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign and recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for excellence in nutrition education. The DeKalb Board of Health’s WIC Center is at 3110 Clifton Springs Road, Suite D. For more information, call 404-508-7777.

JenCare Senior Medical Center is pleased to welcome Dr. Jonathan Flacker to its practice. Dr. Flacker specializes in providing care to Atlanta’s seniors, and he loves learning about his patients. “Understanding what their lives have been OLNHLVWKHĆ“UVWVWHSWRKHOSLQJWKHPEHKHDOWKLHUĹ? Dr. Flacker says. To learn more about JenCare or becoming a patient, visit:

5 Convenient Locations Druid Hills

East Point


South DeKalb | (404) 649-9298

West End



Curriculum emphasizes individual student needs A new DeKalb School District curriculum will emphasize individual learning as well as rigor. The Curriculum and Instruction team presented the new plan on March 20 to the Board of Education. The curriculum is the product of nearly a year of development involving 228 teachers across the district and textbook provider Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. DeKalb Schools will begin implementing the curriculum for the 2017-2018 school year. The curriculum writing project is a viR. Stephen Green tal part of the district’s growth, as noted in the recommendation by AdvancED to extend its accreditation for five years, the district said. Superintendent R. Stephen Green said the ultimate objective is to develop a pathway that sets a learning pace for students. It will support deep understanding while providing students with opportunities to receive additional assistance if needed. He labeled it “a curriculum for us, and by us.” “It is essential, now more than ever, that today’s curriculum invites and encourages all students to engage in rigorous learning in various ways,” Green said in a March 24 statement. “To this end, our curriculum will engage the child’s learning experience as a whole, with both analytic and creative pathways to learning. Our students are diverse and unique; therefore, our teachers have developed a curriculum that acknowledges and complements this diversity. I am very proud of their work.” The scope is wide-ranging, with the Phase 1 development efforts covering 564 curricular units of instruction, the district said. A particular benefit to students will be an emphasis on engaging performance scenarios. These activities will replace the traditional “sage on a stage” approach with a learning experience that engages students by: n Providing a dynamic blend of customary learning activities and authentic and engaging learning experiences. n Aiming to produce personal insights that are deeper and longer lasting than rote explanations. n Affording a purpose for learning and doing by using a context specifically designed to motivate them. n Providing motivational and relevant opportunities through a full range of critical thinking skills. In the presentation to the School Board, Dr. Lisa Martin, chief academic and accountability officer, and her team said the next step is to develop specialized guides for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. To support phases 2 and 3 of the curriculum writing project, a group of 20 content and Career Technical Agricultural Education coordinators will be certified in the Rigorous Curriculum Design Process in April. School District leaders also will host community meetings to ensure community engagement and input with the process. The presentation on the new curriculum writing plan is available at http:// new-curriculum-to-focus-on-individuallearning.


April 1, 2017

“Our teachers have developed a curriculum that acknowledges and complements diversity.”

Students win 13 awards at GaETC State Fair DeKalb Schools nabbed 13 awards, including first place in audio production, digital game design, and internet applications.

DeKalb Schools students competing at the 2017 GaETC State Technology Fair in Macon brought home 13 awards. The fair took place on March 11. First-place winners: n Will Wright, Chamblee Charter High – audio production (11, 12). n Cody Nelson, Henderson Middle – digital game design (7, 8). n Noah Covey, Dunwoody High – digital game design (9, 10). n Maleah Keys, Stephenson High – internet

applications (9, 10). Second-place winners: n Janai Williams, Cedar Grove High – animation (9, 10). n Akuoma Elekwachi and Milan McKinney, Chestnut Elementary Charter – digital photo production (9, 10). n Micah Daniel, Obama Elementary School of Technology – mobile apps (5, 6). n Joi Ector, Obama Elementary School of Technology – multimedia applications (5, 6).

Third-place winners:

n Larry Carr and Earl Graham, Cedar Grove

High – audio production (9, 10). n Rawson Blackmon, the Globe Academy – digital game design (5, 6). n Arnold Palmer, Elizabeth Andrews High – graphic design (11, 12). n Kelsey McGuire and Adam Page, Warren Technical School – productivity design (11, 12). n Anish Kumar, Chamblee Charter High – project programming (9, 10).

Entries in 2017 CBCF Essay Contest due April 21 Entries are due by April 21 for high school sophomores and juniors to participate in the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc.’s Essay Contest and Issue Forum. Essay contestants must reside or attend school in a district represented by a CBC member – to verify congressional representation, visit and enter ZIP code. Contestants should identify as black or African American. All essays must be submitted online by April 21 – visit for rules and guidelines, essay question and submission sheet. The 2017 essay topic is “The Legacy of Entrepreneurship in African American

Communities.” Winners will be selected on or before June 1. The first-place winner will receive $1,500; second place, $1,000; and third place, $750. All three finalists will receive hotel accommodations and airfare to and from Washington to attend a congratulatory luncheon and youth issue forum held during the CBCF 47th Annual Legislative Conference in September. Each year, the spouses of CBC members partner with the foundation to volunteer and to create educational opportunities to prepare future leaders. They are inviting qualified African American students from the districts of CBC members to participate

in the essay contest and forum. Students are presented with a topic that embodies some of the communities’ most pressing issues and are asked to write an essay to defend their research, analyses and opinion. Submissions are judged by a special committee of CBC Spouses. Last year, essay contestants wrote about the issue of civic engagement among youth. High school students from all over the country shared how they can get involved in both political and nonpolitical processes to move their communities forward. For questions, call 202-263-2800. For scholarship opportunities, visit www.cbcfinc. org/scholarships.

10 4-H’ers win district honors

Ten DeKalb County 4-H members received honors in their project areas in the Northwest District Project Achievement competition. Twenty-three students represented the DeKalb Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Club at the district competition on March 10-12 at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. The competition attracted 275 middle school and 378 high school 4-H members from 36 competing counties. Senior District project winners: n Ansley Lockett, Nia Morrison and Artis Trice of Arabia Mountain High, first place – food safety and preservation, environmental, and fruits, nuts and vegetable categories. n Quan Usher of Columbia High and Evans Bryn of Greater Atlanta Christian School, first place – science, engineering and technology

and human development categories.

n Amina Daugherty of DeKalb Early Learning

College Academy, who placed third and won a sweepstakes trip to state congress. n Chante’ Lively, Arabia Mountain High, third place – history. n Carmen Mitchell, Druid Hills High, third place – public speaking. n Dalean Thompson, Arabia Mountain High, third place – environment. n Christopher Terry, Stephenson High, third place – performing arts piano. 4-H is the youth program of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. For information about joining DeKalb County’s 4-H program, visit or contact the DeKalb Cooperative Extension Office at 404-298-4080.

Stranger Safety class at Redan-Trotti Kids and their parents can learn about stranger danger and how to stay safe on April 5 at the Redan-Trotti Library in Lithonia. Stranger Safety for children ages 4 to 12 takes place 2 to 3 p.m. It is open to the first 30 participants – call or visit the branch to

register. The program is presented by the DeKalb County Fire and Rescue Community Education Unit. The library is at 1569 Wellborn Road. For more information, call 770-482-3821.

Professionals to offer job insights at Career Day Elementary, middle and high school students and their parents can attend Career Day on April 8 at the Scott Candler Library in Decatur. The program takes place 1 to 3 p.m. Students will learn more about various occupations and careers and schooling as they consider what they would like to do in the future. They will hear from professionals in the fields of dentistry, law, ministry, cosmetology, graphic arts, human resources, government and financial services. The program is funded by the Friends of Scott Candler Library. The branch is at 1917 Candler Road. For more information about Career Day, call 404-286-6986.

April 1, 2017




“We want everyone to know that dating violence is wrong. We want to empower our teens to get help.”

Scholarships available for seniors interested in health care High school seniors interested in pursuing a career in health care can apply for the Dr. Gulshan S. Harjee Scholarship. Applications are due April 28 – visit The scholarship will be awarded to students who embody the well-known metro internist’s passion G.S. Harjee and dedication to caring for others despite facing challenges in their lives. Eligible students will be finishing high school, accepted to an accredited college and university, and will be interested in working in the medical field in roles including patient care techs, nurses, health care social workers, pharmacy techs or physicians.

Scholarship amounts range from $500 to $3,000 and are payable to the school chosen by the recipient. There have been 49 recipients and more than $70,000 awarded since the scholarship was established in 2008. Born in Tanzania, Harjee dreamed of becoming a physician despite her country not having easily accessible health care. Her own father had dreams of pursuing a medical vocation but was stopped when he lost his father at age 5 and was left without resources. Harjee, who was inspired by her parents to do something good with her life, wanted to become a doctor who would provide humane care for her patients and be passionate about taking care of the sick, the old and those in desperate circumstances. She fled Tanzania for Pakistan and later

Iran – and was forced out of both because of war. Eventually she came to Atlanta, where she fulfilled her dream of becoming a doctor at age 31. Harjee’s goal with the scholarship is to help other young men and women fulfill their own dreams despite their circumstances. “This scholarship has a message of thank you to society for lifting me up in my trials and travails,” Harjee said. “I am also of the opinion that I must do within my power and ability to allow every deserving child the possibility of reaching their full potential. I hope that I am helping to bring the most

Dr. Gulshan S. Harjee, who fled her native Tanzania for Pakistan and later Iran and was forced out of both because of war, wants to help others fulfill their dreams.

powerful resource to health care and picking those with compassion and passion for taking care of the sick.” Donations also are welcome from the community to continue funding the program – visit to support the Harjee Scholarship Fund.

Teen wins anti-violence PSA contest

Tucker Middle’s Technology Student Association earned two first-place trophies, a secondplace trophy, and a third-place trophy. The team received an Outstanding Chapter Award.

Tucker Middle tops TEAMS event A team of Tucker Middle School eighthgraders earned top honors in the statewide TEAMS student engineering competition. They took first place in the middle school division of the Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science event, an annual competition for middle and high school students designed to help students discover their potential for engineering. Competing were Dawson Rivers, Billy Manishimwe, Benen Chancey, Susana Berg, Evan Lazaro, Mihir Misra, Jimmy Nguyen

and Nikki Vu with coaches Jacqueline Hunter and Eric Knapp. During the one-day competition at UGA, students apply math and science knowledge in practical, creative ways to solve real-world engineering challenges. Tucker Middle’s Technology Student Association earned two first-place trophies, a second-place trophy, and a third-place trophy, chalking up 16 finalists spots. The team received an Outstanding Chapter Award. Visit

Hotline dedicated to water testing Parents, guardians and other community members with questions about the ongoing Lead-in-Water Testing program in the DeKalb County School District are utilizing its dedicated hotline. Stakeholders with questions about the safety initiative may call the hotline at 678676-1222 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Operators will answer general questions about the testing schedule, results of tests

posted online, and the notification schedule for test results. Specific questions on testing protocols or other technical matters will be referred to lead-testing experts who will directly contact callers within 24 hours with answers to their questions. The district will continue to post testing results and other information about the Lead-in-Water Testing program at www.

Chamber extends scholarships application The deadline has been extended to April 4 for college-bound seniors who attend Martin Luther King Jr., Lithonia, Miller Grove and Arabia Mountain high schools to apply for scholarships from the Greater Lithonia Chamber of Commerce. GLCC will select four graduating seniors to receive the $500 awards. Eligible students can submit an original essay written in English of at least 300 but no more than 500 words or submit a twominute video presentation in English. Scholarships will be awarded on four topics: business and entrepreneurship,

technology, leadership, and politics. Essay questions are available at Entries may be submitted via email or regular mail – 3035 Stone Mountain St., Unit 57, Lithonia, GA 30058. For more information, including scoring and judging, contact Kendra N. Price, GLCC president, at or 770-482-1808. Students also may contact the Work Study Program coordinator, graduation coach, or senior guidance counselor at their high school.

DeKalb Solicitor-General Donna Coleman-Stribling poses with Jordan Alexander, winner of the 2017 Stop Teen Dating Violence PSA Contest, and her parents, Latanya and John Alexander Jr.

Jordan Alexander, a joint enrollment senior attending MLK Jr. High and the DeKalb High School of Technology South, is the winner of the 2017 Stop Teen Dating Violence PSA Contest. Jordan, who wants to pursue film production as a career, is studying audio/ visual technology. As part of Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in February, Solicitor-General Donna Coleman-Stribling partnered with Day League, formerly DeKalb Rape Crisis Center, and sponsors Cinderella’s Gowns and the Men’s Wearhouse to launch the contest. The goal was to engage students in the dialogue about preventing relationship bullying and dating violence among teens. The contest was open to all high school juniors and seniors in DeKalb County, and students from a wide array of schools participated. “We are so impressed with Ms. Alexander’s diverse depiction of relationship bullying,” Coleman-Stribling said in a March 27 statement. “Ultimately, we want everyone to know that dating violence – regardless of the age – is wrong. We want to empower our teens to get help for themselves or anyone

Alana Sue of Cinderella’s Gowns presents a $350 gift certificate for a prom gown to Jordan Alexander, who won a public service announcement contest.

who might need it. Jordan’s video does just that.” On March 29, Coleman-Stribling presented the 18-year-old student with a Prom Prize Package that includes dinner and limo service for two, a $350 gift certificate from Cinderella’s Gowns for a prom dress, and a $250 gift certificate for a tuxedo for her date from the Men’s Wearhouse. Jordan’s PSA can be viewed at It also will be featured on the School District Public Access channel PDS TV 24 (Comcast) and on DeKalb Public Access Channel 25 (Comcast). The Office of the DeKalb Solicitor-General encourages any teen who is aware of or experiencing teen dating violence to visit, text “LOVEIS” to 22522 or call the hotline at 1-866-331-9474 for assistance.

April 7 deadline for Poetry Slam Spoken word artists and poets ages 5 to 17 must register by April 7 to participate in DeKalb’s second annual Poetry Slam in celebration of National Poetry Month. For online registration, visit and click the “Register Now” button on the department’s home page. Register in person at any DeKalb recreation center. Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs

is host for the April 21 event at Mason Mill Recreation Center, 1340 McConnell Drive in Decatur. The Poetry Slam features young poets and writers from DeKalb during a special evening that celebrates the power of words, music and the triumph of hope. Admission is $5. For more information, contact LaShanda Davis at or 404-371-3643.




April 1, 2017

Since 2002, the Rose Library has housed the comprehensive collection of the stewards of African American history.

Art and activism intersect in ‘Still Raising Hell’ exhibit A display of origami butterflies represents deceased black artists, many of whom were friends of artists, activists and collectors Camille Billops and James V. Hatch. The exhibit runs through May 28 at Emory’s Robert W. Woodruff Library.

Georgia State University

Students will learn about jazz instruments and how improvisation works in a performance.

Library exposing children to jazz

Kids 5 and up can learn all about jazz on April 5 at the Scott Candler Library for Jazz Appreciation Month. The group Sound Learning from Georgia State University will visit to talk about jazz music beginning at 5 p.m. Students will learn how each instrument functions in a jazz group and how improvisation works to communicate musically in a way that makes sense for non-musicians. Funding is provided by the Friends of the Scott Candler Library. The branch is at 1917 Candler Road in Decatur. For more information, call 404286-6986.

Emory University

Black History buffs, activists and art patrons still have time to catch “Still Raising Hell: The Art, Activism, and Archives of Camille Billops and James V. Hatch” at Emory University’s Robert W. Woodruff Library. The exhibit runs through May 28 in the Schatten Gallery, Level 3. Materials from the Camille Billops and James V. Hatch collection at Emory’s Stuart

A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library are the subject of the major exhibition. Featured items include play scripts, posters, artist interviews, and works of art. The exhibition represents a history of works created by black artists for black audiences and explores the intersection of art and activism. Billops and Hatch have elevated public

consciousness around “isms” that have shaped American culture, politics, and identities. Since 2002, the Rose Library has housed the comprehensive collection of the stewards of African American history. The exhibit, which opened in September, is curated by Pellom McDaniels III. For more information, visit www.emory. edu/home/events/index.html#/?i=2.

Bridge classes for adult beginners Kilombo celebrating local artists Residents who want to learn to play bridge can attend a new beginner’s class on April 3 at the Flat Shoals Library in Decatur. Beginning Bridge with Winton King begins at 6:30 p.m. It is presented by

the East Metro Duplicate Bridge Club. The classes are for adult beginner level, and future classes may follow for children, King said. The library is at 4022 Flat Shoals Parkway. For more information, Winton King email eastmetrobridge@

Local artists will be celebrated at Kilombo Academic and Cultural Institute’s “Socializing for Good … an Evening of Art, Wine and Cheese” on April 8 at the CORE in East Point. The program, an adult Jim Alexander event, gets underway at 5 p.m.

The works of Sulai Issa Photography, Kevin Sipp, Jordan Lloyd, Zakee, Syng Summers, Atu and prominent documentary photographer Jim Alexander will be featured. Alexander is known for his works covering African American musicians, including Duke Ellington and Michael Jackson. The venue is at 2857 Main St. For more information, contact Aminata Umoja, founder of the Decatur-based institute, at 404-992-8021.

of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Legal Notices 03/11, 03/18, 03/25, 04/01

Notice of PUBLICATION in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Civil Action Case Number: 17FM2661-1 Johnny Allen PLAINTIFF VS Shirley Allen DEFENDANT To: Shirley Allen 2000 Bouldercrest Rd., C1 Atlanta, GA 30315 By ORDER of the Court service for service by publication dated Feb. 02, 2017. You are hereby notified that on Feb. 24, 2017, the above-named Plaintiff filed suit against you for Divorce. You are required to file with the Clerk of Superior Court, and to serve upon the Plaintiff’s attorney whose name and address is: Johnny Allen, 2000 Bouldercrest Rd., Apt. C1, Atlanta, GA 30315. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of Feb. 06, 2017. Witness the Honorable Courtney L. Johnson; Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 6th day of Mar., 2017 03/11, 03/18, 03/25, 04/01

Notice of Petition to CHANGE Name of ADULT in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Civil Action Case Number: 17FM2820-2 Monica Ozara Brooks filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court on Feb. 23, 2017 to change name from: Monica Ozara Brooks to Ozara Yemoja Ode’. Any interested party has the right to appear In this case and file objections within 30 days after the Petition was filed. Dated: Feb. 23, 2017 03/11, 03/18, 03/25, 04/01

Notice of Petition to CHANGE Name of ADULT in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Civil Action Case Number: 17FM2822-2 Sylvia L. Barnes filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court to change name from: Sylvia Lynette Barnes to Sylvia Lynette Rowe. Any interested party has the right to appear In this case and file objections within 30 days after the Petition was filed. Dated: Oct. 02, 2016 03/11, 03/18, 03/25, 04/01

Notice of Petition to CHANGE Name of ADULT in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Civil Action Case Number: 17FM2851-1

Michael Gante filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court on Feb. 23, 2017 to change name from: Michael Gante to Michael E. Gantt. Any interested party has the right to appear In this case and file objections within 30 days after the Petition was filed. Dated: Feb. 22, 2017 03/25, 04/01, 04/08, 04/15

Notice of Petition to CHANGE Name of ADULT in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Civil Action Case Number: 17FM3175 Reginia Ferry filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court on Mar. 07, 2017 to change name from: Reginia Ferry to Nancy Ferry. Any interested party has the right to appear In this case and file objections within 30 days after the Petition was filed. Dated: Mar. 07, 2017 03/25, 04/01, 04/08, 04/15

Notice of Petition to CHANGE Name of ADULT in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Civil Action Case Number: 17FM3346 Freddy Boyd filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court on Mar. 15, 2017 to change name from: Freddy Boyd to

Freddie Maddox. Any interested party has the right to appear In this case and file objections within 30 days after the Petition was filed. Dated: Mar. 14, 2017 03/25, 04/01, 04/08, 04/15

Notice of PUBLICATION in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Civil Action Case Number: 16FM11919-2 Terrance King PLAINTIFF VS Constance King DEFENDANT To: Constance King 902 Gross Lake Parkway Covington, GA 30016 By ORDER of the Court service for service by publication dated Feb. 28, 2017. You are required to file with the Clerk of Superior Court, and to serve upon the Plaintiff’s attorney whose name and address is: Terrance King, P.O. Box 206, Davisboro, GA 31018. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of Feb. 28, 2017. Witness the Honorable Asha F. Jackson; Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 8th day of Mar., 2017 03/25, 04/01, 04/08, 04/15

Notice of PUBLICATION in the Superior Court

Civil Action Case Number: 17FM2826-7 Maria Wence Lozano Palma PLAINTIFF VS Luis Gabriel Benitez Soto DEFENDANT To: Unknown By ORDER of the Court service for service by publication dated Mar. 08, 2017. You are hereby notified that on Feb. 23, 2017, the above-named Plaintiff filed suit against you for Divorce. You are required to file with the Clerk of Superior Court, and to serve upon the Plaintiff’s attorney whose name and address is: Maria Wence Lozano Palma, 3028 Chamblee-Tucker Rd., Apt. #R7, Atlanta, GA 03041. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of Mar. 08, 2017. Witness the Honorable Daniel M. Coursey, Jr.; Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 8th day of Mar., 2017 03/25, 04/01, 04/08, 04/15

Notice of PUBLICATION in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Civil Action Case Number: 16FM10630-4 Latochana Kelly PLAINTIFF VS Billy Kelly DEFENDANT To: Billy Kelly 2707 Knollview Dr. Decatur, GA 30034 By ORDER of the Court service for service by publication dated Mar. 08, 2017. You are hereby notified that on Mar. 03, 2017, the above-named Plaintiff filed suit against you for Divorce. You are required to file with the Clerk of Superior Court, and to serve upon the Plaintiff’s attorney whose name and address is: Latochana Kelly, 280 Northern

Ave., Apt. #23E, Avondale, GA 30002. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of Mar. 08, 2017. Witness the Honorable Gail C. Flake; Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 10th day of Mar., 2017 04/01, 04/08, 04/15, 04/22

Notice of PUBLICATION in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Civil Action Case Number: 17FM3612-9 Tony B. Colter PLAINTIFF VS Mary J. Corbett Colter DEFENDANT To: By ORDER of the Court service for service by publication dated Mar. 24, 2017. You are hereby notified that on Mar. 22, 2017, the above-named Plaintiff filed suit against you for Divorce. You are required to file with the Clerk of Superior Court, and to serve upon the Plaintiff’s attorney whose name and address is: Tony Colter, 2240 Creekview Trail, Decatur, GA 30035. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of Mar. 24, 2017. Witness the Honorable Mark Anthony Scott; Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 24th day of Mar., 2017 04/01, 04/08, 04/15, 04/22

Notice of Petition to CHANGE Name of ADULT in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Civil Action Case Number: 17FM3621-1 Joseph Evans filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court on Mar. 22, 2017 to change name from: Joseph Evans to Joe Evans. Any interested party has the right to appear In this case and file objections within 30 days after the Petition was filed. Dated: Mar. 20, 2017



April 1, 2017


“Our operators play an essential role helping 400,000 MARTA travelers reach their destinations safely on a daily basis.”

Seven DeKalb residents celebrated as 2017 Drum Majors for Service Seven DeKalb residents, who have given years of service to the community, are the 2017 Howey Hudson Lowe Foundation’s Drum Majors for Service. Retired coaches Joyce and William “Buck” Godfrey, Nathaniel Jackson and Ronald Henderson; DeKalb County Express Track Club President Ronald Williams; CrossRoadsNews Editor/Publisher Jennifer Parker; and humanitarian Janice Moreland were celebrated March 15 at a Volunteer Luncheon at Coaxum’s Low Country Cuisine in Conyers. “I didn’t know I was being honored,” she Joyce Godfrey, who is used to accompa- said, tearing up. “I was just coming to supnying her famous husband, Buck, to receive port Buck.” awards, was visibly moved when she was Joyce Godfrey, who was a coach, social called to get her own award. worker, educator and humanitarian, was

Howey Hudson Lowe Foundation honored Joyce and Buck Godfrey (from far left), Ronald Williams, Jennifer Parker, Nathaniel Jackson, Ronald Henderson and Janice Moreland.

recognized not only for standing beside her husband, who still holds the title of DeKalb County’s “winningest” coach, and “always having his back,” but for coaching Pop Warner football at Glenwood Hills Park and

leading her team to an undefeated season and being a surrogate mother to countless youth. For more of the story, visit

Two MARTA bus drivers make Million Mile Safe Driver club MARTA bus operators Arluther Deadwyler and Coy Dumas Jr. have driven a million miles without an accident. The two, who have navigated Atlanta's busy streets for more than four decades without mishaps, were recognized with MARTA’s Million Mile Safe Driver Award – an elite designation among their peers nationwide. MARTA CEO Keith Parker said that as MARTA continues to expand its rail and bus options, safety remains its top priority. “Our operators play an essential role helping more than 400,000 MARTA travelers reach their destinations safely on a daily basis,” he said. “I applaud Mr. Deadwyler and Mr. Dumas for their ongoing commitment to

being a shining example of exemplary safety and customer service to our riders.” While Deadwyler and Dumas’ routes have changed over the years, MARTA said their commitment to safety never wavered. Deadwyler, who has driven more than 1,290,000 miles incident free, said he is thankful for the recognition. “We have a job to do and rules to guide our work that puts safety first," he said. "There’s no better feeling than being appreciated for the work we do.” Dumas, who traveled more than 1,330,000 miles without a preventable incident, considers mentorship of other operators his greatest on-the-job accomplishment.

Bus operators Coy Dumas Jr. and Arluther Deadwyler received MARTA’s Million Mile Safe Driver Award, an elite designation among their peers nationwide.

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OUR MACY’S MONEY REWARD CARD may not be: redeemed for cash, used to purchase Macy’s gift cards or applied as payment or credit to your credit card account. If a purchase used to accumulate Macy’s Money is returned, your return may result in a reduction of the value of your Macy’s Money Reward Card and/or a reduction of your total refund amount. The remaining balance of your Macy’s Money Reward Card will reflect the Macy’s Money amount you qualify for after deducting the returned item(s) from your original purchase amount. For more information, go to LOWEST PRICES OF THE SEASON SALE PRICES IN EFFECT 3/284/2/17. “Our lowest prices of the season” refers to our spring season: Feb. 1-April 30, 2017. N7020051E.indd 1

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