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DeKalb County political leaders offer a lesson in crosswalk safety using the HAWK signal lights at the Gallery at South DeKalb mall on Candler Road. 2

Arabia Mountain High grad Fredrick Hartville, now a University of Illinois freshman, is a 2013 Big Ten vault champion. 8

Interim school superintendent reacts to DeKalb cheating indictments at www. crossroadsnews .com/bookmark /22296569.

Street Crossing 101

Lofty aspirations

Q&A with Michael Thurmond


Copyright © 2013 CrossRoadsNews, Inc.

April 20, 2013

Volume 18, Number 51

Ex-school administrators indicted on cheating charges By Jennifer Ffrench Parker

Two former DeKalb Schools principals and a former assistant principal have been indicted by a DeKalb grand jury on charges related to cheating on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests and manipulating school attendance records to meet the federal Adequate Yearly Progress mandate. Former Cedar Grove Middle School principal Agnes Flanagan, former Rock Chapel Elementary principal Angela Jennings, and former Stoneview Elementary School assistant principal Derek Wooten were indicted separately on April 16 on multiple felony counts including public record fraud, computer forgery, making a false writing, and

indictments of 35 Atlanta Public Schools administrators and teachers and former Superintendent Beverly Hall on test-cheating charges two weeks ago. The indictments stem from a state investigation of high erasures on standardized tests. In January 2011, 24 DeKalb Agnes Flanagan Angela Jennings Derek Wooten Schools employees, including criminal attempt to commit false record the three indicted Tuesday, were removed fraud. from their positions at nine elementary and The March 2013 term indictments, re- middle schools countywide in the wake of a leased April 16, allege that the crimes – com- school district internal investigation into the mitted independently – took place between April 2009 CRCT cheating scandal. April 2009 and January 2011. The five principals, five assistant princiThey come on the heels of racketeering pals and 14 teachers were among 29 employ-

ees referred to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Five were terminated, resigned or retired from the district, and the remaining 24 employees were reassigned to non-teaching positions in transportation, IT and other central office departments pending review of their teaching certificates by the commission. The alleged motive of the three administrators indicted this week was to boost the performance of their schools. The CRCT helped determine schools’ positions on the federal AYP list of passing, needs improvement or failing schools. Jennings, who turned herself in on April Please see EDUCATORS, page 2

Tobie Grant Manor to Be Demolished Norris Reid, 66, has lived at Tobie Grant Manor for 21 years. He hopes to move to the new community that will replace it.

Housing authority seeking funding to replace complex By Jennifer Ffrench Parker

The Tobie Grant Manor public housing community in Scottdale is facing a new future. The DeKalb Housing Authority, which owns the 55-acre complex of brick singlefamily, duplex and multi-family buildings, is planning to demolish it and partner with private developer NorSouth Development to replace it with a mix of rent-assisted and market-rate apartments for families and seniors. They also plan to develop a subdivision of 72 market-rate single-family homes that will be sold to families. The authority is seeking funding from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for low-income tax credits under the new federal Department of Housing and Urban Development pilot Rental Assistance Demonstration program to help build the $34 million redevelopment. HUD unveiled RAD to help it cope with $26 billion in renovation needs at public housing around the country. RAD provides 20-year, Section 8 contracts to public-private partnerships to lock in rent assistance payments, with yearly percentage increases. With the program, officials expect to transform traditional public housing into sustaining mixed-income communities similar to what was done in East Lake and the former Johnson Ferry East public housing complex. Sharon Guest, the housing authority’s director of real estate, says it will meet a June 13 deadline to apply for the funding. The DeKalb Housing Authority will compete with other housing authorities for the funding. It also must gain approval from the DeKalb Board of Commissioners for a text amendment to the Scottdale Overlay Plan to

Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews

allow for the construction of new multi-family units in the area. The overlay approved in 2008 allows only for the construction of new single-family homes in the area. DeKalb Commissioner Kathie Gannon, whose Sharon Guest Super District 6 includes Scottdale, said the planning department mistakenly thought the housing authority was a government agency that would be exempt from zoning and did not specifically mention it in the plan. She said a text amendment will come before the Board of Commissioners to exempt the housing authority’s 55-acre property so it can rebuild multi-family units to replace the existing buildings.

Guest said the housing authority must have all of its zoning in place before the application deadline. Tobie Grant Manor, built in the late 1960s, is one of 266 public housing units and 514 multi-family housing units operated by the DeKalb Housing Authority throughout the county. It is named for African-American philanthropist Tobie Grant, a Scottdale native and daughter of slaves. Grant, who gained fame as a noted psychic and a fortune as a shrewd businesswoman, donated 40 of the acres on which the community is built to the county for the betterment of blacks who lived in Scottdale, then a neglected segregated community. She died at age 96 in 1968. At an April 13 community meeting at the Hamilton Recreation Center to update

Scottdale residents about its plans for the public housing complex, Guest said the housing authority wants to build 452 new housing units – 180 units of senior apartments, 200 multi-family units, and 72 town homes – on the 46 acres of the property that is developable. She said it opted to demolish rather than renovate Tobie Grant Manor because the 104 buildings are extremely old and energyinefficient. “It’s costing more to operate and there is no guarantee that the funding will be there to do it,” she said. Last year, the housing authority completed a $1.5 million, three-year renovation of the complex that included the installation of new kitchen cabinets and countertops, Please see HOUSING, page 5




April 20, 2013

“Truth and accountability are important if we as a county and a school district are to move forward.”

County leaders champion pedestrian safety on Candler Road By Ken Watts

DeKalb political leaders delivered a lesson in crosswalk safety on Candler Road on April 17 as part of the county’s observance of National County Government Month and its “Smart Justice: Creating Safer Communities” theme. They demonstrated how the county’s new High Intensity Activated Crosswalk signals offer pedestrians protection as they cross some of DeKalb’s busiest streets at midblock. The HAWK signal lights extend over traffic in both directions, flashing yellow and then red. “It’s dark until pedestrians arrive at the crossing point and then are encouraged to push the button. Traffic will stop, allowing the pedestrian to get halfway across to a median where they push another button to stop traffic going in the opposite direction,” said CEO Burrell Ellis. Ellis; Commissioners Larry Johnson, Stan Watson and Kathie Gannon; and several other county officials demonstrated the system as they crossed Candler in front of the Gallery at South DeKalb mall. Traffic was heavy even in early afternoon, but cars immediately stopped for the small group safely crossing the street in the middle of the block.

DeKalb County officials including CEO Burrell Ellis (front row from left) and Commissioners Stan Watson, Kathie Gannon and Larry Johnson cross Candler Road in front of the Gallery at South DeKalb mall.

Ken Watts / CrossRoadsNews

Johnson, who represents District 3 where Candler is located, said the HAWK signal is part of the county’s effort to make pedestrian safety rights a priority. The HAWK system takes into account the reality that many pedestrians cross the street at midblock instead of at the corner. “They’re focused on getting from Point A to B the quickest way possible and this HAWK system mitigates a lot of the dangers they face in trying to cross in the middle of the block,” Johnson said.

The project also ties in $7.2 million in streetscape improvements soon getting under way along Candler between Memorial Drive and I-285. Four HAWK signals are installed along the Candler Road-Flat Shoals Parkway corridor. They also will be built along Buford Highway, another hot spot for pedestrian injuries. Ellis said that 2010 data from the National Highway Safety Administration show there were 168 pedestrian fatalities in Georgia.

“Your life should not be at risk just for trying to cross the street,” Ellis said. Tom Lobdell, Georgia Department of Transportation district traffic engineer, said HAWK signals had been in limited use nationwide between late the 1990s until 2009, when the federal government approved grants to cities and counties for the projects. “They cost in the range of $75,000 to $100,000 once you include the poles, the electronic equipment and the concrete work for the medians and wheelchair ramps,” he said. Johnson said the pedestrian safety movement started in DeKalb nearly 20 years ago when he worked at the Board of Health and partnered with the county legislative delegation. “We started the Pedestrian Safety Coalition back in 1994,” he said. “And through this movement we were able to establish pedestrian safety week for the whole state of Georgia, which is the third week in October.” The pedestrian safety movement led a successful fight in 1995 for enactment of a Georgia law giving right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. “So this HAWK system is an outgrowth of that movement, part of making pedestrian safety rights a priority and DeKalb County is making it happen,” Johnson said.

MLK Gala for scholarships

NAACP hosts breaksfast

Training set for National Night Out

Bishop Samuel F. Mosteller, SCLC president, will be the keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King Jr. High School annual Scholarship Gala on April 27. The black-tie affair will be held at the Allen Entrepreneurial Institute International Conference Center at 3235 Evans Mill Road in Lithonia. There will be fine dining, music and a silent auction. Proceeds from the event benefit the school’s PTSA Scholarship Program. The silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7. Edward O. DuBose, president of the Georgia State Conference NAACP, will deliver a special greeting. For tickets and more information, contact Evelyn Cunningham at

The Rev. Charles White Jr., the NAACP’s national field director, will be the guest speaker for the DeKalb NAACP membership breakfast on April 27 at the Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church in Decatur. The meeting begins at 8 a.m. White, an NAACP Golden Charles White Jr. Heritage Life Member, has served the NAACP at every level. He was elected president of the Sea Island Youth Council in 1984, University of South Carolina Chapter, and president of the S.C. Youth and College Division. Tickets for the breakfast are $30 per person. The church is at 4650 Flat Shoals Parkway. For tickets or more information, e-mail naacpdek@ or call 404-241-8006.

Neighborhood and civic groups can sign up for a National Night Out training workshop on April 25 at Maloof Auditorium in Decatur. The workshop, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will teach community leaders and members of homeowners and civic associations about the history of National Night Out and what is needed to organize an event in their community. They also will hear from neighbors who have participated in past events and receive resources such as organizational packets. The annual National Night Out – “America’s Night Out Against Crime” – will be observed on Aug. 6. It promotes involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, and neighborhood camaraderie to send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. Last year, 37.5 million people in 15,704 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide took part. For more information about the national observance, visit www.natw .org. Maloof Auditorium is at 1300 Commerce Drive. For more information, e-mail or call 404-371-3689.

Alleged motives, boosting performance of schools on CRCT, AYP EDUCATORS,

from page


16, and Flanagan, who surrendered on April 17, were released after posting $50,000 bond each. They will be arraigned in four to six weeks. Wooten, who was originally indicted in March 2011, was excluded from the 24-hour deadline to turn himself in. DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said he anticipates no other indictments of DeKalb educators unless new information comes to his attention. “We have gone as far as the evidence will take us,” he said. “Truth and accountability are important if we as a county and a school district are to move forward.” Investigations in four Atlanta City Schools that are located in DeKalb County are ongoing. Interim DeKalb School Superintendent Michael Thurmond said the district acted swiftly and decisively in response to allegations of testing irregularities and none of those principals and assistant principals, including the three who were indicted, is still with the school system. He pledged the district’s full cooperation. “We will continue to work cooperatively with legal authorities while respecting the rights of the accused,” Thurmond said. He said the district attorney will have access to all data and information the district has at its disposal and all students impacted

by the alleged irregularities were given thorough remedial classroom assistance. Flanagan, who worked with the school district for 23 years, resigned in January 2012 in the wake of an investigation over missing funds from the school’s account. She was indicted on nine counts of making false writing, public record fraud, and forgery in the first degree between April 2009 and May 2009. In 2010, an audit of Cedar Grove Middle School accounts found $66,370.80 missing between July 2005 and June 2010. The report said the receipt books for the school’s step team and Seventh Grade Jaguars were not available for review during the 2006 school audit. The step team’s receipt book was found at Flanagan’s Clarkston home after a search warrant issued by the DA’s office. She entered into an agreement with the school district in December 2010 to repay more than $11,000, but she stopped making payments in spring 2011 after paying back $6,800. Tuesday’s indictment accuses Flanagan of “unlawfully, knowingly and willfully” altering the test answers of certain students on the CRCT score sheets to reflect different answers and of instructing Kennesia James and Evelyn Guyton, employees under her supervision and authority, to unlawfully alter the answers of certain students on the 2009 CRCT and to alter records of the DeKalb Board of Education and School District.

DeKalb officials say an analysis of student tests show that 482 Cedar Grove students had a higher-than-average number of wrong-toright erasures – a red flag for cheating. Jennings, a 10-year DeKalb Schools employee who left the district in May 2010, was indicted on 16 counts of public record fraud and computer forgery for acts that allegedly occurred in April 2010. The indictment said she unlawfully altered the attendance records for 11 students “whose attendance did not justify such alteration” so their 2010 CRCT tests wouldn’t count against the school’s average scores. Jennings had been out of the country working in Abu Dhabi and arrived in Atlanta on Tuesday just as the indictments were being released. Her attorney, Stephen Roberts, did not return calls by press time, but he was reported in the Atlanta media saying that she has always cooperated with investigators and met with them in April 2011. “She certainly denies making any computer changes that would in any way go to the integrity of the tests,” he said.

Attendance records altered Wooten, who was with the district between 2007 and August 2012, was originally indicted on four counts in 2011. He was re-indicted Tuesday on 13 counts of public record fraud, false statements and writings, computer forgery, and criminal attempts to

commit false statements and writings. James said this indictment supersedes the original one and cleans up the original charges. “We took some away and added other things,” he said. Wooten was one of 24 educators removed from the classroom in January 2011 as part of a probe into allegations of cheating on the CRCT. He is not accused of irregularities with the standardized test, but the school system’s internal CRCT investigation uncovered the attendance altering, and the district called in the DA’s office. Wooten’s new indictment alleges that between Dec. 1, 2010, and Jan. 31, 2011, he illegally instructed six teachers under his supervision and authority – Carla Benjamin, Glenda Jackson, Dennell Laidler, Yolanda Dixon, Tameka Riley and Donna Fowler – to alter the attendance records of certain students whose attendance did not justify such alteration and “knowingly and willfully made a false, fictitious and fraudulent statement to make his school appear to meet federal AYP guides and not be put on the Needs Improvement list.” The teachers were not charged because James says they were following the directions of their supervisor. Attempts to reach Wooten and Flanagan were unsuccessful. Ken Watts and Jessica Smith contributed to this report.

April 20, 2013




DeKalb Police Chief Cedric Alexander said Biumi never reported the incident to his superiors in DeKalb before his arrest.

Veteran DeKalb Police sergeant arrested on assault charge Veteran DeKalb Police Officer Scott Biumi, who reportedly pulled his gun on an 18-year-old McDonald’s customer in Forsyth County, will have his first court appearance on May 23. Biumi, a 20-year DeKalb detective, is facing a felony aggravated assault charge stemming from the alleged confrontation that Scott Biumi was caught on tape by the Cumming fastfood restaurant’s security camera. He was arrested on April 17 by the Forsyth County sheriff. DeKalb Police Chief Cedric Alexander said the incident occurred on April 9 when Biumi, who was in the drive-through line at the restaurant, became upset over waiting for his food about 10:30 that night. Forsyth County investigators said Biumi, who was driving a DeKalb County Police

unmarked SUV, got out of his vehicle, went to the pickup he felt was holding up the line in front of him, and pointed his service gun at the driver’s neck. Forsyth Deputy Courtney Spriggs told CrossRoadsNews that Biumi lunged his head and shoulders into the customer’s pickup during the confrontation. The pickup’s 18-year-old driver, Ryan Mash, told reporters that Biumi flashed his gold star badge and asked him if he knew who he was messing with. Mash is a high school senior who also works at that McDonald’s on Old Atlanta Road in south Forsyth County but was off duty that night. He said Biumi “put his hand right here,” pointing to his upper chest and shoulder area, “then he pulled the gun and put it, pointed it at, like, my neck area.” The altercation was caught by the McDonald’s security camera. During the investigation, the Forsyth Sheriff ’s Office discovered that Biumi, who lives in Cumming, is a DeKalb detective sergeant.

Spellen retrial could begin April 23 By Jennifer Ffrench Parker

Tae kwon do instructor Adrian Spellen could be in court on April 23 for his second trial on charges that he raped a 9-year-old girl who was a student at his Lithonia studio. The case is listed on the judge’s calendar, but DeKalb district attorney spokesman Erik Burton said April 18 that it may not happen on that day. “We will retry him Adrian Spellen but that court date may change,” he said. A DeKalb grand jury indicted Spellen, 28, on three counts of rape and aggravated child molestation on July 26, 2011. The indictment accuses him of having “carnal knowledge of ” the girl, who was a

student at his Powerkicks Martial Arts studio in Lithonia, between May 23 and June 3. Spellen’s 2012 trial ended in a hung jury in November, and Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger declared a mistrial after the jury foreman said they were deadlocked 10-2. During deliberations, jurors viewed a taped interview of the alleged victim describing what happened to her. Spellen is a former Olympic tae kwon do athlete for Guyana, his native country. He has said he is innocent of the charges. During his October 2012 testimony, he said the attacks never occurred. Prosecutors said he purchased liability insurance insuring himself against sexual abuse and child molestation charges after the alleged assaults occurred. Spellen, who was jailed during his trial, was released Nov. 6 on a $50,000 bond until his retrial.

Biumi, 48, is charged with felony aggravated assault. Alexander said the DeKalb Police Department is cooperating very closely with the Forsyth County sheriff ’s criminal investigation. “Sergeant Biumi was taken into custody here at headquarters this mornCedric Alexander ing,” he said at an April 17 press briefing. Alexander referred all questions about details in the case to Forsyth County, but he said his department has launched an internal affairs investigation into the matter and that Biumi has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome. The chief said Biumi was taken into custody after talking with the internal affairs officers. “It is unfortunate that we have to be addressing these allegations,” he said, “but as I promised this community several weeks ago [when I took command], we will be

open and transparent, accept responsibility, and make sure that this community is well aware of events that occur in and around this police department whether they be negative or positive.” Alexander said Biumi never reported the incident to his superiors in DeKalb before his arrest. “It would have been preferable had it taken place, but unfortunately it did not,” he said. He told reporters at a briefing at the department’s Tucker headquarters that his first reaction was sadness when he heard about the case involving one of his own men. “But within a police agency here in DeKalb County we’re going to hold ourselves to a very high standard and I’m not going to stand for any behavior that goes outside the scope of the law,” he said. “But we have to remember that these are allegations that are being investigated and we’re not finding anyone guilty or not guilty here.” After posting a $22,000 bond, Biumi was released from the Forsyth County Jail on April 17.

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Workshop & Showcase

MARTA on high alert after Boston bombing MARTA has taken steps to heighten security in the wake of the bombing in Boston on Monday. The transit system said it has deployed additional K-9 units, increased police presence, and placed all MARTA staff on heightened alert for any suspicious activity. “While at this time there are no credible threats to transit, MARTA is asking employees and customers to be vigilant and remain on high alert,” MARTA said in a statement Monday evening. Three people were killed and 134 hurt in two blasts from bombs set in garbage cans. The system said its police department is working directly with federal, state and local agencies, including the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority and the Transit Security Administration in Washington, D.C., to stay updated on any recommendations related to public transit. Other measures implemented include: n Placing all specialized units on standby for activation. n Encouraging the public to “See Something, Say Something” and immediately report any suspicious activity or unattended packages to a MARTA Police officer or employee or call MPD at 404-848-4911. n Encouraging all customers to download the See & Say App (available at www.its n Maintaining communication with local emergency management offices. n Maintaining communication with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

n Preparing MARTA Homeland Security

protocols and procedures for activation if necessary. MARTA said it also is in contact with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency, and its liaison to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to ensure that it receives any pertinent information that may impact its operations. News of the bombing also prompted heightened security at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and elicited responses from Atlanta leaders. DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis ordered flags on county buildings to fly half-staff through sunset on April 20. “I am saddened and appalled by the senseless attack and hope swift action is taken to capture the perpetrators of this heinous act,” Ellis said. “Every resident in DeKalb County prays for the victims and their families.” Flags will remain at half-staff until sunset April 20. Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves asked citizens to join him in prayer for the bombing victims. “Our thoughts are also with the first responders who place their own lives at risk to restore safety,” he said. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he was deeply saddened at the news. “Here at home, first responders are currently taking additional measures to enhance the safety of our citizens,” he said.

Saturday - May 4, 2013 Hilton Garden Inn Stonecrest

7890 Mall Ring Road, Lithonia, GA 30038

By Ken Watts

DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Reunion Specialist will teach you everything you need to know to plan the perfect Family Reunion from 9 a.m. to Noon. T-Shirts, “Come on and be a part of the v Attractions and Tour Info will be available at the Vendor First Afrikan Church is an Afrocentric Christian M empowers women, men, youth and children to mov Showcase from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

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April 20, 2013

“The needs of students are changing as they prepare to be successful in our diverse world.” Participants in two South DeKalb town hall meetings in February said they want to end north-south racial divisions in the county. Is it a possible dream?

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

Editor / Publisher Jennifer Parker Graphic Design Curtis Parker Staff Writers Jennifer Ffrench Parker Jessica Smith Ken Watts Copy Editor Brenda Yarbrough Advertising Sales Kathy E. Warner Circulation Manager Jami Ffrench-Parker 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. The concept, design and content of CrossRoads­News are copyrighted and may not be copied or reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without the written permission of the publisher.

Advertisements are published upon the representation that the advertiser is authorized to publish the submitted material. The advertiser agrees to indemnify and hold harmless from and against any loss or expenses resulting from any disputes or legal claims based upon the contents or subject matter of such advertisments, including claims of suits for libel, violation of privacy, plagiarism and copyright infringement. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement.



Diverse residents want new DeKalb conversation By Ken Watts

Just four months into 2013, we’ve had a turbulent year already. The schools probation crisis, a newly appointed DeKalb School Board, a relentless cityhood movement and a shrinking tax base have called the county’s future into question. We want to share with you what could be a sign of hope. Two recent well-attended town hall meetings in South DeKalb explored ways to resolve seemingly intractable issues. Those meetings on Feb. 16 and 23 drew racially mixed crowds from all parts of the county to the Sanford Realty Building on Snapfinger Woods Drive. We watched with great interest as people voiced sentiments that had rarely, if ever, been spoken at other public meetings on longstanding county problems.

African-Americans and whites said they were tired of the racial divide in the county that for decades has split DeKalb into north and south with endless debates about who’s getting better county services, better amenities, better schools. Betsy Parks from the Northlake neighborhood said the school district’s probation crisis could be an opportunity in disguise – a chance to set aside old hurts and resentments and recognize that we all have a vested interest in saving the school system and preserving a viable DeKalb. Parks suggested a series of informal gatherings in relaxed social settings to exchange ideas and opinions that might move us forward together. We watched as Parks got a round of applause and several others, blacks and whites, agreed with her.

The idea of an informal but effective exchange of ideas instead of accusations was intriguing. Admittedly, it was only one of the issues brought up at the meetings but it was powerful. And it resonated. The question is what do we make of it? In the current environment, neighborhoods mostly in the north seem bent on leaping headlong into cityhood. The 2013 General Assembly session ended with five “placeholder” bills aimed at exploring the possibility of creating new cities in the 2014 session. Newly incorporated areas would take entire business districts with them, further draining the tax base in what remains of the county. In addition to the well-publicized Lakeside City Alliance movement, activists are talking about establishing new municipalities in the Druid

Hills, Briarcliff, Tucker and LaVista Hills neighborhoods. State Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) says Lakeside is the only cityhood bill in DeKalb that has a serious chance of moving forward, but who knows what will happen in the next General Assembly? Right now we’d like to hear from you. Which movement represents the majority in DeKalb? Is the county destined to be partitioned out of existence by new cities? Or do you see a future where factions come together to find solutions and unify what’s left of DeKalb? If you’re one of those who spoke out in favor of informal county social gatherings as a way to reach consensus, are you serious? And how should we proceed? We invite you to share your ideas at www.crossroadsnews .com.

School accreditation, a necessary mark of distinction By Dr. Mark Elgart

School accreditation is an honor, a mark of distinction as well as an acknowledgment that the education offerings of a school, school system, college or university meet standards, benchmarks and performance criteria in the advancement of Mark Elgart student achievement. In the United States, for k-12 schools, accreditation is also completely voluntary, and all accrediting agencies are selected and invited to review and accredit by the school or school system seeking or maintaining that accreditation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools was founded in 1895 at the Georgia Institute of Technology. It is one of six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the federal government. Following a merger in 2006, the k-12 division of SACS (SACS CASI) is now part of AdvancED, which accredits more than 32,000 institutions in 71 countries, serving 20 million students worldwide, including 30 of the 50 largest school systems in the United States.

The accreditation process was designed as a collegial, peer review and continuous improvement process, intended to maintain as well as to enhance student outcomes. Our organization has 41 field offices across the United States and internationally, and in a typical year, our professional staff work with nearly 18,000 trained professional volunteers to conduct accreditation reviews and field visits. Accreditation reviews examine the institution’s teaching and assessing practices, the purpose and direction of an institution, whether its governance and leadership are functioning effectively in accordance with established policies, whether data is used to support improvement, and resources and support systems for students. During the fall semester of 2012, AdvancED performed 1,200 of these reviews, with many of these schools or school systems experiencing challenges, being placed under review or on accredited probation. Only one of these systems was placed on accredited probation primarily over governance concerns, and that was the DeKalb County School System. Our review structure allows for a period of appeal when a school system differs with our findings of fact or our recommendations

for improvement. In the case of our December 2012 review of the DeKalb School District, the system had the opportunity to appeal our findings, but chose not to do so. As a result, the system accepted our findings and committed to making the necessary improvements. The most significant areas in need of improvement are student achievement, fiscal responsibility and governance. AdvancED/SACS works closely with the leadership and stakeholders of any educational institution toward improving student performance. We believe that it remains possible for the DeKalb School District to effectively address its current challenges and achieve success in meeting the needs of its urban population of growing diversity. AdvancED/SACS accreditation is accepted globally. We are not the only accrediting agency in Georgia, nor do we accredit every school or school system. In the Atlanta Public Schools, we accredit the high schools but do not accredit the elementary and middle schools. Therefore, during the CRCT cheating scandal in 2009-2010, we had no jurisdiction. Much like the college diploma or possibly higher degree hanging on your wall, that diploma is only

valued as highly as the curriculum, criteria for graduation and accreditation of the awarding institution. Without accreditation, students may have difficulty transferring state to state and may not meet admission, financial aid or scholarship requirements. The needs of students are changing as they prepare to be successful in our diverse world. In Georgia and nationally, we are on the edge of a major shift in the current education system, which is largely institutionally focused, to a system focused on the learner. This will require significant changes in the utilization of resources and perhaps a reconfiguration of thousands of schools and school systems. As a former teacher and school principal, I also realize that real and lasting change in large organizations or a bureaucracy is typically incremental and can take considerable time. As we watch the children of Asia and parts of Europe pull away from our children in terms of performance, aptitude and ability … do we really want to wait that long? As a parent with two children in public schools … I don’t. Dr. Mark Elgart is president and CEO of Alpharetta-based AdvancED, the parent organization of SACS.

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April 20, 2013




“I was raised up here. I knew the lady who donated this property. I remember when all of this was woods.”

Two South DeKalb subdivisions take stand against crime By Jessica Smith

A spike in home invasions and vehicle break-ins has two South DeKalb neighborhoods up in arms. Residents of Stone Mountain’s Hidden Hills and Lithonia’s Lionshead subdivisions are forming watch groups to protect their communities from criminals. On the heels of five incidents in a 24-hour period between 8 p.m. April 14 and 4 a.m. April 15, leaders of the Lionshead Home­ owners Association called an emergency meeting on April 16 to discuss the break-ins and raise concerns with police. Thirty residents who live in the 84-home subdivision off Thompson Mill and Rock Springs roads showed up for the meeting and said they were fed up with crime. Serena Thornton, HOA vice president, said they are very serious about their property. “Personal items have been taken, destroyed and ransacked,” she said. “We’ve had enough.” Over a three-week period starting April 7, the community reported three car breakins, three home invasions, and a motorcycle theft. All of the car break-ins were committed between 8 p.m. April 14 and 4 a.m. April 15. Lt. D.C. Gaddis and Officers A. Brown and W. Ficklin of the East Precinct joined residents at the meeting. The officers, who rotate daily shifts patrolling the neighborhood and answered residents’ recent calls, said that Lionshead is a low-crime area. “We have several neighborhoods smaller than you all that have triple, quadruple the burglaries,” Ficklin said. Gaddis added that the car break-ins had

Jessica Smith / CrossRoadsNews

Residents of the Lionshead subdivision in Lithonia make plans to fight back against a rash of recent criminal activities at an April 16 meeting.

many similarities and police believe the three incidents were committed by a single person. “One of the problems is that everybody’s not locking their cars up,” Gaddis said. In an April 15 incident, a thief gained entry to one unlocked car, took out the garage door opener, broke into another vehicle inside the garage, and walked right into the house. He also said the motorcycle theft took place after the victim advertised the bike for sale on Craigslist and invited a prospective buyer to his home who ultimately stole it. “For what y’all have here, compared to a lot of other communities, this is small,” Gaddis said.

He urged residents to take safety precautions like leaving floodlights on and notifying neighbors when they go out of town. “Not that we won’t keep an eye out,” he said, “but we’d rather nip it now.” Lionshead residents said they don’t want to rely solely on police and are going to train themselves on proper firearms use. HOA President Ingrid Butler said the group is organizing a firearms certification class over the next few weeks so that neighbors – females especially – can learn to protect themselves against possible intruders. “There are times when you’re home

alone, and sometimes you’re with the kids, and we need to make sure that you’re comfortable in your own home,” she said. Butler said she’s already arranged for a firearms instructor to meet with the group. “You pick your firearm of choice, and they’re going to teach you how to load it, how to unload it, how to clean it, how to shoot it, and then we’re going to get you permitted to carry,” she said. A dozen people present at the meeting said they planned to attend. Hidden Hills residents mean business as well. Thirteen homes within two blocks have been broken into since Feb. 12. Five of them in the span of one week. Another four were broken into the next week, and an automobile stolen. Regina Dobson, whose Hidden Hills home was burglarized on March 3, said the robbery has left her with little peace of mind. “It’s disturbing because you never know when it’s going to happen again,” she said. Dobson was away from her home when a neighbor caught a teenager running through the backyard with a television. After four more homes on her street were broken into, Toni McDowell, who has lived in Hidden Hills since 1992, organized interest meetings on March 10 and March 18 to start a neighborhood watch. “We’re not going to sit around and let criminals take over our neighborhood,” she said. McDowell hopes her neighbors recognize the importance of taking a stand before the crimes escalate. “For my kids’ sake, and all of my neighbors who have families, I just hope things don’t turn violent,” she said. “Protecting them is my No. 1 concern.”

Public-private partnership to transform public housing community HOUSING,

from page


ranges, refrigerators, and exterior doors and painting foundations. DeKalb Housing Authority Executive Director Eugene Pete Walker said it was more maintenance than renovations. “Any property you have, you have to maintain it,” he said, adding that he does not consider that expenditure wasted money. Walker said that the RAD opportunity came late last October. “We want to try to create a mixed-income community with modern conveniences,” he said. “Those buildings are over 40 years old and difficult to heat and cool.” Walker said that there is no assurance that the authority will continue to get enough federal dollars to maintain the aging complex. He said no decision has been made on the name of the new community, but the contributions of benefactor Tobie Grant will be recognized. “We will have something related to her and her contributions,” he said. “We are not going to throw that out the window.” The authority’s private partner is Atlantabased NorSouth Development, which it worked with in demolishing and redeveloping its Johnson Ferry public housing complex that was transformed into apartments for seniors. Plans call for the existing Tobie Grant Manor community, which is nestled on gently rolling land, to be demolished by April 2014. In the redeveloped Tobie Grant Manor, there will be space for only 70 of the 200 families who now live there. Guest said the public housing residents will be issued Section 8 vouchers to access government-subsidized housing elsewhere. Guest said the vouchers are good nationwide and residents will be free to relocate

Markeno and Jasmine Givens were relieved that the housing authority has no plans to acquire their property.

Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews

wherever they want. The new development will be built in phases with the new housing coming on line in 2015 and 2016. If it gets the nod from the state Department of Community Affairs, conDavid Dixon struction could start on the first phase of 100 units of senior housing as early June 2014. David Dixon, NorSouth’s managing partner, said the market-rate multi-family apartments would be built simultaneously with the senior housing. Only 40 of the 200 multi-family units would be reserved for low-income families at or below 60 percent of the area’s median income for a family of four. He said his job is to create the highest quality, most successful sustainable community that he can.

“We are creating something that is transformational, not just in four to five years, but over 20 to 30 years,” he said. Asked by Kathleen Andres if his company, which makes money on its tax-supported projects, gives back to the community, Dixon said that once they are here, they are active members of the community. “I didn’t mean to offend,” Andres said. “But if you don’t ask, you don’t know.” Markeno and Jasmine Givens, who were also in the audience, were relieved to find out that there were no plans for the housing authority to acquire their property on Parkdale Drive. “I heard they were going to try to buy out people on my street,” Markeno Givens said. The couple, who had their 2-year-old son Akeem with them, said they bought their two-bedroom home in 2005. “I am very relieved to hear that they are not coming for my house,” Givens said. To questions from the audience about

the displacement of the Tobie Grant Manor residents, Paula Gwynn Grant, the housing authority’s communications director, said that roughly 70 percent of Tobie Grant Manor’s residents are supportive of the redevelopment. She said many felt neglected when the housing authority redeveloped Johnson Ferry East and P. Gwynn Grant did not do Tobie Grant Manor. “Many of them have friends at Johnson Ferry East who are enjoying new apartments and they are asking when are you going to get to us at Tobie Grant Manor,” she said. “They see this as an opportunity.” Gwynn Grant said they have had many meetings with public housing residents since October. Norris Reid, who has lived on Tobie Court with his wife, Rosa, for 21 years, did not attend last Saturday’s community meeting. “I didn’t know about it,” he said. “If I had, I would have been there.” He said he attended all of the meetings with the Tobie Grant Manor residents and that the demolition plans are fine with him, “They are trying to upscale everything,” he said. Reid, 66, grew up in Scottdale. “I was raised up here,” he said. “I knew the lady who donated this property. I remember when all of this was woods.” He said he moved to the public housing complex when he got hurt on the job while working as a janitor at the DeKalb School System. He said he will use his Section 8 vouchers to stay close to his grandchildren but is planning on moving back into one of the new senior units that will be built. “They said we can move back in when it’s done,” he said. “I like this area.”




April 20, 2013

The group will perform classic and contemporary songs of all genres. Males and females 16 and older can audition.

Female leader for DAV chapter Writer, community activist and TM Lynch Prayer Outreach Ministries founder Tincie Lynch is the new commander of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 91, the chapter’s first female commander. Lynch, a retired Army staff sergeant, was installed by Jonathan Smalls, the Department of Georgia senior vice commander, on April 17. She previously served as adjutant, senior vice commander, and first junior vice commander of the chapter. Her military service included Tincie Lynch Desert Storm, Desert Shield, and she has worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a congressional liaison. She is author of the “Let’s Pray” workbook journal and recipient of the Secretary of State Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award. Lynch is married to retired Staff Sgt. Anthony L. Lynch, and they have four children and five grandchildren. Among officers installed at the ceremony was Army veteran Iris Everett, adjutant for DAV Chapter 91, which has more than 510 members on its roll. Everett, a master sergeant in the Army

Reserve with more than 30 years of service, previously served as judge advocate and service officer. She is a senior logistics noncommissioned officer and an Army Basic Instructor Course instructor with the 4th Brigade Personnel Services at the Decatur Army Reserve Center. Since its founding more than 80 years ago, Disabled American Veterans ( has been dedicated to a single purpose: building better lives for America’s disabled veterans and their families. It provides free, professional assistance to veterans and their families in obtaining benefits and services earned through military service and provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs and government agencies; represents their interests before Congress, the White House and the judicial branch as well as state and local government; and provides a structure for outreach. For more information, e-mail adjutant

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led by the children’s librarian, is also on the agenda. While children curl up with their teddies, parents can buy a whole bag of books for $5 during a fire sale from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. There also will be homemade baked goods for sale. Proceeds benefit library programs. The book sale takes place 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. The library is located at 1917 Candler Road in Decatur. For more information, call Ken McCullers at 404-286-6986. There will be 25 tot-friendly to thrill-seeking rides at the Mall at Stonecrest Spring Fair beginning April 25 in Lithonia.

The Yo Yo, Cliff Hanger and Fireball will delight daredevils of all ages at the Mall at Stonecrest Spring Fair beginning April 25. The annual fair, which runs through May 5, is presented by North American Midway Entertainment and boasts a total of 25 totfriendly to thrill-seeking rides. The gates open at 5 p.m. Monday-Thurs-

5197 Salem Road Lithonia, GA 30038

Join us for Bible Study Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Bargain-hunting bookworms can score a free book at the Friends of Scott-Candler Library’s two-day spring book sale starting April 26. The first 20 library patrons who purchase more than one item during the two-day sale will receive a free book. Multiple purchasers also can enter their names in a drawing to win a gift card. On April 27, children of all ages can bring their stuffed animals for “Breakfast With Bear” at 10 a.m. Two “Rock and Read” events will feature bear stories told by surprise guest performers, and a “make & take” bear craft,

Lots of rides at Stonecrest spring fair

First Afrikan Church is an Afrocentric Christian Ministry that empowers women, men, youth and children to move from membership to leadership in the church, community and the world. Praise & Devotion Worship Service Sundays at 10 a.m.

Bargains, fun for kids at book sale

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Disabled singers sought for new group Voices Embodied Ensemble, a new singing group showcasing vocalists with physical disabilities, is holding auditions on May 4 at the Shepherd Center Auditorium in Atlanta. The group will perform both classic and contemporary songs of all genres. Males and females age 16 and older of all voice types – soprano, alto, tenor and bass – can audition between 4-7 p.m. The Shepherd Center is at 2020 Peachtree Road N.W. Selected members will be required to at-

tend regular rehearsals as well as free vocal workshops, vocal coaching and ensemble training. The ensemble is a project of the nonprofit Abel 2 Inc., which offers music and arts programs to underserved populations including people with disabilities, the homeless and working poor, and prisoners and children of inmates. Auditions are by appointment only. To schedule an audition, e-mail Myrna Clayton at or call 678-4376897.

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April 20, 2013


“Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect their infants from 14 serious childhood diseases before age 2.”

Purple Warrior Walk fights abuse The Purple Warrior 6K Walk, which helps raise awareness about child sexual abuse and exploitation, is taking place on April 27 at the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve in Lithonia. The nonprofit Saving Our Children and Families and District 5 Commissioner Lee May are co-hosting the walk, which is in its third year. It kicks off at 8 a.m. May is appealing to residents to join the movement to end child exploitation. “I hope that the residents will come support this event that benefits the most vulnerable members of the community – our children,” he said. “Through participa-

tion in this walk, we are taking a stand against all forms of child exploitation.” Fees are $20 per individual, $15 per person for a group of four or more, and $10 per person for SOCAF members and affiliates. The deadline to register at www is April 22. There will be no on-site registration on event day. Vendor applications are also available. Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve is at 3787 Klondike Road. For more information, contact DeQuanda Sanders at dequanda@savingourchildrenandfamilies .org or 678-487-7901.

National honor for 27 volunteers Georgia public health officials recommend up-to-date immunizations for all youngsters, particularly infants and toddlers, to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Infant immunizations urged Parents of young children should use National Infant Immunization Week, April 20-27, as an opportunity to make sure their kids’ immunizations are up-to-date. The national observance highlights the need to protect Georgia’s youngest residents from vaccine-preventable diseases. Steven Mitchell, director of the Georgia Immunization Program for the state Department of Public Health, is urging parents to speak with their pediatrician or health care provider and ensure Steven Mitchell that their infants are up-to-date on their vaccinations. The state has seen an increase in the number of whooping cough cases, a vaccinepreventable disease. “Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect their infants from 14 serious childhood diseases before age 2,” Mitchell said on April 15. “Vaccinating your infant is the best way to protect them from serious illnesses like whooping cough and measles.” Vaccines are safe and effective, state health officials say. According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history.

Vaccines are given to children only after long and careful review by scientists, doctors and health care professionals. The diseaseprevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for most children. In 2012, the United States saw an increase in whooping cough cases with about 44,810 cases being reported, including 18 deaths. The majority of deaths were among infants younger than 3 months of age. Similar to U.S. trends, Georgia saw an increase in whooping cough cases with about 321 cases being reported. However, Georgia had no pertussis-related deaths in 2012. Since 1994, the annual observance provides an invaluable opportunity for the community to remind parents and caregivers how important it is for children to be vaccinated, state health officials say. This is the second consecutive year National Infant Immunization Week will be celebrated as part of the World Immunization Week, April 21-28, an initiative of the World Health Organization. During this week, all six WHO regions, including more than 180 member states, territories and areas, will simultaneously promote vaccinations and advance equity in the use of vaccines and universal access to vaccination services. For more information, visit http://health

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p.m. at the clinic, which treats about South DeKalb Center for 1,500 patients each year. Healthy Living’s Renee Ranson is The financially strapped priamong 27 clinic volunteers recmary care clinic relies on volunteers ognized by the President’s Counand donations to provide medical cil on Service and Civic Particicare to the poor and uninsured. It pation for hundreds of hours of operates on the second and fourth work serving low-income and Saturdays. Services include diabetes uninsured residents. and hypertension care. The other recipients are Ranson, the nonprofit’s exSharita Allen, Dr. Karla Booker, Renee Ranson Lee Tyler, Marilyn Brown, Dr. Stephanie ecutive director, said the award is a proud Carmichael, Lynn Chamberlain, Natasha moment for the Lithonia clinic and wellGreen, Dr. Elbonie Hornbuckle, Edecia deserved national recognition for its dediRichards, Tiffany Simmons, Jack Phil- cated volunteers. “Receiving the President’s Service Award lips, Dr. Consuelo Fernandez, Dr. Ijeoma Aznobi, Betty Brown, James Bush, Brenda is pretty cool,” she said. The President’s Council on Service and Denson, Marva Dressekie, Sonia FischerThompson, Ogemdi Madu, Marie Metel- Civic Participation was established in 2003 lus, Dr. Jada Moore-Ruffin, Dr. Ewutosi to recognize the valuable contributions volOkoroh, Shirley Reid, Sharon Simmons, unteers are making in their communities and Dr. Piyush Patel, and T’shsean Thigpen. to encourage more people to serve. The clinic is at 2699 Klondike Road. Visit State Sen. Ronald Ramsey will present the President’s Volunteer Service Award to for more inforthe honorees on April 27 beginning at 1 mation or to donate.




April 20, 2013

“I’m filing the petition because I don’t believe it is right for the governor to step in and remove anyone who has been elected.”

Arabia Mountain graduate vaults to success at Illinois By Jessica Smith

Middle and high school boys, their parents and members of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity share a light moment at last year’s “Manhood” program.

Omegas host ‘Manhood’ program for boys Middle and high school boys and their parents can hear from male community leaders at the third “Manhood Uplift Program/ Project” on April 27 at Southwest DeKalb High School in Decatur. The theme for this year’s project is “Dare to Be Great/Tools for Future Success.” Between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., participants can attend workshops, listen to speakers, and access community resources that can motivate young men to reach their potential. There will be a panel discussion, an open

mic discussion and entertainment. The “Manhood Uplift Program/ Project” is co-hosted by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Kappa Alpha Alpha Decatur Chapter, DeKalb PTA Council Men’s Initiative, and Project Uplift. Southwest DeKalb High is at 2863 Kelley Chapel Road. To register, visit www. or e-mail For more information, call Tommy Hill at 404-259-9232.

Empowerment session for educators Educators ranging from day care providers to college professors can celebrate their love of teaching at an appreciation event on April 27. The second annual Statewide Educators’ Empowerment Seminar, Lonnie Edwards sponsored by Dukesway Academy, will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta East/ Stonecrest in Lithonia. Dukesway’s educational professional development committee created the conference with the theme “Reclaim, Reinvent and Rejuvenate Today’s Educators.” The seminar is designed to build a network among educators and motivate them to

develop strategies that improve emotional, physical and personal health. Retired educators Lonnie Edwards Sr. and Harry Ross will headline the seminar, which includes talks from moHarry Ross tivational speakers and public officials. Door prizes, swimming, beauty and health tips, exercise demos, and a fashion show also are on the agenda. Educators and non-educators alike are invited to attend the free event. The hotel is at 7890 Mall Ring Road in Lithonia. For more information, e-mail or call 678-923-4602.

DeKalb Schools going wireless Wireless Internet access and other technology upgrades are in store for 123 DeKalb schools by the end of the year. The DeKalb School System said April 17 that the technology upgrades will cost $4.5 million to install. The program will provide an average of one access point per two classrooms; hardware, technology and telecommunications infrastructure updates; and interactive white boards. It is being bankrolled by SPLOST IV, a 1-cent sales tax for school improvements that was approved by DeKalb voters in 2007

and 2011. The district already has spent $500,000 on wireless access for 14 schools: Cedar Grove High, Chamblee Middle, Clarkston High, Coralwood Center, International Student Center, Kittredge Magnet School, Lithonia High, Lithonia Middle, Margaret Harris Comprehensive School, Miller Grove High, Peachtree Middle, Redan Middle, Tucker Middle and Warren Technical School. For project updates, visit www.dekalb

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age can’t do.” But as a kid, he said, he was just having fun. “For them to see that I could do it at 4 without anybody telling me how to do it, they kind of figured that the sport was for me,” he said. In 2002, he enrolled in classes at World Xtreme Gymnastics & Cheer in McDonough. He started competing in club matches at age 12. In six years, he qualified for Junior Olympic regionals five times and nationals twice. Because the DeKalb School System doesn’t offer male gymnastics, Hartville spent his high school years as a spotter and mentor for the Arabia Mountain girls

Fredrick Hartville, an Arabia Mountain High graduate and University of Illinois freshman, is a 2013 Big Ten vault champion. Hartville, 18, somersaulted his way April 6 to the top conference spot for the Fighting Illini, a team he has led in men’s gymnastics since graduating from the Lithonia high school in May 2012. He posted a 15.425 on vault during the conference event finals, notching his first career Big Ten title, seventh vault win of the year, and team-leading eighth victory overall this season. Hartville said it feels great Fredrick Hartville began to be at the top of his game. tumbling at 8 years old. “I knew coming into college I had a chance to win a conference team. “I tried to offer a different perspective. title because I knew I had the talent and difficulty in the vault,” he said. “But I knew Their coach had done gymnastics in the past, it would take a little more training to get it but it had been a long time. I wanted to give them the advice and support of someone consistent,” Still, the win exceeded his expectations. who was currently in the sport.” Hartville said transitioning to college “I went to vault calm, collected and just said, ‘Don’t try too hard for something – let gymnastics has been tough. “I didn’t expect it to be this hard,” he said. it happen,’” he recalled last week. “Our team, as a whole, hadn’t won anything so for me “In high school I did every event and now to come up with a stick two days in a row, it I only do two. In club gymnastics, I could was great. Bringing back something for the do high bar or something to give my legs a break from not just pounding on them so team was a great accomplishment.” Hartville is Illinois’ second straight Big much. Here I do floor and vault every day. My body’s taken a beating this year, but I’ve Ten vault champion. His stick also earned him All-Big Ten improved a lot.” His goal at Illinois has been to put in first-team accolades, and he is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation in individual quality numbers, rather than quantitative numbers. vaulting. “I know it’s not a matter of how many Before taking his talents to Urbana, Ill., Hartville was a Georgia Junior Olympic vault I do as long as I can do one or two that are and floor champion in 2012 and won the really good,” Hartville said. On April 19, the sixth-ranked Illini were state vault title in 2011. He was 8 years old when his aunt, Gayla Tarks, enrolled him in scheduled to return to action to defend their gymnastics camp after noticing his extraor- national title at the three-day NCAA conference championship in Los Angeles. dinary knack for tumbling. Hartville thinks he’s a contender for a “When I was 4, I was in the living room and I could do, in her words, ‘a perfect cart- vault title. “I would love to win more championwheel,’” he said. A cartwheel was the tip of the iceberg ships and more titles, but as much as I am for Hartville’s acrobatics. With no training, an individual competitor, I’m all about the the toddler could execute a perfect roundoff team,” he said. “I would love for us, as a team, and backbend, which, now that he’s older, he to win Big Ten once again and come out as realized is “something most people his own national champions.”

Ex-board members seek reinstatement By Ken Watts

Former DeKalb School Board members Jay Cunningham and Dr. Eugene Walker say they are petitioning Gov. Nathan Deal for reinstatement. Cunningham, who Jay Cunningham represented District 5, and Walker, a former board chairman who represented District 9, were among six members replaced by Deal under a controversial state law. April 26 is the deadline for deposed members to reapply for their job. Donna Edler, who represented District 7, and Sarah Copelin-Wood, who represented District 3, have not said what they will do. Former District 1 board member Nancy Jester resigned after she was suspended. Former District 8 board member Pamela Speaks did not return telephone calls. Walker also is the plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of statute 20-2-73. The law enacted in 2011 gives Deal the authority to suspend school board mem-

bers. That suit against the governor and the Georgia Board of Education is before the Georgia Supreme Court. Walker and his attorneys say the law is unconstitutional because it nullifies the rights of Eugene Walker voters. A ruling is not expected for several months. Walker said he will follow state rules and petition for reinstatement until he can get the law repealed. “The people placed confidence in me when they elected me, so naturally I feel obligated to serve,” he said. “I was elected, not appointed.” Cunningham said his attorney tells him they cannot challenge the constitutionality of the law if they don’t apply for reinstatement, “I’m filing the petition because I don’t believe it is right for the governor to step in and remove anyone who has been elected,” he said. “That’s why we have elections and recalls. Voters are the ones who should decide.”



April 20, 2013

by publication dated April 3, 2013, You are hereby notified that on March 28, 2013, 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: Chanelle Freeman, 4146 Chapel Mill Way, Decatur, GA 30034. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of April 3, 2013. Witness the Honorable Daniel M. Coursey, Jr., Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 3rd day of April, 2013.

Debra DeBerry Clerk of Superior Court 556 N. McDonough St. G-130 Annex Decatur, GA 30030-3356

Legal Notices Ivory Ann Rose Petitioner, Pro se 3201 Henderson Mill Road 19-C Atlanta, GA 30341


Notice of Petition to Change Name of Adult in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Debra DeBerry Clerk of Superior Court

Civil Action Case Number: ++ 13CV3995-2 ++ Carolyn Yvonne Wakefield filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court on March 29, 2013 to change the name from: Carolyn Yvonne Wakefield to Kyeimah Imkischma Brown. Any interested party has the right to appear in this case and file objections within 30 days after the petition was filed. Dated: March 29, 2013 Carolyn Yvonne Wakefield Petitioner, Pro se 1315 Friendly Heights Blvd Decatur, GA 30035

Debra DeBerry Clerk of Superior Court


Notice of Petition to Change Name of Adult in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia


Notice of Petition to Change Name of Adult in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Civil Action Case Number: ++ 13CV4188-7 ++ Randolph Allen Person filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court on April 5, 2013 to change the name from: Randolph Allen Person to Tamez Randolph Allen Antoine Person. Any interested party has the right to appear in this case and file objections within 30 days after the petition was filed. Dated: April 3, 2013 Randolph Allen Person Petitioner, Pro se 3201 Henderson Mill Road 19-C Atlanta, GA 30341

Debra DeBerry Clerk of Superior Court

Civil Action Case Number: ++ 13CV4187-7 ++ Ivory Ann Rose filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court on April 5, 2013 to change the name from: Ivory Ann Rose to Tamara Ann Person. Any interested party has the right to appear in this case and file objections within 30 days after the petition was filed. Dated: April 3, 2013


NOTICE OF PUBLICATION In the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Civil Action # ++ 13CV4180-3++ David L. Pitts Jr Plaintiff Vs.

Jamila Badruddin Defendant TO: Jamila Badruddin By Order of the Court service for service by publication dated April 4, 2013, you are hereby notified that on April 2, 2013, 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: David L. Pitts jr, 4828 White Oak Trees, Stone Mountain, GA 30088. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of March 29, 2013. Witness the Honorable Clarence Seeliger, Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 5th day of April, 2013.

Debra DeBerry Clerk of Superior Court 556 N. McDonough St. G-130 Annex Decatur, GA 30030-3356


NOTICE OF PUBLICATION In the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Civil Action # ++ 13CV4011-4++ Denisha A. Bailey Plaintiff Vs. Patrick D. Porter Defendant TO: Patrick D. Porter By Order of the Court service for service by publication dated March 29, 2013, you are hereby notified that on March


26, 2013, 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: Denisha Bailey-Porter, 1484 Bouldercrest Rd Apt. 29, Atlanta, GA 30316. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of March 29, 2013. Witness the Honorable Gail C. Flake, Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 2nd day of April, 2013.

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

Civil Action# ++ 13CV4148-7 ++ Gwendolyn Freeman Plaintiff Vs. Kerry M Freeman Defendant To: By Order of the Court service for service by publication dated April 3, 2013, You are hereby notified that on April 1, 2013, 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: Gwendolyn Freeman, 1908 Bodwin Place, #F, Decatur, GA 30035. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of April 3, 2013. Witness the Honorable Daniel M. Coursey, Jr., Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 3rd day of April, 2013.

Debra DeBerry Clerk of Superior Court 556 N. McDonough St. G-130 Annex Decatur, GA 30030-3356


NOTICE OF PUBLICATION In the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia

Civil Action # ++ 13W3776-3 ++ William D. Cooley Plaintiff Vs. Brigettie Davis Defendant TO: Brigettie Davis By Order of the Court service for service by publication dated March 26, 2013, you are hereby notified that on March 20, 2013, the above-named Plaintiff filed suit against you for: Divorce Without Minor Children. You are required to file with the Clerk of Superior Court, and to serve upon the plaintiff’s attorney whose name and address is: William D. Cooley, 2010 Garden Circle, Decatur, GA 30032. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of March 26, 2013. Witness the Honorable Clarence Seeliger, Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 27th day of March, 2013.

Debra DeBerry Clerk of Superior Court 556 N. McDonough Street G-130 Annex Decatur, GA 30030-3356


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

Civil Action# ++13CV4130-7 ++ Willie Wilmont Plaintiff Vs. Deborah Wilmont Defendant To: By Order of the Court service for service by publication dated April 3, 2013, You are hereby notified that on April 1, 2013, 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: Willie Wilmont, 1908 Bodwin Place, Decatur, GA 30035. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of April 3, 2013. Witness the Honorable Daniel M. Coursey, Jr., Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 3rd day of April, 2013.

Debra DeBerry Clerk of Superior Court 556 N. McDonough Street G-130 Annex Decatur, GA 30030-3356


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

Civil Action# ++ 13CV4045-7 ++ Chanelle Freeman Plaintiff Vs. Tremayne Allen Defendant To: By Order of the Court service for service

Congratulate Your Grad With An Ad!

Debra DeBerry Clerk of Superior Court 556 N. McDonough Street G-130 Annex Decatur, GA 30030-3356

Bo yo ok To u r s da y!


Send a congratulatory message with photo to your graduate in our 2013 Graduation Special Section. Salute to the Class of May 21, 2011

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April 20, 2013

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Reader Notice As a service to you – our valued readers – we offer the following information: This newspaper will never knowingly accept any advertisement that is illegal or considered fraudulent. If you have questions or doubts about any ads on these pages, we advise that before responding or sending money ahead of time, you check with the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Line and/or the Better Business Bureau. They may have records or documented complaints that will serve to caution you about doing business with those advertisers. Also be advised that some phone numbers published in these ads may require an extra charge. In all cases of questionable value, such as promises or guaranteed income from work-at-home programs, money to loan, etc., if it sounds too good to be true –­ it may in fact be exactly that. This newspaper cannot be held responsible for any negative consequences that occur as a result of you doing business with any advertisers. Thank you.

Call 404-284-1888 for Advertising Rates & Information



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landscape / lawn care


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HELP WANTED Residential Instructors/Houseparents Needed: Direct Care Live-In FT, PT and Hourly Positions Available in Decatur & Lithonia. HS diploma required. If interested, please call 770-593-0913 ext 101.

Maintenance • Design • Installation Commercial & Residential Licensed & Insured

MARKETPLACE RATES Place your MarketPlace line ad here – up to 20 words for $25. Additional words are $3 per block of five words (maximum 45 words). Boxed Ads (with up to 3 lines bold headline): $35 plus cost of the classified ad. Send ad copy with check or credit card information and contact phone number (if different from ad) to MarketPlace, CrossRoadsNews, 2346 Candler Road, Decatur, GA 30032, or e-mail to Our deadlines are at noon on the Friday one week prior to publication, unless otherwise noted.




#1 Mr Plunger Plumbing. 32 yrs experience. Licensed in GA since 1987. Services include: Water heaters, gas liner, water line and sewer replacement/repair, repipes, drain cleaning, faucets, toilets, sinks, disposals, tankless water heater certified. Old Pipe Specialist. 10% Senior Discount. 404-PLUNGER or 404-587-2888.



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P.O. Box 360367 Decatur, GA 30036


Email: Website:


Graduation Special! 11x14 Canvas Print Only $24.95* With Your Confirmed 1-Hour Photo Session * Regular Price $49.95. Limited Quantity. While Supplies Last.


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On Services over $25 (Must bring in coupon) Appointments Only

Curtis Parker Photography •



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Natural Hair Products For Natural and Relaxed Hair Some of the products we carry include:

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Celebrate your birthday in our VIP Party Room

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2800 Candler Road • Suite 73 • Decatur, GA 30034 (inside South DeKalb Mall)

10% OFF w/this ad


FREE SHINE w/service

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Bereavement Workshop April 20, 2013 • 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Name ____________________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________________

Ousley Family Ministry & Stephen Ministry are hosting a Bereavement Workshop, open to anyone who has lost a loved one (family member or friend). The Visiting Nursing Health System of Hospice Atlanta will lead the workshop. Please join us!

City _________________________State _________________Zip ____________ Phone ________________________ E-mail ______________________________ I prefer to pay by credit card: ❍ Visa ❍ MC ❍ AmEx ❍ Discover

Card no. ______________________________ Expiration date ____________

The United Methodist Women of Ousley UMC Present

Billing Address (if different from above)

Street _____________________________________________________________________


Jazz On Panola

Featuring A Sharpe Affair Saturday, April 27, 2013 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

in The Tom Curtis CLC

empty newspaper stands.

■ Support CrossRoadsNews,

Yes, I want CrossRoadsNews in the mail.

Ousley United Methodist Church

$20.00 per person/$25 at the door

■ End the inconvenience of

Saturday, May 4, 2013 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Ousley United Methodist Church

3261 Panola Road, Lithonia, GA 30038 • 770-981-0180 Rev McCallister Hollins, Sr. Pastor


City _________________________State _________________Zip ____________ Please mail to CrossRoadsNews, 2346 Candler Road, Decatur, GA 30032. (PHOTOCOPIES OK )



ARTHUR’S CONTRACTING • Handyman Services • Plumbing - Water Line Repair & Fixture Installation • Unclog & Repair Sewer and Drain • Concrete Driveways • Wood & Chainlink Fence

Call Arthur 404-838-6541

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April 20, 2013

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