Neighbhorhoods and residents all over DeKalb joined police and other officials to celebrate National Night Out . A5
New 3-D mammography technology promises to improve breast cancer detection while reducing the number of false positives. A7
There will be plenty to capture the attention of kids and adults at the CrossRoadsNews Family & Back-to-School Expo on Aug. 13 at the Mall at Stonecrest.
Taking back the night
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New weapon against cancer
August 6, 2011
Family & Back-to-School Expo
Volume 17, Number 14
Curbs Choking on Weeds South DeKalb residents complain about trash, blight By Jennifer French Parker
How long have weed trees and knee-high grass been growing along the curbs of South DeKalb? For years. On every street, in every neighborhood, years of pervasive neglect are sprouting trees and “mini lawns” alongside the curbs. The neglect has residents up in arms and calling for better county codes and better enforcement of those codes. From Decatur to Lithonia and Stone Mountain, curbs of unincorporated South DeKalb are caked with gook, trash, grass and sometimes even small trees. The unkempt curbs are in front of private homes and along the public rights of way. They are on major corridors such as Wesley Chapel Road, Turner Hill Road, Panola Road, Stone Mountain-Lithonia Road, Rainbow Drive and Glenwood Road. Gil Turman, president of the South DeKalb Neighborhoods Coalition, said that as a county, we can do better. “It’s mind-boggling that we can’t have decent surroundings,” he said. “That ought to be a part of what we pay taxes for.” County ordinances don’t address cleaning up the curb after mowing or anytime county workers and many residents routinely leave grass clippings along the curbs to pile up and decay. Photos by Jennifer Ffrench Parker / CrossRoadsNews The long-anticipated proposed amend- Weeds obscure the curb or sprout on the sidewalk along Rainbow Drive. From Decatur to Lithonia ment to the County Code Enforcement and Stone Mountain, curbs of unincorporated South DeKalb are caked with weeds and debris. Ordinance is on the Board of Commissioners’ Aug. 9 agenda. The amendment being “Columbia, Glenwood, Wesley Chapel, considered includes the establishment of a just everywhere, the curbs are overrun with seven-member Board of Code Compliance, kudzu and bushes,” she said. “Does DeKalb composed of trained volunteer residents, to County not have any pride?” hear and decide cases alleging violations of County spokesman Burke Brennan said the code and impose fines on violators. Thursday that Ellis was not in the office and But the proposed changes do not address was unavailable to speak about curb maincurb maintenance and cleanup. Turman said tenance in South DeKalb. they should be part of the ordinance. Speaking for the administration, Ted John Evans, a longtime DeKalb resident Rhinehart, the chief operating officer for and president of the DeKalb NAACP, said infrastructure, said the county mows its part of the problem is a lack of civic pride roadsides on a monthly to quarterly basis. and part of it is systemic lack of care. “This is basic mowing,” he said. “This is He said the county isn’t going to get clean not precision mowing like on a golf course. unless residents force the commissioners and We are knocking down the grass so it doesn’t the administration to do it. become a roadway hazard.” “We have to say we elected you, but we Rhinehart said county mowers don’t have are going to put your butt out if you don’t bags to collect clippings and blowers. He said do clean up the place.” there are no plans to buy street sweepers. “We have talked about street sweepers ‘The buck has to stop’ been able to stop nothing regarding the over the years, but even when funds were Residents complain that inaction by the ugliness of the environment of our county. more available, we didn’t buy them because Board of Commissioners and CEO Burrell They have no respect for one another and of the cost. Ellis has added up to a county in full decay. things fall through the crack. None of them “Street sweepers cost millions of dolThey say that while both sides are busy is doing anything.” blaming the other, the county is suffering. Carla Kalip, who lives just off Memorial lars.” “The buck has to stop,” Turman said. Drive, said she is sick and tired of South “This CEO and this commission have not DeKalb looking like a jungle. Please see CURBS, page A6
ARC leaves out I-20 rail project By Mary Swint
South DeKalb’s hopes for an I-20 rail system were dashed on Aug. 4 when two rail projects were passed over by the Atlanta Regional Roundtable’s Executive Committee. The committee reached consensus around seven other transit projects, worth $3 billion, which is about half of the revenue expected from a new regional sales tax. DeKalb County officials hoped 60 percent of the funds would be assigned to transit projects and 40 percent to roadway, pedestrian and bike projects. The Executive Committee decided to recommend $500 million for MARTA state of good repair projects. This is $200 million less than MARTA was allotted on a preliminary July 7 project list and half of what MARTA was seeking. The other transit projects that got the nod were the Clifton Corridor transit line, part of the Atlanta Beltline, a Northwest Corridor light rail from the Arts Center station to the Cumberland Mall, and the study and planning phase for a light rail line along I-85 from the Doraville station to Gwinnett arena. The committee also recommended funding to restore Clayton County local bus service and to maintain the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority’s existing Xpress Bus service for 10 years. Next week the Executive Committee will focus on roadway and pedestrian projects to fund with the remaining $3.1 billion. They will give their full recommended list to the full Roundtable, which represents the cities and counties in the 10-county region, on Aug. 11. The Clifton Corridor transit project would eventually connect the Doraville or North Springs station, Lindbergh station, Emory, DeKalb Medical and the Avondale station. It was recommended for $1.1 billion on the July 7 list. It was not clear at press time which phases were recommended or the funding level. If a majority of the voters in the region approve the new transportation sales tax at a July 31, 2012, referendum, it is expected to generate about $7.2 billion in revenues. The cities and counties would get 15 percent, about $1.1 billion, leaving $6.1 billion for regional projects that the full Roundtable will approve this October based on a process created by Georgia’s Transportation Investment Act. The Atlanta Regional Commission reduced the original list from the Georgia Department of Transportation to $12.2 Please see TRANSIT, page A6
August 6, 2011
August 6, 2011
“If we keep at it, we can be successful in having other owners take care of these abandoned houses.” The owner of the abandoned home on South Hairston had the burned structure torn down after the situation was publicized in CrossRoadsNews.
Carla Parker / CrossRoadsNews
Community eyesore demolished By Carla Parker
After six years as an eyesore, the burnedout abandoned house at 2395 South Hairston is finally gone. After CrossRoadsNews publicized the situation in a July 9 article, the home’s owner, Huguette Fenelon of Tucker, had the house demolished on July 23. Kings Ridge subdivision residents had been pleading with the county to no avail to demolish that house and two others and to clean up the area. Joel Edwards, who lives 300 feet from the abandoned house, said he and other residents were excited to see the house torn down. “It’s the first stage of the community addressing a problem,” Edwards said. “If we keep at it, we can be successful in having other owners take care of these abandoned houses.” Fenelon bought the property on June 9, 2010, and had planned to repair the home. But taking care of the house was too
much for him, he said. When code enforcement told him to take care of it a couple of weeks ago, he had it demolished. “I’m going to sell the property,” he said. “The house has given us too many problems. We can’t afford it anymore.” Edwards, a retired MARTA worker, has been fighting for years to clean up the neighborhood. He is a member of the Advisory Council for Code Enforcement that has worked to fix code enforcement. The group has proposed a county Board of Code Compliance, a body of appointed volunteers who would hear cases and impose fines. This would reduce the number of cases that go before Recorders Court, which currently handles all of them. Edwards said commissioners will vote on the ordinance at the Aug. 9 Board of Commissioners meeting. The proposed ordinance removes the current requirement that violators be personally served with notices they must sign before their cases can be processed.
Hearing set for rape suspect at church, was attacked after she John Russell Carver, who is opened the door to a knock. accused of the brutal rape of a The indictment includes counts Stone Mountain church leader, of rape, armed robbery, aggravated will have his pretrial hearing on battery, aggravated assault, false Aug. 8 before DeKalb Superior imprisonment, burglary and posCourt Judge Michael Hancock. session of a knife during commisCarver, 50, who has been in sion of a felony. and out of prison since 1987, is DeKalb District Robert James facing 12 counts in the attack John R. Carver called the attack “an extremely on a 53-year-old woman at St. violent and vicious act.” “I am thankful for Timothy United Methodist on Feb. 26. He was identified as the suspect after a the swift actions of the DeKalb County Police positive DNA hit by the Georgia Bureau of Department for locating Carver and moving Investigation. He was arrested on March 7 this case one step further to being resolved for both the victim of this crime and the on parole violations. The woman, who was working alone community affected by this monstrous act.”
I-85 Peach Pass accounts available Peach Pass accounts are now available for motorists who want the option to use the new I-85 express lanes when they open later this summer. The Peach Pass, a small, thin toll collection device, will provide access to the new I-85 express lanes and the all-electronic toll lanes on Ga. 400. Gena L. Evans of the State Road and Tollway Authority said it’s important that residents have a choice as to how they want to open an account. “We are thrilled to offer multiple ways for Gena Evans motorists to sign up for a Peach Pass account, especially through our partnership with the Department of Driver Services,” Evans said. Peach Pass registration is required
for all vehicles using the I-85 express lanes, including toll-exempt car pools with three or more occupants, transit vehicles, motorcycles, emergency vehicles, and alternative fuel vehicles with the proper AFV license plates (not including hybrids). To register for an account, motorists will need their address, phone number, vehicle tag information and an initial prepaid amount of $20 for Personal Toll Accounts. Motorists who enter the I-85 express lanes without a valid Peach Pass account will be charged a $25 administrative fee in addition to the toll. Existing Cruise Card holders can use the I-85 express lanes when they open since their accounts are now considered Peach Pass accounts. Peach Pass customers can switch between toll and toll-free mode by phone or online at www.peachpass.com. Registration also is available at two Department of Driver Services sites in Gwinnett County and by phone at 1-855-724-7277.
August 6, 2011
Do we want to see people drawing unemployment checks for months on end during their productive years?
This is not the time to cut spending that creates jobs 2346 Candler Rd. Decatur, GA 30032 404-284-1888 Fax: 404-284-5007 www.crossroadsnews.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor / Publisher Jennifer Parker General Manager Curtis Parker Staff Writer Carla Parker Advertising Sales Patricia Walthour Alison White
By Debbie Gathmann
This morning, I drove down Memorial Drive into Atlanta. The road project is almost finished and the sidewalks look good, the retaining walls are gorgeous, and there are shoppers at Belvedere. I want to thank the DOT, the county, the federal government, and the taxpayers for this improvement. It provided jobs, made an eyesore of a road more beautiful, and improved our quality of life. This is what the government money should do. All the folks who say government spending should be cut to the bone can see the results of that, by seeing the unemployment figures. When people are not spending and banks/businesses are not spending – the government has to kick-start the economy again. This is not the
time to cut. This is the time to spend on quality improvements. Unemployed carpenters could be paid to create arbors over bus stops. Unemployed people of all sorts could be employed to watch after-school kids at schools, re-shelve library books, tutor kids for the SATs, help put on and clean up after festival days at parks, tune up police vehicles, create art with kids at recreation centers, help out at adult day care centers. I know people who have been out of work – particularly in the construction industry – for two years! These skillful workers are wasting years of their lives and they could be employed to do all kinds of public work from sidewalks to government buildings. In turn, they would spend money and pay
taxes. Businesses would begin increasing profits and begin hiring more workers to help service the increase in business. These workers would spend money and pay taxes. FDR did this to pull the economy back on track. The stimulus money was a start but not enough. Do we want to see people drawing unemployment checks for months on end during their productive years? Or do we want to use those skills to improve our region? Tea Party people – what say ye? How do we handle these long-term unemployed people who have skills going to waste? I’d rather see 100 percent employment and pay a little more in taxes. Sadly, many of the top echelon income folks don’t agree. Debbie Gathmann lives in Clarkston.
Cheating scandals stem from No Child Left Behind Act 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 CrossRoadsN ews 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.
L CA LO ODS! GO
AL ! LOC ICES RV SE
By Bob Miles
After listening to and reading various media, I have concluded that the cheating scandal in Georgia and the nation is a direct result of the federal government’s No Child Left Behind Act. It is common knowledge that 178 public school teachers have been accused of cheating to raise test scores on Georgia’s standardized test. I have always believed that this act was as stupid as passing a federal act declaring “No Poor People Will Exist in America.” I understand that the poor will always exist for many reasons – just as a few students will and should be left behind for reasons other than mental and physical health issues. I agree that some people will find a way to cheat at anything. However, in my opinion the overwhelming majority of local and national cheating scandals occurring in public schools stems primarily
“It appears that our local, state and national elected officials do not have the guts to pass legislation to hold the parents and students totally accountable with serious consequences for disorderly conduct.” Bob Miles
from the pressures of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Teachers who admitted to cheating said the requirement of No Child Left Behind placed enormous pressure to raise test scores. I agree with the teachers that the No Child Left Behind Act is the real culprit. What did the federal government expect to happen when it put such high stakes such as a school’s evaluation, federal funding, teacher compensation, promotions, highlevel recognition, academic awards and even retaining jobs ... based on No Child Left Behind test scores? It appears to me that it is most
Hearing set for rape suspect
convenient to point the finger at the lowest level of the academic chain (the teacher) for their misconduct. However, in my opinion we should seriously consider the No Child Left Behind Act as policy misconduct. I view this bad federal policy as the cause of the cheating scandals and the misbehavior of many superintendents at all levels, principals and teachers as the effects of an irrational federal policy. Finally, in my opinion, it is the parents, politicians and society at large who are responsible and who should be held accountable for the poor performance of these students.
3-D imaging to detect cancer
Too many parents send children to school who are unprepared to learn, undisciplined, disorderly, illmannered and disrespectful, and a general social misfit. Too many parents transfer the rearing of their children to the teachers. It appears that our local, state and national elected officials do not have the guts to pass legislation to hold the parents and students totally accountable with serious consequences for disorderly conduct, disrespect, bad manners and incomplete assignments. I do not think that politicians care. They just want to stay in office. In addition, too many black people of this society have become so screwed up in the head that we can only blame others as the cause of the poor black student performance in the majority of blackdominated public schools. It is not another group’s foot in our bottom, it is ours. Bob Miles lives in Decatur.
Lots to do at expo
John Russell Carver, accused of the brutal rape of a Stone Mountain church leader, will have his pretrial hearing on Aug. 8
New 3-D breast imaging technology promises to improve cancer detection and reduce false-positive results.
There will be something for everyone at the CrossRoadsNews 2011 Family & Backto-School Expo that takes place Aug. 13 at the Mall at Stonecrest.
Communities rally for anticrime Night Out A5
Playwright to honor arts lover
Youngest ballerinas share joy of dance B6
Residents across South DeKalb joined DeKalb police, firefighters and officials for the 28th annual National Night Out.
Playwright Calvin A. Ramsey will honor the late arts advocate Becky Blankenship at a performance of “The Green Book.”
GED classes for refugees offered A6
‘Obey the Stop Arm’ on buses
Refugees who need to learn English can attend GED prep classes at the Clarkston Community Center.
When school buses start rolling for the first day of school on Aug. 8, motorists will have to “Avoid Harm, Obey the Stop Arm.”
When the Daisy’s dancers pirouette in their white ballerina tutus with their hair adorned with yellow blooms, they are as cute as a button.
Healthy eating can be easy, and taste good too B8 Chef Asata Reid wants to blast some common myths about healthy eating.
index to advertisers
Circulation Audited By
Acts of Valor Salon.......................................A9 APD Solutions...............................................A3 Ashes to Ashes Pest Control Services...........A11 Auto 285.....................................................A10 Best Buy Co. Inc......................................Inserts CDC Federal Credit Union.............................A6 Cornerstone Leadership Academy................A9 Creolaise Catering, LLC................................A11 DeKalb Convention & Visitor’s Bureau..........A5 DeKalb County Council of PTAs..................A10 DeKalb Health Pharmacy..............................A7 DeKalb Technical College.............................A9 Gail Scotton Baylor, Attorney at Law...........A10 JCPenney Outlet Store..................................A6 Just Decks.....................................................A11 LBJ Realty....................................................A11
Le Chic........................................................A10 Lithonia Flea Mart........................................A11 Love Laser Services......................................A11 Malcolm Cunningham Auto Gallery........... A12 New Jerusalem Outreach Ministries............A10 Congressman Hank Johnson........................A3 Saint Philip AME Church...............................A9 Service 1st Auto Care....................................A6 Soul Discount Fabrics...................................A11 South DeKalb YMCA....................................A11 The $5 Barber Shop....................................A11 The Law Office of B.A. Thomas..................A10 The Samuel Group......................................A10 Theatre of the Stars......................................A8 Wings of Knowledge Tutoring, Inc..............A10
SECTION B American Professional Institute...................B11 Amerigroup Community Care.......................B6 Andre Cleveland State Farm Agent...............B6 Beulah Baptist Church..................................B4 Beulah Heights University........................... B10 Big Thinkers Science Exploration................ B10 Building Strong Families, Inc........................ B3 Camp Jewell House......................................B11 Career Technology at DeKalb Co. Schools....B8 Chick-fil-A.....................................................B8 DeKalb County Board of Health....................B4 DeKalb Community Development Dept. ......B5 DeKalb County Solicitor-General’s Office.... B12 DeKalb Technical College.............................B4 Georgia Military College...............................B6 Georgia Preventive Health............................B8
Greenforest McCalep Christian Acad. Ctr. .... B3 Head of the Class Academy..........................B8 KIDDS Dance Project, Inc..............................B8 MLC Counseling Services............................ B10 Neighbor to Family..................................... B10 New Beginnings Life Changing Network......B8 Omni Tech Institute....................................... B3 Optimal Health & Wellness Center............... B3 Peach State Health Plan................................ B7 Radiant Women’s Health.............................. B7 Smile Zone/GA Orthodontic Studio.............B11 Southern Smiles Family Denistry...................B4 Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia.........................B11 Sunsets Resorts of Jamaica...........................B9 Transamerica Life Insurance.........................B4 Tutor Lab......................................................B4
August 6, 2011
Residents chatted with elected officials, including Commissioner Larry Johnson and Judge Johnny Panos.
Communities rally for anti-crime Night Out By Carla Parker
Belvedere residents and neighborhoods across South DeKalb joined DeKalb police, firefighters and elected officials for the 28th Annual National Night Out on Aug. 2. The evening of cookouts, performances and games brought communities together to heighten awareness and strengthen participation in local anti-crime efforts. This year’s theme was “Focusing on Community Assets and Building a Legacy.” The Belvedere Civic Club, South Candler Neighborhood Advocate organization and Studio Steffanie, an entertainment and modeling agency, gathered at Shoal Creek II Park in Decatur to celebrate their 10th anniversary of National Night Out. Ann Brown, Belvedere Civic Club president, said this year’s event, which drew about 50 people, was about giving out information. “We have the DeKalb NAACP passing out voter registration forms and Healthy Belvedere Initiative giving out information on
About 50 people turned out for the National Night Out observance at Shoal Creek II Park in Decatur on Aug. 2 to get to know each other and law enforcement.
Carla Parker / CrossRoadsNews
health and wellness.” Residents chatted with elected officials, including Commissioner Larry Johnson and DeKalb State Court Judge Johnny Panos. Johnson praised the observance. “It’s all about coming together and working with one another and law enforcement to bring a stop
to crime,” he said. Belvedere resident Richard Miller said the Civic Club does a good job of informing the community of activities. More than 12,000 communities nationwide marked the observance, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.
Three detention officers arrested, two fired in probe Three detention officers from the DeKalb Sheriff ’s Office were arrested on July 26 after an ongoing internal investigation. Officers Nelson Seals, Jean Bruno and Debra Grier were taken into custody and charged in relation to a May 15 incident involving an unnecessary use of force toward an inmate, untruthfulness during an investigation and violation of oath of office. The inmate, whose name has been withheld, was brought into the DeKalb County Jail on a disorderly conduct charge after an incident at a Memorial Drive eatery. Spokesman Sgt. Adrion Bell said the in-
vestigation revealed that a verbal altercation occurred between Seals and the inmate over when the inmate could use the bathroom. The altercation turned physical, resulting in a misdemeanor simple battery charge and a violation of oath of office charge on Seals. The investigation also revealed that Bruno and Grier witnessed the incident and failed to stop it or properly report it to their supervisors, resulting in violation of oath of office charges. The three have been suspended without pay pending termination. Two other officers were fired. Detention Officer Emmett Kater was terminated for
violation of oath of office and Detention Officer Jean Silivus for fired for refusing to cooperate with sheriff ’s investigators. The incident was brought to the attention of the Sheriff ’s Office on July 22 when a letter was received from the inmate’s attorney outlining the allegations. Sheriff Thomas Brown expressed disappointment in the actions of his officers. “I will not tolerate abuse by any of my officers against any person that they are sworn to detain prior to or thereafter their day before a judge,” he said, adding that two other employees will face suspension time.
Free curbside recycling service Residents in single-family dwellings in unincorporated DeKalb County and the city of Lithonia can participate in free curbside recycling opportunities. Aluminum cans are picked up on the first household garbage collection day of the week, and newspapers are collected on the second household garbage collection day. Yard debris that has been properly prepared for hand collection will be picked up each week on designated yard debris collection day for single-family residences. To recycle mixed papers and commingled containers (plastic, glass and food containers), residents also can subscribe to the county recycling program for $30. For more information, visit www. co.dekalb.ga.us/publicwrks/sanitation/ san_Residential_Curbside_Recycle.html. DeKalb also has drop-off recycling locations. Mixed paper containers are located at all DeKalb County fire stations and many county public buildings. The green containers have a slide-through slot opening in front. Mixed papers that may be dropped off include newspapers, phone books, magazines, catalogs, office paper, cardboard, chipboard and junk mail. Paper items must pass through a 6-inch-by-4-foot slot opening to be recycled. Residents can break down cardboard boxes at home, throw away all packaging in the household garbage, and take the folded cardboard and other papers to the closest mixed paper container. The DeKalb Farmers Market also has a free recycling center, where residents can sort their own recyclables.
August 6, 2011
“We’re really filling a gap. This approach is a combination of advanced ESL and GED preparation.”
Reed to discuss transportation at chamber lunch
GED classes for refugees offered Refugees who need to learn English to continue schooling or to create new lives for themselves can attend GED prep classes at the Clarkston Community Center. The center, which bills itself as a bridge that connects the past to a new world, says Clarkston and the surrounding vicinity have an estimated 26,000 refugees from around the globe. Many arrive with little or no schooling while others are highly schooled in their own languages with degrees that are not recognized in the United States. For older teens and young adults, a GED is often the jumping-off place to educational attainment but their English skills are not quite up to the task of the very challenging GED. Bobby King, a former English as a Second Language teacher, has created a program to help refugees get the skills they need. “We’re really filling a gap,” King said. “This approach is a combination of advanced ESL and GED preparation. Attendees will either be able to enroll in an actual GED prep class or register to take the test upon completion.” Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The Clarkston Community Center is at 3701 College Ave. For more information, call 404-508-1050.
No street sweepers Now that the county had to cut $100 million from its budget, Rhinehart said street sweepers are not on anyone’s radar. “We are wrestling with how we keep up with parks, libraries and police services.” Residents have to complain about overgrown grass to get action. After a September 2010 CrossRoadsNews
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The commission adopted Plan 2040, a 30-year blueprint to sustainably accommodate future growth in the Atlanta region, consisting of a Regional Agenda, which outlines future development priorities, and the Regional Transportation Plan, which invests almost $61 billion in the region’s transportation network over 30 years (visit www.atl regional.com for more information). To register for the lunch, visit http://dcoc aug2011.eventbrite.com; member rates begin at $35 and the last day to R.S.V.P. is Aug. 11. General admission is $45. Villa Christina is at 4000 Summit Blvd. For more information, visit www.dekalbchamber.org.
Commissioners host road cleanups in their districts
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plan. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Reed was inaugurated as Atwill address the transportation lanta’s 59th mayor in January 2010. needs of the metro area at the He served in the Georgia General DeKalb Chamber of Commerce’s Assembly for 11 years. He is the First Monday Lunch on Aug. 15 chairman of the Transportation at Villa Christina in Atlanta. and Communications Committee Reed, the keynote speaker of the U.S. Conference of Mayors at the 11:30 a.m.-to-1:30 p.m. and chairman of the Regional program, voted against the $60.9 Kasim Reed Transit Committee of ARC. billion, 30-year transportation The First Monday Lunch topic is “The plan approved by the Atlanta Regional Commission on July 27, saying it didn’t Economic Impact of Transportation on the Atlanta Metro Region.” spend enough on mass transit. The region is expected to be home to 8.3 C.J. Bland, a citizen member representing DeKalb County, also voted against the million by the year 2040, according to ARC.
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article on the area’s deterioration, the county launched a Great DeKalb Clean Up, using volunteers and county workers to clear trash and mow medians and rights of way from Flat Shoals Parkway to Buford Highway. District 3 Commissioner Larry Johnson and District 7 Commissioner Stan Watson also have hosted cleanups along some of the main thoroughfares in their districts. On Aug. 27, Watson and state Reps. Michele Henson and Karla Drenner are cohosting a cleanup of Memorial Drive with the Memorial Drive Merchants Association. An Aug. 4 e-mail said litter and illegal signs plague the corridor. “Volunteers from community businesses and neighborhood groups are needed to help tackle the unsightly blight and rejuvenate the corridor.”
Watson said Thursday he is hosting a cleanup on Aug. 27 on Stephenson Road in Stone Mountain. He said he is doing his part to clean up the county and is working with state representatives to clean up state roads. “I am bothered by them, but I don’t have the equipment to clean up the curbs.” Watson, who has been in office for eight months, said there should have been a plan in place years ago to maintain the county. He said stricter enforcement is needed and that the judiciary must fine violators. When residents demand action, Turman said the administration and commissioners tell them they are waiting on the law department. “It’s the biggest crutch for them not doing anything. Meanwhile, the county is going backward.”
May says I-20 rail must be on list TRANSIT,
billion on July 7 at the Executive Committee’s request. That list recommended $100 million for the I-20 East Corridor highcapacity transit project from Central Atlanta to Candler Road; MARTA had requested $1 billion. Another MARTA project involving a heavy rail line extension from Indian Creek station to Wesley Chapel Road near I-20 was recommended for $522.5 million on the July 7 list. During an Aug. 2 briefing, DeKalb’s deputy chief operating officer, Ted Rhinehart, told the county’s Planning, Economic Development and Public Works Committee that there was a strong consensus for the Clifton Corridor rail project, MARTA’s state of good repair project, the Atlanta Beltline project and a light rail project connecting
Midtown to Cumberland Mall. He also predicted that the I-20 East project would be left off the new list. “If I-20 rail is not on the [final] list, I will not support the referendum,” District 5 Commissioner Lee May said. “If it is included, the referendum will pass; if not, it will not pass.” May said support for the I-20 project was non-negotiable for him. Johnny Dunning, MARTA’s senior director of planning, told the committee MARTA wants $1 billion for MARTA state of good repair and enhancement projects. He said the earlier recommendation for $700 million was “woefully inadequate to address the SGR needs alone.” MARTA originally asked for $2.6 billion for these projects ($1.9 billion for SGR and $762 million for system enhancements).
ARC projects of interest to South DeKalb Other roadway projects under consideration that could benefit South DeKalb include: n I-285 East at I-20 East interchange improvement, $94.6 million n College Avenue from Adair Street to North Clarendon Avenue corridor improvements, $8.3 million n Columbia Drive from College Avenue to I-20 East corridor improvements, $1.3 million n Covington Highway from I-285 East to Turner Hill Road corridor improvements, $76.6 million n Glenwood Road from Candler Road to Covington Highway corridor improvements, $14.8 million n Hayden Quarry Road/Sigman Road extension from Turner Hill Road to I-20 East, new alignment, to connect Rockdale County to Stonecrest mall, $26.9 million n North Indian Creek Drive from Memorial Drive to Montreal Road corridor improvements, $6.5 million n Panola Road from Snapfinger Road to Redan Road, widening and corridor improvements, $70.4 million n Rainbow Drive from Candler Road to Wesley Chapel Road corridor improvements, $11 million n Multiple resurfacing projects in DeKalb, $15.2 million n Rockbridge Road from Memorial Drive to Rock Chapel Road corridor improvements, $21.9 million n Multiple pedestrian projects in DeKalb, $16.4 million n I-20 East at Panola Road intersection improvements, $21.2 million n I-285 South at Bouldercrest Road interchange improvements, $55 million
August 6, 2011
“Three-D mammography provides better visualization, easier and earlier detection, and fewer callbacks,” Dr. Suzanne Thigpen said.
Photo contest promotes eye health
Dr. Suzanne Thigpen, a breast imager and assistant professor of radiology at Georgia Health Services University in Augusta, compares a traditional flat breast image with a mammogram taken using new 3-D tomosynthesis technology.
3-D imaging to detect cancer New 3-D breast imaging technology promises to improve cancer detection and reduce false-positive results, Georgia Health Sciences University reported as it became the first health system in the state – and one of only a few in the nation – to screen patients using 3-D breast tomosynthesis. The Augusta-based health system announced acquisition of the new technology, also known as 3-D mammography, in a July 25 statement. Dr. Suzanne Thigpen, a breast imager and assistant professor of radiology at GHSU, said 3-D mammography provides a more detailed image of breast tissue. “As a result, we’re able to pinpoint the size, shape and exact location of a lump or tumor,” Thigpen said. “The image is not flattened like a standard mammogram. “Three-D mammography provides better visualization, easier and earlier detection, and fewer callbacks, which translates into less anxiety for our patients.” Breast tomosynthesis, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in February, improves images by digitally combining multiple X-rays to reduce distortion created by tissue overlap or density. Conventional 2-D mammography captures the breast in one exposure, resulting in a flat picture in which features can be hidden. Tomosynthesis takes images from multiple angles and uses computer processing to build
these slices into a 3-D image that a radiologist can manipulate – it’s like looking into a ball versus looking at a circle. Tomosynthesis also screens the entire breast, not just the problem area. This is significant because 15 percent of women with a cancer in a breast also have another cancer in the same or other breast. Women also have reported a more comfortable screening process with 3-D. Thigpen said 3-D imaging is likely to become the new gold standard in mammography. “The quality of images with 2-D digital systems is excellent, but the ability to peel away layers with tomosynthesis is a tremendous advance in diagnostics,” she said. Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Statistics show that one in eight women will develop breast cancer. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 97 percent. Georgia Health Sciences University, a unit of the University System of Georgia, includes the colleges of Allied Health Sciences, Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies and Nursing as well as the college of medicine, Medical College of Georgia, plus Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center and Georgia Health Sciences Children’s Medical Center. For more information, visit www.geor giahealth.edu or call 706-721-9729.
Nicotine patch free to uninsured Uninsured DeKalb residents 18 and older can receive free nicotine patches or gum to help them quit using tobacco products. The DeKalb Board of Health now offers free nicotine replacement therapy support administered through the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line at 1-877-270-STOP to Medicaid and uninsured adult callers living in DeKalb to help them quit smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco. Two out of every five deaths in DeKalb are tobacco-related, the board says. Regardless of insurance status, the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line provides free and
confidential, evidence-based professional counseling tailored for tobacco users ages 13 and older, including pregnant women. Georgia adults who use tobacco also are encouraged to speak to their physician, pharmacist or nurse about safe and effective treatment options to help them quit. Among current adult smokers in the United States, about 70 percent report that they want to quit completely and have attempted to quit, the Board of Health says. For more information about other smoke-free environment efforts, visit www .dekalbhealth.net/DPPW/index.html.
Parent Talk a resource for newbies Parent Talk, offered through Catholic Charities Atlanta, is a resource for new and prospective parents who need pregnancy and parenting education. It provides information on how to prepare for a new baby and offers extra support for parents of infants 6 months old or younger. Parent Talk aims to help new parents provide a healthy and secure environment in which to raise their children.
Catholic Charities Atlanta’s Pregnancy, Parenting & Adoption Program also offers pregnancy counseling. Professional counseling assists with decision-making, problem solving and goal setting for expectant parents in making a positive plan for their unborn child (parenting, adoption or kinship care). Services are free of charge without obligation, regardless of the plan the client chooses. For more information, call 404-885-7274 or 770-790-3119 (English/Spanish).
Parents of children younger than 17 years old can enter a photo of their offspring in Prevent Blindness America’s Most Beautiful Eyes Contest for the chance to win a $25,000 scholarship and become the face of the Star Pupils program in 2012. The contest is open to children in Georgia and across the United States. Nominations are ac- The top prize in Prevent Blindness America’s Most Beautiful Eyes cepted until Aug. 31, Contest is a $25,000 scholarship. and parents can submit a photo to www.facebook.com/prevent sunglasses for kids plus a Kids’ Fisher Space blindness. Pen. The contest supports the Star Pupils Celebrity judges, including legendary program, Prevent Blindness Georgia and broadcaster Larry King, Baltimore Orioles Prevent Blindness America’s signature vi- first baseman Derrek Lee, and former astrosion and education platform. naut Walter Cunningham, will then select Jenny Pomeroy, Prevent Blindness three finalists and the contest winner. Georgia’s CEO, said it is a fun, positive way The three finalists and their families to make a big difference in a child’s life. will get a weekend in Chicago to attend the “We continually stress the role that Prevent Blindness America Annual Awards vision plays in a child’s learning and now, Banquet on Nov. 18, where the overall winnot only are we bringing this awareness to ner will be announced. parents, we can also help parents support The second-prize winner will get a $4,000 their child’s education with the Star Pupils scholarship, and the third-place winner will scholarship,” she said. receive a $2,000 scholarship. For the month of September, the pubPrevent Blindness says millions of chillic can place online votes for their choice of dren with vision problems across the country the child with the most beautiful eyes. don’t have access to vision care or may not reThe first 50 entries will receive a free alize they have a problem, which can impact pair of RKS sunglasses. Each state will their education and lead to problems later in have one winner, where allowed, who will life. Its Star Pupils program seeks to help 5 advance to the second round of voting. million kids with preventive vision care. All state winners will receive a free pair For more contest information, visit face of Eagle Eyes Optics Astro and Rocketeer book.com/preventblindness.
Mobile app locates KP facilities Patients can now find the questions – where are the Kaiser location of health care facilities Permanente locations close to me, through Kaiser Permanente of how can I contact and get to them, Georgia’s first mobile application and what departments and services – KP Locator. can I access there? The app, available at no The locator uses Google maps, charge through the iPhone App and users can input a city name or Store, is just one element of ZIP code to find KP facilities. Kaiser Permanente’s growing Phil Fasano Phil Fasano, KP’s executive vice mobile strategy, which includes president and chief information the optimization of My Health Manager, officer, said that mobile technology offers the integrated personal health record on more than just convenience. kp.org, for mobile devices later this year. “Mobile solutions also address the rising In a July 26 statement, the health care costs of health care by giving members access provider said its Facility Directory on to routine information and services without kp.org is one of top five online tools with staff intervention, making interactions more nearly 6 million visits in 2010. convenient, personal and effective,” he said. KP Locator combines the power of the Kaiser Permanente is Georgia’s largest directory and the iPhone’s GPS capabilities not-for-profit health plan, serving more than to make searching for KP facilities fast and 240,000 members. For more information, easy. It answers three of the most common visit www.kp.org.
“The Green Book” revisits the Jim Crow days of mid-20th century America when travel was dangerous for African-Americans.
Playwright to honor arts lover Atlanta-based playwright and author Calvin A. Ramsey will honor the late DeKalb County arts advocate Becky Blankenship at a performance of “The Green Book,” which opens Aug. 17. The play, which will be staged at the Atlanta Calvin Ramsey Theatrical Outfit’s Balzer Theater at Herren’s, revisits the Jim Crow days of mid-20th century America when travel conditions were dangerous for African-Americans. Ramsey, a South DeKalb resident, will honor Blankenship during the run. Blankenship, who died in January 2010 at age 70, was an avid DeKalb arts champion and Red Hat Society matron. The drama, published in 2005, references a guide called The Negro Motorist Green Book that let black tourists know where it was safe to dine and stay overnight – the “tourist homes” or private residences made available by African-American homeowners. Ramsey held readings of the play at the historic DeKalb Courthouse in 2005. The guidebook, published from 1936 to 1964, featured lists of hotels, boarding houses, restaurants, beauty shops, barbershops, gas stations and other services that were hospitable to blacks traveling through the Jim Crow South and beyond. The guide was published during the decades before provisions of the Civil Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination in public
August 6, 2011
accommodations. It was the idea of publisher Victor H. Green, who wanted to save black travelers from “as many difficulties and embarrassments as possible.” The play is set in 1953 in Jefferson City, Mo., Becky Blankenship where a black military officer, his wife and a Jewish Holocaust survivor all spend the night only hours before W.E.B. Du Bois is scheduled to deliver a speech in town. Ramsey, recognized by the African American Playwrights’ Exchange as AAPEX’s New Voice of 2011, parlayed his research on The Negro Motorist Green Book into successes on two fronts – his play and an award-winning children’s book, “Ruth and the Green Book,” which received a bronze medal in the Children’s Picture Book category of the ForeWord 2010 Book of the Year Awards. Ramsey said the book would teach all children about the Jim Crow period in American history. “It really was a struggle for almost 100 years from Reconstruction to some say 1970,” Ramsey told CrossRoadsNews in 2008 when he was conducting interviews for the book. The Balzer Theater at Herren’s is at 84 Luckie St. N.W. in Atlanta, next to the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University. For ticket prices and more information, visit http://theatricaloutfit.org or call 678528-1500 or 404-577-5257.
Nigeria’s Ambassador Abdu Zango, head of economic affairs (center), poses with Marie Dunovant, president and board chair of Sydmar Golf Inc. (second from right), and Junior Invitational/Sydni Foundation supporters.
Sugar Creek hosts dignitaries DeKalb’s Sugar Creek Golf Course played host last week to a number of Nigerian dignitaries in Atlanta to discuss educational scholarship initiatives at the Zumunta Convention. Ambassador Abdu Zango, head of economic affairs; three of Nigeria’s Northern governors; and the wife of Vice President Namadi Sambo, Hajiya Amina Sambo, played golf and toured Sugar Creek Golf
Course as part of the Sugar Creek Annual Junior Golf Invitational. While at the golf course, they posed for photos with Marie Dunovant, Sydmar Golf Inc.’s president and operator of Sugar Creek Golf Course. The dignitaries were in town for the 18th international convention and 20th anniversary of the Northern Collaboration Frontier known as Zumunta.
Milkshake recipe may fetch prize Creative cooks and ice cream lovers can concoct tasty milkshake recipes for a chance at winning a $10,000 top prize in Mayfield Dairy’s “Below Zero Hero” contest. Contestants who submit their original creations to BelowZeroHero.com by Aug. 15 also have a chance of winning a weekly Hamilton Beach blender giveaway. Each recipe submitted increases chances of winning the grand prize. Judges will narrow the choices to 10 recipes based on taste, originality and overall appeal, and participants can recruit friends and family to vote between Aug. 25 and Sept. 1. The recipe with the most votes wins the $10,000 prize, second place wins $3,000,
and third place wins $1,000. If your recipe doesn’t make the top 10, you still have a chance to win a prize. For every vote you cast, your name is entered into a drawing for $1,000. Scottie Mayfield, president of Mayfield Dairy, urged ice cream lovers to get creative and share the recipes for their milkshakes. “The only thing more fun than creating a delicious, new milkshake is sharing it with others,” Mayfield said. Founded in 1910, Mayfield Dairy serves nine Southeastern states. It offers tours of its Athens, Tenn., and Braselton, Ga., plants. For more information, visit www.mayfield dairy.com. For more information or to enter a milkshake recipe, visit BelowZeroHero.com.
August 6, 2011
A conviction for unlawful passing of a school bus carries six driver’s license points for all motorists.
SWD High fest features food, fun Basketball games, music and food are just some of the activities for Southwest DeKalb High School’s annual “Unity in the Community” event on Aug. 13. The 10 a.m.-to-2 p.m. event on the campus of the Decatur school includes a three-on-three basketball game, a dunk machine for students to dunk their favorite teacher, live music, games and
more. There also will be free hot dogs and hamburgers. The Southwest DeKalb Panthers will serve fried fish, and the ROTC will be washing cars. The event also will feature a health fair with blood pressure checks. Students can get physicals for $10 from 8 a.m. to noon. The school is at 2863 Kelley Chapel Road.
Acting camp play targets bullying
“Avoid Harm, Obey the Stop Arm” is a timely reminder to motorists as school buses return to DeKalb County’s roadways for the new school year that begins on Aug. 8.
‘Obey the Stop Arm’ on buses load or unload children, the bus driver will activate flashing yellow lights. When other motorists see these lights, all vehicles approaching the bus should slow down and be prepared to stop. n Pay close attention to children who may be walking along the road, crossing the road or waiting alongside it. n Once stopped, motorists should remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or deactivates its warning signal and all passengers have cleared the roadway. n Motorists should be prepared to react to unexpected movements of students waiting for their bus. Children don’t always follow standard pedestrian safety rules. n Resist distractions in school zones and near bus stops. n When approaching railroad tracks behind a school bus, wait until the bus is completely across the tracks and there’s room on the other side for another vehicle to safely clear the tracks before proceeding. DDS Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier said a conviction for unlawful passing of a school bus carries six driver’s license points for all motorists. “Additionally, drivers under age 21 are subject to a license suspension of at least six months if found guilty of any traffic offense that incurs four or more points.” For more information on traffic laws, visit the Georgia Department of Driver Services at www.dds.ga.gov to access the 2009 Driver’s Manual. For more information on school bus safety, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov or the National Association for Pupil Transportation at www.napt.org.
When school buses start rolling at 5 a.m. in DeKalb County for the first day of school on Aug. 8, motorists will have to “Avoid Harm, Obey the Stop Arm.” The Georgia Department of Driver Services and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety are reminding drivers what to do when a school bus activates its swing-arm stop sign and red flashing lights: “Obey the Stop Arm.” GOHS Director Bob Dallas said it is important that motorists obey the law and stop for school buses. “Every motorist needs to realize that no matter how late we’re running or how much we want to grab that cup of coffee on the way to work, we must obey the law and stop for school buses,” Dallas said. “Failing to stop can result in a preventable tragedy.” DDS and GOHS offer these safety tips for the motoring public to prepare for back-toschool traffic: n If there’s a median between the traffic traveling in opposite directions, only vehicles traveling in the same direction as the school bus are required to stop when the bus stops. n If no median is present between traffic lanes heading in opposite directions, drivers on both sides of the roadway must stop when a school bus activates its swing-arm stop sign and red flashing lights to load or unload passengers. n Passing is prohibited on either side of a school bus during passenger pickup or drop-off. n When a school bus prepares to stop to
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Students of the Salem Bible Church Summer Youth Acting Camp will share their experiences with bullying and perform a play about bullying on Aug. 13 at the church in Lithonia. The play, “IMPACT: Stop the Bullying,” tells the story of two young men who want to be dancers. They are teased and taunted by other students because of that desire.
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Family & Back-to-School Expo August 13, 2011 â€˘ Noon-5 p.m. â€˘ Lower Level, Mall at Stonecrest August 6, 2011
New School Year, New Beginning
Lots to do at expo Adults and children will be entertained, inspired and challenged at the CrossRoadsNews 2011 Family & Back-to-School Expo at the Mall at Stonecrest. Twenty-six family-friendly exhibitors will offer information for expo visitors, who also will have the opportunity to enter to win a four-day, three-night stay in beautiful St. Lucia.
August 6, 2011
“More than 40 exhibitors will showcase theirgoods and services to help families and their students have a great school year.”
Dozens of exhibitors and lots of entertainment for expo “East Metro Atlanta’s Weekly Newspaper” 2346 Candler Road Decatur, GA 30032 404-284-1888 www.crossroadsnews.com email@example.com
The 2011 Family & Back-toSchool Expo Special Section is a publication of CrossRoadsNews Inc. Editor / Publisher Jennifer Parker Graphics Editor Curtis Parker Reporters Jennifer Ffrench Parker Carla Parker Donna Lewis Sales Patricia Walhour Alisson White © 2011 CrossRoadsNews, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reprinted without written permission of the publisher.
Circulation Audit by
There will be something for everyone at the CrossRoadsNews 2011 Family & Back-to-School Expo that takes place Aug. 13 at the Mall at Stonecrest. Parents and their kids will find lots of fun things to do, performances, and information and resources to help them celebrate the start of the new school year. More than 40 exhibitors will showcase their goods and services to help families and their students have a great school year. Adult and child performers will strut their stuff on stage. DeKalb Solicitor-General Sherry Boston, who is partnering with CrossRoadsNews on this year’s expo, will speak to parents about resources to help their kids have perfect attendance. Bay Beach Resort on the Caribbean Adults will also have the oppor- island of St. Lucia. tunity to enter a drawing for a trip In this special section, we tell for two to the beautiful Coconut about the singers and dancers who
Families take in one of the performances at 2010 Family and Back to School Expo. This year’s lineup includes child and adult performers.
The Mall at Stonecrest is at will showcase their talents on the Main Stage in front of Sears on the I-20 and Turner Hill Road in mall’s lower level. The expo takes Lithonia. For more information, call 404-284-1888. place from noon to 5 p.m.
Three organizations offering blood pressure screenings In addition to entertainment, performances and lots of useful information, expo-goers at the Aug. 13 Family and Back-to-School Expo will have access to health screenings and safety information. The organizations Compassionate Nurses Inc., Amerigroup Community Care and Peach State Health Plans will be offering free blood pressure checks at their tables. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, which disproportionately affects African-Americans, is called “the silent killer” because about a third of the people with it do not know they have it.
Blood pressure should be measured by a knowledgeable person and while you are relaxed and seated.
Because high blood pressure has no symptoms, it’s important to have blood pressure measured by a nurse, physician or another knowledgeable person (including yourself). High blood pressure is easy to diagnose. You have hypertension if your blood pressure is more than 140/90. To screen for it, you must be in a relaxed state, preferably in a sitting position.Allow half an hour to have passed since your last cup of tea, exercise or stressful situation. Compassionate Nurses will also offer information on disaster preparedness.
2011 Family & Back-to-School Expo Grand Prize Entry Form Visit at least 20 of these exhibitors* at the Mall at Stonecrest on Aug. 13 and enter to win a 4-day, 3-night stay at the beautiful, all-inclusive Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa on the tropical island of St. Lucia.
_____ American Professional Institute
_____ DeKalb County Board of Health
_____ New Beginnings Life Changing Network
_____ Amerigroup Community Care
_____ DeKalb County Solicitor-General
_____ Omni Tech Institute
_____ Andre Cleveland/State Farm Insurance
_____ DeKalb Technical College
_____ Optimal Health Chiropractic Wellness Center
_____ Beulah Heights University
_____ Georgia Military College
_____ Peach State Health Plans
_____ Beulah Missionary Baptist Church
_____ Georgia Preventive Health
_____ Quality Care for Children
_____ Big Thinkers Science Exploration
_____ Greenforest McCalep Academic Center
_____ Radiant Women’s Health
_____ Building Strong Families Inc.
_____ Head of the Class
_____ Smile Zone/Georgia Orthodontic Studio
_____ Camp Jewell House
_____ Kidds Dance Project
_____ Southern Smiles
_____ Career Technology at DeKalb County Schools _____ La Petite Academy
_____ Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia Orchestra
_____ Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
_____ Lutheran Services of GA
_____ Sunset Resorts
_____ Compassionate Nurses, Inc.
_____ Maximus-GA Families
_____ The Soul Project
_____ C.O.O.L School.
_____ MLC Counseling Services
_____ Transamerica Life Insurance
_____ CrossRoadsNews Inc.
_____ Nappy Hair Shop
_____ Tutor Lab
_____ DeKalb Community Development
_____ Neighbor to Family
Name ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________City _______________________________________ St: ______ Zip: ___________ Email ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Home phone: _________________________________________________ Cell phone: ____________________________________________________ *Exhibitors must write their validation code on your entry form. Your name, address and a telephone number are required to win. Employees and immediate family members of CrossRoadsNews and the Mall at Stonecrest not eligible for awards. Must be 18 years or older to win. Must be present at the drawing to win.
August 6, 2011
2011 Family & Back-to-School Expo Aug. 13, 2011 - Noon to 5 p.m. • The Main Stage in front of Sears Lower Level, The Mall at Stonecrest 11:30 Noon
Musical Prelude Expo Kick Off
Life Chef Asata Reid
12: 15 p.m. FOI Men’s Drill Team
FOI Men’s Drill Team
DeKalb Solicitor-General Sherry Boston
The Beulah Boys 2:45 p.m.
KIDDS Dance Project, Daisy’s Solicitor-General Sherry Boston
1: 15 p.m.
The SNAFC Tunnel Crew Line Dancers
Greta Prince, Essence R&B Star Search WInner
Top Knotch Dance Krew & Moms
Conservatory of Dance
Jabias ‘Da Kidd’
SNAFC Tunnel Crew Line Dancers
The Vanguard Women’s Drill Team 5 p.m.
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Conservatory of Dance
August 6, 2011
Unexcused absences can include oversleeping, not feeling like going to school or staying home to work or baby-sit.
Solicitor-Generalâ€™s office works with school on attendance issues By Sherry Boston
DeKalb County children should have every opportunity possible to learn and grow so they can build a better future for themselves and, in taking a larger view, build a better future for our county and state. After all, education is powerful. It can energize, enlighten and, quite simply, lead to better jobs. Thatâ€™s why education is one of my four key goals for DeKalb County: Keep our kids in school and out of trouble; keep our community safe; improve our quality of life; and protect the vulnerable. State law in Georgia requires that all children between the ages of 6 and 16 attend school. Any parent or guardian found to be violating the compulsory attendance law shall be guilty of educational neglect, a misdemeanor offense, and can face stiff penalties for each day that a child has more than five unexcused absences, according to the law. These unexcused absences can include oversleeping, not feeling like going to school, staying home to work or baby-sit, or keeping a lonely parent company. Individuals convicted of violating the state law can be fined, sentenced to 30 days in jail, and ordered to perform community service. Each year, the DeKalb County School System refers roughly 700 cases of alleged educational neglect to the Solicitor-Generalâ€™s Office. Some children have missed more than 40 days of school in just a six-month time period. In talking with families, the SolicitorGeneralâ€™s Office has found that sometimes parents keep kids home from school because they donâ€™t realize that there are resources available to help solve problems a child may be having â€“ whether it is due to a learning disability, bullying, or transportation issues caused by homelessness.
Why education matters Nearly one-half of all high school dropouts ages 16-24 are unemployed. High school dropouts earn an average of $270,000 less than graduates over the course of their lives. For Georgians, this represents a $7.3 billion loss in earning potential. Many social issues can be linked to educational neglect: Dropouts are six times more likely to be unwed parents and they are 7.5 times more likely to be dependent on welfare. Truancy is the No. 1 predictor among boys and the No. 2 predictor among girls for future criminal activity. In Georgia, 88 percent of prison inmates are high school dropouts. And 90 percent of the inmates in the DeKalb County Jail never obtained their high school diploma. Solicitor-General Sherry Boston says the DeKalb County School System refers about 700 cases of alleged educational neglect to her office each year.
These absences are preventable because the schools can provide resources to help parents and guardians cope with these problems. Putting parents in jail is the last resort. The Office of the Solicitor-General works with a team of school administrators and education experts to provide support and resolve attendance issues before they rise to the level of prosecution of parents or guardians.
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Tips to help your child have a good school year Send your child to school every day school is open â€“ except when she or he is sick. Wake your child up early enough so she or he can get to school on time, even if that means 15 or 30 minutes earlier than she or he used to wake up. Encourage your child to eat a good breakfast every morning â€“ try not to let him or her skip breakfast. Pack healthy snacks and lunches that will maintain their energy and help with learning. Talk with your child about their school day. Ask what was the best and worst part of the day. See if your child needs help with his or her homework and make sure itâ€™s completed each night. School officials can be great problem solvers. Contact your school if you think your child has a learning disability, is being bullied, has transportation or attendance issues due to homelessness, or needs other support. Create a study routine for your child. A good rule of thumb is to have your child do his or her homework right when she or he gets home from school. Have your child prepare for school each night: Pick out clothes or uniforms, socks and shoes; place homework assignments in book bags; etc. Be sure your child gets a good nightâ€™s sleep.
We offer parents and guardians whose children are chronically absent an opportunity to complete a diversion program called the Attendance Review Team, or ART, which requires parents and guardians to sign a contract agreeing that their child will have no unexcused absences and that they will meet with the childâ€™s teacher, counselor or social worker at least once a month for a specific result in criminal prosecution. Sherry Boston is the DeKalb County period of time. Failure to complete these conditions may solicitor-general.
Itâ€™s Back To School Time!
Did you know that... UĂŠ-ĂŒĂ•`iÂ˜ĂŒĂƒĂŠV>Â˜ĂŠÂ?ÂœĂƒiĂŠ>ĂƒĂŠÂ“Ă•VÂ…ĂŠ>ĂƒĂŠĂ“ĂŠÂŁĂ‰Ă“ĂŠÂ“ÂœÂ˜ĂŒÂ…ĂƒĂŠÂœvĂŠ Â?i>Ă€Â˜ÂˆÂ˜}ĂŠÂœĂ›iĂ€ĂŠĂŒÂ…iĂŠĂƒĂ•Â“Â“iĂ€Â° UĂŠ/i>VÂ…iĂ€ĂƒĂŠÂ“>ĂžĂŠĂƒÂŤiÂ˜`ĂŠĂŒÂ…iĂŠwĂ€ĂƒĂŒĂŠĂŽĂ¤ĂŠ`>ĂžĂƒĂŠÂœĂ€ĂŠÂ“ÂœĂ€iĂŠÂœvĂŠ ĂŒÂ…iĂŠ>V>`iÂ“ÂˆVĂŠĂži>Ă€]ĂŠÂ?Ă•ĂƒĂŒĂŠV>ĂŒVÂ…ÂˆÂ˜}ĂŠĂƒĂŒĂ•`iÂ˜ĂŒĂƒĂŠĂ•ÂŤĂŠLivÂœĂ€iĂŠLiÂˆÂ˜}ĂŠ>LÂ?iĂŠĂŒÂœĂŠĂŒi>VÂ…ĂŠÂ˜iĂœĂŠVÂœÂ˜ViÂŤĂŒĂƒĂŠ>Â˜`ĂŠĂƒÂŽÂˆÂ?Â?ĂƒÂ° The Tutor Labâ€™s Unique Tutoring Approach UĂŠ>ÂŽiĂƒĂŠi>Ă€Â˜ÂˆÂ˜}ĂŠ >ĂƒÂˆiĂ€ UĂŠ iĂ›iÂ?ÂœÂŤĂƒĂŠĂƒÂ“>Ă€ĂŒĂŠĂƒĂŒĂ•`ĂžĂŠÂŤĂ€>VĂŒÂˆViĂƒ UĂŠÂ“ÂŤĂ€ÂœĂ›iĂƒĂŠĂƒĂŒĂ•`iÂ˜ĂŒĂŠ}Ă€>`iĂƒĂŠ>Â˜`ĂŠ ĂŠĂŠĂŠLĂ•ÂˆÂ?`ĂƒĂŠVÂœÂ˜w`iÂ˜Vi
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A Great Learning Experience
August 6, 2011
August 6, 2011
“They are like little sponges. We teach them a dance move and they nail it. It’s like Follow the Leader for them.”
Rapper hooks with clean look
Youngest ballerinas share joy o
By Donna Williams Lewis
By Carla Parker
From Atlanta to the U.K., Conyers-based rapper E-Hoody is creating waves. The 23-year-old performer, whose name is Kemuel Elisha Valier Crossty, believes in rapping with a clean image. He dresses in tailored suits and raps to lyrics designed to make people happy and demonstrate that you can be cool and articulate at the same time. “Our whole purpose right now is to inspire young kids,” E-Hoody says his whole purpose is to inspire young said E-Hoody, who is the co- people. He will perform at 4 p.m. on Aug. 13 on the Main founder and CEO of Street Stage in front of Sears during the expo at the Mall at Prophets Entertainment Corp. Stonecrest. “I don’t sag my pants. There’s no need for Where to find E-Hoody me to do that.” His first single, “New Money,” offered a n Facebook: Elisha E-Hoody Crossty new take on the old saying, “You look like and on fan pages under E-Hoody. new money.” Tattoos, lots of jewelry and n Four free mixtapes can be found on degradation of women are also not part of datpiff.com. his personal program. n Youtube.com/ehoodytv In his music video on YouTube, youtube .com/ehoodytv, he sports a suit, a belt and a n On Twitter: E_HOODY n www.e-hoody.com close haircut. E-Hoody released his first album, “New York Ambassador,” in March 2010, and so to Atlanta to build his music career and is far it has sold more than 1,500 copies. His pursuing an associate’s degree at Georgia new single, “I’m Faded,” is now out and has Perimeter College. been played locally at Sutra Lounge, Secrets He credits his mother, Marilyn SoloLounge, Chit Chat Lounge, Kamals 21 and mon; brother Kadeem Johnson; and sister M Bar. Maya Johnson for supporting him. It is among the songs he plans to perform And he gives special shout-outs to his on Aug. 13 at 4 p.m. on the Main Stage in producer, Knox; to Top Dollaz, the second front of Sears at the CrossRoadsNews 2011 artist on the Street Prophets label; to Jae Family & Back-to-School Expo on the lower Dada, who produced 11 beats on the “New level of the Mall at Stonecrest. York Ambassador” album; and to Paridox, Raised in Laurelton, N.Y., E-Hoody the mentor who helped him learn to bestarted rapping at about age 14. He moved come a businessman.
When the Daisy’s dancers pirouette in their white ballerina tutus with their hair adorned with yellow blooms, they are as cute as a button. Watching them perform, it is hard for anyone to have a frown on their faces. On Aug. 13, faces will be covered in smiles again when they take the Main Stage at the CrossRoadsNews 2011 Family and Back-to-School Expo at the Mall at Stonecrest. The pint-size ballerinas – 2-year-old Kennedy Conner, Natalie Green and Kamryn Williams and 3-year-old Imani Colbert, Ja’Rai Flynn, Peyton Stroud, Mackenzie Trezvant and Ryann Utley – will perform at 1 p.m. from the Main Stage in front of Sears on the mall’s lower level. Pa t Ma r t i n , KIDDS Dance Project’s executive director, said the dancers have gotten younger since audiences saw them at last year’s Family and Back-toSchool Expo. Then Pat Martin they were 4- to 6-year-olds. This year they are 2- and 3-year-olds. “After we performed last year, we had a lot of requests from parents with 2-year-olds,” she said. Martin said the younger Daisy’s are a joy to teach. “They are like little sponges. We teach them a dance move and they nail it,” she said. “It’s like Follow the Leader for them.” Martin started the Lithonia-based nonprofit KIDDS – which stands for Kids Influenced by Self-Discipline,
This year’s crop of Daisy’s dancers is even younger. The 2- an will perform at 1 p.m. on Aug. 13 at the expo at Stonecrest i
Self-Determination and Positive SelfImage – Dance Project 16 years ago as a community outreach program that caters to young people ages 2 to 22. It uses the art of dance to promote self-esteem and discourage substance abuse and violence. In June 2010, KIDDS Dance Project won a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Grant that helped it open its Center for Youth Development and Performing Arts in Lithonia. The group garnered national attention when a photograph of the
Daisy’s made t Post slideshow with other win Grant. The Daisy Project’s other formed at the R in Atlanta and Performing Ar more informat ceproject.com. The Mall at Turner Hill Ro
8-year-old Glitter Gurl boasts a big, de By Carla Parker
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“Thank You for Coming Into the Marvelous Light”
At 6 years old, Aniya Crumpton was walking around her Decatur home singing when her mother, Dania Robinson, noticed how good she sounded. “She has a deep voice for a little girl,” her mom said. Soon after, Aniya told her mom that she wanted to be on television, and Robinson, who is founder of Ki’Te Kids Entertainment, got the ball rolling and Glitter Gurl was born. At age 6, Aniya began singing and rapping educational, motivational and fun songs. She has performed at festivals and camps, and this past May, she was onstage at the 2011 Auburn Avenue Festival. Aniya, now 8 and a rising thirdgrader at Rowland Elementary School in Stone Mountain, will show off her big voice at the CrossRoadsNews 2011 Family and Back-to-School Expo on Aug. 13 at the Mall at Stonecrest. She will be on the Main Stage in front of Sears on the mall’s lower level at 3:45
p.m. Her latest song, “ABC,” tells kids how important it is to go to school to learn and also how to love themselves. Robinson said her daughter has a passion for old school and gospel songs. “She loves singing Frankie Beverly and Maze’s songs,” Robinson said. Robinson said Aniya chose the
name Glitter G “We were ju and Glitter Gu with her,” Robi When Aniya ing with her eig working hard i roll student. For more Gurl, visit www
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August 6, 2011
“We are showing that you don’t have to give up because you are up in age. Just get up and move.”
of dance Fame spreads for dapper, high-steppin’ Beulah Boys
By Jennifer Ffrench Parker
Ffrench Parker / CrossRoadsNews
nd 3-year-old ballerinas in Lithonia.
the cover of a Huffington w this past May along nners of the Pepsi Refresh
y’s and KIDDS Dance r dance groups have perRialto Center for the Arts d the Porter Sanford III rts Center in Decatur. For tion, visit www.kiddsdan. t Stonecrest is at I-20 and oad in Lithonia.
eep voice Aniya Crumpton, whose latest song is “ABC,” has a passion for old school and gospel songs. The rising Rowland thirdgrader performs at 3:45 p.m. on Aug. 13 at the expo.
Gurl. ust coming up with names url came up and it stuck inson said. a isn’t onstage, she is playght brothers and sisters or in school. She is an honor
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Eighteen months ago, the founding members of the Beulah Boys were just some retired men in search of exercise to keep their aging bodies supple. Now they are celebrated performers, in demand at senior centers and special events across metro Atlanta and with invitations to perform in cities as far away as Philadelphia. The group of eight even has a YouTube video. Who would’ve thunk? Not Luther Walker, Nick Bowers, Leon Nolton, Willie Banks, Hubert Jackson, Jerry Heard, Sam Swain or William Rogers. The fame and accolades are just icing on the cake for the men who began dancing to stay fit. Bowers, who at 58 is the group’s youngest member, said it’s a fun way to work out and take care of his body. “For 32 years I coached football and baseball at Gresham Park,” he said. “Now I was just trying to keep myself going.” On Aug. 13, the Beulah Boys will take the Main Stage at 2:30 p.m. at the CrossRoadsNews 2011 Family & Back-to-School Expo on the lower level of the Mall at Stonecrest in front of Sears. They will showcase some of the line dances that are keeping them fit and making them famous. When they met in the line-dancing class at Beulah Baptist Church’s Family Life Center in the fall of 2009, all were strangers, except for Bowers and Nolton, who have been friends since their school days at Murphy High in Atlanta. And only Jackson, who at 71 is the group’s oldest member, had line-danced before. The average age of the men who boast two knee replacements and a hip replacement among them, is 63, but to watch them hop, skip and shake their booty, you couldn’t guess who has artificial joints. Walker, 63, was the first brave soul to join the class of linedancing women. Then Jackson joined him, followed by Bowers and Nolton. After a few months in the class, their cohesiveness and new-found love for line dancing caught the eyes of instructor Jan Martin. Luther Walker “They had camaraderie,” she said. “It wasn’t so much the skills. They just enjoyed dancing and it showed.” She suggested the men form a group to perform at a July 2010 concert to showcase what the class was doing. After a little arm twisting, they agreed. “She is our instructor and we did not want to let her down,” Walker said. Bowers said they were reluctant because they had never heard of a male line-dancing group. “There are women’s groups and couples groups, but a male group, we had never heard of one,” he said. Nolton knew “The Cleveland Shuffle,” but with only a short time to rehearse, Bowers said they weren’t very good. That’s when he called upon his wife, Debora, to get them a uniform. They showed up in Western attire and brought the house down. “I thought that the least we could do is look good together,” he said. “We missed a few steps but we looked the part.” They left that evening with an invitation to perform at the Candler Road Senior Center. Soon the “Beulah Boys” had invitations from senior centers across Atlanta. “Everywhere we performed, we would get an
The linedancing Beulah Boys, whose average age is 63, have been making a name for themselves performing at senior centers.
Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews
invitation to perform somewhere else from someone in the audience,” Bowers said. Though he was a deejay for 30 years, Nolton said dancing wasn’t his forte before the Beulah Boys. When he joined the Family Life Center, he was doing water aerobics, lifting a little weight and Leon Nolton doing other exercises, but when his good friend Bowers suggested they join the linedancing class, he went along. “It’s good exercise,” said Nolton, who had both of his knees replaced in 2009. “And I get the enjoyment of bringing enjoyment to the seniors. Anytime you can put a smile on anyone’s face, that’s a good feeling right there.” Nolton also has had the pleasure of losing 40 pounds since he joined the group. “It’s good exercise,” he said. “I get the enjoyment of dancing and of bringing enjoyment to the seniors.” The class the men joined was the first one for Martin, a self-confessed lover of line dancing. When she started the 7:30 a.m. class in September 2009, it was not on the center’s schedule. “They had a class in the evening, but I am an early riser and there wasn’t one in the morning,” said Martin, who’s real job at the center is member services coordinator. By January, she had enough people taking the class for it to be Jan Martin added to the schedule. Martin said she suggested the men form a group because they had great chemistry together. “They enjoy dancing,” said Martin, who can’t talk about the group without smiling. “It’s fun for them and it’s fun to watch them. You just enjoy seeing them enjoy each other.” The song the men put their stamp on is “The Cleveland Shuffle” by Mark “Big Mucci” Wynn & the 71 North Boi. “We just added our own little flavor to it,” Nolton said. When Big Mucci’s mother saw them on YouTube, her son said she told him he had to meet them.
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This summer, he was in the audience at the 2nd Annual Southeast Largest Line Dance Party on July 7-9 at the Sheraton Gateway Atlanta Airport Hotel in College Park and came onstage to tell them how much he loves what they had done with the song. DJ Kenny Jammin Jason, one of the country’s top line dance instructor, was also in the audience. He was so impressed with the Beulah Boys, they now have an invitation to attend his Aug. 26-29 event in Philadelphia. Spectators who see them perform just love their swagger. At a January 2011 performance at the CrossRoadsNews Health & Wellness Expo, women threw dollar bills at the men during one of their hip-swaying, high-steppin’ numbers. Bowers said that was a first for them. Along the way, the Beulah Boys have become an inspiration for senior citizens. Martin, who introduces the group at most of their performances, said that by the end of their performances at senior centers, even spectators who use wheelchairs are moving parts of their bodies. “Everyone is tapping their feet or shaking their shoulders,” she said. “They make people move.” At the end, someone always comes to her asking if they can have a class too. She now teaches three classes at Beulah, two at Senior Connections centers in Decatur and Lithonia, and at First Baptist Church in Austell. She also has helped many churches start their own classes. “We are showing that you don’t have to give up because you are up in age,” Bowers said. “This is a dance that you can really do. Just get up and move.” Because of their group, they say more men are taking line-dancing classes. Beulah Boys’ repertoire ranges from country and western to gospel. And yes, they shuffle and wobble and dance to gospel music. They also perform at churches, weddings, parties and other special events. Jackson, the group’s senior member, had hip replacement surgery in February and by April he was back on the line. “We enjoy going out and proving that we really can,” he said. “If we can do it, anybody can do it.” For more information, call Nick Bowers at 404310-0067.
August 6, 2011
Reid teaches private classes and diet modification for groups and churches and contributes “Meatless Monday” recipes to BET.com.
Healthy eating can be easy, interesting and taste good too By Donna Williams Lewis
Chef Asata Reid wants to blast some common myths about healthy eating. She says eating well definitely can taste good; healthy dishes don’t have to take long to prepare; and good-for-you ingredients don’t have to be expensive. The East Lake resident will tailor that message to food for children in a cooking demonstration at the CrossRoadsNews 2011 Family & Back-to-School Expo on Aug. 13 at the Mall at Stonecrest. Reid, a “life chef,” food writer and culinary educator, will demonstrate quick and easy snacks and lunches at 2 p.m. on the Main Stage in front of Sears on the mall’s lower level. “Kids’ snacks are often carb-driven – chips, pretzels, crackers and more bread,” Reid said. “I like to present snacks as small meals. That way they’re more balanced.” Some examples: sliced apples with peanut butter and popcorn, carrot sticks with hummus, crackers with cheese and strawberries. Parents should make snacks and meals more appealing by giving children diverse flavors and textures, Reid said. “If you just had a plate of rice, that would be boring,” she said. “But if you have a plate of fried rice with vegetables, that’s more interesting.” She says kids who participate in sports at school need to feed on premium foods and make every calorie count instead of loading up on junk food. Reid teaches that they may feel full, but their bodies are starving for nutrients. Instead of soda, Reid says parents should buy 100 percent dark fruit juice such as grape and cranberry and add seltzer or sparkling water. “It makes a refreshing drink and they
Contact Chef Asata n E-mail: email@example.com. n On the Web: www.lifechef.net. n On Facebook: www.facebook.com/ lifechef. n On Twitter, she’s being followed under the name ChefAsata by 1,666 people.
Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews
Chef Asata Reid will demonstrate quick and easy snacks and lunches for children at 2 p.m. on the Main Stage at the Aug. 13 expo at the Mall at Stonecrest.
don’t get the artificial color and high-fructose sweeteners and all those preservatives with strange names,” she said in a 2010 newspaper interview. “With 100 percent juice and sparkling water, they are getting a great drink and the benefits of antioxidants, too.” Reid, who graduated from Florida A&M University and from culinary school at the Art Institute of Atlanta, has worked as a professional chef in top-rated restaurants and in wealthy private homes. But the work she loves most is education. “If I can teach someone about shopping
choices and eating choices and impact their life and their family and generations to come, I feel like I’ve done something,” she said. Reid teaches healthy cooking classes all across North Georgia with regular classes every second Saturday monthly at the Sevananda Natural Foods Market in Little Five Points. A prolific food writer and advocate, she teaches private classes and diet modification for groups and churches and contributes “Meatless Monday” recipes to BET.com. The trend to eliminate meat from meals
one or two days each week is an effort to cut the cholesterol and fat people consume, she said. The August edition of Ebony magazine contains an article by Reid that features blacks who own vineyards. She writes newspaper articles that focus on specific foods such as the popularity of Greek yogurt. And she maintains a Web site that includes links to her YouTube cooking videos. The East Lake mother of two sons, ages 6 and 20 months, started on her educational path after reluctantly taking a friend’s advice that she consider going to Wal-Mart for groceries. “As a chef, you don’t buy food where you buy tires. It’s just inconceivable,” she said. But she went to the store and fell into her habit of peering into other people’s shopping carts. Reid was dismayed by what she saw – the voluminous boxes and bags of processed foods. If you gave some of those shoppers a food pyramid, they wouldn’t know what to do with it, she thought. “That’s when I had an epiphany,” Reid said. “I can show them how.” “I take the realistic approach: what is it and how does it work. Keep it simple and keep it delicious.”
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August 6, 2011
Jabias has appeared in stage plays, commercials and movies, including “The Blind Side,” “Stomp the Yard” and “Lottery Ticket.”
Rap on: Being smart is cool
Da Kidd revs it up with rap
By Donna Williams Lewis
By Carla Parker
“There’s always a message inside of my rap,” the Onstage, she often young performer said this sports a big, bushy Afro week. “It’s going to be posand huge colorful glasses. itive and kid-appropriate. She hits the floor dancI like to have fun with my ing like that’s the only way raps. I let people know I’m she moves. still a kid.” She’s only 12 years old, The northwest Atlanta she’s already has a CD out, resident, who goes to Kipp and her name is Knerd Ways Academy, wants to Star. (The K is silent.) use her music to encour“How the h word do age kids all over the world u get produced in the that they should be themsixth grade?” one person selves, stay in school, and commented after watchknow that being smart ing a Knerd Star video on is cool. YouTube. That, by the way, is Maybe it’s by beginwhere her stage name ning to rap at the tender comes from. From “Hello Mr. Bully” age of 5 while just having “I knew I was good in If we came together fun with her uncles and school so I used ‘nerd.’ The We could do a lot better starting to write songs just K is just to be different,” All this bullying violence three years later. she said. In every weather That’s the story of this Her latest song, “Hello We need to stop this rapper, model, songwriter Mr. Bully,” tells kids that Can’t go on forever and dancer, one of the bullying is not cool. So I took the time performers scheduled Down the road, Knerd To write you this letter to strut her stuff at the Star sees herself as an – Knerd Star CrossRoadsNews 2011 “expand artist” who does Family & Back-to-School a wide variety of things in Expo on Aug. 13 at the Mall at Stonecrest. the entertainment field. Knerd Star, whose real name is Chelsey “I feel like that is where I was meant to Page, is scheduled to hit the stage on the be,” she said. mall’s lower level at 2:45 p.m. She will perform music from her first CD, a two-song sampler that was released in June. Follow Knerd Star online Already, Knerd Star has appeared on a n www.facebook.com/knerdstarfanpage local radio show, at local recreation centers, and in the Georgia’s Most Talented Kids n www.twitter.com/knerdstar competition to sing her trademark songs, n www.youtube.com/itschelseyTV “Knerd Swagg” and “She Wanna Be Me.”
Jabias “Da Kidd” Mitchell is one of the busiest 7-year-olds in show business. The rapper/actor/dancer/model has been showing off his acting skills with appearances on two BET sitcoms – “Let’s Stay Together,” which airs in September, and “Read Between the Lines” with Malcolm Jamal Warner and Tracee Ellis Ross, which airs in October. Jabias will show off his rapping skills when he performs his latest single, “Where They Do That At,” at CrossRoadsNews’ Family and Back-to-School Expo on Aug. 13 at the Mall at Stonecrest. He will be onstage at 1:30 p.m. Besides acting, Jabias, who is home schooled in Mableton, has been preparing for an upcoming 25-city tour, “Stop Bullying, Stop the Violence,” with V-103 DJ Greg Street. The tour kicks off in Los Angeles in October. Jabias’ mother and manager, Elretha Mitchell, said he is excited about the tour. “He is really excited about traveling with major artists and riding on the tour bus and airplane,” Mitchell said. Jabias began performing in 2005 at the age of 4 when his mother entered him in the Great American Model & Talent Search at the Civic Center in Atlanta. From the group of 3,000 contestants, he emerged among the 260 who were picked to fly to Pittsburgh for a final selection. Jabias made it among the 37 finalists and was signed on the spot with Babes N Beaus Atlanta Model/Talent Agency. Since then he has appeared in stage plays, commercials and movies, including “The Blind Side,” for which Sandra Bullock won the best actress Oscar; “Stomp
Jabias “Da Kidd” Mitchell, who is preparing for a 25-city tour, will perform his latest single at 1:30 p.m. at the Aug. 13 expo at Stonecrest.
the Yard”; and “Lottery Ticket,” starring Bow Wow and Ice Cube. He was also in “Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns” and a reality television show called “The Next Child Superstar.” Jabias has showed off a few of his dance moves in a dozen music videos featuring Young Jeezy and one of his favorite rappers, Soulja Boy. He has more than 140 videos at www. youtube.com/jabiasmitchell. For more information on Jabias, visit www.jabiasdakidd.com.
August 6, 2011
On the Pamela Holmes YouTube Channel, Holmes demonstrates more than 100 recipes from her cookbook.
Realtor, marketer and expo emcee adds cookbook author to plate By Donna Williams Lewis
On YouTube, Pamela Holmes cooks for the world, but to see her in person, you just have to show up at the CrossRoadsNews 2011 Family & Back-to-School Expo on Aug. 13 at the Mall at Stonecrest. Holmes, who lives in Dunwoody, is the emcee. In between manning the mike and introducing acts, she will sign copies of her debut cookbook, “Soul Food Volume 1: The Basics.” She is no stranger to the CrossRoadsNews Community Expos. This is her third one this year. “I think I have only missed one in the last two years,” she said. But back to her latest venture. On the Pamela Holmes YouTube Channel, Holmes demonstrates more than 100 recipes from her book, which was published in June. The videos started after her college-student nephews asked her to help them impress their girlfriends by sharing some recipes. One nephew, Kyle Coleman, recently graduated from Syracuse University and is working for Teach for America. He also is engaged to be married. “So it works!” Holmes said. She delights in showing lightened-up ways to cook dishes such as strawberry shortcake, collard greens and peach cobbler. Her potato salad recipe, for example, is heavy on the veggies and spices and light on the mayo. Commenting that the potato salad was a hit in his or her household, “daynepapichulo” from New Zealand asked Holmes to do a video on how to cook chicken fried steak and gravy, writing: “I don’t know a good recipe as there is so many and no one to ask in my Country.” Holmes said she would make the dish that very Sunday. “MrBiscuit77” paid her an interesting compliment. “Generally I don’t trust thin cooks, but your food is OK.” She got a kick out of that, writing back:
n “Soul Food Volume 1: The Basics” is available on Amazon. com. For more information, visit www.thejoyofsoulfood.com; follow the book on Twitter at http:// twitter.com/#!/joyofsoulfood; or become a fan at http://www. facebook.com/joyofsoulfood. n Nappy Hair products are sold online at www. nappyhairshop. com. For more information, contact pamela@pmholmes. com.
Emcee Pamela Holmes has been cooking since 9 year. She will also sign copies of her new cookbook at the Aug. 13 expo at the Mall at Stonecrest.
“You can be thin(nish) and cook and eat soul food. I opt for olive oil instead of shortening (or lard) and use far less butter than my parents but everything is still delicious. …” Note to MrBiscuit77: Holmes also is thin(nish) because she “works out to eat.” She is an avid yoga practitioner who also walks five miles at a pop several times a week. Holmes has been cooking for as long as she can remember. “I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner at 9 years old. My parents are from Mississippi and I have 10 brothers and sisters. We cooked every meal every day. There is no eating out with a family that size,” said Holmes, who still cooks every day. “My parents were exceptional cooks, but unfortunately because of the way they ate, they both suffered from severe cardiovascular disease with both eventually having massive strokes.”
This happened while she was working as a pharmaceutical sales representative selling treatments for high cholesterol and hypertension. “I decided then and there that I would treat my body differently. I started reinterpreting the meals I prepared with a healthy twist – lower fat, lower cholesterol. That is what this book is all about. Our motto is ‘fast, healthy and delicious.’ ” Holmes, a Realtor, marketer, and single mother of a son and daughter, ages 13 and 8, is a busy woman. Last November, she opened the Nappy Kitchen Salon and Store in her hometown of St. Louis run by her sister, Lana Coleman, which followed the February 2010 launch of her Nappy Hair Shop products for natural hair. She plans to open a chain of natural hair salons, with her eye on Atlantic Station as the spot for salon No. 2.
Federal workers to show off line dancing workout that keeps them fit By Donna Williams Lewis
Catching exercise on your lunch break from work can be challenging. Not so for some federal workers who break out into line dancing daily in a tunnel leading from the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center to the old Rich’s store in downtown Atlanta. Every weekday at noon, about 30 to 35 people known as the SNAFC Tunnel Crew Line Dancers take to the tunnel for an hour’s worth of cardio fun. They’ll walk, pivot and bounce at CrossRoadsNews’ 2011 Family & Back-to-School Expo on Aug. 13 at the Mall at Stonecrest. They’re scheduled to take the stage at 1:15 p.m. The group has performed at several federal agencies’ functions and connected with other local line-dancing groups. The dances they have in store for the upcoming expo are the Zydeco Bounce, In the Line of Duty, and Summer Night Cha Cha, among others. Melvin “Dr. Groovy” Cruver, an Environmental Protection Agency analyst, is the group’s administrator.
enjoy,” he said. Cruver said he has lost 26 pounds in the year and a half he’s been with the group, whose members’ average weight loss has been from 10 to 30 pounds since the group started in October 2009. Blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are also down for some members. Lead instructor Tamika Wright said she has lost three dress sizes since she joined the group a few months after it started. “If you tell me I’m working out, I’m not going to do it,” said Wright, a contractor with the Navy. “But I like dancing. It’s fun, and everybody enjoys each other’s company.” Members range in age from about 35 to 60-plus, come from a variety of federal agencies, and include every level of dancers from the very experienced to folks who never learned The SNAFC Tunnel Crew Line Dancers will perform at 1:15 p.m. to do the Electric Slide. There’s no cost, no need for a room in the building, no at the Aug. 13 expo at Stonecrest. major equipment needed – just some good music, a desire Line dancing at lunch “has been a lifesaver for me,” he to move, and maybe a change of clothes for the return to said. the desk. “I don’t like going over to the gym and exercising in the That’s because these dancers are known to work up a health room. But I find this to be so exciting, something I sweat. “It can get like that on a good day,” Wright said.
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August 6, 2011
Drilling is one of the disciplinary aspects of the Nation of Islam and all students 16 years and older participate.
Essence R&B Star to perform
Conservatory marks 16 years
By Donna Williams Lewis
My, how time flies. It’s hard to believe, but the Conservatory of Dance is celebrating its 16th anniversary this month. The dance school, which opened its door on Aug. 15, 1995, will mark the occasion with an open house noon to 3 p.m. on Aug. 6. Special events are planned throughout the anniversary year. On Aug. 13, its dancers will showcase some of their moves at the CrossRoadsNews Fam- Conservatory of Dance students will perform at 4:20 ily & Back-to-School Expo at p.m. at the Aug. 13 expo at Stonecrest. the Mall at servatory 16 years ago after teaching dance at Stonecrest. Conservatory danc- the old South DeKalb Arts Center that used ers are regulars at the to be behind the Gallery at South DeKalb. Over the years, the school has won nuexpos, which have been at the mall since 2006. merous awards and was invited more than They will be on the once to perform at Disney’s Magic Music Main Stage in front Days at the theme park in Orlando. The Conservatory of Dance is at 2520 Michelle Douglas of Sears on the mall’s lower level at 4:20 p.m. Park Central Blvd. in Decatur. For more V. Michelle Douglas launched the Con- information, call 770-593-4600.
Lithonia’s Greta Prince is having to learn how to be a star. The winner of the Essence Music Festival R&B Star search competition is finding that she’s being recognized when she’s out shopping at the Mall at Stonecrest or performing around town. Greta Prince “It’s not something I’m used to,” Prince said. “It’s kind of scary, but it’s cool, too, and very flattering.” That exposure will grow when she performs onstage at the CrossRoadsNews 2011 Family and Back-to-School Expo on Aug. 13 at Stonecrest. Prince is slated to appear at 3 p.m. on the Main Stage in front of Sears. She learned Aug. 2 that Essence magazine plans to run its planned recap of the Music Festival in November. She is to be featured in that coverage. Her winner’s title also included a record deal with a company to be determined.
Prince is now focused on her music, writing songs and lining up performances. “I’m a lot busier now, and there are more performances, definitely,” she said. She has performed at the Ultimate Bar & Grill at the Gallery at South DeKalb in Decatur. She also sings at weddings, banquets and church functions. Last weekend, she appeared at Rockdale Auditorium for “An Evening of Jazz.” The 2000 Redan High School graduate also sings on Sundays at her church, Hopewell Baptist Northeast in Grayson. Prince sang her way to the top of the R&B Star competition during the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on July 1-3, performing Natalie Cole’s “Inseparable” and Whitney Houston’s “I Believe in You and Me.” She won the title with her rendition of Deniece Williams’ “Free” in front of 50,000 people at the Louisiana Superdome on July 3. At the end, Prince said Williams came onstage and sang with her. You can find Prince under her name on YouTube and Facebook. Find her on Twitter as “MissGPrincess.”
Drill teams to showcase unity
Photos by Jennifer Ffrench Parker / CrossRoadsNews
The FOI Drill Team and the Vanguard Drill Team will showcase steps from their classes.
Some sharply dressed young people will be stepping in unison on Aug. 13 at the CrossRoadsNews 2011 Family and Back-toSchool Expo. The men and women from the Nation of Islam Muhammad Mosque 15 in Atlanta will showcase some of the drills they do in manhood and womanhood classes to teach them to function as a unit. The FOI Drill Team of men will take the stage at 12:15 p.m., and the female Vanguard
Drill Team will be onstage at 1:45 p.m. David Muhammad, who coordinates the DeKalb Study Group of the Nation of Islam, said the drill is one of the disciplinary aspects of the Nation of Islam and that all students 16 years and older participate in drills. “The men have to be clean-cut and welldressed,” he said. “There are no pants hanging below the waist, and the females are not immodestly dressed. They represent a high level of dignity and discipline.” Muhammad, who is a student minister of the Nation of Islam, said drilling is part of the ongoing training at the mosque.
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