Free screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes, prostate cancer and other conditions were available at a Health Fair sponsored by the DeKalb NAACP. A7
Southwest DeKalb High senior John Rice was among 10 teens who got a taste of aviation at the 2009 Flight Line Camp. A8
The Family & Adoption Expo on Aug. 15 will feature adoption, foster and family care agencies and businesses that cater to parents and children. Section B
Focus on health
Copyright © 2009 CrossRoadsNews, Inc.
August 8, 2009
2009 Adoption Expo
Volume 15, Number 14
Experts, citizens to discuss health reform at meeting By Jennifer Ffrench Parker
The health care reform debate is coming home to DeKalb County on Aug. 10. Congressman Hank Johnson and a panel of health care experts will be clearing up misconceptions and setting the record straight on health care reform at a town hall meeting at Georgia Perimeter College’s Clarkston campus. The panel will include Dr. Sandra Ford, Hank Johnson DeKalb’s District Health Director; Grady Hospital CEO Michael Young; DeKalb Medical CEO Eric Norwood; Emory University Professor Dr. Arthur Kellermann; and representatives of the Medical Association of Georgia, AARP and the American Cancer Society. The two-hour meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Georgia Perimeter’s Cole Auditorium/Fine Arts Center. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Johnson, whose 4th District includes portions of DeKalb, Rockdale and Gwinnett counties, said the health care reform being pushed by President Barack Obama is the most important piece of legislation in our lifetime. “I want to hear from my constituents on this crucial issue before it goes to the House floor for a vote,” he said. Among other things, the Obama administration is seeking comprehensive health reform that lowers costs, guarantees choice of doc-
John Evans, founder and president of Operation LEAD, waves to motorists on Snapfinger Road on Aug. 1. Evans and his volunteers are supporting President Obama’s health care reform plan.
Jennifer Ffrench Parker / CrossRoadsNews
tors and plans, and assures quality affordable health care for all Americans. More than 50 million Americans are without health insurance. In Georgia, 1.6 million people don’t have health insurance; 42.2 percent of African-Americans and 66.2 percent of Latinos are uninsured. John Evans, president of the Stone Mountain-based grassroots civil rights organization Operation LEAD, said he will be at Johnson’s meeting with flying colors. He and his volunteers have been
leading streetside demonstrations in support of Obama’s plan. Evans said Wednesday that health care is a basic right. “If the private sector doesn’t provide healthcare, the government is obligated to do it,” he said. “We are going to have poor people as long as we have a country, and somebody is going to have to take care of them.” Evans said the fight against health reform is similar to the battle against Social Security. “Everybody got mad, but where
would we be without it?” he said. Evans says he is going to the meeting with clear expectations of what he wants from Johnson. “I want to know that he is going to support it wholeheartedly, and that he is going to work with his colleagues across the country to make sure it happens,” he said. During the meeting, Johnson and his staff will update constituents on the status of health care proposals before the House and Senate, and the panelists will discuss the reforms. The final hour
and a half of the meeting will be open to the public for questions and comments. Andy Phelan, a Johnson spokesman, said they are expecting a full house for the hot-button issue. Even though the Cole Auditorium only seats 500, he said there is overflow seating for an additional 250 people. Georgia Perimeter is at 555 North Indian Creek Drive in Clarkston. For more information, visit http://hankjohnson.house.gov or call 770-939-2016, ext. 12.
Federal COPS grant to put more officers on DeKalb streets By Jennifer Ffrench Parker
Fifteen new DeKalb police officers will be on the street early next year because of $3.1 million in new funding from the federal Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program. The officers’ training and salaries will be funded by the grant announced July 27 by Vice President Joseph Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder. DeKalb got the second largest share of the $32 million awarded to Georgia’s police and sheriff ’s departments. The city of Atlanta got $11.2 million to hire 50 officers. Statewide, 184 officers will be hired or rehired. In all, Biden and Holder announed $1 billion in grants to hire
The DeKalb Police Department will use its COPS funding to pay for the next training academy.
4,699 law enforcement officers nationwide under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. DeKalb Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said Thursday that DeKalb’sfunds will arrive Sept. 1. It is the sixth COPS grant for
the County and brings DeKalbs total COPS grants to $16.6 milion. As of July, DeKalb had 1045 sworn police officers and Parish said the 15 new officers will be in the department’s next academy. “The next Academy will start at
the end of this year or beginning of next year,” she said. COPS grants provide 100 percent of approved salary and benefits for entry level officer positions over a three-year period. Police departments receiving the grants are
required to retain the grant-funded positions for a fourth year. Atlanta Deputy Chief George Turner said they will have a recruit class this fall with their 50 new positions. The officers will be dispatched into the community when they complete the training. Atlanta has 1,701 authorized positions for sworn officers. The American Recovery Act includes $4 billion to enhance state, local, and tribal law enforcement efforts, including hiring new police officers, to combat violence against women, and to fight Internet crimes against children. For the COPS grants, the Department of Justice received over 7,200 applications for more than 39,000 officer positions. The requests totalled $8.3 billion.
August 8, 2009
August 8, 2009
Qualifying date set for House seat By Jennifer Ffrench Parker
The candidates lining up to take the House District 58 seat left vacant by state Rep. Robbin Shipp will get to qualify Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. Secretary of State Karen Handel announced Thursday that the Special A. Jackson Election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Shipp’s seat, which includes portions of DeKalb and Fulton counties, is one of three to be filled across the state. The others are the House District 129 seat in Harris, Muscogee and Troup counties and House District 141 seat in Baldwin and Putnam County. Shipp resigned from the Georgia House on April 21 because of a conflict between her job as an officer of the courts and her service in the General Assembly. She is a Fulton County assistant district attorney, which the Attorney General’s office says violates the Georgia Constitution’s Separation of Powers act. Three candidates have already filed intentions to run. East Atlanta businessman Kevin Johnson, campaign consultant and former state Senate chief of staff Michael McPherson, and Atlanta attorney Asha Jackson have said they will seek the seat. Qualifying will be Monday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and
Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon. The qualifying fee is $400 and candidates will qualify in the Elections Division of the Office of Secretary of State, 1104 West Tower, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive S.E., Atlanta. The Nov. 3 polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. DeKalb voters can request an absentee ballot from their DeKalb Elections Office through the close of business on Oct. 30. Absentee ballots must be returned to the county registrar by the close of polls on Election Day. Photo identification is not required when voting by mail. To download an absentee ballot request form, visit www.sos. ga.gov/elections. Citizens must register to vote by Oct. 5 to vote in the Nov. 3 election. Voter registration forms can be obtained at https://dklbweb. dekalbga.org/voter/.
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August 8, 2009
I’m sure it would not be hard for an experienced 29-year-old to slick talk a 15-year-old into doing something she knows she should not be doing.
African Americans tacitly approve black-on-black crime 2346 Candler Rd. Decatur, GA 30032 404-284-1888 Fax: 404-284-5007 www.crossroadsnews.com email@example.com
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L L CA S! CA ES! O O L L IC OD RV GO E S
I find it interesting that Atlanta’s mayor and police chief have all of a sudden become aggressive against Atlanta’s crime. I believe this political and police aggressiveness will continue for a few days before things return to normal. I also believe that they became aggressive because Atlanta’s social activists were seizing the opportunity for media exposure after a local politician was victimized and a former boxing champion was killed. There have been numerous black-on-black murders, home invasions, carjackings, armed robberies and rapes taking place against average black citizens over many years in metro Atlanta. In that time I have not seen any ranting and raving by black leaders or activists. It appears that black politicians, social activists and the general population only become outraged when a so-called important or elitist black is victimized or killed. This indicates that those activists, politicians and other blacks in high positions are caste- and classoriented.
It is a bit humorous that county and city leaders think that more police in a given neighborhood will clean up crime. The perpetrators will simply move to another community until the politicians resume their laissez-faire position. Bob Miles
It is a tragedy for any law-abiding black citizen to be victimized by black criminals. I have concluded that we blacks accept and sanction black-on-black criminal activity. The only time we rage about black-on-black crime is when we or our beloved ones are victimized. It appears that the general black population along with our black politicians are not interested in correcting the cause of black-on-black crime; we/they appear satisfied with placing temporary Band-aids on the effects of crime. It is a bit humorous that county and city leaders think that more police in a given neighborhood will clean up crime. The perpetrators
will simply move to another community until the politicians resume their laissez-faire position. I get the idea that black criminals understand the cost/benefit ratio concept much better than non-criminal masses of the black population. We have allowed criminals to conclude that the benefits gained from black-on-black crime are greater than any cost they might pay if caught. For that reason, we should consider pushing for legislation that would make the cost of carjacking, home invasion, armed robbery, rape and murder greater than criminals would be willing to pay. It is interesting that our socalled black leaders and black poli-
ticians are reluctant to criticize any black regardless of what they do. They imply that we commit violent crimes and other illegal activities against each other because of the “white man.” As a people we have chosen not to give black criminals any reason not to continue to exterminate blacks in America. We who are silent give consent to be exterminated. We have no need to fear the Ku Klux Klan, skinheads, foreign terrorists or radical religious terrorists. Blacks in America are most likely to have our homes invaded, get carjacked, injured, robbed, raped and murdered by another black, not by a local “redneck” or foreign terrorist. If we do not change our way of thinking, black-on-black violence is going to continue and the worst is yet to come. Violent crime along with other negative aspects of our actions and thought processes are causing us to become less valued in America. We had better stop creating, perpetuating and sanctioning black-on-black crime. Bob Miles lives in Decatur.
Underage girls must also be held accountable for their actions « m. k. robinson wrote on Friday, July 31 at 10:15 PM »
At what point do we make these underage girls accountable for their actions when they put themselves in harm’s way acting like adults? Certainly they know exactly what they are doing and are not innocent victims. Also, where are their parents? Somehow the parents and the teenage girls should be charged for their actions too. Of course, I am
Comments from CrossRoadsNews.com not erasing the fact that the man is not guilty but when it involves two willing partners; both should share the blame. If we don’t hold these underage girls accountable for their actions, they will never learn and neither will their parents. These girls need to be treated
like adults because they have adult to adult situations far too often and minds and are not innocent. They blaming them because they are not know exactly what they are doing. mature enough to respond in an adult manner. I’m sure it would not be hard « neiceeb wrote on Saturday, for an experienced 29-year-old to Aug. 1 at 04:28 AM » I agree, there is blame to be slick talk a 15-year-old into doing shared by all involved, but how do something she knows she should you justify a grown man soliciting a not be doing. Parents, hover over young girl. That’s part of the prob- your kids...there are predators out lem in our society. Our kids are there waiting to strike at the first overexposed. We are exposing them sign of vulnerability.
Qualifying date set for House Children lanquish awaiting Striders’ walk, race to benefit seat A3 “forever’’ families B3 Our House A7 Candidates lining up to take the House seat left vacant by state Rep. Robbin Shipp will get to qualify Aug. 31 to Sept. 2.
The number of children in Georgia’s foster care system never seem to change. Children enter the system, some find permanent families, and a large number age out.
Hundreds of walkers and runners will descend on Georgia Perimeter College’s Decatur campus for the Aug. 22 “For Hope” Walk and Race.
Police seek additional victims Youths learn joy of flying at of local Ponzi scheme A5 Adopted sons make her feel she did right thing B4 Flight Line summer camp A8 Anthony Ray was indicted by a DeKalb County grand jury for running one of the largest local Ponzi schemes after his 70-year-old father turned him in to police.
Clariece Morrow’s adopted sons were both classified with cognitive and physical developmental disabilities when she took them in.
Rising Southwest DeKalb High School junior John Rice, 16, doesn’t have his wings yet, but he is getting close.
‘Housewives’ star to sign new Lewis outlines plan to improve Sax man inspired by ‘Pink book A6 county schools A9 Panther’ theme B7 Nene Leakes, the outrageous star of More than 98,000 DeKalb students will “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” will be at the Mall at Stonecrest on Aug. 13.
DeKalb music lovers are in for a rare treat when saxophonist Gary Harris takes the stage at the 2009 Adoption & Family Expo.
Lary to market Sanford Center ‘Idol’ champ to sing A6 Concert promoter Jason Lary is now the marketing and production manager for the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center.
head to schools that will be stricter about the ways they dress, behave and learn.
Youths testing their tennis B7 skills on national stage A10
At 11 years old, Zemirah Davis is a seasoned and determined performer and she has a title to prove it.
Three South DeKalb tennis players are showing off their racket skills while hoping to gain some attention from a tennis legend.
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Wright Vision Care..........................................A7 ADOPTION & FAMILY EXPO SECTION Bethany Christian Services............................. B4 Chick-fil-A (Inside the Mall at Stonecrest)...... B6 Community Connections................................ B5 DeKalb CASA ................................................ B8 Families First.................................................. B5 Ga. Dept. of Human Resources.......................B3 Georgia Center For Resources and Support...B7 Georgia Mentor............................................. B4
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August 8, 2009
“Some have lost homes, college funds, and savings completely wiped out. We have basically been reaching out, trying to locate every victim that we can.”
Police seek additional victims of massive local Ponzi scheme By McKenzie Jackson
Anthony Ray of Atlanta has been indicted by a DeKalb County grand jury for running one of the largest local Ponzi schemes after his 70-year-old father turned him in to police. Ray, 47, was indicted July 30 on four counts of identity fraud, Anthony Ray one count of elder abuse and one count of theft by deception. He was initially arrested on March 17 for allegedly operating a real estate investment Ponzi scheme that swindled $5 million in cash and real estate investments from 30 victims across metro Atlanta. Among his alleged victims is his elderly father, Calvin Ray Sr. of Decatur, who accused him of stealing his identity and swindling him out of $96,000. The count of theft by deception comes from the son opening a $120,000 line of credit at Wachovia in his dad’s name. Lt. Myron Logan of the DeKalb Police’s Special Victims Unit said the victims of the Ponzi scheme who have come forward range in age from 30 to 75. They include a church and a homeowner who lost
his $700,000 home. The victims live across metro Atlanta, including DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties, and in cities like Alpharetta, Lamar, Griffin and Milner. Logan said the impact of Ray’s scheme has been incredible. “Some have lost homes, college funds, and savings completely wiped out,” he said. Logan said the investigation clearly reveals that more victims are still out there. “We have basically been reaching out, trying to locate every victim that we can,” he said. Ray was apprehended by police eight months ago in an ongoing yearlong investigation that began on July 29, 2008, when his dad went to the police. According to police reports, the elderly Ray said that in November 2005 he and his son were purchasing real estate properties to remodel and sell for a profit. He said he opened two lines of credit for $25,000 at a Wachovia Bank in downtown Atlanta and paid off the balances. At a later date, without his consent, his son took $50,000 from the two accounts. He said his son also opened a fraudulent account in his name at Wachovia and four other accounts with GE Money Bank, Chase Bank, American Express Platinum Busi-
ness Credit Card, Bank of America and Home Depot. Ray Sr. later learned that his son had been going to his home and stealing mail from his mailbox for more than a year to cover up his crimes. From 2005 to 2009, Anthony Ray operated his scheme through his company, the now defunct Key Funding Group, a private financing company. He advertised the Key Funding Group’s services as accounts receivable, acquisitions loans, agricultural loans, church financing, commercial real estate, construction loans, machinery, heavy equipment leases, mezzanine financing, raw land loans, SBA loans, start-up loans, working capital loans and yacht financing. He held presentations at his offices at the Pinnacle Building in Atlanta, Oakhurst district of Decatur, and in area churches and restaurants. He also convinced victims to invest in property he said he was buying, but often disappeared with the money. Logan said Ray was “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” “He was taking money from one investor, and then another investor whose money is supposed to be in a secure investment,” he said. “But instead of that dividend
That you tithe more important than where Dear Dave, We’ve always gone to church and given our tithe, but recently we’ve decided it’s time to find a more grounded place to worship. During this time should we continue to give to our current church, or give to a charity instead? Does God really care where we give this money? – Amanda Dear Amanda, I appreciate that you take the tithe and giving very seriously, but I doubt that God is wringing His hands and worrying about the situation. I mean, it’s not like He needs the money. Giving isn’t about making a deposit into God’s bank account or building up brownie points, and tithing isn’t a salvation issue, either. It’s about changing our hearts and our minds. It’s about being a
Incorporating is also a good idea if you’re worried about protecting your personal assets. little less selfish and a little more Christ-like. I think it makes God smile when we put other people’s needs ahead of our own wants and desires. There are some pretty strong indications in scripture that a tithe – which is a tenth of your income – should go to your local church. So I’m not sure that a generic charity is the answer in this situation.
I’ve had times in my life when I changed churches, and in the periods when I didn’t have a church home I’d write out the checks just like normal, but leave the “pay to the order of ” portion blank. This way, the money was already accounted for in my mind and in my checkbook. Then, when I found a place I really liked, I’d complete the checks and give them to that church. Honestly, Amanda, I think you’d be okay continuing to tithe to your current place of worship until you find a new church home. It would probably be okay, too, if you did what I did, or gave your tithe to one of the churches you visit while you’re looking. God’s not going to whack you on a technicality like that, and throw you in the penalty box. It’s all about learning to be a giver. – Dave
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being paid out through honest gains, the money is actually paid from a different victim.” In 2007, Ray allegedly stole money from several members of Pine Grove Baptist Church in Milner after he gave a presentation to the congregation one Sunday. He said he wanted to share an investment opportunity with them. Police reports say Ray stole $14,275 from 75-year-old church member Charlie McDowell after convincing him to apply for an $8,275 loan at Quick Click Loans in order to open an escrow account at Key Funding Group to cover the expenses of selling his home. A short time later, Ray used McDowell’s identity to get a $5,000 loan at Cash Call and then had McDowell give him an additional $1,000 to cover more fees.
The report says that McDowell waited more than a year to ask law enforcement for help and is now behind on bills and struggling to keep his home. Logan said Ray only began to purchase property to cover his tracks when his scheme began to unravel. “He was never in the position to buy,” he said. “He had no plans to buy buildings.” Logan said investigators are not sure what Ray has done with all of the stolen funds, but they do know that some of the money went to finance his lavish lifestyle, which included the purchase of a blue Cadillac Escalade and a home in the trendy Meridian Buckhead Condos in Atlanta. Victims should call Lt. Myron Logan at 770-724-7711.
Financial fitness at festival Adults, teens and children can get valuable information to build their financial futures at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Aug. 15. The church’s Capital Campaign and Blessed to be a Blessing committees are sponsoring the free Community Financial Festival from noon to 5 p.m. Participants will learn practical tips for everyday living from financial experts at Thrivent Financial. Topics will include borrowing and saving in these financial times,
teaching your children financial basics, debt-reduction strategies, financial planning with children in college, and investing tips in this economy. The festival will also offer workshops for teenagers and children, and there will be moonwalk, games, prizes, food, fellowship and live entertainment. St. Paul Lutheran Church is at 2569 Tilson Road in Decatur. For more information, call the church office at 404-241-2524.
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August 8, 2009
“At this time we acknowledge that we owe much to our heritage and to the heroes of our island.”
Skating rink shows appreciation to loyal customers
Nene Leakes will be at Borders Books and Music in the Mall at Stonecrest.
‘Housewives’ star to sign new book Nene Leakes, the outrageous straighttalking star of “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” will be at the Mall at Stonecrest on Aug. 13. Leakes will meet fans and sign copies of her new book, “Never Make the Same Mistake Twice,” at Borders Books and Music at 7 p.m. Bravo TV’s top-rated reality show opened July 30 for its second season with its highest viewership. The series offers an up-close and personal look at five fabulous women from Atlanta’s social elite – from NFL wives and Grammy Award winners to sassy single moms – as they juggle their burgeoning careers and busy home lives with the whirl of the South’s hottest city. It airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. On the show, Leakes, a married mother of two, is funny, captivating and unafraid to tell it like it is. Her fans love her for her refreshing honesty, clever sense of humor and infectiously genuine style. She is also the founder of The Twisted Hearts Foundation, an organization that is helping build awareness to domestic violence against women. Her autobiography reveals her wild journey from family black sheep to single mother to making good and realizing her dreams. In the book, Leakes writes about her painful childhood, the abuse she suffered at the hands of a violent boyfriend, her struggle to support her firstborn son, and her path to true love. She also dishes on her cast mates, talks about rumors about her past, and shares hard-earned and inspiring life lessons in her fierce, no-nonsense and irreverent style. Fans can meet with Leakes during a VIP meet-and-greet if they purchase “Never Make the Same Mistake Twice” from Borders Books and Music at Stonecrest. Proof of purchase is required. The Mall at Stonecrest is located off I-20 at Turner Hill Road in Lithonia. For more information, visit www.mallatstonecrest.com or call 678-526-9880.
Hundreds of kids, teens and adults enjoyed free skating, food, prizes and giveaways at the Aug. 1 Community Appreciation Open House at Golden Glide Skating Rink in Decatur. The annual event included games, performances and demonstrations and giveaways from more than a dozen local businesses. Greg Alexander, the rink’s managing partner,
activities that metro Atlanta Jamaicans will be doing on Aug. 9 and 15 to celebrate the 47th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence from Britain. The free “Family Fun Day” on Aug. 9 will be at Seymour Panton Exchange Park in Decatur. Participants will play traditional games like dominos, cricket, sack race and lime and spoon. Jerk chicken, curry goat and other popular Jamaican dishes are on the menu starting at noon. Exchange Park is at 2771 Columbia Drive. On Aug. 15, celebrants will dance the night away to the music of the Mighty Vikings at the Atlanta Jamaican Association “Independence Ball” at the Renaissance Hotel in Atlanta. Seymour Panton, president of the Jamaican Court of Appeals, will be the evening’s featured speaker. Panton began his legal career in 1964 as an assistant Clerk of Courts in Hanover, Jamaica. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn, London, in 1968 and has served in both legal and judicial capacities in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. The Jamaican Court of Appeals consists of seven judges.
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Tuesdays through the end of the summer with a Commission District 3 Economic Stimulus Package. The 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. special includes skate rental, video games, arts and crafts and face painting in the $4 admission price. Food is also available at a discoutned price. Golden Glide is at 2750 Wesley Chapel Road, Decatur. Call 404-288-7773.
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said the open house attracted one of the biggest turnouts ever in the seven years they have hosted the event. “People are hurting everywhere and something that is free is welcomed,” he said. Alexander said the event offers the rink the opportunity to give back to loyal customers who have supported it for years. Savings at the rink are continuing on
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Hartsfield Center Parkway in Atlanta. The events culminate two weeks of activities running the gamut from religious to cultural. The activities were organized Vin Martin by the Union of Jamaican Organizations in Atlanta, a coalition of various groups, and led by Vin Martin, Jamaica’s Honorary Consul to Atlanta. Martin said the festivities offer Jamaicans and their friends and supporters the opportunity to celebrate the island nation’s special milestone and remember the land of their birth. “This is a time to celebrate our culture and our heritage in our new home in the U.S.A.,” Martin said. “We live here in Atlanta and make our individual contributions here, and at this time we acknowledge that we owe much to our heritage and to the heroes of our island.” The celebrations kicked off Aug. 2 with a Service of Thanksgiving at Hillside Presbyterian Church in Decatur and included a Cultural Extravaganza on Aug. 4 at St. Timothy United Methodist Church Hall in Stone Mountain, and an Aug. 7 Festival Dance at Footprints Night Club in Decatur.
Concert promoter Jason Lary is now the marketing and production manager for the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Community Center in Decatur. Lary, who lives in Lithonia, won the hotly contested bid in July to manJason Lary age marketing for the center over four other competitors. The performing arts center, which is owned by DeKalb County, opened last year. “I’m proud to represent the performing arts center and will continue to provide top quality performances to another DeKalb County venue,” he said. Lary, who has promoted concerts at the Lithonia Amphitheater in Lithonia since October 2005, said he will cross-brand events and ticketing at both venues. For event information and facility reservations call 404-286-7262.
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“The money raised is used to support early childhood education, the parent intern program, and family advocacy.”
Striders’ walk, race to benefit Our House In pursuit of good health By Charis Hanner
Hundreds of walkers and runners of all ages will descend on Georgia Perimeter College’s Decatur campus for the Aug. 22 “For Hope” Walk and Race, but the best registration deal is now through Aug. 16. Participants who preregister now will pay less and get T-shirts. The one-mile walk and 5K race is sponsored by the South DeKalb Striders Running Club. Proceeds will benefit Our House, a South DeKalb-based childhood education program and support center for homeless families. Jim Burch, the Striders’ assistant secretary, said the popular road race attracts participants ranging in age from 6 to 70 years old. “Last year we had about 350 participants,” he said. “This year we are expecting 300 to 400.” The walk and race, which is in its 16th year, is a major fundraiser for the Striders Club, which has raised more than $50,000 for Our House and other charities. Amy Green, Our House’s development director, said annual contributions from the South DeKalb Striders have been very beneficial to the nonprofit. “We rely on folks like the Striders and other contributors,” she said Tuesday. “The money raised is used to support early childhood education, the parent intern program, and family advocacy.”
Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile A routine sample of mosquitoes in DeKalb County last month tested positive for the West Nile virus and the DeKalb Board of Health is warning residents to take precautions against the potentially deadly virus that is spread by infected mosquitoes. Dr. Sandra Elizabeth Ford, the Board of Health’s district health director, in a July 24 statement encouraged residents to learn about the virus and to take precautions to protect themselves. “The most effective actions against the virus are to wear mosquito repellent and to reduce standing water where mosquitoes breed,” she said. The mosquitoes were the first found with West Nile this year. Since the virus can kill birds, the Division of Environmental Health also analyzes reports of dead birds. Adults over 50 have the highest risk for serious illness from the virus, but individuals of all ages can become ill if bitten by an infected mosquito. Some victims develop a less severe illness called West Nile fever, which usually does not require medical treatment. The Board of Health says that the most effective mosquito repellents contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. All repellents should be applied according to label instructions. For help in finding mosquito breeding sites, to report dead birds or for more information on West Nile virus, visit www.dekalbhealth. net or call 404-508-7900.
The South DeKalb Striders running club has raised more than $50,000 for Our House and other charities.
Green said the running club’s consistent support is invaluable to Our House. “In addition to their financial support, the Striders come to volunteer at Our House, which has been very helpful,” she said. Our House prides itself on being much more than just a childcare service. Green says it provides quality education and a loving environment to children. The nonprofit also offers paid internship opportunities in early childhood education and helps to bring families closer to employment and ultimately overcoming homelessness. The walk and 5K road race will both start and end in GPC’s park-
ing lot # 3 on Clifton Springs Road in Decatur. On event day, registration starts at 6:30 a.m. Giveaways, food, music, and pre- and post-race exercise sessions will be available. Early registration is available at http://www.active.com through Aug. 19. The early fee for the onemile run/ walk is $10; after Aug. 16, it will be $12. For the road race, the entry fee is $20, and $25 after Aug. 16. Checks payable to the South DeKalb Striders can also be mailed to P.O. Box 370902, Decatur, GA 30037. For more information, visit www.ourhousega.org or www. southdekalbstriders.org.
Lea Ann Rumlin, DeKalb Comprehensive Physical Therapy’s clinical director, screens Columbia High School student Alexis Perry for a sports injury during the DeKalb NAACP’s Aug. 1 health fair at the Gallery at South DeKalb. About a dozen health care providers offered free screenings for back-to-school and for high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, vision, sickle cell and HIV/AIDS. Participants also got information on heart attack, stroke, and breast and prostate cancer.
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“I was a little nervous, but when I got in the plane I was like, ‘Oh, this is cool.’ By the end of it I was really comfortable.”
Youths learn joy of flying at Flight Line summer camp Meeting seeks By McKenzie Jackson
Rising Southwest DeKalb High School junior John Rice, 16, doesn’t have his wings yet, but he is getting close. This summer, John logged 16 hours in the cockpit of a tricycle gear general aviation aircraft at the 2009 Flight Line Camp at NewnanCoweta County Airport. He launched, piloted and landed a Diamond DA20 for at least an hour and a half each day at the July 6-17 camp sponsored by the Organization of Black Airline Pilots. He said it was an exciting experience. “I was a little nervous, but when I got in the plane I was like, ‘Oh, this is cool,’ ” he said. “By the end of it I was really comfortable.” John was one of 10 teenagers, ages 14 to18, from across the Southeast picked for the camp from a group of 30 applicants. This was not John’s first ACE camp, but he said it was his first time flying a plane where he actually got to use the controls. Last summer, he took flying basics and piloted a plane for 30 minutes with an instructor at the controls.
John Rice (right) logged 16 hours in the cockpit while participating in the 2009 Flight Line Camp at Newnan-Coweta Airport.
In April he was interviewed and selected for Flight Line because of his high level of interest, motivation, dedication, and eagerness to learn. During the camp they learnd different aspects of flying and air traffic patterns. On his first day at camp, John said when he lifted the plane off the ground and into the air everything
was perfect. “It was really bumpy, but it was pretty clear,” he said. “It was a nice day to go flying.” Campers picked up their certificates at a July 24 graduation ceremony at the Delta Training Center Auditorium in Atlanta. John’s next goal is to start an aviation club at Southwest DeKalb and to share what he learned with
other students. He said he wants to get his pilot’s license before the end of the school year. Joyce Rice, John’s mother, said the camp was a life-changing experience for her son. “To be 16 years old and actually flying a plane will let him know that the sky is the limit and all he has to do is apply himself,” she said.
Workshop focuses on conservation, natural resources Five DeKalb high school students went green over the summer at the 48th annual Natural Resources Conservation Workshop at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton. Ryan Stokes, Anthony Smith, Marshelle Davis, Kristopher Stephens and Ashley McCray were among 99 Georgia and U.S. Virign Islands high school students at the June 7-11 workshop that explored the environment and natural resources. Their trip was sponsored by the DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation District. Since its inception, more than 11,500 students have participated. The workshop offered instruction and hands-on activities led by professionals from the Georgia Cooperative Extension Service,
DeKalb students (from left) Anthony Smith, Kristopher Stephens, Marshelle Davis, Ryan Stokes and Ashley McCray attended the five-day workshop.
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Georgia Mining Association. It covered a dozen core subjects that included
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students’ view on bullying By McKenzie Jackson
Students can speak out against bullying at an Aug. 15 town hall meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Atlanta. The noon to 2 p.m. “Youth Speak Out Against Bullying” meeting is sponsored by the Georgia Coalition Against Bullying. The free town hall meeting will follow two days of thoughtprovoking sessions and workshops during the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s Aug. 13-15 Summer Conference and Georgia State Convention. Tyleis Speight, Southeast regional director for the National Action Network, said that by offering young people the opportunity to share their experiences and viewpoint on bullying, schools and communities can effectively address the issue. “We have not heard from our children,” she said. “We want young people to talk about bullying from their perspective, whether they have been bullied or have been bullies themselves.” Bullying became a hot-button issue last spring after two elementary school students – both 11 years old – in Atlanta and in Springfield, Mass., allegedly killed themselves after constant bullying at school. D e Ka l b County fifthgrader Jaheem Herrera reportedly had complained of bullying at Dunaire Elementary School in Stone Jaheem Herrera Mountain before he hanged himself at his Decatur home. At the town hall meeting, a panel of five youths will lead the discussion on bullying and its effects on kids. Students in the audience will also be able to speak. Other speakers for the event include DeKalb Public Safety director William Miller, Gwinnett County school teacher Dr. Janet Howard, motivational speaker Keene M. Walker and Rich Pellegrino, founder and president of the Cobb Immigrant Alliance. Another speaker, Georgia Equality director Jeff Graham, said the state’s current bullying policy is insufficient and as a result, too many young adults suffer needlessly. He also criticized an investigation by the DeKalb School System that found no bullying at the school where Jaheem was a student. “When you have school districts who publicly state that their position is that ‘gay means happy,’ there is obviously a disconnect between those who set policy and those most affected by those policies,” he said. Speight’s hope is that the voices of children will resonate more with adults. “Bullying has always been around in school,” she said, “but I think it is taking on new forms and beginning to escalate.” The Hyatt Regency is at 265 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. For more information or to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 678-732-0405.
August 8, 2009
“Without it, the School System would have to lay off people and we don’t want people to lose jobs. It would be cruel to lay people off in this economy.”
Lewis outlines plan to improve county schools “No longer will the school district tolerate students expressing their ‘individualism’ On Monday, more than 98,000 at the expense of teaching DeKalb students will head back to and learning,” he said. schools that will be stricter about For the first time, teachthe ways they dress, behave and ers will also be analyzed on learn. how well they enforce the Parents are also going to find redress code He said the code newed focus on them as the School of conduct must be enforced System reaches out with a new more consistently. Parent Resource Guide and other “Disruptive students must initiatives that will be tapping into be removed from the classthe cell phones, Blackberries and room immediately,” he said. emails to keep them informed. “Teachers must follow proDeKalb Schools Superintendent tocol and ensure that docuDr. Crawford Lewis put teachers, mentation has been compiled students and parents on notice at on disruptive students,” he the school system’s July 24 Summer said. “Parents must be kept Leadership Conference at Arabia DeKalb Schools Superintendent Dr. Crawford Lewis laid out an Mountain High School. aggressive action plan for students, teachers and parents at the School in the communication loop to ensure that they are notiHe said they can no longer System’s Summer Leadership Conference on July 24. fied and are aware when their continue to do things the same way because it is convenient or comfortable. Jay Cunningham, who has the most schools children are involved in disrupting the “For too long we have accepted mediocri- with new principals in his 5th District, said teaching and learning process.” ty and interpreted our progress as if all of our he lobbied for the change and is OK with it. schools are performing at high levels when “In business, anything you do, you have Parental Initiatives Parental Involvement is also taking we know that many of them, particularly our to have a team,” he said. “It should be the high schools, are not meeting the standards same in education. If the principals don’t center stage and the School System has that a competitive global society demands,” have people around them to support them rolled out a number of initiatives to engage he said. Lewis told principals and assistant we are not going to make progress. The way parents more in their children’s education. principals that they are expected to monitor we run the school system has to change. We It is giving a new face to its Parent Portal and address student dress as they occur and can no longer do things the same old way.” to strengthen the partnership between the home. For the first time, it has created and that they must hold students and their parpublished a Parents Resource Guide that ents to a higher level of accountability. Five schools move “As leaders, my expectation is that you Of the five schools in new locations, two walks parents through the expectations will run your school,” he said. “And you must are brand new facilities, and three relocated and curriculum for every grade. The booklet, which is available online do this fairly and be unwavering in your to facilities that were renovated at a cost of and in print, lists strategies which can commitment to excellence.” $10 million. The new schools are the $49.5 million be used to aid students with homework Changes on tap include: environmentally-friendly Arabia Mountain assignments, test-taking tips and much n 24 schools will have new principals High School in Lithonia and the Dunwoody more. It is also piloting a new E-Parent comn Five schools in new locations Elementary School in north DeKalb. munication system at nine schools. The n 40 elementary, middle and high schools DeKalb Elementary School for the Arts will have two different America’s Choice (DESA), Elizabeth Andrews High School electonic communication system will Design Models and the DeKalb School of the Arts (DSA) are allow the school system to send information directly to parents’ cell phones, n Stricter enforcement of dress and Student opening Monday in renovated facilities. Blackberries, or email addresses. Code of Conduct policy n Introduction of the Parent Portal America’s Choice n Parents now have the Parents Resource America’s Choice will go into 14 elemenGuide to guide them through their children’s tary schools, 13 middle and 13 high schools education to improve student performance. n Nine schools will pilot E-Parent, an elecLewis said it will be used to monitor tronic communication tool that gives the progress and inform instruction; align inschool system instant access to parents. struction to standards and focus teaching In one of the biggest leadership change at on moving students to where they need to one time, Lewis installed new principals at 24 be; strengthen instructional leadership and schools. Nine elementary, five middle, seven build professional learning communities; high and three centers all have new leader- and engage parents and the community. ship teams. Lewis said that some people believe the changes were too many at once Stricter dress code policy and that some were too controversial but that This year student conduct and dress change is inevitable to help secure the future are top priorities for the school system and of all students. Lewis says every student is expected to attend Most of the schools with new principals school every day dressed appropriately and are in South DeKalb. School Board member ready to learn. By Jennifer Ffrench Parker
Teacher pensions on hold for now Teachers and other DeKalb Schools employees are without their DeKalb School Board-sponsored retirement plan for the next 10 months. At a July 27 emergency meeting, the School Board voted to suspend its participation in the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia retirement plan from Aug. 1 to June 30, 2010 at a savings of $16 to $20 million. The temporary suspension enables to school system to pay teachers for the three days of furlough ordered by Gov. Sonny Perdue because of declining state revenues. The board said the action offsets the 3 percent cut in state funding and the equivalent of three days’ pay. “The temporary suspension of the Board-sponsored contribution is the least disruptive solution, generates enough reduction to offset the cuts to state revenue, and allows all employees to maintain the same level of take-home pay,” the board said. It said contributions to TRS will continue as normal. David Shutten, president of the Organizatyion of DeKalb Employees (ODE) which represents teachers in the school system, said the suspension of the pension plan was “the best of all the bad David Shutten choices.” “Without it, the School System would have to lay off people and we don’t want people to lose jobs,” he said. “It would be cruel to lay people off in this economy.” He said things are so bad that a DeKalb principal who normally gets eight to 10 applications for one position, recently got 300 applications. Shutten the greatest worry from teachers is that the suspension would be permanent, but he said that the School Board has assured them that it is not.
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Multiplied” to commemorate the congregation’s 95 years of community service. Organizers say that if every resident responds by donating $95 multiplied by 95 others and then 95 more, it will become a modern day “fishes and loaves type” miracle. Funds from the campaign will finance the backpack and school supply giveaways. Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church is at 1879 Glenwood Ave. in Atlanta. For more information, call 404-377-0562.
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“They are all great tennis players. They’re good kids and they have the right attitude and demeanors as tennis players.”
High school teams holding scrimmages to prep for football season By McKenzie Jackson
DeKalb County’s newest football team will take the gridiron for the first time against an opponent on Aug. 14. The Arabia Mountain High School Rams will play the Duluth Wildcats in a preseason scrimmage at 7:30 p.m. at Duluth High School, 3737 Brock Road in Duluth. The Rams, who will only have players in grades 9-11, will be coached by Chris Beal, one of five new football coaches in the county this year. The Rams are among eight south and central DeKalb teams that will be playing in a preseason scrimmage to get ready for the high school football season, which kicks off on Aug. 28. Also on Aug. 14, the Martin Luther King Jr. Lions will play the Cedar Grove Saints at Panthersville Stadium, 2817 Clifton Springs Road, Decatur at 7:30 p.m. The Lions are coming off a 8-3 2008 season and will be led by senior running back Mack Brown, who has committed to the University of Florida. Brown, the state’s top-rated rusher, ran for 1,660 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. Cedar Grove is coming off of a 6-4 2008 season. The Columbia Eagles will scrimmage the Marietta Blue Devils at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 15 at Panthersville Stadium. Coming off a 5-5 season, the Eagles will be running a pro style, spread offense under new head coach Mario Allen, as opposed to the two tight-end, wing-T offense that was the team’s staple under former coach Kevin Latham. Junior tight end/defensive end Darnelius “Tank” Sessions, at 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds, one of the Eagles’ top players. He has committed to Florida State University. On Aug. 20, the Avondale Blue
Stephenson’s Jaguars will be counting on senior running back Raymond Sanders, who rushed for 1,305 yards and 14 touchdowns last year.
McKenzie Jackson / CrossRoadsNews
Devils will play the Holy Innocents Golden Bears at Riverwood High School, 5900 Heards Drive NW, Atlanta, at 6 p.m. Avondale is coming off a 1-9 season and is led by coach Michael Carson, who is in his second season
with the team. The second annual “Battle of the Big Cats,” the Stephenson Jaguars vs. the Tucker Tigers, will be on Aug. 21 at Hallford Stadium, 3789 Memorial College Ave., Clarkston at 7 p.m. Stephenson is coming off a 9-2
season and is led by senior running back Raymond Sanders, who ran for 1,305 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Tucker, the Class AAAA defending state champions, posted a 14-1 record last year. One of
the Tigers’ top players is 6-foot-2, 215-pound junior linebacker James Vaughters, who is being recruited by college football programs such as Stanford, Georgia Tech and Georgia. The McNair Mustangs will take on the Carver-Atlanta Panthers at Panthersville Stadium on Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. Last season Carver-Atlanta beat McNair 35-14. The teams will play again during the regular season on Nov. 7. McNair had 6-4 record last season. In other scrimmages involving DeKalb County teams, Chamblee will play South Cobb on Aug. 14 at North DeKalb Stadium at 7 p.m. On Aug. 22, Druid Hills will scrimmage Lakeside and Cross Keys will scrimmage OLM at Adams Stadium. The times for those games have not yet been set. The Southwest DeKalb Panthers, Stone Mountain Pirates, Miller Grove Wolverines, Lithonia Bulldogs, Redan Raiders, Towers Titans and Clarkston Angoras did not have scrimmages set as of press time.
Former Panther QB named to All-CAA second team Eric Ward led the Richmond University Spiders to the Football Championship Subdivision’s 2008 National Championship last December.
Former Southwest DeKalb High School quarterback Eric Ward was selected to the 2009 Preseason All-Colonial Athletic Association second team on July 29. Ward, a redshirt senior with the Richmond University Spiders, led the team to the Football Championship Subdivision’s 2008 National Championship last December with 24-7 win over the Montana Grizzlies. The 2005 SWD graduate enters his senior season, which kicks off on Sept. 5 against Duke University, as one of the top pro quarterback prospects in the FCS. Currently the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Ward is Richmond’s career leader in completion percentage at 62 percent, and he is second in team history in passing yards with 6,573. During his college career he has tossed 45 touchdown passes, second-most in Richmond history, and he has run for 1,046 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Three South DeKalb youths testing their tennis skills on national stage By McKenzie Jackson
South DeKalb tennis players Ja’Haun Freeman-Clark, Brittany Harrell and Jordan Harrell are showing off their racket skills on the national stage, while hoping to gain some attention from a tennis legend. The USTA junior players ages 14 to 17 are on a six-player team that is competing in the 13th annual World Team Tennis Junior Nationals Aug. 5-8 at the George E. Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, Calif. Each year the premiere, 16-team event features many of the nation’s most promising junior tennis players going head-to-head in a co-ed tournament. The competition is hosted by tennis great Billie Jean King, a 12-time Grand Slam singes title winner and co-founder of the World Team Tennis league. Ja’Haun, 14, a rising freshman at Cedar Grove High School in Ellenwood and the state’s 10thranked female tennis player in her age group, said she is excited about the tournament and facing off against some of the nation’s best players.
Young tennis stars (clockwise from far left) Ja’Haun FreemanClark, Brittany Harrell and Jordan Harrell are competing in the World Team Tennis Junior Nationals in San Diego.
McKenzie Jackson / CrossRoadsNews
“The thing I’m mostly nervous about is meeting Billie Jean King,” she said. “She is a very noble person and I don’t want to embarrass myself or anything.” The DeKalb players will be joining Atlanta tennis player Drew Anderson on the Smooth Strokes Tennis Academy team coached Alyce Meadors, a certified tennis instructor from Nashville, Tenn., who has been fielding teams in the three-day tournament for the last 15 years.
Meadors and Atlanta-based Coan Tennis Association operator and instructor James Gordon organized the Smooth Strokes team and are sponsoring the trip. Gordon, also the District 3 director of the USTA Southern Georgia, said Meadors asked him to pick the three best tennis players he had seen in the Atlanta area. “The first three that came to mind were Ja’Haun, Jordan and Brittany,” he said. “They are all great tennis players. They’re good kids and they have
the right attitude and demeanors as tennis players. They are probably some of the best we could pick for this event.” The event will feature teams from all-across the nation this year including USTA Southern, USTA Southwest, USTA Hawaii Pacific, USTA Middle States and Jack Kramer Club. Brittany Harrell, 17, a rising senior at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Lithonia and Jordan’s older sister, said she was excited about the cross-country trek to San Diego. “I’ve never been to San Diego,” said Brittany, MLK’s No. 1 singles player. “Plus we are going to do something we love.” All three of the players are part of the United States Tennis Association, and play in up to 20 tennis tournaments yearround across Georgia and the Southeast. Each is familiar with the others’ game on the tennis court. Brittany said they all have different games. “Jordan, he has the most variety,” she said. “He has the drop shots and all this other stuff. We
look at that and say, ‘Hey I want to do that.’” Fourteen-year-old Jordan, a rising freshman at M.L. King and the 22nd ranked player in the Southeast, said his older sister’s game is nice. “She has beautiful angles [when she hits the tennis ball],” he said. “She can get to a lot of balls because she is quick.” Jordan said Ja’Haun swings the racket with a lot of power. “She can blow you off the court,” he said. “So, it’s hard to keep up.” Ranette Clark, Ja’Haun’s mom and an avid tennis player, said the opportunity that Ja’Haun, Jordan and Brittany are getting is big. “This is a great opportunity for these kids,” she said. “I would have dreamed to be in the presence of Billie Jean King. These kids have the opportunity of a lifetime. Who gets to go that far?” James Harrell is Jordan and Brittany’s father and the director of junior development at First Serve Tennis Academy in Atlanta. “It allows them to be exposed to other players outside of Georgia,” he said. “This is exciting because
August 8, 2009
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Pursuant to O.C.G.A.19-8-12, and other pertinent laws, you are advised that you will lose all rights to this child, and you will neither receive notice of, nor be entitled to object to the custody and adoption of the child, unless, within thirty (30) days of your receipt of this notice, you file an Answer to this Petition pursuant to O.C.G.A. 19-7-22, and give notice in writing of the filing of such Petition to this Court and to the attorney listed below. You must prosecute the action to Final Judgment. You are further advised that if you intend to object to this Petition, you must file an Answer to the within thirty (30) days in the Superior Court of Richmond County, Georgia. You are urged to immediately retain legal counsel to assist you in this matter.
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Dated this 20th day of May, 2009.
Elaine C. Johnson Clerk Of Superior Court Richmond County, Georgia Helen W. Yu Attorney for Petitioners
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3540 Wheeler Road, Ste. 509 Augusta, Georgia 30909 GSBN: 783555 (706) 736-3020
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August 8, 2009