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Youth group Mindless Behavior stopped by the Ronald McDonald House to bring cheer to some of the young patients there. 2

Participants will seek to raise $50,000 in the third annual Free to Breathe Atlanta run/ walk on Aug. 18 at John Howell Park. 7

Humanitarian side trip

Strides for a good cause


August 18, 2012

Copyright © 2012 CrossRoadsNews, Inc.

Volume 18, Number 16

Trial for former school superintendent still not set By Carla Parker

While DeKalb kids were headed to school for the first day of class, former DeKalb School Superintendent Crawford Lewis was headed to court to figure out when his trial on racketeering and other charges will finally begin. Lewis, who left the school district on April 16, 2010, and his co-defendants – former Chief Operating Officer Patricia Reid and her former husband, Anthony Pope – were scheduled to be in court on Aug. 13 for a status hearing. They are facing charges of running a criminal enterprise that sent millions of dollars to Pope while he was married to Reid and to school system vendors in exchange for cash, sports tickets and other perks. The 300-page indictment, issued in May 2012, alleges that $80 million in contracts were obtained through fraud and that Pope made more than $2 million on the deals. It includes four counts of racketeering, one count of theft by taking by a government employee, and one count of bribery. It dropped charges against Pope’s former secretary, Cointa Moody, and charges of falsifying a public document against the group.

Lewis is charged with using his public office for illegal private gain and to conceal waste, fraud, abuse and corruption. Lewis, Pope, Reid and Moody were originally indicted in May 2010. Moody is now expected to testify as a state witness. At Monday’s hearing, lawyers told DeKalb Superior Court Judge Cynthia J. Becker that they were ready to move forward on the trial but are still exchanging information with DeKalb Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney John Melvin. Pope’s attorney, John Petrey, said all of the defense attorneys are still in the discovery process, which includes going through 360 boxes of documents. “We have a little bit of discovery issue that Mr. Melvin and I will be able to solve,” he told Becker. “I need to give him some stuff, he needs to give us some stuff, but we’ll be ready when you tell us to be ready.” After the hearing, Petrey told the media that it “sounds like” the case will be going to trial soon. “I have every hope and belief that we will try the case this fall,” he said. Reid was not in court on Aug. 13. Her lawyer, Tony Axam, Carla Parker / CrossRoadsNews said he did not receive the notice. She was allowed to show Dr. Crawford Lewis, former DeKalb Schools superintendent, stands in court on Aug. 13 while his lawyer talks to the judge. up on Aug. 14.

Snapfinger Median Already Unkempt A man and his dog skirt the overgrown sidewalk on Snapfinger Road near the intersection of Wesley Chapel Road and the South DeKalb YMCA.

Weeds have field day on newly expanded road By Jennifer Ffrench Parker

South DeKalb residents’ worst fears about the new median on Snapfinger Road are coming true. The $10.1 million project that widened 1.8 miles of Snapfinger Road between Wesley Chapel Road and Flat Shoals Parkway has left the community with a 20-foot-wide median of weeds. Margaret Williams, who lives in the Snapfinger Lake subdivision, said it is irritating to look at it every day. “I just got sick and tired of looking at how tall those weeds are,” she said. Larry Anderson, who attended the September 1999 meeting at which the project was first unveiled to the community, said he knew the “landscaped median” was a bad idea. “I told them it was going to become a trash receptacle and that is what Larry Anderson is happening,” he said. “Large grassy areas like that are never maintained in our community. Just look at Flat Shoals Parkway.” The median, which was planted in grass and without the trees and plants that the community was promised, has now become a big eyesore. Williams said she got the runaround at DeKalb County government last week before she was finally given a telephone number for the Georgia Department of Transportation. “They came the next day and cut it,” she said. “But they didn’t cut the sidewalks.”

Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews

On Thursday, waist-high weeds threatened to cover sections of the new road. Anderson said he was and is opposed to medians with grass because of the community’s experience with getting the county and GDOT to maintain them. “Everybody who drives down Flat Shoals Road knows it,” he said. “It’s not maintained regularly; the grass is allowed to grow really tall before it’s cut. Then there is so much grass clippings that is just left there.” Even though the community was shown maps and diagrams with trees and shrubs when the project was introduced, GDOT is now saying that “landscaped” was never part of the plan for the Snapfinger Road

median. Responding to questions Thursday from CrossRoadsNews about when the promised trees and flowers would be installed along the median, GDOT spokesman Mark McKinnon said “landscaping was not included on this project.” “Georgia DOT stopped including landscaping from projects in 1999 due to drought,” he said. But as late as Dec. 1, 2004, when the Atlanta Regional Commission officially approved its Mobility 2030 Transportation Plan that included the Snapfinger Road widening, the project’s description included a “20-footwide landscaped median.”

Between September 1999 and 2009, when the project started, the construction costs – for two lanes in each direction, a 20-foot landscaped median, turn lanes at all intersections, paved sidewalks on both sides of the road and 4-foot bike lanes in each direction – went from $4 million to $10.1 million. As ugly as an all-concrete median would look, Anderson said it would be better than overgrown grass. “We know we are not going to get any consistent maintenance,” he said. “I would prefer if they dig up the grass and pave it. It may be harsh looking, but it would be better than seeing a hundred species of weed growing there.”




August 18, 2012

“We like to meet people. We want to make them happy and show them that we are normal just like them.”

Mindless Behavior meets sick kids at Ronald McDonald House By Jennifer Ffrench Parker

When 6-year-old Ky’Mijia Thomas heard that he was going to meet the popular teen R&B boy band Mindless Behavior, he was so excited, he couldn’t sleep. He looked them up on the computer and found a video of them performing. “I can’t stop watching it,” he said with a wide grin. The group had just finished two sold-out concerts at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta on Aug. 4 and 5 and was headed to Jacksonville, Miss., when they stopped by the Ronald McDonald House near Emory Hospital on Aug. 6 to cheer up some of the young patients who are battling cancer. “He enjoyed seeing them,” said his mother, Tamara Washington, who was snapping pictures of her son’s brief encounter with stars. Washington said that Ky’Mijia kept complaining for months about pain but they had no idea why. “It got so he couldn’t walk,” she said. Turned out he has a very rare form of cancer that afflicts about 400 children a year. While he is getting treatment, Ky’Mijia and his mother, who are both from Albany, are staying at the Ronald McDonald House, which is more like a three-star hotel. They moved in on July 21 and will be there until his treatment ends on Aug. 28. She said he is doing well. “He is a lot stronger than I am,” she said. “He keeps my hopes up.” Thirteen-year-old Savion Finney also got to take a photo with the quartet – Princeton, Ray Ray, Roc Royal and Prodigy. They also autographed photos of themselves for the kids. The group, which was brought together

Mindless Behavior members Princeton chats with Ky’Mijia Thomas. At right are Roc Royal and Prodigy. Ray Ray was also there.

Jennifer Ffrench Parker / CrossRoadsNews

in Los Angeles by famed music producer Walter Millsap, hit the road as the opening act for the Backstreet Boys, Justin Bieber and Janet Jackson. Savion said he has been a fan of Mindless Behavior since it hit the national stage. During the visit, not even his illness could wipe the smile from his face, discolored by the effects of the radiation and chemotherapy he is undergoing for leukemia. Savion got to speak with Ray Ray, who is his favorite Mindless Behavior member. “I said, ‘What’s up,’ and he said, ‘What’s up’ back,” said Savion, a Shiloh Middle School eighth-grader who is being home schooled during his treatment. Ray Ray said it was great to meet the children. “We like to meet people,” he said. “We want to make them happy and show them that we are normal just like them.” The group’s monthlong #1 Girl Tour – named for their first album released last

September – ends Aug. 18 at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, Calif. The 50-bedroom Ronald McDonald House, which was half full the day Mindless Behavior visited, serves 2,000 families a year. Carrie Bowden, the charity’s marketing and communications director, said the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House is supported by metro Atlanta’s 60 McDonald’s operators and the community. Families pay $20 a night to stay and stay an average of seven nights. “But they can stay here as long as their child is getting care,” she said. “No family is ever turned away because of the inability to pay.” The nonprofit’s biggest annual fundraiser, the black-tie Hearts and Hand Gala, which is set for Oct. 6 this year, will feature comedian and television star Jeff Foxworthy. Other fund-raisers include a golf tournament in the spring and the Brookhaven Dines-In, where donors pay $150-$250 for

a six-course-meal in private homes. Atlanta BMW operators also sponsor an annual raffle to support the nonprofit. This year, the grand prize for the $100 raffle ticket is a 2013 BMW 640i convertible. Atlanta McDonald’s operators and their customers donate $1.2 million annually to both houses. Customers support the houses through collection jars in the restaurants. Statewide, there are seven Ronald McDonald Houses. Worldwide, the independent nonprofit, Ronald McDonald House Charities Inc., operates 318 houses that provide temporary housing to critically ill children being treated at hospitals. The LEED-certified Ronald McDonald House near Emory was built in 2008. It replaced the original 16-room house that opened in 1979 as the fourth Ronald McDonald House worldwide. It serves children being treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. It is one of two in Atlanta. The other, an 11-room house on Peachtree Dunwoody Road that opened in 1984, serves children being treated at Children’s at Scottish Rite. Eligible patients, who must live at least 50 miles from Atlanta, are referred to the houses by the hospitals treating them. They get the comforts of home, nutritious meals prepared and served by volunteers, and contact with other families in similar situations. Bowden says the houses are in constant need of volunteers to man their check-in desks, greet families, answer the phones, keep the kitchen and public areas organized, supply and prepare meals on site daily for the families, and plan and coordinate evening family activities. To volunteer, contact Nicole Holley at or 404315-1133, Ext. 1118.



August 18, 2012


The trial date was originally set for Aug. 29, but Woodard’s lawyer tried to have the case pushed back to December.

Judge ready for death penalty case to start The man accused of killing DeKalb County Police Officers Eric Barker and Ricky Bryant Jr. in 2008 will finally have his day in court in October. DeKalb Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey told lawyers in the death penalty case of William Woodard that it was time to move William Woodard Eric Barker Ricky Bryant forward with the trial. “I’m ready to proceed with this case,” he two DeKalb police officers to lose their lives in the line of duty at the same time. said at an Aug. 14 status hearing. The trial date was originally set for Aug. Coursey told Woodard’s lawyers and DeKalb prosecutors that there has been 29, but Woodard’s lawyer, William Morrison, tried to have the case pushed back to enough delay in the 4-year-old case. The police officers, who worked at the December. “The criteria, the deadline and everything South Precinct, were gunned down at the Glenwood Garden Apartments in Decatur taken into consideration in a death penalty on Jan. 15, 2008, when they were working case is different,” Morrison said. “We will do everything that we can to have this case ready off-duty jobs. Barker, 33, and Bryant, 26, were the first to be tried on Dec. 15.”

Coursey didn’t buy his argument and set trial for Oct. 1. “That gives you plenty of time to get ready,” the judge said. Prosecutors say the trial has been delayed so long because of “rotation of counsel” for Woodard. Coursey also was newly assigned to the case, which was previously before Judge Gail Flake. Woodard’s lawyers filed a motion on July 23 requesting that Flake recuse herself because of her bid for re-election. Flake won re-election on July 31, defeating opponent Michael Rothenberg, who was indicted on July 17 on six felony counts of theft by taking. In the motion, Woodard’s lawyers stated that Flake was placed in the “untenable position” of serving as the trial court judge in Woodard’s death penalty case. The motion was granted on Aug. 2.

AAA offers tips for motorists stranded on highway Motorists stranded on the roadside should be aware of hazardous conditions and distracted drivers. AAA says that many drivers put themselves in danger when stranded on highways and that emergency responders – paramedics and tow truck drivers­ ­– also are placed in harm’s way. For the first quarter of 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 7,630 people died in roadside motor vehiclerelated fatalities, up 13.5 percent from the same time period in 2011. Gerry Gutowski Sr., vice president of Automotive Services for the Auto Club Group,


said there is no safe way to deal with being stranded on the roadside in the middle of traffic but that some practices are safer than others. “Regardless of if you are in a car crash or your car breaks down while you are driving, there are important actions you can take to help protect you and other occupants in your vehicle,” he said. AAA offers these tips to stay safe on the roadside: n Pull off to the right side of the road. Try to pull over onto the shoulder where you are not in danger of getting struck by traffic. n Turn on your hazard lights. Make certain


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you are visible to other drivers by turning on your vehicle’s emergency flashers. If your lights do not work, exit the vehicle and stay out of oncoming traffic. n Exit your vehicle opposite the side of oncoming traffic. If you exit your vehicle, wait as far away from it and traffic as possible. Try to stand on a sidewalk or behind a guardrail. n Call police for assistance. If you are concerned for your safety and need assistance with traffic control, call local law enforcement for help. For more information, visit http://auto

Oliver refuses plea deal in death of cousin Seventeen-year-old Charlie Robert Oliver of Lithonia refused to plead guilty in the shooting death of his 8-year-old cousin and is now headed to trial on Aug. 27. Oliver has been in jail since the July 6, 2011, death of Solomon Zellner, a rising secondgrader at Fairington Elementary School. Solomon was shot at the Salem Glen Road Charlie Oliver home where he and Oliver lived in Lithonia. He died the next morning and Oliver was arrested. Police said Solomon’s mother was in the home at the time of the shooting but not in the same room. Oliver has always maintained that the shooting was accidental. A DeKalb grand jury indicted him on Aug. 9, 2011, on felony murder and aggravated assault charges. At a pre-trial hearing on Aug. 13, the District Attorney’s Office tried to negotiate a plea deal with the teen but he wouldn’t take it. Oliver, who was born in October 1994, was originally held in a juvenile facility but was relocated to the DeKalb County Jail when he turned 17 years old. Since his April appearance in court, Oliver has acquired tattoos all over his face. In a first court appearance in July 2011, he said the shooting was an accident.

Education Town Hall Forum Topic: Charter School Constitutional Amendment on the November 6th ballot.

Tuesday August 21st 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Community Achievement Center 4522 Flat Shoals Parkway Decatur

Panel will feature speakers who favor and oppose the legislation. Discussion will be followed by Q&A. Hosted By:

Sorority, Inc. Decatur Alumnae Chapter


Stone Mountain-Lithonia & Decatur Alumni Chapters

For more information: 404 214-7400 or


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

Editor / Publisher Jennifer Parker Graphic Design Curtis Parker Staff Writers Carla Parker Jennifer Ffrench Parker Copy Editor Brenda Yarbrough Advertising Sales Kathy E. Warner 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.




August 18, 2012

The reason for my dismay is that I saw “nary,” not one person of color among those 50-plus or more scientists and engineers.

The black vote is being taken for granted, again By Cloves Campbell

There are 80 days until voters throughout the country cast their votes for the next president of the United States of America and for members of the U.S. Senate, Congress and state leg islatures. The campaign war chests Cloves Campbell for President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney total almost $3 billion. However as of this writing, not one dollar has been spent in the Black Press. Once again the Black Press has been relegated to an “Oh By the Way” campaign that features one-half page ad placed two weeks before the election in all black

newspapers totaling a shameful $1.2 million. That is the money placed by the Obama for America Campaign. The Romney Campaign has zero dollars allocated. To put this all into paper perspective, let me fill you in on the process. In January of this year, we had conversations with the Obama campaign. At that time, we were told that money was not coming in as expected so they could not talk about advertising in black newspapers. In late April, after we found out that the OFA campaign had $800 million, we put together a very detailed advertising proposal for $21 million, which included multiple insertions in all publications of the National Newspaper Publishers Association from June through November. The plan suggested a campaign that encouraged three phases of

Gabby Douglas, Olympic gold, her hair, really people Before the 2012 Summer Olympics, many living within the African-American, black, Negro, etc. … community were not familiar with the name of an American teen girl of color making history on the world stage with over 40 million people watching. Young Gabby Douglas won the first gold medal as an American teen girl of color as all-around gymnast. But as I read and viewed some of the commentary regarding Gabby Jerry Wyatt Douglas, there is no real understanding of the magnitude of the impact of this American teen girl of color effectively cracking the glass ceiling of the all-around-gymnast competition. There is no real understanding of the magnitude of the choices she had to make at such a young age. Gabby Douglas dared to want to be the very best she could and she had the will to fight for her dream. There is no real understanding of the magnitude of this young lady winning two gold medals and what the image of her represents to over 40 million viewers around the earth.  There is no real understanding of the magnitude of the sacrifices her mother made giving a portion of her child’s life to a family she knew nothing about. There is no real understanding of the magnitude of the impact of the life lessons of Gabby Douglas’ mother. Or how those life lessons were the driving spirits which led to Gabby Douglas winning two gold medals. Now can you imagine for just a moment … what Gabby Douglas’ accomplishments represent for any impoverished teen of color anywhere in the world. There is no real understanding of the magnitude of the impact this teen of color represents around the world. How could anyone focus on anything else that is not of a greater magnitude. Well … I pray this comes as a surprise for you to think there are others who could not find a stronger view to offer commentary about other than Ms. Gabby Douglas’ hair. Jerry Wyatt lives in Lithonia. Read his blog at Jerry+Wyatt.

action. The first steps were “Voters Registration – you can’t vote if you are not registered.” Second was “Proper ID – What to take to the polls.” Understanding that voter suppression laws vary from state to state, it is important that voters know what to take to the polls in order to vote. The last stop is “GOTV – get out the vote.” Mobilizing our communities to go to the polls is the key to winning the upcoming election. Our proposal also included an aggressive digital and social media campaign as well. Today, we are once again being taken for granted. Does Jim Messina, manager of the Obama re-election campaign, know something about black folks that we don’t know? I am beginning to wonder where are the black folks who are advising this campaign? Do they

not see the money being spent around them? Are they not asking why are there no black pollsters, ad agencies, placement firms, or other black-owned businesses reaping the benefits of the $3 billion being spent this election campaign season? To take a quote from the movie “Trading Places”: “No matter what happens … Duke and Duke still get their commission!” What are we to do? Do we stand by and again wait four more years? Let’s get moving now! Come on Roland Martin, the Rev. [Al] Sharpton, the Rev. [Jesse] Jackson, Cliff Kelly, Steve Harvey, Oprah Winfrey! Let’s talk about this now. Cloves Campbell is chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association that represents 200 black-owned newspapers nationwide.

County to blame for flight to cities I am in hearty agreement with Decatur resident Elrado Ramsey concerning the flight of residents from unincorporated DeKalb County to emerging cities within DeKalb County. Mr. Ramsey is right … the county government is to blame. Instead of making conservative decisions that result in a higher standard of living and less of a nanny-state, county commissioners and even some residents are quick to capitulate on tax increases for expanded services instead of taking action to correct wasteful spending or avoid repeated abuses (I refer to the recent increase of our water rates, to fund “growth”). They (commissioners and residents) endorse huge boondoggles like MARTA rail

extension to Stonecrest mall at $1.8 billion over cheaper commuter rail to Covington; give the go-ahead to facilities that are anything but public such as the ritzy clubhouse being built to replace a once truly public swimming pool in Wade Walker Park. This is something counties like Gwinnett do not have to do because of Aquatorium developments in all four corners of the county. South DeKalb residents can complain all they like, make accusations of racism and even criticize the contents of this letter, but the truth is inescapable: Until residents adopt a different mind-set, more people will leave unincorporated DeKalb – including myself, an AfricanAmerican ­– until concerns are addressed. Vincent M. Kelly lives in Lithonia.

Encourage kids to pursue science As I watched the exploratory vehicle land on Mars a few days ago, I joined with the group of scientists and engineers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in cheering for America. Then I paused and caught my breath.  As I witness that same scene of cheering repeated on various channels over the next few days, a pall William Murrain settled over me. The reason for my dismay is that I saw “nary,” not one person of color among those 50-plus or more scientists and engineers.  I

don’t fault them or racism or any other malady. I fault myself and our community. We have been derelict and have not expended the effort to train, cajole, push, persuade, encourage, by any means necessary, our children and those youngsters with whom we have contact to prepare for and to pursue such careers. My Rotary Club made a recent donation to a local predominantly black high school to support their Robotics and Technology program. We cannot stop there.  This battle is not over, we must engage a new generation! William Murrain lives in Con­yers. He is a member of the South DeKalb Rotary Club.

We need to address poor service As a black race of people, we have made tremendous progress in this world to the level of having the first black president in the White House, black leaders in key political positions and in many other professions. As I drive around I notice that the white community seems to get better overall service in all areas than the black community. The reason is very simple: White people demand good service and they get involved. They also call and complain to individuals in key positions to get results. We on the other

hand – not all of us – see and know that the service that we receive from businesses, county, states and government is poor and we do not take time to find out who is responsible. Our streets are dirty, our exit ramps to the interstates are ugly, business surroundings are not clean, homes are rundown and unkempt, and renters do not care about our communities. Even some churches are not maintaining their properties. We can do a whole lot better. Complain, complain, complain. David George lives in Decatur.

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August 18, 2012

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August 18, 2012

“It’s a Bible study to help you deal with money and possessions. Every Christian can benefit from it.”

Career Expo set for Aug. 21 at Snellville United Methodist Job seekers should dress appropriately and bring copies of their resumes to the Career Expo. More than 40 employers and resource agencies are expected.

More than 40 employers and resource agencies are expected at the Aug. 21 Career Expo at Snellville United Methodist Church. The 10 a.m.-to-2 p.m. expo is hosted by the Gwinnett Career Center and the Crossroads Career Network. Job applicants should dress appropriately, bring plenty of resumes, and be prepared to fill out company applications and interview for available job openings. The Career Expo also will feature workshops and job-related seminars on interviewing, networking and career transition. For more information, contact the Gwinnett Career Center at 770-8402200.

Company seeking experienced truck drivers Consumer debt, Experienced truck drivers who are looking for a job can attend a recruitment fair on Aug. 23 at the Georgia Department of Labor’s North Metro Career Center on North Druid Hills Road. House of Hawk Transportation Co. is seeking about 10 truck drivers during the 10 a.m.-to-noon event. The company will be hiring over-the-

road truck drivers to haul trailers between Federal Express Ground hubs across the United States. Drivers will not be required to load or unload the trucks. Applicants must have a Class A commercial driver’s license or CDL, at least one year of over-the-road driving experience within the past three years, able to be on the road for

eight consecutive days, and have at least three references from previous employers. The company will conduct a background check and drug-screening test. The Georgia Department of Labor’s North Metro Career Center is at 2943 N. Druid Hills Road. For more information, contact Crystal Newton at 404-679-5200. 

Orientation set for free Bible-based financial course Faith-based guidance on money matters will be available at the Crown Financial Ministries class starting in September at Saint Philip AME Church. But to participate in the 10-week course, participants must attend an Aug. 23 orientation at 7 p.m. The Crown Financial Ministries course teaches biblical principles on debt, counsel, honesty, giving, work, investing, perspective

and eternity. Classes begins on Sept. 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Room 226 in Saint Philip’s Education Building. The classes are free, but participants must pay for books. Bernice Tanker, who coordinates the class along with her husband, Leroy, said the church has had a great response to the program. “It’s a Bible study to help you deal with

money and possessions,” she said Thursday. “Every Christian can benefit from it.” Tanker said more than 600 adults and children have graduated from the financial classes. Saint Philip AME Church is at 240 Candler Road at the intersection of Memorial Drive in Atlanta. For more information, contact Bernice Tanker at or 770-493-7629 or 678-558-6618.

Contract awarded for new S. DeKalb Senior Center The contract to build the new South DeKalb Senior Center has been awarded. The Board of Commissioners approved the $3.3 million contract to Possibility Construction Inc. on Aug. 15. Possibility Construction, which is based in Johns Creek, says on its Web site that it has offered general contracting, consulting, construction management, and design-build

since 1991. It will build the $3,324,200 state-of-theart facility that will house a senior center and community center on the site of the existing senior center, which will be demolished. The new facility will join the new Scott Candler Library, which is slated to open Aug. 20. Barring major weather delays, construction of the facility at 1931 Candler Road

Under One Roof! “There Is No Better Time to Plan Your Legal & Tax Strategies”

Matthew Ware

Help with consumer debt and credit issues is available this month at DeKalb Public Library branches. On Aug. 21, residents can get debtrelated questions answered at a Consumer Education Clinic at Decatur Library. During the 5:30-to-7 p.m. session, the DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation will answer questions from people struggling with debt or have been sued for a debt and have questions. Local attorneys will discuss information regarding debt cases in DeKalb County and facilitate one-on-one consultations. Participants should bring all documents related to their cases. The Decatur Library is at 215 Sycamore St. in downtown Decatur. For more information, visit or call 404-370-3070. On Aug. 25, Duane White, president of Need to Know Information Inc., will continue a five-part series on strategies for financial success that began in June at the Hairston Crossing Library. The session will focus on Fair Debt Collections Practice Act and Letter Writing. No registration is required. It takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Hairston Crossing Library is at 4911 Redan Road in Stone Mountain. For more information, call 404-508-7170.

Telework summit to offer ideas

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should be completed within a year. Seniors utilizing the old facility have been temporarily relocated to the Hamilton Senior Center in Scottdale. Commissioner Larry Johnson said a community ground-breaking celebration will be held as soon as the contract documents have been executed. “We will keep the community posted on the details,” he said.

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gains and facility cost savings. Telecommuting or telework is a work arrangement in which employees work from home. It encourages employee productivity and work/life balance, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by cutting down on commuter traffic. More than 250 Georgia employers have telework programs. The Loudermilk Conference Center is at 40 Courtland St. To register, visit cleanair or call 1-877-253-2624.

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E. Noreen Banks-Ware


Employers can pick up new ideas and guidance on how to begin or expand telework programs at an Aug. 22 summit at the Loudermilk Conference Center in Atlanta. The Clean Air Campaign is hosting the free 8-to-10:30 a.m. summit, held in conjunction with the third annual Georgia Telework Week on Aug. 20-24. Breakfast will be provided. Topics to be discussed include emerging trends and best practices and maximizing benefits, such as productivity


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Wellness Whooping cough cases rise in metro area DeKalb children, teens and adults are among metro residents who may need a booster shot as whooping cough cases rise in the Atlanta area. Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, has recently increased in the eight-county area – Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale, state health officials say. As of July 28, 95 cases have been reported, compared to 51 cases during the same time period last year. State epidemiologist Cherie Drenzek says cases in a densely populated area cause concern. “Though we have not seen a substantial increase in the number of whooping cough cases statewide, the increase in whooping cough cases in highly populated metro Atlanta Cherie Drenzek is of concern,” Drenzek said in an Aug. 1 statement. The increase is similar to national trends, as the United States appears to be headed for its worst year for whooping cough in more than five decades. Nearly 18,000 cases have been reported nationally so far – more than twice the number seen last year. Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by coughing and sneezing. It affects people of all ages but is most serious in infants, especially those too young to be vaccinated or who aren’t fully protected. It brings coldlike symptoms followed by a long, severe cough that can last for weeks or months. Sometimes a “whoop” sound occurs while gasping for breath during a coughing episode. However, the sound is not always present. Adolescents and adults often get a much milder case and may not realize they have it though they can still spread it. Dr. J. Patrick O’Neal, director of health protection for the Georgia Department of Public Health, said infants are most vulnerable. “Most infected infants must be hospitalized,” O’Neal said. Vaccines are recommended for all children and adults. Everyone age 11 and older should get a booster, called Tdap. For more information, visit



August 18, 2012

“Together, we’re building a movement of people committed to finding a cure for all types of lung cancer within our lifetime.”

Free to Breathe walk on Aug.18 Walkers and runners will be walk/race is growing. seeking to raise $50,000 in the “Over half of the teams parthird annual Free to Breathe ticipating in this year’s race are Atlanta run/walk on Aug. 18 at returning from last year,” she said, John Howell Park in Virginia“and we are working hard to make Highland. the event better and more successMore than 600 are expected ful every year.” to set off at 8:35 a.m. Event day This year, more than 40 Free to registration is $30. Breathe events will take place in 26 Top race finishers and fund- Amy Waggoner states and bring together tens of raisers will be recognized. There will thousands of people to help increase awarebe an honor/memory wall where par- ness about lung cancer and raise funds for ticipants can share photos, mementos and programs that help patients. thoughts. The National Lung Cancer Partnership Amy Waggoner, the coordinator, said started Free to Breathe with a single 5K run the fund-raiser connects people whose and walk in Philadelphia in 2006. Since then, lives have been touched by lung cancer. the series has raised more than $5.6 million “Together, we’re building a movement with 100 percent of the net proceeds directly of people committed to finding a cure funding programs to help everyone affected for all types of lung cancer within our by lung cancer. lifetime,” said Waggoner, a Decatur family John Howell Park is at Virginia Avenue law attorney who lost her friend and law and Barnett Street near Inman Middle partner, Elyse Aussenberg, to lung cancer School. For more information or to donate, in 2010. sponsor or volunteer, visit www.FreeTo The Free to Breathe run/walk takes place Aug. Waggoner said response to the benefit 18 at John Howell Park in Virginia-Highland.

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Johnson to head health committee DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johnson is the new chairman of the National Association of Counties’ Health Steering Committee. Johnson, who represents District 3, has been active in NACo since 2005, serving as a member, subcommittee chair, and vice chair of the committee. He also has served as a member and vice chair Larry Johnson of the Healthy Counties Advisory Board and vice chair of the International Economic Development Task Force. He was appointed in July by NACo President Chris Rodgers, who is a commissioner from Douglas County, Neb. The Health Steering Committee is responsible for NACo policy development on all matters pertaining to health care delivery and financing including indigent care, health care for the uninsured, Medicaid, Medicare, long-term care, local public health programs, mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities. NACo, founded in 1935, provides essential services to 3,068 counties. For more information, visit



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August 18, 2012

This year’s commemoration is focusing on the scholarship of women authors who uphold the tradition and legacy of Hilliard.

Film and book-signings honor legacy of revered educator “Doing Asa,” a film by the late Asa G. Hilliard III, will premiere on Aug. 25 at the Atlanta University Center. The screening and Pan-African book signings by Dr. Dianne Diakité, Dr. Tracey Hucks and Dr. Regine O. Jackson are some of the highlights of the fifth annual Asa G. Hilliard III Nana Baffour Amankwatia II Commemoration, which takes place 2 to 5 p.m. at the Robert W. Tracey Hucks Woodruff Library. Hilliard, a world-renowned Pan-Africanist, educator, historian and psychologist, was the Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Urban Education at Georgia State University. He spent more than 30 years leading study groups to Egypt and Ghana as part of his mission of teaching the truth about the history of Africa and the African diaspora. He died in 2007 while on a trip to Cairo, Egypt. The theme of the 2012 commemoration is “To Be an Afrikan Teacher.” It is sponsored by the Jegna Collective in partnership with the Interdenominational Theological

The late Pan-Africanist, educator, historian and psychologist Asa G. Hilliard III will be remembered in the film “Doing Asa.”

Center. This year’s commemoration is focusing on the scholarship of women authors who uphold the tradition and legacy of Hilliard. Diakité, an associate professor of Religion and African

Wilson Pickett exhibit opens The life and legacy of singervideo footage and gold records. songwriter Wilson Pickett will be It is open weekdays from 10 a.m. on display through Sept. 23 at the to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 Porter Sanford Center in the exhibit a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. “Wilson Pickett: 25 at the Top.” The exhibit will climax on The rhythm and blues vocalist its final weekend, Sept. 21 to 23, known as “the Wicked Pickett” died with the hit Broadway-style muin 2006, leaving a string of hits. sical “In the Midnight Hour: The Over his 40-year career, he Wilson Pickett Music of Wilson Pickett.” It fearecorded more than 50 songs that tures film/ TV star and NAACP made the U.S. R&B charts and frequently Image Award winner Cassi Davis. crossed over to the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 For tickets, visit www.ticketalternative and influenced a generation of performers. .com/Venues/599.aspx or call 1-877-725The exhibit offers a pictorial overview 8849. Visit, ethat includes original programs, clothing, mail or call posters, scores, photos, recordings, awards, 404-558-8851 for more information.

American Studies at Emory University, will sign copies of her book, “Three Eyes for the Journey: African Dimensions of the Jamaican Religious Experience.” Hucks chairs the Department of Religion at Haverford College in Haverford, a suburb of Philadelphia. Her new book, “Yoruba Traditions and African American Religious Nationalism,” published in May, examines Dianne Diakité the history of Yorùbá practice among African-Americans in the United States. She and Diakité are co-authors of “Africana Religious Studies: Toward a Transdisciplinary Agenda in an Emerging Field.” Jackson is an assistant professor of American Studies at the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts at Emory University. Her interests include American immigration, the Haitian diaspora, racial and ethnic identity, urban studies, and humanistic research methods. The library is at 111 James P. Brawley Drive in Atlanta.

100 Black Women inducts members The DeKalb-Decatur Chapter of 100 Black Women, which is preparing for its annual Pink & Black Gala at the Evergreen Hotel in Stone Mountain in November that honors breast cancer survivors, inducted eight new members at an Aug. 14 New Member Induction/ Reception in the Community Room at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale. At left, Edwina Armstrong takes the pledge from Vice President Rose Worthy and President Norma Johnson Armstrong.

Atlanta Young Singers auditions Boys and girls in grades 2-12 who sing can audition Aug. 21 for the Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Community Center. Auditions will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Atlanta Young Singers, which was es-

tablished in 1975, includes singers from a 50-mile radius of Atlanta. Participants perform live, meet new friends, travel the world, and learn music skills. The Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center is at 3181 Rainbow Drive in Decatur. To schedule an audition, e-mail or call 404-873-3365.

(From left) New inductees 100 Black Women inductees Donna Payne, Marvette Critney, chapter president Norma Johnson, Aliyah Scott, Cassandra Ekemam, Atlena Carter, Edwina Armstrong, Shante Shipp, Dena Harris, and chpater vice president Rose Worthy.

August 18, 2012




“I remember the positive influences my old volunteer coaches had on my life. … I’m returning the favor.”

Judge, teen girls she mentored have much to SMILE about By Jennifer Ffrench Parker

Bria Cooper needed something to do for the summer, so when a friend told her about a program that State Court Judge Stacey Hydrick was doing, she jumped at it. To her utter surprise, Bria, a Southwest DeKalb High senior, thoroughly enjoyed the program that exposed her and nine other girls to the criminal justice system. For six Fridays, the nine girls from six public and private schools in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties gathered in Hydrick’s courtroom to observe trials. They went on field trips to the solicitor’s district attorney’s, public defender’s, probation, and State Court Clerk’s office, Magistrate and Juvenile Courts, the Women’s Resource Center. They also toured the DeKalb County Jail and Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The girls also read “A Piece of Cake” by Cupcake Brown, a woman who overcame incredible obstacles to become a lawyer. Bria, who plans to study science in college, said the visit to the GBI’s forensic lab was fascinating. “You can find out so much about the cause of death,” she said. “Just to see that was really exciting.” Hydrick was happy with how the program turned out. “They got an inside look at our criminal justice system that they would never have seen otherwise,” she said. “Many of these ladies are now aspiring lawyers, judges, law

State Court Judge Stacey Hydrick with SMILE graduates. From left Bria Cooper, Hanna Senegal, Bryttany Echols, Jackie Boards, Deja White, Ashley Reese. Adalie Buechner and Alesha Freeman. Alexis Freeman was absent.

enforcement officers, social workers.” Hydrick got the idea for a mentoring program after speaking to the Butterfly Mentoring Group at the Voices of Faith Church in Stone Mountain. She said that a lot of girls and their parents asked her if there was a program that could expose them to the justice system. Hydrick, who became a judge in May 2011, took the bait. With the help of her assistant, Samantha Whaley, she created the Summer Mentoring Initiative in Legal Education. (SMILE) At the Aug. 3 graduation, she confessed that she didn’t know what she was doing but that she wanted to do something.

In the process, she got to know the girls and to see them develop and change over the six weeks. “I didn’t think it would benefit me,” said Hydrick, who has two sons. “It turns out that I received as much out of it as they did. This is a group of smart, talented and dedicated girls.” Jackie Boards, who is headed to Mercer University, praised the judge for picking a great group of girls. “We all got along well,” she said. “I just want to say thank you for the opportunity.” As a result of her exposure to Hydrick, she said that she now wants to be a judge. Bryttany Echols, a senior at Columbia

High in Decatur, said she wants to be a deputy sheriff. She was leaning toward law enforcement before attending the program and said it helped solidify her choice. Her trip to the jail was eye-opening. “It was my first time. It made me appreciate the things I have – cell phones, Internet, friends and freedom to do what I want.” Bryttany said she left with a better understanding of what a sheriff does. Hydrick singled her out as the group’s questioner. “We could always depend on her to ask a question,” she said. Bryttany’s mother, Ahkeba Green, said she was glad for the opportunity she got. “The contacts and friendships she made are not something that I would have been able to give her,” she said. “This is an excellent, excellent program.” Alesha Freeman, a ninth-grader at Shiloh High in Gwinnett County, said she had been thinking about being a police officer but had changed her mind. After SMILE, she is back there. “Now I want to be a SWAT or a probation officer,” she said. “I just like the idea of carrying weapon.” Alesha said Hydrick was the first judge she has met. “I like her. She is pretty cool.” She also was impressed with how Hydrick runs her courtroom. “She is fair. She treats the people who come in front of her with respect.” But most of all, Alesha learned not to run afoul of the law. “I learned not to be in jail. I learned not to be in an orange suit.”

Mark Trail Flying Eagles did good at Junior Olympics Apply now for By Christiana Clerk

Decatur’s Mark Trail Flying Eagles didn’t win gold at the U.S. Amateur Athletes Union Junior Olympics in Houston, but the DeKalb County team won a bronze medal and placed in hurdles, relays and sprint events. The team of 46 athletes, who are based at the N.H. Scott Recreation Center in Atlanta, formerly Mark Trail Recreational Center, placed third in the 100-meter race in the Youth Girls category. The team also placed in eight other events and received copper medals. Head coach Stephon Rivos, who has been with the Flying Eagles since its launch in 1994, said the kids ages 8 to 13 exceeded expectations. “They all did a good job, and we’re just proud of all of them,” said Rivos, who ran for the team before he became one of its coaches. The Mark Trail Athletic Association, which formed in 1994, offers economically disadvantaged children the opportunity to compete at local, state, regional and national levels. To make it to the 2012 Junior Olympics, the Flying Eagles made it through the AAU National Qualifier in Douglasville in June and the AAU Club Championship in Orlando, Fla., in mid-July. Among those placing in Houston: n Caitlin Tate placed third in the Youth Girls 100-meter relay race.

Junior Olympics participants include Italo Jenkins, Andrew Douglas, Justin Turner, Nolan Johnson, Alonzo White and Dylan Belisle (left) and Lauren, Ashley and Imani Epps.

n Destinee Rocker from the Sub Youth Girls

placed fifth in the 200-meter hurdles.

n Terez Davis-Giles placed sixth in the

800-meter race. The 2012 competition was the team’s ninth consecutive year at the AAU Junior Olympics. Rivos said the nonprofit MTAA goal is to introduce track and field to more students in DeKalb and keep them running through high school and college. When he was running for the club in 1994, Rivos said his coaches were very good to him and he wanted to give back to the n Nolan Johnson from the Sub Bantam Boys club. “I remember the positive influences my placed fourth in the 100-meter relay and old volunteer coaches had on my life,” he 200-meter sprint race. n Boys Midget placed fourth in the 4x100- said. “Since they had volunteered their time to coach me, I’m returning the favor.” meter relay race.

Ron Brown Scholarships

African-American high school seniors have until Nov. 1 to apply for the $40,000 scholarships from the Ron Brown Scholar Program. Each year, 10 to 20 students are awarded $10,000 annually for four years. The scholarship is named for Brown, the first African-American to serve as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and appointed to the Cabinet post of secretary of Commerce. He died in a plane crash in April 1996 while on a trade mission in war-torn Eastern Europe. Applicants must excel academically, exhibit exceptional leadership potential, participate in community service activities, and demonstrate financial need. Applicants also must be a U.S. citizen or hold a permanent resident visa card. Ron Brown Scholarships are not limited to any specific field or career and may be used to pursue any academic discipline. Scholarship recipients can attend accredited four-year U.S. colleges or universities. Since its inception in 1997, more than 250 students have been designated Ron Brown Scholars. For more information or to apply, visit







Call Kathy at 404-284-1888 or email



August 18, 2012


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Super Gas Saver, Stylish, STK#A3053

Super Gas Saver, Nice & Clean, STK#A1995





7995 2008 KIA OPTIMA $ STK#A3045 ...................................................... 10,995 2005 TOYOTA SEQUOIA $ Leather, Sunroof, 4X4 STK#A3041 .................... 11,995 2006 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA $ Leather, Sunroof STK#A3044 ........................... 13,995 2009 HONDA CIVIC COUPE $ Sporty and a Great Gas Saver, STK#A2041........ 13,995 2004 MERCEDES-BENZ E500 $ STK#C4291....................................................... 13,995 2009 TOYOTA CAMRY LE $ Loads of family fun!! STK#A2031 ...................... 14,555 2006 MERCEDES-BENZ E500 $ STK#A3001A, 2 to choose from starting at ........ 14,995 2004 CADILLAC CTS $ Ride in Style Every Day, Low Miles, STK#A2096. 14,995 2006 MERCEDES-BENZ C280 $ Leather, Sunroof, STK#A2097 ........................... 15,995 2009 HONDA ACCORD EX-L $ Loaded, Sunroof, Leather, Like new, STK#A2026 . 15,995 2008 HONDA ACCORD EX-L $ Leather, Sunroof and more!! STK#A2066 .......... 16,495 2002 FORD THUNDERBIRD CONVERTIBLE $ Hard Top included and more, STK#A2024 ......... 16,995 2005 MERCEDES-BENZ E320 $ Ride in Style, STK#A3025 ................................. 16,995 2008 CADILLAC CTS $ A Must See Clean, Luxury at its best! STK#A2080 18,995 Leather, Sunroof STK#A3051 .................................


Prices plus tax, tag, and title. All offers with approved credit. *Offers expire 8/19/12.





19,795 $ Leather, Sunroof, Sport Pkg, STK#A3006, 2 to choose from starting at 19,995 2008 INFINITI G37 $ Sunroof, Leather, NAV, CD and more, STK#A3024. 19,995 2007 BMW 530i $ Leather, Sunroof, Sporty, STK#A2093 ............... 20,995 2010 ACURA TSX $ Loaded, NAV, Sunroof, Leather & more, STK#A3013 20,999 2008 LEXUS RX 350 $ Great Luxury SUV, STK#A2092 ......................... 22,995 2008 LEXUS ES 350 $ STK#A3026 ...................................................... 21,995 2009 LINCOLN MKS $ THX Pkg, NAV, Backup Camera, Sunroof, Leather, STK#A3050 .. 21,995 2009 MERCEDES-BENZ CLK350 $ Leather, Sunroof, STK#A3046 .......................... 22,995 2011 DODGE CHARGER $ Rust Orange Peel, 22” Wheels, STK#A2085...... 22,995 2009 LEXUS ES 350 $ Leather, Sunroof, P/W, P/L and more, STK#A2072 23,595 2009 BMW 328i $ Sport Pkg, Leather, Sunroof, Luxury & Performance, STK#A3020 23,995 2008 MERCEDES-BENZ E350 $ Luxury, Luxury, Luxury, Loaded, Sport Pkg, STK#A3007 24,995 2007 AUDI Q7 $ German Technology SUV, Sporty, STK#A2095 ... 25,995 Ride in style, Family luxury!! STK#A2051 ...........




Prices plus tax, tag, and title. All offers with approved credit. *Offers expire 8/19/12.



• Like new again • Lights brighter and clearer • Makes car look newer Buy for 72 months at 1.75% APR financing with $2500 down plus tax, tag and title with approved credit.

2007 FORD



2 To Choose $ From Starting At





$ Buy for 72 months at 1.75% APR financing with $2500 down plus tax, tag and title with approved credit.


Valid only at Malcolm Cunningham Auto Gallery. Must present coupon at time of write-up. Taxes and hazardous waste fees extra. Cannot be combined with other offers or promotions. Not retroactive. See dealership for full details. Expires 8/31/12.




• Up to 5qt. regular oil

Valid only at Malcolm Cunningham Auto Gallery. Must present coupon at time of write-up. Taxes and hazardous waste fees extra. Cannot be combined with other offers or promotions. Not retroactive. See dealership for full details. Expires 8/31/12.

I-20, Exit Wesley Chapel To Snapfinger Woods Drive A Division of Malcolm Cunningham Ford

5675 Peachtree Industrial Blvd


Sales Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00am-8:00pm Closed Sunday

(7 70) 987-9000 www. MalcolmCunninghamAutoGallery .com

4C (10.5”) × 16” 34429-MCAQ (8-18) Crossroads FC (lm)





MSRP $31,529 - $3641 Malcolm Cunningham Discount - $1000 Factory Rebate = Sale Price












A Division of Malcolm Cunningham Ford



2012 FORD

August 18, 2012

CrossRoadsNews, August 18, 2012  

CrossRoadsNews, August 18, 2012

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