Page 1



Sickle cell awareness

Charter school in session

Community leaders and library officials cut the ribbon to open the new Scott Candler Library on Aug. 25. 3

In September, health care professionals will focus attention on the red blood cell disorder that disproportionately afflicts AfricanAmericans. 7

DeKalb Preparatory Academy opens in the old Glen Haven Elementary School buildings on Austin Drive in Decatur. 8

New library debuts



Copyright © 2012 CrossRoadsNews, Inc.

August 25, 2012

Volume 18, Number 17

Moody’s downgrades DeKalb Schools credit rating By Jennifer Ffrench Parker

DeKalb Schools’ money woes are negatively impacting its ability to borrow money at the best rates available. On Aug. 20, New York-based bond-rating agency Moody’s downgraded $384.9 million of the district’s debt. Moody’s Investors Service, which rates the creditworthiness of counties, municipalities, and school districts, lowered $222.9 million in outstanding general obligation debt to Aa3 from Aa2 and revised the outlook to stable from negative. It also downgraded $162 million in outstanding Certificates of Participation to A1 from Aa3. The agency said the downgrade reflects the district’s projection of negative fund balance in fiscal 2012, which is expected to remain negative in fiscal 2013 despite a tax rate increase and budgetary cuts.

“During tough economic times that have challenged all public-sector budgets, we have taken strong steps to balance our budget and put our district on a solid financial footing.” Dr. Cheryl Atkinson

This is the second time in two months that the DeKalb Schools had had a ratings downgrade. In June, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the district’s credit rating to A+/Stable from AA-/Negative. In that downgrade, the school district’s series 2007 general obligation bonds went from AA-/Negative to A+/Stable due to inconsistent financial performance and inability to maintain adequate reserves. Monday’s downgrade means DeKalb could pay a tenth of a percent more in interest if it borrows again. With the downgrade, Moody’s said that DeKalb Schools is challenged by historically below average reserves that remain challenged due to declining enrollment, state aid cuts and a tax cap.

“Additionally, the downgrade reflects the absence of plan to replenish reserves and Moody’s belief that the district will remain challenged to increase reserves in the near term due to limited revenue raising flexibility following a tax rate increase in fiscal 2013 and a significant reduction in staff over the last several years which we believe may limit the district’s ability to reduce expenditures in the near term,” it said. Please see MOODY’S, page 10

Snapfinger Gets a Trim

MLK coach off job for texting nude photos By Carla Parker

Jennifer Parker / CrossRoadsNews

County crew tackles weeds taking over new road

Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews

Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews

Following a frontpage story in the Aug. 18 issue of Cross­Roads­ News, DeKalb Sanitation workers (above) tame some of the weeds along Snapfinger Road in Decatur on Aug. 21. At left, the sidewalk near the South DeKalb YMCA before and after the county crew mowed the overgrown weeds. The newly expanded road had become an eyesore.

Martin Luther King Jr. High School’s opening football game against Stockbridge High on Aug. 31 will be played without head coach Michael Carson, who led the Lions to a 12-1 finish in 2011 and the third round of the Class AAAAA playoffs. Carson, 51, was suspended Aug. 21 after a parent accused him of sexting nude photos of himself to her. Schools spokesman Jeff Dickerson said Aug. 22 that Carson was suspended with pay after the mother of two Michael Carson Lions players showed Carson’s wife, other coaches, and parents the nude photos he sent her. “There was a confrontation at the [preseason] game Saturday [Aug. 18] evening,” he said. “Some pictures were displayed, nude photos, and we were later alerted of what happened.” Dickerson said that the investigation is pending while the school system is gathering all the facts from both parties. The Lions’ opening game is part of a doubleheader at Tri-Cities High in East Point. M.L. King is ranked No. 3 in Class AAAAA. Defensive backs coach Robert Freeman was named interim coach in Carson’s absence. Carson was named head coach at M.L. King in 2010. In his first season, M.L. King was 8-4. Before that, Carson led Avondale High to a 6-5 record in 1989. It was the Blue Devils’ best record when the school closed in 2011. Dickerson said the woman who made the allegations, who is described as a single mother, could face charges if any minors saw the photos as she showed them to other parents. “It’s my understanding that if minors were in the vicinity ... that could prompt possible prosecution,” Dickerson said. He said if the schools’ investigators uncover any evidence of criminal wrongdoing, it would be forwarded to the DeKalb District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.




August 25, 2012

“Cities believe they should have had to advertise. We were under the impression that the millage rate would remain the same.”

Winners take the spoils in runoff elections By Carla Parker

The DeKalb School Board will have three new members in January after incumbent Paul Womack’s defeat in the Aug. 21 runoffs. Jim McMahan, a stay-at-home father and loan originator, beat Womack with 2,920, or 65.2 perMelvin Johnson Gail Davenport cent, of the votes. Womack got Jim McMahan 1,557, or 34.8 percent. the District 44 seat, polling 8,393, or 54.2 perWomack, who was elected to District 4 cent, to Buckner’s 7,086, or 45.8 percent. in 2008, is the second incumbent booted In the newly created House District 92, this year. District 2’s Don McChesney was former Lithonia Mayor Tonya Anderson defeated by consultant and attorney Marshall won with 405, or 51.2 percent, to Doreen Orson in the July 31 nonpartisan elections. Williams’ 386, or 48.8 percent. Of the three incumbents up for re-elecCountywide, the turnout was 5.8 percent. tion, only District 8’s Pam Speaks won. Of the 151,382 registered voters in the 73 In the open District 6 seat, Dr. Melvin precincts that voted, only 8,712 cast ballots. Johnson, a retired DeKalb administrator, McMahan, 46, said he is “relieved” that won with 1,221, or 66.1 percent. Denise E. the elections are over. “Now it’s time to get to McGill got 625, or 33.9 percent. work. I am excited about what lies ahead.” In the other two races with runoffs McMahan, who lives in the Clairmont/ Tuesday, state Sen. Gail Davenport beat Gail Briarcliff area, was active in his daughters’ Buckner in the Democratic primary to win schools and on the DeKalb County Council

of PTAs. “I know the daily challenges students and teachers face,” he said. He said he will bring his experience to the board and focus on the district’s financial issues and communicate Tonya Anderson with the public. Johnson will succeed former School Board Chairman Tom Bowen, who did not seek re-election after serving a fouryear term. While he is new to politics, Johnson, 68, is no stranger to the school district. He retired in 2004 after 37 years. “I’m excited because the voters are putting their trust in me to make the right decision for the boys and girls of this great school system,” he said. “As a board, I hope we will make the right decisions to move this system forward.” Two of his four children are graduates of Redan High.

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Mayors, county squabbling over millage rate hikes By Mary Swint

DeKalb County’s nine mayors, its county commissioners and CEO Burrell Ellis are expected to meet Aug. 28 to discuss concerns over disproportionate property tax hikes. The cities, which are home to 102,794 residents, or 14.9 percent of the county’s population, say the county’s 2012 millage rates have increased their property taxes from 7 percent to 15 percent while the millage rate for unincorporated DeKalb declined by double digits for police, roads and parks. The meeting, which takes place at 8 a.m. in the Maloof Building, comes in the wake of an Aug. 10 letter signed by all nine mayors seeking an explanation for the increased millage rates and why county officials did not tell them about the changes before the taxes were adopted on July 10. The letter over the signatures of Avondale Estates Mayor Ed Rieker, Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson, Clarkston Mayor Emanuel Ransom, Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd, Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman, Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis, Stone Mountain Mayor Patricia Wheeler, Pine Lake Mayor Kathie de Nobriga, and Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson expressed concerns over the setting of the county’s millage rates. Only the mayor of Atlanta did not sign, for the portion of Atlanta in DeKalb. The mayors, who make up the DeKalb County Municipal Association, said that in 2010-2011, they agreed to a service delivery strategy – a state required plan for delivering county services to cities and for funding those services – that they believed provided fair taxation for all citizens of the county. “The integrity of the SDS depended on a reasonable and transparent setting of the millage rates for the special tax districts,” they wrote. “DMA members have significant concerns that the recently set millage rate for the special tax districts do not appear to be consistent with the letter or spirit of the SDS.” District 5 Commissioner Lee May, who chairs the board’s Finance Committee, said Tuesday that the mayors, CEO and other top county officials are invited to the special committee meeting before the commission’s Aug. 28 meeting. It was not known at press time whether Ellis would attend. In a July 27 e-mail seeking help from Commissioners Kathie Gannon and Jeff Rader, Floyd said the significant tax increase for Decatur comes in light of the fact that property values in the cities have not been decreasing and in most cases are increasing. “We are concerned about this pattern of adjustment of the millage rate and the effect it might have on our relationship and trust with DeKalb County,” he said. Chamblee’s Clarkson said the county did not advertise that it was raising the millage rate. “Cities believe they should have had to advertise,” he said. “We were under the impression that the millage rate would remain the same.” Commissioners passed a resolution on June 12 stating their intention to keep the total millage rate for unincorporated DeKalb at 21.21 mills, which is the 2011 level. It did not mention the millage rates for property owners living within the county’s cities. The service delivery strategy under which the cities and the county operate took five years to negotiate and was approved by DeKalb in December 2010. It is effective through Oct. 31, 2016. DeKalb’s countywide millage rates rose 10.6 percent for general operations and 6.82 percent for the hospital fund this year. The county also raised the tax for the Fire Department, which every city uses except Atlanta and Decatur, by 21.85 percent.

August 25, 2012




“So many books I didn’t see before. The building is brighter so you can see everything better.”

New Scott Candler library pleases community, patrons By Jennifer Ffrench Parker

Delores Denmark was so happy Saturday when the new Scott Candler Library opened on Candler Road, she was temporarily at a loss for words. “It’s just beautiful,” she said. “I can’t explain how beautiful it is. It just is.” She was talking about the soaring floorto-ceiling windows, the inviting architecture, and the rows and rows of books on the shelves, just waiting to be plucked. Before a reporter interrupted her perusal of the shelf full of biographies about everyone from President Abe Lincoln to Oprah Winfrey, Denmark spent a good 10 minutes just reading the titles of the books. Every now and then, she would pull one out and read the cover and push it back in. “So many books I didn’t see before,” she gushed. “The building is brighter so you can see everything better.” Denmark and about 150 residents, Friends of Scott Candler Library members, elected officials, and library staff and foundation members were among the crowd that showed up for the official ribbon cutting they have been awaiting since the December 2010 ground-breaking. People spilled outside the 80-seat community room where poet laureates Don Miller and Alice Lovelace read inspiring verse and District 7 Commissioner Stan Watson broke into the gospel song “Glory, Glory Hallelujah,” which he said his grandmother would have sung if she had been there. Districts 3 and 6 Commissioners Larry Johnson and Kathie Gannon gushed about the building, which is among the final four branches to be built by $54.5 million Library Bond Fund approved by voters in 2005. The new branch, at 1917 Candler Road,

Delores Denmark was among 150 residents, Friends of Scott Candler Library members, elected officials, and library staff and foundation members attending the ribbon cutting for the new building.

Jennifer Ffrench Parker / CrossRoadsNews

is much larger than the 8,000-square-foot building it replaced on McAfee Road. The old library building had been there for 47 years. The new 12,000-square-foot branch includes an expanded children’s center; a study center; 27 public access computers, up from 10 at the old building; and self checkout. The new LEED-certified building is also energy and environmentally efficient. DeKalb Library Director Alison Weissinger called Saturday “a great day.” “I hope you appreciate what we have here and keep it going,” she said, after recalling the chilly December 2010 ground-breaking ceremony. Denmark doesn’t need to be told to treasure the library. “It’s a dream come true,” she said. The only thing missing for her was the presence of Sekondi Landry, the 12-year-old boy who led a petition drive in March 2011

to keep the old branch open while the new one was being built. “It would have been nice if he was here,” she said. Sekondi, who was home schooled, collected enough signatures to change the library system’s mind and the branch remained open until two weeks before the new one’s opening. Johnson, who represents the district where the branch is located, said he was pleased with how the building turned out. “I told them not to skimp on the room and to put lots of windows in,” he said with a broad smile. Denmark’s husband, Herbert, who has been a Friend of the Library since 1975 or so, called the new branch “outstanding.” “It’s what we wanted,” he said. “It’s very inviting, even the carpet is pretty.” Herbert Denmark said their five children grew up at Scott Candler Library.

“I give the library a lot of credit for them doing as well as they did in school,” he said. “They spent a lot of time at the library. They learned to read early at the library. They read and they read and they read.” Three of their kids went to college and he said all are doing well for themselves. Construction of the new building was completed in December, but it took eight months to open while the library awaited its occupancy permit, the arrival of furniture, and the construction of a traffic light at Candler and Northern Drive. It opened for business on Aug. 20 with a mix of old and new staff and on Thursday, it was full of patrons using its 27 computers and reading newspapers and periodicals. Scott Lockman, who relocated from the Clarkston Library, is the new branch manager, and Veronica Winley, a 25-year librarian, is the children’s librarian. Winley, who was most recently manager of the Lithonia Library, is on her third stint at the Scott Candler Library. She said she started at Scott Candler in 1986 when legendary librarian Doris Wells was manager. “I was last here 10 years ago,” she said. Because the new branch is more than 10,000 square feet in size, Weissinger said it will open an extra hour a day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays. The old branch used to open at 11 a.m. Safiyyah Shahid, a Friends of Scott Candler member, said she has been a patron for 20 years. She said the nice new facility shows the growth the branch has undergone. “We are so deserving of it. I’ll be back on Monday to see all that it has to offer.” For more information, visit www.dekalb




August 25, 2012

How can we have more employees than any other county in Georgia and be the absolute most nasty? Decatur resident David George says state or county road crews leave a mess when they cut the grass along a stretch of Flat Shoals Parkway.

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.



Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews

Streets suffer from poor state and county service By David George

Over the years, whenever the state or the county cut the grass on Flat Shoals Parkway (SR 155) between Snapfinger Road and Columbia Drive and Wesley Chapel Road, they leave these areas a mess. Grass clippings in clumps scattered along the street and curbs leave the place look-

ing disgusting. I have traveled in many counties in the state of Georgia  and I cannot understand why we received such poor services. The entrance to the Wesley Chapel post office off of Snapfinger Road is an embarrassment to drive into. The guardrails in our areas are old, rusty and

in need of repairs. Some have been damaged and neglected for over 10 years. We call to report these poor services and nothing happens. I lived in this area for over 24 years and it still is a good area and has a lot of potential. We can do better. David George lives in Decatur.

Why plant trees in median if weeds allowed to take over? Editor’s note: Our Aug. 18 story about unkempt Snapfinger Road touched a nerve. Here are some of the comments posted on Wesley Chapel Road and Flat Shoals Parkway are also unkempt. Why plant trees in the median if the weeds are allowed to take over? The citizens of south DeKalb County pay enormous taxes and we get very little service. That is the main reason T-SPLOST failed so miserably.

Quick Read

Larry Johnson and these South DeKalb doIt will continue to fail until we start getting nuthin’ politicians all get the same salary and the services our taxes are paying for. ­– Arnold Butler Sr. all the free food they can eat whether East and South DeKalb are clean or not! Add Flat Shoals Road and every other highNicer developments in North DeKalb Nasty, nasty East and South DeKalb. They way and byway in DeKalb County to the list of keep the nicer business developments to the nasty un-kept roads in DeKalb. How can we have more employees than any north side of DeKalb! Any nice “Live Work and Play Developments” in East or South DeKalb? other county in Georgia and be the absolute most nasty? The answer is no! Did I hear someone say Ted Rhinehardt? Am I the only person in South DeKalb that has figured this out? – Jerry Myer Jackson Jr.

Moody’s downgrades DeKalb Schools credit rating 1

‘Praise’ program promotes organ donation 6

Kids art competition seeking entries 8

DeKalb Schools’ money woes are negatively impacting its ability to borrow money at the best rates available.

Gospel singers, comedians and musicians will be performing at the “Praise With Purpose Minority Organ and Tissue Awareness Day” at Berean Christian Church.

Middle and high school students have until Nov. 5 to enter their artwork in the second annual Division V Arts Competition.

Mayors, county squabbling over millage rate hikes 2 DeKalb County’s nine mayors, its county commissioners and CEO Burrell Ellis are expected to meet Aug. 28 to discuss concerns over disproportionate property tax hikes.

New Scott Candler library pleases patrons


Delores Denmark was so happy Saturday when the new Scott Candler Library opened on Candler Road, she was temporarily at a loss for words.

Walk of HEROes gearing up to fight disease 6 Runners, donors, sponsors and volunteers are needed now for the sixth annual Walk of HEROes 5K and Tot Trot on Sept. 22 in the historic Kirkwood community.

Sickle Cell Awareness Month includes workshop 7 Hhealth care professionals are focusing attention on the illness that disproportionately afflicts African-Americans.

Orozco to ‘kidnote’ at book festival 9 Youngsters will get their own version of a keynote address – a first-ever Kidnote – delivered by bilingual educator and recording artist José-Luis Orozco.

Business Night Out for Candler Road


Business owners can network and meet with public safety officials at the Candler Road Business Night Out on Sept. 4 in the Candler/McAfee shopping center.

Circulation Audited By index to advertisers BJH Attorneys & Counselors at Law............... 11 Bryant Insurance Agency............................... 11 Comcast.......................................................... 5 Commissioner Larry Johnson..........................6 Executive Cuts................................................ 11 Faith Community Christian Academy.............. 8

Hibachi Grill.................................................... 2 Living Healthy DeKalb..................................... 7 Malcolm Cunningham Auto Gallery..............12 New Creations................................................ 11 North DeKalb Mall..........................................9 Obama Academic Center................................ 8

Savannah State University............................... 8 Solution Heating and Air............................... 11 Team Blue Tennis.......................................... 11 The King & I....................................................9 TLA Foreclosure Prevention.......................... 11 Tree Form Landscaping................................. 11

Wells Fargo..................................................... 3 Wright Vision Care.......................................... 7 Best Buy Co. Inc......................................Inserts Holistic Health Management Inc.............Inserts Walgreens...............................................Inserts

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August 25, 2012

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August 25, 2012

LifeLink Foundation says that about 114,352 Americans are currently on the transplant waiting list.

‘Praise’ program promotes organ donation Hibbert joins Gospel singers, comedians and a range of musicians will be performing on Sept. 2 at the “Praise With Purpose Minority Organ and Tissue Awareness Day” at Berean Christian Church in Stone Mountain. The free, family-friendly program is seeking to dispel myths and raise awareness about the need for organ donors for minorities. It begins at 4 p.m. in the Kerwin B. Lee Family Life Center. Organizers Aleigha Butler and Tresa D. Smith are joining with the nonprofit LifeLink Foundation to educate the community. There will be singing, liturgical dancing, music, spoken word, comedians, and other forms of entertainment for the whole family. Among performers are Comedian C. Davis, the Lamar Sisters, NXN, the Cleans of Comedy, the Gift, John Kendall, Bradley Green, Chance the Artist, saxophonist Sam Yenn-Batah, Lady Cee, and the Heavenly Doves Dance Ministry. Participants can bring picnic baskets and blankets. After encountering people in need of organ transplants, Smith, a longtime member of Berean, said that she feels she was called to action. “It was a job that someone had to do,” she said. Smith is also a member of the DeKalb Lupus Chapter – LACES and a founder and director of a nonprofit. She reached out to Butler, who is an author, licensed insurance agent and budget consultant. The two LifeLink volunteers know people who have been waiting for years for organs. Butler knows a 13-year-old who was given a second chance at life when she  received a new heart in February. During Praise With Purpose, Smith said

Community Service Board

Performers include (clockwise from top left) comedian C. Davis, the Lamar Sisters and Sam Yenn-Batah with organizers Tresa Smith and Aleigha Butler.

people will hear testimonials from those who have undergone successful transplants and from donors. LifeLink says that about 114,352 Americans are currently on the transplant waiting list, and that on average, 18 people die daily while waiting for organ transplants. It also says that every 11 minutes, an-

other name is added to the waiting list. For more information, visit Berean Christian Church is at 2201 Young Road. For more information, e-mail praise, visit  http://praise or call 678-7503233.

Phillip Hibbert, former CEO of Integrated Health Resources in Atlanta, has joined the nonprofit DeKalb Community Service Board as its new chief operating officer. Hibbert’s responsibilities include overseeing all administrative functions including strategic planning, IT, risk management, human resources, corporate compliance, conPhillip Hibbert tracts, medical records, employee training and development, facilities management, and community relations. CEO Gary S. Richey said Hibbert’s contributions will help them improve the lives of the individuals they serve. DeKalb CSB offers community-based behavioral health care to clients with developmental disabilities and with mental health and substance abuse issues. Hibbert brings more than 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors, including senior leadership positions in secondary education, financial services, behavioral health care and developmental disabilities. Hibbert is married with three children and lives in Cobb County. He has an Executive M.B.A. from Kennesaw State University. For more information, visit www

Village session on aging in place DeKalb seniors and their families can learn more about the “Village” concept that promotes aging in place at an Aug. 30 meeting at the Maloof Auditorium in Decatur. The DeKalb Human and Community Development Department Office of Senior Affairs is hosting the session, which starts at 6:30 p.m. It will introduce the Village, a grassroots, membership and consumer-driven organization that encourages seniors to continue to live in their community and remain independent.

It coordinates programs, services and volunteers to assist members toward the goal of aging in place. The fee-based membership network may include home helpers, health and wellness services, and a variety of transportation options. DeKalb County received grant funding from the state of Georgia for a feasibility study for the program. The Maloof Auditorium is at 1300 Commerce Drive. For more information, contact Amy Hsu at 404-790-5015.

Walk of HEROes gearing up Runners, donors, sponsors and volunteers are needed now for the sixth annual Walk of HEROes 5K and Tot Trot on Sept. 22 in the historic Kirkwood community. The Brighter Tomorrows Foundation is hosting the event, which raises funds for the DeKalb Community Service Board. The race begins at 9 a.m. and the tot trot starts at 10. Registration fees range from $7

Iota Phi Theta Fraternity

to $20 and increase on race day. Proceeds benefit DeKalb residents with mental illness, substance addictions, and developmental disabilities. The walk/run and tot trot will celebrate National Recovery Month. To register and for more information, visit, e-mail info@ or call 404-508-7875.

August 25, 2012




One of every 500 African-Americans is born with the disease. About one in 12 has sickle cell trait.

Sickle Cell Awareness Month includes workshop on disease September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and health care professionals are joining forces to focus attention on the illness that disproportionately afflicts African-Americans. Sickle cell is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders in which the cells become hard and sticky and look like a Cshaped farm tool called a “sickle.” Georgia has one of the highest occurrence rates in the United States, and DeKalb is among the 10 counties in Georgia with the highest incidence of the disease. Among the events being held throughout the month is a free, one-day “For Adults Only With Sickle Cell Disease Workshop” on Sept. 22 at the Adamsville Recreation Center in Atlanta. The 9 a.m.-to-3 p.m. workshop is sponsored by the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia Inc. in partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Health Policy Center, and Southeastern Primary Care Consortium Inc. Atlanta Area Health Education Center. The nonprofit SPCC Atlanta AHEC serves Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties. Deb McGhee-McCrary, CEO of the Sickle Cell Foundation, said the workshop will help empower people with sickle cell disease to become advocates for their health, to seek appropriate medical care, and to establish a regular medical home rather than relying on emergency rooms. Participants will hear from hematology specialists with Emory University’s School of Medicine, sickle cell disease support group leaders, and patients living with the disease. The community resources segment will identify services available for uninsured sickle cell patients.

Screening for sickle cell disease is one way of finding out if you carry the trait. Information about the disease that disproportionately affects African-Americans will be available on Sept. 22.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that sickle cell disease affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the United States. One of every 500 African-Americans is born with the disease. It is also prevalent among people of Hispanic American, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Asian descent. More than 2 million people carry the sickle cell gene that allows them potentially to pass the disease on to their children. The National Institutes of Health says

that people with the disease are born with two sickle cell genes – one from each parent. If a person only has one sickle cell gene, it’s called sickle cell trait. About one in 12 African-Americans has sickle cell trait. A blood test can show if a person has the trait or anemia. Most states test newborn babies as part of their newborn screening programs. People with the disease can live full lives and enjoy most of the activities that other

people do. They start to have signs of the disease during the first year of life, usually about 5 months of age. Symptoms and complications are different for each person and can range from mild to severe. Swelling in the hands and feet usually is the first symptom. This swelling, often along with a fever, is caused by the sickle cells getting stuck in the blood vessels and blocking the flow of blood to the hands and feet. Pain is the most common complication of sickle cell disease and a pain episode or “crisis” is the top reason that patients go to the emergency room or hospital. There is no single best treatment for all people with sickle cell disease. Treatment options are different for each person depending on the symptoms. Sickle cell patients are advised to get regular checkups, prevent infections, learn healthy habits, look for clinical studies, and get support. People with sickle cell disease should have their eyes checked every year to look for damage to the retina. Sickle cell disease patients, especially infants and children, are more at risk for harmful infections. Pneumonia is a leading cause of death in infants and young children with the disease. Vaccinations can protect against harmful infections. To register for the workshop, visit http:// or call 404-815-4996 or 404-755-1641 for more information. To find out more about sickle cell or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit www The Adamsville Recreation Center and Natatorium is at 3201 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive S.W.


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August 25, 2012

“As a teacher leader within my school, I attack every situation as though the buck starts and ends with me.”

Joe Floyd is the 2012 Teacher of the Year Charter school hosts ribbon-cutting ciation and National Education Salem Middle School teacher Joe Association courtesy of the OrLouis Floyd II is the 2012 DeKalb ganization of DeKalb Educators; County School District Teacher of a classroom library makeover the Year. courtesy of Scholastic; and a Floyd, a seventh-grade Life Sci$100 gift card from the Profesence teacher, was one of four finalsional Association of Georgia ists for the honor. He was picked on Educators. Aug. 18 at a ceremony at the Thalia The three runners-up – Carlos Hellenic Center in Atlanta. Joe Floyd II Elizabeth Jean King of Sagamore In his application essay, Floyd credits communication as the key to his suc- Hills Elementary, José Alberto Gregory from DeKalb School of the Arts and Kerra cess in the classroom. “Without effective communication, it Taniyika Crowe of the DeKalb Transition/ is impossible to maximize the education Alternative School – also received a Dell experience of our youth,” he wrote. “As a Latitude Notebook and printer and $500 teacher leader within my school, I attack each from ING Direct as well as gifts from every situation as though the buck starts and Scholastic and PAGE. Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson said ends with me.” As the districtwide Teacher of the Year, she is proud of Floyd and all of DeKalb Floyd received a Dell Latitude Notebook and teachers. “It is an honor to be able to come toprinter courtesy of Dell Computers and an official ring from Jostens Ring Co. as well as gether to celebrate them and their remarkable dedication,” she said. “As a district, our $1,000 from ING Direct. Floyd also received a complimentary greatest resource is our people, and this membership to the Organization of Profes- event only begins to scratch the surface of sional Educators, Georgia Educators Asso- our appreciation for our employees.”

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DeKalb Preparatory Academy, the county’s newest charter school, is now official. Students, administrators and public officials cut the ribbon on the tuition-free public charter school operating out of the old Glen Haven Elementar y buildings on Austin Drive in Decatur. DeKalb Preparatory Academy, a new charter school, offers a rigorous DeKalb Prepara- college preparatory education utilizing the Paragon curriculum. tory was approved by the DeKalb School Board in April to open its the sequential circumstances surrounding doors for the 2012-2013 school year. It starts historical events, helping them to remember with grades k to 4 and will add a grade per both facts and larger concepts more readily year up to eighth grade. It opened on Aug. and leading to a deeper understanding of the 13 with under 300 students. world, its history and its diversity. Headmaster Michael Daly said the school Paragon incorporates English/language is filling a community need by using a closed arts, math, science, technology and the arts school building. “It’s important that they had in the teaching of history and the world. a school in this community,” he said. Ty Hunter of Stone Mountain, who has a Trance Jackson-Moore of Ellenwood kindergartner and second-grader, said they transferred her daughter, who is in second love the Paragon curriculum. grade, from private school because of the “They’re learning through songs and free tuition. “I was looking for a school that skits, which makes it easier for them to rehas a private school-type feel but at no cost. I member the information,” she said. “They’re wanted to receive a great education too.” also learning how to present themselves while DeKalb Prep offers a rigorous college performing in front of an audience.” preparatory education utilizing the Paragon The school is at 1402 Austin Drive. For curriculum. Rather than memorizing names, more information, call 404-937-2000 or visit dates and events in isolation, students learn

Kids art competition seeking entries Middle and high school students have until Nov. 5 to enter their artwork in the second annual Division V Arts Competition. The contest, which was created by DeKalb State Court Judge Eleanor Ross, begins Sept. 24 and ends Nov. 5. Prizes include a gift certificate to Binders Arts Supplies & Frames. There will be a grand prize winner and first place, second place and third place for both middle and high school winners. Grand prize winners will receive a $100 gift card; first place ­– $50 gift card; second place – $25 gift card; and third place – $15 gift card. Students can submit a painting, drawing, photography, collage or sculpture. The artwork should be labeled clearly with the entry form taped to the back. It should be framed or ready to be displayed. The staff of Division V and representa-

DeKalb middle and high school students can enter the art contest created by State Court Judge Eleanor Ross.

tives from Binders will select the winners. The selected art will hang in the Division V chambers and jury room for the entire year before it will be returned to the students. Ross said she started the contest to encourage DeKalb middle and high school artists to share their talent. Art should be delivered no later than Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. to Ross’ chambers in the DeKalb County Courthouse Judicial Tower, 556 N. McDonough St., Suite 3230, in Decatur. For more information, call 404-321-2300 or email



August 25, 2012


The collector, limited-edition Pete the Cat library card carries the same privileges, rights and responsibilities as a regular library card.

Vocalist to perform at Atlanta concert

Orozco to ‘kidnote’ at book festival

unteer projects with Memphis vocalist the King Center and Jonathan Blanchard the Hispanic Chamwill bring his Freeber of Commerce. dom’s Soul project Tickets are $15 in to Friendship Baptist advance and $20 at Church in Atlanta on the door. Sept. 2. Blanchard’s new Blanchard, who CD is a fusion of recently ended his spirituals, folk, jazz, East Coast tour, is funk, soul, blues, preparing for the gospel, spoken release of his CD, word and hip-hop “Freedom’s Soul,” in and is inspired by November and an coded field songs. international tour. Blanchard, a clasThe concert, sically trained bass which takes place vocalist, is heavily from 6 to 8 p.m., Jonathan Blanchard will perform a benefit at influenced by Earth, will help raise funds Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta. Wind and Fire, the for the youth community outreach group Friendship League Bar Kays, Isaac Hayes, and W.C. Handy. He of Youth. F.L.Y. provides social and service calls the CD’s lyrical content “truth.” Friendship Baptist is at 437 Mitchell St. opportunities for teens and college students who are members of Friendship as well as the S.W. For more information and tickets, visit or call 678surrounding Vine City community. The organization has participated in vol- 372-8378.

Youngsters will get their own version of a keynote address – a first-ever Kidnote – delivered by bilingual educator and recording artist José-Luis Orozco at the AJC Decatur Book Festival on Aug. 31 at Presser Hall at Agnes Scott College. Orozco, a nationally renowned performer and children’s author, will take participants on a journey through Latin American culture, history and oral traditions with an energetic and interactive concert beginning at 4 p.m. This special event for families, presented by DeKalb Medical, is free and open to the public, and no ticket is required. Seating is first come, first served. Children and families are invited to join Orozco in singing, dancing and acting out songs throughout the entire show. As part of the kid-friendly celebration, On the Same Page, a communitywide reading program, will reveal its fall selection for 2012. Terra Elan McVoy, the book festival program director, said she is looking forward to engaging families through an array of events. “One of my favorite parts of the weekend is seeing kids get excited about reading and seeing their favorite characters come to life,” she said. Family-friendly highlights include weekend parades during the Aug. 31-Sept. 2 festival. On Saturday morning, best-selling author Kevin Henkes will lead the children’s parade along with his much-beloved heroine, Lilly, who will help Henkes celebrate his new book, “Penny and Her Doll.” For Sunday’s parade, Nick Bruel brings his infamous star, Bad Kitty. Bruel’s newest picture book is “Bad Kitty for President.” The Sept. 1 parade will assemble at 9:30

Pete the Cat card to benefit library Library patrons and fans of Pete the Cat can meet artist James Dean on Sept. 1 and get a limited edition library card featuring the feline for a $20 tax-deductible donation to the DeKalb Library Foundation during the AJC Decatur Book Festival. The Pete the Cat “Be a Cool Cat ... Read” event takes place at 10 a.m. at the Decatur Library front lobby. Fans can have their photo taken with Dean, who will sign the cards and Pete the Cat books, which are for sale. Dean, a Georgia native who has an electrical engineering degree, took basic drawing classes. He and author Eric Litwin, also a Georgia native, created the popular cool cat.

The cards also are available at all DeKalb County Public Library branches and online starting Sept. 1. They are not offered as a My First Card for patrons up to 4 years old. The collector, limited-edition Pete the Cat library card carries the same privileges, rights and responsibilities as a regular library card and can be renewed every two years with no new donation. The Decatur Library is at 215 Sycamore St. in downtown Decatur. For more information, visit www.dekalb, e-mail foundation@ or call 404-370-8450, Ext. 2238.


Bilingual educator Jose Luis Orozco uses singing, dancing and acting to reach kids.

a.m. at the DeKalb County Courthouse, 556 N. McDonough St. in Decatur. The Sept. 2 parade assembles at 11:30 a.m. at the same location. Dav Pilkey, creator of the “Captain Underpants” series, also is bringing his newest book, “Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers,” to the book fest. He will sign books from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sept. 2 next to the children’s stage in the park area on the west side of Clairemont Avenue. For more information and a full lineup of children’s activities and authors, visit www

Too Many Books?

Sell Your Books at Our Used Book Sale Saturday, September 8, 2012 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. • Macy’s Wing



Groups Call (404) 881-2000

North DeKalb Mall

2050 Lawrenceville Hwy, Decatur, GA 30033




August 25, 2012

When BJH Attorneys formed in June 2007, it was South DeKalb’s largest African-American law firm.

Business Night Out for Candler Road

Tax digest, reserves cited

announcement about the businesses that are Business owners can network and meet slated to take over the vacant storefronts in with public safety officials at the Candler Road the plaza. Business Night Out on Sept. 4 in the Candler/ Johnson launched the District 3 Business McAfee shopping center in Decatur. Night Out initiative in 2008 to provide busiThe meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in nesses along the Candler Road, Glenwood/ the plaza at 2000 Candler Road, is sponsored Columbia Drive, Memorial Drive, and Gresham by District 3 County Commissioner Larry Road corridors an opportunity to network and Johnson. It is free and open to the public and to get information on the incentives available refreshments will be served. from the county to assist them. Business owners Representatives from the South Precinct Larry Johnson will provide safety tips and information on forming a located on or near the respective corridors are encouraged to stop by. Business Watch program. For more information, call 404-371-2988. Shopping center owner Shawl Pryor will make an


Burroughs leaves law firm he helped found Robert Burroughs, one of the founding partners of BJH Attorneys LLC, has left the law firm. Burroughs, who has been in practice since 1978, said he withdrew from the partnership to go in a different direction. He said he has launched the Burroughs Law Group and also will be concentrating on managing his family’s real estate holdings, including the Burroughs Building on Old Hillandale Drive in Lithonia. “I think we are just going in different directions,” he said. Mereda Davis Johnson, Genet Hopewell and Gary Coleman remain with the law firm, which is now located at 4262 Clausell Court, off Wesley Chapel Road in Decatur. Three partners moved there in 2010, while Burroughs continued to operate from the Lithonia office. When BJH Attorneys formed in June 2007, it was South DeKalb’s largest African-American law firm. Burroughs’ departure was effective July 1. “We lost a partner but we are still practicing,” Johnson said. “Robert is practicing and we are practicing. For now we have three partners.”

Burroughs Law Group is located in the 18,000-squarefoot Burroughs Building owned by his family. He said his family purchased the six-acre property next to the building and he is now exploring developing the parcel. The remaining partners are keeping the BJH Attorneys name. The firm concentrates on bankruptcy, personal injury, workers compensation, family law, divorce, custody, wills, probate trusts, criminal defense, and corporate and business law. When they formed the firm in 2007, Burroughs said then that it was not a group of lawyers with different practices sharing a roof and keeping separate books. “What’s really different is that we are pulling together lawyers of different experience into a company,” he said. “When you consider business relations, your strength is that you can make it on your own, but you become stronger pulling together. We have all the talents to pull this off.” The former partners said they remain friends. Johnson said they talk regularly. “We still have joint cases,” she said. “It isn’t a big deal.”

from page


For example, in 2006, DeKalb had 101,396 students enrolled. By 2009, enrollment had declined to 98,888 students. At the beginning of the new school year on Aug. 13, it anticipated enrollment of 96,432 students, but 1,443 fewer students, or 94,989, showed up. Moody’s also noted that the school district’s expenditure budget has decreased by $38 million since fiscal 2009 with furloughs, a reduction in staff through layoffs and attrition, and increases in class sizes, but pointed out that the cuts do not fully offset a $41.6 million decline in property tax revenues driven by declines in the district’s tax digest. Countywide, the DeKalb tax digest declined by 9 percent this year from 2011. Moody’s said the stable outlook reflects its belief that despite projections of negative fund balance in fiscal 2012, the district’s new management team has implemented significant budgetary adjustments that should lead to the stabilization and growth of reserves over the medium term. In response, School Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson said they are committed to bolstering reserves, strengthening finances and ensuring that more of their resources flow directly into the classroom. “During tough economic times that have challenged all publicsector budgets, we have taken strong steps to balance our budget and put our district on a solid financial footing,” she said in a statement to the media. In June, the district finished the fiscal year by spending $34 million over what had been budgeted a year earlier. It spent $808.6 million in fiscal year 2012 when the School Board had set a $774.6 million budget. Moody’s said the district could move its ratings up by stabilizing and improving its financial position and restoring structurally balanced operations and improvement in reserve levels. On the other hand, it said the ratings could go down with further reductions of reserve levels, if fiscal 2012 audited results show a larger than expected deficit, and if the district fails to regain structurally balanced operations. *REDUCE YOUR CABLE BILL! * Get a 4-Room All-Digital Satellite system installed for FREE and programming starting at $19.99/ mo. FREE HD/DVR upgrade for new callers, SO CALL NOW! 1-800-699-7159

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August 25, 2012


Marketplace BUSINESS SERVICES Custom Framing. Certified for twelve years. Mat cuts, glass replacement, shadowboxes, diplomas. Art and body oils for sale. Iah 404-389-2643

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www. MalcolmCunninghamAutoGallery .com

4C (10.5”) × 16” 34447-MCAQ (8-25) Crossroads FC (gc)




8995 2004 ACURA TL $ STK#A3008A ......................................................... 9995 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 2011 NISSAN ALTIMA $ STK#A3058 ...................................................... 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 STK#A3057A ........................................................

OFF RP MS 1 76



CrossRoadsNews, August 25, 2012  

CrossRoadsNews, August 25, 2012

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