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CrossRoadsNews

January 12, 2013

“Historically, this board made an effort to maintain a racial balance in composition of their officers.”

Commissioners elect May, Sutton to lead them 2346 Candler Rd. Decatur, GA 30032 404-284-1888 Fax: 404-284-5007 www.crossroadsnews.com editor@crossroadsnews.com

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Commissioner Lee May is the new presiding officer of the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners. May, w h o represents Dis- Lee May trict 5, was elected by his colleagues on Jan. 8. He replaces Commissioner Larry Johnson, who served for two years in the position. May will preside over all official board meetings, oversee committee appointments, manage the board’s meeting agendas, and approve proclamation requests. District 4 Commissioner Sharon BarnesSutton was elected deputy presid-

ing officer. May, w h o won re-election to a second full term last July, said his goal is to build upon the great leadership of his predecesS. Barnes-Sutton sor. He was first elected to the board in 2006 to replace Hank Johnson, who was elected to Congress. “We are at a pivotal and critical time in our county’s history that requires innovative ideas, strategic planning, and engaged leaders to move this county forward,” May said. He served four years as deputy presiding officer and two years

as chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee and member on the Public Safety and General Safety Committee. He also has served in leadership roles for three years with the National Association of Counties. Barnes-Sutton said she is looking forward to serving and working with all branches of government to make DeKalb the premier county in the state. “I look forward to adding my insight and perspective as we serve the people of DeKalb,” she said. The election of two AfricanAmericans to the top leadership posts drew sharp comments from District 6 Commissioner Kathie Gannon, one of three white members on the seven-member board.

“Historically, this board made an effort to maintain a racial balance in composition of their officers, to take into consideration all of DeKalb County – one DeKalb,” she said. This was an encore of remarks Gannon made in 2009 when the board first elected Johnson to serve as presiding officer and May as deputy presiding officer. Gannon tried to get District 2 Commissioner Jeff Rader elected as deputy presiding officer but the motion failed. She criticized May for tending to vote on the side of political expediency and said Barnes-Sutton was a poor choice because of her financial problems that has landed her in the news for passing bad checks.

Judge to receive Benham Award for Community Service DeKalb Superior Court Judge Asha F. Jackson will be among recipients of the 14th annual Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service. She and 11 lawyers from across the state will get their Asha F. Jackson awards on Feb. 26 at a special ceremony. Jackson, who was appointed to the DeKalb bench in February 2012 by Gov. Nathan Deal, took office in March, succeeding Judge Michael

Hancock, who retired. She is the sixth female judge on the 10-member DeKalb Superior Court bench. Immediately before her appointment, Jackson was a partner in the Atlanta law firm Barnes & Thornburg LLP, where she focused on commercial litigation, product liability, premises liability and employment counseling. She also served as a pro hac judge for the DeKalb Recorders Court. The Benham Awards for Community Service are co-sponsored by the State Bar of Georgia and the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism. It is one of the highest recognitions given by the

New Decatur mayor, pro tem Commissioner Jim Baskett is the city of Decatur’s new mayor. Baskett was elected by his colleagues on the Decatur City Jim Baskett Commission on Jan. 7. He succeeds Bill Floyd, who resigned after 14 years to pursue other opportunities. The five-member commission also elected fellow Commissioner Kecia Cunningham as mayor pro tem. Baskett, who was elected to the commission in 1995, had been mayor pro tem for the past 10 years.

He thanked his colleagues for their trust in his abilities and promised to continue his commitment to “working together as a team Kecia Cunningham to make this a better community for all of us.” Cunningham, a member of the City Commission since 1999, thanked the other commissioners for expressing their faith in her. She said she anticipates “strengthening our communication and working harder together.” The special election to fill Floyd’s District 1 commission seat will take place in March.

two professional organizations. Since 1998, these Lifetime Achievement Awards have honored lawyers and judges in Georgia who have made significant contributions to their communities and demonstrate the positive contributions of members of the bar beyond their legal or official work. They are given to selected attorneys in the judicial districts of Georgia from which nominations were received. Honorees have served a wide range of community organizations, government-sponsored activities, and humanitarian efforts outside of their professional practices and judicial duties. Their

fields of service include youth athletics and mentoring programs, literacy programs, social services, church and religious activities, politics, promotion and support for legal aid programs, community development, education, sports, recreation, and the arts. The awards presentation and reception take place 6 to 8 p.m. at the State Bar of Georgia, 104 Marietta St. N.W., Third Floor, in Atlanta. Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham will present the awards and Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein will bring special remarks. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Oldest American dies at 114 Maime Rearden, the oldest living American for just over two weeks, died Jan. 5 at age 114. Rearden, mother of 11 children, died at a hospital in Augusta, about 20 miles south of her Edgefield, S.C., Maime Rearden home, said her youngest daughter, Sara Rearden. Gerontology Research Group, which verifies age information for Guinness World Records, listed Rearden as the oldest living American after the death of 115-year-old Dina Manfredini of

Iowa on Dec. 17. Her Sept. 7, 1898, birth was recorded in the 1900 U.S. Census. She was more than a year younger than the world’s oldest person, 115-yearold Jiroemon Kimura of Japan. Rearden recently broke a hip and had difficulty breathing the week before her death, her daughter said. “I was looking right at her when she took her last breath.” Rearden, a Baptist, was a schoolteacher early in life, but after getting married and starting a family, she became a homemaker. She obtained her first driver’s license at 65 and became a case worker for an anti-poverty program. Her husband, Oacy Rearden, died in 1979 at age 88. They were married for 59 years.

Memorial service on Jan. 19 in Conyers for Glass siblings FIRE,

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The family will hold a memorial service on Jan. 19 at Macedonia Baptist at 1052 Barton St. Reeba Glass’ mother, Rosetta Mitchell, who was downstairs, was able to get out the front door to safety and wasn’t hurt in the fire.

National EMS treated her at the scene for chest pains. The cause of the fire remained unknown at press time. Fire and Rescue Chief Dan Morgan said there were no sprinklers in the duplex. He said at the time it was built, in 1983, they were not required.

The duplex had a smoke detector but investigators say there were no batteries in it. The smoke detector was on the first floor. The fire originated on the second floor. Gregory Levett and Sons Funeral Home in Conyers told the Associated Press it is contributing

free services for the four children. In addition to the Wells Fargo fund, anyone wanting to make contributions to the family can contact Pastor Billie Cox at 770-262-4076. Cox said women’s clothing in sizes 20 and 22, shoes in sizes 7.5 and 8, and boy’s clothing size 6 and shoes size 11 are needed.

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CrossRoadsNews, January 12, 2013  

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