Sharing life’s lessons
Tribute to a maverick
As the U.S. Su preme Court weighs a challenge to the Voting Rights Act, a caravan of Freedom Riders for Voting Rights is holding ral lies for support of the statute. 2
Nick’s Barber shop owner Vance Harper has been giving young men lessons about digni ty and responsibility at his neighborhood landmark in Stone Mountain. 6
The life of Ni gerian composer Fela Anikulapo Kuti is captured in a musical playing at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta through March 6. 8
Caravan passes through
EAST ATLANTA • DECATUR • STONE MOUNTAIN • LITHONIA • AVONDALE ESTATES • CLARKSTON • ELLENWOOD • PINE LAKE • REDAN • SCOTTDALE • TUCKER
March 2, 2013
Copyright © 2013 CrossRoadsNews, Inc.
Volume 18, Number 44
No tax hike in budget that adds 69 officers, firefighters By Jessica Smith
The $558.9 million budget includes $180.5 million to fund 25 new police officers and 44 firefighters. It does not include a property tax hike.
Committee, called the budget “a tremendous accomplishment” for not increasing taxes but maintaining current service delivery levels. “I think citizens have something to be proud of,” said May, the board’s Larry Johnson presiding officer. The 2013 budget sliced $3 million from the $562 million budget proposed by Ellis on Dec. 14. It is $800,000 less than the $559.7 million budget approved by commissioners in 2012. District 3 Commissioner Larry Johnson,
DeKalb will get 69 new police officers and firefighters and no tax hike in the 2013 budget approved unanimously by the DeKalb Board of Commissioners on Feb. 26. The board voted 7-0 to approve the $558.9 million budget, which includes $180.5 million to fund 25 new police officers and 44 firefighters, and without the property Lee May tax increase proposed by CEO Burrell Ellis. District 5 Commissioner Lee May, who chairs the Finance, Audit and Budget Please see BUDGET, page 2
Jennifer Ffrench Parker/CrossRoadsNews
School board crippled by lack of quorum Gov. Nathan Deal, flanked by DeKalb lawmakers, announced the suspension of DeKalb’s six longest serving Board members.
Applicants sought to replace members suspended by Deal By Ken Watts
Negotiations on a possible compromise between the DeKalb School Board and the state were under way at press time Thursday in the county’s lawsuit against state law 20-273(a)(n), the statute that gives Gov. Nathan Deal the authority to suspend six DeKalb board members. Deal suspended Sarah Copelin-Wood, District 3; Jesse “Jay” Cunningham, District 5; Donna Edler, District 7; Nancy Jester, District 1; Dr. Pam Speaks, District 8; and Dr. Eugene Walker, District 9, on Feb. 25 and named a nominating committee to find replacements for him to appoint to finish their terms of office. He said he did not take the decision to suspend the county’s six longest-serving School Board members lightly. “I feel it is my responsibility to act,” Deal said on Monday. “Maybe there is a better way, but the reality is this is the only way open to us now.” Deal said the accreditation probation of the state’s third-largest school district “is a matter of grave concern to all of us.” Deal also appointed former DeKalb board member Brad Bryant as his liaison to the DeKalb School Board and interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond. Bryant is executive director of the Georgia Foundation for Education for the Georgia Department of Education. The next day, the five-member committee issued a call for applications with a March 6 deadline. Interested applicants have until 5 p.m. on March 6 to submit their name, contact information, home address, seat they are applying for, resume or brief biography, and statement of interest.
Ken Watts / CrossRoadsNews
The panel that will nominate replacements is chaired by state School Board member Kenneth Mason. The other members are Garry McGiboney, the Georgia Department of Education associate superintendent of Policy and Charter Schools and a former DeKalb deputy superintendent; Jim Bostic, former state School Board member; Alicia Philip, president of the nonprofit Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta; and Georgia Power’s regional external affairs manager Sadie Dennard, who is a former Atlanta School Board member and a former president of the
The hearing came in the wake of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placing the school district on accreditation probation on Dec. 17 for dysfunctional governance and financial mismanagement, among other issues. The DeKalb board’s remaining members – Dr. Melvin Johnson, Jim McMahan and Marshall Orson, who were sworn into office in January – are not included in the suspensions but have been unable to make decisions without the required five-member quorum. In a Feb. 26 statement, the three complained that the suspensions and lawsuit have placed the school system in legal limbo. “We find ourselves in a unique and confusing situation,” they said in the letter. “With only three of us authorized to act by virtue of the federal court order, the DeKalb Board of Education will lack a quorum to conduct any business until such times as there is a
Georgia School Boards Association. But while that is going on, Deal, Thurmond, members of DeKalb’s joint delegation to the General Assembly, and attorneys for both sides have been meeting continuously to hash out a compromise. State Sen. Emanuel Jones said the deal may involve the board members resigning instead of being suspended. But late Thursday, Walker, a former chairman of the School Board, said he would not resign. The suspensions were recommended to Deal by the Georgia School Board after a marathon 14-hour hearing on Feb. 21. Please see SCHOOLS, page 2
March 2, 2013
“If we don’t save Section 5, our children’s children will still be fighting for the right to vote.”
Activists rally against court challenge to Voting Rights Act By Ken Watts
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson joined members of the Congressional Black Caucus, other members of Congress, and civil rights activists on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building Feb. 27 for a rally as the court heard arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Specifically, the case – Shelby County, Ala., v. Holder – targets Section 5, the socalled “preclearance provision” that requires states with a history of discriminatory voting practices against minorities to get permission from the Justice Department before making changes that could affect voting. The clause is aimed at nine states, including Georgia, and parts of seven others. “This challenge to Section 5 of the VRA is a threat to the basic principle of our democracy that every citizen’s voice should be heard and their vote protected by our government,” said Johnson, whose 4th District includes DeKalb, Rockdale, Newton and Gwinnett counties. “It also puts voters who are likely to be disenfranchised through nefarious practices across the country at risk.” Congress has repeatedly extended the preclearance requirement since the Voting Rights Act was passed in the mid-1960s, but conservative critics say the extensions were based on outdated data. Inside the high court hearing, the court’s conservatives were sharply skeptical of the need for Section 5. Chief Justice John Roberts asked Solicitor General Donald Verilli, who was defending the law: “Is it the submission of the government that citizens in the South are more racist than citizens in the North?” Verilli said no, the government is merely claiming that the record assembled by Congress in its 2006 renewal of the Voting Rights Act showed persistent problems in certain parts of the country. Those problems, he said, continue to warrant Section 5’s unequal treatment of targeted states, most of which are in the Deep South. Stephen Breyer, one of the more liberal justices, said while there has been progress, the “disease of voting discrimination” remains. “Of course, this was aimed at the states,” he said. “What do you think the Civil
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia was among members of Congress and civil rights activists speaking out against the challenge to a provision of the Voting Rights Act.
War was all about?” U.S. Rep. John Lewis attended the arguments. The Atlanta Democrat and civil rights icon was badly beaten in the 1965 Selma, Ala., march that inspired the Voting Rights Act. Lewis said he is “hopeful and optimistic” that five of nine justices will uphold the law but John Lewis was troubled by a comment from conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. While supporters pointed to Congress’ overwhelming vote to approve renewal of the Voting Rights Act, Scalia called the law “a perpetuation of racial entitlement” that, because of politics, will continue forever unless the court steps in.
“I didn’t like that line,” Lewis said. “You might hear members of Congress say that, but why would a Supreme Court justice say that?” This latest round in the decades-long fight comes after a U.S. District Court in November 2012 rejected a challenge to the law by Shelby County. The NAACP says that in 2006, the city of Calera in Shelby County adopted a discriminatory redistricting plan without complying with Section 5, resulting in the loss of the city’s only African-American City Council member, Ernest Montgomery. In compliance with Section 5, however, Calera was required to draw a nondiscriminatory redistricting plan and conduct another election in which Montgomery regained his seat. The lawsuit challenging Section 5 was
Board drops public safety post, funding of vacancies BUDGET,
who chairs the Planning and Economic Development Committee, said their goal was to develop a budget that doesn’t raise taxes and “is fiscally sound that our community can live with.” The property tax hike was averted when the county finished 2012 with $8.7 million more in the bank than expected and the board cut $100,000 from DeKalb’s lobbying contracts and saved $250,000 by eliminating the public safety director position on the Feb. 28 retirement of Director Wiz Miller. Ellis first proposed a 1.69 mill property tax increase in December and revised it to 0.64 mills on Jan. 31. In his Jan. 5 State of the County address, Ellis said property values have gone down 25 percent countywide over the past five years and 50 percent in unincorporated DeKalb, greatly impacting county revenues. The 2013 budget also includes boardinitiated adjustments to the Police Department’s $120.5 million budget. After commissioners discovered that the department was holding vacant positions open while seeking an additional 25 officers, they voted to abolish the practice, which resulted in a $1 million savings. The Police Department, which has 946 sworn personnel, plans to fill the 25 slots as soon as possible and start a police academy to recruit 17 more cadets. Its 2013 goal of 988 sworn officers is
a firefighter at Station No. 2 in Decatur. He said the station hasn’t had any new 2012 budget 2013 budget hires since he moved from Approved budget $559,745,120 $558,885,857 Utah six years ago. Police officers 968 988 The budget also inFirefighters 686 676 cludes $900,000 to update the Planning Department’s Increases antiquated permitting The budget includes $120.5 million in spending system. Staff at the defor police, which includes filling 25 open positions and partment, which handles holding a police academy to recruit cadets. Funding for zoning, building permits 44 positions is included in the Fire Department’s $60 and business licenses, was million budget. reduced in 2009 when the Decreases real estate market tanked. The county cut $250,000 from the budget by As the industry makes eliminating the public safety director job and saved a comeback, growing com$100,000 by reducing a lobbying contract. plaints about long wait times for permits and licenses have raised concerns 20 more officers than the 968 employed by that entrepreneurs will take their business the department in December 2011. to other counties. The board stopped the practice of fundCommissioners reluctantly restored ing vacant positions in the Fire & Rescue the $900,000, under the condition that Department. the money won’t be spent until the board Firefighters have been lobbying commis- further discusses its use. sioners to have four firefighters on each of The county’s 22 libraries got a $100,000 their trucks when they respond to a call. The increase – double their current funding – 44 new firefighters will accomplish this goal, to buy books and educational materials. taking the department to 676 firefighters. In Recorders Court got $300,000 to buy a 2012, the department had 686. new computer system. “It’s been about four years since the Reductions to electricity and natural county’s hired anyone new, so we’re really gas spending also cut the budget by more excited. We need the help,” said Iosefa Leota, than $1.4 million.
filed less than a year after the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund successfully defended its constitutionality in a separate case. After the high court heard arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, a caravan of Freedom Riders for Voting Rights left the Supreme Court for rallies at courthouses in Richmond, Va.; Charlotte, N.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Atlanta; and three cities in Alabama. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference hosted the Atlanta rally on Feb. 28 at Central United Methodist Church. State Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma said the caravan is a key part of a movement to save Section 5, the heart of the Voting Rights Act. “We are demonstrating the critical need to save the Voting Rights Act. If we don’t save Section 5, our children’s children will still be fighting for the right to vote.”
Deal hobbled by boardmembers federal lawsuit SCHOOLS,
decision in the legal matter.” On Wednesday, the district issued a notice that a March 4 work session and meeting had been postponed and will be combined with a business session scheduled for March 11. Deal also is unable to implement the suspensions or replacements pending the outcome of a March 1 hearing on a federal lawsuit filed by the DeKalb School Board challenging the constitutionality of the law that allows the governor to remove them from office. On Feb. 24, U.S. District Judge Richard Story issued an order enjoining the governor from “implementing” his suspensions until the lawsuit is heard on March 1. The DeKalb School Board, which filed a similar lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court, withdrew it this week to concentrate on the federal case. Jones, who represents District 10. said a negotiated settlement is better than one that’s forced on the county. “Resignation would be the honorable route for the suspended board members to allow a new election and let the voters choose who they want to replace them,” he said.
March 2, 2013
“It is time to re-imagine and plan for the future development in this important gateway to Decatur and DeKalb.”
DeKalb cities get LCI grants to plot development 30-year sentence Three DeKalb cities and the area around DeKalb Medical in Decatur are among nine recipients of $638,000 in Livable Centers Initiative grants from the Atlanta Regional Commission. The grants, which ranged from $24,000 to $120,000, were awarded to Medline Regional Activity Center around the medical center and the cities of Avondale Estates, Chamblee and Lithonia. The Medline Regional Activity Center study focuses on the area around Suburban Plaza and DeKalb Medical and will plan for redevelopment of underutilized and vacant properties to create a variety of housing options and an appropriate mix of commercial, office and retail. The study will incorporate Lifelong Communities concepts and the establishment of a “wellness district” for the DeKalb Medical area. Commissioners Kathie Gannon and Jeff Rader, who have been working on the LCI project for more than two years, are pleased that DeKalb County received the grant, which will bring together Jeff Rader residents, businesses and property owners to reach a consensus on future development and public improvements. The study area includes portions of Scott Boulevard and North Decatur Road from Medlock Road to DeKalb Industrial Way as well as Church Street. The commissioners applied for the
LCI before Walmart announced its intentions to locate in Suburban Plaza. Gannon said the study area, which includes the campus of DeKalb Medical, Suburban Plaza, Patel Plaza and nearly 30 acres of vacant car lots, is vastly Kathie Gannon underutilized. “I believe this area can be successfully redeveloped for mixed-use developments that will bring new vibrancy and improve the quality of life for the surrounding residential areas,” said Gannon, the Super District 6 commissioner. Rader said the area was developed as one of the region’s first suburban commercial corridors in the early 1970s, but its character has changed over the years. “It is time to re-imagine and plan for the future development in this important gateway to Decatur and DeKalb,” Rader said. The study, which will take nine to 12 months to complete, will have little, if any, impact on Walmart, but the redevelopment of Suburban Plaza may encourage additional retailers to be interested in the area. The city of Lithonia, which completed an LCI grant in 2003, was awarded a $24,000 supplemen- Deborah Jackson tal grant to create standards for streetscape designs and zoning code changes. Mayor Deborah Jackson said this grant
will help the city update its zoning ordinance to make it easier to understand and facilitate the type of development the community wants. “We truly want Lithonia to be a live, work and play community that attracts a diverse population as well as respects the cultural heritage of the community,” Jackson said. Avondale Estates was awarded $64,000 for a major plan update and a downtown master plan, while Chamblee got $80,000 for a 10-year major plan update. The LCI program is funded with federal transportation dollars. Recipients provide a 20 percent match. A RC C h a i r m a n Tad Leithead said LCI grants help metro communities “retool and redesign” to create more Tad Leithead places that attract residents and businesses. “Our local government partners have used these grants to the benefit of their communities and the entire region,” he said. Since its inception in 1999, LCI grants have assisted 111 communities with more than $154 million in planning and implementation grants to devise strategies to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality by better connecting homes, shops and offices. For more information, visit www .atlantaregional.com/lci.
Free Citizen Police Academy accepting applications DeKalb residents can get an inside scoop on law enforcement at the 2013 Citizen Police Academy. The free, 10-week program, which introduces residents to DeKalb County Police functions and activities, is accepting applicants through March 15 for its third annual academy. Participants will meet weekly for twohour sessions at which personnel from
Uniform, Criminal Investigations and Special Operations divisions will describe the operational structure and complexities of their units. The department hopes that an understanding of police procedure will nurture stronger relationships between the community and the police force and help prevent crime. Participants must be at least 21, live or
work in DeKalb, have no prior felony convictions, and consent to a background check and two ride-alongs with a uniform officer. The Citizen Police Academy is an informational course and does not certify participants to become sworn police officers. Applications can be obtained at each precinct or by e-mailing gkJeffer@ dekalbcountyga.gov.
for woman who abused elderly
Bobbie Ward, a former Cedar Grove Middle School secretary, will spend 20 years behind bars as part of a 30-year sentence for exploiting elderly and disabled adults in her care. D e Ka l b S u p e r i o r Court Judge Tangela Barrie sentenced Ward on Feb. 25 after a DeKalb County jury found her guilty of 21 of 25 counts of wide-ranging crimes against disabled and elderly victims on Jan. 16. Bobbie Ward Ward also was ordered to pay $14,229 in restitution to one of the disabled victims. After her release from prison, she will be prohibited from housing any person not related to her. She was found guilty for crimes committed against six elderly and disabled adults who were victimized over a five-year period. The charges included false imprisonment of an elder person, forgery in the first degree, and 13 separate counts of identity fraud. District Attorney Robert James said Ward relentlessly preyed on vulnerable adults and exploited them for her own personal financial gain. “This sentence sends a resounding message that elder and disabled adult exploitation will not be tolerated in DeKalb County,” he said. Ward took elderly and disabled adults into her home between August 2006 and November 2011 when she claimed to own a home health care service. She housed them in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, giving them inadequate food and medical treatment. One elderly victim who had been locked in his room escaped her house through a window, breaking a foot. Ward took money from their bank accounts and forged their names on government checks without their permission. She also engaged in a pattern of identity fraud, using their personal information to set up utility services at 12 different homes in DeKalb County.
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March 2, 2013
We would be further along with this injustice to DeKalb children had SACS taken the appropriate steps one to two years ago.
DeKalb School Board suspensions long overdue The governor has suspended six long-sitting DeKalb County School Board members, and it was long overdue. The problem does not come as a surprise. It is and has never been considered “rocket science” to hire a superintendent who will act in the best interest of the educational system. According to the governor, “Removing those officials from their seats is a serious duty and not to be taken lightly.” That duty, however, in comparison to the importance of assuring the credibility of a student’s education, is also important. The threat of suspension is nothing new to the equation of the board’s inadequacies and is long past due for an overhaul in the operation of the board’s management of school system’s affairs. These are management practices that have long since had a pattern of running against the grain on matters of concern. It has been time for a change and time has run out for compromise or
At what point does the board consider itself to have the responsibility of our educational system as their priority that affects our children rather than just being “sitting ducks” on a boat called “the board” that keeps sinking deeper and deeper? Miriam Knox Robinson
more surprises. The past speaks for itself. From superintendents Atkinson, Cheryl; Brown, Johnny; and Crawford Lewis completes the ABCs of the last superintendents hired. Crawford Lewis, who is said to be waiting (forever) for trial, should have triggered a better decision or a wake-up call for who they hire as superintendents. Do we have to go down the entire alphabet and get applicants from names from D-Z. The past speaks for itself. Apparently, it has not been too hard to pick a candidate, just pick one out of a hat. They don’t have to perform any duties, no accountability or have an educational degree. Just sit in the spot and draw a healthy salary. Get a big fat check every month that includes a healthy
Why no bid for new city in South DeKalb
Student failures support SACS findings
I’m so glad to see you guys are covering the Lakeside city issue. Keep up the good work; I really hope that continues. I don’t think the creation of any of these cities has been a good idea. I have been following the creation of the cities of Dunwoody and Brookhaven. I don’t think this trend is good for the county. I have asked the question of others why they think only the northern portions of the county are seeking cities. I think it has to do with the affluent vs. non-affluent areas of the county. To my knowledge, there has not been any attempt to create a new city in South DeKalb. I would like to know what others think about this. Marv Peck lives in Atlanta in DeKalb.
monthly expense allowance without any accountability of what you spent it for and other freebies. When the superintendent decides they are tired of being bored with non-performance of duties and the “sleeping board members” get a wake-up call, it is customary to negotiate a big settlement with the outgoing superintendent in lieu of getting fired, like most normal people have to contend with in a “right to work” state. At what point does the board consider itself to have the responsibility of our educational system as their priority that affects our children rather than just being “sitting ducks” on a boat called “the board” that keeps sinking deeper and deeper?
When there is no incentive to perform, there is no performance. I am curious to know what is the job description of a superintendent? Who performs the checks and balances of the day-to-day operations of a superintendent? Why is it necessary pay someone for leaving a job that they never performed in the beginning? Who is minding the store? Contracts for superintendents should be revised for accuracy of performance, etc. Patrick Henry, who back in 1770s was an attorney, planter and orator from Virginia, made famous the phrase “Let all good men come to the aid of their country.” This phrase is often used as a practice line when learning to use the keyboard, i.e, typewriter. I will end by saying, “Let’s elect all good School Board members who will come to the aid of the children in the educational system that they are elected to oversee, and ‘do the right thing’ for the benefit of all citizens in DeKalb County.” Miriam Knox Robinson lives in Decatur.
Please find out whether the funds for the lawsuit that Dr. Eugene Walker referenced will be financed with public funds (DeKalb County School District) or their combined personal funds. Dr. Walker is mistaken: The vast majority of parents/voters do not want the board members, including him, to continue in their present seats. It is my viewpoint that we would be further along with this injustice to DeKalb children had SACS taken the appropriate steps one to two years ago. I sent CrossRoadsNews a copy of the letter that I personally drafted asking them to make the recommendation back then. The board’s attorney has indicated that
the allegations are unsupported and, thus, unfounded. However, the educational failures that were done to my grandchildren in DeKalb and under most of this same board’s leadership is enough singly to support SACS findings. Moreover, the elites with voices in DeKalb need to take their friendships out of the mix and step up to lead parents’ efforts to let all decision makers – Gov. Nathan Deal, Michael Thurmond, SACS and the court – know that “we have had enough from these board members and now demand to have them retire their public service duties in the capacity of DeKalb County School Board members.” Marjorie Richardson lives in Decatur.
No tax hike in budget, adds 69 officers, firefighters 1
DeKalb cities get LCI grants to plot development 3
Healthy recipes online for MyPlate
DeKalb will get 69 new police officers and firefighters and no tax hike in the 2013 budget approved unanimously by the DeKalb Board of Commissioners on Feb. 26.
Three DeKalb cities and the area around DeKalb Medical in Decatur are among nine recipients of $638,000 in Livable Centers Initiative grants from the Atlanta Regional Commission.
Finding recipes that support MyPlate’s healthier eating guidelines is now easier because of a new effort announced by first lady Michelle Obama on Feb. 26.
Applicants sought to replace School Board members 1
‘Fela!’ dazzles at Fabulous Residents grill board members Fox Theatre 8 on probation status 5 “Fela!” the electric musical about Nige-
Negotiations on a possible compromise between the DeKalb School Board and the state are under way in the county’s lawsuit against the statute that gives Gov. Nathan Deal the authority to suspend six DeKalb board members.
The grass-roots group Restore DeKalb held a second town hall meeting on Feb. 23 and drew a racially-mixed crowd of more than 100 people with questions about the county’s school probation crisis.
Activists rally against Voting Rights Act challenge 2
Keep DeKalb Beautiful open house 5
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, other members of Congress, and civil rights activists rallied as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Environmentally conscious DeKalb residents can get tips on electronics recycling, installing curb markers on storm drains or planting trees at a March 12 Keep DeKalb Beautiful open house.
rian composer and political maverick Fela Anikulapo Kuti, brings Broadway’s bright lights to Atlanta through March 6.
Applications now open for SMILE 9 High school girls who are interested in the criminal justice system can get an inside view during the 2013 Summer Mentoring Initiative in Legal Education, (SMILE) program sponsored by DeKalb State Court Judge Stacey Hydrick.
index to advertisers
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March 2, 2013
“Whether you step down or are removed, look at yourselves because you’re partially responsible for what’s going on.”
Residents grill School Board members on probation status By Ken Watts
The grass-roots group Restore DeKalb held its second town hall meeting in two weeks on Feb. 23 and drew a racially-mixed crowd of more than 100 people with questions about the county’s school probation crisis. Organizers say they “invited the DeKalb School Board, interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond and the DeKalb House and Senate delegation to the Sanford Realty building on Snapfinger Woods Drive to answer the public’s concerns about accreditation.” But only two of the DeKalb officials showed up: School Board members Jesse “Jay” Cunningham of District 5 and Donna Edler, who represents District 7. More controversy arose after the official program started when a splinter group held a separate closed-door meeting at the same facility, apparently without authorization. Cunningham and Edler, who are among the six DeKalb School Board members suspended by Gov. Nathan Deal, were there to announce that they plan to fight to keep their seats. “You all voted me in, those of you who live in District 5,” said Cunningham, whose district includes Martin Luther King Jr., Southwest DeKalb, Miller Grove, Lithonia and Arabia Mountain high schools and their feeder elementary/middle schools. “I’m standing before you today asking you to stand behind me and let me finish my term,” he said. “Voting is a constitutional right that people have died for. We’ve got to stand up for our rights.” “You’re supposed to be standing up for the kids!” a member of the audience shouted. Cunningham pointed out that the entire School Board will be up for re-election in November 2014, even the people Deal plans to appoint to replace the suspended board members. He said they have an obligation to the kids. “I believe in that.” he said. “But what we have to do at the end of the day is make sure we have the facts, not hearsay, not someone else making the decision for us.” Cunningham attacked the Dec. 17 report from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools that put the school district on accreditation probation and accused the board of dysfunctional governance, deteriorating finances and declining student performance. SACS action precipitated the Feb. 21 state Board of Education suspension hearing and the suspension recommendation to Deal. At that hearing, School Board attorney Bob Wilson argued that many of the allegations were based on information from unnamed sources. On Feb. 25, Deal suspended the six longest-serving DeKalb board members. The other members are Dr. Eugene Walker, Dr. Pam Speaks, Sarah Copelin-Wood and Nancy Jester. Kim Ault, who attended the Restore DeKalb meeting, asked: “Why wouldn’t you want to step down? “Morale in the schools is so poor and public trust is so low that it would be difficult for us to move forward with the board as it is,” Ault said. Cunningham, who has been on the board
Donna Edler and Jay Cunningham said they plan to fight for their school board seats.
Photos by Ken Watts / CrossRoadsNews
More than 100 people including community activist and attorney Gina Mangham, above, attended the Restore DeKalb town hall meeting on Feb. 23 in search of next steps.
since January 2007, said Deal’s actions won’t make a difference. “Don’t think for a moment that removing this board and putting in replacements is going to make one bit of difference,” he said, warning that DeKalb is headed to two separate school systems with whites in the more affluent northern half of the county and African-American students concentrated in the southern half. Moderator Joel Edwards prodded Cunningham to stay focused on the question. “I think everybody here wants a school system that works,” he said to a round of applause. “And they want a board that works, whether we’re a segregated school system or integrated. People have legitimate concerns about the issues. Whether you step down or are removed, look at yourselves because you’re partially responsible for what’s going on.” Dawn Forman, a parent who is white, said she is really tired of hearing about race. “It’s not a black or white issue here. We have Hispanic students. We have Asian students. We have students from around the world and we’re failing all of them.” Forman said the system has lost interpreters, leaving non-English-speaking students unable to communicate with teachers or administrators. Edler acknowledged some interpersonal tensions may have contributed to the board governance issues pointed out by SACS. “But I think suspension is an unjust action,” she said. “I think our constitution allows for remedies including recall and the regular electoral process.” Edler, who joined the board in January 2011, said she doesn’t own the seat she holds. “This is the people’s seat,” she said. “It belongs to the citizens of DeKalb County. The citizens spoke in electing me to do a job. And I think that those who elected me can see that I’ve done my job on the DeKalb County School Board. “And I think it should be you the voters who should tell me when it’s time to leave my seat.” The board filed suit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of Georgia law 20-2-72(a)(n) that gives the governor
Keep DeKalb Beautiful open house Environmentally conscious DeKalb residents can get tips on electronics recycling, installing curb markers on storm drains or planting trees at a March 12 Keep DeKalb Beautiful open house. The event, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the DeKalb Sanitation Department’s Central Transfer Station, will showcase the
nonprofit’s programs and offer residents a chance to get involved. Potential volunteers, board members, committee members and sponsors are invited to attend. The Central Transfer Station is at 3720 Leroy Scott Drive in Decatur. For more information, call 404-371-2654 or e-mail email@example.com.
authority to remove local school board members. After the town hall, some parents gathered in a side room for a separate meeting. Restore DeKalb said in a press release that the room was locked and no one was allowed to enter, including the media. “This meeting occurred without the knowledge of Restore DeKalb or the permission of the property owner,” it said. “Restore DeKalb coalition members are highly upset about the negative reaction this has caused the attendees, general public and grass-roots organizations.” Organizers said they received a number
of e-mails and phone calls about the “sidebar meeting.” Activist Gina Mangham, who attended the town hall meeting, said the informal gathering was just a handful of residents interested in “where we go from here.” Mangham said the participants had already sat through the 14-hour state board hearing a few days earlier and weren’t interested in a rehash of well-publicized board issues. “We approached the organizers before the town hall session about adding an agenda item dealing with how we move forward,” she said. “But they told us the agenda was set.” Mangham said she believes the incident was blown out of proportion by TV stations and that they didn’t intend to upset anyone. She apologized for any confusion. “But we don’t apologize for wanting to gather as citizens to discuss an important
March 2, 2013
“One thing that I was taught when I was a little kid in here was how to be a man and how not to be a man.”
Barbershop thrives as training ground for neighborhood kids By Ken Watts
Welcoming shouts greet you as soon as you open the door. “All riiight! All riiight!” That and the din of the TV, lively arguments over sports or politics, and the steady buzz of electric clippers fill the air. It’s Saturday afternoon at Nick’s Barbershop – prime time for the Stone Mountain neighborhood landmark at the corner of South Hairston and Redan roads. Owner Vance Harper, 53, opened the shop in Redan Village Plaza in 1991, before the surrounding neighborhood made its final transition from mostly Vance Harper white to predominantly African-American. He named it “Nick’s” after his son, now 23. “That kept me focused on what it’s all about,” he recalled last week. It was about 15-hour days and lean times, but Harper persevered. The Lithonia native graduated from Fort Valley State University with a degree in criminal justice. Harper worked in the field for 10 years as a probation officer in Florida and a corrections officer in Atlanta. “I was ready for a change when my mother-in-law suggested opening a barbershop.” Outside the barbershop, the plaza – peppered with store vacancies and a parking lot full of potholes – has seen better times. In its heyday in the mid-’90s, it was a vibrant center with 100 percent occupancy. But more than two decades later, Nick’s thrives because of its loyal customer base. The shop also has a reputation as a training ground for neighborhood kids. Almost from the start, Harper employed a corps of “sweepers,” some as young as 6 or 7 years old, but most of them in their teens. Wielding brooms and dustpans, they have standing orders to keep the area around the barber chairs clean by whisking away falling hair almost as soon as it hits the floor. Harper believes small tasks gradually paint a big picture for kids. “You can’t be a part-time anything.” said Harper, repeating what he’s told the young workers countless times. “You gotta have a full-time work ethic and you gotta go into everything you do in life 110 percent.” So even the humblest task is worth maximum effort. Many of the young workers are from lowincome families, and Harper’s sage advice
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Barber Stedwyck Benton with Steve Johnson, one of Nick’s Barbershop’s first “sweepers” as a child who is now a successful logistics manager at UPS.
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The Clarkston High sophomore said the character-building guidance from Harper has helped him stay focused in the classroom and in football, wrestling and track. “Stay out of the streets, stay in the books,” he said, repeating Harper’s mantra. Aja Gomes is a Miller Grove High senior and the shop’s cashier. “I think it’s good training for when I get out in the world on my own,” Aja said. “So I won’t be surprised.” The experience has boosted her faith in human nature. “It shows me that there are men out there who are willing to help young girls and youth in general,” she said. At the ripe old age of 29, Steve Johnson is no longer a sweeper but fondly remembers his five years at Nick’s. Johnson was one of the first kids Harper Christian Johnson, 15, a Clarkston High hired back in the 1990s. His image is frozen sophomore, has swept floors for four years. in time in a staff portrait on the barbershop’s wall. resonates. “One thing that I was taught when I was Fifteen-year-old Christian Johnson has a little kid in here was how to be a man and swept floors and hung up customers’ coats how not to be a man,” Johnson said. “You can at Nick’s for four years. imagine a lot of people coming in and out of “He teaches us that if you work hard now here. And so I saw a lot of people who were it will pay off later on,” Christian said. good role models and I saw some things that made me say, ‘I don’t want to be like that.’” Johnson said the most valuable thing he learned from Harper was giving back to the community. “He’s always giving back, even giving guys like me a job to help mold me into the man I
am today and instilling values that I’m passing down to my sons,” he said. By any measure, Johnson has done well at an early age. He’s a logistics manager at Atlanta-based UPS where he’s worked for 12 years. On this Saturday, he is back in the shop for haircuts with his sons Stevie, 5, and Alex, 4. At times Johnson has trouble believing how things worked out. “Vance taught me to stick with the job and be loyal,” he said. “And so when I went to UPS I started at the bottom. I went to school, then I got promoted a few times and the next thing you know, I’m the leader of 50 to 60 other adults. And 12 years later, I’m not even 30 yet and I’m in that position with that company.” Johnson credits Harper and Nick’s Barbershop for some for his success. “A lot of these barbers here I call my ‘uncles’ for that,” he said. A whole generation of sweepers has reached adulthood since Harper opened the shop. “All the girls who’ve worked the cash register went on to college,” Harper said with pride. “So did most of the boys.” Harper is now directing his attention to revitalizing the plaza and surrounding neighborhood. “We just need to talk to the owners of these rundown malls and keep after them to make improvements,” he said.
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March 2, 2013
“You don’t realize how many little things, like pouring a bowl of cereal or signing your name with a pen, you take for granted every day.”
Brain cancer patient launches fund-raiser to cover cost of care By Jessica Smith
When Morehouse College senior Brandon Bennings began having recurring headaches in April 2011, he believed too much studying was to blame. But when his vision started to blur and he began seeing double, the religion major knew there was more to it than overpreparedness for his final exams. He went to the doctor on April 25, thinking he’d leave with a prescription for migraine medicine and orders to de-stress. Two days later on a follow-up visit, his doctor noticed a spot on his CT scan. Bennings, then 24 and three classes shy of college graduation, was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a rare form of brain cancer. “When I went in it was a spot,” said Bennings, who lives in Druid Hills. “By the time I left five days later it was a half dollar.” Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor. Symptoms often begin abruptly. Common symptoms include headaches that are worse in the morning and improve during the day, seizures, mental or personality changes, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, and vision problems. Though it can occur at any age, it is most common in white males ages 45 to 70. David Purdue, who was Bennings’ freshman year roommate, said it just seems really unfair. “Why couldn’t this have happened to someone else?” he said. “Brandon is literally one of the best people I know. He’s always going out of his way to help someone. When I came to school, I was a mess. It sounds crazy, but being his friend has actually made me a better person.”
Photos by Jessica Smith / CrossRoadsNews
Brandon Bennings, who was diagnosed with glioblastoma, will be removed from his mother’s health insurance in August when he turns 26. He has launched “100 Days to Save a Life.”
Bennings underwent an occipital craniotomy in June 2011 at Emory University Hospital. That year, the hospital treated 587 new cancer cases where the brain was the original location of the tumor. Of those, 109 were of glioblastoma. Bennings’ tumor is located on his brain stem, the center of the brain that controls speech, vision or motor functions. His surgery removed 60 percent of the tumor, but because of glioblastoma’s tendency to penetrate deep into the brain, its entire removal can be difficult. First lady Michelle Obama says a new partnership makes it easier for parents, home cooks and chefs to find recipes that support MyPlate guidelines.
Healthy recipes online for MyPlate Finding recipes that support MyPlate’s healthier eating guidelines is now easier because of a new effort announced by first lady Michelle Obama on Feb. 26. Five media giants, 18 publications, and social media Web site Pinterest are collaborating in the effort to make more than 3,000 nutritious recipes that support USDA’s MyPlate easily available. They are labeling, compiling and promoting the recipes on their most popular cooking sites, which garnered 150 million views in January alone. The first lady said that the partnership takes the guesswork out of finding healthier recipes and gives parents the information and the tools they need to make healthy choices for their families every day. “As a mom, I know how challenging it can be to think of new meal ideas that your kids will like and that will be good for them,” she said.
Condé Nast, Hearst Magazines, Meredith, Food Network and Time Inc. are collaborating on the effort to make it easier for millions of online visitors to put nutritious meals on the table every day. Nearly 1,000 of the recipes have been collected on a new Pinterest page associated with the effort, providing a one-stop-shop where parents, beginner home cooks, and even the most experienced chefs can find and share healthier recipes. The Participating publications include Allrecipes.com, Better Homes & Gardens, CookingLight.com, CountryLiving.com, Delish.com, Diabeticliving.com, EatingWell. com, Epicurious.com, Everyday With Rachael Ray, FamilyCircle.com, FoodNetwork.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, MyRecipes.com, Parents.com, RealSimple.com, Redbook. com, Recipe.com and Woman’sDay.com. For more information, visit www.pinterest .com/MyPlateRecipes.
As a result of the surgery, he suffers from ataxia, or muscle weakness, on the right side of his body. He now has difficulty speaking and uses a walker. “You don’t realize how many little things, like pouring a bowl of cereal or signing your name with a pen, you take for granted every day,” Bennings said Feb. 17. Since part of the tumor remains in his brain, he currently undergoes intensive treatment to inhibit its growth and keep him alive. Gerrie Thomas, one of his frequent nurs-
es at the infusion center at Emory’s Winship Cancer Center, said his spirits are high. “He’s such a good patient,” she said during his chemotherapy session on Feb. 27. “When you think about everything he’s had to go through, the fact that he’s so positive is a miracle in itself.” Bennings goes to chemotherapy treatments every other week for an infusion of a powerful cancer drug. One infusion of Avastin, which maintains his tumor’s growth, costs $32,000. Bennings also gets an MRI every two months, which costs $5,000. On his 26th birthday in August, he will be removed from his mother’s health insurance. Since his illness won’t allow him to work, he is worried about how he will afford the treatments that keep him alive. On Feb. 12, he launched “100 Days to Save a Life,” a fund-raiser to help pay his medical bills. He said this week that being sick is expensive. “I went to hospitals and saw older people that were sick, but I didn’t realize that until it happened to me.” Over the past 17 months, Bennings’ insurance has covered $525,000 in treatments. When he is no longer covered under his mother’s insurance in August, he will still have six months of treatments until January 2014. The cost – $435,000. Bennings knows that raising that much money is a lofty goal, but he is positive. “My faith is what keeps me going,” he said. “I try to remember I won’t always be in this position. This, too, shall pass.” To donate or for more information on “100 Days to Save a Life,” visit www.givefor ward.com/teambrandnupossibilities.
March 2, 2013
“Fela!” explodes with dances set to Kuti soulful songs and features elaborate sets and innovative choreography.
‘Fela!’ dazzles at Fabulous Fox
‘Unsung Heroes’ get lots of love Ten individuals who work on the health of their communities, mostly in obscurity, were recognized as “Unsung Heroes” at the inaugural Keeping the Dream Scholarship Fund-raiser at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta on Feb. 23. The group, above, included First Afrikan’s pastor, the Rev. Mark Lomax, at right; Wholistic Stress Control Institute founder Jennie Trotter, top right; and CrossRoadsNews co-owners Jennifer and Curtis Parker. The gala sponsored by Dr. Jewel Crawford’s Can’t Lose This Dream Foundation and the 100 Black Men of Atlanta raised funds for Morehouse School of Medicine students. Crawford also signed copies of her book, “Can’t Lose This Dream,” which she is donating to the scholarship fund. To donate, visit www.cantlosethisdream.com.
“Fela!” the electric musical about Nigerian composer and political maverick Fela Anikulapo Kuti, brings Broadway’s bright lights to Atlanta through March 6. The musical, which stars former Destiny’s Child superstar Michelle Williams, chronicles the legend’s life story. The production explodes with dances set to original Kuti songs on the stage The life story of Nigerian composer and political maverick Fela of the Fabulous Fox Anikulapo Fela is chronicled in “Fela!” at the Fox through March 6. Theatre for six shows litical protest songs against Nigerian governonly. The touring production is produced ment oppression in the ’70s and became one by showbiz moguls Jay-Z, Will Smith and of Africa’s most controversial musicians. “Fela!” dazzles with dances set to Kuti Jada Pinkett Smith. It has been nominated soulful songs and features elaborate sets and for 11 Tony Awards and won three. Born in Abeokuta, Nigeria, in 1938, innovative choreography. The Fox Theatre is at 660 Peachtree St. Kuti is best known as the inventor of Afrobeat, a blend of traditional Yoruba music, N.E. For tickets, visit www.foxatltix.com or jazz and funk. He used his music in po- call 1-855-285-8499.
Romance and drama on the screens at the library The musical romantic comedy “Pitch Perfect” and the Oscarwinning thriller “Argo” will be screened at the Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams and Sue Kellogg library branches respectively next week. “Pitch Perfect,” which stars Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow, will be shown at 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on March 8 at Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams Library in Decatur. The 2012 film, which is rated PG-13, follows Beca (played by Kendrick), a freshman at Barden University who is cajoled into joining the Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group. Injecting some much-needed energy into their repertoire, the Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition. Films in the Friday Movies series are sometimes offered with closed captioning to assist the hearing impaired. The Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams Library is at 1282 McConnell Drive. For more information, call 404-679-4404.
John Goodman (from left), Alan Arkin and Ben Affleck star in “Argo,” which captured three Oscars, including best picture.
‘Argo’ dramatizes 1980 covert operation “Argo,” which won best picture and two other Oscars at the Feb. 24 Academy Awards, will be screened at 2 p.m. on March 9 at the Sue Kellogg Library in Stone Mountain. Ben Affleck, who directed the film, co-stars with Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman in the R-rated dramatization of the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel
from revolutionary Iran. “Argo” is being screened as part of the library’s New Movie Series, which showcases recently released, blockbuster films. It also will be screened at Stonecrest Library on March 15 and 16 and at the Covington Library on March 23. The Sue Kellogg Library is at 952 Leon St. For more information, call 770-413-2020.
Lots of Books up for grabs Voracious readers will find thousands of books for a song at a March 9 blowout book clearance at the Wesley ChapelWilliam C. Brown Library in Decatur. During the 10 a.m.-to-4 p.m. sale, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, paperbacks will go for the sweet price of 10 cents each and hardbacks for 50 cents each. There will be fiction, textbooks, science fiction, children, young adults, cookbooks, spiritual, Christian, gardening, history, romance, arts and crafts, self-help, dictionaries, law, medicine, health, mystery, holiday, and African-American works. Videos and magazines also will be available for purchase. The library is at 2861 Wesley Chapel Road. To donate books for the sale and for more information, call 404-286-6980.
Writer to discuss black millionaires Prose, pickin’ for March 9 fundraiser He examines the lives of a small Educator and leadership coach group who managed to achieve Dennis Kimbro will discuss his great success. new book on black millionaires on His work is based on a sevenMarch 6 at the Decatur Library. year national study of the 1,000 Kimbro, former director of the wealthiest African-Americans, Center for Entrepreneurship at and critics say “it offers sound and Clark Atlanta University, will talk surprising advice about climbing about “The Wealth Choice: Sucthe economic ladder.” cess Secrets of Black Millionaires” Dennis Kimbro Kimbro received his B.A. and beginning at 7:15 p.m. His appearance is part of the library’s M.A. degrees from the University of Oklahoma and a doctorate from Northwestern March Festival of Writers. Noting that in 2009 more than one-third University, where he studied wealth and of all African-Americans had no measurable poverty among underdeveloped countries. The Decatur Library is at 215 Sycamore assets, Kimbro writes of how the economic crisis has disproportionately impacted the St. in downtown Decatur. For more information, call 404-370-3070. African-American community.
New York Times best-selling authors Joshilyn Jackson and Karen White and the bluegrass band Dappled Grays will provide an evening of pickin’ and prose at the Decatur Library on March 9. Jackson is author of “A Grown-up Kind of Pretty,” and White wrote “After the Rain.” Both Southern writers will sign copies of their books during the 7-to-10 p.m. event that also will feature the Dappled Grays, named Atlanta’s best bluegrass band by Creative Loafing. The event, which includes Southern food, beer, wine and a silent auction, is cohosted by the DeKalb Library Foundation and Save the Libraries. Proceeds benefit the DeKalb Public Library.
The library is at 215 Sycamore St. in downtown Decatur. For tickets and more information,visit www.dekalblibrary.org or call 404-370-8450, Ext. 2238.
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March 2, 2013
“The only time play stops is when an official calls timeout or the ball goes out of bounds.”
MLK’s fledgling lacrosse squads face funding challenge By Ken Watts
Boys and girls in T-shirts and shorts file out of Martin Luther King Jr. High, headed for a vacant lot adjacent to the Lithonia school. Teen athletes on their way to after-school practice are a common sight. But there’s something different about this scene. The boys begin putting on helmets, shoulder and rib pads, and gloves. The gear looks somewhat like football equipment but with a distinctive lightweight design. After calisthenics and warm-up sprints, the players face off in a scrimmage of lacrosse, a centuries-old contact sport that started as Native American combat training. Today, it is a popular sport, especially at Ivy League colleges in the Northeast. MLK coach Corey Carter said that in the past decade, lacrosse has made inroads in other parts of the country. The number of boys high school lacrosse programs Corey Carter jumped from 1,273 in 2000 to 2,612 in 2007, according to GeoCommons.com. Lacrosse has been referred to as “the fastest game on two feet.” “It’s a mixture of hockey, basketball, football and soccer,” said Carter while yelling instructions to his players. Teammates dart around and often into each other carrying a stick 42 to 44 inches long with a net at the head. Players use the stick to catch, throw and scoop up a small rubber ball about the size of a tennis ball. Carter said the object is to get the ball in the opponent’s goal. “You pass it around until you get an open shot,” Carter said. “One point per goal.” Defensive players in the boys game are allowed to hit and check each other to dislodge the ball and take possession. Girls coach Ramon Rivers said hitting and checking are
Martin Luther King Jr. High in Lithonia has boys and girls lacrosse teams. The centuries-old contact sport started out as Native American combat training.
not allowed in the girls game. “And their only safety gear is a mouthpiece and eye guards,” Rivers said. Carter, who was born and raised in De Kalb, graduated from Walker High, now McNair. He went to Bethune-Cookman College where he earned a degree in business education. He teaches entrepreneurship at MLK. Carter said many of the kids are from low-income, single-parent homes. Last year he started looking for ways to bring the students new experiences that might build confidence and help them achieve in later life. He chose lacrosse, even though he had no background in the sport. “When somebody asked me what I knew about lacrosse, I said I know more today than I did yesterday,” Carter jokes. He read everything he could find on the sport and consulted coaches at Marist and other places with established teams.
In 2011, the DeKalb School Board voted to fund a lacrosse pilot program at four county high schools – MLK, Southwest DeKalb, Dunwoody and Druid Hills. In 2012, Carter introduced lacrosse as a junior varsity sport at MLK. The school offered the game as a varsity program for boys and girls this year for the first time. Keyana Moulton, a senior girls team member who plans to major in nursing at either South Carolina State or the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said lacrosse requires a lot of work. “It’s very fundamental and calls for a lot of running, but I like the challenge.” Senior boys player LeAndre Redding, who has played football, basketball and baseball, likes the variety in lacrosse. “The biggest challenge is the continuous
action,” he said. “The only time play stops is when an official calls timeout or the ball goes out of bounds.” Carter believes the experience of stepping outside their comfort zone for an unfamiliar sport will help the kids gain confidence for all new situations they’ll encounter. For the coach, the biggest challenge is funding. He said the county pays for transportation, the officials and use of Adams and Avondale stadiums where the boys and girls teams play home games. The players’ families have to step up to pay the cost of uniforms and equipment. Those expenses can total $600 for each boy and $300 for each girl. Carter is searching for private donations to help defray the cost, but his more immediate problem is maintaining team morale. In their first games, the boys and girls squads absorbed early season jolts from wellestablished lacrosse programs. The boys lost 13-0 to Cambridge High on Feb. 19 and the girls fell 17-0 to Northview on Feb. 25. The regular season continues until May 1. “But no one’s quit yet,” Carter said. “They’re going up against teams where kids have been playing since they were 5 and 6 years old. So they’ll keep trying. They realize they’ve got a lot to learn.” Carter said he’s excited about a great opportunity that could eventually be a big boost to the MLK program. He and Rivers will conduct summer lacrosse instructional clinics at the South DeKalb YMCA. The program will give kids up to 13 solid training in the basics of the game, Carter said. MLK team members will serve as volunteers. The program starts the first week of June. He and Rivers will start a summer league with the South DeKalb Y starting in 2014. “This will develop a pipeline of talented players with a background in lacrosse by the time they get to us or Southwest DeKalb High.”
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Reader Notice As a service to you – our valued readers – we offer the following information: This newspaper will never knowingly accept any advertisement that is illegal or considered fraudulent. If you have questions or doubts about any ads on these pages, we advise that before responding or sending money ahead of time, you check with the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Line and/or the Better Business Bureau. They may have records or documented complaints that will serve to caution you about doing business with those advertisers. Also be advised that some phone numbers published in these ads may require an extra charge. In all cases of questionable value, such as promises or guaranteed income from work-at-home programs, money to loan, etc., if it sounds too good to be true – it may in fact be exactly that. This newspaper cannot be held responsible for any negative consequences that occur as a result of you doing business with any advertisers. Thank you.
March 2, 2013
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NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON AN APPLICATION FOR AN ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY Notice is hereby given that the Mayor and City Council of the City of Lithonia, Georgia will hold a public hearing for consideration of an application for a Special Land Use Permit at 2400 Bruce Street, Lithonia, Georgia. The property is zoned OCR, Office-CommercialResidential District. The application concerns establishment of an “assisted living facility” as defined in Sec. 27-31 of the Lithonia Zoning Ordinance. Mayor and City Council may consider such an application, subject to procedures described in Division 2. Special Land Use Permits of the Ordinance. The hearing will be held on the 18th day of March, 2013, at 6:00 PM in the Lithonia City Hall at 6980 Main Street, Lithonia, Georgia. Written comments concerning the application may be filed with the City Clerk prior to the public hearing or submitted at the hearing. Individuals interested in commenting on the application, either in writing or verbally, will be given the opportunity to be heard at the above mentioned time and place. The application, findings and recommendations of the Zoning Administrator and the Official Zoning Map noting the location of 2400 Bruce Street may be examined at Lithonia City Hall, Lithonia, Georgia. Further information may be obtained by contacting Ms. Leah Rodriguez, City Clerk, at 770.482.8136. Deborah Jackson Mayor, City of Lithonia
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON AN APPLICATION FOR A SPECIAL EVENTS FACILITY Notice is hereby given that the Mayor and City Council of the City of Lithonia, Georgia will hold a public hearing for consideration of an application for a Special Land Use Permit at 3113 Stone Mountain Street, Lithonia, Georgia. The property is zoned NS, Neighborhood Shopping District. The application concerns establishment of a “special events facility” as defined in Sec. 27-31 of the Lithonia Zoning Ordinance. Mayor and City Council may consider such an application, subject to procedures described in Division 2. Special Land Use Permits of the Ordinance. The hearing will be held on the 18th day of March, 2013, at 7:00 PM in the Lithonia City Hall at 6980 Main Street, Lithonia, Georgia. Written comments concerning the application may be filed with the City Clerk prior to the public hearing or submitted at the hearing. Individuals interested in commenting on the application, either in writing or verbally, will be given the opportunity to be heard at the above mentioned time and place. The application, findings and recommendations of the Zoning Administrator and the Official Zoning Map noting the location of 3113 Stone Mountain Street may be examined at Lithonia City Hall, Lithonia, Georgia. Further information may be obtained by contacting Ms. Leah Rodriguez, City Clerk, at 770.482.8136. Deborah Jackson Mayor, City of Lithonia
March 2, 2013