James Simmons, one of the 31 percent of Georgians who have trouble sleeping, is getting treatment for his condition at DeKalb Medical’s Sleep Disorder Laboratory. 9
Rockdale Commission Chairman Richard Oden shared some of his experiences while talking about overcoming challenges with students at General Ray Davis Middle School. 11
Warren “B.J.” Jackson put up good numbers this season, but the scouts weren’t paying attention. The senior guard is still looking for a college to offer him playing time. 12
Lessons in adversity
Copyright © 2009 CrossRoadsNews, Inc.
March 14, 2009
Under the radar
Volume 14, Number 46
County employees charged with extortion face court hearing By Jennifer Ffrench Parker
The two DeKalb County court employees facing federal charges for extortion in a sentence-fixing case are headed back to court March 24 for their preliminary hearing. Natalie Nicole Dunn of Ellenwood and Keith L. Hughes of Covington were arrested Tuesday by FBI agents and charged with conspiracy and extortion. Dunn, 32, is an eight-year DeKalb County State Court probation officer. Hughes, 39, is coordinator of DeKalb’s Office of
Pre-trial Services. They made their first appearance in federal court in Atlanta late Tuesday in handcuffs and leg shackles and were granted unsecured bond of $15,000. The March 24 hearing will be at 2 p.m. before U.S. District Court Judge Russell G. Vineyard. U.S. attorney David E. Nahmias said that the two allegedly offered to use their positions to help a charged drug dealer get a lighter sentence in exchange for $25,000 in cash. “That is not justice. It is extortion and corruption,” Nahmias said. “Fortunately, this alleged corrup-
tion did not extend beyond these two defendants or into the ranks of prosecutors and judges who ultimately control the disposition of criminal cases. Corruption of the justice system at any level is intolerable, and anyone who becomes involved in such corruption should expect to be aggressively investigated and prosecuted.” Greg Jones, the FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge, said equal treatment in our courts is one of the most basic and cherished civil rights. “Anyone who stands accused
of a crime in this country must do so confident in the knowledge that they face a fair and impartial process, without corruption or outright greed,” he said. “The FBI will continue to protect the rights of all Americans by rooting out this type of corruption wherever it exists.” In the case against Dunn and Hughes, outlined in the FBI affadavit, a source whose name is not disclosed was arrested in DeKalb in August 2008 and jailed on drug trafficking charges. Shortly after posting bond and being released, the source received
a telephone message from Dunn – a longtime acquaintance. Dunn advised him that she found his paperwork in her office, and asked him to contact her. When the source called Dunn, she offered to ensure that he received a lenient sentence or dismissal of his pending criminal charges, in exchange for payment of $25,000 to Dunn. Dunn told the source that others within the DeKalb County government were involved in the scheme with her. Please see EXTORTION, page 3
Loss of services at Hillandale takes doctors by surprise By Jennifer Ffrench Parker
The maternity unit at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale had its highest number of baby deliveries in 2006. In that year, the hospital delivered 1,375 babies. By its second year of operation, the number of births at the 100-bed hospital started to decline. Forty-three fewer babies were born there in 2007. By 2008, newborn deliveries at the $65 million Lithonia hospital, which opened on July 18, 2005, had declined to 1,187. Faced with that slide, DeKalb Medical announced March 5 that it is pulling the plug on Hillandale’s Maternal and Infant Unit. Cheryl Iverson, the hospital’s vice president of business development and marketing, said the unit will close on April 17. With the elimination of the service, South DeKalb women will now have to travel to DeKalb Medical’s year-old Women’s Center on its central campus on North Decatur Road. News of the loss, less than four years after the hospital opened, left the community reeling. When questions were raised at the monthly DeKalb Community Meeting at New Piney Grove Baptist Church on March 7, state Rep. Howard Mosby announced to the room that he had invited DeKalb Medical to come to the meeting to field questions from residents. “They declined,” said Mosby, who said that the hospital management had called to tell him about the decision. In its battle to win state approval for the hospital in 2002, DeKalb Medical had used the maternal and infant care unit to distinguish its project from a competing proposal by Tenet Health System, but
McKenzie Jackson / CrossRoadsNews
Local women who had scheduled deliveries at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale will now have to go to the hospital system’s Women’s Center on North Decatur Road in Decatur.
DeKalb Medical at Hillandale had its baby boom in 2006 Year Deliveries July-Dec 05.....................................................445 2006............................................................ 1375 2007............................................................. 1332 2008..............................................................1187
the news of the unit’s closure. 2009 YTD....................................................... 192 Dr. Al Scott, Source: DeKalb Medical whose fivedoctor Ob-Gyn Iverson said last week that newborn practice, DeKalb Women’s Spedeliveries has not kept pace with cialists, delivers 50 to 70 babies a projections. month at Hillandale, said the rug Doctors who practice at Hil- was pulled out from under them. landale said that even though they “We didn’t know that the unit saw that volume was down at the was in jeopardy of being closed,” unit, they, too, were blindsided by he said. “We never got the feel that
things were that critical. Nobody thought it was at a level to shut down the unit. Maybe you cut staff, or go to Dominique Smith one floor… just not close the unit as a first option.” DeKalb Women’s Specialists and Premier Women’s Health Care, which built a 10,000-square-foot building at a cost of invested $1.5 million for its practice in Lithonia last year, are the two largest obstetric practices serving DeKalb Medical at Hillandale. Dr. Dominique Smith, Premier Women’s owner, who is also vice chair of medical services at Hillan-
dale, did not return telephone calls by press time. Hospital employees say that the number of deliveries began falling at Hillandale in 2008 when a number of obstetricians, unhappy with the compensation they were getting for working in the hospital’s busy Emergency Department, left the hospital. The opening of the state-of-the art Women’s Center, which began luring patients from the smaller Hillandale campus, also didn’t help. Scott said others said that DeKalb Medical could have done more to recruit physicians to replace the ones who left, or that its administrators could have sought ideas from the doctors and employees who work there. “Just let us try,” Scott said. “Don’t pull the rug out from under us.” DeKalb Women’s Specialists also has offices on the Central Campus and Scott said he, too, will shift the patients from his Stonecrest offices to North Decatur Road. Still, he worries that he might lose the patients he has been attracting from Rockdale and Henry counties. He said those patients like that the Hillandale hospital is close by. Three of his doctors also live near Hillandale. Now they will have longer commutes to deliver babies. Scott said DeKalb Medical is helping him to contact his patients who had deliveries scheduled at Hillandale and has promised to do everything it can to make their transition easy. Still, not all of his patients are taking it well. “I hear a lot of disappointment,” Scott said. “They say this hospital was built for them. They are asking ‘Why do I have to go 20 minutes when I live across the street from Hillandale?’ ”
March 14, 2009
March 14, 2009
“In a tough budget year and to help close the $60 million gap in the budget, we had to eliminate all but nine of those positions.”
Lithonia voter goes to the polls March 17 Ten employees laid off Voters in the city of Lithonia are in county’s 311 call center headed to the polls on March 17 to By Jennifer Ffrench Parker
Ten DeKalb County government employees lost their jobs Tuesday. The employees, who had one to 18 years of tenure with the county, were let go from the county’s 311 center, which has been folded into the Information Systems department. Keith Barker, executive assistant to CEO Burrell Ellis, called the layoff “a reduction in force,” and said that he has not given up on finding Keith Barker positions for them in other departments. In his State of the County address on Feb. 18, Ellis said that even though they had to make some difficult decisions in the face of declining county revenues, he had managed to balance the budget without serious hurt to county residents, employees and services. “Under this budget, we closed a $60 million revenue budget gap without imposing a significant tax increase on our citizens, without layoffs to our employees, and without shutting down essential government services.” Barker said the affected work-
ers held 10 of the 53 positions that were eliminated when the county downsized the bloated 311 center. He said that when it was launched under the previous administration, the call center was estimated to field 2 million calls per year and was staffed to handle that volume. “In 2008, it handled 500,000 calls,” Barker said. “In a tough budget year and to help close the $60 million gap in the budget, we had to eliminate all but nine of those positions.” Barker said jobs were found for 34 of the remaining 44 employees but for one reason or another, positions could not be found for the other 10. He said one woman did not want to keep her job in the call center, others were offered other positions and turned them down, and some had difficulties passing some of the tests for other county jobs. “They have reinstatement rights and we are still working to find them positions,” Barker said Wednesday. The workers can also appeal their termination before the county’s merit review board. Barker said a memorandum went out Wednesday to all the county’ constitutional officers to inquire if they had vacant positions that the workers can fill.
pick two new council members. Four candidates – Rick Dodd, Al Franklin, Deborah Jackson and Tabitha Wingo – are seeking the two open seats on the council in the special election. They are vying to complete the unexpired terms of former council members Tonya Peterson and Linda Pruett, who each had a year left on their terms. Peterson is the city’s mayor and Pruett resigned from the council.
Dodd, who is self-employed, has run for the council before. Franklin is an advertising account executive. Jackson, an attorney, ran for mayor in the Nov. 18 special election. Wingo is a tax examiner.
The election will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Lithonia Middle School, 2451 Randall Ave. in Lithonia. The top two vote-getters will join Doreen Carter, Kathleen deCocq and Marcus Lloyd on the council.
Civil rights fighter to address NAACP Trainer, facilitator and civil rights leader Dr. William “Sonny” Walker will be the keynote speaker at the DeKalb NAACP’s March “Sonny” Walker 28 breakfast at the Sanford Center in Decatur.
Walker is founder of the Sonny Walker Group and a former chief operating officer of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change Inc. Walker, whose civil rights career includes preparing members of the “Little Rock 9” for transfer to Little Rock Central High School in 195657, and integrating the Little Rock Jaycees in 1966, was a director of the Southeast Region for the U.S.
Office of Economic Administration and served for 10 years under Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan. The breakfast starts at 9 a.m. A table of eight is $500 and includes recognition during the breakfast and on program literature. For tickets and more information, call Nettie Jackson at 678-5774282 or Yvonne at 404-241-8006.
Charity drive collects 500 pounds of food More than 335 clients of the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Decatur Cooperative Ministries will share 500 pounds of nonperishable food collected by County Commissioner Kathie Gannon in February. Gannon launched the food drive to benefit the nonprofit and
help struggling families. Donations included tuna, pasta, rice, soups, canned food and cash. Gannon said that as the economic crisis worsens, charities and organizations like the food banks have experienced declines in their donations which affects the number of people they can help.
“Efforts like this food drive help fill the void” she said. Bill Bolling, the Atlanta Food Bank’s executive director, said the recession has cut a wide swath. “In the past most of us did not get affected by a recession,” he said. “It was those other people. This time everybody’s affected.”
March 14, 2009
The FBI interviewed Dunn on March 9 about the bribery scheme involving the source and Dunn admitted her and Hughes’ involvement in the scheme.
FBI: Workers were taped offering to fix charges for source 2346 Candler Rd. Decatur, GA 30032 404-284-1888 Fax: 404-284-5007 www.crossroadsnews.com email@example.com
Editor / Publisher Jennifer Parker General Manager Curtis Parker Staff Writer McKenzie Jackson Advertising Sales Cynthia Blackshear
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L AL CA S! O OC CES! L D L I O RV GO SE
The defendant met with Dunn on Nov. 13, 2008, in her office at the DeKalb Courthouse at 556 N. McDonough St. and discussed the scheme. During that meeting with Dunn, she also demanded $400 in cash from the source to help him avoid attending an anger management class, a condition of the source’s bond in an unrelated, pending criminal charge of battery in DeKalb County. “Although the source was scheduled to attend the anger management class on the same day that this meeting with Dunn occurred, the source did not attend the course after paying Dunn the $400 in cash, nor has the source suffered any repercussions for not attending the course,” the affidavit said. In text and telephone messages on Nov. 18 and 20, Dunn warned that the source might face a 15year jail sentence if the source was unwilling to pay the $25,000. On Nov. 21, 2008, the source contacted the FBI. In the ensuing undercover investigation, the source wore an audio and video recording device provided by the FBI and met Dunn in downtown Decatur on Dec. 5, 2008. He paid her a $5,000 cash installment to ensure a lenient sentence for or dismissal of his criminal charges. The cash was provided by the FBI. The affidavit said that at the urging of the source, Dunn agreed to arrange a meeting at the DeKalb County Courthouse with a co-
“Hughes provided important details to the source about how the charge-fixing scheme would operate. Hughes also claimed that he would falsely report to the Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney that the source was cooperating in the investigation of other cases.” FBI Affidavit
conspirator in the scheme. “To allay the source’s skepticism, and to emphasize her experience in the charge-fixing scheme, Dunn remarked to the source that, ‘I ain’t (sic) new to this – I’m true to this,’” the affidavit said. Dunn coordinated a Dec.15, 2008 meeting with Hughes – her alleged co-conspirator – inside Hughes’ office at the DeKalb County Courthouse. At that meeting, Hughes corroborated Dunn’s assertions that he and Dunn previously engaged in charge-fixing on behalf of others charged with criminal offenses, including an individual who confessed to murder in DeKalb County, and received a probated sentence for the crime. “During this same meeting on Dec.15, 2008, Hughes provided important details to the source about how the charge-fixing scheme would operate,” the affidavit said. “For instance, Hughes told the source that the source should attend any hearings scheduled in his criminal cases. Hughes also claimed that he would falsely report to the Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney that the source was cooperating in the investigation of other cases. By doing so, Hughes said that he could ensure that the source only received a probated
sentence.” Hughes allegedly also said that he and Dunn could make a similar deal for a friend of the source and placed two telephone calls to members of his staff, to inquire about criminal charges pending against the source’s friend. The affidavit said the source gave a second installment of $5,000 cash to Dunn at a Dec. 18, 2008, meeting in Stone Mountain. At that meeting, she allegedly showed the source a fraudulent driver’s license, and offered him the opportunity to obtain similar fraudulent driver’s licenses at the cost of $1,500 each. She told him she knew people in Fulton County government with whom she could arrange for charges to be fixed. Dunn also allegedly showed the source a copy of an email Hughes sent to the DeKalb District Attorney’s office in which he falsely claimed that the source’s cooperation resulted in the arrests of six criminal defendants in DeKalb County. On Feb. 4, 2009, the FBI agents provided the source with $4,500 to pay Dunn on the $15,000 balance. The FBI interviewed Dunn on March 9 about the bribery scheme involving the source and Dunn admitted her and Hughes’ involve-
ment in the scheme. She also told the FBI that she previously accepted bribes from two other defendants charged with criminal offenses in DeKalb County, about 18 months earlier. She said that each of those defendants paid them $500 and that she and Hughes split the money on each occasion. Dunn also told the agents that thus far, she has paid Hughes between $3,500 to $4,000 of the money she received from the source. “Finally, under the supervision of the FBI, Dunn placed a recorded telephone call to Hughes, during which she arranged to meet Hughes on March 10, 2009, to pay him $1,500 she received from the source. On March 10, Hughes arrived at a pre-arranged location in DeKalb County, to meet Dunn to get the $1,500 in cash. On his arrival, he was approached by FBI agents and agreed to follow the agents to the FBI Atlanta Field Office, where he was administered his Miranda rights. The affidavit said he admitted his part in the bribery scheme and receiving two cash payments from Dunn, totaling $2,500. He told the agents that he never spoke about the source to any member of the attorney staff of the Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney. The arrest of the two stunned employees of the DeKalb County Magistrate Court. The county did not return telephone calls at press time about the employee status of Dunn and Hughes, in the wake of their arrests.
Ten employees laid off in county’s 311 call center
Workforce Development Adult Idol auditions set at N. 3 hosting career conference 7 DeKalb Mall 10
Ten DeKalb County government employees lost their jobs Tuesday. The employees, who had one to 18 years of tenure with the county, were let go from the county’s 311 center, which has been folded into the Information Systems department.
Jobseekers can submit resumes to 10 to 15 employers at DeKalb Workforce Development’s 2009 Career and Resource Empowerment Conference on March 26.
Don’t let embarrassment keep 8 Lithonia to fill council seats 3 you from lifesaving test Voters in the city of Lithonia are headed to the polls on March 17 to pick two new council members.
Federal assist boosts unemployment checks
Cancer and colons. Neither is a topic family and friends enthusiastically put at the top of their lists of things to discuss, and getting screened for colon cancer is not joyfully put at the top of most of our “to do” lists.
6 Study looks at bed-wetting 8
Georgia’s unemployed workers got $25 raise on their unemployment checks last week. Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond announced the extra money on March 6.
Children who wet their beds at night might not be just lazy. A new study by scientists at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health finds that bedwetting could be the result of the brain not sending out the right signals.
Adults with a yen to sing have until March 20 to sign up for the Adult Idol competition at North DeKalb Mall in Decatur.
SWD band at Arts Center 10 Fans of Southwest DeKalb’s Concert Band can see it in concert at the Porter Sanford III Center for the Performing Arts.
History maker tells of overcoming adversity
Richard Oden knows the value of having the right attitude and thinking positively.
Leap just shy of jumper’s personal best
Damar Forbes, the defending state AAAAA long jump champion, came close to setting a new personal best in the event.
Keep money right now for your safety net 6 Sleep disorders pose health Conference to help women risks as well 9 define, refine their purpose 13 Dear Dave: My husband and I both lost
our jobs over a month ago. I’ve been interviewing, and he started a two-week training program for a new job the other day, but right now we’re in survival mode. Circulation Audited By
Since March 2007, James Simmons has averaged two to four hours of sleep a night, while doctors recommend at least eight hours a night for good health.
African spiritualist and author Sobonfu Some will lead a “Live Your Purpose” women’s conference on March 20 and 21.
index to advertisers 1.2.3 Discount Fabrics.......................................7 Amazing Mini Mall.......................................... 15 Attorney Dwight Thomas................................. 6 Budah Graphics............................................... 6 Care Improvement Plus................................... 9 Chick-fil-A /Turner Hill Road.............................5 Committee to Elect Deborah Action Jackson....3 Cost Plus World Market....................................3
Craig B. Williams, DDS......................................8 CRN Summer Camp Expo.................................2 CRN Summer Camp Expo.................................8 DeKalb Convention & Visitor’s Bureau............10 DeKalb Co. School System...............................11 DeKalb Co. School System/Public Relations.....7 Ella’s Caring Hands Adult Day Care................ 14 Felicia V. Anderson, CPA LLC........................... 6
First Afrikan Presbyterian Church................... 13 Fish N More..................................................... 6 John D. Stephens, Inc..................................... 15 Jones PT Physical Therapy............................... 6 Lorillard Tobacco Co. . .....................................5 MBC Group Inc............................................... 14 Mini Mall......................................................... 15
Mr. Me Magical Balloons.................................11 Narvie J Harris Theme School PTA................. 15 Narvie J Harris Theme School PTA................. 15 North DeKalb Mall...........................................11 Padgett Business Services.................................7 Salt & Light Truth Center................................ 13 Tab Contracting............................................. 15
March 14, 2009
Readers’ generosity makes trips possible for student By McKenzie Jackson
Southwest DeKalb High School band member Kadeem Chambers will be tooting his horn with the nation’s best young mus i c i a n s on March 1921. The freshman tuba player will be attendKadeem Chambers ing the National Bands got about $2,500 of America in donations. Festival in Indianapolis, Ind., thanks to the generosity of CrossRoadsNews readers who learned in a Feb. 7
article that he was unable to make the trip because of economic difficulties facing his family. Anitra Chambers, Kadeem’s mother, said that since the article, they have received about $2,500 in donations. The money allowed her to pay for Kadeem’s band trips, including a recent All-State Band performance in Savannah, and band dues. “He is really excited that he has been able to go on all his trips planned for this year,” said Chambers. Kadeem, 14, said he has been bowled over by people’s generosity. “I really want to thank everybody who helped me,” he said. “Without their help I probably wouldn’t be going.”
VOTE MARCH 17!
Elect Deborah A. Jackson Lithonia City Council
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An advocate and champion for people A 20-year history as a lawyer for social justice An experienced administrator A dedicated and hard-working member of the community • Ability to think independently and make informed decisions • Ability to seek advice and counsel when needed • A proven leader in local, national and international organizations For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org Paid for by the Committee to Elect Deborah “Action” Jackson
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March 14, 2009
“The additional $25 each week will help the many thousands of Georgians who’ve lost their jobs through no fault of their own.”
Federal assist boosts unemployment checks Georgia’s unemployed workers got $25 raise on their unemployment checks last week. Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond announced the extra money on March 6. It pushes the avaerage Michael Thurmond weekly unemployment check in Georgia frm $292 to $335. Thurmond began mailing the funds to more than 180,000 unemployed Georgia residents who have valid unemployment insurance
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claims. That includes 4,894 jobless DeKalb workers who filed claims in February. The extra money comes from the Temporary Federal Additional Compensation program, a U.S. Labor Department trust fund. The FAC program ends July 3, 2010. On March 10, Thurmond said that 86,519 more laid-off workers filed first-time claims for state unemployment insurance benefits in February, an increase of 111.2 percent from February 2008. The number of jobless workers receiving unemployment insurance benefits rose 116 percent over the year, from 73,661 in February 2008 to 159,359 in February 2009.
Thurmond said the weekly supplement to unemployment benefits comes at a good time. “This recession is expected to last longer than many economists and the Federal Reserve initially projected,” Thurmond said. “The additional $25 each week will help the many thousands of Georgians who’ve lost their jobs through no fault of their own better weather this economic downturn.” DeKalb County is experiencing its highest unemployment numbers in 36 years. In January, the unemployment rate was 8.5 percent and 32,942 DeKalb workers were jobless.
Keep money right now for your safety net Dear Dave, My husband and I both lost our jobs over a month ago. I’ve been interviewing, and he started a two-week training program for a new job the other day, but right now we’re in survival mode. We just cashed in an annuity, and were wondering if we should pay down debt and reduce the money going out each month, or just live on it? – Veronica Dear Veronica, I’d sit on the money for now. It’s raining, and you need an umbrella. Don’t misunderstand me. You need to be honorable and pay your debts, but you may have to put that on hold for a while. Right now, it’s more important to keep food in the house and keep the heat on. Make sure you hug on each other a lot, too. This kind of situation is scary, and can be very stressful. It’s been a rough winter for you guys, but it sounds to me like you’re seeing a light at the end of the tun-
Considering that he’ll receive that money, should we still go ahead and save 15 percent in a Roth IRA for retirement? – Megan
nel. The great news is that the light isn’t an oncoming train! Your husband is about to start making money again, and it sounds like you’ve got some possibilities. Through this stretch, honest communication can make a huge difference. Make sure your creditors know what’s happening. Let them know that you want to make things right, and that you will make things right as soon as you can. God bless! – Dave
Let the military handle it? Dear Dave, My husband has been activeduty Navy for 22 years. He plans to stay in for 30 years, and retire with a pension equal to 75 percent of his base pay.
Dear Megan, That’s a pretty nice pension, so I don’t mind if you turn down the retirement saving a notch or two. I’d be okay with 10 percent instead of 15, but I still want you guys to save lots and lots of money! Even though a military or government pension seems pretty stable, you should never rely on things that are beyond your control. So, don’t assume the Navy is going to take care of you. I’m not knocking the military, Megan. I just want you to have a separate nest egg over and above what they will provide. If something unforeseen happened and your husband couldn’t make it to 30 years, you guys would need an additional source of income more than ever! – Dave Visit www.davesays.org for more financial advice.
March 14, 2009
Representatives will share their business insights on topics such as resume writing and interviewing from the employer’s perspective.
Workforce Development hosting career empowerment conference Jobseekers can submit resumes to 10 to 15 employers at DeKalb Workforce Development’s 2009 Career and Resource Empowerment Conference on March 26. The 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. event at the DeKalb Tech Conference Center is free. It will feature a job fair with employers like Pyramid Worldwide, Kelly Scientific and ResCare Homecare. Representatives from 40-45 major corporations will also share business insights and work ethics in workshops. They will cover topics like resume writing and interviewing from the employer’s perspective. Participants will find out about industry jobs that will be in demand in the near future. Community service agencies and training providers will offer information on housing and financial assistance, and participants will be able to apply for social service benefits and educational
opportunities. Companies like AT&T, CSX Transportation, Atlanta Urban League, DeKalb Workforce Development, Georgia Transmission Corp., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, RBC Bank and the Coca-Cola Co. are expected to attend. Grady Health System, DeKalb Microenterprise Institute, Georgia Department of Labor, DeKalb School System and UGA Small Business Development Centerlt will also be holding workshops. Goodwill Industries of North Georgia, Congressman Hank Johnson’s office and DeKalb Technical College, Georgia Perimeter College, D&E, The Power Group and Georgia School of Construction will also attend. The DeKalb Tech Conference Center is at 495 North Indian Creek Drive in Clarkston. For more information, call DeKalb Workforce Development at 404687-3400.
CDC Credit Union celebrates 60th anniversary with lots of specials Members of and visitors to the CDC Federal Credit Union branches can have free breakfast and lunch and also enter to win $250 every Friday in March. The freebies and special promotions are part of the credit union’s 60th anniversary celebration. bers. Betsy Mercier, CDC FCU president a CEO, said they just wanted to say thanks to the members who have supported them throughout the years.
Memorial Wal-Mart marks 1st year
“We are pleased to offer special promotions in such difficult economic times,” she said. Members can enter to win $250 when making a $60 transaction into a money market account, and $250 for filling out a 60th Anniversary celebration survey. For more information, call Brittany Green at 678-553-5332.
1.2.3 Discount Fabrics
Cal Phelps, Wal-Mart’s Georgia regional director, greets associates at the Memorial Drive WalMart in Decatur on Tuesday, during a first anniversary celebration at the store. Store employees, county elected officals and community leaders shared cake and drinks and reminisced about the store’s first year in business. Henry Greene, the store’s manager, said it continues to exceed sales projections. “The store has been good for us and for the community,” he said.
Workshop on business acumen Aspiring business people can find out if they have what it takes to start and run their own business at a March 29 seminar hosted by the DeKalb County Extension Service. The free seminar, “Is Entrepreneurship for you, will be held in the DeKalb Extension Training Room. The program starts at 6 p.m. and ends
at 7:30 p.m. The DeKalb Extension office is at 4380 Memorial Drive in Decatur, across from the DeKalb County Jail. Space is limited and registration is required. For more information or to pre-register, call 404-298-4080.
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March 14, 2009
Colorectal cancer screenings can help save even more lives, but only about half of adults over 50 are having one of the recommended tests.
Don’t let embarrassment keep you from test that could save your life By Mereda Davis Johnson
Cancer and colons. Neither is a topic family and friends enthusiastically put at the top of their lists of things to discuss, and getting screened for colon cancer is not joyfully put at the top of most of our “to do” lists. The topic might not be comfortable, and in fact, can be embarrassing to talk about. But embarrassment is a poor excuse for putting off something that could save your life. If you are 50 or older– or even earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer – don’t put off talking about your risk and getting screened. It might save your life or that of someone you love. Ten years ago, Congress passed the first resolution marking March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Since then, we have had promising news regarding
“In Georgia, it is estimated that 3,760 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2008, with 1,330 losing their battle to the disease. Men and women at average risk should be screened for colorectal cancer when they turn 50 and those with a family history should be screened earlier.” Mereda Davis Johnson
this often preventable disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, incidences have dropped by 2.2 percent in women and 2.8 percent in men. Moreover, mortality has dropped by 4.3 percent. While these numbers might seem small, they amount to thousands of lives saved and experts believe it can be attributed to the increase in screening and early detection.
Colorectal cancer is unique from most other cancers – when screening for the disease doctors can catch it before it turns into cancer. Most colorectal cancer develops from polyps, which are grape-like growths on the lining of the colon and rectum. Screening can help detect and remove polyps before they become cancerous. Colorectal cancer screening tests have the ability to help save even more lives, but only about half
of adults over 50 are having one of the recommended screening tests, and as a result it continues to be the second-leading cancer killer among men and women combined. In Georgia, it is estimated that 3,760 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2008, with 1,330 losing their battle to the disease. Men and women at average risk should be screened for colorectal cancer when they turn 50, and those with a family history should be screened earlier. Screening is the best way to prevent and detect colorectal cancer, but research has shown that a healthy lifestyle can also be crucial in the prevention of this disease. Maintain a healthy weight and exercise most days of the week. If you don’t smoke, don’t start, and if you do smoke, stop. If you are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, talk to your health
care professional about your treatment options. When caught in its earliest, most treatable stages, colorectal cancer has a 90 percent survival rate. National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is the perfect time to start a dialogue with your doctor about your risk, screening options and steps you can take to prevent this disease. It is also a great time to talk to your family, friends and loved ones about reducing their risk and getting screened. For more information about colorectal cancer prevention and early detection, visit the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s website at www.preventcancer.org. Mereda Davis Johnson is a member of the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention program of the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and the wife of 4th District Congressman Hank Johnson.
Nutrition, fitness tips offered Medicare members with chronic illnesses can get tips on proper nutrition and fitness at a series of free farmers market and information sessions on March 18, 24, and 25 in DeKalb County. The sessions, which are hosted by Care Improvement Plus, will also include free produce selections and information on the health plan’s Medicare Special Needs Plan, which is designed to help those with diabetes, heart failure and other chronic illnesses to better manage
their health. The March 18 session begins at 10 a.m. at the Hampton Inn Northlake, 3400 Northlake Parkway in Atlanta. The March 24 session will be at 11 a.m. at the DeKalb Extension Service, 4380 Memorial Drive in Decatur. The March 25 session will be at 10 a.m. at Life Enrichment Center, 1340 McConnell Drive in Decatur. For more information or to register, call 1-866-727-6648.
Study looks at bed-wetting Children who wet “Practically every bed their beds at night might not be just wetter I see is a deep lazy. sleeper, and when A new study by children go into a deep scientists at the Unisleep, brain patterns versity of Wisconsin change and affect School of Medicine and Public Health bladder control.” finds that bed-wetDr. John Kryger ting could be the result of the brain not sending out the will be in a year, five years, or 10 right signals to awaken the child. years. There is no way to predict Dr. John Kryger, a pediatric when they will achieve dryness.” urologist with the American FamKryger said that a child’s bedily Children’s Hospital in Madison, wetting can be reduced by not Wis., said that a large part of the allowing them to drink fluids one problem is a delay in the maturity hour before they go to bed, reducof the central nervous system and ing caffeine intake and cutting back interaction between the child’s on food consumption. brain, sleep patterns and bladderIf those methods fail, Kryger control center. suggests attaching a special alarm “Practically every bed wetter clock to the child’s underwear, I see is a deep sleeper, and when which has a 60 percent cure rate. children go into a deep sleep, brain “When it gets wet, the alarm patterns change and affect blad- vibrates or rings so the child is starder control,” he said. “At night, the tled from sleep,” Kryger said. “Over brain secretes a hormone that helps time, the fullness of the bladder the kidneys retain water so you awakens the child before the alarm don’t produce as much urine.” goes off. It’s a principle that involves Kryger said that children who conditioning the body to awaken are bed wetters seem to make more [when the bladder is full].” urine than the average child and If the problem continues beas a result, their bladders overflow yond age 5, Kryger says that the quicker. drugs desmopression and imipHe said 15 percent of kids wet ramine, or other therapy could also the bed at age 5, but the rate de- help reduce bed-wetting. clines 15 percent every year until But he said there is no magic the age of 18. bullet. “When a patient comes to “A multitude of factors cause it me, and they are 5 years old, I tell and a multitude of therapies need them they will get better in time,” to be incorporated simultaneously he said. “I just don’t know if it to cure it,” he said.
March 14, 2009
Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed because only 10 percent of affected people are diagnosed with a sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders not only disrupt lives, they pose health risks as well By McKenzie Jackson
Since March 2007, James Simmons has averaged two to four hours of sleep a night, while doctors recommend at least eight hours a night for good health. The Stone Mountain Army Reservist first began to lose sleep soon after he was called into military service and sent to Iraq. Simmons said while he was in training in March 2007 and stationed in Iraq between April 2007 and June 2008, he would wake up each night gasping for air. The noises he made were not pretty. He said they were so severe and loud, he was isolated from his platoon so that he would not awaken the other soldiers. “You know that it’s a war, so soldiers need to be able to sleep at night,” he said. When he returned to Georgia in June, the first place he went was to DeKalb Medical Center in Decatur. There he was diagnosed with sleep apnea, a disorder that causes breathing pauses to occur five to 30 times or more an hour. When normal breathing resumes, it comes with a loud snort or choking sound. “It’s a very serious condition,” said Simmons, who is an electronics technician at MARTA. The condition is widespread in Georgia. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 31 percent of Georgians cannot sleep through the night. The Georgia Chronic Fatigue Syndrome surveillance study analyzed interview data from almost 7,000 randomly selected adults. In examining CFS, which is charac-
March 22 devoted to safe, clean water Around the globe, people will be observing March 22 as World Water Day. The annual observation, designated by the United Nations in 1933, creates awareness about saving and promoting clean water for health, the environment, agriculture and energy. Worldwide, more than a billion people lack access to clean water. To those of us who have clean running water, H20Conserve.org offers tips to conserve water and save money on large water bills. Here are some tips for saving water in the bathroom: n If you don’t have a low-flow toilet, put a plastic bottle filled with water in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used per flush. n Put a bucket in the shower while you’re waiting for the water to warm up, and use the water you catch for watering plants or cleaning. n To check for a toilet leak, put dye or food coloring into the tank. If color appears in the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak that should be repaired. n Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. n While shaving, turn off the faucet and instead fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of water to rinse your razor.
Lyn Johnson, a registered polysomnographic technologist, prepares James Simmons to be hooked up to a sleep monitoring machine.
By the Numbers
Percent of Georgians who report that they snore
Percent of Georgians who have problems falling asleep
Percent of Georgians who cannot sleep through the night
McKenzie Jackson / CrossRoadsNews
terized by profound fatigue “The brain wakes them during the daytime, the study linked the syndrome to other up to try to breathe. sleep disorders. Sometimes it can happen Valerie Reid, manager and technical director of DeKalb 50 times within an hour.” Valerie Reid Medical’s Sleep Disorder Laboratory, where Simmons is receiving treatment, said disorders lungs and then to the brain, so like sleep apnea can lead to other when a person tries to go to sleep health issues such as heart attacks, they are literally suffocating. “The brain wakes them up to hypertension and high blood prestry to breathe,” she said. “Somesure. “If it’s not caught quick enough times it can happen 50 times within an hour.” it leads to strokes,” she said. Simmons, who had his sleeping Reid described sleep apnea as the absence of air getting to the pattern monitored overnight at the
sleep laboratory on Feb. 17, said the constant waking up to breathe at night does not feel good. “You are constantly grabbing for air,” he said. “It’s like you’re choking.” Signs of sleep apnea and other disorders include loud snoring, headaches, neckline shortening, a dry mouth, fatigue, creepy crawling sensations in the legs or arms during evening hours and physically acting out dreams during sleep. Reid said the most successful way to treat sleep apnea is through
therapy with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine. The machine is connected to a flexible tube mask with which the patient sleeps. It pushes air through the airway passage at a high pressure to prevent breathing interruption. The Georgia Chronic Fatigue Syndrome study notes that sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed because only 10 percent of affected people are diagnosed with a sleep disorder. “It’s well understood that your quality of life decreases when you’re sleepy,” the study said. “Excessive daytime sleepiness can also greatly increase the risk of accidents on the highways and at work.”
ATTENTION MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES with diabetes and other chronic conditions*
Join us at a
FREE Farmers Market & Information Session** Make a healthy choice. Learn about eating well, staying fit and your Medicare coverage options. Care Improvement Plus is a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan for Medicare beneficiaries living with diabetes, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and/or end stage renal disease.* If you qualify, you may enroll anytime of the year by exercising a “Special Election Period.”*
March 18th at 10:00 a.m. March 24th at 11:00 a.m. March 25th at 10:00 a.m. April 16th at 11:00 a.m. Hampton Inn Northlake 3400 Northlake Pkwy Atlanta, GA 30345
DeKalb Extension Service Office 4380 Memorial Dr. Decatur, GA 30032
Life Enrichment Center 1340 McConnell Dr. Decatur, GA 30033
SW Branch Fulton County Library 3665 Cascade Rd. SW Atlanta, GA 30331
Don’t wait. Contact us today to reserve your seat or set up an appointment.
1-866-727-6648 (TTY 1-866-766-8695) 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., 7 days-a-week Complimentary light snacks and refreshments will be served. You’ll receive a free gift – no obligation necessary. Bring a friend or family member.
Care Improvement Plus is a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan with a Medicare contract. *To be eligible for this plan you must be a Medicare beneficiary living in South Carolina or Georgia, be entitled to Medicare Part A and enrolled in Part B, and have diabetes, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and/or end stage renal disease (ESRD). Beneficiaries with ESRD can only join M0031_NAE09R2_4118_SCGA_CMS Approved 0309
the Silver Rx Plan. **A representative will be present with information and enrollment forms. For accommodations of persons with special needs at the information sessions, call 1-866-727-6648 (TTY: 1-866-766-8695), 7 days-a-week, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
“He supports my dreams and goals and he gives me ‘me’ time.”
Dedicated spouse on ‘Hottest Husbands’ list Tasheika Bowen knows her husband, William, is hot – and it’s not just because other women keep saying it. “It’s not just on the outside,” she said. “He is a good husband and a good father.” Bowen said that is why she nominated her husband of nearly 12 years for RedBook Magazine’s 2009 Hottest Husbands contest. And he made the cut. Thirtyfive-year-old William is now one of 25 husbands from across the United States vying for votes at www.redbookmag.com. Bowen said she nominated William because of his sweet personality, his love and respect for her and their 9-year-old twin daughters, Imani and Jahne, and for his successful fight against a bout of
March 14, 2009
pneumonia that nearly killed him in 2004. “We are very proud of him,” she said. The Conyers couple met when a mutual friend set up a blind date for them. Both were college students – she at Georgia State University and he at the University of Georgia. They hit it off immediately and started dating four days later.
“He supports my dreams and goals and he gives me ‘me’ time,” said Bowen, who teaches first grade at Barksdale Elementary School in Conyers. In her nomination letter to Redbook which is posted on the website, Bowen tells of the surprise renewal of their vows that William planned for their 10th anniversary in 2007. “He had my friend make sure I dressed in white, then asked all the guests to wear lilac, which was one of our wedding colors,” she said. “Our daughters served as flower girls, and William had planned all the catering and music. It was amazing.” To vote for William Bowen in the “Hottest Husband” Contest,” visit www.redbookmag.com.
Adult Idol auditions set at N. DeKalb Mall Adults with a yen to sing have until March 20 to sign up for the Adult Idol competition at North DeKalb Mall in Decatur. Each year the vocal competition, which is in its fourth year, pits singers ages 29-49 against each other for the grand prize of $1,500. The first runner-up gets $500. Auditions will be held at the mall’s Idol Studio, just outside Burlington Coat Factory, on March 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contestants will get a DVD of their audition, an Idol T-shirt and an 8 x10 headshot from Hollywood Shot. The competition begins April 11 at 2 p.m. in the mall’s Café Court. Show times will be Saturdays weekly at 2 p.m. through May 9. A panel of three judges will decide which singers move on to the next round. Registration is $50. North DeKalb Mall is at 2050 Lawrenceville Highway in Last year’s Adult Idol winner was Katrina Tease Decatur. For more information, call 404-235-6444. (right). Angel McNeely was runner-up.
SWD band at Sanford Center Fans of Southwest DeKalb High School’s Concert Band can see it in concert on March 15 at the Porter Sanford III Center for the Performing Arts in Decatur. The free concert at 5 p.m. is a preview before they leave for a March 19-21 tour in Indianapolis, Ind. The school’s bands, which
have performed at the Tournament of Roses Parade, have also appeared in Dallas Austin’s movie “Drumline” and the reality show “Drumroll.” The Porter Sanford Center for the Performing Arts is at 3181 Rainbow Drive in Decatur. For information, call band director James Seda at 678-875-4930.
MLK’s bands to perform Patrons of a March 27 Musical Extravaganza hosted by the Martin Luther King Jr. High School Band Booster Club will be sampling 1920s, 70s, and Motown, gospel, hip-hip and R&B music for a good cause. The club is raising money to supplement its budget and to highlight the band members’ talent. The 7 p.m. concert at the school will feature the school’s concert, symphonic, wind ensemble, and marching bands. Their repertoires include “Dixie Land
Jam,” “My, My My” and “Sing, Sing, Sing.” Sharon Marks, a band booster club member, said the 100 to 150 musicians have continuously excelled in competitions and have performed in Johannesburg, South Africa, and at the Cotton Bowl in Texas. Band director Travis Kimber will play the saxophone during the event. Admission is $15. The school is at 3991 Snapfinger Road in Lithonia. For more information, call Sharon Marks at 404-285-3565.
Kids stage Black History play The all-youth production “We R My People” will be staged at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center on March 21. DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johnson is hosting the free production as his second annual Black History program for families. The production by Star House Entertainers Superstar Kidz navi-
gates the African-American experience from the hulls of slave ships to president of the United States. The production takes place 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center is at 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. For more information, call 404-371-2425.
March 14, 2009
“His personal life lessons made a point to our students that you can and should be responsible, take control of your situation and present yourself well to everyone.”
History maker tells of overcoming adversity Program offers college tips By McKenzie Jackson
Richard Oden knows the value of having the right attitude and thinking positively. So when he spoke to sixth- to eighth-grade students students at General Ray Davis Middle School in South Rockdale County, he was a living example of both things. Oden, a successful businessman of 30 years, was elected Rockdale County Commission Chairman and CEO in November. He is the first African-American to hold that position in the county. Speaking at a Feb. 24 Black History Month program on the theme “Living the Dream,” he told the students that if they possessed the right attitude and took control of their destiny, they can achieve their dreams. He should know. Oden overcame many obstacles – including being a victim of a crime – to achieve his dreams. Seventeen years ago, he was shot three times during a robbery. Even though he still suffers physically
Richard Oden chats with sixth-graders Cameron Grant and Andre Beard after giving them copies of his book. They are joined by teacher Sheila Smith and Principal Dr. Wayne Watts.
from the attack, Oden told how he bounced back from that incident and how it increased his passion for life and for helping young people stay on the right path. He went on to spend more than 30 years in corporate management and 15 years as a small business owner. He also founded the nonprofit Alexander At’Ta Fund to encourage youth to get involved in community and entrepreneurship. Dr. Wayne Watts, the school’s principal, said Oden’s comments were “spot-on.” “He encouraged, advised and informed them in a way that really struck home,” Watts said. “His
personal life lessons made a point to our students – one they needed to hear – that you can and should be responsible, take control of your situation and present yourself well to everyone.” World Studies teacher Sheila Smith, who organized Oden’s appearance at the school, said the students were engaged and attentive. “They enjoyed what he had to say and wished they could have spoken with him personally,” she said. Three days later on Feb. 27, Oden returned to the school to donate autographed copies of his book, “Beyond Appearance.”
Entries accepted for Earth Day art contest Elementary school students have until March 20 to submit artwork depicting the Earth Day 2009 design contest sponsored by the Mall at Stonecrest. The “Preserving Planet Earth for Future Generations” contest is helping celebrate Earth Day on April 22.
Donald Bieler, the mall’s marketing director, said the contest is a fun and educational way to celebrate Earth Day and the planet. “Preserving our planet for future generations is everyone’s job,” he said. “This is our effort to keep the focus on how each of us can help.”
The winning art piece will be featured on a limited edition T-shirt and poster. The student’s entire class get the T-shirt and a free lunch at the mall. Applications and contest rules can be downloaded at www.mallatstonecrest.com. For more information, call 678526-9880.
Students in grades seven through 12 can apply for the RIPPLE Institute’s Wave Bound college entrance program in downtown Decatur. The free program helps students who want to go to college but lack a structured, low cost program to help prepare for college admission. It offers information on standardized tests, financial aid, college selection and other topics.
At a March 21 workshop at 9 a.m. at the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive in Decatur, seventh- through 10th-graders who took a practice PSAT on March 7 will go over the results. High school seniors and juniors will take a practice ACT/SAT combo test on April 4 and discuss their exam results on April 18. Students can apply by contacting their school counselor or by visiting www.rippleinc.org.
Intern at the White House College students or recent college graduates can apply for the Summer 2009 White House Internship Program. Participants in the May 22Aug. 14 internship will get job experience and an inside look at the life of White House staff while building leadership skills. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, and enrolled in or graduated from a two- or four-year college or university in the past two years.
They must be 18 years old before the first day of the internship. In addition to normal office duties, interns will attend a weekly lecture series hosted by senior White House staff, help at White House social events, and volunteer in community service projects. The deadline for applications is March 22. For more information or to download the application, visit www.whitehouse.gov/about/ internships.
March 14, 2009
“They want to see how he plays for real. Can he share the ball? Can he dribble? Can he go to the left?
Overlooked during senior season, player on quest to find college team By McKenzie Jackson
When Lithonia High School’s Warren “B.J.” Jackson dropped 26 points in a loss to Stone Mountain in January, not one scout was in the gym to see the 5-foot-9 guard play. None were there either when the senior scored 17 and 18 points in two games during the Region 6-AAAA tournament in midFebruary. With his season now over, Jackson, 18, is looking for any college basketball program that will offer him a full or partial basketball scholarship. “I’m hoping to play college ball,” he said last week. “I really want to play pro ball. If I work at it, I feel if I can get into a college; if I put in all the time and work step by step to get to the next level… I really do have big expectations.” Jackson, who wore number 22, was one of few bright spots in a dreary season for the Bulldogs, who suffered through a 4-18 year that ended in a region tournament loss to eventual champion Miller Grove. Jackson finished the regular season ranked fifth in the county in scoring, averaging 18.4 points a contest, while shooting over 30 percent from the three-point line. The quick, left-hander, who compares his style of play to Boston College basketball star Tyrese Rice, said that the year the Bulldogs had deflected any attention he would get from college programs. “Individual-wise I had a good senior season,” he said, “but teamwise it was down. I kind of feel that I am underrated and kind of flying under the radar.” This season he was the main player that Bulldog opponents would try to stop. During his team’s region tournament game against North Springs on Feb. 17, Lithonia trailed early in
McKenzie Jackson / CrossRoadsNews
Despite putting up some impressive numbers during the regular season and region playoffs, Lithonia senior guard B.J. Jackson has not gotten much attention from college scouts.
the first period, a Jackson scoring flurry that included a lay-up and two three-point baskets gave the Bulldogs the lead. The scoring outburst led North Springs coach Ryan Koudele to order his players to follow Jackson all over the court. “I don’t talk too much on the court,” he said. “I just get it done.” Even so, instead of college recruiters chasing after him, he has to do it the hard way and chase
after them. “I’m putting together a highlight tape,” he said, “and I’m taking the SAT in March.” Warren Jackson, B.J.’s dad, played college basketball at Morris Brown College in the 1980s. He said that his son has been invited to attend the Southeastern Basketball Academy Spring College Showcase on March 21 at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. The event allows unsigned se-
niors and class of 2010 and 2011 prospects to showcase their skills in front of college couches from top NCAA Division II, III, and NAIA colleges. “There will be some 45 colleges in attendance to sign some of these players,” he said. Lithonia head coach Lewis Jones said that he hopes to take Jackson and some of this other players to schools for tryouts to allow college coaches a chance to see
Leap just shy Prolific bat contributes to team’s success of jumper’s By McKenzie Jackson Perimeter College’s personal best BlakeGeorgia McCullers has one of the hotDamar Forbes, the defending state AAAAA long jump champion, came close to setting a new personal best in the event. Forbes, 18, jumped a season best 24 feet, 7.5 inches to win the long jump at the University of Kentucky High School Invitational in Lexington on Feb. 21. Forbes, a track athlete for M.L. King High School and the Sprint Athletics Track Club, set his personal best of 24-8 during last summer’s USA Track & Field Junior Olympics in Omaha, Neb. In February, the Louisiana State University signee said he wants to break his personal record and the Georgia high school record of 25-7. “Ultimately I’m trying to get to 26 feet,” he said. During the UK High School Invitational, Forbes also placed third in the 60-meter hurdles finals with an 8.13 time. He grabbed second in the preliminaries, posting a time of 8.12.
test bats around at the beginning of his college baseball career. The freshman catcher is leading GPC with a .521 batting average, and he has helped the Jaguars begin the year with a 13-4 record going into their March 14 game at South Georgia College. Head coach Danny Blue said McCullers is the true essence of a baseball player. “He is definitely a bona fide NCAA Division I level hitter,” he said. McCullers, a 2008 Loganville High graduate, is currently ranked 12th in the country among National Junior College Athletic Association Division I hitters. In 48 at bats, he has 25 hits, 16 RBI, five doubles, two triples and one home run. His average is 111 points behind the nation’s top hitter, Mason Denson of Panola College, who’s batting .632. GPC hitting coach Stewart Bailey said McCullers understands how pitchers try to get him out. “The most important aspect
GPC catcher Blake McCullers is having a stellar season at the plate as well as behind it.
that has led to him batting over .520 is that he uses the entire field,” Bailey said. In early February wins at GPC’s home field in Covington, McCullers almost hit a cycle in two consecutive contests. On Feb. 5, in the Jaguars’ 10-4 win over Southern Union College, McCullers stepped to the plate and hit a single, double, and triple. Then two days later against Cleveland State, he hit a single, triple and home run.
Blue said McCullers also stands out on defense. He said McCullers has thrown out more than 60 percent of the base runners attempting to steal. “He’s worked really hard on receiving, blocking, and calling the game,” he said. Blue said McCullers has led the Jaguars with his play. “[He] has been an outstanding addition to the GPC Jaguar baseball program.”
them play in person. “A tape can be put together to show anything,” he said. “They want to see how he plays for real. Can he share the ball? Can he dribble? Can he go to the left? Does he pick it up when he gets in trouble?” Jones said that it is not entirely an uphill battle for good players on average or struggling teams to get a scholarship. “It’s not an easy task, but it’s not impossible,” he said. “What makes a coach a good coach is that he finds talent in other places people don’t look. So being a good ball player makes it easier, if they fit the bill from what the coach is looking for.” Jackson has played basketball since he was 9 and calls himself a “gym rat.” “I’m in the gym probably every day in the week accept Sunday,” said Jackson, who plays ball at New Birth’s Samson Center. He said that his parents really want him to keep playing basketball. “It will feel like a waste of talent and all the hard years I’ve put into playing basketball,” he said. “ I would feel like I failed.” Warren Jackson said that his son eats, sleeps and breathes basketball and could have easily transferred to a school where he could have gotten more recognition. “He chose to stay at Lithonia and do it the right way,” he said. “Today with high schools recruiting kids out of different neighborhoods it’s hard for some schools to stay competitive.” Jackson said he is open to going just about anywhere to play college basketball. “I don’t want to go to a Division III school, because I feel my talent is way better than that,” he said. “I like the SEC and ACC. I would think about taking the junior college route if I could, prep school, anything.”
Wrestling camp offers tips, drills Seasoned or novice middle and high school wrestlers can learn new techniques at the Southwest DeKalb Wrestling Clinic on March 14. The 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. event at Southwest DeKalb High School targets wrestlers in grades seven to 12. They will learn skills from clinic host, Darren Cotton, a former college wrestler, and high school wrestling coaches from around the county. Cotton, a McNair High graduate, is a four-time wrestling All-American at William Penn University in Oskalossa, Iowa. Attendees at the camp will get conditioning and drills, learn techniques and tricks, and wrestle. The clinic will also include a question and answer session. Admission is $35. Southwest DeKalb High School is at 2863 Kelley Chapel Road in Decatur. For more information, email SWD wrestling coach Keith Johnson at Keith_J_ Johnson@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us or call 678-596-2849.
March 14, 2009
“As a young black girl, I grew up feeling very much like the ugly duckling compared to my peers as a result of not looking a certain way.”
Annual day of service scheduled Members of North Atlanta Church of Christ will spend five hours cleaning parks and helping out at a number of community organizations, schools and nursing homes on March 14. They will get help from eight employees from the CDC Federal Credit Union who are volunteering as part of the credit union’s community-based outreach program, “Because We Care.” Their service helps uphold the credit union’s philosophy of “People Helping People.” The church’s annual Service Day begins at 8:30 a.m. at the church campus, 5676 Roberts Drive in Atlanta. The CDC Federal Credit Union was chartered March 1, 1949, by a small group of employees from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has since grown into a full-service financial institution with four locations, serving more than 16,000 members. Membership is open to residents of DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties. For more information, call Andy Anderson at 678-553-5500.
Conference to help women define, refine their purpose African spiritualist and author Sobonfu Some will lead a “Live Your Purpose” women’s conference on March 20 and 21 in Atlanta. Sobonfu, whose name means “keeper of the rituals,” travels the world on a healing mission sharing the rich spiritual life and culture of her native land Burkina Faso in West Africa. She has traveled extensively throughout North America and Europe conducting workshops on spirituality, ritual, the sacred and intimacy. Her two books, “The Spirit of Intimacy” and “Welcoming Spirit Home,” draw on rituals and practices involving community, birth, miscarriage and children. Some’s work has helped move African spiritual practices from the realm of anthropology to a place alongside the world’s great spiritual traditions. “My work is really a journey in self-discovery and in building community through rituals,” she says. “It is always challenging to bring the spiritual into the material world, but it is one of the only ways we can put people back in touch with the earth and their inner values.” Some teaches Dagara rituals that heal and prepare the mind, body, spirit
crease self-confidence and selfefficacy to reduce conflict and stress for a more peaceful life. Talibah Ndidi will lead “Womb-Moon Activation” at 10:15 a.m. to help participants ignite their powers to live as Sobonfu Some divine goddesses. At 1 p.m., Itihari Toure will lead “Living Out Our Spiriand soul to receive the spirituality tual Purpose” using the book and that is all around us. movie “The Secret Life of Bees” The Live Your Purpose conferto explore the use of spiritual ence will include rituals, meditation power as a liberating presence in techniques, presentations on conflict welcoming, gathering and being and stress reduction, and harnessing women. your spiritual powers. At 3 p.m., Some will present It kicks off at 7 p.m. on March Itihari Toure a workshop on “Go Beyond Your 20 with a three-hour grief ritual at which Some will teach participants to release Limits: Be, Do and Have.” It will teach simple techniques to help deep-seated emotional energy created by fear, you dig deep into your soul to release selfanger and inactivity. At the 9 a.m. opening ceremony on March sabotaging tendencies and recognize nega21, L’dia Men Na’a will lead a womb media- tive thought patterns. The conference will be at Studioplex tion workshop using essential oils, releasing stagnant unwanted energies and rebirthing a Lofts, 659 Auburn Ave. in Atlanta. Registration is $50 at www.ticketannex. sacred space to hold goddess vibrations. She will follow that with a workshop on com. For more information, call 404-840“Interpersonal Change” that will teach in- 9957.
It is always challenging to bring the spiritual into the material world, but it is one of the only ways we can put people back in touch with the earth and their inner values.”
Film explores media images of black women Men’s Day celebration set Youth ministries can view the provocative documentary “The Souls of Black Girls” at the Interdenominational Theological Center on March 30 and 31. The 2008 documentary, which is written, edited and produced by Daphne Valerius, takes a critical look at media images and their impact on women of color. It attempts to provoke honest dialogue and critical thinking among women of color about media images and our present condition. The Atlanta screenings are a collaboration of students from Georgia State University, Clark Atlanta University and the ITC to address the interests and needs of audiences, including black women, affected by the images of women in the media. Youth organizations such as Heshima Girls and Boys Rites of Passage at First Afrikan Presbyterian Church, Alternate Paths and church youth ministries have been invited to join acoustic guitarist and singer Kelly Love Jones, def poet Dana Gilmore and Kenya James, former Black Girl magazine teen editor and rising sophomore at Howard University, for the March 30 screening at 6 p.m. in the ITC Chapel. On March 31, the film will be screened for Sisters and Brothers In Dialogue at 11 a.m. in the ITC Chapel. The documentary grew out of 2003 college project – “Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence: The Effects of Mass Media on Women of Color… Forgotten” – that Valerius did while at St. John College in New York. She said that like many young black girls, she suffered from a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence that helped repress her aspirations,
hopes and dreams. “As a young black girl, I grew up feeling very much like the ugly duckling compared to my peers as a result of not looking a certain way,” she said. In the film, she examines how media images are created, established and controlled; explores the relationship between the historical and existing media images of women of color; and raises the question of whether they may be suffering from a self-image disorder as a result of trying to attain the standards of beauty that are celebrated in media images. The film features candid interviews with young women discussing their self-image and social commentary from actresses Regina King and Jada Pinkett Smith, PBS Washington Week moderator Gwen Ifill, rapper/political activist Chuck D, and cultural critic Michaela Angela Davis, among others. “The Souls of Black Girls” will also be screened March 28 and April 4. The March 28 screening takes place at 2 p.m. at Cinefest, 66 Courtland St. S.E., Suite 240, in Atlanta, with commentaries from Roots Inc. president and CEO J. Toni Oliver and Kelly Lewis from GSU’s department of psychology. On April 4, it will be screened in Room 103 in the Mary & Carl Ware Building at Clark Atlanta
Kelly Love Jones
University. For more information, call Margaret Counts-Spriggs at 404880-8863; Sarita K. Davis, 404413-5134; or Itihari Toure at 404527-7710.
at the 11 a.m. service on Dr. Nathaniel West March 22. and Rev. Dr. John Green The celebration’s will be the featured theme is “Change: Yes speakers Flipper Temple We Can Take God Work AME Church two-day to New Levels.” Men’s Day Celebration. Kendrick Lewis, who West, a retired educachairs the Men’s Day tor, will speak at noon Committee, said the at the March 21 Prayer John Green Luncheon at the church. He is a church’s 30-member Might Male former member of Flipper Temple Chorus will perform at the Sunday and currently attends Antioch service. Flipper Temple AME is at 580 AME Church. Green, who is dean of Turner Fair St. S.W. in Atlanta. For more Theological Seminary, will speak information, call 404-522-5020.
4 0 4 - 2 8 4 - 18 8 8 f o r Ra te s & I n f o r m a t i o n
March 14, 2009
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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.
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March 14, 2009
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BUSINESS FOR SALE Home Based Education Business. $20K . Manage tutors from Home. Highly successful franchise. For Info call Dana Hansen 800-434-2582 or email dana@ clubztutoring.com
COMPUTERS Computer & laptop repair. Diagnostic fee $35. We come to you. Spyware, virus removal, & wireless network. www.Jonatech. net. (678) 918-4445 Jonatec.
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Share a beautiful 4 bedroom 2 1/2 bath house near Flat Shoals /Decatur. Not on bus line. $130 per week. Call 404-918-5676.
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2272 Sq. Feet Childcare Center for lease in Stone Mountain near Hwy 78. License capacity is 29. $2,500.00 per month or best offer. 770-605-8600 3bd, 2ba, wash & dry .$795 month. $600 security deposit & $20 application fee. Requirements: 32K- 42K/year income. Single, Couple or Sec 8. Call (770) 306-8087
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FLEA MARKET New & Gently used clothing, collectibles, & much more! Sat., March 21st, 8am till 3pm. Donnie’s Cafe’, 2490 Panola Rd, Decatur, 30038. Call 678-418-6100, www.popccministries.org
LANDSCAPE/LAWN CARE Lawn Care Early Bird Special $99.00 per month. Landscape: Maintenance, Design, Installation, Vegetable Garden. Senior Citizens Discount. Call 770-5931382
LOANS & MORTGAGES Loans for churches, restaurants, day care centers, multi-family properties, office buildings, and other commercial properties. Purchases or refinancing. All credit
PUBLIC NOTICE 1963 Chevy C10 to highest bidder. Black. Need restoration. VIN# 3C144A129856 (no plate). Bidding starts 3/9/09 10 am ends 12 pm. Minimum 75%
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*Term and Conditions apply. See our website, www.vmcsatellite.com for details. Prices, packages and programming subject to change or cancellation without notice. Cinemax and HBO promotions available with installation of certain designated DISH Network Satellite Systems packages and subscriptions to and maintenance of Autopay with Paperless Billing during the contract term, see www.vmcsatellite.com for details. Standard pricing applies after expiration of the promotional periods. Available on in the continental USA for new, first-time DISH Network residential customers. All service marks and trademarks used are the registered marks of their respective owners, all rights reserved. DN 03/09
cash deposit required for highest bidder. Abandoned car removed from Dacula & currently located in Lithonia. Call 770-657-7161 to set up time for inspection.
SERVICES Quik Action Plumbing Company. Plumbing Repairs. 770.948.7988
Place your MarketPlace line ad here – up to 20 words for $25. Additional words are $3 per block of five words (maximum 45 words). Boxed Ads (with up to 3 lines bold headline): $35 plus cost of the classified ad. Send ad copy with check or credit card information and contact phone number (if different from ad) to MarketPlace, CrossRoadsNews, 2346 Candler Road, Decatur, GA 30032, or e-mail to email@example.com. Our deadlines are at noon on the Thursday one week prior to publication, unless otherwise noted.
INVITATION TO BID John D. Stephens, Inc., 272 Hurricane Shoals Rd, NE, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 is soliciting pricing from Certified Local Small Business Enterprise Subcontractors, Vendors & Suppliers for work related to the construction of the Chattahoochee Raw Water Transmission Main project in DeKalb County, GA which bids 3/26/09. Fax your bid for the following scope of work to 770-979-3748 by 3/24/09: Surveying, Onsite & Offsite Hauling, Gravel & Stone Hauling, Clearing, Fencing, Grassing & Erosion Control, Landscaping, Concrete Finishing (Sidewalks, Driveways, Curb & Gutter), Piping, Asphalt Paving & Restoration, Jack & Bores, Steel Pipe Welding, and Fiber Optic Line Installation. Please include proof LSBE status. Plans and Specifications may be viewed at the AGC Builders Exchange, 1940 The Exchange SE, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA; GA Minority Supplier Development Council, Sun Trust Annex Building, 58 Edgewood Ave, NE, 5th Floor, Atlanta, GA; McGraw Hill-FW Dodge, 1750 Enterprise Way, Suite 103, Marietta, GA; National Assoc of Minority Contractors-Atlanta Chapter, 6017 Redan Rd, Lithonia, GA; Reed Construction Data, 30 Technology Pkwy S, Suite 500, Norcross, GA; the Dept of Watershed Management, 1580 Roadhaven Dr, St Mtn, GA; or our office listed above. John D. Stephens, Inc., an Equal Opportunity Employer, will not discriminate against any party submitting a proposal because of race, creed, religion, color, sex, national origin, marital status, physical handicap or sexual orientation. Interested bidders may contact John D. Stephens, Inc. for assistance in obtaining Bonds, Credit Lines and Insurance. For additional information or questions, contact Brian Beaubien @ 678-244-5626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 14, 2009
E duc a t in g & E mp owe r in g Ou r Co m m u n i t y
Sales • Marketing • Branding April 25, 2009 • Noon - 5 p.m. The Small Business/Best of East Metro Expo provides a unique opportunity for businesses to network with each other and with potential customers and suppliers under one roof at the Mall at Stonecrest. The Expo is open to professionals, home-based, women-owned and other businesses. Businesses that can participate include:
• Accountants • Graphic & Web Designers • IT Companies • Real Estate Agents • Mortgage Brokers • Caterers • Florists
• Massage Therapists • Interior Designers • Decorators • Builders • Home Improvement Companies • Landscapers • Upholsterers
• Custom Automotive Companies • Photographers • Videographers • Dance Schools • Fitness Instructors • Frame Studios • Music Studios
Winners of the 2009 “Best of East Metro” Readers Choice Awards will be recognized during the Expo!
* Call Now for Economic Stimulus Special! $350 to ParticiPate * Participants will receive a SuperCard ad to be published in our “2009 Small Business / Best East Metro” Special Section in the April 18 issue of CrossRoadsNews (add $250 for 4-color). Participants also receive:
8-foot table w/ two chairs during the Small Business/Best of East Metro Expo n Name listed in promotional advertising in our April 4, 11, and 18 issues n Two meal tickets
Limited Time Offer • Expo Date: April 25, 2009 Limited number of spaces, available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 404-284-1888 to confirm your space. www.crossroadsnews.com