Come on now ...
Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson sent thanks to Action Not Words and other volunteers for helping with beautification at the Bruce Street Senior Center.
... given that the former South DeKalb Mall changed ownership – and its name – in 2003, isn’t it time the Candler Road institution got a new sign?
Litter Makes Us All Look Bad JOIN US IN THE EFFORT TO KEEP OUR STREETS CLEAN A PUBLIC SERVICE MESSAGE FROM CROSSROADSNEWS
EAST ATLANTA • DECATUR • STONE MOUNTAIN • LITHONIA • AVONDALE ESTATES • CLARKSTON • ELLENWOOD • PINE LAKE • REDAN • SCOTTDALE • TUCKER
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November 28, 2015
Volume 21, Number 31
Justices grant Crawford Lewis another day in court By Ken Watts
Former DeKalb Schools Superintendent Crawford Lewis is getting another day in DeKalb County court. The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Nov. 16 that the DeKalb Superior Court must decide whether Lewis testified truthfully in 2013 against his two co-defendants, former COO Patricia Reid and her ex-husband, Crawford Lewis architect Tony Pope, in the schools construction scandal.
“If the trial court determines that Lewis testified truthfully, the legal conditions will have been met and the trial court will have to honor the plea deal.” Chief Justice Hugh Thompson
If he did, Lewis’ sentence will be changed from a year in prison to a year on probation, as originally agreed upon by the DeKalb district attorney and Lewis’ attorneys in a plea agreement. If he did not testify truthfully, the ruling said the court is not obligated to honor the agreement and could sentence him
to 12 months in jail. The case will go back to the same DeKalb Superior Court courtroom where Judge Cynthia J. Becker rescinded his plea deal on Dec. 9, 2013. But this time it will be heard by Superior Court Judge Jean-Paul Boulee. He replaced Becker, who retired in March 2015. Reid and Pope were convicted in November 2013 of racketeering and theft by taking. Reid was convicted for directing $1.4 million in school construction projects to Pope while they were married. Reid was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Pope got eight years. DeKalb Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams reduced Reid’s sentence to 10 years
on July 7 after she agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of theft by taking and pay $10,000 in restitution to the DeKalb School System. Lewis, who was indicted on the same felony charges, reached an agreement with District Attorney Robert James to plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of hindering and obstructing a law enforcement officer in exchange for testifying against his co-defendants. Lewis agreed with the understanding that the state would recommend a sentence of 12 months probation, a $500 fine, and 240 Please see LEWIS, page 4
Hancock’s portrait graces courtroom wall Attorney Keith Adams (left) and Fulton County Circuit Defender Vernon Pitts Jr. unveil portrait of retired DeKalb Superior Court Judge Michael Hancock. The portrait is the first of an AfricanAmerican judge to hang in the Senior Judges Courtroom.
Judge broke color line on DeKalb bench By Jennifer Ffrench Parker
Pioneering Judge Michael Hancock, who broke the legal color line in DeKalb County courts and blazed trails to the Superior Court bench, made history again on Nov. 17 when he became the first African-American judge to have his portrait hang in the county courthouse. The portrait of Hancock – depicted in black legal robe, eyeglasses in hand – joins portraits of six white retired judges on the walls of the Senior Judges Courtroom in the county’s legal tower. At the unveiling before a majority of the county’s State and Superior court judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers, Hancock, visibly moved by the tribute, simply said: “I am full.” Known for his strong faith, wry humor and straight talk, Hancock said he didn’t yet know the full meaning of the honor. “But as I think about it and I walk through my mind and through the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon sought knowledge and wisdom, and position and honor and he said, ‘It’s all vanity,’” Hancock said. “Here today, gone tomorrow because this is what happens under the sun. The greatest honor, I think, will be the day when I go over to the other side, and that’s what I look forward to.” Hancock, who retired from the bench in January 2011 after 30 years as a jurist in the county, told the standing-room-only crowd that he was very appreciative of the honor. “One of the first things I decided would happen during my tenure here, or wherever I went, was that justice would be administered fairly across the board without regard to who you were, where you went, what circle you moved around in, and that sort of thing,” he said. “And I on occasion angered a lot of people, but it was the makings of where I
Jennifer Ffrench Parker / CrossRoadsNews
“One of the first things I decided would happen during my tenure here, or wherever I went, was that justice would be administered fairly across the board without regard to who you were, where you went, what circle you moved around in. … And I on occasion angered a lot of people.” Judge Michael Hancock
would eventually land anyway with regard to carrying out my judicial responsibilities.” Before the portrait was revealed, friends, colleagues and lawyers he mentored called Hancock a county “great,” a man of integrity and dean of the county’s legal system. Hancock, who was born in Gainesville, graduated from Georgia State University in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science degree. His first job was in DeKalb Juvenile Court as an investigator. Soon the lawyers and one of the judges he worked with “saw something in me.” They encouraged him to go to law school, and he left for Emory Law School in fall
unveiling ceremony, said the portrait was longtime overdue. “When one of our greats retires and leaves and takes senior status, we owe it to them to go ahead and give them some honor,” he said. Adams, who has been practicing in the county for 23 years, said Hancock started out as a mentor and later became his friend. “As a young assistant district attorney, I worked in Hancock’s courtroom and I learned a lot from him,” Adams said. “I admire his temperament. I admire his ability to kind of cut through everything and get to the meat of the matter. I admire the fact – later on – that he chastised me from time to time because that is how you become a better lawyer.” Attorney Genet Hopewell, who helped co-found the DeKalb Lawyers Association with Hancock in 1985, called him “one of our treasures in DeKalb County.”
1975. “And in jest I told Judge Jones that I was coming back to take over his office,” he said. In 1978 when he graduated, he returned to the county as its first African-American public defender, assistant solicitor general, and later as chief judge of DeKalb Recorders Court in 1983. Seven years later, Gov. Zell Miller appointed him to the DeKalb Superior Court bench in 1991. He held that position for 20 years, becoming the county’s first chief judge in 2002. Attorney Keith Adams, who hosted the Please see JUDGE, page 4
November 28, 2015
“I think they’ve done their due diligence. The project should go forward with conditions.”
Mixed-use Avondale Park development gets nod from county By Ken Watts
The $95 million Avondale Park development, near the Kensington MARTA station, will move ahead now that the county has approved the rezoning application for a mixed-use development. Commissioners voted 7-0 on Nov. 17 to approve the application from Felipe Castellanos, CEO of Proterra LC, to rezone the 9.32-acre property from Felipe Castellanos C-1 local commercial to PC-3 pedestrian community so he can develop the site into a large commercial plaza surrounded by stores, offices and upscale housing. The project is proposed for 3458, 3460 and 3478 Mountain Drive. Castellanos said he’ll start the permitting process the first week of December and break ground on Avondale Park in March. He said construction should take about two years but some of the residential units could be completed by late 2016. Avondale Park will include two Class A eight-story office buildings with 252,000 square feet; 11 single-family homes; 35 townhomes; 32,500 square feet of retail; two buildings with 30 condo units each; and a
The $95 million Avondale Park development is proposed for Mountain Drive near the Kensington MARTA station.
two-story retail building with 39,000 square feet of space. Castellanos told commissioners the application, which was deferred, has changed somewhat. “It has improved tremendously thanks to input from the community, staff and the county,” he said. He said they increased the project’s residential mix to 60 percent, halved the office space portion, and created a 25-foot buffer between its neighbors on Farrar Court. “We have increased green space by 15 percent and will maintain all the streets within
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT (SSSP Shepherd Drive Decatur, LLC) D/B/A SIMPLY SELF STORAGE LOCATED AT (2804 HF Shepherd Drive) INTENDS TO SELL OR OTHERWISE DISPOSE OF THE PERSONAL PROPERTY DESCRIBED BELOW TO ENFORCE A LIEN IMPOSED ON SAID PROPERTY UNDER THE GEORGIA LAW 10-4-213. THE PUBLIC SALE OR OTHER DISPOSITION OF THE FOLLOWING PROPERTY WILL TAKE PLACE (UNLESS OTHERWISE WITHDRAWN) VIA AN ON-LINE AUCTION AT WWW.STORAGETREASURES.COM ON (December 16, 2015) BEGINNING AT APPROXIMATELY (10:00am) AND CONCLUDING ON (December 22, 2015) AT APPROXIMATELY (10:00am). THIS PUBLIC SALE WILL RESULT IN THE GOODS BEING SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER. CERTAIN TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY. Unit # Name A088 C007 C014
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“Come on and be a part of the vision” First Afrikan Church is an Afrocentric Christian Ministry that empowers women, men, youth and children to move from membership to leadership in the church, community and the world. Praise & Devotion Worship Service Sundays at 10 a.m. Join us for Bible Study Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
Senate District 43 runoff is Dec. 1 Voters in Senate District 43 will go to the polls on Dec. 1 to pick between former state Rep. Tonya Anderson, a Democrat from Lithonia, and JaNice Frey Van Ness, a Republican from Conyers, in a runoff election. Anderson is a former Tonya Anderson mayor of Lithonia and a life coach. Van Ness, a business owner and educator, is founder of Peachtree Academy Private School and Early Childhood Centers.
They were the top vote-getters among nine candidates in the Nov. 3 election to replace Ronald Ramsey, who was appointed to the DeKalb State Court bench. The district includes 173,000 voters in DeKalb, JaNice Van Ness Rockdale and Newton counties; 45,000 live in DeKalb. The polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.dekalbvotes. com or call 404-298-4020.
32 graduate from Fire Academy
5197 Salem Road Lithonia, GA 30038
770-981-2601 “We are building far beyond our years.”
the project,” he said. Avondale Park is the second project approved on Mountain Drive by the county for the area since August. The $120 million Avondale Hills by Eikon Partners is already under construction and will sit on 30 acres next to Castellanos’ Avondale Park. Avondale Hills will feature 50 homes, 75 townhouses, 350 apartments units and 75,000 square feet of retail space on land once occupied by the old Kensington Manor Apartments. Both developers say the area will be more pedestrian-friendly with sidewalks that will
link the new residential and retail sites with the MARTA station. “I think it’s a great step forward and will create momentum for more development in the Kensington MARTA station area,” Castellanos said on Nov. 19. Ron Bivens, a real estate developer who lives on Ponce de Leon Road, spoke in support of the project. “I applaud them for coming to the Kensington area,” he said. “I really love the venture and hope it will jump-start the area.” Bivens said if the project is successful, he too would consider the area. “It’s a tremendous start for transitoriented development,” he said. Courtney McClelland, who lives on Farrar Court, said the development is unnecessary. “I just don’t see a reason for it,” she said. “I think the county is being overdeveloped. We will have two large pedestrian communities on either side of a very old street with houses built in the 1950s.” Matt Leatherman, who also lives on Farrar Court, said he felt the developers made an effort to address residents’ concerns. “There is still a lot to be worked out, but I think they’ve done their due diligence,” he said. “The project should go forward with conditions.”
Rev. Dr. Mark A. Lomax
DeKalb County’s firefighting squad grew by 32 on Nov. 17 with the graduation of its 103rd and 104th classes from the DeKalb Fire Academy. The new firefighters spent nearly 17 weeks in firefighting training and seven months in emergency medical training. DeKalb interim CEO Lee May and District 3 Commissioner Larry Johnson, the Board of Commissioners’ presiding officer, welcomed the new firefighters. The keynote speaker was Fulton County DeKalb interim CEO Lee May addresses the Fire Chief Larry Few. 103rd and 104th graduating classes.
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November 28, 2015
“The employee who made the error has been terminated and safeguards, including a three-part check system, have been implemented.”
Voters told to monitor their credit in wake of SOS data breach By Jennifer Ffrench Parker
More than 6.2 million Georgia voters whose private information was mistakenly released by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office are being encouraged to monitor their credit and take steps against identity theft. In a Nov. 19 letter to voters, Kemp apologized for “the clerical error” that caused voters’ personal Brian Kemp information to be inadvertently included on a statewide voter disc that was sent on Oct. 13 to a dozen groups that included Georgia
political parties and the news media. The information on the discs included names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, voter registration numbers, phone numbers, gender, race, and voter precinct information. Kemp said the error was not discovered until Nov. 13. He said his office has established a dedicated hotline – 404-654-6045 – to field questions related to the incident and offered contact information of the three nationwide credit bureaus and fraud prevention tips for voters to monitor their credit. Kemp said nine of the discs were retrieved by his office and the other three were “confirmed” to be disposed of by recipients. “We retrieved the discs and confirmed
that the recipients had not copied or otherwise disseminated the data,” Kemp said. “Our first priority is to minimize the impact of this mistake and to ensure that Georgia voters’ personal information is secure.” Once the error was discovered, he said he took action. “The employee who made the error has been terminated and additional safeguards, including a three-part check system, have been implemented to ensure that this situation does not happen again,” Kemp said.
any of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax (equifax.com, 1-800-685-1111 or 1-800-525-6285); Experian (www.experian. com, 1-888-397-3742 or 1-888-397-3742); or TransUnion (www.transunion.com, 1-800916-8800 or 1-800-680-7289). n Review your account statements and monitor free credit reports and alert banks and issuer if there are suspicious transactions. Consumers have zero liability for unauthorized charges reported in a timely manner. n Consumers are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three naFraud prevention tips: tional credit bureaus. For a free report, visit n Put an “Initial Alert” on your account www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877so that you will be alerted if someone tries 322-8228. to open new accounts in your name with n Report suspected identity theft.
Snazzy dressers nab top prize
Graham is Y’s Volunteer of Year
Floyd Porter of Conyers and Denise Clark of Decatur dressed their way to the top prize at the annual “Stompin’ at the Savoy” banquet and fundraiser on Nov. 14 at the Ramada Plaza in Atlanta. Their Roaring ’20s outfits won them “Best Male & Female Creative Dress” at the event hosted by the nonprofit Howey Hudson Lowe Foundation. Trailblazer and Living Legend Awards were presented to Judge Johnny Panos, Solicitor General Sherry Boston and Coach William “Buck” Godfrey. The banquet is the Howey Hudson Lowe Foundation’s major fundraiser that supports its homeless outreach, “Help a Child Ride,” food baskets, and other projects. For more information, call 770-981-4756.
Angela Graham, who has volunteered at the South DeKalb YMCA since 2013, is the YMCA of Metro Atlanta’s 2015 Volunteer of the Year. Graham, who lives in Stone Mountain, received the award on Nov. 9 at the YMCA’s annual volunteer recognition dinner. Graham says she Angela Graham gives of her time because she believes in giving back to the community in which she lives, works and plays. She was inspired to volunteer after seeing the support her niece received at the Y’s after-school and summer programs. She co-chaired the Y’s annual campaign for two years and has served on committees
for membership, Healthy Kids Day, community rally and community round tables. Last year, she chaired the 2014 Why It Matters annual giving campaign and rally. She said helping to ensure all kids have access to programs and activities to help them be successful is very important to her because the South DeKalb Family Y is a staple within the South DeKalb community. “I see firsthand the importance of the annual Why It Matters campaign. The concept of paying it forward and seeing the results is priceless,” she said. “I know my efforts are helping a child learn how to swim, develop social skills and, most importantly, learn valuable life skills that will take them to levels in life that they never expected.” For more information, visit www.ymcaatlanta.org or call 404-635-9622.
DeKalb County’s Department of Watershed Management Reminds Residents of the Best Practices for Proper Disposal of FOG What are Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)? FOG is composed of the animal and vegetable fats and oils that are used to cook and prepare food. Where does FOG come from? • Baking goods • Food scraps • Sauces • Meat fat • Shortening
• Dairy products • Lard
• Butter and margarine • Cooking oil
What happens when FOG is not properly disposed of? FOG should be properly disposed of or recycled. It enters the plumbing system through home garbage disposals, kitchen sinks and toilets, coats the interior of pipes, and empties into the County's sewer system. Excessive accumulation of FOG in the sewer system will result in sanitary sewer overflows and sewage backup in homes and businesses. Sewage overflow repairs are costly for the County and its citizens, and can result in increased costs for water and sewer services. Here are three simple practices to help keep FOG out of our pipes and sewers: 1. POUR cooled fats, oils or grease into a sealable container and throw it in the trash. Do not pour down the sink or toilet. 2. SCRAPE plates and cookware before washing. Do not throw scraps of any kind down the sink. Instead, place them in waste containers or garbage bags. 3. WIPE excess grease from all plates, pots, pans, utensils and surfaces with a paper towel before washing. Throw the greasy paper towels away.
Remember, you can make a difference! Visit the DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management's FOG Program Online! www.dekalbwatershed.com/FOG 1580 Roadhaven Drive • Stone Mountain, GA 30083 • (770) 621-7200
People 2346 Candler Rd. Decatur, GA 30032 404-284-1888 Fax: 404-284-5007 www.crossroadsnews.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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November 28, 2015
“A lot of you don’t realize that you drink from wells that you did not dig.”
GPTC’s Simama gets Pacesetter of the Year award Dr. Jabari Simama’s vision of putting communications excellence at the heart of his strategic plan for Georgia Piedmont Technical College has earned him the 2015 District Pacesetter of the Year Award for marketing. Simama, who has been GPTC’s Jabari Simama president since 2012, picked up the award at the 2015 District 2 Annual Conference of the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations on Oct. 25-28 in Biloxi, Miss. The award recognizes a presi-
dent or CEO at a two-year technical college, community college or district office who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and support in the area of technical and community college communications, marketing and public relations. Simama also was cited for his ongoing support of marketing and communications initiatives. “I am deeply humbled and honored to have received this prestigious award,” Simama said on Nov. 19. “I thank NCMPR’s District 2 for this recognition. I accept and share this award on behalf of our outstanding faculty and staff who have also joined me in choosing communications excellence as
one of the college’s four strategic goals.” District 2 – which comprises 11 Southeastern states and Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas – is the largest of the national association’s seven districts. When he took over the college three years ago, Simama was only the third president in 54 years. Under his leadership, GPTC established the Design and Media Production Technology and the Recording Arts Technology programs to support the fast-growing metro film and entertainment industries. It also launched the only accredited transit training program in Georgia and the nationally accredited
Law Enforcement Academy, the first academy of its kind statewide to receive accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. Simama launched the Sankofa Scholars Program to identify, recruit and provide support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds in an effort to increase their chances of graduation. Simama, author of “Civil Rights to Cyber Rights,” co-founded the Southern K-14 Education Innovation Summit, now in its third year. A signature program is the Georgia Piedmont Advantage, which targets the unemployed, under-employed and those seeking a new career.
Hancock embraced firsts, mentored many young lawyers JUDGE,
CrossRoadsNews is published every Saturday by CrossRoadsNews, Inc. We welcome articles on neighborhood issues and news of local happenings. The opinions expressed by writers and contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor those of any advertisers.
“It is with so much pride that I stand here today,” she said. “I met him when I was a baby lawyer and he touched my life and guided my career and he certainly set the standards for us.” Retired Superior Court Judge Robert Castellani, who served on the bench with Hancock, said when he thinks of his friend, the first word that comes to mind is integrity. “He oozes integrity,” Castellani said. “It is integrity based upon faith. It’s not about law school. It’s not about knowing the law, which he does very, very well. It’s about an ability to look at people and say, ‘This is what this person needs.’” Castellani said that Hancock, who now serves as a senior judge, is a judge who knows the difference between right and wrong and that if he needs somebody with brains, compassion, and integrity, “this is the guy.” He said Hancock brought common sense to the bench. “The street cred we all like to talk about – he’s got it,” he said. “He has been there. He has done those things. He is part of the community. He is not some academic, ivory tower person. He lived it.” But most of all, Castellani said that he loves Hancock’s sense of humor. “It’s wry,” he said to laughter from the audience. “Sometimes it bites.” During their tenure on the bench, Castellani said Hancock would occasionally sit for him in drug court to give him a break. “After one particular session, he came back to me and said, ‘You are going to have some unhappy people,’” Castellani recalled. “He said, ‘I had to go all Darth Vader on them.’ He said, ‘You are too much like Luke Skywalker.’ I said, ‘Judge, I want to be Hans Solo at least.’ He said,
‘I call it like I see it.’” Fulton County Circuit Defender Vernon Pitts Jr., who went to law school with Hancock and worked with him at the Fulton County Public Defender’s Office for about three years, said that if anyone is deserving of a portrait, it’s Hancock. “I just wanted to be here today to honor you for what you have done, and what you have accomplished and to say job well-done,” he said. Pitts said he saw his friend early on “when he was a judge in the making.” “I have watched Mike on the bench,” Pitts said. “He has always been the kind of judge who is respectful of all the people who came before him.” DeKalb Superior Court Judge Asha Jackson, whose first job out of law school in 2000 was staff attorney/law clerk in Hancock’s office, said she much appreciated his guidance and his advice. “To me he is Father Hancock because that is who I knew him to be,” she said. “I could call him about any situation whether it’s personal or about this wonderful position to serve in as judge.” Portrait artist Katherine Schuber said that from all she heard and read about Hancock, she wanted to convey a sense of strength and integrity. “I really hope that is what comes across,” she said. Hancock was happy with the finished product. “I wanted to look contemplative,” he said. “I think she captured that.” Looking back over his career, Hancock said that being a trailblazer was not easy. In 1983, then-DeKalb Commissioner John Evans worked to get him appointed chief judge of DeKalb Recorders Court, Hancock said the culture was very different.
“It was a very difficult period in my life,” he said. “Only my wife knows. Folks here today have no idea just how that period was.” He recalled friends George Napper and Louis Graham pulling him aside to tell him that “they are going to be gunning for you – keep your nose clean.” “I made a commitment then and there that I was going walk the straight and narrow,” he said. “If I went down, it would not be for doing stuff I had no business doing. And I held onto that, maintained it the entire time I served in this county. You weren’t going to put me out on a limb and stand by and watch folks saw it off. It just wasn’t going to happen.” Hancock said some of the trails he blazed were in spite of himself. “The opportunity came, and I step in the role of being the first,” he said. “And as I think back over all those years, I think it has be divine providence involved. No I don’t think, I know, because there is one source that I have always sought as my guide in life.” Hancock said he stood on the shoulders of the late Don Hollowell, who came to his courtroom on a simple case, not so much for the case, but because he was working for and hoping for change in DeKalb where he had been mistreated by Judge Oscar Mitchell, a racist and KKK member infamous for berating and belittling blacks in his courtroom. Hollowell represented Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before Mitchell on a traffic violation for which the judge sentenced the civil rights leader to prison. Hancock told his audience, dominated by young African-American lawyers, that they looked like they are “your grandchildren.” “A lot of you don’t realize that you drink from wells that you did not dig,” he said. “Too many of these young folks don’t understand that or appreciate that.”
Superior Court to decide if ex-school chief was truthful LEWIS,
hours of community service. Becker disregarded the plea deal and sentenced Lewis to 12 months in prison, saying he gave false and misleading answers during his testimony. Lewis was taken into immediate custody on Dec. 9, 2013, and Becker refused to consider bond. He appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals in October 2014, which said that by accepting the terms of the negotiated plea, Becker Circulation Audited By
had agreed to sentence Lewis to probation instead of prison. Lewis served four days in jail before appeals judges directed the DeKalb Superior Court to free him on bond while his case is decided. Chief Justice Hugh Thompson, who wrote the high court’s opinion, said that even though Becker accepted the terms of the plea bargain between the state and Lewis, she retained the authority to determine whether Lewis was honest on the stand.
Although Becker implied that Lewis may have been less than truthful, Thompson said that “she made no written findings to that effect,” so the case must be sent back to DeKalb Superior Court. “Should the trial court find after consideration of the record, the parties’ arguments, and the evidence that Lewis did not testify truthfully, Lewis will lose the benefit of the negotiated sentencing agreement and the court will be relieved of its duty to impose the
promised probationary sentence,” Thompson wrote. “If, however, the trial court determines that Lewis testified truthfully, the legal conditions will have been met and the trial court will have to honor the plea deal.” After Becker’s retirement, the Judicial Qualifications Commission began investigating her. She was indicted on Aug. 24 on charges that she misled JQC investigators, but those charges were dropped four days later.
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November 28, 2015
“We want to make sure it would look better, follow the area guidelines, and set a higher standard for Candler Road.”
Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews
The current 588-square-foot building will be replaced by a 3,300-square-foot convenience store and takeout restaurant, new trees and more parking.
New Citgo, takeout restaurant planned on Candler Road By Jennifer Ffrench Parker
The corner of Candler Road and Kelly Lake Road will be getting a new look with DeKalb County’s approval of a new 3,300-square-foot Citgo convenience store, gas station and takeout restaurant. The DeKalb Board of Commissioners voted 6-0 on Nov. 17 to approve a special land use permit application by developer Nick Ali to allow sales of beer and wine at the Nick Ali location. Ali said the property at 2475 Candler Road will continue to be used as a gas station, but he also is building space for a takeout
restaurant. He plans to raze the existing 588-squarefoot building on the property and replace it with a new four-sided brick building that is compatible with the I-20 Overlay District. The existing store closes at midnight, but the new store will open 24 hours. Ali told commissioners the store will occupy 2,200 square feet of the building and the neighborhood takeout restaurant will occupy the other 1,100 square feet. Commissioner Larry Johnson, who represents District 3 where the project is located, told Ali that he would like to see a restaurant that serves fresh food. “I am not looking for another wing shack,” Johnson said. “I would like to see a yogurt shop or some fresh food.” Johnson also insisted that the store not
sell alcoholic beverages in ice barrels and included among the 19 conditions for approval no burglar bars and neon lights and no sale of hookahs, drug paraphernalia and sexually explicit materials. Seventy-five percent of the new building will have large glass windows and the operators are prohibited from blocking views inside the store with advertising and writings. The project will have a total of 12 parking spaces, four of which will be under the four-pump gas station canopy. Super District 6 Commissioner Kathie Gannon, who also represents the area, added conditions for security lighting, sidewalk extensions, covered trash receptacles, and 16 oak and maple trees to break up the monotony of crape myrtles along the corridor. She asked Ali to adopt the county-owned
bench, trash bin and landscaping in front of his property. Ali, who lives in Duluth, agreed to all the conditions. “I will make DeKalb County proud of this project,” he said. Gannon said after the vote that when development comes our way, she wants it to improve the community. “Nobody is particularly excited about a new convenience store, but the small takeout restaurant is available for a local small business start-up,” she said. “We want to make sure it would look better, follow the area guidelines, and set a higher standard for Candler Road.” Gannon also eliminated a curb cut entrance onto Candler Road to protect pedestrians and ensure smooth traffic. The Renaissance 2.0 Economic Development Forum attracted more than 150 residents who networked with business owners, vendors, officials and potential employers.
Residents pitch development ideas More than 150 residents networked with business owners, vendors, county officials and potential employers at the Renaissance 2.0 Economic Development Forum: Breaking Through How We See Our Community. Renaissance is part of DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johnson’s initiative to bring beautification, commercial development and economic empowerment through education, economic incentives and coordination among community groups to District 3. The forum took place on Nov. 6 at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center in Decatur. It was headlined by major developers who discussed how to attract new
businesses to communities. Stealing the show was a group of community residents who were able to pitch their ideas of what they would like to see in the community and why District 3 is primed and ready for an economic emergence. Johnson said the county must continue “to link residents to public and private resources, leverage partnerships and empower our residents through education and awareness to build a strong and self-sustaining community.” He plans another forum in spring 2016. For more information, email email@example.com.
Don’t fall for holiday job scams Job seekers looking for holiday work should be on the alert for job scams. The Metro Atlanta Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about a holiday scam that tempts consumers with offers of high pay. How the scam works: You receive an email that appears to be from the HR department of a major retailer or a recruitment firm. It says the company is hiring for the holiday season and claims to pay a high hourly wage. Applying is easy and you don’t need to go into the store – just click
the link and fill out an online application. This email traces back to China. If you click, you may download malware onto your device, or if you complete the application, you will be sharing personal information and opening yourself up to identity theft. No legitimate job would overpay an employee and ask him/her to wire the money elsewhere. If a job looks suspicious, search for it online. If the result comes up in other cities with the exact same post, it is likely a scam. Visit bbb.org/scam.
November 28, 2015
“If it happens that we need to notify the public about public safety hazards … CodeRED is one of the tools we will use.”
Keep safety in mind when decorating for holidays CodeRED sign-up Before setting up your Christmas when touched. urged countywide tree and displaying your holiday decorations, be alert to potential hazards Placing the tree that could spark a fire. n Cut two inches from the base of the Although Christmas tree fires are trunk before placing the tree in the not common, when they do occur, they stand. are more likely to be serious. n Make sure the tree is at least three Between 2009 and 2013, U.S. fire feet away from any heat source, like departments each year responded fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents to an average of 210 home structure or lights. fires that started with Christmas trees, n Make sure the tree is not blocking resulting in an annual average of seven an exit. civilian deaths, 19 civilian injuries, n Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to and $17.5 million in direct property add water daily. damage. On average, one of every 31 reportLighting the tree ed home Christmas tree fires resulted n Use lights that have the label of an in a death, compared with an average independent testing laboratory. Some of one death per 144 total reported lights are only for indoor or outdoor home fires. use. In the same time period, there were n Replace any lights with worn or bro860 home fires that began with decoken cords or loose bulb connections. rations, excluding Christmas trees, Read manufacturer’s instructions for the resulting in an average of one civilian number of light strands to connect. death, 41 civilian injuries, and $13.4 n Never use lit candles to decorate the million in property damage. tree. Candles were the heat source in 38 n Always turn off Christmas tree lights percent of the fires. The decoration before leaving home or going to bed. was too close to a heat source such as a After Christmas candle or equipment in almost half (45 n Get rid of the tree after Christmas. percent) of the incidents. Decoration Dried-out trees are a fire danger and fires peak in December. should not be left in the home or garage The National Fire Prevention On average, one of every 31 reported home or placed outside against the home. Association offers these tips for tree Christmas tree fires resulted in a death. Consider recycling the tree. safety: n Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prePicking the tree vent hazards and make them last longer. n Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off For more information, visit www.nfpa.org.
ACA enrollment help for women Since the Affordable Care Act’s provisions have taken effect, an estimated 17.6 million previously uninsured Americans have found health coverage, including 8.2 million women. Five years ago, women seeking health coverage were concerned about being discriminated against for having a pre-existing condition – or being charged more for being a woman. Health and Human Services is partnering with more than 30 women’s organizations to help enroll women and their families in affordable health coverage. Plans offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace are required to cover essential health benefits, like pregnancy, maternity and newborn care, and recommended preventive care benefits, including certain cancer screenings and contraception, which are available for free. During this year’s Open Enrollment period, Nov. 1-Jan. 31, partner organizations are supporting local and national outreach efforts to help more women find a health in-
surance plan to meet their needs. In addition to their ongoing work to improve women’s health, they will host local enrollment events across the country and share information online and through social media about the expanded coverage and preventive services available to women. Partners include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women, Enroll America, and Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need. If you want coverage on Jan. 1, sign up by Dec. 15. To enroll, visit HealthCare.gov. The consumer call line is open 24-7 at 1-800318-2596. In-person help can be found at LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov. Enrollment assistance is also available at DeKalb Public Library branches. Upcoming sessions include Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Clarkston; Nov. 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Stonecrest; and Dec. 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Scott Candler. For more sessions, visit http://dekalblibrary.org/ events/?series=97.
Physicians’ Care Clinic DeKalb County’s Oldest & Largest Volunteer-led Clinic Serving low-income, uninsured adults who are not eligible for Medicaid We offer non-emergency, comprehensive primary medical care including: • Chronic disease management • Education services For patient eligibility requirements, application, clinic location, and opening hours, visit www.physicianscareclinic.org or call Olive Kitt at (404) 501-7940. Interested in volunteering? We welcome doctors, physician assistants, nurses & other medical professionals To volunteer, please contact Carole Fortenberry, Clinic Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (404) 501-7960.
In the wake of recent severe storm activity, DeKalb interim CEO Lee May and emergency management officials are urging residents and businesses to sign up for CodeRED, the county’s highspeed notification system. It’s a timely reminder as winter weather draws near. The system can quickly deliver time-sensitive messages via voice, email and text to targeted areas or the Lee May county during emergencies. “We have a severe storm system headed toward us presently,” May said on Nov. 18. “If it happens that we need to notify the public about public safety hazards such as weather – now or in the future – CodeRED is one of the tools we will use to reach people directly.” To sign up, visit www.dekalbcountyga.gov and follow the link to the CodeRED Community Notification Enrollment page. Those without Internet access should call the DeKalb Emergency Management Agency at 770-2700413 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to register via phone. Required information includes first and last name, physical street address, and primary phone number. To receive weather warnings, select the Severe Weather Warning link. Businesses are encouraged to register as well as all individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, who have changed their phone number or address within the past year, and those who use a cellular phone or VoIP phone as their primary number.
Media campaign fighting FOG As residents get busy with holiday cooking, DeKalb Watershed Management is launching a FOG media campaign to educate stakeholders on how to properly dispose of fats, oils and grease. Director Scott Towler said the department wants all DeKalb residents to help keep FOG out of the county’s sewer pipes. “FOG causes sewer backups, which cost the county and taxpayers money,” Towler said in a Nov. 12 statement. The department urges everyone to pour cooled FOG into an old glass jar or can, not down the kitchen drain or garbage
disposal. Residents should use a paper towel to clean up the excess grease from cooking pots and pans and throw it in the trash. Watershed Management has reported that 60 percent of sewer spills in DeKalb can be attributed to the improper disposal of FOG in the sewer system. It is a leading cause of blockages because of the buildup inside sewer pipes. The department has ads featured on WALR Kiss 104.1 FM and WSB 750-AM/95.5 Talk Radio and placed in local newspapers, including CrossRoadsNews, for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods. Visit www.dekalbwatershed.com.
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November 28, 2015
“No institutions have played a bigger role in preparing generations for advancement than historically black colleges and universities.”
Mayor’s annual Masked Ball raising funds for UNCF Tickets are available for the 32nd Annual UNCF Atlanta Mayor’s Masked Ball on Dec. 19 at the Marriott Marquis, where local personalities will walk the red carpet. The United Negro College Fund’s signature fundraising gala begins at 6:30 p.m. at the hotel in downtown Atlanta. The formal affair was started 32 years ago by former Mayor Andrew Young and activist Billye S. Aaron. It is largely supported by local corporate and civic entities and raises unrestricted dollars for UNCF’s support for local students. Highlights include the VIP Masked Award Reception, silent holiday auction, Red Carpet Parade of Stars and Dignitaries, elegant dining, Parade of Masks, dancing, and live entertainment. Justine Boyd, UNCF regional development director, said corporate executives Shan Cooper and Jack Sawyer join Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed as honorary co-chairs of the fundraiser. Boyd said they “raised the bar” in establishing a goal of $2 million to support the 37 UNCF member colleges and universities, four of which are in Atlanta. Cooper, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. vice president and Marietta general manager, said innovators and leaders with vision are needed “to develop the solutions to tomorrow’s challenges and to be the pioneers who will define that future.” “No one disputes the technological innovation and economic development in every part of society comes from a solid educational foundation,” Cooper said. “The UNCF helps lay that foundation. The funds raised at the Mayor’s Masked Ball are a critical component in building tomorrow’s leaders.” Sawyer, president of Wilmington Trust’s Southeastern Region Wealth Advisory Group, said UNCF’s work is essential.
Corporate executives Jack Sawyer (from left) and Shan Cooper join Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed as co-chairs. They are shown with Carolyn Young, wife of event co-founder Andrew Young.
“No institutions have played a bigger role in preparing generations for economic, social and civil advancement than historically black colleges and universities,” Sawyer said. “Wilmington Trust knows how important UNCF is to our communities, and we are honored to support such a valuable nonprofit.” Reed said he was pleased that the ball is again helping to fund the education of thousands of students at the Atlanta
University Center. “The UNCF has helped millions of students achieve their educational goals for seven decades and I can’t think of a better way to assist in that than with this truly memorable event,” Reed said. Marquee sponsors are the Coca-Cola Co., Delta Air Lines and UPS. For tickets, visit www.uncf.org or call 404302-8623.
Historian explores identity of slavery, Mormonism Photos to unveil Historian Angela Pulley Hudson dis- at Texas A&M University, conducts research Center for the Book’s family’s history cusses her book, “Real Native Genius: How in American Indian history, the cultural hisFestival of Writers. an Ex-slave and a White Mormon Became tory of the U.S. South, and the intersection Her wor k i s a at Heritage Fest of African-American and American Indian Famous Indians,” on Dec. step-by-step guide for 1 at the Decatur Library. The talk, part of the Georgia Center for the Book’s Festival of Writers, starts at 7:15 p.m. in the auditorium. The book offers a look at the ingenuity, imposture, and identity Angela Hudson of slavery, Mormonism, popular culture, and American medicine. Hudson, an associate professor of history
experiences. The library is at 215 Sycamore St. in Decatur. For more information, visit www. dekalblibrary.org or call 404-370-3070.
‘Preserving Family Recipes’ Family food genealogists can pick up pointers from author Valerie J. Frey on Dec. 2 at the Decatur Library in Decatur. Frey, also an archivist and educational consultant, presents “Preserving Family Recipes” starting at 7:15 p.m., part of the Georgia
gathering, adjusting, supplementing, and safely preserving family recipes by way of interviewing relatives, Valerie Frey collecting oral histories, and conducting kitchen visits to document family food traditions from the everyday to special occasions. The library is at 215 Sycamore St. For more information, visit www.dekalblibrary.org or call 404-370-3070.
Paula Wright will share her journey of discovery that began with a treasure-trove of family photos on Dec. 8 at the Doris K. Wells Heritage Festival. “Love: Framed in Black and White” begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Hairston Crossing Library in Stone Mountain. Wright, a seventh-generation member of the Ramey family, will talk about how her inheritance of a collection of family photos began her amazing journey of discovery that led to an unspeakable love story between a young white Confederate soldier and a slave girl, a slave not owned by his family. The story reveals the true meaning of courage and what the power of love looks like against insurmountable odds. The library is at 4911 Redan Road. For more information, visit www.dekalblibrary. org or call 404-508-7170.
Women’s group marking 25 years
Time to invest in yourself. gpc.edu/apply
It’s not too late to apply for Spring classes. Soon to be part of the new Georgia State University.
11/18/15 1:31 PM
Members of the DeKalb Section of the National Council of Negro Women celebrate their 25th anniversary with a Silver Gala on Dec. 6 at the Marriott Century Center in Atlanta. The 6-to-11 p.m. event features dinner, a silent auction, an awards program, a live band, a DJ and dancing. The NCNW was founded in 1935 by educator and political leader Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955). She envisioned the council to be an “organization of organizations” that would represent the national and international concerns of black women. It also would give black women the opportunity to realize their goals for social justice and human rights through united, constructive action. The center is at 2000 Century Blvd. N.E. For tickets and more information, email email@example.com or visit http://www. eventbrite.com/o/dekalb-section-nationalcouncil-of-negro-women-8420097969.
The birth scenes are sculpted in materials ranging from carved wood to volcanic ash.
Box Heroes to march in Children’s Parade Atlanta’s Box Hero Corps will perform in the 35th Annual Children’s Christmas Parade on Dec. 5 in Midtown. The parade, which benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, steps off rain or shine at 10:30 a.m. on Peachtree Street at 16th Street. It will include floats, giant helium balloons, and marching bands in the largest Christmas parade in the Southeast. The Box Heroes, who use their powers for good, are an army of lifesized action figures fabricated from cardboard, hot glue and house paint. Thousands of spectators will line up along the streets to watch Santa and the “official” beginning of the holiday season in metro Atlanta, when Midtown is transformed into Santa Claus
November 28, 2015
The 35th Annual Children’s Christmas Parade, which benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, takes place on Dec. 5 in Midtown.
Lane with the sights and sounds of Christmas. The parade, formerly known as the Festival of Trees Parade, began in 1981 when volunteers at the Festival
Lithonia tree lighting, caroling in Kelly Park Santa Dee will make a jolly appearance at Lithonia’s annual Tree Lighting & Holiday Celebration on Dec. 6. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. in Kelly Park at the corner of Main Street and Max Cleland Boulevard. There will be refreshments, Christ- Santa Dee will help Lithonia light up mas carols and local its tree. vendors. For more information, email Nia.Harper@lithoniacity. org or call 770-482-8136.
Avondale tree lightings The Lake Avondale Christmas Tree Lighting takes place on Dec. 5, and the City Christmas Lighting is on Dec. 7 in Avondale Estates. To celebrate Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday also known as the Festival of Lights, the city “lights” one candle on an electric menorah every evening during the eight-day holiday at the Dewey Brown Memorial Plaza across from City Hall. Hanukkah begins in the evening of Dec. 6 and ends in the evening of Dec. 14. The Lake Avondale event, which starts at 6 p.m., features a “floating” Christmas tree. The City Christmas Tree lighting takes place at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Clarendon Avenue and South Avondale Road. The Avondale Estates First Baptist Church sings carols, followed by the tree lighting, and Santa Claus makes a special appearance. For more information, visit http:// avondaleestates.org.
Kids and tweens can share a holiday meal with the big guy at FODAC’s Breakfast With Santa on Dec. 5 at the Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort in Stone Mountain Park. WSB-TV reporter and Gwinnett Bureau chief Tony Thomas is host for the 9:30 a.m.-to-noon annual fundraiser at the conference center, 4021 Lakeview Drive. It includes a gourmet breakfast buffet, free park admission with an all-attractions pass for each person, a toy for each child, and an opportunity to meet and take pictures with Santa and his favorite elves. Additional special guest host is FODAC representative and board member Aimee Copeland. A professional photographer on-site will take photos, which will be available via free online download. For tickets and registration, visit fodac.org/breakfast. It is free for children 4 and under when accompanied by an adult. All proceeds benefit Friends of Disabled Adults and Children, which seeks to help people with injuries and disabilities of all ages regain their mobility, independence and quality of life. For more information, visit www.fodac.org.
Six choirs ring in yuletide with handbell concert First Baptist Church East Point is host on Dec. 6 for the annual handbell concert, “Christmas Tintinnabulation,” or “The Sound of Ringing Bells.”
Six metro Atlanta churches choirs are ringing in the yuletide at the annual handbell Christmas concert on Dec. 6 at First Baptist Church East Point. “Christmas Tintinnabulation,” or “The Sound of Ringing Bells,” begins at 4 p.m. Participating choirs are Antioch AME, Ben Hill United Methodist, Ebenezer Baptist, Friendship Baptist, and Greater Travelers Rest Baptist/House of Hope Atlanta along with the host church. The church is at 2813 East Point St. in East Point. For more information, call 404-762-9451.
300 creches at Episcopal Church of the Epiphany More than 300 Nativity scenes from around the world will be on exhibit at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany for the 20th holiday season beginning Dec. 5. From the elegant to the eccentric, the birth scenes are sculpted in materials ranging from carved wood to volcanic ash. A special exhibit of 58 particularly rare Nativity scenes that highlights the differences between the birth story as told in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew is featured in the church narthex and gallery. St. Matthew’s Gospel accentuates the history of the Old Testament people, while St. Luke’s Gospel presents the story by using ordinary people who participate in the unfolding drama. The display of Nativity scenes begins Each Nativity is accompanied by Dec. 5 for the 20th holiday season. scriptural and hymn text. Additional
Harvest Holiday Festival Members of the Lou Walker Senior Center will gear up for the season with a Harvest Holiday Festival on Dec. 2. The festival, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is open to the public. It includes entertainment and prizes. The center is at 2538 Panola Road in Lithonia. For more information, visit http://louwalkercenter.com or contact Conneva Hall at 70-322-2900 or 404-277-8193. Kwanzaa Cafe Kids and their families can attend Kwanzaa Cafe on Dec. 8 at the Scott Candler Library for a celebration of cultural heritage. The program, which starts at 6:45 p.m., is part of the Doris K. Wells Heritage Festival. Participants will learn about the seven-day observance based on African festivals through song, poetry and the seven common principles of Kwanzaa that honor the fabric of families and build strength within communities. Kwanzaa is observed Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. Light refreshments will be served at the event sponsored by the Friends of Scott Candler Library. The library is at 1917 Candler Road in Decatur. For more information, visit www.dekalblibrary.org or call 404-286-6986.
of Trees decided the best way to kick off the fest was with a holiday parade on Peachtree Street. For more information or to purchase VIP seating, visit choa.org/parade.
FODAC’s Breakfast With Santa
birth scenes will be exhibited in the Parish Hall. Years of personal travel and gifts from friends resulted in Bill Lemonds’ collection of more than 200 creches, a mix of fine art and amateur crafts, bequeathed to Epiphany. Countries and cultures reflected in the figures include Mexico, Orthodox Russia, Poland, Polynesia, Renaissance Germany, Renaissance Italy, Taiwan, and the West Indies and North Georgia, Southern Appalachia and even a Hollywood film set. The exhibit runs Dec. 5-6 and Dec. 9-13. For times, admission prices and group reservations, visit www.epiphany. org or call 404-373-8338. The church is at 2089 Ponce de Leon Ave. N.E. in Atlanta. The parking lot entrance is off East Lake Road.
Legal Notices 11/07, 11/14, 11/21, 11/28
Notice of Petition to Change Name of ADULT in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia
Civil Action Case Number: ++ 15CV10617-5 Annie G. Collier Jenkins filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court on Oct. 19, 2015 to change name from: Annie G. Collier Jenkins to Sadie Annie G. Collier Jenkins. Any interested party has the right to appear In this case and file objections within 30 days after the Petition was filed. Dated: Oct. 15, 2015 Name: Annie G. Collier Jenkins 8101 Waldrop Pl., Decatur, GA 404-212-2344
11/07, 11/14, 11/21, 11/28
Notice OF PUBLICATION in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia
Civil Action Case Number: ++15CV10626-2 Shartresse Ross Plaintiff Vs. Willie Ross, Jr. Defendant To: Willie Ross, Jr. 32 Wehunt Rd. Monticello, GA 31064 By Order of the Court for service by publication dated Oct. 20, 2015 you are hereby notified that the above-named Plaintiff filed suit against you for Divorce. You are required to file with the Clerk of
the Superior Court, and to serve upon the Plaintiff’s attorney whose name and address is: Shartresse Ross, 1266 Live Oak Terrace, Lithonia, GA 30058. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of Oct. 20, 2015. Witness the Honorable Asha F. Jackson, Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 21st day of Oct., 2015 11/14, 11/21, 11/28, 12/05
Notice OF PUBLICATION in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia
Civil Action Case Number: ++15CV9778-3 Barbara Yarbrough Plaintiff Vs.
Randal Curney Defendant To: Randal Curney 2500 Center St., C103 Atlanta, GA 30318 By Order of the Court for service by publication dated Nov. 10, 2015 you are hereby notified that the above-named Plaintiff filed suit against you for Divorce. You are required to file with the Clerk of the Superior Court, and to serve upon the Plaintiff’s attorney whose name and address is: Barbara Yarbrough. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of Nov. 10, 2015. Witness the Honorable Clarence F. Seeliger, Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 10th day of Nov., 2015
November 28, 2015
“We all know we’ve had problems with performance of some schools, but we see signs that things are beginning to turn around.”
Milestones test results offer hope despite low passing rates By Ken Watts
The Georgia Milestones 2015 Spring test shows lower passing rates for DeKalb elementary, middle and high school students, but School District officials say the scores also show signs of progress. The Milestones assessment, administered in April and May, replaced the CriterionReferenced Competency Test. It measures how well students in third through 12th grade are mastering the state’s core standards in language arts, math, science and social studies. Test results give students critical information about their achievement and readiness for the next level of learning. The results, released by the Georgia Department of Education on Nov. 16, show that 43.7 percent of DeKalb third-graders scored at the “Beginning Learner” or failing level in
English language arts. DeKalb’s eighth-graders struggled in the math portion of the test with 41 percent failing and only 20 percent ranked as Proficient Learners or above. DeKalb Schools spokesman Quinn Hudson acknowledged the low scores but said officials also have noticed encouraging trends. “We all know we’ve had problems with performance of some schools, but we see signs that things are beginning to turn around,” Hudson said. In language arts, 29 elementary schools met or exceeded the state average in the percentage of students in third, fourth and fifth grades scoring in the two highest categories, Proficient Learner and Distinguished Learner. There are 10 Title I elementary schools serving students from low-income families. Hudson said 21 elementary schools met
or exceeded state averages in the percentage of students in the highest-scoring bands for math. On average, 20 of the district’s 85 elementary schools scored in the highest bands of performance for both science and social studies. DeKalb Superintendent Stephen Green said the lower overall 2015 test results are not surprising and will be used to help improve student performance. “With this new, more rigorous test and firsttime online testing for many students, we anticipated these scores, Stephen Green which will form a baseline for future years’ comparison,” Green said. “Together with earlier improved results in SAT scores and graduation rates, our students are demon-
strating significant important growth and we anticipate even greater achievement in the future with our laser focus on classroom instruction and curriculum.” Green said the district has several initiatives to help schools improve student outcomes. He said the Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, and Accountability task force is rebuilding the teaching and learning foundation to ensure all students obtain rigorous instruction in all classrooms in all schools. Family & Community Engagement programs ensure parents are included and supported in their roles in the learning process, he said. Programs include parent workshops, training in the use of Academic Parent Teacher Teams, school events, regional Parent Centers, and the district’s pilot of a tool for online family engagement on demand – FAM-FLIX. Visit gadoe.org and click on “testing.”
Cross Keys race team wins award GPTC offers free driver’s ed classes Cross Keys High received the Best Graphics Award in the SkillsUSA Fall Leadership S.T.E.A.M. Race Challenge at the fall conference on Oct. 22-24 in Jekyll Island. The second annual challenge, sponsored by the Transportation Education Foundation of Georgia, gave members a chance to showcase their science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics skills through creating and developing a derby-style car. The team included driver Monserat Ordono, pusher Mario Guillen, and pit crew members Khalil Thomas, Angel Leon, Guadalupe Torres, Delia Mendez and Daniela Ramirez.
High school students can sign up for free driver’s education classes at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. The college has been awarded a $25,190 grant from the Georgia Driver’s Education Commission to support driver education in its service area, and it will offer the classes on a first-come, first-served basis. Emphasis is placed on increasing the decision-making skill level for students 15 to 17. Classes are divided into two areas – 30 hours of classroom instruction and six hours of behind-the-wheel training with an instructor. The grant period is through June 30, 2016. GPTC President Jabari Simama and the commission chairman said the program will help teach young motorists the rules of the road and safety. “As we all know, driving is a privilege that carries with it great responsibility,” he said.
Officers of the Cedar Grove High HOSA chapter include Armani Santiago (from left), Shauyna Bademosi, Quinque Williams, Rickia Langston, Kwanna Baldwin, and Kyra Vaughan. Not pictured is Ladesha Jenkins.
Title I & Title III Families Achieving Success Together Conference Yes, We Will Educate…Yes, We Will Participate…Yes, We Will Graduate… Educators, Parents and Students Working Together!
Saturday, December 5, 2015 Administrative Instructional Complex (AIC) 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Cedar Grove High’s HOSA reaches out
Informational Sessions ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒
Communicating with Your School ACCESS for EL Testing Family Literacy Let’s Talk Title I District Parent Involvement Policy ⇒ The New Face of the Title I Parent-School Compact ⇒ “Survey Says”: How Can the 1% Parent Involvement Set-Aside Be Spent?
⇒ Interpreters ⇒ Transportation
⇒ Parents and Technology “Get Connected” Keeping Up with Your Student on the Net ⇒ Making a Positive Diﬀerence in the Lives of Children with Disabilities ⇒ Georgia Milestones and Testing ⇒ Understanding the Math Curriculum ⇒ What’s up with the Flexible Learning Program?
⇒ Refreshments ⇒ Child Care
“In today’s fast-paced world, it is important for young drivers to have a firm grasp of road rules as well as the ability to protect themselves, their passengers and the general public.” GDEC Chairman Harris Blackwood said the commission seeks to keep young drivers safe. “Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, and we are committed to proHarris Blackwood viding students with the education and experience needed to avoid tragedy,” said Blackwood, also director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. Sign up at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ georgia-piedmont-technical-college-driverseducation-training-tickets-19415068994. For information, call 404-297-9522, Ext. 5500.
⇒ Door Prizes
For additional information or questions contact: Brenda Y. Williams, Title I Coordinator, Ofﬁce of Federal Programs 678.676.0312 or email Brenda_Y_Williams@dekalbschoolsga.org Or Dr. Evelyn Hall, EL Program Coordinator, Int’l Student Screening 678.676.6602 or email Evelyn_F_Hall@dekalbschoolsga.org
Future health care professionals in Cedar Grove High’s HOSA Chapter are out and about in the community, raising $200 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society during the Light the Night Walk and helping to organize an annual blood drive in partnership with the school’s Beta Club. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is the National Service Project of the Health Occupations Students of America chapter. Members also support the annual Pennies for Patients event. HOSA is a co-curriculum student organization for students interested in health care and is embedded in the health care science pathway – Allied Health and Medicine. Students who finish the pathway have an opportunity to sit for the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant exam, said chapter sponsor Trinesia Strozier. Officers in the Ellenwood school’s chapter are Quinque Williams, president; Armani Santiago, vice president; Shauyna Bademosi, secretary; Rickia Langston, treasurer; Kwanna Baldwin, historian; Ladesha Jenkins, reporter; and Kyra Vaughan, parliamentarian. At the Fall Leadership Conference at the
Sheraton Hotel on Nov. 2-3, students gained skills in leadership through competitive events, sessions and workshops, Strozier said. For HOSA Week, Nov. 2-6, students honored health care professionals in the community and provided education on health careers in addition to offering the blood drive. Other service projects include providing Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets to families in the community and assisting the Student Council and Chick-fil-A Leader Academy with a blanket drive. Cedar Grove’s HOSA is the only school in DeKalb that has a partnership with DEMA and with the Medical Reserve Corps. Last year, the chapter was in the Top 5 of competitors represented at HOSA’s State Leadership Conference. Strozier said Cedar Grove also is the only school in DeKalb County to have students participate consecutively in the Reach One Each One Program. “Each year, students are selected and have an opportunity to shadow surgeons at Grady Memorial Hospital,” she said. “Students gain experience through rotations such as labor and delivery, emergency medicine, and neuro, just to name a few.” Email trinesia_strozier@dekalbschoolsga.
November 28, 2015
THIS SIZE AD FOR ONLY
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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.
Holiday Ad Specials Don’t Let Holiday Shoppers Pass You By!
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November 28, 2015
Join Plenti for free and start earning points today!
Plenti is a great way to get rewards at Macy’s and lots of other places! Join for free to earn points at one place and use them at another, all with a single rewards card. See a Sales Associate or visit macys.com/plenti to sign up and get more details. Plenti points cannot be earned or used on fees and services or on some purchases, such as at certain
food establishments and leased departments within Macy’s stores. To be eligible to join Plenti, you must be at least 13 years of age and have a residence in the United States or its territories, or Canada. Plenti is only available in the United States and its territories. For complete terms and conditions, including a complete list of exclusions, see Sales Associate or visit macys.com/plentiinfo
BLACK FRIDAY continues!
HURRY IN WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!
SHOP ‘TIL 1PM FRI, NOV. 27 & 8AM-1PM SAT, NOV. 28 HOURS MAY VARY BY STORE. VISIT MACYS.COM & CLICK ON
OR, TAKE AN EX TR A
O% OFF WITH YO 1 UR OR WOW! PASS EXTRA SAVINGS ON SELECT SALE & CLEARANCE APPAREL! (EXCEPT SPECIALS & SUPER BUYS)
M RD OR PASS CA Y’S AC
STORES FOR LOCAL INFORMATION & FURNITURE GALLERY OPENINGS.
EXTRA 2O% OFF
SELECT SALE & CLEARANCE APPAREL FOR HIM, HER & KIDS EXTRA 10% OFF SELECT SALE & CLEARANCE FINE & FASHION JEWELRY, SHOES, COATS, SUITS, DRESSES, INTIMATES, SWIM FOR HER; SUIT SEPARATES & SPORTCOATS FOR HIM, HOME ITEMS & ELECTRICS/ELECTRONICS MACYS.COM PROMO CODE: THANKS EXCLUSIONS MAY DIFFER ON MACYS.COM Also excludes: Deals of the Day, Doorbusters, Everyday Values (EDV), specials, super buys, cosmetics/fragrances,men’s store electronics, floor coverings, furniture, mattresses, rugs, watches. Also excludes: athletic apparel, shoes & accessories; Dallas Cowboys merchandise, gift cards, jewelry trunk shows, Macy’s Backstage merchandise/locations, New Era, Nike on Field, previous purchases, selected licensed depts., services, special orders, special purchases. Cannot be combined with any savings pass/coupon, extra discount or credit offer except opening a new Macy’s account. EXTRA SAVINGS % APPLIED TO REDUCED PRICES. TEXT “CPN” TO 62297 TO GET COUPONS, SALES ALERTS & MORE!
Max 3 msgs/wk. Msg & data rates may apply. By texting CPN from my mobile number, I agree to receive autodialed marketing SMS/MMS messages from Macy’s to this number. Consent is not required to make a purchase. Text STOP to 62297 to cancel. Text HELP to 62297 for help. Terms & conditions at macys.com/mobilehelp Privacy practices at macys.com/privacy
FREEVALID SHIPPING ONLINE AT $5O 11/25-11/28. PLUS, FREE RETURNS. U.S. ONLY. EXCLUSIONS APPLY; SEE MACYS.COM/FREERETURNS
BUY ONLINE, PICK UP IN STORE
NEED IT IN A HURRY? NOW YOU CAN SHOP AHEAD ON MACYS.COM AND PICK IT UP THE SAME DAY AT YOUR NEAREST MACY’S STORE. IT’S FAST, FREE AND EASY! DETAILS AT MACYS.COM/STOREPICKUP
OR, USE THIS SAVINGS PASS FRI ‘TIL 1PM & SAT ‘TIL 1PM EXTRA DOLLARS OFF SELECT SALE & CLEARANCE APPAREL & HOME ITEMS
EXTRA DOLLARS OFF SELECT SALE & CLEARANCE APPAREL & HOME ITEMS
1O OFF 2O OFF
YOUR PURCHASE OF $25 OR MORE.
VALID 11/27 ‘TIL 1PM OR 11/28/15 ‘TIL 1PM. LIMIT ONE PER CUSTOMER.
YOUR PURCHASE OF $50 OR MORE.
VALID 11/27 ‘TIL 1PM OR 11/28/15 ‘TIL 1PM. LIMIT ONE PER CUSTOMER.
CANNOT BE USED ON DOORBUSTERS OR DEALS OF THE DAY Excludes: Deals of the Day, Doorbusters, Everyday Values (EDV), specials, super buys, cosmetics/fragrances, electrics/ electronics, floor coverings, furniture, mattresses, rugs, watches. Also excludes: athletic apparel, shoes & accessories; Dallas Cowboys merchandise, gift cards, jewelry trunk shows, Macy’s Backstage merchandise/locations, New Era, Nike on Field, previous purchases, selected licensed depts., services, special orders, special purchases. Cannot be combined with any savings pass/coupon, extra discount or credit offer, except opening a new Macy’s account. Dollar savings are allocated as discounts off each eligible item, as shown on receipt. When you return an item, you forfeit the savings allocated to that item. This coupon has no cash value and may not be redeemed for cash, used to purchase gift cards or applied as payment or credit to your account. Purchase must be $25 or $50 or more, exclusive of tax and delivery fees.
THANKSGIVING SALE PRICES IN EFFECT NOW-12/1/15. MERCHANDISE WILL BE ON SALE AT THESE AND OTHER SALE PRICES NOW THROUGH 1/2/16, EXCEPT AS NOTED. N5100079E.indd 1
11/17/15 2:17 PM