Page 1

Progress 2012 CITIES & COUNTY








Chairman Tim Lee says county ‘moving forward / 2EE


A way out of gridlock?



Cobb leaders call for projects to ease congestion for commuters — others see only more indigestion By Geoff Folsom /


he shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but Cobb’s route from traffic tie-ups to traffic relief has been anything but short. In fact, the county’s commuters are still making that journey, and whether relief is in sight depends on who you ask.

On July 31, voters in the 10-county metro Atlanta region will vote on whether to pay a one-percent sales tax for 10 years for transportation projects. In October, a “regional roundtable” group of leaders from each of the counties and the city of Atlanta finalized a list of $6.14 billion worth of projects to be paid for under the Transportation Invest-

ment Act (TIA). With support of the Atlanta Regional Commission, and the Cumberland Community Improvement District, Cobb’s two representatives on the regional roundtable — county Chairman Tim Lee and Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews — agreed to make Cobb’s signature project on the list an $856.5

COBB PROJECT LIST To be used for a ‘premium enhanced system’ to connect Acworth to midtown Atlanta

$689M $89.5M

For interchange improvements at Windy Hill Road and Cobb Parkway



For interchange improvements at Windy Hill Road and interstate 75

For operational improvements along Roswell Road from Bridgegate Drive to Timber Ridge Road

million, 12-mile light-rail line from MARTA’s Arts Staff/Lindsay Fendt Center Station in midtown Atlanta to Cobb’s Cumber- Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews, left, and Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee were Cobb’s representatives on the Atlanta Regional Rountable and worked to land area. secure the county an $856.5 million project list for transportation improvements if But that rail line then a Metro-wide $6.14 billion TSPLOST is passed in the July 31 vote. came under heavy fire at town hall meetings from “Businesses are closing, ring to county commissioning in Kennesaw, Vinings Cobb residents who say it families are struggling, and ers’ vote last summer to will do nothing to ease con- resident David Cottrill said I think another reason increase the property-tax gestion further north. Folks of mass transit: “It’s been they’re against it is because rate. “It’s a variety of those tried in Seattle. It’s been driving on Interstate 75 in this county they were issues that are making peotried in from north told that if they voted for ple very, very upset.” Miami. It’s Cobb to ‘Businesses are closthe last SPLOST there Lee later told the Jourbeen tried downtown ing, families are strug- in Los wouldn’t be a millage raise, nal that state legislators Atlanta say and then there’s a millage Angeles. It the conges- gling, and I think See Gridlock, Page 3AA raise,” Cooper said, referdoes not tion exists another reason they’re work. It’s in the north, and that by against it is because in funding the time this county they were transit for indigent they get to 1130 Whitlock Ave told that if they voted the at a very, the CumberMarietta for the last SPLOST very great land area, expense for the drive is there wouldn’t be a taxpayers. fine. millage raise, and then MARTA Other critics there’s a millage raise. itself is inefficient. pointed out It’s a variety of those MARTA that all but 2950 King Street one mile of issues that are making does not Smyrna the profunction as people very, very posed line is it was upset.’ in Fulton intended to County, and function.” — Rep. Sharon Cooper, some Similar (R-east Cobb) sentiments believe that, We are proud to be a although were heard locally owned and operated the project is billed as at a separate public meeting firm, and we feel that we Cobb Community Transit, at Walton High School. have a good relationship it is a way of bring Afterward, State Rep. with the folks in our community. For over thirty years, Randy MARTA into Cobb CounSharon Cooper (R-east Carmichael and staff have stressed the importance of providing ty over the objections of Cobb) said the proposed excellent service to the families of Cobb County. local residents. TIA list doesn’t do enough At one town-hall meetto ease traffic congestion. GEORGIA FUNERAL NATIONAL FUNERAL SELECTED INDEPENDENT









Gridlock: Is a new sales tax the solution? Continued from Page 2AA

— Chairman Tim Lee, one Cobb’s two representatives on the ARC

‘That’s (light rail) not what Cobb County wants. Not only does it not solve our traffic problems, I believe, frankly, it kills any prospect of passing meaningful traffic relief.’ — Rep. Ed Setzler, (R-Acworth)

Tracking Your

“I can’t quantify it because I’m not an engineer, but I can’t see it (commuting) getting any better. Voting ‘yes’ on the TIA is the only way to ensure the future transportation needs of the county are met, he said. “For the future of Cobb County, I believe it is imperative.”

should have been more involved with the process of setting up the TIA. “This is a state issue,” Lee said. “It should have been driven by the state in its entirety, with input from the local communities as to what projects would work best.” Just before the regional roundtable approved the TIA project list in October, Lee and Mathews made some major changes. Instead of light rail, the final list now calls for $689 million to be used for a “premium enhanced transit system” to connect Acworth to Midtown Atlanta — though that could switch to a mode determined by an “Alternatives Analysis” study due in February 2013. That means the mode could still end up as the light rail line, though completion would then require millions in federal funds — which Sen. Johnny Isakson and U.S. Rep. Tom Price both said would be an uphill battle. Cobb’s Republican state lawmakers have not been shy in criticizing the masstransit proposal. State Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) said the TIA, which was passed by the General Assembly in 2010, would have never left committee if lawmakers had known what kind of project list the roundtable would have come up with. “That’s not what Cobb County wants,” Setzler said of the ideas for light rail line. “Not only does it not solve our traffic problems, I believe, frankly, it kills any prospect of passing meaningful traffic relief.” In addition to public transportation, several other projects are on Cobb’s overall project list. They include $47 million for interchange improvements at Interstate 75 and Windy

Hill Road, plus $89.5 million for improvements at Windy Hill Road and Cobb Parkway. Also planned would be $20 million for safety and operational improvements along Roswell Road from Bridgegate Drive to Timber Ridge Road. Meanwhile, the status of another road project — reversible toll lanes on Interstates 75 and 575 in Cobb and Cherokee — remains in flux. As this section went to press in mid-February, Gov. Nathan Deal had just announced a plan to use more gas-tax money to complete the project. For years, the Georgia Department of Transportation had been planning a “public-private” partnership to build reversible toll lanes on Interstates 75 and 575 through Cobb County. The road would include two lanes, running separate from the main highway, south of the split of the two interstates, and one lane on each highway north of the all year long online at

split to the county’s northern border. The lanes would be open to southbound traffic during the morning and northbound vehicles in the afternoon. The project would cover 18 miles on I-75 and 11 miles on I-575. Drivers using the toll lanes would be charged based on the flow of traffic, with the cost set to maintain a minimum 45 m.p.h. speed limit. The managed lanes, called the Northwest Corridor project, had an estimated cost of around $1 billion, with $700 million originally expected to come from a private partner. Public funding would include $200 million from state gasoline taxes, as well as $100 million in revenue bonds. GDOT had selected three groups of finalists for

the project when Deal canceled the project in December out of concerns that GDOT would cede control of the I-75 corridor to private investors for up to 60 years. In late January, Lee offered to put the Northwest Corridor project on the TIA list in place of the $689 million earmark for mass transit. “By using tolls, they manage the quantity of automobiles, thereby managing the speed at which automobiles travel,” Lee said. “The purpose of the tolls is not to pay it off, that never will happen. The purpose of the tolls is to contribute to (maintenance and operations) once it gets done and to control the flow of traffic.” Lee said that the managed lanes should be the first step in addressing

transportation needs, with bus rapid transit, or another transit option, to be a second step. “You don’t go from congestion to transit options, you take steps to see how they work together,” he said. Ultimately, Lee said that if nothing is done to ease movement around the region, commute times will only increase, decreasing the quality of life for commuters. “I can’t quantify it because I’m not an engineer, but I can’t see it getting any better,” Lee said. Voting “yes” on the TIA is the only way to ensure the future transportation needs of the county are met, he said. “For the future of Cobb County, I believe it is imperative,” he said.

Acworth mayor new executive for Foundation



Biodiesel fuel plant to locate in Smyrna


Non-profit also moving into Cobb Chamber-donated space “One of the things on our wish list was to have an involved, well-known community person in the position MARIETTA — Directors as opposed to bringing someof the Cobb Community one in from another state,” Foundation approved two Bottoms said. “We view major changes recently, selecting Tommy Allegood as Tommy as a home run. He’s done a lot for his city and the foundation’s executive county. director, and moving the “The Foundation has a foundation’s offices to the Cobb Chamber of Commerce great story to tell, and Tommy’s a great storyteller,” building. Bottoms said. The CCF is an umbrella Allegood will organization that ‘One of the things start on March 1, oversees 41 and Wootton will family and on our wish list stay until June 1 small-group to assist with the foundations that was to have an transition, Wootinvolved, welldisperse a total said. of nearly $1 known community ton“During that million per year. person in the time, he’ll be The executive there every day, director is the position as CCF’s only paid opposed to bring- and I’ll be there part of the day,” employee, and she said. “He will ing someone in Allegood, who be as well preis also the from another pared as he could mayor of state. We view be when he takes Acworth, will be over. He’s a seaTommy as a home taking over from person, Sue Wootton, run. He’s done a soned knows how who has led the lot for his city things work, Foundation for understands 11 years. She is and county.’ foundations, and moving out of — Gary Bottoms, there are a lot of Georgia with immediate past chair moving parts to her husband. of the Foundation’s this.” Gary BotAs for the board of directors toms, who is the change of office immediate past address, Bottoms chair of the Foundation’s said he and other board memboard of directors, said the bers asked Chamber officials search to replace Wootton last year to donate one office was extensive, and the board space for the executive direcreceived more than 100 tor. The Chamber’s headresumes — though Allegood quarters are off Windy Hill wasn’t initially among them. Road near the Atlanta MarBottoms said he and other riott Northwest. The Foundation’s office is directors approached Allecurrently housed nearby at good about the job.

By Marcus E. Howard

By Katy Ruth Camp

Staff/Laura Moon

The Cobb Community Foundation’s board of directors approached Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood about becoming the executive director of the nonprofit. Futren Corp., which is owned by the Foundation’s creator, Jim Rhoden. Bottoms said Futren may soon need to use that office, which is why a new space was needed. The nonprofit Foundation, created in 1993, allows individuals, families and groups to create a fund with as little as $5,000, from which they can make grants to organizations they wish to support. The Foundation takes care of filing tax returns, issuing quarterly statements and sending out the grant checks, and charges a fee of 1.25 percent of the donation for those administrative costs. Wootton said by using the Foundation as a keeper and manager of the funds, donors are able to avoid the tax complexities and additional legal costs that come with setting up private foundations. Wootton added that CCF donors can give to those in need through anonymous grants, whereas details of pri-

vate foundations have to be made available to the public. Leaders of the 16-member board of directors are Chair Rick Hamilton, of HLB Gross Collins, PC; ViceChair David S. Fisher of Signature FD, LLC; Bottoms, of The Bottoms Group, LLC; Treasurer Michael W. Knowles of Wells Fargo Bank; and Jim Rhoden, founding chair. Other directors are Tonya Boga, an attorney; Brent C. Brown, of Chesley Brown Companies, Inc.; Kim Gresh, of S.A. White Oil Company; Morris Henderson, of Raymond James & Associates; Joni B. E. House, of The Grayfen Group; Donald Johnson, of State Farm Insurance Co.; Jack Kennedy, of CobbDouglas Public Health; Kevin Moore, of Moore Ingram Johnson & Steele; Lisa Olens, of Georgia Power Co.; Timothy S. Sheehan, of BNY Mellon Wealth Management; and Rose Wing, an attorney.

SMYRNA – A biodiesel processing plant, designed to cut fuel costs and reduce fossil fuel consumption, is expected to open this year in the city of Smyrna. An existing Public Works Department building located off Atlanta Road is being expanded to create an area for two 55-gallon processors that will turn cooking oil into biodiesel over an eight-hour period. The city estimates that the processors will save about $25,000 per year in fuel costs, reduce fossil fuel, or diesel, consumption by city vehicles by 25 percent in nine years, and reduce fossil fuel emissions by 25 percent by 2025. After the plant opens, residents will be asked to recycle cooking oil to help operate the biodiesel processors. The project is being funded by a $208,000 federal grant the city of Smyrna was awarded from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program. “I have been advocating for sometime that we ought to take a look at trying to apply for some grant money, which we were finally able to do successfully, to turn cooking oil into biodiesel,” said Smyrna Councilman Michael McNabb, who is chairman of the public works committee. The maximum production of biodiesel that will come from the plant is estimated by the city to be 2,200 gallons per month or 26,400 gallons per year. Presently, Smyrna uses approximately 140,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 120,000 gallons of gasoline annually, according to the public works department. In addition to cutting fuel consumption costs and fossil fuel emissions, the biodiesel project is expected to enhance the maintenance of the city’s service vehicles, extend the life of the vehicles, and improve the operation of the city sewer system by reducing the amount of cooking oil in the system. The plant will be run by existing staff. Since the approval of the grant, the city’s Public Works Department has completed the retrofitting of the public works building to house the biodiesel production plant.

FA I T H . FA M I LY. F E L L O W S H I P. P A S T O R : D R . R I C H A R D WA L K E R SUNDAYS: 8:15 and 11:00 a.m. - Worship Service 9:45 a.m. - Sunday School for all ages 4:50 p.m. - AWANAS 6:00 p.m. - Evening Worship / College & Career Service

TUESDAYS: (3rd Tuesday of the Month)

7:00 P.M. - Church Outreach

WEDNESDAYS: 6:00 p.m. - Evening Meal 7:00 p.m. - Prayer Service Upper Room Youth Service / Children’s Activities

FRIDAYS: 9:15 a.m. - Precept Bible Study

770.943.5511 3732 Macland Road Powder Springs, Georgia 30127

Gaining an EDGE?




Chamber-led program to enhance economic development, but questions about its funding remain to be answered By Katy Ruth Camp and Geoff Folsom

KENNESAW — Cobb Chairman Tim Lee has said he supports granting public money for an economic development project called Cobb’s Competitive EDGE, to be run by the Chamber of Commerce. Early estimates are that the economic-development program could cost $1.5 million per year. “We are clearly at a crossroads where a decision needs to be made as to whether to move forward aggressively or to sit on our hands and fall back and slide back and do nothing,”

‘It can’t happen. When we talk about infrastructure, or transportation or schools, that’s all public funding. So the relationship and the building of this has got to be a cooperation, a working relationship.’ — J. Mac Holladay, Market Street founder, on the need for public funding

Lee said. The program, he said, is “outstanding in its regard to job creation and economic development, recruitment and building existing businesses here in Cobb County.” But not everyone shares Lee’s commitment. Three of Cobb’s five commissioners — JoAnn Birrell,

Woody Thompson and Bob Ott — have all said they would not support giving taxpayer dollars for the project. And former Cobb Chairman Bill Byrne, who plans to challenge Lee for the seat in July, said he was “shocked” to hear that the Cobb Chamber would even

Cobb Board of Commissioners Chairman Tim Lee says he supports using public funding for the EDGE program, but three commissioners have said they do not agree with using taxpayers dollars to help the program.

ask for public money for the project, adding that he “absolutely would not” support the measure because of the county’s financial constraints. “I don’t see where the benefit would be to be supportive from a financial or a political perspective ... neither makes sense,” Byrne said. “Surely they know the level of the chairman’s race, let alone the debate and the fire and passion over this TSPLOST issue and the roles that the Chamber leadership and CIDs (Community Improvement Districts) are playing in votes, to inflame the debate with this proposal. It makes no sense whatsoever to give public funding for this, and I can’t imagine the BOC or six cities should ever be receptive to this. ... The Chamber leadership is very smart, and I can’t imagine they would want to embroil the public sector with this kind of issue. It’s going to be interesting to see how it unfolds.” Exactly how the EDGE will accomplish its goals is not clear. And, as this issue went to press, it was still unclear what would happen to the county government’s current economic development department led by Michael Hughes. That agency has historically led economic development efforts in the county. Officials would say only that the county’s role will be included in further studies of the development of EDGE. Cobb Chamber CEO David Connell said it is too early to know exactly what the project will cost. J. Mac Holladay, the founder of

Market Street founder J. Mac Holladay, who was hired by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce to research the EDGE program, estimates it will take about $1.5 million a year to fund four of five staff members and to implement the group’s operations.

See EDGE, Page 10AA


Staff/Laura Moon


The Management and staff at Hanley-Shelton Funeral Directors has provided quality services to families for 80 years. We will continue to provide the same quality service for years to come. During your time of need you can count on us to help you get through this difficult time. We offer a full line of quality funeral services to fit every budget. We are a full-service funeral home specializing in: Traditional & Personalized Funeral Services Special Limousine & Transport Services Funeral Program Design & Printing Domestic & International Shipping Pre-Planned Funeral Arrangements Caskets, Vaults & Urns • Cremations • Obituaries • Notary Public










Know CobbCOBB / Factbook: 2011 KNOW




1. Kennesaw State University 2. Southern Polytechnic State University 3. Life University 4. Chattahoochee Technical College (Mountain View Campus) 5. Chattahoochee Technical College (Marietta Campus) 6. Chattahoochee Technical College (South Cobb Campus)


1. Town Center at Cobb 2. Cumberland Mall 3. Galleria Specialty Mall 4. The Avenue East Cobb 5. The Avenue West Cobb

Places of Interest 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Kennesaw Mountain Marietta National Cemetery White Water Sun Valley Beach Six Flags Marietta Square Big Chicken


1. WellStar - Kennestone Hospital 677 Church Street, Marietta (770) 793-5000 Full-service, acute care hospital with an emergency room, open-heart surgery program, women’s center, oncology center & other medical specialties. 633 beds.

2. WellStar - Windy Hill Hospital 2540 Windy Hill Road, Marietta (770) 644-1000 Long-term acute care facility with a sleep center, outpatient services, ambulatory surgery & other specialized services. 115 beds.

3. WellStar - Cobb Hospital 3950 Austell Road, Austell (770) 732-4000 Full-service, acute care hospital with children’s emergency services, comprehensive oncology programs, wound care center & other medical specialties. 382 beds.

4. Emory-Adventist Hospital 3949 S. Cobb Drive, Smyrna (770) 434-0710 A nonprofit hospital operated by Adventist Health Systems as a joint venture with Emory Healthcare. 88 beds.

Tracking Your all year long online at




Blazing a Trail


Park’s first female super focuses on safety, community By Marcus E. Howard

$15M makeover for Georgia Tech research facility Improvements make Smyrna facility ‘safer, energy-efficient’

MARIETTA — Nancy Walther has only been on the job a few months, but has already made history by becoming Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park’s first female superintendent. With few female superintendents in the National Park Service system, Walther said it’s an honor to help blaze a trail for other women. In 2008, she served as the acting park superintendent for four months. She said she enjoyed her time then and is happy to return. “I feel like I’ve been very well-received by the Kennesaw Mountain Trail Club, which is a nonprofit 501(c)3 that supports the park’s trail system, and the cooperating association that operates the bookstore,” said Walther, 52. “I look forward to reaching out to the community and getting to know them better as well.” Walther succeeds Dr. Stanley Bond Jr., who was chosen as NPS chief archaeologist in 2011. As she settles into her new office at the base on the mountain, Walther has already focused her attention uphill. The safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists moving up and down the 1.4 mile steep, narrow and winding main road on the mountain is a primary concern. “Probably the biggest concern here is the safety for the visitors,” Walther said. “The staff, they know it, have been working towards this already, and that is the mixed-use up


By Lindsay Field

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

Nancy Walther, the first female superintendent at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, said she will continue the work of her predecessors by pursuing funding for a fulltime shuttle bus driver to get visitors up the mountain. the mountain road because you get moms with strollers, joggers and cyclists and then you have cars on the weekdays. With the cars, you really have a lot of potential for accidents.” Amid a study of the road initiated in 2008, park officials decided to terminate motorist use of the road, and instead use a shuttle bus to carry individuals up the mountain, Walther said. That decision has only recently been made public, and Walther said she will solicit public input before committing to the plan. The road is open to drivers only on weekdays. A shuttle van is available on weekends to take people to the top of the mountain, though riders must pay to use it. Under a proposed plan, the shuttle service would

operate seven days a week. One lane would be for a new hybrid shuttle bus to travel on, and pedestrians and bicyclists would use the other lane. The 25-seat hybrid shuttle bus is expected to arrive within two to four weeks and replace the current rental van. Walther said she will continue the work of past superintendents by seeking funding for the new plan, which will require a fulltime driver and likely an increase in the shuttle fee. “What I’ll do is take the plan out and see if we can get some funding to fund that shuttle bus seven days a week, so that we don’t have that safety issue of mixing walkers with vehicles,” she said. “Nothing has been set in stone except for buying that shuttle bus.” In 2003, an engineering study by the Federal High-

way Administration identified major safety concerns with the mixed usage of the road. An analysis the next year by federal transportation planners found it imperative that safe alternatives for pedestrians and bicycles be developed. But a 2007 visitor survey by University of Georgia students found that 65 percent of those surveyed said other users did not interfere with their enjoyment of the road, and that the road should be open to all users, according to a long-range interpretative plan published in December 2010. As superintendent, Walther is in charge of managing the park’s roughly $1.5 million federally-funded budget and directing a staff of 13 fulltime employees.

SMYRNA — Georgia Tech’s research facility in Cobb County recently underwent a nearly $15 million facelift to bring it into the 21st century. The Georgia Tech Research Institute Cobb County Research Facility was opened just north of Smyrna almost 30 years ago. Renovations at the 160,000-square-foot facility, which employs 291 people, began in 2009 and wrapped up in August 2011. “It’s safer, more energy-efficient, it looks a lot better and almost every square inch was touched in some way with this renovation,” said Lisa Sills, deputy director for support operations. The lease agreement with TUFF, a management company in Atlanta, was up in 2009, but Sills said they jointly decided that improvements needed to be made, so GTRI put a plan together. Sills said government and industry research sponsors paid for the $14.5 million renovation, which will be financed over 25 years. “We essentially took a facility that had a ‘70s design and completely renovated the electrical and mechanical structure to guarantee a stable environment for our researchers,” said Will Roddy, interim director for support services. The Georgia Tech Research Institute was established 77 years ago, Sills said, but in the 1970s the university realized they needed a new research facility off campus, so it leased the property that originally belonged to Lockheed Martin. The research facility provides two major labs for Georgia Tech, the aerospace transportation and advanced systems lab and the sensors and electromagnetic applications lab, Roddy said. Examples of research projects at the facility include unmanned system work, which is when researchers work with unmanned aerial and ground vehicles to get them to collaborate. Scientists are responsible for figuring out how to get the two pieces of equipment to communicate. “We wanted to prove that we were able to do it for the military,” Roddy said of the project. “We were able to successfully demonstrate it, and I believe we are the only (research institute) in the country to do so.” Both scientists and student assistants work at the labs. The institute is the largest employer of Georgia Tech students and in the last six years has added nearly 400 employees in the entire program and about 100 at the Cobb County facility.

Meet Us at the Arbor • July 13-22, 2012 “Generation to Generation”

You are warmly invited to join us for the 175th year of Marietta Campmeeting, a non-denominational Christian revival where everyone is invited to join in the glorious celebration of Lord Jesus Christ!

DAILY SERVICE TIMES: 11:00 AM & 7:30 PM Beginning Friday evening July 13 and concluding Sunday afternoon July 22 Music: Local Church Choirs & Gospel Groups Children’s Church: 9:00am until 12:00pm Monday, July 16–Friday, July 20 at the Schoolhouse on the grounds 2301 Roswell Road • Marietta, GA 30062 •

Panel stresses need for more skilled workers 10AA



By Katy Ruth Camp

ACWORTH — A panel of workforce and education experts gathered earlier this year and agreed there needs to be a collaborative effort among students, parents, educational leaders and businesses to create more employment in Georgia and fill the growing void of unskilled workers. “We’re at a unique time in our economy,” said Glenn Rasco, vice president of community and economic development at Mariettabased Chattahoochee Technical College. “Industry people are saying ‘We can’t find skilled workers.’ If we can find out what those industries need, we can provide training and skills and get those jobs filled.” Added state Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler: “Because of this recession, our workforce needs have changed dramatically.” The gathering, hosted by the Cobb/Cherokee and Cartersville/Bartow Employer Committees, was

EDGE Continued from Page 5AA

Market Street, which is the company hired by the Chamber to research the program, estimated it would take about $1.5 million a year to fund four or five staff members and the operations of the group. Holladay said his company has worked on 140 projects similar to EDGE in 30 states. Holladay said one of those projects, called Partnership Gwinnett, cost about $2 million a year when it was implemented in 2007, while the largest they have worked on was Memphis’ Memphis Tomorrow, which cost $30 million a year and was split evenly between public and private funding. Holladay said none of the projects on which he’s worked has been completely funded with private money, and he does not believe a project can work without some public funding. “It can’t happen,” Holladay said. “When we talk about infrastructure, or transportation or schools, that’s all public funding. So the relationship and the building of this has got to be a cooperation, a working relationship. ... Part of the reality is that if you have skin in the game, if you’re committed, then you’re going to pay real attention to the results and you’re going to be interested in the implementation. “What you’re trying to do is leverage the assets you have. So for the public or private sector to do it alone, that doesn’t leverage it,” Holladay said. But interestingly, Demming Bass, the chief operating officer of the Cobb Chamber, told county commissioners just a few days later that Cobb’s EDGE doesn’t realistically expect to get much public money. “We know what the economic realities are today, so this is going to be led by the private sector,” Bass said. “Private investors and employers are going to make up the bulk of this. “We are open to any public sector partner that looks at this and would like to invest in a program like this. But if you look at some of the reporting on places like Gwinnett, and some of those dollars, the reality is, this is a time when budgets are very stretched, and nobody is going to be coming and asking for those types of dollars,” Bass said. Gwinnett commissioners reportedly gave $500,000 per year for five years to Partnership Gwinnett, totaling $2.5 million. That project was also spearheaded by the Market Street firm. Additionally, Gwinnett’s cities gave a combined $100,000 a year, the county school system gave $150,000 a year and the Community Improvement

Staff/Laura Moon

Tricia Pridemore, center, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Work Force Development, speaks during a recent panel discussion on how to create a more competitive workforce in Georgia along with, from left: Mark Butler, state Department of Labor commissioner; Dr. John Harper, Bartow County schools superintendent; Dr. Josephine Reed-Taylor, deputy commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia; and Glenn Rasco, vice president of community and economic development at Chattahoochee Tech. needs to get a four-year the skills to fill those jobs co-director of the State at the North Metro campus have declined because of the degree. We need to be Legislative Affairs Comof CTC in Acworth. Rasco abundance of students in lib- going out to companies to and Butler, along with Bar- mittee of the State Council eral arts majors such as soci- see what jobs they need, so tow County Schools Super- of the Society of Human we can train our children to ology who do not have a Resource Management. intendent Dr. John Harper; defined career path for post- get those jobs.” The topic on everyone’s Tricia Pridemore, executive Additionally, Harper said graduation, the panel said. tongues was the need to get director of the Governor’s education itself needs to “One concern I have more children interested in Office of Work Force change to be more engaging seen in public education is subjects such as science, Development; and Dr. for students in order to have that all children are told a math and technology so that Josephine Reed-Taylor, four-year degree is best, but more students graduating deputy commissioner of the they will carry those interfrom high school and applyests into college and fill the we’re finding that in 2012, Technical College System ing their interests into valuthe workforce has of Georgia, answered ques- need for skilled trade labor, able careers. such as helping to build changed,” Harper said. “A tions from the crowd of “Most drop out because Lockheed Martin Aeronaulot of our children today about 80 attendees. The they are (not interested) in tics airplanes or becoming a don’t want to be in a fourmoderator was Robert what’s happening in the year school. Not everyone welder. Employees having Banta, an attorney and the

classroom,” Harper said. “We’re sitting in front of them and delivering information to them the same way we always have. If you went to sleep 20 years ago and woke up today, you’d see we’re doing the same thing. If we continue to stand and deliver, we’re going to lose our children.” Beyond working more at the education level, Butler said those on the unemployment line as well as companies looking for jobs are going to be served better this year with changes to the Department of Labor’s website that will make information more readily available and more efficient. One of those initiatives is that later this year, everyone on unemployment in Georgia will have to post a resume to the DOL website for employers to see. Butler said he also hopes to make job searching and posting easier, and to continue a program that is having counselors target the students who are most likely to drop out and giving them hope, attention and guidance.

effective on job creation, vate partnership that is The Districts gave a ‘We are open to any puband that’s what led to this,” technically separate from Chamber’s combined lic sector partner that Bass said. “It’s the classic the Chamber, with a sepaBass said $60,000 a year. case of the business commu- rate board and financial work on the That program looks at this and would statements. But it would Competitive nity and local government is run out of the like to invest in a proreceive funding from the EDGE seeing a need and addressGwinnett Chamgram like this. But if you began short- ing it collaboratively.” Chamber and its staff, ber of Comwhich is likely to start at ly after A large part of the merce, but Conlook at some of the four people, could be Lee’s State EDGE study deals with nell, of the reporting on places like brought over from the of the Coun- improving transportation, Cobb Chamber, Gwinnett (County), and Chamber. The new entity ty speech in with traffic congestion said it is unclear would probably use Chambeing perceived as the sinyet where the some of those dollars, the reality is, this is 2011, in ber office space, as well, he which he gle greatest challenge facEDGE staff a time when budgets are very stretched, said. expressed a ing existing residents and would be But Bass said it is need to businesses in Cobb, as well housed. and nobody is going to be coming and important for the economic focus on as the single greatest threat Connell did asking for those types of dollars.’ development project to be to future growth and proseconomic say, however, distinct from the Chamber, perity. The study calls for developthe four coand that would differentiate chairs — Lee; —Demming Bass, Cobb Chamber COO ment. At the creating a Coalition for a Cobb’s Competitive EDGE Clear Commute in Cobb to same time, Shan Cooper, coordinate alternative com- from Partnership Gwinnett. David ConLockheed Marate for us to fund it.” “We wanted it to be sepmuting initiatives. It also tin Aeronautics’ vice presiParticipation in commit- nell was taking over as arate, because this is a colchief executive officer of called for “transit-oriented dent and general manager of tees, as well as land use development concepts.” laborative effort,” Bass said. the Cobb Chamber. the Marietta site; Kim and redevelopment plans, Bass said the Competi“We did not want this to be “They, coming in togethMenefee, WellStar Health are good ways for the a Chamber initiative. This is er, understood the need to be tive EDGE is designed to System senior vice president county to be involved in be a non-profit, public-pria community initiative.” more aggressive and more of public and government the Chamber’s economic affairs; and Dan Styf, Kaiser development plans, Ott Permanente vice president said. But a Chamber-affiliof regional and marketing ated organization shouldn’t strategy — will appoint the run economic development board of directors for the for the county. EDGE, and that board will “The county absolutely then hire and manage the needs to be involved, Special thanks to all our guests for keeping us in business since August 17,1982! staff and operations. because we are the ultimate Connell said an implesay if you’re going to try to $ .49 mentation team, made up work with property ownmostly of the steering comers,” he said. “I’m a firm mittee, will spend the next believer in making sure that Meats Vegetables six months working on we are not impeding redeBaked Meatloaf Baked Potato financial considerations velopment. Commissioner Country Fried Steak Black-eyed Peas (including how much public Thompson and I have Fried Chicken Buttered Corn funding may be needed), a numerous sites in our disGrilled Chicken Breast Fried Okra strategy of how the 501(c)3 tricts that are right for redeLiver ‘n Onions Steamed Broccoli would work, and traveling velopment, but it’s not hapPork Chops Green Beans & Ham to other areas with similar pening. The Competitive Spaghetti Mashed Potatoes structures to study what has EDGE may do that, but & More Pinto Beans worked for them. we’ve got to figure out why Sautéed Mushrooms East Cobb Commission- that’s not happening.” Turnip Greens er Ott said the EDGE plan Commissioner Birrell & More could be positive — as said that objections to the long as it doesn’t take county funding Competicounty funds. tive EDGE from commis“If the Chamber and priNEW ADDITION - MEETING ROOM (Seats up to 30!) sioners and the public may vate business want to put have contributed to the Great for Business Meetings, Birthday Parties and Special Events! this together and fund the Chamber’s pullback on positions, hey, I think that’s seeking public money. what the role of the Cham“It’s pretty obvious that 2579 S. Cobb Dr., Smyrna ber is,” he said. “To attract when three of the commisnew business and to help the sioners didn’t support the 770-433-0047 businesses that are already county-funding piece of it, here. Especially in this econ- I’m sure that had something A REAL SOUTHERN RESTAURANT omy, it would be inappropri- to do with it,” she said.

Celebrating 29


Lunch Specials 5 11am-4pm


Norman Medford-Peden Funeral Home & Crematory Inc.

• Expanded Facilities to Better Serve You • Near Kennestone Hospital • Comfortable Home Atmosphere • Plenty of Off-Street Parking • No Closing Hours • 2 On-Premises Kitchens

• On-Premises Flower Shop • Monuments (Bronze, Marble, Granite) • Charter Member, Independent Funeral Directors of Georgia • Member, Georgia Funeral Directors Association • Member, National Funeral Directors Association.

On Call To Serve Your Needs 24 Hours A Day Independently Owned & Operated Since 1969 Family Owned - Gaither D. “Pete” Peden Jr., Owner/Manager Licensed Funeral Director - Embalmer - Life Agent

Pre-Need & Pre-Arranged Funerals/Cremation/Shipping • Crematory on Premises

770-427-8447 “Marietta’s Most Progressive” ALWAYS WITHIN YOUR MEANS

1408 Canton Hwy. NE • Marietta, GA 30066








We take the time...

when you need it the most. Terry Pendley, owner; Darlene Pendley, Jason Pendley and Chad Pendley of Mayes Ward-Dobbins are available to take care of your every need.

Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home and Crematory take the time to meet your needs when you need it the most.

It’s all about you...

your life...your memories...your family • Serving families of all faiths • On premise crematory • Accessible entrance - no stairs • Licensed, full-time professional staff attending to every detail

• Make knowledgable cost comparisons • Large chapel and visitation parlors • Large elevator • Large off-street parking lot

• Pre-need plans • Active in all civic organizations

It’s Almost Ready!

MACLAND CHAPEL 3940 Macland Road Powder Springs, GA 30127


180 Church Street • Marietta

Progress 2012







Six Flags posts highest earnings ever in 2011 / 3BB




Business leaders cautiously say 2012 looking up


From staff reports


Glory Haus making world a better place Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

At their warehouse in Marietta, Trey and Molly Holm, owners of Glory Haus, stand next to a box of products recently delivered from the company’s new factory in India. By Lindsay Field

MARIETTA — A Marietta business aimed more at creating meaningful and influential art than turning a profit has nevertheless doubled its earnings annually since it opened four years ago. In 2008, five Marietta friends with a knack for art — Molly Holm, Marnie Tanner, Laura Kirkland, Kimberly Brown and Angela Riess — opened Glory Haus, a wholesale business that allows people to order their products online or purchase them locally. According to its mission statement, the company, located at 560 Webb Industrial Drive in northeast Marietta, is “a community transformation that glorifies the Lord and changes lives through our work, art and relationships.” “We wanted to bring the glory of the Lord from our

office to your house,” said Holm, who owns Glory Haus. “What we put in people’s homes is encouraging, meaningful.” The idea for the wholesale company, which is one of GiftBeat’s Top Vendor Picks of 2012, started in 2007. “When the five of us started, our husbands thought it would be a hobby until our kids started preschool,” Holm said. But now, the children have all started preschool, and the so-called hobby has become a booming business, doubling in size each year since it opened, Holm said. “We now have about 15 employees, and two of our husbands have joined the forces,” she said. The company sells 700 products in their collegiate line and other faith-related products that are painted on ceramic, wood and canvas. “Our collegiate line symbolizes our family and friends, and our other products are

about faith,” she said. Burlees, their newest product, become one of their most popular products. They are used to decorate doorways and replace a holiday or celebration wreath. The company is located in a 30,000-square-foot warehouse, and Holm said they sell to about 8,000 retail stores worldwide and are adding accounts in South Africa and Canada. The work is not manufactured in Marietta. Artists design the pieces locally, then have them made by hand in China or India. Bill Tanner, the husband of founder Marnie Tanner a former youth and worship pastor, helped launch the collegiate line in 2010. “It’s more than just a business. It’s a company with a vision and a mission,” said Bill Tanner, who started with the company in 2009. “It’s not just about making money but making a difference in the lives of people. It’s a

Banker Britton takes helm as Cobb Chamber chairman future chair is nominated and elected by a committee of former chairs. If their choice accepts, he or she is taken through a threeyear process of serving as vice chair-elect, GALLERIA — Banker Tony Britton then vice chair, then chair. officially took the lead as the Cobb ChamBritton said Chamber bylaws have been ber of Commerce’s 2012 Chairman before changed this year and will likely undergo nearly 1,000 attendees at Cobb Chamber’s further modifications after last year’s 70th Annual Dinner in late January. change of leadership fell apart. Former Former chairman and fellow banker Rob WellStar Health System CEO Gregory Garcia presented him with the new honor, Simone was in line to be the 2011 chairmarking the official shift of responsibilities man, but gave up the post after he was of the chairmanship over to Britton. unexpectedly fired. Garcia “It’s hard not to love and stayed on another year as be excited about Cobb Counchairman instead, but ty,” Britton said. because that was not allowed Britton, 56, said he came under Chamber bylaws, the to Cobb in 1981 after his parbylaws needed to be ents, retired Army Col. reviewed, Britton said. Thomas Britton Jr. and his Britton said he will conwife, Nancy, moved to Smyrtinue to review the bylaws na, where they still live for other changes that may be today. Britton was leaving his needed and added that the studies in business and mass Transportation SPLOST set media at the University of for a vote this summer; the Akron, and said he wanted to Chamber’s economic develbe close to his family. opment plan and study, Britton said he has been Cobb’s Competitive EDGE, involved with the Cobb currently set to be wrapped Chamber since 1983, when he up by early February; and a was working for Decatur Fedtotal rebranding of the ChamStaff/file eral Bank in Cobb County, ber will be three other large Tony Britton helped which is now Wells Fargo milestones during his tenure launch Community & Bank. He has held several Southern Bank, where as chairman. other leadership roles for the “We have a renewed focus he still holds an execuCobb Chamber and was a on economic development, tive position. member of the 1992 Leaderand where we’re headed is so ship Cobb class. positive,” Britton said. “Economic develBut on Feb. 3, 2009, Britton had a brush opment is critical right now, and it probawith death, which prompted him to re-eval- bly shouldn’t have taken an economic uate his life and career. meltdown to bring attention to the imporBritton saw his doctor when his jaw tance of it, but it’s something we really went numb. His doctor referred him to a need to focus on. Cobb has limited space cardiologist, who discovered Britton had and infrastructure, so we have to start askseven blockages. The next day, Dr. ing, ‘How can we maximize what we William Cooper, director of cardiac have? How can we get on the radar and surgery for WellStar Health System, perkeep moving forward?’” formed five bypasses on Britton. Britton said over the course of 2011, “I thought I was in great shape. I have Cobb has seen 26 new economic developno family history, so it really was the ment projects, adding 3,000 more jobs and shock of my life,” Britton said. “I was a resulting in over a quarter billion dollars in step away from death.” economic impact. Britton said the Cobb By the end of that July, Britton had Chamber has about 2,700 members, and he retired from Wells Fargo. But shortly hopes to increase membership through his thereafter, he was given the opportunity to chairmanship. help launch Community & Southern Bank, Cobb Chamber CEO David Connell near the Cobb Galleria Centre, and acceptsaid Britton was selected as chair because ed the position of senior vice president and of “his proven leadership skills and comcommunity banking manager, which he mitment to the Cobb community.” still has today. “His tireless effort to grow the business Just one month before CSB launched in community over many years is quite January 2010, Britton said he got a phone impressive,” Connell said. “(Britton) is one call from outgoing Cobb Chamber Chairof the most ethical and caring individuals I man Rob Garcia informing him that a have ever known, and he is ready to comgroup of past chairs had elected him to be mit the time and effort to help this commuthe chairman in 2012. Britton said the nity grow.” By Katy Ruth Camp

company that wants to see our artwork changes lives.” To extend Glory Haus’ reach, Holm and her husband, Trey, started Daughters of Hope in November. The 6,000-square-foot factory in India is a fair trade company that pays higher living wages to impoverished or exploited women. “Many of them couldn’t count, use scissors or read. They are teaching them a lot of life skills,” Molly Holm said. “They get free lunches and day care for children. They love it. They have people every day coming to look for jobs because they have heard about the good things there.” About 35 women at the factory make pillows, tea towels, holiday banners and table runners, mostly out of burlap materials. Two missionaries supported by the church, RiverStone in Kennesaw, gave the Holms the idea for the factory in 2010.

With the New Year just under way, local business leaders are cautiously optimistic that the economy will slowly continue to improve. Indeed, it could not get much worse than it has been for the past four or five years. A survey of local leaders by the Marietta Daily Journal as 2011 ended found them reasonably optimistic that a slow uphill slog has replaced the downhill plummet that came close to gutting the economy not so long ago. “We are cautiously optimistic that 2012, as was 2011, will be a better year than 2010 for single-family home sales, based on the fact that our market is at an all-time low for new home inventory,” said Bill Poston, president of Traton Homes in Marietta. “In addition, we continue to see opportunities with transferees as well as a more positive outlook regarding sellthrough of resale homes. The challenge will be to continue to find lot opportunities in great locations going forward. “When employment numbers gain strength, it will also be a challenge for residential builders to keep up with demand for new homes and rebuild the sub-contractor base that has dwindled over the last few years. Job creation is the No. 1 thing that See Leaders, Page 9BB

The Cover

J. J. Spegele is vice president and general manager for the biopharm Quintiles Laboratories North and South America / Page 6BB




Cobb’s business-license numbers remain steady By Katy Ruth Camp

MARIETTA – Although the economy has undoubtedly hurt many local businesses, their profits and their payrolls, data provided by the Cobb County government shows that Cobb County has had very little fluctuation in the number of business licenses issued in the past six years. But Cobb Community Development Director Rob Hosack

said that during a down economy, the county often sees either a flat line of the number of permit applications or sometimes even an increase. “This happens particularly with small businesses. Our experience has been that sometimes when people get laid off after having long careers in established corporations, they have developed a certain expertise and rather than trying and trying to

Spring break revelers enjoy the Goliath roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell. The parent company reports its highest earnings in history last year with $350 million.  Staff/file

Cobb EMC drops plan to construct coal-fired plant Board votes to stop financing share in consortium, could recoup costs McGinnis. Neither would confirm how they voted. The board has 10 seats, though one seat is currently MARIETTA — Cobb vacant after the end-of-year EMC’s board of directors voted Jan. 24 to stop financ- resignation of longtime ing its share in a consortium member Sarah Brown. Four new members were elected intending to build a huge to the board last November, coal-fired power plant known as Plant Washington. including David Tennant, who has a background in The vote came as little surprise because just before power generation. On March 31, Cobb Christmas Cobb EMC began seeking bids for its EMC members will gather at future power supplies, and Piedmont Church to vote on CEO Chip Nelson the other six director confirmed in early seats. January that the nonThe possibility profit electric coopof new federal envierative was losing ronmental regulainterest in building tions was another the 850-megawatt factor in the board’s plant in Sandersville. vote because it “Going forward, made the costs we will continue to Chip Nelson unclear, according work together to to the news release provide the most reliable regarding Plant Washingsupply of electric energy at ton. Sam Kelly, a Cobb the most reasonable cost to EMC vice president, admitour members,” Nelson said ted in January that the utility has never done a pro in a news release issued forma cost estimate on after the board’s vote. Plant Washington, which “The power supply consupporters estimated would tracts we are pursuing for cost $2 billion to build. 2016-2021 will assure that Mark Hackett, a Cobb for the near future.” EMC customer who also A consortium of five made a career in the powerEMCs in Georgia, under generation industry, called the name Power 4 Georgians, has been working for the vote “a victory for all Cobb EMC customers.” the last several years on Activist groups were getting permits for the also elated at the news. plant. Cobb EMC has Joel Mendelson, of Take already put in $13.5 million Back Cobb EMC, said in a toward the plans, and its statement: “We’re pleased 2012 contribution was to be that the board, with the about $1.7 million more. leadership of its newest The utility might be able members, has helped cut to recoup some of its costs an albatross from the neck if it can sell its share of the of Cobb EMC members, plant, though environmenby eliminating funding to talists and other critics say Plant Washington. We the costs of building new believe the plant was nothing more than a pet project coal plants is too high. for a handful of Dwight The board’s vote was 72 against Plant Washington, Brown’s friends to gain while hard-working EMC and the two who voted members would see their against are believed to be Johnny Gresham and David electricity skyrocket.” By Kim Isaza

find another job, they’ll take that opportunity to go into business for themselves,” Hosack said. The highest number of business licenses in the county between 2006 and 2011 actually came in 2010, when local real estate executives say the economy hit their industry especially hard and when many companies and consumers were just beginning to work their way out of the great recession. That year, 30,312

business licenses were issued. Each of the last six years saw around 30,000 licenses issued, with only two years dropping below that number — 2009, when 29,346 licenses were issued, and 2011, when 29,930 licenses were issued. 2006 had 30,227 issued, while 2007 and 2008 had 30,313 and 30,037, respectively. Hosack said that for the county to hover around the 30,000 mark is a good place to be, as he

said it shows Cobb has a thriving business community rather than simply being a place where people want to live. “People can do business here and don’t have to or necessarily want to drive to Atlanta to do so. It also shows that people who live north or west of here may be coming to Cobb County to set up their businesses,” Hosack said. Hosack said the average business license costs around $100.

Six Flags soaring Theme parks giant posts highest earnings in 2011

By Katy Ruth Camp

AUSTELL — Six Flags Corporation, which owns Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell and Six Flags White Water in Marietta, posted the highest earnings in history last year with $350 million, the company revealed Wednesday. Melinda Ashcraft, president of Six Flags’ two Cobb County parks, said Thursday she could not reveal how much of those earnings came from her parks but did say that Six Flags Over Georgia is one of the corporation’s top parks year after year and had an “excellent year” in 2011. “I think with our new company restructuring, we put our sole focus on operating a regional theme park and focused on what we did best,” Ashcraft said. “We had expanded in other areas, but getting back to our basics has made all the difference in the world. We put our primary focus back on our guests, to make sure they had a great day at park, and as a result, we had a phenomenal year.” Ashcraft said the year also came with major capital infusions into the parks, although she also

‘Getting back to our basics has made all the difference in the world. We put our primary focus back on our guests, to make sure they had a great day at park, and as a result, we had a phenomenal year.’ — Melinda Ashcraft, president of Six Flags’ two Cobb parks could not disclose how much was invested. The major attraction, however, was the opening of the new Dare Devil rollercoaster at Six Flags in May 2011, she said. This year will also come with new attractions at the parks. Ashcraft revealed Six Flags Over Georgia will welcome a new show featuring America’s Got Talent finalists iLuminate, and White Water will bring back its “Dive-In Movies” series. The iLuminate shows will run May 26 through Aug. 12 in the Crystal Pistol entertainment venue and will feature a “full sensory experience equipped with electro-luminescent wiring and

LED lighting, a huge musical score and incredible performances.” The Dive-In Movies series will allow White Water park visitors to stay after the park’s normal closing hours on certain dates to wade in the wave pool while watching a family movie. Ashcraft said the park did the series many years ago, and she and other executives decided to take it to the next level this year with a much larger screen and better movies. That series will run for eight days in the summer, she said. Ashcraft also revealed the 2012 calendar for the two parks Thursday. Six Flags Over Georgia will open its 45th season on March 17 and will be open only on weekends until May 25, excluding its spring break week, which will run March 31 through April 8. After May 25, the park will be open throughout the week and will close on Oct. 28. White Water will open on May 19 and close on Sept. 3. Ashcraft said ticket prices would stay the same this year, at $58.29 for adults at the main gate after tax and $42.39 for children 48 inches tall and shorter after taxes.




Pride of SPSU University’s business students win top award in statewide competition By Katy Ruth Camp

Staff/Laura Moon

TASQ Technology Vice President of Client Services Mark Nevle, left, provides a tour of the Marietta facility to city officials and guests. The equipment provider is receiving millions of dollars in tax incentives for consolidating two offices in California and one in Kennesaw into the Canton Road facility

Equipment provider receives strong tax incentives to consolidate Calif., Kennesaw offices, locate in Cobb By Katy Ruth Camp

‘We looked at multiple states, but it came down to the incentives that really drove us here. The incentives paid for networking and our conveyor system and we couldn’t have moved here with out the incentives. The economics wouldn’t have made sense for us.’

MARIETTA — Several state and Marietta officials got a grand tour of TASQ Technology, a point-of-sale equipment provider that is receiving millions of dollars in tax incentives for consolidating two offices in California and one in Kennesaw into the Canton Road facility. The company announced in March 2010 that it would be hiring about 350 locals to operate the 266,000-square-foot distribution, shipment, repair and logistics facility through the consolidation. In addition, 145 workers in the Kennesaw facility would also likely relocate. But the company has actually gone beyond expectations by hiring 400 people for the Marietta facility, Chief Financial Officer John Mahoney said, and while 20 percent of its operations remain in its Sacramento, Calif., facility, that final transition is expected to be completed within a few weeks. Officials from Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs and Department of Economic Development, along with Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin, Marietta Development Authority Chairman Ed Hammock and other city officials, visited company officials on the site at 1169 Canton Road near Interstate 75 to honor the $624,000 in tax credits the company received through the Regional Economic Business Assistance Grant Program. That grant was given through the MDA and, according to the award, TASQ in turn would have a $9 million private investment in the community. The grant is given to a city that wishes to use them for a particular community or economic development project that will improve the area. In addition, the city was approved for an Opportunity Zone in the area of TASQ’s Marietta operations in November 2009. The DCA designates governments as having areas where an undertaking of redevelopment and revitalization in older commercial areas has occurred, called Opportunity Zones. Companies such as TASQ that relocate or expand in an

MARIETTA — A team of business students from Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta are working to implement a business that would help victims of domestic violence through low interest rate loans after winning a statewide award for the proposal. The team of 10 students from the college’s undergraduate business, Master of Business and Master of Science in Accounting programs came together in last year to enter a competition hosted by the University System of Georgia. The competition was led by Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, who developed the concept of providing loans to people in need through a business model, now known as microcredit. SPSU Associate Professor and MSA Program Coordinator Donald L. Ariail led the group, along with three other faculty advisers. The entire competition included 38 teams from the 35 schools in the university system, including some of the state’s largest universities such as the University of Georgia and Georgia State University. Those teams made up nearly 1,200 participants, and Yunus also acted as a judge in the competition, Ariail said. Ariail said the team did not receive any course

credit, and spent their own time working to make the team’s idea a success. Team members threw out several ideas for a new form of microcredit, but eventually decided on a model they called “Restoration Trust.” “Restoration Trust is a microloan program aimed at abused women,” Ariail said. “Often times, in shelters, they don’t have the money they need to get an apartment or car, to get out of the cycle of abuse and violence. So they have to go back home to the abuser. This would allow small loans to be lent through the Restoration Trust group with reasonable terms with very low interest to these victims, most who don’t have any credit, and it would help them establish credit and give them funding for transportation, housing and education, to get their lives back on track.” Ariail said Restoration Trust follows Yunus’ idea of running a business with a profit, but turning that profit back into the group to fund additional benefits for others who need help. “We were really elated that our team made it through to the top eight, so it was very suspenseful and exciting when they were announcing the winners and every time we weren’t called, we were moved up another place. It was really a shock for all of us,” Ariail said.

— John Mahoney, TASQ chief financial officer

opportunity zone qualify for a $3,500 tax credit per new employee, per year, for five years. That means at this point, with 400 employees, the company could deduct $1.4 million from its state income tax each year. DCA Assistant Commissioner Brian Williamson said on Tuesday that TASQ represented one of the largest expansions with the Opportunity Zone program and that Marietta was on the forefront of the program by being one of the first to take advantage of the program. Mahoney said the tax credit is what brought the company to Marietta. “We looked at multiple states, but it came down to the incentives that really drove us here,” Mahoney said. “The incentives paid for networking and our conveyor system and we couldn’t have moved here with out the incentives. The economics wouldn’t have made sense for us.” TASQ Vice President of Customer Service Mark Nevle led Tuesday’s tour around the warehouse portion of the facility, which performs accounts receivable, inventory, repair and shipment services for point-of-sale equipment such as debit and credit card machines and cashier stations.

Nevle said the company began moving into the facility a little more than a year ago. Today, the company handles 5,000 to 7,000 shipments a day to between 5,500 and 6,000 customers and posts $300 million in revenue annually. Nevle said the company employs a variety of workers at the Marietta facility and credits Cobb County’s wealth of higher education providers for the development of its workforce. “Southern Polytechnic State University has been a fantastic labor force for us, especially when it comes to specialized, skilled labor that we need here,” Nevle said. “Without local universities around, we wouldn’t be successful and I can’t thank you enough for supporting those institutions.” Tumlin thanked the state government for helping bring the company to the city. “They are a quality company that was looking for a place to consolidate, and the city wanted them and the state stepped up,” Tumlin said. “We were one of the first in the state to get the Opportunity Zone designation, and they were one of the first to take advantage of it. It’s been a good partnership all around, and we’re excited to have them here.”

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

Fred Arnold, an MBA student, left, and Sonal Doshi, a student in the Master of Science in Accounting program, right, presented Southern Polytechnic State University's business plan 'Restoration Trust' for the competition at the Georgia Social Business and Microcredit forum. Dr. Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, presented the top award to SPSU's team.

SIDING UNLIMITED, INC. Ask about 1000 SQ FT this week’s special!


$3995 *Call for details

We Carry a Full Line of Energy Saving Replacement Windows, Gutters, Painting, & Much More!



BBB, Angie’s List, Kudzu |

Tracking Your all year long online at


DAILY JOURNAL From left, Blair Lewis, Georgia Department of Economic Development director of corporate solutions; John Mahoney, TASQ Technology chief financial officer; Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin; Shan Ethridge, TASQ Technology general manager; Ed Hammock, Marietta Development Authority chair; and Mike Beatty, Georgia Department of Community Affairs commissioner, gather for the check presentation, which is the total amount of tax incentives the Marietta company received for locating to an Opportunity Zone area.




IT WAS A GREAT RIDE Last of F-22s has rolled off Lockheed assembly line By Katy Ruth Camp

MARIETTA – More than 20 years ago on April 24, 1991, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics won a $12.1 billion development contract from the U.S. Department of Defense along with Boeing and General Dynamics to

build what was then projected to be up to 650 F-22 Lightning II Advanced Tactical Fighters for the Air Force. At that time, the Marietta plant employed about 11,000 people and 2,000 more were expected to join the team to help make the city and county what former Rep. Herman Clark (R-

Acworth) said they would one day be known as — “The World’s Fighter Capital.” But on Dec. 14, the last of the 195 F-22s — later named Raptors by Air Force chiefs — was rolled out of the production line in Marietta and into flight check for final tests and coating.

Sky’s the limit at Lockheed See F-22s, Page 9BB

‘We have a lot of fun things to look forward to in 2012,’ says Cooper

By Katy Ruth Camp

MARIETTA — Shan Cooper, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ vice president and general manager for the Marietta plant, finished her first year on the job in January and sat down with the Journal to discuss the highs and lows of 2011 and what she expects 2012 to bring. “It has been a fast-paced but fun year,” Cooper said. “It feels a lot longer than a year, but it has been wonderful. We have a lot of fun things to look forward to in 2012.” Cooper took the helm last January after Lee Rhyant retired. She previously served as the vice president of human resources for Lockheed Martin Information SysStaff/file tems & Global Solutions Lockheed Vice President and General Manager Shan Cooper says she expects an ambitious year with the (IS&GS) based in Gaithers- company set to: build and deliver 32 C-130 aircraft; 16 center wings for the P-33; 24 center wings and 40 verburg, Md., before taking tical stabilizers for the F-35; and eight C-5 aircrafts. over the now 7,701employee, Marietta-based unfortunately, we did have take place this year. ue doing or start doing,” ance. I told them I’ll probaAeronautics facility. a layoff ... Those things Cooper said she and her she said. “What they told bly get an ‘F’ again on it Cooper said that last are never good to do, husband, Eddie, finally me was that I needed to this year, but what I recogyear, the company prothey’re never comfortmoved into their home in have a better work/life balnize is I’m not being the duced 36 C-130 aircrafts, able,” she said. “So if east Cobb the weekend which was the most the there was one thing I could before Christmas, after plant produced in two say I did not have an leaving their home in decades; rolled out the last appreciation for, it was Maryland. She said she F-22 jet; built 16 center that part of the job.” usually gets to the Marietta wings for the P-3; built But Cooper said she office at 6:30 a.m. and tries four center wings and nine expects to have more to leave before 6 p.m. so vertical stabilizers for the employees by this time next that she can have dinner F-35; and delivered two Cyear, due to higher producwith her husband. After 5 aircrafts. tion on some aircraft, such that, because she has been This year, Cooper in meetings most said the Marietta ‘As I think about things I wasn’t of the day, she plant expects to build as happy about, unfortunately, we spends roughly 9 and deliver 32 C-130 11 p.m. checkdid have a layoff ... Those things to aircraft; 16 center ing and answering wings for the P-33; are never good to do, they’re emails, watches 24 center wings and the 11 o’clock never comfortable. So if there 40 vertical stabilizers news, then gets for the F-35; and was one thing I could say I did ready for the next eight C-5 aircrafts. day. not have an appreciation for, it The company will She said she was that part of the job.’ also be rolling out a also gets five or scaled-down version — Shan Cooper, vice president six board invitaof the C-130 for intertions a day, and and general manager because she cannational and domestic customers called the not serve on all of C-130xJ, which allows cus- as the F-35 and C-5. them, she will often ask tomers to pay less for a her team members to serve Like last year, with the “basic model” of the airin her place. celebration of the Marietta craft and customize as they site’s 60th anniversary, One aspect she would wish. That will occur in the 2012 will be a year for cel- like to work on this year is first quarter of this year, ebrations and anniversaries. finding a better balance Cooper said. between her work life and Cooper said the 50th Early last year, the her personal life. anniversary of the P-3 proMarietta plant cut jobs of “I took a few days gram, the 70th anniversary 214 employees — 97 of (vacation) last year, but I of the groundbreaking of whom opted to retire. like my team to give me the Marietta facility, and “As I think about things the 100th anniversary of feedback and tell me what I I wasn’t as happy about, need to stop doing, continLockheed Martin will all

role model for them that I need to be.” Cooper said she is pleased to hear rumblings that the state Legislature could eliminate the energy tax imposed on manufacturing and textiles companies in Georgia, which is somewhat common throughout the nation. Brian Johnstone, Lockheed’s executive director of public affairs for the Marietta site, said the company spent $20 million on electricity last year. Cooper received a master’s degree in business administration from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and is a graduate of the Rutgers Global Executive Master’s in Human Resource Leadership Program. Before moving to Lockheed’s IS&GS, she was vice president and deputy of human resources, responsible for HR operations and security of more than 27,000 Lockheed Martin employees across the country.

Knowledge, accuracy, and good old fashion service. Come experience the power of community banking. Your complete source for personal or commercial banking:

* Checking * Savings * Loans

* Credit Cards * Remote Deposit * Online Banking

* Mortgages

678-569-4250 770-333-0772 3411 Ernest Barrett Parkway Marietta • 30064

1298 Concord Road Smyrna • 30080


Healthy home BUSINESS


Science firms finding Cobb to be ideal location to do business By Katy Ruth Camp

MARIETTA — Companies and research institutions that make up three of the nation’s fastest-growing industries — biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences — are quickly making their homes in Georgia and Cobb County. And many experts say those industries result in more jobs — often well-paying jobs — and millions of dollars for the local economy. “These are some of the areas that most everybody in the country and communities like Cobb are very interested in getting to locate in the community,” Cobb Chamber CEO David Connell said. “These are the kinds of industries that cluster together. If you start bringing some of these biomedical, biotechnology companies together, they start clustering around each other in their locations. Together they can create some critical mass and momentum.” Connell added that the positions these companies hire, such as scientists and researchers, often bring residents who are invested in their communities through community service and financial support. “They also bring other jobs in industries related to them. There are not many industries that are growing in this economy, but these are fields that are holding their own because they are so closely linked to the health-care industry, which continues to grow,” Connell said. At least two major companies in the field — Quintiles, and Osmotica Pharmaceutical — now have a presence in Marietta. The Durham, N.C.-based Quintiles has been in Marietta for three years after the company outgrew its former Smyrna facility. Osmotica Pharmaceutical announced in August it was opening a research, development and manufacturing office in Marietta.

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

J.J. Spegele, vice president and general manager for Quintiles Laboratories North and South America, right, talks with Jainali Patel, a medical technologist. Quintiles is a biotechnology and pharmaceutical services provider that offers clinical, commercial, consulting and capital solutions. Development Authority of Cobb ca a $564,539 personal property Osmotica’s new Marietta tax break on Dec. 5. Brooks research, development and man- County to change the perceived “business as usual” atmosphere Mathis, who serves as the ufacturing operation is located at the Authority. Prior to Decem- Authority’s executive director in in the former Solvay site off ber, details of the tax deals being addition to his position as vice Sawyer Road on the east side of president of economic developused to lure companies to Cobb Interstate 75 in Marietta and is ment for the Cobb expected to create 144 jobs in Cobb. ‘These are the kinds of industries that clus- Chamber, also pledged $100,000 in cash to Osmotica CEO ter together. If you start bringing some of Osmotica for training or Forrest Waldon said these biomedical, biotechnology companies relocation. company officials The state is expected chose the Marietta together, they start clustering around each to give Osmotica a site because of the other in their locations. Together they can $300,000 Regional Ecoarea’s skilled worknomic Business Assisforce and the support create some critical mass and momentum.’ tance grant for machinof the city, county — David Connell, Cobb Chamber CEO ery and equipment, and and state, including $975,000 in state tax approximately $2 credits for creating 144 new jobs, County were not made public million in tax abatements over Mathis said. and sometimes were not even the next five years. The 400-employee Solvay made available to the Authority The tax break was not comPharmaceuticals, which had been pletely uncommon in the county, members charged with approvin Marietta since 1986, began its ing them. but in December, the growing relocation to Chicago after being The Authority approved a number of incentive requests sold in 2009 to blue-chip drug final resolution granting Osmoticaused some members of the

maker Abbott Laboratories for $6.2 billion. It left behind 33 acres and three buildings with a total of 195,000 square feet. Osmotica bought 29 acres and 90,000 square feet of building space from Abbott on Aug. 3. Osmotica executives had their administration team on site by December and have also started fielding applications. J.J. Spegele, vice president and general manager for Quintiles Laboratories North and South America, said he believes government officials are particularly interested in attracting companies such as his because the companies are growing; they attract a talented and skilled workforce; and they hire a variety of employees, from hourly workers to cover Quintiles’ light manufacturing capabilities all the way up to senior scientists. Quintiles is a biotechnology and pharmaceutical services provider that offers clinical, commercial, consulting and capital solutions. Spegele said the company has offices in 60 countries and employs more than 22,000 people. In addition, the company helped to develop or commercialize all of 2010’s top 50 best-selling products or compounds. Spegele said the Marietta location provides central laboratory services and support for clinical trials of drugs and products. Spegele said the company thrives in Cobb because the county provides accessible transportation, and he echoed Waldon’s beliefs that the area’s supply educated residents, specifically from colleges such as the Georgia Institute of Technology, supplies a skilled workforce critical to his company’s success. “We’re dependent upon a talent pool that’s deep in the health sciences, and this area is able to provide that,” Spegele said. University of Georgia Economic Forecasting Director Jeff Humphreys said during a recent Georgia Competitiveness Initiative summit that Georgia business See Home, Page 9BB





MDJ continues Web upgrades By Meghan Stauts

MARIETTA — Sound the trumpets, blare the horns! The Journal has officially jumped feet first into the digital world by making a number of moves to better provide local, sports and events to your phone, computer, or tablet. Over the last 12 months, you may have noticed a number of changes to MDJOnline. To name a few, we’ve enhanced our multimedia features, rolled out an upgraded blogging section featuring local bloggers, improved our mobile site and tablet apps, introduced a new platform for obituaries, and drastically increased our use of social media to interact with readers both young and old. “It is all about delivering our local content the way the consumer wants to read it,” said MDJ Executive Vice President, Otis Brumby III. “By combining the latest technology with our printed product, we are able to reach a larger audience than ever before.” The Journal is constantly updating our multimedia galleries with videos and photos from events around the county. Readers can watch a variety of short videos, ranging from kendama demonstrations to interviews with Cobb EMC directors; Web Editor Meghan Stauts even took a Flip Cam for a ride on a 40-foot-high zip line at the Atlanta Travel and Adventure Expo this past fall. Our talented photographers also continue to enhance both our print and digital product with their photos. Whether it is an icy Marietta Square or the groundbreaking of a new park in Cobb, chances are we’ve got web-exclusive slideshows that include photos you won’t see in the newspaper. In November, we revamped our MDJ Blogs section by reaching out to local voices in the community to bring new bloggers on board. The result is an online-only of diverse group of 12 bloggers whose weekly posts range from short stories of life in small town Georgia to commentary on national politics. Our current bloggers are Brad Stephens, a lawyer in Marietta; Cassi Cos-

toulas, director of marketing at The Strand; Kevin Foley, a novelist; Stauts, MDJ’s own web editor; Oliver Halle, a retired FBI agent; Robert Pless, a KSU student; Barbara Donnelly Lane, a local writer; Pete Borden, an ex-Marine; Meghan Hill, digital media specialist for Must Ministries; D.A. King, president of the Dustin Inman Society; and Melvyn Fein, a sociology professor at KSU. Late night? Too cold to get out of bed? The Journal’s mobile-optimized site, iPad app, and brand new Android app allow our readers to take the paper to go, allowing them the freedom of reading Cobb news anywhere and everywhere. The Journal also introduced a new obituary platform by partnering with Generation Station, an Atlanta-based company that encourages people to collaborate on obituaries online. Friends and family can sign a guestbook, add media, and share stories about their loved ones, effectively creating a virtual scrapbook that users can contribute to over time. We have also dramatically increased our social media presence. At press time, MDJOnline boasts over 1,800 Twitter followers and nearly 1,200 Facebook fans who we enjoy interacting with daily. We live-tweeted everything from the Raquel Nelson jaywalking trial to our Cobb Football Friday Games of the Week and created a special usersubmitted photo album on our Facebook. We continue to use the ever-evolving social media outlets as a way to gather feedback from our readers while finding sources and leads for stories for the newspaper — all in a casual, laid back environment. The Journal is constantly brainstorming ways to enhance our readers’ online experience, and we encourage our readers to provide feedback by interacting with us at,, or We are looking forward to a 2012 that is filled with continued growth in the digital and print world.



Billing center in Kennesaw to open with 120 new jobs By Katy Ruth Camp

GALLERIA — Fresenius Medical Care is opening a billing and insurance verification center in Kennesaw, creating 120 jobs, Cobb Chairman Tim Lee said recently. Lee said the company is the “world’s leading company” specializing in kidney therapy. “It is extremely exciting to see their corporate presence grow in Cobb County with the creation of 120 new jobs for our citizens,” Lee said. “We look forward to many more new job announcements in the future. We have a great community product to market, and we need to keep our product competitive in order to continue this success.” Lee said the company will lease a 15,000square-foot office space in the Barrett Summit Office Park at 2015 Vaughn Road near Kennesaw. The office will provide billing and insurance verification services for Fresenius’ dialysis services operations in the Southeast, to be called the Peachtree Billing and Verification Office. Lee said the center will open with 75 to 80 new employees, while later hiring up to a total of 120 new employees — though most of those jobs have already been filled, according to a spokesman. Cobb Chamber spokeswoman Amy Selby said the company already operates two corporate offices in Cobb County, employing 260 employees, and four clinic locations in Austell, Marietta and Smyrna. Selby added that the company plans to open a new clinic in Acworth early in the second quarter of 2012. Also in the same office park will be Novelis, Inc., which announced last year that it would be opening a research and development center in the summer and hiring about 50 new employees. That center will house 150 employees and will be leasing out 160,000 square feet of office space. Home Depot announced in November it would be opening a call center in the nearby Chastain Meadows commercial office park, which would be fully operational by the end of this year. That project is expected to bring nearly 700 jobs by 2015. Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews said that although the Fresenius, Novelis and Home Depot centers will be located outside of Kennesaw’s city limits and are instead in unincorporated Cobb, the economic revenues will spill into the city, and having the name of Kennesaw tagged onto the companies helps with future economic development in the area.





Arts bring in $2B to Cobb each year

Continued from 5BB Lockheed Vice President and Marietta site General Manager Shan Cooper called it a graduation, of sorts, for the aircraft. “On one hand, it represents our transition into a new era,” Cooper said after the ceremony inside the Lockheed plant, which hosted more than 1,000 attendees. “We have done an awesome job producing this awesome aircraft. While we’re saddened to see the production line stop, we’re really excited about the future. We’re really excited about the opportunities to be creative and innovative, and we’ve proven just by looking at this aircraft that we know just how to do that, which is fantastic.” The F-22 went through a tri-city production, Lockheed spokeswoman Stephanie Stinn said, as the Palmdale, Calif., Lockheed facility was essentially the brains behind the aircraft in terms of engineering, initial development and advanced modernization; the Fort Worth, Texas, facility built the center wing; and the Marietta plant assembled the entire aircraft. Jeff Babione, vice president of Lockheed and general manager of the F-22 program, said the F-22’s history dates to the early 1980s, when the first bid request for the fighter jet was put out by the Defense Department. By the late ’80s, Lockheed’s F-22 was competing against Northrop Corporation’s YF-23 to succeed the F-15 Eagle. The two companies participated in a series of “flyoffs” in the late ’80s, and in 1991, Lockheed won the contract and began production. When the contract was awarded, Mickey Blackwell was an aeronautical engineer in charge of Lockheed’s Advanced Tactical Fighter team and was in charge of building the F-22. Many see him as the brains behind the Raptor. “We went from seventh (last) to No. 1 and put together one heck of a configuration (aircraft),” Blackwell said, referring to the seven aerospace firms that started out in the hunt for the contract. The maiden voyage of the F-22 was in September 1997, when the first Raptor was flown out of Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta by then-51-year-old Marietta resident Paul Metz. Stinn said that in 2005, at peak production, there were 5,600 employees working on the aircraft, 944 of them in Marietta. As of Dec. 14, there were 1,650 employees working on the F-22 across the country, 930 of them in Marietta. Stinn said most of those employees have transitioned to work on production of the F-35 Lightning II or other production needs, while other F-22 employees have retired. Lockheed Marietta laid off 214 employees earlier in the year. Lockheed officials found out in April 2009 that the 195th F-22 would be the last ordered by the U.S. military, Stinn said, and the final F-22, number 4195, will fly out of Marietta in spring 2012. Babione said the company has many concerns with its aging workforce and the knowledge that leaves the company when they retire, so Lockheed employees have been documenting the process of building the final F-22 through both text and film. “We wanted to make sure, if we need to build them again, that we could pull a tool out of storage and build a part,” Babione said. “These men and women who have worked on these aircraft are craftsman ... Corporate-wide, we see concerns that we would lose decades of skills to retirement, so we have actively been getting the older employees to mentor the younger employees and ensure there is a transfer of that vitally important knowledge.”

By Katy Ruth Camp

MARIETTA — When people think of the arts, the local ballet or a not-for-profit arts museum might come to mind. But Allen Bell, program director for Atlanta’s South Arts, said creative industries also include other for-profit companies, such as digital media or advertising agencies. And as a whole, the arts account for nearly $2 billion in revenues in Cobb each year. “The South, Georgia and Cobb need to consider the economic impact the creative industries can have on

Leaders Continued from 2BB needs to happen for our industry to truly move forward.” Lockheed Martin’s Marietta plant is expected to stay busy in the New Year supporting its C-130, C-5, P-3, F-22 and F-35 programs. And the C-130J Hercules line is poised to begin cranking out 35 or so planes per year and has a backlog of 70 orders. The final F-22 Rap-

Home Continued from 6BB and government leaders need to shift their economic development focus to biotechnology and life sciences industries in order to grow the economy and create jobs, which he projected would add more growth to the state’s economy over the next few decades than information technology did in the past few decades. Jeff Trewhitt, senior communications director for Washington-D.C. based PhRMA, which advocates for public policies that support biopharmaceutical research companies, said Georgia is one of PhRMA’s target states for growth, and that Georgia has an impressive 3,600 clinical trials that have just been completed or are still underway. Trewhitt added that the companies support more than 75,000 employees and account for more than $19.4 billion a year in economic activity. “There is strong biopharmaceutical research infrastructure in this state,” Trewhitt said. “I’ve come to Georgia several times and it is clear to me that the state government and state legislators understand the value of this research and understand that this is important to patients and the state’s economy. They have been supportive and we hope they will remain supportive.” Trewhitt said his group is trying to impress upon policy makers, legislators and citizens that the biopharmaceutical industry and those related to it are important components of

their communities and figure out how to recruit the growth sectors of those industries,” Bell said. “When I was pulling the numbers for Cobb, I was actually surprised by how robust the numbers are for the county. The film and media sector alone brings in $1 billion in revenues annually, which is huge. Pulling all the data together from all industries, it totals around $2 billion. I think Cobb’s position in the metro Atlanta area gives the county opportunities to grow in these industries that other counties in the state do not have.” Bell’s research comes in

the form of a report titled “Creative Industries in the South,” which uses the 2007 Economic Census and Nonemployer Statistics from the U.S. Bureau as its database. Bell said he worked on the report for three years and used the 2007 data because it is the most recent available. Bell analyzed six major industries within the creative industries in Southern states, which included: film and media (totaling 25,701 establishments, or 31 percent of creative industries in the South); design (18,790, or 23 percent); visual arts and crafts (17,323, or 21

percent); literary and publishing (12,831, or 15 percent); performing arts (7,150, or 9 percent); and heritage and museums (1,057, or 1 percent). Combined, the creative industries make up 82,852 establishments; employ 1,167,108 people, including the self-employed; have annual wages of more than $41.4 billion; and have annual revenues of more than $142.6 billion. Florida tops the list as the Southern state with the largest creative economy, followed by Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, South Car-

olina, Louisiana and Mississippi. Florida is home to more than one-third of the total establishments in the region. Revenues for creative industries in Georgia total $29 billion. Bell said most of the fastest-growing sectors deal with the digital revolution, such as graphic design and software publishing. “The more things go digital, the more people will need graphic designers to design their digital copy,” Bell said. “Software publishing is growing exponentially and will continue to grow over the next few decades.”

tor will be delivered in the spring and the F-35 Lightning II program will be constructing the center wings that will then be shipped to Texas for the plane’s final assembly. “We monitor our employment levels to staff programs accordingly and expect to stay within the 7,800 to 8,000 range in 2012,” said Lockheed Martin Vice President and Site General Manager Shan Cooper. One of Cobb’s biggest economic engines these days

is WellStar Health System, which is expecting dramatic changes this year. “We will be opening an all-new, allprivate room tower at WellStar Kennestone Hospital,” said CEO Reynold Jennings. “Additionally, WellStar’s first Health Park will open in Acworth and construction will begin on the second — and largest — Health Park in east Cobb. Lastly, WellStar will begin construction on a brand new hospital in Paulding County to replace the aging WellStar Paulding Hospital.”

And WellStar’s bottom line also is likely to be impacted one way or the other by the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare. “Their decision will have the most major, overriding and longterm impact on health care for 2012 and beyond,” he said. And hospitality is a $1 billion-plus-per-year industry in Cobb, and it is holding its own. “We don’t see any negative coming, which is a positive,” said Holly Bass,

CEO of Cobb Travel & Tourism. “Even just a slight increase that builds over time is a good thing and we see that as positive movement.” None of those we talked with are expecting dramatic improvements in the Cobb or national economies this year. It likely will be another year of holding on and hanging on. But it’s been worse in the recent past, and seems to be finally heading in the right direction. Under the circumstances, we’ll take it.

growing a community. “In most states, we don’t have a real strong brick and mortar presence,” Trewhitt said. “But in Georgia, you’ve got some very respectable, sharp academic research institutions in this state. A lot of those clinical trials are being conducted by those. You’ve got research institutions like Emory, Morehouse, Georgia Health Sciences in Augusta, Georgia Tech, UGA, that are doing a lot of clinical trials of new medicines. But there is also strong private research infrastructure in Georgia, and that adds to all of that in a big way.” In addition, Trewhitt said many companies are hiring local research institutions and companies to conduct clinical trials or to fix existing products, which come at a big price tag. “These businesses are not only good for patients, but they are also very lucrative,” Trewhitt said. “A lot of money gets put into these trials. Developing new medicines is very expensive and time-consuming. So when you have local research institutions conducting them, that money is going straight to them.” Trewhitt said the average drug development and approval process takes between 10 to 15 years at an average cost of $1.2 billion. The clinical trials account for between 45 and 75 percent of that cost, Trewhitt said. “The FDA is a very demanding taskmaster,” Trewhitt said. “They want you to definitively prove a drug works and provide convincing technology and evidence that it’s safe and

effective; hence, the process to generate data takes so long, a decade or more. The basic research work is done in a lab and if there’s something to it, you then gravitate to testing potential medicines on lab animals. Then if it is still promising, you go to the FDA and submit an investigational new drug application to go into extensive human clinical trials. They take seven years. Phases one through three involve generation of tens of thousands of pages of data, and tens of thousands of patients are involved in the trials. The FDA wants a lot of data to prove safety and effectiveness.” Trewhitt estimated Cobb has the largest contract research organization in the world in its backyard with Quintiles, describing them as a sort of “research for hire” type of company. They also are hired to look at existing drugs or developmental drugs and find ways to make them safer and better, Trewhitt said. “They have a number of labs all over the world, but their largest research lab is right down the road and has close to 600 people,” Trewhitt said. “Companies like Quintiles are why we’re here, and why research companies come to Georgia. There is so much to offer them here.” Another biopharm company, GeoVax Labs, Inc., develops human vaccines for diseases caused by HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and other infectious agents, and relocated to Smyrna in recent years. GeoVax moved its corporate headquarters and laboratory operations from

the Briarcliff campus of Emory University to the UCB space at 1900 Lake Park Drive, Suite 380 in Smyrna in November 2009. At the time of the move, Bob McNally, Ph.D., GeoVax’s President and CEO said: “This move will give GeoVax much-needed additional space for our current activities, as well as providing space to accommodate the addition of several new employees to our research and development staff and the resulting expansion of our operations. The new facility will offer suitable space for our corporate needs while keeping our overall facility

expenses in line … Our move is not only physical, but represents the continuing growth of GeoVax’s leadership position in HIV vaccine technology.” Said Trewhitt: “They are basically leading the fight with HIV vaccinations. That’s an example of an exciting startup in the Cobb area. It makes sense that Cobb has a respectable showing because it is right outside of Atlanta and has a strong research infrastructure. There is a positive business climate in Cobb that encourages that kind of development, and these companies are some of the best cases to prove that.”

First Presbyterian Church Traditional Services: 8:30 a.m • 9:45 a.m. • 11:15 a.m. Contemporary Service: 11:15 a.m. Sunday School for Adults & Children: 9:45 a.m. 189 Church Street • Marietta, GA 30060 • 770-427-0293

Free Consultation Free Estimate Call today for an appointment!


Bowen & Green, CPA 2645 Dallas Hwy SW Suite 200 Marietta, GA 30064


Kaiser’s climb



Health care provider sees future opportunities to grow in Cobb By Katy Ruth Camp

Staff/Todd Hull

Janet and Dan O'Brien, owners of O'Brien Productions, are full-service party and event planning specialists and are equipped to manage every detail or provide the event services needed most.

Have party, will travel Kennesaw company offers full-service event planning By Sally Litchfield MDJ Features Editor

Throwing an event can be more work than fun. O’Brien Productions takes the work and worry out of corporate and private events “We are event designers,” said Janet O’Brien, who started the company in 1988 with her husband, Dan. “Everything that takes place the night of the party, we are responsible for — like the decor, flowers and entertainment.” The full-service party and event planning specialists are equipped to manage every detail or provide the event services needed most. O’Brien Productions brings almost 25 years of experience to the table. With modest beginnings in the basement of their home, the O’Briens quickly rose to the top of the market and expanded the busi-

ness over the years. “We started out planning meetings from home. Everything just grew from there,” she said. After purchasing their first warehouse, the company now owns a 5,000square-foot facility in Cobb County along with storage in Carrollton. Service and products set O’Brien Productions apart. Not only do they rent their own equipment, they have trained staff available to work events and to work. with clients for an optimal event “We own all our equipment which makes us more economical than going through a third party,” she said. “We sit down and talk with our clients in detail to see how they want their event to flow that evening.” O’Brien Productions has contracted for local events as well as events as far away as California. They produce more than 400 events

a year, including corporate and private parties, company picnics, weddings, and national and regional sales meetings. “We travel regularly to different places within a 300-mile radius,” she said. O’Brien Productions gains the trust and respect of its clients, usually resulting in repeat business. “Once (our clients) have done an event with us, most of our clients stay with us,” O’Brien said. “We are so involved in our industry we know what the trends are. We have great resources with people that work with us in our industry,” she added. “We’ve been in business a long time, so we know what works and what runs smoothly.” Learn more about O’Brien Productions, located 2410 Cobb Parkway in Kennesaw, by visiting or calling (770) 422-7200.

MARIETTA — A Kaiser Permanente official says the company is expanding in Kennesaw to provide more choice for health care in Cobb County. “When we look at Cobb, we think there’s a great opportunity for choice in this marketplace,” said Dan Styf, vice president for regional and marketing strategy. “In Cobb, there are growing businesses, growing populations. It’s just a great area with significant opportunities. “We have seen that when employees are given the choice, they choose Kaiser, so we aim to be a choice.” The nonprofit, licensed HMO is preparing to open a nearly 200,000-squarefoot comprehensive medical center in Kennesaw this spring, expanding on the rapid growth the company has seen in Georgia over the past two years. The company has 28 offices in Georgia, 11 of which have opened since 2009, Styf said. “We think we’re a very different solution, and one that works and is the most affordable,” said Styf, a resident of east Cobb and a member of Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s most recent Leadership Cobb class. “We’ve grown by 20,000 members in the last year in this economy, which we’re thrilled about ...We’re trying to stick very true to this model: to take better care of people, keep them out of the hospital, provide higher quality care, and to be more affordable.” Kaiser Permanente, which was founded in California just after World War

II, has 9 million members across the country, Styf said, with 7 million of those in California and 240,000 in Georgia. The company has physician offices in Georgia, but houses its specialists in various hospitals across the state. Styf said the company would likely expand to provide outpatient care in Georgia in the future. KP employs about 400 physicians in the Atlanta area, 150 of who were hired in the last two years, Styf said. Those physicians operate under the Southeast Permanente Medical Group, although Styf said they report to a board of directors made up completely of KP physicians. Styf said the SPMG is made up of both new and experienced doctors, with many with degrees from institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, Harvard, Vanderbilt, Duke and Emory. Styf said all physicians are salaried, allowing them to provide time and care to patients, rather than trying to get enough visits each day to cover staff overhead costs. Styf said the company does incentivize physicians, however, on quality metrics, such as the percentage of their patients who have had mammograms at the right age or patients with diabetes who have their tests and numbers under control. Styf said his company wants the government to offer exchange programs through health care providers such as KP so that smaller businesses can come together and purchase insurance just as a big company does, and employees would therefore be able to have more options for their health care.




Shop and Dine at these Local East Cobb Merchants

Affordable Fabrics & Trim

Superstore: 770.794.8106

2440 Canton Road • Marietta, GA 30066

INTERIOR & EXTERIOR CAR CARE From dents, dings or scratches on the exterior to burns, rips, stains or holes in the interior (upholstery or carpet) we can fix or repair almost any cosmetic problem! $89 Paint/Fill/Sand Bumper................starting at $199 Headlight Restoration ..................starting at $69 Wheel Repair ..................................starting at $99 Upholstery Repair ..........................starting at $89 Carpet Repair/Dye........................starting at $199 Full Service Detailing ......starting at $149/$199 Paintless Dent Removal ................starting at

We also offer a full line of “in dash” Navigation systems, Back up cameras/ sonar in rearview mirror, drop down DVD systems and more...

2925 Canton Road Marietta, GA 30066

770-615-3606 With most scheduled appointments and prior approval, work can be completed while you wait!

BARGAINS GALORE Fashion/Accessories



• Purses – 100 Available!

• Fashion & Accessories! Over 3,000 Name Brands & Designers • Jewelry sets and stering accessories! • Men’s clothing, shoes & oddities!

• Home Décor, Collectibles & Furniture! 500 Items Available

Nine West • Coach • Brighton Coldwater Creek • AND MORE!



Gold & Silver Buyer On-Site Buying Diamonds, Gold & Silver

Any Condition

1461 & 1465 Roswell Road • Marietta New London Square • 770.321.2345 behind McDonald’s, ½ mile east of the Big Chicken





Progress 2012 EDUCATION






Voters to decide fate of proposed Marietta High theater / 5CC




‘A better experience here’ Students feel SPSU makes them more prepared to enter job world By Jon Gillooly

MARIETTA – Brian Ellison, a Southern Polytechnic State University senior majoring in business administration, says if he had to earn his undergraduate degree a second time he’d easily choose SPSU again. “I would come back to SPSU any day of the week,” said Ellison, 21, who hails from Oxford. “My brother’s actually trying to come to SPSU next year, and I’ve convinced quite a few of his friends that they need to come to Southern Poly because you’re going to get a better experience here.” Ellison, who intends to go to law school after graduation, serves in a number of leadership roles at SPSU, including president of the student government. “It’s demanding and hectic, especially because our students have a very logical mindset. They’re very, very inquisitive, and they know what they want more so than I would see or even imagine at any other school,” he said. Southern Polytechnic State University was originally formed in 1948 under the name The Technical Institute and had only 116 students. Today, the 198-acre university has an enrollment of 5,784, up from last year’s 5,514. The small-

COVER STORY Visiting with Southern Polytechic State University President Dr. Lisa Rossbacher in the Engineering Technoloy Center are, front row from left: Student Leighton Anglin, Dr. Rossbacher, professor Carol Barnum and student Sandra Asoro. Middle row, from left: Dean of Engineering Jeff Ray, professor Deidra Hodges and student Stephanie Florez. Back row, from left, students Brian Ellison and Marieme Dieye. Staff/Todd Hull

Staff/Todd Hull

Dr. Lisa Rossbacher, top right, says what students can take away from Southern Poly: ‘At SPSU, students learn to use knowledge to solve real-world problems and, literally, to make the world a better place.’ Visiting with Dr. Rossbacher at the Engineering Technology Center are, above left, students Brian Ellison and Marieme Dieye, and, above right, students Ellison and Stephanie Florez. campus atmosphere is part of the charm, Ellison said. “I can’t walk across campus or even go from one building to another building without seeing someone that I know. That’s a lot more networking capabilities,” he said. “The smaller class sizes really let you learn who your professors are and get those references before you go out into the job world.” Eighty-six percent of SPSU’s students are from within Georgia, and of those, about 23 percent are from Cobb County. More than 1,400 — or nearly 25 percent of all students — live on campus. There are 311 faculty members among SPSU’s 647 employees. Dr. Lisa Rossbacher has been president of SPSU since August

1998. “The mission of the university is to educate students — at the bachelor’s, master’s, and continuing professional levels — to link technology with skills in theory, design, communication, and implementation,” she said. “At SPSU, students learn to use knowledge to solve real-world problems and, literally, to make the world a better place.” Rossbacher said that in the last decade, SPSU has increased enrollment by about 50 percent, and the on-campus housing has tripled. Over the same time, the percentage of the budget that has been funded by the state has dropped from 75 percent to less than 50 percent. The decrease in state funding has been offset by

increased enrollment and increases in tuition and fees paid by students, as well as increased operational efficiencies, she said. SPSU offers 41 undergraduate degrees. Architecture had the largest number of students in fall 2011. The college also offers 12 graduate degrees, with Information Technology having the largest number of students in fall 2011. Rossbacher said SPSU continues to expand the number and variety of academic programs. She expects to see significant growth over the next few years in the university’s seven engineering programs, particularly in the evening programs in civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering. “These complement the full-

time, day-time programs at Georgia Tech, and SPSU’s programs offer additional options and flexibility, particularly for working students,” she said. Rossbacher said her university will continue its traditional strengths in engineering technology, architecture, computer science and construction. Relatively new programs that are attracting a significant number of students include biology, mechatronics engineering, and computer game design and development. The new education programs, which focus on students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, have already attracted significant external funding, and she expects these programs to grow dramatically. SPSU freshmen consistently have the 3rd or 4th highest SAT scores in the University System of Georgia, and graduates are highly sought-after by employers. The most recent survey (2010) reported that the average salary for students graduating from SPSU with bachelor’s degrees was $49,849, and those with master’s degrees had average starting salaries of $66,102, she said. In-state tuition at SPSU is $2,052 per semester, while outof-state students pay $7,300 per semester, said spokeswoman Sylvia Carson. Recent successes in attracting external support include a $1.4 million grant for the new education program and a gift of $4.5 million worth of robotics equipment to support engineering and engineering technology programs. And the newly established research foundation (Southern Polytechnic Applied Research Center) will play a key role in attracting additional external funding to support SPSU, Rossbacher said. The Board of Regents gave its blessing to the formation of the non-profit last year to aid in the procurement and management of grant money for the university’s various research projects and centers.




Starry-eyed STUDENTS 45th annual awards honor top 26 students and teachers at reception

Cobb, Marietta schools honored for AP programs From staff reports

By Lindsay Field

MARIETTA — “Love, inspire, feed … It is what you do with what you have that makes what your world will become,” The Walker School history department chair Steve Killian told the 26 students at the recent 45th Annual Student Teacher Achievement Recognition reception. Walton High seniors Jake Albert and Lisa Wang and The Walker School’s Won Oh were chosen the top STAR students. The three students and their STAR teachers were recognized, along with 23 other students and their most inspirational teachers, during the banquet, which was organized by the Metro Marietta Kiwanis Club. After each STAR student was introduced to the nearly 190 people in attendance, they took time to say where they were attending school and why they chose their STAR teacher. Albert, who chose Walton history teacher Andrew Adams, said he has not decided where to attend college, but that he received a letter of acceptance from Yale University in December. He said he chose Adams as one of his favorite teachers because he had never before had a teacher who brought so much energy to the subject they teach. “More than anything else, he really got across to everybody that the people who we learn about in history are people just like us,” he said. “(Adams) got us all interested in history no matter how reluctant some of us were.” Wang, a Walton High student who said she plans to attend Harvard College in fall, said she chose Tina Link because Link gave her the knowledge she will need to pursue a career in scientific research. “When I attend school, I’ll be able to have the knowledge

Staff/Samantha M. Shal

The top STAR students and teachers recognized recently are, from left: Andrew Adams and Jake Mitchell of Walton, Tina Link and Lisa Wang of Walton and John Crowers and Won S. Oh of The Walker School. that I really want to go into scientific research mainly because of my teacher, Ms. Link, who has been such an inspiring teacher,” she said. “In her class, I was never scolded for asking a question beyond the scope of the course. I was actually encouraged to.” Walker’s Oh also said his STAR teacher, statistics instructor John Crowers, pointed him down his career path. “He did not merely assign problem sets. He did not merely put formulas on the board to memorize. What he actually did was give me the passion and courage to explore the world of mathematics,” he said. “Through passion and inspirational instruction, he led me to decide that I’d major in mathematics and he inspired me to become a professor in mathematics.” This was the fourth time

that Crowers had been selected as STAR teacher. Oh also said he is undecided on what college he will attend after graduation, but that he is looking at Harvard, Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania. Killian, the night’s guest speaker, delivered a message to the educators, parents and students at the reception. Killian told the teachers their actions were of faith, that they were the sowers of wisdom and that their accomplishments were sitting in the room with them last night. For the parents, he jokingly encouraged them to drop their children off at college and run away as quickly as they can, but then on a serious note added that “a ship is safe in the harbor, but ships are made for the open sea.” And for the 26 students,

Killian told them that they possess amazing talents and that they have all discovered the art of the mind and told them to let their parents enjoy the pride of their accomplishments. Cobb EMC, The Maude Vaughn Foundation and the Metro Marietta Kiwanis Club sponsored the banquet. The three students will compete to be named the regional winner in March and the state winner in April. The STAR program was created in 1958 to honor academic excellence. School counselors nominate students, who must have the highest scores in one sitting on the three-part SAT and be in the top 10 percent of their class. Students are then asked to select a teacher who helped guide and inspire them throughout their school career.

MARIETTA — The state department of education has recognized 16 schools in Cobb County as 2012 Advanced Placement Honor Schools. The schools in the Cobb and Marietta districts are among the 367 AP Honor Schools that State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge announced recently. n Marietta, McEachern, Pebblebrook, South Cobb and Campbell high schools were named AP Access and Support Schools. They are schools where at least 30 percent of AP test takers identified themselves as African-American and/or Hispanic and 30 percent of them scored 3 or higher on the test. n Pope, Kell, Harrison, Lassiter, North Cobb, Sprayberry and Walton high schools were designated AP Merit Schools. These are schools where at least 20 percent of the student population took AP exams and at least half of those students scored a 3 or higher. n Pope, Campbell, Kell, Harrison, Hillgrove, Kennesaw Mountain, Lassiter, McEachern, North Cobb, Pebblebrook, Osborne, South Cobb, Sprayberry, Walton and Wheeler high schools were honored as AP STEM Schools. These schools have students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses. n Pope, Campbell, Kell, Harrison, Hillgrove, Kennesaw Mountain, Lassiter, North Cobb, Walton and Wheeler high schools earned the AP STEM Achievement Schools designation. Students in these schools took at least two AP math and two AP science courses, and at least 40 percent of test takers scored a 3 or higher on the AP math and AP science exams. “Marietta High School offers two high-level coursework options — Advanced Placement and the International Baccalaureate Program,” said Dr. Emily Lembeck, Marietta City Schools superintendent. “This announcement reflects that challenging AP courses are encouraged and available to all interested MHS students.” AP classes and exams are administered by the College Board, which also gives the SAT.


Just super!



Marietta’s Dr. Emily Lembeck chosen as Georgia’s Superintendent of Year Lembeck thanked the Marietta City Schools Board of Education for nominating her for the award and for cheering her on through the process that began over the MARIETTA — Marietta City Schools Superintendent Dr. Emily Lembeck recent- summer. “(The board) is committed to all stuly was chosen as the Georgia Superintendents and their academic success,” she dent of the Year. “I am just overwhelmed and honored by said. “I appreciate and am fortunate to this announcement,” she said. “I feel fortu- work with a great staff in all of our schools and all of our departments.” nate for being recognized among these The school board, which unanimously finalists. I know them well, I admire the nominated Lembeck for the recognition, work that they do and the difference that and members of her staff were in attenthey make in their school communities.” dance for the recognition. This years marks the third time that the “I’m thrilled. She deserves it,” board city’s school board has nominated Lemvice chair Jill Mutimer said. “She’s a great beck for the state award, which she was leader ... a great superintensurprised to receive during dent. She really cares about ‘She deserves it. the 2012 Georgia School of the students in MariSuperintendent AssociaShe’s a great leader all etta. She has a great vision, tion’s annual winter confer... a great superinand she thinks things ence in south Cobb. through.” tendent. She really The other finalists for the Mutimer said she did not award were Chris Erwin of cares about all of know of anyone in the systhe Banks County School the students in Mari- tem who worked harder System; Buster Evans of Forsyth County Schools; and etta. She has a great than Lembeck. “She believes in the Will Schofield of Hall vision, and she potential of every student,” County Schools. Mutimer said. thinks things “As superintendent of the Board member Tom year, I will proudly reprethrough.’ Cheater said he couldn’t sent all of my colleagues as — Jill Mutimer, imagine anybody working well as quality public educaschool board vice chair closer with the board than tion in Georgia and elseMarietta’s superintendent, where,” she said. “We are and board member Tony Fasola commendmoving forward at a time of unprecedented ed Lembeck for her outreach within the challenges and change. We’re doing so community. knowing that the future of our state and Board member Randy Weiner called nation is dependent on us working togethLembeck “extremely hardworking.” er, all of us, to educate all of our students “(Lembeck) communicates with her to higher levels than ever before.” board very well, along with the principals In addition to her award, Lembeck and the community,” he said. received a ring commemorating her honor, Board chair Irene Berens said Lembeck a $1,000 scholarship check to present to a has been a great leader for the Marietta Marietta High School 2012 graduating City Schools and that the staff and comsenior, and full payment for her attendance munity are privileged to have her on board. at the National Conference on Education in People on the Marietta school board Houston, where she and other state winand her staff are what make her job worth ners were honored. coming to each day, Lembeck said. By Lindsay Field

Cobb Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa, left, congratulates Nickajack Elementary counselor Nicole Pfleger after she was chosen as the National School Counselor of the Year by the American School Counselor Association at the Smyrna school.

MARIETTA — A second Cobb County employee has been selected as the nation’s top counselor. The American School Counselor Association has named Nicole Pfleger, who works at Nickajack Elementary School, the 2012 National School Counselor of the Year. It is the highest national honor for a school counselor. Julie Hartline, a Campbell High School counselor, received the honor in 2009, and Anthony Pearson, a Sky View Elementary School counselor, was a Top 10 finalist in 2011. Teachers, colleagues and students surprised Pfleger with the recognition at an assembly in December. “I was completely overwhelmed,” she said. “They did a good job at pulling it off.” Pfleger said it feels funny to receive the honor because she works alongside so many people who pour their hearts into the school community without seeking recognition. “I don’t think I’m doing anything that special or different than anybody else working in education,” she said. “I come here every day to a job that I love and am passionate about. I feel like I’ve been given this opportunity to work in a district that finds value in what they contribute to a school. I’m the fortunate one.” Pfleger said she chose

Open House: Dec. 2, 2012 | 2-4PM Jan. 27, 2013 | 2-4PM Feb. 12, 2013 | 9AM-12PM March 3, 2013 | 2-4PM

Celebrating 51 Years of Success in Classes for 2 Year Olds through 8th Grade STRENGTHENING CHILDREN ACADEMICALLY IN A CHRIST-CENTERED ENVIRONMENT • National Accreditation • Small Teacher to Student Ratio • Physical Education & Athletics

• Music , Band, Choir, Handbells • Drama, Art and Spanish • Before and After School Care • Summer and Holiday Camps

2111 Lower Roswell Road • Marietta, GA • 770-973-8921 •

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

Nickajack’s Pfleger earns national counselor award By Lindsay Field

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

Dr. Emily Lembeck recently was chosen as the state Superintendent of the Year. With her is David Johnson, president of the Georgia School Board Association.

the career because it allows her to work with every student in the school at some point. “You also get to take time to work with struggling students, help them and nurture them,” she said. “You’re able to support students, families and teachers. We have a really unique opportunity to leave an imprint on (students). They are the ones that are inspiring every day. It’s a great job.” She credits her success

to support from Nickajack principal Beverly Parks and former assistant principal Michael Perkins, who both started at Nickajack the same time as Pfleger in 2006. “It was probably very obvious that I was new at the profession ... (but) they never treated me like I was a novice,” she said. “They let me run with it and gave me opportunities to lead within the school and implement different programs.”




Staff/Todd Hull

Staff/Laura Moon

Jeanine Marlow of Marietta helps daughter Catherine-Ann, 16, and son Charles, 15, with a homework assignment. Jeanine Marlow and her husband, Dan, began home schooling their children when their now 24-year-old daughter, Frances, was in the sixth grade.

Carrie Thompson of Marietta helps her son, Tucker, 6, with his reading assignment. The Thompson family tried private school but now teach four of their five children at home.

By Lindsay Field /


undreds of families in Cobb don’t send their children to school, but instead teach them at home. Parents in three of those families — Amy and Ben Brewer, Carrie and Jud Thompson, and Jeanine and Dan Marlow — all said they picked home schooling because it allowed them to spend more time with their children.

The Brewers, who live in Kennesaw, have seven children, five of whom are home-schooled. Ben Brewer is a residential contractor and Marine Corps Reserves pilot, while Amy Brewer stays home to care for and educate their kids. They live in Barrett Greene subdivision off Stilesboro Road. The Brewers are parents to Katie, 17; Hackett, 15; Lee, 12; Butler, 10; Jane Haley, 6; Emory Ann, 4; and newborn Madelyn O’Joy. The five oldest children are home-schooled. They began home schooling with their first child, Katie, when she was just 4 years old, Amy Brewer said. “We began a simple pre-K program, ‘Easy as ABC’ that my sister-in-law, Gay Brown, wrote,” she said. “We liked the idea of how one-on-one, or even one-on-


SCHOOLED Learning at home allows parents to spend more time with their children seven, instruction decreases the amount of time it takes to get academic work finished. We were also excited about the amount of time we would be able to spend with our kids.” Amy Brewer said the ability to be flexible both in their environment and in the academics has been most beneficial. “The bulk of our time as parents, Ben has been serving in the Marine Corps. This has meant many moves and

quite a bit of family separation. Home schooling has allowed us to easily move when Ben has to. It also allows us to spend time with family and friends when he is away,” she said. Home schooling has also allowed her to choose the curriculum that works best for her children, and it lets them move at their own pace. “If they grasp concepts quickly, they can move on, or spend more time on things

that are difficult for them,” she said. Additionally, Brewer loves the amount of time she gets to spend with her children. The Brewer family uses Veritas Press, which offers a classical approach, for their main curriculum. She picks and chooses the rest of what they study. The Brewers do not have a formal office or classroom where the children work on all of their studies, ‘If they grasp although one concepts quickly, room in the house they can move on, has been designator spend more ed as the “The School Room” time on things and houses all of that are difficult the books, comfor them.’ puters and supplies for the chil— Amy Brewer dren, Brewer said. “We use the whole house for instruction and study time,” she added. Brewer said she polled her five students, and all said they like being homeschooled. The children typically do their schoolwork between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the week. “They all said they liked the shorter school days, no homework, and the time with family,” she said. The Thompson family initially tried private school but now teach four of their five children at their Marietta home. Their children are Mac, 11; Grace, 8; Tucker, 6; See Home, Page 11CC




Staff/Todd Hull

Staff/Laura Moon

Jeanine Marlow of Marietta helps daughter Catherine-Ann, 16, and son Charles, 15, with a homework assignment. Jeanine Marlow and her husband, Dan, began home schooling their children when their now 24-year-old daughter, Frances, was in the sixth grade.

Carrie Thompson of Marietta helps her son, Tucker, 6, with his reading assignment. The Thompson family tried private school but now teach four of their five children at home.

By Lindsay Field /


undreds of families in Cobb don’t send their children to school, but instead teach them at home. Parents in three of those families — Amy and Ben Brewer, Carrie and Jud Thompson, and Jeanine and Dan Marlow — all said they picked home schooling because it allowed them to spend more time with their children.

The Brewers, who live in Kennesaw, have seven children, five of whom are home-schooled. Ben Brewer is a residential contractor and Marine Corps Reserves pilot, while Amy Brewer stays home to care for and educate their kids. They live in Barrett Greene subdivision off Stilesboro Road. The Brewers are parents to Katie, 17; Hackett, 15; Lee, 12; Butler, 10; Jane Haley, 6; Emory Ann, 4; and newborn Madelyn O’Joy. The five oldest children are home-schooled. They began home schooling with their first child, Katie, when she was just 4 years old, Amy Brewer said. “We began a simple pre-K program, ‘Easy as ABC’ that my sister-in-law, Gay Brown, wrote,” she said. “We liked the idea of how one-on-one, or even one-on-


SCHOOLED Learning at home allows parents to spend more time with their children seven, instruction decreases the amount of time it takes to get academic work finished. We were also excited about the amount of time we would be able to spend with our kids.” Amy Brewer said the ability to be flexible both in their environment and in the academics has been most beneficial. “The bulk of our time as parents, Ben has been serving in the Marine Corps. This has meant many moves and

quite a bit of family separation. Home schooling has allowed us to easily move when Ben has to. It also allows us to spend time with family and friends when he is away,” she said. Home schooling has also allowed her to choose the curriculum that works best for her children, and it lets them move at their own pace. “If they grasp concepts quickly, they can move on, or spend more time on things

that are difficult for them,” she said. Additionally, Brewer loves the amount of time she gets to spend with her children. The Brewer family uses Veritas Press, which offers a classical approach, for their main curriculum. She picks and chooses the rest of what they study. The Brewers do not have a formal office or classroom where the children work on all of their studies, ‘If they grasp although one concepts quickly, room in the house they can move on, has been designator spend more ed as the “The School Room” time on things and houses all of that are difficult the books, comfor them.’ puters and supplies for the chil— Amy Brewer dren, Brewer said. “We use the whole house for instruction and study time,” she added. Brewer said she polled her five students, and all said they like being homeschooled. The children typically do their schoolwork between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the week. “They all said they liked the shorter school days, no homework, and the time with family,” she said. The Thompson family initially tried private school but now teach four of their five children at their Marietta home. Their children are Mac, 11; Grace, 8; Tucker, 6; See Home, Page 11CC




Far left: Grace Thompson, 6, works on her writing composition at her Marietta home.  Staff/Laura Moon

Left: Amy Brewer helps daughter Amy, 4, with her math in their home in Kennesaw.  Staff/ Jon-Michael Sullivan

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

Left: Amy Brewer works with her daughter Jane, 6, on her handwriting. Above: Lee Brewer, 12, works on an assignment at his desk in his room.

Staff/Todd Hull

Staff/Laura Moon

Left. Carrie Thompson and her five children, from left, Mac, 11, Tucker, 6, Grace, 8, Cooper, 5, and Ella, 3. Above: Charles Marlow studies a geography assignment.













29 58 44 24 19 67 37 71 10 15 56





7 8

1 3



41 63

12 26


54 18

13 72 52 42

1. A.L. Burruss Elementary 325 Manning Road Marietta, 30064 Phone: (770) 429-3144 2. Dunleith Elementary 120 Saine Drive Marietta, 30008 Phone: (770) 429-3190 3. Hickory Hills Elementary 500 Redwood Drive SW Marietta, 30064 Phone: (770) 429-3125 4. Lockheed Elementary 1205 Merritt Road Marietta, 30062 Phone: (770) 429-3196 5. Marietta Center for Advanced Academics 311 Aviation Road Marietta, 30060 (770) 420-0822 6. Park Street Elementary 105 Park St. SE Marietta, 30060 Phone: (770) 429-3180 7. Sawyer Road Elementary 840 Sawyer Road Marietta, 30062 Phone: (770) 429-9923 8. West Side Elementary 344 Polk St. NW Marietta, 30064 Phone: (770) 429-3172 9. Acworth Intermediate 4220 Cantrell Road Acworth, 30101 Phone (770) 975-6600 10. Addison Elementary 3055 Ebenezer Road Marietta, 30066 Phone: (770) 578-2700 11. Argyle Elementary 2420 Spring Road Smyrna, 30080 Phone: (678) 842-6800 12. Austell Intermediate 5243 Meadows Road Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: (770) 819-2387 13. Austell Primary 5600 Mulberry Street Austell, 30106 Phone: (770) 819-5804 14. Baker Elementary 2361 Baker Road, NW Acworth, 30101 Phone: (770) 975-6629 15. Bells Ferry Elementary 2600 Bells Ferry Road Marietta, 30066 Phone: (678) 594-8950 16. Belmont Hills Elementary 605 Glendale Place


6 2




27 22








32 33

21 64

3 37

29 10




28 78





11 75




19 32


49 43 59








20 35 25






40 9 43







Elementary schools

65 66






23 7






Middle and high schools

Cobb and Marietta elementary schools Phone: (678) 594-8071

Smyrna, 30080 Phone: (678) 842-6810

17. Big Shanty Elementary 1575 Ben King Road Kennesaw, 30144 Phone: (678) 594-8023 18. Birney Elementary 775 Smyrna-Powder Springs St. Marietta, 30060 Phone: (678) 842-6824 19. Blackwell Elementary 3470 Canton Road Marietta, 30066 Phone: (678) 494-7600 20. Brown Elementary 3265 Brown Road Smyrna, 30080 Phone: (678) 842-6838 21. Brumby Elementary 1306 Powers Ferry Road Marietta, 30067 Phone: (770) 916-7070 22. Bryant Primary and Intermediate 6800 Factory Shoals Road Mableton, 30126 Phone: (770) 819-2402 23. Bullard Elementary 3656 Old Stilesboro Road Kennesaw, 30152 Phone: (678) 594-8720 24. Chalker Elementary 325 North Booth Road Kennesaw, 30144 Phone: (678) 494-7621 25. Cheatham Hill Elementary 1350 John Ward Road SW Marietta, 30064 Phone: (678) 594-8034 26. Clarkdale Elementary 5243 Meadows Road Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: (770) 819-2422

32. East Side Elementary 3850 Roswell Road Marietta, 30062 Phone: (770) 578-7200 33. Eastvalley Elementary 2570 Lower Roswell Road Marietta, 30067 Phone: (770) 578-7214 34. Fair Oaks Elementary 407 Barber Road Marietta, 30060 Phone: (678) 594-8080 35. Ford Elementary 1345 Mars Hill Road Acworth, 30101 Phone: (678) 594-8092 36. Frey Elementary 2865 Mars Hill Road Acworth, 30101 Phone: (770) 975-6655 37. Garrison Mill Elementary 4111 Wesley Chapel Road Marietta, 30062 Phone: (770) 642-5600

28. Compton Elementary 3450 New Macland Road Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: (770) 222-3700 29. Davis Elementary 2433 Jamerson Road Marietta, 30066 Phone: (678) 494-7636 30. Dowell Elementary 2121 West Sandtown Road Marietta, 30064 Phone: (678) 594-8059 31. Due West Elementary 3900 Due West Road Marietta, 30064

47. Kennesaw Elementary 3155 Jiles Road Kennesaw, 30144 Phone: (678) 594-8172 48. Kincaid Elementary 1410 Kincaid Road Marietta, 30066 Phone: (770) 578-7238 49. King Springs Elementary 1041 Reed Road Smyrna, 30082 Phone: (678) 842-6944 50. LaBelle Elementary 230 Cresson Drive Marietta, 30060 Phone: (678) 842-6955 51. Lewis Elementary 4179 Jim Owens Road Kennesaw, 30152 Phone: (770) 975-6673 52. Mableton Elementary

38. Green Acres Elementary 2000 Gober Avenue Smyrna, 30080 Phone: (678) 842-6905 39. Harmony Leland Elementary 5891 Dodgen Road Mableton, 30126 Phone: (770) 819-2483 40. Hayes Elementary 1501 Kennesaw-Due West Road Kennesaw, 30152 Phone: (678) 594-8127 41. Hollydale Elementary 2901 Bayberry Drive Marietta, 30008 Phone: (678) 594-8143 42. Imagine International Academy Of Mableton (K-8) 6688 Mableton Parkway Mableton, 30126 678-384-8920

27. Clay Elementary 730 Boggs Road Mableton, 30126 Phone: (770) 819-2430

46. Kennesaw Charter School 1370 Lockhart Drive Kennesaw, 30144 Phone: (678) 290-9628

43. Imagine International Academy Of Smyrna (K-8) 4451 South Atlanta Road, Suite 200 Smyrna, 30080 678-370-0980 44. Keheley Elementary 1985 Kemp Road Marietta, 30066 Phone: (678) 494-7836 45. Kemp Elementary 865 Corner Road Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: (678) 594-8158

• Scholarships • Caring Staff • ADHD & LD • Small Setting • SACS Accredited • Grades 5-12

5220 Church St. Mableton, 30126 Phone: (770) 819-2513

53. McCall Elementary 4496 Dixie Ave. Acworth, 30101 Phone: (770) 975-6775 54. Milford Elementary 2390 Austell Road Marietta, 30008 Phone: (678) 842-6966 55. Mount Bethel Elementary 1210 Johnson Ferry Road Marietta, 30068 Phone: (770) 578-7248 56. Mountain View Elementary 3448 Sandy Plains Road Marietta, 30066 Phone: (770) 578-7265 57. Murdock Elementary 2320 Murdock Road Marietta, 30062 Phone: (770) 509-5071 58. Nicholson Elementary 1599 Shallowford Road Marietta, 30066

Phone: (770) 928-5573 59. Nickajack Elementary 4555 Mavell Road SE Smyrna, 30082 Phone: (678) 842-5814 60. Norton Park 3041 Gray Road Smyrna, 30082 Phone: (678) 842-5833 61. Pickett’s Mill Elementary 6400 Old Stilesboro Road Acworth, 30101 Phone: (770) 975-6673 62. Pitner Elementary 4575 Wade Green Road Acworth, 30101 Phone: (678) 594-8320 63. Powder Springs Elementary 4570 Grady Grier Road Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: (770) 222-3746 64. Powers Ferry Elementary 403 Powers Ferry Road Marietta, 30067 Phone: (770) 578-7936

Continued on 9CC

Cobb and Marietta elementary schools

65. Riverside Intermediate 285 South Gordon Road Mableton, 30126 Phone: (770) 819-2553 66. Riverside Primary 461 South Gordon Road Mableton, 30126 Phone: (770) 819-5851

Phone: (770) 591-5050

68. Russell Elementary 3920 South Hurt Road Smyrna, 30082 Phone: (770) 437-5937 69. Sanders Primary and Intermediate 1550 Anderson Mill Road SW Austell, 30106 Phone: (770) 819-2568




70. Sedalia Park Elementary 2230 Lower Roswell Road Marietta, 30067 Phone: (770) 509-5162 71. Shallowford Falls Elementary 3529 Lassiter Road Marietta, 30062 Phone: (770) 642-5610

Mableton, 30126 Phone: (770) 819-2584

73. Sope Creek Elementary 3320 Paper Mill Road Marietta, 30067 Phone: (770) 916-7085

Marietta, 30062 Phone: (770) 642-5630

75. Teasley Elementary 3640 Spring Hill Road Smyrna, 30080 Phone: (770) 437-5945 76. Timber Ridge Elementary 5000 Timber Ridge Road Marietta, 30068 Phone: (770) 642-5621

78. Varner Elementary 4761 Gaydon Road Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: (770) 222-3775

Cobb and Marietta middle and high schools

67. Rocky Mount Elementary 2400 Rocky Mountain Road Marietta, 30066

1. Marietta Sixth Grade Academy 340 Aviation Road SE Marietta, 30060 Phone: (770) 429-3115

2.Marietta Middle School 121 Winn St. NW Marietta, 30064 Phone: (770) 422-0311 3. Awtrey Middle School 3601 Nowlin Road Kennesaw, 30144 Phone: (770) 975-6615 4. Barber Middle School 4222 Cantrell Road Acworth, 30101 Phone: (770) 975-6764 5. Campbell Middle School 3295 South Atlanta Road Smyrna, 30080 Phone: (678) 842-6873 6. Cooper Middle School 4605 Ewing Road Austell, 30106 Phone: (770) 819-2438 7. Daniell Middle School 2900 Scott Road Marietta, 30066 Phone: (678) 594-8048

72. Sky View Elementary 5805 Dunn Road

74. Still Elementary 870 Casteel Road Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: (678) 594-8287

Phone: (770)578-7225

Phone: (678) 331-8131

9. Dodgen Middle School 1725 Bill Murdock Road Marietta, 30062 Phone: (770) 578-2726

16. Lindley Sixth Grade Academy 1550 Pebblebrook Circle Mableton, 30126 Phone: (770) 819-2496

23. Palmer Middle School 690 North Booth Road Kennesaw, 30144 Phone: (770) 591-5020

10. Durham Middle School 2891 Mars Hill Road NW Acworth, 30101 Phone: (770) 975-6641

17. Lindley Middle School 50 Veterans Memorial Highway Mableton, 30126 Phone: (770) 819-2496

11. East Cobb Middle School 380 Holt Road Marietta, 30068 Phone: (770) 578-2740

18. Lost Mountain Middle School 700 Old Mountain Road Kennesaw, 30152 Phone: (678) 594-8224

Marietta, 30068 Phone: (770) 578-2710

12. Floyd Middle School 4803 Floyd Road Mableton, 30126 Phone: (770) 819-2453 13. Garrett Middle School 5235 Austell-Powder Springs Road Austell, 30106 Phone: (770) 819-2466 14. Griffin Middle School 4010 King Springs Road Smyrna, 30082 Phone: (678) 842-6917

19. Lovinggood Middle School 3825 Luther Ward Road Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: (678) 331-3015 20. Mabry Middle School 2700 Jims Road Marietta, 30066 Phone: (770) 928-5546 21. McCleskey Middle School 4080 Maybreeze Road Marietta, 30066 Phone: (770) 928-5560

24. Pine Mountain Middle 2720 Pine Mountain Circle Kennesaw, 30152 Phone: (678) 594-8252 25. Simpson Middle School 3340 Trickum Road Marietta, 30066 Phone: (770) 971-4711 26. Smitha Middle School 2025 Powder Springs Road Marietta, 30064 Phone: (678) 594-8267 27. Tapp Middle School 3900 Macedonia Road Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: 770-222-3758 28. Marietta High School 1171 Whitlock Ave. Marietta, 30064 Phone: (770) 428-2631 29. Allatoona High School 3300 Dallas-Acworth Highway Acworth, 30101 Phone: (770) 529-7743

77. Tritt Elementary 4435 Post Oak Tritt Road

79. Vaughan Elementary 5950 Nichols Road Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: (678) 594-8298

Phone: (770) 975-6685

5265 Ward St. Smyrna, 30080 Phone: (678) 842-6850

38. Osborne High School 2451 Favor Road Marietta, 30060 Phone: (770) 437-5900

31. Harrison High School 4500 Due West Road Kennesaw, 30152 Phone: (678) 594-8104

39. Pebblebrook High School 991 Old Alabama Road Mableton, 30126 Phone: (770) 819-2521

32. Hillgrove High School 4165 Luther Ward Road Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: (678) 331-3961

40. Pope High School 3001 Hembree Road Marietta, 30062 Phone: (770) 578-7900

33. Kell High School 4770 Lee Waters Road Marietta, 30066 Phone: (678) 494-7844 34. Kennesaw Mountain High School 1898 Kennesaw-Due West Road Kennesaw, 30152 Phone: (678) 594-8190 35. Lassiter High School 2601 Shallowford Road Marietta, 30066 Phone: (678) 494-7863 36. McEachern High School 2400 New Macland Road Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: (770) 222-3710

41. South Cobb High School 1920 Clay Road Austell, 30106 Phone: (770) 819-2611 42. Sprayberry High School 2525 Sandy Plains Road Marietta, 30066 Phone: (770) 578-3200 43. Walton High School 1590 Bill MuRd.ock Road Marietta, 30062 Phone: (770) 578-3225 44. Wheeler High School 375 Holt Road Marietta, 30068 Phone: (770) 578-3266

Marietta schools adopt new online graduation requirement 8. Dickerson Middle School 855 Woodlawn Drive

15. Hightower Trail Middle School 3905 Post Oak Tritt Road Marietta, 30062

By Jon Gillooly

MARIETTA — Students who enter Marietta High School as freshmen this fall will have to complete at least one class online to graduate. The Marietta school board adopted the new graduation requirement in a 5-2 vote, with board members Logan Weber and Tony Fasola voting against it.

22. McClure Middle School 3660 Old Stilesboro Road Kennesaw, 30152

Fasola said he is a fan of online learning, but he “just didn’t feel it should be a requirement for graduation.” “There’s still too many questions,” he said. Weber said he would have preferred a longer vetting process before making “such a significant change.” The board first heard about the proposal at its January meeting. Policy changes require a

30. Campbell High School

month’s notice. While the district will recommend students take health class online to fulfill the requirement, students have the option of choosing from the catalogue of state-approved online courses, said Dr. Debra McCracken, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. Students also have the option of taking the online class at home, she said. The new requirement will cost

37. North Cobb High School 3400 Highway 293 North Kennesaw, 30144

the district about $7,000 a year, she said. The board didn’t postpone the vote to hear Colburn’s opinion or discuss it further because the change needs to be included in the new student handbooks, which will be published soon, McCracken said. Board Chair Jill Mutimer believes the new requirement is critical to a student’s future success.

“If we’re trying to prepare our students for the next step, so many future steps — whether it’s military, college, or some other post-secondary learning like technical school — (require) a component of online learning, and so I just think this can do nothing but prepare them,” she said. “If we think it’s a good idea for all students, then there’s no reason not to make it a graduation requirement.”


Carman Adventist School 1330 North Cobb Parkway, Marietta, 30062 Phone: (770) 424-0606 Website: Principal: Steve Wilson Accreditation: SACS, NCPSA, GAPSAC Enrollment: 80 Number of Teachers: 7 Grades Offered: K-8 Application Opens: July 1 Application Fee: $100; Registration Fee $475 Application Deadline: Aug. 1 Average Tuition: $3,800 After-School Care: Yes (and before school care) Year Established: 1958 Casa Montessori School 150 Powers Ferry Road, Marietta, 30067 Phone: (770) 973-2731 Website: Directress: Suzanne Johnson Accreditation: AMI Enrollment: About 160 Number of Teachers: 20 Grades Offered: Primary-6 (ages 2½-12) Application Opens: Open Enrollment Average Tuition: $7,800$10,100 After-School Care: No Year Established: 1974 Cobb County Christian School 545 Lorene Drive, Marietta, 30060 Phone: (770) 434-1320 Website: Director: Gloria Kelley Accreditation: ACSI Enrollment: 35 Number of Teachers: 6 Grades Offered: K3-12 Application Opens: February Application Fee: $25 Application Deadline: Open Average Tuition: $4,050 After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1971 Cornerstone Preparatory Academy 4310 Moon Station Lane, Acworth, 30101 Phone: (770) 529.7077 Website: Administrator: Jeanne Borders Accreditation: SACS, ACSI Member Enrollment: 365 Number of Teachers: 46 Grades Offered: K-12 Application Opens: Fall Semester opens in January and Spring Semester opens in August Application Fee: $50 per student Application Deadline: Fall Semester August; Spring Semester January Average Tuition: $125 per semester hour (full course load $1500 elementary per semester, $2250 secondary school per semester) Special Programs: Elementary: Flag football, Junior Crosscountry, Chess Club, Various ACSI Academic Competitions. Secondary: Girls’ Volleyball, Boys’ Basketball, Swim Team, Golf, Tennis, Cross Country, Cheerleading, FCA, Drama, Yearbook, National Honor Society, Leadership Team, Praise Team, Chapel, Various ACSI Academic Competitions. Covenant Christian School 3130 Atlanta Road, Smyrna, 30080 Phone: (770) 435-1596 Website: Headmaster: Randy Ball Enrollment: 207 Number of Teachers: 16 Grades Offered: K4-8 Application Opens: Feb. 1 Application Fee: $125 Application Deadline: May 1 Average Tuition: $3,970 to $7,470 Special Programs: classical Christian curriculum After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1975 Covered Bridge Academy 488 Hurt Road, Smyrna, 30082 Phone: (770) 801-8292 Website: www.coveredbridgeacademy .com Directors: Dana Vaughn and Natesha Cobb Accreditation: GAC Enrollment: 90 Number of Teachers: 15 Grades Offered: Pre-k through 5th Application Opens: Continuing Application Fee: $100 Application Deadline: Rolling Average Tuition: $6,400$10,700 Special Programs: music, art, Spanish, physical education, Montessori curriculum After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1999 Cumberland Christian


Cobb and Marietta private schools

Academy 2356 Clay Road, Austell, 30106 Phone: (770) 819-5040 Website: Headmaster: Dr. Lee Campbell Accreditation: GAC Enrollment: 360 Number of Teachers: 40 Grades Offered: PK3-12 Application Opens: Feb. 15 Application Fee: $250-$575 Application Deadline: Open Average Tuition: $4,000-$7,300 (for first child, discount for subsequent child) Special Programs: basketball, golf, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer, cross-country, tennis, cheerleading, photography and videography, online courses After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1989 Dominion Christian 4607 Burnt Hickory Road, Acworth, 30064 Phone: (770) 420-2153 Website: Headmaster: Joe Bradley Accreditation: ACSI, SACS Enrollment: 230 Number of Teachers: 31 (including staff) Grades Offered: 6-12 Application Opens: January Application Fee: $100 Application Deadline: N/A Average Tuition - Middle School: $6,200-$8,300 and High School: $11,500 Special Programs: athletics, various clubs, international program, college preparatory curriculum, fine arts program, peer leadership program After-School Care: No Year Established: 1997 East Cobb Christian School 4616 Roswell Road N.E., Marietta, 30062 Phone: (770) 565-0881 Website: Principal: Teresa Staley Accreditation: GAC Enrollment: 130 Number of Teachers: 22 Grades Offered: K-8 Application Opens: Feb. 6 Application Fee: $100 Application Deadline: When full Average Tuition: $4,600-$7,400 Special Programs: Charlotte Mason Emphasis, Spanish, ExploreMore program for K-3 After-School Care: No Year Established: 1987 Eastside Christian School 2450 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta, 30068 Phone: (770) 971-2332 Website: www.eastsidechristianschool .com Principal: Judith Cripps Accreditation: GAC; Member ACSI Enrollment: 330 Number of Teachers: 50 Grades Offered: K5-8; optional pre-first Application Opens: Immediately Application Fee: $50 Application Deadline: None Average Tuition: $5,335-$7,524 Special Programs: academic clubs, athletic teams and individual sports, art, music and drama ensembles, progressive computer application courses, Spanish After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1983 Faith Lutheran School 2111 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta, 30068 Phone: (770) 973-8921 Website: Principal: Jack D. Hibbs Accreditation: National Lutheran Schools Accreditation, SACS Enrollment: 235 Number of Teachers: 18 Grades Offered: PS-8 (age 2 through 8th grade) Application Opens: Jan. 21 Application Fee: $25; Testing Fee $50 Application Deadline: Rolling Average Tuition: $4,225$6,675 Special Programs: competitive sports, choral, band, handbells, Spanish After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1958 Mableton Christian Academy 6485 Factory Shoals Road, Mableton, 30126 Phone: (770) 948-7971 Principal/Administrator: David Martin Accreditation: GAC Enrollment: 27 Number of Teachers: 5 Grades Offered: PK-12 Application Opens: February Registration Fee: $100 Application Deadline: until full Average Tuition: $4,400-$5,600 Special programs: music; student conventions After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1978

Midway Covenant Christian School 4635 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: (770) 590-1866 Website: Administrator: Barbara Kline Accreditation: ACSI member Enrollment: 310 Number of Teachers: 25 Grades Offered: K4-8 Application Opens: February Application Fee: $125 Application Deadline: None Average Tuition: $2,075-$5,580 Special Programs: band, chorus, computers, basketball, cheerleading, baseball, cross country, volleyball, tennis After-School Care: No Year Established: 1996 Mount Bethel Christian Academy 4385 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta, 30068 Phone: (770) 971-0245 Website: Director: Jim Callis Accreditation: SAIS, SACS Enrollment: 495 Number of Teachers: 40-50 Grades Offered: K-8 Application Opens: November Application Fee: $100 Application Deadline: February (for first-round acceptance) Average Tuition: $9,380-10,650 Special Programs: Latin, Spanish, logic, Bible, fine arts, media, clubs, technology, athletics, band, chorus After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1998 Mount Paran Christian School 1275 Stanley Road, Kennesaw, 30152 Phone: (770) 578-0182 Website: Headmaster: David W. Tilley Accreditation: SACS-SAIS Enrollment: 1,215 Number of Teachers: 95 Grades Offered: PK3-12 Application Opens: Rolling Application Fee: $75 Application Deadline: Rolling Average Tuition: $2,857$13,759 Special Programs: Acclaimed performing arts magnet program, extensive athletics program beginning in fifth grade, encore/gifted program, AP & honors courses, foreign language starting in PK3, unique course offerings (Greek, criminalistics, marine biology, and Christian apologetics), study abroad, directed studies, peer mentoring (plus 28 other clubs/organizations), executive internships, Georgia GOAL scholarship participant After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1976 North Cobb Christian School 4500 Lakeview Drive, Kennesaw, 30144 Phone: (770) 975-0252 Website: Head of School: Todd Clingman Accreditation: AdvancEd (formerly SACS), ACSI, GAC Enrollment: 840 Number of Teachers: 75 Grades Offered: K3-12 Application Opens: Nov. 15 Application Fee: $100 Application Deadline: Rolling Average Tuition: $3,450$12,120 Special Programs: academies, arts, “Moving Forward” program, gifted, athletics, missions, summer camps, spring term After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1983 Praise Academy 4052 Hiram-Lithia Springs Road, Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: (770) 943-2484 Website: Principal: Georgia White Administrator: Joe White Accreditation: SACS, ACSI Enrollment: 275 Number of Teachers: 18 Grades Offered: K3-12 Application Opens: Feb. 1 Application Fee: $150 Average Tuition: $2,850-$5,000 Special Programs: AP/dual credit courses, music, arts, athletics, chess and robotics club After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1983 Shiloh Hills Christian School 260 Hawkins Store Road, Kennesaw, 30144 Phone: (770) 926-7729 Website: Administrator: John D. Ward Accreditation: GACS, GPSAC Enrollment: 275 Number of Teachers: 45 Grades Offered: K3-12 Application Opens: Feb. 1 Application Fee: $125 Application Deadline: Until full Average Tuition: $3,040-$7,715 After-School Care: Yes

Tracking Your all year long online at


Year Established: 1980

Shreiner Academy 1340 Terrell Mill Road, Marietta, 30067 Phone: (770) 953-1340 Website: Head of School: Sarah Walker Accreditation: GAC Enrollment: 230 Number of Teachers: 25 Grades Offered: PS-8 Application Opens: Rolling for new students Average Tuition: $9,900$11,100 Special Programs: computer, art, Spanish, performing arts After-School Care: Yes; included in tuition Year Established: 1980 St. Joseph Catholic School 81 Lacy Street, Marietta, 30060 Phone: (770) 428-3328 Website: Principal: Patricia Allen Accreditation: SACS, SAIS Enrollment: 490 Number of Teachers: 50 Grades Offered: K-8 Application Opens: Rolling Application Fee: $125 Average Tuition: $5,791 (Catholic); $7,528 (nonCatholic/non-participating Catholic) Special Programs: basketball, girls volleyball, LEGO robotics, praise band, drama, Scouts After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1953 The Walker School 700 Cobb Parkway N., Marietta, 30062 Phone: (678) 581-6891 Website: Head of School: Jack Hall Accreditation: SACS/SAIS Enrollment: 1,049 Number of Teachers: 130 Grades Offered: PK-12 Application Opens: Sept. 1 Application Fee: $75 Application Deadline: Feb. 20 Average Tuition: $10,420$18,630 Special Programs: AP courses, student internships, international exchanges, foreign language beginning in pre-K, award-winning drama productions, state championship-winning sports teams, nationally recognized college counseling program After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1957

Day, Life and Career Planning, Newspaper, PLAN/PSAT Testing, SAT Testing Center, and Yearbook After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1997 Youth Christian School 4967 Brownsville Road, Powder Springs, 30127 Phone: (770) 943-1394 Website: Principal: Scott Birt Accreditation: GACS Enrollment: 165 Number of Teachers: 25 Grades Offered: K3-12 Application Opens: Feb. 1 Application Fee: $250 Average Tuition: $4,300-$4,500 After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1974 Accreditation abbreviations: Some affiliations listed under accreditation are memberships rather than accreditations. Some common abbreviations for school accreditation are: AAAIS — Atlanta Area Association of Independent Schools ACSI — Association of Christian Schools International AMI — Association Montessori International CITA — Commission on TransRegional Accreditation DHR — Department of Human Resources ELCA — Evangelical Lutheran Church in America GAC — Georgia Accrediting Commission Inc. GACS — Georgia Association of Christian Schools GAlS — Georgia Association of

Independent Schools GAPSEC — Georgia Association of Private Schools for Exceptional Children GAYC — Georgia Association of Young Children GCCA — Georgia Child Care Association GHSA — Georgia High School Association GISA — Georgia Independent School Association MACTE — Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education MIA — Montessori Institute of America NAEYC — National Association for the Education of Young Children NAIS — National Association of Independent Schools NCME — National Council on Measurement in Education NCPSA — National Council of Private School Association SACS — Southern Association of Colleges & Schools SAIS — Southern Association of lndependent Schools Regarding grades offered, the term K-8 means kindergarten through eighth grade. The term PK means the school has prekindergarten programs for 4year-olds. We did not include child-care centers or schools that only offer preschool. PS — Preschool PK — Pre-kindergarten K — Kindergarten K3 — Pre-kindergarten program for 3-year-olds K4 — Pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds

The Wood Acres School 1772 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, 30062 Phone: (770) 971-1880 Website: Head of School: Judy T. Thigpen Enrollment: 400 Number of Teachers: 70 Grades Offered: age 2 through grade 8 Application Opens: November Application Fee: $75-$100 Application Deadline: Feb. 17; rolling admissions Average Tuition: $3,000-$9,400 Special Programs: Spanish language curriculum, music, band, art, physical education, technology lab, science labs After-School Care: Yes Year Established: 1969 Whitefield Academy 1 Whitefield Drive SE, Mableton, 30126 Phone: (678) 305-3000 Website: Headmaster: Dr. John H. Lindsell Academic Dean: Dr. Kevin Bracher Upper School Principal: Dr. Susan Banke Middle School Principal: Dr. Ronald Farrar Lower School Principal: Jeannie Brostrand Accreditation: SACS/SAIS Enrollment: 650 Number of Teachers: 110 (employees) Grades Offered: PreK4-12 Application Opens: Oct. 1 Application Fee: $65 Application Deadline: Feb. 18 Average Tuition: $9,400 to $18,750 Advanced placement and honors courses: 22 Athletic: 22 varsity teams; 50 athletic teams total Special Programs: Black History Month, Chapel, Fine Arts Month, Peer Mentoring, Academic Enrichment Center, Parent Prayer Group, Summer Academic Enrichment Program, Summer Sports Camps; Upper School programs: College Tours, Community Service

The little red school house at the corner of North Main and Wood Street in Historic Downtown Acworth Personalized Education Experience for students with Learning Differences in Reading and Math CREATIVE • NURTURING • UNPRETENTIOUS





Home schooling: A family learning experience Continued from Page 6CC Cooper, 5; and Ella, 2. They live in a newly developed subdivision off Burnt Hickory Road. “I just always wanted to be a mom and the home schooling thing fascinated me. But because I grew up in private school, K12, when it came time to think about school for our oldest, I was drawn to private school,” said Carrie Thompson, a trained teacher who previously taught at the prestigious Lovett School in Atlanta. The family sent their oldest son, Mac, to Mount Paran Christian School until second grade. “It was great and it was fine for one (child) and even two (children) but then we started feeling like we weren’t having much time as a family,” she said. “We were in the rat race of school, plus it was very expensive.” Eventually, the Thompsons decided it would be easiest to bring their children home to “simplify it.” “We do enjoy teaching them, and teaching them what we want to teach them. But mainly we want to teach them while they are young. I don’t necessary want my high schoolers sitting at my kitchen table,” she said. The Thompsons have decided to take home schooling year by year, and expect to put their children back into either private or public school as they see fit. “It’s really working well for the number of children we have,” she said. “They are very involved in sports and afterschool activities.” The family is typically home in the mornings and work on lessons between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. “Mac and Grace are kind of independent in a lot of their work now. I assign them what they have going on. I work mainly with the little kids, teaching them how to read. We always spend time reading together. That’s kind of our favorite time. We always do history together, and everybody does the same history, which is

Staff/Todd Hull

Catherine-Ann Marlow gets to sit in her favorite chair as she does a homework assignment. great.” She said there is a lot of dialogue among the children during history, too. “We take a lot of field trips. We’re pretty flexible when things come up. We like to have real-life stuff going on. If the dog goes to the vet, we all go,” she said. “We’ve progressed through several things until we figured out what works.” Like the Brewers, Carrie Thompson said she’s been able to pull together curriculums that work for her children. They use Sunlight and Shurley grammar books. “I kind of pull what I like,” she said. “It’s definitely more work, but there’s just so much out there that’s really good. The curriculum has a test after each unit and lets them see where the kids are. They’ve made it so easy to home school now.” Thompson said her children have enjoyed being homeschooled too. “They just enjoy the time to be home and the time to be together,” she said. “They have a

really neat brother-sister relationship that I know they wouldn’t have if they had been in school.” While the Thompson and Brewer families are home schooling their children fulltime, Jeanine and Dan Marlow, also of Marietta, have taken a slightly different approach. All four of their children have been home-schooled in one way or another, but their two youngest children, who are now both teenagers, attend Cornerstone Prep in Acworth, which Jeanine Marlow described as a “hybrid” between traditional and home schooling. The first child they decided to home school was their now 24year-old daughter, Frances, who lives in Atlanta. They started home schooling her in sixth grade when she decided to pursue competitive ice skating. “It’s a very time consuming sport and also very expensive. Ice time is cheaper if you go in the morning, so we decided to home school Frances,” Jeanine Marlow said.

The Marlows home-schooled Frances in sixth and seventh grades, but in eighth grade she decided to stop pursuing competitive ice skating and enrolled at Marietta Middle School. She eventually graduated from Marietta High. Frances graduated from the University of Georgia in 2010 with a degree in fashion merchandising. “It was a very positive experience. She did really well and her test scores went up,” Marlow said. “She transitioned (back to public school) very easily.” Two years later, in 2004, Dan Marlow’s company, Delta, underwent huge pay cuts so they decided to home school their three youngest children, Daniell, Catherine-Ann and Charles, who were all attending Mount Paran Christian School in Kennesaw at that time. Dan Marlow was a pilot with Delta. “We wanted to continue to provide that Christian education for them, and we thought that (home schooling) worked well before so I would try it for Daniell, Catherine-Anne and

Charles,” she said. While Daniell eventually returned to Mount Paran, graduating in 2009, Jeanine said they continued home schooling Catherine-Ann, who is now 16, and Charles, now 15. Daniell is currently attending Kennesaw State and plans to transfer to University of Georgia next fall to study wildlife biology and ecology science. Marlow said she fell into a routine with her two youngest children home schooling. “I’m very glad that we have done it,” Marlow said. “We’ve made memories.” Things changed quite a bit in 2009 when her husband had to be hospitalized, so Marlow searched for alternate education options for her children and discovered Cornerstone Prep. The school, which opened in 2004 off Wade Green Road in Acworth, allowed her two children to be taught by teachers and participate in extracurricular activities, but still have the opportunity to work from home when needed. Catherine-Ann, now a junior, and Charles, a ninth-grader, began their second year at Cornerstone this year and Marlow is the school’s communications and marketing director. Charles attends Cornerstone three days a week and CatherineAnn five days a week. The fully-accredited school, which is modeled after a university system, is for children in kindergarten through 12th grades. “Parents interested in home schooling their children must notify their local school district within 30 days of establishing a home-study program, and include the names, ages and addresses of their students. Parents and guardians can only home-school their own children, and the parent-teacher must have at least a high school diploma. Home-schoolers must take instruction for at least 180 days, with four and a half hours of instruction daily unless the child is physically unable to comply. Parents must also submit monthly attendance records to their local school district.




Progress 2012




Windows o f wisdom 5DD ART IS HER LIFE’S INSPIRATION // 5DD




— 4DD

Female, feline talents emerge at Salvadore Kitti / 3DD



Encore! Local theater provides opportunities for all By Davia L. Mosley

hen Blackwell Playhouse shut its doors in February 2011, Don Goodner was determined for the young cast rehearsing “Jack and Jill and the Crown of Wonder” to have their time in the spotlight. Through tenacity and creativity, he created Children’s Garden Theater in order for local youth to let their stars continue to shine. For a little more than six months, Goodner has served as artistic director at the old Blackwell Playhouse location at 3380 Canton Road in Marietta. Goodner, who grew up in Texas, said he always had a love for theater and writing. Although his background is in restaurant management, Goodner was still able to indulge in the performing arts through his own original productions. When Blackwell Playhouse closed, Goodner said it was a change, but it wasn’t a surprise. “I had seen the writing on the wall. It looked like the place was going to be shutting down,” he said. “I had already taken steps to make sure at least the play I was writing and directing would keep on going.” He said another production was completely shut down, but Goodner said he didn’t think it was necessary to tell the children their play was over. He instead utilized space in Woodstock and the Curtain Call Youth Players facility, using his own money to rent it. He said the parents were supportive and the children were excited to continue their journey to the stage. He said they didn’t “miss a beat” for rehearsals and performances. That play was a part of a five-part series at Children’s Garden Theater.


Goodner, who writes and composes music for each production, said each piece is a twist on the original story. “I take the original story and find a different way of telling it,” he said. For example, “Back to the Beanstalk” was a play on “Jack and the Beanstalk.” In this story, Jack discovers the giant is actually a nice person who feels isolated because he lives in the clouds alone. Goodner said the lesson in this play is, “Just because we’re different doesn’t mean we’re bad.” “The Big Bad Wolf,” “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” and “The Snow Princess” rounded out the series for this year. A mixture of characters from different fairy tales and children’s stories reoccur in Goodner’s plays. He said, as a writer, it’s fun to explore where the characters continue to go, but it also keeps the children engaged. “Kids really take to this type of process,” he said. “They like to see where the character will go next.” He said an average of 25 children ranging from 5 to 18 years old participate in the Children’s Garden Series. There are also opportunities for teenagers and young adults (ages 13 to 21) in the Young Actors Playhouse. These productions include Broadway favorites such as “Rent.” Professional choreographers, directors and set designers are among the team helping to put these shows together. Goodner said opportunities exist for everyone. Whether they are on stage or behind the scenes working with lighting and sound, Goodner said he tries to make sure everyone feels included and can use their talents. Through the Children’s Garden Theater Workshop Program, Goodner said


Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

Above: Don Goodner is the artistic director at the Children’s Garden Theater. Below: From left, JeNae Dunn, Erica Pierno, Payton Anderson, Drew Alfieri, Lela Myrick and Jessica Ungar sing ‘La Vie Boheme’ during rehearsal. children can be involved in all shows in a more economical way. For performers 18 and younger, tuition is $150 per show. However, the workshop program allows parents to pay $50 per month with the benefit of the children being able to perform in each show in the Children’s Garden Theater and Young Actors Playhouse (for those who are of age and have adequate experience). Tuition covers a variety of show expenses, but “Red Carpet Night” is a perk for the performers. On the evening of the first show, performers have dinner at a restaurant, followed by a limousine ride to the theater. Goodner said, “The kids get a big kick out of that.” Positive reinforcement is something Goodner pushes for his performers, saying,

“You get more out of your staff when you tell them what it is they’re doing right. We work real hard to let them know what they are doing right.” Goodner said the looks on their faces shows they are appreciative of and responsive to the positive feedback. “I try to keep things fun for the kids,” Goodner said. Spring performances from the Children’s Garden Theater and Young Actors Playhouse include “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat,” “Hansel and Gretel” and “Big River.” “Fair Tax: The Musical” will include an adult cast and is slated for a summer run. For more information, contact Goodner at don@ or visit www.childrens

The Cover Elizabeth Gordon, 22, uses art as inspiration for herself, others through The Windows of Wisdom Page 5DD


f r o m We d d i n g W i r e , t h e #1 online bridal resource

770-974-4899 4851 North Main Street Historic Acwor th




Female, feline talents emerge at Salvador Kitti By Sally Litchfield MDJ Features Editor

alvador Kitti makes clothing, gifts and accessories using animalinspired artwork by Amy Pugh-Campos. “I’ve been an artist my entire life. I’ve always loved animals,” she said. “I started drawing my stuffed animals before I could talk.” Inspiration for the company came from a kitten owned by Pugh-Campos named Salvador, who tried to paint with her. “He always put his paws in the paint. He kept trying to work on what I was working on. I finally gave up. I put down some acrylic paint and hard board and let him paint,” said PughCampos, explaining that “Eat, Paint, Meow,” is the tagline of the company. Salvador Kitti makes products that are printed using a new, highly technical digital process called all over photo realism. “My paintings are reproduced dot-by-dot. You’re literally getting wearable art,” said the Marietta resident who has lived in Cobb County since first grade. “My product is different. It’s original artwork done by my hand. It’s not just a photograph or a cartoon,” she said. “Not everyone can afford an original oil painting. These are things that aren’t mass produced,” she added. A People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Business Friends partner, Salvador Kitti produces animal-friendly products. “I wanted to stay away from leathers and things like that. I wanted it to be green and environmentally friendly as much as I possibly could,” she said. Gravitating toward ani-


Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

Above left: Amy Pugh-Campos, owner of Salvador Kitti, holds her 2-year-old cat, Salvador, in her studio, surrounded by her paintings and handbags, accessories and clothing that feature her paintings. Above right: Messenger bags, tote bags and cosmetic bags with her paintings printed on them are on display along with her oil paintings on canvas and other assorted merchandise. mals all her life, PughCampos sells her products online and at zoos, aquariums and conservation centers such as Zoo Atlanta and White Oak Conservation Center. She also donates a percentage of sales to these organizations to help animals. “I’m really trying to build a company that gives back. I wouldn’t be inspired to paint anything if the animals weren’t here. I want to make sure I’m doing my part to protect them,” she said. “I’m hoping when people look at my art they’ll feel what I feel and have a greater respect for the animals. That’s my hope,” she said. Visit www.salvador or for more information and to make custom orders.

Pugh-Campos holds a cosmetic bag in front of an oil painting of the same sea turtle, showing the quality of printing and likeness to the original.

Tracking Your

all year long online at




40 years of inspiration Robert Meredith returns to his roots with anniversary art show By Davia L. Mosley

arietta is where he began, and Marietta is where Robert Meredith has returned to celebrate, look back and reflect on his more than 40-year art career. The Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art has his body of work on display in the exhibit “Robert Meredith — 40 Years Exhibition.” The exhibit is full circle for Meredith, who got his start at age 16 designing tombstones and monuments for the McNeel Monument Company. His work still stands at the Georgia Memorial Gardens, on the corner of Windy Hill Road and Cobb Parkway in the granite shapes of Robert Georgia on the low wall. Meredith Of the exhibit, Meredith said, “To be recognized in my own hometown is wonderful. (MCMA has) done a tremendous amount of work. It’s a wonderful place to show, and it’s also wonderful for me to be able to review 40 years of workmanship.” He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia in 1963. His work can be found locally in places such as Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University. Actor and comedian Steve Martin is a connoisseur of Meredith’s works, as is Marietta Daily Journal publisher Otis A. Brumby, Jr. His pieces can also be seen across the country and world. During a trip to southern France, Meredith said he walked into a friend’s home and saw three of his paintings hanging. Traveling to where great artists, such as Renoir, have painted is something that inspires Meredith. “I’m a student of art history,” he said. “It’s always interesting to me to know where artists have painted. It’s fun to go back to some of these places and paint the same subjects that these great artists have painted on the same spot and then look at it through my eyes.” Although he is well versed in various art forms, Meredith is best known for “trompe l’oeil,” (pronounced “trump loy”). Translated it means “deceive the eye.” Meredith said the traditional method involves a solid, flat plain. The artist paints an object with a very shallow depth of feel to make it look realistic. Meredith adds to the traditional technique and makes it his own by adding a 3D element. For example, he will paint a canvas and incorporate a bigger frame, which


serves as an extension of the image. He said his career in this art form evolved naturally. So what is it about this medium that Meredith enjoys? “Every artist wants to find his own way of speaking,” he said. “I found an area that I really love. I believe I have taken trompe l’oeil painting further than it was by incorporating the frame into the painting and actually going outside the painting with other things, and that hadn’t been done before. That’s what an artist wants to do. I have no desire to repeat something some other painter has done. And it’s fun.” His “Antique Toy World” incorporates different types of items, including cast iron taxicabs, teddy bears, jack-in-the-box and a windup toy. Many of Meredith’s paintings incorporate windows. He said he enjoys painting them and works to make the piece of art look as real as possible. Painting cracks in the glass and strips of worn tape are some of the elements he uses to do. “I look at something, and I figure it out and I make it look that way,” he said. “That’s why I like being a painter.” Meredith and his wife, Brenda, have four children and seven grandchildren. A piece titled “The Little Clown” features his son, Robby, when he was a young boy. Times vary on his creations vary, but one painting depicting the crucifixion of Christ, took him two years to complete. Meredith said other subjects in the painting are family, friends, neighbors and other personal acquaintances. His painting, “Song of the Chattahoochee,” is a tribute to his mother and Sidney Lanier, the late Georgia writer and namesake of Lake Lanier. Decades of art have inspired Meredith to write “The Art of Oil Painting.” He said the book would provide “tricks of the trade” for young artists. He said, “It’s just telling artists basically how to paint, be a professional artist, how to frame your work (and) how to sell your work.” Throughout the years, one thing has never changed. Meredith’s first show was in the early 1960s at a gallery in downtown Atlanta. He said the anticipatory feeling he had back then is still present today. “You work for months and months on these paintings. I work in solitude,” he said. “Then you get to show people what you’ve done. It is a wonderful feeling for me to have people respond to my work. I really look forward to doing it.” The exhibit will be at the museum, located at 30 Atlanta St., now through March 25 in Galleries 1, 2 and 3. For more information, visit www.mariettacobbart or call (770) 528-1444.





‘I don’t want to paint just pretty pictures. I want them to mean more.’ — Elizabeth Gordon, creator of The Windows of Wisdom

Inspiration through art

Elizabeth Gordon wants to help others heal through her craft By Davia L. Mosley

ith a little bit of paint, a lot of creativity and mounds of courage, Elizabeth Gordon of Marietta has used her artistic talents to provide inspiration for herself and others. Gordon, 22, has always had a love of art, but a personal challenge was the impetus for her to help others through her craft. A little more than a year ago, Gordon was in Pennsylvania with family when her mother noticed a “giant lump” on her neck. Gordon said she thought weight gain was the reason for the change in her neck. However, “My mom said, ‘You have got to get in and have that looked at.’” Her doctor said it could be a fluid-filled mass, but suggested Gordon see a specialist to make sure it wasn’t cancer. Just the word had Gordon reeling because the disease had touched their family before. “My dad’s mom died of breast cancer,” she said. Gordon underwent tests at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. A golf-ball sized tumor was wrapped around her thyroid gland. It was a solid mass and couldn’t be drained, and Gordon


had to have a biopsy. She said the experience was painful, emotionally and physically. “Getting a shot in your neck is so uncomfortable. The needles were huge, and they had to numb the area with needles,” she said. “You could hear the needle break through the tumor.” Unfortunately, her fears were confirmed when Gordon was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer. Although she said the cancer is treatable, her form was more aggressive and spread to her lymph nodes. Gordon underwent radiation therapy and surgery, both of which took a physical and emotional toll on her. Her diet was restricted, and she had to be isolated at times. “It was such an outof-body experience,” she said. “I thought, ‘I’m 21 years old. How is this possible?’” Not being able to see Anslie, her 4-year-old daughter, was highly emotional. However, Gordon was able to find support through the medical team, which she describes as “amazing.” A nonprofit organization — Thon, the

Elizabeth Gordon utilizes old windows and acrylic paint to create her artwork called ‘The Windows of Wisdom,’ which she began painting as a source of therapy and income after being diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer in July 2010. She kept a quote book during her treatment for inspiration. She now uses the phrases in her art to inspire others. 

Staff/Laura Moon

See Art, Page 8DD

CATERING DONE YOUR WAY. Four different, delicious catering choices from one, reliable, reasonably priced source. Welcome to catering by your Marietta Family Restaurants! We’ll bring a world of taste to your table. What would you like?

Voted Best Seafood in Cobb County!

24 hours a day 365 days a year Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner

Authentic Italian Cuisine

Signature Steaks

3185 Canton Road Marietta, GA 30066 70-218-3470

306 Cobb Parkway S. Marietta, GA 30060 770-423-9390

3696 Austell Road Marietta, GA 30008 770-434-3535

2710 Canton Road Marietta, GA 30066 770-427-0490

Your place, or ours – either way, it’s our pleasure to ser ve you! Cal l us a t 4 04 -3 8 6- 4 00 4 or vi si t us at m fr cat er i ng .com

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre 6DD



2800 Galleria Parkway, Atlanta / / (770) 916-2800

 The Atlanta Opera: “The Golden Ticket,” March 3 at 8 p.m., March 6 at 7:30 p.m., March 9 at 8 p.m., March 11 at 3 p.m. Comic opera based on the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl. A young boy named Charlie finds a “golden ticket” admitting him into Willy Wonka’s top-secret chocolate factory where he encounters chocolate rivers, inflating blueberries, magic elevators and other delights. “The Golden Ticket” is a poignant tale about wishes coming true. Tickets are $25 plus fees.  Ralphie May: March 17 at 8 p.m. As lovable as he is outrageous, Ralphie May is one of the most popular comedians in the country. Since his debut on season one of “Last Comic Standing,” audiences can’t get enough of the larger than life comedian. Now, Ralphie proves he’s “Too Big To Ignore” with his record breaking fourth Comedy Central Special and North American tour. Voted one of Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch, Ralphie spreads his comedic wealth further than ever by tackling topics that will make you think and occasionally squirm. With no subject off limits, Ralphie dives in and reveals the hilarious quirks that infiltrate politics, race and even his family. Lovable enough to get away with anything, Ralphie continues to capture the hearts of thousands on his sold out tours and promises to make you gleefully uncomfortable. Tickets are $30.50 plus fees.  Atlanta Ballet: “Man In Black,” March 23 at 8 p.m., March 24 at 2 and 8 p.m., March 25 at 2 p.m. James Kudelka’s “Man in Black” delivers imaginative choreography over a mix of hits and hidden gems by rockabilly legend Johnny Cash. Jorma Elo’s ultra-modern “First Flash” imbues modern elements of speed and athleticism and demonstrates why he was singled out as a “talent to follow” in the New York Times’ Year in Review. In “Moments of Dis,” Atlanta-based choreographer Juel Lane examines the positive and negative implications of the prefix “dis”: Sometimes we

become disillusioned, disrespectful, or dishonest with our personal choices in life. When we start to discern what is the truth, we can manage our psyche. Tickets are $20 to $135 plus fees. www.atlantaballet. com.  Daughtry: March 27 at 8 p.m. Daughtry has announced the first leg of its upcoming tour in support of the multi-platinum selling rock band’s third album, “Break The Spell.” Singer Chris Daughtry, guitarists Josh Steely and Brian Craddock, bassist Josh Paul and drummer Robin Diaz are excited to bring their bigger than life show into theaters across the country to provide an intimate experience for fans. Tickets are $32.50, $42.50 & 52.50 plus fees.  Young Frankenstein: March 29 and 30 at 8 p.m.; March 31 at 2 and 8 p.m., April 1 at 2 p.m. The classic Mel Brooks movie has been transformed into a new production. It is the winner of the 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award and the Audience Award for Best Musical. This wickedly inspired re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend follows bright young Dr. Frankenstein (Fronkensteen) as he attempts to create a monster—but not without scary and hilarious complications. Tickets are $25 to $63 plus fees. www.youngfrankensteinthe  The Atlanta Opera: “Don Giovanni,” April 28 at 8 p.m., May 1 at 7:30 p.m., May 4 at 8 p.m., May 6 at 3 p.m. Widely regarded as the greatest opera ever composed, “Don Giovanni” tells of the devious schemes and hijinks of history’s most beguiling scoundrel, Don Juan. Mozart’s anti-hero has a personality so engaging that audiences root for him, even as his dark side emerges. Don Giovanni is a brilliant combination of comedy and tragedy, set to music of limitless genius. Sung in Italian with English supertitles. Tickets are $25 to $145 plus fees.  Imagination Movers: May 19 at 2 and 5 p.m. Rich, Scott, Dave and Smitty of the Emmy-winning Disney Channel TV series “Imagination Movers” – will

Ralphie May will bring the laughs March 17 at 8 p.m. as part of his ‘Too Big To Ignore’ tour.

Camp Juliette Low, Inc. Atop Beautiful Lookout Mtn. Cloudland, GA

For Girls 7-17 1 & 2 We e k Sessions Available

June 3 thru July 28 2012

Horseback Riding • Sailing Ropes Course • Canoeing • Climbing Wall Swimming • Archery • Diving • Tennis • Crafts Hiking • OLS • Overnights • Campfires Phone: 770-428-1062 Fax: 770-428-1302 Website: • Email: Winter Address: P.O. Box 5113, Marietta, GA 30061

Daughtry is on tour showcasing its third album, ‘Break The Spell.’ Singer Chris Daughtry, guitarists Josh Steely and Brian Craddock, bassist Josh Paul and drummer Robin Diaz will perform March 27 at 8 p.m. 


be bringing their highoctane rock concert to a theater near you, and it’s an event the whole family can enjoy. On the Rock-O-Matic tour, the guys will be playing all their favorite songs from their TV series as well as debuting new material from their brand-new “RockO-Matic” CD/DVD. The new disc features some of the guys most infectious music to date enhanced by a new collection of live-action and animated videos. The Imagination Movers began in 2003 as a rock band for kids in New Orleans and have grown into the stars of a hit television series seen in more than 55 countries on the Disney Channel. On the show, the Movers star as four friends who work together in the Idea Warehouse to solve problems through creativity and teamwork. Their friends Nina and Warehouse Mouse are there to help along the way as the Movers brainstorm ideas and explore the Warehouse’s many magical rooms. Each episode features two or more original Movers songs. Tickets are $27 and $37 plus fees.

MARIETTA WINE MARKET 18 Powder Springs Street

On the Square in Marietta


Weekly Wine Tastings

Unique Gift & Food Items for All Occasions Domestic & International Trips throughout the Year Over 500 Wines & Beers from Around the World Gift Baskets Made to Order

(delivery available - certain delivery restrictions apply)

Private Tastings & Corporate Events (reservations required)

Visit our website for Upcoming Events and Trip Information




Marietta art gallery ...

RULES Mother, daughter share art at Marietta Square By Sally Litchfield MDJ Features Editor

here are new rules on the historic Marietta Square with motherdaughter duo Lois and Becky Rule and their new art and design gallery 2 Rules Fine Art at 85 Church St. Unlike many Atlanta-area art galleries with a fine art focus, 2 Rules Fine Art will also feature great design. “What makes 2 Rules unique is our focus on art that references design and commercial processes or is design in and of itself,” said Becky Rule, who holds an MFA in Visual Communication from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and will be receiving her MBA with a focus in entrepreneurship and marketing from Georgia Tech this year. She and her mother are the first parent-child duo to attend Georgia Tech’s College of Management. The gallery bridges the gap between what is considered fine art and great design by showcasing creative works with commercial processes and themes including printmaking, typography, leather press printing, screen printing, relief printing,


etching and paintings. “We have artists who make use of processes that were traditionally used for commercial production and put them into the fine art realm,” Becky said. “In today’s world we are surrounded by the world of commercial designers,” Lois said. She holds a BA in sculpture from the University of Florida and an MBA with a focus in Market Research from Georgia 2 Rules Fine Art co-owner Becky Rule points out a technique used by artist Kang Joo Tech. “It’s rare these days to see a new gallery Lee. The art gallery opened last fall at 85 Church St. opening its doors, especially one that focuses on great design,” she said. Tracking Lois and Becky have more than 27 Your years of combined experience in business, fine art and design. all year long online at “We saw a need that matched our joint art, design and business expertise and are thrilled to give Atlanta’s art aficionados a gallery tailored to something a bit out of Travel back in time as you tour the gallery norm,” Lois said. In addition to ongoing shows, the the collection of Dr. Chris gallery will offer different classes every month on traditional art techniques and 2Sullivan. You will see items D design topics. Visit www.2rulesfineart. com or call (770) 609-9278 or email belonging to author Margaret for more information.

Mitchell and artifacts from the movie







personal items belonging to the cast members, and the original bengaline honeymoon gown worn by Vivien Leigh in her role as “Scarlett O’Hara.” Co-owners are Becky Rule, left, and her mother, Lois Rule. 

Staff/ Samantha M. Shal

Open Mon.-Sat. 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 770-794-5576 or

(just off the Historic Marietta Square near the railroad tracts)


150 years ago, Union spies sneaked behind enemy lines on a daring mission. They stole a locomotive, intending to destroy a railroad. While their mission failed, they were the first to earn the Medal of Honor. This is their story.

A Smithsonian Institution affiliate, the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History features collections of rare Civil War weapons, uniforms and other personal items.

See The General, the actual Civil War era locomotive stolen by the Union.

April 12, 2012

Learn about the origins of the Medal of Honor and the men who sacrificed to earn this honor.

Free Museum Admission Breakfast ($20 per person) Starts a 6:00 a.m. Commemorative Coin Included

See rare Civil War memorabilia and weapons.

April 14 – 15, 2012

Explore the South’s last locomotive manufacturer and its role in redeveloping the post-bellum South.

Discount Admission Camp McDonald re-enactment 10 am – 4 pm Visit the Museum’s calendar of events at for a list of activities and events. The Southern Museum is located 20 miles north of Atlanta, off I-75 at exit 273.

During the sesquicentennial, 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Southern Museum will be hosting numerous events that will explore topics relevant to this tumultuous time in history.

8DD wanted to go careerwise, but is now determined to use her art for healing. “(The quotes) were Continued from Page 5DD super helpful for me, so I wanted to incorporate Four Diamonds Fund — them in my art,” she said. also raised money to help “I don’t want to paint just Gordon pay her medical pretty pictures. I want them bills. to mean more.” Through her ordeal, She said painting is like Gordon relied on the power therapy. Although she of creativity. She recalled scheduled to undergo more her grandfather, whom she radiation for the cancer that describes as “an amazing remains in her body, Gorartist.” She also kept a don remains positive. quote book during her treat“Life is really fragile,” ment and relied on it for she said. “I want to experiinspiration. ence everything while I’m The combination of her lucky enough to be here. I cancer experience and paswant to spread love.” sion for art led her to create Her pieces can be found “The Windows of Wisat places such as Doodledom.” Her colorful crebugz at the Marietta ations, made on recycled Square, and she also particwindows, use inspirational ipates in Art Walk and quotes. Phrases include Artists Market. Her prices “Find some beautiful place range from $35 and up. and get lost” and “Take Gordon plans on donatresponsibility for the energy ing a portion of the proyou bring into this space.” ceeds to charity, saying, Her art stands out not only because of her canvas, “It’s important to pay it forbut because of the heart she ward.” For more informaputs into it. Gordon said tion, search “The Windows she didn’t know where she of Wisdom” on Facebook.




Staff/Laura Moon

Elizabeth Gordon utilizes old windows and acrylic paint to create her artwork called ‘The Windows of Wisdom,’ which she began painting as a source of therapy and income after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010.




’80s remake has Cobb ties Osborne High School featured in ‘Footloose’ -

By Davia L. Mosley

ichael Chanin, former assistant principal of Osborne High School in Marietta, can now add movie producing with a side of acting to his resume. “Footloose,” a revamping of the 1984 film staring Kevin Bacon, opened Oct. 14, 2011. Parts were filmed in parts of Georgia with many scenes based at the local school. Chanin, now retired, said he received a call during the summer of Michael Chanin 2010 from Erin G. Fisher, assistant location manager, requesting permission to take pictures around Osborne. He escorted her around the school and the football field, but thought nothing would come of it. He said she told him he would hear from her in two weeks, but it only took her two days to tell him Paramount Studios was gaining interest in filming there. Chanin recalls, “They said this looks really good.” Through “lots of cooperation with the school district,” Chanin said the crew began prepping for filming. The pre-production, which took a little more than a week, included painting, adding lamps and modifying the name of the school. Chanin said, “They built a lot of stuff.”


However, he said, “A big bomb hit me” — the new football field was to be renovated Aug. 1, 2010. The solution: Chanin suggested using the school’s practice field, to which the crew approved. He was also able to get buses temporarily rerouted. “This was the first time Paramount Studios attempted to shoot a movie during the school day,” he said. Only a few people knew about the film and, with the first day of school nearing, Chanin said he had to break the news and decided to do so at a faculty meeting. “Can I introduce you guys so they know I’m not trying to pull their legs?” he recalls asking Craig Brewer, director, and the film crew. Students and teachers alike were excited about the movie being shot right outside their classrooms. With the exception of a morning announcement interrupting a take, Chanin said there were no issues on set. Those familiar with the school will be able to spot the senior courtyard and media center in the film. Although current students were not allowed to act as extras, Osborne alumni came on board. Chanin, a selfproclaimed movie buff, was also able to get some screen time as an extra. “I made friends with everybody,” he said. Brewer appreciated Chanin’s help — which included 3 a.m. call times to the set — so much that he gave him a director’s chair, complete with his name printed on it. Paramount Studios also donated money to the school, and Chanin and his wife,

Joy, were invited to a production party at Stats in Midtown. Brewer said it was important for a film based in Georgia to be shot on location as opposed to on a sound stage or in a different state. In addition to Marietta, scenes were also shot in places such as downtown Atlanta, Acworth and Hiram. “I couldn’t do that. I really believe in regional pride,” he said. “I want to see an Atlanta skyline when they go off into the big city. Atlanta has always given me a lot of love in my films.” Kenny Wormald, who plays the lead role of Ren McCormack, said it was great filming in Georgia. He agrees with Brewer, saying, “It was good to come here and fully adapt to the world especially with being Ren, an outsider. I think it was an awesome opportunity to shoot on location and not fake it.” Chanin said the experience, which took nearly six weeks, was sensational and the impact will be permanent. He said four framed handprints of crew members are at the school alongside those of former students. Osborne’s reputation was also revamped. Chanin, who worked in the school system for 28 years, said the school always got a bad rap. He said he told the crew, “One of the reasons I want you guys here is to give it a fresh face.” He added, “Osborne students are the best there are.

irec oose’ d tl o o ‘F h orne. left, wit hanin, on set at Osb C l e a Mich ig Brewer tor Cra

Chanin and actor Miles Teller.

Tracking Your all year long online at


Teller, left, and Kenny Wormald dance in a scene in ‘Footloose,’ released October 2011. Osborne High School served as the backdrop in the film, and former assistant principal Chanin helped to secure the location.

From left, Chanin and his wife, Joy, Julianne Hough and Ryan Seacrest attended a wrap party at Stats in Midtown.

Wormald, left, with Joy and Michael Chanin.

For accurate and up-to-date show times please visit




From a dream

Staff/Jon-MIchael Sullivan

Melanie Moore, a 2010 graduate of Lassiter High School, is the season eight winner of the competition show ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’


Lassiter graduate wins dance competition By Davia L. Mosley

s a child, Melanie Moore told her mother she wanted to be famous. Through sheer talent, enthusiasm and drive, the 19-year-old Marietta resident was able to accomplish this and more when she won the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer” in the Fox show “So You Think You Can Dance.” On Aug. 11, 2011, thousands turned out to watch as the 2010 Lassiter High School graduate was announced as the winner of the Emmy-nominated show. In addition to the title, Moore won $250,000, a cover of Dance Fit magazine and is the newest face of Gatorade’s G-Fit campaign. She said the experience was “surreal.” Moore’s mother, Vickie, said watching her youngest daughter live out her dreams is “the most incredible experience any parent can imagine. We have always enjoyed watching Melanie dance, obviously, but for her to get the type of recognition and positive feedback and the wonderful comments that she was getting from people has just been beyond our wildest expectations and hopes.” Melanie’s grandmother, Margaret Mullins, said her fond memories include Melanie’s 1-on-1 performances as a little girl. “She would take me to her playroom and tell me to sit down and she performed for me,” Margaret recalls. “When she was through, she would say, ‘Now you can clap.’ We spent time together with her performing for me — only me.” Melanie began dancing at age 4, studying at Center Stage School of Dance and Rhythm Dance Center. “When dancing got really serious for me, I knew that was something I wanted to put my heart and soul into,” she said. Vickie said she was unaware of Melanie’s desire to audition for the show until she called in early 2011, urgently needing a flight home from New York, where she attends Fordham University, to make the Atlanta auditions. Both Vickie and Margaret were in Los


Left: Moore, poses with her grandmother, Margaret Mullins, left, and mother, Vickie, right. Her Yorkshire Terrier, Oliver, even wanted in on the fun. Above: Lady Gaga autographed her shoe for Melanie and fellow contestant and first runner-up, Sasha Mallory. Angeles for the duration of Melanie’s time in the Top 20. Throughout the competition, Moore said she was aware of the talk that she was the front-runner and tried not to let it affect her. “I already put enough pressure on myself. I didn’t need other stressors,” she said. While Melanie sweated it out on stage, Vickie sweated it out waiting on the judges’ critiques, something she said was the hardest part of watching her daughter compete. The proud mother said she thought the judges’ reaction to Melanie’s disco performance with Marko Germar for Wednesday’s finale show had a hint of negativity, but her other performances were praised. Melanie said getting to work with different choreographers each week was the ultimate highlight of the show. “I really learned so much. They all pushed me so much in so many different ways,” she said. “I feel like now I’m so much more inspired than I was and so much more motivated to get going.” Meeting Lady Gaga was also a high point. The singer was a guest judge on the July 27, 2011, episode and, in a memorable moment, ceremoniously threw her shoes at both Melanie and first-runner up Sasha Mallory after their “Game On” performance. Melanie also laughed as she recalled how meeting Suri Cruise — the daughter of Tom Cruise and guest judge Katie Holmes —

made her most nervous. When Melanie first spoke to the Journal in July 2011, she said the atmosphere of the show was more friendly and supportive than competitive. She said this helpful spirit continued even as she found herself in the Top 4 with Sasha, Marko and Tadd Gadduang. “I don’t think any of us were competitive with each other, because we all had to do dances together and we were so close already,” she said. “We were all so tired, and we had to get through it together. Without each other, we definitely would not have been able to get through those finale episodes.” She said the week of the finale was hectic, as they had rehearsals from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. As tired as they were, she said the dancers wanted to keep pushing. But doctors said otherwise, insisting they were “clinically exhausted” and rest was mandatory. “We got back to our apartments and we went over it anyway!” she said. It wasn’t until 11 p.m. the night before the finale that the dancers were told which routines they would perform again the next day. Melanie said they relied on YouTube to remember the moves. Melanie said as the top four dancers were cut to two, she felt overwhelmed with emotions. Backstage, as she and Sasha prepared for the last performance, they were both in tears — but joyful. “I love her. We are really, really close,” Melanie

said. “She is so inspiring. I absolutely love watching her dance.” After the results were announced, Melanie said everything was a blur: Confetti, tears, cheers, pictures and interviews. “It was such a positive thing. I don’t know if I accepted that because I know people are upset that they didn’t get to that point,” she said. “Even Sasha was so sweet about it, and I know she definitely wanted to win too. I knew that it was hard but she was

so positive and so genuine.” So what does the future hold? For one, a possible change in Melanie’s major. The art student said she has been thinking about focusing on her passion, dance. “I know that a lot of people move on from dancing to choreographing,” she said. “I feel I would never place myself in that realm of choreography if I hadn’t studied in it. It would definitely be something I would love to do, so I think that going to school for that

and studying it would be amazing. Just being on the show shows me that I have so much left to learn.” Both mother and grandmother said they look forward to what the future holds for Melanie. Vickie said, “She has worked hard to get to the point where she is today. I’m just hopeful that whatever opportunities come along that she’s able to fulfill that dream to dance for her life’s enjoyment and make a living with dance,” Vickie said.

Cla s se s • W or k sh op s • E x h ib it s • A rt E ve nt s A r t is t Ma r ke t : A p ri l 1 4 , 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 P ai nt i ng • D r aw i ng • G las s F u si ng • W ea vi ng • C la y Upd at e s & Re gi st e r O nl in e

North Cobb Arts League 4463 Cherokee Street • Suite 200 • Acworth, GA 30101

www. N orth Cob b Ar tsL ea gu e. com




‘Reflections’ at the Mable House Arts Center celebrates women in art. The exhibit ends Thursday. 

Staff/Samantha M. Shal

Exhibit lauds women in art By Sally Litchfield MDJ Features Editor

elebrate women artists at the Virginia Avery Memorial 3rd Biennial “Reflections” exhibition, sponsored by the Atlanta Branch of the National League of American Pen Women. It is at Mable House Arts Center at 5239 Floyd Road through Thursday. Virginia Avery, who had been president of the National League of American Pen Women at the local, state and national level, endowed the show. She left a bequest for an exhibit open to all Georgia women artists in all mediums. “The show offers something for everyone,” Mikki Dillon, chairperson, said. Various media by 50 women artists is on display, including paintings, sculpture, mixed media, photography, and drawing/pastel/printmaking. Eighty juried works, from realism to contemporary, were selected by juror Gail Wegodsky. There were 243 entries. Wegodsky creates in oil and has shown at Marietta Cobb Museum of Art, the


Mable House as well as a solo show at Oglethorpe University. She exhibits her work at Mason Murer Gallery in Atlanta. “There is subject matter and different styles that somebody, anybody, will find something in there they that will like and enjoy,” Dillon said. Among the local area artists showing are Ann Cockerill, Kathy Morris, Jennifer Nolan, Ronnie Offen, Lisa Schwendemann Smith and Mary Jane Warren Stone. Dillon said the show is important because there are many women artists who still have to use there initials rather than their names in order to show. “Although it’s better now than it was when Virginia (Avery) was alive, (sexism) still exists,” she said. The show offers an opportunity to see some women who excel in the art world. “Whether it’s people who have never been to an art show, there are things that they are going to really enjoy,” Dillon said. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (770) 739-0189 or visit or www. for more information.

CIVIC CENTER The Dallas Civic Center is a rental facility located in downtown Dallas, GA. The modern, spacious venue is available for: • Wedding Receptions

• Baby Showers

• Corporate Meetings

• Club Meetings

• Reunions

• Holiday Events Sandy Springs artist Joyce Ryan’s ‘Bittersweets’ sculpture won first place in the Sculpture category. The exhibition is put on by the Atlanta Branch of the National League of American Pen Women.

• Bridal Showers

• Graduation Parties • Awards Ceremonies • Sports Banquets

Our spacious hall will seat approximately 200 people in either banquet or meeting style seating. The Hall is equipped with a sound system; microphone and podium; projector and screen, ideal for showing PowerPoint Presentations, dvd's, and slideshows.




Exhibition Chair Mikki Dillon talks about a technique used by artist Kathy Morris in ‘Old Friends,’ which won second place in the Oil & Acrylics category.





Progress 2012 CITIES & COUNTY




Mayors weigh in

MARIETTA: Mayor Steve Tumlin is in an optimistic mood / 7EE

AUSTELL: Mayor Joe Jerkins says the city is still feeling effects of major flood damage in 2009 / 9EE

SMYRNA: Mayor Max Bacon sees a bright future for the city / 6EE

POWDER SPRINGS: Mayor Pat Vaughn oversees upgrades with police department, parks / 10EE


— 9EE

ews says business is good for the city despite the economy / 7EE

Chairman Tim Lee says county ‘moving forward / 2EE




The Cobb Board of Commissioners, from left: Bob Ott, east Cobb; Helen Goreham, west Cobb; Chairman Tim Lee; JoAnn Birrell, northeast Cobb; and Woody Thompson, south Cobb.

‘We are moving forward’

The Lee file

Chairman Lee says county in good shape with $13M surplus

LEE said he was opposed to raising taxes when he took office but then backed a property tax hike to enhance the county’s bond rating. ‘We are moving forward,’ he said. ‘Our financial situation is one where we’re very stable, which is good.’ LEE says the next big hurdle facing the county is the tax digest, which dropped by 5.47 percent in 2011 after a drop of 7 percent between 2009 and 2010. ‘That’s the next critical milestone we need to keep an eye on,’ he says. LEE, along with Ken-

nesaw Mayor Mark Mathews, serves on 21-member Atlanta Regional Rountable that will put $6.14 billion worth of road projects before voters in a July 31 referendum.

LEE, who was elected chairman in a 2010 special election to fill the post vacated by state Attorney General Sam Olens, faces three challengers in the July 31 primary — former Chairman Bill Byrne, and retirees Mike Boyce and Larry Savage.

LEE SAYS: It’s an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Cobb County in the highest post in local government, where our focus is to meet the needs of our citizen. I’m extraordinarily humbled for the opportunity for this position, and to go to work for the citizens of Cobb County.

By Geoff Folsom

COBB COUNTY — Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee took some hits during 2011, but he said he has helped make the county better. Facing a $32 million budget shortage, the county raised property taxes by 15.7 percent, a controversial measure Lee supported. He said this was needed to help keep Cobb’s triple-A bond rating from all three major ratings agencies. Lee rigorously defended backing the tax hike. Before an audience of business and civic leaders at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre recently, Lee said that the 15.7 percent increase in the county’s millage rate, which will increase taxes on a $200,000 home by $105, was needed after ratings agencies told officials at a New York meeting that the county’s AAA bond rating would be jeopardized because the budget the Board of Commissioners adopted in April was not sustainable. “Each expressed concerns regarding our financial future based on the way we balanced the 2011 budget using one-time monies, the projected 2012 budget shortage and the pension fund shortage,” Lee said. “Based on the steps we took to balance the 2011 budget and the promises made to ensure a more sustainable 2012 budget, all three ratings agencies renewed our AAA rating for 2011.” Lee said Cobb is one of only 36 counties in the United States to have a AAA rating, the highest issued. Cobb has maintained a AAA rating with Moody’s since 1995, Fitch Ratings since 1996 and Standard & Poor’s since 1997. Maintaining a strong bond rating is crucial for Cobb, Lee said after the meeting, because the county collects taxes at the end of the fiscal year, meaning it has to borrow money at the start of the fiscal year.

Staff/Laura Moon

Commission Chairman Tim Lee rigorously defends supporting a property tax hike, saying it was necessary to keep Cobb’s AAA bond rating. A strong bond rating allows the county to borrow money at a lower interest rate. “It saves millions of dollars,” he said. Now, Lee said the county is in better shape, with $13 million in reserves, hopefully preventing the county from having to rely on one-time cuts. “We are moving forward,” he said. “Our financial situation is one where we’re very stable, which is good.” In the coming year, the county will work on implementing the recommendations of the Citizen Oversight Committee, which was assigned last year to identify ways for county government to save money and become more efficient. The county is planning a “mini retreat” this spring to discuss the committee’s recommendations. The county will also look at working with the Competitive EDGE (Economic Development for a growing Economy), a nonprofit 501(c)3 created by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. The chamber is seeking a public-private partnership for the project, which hopes to lure more business to the area and

The Cover

In the 10 years Tommy Allegood has been mayor, Acworth has experienced a 300 percent increase in jobs and a 400 percent increase in property values / Page 9EE

Powder Springs Small Small enough enough to to know know you. you. Large Large enough enough to to serve serve you. you.


Patricia C. Vaughn

Council Members:

Albert L. Thurman Rosalyn G. Neal Cheryl Sarvis Nancy J. Hudson Dr. Christopher R. Wizner

P.O. Box 46 • Powder Springs, GA 30127 • 770-943-1666


lower Cobb’s unemployment rate. But other members of the Cobb Board of Commissioners have balked at giving it county funding. A large part of Cobb’s economic outlook will become clearer when Cobb’s tax digest is announced in June, Lee said. The digest dropped by 5.47 percent in 2011. That came on the heels of a 7 percent drop between

2009 and 2010. The digest is the value of all real and personal property and motor vehicles in the county. Officials in city and county governments use the digest to estimate tax revenues and set their budgets for the coming year. “That’s the next critical milestone we need to keep an eye on,” Lee said. Another challenge came in setting Cobb’s $984 million project list for Transportation Investment Act funds. Voters in a 10-county metro Atlanta area will decide whether to fund the $6.14 billion in total projects in a July 31 referendum. The projects would be paid with a one-percent sales tax collected for 10 years. Lee, along with Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews, was one of two Cobb representatives on the 21member roundtable that put the highly controversial project list together. Lee was elected chairman in 2010, in a special election to fill the remainder of the term left by Sam Olens, who resigned to run for state Attorney General. He intends to seek election to a full term this year, with the primary falling on the same day as the TIA vote. So far, three challengers — former chairman Bill Byrne, and retirees Mike Boyce and Larry

Savage — have announced they will also seek the chairman’s job. Whatever the future holds, Lee is pleased to serve the county. “It’s an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Cobb County in the highest post in local government, where our focus is to meet the needs of our citizens,” he said. “I’m extraordinarily humbled for the opportunity for this position, and to go to work for the citizens of Cobb County.” Lee lives in northeast Cobb with his wife of 22 years, Annette, and they have three children and five grandchildren between them. Cobb County has been Lee’s home for 24 years. Before holding elective office, Lee was president of the Northeast Cobb Homeowners Group for two years. Lee has also served on the board of MUST Ministries, where his wife works, and is a past chairman and current board member of the Cobb Symphony Orchestra, which is now called the Georgia Symphony Orchestra. Lee is also on the board of the North Georgia State Fair, and a member of the Marietta Kiwanis Club and Marietta’s First United Methodist Church.




Commissioner Birrell has rewarding first year / (770) 528-3317

have operations in the county. “That’s a huge accomplishment for our business community,” she said. “It gives our businesses located in Cobb more of an NORTHEAST COBB — Commissioner JoAnn Birrell said she’s had a challenging edge. It gets more businesses established in Cobb and helps our tax base and our jobs.” first year on the Cobb Board of CommisIn May, the Board of Commissioners sioners. But she still found it rewarding. approved a master plan for Mabry Park, “I really thoroughly enjoyed my first off of Wesley Chapel Road near Sandy year, even with the challenges that we faced Plains. While a fundraiser brought in and the ups and downs,” she said. “It was a $8,000, she said much tremendous experimore work is needed ence and a very ‘I just don’t think it was before an access road rewarding experithe right time or the right can be built from ence.” thing to do to raise taxes Wesley Chapel to the Birrell said she is park site. The road already seeing posiin a struggling economy, will cost an estimated tives for the future, when people are on fixed $750,000. pointing to four new income, or they don’t Along with east subdivisions being Cobb Commissioner zoned in her northhave a job and they’re Bob Ott, Birrell was east Cobb district. struggling to make ends one of the dissenters She said they will meet.’ in the board’s 3-2 eventually have 160 vote to increase Cobb new homes. — JoAnn Birrell, who opposed County’s millage rate Birrell said she a recent property tax hike by 15.7 percent. She helped spearhead sevstill feels she was on eral initiatives during her first year, including changing the coun- the correct side of the issue. “It’s gonna take a while for things to ty’s economic development ordinance to turn around and move up,” she said. “I just require the district commissioner be notidon’t think it was the right time or the fied earlier about tax-incentive deals in his right thing to do to raise taxes in a strugor her area. gling economy, when people are on fixed She also helped to change the county’s income, or they don’t have a job and bidding process for professional service they’re struggling to make ends meet.” contracts, as part of her “Keep it in Cobb” Birrell is hopeful that the county doesinitiative. The change gives preferential treatment to companies that are based in or n’t face another shortfall that causes it to By Geoff Folsom

Staff/Laura Moon

Among the initiatives JoAnn Birrell helped lead during her first year included changing the county’s economic development ordinance to require the district commissioner be notified earlier about tax-incentive deals in his or her area. revisit the 2012 budget, leading to midyear cuts, as in 2011. “I think we’re OK, I just want to make sure it doesn’t get to that point,” she said. She is hopeful to find more ways to save using the Citizen Oversight Committee’s final report. The committee was directed last year to identify ways that Cobb government can save money and run more efficiently. “We’re still looking for ways that we can reduce costs, and consolidate where there’s duplication or overlap,” she said. “We’ll continue to run more efficiently.” Birrell, a 16-year resident of the county, has served in numerous community organizations, including Keep Cobb Beautiful and the Neighborhood Safety Commission, among others.

In 2006, Birrell helped Cobb Police raise $10,200 to buy two new police dogs. Birrell was employed as the community relations manager for Waste Management for 18 years. Since becoming commissioner, Birrell said she works part-time for Waste Management on a contractual basis. Birrell is married to Dave, and has a stepson, stepdaughter and 2-year-old grandson. Birrell is a native of Goldsboro, N.C., and she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in political science. After working in the North Carolina attorney general’s office for eight years, a job in the waste industry brought her to the Atlanta area in the late 1980s. Birrell and her family are members of the Catholic Church of St. Ann in east Cobb.

South Cobb commissioner overcomes tough year

By Geoff Folsom

SOUTHWEST COBB — In some ways, 2011 was a year Commissioner Woody Thompson would like to forget. The only Democrat on the Board of Commissioners was hospitalized twice, for a total of 10 days, during the year dealing with complications from an intestinal infection. “The bad bacteria overtook the good bacteria,” Thompson said. “It can make you very sick.” But now, Thompson said he is feeling much better, even holding this conversation while he traveled back from bird hunting in Alabama. “We did pretty well,” he said of the hunt. Despite his health setbacks, Thompson said it was a positive year for development in District 4, located in south Cobb. He is seeing good signs for his three main areas of concern — Mableton, Riverview Road and the Six Flags area. “Those projects have been my goal the whole time,” he said. His current term expires at the end of 2012, and as this issue went to press, Thompson refused to say whether he will run again. In 2011, Thompson pushed through the Mableton form-based code, which sets up criteria and guidelines for new development in the Mableton community. On Riverview Road, Green Street Properties, an

Staff/Laura Moon

After being dogged by illness in 2011, Commissioner Woody Thompson says he’s feeling much better and even enjoying hobbies like bird hunting. Thompson is focused on developing the Mablelton area and has seen Green Street Properties, an Atlanta development firm focused on creating sustainable urban properties, begin cleanup along the Chattahoochee River for a $300 million mixed use development. Atlanta development firm Eventually, Thompson focused on creating sustain- hopes the project will help able urban properties, has make the river a desirable started cleanup along the destination in south Cobb. Chattahoochee River for a “In the next several $300 million mixed use years, we’ll see people development. Thompson canoeing and kayaking in said the first part of the that part of the river,” he project will be upscale said. apartments. Along Six Flags Drive, / (770) 528-3312

Marietta Police purchase six mobile fingerprint scanners By Kim Isaza

MARIETTA — A few Marietta Police officers now have at their fingertips the Rapid ID Mobile Fingerprint Scanner, which will help them quickly identify crime suspects. Using grant money from the federal Homeland Security department, the Marietta force has bought six of the scanners, which cost about $3,200 each, Officer David Baldwin said. Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn called the scanners “a very promising tool.” “Officers very frequently encounter individuals in suspicious circumstances wherein the individuals do not have identification,” he said. “The officers then need to find out if the individual is who they say they are, if they are fugitives from justice or if they are on parole or probation. It is difficult and time-consuming if there is no probable cause to arrest and book the individual, but with Live Scan, the officer can offer to let the individual voluntarily submit to a fingerprint scanning to immediate-

ly resolve the issue of their identity without taking them into custody.” “They can refuse, but the officer will then have to investigate further, and they will be detained longer,” he said. “It is a good way for us to quickly release the innocent person who just does not have identification with them.” According to the department, the scanners give field officers the ability to positively identify an individual who is suspected of committing or about to commit a crime. The device scans an individual’s fingerprints on a handheld digital scanner and cross-references those prints in two separate databases. If a match is made, the individual’s biographical data and a picture will be displayed on the screen. In addition, the system scans for any probation or parole information, as well as any outstanding warrants. The scanners are made by Motorola, and a company called Dataworks Plus is the sole proprietor for the software in Georgia. Marietta’s police force has 135 officers. Cobb Police has five of the scanners.

home to around 1,700 apartment units, Thompson wants to offer up redevelopment opportunities. Thompson said old apartment complexes could be torn down, with the property set up in a “land bank” with the newly revived South Cobb Redevelopment Authority. On July 26, the Board of Commissioners gave new life to the board, naming four members. Another three members are appointed by the Cobb Legislative Delegation. The redevelopment board is responsible for revitalizing an area defined by Smyrna to the east, the county line to the south, Austell Road to the west and the East-West Connector to the north. The board, originally chartered in 1982, had been dormant for six years. It will have the power to execute contracts and agreements, lease or hold property, borrow money and issue revenue bonds. The members appointed by commissioners include Darhyl Watkins, a Deloitte consultant; Ford Thigpen, West Side Bank president; Melinda Ashcraft, Six Flags Over Georgia general manager; and Robin Meyer, chair of the Mableton Improvement Coalition. Legislators have appointed Damon Duncan, Ed Richardson and Adrienne Lance Lucas to the board. Thompson served as the District 4 commissioner, representing southwest Cobb, for two terms, from 1997 to 2004, before being

‘Those projects have been my goal the whole time.’

— Woody Thompson on developing areas along the Chattahoochee River in Mableton, River View Road and the Six Flags area. elected again in 2008. Thompson first served on the Board of Commissioners as a Republican, but now serves as a Democrat, to match the leaning of a majority of constituents in his district. In 2010, he served as interim commission chairman after Sam Olens

stepped down to run for state attorney general. Thompson, a licensed real estate broker who owns Thompson Realty Advisors, is married with two adult children and is an elder and past chairman of the board of Southwest Christian Church.

ShopAcworth .org

Dear Citizens of Cobb County On behalf of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, we thank you for visiting the City of Acworth to shop in our stores and eat in our restaurants. These are challenging times and we ask for your continued patronage in this New Year 2012. Thank You, Mayor Tommy and the Board of Aldermen And 1,200 Business Owners in Acworth



N.W. Cobb commissioner keeps eye on public safety


Park group was started in the past year. The 501c(3) nonprofit organization has its own volunteer board. The park, which is primarily to be used NORTHWEST COBB — The past for hiking and walking, has several miles year offered budget challenges for Comof unmarked and undeveloped trails on missioner Helen Goreham and other memeither side of Allatoona Creek, according bers of the Board of Commissioners. And to the group’s website. The park is still the budget issues haven’t gone away with raising money to build a bridge across the the start of 2012. creek. “Obviously, it’s budget and it’s finanAlong with trails, cial issues,” Goreham Goreham said birdsaid of the key issues ‘We need to look into the houses and park looming this year. retention of our public benches will be “We have to stay on safety personnel and see placed in the park. top of this and make what needs to be done, Goreham also certain that we are helped get a full-time running efficiently so we can maintain an hired at and effectively and adequate and well-trained veterinarian the Cobb County Aniproviding an adeforce.’ mal Shelter in 2011. quate level of service This allows the shelfor our constituents, — Helen Goreham on the probter to have mandatory that would be No. 1.” lem of losing Cobb personnel spaying and neutering Also important to other Metro counties of all animals. will be looking at “I’m very excited how to retain police about getting a vet on board,” she said. officers and firefighters, as concerns grow A land-use analysis has also been comover losing them to other counties and pleted for the area near the intersection of cities. Kennesaw Avenue and Old Highway 41, “We need to look into the retention of near the Kennesaw Mountain National Batour public safety personnel and see what tlefield Park. The area includes residential, needs to be done, so that we can maintain commercial and industrial sections, with an adequate and well-trained force,” she heavy truck and rail traffic. said “This will allow the residents of the Goreham is proud of the continued area and commercial businesses and the development of Leone Hall Price Park, a passive park on Stilesboro Road in Kenne- national park to coexist,” Goreham said. In the coming year, Goreham said job saw. She said a Friends of Leone Price By Geoff Folsom

Staff/Laura Moon

One project in which Helen Goreham takes great pride is the development of Leone Hall Price Park, a passive park on Stilesboro Road in Kennesaw. The park, which is primarily to be used for hiking and walking, has several miles of unmarked and undeveloped trails on either side of Allatoona Creek. The park is still raising money to build a bridge across the creek. creation will be crucial for the county, with the Board of Commissioners making an effort to create more jobs in Cobb. But she doesn’t expect to see a large pickup in single family home construction. “I think we may see a little improvement in the economy, but not much,” she said. “We have to be alert and aware and on top of the budget.” Much of what happens with the economy will be determined outside of Cobb, she said. “I guess we’ll wait and see what happens in the next election and see if there’s any huge impact,” she said, referring to November’s presidential election.

In 2010, Goreham became the first woman elected to three consecutive terms on the Cobb Board of Commissioners. Her term runs through the end of 2013. Goreham was born and raised in Long Island, N.Y. She and her husband, Len, have two adult children — a son and a daughter. Goreham and Len have lived in the county for 31 years, after spending two years in San Diego as newlyweds. Goreham, who trained as a physical therapist, holds an undergraduate degree from Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, N.Y., and a master’s degree in health care administration from National University in San Diego.

Commissioner Ott sees encouraging signs in east Cobb By Geoff Folsom

EAST COBB — While 2011 was a challenging year for the economy, Commissioner Bob Ott said there have been encouraging signs in his east Cobb district. Ott said that between $100 million and $120 million in development or redevelopment projects are taking place in District 2. The projects include a new 150-room Hyatt Summerfield Suites hotel near the Overton Park development at Interstate 75 and Cumberland Boulevard. A new LA Fitness opened in a dilapidated shopping center on Terrell Mill Road, while a senior living center is under construction on Lower Roswell Road. Ott said the Riverwood mixed-use project in the Cumberland area is moving forward, while the Merchant’s Walk shopping center on Johnson Ferry and Roswell roads is exploding with business, with a new Whole Foods Market and other retailers opening this year. “There’s a lot of really great progress,” Ott said. “Some of them are redevel-

Staff/Laura Moon

East Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott estimates that between $100 million and $120 million in development or redevelopment projects are taking place in his District 2. / (770) 528-3316 opments and some are new developments.” Even with the new

development, many will think of Ott’s leading the charge against a millage

rate increase and his vote against the 2012 budget as his strongest fights in 2011. Ott said he made the right decisions with his votes. “We’re in a really difficult time, and the citizens of the county have to tighten their belts,” he said. “I don’t think that (raising taxes) was appropriate. I think we could have gone about it in a different way.” Ott said he would continue to fight efforts to raise taxes. “Moving forward, we need to continue to keep a tight lid on expenses and spending,” he said. “We absolutely can’t do that again.” Ott has set several goals for the upcoming year as commissioner. Among them is developing a partnership with WellStar Health System for senior services. He is also working to shift Cobb from paper to digital in several areas. They include launching online business license and plan review processes and automating the process for alcohol applications. Ott would like for the county to continue the code enforcement sweeps it has started with the city of

‘We’re in a really difficult time, and the citizens of the county have to tighten their belts. I don’t think that (raising taxes) was appropriate and I think we could have gone about it in a different way.’

— Bob Ott, who opposed a recent property tax hike Smyrna, while expanding the program to work with the city of Marietta. In addition, he would like to continue to acquire money for renovations at the East Marietta Library, on Lower Roswell Road. Ott, who was first elected in 2008, is running for a second four-year term this year. As a pilot for Atlantabased Delta Air Lines, Ott has been across the world and back. He is also a senior instructor and evaluator for the airline. In addition, he is president and owner of DBO Software, which he said mainly assists with computer investigations. Some of Ott’s previous jobs include an instructor and evaluator in the U.S. Air Force for eight years, where he also flew the FB111, and as a middle-

grades science teacher in New Jersey for two years. Ott said he still holds his K-12 certification as a math and science teacher. Ott earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania in 1979 and a master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1990. He and his wife, Judy, have two children: Katie, 14, and Christopher, 12. The family are members of Mount Bethel United Methodist Church. The district Ott represents is an industrial hub, the home to major corporations such as Home Depot, IBM, US Sprint and RaceTrac. It also includes the nationallyranked convention center, Cobb-Galleria Centre, as well as the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Doctors at heart of local medical reserve unit’s success By Marcus E. Howard

MARIETTA — In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Cobb County’s medical community saw a need for a team of physicians to respond to local emergencies and disasters. The result was the founding of the Medical Reserve Corp in 2007 by the Cobb County Medical Society. Since then, it has grown to include 56 area physicians, making it the only MRC in the state to be composed primarily of physicians, according to the group. Although the county already had an active Community Emergency Response Team program, which educates citizen-volunteers on disaster preparedness and response, the MRC decided its physicians would best be utilized outside the constraints of CERT. Today, volunteer physicians meet bimonthly at Cobb Police headquarters in

Marietta to train to respond to a wide range of natural and man-made disasters sometimes working with firefighters and police. They also work with personnel at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, which often responds to disaster evacuations. “The firefighters can only go up to a certain point,” said Joanne Thurston, Cobb Medical Society executive director. “We’ll have to work together, but until this MRC was created, they never included the medical community because they didn’t know how to organize the physicians.” Cobb’s MRC is composed of physicians from a variety of specialties, including cardiologists, pediatricians, pharmacists and even veterinarians to treat pets in a disaster. They’ve designed their own medical emergency “to-go kits” to carry in their cars. The MRC’s training coordinator is Dr. Debi Dalton of Powder Springs, director of the pediatric emergency department at WellStar Cobb Hospital in Austell. She said the existence of the group is invaluDr. Eric Lindstrom and Dr. Debi Dalton are among the 56 area physicians in the Medical Reserve Corp founded by the Cobb Medical Society. Dalton is the training coordinator for the MRC. Staff/Laura Moon

able because it also eases the burden on the county’s emergency systems when an emergency hits, such as the H1N1, or swine flu, virus in 2009. A 43-year-old Cobb woman was the first person in Georgia to die from the H1N1 virus. “As soon as (people) developed a runny nose, they would run to the hospitals, and

it really burdened the system,” Dalton recalled of the H1N1 episode. She said the MRC is ready to step in if a related pandemic were to break out. The MRC is also open to non-physicians. To learn how to become a MRC health volunteer, contact Joanne Thurston of the Cobb County Medical Society at

on certain tires only

Set of 4 for only:

CALL TODAY OR BRING IN THIS AD 477 Veterans Memorial Hwy SW • Mableton • 770-948-6811




The 2012 Legislature convenes Monday











Sen. Doug Stoner D-Smyrna


Age: 45 Family: Wife Della, two children Occupation: Investment company owner Committees: Ethics; Regulated Industries and Utilities; Retirement; State Institutions and Property; Transportation; Urban Affairs; MARTOC Phone: (404) 463-2518 E-mail:

Sen. Lindsey Tippins

32 6



Cobb’s State Senate Districts

R-West Cobb

Age: 61 Family: Wife Ann, two children, four grandchildren Occupation: Founder and owner of Tippins Contracting, an underground utility business specializing in water and sewer lines, started in 1969. Committees: Education and Youth; Finance; Natural Resources and Environment; and Retirement. Phone: 404-657-0406 E-mail:




Age: 42 Family: Wife Amy, four children Occupation: Owner, Rogers Communications Committees: Finance; Assignments; Appropriations; Banking and Financial Institutions; Economic Development; Insurance and Labor; Reapportionment and Redistricting; Rules; Administrative Affairs Phone: (404)463-1378 E-mail:

Family: Wife Shelly, three children Occupation: Attorney Committees: Health and Human Services; Judiciary; MARTOC; Reappoirtionment and Redistricting (Chair), Special Judiciary; Urban Affairs; Transportation Phone: (404) 656-0150 E-mail:

Age: 60 Family: Wife Karen, one daughter, three grandchildren Occupation: Owner, Business Services Co. Committees: Appropriations; Banking and Financial Institutions; Finance; Transportation Phone: (404) 656-0083 E-mail:

Sen. Chip Rogers

Sen. Judson Hill R-East Cobb

R-Woodstock • Senate Majority Leader




HOUSE DISTRICT 32 Rep. Judy Manning





43 32



Age: 68 Family: Husband Aymar, two children, four grandchildren Occupation: Commercial real estate appraiser Committees: Appropriations; Children and Youth (Chair); Interstate Cooperation; Natural Resources and Environment; Rules Phone: (404) 656-7868 E-mail:

42 38


34 39




40 41


Sen. Steve Thompson


Cobb’s State House Districts


HOUSE DISTRICT 41 Rep. Sharon Cooper R-east Cobb

Age: 68 Family: Husband Tom Occupation: Medical administrator, R.N. Committees: Health and Human Services (Chair); Higher Education; Judiciary Non-Civil; Rules Phone: (404) 656-5069 E-mail:




Age: 42: 01/06/1969 Family: Wife Penny, one son David Jr., one daughter Olivia Occupation: CPA for Resources Global Professionals Committees: Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight; Children and Youth; and Retirement. Phone: 770-891-9736 E-mail:

Age: 61 Family: Wife Nancy, two sons Occupation: Real Estate Broker Committees: Children and Youth; Economic Development and Tourism; Human Relations and Aging; Motor Vehicles Phone: (404) 656-0325 E-mail:

Age: 63 Family: Wife Jo Lynn, two daughters, six grandchildren Occupation: Telecom consultant Committees: Appropriations; Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications; Health and Human Services; Ways and Means Phone: (404) 656-9198 E-mail:

Rep. David Wilkerson D-South Cobb

HOUSE DISTRICT 34 Rep. Rich Golick R-Smyrna

Age: 43 Family: Wife Maria, two sons Occupation: Attorney Committees: Appropriations; Insurance; Judiciary; Retirement; Rules Phone: (404) 656-5943 E-mail:

Rep. Terry Johnson D-Marietta

HOUSE DISTRICT 38 Rep. Sam Teasley R-Marietta

Age: 34 Family: Wife Michelle, three children Occupation: Realtor Committees: Banks and Banking; Code Revision; and Education. Phone: 678-453-8683 Website:



Age: 40 Family: Wife Tracie, four children Occupation: Engineering Manager Committees: Appropriations; Code Revision; Education; Judiciary Non-Civil Phone: (404) 656-0177 E-mail:

Age: 32 Family: Husband David, one daughter, one stepson Occupation: Manager for Young Elected Officials Network; motivational speaker Committees: Children and Youth; Education; Governmental Affairs; Health and Human Services Phone: (404) 656-0109 E-mail:

Rep. Ed Setzler R-Acworth

HOUSE DISTRICT 36 Rep. Earl Ehrhart R-Powder Springs

Age: 51 Family: Two sons Occupation: Business consultant Committees: Rules (Chair); Appropriations; Banks and Banking; State Institutions and Property Phone: (404) 656-5141 E-mail:

Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan D-Austell

Rep. Don Parsons R-east Cobb

HOUSE DISTRICT 43 Rep. John Carson R-east Cobb

Age: 40 Family: Wife Beverly, children Elizabeth & Jack Occupation: Finance manager, Suntrust Committees: Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications; Intragovernmental Coodination; Insurance Phone: (404) 656-0287 E-mail:

HOUSE DISTRICT 44 Rep. Sheila Jones D-Atlanta

Family: Single, no children Occupation: Lockheed Martin employee Committees: Appropriations; Health and Human Services; Transportation Phone: (404) 656-0323 E-mail:



Age: 40 Family: Husband, Andrew Occupation: Attorney with Bryan Cave in Atlanta Committees: Children and Youth; Interstate Cooperation; and Judiciary. Phone: 770-710-4087 E-mail:

Age: 33 Family: Single, no children Occupation: Commercial real estate broker Committees: Appropriations; Insurance; Motor Vehicles; Transportation Phone: (404) 656-0254 E-mail:

Rep. Stacey Evans D-Smyrna

Rep. Matt Dollar R-east Cobb


Enthusiasm abounds in Smyrna CITIES & COUNTY


With 2,200 businesses and more growth on horizon, no wonder mayor’s excited By Jon Gillooly

SMYRNA — He’s been mayor since 1985, but Max Bacon remains filled with excitement when it comes to the Jonquil City. “Overall, I am enthusiastic; I’m probably more enthusiastic than I’ve been in a long time,” Bacon said. “One thing about Smyrna, our citizens have been very patient with us, even through the revitalization.” Bacon said when he and the City Council began redeveloping the downtown in 1991 not everyone was pleased. “There were some people who were very upset with the city, for our tearing down and starting all over, and that was OK,” Bacon said. “I just think we’re at a point now where we’re in a good position to take the opportunity SIX CITIES we had and turn it into something that’s going ‘We haven’t rushed to be great into stuff and zoned for us. We’ve something just always had because somebody very conservative redewanted to zone it. velopment We made sure we zonings. We made some right haven’t rushed into decisions.’ stuff and — Mayor Max Bacon zoned something just because somebody wanted to zone it. We made sure we made some right decisions.” The Smyrna City Council saw four new members elected last year: Andrea Blustein, a real estate broker; Charles “Corkey” Welch, an executive with Stevenson and Palmer Engineering, Inc.; Susan Wilkinson, an independent designer; and Ron Fennel, CEO of Georgia Capitol Associates, a business and public affairs consulting firm. “I’m real pleased with the Council,” Bacon said. “I’m excited about everyone that’s on there. Each one of them is going to bring a different perspective that we haven’t had before. This is the biggest turnover that we’ve had in my 32 years.” The turnover means there will be a learning curve.


Staff/Samantha M. Shal

Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon, right — here talking with city senior administrator Eric Taylor — says of his bustling city: ‘Overall, I am enthusiastic; I’m probably more enthusiastic than I’ve been in a long time.’ “It will take them a while but they are really enthusiastic and I’m enthusiastic about it and I’m looking forward to a great four years,” Bacon said. About 2,200 businesses call Smyrna home, including IBM, with 566 employees; United Distributors, with 550; EmoryAdventist at Smyrna Hospital, 499; Ridgeview Institute, 420; SP Richards, 423; UCB, 400; Bake One/Atlanta Bread Co., 200; National Envelope with 272; GLOCK with 209; and Publix with 210, said city spokeswoman Jennifer Bennett. Four major commercial intersections in north Smyrna are ripe for reinvestment, and one intersection, at South Cobb Drive and Concord saw a new Kroger open in January. “I’m still amazed in this economy they built a 93,000 square foot Kroger,” Bacon said. The redevelopment consists of renovation of retail space and development of several out-parcels. The new Kroger replaces a decades-old 42,000 square foot store across the street. Highlights of the new store include a fuel station, wine shop, and a drive-thru pharmacy. The project also entails intersection

improvements, including new traffic lights. Jack Halpern’s Belmont Hills at the corner of Atlanta and Windy Hill roads hasn’t seen any progress in the last few years, although the 1950s-era Belmont Hills Shopping Center has been bulldozed. While the Belmont development has remained static due to the recession, the 144-unit low-end apartment complex adjacent to Belmont is being razed to make way for a new, 900-student Cobb elementary school. The $22 million school is expected to open next year, Bennett said. “I think that’s going to jumpstart the Belmont Hills area,” Bacon said. The proposed Jonquil Village at the corner of Atlanta and Spring roads, which was to be anchored by a 40,000square-foot Publix, with 120,000 square feet of office space, 300 condos and senior housing, and 1,300 deck and surface parking spaces, hasn’t moved either because of the economy. Bacon said Branch Development has a contract on the property. The owner, Century, went into foreclosure but bought it back on the courthouse steps and is under contract with Branch, he said. Smyrna Grove on Windy Hill Road by

South Cobb Drive is a fourth major development. The city bought the aging, 726unit Hickory Lake Apartment complex on the site in December 2010. The Smyrna Downtown Redevelopment Authority issued a $15 million bond to purchase the 48-acre property for $9.5 million, using $4.1 million on demolition expenses and the rest for related costs. Now called Smyrna Grove, the 48-acre site is available for mixed-use, commercial and industrial redevelopment. It is listed with national broker NAI Brannen Goddard for $17.5 million. “The purchase of Hickory Lake, and Smyrna’s redevelopment efforts in the downtown area, the acquisition of Smyrna Commons and the reduction of rental apartments by over 1,000 units as well as fiscal responsibility and responsiveness have resulted in a bond rating increase (to AA plus) within the last year,” Bennett said. “These projects represent 25 percent of commercial property in north Smyrna.” Bacon said he was most excited about the Smyrna Grove development. “We had some areas where we spent an awful lot of taxpayer money trying to maintain a community, and we were spending a lot of taxpayer dollars in there to do public safety trying to keep the residents safe,” he said. Bacon believes the glory days, when the city would rezone land for a subdivision, the developer would ask to build houses in the $250,000 range and finish up in the $600,000 range, are gone. But there’s a niche for homes in the $350,000s range, he said. “By the end of this term, all four developments will either be close to being finished or completed,” Bacon said. “But for me, the finish line keeps moving all the time. I’m always thinking about things I could have done better or I could have done different, and you never can sit back and pound on your chest, and say, ‘Boy, ain’t this great.’ I’m concerned about our employees, the 460 that we have, I want them to make decent wages, I want them to have good benefits, I want them to be able to have a retirement and that’s all part of it. And we want to provide the best services to our citizens that any government does anywhere and I think we do now.” The 2010 Census recorded Smyrna with a population of 51,271, a growth of 25 percent over the last 10 years. The city has an average household income of $77,874. And the city’s FY12 budget is balanced at $70.9 million.

Always optimistic


City moving forward with land-use goal of 40% commercial



By Geoff Folsom

KENNESAW — Despite a sluggish economy, the city of Kennesaw and surrounding areas are continuing to see positive signs. Mayor Mark Mathews, who was first elected in 2007, said the city of just under 30,000 is moving forward with its land-use goal of getting to 60 percent residential and 40 percent commercial. Currently, 27 percent of property in the city is commercial. “You can tell we’ve got a little work to go still,” Mathews said at his State of the City SIX CITIES speech in January. “But we’ve got something to measure by.” Mathews said the newly opened Kennesaw Pavilion strip mall on Jiles Road near Baker Road has been a success, with six businesses leasing 100 percent of its retail space. A new McDonalds has also opened near the shopping center. That’s not the only McDonalds news in Kennesaw. An aging McDonalds on Cobb Parkway near Old Highway 41 has been replaced by a new store. A new Chase Bank has also opened, while Metro Bank has also opened a temporary location while a permanent branch is built at the intersection of Cobb Parkway and Kennesaw Due West Road. Other businesses have been recruited to take up more than 30,000 square feet of retail space in the city, Mathews said, including Lumber Liquidators, a print shop, a florist and a veterinary clinic. Meanwhile, the Kennesaw Charter Science and Math Academy is expected to move into a new, 100,000-square-foot building in the spring, Mathews said. “Their relocation will allow them to move out of an industrial area and into a new site on Cobb Parkway, giving them room for growth that they’ve been looking for many years,” he said. The relocation of the school was made possible by a land annexation into the city, Mathews said. In addition, Burnt Hickory Brewery


Staff/Lindsay Fendt

Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin says he believes the bottom of the economic downtown has been reached and now there’s nowhere to go but up.

Parks, other signs of growth keep Mayor Tumlin upbeat Hill Road near Powder Springs Street, are expected to be completed this spring. “This park will be a first-class facility for the city and will provide a great ameniMARIETTA — Mayor Steve Tumlin ty for the neighborhood. It will become a says when it comes Marietta, his state of draw for people to move into the adjoining mind “will always be optimistic.” housing areas,” Bruton said. Tumlin believes the bottom of the ecoSoccer fans will enjoy the $1.8 million nomic downtown has been reached and the city is spending to renovate the soccer there’s nowhere to go but up. “You know the Traton Corporation sold facility at the 8.5-acre Custer Park, off Fairground Street near Marietta Power’s 20 or 30, we’ve had some activity over headquarters. A completion date is targeted near Manget where we have single family for fall. growth, and I think a good barometer as “This will be Marietta’s first soccer always is the real estate community, and as facility and will provide opportunities for we’re seeing single family houses being our youth to practice and play in the city built, that brings businesses, that brings and opportunities to draw in games and jobs, so I personally like that element of it tournaments which will pump dollars into very much so,” he said. local businesses,” Bruton said. An enormous help to weathering the This year the city is also expected to economic storm has been the willingness of voters to continue passing a Special Pur- determine a location for a new multi-million dollar indoor recreation center. pose Local Option Sales Tax, along with a “Parks just bring a good quality of life $25 million parks bond in 2009. to our city,” Tumlin said. “So I’m very “The streetscape from the 2006 positive about that. The voters did us a SPLOST I think was ultra successful,” great job in November Tumlin said. “It had its SIX CITIES 2009.” pains. We redid the Square, Also this fall the 1940sand the merchants were era Fort Hill Homes, the upset (with the road closure) only remaining federal but now they’re happy. And housing project in the city, we have another $44 million ‘Even in the hard is slated for demolition. infrastructure increase that we’re happy about being the times we kept making Residents of the 120 apartments for low-income fami2011 SPLOST. So not only infrastructure can we be excited to what’s improvements to our lies will be moved out beginning in May. They will coming to a conclusion now, receive rental vouchers that the taxpayers voted for us to city, which I think enable them to move anydo it again, so we’re going will pay dividends where they choose, said Ray forward. much, much quicker Buday, executive director of “Even in the hard times the Marietta Housing we kept making infrastructhan we ever Authority. ture improvements to our dreamed.’ Immediate plans are to city, which I think will pay spend $250,000 to $300,000 dividends much, much — Mayor Steve Tumlin razing the site and turn it quicker than we ever into green space while the dreamed,” he said. MHA’s board decides what Revitalization of the to do with the 10 acres. Powder Springs Street corridor continues “I’d like for us to start to get more in a with the announcement of a movie theater growth mode,” Tumlin said. “I’d love to opening this summer. Plans are underway to build a 10-screen Neighborhood Cinema see us work with the development community to have those holes filled with projects Group theater at 1050 Powder Springs St. that would be good for the city.” The theater will include stadium seating Public housing for seniors, though, is a and 3D and surround-sound technology. City Manager Bill Bruton said the complex growing project. This summer, the MHA-owned Henderwill enhance the city’s reputation as a desson Arms, the 30-year-old, nine-story hightination for families and couples looking rise for seniors near the YWCA, will for entertainment. undergo a $19 million renovation. When Along with the theater is a new 41,403 the renovations are completed in mid-2013, square foot Walmart Neighborhood Market the building will be renamed The Renaisgrocery store set to open this spring at 1137 Powder Springs St. in the Bellemeade Shop- sance on Henderson and will feature such amenities as an exercise facility, library, ping Center. The business will occupy the computer room and movie theater. space that previously housed a Food Depot. The 2010 Census revealed Marietta resiBaseball players are making use of three dents shifting from renters to owners. new fields at the renovated Aviation BaseOwner-occupied housing in Marietta rose ball/Softball Complex off South Marietta Parkway. The city spent about $650,000 to from 8,996 in 2000 to 9,750 in 2010. By the same token, renter-occupied housing renovate the park with new equipment and declined from 14,899 units in 2000 to fields, turning it over to Danny Pralgo’s 613,315 in 2010. In the 56,579-resident city 4-3 DP Baseball Athletics firm to operate. Bruton said the complex is attracting many of Marietta, median income is $45,428, compared to Cobb’s second largest city, visitors. Smyrna, where the median income for its “Businesses around the park are seeing 51,271 residents is $55,468. The 688,078 the positive impact,” he said. resident county as a whole has a median The $1.75 million renovations of the income of $66,515. 10.6-acre Hickory Hills Park, on Chestnut By Jon Gillooly


Mayor wants to propose city budget From staff reports

MARIETTA — Mayor Steve Tumlin, who has proposed creating a citizen commission to review the city’s charter, said recently another change he wants is allowing the mayor, not the city manager, to present the city’s budget each year. That’s the way the county government operates with Cobb Board of Commissioners Chairman Tim Lee, not county manager David Hankerson, presenting the coun-

ty’s budget, although Hankerson’s staff does provide the legwork, said county spokesman Robert Quigley. “Both on the (Marietta Board of Lights and Water) and on the City Council, it’s staff driven,” Tumlin said. “I would like to see the City Council get into it a lot sooner, and it probably won’t be in the nuts and bolts way. It would be ‘we want to spend 30 percent on economic development.’ It would be more leadership just like the state of Georgia.”


Mayor Mark Mathews points to one area of growth being six new businesses leasing 100 percent of the retail space in the newly opened Kennesaw Pavilion strip mall on Jiles Road near Baker Road. A new McDonalds has also opened near the shopping center. plans to open downtown once its licensing process is complete. And Mathews said the city will get its first high-end gun club this year. Overall, new businesses occupied 100,000 square feet of formerly vacant space and added more than 70 new jobs in 2011, Mathews said. Mathews said he expects Kennesaw to benefit from projects located just outside the city limits, including Home Depot’s new call center, which is expected to eventually employ more than 700 people, and Fresenius Medical Care’s planned billing and insurance verification center, which looks to hire 120 people. On the residential side, the city is working with banks, developers and builders to reactivate four stalled singlefamily developments, Mathews said. At Kennesaw State University, more student housing is being built on and off campus for students. Kennesaw leaders got support at the ballot box in November 2011 elections, with Mathews and City Council members Dr. Cris Eaton-Welsh and Tim Killingsworth winning reelection by large margins.




‘You get ‘em’ Job No. 1 for Sheriff’s Fugitive Unit:

By Geoff Folsom

MARIETTA — Since 1977, the Cobb Sheriff’s Office has dedicated a unit specifically to tracking down fugitives and bringing them to justice. Sheriff Neil Warren says the success of the unit depends on high-quality investigators developing good leads and increasing cooperation with outside agencies. Warren himself previously

was the chief investigator over the fugitive unit, which now has 10 deputies assigned to it. “It’s a very important position in any type of investigation,” Warren said. “I know first-hand from being a supervisor and an investigator, working in forgery and fugitives.” In tracking fugitives, Chief Deputy sheriff Lynda Coker said of her boss, “His goal is not, ‘Where are they?’ You get ’em.” A fugitive, Warren said, is someone who is charged with a

Staff/Laura Moon

Members of the Cobb County Sheriff's Office fugitive unit include, front row from left: Investigator D. Wilkerson, Investigator J. Malloy, Lt. S. Allen, Investigator C. Wesley, Chief Deputy Lynda Coker, Sheriff Neil Warren and Lt. Col. D. Hunton. Back row from left: Col. Milton Beck, Investigator J. Huval, Investigator A. Gossett, Investigator B. Ward, Investigator W. Carter, Investigator C. Claunch, Investigator A. Stier and Sgt. M. Costley.


The number of new cases the unit handled in 2011 and the number either arrested or assisted in arresting — or more than 82 percent. Of those who were apprehended, 163 were caught outside Georgia and returned to Cobb for prosecution.


Where Paul Jannuzzo, 55, was located and arrested in 2011 after being charged in 2008 with theft by conversion and violating the RICO Act. He has pleaded not guilty and is now awaiting trial in the Cobb Adult Detention Center.

Tracking Your all year long online at

crime but whom law enforcement can’t locate. “They have no address, and you have information that they’re hiding from you, and using false names and things of that nature,” Warren said. “They’re trying to conceal who they are and where they are — that’s a fugitive. It could be anything from a misdemeanor charge all the way up to a felony murder charge. “A lot of times, we’ll find that they’re using another name, or

in custody in other jurisdictions,” Warren said. “We’ll place a hold on them.” Working a fugitive investigation is almost like investigating an initial crime, Warren said. “You have to develop leads. It’s more than just having that warrant in your hand,” he said. “Once that person is what we call ‘on the lam,’ … you have to develop those leads, just like you would looking for evidence. It’s a lot of telephone work. It’s a lot of searching See Fugitive, Page 11EE

Mayor Allegood proud of city’s quality of life MARIETTA DAILY JOURNAL  SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2012



By Marcus E. Howard

ACWORTH — Tommy Allegood has been mayor of Acworth for 10 years and hasn’t stopped keeping busy since taking office. Allegood, 61, presides over Cobb County’s fastest growing city, which now has 21,000 residents, a 52 percent increase in the previous decade, and enough new business and restaurant growth for the mayor to proclaim it “the restaurant mecca of Cobb County.” About 50 new businesses were created over the past year, producing approximately 500 new jobs in the city, according to the mayor’s office. Businesses that have recently opened include Pearl Spa and Apothecary Boutique, Launch Awareness Yoga Centre, and Massage Envy Spa, as well as restaurants such as J.D.’s Bar-B-Que, Creekside Tavern and Fish Thyme. Other businesses that have opened are Parkside Italian Kitchen, Center Street Tavern, LGE Credit Union, RaceTrac and PTS Sports in the old Theatre on Main building downtown. Allegood said the new businesses are not the result of any incentives, but instead, the perception that Acworth has a great quality of life and very supportive business community. “Just on Main Street alone, we’ve had about 15 new businesses that opened this past year that have invested in our Main Street,” said Allegood. “One of the real remarkable statistics is 10 years ago, we had a 16 percent commercial tax base in the city. Today, 10


Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

Tommy Allegood points out that, during his 10 years as mayor, Acworth has seen ‘a 300 percent increase in jobs and a 400 percent increase in property values.’ years later, we have a 35 percent tax base … it’s had a 300 percent increase in jobs and a 400 percent increase in property values. It’s helped to really stabilize our tax base.” With the exception of one small increase — which was later lowered back to its previous rate — the city hasn’t raised taxes in a decade, said Allegood, who was

elected mayor in 2002. Allegood said he is proud that the city began this year with a balanced budget, with every city department operating under budget. “We took the surplus and added it to our fund balance,” the mayor said. “What that really points to is every single department manager in the city was able to cut their expenses and be able to reduce their budgets, so that at the end of the year we had a total $27 million budget and we were able to finish the year with a surplus.” On the horizon this year for Acworth is the redevelopment of more than 100 acres of land, much of it currently occupied by Logan Farm Park and walking trails, where the city hopes to attract new development. Redevelopment in the area has already started taking shape. The four-story, 108-unit Legacy senior apartment complex, a Walton Communities project, is set to open this spring on Carruth Street, on land formerly occupied by public housing. Construction on the School Street road realignment project, funded by 2005 SPLOST money, is also underway. City officials are looking to increase the density within the redevelopment site, but are focusing on rebuilding the infrastructure before choosing a developer for the area. “In our Roberts School neighborhood, we will have three new (public) parking lots

‘We lost many residents to the flood, and I don’t know if we can get them to move back. The way the economy is, it’s just going to take time for them to come back, because we lost a good many houses.’ — Mayor Joe Jerkins

Mayor Joe Jerkins says 700 of the 2,500 homes in Austell were damaged during the flood of 2009 and many of the families have not moved back, and potential new residents have shied away from moving to the city.


work down there,” Jerkins said. “Lowe’s and Georgia Power helped us out with Legion Park.” Like other Cobb County cities, Austell has faced cuts to balance its operating budget. About $433,000 was cut from the fiscal 2012 budget, largely because of fewer franchise fees from the Austell Natural Gas system, which saw lower gross sales. Austell Natural Gas is a component of the city and serves customers in Austell,

of 92 employees and $75 each for five employees. The city has also announced that it will receive a $400,000 state Livable Centers Initiative Transportation grant for streetscaping. Austell promotes itself as a friendly, small city with convenient medical facilities and easy access to major thoroughfares, including Interstates 20 and 285. The city supports annual family activities, including an Easter egg hunt and Christmas tree lighting. “We have low taxes and we also have as many services as anybody,” said

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

City still trying to recover from 2009 flood damage

By Marcus E. Howard m

AUSTELL — In the past year, the city of Austell has made more progress in demolishing homes damaged in the September 2009 floods. Seven hundred of the 2,500 homes in Austell had some level of flood damage, though longtime Mayor Joe Jerkins says about 300 of those have been repaired and reoccupied. Twenty homes around the city have already been demolished as part of a federal program, and two others that are considered historical are awaiting the bulldozer. If more federal money comes through, as many as 61 more homes could be demolished. The buyouts were largely funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state, with the city paying 15 percent of the cost. Getting displaced residents to move back, and attracting new residents has been a tough challenge, Jerkins said. “We lost many residents to the flood, and I don’t know if we can get them to move back,” he said. “The way the economy is, it’s just going to take time for them to come back, because we lost a good many houses.” The renovation and reopening of Legion Park on Austell Powder Springs Road has been a bright spot in the city’s recovery effort. After a ribbon-cutting in 2011, the city now has plans to expand the park by two acres for a playground and additional parking. The park features baseball fields and a gazebo, covered pavilion and playground area. “We’ve done a lot of

— 200 more parking spaces,” Allegood said. “We’ll be installing about a mile of sidewalks and working to begin the redevelopment process for that Roberts School area.” A new Acworth Police Department headquarters, to be funded by SLOST money, is also in the development phase. Presently, the station and jail are housed in cramped quarters on Acworth Industrial Drive. The station is set to be moved down the street into a renovated building, which would be connected to SIX CITIES a newly constructed building, totaling about ‘Those are the 18,000 things I’m most square feet. proud of. If you look The court and jail will at everything we’ve remain in done in the past 10 the same place. years, it’s creating a Allegood community that’s was raised really the most givin Atlanta and graduing and loving comated from the Univer- munity in America.’ sity of — Mayor Tommy Georgia in Allegood 1972. Following a management career with Lowe’s companies, he was a contractor with the Resolution Trust Corporation in Florida. He is a state licensed builder and developer. He and his wife, Carol, an artist, live a restored historic house on Northside Drive and have four children and seven grandchildren. In 2000, Allegood was elected to the Acworth Board of Aldermen before being elected mayor two years later. He was reelected to a third unopposed term in 2010 and said he hasn’t put any limitations on his political future. His proudest achievements, he said, include developing a quality of life in the city, which has led to its growth. Among other accomplishments are the construction of Horizon Field for special-needs children and Veterans Memorial at Patriots Point, and winning the 2010 AllAmerica City designation. “Those are the things I’m most proud of,” Allegood said. “If you look at everything we’ve done in the past 10 years, it’s creating a community that’s really the most giving and loving community in America.”

Powder Springs, Douglasville and parts of Cobb and Douglas counties. City departments simply had to tighten their belts to deal with the decrease in revenue. In spite of the cuts, Jerkins said he is proud that the city was able to avoid laying off or furloughing any of its 97 employees. In fact, the city spent nearly $18,000 last holiday season on bonuses, gifts and dinner for city employees. The bonuses were $150 for each


Jerkins of Austell, which has a statue of its mayor downtown. “We’ve got good police and fire departments, public works and water departments. And we’ve got some nice parks.” Mayor Jerkins ran without opposition and was reelected in November 2011 to a new four-year term, but says it might be his last. He’s been the mayor since 1990, and acknowledged that two decades is a long time to serve. “That would make 26 years; that’s a pretty long time,” said Jerkins, 69. “I’m just going to have to

wait and see how things go.” Despite the flood, the 2010 Census showed his city’s population grew by 22 percent in the previous decade and now has 6,541 residents. Jerkins said his favorite aspect of serving as mayor of Austell is being around the city’s employees, whose numbers have increased from around 38 since 1990. His favorite person and biggest supporter, however, is his wife of 52 years, Sandra. Together, they have two children and a 12-yearold grandson.

AUSTELL the friendly city, is growing with Cobb. Joe Jerkins, Mayor

Council Members: Kirsten Anderson, Trudie Causey, Virginia Reagan, Martin Standard, Scott Thomas, Suzanne Thomason • 770-944-4300 2716 Broad Street, Austell, Georgia 30106

City upgrades park and police projects 10EE


four in an office. Everyone has the space now. It’s very nice and we’ve had a morale boost.” The 20,100-square-foot building POWDER SPRINGS — Mayor Pat includes a 30-person training classroom, Vaughn, who was re-elected to her third rooms allocated for future shooting and term in November, said the things she is driving simulator equipment, offices for most proud of from 2011 include the completion of the city’s new police department eight detectives, three majors, 50 patrol officers and 16 staff members, a 3,000and Silver Comet Trail pedestrian bridge square-foot, two-bay storage facility for and streetscape improvements along vehicles, and a 1,500-square-foot storage Atlanta Street. Like many cities in Cobb County, Pow- area on the front of the building. The city began the $1.5 million renovader Springs was busy in 2011 with vast tion process in October 2010 and completimprovements to the city, the election of ed it last May but introduced it to the comnew city council members, and an eye on munity in August. the future. Construction was In November, SIX CITIES done by Hogan ConVaughn bested forstruction Group of mer police chief Norcross. Rick Richardson and Two other large longtime Powder projects that the city Springs resident Paul ‘(The new police station) is a completed last year Moore to win re-elec- wonderful new facility and it’s tion as mayor. got plenty of room for an antici- were the $467,000 Silver Comet Trail Another outcome pedestrian bridge from the fall election pated 20-year growth. We were and $1 million in brought about a new very crowded in the old police streetscape improveface to the council, station. They had four in an ments throughout Chris Wizner. the city. In the at-large Post office. Everyone has the space “That bridge 2 race, the local now. It’s very nice and we’ve goes over a very physician beat threedangerous intersecterm council member had a morale boost.’ Tom Bevirt, a part— Mayor Pat Vaughn tion, Richard Sailors Parkway and Old time exterminator Lost Mountain who had served 12 Road,” Vaughn years on the council. Wizner is a family physician with Well- said. “It was really unsafe for bicycles. People love it. I’ve had many nice comStar Medical Group and was a first-time ments on it.” candidate. His municipal experienced She said street improvements were also includes his work on the city’s planning and zoning committee for 13 years, serving made on Atlanta Street where sidewalks were widened and curb and gutter as chair for six. improvements were made at Forest Hill, The at-large Post 1 seat was also on the Macedonia, Florence and Old Austell ballot this fall. roads. Rosalyn Greene Neal is a former presiSPLOST money financed the projects. dent and CEO of Sunlynn Enterprises Inc. “We’re very excited about what we who won her second term against political have completed, and a large part of it is newcomer Raymond E. “Rick” Perry. part of the community enhancement plan Elections were not the only big thing that we adopted in 1997,” she said. “I’m so that happened in the city of about 15,900 happy to see these things come to fruition, residents in 2011, though. but they would not have been possible Vaughn said one of her proudest without SPLOST dollars or impact fees.” moments of the year was the redevelopAs for what 2012 holds for her city, ment and reuse of a vacant building off Vaughn said there are quite a few projects Richard D. Sailors Parkway to house the that will go out for bid, or already have, new police station. and others that will wrap up this year that “It is a wonderful new facility and it’s were started in 2011. got plenty of room for an anticipated 20“We’re looking forward to this year,” year growth,” she said. “We were very crowded in the old police station. They had she said.


By Lindsay Field

Powder Springs

Staff/Laura Moon

Mayor Pat Vaughn stands outside the future cultural arts center at the Coach George E. Ford Center, which includes the library, reception hall, senior center and a veteran’s memorial. A few of this year’s projects include road and parking improvements throughout downtown Powder Springs as part of the continuation of the Lewis Road projects, repairs of the old police department on Pineview Drive, upgrades to the Silver Comet Trail park, and completion of the cultural arts center at the George E. Ford Center. Construction for parking improvements in downtown Powder Springs have not been bid out but Vaughn said the city estimates that it will cost about $1.3 million. Additionally, she said a bid for the estimated $2 million park improvements at the Silver Comet Trail park will go out soon, and that the city is waiting for bids to come in for the $750,000 repairs and renovations at the old 60,000-square-foot police department, which is being renovated to serve as the city’s municipal court building. She said she expects each of these projects to be done by December if the bidding process goes as planned.

The project Vaughn said she is most proud of is the Silver Comet Trail park improvements. “These include a dog park, interactive water fountain, rock climbing area and a playground and pavilion,” she said. Costs for the park and all three other construction plans will be covered by SPLOST funds. The cultural arts center, which is inside the library off Atlanta Street, is another project that began in 2011 but should be finished shortly. “It’s about 70 percent complete,” she said in early February. “When I went in there (recently) it brought back so many good memories and I can’t wait for it to reopen.” The mayor will share more information about these and many other projects on March 20 during her annual State of the City Address. The speech will begin at 7 p.m. and be given in the George E. Ford Center, 4181 Atlanta St.

Commuter vanpools coming to city From staff reports

POWDER SPRINGS — The Perimeter Transportation and Sustainability Coalition is forming commuter vanpools that originate in Powder Springs and travel to workplaces in the Perimeter area. Vans depart at 6:45 a.m. from the Powder Springs Park and Ride (Florence Road Silver Comet Trail) located at 5100 Powder Springs-Dallas Road. The vanpool program is designed to accommodate commuters who live near

each other and travel to the same work area. Typically, a vanpool carries between eight to 15 commuters. The cost to ride in the vanpool is divided between the riders and is based on mileage and the number of riders. Private vanpool providers own, maintain and insure the vehicles. For those interested in joining or getting more information on services available to commuters heading into the Perimeter area, call (770) 394-4540 or visit info@ for more information.

Fugitive unit has staff of 10 deputies MARIETTA DAILY JOURNAL  SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2012

Continued from Page 8EE

records. Even moreso now with all the great technology out there, our investigators spend a great deal of time sitting behind a computer and on the telephone … It’s a very important part of law enforcement in today’s society.” Officers develop leads based on records and contacts fugitives have made in the county, Warren said. His deputies also help other agencies who believe their fugitives may be in Cobb. “We may get two, three, four, 10, I don’t know, telephone calls or Teletypes a day from other states wanting us to apprehend or try to locate a fugitive that’s wanted in their jurisdiction,” he said. In 2011, the unit had 1,554 new cases and either arrested or assisted in arresting 1,283 of those fugitives — or more than 82 percent. Of those who were apprehended, 163 were caught outside Georgia and returned to Cobb for prosecution. Along with trying to apprehend the remaining 271 fugitives from 2011, the unit is also tracking 354 active cases from between 1998 and 2010, Warren said. Here’s a look at some of the most notable cases for investigators: Paul Jannuzzo, 55, was located and arrested in the Netherlands in 2011 after being charged in 2008 with theft by conversion and violating the RICO Act. He has pleaded not guilty and is now awaiting trial in the Cobb Adult Detention Center. James Sadlier, who was indicted in 2006 on 37 counts of securities fraud in Cobb, was arrested on the island Republic of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea in 2011. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Nancy Bodiford said he is currently serving time on federal charges and will be returned to Cobb for trial once his federal time is served. “We worked through (the U.S. Marshals office), we worked through private contractors to extradite or transport them back here,” Warren said of Jannuzzo and Sadlier. Private contractors are often used to transport fugitives back to Cobb from out of state or outside of the country, Warren said, though there are times when deputies themselves have to go on longer trips. “Some jurisdictions will not release individuals to private transport companies,” Warren said. “I don’t want to send people all over the United States picking up inmates, if there’s a better way to do it.” On Nov. 30, 2010, Cobb’s fugitive unit worked with the FBI in apprehending Timothy Lyle Chappell in DeKalb County. He is a registered sex offender who was accused of sex trafficking of children. After noticing Chappell’s frequent movement around metro Atlanta on the GPS monitoring device he wore, Cobb officials notified other agencies. Chappell has since been delivered to federal custody, Bodiford said. Lt. Col. Don Hunton, a 31-year veteran of the sheriff’s office who oversees the fugitive unit, said: “The sex offender unit started that case and then the fugitive unit got involved with it.” The fugitive unit assisted the Southeast Regional Task Force in the June 3,

2011, arrest of Oscar Mondragon, who was charged in the murder of his 13year-old brother, Javier, in the family’s mobile home in Cobb. Bodiford said he is still in custody, awaiting trial. On Aug. 23, 2011, members of the Cobb Fugitive Unit assisted the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force in arresting Alfonso Donnell Artis in Austell. Artis was wanted for murder in Florida. The fugitive unit also assisted in the Sept. 15, 2011, arrest of Wael Gihad Ali in Marietta. He was charged with first-degree murder in Maryland related to the asphyxiation death of his twin brother, Wasel Gihad Ali. Wael Gihad Ali had been a fugitive for four years, Hunton said. “Howard County, up there, called us for help in locating him,” he said. “We found him pretty quickly. We hit the house early one morning and were able to make an arrest. He eventually wound up back in Maryland.” Both Artis and Wael Ali were extradited back to the states they face charges in, Bodiford said. The fugitive squad was created under former Sheriff Bill Hutson. Its 10 investigators are a fraction of the department’s 466 sworn officers, Bodiford said. Warren said his investigators use common sense in tracking fugitives. “Naturally, if a person is charged with a serious felony charge, where they’re a threat to hurt someone else or put the community in danger, that’s our priority,” Warren said. Dealing with cases that are several years old is also common. “They’ll just hide,” Warren said of fugitives. “Some of these folks are good … but eventually they’re gonna get caught.” Hunton said fugitive investigators have to know about more than just searching for wanted suspects. “We wear a lot of hats,” he said. “These deputies, they’re multi-disciplined, if you will. They’re not only fugitive investigators; they make pretty good criminal investigators.” Typically, the fugitive investigators have experience working with inmates in jail, as well as in court security and serving warrants in the uniform division, “which is some of the best training you’ll ever get on how offenders operate,” Warren said. “I would venture to say that most of those folks have well over five to 10 years experience in law enforcement,” and some have backgrounds in the financial business as well, Warren said. “You just don’t come in and say, ‘Hey put somebody to work as a fugitive investigator.’ You’ve got to have a lot of knowledge and training; you’ve got to be inquisitive too,” Warren said. Over the years, the Cobb Sheriff’s Office has worked more and more with outside agencies in finding fugitives. That can mean getting assistance from another agency when a suspect goes from Cobb into another jurisdiction, or Cobb officers helping out with a case when someone escapes here. “Criminals and crime, there’s no boundaries,” Warren said. “They don’t know the difference

A wall is filled with most wanted fugitives posters as Reserve Deputy B. Ward works a case.



Staff/Laura Moon

Cobb Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit Investigators J. Malloy, left, and A. Gossett discuss a case as W. Carter, back, works the phone lines. Typically, the fugitive investigators have experience working with inmates in jail, as well as in court security and serving warrants in the uniform division. Immigration and Customs between the Cherokee Enforcement; the Georgia County line, Cobb County departments of corrections, line, Paulding County line pardons and paroles, and or Fulton County line. motor vehicle safety; the You’ve got to develop Georgia State Patrol; the those relationships with other agencies.” One such relationship has been Cobb’s — Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren partnerDeKalb and Fulton counship with the Southeast ties sheriff’s offices and Regional Fugitive Task police departments; police Force, which is now overagencies in the cities of seen by the federal justice Atlanta and Macon; and department. sheriff’s offices in the Other partners in the counties of Clayton, regional task force include Fayette, Gwinnett, Bibb, the U.S. Marshals Service; the Department of Housing Houston, Monroe and Jones. and Urban Development; “Once (the U.S. Marthe Bureau of Alcohol, shals) took over and we all Tobacco, Firearms and started working together Explosives; the Bureau of

‘They’ll just hide. Some of these folks are good … but eventually they’re gonna get caught.’

more closely with the federal government … it’s even a better tool now,” Warren said. “It just proves that we all got to work together. It’s a great example of local and state and federal government working together.” Cooperation also makes more sense from a budget standpoint, Warren said. “Why would you send somebody up to New York, or someplace you don’t know, to try to look for somebody?” he said. “You’ve got to develop those relationships, locally and nationally … Not only in law enforcement, you’ve got to have contacts on the streets, so to speak. And I

don’t want to go any further on that.” The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were one of several events that changed the way agencies work together to find fugitives, Warren said. “Law enforcement agencies like to protect their own turf sometimes,” Warren said. “But, as I’ve been in this business now for all these years, I see that we all need help. We can’t do it ourselves. Every agency, we’ve got to rely on each other.” Also causing agencies to work together was the manhunt for Brian Nichols after the March 11, 2005, shootings at the Fulton County Courthouse, in which Nichols, who was on trial for rape, escaped from custody and killed four people, including the judge presiding over his trial and two law enforcement officers. He was arrested in Duluth the next day and later convicted of the crimes. “When that thug was on the lam, we were just as much involved in Cobb County,” Warren said. “Our representative from the Georgia Sheriff’s Association was down there, and they were getting information to us. You never know where a fugitive is going to end up. We were on high alert to locate him.” Cobb works with statewide and national sheriffs groups to keep informed, Warren said. “We’re constantly training and finding better ways to communicate with each other so we can do a better job,” he said. The process is complicated, but rewarding. “It’s taking a big old puzzle, and dumping it out on the table here, and putting all the pieces together,” Warren said.




Progress 2012






— 7FF

— 3FF


WellStar closer to building East Cobb Park / 4FF




Newlyweds give suburban living a go in Marietta Couple’s new subdivision is close Square, includes pool By Marcus E. Howard

MARIETTA – Troy and Sarah Lindbeck of Marietta are two of Cobb County’s newest residents, having moved here from Tampa, Fla. in early January. The newlyweds admittedly miss the warmth of the Sunshine State, but believe they have found a welcoming new home in Cobb in which to start a family. They purchased a home in the Rockford Township subdivision off Manning Road near Marietta High School. “We love it,” said Troy, 28. “It’s been a transition of trying to get unpacked, lost in the neighborhood and figuring out where everything is. We’re just trying to figure it all out right now.” Troy is a part of the community marketing team at RaceTrac, based out of Vinings. He said he was relocated from Tampa to Cobb by his job. Sarah is a pharmacist by trade. She said she is currently hunting for a job in the area. The couple owns a black pug named Koal. The Lindbecks said they had not had too many opportunities to explore much of Cobb County because they’ve spent a lot of their free time at home supply

stores as they work to mooned on the Caribbean decorate their new home. island of St. Lucia. As it turned out, the “We’ve been around couple had attended the town a little bit, gotten same college together but lost a few times in Marietta and just driving here didn’t know each other. Sarah is a native of and there to Atlanta,” Hastings, Neb., a city Troy said. with a population of “We’re starting to about 25,000 located 107 slowly but surely figure miles west of Lincoln. out where Bed Bath & After high school, she Beyond, Target and attended the University Home Depot is.” The couple lived about of Central Florida in Orlando, where she gradthree years in Tampa on the west coast of Florida. uated with a psychology degree in 2004. AfterThey met three years ward, she ago while earned from separately “When we came hanging out up here, we want- pharmacy degree from with friends ed to try out the the Universione night at a whole suburban ty of Florida. local bar. Not life. I think I prefer A native of a very this kind of living Collinsville, romantic set— having a yard Ill. outside of ting, they and a house.” St. Louis, joked, but they said — Sarah Troy majored they were Lindbeck, just in marketing instantly moved to Marietta at the University of Cendrawn to tral Florida. each other. “She’s definitely beau- He graduated in 2006. Their subdivision, tiful,” Troy said. “That Rockford Township, is a was the first thing I Traton Homes developnoticed from across the ment, bought from anothbar, kind of like the er developer after the movies.” Troy is convinced that housing bubble burst. Traton bought the he initially won his unfinished lots for a fracfuture wife over with his tion of their original smooth charm. She price, the company agrees with him. reported. While homes “I fell for it,” said were originally slated to Sarah, 30. be priced in the Troy and Sarah were $600,000s, Traton says married on Oct. 22 on a it’s offering homes from beach in Sarasota, Fla. the mid $200,000s. The newlyweds honey-

Staff/Todd Hull

Troy and Sarah Lindbeck unpack boxes of decorations from their recent move from Tampa in their living room on Sunday afternoon. Rockford Township is located on 27 acres of the old Smith-Manning antebellum estate, 1.5 miles from Marietta Square. Amenities include a swimming pool, cabana and playground. The new homes in the gated community are surrounded by the area’s charm, which includes Marietta Square, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Town Center at Cobb mall and local bakeries and antique shops. It is also conveniently located near popular shopping and dining destinations on Barrett Parkway and The Avenue West Cobb. Students in the neighborhood attend public school at Burruss Elementary School, Marietta Sixth Grade Academy, Marietta Middle School and Marietta High School. Troy and Sarah said they were looking for a new house they could semi-custom to what they

were looking for. They found a four-bedroom, three-bathroom home that includes an unfinished basement, backyard and outdoor deck. “Our Realtor, Jennie Moshure, did a good job of getting us where we wanted to be,” said Troy. “Not being from Atlanta and not knowing much about Atlanta, I think she did a tremendous job of showing us where exactly in Atlanta we should be with our goals as a family. She definitely put us in the right position, in the right house, in the right neighborhood.” Sarah said she particularly likes the fact that the neighborhood is not too far from Marietta Square or Atlanta. “In Tampa, we were more inside the city,” Sarah said. “When we came up here, we wanted to try out the whole suburban life. I think I prefer this kind of living — having a yard and a house.”

The Cover

Newlyweds Troy and Sarah Lindbeck just bought their first home in Marietta after moving to town from Tampa, Fla. Their new home is in the Rockford Township subdivision off Manning Road near Marietta High.

Staff/Todd Hull

RE/MAX Unlimited Proudly Congratulates Our 2011 Leaders! TOP PRODUCER TOP INDIVIDUAL


Angela Barner

Terry Burger

#2 Tony Williams

#3 Debbie Forrester


#4 Kim Jones

#5 Christine Coffman

#6 Tracie Norman


#7 Charlotte Ferguson

#8 Jane Quinn

We are very proud of the achievements of all of our agents. These agents represent the best examples of excellence in the real estate profession. Congratulations to all of them and a large “Thank you!” to their clients for making 2011 a huge success! Your Mortgage Partners Congratulate These 2011 Leaders! Kim King 770-617-6694

Leif Shaw 404-840-0974

Gerry & Pam Rogers, Broker/Owners 770.419.1986 or 800.390.9165

RE/MAX Unlimited has an entire office with professional and caring agents who are making a positive difference in our community. If you are considering a change to a more meaningful and rewarding career experience, please call for a confidential appointment at 770-419-1986, or you can email us at We will be glad to speak with you. GERRY & PAM ROGERS, OWNERS




Barnes Hardware closes after 82 years By Sally Litchfield MDJ Features Editor

More than 80 years after Barnes Hardware opened at 910 Veteran’s Memorial Highway as the only retail establishment in Mableton, the doors closed for the last time on Dec. 31. “I just think it’s time to close,” Betty Barnes, owner, said. “I’m ready to go to the beach for a while. It’s just time.” Barnes got involved in the business in 1954 with her husband, the late Benson Barnes. William Henry “W.H.” Barnes opened the institution in 1929 with his two sons, the late Felton Barnes (Betty’s father-inlaw) and the late Bill Barnes (former Gov. Roy Barnes’ father). Felton took over the business and operated the store until he died in 1978 with his son, Benson Barnes. After her husband’s death in 2002, Betty ran the business full time. Closing the store was an emotional time for Betty who, like her husband, was born and raised in Cobb County. The Austell native’s father was C.H.

“Fat” James, a former harvest came in, and then Austell mayor. they would pay it,” she “I have very deep roots, said. very deep roots in Cobb Little changed over the County,” the Mableton resi- years at the general merdent said. chandise store. Original In 1954, Betty married heart pine flooring Benson Barnes, who was remained in part of the born on Floyd Road in store. The warehouse, Mableton. “We’re OM — which started as a fertilizer Old Mableton,” she joked. plant, still opened in the She is the mother of two back onto the railroad. grown daughters, Carla Only minor renovations Snavely and Beth Skelton, were made over the years and grandmother of six. to the hardware and cloth“I have been down ing areas. there (at the store) ever Betty recalled that dursince we married, helping ing the early 1930s when my husband but not comW.H. Barnes wanted to pletely responsible for change the tin building to everybrick, thing the railuntil road ‘I will really miss going after his claimed down to the store and death,” the seeing all the people she said. property that have been coming “It’s very right up in as regular customers emotionto the for so long.’ al to struc— Betty Barnes, owner of close ture. Barnes Hardware after all “The these railroad years.” said W.H. couldn’t have Located in the heart of another inch. He could not Mableton next to the railbrick on top of his buildroad, Barnes Hardware was ing. So he just bricked on a mainstay in the communi- the inside of the building ty. and tore the tin off,” she “All the farmers came said, laughing. and charged their supplies “(The store) is still just on signature until their about like it was. Not a lot

Right: An old photo of Barnes Hardware Store back when the entire store was still made out of tin. Far right: Barnes Hardware sits off of Veterans Memorial Highway in Mableton. The store has been in business for 82 years.

Staff/Lindsay Fendt

Above: From left, Barnes Hardware employees William Davis, Shelby Galloway, George Smith, David Collins and owner Betty Barnes stand behind the store's counter. Barnes Hardware will be closing after 82 years of business. Below: Betty Barnes, owner of Barnes Hardware in Mableton, stands in one of the store's aisles. Barnes got involved in the business in 1954 with her husband, the late Benson Barnes. of changes have been made. It’s very unique,” she said. “People come from all around just to see the building. “I will really miss going down to the store and seeing all the people that have been coming in as regular customers for so long,” she continues. “I’ll miss seeing all those folks. It’s just a hometown store and hometown people, and they’re all wonderful.”

COBB COUNTY REALTY, INC. HUD FORECLOSURE EXPERTS Looking to find a bargain in today’s real estate market? Cobb County hasover 50 years experience in buying HUD, VA foreclosed and REO properties. Great for someone looking to put in a little sweet equity into their new home. All price ranges.

CALL 770-422-5590

The Chance Team Atlanta Real Estate Professionals for Over 20 Years

• Innovative Marketing Plans • Residential Sales & Rentals • First-Time Home Buyers • Foreclosure Specialists

Pre-Foreclosure / Short Sale Assistance Available! All calls are confidential! Call today!

Call today for a FREE List of Foreclosures! Roy & Crystal Chance Robbins Realty's #1 SALES TEAM 770-517-9739 DIRECT • 770-827-6492 CELL 770-971-5660 x306




One step at a time WellStar moving closer to building East Cobb Health Park dents of east Cobb have wanted. We’ve surveyed them, and we’ve been working with residents MARIETTA — Wellimmediately surrounding Star Health System has won the second, and possi- the area to construct and build a health park that bly the final, fight against they will be proud of and the appeals of Northside utilize. ... WellStar Health Hospital to include an System is thrilled to have ambulatory surgery center received this final adminin the proposed 205,000 istrative decision and square-foot, $80 million WellStar East Cobb Health looks forward to breaking ground on Park. the WellWellStar East Star Cobb spokesman Health Keith Park later Bower‘This is a project that the this master residents of east Cobb spring.” said David have wanted. We’ve surWellA. Cook, veyed them, and we’ve Star’s commisbeen working with resibattle for sioner of dents immediately surthe CON Georgia rounding the area to condates Departstruct and build a health back to ment of park that they will be May Communiproud of and utilize. ... 2010, ty Health, WellStar Health System when issued a is thrilled to have WellStar final received this Final Adminfirst subadminisistrative Decision and mitted its trative looks forward to breaking request to decision in ground on the WellStar the DCH favor of East Cobb Health Park for the WellStar later this spring.’ CON. in January. — Keith Bowermaster The DCH With the WellStar Spokesman approved decision, the CON Northin September 2010, but side’s second appeal was less than a month later, on denied and DCH reaffirmed its decision to grant Oct. 19, 2010, Northside appealed the DCH’s deciWellStar a certificate of sion. Nearly a year passed need, which allows Wellbefore the hearing for that Star to include a surgical appeal took place on Aug. center in the future health 8 through Aug. 11. On park at 3624 Providence Oct. 20, 2011, almost a Road at the corner of year to the date that NorthProvidence and Roswell side filed its first appeal, roads in east Cobb. the state rendered its deciNorthside spokesman sion and denied the Russ Davis could not say appeal. On Nov. 18, if the system planned to Northside appealed that appeal. decision again, and in JanWellStar’s Bowermaster, meanwhile, said: “This uary, Cook reaffirmed the previous decisions and is a project that the resiBy Katy Ruth Camp

I t s No No Hassle. It’s Hassle.

Renew Your Subscription Today! The Marietta Daily Journal reaches over 50,000 daily customers Call 770-795-5000 Today!

MARIETTA DAILY JOURNAL Chronicling Cobb County’s People & Events Since 1866

WellStar’s CON remains approved. WellStar could have built the health park without the surgery center and its necessary CON, and Bowermaster said WellStar planned to do so if the CON was not granted. At this point, however, the CON has been approved three times and Bowermaster said WellStar plans to breaks ground on the facility — including the surgery center — in late spring. Bowermaster said the 205,000-square-foot building would sit on 23 acres and hold four floors of medical space, one of which will be underground, and approximately 950 parking spaces. To put that size in perspective, the health park will be about 60,000 square feet larger than a typical Home Depot store and about 50,000 square feet smaller than a typical Walmart Supercenter. It will also be about three times bigger than the three-story, 70,000square-foot Acworth Health Park that WellStar Health System officials broke ground on Oct. 17, 2011. The ambulatory surgery center will be about 20,000 square feet, or 10 percent, of the facility. The attorneys for the appeals process include Armando Bassaratte of Atlanta law firm Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs, representing WellStar; Kathy Butler Polvino and Robert M. Rozier of Atlanta law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge, representing Northside; and Alex Sponseller, representing the DCH.


WellStar Health System has won the second, and possibly the final, fight against the appeals of Northside Hospital to include an ambulatory surgery center in the proposed 205,000 square-foot, $80 million WellStar East Cobb Health Park illustrated in renderings above and below.



Brooks Chadwick leading the way in development MARIETTA DAILY JOURNAL  SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2012

By Katy Ruth Camp

EAST COBB — It is no secret that east Cobb is dominating the local market for new residential construction. But one lesserknown fact is that Brooks Chadwick Captial has been on the front end of nearly every developed lot in the area for the past three years. In fact, managing partner Todd Thrasher said since 2008, he and his team of three others became the largest land owners in east Cobb as more than 300 lots have been or are currently being developed by builders. The group’s business model is to buy lots (80 percent of which they said have been distressed lots), prepare them for building, work with the county government to get zoning approval and sell the mostly ready-to-go lots to builders. “We focus on lots that are in the Walton, Pope and Lassiter school districts because the fundamentals are strong, the schools are best, and the demand has outstripped the supply.” Thrasher said. “I get calls from builders everyday who want to come to east Cobb, and we have probably 10 letters of intent out right now and three projects that are underway in some form.” Thrasher, along with partner Dave Clapper, joined together in December 2008 to purchase their first development, which included 28 lots in a community called Mirraview in northeast Cobb. The lots were purchased through foreclosure from United Community Bank and State Bank. Lennar Homes purchased the lots from them and has since sold all of the homes in the development with an average sales price of $300,000, Thrasher said. Thrasher and Clapper had worked together as developers in the past but were fortunate to cut their ties before the housing crisis, so they viewed the venture as a side project as they

looked at other career opportunities rather than hinging the project on the expectations that it would be their sole sources of income. But that development was so lucrative, Thrasher said they continued to buy up east Cobb lots and flipping them to developers, knowing that the east Cobb market was where people wanted to live, and found they had a very lucrative business. Thrasher said the lots were so cheap because of the downfall of the housing market, so the potential to make substantial profits on them down the road was more than promising — it seemed inevitable. So next came a second development, which then sold quickly. Then another, then another, and by 2009, they found that there were basically no lots left to be bought in the east Cobb area so in early 2010, they began buying up raw land and preparing it for new subdivision developments. Thrasher said they used mostly their own money in the beginning to get the business rolling, but said with a laugh: “We do have a few banks that swear us to secrecy.” Neither wanted to dis-

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

Above: From left, Roy Jones, partner; Steve Edison, partner; Todd Thrasher, managing partner; and Dave Clapper, partner, stand in front of purchased homesites in The Estates at Walden in east Cobb on Feb. 9. It is no secret that east Cobb is dominating the local market for new residential construction. But one lesser-known fact is that Brooks Chadwick Captial has been on the front end of nearly every developed lot in the area for the past three years. Below: Robinson Manor, a Brooks Chadwick Capital community, is located off Robinson Road near the intersection of Roswell and Old Canton road in east Cobb. November as a partner and general counsel for BCC. Thrasher said BCC has been Lennar’s largest provider of lots, but has also sold to Marietta-based

‘We focus on lots that are in the Walton, Pope and Lassiter school districts because the fundamentals are strong, the schools are best, and the demand has outstripped the supply.’ — Todd Thrasher, managing partner of Brooks Chadwick Capital

close what their profits or revenues have been, but did say that the venture has been “very, very lucrative. We’ll have four or five bids on every piece of property we try to sell.” And since that first development, they have also added to their team — wellknown luxury home builder Steve Edison is now a partner and has built out some of the lots they purchased, while Roy Jones of Walton Communities joined in

developer Traton Homes. Some of the subdivisions BCC originated include Lake Haven, Marston Park, Tanglewood Crest, The Vineyard, Robinson Manor, Holmes Farm, The Estates at Walden, Wigley Preserve, Peyton Estates in Alpharetta, Mt. Creek Estates. The group has also helped broker and sell numerous apartment complexes and developed lots to investors over the past three years. Clapper also said BCC

has been one of the largest benefactors to east Cobb’s undeveloped Mabry Park, as they live in the east Cobb community and understand the importance of greenspace and having a place for their kids to play. Jones lives in Vinings. Todd Jones, division president for the Lennar Homes’ Atlanta operations, said he has worked on seven communities with BCC since early 2010, beginning with Mirraview. “Working with them has been outstanding,” Todd Jones said. “They get the distressed lots or raw land and get it cleaned up, zoned, developed, then we buy the lots from them. They’re very honorable, they do the right thing, they’re a great group to deal with and they’re very forthright. For us, as a startup division in Atlanta, you don’t always have expertise, knowledge and history with an area and its

people and those are critical to uncover all issues about the land’s history, to know zoning issues that may come and to have good relationships with people to make that happen. It’s all part of a big process to get a community whether distressed or raw to the finish line and it takes a lot of effort and relationships, and the guys at Brooks Chadwick Capital have that.” But if you expect to

speak with Brooks Chadwick, you’ll have to go through Thrasher, the fouryear-old’s father. “He was six months old at the time and I was so excited to be a father, we just took his first and middle name and ran with it,” Thrasher said. “We get asked all the time from people if they can talk to Brooks Chadwick, and if Brooks Chadwick can pay for this or that, and we just have to laugh.”

Multi-Millon Dollar Producer

(678) 631-1713 Direct Line

Visit my website @ An Independent Member Broker

(678) 631-1700



Big bucks Four of the five priciest homes in county were sold in east Cobb By Katy Ruth Camp

MARIETTA — East Cobb remains the place to go in Cobb County for luxury homes: Four of the five most expensive homes sold in Cobb in 2011 bear coveted east Cobb addresses. “It’s easy to get in and out of east Cobb, people feel safer, and the schools and location are very good and appealing,” said Donna King, of Harry Norman Realtors. The highest priced Cobb home sold in 2011 went for $3.75 million on March 8 — $2 million less than its original listing price of $5.75 million. That and the fifth most expensive home sold are in the Pope High School district of east Cobb, while the No. 2 and No. 4 homes are in ‘It’s easy to the Walton High get in and out School district of of east Cobb, east Cobb. The only home of the top people feel safer, and the five outside of east Cobb was in the schools and No. 3 slot, a $1.75 location are very good and million Vinings home in the Campappealing.’ bell High School — Donna district. King, of Harry The No. 1 home, Norman Realtors located at 2769 Horseshoe Knoll Lane in the Roswell portion of Cobb County, sits on 4.2 acres, the largest amount of land of the homes on the list. The other four homes on the list sat on two acres or less. King said her biggest year was 2008, when she was listed as agent of the year for Jenny Pruitt and sold more than $21 million worth of property. King, who has been in the business for 25 years, said she specializes in east Cobb, selling a total of just less than $10 million there last year. One of the homes King sold last year was a $2.7 million home at 4351 Paper Mill Road in east Cobb, which was second on Cobb’s list of most expensive homes sold in 2011 and for which King was the buyer’s agent. King said Paper Mill Road is known for its high-end homes, much like those on West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead. King said the sales of east Cobb luxury homes — which are sold mainly to people moving into the county from out-of-state for their jobs - have not been slowed by a lack of interested


No. 2

No .


East Cobb

E a st C o bb Original price

Original price

$ 5. 7 5M

$2 . 69 M

Sale price

Sale price

$ 3. 7 5M

$2 . 69 M

No. 5

No. 3 Vinings Original price

No. 4 East Cobb Original price

E as t C o b b Original price

$2 . 15 M $ 1. 9 8 M $1 . 72 M Sale price

Sale price

Sale price

$1 . 75 M $ 1. 6 5 M $1 . 45 M buyers, but rather, a lack of new inventory. “We weren’t having the new homes being built we needed to sustain the number of buyers who wanted to live here,” King said. “There has been virtually no new inventory for the last three years, whereas we normally would have had a continuation of all the custom builders we’ve had in east Cobb. ... At the same time, people were doing more improvements to their personal homes rather than going out and buying a new home and selling theirs.” Andrew Morgan, associate broker at Keller Williams Atlanta North and partner in east Cobb-based The Page Morgan Team, agreed. “Homes were flying off the shelves this summer, and we suffered from somewhat of a housing shortage because people really wanted to live in that (east Cobb) area,” Morgan said. But King said January has been a good

month with “very, very good activity,” which gives her hope that 2012 will be a better year. “There is a lot of construction going on or starting up, especially in the Pope and Walton districts,” King said. “And we’re seeing that once people start to see new construction going up, as they are, that construction might not be in their price points, but they’re coming back with a good feeling and it’s making them feel like things are starting up again rather than the market’s at a standstill. When new homes come back, everything else will be following it.” The most expensive home sold in metro Atlanta last year was not in Cobb, not in Buckhead — which is known for its luxurious homes and retail and hotel spaces that cater to the wealthy. It was actually sold in Cumming, in Forsyth County, for $9.5 million, nearly triple Cobb’s biggest price tag.

But Cobb’s top home does have a substantial gain over the most expensive homes sold in neighboring Cherokee, Douglas and Paulding counties. Cherokee’s most expensive home sold last year —16231 Clarity Road in Alpharetta — closed for $2.6 million. The most expensive in Paulding was a foreclosure auctioned off for $1.08 million. The home, at 255 Carl Sanders Drive in Acworth, was originally listed at $3 million, and the listing stated that there was approximately $325,000 worth of work to be done on the home for it to be considered finished. The most expensive home sold last year in Douglas, though still out of many home buyers’ budgets, went for a relatively low $495,000. The home, at 4548 Stratford Drive in Douglasville, was originally listed at $639,000. No homes above $500,000 sold in Douglas in all of 2011.

Experts: Housing sales up, yet prices still dropping By Katy Ruth Camp

GALLERIA — Steve Palm, president of Marietta-based SmartNumbers and John Hunt, president of ViaSearch, a division of SmartNumbers, said during the biannual Housing Market Summit recently that while sales of all homes are up in the metro Atlanta area, including Cobb County, home prices and values as well as new home construction all continue to drop. “All sales are up in Atlanta. But prices keep sliding, and even with all sales being up, new construction continues to struggle,” Hunt said. “2010 may have been the bottom for unit sales, but we haven’t hit a bottom in pricing.” The summit was held at the Cobb Galleria Centre before approximately 500 employees of the housing industry who are also clients of SmartNumbers. Palm said the summit, which is free for attendees, is hosted every six months

and gives those in the real estate industry an opportunity to look at what has happened, what is happening, and what could happen in the future in their markets. Hunt said that in 2006 and 2007, builders were paying too much for lots, so they had to build bigger homes on those lots with more expensive amenities so they could charge more and make up the difference. Hunt said 45 percent of buyers would choose to buy new construction if they had the option to buy resale homes at the same price, but 55 percent will still buy resale because Hunt said there is simply a lack of supply of new construction. Hunt also said that new home prices are going up, but that is only because builders are building new homes in the best areas and the prices are not being diluted by large homes that were once built at lower prices in counties such as Paulding. At the same time, lot sizes are getting smaller

‘All sales are up in Atlanta. But prices keep sliding, and even with all sales being up, new construction continues to struggle. 2010 may have been the bottom for unit sales, but we haven’t hit a bottom in pricing.’ — John Hunt, president of ViaSearch, a division of SmartNumbers

to make up for the more expensive home finishes and features buyers have come to expect, with many new homes sitting on less than a fourth of an acre, Hunt said. Hunt said the real gamechanging year in the housing industry was 2003,

when lot prices “exploded upward at double digit prices.” “Every metric we tracked changed in 2003 — lot ratios, buyer type, buyer ratios, everything,” Hunt said. For example: Hunt said the No. 1 buyer type in

See Housing, Page 7FF

Experience the Professional Difference P R O V I D I N G S E C U R E , Q UA L I T Y S E R V I C E S I N C E 1 9 7 3 Mini Maid’s unique management style, work ethic and innovative team cleaning system have been featured on: • Good Morning America • TIME Magazine • Nation’s Business Magazine • Entrepreneur Magazine • Georgia Trend Magazine • Atlanta Business Chronicle



While sales of all homes are up in the metro Atlanta area, including Cobb County, home prices and values as well as new home construction all continue to drop.

ond homebuyers bought their homes at the peak and are often upside down in their mortgages, so until resale prices start coming back up, they are not moving, Hunt said. Palm echoed many of Hunt’s observations, adding that buyers 55 and older are growing in their desires to buy single-family detached homes in age-restricted neighborhoods. Palm estimated that the metro area might see around 7,000 new home

Voted Best Service in Atlanta!

• Supervised • Trained • Equipped • Supplied • Bonded • Insured


metro Atlanta has always been the first-time homebuyer, but the lot prices of 2003 pushed them out of the market, and while the federal tax credit that ended last April pushed them up for a short period of time, they quickly dropped again when it expired. Today, they have been replaced by those who are buying a home for the third time or more. Hunt said these homebuyers are selling their homes for less and taking a hit because they can get such a great deal on a new purchase. The sec-

25 OFF

Buy First 3 Visits

Get 4th Visit

FREE! Non-Aerosol HEPA Filters Flexible Schedule NO CONTRACTS


Keeping Metro Atlanta comfortable since 1983 Whether you are building a new company headquarters or simply upgrading to a new, more efficient heating and air conditioning system for your home, our trained Comfort Specialists can design a high-efficiency comfort system to suit your needs.

Ask about our 36 months 0% financing! Want to Control Your Thermostat from Your Smartphone?

A Trane™ Remote Energy Management Thermostat does just that.

Great for churches, small businesses & vacation homes! Let us show you how! Call for a FREE in-home demonstration!

Call Our Experts for a FREE Quote! Monday–Friday 8:00AM–4:30PM

Same day appointments!

Air Conditioners, Furnaces, Heat Pumps, Air Cleaners, Programmable Thermostats and Home Automation Products. Sales, Service, and Installation.

770-941-5149 Licensed & Insured

3270 Humphries Hill Road • Austell, GA 30106




Housing Continued from Page 6FF

Staff/Samantha M. Shal

Eileen Thompson stands on her fourth-floor balcony at Emerson Overlook where she has a view of Marietta and the sunrise each morning.

Woman falls in love with condo Emerson Overlook offers resident convenience, an unbeatable lifestyle By Sally Litchfield MDJ Features Editor

When Eileen Thompson moved into her condominium at Emerson Overlook off the Marietta Square, she found a perfect place for an unbeatable lifestyle. Eleven years ago, Thompson moved to Marietta from California with her husband to be near her son, a Woodstock resident. She and her husband purchased a home off Polk Street close to the Marietta Square. “We fell in love with the Square,” Thompson said. When her husband passed away in 2004, Thompson began Above left: Thompson's new home has reminders of the past, including this antique chair. The story thinking about downsizing. behind the chair is that it has been in Thompson's husband's family for more than 100 years and trav“I wanted a home that required eled across the Oregon Trail. Above right: Thompson's condominium is decorated for Christmas. less maintenance,” she said. Below: Thompson occupies a fourth-floor condominium at Emerson Overlook. In 2008, Thompson looked for offers luxurious homes in the a new home. heart of Marietta. “I was interested in getting a Thompson enjoys the proximicondo,” she said. ty to the Square her new home Thompson noticed a banner offers. advertising Emerson Overlook She regularly walks to the while on a trip to the bank. Square for conve“I thought I niences and enjoyment would just go ‘It’s a dream come such as coffee and a look,” she said. true. I fell in love with paper. “I walked into “It’s a dream come my unit and said, the Square 12 years ago, and to be able to true,” Thompson said. ‘This is it.” be so close to it where Another favorite She moved everything is so conve- benefit is the view. into her home in nient is wonderful.’ “When I got this August. unit, I thought, ‘Oh A corner unit — Eileen Thompson, at Emerson Overabout Emerson Overlook wow, I can look at a condominiums sunset every night look, Thompwhen there’s a good son’s spacious one,’” she said. two-bedroom, With a new home in an ideal two-bath condominium overlooks place, Thompson enjoys her the Marietta Square toward Kenlifestyle. nesaw Mountain. “I fell in love with the Square “I fell in love,” she said. Overlook, 326 Roswell St., visit so convenient is wonderful,” she 12 years ago, and to be able to be Emerson Overlook, one of said. “I am very pleased.” www. emersonoverlookconso close to it where everything is Marietta’s few condominiums, To learn more about Emerson

Cottages at Parkview Village offer convenience, luxury, style By Marcus E. Howard

SMYRNA —The Cottages at Parkview Village is a well-established community in the city of Smyrna just minutes from Interstates 75, 285 and Vinings. The neighborhood is described as perfect for people seeking the convenience of city life, as it is within close proximity and walking distance of the Smyrna Market Village, Smyrna Community Center, Smyrna Library and city parks. Homes in the Cottages at Parkview Village range from the $290,000s to $380,000s. The first three homes constructed by Red Oak Realty were completed in October. There are several floor plans to choose from, and homeowners can select their

favorite and create the home of their dreams. Each home has elegant elevations with brick and accent exteriors, as well as a two-car garage. Basement homes are available. The Gadsen has three bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. Highlights include a secondfloor bonus room, an open kitchen with a breakfast bar and pantry, and an owner’s suite with a separate sitting room and covered porch. The Aiken is a three-bedroom, 2 1/2 plan with a second-floor retreat and a gourmet kitchen that includes a separate breakfast area and access to a rear patio. The Sonoma has four bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. The island kitchen opens into a fireside living room. Upstairs is the master suite that has a vaulted sitting room and access to a cov-

ered porch. The Sagamore has five bedrooms and four baths, including a full bedroom and bath on the main level. The kitchen features a large breakfast area and a vaulted keeping room. The expansive master suite has a vaulted master bath and spacious walk-in closet. The Darby Hill has three bedrooms and three baths. There is also an additional guest bedroom/den on the main level. A second-floor bonus room provides ample space for a home theater or game room. The St. Andrew has three bedrooms, three baths and a fourth bedroom that can be used as a study. A children’s retreat on the second floor provides an extra play area. The home also has separate dining and living rooms for formal occasions.

closings this year, as opposed to 50,000 a few years ago. Palm and Hunt said the real downfall of Georgia’s housing market, besides the economy, could be the astronomical number of banks who have closed in Georgia and caused a trickle-down effect in home values, prices and foreclosures. Hunt called Atlanta “ground zero for the failure of banks” and said those closures have had horrible effects on appraisals both going up and going down. “Georgia’s the top in the nation for bank closures — it’s not even close,” Palm said. “From 2001 to 2008, we had 25 banks close. From 2008 to now, we’ve had 412 banks closed. Almost one out of every five banks close (in the nation) have been in Georgia.” Palm said bank closures peaked in 2010, and while 2011 is about 70 less than 2010’s numbers, Georgia is still seeing more banks close than any other state. Palm said Cobb, along with Forsyth, Cherokee and Gwinnett counties, as well as northern Fulton County, have had the best resale markets in the metro Atlanta area, with Forsyth coming in at No. 1 for new home construction. Palm said that Cobb is really going to see improvements in the housing market in 2013. Palm said the single, non-married buyer is also now buying more homes than the traditional married couple. And because home prices have dropped to the lowest values in nearly 20 years, most of those buyers are closing on historically low-priced homes. Palm said 50 percent of all closings this year have been under $100,000 and almost 25 percent of those sales are for homes less than $50,000. “We’re selling a bunch of homes now because they’re so cheap, and a lot of investors are buying these homes. And it’s going to keep going up,” Palm said, adding that the third quarter of 2011 saw the best increase in sales since the first quarter of 2006. “But for the past 37 months we are now averaging about 500 permits per month. This is jobs. There are virtually no jobs associated with resales, while new construction has tons of jobs … We have the lowest inventory we’ve had since 2001. But we don’t have horrible inventory. We have a horrible economy.”

It’s No Hassle.

Renew Your Subscription Today!

Call 770-795-5000 Today!


Chronicling Cobb County’s People & Events Since 1866



Residential Real Estate Closing Attorney

PURCHASES | SHORT SALES REFINANCES For your convenience, our office will come to you. (Refinances only)

4286 Bells Ferry Road | Kennesaw, GA 30144





Room for growth Companies put empty office spaces to temporary use office building in Kennesaw’s Ridenour multi-use complex off Barrett Parkway. “You have someone MARIETTA — Busiwho can answer the ness as not usual has phones, but also have an become the norm for many office phone in your home; companies since the reces- meet with clients, employsion. ees and prospects in nice Many people who have conference rooms and been laid off are now using boardrooms on an hourly, their skills to start up their half-day or daily basis; and own businesses. Business you can get all of this owners are cutting overwithout taking on the burhead costs by allowing den of office and equipemployees to work from ment expenses.” home and shrinking their Barre also said telecomoffice spaces, and thereby muting has become a popoffice rent. Others are ular business trend in the finding they can operate Atlanta area for many virtual offices with workbusiness owners who, in ers spread all over and the past, would take the meet with them mostly traditional route of requirover the phone, online or ing most, if not all, through meetings visualemployees to be in their ized by tiny businesses’ offices during cameras, set hours. while occa“With the advent of new “A lot of sionally our clients meeting in technology, (company employees) can work have employa conferees that aren’t ence room. out of their homes and it’s just like they were physically As a there,” Barre result, working in the offices many said. “With the next door. And in the office advent of new Atlanta market, there spaces in technology, are challenges with Cobb have traffic and construction, they can work become out of their so with voice over IP short-term, and video conferencing, homes and it’s come-asjust like they it is a lot easier today you-like were working for anyone to work venues for in the offices virtually, when needed.” next door. And startups and small — Mark Barre, managing in the Atlanta partner for Impact Executive market, there businesses. Offices are challenges “Where we fit in is with traffic with the companies that and construction, so with don’t really have the capivoice over IP and video tal yet to go for big, longconferencing, it is a lot term offices but undereasier today for anyone to stand the value that comes work virtually, when needwith presenting a profesed.” sional image,” said Mark Some places offer a-laBarre, managing partner carte style services that for Impact Executive allow customers to rent Offices, which manages when needed. For examthe 12,000-square-foot ple, a business consultant By Katy Ruth Camp

Staff/Laura Moon

Above: Cobb Social Media Group organizer Kris McInerny welcomes guests to the mobile marketing meetup group utilizing the Business on the Spot office space at Innova Center in Marietta. Below: Business on the Spot at the Innova Center in Marietta offers available office and meeting spaces for rent to businesses and individuals. can rent a conference room for a meeting rather than hosting the meeting at home. Many, such as Barre’s, also offer different packages for different needs and can provide office space leases on oneto two-year terms or a virtual office-only package that can go as low as $100 a month for professionals to have a phone and mailing address out of the office. Those who want established offices can pay between $600 and $900 a month at Barre’s executive suites complex, depending on the space and amount of equipment needed. Another trend that has sprouted from this is called “coworking,” where several independent professionals can share one office space for a low rate. One of the newest examples of this in Cobb is the Box,

which Tommy Jones opened on the Marietta Square last January as a place for independent consultants, contractors, freelance designers, writers and small business owners to come together in a quiet, professional space. Jones offers various levels of membership, such as a $15 drop-in fee to use the space and its conference room for a day, $95 to get access to the cafe, Wi-Fi and conference room for a month or $275 to get 24/7 access and a designated desk. Jones said he has seen everyone from consultants who use his space as a satellite office, to graphic designers and accountants using the space as their home bases. “There are usually two reasons people like it: One, you’re not stuck at home

by yourself and you can interact with other people as if you did work for a larger company, so you get that social benefit from being around others every day,” Jones said. “For me, personally, I had to get an office because I can’t work at a coffee shop or restaurant because it’s too noisy. I couldn’t deal with the grinder, blender, babies,

whatever, coming in and out — it was too distracting. But people go to the coffee shop because they want to get out of the house and be around others, so this offers that in a quiet environment. Many also want the meeting room so they can meet with clients in a real office and get that professional aspect.”

Progress 2012







Positive attitude helps woman battle serious illness / 4GG


Safe births


Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

Dr. Perry Busbee, chief obstetrics and gynecology officer at WellStar Hospital, says of women in the late stages of pregnancy: ‘Our mantra is to say we try to do no harm.’ He advises that it’s best for a woman to go into labor naturally as opposed to inducing labor early, or a Cesarean section when a woman can deliver her child naturally.

Is your unborn child at risk? Learn how a few weeks can make a huge difference By Davia L. Mosley /


hen it comes to the health of your newborn, what’s more important: convenience or safety? While some women may be under the impression nine months is the standard for pregnancy, WellStar Hospital is reaching out to the community to educate women on how a few more weeks can be a significant factor in the health of their child.

Dr. Perry Busbee, chief obstetrics and gynecology officer at WellStar, said the last several weeks of pregnancy are crucial to organ development. However, he said the discomforts and anxiety women experience toward the end are reasons many women choose to schedule their child’s birth earlier. Dr. Busbee said women, when they multiply nine by four weeks in a month, think 36 weeks is a safe time to give birth. “But really it’s not,” he said.

“It’s nine lunar months. Pregnancy is 10 lunar months, which is 40 weeks. Ten 28-day cycles is really the pregnancy gestational age.” The doctor also notes patients want their doctors to deliver their child, and doctors prefer to deliver their patients — another reason for scheduling births with no significant medical reason to do so. “We’ve fudged a little bit of the years and gone back less than 39 weeks to deliver babies because rarely do we see harm,”

he said. However, Dr. Busbee said over the last several years, studies have shown statistically signficiant risk to the baby when he or she is delivered prior to 39 weeks. Some of these risks include breathing problems, lack of brain development, risks of infections, feeding difficulties and issues with balance. Dr. Busbee said inducing pregnancy involves the drug oxytocin, which is risky for both the mother and child. If the woman does not successfully


dilate, the risk of a C-section is increased, he said. “If women have multiple Csections, they end up having more risks,” he said. These risks include placenta previa (when the placenta covers the cervix), bleeding and undergoing a Cesarean hysterectomy. “Our mantra is to say we try to do no harm,” Dr. Busbee said, saying it’s best for the woman go into labor naturally. “If we don’t push them too early or induce them without a medical reason, which we call elective induction, we will decrease the harm to the mother and the baby. It’s really the right thing to do.” In order to decrease risk to mother and child, Dr. Busbee said Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan the WellStar Kennestone, Cobb Vita-Prana Yoga, in and Douglas hospitals all implement a 39-week gestational periSmyrna, and Kennesaw’s od policy in which births before Launch Awareness Yoga this time are prohibited, with the Centre both use a hamexception of medical emergenmock suspended from cies. He said births will not be the ceiling on two indusallowed unless there are extenutating circumstances. trial-strength carabiners “When we make decisions to help tone, stretch and today, we’re trying to make deciwork out their clients sions on what is right for our with aerial, or anti-gravipatients,” he said. “In obstetrics, ty yoga / 6GG we have two patients — we have the mother and the baby. We have to balance what’s best for “The staff has been incredibly both of them.” passionate about this,” she said. He said the Kennestone loca“They have watched for years tion began educating doctors outcomes related to elective about the policy and it was deliveries that were not medically passed in November 2010. indicated. We’re aware of the Records are kept on each patient needs of this process change. We that outlines are aware that ‘The staff has been medical indiharm can cations. Dr. occur if you do incredibly passionate Busbee said 39 this without to 41 weeks is about this. They have medical indithe desired watched for years outcation.” period for a Educational comes related to elective woman to give efforts include deliveries that were not birth, with 39 flyers in the weeks being medically indicated. We’re hospital waitthe safest time aware of the needs of this ing rooms, a to deliver. pregnancy proDeb Kilday, process change. We are gram for Wellregistered aware that harm can occur Star staff, and nurse and clinif you do this without med- collaborations ical coordinawith the March tor of perinatal ical indication.’ of Dimes. safety and Judy Lilley — Deb Kilday, quality, said RN, clinical coordinator is the regional the policy is an director of ongoing intitiative of the hospital, marketing and communications describing it as “one piece of a for March of Dimes. She said in larger puzzle.” She said it is part addition to working with hospiof the hospital’s efforts to tals, the nonprofit organization is improve the quality and safety of See Safe, Page 9GG maternal care.

The Cover


Killian’s legacy



She turned 91 ...


Cobb-based foundation raises money to find cure for children with cancer By Marcus E. Howard

What began as a gesture to remember their 9-year-old son, Killian Owen, who died of leukemia, has grown into a national nonprofit for an east Cobb family that is intent on finding a cure for pediatric cancer. Grainne and Clay Owens established Curing Kids Cancer one year after Killian’s death on July 27, 2003. Since 2005, when it became a 501(c)3 organization, the nonprofit has raised nearly $2 million through a variety of fundraising efforts. The money raised goes toward cancer research. “I think people are shocked when they find out how badly funded pediatric cancer is, because I think, like we did before our own child got sick, they assume that children with cancer have as much money as is needed for their treatment, the research and drugs that are needed,” said Grainne, executive director. “When they find out that that’s just not the case, they want to help.” The list of people and organizations that

want to help the Owens’ cause is constantly growing. The Velocity channel’s (formerly Discovery HD Theater) “Café Racer TV” show recently aired an episode in which motorcycle builder Alan Bernard chose Curing Kids Cancer as the charity to benefit from the auction of one of his custom café racers. It was the second time he had done so, raising a total of $95,000. Each spring, Curing Kids Cancer partners with AT&T to host an annual golf tournament in Alpharetta, which raises $250,000. It draws sports celebrities such as Tom Glavine, Cornelius Bennett, Bill Curry and ESPN’s “College GameDay” analyst Lee Corso, who is the national spokesman for Curing Kids Cancer. Atlanta-based, an educational program created to assist high school football players, chose Curing Kids Cancer as its charity of choice. Last fall, Tina and Howard Buck hosted a motorcycle ride in Loganville called Sophia’s Ride, in memory of their 5-yearSee Legacy, Page 4GG

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

Marian Carver, 91, holds a photo of her skydiving recently for her birthday in her office at Bentley, Bentley and Bentley Law Firm, where she has worked for more than 45 years.

And jumped out of an airplane By Lindsay Field

MARIETTA — Like many people, 91-year-old Marian Carver of Marietta wanted to say goodbye to 2011 the best way she could. She settled on jumping out of a plane. Carver, who turned 91 on Christmas, spent her New Year’s Eve afternoon skydiving with her grandson, Jason Carver of Woodstock. But don’t call her successful landing beginner’s luck: She did it after her 85th birthday, too. “It’s a blast,” Carver said. “I had always wanted to go back, but I couldn’t get anyone to go with me.” Carver, who has worked at Bentley, Bentley and Bentley law firm in Marietta for 45 years, said she’s always kept active. “I used to go whitewater rafting, and I played a lot of baseball and did a lot of swimming in my life,” she said. “At my age, I think I’ve done it all, all that I wanted to do.” Carver said skydiving is one of her favorite activities, though. She went to the Cedartown airport, about an hour north of Marietta, for her latest jump. “When you go out of the airplane and see all of God’s earth and how beautiful it is ... it’s just awesome,” she said. “You go out at 14,000 feet, so you have a pretty good view.” Carver said she wasn’t nervous about her nearly three-mile descent back to Earth.


“You just sort of float,” she said, “And when you land, you hold your legs up and sort of slide onto the ground. Really, it’s not hard at all.” She said that when she called to make her reservations, no one asked her age, but when she arrived for the jump, the instructors were a little surprised that someone at 91 was interested in the activity. Dawn Reed with Marietta-based Aloha to Aging Inc., said being active and adventurous like Carver is great for members of the senior citizens community. “It’s important for older adults to challenge themselves in a healthy manner on a regular basis,” she said. “I credit Mrs. Carver for taking the risk and going after her goal. She is a great reminder how we should not limit ourselves, especially due to our age.” By staying active, older adults can prevent or help manage a range of health problems and diseases, Reed said. “An additional benefit of an active lifestyle is the improved capability to function and therefore stay independent,” she said. “The ability to stay as independent as possible is a significant component of quality of life for many older adults. I think it’s also important to point out the socialization, which can accompany an active life style, promotes a healthy mental well being, as well.” Reed’s advice for people who want to stay young at heart is simple: “Don’t act your age.”

She ‘comes from a family of healthy people. Longevity runs in the Sapp family’ By Sally Litchfield

Few people such as Mary Elizabeth Howard Sapp of Smyrna live for more than a century. Known by friends and family as “Bessie,” Sapp recently celebrated her 105th birthday. Her daughter, Helen Knauth, unfolds the secret to Sapp’s longevity. Undoubtedly, Sapp has good genes. “My mother comes from a family of healthy people. Longevity runs in the Sapp family,” Knauth said. Born Dec. 6, 1906, in Campbell County, now part of Fairburn, Sapp had an aunt who lived to 101 and her mother lived until 93. “(Sapp) grew up in a rural family that didn’t shy away from hard work,” Knauth said. From a family of 11 children, Sapp was the great-granddaughter of the Campbells that settled and farmed in the Campbell County. She and one sister are the last survivors of that family. Sapp attended school through eighth grade and then moved to Atlanta where she worked as a seamstress and alterations person at a drycleaner in order to support her brothers and sisters who were still at home. “(Sapp) was always an excellent seamstress. She could make anybody’s clothes. She could alter anybody’s clothes,” said Knauth, noting that Sapp made clothes for her four children and other family members as well as friends. “She made her last quilt at age 95,” said the Decatur resident who received the quilt from her mother as a gift. She was married July 2, 1932, to

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

Helen Knauth, 77, right, holds a quilt her 105-year-old mother, Bessie Sapp, left, made and gave her in 2002. the late Lester Sapp of Eastman and moved to Smyrna in 1978. Lester Sapp was a career military man, who spent more than 20 years stationed at Ft. McPherson. They have seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and 2 greatgreat-grandchildren. Sapp remained young all her years, driving until 90 years old, doing yard work until age 95 and keeping house until she was 99. She continues to live at home. Sapp keeps her good health by watching what she eats, consuming more fruits and vegetables and a moderate amount of meat. “She’s almost a vegetarian in her diet. She eats well but not much,” Knauth said. Sapp, who has good common sense, lived by the rule that, “If you didn’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything at all.” Knauth said, “She was the kind of person who wouldn’t say anything bad about people. She was just good to people. That responded well because people have been good to her.


The Owen Family of Marietta — from left, Finn, 14, Garrett, 17, Clay, Pierce, 19 (not pictured) and Grainne — started Curing Kids Cancer to help fight childhood cancer after loosing their 9-year-old son Killian to leukemia in July of 2003.





Positive attitude helps woman overcome infection, amputations By Davia L. Mosley

One day, Suzanne Smith woke up with what she thought was a stomach bug. Seven surgeries over 76 days that resulted in the partial loss of her limbs proved it was more than that. However, the Cobb resident carries on with a fervor that her Dr. Vimala Nair, medical director for Rehabilitation Services at WellStar Kennestone Hospital, calls “amazing.” Smith, a Cobb resident, became ill June 26, 2011. “I felt like someone had kicked me. I started seeing spots,” she said. “I thought, ‘Something is not right. I’m going to pass out.’” As she worsened, she thought appendicitis was the culprit. When she got to Kennestone, Smith underwent exploratory surgery. A strep A infection was detected and was spreading. Her organs were failing. She had her appendix, uterus and ovaries removed, but more medical complications led to amputation of her legs below the knee and portions of her hands. Smith’s blood pressure medicine compromised her extremities, restricting her blood vessels, which led to gangrene. Dr. Nair said there was not enough blood getting to her heart and other organs. She noted amputation is viewed as a last resort: “The surgeons had to feel like there was nothing else. It took a while to come to that conclusion.” “I saw how bad they looked. I just kept thinking, ‘These weren’t going to make it,’” Smith said. “My arms were black.” Although aware she was in the hospital, Smith said her initial thought was, “How am I going to pay my bills?” Dr. Nair said, “I don’t think she really dealt with all of what was facing her. She just took it one day at a time. That’s what is amazing about Suzanne. She never looked discouraged to me. She just kind of sees the positive and keeps going.” However, Smith admits the process of healing physically and emotionally is just that — a process. “I’m kind of like, ‘What happened?’ I ask myself, ‘Could I have done something different?’ I exercised, I tried to eat right. I didn’t smoke. I didn’t drink, really. It’s still kind of unraveling,” she said. Smith also said part of the journey is letting people help

Legacy Continued from Page 3GG

old daughter who died of a brain tumor. The event raised $2,000 for Curing Kids Cancer, said Tina Buck, who first met Grainne Owens a year ago. “We definitely have an instant connection, no matter what, being moms,” Buck said. “When we started talking about her organization, I said, ‘If we did a ride, where would the money go?’ She says, ‘Wherever you want it to.’ I said, ‘So if I wanted it specifically to go to craniopharyngiomas, it could go specifically toward that?’ She says, ‘Absolutely.’” In 2004, the Owens began Coaches Curing Kids’ Cancer, which was launched during an appearance on WSB’s Care-a-Thon fundraiser for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where Killian was a patient. Instead of youth sports teams buying a traditional gift for their coaches after the season, the couple thought they could donate money for pediatric cancer research in honor of their coaches. In return, the coaches would receive a Tshirt and certificate.

Staff/Laura Moon

Marietta Country Club Operations Manager and Catering Director Janice Marsh, left, received a kidney from longtime friend and country club Executive Sous Chef Gary Sanderson.

The gift that keeps on giving Man donates kidney to co-worker in dire need By Sally Litchfield MDJ Features Editor

Photo/Sharon Woods

Suzanne Smith, rigfht, works with her occupational therapist, Liz Parker, at WellStar Outpatient Rehabilitation in Marietta. Smith underwent multiple amputations as a result of a strep A infection that was detected and spreading to her organs in 2011. her, but Dr. Nair said she was rarely without support, saying, “I seldom saw her without friends.” Andrea Kerstine was one of the people, who said Smith has an “it is what it is” attitude. Kerstine said, “We treat her the same. Smith’s good friend made a collage so she could see her family, friends and other loved ones. The mom also used Skype, which she calls “a god-

hurdle, rehabilitation was the second. In addition to her surgeries, Smith had to undergo dialysis. She suffered damage to her vocal cords because of tubes and wears a hearing aid. Dr. Nair said being an amputee prolonged rehabilitation, but Smith said was determined to be successful. “I focused on rehab as one step closer to being home,” Smith said.

‘I’ve not had a person who had both hands and both legs amputated. She’s a dream come true for a patient because she wants to help herself.’ — Dr. Vimala Nair send,” to communicate with others. Neighbors prepared food for her children and husband, Mark, conducted fundraisers, donated supplies, and created “Welcome Back” signs upon her return. Smith said the help from her neighbors made her comfortable enough to focus on herself. Her husband and kids have adjusted to what Smith calls, “the new normal.” She said her boys — ages 6, 8 and 12 — have “responded really well. They’re just glued to me.” If amputation was the first

Since then, the organization has launched other similar programs, including Players Curing Kids’ Cancer, Teachers Curing Kids’ Cancer and Certified Officers of Public Safety Curing Kids’ Cancer. “We thought we might raise $4,000 or

$5,000, and we raised $45,000. So it was obviously a good idea,” Grainne said of the initial Care-a-Thon. “I said to Children’s (Healthcare), I have to know that the money is going to go to get drugs like the one Killian could have had in treatment, so that at least it would be available to other children.” Despite a series of treatments and new medicines, the leukemia that Killian battled for five years would not die. Instead, it took the life of one of the Owen’s twin sons. Garrett, Killian’s twin brother, is now 17. His other brothers are Pierce, 19, and Finn, 14.

Dr. Nair said her recovery was also “amazing,” saying she walks better than someone who only lost one leg. Smith taught herself how to do things such as hold a phone and use utensils. Smith was in a wheelchair for about a month, but credits her physical therapist for encouraging her to use her prosthetic legs, which she had been measured and fitted for. She said her strength was low, and the exercises, while strenuous, were helpful. “They pushed me,” she said. “Initially, being

“He was a joy,” Clay said of Killian. “Blond curly hair, green eyes and always a big smile on his face. He was full of energy. His twin brother, Garrett, has always been the quiet, cautious one, and Killian was full steam ahead, at all times.” The couple — who met more than 24 years ago as graduate students in Grainne Owen’s native England — remembered that their son loved sharing corny jokes and got a thrill out of pulling pranks, especially on nurses, even when he was fighting for his life in the hospital, which seemed to always be the case around Halloween. “The nurse came in with the results of his blood work and said he’s going to need a blood transfusion, which wasn’t unusual,” recalled Grainne of one particular prank. “So she left the room and he had brought these Dracula teeth in with him and put them into his mouth. When she came back with the blood, he said to her, ‘Give me your blood.’ She nearly dropped the blood because she was laughing so hard.” The Owens said they are very optimistic a cure for

on the legs was extremely painful. The more you walk, the easier it is and the less painful it is.” The wife and mother returned home on Sept. 9. With the exception of a chair lift and items on lower shelves, Smith’s house is how she left it. “I want my house the way it is because I love my house,” she said. She chose to forgo a caregiver, saying, “I don’t think of what I can’t do. I think, ‘This is what I want to do. How do I get there?’” Although she acknowledges her life has changed, Smith has found ways to regain some normalcy by picking up some of her favorite activities. “Exercise was a big thing, which I think I can do fairly well,” she said. “I love to knit, and now I can knit on this loom without using a needle.” She was able to walk the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and wrap 25 Christmas presents and still helps her kids ready for school. Dr. Nair said, “I’ve not had a person who had both hands and both legs amputated. She’s a dream come true for a patient because she wants to help herself.”

pediatric cancer will be found during their lifetime, because of the many breakthroughs researchers have told them about. They’re halfway to their goal to endow the clinical research office at Children’s Healthcare with $1.5 million. Diane Vaughn is the senior development officer

Gary Sanderson and Joyce Marsh, co-workers at Marietta Country Club, celebrate the gift of life. Sanderson donated one of his kidneys to Marsh a little more than a year ago. Marsh, who has served as director of operations at the club for four years, began experiencing a decline in her health in September 2010. “I got word Janice wasn’t doing so well, and she was about to have to go onto dialysis,” said Sanderson, executive sous chef. “(Marsh) didn’t want to tell. She kept all to herself,” he said. Sanderson and Marsh are not only co-workers — they are friends as well. They met 11 years ago when they worked together at St. Ives Country Club in Duluth. After the general manager at St. Ives moved to Marietta Country Club along with Marsh, Sanderson soon followed. Sanderson, a native of Scotland, struggled because he was not home four years ago when his mother died. “My family in Scotland shielded me from what was going on,” he said. “I had that inside of me. Because I wasn’t there to help my mom and wasn’t there for her, I felt like this was an opportunity for me to help somebody.” Sanderson approached Marsh about the possibility of donating a kidney to her. “She broke down in tears, and I broke down in tears,” he said. “She didn’t want me to help if it would harm my future.” Sanderson, who had the blessing of his girlfriend, never waivered. He underwent rigorous tests at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta to determine whether he was a compatible match. On Feb. 10, 2011, Marsh received the ultimate gift from Sanderson.

for Children’s Healthcare. “You have to have the infrastructure — the people who collect the data on the tumors and help kids respond to the drugs and so on. So that infrastructure in the clinical research office is absolutely critical,” Vaughn said. “After Killian died, Clay and Grainne

really wanted his legacy to live on and the best way they knew to do that was to help us find a cure for childhood cancer.” To learn more about Curing Kids Cancer, including how to donate or volunteer, call 1 (866) 9332873 or visit online at

Brush ’em, kids




Cobb schools educate students on good dental care By Lindsay Field

MARIETTA — With oral health problems being one of the biggest causes of absences in schools, the county school district is working to educate children and parents on how to take better care of their mouths. Sally Vandenbos, a consulting nurse with Cobb County Schools, said that because so many people don’t like going to the dentist and parents aren’t as consistent about taking their child to appointments, dental health has become a problem. According to the Georgia Department of Community Health, 27 percent of all Georgia thirdgraders have untreated tooth decay. Cobb County numbers are not available. “It’s about taking care of the teeth and brushing,” she said. “(Not brushing will) grow a cavity and eventually it will cause pain and when (the student is) in pain they have a hard

Hayes Elementary School second grade student Shyloh Lawrence, 8, practices flossing his teeth. time studying and concentrating, and that could cause children to stay home from school.” Vandenbos, who is part of the Georgia Association of School Nurses task force that was formed to promote good dental health, said the

problem can easily be treated by reminding children to brush and floss their teeth after every meal or at least before they go to school and before bed. “It’s about getting the food out from between the teeth,” she said.

Hayes Elementary second grade students Paul Castronovo, left, 8, son of Claire and Mike Castronovo of Kennesaw, and Rachel DiSalle, 7, daughter of Michelle and David DiSalle of Kennesaw, demonstrate for their teacher the correct way to brush your teeth during health class.

Serving patients in the Metro Atlanta Area

East Cobb | Marietta | Roswell | Sandy Springs

Jonathan Newton, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Newton, a board-certified pain physician formerly of Northside Hospital, has opened a new practice in East Cobb. Dr. Newton provides care for all painful conditions including back and neck complaints. He will thoroughly evaluate you and tailor the treatment regimen to your unique pain issues.

Rosw ell Rd.

swe r Ro we Lo

d. ill R er M p a P




R d. erry




Ro sw

hn son


ills P Indian H

O ld Canton Rd



ll R


1121 Johnson Ferry Rd Suite 400 Marietta, GA 30068 770-771-6300 Phone 770-771-6301 Fax

She also said dental health problems can lead to bad eating habits. “When you can’t chew, you aren’t eating a healthy diet, and you can have more issues,” she said. The American Dental Association says that a parent or guardian should start caring for their child’s teeth and arrange for a dental appointment when the child is 1 year old. “It’s about getting them used to having someone look into their mouths so that the first time they go, they aren’t screaming,” she said. She recommends that a child see a dentist at least twice a year and replace toothbrushes every two to three months. Cobb Schools does not have a district-wide effort to combat dental-health problems, but Vandenbos said every school is running some type of program to help fight the problem. “There are schools that offer a program through either WellStar or Children’s HealthCare of Atlanta where people come in and teach them how to brush and floss their teeth. Some schools have a dentist come in,” she said. “There are dental vans that can also come to schools and offer a program to children with Medicaid, Peachcare and private insurance.” One van, known as the Smile Mobile, also visits some schools in the county. It provides dental care to a handful of students at each school, filling cavities or cleaning teeth. Some schools also send home informational packets for students or a homework coloring sheet to help parents show their children the correct way to brush and floss.

Staff/Erin Gray

Hayes Elementary School health teacher Chrissy Camp shows a class of second grade students a model of the jaw bone and explains several techniques on maintaining good dental health. Hayes Elementary School, off Kennesaw Due West Road in north Cobb, has been active in teaching its students about dental care. Chrissy Camp, the school’s health teacher, said oral health is a standard learning practice only for second-graders, but the school tries to educate all children on the importance of dental care. In February, using toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste donated by Legacy Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Kennesaw, Camp taught stu-

dents how to care for their teeth by identifying the parts of the teeth and having them practice proper oral hygiene. “What we teach the children, whether it be brushing or flossing, just helps them become healthy adolescents and adults,” she said. “A lot of times, students go home and tell parents what they are learning. They are advocates for their families. Children with healthy teeth are shown to be healthier in general. It’s important to the education of the whole child.”





Photo by Jon-Michael Sullivan

Exercise in a hammock?

Enthusiasts say aerial yoga ‘so fun, it’s like being a kid’ By Lindsay Field

MARIETTA – No longer does a hammock represent the opposite of exercise. In fact, it is essential for classes at two yoga studios in Cobb. Vita-Prana Yoga, in Smyrna, and Kennesaw’s Launch Awareness Yoga Centre both use a hammock

suspended from the ceiling on two industrial-strength carabiners to help tone, stretch and work out their clients. Aerial yoga is a form of exercise that Vita Lofria brought to Smyrna this past October. Her studio, VitaPrana Yoga, is on Atlanta Road, just inside the I-285 Perimeter. Lofria, 41, opened Vita-Prana

Yoga after practicing traditional yoga since 1996 and earning her certification to teach aerial yoga in Pennsylvania. Aerial yoga is also known as Unnata yoga, which means “elevated” in Sanskrit. “It’s definitely new, definitely different and not to mention it’s fun,” she said. “It’s so fun, it’s like being a kid.”

Lofria said she chose to open her studio in Smyrna because of the “very active” people in her area. “I thought this would be a great neighborhood to bring yoga to, and it really has been received well,” said Lofria, who said she was certified to teach aerial yoga by its See Yoga, Page 7GG




Staff/Laura Moon

al entertainer. In 1999, Harrison began using the hammock to warm up and stretch while working with performers, specifically dancers and gymnasts, she said. “He looped (the hammock) and started warming up and that’s how the technique was born,” she said. “It’s a fusion of yoga, dance, pilates, aerial performances and calisthenics.” Added de Albuquerque: “It’s a different technique to help them stretch out and condition.” De Albuquerque, who

pelvic floor; and helping with digestion, headaches and migraines. “It’s a head-to-toe, comContinued from Page 6GG plete body workout,” Carfounder, Michelle Dortiraway said. “Not only is it gnac, of New York. so good for you, but it’s Lofria said aerial yoga just a ton of fun and it can was created to help those be very introspective.” who were having trouble Inversions also help with mat yoga. open up all of one’s joints, “It’s very safe. We and keep the spine from aren’t doing any Cirque du being compressed, which Soliel stuff in here,” she sometimes happens in mat said. “We’re trying to bring yoga, the instructors say. the practice from the floor All three instructors said and bring it into the hamaerial yoga and AntiGravity mock.” yoga are open to anyone Lofria’s students use the willing to give it a chance hammock to and with the progress from hammocks one position supporting to the next. upwards of “You can 3,000 pounds, progress in a client’s the hammock weight is not with partial an issue. weight and Both stuthen to 100 dios are certipercent of fied by engiyour body neers to supweight,” she port the pracsaid. “If tice and the you’re doing a hammocks are floor exercise, triple-threadit allows the ed nylon and slow progresvery strong. sion to be “There are introduced times where I into the hamhave more mock. It’s a men than new sensawomen,” tion.” Lofria said. AntiGravi“Men seem to ty yoga is be a little another twist more extreme, on the pracStaff/Jon-Michael Sullivan so they look tice. It’s simi- From left: Lauren Race, Vita LoFria, and Heather at it as a challar to aerial Chesser stand in the tree pose during a Unnata Aer- lenge, but I’m yoga in that it ial Yoga class at Vita-Prana Yoga Studio. not sure if uses a hamthey walk mock, but the difference is has had knee injuries in the away feeling the same.” in technique. Launch past and can’t play tennis Lofria said she has sevAwareness Yoga Centre, on anymore, said AntiGravity eral cross-fit trainers who Acworth Due West Road, yoga allowed her to exercise participate in the class, runjust off Cobb Parkway, in to her potential without ners and cyclists, who all Kennesaw, is the only stuputting any additional strain come work out with her dio in the Southeast that on her bad knees. regularly. offers AntiGravity yoga. “I can work out for 90 “At the same time Business partners Kelli minutes from head to toe though, I’ve had people Carraway and Jane de and still get the muscle ton- who haven’t ever done mat Albuquerque opened their ing, building and lengthenyoga before and they love studio last April. ing I desire, and feel no it,” Lofria said. “The tech“(AntiGravity) is a tech- pain in my knees,” she said. nique is similar to mat nique, while other aerial “I don’t even feel like yoga, but the feeling is difyoga programs allow you to I’ve been in there for five ferent.” go deeper into poses,” Carminutes because it’s just so Carraway and de Alburaway said. “We’re using much fun,” de Albuquerque querque also said that the hammock as a prop, said. “You can’t help but they’ve had clients of all too, but the technique is have fun when you’re ages and sizes try Antiinvolved, meaning that the hanging in a hammock Gravity yoga. hammock allows you to three feet off the floor. It’s “We have gotten 6-feet, become free in your body. also good in the sense that I 3-inch, 250-pound men You’re weightless and you can do inversions that I can upside down, we’ve gotten learn to trust the hammock, do in a yoga class too.” very obese women upside trust yourself, which is Carraway and de Albudown, we’ve gotten 70huge.” querque said the benefits of year-old clients upside Carraway said she got AntiGravity yoga are down, and 11-year-old the AntiGravity “bug” in numerous and include clients upside down so it 2010 and participated in a refreshing the blood and doesn’t matter,” Carraway weekend class in New York lymph system; counteractsaid. that fall to get certified in ing depression, insomnia It takes three to five the practice with AntiGrav- and anxiety; stimulating the times to get used to the ity Yoga founder Christopituitary gland; enhancing hammock and techniques, pher Harrison, a profession- mood; strengthening the but it’s “incredibly freeing,” she added. “When you’re standing, you’re compressing your spine and when you turn upside, it alleviates that and creates more space in your vertebrae,” Carraway said. The hammock provides a lot of support for anyone who has previously found inversions in floor mat challenging, Carraway added. Both studios also offer classes for beginners as well as those who are more advanced. Launch Awareness Yoga Centre offer beginners, open level, intermediate, Unnata aerial yoga students pose with instructor and advanced, flips and tricks, owner Vita LoFria at Vita-Prana Yoga Studio in Smyr- restorative and kids classes na. Back row, from left: Heather Chesser, Vita LoFria, throughout the week, seven Lauren Race, and Susan Young. Front row: Cheryl days a week. “You’re able to exercise Hodgins and Becky Cawood.


your spirit,” Carraway said. “We come in, get quiet, come into presence, we have one to three inversions, low-impact aerobics and we finish our class in cocoon. It allows you to download all the work that you’ve done in your body and accept all the work.” Carraway and de Albuquerque also offer Hatha and traditional yoga, and they began teaching Pilates classes in January. Lofria teaches 14 separate 90-minute classes, six days a week. She offers morning and evening classes. “I’ve very interactive with my students,” she said. “I demonstrate what we’re doing and then I go ahead and let students come in and out of the hammock. It’s not a competitive atmosphere. It’s a very friendly atmosphere. It’s very playful. … I like to walk through my students and see how they are doing.”

Kelli Carraway, far left, and Jane De Albuquerque practice AntiGravity yoga at Launch Awareness in Acworth. ‘(AntiGravity) is a technique, while other aerial yoga programs allow you to go deeper into poses,’ Carraway said. ‘We’re using the hammock as a prop, too, but the technique is involved, meaning that the hammock allows you to become free in your body. You’re weightless and you learn to trust the hammock, trust yourself, which is huge.’

Jawaid Ahsan, MD Board Certified Neurologist, Fellowship trained in movement disorders (tremors/Parkinson’s disease) from Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Ahsan treats General Neurological Disorders, Epilepsy, Stroke, Neuropathy, Chronic Headaches, Hip, Back, and Neck Pain with injections/BOTOX for immediate relief. Affiliated with Emory Johns Creek, WellStar Kennestone, Northside and St. Joseph Hospitals.

10% OFF your first visit with this ad!


1000 Johnson Ferry Rd, Suite F 120 Marietta, GA 30068






Initiative designed for elderly By Davia L. Mosley

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

James McPherson, a patient of the Geriatric Fracture Program at Emory-Adventist Hospital, his wife, Betty, and their daughter, Sandra Barfield, stand in the kitchen of the McPhersons’ home in Mableton.

Man benefits from Geriatric Fracture Program By Davia L. Mosley

In the early hours of Feb. 23, 2011, James McPherson, 86, was getting out of bed. A few hours later, he was being admitted into EmoryAdventist Hospital for hip surgery. However, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect, as he was treated through the Geriatric Fracture Program, a new initiative at the hospital. Dr. Jeffery Kovacic spearheaded the program at EAH. To date, there have been nearly 50 patients who have been treated. He said the goal of the program is faster processing, treatment and recovery of the elderly patients who suffer falls. McPherson, a lifelong Mableton resident, was one of those patients. His fall resulted in a broken hip.

“My feet slipped out from under me,” he said. “It wasn’t real bad pain, but it was pain.” However, he felt fine enough to get back into bed, saying, “I didn’t feel like going to the hospital.” However, his family — his wife, Betty, and two adult children, Sandra Barfield and Bo McPherson — thought otherwise. They wheeled him out in a rolling chair, because he couldn’t walk, and drove to the hospital. An X-ray showed he had broken his hip, which would require surgery. Barfield, who lives in Jacksonville, Fla., just happened to be in town tending to her mother who was mending after an arm surgery. Her short stay turned into a month-long visit because of her father’s fall. “It was scary,” she said. She and her brother, who lives minutes away

from his father, swapped nights caring for their parents. Barfield and McPherson said Dr. Kovavic told them both about the new program. “(Dr. Kovacic) took his time talking to him and explaining everything,” Barfield said. “He said he’s not going to give him a whole bunch of drugs because they can walk a lot better afterwards and recover a whole lot better afterwards.” McPherson said he had a great recovery period. “They kept me real comfortable,” he said. “I don’t remember a lot of pain. I don’t remember any pain in my hip at all after I got the operation.” Due to other pre-existing medical issues — an enlarged prostate and See Resilient, Page 9GG

When an elderly loved one falls, time is of the essence when it comes to getting them healed and healthy again. Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna has established a Geriatric Fracture Program that allows for this and more. Dr. Jeffrey Kovacic said his time in residency in orthopedic surgery and talking with others in the medical field around the country were the reasons he took steps to develop the program at the hospital. He said when an elderly person breaks a hip, surgery is inevitable and needs to be done fairly quickly in order to optimize their outcome,” he said. “(EAH) believes they are an urgent type of treatment. If they can get processed quickly, they can get fixed quickly,” he said, adding patients tend to do best when they are down for the least amount of time post-surgery. Dr. Kovavic said falls are the No. 1 reason elderly people experience broken hips and other bones. Trip hazards, such as throw rugs, are sometimes the culprit. “They don’t have as good of balance as they get older. Our inner ear is what helps us with our balance and sometimes that get compromised as we age,” he See Elderly, Page 9GG




Elderly with fractures ‘need urgent type treatment’ Continued from 8GG said. “Some people have mini strokes. They can get faint for any number of reasons. Sometimes, it’s just bad luck. They don’t have any of those problems. They just trip over their own feet.” He said more women than men suffer from hip fractures. Once the long, big bone is broken, patients cannot walk and the risk of blood clots are high. The hip is also a common area for fragility fractures and osteoporosis because of its location and stresses that go through that area of the body. Osteoporosis, a concern for both men and women, can also be a factor that plays a large part as to why the elderly gets fractures to begin with. Unknown health issues, such as stress fractures, can also be made worse by a fall. “A hip fracture can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for these patients,” he said. “They can do poorly thereafter.” He said by approaching them aggressively and treating them as urgent matters, they tend not to be on pain medicine as long,

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

From left: Dr. Jeffrey Kovacic, Deborah Elder and Jana Luce, R.N., stand in a special orthopedic room for patients of the Geriatric Fracture program at EmoryAdventist that is designed to provide quick treatment for the elderly. which can sometimes result in altered mental states for some elderly patients. He said the Geriatric Fracture Program is not

changing the process of getting patients in for these types of surgeries, but making it more efficient. He said a “huge team” makes

it all happen. “It’s a collaborative process,” he said. “It’s a great challenge to merge other departments.”

Continued from 9GG esophagus troubles among them — James spent five days in the intensive care unit. Barfield said this was the hardest part of the ordeal. “He was scared,” she said. “It scared him and it scared us. But as soon as he got out of ICU, he was great.” Barfield recalls how her father was soon sitting up in bed, reading the Marietta Daily Journal, shaving and eating yogurt. “He’s a picky eater,” she said, while he added, “I don’t like yogurt.” He underwent physical therapy on site and at home for a total for four months. Aside from some knee pain unrelated to his fall, McPherson said he is in good health and goes for routine checkups. Barfield said Dr. Kovacic was encouraging for her father, saying, “He would really take time with (McPherson) and encourage him that he could walk and he could get up and all this therapy would be short-lived.” Her father’s positive attitude also helped him to recover, she added. “The people were all great,” McPherson said, referring to the Geriatric Fracture Program team. “I appreciate all of them. Dr. Kovacic is a fine fellow. I’d recommend (EmoryAdventist Hospital) to anybody.”

Continued from 2GG partnering with WSB TV on an educational campaign through public service announcements titled, “Labor of Love” and prime time news segments. “March of Dimes is leading a national prematurity campaign aimed at educating women and families about the risks of premature birth and how to prevent it,” she said. “While we don’t know the causes of about half of preterm births, we do know that factors like elective deliveries, smoking, stress and infection all contribute to a woman’s risk of delivering early.” Lilley emphasizes the importance of education in ensuring the healthy of babies and mothers. She said, “Many important things are happening to your baby in the last few weeks of pregnancy. For example, important organs, like your baby’s brain, lungs, and liver, are still developing and growing. In fact, a baby’s brain at 35 weeks of pregnancy weighs only two-thirds what it will weigh at 39 to 40 weeks.” In addition to risks outlined by Dr. Busbee, Lilley said the due date is not always accurate. “Even with an ultrasound, your due date can be off by as much as two weeks,” she said. “If you schedule to induce labor or schedule a cesarean birth and your date is off by a week or two, your baby

patients do exercises such as walking, standing and stretching exercises. Elder said this quick method decreases the amount of complications they can incur post-surgery. “The longer they’re in the bed, it sets up the increased chance of pneumonia and those sorts of things,” she said. The hospital offers community education classes on trip hazards. Dr. Kovacic also said patients can request a DEXA scan or a bone mineral density test. He said the quick, painless scan is a test that classifies patients into different degrees of osteoporosis or osteopenia and helps the primary care doctors dictate treatment. He said the elderly are sometimes a forgotten segment of the population. “We’re making them a priority,” he said. “It’s no secret that the segment is growing and will continue to grow enormously. The problem is not going away. The medical community at large needs to be good at taking care of it.” To learn more about the program go to www.emory or call (770) 436-3162.

Technology helps homeless get health care they need



Three doctors — Kovacic, Tedman Vance and Vincent Boswell — treat all the patients in the program. Jana Luce, program coordinator, is the “super glue” of the program, according to Dr. Kovacic, who said, “She is a fundamental aspect to coordinate all of the moving parts.” Luce facilitates the patient’s journey from beginning to end. She said she facilitates the patients’ movement from the ER to rehab to home. “A lot of the work that I do is with the families and preparations for what to expect,” she said. “Our goal is to get the patient into surgery within 24 hours of their arrival to the ER. Studies show they do so much better if we can get that surgery done to stabilize that hip fracture and have a much less chance of having complications.” The day after surgery, the patient begins rehabilitation. Deborah Elder, physical therapist, said treatment depends on what the patient is physically able to do. “Our whole goal is to get that person up and moving as quickly as possible,” she said. Twice a day,

By Geoff Folsom

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

James McPherson said he had a great recovery period after surgery for a hip fracture. ‘They kept me real comfortable,’ he said.

may be born too early.” Lilley continues by noting C-sections are considered major surgeries and it takes the mother longer to recover than if she were to give birth vaginally. “You also could have complications from the surgery, like infections and bleeding,” she said. “The March of Dimes and obstetric provider groups advise that you wait until at least 39 weeks to induce labor or have a C-section if there are medical problems that make it necessary to have your baby earlier.” Dr. Busbee said WellStar is working with other physicians to educate the state about the importance of the 39-week period. He said, “(WellStar) is well ahead of the game. We’re doing the right thing to be where we are.” Pooja Mishra knows firsthand the importance of this policy. When pregnant with her first child, Mishra said she wanted his birthday to be Oct. 10, 2010, because she liked the 1010-10 sequence. Conversations with a co-worker who scheduled her child’s birth also influenced Mishra’s intital decision. “I thought it would be convenient to have (the birth) planned and scheduled,” she said. However, conversations with the labor and delivery team at WellStar changed her mind. Mishra, the interim director of oncology services at WellStar, said looking at a pictorial of a infant’s brain development during the last few weeks

of pregnancy helped illustrate the risks. “It struck me as to be very powerful,” she said. “That is really when it hit home. That is when I decided that unless naturally he came sooner I was going to wait for 40 weeks.” Her son, Nikhil Deodhar, was born at two days past 40 weeks on Oct. 22, 2010. She said the care shown by the staff was “just wonderful. I was proud as an employee.”

MARIETTA — A new system is making it easier for the homeless to get mental health services they need. MUST Ministries, which operates the Elizabeth Inn shelter, is now using a telemedicine system to connect doctors with patients at the facility, via a laptop computer and web camera. About 40 patients have used it since it was introduced last spring. Shelter manager Francis Braxton said many patients had long waits to see doctors for conditions such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. By the time of their appointments several weeks later, many didn’t show up for appointments because they didn’t have transportation or were back out on the street. “It’s helped them in terms of the time they’ll be able to see a doctor and also get the required medicine,” he said. “That’s a plus.” The program is a collaborative effort between MUST and the Cobb and Douglas Community Services Board. Braxton said a nurse from the Community Services Board can assess a patient on Friday and schedule an

online visit with a doctor by Tuesday. Bryan Stephens, the Community Service Board’s outpatient services director, said the telemed program resulted from brainstorming between many of the stakeholders. Stephens said the majority of homeless people are either substance abusers, suffer from mental health problems or both. “These are people who wouldn’t get medicine and probably wouldn’t be able to stay at the shelter,” he said. Kaye Cagle, MUST’s marketing and church relations director, said the patients are responsible for paying for the prescription, but the nonprofit has a fund to assist them with the expense. The money also helps pay for a bus pass so they can go to a pharmacy. “It’s really a shame that so many people are out of work or in an unstable housing situation, and all they need is medication,” she said. Braxton said he has noticed a change in those who have received treatment, with several clients who had been unstable previously now lining up jobs. “It’s more than just getting their meds, but also seeing a doctor,” he said. “I’ve seen a change in their attitude. It restores a sense of hope.”

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

Deb Kilday, registered nurse and clinical coordinator of perinatal safety and quality, said the policy is an ongoing intitiative of the hospital, describing it as ‘one piece of a larger puzzle.’ She said it is part of the hospital’s efforts to improve the quality and safety of maternal care.


Healing touch



Innovative procedure helps women with uterine fibroids regain independence, improve health By Davia L. Mosley

Imagine being a 32year-old woman ready to start a family. However, a family history of uterine fibroid tumors has plagued you and now you have two choices: Undergo a hysterectomy and lose the opportunity to bear children, or live the rest of your life bleeding and in constant discomfort. Now, imagine you get a second opinion that changes your life. Emory-Adventist Hospital in Smyrna offers uterine fibroid embolization, a minimally invasive procedure that eliminates these non-cancerous tumors that are composed of smooth muscle found in different parts of the uterus, according to the Atlanta Interventional Institute website, The procedure not only helps women regain their independence, but can also retain their ability to have children if they choose. In the past, women were given the options of having a myomectomy (removing a portion of the fibroids and sewing the uterus back together) or hysterectomy (complete removal of the uterus with or without the ovaries), according to Dr. John Lipman, interventional radiologist and medical director of The Center for Image-Guided Procedures at EAH, said, “UFE should be offered to every woman who is suffering with fibroids; particularly those that are facing hysterectomy. Women don’t need to lose their uterus over (fibroids).” Dr. Lipman said the Southeast has the highest

Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan

Barbara Jack-Goods of Woodstock talks with Dr. John Lipman, interventional radiologist and medical director of The Center for Image-Guided Procedures at Emory-Adventist Hospital, about how good she's felt since her surgery in 2010. rate of hysterectomies in the U.S. and the U.S. has the highest hysterectomy rate in the world. He said the No. 1 reason women have hysterectomies is because of benign fibroids. “It’s unnecessary when we have such excellent nonsurgical options for women,” he said. The most common symptoms of fibroids are heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, and increased urinary frequency, according to Dr. Lipman. “Fibroids cause these symptoms because they are hard (firm) tumors,” he said. “Those that are along the uterine lining cause heavy bleeding. Those that are in the front of the uterus can press on the bladder, like a paperweight, to cause increased urinary frequency, and those on the outer part of the uterus can press on pelvic nerves to cause pain.” Wendy Pierce, charge nurse for interventional radiology, said women

should seek medical attention when “cramping gets to the point where it’s unbearable or if the bleeding is so heavy that you are having to alter your lifestyle.” Lipman said patients have had to miss work and other events because they are tied to their menstrual cycle. However, he also said there are women who have fibroids but no symptoms. Dr. Lipman said, “For these women, they should be aware of the potential symptoms to look for, but no treatment is necessary.” Uterine fibroids will affect 1/3 of women who are of childbearing age, regardless of race, Dr. Lipman said. He said many women typically find out about fibroids in their 30s, mainly through pelvic ultrasounds. However, he said fibroids disproportionately affect black women. He says heredity also plays a role in the statistics, as fibroids are commonly passed on genetically

among black women. Up to 80% of black women of childbearing age run the risk of developing them. Their fibroids also tend to be bigger and numerous, and appear at an earlier age. Dr. Lipman said estrogen, which is stored in fat, also stimulates fibroid growth. Body fat distribution and fibroid risk go hand in hand. He said black women have the highest numbers, followed by Latinos, Caucasians and Asians with the lowest. Lipman said UFE is the biggest medical breakthrough for women. The procedure replaces major surgery through the use of a small catheter — “smaller than angel hair pasta,” he said — which gets in the blood supply of the uterine artery through each side. The catheter and a guide wire (measured at 16,000th of an inch – similar to one human hair) deliver particles to cut blood supply off to every fibroid and keep the uterus alive.


norexia nervosa is a secret disease that kills. April Kelley breaks the silence by sharing her experience. Two years ago, Kelley found her life out of control. She cared for her ailing father, who went through a long, difficult death. She also acts as Woman overcomes guardian for a handicapped anorexia nervosa brother, and she By Sally Litchfield has a family of her own. Up until three years ago, she worked as a registered nurse until it was necessary for her to care for her father. “My anorexia was triggered by the perfect storm,” she said. “I just couldn’t eat. I didn’t want to eat. It got to the point where (not eating) would comfort me. It was the only thing I had control of,” she said. When Kelley dropped from a normal weight of 130 pounds to 92 pounds, her internist recommended she see a therapist. “I cried. I didn’t want to have anything to do with that,” she said. Kelley experienced a number of symptoms besides the weight loss, including hair loss, bruising, heart palpitations, difficulty sleeping, and depression. A year and a half ago, she contacted licensed professional counselor Mitzi Walters for help because family, friends and her doctors “gave her no choice.” “I wrecked my body. I could have died,” the mother of one foster child and five other children said. Kelley and her husband, Terry, have served as foster parents for five years. Walters said 94 percent of women who suffer with anorexia during middle age suffered with it in their childhood, and 1 to 3 million women between ages 30 and 40 still suffer from the disease. Anorexia has 20 percent mortality rate, according to Walters, the highest of any disorder. “(April) was really at a critical state,” said Walters, who has 15 years nursing experience. Walters has been in practice for five years and helped start the first Cobb County Felony Drug Court in Superior Court 10 years ago and Family Dependency Treatment Court in Juvenile Court. She served as coordinator for both.

April’s story



11 GG

12 GG



Progress 2012






— 3HH

— 4HH

KSU plans ultimate intramural facilities — 6HH After a year off, U.S. 10K Classic to return / 5HH







Staff / Todd Hull

Acworth resident and professional BMX racer Shan Hatfield rounds the last corner on the course at Wild Horse Creek Park in Powder Springs. Hatfield began riding at 9 years old and received a national ranking in the 90s. He has done most of his riding at the Cobb County BMX tracks that offer racing to everyone from ages 5 to over 60 years old. Below: Eight-year-old Andrew Sperano, Hatfield and 11-year-old Trevor Harrison take a break from riding the Wild Horse Creek course.


Date 2/19/2012 2/26/2012 3/11/2012 3/25/2012 4/15/2012 4/22/2012 4/29/2012 5/6/2012 5/10/2012 5/20/2012 5/27/2012 6/5/2012 6/10/2012 6/12/2012 6/17/2012 6/19/2012 6/24/2012 6/26/2012 7/1/2012 7/3/2012 7/8/2012 7/10/2012 7/15/2012 7/17/2012 7/24/2012 7/29/2012 7/31/2012 8/5/2012 8/12/2012 8/19/2012 8/25/2012 8/26/2012 9/9/2012 9/16/2012 10/7/2012 10/14/2012 10/21/2012 11/4/2012 11/11/2012 11/18/2012 12/2/2012 12/9/2012

Track Noonday Powder Springs Noonday Powder Springs Noonday Powder Springs Noonday Powder Springs Powder Springs Noonday Noonday Powder Springs Noonday Powder Springs Noonday Powder Springs Powder Springs Powder Springs Noonday Powder Springs Noonday Powder Springs Noonday Powder Springs Powder Springs Noonday Powder Springs Noonday Powder Springs Noonday TBA TBA Powder Springs Noonday Powder Springs Noonday Powder Springs Powder Springs Noonday Powder Springs Powder Springs Noonday

Event Local Race Local Race Local Race Local Race Local Race Local Race Local Race Race for Life Nat. Pre-Race Local Race Local Race Local Race Local Race Local Race Local Race Local Race State Qualifier Local Race Local Race Local Race Race for Life Local Race Local Race Local Race Local Race State Qualifier Local Race Local Race Local Race Local Race State Pre-Race State Final Local Race Local Race Local Race Scholarship Local Race Local Race Local Race Local Race Local Race Local Race

Entry Fee FREE FREE $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $20.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $20.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $20.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $30.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $20.00 $30.00 $10.00 $10.00 $20.00 $20.00 $10.00 $10.00 $20.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00

Cobb BMX providing competition for all riders Opportunities are available for racers of all ages By Greg Oshust

Cobb County BMX has been a part of the county’s recreation scene for a long time. Since its founding in the early 1970s, the organization has provided Cobb County residents, with the age range stretching from age 3 to people in their 70s, the opportunity to pursue BMX bicycle racing. BMX, or bicycle motocross, has been around since the early 70’s and the sport has experienced steady growth in its four decades, accentuated by its addition into the Summer Olympic sports program for the 2008 Games in Beijing. The national growth of BMX has very much been reflected by the increased popularity of the sport in the county, according to Cobb County BMX president Margie Hatfield. “It has grown tremendously,” said Hatfield, who has been involved with Cobb County BMX since 1979, when her son Shan

took up the sport. “It’s now in the Olympics and it’s bigger than ever.” Cobb County BMX, which is sanctioned by the American Bicycle Association, features 43 races a year at its two tracks at

Wild Horse Creek Park in Powder Springs and Noonday Park in Kennesaw. The organization holds races nearly year-round, with the season beginning in mid-February and ending in early December.

Races are held every Sunday afternoon during the season, with registration being held from noon to 1:30 p.m. and the races beginning soon after that. To race at Cobb County BMX, a rider must be a member of the American Bicycle Association (ABA), whose membership fee is $45. BMX racing is divided into two categories — Class, which involves bikes with 20-inch wheels, and Cruiser (24-inch wheels). The Class category is divided into three levels, novice for beginners, intermediate for mid-level skilled racers, and expert, for the most advanced racers. All age groups from under-5 to 60-and over, are well represented at Cobb County BMX. Up to eight riders can fit into the starting gate at one time. Hatfield said the sport has something to appeal to everyone, no matter their age. See BMX, Page 7HH

Sweetwater Tennis Center offering teaching certifications By Adam Carrington

Tennis programs continue to be active in Cobb County, not only for the players, but for prospective teachers and coaches, with Sweetwater Tennis Center offering Public Tennis Registar testing for teaching certification. Sweetwater, located in Austell will hold two PTR workshops in June and October. There will also be a child development workshop April 14-15. The clinics are catered toward college and high school coaches, professionals wanting to take different career paths and for league tennis players and parents and will be conducted by PTR Clinicians. For a teaching certification, candidates must pass all five parts of the exam. More information is available on Public Tennis Registar was founded by wellknown tennis instructor Dennis Van Der Meer, who also operates his own tennis academy in Hilton Head, S.C.

Staff / Laura Moon

Cobb County tennis centers have provided a great service in making all the high school players better. Now they are offering a chance to get certified as a teacher, which could lead to new area high school coaches and another state championship, like the title won by Pope and Hayes Brewer, above, last year. Meanwhile, programs at public tennis facilities in the county continue to develop players of all ages and all levels and PTR pros are playing major roles.

Laurel Park Tennis Center in the city of Marietta changed its management two years ago and is now operating under Tennis Dynamics. The five-person

staff at Laurel Park conducts lessons and clinics for beginners, juniors and adults that focuses on basic fundamentals, patience and many hours of practice. Tennis Dynamics, run by J.P. and Jennifer Weber, has gone by the motto “Go Slower and Get There Quicker” and stress that one can’t become a successful tennis player overnight. There’s also a Benjamin Franklin quote on the website, “Do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” In other words, tennis development takes time. Harrison Tennis Center has a tennis development under a five-person staff that goes through three phases. The Quickstart program is held on miniature courts primarily for kids 8 years old and under. The Future Stars is for advanced beginners getting acclimated to full-court strokes. The Baseliner Program takes young players to the next level and competitive play. Terrell Mill Tennis Center is currently busy with its Sweetspot Tennis Academy See Tennis, Page 7HH


Tournaments Sweetwater Senior Singles Classic Cobb Junior Spring Satellite Fair Oaks Senior Southern Warm-up Sweetwater NTRP Singles Challenge Premier Tennis Academy Jr Chps #1 Premier Tennis Academy Jr Chps #2 Terrell Mill Junior Satellite USTA National BG16 Open Chps Harrison Junior Warm-up Chps Chattahoochee River Singles Chps Fair Oaks Jr Summer Satellite Sweetwater Summer Classic Lost Mountain Junior Championships Marietta NTRP Singles Challenge Kennworth Junior Satellite Georgia Games Junior Chps Terrell Mill Junior Open Chps Ga. Games Adult & NTRP Chps Cobb Junior Satellite Ga. State Adult/Senior Hardcourt Chps Lake Allatoona Junior Satellite Harrison Junior Summer Super Chps Fair Oaks Junior Championships Kennworth NTRP Summer Slam Premier Tennis Academy Jr Chps #3 Sweetwater Back-to-School Blowout Jefferson Bradford Memorial Tourney Sweetwater Junior Championships Cobb County Adult / Senior Classic Lost Mountain Halloween Fright Festival Terrell Mill Open / Senior Singles Cobb Christmas' Adult NTRP Classic Lost Mountain Fall Junior Satellite Fair Oaks Junior Satellite Cobb Junior Christmas Classic

Dates Mar. 2-4 Mar. 17-18 Mar. 30-4/1 Apr. 27-29 Apr. 27-29 May 4-6 May 12-13 May 12-14 May 25-27 May 25-28 June 5-7 June 15-17 June 18-20 June 22-24 July 3-4 July 2-6 July 9-12 July 13-16 July 17-19 July 21-24 July 21-22 Aug. 4-5 Aug. 10-12 Aug. 10-12 Aug. 17-19 Aug. 18-19 Aug. 24-26 Aug. 24-26 Sep. 21-23 Oct. 26-28 Oct. 26-28 Nov. 2-4 Nov. 3-4 Nov. 10-11 Nov. 16-18

Deadline Events Feb. 27 Senior Mar. 12 Junior Mar. 26 Senior Apr. 23 Adult Apr. 23 Junior Apr. 30 Junior May 7 Junior Apr. 19 Junior May 21 Junior May 21 Adult June 1 Junior June 11 Adult June 13 Junior June 18 Adult June 29 Junior June 26 Junior July 4 Junior July 9 Adult July 12 Junior July 14 Adult July 16 Junior July 26 Junior Aug. 6 Junior Aug. 6 Adult Aug. 13 Junior Aug. 13 Junior Aug. 17 Adult Aug. 20 Junior Sep. 17 Adult Oct.19 Adult Oct. 23 Adult Oct. 29 Adult Oct. 29 Junior Nov. 5 Junior Nov. 12 Junior




Bargains available for the golfer on a budget around the area By Carlton D. White

With PGA tour stops in Augusta for the The Masters and the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta, Georgia is a hotbed and a great location for golf every year. Cobb County is also full of some spectacular golfing venues as well. Residents have their choice of several public golf locations located around various areas of the county as well as private, membership-only courses that offer extra amenities. Private courses in Marietta include the Atlanta Country Club and the Indian Hills Country Club. Kennesaw has its share of private courses like the Marietta Country Club and the Pinetree Country Club, while Acworth locations Bentwater Golf Club, Brookstone Golf and Country Club and Governor’s Towne Club also offer a great golfing experience. Sitting between the public and private courses is the Dogwood Golf Club located in Austell. The course offers public golfing Monday through Thursday, but is private on the weekends. Andy Schival, the general manager at Dogwood, is very proud of the course, and wishes for other residents to experience it. Currently, the course is hosting a membership drive and is seeking new and old patrons. “It’s an open-ended drive to encourage the public to come out and play the course on a regular basis,” Schival said. “We’re waiving the initiation fees, which have been as high as $1,700, and we’re giving additional incentives

to people who join us.” Local county schools certainly enjoy Dogwood. Six schools, including Westminster, Lovett, Whitefield Academy, Cumberland Christian Academy, Hillgrove and South Cobb, regularly use the golf course for events and practices. “We encourage junior golf here,” Schival said. “We also host a region tournament. The course sets up really well and is one of the most convenient ones around in terms of location since we’re located right off the East-West Connector and Powder Springs Road. “We have a new fleet of EZGO golf carts coming to us by March, so there are a lot of reasons folks should give us a try.” Area public courses include Cobblestone Golf Course in Acworth, Fox Creek Golf Club and Driving Range in Smyrna. Its sister course, Legacy Golf Links and Driving Range, is adjacent to the Fox Creek property and both are located off Windy Hill Road. City Club Marietta, another very popular public course, is also offering incentives to residents. “Last year we started a loyalty program which gives you points on purchases that you can redeem towards greens fees or range balls,” City Club Marietta general manager Ken Dixon said. “It’s free to join and golfers can sign up for it in the pro shop.” City Club Marietta also offers three different tier packages of 10 rounds of golf based on your age group. The tiers — 60 and over, 59 through 18, and 17 and under — are discounted if you purchase 10 rounds of golf at one time.

“It’s a really great deal,” Dixon said. “You can buy 10 rounds at a time. Just load them on the card, and it’s valid for a year from the time that you purchase the rounds.” This past fall, City Club Marietta also upgraded its golf carts to include a GPS system of the course, allowing patrons to access the golf cart’s touchscreen and view the yardage they have from where they are to the hole. “It’s a 10 inch screen mounted on the cart and helps you navigate the course,” Dixon said. “No need look up yardage because it’s already right there for you.” Along with the extra incentives offered by many of these courses, the weather has been very helpful to many of the local residents. Warm days throughout December and January have been great for golfers as well as the area courses, which have seen a jump in business. “The weather’s been great,” Schival said. “We were closed last year after the snow and ice, but this year the course is in great shape, We’re just waiting for the grass to get green.” Dixon was also excited about the weather. “We’ve definitely been busy,” he said. “We hoped for something like this the last couple of years, and we’ve far exceeded what we’ve done in the past. It’s been great.” Golfers who would just like to practice their swing can visit any of the local driving ranges in the area, including Marietta Golf Center, Legacy and Fox Creek and Tee 1 Up. For more information on local golf courses and prices, visit their websites.

Staff / Todd Hull

Mark Strikland is one of the best amateur players in the state of Georgia and is currently a member at Cobb County’s Pine Tree Country Club in Kennesaw.

Cobb County golf courses and driving ranges GOLF COURSES Atlanta Country Club (private) 500 Atlanta Country Club Drive Marietta, GA 30067 (770) 953-2100 Head Pro: Scott Schroeder Greens Fees: N/A Bentwater Golf Club (Private) 100 Golf Links Drive Acworth, GA 30101 (770) 529-9554 Head Pro: Justin Tackett and Jim Sims Greens Fees: N/A Brookstone Golf and Country Club (private) 5705 Brookstone Drive Acworth, GA 30101 (770) 425-8500 Head Pro: Mark Avery Greens Fees: N/A City Club Marietta (public) 510 Powder Springs St. Marietta, GA 30064 (770) 528-4653 Head Pro: Dan Mullins Greens Fees: $48 (Monday through Friday), $58 (weekends/holidays) Twilight rate plans and times vary by season. Please check for website for details Cobblestone Golf Course (public) 4200 Nance Road Acworth, GA 30101 (770) 917-5152 Head Pro: Chris Wright Greens Fees: $51.50 (Monday through Friday), $60 (weekends/holidays) Twilight rate plans and times vary by season. Please check website for details Dogwood Golf Club (semi-private) 4207 Flint Hill Road Austell, GA 30106 (770) 941-2202 Head Pro: Ryan Medford Greens Fees: $45 (Monday through Thursday), private on weekends Twilight rate plans and times vary by season. Please check for website for details

Fox Creek Golf Club & Driving Range (public) 1501 Windy Hill Road Smyrna, GA 30080 (770) 435-1000 General Manager: Tony Deshan Greens Fees: $29 (weekdays), $35 (weekends) Twilight rate plans and times vary by season. Please check for website for details Governor’s Towne Club (private) 4200 Governors Towne Drive Acworth, GA 30101 (770) 966-5353 Head Pro: Will Hutter Greens Fees: N/A Indian Hills Country Club (private) 4001 Clubland Drive Marietta, GA 30068 (770) 971-2605 Dir. of Golf: Lance Cantrell

Greens Fees: N/A Legacy Golf Links & Driving Range (public) 1825 Windy Hill Road Smyrna, GA 30080 (770) 434-6331 General Manager: Tony Deshan Greens Fees: $29 (weekdays), $35 (weekends) Twilight rate plans and times vary by season. Please check for website for details Marietta Country Club (private) 1400 Marietta Country Club Drive Kennesaw, GA 30152 (770) 426-1808 Head Pro: Stephen Keppler Greens Fees: N/A Pinetree Country Club (private) 3400 McCollum Parkway Kennesaw, GA 30144 (770) 422-5902

Interim Head Pro: Wayland Abernathy Greens Fees: N/A DRIVING RANGES Marietta Golf Center 1701 Gresham Road, NE Marietta, GA (770) 977-1997 Bucket of balls — 35 for $5, 55 for $7, 80 for $9, 110 for $11, 135 for $13 Legacy Golf Links 1825 Windy Hill Road, SE Smyrna, GA 30080 (770) 434-6331 Call for prices Tee 1 Up 3185 Sandy Plains Road Marietta, GA 30066 (770) 578-1234 Bucket of balls – small (4050) for $5, medium (80-90) for $9, large (115) for $12

2012 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE Georgia State Golf Association Tournament City/Course Four-Ball Tournament Hawkinsville/Southern Hills Senior Women’s Match Play Brunswick Country Club Super Senior Champ. Woodstock/Capital City Club Four-Ball Championship Greensboro/Harbor Club Senior Match Play Johns Creek/The Standard Club Mid-Amateur Champ. Duluth/Berkeley Hills C.C. Women’s Match Play Carrollton/Sunset Hills C.C. Junior Championship Albany/Doublegate C.C. Girls’ Championship Lanier/Lake Lanier Islands Top 60 Women’s Classic Acworth/Governors Towne Club Amateur Championship Roswell/Settindown Creek Senior Women’s Champ. Milton/Alpharetta Athletic Club Senior Championship Greensboro/Reynolds Plantation Public Links Championship Acworth/Cobblestone Golf Club Atlanta Amateur Match Play Johns Creek/Rivermont G&C.C.

Date Mar. 23-25 Apr. 10-12 Apr. 11-12 Apr. 27-29 May 8-11 May 18-20 June 12-15 June 18-20 June 18-20 June 27-28 July 12-15 Aug. 27-28 Aug. 28-30 Sept. 8-9 Oct. 4-7

United States Golf Association Qualifying Sites Tournament City/Course Date U.S. Open Local Kennesaw/Marietta Country Club May 14 U.S. Women’s Open Sectional Dunwoody Country Club May 21 U.S. Women’s Am. Pub. Links Covington/The Oaks Course May 31 U.S. Open Sectional Suwanee/The River Club June 4 U.S. Amateur Pub. Links Lithonia/Mystery Valley June 11 U.S. Junior Amateur Athens/UGA Golf Course June 25 U.S. Girls’ Junior Alpharetta/The Manor G&C.C. June 26 U.S. Senior Open Alpharetta/Atlanta National June 26 U.S. Women’s Amateur Stockbridge/Eagle’s Landing July 9 U.S. Amateur Atlanta/Piedmont Driving Club July 24-25 U.S. Mid-Amateur Duluth/St. Ives Country Club Aug. 6 U.S. Women’s Mid-Am. Johns Creek/Rivermont G&C.C. Aug. 30

Tournament Atlanta Open Dogwood Invitational Georgia Open

Major Georgia Amateur Events City/Course Gainesville/Chattahoochee G.C. Atlanta/Druid Hills Braselton/Legends at Chateau Elan

Date June 11-12 June 13-16 Aug. 2-5




On Labor Day, Cobb County will welcome back the U.S. 10K Classic. The Classic took a one-year hiatus, but it will bring its elite field of 16,000-plus runners back to the course which runs from Cumberland Mall to Six Flags Whitewater on Cobb Parkway. The U.S. 10K Classic highlights a 50-race schedule that runners can enjoy in Cobb County.  Staff/file

Return of U.S. 10K highlights Cobb’s road racing slate By Greg Oshust

Cobb County has always been a hot spot for road racing and 2012 will be no different. It will be yet another busy year in racing in the county, with more than 50 races scheduled to be held in the county in 2012. This year will mark the return of the county’s biggest race, the U.S. 10K Classic, which took a oneyear hiatus in 2011 due to loss of sponsorship during the national economic downturn. The U.S. 10K Classic was held every Labor Day on U.S. 41 during its first 17 years, with the 10K (6.2 mile) course starting at Cumberland Mall and going north to the finish line at Six

Flags White Water. The event, which attracted approximately 16,000 participants the last time it was held in 2010, has also included professional men’s and women’s cycling races, an inline skating race and a wheelchair race. Future plans for the U.S. 10K Classic will be announced at a later date. The next biggest attraction for local runners is the Gobble Jog 10K, 5K, 1K and tot trot races, which is held every Thanksgiving. The course starts and finishes at Marietta Square, with 5K (3.1 mile) runners taking one loop and 10K runners two loops. Nearly 10,000 participants took part in the ninth edition of the event last year. The county’s third

biggest race has already held its 2012 edition as the 24th-annual Polar Bear Run attracted its usual 2,000 runners to take part in the event’s signature 5K race as well as a 2K run and Cub runs for children 5-and-under in late January. The Polar Bear Run’s 5K course starts in front of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in east Cobb and goes two loops around the campus before finishing in the church parking lot. The 2012 racing calendar began as usual with the Atlanta Track Club’s PT Solutions Resolution Run, which is held in Kennesaw on New Year’s Day and features both a 5K and 10K race. This year, the Resolution Run — the first race in the Atlanta Track Club’s

Grand Prix race calendar — attracted 1,581 participants. A couple of other marquee attractions on the Cobb County race calendar is the Silver Comet races — a 10K race on March 10 and a half marathon on Oct. 2, which are both held at the Silver Comet Trail in south Cobb. The Silver Comet Half Marathon brought in around 1,500 runners, while the Silver Comet 10K featured around 600 runners. Other races that attracts large numbers of participants are the Run for Wounded Warriors 5K in Kennesaw in August and the Vinings Downhill 5K in early September, both of which had about 900 runners participate last year. The Vinings Downhill

5K is an especially appealing course for runners. The race certainly lives up to its name, with a 330-foot net drop in terrain on the 3.1mile course that starts on Mt. Wilkerson Parkway and finishes at the Chattahoochee River park off of U.S. 41. The Run for Life 5K, 10K and 1-mile fun run is the oldest road race in Cobb County and will return for its 29th edition on July 28 at Roberts Business Park in Kennesaw. The Jonquil Jog 5K has been a prominent part of the Cobb County race calendar for years and will return for another go around at Smyrna City Hall on April 28. The newest addition to the county racing scene is the Cobb Hobble 5K and 10K races, which will hold

its inaugural event at Lassiter High School on March 24. Those runners who are tired of racing on the hard asphalt will get a chance to run on a much softer surface at the Summer Solstice 5K, a race that takes place in June and is held at the Cobb County Corps Property cross country course in Acworth that hosts the county high school cross country meet every year. There are also a number of races in the Atlanta area that attracts large numbers of Cobb County residents such as the Peachtree Road Race on July 4, the Atlanta Marathon on Oct. 28, the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day and the Publix Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon on March 18.






IN FUNDAMENTALS Kennesaw State nearing completion of Phase III of its sports and recreation park By John Bednarowski

Prior to 2009, Kennesaw State offered its student body a 1.7 acre field to play its outdoor club and intramural sports. The situation stunted not only the growth of the sports programs, but may have had a negative effect on bringing students to the university. Later this spring, the university will officially put any bad memories behind them as it opens the final phase of the 88-acre, $59 million KSU Sports and Recreation Park. All three phases were financed with private funds, built by Charlotte-based Choate Construction and spread along Big Shanty Road and Busbee Parkway between I75 and I-575. The third phase, which was by far the most expansive and built at a cost of $11.2 million, includes three multi-use artificial surface fields, a natural grass field, a natural grass warm-up area, three sand volleyball courts and a .92mile paved walking path that will travel around 12acre Lake Nelson. “It is almost exactly what we envisioned,” Kennesaw State president Dr. Dan Papp said of the entire project. “In fact, it’s better than we envisioned.” What the university envisioned was an area that would meet the recreation needs of its non-NCAA

sports programs, students and faculty. However, the final phase of the project will meet that and also carry over to the surrounding community. New Executive Director/General Manager for the KSU Sports and Recreation Park Marty Elliott said the public will have access to the walking trail and that in the future, the fields could be used for youth and junior tournaments. “It could be a great recruiting tool,” Elliott said. “This is not something you see at every institution. And if we can get them on campus at a young age they may see this and say, ‘This is where I want to go to school.’” If the final phase of the sports and recreation park is anything like the previous two, the area is going to be well used. Phase I opened in September 2009 and consisted of the first two artificial turf fields, used for lacrosse, ultimate Frisbee and other club sports, and the 16,000 square foot Owls’ Nest, a workout facility with stateof-the-art fitness equipment built on 14 acres off Busbee Parkway. From the time the doors opened, to the end of the 2011 school year, there were more than 165,000 visits to the Owls’ Nest with 110,000 coming over the final 12 months of that period. But gym visits aren’t the only thing on the rise. The

number of students participating in club sports rose by more than 33 percent and there was a 12 percent increase in intramural participation. Now, more than 2,200 students participate in the programs and it was that kind of growth that was in mind for the university’s more than 23,000 students when the project was started. Yet the sports and recreation park was built with a still much larger population in mind. “(Those numbers) are going to grow,” said Vice President for Student Success Jerome Ratchford. “We built this to be able to accommodate growth. We envision one day having 35,000 students.” Phase II of the project was the $16.5 million, 8,300-seat KSU Soccer Stadium. When the stadium opened in the spring of 2010 it was home to both the Kennesaw State women’s soccer team and Women’s Professional Soccer’s Atlanta Beat. With WPS suspending operations for the 2012 season, the stadium will sit idle this spring and summer, but there is the anticipated announcement that football will be coming to campus in either 2014 or 2015. The stadium, in its current form, has 572 club seats, 132 patio seats and 12 hospitality suites, but it could be expanded to seat up to 22,000 fans with a limited amount of new construction. See Fun, Page 7HH

CLUB SPORTS MEN Baseball, Basketball Cycling, Fishing Ice Hockey, Lacrosse Roller Hockey Rugby, Soccer Submission Grappling/MMA Table Tennis Ultimate Frisbee Wakeboarding Wrestling WOMEN Cheerleading Lacrosse, Rugby Soccer, Softball Volleyball CO-ED Badminton, Equestrian Fencing, Gymnastics Paintball, Power Lifting Running, Swimming Tennis INTRAMURALS Disc Golf, Dodgeball Flag Football, Indoor Soccer Outdoor Soccer, Volleyball Sand Volleyball, Mini Golf Softball, Tennis Ultimate Frisbee Basketball, Bowling

Staff / Jon Michael Sullivan

Phase III of the KSU Sports and Recreation Park will include three new artificial surface playing fields, top, a natural grass field, three sand volleyball courts, center, and a .92 mile paved walking path around Lake Nelson and through the sports and recreation park. The new phase will open later this spring.



Staff / Jon Michael Sullivan

The first two stages of the 88-acre KSU Sports and Recreation Park provided the KSU Soccer Stadium, top, home to the Owls and the Atlanta Beat of WPS, the Owls’ Nest, a 16,000 square foot state-of-the-art workout facility, center, and a three artificial surface fields, including one for the KSU club lacrosse team, bottom.

Fun Continued from Page 6HH If football does finally come to KSU, the sports and recreation park will likely play a significant role in helping the university remain in compliance with the NCAA’s Title IX requirements. Lacrosse has already been announced as the first new women’s program and they will likely be able to play on Phase I’s main field next to the Owls’ Nest, and this is the first school year that the NCAA is sanctioning sand volleyball in Division I, which makes the sport a natural fit with the completion of the new sand courts in Phase III.

Tennis Continued from Page 3HH for toddlers, juniors and adults. Youngsters and juniors go to Terrell Mill to drill after school while adults have dibs during the afternoons. Teaching professionals Kelly

BMX Continued from Page 3HH is that just about everyone can ride a bike,” she said. “Not everyone can play ball, but everyone can ride a bike. It is very popular with kids, but adults can do it as well. It’s a good healthy activity and it teaches kids about self-discipline. We have 3-4 year old kids, but we have older people out here as well.” Every year, Cobb County BMX hosts the Dixieland Nationals, one of the top races in the nation, May 11-13 at the Wild Horse

While the students and faculty have anxiously awaited completion of the final phase, they are far from the only ones. As each piece of the puzzle was put in place, people on other campuses have taken notice of what was happening at KSU. Numerous college and universities from as far away as the University of Hawaii have already made the trip to Kennesaw to see the lacrosse facilities from Phase I. The same happened following the completion of the rugby field as part of Phase II. That generated interest from rugby clubs from half-way around the world in Australia. And on the biggest stage, the NCAA brought

the 2011 Women’s College Cup, soccer’s version of the Final Four, to the stadium last December. The event has had nothing but positive feedback and KSU is in good position to have the 2013 College Cup come back to campus. Now that the final phase is about to open, Papp, who continues the charge to make Kennesaw State a national brand, said when the word gets out many other universities will come, inspect and wonder how they can replicate the KSU blueprint. “When we do our grand opening,” Papp said, “I expect the phone to ring off the hook.”

Allen and Calin Constanceanu run the program. Fair Oaks Tennis Academy in Marietta runs the Future Stars Pre-League Academy for youngsters. The API Tennis Academy under Danny Carlson for experienced junior players is also held there. At Kennworth Tennis

Center, head professional William Fawcett is organizing 3+Pro Drills for adults during the week where he works with only three players who are at the exact same level. He also runs the Premier Tennis Academy year-round for middle school and high school athletes.

Creek Park track. For this year’s Dixieland Nationals, the Wild Horse Creek Park venue will feature a newly rebuilt track, with the work scheduled to be done in April. “We are completely rebuilding the track,” Hatfield said. “It’s the first time since I’ve been there that we’ve done that. We’re very excited about it and we can’t wait to get it done.” The organization has produced a number of nationally ranked racers over the years, including Margie Hatfield’s 41-year old son Shan. Shan Hatfield took up the sport as a 9-year-old in

’79 and achieved a national ranking in his age group in the early 80s. Hatfield resumed his earlier success when he returned to the sport in the mid 90s after an absence of about a decade. Eight-year old east Cobb resident Preston Evans is ranked fifth in the world in his age group, while 28year-old Charlie Hunt and 37-year-old Doran Bradshaw are the other nationally-ranked riders in the Cobb County BMX stable. For more information on Cobb County BMX, visit the organization’s website, Default.aspx.





Marietta Daily Journal Progress 2012  

Marietta Daily Journal Progress 2012

Marietta Daily Journal Progress 2012  

Marietta Daily Journal Progress 2012