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NOVEMBER 10, 2018


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Serving DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale Counties

Gov. Deal appoints African-American woman to fill remainder of Brian Kemp’s term By Valerie J. Morgan


ven as Democrat Stacey Abrams refused to concede, Republican Brian Kemp stepped down on Nov. 8 as Secretary of State to begin his transition to governor-elect. Unofficial election results showed that only one percentage point separated Kemp, who had 50 percent of the vote to Abrams 49 percent. Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Robyn A. Crittenden, a resident of Tucker, to fill the vacancy created by Kemp’s resignation. Crittendon took the oath of office to serve the remainder of Kemp’s term. The race for Secretary of State was tight with Republican Brad Raffensperger and Democrat John Barrow headed for a run-off. Unofficial results showed that both had 49 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, Deal’s appointment of Crittenden, makes her the first African-American woman to serve as a statewide constitutional officer in Georgia history. In 2015, Deal appointed Crittenden to be DHS commissioner after she served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Following Crittenden’s swearing-in ceremony, Deal nominated Gerlda B. Hines, chief of staff

Drink up! Metro voters pass Sunday brunch alcohol sales By Travis Hudgons


and chief financial officer of DHS, to be the interim DHS commissioner, pending board approval. “Robyn’s experience as an attorney, public servant and agency head make her exceptionally qualified to fill the role of Georgia’s Secretary of state,” said Deal. “She is a leader with brilliant intellect, high integrity, and a wide range of experience in public service. Robyn has been one of the most effective leaders within my administration and she is well-qualified to fill one of the most important jobs in state government. I appreciate her willingness to fill this role and I thank Gov.-elect Kemp for his leadership as Secretary of State.” Crittenden has served as the commissioner of

the Georgia Department of Human Services since July 2015. She previously served in the executive leadership of the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Crittenden’s experience includes working as general counsel at Morehouse College and as the assistant vice chancellor of Legal Affairs-Contracts for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. She was also an assistant county attorney in DeKalb County and an associate at the law firm of Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy. Crittenden earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Yale University and a law degree from the University of Michigan School of Law. She has one child and lives in Tucker.

etro-area voters overwhelming supported the Sunday brunch alcohol sales. On Nov. 6, Georgia voters in several counties and municipalities Photo provided Hines currently serves including DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett and Rockdale counties decided that as the chief of staff and restaurants can serve alcohol starting at chief financial officer of the Georgia Department of 11 a.m. on Sunday. In May, Gov. Nathan Deal signed Human Services (DHS). Senate Bill 17—also referred to as She has more than 25 years the “Brunch Bill,” which allows local of financial management governments to put the referendum on experience and 17 years their ballots. of state service, including Before the referendum, restaurants experience as the deputy in Georgia could not serve alcohol commissioner of DHS, before 12:30 p.m. on Sundays. chief financial officer According to the Georgia for the Georgia Student Restaurant Association, restaurants Finance Commission and that serve brunch on Sundays could deputy chief financial make $25K extra per year if they were officer for the Department able to serve alcohol starting at 11 a.m. of Community Health. instead of 12:30 p.m. The Dunwoody Hines is a certified public Perimeter Chamber said on Twitter, accountant and a member More food and beverage sales = more of the American Institute tax revenue for the state of Georgia of Certified Public and more jobs. Accountants. She earned This change only affects a bachelor’s degree in restaurants, the sales of alcohol at retail Business Administration stores remains 12:30 p.m. from Loyola University in New Orleans. Hines Sunday Brunch Alcohol Sales has one child and lives in Marietta. DeKalb County

FEMA to hire Georgia residents

The State of Georgia, in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has started hiring Georgia residents to work on the hurricane recovery effort. Each week, more jobs are posted. The most recent opportunities are with FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) team. PA focuses on helping entire communities rebound, while FEMA’s Individual Assistance (IA) programs are focused on assisting the individual hurricane survivor. Anyone interested in

Photo by Sharon K Karr/FEMA

local hire opportunities should go to USAJOBS. gov and create a free account. The positions typically include the words “Local Hire” in the job title. This week’s local hire opportunities are for

a Site Inspector Specialist and a Public Assistance Program Delivery Manager. The positions pay $20.22 to $30.29 an hour and include sick leave and health benefits. Georgia residents will

be hired for a term of 120 days, with the possibility of an extension. Residents interested in the local hire positions currently posted on have until November 12 to submit their application. Those hired will join the recovery team – local, state and federal workers, voluntary agencies and community organizations – already in place. In the weeks ahead, additional opportunities will be made public; some of the jobs will be located in areas hardest hit by Hurricane Michael, others will be in or near Atlanta.

DeKalb – 70.54% Atlanta – 81.62% Avondale Estates – 85.4% Brookhaven – 79.77% Chamblee – 78.15% Clarkston – 69.03% Decatur – 85.5% Doraville – 69.84% Dunwoody – 77.98% Stone Mountain – 68.13% Tucker – 73.54% Fulton County Alpharetta - 73.42% Atlanta – 74.89% College Park – 73.48% Hapeville – 74.25% Johns Creek – 70.87% Milton – 76.28% Roswell – 75.51% Sandy Springs – 76.83% South Fulton – 70.89% Union City – 67.04% Rockdale County Conyers – 63.89%

Gwinnett County – 64.43% Cobb County – 71.73%

PAGE 2 • NOVEMBER 10, 2018 


DeKalb Housing Authority opens Section 8 waiting list The Housing Authority of DeKalb County (HADC) is opening its Housing Choice Voucher Program Tenant-Based (commonly known as Section 8) Waiting List. The program provides rental assistance to eligible low-income families, seniors and persons with disabilities. Interested persons must apply by completing an online application at The waiting list will open Tuesday, Dec. 11, and will close Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. Applications will be online only and will not be in paper form. Only one application per applicant will be accepted. To submit an application, interested persons must have a valid email address. Instructions for establishing an email address will be part of the application. Persons without access to the Internet must go to sites where computers are available for public use, such as public libraries and sites listed on the HADC's website. For reasonable accommodation, the HADC's Waiting List Hotline 404270-2590 will be available between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST during the wait list opening in order to assist persons needing special assistance completing the application due to a disability, language translation services, or communication in an alternative format. Persons with hearing or speech disabilities using TDD or TTY technology may call Georgia Relay Services at 711 for assistance. For more information, including Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Waiting List opening and a list of Internet Access Sites is, please link to the HADC's website,

18-year-old arrested, charged with murder The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a suspect in the murder of a Decatur man. A warrant issued on Oct. 30 charges 18-year-old Nathan Antonious Jones of Decatur with causing the death of Jordan Gratton by shooting him several times on Oct. 21, 2018 on Woodland Cove in Decatur. On Nov. 7, 2018, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit located and arrested Jones without incident at a residence in College Park, Georgia with the Nathan Antonious Jones assistance of the College Park Police Department. Jones was transported to the DeKalb County Jail, where he will be held on a charge of felony murder.


NOVEMBER 10, 2018 • PAGE 3

PUBLISHER Glenn L. Morgan

EDITOR Valerie J. Morgan


STAFF WRITER Mackenzie Morgan


On Common Ground News is published weekly by On Common Ground, Inc. The newspaper serves DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Rockdale and Henry counties. The opinions expressed by writers and contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher or the newspaper’s advertisers. No portion of this newspaper may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. We reserve the right to reject material and advertisements we deem inappropriate.

On Common Ground News P.O. Box 904 Lithonia, GA 30058 (678) 526-1910

DeKalb provides $2 million loan to support senior housing near Avondale MARTA station

DeKalb County provided $2.2 million in funding to support the development of Columbia Senior Residences at Decatur East, an affordable senior housing complex located near the Avondale MARTA station at 5090 Freeman St., Decatur. The complex is now open and accepting applicants. “DeKalb County is committed to providing affordable housing opportunities for residents,“ said Allen Mitchell, Community Development director. “The partnership with Columbia Senior Residences at Decatur East will help to expand housing opportunities and improve the quality of life for DeKalb County seniors.” The five-story building includes 92 units with one-and two-bedrooms dedicated for seniors ages 62 and older. The building is certified green and amenities include ENERGY STAR® appliances, dining and dance room, business center, movie theater, fitness center, and a pedestrian walk with access to the Avondale MARTA transit station. The DeKalb County Community Development Department provided HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds to

transform a former parking lot and bring new affordable senior housing options to the city of Decatur. HOME funds are provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to participating jurisdictions to create new affordable housing units.

Additional lenders also supported the project including Wells Fargo as a construction lender and Enterprise Community Investment. For more information on the applications process for the apartments, contact the Community Development Department at 404-371-2727.

Operation Holiday Clean Sweep DeKalb to offer free bulky item curbside collection The DeKalb County Sanitation Division will offer free residential bulky item curbside collection every Friday and Saturday from Nov. 30 through Dec. 22, 2018 as part of the Operation Holiday Clean Sweep 2018 campaign. Residents will have an opportunity to place bulky items, including furniture and large appliances, curbside for collection by the Sanitation Division. Weekly collection schedules will be based on residents’ designated sanitation service day. The collection schedule will be: • Residential customers whose regularly scheduled sanitation service day is Monday will be serviced on Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1. • Residential customers whose regularly scheduled sanitation service day is Tuesday will be serviced on Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8. • Residential customers whose regularly scheduled sanitation service day is Wednesday will be serviced on Friday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 15. • Residential customers whose regularly scheduled sanitation service day is Thursday will be serviced Friday, Dec. 21, and Saturday, Dec. 22. Based on this collection schedule, residents with missed collections should call the Sanitation Division’s customer service team at 404-2942900 to be placed on a bulky item collection escalation list. For more information, contact the Sanitation Division’s customer service team at 404-294-2900 or, visit, or follow the Sanitation Division on Twitter @ DKalbSanitation. CITY OF STONECREST PLANNING COMMISSION, PUBLIC HEARING: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6TH 2018 AT 6:00 P.M. & CITY OF STONECREST MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL, PUBLIC HEARING: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH 2018 AT 7:00 P.M. The following petition(s) within the City of Stonecrest are scheduled for Public Hearings as stated above at STONECREST CITY HALL, 3120 STONECREST BLVD STONECREST, GA 30038 LAND USE PETITION: PETITIONER: LOCATION: CURRENT ZONING: PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT:

RZ-18-006 William R. Probst 6206 Covington Hwy MU4 (Mixed-Use High Density) Request to change the zoning from MU-4 to MR-1 for the construction of 94 townhome units.

LAND USE PETITION: TMOD 18-0006 PETITIONER: City of Stonecrest PROPOSED TEXT AMENDMENT: To allow addition of residential dwellings as part of mixed-use development projects in Tier (3) of the Stonecrest Overlay District

PAGE 4 • NOVEMBER 10, 2018 




Geoff Duncan

Jim Beck

Mark Butler

Richard Woods

Republicans sweep top Georgia seats Democrats tried hard on election night to turn the state blue, urging voters to go to the polls, but Georgia stayed true to its color—red—giving the GOP the state’s top seats. Here’s a look at how the top races stacked up: According to poll workers, Peachcrest Elementary polling precinct in Decatur had a steady flow of voters on election day. At 7:15 p.m., there was still a line of people waiting to cast their vote. Photo by Travis Hudgons

Ballots cast

Registered Voters


DeKalb: 311,306 494,731 62.92% Fulton: 421,929 703,177 60.00% Gwinnett: 313,049 525,568 59.56% Rockdale: 36,506 58,299 62.62% Georgia:




Rockdale voters re-elect Commissioner Doreen Williams, several other incumbents Voters re-elected Democrat incumbent Doreen Williams for a second term on the Rockdale Board of Commissioners. Williams solidly defeated Republican Larry Cox for the Post 2 seat, earning 67.2% of the vote. Cox received 32.70%, early results showed. In other Rockdale races: Voters’ top three picks in the four-way race for Rockdale County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor were Doreen Williams incumbents David L. Shipp and Russell W. Tonning, and Kenny Arnold Johnson. Incumbent Democrat Pam Stephenson, District 90, defeated Republican challenger Takosha Swan with 79.92% of the vote(21,008 votes). Swan received 20.08% (5,279). District 90 covers portions of Rockdale, DeKalb and Henry counties. Republican incumbent State Rep. Dale Rutledge, District 109, defeated Regina Lewis-Ward with 51.56%(13,841 votes). Ward received 48.44% (13,005 votes. The district covers portions of Henry, Rockdale and Newton counties. Re-elected in uncontested races were: District Attorney Alisha Adams Johnson Democrat State Sen. Tonya P. Anderson, District 43 Democrat State Rep. Vernon Jones, District 91 Democrat State Rep. Doreen Carter, District 92 Democrat Pam Dickerson, District 113 Democrat State Rep. Tom Kirby, District 114 PUBLIC NOTICE

Housing Authority of DeKalb County (HADC) Tenant-Based Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List Opening OPENS: December 11, 2018 CLOSES: December 13, 2018 APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED ONLINE ONLY

Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations because of a disability, language translation, or communication in an alternative format may call the HADC’S Waiting List Hotline at 404-270-2590 between 8am and 4pm, December 11-13, 2018. Frequently Asked Questions and Internet Access Sites are listed on the HADC’s website.

*** NEW *** On Common Ground Distributed in the HCV Lobby / primarily DeKalb County, some Rockdale and Gwinnett ProSquare 5.025” x 5.1875” $490 weekly rate / discounted to $400 -------

Lt. Governor Republican Geoff Duncan was elected lieutenant governor, defeating Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico with 52% of the vote (1,946,233 votes). Amico received 1,815, 510 votes (48%). Insurance Commissioner Republican Jim Beck held the lead over Democrat Janice Laws, receiving 1,939,665 votes (50%) for state insurance commissioner. Laws garnered 1,801825 votes (47 %). Libertarian Donnie Foster placed third with 101,583 votes (3%). Labor Commissioner Republican Mark Butler was re-elected labor commissioner, defeating Democrat Richard Keatley with 2,013,751 votes (53%). Keatley received 1,817,343 (47%). State School Superintendent Republican incumbent Richard Woods defeated Democratic challenger Otha Thorntion for Georgia school superintendent. Woods received 2,042,222 votes (53%) while Thornton received 1,801,698 votes (47%). Attorney General Republican Chris Carr was re-elected attorney general, narrowly defeating Democrat Charlie Bailey. Carr received 1,975,980 votes (51%) while Bailey received 1,867,941 votes (49%). Agriculture commissioner Republican incumbent Gary Black was re-elected agriculture commissioner. Black, who received 2,034,305 votes (53%), defeated Democrat Fred Swann, who received 1,790,760 (47%).

Congressman Hank Johnson overwhelmingly re-elected to seventh term Voters in Georgia’s Fourth Congressional District overwhelmingly returned Democrat U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson to his seat on Tuesday night. Johnson, who lives in DeKalb County, defeated Republican Joe Profit in Tuesday’s election with 225,879 votes (79%). Profit, a businessman and former Atlanta Falcons running back, received 60,817 votes (21%). Voters elected Johnson, who has held the seat since 2007, for a seventh term. The Fourth Congressional District covers portions of DeKalb, Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale counties.

Congressman Hank Johnson

Rockdale voters approve continuing E-SPLOST


oters overwhelmingly chose to continue the 20-year tradition of collecting pennies for public education in Rockdale County by approving the Education Special Purpose Local Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) ballot initiative on Nov 6, 2018 by a more than 2-to-1 margin. About 69.61 percent of voters approved E-SPLOST V with 30.39 percent against, with a turnout of about 62.62 percent of registered voters in Rockdale County. E-SPLOST is a one penny, five-year sales tax that allows for shared contribution to education, including visitors to the county who spend money on

gas, food, hotels, and retail items. E-SPLOST can be used for capital expenditures or debt retirement; however, Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) is a debt-free school system. “We are grateful to the voters of Rockdale County for their unprecedented level of support for our E-SPLOST ballot initiative,” says RCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Oatts. “We do not take such support for granted. We also thank those district and community stakeholders who organized to support our efforts to inform our public about the benefits of E-SPLOST. As a result of the voters' support, we will be able to enhance safety and security



NOVEMBER 10, 2018 • PAGE 5

Rep. Stephenson to celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day at the Capitol

Photos provided

Hundreds attend DeKalb Entertainment Commission Expo More than 300 people attended the DeKalb Entertainment Commission’s second Entertainment Expo on Nov. 3. The event featured resources and information for residents, companies, and professionals seeking to build their presence in the entertainment industry. The Expo offered panel sessions, hands-on workshops, pitch opportunities, one-on-one meetings with industry professionals, industryrelated vendors and information on the latest industry trends. Industry experts gave guidance on how to get into the entertainment business in Georgia—from seasoned professionals to those just starting out in the industry to Atlantans looking to make a career change. “This year’s Entertainment Expo gave attendees the opportunity connect with industry experts, learn how to build collaborations, and gain the skills they need to create their open content and opportunities,” said Shelbia Jackson, director of the DeKalb

Entertainment Commission. “The DeKalb Entertainment Commission works throughout the year to build economic development opportunities for residents and companies.” Panels included: Conversations with Content Creators (Discussing Real Life Situations and What it Takes to Get Your Film Green-Lit) • Women in Film & TV (How Women Are Changing the Film & Television Climate) • What’s Next in Music Trends and the Future • Post Production (Digital Opportunities, Breaking In & Getting Jobs) • Going from Side Gig to Career in the Digital Space • An Intimate Conversation (Featured three young Atlanta actors) • Securing Funding for Creatives (How to Secure a Business Loan or an Investor to Get Your Project Funded) • Emerging Technology in Film,

ROCKDALE continued from page 4

measures across the district and complete the proposed projects as presented.” Proposed E-SPLOST V expenditures include improvements to school safety and security, continuation of the One-to-One technology initiative and improvements in technology infrastructure, roof and ceiling replacements, HVAC work, backup electrical generators, high school theater upgrades, buses, specialty program upgrades, and more. Presentations on E-SPLOST V were held at the Community Forum at Nancy Guinn Memorial Library, Community Forum at J.P. Carr Community Center, Fall 2018 Parent Academy, Rockdale County Board of Education meeting, Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council, Superintendent’s Advisory Council, Citizens Progressive Club, Rockdale County Board of Commissioners meeting which was streamed on Rockdale Channel 23, Antioch AME Church, Springfield Baptist Church, Conyers Rotary Club, Rockdale Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club of Conyers, and Leadership Rockdale. More information on E-SPLOST is available at www.

Music + Digital Entertainment • Casting (How to Approach Casting as a Novice Actor from a Casting Director’s Point of View) • “Powerful Pitch DeKalb” Finals (Learn What it takes to Pitch Industry Professionals as they Receive Pitches from Pitch Session Finalists and Provide Valuable Feedback) The DeKalb Entertainment Commission (DeKalbEntertainment. com) offers businesses in Georgia’s fast-growing entertainment industry access to a collaborative, supportive infrastructure which accelerates the growth and success of creative ventures in film, television, music and digital entertainment. The Commission is the primary driving force attracting and expanding businesses supporting the film, television, music and digital entertainment industry in DeKalb County. Learn more at, on Twitter and on Facebook.

State Rep. Pam Stephenson (D-Decatur), along with Nicole Garner Scott, founder and president of 100 Female Entrepreneurs, and Tiara L. Johnson, founder and CEO of One Million Dreamers, State Rep. Pam Stephenson will host Women’s Entrepreneurship Day at the Capitol on Friday, Nov. 16, noon – 1:30 p.m., at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. This event, which is one of the largest gatherings of women in business, will join together women from across the state to celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. Rep. Stephenson and female entrepreneurs will deliver remarks during the event, and attendees will learn more about the 100 Female Entrepreneurs Atlanta Chapter, which recently launched in 2018. For more information or to register for the event, visit: https://www.


Letter to the Editor

Rockdale’s Constitutional Corner

Attention: Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way

Rockdale Crimewave


By Amos King

am outraged over the midterm elections that we just finished voting for. As far as I’m concerned, we get what we deserve. There is no way that Brian Kemp should have been allowed to run for governor while he continued to hold his position as Secretary of State. That is a clear conflict of interest. He should have been forced to step down as soon as he threw his name in the hat. There were many organizations that knew about his voter suppression tactics but waited until it was too late to sue him. I’m also outraged because too many of us did not participate in this election, despite President Obama and Oprah Winfrey coming to town to “get out the vote.” And let me just add that I think it’s a shame that they had to come to town push anything. But apparently, even their visit didn’t make a difference to many. Not one local precinct had a 100 percent voter turnout. Embarrassing. We should also be embarrassed that many of those who did exercise their right to vote didn’t even know the issues that were at

stake. I saw for myself that there were people who had stood in line waiting to vote and then had no idea of the questions that were on the ballot. I blame our state legislators for that. They failed to call town hall meetings to go over the amendments. You could be voting your house away and not even know it, thanks to them. Our state lawmakers knew or should have known that the language on those amendments might be confusing . It’s a shame that many of them have held office for years and did not step up to the plate to make sure people were aware of the issues before going to the polls. I’m sounding the alarm because we can no longer continue down this path. Some of our elected “deans” have served long enough. We must elect new leadership. We must get behind more young people and groom them to become the leaders that we need. Young people like Charles Hill, Jr. and Mary Pat Hector need our support and encouragement. We’ve got to stop voting by name recognition and put more focus on track records. We’ve got to send the old leadership a message: We’re tired of barbecues and breakfasts. We want leaders who will take care of the people’s business. And finally, we need our churches to become more involved. We need them to be part of the community’s think tank all of the time, not just when it’s time to vote. They can’t just talk about the business of the Lord and not be about the business of the people. Amos King is host of the radio show, “The Amen Corner,” which airs Fridays, 9 a.m., on WYZE -1480 9 a.m. (



V-18-005 Dekalb Realty Holdings, LLC c/o Battle Law 7218 Covington Hwy M (Light Industrial) District Request to reduce 75’ transitional buffer. V-18-007 Lashley Tractors 6953 Covington Hwy C-1 (Local Commercial) Request to exceed maximum ground sign height and sign development standards.

1870-1872 • March 1871, Frank Lucas was indicted by the Grand Jury with Simple Larceny for intent to steal 600 pounds of cotton. He was ordered confined until his fine of $25 plus court costs were paid.

By Ruth A. Wilson Clerk of Courts


ockdale’s very first Sheriff was I. W. Almand. There is a street in Olde Town Conyers named for him. Under his watch, there was a rampant spate of bad guys doing bad stuff. The first Rockdale Clerk of Superior Court was F. J. Treadwell. Drawn from his records, here are just a few examples of the depravity and debauchery of the time: • May 1870, William Murphy was arrested for Larceny. Court costs were $4.10, Constable fee was $2.33 and the Jailor charged $3.30. He was charged with taking two bushels of wheat ($2.00 worth) which had been entrusted to him. The court ordered that an equivalent amount of his property be seized to cover court costs and his bond.

• December 1871, Jeff Jones was named in a Bench Warrant for Keeping A Gambling House ( …a common ill-gained and disorderly house to the enjoyment of idle gaming, drinking, lewd behavior, disturbing the neighborhood). He paid a $10 fine and spent 30 days in jail. • December 1871, James (Jim) Jones was charged with Bribery and Embracery for jury tampering. The charges were dropped. • 1872 Other citizens of Rockdale were charged with being intoxicated while testifying under oath, stealing train rides and other forms of disorderly behavior. Fast forward to 2018 and we have seen not one case of stealing wheat or cotton. No one has been reported (recently) for keeping a rowdy house or jumping trains. And we don’t tolerate jury tampering around here. Guess crime really is down in Rockdale and we lived to tell the story.


NOVEMBER 10, 2018 • PAGE 7

DeKalb NAACP, Larry Johnson to host annual turkey giveaway

Veterans Resources Expo set in Atlanta

The Women in NAACP, DeKalb County branch and DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson, will host its annual holiday turkey giveaway on Saturday, Nov. 17, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Gallery of South DeKalb Mall parking lot, 2801 Candler Road, Decatur. The free turkeys will be given away on a first-come, first served basis (one per household). Anyone who would like to help those in need can make a donation at

District 1 Atlanta City Council Member Carla Smith will sponsor the 2018 Veterans Resources Expo on Saturday, Nov. 17, in partnership with the City of Atlanta Commission on Veterans Affairs. The free event will take place in the old Council Chamber from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 68 Mitchell St., S.W. (Participants may also enter the building at 55 Trinity Ave., S.W. Commemorating Veterans Day, the expo will provide Carla Smith veterans access to a broad range of services, including housing assistance, education, jobs and job training, health screenings and benefits counseling. “Our veterans have answered the call to defend our freedoms, and it is absolutely appropriate that we answer the call to fulfill their needs once they return home,” said Smith. Chris Balch, chair of the City of Atlanta Commission on Veterans Affairs, agrees. “Veterans are the life-blood of our country,” Balch said. “It is important that we tangibly show them our appreciation not only on Veterans Day, but every day, and we aim to do that with this exposition.” Expo participants include Project Community Connections, Inc.; Veterans Empowerment Organization; Atlanta VA Medical Center; Atlanta Workforce Development Agency; Georgia Department of Veterans Services; Georgia Department of Labor; and the Georgia Department of Human Services, among others. Melodii Peoples, Communications Specialist at the Georgia Department of Veterans Services and a board member on the Atlanta Commission on Veterans Affairs, said this is a topic close to her heart. “Each veteran’s journey is different, but it takes the same grit and bravery to accomplish the mission,” said Peoples. “It is our pleasure to serve those who have served.”

20th Annual Tree of Love event set DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson is preparing for his 20th Annual Tree of Love Event. Over the years, this event has helped impact thousands of children living in foster care, single-parent and lowincome households to have an enjoyable Christmas. Johnson said the holiday event is one that he looks forward to every year. “I want to be able to ensure that children can wake Larry Johnson up surrounded with family, love and gifts. This is my way of helping contribute to that moment,” said Johnson. “The community and various organizations have always poured out their hearts to help make this a memorable occasion each year.” This year, Johnson has set an even higher goal to help provide for at least 1,000 children as he celebrates his 20th year of the event. The community is invited to come out and adopt a child’s name from the Tree of Love. People can begin participating by calling the office of Commissioner Larry Johnson at 404-371-2425. The Tree of Love Kickoff will be held Nov. 17, noon to 2 p.m. at The Gallery at South DeKalb Mall, 2801 Candler Road, Decatur. The Tree of Love: Share the Love Day will be held Dec. 1, noon to 2 p.m. at the Wal-Mart Super Center, 3580 Memorial Dr., Decatur. The 20th Annual Tree of Love Closing Ceremony will be held Dec. 15, noon to 3 p.m., at The Gallery at South DeKalb Mall, 2801 Candler Road, Decatur.

Public invited to attend Rockdale BOC Holiday Drop-In The Rockdale County Board of Commissioners invites citizens to its Holiday Drop-In on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m., at the J.P. Carr Community Center, 981 Taylor St., Conyers. The informal drop-in event is planned to bring in holiday cheer to wrap up 2018 and provide the public with an opportunity to meet elected officials, county leaders and staff. During the free drop-in, the public can enjoy an evening of fellowship, refreshments and beverages and holiday music. The public is also strongly encouraged to bring their cell phones so they can take selfies with Chairman Oz Nesbitt, Sr.

DeKalb seeks public input on regional workforce plan update As required by the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Local Workforce Development Board in DeKalb County (Workforce Region 5) has prepared updates to the regional workforce plan. The document is available for review and comment on the WorkSource DeKalb (WSD) website at localregional-plan. A hardcopy of the local workforce plan is available for review at the WorkSource DeKalb office located at 774 Jordan Lane, Building #4, Decatur, GA 30033. Contact the WSD at 404-687-3400 if you are interested in reviewing the document at WSD. Comments will be accepted during a 30-day period of Nov. 6 – Dec. 6. Email comments to dekalbworks@

Applications now being accepted for President’s Environmental Youth Awards 
 Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA).The PEYA program recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship projects by K-12 youth, promoting awareness of our nation's natural resources and encouraging positive community involvement. The PEYA program celebrates student leadership in service projects to protect the environment and keep our global community healthy. Winners of this year’s awards will be invited to a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in mid-2019, and have their project mentioned on EPA’s website. EPA will select up to two winners in each of EPA’s 10 Regions – one regional winner for Grades K-5 and one regional winner for Grades 6-12. All student projects must be sponsored by at least one adult over the age of 21. The application and eligibility information are available at: https:// Applications are due February 1, 2019. PEYA is an annual award administered by the Office of Environmental Education at EPA. Since 1971, EPA has recognized young people for protecting our nation's air, water, land, and ecology. Each year the PEYA program honors a wide variety of projects developed by young individuals, school classes (kindergarten through high school), summer camps, public interest groups, and youth organizations to promote environmental awareness. Through environmental education and stewardship activities, students develop the critical thinking skills experience to make informed decisions and take responsible actions to address difficult environmental issues. For more information, please contact For information on recent winners, visit: newsreleases/epa-honors-award-winning-environmental-educationteachers-and-students

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