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Stan Watson’s Egg Hunt and others, page 10

Serving DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale Counties Volume 18 Number 24 March 15, 2013 FREE

First Impressions

Teen forum set

Lessons from Trayvon Martin and more

DeKalb’s new school board members receive mixed reactions By Valerie J. Morgan

As DeKalb County’s new school board members roll up their sleeves to tackle getting the district off of accreditation probation, they are getting mixed reactions from the community, in terms of first impressions. Gov. Nathan Deal appointed John Coleman, Michael Erwin, David Campbell, Joyce Morley, Karen Carter and Thaddeus Mayfield to replace the six board members he removed as the school district seeks to correct problems cited by its accrediting agency. By Valerie J. Morgan

As attorneys in Sanford, Florida prepare for the Trayvon Martin trial this June, a group of DeKalb County attorneys plans to host a forum that examines lessons that can be learned from the teen’s death and other tragedies. Attorneys are hosting a half-day forum on March 30 in South DeKalb to open dialogue with high school students about race, law enforcement, the Hip Hop culture and other key issues facing teens. “We’re trying to reach high school students so we can have a conversation about critical issues that concern them, especially the criminal justice process and how they can avoid getting caught up,” said Attorney Dionne McGee, president of the DeKalb Lawyers Association, which is sponsoring the “Teens Talk Back” event in partnership with DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson and the Preparing Innovative Leaders of Tomorrow (PILOT) program, a DeKalb mentoring project for youths. McGee said that one of the forum’s breakout sessions is entitled “Could You Be Trayvon Martin?” The other session is entitled “Don’t Get Caught Up,” and will focus on the legal ramifications of statutory rape. McGee said the Atlanta case involving Genarlow Wilson, a 17-year-old who served two years of a 10-year sentence after having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old, will be part of the discussion. “We have young people who are sexually active. That is the reality,” McGee said. “We have to make sure, however, that they understand the consequences of their actions because some 18 and 19 year olds will date 14-year-olds and can end up in trouble.” McGee said parents are encouraged to attend the forum. A workshop tract specifically for them is being offered at the forum. “We want parents to bring their kids. It’s an opportunity for them to dialogue with attorneys and others in the criminal justice process as well,” said McGee. “A lot of people are wondering, as an example, why hasn’t the man who killed Trayvon Martin been brought to justice. We’ll address those kinds of questions and others.”

See Teens, page 6 INSIDE:

p Community

Photos by Joshua Smith/OCG News

See School Board, page 6

Dionne McGee

L-R: New board members Thaddeus Mayfield, Michael Erwin, David Campbell, Karen Carter and John Coleman.

Kickball league grows as local women show off fancy footwork By Joshua Smith


rom school bus drivers, teachers and entertainers to daycare workers, truck drivers and government workers, members of the Sweet Lady Kickers League spend Sunday afternoons playing kickball, a sport many enjoyed on schoolyards and neighborhoods as kids. The sport is growing among women from DeKalb and other surrounding counties as more and more women head to ball fields in uniforms, gloves and cleats. “This league means a lot to us. It’s more than just kicking a ball. As women, we always put everybody else before ourselves. Now, we have something for us to do and our families to enjoy while they cheer us on,” said Kassandra Parker-Domineck, who started the league and is a DeKalb County Schools bus driver. Since 2011, the numbers of women in the Sweet Lady Kickers have tripled. The league started with 80 people on four teams. Now, it includes 240 women who participate on 12 teams. The youngest woman in the league is 23, while the oldest women are in their 60’s. Domineck said some of the players were athletes in high school or college. Others like Attorney Dionne McGee were cheerleaders who rallied around their teams. McGee, a former Redan High School cheerleader and mother of two, says she’s fired up for her team, Da Bomb Babes, who will play its first game of the season on April 7, 4 p.m., at Gresham Park, 2480 Bouldercrest Road S.E., Atlanta. She said her two girls, Amaya, 6, and Kayla, 10, have their pom-poms ready to cheer the team on. “My daughters think it’s just the funniest thing to see mommy strapping up her cleats. This isn’t the same game you played in third grade,” McGee said. “We were doing drills and scrimmages in 40-degree weather. We were freezing, but we’re dedicated.” McGee said she fell in love with the league after seeing the women in action

Photos by Joshua Smith/OCG News

Members of the newly-formed “Honey Catz” kickball team go over some drills before the season opener.

last season. “I get to network for my firm with the league, but it’s more than that. To me, the league is about having a good time, getting serious about health, being social and outreach to other women,” McGee said. So what’s the kickball scene like on Sunday afternoons: families watching, live DJ’s, local comedians acting as commentators for the game, people in pop-up tents and concession stands. “The games are like a family reunion. The kids are always super excited to watch their moms play. Then the look on their faces, you can tell all the boyfriends and husbands are proud of their wives/girlfriends,” said Domineck. Domineck said she got the idea to start a league after watching some women play kickball at Piedmont Park in Atlanta. For her family, the kickball league is a family affair. “My son, 22-year-old Nigel, wants to coach one of the teams when he graduates from Fort Valley State

See Kickball, page 5

Sweet Lady Kickers founder Kassandra ParkerDomineck catches the ball from a teammate on her “Stone Cold Kickers” squad.

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Community News

MARCH 15, 2013 Volume 18, NO. 24

Preemie diapers mark 75th anniversary for March of Dimes

EDITOR/Publisher Valerie J. Morgan GENERAL MANAGER Glenn L. Morgan Staff Writer Joshua Smith Advertising Manager Richard S. Hill About Us

On Common Ground News is published twice a month on the 1st and 15th 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.

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ATLANTA— There were plenty of tiny diapers at the state Capitol on March 13. Each of the 180 state representatives received one as the March of Dimes marked its 75th anniversary under the Gold Dome. The state lawmakers each received a diaper specially made for babies born prematurely so they could better understand the size and special needs of preemies. The representatives agreed to donate the diapers to Grady Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). “As the grandmother of three children who were born prematurely, this issue is very near and dear to my heart,” said State Rep. Donna Sheldon (R-Dacula), who sponsored the March of Dimes Day at the Capitol. “Babies born prematurely need so much special attention, and March of Dimes works so hard to ensure they get the care they need.” Sheldon and other lawmakers received a threeinch diaper to demonstrate the average size of premature babies. The diapers are about half the size of those used for full-term newborns. “As the mother of a preemie baby born at 1 pound, 3 ounces, I understand the importance of the March of Dimes and the support of community stakeholders,” said Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler (D-Lithonia).

Photo provided

State Reps. Sandra Scott, Donna Sheldon, Sharon Cooper, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, “Able” Mable Thomas, Pam Stephenson, and Michele Henson present the March of Dimes diapers to Jacqueline Jackson, Grady Hospital’s NICU director, and Francine Baker, Grady’s executive director of Women and Infant’s Services.

“Finding diapers for my preemie was often a difficult task as Hannah was born almost 14 years ago.” In Georgia, one in every eight babies is born premature. In an average week, 375 babies are born premature in Georgia, adding up to nearly 20,000 babies born early every year. Georgia’s preterm birth rate is currently 13.2 percent. March of Dimes Georgia is working to reduce that number to 9.6 percent by 2020. “For 75 years, the March of Dimes has dedicated itself to giving all children a healthy start in life,” said Sheila Ryan, state director of the Georgia Chapter of the March of Dimes.

“Here in Georgia, our goal is to continue to fight towards a reduction in preterm birth by funding cutting edge research, supporting local prenatal care programs and providing educational materials to expectants moms so that one day, all babies in our state are born healthy.” Medical care for premature births costs more than 10 times that of full-term babies. On average, the medical care for premature babies is nearly $50,000 in the first year of life, as compared to just over $4,000 for medical care for full term babies. The cost of premature births in the United States amounts to more than $26

trillion annually. “We chose to donate the diapers to Grady Hospital because it has one of the best neonatal intensive care units in the region,” said Rep. Michele Henson (D-Stone Mountain). “The NICU at Grady Hospital has held a special place in my heart ever since I toured the unit and saw firsthand the amazing work they do every day to save babies that are no bigger that your hand.” Grady Hospital has the largest Regional Perinatal Center in Georgia and is nationally known for its neonatal intensive care unit. Grady’s Perinatal Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit serves more than 40 counties in the north Georgia region, and there are approximately 550 admissions to the Grady Special Care Nurseries each year. “We’re grateful that the March of Dimes has brought attention to the critical health needs of premature babies and their mothers,” said Lindsay Caulfield, senior vice president of Public Affairs at Grady. “We’re proud of our long partnership with March of Dimes to help prevent pre-term births.” Since its founding in 1938 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the March of Dimes has been the leading non-profit organization for infant health in the country. 

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Deltas to host talk on child exploitation

Library celebrates Women’s History Month

The Decatur Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will host “Protecting Our Daughters: A Community Discussion about Child Sexual Exploitation,” on March 26, 7 p.m. Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) constitutes a form of coercion and violence against children and amounts to forced labor and a contemporary form of slavery. CSEC includes the prostitution of children, child pornography, child sex tourism and other forms of transactional sex where a child engages in sexual activities to have key needs fulfilled such as food, shelter or access to education. It includes forms of transactional sex where the sexual abuse of children is not stopped or reported by household members, due to benefits derived by the household from the perpetrator. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. The forum is free and open to the public. socialaction@

Stonecrest Library presents Native American dance troupe The Stonecrest Branch of the DeKalb County Public Library System will host the Native American Dance Troupe of Acworth as part of its “Diversity in DeKalb” series Saturday, March 30, 1 – 2 p.m., 3123 Klondike Road, Lithonia. Attendees will learn how rhythmic dance plays a part in the heritage of Native-American culture and its traditional uses for religious rituals, hunting, harvests and many other celebrations. Appropriate for all ages, open to the public. Visit or call 770-482-3828 for more information.

The Atlanta Public Library’s Auburn Avenue Research Library, 101 Auburn Ave., N.E., Atlanta, will host “Let’s Talk About It: The ‘Angry’ Black Woman and Other Stereotypes,” on March 21, 7 p.m. In celebrating Women’s History, the library will host this community discussion focusing on dissecting the ‘angry’ black woman and other stereotypes that have been assigned to black women. 404-730-4001, ext. 100.


Piedmont Park to host seasonal eating workshop The Piedmont Park Community Center, 1071 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, will host a free wellness workshop, “Seasonal Eating,” on March 23, 12 p.m. The class will cover seasonal eating, how to eat in season and why it is important. The public is invited to “create a healthier you” with the wellness workshop. Participants meet in the Piedmont Park Conservancy. Parking is available in rear of building.

Fulton health officials to hold community town hall Fulton County Health Services will continue its “Community Listening Sessions” series to provide information about services available at the county’s health centers and to learn from the community about its needs. The two upcoming sessions will begin at 6 p.m. and take place: Thursday, March 21 Adamsville Regional Health Center Community Room 3700 M.L. King Jr. Drive, SW Atlanta, GA

Thursday, March 28 North Fulton Service Center Community Room #232 7741 Roswell Road Sandy Springs, GA All citizens, including youths, are urged to participate in the sessions.  The new Health Care Law and Health Care Exchanges will also be discussed. Staff from Fulton County Health and Human Service agencies will be on hand to answer questions and follow up on inquiries.  For more information, call 404-612-9309.


32nd Cherry Blossom Festival The City of Conyers presents the 32nd annual Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival on March 23-24, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy, Conyers. The festival will have international music, dance, games, food, crafts and more than 300 booths. One-day parking is $5 or $8 for both days. There is no admission fee. Guests may not bring pets. For more information, visit or call 770-602-2606.

MArch 15, 2013


Family, friends rally for NFL prospect, Lithonia’s A.J. Hawkins

Kickball continued from page 1

By Joshua Smith

Photo by Joshua Smith/OCG News

University. My sister is the league secretary. My brother is the equipment manager and I have two cousins who are coaches,” Domineck said. “My mom is 74. She’s the first fan there every season.” Of course, they want to go home with a win, but members of the league and their trainers say the overall importance of play is getting more active and getting in shape—both, body and mind. “At the end of the day, when the clock strikes 0:00, we just want all the women to have fun, fellowship and be healthy,” said League Head Trainer Jamie Hayes, who had the women doing stretches, body lunges, squats, suicides and other agility drills at Hidden Valley Park in Henry County where they practice. Two-time coaching champion Rico Oglesby agrees. “You never know what somebody else is going through. You may be that woman who can lift another woman up,” said Oglesby, who coaches the Queen Ballers. “We want the women to be both physically and emotionally healthy.” Women in the league don’t just play kickball. Domineck says the women hang out on a regular basis, doing things like tailgating at Atlanta Falcons games, eating together at Dugans Bar and Grill and thinking of ways to raise awareness about breast cancer, domestic violence and other issues. “My whole purpose of starting this league was to create a sisterhood, and we’ve done that,” said Domineck.

After years of lunges, pancaking and protecting the most important player on the football field—the quarterback—A. J. Hawkins is waiting to learn if he will go pro. “Now I play the waiting game,” said the 22-year-old Hawkins, who successfully completed a round of agility drills during the March 7 Photos by Joshua Smith/OCG News Pro Day at the University of A.J. Hawkins helps out a fellow church member at his uncle’s Stone Mountain Voices of Faith Mississippi. “I met with three Ministries location. Hawkins, who earned a bachelor’s degree in of the 14 NFL teams that were there at Pro Day. I’m just broadcast journalism from Ole Miss, comes from a waiting on a call back from one of the teams, hoping lineage of athletes. His father, Aaron, played both, that they will be the first step in fulfilling a dream I’ve football and basketball, starting as a defensive lineman had since I was 3—playing in the NFL.” during his college days at Grambling State University Hawkins, who is from Lithonia, is a graduate of in Louisiana. A.J.’s uncle, Bishop Gary Hawkins, Sr., Martin Luther King High School and the University of played basketball as well, earning him recognition as Mississippi known as “Ole Miss.” The 6’3, 311-pound a McDonald’s All-American. A.J. has another uncle, lineman participated in a number of agility drills Warren Hawkins, who played football as well and was including the bench press, vertical jump, shuttle drills “a beast in his own right,” A.J. said. and the 40-yard dash during Pro Day. A.J. said he has received phone calls and text “We were all pretty nervous before we started, but messages of support from Ole Miss alumni who are once we started, everybody was set and ready to show now in the NFL such as Darryl Harris, who plays the NFL teams what he had to offer,” said Hawkins, for the Kansas City Chiefs and fellow Chief Dexter who started every game at right guard for the Rebels McCluster. during the 2012 season. “I did pretty well. Before “Darryl told me to keep up the hard work and keep Pro Day started, Coach Freeze told us simply to stay grinding. Dexter texted me right before Pro Day to tell focused and give it your all. That’s what I did.” me to show out and put it all on the line,” said Hawkins. Mia and Aaron Hawkins say they are praying for Hawkins was part of an offensive line that helped their son. So are relatives and friends from near and Ole’ Miss score the third-most points in school history afar, the Hawkins said. (409) and average the second-most yards per game “We’re all so proud of him. We went to all his in school history (423.8) during this past season. Ole college games, no matter where they were in the Miss won the 2013 BBVA Compass Bowl on Jan. 5 in country. I haven’t missed a game, home or away, Birmingham, AL. since A.J. started playing at the age of 3,” said Aaron “I should be getting that call around late March or Hawkins. Early April. That’s when all the Pro Days across the Said Mia Hawkins: “We thank everyone for their country will be officially over,” said Hawkins. support. Please keep A.J. in your prayers.”

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School Board continued from page 1

Dave Schutten, president of the Organization of DeKalb Educators, said the community at large may not be familiar with the new board members, but he said that could be a good thing. “They look like qualified people, based on their resumes, and I believe that’s what counts,” Schutten said. “I know two of them (Thad Mayfield and David Campbell). It doesn’t look like any of them are part of the school system or old regime, which really concerned people. Hopefully, we can put aside the infighting and move forward now.” Julie McKenna, a concerned parent who attended the swearing-in ceremony for the new board members, said she welcomes the new leadership, even though she doesn’t know any of the appointees. “I’ve watched this school system and this board eroding for years. I am absolutely ready to work with these new board members,” said McKenna, who has two children in the DeKalb School System. “I know these new board members were vetted by a group of people I respect very much.” DeKalb NAACP President John Evans remained skeptical. He said he knew only one of the new appointees: Thad Mayfield.   “I’ve seen Mr. Mayfield active in the community. I don’t know about the rest of them. They sound very educated. We may have a group of people who may say yes to everything that comes down the pipe,” Evans said. Evans said the state NAACP plans to continue challenging the governor’s appointments as unconstitutional. Voters, he said, should have the right to recall those who are elected—not have them replaced by the governor. Deal made his appointments to the DeKalb board using a 2011 law that permits him to remove school board members when a district is placed on accreditation probation. DeKalb was placed on probation in December 2012 after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) cited the district for financial mismanagement and governance issues. Deal appointed five blacks and one white, the same racial makeup the board had before he removed the six members. Now there are only two women serving: Karen Carter and Joyce Morley. Previously, the board had four women: Nancy Jester, Pam Speaks, Sarah Copelin-Wood and Donna Edler, who were all replaced, along with two men—Eugene Walker and Jay Cunningham. The governor said he believes the new members are highly qualified and will do a good job.

Newly appointed school board members were sworn in on March 13 at the district’s headquarters.

Photos by Joshua Smith/OCG News

Governor Nathan Deal and his nominating panel address the media.

“Several of them have very detailed experience in mediation and efforts to reach reconciliation in very difficult circumstances, which I think is a qualification that might be a very good one,” Deal said. “They are fresh faces.” Since the announcements, Atlanta talk radio shows have lit up with people expressing their thoughts about the new leadership. Several said they had never heard of many of the appointees, but were glad the district is moving in a new direction. Others questioned why the appointees had never run for a school board seat in the past. The newly-appointed Carter, a lawyer, provided an answer on the Mo Ivory Show, saying she had never run for a seat because it wasn’t the right time for her.

“Up until five years ago, I had a critically ill husband and that was not something that I could do,” said Carter, who said she is looking forward to serving and helping to get the district on track. Thaddeus Mayfield, who also spoke during the March 14 Mo Ivory Show, said he, too, is looking forward to getting to work. The new members, along with the three elected members—Dr. Melvin Johnson, Marshall Orson and James McMahan will conduct their first business meeting on March 20 at the district’s headquarters, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain. Officials said the meeting agenda would be posted on the district’s web site no later than March 18, 6 p.m.

The new members on the nine-member board are: District 1 District 7 John Coleman Joyce Morley Coleman is a strategic planning manager at Morley is the chief executive officer of Morley Invesco. Previously, he held a variety of leadership and Associates and is a nationally-known public roles at McKinsey & Company. He also serves on speaker and trainer. She is a certified counselor, a various nonprofit boards. Coleman has a master’s trained mediator and serves on several local and degree in business administration from Harvard and national governance boards. Morley has a doctorate in a master’s degree in public administration from the counseling, family and worklife from the University Harvard Kennedy School. He lives in Atlanta. of Rochester. She received her specialist’s and master’s degrees in counseling education from the District 3 State University New York College at Brockport, and Michael Erwin a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Erwin is a U.S. Navy veteran and has been the SUNY College at Genesco. A Stone Mountain a research assistant at Duke University Medical resident, Morley has lived in DeKalb County for more Center and the University of South Carolina. He has than 22 years. worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric   Administration Fisheries Services and is past chair District 8 of the NOAA fisheries committees on fish species Karen Carter        and fish diseases in Maine and South Carolina. In Carter serves on the faculty of Georgia Perimeter 2008, he earned a Ph.D. in biological science from the College where she is chair of the Business and Social University of South Carolina. He has been a member Science department. She received a bachelor’s degree of the faculty at Georgia Gwinnett College since 2009 in Speech Communications from Denison University and teaches undergraduate students in biological and a law degree from Ohio State University. Carter science. He graduated from North Carolina Central has served as a classroom teacher and has held several University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a senior administrative roles in the field of education. master’s degree in biological science. Erwin lives in She is a graduate of Leadership DeKalb and is a Decatur. community volunteer and PTSA member. Carter lives   in the Lakeside community. District 5   David Campbell     District 9 Campbell is a senior manager with Georgia Power, Thaddeus Mayfield where he supports the company’s energy conservation Mayfield is a senior partner with FOCOM, Inc., a efforts. He is a certified public accountant with Georgia-based business development firm. He holds managerial experience. Campbell received a degree in a master’s degree in business administration from business administration from Albany State University. Mercer University and received a bachelor’s degree He is a former chair of Leadership DeKalb, a member in Political Science from Tougaloo College. He coof the DeKalb 100 Black Men and a member of St. chaired the successful Friends of DeKalb Education Phillips AME Church. He formerly served on the SPLOST IV Campaign and is an active member Stephenson High School Council and lives in Lithonia. of several business and civic organizations in the   metropolitan area. Mayfield is a Lithonia resident. Staff writer Joshua Smith contributed to this report.

Teens continued from page 1

February marked the one-year anniversary of Martin’s death, which touched off a national debate on racism, stereotypes and the Stand Your Ground Law. The unarmed black teen was shot to death by George Zimmerman, a white Hispanic Neighborhood Watch volunteer, who told police Martin looked suspicious. Martin was wearing a hoodie as he walked home in the rain. He was carrying a pack of Skittles and an ice tea that he had bought from a 7-11 convenience store when Zimmerman pursued him and fatally shot him. Martin had just turned 17 three weeks before he was killed. McGee said the “Teens Talk Back” event is free, but attendees must RSVP because space is limited. The forum will be held Saturday, March 30, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Exchange Park Intergenerational Center, 2771 Columbia Drive, Decatur. To RSVP, call 404-5494701 or e-mail

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DeKalb announces regional ‘Principals of the Year’ With more than 100 years of experience among them, five principals were named DeKalb County School District (DCSD) Regional Principals of the Year. The winners are: u Terry Segovis, DeKalb International Student Center and DeKalb Online Academy uJames Jackson, Tucker High uGreg Goodwin, Redan High uStephanie Amey, Columbia High uDr. Yolanda Turner, Murphey Candler Elementary Terry Segovis began his educational career 27 years ago, and in that time, has worn all hats. He has worked as a janitor, bus driver, paraprofessional, teacher, assistant principal and area assistant superintendent prior to serving as principal for two schools. James Jackson has spent 17 of his 19 years of experience with DCSD. He started teaching at Jones County High prior to joining Tucker High. During his tenure, the Tucker High football team won the first state championship in school history. In addition, the school underwent a complete two and a half year rebuild on the same site. Greg Goodwin began his career as a teacher at Miller Grove Middle 27 years ago. In addition to his experiences as a teacher and assistant principal, Goodwin also served as Redan’s head baseball coach and in 2000, was the first African American and youngest coach to be inducted into the Georgia Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2012, he received the “Horace Tate Leadership Award” by the Emory University Educational Studies Department. Under Goodwin’s leadership, Redan High has been recognized three times out of the last six years by the “U.S. News and World Report” as one of the top public high schools in the nation. Like Goodwin, Stephanie Amey also brings athletics into her leadership approach at Columbia High. Amey was inducted into the Hall of Fame for her outstanding contributions on the court as an All-American basketball player at Chamblee High. For 31 years, she’s served as a teacher and administrator in DCSD. Dr. Yolanda Turner uses an abundance of enthusiasm to lead her team at Murphey Candler Elementary. Under her direction, student performance on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests has grown each year, and the Mustangs have placed in the Academic Bowl, Science Olympiad, Social Studies Fair, Black History Bowl and Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl. The DCSD Regional Principals of the Year will be recognized at an employee appreciation event on May 17 at Lakeside High. In addition to naming the DCSD Principal of the Year, the DCSD Teacher of the Year also will be named.


NFL referee urges Rockdale youths to consider officiating career By Joshua Smith

CONYERS—National Football League referee Jerome Boger is used to giving directions to 6-foot-tall, 300-pound football players in front of millions of football fans. Boger recently visited Rockdale County High School for a mentoring session, “Making the Right Call,” to share with students how they, too, can get in the game. “I’m here today to offer the kids something different and inspire them to consider a career in officiating,” Photo by Joshua Smith/OCG News said Boger, a 34-year NFL referee Super Bowl head referee Jerome Boger gives youth advice on a veteran. “This may be a job they have 2013 career in the NFL and making the right choices in life. never even considered before.” departments and schools either as a statistician The Rockdale NAACP, which or trainer to learn more about the game. organized the mentoring session, invited Boger Boger shared stories of traveling across the to be the guest speaker. Boger, who moved to Conyers in 2003 from Atlanta, is only the second country, attending pre-season team camps, and interaction he has with players. African American to serve as the head referee of “The players are just like kids in the sense the Super Bowl in the game’s 46-year history. that they love when you recognize something Boger told students that NFL refs average good they’ve done,” said Boger, who wears No. about $149,000 per season. He said he earns 23 on game day Sundays. “I remember in the about $45 per hour, not including $300 per Super Bowl, Ray Lewis’ eyes lit up when I told diem each game, first class flights to games him: ‘Hey, nice hit, Ray.” and free hotel stays. Boger went beyond Heritage High School Senior James football’s X’s and O’s, setting the students up Dipzinski, 17, said Boger’s talk motivated him with a game plan to succeed. to keep pursuing his desired career. “It all starts with education. If you “I want to be a head football coach think the reading and tests end after school, someday. Mr. Boger encouraged me to pursue you’re wrong. Referees study three manuals that goal,” said Dipzinski, who is No. 71 on constantly,” Boger said of his profession. “I’ve Heritage’s football team. seen a lot of players come and go who had Rockdale County CEO Richard Oden, who great athletic ability but didn’t last because attended the talk, said Boger is one of Conyers’ they couldn’t study plays and learn routes. You have to be a student of the game and commit to hidden jewels as a resident in Rockdale. “Mr. Boger is truly successful and spend time in preparation.” I’m proud to have him here as a resident Boger, a Morehouse College graduate, said in Conyers,” said CEO Oden, who played all 121 NFL officials are college graduates. quarterback, tailback and fullback in college He recommended that students interested in and was an NFL prospect until an unfortunate pursing a sports career not only go to college, knee injury. “Our students got the chance to see but consider volunteering with local recreation and touch a real living legend.”


MarCH 15, 2013

Be Someone offers Spring Break chess camp By Mackenzie N. Morgan

Photo courtesy of

Miller Grove head basketball coach Sharman White (center) celebrates with his team after winning a record five consecutive state championships.

DeKalb wins big at state basketball championship


By Joshua Smith

ed by Miller Grove High School’s boys five-time champion basketball squad, DeKalb County was in the spotlight on March 7-9 in Macon. Four other teams from DeKalb made it to the top, claiming state championships for their schools and athletic programs. The winning squads were: The Columbia girls, Greenforest boys, Miller Grove boys, Southwest DeKalb girls and St. Pius X girls, winning state titles in their perspective classes. The Columbia Lady Eagles started off the winning after beating Sandy Creek’s girls 38-37 in the Class AAAA state title game. The Eagles screeched away with a win for its second consecutive state title and third in four seasons. They won the Class AAA title in 2010 and 2012. The Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers won its fourth state title in school history on March 8 after beating the Miller Grove Lady Wolverines 56-52

in the Class AAAAA girls’ high school basketball state championship. The Miller Grove Wolverines made history when the team became the first in state history to win five consecutive basketball state titles. Miller Grove defeated Gainesville 61-57 in the Class AAAAA state championship game. Now with a state ring for each finger on one hand, Miller Grove’s Coach Sharman White said this year winning the state championship was a special task. “This championship defines the true definition of teamwork: It took all of our guys buying in to take home the win,” said Coach White. “These guys wear that purple with so much pride. This fifth title is a testament of hard work and dedication paying off. I’m honored to coach them.” Other winning DeKalb teams included the boys Eagles squad of Greenforest Christian Academy, who defeated St. Francis Schools 55-41 and the St. Pius X Lady Golden Lions, who defeated Dawson County 77-55. Both winning teams played on March 9.

Orrin “Checkmate” Hudson is offering something constructive for children to do this Spring Break: He is hosting a weeklong chess camp at the Be Someone Training Center, 949 Stephenson Road, Stone Mountain. The five-day leadership chess camp will be held April 8-12, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., for ages 9 and up. The camp’s curriculum is based on the mantra: “Brains Before Bullets! Think It Out, Don’t Shoot It Out! Heads Up, Pants Up, Grades Up!” “Our main goal is to teach kids how to be problem solvers. We want them to understand that the bigger the problems they can solve, the more they can earn in the workforce,” Hudson said. “We want them to know that the new currency is K.A.S.H. – knowledge, attitude, skills and habits.” Through Hudson’s innovative approach to the game of chess, children enrolled in the camp will play the roles of Bishops, Kings and Queens on a giant chess board. The chess camp will feature mascots Magic and Little Jimmy, who will make an appearance to perform a rap song. In between chess instruction, campers will compete with each other for prizes. Kids also will have opportunities to learn about leadership and effective communication skills as well as the art of self-presentation. Hudson believes that these skills must be taught to younger generations to prepare them for leadership roles in the future. For parents wondering about the benefits of playing chess, Hudson says the game of chess instills discipline and patience necessary for nurturing a new generation of leaders. “My main goal is to teach kids

Photo provided

Reach Be Someone on Social Media Website: Twitter: @besomeone Facbook: YouTube Channel: BeSomeoneorg LinkedIn: Orrin Hudson

how they can be a part of changing the world, one move at a time,” said Hudson. “We’re going to teach children how to dress, speak and how to create income.” The camp costs $147 per child. Kids will receive breakfast and lunch. In addition, families are invited to attend an awards ceremony at the conclusion of the camp. Every child will receive a trophy, chess set, T-shirt, wrist band, and a copy of Hudson’s book, One Move at a Time: How to Play and Win at Chess…and Life! For more information, call 770-4656445. You can reach Orrin Hudson at

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Holy Week at Saint Philip A.M.E. Church Maundy Thursday Service on March 28, at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

Bringing the message will be Dr. Carolyn Knight, Can Do Ministries, Inc., Smyrna, GA

Seven Last Words on Good Friday, March 29. Service starts at 12 noon in the Sanctuary. Fish dinner served immediately following the service

Bringing those Seven Last Words will be:

Bishop Eric Lee, Springfield Baptist Church, Conyers, GA Reverend Charles Maxell, Breakthrough Fellowship, Smyrna, GA Dr. Kenneth Marcus, Turner Chapel AME Church, Marietta, GA Dr. William Watley, Saint Philip AME Church, Atlanta, GA Dr. Cynthia Hale, Ray of Hope, Decatur, GA Bishop Dale Bonner, Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral, Austell, GA Dr. Patrick Clayborn, St.John AME Church, Huntsville, AL

We will have 3 services on Easter Sunday this year: Bringing the message at all 3 services will be Dr. William D. Watley, Senior Pastor, Saint Philip A.M.E. Church 6:00 a.m. • 7:30 a.m. • 11:00 a.m.

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MArch 15, 2013


We Worship Exousia Lighthouse’s ‘Mother Dollie’ honored as Obama beacon To Contact Us

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Faith-Based News & Inspiration

By Joshua Smith

LITHONIA—Every Tuesday morning, around 8 a.m., you can find “Mother” Dollie Smarr praying for the less fortunate, opening up not only her heart but a clothes and food bank as well. “I just love giving to people. My favorite hobby is cooking for people, especially my dressing and casseroles,” said the 66-year-old Smarr, who heads food pantry and clothes closet at Exousia Lighthouse International Christian Ministries. “Some people are waiting in line when I get here and I understand their need. My parents never let us realize it, but I grew up poor. I know what it’s like to wait in line for government cheese or SPAM and wonder where your next meal is coming from.” Smarr was unexpectedly thanked in a big way for her community work. Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson presented her with President Obama’s “Call To Service Award” during a recent worship service at Exousia Lighthouse. “I was so grateful and honored. I definitely feel blessed that the President would take out time to recognize me,” said Smarr, a retired Bellsouth operator and breast cancer survivor. “I must say that I couldn’t do any of this without my volunteers. We don’t meet every week for fame, no big hoopla. This is what we do. We are a giving, loving church.” Smarr received an official letter from the White House that was signed

Photo by Joshua Smith/OCG News

by President Barack Obama, a Call to Service lapel pen and a letter of congratulations from the City of Lithonia. “Thank you for helping to address the most pressing needs in your community and our country. Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step

closer to its great promise,” President Obama wrote. “Thank you for your devotion to service and for doing all you can to shape a better tomorrow for our great Nation.” Through the food and clothing pantry ministry, the church serves at least 500 people a week. Over the last three years, the ministry has provided 80,000 pounds of food

to the community through food donations from local grocery stores and financial contributions from church members and people in the community. Bishop Carl McRae, who founded Exousia Lighthouse 10 years ago in Lithonia, says he considers “Mother Dollie” one of the ministry’s lights. “She’s the type of member every pastor wants. She is truly a phenomenal woman. Mother is a founding member of this ministry,” said Bishop McRae, who founded the church in the basement of his Conyers home. “People might not even be able to pronounce the name of our church, but they know Mother Dollie will be there every week to pray for them and provide what we can. Many of the less fortunate have given their life to Christ through this ministry. We are feeding the mind, body and soul with Mother Dollie leading the way.” Church member Chris Wilson says “Mother” Dollie is a vital part of the community, especially East DeKalb. “The City of Lithonia joined us in nominating Mother for the President’s volunteer service award. She was chosen out of thousand recipients,” said Wilson. “Mother is a dedicated, lovely person. She makes it her duty to feed and provide service for the homeless and needy families in the East Dekalb area.” Exousia Lighthouse Christian Ministries is located at 2562 Bond Street in Lithonia.


MarCH 15, 2013

The hunt for Easter eggs is over. It’s time to get hopping! DEKALB


Super District 7 set for super Egg-stravaganza DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson and State Rep. Billy Mitchell will host an Easter Eggstravaganza on March 31, 2 – 5 p.m., at Wade Walker Park, 5584 Rockbridge Road, Stone Mountain. Children are invited to hunt for eggs and enjoy a day of music and fun. Children ages 3 – 4 will hunt at 2:30; 5 – 7-year-olds will hunt at 3:15 p.m.; and 8 – 10-year-olds, 4 p.m. The event is free.

Avondale hosts annual hunt, dog parade The City of Avondale will host its annual Easter egg hunt on March 30, 10 a.m., at Lake Avondale, 21 North Avondale Plaza, Avondale Estates. Children up to age 10 are welcome to participate. Several prizes and, of course, candy will be given to the children. The hunt is part of the city’s Spring Extravaganza and will be followed by a parade featuring dogs that will compete for awards such best costume and best dog duo with their owners. There also will be music, face painting, a bake sale and a BBQ fundraiser. For more information, or to register, visit www. or call 404-294-5400.

Egg hunt, train rides, crafts at Rehoboth’s celebration Bring your children, toddler through 5th grade, to Rehoboth’s free Eggstravaganza, March 30, 10 a.m. –

Peachtree Road UMC offers hunts, pony rides

Photo by Joshua Smith/OCG News

noon, 2997 Lawrenceville Hwy, Tucker. More than 10,000 eggs, prizes, and several Easter costumed characters will be available, rain or shine, in the Children’s & Education Building. Free activities include pony rides, moon bouncers, face painting, crafts, games, train rides and super slides. Registration opens at 11 a.m. Egg hunts start at 11:30 a.m. Free hot dog kids meals will be available for children under 18. The concession stand also will be open. An adult must accompany all children. For more information, call 770-939-3182.

Hop over to City of Decatur’s First Baptist Church The Decatur Business Association will host a community Easter egg hunt on March 23 at Decatur First Baptist Church, 308 Clairmont Ave. The bunny arrives at 10:30 a.m. and the hunt begins at 11 a.m. Be sure to arrive on time because the bunny waits for no one. Come out to enjoy games, food and inflatables. For more information, call 404-373-1653.


First Lady to host Easter activities at Governor’s Mansion

First Lady of Georgia Sandra Deal will host the 11th annual Easter egg hunt at the Governor’s Mansion on Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m. to noon. Activities will include photos with the Easter Bunny, cupcake and egg decorating stations, face painting, a storybook station featuring Clifford the Big Red Dog, the Easter egg roll, a moonwalk and the Easter egg hunt. Guests attending this year’s Easter egg hunt are asked to donate a book or stuffed animal to benefit the Governor’s Office for Children and Families. Families wishing to attend should RSVP by email

to Only email reservations will be accepted and spaces will be filled on a firstcome, first-served basis until capacity is reached. Requests for reservations must include: names and ages of children wishing to participate in the egg hunt, names of adults accompanying children and contact telephone number. Registered guests are asked to arrive at 9:30 a.m. and will enter the main security gate where their name will appear on the list of admittance. Refreshments will be served. For more information, go to

Peachtree Road United Methodist Church is hosting its Easter Eggstravaganza on March 30, 8 a.m. to noon, 3180 Peachtree Road, N.W., in the church’s fellowship hall. Come out for a pre-Easter celebration of egg hunts, pony rides, astro jumps and a special appearance by the Easter Bunny. At 10:30 a.m., 1-2 year olds will hunt; at 11a.m., ages 3-5 and 6-8-year olds will hunt; and at 11:15 a.m., ages 9 and older will hunt. For more information, call 404266-2373.

Kirkwood sets Family Find The Kirkwood community is hosting its annual Family Find community Easter egg hunt on Saturday, March 30, 10 a.m. to noon at Bessie Branham Park, 2051 Delano Ave., Atlanta.

Baskets will be provided for children up to 12 years of age. The kids will have a chance to hunt for more than 2,000 eggs filled with candy and prizes. Other activities such as face painting, crafts and other games will also be available. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be cancelled. Admission is free. For more information, call 678-607-6076.

Snellville rolls out fun with ‘Eggstravaganza’ The City of Snellville will host its Easter Eggstravaganza on March 29, 10 a.m. to noon, at the Centerville Community Center, 3025 Bethany Church Road, Snellville. Children can enjoy inflatables, face painting, and egg hunts as follows: Ages babies – 3 at 10:30 a.m.; ages 4 – 6 at 11:20 a.m.; and ages 7 – 10 at noon. Snacks will be available at a cost. For more information, call 770-985-4713 or visit


Dive for eggs at Johnson Park

Who said that eggs are always hidden behind cabbage leaves? Rockdale County Parks and Recreation will host an underwater Easter egg hunt on March 30, 4:30 and 5 p.m., at Johnson Park Pool, 1781 Ebenezer Road, Conyers. Eggs will be floating above and submerged below the surface of the water for children to hunt. The hunt is open to ages 2 – 10. Normal pool rules and admission apply. Kids ages 2 – 4 will dive in at 4:30 p.m. Parents may be required to get in water with their child. Ages 5 – 10 will jump in at 5 p.m. All participants must pre-register, due to limited space. The cost is $2 per participant. Bring a bag to collect your eggs. 770-278-7529.

MArch 15, 2013



FPC of Atlanta announces interim pastor After 23 years of service, First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta’s pastor, Dr. Georgia Wirth, will retire in May. The Rev. Joanna M. Adams has been selected to serve as interim pastor. A graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary, Rev. Adams holds an honorary doctorate of divinity from Davidson College and was awarded the Alumni Association Medal of Honor from Emory University. “We look forward to Joanna’s leadership as First Presbyterian moves from strength to strength,” said Bill Earnest, Clerk of Sessions. A pastor in five Presbyterian churches over the course of more than 30 years, Adams also has served as a Rev. Joanna M. Adams trustee of the Presbyterian Church Foundation, trustee of Agnes Scott College, and chair of the Board of Trustees for Columbia Theological Seminary. Adams has preached at the National Cathedral, the Memorial Church of Harvard University, as well as at many Presbyterian and ecumenical events. She has authored more than 30 published articles, sermons, and chapters in books. FPC of Atlanta is located at 1328 Peachtree St., N.E., Atlanta. 404-8928461.

First Baptist Decatur welcomes Oprah Book Club author First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave., Decatur, will welcome author Ayana Mathis on March 21, 7 p.m. Mathis will discuss her career, previous work and her first novel, “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie,” the latest Oprah Book Club 2.0 selection. The novel chronicles the Great Migration of African Americans in the 1920s. Main character “Hattie Shepherd” is a 15-year-old who flees Georgia in the Ayana Mathis 1920s and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins die from an illness a few pennies could have prevented. “Hattie” gives birth to nine more children. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. The public is invited to the talk. Mathis will sign copies of her work. 404373-1653.

Lithonia First United Methodist sets Holy Week services Lithonia First United Methodist Church, 3099 Stone Mountain St., Lithonia, has set services for Holy Week. The church will observe the “time honored tradition” March 25 – March 29. The annual community Holy Week services will include words of wisdom from the church’s pastor, the Rev. Leon Matthews, as well as other local pastors he invites to share God’s word. Services begin at noon in the historic sanctuary and will be followed by a light lunch. All are welcome to come and prepare your hearts to receive the Risen Lord. 770-482-6394.

Worshippers Interceding for Excellence celebrates anniversary Worshippers Interceding for Excellence Church will host its church’s anniversary and pastor’s appreciation service on March 17, 4 p.m. The service will celebrate the church’s eight years in the community and the works of Pastor and Founder Kathern A. Thomas. “Worshippers Interceding For Excellence is a ministry where God is calling His people to Go back to basics. It’s a ministry where the Word of God is taught with simplicity and with anointing,” said Thomas. The church is located at 3096 North Decatur Road, Scottdale. 404-455-6678.

Woodstock course offers pastors free round of golf The Gold Club at Bradshaw Farm, 3030 Bradshaw Club Drive, Woodstock, will host all pastors to the free Pastors Class Golf Tournament on April 1, 10:30 a.m. Designed by Michael O’Shey and Grant Winsell, the course has a unique backdrop, featuring reallife barns. The course is nestled in the North Georgia Mountains and built on historic farm property. Organizers say the course features challenging golf, superb amenities and outstanding service. Pastors are invited to a free round of golf at the course. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. All players must be on site by 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided on the golf carts with a dinner and awards ceremony at the conclusion of the game for the best scores. All players must be pastors (senior pastors, associate pastors and youth pastors). Reserve your spot now. 770-592-2222.

PAGE 12 To Contact Us

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Health & Wellness

MarCH 15, 2013

Kaiser Permanente of Georgia leads in patient satisfaction For the fourth consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente of Georgia ranks highest in member satisfaction in the South Atlantic region, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Member Health Plan StudySM. The region includes Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The study, in its seventh year, measures satisfaction among members of 136 health plans in 17 regions throughout the U. S. Receiving a total of 757 points on a 1,000-point scale, Kaiser Permanente scored 60 points above the South Atlantic region’s average for overall patient satisfaction. Kaiser Permanente also received the region’s highest scores in the following categories: coverage and benefits, customer service, information and communication, claims processing and statements. “People have options for their

health care, so we strive to provide an exceptional care experience every day, for every member,” said Kerry W. Kohnen, president of Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. “Our members also recognized that we offer something unique in Georgia—truly coordinated care. We are thrilled that more Georgians will have access to our health plan when the health care exchanges open this fall.” Kaiser Permanente’s health plan services are complemented by health care delivery in-person, online and by phone. Member care is provided by the multi-specialty Southeast Permanente Medical Group, which includes more

than 450 physicians who practice in 29 medical offices across metro Atlanta and Athens, as well as partner hospitals. All Kaiser Permanente health care teams are connected through an electronic health record. With easyto-use, Web-based tools via, members have online access to useful health information, medical records and tools to communicate with their providers. My Health Manager on gives registered members the ability to perform tasks online such as scheduling appointments and ordering prescription refills. Users also have 24/7 online access to lab test results, eligibility and

benefits information, and even their children’s immunization records. “Our goal is to give our members convenient access to quality care, which can come in the form of a traditional office visit, an online consult, a secure e-mail to their doctor, or a call to our 24-hour Advice Nurse line,” said Rob Schreiner, M.D., executive medical director for Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. “By giving our members options for care, keeping the lines of communication open and coordinating patient care, our members benefit from a better care experience.”

Calendar South DeKalb Striders offers free running clinic The South DeKalb Striders running club is offering a free clinic to those who want to exercise and get fit, and for serious runners who want to train for marathons. The club is building participation for its 5K For Hope race, which will be held in August. The Striders has held the race annually for the last 18 years to raise money for Our House, a nonprofit that provides comprehensive support services for homeless families.   The free clinics will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 a.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m.; and Sundays, 6:30 a.m. Those who participate are asked to register for the 5K For Hope race or contribute to the fundraiser. The South DeKalb Striders club meets at the Gallery at South DeKalb mall, in the Post Office parking lot, 2801 Candler Road, Decatur.  For more information, visit www.,  email or call 678-3108101. Register for the clinic at www.

Tobie Grant Center to host health fair The Tobie Grant Community Center will host a health fair on Friday, March 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 3218 Tobie Circle, Scottdale. The center is located near the intersection of Memorial Drive and North Decatur Road. Get checked for high blood pressure, diabetes, dental problems, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. Stop by for some food and giveaways. The health fair is being held in observance of World TB Day. On March 24, 1882, Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB). Co-sponsors of the event are Oakhurst Medical Centers, the Citywide Project, the American Lung Association, the Housing Authority of DeKalb County, the Georgia Department of Public Health and the DeKalb County Board of Health. For more information, call the Board of Health at 404-294-3769.

5K fun run to benefit Rockdale Special Olympics Join the Rock on Rockdale 5K fun run to help raise money for Rockdale’s Special Olympics. The fun run takes place in Olde Town Conyers, beginning at the Whistle Post Tavern, on Saturday, March 23, 8:30 a.m. Registration is $25 through race day. For more information, call Erika Sellers at 770-833-0907.

One of the keys to beating breast cancer, is knowing where you stand. The other is knowing where to go. The newly expanded Comprehensive Breast Care Center at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale is proud to offer state-of-the-art technology for early detection, including digital mammography. And behind all of our technology and equipment, are equally phenomenal people, like our compassionate Nurse Navigators and nationally-acclaimed breast surgeons. From individualized treatment plans to even seemingly small acts – down to providing stylish patient robes and calming music during screenings – our attention to detail continues to set us apart from other hospitals. Because we believe in caring about people, not just for them.

For a comprehensive virtual tour of our Breast Care Center, please visit, then call 404-501-2660, to schedule your annual mammogram, today.

MArch 15, 2013

DeKalb seniors celebrate healthy living at Lou Walker Center


By Joshua Smith

hen Sebastian Barnett joined the Lou Walker Senior Center in 1998, he was out of shape, and weighing in at 245 pounds. Now, he’s down to 174 pounds and feeling a lot better about himself and life. The keys to Barnett’s success? “You really are what you eat. I look for recipes that are the healthy Photo by Joshua Smith/OCG News version so I can still enjoy all the Members of the Lou Walker Senior Center cook up some foods I love,” said Barnett, who healthy recipes at “Let’s Move DeKalb, Seniors: Picture will turn 75 in August. “I still eat DeKalb Healthy” in Lithonia. favorites like pork chops. Just might Watson began the demonstration by bake them instead of frying, though. I taking the fat out of collard greens and also started exercising. You have to stay saying “No ham hocks!” active. That’s the key.” “The mere mention of soul food Barnett’s story is the kind of healthy brings thoughts of greasy fare like lifestyle DeKalb County officials fatback and clogged arteries. You can recently celebrated at “Let’s Move still enjoy your soul food, but just try DeKalb, Seniors: Picture DeKalb recipes like this one for your greens. Healthy.” The Lithonia senior facility These kinds of recipes leave out heavy put on a health fair, which included a healthy soul food cooking demonstration, salt and refined sugar, bad fats, and unhealthy cooking techniques, ” said line dancing to “The Wobble” and Watson, who often prepares 30-minute other hits, and a live performance from meals at the North Druid Hills Publix “2UNES and the UEB Band.” Store. “You need to say goodbye to “Our seniors are critical. They are cooking cornbread with bacon grease and the ambassadors of their families and keep a bottle of PAM or similar cooking the community. We are depending on spray in the kitchen.” them to go out and spread the word This was the seventh year that about healthy living,” said S. Elizabeth DeKalb has hosted the annual health Ford, director of DeKalb County’s Board event for seniors. of Health. “Many of the seniors here “We know it’s critical to keep are examples of the benefits of eating working with all the seniors in the healthy.” community. Our seniors raise their Publix “Simple Meals” chef Sharon grandchildren and the kids will do what Watson conducted the healthy soul food they see grandma doing in the kitchen,” demonstration, showing seniors how said Ford, who co-hosted the event. “We they can still enjoy soul food favorites know how important it is to educate our such as cornbread, macaroni and cheese, seniors. They have a direct influence on meatloaf and collard greens with our future.” modified recipes.


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MarCH 15, 2013

Business News

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Gregory B. Levett & Sons expands South DeKalb facility By Valerie J. Morgan

DECATUR—Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Home is expanding its South DeKalb location on Flat Shoals Parkway. The funeral home has broken ground on a 6500-square-foot wing. With the new addition, the facility will expand from 9,000 to 15,500 square feet and will include a new atrium, a reception hall that will accommodate 150 people, and five additional family viewing rooms. Once completed in June, the addition will bring the total to 9 family viewing rooms. The facility’s parking lot is also being improved and repaved to make space more accessible for funeral processions as part of the expansion. B. Levett & Co., Inc. is the general contractor for the project. “We are excited about the project,” said Bernard Levett, the architect who developed the plans and is overseeing the work for his father, Gregory B. Levett. “The expansion will allow us to better serve families. It will give families five, bigger viewing rooms and a fellowship hall, where they can have a repast following their funeral.” Gregory Levett said the additional space would also provide families with more privacy.

Dr. LaRita Primose

“With the expansion, we can have two wakes at one time,” he said. The expansion is the first major renovation to the facility since Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Home purchased the building in 1999. The facility was built in 1995.

Julia Jones

Michelle Groover

Pollie Massey Battle

In addition to the Flat Shoals Parkway location in Decatur, Gregory B. Levett & Sons owns three other funeral homes: one in Scottdale, Lawrenceville, and Buford. The funeral home offers contemporary and traditional services, cremation and international shipping service.

Lynn Richardson

Lilia Postolachi

Greater Lithonia Chamber presents trailblazers for Women’s History Month The Greater Lithonia Chamber of Commerce is celebrating Women’s History Month in March by convening a panel of exceptional leaders in the business community. Steen Miles, retired journalist, former State Senator, and author, will moderate the panel discussion with the women who will share insight and expertise in their fields. The luncheon will be held on March 20, 11:30 a.m., at This Is It banquet hall, 2583 Panola Road, Lithonia. To attend, RSVP at Admission is $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Rockdale Commissioner Nesbitt launches ‘Ready 2 Work’ forum Rockdale County’s Post 1 Commissioner Oz Nesbitt, Sr. is facing unemployment head on with his new workshop series, “Ready 2 Work Rockdale.” The series kicks off on March 28, 6:30 p.m., at the Nancy Guinn Memorial Library, 864 Green St., S.W., Conyers. “The March workshop will kick off the series, providing a general overview of the program and talking some basics like dressing for success,” Nesbitt said. “There’s so much talent here in Rockdale and we’ve got to get these people back to work Nesbitt said he plans to hold the meetings on the last Thursday of the month. April’s workshop will focus on “The Power of Public Speaking: Effective Communication Skills.” For more information, email ready2work_ 770388-5040.

DWD to move to new facility

DeKalb Workforce Development (DWD) will move on April 19 to a new facility at 751 DeKalb Industrial Way. DWD’s new facility will be located less than 2.5 miles from DWD’s current location at 320 Church Street in downtown Decatur. The newlyconstructed building offers increased square footage and will allow DWD to hold weekly workshops, orientation sessions, youth program events, large-scale job fairs and other recruitment events in-house. In addition to improving DWD’s current

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programs, the larger facility will also provide the flexibility to expand for future programs as necessary. The new location will still be accessible by MARTA and will also provide additional

dedicated parking spaces to visitors and staff. When the move occurs, DWD will close its doors for one week in order to vacate the current building and move into the new facility.


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Music lesson available. Voice, keyboard, music theory and choir directing. Tutoring for reading also offered. Call 404-284-3935. Mr. Handy. Small and large jobs. A/C services, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, lawn service, gutters. Call for free estimates at 404-281-6503. For Rent Great commercial property for rent: Fairington Shopping Center Located at 5900 Fairington Road, Lithonia, GA 30058. For more Info or to schedule an appointment call 404-578-5778. Spaces available between 800-2800 square footage. Soul Food Restaurant for rent, 678-7555955. Recording Studio for rent, 678-755-5955. Sunday Church Services. Seats 125. $50hr-$75hr, 678-755-5955. For Sale Dell Optiplex GX745, 4 GB Memory, 200 GB Hard Drive, CDRW, Key Board & Mouse, Windows 7. $300 Call Willie Dunk 404-840-8616.

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Registration Fee: $90 Early Registration $75 before May 1st Money Order (only) Saturday May 18, 2013 Made payable to: Time: 10 a.m.- 2p.m. Conyers Courts Kings Where: J.P. Carr Gym P.O. Box 675 1090 Hardin Street Southwest Conyers, GA 30012 Conyers, GA 30012 Call 678-855-1636

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Hungry for a great career? We’re hiring!

To our customers, Zaxby’s is more than just a place to eat – it’s a place to have fun, spend some time with friends and experience great food. And to our employees, it’s all that – and a career.

Managers Needed Zaxby’s is now hiring mangers for the following location:

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Relaxer.......$30 and up Press/Flat Iron....$30 and up Hydration Treatment....$8 Specials Monday - Wednesday

Men’s Haircut....$7 and up Boys Haircut(even all over) $5 daily Ask for Stance for Specials

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MarCH 15, 2013


Professional and Personalized Services On-Site Crematory Contemporary & Traditional Services Cremation and Memorial Services Pre-Planning Arrangements International Shipping Service On-Site Floral Design & Print Shop

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North Gwinnett Chapel • Est. 2009 201 Morningside Dr. • Buford, GA 30518 770-945-9999

Gwinnett Chapel • Est. 2004 914 Scenic Hwy • Lawrenceville, GA 30045 770-338-5558

South DeKalb Chapel • Est. 2000 4347 Flats Shoals Pkwy. • Decatur, GA 30034 404-241-5656

Avondale-Scottdale Chapel • Est. 1980 351 North Clarendon Ave. • Scottdale, GA 30079 404-294-5500

The March 15 Issue-2013  
The March 15 Issue-2013  

Our March 15 issue