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Women sport their best crowns to raise scholarships for DeKalb NCNW’s tea PAGE 5






JUNE 15, 2012

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Atlanta’s Sports Hall of Fame inducts second DeKalb high school legend


By Joshua Smith

asking in the glory of multiple state championships, the DeKalb County School System has another reason to be proud: Columbia High School’s head basketball coach, Dr. Phil McCrary, was inducted this month into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame for a lifetime of work that includes winning five state championships over 25 seasons. Just two years ago, Southwest DeKalb High School’s football Coach William “Buck” Godfrey was inducted in the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame after leading the school to 250 football victories over 27 seasons, earning 13 region titles and the 1995 Class AAAA state championship. Godfrey, who nominated McCrary for the 2012 Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame Class, introduced McCrary at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, where about 700 people attended the June 9 ceremony. Among those in the crowd were McCrary’s wife, Constance, and Philip Jr. or “Clint,” one of their two sons, along with McCrary’s 85-yearold mother, Lillian McCrary, sister Rozalyn Todd, brothers John McCrary and Dr. Medrith “Matt” McCrary, who is an assistant principal at Redan High School. “Without the great support of my wife, my family, the players, the community, the teachers and administrators at Columbia and the Central Athletics Office, I could not have got where I am today,” said McCrary. “My family has made great sacrifices as I would spend countless nights working hours into the night on- on-one or one-on-two with young players, while my family sat at home. That was family time they sacrificed, but they understood and I loved them for that.” McCrary has built a dynasty at Columbia High School, where he has guided the Eagles to 546 victories and state championships in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. With his induction into Atlanta’s Sports Hall of Fame, McCrary, who is from Griffin, joins two others from his hometown who are already enshrined there: INSIDE

Community News.................................P 3 Elections 2012............................... P 7-10 Business News...................................P 11 We Worship........................................P 12 Health & Wellness..............................P 14 Classifieds.........................................P 15 CONTACT THE NEWSROOM Phone: (678) 526-1910 n Fax: (678) 526-1909 n E-mail:

Olympic track star Wyomia Tyus (2006) and NFL’s Jessie Tuggle (2011). McCrary started his coaching career in Walton County as a girls’ basketball coach and assistant football coach in 1979, which led to a football assistant’s job at his college alma mater, Clark Atlanta University. He ended up at Columbia High School in 1986 as an assistant football and basketball coach, thanks to then principal Bennie Lowe and basketball coach Lynn Ross, who mentored him. McCray became head basketball coach of the school in 1987. “I got a lot of help along the way from people like Bennie Lowe, Lynn Ross, Eugene Walker (now DeKalb School Board chair), Travis Grant and Mike Hall, amongst others to help me develop my basketball philosophy. “They are the ones who got me to where I am today,” said McCrary. McCrary said he feels fortunate to have coached students who were not only good athletes, but good students. See Dekalb, page 6

Photo by Mark Brock

Coach McCrary is lifted up on the shoulders of his victorious squad after winning the 2010 State Championship Game.

Congressman John Lewis to be lauded at ‘sold out’ Senior Ball


eorgia Congressman John Lewis will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James and DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May at the 2012 Senior Ball on Saturday, June 23, at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta. Lewis will be recognized for his work as a civil rights icon, congressional leader and community advocate. Lewis is hailed a hero not only at home. President Barack Obama honored Lewis with a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010. “Congressman Lewis is a staple in the community and has an incredible track record of addressing critical issues facing our nation,” said Commissioner May. “Whether it is educational disparities or healthcare reform, Congressman Lewis has remained a guiding voice for national change.” The black tie event, designated for DeKalb seniors ages 60 and older, reached capacity weeks ago with seniors registering and snapping up all 1,000 free tickets to the event. The event has become so popular that James decided

John Lewis

Robert James

Lee May

to double the number of tickets from last year and move the event from the Conference Center at Georgia Piedmont Technical College in Clarkston to the Georgia World Congress Center. The event begins at 5 p.m. with the Senior Expo, which will feature several vendors. Pastor E. Dewey Smith of Greater Travelers Rest Church will give the invocation. Along with the three-course banquet, there will be entertainment and an interactive session led by the District Attorney to educate attendees about precautions seniors can take to minimize theft, crime, abuse and exploitation. “Crimes against seniors have become a major issue in our area and across the nation. With DeKalb having one of the fastest growing senior populations in the state and

with an aging baby-boomer population nationwide, we have to find ways to connect with our seniors and educate them on crimes targeted at the elderly,” James said. “The Senior Ball is the perfect platform to educate DeKalb’s seniors about issues of elder abuse, exploitation, consumer fraud, and telemarketing scandals while also making them aware of valuable community resources dedicated for the elder community.” May says he is looking forward to co-hosting the event with James. “This event mixes music with a message during the Senior Ball. I am proud to partner with District Attorney Robert James for a worthy cause,” said May. “Our seniors will leave this event educated, enlightened and entertained. As a county commissioner, I value our seniors and want to continue to support efforts to ensure their continued safety and wellness in DeKalb County.” To serve as a sponsor for this event, contact Erik Burton at ehburton@ To serve as a vendor for the Senior Expo, please contact Angel Riley at aariley@


JUNE 15, 2012

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JUNE 15, 2012

Community News

JUNE 15, 2012  VOLUME 18, NO. 6 EDITOR/PUBLISHER Valerie J. Morgan GENERAL MANAGER Glenn L. Morgan


DeKalb names new code enforcement manager, rolls out cleanup program



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.

HOW TO REACH US On Common Ground News  1240 Sigman Road Suite 107 Conyers, GA 30012 (678) 526-1910 (P) (678) 526-1909 (F)




eKalb County has a new code enforcement manager, Marcus Kellum. He will take the helm on July 2. Kellum brings 20 years of public management experience to the table and recently served as assistant director of Code Compliance/Program Manager for Sandy Springs. The new leadership is a part of a comprehensive plan to streamline the county’s code enforcement and beautification activities. One of the new initiatives, “Clean it to the Curb”, encourages residents and businesses to maintain landscaping all the way to the roadway, and to keep the curbside free of trash or yard clippings. The program comes as a result of complaints from citizens and recommendations from the Code Enforcement Task Force. DeKalb CEO Ellis announced the collaboration, flanked by Neighborhood Ambassadors, Code Compliance Officers, county mowing crews and staff of the


Office of Neighborhood Empowerment (ONE DeKalb) and Keep DeKalb Beautiful. Approximately 50 people attended the kickoff and went to work by cleaning a section of Glenwood Road near Line Street in Decatur.   “This is a collaboration among county government, neighborhood volunteers, and


property owners,” said CEO Ellis. “We can all take joint responsibility for DeKalb County’s curb appeal by mowing and cleaning all the way to the curb.” Under “Clean to the Curb,” the county will coordinate its mowing schedules with volunteer cleanup activities throughout the county.




JUNE 15, 2012


ATLANTA Project Real Life rallies barbers for a good cause Project Real Life Youth Occupational Training Corps Inc. is rallying barbers from across metro Atlanta to provide free hair cuts to young men ages 14 to 26 for “The Cut-Off” on June 19, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., at Adamsville Recreation Center, 3201 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, S.W., Atlanta. Barbers and guest speakers will give messages of encouragement to the youths. Bring your sons, nephews, neighbors and any young man to this event. Participants can enjoy free food and performances by local artist. For more information, call 770-907-7468 or email

‘Shake Off Violence’ Youth Summit set

Conyers library kicks off Thrilling Thursdays The Nancy Guinn Memorial Library in Conyers kicked off its “Thrilling Thursdays” series with The Big Kid Band to help promote summer reading among children and youths. At the event, kids rocked out to Big Kid Band favorites including “The Slop Foot Dance ” and “Fisherman Jack,” and they listened to stories including “The Wompass Cat.” The library will feature a new act every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. until July 19, 3 p.m., where the library will host a Summer Reading Party to culminate the program. Some upcoming acts are magician Keith Karnok on June 21 and Lee Bryant “That Puppet Guy” on June 28. For more information and a complete schedule, visit or call 770-388-5040.

DEKALB DeKalb Symphony Orchestra presents free concert The DeKalb Symphony (DSO) will hold a free concert at the First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave., Decatur, on June 19, 8 p.m. The concert, directed by Music Director and Conductor Fyodor Cherniavsky, will feature Atlatna harpist Nella Rigell performing the “Celtic Concert.” Other selections include Gioachino Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” and Jean Sibelius’s “Karelia Suite.” The DSO was created in 1964 and consists of mainly volunteers in the community. 678-891-3565 or

NAACP, YMCA offer economic workshop The DeKalb NAACP and the Eastlake YMCA will present a free economic workshop, “Rebuilding Your Credit,” on June 23, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., at the East Lake Family YMCA, 275 East Lake Blvd., Atlanta. Bank of America will make the presentation. Participants may register on the day of the workshop from 9:30 – 10 a.m. at the East Lake YMCA. Register in advance by e-mailing

Summer of Star Wars Party Call yourself a Star Wars fan? The DeKalb County Public Library’s Hairston Crossing branch, 4911 Redan Road, Stone Mountain, is hosting the Summer of Star Wars party just for you on June 30, 2 – 4 p.m. Participants can take pictures with a “Storm Trooper” and make an origami “Yoda” figure. Come dressed up as your favorite Star Wars character and enter a costume contest to be named the king or queen of the galaxy. Groups of five or more are requested to call the branch for appointment. For more information call 404-508-7170 or visit

GWINNETT Tips for butterfly gardening The Gwinnett County Cooperative Extension Office, 750 South Perry Street, Suite 400, Lawrenceville, will host a free course, “Butterfly Gardening,” on June 26, 12 – 1 p.m. Learn about ways to attract butterflies to your garden and some of the most common species in the area. Some topics include host plants, habitats and reduced use of pesticides. Participants should meet in the office’s conference room. Pre-registration is required by Friday, June 22. To register, contact Timothy Daly at 678-377-4010 or

Multiple tag registrations offered online Gwinnett residents, who own more than one vehicle, can now renew them all online in a single transaction. The total convenience fee is $4.95, which will be charged by the Georgia Department of Revenue when you pay. Credit cards that are accepted online include: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa. To renew your tag or to get more information about tag renewals, visit 770-822-8818.

The National Action Network (NAN), under the leadership of Al Sharpton, and Youth Move will host the “Shake Off Violence” Youth Summit on June 29, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., at the Grove Park Recreational Center, 750 Francis Lane, Atlanta. NAN youth leaders from cities including New York, Detroit, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Chicago, and other cities will participate in the summit. The goal of the event is to provide an alternative to violence by teaching youths to leverage peace and relationships to strengthen communities. t to be. Peace - Leverage the relationships with civil rights icons and go back to traditional methods of nonviolence, while using social media to do so. Pay it Forward- Enhance the pay it forward culture. 678-732-0405 or

ROCKDALE Laugh until it hurts Church Boy Gospel Entertainment will present “Laughter is Good for the Soul” Gospel & Comedy Show on Saturday, June 23, 4 p.m., at the Rockdale County Auditorium, 903 Main St., Olde Town Conyers. Come out and get your laugh and praise on! Hosted by comedian C. Davis, the show features the Lamar Sisters, Jaylen Giltrap, Monica Hoskins and Durell Hoskins. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. For tickets, call 512-496-1123 or 678-750-3301.

Commissioners set meeting for homeowners, civic groups CONYERS—The Rockdale Board of Commissioners is hosting a meeting of the Rockdale Coalition of Homeowners and Civic Associations on June 28, 5:30 – 7 p.m., at the J.P. Carr Services Center, 981 Taylor St., Conyers. Agenda items to be covered during the meeting include crime statistics updates, reservoir dredging, storm water fees and the street paving project. There will also be elections-related news announced, as well as information about the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce’s new Shop the Rock initiative. For more information, call the County’s Department of Community Affairs and Innovative Programs at 770- 278-7050.

Conyers Police invites youths to join Junior Police Academy The Conyers Police Department (CPD) is offering a young people ages 14 to 20 a glimpse into the world of law enforcement through its first Junior Police Academy. The CPD Junior Police Academy will be held July 16-20 culminating with a graduation and cookout on July 21. The daily sessions will be held 5 to 9 p.m. at the Conyers Police Department training room at 1194 Scott Street, Conyers. The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office will assist with a tour of the Rockdale County Jail and the Georgia State Patrol will participate in a session to teach students about teen traffic laws and alcohol awareness.    There is no cost for students to participate in the Junior Police Academy. The academy is limited to the first 20 applicants who meet the age requirements and live in Rockdale. “We have found that the law enforcement field is one that fascinates young people,” said Chief of Police Gene Wilson. “The knowledge they can soak up firsthand from our officers, Explorer Unit and graduates of the Citizen Police Academy who are volunteering for the Junior Police Academy may be the key to introducing them to a career in law enforcement.” Academy participants will learn about the various divisions of the CPD, self-defense techniques and identify fingerprints in a mock crime scene. For more information, contact Sergeant Peggy Dunn at 678-374-5603 to request an application. Applications are due by July 10.








when you bring in 2 Three Subject Notebook

JUNE 15, 2012


Women sport their best crowns to raise scholarships for DeKalb NCNW’s tea

By Joshua Smith


here were hats of all sizes, shapes, colors and embellishments—from diamondencrusted head pieces to platinum, purple, pink and even leopard and zebra striped patterns crowns. The DeKalb Section of the National Council of Negro Women’s fourth annual HatTitude tea, held June 2 at the Marriott Courtyard in Decatur and drew well over 200 participants. The women’s group, originally founded by Mary McLeod Bethune in 1935, also celebrated the 22nd anniversary of the National Council of Negro Women, DeKalb Section. “It is an honor to be here among such a beautiful rainbow of hats. This is a beautiful vision,” said NCNW, DeKalb Section President Rubie-Tolbert Williams, who was honored at the tea by State legislators for her work with NCNW. “In the spirit of Mary McLeod Bethune who fought for women to be educated, it feels great to know we come together each year for this event, not just to look pretty but to raise money for our youths to continue their education as well.” The event, hosted by CNN broadcast journalist and motivational speaker Calandra Corder, included remarks from several government officials and religious leaders, raffle giveaways, musical selections and a hat fashion show presented by Grand Diva Enterprises. Local poets also shared the stage. “They say it’s a man’s world, but the second part of that song, ‘It ain’t nothing without a woman’ really tells the truth about how things really go,” said DeKalb County CEO Burell Ellis. “It’s been said that when you empower a woman, you empower a nation and that’s exactly what you (NCNW) do. Economic empowerment, health empowerment, because of you, I am here. You make the community vibrant and I value you,

DeKalb values you for the beauty you bring.” The NCNW honored the organization’s youth group, “Black Pearls,” as well. The 18-year-old high school seniors who were honored include:

Miller Grove High School Destini Alphabet, who plans to attend Tennessee State University Jamie Graham, who plans to attend Tennessee State University

Pictured L-R: Georgia Sen. Gloria Butler, Rubie Tolbert-Williams, State Reps. Earnest “Coach” Williams, Rahn Mayo and Michele Henson.

Chamblee High School Chloe’ Bradshaw, who plans to attend Valdosta State University Carver High School Lanadia Leneon, who plans to attend Savannah State University Shiloh High School Camelia Bell, who plans to attend Albany State University. The tea served as a celebration to commemorate the late NCNW President and Chair, Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, who would have turned 100. “Another year has gone by and we’ve got Hattitude in DeKalb County. When you wear your hat, you represent 75 years of great service and a group of women that did and do everything with dignity and class,” said Congressman Hank Johnson, who attended the event. “Your founder, Dorothy Irene Height, wore many hats and as grandmothers, mothers, aunts, care takers, community activists and all that you do, I know you will continue her legacy with both dignity and class.”

Stabilization programs are helping provide affordable homes, combat foreclosures in DeKalb, Rockdale

New homeowner Elonda Dixon shows off her new deck in Ellenwood.


By Joshua Smith

londa Dixon was just sitting on her couch watching television and eating potato chips when she flipped to a channel that changed her life. “I just happened to turn to DCTV (DeKalb County Television) and saw a man who was unable to find a home until getting in the Get Home Now program and I figured, ‘Hey, I should try that,’” said Dixon, a single mother of three. Dixon has become part of DeKalb’s success story. This month, county officials recognized her for becoming a homeowner through DeKalb’s Get Home Now program. The program is among the initiatives in the metro Atlanta area providing affordable homeownership to working people as a way to combat blight caused by foreclosures. Dixon was able to purchase the foreclosed home where she now lives in Ellenwood for $40,100 under DeKalb’s Get Home Now program. She received a loan with a 4.25 percent interest rate and went from paying $710 for an apartment to $560 for a mortgage. Under the program, the county spent $11,550 to renovate the 1,444-square-foot home, which was built in 1997, after it sat vacant for at least a year. “The whole process for me to get my home took about nine months, but it was well worth it. To come by and see people replacing the appliances and fixtures, laying down carpet, repairing the A/C and restaining the deck was just amazing,” said Dixon. So far, DeKalb’s Neighborhood Stabilization

programs have purchased 90 foreclosed homes, renovated and re-sold them and restored 88 rental units for occupancy by low-income families. DeKalb received $18.5 million to launch the program in 2009 and another $5.3 million in 2010 to tackle blight in the depressed Hidden Hills golf course community in Stone Mountain. County officials have been working with ADP Solutions and other agencies to chip away at the problem. In neighboring Rockdale County, 28 buyers have become homeowners through the year-old Neighborhood Stabilization program there. Rockdale launched its program in May 2011 with a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The county has been buying foreclosed homes in several communities, re-selling them for between $65,000 and $140,000. Get Home Now uses federal funds to buy and renovate the foreclosed properties. As repairs are completed, the houses are marketed and sold through participating local real estate professionals. Buyers who are approved for the program receive lowinterest loans to buy them. “Successful applicants must meet maximum income guidelines, be credit-worthy with one of the program’s participating lenders, participate in home ownership pre-purchase counseling and plan to purchase a home anywhere in DeKalb County,” said DeKalb NSP Coordinator Barry Williams. Officials in both, DeKalb and Rockdale, have been working with ADP Solutions and other agencies to chip away at the problem. “Our partnerships with APD Solutions, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Obama administration are making the American Dream a reality,” said DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis. “This is more than just homes. We are building, restoring hope for our working families.” Rockdale had 1,041 foreclosures through May of this year. The largest number—263—was advertised in January, with the smallest number—153—in April. “This program isn’t the end-all, be-all to foreclosures in Rockdale, but it is definitely helping. Foreclosures are going down. A sense of pride trickles down, too,” said Rockdale NSP Coordinator Tanesha Lanier. “When we move someone in a foreclosed home, the neighbors around them seem to take

more pride in their property, which then makes the neighborhood as a whole improve in value.” DeKalb currently has 2,716 foreclosed properties, according to RealtyTrac. The number of foreclosures in DeKalb has hovered around 10,000 for the last two years: In 2010, there were 10,557 foreclosures compared to 10,079 in 2011, according to Equity Depot.

DeKalb County’s Get Home Now program At A Glance • The program offers flexible credit to people with scores as low as 580. First responders—police, firefighters, paramedics and military personnel— may have credit scores as low as 550. • There are no income limits for those seeking to buy a home through the program. • Those who have filed bankruptcy may apply. • The program provides mortgage coverage in the event of job loss after homeowners have obtained a mortgage through the program. Homes prices run up to $160,000. For more information, call 404-286-3308 and 1-877484-6669 or visit onedekalblives.

Rockdale County’s NSP highlights • Eligibility for NSP varies based on a multitude of family situations, including families as small as one person with an annual income of up to $25,100, to larger families with annual salaries of over $110,000.   • Persons residing either in or outside of Rockdale County who meet the criteria in the application are encouraged to apply for assistance through the NSP. • Receive up to $14,500 in homebuyer assistance, plus five percent in closing costs on “move-in ready” inventory homes. • NSP invests an average of $25,000 in repairs and improvements per home as an added benefit to the buyer. For more information, call 770-278-7141 or visit


JUNE 15, 2012

Identity Theft scenes filmed in Conyers

CONYERS—Universal Pictures turned downtown Conyers into a movie set recently, shooting scenes for the comedy, “Identity Theft,” starring Melissa McCarthy alongside Arrested Development’s Jason Bateman. In the movie, which is expected to be released May 10, 2013, rapperturned-actor Clifford “T.I.” Harris plays a bounty hunter in the film, tracking down Bateman and McCarthy after she steals his identity. Wearing V-neck T-shirts and sunglasses, the film crew members brought their Hollywood swag to laidback, small town Conyers, drawing curious onlookers to downtown Main Street on June 13. In addition to downtown Conyers, the film crew also used Rockdale’s Georgia International Horse Park to shoot some scenes. Rockdale has been seen in other films including “American Reunion,” which is part of the “American Pie” movie series; MTV’s “Teen Wolf;” Warner Brothers’ musical film, “Joyful Noise,” which starred Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton; and a Clint Eastwood movie, “Trouble With the Curve.”

Photos by Joshua Smith/OCG News

Lithonia honors J.T. Preston family legacy Photo by Mark Brock

DeKalb makes history again continued from page 1

“Seeing that light bulb go on in a kid who recognizes that not only does he have to take care of his body, but also take care of his studies—because the victories take care of themselves—that’s one of the best things that can happen to a coach. That’s what we do it for.” DeKalb has been on a roll for sports dominance. Just this year, the Tucker High School Tigers won the 2011 – 2012 GHSA AAAA State Football Championship. The team also won the state title in 2008; both titles were under the leadership of Coach Franklin Stephens. Also this year, DeKalb County celebrated Miller Grove High School, which under the leadership of Coach Sharman White won four consecutive AAAA State Championships (2009 – 2012).

2012 Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame Legends Dr. Phil McCrary, head basketball coach at DeKalb County’s Columbia High School, has never played basketball. McCrary actually grew up playing football and baseball. He was mentored by some of the best in the game of basketball, and went on to earn a doctorate’s degree in educational leadership while developing strategies during his 25 years as a coach that led Columbia to win five state championships. Others inducted in Atlanta’s Sports Hall of Fame this year include: Jackie Bradford, who was responsible for the expansion of the Atlanta Tip-off Club and the prestigious Naismith Awards. Bradford led the way to bring girls basketball onto the same equal level as boys. Bill Hartman, an Emmy award winning sports broadcaster, with a career spanning more than 35 years. Melvin Pender, an Olympic Gold medalist whose accomplishments also included 5 world records. He also served as the first African-American head coach for the U.S. Military Academy. He is a three-time All-American and International champion. Randy Rhino, who is the only three-time, first team All American in Georgia Tech football history. He was named to the school’s all time team in 1991, and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

The city of Lithonia honored three generations of the James “J.T.” Preston family recently as officials there held a ceremony to celebrate the family’s latest soldier—23year-old Torri Preston, who graduated in May from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland as a second lieutenant. Preston’s grandfather, the late “J.T.” Preston, who is buried in the city’s historic Bruce Street Cemetery, served in the U.S. Navy. Torri Preston’s father, Michael A. Preston, has served as a U.S. Marine for 32 years and plans to retire after 40 years. He is a master gunnery sergeant. Torri Preston said he was proud to come home and be a part of the Lithonia ceremony. He laid a wreath at his grandfather’s grave. Torri’s dad placed small flags at the site. Torri Preston will complete his basic training in Quantico, Virginia. “This really means a lot to me. All my life I have dreamed of serving my country and becoming a Marine,” said Preston. “It means a lot to me to continue this legacy because I am a part of an honorable lineage.” Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson said the ceremony for the Preston family is part of a new initiative she has launched with support of community activists like Barbra Lester to recognize the milestones of its citizens. Lester nominated the Preston family for the honor. “It is exciting to recognize such strong tradition. Families like the Prestons’ are why we are continuing to make plans for a Nov. 10 commemoration for all of Lithonia’s veterans who have passed,” said Jackson. “We plan to host a community-wide parade where we will march from City Hall down to the Bruce Street Cemetery and lay our wreaths and commemorative flags at their gravesites as we have done for the Preston family.”

JUNE 15, 2012



Washington earns celebrity endorsement in Rockdale Superior Court Judge race By Joshua Smith

CONYERS—In the ABC television series, Scandal, actress Kerry Washington plays Olivia Pope, a political operative who keeps Republican President Fitzgerald Thomas Grant, III Kerry Washington out of trouble. In real life, however, Washington is supporting a Democrat, Gary W. Washington, who is running for Superior Court Judge in Rockdale County. Kerry Washington is Gary Washington’s cousin. She’s endorsing him as he makes a bid in a three-way race to fill the seat of longtime Superior Court Judge Sidney Nation, who is retiring after 25 years on the bench. Gary Washington said he appreciates the endorsement from his celebrity cousin, who is active with the Democratic Party and supported President Obama. “Kerry has brilliant intellect and political insight and analysis that I respect tremendously,” said Gary Washington. “In the Washington household, we grew up engaging in rigorous political debates. He said his cousin’s support did not

Gary W. Washington

come easy and he expected the tough love he received. “She’s not just endorsing me because I’m her cousin. She interviewed me. I had to earn her support,” Gary Washington said. A Bronx, NY native, Gary Washington attended Ohio Wesleyan University, studying music and political science, and went onto Rutgers Law School, where he earned his law degree. Washington has worked as a staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and also serves as an instructor at the National

Photo by Glenn L. Morgan/OCG News

Criminal Defense College, Mercer Law School in Macon. He is a former senior attorney at the Fulton County Public Defender’s Office. Washington has built a reputation in Rockdale as a legal advocate who is passionate about fairness in the courtroom. He has conducted Know Your Rights workshops for teens and parents throughout the community in his quest for justice. “I will provide equal treatment under the law, and due process of law, for everyone coming before me in court,” said Washington, who has

been in private practice since 1995 and has 25 years experience as a lawyer. “Through this campaign I will prove to the voters of Rockdale County that I am the candidate who, if elected, would work tirelessly to apply the law fairly and equally.” When he’s not in a courtroom, Washington volunteers with the Salem High School Volleyball Booster Club and is a member of the Salem High School PTSA. Washington has a 17-year-old daughter who attends Salem High School. He is a member of Antioch-Lithonia Missionary Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pastor James C. Ward, and a member of the NAACP. Rockdale’s race for Superior Court Judge includes Robert Mumford, who was elected District Attorney three times in Rockdale and who also served in the State House of Representatives for two terms; and Earnelle P. Winfrey, who has 10 years experience as a lawyer and works in private practice as a partner at Winfrey & Winfrey, PC in Conyers. Winfrey interned with the Rockdale County District Attorney’s Office. Rockdale voters will decide the non-partisan race on July 31. If no one in the race receives a majority of the vote, however, a run-off between the top two vote getters would be held in August.


JUNE 15, 2012



Carter team hits campaign trail in fiveway race for DeKalb Clerk of Court

n a sea of red, white and blue campaign signs, John Q. Carter, candidate for DeKalb Clerk of Superior Court, has hit the campaign trail in purple and gold. Carter is campaigning with his wife, Linda Carter, at his side—much the same way he was at her side when she successfully ran for office three times. Together, the two are shaking hands, passing out postcards, campaign signs and T-shirts, but this time, they’re building support for his campaign. “We want to touch as many people as we can. This is how we’ve always done it—working together,” John Carter said. Linda Carter’s smiling face is a familiar one on the campaign trail, having served as DeKalb’s Clerk of Superior Court for a decade—from 2000 to 2010. She was serving her third term in office and battling early onset Alzheimer’s disease at age 58 when Debra DeBerry, chief deputy clerk, became her successor in March 2011. Carter, who is now 60, sued to get her job back—and her medical benefits restored—with her attorneys saying she unknowingly signed a resignation letter giving up her elected office. In the letter, DeBerry was named her successor. DeBerry denied any wrongdoing and both sides have said they wanted to move on since reaching an out-of-

Photo by Joshua Smith/OCG News

Pictured L-R: John and Linda Carter (third and fourth subjects) pose with their team.

court settlement, which was signed Oct. 20, 2011. DeBerry has said she still considers Linda Carter her friend, having worked for years for her as deputy clerk. John Carter says his family has put the court matter to rest. “We as a family have put it behind us. I’m running for office because I think I’m the best person for the job,” said John Carter, who worked in the Fulton County Clerk of Superior Court’s office. Carter says he wants voters to consider his credentials for the job of clerk—the person who oversees and

maintains all court and land records in the county. “Of all of the candidates running, I’m the only lawyer. I consider that a plus. I know about the issues and concerns attorneys and judges will have on a daily basis for the Clerk of Superior Court,” said Carter. The former owner of two McDonald’s franchises in the metro area, Carter, 62, also says his strong business background is an asset for the position. The clerk’s position does not require that the candidate have law experience

or a business background, but Carter said that experience can’t hurt either. “I am a strong proponent for customer service and I know what it takes to be cost effective in running an operation,” Carter said. In addition to Carter challenging Debra DeBerry, the race includes Cheryl Bortice, who served as DeKalb chief deputy clerk under Jeanette Rozier; Oretha Brown Johnson, a supervisor for all 10 Superior Court divisions and businessman Frank W. Swindle, a retired DeKalb Superior Court senior case manager.

Election Day - July 31st My name is Dionne McGee and I want to be your next DeKalb State Court Judge. I have spent my entire career helping keep our communities safe. Please remember to vote for me on July 31st.

Thanks for your support ! Dionne McGee

“Our Judge. Our Community. For Us” To volunteer call my office: 404-592-2067 or visit my website:

Connected to the Community

3 A mother, a wife, an attorney 3 Life-long resident of DeKalb County 3 Church home in DeKalb County 3 Graduate of Redan High School 3 President of Marbut Theme School PTA 3 Active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc


3 President Elect of DeKalb Lawyers Association 3 Board of Governors - State Bar of Georgia 3 Former Prosecutor 3 Only candidate with Criminal Trial Experience 3 University of Georgia Graduate 3 John Marshall Law School

JUNE 15, 2012






JOHN Q. CARTER Clerk of Superior Court Of DeKalb County PPPPP



• Juris Doctorate, University of California at Davis, California • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, San Diego State University, California • 22 year resident of DeKalb County • Successful business owner, McDonald’s Franchisee • John Carter Enterprises, Arbitrator and Mediator • Superior Court Clerk of Fulton County, Deputy Clerk • Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, Contracts Administration • Gulf Coast Legal Foundation, Staff Attorney (Representation of indigent clients) • Licensed member, Supreme Court of the United States • Licensed member, Southern District of Texas • Licensed member, Supreme Court of Texas (1976) • Licensed member, Supreme Court of Missouri (1983) • Certified and registered mediator, Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution • Certified and registered as Arbitrator for National Association of Securities Dealer (NASD) (Three Judge Panel) • Married for over 31 years to Linda Carter, former Clerk of Superior Court of DeKalb County, 2000-2011 • Volunteer of Habitat for Humanity JOHN CARTER will work hard for You to: Restore the citizens of DeKalb County trust and confidence in the Clerk’s office Represent the Clerk’s office with honesty and integrity Manage the Clerk’s office as a business to enhance efficiency and productivity Improve customer service Be a strong steward of DeKalb County taxpayers’ dollars Seek your input to develop better ways to serve you as Clerk


Vote on July 31, 2012

PO Box 361300 Decatur, GA 30036


JUNE 15, 2012


Community service shines brightly in Rockdale and Newton Counties


astor Aldren Sadler, Sr., Michael Minkoff, Richard Johnson, Jr., Tolbert Morris, Tonya Bloodworth and Cortez Allen are now part of a special group of community leaders in Rockdale and Newton Counties – they are the latest recipients of the Luminary Award presented by the RockdaleNewton County Chapter of the Georgia Federation of Democratic Women. “It is the responsibility of us all to educate and encourage change in our communities by example and this year’s honorees exemplify all that is good about giving back in Rockdale and Newton Counties,” said Elaine Davis-Nickens, president of the organization. “Their lives and bodies of work are models for the rest of us to the follow.” Dubbed the Democratic Divas, the chapter first held the Luminary Luncheon awards ceremony in 2011 to highlight individuals working to change the landscape of their counties through community service. “There are so many people doing extraordinary things in our community, but their work often goes unnoticed,” said Kelly Robinson, who co-chairs the luncheon committee with Yolanda Ferman. “This is our way of simply saying thank you.” Individuals were nominated by chapter members and the community-at-large for work in the areas of Civic Engagement, Justice, Civil Rights, Community Wellness, Educational Excellence and Youth Involvement. This year’s “Advocate for Civic Engagement” award was presented to Aldren Sadler, Sr., who leads Church of New Beginnings in Conyers and has served several community organizations in Rockdale County since 1983, most recently as chairman for Rockdale Department of Family and Children Services and chaplain for the Rockdale

County Sheriff’s Office. Michael Minkoff was honored with the “Advocate for Justice” award for his service to Rockdale County. Earlier this year, Minkoff was instrumental in ensuring the release of Nathan White, a black male wrongly incarcerated for a crime he did not commit. The 2012 “Advocate for Civil Rights” award was presented to Richard Johnson, Jr., who played an integral role in the civil rights movement in Newton County and across Georgia. Johnson’s efforts were instrumental in desegregating public accommodations in the state. Tolbert Morris was recognized as the 2012 “Advocate for Community Wellness” for proving health care to uninsured, under insured and lowincome families, and at risk children through Helping Hands Outreach, a non-profit dedicated to providing heath education to the community. Tonya Bloodworth earned the “Advocate for Educational Excellence” for her work at the helm at Salem High School. A teacher turned principal in Rockdale County, Bloodworth leads by example and encourages students to play an active role in their school and community. The 2012 “Advocate for Youth Involvement” award was presented to Cortez Allen, who has excelled as a coach in football and track and field. Since 2004, Allen has led several championship teams to play off appearances, including the Mundy Mill High School Tigers, who won their first championship in school history in 2007, and the Newton County Rams, who won the 400-meter relay state champions in 2011. Davis-Nickens also presented the President’s Award for outstanding Service to GFDW and the chapter to Cheryl Board, Charlene Ellis, Yolanda Ferman, Kelly Robinson, Tisa Smart Washington and Theresa Willis.

Veterans for Christ to conduct voter registration drives

Veterans for Christ, Inc. will continue conducting several voter registration drives this election season at Northlake Mall, 4800 Briarcliff Rd, NE, Atlanta. Applications will be available at the One Dekalb Neighborhood Resource Center located on the lower level of the mall near the Macy’s entrance. Registration will be held on the following Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: June 16; July 2; Aug. 18; Sept 15.

Gwinnett County to issue new voter ID cards Registered voters in Gwinnett County will soon receive new precinct ID cards in the mail. Georgia law requires that counties issue new cards to notify voters when their political districts have changed. The County started mailing the cards on June 8. The yellow cards will include the voter’s polling location and all political districts for the residential address. Voters should keep these cards for their records. If the address shown on the card is incorrect, be sure to provide the correct address and send it to the Elections Office. The mailing address for the office is: Gwinnett County Voter Registration and Elections, 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville, GA 30046. If the cards are received by the voter registration deadline, a new precinct card will be issued with the updated information. Visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page at www.sos. to find your poll location, view your registration and absentee ballot request status, find early voting locations, and view sample ballots for upcoming elections. 

2012 General Primary/Nonpartisan election The 2012 General Primary/Nonpartisan election will take place on Tuesday, July 31. The deadline to register to vote and be eligible to cast a ballot in the election is Monday, July 2. Registered Gwinnett voters may request an absentee ballot by mail or cast their ballots in person from July 9 to July 27, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Elections Office, located at 455 Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville. Advance voting options will also be available for the election; visit for locations and dates. 

GARY W. WASHINGTON FOR SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE ROCKDALE COUNTY Actress Kerry Washington proudly endorses her cousin Gary W. Washington for SUPERIOR

COURT JUDGE Rockdale County.

The star of ABC’s new hit drama, Scandal, says “Gary’s principled beliefs and lifelong passion for justice will make him a superior court judge who is both fair and firm.” She encourages Rockdale County residents to go out to vote on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 for the “right choice”–her cousin Gary W. Washington, a person who stands for equal justice under the law.

Gary W. Washington… • 25 years experience as a Trial Attorney • Senior Attorney, Fulton County Public Defender’s Office

• Attorney, United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit • Instructor, Mercer Law School, National Criminal Defense College

Please sign up to volunteer at: 678-750-3301

JUNE 15, 2012


Business News



CALENDAR ABL to host Business Power forum The Atlanta Business League will host the Business Power forum on June 19, 5 – 7 p.m., at the Atlanta Life Financial Group Building, 100 Auburn Ave., Atlanta. The Atlanta Business League hosts its Business Power forums the third Tuesday of each month. The BPFs are an informative gathering where attendees are given the opportunity to hear from some of the Metro’s best and brightest entrepreneurs and CEOs of major corporations. Before leaving each meeting, attendees have the opportunity to: hear the experiences of a seasoned business professional, gain valuable tips in the areas of business management, marketing, and/or technology, meet some of the businesses for ABL members and enjoy a networking reception; complete with hot hors d’oeuvres. The forum is free to attend. Registration is mandatory. For more information or to register, call 404-584-8126 or visit  

DeKalb Chamber offers workshop on marketing The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce will host Market Your Business on June 22, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., at the Georgia Piedmont Technical College Conference Center, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston. The business workshop will focus on “Successful Marketing Strategies that Close the Sale.” Participants will learn how sales and marketing has evolved and how social media applies. They will learn the strategies that drive social selling success and ultimately capitalize on some simple, but practical “how to” ideas for engaging with buyers in a social Barbara Giamanco world. Barbara Giamanco, CEO of Talent Builders, and the co-author of The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, will lead the course. The cost to attend is $29.99. For more information or to register, call 404378-8000 or visit

Gwinnett Chamber presents discussion on drug testing for employers The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, will host “Drugs Don’t Work: Drug Testing and Liability Issues” for employers and companies on June 27, 8 – 11 a.m. The workshop will be divided into two parts. Part One: Reasonable Suspicion Testing – Signs and Symptoms of Drug/Alcohol Use and Part Two: Why Do You Require Post Accident Drug Testing? This presentation is designed to ensure business owners and supervisors maintain their understanding and “awareness” of the Reasonable Suspicion Testing process. The presentation includes information on signs and symptoms of drug/alcohol use, ways to

decrease workplace abuse, addiction and what abuse actually costs employers and workers in profits, salaries and taxes. Participants will meet in the Chamber’s John D. Stephens Education Room. The cost to attend is $35. For more information or to register, call 770-232-3000 or visit

ABWA sets monthly meeting The American Business Women’s Association will host a networking meeting on June 27, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., at the Rockdale Leadership Center, 2826 GA Hihgway20, S.E., Conyers. The meeting is held to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education and networking support. The cost to attend is $20. For more information or to register, call Patti Bryson at 770-918-1039.

BBA welcomes Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO The Buckhead Business Association will welcome guest speaker John Brock, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, for its business breakfast on June 28, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., at 103 West, 103 West Paces Ferry Road, N.W., Atlanta. In April 2006, Brock joined Coca-Cola Enterprises as CEO, and in April 2008, he was named chairman of the company. Under his leadership, Coca-Cola Enterprises sold its North American operations to The Coca-Cola Company and acquired bottling operations in Norway and Sweden in October 2010, forming the world’s third-largest independent Coca-Cola bottler. Headquartered in Atlanta, Coca-Cola Enterprises is the leading John Brock Western European marketer, distributor, and producer of bottle and can liquid nonalcoholic refreshment. The company is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Company in Belgium, continental France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. In addition, BBA Public Safety Awards will be presented to Buckhead Police, Fire Department and Fulton County Sheriff’s Department at the breakfast. The Karl A. Bevins Service Award will be awarded to a BBA member who demonstrates the characteristics of dedication to the organization and service to the community. The cost to attend the luncheon and awards ceremony is $75. For more information or to register, visit or call 404-467-7607.

DEKALB COUNTY GOVERNMENT Advertisement for Week of June 14, 2012

Sealed bids will be received in the Department of Purchasing and Contracting, 2nd Floor, The Maloof Center, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, Georgia 30030, for the following until 3:00 P.M. on date(s) designated below: REQUEST FOR QUOTATION NO.

12-500230 RFP



Consent Decree (CD) Program Management Services

EXTENDED TO June 18, 2012

3002197 ITB

Uniforms for DeKalb County

July 26, 2012

3002221 ITB

Asphalt: Hot Plant Mix

3002513 ITB

Streamlight Strion LED Flashlight

July 11, 2012

3002540 ITB

Decals for DeKalb County Vehicles

July 11, 2012

August 2, 2012

Specifications and other details will be available in the Purchasing and Contracting Department, The Maloof Center, 2nd Floor, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, Georgia 30030. For additional information, please view the DeKalb County Website at: DeKalb County reserves the right to accept or reject any or all bids or any part thereof, to waive any technicalities, and to re-advertise. By: Kelvin L. Walton, Director/Chief Procurement Officer DeKalb County Department of Purchasing and Contracting


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JUNE 15, 2012

We Worship



Faith-Based News & Inspiration

Antioch-Lithonia focuses on families for Vacation Bible School At Antioch-Lithonia Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Vacation Bible School is not just for kids. It’s for families. This summer marked the 15th year the church, under the leadership of Pastor James C. Ward, has held VBS in the evenings, promoting the summer event as a family destination for a two-week period, rather than one. Those who attended were not only fed spiritually, but received nutrition for their physical bodies, too. The church’s First Lady, Idell Ward, helped cooked dinner throughout the VBS. “It all started one day when somebody didn’t show up and Sister Ward decided to get in the kitchen and cook dinner herself. She’s been the main chef ever since,” said Pastor Ward. “As a church, we love Vacation Bible School because it brings people of all ages together to learn under one central theme.

Gail Golden, who has served as director of VBS at Antioch-Lithonia for years, said this summer’s theme was “Fishin’ On a Mission with Jesus.” The church concluded its two-week program on June 15. Golden said about170 children and 70 adults participated this year. “I really love this event. It provides a great opportunity to learn and apply those teachings to daily life, while still having

fun through recreation, arts and crafts and other activities,” said Golden. Antioch-Lithonia Missionary Baptist Church is located at 2152 Rock Chapel Road (Highway 124), Lithonia. If you or your family haven’t had the opportunity to attend Vacation Bible School, get out and fellowship and learn. Here are some other churches that are offering Vacation Bible School:

Photo by Joshua Smith/OCG News

Providence Missionary Baptist Church

Elizabeth Baptist Church

Providence Missionary Baptist Church, 2295 Benjamin E. Mays Drive, Atlanta, will host its VBS June 25 – 29, 5:15 – 8 p.m. The theme is “Fishin’ On a Mission with Jesus. Each evening will offer food, fellowship and learning. Registration is available June 17 and 24 following the church’s 10:40 a.m. worship services. 404-752-6869.

Elizabeth Baptist Church, 4245 Cascade Road, S.W., Atlanta, will host its Vacation Bible School June 25-29, 6 p.m. The theme is “Amazing Wonders Aviation.” Children are invited to hear Bible stories, play games, and complete a mission project. To register, contact Joyce Holmes at 404-604-2003 or

Cascade United Methodist Church Cascade United Methodist Church, 3144 Cascade Road, S.W., Atlanta, will host “No Friend Like Jesus: Get Connected” VBS on June 25 – 29, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Kids will discover the connection to Jesus while learning in the age of the internet that He is their BFF (Best Friend Forever). Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. with classes beginning at 6:30 p.m. To register, call 404-691-5770 or visit

First Baptist Church of Decatur First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave., Decatur will host Vacation Bible School July 16-20, 9 a.m. to noon. The theme is “Finding Hope: A Field Trip of Faith.” Children will hear bible stories, learn about missions, play games, and learn about the different communities in the United States where “Together for Hope” field personnel are serving. To register, visit or call 404-373-1653.

Stan Watson to honor deacons, gospel legends at Deacons in Devotion DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson will present his second annual Deacons in Devotion event on Sunday, June 24, at the Porter Sanford, III Performing Arts and Community Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. Gerard Henry, former co-host of BET’s Lift Every Voice show, will emcee the event. A dessert reception will be held at 3:30p.m. and the program will begin promptly at 5 p.m.

The purpose of this event is to highlight the tradition and impact of the Deacon’s Ministries in the African American churches. Participating churches include Antioch-Lithonia Missionary Baptist Church, Clarkston First Baptist Church, Covenant Ministries Cathedral, Fairfield Baptist Church, Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church, Greater Travelers Rest Missionary Baptist Church, Green

Forest Community Baptist Church, Israel Missionary Baptist Church, New Piney Gove Missionary Baptist Church, Popular Springs Baptist Church, and Salem Bible Church. Watson also will be using the occasion to honor legendary “African American Men in Gospel Music”. These honorees include K.D. Bowe, Donald Cochran, Rodney Evans, Reggie Gay, Bob Grissom, Bobby Hurd, Rodell

Lewis, Eli Smith, Ace Alexander, and Larry Tinsley. “Comcast Television/Zeel TV will be filming this momentous program, which will be archived with Georgia Public Television for future generations to view,” Watson said.   The event is free and Watson welcomes and invites the community to attend. No registration is required.

CALENDAR Welcome Friend Baptist welcomes John Lewis for Men’s Day Welcome Friend Baptist Church will host Congressman John Lewis as the guest speaker for its Men’s Day celebration on June 24, 10 a.m. With the theme, “Mission Minded Men of God, Walking John Lewis in the Light,” the service will celebrate the ministry’s men and the works they do in the church. Congressman Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, civil liberties, and building what he calls “The Beloved Community” in America. The church will also host a Pre-Men’s Day Prayer Vigil on June 23, 9 a.m. in the church’s J.H. Smith Chapel. Welcome

Friend Baptist Church is located at 3198 Bouldercrest Road, Ellenwood and is under the leadership of Pastor John H. Smith, Sr. and First Lady Darla Smith.

men featuring guest speaker Pastor Lee Washington of Reid Temple AMEC in Glendale, MD. The night will be filled with praise and worship from male performers. On June 16, 9 a.m., the church’s family life center will host the Men’s Intergenerational Breakfast. The free breakfast is open to men in the community to come and share. Men and boys are invited to share and fellowship together. The weekend ends on June 17, 11 a.m., with a Father’s Day worship service featuring Gregory Ingram, Presiding Prelate of the 10th Episcopal District AMEC. 404-371-0749.

Ray of Hope celebrates 26 years of ministry

For more information, call 404-241-0554 or visit www.

Voices of Faith sets “Family Affair” summer health fair Voices of Faith Ministries, 2500 Rockbridge Road, Stone Mountain, will host “It’s a Family Affair” Summer Health Fair on June 30, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The fair will offer blood pressure and glucose checks, education workshops on stroke prevention, diabetes, hypertension, stomach and colon health, BMI measurements, and general nutrition workshops. Attendees can also enjoy activities and games, vendor showcases, raffles and an “Ask the Pediatrician” session. The fair kicks off at 10 a.m. with a gospel fusion workout. Dr. Emmanuel Gbadehan of Infinite Health Gastroenterology in Lithonia and Dr. Alesia Fleming of Pediatric Emergency Medicine in Atlanta will serve as the fair’s guest speakers. 770-498-5850.

Saint Philip A.M.E. honors fathers Saint Philip A.M.E. Church, 240 Candler Road, Atlanta, is celebrating Father’s Day with three events this weekend. On June 15, 7 p.m., the church sanctuary will host a worship service for

Ray of Hope Christian Church, 2778 Snapfinger Road, Decatur, will celebrate its 26th church anniversary on June 19 and 24. Under the leadership of Pastor Cynthia L. Hale, the celebration begins on June 19, 7 p.m. The theme is “Impacting and Transforming Our Present World into the Kingdom of God.” The Movement Arts Ministry will bring the vision to life through the art of liturgical dance during the celebration. The guest preacher for the June 24 anniversary worship service will be Senior Pastor William H. Curtis of Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and guest praise leader, Rev. Trini Massie, who serves as Mount Ararat’s Minister of Praise and Worship. The service will be held at 10 a.m. The church will host a free community picnic after the service, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. at Wade Walker Park, 5585 Rockbridge Road, Stone Mountain. For more information, call 770-696-5100 or visit

Conyers ministry hosts summer revival Smyrna Presbyterian Church, 2920 Highway 212, S.W., Conyers, will host its summer revival on June 24 – June 29 at 10:30 or 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Guest speakers include Reverend Thomas Daniel of Kairos Church in Atlanta, Pastor Brad Waters of Grace Baptist Church in Monroe, Georgia, Reverend Jeremy Jones of Ruston, Louisiana and Melanie Jones, also from Ruston. Smyrna Presbyterian Church was founded in 1827. The church is the home of old “Camp Smyrna,” where 178 annual camp meetings have called Christians back to an evangelical heritage . For more information on the revival, visit CampMeetingInfo.doc or call 770-483-8962.

JUNE 15, 2012


Photos by Glenn L. Morgan/OCG News

Hundreds flock to Voices of Faith’s tailgate party STONE MOUNTAIN—The rain that showed up early Sunday morning cleared in time for Voices of Faith Ministries to put on its big afternoon tailgate party, bringing hundreds of people to the church’s Stone Mountain campus on June 10 for the church’s family reunion. Congregation members from Voices of Faith’s campuses in Baton Rouge, LA, hometown of the church’s founder, Gary Hawkins, Sr., along with members from the church’s campuses in Conyers, Jonesboro and Gainesville attended the event. As wonderful aromas filled the air with cooks flipping hotdogs, hamburgers, ribs and chicken on grills, people wandered from tent to tent meeting and greeting one another. Barbecue wasn’t the only fare. Sizzling fried fish and Louisiana dishes, including jambalaya, were served, along with a variety of side dishes and desserts. The meal was even sweeter for a few members who won 50-inch flat screen televisions for bringing the most guests to the worship services that Sunday. Elder Stefon Gresham won at the 8 a.m. worship service. Derrick and Felicia Butler took home a flat screen at the 9:30 a.m. service, and Amiee Kamara won a television at the church’s 11:30 a.m. worship service. For many churchgoers, the tailgate served as the first time that all of the congregation members have come together in one place.



Health & Wellness

JUNE 15, 2012

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta named one of U.S. best pediatric hospitals ATLANTA—Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is now ranked among the nation’s top pediatric hospitals, according to the U.S. News & World Report. The report ranks hospitals for excellence in outcomes, program structure and national reputation in 10 pediatric specialty areas. Children’s cardiac program was ranked among the top five programs in the country, with six other specialties ranked among the top 20: diabetes/ endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology. “Children’s is fortunate to have the physicians and staff who are dedicated to delivering the best care to the children and families that depend on us, and who strive to

advance and transform the practice of pediatric medicine,” said Donna Hyland, CEO, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “We are honored to receive the distinction as one of the top pediatric hospitals in the nation.”

 The 2012 “Best Children’s Hospitals” report is available online at childrenshospitals and will be published in the U.S. News Best Hospitals 2013 guidebook, which will be available in August. “Best Children’s Hospitals” pulls together clinical and operational data from an extensive survey, completed by 178 hospitals. The notfor-profit organization also was named among Fortune magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.”

CALENDAR the Gallery at South DeKalb, 2801 Candler Road, Decatur. Emory Healthcare presents forum on depression and heart disease pm atVarious workshops and and health screenings will be offered. Some of the Emory Healthcare, 1525 Clifton Road, N.E., Atlanta, will discuss the relationship between depression and heart disease on June 18, 12 p.m. Up to 15 percent of patients with cardiovascular disease and up to 20 percent of patients who have undergone coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery experience major depression. This session is free to attend. For more information or to register, call 404-712200 or visit

‘Look Good, Feel Better’ offered for women cancer survivors

vendors include the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, American Diabetes Association, American Kidney Fund, and Wellcare. The fair will also offer onsite HIV testing information, voter registration and a financial health speaker. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www. and or call 678-777-4330 or 404-245-9475.

Rockdale Medical Center sets blood drive

Saint Joseph’s Hospital, 5665 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, N.E., Atlanta, will host “Look Good, Feel Better” for women who have survived cancer on June 21, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. This hands-on, group workshop is dedicated to helping female cancer patients cope with and combat the appearance-related side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Learn skin care and makeup applications, as well as demonstrations on hair/wig techniques. Participants will meet in the Florence Hays Erb Clinical Specialty Center. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information or to register, call 678-843-5051 or email

Rockdale Medical Center, 1412 Milstead Ave., Conyers, and the American Red Cross will host a community blood drive on June 26, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The American Red Cross supplies blood and blood products to the patients in the community. You are invited to share the “gift of life” and be a volunteer blood donor at Rockdale Medical Center’s Blood Drive. Volunteers will be welcomed by smiling Rockdale Medical Center with movies or vintage television shows while you donate, cookies, crackers and other snacks. Volunteers will also be entered into drawings for prizes from the American Red Cross. For more information or to register, visit to and enter the sponsor code “rockmed.” 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (448-3543) or 770-918-3000.

Meal planning workshop set to fight cancer

Free HIV testing offered

Gwinnett County Government will host “Making the Right Choices to Reduce Cancer Risk” on June 22, noon – 1 p.m. on the second floor of the Gwinnett Annex Building, 750 South Perry St., Lawrenceville. Participants can learn how to reduce your risk of cancer, how to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, and how to save money when buying healthy foods. Participants also will receive healthy recipes such as stir-fried, sweet-andsour chicken. For more information or to register, contact Tricia Smith at 678-377-4010 and or Ines Betran at 678-377-4010 and ines.

The Empowerment Resource Center will offer free HIV testing services to encourage people to learn their HIV status on June 27, 12 – 6 p.m. at Hurt Park, across from Georgia State University, 100 Edgewood Ave. NE, Atlanta. The fifth annual event is funded in part by the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness. 404-526-1145.

AKA to present Family Empowerment, Health Day The Stone Mountain/Lithonia Graduate Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Stone Mountain/Lithonia Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc are hosting a Family Empowerment and Health Day on Saturday, June 23, 12 – 3

What are the benefits of aromatherapy? Piedmont Healthcare’s Cancer Wellness Center, 1800 Howell Mill Road, Suite 700, Atlanta, will discuss the benefits of aromatherapy on June 27, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., with “Aromatherapy both Inside and Out.” The popularity of aromatherapy continues to grow, boosted in a large part by research that shows how aromatherapy benefits a variety of conditions. There are many studies showing how certain aromas can lower blood pressure, ease headaches, help emotional stress, reduce anxiety and tension, as well as have analgesic and anti-inflammatory qualities. In this workshop, facilitated by Cindy Stark Reid, MA, LMT, LPC and Chef Nancy Waldeck, participants will learn about aromatherapy and its benefits, as well as make an aromatic air freshener and massage oil to take home. A healthy lunch will be served in the center’s wellness café. The workshop is free to attend. You must register to attend. For more information or to register, visit or call 404-425-7944.

DeKalb Medical offers blood glucose screenings DeKalb Medical, 2701 North Decatur Road, Decatur, will offer an educational workshop, “The Diabetes Update,” on June 28, 6 – 7 p.m. Led by Jay Mepani, M.D., a DeKalb Medical endocrinologist, the course will cover diabetes symptoms and treatments. Participants will receive a free blood glucose screening at this event. The workshop is free to attend. For more information or to complete necessary registration, call 404-501-WELL (9355).

JUNE 15, 2012


‘Hoops for Health’ gains sponsors for tournament By Valerie J. Morgan


he momentum is building for the “Hoops for Health” youth basketball tournament, which will be held July 21 at the Samson Health and Fitness Center, 6400 Woodrow Road, Jerry Myers Lithonia. A job fair and health fair will be held July 19 in conjunction with the tournament, which is open to youths ages 10 to 16. The DeKalb-Rockdale Employer Committee, a local group of business representatives, is organizing the events to raise money for college scholarships, and provide health education and job opportunities to the community at large. “This is a great community outreach project that will help a lot of people,” said Jerry Myers, who chairs the DeKalb-Rockdale Employer

Committee. “We want more teams to sign up and more sponsors. Health and jobs are two key things that impact our community.” Proceeds from the tournament will be used to assist J.A.B.S.T.E.P, Inc. in its fight against childhood obesity; the Susan G. Komen Foundation in its mission to fight breast cancer; and to award educational scholarships to deserving high school seniors in DeKalb and Rockdale counties. In addition to conducting community outreach projects, the DeKalb/Rockdale Employer Committee provides input in the development of policy and legislation to the Georgia Department of Labor. Myers said the following businesses and organizations have signed on as sponsors for the tournament: Global Protective Services (Silver) DeKalb Workforce Development (Bronze)


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June 15-2012  

The June 15 issue, ocg, ocgnews

June 15-2012  

The June 15 issue, ocg, ocgnews