K-9 ‘Perro’ joins Lithonia police force
Conyers resident credits God to long life
Superior Chevrolet celebrates re-grand opening in South DeKalb
Serving DeKalb & Metro Atlanta Volume 17 Number 15
NOVEMBER 1, 2011
Leaders salute Obama’s appointees
Postal Service unveils stamp for Decatur pastor
By Valerie J. Morgan
eulah Baptist Church in South DeKalb has a lot to shout about. The United States Postal Service is honoring the church’s pastor, Jerry D. Black, with a commemorative stamp in honor of his 20 years of service to Beulah and his 35 years in ministry. The Postal Service unveiled the Jerry D. Black Commemorative Stamp on Oct. 2 and the church began taking pre-sale orders on Oct. 30. The stamp is the 34th to be released in the Postal Service’s “Living Legends” series and is only available through special orders. “When the stamp was unveiled, Pastor Black was so surprised that he was at a loss for words—he was speechless,” said Christopher Hightower, who handles marketing for the church. The church, Hightower said, has had a big demand for the limited edition stamp. The stamp sheets, which are $16 a page, contain 20 stamps per sheet. “We took a lot of orders for the commemorative stamp on our Family and Friends Day, which was held Oct. 30,” Hightower said. “We had so many people who came to worship that we had to turn people away.” The stamp recognizes Pastor Black for reaching far beyond the walls of the Decatur church, with Beulah providing assistance on a regular basis to veterans, needy families, the elderly, the homeless and others who are downtrodden through several innovative and creative ministries. The Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rainbow Push plan to salute Black on Nov. 4 at the organization’s annual conference. Black is one of five pastors who will See Pastor, page 6 INSIDE
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Congressman Hank Johnson and DeKalb County Super District Commissioner Stan Watson presented the “Trail Blazer Leadership of Excellence Awards” to recognize President Obama’s five Southeast Regional appointees.
Gwendolyn Keyes-Fleming, regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. Keyes-Fleming is the first African American to hold the position. She formerly served as DeKalb County District Attorney (the first African American and first woman elected for the position) and the DeKalb Solicitor-General (first African American, first woman and the youngest person in history elected to the position). Edward Jennings, Jr., Department of Housing and Urban Development. Before accepting the appointment as HUD Regional Director, Jennings served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2000-2006 where he worked to expand access to health care, employment, transportation, and was a staunch advocate for affordable housing.
Gwendolyn Keyes-Fleming, EPA Regional Administrator
By Valerie J. Morgan
tlanta’s top brass—those appointed by President Barack Obama to head the nation’s top posts in the Southeast —shared the spotlight recently as dignitaries and community leaders came together to honor them at an awards program held in DeKalb County. Congressman Hank Johnson, who represents the Fourth District, and DeKalb County Super District 7 Commissioner Stan Watson presented the inaugural “Trail Blazer Leadership of Excellence Awards” to formally recognize the President’s five appointees for the Southeast (Region IV), which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Those tapped for the positions are experienced, respected leaders Johnson and Watson say have given tirelessly to their communities: Cassius Butts, Small Business Administration, regional director. Butts, who has degrees from Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University, began his career as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2002 with the U.S. Housing and Urban Development. Prior to his 10-year tenure within the federal government, Butts worked in senior leadership positions for city government agencies, national lending institutions and higher education.
Paulette Norvel Lewis, United States Department of Labor, regional administrator of the Department’s Women’s Bureau. An alumna of Leadership Atlanta and the Diversity Leadership Academy of Atlanta, Lewis is a member of the founding board of the International Community School in Clarkston, GA, and a founding member of S.O.A.R., a mentoring organization for young college women. Carlis V. Williams, Department of Health and Human Services. Before assuming her present position, Williams served as Executive Assistant to the Governor for Human Services in the State of Indiana. She served as chief policy advisor and was responsible for four agencies: Family and Social Services Administration, the Governor’s Council on Disabilities, the Governor’s Council on Protection and Advocacy and the Governor’s Council on Sports and Fitness. “They are the unsung heroes and sheroes who are always working behind the scenes for our communities,” Johnson said. There was standing-room only at the awards program, which was held at Arizona’s restaurant, located outside the Mall at Stonecrest in unincorporated Lithonia. Kiss 104.1 FM radio personality Sasha the Diva presented hosted the event and presented the Occasion. Watson said he and Johnson plan to present he Trail Blazer Leadership of Excellence awards annually to deserving leaders who impact the community. The nominees, he said, will be chosen in the areas of business, citizens, faith based community, government, and our youth.
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NOVEMBER 1, 2011
NOVEMBER 1, 2011 Volume 17, NO. 15 Publishers Glenn L. Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org Valerie J. Morgan email@example.com
DeKalb expo promotes green living
Staff Writer Joshua Smith firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Manager Richard S. Hill email@example.com
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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Chef Natalie Brigmond whips up some black bean and sweet potato chili for expo attendees to sample.
By Joshua Smith
rom “green” recipes, fabrics and churches to fashionable reusable market bags and even toilets, everything that is “green” was represented at DeKalb County’s Third Annual Green Expo on Oct. 29. “We are excited to be in a great venue with residents who have dedicated a Saturday to learning how they can do their part to build a safer, sustainable DeKalb,” said expo coordinator Kathie Gannon, DeKalb County Super District 6 Commissioner. Held in conjunction with the ONE DeKalb Neighborhood Summit at Decatur High School, the Green Expo featured more than 50 See Expo, page 6
Light of the World dedicates community garden in Stockbridge STOCKBRIDGE— Vegetable lovers now have a place where they can get fresh produce plucked from what might be considered a garden of Eden—thanks to Light of the World Christian Tabernacle in Henry County. Archbishop Ruth W. Smith Holmes, the church’s senior pastor, last month dedicated the church’s community garden to help provide healthy options to people in the area. Bishop Ruth, as she is known by her congregation, said she was inspired by the Holy Spirit to plant the garden. “We wanted healthier food for those in need, in addition to the packaged items that we offer in our food pantry,” said Bishop Ruth. Working with project leader Nikida Guyden, a team of devoted church members prepared the ground, planted the seeds and created a fence to protect the harvest. Guyden said her team includes her 7-yearold daughter, Aubrey, Otis Lawrence, Dawn Robinson, Olivia Robinson, Bonita Skillman, Arzialous Slack, Dr. Bobby Jennings, Andre Owens, Kathy Allen, Parker Allen, Preston Allen, and Micah Sanders.
Photo by Glenn L. Morgan/ OCG News
Archbishop Ruth W. Smith Holmes rakes a spot in the garden during a dedication ceremony, which was attended by church members and international guests.
“We planted collard greens, which are coming up really great. The broccoli and cabbages haven’t quite formed, but they should be ready by the first frost,” Guyden said. The church plans to grow a variety of vegetables throughout the year, eventually opening a vegetable stand. “We will plant seasonal vegetables—we will have beets and onions in the winter, tomatoes and green beans in the late summer, along with squash and melons,” Guyden said. Guyden says right now anyone who would like to have
some of the fresh vegetables from the Light of the World garden is welcomed. There’s no charge, but donations are welcomed to support the garden as seasons change and more seeds are planted. “We plan to put up a sign on our church marquee announcing the times that people can come by. People can look for the signs after the first frost in a couple of weeks,” Guyden said. The community garden is located on the grounds of the church’s Mission House on Hwy 155 N Stockbridge.
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PRISM forum: Wal-Mart plans for Memorial Drive
YMCA Academies of South DeKalb presents Fitness, Literacy Festival The YMCA Academies of South DeKalb, in partnership with the Partnership for Community Action, will host the Y Academies “Reading All Over the World” Fitness and Literacy Festival on Nov. 5, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., at the South DeKalb Y Soccer Field and Gym, 2565 Snapfinger Road, Lithonia. The festival looks to exercise your body and mind by providing the opportunity for your family to enjoy a day of healthy living events, while bringing awareness to the importance of language and literacy development in young children. The festival features children’s fitness instructors, “Ralphy’s Fox Tales Reading Enhancement,” massage therapy, community resources for health, the “Shawn Brown’s Super Fun Show,” moon jump, healthy food vendors, children’s book signings and raffles. The festival is free and open to the public. 770-484-1625.
DeKalb Neighborhood Leadership Institute recruits 2012 class The Partnership for Community Action, Inc. will begin recruitment for the DeKalb Neighborhood Leadership Institute (DNLI) Class of 2012 on Saturday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. DNLI is a nine-month educational program for emerging grassroots leaders open to DeKalb County residents only. It is designed to develop leaders who can assist their neighborhoods in understanding their government and in dealing effectively with community problems. Each class consists of individuals who represent the diversity of DeKalb in terms of race, age, sex and occupation. Three-quarters of the participants are from low/moderate income communities. All participants must have demonstrated a sincere commitment, motivation and an interest in serving the community prior to their enrollment. Graduates are expected to use their increased knowledge to further serve their neighborhood and to become a part of the network of trained community leaders growing throughout DeKalb. For more information, call 404-929-2421 or e-mail email@example.com.
What role did African Americans play in Civil War?
The Friends of the Stonecrest Library will celebrate the grand opening of “Forty Acres and More: African Americans and the Civil War” on Nov. 5, 12 – 3 p.m., at the Stonecrest Library, 3123 Klondike Road, Lithonia. Historian and former Atlanta Hawks Mike Glenn will present the exhibit, which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the war. Through period documents, pictures, and newspapers from Glenn’s personal collection, visitors will learn the many roles that African Americans played in the war. Historian Mike Glenn “Only by looking beneath the surface can we find greater significance and understanding of our past and our present,” Glenn said. “If history is our greatest teacher, then we can all benefit by becoming better students.” The exhibit will remain on display through Nov. 17 at the Stonecrest Library. For more information, visit the Mike Glenn Foundation at www.mikeglenn.com or call the library at 770-482-3828.
Sinfo-Nia to present benefit concert Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia will host its 21st Annual Fall Benefit Concert on Nov. 5, 5 p.m., at the Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. The Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc. was formed and founded as the William Grant Still Memorial Youth Orchestra of Metropolitan Atlanta on June 25, 1990. The orchestra is designed to showcase the works of black composers and arrangers. The cost to attend is $15 for adults and $10 for students. For more information, visit www.stillwatersyouthsinfo-nia.org or call 404-428-3804.
DeKalb Legislative Cabinet sets breakfast meeting DECATUR— Stan Watson, DeKalb’s Super District 7 Commissioner, will host the monthly DeKalb Legislative Community Cabinet Breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 5, 9 a.m. to 11 am. at Chapel Hill Middle School, 3535 Dogwood Farms Road, Decatur. Speakers for the breakfast include Berryl A. Anderson, Chief Magistrate Judge Magistrate Court of DeKalb County, Alison L. Weissinger, Director, DeKalb County Public Library and in recognition of November as National Adoption Awareness month, New Beginnings Life Changing Network, Inc. to discuss the training, support, resources, and rewards of being a foster parent. There is no charge to attend. The community is invited.
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Pride Rings In Stone Mountain (PRISM) will hold a public meeting to discuss plans for an additional Wal-Mart in the community. The meeting will be held on Nov. 10, 7 – 9 p.m., at St. Timothy United Methodist Church, 5365 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain. There is a proposal to bring a second Wal-Mart to the Memorial Drive corridor. The new site would be at the corners of Memorial Drive and North Hairston Road. “Join PRISM in conversations with representatives from Wal-Mart to hear first-hand about the opportunities and impact to our community, and the creation of approximately 300 jobs,” said State Rep. Michelle Henson, PRISM chair. 404-296-1442.
ROCKDALE Boomerang throwers to compete at Horse Park The Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Parkway, Conyers, will host the U.S. Boomerang Association team trials, Nov. 11 – 12, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Nov. 13, 12 – 4 p.m. The best boomerang throwers from around the nation will compete to earn their spot on the U.S. Boomerang Team to represent America at the 2012 World Boomerang Championships in São Paolo, Brazil. The team trials will be held at the Steeplechase Special Events Field at the Horse Park. pectators are welcome. Admission is free. For more information on this event, contact Jason Smucker at 770-494-2190 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Wimpy Kid” release party set for Conyers library The Nancy Guinn Memorial Library, 864 Green Street, Conyers, will host a book release party for Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever” on Nov. 15, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. The book follows “Greg Heffley,” who is in big trouble. School property has been damaged, and Greg is the prime suspect. But the crazy thing is, he’s innocent, or at least sort of. The authorities are closing in, but when a surprise blizzard hits, the Heffley family is trapped indoors. Greg knows that when the snow melts he’s going to have to face the music, but could any punishment be worse than being stuck inside with your family for the holidays? The library’s Youth Services Department will host the party for the book release. Attendees can enjoy making crafts, playing games and be the first to check out the new book, while supplies last. 770-388-5040, ext. 113.
Big Haynes Creek sets guided nature walk Big Haynes Creek Nature Center, 1996 Centennial Olympic Parkway, Conyers, will give a free nature tour on Nov. 12, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. Participants are invited to enjoy a free, guided nature walk through the Big Haynes Creek Nature Center, located within the Georgia International Horse Park. Cindy Roesel, a certified Master Naturalist, will lead the walk. Participants are encouraged to wear long pants and sturdy walking shoes and bring bug spray and water as well. The walk will last approximately two hours and cover about three miles. 770860-4190.
Children’s costume contest celebrates American author The Atlanta Public Library system will host the Louisa May Alcott Costume Contest to promote American Literature on Nov. 5, 1 – 3 p.m., at the Central Library auditorium, 1 Margaret Mitchell Square, Atlanta. The costume contest is open to ages 7-13. Prizes will be awarded for the top three entries. The theme should relate to American history and/or literature of the period dating from 1840-1870. Entrants should arrive in their costumes by 12:30 p.m. to complete a very brief entry form. A reception for attendees will be held following the program. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System is hosting this program as part of a series of events being presented in conjunction with Louisa May Alcott: The Louisa May Alcott Woman Behind Little Women, a documentary film co-produced by Nancy Porter Productions, Inc. and Thirteen/WNET New York’s American Masters, and a biography of the same name written by Harriet Reisen. “There will be prizes awarded for the top three finishers. All three will receive a Barnes & Noble Gift Card ($50, $25, $10), books, dolls or paper dolls and a DVD. There will be some flexibility in prizes awarded. For example, a boy may not want a doll as a prize; in such a case, we will substitute additional DVDs,” said contest organizer and General Collections Librarian John N. Wright. The contest is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Wright at 404-730-1745 or email@example.com.
NOVEMBER 1, 2011
Who will go down?
Gwinnett Parks Foundation sets 5K race The Gwinnett County Parks Foundation will host a 5K road race on Nov. 5, 9 a.m., at Tribble Mill Park, Lawrenceville. The “Canine and Carriage Walk” proceeds will benefit the Gwinnett Parks Foundation, a non-profit that supports the county’s parks and greenspace programs through hands-on activities and education. Medals will be presented to all participants upon finishing the 5K run. Registered runners who participate also will receive a race T-shirt. Pre-registration is $20/person or $25 per person onsite at the park. Register online at http://gwinnettparksfoundation.org/5k.html.
NAACP youths to honor Gwinnett council’s late co-founder The Gwinnett NAACP Youth Council will honor the life and legacy of the council’s co-founder, the Rev. John C. Stewart, on Nov. 11, 6 p.m. at the Centerville Community Center, 3025 Bethany Church Road, Snellville. Stewart was known for his work with community youths and bringing together the increasing diverse Gwinnett County. Using his 20 years experience as a Senior Human Resource Director of Hyatt Regency Atlanta and his years as a minister and pastor, Stewart worked to make things better for others and to provide opportunities for good communication without contention. JeJuan and John C. Stewart “It is hard to believe that Nov. 11, 2011 marks the fifth year since the passing of my husband, John C. Stewart, Jr. To many in Gwinnett, he was an inspiration and constant reminder of our call to do what is right and just. To others in our county, he was a thorn in their side,” said JeJuan Stewart, who co-founded the Youth Council. “He brought attention to issues regarding diversity and fairness, while stimulating dialog and earning trust. To me, John remains the love of my life and my best friend. He was a wonderful husband, an involved and dedicated father, a friend and confidant to many.”
Stephenson, MLK “Clash of the Cats” Nov. 4 The undefeated Stephenson High and Martin Luther King Jr. High will go head to head in the final football game of the season. The two teams will hit the gridiron with the 2-AAAAA region champion title up for grabs on Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m., at James R. Hallford Stadium, 3789 Memorial College Avenue, Clarkston. Both schools proudly carry a 9-0 overall record, with six of those wins coming from inner league play. Stephenson currently ranks fourth in the state and 142 nationally, while Martin Luther King, Jr. is right on their heels, standing fifth in the state and 150 in the Nation. Stephenson has won the region title in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. The Jaguars would have the region title in dominance, however Martin Luther King, Jr. Lions has been crowned region champion in 2007 and 2010. Fans say this is a record-making meeting between DeKalb’s top two teams because they have never played for the region title at 9-0. Kenley Waller, who will operate the concession stand at the game, is showing his school spirit. He’s offering a free hot dog for customers who buy a drink on Nov. 4 and bring in this article.
Reminder: Property tax bills due Nov. 15
o o d R e vit a l iz a
Payments for Gwinnett County’s 2011 property tax bills are due Nov. 15. After this date, unpaid bills are subject to a 10 percent penalty, and any unpaid amount is subject to a one percent monthly interest charge. Visit the Tax Commissioner’s website at www.GwinnettTaxCommissioner.com or call 770-822-8800 for more information.
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Upside Down Solutions helps homeowners fight predatory lending practices, foreclosures
he stories of despair and disaster are familiar: With the downturn in the economy, many homes in Georgia and across the country are now “under water.” They may no longer have to stay that way, however. Upside Down Solutions in Gwinnett County is working to help homeowners in the metro Atlanta area turn their properties right side up, and the company says it is even saving homes and other properties that were headed to foreclosure. “We work to see if we can get people’s mortgages reduced to what today’s fair market property values are versus what they paid five years ago, and to stop foreclosures,” said Jim Burnett, who owns the firm. Burnett opened Upside Down Solutions with a team of experts to work one-on-one with property owners. The 15-member team, which is comprised of lawyers, auditors, former bankers, loan officers, real estate investors and real estate agents, specializes in loan investigations and loan settlement services. “We conduct forensic audits and securitization audits to fully investigate people’s loans. Through the audits, we expose violations made by mortgage lenders, investment groups, mortgage servicing companies and others,” said Sheena McKibben, a senior loan investigator with Upside Down Solutions. Burnett and his wife, Faye Burnett, opened the company because of the vast problems with mortgage fraud and predatory lending practices that have been hurting homeowners around the country. Burnett points to the April 3,
2011 60 Minutes segment “Mortgage Mess: Who really owns your mortgage?” The investigative segment revealed how lenders were bundling mortgage-backed securities and selling them from investor to investor, while using document mills to forge paperwork. “You literally had people who did not know who actually owned their homes because the mortgages had been sold to so many different investors,” Jim Burnett said. “They were forcing people
into foreclosure. There were all kinds of violations.” Such was the case with a recent client whom Upside Down Solutions helped save from foreclosure. McKibben said after the company finished conducting its forensic audit and filing legal documents, the lender gave the woman the deed to the house free and clear. “It was an investment property worth about $55,000. It would have
cost them that much to fight it in court,” McKibben said. Said Burnett: “We want to help people keep their homes. Each case is different. We conduct the audits to determine what needs to be done.” Upside Down Solutions is located at 2330 Scenic Highway, Suite 217 in Snellville. For a free consultation, call 678-252-2117 today.
Expo featured green products and services continued from page 3
vendors with products, initiatives or community gardens that all have one goal in mind: saving energy and becoming sustainable. “This is my first year attending the expo and I will come back next year. I think it is a wonderful idea for the community,” Julie Cowan of Decatur. “I have been playing with the idea of starting my own garden and now I have the information and confidence to do that.” Katie Preston, South Georgia Operations Director for Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, says the message of going green is being preached in churches. Since 2003, the company, founded by the Rev. Woody Barlett has been helping churches operate more efficiently. “The less money spent on energy means more for your mission. As the church works to save the world, saving energy along the way can be a great thing, ” said Preston, a member of Roswell Presbyterian Church. “Whether it’s conducting energy audits, installing solar panels or hosting classes ,we work to do whatever we can do to give churches green power.” Several of the Green Expo booths were filled with an appetizing aroma as chef Natalie Brigmond of the Foodies Guide to Kitchen Simple prepared black bean and sweet potato chili. “The pesticides used on conventional foods can be bad for the planet, not to mention your personal health. That’s why the we promote real food for real people.” Brigmond said. “It can be a tough transition for some, but in the end sustainable foods have several benefits including heart health and contain more nutrients, are richer in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, when compared to non-organic food.” The Green event, which drew 100 residents from DeKalb and surrounding counties, also featured workshops such as Joining/Starting your Neighborhood Watch, Effective Advocacy and Lobbying for Policy Change, and Neighborhood Economic Development Strategy: Opportunities and Challenges. “We are striving to be the greenest community in the U.S. with several initiatives such as turning the methane gas at the county’s Seminole landfill into automobile fuel,” said DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis. “These two events go hand and hand every year because we not only have to protect our environment, but protect our community as well. We have that responsibility to keep to our citizens.” Commissioner Gannon and Keep DeKalb Beautiful will host “America Recycles Day” on Nov. 19, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Documents and other items will be accepted for recycling at the Central Transfer Station in Decatur. For more information, call 404-371-4909.
Caroma dual flush toilet representatives educate on lookers of “flushing green.”
Photo by Joshua Smith/ OCG News
Pastor Black’s season filled with tributes continued from page 1
be honored at the 1000 Churches Connected Clergy Luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Atlanta. Hightower said Beulah is also celebrating Pastor Black’s release of a music CD, “The Future of Faith,” which was recently featured on the nationallysyndicated radio show, “The Bobby Jones Gospel Countdown.” “It really is Pastor Black’s season. “He is so deserving, yet he has remained humble and grateful,” Hightower said. Black was honored with the “Faith-Based Award” by the DeKalb NAACP on Oct. 22. For more on the NAACP awards, see page 10. For information on ordering the Jerry D. Black Commemorative Stamp, contact Beulah’s marketing director Christopher Hightower, at chightower@ beulahbaptist.org or 404-234-4420.
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday • 8:00 a.m. - 5 p.m. • Friday • 8:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. Address: DeKalb Medical Center at Hillandale 5910 Hillandale Drive • Suite 301 • Lithonia, GA 30058 For Appointment: 678-418-2120
NOVEMBER 1, 2011
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
DeKalb continues fight for I-20 rail By Larry Johnson
have been left alongside the road. The project list continues to perpetuate the very challenge that the regional transportation The Atlanta Journal Constitution plan purports to want to address. Road recently published an article regarding Cobb improvement projects, in effect, County’s decision to amend are road-widening projects and recommendations for a rail project intersection improvements are to for the county. After input from accommodate more traffic. South citizens and businesses voicing and Central DeKalb will have opposition to the project, the great roads that will continue to be Cobb Regional Roundtable clogged with bumper-to-bumper representatives reallocated the traffic. South and Central DeKalb funding allocated to them. This is a will not be in a position to get stellar example of the voice of the people out of their cars and on to people being heard and the wishes rail for another 40 years --- and of the constituency being followed. then there is no guarantee that DeKalb voters must demand some other roadblocks will not and fight for what it needs as well. have been created or appear that DeKalb residents will be asked to Larry Johnson will delay rail even at that point. vote in 2012 to add an additional Proponents of the project list say that the penny to the current 7 cent sales tax. Voters vocal opposition that has been raised because will be asked to approve a project list (see list there is no funding for rail for South and at right) under the Transportation Investment Central DeKalb will have a negative effect on Act funding. This approved project list does the region if the opposing voices are successful not include funding for rail for the I-20 East in defeating the referendum. Project. Central and South DeKalb have lived with Proponents of the project list will say that the negative impact of having no rail for the DeKalb residents are getting $1.6 billion from past 30 years even though Central and South the total $6 billion allocated for the region. On DeKalb have been contributing their one the surface, this might sound like a great deal: percent sales tax for all this time. An additional for a mere additional one cent tax, you get one percent sales tax does not improve the $1.6 billion in roadway projects (minus the conditions in Central and South DeKalb. An $700 million for the Clifton Corridor project) additional one percent sales tax does not l but no rail. You will receive Bike/Pedestrian provide rail for a transportation-starved area. improvements. But no rail. And you will Throwing the baby out with the bath receive bus rapid transit, but again, no rail. water has been a phrase used to characterize Over 30 years ago, an agreement was the opposition to the list as adopted --- but made with the taxpayers of DeKalb and that endorsing this list would be akin to selling your agreement was in short: “Pay the one percent sales tax and rail will be constructed throughout car to buy gas. DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johnson DeKalb.” Thus far, no new rail projects in 20+ represents District 3 and is the presiding officer years have been constructed in Central and for the DeKalb Board of Commissioners. South DeKalb --- Central and South DeKalb
Vote yes for SPLOST to improve DeKalb schools By Thomas E. Brown
“Trust Us With Your Smile”
For the last 15 years we have been asked to go to the polls three times and vote yes or no for a 1-cent Special Local Option Sales Tax for new construction or major renovations for our DeKalb School System.
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• I n year 12 to date, we again said yes to our children and upgraded existing schools throughout the system with new HVAC systems, new roofs, new multipurpose buildings and Physical Education infrastructure improvements. Now, we are being asked to go back on Nov. 8 to continue what we started. Make no mistakes, I have followed the improvements closely the last 10 years as your Sheriff and 5 years before as your Public Safety Director. Our children have been well-served. The school system deserves another vote of confidence and I will give them mine and ask that you give them your vote as well. Voting yes on the 1-cent sales tax for education will help build new classrooms, new auditoriums, new vocational classrooms and other improvements in many schools and will make much needed repairs, renovations and improvements in many other schools throughout DeKalb County. All schools will get updated with improved technology and our children will have new buses to get to school safely. All of our children will benefit. Please join with me on Nov. 8 and vote yes to continue the 1-cent SPLOST. DeKalb County will be a better and safer place to live. For more information visit www.splostforschools.org Thomas E. Brown is Sheriff of DeKalb County.
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Lithonia Mayoral candidates (4-year seats, choose one) Tonya Peterson Anderson
Al T. Franklin
Occupation: Tax Accountant
Occupation: Advertising consultant
Residency: Has lived in Lithonia 18 years
Residency: 5 years
Occupation: Attorney, community economic development consultant, mediator
Occupation: Chaplain, U.S. Air Force Reserve 21 years Residency: 17 years Education: BS, business administration; Masters of Divinity. Professional/Civic Groups: Minister at Stronghold Christian Church; member of the Georgia Conference of Black Mayors, the National Conference of Black Mayors; NAACP; Board Member, DeKalb County Board of Health; volunteer at Senior Connections delivering Meals on Wheels; Salvation Army volunteer and volunteer for several after-school programs. What is your one great idea to improve Lithonia? The City of Lithonia is poised for greatness, but I don’t believe that any one idea will be the catalyst for the improvement the city needs. We need a multi-faceted plan that addresses several key areas of concern to move us in the right direction. One such idea is the introduction of the Lithonia Economic Advancement Partnership (L.E.A.P) Program, which would encourage business and economic development, work to bring more affordable housing and boost the city’s property tax base by replicating partnerships such as the one that now exists between the city, Mercy Housing and the Lithonia Housing Authority.
Education: Master’s in Theology Life Christian University. 2010 Gus George Maroun Scholar for the Executive MBA program at Kennesaw State University. Will graduate from Kennesaw State University’s MBA program in May 2012. Government/Civic Groups: A member of the Greater Lithonia Chamber of Commerce, 2010 Graduate of Leadership DeKalb, Stonecrest Business Alliance coordinator, and the Stonecrest Growth Initiative task force. What is your one great idea to improve Lithonia? My big idea for the city of Lithonia is to foster an environment that is business friendly, supports economic and community development, and maintains our rich history. As Mayor, I would encourage strong community participation. I will work with all stake holders to revitalize downtown Lithonia, create job opportunities for our residents, secure resources from DeKalb County and State of Georgia, and promote activities for our youths and seniors, while ensuring that we have a safe and clean town. Together, we will create an atmosphere in the city that is inviting and friendly for businesses and residents. The City of Lithonia will be a place that everyone will be proud to call home.
Education: Master’s degree in science management with a concentration in Human Resource Management from Troy University. Professional/Civic Groups: Member National Association of African Americans in Human Resources and the Society for Human Resource Management What is your one great idea to improve Lithonia? Lithonia has approximately 35 percent of its downtown businesses vacated. The challenge is updating the Lithonia Plaza area and providing a variety of businesses. I plan to promote monthly seminars called “Doing Business with Lithonia” to help potential businesses understand the zoning codes and the strategic direction of Lithonia’s vision. That vision includes a massive beautification plan where citizens, business owners, and our maintenance department will be challenged to make improvements to the city. Along with my push for economic development, I will work to bring the concerts back that everyone wants to see and push for community use of our amphitheater to boost revenues for the city.
Residency: 5 years Education: Ph.D., Community Economic Development & Public Policy, Southern New Hampshire University; J.D., Rutgers University - Newark Professional /Civic Groups: President of DeKalb Lawyers Association Community and Education Fund; Member of DeKalb Lawyers Association; member of Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys; President of CrossRoadsNews Foundation; member and Legal Advisor to Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment (CHASE). What is your one great idea to improve Lithonia? My goal is the redevelopment of the city in a way that benefits the existing residents and attracts people from the larger community. An excellent foundation is now being laid through the Blueprints for Successful Communities project in partnership with the Georgia Conservancy. The Blueprints project builds on the city’s comprehensive plan and LCI study recommendations to take the city to the next level. At the end of the Blueprints process, we will have concrete recommendations and cost estimates for redevelopment of Lithonia Plaza and other activities for the city.
Lithonia City Council (4-year seats, choose two) Darold P. Honore’ Jr.
Occupation: Realtor, substitute teacher
Occupation: Licensed Funeral Director
Residency: 11 years
Residency: 35 years
Occupation: Retired court information officer, DeKalb County Court System.
Education: Pursuing master’s degree in adult education at Strayer University. Holds B.S. in finance Georgia State University .
Education: Associate Degree in Funeral Science
Professional/Civic Groups: DeKalb Board of Realtors, Stonecrest Business Alliance, treasurer of the DeKalb History Center, vice president of New Birth Christian Academy PTA, 2008 alumnae of Leadership DeKalb. What is your one great idea to improve Lithonia? We all know that cities across the country have faced declining property values and lost tremendous amounts of revenues due to the downturn of the economy. Lithonia is no different. If elected, I will work to bring back the city’s concert series. Bringing the concert series back to Lithonia will not only bring statewide—even national attention— but it will provide the economic engine the city needs to generate revenues, revitalize Lithonia as a whole, improve the city’s image and bring people to Lithonia. Utilizing the city’s Stewart Amphitheater is the one thing the city can take advantage of right now.
Professional/Civic Groups: Georgia Funeral Service Practitioners Association, National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, Lithonia-Snapfinger Chamber of Commerce, Stonecrest Business Alliance, Champion Theme School PTO, board member Senior Connections of Bruce Street. What is your one great idea to improve Lithonia? The one that is most important to me is building trust and giving the citizens of Lithonia feedback of all meetings or business that is brought forward. I want the citizens to be able to view a website, if they are capable of using a computer. I want to have a monthly or quarterly newsletter with all the information that is of concern of our citizens. I want the citizens to be reminded of all monthly city meetings.
Residency: Lifelong resident Education: Graduated from historic Bruce Street High School Professional/Civic Groups: A member of the Friends of Lithonia African American Cemetery. What is your one great idea to improve Lithonia? My No. 1 priority is code enforcement, particularly with attention to focused on the dilapidated housing in Lithonia. However, closely linked with that is public safety. As a citizen, I hear the cries for improving public safety. If elected, I will work with our police department to improve these services.
Special Election(2-year toseats,fill unexpired terms choose two) Candidates for Lithonia City Council
Patricia L. Miller
Tabitha D. Wingo
Occupation: Registered nurse
Occupation: Office administrator
Occupation: Corporate Tax Examiner
Residency: 32 years
Residency: 14 years
Residency: 23 years
Education: Associate degree in nursing Georgia Perimeter College
Education: Certified Nurse Assistant (certificate from Everest Institute) and paralegal certificate, Kaplan University.
Education: Some college experience
Professional/Civic Groups: Member of Lithonia Library Friends group, Nursing Alumni Association at Georgia Perimeter College, tutor for non-English speaking Latino students What is your one great idea to improve Lithonia? The first thing we have to take care of is code enforcement. If elected, I will stop the talking as we have done for years and will work hard to think of creative ways to find funds to do this. I think the city, especially the center of the city, needs to be completely revamped.
Professional/Civic Groups: DeKalb County Court Appointed Special Advocate or CASA, The United Way. What is your one great idea to improve Lithonia? We must improve our downtown plaza. If elected, I will work to revamp the old buildings that businesses have left and work with existing businesses to make them as modern as possible. I think that one way to attract people downtown and generate revenues is to bring food vending trucks to our Main Street.
Professional/Civic Groups: Atlanta AIDS Shelter counselor, member Greater Body of Christ Temple (serves on Youth/Young Adult Ministry and food bank, which cooks and prepares meals for the homeless What is your one great idea to improve Lithonia? We have to beautify the city to improve it. Everyone is talking about bringing new business here, but we must address this issue first. If elected, I will get our youths involved. I propose we rent tools, start a building fund or whatever we need to do to put the program in place, and put our youths to work earning volunteer hours for school by tearing down the eyesores in our city.
CITY OF LITHONIA
K-9 â€˜Perroâ€™ joins Lithonia police force
Fish â€˜N Grits Breakfast Nov. 5, 8 a.m. to noon, Lithonia Middle School, 2451 Randall Ave. (next to Stewart Amphitheater). $5 per plate includes fried fish, grits, eggs, biscuits, coffee and juice. Hosted by the West End Kiwanis Club and Lithonia Middle School Builders.
By Joshua Smith
is name is Perro. Itâ€™s Spanish for â€œdog.â€? Simple enough to remember and pronounce, Perro is the latest addition to join the City of Lithonia. The 19-month-old Belgian Malinois Shepherd began work with the city of Lithonia Police Department on Oct. 17 after extensive training in a north Georgia canine academy. The dog already had the name Perro when the Police Department received him, so the name stuck. After only a few weeks on the job, Perro has already helped Lithonia police with a couple of drug busts and burglaries. â€œPerro is trained to sniff out narcotics for apprehension of suspects and tracking missing people, among other duties. He is what you call a full-service K-9,â€? said Sgt. Larry Williams, who is Perroâ€™s handler. Williams received the dog after winning an online raffle offered by Aftermath Inc., a crime scene and trauma clean-up company. Aftermath announced Williamsâ€™ win on June 1 at the 2011 American Police Canine Association National Convention and Workshop, where Williamsâ€™ name was randomly selected among hundreds of entries from police departments from around the country. â€œAftermath does the raffle twice a year as a way to give back. Iâ€™m glad I was picked,â€? said Williams, who has been on the Lithonia police force for six years. Williams spent 240 hours over
Photo by Joshua Smith/ OCG News
Lithonia Police Sgt. Larry Williams and partner, Perro, take a snapshot in front of Williamsâ€™ patrol car.
a six-week period training and building a relationship with Perro at the Custom K-9 Unlimited center in Maysville, GA. The training academy, which gets most of its dogs from a breeding kennel in the Netherlands, is owned and operated by police officers who have more than 85 years of combined experience with canines in law enforcement. Perro came from the Netherlands. â€œOur work has paid off because we have a bond now. When other people give Perro commands, he doesnâ€™t acknowledge their voice and waits for me to say it is O.K.,â€? said Williams.
The K-9 academyâ€™s training director, A.J. Vargas, says Williams was one of the most dedicated officers to participate in the program, handling not only the daily 134-mile, round-trip commute from Atlanta to Maysville but handling administrative duties upon his return to Lithonia. Williams often sacrificed his personal time to complete his work, Vargas said. â€œHe (Sgt. Williams) had a lot on him. Most officers we teach only have to focus on K-9 training and testing, but Sgt. Williams did not have that luxury,â€? said Vargas.
First St. Paul AME installs Historical Preservation Society to save old Lithonia house The First St. Paul Historical Society inaugural members: Barbara Lester Toni Dowell Melissa Baker Misty Woods Hopson Tameka Woods Marcie Baker Deborah McCallahan Rolandu Rice Thornton Fears Michelle Fears Catrina Scott
First St. Paul AME Church turned an important page in the churchâ€™s history and that of the city of Lithonia on Oct. 30. The African Methodist Episcopal Churchâ€™s Presiding Elder, Earl Ifill, and the Lithonia churchâ€™s Pastor Marvin Crawford, installed a team forming the inaugural First St. Paul Historical Preservation Society. The 11-member group will take on the task of etablishing an historic museum ď‚Ť
in the city that they are calling â€œThe House that Sam Built. The Society plans to restore the house the church owns at 6850 Magnolia St., Lithonia, for the museum. The dilapidated house itself is an artifact. Barbara Lester, a lifelong resident of Lithonia and member of First St. Paul, wanted the house torn down, but discovered that it was worth saving after meeting Ella Ruth Colbert Brinson and her daughter, Charcella C. Green of Conyers. Brinson said that Sam Colbert, her father, had to flee from Lithoniaâ€”
VOTE NOVEMBER 8, 2011
ď‚Ť Celebrate Diversity
Doreen Carter Is Determined To: ď‚Ť
Work Collaboratively â€˘ Plan Strategically â€˘ Get the Job Done
Oral History Project Nov. 5, 3 to 5 p.m., Lithonia Womanâ€™s Club, 2564 Wiggins St. Meet Lynn MarshallLinnemeier, who will introduce plans for the Lithonia Journey Project. Linnemeier has worked with communities around the country to capture their untold histories. Sponsored by Lithonia Redevelopment Committee, Lithonia Community Blue Prints Task Force and DLA Community & Education Fund. RSVP to Deborah A. Jackson: 404-534-6545. City Council Meeting Nov. 7 p.m., City Hall. Regular business meeting. City Elections Nov. 8, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Polling Precinct: Union Missionary Baptist Church, 2470 Bruce St. Elections results will be published Nov. 9 at www. ocgnews.com Lithonia Blue Prints Project Nov. 21, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Lithonia First United Methodist Church, 3099 Stone Mountain St. The Georgia Conservancy will host its final workshop for community input on developing a blueprint for improving Lithonia. The final plan will include cost estimates, time frames and potential partners for implementation.
2011 Fall Street Festival
Time: 12noon-Â5pm Date: Nov 05, 2011
Noon - 5 p.m. part of a great city! Come and enjoy a full day of FUN with family and friends. There will
Photo by Glenn L. Morgan/ OCG News
By Valerie J. Morgan
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leaving the house that he ownedâ€”or risk being killed by the KKK. Brinson, 80, was 8 years old when the mob took him from the house and severely beat him. Lester organized members of her church to form the Historical Preservation Society, and she helped unite Colbert family members who hadnâ€™t seen one another in years. The church is making a documentary with Colbert family members. For more photos of the installation program, visit www.ocgnews (See photo gallery, right side of Home page).
Fannie Cakes Bakery CafĂŠ Featuring the â€œOriginal Sweet Potato Cakeâ€?
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NOVEMBER 1, 2011
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Movers & Shakers in the Community
DeKalb NAACP pays tribute to array of ‘inspiring’ trailblazers toiletries, bibles and and tracks to the homeless. Beulah has assisted military families, hospitals , schools and even foreign countries. The church has also set a goal of donating 5,000 pairs of new socks to prisons, nursing homes and shelters. The U.S. Postal Service is releasing a postage stamp that depicts Rev. Black’s image. Congregation members had a chance to pre-order the stamp at its Oct. 30 service. Chick-fil-A, the Benjamin Hooks Award, was recognized for its prolific and proficient business practices. Truett Cathy opened the first store in Hapeville in 1946 with other stores springing up around the metro Atlanta area, including the South DeKalb store, which opened in 1979. Fourteen years after the company became the first ever title sponsor of the Chick-fil-A Bowl for college football, it continues to lead all bowls in charitable donations, providing a record $6.7 million payout to participating universities. Beatrice Williams, David C. Albert Membership Award, honored for her outstanding contributions and commitment to the NAACP. Photo by Glenn L. Morgan/OCG News
Atlanta Councilman Julian Michael Bond, who served as the banquet’s guest speaker, and Simone Ward, who handles public relations for the Atlanta Hawks, received appreciation plaques from DeKalb NAACP President John Evans.
By Valerie J. Morgan
rom a South DeKalb pastor who is being honored with a U.S. postage stamp to a Decatur sorority that has pushed for voter registration and annually provided student scholarships, the DeKalb NAACP presented nine awards to those it called inspiring at its 55th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet. John Evans, president of the DeKalb NAACP, said the pioneers honored exemplified the work the civil rights organization is all about, providing the inspiration for generations to come. Evans and DeKalb Chamber President Leonardo McClarty, presented plaques to the honorees during a program that included Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia’s Fourth District and keynote speaker, City of Atlanta Councilman Michael Julian Bond. The program was held at South DeKalb’s St. Philip AME Church in Atlanta. The honorees included: Rev. Jerry D. Black, pastor of Beulah Baptist Church in Decatur, received the Faith-Based Award for a heart to serve God’s people. Rev. Black, a national figure, has established numerous ministries including one that provides food each month to more than 200 families, as well as a Street Ministry that provides brown bag dinners,
Ramona Tyson, Narvie J. Harris Education Award, honored for her outstanding achievements as interim superintendent of DeKalb County Schools Delta Sigma Theta, Decatur Alumnae Chapter, community outreach including voter registration drives, mentoring programs and student scholarships Dr. Alduan Tartt, Thomas C. Wilson Youth Services Award, honored for his outstanding contributions as a psychologist, national speaker and author.
12-year-old lifesaver called ‘true hero’ DECATUR – DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis and the Board of Commissioners commended 12-year-old Justice D. Pate for his bravery in rescuing a young child from drowning while on vacation with his family this past summer. Pate was recognized at the Oct. 26 Board of Commissioners’ meeting. “Justice is a true hero in our county. He is a prime example that one person can make an extraordinary difference. Because of his quick actions on Aug. 6, a young man now has a bright future,” said CEO Ellis. Justice, a DeKalb resident, was visiting Bridgeton, Missouri with his family to attend a family reunion in August. The Pates were staying at a local hotel and Justice was swimming when he kicked something on the bottom of the pool. He realized it was a child lying motionless on his back and alerted his father. Justice then dove to the bottom of the pool, raised the boy to the surface and handed him to his father and the father of the victim. The victim was unconscious and not breathing. The adults called 911 and began CPR. The child was transported to a hospital where he made a full recovery. “We applaud Justice for his bravery and his parents for rearing such a stellar young man,” said Ellis.
Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment (CHASE) honored with the Thurgood Marshall Award for its efforts to fight a gasification plant proposed for the city of Lithonia. Rev. George A. Moore, Sr., retired pastor of Saint Philip AME, was honored with the John Evans Lifetime Achievement Award, for 41 years of service in ministry. Rev. The Oct. 22 award came on Moore’s 76th birthday. Teresa Hardy, Silver Lifetime Member of the DeKalb NAACP, lauded for her outstanding civic work. Hardy serves as third vice president of the branch. She is involved in a number of civic organizations and professionally has over 15 years in information technology. For more photos of the program, visit www.ocgnews.com (See photo gallery on the left side of the Home page).
Kenley Waller named South DeKalb Y’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’ The South DeKalb Family YMCA will honor Stone Mountain resident Kenley Waller as its 2011 Volunteer of the Year. Waller will be honored at the YMCA of Metro Atlanta annual volunteer recognition dinner Nov. 7 at the Cobb Galleria Centre. Waller has been serving the South DeKalb Family Y for more than 10 years. Currently, Waller is a board member and serves on the membership and nominating committees. Kenley Waller During his tenure, he has assisted in recruiting new board members. “Serving on the board brings new ideas, leadership and follow-up to the Y,” Waller said. “It brings together different talents from different organizations. You can communicate, and you have the same common goal.” Waller’s community involvement outside the Y includes the Atlanta Chapter of the 100 Black Men, the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, SCLC Women Inc., East DeKalb Boys & Girls Club, Leadership DeKalb graduate, and the Atlanta Business League. Waller and his wife, Myra, have two sons, Kenley and Jonathan. Waller is the owner of Kenley’s Catering and Sandwich Shop in downtown Atlanta.
Dr. Albert D. Mosley takes helm of Gammon Theological Seminary as President Reverend Albert D. Mosley has become the fifteenth President/Dean of Gammon Theological Seminary to lead the school of religion as it continues to train men and women for faith-based solutions to the spiritual and socio-economic challenges confronting the African American community. The inaugural service took place at Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta on Oct. 18 as a part of the school celebrating the school’s 128th Founders’ Day. Reverend Mosley was born and raised in rural Mississippi. He has earned degrees from Millsaps College, Duke University, and Yale University. Mosley is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Bishop’s Medal given by the Mississippi
Conference of the United Methodist Church for meritorious service to church and society. Before assuming the position of President/Dean at Gammon, he was the University Chaplain of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Mosley’s previous appointments have included being Senior Pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Schuylkill Haven, PA (one of the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference’s largest white congregations) and as Chaplain and Director of MultiFaith Studies at United Methodist-related Albright College in Reading, PA. He held the position of Assistant Dean & Director of Religious Life at Duke University. Additional activities celebrating the
schol’s Founder’s Day included lectures; the Inaugural Gala, worship services, the presentation of the Distinguished Alumni Award and an alumni luncheon. Gammon Seminary, one of the thirteen fully-accredited schools of theology of the United Methodist Church, is the denomination’s only historically Black seminary and was founded in 1883. Gammon Seminary is a coeducational, professional graduate school of theology; and one of the six denominational constituent seminaries located at The Interdenominational Theological Center in the Atlanta University Center. The center is located at 700 Martin Luther King Jr., Drive, S.W., Atlanta.
Reverend Albert D. Mosley
NOVEMBER 1, 2011
Conyers resident credits God to long life
Anna B. Dillard
hese days, Anna B. Dillard, 99, gets around with an oxygen tank. She walks on her own at home, careful to stay within the boundaries of the long tube that extends from her nose to the oxygen tank that helps her to breathe. Dillard, known as “Mama Anna” to family and friends, will turn 100 on Nov. 11. The church where she is a member, New Covenant Christian Ministries
in Lithonia, plans to honor her with a birthday party at 7 p.m. Dillard, the oldest member of her church, will be joined by some of her family members from as far away as Los Angeles and New Jersey for the celebration. New Covenant’s pastors, elders and choir members, along with State Sen. Ronald Ramsey are expected to honor Dillard at the celebration. Sen. Ramsey met Dillard at the Conyers Senior Center and wanted to be a part of the celebration. “I love life and I am glad God has kept me this far. I know He is the reason I have come this far,” Dillard said. “I’m looking forward to this birthday party, seeing family members and to see what life still has in store for me while I’m here.” From helping her mother pick cotton in the fields of rural Georgia to working as a lab assistant with chemist students in New Jersey to cooking and
cleaning, Dillard always used her hands to make a living. “Some of those cotton bushels were taller than me, but I had to just pull them down and get the job done,” said Dillard, worked up until she was 84 years old, her last job as a daycare worker. “I remember my brother and I helping my mother get to 200 pounds a day. When you first start, your hands get sores, but you just keep moving.” Dillard says she has always had a positive outlook on life—the drive to keep on moving—despite the circumstances. But it is her strong faith in God, she says, that she credits to her longevity. “I love life and I’m glad God has kept me this far. I know He is the reason I have come this far,” Dillard said. Dillard lives with her daughter and son-in-law, Margo and Andrew Parsons. Parsons is one of three daughters. She said her mother was an active member
at the Conyers Senior Center until recently. In earlier years, Dillard served as president of the DeKalb Senior Center in Decatur. Parsons said today Dillard enjoys watching television, reading, and eating ice cream, pudding, yogurt, barbequed ribs and her all-time favorite: crispy bacon. “I could eat crispy bacon anytime of the day. I love it,” said Dillard. “I don’t read as much as I used to, but I still enjoy it. I recently read Gone With The Wind in three days. It was so good I just couldn’t put it down.” A Georgia native, Dillard and her three younger brothers were raised by their mother, Thannie-Marie Mack who was a sharecropper. Dillard’s mother moved the family to New Jersey in 1920 when Dillard was 9 to make a better life for her children. Dillard’s only living brother still calls New Jersey home and at 98 years old, he still drives. He
won’t, however, be able to make Dillard’s birthday celebration due to his health, said Margo Parsons, who, as an elder at New Covenant, is helping plan Dillard’s birthday celebration at the church. But others are planning to come from New Jersey for the bash—Dillard’s granddaughter and great-grandchildren. Dillard’s other two daughters, Cynthia Ann Massey of Los Angeles, and Thomasina Ramos of Buford, also are planning to attend, Parsons said. “My mother has always been a blessing. She dropped out of school in eighth grade to take care of her family when her mother became ill,” Parsons said. “She also worked several shifts to save money for her youngest brother, Paul, to go to college. He became a colonel in the military. “She has always worked hard and put others needs before her own. That means a lot to all of us and serves as inspiration to us.”
Lithonia Senior Center honors long-time participant Casnel D. Sinclair was recognized for her 20-year anniversary as a member of the Lithonia Senior Center on Bruce Street. Sinclair began coming to the center in 1991 for activities and programs and hasn’t skipped a beat since she started. “She’s been there longer than anyone,” said Deborah Norfleet, who oversees 112 seniors at the center. The week-day programs are open to any DeKalb senior. Sinclair received flowers, a cake, and a giant card, which was signed by faculty and other seniors who attend the center for day programs, for her milestone. The event was made extra special with a visit from DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, who honored Sinclair and greeted other seniors during his visit. Former Mayor Marcia Woods Glenn also attended the celebration. – Valerie J. Morgan
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NOVEMBER 1, 2011
Health & Wellness
Iron Breed bikers raise money to help kidney transplant recipient
he Iron Breed Motorcycle Club hosted its Annual Juvenile Kidney Drive where 12 motorcycle clubs played six games while raising money for Serena Raminglum, a girl born with Spina Bifida, a condition where some vertebrae overlying the spinal column do not fuse properly and leave a gap in the spine. The event, held at Hallford Stadium on Oct. 30, was the fourth year the bikers have helped someone who needed medical help. The football game was preceded by a “bike ride” from the Braves stadium to Hallford. This year’s event also welcomed a battle of the bands segment as well, said Dwayne Cole, Iron Breed public relations officer. Serena had the transplant surgery in August. Since the surgery, biker members say Serena has had some good and bad days. Through it all, she’s managed to stay bubbly and vibrant and as always, caring for others, her family says.
Resources & Lifestyle Tips
Medicare open enrollment gets under way ATLANTA – Open enrollment is now under way for recipients to select their Medicare plans. During this year’s Medicare open enrollment period, which ends Dec. 7, the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Aging Services and the state’s Area Agencies on Aging will offer free one-on-one assistance and community presentations to help Georgians make decisions about Medicare health and prescription drug plans. The GeorgiaCares State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) offers personalized assistance through a toll-free help line at 866-55-AGING (866-552-4464). Consumers may also compare plans at www.Medicare.gov <http://www.medicare.gov/> or call 800-Medicare (800-6334227). For more information about GeorgiaCares and other services available to older Georgians and their families, visit the DHS Division of Aging Services at http://www.aging.dhr.georgia.gov or call 866-55-AGING (552-4464).
Gwinnett to host conference for caregivers Gwinnett County will host the Family Caregiver’s Conference on Nov. 5, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville, 395 West Crogan St., Lawrenceville. The conference is broken down into two sessions, “Caregivers of Adults” and “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.” Available community resources for caregivers will be discussed as well. The cost to attend is $10 per person. For more information, call Julie Lucas at 678-377-6721. Photos by Glenn L. Morgan/OCG News
Piedmont shares healthy recipes from around the globe Piedmont Healthcare’s Cancer Center will offer “Healthy Foods from Around the World” on Nov. 9, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Have you been intimidated when shopping at an international market? Wondering just what that funny looking fruit or veggie is? Come join Chef Nancy Waldeck and Dietician Shayna Komar at the Buford Highway Farmers Market. Piedmont Healthcare will take a VIP market tour hosted by Executive Director Bill Schroeder and taste the possibilities of the usual and unusual delicious and healthy foods that are available at the market. Participants will meet at the front entrance of the market at 9:45 a.m. The market is located at 5600 Buford Highway NE, Doraville. Space is limited, so call early to reserve your place. Registration is required. Cancer patients, survivors and their families are invited to attend the demonstration free of charge. 404-425-7944.
American Kidney Fund offers free screenings The American Kidney Fund will host Kidney Action Day Atlanta and offer free kidney screenings on Nov. 12, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., at Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Drive, S.E., Atlanta. Along with kidney function, other free screenings include blood pressure and glucose. The event includes cooking demonstrations, food samplings, fitness instruction and family activities as well. For more information, call Noni Walker Redding at 404-658-1422 or email nredding@ kidneyfund.org.
NOVEMBER 1, 2011
Morehouse physician touts benefits of ‘sunshine vitamin’ for better health ATLANTA—Two years ago, Grady Hospital trauma surgeon, Dr. L. Ray Matthews, encouraged 11 family members and friends in his home state of Mississippi to get a blood test to determine how much of the vitamin D hormone their bodies were producing. The results, Matthews said, were alarming: All had low levels ranging from 7 to 31 nanograms per milliliter (a range considered normal is 40 to 70 nanograms per milliliter). Matthews suggested the 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 blood test because he suspected many of the health problems they were experiencing—fatigue, arthritis and other chronic pains, just to name a few—might be linked to vitamin D deficiency. To boost their hormone levels, Matthews, who is licensed to practice in Georgia and Mississippi, prescribed them a daily regimen of 2,000-5,000 vitamin D supplement units. The regimen, he said, had remarkable results as demonstrated by all of those in the group including his mother, whose equilibrium improved dramatically. “Vitamin D helps older people by increasing the absorption of calcium, which is very important for muscle strength and balance, which reduces falls. Before treatment, my mother had been having multiple falls,” said Matthews. “Of all my family and friends who had the vitamin D blood test performed, she had the highest level at 31 ng/ml, which was still deficient. Since getting her level above 40 ng/ml, she has not had a fall since September 2009.” Matthews, who has been researching vitamin D since 2007, is Morehouse School of Medicine’s assistant professor of clinical surgery and director of surgical critical care at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. As a trauma surgeon, he has seen patients who had adequate levels of vitamin D heal faster. “I take care of people in car crashes with broken bones, muscle weakness, infections and pneumonia,” Matthews said. “Vitamin D is an immune modulator. It stimulates the immune system to fight off hospital infections. Vitamin D helps to increase muscle strength in weak hospital patients.”
and muscle cells, Matthews said. The hormone improves mental focus, concentration, and cognitive learning abilities. Gardner was so impressed with her students’ achievements that she took the vitamin program to Bell Grove Missionary Baptist in Indianola, Mississippi, where she is a member. Today, the church receives more than $1 million worth of donated vitamins yearly, providing the supplements free of charge to its congregation. Gardner has her own personal testimony of the advantages of vitamin D. After Gardner developed breast cancer in October 2008 at age 58, Matthews suggested that Gardner get her vitamin D level to 50 ng/ml. “I am now cancer-free and have a lot more energy than I use to have,” said Gardner, who lives an active life, walking 3 miles three times a week. In addition to improvement in overall optimal health, recent research has shown other benefits of vitamin D such as improvement in athletic performance, decreased injuries, and decreased recovery time among injured athletes. In 2010, 81% of the New York Giants football team was diagnosed as being vitamin D deficient, as reported during the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine convention held in June in San Diego. Those with vitamin D levels less than 30 ng/ml had more injuries including broken bones, sprains, and muscle pain, the Society noted.
Athletes benefit from regimen
Dr. L. Ray Matthews is urging those concerned about their health to have their vitamin D hormone levels checked. The 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 blood test can detect deficiency levels.
Deficiency linked to many conditions Vitamin D deficiency, Matthews says, is associated with an evergrowing list of chronic conditions such as heart disease, strokes, asthma, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain and swelling, diabetes and 17 varieties of cancer. “Vitamin D deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world affecting over 1 billion people worldwide,” said Matthews. Medical research has determined that Vitamin D deficiency is caused by a number of factors including poor dietary habits, obesity (vitamin D trapped in adipose cells), and a lack of sunshine. In humans, the vitamin D hormone is synthesized when the skin is exposed to sunlight (hence, its nickname ‘the sunshine vitamin’). Matthews said through his research, he found that people who live in the South have the best chance of producing the vitamin D hormone when they are exposed to sunshine about 15 minutes each day between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Further, Matthews said, there are specific months that most Americans can produce and store vitamin D—from April to October. Sometimes, however, sunshine isn’t enough and supplements are necessary to ensure that adequate levels of the hormone are present in
Dr. Matthews’ nephew, Jordan Moore, credits vitamin D with improving his performance as a star athlete at Martin Luther King, Jr. High in DeKalb County.
Bessie Matthews Gardner, Dr. Matthews’ sister, says high doses of vitamin D has helped her to win her fight against breast cancer.
the body, Matthews said. “Vitamin D is a steroid hormone synthesized from cholesterol in exposed skin in response to sunlight (UVB),” Matthews said. “Fifty years ago, Americans were mainly an agricultural society. Many worked outdoors and got adequate amounts of sunshine needed to produce Vitamin D hormones. But all of that changed with the advances of technology. We mainly work indoors now and children rarely go outside to play anymore. They spend most of their time on their I pads and computers and as a result, they are vitamin D deficient. We have to have adequate levels of vitamin D for healthy immune systems, calcium and phosphorous metabolism.”
from the vitamin D treatments. As an infant, the child suffered from severe upper-respiratory problems. “I started Ronnie, Jr. on vitamin D gummy bears when he was 2 years old. Since that time, he has had only one ear infection over the past year and he now weighs 30 pounds,” said Mathews. Other children, Matthews said, have reaped the benefits of a vitamin D regimen as well. Matthews and his sister, Bessie Matthews Gardner, now a retired principal, started a multivitamin program with parental consent at Ruleville Central Elementary School in Ruleville, Mississippi. The Mississippi Delta area is one of the most economically disadvantaged areas in the country. Gardner said she saw improvements in students’ grades, behavior and even their attendance. The school’s absenteeism rate dropped 1,000 percent over 4 years, Matthews said. Vitamin D receptors are located on every cell and tissue in the human body including brain
Relatives share remarkable results Matthews said his 3 ½-year-old nephew, Ronnie Allen Evans, Jr., a preemie who weighed 1 pound and 15 ounces at birth, also benefited
Matthews credits vitamin D with the stellar performance of his athletic nephew, Jordan Moore. The high school senior plays wide receiver, running back, defensive back, and is a punt and kick returner for his team at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Lithonia, Georgia. At 6’3”, 205 pounds, Moore bench presses 310 pounds, squats 520 pounds and runs a 4.37 40-yard dash. Moore, Matthews said, was also ranked as one of the top high school hurdlers in the nation and Georgia’s 5-A, 110 meters high hurdles champion in 2010 and 2011. “Jordan is a highly motivated, disciplined kid with an excellent work ethic. These are all his accomplishments in athletics. I only corrected a vitamin deficiency and help him to understand the importance of good nutrition,” said Matthews. Moore’s football team members (currently undefeated at 9-0 and ranked 5th in Georgia’s 5-A football), along with the school’s Girls’ Track Club (Georgia’s 5-A girls overall track champions, 2011), incorporated vitamin D as a part of their nutrition program with parental consent. Matthews said while he certainly appreciates the benefits athletes have reported in optimizing vitamin D, he says he is more concerned about the overall health of the country. “I want the U.S. to win in life. Statistics have shown that approximately 70% (217 million) of all U.S citizens are vitamin D deficient, which indicates a national epidemic possibly exists and needs to be addressed,” Matthews said. Matthews said everyone should have the 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 blood test performed. “If we are serious about healthcare reform and reducing healthcare costs, we need to address the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States, which is vitamin D deficiency,” Matthews said.
NOVEMBER 1, 2011
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Superior Chevrolet celebrates re-grand opening in South DeKalb Superior Chevrolet, which has called South DeKalb home for more than 40 years, has opened it’s renovated showroom. Dignitaries and company officials celebrated the re-grand opening of the dealership, located at 4770 Covington Highway at Glenwood Road in Decatur, with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Congressman Hank Johnson helped perform the honors. Company officials said the dealership is the new prototype for the Chevrolet brand. “This is an American success story,” said Congressman Johnson. “What we have is a great example of what hard work and dedication will accomplish.” Johnson said he was especially pleased to be a part of the celebration because his Congressional vehicle is a Chevrolet SUV. “We’re proud to do business in our community,” Johnson said. DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson thanked the dealership for its investment in the community, adding that Covington Highway is in the middle of a renaissance. “I want us to replicate your model,’ Commissioner Johnson said. The dealership, which opened in 1969, was previously Lamar Ferrell Chevrolet before it was purchased by Buddy Hyatt and renamed Superior Chevrolet.
Photo by Glenn L. Morgan/OCG News
How can e-mail, social media enhance your business?
Stonecrest Business Alliance to meet
The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce will host “Integrating E-mail Marketing with Social Media” on Nov. 9, 9:30 a.m. – noon, at the Doubletree by Hilton Atlanta Northlake, 4156 LaVista Road, Tucker. Presented by Constant Contact’s Regional Director Lanelle Henderson, the workshop is designed to help businesses integrate social media into their marketing mix. Henderson will discuss what e-mail marketing and social media marketing really is, how to incorporate it into your business life without losing productivity and how other businesses are using these low-cost tools to gain visibility, Lanelle Henderson develop relationships and drive sales and response. The educational session is free to attend, but participants must register online at www.dekalbchamber.org or by calling 404-378-8000.
Stonecrest Business Alliance will Friday, Nov. 4, 8:30 a.m. at the Hilton Hotel at Stonecrest. If you own land or a business in the Stonecrest area, you should attend this meeting. The alliance is planning a holiday initiative to ensure the area is safe and inviting to holiday shoppers. Additionally, the group is planning a second cleanup this weekend at Evans Mill and Mall Blvd. Members will gather at 7:30 a.m. and begin the cleanup at 8 a.m. For more information: e-mail info@stonecrestbusinessalliance
Gwinnett Chamber: Benefits of Foreign Trade Zones The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce will host “Important Savings: How to take advantage of Georgia’s Foreign Trade Zones,” on Nov. 9, 7:30 – 9 a.m. in the chamber’s John D. Stephens Education Room, 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. The Chamber will welcome Julie Brown, president of Georgia Foreign-Trade, Inc., established in 1977 to attract and maintain jobs in the State of Georgia through use of the federal foreign-trade zone program. A Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) is a federally-designated site created to help businesses remain competitive in a global marketplace. Lower duties, reduced import/export processing fees, and quicker movement of goods from the port are some of the subjects that will be discussed at this session. The cost to attend is $20. For more information or to register, call 770-2323000 or visit www.gwinnettchamber.org.
‘Shakers and Stirrers’ networking mixer set Networking For Professionals will host “Shakers and Stirrers” on Nov. 10, 6 – 8 p.m,. at Tantra Lounge, 2285 Peachtree Road, Suite 100, Atlanta. The event offers a relaxed setting for professionals to network. Career and health coaches will also be on hand to offer advice to attendees on several issues such as lifestyle changes, the benefits of yoga and the “road map to health.” Participants can enjoy light nibbles and drink specials as well. The cost to attend is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For more information or to register, visit www.networkingforprofessionals.com. 404-228-7963.
DeKalb Chamber sets legislative breakfast forum The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce is accepting registration for its 2012 Legislative Preview Breakfast and Forum, which will be held on Nov. 16, 8 – 10 a.m., at Villa Christina, 400 Summit Boulevard, Atlanta. This event features a Q&A session with members of the DeKalb House and Senate Delegation in the Georgia General Assembly. Panelists include: Sen. Steve Henson, D –Tucker (41); Sen. Fran Millar, R– Dunwoody (40); State Representatives Stacey Abrams, D – Atlanta (84); Mike Jacobs, R – Atlanta (80); Howard Mosby, D – Atlanta (90); DeKalb House Delegation Chair and Rep. Tom Taylor, R – Dunwoody (79). The cost to attend is $35. For more information or to register, call 404-3788000 or visit http://dekalbpreview.eventbrite.com.
The Earning Curve Business Conference and Entrepreneur Showcase Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 - 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. DeKalb Technical College Conference Center 495 Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 MyTrueBiz will host its Sixth Annual Business Conference and Entrepreneur Showcase The conference will provide vital information for business owners and those considering entrepreneurship to make educated decisions and reach their maximum potential, despite the current economic climate. Sessions include: “Marketing On a Shoestring Budget,” “ Using Social Media For Profit,” “Maximizing Your BIZ Revenue,” “Website Marketing That Works” and many more. Participants also will have access to one-onone consultations with business experts, panel discussions and business displays in the Signature Showcase. Registration includes continental breakfast, lunch, binder with resource materials and giveaways.
Group Rates Available! Pre-register Today! 404-966 5697 or visit www.businessconferenceatlanta.com
DEKALB COUNTY GOVERNMENT Advertisement for Week of November 3, 2011
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.
November 29, 2011
Ford E350 Club Wagon
November 29, 2011
November 29, 2011
November 29, 2011
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November 30, 2011
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November 30, 2011
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November 30, 2011
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November 30, 2011
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: http://www. dekalbcountyga.gov/purchasing/index.html 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
NOVEMBER 1, 2011
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Famous Wings are accepting holiday orders for fried and smoke turkeys. They also provide catering services for weddings, parties, reunions or any special event. To place an order contact Bobby at 770-3229051/404-843-0006
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Truth Tabernacle would like to give a hand up this Holiday Season by providing turkeys to families in need. The turkeys will be available for guest attending the 11 am service on Sunday Nov. 20, 2011. Distribution will be on a first come, first serve basis as long as supplies last. Truth Tabernacle Church is
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NOVEMBER 1, 2011