1-20-17 Buckhead Reporter

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JAN. 20 - FEB. 2, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 2


Buckhead Reporter



Perimeter Business ► Brotherhood of magicians has 85-year bond PAGE 4 ► Cybersecurity company promises 500 new jobs PAGE 7

A ‘Freedom Ride’ for King Day

New Zone 2 police commander boosts anti-crime measures BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Atlanta History Center interpreters, from left, Kate Kovach and Felicia Wheeler conduct a “Freedom Ride simulation,” a demonstration of the famous Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) bus ride to Alabama. The was held to test new laws banning segregation on interstate buses. More photos, page 15.►

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With a new police chief heading up the Atlanta Police Department, changes in command staff recently were made, including the assignment of a new officer to head up Zone 2, which includes Buckhead. Major Barry Shaw replaces Major Van Hobbs as Zone 2 commander. Hobbs had headed up the zone since 2012. Shaw, a 27year veteran of the APD, was in code enforcement for three years before being moved to his current post. Hobbs has been moved to code enforcement. Chief Erika Shields, who took over the top spot of the APD after Chief George Turner’s retirement in December, made the command staff change announcements effective Dec. 29. “When you get a new chief, people change seats and I was honored to be asked to serve in this position,” Shaw said. Shaw said heading up Zone 2 will “definitely be a challenge” as officers face an See NEW on page 23

Sanders YMCA celebrates major expansion



Seventeen years — almost to the day — since the Carl E. Sanders Family YMCA opened in Buckhead, the facility celebrated a major expansion and renovation intended to serve a booming and diverse membership. The $7 million rehabilitation touched every part of the Y at 1160 Moores Mill Road, Executive Director Kristin McEwen said on a recent tour. “We tried to give each area a little bit of love,” she said. That includes everything from its wellSee YMCA on page 14

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Kazoo Toys named Buckhead business of the year


Whitney Novak of Kazoo Toys accepts the 2016 Buckhead Business of the Year Award from new Buckhead Business Association president Barry Hundley Jan. 12.

Jim Durrett, left, executive director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District, accepts the Buckhead Beautification Award from Hundley.

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Kazoo Toys was named the Buckhead Business of the Year for 2016 at the Buckhead Business Association’s annual luncheon Jan. 12 at the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center. Whitney Novak, co-owner of Kazoo along with her husband Joe, accepted the award, which recognizes newer businesses that are growing and known for charitable contributions to the neighborhood. Kazoo is located at 3718 Roswell Road in the Powers Ferry Square


Jesse Itzler delivers the keynote address at the Buckhead Business Association luncheon.

shopping center. Other Business of the Year nominees included the Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery; the Buckhead location of the Florida-based Japanese restaurant group Doraku; the Shops Around Lenox location of the Texas-based accessories store Kendra Scott; and Woo Skincare & Cosmetics, which has two Buckhead locations as well as outlets in Charlotte and Nashville. The awards and nominations were presented by Reporter Newspapers. The Entrepreneurs of the Year Award went to Chris Hadermann and John Piemonte of Southern Proper Hospitality, the restaurant group that includes the Big Ketch and the Southern Gentleman, among others. The Buckhead Beautification Award was given to the updated Charlie Loudermilk Park on the triangle at Roswell and Peachtree roads. Jim Durrett, executive director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District, accepted the award. The Sam Massell Bullish on Buckhead Award went to Tony Conway of Legendary Events, who is known for his service in local organizations and his charitable contributions to various causes, as well as his business of staging events for top celebrities. The keynote speaker was Jesse Itzler, an entrepreneur, musician and author who is a coowner of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team and the husband of Sara Blakely, founder of the Atlanta-based underwear firm Spanx. Dressed casually and walking the stage with a microphone in hand, Itzler gave a highenergy motivational speech about getting over “our fear of being embarrassed” and achieving despite odds or discomfort. He often had the crowd laughing with anecdotes from his past as a rapper under the name Jesse Jaymes — “Don’t Google it,” he jokingly warned — and running a 100-mile charity race in Spanx to woo Blakely. He also spoke about his inspirational friendship with a former Navy SEAL, which he documented in his recent book “Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet.” New BBA president Barry Hundley took the gavel at the meeting. Hundley is development director at the Atlanta Children’s Shelter, based in the Old Fourth Ward.

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Wan announces run for Atlanta City Council president BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Atlanta City Councilmember Alex Wan has announced a campaign for the council president’s seat this fall. That means he will give up his District 6 seat, which includes southeastern Buckhead. Kirk Rich, a Morningside/Lenox Park resident who runs a real estate company and is on the board of the economic development agency Invest Atlanta, is the only announced candidate so far to succeed Wan in the DisSPECIAL trict 6 seat. District 6 Atlanta City Councilmember Alex Wan Wan has served on the council since 2010. In a Jan. 4 announcement on his website, Wan cited a “vision” of community-building, diversity, economic growth and efficient government. “These tenets guide my continued commitment to Atlanta’s bright future as your City Council president,” Wan says in the announcement. “Let’s move away from politics as usual, with genuinely collaborative engagement between all of the city’s stakeholders.” The council presidency will be vacant as current occupant Ceaser Mitchell has joined the crowded race to replace Kasim Reed as mayor. In a phone interview, Rich said his experience brokering commercial real estate deals would be an asset to the council. Atlanta is doing well, he said, “but we’ve got a lot of growing pains, and a lot of that is connected to real estate.” As one example, he cited Piedmont Hospital’s upcoming expansion and how it will add to traffic stresses in Brookwood Hills. SPECIAL Rich said he is in the process of selling his business, Kirk Rich, a candidate for the Rich Real Estate Services in Duluth, to a larger compaAtlanta City Council ny, so that he will have time to devote to the council seat District 6 seat. if he wins.

Ga. 400 park could include amphitheater, garden BY COLLIN KELLEY A 2,000-seat amphitheater, a garden and an area for markets and events could be included in the proposed park over Ga. 400, the executive director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District told members of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods recently. Calling the park a priority, BCID Executive Director Jim Durrett said the organization is halfway through a year-long study on the half-mile-long greenspace and gathering spot, which would stretch from the Atlanta Financial Center on Peachtree Road to the Lenox Road/Ga. 400 interchange. The park would cost anywhere from $195 million to $245 million to build and another $2 million per year to maintain, Durrett said. He said BCID would be looking for federal and state dollars, as well as corporate, foundation and private contributions to build the park. Durrett told BCN members during the group’s Jan. 12 meeting that the BCID is talking with officials at the Atlanta Botanical Garden about maintaining the garden portion of the park. Originally proposed by BCID, the park is now part of the “BUCKHEAD REdeFINED” master planning effort for the central commercial district’s streetscape, which is overseen by Livable Buckhead. As part of the process, the park’s feasibility and funding sources are being examined. The BCN also heard an update from GDOT area manager Brad Humphrey on the timeline for improvements to the Moores Mill and Northside Parkway intersection. The project is scheduled to be complete by November. Humphrey said the contractor was already onsite and fencing had gone up. Installation of new water lines is to begin mid-February and widening of the road will proceed from there. Georgia Power Co. will have to move some of its transmission lines. Dedicated left turn lanes are being installed along Moores Mill and Northside, which will be the main upgrade, Humphrey said.


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Perimeter Business A monthly section focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

Magicians gather to share secrets of their mysterious trade BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

On a recent Monday night, in the choir room of a Sandy Springs church, a ring of magicians gathered. About 30 of them sat amid drums and pianos, watching West Evans, a slim man whose jacket and shoes sported matching leopard-print trim, as he encouraged audience members to toss invisible coins into a metal bucket he had convinced a visitor to hold over his head. The imaginary coins made very real clinks and suddenly appeared within the bucket. The spectacle was both business and pleasure for Ring 9 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Also known as the Georgia Magic Club, the 85-yearold IBM chapter has met for several years at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church to socialize and to share professional tips in metro Atlanta’s booming business of magic. “In our world, you never stop learning. You never stop practicing,” said Evans, a 34-year-old Decatur resident who has been a professional magician for four years. At that Jan. 16 meeting, he took over as Ring 9’s president and also won its Magician of the Year trophy, which is topped with a golden rabbit coming out of a hat. The club counts many full-time professional magicians among its 91 members, and chose to meet at the church because so many of them live in the Buckhead, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs area. The other major magical organization, the American Society of Magicians, also has an Atlanta chapter with much overlapping membership; it typically meets in DeKalb County. Sandy Springs resident Howie Marmer — better known as Howie the Great — is among Ring 9’s local members. He’s well-known for his regular performances in such Buckhead spots as Bistro Niko and the Painted Pin. Marmer said metro Atlanta is a great place for pro magicians, with its booming entertainment industry, and plenty of conventions, trade shows and corporate gigs. However, he also says he personally prefers kids’ parties to corporate events, even though they pay far less. Like many magicians, he says he’s in it for more than money. “I think there is no such thing as competition in my field,” he said. “Competi-

tion is a poor performer” who turns people off from hiring magicians. Magicians have a variety of types of shows to choose from. There’s party magic for kids and adults. There’s “walkaround” magic, in which a magician does “close-up” tricks for people gathered at an event in order to be, as Evans says, the “life of the party.” There’s full-blown stage magic, such as the classic trick of sawing a person in half, usually performed only at big and pricey events. There’s restaurant or bar magic, done at tables or in areas where customers wait to be seated. Restaurant magic is highly improvisational, often using objects from the tabletop or the guests. Howie the Great said that’s what he loves about it. “When I’m performing at a restaurant, I don’t know what’s going to happen next,” he said. “That’s where the fun begins. It’s jazz.” Marmer got some of his gigs, including as house magician at the original Dave & Buster’s, by performing an impromptu show. “I got fire coming out of my wallet. I got a bird in my pocket,” he said, recalling a bar-side show that once got him a gig at the Downwind restaurant at DeKalbPeachtree Airport. “I’m eating fire with a jumbo lighter … I’m producing a dove.” Getting paid a proper rate might be tougher for a skilled magician than pulling off effects and tricks. Evans said that some customers undervalue a magic show and some performers go along. “You can always find a guy out there who will come do magic for you for $50. And we don’t like those guys,” Evans said. “It means they haven’t put in the work it takes to be a great magician.” While rates vary, customers should expect to pay a magician at least $200 for a kids’ party and a few

West Evans, president of the Georgia Magic Club, tries to convince the audience his silver platter has nothing to hide while he performs a trick.


West Evans performs on an Atlanta street.

JAN. 20 - FEB. 2, 2017

Perimeter Business | 5


Debbie Leifer informs fellow Ring 9 members about upcoming magic trade lectures and conventions during the group’s January meeting at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church in Sandy Springs.

hundred for an adult party, Evans said, with experienced performers charging much more. An event with walk-around magic may cost around $800 to $1,000. While magicians often learn new tricks, the effects are always based on some fundamentals of illusion, such as misdirection — “making them look at what you want them to look at,” as Evans puts it. Pro magicians need to master not only those basics, but other skills as well. Acting and personality are important; Marmer said he studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York. They also need skills in flexible planning to tailor a show to an audience or event. Debbie Leifer, a Cobb County-based magician, former club president and one of the few women in the professional illusion business, said she has developed a split magical personality. When performing for corporate and motivational speaking events, she uses her real name. But for family and kids’ shows, she be-

comes Magic Debbie. “I customize every performance for the specific attendees and theme of each event,” Leifer said in an email. “Whether I’m in someone’s living room entertaining children during a birthday party, at an elementary school encouraging students to read or stop bullying or make healthy snack choices, or if I’m in Las Vegas energizing a company’s sales team, what I love is the way magic allows me to dazzle people and improve their lives by adding humor, empowering messages, positive thoughts, a sense of wonder and ‘wow!’ moments.” Like many people in other lines of work, magicians often look for ways to give back to the community. At the club meeting, members discussed reviving a tradition of staging a public banquet with a magic show as a charity fundraiser. And the members-only lecture before the meeting featured Sandy Springs magician Rick Darby talking about his volunteer work performing “magic therapy” — tricks done to help people get through


emotional or physical issues. Darby began volunteering at Halcyon Hospice in Sandy Springs after losing several family members and having a counselor tell him that “a lot of people resolve their grief by giving back.” Today, he visits patients and families with trick ropes and pieces of silk. “I tell tall tales. Then I end up weaving some magic effects into the stories,” he said. The club meetings always feature several members performing tricks — some based on a monthly theme, some “general magic.” At the January meeting, performers ranged from old pros to teenagers. One was Joe Turner, a high-profile pro who is past president of the main IBM organization and once ran a one-man show in Buckhead. Another was Ari Isenberg, a Galloway School freshman who recently won first place at a camp run by the legendary New York City magic shop Tannen’s; he blew the minds of old pros with an internet-generation mind-reading trick based on choosing a random word from Wikipedia. Anyone with a genuine interest in

Magician Howie “The Great” Marmer reveals a parakeet hidden under his jacket at the January meeting of the Georgia Magic Club.

magic is welcome to attend up to three Ring 9 meetings. To continue coming after that, they have to join the group. Membership requirements include performing a trick for the group. The premeeting lectures on specialty topics are members-only because they often reveal how tricks are done. More than most other businesses, magic has its trade secrets. “We take an oath as magicians to not knowingly reveal secrets to a non-magician,” said Evans. For more information about the club, see gamagicclub.com.

Business trend of serving free alcohol may not be legal BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

As the owner of Skirt Upsale Resale, Janet Pfeiffer knows her business relies on getting people through her doors to explore the displays of high-end and luxury consignment items, such as clothes, purses and jewelry. One way she has found to attract customers is to offer a free glass of wine while they shop at the store located in Sandy Springs’ Fountain Oaks shopping center. “I always have some wine in the back,” she said. She said she typically breaks out the wine for customers during special events, such as a trunk show she held over the holidays to display an artist’s jewelry. “It helps to draw people in … and makes

them more amenable to possibly buying something,” she said with a laugh. Pfeiffer is not the only business owner to tap into the idea that serving free alcohol to clients or customers is good for business. Several metro Atlanta salons and spas provide customers and clients with a free glass of wine and businesses that sell wedding dresses are known for handing out wine or champagne as a woman and her bridesmaids spend hours looking for just the right dress. And if you get a manicure at some spots, you’ll like be asked if you want a glass of champagne. Numerous “paint and drink” businesses have also popped up in Sandy Springs and throughout the Perimeter area where customers are encouraged to bring their own wine or beer and partake while learn-

ing from an artist how to paint their own masterpieces. Fast food restaurants across the country, such as Chipotle and Starbucks, are even adding alcohol to their menus for customers who want to have a beer with dinner but don’t want to pay high-end restaurant prices. And then there are exercise businesses, such as the popular Cyclebar franchise, with locations in Buckhead and Dunwoody, joining the trend. The Buckhead location currently advertises a Happy Hour session of indoor cycling on Fridays followed by complimentary wine or beer and snacks, as do numerous Cyclebar franchise sites across the country. The Dunwoody site on Ashford-Dunwoody Road would also like to offer cli-

ents some wine after a Friday evening workout, but has run into some roadblocks from the city. Dunwoody’s city attorneys have said a business cannot service alcohol, free or otherwise, without first getting a license to do so from the city. Alcohol licenses, such as those obtained by restaurants and bars, can cost thousands of dollars a year and can be cost prohibitive for small businesses that just want to offer a glass of wine to clients occasionally. “What you are doing is opening up a Pandora’s Box to allow businesses that don’t traditionally serve alcohol,” Assistant City Attorney Lenny Felgin told Dunwoody City Council at its Jan. 9 meeting. Councilmember Jim Riticher said he Continued on page 9

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Game-loving teen learns code, builds his business BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Noah Covey, 16, loves to play games. Board games, mostly. But he enjoys a game of Angry Birds on his phone now and again. And with an interest in math, science, coding and adventure, the teen is now creating app games that can be played on cellphones and iPads. “I have a passion for games, especially board games,” Covey, a sophomore at Dunwoody High School, said. “Video games I’ve learned to love more and more. And my love for games made me want to make my own.” Last year, the teen created games called Flyfall and Duskfall for iOS devices. In Flyfall, the player maneuvers a bird that can’t fly but instead falls and must successfully pass through a series of gates on the way down. In Duskfall, the player controls an orbiting ball and taps the screen to change the orbit so the ball avoids being struck by falling obstacles. Both games have different levels of difficulty and with Duskfall, Covey, who also plays piano, composed three musical scores for his game. His decision to start creating his own games began when he was an eighth grader at Peachtree Charter Middle School. He started doing research on how to create a game, he said, and began learning computer programming, taking classes on the online Co-

Noah Covey, 16, a student at Dunwoody High School, taught himself coding to create two mobile app games so far.

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deacademy that teaches people how to code for free. He also said he watched several YouTube videos to learn coding language and the basics of creating an app. Covey, who formed his own company, Quantum Cat Games, said his greatest inspiration for creating games is playing other games and deciding what he likes about them and then tweaking an idea or bringing several ideas together to make something completely new. Covey said he writes down any good idea he has. He compiles a list. The ideas are typically very vague when first written, but after time and contemplation, Covey will come up with a clearer vision and eventually begin the actual coding and creation. At any one time, he has about 10 to 15 ideas percolating in his head, he said. Covey self-published Flyfall, which he released last January. It’s had about 2,000 downloads. With Duskfall, Covey did more research and hired Nanovation Labs, a mobile publisher located in Silicon Valley, Calif., to help get the word out and monetize the game. Through that company, Duskfall has had more than 67,000 downloads from people all over the world since it was published in November. “The numbers really attest to how much publishing companies help,” Covey said. Covey didn’t say how much money he’s made from the games, but said it’s enough to make the hours of time and effort he’s put into creating them worthwhile. The best part, though, is knowing people are playing his game and enjoying it, he said. “It’s pretty cool that a lot of kids at school play them, and people all over the world play them,” he said. “It’s really awesome.”

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Business trend of serving free alcohol may not be legal Continued from page 5 generally favors strict alcohol laws. “But I don’t think we ought to make it more difficult for the proverbial Dunwoody housewife to have a glass of Pinot Grigio while she gets a $150 hairdo, or a glass of bubbly at an art gallery,” he said, adding he did fear “unintended consequences.” Taylor Harper, an attorney specializing in the beverage and alcohol industry, is representing Cyclebar Dunwoody and its owner, Jeff Delorme. Harper said he believes Dunwoody’s reticence to allow his client to offer free wine tastings is “ridiculous” and compared the practice to an office holiday party, where no license is needed. “They’re not selling alcohol,” Harper told the council. “It’s unusual to have a local jurisdiction regulate this when at the state level, there is no license required.” But state law, actually, is a bit sticky. When asked about salons or exercise facilities or spas serving free alcohol to cli-

ents, the Georgia Department of Revenue said, simply, no can do. “The Department of Revenue views transactions such as the ones you mentioned that include a ‘free’ alcoholic beverage as a sale of alcohol, and are not permitted unless the business owner has an alcohol permit,” said spokesperson William Gaston. Attorney Kevin Leff, whose firm Sard & Leff in Sandy Springs focuses on alcoholic beverage regulations and compliance, said the state has always taken the position that any alcohol served, free or not, in a business where services are paid for means there is a sale of alcohol taking place and the business must be licensed to do so. “They have taken the position that if there is some kind of commercial business going on, then there is in fact really the sale of alcohol taking place,” Leff said. “Under state law, there isn’t a way for a business to work around this.” In 2009, a bridal shop owner in Co-


Got Stuff?

What you are doing is opening up a Pandora’s Box to allow businesses that don’t traditionally serve alcohol.


Cyclebar Dunwoody is one of the businesses concerned about the alcohol law.

lumbus, Ga., was found guilty of violates serving alcohol, according to city codes. ing a city ordinance by serving mimosas “In terms of local government, if Dunand orange juice cocktails to customers. woody wants to enact an ordinance [covThe police department had received comering this issue], they can do it,” Leff said. plaints the owner was serving alcohol and There is possibly one way to ensure an undercover officer went into the busibusinesses follow state law — have cusness and pretended to tomers bring their own look at tuxedos when booze. But that, again, he spotted the drinks is left up to local jubeing served and called risdictions. In Atlanin five others to raid ta, for example, busithe store. nesses that are licensed In Dunwoody, the can allow customers to city’s attorneys are BYOB. drawing up an amend“The Department of ment to the city code Revenue does not have to create “limited onan issue with a perpremises consumption son bringing their own alcohol licenses for wine to a business as business not qualifying long as it always stays for regular licenses” for in the possession of the City Council members customer that brought to consider. it in,” Gaston said. LENNY FELGIN Those businesses ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY But, the employees would include places of the business cannot such as Cyclebar Duntouch the bottle and woody, where there is only the customer can no full-service kitchen and no sale of alcopour their own drinks, he said. hol. Only wine and beer would be allowed “The business can provide cups, ice, to be served. etc. Many local jurisdictions would not The businesses would be required to allow this practice, which is commonly get a license from the city, although the known as ‘brown-bagging.’ Our concern cost of the license hasn’t been determined. is always the business itself providing the Cyclebar Dunwoody owner Jeff Delorme alcohol to the customer as previously dissaid he is willing to do whatever the city cussed,” Gaston said. requires, but simply wants to offer clients Pfeiffer of Skirt Upsale Resale said she wine as a way for them to socialize togethnever thought to ask if she needed some er. But, he added, if the license proposed kind of alcohol permit. As a longtime and approved ends up costing in the thoumember of the Sandy Springs/Perimeter sands of dollars, he said he would not be Chamber of Commerce, she said she regable to do it. ularly attended the organization’s wine Brookhaven, Sandy Springs and Atlanevents and came to believe offering free ta laws require licenses for any businessalcohol was legal.

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Perimeter Business | 9


Ribbon Cuttings


Joining the December ribbon-cutting for Just Yoga at 205 Hilderbrand Drive in Sandy Springs are, from left, Susanna Rohm; City Economic Development Director Andrea Hall; Just Yoga owner Julie Benham; and Chris Adams, Beth Berger and Rebecca Hillegeist from the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce.


Enviroscent, Inc., a fragrance company at 4600 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, cut its ribbon Jan. 18. Attending were, from left, Beth Berger of Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce; Enviroscent’s Tamara Kullbeck and CEO Nick McKay; Mayor Rusty Paul; Chamber president Tom Mahaffey; Enviroscent’s Lisa Lepping; and the Chamber’s Jeff Lovejoy.


A fitness program center at 4920 Roswell Road, #10A, Sandy Springs

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10 | Commentary

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Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities. Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter www.ReporterNewspapers.net Atlanta INtown www.AtlantaINtownPaper.com Atlanta Senior Life www.AtlantaSeniorLife.com

C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writer: Dyana Bagby Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net Graphic Designer: Soojin Yang Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter Jim Speakman, Janet Tassitano Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Robin Conte, Grace Huseth, Phil Mosier

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Commentary: Buckhead isn’t what it used to be … and that’s great! After working on some of this area’s Buckhead Community Improvement most exciting challenges for nearly two District, Buckhead Coalition, Buckhead decades, I’m thrilled to say that BuckBusiness Association and Buckhead Rohead isn’t what it used to be. tary on a master plan update dubbed When I started working here, Buck“BUCKHEAD REdeFINED” that is meethead was divided. The construction of ing that challenge head-on. With valuGa. 400 had split one side able input from the comof the community from munity, we are creating a the other, both literally plan to increase connectivand figuratively. ity and ensure that BuckToday, Ga. 400 still cuts head is a place where peothrough the heart of Buckple want to live, work and head, but PATH400 now play for decades to come. runs beside it, and the peoParks and greenspace ple who live and work here will play a big role in Buckcan enjoy the area on foot head’s future livability. Do and by bike — a rare treat you live within a five-minin this car-dominated city. ute walk of a park? If not, PATH400 is now 50 peryou will soon. That may cent complete, and we’re sound like a promise too moving forward at full big to keep, but the truth steam to finish the full 5.2 is that Buckhead is already miles as soon as we can. well on its way to achieving Denise Starling is execAnother of Buckhead’s that goal. utive director of Livable notable changes is that it Buckhead, a nonprofit orA little more than six is much younger than it years ago, Atlanta City ganization with a misused to be. In fact, nearCouncilman Howard Shook sion to ensure the long ly half of Buckhead resi- term vitality and prosper- spearheaded the Buckhead dents are between 20 and Collection planning effort, ity of Buckhead through 39 years old. which called for 106 acres community-based stratThis is largely due to of greenspace to be addegies and programs. For the fact that we have traned to the community. Since more information on sitioned from a bedroom then, Livable Buckhead and Livable Buckhead, viscommunity to a thriving its partners have identified it livablebuckhead.org. urban center. Our diverse and acquired more than mix of commercial and re40 acres toward the overtail developments, multifamily high risall goal. es and single-family homes is enviable, The largest portion of that new but making all the pieces fit together greenspace acreage comes from the requires coordination. progress we’ve made on PATH400, but Livable Buckhead is working with it isn’t the only greenspace game in

Guest Columnist Denise Starling

On The Record “The lease here expires at the end of 2019, so we have a little bit more time.” Brookhaven City Manager Christian Sigman on the new that the City Hall building the city leases may be up for redevelopment.

town. Last year Livable Buckhead negotiated the acquisition of two parcels – one on Burke Road and the other at the D.F. McClatchey School site near Loridans Drive. The Burke Road site is adjacent to Darlington Nature Trail, a 1-acre park in the Peachtree Park neighborhood that includes a community garden and exercise areas. The additional acreage gives the neighborhood and the city an opportunity to add a new feature to the park. The McClatchey School site offers even more exciting opportunities. Its location between PATH400 and a historic cemetery give us a chance to create a park that connects people to nature and to the history of their community. Buckhead is full of opportunity and making the most of it is the foundation of all of Livable Buckhead’s programs. In 2016, our Buckhead Recycles program worked with 15 office buildings to divert more than 1,000 tons of trash from landfills. More than half of the Buckhead office market worked with us to reduce water consumption by 20 percent and energy consumption by 17 percent as part of the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge. And we helped nearly 3,500 commuters find a better way to get to work, keeping cars off of Buckhead’s crowded roads and helping to improve our air quality. New parks and trails, a younger population, better transportation options, and greener office buildings. It all adds up to a Buckhead that isn’t what it used to be ... and that’s a great thing to see.

Read these articles from our other editions online at ReporterNewspapers.net “I have always liked conservation and nature and this project allows me to return the favor.” Bobby Nice, a Boy Scout working to clear invasive species from the Dunwoody Nature Center as a special project.

“They kind of treat me, in some neighborhoods, as the girl next door with some oomph behind [her]. They’ll talk to you and then sneak [a complaint] in.” Sandy Springs Code Enforcement Officer Paula Allen, recently named officer of the year by a national organization, on how residents treat her.

“It’s always been confusing, but now you’re talking about real money.” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul on city concerns that some of its new, higher sales tax revenue might be miscalculated by businesses whose software think it’s in Atlanta due to ZIP code confusions.

Have something to say?

Send letters to editor@reporternewspapers.net BH

JAN. 20 - FEB. 2, 2017

Commentary | 11


Writing with a wink and a smile In an effort to demonstrate our range of human emotions and yet still move beyond the constraints of basic punctuation and a shrunken vocabulary, we, as a technically evolved culture, have dawdled across our keyboards and touchpads and discovered an abundance of ways to form a smiley face. I’m constantly amazed at the variety. Even though there are myriad variations on your average smartphone — ranging from a blushing grin to a sassy wink to a nostril flaring devil to a cry-me-a-river--there are those of us who won’t succumb to pre-packaged emoticons and prefer to inject our own creations into our correspondences. Others of us take into account the coolness factor and, in so doing, shun the ready-mades altogether. And of course, there are those who compose actual emails on an actual laptop and thus have the full keyboard Robin Conte is a writer at their disposal at all times, and who have experimented and mother of four who with all the emotional combinations available, creating lives in Dunwoody. She their own emoticons out of punctuation marks and using can be contacted at what I will call “puncticons.” robinjm@earthlink.net. I know you’ve seen puncticons, and I’ll bet you’ve used a few yourself. Like clothing and hairstyle, your puncticon choices reveal something of your personality. If you are like my son, for instance (who can wring more emotion out of a keypad than anyone I’ve ever met), you are not just happy; you’re filled with wide-eyed exuberance =D!, sometimes unsure =d, and sometimes upside down with glee (= . If you are like my daughter, who is perennially cheerful and cute, you will have fittingly cheerful and cute puncticons, so that when you’re happy, you’re happy cute :D, and even when you’re bummed, you’re bummed cute :/. Most of us like to save time by foregoing the “shift” and “space” keys, and end up being squishy cute ;) . Usually I don’t hit the shift key fast enough, and my faces are filled with nines or underscores :9 ;9 ;_9, which looks a bit piggish and which I doubt will catch on. My biggest problem comes when I insert a puncticon into a parenthetical phrase (which I often do), and then I end up making a happy face with a double-chin (and it’s somewhat confusing :)). I decided to experiment with the happyface theme myself, punching keys to see what shapes they’d make and feeling like a kid with a new box of crayons curious about just what color “sienna” turns out to be. I started by taking the time to give my face a nose :-), but my laptop no longer allows manually created happiness and interjects its own . I put it on html so that I could dress my little face and give him hair }:-) or a mustache :{D for added character. I made Goldilocks with a dollar sign $:D; I made a happy guy with a big nose {: >); and I made an alien (-). Then I tried to come up with my own personalized happy face, and, since my eyes get all squinty when I smile, I came up with an inferred-joy face ^^. If I want to make a mouth, I’ll have to go to an entirely new line. SPECIAL ^^ Robin Conte, at work and at play, O experiments with emoticons. Note that with this choice, I can be nothing but surprised. I will admit that it’s a bit silly, a bit sophomoric, but the truth is that all of these electronically composed faces are made in an effort to soften — and even humanize — the fast-paced correspondence of our times. And I do find it heartening that even amid our busy lives and our technological haste, we will still take the time for a wink and a smile.

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12 | Community

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The Buckhead Men’s Garden Club has disbanded more than 60 years after its founding. Reportedly the only men’s-only garden club in Georgia, the organization once had more than 100 members. According to a press release, the club’s board voted to dissolve the organization in October. A main reason: the loss of a lease for greenhouse space at the Atlanta History Center in 2015 due to that museum’s expansion. The club’s remaining $50,000 in assets, according to the press release, were donated to the University of Georgia Foundation to create a permanent fund for graduate student research at the Trail Gardens at UGA and UGArden.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; Emory University; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Buckhead is among the wealthiest neighborhoods in the South. Among the district’s many museums is the recently opened National Center for Civil and Human Rights, which has a fellowship named for Lewis in recognition of his role in the Civil Rights movement alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, a Democrat, was among those returning fire against Trump via Twitter. In tweets that his spokesperson, Anne Torres, cited as his official response, Reed started by posting a photo of Lewis being beaten during the historic 1965 “Bloody Sunday” Civil Rights march in Selma, Ala., with the comment that Lewis “is an American hero & a national treasure. Period. Full stop.” Reed then continued, “That


President-elect Donald Trump has blasted U.S. Rep. John Lewis’s 5th Congressional District as being in “horrible shape,” “falling apart” and “crime-infested.” The district includes part of Buckhead. Trump, a Republican, made the comments in two tweets on Jan. 14 as part of a political argument with Lewis, a Democrat. In part of an NBC News interview released Jan. 13, Lewis claimed Trump was not a “legitimate president” due to alleged Russian government tampering in the election. In the two tweets, Trump’s full comment stated: “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on SPECIAL SPECIAL fixing and helping his district, President-elect U.S. Rep. John Lewis. which is in horrible shape and Donald Trump. falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk–no action or results. Sad!” The 5th Congressional District covers most of the city of Atlanta while also extending south into Clayton County and east into the Druid Hills area. Parts of the district have significant crime rates, and Atlanta is tackling a range of infrastructure issues with a series of bond-funded projects. However, the district also includes such booming areas and institutions as Atlanta’s Downtown and Midtown;

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PEOTUS [President-elect of the United States] Trump would attack Congressman Lewis on MLK Day weekend for ‘all talk…no action’ when he bled to actually ‘Make America Great’ is why far less than half the country supports him at the dawn of his presidency.” Reed added the Twitter hashtags “#HeStoodUpForUs” and “LetsStandForHim.” Melissa Mullinax, a senior advisor to Reed, commented about Trump on her personal Twitter account. “This thin-skinned disgrace of a Pres attacks a hero and ATL based on ZERO knowledge,” she tweeted. “Trump’s description of Atlanta is beyond ridiculous.” Fulton County Chairman John Eaves, a Democrat, sent Trump a letter, also made public, inviting the president-elect to visit the area. “Please don’t judge from afar,” Eaves wrote. “I encourage you to come walk our streets. I welcome you to meet with those who go to work every day and are determined to beat the odds. I respectfully ask that you talk with local leaders and begin a positive dialogue.” Former Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell, a Democrat who is now president of the Buckhead Coalition, an invitation-only group of 100 business and community leaders, said the organization does not get involved in partisan politics. “But [we] must admit we’re very proud of the progress and prosperity of the 28 square miles of Buckhead in the 5th Congressional District,” he said. Democratic state Sen. Elena Parent, whose District 42 covers a portion of Buckhead, tweeted that “Booming Atlanta has been proud to have [Lewis] represent us for decades.”

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Community | 13


Bowling A Strike

A hit with game-lovers, The Painted Pin prepares to expand

Justin Amick and William Stallworth, co-owners of The Painted Pin.

BY GRACE HUSETH The Painted Pin feels like a millionaire’s game room in the heart of Buckhead’s Miami Circle. The “modern English” décor turned an industrial warehouse space into a classic gaming and bowling destination. Length-wise, the Painted Pin is all bowling alley, but the depth of the venue features a large bar, lounging couches and coffee tables with interactive games tucked in corners and hidden in extra rooms. Owner Justin Amick and his business partner William Stallworth were looking for alternative forms of entertainment that would resonate with the 25- to 45-year-old demographic. Amick applied his expertise in the food and beverage business (he’s the son of noted restaurateur Bob Amick) while Stallworth used his experience in sales to create the successful boutique bar. “This is our dream bar. We both love competitive games, bowling and activities you can do with your friends, family and co-workers,” Amick said. “The culmination of our backgrounds was pointing us to the need and niche of The Painted Pin.” On a bustling Friday night, The Painted Pin did seem like a millennial’s playground yet the focus on games rescues the spot from the cliché bar feel. Along with the bowling, there’s bocce, giant Jenga, Skee Ball, shuffleboard, darts and a room devoted to ping pong that are incredibly popular. Later in the evening, a band started playing, but there were more victory dances than club dancing. Bowling is still the focal point of the boutique bar. Twenty lanes have theatrical red curtains and a trademark Painted Pin twist. Each lane has ten pins, one of which is painted red. This red pin is naturally shuffled with a new placement with each restack. Whenever the red pin becomes the king pin, or is moved to the front, the pressure is on. If you get a strike, you are awarded with a Painted Pin Strike and a celebratory free beer. BH


Securing a bowling lane can be tricky. Amick said the average wait time to get a lane is two to three hours on the weekdays and can get as high as six to eight hours on the weekends. The best strategy is to have one person from your group put your name on the list, stay in the building and play games as the wait time gets shorter. In the meantime, appetizers and meals at The Painted Pin are a nod to Amick’s roots in the food world. Greasy bowling alley food has been replaced with upscale

pub food including wood-fired pizzas, tacos, sliders and small plates. Craft and local beer, in addition to classic cocktails and wines by the glass, make bowling more art than sport. Amick used his expertise in wine when creating The Painted Pin. He worked in Napa Valley and served as beverage director for both Parish and The Spence. With the success of The Painted Pin, Amick and Stallworth are ready to expand the brand to Atlanta’s Westside. In summer 2017, the owners will open

their second location called The Painted Duck, which Amick calls “a distinguished drinkery duck pin bowling and gaming parlor.” Duck Pin Bowling is the same as bowling, but is played with smaller balls the size of a softball and smaller, fatter pins. The Painted Duck will be the first in the country to focus on the game in the boutique realm and give a somewhat retired game resurgence in popularity. Like The Painted Pin, The Painted Duck will have more classic games paired with recreational backyard bar fare.

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14 | Community

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Sanders YMCA celebrates major expansion


Kristin McEwen, executive director of the Carl E. Sanders Family YMCA, shows off an expanded exercise equipment area.

Continued from page 1 known tennis center to a lesser-known after-school program for kids from lower-income families. The YMCA has long had a Buckhead presence and once operated along Roswell Road. The Sanders Family YMCA, named for the former Georgia governor who was among its supporters, opened Jan. 20, 2000. The facility opened with 1,200 charter members, McEwen said. Today’s membership is around 20,000. She said that about 2,000 people visit the Y every day, with around 350 to 400 there at any given time. That demand led to the current expansion and renovation. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception was scheduled for Jan. 19, though various parts of the new building have come into use over the past several weeks. The project took 18 months to finish after years of fundraising and planning.

The indoor pool at the YMCA was retiled as part of the renovations.

The funding started with $1 million left to the Y by Sanders in his will. McEwen said Sanders reviewed the expansion plan before his death in 2014. “His first question was, ‘Can everybody come into my Y? Is it open to anyone?” McEwen recalled. The answer is yes, she added, with the YMCA continuing to offer financial assistance on memberships for those who need it. (They have also waived the Buckhead location’s application fee for the month of January.) Inside, a 12,000-square-foot expansion includes new studio spaces with blond wood floors and mirrored walls, suitable for the wide variety of fitness classes the Y is known for. “Any classes you could want, we probably have,” said McEwen, adding that they allow the kind of social bonding among different types of people that she thinks is one of the Y’s biggest assets. Outside, a playground was moved to make more lawn space, and shade structures were added to the tennis courts.

Above: The renovated weight-lifting area features more room to move around. Left: The recently expanded Sanders Family YMCA at 1160 Moores Mill Road.

The Y’s tennis center is popular and offers some world-class training. Tony Palafox, a former pro who was superstar John McEnroe’s first coach, is among the instructors there. Another is former pro Joe Becknell, who was honored by members with a special plush chair and a mini-fridge filled with Diet Cokes set up at courtside. As for the facility’s future, “The members will tell you it’s already too small,” McEwen joked. She estimated the expanded building will serve for 15 to 20 years before changing demands make it time to renovate again. That means the Y will begin sketching out a possible plan in about five years, she said. For more information about the Sanders Family YMCA, see ymcaatlanta.org or call 404-350-9292,

THE NEW AND IMPROVED SANDERS FAMILY YMCA Highlights of upgrades at the expanded and renovated Carl E. Sanders Family YMCA include: → → → → → → → →

Net 88 new parking spaces A 12,000-square-foot addition Two new group classrooms New classroom and computer lab for youths New playground Renovated locker room/pool Security camera system New shade structures BH

JAN. 20 - FEB. 2, 2017

Community | 15


Honoring King Day at the Atlanta History Center







A - “The Dream Lives” program, held Monday, Jan. 16, was an all-day, free event at the Atlanta History Center, featuring speakers, hands-on activities and performances. C - Visitors make “Stained Glass Dreams.” B, D, E & G - Atlanta History Center interpreters, Kate Kovach (blue sweater) and Felicia Wheeler (dark skirt) conduct a “Freedom Ride simulation,” a demonstration of the famous Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) bus ride to Alabama held to test new laws banning segregation on interstate buses. The ride, which was met with brutal violence and a bus being burned by Southern demonstrators, helped inspire other civil rights efforts.


F - Students from Team 3, an after school camp program, make “Stained Glass Dreams.” From left are Zoa Dotson, 8, Allyson Chapman8, and Kai Whidbee, 7.

16 | Out & About

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Mondays, from Jan. 23 through March 6




The winter session of Perimeter Adult Learning & Services, Inc. (PALS), continues with classes for senior adults in three time slots each Monday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Classes include: “The Civil War,” “Beautiful Geological Marvels II,” “Music,” “Mahjongg,” “Examining Your Funny Bone II,” “Shakespeare,” “Points of History,” “Great Decisions 2017,” and “Bridge.” Cost: $8 one day; $45 full session. Lunch available for extra fee. Dunwoody United Methodist Church, 1548 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: palsonline.org or 770-698-0801.





Saturday, Jan. 28, 1-4 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 27 to Sunday, Feb. 19

A series of three classes taught by naturalist illustrator Christy Knight combines the love of art and nature for adults 18 and older of all ability levels. The first class is “Winter Subjects in Pen and Ink.” Subsequent classes, on Feb. 11 and March 25, use colored pencils and watercolor, respectively. Basic suggested materials provided. $75 per class; $200 for full series. Blue Heron Nature Preserve, 4055 Roswell Road N.E., Buckhead. Info: bhnp.org/natural-science-workshops-for-adults or 404-455-3560.

Stage Door Players presents “Death by Design,” a dark comedy by Rob Urbinati set in a weekend at an English country manor in 1932. North DeKalb Cultural Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Showtimes and ticket info: stagedoorplayers.net.


Tuesday, Jan. 24 to Wednesday, Feb. 15

The 17th annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival will present 202 screenings, including 75 films from 24 countries, at multiple venues in Atlanta. The opening night film is “Alone in Berlin,” based on a true story of grieving parents driven by the loss of their son to resist the Nazi regime. All screenings include post-film conversation with filmmakers, actors, academics and other experts. The festival is presented by AJFF, an independent arts organization, and is anchored at the Lefont Sandy Springs theater, 5920 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Info: ajff.org.

ARTS WORKSHOPS Through Sunday, Jan. 29


The Spruill Center for the Arts is offering one- and two-day workshops through the end of January on jewelry, flower arrangement, acrylic color mixing, collage and more. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: Awww.spruillarts.org/classes. TION & PARKS

Lost Corner Preserve is located on 24+ acres of beautiful woodlands with nature trails, a winding creek, community gardens, historic buildings, and an assortment of wildlife, trees LECTURE HISTORY OFarea SANDY SPRINGS and native plants. It has a rich and unique history dating back SERIES: to the settlement of the Fourth Wednesdays, January through May, 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the mid-1800’s and the Civil War.

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April 16 Saturday 10:00 am-12:00 pm Free ($10 fee collected on day of for non-


First Sundays: February through April, 3-4 p.m.

Local historian Clarke Otten presents the history of Sandy Springs in a lecture series presented by Friends of Lost Corner, a park and historic site. Topic for Jan. 25 is “Indian Trails and Pioneer Tales.” Friends of Lost Corner also presents a “Secret History of Lost Corner” lecture. Visitors can learn how previous owners of Lost Corner’s 20th century farmhouse helped shape the Sandy Springs area. Suggested donation: $5. Lost Corner Preserve, 7300 Brandon Mill Road N.W., Sandy Springs. Register: registration. 7300 Brandon Mill Rd. 30328 sandyspringsga. gov. Info: 770(Located at the corner of Brandon Mill SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT 730-5600. Road where Riverside Drive turns into calendar@ReporterNewspapers.net Dalrymple Road)

Lost Corner Preserve

JAN. 20 - FEB. 2, 2017

Out & About | 17






Investor, radio host and motivational speaker Charlie Harary will speak on “Tapping Into Your Inner Greatness” at Congregation Ariel. Dessert reception follows the program. Cost: $10. 5227 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Information: congariel.org or 770-390-9071.

Friends of the Dunwoody Library sponsor a book sale. Public hours: 4-8 p.m. on Jan. 26; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday, Jan. 28; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30. The final day of the sale is Bag Day (fill a provided bag for a set price). 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770-512-4640.

Monday, Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 26 to Saturday, Jan. 28; Monday, Jan. 30

BASEBALL LEGEND RON POLK Wednesday, Jan. 25, 7 p.m.

Baseball coach Ron Polk, known as “the winningest coach in the Southeastern Conference,” headlines a fund-raiser for Riverwood International Charter School’s Raider Baseball. Polk will speak about his time around the diamond and sign baseballs and copies of his book, “The Baseball Playbook,” which will be available for purchase ($20). Suggested donation for the event: $10. Food available for purchase. 5900 Raider Drive N.W., Sandy Springs. Info: RaiderBaseballLegacy@gmail.com or RiverwoodAthletics.org.


Saturday, Jan. 28, 10:30 a.m.-noon.

Heritage Sandy Springs continues its American Girl Club monthly programming with a pajama party including popcorn and snacks. Girls are invited to bring their dolls and a pillow to watch the movie “Lea to the Rescue!” Best suited for ages 5-12. Free. RSVP recommended. Heritage Sandy Springs office building, 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Info: 404-851-9111, ext. 2.



Saturday, Feb. 4, 2-3 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 2, 8 p.m.

Timothy Tyson, author of “The Blood of Emmett Till,” discusses his book about the 1955 lynching in Mississippi of a 14-yearold black boy from Chicago and the trial that followed. Tyson is also the author of “Blood Done Sign My Name,” a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Admission: $5 members; $10 non-members. Reservations required. Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info: 404-814-4150.


Learn about birds with Nature’s Echo, a conservation organization, in February’s Free First Saturday program at the Dunwoody Nature Center. Registration info: dunwoodynature.org or 770-394-3322.

DADDY DAUGHTER DANCE Saturday, Feb. 4, 6-8 p.m.

Girls and their fathers or father figures are invited to a city-sponsored dance featuring music from both generations. Open to all girls attending schools in Sandy Springs. Business casual to semi-formal attire. Limited to 125 girls. Cost: $35 for father and daughter; $10 each additional daughter. Spalding Drive Charter Elementary School, 130 W. Spalding Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: registration.sandyspringsga.gov or 770-730-5600.

CAJUN/CREOLE DANCE PARTY Saturday, Feb. 4, 8-11 p.m.

Party with Dennis Stroughmatt & Creole Stomp. Led by Creole accordionist and fiddler Dennis Stroughmatt, the band plays everything from bluesy two-steps to Zydeco. Free dance lesson 7-8 p.m. Cost: $18; $5 students, $14 active military. No partner necessary. All ages welcome. Cajun food for sale. Dorothy Benson Senior Multipurpose Complex, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Sponsored by the Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association. Info: aczadance.org or 877-338-2420.

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18 | Out & About

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Film festival documentary explores U.S. racism during 1936 Berlin Olympics BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The 1936 Berlin Olympics was supposed to be a world showcase for Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany’s belief that the strength of the Aryan race could not be matched by anyone else.


Screenings for “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” Jan. 27 at UA Tara Cinemas at 2:55 p.m. Feb. 5 at Lefont Sandy Springs at 4:15 p.m., including appearance by Director Deborah Riley Draper Feb. 9 at Regal Atlantic Station at 7:50 p.m. ajff.org/film/olympic-prideamerican-prejudice

But African-American and U.S. athlete Jesse Owens, rising above racial tensions in his home country, claimed four gold medals in track and field and achieved a legacy that continues today. What’s not as well-known is that there were 17 other American black athletes, including two women, competing at the 1936 Olympic Games. They defied calls for boycotts from a country that treated them as second-class citizens so they could compete on the world stage. “It’s really a fascinating story. It’s a complicated story,” said Debora Riley Draper of Atlanta, director of the featurelength documentary “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” screening at this year’s Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. Actor Blair Underwood is the narrator. The documentary screening is one in a record number 202 screenings, including 75 films from 24 countries at multiple venues in Atlanta, presented in the 17th year of the film festival. Draper said she was researching Valaida Snow, a trumpet player from Chattannooga, Tenn., who ended up in a Nazi concentration camp after being arrested in 1941 in Denmark while touring with an all-female band. And in that research, she learned that 18 African American athletes competed in the Berlin Olympics.


Archie Williams was one of 18 black athletes who competed at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Here he is with reporters after he won the gold in the 400 meter dash.

“I only knew about Jesse Owens,” years ago are very similar to conversaDraper said, “and learned that the stories tions people are having today about race of the other athletes, including these two and protests. When she began the docuwomen, all went into obscurity.” mentary, people were talking about the It was known that Hitler did not want shootings of unarmed black teens Trayany African Americans competing in von Martin and Tamir Rice. his Olympics, and the In the NFL, San black athletes faced Francisco quarterfierce opposition from back Colin Kaepernick their peers and others made waves when he in the U.S. to boycott chose to take a knee the games or face the during the National idea they would be supAnthem as a silent proporting Hitler’s tyrantest to America’s treatny by competing. ment of black people. But at the time, a “These are all confederal anti-lynching versations about patribill was sitting on Presotism, the rights and ident Franklin D. Roofreedoms people have,” sevelt’s desk with no Draper said. real chance of it being The 18 Africansigned and black peoAmerican athletes ple were forced to deal DEBORA RILEY DRAPER who competed in Berwith violent Jim Crow DIRECTOR “OLYMPIC PRIDE, lin were not condoning laws that enforced ra- AMERICAN PREJUDICE” Hitler or Nazism, Drapcial segregation, iner said, because they cluding separate restrooms and water were not the policy makers. They were fountains for black and white people and athletes. But sports can bring visibility to forcing black people to sit in the back of political issues, and, by winning, the Afrithe bus. Racism within law enforcement can Americans very publicly showed the was rampant as well. world that the Nazi principle that Aryans “This was an interesting time and Afwere the best athletes was simply wrong. rican Americans were trying to figure Ben Johnson, the American sprinter out how to exist,” Draper said. considered the most serious rival to Jes“In America where they lived, the se Owens, was unable to compete in the black athletes couldn’t get their own 1936 Olympics due to an injury. He said at country to recognize them as American the time, “I don’t stand for tyranny in any citizens,” she said. “For them to get on country including America,” Draper said. a boat [to go to Germany] with USA on “The athletes wanted to compete. their backs was a political statement.” They had a lot to prove as African AmerThe athletes, she said, were willing to icans regardless of their country’s policompete, and win, for a country that did cies,” she said. not love them. “If they won, it certainly takes down “That took courage,” Draper said. “The the Aryan supremacy business and it furunbelievable strength, and this perseverthers the cause of taking down Jim Crow,” ance, this fearlessness, and the ability to she said. “Sports are visible. And being do the right thing.” able to be visible encourages the next Draper said the conversations 80 generation.”

I only knew about Jesse Owens and learned that the stories of the other athletes, including these two women, all went into obscurity.

JAN. 20 - FEB. 2, 2017

Community | 19



At left: Butch Welch, the state’s project manager for the I-285/Ga.400 reconstruction, explains the upcoming phases of work at the Sandy Springs headquarters. At right: Jill Goldberg, communications manager for the Georgia Department of Transportation, points to proposed locations for sound-blocking walls on a map of Ga. 400.

Inside GDOT’s ‘Transform 285/400’ project command center BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

It was a quiet Friday morning amid the empty cubicles in a Sandy Springs office building. But the tapestry-sized highway maps on the walls gave a hint of the work that will soon set the place buzzing for years to come. The address is 270 Carpenter Drive, Suite 450, and the offices are the Georgia Department of Transportation’s command headquarters for the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange reconstruction project. The first dirt will be plowed for the “Transform 285/400” project within the next week, and work will continue into mid-2020. “This is a big project and there’s a lot of eyes and ears on it,” says Butch Welch, the GDOT project manager, who will lead the 15 to 20 people in the headquarters keeping that attention as work ramps up. That’s why GDOT chose to have a local headquarters in that building, which sits about 500 feet from I-285’s Roswell Road exit and less than a mile from the interchange. And three floors above them, an elevator ride away from any questions, is North Perimeter Contractors, the team of companies that won the $460 million project. “We can get there fast, not worry about the traffic,” said GDOT communications manager Jill Goldberg. “We try to be out there at least every day,” said Welch about reviewing the preparation work already underway along Ga. 400 in Sandy Springs. GDOT and private contractors assisting in the project’s oversight have the ability to view live traffic camera footage of the highways, but Welch said he is “one of the people who wants to get out in the field, whether it’s 2 in the morning or 2 in the afternoon.” Welch and Goldberg spoke in a small, freshly painted conference room in the headquarters, which has yet to acquire lived-in touches. Name placards for future staff members hang on vacant cubicles. A few pieces of art, including a painting of another mega-project, New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge, brighten a visitor waiting room. The most notable decorations are the scroll-like highway maps stretching for yards, depicting plans for such details as sound-blocking walls and new highway signs. The maps also give a sense of the sheer scale of the massive project. Rebuilding one of the state’s busiest highway interchanges—it handles about 400,000 vehicles per day— to improve capacity and flow is just the beginning. The work also involves adding “collector-distributor lanes”—physically separated exit and entrance lanes—to Ga. 400 north to Sandy Springs’ Spalding Drive and to I-285 between Roswell Road and Ashford-Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody and Brookhaven. The Ga. 400/Abernathy Road interchange in Sandy Springs will be rebuilt as a “diverging diamond,” in which traffic flow changes in time with traffic lights to move cars faster, and 33 bridges will be built or rehabbed. “We’re getting ready to blow up the interchange,” Welch says cheerfully, adding it’s “not going to be as devastating as people think.” He cited two reasons: Most of the work will be done at night, and through a phased construction that allows all roadways to remain partly open during construction and, at least in theory, to improve traffic before the work is totally done. In fact, the new interchange is still being designed and its work may not begin for another year or more.

There was, naturally, a diagram hanging on the wall to illustrate the phasing. Welch sprang up to point out that it begins with reconstruction of the Mount Vernon Highway bridge over Ga. 400. Sporting a silver crew cut and immaculate work shirt and jeans, Welch speaks about such complexities with an engineer’s precise details and notes of caution. Communicating such details to the public and local officials is another reason to have a local headquarters, which anyone is welcome to visit, Welch said. “We can’t solve everybody’s problem. In fact, we’re probably going to create a lot of problems” in the short term, Welch said. But what GDOT can do is clearly communicate the plans and coordinate mitigations with whoever is affected. As a small example, Welch cited the need to coordinate the project’s work so it won’t conflict with cities’ roadwork or right-of- way maintenance. “With taxpayer dollars, we don’t want to be doing something and then tearing it up,” he said. Meanwhile, Welch said, any construction pains will be worth it. “What you see out there now, that’s going to go away,” he said. “You’ll be able to go”—he whistled and sliced a finger through the air—“straight through.”

Other ‘Transform 285/400’ updates CURRENT CONSTRUCTION PHASING The current construction plan starts with replacing the Mt. Vernon bridge, followed by, in order: new lanes on Ga. 400’s east side north of Hammond Drive; similar work on Ga. 400’s west side; the same work on Ga. 400 south of Hammond; the Abernathy diverging diamond; and finally the I-285 and interchange work. GDOT recently mailed out notices for two open houses about proposed sound-blocking walls along Ga. 400. Both will be held Feb. 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. at Congregation B’Nai Torah, 700 Mount Vernon in Sandy Springs. Affected property owners get to vote on whether any sound barriers will be built. TRAFFIC COORDINATION The two cities directly impacted by work are Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. Their police departments are working on an agreement that will allow off-duty officers to work traffic details in both jurisdictions, Sandy Springs Police Chief Ken DeSimone told his City Council Jan. 17. Another concern is the new Atlanta Braves stadium, set to open in March farther down I-285 in Cobb County. The I-285/Ga. 400 night lane closures will start after game time, potentially surprising and confusing fans with new conditions on their way home. Goldberg said GDOT is working on a communications plan, possibly including messages on the giant screens in the stadium. THE NEXT PROJECT “Transform 285/400,” big as it is, is not the end of work in the area. GDOT already has preliminary plans to add “managed” lanes in the area within the next decade. Managed lanes mean some type of restricted-access lanes, usually by a toll. Goldberg said GDOT officials will present information about the managed lanes at the Sandy Springs City Council’s retreat Jan. 24 at Lost Corner Preserve.

20 | Education

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T.J. Edwards Mount Vernon Presbyterian School Editor’s note: Through our “Exceptional Educator” series, Reporter Newspapers showcase the work of some of the outstanding teachers and administrators at our local schools. If you would like to recommend an Exceptional Educator to be included in our series, please email editor@ReporterNewspapers.net with information about the teacher or administration and why you think he or she should be featured.

T.J. Edwards

teaches technology, engineering and design at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. His students have used a 3-D printer to manufacture prosthetic hands for a man who was born without fully formed fingers on his right hand.


What attracted you to teaching at first?


I’m a career changer, having first worked in the construction engineer fields and been owner/operator of a small business for a few years. In each of those instances, I felt a void of purpose. I made the change to teaching so that I could reignite my love for tech



and design while sharing some knowledge and experiences that I wish I had in my own high school experience.

Q: Has the appeal changed? A: I think the appeal has only grown.

Over the years, students will come back and say they appreciate having a certain experience or how they enjoyed a class. Those relationships with students continually remind me that this is the right career for me.

Q: What keeps you going year after



Beyond the day-to-day interaction with students and a really awesome team of teachers, I’m continually invigorated by the way the conversations around education are evolving. Students are getting more opportunities to work on problems that matter — not ones invented by teachers — and as a result they are gaining a sense that their world is malleable and we trust them to shape it in a positive way. I think we are on the cusp of a major (and much-



Jeff Kremer

Account Executive

needed) reimagining of the way we “do” school.


What do you think makes a great teacher?


I think it is really helpful for teachers know it is OK to be vulnerable with students. It is OK to not know all the answers. In fact, those problems that aren’t easily Googled are the ones worth solving, right? Some of the best experiences I’ve had with students is when we tackled a problem that none of us knew the answer(s) to. In that way, I was co-creating and learning alongside the students.


What do you want to see in your students?


I want to see students that are insatiably curious. In some ways, it feels like school can stomp that out of students as the get older. I want students to be problem-seekers and demonstrate diversity in both thought and action.


How do you engage your stu-



I think I invest a lot of time on classroom culture and expectations. We might spend a few weeks talking through craftsmanship, self-reliance, how to work in a team, and why it is important to be contributors to — not just consumers of — knowledge. I think that has helped students take ownership of their learning.


Do you have a project or special program you use year after year?


One personality trait (or flaw?) of mine is that I continually like to try new projects and ideas, so no two se-

mesters are exactly the same. Over the past four years, a theme of building assistive technologies for disabled individuals has emerged as a favorite. I think some of the secret to those projects is that students have a user in mind — one who has very real and observable needs. The empathy that is generated compels students to be successful because the stakes are higher than just a grade, which can feel relatively meaningless at times.


Is there a “trick” that works to get students involved?


I don’t know if it is a trick, but I think kids by nature want to work on problems that they care about. Sometimes that means opening their eyes to issues they didn’t know existed and other time it means tailoring projects to meet their personal strengths and preferences.


What do you hope your students take away from your class?


Maybe there are two big things: 1) I want students to gain the super power of X-ray vision — an ability to imagine how designed objects are fabricated and 2) to be both critical thinkers and critical makers. Maybe that’s a new discipline/department I’d like to create: Art of the Possible.

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Published by Springs Publishing, LLC, 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

Teacher T.J. Edwards chats with student Emily Moseley.


JAN. 20 - FEB. 2, 2017

Classifieds | 21


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22 | Public Safety

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Police Blotter / Buckhead From Atlanta Police reports filed from Dec. 25 through Jan. 7 The following information was provided by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department.

R O B B E RY 2555 Bolton Road — On Dec. 27, a

pharmacy employee said a male suspect entered the business and selected cleaning supplies. The man told the employee to put $250 on a gift card and cash him out. The suspect then flashed a handgun at the cashier. The employee did as demanded. The gunman then fled the location. 1801 Howell Mill Road — On Jan. 1,

security officers at a big-box discount store reported a man and a woman attempted to shoplift TVs from the location. When the employee confronted them, the man pulled a pistol from his waistband and pointed it at him. The suspects then fled. 1715 Howell Mill Road — On Jan. 1, a

man was sitting in his car in a grocery store parking lot when another man approached him. The walking man tapped on the glass, and, as the man in the car

rolled down his window, produced a firearm. The gunman asked the victim to get out of his vehicle. The gunman then got into the vehicle and drove out of the parking lot. Witnesses on scene corroborated the victim’s story. The gunman may have been involved in a separate theft nearby at an apartment. 2400 block of

Camellia Lane — On Jan. 2, a man was at the suspect’s apartment. He said another man and the other man’s girlfriend were in a heated argument and that she locked herself in the bedroom. The man then kicked in the door and punched her in the face. The man then pulled out a firearm and demanded the victim surrender his money. The victim handed the suspect $500. The gunman then fled.

3800 block of Beachwood Drive —

Sometime during Christmas week, a furnace was stolen from a home under construction. 200 block of 26th Street — Sometime

during Christmas week, a 50” TV, a cable adapter, a Dell Laptop, motion cameras and other items were stolen. There were no signs of forced entry. 1300 block of Peachtree Park Drive — Sometime during Christmas week, a leather purse, a wallet and clothing were stolen from an apartment.

300 block of Pharr Road — On Dec. 26, a door to an apartment was reported damaged. 1800 block of Piedmont Avenue —

On Dec. 27, a door was forced open and a laptop and keys were stolen from a home. 2200 block of Paul Avenue — On Dec.




28, electronics and shoes were stolen from a home that had a hole in the rear door window. 500 block of Northside Circle — On

Dec. 28, a kitchen window was forced open and several firearms were stolen. 200 block of 26th Street — On Dec. 29,

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electronics, clothing, and a bag were stolen from an apartment. 1000 block of Mount Paran Road —

Surveillance footage showed three men break into the location sometime during the week of Jan. 1. The men hid their faces and used gloves inside the residence. Money, credit/debit cards, a Sonos sound bar, silver utensils, and an HP laptop were taken from the home. 3400 block of Piedmont Road — Some-

time during the week of Jan. 1, a glass door was shattered to gain entry to an apartment. A laptop was missing. 700 block of Sidney Marcus Boulevard

— Sometime during the week of Jan. 1, a glass door was shattered to gain entry to an apartment. A laptop was missing. 100 block of Lakeland Drive — Some-

time during the week of Jan. 1, a rear patio door to an apartment was pried open and damaged. A TV was taken.

Published by Springs Publishing, LLC, 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

4600 block of Brook Hollow Road —

On Jan. 1, a $10,000 bicycle was stolen from a garage.

700 block of Morosgo Drive — On Jan.

2, although there was no sign of disturbance at the apartment, a purse containing a laptop, credit and debit cards, $7 cash, an ID and keys were stolen. 500 block of Bishop Street — On Jan.

2, a rear patio door was pried open to an apartment and a TV was stolen. 2000 Monroe Place — On Jan. 2, in the

morning, a patio door was shattered to gain entry. Two Michael Kors watches, a PS4, and a TV were stolen. 2000 Monroe Place — On Jan. 2, in

the evening, a patio door was shattered to gain entry. A Samsung tablet and two TVs were reported missing. 4300 block of Garmon Drive — On Jan.

3, in the evening, an HVAC unit was cut from its cage. 2200 block of Dunseath Avenue —

On Jan. 3, in the evening, a top floor bedroom window was forced open and clothes, shoes, cologne, wallet, jewelry, and other items were removed from the property. 1100 block of Lavista Road — On Dec.

4, an apartment door was kicked in. An LG TV, Movado watch, MacBook, and several miscellaneous jewelry items removed from the location. Victim attempted to track the electronics but tracking had been disabled. 1600 block of Piedmont Road — On

Dec. 4, the apartment door frame was badly damaged. A silver MacBook and a Nikon SLR camera were removed from the premises. 1600 block of Piedmont Road — On

Dec. 4, the victim discovered a note from his neighbor advising they had found his dog roaming the neighborhood. The door to the apartment had been pried open. A Dell laptop, backpack, mug, jacket, Lenovo Thinkpad, iPad, three prop Smith and Wesson guns, and other items were taken. 3700 block of Paces Ridge — On Jan.

5, a woman awoke to the sound of her door chime activating. She went to her carport because the light was on. When she looked through the window, she saw three men were by her vehicle. One took out a pistol and fired rounds upward. The men then fled. Four of the victim’s vehicles had forced entry. Approximately $43 was taken from the vehicles. A shell casing was recovered, as well as a footprint of one of the suspects and 14 sets of fingerprints. 4400 block of Garmon Road — On Jan.

5, a chain and padlock to an exterior


JAN. 20 - FEB. 2, 2017

cage at the dwelling were cut and damaged. Two HVAC units and copper pipe were stolen. 4600 block of Jetridge Drive — On Jan.

5, a forced entry to a residence was reported and items were removed. 2600 block of Forrest Avenue — On

Jan. 5, a man said that as he returned home he found another man leaving through the front door. The resident said the man fled. The resident gave chase, but the intruder got away. A crowbar was used to force entry to a window to the home and a 17-inch Dell laptop was missing.

1,000 feet of welding cable were stolen. 1300 block of Northside Drive —

Sometime Christmas week, tools belonging to a building company were stolen. 3131 Piedmont Road — On Dec. 25, the

window to a photo store was smashed out and $600 was taken from the cash register. 2420 Piedmont Road — On Dec. 25,

the audible alarm was activated at a restaurant. Nothing was reported missing. 2519 Chantilly Drive — On Dec. 29, a

laptop was stolen from the home.

storage business reported that 41 storage units were forced into and miscellaneous items were taken.

2700 block of Defoors Ferry Road —

1424 N. Highland Avenue — On Dec.

1900 Grandview Avenue — On Jan. 5, a

On Jan. 6, the rear door to a home was kicked in and two TVs were removed.

CO M M E R C I A L B U R G L A RY 2500 block of Paul Avenue — Some-

time during Christmas week, a shed was broken into. Pressure regulators and

29, the glass front door to a restaurant was shattered and the cash register was taken. 3300 block of Piedmont Road — Some-

time during the week of Jan. 1, a construction site was entered and two work shirts were stolen.

New Zone 2 police commander boosts anti-crime measures uptick in crime in the last year. “Zone 2 really is a large zone and reOne of his first tasks in his new post ally runs the gamut, from residential arwas to rebrand the Zone 2 traffic squad eas to super busy areas such as Lenox as a crime suppresand Cheshire Bridge sion unit. The origiRoad. It’s important to nal intent of the traffic put officers in the right squad was to essentialplace,” he said. ly flash blue lights and Zone 2 officers will conduct traffic stops also conduct more surand try to keep peoveillance of gas staple who don’t live in tions, where many car Buckhead from enterthefts have been occuring the neighborhood ring, he said. because most crimes Shaw said he and committed in the area other officers have alare committed by outready conducted sevsiders. eral community meet“It’s pretty safe to ings in the few weeks say that criminals he’s been in charge, ATLANTA POLICE watch us as closely as listening to residents Major Barry Shaw. we watch them and and their concerns to


Public Safety | 23


they adapt,” Shaw said. “By coming in here with a different set of eyes, I’ve made some personnel changes. Every zone has crime suppression, but [in Buckhead] we have mostly property crimes and car break-ins.” The traffic squad will still conduct traffic duty when needed, but will also be used in “more traditional crime fighting” exercises, such as patrolling “hot spots” where crime is becoming more prevalent. “And we hope to see this pay some dividends soon,” Shaw said. Because of the large number of surveillance cameras in Zone 2, which covers 40 square miles, there will also be more time spent by officers monitoring those cameras, he said.

make sure the department is responsive to what they are experiencing. In December, the North Buckhead Civic Association issued an alert in its newsletter warning people that residential crime was up over the last year – including 19 residential burglaries in 2016, rising from 13 in 2015. In June, Buckhead residents met at a community meeting with then Zone 2 commander Hobbs to complain about what they said was a rise in armed robberies and car break-ins. Zone 2 has approximately 120 officers, but that includes those on administrative duties and crime scene investigators. “It goes without saying the entire department wants to make people feel safe where they work and live,” Shaw said.

3300 block of Peachtree Road — On

Jan. 2, the rear door to a Japanese restaurant was pried open. The safe was damaged, and $10,000 stolen. Surveillance footage showed a man with a white mask using a pry bar on the back door and entering the business. The suspect then pried the safe from the wall. 3300 block of Peachtree Road — On

Jan. 2, two suspects entered a mall specialty store. The thieves were captured on surveillance taking several designer bags. Their faces were concealed by tightly drawn hoodies. The thieves fled in a silver and red pickup truck. 174 Peachtree Hills Avenue — On Jan.

3, the audible alarm was activated at a cleaning company. The front door glass had been shattered. Nothing reported missing. 1402 Highland Avenue — On Jan. 3, the

door to a restaurant was found to have been shattered. The cash register was damaged, but it appeared the would-be thieves did not successfully break into the machine. 1709 Howell Mill Road — On Jan. 3,

were pried open. No items were reported missing. 2980 Piedmont Road — On Jan. 3, the

back window at a car rental agency was shattered. The key storage drawer was open and keys were missing. A collapsible wrench was found that may have been used to break into the building. Douglas County sheriff’s deputies apprehended two suspects in a stolen vehicle traced back to the business. 3097 E. Shadowlawn Avenue — On

Jan. 5, a Lenovo laptop, a Toshiba laptop, a saw, a Husky ratchet set, and $5 were stolen from a development company.

LARCENY Between Dec. 25 and Dec. 31, there

were 19 larcenies from vehicles reported. Between Jan. 1 and Jan. 7, there were 35 larcenies from vehicles reported and 41 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting.=

AU TO T H E F T There were 19 reported incidents of

auto theft between Jan. 1 and Jan. 7.

the front doors to a hardware store



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