03-02-18 Dunwoody Reporters

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MARCH 2 - 15, 2018 • VOL. 9 — NO. 5


Dunwoody Reporter



► Democratic candidates for governor stake out positions PAGE 4 ► Mayor, council debate emergency response times PAGE 14

Coping with a Crisis: Opioid addiction in the suburbs EXCLUSIVE SERIES

Life after death: Families turn obituaries into protests against the stigma of addiction


City to form an affordable housing task force BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net


Larry and Peggy Lord display a childhood photo of their sons Ashby and Hunter. Ashby, at right, died of a heroin overdose last year.



n a Sunday afternoon last April, the moment Larry Lord had dreaded for roughly two decades finally happened. His wife, Peggy, found their 35-year-old son Ashby no longer breathing in the basement of their ranch home on Sandy Springs’ Mount Paran Road. She tried performing CPR and called 911. But nothing the paramedics did could revive Ashby after a heroin overdose. Larry was devastated. Like many family members after a death, he faced the task of writing an obituary so that newspapers and the funeral home could inform their loved ones. Larry, an architect, considered himself a problem-solver.

First of a 4-Part Series The combination of prescription painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids is killing people around the nation, including within Reporter Newspapers communities. In this exclusive four-part series, we will look at how local families, nurses, prosecutors, recovering addicts and others are responding to a growing epidemic that already kills more people than cars, guns or breast cancer each year. To share your thoughts and stories, email editor@reporternewspapers.net

A doctor’s overview of the opioid crisis. See Commentary, page 10 ► Usually, he could sketch out new doors or windows to make design problems disappear. He’d written obituaries, too,

most recently for his first wife and Ashby’s mother, Shannon, after she died from complications of cancer. But the circumstances of Ashby’s life posed difficult questions in how to talk about his death. Euphemisms are a tradition of sorts for overdose victims. Their obituaries say that they left this world or entered eternal rest while glossing over how it happened. The reasons vary from not speaking ill of the dead to a fear that it might reflect poorly on the living. “For many years, you never saw the word ‘addiction’ in an obit,” says Dr. Frances Levin, a psychiatry professor at Columbia University Medical Center. “That’s because of the stigma related to Continued on page 8

The city will create a task force to study workforce housing in the wake of similar efforts in neighboring cities, despite strong opposition from the mayor and some City Council members. Four councilmembers — Lynn Deutsch, John Heneghan, Pam Tallmadge and Tom Lambert — agreed at the council’s Feb. 15 retreat the city should create the task force. Among the items the task force will look at are ideas that have been pitched in Brookhaven, Sandy Springs and other metro Atlanta cities on ways to ensure affordable housing options are available. Who will serve on the task force and when it will be created remains to be seen, according to Mayor Denis Shortal. During a presentation at the council retreat, workforce housing was defined as being 80 percent of the area median income. It can also be defined by profession, such as teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses, construction workers and retail workers. “I’m concerned about redevelopment ... of certain properties and when that happens See CITY on page 12

Residents discuss Peachtree Industrial’s future BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Residents at a community meeting said they would like to see more trails, green space and senior housing near Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Dunwoody, but are torn on how to address aging apartment complexes that are home to diverse, lower-income residents. Residents provided input Feb. 27 on what development they would like to see in the Peachtree Industrial Boulevard area from I-285 to Winters Chapel Road. See RESIDENTS on page 13

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Mayor: Dunwoody has come a long way BY DYANA BAGBY

Parks and recreation continue to be a priority for the city, with the construction of two new baseball fields adjacent As Dunwoody approaches its 10th annito Brook Run Park and Peachtree Charter versary this December, the mayor says the Middle School slated to be completed in state of the city is strong, but there is still early March, he said. more to do. The city also has $3.3 million remaining “The future is bright,” Mayor Denis from a DeKalb County parks bond settleShortal told a crowd of some 300 people ment that it will use toward adding amenigathered Feb. 22 at Crowne Plaza Ravinia ties and improvements to Brook Run Park, Ravinia Hotel for the annual State of the including two large multiuse athletic fields. City event. “We’ve come a long way ... but Shortal ticked off many of the city’s acwe still have a ways to go.” complishments in 2017, including the purMore traffic improvements, paving, chase of the new City Hall at 4800 Ashfixes to storm sewers and upgrades to the ford-Dunwoody Road. Total cost for the city’s parks are on the horizon, he said. 4,800-square-foot building including The city’s 2018 budget inbuildout and buyout of the tencludes $3.3 million for paving ants with offices in the building and Shortal said he will ask City came to $12.65 million, Shortal Council to add $400,000. said. That is being paid off with Improvements to the Mount a $9.9 million loan and $2.75 Vernon Road and Vermack million from the city surplus. Road intersection that has been Shortal also praised the refive years in the works is now cent voter-approved 1 percent DYANA BAGBY underway. Work began this special local option sales tax month, including the chopping Mayor Denis Shortal. (SPLOST), which is expected to down of some 150 trees. The raise about $7 million a year for the next project includes adding sidewalks, consix years for Dunwoody to use on transcrete islands for pedestrian safety, bike portation (84 percent), public safety (14 perlanes and additional turn lanes on both cent) and capital repair projects (2 percent). roads. The Equalization Homestead Option Intersection improvements to SpauldSales Tax (EHOST) that was tied to the ing Drive and Chamblee-Dunwoody Road SPLOST vote means 100 percent of EHOST are planned for 2019 and in 2020, the city funding goes to property tax relief. For a is slated to begin improvements to the Tilly homeowner in Dunwoody with a $466,500 Mill Road and Mount Vernon Road interhouse, that means a property tax savings of section, Shortal said. $642 a year, Shortal said. Other ways the city continues to tackle As part of the event, the city’s Sustainthe notorious traffic congestion is signalizability Committee named bicycle advocate ing its traffic lights, he said. Joe Seconder its 2017 Sustainable Hero of The city’s stormwater pipes and runoff the Year and also named Saint Luke’s Prescontinue to be the city’s largest financial libyterian Church’s Green Team its first Corability, Shortal said, but the city is dedicatporate Sustainable Hero Award for the ed to testing the system every five years electronic recycling events it holds for the and clearing out its clogged pipes. city each year. dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net


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The Chevron gas station in Dunwoody Village at 5465 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road has been sold to ADC Development, which will keep the station, but convert its auto repair shop into a convenience store. City Planner John Olson updated the City Council at its Feb. 22 about the renovations and exterior features, which were recently approved by the Design Review Advisory Committee. The developer will also be replacing the 5-foot sidewalk in front of the store with a 12-foot sidewalk, including new landscaping and planting street trees, Olson said. The two entrances into the site will remain. The parking lot will be sealed and striped and will include ADA parking. Last year, the council in a split vote approved special land use permits for the property for a developer to build a restaurant and retail center on site, which is under 1 acre. Controversy arose during that project when Regency Partners, owner of Dunwoody Village, opposed the developer’s plans to change the entrances and add parking to the site. Olson said everything is remaining the same except the new sidewalk and streetscaping. “None of the entrances are changing,” he said.

used for the relocation of power poles and guy wires for the construction of new entrances to the Dunwoody Nature Center and new Austin Elementary School. DeKalb Schools is constructing a new 900-seat Austin Elementary School at the site of the former Dunwoody Senior Baseball fields and adjacent to the nature center. As part of that construction, the district will be constructing a new parking lot for the Nature Center.


The City Council voted 6-1 at the Feb. 22 meeting to sponsor two CPR and AED training classes. The request to do so was made by Mayor Denis Shortal. Councilmember Terry Nall said he “applauds” the effort, but he questioned the need for a council vote. Shortal said he thought it would be a good policy to offer CPR and AED training and wants to have two classes offered this year. When and who will teach the class has yet to be determined. The council voted to approve the classes, with Nall casting the lone “no” vote.


The City Council unanimously approved Feb. 22 granting a permanent easement to Georgia Power on the city’s property at 5321 Roberts Drive to be

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The “Business Openings” notices in the Feb. 16 Perimeter Business section incorrectly reported the former location of Tootsies, which recently reopened in The Exchange at 3167 Peachtree Road, Buckhead. The store was formerly located in the Shops Around Lenox.

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Stacey Abrams, right, speaks while Stacey Evans listens at the Feb. 22 forum.

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The governor’s race came to Sandy Springs Feb. 22, as Democratic contenders Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans appeared at a private candidates forum hosted by the Jewish Democrat-

ic Women’s Salon, a Facebook-based group with more than 1,000 members. The “two Staceys” are both former state representatives who hope to replace term-limited Republican incumbent Nathan Deal in this fall’s election. At the forum, held at Heritage Sandy Springs, they largely agreed on such


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issues as regional and statewide mass transit; expanding Medicaid and the HOPE Scholarship program for higher education; and supporting small businesses as well as the state currently incentivizes such big businesses as Amazon. Both Democrats would veto laws allowing firearms on college campuses. Evans added that while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been “bullied out of” studying gun violence by a federal funding restriction, she would order a state-level study as governor. The candidates also agreed that “religious liberty” legislation is intended as discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. To end it once and for all, however, Evans said moderate Republican lawmakers would keep it from a vote, while Abrams called for a forceful statement that LGBT Georgians will be protected by the state. Differences emerged on the tactics Democrats should use to break their statewide office losing streak, while also being able to work with Republicans in the legislature. Abrams called for motivating disengaged Democrats, saying that “we spend millions of dollars trying to convince Republican women in the suburbs that they really meant to be Democrats [and] they were just confused. That has not worked, not once.” Evans, by contrast, said, “You can’t be afraid to persuade,” while acknowledging that still won’t flip a Republican area at the ballot box but can move policy forward. Abrams and Evans also discussed their differing votes in 2016 on a state law banning large contracts with anyone who supports the controversial Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which seeks to pressure Israel into making various policy changes seen as favorable to Palestinians. Evans voted in the favor of the ban, saying it shows a pro-Israel position, while Abrams voted against it, saying she respects the civil right of boycotting, while finding this particular version to be “wrong” and “anti-Semitic.” Among the approximately 200 people attending the forum were state Sen. Jen Jordan, a Democrat who recently won the Buckhead-area District 6 seat; Sandy Springs City Councilmember Andy Bauman; Bobby Kaple, one of the Democrats seeking to challenge U.S. Rep. Karen Handel in 6th Congressional District this year; and Mike Wilensky, a Democrat seeking to replace Republican Tom Taylor in Dunwoody’s House District 79. The primary election is scheduled for May 22. Republican contenders currently campaigning include Casey Cagle, Hunter Hill, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippin, Marc Alan Urbach and Michael Williams.

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6 | Arts & Entertainment

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Celebrate the Atlanta Science Festival [atlantasciencefestival. org] with the Blue Heron Nature Preserve by taking a naturalist-led family hike and scavenger hunt at the preserve’s Emma Wetlands. Free. 4055 Roswell Road, Buckhead. Info: bhnp.org.

Monday, March 12 to Saturday, March 17

The Sandy Springs Tennis Center, a public facility with 24 lighted courts, offers a week of free tennis activities for adults and kids in this second annual event. Tennis instruction, prizes, drawings and refreshments. 500 Abernathy Road, Sandy Springs. Info: sandyspringstennis.com.

Saturday, March 17, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

The festival returns for its ninth year with a diverse musical lineup of local, national and international musicians performing in locations throughout metro Atlanta including the Ahavath Achim Synagogue in Buckhead and the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta in Dunwoody. Highlights include Grammy winner Marc Cohn, Yemenite funk group Yemen Blues, and a special presentation of Billy Joel by ATL Collective. Tickets and other info: atlantajmf.org.

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ATLANTA CONCERT BAND Sunday, March 11, 4 p.m.

The Atlanta Concert Band presents “The British Folk Revival,” a concert featuring British composers. Free; donations accepted. Ahavath Achim Synagogue, 600 Peachtree Battle Ave. NW, Buckhead. Info: atlantaconcertband.org.

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Free screenings for adults include tests for non-fasting cholesterol and glucose, coronary risk profile, osteoporosis, cancer risk and audiology. Advance registration requested. Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta at Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: 678-8124063 or atlantajcc.org/pldb-live/northside-health-screenings-37527.


Saturday, March 10, 11 a.m. Master Gardener Tielke Baker discusses planning, planting and harvesting maximum production from small space gardening in an event presented by Dunwoody Community Garden and Orchard. DCGO greenhouse complex, opposite the skate park at Brook Run Park. 4770 Georgia Way South, Dunwoody. Info: dcgo.org.


ry Center’s Cherokee Garden Library, will speak about the state’s historic gardens at this month’s meeting of the Dunwoody Garden Club. The club meets monthly on second Wednesdays from September through May. Free. North DeKalb Cultural Center, Room 4, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. Info: dunwoodygardenclub.com.



Enjoy free admission and special programs on the second Sunday of each month.

FREE TAX FILING Ongoing through Saturday, April 14

The Community Assistance Center in Sandy Springs is offering free tax preparation assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which is an initiative of the IRS and United Way. Certified VITA tax prep volunteers will prepare and file tax returns for low- to moderate-income households earning up to $55,000 in 2017. Appointments required. CAC also offers training for VITA volunteers. 1130 Hightower Trail, Sandy Springs. Info: 770-552-4889, ext. 260 or email vita@ourcac.org.

Thursday, March 8, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Emory scholar Dr. Jonathan Crane will discuss ethical concerns about self-driving cars at Temple Emanu-El as part of the synagogue’s TE Talks speaker series. A Q&A will follow his presentation. Crane is the Schinazi Scholar in Bioethics and Jewish Thought at Emory University’s Center for Ethics. Free, registration required. 1580 Spalding Drive, Sandy Springs. Registration: templeemanuelatlanta.org/calendar.


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Consumer Demonstration: April 8th

AUTHOR TALK: “UNAFRAID” Tuesday, March 13, 7 p.m.

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Bestselling author and pastor Adam Hamilton visits Dunwoody United Methodist Church to discuss and sign copies of his book, “Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times,” one of Publishers Weekly’s “Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018.” $16, includes a copy of the book. Registration required. 1548 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodyumc.org.

HISTORIC GARDENS OF GEORGIA Wednesday, March 14, 9:30 a.m.

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Coping with a Crisis: Opioid addiction in the suburbs


Life after death: Families turn obituaries into protests against the stigma of addiction

A young Ashby Lord on the beach in a family photo held by his father Larry. At right, Ashby’s obituary as it appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Continued from page 1 addictive disorders.” But with opioid deaths becoming increasingly common — roughly 50,000 people fatally overdosed in 2016 alone — more families are calling out addiction by its name to break the cycle of the stigma and shame associated with the disease. Like the well-worn tactic of holding a protest sign at a rally, the obituary has turned into a form of activism against the stigma of addiction. These obituaries include words of caution or advice. One for a 22-year-old Pennsylvania woman who died of a heroin overdose in 2016 reads: “The disease of addiction thrives in darkness and must be defeated in the light.” Another, written in 2015 for a 24-year-old Ohio man killed by heroin, offers: “They used to say it takes a community to raise a child. Today, we need to say that it takes a community to battle addiction. Someone you know is battling addiction; if your ‘gut instinct’ says something is wrong, it most likely is.” “I believe in honest expression,” Lar-

ry said in a recent interview at the family home. “You read about someone who died. You want to know. It never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t write about Ashby’s addiction.” Hours after Ashby died, Larry cleared off a space on his cluttered dining room table and started to write. He thought about how Ashby had grappled with the fear that myotonic dystrophy, an incurable genetic disease he’d inherited from his mother, might undercut his boldest ambitions. He started smoking pot as a student at the Galloway School in Buckhead, which later derailed his short-lived college soccer career, and spent his life cycling between using opioids and doing time in treatment. Larry wrote an opening line that went straight to the point: “Jonathan Ashby Lord, 35, died at home in Atlanta April 9, 2017, after a long struggle with myotonic dystrophy and drug addiction.” From there, Larry was faced with tougher decisions about the stark details. Do you mention the sight of Ashby’s cold, white lips on that fatal Sunday? Do you talk about the failed rehab


attempts? Do you gloss over the worst parts or mention it all to warn others? Larry’s wife, Peggy, urged him to be as candid as he felt comfortable doing. She remembered her sister’s response after learning how Ashby died: “Didn’t they go to church as children? Ashby wouldn’t have a drug problem if he’d come to church.” Peggy understood that talking about his disease as if it was a heart attack might have the power to demystify the nature of addiction. She felt the obituary might help others be more open — and if they were more open, perhaps they could work together to press for more research into the disease. Larry cranked out a first draft. He asked Peggy and his brother to give it a quick read. He’d gotten off to a good start, they told him. But what if he mentioned more about the good times to

capture Ashby’s full humanity? Larry agreed. Together, they added more details about how he loved playing with animals and talking to strangers. “Despite Ashby’s valiant struggle to overcome his drug addiction, the scourge of myotonic dystrophy coupled with addiction became a barrier to his creativity and athleticism,” Larry wrote. “Fortunately, this never interfered with Ashby’s love of animals, for which he had a special magnetism, or his particular talent for making friends with a wide variety of people.” From Brookhaven to Gainesville,

MARCH 2 - 15, 2018

Community | 9


other Georgia families have joined the Lords in acknowledging the role addiction played in a loved one’s death. Steve Ethridge hoped that writing about his younger brother’s death might lead to further research. On July 5, 2017, Timothy Ethridge was found dead in his Doraville residence. In the obituary, his family decided to write about how they had “watched in horror as his health declined” due to his alcohol and drug addiction. Steve, the author of the obituary, said the news should be out in “plain view” to show how bad addiction could get. “We decided to talk about it to help other people,” said his mother Edna, a resident of Brookhaven. “It ran in the [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]. I think it definitely helped others.” That was the hope of Kathy Fowler, a former DeKalb County elementary school teacher, after discovering that her 31-year-old son Joseph overdosed on heroin this past September. Joseph, a former student at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College in Dunwoody, had stayed clean for at eight months thanks to a recovery program. He’d found a job working as a cook in north Georgia. “Due to a heroin overdose, the light of a funny, intelligent, kind-hearted spirit was taken from our lives by a senseless and relentless drug,” Kathy wrote in the

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obituary. “Our family asks that you realize that no one is immune to the epidemic of opioid and heroin addiction that encumbers our culture.” When Larry finished Ashby’s obituary, he spoke with a minister to make sure the same sort of message would be conveyed at Ashby’s memorial service. Later that week, everyone from childhood friends to fellow former drug users in recovery traveled to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta to say one last goodbye to Ashby. They heard his story for better and worse. Some offered Larry condolences. Others thanked him for being honest. In talking about his son’s life, they said, he might somehow save the lives of other sons and daughters still in the throes of opioid addiction. Throughout that week, Larry says, several people had asked him, “What would you do differently?” “That’s the one that’s the hardest to answer,” he said. But one thing he wouldn’t change is those words in the obituary.

Max Blau is an Atlantabased journalist who has written about healthcare, drugs and addiction for such outlets as the Boston Globe and CNN.

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Commentary / The opioid epidemic: An American problem Editor’s Note: In this issue, Reporter Newspapers launches the special four-part series “Coping with a Crisis: Opioid Addiction in the Suburbs,” about local responses to an epidemic that is killing people nationwide and right here in our communities. Opioids are a class of addictive, often easily lethal drugs that include opium and morphine as well as substances with similar effects. Many opioids have legitimate medical uses for painkilling, but also can produce physical addiction and a sense of euphoria that attracts recreational drug users. National con-

troversy has raged over opioids available as prescription pills, such as oxycodone, while illegal varieties such as heroin and fentanyl now kill the most people through overdoses. Together, these opioids present complex problems to solve in both supply and demand. Hospital emergency rooms are a front line where opioids can be administered and where overdoses can be treated. The Reporter asked one local ER doctor to discuss the scope of the opioid crisis and what it brings through his doors every day.

A doctor’s overview of the opioid crisis

became requirements with ramifications An opioid epidemic is sweeping this for financial reimbursements to healthcountry. The National Institutes of Health’s care entities. This led to the near univer(NIH) Institute on Drug Abuse currently essal adoption of pain as the fifth vital sign timates that 115 Americans die daily from in U.S. hospitals. So, when you come to opioid overdose. The NIH reports that 25 the Emergency Department with bronpercent of “chronic pain patients” misuse chitis or to have an insect reopioids, and 10 percent of those moved from your ear canal, patients develop an “opioid use you will be asked, “What is disorder.” Five percent of those your Pain Score?” patients will eventually move This did not go unnoticed on to heroin. Eighty percent of by the pharmaceutical comheroin users misused prescrippanies. OxyContin, a longtion opioids first. acting narcotic, was first marThis is primarily an Ameriketed in 1996. Big Pharma can problem, with a staggering has benefitted significantly 80 percent of the global supply Dr. Alan A. from opioids, over-exaggeratof opioids being consumed in Farabaugh ing the benefits while downthe United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Preven- is an emergency medicine playing the addiction risks. physician at Emory This has currently prompted tion (CDC) estimated in 2013 that Saint Joseph’s Hospital New York City to file lawsuits the economic cost of the opioid in Sandy Springs. against the pharmaceutical epidemic in the U.S. approximatcompanies for the manufaced $78 billion dollars annually. turing and distribution of the opioids. The epidemic has taken a while to beHowever, today the majority of opicome this prevalent, and many believe the oids in this country are illegally obproblem dates back to the 1990s. That’s tained and distributed. The amount of when the American Pain Society began to narcotics being received from Emerput forth the idea that pain was being ungency Department prescriptions are in dertreated. This eventually led to the conthe minority. cept of pain being “the fifth vital sign.” ViOpioid overdoses and fatalities have, tal signs traditionally are objective pieces unfortunately, become commonplace. of data used in medicine. Pain, however, is They are seen in the Emergency Departa completely subjective piece of data. ment on a daily basis. The Emergency The regulatory agencies of healthDepartment providers get lied to by pacare, The Joint Commission, a healthcare tients every single day, as patients ataccreditation organization, and the Centempt to receive narcotics. Drug dealters for Medicare and Medicaid Services ers are known to pay patients to come to (CMS) latched onto the concept of the “unthe Emergency Departments with fake der-treatment” of pain. In 2001, the Joint illnesses to get prescriptions. The most Commission put standards in place reccommon methods employed are faking ommending that all patients in a healthkidney stones, back pain or abdominal care setting must have their pain aspain. These patients know to list their sessed, as well as a documented response allergies to aspirin, NSAIDs and Tylenol, to the pain assessment. These eventually

so as to ensure that narcotics are all that can be used to treat their “pain.” There are patients who actually inflict injuries upon themselves to receive prescriptions. Patients will go from Emory Saint Joseph’s Emergency Department directly across the street to Northside Hospital’s Emergency Department to try to receive another prescription, and vice versa. Patients are known to go from provider to provider, place to place, “doctor-shopping.” This has ramifications on the suffering patients that actually have pain. The Joint Commission, CMS, the CDC, NIH, and federal and state legislatures, along with healthcare providers, have all gotten together to try to remedy this situation. Emergency Department providers have been clamoring for years to get a centralized prescription drug monitoring system in place. Georgia and other states recently have provided this capability. The first patient I ever looked up in the Georgia prescription database had 28 prescriptions for narcotics from 21 different providers and 15 different pharmacies in a 12-month period! The effort may be starting to make a difference. Prescriptions for opiates have actually declined since 2013, although overdoses and fatalities have not. Most Emergency Departments now rarely prescribe “long-acting” narcotics. Most only prescribe narcotics for the shortest time period possible. Other non-narcotic means of pain relief are being recommended. These steps should help eventually as the volume of prescription opiates decline. However, pharmaceutical companies will need to be regulated and held accountable, and the illegal opioid market will need to be curtailed, if long-lasting change will ever have the hope of taking place.

Letter to the Editor Ban barbaric back yard b owhuntin g of de e r Thank you for your great report, “Bowhunting in the ’burbs: Backyard deer-stalking draws fans and foes” (Feb. 16). Hunting with bow and arrow is called a “sport”? Killing and wounding poor animals is a “sport” in America! When I came

to this country 59 years ago, I was horrified! Animals running around with an arrow in their bodies, how horrific! I’ve lived in Dunwoody for 38 years. I am an old lady that has seen it all. I do not want this in my back yard! You have to be heartless to do such so-called hunting. We invaded those animals’ territory. There is hardly room for them anymore, I understand. This


should be done in a humane way. We have to ban bow-and-arrow “hunting.” This is a barbaric way to hunt. I would like for one of these so-called hunters to have an arrow stick in his body just for them to see how it feels! You can call me cruel! Caroline Jakob Dunwoody

Send letters to editor@reporternewspapers.net DUN

MARCH 2 - 15, 2018

Commentary | 11


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My high school social studies teacher once led a class on types of government and explained a theory posed by someRobin Conte is a writer one (Aristotle? Machiavelli? Elton John?) that the potentially and mother of four who most perfect form of government, when corrupted, could belives in Dunwoody. She come the worst form. I’m fuzzy on the details, and I’m not getcan be contacted at ting political (step away from your keyboards!). I only want to robinjm@earthlink.net. say that this is exactly the way I feel about coffee. It’s the best of drinks and the worst of drinks. When it’s good, it’s very, very good, and when it’s bad, it’s awful. You get my drift. In the right hands, a fistful of roasted beans can become a most excellent beverage, a smooth and deep pool of refuge, especially when sipped from a solid mug on a chilly morning while watching the sunrise and hearing the birds sing. The mere fragrance of it has the power to lift you out of bed and coax you to begin another day. They don’t say “wake up and smell the coffee” for nothing. Yet this same beverage, when left to languish for hours on a dirty burner — say, in a gas station or in the galley of an airplane — turns into caffeinated radiator fluid, with the power to melt granite and an odor foul enough to cause pigs to cry. Bleh! Likewise, if the brew is so weak that you can see through it to the crumbs floating on the bottom of the cup, forget it. It is not fit to drink. Maybe you can use it to polish furniture, but for heaven’s sake, don’t drink it. And then there’s the temperature of the stuff. Just as beer is at its best when it’s properly chilled, coffee is best when it’s piping hot. If it cools down to tepid, I’d rather bathe in it than drink it. It’s got to be strong, but not rancidly strong, and hot, but not lawsuithot. And like fine chocolate, it must be smooth, not bitter. Give me some strong, hot sips, and eventually I’ll be able to form complete sentences. Now, I’m not one to toot my own horn, but let it be known that I do make a darn good cup of coffee. In fact, that’s the only thing that keeps my kids coming home from college. I don’t do their laundry, but every morning I will make a pot of coffee. I take heart in that, because when it comes to breakfast, a pot of coffee is about all I’m going to make. Sometimes I sprinkle some cinnamon over the grounds, but that’s the extent of my effort in the a.m. Pajama-clothed bodies will lumber in and out of our kitchen, lured by the aroma of morning, and through half-closed eyes I will point at a box of Cheerios and the French press as I take my hot sips, while visions of waffles dance through our heads. My kids have learned to respect the brew. And though I have failed in other areas of child-rearing and have not taught them what many people would call “the basics,” I have taught them what makes a good cup of coffee. Sewing on a button, making a pot roast, balancing a checkbook — those are particular life-skills that they will have to pick up on the streets. As for coffee: Start with good, dark coffee, because quality matters. Don’t skimp on the amount, because quantity matters. Add a dash of cinnamon if you want a nuance of flavor. Drink it hot and fresh, unless you move up to Boston one day and morph into someone (like your relatives) who enjoys drinking old coffee over ice. Make it strong, make it dark, drink it hot, drink it now, and maybe spice it up a bit. It may not be the secret to life (although there may be a life lesson hiding in there somewhere), and it has nothing to do with governing bodies, but it is the key to the perfect cup of coffee. I think it will take them far.


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City to form an affordable housing task force Continued from page 1 rather than us handle it on the fly, it’s better that we are prepared,” Deutsch said. “This is important to me. I’d like the people who work in our community to live in our community. And it helps with traffic.” Shortal immediately blasted the idea of the city looking into workforce housing, comparing what Deutsch was discussing to public housing complexes in such cities as St. Louis, Mo., and Chicago. “They are all failures,” Shortal said. “In St. Louis, they built multi-story brick buildings and then bulldozed them all down.” “This is not public housing!” Deutsch said to Shortal, visibly frustrated. Public housing is government-owned property created for low-income people. Affordable and workforce housing can be defined by a policy that provides incentives to developers to provide units with cheaper rents, for example. “What you’re talking about is the entire complex,” she told Shortal. “The government is not involved [in workforce housing]. This is just looking at having a policy that when you redevelop some criteria is to include workforce housing.” Councilmember Terry Nall said at the retreat he was “totally opposed” to any idea of the city addressing workforce housing

beyond some assistance already offered to police officers. “We have a subsidy for city employees. We can raise the subsidy. That’s how we help workforce housing,” he said. “I don’t want to see us spend any time on this. I want to stick to the basics of what we do as a city.” Currently, 12 officers in the Dunwoody Police Department take advantage of the city’s $500 a month housing subsidy to be used to live in the city. Salaries for Dunwoody Police officers start in the $41,000 a year range. There are 54 officers on the force now, with 59 positions authorized. As part of their employment, the officers drive their police vehicles to their homes within or outside the city limits. Councilmember Jim Riticher also criticized Deutsch’s idea, saying it would lead to rent control – when the government steps in and caps what a landlord can charge for rent. “This is a step in that direction,” he said. “How do you verify eligibility and ongoing eligibility. How do you enforce or verify on an ongoing basis?” Addressing affordable and workforce housing is not new in the suburban market. The city of Brookhaven’s Affordable Housing Task Force came up with recommendations last year for the City Council amid discussion about the redevelopment of apartment complexes, especially along Buford Highway. The city is currently undertaking a citywide zoning rewrite and is looking at possible ways to implement some of those recommendations, including offering incentives to developers to provide affordable units. Sandy Springs is in the midst of forming a task force to look at affordable housing strategies and has a new zoning code that offers multifamily housing developers higher density allowances in exchange for various amounts of affordable units. Atlanta City Councilmember Andre Dickens recently reached out to Dunwoody and Sandy Springs officials about creating a coalition of cities to lobby the state legislature to make affordable housing a priority at the state level. In Dunwoody, the issue of workforce housing was also discussed during a recent Planning Commission meeting when Chair Bob Dallas brought up the issue of inclusionary zoning. Inclusionary zoning is typically an ordinance that requires a developer to include a certain number of units for lower income residents. “The issue is not addressed in our zoning code and I think it’s appropriate to have a conversation about what we want our zoning code to look like,” Dallas said in an interview. “As areas gentrify and new development is being planned, is this issue a conversation the city wants to address?” “What does the community want ... and can we have a zoning code that reflects the values of Dunwoody?” he said. “This conversation is not easy, but necessary.” DUN

MARCH 2 - 15, 2018

Community | 13


Residents discuss Peachtree Industrial’s future Continued from page 1 The city is conducting a small area study for that area that is intended to serve as a guide for future development. “We are creating this to be ready when developers come to us,” said City Councilmember Tom Lambert, whose districts includes many of the properties. “The city is not trying to redevelop the area.” Officials presented a concept at the first project meeting held in December that floated a recommendation of replacing some of the older apartment complexes — home to nearly 1,900 households — with mixed-use projects. That idea received some pushback, and officials are taking a step back in favor of letting residents voice what development they want to see on the corridor in the coming years, said Richard McLeod, the city’s community development director, at the start of the meeting. “We don’t have anything planned for this area. We’re not tearing anybody’s apartments down. We just felt like this was a good opportunity to get community input on what you would like to see,” McLeod said. Councilmember Lynn Deutsch said at the council’s Feb. 15 retreat that she was concerned by the low-density concept presented at the first meeting. Deutsch said

the concepts presented are not financially viable “unless the city buys the land.” About 50 people attended the meeting, held at Crossroads Community Church. The City Council in 2017 hired TSW, an Atlanta-based planning firm, for $40,000 to conduct the study. TSW is awaiting funding from the City Council to do a market study of future demand in the area for different types of properties, said Adam Williamson, a consultant from the firm. Officials then plan to host another community meeting to present their findings before taking the study to the City Council. John Francis, a resident who attended the meeting, brought up concerns that the city is trying to get the apartments removed to have fewer low-income residents in Dunwoody. “It’s the only lower-priced housing available in the city of Dunwoody. Are we just trying to run all the poor people off?” Francis said. The study area includes four older apartment complexes with racially and ethnically diverse residents. They are the Peachtree Place North at 4607 Peachtree Place Parkway with 309 units; Dunwoody Glen at 6750 Peachtree Industrial with 520 units; Lacota apartments at 6664 Peachtree Industrial with 266 units; and Dunwoody Village apartments at 2311 Dunwoody

Crossing with 794 apartments. There are 1,889 apartment units in the study area. In 2011, the city sought to buy the Dunwoody Glen and Lacota apartments to replace them with a sports complex. Voters rejected a parks bond to fund the plan and the apartment owners hit the city with a federal housing discrimination lawsuit that was later withdrawn. Following that failed bond vote, the apartment complex owners fixed up the property. Mayor Denis Shortal said the city does not desire to get rid of the apartments in the current study, and the city is looking for input from residents on what they would like done with them. Lambert also said he does not believe removing the apartments is the city’s intent. “My perfect scenario is that new affordable housing is built there and that those residents would have a nice place to live,” he said. The council agreed at its Feb. 15 retreat to form an affordable housing task force that will look at ideas that have been pitched in Brookhaven, Sandy Springs and other metro Atlanta cities on ways to ensure affordable housing options are available. The residents themselves differed on what should be done with the apartments. Carol Ross, a resident of the Lacota com-

plex, which is in the study area, advocated that they not be removed. “They’re not the nicest, but I’d rather have an apartment I can afford than have to move,” Ross said. Ross said residents she spoke to at the meeting who had a different view were open to hearing her concerns. “We can’t afford high-end [housing], but we’re still functioning members of the community,” said another resident who lives in one of the complexes. Another resident proposed townhomes or six-unit “sixplexes” in place of the apartments. “Hopefully, some of the apartments will come down. They are just in really bad shape,” another resident said. Almost all the residents agreed on building more senior housing in the area, mostly near the Peachtree Industrial and I-285 interchange or farther north along Tilly Mill Road. They also were in agreement on creating more green space and building more multiuse trails and sidewalks in the area to provide more connectivity. Other ideas included a high-end office building and more restaurants and retail space. For more information or to submit comments, visit dunwoodyga.gov.

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Mayor, council debate emergency response times BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

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Tempers flared during a recent City Council conversation about emergency response times in Dunwoody as officials say DeKalb County still doesn’t meet national and local standards. At the council’s Feb. 15 retreat, City Manager Eric Linton showed that American Medical Response ambulance times in Sandy Springs and Johns Creek averaged at 8 minutes and 20 seconds. In DeKalb County, AMR’s average response time is 9 minutes and 39 seconds, while in Dunwoody that average is 10 minutes and two seconds. Fire response times in Sandy Springs and Johns Creek are 4 minutes and 48 seconds and 5 minutes and 13 seconds, respectively. Fire response times in DeKalb average at 7 minutes and 37 seconds and in Dunwoody the average is 7 minutes and 9 seconds. Councilmember Terry Nall said his research showed a national standard response time for fire and ambulances is 4 minutes and 40 seconds. “We’re not achieving that in any categories,” Nall said. But Mayor Denis Shortal said that time can’t be realistically used in Dunwoody because of its heavy traffic compared to rural cities with little or no traffic. Nall explained he was talking about a standard determined by a professional organization, not an average of all U.S. cities and their response times in each city. “The national standard is the national standard,” Nall told him. “We’re looking for a benchmark. Sandy Springs is able to achieve it. Johns Creek is able to achieve it.” And these cities deal with the same kind of traffic as Dunwoody, Nall said.

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“Don’t tell me about a national average when in my hometown [in Missouri] the roads are clear,” he said. “To me, I don’t get complaints about ambulance or fire service at all, maybe once over the years.” Nall responded angrily, raising his voice and pounding the table. “We need to take some steps!” he told Shortal. “The numbers are right here.” Shortal did not respond to Nall’s outburst that came at the tail end of the ninehour meeting. Rather, consensus was reached for the city manager to continue talks with AMR and DeKalb County to encourage quicker response times. A Dunwoody Police officer at the retreat also chimed in on slow AMR response times, saying the police are always first to respond to an emergency call and AMR is always “dead last.” “We’re sitting all the time waiting for them,” he said. The issue of ambulance and fire response times dates back to at least 2016, when the City Council questioned AMR’s regional director specifically in the case of a 30-minute response time to a Dunwoody child suffering from a seizure. At that time, the council was told DeKalb Fire contracted with AMR in 2013 to provide ambulance service. AMR promised their average response times would be 8 minutes, 59 seconds or less on 90 percent of their calls. AMR has failed to meet those times, however. DeKalb County did not respond to a request for comment by press time. City Manager Eric Linton noted at the retreat that AMR’s contract with DeKalb County ends this year and there is the possibility there may be a new ambulance provider in the near future that Dunwoody can deal with on response times.

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Mountain Rest, SC (864) 638-3728 www.campchatuga.com

LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS PLAN FOR PROTESTS FOLLOWING FLORIDA SHOOTING Local public school systems are preparing for nationwide student demonstrations in response to a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people and sparked a gun control debate. Organizers around the country are calling for a 17-minute school walkout on March 14, exactly one month after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, according to APS Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, who said that the district will support students that participate. Participation in the approved demonstrations is optional, but any students who participate in non-sanctioned demonstrations will be punished, Carstarphen wrote. DeKalb Superintendent R. Stephen Green said in a letter to parents that the district will support students who peacefully protest as long as they do not disrupt school operations or threaten the safety of students and staff. Fulton Schools said in a press release it will support student demonstrations as long as they do not occur during instructional time. None of the school districts have plans

for major security changes in the wake of the shooting, though APS says it will resume “active shooter” drills.


Sandy Springs students will view exhibits and demonstrate projects in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics at the Sandy Springs Education Force’s eighth annual STEAM Showcase at North Springs Charter High School on March 14. The evening portion of the event is free and open to the public, which is invited to learn more about STEAM initiatives in Sandy Springs’ 11 public schools. The public will also be able to try out robotics and learn about film photography, among other exhibits, according to SSEF. The event includes students from Fulton County Schools’ two high schools and two middle schools in Sandy Springs: North Springs and Riverwood International high schools and the Ridgeview and Sandy Springs middle schools. The showcase will run 6 to 8 p.m. at North Springs, 7447 Roswell Road. For more information, visit sandyspringseducationforce.org. —Evelyn Andrews

Ranked by U.S. Dept. of Education in

Top 20 Schools Nationwide for Tuition Value (in two-year private sector)

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Have a Blast! with us this summer. Our professional staff has prepared another exciting summer of fitness and educational fun. We will encourage each child to express his or her own creativity as well as explore and discover new activities.

Choose from 2 exciting and amazing camps!


:: Sports Camp :: Tennis Camp Space is limited. Register today!!

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www.ict.edu | Campuses in Chamblee, Morrow and Gainesville

22 | Classifieds

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Personal & Professional Services Directory



Affordable Senior Condo for Sale/Lease – Affordable Senior Living Condos. Purchase or Rent - Mount Vernon Village in Sandy Springs HOA includes: All Utilities, 1 Meal/Day, Housekeeping, Laundry, + lots more. Call today Kim at Dunwoody Brokers 404-414-8307 or kim@dunwoodybrokers.com

Drivers Wanted

SERVICES AVAILABLE Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576. Home Tending – Regular inspections of your unoccupied property…”0n market or just away”. Call Charles at 404-229-0490.

CEMETERY PLOT Arlington Memorial – 3 lots for sale in the Calvary Section located in lot 276D, spaces 2, 3 & 4. Asking $5,900 each or $17,000 for all. This section is almost sold out and prices through the cemetery would be $,6,900 each. Beautiful views and the most desirable section. Cemetery will assist in showing. Email: mrmccabe@hotmail.com

Senior Services North Fulton, a non-profit organization, has an opportunity for drivers in their transportation program. If you live in the Roswell, Alpharetta or Johns Creek area of north Fulton and would like to earn some extra money, set your own hours, like to drive, have a car, and like to be of service to seniors, please contact Mobility Manager at

Time for new headshots?

BUCKHEAD STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY www.thebuckheadstudio.com Peachtree Rd NE, Atl, GA 30326 • (404) 462-2385 We travel. Corporate, Group, Portrait, Environmental.


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Management – Financial Services Business is Booming and I need help. Six figure potential! Complete training program, Flexible hours, No experience necessary. Please fax resume to 404-920-2702.

Certify to Teach all adult populations: Comprehensive mind/ body/spirit curriculum, Yoga Alliance, 200 hr. certification, CEUs

Naima Lewis Ph.D.,C-IAYT, E-RYT

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• Window Cleaning • Gutter Cleaning • Pressure Washing • Family Owned • Licensed and Insured • Free Estimates

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The Handyman Can • Plumbing • Electrical • Sheetrock • Floors • Tile • Framing • Kitchens • Painting • Roofwork • Concrete • Stained Glass • Antique Door Restoration as well as many other issues...

John Salvesen • 404-453-3438 thehandymancanatlanta@gmail.com




We Haul Away: We Clean Out: *Furniture *Appliances *Construction *Pianos *Hot tubs *Paint cans

*Basements *Garages *Attics *Offices *Storage units *Estate sales

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Belco Electric

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Home Services Directory

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The Quick Shot Corporate Package (Reg. $175) $145 for the month of March, in-studio

With two professional in-house polishers, we can make your silver flatware, tea sets, bowls and trays more beautiful than ever before. Bring it by or call us for an estimate today!

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• Windows • Doors • Siding and more! • BBB A+ • Free Estimates • Family Business Established in 1980 3660 North Peachtree Road - Chamblee, GA 30341

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MARCH 2 - 15, 2018

Public Safety | 23


Police Blotter / Dunwoody From Dunwoody Police reports dated Feb. 18 through Feb. 25. The following information was pulled from Dunwoody’s Police-2-Citizen website and is presumed to be accurate.

iPad mini, a passport, headphones and prescription glasses.


Feb. 20, in the afternoon, a man reported an unknown suspect entered his landscaping truck while parked at a restaurant and took a blower.

100 block of Perimeter Center Place —

On Feb. 18, in the early morning, a suspect broke the glass to the front door of a superstore, stealing two laptops and 11 pairs of headphones.


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 18, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of trying to steal two mattress sets from a department store. 4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 18, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of trying to steal cosmetics from a discount superstore. 4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 18, in the afternoon, two women were arrested and accused of shoplifting at a discount superstore. 100 block of Perimeter Center East —

2400 block of Jett Ferry Road — On


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 21, in the afternoon, an unidentified male stole $1,600 worth of merchandise from a mall retailer. 100 block of Perimeter Center West — On

Feb. 21, an unidentified male stole a bottle of Chanel perfume from a beauty retailer. 4400 block of North Shallowford Road

— On Feb. 21, in the afternoon, a woman said she was missing $60 cash. 4300

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 21, in the evening, a woman reported that her computer bag with keys and driver’s license was taken from her car. READ MORE OF THE POLICE BLOTTER ONLINE AT


On Feb. 18, at night, a woman’s car was stolen while at a gas station. Her dog and cellphone were in the car. 300 block of Perimeter Center North —

On Feb. 19, sometime during the morning, a woman’s car was illegally entered. 2000 block of Asbury Square — On

Feb. 19, in the morning, an 18-year-old unlicensed male was found with a stolen car. He was arrested and accused of theft by receiving property and driving without a license.

Irvin J. Johnson DeKalb County Tax Commissioner

6100 block of Charleston Place — On

Feb. 19, in the morning, a man reported his incoming license plate was stolen in the mail. 4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 19, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting from a discount superstore. 4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On Feb. 19, in the afternoon, a teenage man was arrested and accused of shoplifting from a discount superstore. 4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 19, during the day, a kitchen accessories store reported it was missing six Sous Vide appliances.

STOP BY TODAY North Office 1358 Dresden Dr. Atlanta, GA 30319 Questions? Call (404) 298-4000 or email us at proptax@dekalbcountyga.gov

PUBLIC INFORMATION OPEN HOUSE INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENTS AT JOHNSON FERRY RD & MT VERNON HWY The City of Sandy Springs will host two Public Information Open House meetings regarding concepts developed to improve the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road and Mt Vernon Highway. The meetings offer the community a chance to review the concepts, ask questions and provide input. Both meetings will provide the same information and displays. Thursday, March 8 10:00 am – noon

B’nai Torah 700 Mount Vernon Highway Sandy Springs, GA 30242 For more information please visit sandyspringsga.gov

ATTENTION DEKALB COUNTY HOMEOWNERS... HOMESTEAD DEADLINE IS April 2nd! If you own and reside in your home on January 1st, you may apply for a Homestead Exemption by April 2nd of this year. The home must be your primary and legal residence. Applications received after April 2nd will be processed for 2019. In addition to the basic homestead exemption, there are special exemptions for residents 62 and older, disabled veterans or their un-remarried surviving spouse, and other disabled residents. Eligibility is based upon age or disability, total household income, and must be applied for in-person. Bring your Federal and State income tax forms by the deadline to apply.

We are pleased to offer “An Introduction to Homestead Exemption.” This is a fr ee pr esentation informing homeowners & senior citizens on how they can save money on annual property taxes. If your Senior Center, HOA or other organization is interested in this free presentation, please contact the Tax Commissioner’s Office to schedule with us.

We also offer on-site exemption processing after the presentation. Attendees are encouraged to bring their driver’s license and State & Federal income tax forms, Social Security 1099, and any other forms of income you may receive for qualification requirements.

1200 block of Ashford Crossing — On

Feb. 19, at night, a woman reported her car was broken into and several items were taken including two laptops, an DUN

Thursday, March 8 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm


24 |

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CONGRATULATIONS To Our 2017 Top Sales Associates | Sandy Springs Office




#1 Individual Total Sales Volume & Closed Units

#1 Team Total Sales Volume & Closed Units









#2 Individual Total Sales Volume & Closed Units

#3 Individual Total Sales Volume & Closed Units

#2 Team Total Sales Volume & Closed Units

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Harry Norman, REALTORS® | Sandy Springs Office | 5290 Roswell Road, Suite A | Atlanta, GA 30342 | HarryNorman.com DUN