03-30-18 Buckhead

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MARCH 30 - APRIL 12, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 7


Buckhead Reporter



► Local police differ on responses to shoplifting calls PAGE 4 ► Assembling the worst superhero team ever Robin’s Nest PAGE 10 FARMERS MARKETS RETURN | P19

Extensive renovations coming to Buckhead’s two libraries

BY EVELYN ANDREWS AND DYANA BAGBY Buckhead’s two public libraries are set to each receive at least $2 million in renovations expected to begin late this year. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System has budgeted $2.7 million for the Buckhead Branch Library’s renovation and approximately $2 million for the Northside Library. Both renovations are expected to wrap up in the fall or winter of 2019.


Howell Williams, at right, former branch manager at Northside Library, speaks to other librarians following a March 20 community meeting. One idea is to make this information and circulation desk smaller.

See EXTENSIVE on page 22

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

How a suburban mother started peddling fentanyl and became the target of federal prosecutors BY MAX BLAU


e knocked at the door with $1,400 in his pocket. Cathine Sellers welcomed her ex into the quiet of her red brick townhouse on Roswell’s Weatherburne Drive. He’d been there for drugs before. Now he was back to buy some more. The 38-year-old mother with hazel eyes offered up a selection of drugs, including counterfeit oxycodone pills full of the synthetic opioid known as fentanyl. “Customers have returned the pills because they’re too strong,” Sellers told the

man, according to federal court filings. “Try taking a quarter instead.” He bought about 100. Sellers later learned her ex was working as a confidential source for the Drug Enforcement Administration and had informed for the Sandy Springs Police Department since 2016. On June 13, 2017, DEA special agents arrested Sellers at a gas station off Ga. 400 and raided her townhouse. There, they found another 100 fentanyl pills inside a dietary supplement vial and a loaded Glock 30 in a laundry hamper. Think of a drug dealer in Atlanta; the tra-

ditional picture that probably comes to mind is someone selling heroin on the streets of English Avenue. But who deals drugs — and how they deal drugs — has expanded to include doctors running pill mills and suburban mothers like Sellers. From police to prosecutors, authorities are not only grappling with this new breed of opioid sellers — but new kinds of opioids, too. Federal authorities charged Sellers with possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl, a narcotic so potent it can kill someone exposed to a dose the size of a few grains See HOW on page 8

Local officials work on legislation to reduce property taxes BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

State Rep. Beth Beskin and state Sen. Jen Jordan, who both represent Buckhead, have authored legislation to save homeowners money on their property taxes. Beskin’s would cap annual assessment increases and Jordan’s would exempt residents from paying taxes on part of their property’s value. Beskin’s bill has been passed by both the House and the Senate, and will need to be signed by the governor. Jordan’s had been passed by the Senate, but had not passed the House at deadline. Both proposals would need to be votSee LOCAL on page 15

2 | Community

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A rendering shows the new concession area and courtyard being built as part of a renovation of the Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

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The Chastain Park Amphitheatre will bring several 1980s performers to its newly renovated facilities this summer for its 2018 concert series. Artists scheduled to perform include the Indigo Girls, The B-52s, 3 Doors Down and Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters. The series will run from June 6 to Aug. 19. Tickets can be purchased by calling 404-233-2227 or by visiting chastainseries.com. The amphitheater is undergoing a renovation that is set to wrap up shortly before the series begins. Improvements include new restroom facilities, new concessions, an expanded VIP area, a new courtyard, and a heightened stage for better views, according to the amphitheater’s website.


The city of Atlanta will host an open house in Buckhead April 11 on the second phase of proposed zoning ordinance “quick fixes.” The proposed changes would address accessory dwellings, neighborhood design standards, telecommunications updates and parking, among others, according to a meeting announcement from the Department of City Planning. The meeting will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3003 Howell Mill Road, from 6 to 8 p.m. It was rescheduled from the original date of March 22. The city presented the first set of “quick fixes” last year. These changes are meant to fix inconveniences and inconsistencies in the zoning ordinance that can be changed easily before a full rewrite of the city’s zoning ordinance comes in three to five years.


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Buckhead banker and community leader Merritt Bond will be recognized by the Foundation of Wesley Woods at its annual fundraiser in April for his work to address the challenges facing vulnerable older adults. “We, as Georgians, have a responsibility to care for others because the people that we have counted on to do so much for SPECIAL the community as they age are often forgotten,” Bond said in Buckhead banker and a press release. “Many of them don’t have the resources to community leader care for themselves in their later years and that’s why I conMerritt Bond will be recognized by the sider the work of Wesley Woods so important.” Foundation of Wesley Bond is a retired Bank of America executive and a 50Woods at its annual year member of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in fundraiser in April. Buckhead. He has served on numerous community groups and organizations, including the Metropolitan Atlanta Red Cross Board of Directors and Sandy Springs Chamber of Commerce. “Merritt has a gentle spirit and listens to the dreams of others and seeks to help them make it a reality,” said the Rev. Bill Britt, senior minister at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Buckhead, in a press release. “For over 20 years, Merritt Bond has been a tireless champion for the mission of Wesley Woods and the senior adults we serve,” said Tracy Crump, president and CEO of the Foundation of Wesley Woods, in the release. “It is only with volunteer leaders like Merritt, who inspire others to join him to ensure that older adults can age with grace, dignity and purpose, that our residents live in a caring community of love where they can all thrive.” Bond will be honored at the Heroes, Saints & Legends fundraiser, which will be held on April 19 at 6 p.m. at Flourish, located at 3143 Maple Drive. Funds raised will benefit Wesley Woods senior living communities. Most residents in the communities require financial assistance to live there, and about 40 percent live below the poverty level, the release said. Funds raised will also support Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease research and education programs at Emory University, according to the release. For more information, visit foundationofwesleywoods.org.


MARCH 30 - APRIL 12, 2018

Community | 3


Officials discuss trails, road, taxes and more “We’re in a bidding war with other cities.”

Nature Preserve trail network


Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore speaks to residents at the North Buckhead Civic Association annual meeting March 20 at St. James United Methodist Church as state Rep. Beth Beskin and Fulton County District 3 Commissioner Lee Morris listen in the background.

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Several officials joined the North Buckhead Civic Association at its annual meeting March 20 to provide updates on projects and initiatives affecting the neighborhood, including the Blue Heron Nature Preserve’s trails and the proposed Wieuca Road and Phipps Boulevard roundabout. About 50 residents attended the meeting, which was open to the public and held at St. James United Methodist Church. Speakers included District 7 Councilmember Howard Shook; Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore; state Rep. Beth Beskin; state Sen. Jen Jordan; Fulton County District 3 Commissioner Lee Morris; and Blue Heron Nature Preserve Executive Director Kevin McCauley.

Wieuca/Phipps roundabout

Shook gave updates on several city projects, including the proposed roundabout at the Wieuca Road and Phipps Boulevard intersection. The proposal is controversial with some residents who have said they believe the roundabout would make the intersection more dangerous and cause worse congestion. “I have definite qualms about it and I think it may be worse than what is there,” Sue Certain said. Shook said that the city has brought in experts to look at the roundabout design and some changes have been made that he thinks are for the better. The consultants, who held two public meetBH

ings last year on the previous design, will be reaching out to the neighborhood and other stakeholders to discuss the changes, Shook said. “I think we’ve made a lot of progress, but you’re going to tell me,” he said. “The worst thing we can do is nothing.”

Kevin McCauley, the executive director of the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, said the organization has raised $250,000 of the $750,000 needed to complete an internal trail network. The trails, which would be within the preserve itself, are phase one of a two-part plan to provide more connectivity to the preserve. The other phase of the plan, known as the Blueway Trail Initiative, would build trails that would connect the park to PATH400 and Chastain Park, he said. The preserve is using slate chips to build most of the internal trails. Boardwalks will be built over the wet areas, McCauley said. The internal trails are being built with Park Pride and Buckhead Coalition grants, as well as donations. He expects phase one to be completed by the end of 2018.

Taxes and gun control

State Rep. Beth Beskin and Sen. Jen Jordan mostly discussed their efforts to

reduce property taxes. They both have drafted different legislation that would increase homestead exemptions. Jordan’s deals with Atlanta Public Schools’ portion of the tax, while Beskin’s deals with the city of Atlanta’s portion. (For more on the legislation, see p. 1.) Both Jordan and Beskin discussed their positions on gun control in response to a statement by a resident calling for new measures. Jordan, who is a Democrat, said she has sponsored bills that would outlaw “bump stocks,” an attachment that enables a rifle to fire faster, and that would restrict gun purchases by people that have been convicted of domestic violence. “I’m trying to be reasonable about it,” Jordan said. “The safety of our children should be a nonpartisan issue.” Beskin, who is a Republican, said she is an advocate for the Second Amendment, but voted twice against “campus carry,” a measure that passed and allows guns on college campuses in Georgia. “A bump stock is not a weapon. I would not have a problem voting to outlaw bump stocks,” she said. “It’s going to get harder when you get to gun control of what everyone admits are weapons.”

Finances and policing

Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore, who was elected last November, said she is working to make the city more transparent, including by pushing the city to post all departments’ expenditures online. While the proposed and approved budgets are posted online, what departments actually end up spending is not, she said. In response to an audience question about the investigation into the city’s procurement department, which has led to charges against the city’s former chief purchasing officer and two city vendors, Moore said she does not have any information that has not been publicly released. “If it takes another year that’s fine with me, as long as they clean every corner out,” she said. The city has to find a new way to retain police officers, a department that has seen a shortage as other cities and entities draw them away with better pay, Moore said. Raising Atlanta’s officers’ salaries may not be an answer because other cities will follow that move, she said. Atlanta will have to look at lowering officers’ pension and healthcare costs, she said. “Chasing these pay issues doesn’t always solve the problem,” she said.

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4 | Public Safety

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Local police differ on responses to shoplifting calls BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Officers patrolling Buckhead have been instructed to make shoplifting a low priority by commanders citing an officer shortage and an uptick in more dangerous crimes. Other local police forces — including Dunwoody’s, which deals with a lot of shoplifting at Perimeter Mall — say they are not considering a similar policy. Atlanta Police Department officers in Buckhead’s Zone 2 will not be dispatched to most shoplifting calls unless an officer is available, and retailers will be instructed to file a report over the phone, said Zone 2 commander Maj. Barry Shaw. “Our goal is to be as efficient and effective as possible with our limited resources,” Shaw said. “Keeping police officers in service and available to respond to crimes in progress involving stolen autos, theft from vehicles, and violent crimes is our priority.” One on-duty car will be designated to handle shoplifting calls and can respond if they are not preoccupied, Shaw said. If available, an overtime officer specifically assigned to handle larceny calls will be dispatched, but it may not be immediate. Police departments in Brookhaven, Sandy Springs and Dunwoody said they have not considered making a similar change. A major destination in Dunwoody is Perimeter Mall and other retailers around it, which attract shoplifting, but Police Chief Billy Grogan said the department has not considered making enforcement a low priority. “In fact, we want shoplifters to know if they get arrested in Dunwoody for shoplifting, they will go to jail,” Grogan said in an email. A statement from the Atlanta Police Department said that shoplifting crimes, “which can be for something as simple as an item of clothing,” can tie up an officer for more than hour. “Chief [Erika] Shields expects that the time that officers save not responding to shoplifting calls will be better spent patrolling, which is in keeping with her priority to focus on reducing violent crime throughout the city,” the statement said. Buckhead has seen an uptick recently in crimes that pose a safety risk, including stolen vehicles, theft from vehicles and robberies, especially in south Buckhead, Shaw said. Officers’ focus will instead be on responding to those crimes and violent crime in general, he said. “Our goal is very clear, purposeful and straightforward: We must get a handle on

criminals who are comfortable engaging in straight lawlessness,” APD’s statement said. The change only applies to Buckhead’s zone, Zone 2, which is more affected by shoplifting than other areas in Atlanta due to the amount of retailers and cars in the area, Shaw said. Buckhead is also farther drive to the Atlanta City Detention Center, where officers take offenders, than most other areas, he said. Shoplifting arrest are rare because offenders normally escape before police arrive, and often result in a misSPECIAL Zone 2 Commander demeanor charge Maj. Barry Shaw. with little or no jail time, Shaw said. “There is not punishment associated with it. We’ve got make sure we’re putting the right priority on this,” he said. Police will also encourage retailers to develop a security plan so they have to rely less on the police department, the statement said. Shaw noted that big retailers, like Lenox Square mall, have their own security guards to address shoplifting. Shaw would prefer retailers try to deter shoplifting by installing cameras or hiring uniformed guards, he said. “We’re begging retailers to up security,” he said. Lenox Square and the Buckhead Business Association did not respond to requests for comment. The department has been communicating this change to retailers and has discussed it with major stores, Shaw said. “We ask retailers to be patient as we attempt to re-focus our efforts on calls that present a greater risk to safety,” the statement said. Sam Massell, the president of the Buckhead Coalition, a group of 100 CEOs and other leaders in the community, including some retailers, said he understands why the department made the change. “The bottom line is that they have to hire more officers. There is a real problem here,” Massell said. “I don’t fault them for thinking outside of the box.” Massell suggested the city look into a way to legally require retailers to take steps to curb shoplifting. “We require them to have sprinklers. Maybe we should require public safety officers or other measures,” he said.

CORRECTION The article “Sexual harassment cases hit home in local government, business” in the March 16 issue incorrectly identified the complainant who informally alleged an action by former Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis was sexual harassment. The allegation, which Davis denied, was made by former City Manager Marie Garrett.

MARCH 30 - APRIL 12, 2018



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6 | Education

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Yash Kadadi, The Westminster Schools


Out of thousands of submissions, freshteacher in middle school. Shabanowitc ofman Yash Kadadi was chosen as a finalist fered him space, equipment and props for in a competition sponsored by Bill Gates the video. for his explanation of a complex physics “He has a drive to lead and excel in anyconcept. thing he puts his mind to, and has a knack “I’ve been interested in math and scifor making concepts relatable to anyone,” ence from a very young age,” said Yash Shabanowitc said. “So when he came to me Kadadi, a freshman at The Westminster with his idea for the competition, I knew Schools in Buckhead who has been on his schools’ robotics teams since elementary school. The contest required Yash to create a short video explaining a complex physics concept in simple terms. More than 11,000 students from 178 that he was going to do a fantastic job with countries registered for the global compeit and I helped him any way I could. In the tition, Westminster said in a press release. end, he was able to take the complex conYash’s video on the Higgs Field was selectcept of the Higgs field and make it relatable ed as one of the 15 finalists. The Breakthrough Prize Foundation, which organized the STEM competition, was created by the founders of Google and Facebook. Winners were chosen based on their ability to explain SPECIAL complex scientifYash Kadadi, a freshman at The Westminster Schools, is shown in his video explaining a physics concept. ic ideas in “engaging, illuminating and imaginative ways” in a video, according to a Westminto others, and he taught me a little bit about ster press release. Harry Potter, a win-win.” Yash decided to tackle the Higgs field, a Although he did not win the competiconcept in physics, in his video. tion overall, Yash was still grateful for the “The Higgs field is basically an enerexperience, and hopes to enter it again. gy field that basically gives particles, like “If I was able to get that far once, with your electrons, your protons, mass. They this information I think it’s definitely posget their mass from interacting with it,” he sible that I could possibly win,” he said. said. Although his video demonstrated a Yash picked this concept because many physics concept, Yash said all of science is people are still largely unaware of it. Solid his passion. proof of the Higgs field was not discovered “I think all of science is very interestuntil 2013. ing, and it’s very important to see how the “I tried to think of things that were still world works,” he said. kind of new in the public’s eyes,” he said. To explain the concept, he used a Harry What’s next Potter analogy in the video. Yash is considering entering the Break“I decided on Harry Potter because it’s through Junior Challenge again and to something a lot of people know, especially continue his work on the school’s robotics kids,” Yash said. team this year. People with the competition judged the submissions based on categories including This article was written and reported by engagement, illumination, difficulty, and Sarah Kallis, a student at Holy Innocents’ creativity. Episcopal School. His video was then sent to the popular vote section, where he got enough “likes” to Editor’s Note: Through our “Standout Stumove onto the semi-finals before being sedent” series, Reporter Newspapers showcases lected as a finalist. some of the outstanding students at our local “I never thought I’d do that well,” he schools. To recommend a “Standout Student” said. for our series, please email editor@ReportAll of his filming was done in WestminerNewspapers.net with information about the ster’s STEAM Lab with the help of one of his student and why you think he or she should teachers, Tim Shabanowitc, who coached be featured. Yash in robotics and was his architecture

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Education | 7

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June 4 — August 3

Fulton County Schools recently concluded its engagement process for the North Springs Charter High School addition and renovation project with a presentation to the community on themes and surveys. District 3 Board Member Gail Dean said in the release that the community’s input helped focus the project. “We appreciate everyone’s support and participation in this process,” she said. “It took several months, but every step was necessary to make sure we are investing wisely in the future of North Springs High School.” The Fulton County Board of Education is expected to review a potential preliminary design concept from CDH Partners in April, according to the release. During the engagement process, Christian Long of visioning firm Wonder, by Design received input on what should North Springs keep as a priority, what should be changed and what should be added. “The goal is to coalesce around a shared identity on what North Springs should aspire to be. These activities helped everyone voice their vision for North Springs’ future, which will drive the design for improving the school’s physical environment,” Long said in the release. Common “hold onto” themes included keeping strong relationships between students, teachers and the community; collaboration with others; innovative technology use; and education offerings that prepare students for the real world. Rigid mindsets and schedules, such as a seven-period school day, was something members of each group felt should be changed. Things that the groups felt should be added were opportunities for more unstructured time and ‘brain rest,’ flexible school furnishings, spaces that inspire creativity and real-life connection, and more partnerships with corporations, academic institutions and local municipalities, the press release said. “This process encouraged participants to put aside preconceived notions and focus on the type of educational experience our students should have, not just for today but for the future,” said Scott Hanson, principal of North Springs High School, in the release. The full report is posted on fultonschools.org.


The DeKalb County School District is asking for comments from parents and the community on the updated 2018-2019 Code of Student Conduct and student discipline. The code of conduct can be read at dekalbschoolga.org/student-relations. The Department of Student Relations will take suggestions until April 27, a press release said. The Code of Student Conduct outlines policies, rules and regulations on dress code, behavior, bus information, electronic devices, violence, threats, school personnel and more. Comments and recommendations may be sent to DCSD Student Relations Director Dr. Kishia Towns at kishia_k_towns@dekalbschoolsga.org. Suggestions can also be mailed in writing to the Department of Student Relations, 5823 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain, GA, 30083.

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8 | Community

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Coping with a Crisis: Opioid addiction in the suburbs


How a suburban mother started peddling fentanyl and became the target of federal prosecutors Continued from page 1 of sand. They also found her with several others kinds of synthetic opioids — including U-47700, a drug that was legal until late 2016, even though it makes morphine seem like aspirin — that exemplify the insidious evolution of the opioid crisis. Drug traffickers have resurrected obscure opioid recipes that were developed decades ago but never made out of a research lab. The makers of these new variants tweak drug compounds to avoid detection from law enforcement. The synthetics appear on the streets, often inside fake pain pills, like the ones Sellers sold. A legal game of cat-and-mouse ensues: Lawmakers outlaw one drug; traffickers make a new drug; cops find it on the streets; lawmakers pass a new law. Last year, synthetic opioids contributed to the deaths of two Buckhead apartmentdwellers and a Brookhaven doctor. In 2016, synthetics helped drive up fatal overdoses nationwide to a record number of 64,000, according to the Centers for Disease Con-

trol and Prevention. forcement and prosExperts believe those ecutors. We’re trying figures will rise again our best to stay ahead in 2017. it.” In recent weeks, President Trump From straight called for some drug A’s into drugs dealers selling synNothing in Sellers’ thetic opioids to face early life seems to sugthe death penalty if gest that she’d be at one of their customers the eye of this kind of fatally overdoses. It’s storm. Born in El Paso, a proposal that draws Texas, Sellers was an fierce criticism from Army brat who reloFULTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE drug policy experts, Cathine Sellers in a booking photo cated often but still and there was no evfrom a Jan. 13, 2017 arrest in Roswell. earned enough A’s to idence in court that attend college. In her early twenties, Sellany of Sellers’ customers died. But the iners moved to Georgia where she raised two tent of such a policy is to make dealers like kids largely on her own. Efforts to reach Sellers think twice about continuing to sell her family for comment were unsuccessful. synthetic opioids in metro Atlanta. But, according to letters her 14- and 11-year“It’s the perfect storm,” said Byung J. old children wrote to the court, she was a “BJay” Pak, the top federal prosecutor in doting mother. northern Georgia. “This is a fast moving [ep“She always make[s] sure we have everyidemic] presenting challenges to law en-

thing we need for school and always buys us the things we want. She always hangs out with us and take[s] us places. She plays around with us and likes to joke around with us,” wrote one of the children. Her mother, Diane Causby, wrote that Sellers “has continued her spirit of excellence with her children, in raising them to be at higher standards in their education, behavior and choice of friends.” It’s unclear, according to court records, whether the drugs, domestic violence or divorce came first. But about a decade after moving to metro Atlanta, she paid her bills by dancing as a stripper at the Cheetah, a gentleman’s club in downtown Atlanta, and sometimes used drugs. The Sellers family settled in Roswell in late 2016. On the night of Jan. 13, 2017, a Roswell cop pulled over Sellers after her white PT Cruiser allegedly drifted out of its lane. An officer who watched Sellers said she became defensive and argumentative. After noticing her glassy eyes, the officer asked her to perform a sobriety test. Eventually, the officer


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MARCH 30 - APRIL 12, 2018

Community | 9


An excerpt of a letter one of Sellers’ children wrote to a federal court judge on her behalf.

found a folded $1 bill full of a white powdered substance inside her wallet. Tears streamed down her face. “[I] was exposed to a certain lifestyle,” she told the officer, according to the report. They weren’t her drugs this time, she said, but she admitted to using cocaine in the past. After getting arrested, Sellers entered a pre-trial diversion program. Four months later, though, she skipped a mandatory meeting and failed a drug test. She told her court-appointed officer she planned to vacation in New Jersey until this past August. Meanwhile, her name ended up in the news again: ajc.com published a story titled “Cops: Man with pills, syringes and $1,095 cash arrested in Alpharetta.” That man was Sellers’ fiancé, and she was in the car during the traffic stop in May 2017 that led to his arrest, though she was not charged. Then, a month later, the DEA raid happened. Her lawyers tried to get her released on bond so she could be with her children. But a federal judge denied the request, writing that, “the court can conceive of no condition or combination of conditions that would reasonably assure the safety of the community” even though there was “strong evidence from her family and friends that she is a good mother.”

New dealers, new threats to police Parents aren’t the only new target of police and prosecutors seeking to contain the suburban spread of opioids. The same month Sellers was arrested for cocaine possession, federal prosecutors charged Dr. Arnita Avery-Kelly, a licensed podiatrist, with the alleged illegal distribution of prescription opioids out of her clinic in Sandy Springs. In the nine months leading up to August 2015, she allegedly prescribed over 116,000 oxycodone pills, 41,000 hydro-

morphone pills and 400 fentanyl patches. Last year, Nisar A. Piracha, a 63-year-old former physician who ran the Piracha Wellness Clinic in Dunwoody, received a sentence of over seven years for prescribing opioids to people in exchange for cash. Some of his clients traveled up to 200 miles for his services. Keith Zgonc, deputy chief of the Sandy Springs Police Department, says the kinds of synthetic opioids found in Sellers’ home are as much of a threat to his officers as they are to residents. Because grains of synthetic opioids are so fine they can penetrate rubber gloves, narcotics officers have overdosed in some cities nationwide while investigating crime scenes — prompting some departments to call in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for assistance in handling the drugs. “We don’t open it,” Zgonc said. “We’re not going to risk an overdose of one of our people to make a case.” Despite such risks, police and prosecutors are finding ways to make cases. On May 24, Sellers, who has pleaded guilty, is scheduled to make an appearance in a 21stfloor courtroom inside the Richard B. Russell Federal Building in downtown Atlanta. Sellers will stand in her jail-issued jumpsuit accompanied by her lawyer — who didn’t respond to requests for comment — hoping the judge will spare her the maximum sentence of 20 years. But prosecutors hope this is one catch they can make in the endless cat-and-mouse chase of a deadly crisis.

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

Third 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. To read previous stories in this series, visit ReporterNewspapers.net.

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10 | Commentary

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Assembling the worst superhero team ever As the superhero story goes, the XMen are a group of people with various X-gene mutations that give them EX-tra powers, and (while battling an assorted bunch of X-rivals) they endeavor to use these powers for the good of humanity. I have noticed that a bit of X-gene activity seems to have occurred in my own family, but our genes have mutated to powers of questionable worth. We are a bunch of the worst X-Men, ever. My youngest is Massive Toe-Gap Boy. You could park a car in the space between his first two toes. He uses this Massive Gap to stow his snacks and carry small appliances from room to room. If he keeps his socks on, he can smuggle a two-liter bottle of water onto an airplane. His twin also has a toe mutation. He is Lethal Toenail Boy. The nails of his big toes grow into virtual talons that will ruin floors and furniture and inflict stealth wounds when he walks around barefoot. If he ever finds himself stuck in a Moroccan prison, he can file his way out with his toenails. My daughter is Reflexio. She has the most coveted and useful ability in the family. She can knock a wine glass off a shelf and dive to the ground before it

breaks, all in less time than it takes me to finish my first curse word. She can catch any falling object from within an inch of its life — saving not only the object, but the skin of every sibling in the room. My oldest son is Viral Facial Hair Man. He has the ability to grow facial hair at superhuman speed … at viral video speed. He is very proud of this power because he thinks it’s rather manly. So, he’d prefer to be known as Virile Viral Facial Hair Man. Apparently, there is no barbershop where he lives, because he came home for Christmas looking like a small fur-bearing animal had died on his face. You could find his eyes only if you approached him slowly with a flashlight and a hand rake. I am Barometric Sinus Mom. I can predict the weather by the condition of my nasal passages. If I go through a box of Kleenex in less than eight hours, that means it’s going to rain. If I walk around all day rubbing my face and honking, a cold front is moving in. And if I’m curled up on the couch beneath a blanket, nursing a cup of hot tea, breathing through my mouth and completely miserable, you’d better bring in your pets and head to the basement because there’s a storm

Robin’s Nest

a-comin’. And my Robin Conte is a writer husband? He’s and mother of four who Obliviman, of lives in Dunwoody. She course. (Aren’t can be contacted at they all?) He robinjm@earthlink.net. has the ability to tune out an entire family dinner conversation of five people debating the lyrics of the latest Taylor Swift song by merely looking at his Android. Even more impressively, he can appear perfectly attentive and alert as I spend 15 minutes presenting a detailed rundown of our weekend schedule, while he in fact has zero idea of what I am saying and will ask me to repeat the entire thing as soon as I’ve finished. Put us all together and you will not have a team that will save the world. But in our own EX-tra mutant way, we make our little corner of it a bit more normal.

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MARCH 30 - APRIL 12, 2018

Community | 11



Buckhead CID Briefs


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The park over Ga. 400 and the PATH400 extension to Sandy Springs are moving along. The Buckhead Community Improvement District approved funding to survey the area for the park over Ga. 400 at its March 28 board meeting. A design for the PATH400 extension to Sandy Springs and several updates on other CID infrastructure and improvement projects were also presented. The CID has applied for a $600,000 grant from Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank, a state program, to help fund utility and topographical surveys needed for the park over Ga. 400. The CID did not have to commit any additional funds to apply for the grant, Durrett said. The proposed park would cap Ga. 400 between Peachtree and Lenox roads, provide green space and bring a redesigned Buckhead MARTA station. A nonprofit to oversee the park has been mostly set up, but is awaiting funding, said Bruce Bowers, a consultant with Baker Donelson. Some consultants to help with legal questions have agreed to do pro bono work, Bowers said at the meeting. Coxe Curry and Associates is set to wrap up a philanthropic feasibility study in April and will present it to the park’s steering committee. The study will present findings on the “appetite and capacity of the philanthropic community” to fund the park over Ga. 400, which does not have a determined funding source yet, Durrett said.


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A concept design for the PATH400 “missing link” from Loridans Drive to Sandy Springs has been completed, said Denise Starling, the executive director of LivSPECIAL able Buckhead, which is A rendering shows the design at Loridans Drive for the spearheading PATH400. beginning of the PATH400 extension to Sandy Springs. Consultants and Livable Buckhead have worked with adjacent neighbors and NPU-B to come up with the design, which includes raised crosswalks across Ga. 400 and bridge beautification. The design shows arches on the Loridans Drive bridge over Ga. 400, similar to what has been installed on the Peachtree Street bridge over I-85. “If you’re coming down [Ga. 400], this really is the entry point to Buckhead,” she said. It also will help send a visual cue to drivers that there is a major trail crossing at the intersection, Starling said. Livable Buckhead is also beginning to coordinate the design of McClatchey Park, a new five-acre park at Loridans Drive near PATH400, Starling said. Park Pride has agreed to conduct a visioning exercise this year to determine what the park should include, she said. Already on the table is collaborating with the Atlanta History Center and the Buckhead Heritage Society to restore the Lowery-Stephens Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in Atlanta, Starling said. They plan to install some kind of interpretive history exhibit, she said.


ADA improvements are coming for Roswell, Piedmont, Pharr and Lenox roads and Maple Drive. The CID and the city of Atlanta plan to each pay $400,000 for the improvements. Once the CID signs an agreement with the city, the process to find a contractor will begin, Dunn said. The East Paces Ferry Complete Street project has started, which includes installing a multi-use path along the road with a small landscaped buffer, Dunn said. It is on schedule to be completed before the end of the year. The CID approved up to $625,310 in funding for the design to widen Piedmont Road. The project will be partly funding by the Atlanta Regional Commission, but that share has not been determined, Durret said. The design process will take 18 months to two years, Dunn said. — Evelyn Andrew BH

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12 | Community

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BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Ridership data shows the Buckhead bike share stations’ popularity is on the lower end of all bike stations in Atlanta, but the city says more stations are coming to the area. Three Buckhead bike share stations were installed in July 2017 and haven’t performed as well as others in the city – averaging 84 riders a month and including one that had only 13 riders last September. But the city’s bike czar and the Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling said they expect those numbers to rise as Buckhead becomes more bike-friendly. The city of Atlanta released its first annual bike report in March, which included ridership and bike share data, but left the three Buckhead bike share stations off the report’s map. Starling, whose organization spearheaded the effort to install the stations, said the error was not surprising. “That’s not uncommon. Atlanta tends to focus on Downtown and Midtown,” she said. After the Reporter questioned the absence of the Buckhead stations, the city added a note to the map that says the stations are not shown “due to formatting.” Even though Buckhead ridership is low, Becky Katz, the city’s chief bicycle officer, expects the numbers to increase and said the city plans to install more stations in Buckhead. The city plans to use funds from a transportation special local option sales tax to double the amount of Relay Bike Share stations. One of their focuses will be “filling the gap” between Midtown and Buckhead, such as in the Lindbergh area, Katz said. The local Relay Bike Share stations opened in the summer of 2017 across the street from the Lenox MARTA Station at East Paces Ferry and Lenox roads; at Tower Place, at the intersection of Lenox and Piedmont roads; and in Piedmont Center, which is on the opposite side of Lenox Road from Tower Place. The Buckhead bike share stations have typically low ridership compared to others in the city, but Becky Katz expects that

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Top, Atlanta Chief Bicycle Officer Becky Katz. CITY OF ATLANTA

Middle, A map from the city of Atlanta’s first annual bike report shows popular biking paths in Buckhead, including PATH400, paths around Chastain Park and bike lanes on surface streets. EVELYN ANDREWS

Left, These bikes at the Relay Bike Share station near the Lenox MARTA Station were installed in 2017.

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number to rise as trails like PATH400 and other connectivity projects like the East Paces Ferry Complete Street project take shape. “As Buckhead roads become safer and more bike-friendly, you’ll those numbers go up,” she said. The average rides for all three stations combined is 84 per month, city spokesperson Zinzi Sebunya said. In September, Tower Place had 75 rides, Lenox MARTA Station had 56 and Piedmont Center had 13, Sebunya said. Piedmont Center often has the lowest rides for month, Starling said. It is likely due to the lack of residences near the station and its low visibility, she said. “You’ve got to create the culture and build the infrastructure to make it more bike friendly,” she said. The rainy and cold weather may also be to blame for the low ridership, she said. “We launched at the end of the season. It hasn’t exactly been bikable weather,” Starling said. The report also showed the locations of bike counters around the city. There aren’t currently any in Buckhead, but the city and Livable Buckhead plan to split the cost to install a bike counter on PATH400 near Old Ivy Road, Starling said. The counter will be used to provide metrics on how many people are using bikes on PATH400. “Just like you want traffic counts on road, you want bike counts on a path,” she said. The bike counter is installed underneath the pavement and uses weight and magnetic force to count the bikes, Katz said. Starling won’t start paying close attention to the numbers until more connectivity is in place to encourage bike riding, she said. Livable Buckhead also plans to up engagement and promote PATH400 more often, including by hosting more programs and events. “That’s what the BeltLine is so good at,” she said. Annual and monthly memberships are available for Relay Bike Share from $10 to $15 per month. For more information, visit relaybikeshare.com.


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Community | 13


In dam repair options, one certainty: trees will fall

A view from the Lake Forrest Dam in 2016.

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

If the aging Lake Forrest Dam on the Atlanta-Sandy Springs border were to fail, the first place flooded would be Meadow Valley Drive, which sits along the wooded creek the dam uses as outflow. And as the two cities and upstream homeowners ponder possible dam reconstruction options, downstream residents have tree preservation on their mind. Leslie Laird’s house would be the first to go in a disaster; according to a 2009 letter from the state Safe Dams Program, a worst-case-scenario failure would send a 12-foot wall of water into her home. She’d like a repair option that saves the mature trees dotting the dam’s eastern embankment. “I don’t want them to even touch the east side,” she said. “Sandy Springs does not need to lose any more trees.” Her neighbors in the Cherokee Park Civic Association took that position after meeting with city officials about the repair options last August. But there’s one problem, according to Sharon Kraun, a spokesperson for the city of Sandy Springs. “The existing trees will be removed with both options currently under consideration,” Kraun said. “Final design will determine if any future plantings are possible, but [they] would be very limited at best. For maintenance, structural and safety reasons, trees are not BH

permitted to grow along the slopes of a dam.” That makes for yet another complication in repair design options that have dragged on since 2009. A big factor is the dam’s location directly under the 4600 block of Lake Forrest Drive, right on the Atlanta-Sandy Springs border, which makes for complicated ownership and liability issues. Both cities, several individual homeowners, and a larger lake-owning group of homeowners called the Three Lakes Corporation all have repair responsibilities, according to the state. In recent years, Sandy Springs has taken the lead on studying repair options, splitting the cost with Atlanta. The work included removing the fish from the lake and lowering its level by 12 feet. City-hired engineers say the dam has several problems that could cause collapse: those trees growing on its slope, a corroding pipe inside it, and an inability to handle the flow of water from a major rainstorm. Last fall, engineers presented the Sandy Springs City Council with two repair design options: an upgraded version of today’s dam, known as the “full pool” option for restoring the lake, or a new, smaller dam built farther upstream in a “reduced lake” option. Either option could cost roughly $7 million and take years to complete: nine to 12 months of design and permitting, and 15 to 18 months of construction, possibly including the closure of Lake


Forrest Drive during work. Cherokee Park residents have favored the “reduced lake” option under the idea that it could save more trees. Neal Sweeney, the current head of Three Lakes Corporation, said in recent weeks that his group of residents strongly prefers the “full pool” option and has “momentum” in reaching agreement to move forward. Sandy Springs City Councilmember Andy Bauman, who represents his city’s side of the dam area, said there is another certainty in the process: safety comes first. Cost is the second consideration. For neighbors like those in Cherokee Park, he said, there are concerns about the many construction impacts, including “loss of trees, wildlife, aesthetic and visual considerations.” If all conditions are equal, Bauman said, he would prefer the full pool option. But, he added, “What I don’t want to do is build the lake back at the expense of downstream people.” He said he has asked city staff for an independent “peer review” of the dam repair options by outside engineers, and for the city to tell affected property owners what difference each option makes, if any, for those living downstream.

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14 | Community

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‘Sgt. Stubby’ film coming soon with help from former Buckhead state Rep. Wilkinson





“Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero,” will be released in April by a film company headed up by Joe Wilkinson, a former state representative. A ►Joe Wilkinson.

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net





An animated film about a heroic dog, produced by a studio headed by former Buckhead and Sandy Springs state Rep. Joe Wilkinson, will be showing in theaters nationwide April 13. “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” is based on the true story of a World War I military dog. The Georgia-based film company Fun Academy Motion Pictures tapped Wilkinson to be its president to coordinate the logistical side of making the movie. “I think people are going to really fall in love with Stubby,” Wilkinson said. The film will be released in 3,000 theaters nationwide and has a $25 million budget, said Jordan Beck, the company spokesperson. Fun Academy’s previous film, World War II series “The American Road to Victory,” aired on PBS, according to the company’s website. The movie will be shown in major theater chains such as AMC, spokesperson Jacy Jenkins said, but exact locations were not yet available. After being adopted off the streets by Private J. Robert Conroy, Stubby reputedly sounded the alarm for incoming attacks in 17 battles and caught a German spy in the trenches. He was the first dog to be promoted in U.S. Army history, according to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History website. The stuffed body of Sgt. Stubby is now on display at that museum. Wilkinson said they “took a few liberties,” but the film for the most part stays true to Stubby’s story. There are already plans in the works for

B ►Private J. Robert Conroy sits with Sgt. Stubby in a photo from the Connecticut State Library archives. C ►Private J. Robert Conroy is shown with Sgt. Stubby in a still from the film.

two sequels focusing on Stubby’s life after the war, which including becoming Georgetown University mascot, Wilkinson said. Voice actors include Helena Bonham Carter, Logan Lerman and Gérard Depardieu. It was scored by Patrick Doyle of “Thor” and “Cinderella.” Most of the film’s production had to be done outside of Georgia, but distribution, including promotion and everything needed to get the film in a theatre, is being handled in the state. “We’re first to distribute on wide scale from Georgia,” Beck said. Beck said the company is opening the state’s first film distribution center in Columbus, Ga., where the company is headquartered. The company has not moved forward with initial plans to open a Buckhead office yet, but that option E is still on the table, Wilkinson said. “With the sequels coming up, it may very well be needed,” Wilkinson said. There are no local animation companies that could handle the film and a live film wasn’t an option, Wilkinson said. “There’s no way to do this with a live animal,” he said. Because of this, the studio could not take advantage of the popular tax credits that are recognized for massively expanding the movie business in Georgia, Beck said. The company is working with about 90 animal rescue groups across the country to coordinate adoption events during

D ►Sgt. Stubby sits with soldiers in the trenches in a still from the film. E ►Sgt. Stubby as photographed around 1918 to 1921.

the film’s release, including PAWS Atlanta, Wilkinson said. Wilkinson there are no plans yet for an Atlanta release party or special event, although he would like to have one. “We did not receive as strong of a response as we did in other places in the country,” he said.


Wilkinson has been more involved in the financial side of the business than the promotion, which he said is a major change of pace for him. “It’s not my usual role as an elected official, being on the business side,” he said. It’s also unusual for him to be in the background instead of orchestrating events and promotions, like he did in his long career at Coca-Cola, serving as the U.S. spokesperson and helping with the introduction of Diet Coke in 1982, he said. “It’s odd for me to not be the [public relations] man,” he said. BH

MARCH 30 - APRIL 12, 2018

Local officials work on legislation to reduce property taxes Continued from page 1

creases that shocked Fulton County resed on by residents in the Nov. 6 election, idents last year. The county had not and neither would take effect before the been raising property assessments in 2018 assessments go out. So the counline with property value increases for ty is still working on ways to help resiseveral years, leading to sticker shock dents save money and ensure the assesswhen the assessments finally caught up. ment process is accurate, said Fulton “There’s been a problem for a long County Commissioner time in the tax assesLee Morris. sor’s office,” Jordan The officials dissaid “It’s well docucussed the bills at the mented.” March 20 North BuckMorris remindhead Civic Association ed the audience that annual meeting, where nothing the General several other city and Assembly passes this county officials updatsession will have an ed residents. effect on this year’s asBeskin’s, which is sessments. Residents HB 820, would provide will need to be prea new homestead expared for similar inemption that caps ancreases they avoided nual property tax inpaying in 2017 when creases at 2.6 percent the assessments were for the city of Atlanta rolled back to 2016 portion. levels, Morris said. Her bill received To help with the praise and applause property tax problem, from residents who atthe county is worktended the meeting. ing on a more usable There has been a and transparent propsimilar homestead exerty assessment webemption on the Fulsite and plans to fund ton County portion of more positions to deal property taxes since with appeals, Morris 2003, which limits the said. It also plans to Fulton County tax indo a detailed assesscrease to 3 percent anment on properties nually. with assessments inBeskin said it won’t creasing by 50 percent Top, State Rep. Beth Beskin. starve the city of propor more to ensure it is Above, State Sen. Jen Jordan. erty tax funds because accurate, he said. some property is excluded from the ex“We’re going to do our best at the emption, including those that are not county to do them right this time,” Morclassified as homestead, commercial ris said. and newly-sold properties. Jordan also added a provision in the Jordan’s, which are SB 485 and 486, general bill that will require everyone would exempt residents from paying to pay taxes on the first $10,000 of proptaxes to the school district on $50,000 erty value. With this provision, peoof their property value. The current exple whose property value is less than emption is $15,000. Residents over the $50,000 will still have to pay a properage of 65 would be exempted from payty tax to APS. This was added to address ing the tax on $100,000 of their properthe feeling that Buckhead subsidizes ty value. There currently is not a senior the rest of Atlanta by contributing the exemption for APS taxes. most in property taxes, Jordan said. Jordan has estimated the general bill “We’re trying to make sure everyone to cost APS up to $10 million per year. has skin in the game,” Jordan said. “We The senior bill would cost the school want to make sure everybody is contribdistrict around $24 million, she said. uting to our schools.” The approved APS budget for 2017If the bills don’t pass this session, 2018 school year was $777 million. they could be reintroduced next sesShe said she aimed for “the highest sion. Jordan also said revising how the exemption possible without starving assessment process is done could be on schools.” the agenda for next session. The general exemption would end “The question is are other states after three years, but the senior exempdoing it better? Should we look at or tion has no end date, Jordan said. change it? But that is a question for next Officials have been grappling with session,” she said. how to address sudden assessment inBH

Community | 15


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16 | Art & Entertainment

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News Intermediate/advanced Zydeco dance class from 4:30-6 p.m. is $15. Free beginner’s dance lesson at 7 p.m. Info: aczadance.org or 877-338-2420.

COMMUNITY BIKE RIDE Sunday, April 15, 2 p.m.





Join the Brookhaven Bike Alliance for community rides every third Sunday at varying locations. April 15 location is Murphey Candler Park, 1551 West Nancy Creek Drive, Brookhaven. Info: Brookhaven Bike Alliance on Facebook.




Saturday, April 7, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

SWEEP THE HOOCH Saturday, April 7, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Back for its eighth year, Sweep the Hooch is an annual day of service to the Chattahoochee River watershed, mobilizing volunteers on foot, in waders, or kayak/canoe paddlers to remove trash at locations throughout the watershed. The 43 work locations along more than 70 miles of the river include three locations in Brookhaven’s Murphey Candler Park. To help clean those sites, use team name “MCPC” while registering. To volunteer at Morgan Falls Park, use team name “Keep Sandy Springs Beautiful.” Register: chattahoochee.org/sweep-the-hooch.

ZYDECO CONCERT AND DANCE Saturday, April 7, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association hosts the Atlanta debut of Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-Chas at the Dorothy Benson Center. Cajun/Creole food for sale. All ages. 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. $18; $14 active military; $5 students.

Heritage Sandy Springs announces the return of Rhythm & Brews, a community celebration of local bands and local beers. Food trucks, games, local artists/vendors and giveaways. Entertainment Lawn at Heritage Green, 6110 Blue Stone Road N.E., Sandy Springs. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit Heritage Sandy Springs organization. Ticket info: heritagesandysprings.org.


This community ceremony features a performance by the Atlanta Men’s Choir, readings, memorial prayers, and the lighting of torches in memory of those who perished in the Holocaust. Free. Besser Holocaust Memorial Garden at Zaban Park. Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org.


Saturday, April 7, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The rural craft of cloth making comes to life during the Atlanta History Center’s annual Sheep to Shawl program. Guests can participate in the process of turning freshly

Make a Lantern & Join the Parade!

The parade lines up at 7:30pm at Steel Canyon Golf Club for a magical stroll to Morgan Falls Overlook Park. Lantern Workshops are April 14th & 15th. Learn more at VisitSandySprings.org/lanternparade

MARCH 30 - APRIL 12, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 17


sheared wool into fabric. Other activities include open-hearth cooking, blacksmithing, and candle making at the 1860s Smith Farm and a kid-friendly zone with a petting zoo, train rides and carnival games. Included in cost of general admission. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Ticket info: atlantahistorycenter.com.


Ongoing daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Book donation boxes have been placed at three Sandy Springs fire stations to benefit the Sandy Springs Education Force Mini Libraries program. The program provides new and used books to underprivileged youth in five Sandy Springs public schools. Elementary school level books are especially needed. Fire station locations: 6025 Raider Drive, 135 Johnson Ferry Road and 1425 Spalding Drive. Info: sandyspringseducationforce.org.


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THREE CHOIRS FESTIVAL Thursday, April 5, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Three university choirs — the Georgia State University Singers, UGA Hodgson Singers and Emory University Concert Choir — perform together. Free. Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, 3180 Peachtree Road N.E., Buckhead. Info: eventbrite.com.

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Friday, April 13 to Saturday, April 28

Act3 Productions presents a throwback to the days when a wedding singer might just be the coolest guy in the room. Based on the Adam Sandler movie by the same name. 6285-R Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Ticket info: act3productions.org. Continued on page 18

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18 | Art & Entertainment

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News Continued from page 17


Thursday, April 5, 6-8 p.m.

See what music looks like in paint on canvas at an opening reception for the artwork of Karen Mosbacher Clewell at Gallery 4945 at Highpoint Episcopal Community KAREN MOSBACHER CLEWELL Church, 4945 High Point Road, Sandy Springs. Info: highpointepiscopalchurch.org.

JEWISH LATINO FILM SERIES Sunday, April 8 to Saturday, April 14

Congregation Or Hadash and the Consulate General of Argentina present five films inspired by actual events in the Jewish-Latino experience: “Los Gauchos Judios/Jewish Gauchos,” “Anita,” “Los Abandonados/ The Abandoned Ones,” “Wakolda/The German Doctor,” and a dinner and a movie night featuring “Mi Primera Boda/My First Wedding.” $5-$36. 7460 Trowbridge Road, Sandy Springs. RSVP: or-hadash.org/form/jlfs-cost.html.


IRA BUMP-UP CD Term 60 Month IRA CD 48 Month IRA CD 36 Month IRA CD


Ongoing Mondays and Wednesdays though April 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Interest Rate 2.95% 2.70% 2.46%

APY* 2.99% 2.74% 2.49%

Invest in an IRA Bump-Up Certificate of Deposit with Georgia Primary Bank. You may "Bump Up" or increase your interest rate twice during the term of the CD to our current rate for the same product and term. Minimum opening deposit $5,000.



3880 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA 30342 *Annual percentage yield (APY) is accurate as of 2-16-2018. All CDs are single maturity. Product offering may be withdrawn at any time. Fees and other conditions may reduce earnings on accounts; ask for details. For other terms and conditions, please refer to account disclosures available at account opening and upon request. A penalty may be imposed for early withdrawals.

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is a free, volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service for lower-income and middle-income taxpayers, with special attention to ages 60+. First-come, first served. Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: dekalblibrary.org/events.


Ongoing through Saturday, April 14

The Community Assistance Center in Sandy Springs offers free tax preparation assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, an initiative of the IRS and United Way. Certified VITA volunteers will prepare and file tax returns for 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.


calendar@Reporter Newspapers.net

MARCH 30 - APRIL 12, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 19


Farmers market season returns Clean out the fridge! Farmers market season is upon us. Some changes are in store for local markets, including a move to a new location for the Sandy Springs market. Here’s a list of area markets.

Visit us today to learn how you may qualify for up to




Saturdays, April 7 through Nov. 17, 9 a.m. to noon.

The market is open rain or shine. 1375 Fernwood Circle N.E., Brookhaven. Information: brookhavenfarmersmarket.com.

Valid thru 7/18/18.



Saturdays, May 5 through Oct. 27, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Newly revamped farmers market has signed more than 40 vendors. Brook Run Park, 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodyfarmersmkt.com.

HERITAGE SANDY SPRINGS FARMERS MARKET Saturdays, April 14 through early December, 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Nearly 50 vendors offer local and organic produce, pasture-raised meat, farm fresh eggs and dairy products, and a wide variety of specialty and prepared foods. Century Springs, 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs. Market moves on May 12 to Mount Vernon Highway between Sandy Springs Circle and Roswell Road. Info: sandyspringsfarmersmarket.com or 404-851-9111, ext. 5.

For the way it’s Made

© Copyright 2008 Signage designs and drawings are the sole property of DeNyse Signs, Inc., and may not be reproduced, published, changed or used in any way without written permission and consent. In addition, all ideas, contents of

Douglasville | Orlando | Charlotte

1.800.941.7446 www.denysesigns.com

proposals, and all specifications of any project entered into with DeNyse Signs, Inc. are all rights reserved. The described information may not be used in securing price comparisons. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

7455 Trowbridge Rd, NE | Sandy Springs, GA 30328 404-255-0640 | www.sewellappliance.com

fr ee book s Bid Number


The Griffin Company



Property Name & Address

Project Manager

Revision Date

Sewell Appliance 7455 Trowbridge Road Sandy Springs, Ga

Richard Swartz

Management Company




Customer Approval

06.24.08 08.01.08



Design Time


Survey Required




Sewell Appliance/ Pre/ Main Idv3

Change Order



Saturdays, April 7 through Dec. 15, 8:30 a.m. to noon. (Opening time shifts to 9 a.m. beginning Oct. 6.)

Located in the parking lot at The Cathedral of St. Philip, the market is open rain or shine. Each week brings chef demonstrations and live music. The market accepts SNAP (food stamps) and doubles their dollar value. 2744 Peachtree Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: peachtreeroadfarmersmarket.com.



sign up for fr toda ee y!

20 | Perimeter Business

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Ribbon-cuttings: Recent business openings The following are some of the new businesses that recently opened in Reporter Newspapers communities.


6309 Roswell Road, #2D, Sandy Springs Info: clipculturebarbershop.com or 404-458-2993


4520 Olde Perimeter Way, Suite 200, in Perimeter Place, Dunwoody Info: spasydell.com or 404-255-7727

A little help. A big difference. The assisted living services at The Piedmont at Buckhead Senior Living Community are about the whole family and the whole YOU. Of course, we can help you with your daily needs. But did you know you will also have options for fitness, socializing, healthy fine dining, and more? And services are tailored to you, so you’ll get just the right amount of help you need, when you request it. But the best part? No matter if you need a little help or a lot, the difference you’ll feel will be amazing. Please call The Piedmont at Buckhead to schedule your complimentary lunch and tour.


Cutting the ribbon at a new office of business data analysis company Axis Group at Sandy Springs’ Northpark 400 Tower March 15 were, from left, Erica Rocker-Wills, city’s Office of Economic Development; City Councilmember John Paulson; Axis CEO and founder Al Hughes; Scott Reedy, the office’s managing principal; Axis President Ranjan Sinha; Tom Mahaffey, CEO and president of Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Rusty Paul; and Chip Collins, chair of the chamber board. Info: axisgroup.com.

I n de p e n de n t & A s s i s t e d L i v i ng

650 Phipps Boulevard NE • Atlanta, GA ThePiedmontatBuckhead.com • 404.381.1743


Cutting the ribbon of OneLife Fitness at 1181 Hammond Drive in Dunwoody on March 1 were, from left, Corey Cristiano, Onelife Fitness Manager; Robert F. Dallas, chair of the Dunwoody Planning Commission; Mayor Denis Shortal; John Cristiano and Mindy Cristiano, OneLife’s Atlanta region co-founders; Scott Gaschler, OneLife’s regional director; Stephanie Freeman, president & CEO of the Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber of Commerce; and OneLife’s Jason Pelusi and Christin Toll. Info: onelifefitness.com.

MARCH 30 - APRIL 12, 2018

Classifieds | 21


Personal & Professional Services Directory

Reporter Classifieds HELP WANTED

REAL ESTATE 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

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. Handyman Services – Moving and Delivery too! Free quotes. References Available. Local resident - call Cornell 803-608-0792.



Software Engineers, full-time, Atlanta, GA. Apply: www.onetrust.com Administrative Assistant – Performs full administrative and general support duties to assist the manager and Board of Directors. Proficiency in MS Word, MS Excel and MS Outlook. Excellent people skills required. CINC experience a plus. Excellent starting compensation with benefits. Sandy Springs area. Email resume to: SandySpringsCondominium@gmail.com

LAWN CARE Landscaping, sod, maintenance, retaining walls, installation, planting and cleanup. Call 404-7872690.

CEMETERY PLOT Arlington Memorial Park – 3 lots in the Calvary Section. Asking $5,900 ea. or $17,000 for all. Email: mrmccabe@hotmail.com

Plan Ahead for Fall with Summer Tutoring - ACT/SAT Prep, Several Subjects. Visit: www.bobsayetutoring.com Email: sayebob@yahoo.com 404-723-9892.

We shoot on-location at your office. Fast. Efficient. Premium.


Food Pantry Coordinator Full time. Oversee daily operations, manage volunteers, purchasing, inventory, deliveries, stats. Includes driving and off-loading trucks, heavy lifting.

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

Customer Service / Information Coordinator Full time. Responsible for reception desk operations, supervising volunteers. Manage and maintain client records and databases.

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!

resume • letter • salary interest ceo@ourcac.org | www.ourcac.org No telephone calls please


Home Services Directory

To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110

Matthew’s Handy Services Small Jobs & Chores are My Specialties!

Shelves • Organizers • Carpentry Drywall • Painting • BBB rated

404-547-2079 Mwarren8328@gmail.com

Belco Electric



• Family Owned since 1972 • Fast, Dependable Service by Professional, Uniformed Electricians



Check out our new website www.BelcoInc.com and follow us on

Kitchen Bathroom Basement

Showroom, Design, Build






“Serving Metro Atlanta Since 1998”




Spring Clean-up Special

Atlanta’s Premier • Window Cleaning since 1968 • Gutter Cleaning • Pressure Washing • Family Owned • Licensed and Insured • Free Estimates

404.355.1901 www.WindowCleanAtl.com




Call Kevin 24/7 770.885.9210

• All Major Appliances & Brands FREE Service • Stoves, Ovens, Dishwashers • Refrigerators, Disposals Call with • Washers, Dryers Repair or $25 Service • 30 Years Experience Charge Servicing All of Metro Atlanta

Come Visit us in

Chamblee! WINDOWS

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

770-939-5634 • www.quinnwindows.com

Tranquil Waters Lawn Care Aeration Leaf Blowing Power Washing Free Estimates . Senior/Veteran Discount No Contract Necessary . Commercial Residential

678-662-0767 Call Mike

www.UnitedTreeSvc.com 678-895-0851 justTRASHit!


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

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

(770) 314-9867 www.justTRASHit.com

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

22 | Community

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Extensive renovations coming to Buckhead’s two libraries Continued from page 1 Representatives from McAfee3 Architects and Evergreen Construction, who will design and construct the renovations, were on hand at recent public meetings at each library to gather input from residents. A final draft of the renovation designs will be presented at public meetings later this year. The libraries will be closed while work is done, but officials aren’t yet sure how long that will be. “We’re going to do our best to make this a very beautiful library that you’ll be happy to spend time in,” said Cheryl McAfee, the CEO of McAfee3 Architects at a March 14 meeting at the Buckhead Library. The Buckhead libraries are among 22 libraries getting renovations in this phase of AFPLS’ capital improvement program approved in 2008. “Our task is to design to a budget. We cannot exceed that budget. [The county has] made that abundantly clear. Taxpayers dollars must be respected,” said Jay Lawton, the general manager of McAfee3 Architects at a March 14 meeting. In both libraries, the county plans to remodel bathrooms to make them more modern and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act; repaint all interior walls and install new carpeting; replace all furniture used by staff and patrons; upgrade technology systems, including computers, WiFi and security gates; improve the parking lots; add new exterior and interior lighting; upgrade heating and cooling system and install new fire alarm system. Al Collins, the administrator of the bond program, said new, 66-inch high bookshelves are also planned to replace the current 96-inch tall bookshelves in both libraries. Comments can be submitted until April 5 by emailing librarycomments@fultoncountyga.gov or by sending a Facebook message to facebook.com/afpls.

ing. The heat during the summer and bright light from sun deters people from sitting in the back, residents said. Josh Taylor, a library Board of Trustees member, suggested adding more space in the entrance to library to showcase new books or special collections. “The librarians are capable of doing that, but they need the space to do it,” Taylor said.

Northside Branch Library

Buckhead Branch Library Alan Siler leaves the Northside Library branch in Buckhead after a March 20 public meeting. Many patrons do not like the atrium at the entrance as well as the checkerboard exterior.


Officials said they plan to update and repair canopy that leads to the entryway of the Buckhead Branch Library at 269 Buckhead Ave.

Those ideas proposed by the county received support from the around 25 residents that attended a March 14 public meeting held at the Buckhead Branch Library. The county wants to install a digital “bulletin board” that would display announcements and events and replace a traditional bulletin board that is currently in the lobby. McAfee also said they plan to update and repair canopy that leads to the entryway. Problems with lighting were frequently raised by residents, who said it is too dim throughout most of the library, especially in the only conference room. Residents who volunteer with arts programs at the library frequently asked for a professional hanging system to be installed to hang art around the library. Several people suggested highlighting the “The Storyteller,” an iconic sculpture in Buckhead that was installed outside of the Buckhead Library after it was removed from a park during its renovation. One resident suggested adding seating around the sculpture because children frequently stop there to read. Other suggestions for children and teenager areas in the library included more furniture that can be more easily rearranged to accommodate story time and projects. Residents also suggested adding four study rooms in the teen area. For adult areas, residents said they need more meeting space, including an additional conference room. There is a massive glass wall at the back of the library that residents said needs address-


A community meeting on March 20 at the branch library tucked in a small space at 3295 Northside Parkway attracted more than a dozen people who hope to see changes from everything to ridding the building of its checkerboard exterior to possibly removing an industrial sculpture sitting at its entrance. “Please make it pretty,” a conservancy board member said. “It’s embarrassing. We don’t like the checkerboard look.” A large, industrial sculpture at the library’s entrance is dangerous, several people said, and children are always playing on it even though a sign requests people to stay off it. It is believed to have come from the Gateway Industrial Park built in south Atlanta in the late 1960s, according to Howell Williams, the branch manager for Northside Library for 15 years before retiring last year. Fulton County Arts and Culture Deputy Director Emmitt Stevenson said his group is currently trying to identify the piece, the artist and its significance. “It may be significant. We have to make sure we know what it is first,” he said. Collins said libraries must also adapt to today’s users who don’t always see them as only a silent space to check out books, but more of a community center feel. The children’s area at Northside Library is not separated or closed off from the rest of the library and when dozens of children gather for story time readings, the sounds can be heard throughout the library. Some residents suggested enclosed study spaces for those who do need absolute quiet, while not having to close off the children’s area. Soundproofing the children’s area was also suggested. The library also has a front glassed-in atrium that many people said gets way too hot in the summer months. It was also described as “wasted space.” Making more efficient use of that front atrium could create a more inviting library, they said. Residents suggested adding another small meeting room to accommodate the many requests for the one room the library does have. One major issue is that many people don’t know the library is there because it is nearly hidden DYANA BAGBY off a small driveway on NorthA tutor works with a student at a table at the Northside Library. Some users of the library side Parkway. A new monument are asking for small, enclosed study rooms. sign is planned, Collins said.


MARCH 30 - APRIL 12, 2018

Public Safety | 23


Police Blotter / Buckhead The following information, involving events that took place in Buckhead March 4 through March 17, was provided to the Buckhead Reporter by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department.

2700 block of Defoors Ferry Road —


1000 block of Lindbergh Drive — March 12

2100 block of Peachtree Road —

March 4

March 12 2000 block of Claude Street — March 12

500 block of Northside Circle — March


2500 block of Lenox Road

900 block of E. Paces Ferry Road — March 13

— March 4 1900

mont March 5

block of Circle


1000 block of Lindbergh Drive — March 13

3400 block of Roxboro Road — March 14

1800 block of Piedmont Avenue

— March 10

2300 block of Parkland Drive — March 14

500 block of Pharr Road — March 11 3300 block of Peachtree Street —

1000 block of Lindbergh Drive — March 14

March 11 1800

block of Street — March 12


1000 block of Lindbergh

200 block of Pharr

Drive — March 15

Road — March 14

1400 block of W. Paces Ferry Road — March 15

1900 block of Pied-

mont Road — March 14



200 block of Pineland Road — March 5

3100 block of Mathieson

Drive — March 4

200 block of Wieuca Road —

2500 block of Piedmont Road — March 4

March 6

600 block of Wesley Drive — March 5

2100 block of Faulkner Road — March 6

1900 block of Monroe Drive — March 5

700 block of Lakeshore Circle — March 7

1000 block of McLynn Avenue — March 5

2100 block of Piedmont Road — March 10

100 block of Ivy Chase — March 6

3400 block of Kingsboro Road — March 11

1300 block of Collier Road — March 6 3200 block of Paces Ferry Place —

March 6 100 block of Bagley Street — March

7 2300 block of Armand Road —

March 8 3300 block of Peachtree

Road — March 8 3000 block of Piedmont

Road — March 9 2300 block of Parkland Drive

— March 10 2700 block of Defoors Ferry Road —

March 12 1700 block of Moores Mill Road —

March 12 BH

2000 block of Monroe Drive — March 14

1500 block of Piedmont Avenue — March 13 2500 block of Piedmont

Road — March 14

LARCENY Between March 4 and March 10, there were 56 larcenies from vehicles reported across Zone 2 and 37 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting. Between March 11 and March 17, there were 56 larcenies from vehicles reported across Zone 2 and 35 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting.

AUTO THEFT There were 13 reported incidents of auto

theft between March 4 and March 10. There were eight reported incidents of auto theft between March 11 and March 17.

SUMMER CAMP 2018 MAY 30-AUGUST 3 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!!

24 |

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opening day April 7 8:30 am - 12:00 pm PeachtreeRoadFarmersMarket.com The Cathedral of St. Philip 2744 Peachtree Rd NW Atlanta, GA 30305 BH

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