03-30-18 Brookhaven

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MARCH 30 - APRIL 12, 2018 • VOL. 10— NO. 7


Brookhaven 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

Apartments eyed for new high school, city official says

Former mayor honored at Cherry Blossom Festival

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net


Former Brookhaven mayor Rebecca Chase Williams was honored for her contributions in the founding of the city and the creation of the city’s Cherry Blossom Festival with the surprise announcement the city has renamed Wise Way in Blackburn Park to Rebecca Williams Way. From left are Councilmembers Joe Gebbia and Linley Jones, Mayor John Ernst, Williams and Councilmember John Park. Read story 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

A new Cross Keys High School could be coming to Buford Highway in Brookhaven, a city official says, but DeKalb School officials are being tight-lipped about the possibility. Brookhaven Councilmember Joe Gebbia confirmed rumors that the DeKalb County School District is looking at property in Brookhaven and along Buford Highway to build a new Cross Keys High School. “That’s a possibility, and they have the right of eminent domain,” Gebbia said. While he said he does not know of any specific properties being looked at, he said Superintendent Stephen Green has said the district is looking at land adjacent to the current Cross Keys High School, located at 1626 North Druid Hills Road. Much of the property adjacent to the high school is where apartment complexSee APARTMENTS on page 13

Judge rules against city in eminent domain case BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The city’s attempt to take 19 acres of land for the Peachtree Creek Greenway was an illegal “bad faith” deal, a DeKalb County judge has ruled. The ruling wipes out the land-taking and requires the city to pay attorney’s fees but allows a new eminent domain attempt. The city wants the land on Briarwood Road to create a trailhead for the new park and trail system. DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger ruled Feb. 27 to grant See JUDGE on page 15

2 | Community

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Community Briefs World War II but rather well-paid prostitutes who worked to support their families. They said the monument is “Japan-bashing.” They did not stay long at the festival because of the cold temperatures on March 25 and only handed out a few pamphlets titled “What is ‘Comfort Women’ Basic Facts.” Yamamoto said they intend to continue putting pressure on the city to remove the statue but did not describe any serious strategy to do so. Yamamoto has said in the past she is responsible for email campaigns that bombard elected officials who erect memorials in their communities. Yamamoto said she asked to speak to members of the City Council during her visit but did not hear any response. There is no indication from city officials the city plans to remove the statue. Yamamoto also said she planned to meet with a staff member of the Japanese consul general’s staff during her stay. Consul Tomoko Ohyama said the office does not disclose its activities and declined to comment if there was a meeting with Yamamoto. Councilmember John Park, who initiated bringing the memorial to Brookhaven after the Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta backed out of an agreement to place it on its property, declined to comment. Helen Kim Ho, spokesperson for the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force, which commissioned the monument, also declined comment.


Yumiko Yamamoto of Japan takes video of the memorial in Blackburn Park. She is the director of a Japan-based organization that denies ‘comfort women’ were sexually trafficked by the Japanese military during World War II.

P R O TES T OR S D EN OUN C E “ C OMF ORT WOM EN” M EM O R IAL D UR I N G C H ERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL Two members of the “Japanese Women for Justice and Peace” organization showed up at the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival on Sunday, March 25, to pass out pamphlets and denounce the city’s decision to erect a controversial Comfort Women monument in the city. Yumiko Yamamoto, the executive director of the group, flew from Japan to attend the festival. She has been tied to Zaitokukai, named by Japanese police as an anti-Korean extremist group, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. With her was Shizuko Culpepper of Duluth, also a member of the organization. The statue, depicting a girl seated next to an empty chair, is intended to honor the so-called comfort women, who were sexually trafficked by the Japanese military during World War II. It is identical to several similar statues installed around the world as part of a cultural and political dispute between South Korea and Japan over “comfort women” history and responsibility. The women reiterated an argument backed by the Japanese government that comfort women were not sex slaves trafficked by the Japanese military during


D EVELO PER S R EQ U I R ED TO R A I S E G R A NIT E C UR B I NG The City Council voted March 27 to amend its code on curbing and clarify that developers are required to raise granite curbing to six inches above the road where it already exists. The amended code also allows the city’s Public Works director to review granite curbing that is four or five inches above the street and if it does not need to be raised to help with stormwater flow, it does not have to be raised up to six inches. Developers are also required to repair and replace damaged granite curbing where it already exists.

R U SH LO UNG E A P P EA L S DENI A L O F ALCOHO L L I C ENS E R ENEWA L The owner of Rush Lounge at 2715 Buford Highway is appealing the city’s recent decision to deny its alcohol renewal license after the club was reclassified as an “entertainment venue” in its revised alcohol ordinance. Entertainment venues are required to pay $100,000 in fees to serve distilled spirits and beer. Attorney Alan Begner filed the appeal on behalf of Rush Lounge in DeKalb Superior Court on March 15. He said the business plans to stay open and serving alcohol during the appeals process and not pay a $100,000 fee. City spokesperson Burke Brennan said the city plans to ask the court to require Rush Lounge pay the $100,000 during the appeals process.



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Community | 3

CHOA begins work on new North Druid Hills campus BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net


The first steps toward building Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s new North Druid Hills Campus are underway with the remediation and demolition of the hospital’s current office building at 1577 Northeast Expressway. And the city of Brookhaven recently received a $400,000 federal grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission to go toward design changes for the I-85 and North Druid Hills interchange that is expected to help with traffic when CHOA’s campus opens. “I want to thank the leadership and staff at the ARC for having the wisdom to rework and rebuild this intersection before the Children’s Healthcare and other significant developments planned in this area are completed,” Mayor John Ernst said in a statement. Once the CHOA building on the Northeast Expressway is torn down and cleared away, a new 8-story “Support Building” and 7-story parking deck will be built on the site. These structures are needed before beginning construction of a massive, 80-acre medical center complex at the North Druid Hills Road and I-85 interchange that includes the Center for Advanced Pediatrics now under construction. The entire complex, including a new $1.3 billion, 446-bed hospital in two patient towers on the campus, is expected to be completed by 2026. The campus will be anchored by the new hospital, an attached medical office building and a consolidated AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. The height of the hospital will be between 16-19 stories. A 19-story hotel was at the site and demolished in 2014 after CHOA bought it. The new hospital will replace its Egleston Hospital on Clifton Road near Emory University, which hospital officials say is filled to capacity. Site preparation and construction on the new Support Building will begin as soon as demolition is complete, according to a CHOA press release. The 348,000-square-foot Support Building and parking deck is expected to be completed in early 2020. Many CHOA employees formerly working in buildings that are being demolished have moved to nearby office buildings for the interim. Future plans include tearing down CHOA’s Tullie office complex buildings to make room for the new hospital. Employees working in those buildings will relocate to the new Support Building. The CHOA Support Building will be located at the north end of the planned North Druid Hills campus along the I-85 frontage road. Once construction of the Support Building is complete in early

2020, construction can begin on the replacement hospital, ensuring that Children’s can begin serving patients and families at North Druid Hills in 2025, according to a CHOA spokesperson. The Brookhaven City Council approved Dec. 12 annexing some 18 acres into the city for the CHOA campus expansion.

A rendering of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Support Building expected to be completed in 2020. CHOA

A rendering of an aerial view of CHOA’s plans for its some 80-acre campus at I-85 and North Druid Hills Road. CITY OF BROOKHAVEN

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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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Robin’s (Worst) X-men (Ever)

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

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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


Architect to review proposed Brookhaven-Peachtree projects BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The Brookhaven City Council at its March 26 work session agreed all projects proposed within the newly adopted Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District should be reviewed by a professional architect to ensure aesthetic standards are met. Plans are to put out a request for proposal for an architect to review proposed projects in the Overlay District once a clear path is defined by the council on what the architect will be doing, explained Community Development Director Patrice Ruffin. The Overlay District includes Peachtree Road between Bellaire Drive and Ashford-Dunwoody Road and also the Dresden Drive area. The Overlay District rewrite approved in January created architectural design standards for buildings and standards for streetscapes in three new Peachtree Road districts. The council agreed later to hire a professional architect to review aesthetics for any proposed project to ensure quality construction in the area considered the heart of the city. “The current PR districts have architectural standards, but they are subjective and can be implemented by staff. The code doesn’t have the pretty things you’re looking for,” Ruffin said. The council agreed all projects should be reviewed by the architect and that, if a developer disagreed with the architect’s recommendations, the council would hear the appeal. Who will pay for the architect — the developer or the city — is still to be determined. Councilmember Bates Mattison was previously the lone “no” vote against the Overlay District rewrite because he said

it eliminated the public process for rezoning proposals. He suggested the city hear a presentation from the Brookhaven Peachtree Community Alliance on what kind of aesthetics should be included in the Overlay District. The mayor and council are not architects and cannot adequately describe what it is they want from such a professional, he said. “The design standards and update we did … we’ve allowed by right. But the devil is in details,” he said. “We need someone who really can bring design aesthetic input to the developer other than just what the developer submits based on the law we have on the books.” Councilmember Linley Jones said she would like to see an influence of Oglethorpe University and its notable granite facade incorporated into designs of buildings within the Overlay District as it has been in the city’s parks. “We don’t want to be kitsch,” she added. “On other hand, we’ve incorporated elements in our parks and in our signage … without going that far.” Gebbia and Park agreed the “Oglethorpe theme” was a good one to include in the Overlay District. “Not a predominate theme, but a highlight,” Gebbia said. “We definitely see that look in our parks … and maybe when we redo the MARTA station. I also want to make sure when we do this we leave room for originality and creativity.” Mayor John Ernst said the developer should pay the architect’s fees to review the plans because they no longer have to cover costs associated with community meetings that were required as part of rezoning requests prior to the Overlay District rewrite. Other council members asked for more feedback from Ruffin on fees architects charge before making a final decision.

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Council approves $9.4M from CHOA to fund Peachtree Creek Greenway BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The City Council approved March 27 a resolution approving a payment of $9.4 million from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to pay for right-of-way abandonment of nearly five acres on Tullie Road and Tullie Circle to be used to fund the Peachtree Creek Greenway. The right-of-way is needed as part of CHOA’s planned 80-acre expansion at its campus at the North Druid Hills Road and I-85 interchange. CHOA will make the public streets private as part of the campus build out. Councilmember Bates Mattison asked why the entire $9.4 million needed to go the Greenway and not to fund other parks projects. He pointed out the Greenway is being funded by an increase in the city’s hotel/motel tax from 5 percent to 8 percent. The city is also considering issuing around $7 million in revenue bonds through its new Public Facilities Authority to cover buildout costs. “We all agree the Greenway is a very important project, but are we doing it at the expense of other capital projects?” Mattison asked. City Attorney Chris Balch said the city is free to change its mind about the allocation in the future if it does not want the

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A rendering of what a parking lot near the Salvation Army headquarters would look like as a planned trailhead for the Peachtree Creek Greenway.

entire amount to go the Greenway. Assistant City Manager Steve Chapman reminded Mattison and the council that the $9.4 million from CHOA to the Gre-

enway was part of a Community Investment Agreement made between the city and CHOA in December as part of CHOA’s planned expansion that includes a new $1.3

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billion hospital. CHOA also plans to build a sidewalk path from its campus, under the interstate, and to the Greenway. “We want to be seen as fair dealers,” Councilmember Linley Jones said. CHOA and the city made the agreement in December because it benefits each entity, she added. “Unless we get CHOA’s blessing, we should do what we agreed to.” Councilmember John Park agreed, saying this was a “good faith agreement” the city made with CHOA. “This was not them paying a tax and spend the money however you want agreement,” Park said. As a nonprofit, CHOA does not pay property taxes. The hospital has promised $45 million in infrastructure improvements to the city as part of its expansion. Total buildout of Brookhaven’s approximate 3-mile section of the Greenway is currently at about $38 million over seven years, according to Patty Hansen, project manager. The first phase of the project, between North Druid Hills and Briarwood Road, is expected to cost close to $12 million. Bid documents are expected to go out about mid-year, she said. There is no grant or matching money for phase one, she added. The CHOA money and revenue bonds will allow the city to complete phase one and have money available for phases two and three, she added. Phase two is expected to cost about $13 million and will be from North Druid Hills Road to the Atlanta border in Buckhead. Phase three is from Briarwood Road to Chamblee and is estimated to cost about $13 million. The Atlanta Regional Commission recently approved $2.7 million in federal funding to go toward the second phase of the Greenway, Hansen added. BK

MARCH 30 - APRIL 12, 2018

Community | 13


Apartments eyed for new high school, city official says If a complex on Buford Highway is purchased and demolished by the school district for a new Cross Keys High School, many people living in the complex likely attend Cross Keys High School now, he explained. And if forced to move, they will most likely have to move out of the area and out of the Cross Keys cluster. “I feel very conflicted,” he acknowledged. “I realize the importance of a new These former apartments on Shallowford Drive in Doraville are boarded up and fenced off and awaiting to be torn down to make way for a new DeKalb County Schools 900-seat elementary school set to open in 2020. District officials are reportedly looking to purchase apartment complexes on or near Buford Highway for a new Cross Keys High School. DYANA BAGBY

bers of Los Vecinos de Buford Highway, a group advocating for Buford Highway es are located, including Brookstone residents, late last year to discuss the Crossing and North Cliff Valley Apartprocess of why the school system purments. chased the Doraville complex, according “They’ve not shared what property, to Rebekah Morris, a founder of the orbut just look at a map,” Gebbia said. ganization. The DeKalb County School District “He definitely confirmed they are released a simple statement, “The Board looking at apartment properties because of Education is actively searching for they are the biggest blocks of acreage,” properties/sites for the potential locashe said. tion. As this is a real estate matter, the Morris, a former Cross Keys High district cannot comment on the specific School teacher, said she understands the details or locations until the board votes need for a new high school due to severe on the matter.” overcrowding that has plagued the Cross Last year, DeKalb Schools announced Keys cluster for years. But the city althey purchased the 10-acre Shallowford ready owns property on Briarcliff Road Gardens apartment at the site of the forcomplex at 3630 mer Briarcliff High Shallowford Road School and DeKalb for $8.2 million. A School of the Arts new 900-seat eleand that would be a mentary school is better location than planned for the site tearing down anothopening in 2020. er apartment comThe new eleplex, she said. mentary school priThrough the Edmarily will alleviucation Special Loate overcrowding cal Option Sales at Dresden ElemenTax approved by tary in Chamblee DeKalb voters in and Cary Reyn2016, the school disolds Elementary trict is planning to in Doraville. The spend $561 million two schools have a MARCO PALMA on new schools and combined 42 porta- CROSS KEYS HIGH SCHOOL renovations. An esGRADUATE ble classroom units timated $85 million on their grounds as for a new 2,500-seat well as one restroom unit at each school, Cross Keys High School was announced according to school officials. two years ago. The current high school Community activists are concerned is set to be renovated for some $10 milthe school district will buy another lion into a 1,500-seat middle school. No apartment complex to tear down for the timelines were established for these to new high school and displace many of be completed. the students currently attending Cross Marco Palma, who graduated from Keys High School. Cross Keys High School in 2012, said he DeKalb Schools’ Executive Director of also knows a new high school is desperOperations Dan Drake met with memately needed.

school. But it does bother me if an apartment complex is torn down it will displace a lot of students who go there now,” he said. “I’m uncertain the new school will serve the community who is using it now.” When DeKalb Schools forced out residents in the Shallowford Gardens complex in Doraville, residents up to date on their rents were assisted with $2,250 moving bonuses. Palma said Los Vecinos de Buford Highway encourages apartment residents to have a plan of action in place should their complex be targeted for redevelopment, including a list of other complexes in their price range they can move to or family and friends they can stay with until they can find a new home.

Continued from page 1

I feel very conflicted. I realize the importance of a new school. But it does bother me if an apartment complex is torn down it will displace a lot of students who go there now.


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14 | Community

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Questions raised about Brookhaven’s Facilities Authority BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The Georgia General Assembly recently approved legislation authorizing the city to form its own Public Facilities Authority, which city officials say will be the vehicle used to fund the Peachtree Creek Greenway. But several residents question the city’s motives for creating the authority and its power to issue revenue bonds beyond the Greenway project. They also demand they have a vote before revenue bonds are used to pay for the linear park. City officials explained at Mayor John Ernst’s March 15 town hall the Facilities Authority is necessary to spend the money raised from the hotel/motel tax increase approved last year in the General Assembly to fund the Greenway. The Facilities Authority would have the ability to issue revenue bonds against the new revenue stream created by the hotel/motel tax. The City Council approved a $35 million Greenway master plan in 2016. Revenue bonds allow a Facilities Authority to lock in rates and keep costs down rather than paying as you go and dealing with such things as rising inflation costs, Assistant City Manager Steve Chapman said. “Basically, we are taking out a mortgage,” he said. For some at the town hall, though, the idea of issuing revenue bonds — which do not require a public vote — to pay for the Greenway is a major concern. The other major concern is that there was no specific language in the Facilities Authority bill that tied it to the Greenway, argued Catherine Bernard, an attorney who unsuccessfully ran for state House District 80, including Brookhaven, in 2016. “I don’t think anyone here is against the Greenway,” Bernard said, “but it is not mentioned in this bill.” She suggested adding language to the Facilities Authority bill requiring a referendum before a revenue bond is issued. Her argument also centers around the 2014 city vote defeating the Redevelopment Powers Law. The law would have given the city the ability to sell bonds to finance redevelopment in a specific area, which is called a tax allocation district (TAD). Chapman said a referendum wasn’t practical and noted 755 other cities in Georgia use facilities authorities. Sandy Springs has a facilities authority that is being used to fund the building of its City Springs civic center. Dunwoody last year approved creating a facilities authority to enter into a 40-year lease contract with the Dunwoody Nature Center, located in a city-owned park. “The only way to do [the Greenway], unless you want to do this project 100 yards at a time, is to create a facilities authority,” Chapman said. “That’s the only vehicle we have.” “Are you just having this town hall so you can tell us what’s going to happen and tell us we have to like it, or are you having this town hall so we can discuss what is the best way forward for Brookhaven,” Bernard said to Chapman. “We are here to gather input,” he said. City Manager Christian Sigman added that the elected mayor and City Council made the decision to approve a Greenway plan and raise hotel/motel taxes to pay for the Greenway while elected state officials approved the legislation making it possible to raise the hotel/motel tax to fund for the Greenway. Going back to the voters “seems superfluous” on something the city and state elected officials have already done, Sigman said. City Attorney Chris Balch told concerned residents the city “was not trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes.” Resident Chad Boles, who also believes residents should vote on any debt the city wants to take on, said the elected officials said nothing about a Facilities Authority or revenue bonds before they got elected.

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Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst, far right, got into a heated exchange with resident Chad Boles over the proposed Facilities Authority at a March 15 town hall. Assistant City Manager Steve Chapman is in the background.

Mayor John Ernst then interjected and said he and the entire City Council campaigned on building and funding the Greenway. “It was known to voters that I wanted it done and done in the quickest amount of time,” he said. Boles also noted of the 755 cities with public facilities authorities, Brookhaven was the only one where voters defeated the Redevelopment Powers Law. State Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), whose district includes Brookhaven, co-sponsored the Brookhaven Facilities Authority bill in the state Senate with state Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta). He was at the town hall and explained he voted last year to approve a tax hike for hotels in Brookhaven because the city had a “great plan” to spend it on the Greenway. That bill also includes language specifically about the Greenway, he noted. “If you didn’t have this plan, I wouldn’t have voted for it,” he said. Facilities Authorities are a “proven commodity” for projects like the Greenway, he added. “This is the accepted practice. If you want the Greenway, this is the best and fastest way to do it,” Millar said. State Rep. Meagan Hanson (R-Brookhaven) sponsored the bill in the House. She asked for certain changes in the bill, including that the Public Facilities Authority not have the right of eminent domain. She also tweaked language so that the City Council members will be the members of the Public Facilities Authority. The City Councils in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody also make up their respective cities’ Public Facilities Authorities. Chapman explained state law prohibits a city from entering into long-term contracts to spend public funds beyond one year, but by contracting with another governmental body, in this case a facilities authority, the city can enter into such contractual agreements, such as revenue bonds. State law allows facilities authorities to enter into contracts up to 40 years. “One council can’t bind another council,” Chapman said. When the city was founded, it created the Brookhaven Finance Corporation, giving the city the ability to enter into 5-year lease agreements for City Hall and the Police Department. This finance corporation is essentially the same as a Facilities Authority, he said. The legislation approved last year in the General Assembly giving the city the authority to raise its hotel/motel tax from 5 percent to 8 percent included a clause to create the Facilities Authority to spend that money, Chapman said. Betsy Eggers, chair of the nonprofit Peachtree Creek Greenway board that advocates for its construction, voiced frustration with people saying they support the Greenway, but then oppose ways to fund it or demand a referendum to pay for it, calling them “unnecessary hurdles.” It is disingenuous for someone to say they support the Greenway, but then oppose the quickest way to fund it, Eggers said. She said the Facilities Authority was the “perfect solution” to ensuring the Greenway is built quickly. “If we do this piece by piece without a Facilities Authority, [the Greenway] will be rotting at one end before the other end gets started. It’s the momentum we cannot hinder right now,” she said. The hotel/motel tax increase approved last year is estimated to bring an extra $650,000 into the city’s coffers to be used to kickstart the Peachtree Creek Greenway, a 12.5-mile linear park and trail system designed to connect to Chamblee and Doraville as well as to Buckhead’s PATH400 trails and eventually to the Atlanta BeltLine. City officials said last year they wanted to issue $9 million in revenue bonds against that initial $650,000 to cover costs for the “model mile” of the Greenway, between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road. BK

MARCH 30 - APRIL 12, 2018

Community | 15


Judge rules against city in eminent domain case Continued from page 1 the property owners’ motion to “set aside, dismiss, vacate and annul” the condemnation. The city wants to acquire the land on Briarwood Road for a planned trailhead for the Greenway. Seeliger’s ruling noted the city violated the Landowner’s Bill of Rights and Property Action Act approved by the General Assembly in 2006. The city is ordered to pay attorney’s fees to the property owners as part of the ruling. The amount of the attorney’s fees is not known at this time. The city can, however, try again to use eminent domain to obtain the land. The city declined comment due to pending litigation but has said in the past the property is not suitable for development. The attorney for the property owners also declined comment. State Rep. Wendell Willard, (R-Sandy Springs), former city attorney for Sandy Springs who has worked on several eminent domain cases, said the ruling essentially says the city went about the process illegally and must start over. “He [Seeliger] is pointing out on the city’s part [the failure] to follow procedures,” Willard said. “Therefore, he stopped it. Now the city has to start over again.” Willard added he had only seen one other ruling like that in the Brookhaven case, that by the state Supreme Court in 2017 in what is known as the City of Marietta v. Summerour case. In that case, the owner of a small grocery story successfully defeated the city’s attempt to take his property to be used for a city park. During the time the city of Brookhaven moved forward to condemn the land for its own park, the state Supreme Court was considering the Summerour eminent domain case. In his ruling, Seeliger said the city violated several sections of the state’s Landowner’s Bill of Rights and Property Action by: failing to not make every reasonable effort to acquire expeditiously real property by negotiation; not giving the property owner the opportunity to accompany the city’s appraiser during an inspection of the property; and not providing a written summary for the amount it wanted to pay for the property. Seeliger also quoted the section of the law the city violated that states, “In no event shall the condemnor act in bad faith in order to compel an agreement on the price to be paid for the property.” The property is owned by Lifestyle Family Group LLC and Mark Morgan. They say the property is now ripe for a townhome development and is worth perhaps more than $2 million, much more than the $340,000 the city was offering. They are represented by Christian F. Torgrimson, managing partner of Pursley Friese Torgrimson. BK

Torgrimson in January filed a motion to dismiss the condemnation, saying the city was “acting in bad faith and showing egregious conduct.” In the January motion, Torgrimson outlined the city’s alleged actions that Seeliger agreed with in his ruling. She also noted in the motion that on Sept. 19, 2016, City Attorney Chris Balch offered the property owners $120,750, stating the price “represents 5 percent premium over the appraised value obtained by the city,” according to the motion. No appraisal was included with the price offer, according to the motion. On Sept. 21, 2016, Morgan made a counteroffer to sell an easement of the property for $120,750 or sell the entire property for $495,000, “despite the fact that at the time he did not believe it represented fair market value,” according to the motion. The motion says that Balch responded not with further negotiations, but instead “threatened Mr. Morgan with legal action and repercussions if he did not negotiate.” Morgan was “shocked and understood Mr. Balch’s statements to be a direct threat of condemnation in order to force him to sell,” according to the motion. On Sept. 29, 2016, Balch emailed Morgan again and acknowledged his “unduly harsh” response and increased the city’s offer for the 19 acres to $190,000. No agreement could be reached, however, and the City Council voted unanimously June 29, 2017, to file in DeKalb Superior Court for an eminent domain taking. On Sept. 20, 2017, the city initiated the condemnation in DeKalb Superior Court and on Nov. 6, 2017, following the October state Supreme Court ruling in the Marietta vs Summerour case, the city met with the property owners and their attorney and a court-appointed special master, or mediator, to try to come to a price agreement for the Briarwood Road land. At that meeting, the property owners raised the motion to set aside “on the grounds of bad faith negotiations and violations of the requirements of the Landowner’s Bill of Rights and Property Protection Act,” according to Seeliger’s ruling. The special master recessed the meeting until Nov. 7, 2017, to give the city and property owners a chance to explore settlement negotiations, Seeliger stated in his ruling. Ultimately the parties were unable to resolve the case. On Dec. 13, 2017, the city amended its condemnation petition and filed a “Declaration of Taking” to seize the property. The city paid the $340,000 appraised value into the registry of the court, which was to then go to the property owners. On Jan. 11, 2018, Torgrimson filed the motion to “dismiss, vacate and annul the condemnation.” Seeliger granted that

motion. In 2009, some of the 19 acres of Briarwood Road property was considered as a site for a biomass energy production factory that would convert forestry materials like tree cuttings and mulch to steam energy. The City Council approved a $35 million master plan for the Greenway that includes approximately three miles in Brookhaven. The 19 acres the Ciy Council seeks to acquire on Briarwood Road is included in phase one of the Greenway project, about a 1.25mile section between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road, that is expected to break ground this year.


The 19 acres the City Council seeks to acquire through eminent domain has the address of 1793 Briarwood Road, located behind Northeast Plaza.

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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.


Golf without attitude. • 18 hole Executive Course • Covered Driving Range • League Play • Lessons • Footgolf

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.

460 Morgan Falls Rd. Sandy Springs, GA 30350 770-390-0424 steelcanyongolfclub.com


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

Our 1 Celebra 0th A ting nniv ersar y

CharterBank is Raising Interest in Food for our Community.

Community Assistance Center www.ourcac.org

Thank you to all of our patients and friends for embracing our practice. Our gift to you... Raffle prizes and amazing deals all month long!

April Product Special



The entire Babcock Dermatology Product Line

$100 OFF

April Filler Special

$75 OFF

Each syringe of Restylane, Restylane Lyft, Restylane Silk, Refyne & Defyne

Filler Friday and Spectacular Saturday

Each syringe of Restylane, Restylane Lyft, Restylane Silk, Refyne and Defyne on every Friday and Saturday in April

April Dysport Special • Only $200/site! 4890 Roswell Rd, Ste B-10 • Atl, GA 30342 • (404) 835-3052


Melissa Babcock, M.D.

Located at the corner of Roswell Road & Long Island Drive Same Day Appointments Available • Free Parking


We will have collection barrels for donated canned and nonperishable goods from March 12th to April 27th to help provide meals for children during the summer. 4600 Roswell Rd Ste E 150, Atlanta, Georgia 30342 678-244-2250 Georgia | Alabama | Florida |


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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Former mayor honored at Cherry Blossom Festival BY DYANA BAGBY



City officials called this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival “the best one yet” with an early estimated crowd of 25,000 people, up from 15,000 last year. Mayor John Ernst and the City Council praised the city staff at the March 27 council meeting for their work in pulling off the festival at Blackburn Park March 24-25. Former mayor Rebecca Chase Williams was honored during the meeting when the City Council announced naming a road within Blackburn Park as “Rebecca Williams Way.” Rebecca Williams Way replaces the former Wise Way road. The only address on Wise Way is the Blackburn Park tennis court center, according to city officials, so no residents are affected. The surprise announcement, and a revealing of the road sign, were made Saturday, March 24, on the main stage of the festival. Ernst thanked Williams for her service and Councilmember Linley Jones praised Williams’ leadership in helping organizers incorporate the city five years ago. Williams was on the first

About 25,000 people rocked the start of spring on March 24-25 at Brookhaven’s fourth annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

A - Country artist Craig Morgan

performs before a large crowd on March 24 at Blackburn Park.

B - Country singer Keith Anderson plays his hits on March 24.

C- Singer-songwriter Edwin McCain warms

up the crowd with his March 25 performance.

D- Deborah Mosher, or Sweet Pea the Clown

and Markey, entertains kids with huge bubbles.

City Council and in 2015 the council named her mayor to replace J. Max Williams, who resigned the seat in an unsuccessful bid for the state House District 80 post. The fourth annual festival included an expanded artist market and performances by country music stars Keith Anderson and Craig Morgan and by Edwin McCain and Five for Fighting. About 70 people ran in the March 25 5K in cold, rain temperatures, raising more than $3,000 for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, city officials said.


Six Historic Homes • Six Gardens Documentary Film • Archive Display Please support our sponsors:



April 20-22, 2018

Tickets available at druidhillstour.org



MARCH 30 - APRIL 12, 2018

Public Safety | 23


Police Blotter / Brookhaven From Brookhaven Police reports dated March 18 through March 25. The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website.

arrested and accused of criminal damage in the second degree.


— On March 18, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession.

2100 block of North Druid Hills Road —

On March 21, after midnight, a man was arrested and accused of following too closely.

March 22, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license.

2600 block of Buford Highway — On

1800 block of Corporate Boulevard —

2600 block of Buford Highway — On

March 18, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of violating probation.

On March 21, in the morning, a person was arrested and accused of providing false representations to city departments.

March 24, in the early morning, two people were arrested and accused of failing to appear.

Standard Drive — On March 21, in

3000 block of Buford Highway — On

the evening, a man was arrested and accused of acquiring a license plate for the purpose of concealing an ID.

March 24, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving unlicensed.

1900 block of Saxon Valley Circle —

1400 block of Northeast Expressway

On March 22, in the early morning, a woman was arrested and accused of marijuana possession.

— On March 24, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession.

3300 block of Buford Highway — On

100 block of Grambling Street — On

March 22, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license.

March 24, in the morning, a woman was arrested and accused of driving without a license.

1200 block of Dresden Drive — On

1400 block of Northeast Expressway

March 22, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of parking in a prohibited place.

— On March 24, at night, a man was arrested and accused of forgery in the fourth degree.

4000 block of Peachtree Road — On

1800 block of Briarwood Road — On

March 22, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession.

March 24, at night, a man was arrested and accused of driving unlicensed.

3300 block of Buford Highway — On

1800 block of Briarwood Road — On

March 22, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of driving unlicensed.

March 25, at midnight, a man was arrested and accused of driving unlicensed.

2900 block of Hermance Drive — On

March 18, in the early morning, a car was stolen. 700 block of Brookhaven Avenue —

On March 18, in the evening, items were reported missing from a car. 3200 block of Buford Highway — On

1200 block of Executive Park Drive

West Druid Hills Drive — On March

19, in the early morning, a man was

March 19, in the early morning, items were reported missing from a car. 3500 block of Buford Highway — On

March 19, in the early morning, a burglary was reported. 2800 block of Clairmont Road — On

March 19, in the morning, a car was illegally entered. 3800 block of Buford Highway — On

March 19, at night, a robbery was reported.

A S S AU LT 2700 block of Redding Road — On

March 18, after midnight, an aggravated assault involving a gun was reported. 2600 block of Buford Highway — On

arrested and accused of driving unlicensed. The passenger was arrested and accused of marijuana possession.

March 18, at night, a man was arrested and accused of aggravated assault.

2200 block of Lake Boulevard — On

1500 block of Trailview Way — On

March 19, in the early morning, a wanted man was arrested.

March 19, at night, a simple assault was reported.

2600 block of Buford Highway — On

2900 block of Clairmont Road — On

March 20, at midnight, a verbal dispute was documented. 2600 block of Buford Highway — On

March 22, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of simple battery and family violence. 4400 block of Memorial Drive — On

March 24, at night, a man was arrested and accused of simple battery and family violence.

ARRESTS 3200 block of Buford Highway — On

March 18, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. 3100 block of Buford Highway — On

March 18, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of failing to appear. 2000 block of East Roxboro Road — On

March 18, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of public intoxication. 1700 block of Briarwood Road — On BK

March 18, in the morning, a man was

March 19, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of criminal trespass and theft by taking. 3400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

Road — On March 19, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a driver’s license. 1800 block of Briarwood Road — On

March 20, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license. 1700 block of Northeast Expressway

— On March 20, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license. 2800 block of North Druid Hills Road

— On March 20, in the afternoon, a wanted person was located. 2600 block of Buford Highway — On

March 20, in the evening, a wanted person was arrested. 2600 block of Buford Highway — On

March 20, in the evening, a man and woman were arrested and accused of failing to appear.

3300 block of Buford Highway — On

March 20, at night, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license.

4600 block of

Peachtree Road — On March 22, at night, a

woman was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license. 2000 block of Curtis Drive — On



24 |

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OP E N A pri S l7