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APRIL 13 - 26, 2018 • VOL. 12 — NO. 8

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► Piedmont Healthcare and its flagship hospital expand PAGE 2 ►

After years of friendship, a Gold Girl Scout troop winds down Around Town PAGE 13

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION | P23-28

After 25 years, Phipps Plaza fire station gets a new home BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net A fire station tucked away under the Phipps Plaza mall parking deck was built 25 years ago to serve a booming Buckhead. Now Station 3 will get rebuilt itself and move a short distance to accommodate a major expansion of the mall.

From left, Sgt. Brac Shannon, Nick Curry, Brandon Sterling and Capt. Brain Garner pose with the fire engine at the Fire Station 3.

See AFTER on page 30

EVELYN ANDREWS

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

Opioid ODs are deadlier than mass shootings, but some high schools don’t stock the antidote BY MAX BLAU

I

n the spring of 2014, a student fell out of his chair in a 10th-grade classroom at Buckhead’s North Atlanta High School. A teacher quickly noticed he was unconscious and hardly breathing. After someone called 911, a paramedic arrived and, suspecting an overdose, administered an opioid antidote in hopes of saving the kid’s life. The antidote, known as naloxone, worked. In reviving the student, Atlanta Public Schools staffers suddenly found themselves on the front line of the opioid

crisis. Nurses realized they could either shake it off as an isolated incident — or prepare for future overdoses to come. Imagine a school without a plan for an active shooter in 2018. Yet there were four times as many fatal opioid overdoses than gun homicides in 2016. Those deaths have

Listen to our special podcast or watch the video of a deeper discussion about the opioid epidemic’s local impact. See page 11

left a haunting trail of news reports across the country that include students finding classmates sprawled out on school bathroom floors and paramedics responding to the overdoses of teachers. In recent years, the rash of in-school overdoses nationwide hasn’t spared Atlanta, as the NAHS incident showed. And graduates of local public and private high schools have died from overdoses to opioids that they first tried as students. Yet many schools — including ones in Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Brookhaven – have chosen not to stock the life-saving opioid antidote. See OPIOID on page 10

Buckhead attorney preps sexual abuse cases against local schools BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

A Buckhead attorney is prepared to sue private schools in Buckhead and the metro area for alleged sexual abuse by staffers many years ago, but needs legislation to pass that would extend the statute of limitations. Legislation that would have opened a window to file such lawsuits against died last month after being opposed by such organizations as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, which has its head church in Buckhead. See BUCKHEAD on page 20


2 | Community

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Piedmont Healthcare and its flagship hospital expand BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Both Piedmont Healthcare and its flagship hospital in Buckhead are continuing to expand. The expansion at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital at 1968 Peachtree Road has risen above the ground, and Piedmont Healthcare this month closed on a deal to bring in another hospital, bringing the total to 11. “One of the biggest investments we’re making is here in Buckhead,” said Kevin Brown, the president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare, at the March 29 Buckhead Business Association meeting. Piedmont is constructing a $450 million, 16-story building as part of a major renovation and expansion. Three of the floors are below ground. It also plans to add an additional helipad to the roof of the new tower. Construction began last August. Part of the new building has started rising, and the

first level above ground is nearly complete. The first phase of the project is expected to open in the fall of 2020, Brown said. Piedmont Healthcare originally started with Piedmont Hospital in 1905, opening near Grant Park, Brown said. The hospital moved to Buckhead in the mid1950s and has been in the same facility since then, causing the need for a facelift and expansion, Brown said. “It’s the legacy and the center of where it all started,” Brown said. The building will add 900,000 square feet of new space and 400 inpatient beds, Brown said. The new Marcus Heart and Vascular Center, funded by philanthropist Bernie Marcus and The Marcus Foundation, will be established in the building, according to the hospital’s website. The first phase is planned to include constructing the entire outside of the building and the labs, operating rooms and heart center on the bottom levels. The upper floors, which will hold the patient beds, will be built one each year, except for 2026, when two floors will be built and the building will be complete, according to a press

Inset, A rendering shows the plan for the new 16-story building at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital.

SPECIAL

Above, the new building at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital begins to rise above ground in a photo from April 6.

release. The entire project is budgeted for $603 million and includes renovation of the existing facilities, according to a release. The new building will be connected to and integrated with the existing main hospital building. It’s being built at the site of the former Sheffield Medical Building, which Piedmont purchased and demolished to make way for the construction.

Healthcare system doubles in size

Since Brown became CEO in 2013, the healthcare’s network has doubled, going from five to 11 hospitals. In that same time, Piedmont has increased its primary care offices from 46 to 63 and its urgent care centers from two to 21, Brown said. “Healthcare is under a lot of pressure which is causing a lot of consolidation,” Brown said. Piedmont Hospital closed on a deal to buy Clearview Regional Medical Center in Monroe a few days before Brown’s speech at the BBA. It is now known as Piedmont Walton Hospital, he said. The healthcare system has about 2,000 physicians and sees about two million patients per year, or 20 percent of the state’s population, he said. While Piedmont has made deals to buy six hospitals since Brown took over, it has denied three times as many, Brown said. “There’s a lot of places that are in a very bad position financially,” he said. The healthcare system is also expanding virtually. It has created a cell phone app called Piedmont On Call that allows users to be diagnosed through a video chat with a physician, but the patients have not embraced the technology, Brown said. “It’s the best asset we have that nobody knows about it,” he said. “It’s really hard to get consumers to use it.”

EVELYN ANDREWS

Kevin Brown, the president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare, speaks at the March 29 Buckhead Business Association meeting.

Insurance dispute

Brown discussed the health care system’s contract dispute with insurer Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia at the meeting. The dispute has caused patients insured by Anthem Blue Cross to be out-of-network with any Piedmont Healthcare physician, leading to higher out-of-pocket costs or forcing them to find a new doctor. “The unfortunate part of healthcare is it’s a business,” Brown said just days before the negotiations failed. “We’re here to take care of people, and when those things collide, it’s not fun for anybody. Patients get caught in the middle.” The contract with the insurer has since lapsed, and the two parties are working on a compromise under pressure from Gov. Nathan Deal since Anthem Blue Cross insures most state employees. The insurer’s president, Jeff Fusile, told Georgia Health News that he is hopeful a deal can be reached this month. Brown said the contention was over requests from Anthem Blue Cross that it has unilateral control on deciding if it will pay for services and that physicians not increase their rates for three years. “Despite our size, we’re a pimple compared to the size of Anthem and they’re used to pushing people around,” Brown said. “They carry a very big stick.”

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Community | 3

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Community Briefs

A mural by local artist Meg Mitchell is shown on the sound wall along PATH400 between Old Ivy and Wieuca roads.

SPECIAL

Atlanta just got a little more awesome.

L I VA BL E B UC KH EA D UN VEI L S N EW PATH400 M U R ALS

Livable Buckhead has unveiled new, temporary murals on PATH400 between Old Ivy and Wieuca roads. The murals were done in partnership with Kaiser Permanente medical group and were painted by local artists on the large concrete panels in the sound wall that separates PATH400 from Ga. 400. “Livable Buckhead works with Kaiser Permanente to provide commute solutions for its employees, but this is our first PATH400 partnership and we’re very excited about it,” said Denise Starling, executive director of Livable Buckhead, in a press release. The murals will be on display for approximately three months, according to the release. Five artists from the Georgia Chalk Artists Guild — Chelsey Austin, Catherine Bozone, Katie Bush, Meg Mitchell and Jessi Queen — have rendered messages such as “You Are Loved,” “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay,” “You Make Everything Beautiful” and “What We Think We Become.” “We’ve worked with several of these artists on previous PATH400 art installations, and we’re excited to see their latest creations take shape,” said Starling. “This ongoing series of temporary artwork is a great way to bring the arts to Buckhead and to support local artists.” For more information about PATH400 or to sign up to receive project updates, visit livablebuckhead.org.

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ATLA N TA PO L IC E H OLDI N G LGBT C I TIZENS ACAD EM Y

The Atlanta Police Department is launching its first LGBT Citizens Police Academy aimed at increasing trust and understanding with the LGBT community. The academy will be held over two days on April 17 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program will be held at the Atlanta Police Training Academy at 180 Southside Industrial Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30354. The program will consist of information on core Citizens Police Academy topics including homicide, human trafficking, use of force and more. All of the topics will be accompanied by conversations on the challenges faced by the LGBT community and how to better partner with police, the release said. All are welcome to apply to the LGBT Citizens Police Academy. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, reside in the metropolitan Atlanta area, never had any felony convictions and no misdemeanor convictions within the past year. A standard background check is required upon submitting the application, according to the release. To apply, email Atlanta Police Community Engagement Director Elizabeth Espy at enespy@atlantaga.gov or call 404-546-2541. The deadline to apply is April 10.

Call 404- 497-1020 for an appointment.

Glenridge Connector

Buckhead Heritage Society will host its third annual scavenger hunt fundraiser on May 6, the preservation advocacy group announced. “Buckhead’s Hidden Secrets: A History Scavenger Hunt,” will be held from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Teams will compete against each other to solve clues and seek out historic locations in either a chauffeured limousine or a private car, a press release said. Questions could include the location of Buckhead’s first skyscraper or hardware store, according to the release. Guests will convene at the Atlanta International School and then compete to solve clues and take photos related to the community’s past. Each successfully resolved riddle will be worth points. At the end of the scavenger hunt, participants will return to the Atlanta International School for a barbecue where prizes will be awarded to the winners, the release said. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Buckhead Heritage Society and its mission to identify, preserve and promote the community’s historic resources. Individual tickets are $125 for the limousine ride or $75 to use a personal vehicle, according to the release. Tickets can be purchased online at buckheadheritage.com or by mailing a check to Buckhead Heritage Society, 3180 Mathieson Drive, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30305, the release said. For additional information on the fundraiser, see the Buckhead Heritage Society website or email Executive Director Richard Waterhouse at atrwaterhouse@buckheadheritage.com.

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4 | Community

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Chastain Park Amphitheatre gets new name amid renovation

A rendering shows what the concessions building is planned to look like when it is completed.

SPECIAL

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The Chastain Park Amphitheatre will now be known as the State Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park in a naming rights deal for the city-owned venue. The deal comes amid a $5.1 million renovation of the amphitheater, which was built in 1944. The renovation will add new restroom facilities, new concessions, a new courtyard and a heightened stage for better views. State Bank & Trust Company signed a multiyear agreement with Live Nation, which operates the facility, to name the event venue. The Georgia-based bank company has several branches throughout the metro area, including one on West Paces Ferry Road. “Chastain is a treasured amphitheater in Atlanta and we wanted to find the right partner to integrate their brand into the variety of assets we have to offer,” said Live Nation official Andy Peikon in a press release. “State Bank is a natural fit given their strong business roots in the area and we look forward to building a long-term partnership to elevate their voice into the power of live music.” The amount the bank paid for the naming rights was not released. The iconic amphitheater holds nearly 7,000 people and hosts more than 30 concerts a season, according to the release. It is located in Chastain Park at 4469 Stella Drive and opened in 1944 as the North Fulton Park Amphitheater, according to photograph information in the Georgia State University archives. “Adding our name to this great music destination hits a high note for the State Bank,” said State Bank CEO Tom Wiley in the release. “We’re happy to partner with Chastain Park and Live Nation to be part of the next chapter of Georgia’s rich musical history.” A partnership between the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Live Nation Atlanta comprises Chastain Venture, which has operated the amphitheater since 1990 under agreements with the city of Atlanta.

In Chastain Venture’s agreement with the city, it is allowed to sell naming rights to the venue, said Nikki Forman, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ press secretary, in an email. The city of Atlanta was able to review the sponsor selected and provide feedback, but Chastain Venture is allowed to make the ultimate decision, Forman said. Chastain Venture pays the city $300,000 per year in rent, according to the city ordinance. The contract will expire at the end of 2026, and Chastain Venture will have the option to renew it for another 10 years, according to the ordinance. The Atlanta City Council voted in early 2017 to allow Chastain Venture to make an estimated $5.1 million in upgrades, which are expected to be completed in May before the start of the summer concert series. The original restrooms dating to 1944 have been demolished. The concession stands built in the 1960s have been replaced with a new, two-story building which will house concessions on the lower level and administration offices on the upper level, said Ruthie Marshall of Live Nation. “We will be able to provide more food options with upgraded cooking facilities that we never had before,” Marshall said. Accessible seating is being added closer to stage. The only accessible seating is currently in the rear section, she said. The stage will be raised to provide a better view for guests seating in the lawn and rear areas, she said. Several well-known artists have already announced tour stops at the venue this summer including Barenaked Ladies, 3 Doors Down, Collective Soul, Indigo Girls, Harry Connick Jr. and Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters. For more information, visit chastainseries.com.

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The former concessions booth from the 1960s is being rebuilt as a two-story building.

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Community | 5

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6 | Food & Drink

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From an Iowa farm to a Dunwoody kitchen, an award-winning preserves business rises BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Regina Nekola Hild’s upbringing on an Iowa farm instilled in her a love and appreciation of food. After a career in real estate, Hild went back to her roots in 2016. She founded Regina’s Farm Kitchen, a jam and preserves business, in her Dunwoody home when a farmer friend didn’t know what to do with a batch of accidentally-grown jalapeño peppers. Her strawberry blueberry jalapeño jam went on to win in the “Preserves” category at this year’s Good Food Awards in San Francisco in January. Hild says she is planning to expand her product line and hopes to sell her preserves in retail stores and restaurants.

Q: What was it it like growing up on a farm in Iowa?

A:

I was born and raised on a 200-acre, centuries-old farm in the heart of Iowa. My upbringing was in a typical, rural Iowa fam-

ily that grew their own vegetables, fruit orchards and gardens. My mom cared for us kids while my dad tended to the fields. We grew soybeans, corn and had a large herd of beef cattle and pigs. My dad farmed the acreage with his dad when he was young. It was not easy life growing up in the middle of the country in a four-bedroom, one-bath house. As one of the five kids, you were expected to help and roll up your sleeves. There always seemed to be more than enough chores to go around. I am forever grateful for my parents, who sacrificed to teach all about growing up in simple times. We always had more than enough food and love to go around. I feel very lucky that my work ethic is strong because my dad and mom instilled the same in us. At an early age I was independent, driven and always a natural in the kitchen. My parents were all about the gardens, strawberry patches, the apple grove and the animals. My mom loved growing strawberries. Hence, summers were spent picking fresh strawberries, selling the berries on the fam-

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ily’s roadside pop-up shop, and making jam. Being in the kitchen cooking, baking and creating has always been an influence along with my rural, Iowa upbringing. It seemed natural that I would always be involved with having my own product line. I felt comfortable Chef Regina Nekola Hild in the kitchen and the oversees the fruit selected rules I could break could to use in her preserves, be my own. Perhaps that made from locally grown is why the corporate job food from Georgia farmers. did not please me. ERIC VALENTIN

Q: Do you remember the first meal your mother taught you to cook?

A: My mom taught me how to fry

chicken in a cast-iron skillet. Each spring, my mom would load us kids in the car and go to the Toledo Feed Store where we picked up baby chicks. These cute, little fuzzy creatures once fattened up would become our lunch and sometimes supper. If only I had Ina Garten’s creativity when I began. I would have made chicken 14 ways in a week, not just Friday! It was simple for Mom. All you needed was farm fresh lard, a cast-iron skillet, flour, salt and pepper, apron and tongs. From a young age, Mom started with her same recipe. She started with her mise en place which means “put in place.” Mise en place is deceptively simple but being organized and prepared in the kitchen saves time and frustration. I learned by doing it the old-fashioned way.

Q:

and more of the good stuff. We do not produce jelly. Jelly by definition does not have any pieces of fruit in it. Jelly is gelled fruit juice with added sugar, lemon juice and pectin. Marmalades are a combination of one or up to three different kinds of citrus. They are made with chopped, pureed or sliced citrus cooked with sugar, lemon juice and pectin. Our marmalades have lots of citrus peel in the jar and you will be delighted when you open a jar of Regina’s Farm Kitchen Orange Meyer Lemon Marmalade.

Q: Why did you choose to focus on making preserves?

A: I am really a baker by heart. My younger sister is a master pastry chef. I had always

What are the differences between jams, preserves, jelly and marmalades?

A:

Everyone has their description of what make a jam and a jelly the other. The [Food and Drug Administration] really puts strict guidelines on sugar because it is the preserve in making a jam have a “governing” shelf life. That’s why our preserves are differSPECIAL Regina’s Farm Kitchen’s strawberry blueberry ent. Because we only put the jalapeño jam won in the “Preserves” category at good stuff in -- a bushel of this year’s Good Food Awards in San Francisco. fruit, and an apron full of love. Preserves are whole piecwanted to own my own business. es of fruit suspended in the mixture. Fruits The crafting and bottling of preserves that lend themselves best to be preserved happened by accident in my Dunwoody are those with little natural pectin and are kitchen. A friend who owns a farm in North best preserved whole due to time consumCarolina accidently planted jalapeño peping processing. When I first began makpers. Being around Depression-era parents, ing jam, I tasted everything commercially I learned from my mom she would never made. I liked our product the best because throw anything out. we people-tested our formulas and flavors. I The chef and the farmer in me couldn’t believe low sugar and more fruit is the right find a reason to throw these perfect, green, combination. I think the products you find spicy morsels out, so I decided to make a saon the store shelf are ridiculously sweet. vory-sweet preserve that could be served Our product is made free of the bad stuff with cheese, or turn into a lovely glaze for


APRIL 13 - 26, 2018

hot wings, or even spread over a Chick-filA chicken biscuit. My motto is, “Made from scratch by a farm-raised chef.” You would never throw away a perfectly, beautiful, petite, green jalapeño out when something exciting could become of it!

Q: Your business came after years of work-

ing in entirely different careers —marketing and real estate. What prompted you to decide to try your hand at the food industry?

A: In 2008, when real estate tanked, I came

to the fork in the road and decided it was time to do what I have always loved, food. I enrolled in culinary school in 2010. Sadly, I lost my father in March 2010, and my mom in March of the following year. These life events called me to return to my roots and the kitchen. Our acreage is still in Iowa and being cared for by a family farmer.

Q: How do you decide flavors when creating preserves?

A:

Our customers come to us with their wish list and we are always learning what is happening around the restaurant and bar scene. I found if you use simple ingredients and taste your end product, it doesn’t take a too long to formulate the next flavor. Savory and sweet have always been a part of my palate. And people crave heat — the hotter the better. My customers ask for a “kick” and that’s what we will continue to do! We also make peach habanero preserves, and we are working on crafting other flavors to use in savory ways. Burger toppings, grilled cheese, anything on the grill like seafood, pork, chicken and beef work with our preserves. Winning the 2018 Good Food Award for the Strawberry Blueberry Jalapeno Jam was something of an “aha” moment.

Q:

Food & Drink | 7

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What do you love about being in the kitchen?

A:

It’s my place to plan, create, cook and serve whatever is in season. It’s a place of creativity for me and one of my favorite places to sow the seeds of creativity. More than anything, it makes me giddy with joy when the passion comes out in food. You know you’re in the right field when it doesn’t feel like a job. We have all had those, and I have stories. Perhaps the book will tell?

Q: Where do you sell your goods? A: Selling to restaurants are in the plans

as part of our expansion along with retail channels. You can find us at Kennesaw State University near the Commons area on campus every Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. until May 2. We are also at the Alpharetta Farmers Market from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. And we will be at the [new] Dunwoody Farmers Market at Brook Run Park beginning May 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Q: Any surprising twists to opening your own business?

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Caramelized bacon Brussel sprouts with RFK’s Orange Meyer Lemon Marmalade Serves 6-8 1 jar of Regina’s Farm Kitchen Orange Meyer Lemon Marmalade Olive Oil, use local Georgia-grown and as needed 20 ounces Brussel sprouts, blanched 8 ounces local bacon, diced Salt and pepper, to taste Cast-iron skillet Wash and trim the ends of your Brussel sprouts. In a pot of boiling water with a dash of salt drop your Brussel sprouts for 3-4 minutes. Drain the Brussel sprouts. Next, submerge in a bowl of icy cold water to shock and stop the cooking. Let them cool for 3 minutes and drain again. Place them on a sheet pan lined with a kitchen towel and let dry. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dice the bacon. Take a piece of bacon and drop into the cast iron skillet. If it sizzles, throw the remaining bacon into the skillet and place into the oven. Let the bacon render until crispy, stirring occasionally. Once crisp to your liking remove from the oven and place on top of a low flame. Make sure the water is absorbed from Brussel sprouts. Remember water and hot bacon grease don’t mix. Raise the heat to medium-high and slowly place all the Brussel sprouts into the cast iron skillet with the bacon. Let the Brussel sprouts caramelize and char slightly in the pan on all sides, adjusting heat as necessary. This will take 6-10 minutes. Lastly, add several spoonfuls of Regina’s Farm Kitchen Orange Meyer Lemon Marmalade, swirl it around the crispy bacon lardons and Brussel sprouts, and then add salt and pepper to taste.

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8 | Art & Entertainment

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GET ACTIVE LEMONADE DAYS FESTIVAL

Wednesday, April 18 to Sunday, April 22, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

BROOKHAVEN

BUCKHEAD

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This 19th annual event hosted by Dunwoody Preservation Trust at Brook Run Park will feature more than 30 full-scale carnival rides, food and beverage vendors, a 5K Run, three days of center stage performances and the Dunwoody Idol contest. No pets allowed. 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodylemonadedays.org.

SANDY SPRINGS

EARTH DAY EVENTS ELECTRONICS RECYCLING DRIVE

Friday, April 20 to Friday, April 27, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Since 2012, Marist School has diverted more than 58,338 pounds of old electronics from landfills with its e-waste drives. The 2018 event is free and open to the public, with the exception of a $10 fee (cash or check) to recycle televisions. Hard drives from computers will be safely shredded off-site. 3790 Ashford-Dunwoody Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info on accepted electronics: ewasteeplanet.com.

BLUE HERON NATURE PRESERVE OPEN HOUSE Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

As part of Atlanta Bird Fest (ongoing through May 20), the Atlanta Audubon Society will host an open house, art show, guided bird walk, native plant sale and other activities at the organization’s home base, the Blue Heron Nature Preserve. Free, registration requested. 4055 Roswell Road, Buckhead. Info: atlantaaudubon.org/abf-events.

SPRING SOCIAL AT MURPHEY CANDLER PARK Friday, April 20, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Murphey Candler Park Conservancy will host this third annual event on the east side of the lake in the new open field space at the corner of Candler Lake East and West Nancy Creek Drive. Live music, food trucks, cash bar. 1551 West Nancy Creek Drive N.E., Brookhaven. Info: murpheycandlerpark.org.

EPIC EARTH DAY

Friday, April 20, 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Reconnect with nature at the Dunwoody Nature Center in a night full of activities including a poetry scavenger hunt, silent auction, and the ongoing Friday Night Hike and Hike Campfire. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info and registration: dunwoodynature.org/activities/earth-day-weekend-events.

DUNWOODY STREAM CLEAN-UP Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The city of Dunwoody is hosting a stream clean-up along a portion of the Nancy Creek tributary. Gloves and trash bags will be provided. Event kicks off at Pernoshal Park, 4575 North Shallowford Road, Dunwoody. Info and volunteer registration: Cody Dallas at cody.dallas@dunwoodyga.gov.

PAINT RECYCLING

Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Recycle your old paint at the Dunwoody Nature Center. For a fee of $1 per gallon (cash only), residents can drop off unwanted paint at the Nature Center to help promote healthier air and water quality. More than 15,000 gallons of paint have been recycled over the years of this event. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: 770-394-3322 or dunwoodynature.org/earth-day-paint-recycling.

TAKE IT TO THE RIVER LANTERN PARADE Saturday, April 21, 7:30 p.m.

Sandy Springs lights up the night and the Chattahoochee River once again at its third annual lantern parade. Attendees of the family friendly event are asked to gather at the Steel Canyon Golf Club starting at 7:30 p.m. The parade steps off at 8:30 p.m. and heads down an easy path along Morgan Falls Road to Morgan Falls Overlook Park. As the parade arrives at the park around 9:15 p.m., paddlers from High Country Outfitters will take to the river to animate the floating lanterns. Event also features live performances. Parking will be available at the former WorldPay building, 600 Morgan Falls Road, Suite 260; North Springs United Methodist Church, 7770 Roswell Road; and Sandy Springs City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road. Info: visitsandysprings.org/lanternparade.

CHASTAIN CHASE 5K

Sunday, April 22, 8 a.m. race start.

The Chastain Chase is the annual springtime fundraiser for Cancer Support Community Atlanta. The Chastain Park event includes a 5K race, 1-mile walk/ run and a Tot Trot. 215 West Wieuca Road N.W., Buckhead. Registration: active.com/atlanta-ga/running/ distance-running-races/chastain-chase-5k-2018.

Featuring the “Best” food and drinks from our restaurants!

Best of EATS • DRINKS • LIVE MUSIC •

Saturday, April 28th 3-7pm To purchase tickets, visit www.eventbrite.com and search Best Of Town Brookhaven. Conveniently located on Peachtree Road adjacent to Oglethorpe University.

BENEFITING


APRIL 13 - 26, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 9

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

PERFORMANCES “A HIGH LONESOME BLUEGRASS MASS”

TOUR OF HOMES AND MARKETPLACE

Thursday, April 19, 8 p.m.

The Oglethorpe University Singers, joined by the Chuck Nation Bluegrass Band, present a set of folkhymn arrangements, “Come Away to the Skies: A High Lonesome Bluegrass Mass.” $10; free for students. Conant Performing Arts Center, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Brookhaven. Tickets: oglethorpeuniversity.thundertix.com.

BAM PERCUSSION

Saturday, April 28, 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 29, 4:30 p.m.

This percussion group is known for its pulsating energy, powerful rhythms and funny sketches. $13-$36. Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, Zaban Park campus, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Tickets: 678-8124002 or atlantajcc.org/boxoffice.

Tour five unique homes within the Big Canoe Community including the 2018 Designer Showcase Home May 18 & 19, 2018 9am – 5 pm, Friday, 9 am – 4 pm, Saturday Tickets and information: www.bigcanoelegacy.org

“THE GLORY OF MENDELSSOHN” Sunday, April 29, 4 p.m.

Hosted by the Big Canoe Chapel Women’s Guild to benefit local charities.

The Choral Guild of Atlanta presents a program including excerpts from the oratorio “Elijah” and other sacred anthems. $15; $12 seniors; $5 students. Northside Drive Baptist Church, 3100 Northside Drive, Buckhead. Info: 404-223-6362 or info@cgatl.org.

GO SHOPPING POTTERY AND ART SALE

Friday, April 27, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, April 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, April 29, noon to 5 p.m.

Shop a large selection of handcrafted ceramics, glass, jewelry and more created by Spruill Arts students and instructors. Spruill Arts Education Center, 5339 ChambleeDunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: spruillarts.org.

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PARTIES WITH A PURPOSE CARS & ’Q FOR THE CAUSE

fabrics & home

Saturday, April 21, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Join Choate Construction for this ninth annual event featuring 120-plus cars, BBQ from Jim ’n Nicks, craft brews, a silent auction and live music, all to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. $30 in advance for event entry and dinner; $50 for entry, dinner and access to the bar. Free for children under 8. 8200 Roberts Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: carsnq.com.

20% off in-stock ready mades with coupon through 4/30/18. 886 Huff Road Atlanta, GA 30318

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MONARCHS & MARGARITAS & MARTINIS Saturday, April 28, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This third annual fundraiser for the Dunwoody Nature Center is an upscale, casual party in a tented party area featuring live jazz, catering from Brooklyn Cafe, auctions and a raffle. $75. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Tickets: monarchsndmargaritas.org.

All local, all wonderful.

HELP SOMEONE

Voted AJC’s #1 “Best of Atlanta” art gallery!

VOLUNTEER FOR A BETTER SANDY SPRINGS DAY Saturday, April 21, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Leadership Sandy Springs volunteers and the Sandy Springs community will make improvements to 20 nonprofit and civic organizations and public schools around Sandy Springs. Open to all ages. Kickoff will be at North Springs Charter High School, 7447 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Info: 404-256-9091 or leadershipsandysprings.org.

5346A Peachtree Road Chamblee, GA 30341 (404)-308-0794 | Find us on info@ideagallerychamblee.com Wed-Sat 12-6, or by appointment

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calendar@ReporterNewspapers.net

MARIYAH SULTAN


10 | Community

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Coping with a Crisis: Opioid addiction in the suburbs

EXCLUSIVE SERIES

Opioid ODs are deadlier than mass shootings, but some high schools don’t stock the antidote

PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

Left, Sarah Callaghan, assistant professor of kinesiology and health at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College Dunwoody Campus, displays an Evzio brand naloxone injection device during a recent training for her students. Above, The Evzio device with its cover removed and ready for use. RIght, Callaghan presses the Evzio device to her thigh, where an injection would be given in real use.

Continued from page 1

A life-saving antidote Naloxone, often known by the popular brand name Narcan, can revive unresponsive students before paramedics

Final Installment in 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 looked 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.

respond to a 911 call. Opioids are highly effective painkillers that bind to receptors in the brain, making users feel high. Take too much, and the drugs can force someone to become unconscious, slowing their breathing down to the point of brain damage or death. Administered as an injection or spritzed up the nose, naloxone binds to those receptors and blocks the drug from affecting the user. The antidote, as a result, has saved tens of thousands of lives over the past two decades nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While naloxone has been available since the early 1970s, the antidote was largely confined to clinical settings like hospitals and ambulances. Over the past four years, Georgia passed several laws to allow for laypeople to use naloxone outside of clinical settings. In Brookhaven and Dunwoody, police officers carry naloxone to revive overdose victims on 911 calls. And just last week, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued a rare health

advisory — the first from his office in 13 years — that called for every American at risk of an opioid overdose, along with their family and friends, to carry the antidote. Now a growing number of schools, many of which have strict rules for medications kept inside their walls, are following the recommendation of the National Association of School Nurses to carry naloxone “to immediately restore breathing to a victim experiencing an opioid overdose.” A pharmaceutical company, Adapt Pharma, has offered a free carton of Narcan nasal spray to high schools and colleges — including in Georgia. The need has grown for naloxone to be on hand for teens and young adults. Two years ago, the CDC found that 5,376 people

ages 15 to 24 fatally overdosed on drugs nationwide. In 1999, only 26 Georgians of that same age group died from drugs. In 2016, those fatal overdoses rose to 106. “It’s important to have naloxone on hand because it can save a life — even if it’s the first life in a school that’s in danger of a fatal overdose,” says Laurie Fugitt, cofounder of Georgia Overdose Prevention, a volunteer group that distributes the antidote and teaches people how to use it. “It’s the same reason you have AEDs [defibrillators] on the gym wall or teach people CPR. It enables life.” Despite the growing embrace of naloxone, Georgia Overdose Prevention cofounder Robin Elliott — whose son Zack fatally overdosed after graduating from Buckhead’s Pace Academy — says the


APRIL 13 - 26, 2018

Community | 11

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group has faced hurdles in getting its trainings into schools statewide. In some cases, private schools are concerned about their image. Other times, schools haven’t promoted the event, leaving only 10 people to show up to a large auditorium. “The resistance is the same as teaching sex ed in schools — [the idea] that if we teach about condoms, they’re going to want to have sex,” Elliott said. “[That] if we teach them about naloxone, they’re going to want to use drugs.”

THE O PIO ID EPID EM IC PO D CAST AND VID EO To conclude and reflect on the Reporter Newspapers’ special series of stories about the opioid epidemic’s local impacts, we have launched a new podcast called Reporter Extra. This deeper discussion, moderated by Reporter Newspapers Managing Editor John Ruch, features Max Blau, who wrote the series, and Dunwoody Police Sgt. Robert Parsons, who oversees his force’s use of the opioid antidote naloxone. To listen in, see spreaker.com/show/reporter-extra, or watch the video at facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers.

The response from local schools

Only seven of the 20 high schools in communities covered by Reporter Newspapers said they carried naloxone. Seven schools said they didn’t. Six others declined to provide information or didn’t respond to requests for comment. DeKalb and Fulton’s public high schools in the area — including Chamblee, Dunwoody, Cross Keys, North Springs and Riverwood International — don’t have the antidote on hand. “We understand the opioid crisis has reached a critical level of concern in communities across the country,” DeKalb County School District spokesperson Eileen Houston-Stewart said in a statement. “In DCSD, we have had no reported opioid overdoses in any of our schools. It is not our practice for our nurses to keep the drug naloxone on any of our school campuses.” Similarly, Fulton County Schools spokesperson Susan Hale said that administrators “presently don’t have any data suggesting that opioid use has been an issue” in its classrooms. The school district has trained some of its staffers how to identify students potentially at risk of drug abuse, she said. In addition, students have received some lessons on the risks of misusing and abusing prescription drugs. Five private high schools in the area — which either purchased naloxone or received doses through grant funding — said they saw the antidote as a way to protect students. Kevin Glass, headmaster at the Atlanta International School, said he wanted “to be prepared and hope we never have to use it.” Allison Toller, chief of external affairs at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, said that school’s nurses haven’t stocked up on the drug yet. “We are keenly aware there is a growing number of schools across the country and in regions of Georgia that do,” Toller said, adding that “…as we routinely monitor the well-roundedness of our emergency preparedness plan, we would not rule out the idea of carrying it in the future.” Some of the area’s most prestigious schools — including The Westminster Schools and St. Pius X Catholic High School — declined to answer questions. At Brandon Hall — a Sandy Springs college preparatory boarding school with

Right, Callaghan demonstrates the nasal spray version of Narcan brand naloxone on a medical training dummy.

an annual tuition that starts at $27,000 — one official requested more information about the Reporter’s naloxone story, but no one ever answered whether the school carries the antidote. “As you can imagine, image is everything,” one Brandon Hall administrator wrote in an email, “and not knowing the full context for which you’ll publish our answers and our brand name is causing a bit of hesitation.” In 2016, two years after the overdose at North Atlanta High School, APS officials decided to get naloxone for each of its high schools. School nurses took part in the “Not On My Watch” first-aid opioid training course offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The training not only shows nurses how to administer the antidote, but also other best practices in administering firstaid training to students who overdose on opioids. Every nurse’s office at an APS high school now has two doses of naloxone nasal spray. According to Valencia Hildreth, manager of comprehensive health services, APS initially received the antidote for free, but now intends to pay for it in its budget. (APS has not responded to an open records request for the exact amount of money that would cost.) In the coming years, APS intends to have other staff members, not just nurses, trained to use naloxone. That’s something they already do in case a student with diabetes or severe allergies needs life-saving medicine. “It’s being proactive,” Hildreth says. “We consider interventions to make our students and schools safe. We wanted to be prepared in case we need to use it.”

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

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Our team of licensed and certified professionals are here to help you and your loved one take the next step to recovery.

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12 | Commentary

Reporter Newspapers 

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

C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff 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 Max Blau, Phil Mosier, Isadora Pennington

Free Home Delivery 60,000 copies of Reporter Newspapers are delivered by carriers to homes in ZIP codes 30305, 30319, 30326, 30327, 30328, 30338, 30342 and 30350 and to more than 500 business/retail locations. For locations, check “Where To Find Us” at www.ReporterNewspapers.net For delivery requests, please email delivery@reporternewspapers.net.

© 2018 with all rights reserved Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC.

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Community Survey / The opioid epidemic’s personal costs The Reporter Newspapers’ exclusive four-part series “Coping with a Crisis: Opioid Addiction in the Suburbs,” which concludes in this issue, has focused on local people dealing with a deadly drug epidemic. For many of our readers, it’s a crisis they already know all too well. Nearly a third of the 200 residents of Reporter Newspapers communities who responded to a 1Q.com survey, which is conducted via cellphone and is not scientific, said that they or someone close to them have been addicted to opioids. And the effect has been devastating on lives and relationships. “My cousin is a heroin addict,” a 35-year-old Atlanta woman wrote. “Seeing this bright, beautiful girl turn into a skeletal, deranged mess is what nightmares are made of. I worry for her daily and resent her parents and friends for enabling, although I know in my mind that condition is a disease that is difficult to control.” The “Coping with a Crisis” series looked at several responses to the opioid epidemic: combatting the silence that comes with the stigma of addiction; opening new kinds of treatment facilities; throwing the book at drugdealers; stocking a life-saving antidote in school nurses’ offices. When asked about those and other ideas — such as suing prescription opioid makers — respondents had no consensus. The largest group, including nearly a third of the respondents, thought it would help to have more open, public discussion about opioid addiction. The second most popular answer, chosen by a group nearly as large, called for better access to and regulation of drug-treatment centers. In detailed replies, respondents told stories of families and hearts broken by abuse of the drugs often initially intended to ease pain. “I had a close friend who became addicted to opioids after a bad car accident and suffering major injuries,” a 49-year-old Atlanta woman said. “It broke my heart to see him spiral downhill because [of] his addiction.” Others said they had watched families and relationships collapse because of opioid abuse. “My brother’s addiction ruined his relationship with his child, his siblings, his parents, and ultimately ended in his

8%

Which type of response to the opioid addiction epidemic do you think is most effective for your community?

4.5%

14%

31.5%

More open, public discussion to reduce the stigma of seeking help or support Better access to and regulation of drug treatment centers

28%

Tougher legal penalties for drug-dealing

14%

Lawsuits against prescription drug-makers to cover local costs Other Schools stocking opioid overdose antidotes

death this past October,” a 36-old Atlanta man said. “My previous boyfriend was addicted to cocaine and heroin, which lead to the end of our relationship, since his obsession was a major problem,” a 22-year-old DeKalb County woman said. “He couldn’t function without it, and the most disappointing part was that he wasn’t willing to get help and clean himself up.” A 58-year-old Sandy Springs woman said opioid abuse by someone close to her family “has been destructive to our family bond, created hardship in the person and our family and friends and left the loved ones with thoughts of fright-

ening outcomes when medical surgeries or procedures require use of the addictive drug to help alleviate pain.” And a 37-year-old Brookhaven man called his relationship with someone addicted to opioids “very scary and mentally draining. [I felt] the need to save them and constantly [was] in a state of agitation.” “Addiction affects all those in [the addict’s] circle,” wrote a 51-year-old Atlanta woman, who said she knew someone who had been addicted. “While clean and sober now, she almost died from a heroin overdose. She missed the first three years of her son’s life.”

Here’s what some other respondents had to say “I am a paramedic in Atlanta and the devastation I’ve seen is indescribable. Medical marijuana would be a safer choice.” – 28-year-old Brookhaven man “Yes, I’ve known people [who] have been addicted. Addiction is a disease that affects everyone around them. – 37-year-old Buckhead woman “It’s painful to watch.” – 43-year-old Buckhead man “[Addiction] makes it hard to function as a family. – 37-year-old Atlanta man

“I know of a few coworkers [who] are addicted to opioids. And to see them gradually deteriorate makes me sad for them because it affects the quality of work that they perform. Sad to say, they’re probably going to lose their jobs due to the drug addiction.” – 41-year-old Atlanta man “My cousin died of a heroin overdose.” – 32-year-old Atlanta man “A friend of mine was an addicted to opioids. His addiction affected our friendship negatively and now he is mostly out of my life.” – 23-year-old Atlanta man

1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizations across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.


APRIL 13 - 26, 2018

Commentary | 13

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After years of friendship, a Gold Girl Scout troop winds down

Around Town

Joe Earle is editor-at-large at Reporter Newspapers and has lived in metro Atlanta for over 30 years. He can be reached at joeearle@reporternewspapers.net

Sometimes things just work out right. There’s no real planTheir projects took months of work to complete. Why go ning or plotting involved. Things just fall together happily. to all this trouble? “It looks good on college applications,” Back in 2005, a group of girls and their moms got toone of the members joked. But after a quick laugh – and gether at Holy Spirit Preparatory School and organized Girl there was a lot of laughing going on one recent Sunday afterScout Troop 3980. They didn’t have a long-range plan, realnoon at troop mom Julie Smith’s home in Sandy Springs as ly. It simply seemed like something that would be fun and a the five scouts told scout stories — they admitted there was way to handle a bunch of energetic 5-year-olds. a bit more to it. “It’s the reason for Girl Scouts,” Jordan said. More than a dozen years later, that scout troop remains to“Why do it if you’re not going to do it fully?” gether. Five of its members, still friends but now scattered across “It’s really an extension of what we say at meetings, our various local high schools, recently won Gold Awards, meaning Girl Scout Law,” Sarah Tyner said. “With the Gold Award, they’ve reached the highest achievement in Girl Scouts. you’re old enough to lead on your own and not rely on your JOE EARLE Front row, from left, moms and Girl Scouts “A lot of people are like, ‘Why are you still in Girl Scouts?’” troop, to organize things yourself.” Julie Smith, Sarah Tyner, Jordan Daly, one of the members, 18-year-old Sarah Tyner, said recently. Still, being surrounded by a group of long-standing Natalie Smith and Michelle Sellers. Back row, “There’s just not a reason. There’s never been a lot of thought. friends made a difference. With five of them going for gold Girl Scouts Sarah Skinner and Emma Kate Sellers. It’s just something I do and I’ve always done. It just happened.” at once, they could help each other when help was needed. “It’s just really fun to see all our friends,” chimed in fellow troop member Sarah SkinThey also could push one another to stay with it. There was more than a hint of compener, who’s 18 and is known as “Sarah S” to avoid confusion with her fellow scout “Sarah T.” tition among them, they said. Now that they’re done, they feel “a sense of accomplish“We just kind of kept going,” added scout Emma Kate Sellers, who’s 17. ment that we’ve seen this all the way through,” Natalie said. Because they kept going, good things have happened in and around Troop 3980’s Over a dozen years of scouting, they’ve been to camps, sung silly songs, cooked “lots Sandy Springs home. Those five Gold Awards required five projects and those projects of” s’mores and sold “lots and lots” of Girl Scout cookies with friends they’ve known created useful things for the community. since grammar school. Natalie Smith organized a dance for intellectually disabled young adults. Jordan As they grew older and scattered to different schools, the troop helped hold them toDaly taught a class for young girls on body image and self-esteem. Emma Kate put together. Scouts became the place they saw one another and kept up contact. It was their gether an after-school program and curriculum for students of a Sandy Springs-based common ground. “The troop is why we’re still Girl Scouts,” Sarah T said. “I don’t think program for at-risk Latino preschoolers. I’d be a Girl Scout if I wasn’t in this troop.” Sarah S, an athlete, organized a program for high school athletes and their parents Now it’s run its course. In the fall, Natalie and Sarah T plan to head to Auburn University on concussion awareness after both she and her brother suffered sports-related injuries. and Sarah S intends to enroll at the U.S. Naval Academy. Emma Kate and Jordan still are deWhile babysitting, Sarah T saw how much time kids put in sitting in front of televisions ciding on college. The scouts hope the classes and events they created for their Gold Award or staring at cellphones, so she put together a program to convince parents to limit the service projects will continue without them, but for the most part, Troop 3980 will be done. amount of time their young children spend looking at screens and to provide alternatives. “It’s been a good run,” troop mom Smith said.

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14 | Community

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Local legislators applaud transit expansion, tax relief approvals BY EVELYN ANDREWS, DYANA BAGBY AND JOHN RUCH

BeltLine.

The General Assembly wrapped up its session late last month by passing several significant pieces of legislation, including bills to create tax relief, a regional transit authority and local control of firework limitations. It also struck down or didn’t take a vote on restricting city of Atlanta voting hours and creating a tax district to fund the

BeltLine tax district A bill that would have created a special improvement district to fund the Atlanta BeltLine did not pass. It was not voted on by the Senate before the session ended, but was passed by the House of Representatives. The bill would have created a district with a concept similar to commu-

nity improvement districts, where businesses voluntarily tax themselves to pay for improvements, but would additionally include commercial residential developments. The legislation was pushed for by developers, who said they wanted to speed up construction of the BeltLine, a planned 22-mile loop of multiuse trails, parks and public transit that would eventually run through south Buckhead and the Lindbergh area. Two major segments of the trail and other smaller pieces have been built.

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State Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs) secured passage of House Bill 419, which allows fireworks use to be controlled under city noise ordinances. The restriction has been desired by many local officials since the state controversially legalized the sale and use of fireworks in 2015 with few limits on their use, regardless of the noise and fire safety differences between rural, urban and suburban areas.

Atlanta voting hours A bill that would have limited city of Atlanta voting hours to those typical in the rest of metro Atlanta and the state failed. The city of Atlanta polls close at 8 p.m., while in the rest of the state they close at 7 p.m. Legislators sponsoring the bill, which were from other parts of the state, were concerned with uniformity and fairness, but Atlanta needs the extra hour, Jordan said. “In light of traffic and how long it takes to get anywhere in Atlanta, we’ve got to make it easier for people to get to the polls,” she said. “We shouldn’t restrict people from voting.”

Transit authority

1Q.com/reporter or text REPORTER to 86312

A bill was passed that would create a regional authority to oversee transit expansion in the metro Atlanta area, which includes 13 counties. It would be dubbed the Atlanta-region Transit Link Authority, or The ATL. The region’s transit systems, including MARTA, CobbLinc, Gwinnett County Transit, and GRTA’s Xpress service, would operate under the unified brand name by 2023, according to a press release from the Atlanta Regional Commission, which supported the legislation. Sen. Jen Jordan (D-Atlanta) said that she supports the change and that it would provide better transit options for residents. “We have to look at it from a region-

al perspective,” Jordan said. It would also enable counties to seek sales tax increases of up to 1 percent for up to 30 years to fund transit expansion. “I wholeheartedly support it,” said Rep. Beth Beskin (R-Atlanta). “For too long, Atlanta has had an unfair burden to pay for transit expansion.”

Property tax relief Two bills were passed to provide city of Atlanta homeowners property tax relief. Both proposals would need to be voted on by residents in the Nov. 6 election, and neither would take effect before the 2018 assessments go out. Beskin’s, which is HB 820, would provide a new homestead exemption that caps annual property tax increases at 2.6 percent for the city of Atlanta portion. Jordan’s, which is SB 485, would exempt residents from paying taxes to the school district on $50,000 of their property value. The current exemption is $15,000. Jordan has estimated the general bill to cost APS up to $10 million per year. They both count the bills as their major successes of this session. “This is the most important thing that is going to make a difference for the average homeowner in Atlanta,” Beskin said. “I spent my whole session on it.”

Medical marijuana A bill that added post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain to the approved list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana was passed by the General Assembly and awaits the governor’s approval. Sen. Jen Jordan said she was surprised and pleased to see the additional conditions approved. “I think that was something no one thought was happening,” Jordan said. “It’s going to affect a lot of Georgians.”

Sunday alcohol sales A bill to allow restaurants to begin serving alcohol on Sundays at 11 a.m. instead of waiting until 12:30 p.m. easily passed this year. Local municipalities are now able to put a referendum on the ballot to see if their voters want to do so. State Rep. Meagan Hanson (RBrookhaven) carried the bill in the House and said sales could generate $100 million a year in revenue with $11 million in taxes going to the state. The bill is awaiting the governor’s signature.

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APRIL 13 - 26, 2018

Community | 15

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A new retail building made of shipping containers planned outside Lenox Square mall is drawing concerns from members of a Buckhead planning board who want to ensure temporary developments are temporary. A developer has proposed installing a modular shopping center made up of nine shipping containers near the intersection of East Paces Ferry Road and Lenox Parkway on a parking lot owned by Lenox Square. The project would also include a new outdoor deck and site improvements including landscaping, according to the developer’s special administrative permit application. A spokesperson for Simon Property Group, the mall’s owner, declined to comment, but mall manager Robin Suggs signed off on the application. Denise Starling, the executive director of Livable Buckhead, said the idea for shipping container stores is to be temporary “pop-ups.” She expressed concern about the Lenox Square version being permanent. “A shipping container’s lifespan is longer than temporary,” she said at the March 28 Buckhead Community Improvement District board meeting. The developers presented the plan at a meeting with the Development Review Committee for Special Public Interest District 12, which includes the commercial core of Buckhead surrounding the two malls, Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza, and the major highrise office developments. The DRC provides recommendations to the city planning department on the application, and often asks developers to make infrastructure improvements to the area. But when a project is meant be temporary, they don’t recommend they make improvements, Starling said. There is nothing in the zoning code that outlines what a pop-up is, so it could be there permanently, she said. Starling said she is working with the city to address that, but otherwise believes pop up shipping containers are good developments. “We want to see that. That is part of placemaking,” she said. BUCKHEAD REdeFINED, the master plan that was completed last year, recommends shipping containers as part of a street activation program. The containers and other temporary infill retail like food trucks enhance street activity on vacant and underutilized land, such as plazas, surface parking lots and office lobby spaces, the master plan said. The master plan proposed specific areas for shipping container pop-ups, such as the Buckhead Market Place, a shopping center at 77 Paces Ferry Place, and Cains Hill Place, a road in the Buckhead Village area. The retail stores or restaurants for the project, led by Wisconsin-based GMR Marketing, have not been named. The total proposed interior space would be about 1,280 square feet. The proposed deck is about 1,184 square feet, according to the application. Another example of a shopping center bringing a shipping container to its property includes Brash Coffee in the Westside Provisions District on Howell Mill Road. The city announced last year that it is partnering with MARTA to create a shipping container development at the H.E. Holmes MARTA Station. Called The iVillage at MLK, it is meant to “provide affordable, transit-accessible retail and office space for small businesses,” according to a city press release. BH

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How to bring more birds to your back yard BY ISADORA PENNINGTON It’s the year of the bird! 2018 has been deemed the Year of the Bird by 150 organizations — including the National Audubon Society, National Geographic, Cornell Lab of Ornithology and BirdLife International — in celebration of the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which protects migratory birds from being hunted, captured, killed or sold. Celebrate the year by enticing birds to your home. You can start simply by purchasing a bird feeder for your back yard or porch. Feeder styles include hopper, platform, tube, suet and window feeders, and specialized items like hummingbird feeders can bring the types of birds you want to attract to your property. This is the perfect time to set up bird-friendly feeders, baths and houses, said Joel Lehmann, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in Atlanta. “Early spring is the best time of year,” he said, “but you can purchase and install a birdhouse anytime. Owls, who are cavity nesters, are generally looking to start nesting in the fall to winter, but most songbirds are nesting in the spring and summer.” An important consideration in choosing your feeder, Lehmann said, is to pick one designed to prevent spreading illness among the birds. Cleaning and maintaining your feeder, and regularly disinfecting your birdbaths, will stop the spread of disease and keep your backyard friends happy and healthy. Lehmann pointed to the EcoClean line of feeders. “Every surface of these feeders is coated with an antimicrobial agent to help prevent molds and bacteria from growing, keeping birds safer as a lot of disease can be transmitted at the feeders from bird to bird,” he said. Lehmann suggests that shoppers choose ones that are put together with screws and have easy access to clean out old nesting material. Even if you’re not interested in feeding the birds, there are ways to attract them to your home. “Keep your space as natural as possible,” Lehmann said. Leaves on the ground provide a habitat for bugs and, seeds and fruit from nearby trees, which are natural sources of food for birds.

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This year’s Atlanta Bird Fest, hosted by the Atlanta Audubon Society, will take place from April 14 through May 20, and will feature field trips, paddleboard tours, workshops, art shows and volunteer days. This past February, bird lovers around the world participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count, a tradition that brings together birders from around the world. Every year, over the course of four days, birdwatchers contribute photographs and report sightings to compile a comprehensive snapshot of bird species populations and their distribution. For 2018, more than 170,000 contributors sighted upwards of 27 million birds of 6,219 species. If you’d like to participate in next year’s bird count, you can learn more and register at birdcount.org. To learn more about backyard birds and how to care for them, visit Wild Birds Unlimited at locations that include Vinings, Atlanta in Chastain Square, Decatur and Marietta, or online at atlanta.wbu.com. Additional info on birds can be found at the Atlanta Audubon Society’s website: atlantaaudubon.org; All About Birds: allaboutbirds.org; and the Chattahoochee Nature Center: chattnaturecenter.org.

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Methodist Dunwoody United Gil Yates, about to begin at for his classmate Coast Indians was making a beeline A class on Pacific strode into the room, Church when a man OK.” approached. “Shuffling’sbuddy, who would not front row, center. said, as the man his “No running!” Yates is a year older than all in good fun. Yates The teasing was share his age: 91. with Perimeter Adults did but spring this name, classes reveal his 175 students taking The men are among most of whom (PALS). By Kathy for senior adults, Services education & Learning continuing the start.Dean year of providing been members from PALS is in its 25th need for of Dunwoody, have Wethe hear takes care of it all and his wife, Dot, and this kind of are 60-plus. Yates rings especially the time: less is more. The to help other people, phrase true for older “People our age want made lifelong friends.” adults who are empty nests and Yates said. “We have facing are4 ready to Continued on page fellowship,” Dot of their enjoy the lives. Intown and north metro second half many comforta Atlanta offer ble options for them. “Baby boomers have spent much working and of their lives building said Dawn Anderson their wealth for retiremen t,” , Realtor, Dorsey “As retiremen Alston Realtors. t becomes more of a reality, they plan their transition begin to to downsize. Ease and affordability of life, proximity are certainly the goals of most downsizing common boomers.” The trend of continues to grow, 55+ active adult commun ities Anderson said. well qualified “Baby boomers buyers and know are looking for.” exactly what they are Kim Isaacs, aged Avalon in Alpharet 58, said that her townhom e in ta gives her everything they and her husband want. “We had home in Johns lived in our previous Creek for 19 years. left for college, When our last we child and really didn’t decided that we wanted a change need a large house of us,” she said. for just the two

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APRIL 13 - 26, 2018

Community | 17

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Some Backyard Birds to Look For Northern Cardinal

Eastern Bluebird

Cardinalis cardinalis

Sialia sialis

Fun fact: the male birds, which are bright red with a black mask and crest, feed their reddish brown female partners beak to beak during courtship. The males also feed the first brood alone while the females build their next nest.

These friendly songbirds prefer to nest in open habitats like fields and pastures, and the young of the first brood help to raise the second brood. They rely heavily on man-made birdhouses and can be seen perching on low branches or wires and scanning the ground for prey.

PHOTOS BY ISADORA PENNINGTON

Carolina Wren

Mourning Dove

Thryothorus ludovicianus

Zenaida macroura

These quirky little birds are very vocal, with males singing up to 40 different types of songs and the female sometimes joining in for duets. They often nest in unusual places such as mailboxes and are year-round residents of Georgia.

The greyish brown, medium-size bird is known and named for its mournful cooing call and prefers to forage for food on the ground, bobbing its head as it walks. When in flight, the wind rushes through its wing feathers which causes a distinct whistling sound.

White Breasted Nuthatch

Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus

Sitta Carolinensis

These birds of prey are rather stocky and are common in eastern woodlands in the summer. Typically, they don’t stray far from the edges of the woods, swooping down to capture small mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds. In the fall, thousands of these hawks migrate south and create a visual spectacle as they swarm together above ridgelines and coastlines.

The nuthatch is a speedy flyer and known for hopping vertically down trees, thanks to an extra-long hind toe. The name originates from a Middle English term referring to the bird’s habit of wedging seeds into cavities of trees and breaking them open with its beak.

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Local councilmembers lose data in city’s cyber attack BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The offices of local Atlanta City Council members are still reeling from a loss of information and data caused by a March 22 cyber attack on the city’s systems, which has left residents unable to pay tickets or water bills. The city is working with federal partners and consultants on restoring systems and strengthening security, following the attack, where hackers encrypted files and demanded a ransom to unlock them. The city has taken some steps toward recovering. Employees were allowed to turn back on computers, and the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport restored its public Wi-Fi. But some resident applications are still down, including the Atlanta Police Department’s online crime database. All three computers in District 7 Councilmember Howard Shook’s office used by him and staff members had to be discarded. The attack wiped out most of his files and contact list that he has built over his 17 years as a city councilmember. “The three of us have had to try to get by on these elderly laptops,” he said,

Left, Atlanta City Councilmember Howard Shook. Right, Atlanta City Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit.

of their transition-period computers. Shook doesn’t believe he has received every email sent to him since the cyber attack began, but his email is now operating as normal and he receives emails from residents, he said. Workers will remove the data from the decommissioned computers and transfer what they can recover onto the

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new computers, he said. “There is a slight chance some of the data might be recovered,” Shook said. District 8 Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit said his office was affected by the attack, but he did not have much to lose. Matzigkeit took office in January, so did not have an extensive contact list and email log like Shook or oth-

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er long-serving councilmembers, he said. “My staff lost a lot more than I did,” he said. Matzigkeit said his email functions have not been affected and can still receive emails from residents. Consultants have been brought in to help advise the city on the situation. Shook expects some of the recommendations to be stronger passwords and more restrictions on opening attachments. “I think we’re going to have a new normal,” he said. The city does not yet know how much the infrastructure improvements and repairs will cost, Shook said. “It will take investment, but we will be better for it,” Matzigkeit said. Shook said he is confident the city will learn from the mistake and make the changes necessary to ensure an attack won’t succeed again. “Hopefully, other governments and businesses will use this as a teachable moment and protect themselves,” he said. Matzigkeit said he has been impressed by the way the mayor and city have handled the situation. The attack has caused outages in internal systems, including some that customers may use to pay bills or access court-related information, the city said. The Department of Watershed Management cannot process any bill payments online or over the phone. Payments have to be made in cash. The Municipal Court also could not process any ticket payments. The city has suspended late fees until all systems are restored. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said, out of caution, officers had reverted to filing reports on paper. The system used to operate the crime database could also not be accessed as late as April 10, but the department was hopeful to have that system restored by that week. The database is used to send a list of crime reports to NPUs and other groups. It is also used by the Reporter to compile the police blotter. Wi-Fi was disabled at the Hartsfield– Jackson Atlanta International Airport out of caution, but was turned back on after 10 days. Resident can use the city’s hotline, ATL311, to submit emergency water and sewer service requests or requests for other repairs. The city has not found any evidence that employee or resident data was compromised. However, the city is encouraging residents to continue to monitor their bank accounts for any strange activity. BH


APRIL 13 - 26, 2018

Community | 19

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Farmers Market returns to Buckhead The Peachtree Road Farmers Market made this year’s debut indoors at the Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road, due to the wet weather on April 7. The market runs through Dec. 15 and operates in the parking lot in better weather. A. Heather Conner of Fairburn’s Fairwood Thicket Farm sells the family’s jams, jellies and preserves. B. Heirloom Gardens in Dahlonega Georgia farmers Paula Guilbeah of Dahlonega’s Heirloom Gardens sorts some greens, with help from Boo Hanson, left rear, and Sarah Guilbeah. C. Sharliss Asbury, right, describes her reaction to samples of homemade healthy food from Glass House Kitchen to owner Stefani Glass, joined by daughter Lilly. PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

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Buckhead attorney preps sexual abuse cases against local schools Continued from page 1 A previous version of the bill passed in 2015 and gave victims two years [June 30, 2015 to July 1, 2017] to sue individuals who abused them even if the statute of limitations had long passed, which led to a settlement involving a priest who once served at All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody. That two-year window did not allow victims to sue an ,entity or organization like a school or church. The most recent bill is aimed at allowing those institutional lawsuits.

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Darren Penn, a Buckhead attorney who represents victims of alleged abuse, is working to get the Hidden Predator Act or similar legislation passed.

“There’s a lot of institutional culpability that hasn’t been addressed,” said Darren Penn, an attorney who lives in Buckhead and operates his law practice on Northside Parkway. Penn has been working to help get the bill passed since 2015. “I will do everything in my power to get it passed,” he said. “This is an ongoing issue that is not going away for Georgia.” Penn represents victims of alleged abuse by officials at Darlington School, a Rome boarding school, and Georgia Boy Scout troops. He also has more than 20 cases involving schools in Buckhead and the metro area, but they are not public yet and Penn declined to name them. He does not have any cases against any Catholic churches. Some of his cases would need the Hidden Predator Act or similar legislation to pass before Penn could file any lawsuits because the statute of limitations has expired. Current law limits victims of child sexual abuse from suing past age 23. House Bill 605 would have raised that age limit to 38. Georgia has some of the weakest laws in the U.S. for victims of sexual abuse, Penn said.

Allowing victims to sue years, or even decades later, is necessary because many child victims aren’t able to acknowledge what happened to them until then, he said. They are traumatized and often don’t know what resources could help them or that laws outlaw it, Penn said. A provision that would require victims to prove the entity intentionally covered up the abuse in order to sue it was later added to the bill, which Penn thinks is unrealistic. He hopes it will be removed when the bill is reintroduced. “There was an intent by the entities to make it very difficult for victims to sue,” he said. Penn has attended Cathedral of Christ the King in Buckhead, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, for several years, and still does despite the Archdiocese’s opposition to a bill that he strongly supports. “The private interests played too much of role,” Penn said. “I hope that doesn’t happen again.” Archbishop Wilton Gregory declined to be interviewed, but a letter from Gregory posted online outlines his opposition. The objection revolves around concern that those accused are often already dead and the cases are nearly im-

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Archbishop Wilton Gregory oversees the Archdiocese of Atlanta, which publicly opposed the bill.

possible to defend, the statement says. Such laws would jeopardize the church, Gregory said. “Innocent people and the organizations to which they belong will be radically impacted based on allegations against individuals who may no longer even be alive and cannot speak for themselves,” Gregory said in the letter. Both the 2015 and 2018 versions of the Hidden Predator Act were sponsored by state Rep. Jason Spencer, a Republican from Woodbine, who was inspired to take action on the issue by a case in his district involving a karate instructor. The instructor could not be held responsible because the statute of limitations had long passed. “I felt like that was not fair,” he said. The 2015 law made it possible for a victim to sue Father Stanley Idziak, who served at All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody in the late 1970s. The abuse took place at a different church in Stone Mountain, said the victim’s attorney, John Burdges. Idziak died before the case was settled, but the victim was able to get some

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John Burdges, a Gwinnett County attorney, represented a victim abused by a priest who once served at All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody.

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money from his estate, Burdges said. More than anything, being able to sue Idziak provided closure for the victim, he said. “He didn’t get a bucket full of money, but it closed a chapter in his life,” he said. “Being able to fight back and be heard meant a lot to him.” BH


APRIL 13 - 26, 2018

Community | 21

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Trump names state Supreme Court judge with local ties to federal bench

Perimeter North Family Medicine

BY JOHN RUCH

than by judicial fiat.” “Our job is to respect what the text of the law is,” as well as jury decisions, A Georgia Supreme Court judge who she said. A big factor in her perspechails from Sandy Springs has been nomtive, she said, is her service in all three inated to sit on a federal appeals court by branches of government President Trump. at both the federal and loJustice Britt Grant cal levels, “when you’ve would sit on the Atlanbeen in the shoes of the ta-based U.S. 11th Circuit person who had to make Court of Appeals if her that decision.” nomination is approved Another big influence: by the U.S. Senate. Grant the “unnatural disaster” of appeared last fall at a SanSept. 11. “It affected me very dy Springs Bar Associadeeply based on what I saw tion lunch, where she deand heard that day,” said clined to comment on Grant, who was working rumors of the federal in the White House’s West SPECIAL judgeship nomination. Wing at the time, while Justice Britt Grant. Grant is also on Trump’s her husband Justin — also published short list of cana Sandy Springs native — didates for a potential U.S. Supreme worked at the CIA. Court nomination if a seat comes open. Grant said the attacks reinforced her Grant’s legal background includes idea that the U.S. Constitution is someclerking for a federal judge; serving in thing to defend. She said they also were Georgia’s Attorney General’s office unfollowed by a time different from today’s der Sam Olens and Chris Carr, includ“polarized politics.” ing as solicitor general, or top trial attor“Such a comparatively short time ney; and working in private practice. She ago, we all knew and believed we’re all also worked for current Gov. Nathan Deal in this together,” she said. when he was a congressman and served in President George W. Bush’s White House in domestic policy jobs. Deal appointed Grant to the state Supreme Court, where she began work last year. johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Comments from last year’s Sandy Springs appearance

At the bar association lunch last year, Grant described her conservative judicial philosophy and how it was shaped by the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, which were committed while she worked in the White House. “I remember from those days understanding our government was under threat,” as was the U.S. Constitution, she said. She said she is a descendant of the Burdett family, whose “milk house,” dating to around 1860 and preserved on the Heritage Sandy Springs site, is the city’s oldest unaltered structure. Grant was born at Buckhead’s Piedmont Hospital and attended The Westminster Schools before heading to Stanford Law School in California, which she jokingly described as a “foreign trip” from the conservative Georgia perspective. While working for Olens, she said, she had a “strong desire to sing the praises of Sandy Springs” as he talked so much about his home of Cobb County. Grant described her judicial philosophy as “separation of powers” and change by “democratic process rather

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Student protest leaders took different paths into activism BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The country is seeing a new generation of gun control protesters rising from schools in the wake of a Florida massacre. Local students are part of this wave, too. Their motivations vary from personal experience to political commitment, but they say they are just starting their advocacy efforts. These three local students led some of the thousands of students at local schools who participated in a nationwide walkout March 14. The walkout was held a month after 17 people were killed in the Parkland, Fla., school shooting. They said they weren’t able to participate in the marches that followed in downtown Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

Tali Feen, Atlanta Jewish Academy

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Atlanta Jewish Academy students, from left, Tali Feen, Ben Ogden and Aden Dori stand with signs before the March 14 protest.

Tali Feen, a sophomore at Atlanta Jewish Academy in Sandy Springs, said taking a stand against gun violence wasn’t unusual for her. “I’ve always taken a stand or tried to do something to make a difference,” she said. Feen said one of her main interests is volunteering activism. “I’ve always been into social action. Volunteering is something I love,” Feen said. She currently volunteers frequently with Creating Connected Communities, an organization that plans fun activities for students in poverty. During the summers, she helps with a summer school type program called Odyssey Atlanta, which works to motivate students in poverty to help them have successful careers later in life. She previously helped organize fundraising drives at her school for victims of the hurricanes that hit several countries last year, she said. She said she is inspired by her brother, who works in politics in Washington, D.C. But she sees herself staying on the activism side rather than venturing into a political career. She plans to major in science in the hopes of pursuing a medical career. She hopes to one day volunteer performing medical services in a poor country. Students who led AJA’s demonstration

said they focused on remembering the victims so they wouldn’t alienate students who do not support additional gun control measures, but they still talked about the issue, said Aden Dori, a sophomore at the school. “Where common ground lies is at the victims,” said Dori, who helped organize the protest. Feen, Dori and Ben Ogden, a senior who helped lead the demonstration, are working on organizing a campaign to write letters to students’ senators and representatives in Congress. They hope to keep people aware and interested in the movement and not forget about it, Dori said. “The march was the first step in our long journey of making change,” Feen said.

Parker Short, Dunwoody High School

Volunteering with several political campaigns led Parker Short, a sophomore at Dunwoody High, to lead his school’s protest. Last year’s special election for the local 6th Congressional District seat spurred Short’s interest in politics. He worked as an intern for Democrat Jon Ossoff’s campaign. Ossoff lost to Republican Karen Handel in a runoff election. “I have been politically involved for a little over a year now, and was inspired to get involved because of the need for change in

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Parker Short, a sophomore, leads the Dunwoody High protest with a megaphone.

our political system,” Short said. Short also founded and presides over the Young Democrats Club at Dunwoody High and has helped bring high-profile politicians to speak, including former Gov. Roy Barnes and former state Sen. Jason Carter. He is now volunteering as the youth outreach director of Michael Wilensky’s campaign for state House. “I am very passionate about a plethora of issues facing our country including socialized medicine, gun control, DACA and campaign finance reform,” he said. Short hopes to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. to study political science. His other hobbies include hiking, reading and playing piano.

Adenike Makinde, North Atlanta High School

At North Atlanta High School in Buckhead, senior Adenike Makinde had a personal reaSPECIAL son to join the North Atlanta High protest. Ma- student Adenike Makinde kinde, who reads information about the victims plans to attend killed in the shooting the Universiduring the protest. ty of Southern California, wasn’t involved with gun control efforts or politics before the Florida shooting. She said she felt a personal connection to that incident because her estranged brother was at the Parkland school during the shooting, but was not injured. “This could have been a completely different story for me,” if her brother was injured or killed, she said. She said that the protest helped show adults that students are committed to trying to spur change. “To see so much action by young people is really eye-opening for a lot of adults,” she said. Makinde said she participated in and helped lead the walkout “to stand in solidarity and to respect the lives of the people that were killed.” The Student Government Association led the protest at North Atlanta, and the president asked Makinde to read the names of the victims at the walkout, she said. The protesters tried to make the walkout not about politics, but instead about having a conversation around gun control, which isn’t being had in a meaningful way by politicians, Makinde said. “There’s no conversation being had, and I think that’s what the students want,” she said.


APRIL 13 - 26, 2018

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28 | Education

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Fulton County School Police made a drug bust at North Springs High School in Sandy Springs in late March. The drug sweep found three students with marijuana, police say. After obtaining a warrant, officers searched one student’s bedroom at home, finding marijuana, LSD, methamphetamines, mushrooms and cash, according to a Sandy Springs police crime report. The student will be charged with felonies, the report said. K-9 units were brought to the school to do a search for drugs as part of a periodic search, the principal of the school said. “This occurs periodically in all Fulton County high schools, as working with the K-9 units provides a training opportunity for the dogs, as well as helps us deter students from making bad decisions involving drug use or bringing drugs/drug paraphernalia into our school,” said Scott Hanson, principal of North Spring High, in a letter to parents. To conduct the search, the school conducted a lockdown drill, Hanson said. While the school was locked down, the K-9 units, accompanied by administration, visited random classrooms. The students were instructed to leave the classrooms while the K-9 units swept the classroom. Several K-9 Units also went into the student parking lot to inspect vehicles, Hanson said

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The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta is opening a new preschool in Sandy Springs. The MJCCA Schiff School at Temple Emanu-El, located at 1580 Spalding Drive, will teach students from 6 weeks to pre-K. It is set to open on August 6, 2018, and registration is now available at atlantajcc.org/SchiffSchool, according to a press release. “MJCCA Preschools are a special community, one that builds lifelong learners, lasting friendships, and a lifetime of memories,” said MJCCA CEO Jared Powers in a press release. “We are thrilled with this opportunity to build another amazing preschool community at Temple Emanu-El.” The MJCCA Schiff School will be the MJCCA’s third preschool. It currently offers The Weinstein School at Zaban Park in Dunwoody, and The Sunshine School at Temple Kol Emeth in East Cobb, according to the release. The MJCCA Schiff School will offer both full-day and half-day options. Half-day students attend from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Full-day students attend between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., the release said. “We are fortunate to have an organization like the MJCCA, with such a long history of cultivating a stellar preschool curriculum, enrichment opportunities, and community opening a preschool here at Temple Emanu-El,” said Temple Emanu-El’s Rabbi Spike Anderson in the release.

M O U NT VER NO N STU D ENTS L A UNC H V IR T UA L R EA L IT Y L A B The first project for Mount Vernon Presbyterian School students in the school’s newly-launched virtual reality lab is to create content for a new exhibit at the Center of Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. One of the main goals of the virtual reality lab, which was officially launched April 9, is to provide opportunities for students to create immersive VR content. The lab team is creating content for a new exhibit at the museum about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. SPECIAL “It is so exciting to watch our stu- Alec Johnson, Mount Vernon Upper School VR Lab Founder. dents’ ideas go from dream to reality. Our young entrepreneurs are ready to face current challenges, work with industry leaders, and make an impact in the world right now. We are helping students learn to lead in the newest fields of technology,” said teacher Marie Graham in the release.


APRIL 13 - 26, 2018

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30 | Public Safety

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After 25 years, Phipps Plaza fire station gets a new home

Left, Fire Station 3 is located underneath the Belk parking deck at Phipps Plaza.

A rendering shows the concept design for the new fire station.

Continued from page 1 The Atlanta Fire Department’s Station 3 was opened in 1993 to be used as a backup to Station 21, which is located on Roswell Road in Buckhead Village. The project was led by Capt. Dennis Ham. There is a statue of Ham outside the station to commemorate his leadership to build the station. “Because of all the highrises and development up here, they really needed another station,” said Sgt. Brac Shannon, who has been at Station 3 for about five years. The new station will be under a different section of the parking deck and slightly larger with upgraded facilities. The city plans to open the station in October 2018.

Simon Properties, which owns Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square, announced in November 2017 plans to open a hotel, restaurant, office tower and fitness center, which will require demolishing the Belk store. The fire station is located under the Belk parking deck. The station will be 10,000 square feet and “state of the art,” Interim Fire Chief Randall Slaughter announced at the March 29 Buckhead Business Association meeting. “I’m tremendously excited about this,” said Slaughter, who was promoted from first deputy chief in February. The station is estimated to cost $5.5 million. Simon will pay part of the cost, but the amount has not been determined, said At-

lanta Fire Rescue Department spokesperson Sgt. Cortez Stafford. “We’ve had a really good, collaborative effort with the Simon Property group,” Slaughter said. The station will be located about 200 yards south of the current location, which is 721 Phipps Blvd. NE. It will still be located underneath the parking deck, but on the other side. The land is already being prepped for construction. The current station will stay open while the new one is being built, Stafford said. There will still be three bays for vehicles to be stored, Slaughter said. The department plans to keep an engine, truck and a battalion chief vehicle, which is typically an SUV

SPECIAL

or pick-up truck, at the station, he said. The continued development and increased population in Buckhead has turned Station 3 from something of an outpost into a full-time operation, Shannon said. “Now, we’re busy. We run a lot of calls up here,” he said. The new station will have a new weight room, which Shannon hopes is much larger than the current one. The weight room now is big enough for only about five pieces of exercise equipment. “This place is kind of rough,” he said. He is also looking forward to upgraded kitchen facilities, which are used frequently by firefighters over their 24-hour shifts.

BH


APRIL 13 - 26, 2018

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

“We’re really excited. It’s going to be nice having a brand new station,” Shannon said. Capt. Brian Garner said he wished one of the many older Atlanta stations could be rebuilt instead of this one, since it is relatively new compared to others. Right, a statue of Capt. Dennis Ham, who led the effort to build the station at Phipps Plaza, stands outside. Below, one fire engine is regularly stored at the station. Bottom, Sgt. Brac Shannon cleans up the station kitchen used by firefighters over their 24-hour shifts. PHOTOS BY EVELYN ANDREWS

“We have some they were built in the [1940s] that need replacing, but they never seem to have that kind of luck,” Garner said. “It’s just not in the budget,” Shannon added.

Public Safety | 31 ALLEG ED D R U G DEA L ER FA C ES FEDER A L C HA R G ES IN FATA L HER O I N O D

An alleged drug dealer is facing federal charges related to a heroin user who overdosed in Buckhead last year and died the following day. Donquell Weddington, 24, of Atlanta was recently indicted on charges of heroin and cocaine distribution, including “distributing heroin to an individual which resulted in serious injury and death,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia. Prosecutors allege that on April 10, 2017, Weddington sold heroin to an unnamed person, who overdosed later that day in the lobby of a Buckhead office building. Paramedics transported the person to Piedmont Hospital, where the person was treated and released. That evening, the person went to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for a flight to New York, but collapsed in a concourse. The person died the next morning from a heroin overdose, prosecutors say. Weddington is also charged with making three other drug deals in unspecified areas last year. “Weddington’s alleged heroin distribution led to a drug overdose, which resulted in a death in our community,” said Byung J. “BJay” Pak, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, in a press release. Pak’s office says the case is part of the federal “Operation SCOPE,” which stands for “Strategically Combatting Opioids through Prosecution and Enforcement.” Opioids are a class of addictive, often easily lethal drugs that include opium and morphine as well as substances with similar effects, such as heroin and prescription painkilling pills. “Operation SCOPE does not just apply to those who prescribe opioids,” Pak said in the press release. “It also targets drug traffickers who allegedly distribute heroin, [the synthetic opioid] fentanyl or opioids that cause death or serious injury to users. We have a zero tolerance for those who destroy lives through the distribution of drugs like heroin.” “In this case, the death of a person addicted to heroin strikes at the core of this country’s opioid epidemic,” said Robert J. Murphy, the special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Atlanta Field Division, in the press release. “Donquell Weddington allegedly provided the victim in this case with a deadly dose of heroin. The mission of [the] DEA is unwavering — we combat drug traffickers by investigating and prosecuting those who criminally distribute drugs, which ultimately cause immeasurable damage and even death to those in our communities.” The press release included supporting statements about coordinated opioid trafficking policing from Georgia Bureau of Investigations Director Vernon Keenan and Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields.

FLO YD M AYWEAT HER ’S B O DY G UA R D S HO T IN B U C KHEA D, P O L I C E S AY

Boxer Floyd Mayweather’s bodyguard was shot in Buckhead around 3 a.m. on April 9, Atlanta police said. The bodyguard has been identified by police as 47-year-old Gregory LaRosa. People in three vehicles were returning to their hotel in Buckhead from a Buford Highway nightclub when another vehicle pulled up and began shooting at the LaRosa’s vehicle, police said. The incident occurred at the intersection of Peachtree Road and Highland Drive, said Atlanta Police Department spokesperson Donald Hannah in a statement. Mayweather, an undefeated professional boxer who has won multiple championships, was present for the shooting, but was in another one of the three vehicles and not injured, police said. Police believe the shooting was not random and that the LaRosa’s vehicle was targeted. All three vehicles fled and were followed by the shooter’s vehicle. After losing the shooter’s vehicle, the LaRosa’s vehicle drove to Grady Memorial Hospital where he was treated for a gunshot wound in his leg, police said. He is in stable condition, according to police.

M AN FO U ND S HO T T O DEAT H NEA R I - 8 5

Atlanta Police found a man that was shot to death near the railroad tracks along I-85 in Buckhead early April 9. Officers responded to a call about an unresponsive man near Plasters Road and Mayson Street, which is behind the Armour Yards development that includes Sweetwater Brewing Company, said Atlanta Police Department spokesperson Lisa Bender. The man, whose identity has not been released, was found around 7:50 a.m., Bender said. The preliminary investigation indicated that several shots were fired, the statement said. The investigation is ongoing. Homicide investigators are working to determine when the victim was shot and the circumstances surrounding the shooting, according to police. BH


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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

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