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APRIL 13 - 26, 2018 • VOL. 9 — NO. 8

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

► More students mean more trailers at Dunwoody High PAGE 20

Tornado’s 20th anniversary marked

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Development Authority may expand mission BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Members of the City Council and Dunwoody Preservation Trust planted two trees at the Donaldson-Bannister Farm on April 9 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the tornado that devastated the city. From left, the city’s Parks and Recreation Director Brent Walker, Donna Burt, Suzanne Huff, Danny Ross, Melanie Williams, Mayor Denis Shortal, City Council Member Lynn Deutsch, and City of Dunwoody Parks Manager Gabe Neps. Read story page 16.►

PHIL MOSIER

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

The Dunwoody Development Authority is known mostly for offering tax incentives to major developments such as State Farm. But now the authority is determining if its mission should expand to include restaurants and the hospitality industry. The DDA held its first-ever retreat March 29 at the Donaldson-Bannister Farm with Mayor Denis Shortal and Councilmembers Jim Riticher and Lynn Deutsch attending along with members of other boards such as the Urban Redevelopment Authority. No decisions were made as the DDA wanted to discuss ideas that will likely be discussed more in depth over the next three to six months. Major discussion centered around the basic question the DDA is considering – should the authority remain reactive or become more proactive in trying to shape redevelopment in the city? See DEVELOPMENT on page 18

Concerns raised about tree loss in Brook Run Park renovations BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Several residents and City Council members are raising concerns about the planned renovations to Brook Run Park and the number of trees that may be cut down to make way for new amenities. The mayor and council voted April 9 to approve a preconstruction services contract for $15,250 to Reeves + Young. That company joins Lose & Associates, hired in February for $324,000 to design phase one of the Brook Run Park master See CONCERNS on page 19


2 | Community

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130th Church Anniversary Sunday • April 22, 2018 • @ 11:00 a.m. Greater Mount Carmel African Methodist Episcopal Church Rev. Dr. Jeffrey L. Streator, Pastor Church School Sunday: 9:30 a.m. Sunday Morning Worship: 11:00 a.m. Bible Study Wednesday: 12:00 Noon

Local legislators applaud transit expansion, ‘brunch bill’ BY DYANA BAGBY, JOHN RUCH AND EVELYN ANDREWS The General Assembly wrapped up its session late last month by passing several significant pieces of legislation, including bills to create a regional transit authority and a “brunch bill” to allow earlier alcohol sales at restaurants on Sundays.

Delaying DeKalb commissioners pay raise

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State Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) tried to delay implementation of a nearly 60 percent pay raise the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners quietly voted to approve for themselves with an amendment to Senate Bill 430, a bill dealing with salary increases for local governments. The amendment failed, and Millar called it a “major disappointment.” “The amendment did not make it out of the House. This was a major disappointment,” he said. The pay raise becomes effective Jan. 1, 2019 and increases commissioners’ salaries from $40,530 a year to $64,637 a year.

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State Sen. Millar was a vocal supporter of the bill that would allow religious adoption agencies to deny same-sex couples from adopting based on their religious beliefs. The bill was passed in the Senate but never made it to the House for a vote. Millar said there are two or three Catholic charities organizations that would open adoption agencies in Georgia if allowed to legally deny same-sex couples to adopt. If there are more agencies offering adoption services that would mean more children adopted out of foster care, he said. Currently, the agencies fear legal retaliation if they were to deny same-sex couples to adopt, Millar added. “I don’t have a problem with gay adoption at all,” he said. “I didn’t view this as prejudicial.” State and federal laws do not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, however.

State Sen. Millar (R-Dunwoody) also supported Senate Bill 452 that would have required local police officers to assist in immigration enforcement. The bill passed out of the Senate but did not get to the House floor for a vote. “This was not about having someone pull over someone with brown hair and eyes and check their papers,” he said. “There had to be probable cause and a crime committed.”

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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 (R-Brookhaven) 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 and Hanson said supporters are hoping he signs the bill soon so referendums can be added to the May 22 primary ballots. If the bill is not signed by that time, there is the chance it could be added to July runoff ballots, she said. State Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) also supported the bill. “You can get mimosas if you belong to a private club like the Dunwoody Club or Brookhaven’s Capital City Club, or at the Mercedes Benz stadium. We may as well let everyone else do it,” he said.

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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 Atlantaregion 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. Jordan said that she supports the change and that it would provide better transit options for residents. “We have to look at it from a regional perspective,” state Sen. Jen Jordan (D-Atlanta) 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,” Rep. Beth Beskin (R-Buckhead) said. “For too long, Atlanta has had an unfair burden to pay for transit expansion.” Added Sen. Millar, “We’re making real progress on regional transit.”

DUN


APRIL 13 - 26, 2018

Community | 3

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Community Briefs CO NTR A C T OR CO NT IN UES TO DI SP UT E C I TY ’ S PAVI NG C L A IM S

The CEO of the company that installed a new water line and repaved Mount Vernon Road says the city is responsible for fixing ongoing problems with the road surface. Alessandro Salvo, DYANA BAGBY The city recently installed plates over a section of CEO of GS ConstrucMount Vernon Road in front of the Panera restaurant as tion, said the city is a temporary fix to the ongoing buckling of the pavement “making threats” of a following a water line replacement three years ago. lawsuit against his company. But he contends the city is responsible for making the repairs. He said the city and DeKalb County told him to fill the trench dug for the water main with loose rock rather than solid dirt. That loose rock offers a movable foundation for the road to sit on, Salvo said, which results in the buckling. “One or two city attorneys are making absurd statements ... and making threats of a lawsuit,” he said. “I told them plain as day it is their responsibility to fix the road. I don’t want to fix a mistake they made.” Salvo went on to say the city’s threats of legal action are a “waste of taxpayer money.” “This is a great case study in stupidity,” Salvo said. Public Works Director Michael Smith said recently the city was forced last month to make the temporary repairs to about a 150-foot section of Mount Vernon Road after buckling and sinking of the road posed a potential hazard to motorists. He also said the city believes GS Construction should pay for the repairs because the damage was discovered within the one-year warranty period. Salvo said Smith’s statements are also “absurd.” “This is a waste of time and money” for the city, Salvo said. “They can threaten all they want but I will not fix their mistake.” Smith and the city continue to pursue a legal route to have GS Construction make the repairs. No lawsuit has yet been filed.

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Police Chief Billy Grogan honored Preston Brown at the April 9 City Council meeting for his actions in helping treat three stabbing victims in February. On Feb. 5 at about 11:30 p.m., the police department responded to a call at Dunwoody Village Apartment Homes on Dunwoody Crossing, where three roommates had been stabbed. When officers arrived on the scene, they found Brown treating the three victims who were outside the apartment. Brown had medical training and was able to adequately care for the victims, while DYANA BAGBY officers entered the apartPreston Brown was honored by Police Chief ment where the armed susBilly Grogan at the April 9 City Council meeting for his pect was located, Grogan exhelp in treating three stabbing victims in February. plained. “Three adults had been stabbed, one severely in the neck ... and Preston Brown was attending to all three victims. He even took the shirt off his back to provide to a victim because it was about 20 degrees outside,” Grogan said. When an ambulance arrived to take the severely injured victim to the hospital, Brown stayed on the scene to help with the two other victims, Grogan said. “His actions were absolutely heroic,” Grogan said. Brown served in the U.S. Navy for eight years. DUN

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4 | Community

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DeKalb Commissioner Nancy Jester spoke about the ongoing woes of DeKalb County’s sewer system at the April 8 Dunwoody Homeowners Association meeting, saying it is likely the federal consent decree the county is under will have to be extended. Jester is a vocal critic of the county administration’s handling of the sewer system and said consistent turnover at the Watershed Department means serious issues are not being addressed in fixing the sewer system from spilling raw sewage into the area’s waterways. The county is in year six of an eight-year federal consent decree it was required to enter after so many raw sewage spills were taking place years ago. During that time, the county is expected to clean out and repair clogged and broken pipes to ensure minimum spills. By last year, the county had the “most sewage spills ever” with 14 million gallons of raw sewage spilled, including 4 million gallons in Brookhaven and the Nancy Creek watershed, Jester said. “We have a very leaky system. We’re really behind [on fulfilling the consent decree],” she said. Several people at the DHA meeting asked how the county could continue to develop if there is such a strain on the sewer system. An unofficial moratorium on sewer connections was held between December and March, including for development in Dunwoody. The EPA is requiring a professional engineer to OK sewer connections and before March, the county had a non-engineer approving the hookups, Jester said. Jester said the county is served by 37 basins and most are not causing problems. Dunwoody and the Perimeter Center area are not plagued by severe sewer issues, she added. Jester said that she attended a recent meeting with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division as the county updated the agencies on how it is progressing in repairing the sewer system. “They were not happy,” she said of the EPA and EPD. “We’ll probably have to amend the decree to give [the county] more time.” She said the Watershed Department has had new leadership nearly every year for the past several years. “You can’t plan an 8-year strategy with a new director each year,” she said. She noted that the most recent Watershed Department director resigned after he alleged he was being asked by county administrators to violate the consent decree. DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond denied the allegations. Jester said the deputy director of the Watershed Department also recently left. The county continues to try to educate the public about fats, oils and grease (FOG) and is urging people not to pour these materials down the sink but rather throw them into the trash. The buildup of fats, oils and grease creates a sanitary sewer overflow that can back up into homes, businesses or through manholes. Jester said major offenders of putting fats, oils and grease into pipes are residents of multifamily developments. “They’re big culprits,” she said. An idea being considered by the commission is to create an ordinance requiring new multifamily developments to install grease traps, like restaurants are required to do. DeKalb County CEO reported to the board on April 10 that sewer spills in the first quarter of 2018 were down 31 percent compared to the same time last year — from 64 spills during the first quarter of 2017 to 31 spills in the first quarter of this year. In 2017, DeKalb invested nearly $30 million for maintenance, repair and upgrades of the sewer system. The county also cleaned 220 miles of sewers, removed 5.1 tons of debris, completed 1,821 stream crossing inspections, replaced 3,000 manhole covers, held the first consent decree public update and hosted 280 other public events, according to a press release. The county has inspected nearly 100 percent of all the priority sewer lines and is on target to invest an additional $79 million in improvements during the next two years.

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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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That you are working more than you ever thought. This is not a 40-hour-week business. I knew it would be 60 to 80 hours or more a week. Expect to put in what you will get out of it.

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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

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

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

DUNWOODY

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.

artéé

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

SALE - Atlanta Store Only *Restrictions Apply

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404-554-1215 Mon-Sat 10am - 5pm

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

SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT

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.”

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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

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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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6th District Democratic candidates blast Trump, Handel at forum BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Three of the four Democrats seeking to unseat U.S. Rep. Karen Handel in the 6th Congressional District made their pitches at a Sandy Springs forum April 9, largely agreeing on such issues as gun control and Obamacare as they blasted President Trump. Kevin Abel, Steven Knight Griffin and Bobby Kaple distinguished themselves more by approach than major policy differences. Abel presented himself as a successful immigrant (from South Africa) and centrist businessman; Griffin as a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention policy expert with a fighting spirit; and Kaple as a competitive idealist who quit his TV anchor job out of fear others could not afford the healthcare his prematurely born twins did. A fourth candidate, Lucy McBath, was unable to attend the private forum, organized by the Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon. Held at Heritage Sandy Springs, it drew more than 200 attendees. The candidates are competing in a May 22 primary election, with the winner aiming to battle Handel on the November general election ballot. Handel, a Republican, beat Democrat

Jon Ossoff in last year’s special election is “someone who is taking Trump’s for the Congressional seat, which includes marching orders.” parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and SanOn healthcare, all three supportdy Springs. Ossoff is not running again, ed the concept that it is a right and that but the Medicare tight, nashould tionally negotispotlighted ate lower race gives prescripother Demtion drug ocrats hope prices. they can On “flip” the gun conlongtime trol in the majoritywake of Republican the Parkdistrict. land, To that Fla., high end, the school JOHN RUCH three DemshootFrom left, candidates Kevin Abel, Steven Knight Griffin ocrats criting and and Bobby Kaple prepare to speak at the April 9 Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon forum at Heritage Sandy Springs. icized youth-led Trump and marches linked Handel to him. afterward, the candidates broadly agreed Abel called Trump a “con man who is on such measures as stricter background disinterested and unschooled” in basic checks. Griffin backed a particular propospolicy and who “stokes fear and dredgal to allow a court-ordered seizure of guns es up hate… He soils the idea of what it from someone deemed a threat to themmeans to be American.” selves or others. Abel was the only one to Kaple said all of Trump’s policies are explicitly call for a ban on certain military“made with reckless abandon.” Griffin style rifle sales, saying, “It is time that the echoed the sentiments and said Handel AR-15s be not available for purchase for ci-

vilian use.” Griffin noted the CDC is now free to study gun violence as a health issue after a controversial policy change, though funding for such studies is lacking. Abel also praised the youth protesters for gun control, adding that his own son led a walkout at Fulton County’s North Springs Charter High School. All three candidates supported a path to citizenship for immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children by their parents and now working under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, which Trump has moved to end. Audience members asked several questions about partisan politics. U.S. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (DCalif.) was one topic; Abel and Griffin said they would not vote for her to return as speaker if the House flipped to Democratic control again, while Kaple said he’d vote for “a speaker that represents the district, period, the end.” A question about gerrymandering — the partisan method of drawing legislative districts to protect friendly incumbents or eliminate disfavored officials — led to discussion about the abuse of political power in general. Abel said he supports term limits. Griffin called for getting big money out of politics; alluding to a famous speech by William Jennings Bryan 120 years ago, he said, “We must not let America be crucified on a cross of gold.” He also raised, without taking a personal position on, rumors that Ossoff might actually have won last year’s election but suffered vote manipulation that could not be tracked under the current electronic system. The biggest question is how they think they can win in a majority Republican district. Ossoff came close, but that was a special election for an open seat. “The Democratic Party needs a candidate who has lived in the district, has lived in the district 26 years,” said Abel, a Sandy Springs resident, referring to Ossoff’s unusual circumstance of living outside the 6th District’s borders during his campaign. Abel also said he would be appealing to voters as a job-creator with his IT consulting firm and as a moderate who can win “center-right” votes. Kaple focused on his competitive spirit, which he said took him from a self-created sports show to anchoring the CBS46 news desk in the major Atlanta market, a job he left for the campaign. “I think we need a fighter, OK?” Kaple said. Griffin emphasized his CDC experience as a policy coordinator in a department focused on birth defects and developmental disabilities. He also said the party should reach out to voters who feel ignored or who were turned off by the massive flow of outside money into the Ossoff-Handel race, the most expensive Congressional race in history. “I think that $30 million poisoned the well,” he said.

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U.S. Rep. Handel to hold May 1 opioid summit DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

U.S. Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.) is planning an opioid summit May 1 in the 6th Congressional District as a way to bring together experts in the field and find common ground on how to combat the crisis affecting the entire country. Handel announced the plans for the summit during the April 4 Brookhaven Rotary Club lunch meeting held at the Capital City Club. “We all need to get on the same page about what is the opioid epidemic in the Sixth District and in Georgia,” Handel said. The district includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. The summit, to be held possibly in Alpharetta or Sandy Springs, is expected to help identify resources available to fight the epidemic through law enforcement, treatment and prevention and also to reveal gaps in resources that need to be filled. “We need to try to make sure the dollars at the federal and state level … are being leveraged in the best way,” Handel said. “Time is of the essence, for young people and for the families who are seeing the devastating impacts from opioids.” In an interview, Handel said the summit would also likely be broken up over two days, the May 1 session and then another day in June. “We as a community need to come together to understand what the opioid epidemic means … to have a common understanding,” she said. She noted The Zone in Cobb County, a recovery community organization, has produced promising outcomes and she also said Recovery Kentucky has done good work helping people recover from substance abuse and that both programs could be used as possible models. She also said working with state Attorney General Chris Carr is crucial as well in overcoming the epidemic. Plans include having a panel of teens speak about the issue. “We need to hear from their perspective,” Handel said. Reporter Newspapers launched last month a special four-part series, “Coping with a Crisis: Opioid addiction in the suburbs,” about local responses to an epidemic that is killing people nationwide and in our communities. In Georgia from June of 2016 to May of 2017, the total number of opioid doses prescribed to Georgia patients surpassed 541 million, according to the state attorney general’s office. That totals approximately 54 doses for every person, including children, in Georgia. Georgia is also among the top 11 states with the most opioid overdose deaths, and 55 Georgia counties have an overdose rate higher than the national average, according to the attorney general. A member of the Brookhaven Rotary asked Handel at the April 4 meeting what was being done about large pharmaceuti-

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cal companies “pill dumping” in small communities. The Energy and Commerce Committee is currently investigating four major pharmaceutical companies, Handel said, including McKessen, based in San Francisco and with an office in Atlanta. Committees were also created to address the many pieces of legislation addressing opioids to determine ways to prioritize ways to combat the crisis so “we can start getting some sanity into what we’re going to do,” she said. Other topics Handel discussed at the Brookhaven Rotary:

Tax bill

Handel praised the sweeping tax-cut bill passed in December, saying companies such as Halyard Health Companies in Alpharetta decided to bring back $40 million in investments it had overseas back into the U.S. due to the corporate tax cuts. The company works in alternative forms of pain management which will be crucial in stopping the opioid epidemic, Handel said. The bill permanently cut permanent tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent and also cut tax rates for individuals. The tax breaks for individuals are not permanent, but Handel said “in all likelihood” a second phase of the tax bill will include a provision for permanent lower individual rates as well. Handel said a family of four living in the 6th District has a median income of $132,000 a year. The tax cuts will give them a $4,500 tax reduction, she said. “This means more money in people’s paychecks,” she said. “We get calls every day from people saying they are seeing more money in their paychecks.”

Omnibus bill

Handel said she was not happy with the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill passed March 23 but voted for it because it funded the military “for the first time in years.” The 2,200-page bill also included $48 million to address the opioid crisis to be used for law enforcement as well as prevention and treatment. Handel said the entire process of passing the bill was bad policy and she supports Speaker Paul Ryan’s call for a balanced budget amendment. She said she also supports a two-year budget cycle.

Democrats Bobby Kaple, Kevin Abel, Steven Knight Griffin and Lucy McBath qualified to run in the May 22 primary. She acknowledged midterm elections are hard for the party that DYANA BAGBY controls the White U.S. Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.) spoke to members of the House, but she was Brookhaven Rotary Club on April 4 at the Capital City Club. “cautiously optimistic” Republicans would reHouse staffer is 14 to 16 months, even at main in control. She pointed to President the Cabinet level, she added. Bill Clinton’s ability to hold on to his major“Did anybody think [Rex] Tillerson ity in 1998 even after impeachment charges [former Secretary of State] was really gowere brought against him following a sexuing to spend the rest of his career, for the al harassment lawsuit by Paula Jones. next four or eight years, in that role? I “It was because of the economy,” she don’t think so,” she said. said of Clinton’s ability to keep control. What is unusual and something she The strength of the economy, she said, disagrees with is someone finding out will be the messaging Republicans use in they lost their job through Twitter. their campaigns up to the midterms. “I try to be focused on what needs to

White House distractions

When asked about the rapid turnover in the White House and especially among Cabinet members, Handel said this was nothing new in Washington, D.C. “It’s really not that unusual. That’s what’s fascinating to me,” she said. The average length of stay for a senior White

get done and not get too caught up in all that,” she said. Handel went on to say that a lot of what people see on TV, whether Fox News, CNBC, CNN or “what certainly flows out of Facebook” is not accurate or leaves out key pieces of information. “There’s just so much in the press that is really, really broken,” she said.

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16 | Community

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Tornado’s 20th anniversary marked as ‘Dunwoody Stands Strong Day’ BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

April Ifkovits vividly remembers the night of April 9, 1998. “I had gotten up to close the windows and I could see the clouds because they were orange above the street lights,” she said. “There was thunder and lightning and the trees were swaying … and then the trees were all leaning in one direction.” Ifkovits was one of more than 75 people who showed up Sunday, April 8, at the Kingsley Racquet and Swim Clubhouse to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the tornado that shook north DeKalb County. The tornado struck Dunwoody the hardest, resulting in one death, hundreds of homes destroyed and damaged, and the mowing down of thousands and thousands of trees. Ifkovits said when she saw the huge trees in her yard on Delverton Drive leaning in one direction, she knew something fierce was coming. She and her husband grabbed their small children from their bedrooms. “We could hear things hitting the house as we were running to the basement. The lightning was so bright it was lighter than it was dark,” she remembered. The next morning, they found 27 of the large trees in their yard were destroyed and a large branch had crashed through her son’s bedroom, above the bed where he was asleep just hours before. “It was like a big lawnmower had gone over the tops of trees,” she said. The damage to her home was not as major as her neighbors, and she and her family stayed in the home while it underwent renovations. She still lives there today. “We like our neighbors,” she said. “We were fortunate.” At the commemoration, people with similar stories to Ifkovits looked over old newspaper clippings, poster boards with pictures of the destruction and shared sto-

PHOTOS BY DYANA BAGBY

Above, April Ifkovits looks over photos and newspaper clippings detailing the damage of the April 9, 1998 tornado that struck Dunwoody.

Right, former DeKalb CEO Liane Levetan, far right, with Tom Black, center, and Tom Brown, former employees of DeKalb Public Works, shared their memories of how DeKalb County government responded to the disaster.

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Incredibly comfortable sleepers ries of how everyone in the Dunwoody community came together — friends, neighbors and strangers — to rebuild and restore the community they loved. A panel of guests included Liane Levetan, who was DeKalb CEO at the time of the tornado; former members of DeKalb’s Public Works Department Tom Brown and Tom Black; and DeKalb firefighter Shane Dobson. They shared memories about how the DeKalb County government came together to clear out debris, placed hundreds of tarps on homes, kept residents safe during such a vulnerable time and simply was there with people at such a tough time. “This was a real disaster. It was not a small thing,” Levetan said. “We were feeling the anxiety of the people in Dunwoody.” Mayor Denis Shortal presented a proclamation to Melanie Williams of the Dunwoody Preservation Trust declaring April 8, 2018, as “Dunwoody Stands Strong Day in honor of the tremendous efforts of numerous Dunwoody residents, organizations, community members and DeKalb County service providers.” The Preservation Trust was key in raising $250,000 to buy and plant 20,000 trees in the city to replace a fraction of those lost. “This is why all of us are so proud to live in Dunwoody,” Shortal said of how residents came together to help each other after the devastation. Kathy Florence, who has recorded much of the history of the tornado, said at the event that “our community came through.” “And it set the tone for how we wanted our city to be,” she said. Heyward Wescott, who helped organize the event, shared his story of how his house “exploded” over him when the tornado hit. “This is not a celebration of a disaster but a celebration of how a community came together to help each other,” he said.

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18 | Community

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Development Authority may expand mission Continued from page 1 “A number of members have been on the authority since the beginning and were asking, ‘What do other authorities do?’” said Dunwoody Economic Development Director Michael Starling, who also is the executive director of the DDA. A major impetus for the DDA to take a close look at its goals is the high demand by residents for more chef-driven, high-quality restaurants, Starling said. Currently, Starling or a developer approaches the DDA for it to consider providing incentives. While the DDA is a separate entity from the mayor and City Council, it does want to ensure the projects it agrees to provide tax abatements to are in keeping with what the council wants as well. Major questions the authority will be dealing with after the retreat include what role it plays in redevelopment and the potential for the city and the authority to work more closely together, Starling said. For example, the DDA sticks to providing tax incentives to major developments such as State Farm and a new 16-story office building slated to be built across the street from State Farm, but does not currently provide tax incentives to retail, res-

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taurants or the hospitality industry. These kinds of businesses, however, provide the city with significant economic development, Starling said, and the possibility of the DDA offering such incentives to help “lead the charge” in attracting higher end stores, hotels and restaurants is one idea to shape what is built in the city. At the retreat, Starling mentioned that if the DDA had the resources, for example, it could have purchased the Chevron station on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road to ensure the type of development it wants to create around Dunwoody Village. The site was recently sold to a developer who plans to keep the gas station, eliminate the auto repair shop and add a convenience store. Redevelopment in the city is occurring through what the free market will allow and demands, Starling said. But on smaller sites, such as the Chevron site, the DDA could buy the property to ensure, for example, a restaurant is built there by selling it at below market value. But buying and selling property is an issue the City Council will also have to deal with, he added. In an interview, Starling explained there is a continuum of redevelopment activity that takes place – on one side is to let the market take care of what happens and on the other end is what the city did with Project Renaissance. Project Renaissance involved the city in 2011 purchasing 35 acres in the Georgetown community for nearly $12 million and then selling a major portion to John Wieland Homes to build single-family homes and a park. A 2.5-acre commercial site was recently sold to a developer that plans to bring in restaurants to the area. “I think we need to decide where on that continuum we want to be,” Starling said. But the city is not likely to undertake another Project Renaissance-size project, he added. Another topic of interest is the incentives the DDA provides to developers. Surrounding cities and DeKalb County all have development authorities that offer incentives to developers to build in their cities. These incentives include tax breaks on city and county property taxes and school taxes over a certain period. In 2016, the DDA approved $34 million in tax breaks to State Farm for the two new buildings now going up in Perimeter Center across from the Dunwoody MARTA station. In exchange for the tax breaks over nearly 20 years, State Farm is making $50 million in infrastructure improvements and streetscape improvements as well as promising to bring some 2,200 jobs to the area. But if the city does not provide tax incentives, then the developer can go to Decide DeKalb, the county’s development authority, leaving the city out of any type of local control of the project.

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Concerns raised about tree loss in Brook Run Park renovations plan that includes the two multiuse fields at the back of the park; the Great Lawn, to include a stage and pavilion; more parking; a new vehicular entrance at Barclay Drive; a new open play field and a disc golf course. Recent sightings of ribbons tied around many trees in the park have caused anxiety among some residents and council members who fear they are being marked for getting the ax. Eric Johnson of Comprehensive Program Services said there are currently no trees marked for felling. The city hired Comprehensive Program Services, which also oversaw the City Hall renovations, for $150,000 to oversee the first phase of the Brook Run Park master plan. “The message needs to be, we want minimal tree loss,” Councilmember Lynn Deutsch said. “Those ribbons were for a tree survey,” Johnson said. “The message is clear [about saving as many trees as possible]. We’ve had our first round of discussions with Lose & Associates ... and they are trying to save as many trees as possible.” Councilmember John Heneghan noted that the request for proposal document for the Reeves + Young contract shows trees being removed in early June. “We need more planning and community involvement to make sure we know what is actually going on ... and to understand what trees are going to be removed,” he said. Johnson explained that a timetable is needed as part of the RFP process, but because of several factors, the timeline is already behind by about two months. So no tree removal would begin until possibly August. Heneghan noted the anger and worry raised by residents living near Peachtree Charter Middle School where new baseball fields are being constructed for use by the school and Dunwoody Senior Baseball. Last-minute changes to the field plans due to size restrictions resulted in more than 100 trees being cut down along North Peachtree Road and Barclay Drive. The city has planted several trees to replace them as part of its one-for-one policy, but they are not as large as the ones cut down. “We thought we were getting a certain product ... but a bunch of trees were cut down that affected the community,” Heneghan said. “We don’t want major changes happening at the last minute.” Johnson said once a final design is determined by Lose & Associates, it will come to the council for consideration and there would also be a community meeting to gather input. There is no set deadline for when Lose & Associates will have a design, but the preliminary timeline has the Brook Run Park renovations being completed in early 2019. Parks and Recreation Director Brent Walker also explained that the RFP includes concept designs and are not the final plans for the first phase of the project. Phase one has about a $5.2 million budget, he said. During public comment, Harriet White, who lives in the Windwood North neighborhood, said she was concerned many trees would be cut down. “I think a lot of people in Dunwoody, and in my neighborhood ... our priority is for trees not to be removed,” she said. “It is not what we want.” Mayor Denis Shortal said the city always tries to keep as many trees as possible. “We don’t go cutting down willy-nilly,” he said. “But certain improvements need to be made ... at intersections ... and we need to take trees down. We do plant back for each tree we take down. I know they aren’t as big, but we do plant trees.” Shortal also noted that when the city approved a 12-foot concrete path through Brook Run Park in 2012, their was incredible backlash from residents angry about the removal of trees. Several lawsuits were also filed to try to stop the construction of the trail. Today, though, it is one of the most used facilities in the park, Shortal said. “We do have a heavy tree canopy in the city, equal to Brookhaven and Chamblee. We work hard to save as many trees as we can,” he said. The Brook Run Park master plan was revealed last May after several months of public input.

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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 age: 91. with Perimeter Adults but did share his classes this spring reveal his name, taking students 175 The men are among most of whom (PALS). By Kathy for senior adults, Learning & Services continuing education the start.Dean from providing of year members been 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 t becomes more Realtors. 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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20 | Education

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More students mean more trailers at Dunwoody High BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

More trailers will be installed at Dunwoody High School’s campus this summer to deal with continued overcrowding, and even more trailers are likely in the future, according to DeKalb Schools officials. DeKalb County School District officials gave an update on adding the trailers during a March 29 meeting of the DHS School Council and some 25 other interested parents at the high school. A new trailer, called a portable quad classroom building, will be placed adjacent to the current portable quad classroom building placed in front of the high school last summer. The new portable quad — four classrooms built together into one structure — is needed to accommodate the school’s growing population. This year’s enrollment at DHS was 1,982 and is expected to grow by 60 students, to a total of 2,042, next year. The new portable quad classrooms will also be installed with water and sewer infrastructure so a restroom can be included in the new building. The current quad of classrooms installed last summer at DHS does not have restrooms. Adding the sewer and water lines for the new portable classrooms will also al-

low the school district to add two more quads, for a total of eight classrooms, in the future, according to Dan Drake, executive director of Operations for the DeKalb County School District. “Based on the number of seats over capacity … we are definitely looking at more quads out there,” Drake said. “It’s better to have more than less.” Drake said enrollment figures at DHS are slightly more than anticipated and more trailers are needed for students until the planned expansion that includes a twostory, 29-classroom addition for some $17.7 million is completed in 2022. The school still needs to form a construction council that will include school district officials and parents. Construction for the expansion is slated to begin in 2020 and the portable classrooms will stay onsite until construction is completed. Bruce Kaminsky, chair of the Dunwoody High School Council, said his son is in a trailer at DHS and he says, “they’re fine.” “I’m trying to put lipstick on a pig,” Kaminsky acknowledged. “What’s going on inside the walls … of the school is all very positive. Nobody wants trailers, but what can we do? “I would love for the campus to be easier on the eyes … but I never hear the kids complaining,” he added. “It’s the parents

who seem to have issues.” Dunwoody High School’s capacity is for 1,503 students, but the school has been overcrowded for several years, leading to the addition of portable classrooms, or trailers, over the past two years. By 2022, DHS enrollment is projected to be 2,093. Principal Priscilla Cole DEKALB COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT New trailers are expected to be installed this summer at said average classrooms inDunwoody High School. Top, Existing quad classroom clude 30 students, with some building. Bottom, Proposed quad restroom portable. classes having as many as 36 students. She also said four years, and the trailers are removed, 13 teachers are currently sharing classit is expected the spots where the trailers rooms, which limits teachers in conductare located will be made into a parking ing planning for future classes, she said. lot, Drake said. The school has also been The new portable quad building that dealing with a severe shortage of parking will be set up this summer will include for students. As part of the expansion to the cutting down of many trees. Drake be finished by 2022, a retention pond on said he did not know the number of trees campus is also planned to be paved over that will be cut down to make room for to create an additional 160 parking spaces. the trailers but noted the ones that will The quads are expected to be delivbe cut down are pine trees. ered to Dunwoody High School by early There are limited options on where to June. The clearing of trees and installing put the trailers. Other sites considered water and sewer lines will be done priwere in the school’s parking lot or on the or to their delivery, Drake explained. The tennis courts. Those ideas were quickly district expects to receive its certificate of shot down by school staff because of the occupancy by early July, he added. need for both, Drake said. Some parents raised concerns that the When the expansion is completed in noise of cutting down trees and installing

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water and sewer lines could disrupt students still in school. The last day of classes is slated for May 24. Drake said the system would keep that in mind to ensure students are not disrupted, especially during testing. One woman, who said she has lived in the neighborhood surrounding Dunwoody High School for 40 years, said the school was going to end up looking like “trailer city” while several parents also questioned if current enrollment projections are still good. Better enrollment estimates are expected in the next few weeks, Drake said. Current projections do include added residential development as well as projections of students now in private school wanting to return to public school and to DHS, he said. The enrollment numbers at DHS are expected to peak next school year based on enrollment numbers at area middle schools, he added, and the 2,093 students enrolled by 2022 is “still valid,” he said. But Peachtree Charter Middle School in Dunwoody is expected to get more trailers next year as well to handle its overcrowding, he added. One parents asked if there was some disconnect between enrollment projections and reality, but Drake said the school district expects falling numbers at middle schools, meaning fewer students at the high school. Total cost to purchase and install the new portable trailers at DHS, including water and sewer infrastructure, is expected to be approximately $350,000, Drake said. DUN


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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22 | Education

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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

SPECIAL

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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Newly legal backyard chickens are few but beloved on Leisure Drive. The run was built by her parents, Erika and Laurence Harris, to hold a total of six chickens — four Easter Eggers and two Silkies. Brianna Harris was one of several young people who spoke out last year in favor of the city adopting PHOTOS BY DYANA BAGBY an ordinance Brianna Harris, 13, with Ashley, an Easter egger chicken. to allow backyard chickBY DYANA BAGBY ens. The maydyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net or and City Council did so last May, although it was not a unanimous vote. Brianna Harris, 13, opened her hands The two Girl Scouts who helped and revealed three pastel blue eggs. Easlead the charge to change the city’s orter egger chickens, she explained, lay pale dinance, Lauren Fitzgerald and Chloe blue, green and sometimes pink eggs. Fenster, decided in the end not to get She got the eggs after walking through chickens. They did receive their Silver a large-sized chicken run and into a coop Award for the work. located under the deck of her backyard Over the past year, only six permits

for backyard chickens have been granted. The Harris’ were the first to do so. “It was surprisingly easy,” Erika said of the process. “We brought in a survey of the house and land and showed them where the run was going to go and gave them a blueprint. “We really liked having a family project, something we could all do together,” she added. Major controversy and division over backyard chickens erupted in the city in 2010 and included packed City Council meetings. The mayor and council at the time voted 4-3 to not allow backyard chickens. Last year’s effort was much more subdued, with only a couple people speaking out against backyard chickens with many others, including several young people, speaking in favor. The final vote last May was 6-1, with Mayor Denis Shortal casting the lone “no” vote. Shortal also sat on the council eight years ago and voted against allowing chickens. “I haven’t really heard anything” since the ordinance was passed, Shortal said after a recent council meeting. “I’ve heard no reactions from neighbors of people who have them.”

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Easter egger chickens lay pastel colored eggs like these.

“My concern is if you give people a foot, they take a yard,” he added. He stands by his vote, and said he’d vote the same way today. “I’m not in favor of it,” he said. “I raised chickens, I cleaned out coops. It wasn’t fun.” Councilmember Lynn Deutsch, who organized the effort to legalize backyard chickens in the city and worked with the Girl Scouts, said she’s happy families in Dunwoody have a choice. “I was thrilled to work with the Girls Scouts on their Silver Award project,” she said. “As a result, several Dunwoody families now have backyard chickens and are collecting their own eggs.” Brianna Harris said she remembers hearing one woman speak out against chickens, saying keeping them as pets was nothing more than a fad. “These chickens are like dogs. They all have distinct personalities and you get much more than just love and affection from them, you get eggs,” she said. “This is definitely not a fad.” The cost of keeping backyard chickens is fairly steep, Erika Harris admitted. Starting up by either building or buying a run, a coop, feed and other necessities as well as buying baby chickens and having them mailed to your home can climb up to $2,000. There is only one veterinarian in Dunwoody who can take care of chickens as well as other animals. But Brianna Harris, who wants to be a vet when she gets older, took it upon herself to learn some basic procedures, such as how to clear out a chicken’s vent to ensure they don’t die from “pasty butt.” That’s when a chick’s droppings get stuck in the feathers around the vent and can be fatal. Chickens don’t have a very long life span and Erika Harris estimates they will be a six-year commitment. They bring joy to the entire family — not only through the eggs they eat and give away to friends and neighbors — but through companionship as well as family bonding, she said. “The biggest thing is they need attention,” she said. “And we have very happy chickens. Ours lay just about every day. You get out of them what you put into them.” DUN


APRIL 13 - 26, 2018

Public Safety | 31

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Police Blotter / Dunwoody From Dunwoody Police reports dated April 1 through April 8. The following information was pulled from Dunwoody’s Police-2-Citizen website.

LARCENY/ SHOPLIFTING/ THEFT „„4800

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 1, a man reported his car tag was removed from his vehicle.

broken into overnight. „„100 block of Perimeter Center East —

On April 4, sometime overnight, a woman said her car had been ransacked. There was no sign of forced entry. Another woman said her car had been broken into, too. 4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 3, in the evening, a juvenile was detained and released to her mother for shoplifting at a department store. „„

„„2000 block of Asbury

Square — On April 1, in the afternoon, a license plate was reported stolen. „„4400 block of Ashford-

Dunwoody Road — On April 2, in the morning, a shoe store reported a shoplifting in progress. About $315 in merchandise was taken. „„100 block of Perimeter Center Place

— On April 2, in the afternoon, an unknown suspect shoplifted a cellphone from a superstore. „„4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 2, in the afternoon, a wanted person and two others were arrested and accused of shoplifting at a discount superstore. „„100 block of Perimeter Center West —

100 block of Perimeter Center Trace — On April 3, in the evening, another entering auto was reported. „„

„„100 block of Perimeter Center East —

On April 3, in the evening, multiple cars were broken into. „„100 block of Perimeter Center West —

On April 3, in the evening, a rental car was broken into; nothing was stolen. „„4500

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 4, in the morning, two entering auto incidents were reported.

On April 2, in the afternoon, a car was broken into and a cellphone was taken.

„„3000 block of Perimeter Trace — On April

„„2200 block of Dunwoody Crossing —

„„4500 block of Olde Perimeter Way — On

On April 3, a gun was stolen from a car.

April 4, in the morning, a man said a backpack containing a computer, cellphone, camera and lens were stolen from his car.

„„100 block of Perimeter Center East —

On April 3, officers responded to an entering auto car. „„2900 block of Winterhaven Court —

On April 3, after midnight, a suspicious man was accused of pulling door handles. He was arrested and charged with loitering and larceny. „„100 block of Perimeter Place — On

April 3, a woman reported that her car had been ransacked. „„900 block of Perimeter Trace — On

April 3, a woman who had been out of town reported her car had been broken into while out of town. Missing were a MacBook, iPad and fine jewelry. „„100 block of Perimeter Trace — On

April 3, in the afternoon, a man said his car had been entered. „„4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On April 3, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and charged with shoplifting jewelry from a department store. „„100 block of Perimeter Trace — On

April 4, a man reported his car had been DUN

4, overnight, a 2011 Mercedes was stolen.

„„4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 4, in the evening, a woman was arrested and charged with shoplifting for a discount superstore. „„4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 4, at night, several items were stolen from a car including a laptop, payroll papers and jewelry. „„4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On April 5, in the early morning, a man was arrested and charged with shoplifting. „„4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On April 5, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and charged with trying to steal kitchen appliances including a George Foreman grill, a Keurig and a coffee maker. „„4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On April 6, in the afternoon, two people were arrested and charged with shoplifting. „„4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On April 7, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and charged with shoplifting. „„4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On April 8, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and charged with shoplifting.

A S S AU LT „„I-285/Chamblee-Dunwoody

Road— On April 2, after midnight, a man was arrested and charged with aggravated assault involving a weapon. „„4900 block of Winters Chapel Road —

On April 3, in the afternoon, officers responded to a nonviolent dispute. „„2100 block of Peachford Road — On

April 4, in the evening, officers apprehended a man who refused to leave a hospital. „„4800 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On April 4, in the evening, a man said he was being harassed by his girlfriend.

ARRESTS

„„Ashford-Dunwoody

Road/Ravinia Parkway — On April 1, in the early morning, an officer pulled over a man for non-functioning tail lights. He was found in possession of marijuana and also cited for that as well. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 1, in the morning, a woman was arrested and charged with failing to appear. „„5000 block of Winters Chapel Road —

On April 1, in the morning, a man was arrested and charged with driving without a license and uninsured. „„2400 block of Stonington Road — On

April 2, in the morning, a woman was arrested and charged with driving unlicensed. „„5300 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody

„„I-285 WB/ Ashford-Dunwoody Road

Road — On April 2, in the afternoon, — On April 1, at midnight, a man was a man was arrested and charged with arrested and charged with driving with marijuana possession and driving a suspended license and speeding. He while unlicensed. was driving 83 mph in a 65 READ MORE OF THE POLICE BLOTTER ONLINE AT mph zone.

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

RECREATION AND PARKS PUBLIC MEETING PARK SYSTEM MASTER PLAN The City of Sandy Springs is in the process of developing a Recreation and Parks Master Plan to determine the potential to add more recreation and parks initiatives. The public is invited to an Open House meeting to hear findings from the Research and Analysis phase of the Park System Master Plan. Following the presentation, attendees can participate in interactive exercises to provide feedback.

Wednesday, April 18 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm City Hall, Council Chambers 7840 Roswell Road Sandy Springs, GA 30350 For more information please visit sandyspringsga.gov


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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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