06-9-17 Dunwoody Reporter

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JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 8— NO. 12


Dunwoody Reporter


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12-story hotel proposed near Perimeter Mall BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net Plans to build a 12-story hotel at 84 Perimeter Center East are being revived after nearly a decade. Representatives of Atlanta-based developer Branch Properties attended the June 4 Dunwoody Homeowners Association meeting to discuss proposed plans, first made in 2008, to build a hotel on the site of the vacant bank building across the street from Perimeter Mall and adjacent to the Exxon gas station on Ashford-Dunwoody Road. The project proposes a 12-story building, including a two-story parking deck, containing a 200-room hotel. Also part of the See 12-STORY on page 30

Miren, a Dutch shepherd rescue, gets some love from Brantly Kimball, 5, at the second annual Fast and the Furriest 5K June 4 at Brook Run Park. Events for runners, walkers and their dogs took a course from Brook Run Park to Pernoshal Park and back. The Fast and the Furriest 5K benefits Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, which has Miren up for adoption.

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COMMUNITY Perimeter CIDs deliver on $10M promise Page 8

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OUT & ABOUT Pitch your tent at Dunwoody Nature Center Page 11

Congressional race nears June 20 finish line BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net As the 6th Congressional District race nears a conclusion in the June 20 runoff election, Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel took their campaigns to local events in recent days — while accusing each other of not being publicly visible. Ossoff appeared at several events in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. Those events included a block party at a Dunwoody neighborhood, a concert in Hammond Park in Sandy Springs and a “community conversation” at Sharon Community United Methodist Church in Sandy Springs. U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Atlanta) also campaigned for Ossoff, holding a small early-voting rally at the See CONGRESSIONAL on page 16

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Community Briefs


NEW COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR HIRED The city of Dunwoody has selected Richard McLeod as the new Community Development director. McLeod replaces Steve Foote, who took a job in Tennessee. McLeod comes to Dunwoody after holding senior-level community development positions with the cities of Woodstock and Alpharetta. “Richard’s technical expertise and prodigious knowledge has shaped many successful plans throughout his career,” City Manager Eric Linton said in a press release. “Richard is passionate and knowledgeable, and I am confident Richard will be a tremendous asset to Dunwoody’s future.” CITY OF DUNWOODY In his new position, McLeod will help implement the Richard McLeod. Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2015, as well as the Perimeter Center Zoning Code adopted this year. “I am honored to be chosen to work for such a wonderful city, and I am looking forward to serving Dunwoody and its citizens,” McLeod said in the press release. “My approach embraces collaborative planning which requires community input, communication, and consistent customer service.” McLeod earned a master’s in public administration and bachelor of science degree in geographic information sciences, both from Kennesaw State University. He began his career with the city of Woodstock, where he worked as a planner and downtown coordinator and eventually took on the role of director of community development. While with the city of Alpharetta, McLeod worked as both the director of community development and as a senior planner. Dunwoody’s Community Development Department is responsible for managing the planning and zoning functions of the city as well as development regulation, code compliance and sustainability programs.

City Council voted unanimously May 22 to approve an ordinance amending the city’s alcohol code to allow “bring your own” alcoholic beverages at certain retail establishments and to create a limited on-premises consumption alcohol license for certain businesses wanting to allow clients and customers to BYOB. The amended code allows such businesses that do not have restaurants or bars to let customers to bring their own wine or beer to the business locations.


The city will spend $50,000 to match a Georgia Department of Transportation grant to construct new sidewalks on the Peachtree Industrial Boulevard southbound access road between the southern city limits and Winters Chapel Road. In April, the city received a $101,500 “Multimodal Safety and Access Grant” from GDOT for the new sidewalks, which will eliminate nearly 1,100 feet of existing sidewalk gaps and provide 11 new accessible curb ramps. The entire project is estimated to cost about $150,000 and GDOT requires the city to invest the remaining $50,000 needed to complete the project. The work is expected to begin later this year by Georgia Development Partners. This project has been identified in the city’s Sidewalk Priority List and scored high based on the demonstrated demand and access to transit and adjacent land use.

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A Lifetime of LearLenisng s is more Lewis

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 ’s OK.” approached. “Shuffling buddy, 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. Perimeter Adults but did share his this spring with classes reveal his name, taking 175 students The men are among most of whom (PALS). for senior adults, Learning & Services continuing education the start. year of providing been members from PALS is in its 25th need for of Dunwoody, have takes care of the and his wife, Dot, and this kind of By Kathy Dean are 60-plus. Yates to help other people, “People our age want made lifelong friends.” on page 4 Yates said. “We have We hear itContinued fellowship,” Dot all the time: less rings especial ly true for older is more. The phrase adults who are empty nests and facing are ready to of their lives. enjoy the second Intown and north half many comfort able options for metro Atlanta offer them. “Baby boomers have spent much working and of their lives building their wealth said Dawn Anderso n, Realtor, Dorsey for retirement,” “As retirement Alston Realtors. becomes more of a reality, they plan their transitio begin and affordability n to downsize. Ease of life, proximi to are certainly the ty goals of most downsizing common boomers.” The trend of continues to grow, 55+ active adult commu nities Anderson said. well qualified buyers and know “Baby boomers are looking for.” exactly what they are Kim Isaacs, aged Avalon in Alphare 58, said that her townho me in tta gives her everything they and her husband want. “We had home in Johns lived in our previou Creek for 19 years. s 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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HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE EVENT FREE COLLECTION DAY • REGISTRATION REQUIRED Many potentially dangerous chemicals are used everyday in our homes and yards. When they are no longer needed or useful, they become waste. These items should not be disposed of in the regular trash because of possible harm to sanitation workers and our environment. If you have unwanted cleaning supplies, pesticides, items containing mercury or paint products, this is your chance to dispose of them properly. This event is open to Sandy Springs residents only.


Paints (15 gal limit) Solvents, Cleaners Aerosols Herbicides, Pesticides Motor Oil, Anti-Freeze

SATURDAY, JUNE 17 • 9 AM – 1 PM • Pool Chemicals • Mercury

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ITEMS NOT ACCEPTED • Medical Waste, Needles • Ammunition • Electronics

Morgan Falls Athletic Fields 450 Morgan Falls Road This event is open to Sandy Springs residents only, no contractors or businesses. Register online at keepnorthfultonbeautiful.org or call 770-551-7766 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Monday-Friday

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JUNE 9 - 22, 2017

Community | 3


Council to consider parks master plan BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The city is set to review recommendations and the estimated cost of its longawaited Parks and Recreation Master Plan this month, and Dunwoody Homeowners Association members got a sneak peek. Brent Walker, the city’s Parks and Recreation director, previewed at a June 4 DHA meeting some of the ideas for Brook Run Park. At the meeting, Walker also said the idea of a bond referendum to help pay for park improvements may not be seen as the long shot it was just six years ago. A presentation of the parks plan is scheduled to be presented to City Council on June 12. The bill for proposed projects also will be part of the presentation. Walker said the council will likely receive a five-year budget breakdown from consultants that will provide a blueprint for what can be done according to the city’s historical parks budget. The council could vote on the parks plan as soon as next month. In 2011, City Council adopted Dunwoody’s parks plan after a series of public brainstorming sessions. The plan the city’s consultants developed then called for a long-term effort to dress up the city’s parks. But city voters rejected a controversial $66 million bond that was supposed to pay for the plan, leaving the city with relatively little money to finance park improvements or purchase new parkland. In a resident survey done as part of this year’s parks planning effort, residents were asked how they would be willing to pay for park improvements. Coming in third — behind private donations and user fees — was the idea of a bond referendum. “This was eye-opening to see,” Walker said. “It shows people are willing at this point to at least discuss the option.” The economy has improved since 2011 and residents feel better about how their tax dollars are being spent by the city, Walker said. The lesson learned from that first bond referendum in 2011 was “not to shoot for the moon” and instead look at specific projects where money can be spent immediately and people can have a sense of accomplishment when a project is completed, he said. Walker said he believes the city has proven it is a good steward of tax dollars with the recent completion and maintenance of Pernoshal Park and Georgetown Park. The city currently has about 170 acres of park land, with 109 of those acres in Brook Run Park. Recommendations for Brook Run Park include a 14-acre disc golf course in the wooded back area of the park, two multi-use athletic fields for such sports as soccer and lacrosse, a sand volleyball court, an arboretum and new tennis and basketball courts. There are concepts for the city’s other parks, but the city and consultants focused primarily on Brook Run Park because most of the other parks are pretty much already built out, he said. Balancing active and passive use for the park is BRENT WALKER key in what will be done. PARKS AND RECREATION DIRECTOR “We don’t want it to be all athletic complex. We try to walk that line,” he said. Dunwoody residents “really like” special events and community events, according to the parks survey, said Walker, and fulfilling that need is a priority for the city. The city recently hired a new programs supervisor, he said, and more events will be forthcoming. Walker said perhaps the easiest and best project to be tackled by the city would be to renovate Brook Run Park’s 6-acre “great lawn” in the center of the park to include a large pavilion and restroom and a band shell at the west end of the lawn. That would satisfy the community’s desire for a place to hold special events – and there is already money in the bank. The city received $4 million in 2015 from DeKalb County in the parks bond settlement case. The city spent $3.3 million on the construction of Pernoshal Park. Of the remaining money, $500,000 is reserved for the current parks planning process and $200,000 is earmarked for the great lawn. In addition, the city has about $3 million set aside for park improvements, Walker said. Walker said paths and trails are also a major desire of those in the community. A Georgetown connector trail has been suggested and a new multi-use trail between the great lawn and the existing community garden is also recommended.

This was eye-opening to see. It shows people are willing at this point to at least discuss the option.



‘Hula Hoop’

What is that piece of art in front of the new State Farm building? Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists going past the State Farm office tower on Perimeter Center West have probably noticed an abstract sculpture in front of the glass building. Tracey Hatcher, project manager for Design and Construction with KDC Real Estate Development and Investments, said the piece was commissioned last year by the company for the regional State Farm hub. Second phase of the massive project is underway. The piece, made from painted and coiled steel pipe, is titled “Hula Hoop.” The artist is John Clement of Brooklyn, N.Y.

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City baseball field bids rejected for exceeding budget BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The City Council has rejected bids to construct new baseball fields at Brook Run Park, but the project is still expected to be completed by the fall. The rejected bids came in about $3 million more than city’s original estimated cost. The lowest bid to build two new baseball fields was for slightly more than $7.3 million. The city budgeted $4.3 million to build the fields in an area once belonging to Peachtree Charter Middle School. Parks and Recreation Director Brent Walker recommended the council reject the bids and allow the city to work with Skyline Engineering, designer of the fields, to come up with a different plan that would be more in line with the city’s budget. The council voted at its May 22 meeting to do so. Among the reasons given for the amount of the bids were a plan for a new wall along North Peachtree Road to allow a shift in location of the fields for parking along the west side of the property and a detention pond along Barclay Drive to accommodate the artificial turf. Those two items together

cost about $1.3 million, Walker said. The project timeline also was accelerated, which increased the bid price, so the fields could be completed by Sept. 1 to allow Dunwoody Senior Baseball to play fall league games on the new fields, Walker said. Walker said despite the setback, the fields are still expected to be finished in time for fall league play. City staff is working with Skyline Engineering on the design to find ways to cut costs while keeping the quality of the fields, Walker said. Dunwoody senior Baseball President Jerry Weiner acknowledged he is “concerned” about the process. “We are disappointed the bids came in so high,” he said. “We do believe the original time constraints placed on the completion of the fields [added to] that extra cost. We are value-engineering and doing the best to determine what we can do so we can be there by the time our middle school season starts Sept. 1. “We are also disappointed, however, because it appears we will have to leave [Dunwoody Park fields] before the new fields are done — and that is not what we have been promised by

We are also disappointed, however, because it appears we will to leave [Dunwoody Park fields] before the new fields are done – and that is not what we have been promised by the city. JERRY WEINER DUNWOODY SENIOR BASEBALL PRESIDENT

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the city. We’re hopeful the city delivers the fields on time. We have a great relationship with the city, but we are concerned.” The two new baseball fields were part of a deal between the city and the DeKalb County School District that included a land swap. The deal moved the baseball fields to land that had been part of Peachtree Charter Middle School while allowing the school district to build a new 900-seat Austin Elementary School on land that once belonged to the city as part of Dunwoody Park. The new school is currently slated to open in fall 2019. The city also gets the property where the current Austin Elementary School stands. The city also received $3.6 million from DeKalb Schools as part of the deal. The City Council approved adding just over $58,000 to the Skyline Engineering contract for the baseball fields designs, bringing the total amount to $172,365, including a 10 percent contingency fee. The additional money is needed to cover extra hours and extra work needed to design the fields since the contract was awarded in January, Walker said.

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JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12

Community | 5


Transgender people focus of new support group BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A new meeting of PFLAG, a support group for LGBTQ people and their families and allies, has started in Sandy Springs to serve what organizers say is a particular demand for transgender support. The monthly meeting is a spinoff of PFLAG’s Johns Creek chapter and is intended to cover Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Buckhead and other nearby communities. “Out here in the suburbs, the predominance of people coming to us for support are dealing with transgender issues,” said Ann Miller, PFLAG Johns Creek’s board president, who has a 21-year-old transgender son. She said the Johns Creek meeting is “almost 100 percent transgender or gender-nonconforming [people, family and allies] … I believe that this [Sandy Springs] one will be the same.” Originally named Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, PFLAG was formed in 1972 by a New York City mother who marched alongside her gay son in a pride parade. The group now has more than 400 chapters nationwide. PFLAG is known for its support group

meetings led by parents who have gone through similar personal and social challenges of raising LGBTQ children. “It’s tremendously comforting to talk to another parent,” said Miller, who serves a facilitator at meetings. “Another parent understands in a way that just an ally would not.” LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) people are welcome to attend as well, and some chapters, including the one in Johns Creek, also offer peer-led support meetings for youths. The youth meetings are not coming to the Sandy Springs location for now, Miller said, but may, if there’s demand. PFLAG has chapters in Marietta and downtown Atlanta, but Johns Creek is the only chapter near the booming Ga. 400 corridor. Its ongoing meetings are in a church that is not handy to many Perimeter-area residents, Miller said. The new spinoff meeting, at Congregation B’Nai Torah on Mount Vernon Highway, is less than a mile from a Ga. 400 interchange. Parents have been “clamoring” for a Perimeter-area meeting, Miller said. “The hope is it will become its own chapter,” she said. Some longstanding PFLAG groups, like Atlanta’s, have a core of gay, lesbian and bisexual people, Miller said. In

“When your son comes out as gay, the only thing that really changes is who they date,” while transgender identity raises other concerns: “Do they want to transition? Does their name change?” ANN MILLER PFLAG JOHNS CREEK’S BOARD PRESIDENT Johns Creek, she said, the chapter found that many parents today find sexual orientation easier to understand than gen-

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der identity. “Most parents are like, ‘OK, you’re gay. We know that,’” Miller said. “But transgender has many other layers … There are so many more worries.” “When your son comes out as gay, the only thing that really changes is who they date,” she said, while transgender identity raises other concerns: “Do they want to transition? Does their name change?” Transgender youths often suffer depression and anxiety “because they have not felt themselves all their lives,” Miller said, and in local schools, they often face bullying that is “subtle, whispered, online.” Attending a PFLAG meeting is fairly simple. The ground rules include agreeing to a confidentiality statement and no discussion of politics, religion or sex. “You’re going to get greeted with a smile,” said Miller. Attendees take turns speaking to the group and can choose not to say anything at all, even their names. Attendees “can share what they want to share, as much or as little,” Miller said. The first Sandy Springs PFLAG meeting was scheduled to be held June 6. The next one is planned for July 5. For more information, see PFLAGJohnsCreek.org.

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Group’s next forum: Anti-Semitism in schools BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

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Following its debut meeting this year, the new Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism has announced the focus of its next forum: anti-Semitism in schools. Formed by a group of Dunwoody mothers outraged by anti-Semitic threats nationwide, AIAAS drew about 200 attendees to its first forum, held March 30 in Sandy Springs. A major topic revealed by the forum’s roundtable discussions was a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in schools in north Fulton County. Lauren Menis, one of AIAAS’s founders, said that since the forum the group has heard from parents, teachers and rabbis about more school incidents. “There’s been swastikas on walls,” Menis said. “One kid surrounded by a group of kids ‘Heil Hitler’-ing him … Money thrown at the feet of kids [by students] saying, ‘Here, you’re Jewish.’” The next forum, to be held sometime in October, will seek better methods for preventing and responding to such incidents, Menis said. “The issue is that most of the incidents aren’t getting reported and schools don’t have a consistent protocol for dealing with it,” said Menis. The group hopes to “hopefully come up with countywide or statewide protocols for how to deal with this.” As a grassroots group formed as an instinctive response to national news, AIAAS representatives admit they have sought a focus and a mission distinct from the established advocacy groups the organization has allied with, such as the Anti-Defama- LAUREN MENIS tion League and the American Jewish Com- FOUNDER, ATLANTA INITIATIVE AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM mittee. The debut forum was both an agendasetter and an end in itself, providing a wide range of government, business and religious leaders a chance to share stories and strategies. That forum was held at Temple Emanu-El, where Rabbi Spike Anderson was among those describing reports of anti-Semitic bullying in local schools. “Sometimes they’re quite shocking in terms of what kids say to each other,” Anderson said at the forum, adding that he was not impressed by the responses of most schools. Two specific, recent incidents at Sandy Springs’ North Springs Charter High School were later confirmed by Fulton County school officials: swastika graffiti and mock Valentines cards with anti-Semitic messages. The ADL has an educational program addressing such incidents. In April, the ADL said that reports of anti-Semitic incidents in non-Jewish grade schools nationwide had more than doubled, from 114 in 2015 to 235 in 2016. In the first quarter of 2017, the ADL had 95 reports of such incidents. But the ADL usually comes in only when officials request it, and the stories AIAAS is hearing suggested that many incidents go unreported, Menis said. The forum’s October timing coincides with “National Bullying Prevention Month,” as declared by the PACER Center, a Minnesota-based advocacy organization for children with disabilities. While bullying prevention and response programs have become a trend in schools, Menis said, there appears to be some issue with how that overlaps with the related but distinct realm of hate incidents. “We’re looking at anti-Semitism and other forms of hate,” Menis said. “Hate speech or acts are on a different plane than that.” None of the incidents AIAAS is hearing about come from Jewish schools, Menis said. While that may not be a surprise, the possibility of anti-Semitism from within Jewish communities was a discussion point at the first forum. A nationwide campaign of bomb threats against Jewish organizations was one reason for AIAAS’s founding, and the suspect charged in the case is a Jewish resident of Israel. Menis said after that arrest that many other incidents show the need for AIAAS. Since the forum, she said, she has received “hate emails” that led her to contact the police. That sort of response “just shows what we’re doing, there’s a reason for it,” she said. The October forum likely will be invitation-only, for reasons of productivity and security, Menis said. She hopes to attract state, county and local school officials, as well as parents and students affected by anti-Semitic school incidents. For more information about AIAAS, see StopAntiSemitismATL.org.

The issue is that most of the incidents aren’t getting reported and schools don’t have a consistent protocol for dealing with it.

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12

Community | 7


Church’s Chicken faces harassment lawsuit at Perimeter Center HQ BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Church’s Chicken faces a federal discrimination complaint and a lawsuit for alleged sexual harassment by an executive at its Perimeter Center headquarters. The woman making the complaint is represented by attorney Tamara Holder, a former Fox News contributor who was recently in the news for the settlement of her own sexual assault complaint there. Church’s Chicken, a fast-food chain based at 980 Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs, said in a written statement that it acknowledged the executive’s “conduct” and already terminated him, but was surprised by the complaint filing because it already has a “binding settlement” with the woman. “Sexual harassment at the hands of top corporate executives must come to an end,” Holder said in an email about her client’s complaint. “From major news networks to Uber to major record labels, women are finally standing up and speaking out against the abuse and the people who are complicit in allowing it to occur. No woman should feel she is going to be raped at work. No woman should be afraid to report because these men have all of the power. My client is steadfast in seeking a resolution and ending the culture of abuse at Church’s Chicken.” In Church’s statement, provided by spokesperson Kim Miller, the company said it had already investigated and responded. “At Church’s Chicken, we are committed to the respectful treatment of everyone,” the statement reads. “There is no place for harassment or discrimination of any kind in any workplace, ever. We take reports of harassment very seriously. In this case, we investigated as soon as we learned of the issue and took immediate and appropriate action. The person responsible for the conduct was terminated and we have conducted additional respectful workplace training for our entire headquarters team. Further, we agreed to a binding settlement with the person who filed the claim, so we are perplexed by the filing at the EEOC.” Holder said the employee had a previous attorney, whom Church’s offered a payment amounting to approximately $3,000 for the employee. Holder said Church’s is referring to that deal as the “binding settlement,” but that no settlement or signed agreement was made and the employee did not accept any payment. “They did not settle,” Holder said about Church’s. “[The employee] had a prior attorney and they offered her to settle. She refused. They aren’t perplexed.”

The employee, a 24-year-old woman, filed a formal discrimination complaint last week with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to Holder. Holder said the lawsuit is nearly ready for filing as well. According to a press release, the woman was “subjected to incessant harassment by a senior-level male executive” for five months. Neither the woman nor the executive are named. “Rather than refer to her by name, he called her ‘honey’ and ‘sweetie,’ ” the press release says. “Additionally, the married father would touch her and suggest they ‘go to Vegas to get into trouble.’ The woman inquired about his behavior, and her colleagues made it clear they were complicit in his behavior, saying things like, ‘That’s just the way he is.’” According to a partially redacted version of the EEOC complaint provided by Holder, the alleged harassment occurred from Dec. 7, 2016 — shortly after the woman was hired — through April 10 of this year, when she resigned due to the executive’s behavior. The EEOC complaint describes a number of sexual harassment incidents and comments. The employee says that within two days of starting work, another employee warned her that the executive “will touch all over you.” The executive soon began making comments about her appearance and brushed against her, then later joked, “You can run, but you can’t hide,” the statement says. The complaint quotes the executive as saying on another occasion, “You cannot wear that dress again, it’s too distracting … I feel like a dirty old man.” The executive continued with such behaviors after the woman made it clear they were unwelcome, the complaint says. In February, the employee says, she complained to a woman employed as a member of Church’s human resources department, only to hear that he had made similar comments to her. The woman who filed the complaint said she feared the executive might “try to sleep with me or rape me” and that she suffered stress-induced vomiting. When the company changed its dress code to “super casual,” the employee says, she started dressing down to “do everything in my power to be as unattractive and unappealing as possible,” but the executive continued his comments and behaviors. Holder said the executive is also “involved” in other lawsuits accusing Church’s of negligence for an incident last year at one of its restaurants in Livingston, Texas, where the kitchen floor collapsed, trapping employees in a hole while hot cooking oil poured onto them.

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From left, state transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry accepts the $10 million check from Diane Calloway, chair of the board for the PCIDs’ Fulton County side, as Perimeter Business Alliance chairman Bob Voyles and Georgia Department of Transportation board members look on.

PCIDs present $10M check for I-285/Ga. 400 interchange BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

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A $10 million promise was fulfilled May 26 by the Perimeter Center Community Improvement Districts, when its leaders handed over a check for the PCIDs’ share of the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange reconstruction project. State Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry picked up the $10 million – an actual, slightly wrinkled bank check, not one of those giant publicity props – from the PCIDs at a Perimeter Business Alliance lunch at the Sheraton Atlanta Perimeter North hotel. Demonstrating the breadth of the PCIDs’ trans-

portation interests, the lunch also featured a panel discussion on alternative ways to connect commuters to local MARTA stations. Four years ago, the PCIDs – two selftaxing business districts in Perimeter Center – pledged the $10 million in cash and another $500,000 in planning assistance to the I-285/Ga. 400 project. That was a drop in what turned out to be a roughly $460 million bucket, but the pledge gave political momentum to Gov. Nathan Deal to fast-track the stalled project. The interchange reconstruction, intended to reduce traffic congestion and crashes, is now underway and is scheduled to wrap up in 2020.

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Community | 9


“I can tell you, this project wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for you,” McMurry told members of the PCIDs, saying the donation was of “national significance” in an era of increasing public-private partnerships on infrastructure projects. In an interview afterward, while still holding the check, McMurry praised the PCIDs’ can-do attitude. “It’s not ‘what if?’ It’s ‘how can?’” McMurry said of the PCIDs’ relationship with the Georgia Department of Transportation. “This group does not settle for ‘no.’” Former DeKalb County CEO Liane Levetan, who chatted with McMurry, said she agreed. “They’re true visionaries,” she said of the PCIDs, praising the $10 million contribution as a “true catalyst” for the interchange project. Reconstructing one of the state’s busiest interchanges is intended only to manage traffic congestion, since it can’t be halted altogether while there’s a population and economic boom and limited alternative transportation options. PCIDs is also one of the groups working on those alternatives. In collaboration with the cities of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, the PCIDs recently produced a study on “last-mile connectivity” — meaning using methods other that single-occupancy vehicles to easily get commuters to and from mass transit stations. A kind of master study that sorted and prioritized previous studies, while adding some new ideas, it proposes dedicated lanes for shuttles as one priority. At the May 26 lunch, the panel discussing last-mile connectivity included: Alex Chambers, regional vice president for KDC Real Estate, developers of State Farms’ Park Center complex in Dunwoody; Garrin Coleman, the Sandy Springs Public Works director; and Ryland McClendon, MARTA’s assistant general manager for communications. A representative of the ride-sharing company Uber, which has partnered with MARTA on last-mile connectivity discounts, was scheduled to participate, but he was stuck in an airport, according to PBA program manager Bill Crane. The panelists largely recapped the last-mile connectivity study ideas. In the big picture, they emphasized that giving commuters choices, rather than a single solution, is key, and that some options are already coming. McClendon said that coordinating transportation plans is important because “I think you have to give all [transit] riders a choice.” And studying all available options is important to stay ahead of trends, she said. Coleman noted that multiuse trails are in the works, including a PATH400 segment that will be built along PeachtreeDunwoody Road as part of the I-285/Ga. 400 project. Sandy Springs also is using transportation special local option sales tax money to connect that segment with PATH400 in Buckhead, as well as carry out other multiuse trails on such corri-


The $10 million check in the hands of state transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry shortly after it was presented by the Perimeter Center Community Improvement Districts at a May 26 event at the Sheraton Atlanta Perimeter North hotel.

dors as along Mount Vernon Highway. That Mount Vernon Highway concept, which Coleman said will soon go into a round of public meetings, also includes a dedicated lane on the road for some type of higher-occupancy vehicles. “That’s ride share. That’s bus. That’s all kinds of modes,” Coleman said of the concept. While such dedicated lanes were a main proposal of the recent last-mile connectivity study, they are also challenging and controversial because they could mean converting existing travel lanes. “Mathematically, I’m not sure how you could take away lanes and make it

work” in today’s Perimeter Center, said Chambers, who is also a member of the PCIDs board that represents the DeKalb County side. However, Chambers agreed with the multi-modal, multi-choice approach. The recently finished State Farm tower at Hammond Drive and Perimeter Center Parkway has a direct connection to the Dunwoody MARTA Station platform. Chambers said that inside its lobby there is a large screen showing the real-time status of several transportation options, including MARTA train times, highway traffic reports and the availability of Uber rides.

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10 | Out & About


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Wednesday, June 14, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Disney’s The Lion King KIDS, a musical featuring the music of Elton John, will be presented in two performances at Dunwoody United Methodist Church. Donations at the door benefit the Performing Arts group at Dunwoody UMC, 1548 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770-394-0675.


Saturdays, June 17, July 1 and July 15, 7 p.m.

The folk-rock band High Beams is up next in this concert series presented by the city of Dunwoody. Picnicking begins at 6 p.m. Craft beers available for purchase. Free to nature center members. Non-members: $5



adults, $3 students, free to children 3 and younger. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.

DINNER AND A DIVA Tuesday, June 20, 7 p.m.

Singers from the Capitol City Opera Company will perform highlights of the opera “Carmen” between dinner courses at Petite Violette in the monthly Dinner and a Diva program at the restaurant. Appetizers and cash bar open at 6:30 p.m. Reservations required. 2948 Clairmont Road N.E., Brookhaven. Pricing and reservations: 404-634-6268 or 404-633-3363. Dinner and a Diva info: ccityopera.org.

AMERICAN CELEBRATION CONCERT & PICNIC Sunday, June 25, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Dunwoody United Methodist Church presents its annual patriotic concert featuring its Chancel Choir, Women’s Choir, Musica Gloria and the bluegrass band

The Wandering Shepherds. The concert will be in the sanctuary and will be followed immediately by a fried chicken/baked chicken picnic in the gym. Register by noon on June 19. $5 ages 3-8; $10 adults. 1548 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodyumc.org.


through the new Heritage Sandy Springs Outdoors Club. The club is open to the public, all ages and skill levels. Free. Advance registration requested. Participants must complete an online liability waiver. Check website for locations, which are subject to change. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.


Saturday, June 17, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, June 18, from noon to 4 p.m.


Fridays, June 16 and June 30, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Celebrate Shabbat at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s pool and splash park. Open swim and activities begin at 5 p.m., followed by Shabbat songs and blessings at 6 p.m. Free, and open to the community. Bring your own food. Drinks available at the snack bar. Free challah, grape juice and ice pops for children. MJCCA-Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: 678-812-4161 or rabbi.glusman@atlantajcc.org.

The Atlanta History Center hosts its annual Juneteenth program commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. Themes of freedom and family history will be explored through author talks, stories and theater and guests can participate in a program providing tips on African-American genealogical research. Free weekend at the Atlanta History Center. Food and drinks available for purchase. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info: AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Family or 404-814-4000.



Explore Sandy Springs on hour-long hikes Friday nights and Saturday mornings

Learn the Cajun waltz, two-step and jitterbug in a series of three dance classes for beginners sponsored by the Atlan-

Fridays starting June 16, 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays starting June 17, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Thursdays, June 22, June 29, and July 6, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12

Out & About | 11


ta Cajun Zydeco Association. No partner necessary. All ages welcome. $30 for the series; $10 per class. Darwin’s Burgers and Blues, 234 Hilderbrand Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: aczadance.org or 877-338-2420.

dy Springs continues its 2017 family gardening series (second Saturdays through October) with “Plant an Ice Cream Cone.” Plant spring vegetables in unusual containers, such as ice cream cones, that will decompose in the ground. Free. Best suited for ages 6-10, with an accompanying adult. Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market, 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.


in honor and celebration of

Father’s Day.


Saturday, June 17, 10 a.m. to noon.

Saturday, June 24, setup begins at 4 p.m.

This family-focused program at the Dunwoody Nature Center teaches camping basics such as tent-building and campfire skills. $20 per campsite for members; $25 for non-members. Camping gear can be rented from the nature center’s partner, REI Perimeter. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.


Friday, June 16, to Friday, Aug. 4. Opening reception June 16, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Gallery hours: Mondays, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays through Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Drawings, paintings and sculpture depicting characters inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen are featured in this solo exhibit, “Clay Pigeons,” by Chicago artist Hebru Brantley. Free admission to exhibit and opening reception. Chastain Arts Center Gallery, 135 West Wieuca Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: 404-252-2927 or chastainarts@atlantaga.gov.


Through Saturday, Aug. 19. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A juried summer exhibition of student and instructor art showcases work in all mediums and disciplines currently being produced at the Spruill Center for the Arts. Free. 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Sandy Springs. Info: spruillarts.org.




Meet new people, share refreshments and practice conversational English or Spanish skills in the “International Cafe” event at the Brookhaven Library. 1242 North Druid Hills Road N.E., Brookhaven. Free. Register: 404-508-7190, ext. 2257, or email adultservices@dekalblibrary.org.

For many of us, our fathers are our heroes. To the men who give us everything and ask for nothing in return, thank you for making such a difference in our lives. Happy Father’s Day from your local Dignity Memorial® professionals.


Wednesdays through July 12, 2:30 p.m.

Personal coach and fitness trainer Susan Longley leads a study group based on the book “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley. Free. Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church Family Life Center, 2715 Peachtree Road, Buckhead. Info: susan@susanlongley.com.


Volunteers are needed for greeter and docent positions at the Anne Frank in the World: 1929-1945 exhibit presented by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. Volunteers promote public understanding of the history of the Holocaust. Training and educational resources provided. 5920 Roswell Road, Suite A209, Sandy Springs. Online application required: holocaust.georgia.gov/volunteer.


Tuesday, June 13, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber’s fashion show benefits The Drake House and Drake Closet, a boutique that benefits Drake House crisis housing, education and empowerment programs for homeless single mothers and their children. Food and wine bar; shop at The Drake Closet pop-up. Minimum donation: members, $30; non-members, $35; reserved tables, $300. UPS world headquarters, 55 Glenlake Parkway N.E., Sandy Springs. Pre-register: sspchamber.org.














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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 Julie Davis, Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Janet Tassitano Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Robin Conte, Kathy Dean, Phil Mosier

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.

© 2017 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 / What’s in your vacation plan? Although the United States is the only industrialized country that does not require employers to provide paid vacation days and several recent studies have found Americans are taking less vacation than they used to, that may be starting to change, according to Project Time Off, a group financed by the U.S. travel industry. The group recently reported that that Americans in 2017 are using slightly more vacation days than they did in the past few years, although they’re still using taking fewer vacation days in a year than they did from 1976 and 2000. More than 70 percent of the respondents to our most recent 1Q community survey said they plan on taking more than two weeks of vacation this year. The cellphone survey of 250 people living in communities served by Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown found that three in 10 respondents planned to take more than three weeks of vacation this year, and another four in 10 planned on using two to three weeks of vacation. Only 3 percent planned to take less than a week of vacation and just another 3 percent planned to take no vacation at all. The amount of time off respondents said they’d take appeared to relate to their ages, with older respondents reporting plans for longer vacations. That could reflect their longevity at work and the amount of vacation time they’ve earned on the job. Asked to choose from categories

Question: How much vacation time do you plan to take off work this year?

4.4% 3.2%

2.8% 2.8%



9.6% 29.2%



More than three weeks 75 (30.0%)

A “staycation” at home 11 (4.4%)

Two to three weeks 103 (41.2%)

Inside Georgia, like the mountains or beach 24 (9.6%)

One to two weeks 58 (23.2%) Less than one week 7 (2.8%) None. What’s a vacation? 7 (2.8%)

how much vacation time they planned to use this year, respondents aged 45 to 54 chose “more than three weeks” slightly more than other choices offered in the survey. Other groups chose “two to three weeks” slightly more than the other available options, but 18-yearolds to 24-year-olds chose “one to two weeks” or “two to three weeks” slightly more than other options.

Reporter Newspapers wins 12 Georgia Press Association awards Reporter Newspapers won 12 awards, including three first-place honors in its division, in the Georgia Press Association’s 2017 Better Newspaper Contest. Winners were announced June 3. Reporter Newspapers’ first-place honors included: Lifestyle/Feature Column to Robin Conte’s “Robin’s Nest,” which also won two other awards; Business Writing to Managing Editor John Ruch’s work in the monthly Perimeter Business section; and Page One design, which got a fresh look last year at the hands of Creative Director Rico Figliolini. Reporter Newspapers also won awards for local and hard news coverage; news photography; Education Guide special issue; religion writing; website; and “general excellence.” The awards honored work that appeared in 2016 in the Reporters’ Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs newspapers. Work by Editor-at-Large Joe Earle, staff writer Dya-

Question: Where do you plan to spend most of your vacation time this year?

na Bagby, and photographer Phil Mosier was part of the award-winning entries. “We’re delighted that the Georgia Press Association has recognized Reporter Newspapers as among the best community publications in the state,” said Steve Levene, the founder and publisher of the Reporter Newspapers’ parent company Springs Publishing. “It’s a testament to the credibility and quality of the stories and features in every issue produced by our staff. And it’s especially gratifying to be judged and honored by our peers, real journalists and professionals in our field.” The GPA is a 131-year-old organization of Georgia newspapers. Its Better Newspaper Contest is statewide and this year was judged by members of the Alabama Press Association. Entries are judged in seven divisions based on the newspapers’ circulation. The Reporters were judged in the division that includes all weekly newspapers with a circulation of more than 15,000 and all of the GPA’s “associate media members.”

Outside Georgia, but in the U.S. 134 (53.6%) International travel 73 (29.2%) Other 8 (3.2%) Respondents also said they plan to travel during vacation. More than half said they would visit parts of the United States outside Georgia and another 29 percent planned trips abroad. Only 10 percent planned to stay within the state. Just 4 percent said they would stay home. Have a good trip.

THE FUL L L IS T O F G EO R G I A P R ES S AWA R DS TO R EP O R T ER NEW S PA P ER S General Excellence: Third Place Local News Coverage: Third Place (Staff) Hard News Writing: Second Place (John Ruch) Business Writing: First Place (John Ruch) Religion Writing: Third Place (Staff) News Photograph: Second Place (Phil Mosier) Special Issues: Second Place (Fall 2016 Education Guide) Lifestyle/Feature Column: First Place (Robin Conte) Humorous Column: Second Place (Robin Conte) Serious Column: Third Place (Robin Conte) Page One: First Place Newspaper Website: Third Place

Commentary | 13

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

The Yoga Class I started taking yoga bethat you’ve never heard because I was running out of fore but that still sound oddexercises that don’t hurt my ly familiar, and 2) names of knees, shoulders, lower back, common animate and inanhips or head. Besides that, at imate objects. For instance, the end of a yoga class we all Chaturanga Dandasana and lie peacefully on our mats Uttanasana will be interin the darkened room while spersed with Happy Baby, meditative sitar music plays, Angry Cat, Table Top and a and the only other way I can whole series of Warriors. justify lying flat on my back So a typical class will go for five minutes in the midlike something like this: dle of the day is if I’m getting Good morning, class. an MRI. Let’s start on our mats in Now, I’ll tell you straightRobin Conte is a writer the Jujubeansarana pose … away that yoga is sort of a and mother of four breathe … feel the breath sadistic version of “Simon who lives in Dunwoody. and set your intention for Says.” The yoga instructor She can be contacted at today’s practice. will lead you through a series Good. Now slowly move -robinjm@earthlink.net. of poses that I am convinced knees, chest and chin -- into the human body was never designed to Dead Donkey. Hold it. Listen to what your make. The underlying theory of the pracbody is telling you. Raise the right leg … tice is that you can purify your mind and bend it to the side and open up the hips … body and become one with the universe by we’re in Vanmorrisonishina … moving into pretending that you’re a contortionist. Ticked-Off Teenage Daughter. But the great thing about yoga is that Now straighten the right leg, still holdeven if you can’t do all the positions, most ing it behind you … wrap your arms behind of the rest of the people in the class can’t, your back and grab your wrists … turn toeither. There will always be one, howevwards the wall and feel the twist … we’re er, who will make all of the poses perin Ottomanempire. Move back to center … fectly; she will wrap her knees around Now gradually lift the left leg, while lowher ears, balance her entire body on her ering down to balance on your head. Hold knuckles, and then touch her tongue to the pose … Remember to breathe. her nose besides, just to make the rest of Now slowly unwrap your arms and pous feel worse about ourselves. sition your hands on either side of your ears But don’t mind her. Watch me. … make sure they’re lined up properly … and Classes often center on a series of poses rise up into Flying Whoopee Cushion. called the Sun Salutation, and they are basiBeautiful. cally like a highly advanced game of “Head, Okay, lower back to NadiacomaneciShoulders, Knees and Toes.” It is very hard ana, with chest, chin and palms on your to do once you have passed adolescence. mat. Be careful not to poke yourself in Yoga teachyour Third Eye. ers like to talk We’re going to about your go into Left“prana” -- an Over Meatinvisible ball loaf … envision of energy that yourself in this forms in the pose before we space between move into it. your hands. Very good. Its cousins are Roll over to Harvey the your side and Rabbit and slowly push Casper the up into a sitFriendly Ghost. ting position, Sometimes the and let’s end class will dithe class with vide into teams a few cleansand throw ing breaths. their praBreathe in na across the and hold for a SPECIAL room for an incount of five, Robin takes her yoga with a big shot of humor. visible game of now blow out catch, and sometime everyone will hold all at once and make a sound like a lion givtheir invisible balls in place and wait for ing birth … ROAHHHAAAAH!! Good. Godot. Let’s do that three more times. GradIn a yoga class, the instructor will ually raise your arms parallel to the lead the class through the poses by namground. Bring your right hand slowly to ing them either in the traditional Sanyour mouth. Pop an Altoid. skrit or their English translations, which Now close your eyes, palms to chest. creates an odd combination of: 1) words Namaste.

Robin’s Nest




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Out with the old and in with the new in Dunwoody Village as recent demolition readies the city’s “town center” for new development. The Old Hickory House at 5490 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road has been torn down. During Memorial Day

Weekend, only the barbecue oven remained standing of the popular restaurant that shuttered its doors in 2014. The barbecue restaurant was an iconic institution for the city, not only for eating but for meeting, according to reactions from many when it was announced the restaurant was closing. A photo of the restaurant on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s website when DUN

Community | 15

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

What Will Thrive Mean To You? If your family is struggling to care for a loved one with memory impairment, Thrive will mean relief. It will mean you can sleep knowing your loved one is being cared for every hour of every day by experienced and trained professionals who know what to do. The Care Team works to know the life story of each resident so they connect in special ways. They become trusted friends who guide and provide comfort in times of confusion. Schedule an appointment now to discover the meaningful ways we can help you. For more information and to schedule your personal tour, please call (470) 250-0808

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The remains of the barbecue oven at the former Old Hickory House restaurant in Dunwoody Village.

Old Hickory House was closed shows a sign planted in the grass stating, “Anything here but a bank.” A bank will go up in the Old Hickory House site. However, the new bank building is a relocation of a SunTrust bank branch office. SunTrust is closing its branch at 1710 Mount Vernon Road, also in Dunwoody Village, to open in the new location. The vacant building at 5419 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road that once housed a Phillips 66 gas station and later a car wash also is being torn down. The site stands across the street from the historic Cheek-Spruill Farmhouse and is to become a restaurant/retail development. City Council had to approve special land use permits for both developments to allow for more parking spaces than currently allowed in the Dunwoody Village master plan. A new 79-unit townhouse development is also going up on the eastern side of Dunwoody Village Parkway, just north of the Mount Vernon Road intersection. Office buildings at the site have been torn down and 14 multi-unit buildings will replace them. City Council approved the project last year. DUN

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U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan appeared at a rally for Republican Karen Handel in Dunwoody last month.

960 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30342


North Fulton Government Service Center in Sandy Springs. Handel attended the state GOP convention in Augusta June 2-5, but she has attended several local events in recent weeks, such as the Taste of Brookhaven held last month and meeting with the Dunwoody ROMEOs (Retired Old Men Eating Out), according to Handel spokesperson Charlie Harper. The Georgia GOP Convention was attended by hundreds of 6th Congressional District grassroots volunteers and leaders, Harper said, giving Handel face time with people working to get her elected, even though she was out of the district. “In addition, volunteer events at the convention generated tens of thousands of volunteer phone calls,” he said. Harper said Handel’s appearance at the state GOP convention contrasted with Ossoff’s attendance at the Democratic National Convention’s Southern Regional Caucus meeting held June 2-4 in downtown Atlanta and its “Resistance Summer” theme of opposition to President Donald Trump. “Jon Ossoff didn’t appear publicly with [Democratic Party chair Keith Ellison, a Minnesota congressman], who has made noted anti-Semitic comments, nor is he bragging about the event’s theme ‘Resis-

tance Summer,’” Harper said. “Karen’s speech was widely reported. Has anyone asked Jon Ossoff what he told his ‘Resistance’ gathering?” Ossoff spokesperson Sacha Haworth said Ossoff and Ellison attended different events on different days. “Jon holds public events every single day, talking with 6th District voters about Jon’s plan to cut wasteful spending in Washington and prioritize high-tech and biotech research to grow the local economy,” Haworth said. “We hold public rallies, canvass launches and house parties every week with members of the community and invite members of the press to cover them. “By contrast, career politician Karen Handel holds so few public events, people are asking ‘Where is Karen Handel?’ ” Haworth said. “Every local outlet has been forced to report, ‘Karen Handel did not respond to our request for comment.’ ” The bickering between the two candidates came to a head in their first debate broadcast on WSB-TV on June 6. Handel repeatedly labeled Ossoff a liberal Democrat who was hand-picked by Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader from San Francisco. Ossoff tagged Handel as a career politician and hammered her on her role in cutting off funding for breast screenings to Planned Parenthood while she headed up the Susan G. Komen Foundation.


Community | 17

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net


WEEKEND 2-day weekend pass Democrat Jon Ossoff attended a block party this month at the Dunwoody North Driving Club.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Atlanta) stumps for Democrat Jon Ossoff at a small early voting rally in Sandy Springs this month.

Disputes over scheduling debates arose in the last days of the race. Handel had declined to participate in a candidate forum sponsored by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association in May, leading to national backlash from Ossoff supporters. Her campaign said she had a scheduling conflict. This month, Ossoff declined to debate Handel in an Atlanta Press Club debate that would have been broadcast on CNN. His campaign said Ossoff is “committed to debates moderated by members of the local metro Atlanta press corps, and sadly we could not come to an agreement with CNN on that front.” Local politicians have also entered the fray. Ossoff picked up his first endorsements from city elected officials in the 6th District, with Dunwoody City Councilmember Lynn Deutsch and Sandy Springs Councilmember Andy Bauman voicing support in June 2 statements. “During this long and grueling campaign, Jon has demonstrated the necessary character and temperament for the job,” Bauman, a political independent, said in the statement. “His opponent, by contrast, has a long-established track record of outdated and backwards thinking on many of the very important values issues of our time.” Deutsch attended an Ossoff rally fea-



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turing U.S. Rep. John Lewis held June 2 near the North Fulton Government Service Center, an early voting site in Sandy Springs. “I’m here to support Jon Ossoff because my priorities are healthcare and the economy,” said Deutsch, who declined to state her political affiliation. “I think Jon Ossoff will be the better congressperson. He will be a very effective congressperson because he’s worked on Capitol Hill and shares many of the same priorities of the residents of the 6th District.” Many other local officials, including the mayors and several councilmembers of Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, have endorsed Handel or attended her campaign rallies. Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal and Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul attended a local Handel rally featuring U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) last month. Among the local councilmembers publicly supporting Handel are Dunwoody’s Terry Nall, Doug Thompson and Pam Tallmadge; Brookhaven’s Joe Gebbia and Bates Mattison; and Sandy Springs’ Chris Burnett, Ken Dishman and Gabriel Sterling. Brookhaven Mayor Jon Ernst, a Democrat, said June 2 he is not endorsing a candidate in the race. John Ruch contributed to this report.

404-848-5000 | www.itsmarta.com/Weekend

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Modern living, rustic settings beckon homebuyers Lake Sconti

BY KATHY DEAN The serene beauty of the north Georgia mountains has long been enjoyed by the locals and served as an inspiration for artists. Today, more folks are discovering the beauty and benefits of living in the foothills of the Appalachians, especially people in the nearby Atlanta area. Modern-day developers consider the landscape carefully and build to protect the area’s natural resources. Homeowners enjoy the pay-offs – a wide variety of top-notch recreational opportunities and breathtaking vistas. Big Canoe is a prime example. The gated private residential community set is set in the rolling mountains of Jasper, Ga., just a one-hour drive north from Atlanta. The rise in sales reflects the neighborhood’s popularity. “The current real estate market in Big Canoe is very healthy,” said Katie Wercholuk, Marketing Director, Big Canoe Company, LLC. “It’s almost as strong as the height of the 2005 market, and we’re well on our way to surpassing those records.” She added that 2016 was the best resale home year of all time in Big Canoe’s 30-year history. Through the end of April 2017, resale transactions increased by 39 percent compared to the same time last year. “More often than not, we’re seeing multiple offers on Big Canoe homes and home sites,” Wercholuk said. The sales upsurge is echoed by Kim L. Knutzen, Managing Broker, Harry Norman REALTORS Blue Ridge Office. “This is one of the strongest markets I’ve seen since 2003, when I moved to the mountains fulltime and opened up the Harry Norman Realtors office,” she said. Knutzen noted that while there are still good resale valued homes available, she

A home at Big Canoe.

is seeing an issue with low inventory. Resales tend to move well with price points of $200,000-$500,000 and certain amenities, such as a waterfront or mountain view. “We’ve seen an influx of buyers for Old Toccoa Farm, a new development and the only fly fishing and golf community in our area,” Knutzen said. “We also have other non-amenitized properties such as Aska’s Grand Vista, which not only offers mountain views, but also has views of Lake Blue Ridge.” Old Toccoa Farm, just 85 miles north of Atlanta, is near the historic town of Blue Ridge, Ga. It boasts price points of $450,000 and up for custom and spec homes, with lot prices starting at $90,000. Aska’s Grand Vista, located roughly five miles from downtown Blue Ridge, has price points running from the high $400,000s to the mid $600,000s. Faron W. King, Broker/Owner, Coldwell Banker High Country Realty, reported that the market remained brisk through the winter months, “… leading us right into the typically strong spring selling season, which is a bit unusual,” he said. “The milder winter coupled with people’s confidence in a stronger economy has them in the

mood to buy a second or retirement home.” King said that while it’s still true that many mountain homes are bought by retirees and vacationers, that’s not the whole story. “We’re seeing younger buyers wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of Atlanta for a weekend getaway, and it turns into a part-time home if their career allows them to telecommute,” said King. “They spend as much time here as their schedule allows, and reliable high speed internet access is at the top of their required list of amenities.” Nathan Fitts, Nathan Fitts & Team of RE/MAX Town & Country, is also enthusiastic about the strong sales. “This is the best market we’ve experienced in years,” he said. “We have a demand for all types of homes and properties. Over the last few years, vacant land sales had been struggling, but they began to make a turnaround in 2016, and so far in 2017, they’ve continued, as new construction is booming and in high demand.” He said that the prices for a three-bedroom, three-bath mountain view home in the area, including resales and new construction, range from $65,000 to $985,000, with the average sales price of $287,323. Fitts pointed to the ever-popular Aska Adventure Area as a hot spot for those moving to Blue Ridge, especially for people looking for second homes and rental investments. “These desirable communities include Necowa Cove, which overlooks and fronts the pristine waters of Lake Blue Ridge,” he said. Deer Crest, Ridges Over the Lake, Raccoon Ridge and Little Creek Overlook are also on

many homebuyers’ wish lists. Other hot properties, according to Fitts, are The Heights at Cashes Valley, an upscale modern rustic community consisting of homes starting at $500,000, Riverwalk on the Toccoa, and Cherry Log Mountain/ Lake. North Georgia also offers a variety of full-time living communities with craftsman and traditional style living, such as Owen Glen, in Blairsville, and the nearby Thirteen Hundred, complete with golf, tennis and swimming pool. “These all-inclusive communities and these types of amenities are becoming more and more popular since many people are moving to this area full time, rather than just using these houses as second homes,” Fitts said. Continued on page 20

Riverwalk Toccoa

Cherry Lake DUN

Special Section | 19

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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20 | Special Section


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reasons to visit the WNC mountains: 1. Outdoor activities for the whole family 2. See nature’s majesty 3. Reconnect with loved ones

The view at Big Canoe

Continued from page 18

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While many people buying in the foothills plan to use their mountain home as a second home until they retire to the north Georgia mountains, the market trends are beginning to change, according to Fitts. “In addition to second homes, we’re seeing a huge increase in primary home sales,” he said. “In previous years, a high percentage of our buyers were from Atlanta and Florida, and a majority still are, but we’re now seeing relocations from all over the United States. Almost half of our closings in 2016 were not with Georgia-based buyers, and were purchased as homes for full-time living.” Big Canoe has also seen an increase in pre-retirees who are attracted to the lifestyle and options that the community offers. “Many metro Atlanta residents are becoming empty-nesters, but they’re still working and planning for the future before it’s time to retire,” Wercholuk said. “Since we’re only an hour to downtown Atlanta, and even closer to Buckhead, we’re starting to see an increase in younger buyers.” As far as second home and vacation homebuyers, Big Canoe remains steady at about 60/40, full-time residents vs. parttime or weekenders. Wercholuk expects that these trends will remain consistent in Big Canoe for some time, especially as metro Atlanta counties continue to expand in population. While low inventory has become a concern in many areas, that’s not a problem in Big Canoe, which sprawls across 8,000 acres. “There’s always enough inventory to meet the demand,” Wercholuk said. “New construction is still moving and there are still plenty of opportunities to build or buy.” Knutzen added that another segment of the population that’s buying in the north Georgia mountains is investors who buy homes and rent them out through cabin rental programs. She said that she does see the need for more well-designed homes in the area, but the issue is being addressed. “Developers and builders are stepping up to the plate to meet the demand,” said Knut-

zen. “Old Toccoa Farm has definitely filled a void for our area.” “Inventory continues to be a problem in most areas of the region we serve,” King said. “This is evidenced by the fact that many of the builders are building custom homes for end users, and that’s product that never hits the market.” He added that when an attractive property enters the market as a resale, there are typically multiple offers and it often goes for above list price. Fitts agreed that inventory has been low over the last 12 months, but added that there are many new communities and developments that will be coming on the market soon. One is a new anchor for the downtown Blue Ridge area. “I’m currently working with developers who are planning a mixed-use project near downtown Blue Ridge with the live, work, play concept,” he said. “It will feature some exciting new shared office spaces, a concert venue, retail and dining opportunities and an indoor market.” Also in the early stages is a plan for a self-sustainable community just outside the Blue Ridge area. Fitts noted that it will be north Georgia’s first community of that type. The trend of heading to the hills is only increasing as homebuyers look to the north Georgia mountains to find their dream retirement homes, hideaway vacation houses or full-time relaxing residences. As developers continue to meet the demand, there are more spots of heaven available for everyone.

Blue RIdge Bungalow


Special Section | 21

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Fort Yargo - biking


are known to mountain bikers, which means trail runners will find a mixture of smooth, easy-to-navigate singletrack along with some technical rocky and rooted sections.

Running enthusiasts lace up for events at Georgia State Parks

Chattanooga 50-mile, 100-mile and 100-mile 8-person Relay

On your mark, get set, go! Whether you’re a trail runner or a triathlete, Georgia State Parks has the terrain, the technicality and some pretty amazing views year-round. Check out this list of upcoming and future races and get more details at GaStateParks.org.

For Trail Runners July 29 at Red Top Mountain State Park, Acworth Named for the hot temperatures in July, the Red Top Roaster is one of the most popular races at Red Top Mountain State Park. The Red Top Roaster Race terrain utilizes most of the park’s trails including the Sweet Gum Trail, Homestead Trail, Iron Hill Trail, Campground Trail and Visitor Center Loop Trail. The course is made up of rolling hills and double track with minimal rocks and roots, perfect for a first trail race. Fort Yargo Dirty Spokes


Dec. 16 at Unicoi State Park, Helen One of the most festive trail races, runners start and end in Unicoi State Park, looping through the park’s trails and running through downtown Helen’s Main Street. Runners are encouraged to dress in costumes, and a party at the finish line greets participants with a DJ and Santa Claus.

For Triathletes Tri the Parks - Richard B. Russell State Park

July 29 at Richard B. Russell State Park, Elberton Athletes swim 1,500 meters in Lake Russell, then leave the park to ride a 22-mile lollipop loop around Elberton, followed by a 6.2-mile run through the park’s rolling hills. The race has a duathlon and aquabike option.

Tugaloo Triathlon

Sept. 9 at Tugaloo State Park, Lavonia This Olympic distance triathlon consists of a 1.5k swim, a 42k bike and a 10k run throughout Tugaloo State Park. Racers will swim in Lake Hartwell, bike through the rolling hills of Hart County and run a relatively flat road that loops throughout the park.

Oct. 14 at Fort Yargo State Park, Winder The trail race starts in the powerline alley before dipping into the woods. Fort Yargo’s trails

Georgia’s Best Alignment Longest Duration Great Family Events • Make Plans Now

Dec. 1-2 at Cloudland Canyon State Park, Rising Fawn Trail runners journey all the trails within Cloudland Canyon State Park in the first-annual Chattanooga 100-mile race. The course features two 50-mile loops where runners will pass by waterfalls, run along ridgeline and rim trails and see expansive views of the canyon and surrounding areas.

Helen Holiday Half Marathon/10k

Red Top Roaster 9.9-mile or 3.1-mile Trail Race

Fort Yargo State Park 8.75-mile or 3.1-mile Trail Race

Helen Holiday Half Marathon

abun Count y Georgia


AUGUST 21, 2017


22 | Special Section

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MOUNTAIN FUN Events and activities happening in North Georgia

If you’re thinking of moving to the North Georgia mountains and wondering what there is to do besides admire the view, check out this list of eclectic events happening this summer and fall.

Blue Ridge Mountains Wine & Jazz Festival The festival will be held June 17 from 3 to 9 p.m. at 58 Boardtown Road near the town of Blue Ridge. Acts include headliner Denny Jiosa, Kharisma Jazzmatic Funk, Jazz Jones Legacy and Taryn Newborne Visit

blueridgewineandjazz.com for tickets and details.

Blairsville Scottish Festival Bagpipes, drums, games and food will bring the Scottish highlands to Meeks Park in Blairsville on June 10-11. Admission is $10 for one day or $15 for both days. Children 12 and under get in free. Visit blairsvillescottishfestival.com for details.

Georgia Wine Country Festival Three Sisters Vineyards in Dahlonega will host the 16th annual festival every week-

Are the Mountains Calling You? Lake Blue Ridge 5BR/3BA $1,200,000 Walk from 2576 SF lakefront, mountain view, custom, true log home to your own boat/jet ski dock on Lake Blue Ridge. Call Curt Barger 706.633.9088

Blairsville, GA 3BR/3.5BA $844,000 Country Estate – 18+acres – 3048 SF luxury home! Infinity pool, 3 car garage, barn, horse stalls, pasture, 3 ponds, trout creek. Call Jeanne Mills 706.218.4202

Ellijay, GA 4BR/3.5BA $599,000 Mtn and Lake View house – 4.6 ac. - 3136 SF. Carters Lake access. Custom interior, 2 FPs, screened porch, game and bunk rooms. Call Kimberly Bruner 706.455.5703

Blue Ridge, GA 3BR/3BA $389,500 Affordable Luxury – 3357 SF Cabin with Mtn & Lake Blue Ridge views and access. Upscale kitchen, open plan, 3 decks, immaculate! Call Curt Barger 706.633.9088

Morganton, GA 3BR/3BA $359,900 Stunning 3010 SF Prow Front Log Home on 1.3 ac – Mtn & Lake Views – Luxury Features, 2 story porches, private fishing lake. Call Donna O’Neal 706.356.9034

Morganton, GA 3BR/3BA $346,900 Mtn getaway has it ALL– 2208 SF – 3.2 Ac. Furnished & loaded – 2 masters, bunk room, wrap deck, theater, RV parking, and more! Call Chris Colbert 404.226.2062

Blue Ridge, GA 5BR/2.5BA $329,000 Farm style Cedar Log Cabin – 2240 SF – 9.4 Ac. Mtn & fishing pond view. Country kitchen, master on main, wood burning stove, pine flrs. Call Donna O’Neal 770.356.9034

McCaysville, GA 2BR/2BA $174,900 Log cabin getaway – 1.1 Ac – 1008 SF. Access to Fightingtown Creek – Best trout stream in N. GA. Bring your fishing pole! Call Kimberly Bruner 706.455.5703

Blue Ridge, Georgia Blairsville, Georgia 274 W Main Street 706.632.7311

211A Cleveland St. 706.745.3500

Ellijay, Georgia 329 River Street 706.276.1254


Hiawassee, Georgia 430 N. Main Street 706.896.3132

Murphy, N.C. 4290 US Hwy 64 W 828.835.8500


Special Section | 23

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net


Escape to the Blue Ridge Mountains... end in June. A wine garden featuring wineries from around the state will be featured along with food trucks, jazz and more. Visit threesistersvineyards.com for details.

land. Santa will be on hand for photos and sporting his Hawaiian best for all those who wonder what Santa does in the summer. For more information, visit myfavoritezoo.com.

Rabun County Music Festival

Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ Music Festival

The annual music extravaganza returns to the Rearden Theatre on the campus of the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in Rabun County. The lineup includes: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (June 18); Jim Curry (July 2); Phil Dirt and the Dozers (July 16); Barbra and Frank: The Concert That Never Was (July 30); and Joe Gransden & His Big Band (Aug. 13). Tickets and details at rabunmusicfestival.com.

Rome Beer Fest Head to Rome for this 10th annual unique craft beer, art and music experience on Sept. 16. All proceeds benefit the Rome Area Council for the Arts, providing community arts programming, education and outreach. For more information, romebeerfest.com.

This year’s fair is July 21-29 at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee. Rides, live music, food and much more draw thousands of visitors each year. See all the events happening this summer at the fairgrounds at georgiamountainfairgrounds.com.

The annual event is held over two weekends – Oct. 14-15 and Oct. 21-22 – in Ellijay. There will be more than 300 vendors, an antique car show, a parade and plenty of apples. Visit georgiaapplefestival.org for information.

Enjoy a full weekend, July 7-9, of Christmas music, gift-buying, holiday cheer and animals at the North Georgia Zoo in Cleve-

Mountain Dreams Begin Here Highlands Cove Realty specializes in luxury North Carolina mountain homes, breathtaking homesites, condominiums, cottages and vacation rentals at Old Edwards Club and in the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountain communities.

The gated community at Old Edwards Club offers a private golf club, with an 18 hole Tom Jackson designed course, a 24 hour exercise facility, heated mineral pool and pavilion area, two clay tennis courts, an outside chimney terraced and a club house with a large bar area and several different dining area options, both indoors and out.

95 Asheville





He’s Big in Real Estate.



Georgia Apple Festival

Christmas In July at North Georgia Zoo



The annual festival will be held in the downtown Blue Ridge City Park on Sept. 1416. There will be barbeque, live music, craft beer, fun stuff for the kids and more. Find more information at stayinblueridge.com.

Georgia Mountain Fair




The quaint town of Highlands is located in the beautiful Western North Carolina mountains. Just 2 hours from Atlanta, and in close proximity to interstate 85.

Ed Hillis


4BR/3.5BA | 3.32 Acres | MLS#266505


3BR/3.5BA | 1.87 Acres | MLS#268461


3BR/3BA | 1.7 Acres | MLS#267902

Mountain livings doesn’t get any One of the finest residences Murphy This newly finished classic rustic style mountain lodge is privately tucked better than this. This modern rustic has to offer with sparkling charm, away near the Aska Adventure Area lodge sits above the clouds with all upgraded finishes galore, & with stunning mountain views. the bells & whistles. sensational panoramic mountain views.

80 Lower Cottage Lane MLS #85812 This cottage has both a mountain and golf course view and offers all the charm that you would expect in your dream vacation home in the mountains. $1,095,000.

26 Creekwood Court MLS #85527 A split floor plan affords the owners an oversized private master suite on one side of the home and their guests privacy on the other. $1,350,000.

40D Sanctuary Drive MLS #80650 Turning Leaf Condominium, is nestled on a privately wooded cul de sac and has views of Old Edwards Club. $455,000.

81 Sundown Crest MLS #85212 Modern meets mountains in this brand new 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath custom home in the gated community of Old Edwards Club at Highlands Cove. $1,989,000.

29 Teton Point MLS #84102 Appointed with beautiful hardwood floors, cathedral ceilings, custom cabinetry and granite countertops this home is dressed to impress $1,900,000.

226A Napa Ridge Lane MLS #83286 Gorgeous mountain and golf course views from almost every room! This condo comes with a 1 year home warranty. $539,000.

30 Hilldale Lane MLS #84473 This 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath has all the space you need to live comfortably indoors and out. Situated on a private lot bordering National Forest Service Land. $1,295,000.

101D Napa Ridge Lane MLS #80659 Enjoy maintenance free living in this spectacular 3 bedroom, 3 bath upper level condominium. $519,500.

Darlene Conley

Jennifer Blake

Bill Gilmore

844-234-1005 HighlandsCoveRealty.com

24 | Special Section

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In the Heart of Downtown Blue Ridge

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What’s Hot in the Hills BY KATHY DEAN It’s not hard to know what people want from their mountain homes. While everyone has their individual styles and specific needs, there are some overriding features that most homebuyers look for in north Georgia. “Water-oriented properties are always the hottest properties, whether lake front homes on one of our several lakes throughout the region or a river front or creek front home, which is quite attractive as well,” said Faron W. King, Broker/Owner, Coldwell Banker High Country Realty. View properties are also very popular,

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minutes from the new, state-of-the-art Northside Cherokee Hospital. The vast list of amenities is much too long to list here and includes eight miles of walking/hiking trails, pickleball, championship golf and a crystal clear 540-acre lake surrounded by picturesque mountain views. For the full list of amenities and much more information, visit www.lakearrowheadga.com.

2419 Lake Arrowhead Drive | Waleska, GA 30183 770.720.2700

Continued on page 26




he noted, especially if it combines a lake view with long-range mountain views. “Acreage and lots are back in favor, too, especially when buyers can’t find their ideal home as a finished product,” King said. “They find the perfect spot for their needs and engage a local builder to build their dream mountain home.” King urged anyone looking for a home in the north Georgia mountains to visit the Coldwell Banker High Country Realty website. “Let one of our Mountain Lifestyle Specialists share their wealth of regional knowledge with you to find the perfect mountain home,” he said.


Special Section | 25

are calling you

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

LOT 11 ASKA’S GRAND VISTA Blue Ridge | 4 Beds, 3 FB, 1 HB View of Blue Ridge Lake Offered at $649,000


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Morganton | 5 Beds, 4 FB, 1 HB 15.65 acres Offered at $620,000

Blue Ridge | 2 Beds, 2 FB Full unfinished basement Offered at $279,000


Ellijay | 3 Beds, 3 FB, 1 HB Cartecay River Frontage Offered at $749,500




Blue Ridge | 3 Beds, 3 FB Of fered at $310,000


Morganton | 5 Beds, 4 FB, 1 HB Blue Ridge Lake frontage Offered at $1,150,000

252 W. Main Street • Blue Ridge, GA 30513 HarryNorman.com

901 STUART MOUNTAIN ROAD Mineral Bluff | 3 Beds, 3 FB Gated Community Offered at $375,000

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BLUE RIDGE OFFICE 252 W. Main Street

HIAWASSEE 375 N. Main Street


BLAIRSVILLE 63 Murphy Highway

26 | Special Section

Continued from page 24 Katie Wercholuk, Marketing Director, Big Canoe Company, LLC, reported that after years of surveying visitors about what attracts them to the area, the same answer kept coming up: the natural beauty! “City dwellers are looking for fresh air, peace and quiet, and gorgeous mountain views,” she said. “At Big Canoe, you can have the million-dollar mountain house of your dreams with long-range views of the Atlanta skyline,” said Wercholuk, “or you can have a Southern Living inspired cottage with views of the golf course.” She added that a key request is incorporating outdoor living with everyday practical living. Residents want the longrange mountain views, water views and

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to be near one of the trails on the community’s 22-plus mile trail system. Homebuyers also tend to look for neighborhoods with trails and locations that promote outdoor living and fitness. Wercholuk noted that Big Canoe easily fits the bill with its unique Jeep Trail, the awardwinning hiking and biking trails, three outdoor dog parks, three waterfalls, three lakes and scenic mountain landscapes. “One of our most sought after neighborhoods is Wildcat, a mountain ridge neighborhood with a private reserve,” said Wercholuk. “Nearly half of the neighborhood’s 700-acre area is set aside for usable greenspace, including 12 miles of walking paths and trails.” Home sites in the neighborhood share spectacular mountain views, wildflower meadows and lush for-

ests. Wildcat still has available lots for sale and plenty of new construction. Wercholuk receives many requests for two- and three-car garages, a master suite on the main level, open floor plans and four-season rooms, such as covered screened porches with fireplaces and grilling areas. Trends have changed over the last few years, according to Nathan Fitts, Nathan Fitts & Team of RE/MAX Town & Country. “Many people are leaving the traditional log cabins and moving towards modern rustic lodge-style retreats with a blend of wood finishes with iron, metal and stone accents,” he said. Fitts added that, for second homes, buyers tend to prefer a mix of wood textures including board and batten, cedar, shake, wood siding with accents of iron and natural stone. The popularity of north Georgia real estate has attracted high-quality builders to meet the construction demand. One of the

Big Canoe

building companies that Fitts and his team often works with is Big South Builders. “They build the modern rustic style homes which are very much in demand in the current market,” he said. “Brown Haven Builders, another great building company to work with, specializes in craftsman style homes, which is a popular choice for retirement and full time homes.” A couple of other reputable builders doing well in the market are Watkins Home Builders and Big Dawg Builders, Fitts said. Homebuyers have a lot of choices in the Appalachian foothills, and can find everything from custom luxury hideaways to cozy neighborhood cottages.

Special Section | 27

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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Cottage/lot package from the high $300’s

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Private Residences from the mid $400’s

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Obtain the Property Report required by Federal law and read it before signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. This is not intended to be an offer to sell nor a solicitation of offers to buy real estate in Old Toccoa Farm by residents of Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania or South Carolina, or any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law. No offering can be made to residents of New York until an offering plan is filed with the Department of Law of the State of New York. OLD TOCCOA FARM, LLC AND ITS PRINCIPALS TAKING PART IN THE PUBLIC OFFERING OR SALE ARE NOT INCORPORATED IN, LOCATED IN, OR RESIDENT IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK. THE OFFERING IS NEITHER MADE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK NOR MADE TO THE RESIDENTS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK. THE OFFERING IS NOT DIRECTED TO ANY PERSON OR ENTITY IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK BY, OR ON BEHALF OF, OLD TOCCOA FARM, LLC OR ANYONE ACTING WITH OLD TOCCOA FARM, LLC’S KNOWLEDGE. NO OFFERING OR PURCHASE OR SALE OF ANY PROPERTY SHALL TAKE PLACE AS A RESULT OF THIS OFFERING, UNTIL ALL REGISTRATION AND FILING REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE NEW YORK MARTIN ACT AND THE NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL’S REGULATIONS ARE COMPLIED WITH; A WRITTEN EXEMPTION IS OBTAINED PURSUANT TO AN APPLICATION IS GRANTED PURSUANT TO AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH COOPERATIVE POLICY STATEMENTS #1 OR #7; OR A “NO-ACTION” REQUEST IS GRANTED.

28 | Education

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Becky Massey Dunwoody Springs Elementary Editor’s note: Through our “Exceptional Educator” articles, Reporter Newspapers showcases the work of some of the outstanding teachers and administrators at our local schools. If you would like to recommend a teacher or administrator to be the subject of an Exceptional Educator article, please email editor@ReporterNewspapers.net. Becky Massey teaches third grade at Dunwoody Springs Elementary School. She has been teaching for three years.

Q: What attracted you to teaching at first? A: The desire to help children. I have always had a passion for children, and they bring so much joy into the world, it was a natural direction for my life.

Q: Has the appeal changed? A: The appeal has increased for me as I realize the extent of the challenges our kids are facing in their futures. I have come to love the kids I teach so much, and I want them to grow up to be healthy, happy and successful adults.

Q: What keeps you going year after year? A: The joy my students bring me. They

have the ability to make me forget any troubles I may have. Additionally, the relationships that I have with my coworkers/friends at my school are amazing. My school has a culture of camaraderie. We work very hard to be better teachers, but we balance that with a lot of humor and friendship.


What do you think makes a great teacher?


I believe a great teacher is some-



Q: Do you have a proj-

ect or special program you use year after year?


My school, Dunwoody Springs Elementary School, is a “project-based learning” school. We have been extensively trained by the Buck Institute for Education and implement four units each year. Project-based learning utilizes real-life situations. We start with drivWhat do you want to ing questions. Students SPECIAL see in your students? research them, utilize all Becky Massey content areas, come up I love to see the change in with a solution and present their sostudents when they go from struggling and lutions to other students, parents, and discouraged to where they start to succeed. community members. Students work There is a spark and a motivation that octogether in small groups and learn the curs. It is a beautiful turn to see them excitessential life skills of collaboration, ed to show their successes. communication, and critical thinking. When we do these projects, I become How do you engage your students? a facilitator of student learning, as students navigate through ideas and soluOne way I like to engage students is tions together to produce a solution. They with a flex-seating classroom. This means then present their projects and presentathat during instruction, students may one who can meet students where they are at. This means that whether that is a struggling student, an onlevel student or an advanced student, a great teacher can give them the mindset and the tools to go farther than they ever thought they could.

Q: A:

Q: A:

stand or sit on the rug or at a close desk. Also, during work time, students have a variety of places they can sit; these include at a floor table with pillows or in comfortable chairs in the classroom library, floor seating with rugs and pillows at another floor table, stand-up desks, comfortable chairs throughout the classroom, and some students even like to just sprawl across the floor with pillows. This allows them to be where they are comfortable, and where they can do their best work. I also like to engage my students with humor and enthusiasm. The more enthusiasm they see in me, the more enthusiastic and engaged they are. I believe the learning environment should be comfortable and an enjoyable place to be. This promotes a love of learning.

tions in many forms such as newscasts or public service announcements with green screens, PowerPoints, Sway presentations, models and essays (just to name a few).

Q: Is there a “trick” that works to get students involved?

A: Technology is a significant motivator

for my students. My third-graders can email, make PowerPoint presentations, type Word documents, make Sway presentations, use Office 365, and show what they know in many different technological forms. Dunwoody Springs Elementary School is a Certified Common Sense School, which means we have given our students extensive training on the importance of “digital citizenship,” so they know how to safely utilize technology in the classroom and at home.

Q: What do you hope your students take away from your class?

A: I hope my students can take away the

belief that they are capable, diligent, persistent, and smart, and they can successfully overcome any challenge they face in life.

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Classifieds | 29

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110

Business Development / Membership Sales – The Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber is expanding its Business Development Group and seeks an individual who will call on companies to explain the benefits of partnering with the chamber. Interested candidates should have some knowledge of the local business market and enjoy meeting new people. Good presentation and communication skills essential. Base salary/commission. Send resumes to: tom@sandysprings.org.

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30 | Community

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Rise and Shine

12-story hotel proposed near Perimeter Mall

with the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce! Date: Thursday, June 22 Time: 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Place: DoubleTree by Hilton 4386 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven This month’s Chamber Breakfast features Russell McMurry, Commisioner of Georgia Department of Transportation. Come learn all about the Department of Transportation and the many different ways it strives to improve our quality of life.

$25 members, $35 non-members. www.brookhavencommerce.org DYANA BAGBY

Attorney Laurel David presents a conceptual site plan for a proposed hotel and restaurant/retail development at 84 Perimeter Center East. The pink indicates retail and the tan space is the hotel. Ashford-Dunwoody Road is to the left.

Continued from page 1 proposed development is approximately 50,000 square feet of commercial space divided between two two-story buildings. In 2008, before the city of Dunwoody was formed, the developers met with the DHA and got its endorsement to build a 12-story, 232-room hotel, along with a 70,000-square-foot fitness center. DHA President Robert Wittenstein said that at the time, the DHA went before DeKalb County to endorse the planned project and the developers got the commercial rezoning needed from the county. The hotel concept remains essentially the same as it did in 2008, but rather than the 70,000-square-foot fitness center, the developer wants to build a mixed-use development with commercial and retail, according to Laurel David of the Galloway Law Group, attorney for Branch Properties. Entrances to the hotel and retail/commercial buildings would connect to Perimeter Center East, according to an early concept plan showed to DHA members. A commercial building with its front facing Ashford-Dunwoody Road would likely house a restaurant, David said. A second, smaller building attached to the

hotel could include a restaurant with rooftop seating, she said. Jack Haylett, senior vice president of Branch Properties, said his company has received a great deal of interest from hotels wanting to locate at the site. The interested companies include hotels not currently in the area. “We are in negotiations with a couple … but we can’t name them yet,” Haylett said. “We have had a lot of interest.” No applications for the proposed development have been submitted to the city, David said, but a rezoning will be needed for the proposed restaurant/retail space. The developer has met with city staff to go over streetscape designs that will be required as part of the city’s newly adopted Perimeter Center Overlay. A traffic study will be conducted to address concerns on Ashford-Dunwoody Road, she said. Wittenstein said the original DHA agreement with the developer will likely remain in place but that if members agree with new final site plan for the property, an addendum to the agreement likely will be made.


Public Safety | 31

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Police Blotter / Dunwoody From Dunwoody police reports dated May 28 through June 4. The following information was pulled from Dunwoody’s Police-2-Citizen website.

R O B B E RY 4900 block of Winters Chapel Road —

On May 29, at night, a man was robbed at gunpoint of his cellphone. 100 block of Perimeter Center — On

June 4, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of robbing a bank.

B U R G L A RY 4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On May 31, in the evening, an apartment was burglarized after a forced entry. Several firearms and a TV were taken. The victim’s car was stolen, but later recovered.

LARCENY/ SHOPLIFTING/ THEFT 4300 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

Road — On May 28, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of felony theft by shoplifting at a department store. The value of the recovered items was more than $700. 4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

Road — On May 28, in the evening, someone tried to take a $36 bracelet from a department store. 2300 block of Dunwoody Crossing —

On May 28, at night, a suitcase containing a laptop, clothes and jewelry was stolen from a parked car. 1100 block of Hammond Drive — On

May 29, in the morning, someone stole clothing from a men’s clothing store. 4500 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On May 29, in the evening, a woman reported that someone threw a rock against her car window and stole her laptop. 4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On May 29, in the evening, a woman reported that someone broke a window to her car and removed a Louis Vuitton handbag containing Versace sunglasses, various credit cards and her ID.

containing a laptop.

left rear tire from a car on the premise.

len Toyota Corolla.

4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On June 2, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of stealing a light strip from a discount big box store.

100 block of Perimeter Center Place —

4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road


Road — On May 30, in the evening, three men entered a jewelry store and snatched a diamond ring, bracelet and necklace valued at more than $17,000. Three Savannah men were arrested in connection with the thefts. 4300 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

Road — On May 30, in the evening, a 17-year-old woman was arrested and accused of trying to shoplift lingerie from a department store.

300 block of Perimeter Center — On

June 4, police were dispatched to a sto-

May 29, in the early morning, officers arrested and accused a woman of family violence after an assault at an apartment complex.


— On May 30, in the evening, an 18-yearold woman was arrested and accused of trying to shoplift from a department store. 1700 block of Mount Vernon Road —

3500 block of Madison Drive — On


4300 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

On May 31, a woman reported the theft of two iPhones.

Mazel tov to the Class of 2013!

4500 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

We wish you the best of luck in college and beyond.

Road — On May 31, in the afternoon, a man was arrested at a department store and accused of attempting to steal 15 Polo shirts. He was charged with felony shoplifting and resisting an officer. 4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

Road — On May 31, in the evening, a woman reported that her iPhone 7 went missing while she shopped. 4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

Road — On May 31, in the evening, a 20-year-old-man was arrested and accused of trying to steal a phone cover from a discount big box store. Around the same time, another young woman was arrested and accused of trying to steal a wheel cover and phone case.

MEMBER S O F EP ST EI N ’ S C LASS OF 2013 WERE AC C EPTED TO: Auburn University

Indiana State University

University of Miami

Bluffton University

Kennesaw State University

University of Michigan

Brown University

Louisiana State University

University of South Carolina

Clark University

Miami of Ohio

June 1, in the afternoon, a person was arrested and accused of trying to steal headphones and a speaker from a big box store.

Clemson University

Nicholls University

University of Tennessee Knoxville

College of Charleston

Northeastern University

University of Texas

Columbus State University

Oglethorpe University

University of Utah

4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

Cooper Union

Purdue University

University of Wisconsin

Duke University

SUNY Purchase

Vanderbilt University

Elon University

Tufts University

University of Texas Austin

Emory University

Tulane University

Virginia Tech

Florida State University

University of Alabama

Wake Forest University

George Washington University

University of Arizona

Wake Forest University

University of Central Florida

Wayne State University

Georgia College & State University

University of Colorado Boulder

Washington University in St. Louis

Georgia State University

University of Florida

Wesleyan University

Georgia Tech

University of Georgia

Yeshiva University

Indiana University

University of Maryland

100 block of Perimeter Center — On

— On June 1, a woman reported the theft of her handbag containing her wallet, phone, car keys and various debit cards.

4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

4300 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

Road — On May 29, in the evening, a woman reported that someone broke her car window and took a backpack containing prescription glasses, clothes, and Beats headphones.

— On June 2, a 24-year-old man was arrested and accused of trying to steal several items from a department store. He also was cited and accused of possessing less than one ounce of marijuana.

4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

— On May 29, in the evening, a man reported that someone broke his car window and took a firearm from his car.

Road — On June 2, a 17-year-old woman reported that she was missing a Visa gift card and $120 cash.

4500 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

5000 block of Winters Chapel Road

Road — On May 29, in the evening, a woman reported that someone forced a window to her car and took a book bag

— On June 3, in the afternoon, an employee at a vehicle repair shop reported that overnight someone removed the


— On June 3, a 17-year-old woman was arrested and accused of trying to steal a swimsuit from a discount big box store.

On June 4, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting at a big box store and possessing marijuana.


32 |

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Riverside Military Academy congratulates the 119 members of the class of 2017 who earned over $6.2 million in non-HOPE Collegiate Scholarships! Anderson University Appalachian State University * Auburn University * Austin Peay State University Belmont University Boston University Coastal Carolina * College of Charleston * Colorado State University * Columbia College * DePaul University Drexel University Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University * Fisher College Florida Atlantic University Florida State University Fordham University Furman University * Georgia College and State University Georgia Southern University * Georgia State University * Guilford College Hampton University Hofstra University Howard University * Hult International Business School Johnson and Wales University Kennesaw State University * Louisiana State University * Lynn University * Maine Maritime Academy Manhattan College Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Miami Dade College Michigan State University Middle Georgia State University Middle Tennessee State University Mississippi State University * Montana State University Morehouse College Murray State University North Carolina State University * North Greenville University Northern Arizona University Pace University Penn State University * Purdue University Reinhardt University * Rutger's University Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah State University Seattle University St. John's University * Stetson University SUNY Albany Syracuse University Temple University Texas A & M at College Station * Texas A&M at Galveston * The Citadel * Troy University Tulane University * University of Alabama * University of Arizona University at Buffalo: SUNY University of California at Santa Barbara University of California at Davis *

Mercer University *

* Denotes Multiple Acceptances


University of California at Irvine * University of California--Santa Cruz University of Central Florida University of Connecticut University of Denver University of Georgia * University of Illinois, Urbana Champagne University of Kentucky University of Louisiana at Lafayette University of Louisville University of Mississippi * University of North Georgia * University of North Carolina at Charlotte University of North Carolina at Wilmington University of North Florida * University of South Carolina University of Tennessee at Knoxville University of Texas at Austin University of Washington * University of West Florida United States Air Force Academy United States Marine Corps United States Merchant Marine Academy United States Military Academy- West Point * United States Naval Academy Valdosta State University * Virginia Military Institute * Wagner College Wentworth Institute of Technology Western Carolina University * Wheelock College Wingate University Wofford College Xavier University

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