Page 1

JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016 • VOL. 7— NO. 12


Dunwoody Reporter


Amenities, attractions draw homebuyers to mountains

Catch mountain events this summer and fall


A sign of the times

‘Small steps’ for new four-city partnership BY JOHN RUCH

Four north DeKalb cities have created a nonprofit, public-private organization called the Peachtree Gateway Partnership to conduct regional planning. The partnership’s first project will be to create a coordinated plan for a multiuse trail network spanning the four cities, said Dan Reuter, the Atlanta Regional Commission official who helped the four -- Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville and Dunwoody -- establish the organization. “We’re going to undertake that next. PretSee SMALL on page 16

Dunwoody High School graduates, from left, Josh Palgon, Harrison Whately and Matt Bieber, talk with Kyra Perry, who wrote a message on her mortarboard for commencement exercises on May 26.

EDUCATION Graduation pictures

Pages 5-7

The challenge on Buford Highway is harmonizing the dreams of the people who have given Buford Highway its identity and vitality with an ugly, unsafe, underdeveloped, underutilized corridor designed to move cars and trucks. Marian Liou We Love BuHi See COMMENTARY Page 13


OUT & ABOUT Draw flowers like Henri Matisse

Tax abatement plan for new tower riles some in DHA BY DYANA BAGBY

Page 9

A developer’s plan to seek millions of dollars in tax abatements for a highrise on one corner of Perimeter Mall’s parking lot riled members of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association at the group’s most recent meeting. “Nobody is dragging you in here kicking and screaming, and you didn’t consider that cost and think, ‘Hey, those people who don’t get a 95 percent tax abatement might be a little pissed off by that?’” DHA board member See STORY. on page 18

2 | Community ■

High Street: City’s urban heart?

The High Street mixed-use development planned for Dunwoody in the Perimeter Center dates back to 2007 and would cover some 42 acres on Hammond Drive and Perimeter Center Parkway. The project would include a mix of high-, mid- and low-rise buildings. These new renderings of the project were released recently.

Ultimately, it’s your experience that matters. To be sure, we’re proud of our 28 years of experience in senior living. But, to us, what really matters is your experience at our communities. We do everything with that idea clearly in mind. So, go ahead, enjoy yourself with great social opportunities and amenities. Savor fine dining every day. And feel assured that assisted living services are always available if needed. We invite you to experience The Piedmont for yourself at a complimentary lunch and tour. Please call 404.381.1743 to schedule.

Talk to Me theater presentation!

Thurs, June 16th • Dinner at 5:30pm • Show starts at 7pm Join us for a delicious dinner and hearty laughs—and vice-versa! Enjoy a great meal followed by entertainment by the Atlanta Theatre-To-Go performers. Better prepare your laughter muscles, they’ll be getting a workout! Please RSVP to 404.381.1743 by June 10th.


Above and left, the development is adjacent to the current State Farm development and near the Dunwoody MARTA station. Plans call for 8 million square feet of mixed-use space, 400,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 3,000 residential units, 1 million square feet of office space, 750 hotel rooms, approximately 8,500 parking spaces and also new streets, landscaped promenades, parks and plazas. Right and below, Boston-based GID Urban Development bought the Perimeter Center Parkway property for $83 million with plans to build a “verticalurban” community. Entitlements for the property, as approved by DeKalb County before Dunwoody was incorporated in 2008, allow for a 400-room hotel, 1,500 condos and 1,500 rental units.

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

650 Phipps Boulevard NE • Atlanta, GA • 404.381.1743


JUNE 10 - JUNE. 23, 2016

Community | 3


Community Briefs



4505 ASHFORD DUNWOODY ROAD ATLANTA, GA 30346 (770) 557-0232 | |




TO LUE UP 9 VA .9 10







Discount applies to item of equal or lesser value. Cannot be combined with happy hour specials. Not valid with any other offer, discount or promotion. Total value not to exceed $10.99. Limit one per customer. Valid at Atlanta location only: Expires: 7/13/16. CITY OF DUNWOODY

Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal proclaimed the city a Purple Heart City during a Memorial Day ceremony at Brook Run Park.


The city of Dunwoody is now a Purple Heart City. During a Memorial Day event on May 30 at Brook Run Park, Mayor Denis Shortal, a retired U.S. Marine brigadier general, read a proclamation honoring veterans and proclaiming Dunwoody a Purple Heart City. The Military Order of the Purple Heart, a Virginia-based nonprofit organization, has a program encouraging cities to brand themselves with signage and ceremonies declaring “Purple Heart City” status to recognize veterans, especially those who were wounded in action. The Purple Heart is a U.S. military decoration recognizing those wounded or killed during service. The Dunwoody proclamation thanks and acknowledges the sacrifices of veterans in the Armed Forces.

Seniors Receive

10% OFF


Dunwoody citizens who want to be an extra set of “eyes and ears” for the police department as part of a new Citizens on Patrol program are invited to attend an informational session on June 21 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Dunwoody Police Department’s roll call room. Volunteers for the program would be tasked with reporting suspicious activity, potential hazards and crimes in progress to the Dunwoody Police Department, as well as conduct residential checks for those on vacation, Chief Billy Grogan said in a press release.

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When was the last time Dad had his hearing checked?


The city’s popular food truck events are expanding again with Food Truck Tuesday now taking place at the newly opened Park at Pernoshal Court. Food trucks as well as live music will be at the park every Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. through July 12. The popularity of Food Truck Thursdays, sponsored by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, led to DHA members to ask the city to organize another food truck event to bring people to the city’s newest park that opened in April.

Happy Father’s Day!



People who have past due traffic tickets or bench warrants are invited to participate in the city’s Municipal Court amnesty program to settle outstanding violations throughout June and July. Individuals may walk into the Municipal Court on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. only, no exceptions. If individuals pay their fines in full during that time, all contempt fees will be forgiven. If the individual’s offense(s) requires a mandatory court appearance, the individual will be granted a future court date to appear before a judge, and all warrants will be cleared and warrant fees forgiven. DUN

and a gift for all dads during the month of June

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4 | Community ■

At DeK alb CSB, you are defined by more than your disabilities. The DeKalb Services Center has been serving the community since 1978. We empower adults living with development disabilities with the skills they need to lead more independent, fulfilling lives. Where others see  disabilities, we see the possibilities. • Training center with work activities and instruction • Day program with hot lunches and modified meals • Onsite nursing and physical therapy • Loving, supportive staff in a peaceful setting Multiple payment options available

To learn more or schedule a tour, call 404.231.9363 or visit

2660 Osborne Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30319

Perimeter North Family Medicine Offering a full range of adult and pediatric services, our board-certified physicians proudly offer the highest quality care to keep you and your family happy and healthy. We accept most insurance plans and offer same-day appointments and extended hours at many of our locations.

Our services include: • Physical examinations and wellness care for men, women and children • General and chronic care for geriatric patients • Immunizations • Acute illness treatment for colds, fevers, flu and more • Comprehensive women’s health services

Veteran lawmaker plans to retire after next term BY JOHN RUCH

retirement plan. House District 52, which covers parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs, also State Rep. Wendell Willard, who has a long-time incumbent who is retirhelped found the city of Sandy Springs ing: Joe Wilkinson, who has served since and has represented the area in the Legis2000. In March, Wilkinson made a surlature for 15 years, said he plans to retire prise retirement anin 2018 at the end of his nouncement that set off next term. a heated race between Two candidates, SanGraham McDonald and dy Springs City Council Deborah Silcox. Silcox member Gabriel Sterling won the seat in the May and Roswell business 24 Republican Primary lawyer Alex Kaufman, alelection. ready have announced Wilkinson claimed they will run for his seat Sandy Springs leaders— in 2018. Sterling will not including Willard—had run for re-election to his a “plot” to replace him District 4 council seat in with McDonald, which 2017, opening that race Rep. Wendell Willard the city officials in turn up early as well. Willard denied. But McDonald said he is not backing did say that city offiany candidate and will cials, including Willard, urged him to run “leave it wide open. No endorsement.” as part of a changing of the guard with Willard, a Sandy Springs Republican Wilkinson and Willard poised to retire who is running unopposed for re-elecsoon. tion in House District 51 this fall, said he Willard called the HD 52 primary “a is “looking at my last term.” House Disstrange race” and said his own interest trict 51 includes Sandy Springs’ panhanin it “wasn’t this person or that person,” dle area and parts of Johns Creek and Robut in making sure Sandy Springs had a swell. skilled representative. Willard was elected to the state House “[With] Graham, I was talking about of Representatives in 2001. “That’s probthe chance to mentor him,” Willard said, ably enough for anybody,” he said. “[It’s adding that he is open to doing same for time to] get some fresh ideas down there.” Silcox “if she’s interested…I’m happy to Willard also serves as the city attordo the same with her.” ney for Sandy Springs, a job he said he “In the past, I have tried to be very is willing to retain after his retirement much a guardian” for legislation affectfrom the Legislature. ing Sandy Springs or other cities, Willard Rumors of Willard’s retirement besaid. “You don’t have a lot of people down came an issue in the recent race for an there who have…a background in local open seat in neighboring House District 52, but he had not directly confirmed his governments.”



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Education | 5

JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016 ■

It’s good to be a graduate


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Right, Kori Quillin addresses the crowd during commencement exercises at Galloway. The school encourages students to share their thoughts upon graduating.

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See more local high school graduation photos on pages 6 and 7

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6 | Education ■

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Above left, Erika Cassell, left, Jaylin Reid and Sydney Long, right, students at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, take a few moments to capture the excitement of their graduation day. Above right, Kasey Rohleder, left, and Josie Barton show their National Honor Society stoles.

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Above, from left, Elayna Harris, Katie Kish and Abbey Wells, students at Dunwoody High School, pose and smile before graduation exercises at North DeKalb Stadium on May 26.

Right, India Steward sports a decorated mortarboard.


Epstein School graduates, left to right, Nadav David, Elijah Medwed, Brandon Sherman and Asher Fitterman, place their hands over their hearts as they sing the National Anthem at their graduation ceremony.


Epstein School eighth graders, back row, Zoe Rosenberg, Galya Fischer, Vanessa Greenstein, and front row, Amy Kowalsky, Maya Kahn, Rayna Fladell and Elaine Berger, perform at their graduation ceremony.


The gallery of photographs of 2016 high school valedictorians and salutatorians published in Reporter Newspapers dated May 27-June 9 included a photograph incorrectly identified as a portrait of Nicholas Isaf, Marist School’s valedictorian. Here is his photograph.

Education | 7

JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016 ■


Right, from left, North Springs Charter High School’s Jaelin Hakim, student body president Seth Hochman, senior class president Margaret Turner and Josh Noormid, smile at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on May 26. Right, graduate Stephon Avery, left, and valedictorian Sanjay John.

Comprehensive Women’s Health

Lynley S. Durrett, M.D. Obiamaka Mora, M.D. PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

Above left, Riverwood International Charter School held its graduation ceremony at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on May 26. Above right, from left, graduates Mark Shutley, Jack Callahan, Thomas Carlock and Harrison Lipsky.

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Above left, Holy Spirit Preparatory School seniors, from left, Christian Jasmin, Conner Whelan, Derrick Gomez and Alejandro Duran-Nunez, celebrate their big day. Above right, valedictorian Lauren Bohling, left, and salutatorian Sarah Verlander, right, lead their classmates out of Holy Spirit Catholic Church at the close of their graduation ceremony.

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Piedmont Hospital Campus

105 Collier Rd NW, Suite 1080 | Atlanta, GA 30309 | 404-352-2850

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Northside Hospital Campus

960 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 336 | Atlanta, GA 30342 | 404-352-2850

8 | Out & About ■


Expires July 31, 2016

Coming Soon, July 2016 Located in the same building as Food 101. Across from Fountain Oaks Plaza





Buckhead Branch Library, 269 Buckhead Ave., Atlanta, 30305. For information, call 404-8143500 or email:



Saturday, June 18, 8 a.m. Join the Men’s Health & Wellness Center at the ZERO Prostate Cancer Dash4Dad 5K race/1-mile Fun Walk/Kids Superhero Dash. Rain or shine. $30; $35 day of race; children under 12 pre-registration, $15; snooze for dudes, $35. Leashed dogs, strollers welcome. Funds raised go toward prostate cancer testing, research. Register: Home Depot/Costco parking lot, 6400 Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd., Sandy Springs, 30328.

Monday, June 13, 6-7:30 p.m. Learn traditional organic henna art by trained and certified cosmetologist Raj Gill. Class continues on Tuesday, June 14, 6-7:30 p.m. Only sign up if you can attend both. Free. For kids ages 7-17. Open to the first 15 participants. Dunwoody Branch Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody 30338. Call 770-512-4640 to register.

GIVE PEAS A CHANCE! Tuesday, June 14, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Join Cris P. Broccoli, Calcium Callie and Mighty Muscles for a fun-filled learning experience! For ages 3 and up. No registration required. Free. All are welcome. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Call 404-303-6130 or email: for details.

Grand Re-Opening • Invitations • Stationery • Gifts • In-store Printing & Custom Printing

Summer Sale

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*Extensive Selection of Merchandise through June 30, 2016 The Springs Shopping Center (between Roswell Road and Sandy Springs Circle) 204-B Johnson Ferry Road, NE, Sandy Springs

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TEEN PHOTOGRAPHY LANTERN PARADE Saturday, June 18, 9 p.m. Sandy Springs hosts its inaugural Lantern Parade, with a theme, “Take It to the River.” Residents carry homemade lanterns down Morgan Falls Road to Overlook Park. Event features live music and performances. Free and open to all. Lanternmaking workshops available June 7-11. North Springs United Methodist Church, 7770 Roswell Rd., Sandy Springs, 30328. For workshop tickets and information, go to:

PLANT PULL Saturday, June 25, 9-11 a.m. The Atlanta Audubon Society seeks volunteers to assist with an invasive plant pull and habitat restoration at The Confluence Park, where the north and south forks of Peachtree Creek meet near Lindbergh. Groups welcome. Clear brush, spread wood chips on trails and more. For details and to sign up, email: or call 678-973-2437. The Confluence, accessed at the terminus of Armand Road off of Lindbergh Drive, 30324.



Wednesday, June 15, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Take your photography to the next level and create photos that catch the eye, are clean and free of distractions, use light best and see a more focused world. Bring camera or smartphone. Free. For middle and high school audiences. Open to the public. Buckhead Branch Library, 269 Buckhead Ave., Atlanta, 30305. Registration requested by emailing: Call 404-814-3500 to find out more.

WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY Thursday, June 16, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tinkering girls and boys are invited to see how STEM transforms things we wear. Learn garment engineering, circuitry and computer programming, and create circuitry for a tie, vest or skirt. Free. For elementary through high school youth. Open to all, but limited to 25 participants. Reservations required by emailing: Buckhead Branch Library, 269 Buckhead Ave., Atlanta, 30305. Call 404814-3500 with questions.


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Mon thru Thur: 10-6pm Fridays: 10-5pm

HONORING DAD Monday, June 13, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Listen to stories about fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers. Then, make a Father’s Day card. Free and open to all. Suitable for ages up to 12.

Tuesday, June 21, 4-4:30 p.m. Rupee, a golden retriever with Canine Assistance of Georgia, and her owner explains how canine companions can help persons with physical challenges live a full life. Free. The community is welcome. For toddler, preschool and elementary school audiences. Northside Branch Library, 3295 Northside Parkway, Atlanta, 30327. Learn more by emailing:

JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016

Out & About | 9



Wednesday, June 22, 11 a.m. Get up close and personal with some reptile friends. For ages 3 and up. Free. Open to the public. No registration required. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Call 404-303-6130 or email: for additional information.

Tuesday, June 14, 2-4 p.m. Adults, learn how to navigate the digital collections at the Buckhead Branch Library. Find out about Flipster and Zinio, and discover access to eBooks, music and TV shows via Hoopla. Bring your devices. Free and open to the public. For elders, college, high school and middle school audiences. 269 Buckhead Ave., Atlanta, 30305. Email: or call 404814-3500 to find out more.

LIBRARY MINI GOLF Wednesday, June 22, 1-2 p.m. The Buckhead Branch Library’s teen center will have a mini golf course! Putt your way around books, graphic novels and good times. Prizes and snacks for all players. For middle and high school youth. Free. All are invited. 269 Buckhead Ave., Atlanta, 30305. Call 404-814-3500 or email: for further details.



5 Yummy Years

TITLES @ TWILIGHT Tuesday, June 14, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Heritage Sandy Springs’ adult program, “Titles@Twilight,” promoting local authors with stories of history and the South, continues. Franklin Cox presents, “How to Write from Your Five Senses: Make Your Words Come Alive.” On June 21, Jackie Cooper and Dale Cramer discuss, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Writing.” Free and open to the public. In the Garden Room, Williams-Payne House, 6075 Sandy Springs Cir., Sandy Springs, 30328. RSVP by visiting:, emailing: mswindell@ or calling 404-851-9111 x2.


Wednesday, June 22, 2-2:45 p.m. A high-energy, Latininspired dance fitness party for youngsters and their caregivers. For 5-10 years olds. Open to the first 30 participants. Free. No registration required. Bring water bottles and wear comfortable clothing. Park behind the Brookhaven Branch Library and enter at the lower level. 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd., Brookhaven, 30319. Call 404-848-7140 with questions.

Thursday, June 23, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Discover Henri Matisse and his artwork, then create your own vase and flower drawing based on his style. Learn how to use lines, shapes and angles by using regular and watercolor pencils. Free. Open to the first 20 participants. For adults. Dunwoody Branch Library, 5339 ChambleeDunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. Call 770512-4640 with questions.


TOUCH A TRUCK Saturday, June 25, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Brookhaven Police and Fire Departments provide a day of fun and learning for the entire family. Hop on a fire truck, get behind the wheel of some heavy equipment, check out police vehicles and get safety tips. Free. The public is invited. Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford-Dunwoody Rd., Brookhaven, 30319. For more details, email: philip.mitchell@brookhavenga. gov or call 404-637-0512.

LET’S LEARN JOIN PALS Monday, June 13, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Join others at Lunch & Learn programs with topics such as: the Constitution; beautiful geological marvels; Mahjongg; estate planning; a history of the world in six glasses; travel; Bridge; current events; local parks; and gardening. Continues through July 25. Call 770-698-0801 or go to: for course descriptions and fees. Catered lunches available with reservations. Dunwoody Baptist Church, 1445 Mount Vernon Rd., Dunwoody, 30338.

Saturday, June 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Are you separated, considering or currently in the process of divorce? Learn how to navigate this process from a legal, financial and emotional perspective, and avoid some of the most common pitfalls. Class limit is 30. For adults. Free. To register, call 770-512-4640. Dunwoody Branch Library, 5339 ChambleeDunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338.

FIXING CLIMATE CHANGE Sunday, June 26, 4-6 p.m. The Atlanta Audubon Society and Dunwoody Nature Center offer a workshop on addressing climate change with Bill Witherspoon, co-author of “Roadside Geology of Georgia.” $5 for AAS or DNC members; $10 for non-members. Register and find out more: 5343 Roberts Dr., Dunwoody, 30338. Call 678-973-2437 withquestions.

Lunch: $10, $15, $25

Dinner: $20, $30, $45 Are you ready to take your dining experience

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For menus + details visit: DUNWOODYRESTAURANTWEEK.COM



Brush Sushi Izakaya


Brush Sushi Izakaya is a Japanese gasmame, nigiri and tropub located in Decatur specializing in omakase. The yakitori. dish that will Gastropub: snacks and plates somewhat keep Brush in bigger than what we think of as tapas, but the running for still smaller than a full entrée and usually top tier dining in meant for sharing. Yakitori: skewers upon this regard is defskewers of grilled chicken parts that are deinitely the snow licious and not very greasy. Also, kushikatcrab chawansu: skewers more heavily seasoned and mushi. Chawanbreaded than yakitori. mushi: a hot or All skewers run from $2.50 to $6, with a cold egg custard. Dining Out chef’s choice mixed plate at $18 to $20. EatBrush’s version Megan Volpert ers new to this type of grilling can stick to arrives steamMegan Volpert lives in wings and thighs, maybe a little pork beling in a gorgeous Decatur, teaches in Roly. More adventurous eaters can hit the clay pot. The swell and writes books heart, neck, cartilage and other items that silky custard is about popular culture. are comparatively rare. You don’t see a lot wonderfully deliof conservationist whole-bird butchering in Atlanta. cate and the snow crab is eviThere are some things on dent throughout. Between the the menu that are gaining in pop of the ikura (salmon cavau rant Re popularity right now. The house iar) and the umami (savory chashu rice with soy-cured yolk taste) of the Shimeji mushand seared pork belly will satisfy folks who rooms, Brush’s snow crab chawanmushi is usually stick to the safety of ramen or fried one of the best ways to spend $9 in Decatur. rice. There’s a Some peonice rice-less ple have compoke (fish salad) plained that it’s of tuna, salmtoo expensive on, avocado and and that Decahouse chili oil tur is already that was thorfull of decent oughly flavorsushi. It’s true ful without gothat this place is ing overboard more expensive into spicy territothan other nearry. For those who by places; save do enjoy more it for date night spicy food, they or when you’ve Rice-less poke, or fish salad. have a yellowtail got visiting injalapeno that I’d put up against Umi’s. While Umi lays a pepper slice right on the fish, Brush does it as a puree that looks just as lovely while thankfully distributing the heat more evenly. With the ramen renaissance in our city, from Nexto to Jinya, Atlanta will need to be increasingly discerning about the broadly competitive field of Asian cuisines. At a minimum, our vocabulary needs to A selection of skewers. get somewhat beyond edalaws to wrangle. Brush will especially please your father-in-law, who notoriously subsists on steak and baked potatoes. This is because Brush is not really a sushi place.


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death because often there are no symptoms until it has spread. The good news is a lung cancer screening can help detect it early when there are more treatment options. Northside Hospital Cancer Institute offers a low dose CT screening if you’re 55 – 77 years old and a current or previous smoker. It’s quick and easy and could save your life. For information call 404-531-4444 or visit




10 | Dining Out

Brush Sushi Izakaya, 316 Church St., Decatur, 30030. For more, visit or call 678-949-9412.

Where the Extraordinary Happens Every Day

Yellowtail jalapeno.

JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016

Dining Out | 11

Quick Bites Alon’s Bakery in Dunwoody will host its 2016 Sip Suds & Summer beer tasting event on Friday, June 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. Guests will be given a souvenir glass and ‘tasting passport’ to sample each beer offering from participating breweries, which include Wild Heaven Craft Beers, Three Taverns Breweries, Creature Comforts Brewing, Terrapin Beer Co. and more. Visit for more information. Asheville, N.C.,-based Tupelo Honey Cafe will bring its scratch-made, reimagined Southern food, craft beer list and cocktail program to Sandy Springs on June 20. The restaurant is located in the new Gateway development, located at 4600 Roswell Road, Building C, Suite 110. For menus and information, visit Budweiser, in partnership with Atlanta-based radio stations ROCK 100.5 and 99X, will host the second annual Bud & Burgers Festival in Brookhaven Park on June 25. The festival will showcase 20 to 25 local restaurants as they compete for the “Best Burger in Atlanta” and a chance to win a share of $10,000 in cash and prizes. Tickets and information are available at Fifth Group Restaurants opened South City Kitchen Buckhead at 3350 Peachtree Road for lunch and dinner. Executive chef Jason Starnes, previously of The Sun Dial, will be cooking up a menu of traditional and contemporary Southern cuisine. For more information, visit The 10th annual Give Me Five Dinner featuring Atlanta’s premier chefs and sommeliers will benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign on Sunday, Aug. 14, at Piedmont Driving Club. Featured chefs will include Chef Chair Jay Yarbrough (Piedmont Driving Club), Christopher Grossman (Atlas Restaurant), James Neale (Rathbun’s), Piero Premoli (Pricci) and Wesley True (The Optimist). Sommeliers include Gil Kulers (Piedmont Driving Club), Clarke Anderson (No. 246), Joon Lim (Rathbun’s), Caleb Hopkins (Atlas Restaurant) and Linda Torres (The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead). For more information, visit

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12 | Commentary ■


Call (404) 497-1020 for an appointment.


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Dr. Butler Offers Services For ’s Saint Joseph

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Dr. Butler is a board-certified rheumatologist who brings over three decades of practice experience. She offers excellent, personalized care to adult patients, as well as thorough preventive screenings for the diagnosis and treatment of medical problems before other complications arise.

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Going bang busters While at the gym last week, I heard two women talking about a Fringe Fighter. I thought that they were referring to another comic book superhero; I figured that maybe the Fringe Fighters movie would premier sometime between “The Avengers” and “The Justice League. “ But no, they were talking about a headband. This I should have known, since I, myself, own a Bang Buster. The Bang Buster isn’t just any headband; it is “performance gear” headwear, a designer piece of thick reversible material that is worn across the forehead and enables today’s female athlete to power through any workout without the threat of hair falling in her face. It’s strong. It’s sassy. It’s stylish. When I wear it, however, I look like an Arapahoe hippie. It seems that as our exercise habits have evolved, so has the world of athletic garb. These days, we make a fashion statement when we sweat. For one thing, the days of cotton T-shirts and baggy shorts are long gone — modern-day gym wear is way more complicated than that. Today’s athletic tops are Rubik’s Cubes with armholes. Sports bras are sewn into sheer, flowy, racer-back tanks, and putting one on is like climbing into an Escher print. And that’s discouraging, because if I’m not fit enough to get in and out of the workout clothes, how is my actual workout going to go? Running shirts are made using unstinkable technology, and they breathe and wick away sweat. Basically, my gym clothes work harder than I do. Still, my workout wardrobe could use a little update, as even my Bang Buster has been discontinued. So I went online to search for a pair of shorts (while eating a bowlful of ice cream) and became immediately demoralized. I decided that I needed to set a few game rules regarding the performance gear I was browsing:

1. If the model wearing it has a tattoo, it will not fit me. 2. If she has a navel piercing, I need to go to a different website. 3. If she’s doing a sideways split while balRobin’s Nest ancing on one Robin Conte hand, I refuse Robin Conte is a writer to buy from and mother of four who that company, lives in Dunwoody. She based on princan be contacted at ciple. I scrolled past a pair of leggings that looked like they belonged in the Bodies exhibit and I scrolled past everything camo. I found some “sonar shorties” that looked truly stunning on the model, and after a few fanciful moments imagining that they would look good on me, I realized that they would have the dual effect of creating both muffin top and muffin thighs at the same time. It would be like squeezing the middle of a toothpaste tube. You’ve got to look a certain way before you’ll drop $128.95 on a piece of neon green spandex. If you do look that way, you do drop the cash because those are the rules. If you’re the queen of England, you wear the tiara; if you’ve got the body, you wear the crop top. Those ads showing three women on safari in yoga gear are not geared for the novices among us — they are for those who have advanced to waif wear. Starter workout clothes are made of velour or nylon, and they cover the navel. There is nothing sexy about them, and we like it that way. All of this is to say that I think I’ve plateaued at headbands.

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Commentary | 13

Opinion / A vision for Buford Highway I’m frequently asked about my viage Buford Highway’s assets to accomAs We Love sion for Buford Highway. plish two things: (1) capture and grow BuHi has demWhat is Buford Highway’s vision for an inchoate sense that Buford Highway onstrated, so itself? is the American Dream writ small, that long as good Sometimes, not often enough, I ask Buford Highway, positioned at the geofood and interthe people living and working on Bugraphical, social and cultural margins esting sights are ford Highway about their vision for Buguaranteed, peoford Highway, though not in preciseple will pay for ly those terms. I ask them where they the novelty of grew up, how they came to the Unitriding their bied States and then to Buford Highway, cycles on the Marian Liou how long they’ve lived or worked in the deadliest road Founder of We Love BuHi area, and which schools their children, in Georgia or if they have children, attend. crowding onto MARTA buses to hear Although the words “vision,” “hope,” experts talk about infrastructure and and “dream” may never come up in pedestrian safety. these conversations, I’m fairly certain By providing individuals with phystheir vision for Buford Highway, the ical experiences that connect them to a place in which they live or work, is a viplace and to each other, We Love BuHi sion that is common to all of us, no mataspires to instill among them a sense of ter where we live or work. We all want personal ownership in the future of Bua safe place to live, a decent job that’s ford Highway. By attracting new cusconvenient to get to, good schools for tomers through non-traditional activiour children, an opportunity for a life ties and marketing channels, We Love of meaning and joy. BuHi hopes to facilitate agency, engageThe challenge on Buford Highway ment and expertise among local busiis harmonizing the dreams of the peoness owners in the processes of comple who have given Buford Highway its munity and economic development. identity and vitality with an ugly, unMy vision for Buford Highway, theresafe, underdeveloped, underutilized fore, is one in which ideas and plans to MARIAN LIOU corridor designed to move cars and make Buford Highway livable, more FOUNDER OF WE LOVE BUHI trucks. The paradox is that these very connected and still affordable comunpromising conditions have enabled prise the communities living and workcontinuous waves of our ing on Buford Highway today. most recently arrived immiMy vision for Buford Highgrants to find housing, jobs, way is one in which “commuand resources among people nity engagement” no longer of similar economic and ethrequires quotation marks. nic backgrounds – in other My vision for Buford Highwords, to thrive. way is one in which inclusion Is it necessary, or even posand equity foremost are built sible, to ensure that the forinto any and all discussions tunes of the immigrants of and decisions about Buford Buford Highway do not fall as Highway. the fortunes of Buford HighFinally, my vision for Buway rise? Can both rise toford Highway recognizes that gether? if Atlanta is the cultural capiWe Love BuHi was foundtal of the New South, then we ed, in part, to frame any serimust learn to celebrate Buous and truly thoughtful disford Highway as the multicussion of Buford Highway’s cultural capital of Atlanta. JOHN RUCH challenges squarely and inI say “learn,” because celWe Love BuHi founder Marian Liou envisions tentionally within the context ebrating a place and its a safe, fun, attractive, livable, inclusive Buford Highway. of its immigrant community, many varied communities to ensure that recommendaisn’t merely holding a festitions and policies established through of the city of Atlanta, is actually an inval once a year. It isn’t one-dimensionlocal and regional decision-making and trinsic and important part of Atlanta al. It is a process that involves bravery, planning, as well as their implementaand of this country’s larger fabric; and vulnerability, a willingness to possibly tion and actual outcomes, fully include (2) catalyze a broad, community-driven say the wrong thing and own up to it, the ideas and dreams of the people who conversation about Buford Highway’s a commitment to forgive, an acknowlhave made Buford Highway what it is challenges. In forming creative placeedgment that all our hopes and dreams today. making collaborations with other soare fundamentally the same, and an We Love BuHi envisions a safe, fun, cial enterprises and grassroots organiempathy borne of that common underattractive, livable, inclusive Buford zations, area nonprofits and neighbors, standing. Highway. What that means in its parWe Love BuHi encourages people to It is an ongoing process that begins ticulars is for us to figure out together. re-examine and imagine what Buford not with a grand vision, but by saying We Love BuHi simply seeks to leverHighway can be. hello.

If Atlanta is the cultural capital of the New South, then we must learn to celebrate Buford Highway as the multicultural capital of Atlanta.

14 | Community ■

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It’s book season in Brookhaven. The city soon will have its own entry in the “Images of America” history book series, and a book about the houses of Historic Brookhaven is preparing for publication, too. Arcadia Publishing just offered a publishing contract for a Brookhaven book last week, said former Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams, who commissioned the historical research project that led to the book deal. “They just recently accepted Brookhaven to be a book,” said Williams, who will be co-author along with local historian Valerie Biggerstaff. Williams said they have to deliver the book by January and it is slated to be published in March. Biggerstaff, who previously put together an “Images of America” book about Dunwoody, started the project last year with $3,500 from Williams’ mayoral discretionary funds. In part, Williams hoped it could be the beginning of a local historical society. Meanwhile, a coffee-table-style book about Historic Brookhaven homes is in the writing and production stage, even as its backers hope to raise more money to add to it. The book is being funded through sponsorships and pre-sales to owners of houses that will be featured in the book. Backers say they have raised $25,000 but are aiming for more.

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Poll manager Alicia Volk, right, brings in ballots cast on Election Day to Sandy Springs City Hall with help from volunteer April Persons, right, on May 24.

and by visiting our website

sider whether they will take over the operation of city elections in the future. But they also suggest the city’s first-ever self-run election is a natural conversation-starter as the city heads into regularly scheduled elections next year. “It’s something we’ve talked about before, but we haven’t talked about it aligned with this election,” said city spokesperson Sharon Kraun. “After the election, I think there’d be conversation.” And, also, a final calculation of the cost.

In 2009, Sandy Springs unsuccessfully sought Fulton County’s permission to run its own municipal elections, saying money could be saved. This year, Sandy Springs was forced to run its own special election for the District 3 City Council seat—at an estimated cost of about $108,000 – seven times what Fulton County charged to run a similar city election in 2011. City officials say they’re too busy running the election, which is heading into a June 21 runoff, to seriously con-



News knows few boundaries. Here are a few stories breaking in nearby communities that we thought would be of interest to our Dunwoody readers.


JUNE 10 - JUNE. 23, 2016

Community | 15

“We have enough funds to do a book,” said Richard Dietrich, a local author and architect who is doing the writing. “But we’re expecting the book to be just bigger and better.”

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A rendering of the planned Bobby Jones Golf House in Buckhead.

After months of community argument over how best to remake the Bobby Jones Golf Course, city officials have transferred ownership of the historic Buckhead course to the state. Atlanta City Council voted 12-3 after hours of discussion on June 6 to turn over the course to the state of Georgia. State officials promise a $25 million makeover that will add a golf museum to the site and create what one supporter called “a junior golf Mecca.” In return for the course, the state will turn over to the city a parking facility and another property near Underground Atlanta that the city needs to complete the sale of Underground to a private developer. The developer proposes building housing and shops in place of the little-used, city-owned tourist attraction. Mayor Kasim Reed told council members before the vote that the transaction was the best thing for the city and community. “When this is all said and done, this will be the best golf facility in the region and state of Georgia,” Reed said.

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16 | Community ■

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Dan Sasser loves coming and going as he pleases. That’s just one of many reasons he chose Canterbury Court to be his home. “I left a tenured position so I could live wherever I wanted. Then I retired at 60 and was working part time when I discovered Canterbury Court. I thought, ‘How wonderful it would be to live there.’” When he decided to move to Canterbury Court, he chose a studio apartment, which he says “is more than big enough for me.” The maintenance-free lifestyle also lets him keep a second home in Florida and take frequent road trips.

ty small steps,” Reuter said. The board of the new organization includes the four cities’ mayors, with Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson as chair. The board also includes representatives of DeKalb-Peachtree Airport; Georgia Power Co.; Epps Aviation Co., a charter airline operating at the airport; and developers on the team undertaking Assembly, the redevelopment of the former GM plant on Buford Highway in Doraville. The Peachtree Gateway Partnership has been in the works for roughly two years. The four cities invited ARC to help them create some sort of regional planning and development authority, officials have previously said. Potential impacts of the Assembly project was one major motivation, while another was finding better ways to market the airport, which sits on the Brookhaven-Chamblee border. ARC suggested a public-private partnership modeled on a similar group in Gwinnett County called Partnership Gwinnett and on the Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance, an effort to redevelop the area around Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The cities conducted the planning in secrecy until last October, when former Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams announced its existence. Current Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst and Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal, who both took office this year, agreed to proceed with the effort, Reuter said. Ernst said he agreed with the partnership as “a great way for all four of us to get together and talk and see what each other is doing…I think it’s a good use of my time…And hopefully we can talk about traffic.”

“It’s not really set in stone…what the objective is,” Ernst added, saying the cities have agreed to start setting goals at a future meeting. Some early talk has involved transportation issues and the possibility of creating self-taxing community improvement districts, he said. Ernst said he is not concerned about developers having close access to city officials on the partnership board, as he has not even noticed them at meetings. More of the talk has been about the already planned city trails and the airport, he said. In Dunwoody, Shortal also was convinced of the partnership’s usefulness, according to city spokesperson Bob Mullen. “Dunwoody believes in the advantages of working with neighboring cities and jurisdictions to promote coordination, partnerships and efficiencies,” Mullen said. “By working together, we can help to address any number of matters or needs, including transportation, infrastructure, parks, trails and green space.” One reason Williams revealed the partnership planning was that the cities were nearing the time to decide what form the group would take. They finally settled on forming a 501(c) 6 nonprofit business organization, a status that was officially approved last week, Reuter said. The nonprofit status means the group can raise money from private sources in such forms as contributions, membership dues or sponsorships. The payments would not be tax-deductible, but can be written off as business expenses, Reuter said. The partnership is not currently charging dues and is still in the early stages of bringing the cities’ staff together to “talk about priorities,” he said.

Dan says people are “missing the boat” by not moving to a retirement community sooner. “Here you have several restaurant options, all kinds of activities and excursions, a theater with daily showings, a heated pool and wellness center, 11 acres of beautiful gardens ... it’s like being on a permanent vacation!”

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Community | 17

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Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville and Dunwoody have formed the Peachtree Gateway Partnership to conduct regional planning.

One decision has been made, Reuter said: the partnership’s efforts will not include the parts of Brookhaven and Dunwoody that are currently within the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts. The PCIDs are two self-taxing business groups, led by a single organization, that plan and fund various improvements in Perimeter Center. The PCIDs also cover part of Sandy Springs, which is not part of the Peachtree Gateway Partnership. “It’s more the Buford Highway corri-


dor, the MARTA [Gold Line] corridor” and the airport that the partnership wants to focus on, Reuter said. ARC itself is not part of the partnership, Reuter said. “I hope ARC is going to have a very minimal role. We’re hoping this is something really led by local governments,” he said. Reuter said that even though it’s a formal group, the partnership is “modest,” and “whether it has any utility or benefits” will depend on the partners’ efforts.

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18 | Community ■

Tax abatement plan for new tower riles some in DHA Continued from page 1

abatements in play’

Adrienne Duncan told Trent Germano, senior managing director of development for Transwestern, when he said the tax abatement would make the project viable and marketable. Transwestern representatives presented their plans for the $130 million office building, called Nexus at Perimeter, to the DHA board on June 6. They say they intend to build on an unused corner of the Perimeter Mall parking lot adjacent to the Dunwoody MARTA station at the intersection of Hammond Drive and Perimeter Center Parkway. The developers first presented their plans for the 350,000-square-foot building to the Dunwoody Development Authority on May 19 and told its members they would be seeking a 95 percent tax abatement. Germano said the tax abatement would give the proposed development an “edge” and allow it to compete with existing developments as well as the Perimeter Summit development being constructed now in Brookhaven, across I-285. Perimeter Summit last year received a $6.3 million tax break from DeKalb County to build a 360,000-square-foot office tower.

‘New office buildings are being built with tax

Transwestern’s request for a tax abatement, which still must formally be made before the Dunwoody Development Authority, would be a 95 percent abatement for the first year only. Michael Starling, director of Economic Development for the city of Dunwoody, said the DDA follows a schedule that mandates the abatement taper off over the years. “Based on the final tax abatement structure and the entire project’s assessed value determined by the DeKalb Tax Assessor’s office, the abatement could be worth around $10 million dollars over the next 10 years,” Starling said. “The anticipated schedule would include gradual annual reductions in the tax abatement amount, which would potentially create a tax abatement rate of approximately 45 percent over the full 10-year period,” Starling said. Perimeter Mall pays taxes to all five jurisdictions, Starling said. But the corner of that parking lot and the MARTA parking deck that Transwestern wants to purchase for its highrise development is not producing much revenue, he said. How much is not known – it will be up to Transwestern to determine that amount through analysis of the property when it formally asks

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A rendering of the $130 million office building, called Nexus at Perimeter, planned by developer Transwestern for an unused corner of the Perimeter Mall parking lot adjacent to the Dunwoody MARTA station.

for the abatement, he said. What Starling could say is that the 5 percent Transwestern would pay in taxes the first year of the abatement, if approved, would be significantly more than any tax revenue currently being collected from the undeveloped parking space and the parking deck and distributed to the city, county and the DeKalb Board of Education. “They will receive 5 percent [in taxes] of a greatly improved piece of property,” Starling said. “I suspect they will get more in year one than they do now.” And as the years go by and the tax abatement “burns off,” the city, county, PCID, school district and state will continue to “receive significantly more” than what is being generated now on what is essentially a storage space on a parking lot. Dunwoody has issued tax abatements in the past – to the Popeyes headquarters when it relocated from Sandy Springs; the former Sterling Pointe Hotel, now the Hampton Inn & Suites; and also for State Farm when it moved into the vacant buildings on 64 and 66 Perimeter East. State Farm did not seek a tax abatement for its corporate headquarters now under construction. But there is a second phase to that development that will include the con-

struction of three more 20-story buildings to include a restaurant and retail. Starling said he would be surprised if developers did not seek a tax abatement for the second phase. Part of the discussion over tax abatements is that because other cities are providing them, then all cities must provide them, Starling acknowledged, and the issue of tax abatements are a policy debate being argued everywhere. “It is a fairly common practice [to approve tax abatements] for new office buildings in Atlanta,” he said. “We do compete, no matter how much we are booming in Perimeter, with Midtown, Buckhead, Alpharetta. All new office buildings are being built with tax abatements in play.” Transwestern’s proposed highrise also would stand across Hammond from the State Farm building now under construction to the southeast of the intersection of Hammond and Perimeter Center Parkway. The proposed High Street development is northwest of the intersection. High Street’s developers recently unveiled new drawings of the megadevelopment, which includes 8 million square feet of mixed-use space; 400,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space; 3,000 residen-

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JUNE 10 - JUNE. 23, 2016

Community | 19

tial units; 1 million square feet of Class A office space; 750 hotel rooms; approximately 8,500 parking spaces; and new streets, landscaped promenades, and signature parks and plazas. High Street developers have so far only filed a land disturbance application for a parking deck with the city of Dunwoody, Starling said. Starling said he would be “shocked” if applications for construction were not filed this year. As for a tax abatement for that development, Starling said that is unlikely because of the amount of multi-family units included. COOPER CARRY

Tenant base wants to be located near MARTA

Transwestern is seeking a special landuse permit from the city to construct the building up to 20 stories; current zoning for the property only allows for two stories. Renderings of the building by Cooper Carry architects show 16 stories. DHA President Robert Wittenstein said the drawings should accurately represent what the developers are seeking. “It’s annoying … that you are asking for one thing and your visuals are showing another,” Wittenstein said. Germano explained they are comfortable with the 16-story highrise but wanted the flexibility to build higher if a big-name company wanted to locate there. The project includes a 5-story parking

The highrise would include a two-story lobby, a restaurant and retail. A pedestrian bridge would connect the building directly to the Dunwoody MARTA station.

deck within the structure. Transwestern is also set to purchase the MARTA parking deck closest to the mall. No traffic study has been done, Germano said. Because the office building is located next to the MARTA station, it is expected many people would be using public transportation to access the building. Architect Sean McClendon with Cooper Carry said his company’s tenant base is demanding to be located next to public transit. The highrise would include a two-story lobby, a restaurant and some retail business on the main floor. A pedestrian bridge would connect the building directly to the MARTA station.

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Transwestern is buying the property from General Growth Properties, owner of Perimeter Mall. As part of the deal, General Growth will buy MARTA out of its lease of the parking deck closest to the mall; that lease expires in 2017. The planned office building will eliminate 119 parking spaces from the mall, but those spaces will be replaced by parking spaces inside the parking deck, Germano said. The MARTA parking deck has 600 spaces; 481 spaces would be gated off from replacement mall parking to be used by those in the new office building, he said. Plans are to break ground in early 2017 and open in late 2018.

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20 | Special Section ■

Amenities, attractions draw home buyers to the mountains BY KATHY DEAN There’s a lot to love about living in the city, but everyone needs a change of scenery from time to time. Luckily for Atlanta residents, some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Southeast is just north of the city, in the foothills of the Appalachians. “Mountain life is appealing because it has a low-key resort feel with lots of amenities and attractions,” said Nathan Fitts, with Nathan Fitts & Team of REMAX Town & Country. “Blue Ridge is just 90 miles from downtown Atlanta, making it a great weekend escape for those looking to get a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.” It’s a perfect fit for those who love the great outdoors, as there are 106,000 acres in the Chattahoochee National Forest offering horseback riding, whitewater rafting, tubing, zip lining, mountain biking trails and hiking trails – including the Benton MacKaye Trail and the beginning of the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain. “Some of the best trout fishing waters on the East Coast are in Blue Ridge, which has been designated by the state as ‘The Trout Capital of Georgia,’” Fitts reported. Local mountain trout is a popular dish in many of the region’s eateries, too. The historic downtown Blue Ridge area is full of upscale and specialty restaurants. Other favorite foods that visitors enjoy include barbeque, fried apple pies, biscuits and grits and sausage gravy. “The mountains of north Georgia provide peace, beauty, solitude and outdoor recreation,” said June Slusser, CEO, Coldwell Banker High Country Realty. “Clean air, the night sky filled with stars and a lack of urban noise is what many city dwellers look for. What they find is even greater than their expectations – lively, small downtowns, quaint shops, extraordinary


Lake Petit at Big Canoe.

restaurants, community theater, the arts and so much more.” Among that “so much more” is the ecotourism opportunities offered at orchards, farms and wineries. Festivals – such as Trout Fest, Wine and Jazz Fest, Big Green Egg Fest, Blues and BBQ, Arts in the Park and Apple Festival – fill the calendar. Of course, visitors still ride the train – The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway – and walk along Main Street while browsing the antique shops, boutiques and galleries. They enjoy stopping for a bite at the cafes while drinking in the small town atmosphere and chatting with the friendly folks who pass by. “Other big draws are the ever-growing Union County Farmer’s Market, as well as new wineries and wedding venues,” Slusser said. “There’s always a crowd heading to Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino in Murphy and more musical events are slated for the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee. Expanding and upgraded RV parks bring in more campers, too.” Highlands gives the Atlanta commu-

nity a quick get-away spot with a short 2-2 ½ hour drive. Bill Gilmore, provisional broker, Highlands Cove Realty and Atlanta Realtor with PalmerHouse Properties, noted that the elevation offers a lower temperature of 10 to 15 degrees, and fresh air cleaned by the National Forests awakens the senses. Hikes and views appeal to everyone, with the most popular destination being Whiteside Mountain.

“Many Atlantans belong to one of the 12 private golf clubs or play the three public courses,” Gilmore said. “Visitors also love the variety of restaurants and shopping offered in both Highlands and Cashiers, and there are many events that add to special time spent in the mountains.” He suggested stopping at local farmers’ markets that are open summer through fall to stock up on fresh fruit, local cheeses and produce from the region. Visitors should be sure to schedule time for the Highlands 10th annual Culinary Weekend, Nov. 10-13, too. “In October, many Atlanta residents come to see the shadow cast in the valley from Whiteside Mountain,” Gilmore said. “It’s called the Spirit Bear or Bear Shadow and appears just before sunset.” One key to Big Canoe’s attraction is its proximity to Atlanta and the surrounding metro area. It’s only one hour from the high energy of the city, yet once a person passes through the gates and crosses over the covered bridge, they feel a million miles away. “In today’s nonstop, fast-paced world, Continued on page 22

A rocking chair view of the mountains. DUN

JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016

Special Section | 21

There’s never been a better time to

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22 | Special Section ■

Intown and in the Mountains Bill Gilmore

Julie Osborn

Big windows and rustic design are popular with mountain homes.

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Continued from page 20 time is our most precious gift,” said Katie Wercholuk, marketing director, Big Canoe Company, LLC. “Big Canoe’s convenient yet secluded location means less time spent driving to a mountain retreat and more time spent breathing the clean mountain air, teeing off, casting a line, lounging lakeside, reading a favorite book and sharing moments worth remembering with the ones who matter most.” Sixty percent of the population in Big Canoe, a vibrant, year-round community, is made up of full-time residents. Many commute to work in Atlanta, since Ga. 400



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and other major highways provide easy access. “Big Canoe has the rare mix of community friendship, national park-like beauty and comfortable living with a full set of amenities,” Wercholuk explained. “This combination is uncommon and makes Big Canoe an ideal environment to raise a family, vacation or retire. We provide the sense of well-being and security that many Atlanta residents are after by being a private, gated community.” Within its gates, Big Canoe offers over 20 miles of hiking trails, three waterfalls, three lakes, 2,600-plus families, 50-plus community clubs, 27 holes of golf and more. Resort-style amenities include a fitness center/spa, clubhouse, marina with electric boating and fishing, swim club, racquet club with tennis and pickleball courts, bocce ball, hiking and biking trails and golf. It has its own postal facility, trash/ recycling center, water company, fire and rescue station, chapel and animal rescue. “We’re also close to top area attractions in Blue Ridge, Dawsonville and Dahlonega,” said Wercholuk. “All of the charm of the north Georgia mountains are right at your fingertips when you live in Big Canoe.” City dwellers are looking for fresh air, peace and quiet, and gorgeous mountain views, and Big Canoe has all that and more. Residents can choose to own a million-dollar mountain house with long-range views of the Atlanta skyline or a Southern Living-inspired cottage with views of the golf course. There are many options, and that’s one of the best parts of living there. For anyone interested in learning more, the exclusive Discovery Package is the ideal way to experience life as a Big Canoe resident. Extremely popular since it was launched in May of last year, it offers a 2-night/3-day stay in a private mountain home for just $375. The package includes 18 holes of golf per couple, a $50 voucher toward dining at Sconti Clubhouse, and a private tour of the community and its diverse group of neighborhoods. “We’re finding that city dwellers are becoming more adventure-seeking and are Continued on page 26

JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016

Special Section | 23

Are the Mountains Calling You? Ellijay, GA 5BR/5BA/4HB $1,250,000 Exquisite Mountain Home on 8.2 acres exceeds all expectations of space, design, custom features, privacy, and offers year-round Mountain views. In gated community and borders USFS. Five ensuite BRs + 4 powder rooms. An outdoor fireplace AND a 6 car garage. So many more features and benefits make this a very special property. A MUST SEE! MLS 256584 Call Mark Reeves 706.455.2418

Morganton, GA 5BR/4.5BA $699,000 Amazing Barna Log home atop mtn ridge (3000’ elevation) and bordering USFS. All custom with upscale finishes & fixtures, floor to ceiling FP, heart pine floors, chef’s kitchen, 3 zone HVAC, spa with steam room, screen porch, oversized carport. Year round long range views. 1+ acre lot. 25 min to Blue Ridge – 45 to new Murphy Casino. This one has it ALL! MLS 253109 Call Mark Reeves 706.455.2418

Ellijay, GA 3BR/3BA $490,000 Upscale Adirondack style mountain home on 1.1 acre beside the Ellijay River. Master suite on main, open kitchen overlooking keeping room with FP. Lodge style living room with FP and French doors to screened outdoor living room with 3rd massive fireplace. Words & pictures can’t do it justice. You MUST come experience mountain living here. MLS 255208 Call Mark Reeves 706.455.2418

Epworth, GA 4BR/2BA $288,500 Spacious weekender on 1.3 flat acres with 280 feet on Fightingtown Creek. Fly fish, tube & kayak from your yard. True master on the main, cozy stone fireplace in the open concept living/dining/kitchen. Partial, unfinished basement for storage & workshop. Decks galore AND a covered rocking chair front porch. 20 minutes to Blue Ridge and Ocoee River Gorge. MLS 257760 Call Mark Reeves 706.455.2418

Morganton, GA 7BR/4.5BA $1,649,900 6000 SF luxury Mtn. Estate on 126+ acres. Craftsman style home with 2500’ creek frontage, 3 car garage, pasture, spring fed trout pond, studio apt., hiking trails, much, much more! MLS 256320 Call Teresa Bidez 706.455.2911

Blue Ridge, GA 5BR/5.5BA $789,900 Ridges Over the Lake - Custom Built Craftsman style Lodge on 1.5 ac. overlooks impressive Mtn View & Lake Blue Ridge. Rustic elegance thruout. 2 stunning masonry rocked FPs. 2 car garage. MLS 256079 Call Donna O’Neal 770.356.9034

Cherry Log, GA 3BR/3BA $424,800 Prow front log sided home on 3.6 ac. with year round Mtn views. Tons of upgrades and special features. Huge open great room, chef’s kitchen, large master, gated, paved road access. WOW! MLS 256850 Call Mark Engeldow 706.633.3988

Mineral Bluff, GA 4BR/3BA $345,000 Gorgeous home with 2 acres on private lake and access to the Toccoa River. Screen porch overlooks lake, master on main, basement with BR/BA, living room, 2nd kitchen. MLS 253670 Call Kimberly Bruner 706.455.5703

Blairsville, GA 3BR/3BA $315,000 Elegant 2856SF country home on 6 acres with year round Mtn views. Quality reconstruction of 1916 home, high end amenities, 3 stone FPs, huge master and much more. MLS 257587 Call Linda Bowen-Hughes 706.897.2956

Morganton, GA 4BR/3BA $314,900 Ideal Mtn home on 1+ ac with year round Mtn view. No steep roads! Two bedrooms on main and real master suite upstairs with living room & screen porch. MLS 257382 Call Kimberly Bruner 706.455.5703

Blairsville, GA 3BR/2.5BA $275,000 Spacious mountain home – long range views! Top of the line renovation – new fixtures, flooring, granite. Two decks. Upscale area with paved roads – easy access. MLS 252731 Call Linda Bowen-Hughes 706.897.2956

Blairsville, GA 3BR/3BA $194,500 Spacious 2 story cabin on 1.9 ac features main floor master, kitchen, great room, rock FP, loft suite with sitting area, large decks, garage. Gentle, usable acreage. MLS 257491 Call Linda Bowen-Hughes 706.897.2956

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


24 | Special Section T E L L U S ■



MOUNTAIN EVENTS & ACTIVITIES 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.

Appalachian Wine & Jazz Festival The annual Appalachian Wine & Jazz Festival will be held at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee on June 11-12 with two days of wine, jazz, food and artists. Vis-




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OFFER EXPIRES 07-31-2016


it for tickets and details.

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

JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016

Special Section | 25

Georgia Wine Country Festival Three Sisters Vineyards in Dahlonega is marking 15 years by hosting this festival every weekend in June. A garden showcasing wineries from around the state will be featured along with food trucks, jazz and more. Visit for details.

Simply Homegrown Farmers Market This big market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Clayton Municipal Complex in Rabun County. Veggies, herbs, handmade goods and more can be found in the stalls. Visit for a list of vendors and information.

Rabun County 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 19); Paul Byrom (July 10); Antsy McClain and the Troubs (July 17); Married to Broadway (July 31); and Emile Pandolfi (Aug. 14). Tickets and details at rabunmusicfestival. com.

Georgia Mountain Fair This year’s fair is July 15-23 at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee. Rides, live music, food and much more draw thousands of visitors each year. Can’t make the summer event? The Georgia Mountain Fall Festival is Oct. 7-15. See all the events happening this summer at the fairgrounds at

Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ Music Festival The annual festival will be held in the downtown Blue Ridge City Park on Sept. 17 from noon to 9 p.m. There will be barbeque, live music, craft beer, fun stuff for the kids and more. Find more information at facebook. com/BlueRidgeBluesandBBQ.

Georgia Apple Festival The annual event is held over two weekends – Oct. 8-9 and Oct. 15-16 – in Ellijay. There will be more than 300 vendors, an antique car show, a parade and plenty of apples. Visit for information.


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26 | Special Section ■

Multiple levels for multiple views.

Continued from page 22

The inflatable obstacle course at The Swim Club in Big Canoe.

highly desired, one of Big Canoe’s most sought-after spots is Wildcat, a mountain ridge neighborhood with a private reserve. Nearly half of the 700-acre area is set aside for usable green space, including 12 miles of walking paths and trails. Home sites share spectacular views of the neighboring mountains, wildflower meadows and lush forests. Wercholuk said that other frequent requests include a master bedroom on the

interested in an outdoor lifestyle, Wercholuk reported. “With our unique Jeep Trail, 22 miles of award-winning hiking/biking trails, three outdoor dog parks, three waterfalls, three lakes and scenic mountain landscapes, they have it all. In fact, we won 2015 Hiking Community of the Year from Bliss Awards-Real Estate Scorecard.” Since neighborhoods with trails and locations that promote outdoor living are

main level, open floor plans, four-season rooms, such as covered screened porches with fireplaces and grilling areas, and longrange mountain views and water views. Slusser agreed that log and cottage style homes on a lake or with long-range mountain views are in the greatest demand. Many homebuyers are seeking a home off the grid, as well as tiny homes. “Smart home technology is becoming a necessary feature for the out-of-town buyer,” she






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added. “Locks, security systems and thermostats that can all be controlled from a smartphone are increasingly important.” Intown living is in big demand, too. She has a list of buyers looking to purchase a loft- or cottage-type dwelling within walking distance to the quaint downtown areas. Gilmore has also noticed that intown living is popular. “It’s nice to put away the car and walk to town or the grocery store. Close proximity to town, spectacular views, and lakefront or golf community properties tick most of the boxes for location,” he said. Cashiers has a new development in the construction phase which will be the first in-town eight-cottage community, just two blocks from the crossroads. Highlands’ new construction is increasing in-town, and there are many resale homes and condos in the area at prices ranging from $300,000 to $6 million-plus. Real estate has always been robust on the plateau, and the area is known for its expensive homes, so affordability is not something folks often look for, Gilmore stated. He quickly added that there are still homes and townhomes for every budget. Communities like Sapphire and Whispering Lake offer great values starting in the $300,000s. Many homes are sold fully furnished, allowing new residents to move right in and enjoy their mountain homes. “Lots of homeowners can’t make it to the mountains every weekend, so they rent their homes using VRBO or one of the many rental management companies. It’s a great way to utilize your home and capture some funds for expenses,” he explained. “Clients in this area are typically very nice families that respect and care for others’ property.” With all the interest in the Blue Ridge, some new developments have gained in popularity. The Heights at Cashes Valley offers elevated rustic living and is one of the most upscale communities in the area, according to Fitts.

JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016

Special Section | 27

“The prices per square foot in the community have yielded higher returns than anywhere in the county,” he said. “The homes are architecturally designed using many natural materials, including rough sawn wood, natural poplar bark siding, live edge siding, board and batten, cedar shake, and lots of natural stone accents and columns.” A few other Blue Ridge communities with new construction include Shepherds Ridge and Little Creek Overlook, located in the popular Aska Adventure Area. Necowa Cove is a community that offers lakefront living as well as properties with panoramic views along miles of Lake Blue Ridge with layered mountains in the distance. “For lake lovers and those who en-

joy boating, water skiing, stand up paddle boarding and jet skiing, this community is perfect,” noted Fitts. The homes overlooking the lake are in the $400,000-$600,000 range and the lakefront homes range from $1 million to $1.5 million. Leading builders Big South Builders and Watkins Home Builders are responsible for many of the newly designed homes in the area. Fitts added that the trend for Atlanta residents purchasing in the mountains has transitioned from the log cabin look to more of a modern rustic design. “This term in the north Georgia mountains simply means that the homes offer rustic charm and warmth with the modern amenities that most city folks are used to.” Other requested design features are a

wall of windows to take in the mountain or lake views, along with a fully stocked wet bar and fireplace to add to the ambiance. Also popular are finished basements with areas for entertaining, including media rooms, home theaters and game/billiard rooms typically equipped with pool tables, ping pong tables or shuffleboard. “Most homebuyers want a spacious open floor plan because it’s family time when they’re in the Outdoor seating and a fire pit next to the stream mountains, especially when they’re means you enjoy the outdoors most of the year. here just for the weekend,” Fitts said. places, creating a spot that’s perfect for re“Outdoor living space is key, so folks laxing in the evening.” want lots of covered porches, decks and outdoor party porches featuring rock fire-

WhereWork Ends and Dreams Begin A getaway-hideaway designed by nature.

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A log home sanctuary is the perfect place to gather dreams, memories, and family for your retirement years. Nestled within its strength and comfort on a rolling hill or a scenic mountain, your log home is the perfect venue for good times with family and friends. A welcoming place that can light the night with fellowship and brighten your days with merriment.

At Satterwhite, we only use naturally cured logs. This means excessive shrinking will not compromise your home, ensuring reliability. This material advantage is also backed by a guarantee of sound construction techniques, enduring design and simple attention to detail in every home we craft. It’s been that way since 1974.

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28 | Special Section ■

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30 | Public Safety ■

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woody house and one on Chateaugay Lane. He said he employs a local agent to manage the property and vet guests in person. A midnight hip hop concert and “manMcPherson travels regularly—he spoke sion party” staged May 19 at a Peachtreeon the phone from Paris—and visits the Dunwoody Road house quickly became a Peachtree-Dunwoody house often. poster child for problems with short-term “I’m there at least two weeks a month,” he said. “It’s not a dedicated vacation rental.” He said the house is often rented by such stars as actress Michelle Rodriguez of “Avatar,” singer Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child and the late Paul Walker of the “Fast & Furious” movies. The biggest hosting challenge on a daily basis, he AIRBNB WEBSITE said, is dealing with some celebThis Airbnb rental, on Peachtree-Dunwoody rity eccentricities. Road, has been the subject of a number of “One famous person…all the noise complaints from neighbors. TVs were covered in blankets when they left. Really weird,” he said. rentals in the suburbs. Social media posts McPherson said an organizer of the showed one guest flashing a pistol, and the May 19 hip hop show fooled his local agent city says the house, rented via, by showing up in a suit and claiming to has drawn 20 noise complaints in the past be seeking a rental for an “elderly aunt” 16 months. in town for a “family tragedy.” One of the But the house’s owner, New York City hosts listed on a concert ad did not respond resident Paul McPherson, who has rented to questions and management for a group it via Airbnb for three years, paints a more on the bill declined to comment. McPhercomplicated picture. He said the concert son said it was a three-night rental, and the “horrified” him, but “slipped through the advertised rate was $615 a night. net” of his vetting process through trickery. McPherson said he was unaware of None of the noise complaints resulted the party until TV news reports almost in a citation, he said, and all came from one two weeks later. If neighbors or police neighbor who called in such minor issues had called him at the time, he said, “action as a taxi beeping. His usual guests, he said, would have been taken immediately.” are quiet families and such privacy-hungry Stephanie McGarity, president of the celebrities as movie star Kevin Costner. Brookhaven Security Association, which “It happens in hotels daily,” McPherprovides off-duty police patrols in the area, son said of guests behaving badly, while acsaid she also learned of the situation from knowledging the effect is different in resinews accounts. McGarity talked to one “terdential areas. rified” neighbor who had complained. she The Buckhead house situation shows said, but “some neighbors didn’t know anysome of the tensions emerging as Airbnb thing about it.” She declined to identify the and other short-term rentals expand into frightened neighbor, but passed along an suburban areas, where regulations vary interview request that drew no response. or are nonexistent or unenforced. The city McGarity said that she has not heard of Atlanta said earlier this year that shortcomplaints about Airbnb rentals before term rentals are prohibited in single-famiand that graduation parties are the big ly zoning areas, but could not confirm that source of event complaints. “Public house applies to the Peachtree-Dunwoody house. parties where they’re charging admisInspectors will check out the property, a sion—it’s just astounding,” she said. city spokesperson said. The city said the police will now write A review of area Airbnb house rentals a formal report for any further noise comearlier this year showed some mixed explaints at the property. And Airbnb recentperiences with partiers. One home on resly launched a feature that allows neighbors idential Timm Valley Road was advertised to report complaints on listings. as a “Party House in Buckhead…Kegs cost McPherson has taken down the Airbextra” and had been operating since 2011, nb listing for now. He said he will reach out apparently without being shut down. Anto the Security Association to request their other listing off Lake Forrest Drive in Sandy attention to the house, especially on weekSprings said parties are no longer allowed ends. He said he also will invite neighbors because “it’s caused too many problems.” to meet him to work out any issues. He emMcPherson said he avoids party rentals phasized that even the neighbor he believes at his various properties, including several to be making the complaints has been helpin New York that he has rented for 10 years ful to him in the past. “You can’t have a batand two in Buckhead he has owned for tle with your neighbor, because they’re three years, including the Peachtree-Dunyour neighbor,” he said.


JUNE 10 - JUNE. 23, 2016

Public Safety | 31

Police Blotter / Dunwoody The following information was pulled from Dunwoody’s Police-2-Citizen website and is presumed to be accurate.

From police reports dated May 22 through May 29 „„A 44-year-old woman reported to Dun-

woody Police on May 25 that she was raped at an office space located in the 2100 block of Peachford Road. The suspect did not have a weapon. „„On May 25 in the 4300 block of Ash-

ford-Dunwoody Road at Hammond Drive, a police officer ran a license check on a Toyota Corolla. The tag came back as belonging to a GMC Sierra K-1500 pickup truck. The officer stopped the vehicle by using his blue lights and siren. The vehicle was impounded. „„A 33-year-old Decatur man was arrest-

ed May 28 for taking lewd photos of unsuspecting shoppers at a discount department store in the 4300 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road. „„Police reported several thefts of car

wheels on May 28 at various locations in the city. A 29-year-old man reported to police his custom wheels valued at $7,000 were stolen from his 2015 Dodge Challenger while it was parked in the parking lot of his apartment complex in the 4800 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road. A 61-year-old man from Ellijay reported the wheels from his 2015 Chevy Silverado valued at $3,000 were stolen sometime after 9:30 p.m., while the truck was parked in a parking lot in the 4300 block of Dunwoody Park. And a 33-yearold woman reported the wheels from her 2016 Honda Accord were stolen while parked in the parking lot of her residence in the 8300 block of Peachford Circle. The tires were valued at $3,000. „„A Lawrenceville man with nearly 70

grams of cocaine and more than $5,000 in cash was arrested by police after he was stopped for speeding on May 29 on I-85 eastbound at Ashford-Dunwoody Road. Police stopped the man, driving a rental 2016 Chevy Tahoe, at about 6:15 a.m. The 35-year-old driver was charged with theft by receiving stolen property and possession of cocaine for sale. The man had a stolen .40 caliber FN handgun, Blazer .40 caliber ammo, an FN ammo magazine, 67.8 grams of cocaine, four cellphones and $5,477 in cash on him. „„On May 29 at about 9:30 a.m., police

stopped a 25-year-old man from Dublin, Ga., and a 25-year-old woman from Alabama for a crosswalk violation in the 100 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road. The woman was released, but the man gave false information about his identity and DUN

he was arrested after police found out he had an outstanding warrant. He was charged with fraud-impersonation, obstruction-false information and wanted person located.

LARCENY „„4500 block of Old Perimeter Way – On

May 22, report of larceny from vehicle. „„4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 22, report of larceny shoplifting. „„300 block of Perimeter Center – On

May 22, report of larceny-parts from vehicle.


– On May 23, arrest for DUI.

„„1300 block of Dunwoody Village Park-

„„100 block of Perimeter Center East –

way – On May 27, report of larceny-from building.

On May 23, arrest for fraud-impersonation.

„„100 Perimeter Center Place – On May


28, report of larceny from vehicle. „„8000 block of Peachford Road – On

May 28, report of larceny-parts from vehicle.


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 22, arrest for shoplifting. „„First block of Perimeter Center Way/

– On May 22, report of larceny-articles from vehicle. „„4300

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 23, report of larceny-articles from vehicle.



„„100 block of Perimeter Center/Ash-

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 23, report of larceny-other offenses. „„100 block of Perimeter Center Place/

Meadow Lane Road – On May 23, report of larceny-articles from vehicle. „„4500 block of Olde Perimeter Way –

On May 23, report of larceny-other offenses.


Road/Perimeter Center East – On May 23, arrest for DUI. „„I-285 WB/Ashford-Dunwoody Road –


Perimeter Center Parkway – On May 22, arrest for driving while license suspended/revoked.

„„100 block of Perimeter Center East

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 23, arrest for larcenyshoplifting.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 22, arrest for larcenyshoplifting. ford-Dunwoody Road – On May 22, arrest for driving while license suspended/revoked. „„I-285 West-Chamblee Dunwoody Road

On May 24, arrest for improper lane usage. „„4400 block of Shelborne Drive/Ston-

ington Circle – On May 24, arrest for possession of drug-synthetic narcotic possession. „„I-285

Westbound/North Peachtree Road – On May 24, arrest for driving while unlicensed. „„2100 block of Peachford Road – On

May 24, arrest for simple assault/battery. „„4300

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 24, arrest for larcenyshoplifting.


„„1500 block of Dunwoody Village Park-

way – On May 23, report of larceny-articles from vehicle. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 23, report of larcenyshoplifting. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 23, report of larcenyshoplifting. „„5000 block of Perimeter Trace East –

On May 24, report of larceny-other offenses. „„4600 block of Peachtree Place Park-

way – On May 24, report of larceny from vehicle. „„1400 block of Dunwoody Village Park-

way – On May 25, report of larceny-articles from vehicle. „„4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 25, report of larcenyshoplifting. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 26, report of larcenyshoplifting. „„4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 27, report of larceny-

State of Georgia City of Sandy Springs Notice is hereby given that the logic and accuracy testing and preparation of voting equipment to be used in the June 21, 2016 Special Election Runoff will begin at 3 PM on June 13, 2016. Testing will continue until complete and members of the public are entitled to be present during testing. Said testing and preparation will be conducted at: Sandy Springs City Hall 7840 Roswell Road Sandy Springs, GA 30350. Michael Casey City Clerk City of Sandy Springs, Georgia

32 | â–


6-10-2016 Dunwoody Reporter  
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