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


Sandy Springs Reporter


Amenities, attractions draw homebuyers to mountains

Will the city keep running its own elections? BY JOHN RUCH

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 more than $100,000—sparking renewed talk of self-run city polls. City officials say they’re too busy running the election, which is heading into a June 21 runoff, to seriously consider the future. But they also suggest the city’s first-ev-

Caroline Peters, winner of the two-mile “Stand Up for the Hooch” paddleboard racing event, cruises along the Chattahoochee River with Marley at Morgan Falls Overlook Park on June 5. The morning included a six-mile and childrens’ race, with 135 participants taking to the water.

See WILL THE CITY. on page 18


Pages 5-7

Catch mountain events this summer and fall


We’re all on board

EDUCATION Graduation pictures

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. Robin Conte Robin’s Nest See COMMENTARY Page 12

OUT & ABOUT Lantern parade

Page 8

Why the Sandy Springs Circle plan is a surprise BY JOHN RUCH The city’s plan to redesign part of Sandy Springs Circle between Hammond Drive and Mount Vernon Highway with fewer lanes, on-street parking and multi-use paths, revealed in March, seems to have confused just about everyone. Many officials and residents said the design was news to them. Yet city planners have said the design was publicly vetted and approved long ago. It turns out both things are true, as Bryant Poole, assistant city manager for infrastructure, and Andrew Thompson, capital programs manager, explained in a recent interview. See ROAD on page 15

2 | Community ■

Voters Guide to District 3 election

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.

Banker Chris Burnett and airline pilot Joe Houseman meet June 21 in a special runoff election to choose a Sandy Springs City Councilmember to represent District 3. They were the top two finishers among the five candidates in the May 24 special election. For a special runoff Voters Guide, the Sandy Springs Reporter asked the two candidates several questions. Here are edited versions of their answers. To see their full answers and their responses to other questions posed for our previous Voters Guide, go to

traffic, reducing non-rush hour speeds on neighborhood streets and reducing congestion during grueling rush hours. When not flying, my opponent lives in an affluent, tranquil neighborhood with zero cutthrough traffic, and his neighbors are less impacted by the grind of Riverside Drive and Johnson Ferry. I believe I am more motivated and better equipped to address our traffic because I suffer with it every day. I have a deep understanding of what works and what does not work in terms of density and financial feasibility. I will stop bad real estate projects before they ever take off. I serve on the Trustee Board and the Finance and Audit Committees for Holy InnoQ: Why should the voters choose you, cents’ Episcopal School, the largest Episcorather than your opponent? pal school in America. I serve in these roles A: The differences between us because of my deep underlie in our training and in our standing of strategic planning, professional experience and analyzing financial statements, skill-sets. We also have signifpreparing budgets and smart icant differences in the time fiscal management, all crucial commitments we have historskills in a city with a $100 milically made to our community. lion annual budget, especially I want the city to halt further if we want to keep property taxapartment development in Dises from skyrocketing. My oppotrict 3, and if a district-specific nent has no known experience moratorium is required to acin any of these areas of fiscal complish this, then I will recmanagement. ommend and support that. For 20 years, I have shown my We must protect our neighborChris Burnett love for and commitment to hoods by stopping cut-through

Chris Burnett

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JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016

Community | 3


Runoff election coming June 21


The special runoff election between Chris Burnett and Joe Houseman for the Sandy Springs City Council District 3 seat will be held June 21, with advance voting June 11-17. All voting—both advance and on Election Day—will be held at one polling place: the Round Program Building in Hammond Park, 6005 Glenridge Drive. That is different from the original special election on May 24, which used the same Hammond Park poll on Election Day but had advance voting elsewhere. Only voters who live in District 3 can vote. Unlike in some partisan primary elections, voters who did not vote in the original election can still cast a ballot in the runoff. Advance voting begins June 11, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It continues June 13 through 17, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Voting on Election Day, June 21, is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For a full guide to the election, including a district map, see

Sandy Springs by serving with many charitable organizations that are substantially improving our quality of life. Q: What kind of development is appropriate in Sandy Springs? Have city officials followed the right path? Are they too close to developers? A: Development needs are different in each area of the city. For example, the northern district (the Huntcliff, Northridge area) has the majority of the city’s class C apartments, with higher crime statistics and elevated stress on schools and infrastructure. Redevelopment of those very old properties with new housing would be beneficial in providing middle-income families ... with quality, attainable housing options. Commercially, I want downtown Sandy Springs to redevelop with boutique retail shops, local, chef-driven restaurants and boutique office space for local businesses. While chairman of our local chamber, we formed the Sandy Springs Restaurant Council to support high-quality, local restaurants so Sandy Springs will have better quality dining and entertainment options for our residents, and it is my hope that more restaurants will come to downtown if we offer a “small-town” feel that is easily walkable and heavily landscaped. Q: How will you juggle your day job and meet the time demands of City Council? A: For years, our life has been totally focused in Sandy Springs. My office is in the heart of District 3, and I can walk to the new City Hall for meetings. Our doors are always open and citizens can come see me whenever they need to. Unlike my opponent, who travels constantly, I do not travel for business and am in Sandy Springs every day.

Joe Houseman


Q: Why should the voters in the runoff choose you, rather than your opponent? A: Because my only priority is the citizens of Sandy Springs! As a lifelong resident of Sandy Springs, many friends and concerned neighbors would often turn to me with their concerns and opinions since we became incorporated in 2005. Knowing I grew up in District 3 and witnessed the district both before

and after we became a city, they always urged me to run for this position. My approach to the Sandy Springs City Council will be with “clear glasses,” and an honest intent to do what is best for the taxpayers in my district to protect their rights and improve their quality of life. Citizens will not have to be concerned with me becoming influenced in my decision-making by outside sources. I am concerned that my opponent has significant conflicts of interest in his job as both the president of the Bank of Sandy Springs and also the owner of a development company (as was covered in an earlier edition of this newspaper). As a Delta pilot, I can guarantee that Boeing vs. Airbus will never come up in a City Council vote; I’ll never have to recuse myself on any city council vote. I have zero financial interests that are affected by any item I would ever vote on as councilman. If my opponent is doing his professional job well (prospecting, doing deals, etc.), by definition he’s likely not going to be able to vote on a number of issues throughout his term. Q: What kind of development is appropriate in Sandy Springs? Have city officials followed the right path? Are they too close to developers? A: I’m a big believer in the free market. And to me, the free market should be comprised of individuals and businesses competing on a level playing field in the marketplace. That level field does not include, in my mind, the city government bending rules for the benefit of a private entity, such as approving development proposals that are very far out of line with the city’s Land Use Plan. Q: How will you juggle your day job and meet the time demands of City Council? A: As an airline pilot with seniority, I have a very flexible schedule which allows me time to commit to serving my neighbors as a member of City Council. Many busy professionals work 65+ hours each week; FAA regulations only allow me to fly 100 hours per month. I have ample time and the passion to commit to serving my fellow citizens of District 3.

Joe Houseman






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4 | Community ■


Willard says he plans to retire after next term BY JOHN RUCH

52, but he had not directly confirmed his retirement plan. House District 52, which covers parts State Rep. Wendell Willard, who of Buckhead and Sandy Springs, also helped found the city of Sandy Springs has a long-time incumbent who is reand has represented the area in the Legistiring: Joe Wilkinson, who has served lature for 15 years, said he plans to retire since 2000. In March, in 2018 at the end of his Wilkinson made a surnext term. prise retirement anTwo candidates, Sannouncement that set off dy Springs City Council a heated race between member Gabriel Sterling Graham McDonald and and Roswell business Deborah Silcox. Silcox lawyer Alex Kaufman, alwon the seat in the May ready have announced 24 Republican Primary they will run for his seat election. in 2018. Sterling will not Wilkinson claimed run for re-election to Sandy Springs leaders— his District 4 City Counincluding Willard—had cil seat in 2017, opena “plot” to replace him Rep. Wendell Willard ing that race up early as with McDonald, which well. Willard said he is the city officials in turn not backing any candidenied. But McDonald date and will “leave it wide open. No endid say that city officials, including Wildorsement.” lard, urged him to run as part of a changWillard, a Sandy Springs Republican ing of the guard with Wilkinson and Wilrunning unopposed for re-election in lard poised to retire soon. House District 51 this fall, said he is “lookWillard called the HD 52 primary “a ing at my last term.” House District 51 instrange race” and said his own interest cludes Sandy Springs’ panhandle area in it “wasn’t this person or that person,” and parts of Johns Creek and Roswell. but in making sure Sandy Springs had a Willard was elected to the state House skilled representative. of Representatives in 2001. “That’s prob“[With] Graham, I was talking about ably enough for anybody,” he said. “[It’s the chance to mentor him,” Willard said, time to] get some fresh ideas down there.” adding that he is open to doing same for Willard also serves as the city attorSilcox “if she’s interested.” 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 governments.”



Early Voting:

Sat: June 11, 8am - 5pm Mon-Fri: June 13-17, 8am - 4:30pm

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Education | 5

JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016 ■

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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.

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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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8 | Out & About ■


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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.

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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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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.

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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.


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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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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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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 Atlanta INtown

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Opinion /Glass recycling in Sandy Springs Glass recycling seems to be on the minds of many Sandy Springs residents, after receiving notice that their waste hauler will no longer accept glass in their curbside recycling program. The good news is that glass can still be recycled at community drop-off facilities, such as the Sandy Springs Recycling Center. The reason behind this recent change has to do with market prices and changes in the way recycled materials are processed. Over the past decade, most residential curbside recycling programs in the metro Atlanta area have shifted to single-stream recycling, in other words, all of the recycling goes into a single bin and is sorted out at a regional facility. Single-stream collection increases convenience and participation rates in curbside recycling programs, but it poses challenges for the facilities that process the collected materials. Single-stream recycling facilities use a combination of hand sorting and machinery to sort out the items in the truckload, separating cardboard, aluminum, ferrous metals, glass, paper, various plastics and glass. This sorting equipment uses conveyer belts, magnets, optic eyes, rollers, blowers and other sophisticated technology to sort the materials. Glass is one of the materials that can cause trouble for a singlestream system. Glass is abrasive, and can damage the sorting equipment. It also breaks into sharp pieces, can injure workers, and mixes in with other items such as paper and plastic, contaminating the other materials so that a large percentage of otherwise recyclable material ends up going to a landfill. Complicating the issue is the fact that market prices for materials are recessed due to global economic factors such as a strong dollar overseas, low oil prices that drive down the price of manufac-

On The Record

• No sheet glass or auto glass. • The center does not recycle ceramics, mirrors, vases or drinkware, although if they are in good, usable condition, they can be donated to a charKathy Reed ity such as AmeriKathy Reed is the executive can Kidney Servicdirector of Keep North es, located on the Fulton Beautiful, the 501(c)3 nonprofit that property. operates the Sandy Tips for curbSprings Recycling Center, side recycling: Unand is on the Board of Directors of the Georgia fortunately, people Recycling Coalition. often place inappropriate items in the curbside recycling bin, and sorting facilities have to remove by hand a lot of materials that could damage the single-stream equipment, such as rope, garden hoses, plastic toys, food, textiles, metal pipes and even needles. Never put these items in your curbside recycling bin. For a complete list of items accepted by the Sandy Springs Recycling center, see

Read these articles from our other editions online at

“When this is all said and done, this will be the best golf facility in the region and state of Georgia.” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, on the state of Georgia’s plans for the Bobby Jones Golf Course after Atlanta City Council voted June 6 to swap the city-owned course for state properties the city wants near Underground Atlanta “Financially, this is a giveaway of a park for a promise and a parking lot.” Anthony Smith, president of the Friends


turing plastic, and overproduction of steel in Asia. Technology is available for processing facilities that can decrease contamination and increase recovery of glass, but it requires a capital investment. Few single-stream processors are willing to take on that cost when markets are deflated, and they are having to pay to sort and dispose of items incorrectly placed in curbside recycling bins. There are viable markets for recycled glass in Georgia; it is used as feed stock for bottles and jars, or made into fiberglass. Recycling glass containers helps protect natural resources, helps Georgia’s economy, and diverts material from landfills. So it’s a good thing to recycle glass, but it’s best not to include it in the curbside bin. Tips for recycling glass at the Sandy Springs Recycling Center, 470 Morgan Falls Road, Sandy Springs, Ga.: • Recycle only clean food or beverage jars or bottles. • Sort into clear, green or brown.

of Bobby Jones Golf Course, on the transfer of the course to the state “They just recently accepted Brookhaven to be a book.” Former Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams, after Arcadia Press agreed to publish a photo history book about the north DeKalb city. Williams will co-author the book with Valerie Biggerstaff, author of a similar book on Dunwoody “You can’t have a battle with your neighbor, because they’re your neighbor.”

New York City resident Paul McPherson, on efforts to get along with Buckhead neighbors who complained about a party at his online-rental home “When my clients walk into my office, they all say, ‘This is just awesome, that you can just walk downstairs to a nice restaurant.’” Brookhaven lawyer Mary Galardi, who works from a condo-office in Brookhaven Village, a mixed-use development on Dresden Drive

14 | Community ■

T-SPLOST project list finalized with Hammond traffic study

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PATH400 extension ($5.5 million); Roberts Drive multi-use path ($5.5 million); Roadway maintenance and paving ($16,785,429). The Hammond Drive widening design, focused on a two-lane section of Hammond Drive between Roswell Road and Glenridge Drive, is controversial. Local neighborhood associations strongly oppose the idea, saying it would mean demolishing dozens of homes, and that it has never been backed by a credible traffic study. In recent months, the city has geared up to perform that study and already bought three residential lots as placeholders in case the widening is determined to be a good idea. The T-SPLOST would help fund more property purchases as well as a study and design, including public meetings and at least three alternatives, city officials said. It does not fund any actual construction, and council members emphasized that decision has not been made. However, the city did present a new traffic study for that section of Hammond that says the street will be choked without some kind of changes. McDonough said the study was based on the idea of the street as a “four-lane divided boulevard with sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides.” Council member Gabriel Sterling later said it also includes a 40-foot right of way for potential alternative transit; officials have previously talked about potential streetcars, bus lines or monorails. The study was performed and presented by consulting traffic engineer France Campbell. He said it included traffic counts performed in April while school was in session and factors in 11 major developments planned or underway in the area. He said the study found that most intersections on that section of Hammond function at acceptable levels of service, at least from a traffic engineer’s point of view. But by 2026, most are projected to be unacceptable, he said. Beyond widening, some of those intersections could be improved with turn lanes, roundabouts or “other types of innovative intersections,” he said.

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Atlanta Regional Commission at about 105,000 people, McDonough said. That means the city is projected to receive about $104 million from the T-SPLOST, up from $101 million, with a maximum of $119 million, up from $116 million. The T-SPLOST list includes: Traffic efficiency improvements ($18 million); Perimeter Center Last Mile Connectivity: ($8 million); Sidewalk program ($11 million); Mount Vernon/Johnson Ferry dual roundabouts ($26 million); Mount Vernon Highway multi-use path ($11 million); Hammond Drive widening design ($16 million);

The city of Sandy Springs finalized its wish list of transportation sales tax projects at the June 7 City Council meeting. It also presented a traffic study to back one of the most controversial items, a design for possible widening of Hammond Drive, and gave hints as to possible details. The T-SPLOST project list was cut from 10 previously listed projects to nine. The project removed was a concept of “flex lanes” on I-285, essentially turning the

shoulders into travel lanes during high traffic. The state Department of Transportation can’t agree to that idea yet, said City Manager John McDonough. The idea could still be funded by other means. The transportation sales tax, or TSPLOST, is slated to go before Fulton County voters Nov. 8. Revenue from the fiveyear sales tax increase of up to 0.75 percent would be split among area cities. The projected revenue from the T-SPLOST has ticked upward. That’s partly because the revenue is based on city population, and Sandy Springs is now estimated by the




JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016

Road design is a surprise Continued from page 1


Community | 15

The Sandy Springs Circle design was approved as part of the City Center Master Plan process in 2012, but only as a general concept. The March meeting unveiled the first, full, detailed design—and was the first public update in more than three years. That also will be last public meeting before the project heads to construction as soon as next year, Poole said. “There is no need for the city to do another [meeting],” Poole said. “It’s been a process that’s been publicly vetted.” Dave Nickels, a Planning Commission member who recently called the on-street parking design “stupid,” disagrees. In April, the commission voted to demand a presentation of the plan at its next public meeting so commissioners could weigh in. Instead, Nickels said, city staff gave only a brief presentation at a little-publicized commission “retreat” held last month at a city park on a weekday morning. The March meeting did not include a clear explanation of the project’s history, the significance that it was the first full design being unveiled, or that it would be the only public input meeting. Sandy Springs Circle is just one of many roadway projects approved conceptually in the City Center Master Plan and now slowly working their way toward reality. That could make for more surprises. The city is working on a plan to improve communication on road projects and major real estate developments, said city spokesperson Sharon Kraun. The design dates to a 2010 plan for sidewalks and paths. “It began its life as a streetscape project doing overlay improvements on the shoulders,” said Thompson. The city approved that plan in 2012. That was the same year consultants put together the City Center Master Plan, a massive design for a new downtown that includes the City Springs redevelopment underway today as well as a new grid of walkable streets. The Sandy Springs Circle streetscape plan was folded into the City Center plan and expanded into a full redesign of the entire roadway, not just sidewalks. But that was approved only as an abstract cross-section of an ideal piece of road — and one of many in the plan. That’s the last the public saw for three years as the project underwent a long design and federal review to turn the “typical section” into a real-world plan for the entire roadway. That required some changes, and more tweaks might happen as the design, now about 70 percent complete, enters the right of way acquisition phase, Thompson said. The design also has been questioned by bike advocates as not meeting modern design standards. Thompson said there is no single national bike-infrastructure standard.

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Catching Up

Revisiting a notable local story from our archives

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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.


Two years ago, Sandy Springs business owner Stephen Johnston successfully fought a city effort to take part of his 80 Johnson Ferry Road property for the Marsh Creek pond project. Now Johnston is about to auction off the property and says the pond project is a plus for the sale. “When all’s said and done, [the city’s] actions have improved the value of the property,” Johnston said. “Looking at the drawings and everything, [the Marsh Creek pond] looks like it’s going to look nice.” Johnston bought the Johnson Ferry property, which includes a house and garage and warehouse, in 2010 as offices for his company, Lucid Communications Services. He said the company will move out July 1 and share space elsewhere in Sandy Springs with another of his family’s technology businesses. An on-site auction to sell the property is slated for June 16. In 2014, the city began acquiring land for the Marsh Creek project next door to Johnston’s business. The project, now under construction, is a stormwater detention pond that will double as a 2-acre public park. The city wanted the back half of Johnston’s property for the pond, and when he turned down an offer, the city attempted to take the land by eminent domain. Johnston fought the land-taking in part due to the property’s 1820s frontier

history as the Austin family farm, and reported traces of a historic house and well. At the time, he expressed concern that the pond project would “wipe the history out.” A city study found no significant historic artifacts on the site that would affected the pond project or future redevelopment, Johnston now says. “I wasn’t happy with them trying to take the property. That was the major issue,” he said. Johnston did succeed in fighting off the eminent domain. He and city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said the city ended up redesigning the project to avoid using his property. Now Johnston intends to sell the property because of the hot real estate market and the new company offices available. He said he thinks the pond project has already changed the local groundwater enough that it would be possible to run a culvert through the backyard and create a parking lot—a good selling point. The 80 Johnson Ferry property is about 0.8 acres and has zoning that allows both residential and office uses, according to the city zoning map. An advertisement from auctioneer National Auction Group says that zoning “provides seemingly endless possibilities to the development potential of this property.” The ad highlights the property’s proximity to the Marsh Creek project and the City Springs development. Joining in the June 16 auction requires a $25,000 deposit. For more information, see

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Community | 17

City proposes first $100 million budget since 2008 Sandy Springs’ proposed fiscal year 2017 budget is heading to final City Council approval June 21. It plans $103.6 million in spending based on $90.7 million in project revenues, added to funds carried over from the current budget. It’s the first city budget of more than $100 million since the 2008 economic crash, based on newly booming property and sales tax revenues. Police and fire rescue services remain big expenditures, but this year also sees a boost in city administration staffing to fill positions and retain employees. The following charts, based on a city presentation, show how the budget sorts out.


Expenditures 2017

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VOTE Joe Houseman ~ District 3 JUNE 21, 2016

EARLY VOTING: Saturday: June 11, 8:00am - 5:00pm & June 13-17, Mon-Fri: 8:30am - 4:30pm Hammond Park Round Program Building - 6005 Glenridge Drive “Over the course of the campaign, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know the other candidates and their philosophies about their desired vision for the future of our city. Among all my fellow candidates, one rose to the top. I am happy to endorse Joe Houseman, a fellow Eagle Scout, a man of great integrity and one who shares my primary values of protecting our neighborhoods and achieving smart, balanced growth.” - Brian Eufinger “We still have the opportunity to elect an honest and principled man who loves Sandy Springs and its neighborhoods. I hope that you will join me in supporting Joe Houseman for Sandy Springs City Council on June 21.” - Suzi Voyles

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Sandy Springs City Clerk Michael Casey, left, counts ballots at Sandy Springs City Hall on May 24.

Continued from page 1 er 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.” There already was some talk on the night of the original May 24 special election, when Mayor Rusty Paul attended the ballot count at City Hall and repeatedly commented on how the city should use better counting machines in any future election. At one point, the mayor called City Council member Tibby DeJulio and said, “If we’re going run our own elections, we’ve got to invest in some technology.” While the final numbers aren’t in, some pros and cons of city-run voting are emerging. City officials are pleased with the relatively high turnout for the May 24 vote: about 16 percent of active registered voters. On the other hand, the election is under investigation by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, apparently for having only a single polling place. Then there’s the cost, estimated at about $108,000 for the original and runoff elec-


tions. The number was big enough to become a local campaign issue, and the May 24 special election was estimated to cost nearly five times the amount the county charged to run a similar special election in 2011. The District 3 special election was required when City Council member Graham McDonald resigned in March to make an unsuccessful run for the House District 52 seat. The city originally intended to follow the standard practice of contracting with the county to run the election. That would have meant putting the City Council race on the ballot along with state and federal offices in either the May 24 primary or Nov. 8 general elections. The City Council wanted the seat filled as soon as possible and chose the May 24 date. But election law requires 90-day notice for the county to run a city election, and that deadline had already passed. To stick with May 24, the city had to run the election itself at separate polls and at its own expense. City staff estimated the cost at $72,343 for the special election and $35,230.50 for a runoff. The City Council decided the cost was worth it. During the city’s 2009 attempt to run its own elections, City Attorney Wendell Wil-

RUNOFF ELECTION TO FILL COUNCIL SEAT – DI ST RI CT 3 You must live within District 3 to vote in this special election.

ADVANCE VOTING Hammond Park, Round Program Building 6005 Glenridge Drive, Sandy Springs Saturday June 11, 2016, 8:00 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday June 13 - Friday June 17, 2016, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

ELECTION DAY VOTING Hammond Park, Round Program Building 6005 Glenridge Drive, Sandy Springs Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.


JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016

lard said a study showed the plan could be 40 to 50 percent less expensive than the county’s election-running fees. Fulton Chairman John Eaves, who led the county’s rejection of the plan, even acknowledged at the time that, “in fact, Sandy Springs could probably save money by conducting their own election” by finding fee-free polling places, using fewer poll workers and ballots, and setting lowering staff pay rates. But this year’s city-run special election is estimated to cost far more than the last county-run special election. That 2011 District 4 election, won by Gabriel Sterling, was estimated at the time to cost $15,400, or $29,645, if a runoff had been needed. This year’s special election had five candidates, while the 2011 race had only two. The last full election for mayor and all six City Council seats cost the city about $183,000, city records show. In a recent interview, Willard said one reason the city has not raised the self-run elections issue again is the fact that the county already has a system in place. “We would have to build our own [elections] structure,” he said. Kraun said the May 24 election is a model to allow city officials to decide what they want in the future, likening it to shopping for clothes. “You always want to try it before you wear it,” she said. The majority of this year’s election costs went to the “professional services” of planning the election, training poll workers and


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

supervising the polls. Those services were provided by consultant Gary Smith, a former Forsyth County elections director. Smith also runs municipal elections for the city of Peachtree Corners in Gwinnett County. Peachtree Corners also held a special City Council special election on May 24. It cost about $30,000, according to city spokesperson Judy Putnam. It was a two-way race, with roughly half the amount of ballots cast as the Sandy Springs race, according to the Peachtree Corners city website. In Sandy Springs, the expense and competition with county polling places meant that District 3 special election voting was done at only a single polling place. That

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For more information, call 1-877-366-6032. SS

Community | 19

drew an investigation by the Secretary of State’s office, which supervises elections. “I think the issue is, why did we make the determination to make one polling place as opposed to multiple polling places?” Willard said. City officials say the Secretary of State was aware of the election plan from the start. They point to the relatively high turnout as an indication that voters were not confused about where to cast ballots. The result of the investigation is likely to be a big factor in whether the city runs future elections. “We’ll cross that race when we come to it,” Willard joked.

Introducing the new Cancer Center at WellStar Kennestone Hospital. Redesigned inside and out to ensure our vision of world-class cancer care is experienced by both patients and families. By changing patient flow, adding new services and enhancing the overall care experienced, a new focus on Mind/Body/Spirit has arrived. With recognition by Becker’s Hospital Review’s “100 Hospitals and Health Systems with Great Oncology Programs,” our redeveloped cancer program offers: •

Cyberknife® and Tomotherapy®: the only health system in Georgia offering both forms of radiation therapy.

Pancreatic Hepatobiliary Program structured to reduce the time of diagnosis to treatment.

Center for Genetics, the largest in Georgia

Nationally recognized STAT clinics for lung and prostate cancer.

Nurse Navigators for patients and families

Clinical psychologist for emotional needs

Integrative treatment including acupuncture

Patient and Family Advisory Board

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,

A rocking chair view of the mountains.

Continued on page 22


JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016

Special Section | 21

There’s never been a better time to

buy a home in the North Georgia Mountains!

We are your

connection to the

Blue Ridge Mountains!

are calling you

Blue Ridge Office | 252 W. Main Stret | Blue Ridge, GA 30513 | 706-632-7211 Office |

599 CHOCTAW RIDGE ROAD Blue Ridge | 3 Beds, 3 FB Of fered at $424,900

Mineral Bluff | 3 Beds, 3 FB Offered at $369,000

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37 MISTY MTN OVERLOOK Morganton | 3 Beds, 3 FB Of fered at $349,000

437 BOOTLEGGER ROAD Morganton | 3 Beds, 3 FB Of fered at $325,000


174 OAK RIDGE DRIVE Blue Ridge | 3 Beds, 3 FB Of fered at $325,000

86 RHODODENDRON LANE Talking Rock | 3 Beds, 3 FB, 1 HB Of fered at $389,000

344 LAKE NOTTELY DRIVE Blairsville | 3 Beds, 2 FB 1 HB Of fered at $524,900

252 W. Main Street • Blue Ridge, GA 30513 The above information is believed to be accurate but is nor warranted. Offer subject to errors, changes, omissions, prior sales and withdrawals without notice.

22 | Special Section ■

Intown and in the Mountains Bill Gilmore

Julie Osborn

Big windows and rustic design are popular with mountain homes.

SOLD - 150 Cullasaja Drive, Highlands, NC Offered Furnished for $1,325,000 1-828-526-8128 - Office 1-404-455-5712 - Cell 404-455-5712 - Cell 404-876-4901 - PHP Office



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-




I-75 EXIT 293



Not valid with any other discounts, coupons, offers, specials or deals. Excludes programs and special ticketed events. Must present this coupon at the time of purchase.

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






$259,900 | 3BR | 2.5BA | 1.5 ACRES

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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.

Reliability tested by time.

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.

Customized to your lifestyle. At Satterwhite Log Homes, we encourage you to “customize” any of our 45 standard floorplans... or design your own. So go ahead… add that sun porch for your resident green thumb, enlarge the master bedroom or bath, or include an upstairs playroom for the kiddos.

Driving directions: Just 5 miles North of Ellijay on Highway 515N NIV 40 YE A R A N



Company Experience - Family owned and operated for over 40 years. Superior House Logs - Milled from dead-standing timber for stability. Totally Custom - Your plans or ours. Design staff ready to create your

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Our Locations - Serving the US from Utah, Texas and Georgia.

EASTERN SALES OFFICE • MODEL HOME • 14378 Hwy 515 N, Ellijay, GA 30536 • 1-800-918-6881

Call Ron Lomonaco for more information: 706-636-6881 email:

28 | Special Section ■

Discover BIG CANOE


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Special $350 rate if you book your stay before November 1, 2016! Your exclusive Discovery Package includes: · 3-day/2-night stay in a luxury mountain home · 18 hole round of golf per couple · $50 voucher toward dining at Sconti Clubhouse · Private tour of diverse group of neighborhoods · Exclusive gifts, surprises and much more! * Accomodations and amenity usage subject to availability and/or season. Must mention this ad to receive discounted rate.

HOME SITES FROM $40,000 TO $300,000+

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JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016

Classifieds | 29



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ESTATE/GARAGE/YARD SALES Saturday, June 18, 2016 8:00 AM- 2:00 PM North Springs United Methodist Church, 7770 Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs, 30350. Giant Sale benefits Children Ministry. If you want it, We got it! Please come out and support this great ministry!

Quinn Windows – Family owned and operated. Window replacement and home remodeling company since 1980. Visit www. or call 770-939-5634. Reliable Property Caretaking for your home - while on the market or when you are away. Call Charles at 404-229-0490.


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30 | Public Safety ■

Police Blotter / Sandy Springs Melissa Babcock, M.D.

Sculptra Special - Regularly $850/vial Sale 2 vials for $1200 Bonus with Sculpra purchase Dysport $250/site and/or Filler $50 off/syringe Procedures Performed: • Skin Cancer Surgery Specialist (Mohs) • Dermatologic Surgery

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4890 Roswell Road, Suite B-10 • Atlanta, Georgia 30342 (404) 835-3052 • Located at the corner of Roswell Road & Long Island Drive

Raising The Standard of Care

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Sandy Springs Police blotter May 23-31 The following information was pulled from Sandy Springs Police-2-Citizen website and is presumed to be accurate.


On May 24, at about 2 a.m., an officer was patrolling the 8000 block of Roswell Road and noticed a car in a parking lot with the driver and passenger slumped over the dashboard. The officer went to the vehicle and the female in the car, behind the wheel, lifted her head. She and the passenger identified themselves as Christy Borden and Gregory Copeland. Borden’s pupils were dilated and her speech slurred, the officer stated in a report. The officer asked if they were under the influence of drugs and both said no. The officer asked to search their car and Borden consented. The officer found three metal spoons in the glove compartment and two needles in the backseat. The officer looked inside Borden’s purse in the backseat and found a small clear plastic bag with a Team Marlboro logo on it and containing several pieces of what was determined to be crystal metham-

phetamine. Borden told the officer she was unsure how the drugs ended up in her bag and accused Copeland, who she said she had just met, with putting the drugs in her purse. Copeland said Borden was lying about just meeting him and told the officer he met Borden a few days ago and they had planned on buying drugs that night and “getting high,” states the report. About 1.2 grams of crystal meth was confiscated. Borden, of Pilgrim Way in Atlanta, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance. Her 2014 Nissan Sentra was towed.


On May 31, at about 1 p.m., Sandy Springs Police responded to a call at the Hilton Hotel on Peachtree-Dunwoody Road about a bullet hole found in the bottom of a 49-inch LG LED flat screen TV in one of the rooms. Housekeeping staff also found a 9mm round in the room. According to staff, there were between four and five people in and out of the room on May 27 and 28. The hotel staff said they didn’t want to press charges but only wanted to document the damage to


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Public Safety | 31

the TV, according to a police report. The man staying in the room offered to pay for the TV. No charges were filed.

„„1100 block of Mount Vernon Highway


„„800 block of Marsh Trail Circle – On

May 23, report of larceny from vehicle.

At about midnight on May 31, police were called to a traffic fatality on Ga. 400 southbound, just south of Mount Vernon Highway, where the driver ran off the road and crashed into an overhead sign support. The driver, Timothy Bartlett, had taken the car, a Chevrolet Malibu, from its owner who lives in College Park without permission to go to Cumming to visit a friend, according to a police report. Bartlett was traveling about 65 mph on Ga. 400 when, a witness said, he veered off the road, drove into the grass and then struck the overhead sign support. He was dead at the scene. Police reported there were no skid marks or any indication of evasive maneuvering by the vehicle.

A S S AU LT „„300 block of Morgans Landing Drive –

On May 23, report of assault-simple assault-battery. „„200 block of Lackland Court – On May

25, report of simple assault-battery.

„„6000 block of Powers Ferry Road – On

May 24, report of larceny. „„500 block of Riverside Pkwy – On May

24, report of larceny from vehicle. „„1000 block of Greyfield Lane – On May

24, report of larceny from vehicle. „„1000 block of Calibre Springs Way –

On May 24, report of larceny from vehicle.

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May 24, report of larceny from vehicle. „„600 block of Summit Springs Drive –

On May 25, report of larceny-parts from vehicle.

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„„500 block of Mount Vernon Highway

– On May 25, report of larceny from vehicle. „„1000 block of Mount Vernon Highway

On May 27, report of assault-simple assault-battery.

„„1300 block of Huntcliff Village Court –

On May 26, report of larceny-parts from vehicle.

„„100 block of Glenridge Point Park-

way – On May 23, report of larceny from building.

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25, report of larceny.

– On May 25, report of larceny from vehicle.

woody Club Drive – On May 23, report of larceny from vehicle.



„„6500 block of Roswell Road – On May

„„700 block of Highland Park Trace –



NE – On May 23, report of larceny from building.

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6-10-2016 Sandy Springs Reporter  
6-10-2016 Sandy Springs Reporter