8-4-17 Sandy Springs Reporter

Page 1

AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 16


Sandy Springs Reporter


► Retiring to the North GA mountains


► Chasing waterfalls in state parks


City election races begin with two open council seats

Smiles behind the shield

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net


Elijah Coons of the Sandy Springs Police Explorers program, right, helps Jean Pierre Vega try an armored shield at the National Night Out event Aug. 1 at Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody. Police and fire departments from Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs joined in the ninth annual event, which is intended to build relationships between the police and the community.

EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR Sharing wisdom of ancient ages

Please get rid of the constant standardized tests. Teachers teach for the test instead of imparting knowledge.

OUT & ABOUT Wing it with butterflies


See CITY on page 16

Council prepares for big zoning code decision BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Following its Aug. 1 hearing on the new draft zoning code, the City Council has at least one big decision to make: whether to erase existing “conditions” that limit redevelopment to suit neighborhood demands. The council heard split opinions on the question, with planning staff arguing for the erasure of all but a few types, and residents calling for keeping them all. Several other big issues were discussed, including criticism of the code’s proposed affordable

What is your local school’s biggest challenge? Page 28

Campaigns for the Nov. 7 city elections have already begun, with two open City Council seats and Mayor Rusty Paul’s reelection decision helping to shape the races. District 2 City Councilmember Ken Dishman recently announced he will not run again, joining District 4 Councilmember Gabriel Sterling in leaving office. That means much of north-central Sandy Springs will get new representation. Jody Reichel, a Mount Vernon Woods resident, announced a campaign for the District 4 seat on Aug. 1. Incumbents seeking re-election include City Councilmembers Andy Bauman (District 6), Chris Burnett (District 3), Tibby DeJulio (District 5) and John Paulson (District 1). No challengers have yet emerged against any of the incumbents.

Page 9

See COUNCIL on page 17

2 | Community

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Community Briefs CO X D O NATES P IC KUP TR UC K TO P O L I C E

Cox Enterprises, the communications, media and automotive services company that owns the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper and many other businesses, has donated a new pickup truck to the Sandy Springs Police Department. The 2017 Ford F-150 is intended for the department’s Citizens on Patrol volunteer squad. The truck is valued at $38,000, according to a staff memo. The city would pick up the tab for a police radio, emergency lights and Citizens on Patrol vehicle decals, according to a city staff memo. At an Aug. 1 City Council meeting, Police Chief Ken DeSimone said the donation came after a Cox executive went through the department’s Citizens Police Academy and wanted to help public safety.


A new street will be named for the late Dr. Leila Daughtry Denmark, a pediatrician renowned for her common-sense treatment and her long life. The new Denmark Drive will connect Roswell Road and Boylston Street, running alongside the Bank of America at 6087 Roswell. The road is under construction now and is scheduled to open in January. The doctor, who died in 2012 at age 114, began her practice in the Glenridge Drive area before moving elsewhere. She had a role in developing the whooping cough vaccine. In the 1970s, she wrote a book about child care called “Every Child Should Have a Chance.” She practiced medicine until age 103.


A star-studded comedy movie recently filmed at the North River Tavern in Sandy Springs, according to the business’s website. The movie, a New Line Cinema production called “Tag,” was scheduled to shoot July 24 through 28 at the tavern at 8879 Roswell Road, which was closed for the filming. According to the Internet Movie Database, the ensemble cast includes Jeremy Renner (“The Avengers”), Rashida Jones (“Parks and Recreation”), Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”), Ed Helms (“The Hangover”), Annabelle Wallis (“The Mummy”) and comedian Hannibal Buress. Set to open in theaters in June 2018, “Tag” is based on a true story about people who “organize an elaborate, annual game of tag,” according to IMDb. Trailers apparently housing the movie’s cast or crew were set up in the North River Shopping Center parking lot next to the tavern during the week of July 24. A guard on the site confirmed the trailers were for a film, but declined to identify it and said the actual filming was taking place outside the shopping center.


Traffic count data recently released by the city confirms the perception that traffic from Cobb County’s new Atlanta Braves stadium is much lower than expected. Fearing major problems, the city conducted traffic counts on 33 roads and six intersections along eastern and southern Sandy Springs at various times in March, April and May. France Campbell of the city’s traffic department told the City Council on Aug. 1 that staff members were surprised to see no significant increases in overall traffic on game days at SunTrust Park. And at the key Northside Drive/I-285 interchange, “Some of the lowest volumes we collected were during a Braves game,” he said. The count does not speculate on reasons why the traffic volumes were generally the same with or without Braves games. However, the stadium got attention for using a system of multiple entrances and dispersed private parking lots to reduce one-way backups. Campbell said another message to the data is that traffic volumes in the area are highly variable day to day, indicating many factors at work.


The city temporarily has two streets with the same name – Spalding Court – due to an oversight in planning for a new subdivision. Developers of the Nesbit Reserve subdivision, built last year off Spalding Drive between Happy Hollow Road and Spalding Lane, chose the name. But it turns out there’s already a Spalding Court more than five miles away, off Spalding Drive between Mabry Road and Glenridge Drive, in a subdivision dating to the 1960s. The proposed solution is to rename the new street Nesbit Reserve Court, a request the City Council is scheduled to hear on Sept. 5.



AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017

Community | 3


Fulton Transit Master Plan gets local input BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Fulton County is on track to create a “Transit Master Plan” by year’s end, and officials made a Sandy Springs stop July 27 for a first round of local input. The 40-year plan aims to envision a county-wide mass transit network for such major road corridors as Ga. 400, I-285 and Roswell Road. It includes all Fulton cities except the biggest, Atlanta, which already has a massive MARTA expansion coming thanks to a sales tax increase approved by voters last year. The idea is to have Fulton’s plan done in advance of the 2018 General Assembly session, when lawmakers are expected to propose groundbreaking state funding for transit and possibly a new state-level transit agency. “You’re seeing a tectonic shift [toward the idea] that we have to come up with [transit] alternatives,” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said in an interview during the July 27 meeting. Paul was referring to recent pro-transit commentary and actions by Gov. Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston. But he pointed to the novelty of once-divided Fulton communities teaming up on the transit plan — an effort that followed their alliance on last year’s

successful road-oriented transportation special local option sales tax referendum. “For so long, the dysfunction in Fulton County would not have allowed these conversations to occur. I think the rest of the region is saying, ‘If Fulton County can pull this together, we can, too,’ ” Paul said. The Transit Master Plan is being pulled together quickly, under lead consultant Kimley-Horn and Associates, but in a process that allows for three rounds of public meetings. The Sandy Springs meeting, held at City Hall, was one of a series held in almost every Fulton city for initial input. “We want to make sure this is a bottom-up approach,” Kimley-Horn’s Eric Bosman said. Only a handful of residents attended the Sandy Springs meeting, which happened during a heavy rainstorm. Officials attending included City Councilmembers Gabriel Sterling and John Paulson; Fulton County Chief Operating Officer Todd Long; MARTA board member Al Pond, a Sandy Springs resident; and Dianne Fries from Fulton Commissioner Bob Ellis’s office. Bosman said that one advantage in setting Sandy Springs’ transit priorities is the recent “Next Ten” process, which produced a new land-use plan and a zoning code that is nearing approval. The land-use plan includes concepts for some form of mass transit on Roswell Road and around Perimeter Center,

among other areas. The Next Ten is “a great JOHN RUCH starting point for Mayor Rusty Paul speaks at the July 27 Fulton County Transit Master Plan meeting while Eric Bosman of Kimley-Horn and Associates, seated, looks on. this converroute, which later becomes a bus rapid sation,” he transit line, and eventually is replaced by a said. “The goal is to allow those planrail line, as demand or funding arise. ning documents to dictate where we While the transit plan is Fulton-folook” for transit opportunities. cused, it will include input from a simiThe Transit Master Plan, funded by the lar master plan underway in Gwinnett Atlanta Regional Commission, has three County and some thoughts from Cobb phases. The current phase is an assessment County officials, Bosman said, so that the of existing transit and needs for it. Phase final plan has options that might line up two, planned for August and September, will with a regional system. evaluate transit options and how they might Audience comments included that be funded. Phase three, scheduled for Nowhatever form transit takes, service vember and December, will finalize the plan. should be fast and easy to use. Why transit? Bosman reviewed three While the plan focuses on some obvimain reasons that have come up in the ous routes — such as the Ga. 400 corriprocess: better access to jobs in busidor, where MARTA’s Red Line trains alness districts; spurring economic develready run — it is open to other ideas. opment; and reducing traffic congestion. Paul asked Bosman to examine options The consultants are looking at all mafor re-routing some of today’s heavy jor forms of mass transit, from rail lines to commuter traffic from Johnson Ferry buses to car-rental apps like Uber. Bosman Road through east Cobb County to I-285. noted that the plan will include short-, meThe Transit Master Plan’s main predium- and long-term ideas and that transit sentation and an online survey are forms could change over time on the same available on the county’s website at fulright of way. For example, improvements toncountyga.gov/tmp-home. might start by upgrading an existing bus

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Parents push for a new North Springs High School BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A fresh campaign for a new North Springs Charter High School building has been launched by a small group of parents. Citizens for a New North Springs (CFANNS) claims the 7447 Roswell Road building, which opened in 1963, is getting patchwork fixes, despite being the county’s oldest high school. And they’re unhappy that Sandy Springs’ other high school, Riverwood International Charter High, is getting an all-new building, the first phase of which opens next week. “In Sandy Springs, there’s not parity,” said group member Cheryl Barlow, whose son is a North Springs freshman. “Riverwood looks like it’s going to be an amazing facility,” she said, but leaves North Springs students with “inequality in education.” Fulton County Schools spokesperson Susan Hale noted that North Springs got $14 million in renovations, including a new entrance, air conditioning, roofing and flooring, in a 2010 special local option sales tax package. And, in the 2022 Capital Plan, she said, “North Springs is slated to receive a major addition that includes instructional areas, such as new science labs, auditorium, black box theater, art rooms, music suite, and physical education space within the main building.”

That capital plan also includes improved parking, security and athletic fields, she said. All such improvements in the school system are prioritized by a “Facility Condition Assessments” program, Hale said. That ensures “equitable review” of all school buildings, she said. But CFANNS parents say many of those upgrades are related to maintenance, not improvements for an inadequate facility, and others remain vague, one-line promises. They say they’ve never gotten a straight answer as to why the school district doesn’t simply replace the 54-year-old school, or why the newer Riverwood, built at Heards Ferry Road and Raider Drive in 1971, is getting a new facility. “You’re trying to keep putting [on] major Band-Aids … You’re just throwing good money after bad,” said Betty Klein, whose adult children went to North Springs years ago, and who now has two adopted children attending. She said North Springs still uses a table that has her now 53-yearold son’s initials carved into it. CFANNS put together a photo-filled presentation about the school’s condition, available online at cfanns.org. Complaints include: classrooms that are too small or have no windows; overcrowded common areas; rampant maintenance issues; a severe lack of parking; and a building gener-

ally inadequate for modern education. “Some of the issues are definitely safety issues,” said Barlow, citing door alarms that are battery-operated rather than hardwired and thus often left unpowered with doors propped open. The presentation also features some numbers comparing North Springs and Riverwood. North Springs has a larger student population (1,658 vs. 1,551) and a higher percentage of minority students (74 percent vs. 66 percent). North Springs and Riverwood have similar percentages of students who are considered economically disadvantaged (46 percent at North Springs, 41 percent at Riverwood), and both schools have about 40 percent of students on free or reduced-cost lunch programs. Klein said unhappiness with North Springs’ condition and the sense of competition with Riverwood has been brewing for several years. Large groups of parents, sometimes joined by teachers, have met with school district officials and have spoken at school board meetings. “[School board members] said they were getting pressure from Riverwood parents, and if they get a new school, North Springs isn’t getting one, and that’s exactly what happened,” Klein said. “The issue is, we built Riverwood and we have no money for North Springs.” “We’ve not been given a satisfactory an-

swer” as to why North Springs isn’t getting a new building in the foreseeable future, Barlow said. Julia Bernath, a School Board member who represents the North Springs area, emphasized the district’s process for reviewing building conditions and setting priorities on fixing or replacing them. But she also suggested another look at the North Springs report. “As a board member, I want to be sure we are making wise use of our money,” she said in an email, “and while a large addition is currently planned for North Springs, I hope our staff will review the last evaluation done on that school to be sure we are providing the best possible facility for our students, whether it is a renovation or a rebuild.” North Springs has a Parent Teacher Organization, whose co-presidents did not respond to comment requests. It also has a school foundation that last year merged with the PTO. CFANNS formed to be a more open and political voice on the building issue, Klein said. About five current and former North Springs parents organized CFANNS. One is Jody Reichel, a former PTO president who is now running for Sandy Springs City Council.


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AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017

Community | 5


Cities get thousands of false alarms each year BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Public safety officials in Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Atlanta have struggled with how to reduce the thousands of false alarms the cities receive. All cities but Brookhaven rely on a third-party partnership with a company called CryWolf, which helps cities register systems, track false alarms and collect fines, and Brookhaven may soon partner with CryWolf, the city said. Fully comparing false alarms between cities is difficult because Atlanta and Sandy Springs have their own fire departments, while Brookhaven and Dunwoody do not. However, all four cities have police departments, and false police alarms are the bulk of the problem. When the partnerships with CryWolf were created in 2012, Atlanta, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs took the approach of targeting customers with false-alarms fines. Sandy Springs is now trying a new tactic to try to reduce false alarms. Sandy Springs City Council passed a law in July that puts security companies that install and service alarms on the hook for false-alarm fines. Before partnering with CryWolf, Sandy Springs recorded about 12,000 false alarms a year. In the following five years, that number has declined slight to over 10,000 in 2016. Of those, 9,292 were police alarms, making up about 97 percent of the total false alarms. That wasn’t enough improvement, city officials said at the July 18 City Council meeting, so now the city will try fining security companies instead of their customers. Unlike Sandy Springs, Atlanta has been satisfied with the results produced by charging customers the fines, said Officer Stephanie Brown of the public affairs department at the Atlanta Police Department. Before the CryWolf partnership was established, the Atlanta Police Department responded to more than 65,000 alarm calls with a 95 percent false alarm rate, 6 percent of the total 911 calls dispatched. Brown said. In 2016, the false alarms calls decreased to 28,560,

Police false alarms over one year Atlanta Dunwoody


Percentage of total alarm calls not provided

2,243 99.3

Brookhaven 3,809 98.3 Sandy Springs



Brown said. “When the partnership with CryWolf went into effect in 2013, our goal was to reduce the amount of false alarms to allow officers to respond to more pressing calls,” Brown said. “The number of officers responding to calls has dramatically decreased, allowing officers to be available for other calls.” More false alarms often occur in Buckhead’s police zone, Zone 2, than other police zone because the zone is larger and has more registered accounts than any other zone, Brown said. Brown said public safety officials in Atlanta have no plans to alter the city’s relationship with CryWolf and will work on ways to continue reducing false alarm calls. “Our goal is to continue working with CryWolf to find ways to reduce the number of false alarms even further,” she said. Dunwoody also has a partnership with CryWolf, and the Dunwoody Police Department from July 2016 to 2017 responded to 2,243 false alarm calls, 99.3 percent of the total alarms responded to. Brookhaven officials are considering a partnership with a third-party collector such as CryWolf, city Communications Director Burke Brennan said. “We do not have any partnerships with a third party to collect false alarm fees at this time, but it is a known issue in Brookhaven and the police department is currently evaluating programs such as CryWolf with the intent to make a recommendations to City Council this fall,” Brennan said in an email. From July 2016 to 2017, the Brookhaven Police Department responded to 3,809 false alarms calls, 98.3 percent of the total alarm calls.

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Conant theater sparks excitement with special Shakespearian event

Richard Garner at the Conant Performing Arts Center.

BY MARTHA NODAR Love – and Shakespeare – are again in the air. The Conant Performing Arts Center, nestled in the Oglethorpe University campus, welcomes Richard Garner, former director of the Georgia Shake-


speare Festival, as a guest director for a play sponsored by the Alliance Theater. “Shakespeare in Love,” runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 24. Garner has been freelancing as a director for the Alliance and other organizations around Atlanta and working as an actor and teacher since the dissolution

of the festival in the fall of 2014. Conant hosted the festival for many years. “I’m very excited,” Garner said. “This is homecoming.” Major renovations underway at the Alliance prompted the nonprofit organization to seek off-site venues around the metro area for its 2017-2018 main stage season. The Alliance’s artistic director assigned one of the plays in the line-up to be directed by Garner at Conant. This event is significant to Garner because it marks the first time since the dissolution of the festival that six members of the ensemble reunite with him for a play at Conant, he said. Based on the 1998 Academy Award best film winner of the same name ”Shakespeare in Love” is a romantic comedy that unfolds as a fictional story guessing what might have inspired the Bard, as a young, struggling playwright, to conceive the play “Romeo and Juliet.” Garner credits the father of a high school buddy who was an English professor with teaching him about the art of storytelling and igniting a passion for studying Shakespeare. “He sparked in me the power of a story,” Garner said. “Shakespeare became a real person to me as a keen observer of the human spirit.”

While attending college, Garner befriended a classmate who became part of the Oglethorpe staff in the 1980s and who persuaded Garner to join him at the Brookhaven university. For a decade, when Conant was not even a glimpse in an architect’s mind, Garner and his colleague offered Shakespeare classics under a tent on the Oglethorpe campus. Years later, when Conant was built in the 1990s for the university’s own use and to allow the festival to move indoors, a formal volunteer program was launched. Long-time volunteers, Colin Clark and his family — wife Lynne and daughter Beatrix — recall the old days of the festival with nostalgia. “Atlanta is impoverished because of the closing of the festival,” Clark said. “That is why it is particularly exciting to have Richard back in Conant doing this play.” Garner remains connected to the Oglethorpe theater and its students in different ways. Matt Huff, Oglethorpe’s director of the theater program, said that the relationship his department established with Garner and his staff before the festival dissolved has remained in place. Huff said he likes to invite “top-notch professional actors and directors from the community” to either teach a class or attend or direct some of the students’ plays. Garner insisted on having some Oglethorpe theater students casted in the current show. This move is consistent with the educational component of the Alliance’s mission, Huff said. Three Oglethorpe theater students made the cut. “I’m thrilled to be working with Richard,” senior Meredith Myers said. “This is a wonderful opportunity.” “I’m beyond excited to be working with Richard,” junior Alex Oakley said. “I enjoy everything about the theater, especially the effect on the audience.” Junior Gillian Rabin gives Garner credit for being “caring toward the student actors” and for having “a great artistic vision.” “I can hardly wait,” Rabin said.


“Shakespeare in Love” (Adults & children 12 and up) Directed by Richard Garner


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AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017

Out & About | 7


Read This!

2017 Books All Georgians Should Read revealed Georgia Center for the Book has selected the works of prize-winning authors and illustrators with Georgia connections for the 2017 lists of the “Books All Georgians Should Read” and “Books All Young Georgians Should Read.” The authors and illustrators will be honored on Thursday, Aug. 17, at a free, public event at 7:30 p.m. in the Decatur Library Auditorium, 215 Sycamore St., in downtown Decatur. “The lists are a wonderful way to honor the extraordinary talent we have here in Georgia,” said Joe Davich, executive director for Georgia Center for the Book. “The lists give us the opportunity to inform readers across our state about the contributions to Georgia’s literary heritage, and a platform to celebrate the diverse body of work produced by Georgians.” The new list of “Books All Georgians Should Read” includes three works of fiction, four of non-fiction, a cookbook, and two collections of poetry. The list of “Books All Young Georgians Should Read” includes three picture books, one Early Reader Book, one book for middle school readers, three books for young adults and two graphic novels. Both 2017 lists are the result of months of discussions by the Advisory Council, which considered over 80 books by Georgians, or about Georgia.

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2017 BOOKS ALL GEORGIANS SHOULD READ ● Lisa Hodgens, editor—A Lillian Smith Reader ● Jonathan Rabb—Among the Living: A Novel ● Patrick Phillips—Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America ● Ted Geltner—Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews ● Thomas Mullen—Darktown: A Novel ● Theresa Davis—Drowned: A Mermaid’s Manifesto ● Judson Mitcham; Michael David Murphy; Karen L. Paty—Inspired Georgia ● Asha Gomez—My Two Souths: Blending the Flavors of India into a Southern Kitchen ● Taylor Brown—A River of Kings: A Novel ● Melissa Fay Greene—The Underdogs

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2017 BOOKS ALL YOUNG GEORGIANS SHOULD READ ● Tonya Bolden—Crossing Ebenezer Creek ● Eleanor Davis; Drew Weing—Flop to the Top ● Jaye Robin Brown—Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit ● Steve Nedvidek; Ed Crowell; Jack Lowe; J. Moses Nester, Illustrator; S.J. Miller, Illustrator—The Jekyll Island Chronicles, Volume 1: A Machine Age War ● Rep. John Lewis; Andrew Aydin; Nate Powell—March, Volume 3 ● Laurel Snyder—Orphan Island ● Thomas Gonzalez, Illustrator—Seven and a Half Tons of Steel ● Acree Graham Macam; Natalie Nelson, Illustrator—The King of Birds ● Marie Marquardt—The Radius of Us ● Carmen Agra Deedy—The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet

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PERFORMANCES CONCERTS BY THE SPRINGS Sunday, Aug. 13, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Heritage Sandy Springs’ outdoor concert series continues with The Rupert’s Orchestra, a group whose broad repertoire ranges from Top 40 hits to Motown, classic rock and swing. Gates open at 5 p.m. Picnics welcome. Food, beer and wine available. Free. Entertainment Lawn at Heritage Green, 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org or 404-851-9111, ext. 1.


“THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM” Friday, Aug. 11 to Saturday, Aug. 26

Act3 Productions presents “The Robber Bridegroom,” based on the novella by Eudora Welty about a dangerous, handsome rogue who’s a gentleman by day and bandit by night and who falls for the beautiful daughter of a wealthy planter. Act3 Playhouse, Sandy Springs Plaza, 6285-R Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Schedule and ticket info: act3productions.org.

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Tuesday, August 15th / 6:00pm – 8:00pm Wellstar Otology/Hearing and Balance Center Jennifer Tirino, M.D. 1360 Upper Hembree Rd., Suite 101; Roswell, GA 30076

Register at HearingHealthSeminar.com or call 1.877.432.7844 You should talk to your physician about who is a candidate for implantation with a cochlear implant or bone conduction system and the associated risks and benefits of the procedure. *The Nucleus Hybrid System may be classified as new technology by health plans and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis until universal adoption. Cochlear is being proactive in working with insurance companies to expand consideration of coverage for the Nucleus Hybrid Implant System. Coverage for Medicare patients will depend on the level of hearing loss. Contact your insurance company or Hearing Implant Specialist to determine your eligibility for coverage. ©Cochlear Limited 2015. FUN2353 ISS3 OCT15

The Disney movie “Moana” hits a huge inflatable screen in a Leadership Sandy Springs community event including performances, a Kids Zone, food trucks and concessions. The movie begins at dusk. Free. Sandy Springs United Methodist Church, Activity Center terraced lawn, 85 Mount Vernon Highway and Sandy Springs Circle. Inclement weather info: 404-256-9091. Other info: leadershipsandysprings.org.

AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017

Out & About | 9




Saturday, August 12, 10 a.m. to noon.

Kids can learn about native plants and wildflowers and how they help provide habitat for birds and other wildlife. Then, they can make a seed ball to take home and plant. Little Diggers is presented by Heritage Sandy Springs on second Saturdays through October. Best suited for ages 6 to 10 with accompanying adult. Free. Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market, 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.



for local news and information! We’re honored that Reporter Newspapers won 12 awards, including three first-place selections in its division, in the Georgia Press Association’s 2017 Better Newspaper Contest.


Business Writing First Place - Managing Editor John Ruch Lifestyle/Feature Column First Place - Robin Conte, “Robin’s Nest” Page One First Place - Designed by Creative Director Rico Figliolini



Hard News Writing Second Place - John Ruch News Photograph Second Place - Phil Mosier Special Issues: Second Place - Fall 2016 Education Guide

Tuesday, Aug. 15, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Get one more blast of summer vacation at Hammond Park with water slides, games, a DJ, prizes, popcorn and snow cones in a Sandy Springs Recreation & Parks Department event. Free. 705 Hammond Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: sandyspringsga.gov.

Humorous Column: Second Place - Robin Conte


General Excellence: Third Place Local News Coverage: Third Place - Staff Writers Religion Writing: Third Place - Staff Writers Serious Column: Third Place - Robin Conte Newspaper Website: Third Place

These awards are especially meaningful to us since they are judged by professional journalists and include respected, large-circulation community newspapers across the state. However, what’s most important is that they validate what you have already told us in our readership survey: Reporter Newspapers are your preferred source for local news and information. That’s the “prize” we value most. Thank you for helping to make us the most preferred and most-awarded local newspapers in our communities.


Saturday, Aug. 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Members only preview at 9 a.m.

It’s time again to get up close and personal with hundreds of live butterflies in tents at the Dunwoody Nature Center. A full day of activities includes games, crafts, live music, animal encounters, a nature scavenger hunt and discovery stations throughout the park. Tent capacity is limited. Pre-purchase timed entry tickets by Aug. 13 to guarantee tent entry. $8 adults, $4 children ages 4-12. Free for younger children. After Aug. 13, prices rise to $10 adults and $5 children. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org. Continued on page 10

www.ReporterNewspapers.net Published by Springs Publishing LLC

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Continued from page 9

“SPIRITS FOR SPRUILL” Tuesday, Aug. 15, 6 p.m.

Wander through the sculpture garden and check out the Spruill Gallery’s Student & Faculty Juried Exhibition in an “evening of art and merriment” to support the Spruill Center for the Arts. Hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and a signature cocktail. $40 includes two drink tickets. 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: spruillarts.org/spiritsforspruill.



Thursday, Aug. 10, 8 p.m.

Saturdays, Aug. 19 and Aug. 26, 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Chattahoochee Nature Center canoe guides will give an introduction to canoeing followed by your chance to explore a pond and take part in some races and games. All equipment provided. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the nature center grounds afterward. Ages 5 to adult. Advance registration required. $15 public; $10 CNC members. Register by the Thursday before each class. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.

Law professor Angela Davis will discuss “Policing the Black Man,” her anthology of 12 essays by criminal justice experts and legal scholars, as part of the Elson Lecture series at the Atlanta History Center. Davis, also the author of “Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor,” is a Harvard Law School graduate and a law professor at American University’s Washington College of Law. $5 members; $10 nonmembers. Reservations required. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: 404-8144150 or AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures.


Saturday, Aug. 12, 11 a.m. to noon.


peachtree church Parents - do you need a break? Drop off your little chickadees at The Nest where they will be nourished in a Christian enviroment and engaged in fun-filled activities! Find out more and make reservations at peachtreechurch.org/nest. Find out more: www.peachtreechurch.org/nest or call 404.842.5839 Peachtree Church 3434 Roswell Road • Atlanta, GA 30305

“Saving Seeds” is the topic of this month’s Master Gardener presentation of the Dunwoody Community Garden & Orchard organization. Learn about collecting and storing seeds, selection of plants, and seed libraries. Free. Refreshments served. DCGO greenhouse complex barn, opposite the skate park at Brook Run Park. 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: dcgo.org.

AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017

Out & About | 11


“WRAPPING YOUR ARMS AROUND MENTAL ILLNESS” Sunday, Aug. 13, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Local experts will address positive reinforcement for people with mental health issues and for the family and friends who support them in the first event of Baken, a new Jewish mental health initiative. Topics will range from eating disorders and child psychotherapy to mindfulness and mourning. Free. Congregation Or Hadash, 7460 Trowbridge Road, Sandy Springs. Info: baken-Atlanta.org.


Tuesday, Aug. 15, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Learn to prepare a French meal with minimal fuss at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. On the menu are spinach quiche with sweet potato crusts, grilled artichokes with tarragon dipping sauce, French bistro salad and an apple berry tart. $50 members; $65 community. MJCCA-Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Advance registration required: atlantajcc.org.

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Saturday, Aug. 19, 10 a.m. to noon.

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


Mondays through mid-December, noon to 1 p.m.

Learn to meditate, develop mindful awareness and compassion, and connect with community. Free. Buckhead Branch Library, 269 Buckhead Ave. N.E., Buckhead. Info: 404-814-3500.

DEKALB CIVIL AIR PATROL CADET SQUADRON Ongoing Thursdays, 6:45 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Boys and girls ages 12 to 18 can learn about aviation, aerospace, leadership, search and rescue, first aid and character development in weekly Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squadron meetings at DeKalb Peachtree Airport. The squadron also participates in aircraft orientation flights, field trips and community service. 2000 Airport Road, Suite 227, Chamblee. Info: GA065.org.

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12 | Dining Out

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Everybody Eats: Talking Food with Karen Beavor BY MEGAN VOLPERT


Editor’s note: In this new series, dining reviewer Megan Volpert discusses food with prominent Atlanta residents.. For this installment, she spoke to Karen Beavor, a Buckhead resident who is president and CEO of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.

When you were studying at Agnes Scott College, what was the best place to walk to for a meal? ► It used to be called Trackside Bar in the space that is now Kimball House. They had a lot of good late night food – melted brie with toast points, which was so avant-garde at that time.

How do you like your eggs cooked? ► I seriously hate eggs. My fear is that I will be incapacitated and unable to speak and someone will be feeding me eggs. I have instructed my children to make this known should I ever have that unfortunate eventuality. What are your two favorite things to put in mac and cheese, other than the mac and the cheese? ► Uhhh … more cheese? If this is not a choice then lobster or hot sauce or fresh herbs. What are some of your favorite spots for brunch? ► Local 3 East Pearl Dim Sum Wahoo Grill in Decatur

Are you any good at gardening? ► Yes, I have always had a flower garden and have tried vegetables on and off. (Yes, I have grown the $50 tomato.) Now, I live Intown and do containers. Wine and beer, or the hard stuff, or none at all? ► Is it a cocktail? Then I like it! But really, my preference is bourbon. What is your guilty pleasure snack food? Favorite food for a tailgate? ► Snack food: I love any dip and anything that dips into the dip. Tailgate: hot dogs. What are your feelings about red velvet cake?

yeast rolls, smoked salmon. We always had gatherings at my grandparents’ houses and they were amazing cooks. My mother won 4H prizes for what are now termed “angel biscuits” in our house and my dad was and is a hunter so we grew up eating venison, wild turkey, Alaskan salmon, etc. It’s just a Southern thing that you would naturally have a freezer full of that type of food. ► I feel that it isn’t all that velvety – which is good because who wants velvet in your mouth? Is there any food so disgusting to you that you just won’t eat it? ► Eggs of course. Anything with visible fat on it. Am I the only one who thinks pork belly is gross? Who does most of the cooking in your house? Who cooked while you were growing up? ► I do the cooking. My mom cooked most of the time but my dad is very gifted at smoking meats. My entire family are incredible cooks — they perfect things like pickles, jellies, biscuits and

GCN has a tradition of asking new staffers about their favorite foods during their first staff meeting. What is the most memorable or unusual or perfect answer you ever got to that question? ► Oh, that is a hard one! First – we ask (our staff, but also sometimes full groups we are facilitating) because food is a connector. You will always find someone that you have a commonality with and it is a great way to kick off getting to know someone. Whether pizza or peach pie, that is a perfect answer because they are letting you in, and that’s what the question is all about, which is connecting. GCN is an umbrella for very many service groups. In what ways are you helping to change the ways Atlanta experiences food? ► One of the most fun things about working at GCN is learning about and helping to scale the myriad of organizations serving Atlanta (and GA). We see them at their very beginnings, as they grow, and as they are working through challenges or leveraging good ideas or investments. We have, for example, watched the Giving Kitchen go from an ancient idea to a highly successful organization doing incredible things for this community. Georgia Organics is another example of a group that has become a movement along with the whole urban farming scene pioneered by groups like Truly Living Well.

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It is incredibly important that, as Atlanta grows, all its citizens have access to healthy, fresh food. There are many nonprofits such as these that are leading the way, and we are proud to work with them. In 2018, you’ll celebrate 20 years at the helm of GCN. What do you want to eat and drink during those festivities? ► It hardly seems like 20 years, until I look in the mirror. I don’t know what I’ll be eating and drinking, but I’d want it to be alongside the company of the wonderful staff and board at GCN. They make everything we do shine, and I adore them.

AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017

Community | 13


After 25 years, a season of change for garden decor business BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

For a quarter-century, 4 Seasons Pottery has decorated local gardens with fountains and statues from its shop at Hammond and Boylston drives. Now, a season of change arrives for the family business, as the property is being sold to a commercial developer. “It’s been a fun business,” said 4 Seasons owner Greg Godwin. But he’s found an even more fun line of work — the self-described “avid cyclist” is moving to Florida to run an electric bicycle dealership. A deal to sell the property is in the works, with a closing expected in December. Godwin said he can’t reveal what the developer intends, but it’s a commercial project that would use the existing shop’s footprint. Meanwhile, Godwin is handing off 4 Seasons to employee Kevin Farrell, who may move it elsewhere after the deal closes. Godwin says a new location JOHN RUCH likely would be outside the Kevin Farrell, left, is taking over 4 Seasons ever more expensive city. Pottery from Greg Godwin, center. Julio Castillo, The shop is a memoright, a 20-year employee, is staying on. rable sight on Hammond Drive for its yard packed with statues and fountains. A pair of concrete lions, bought from the Country Club of the South in Johns Creek, currently flank the shop’s driveway. The 4 Seasons operation runs out of an old house, painted a garden green and decorated with tiles, birdhouses and even a bull skull. Godwin’s father Ernest, a podiatrist, bought the house in the 1970s as his office. After a stint of renting the house to an antique shop, in 1992 Ernest started the 4 Seasons business. Ernest died in 2003 and “left me heir to the throne,” Godwin said. It’s one of those funky, unique businesses that are fading fast in Sandy Springs as the redevelopment boom arrives. Neighbors once included a costume shop and a singing telegram business called Eastern Onion; both were displaced by a fire about 15 years ago and the spot is now a rear parking lot. Godwin said the boom in townhomes and apartments is reducing his base of customers for garden decor. Then there’s the traffic. “That’s been another thorn in my side,” he said. “It’s like, you ain’t seen nothing yet.” For more about 4 Seasons, see 4SeasonsPottery.com.

The exterior of the newly remodeled Wendy’s at 8455 Roswell Road.


Closed by 2014 fire, Wendy’s to reopen soon BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A Wendy’s restaurant on Roswell Road, vacant since a 2014 fire, is now sporting a modern new look and is set to reopen within weeks. The restaurant at 8455 Roswell Road burned on Jan. 12, 2014. In the 3 1/2 years since then, it has drawn neighborhood complaints as an eyesore. Renovations by owner PAP Enterprises, a Wendy’s franchise company that runs four other metro Atlanta restaurants, were delayed by arbitration with the insurer. Jay Long, PAP Enterprises’ director of operations, said the insurance dispute continues, but the company decided to go ahead with the reopening. The restaurant is the latest model of Wendy’s, with an exterior designed in a postmodern style of differently finished and colored sections. On a recent visit, Long pointed out some interior features that are more familiar from coffee houses than fast-food restaurants: a fireplace, a wall-mounted TV and a bar-style seating area with Wi-Fi internet service. Work on finishing touches, including a new exterior sign, is still underway. The restaurant does not yet have an opening date but Long said he expects it will open by early August. The restaurant will have an opening event with an appearance by an actor portraying the company mascot Wendy, he said.

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14 | Commentary

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Commentary / A new school year, a new Strategic Plan School bells soon will be ringing — on Monday, Aug. 7, to be exact — throughout Fulton County Schools to welcome back our nearly 97,000 students. As superintendent of Fulton County Schools, I take seriously our mission to prepare students for their future. My wife and I have children who attend our schools, one who is starting middle school and one who is starting high school. What I want for them is the same as what I want for all students — to have a bright future with many possibilities and for them to be prepared academically, emotionally and socially to pursue their passions and interests. I am thrilled to be opening this school year with our newly developed Strategic Plan, which will serve as our foundation throughout the district. The plan describes our ultimate goal and what we

© 2017 with all rights reserved reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC.

focused on bus schedules, school supplies, teacher assignments, etc., but setting the course of our school system is critical and timely. To be successful and produce globally competitive young adults, Jeff Rose we must have a is superintendent guiding direcof Fulton tion for our work. County Schools. In the coming weeks, we will be sharing our new strategic plan with our larger community. For now, I welcome you back to what will be another amazing school year. Join me for the ride!

Community Survey: What is your local school’s biggest challenge? It’s about the money. When we asked participants in our 1Q survey to identify the greatest challenge facing their local grade schools in the coming year, nearly 40 percent cited school budgets. One 66-year-old Brookhaven woman put it simply: “More funding!” Of the 200 respondents, 18 percent saw administrative leadership as the biggest challenge facing their local school. Another 16 percent listed state or federal standards governing schools as the top problem. Respondents to the cellphone-based survey of residents in communities served by Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown were asked to choose one primary issue from among seven issues facing schools, or to choose “other” if the listed issues missed the mark. Choices ranged from classroom subject matter to parental involvement. The smallest number — just 4 of the 200 respondents, or 2 percent — saw school buildings or facilities as the

greatest problem. Asked how best to improve education locally, survey respondents found areas needing fixing in about every part of the school system. Some respondents pointed to classroom teachers. “Hire better qualified teachers who are accountable for results,” a 61-year-old Sandy Springs man wrote. Others took fault with school administrators. “Have strong, honest leaders that know how to budget and lead,” a 36-yearold Atlanta woman said. Still others looked to parents for a solution. “It starts with parents teaching kids at home,” a 42-year-old Atlanta woman said. And others looked to the larger community as the source of, and potential solution to, local school issues. “Deal with the root causes,” a 22-yearold Buckhead woman responded. “Racial and class divides manifest themselves in the geographic composition of the city, and the effects of white flight in the 1970s fol-

lowing integration efforts are still seen today, leading to some public schools having ample funding while some severely lack in resources.”

What is the biggest challenge affecting education in your local grade school in the coming year? School budget 39.5% Administrative leadership 17.5% State or federal standards 16% Parental involvement 12.5% Class subject offerings 5% School building or other facilities 2% Other 7.5%

Here’s what some other respondents had to say: “Providing more resources to schools, for both students and teachers.” --22-year-old Atlanta woman “More community involvement.” --55-year-old Sandy Springs man.

Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any

believe are the most important elements of our identity. It will help ensure that all stakeholders in the community — from our school board, to principals, to teachers and staff, to parents and community members — are working toward a shared set of goals and priorities. Led by our school board, last year we began what has been a year-long engagement process. We asked our community what it wants Fulton County Schools to be known for, and the responses helped shape our strategic plan goal: “We prepare all students to graduate ready to pursue and succeed on their chosen paths.” We also have determined our plan’s four areas of focus: student achievement; people and culture; community collaboration; and fiscal responsibility. Right now, I know our parents are

“Strong leadership and effective communication with students and families will lead to an improvement in the education system.”

--18-year-old Buckhead woman “Better paid teachers.” --31-year-old Brookhaven woman “Raise money for better qualified teachers.” --20-year-old Brookhaven woman “Please get rid of the constant standardized tests. Teachers teach for the test in-

stead of imparting knowledge.” --58-year-old Buckhead/Sandy Springs man “More parent involvement and better funding for the arts.” --36-year-old Brookhaven woman “Better funding for public schools - in all areas.” --54-year-old Sandy Springs woman


AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017

Commentary | 15


Life on the edge of pasta I had done it. I had pushed my kids over the pasta edge. That day came last week when I asked my kids what they wanted for dinner, and one of them answered, “Nothing that rhymes with ‘maghetti.’” And I thought I was doing so well. I wasn’t even using a jar of Ragu; I was making fresh tomato sauce with my own home-grown tomatoes, the noodles were Italian, the parsley hadn’t gone bad, there was garlic involved ... The problem has been the summertime — that time of year when schools are out and college kids come home and the house becomes once again full of people who eat. It’s the time of year when the homebound ecosystem becomes skewed. The box of orange juice that used to last for a week is gone in two days, cereal is inhaled, and bananas don’t even stand a chance of turning brown. It’s the time of year when my mental Rolodex of recipes gets stuck on “nothing requiring more than 10 minutes of effort,” and life is lived on the edge of pasta. I mean, the kids get a summer break from school — why can’t I get a summer break from cooking? So, for two out of three meals a day, I let them fend for themselves. Summertime is survival of the fittest in my house. You want to eat? Go forage for food. Of course, I can’t actually send them to the backyard to hunt rodents and eat ivy (although that would be helpful). I have to augment the food supply, and that means constant trips to the grocery store. I see the cashier at my local supermarket more than I see my own husband. I do tend to stock our shelves with food that I like or food that I think is healthy. That creates an improbable mix, and the food pyramid in our house is a bit wonky. At the base of the pyramid is a constant supply of ice cream (made from the milk of happy cows) and Trader Joe’s dark chocolate nonpareil candies (they’re high in iron). Forming the pyramid’s middle are a drawer full of Vidalia onions and organic zucchini (three weeks old), several containers of Greek yogurt (plain), and hummus. At the pyramid’s apex are a box of rice crackers and a jar Robin Conte is a writer of pumpkin butter. and mother of four I did come home once with three bottles of pink lemwho lives in Dunwoody. onade, which I had purchased for a bridal shower that She can be contacted at I was co-hostessing. As I unpacked them, one son gave robinjm@earthlink.net. them the look he usually reserves for puppies in petstore windows and said in a pitiful voice, “I’m guessing those aren’t for us, are they?” It did the trick. I opened a bottle and poured him a glass. But my point is that there is food in the house, and it flies all over me when my kids complain that there isn’t. “Mom, there’s nothing to eat,” they whine, circling me like the rebellious pack of hyenas from “The Lion King.” “Yes there is, too!” I insist. “Look, there’s chia seeds! Rice cakes! Arugula!” They stare at me, blankly. I open the crisper in the fridge and continue, “Celery! Cream cheese! Hot dog buns!” They perk up. “Are there any hot dogs?” “… No.” I rummage around some more and find a package of lunch meat. “Here,” I say, handing it to them. “Use this on the hot dog buns. It’ll be good.” There are only a handful of days left before school begins and I’ll be once again free to eat as I please, breakfasting on cappuccino and lunching on a protein bar and a head of lettuce without worrying about the offspring. But the school year also tends to usher in a whole new kind of busy — a busy which too often dictates dinners on the fly. So, my Rolodex file will flip to “fast and filling.” I will know it has been stuck there for too long when one of my kids finally asks “what’s for dinner?” and follows it up by saying that he wants nothing that rhymes with “nac zamboni and sneeze.”


Robin prepares the one meal a day her children don’t have to forage for themselves.

Robin’s Nest

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



Continued on


page 4

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16 | Community

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City election races begin with two open council seats tition for the mayor’s seat, said he hopes voters will let him finish such major projects as the City Springs civic center, the city’s new zoning code and a county-wide mass transit plan. After that, he said, “then I’ll ride off into the sunset and play with my grandkids and work on my farm and play with my bees.”


Left, Mayor Rusty Paul discusses his re-election campaign during a July 31 announcement at Lost Corner Preserve park. Right, Jody Reichel at a City Council hearing in May.

Continued from page 1 The official candidate qualifying period runs Aug. 21-25.

Mayor’s Office

In his re-election effort, Paul cites a desire to finish some major projects and launch a new quest to get better control of the city’s Atlanta-operated water system. At a quiet announcement at the city’s Lost Corner Preserve park on July 31, Paul – who turned 65 this year — said he expects his quest for a second mayoral term to be his last run for any of-

fice. And a year ago, he added, he almost decided not run again due to the “coarse political environment” of the President Trump era. “I will be running for re-election in November, and this likely will be my last campaign,” Paul said to a handful of reporters while sitting in the living room of Lost Corner’s cottage. He arrived by himself, without any entourage or campaign materials, chatting with community gardeners on the way in and checking the park’s beehives, which he maintains as a hobby, on his way out. Paul, who has no announced compe-

The District 4 seat will be vacant, as Sterling has said he will not run for reelection and instead is campaigning for the office of Fulton County chairman. Reichel, who is seeking to succeed him, is a 25-year resident of Sandy Springs, treasurer of the Mount Vernon Woods Homeowners Association and former president of the North Springs High School Parent Teacher Organization. In a written statement, Reichel outlined some campaign promises: “If I am fortunate enough to serve our community, I would focus my time and energy on important issues such as traffic challenges, smart business development, and continuing efforts to make Sandy Springs a walkable city. I would make a point of listening to other members of the community to drive an agenda that

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will continue to make Sandy Springs a great place to live.” Reichel has been a regular attendee at City Council meetings in recent months as she considered a campaign.

District 2

Dishman cited family and business concerns in his decision not to run again in District 2. Dishman’s announcement comes as northern Roswell Road, much of which is within his district, is targeted for redevelopment incentives in the city’s new zoning code and land-use plan. In a written statement, Dishman acknowledged that long-awaited redevelopment is coming and said he is aware of one likely District 2 candidate who might see it through. He did not name the candidate. “Looking to the future, my hope is that the voters will elect a new councilmember who will continue the ongoing efforts to spur redevelopment on the north end of Sandy Springs,” Dishman wrote. “I am already aware of a distinguished community leader who plans to run for this office, and that individual has indeed been integrally involved with those redevelopment efforts.”

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Community | 17


Council prepares for big zoning code decision Continued from page 1

noted that the overall “Next Ten” planning process, including a new Comprehensive Land-Use Plan and the code, was extended from a previously announced 18 months to two years and counting. However, the zoning code phase has accelerated from its earlier timeline, which main code-writing consultant Lee Einsweiler has acknowledged and attributed to the mayor and council’s desire to adopt the code prior to the municipal elections this fall. The rough state of an earlier draft at the time of the July 20 city Planning Commission hearing led to complaints from that body and a divided approval recommendation vote. It is likely a complete draft will be ready for the council’s Aug. 15 vote.

housing mandate for large multifamily projects. The Development Code, as it is formally called, next heads to an expected City Council adoption vote on Aug. 15, after such decisions are made. An updated draft of the code is expected to be available at thenext10.org no later than Friday, Aug. 4. A long line of speakers variously approved or criticized the code, but almost all praised city planning staff for a collaborative, open process and generally good product. Robert Forrest, a representative of developers planning five new skyscrapers at 1117 Perimeter Center West, wanted more provisions for on-street parking and traffic calming. But, he added, the property Rezoning conditions: owners think the new code is “very proTo keep or not to keep gressive and world-class, to be honest with Conditions are limits or improveyou.” ments that a develHowever, the reoper agrees to in cent speed of the exchange for rezonzoning process has ing a property, often been a concern, with neighborhood which the council input. Conditions responded to by decan be nearly anylaying until Aug. 15 thing, from requirewhat had appeared ments for new roads, to be a vote planned landscaping or landfor that night. Mayscape buffers to regor Rusty Paul said ulation of building that holding the vote heights. at the next counThe debate over cil meeting would JANE KELLEY keeping existing “make sure we have PRESIDENT conditions on rezonweighed seriously all WINDSOR PARK ings goes to a main the things you have COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION goal of the code: said tonight.” making zoning easier to understand and Steve Berson of Glenairy Drive, among eliminating negotiations made on the fly the residents prepared to complain about by the council during rezoning votes. the speed of the process, ended up praising City planning officials say that it can the delay. “There’s an old proverb that goes be hard to find reliable records of condisomething like this: ‘The doctor can’t options on rezonings that can date back deerate until the patient stops moving,’” Bercades to Fulton County decisions made son said. before the city’s 2005 incorporation. The While the council delayed the vote, Paul planners’ solution: Simply wipe away all added, “I kind of chuckled to myself when existing conditions, except for green space I heard this has been a rushed process.” He

It would really be a slap in the face if you removed those [conditions].

easements, traffic-related mitigations for large-scale developments, and landscape buffers and setbacks. But residents who know exactly what conditions they recently negotiated with developers want to keep the conditions in place. They say it’s unfair for developers to suddenly get to build projects without meeting the promises that won community support. “It would really be a slap in the face if you removed those,” said Jane Kelley, president of the Windsor Park Community Association. The Planning Commission recommended retaining all conditions as well, and that was added to the latest draft code. But Assistant City Manager Jim Tolbert called for reverting to the idea of wiping them out, except for the green space, traffic and buffer conditions. Paul said in a July 31 interview that councilmembers appear to be leaning toward keeping all of the conditions. The next draft and the final vote will tell.

Affordable housing

Affordable housing is a new priority in the code, supported by a mix of incentives and mandates. The primary goal is more “workforce,” or middle-income, housing for such workers as police officers. But

some lower-income housing goals are in the mix. One element is an inclusionary zoning system — though the city is avoiding the term — that mandates developers of large multifamily projects include a certain percentage of affordable units or pay a fee in lieu of building them. That mandate was criticized by representatives from the Council for Quality Growth, a developer advocacy organization, and the Atlanta Apartment Association, both of which are based in the city. James Touchton of the Council for Quality Growth said the affordable housing policy should use “partnerships and incentives,” not inclusionary zoning mandates. Resident John Gonzalez said he underwrites affordable housing developments for a living, yet believes they are bad for communities, lower property values and increase crime. He said that “workforce housing” can be a misleading term for “run-of-the-mill affordable housing people … I used to coach my clients to use that [“workforce”] lingo just to get things approved.” “I see no problem with workforce individuals commuting to our community” rather than living there, he said. “I’m all about whatever it takes to increase my house’s value.”

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Chilling in the Mountains

Pre-retirees starting search early for dream mountain homes BY KATHY DEAN

“It’s amazing to live in a beautiful mountain community that’s 30 minutes Cool weather, beautiful landscapes from the north Atlanta suburbs, and just and a relaxed lifestyle all help to make 30 minutes from the start of the Appathe mountains a perfect place to settle, lachian Trail,” said Robin. “More imporand many metro Atlantans plan to retire tantly, though, are the wonderful people there. Not everyone waits to claim their who live here and the many cherished little spot of heaven, though. More and friendships we’ve made.” more people are making the move to find They admit that mountain driving was or build their mountain retreat now, to a challenge at first, but added that they enjoy before and after retirement. quickly adapted. “While some driving is Keith and Robin Sievers label themrequired to get to everything we need, the selves “outdoor people.” They’ve settled essentials are close at hand,” said Keith, into their new home, a two-story moun“and we’ve learned to group our errands tainside home with main and terrace into enjoyable ‘urban safaris.’ ” levels, in Big Canoe, a gated private resKatie Wercholuk, marketing director idential community set in the rolling of Big Canoe Company, LLC, reported that mountains of Jasper, Ga. she has seen an increase in pre-retirees atThe climate and natural landscapes tracted to the lifestyle and options in Big of north Georgia are perfect, the Sievers Canoe. “Many metro Atlanta residents are said, and so are the amenities they enbecoming empty-nesters, but they’re still joy in Big Canoe, where they’ve found working while planning for the future bethe lifestyle they were looking for. The fore it’s time to retire,” Wercholuk said. community boasts a unique Jeep Trail, Old Edwards Club, between Highaward-winning 22+ mile trail system lands and Cashiers, was the spot where for hiking and biking, three dog parks, Lynda and Bill McNeeley found their three waterfalls, three lakes and scenic mountain home. “We both grew up in mountain landscapes. the mountains,” Lynda said, “but had always gravitated to the beach. We first went to Highlands in the late 1980s. The cool weather and great mountains, smells and activities drew us in. We bought a small cabin in town and went there about once a month for 12 years.” The McNeeleys joined Old Edwards Club in 2007 and bought their permanent retirement home in 2009. The house is a 2,500-square-foot cottage with a lovely screened-in porch and Big Canoe Company, LLC mountain view. Robin and Keith Sievers


The McNeelys at their mountain home.

“Every morning we wake to the same beautiful view,” Lynda said. “Our friends love to visit and come every year, and our grandchildren love it as much as anyone. Bill’s sister-in-law and some friends from Atlanta bought here after just one visit to Highlands.” Old Edwards Club offers a relaxed, family environment, and Old Edwards Inn & Spa, located in Highlands, spoils visitors with delicious food and wine, a nationally ranked spa and a world-class golf course designed by Tom Jackson. “We have something for everyone,” said Bill Gilmore, Provisional Broker, Highlands Cove Realty at Old Edwards Inn, and Realtor with PalmerHouse Properties. Lynda said that she and Bill adore Old Edwards, and everyone they’ve met is friendly. The McNeeleys added that there’s plenty to do, too. They walk to the golf course, pool and the best restaurant in town. There are wonderful pools and fitness, hiking, shopping galore, amazing waterfalls and the nicest merchants you could ever meet, Lynda said. “Add craft shows and great mar-

kets that offer every kind of food you can imagine,” she said. “It’s easy to find what you need to cook gourmet meals at home, so we rarely eat out.” While Bill is retired, Lynda still works full-time remotely as a Residential Mortgage Loan Officer with Fidelity Bank Mortgage, so many of their Atlanta trips are scheduled to coincide with closings or office activities that she wants to attend. It’s a wonderful setting for working and taking good care of her clients, she said. According to Gilmore, the area’s internet and cell phone service is first rate, making it a place where executives can take care of business when they need to, and then unplug and relax. Lynda has had no issues with mountain life. “It’s a quick two-and-a-halfhour drive to the city if I have a business commitment. And our community has a house watch during the off season, so we never have to worry about anything,” she said. “Just one phone call and they’ll check on anything for you. And they’ll even dig you out of the snow if you come during the off season. I love that!” Duane and Kim Champlin are currently overseeing the construction of their Old Toccoa Farm mountain retreat. “We had a weekend cabin near Blue Ridge before we retired, and we fell in love with the area,” Kim said. Old Toccoa Farm, just 85 miles north of Atlanta, is near historic Blue Ridge, Ga., and about 15 miles from the Aska Adventure Area, which features camping, hiking and water activities like tubing, canoeing and kayaking. Continued on Page 26 SS

AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017

Special Section | 19


Coldwell Banker High Country Realty Mark Reeves

Scott Nichols

706.455.2418 mark@mountainsofgeorgia.com

706.455.2414 scott@mountainsofgeorgia.com PE



Blue Ridge, GA 4BR/3BA $489,000 Do you want Toccoa Riverfront? Custom, open plan home on banks of upper Toccoa River - master on main, upgraded kitchen, 3 living spaces, deck at water, 2 levels of 12x48 porch, outdoor living rooms. Sit on the deck and enjoy the sounds of the river.

Cherry Log, GA 2BR/2.5BA $449,000 Total Privacy and a Dream Home! 2884 SF on 3+ AC! Gated entrance, common areas, river access, paved roads. An entertainer’s dream. All the upgrades! Huge rocking chair front porch and enormous screened back porch. Spacious, gracious living. Wow!

Ellijay, GA 4BR/3BA $424,900 Come to Double Knob for unparalleled views. Oversized mountain top cabin - 3000+ SF on 1.6 Acres – Enormous living/dining/kitchen area. Walls of glass for jawdropping views, 2500 SF of decks, finished basement, outdoor fireplace. A very special place!

Blue Ridge, GA 3BR/2BA $397,500 Top of the Mountain – End of the Road – 21+ Acres – Cohutta Views. Special cottage home – one level living with oversized finished basement. Updated appliances, covered and uncovered decks, outbuildings, hiking trails, privacy, AND a TREEHOUSE!

Morganton, GA 5BR/3BA $325,000 Rare Find – 3962 SF Home on 4 AC of totally usable land. Open spaces, fenced area, creek. Over 1000 SF of decks – and a basketball court! Super sized kitchen, expansive living room, huge loft, fitness room. Upgrades! Inside practically brand new.

Ellijay, GA 4BR/3BA $299,000 Want resort amenities? 2564 SF home in Coosawattee River Resort – massive, open concept main room – loads of glass for year round mountain and river views. Terrace level custom in-law suite with full kitchen. Easy walk to fitness center and indoor pool.

Ellijay, GA 2BR/2.5BA $299,000 Dramatic modern Mountain home on 2 AC. 1552 SF open concept plan, wall of windows - year round Mountain and river views. Energy efficient Green home in “Common Pond” community. Green spaces, common areas, outdoor adventure at your doorstep

Ellijay, GA 3BR/3BA $239,000 Looking for year round mountain and lake views at a great price? 1820 SF cedar sided lake front home on .7 acres. Open plan – upgraded kitchen – 2 car garage with finished guest suite above. Blackberry Mtn S/D, gated, paved roads, river access.

Ellijay, GA 3BR/3BA $217,500 Looking for Rental Potential? Popular rental with loft, huge game room, hot tub, fire pit, covered decks. Seasonal mountain views. Coosawattee River Resort amenities - river access, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis, fitness center. This one has what you want.

Ellijay, GA 3BR/2BA $199,000 SMALL price for a BIG cabin. 2488 SF cabin on .79 AC. Huge open living/dining/kitchen is perfect for entertaining – master on main, large loft, vaulted ceilings, hardwoods, oversized garage, rocking chair porch, fenced area for dogs or the kids & a fire pit for you.

Cherry Log, GA 2BR/2BA $149,900 Do you want a Fixer Upper with great potential? AND acreage? AND a mountain view? 2016 SF cabin on 4.97 Acres – full, unfinished basement. Creek frontage and small pond. Open pasture – paved access – A lot for the price – This will go fast!!





Cherry Log, GA 3BR/3BA $219,000 If you want creek front, paved access, all the upgrades and space for guests, this is IT. 1516 SF on 1+ AC. Large loft, vaulted ceilings, wood interior, fireplace, covered, open, and screen porches, finished guest retreat on terrace level. Offers good rental potential.

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

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Retiring to the Mountains

Brokers see influx of buyers heading for the hills BY KATHY DEAN When the time comes to step away from successful careers, many active retirees are looking for a place to relax and enjoy the pastimes that they couldn’t fit in their schedules when they were working. The north Georgia and Blue Ridge mountains offer just that, with cool temperatures, breathtaking natural landscapes and plenty of opportunities for activities like golf, fishing, boating and hiking, to name just a few. Mark Reeves is an Associate Broker with Coldwell Banker High Country Re-

alty Blue Ridge and half of “The Mountain Duo.” Reeves said, “My teammate is seeing a huge influx of buyers who have retired or plan on retiring soon. I’m the listing agent for the team and he specifically works with buyers.” The duo’s other half, Scott Nichols, also an Associate Broker with Coldwell Banker High Country Realty Blue Ridge, got more specific. “Over the last three to four years, at least 50 percent of my business has been coming from buyers moving here to retire. Continued on Page 22


are calling you

AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017

Special Section | 21


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22 | Special Section


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

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Retiring to the Mountains Continued from page 20 It was probably less than 5 percent when I started in real estate here 14 years ago.” He added that his clients are typically active retirees who want to take advantage of the hiking, mountain biking and kayaking, and plan to stay physically active well into their retirement years. Nichols’ primary areas of focus are Ellijay, Blue Ridge, Blairsville and the smaller surrounding towns, and he said that many retirees are initially attracted to the Blue Ridge region simply because of its beauty, the amount of protected land, Lake Blue Ridge and the array of shops, restaurants, breweries and festivals that Blue Ridge offers. “During the home hunting process, a great number of buyers decide to buy in Gilmer County – Ellijay, East Ellijay and Cherry Log – due to the tax breaks offered to 65plus retirees,” he explained. “Gilmer County eliminates the school portion of the property tax bill for retirees, and that accounts for roughly 75 percent of the total property tax. This is a huge incentive for my buyers.” Many of the retirees who are looking for a mountain home tell Nichols the same story. “They start their search online and visit some of the locations to do their own research in person. Blue Ridge, in particular, has been featured in a number of articles focused on best small town places to retire or best mountain towns to live in,” he said. Even though most prefer the rustic mountain home style, Nichols said that they’re thinking ahead, and they want a master on the main, laundry on the main and attached garages. “One-level living is highly desired, even though the terrain here often requires multi-level homes,” he added. “Proximity to

town, doctors, grocery stores and a hospital are also typically on their list of requirements.” And one more thing: although the area offers the small town living and more relaxed lifestyle they want, Atlanta is just 90 minutes away. Nichols said that the thought of being so close to a direct flight to almost anywhere in the world adds a lot of appeal. The next step for many buyers is to visit the area and rent a mountain home for a week to see what it would be like to live there. “Fortunately, we make the top of the list for many of them,” Nichols said. “Overall, the common theme is that they’re looking for a place that’s less crowded, less expensive to live, has low traffic and low crime as well as that small town feel that many parts of the country are losing due to growth.” Historically, the vast majority of mountain home buyers were coming from the metro Atlanta area or Florida, according to Nichols. Over the last few years, however, he has seen a huge increase in the number of buyers moving to the north Georgia mountains and Blue Ridge area from other states. “I’ve had buyers who’ve retired here from New Mexico, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York and Nevada,” he said. “And most recently, two couples from the San Francisco Bay Area will be closing on their mountain homes this coming September.” Scott Nichols and his partner Mark Reeves, known as the North Georgia Mountain Duo, are licensed brokers who have sold real estate in the area since 2004, successfully closing well over 500 transactions. They’ve achieved the Top Producing Team Award from their Board of Realtors most of the last 10 years. For more info, including reviews and rankings, visit MountainsOfGeorgia.com.

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AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017

Special Section | 23


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596 Curtis Switch Road, Mineral Bluff, GA 30559 | Real Estate – 706.946-4663 & Golf – 706.946.4653 | www.oldtoccoafarm.com

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

24 | Special Section

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Intown and in the Mountains Bill Gilmore

Chasing Waterfalls

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While exploring for that new home in the North Georgia mountains, be sure to drop by one of Georgia’s State Parks to check out some impressive waterfalls. Not only are they beautiful, but the parks offer amazing recreational amenities, too. Amicalola Falls State Park The tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast, Amicalola Falls towers above the surrounding greenery at 729 feet high. The falls supply various vantage points for visitors to view the scenery, including a hard-surfaced trail perfect for strollers and wheelchairs. Climb the more challenging staircase to the top for extraordinary views of the falls. GaStateParks.org/AmicalolaFalls Cloudland Canyon State Park Cloudland Canyon is one of the largest and most scenic state parks in Georgia’s repertoire. Within the park one can find canyons, sandstone cliffs, caves, waterfalls, creeks, dense woodland and abundant wildlife. One of the most popular hiking trails includes the two-mile Waterfall Trail leading to two scenic falls that cascade over sandstone and pour into beautiful pools at the bottom. GaStateParks.org/CloudlandCanyon Tallulah Gorge State Park One of the most impressive canyons in the southeast, Tallulah Gorge is 1,000 feet deep and roughly two miles long. The gorge contains numerous paths and overlooks for visitors to view the six waterfalls cascading through the bottom of the gorge. To gain access to the floor of the gorge and “Sliding Rock” (Bridal Veil Falls), visitors must acquire a permit available at the visitor’s center. Passes run out quickly, so it’s important to get an early start on the day for the full experience. GaStateParks.org/TallulahGorge Black Rock Mountain State Park Located within the Blue Ridge Mountains, Black Rock Mountain State Park is located at the highest elevation of any Georgia State Park. The rugged terrain and fresh mountain air are home to Ada-Hi Falls. A short but steep trail and staircase lead to this small, secluded waterfall. GaStateParks.org/BlackRockMountain Vogel State Park Vogel State Park is one of the nation’s oldest state parks, and rests at the base of the beautiful Blood Mountain. Located directly below Lake Trahlyta, this stepping stone waterfall cascades 40 feet. GaStateParks.org/Vogel Moccasin Creek State Park Moccasin Creek State Park sits on the shores of Lake Burton and is a central location for visiting multiple falls in the area. The park’s two-mile Hemlock Falls Trail leads to the beautiful Hemlock Falls of Rabun County. The trail is kid-friendly, offers glimpses of the waterfall along the way, and supplies a beautiful pool of water at the base of the falls. GaStateParks.org/MoccasinCreek

AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017

Special Section | 25


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Chilling in the Mountains

problem if you don’t leave out things to attract them, like garbage or bird seed.” Purchasing a mountain home before renity in our area,” she said. Continued from page 18 tirement is a good strategy, especially since Sapphire, N.C. turned out to According to the north Georgia mountains are startbe the right setting for Willie Duane, the couing to attract buyers from across the counand Sheryl McCutchen’s mounple wanted longtry. When Gary and Christy Ray decided to tain getaway. The couple still rerange mountain move from a mountain/lake area in northsides full-time in the rural town views. “We got west Nevada to be closer to family, they of Kingstree, on the eastern side that, plus we’re wanted to locate in a similar environment in of South Carolina. living on a golf Georgia. They found their mountain cabin Willie retired from the teleWillie and Sheryl McCutcheon’s Sapphire N.C. cabin course in a gated in Love Mountain, an upscale rustic neighcommunications business in community,” borhood that features wooded settings and Duane and Kim Champlin N.C., Will McKee, as well as his partner in 2005 at the early age of 56. “Sherhe said. mountain views, in Morganton, Ga. High Hampton Realty, Manuel de Juan. yl and I sometimes talked about getting a The Champlins moved to the north “The north Georgia mountains are a Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge second home, but never took it very seGeorgia mountains from Gwinnett Counperfect fit for us,” said Gary. “With the beauMountain, the historic High Hampton riously,” he said. “She’s always loved the ty. What they’ve found in Old Toccoa Farm tiful mountains, sunsets, lakes, affordable Inn has been a place of Southern hospitalbeach, and probably would’ve preferred is peace and quiet, golf courses, the Toccoa living, proximity to Atlanta and wonderity since the nineteenth century. The inn’s something on the coast initially.” River, wooded trails and “the friendliness ful southern hospitality, we couldn’t have 1,400-acre playground offers golf, tennis, While that would have been conveof everyone we come across,” said Kim. made a better choice.” hiking, fly fishing and a European spa. nient, since their Kingstree home is only They noted that they have lost a few Christy added that everyone in Blue “After several stays at the inn, we fell about an hour’s drive from the beach, conveniences, but said they’ve gained Ridge has welcomed them with open in love with the area and began to talk seWillie didn’t think that it made much much more. “We have a relaxed and arms. “Within two months, we’ve made a riously about the possibility of acquiring sense to have a vacation home so close friendly environment,” said Duane, lot of new friends and already feel like a something in the area,” Willie said. by. And Willie was diagnosed with mel“and a whole lot less congestion!” part of the community,” she said. They looked at a number of places in the anoma in 1993, so “beach life wasn’t exKim L. Knutzen, managing broker, HarThe area offers a variety of activities, summer of 2015 until de Juan showed them actly on the top of my list,” he said. ry Norman REALTORS® Blue Ridge Office, music venues and craft fairs, along with a log cabin in a Holly Forest community in Several years ago, the McCutchens bereported that there has been an influx of outstanding restaurants. “This is what we Sapphire. The Homeowners Association ofcame friends with the owner of the High buyers in the new development. “Old Toccoa love about the community,” Christy said. fered an amenities package with access to Hampton Inn & Country Club in Cashiers, Farm is the only fly fishing and golf commu“We attended a fabulous wine pairing dinindoor and outdoor pools, skiing, a fitner at a local restaurant in Blue ness facility and private lake/beach. Ridge and met some lovely peoWillie said that he and Sherple who we plan to see again.” yl knew right away that it was The Rays love the peace, the place for them, and they slower pace and mild traffic. closed on the property in Janu“There’s no comparison to maary 2016. “I think what sold us jor cities — great food, Southwas its quaint interior,” he addern hospitality and the natued. “We’ve enjoyed fixing it up.” ral beauty of the North Georgia At this point, the cabin is Gary and Christy Ray mountains,” said Gary. “This has just a vacation home, accordbeen a great choice for our retirement.” ing to Willie, and he suspects it will never When asked about the best part of livbe more than that. Since it’s just five hours ing in north Georgia, Christy answered, away from Kingstree, it’s fairly convenient. “The inner peace that we have when we “We love to come periodically, espesit on our balcony and look out at the cially with our two grandchildren, ages beautiful north Georgia mountains. You five and eight,” he added. “We also enjoy can’t put a price on that.” letting friends and family use the cabin She noted that there have been a when we’re not here, but we don’t rent it.” few small issues, most notably, learnWhen asked what he and Sheryl ening about log cabin ownership and adjoy most about the mountains, Willie menjusting to a more humid climate than tioned the beauty and solitude and, of northwest Nevada, where the annual avcourse, the cooler temperatures during the erage humidity is 10 percent. “But really, summer. He said that even though they 108 Gorge Trail Road, Chattooga Club in Cashiers, NC they’re no longer issues after living here have neighbors, they still feel fairly secludfor two months,” she said. ed, which is very important to them both. Offices located in Highlands & Cashiers Faron W. King, Broker/Owner, Cold“One of the things I find appealing well Banker High Country Realty, said about owning a vacation home in the that while many mountain homes are mountains, especially as compared to the bought by retirees, that’s not the whole beach, is the difference costs associated story. “We’re seeing younger buyers wantwith insurance and taxes,” Willie said. “I ing to escape the hustle and bustle of Ato c was very surprised at the reasonableness lanta for a weekend getaway, and it turns of property taxes and casualty insurance.” jody.lovell@sothebysrealty.com into a part-time home if their career alHe noted that he and Sheryl haven’t lows them to telecommute,” said King. encountered any real challenges to livHe suggested that people not wait ing in the mountains, other than periodic for retirement to begin looking for their bad weather in winter and the occasiondream retirement home. Good advice, it al bear on the porch. “I’m not kidding!” Each office is Independently Owned & Operated seems, with the current rush to the hills. Willie said. “But bears generally aren’t a


Jody & Wood Lovell Brokers/Owners




Making a Difference | 27

AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Top local fundraiser for Leukemia and Lymphoma gets national award from the leukemia society that she could pull in $75,000. But the number kept growing when four of her teammates helped raise more than $25,000 each. “Jessica was unique in the fact that

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Building the BeltL


A Sandy Springs woman recently raised more than $337,000 for blood cancer research and was honored as the national Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Woman of the Year. Jessica Paulen Goldich raised the money with the help of family, friends, and coworkers in memory of her stepmother, Shelley Podber Paulen, who died in 2014 from she knew she was going to be successful multiple myeloma and pneumonia. in the beginning, and we said that’s ex“I never imagined we would win naactly why we want you to compete, betionally,” Goldich said. “I just wanted to cause we think we can make an impact,” bring attention to blood cancers, and said Kayla Danley, the Atlanta area diwe’ve been able to spread the word trerector of LLS, who helped Goldich implemendously though outreach. It was wonment her fundraising skills. “She rallied derful to bring Shelley’s memory back to every family, colleague at work to suplife. People really loved her.” port her and tapped into every network The society raises money to finance that she had.” research and seek a cure for blood canGoldich fundraised through a varicer patients. It hosted a 10-week compeety of initiatives. She sent out personaltition that ended June 30 in which 900 ized letters, called on everyone she knew people — 17 of them from metro Atlanta and held a live auction with sponsors do— raised more than $45 million, accordnating time in vacation homes in Mexing to the society. ico and North Carolina, gourmet caterAbout $1.3 million was raised in Georing, and other services. gia, the society said in a press release. She cited help from the dental indusGoldich raised about a quarter of the totry and employees and patients at the tal. Goldrich won the Georgia competiNew Image Dental Lab, where she is a tion and was the first Georgian to go on vice president to win the naof operations, tional compeas the reason tition, reprefor her sucsentatives of cess. Lab emthe Atlanta ployees were chapter said. a major conAt a ceretributor, raismony in Ating $75,000 lantic City, toward the N.J., Goldich cause. recognized Goldithose who ch’s husband, helped make Kyle, funcher fundtioned as raising posteam mansible. “This ager. He said campaign they were showed me lucky to have how blessed I a large group am with lovof people ing friends who cared SPECIAL and famiJessica Paulen Goldich and husband Jeff at a recent passionateLeukemia and Lymphoma Society event. ly, without ly about Jeswhose incredsica. He said ible support I that “through this activity, you’re forced wouldn’t be standing here today,” she to interact with a lot of different people, said. and being able to connect with those truGoldich described Paulen as putting ly kind and generous people was my faup a courageous and spunky fight, mainvorite aspect.” taining her sense of humor the whole Moving forward, Goldich will have a time through. leadership role with LLS to guide others The fundraising team name was in fundraising. called “Team Shellbell,” after Paulen’s “Everyone we know has been touched nickname, and was comprised of 40 of by cancer,” Goldich said. “The research Goldich’s and Paulen’s family, friends being done is amazing. One day, I hope and co-workers. Originally, Goldich’s we will find a cure so people don’t have goal was $100,000, after an estimate to tell the story we do now.”



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28 | Education

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Scott Schreiber Holy Spirit Preparatory School Editor’s note: Through our “Exceptional Educator” series, Reporter Newspapers is showcasing the work of some of the outstanding teachers and administrators at our local schools. If you would like to recommend an Exceptional Educator, please email editor@ReporterNewspapers.net.

ery time I re-read a text I discover new depths. I will be reading Plato’s ‘Republic’ this year with my advanced Greek students. I have probably taught the same text at least 20 times, and I can’t wait to dive in again and find new treasures.”


Educator Q:

Classical language What attracted you to teacher Scott Schteaching at first? reiber instructs students in Greek and When you love something, Latin at Holy Spirit you want to share it. I fell in Preparatory School. love with ancient Greek and He’s been teaching for Roman philosophy and liter36 years, including 24 ature from my first years in as a college philosocollege, and the only way I phy professor. He’s know to share knowledge is SPECIAL also done intelligence to teach it to others. Scott Schreiber. work for the government, been a Benedictine monk and Has the appeal changed? headed a classical school. He plans to retire at the end of the coming school year. That desire to share is still strong. But I have also discovered that until I figSchreiber says he never tires of teachure out a way to teach another person, I ing the classics. “Classical literature nevdon’t really have a complete command er changes,” he said. “But the ancient of the subject myself. In short, teaching thinkers were so profoundly wise that evsomething to another person turns out


Q: A:

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Scott Schreiber and a group of students from Holy Spirit Preparatory School pause after climbing 999 steps to the castle built in 1714 to defend in the Greek port city of Nafplio. They visited the Greek city last summer.

to be the only proof that I truly understand the material myself. Teaching another is also teaching myself!

Q: What do you think makes a great A:


A great teacher exhibits two loves: He loves his subject and he loves his students. You can be a good teacher with one of those loves, but the great teachers manifest both.

Q: What do you want to see in your students?

A: Obviously, I want them to share my

love for the material. But it is important to me that my students learn intellectual humility. I do not want students to end their studies with a triumphant, “Look at me. I’m brilliant because I can read Greek and Latin!” I want them to be awed by how little they know, but still thankful that they now have the tools to slowly advance to greater wisdom.

Q: How do you engage your students? A: To master an ancient language takes diligent effort. It is not easy. But modern culture gives me that perennial hook: mythology! Students love Greek mythology. The stories are age-

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less. And every age seems to re-imagine a new entryway into the world of classical myth. Between the Harry Potter books and Rick Riordan’s “Heroes of Olympus” series, my students already know and love the ancient stories. My job is to show them that the Greek/Latin originals are even better than the modern renditions.

Q: Do you have a project or special A:

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program you use year after year?

It would take quite a bit of Greek to show the superiority of Homer to Rick Riordan. But it takes only a couple of months of Greek to show how inferior any English translation of the New Testament is to the Greek original. Because our students take theology classes each year and have a solid exposure to the Bible, I regularly show them how the most commonly used English Bibles all fail to capture the nuances and sophistication of the inspired Greek texts.

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

A: I wouldn’t call it a trick, but I’ve had the

privilege to bring my students to Greece for study tours in 2012, 2014 and 2016. When they return the next year to class, Greece is no longer a textbook abstraction. They have walked the archaeological sites, visited different Greek islands, eaten Greek food, haggled with Greek shopkeepers, and learned about Greece from native Greeks. Their only complaint is that the tour was too short!


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


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Scott Schreiber has taught Greek and Latin to students at Holy Spirit Preparatory School for a dozen years.


I want them humbled before the achievements of the classical cultures of Greece and Rome, and eager to deepen their exposure to those cultures throughout their adult lives.

AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017

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30 | Community

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Hill cites education, transportation in governor’s race BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Hunter Hill says he’s giving up his local state Senate seat for a Governor’s Office campaign to focus on two issues: education and transportation. Hill, a Republican whose District 6 includes parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs, talked about his campaign during a recent visit to the Reporter Newspapers office. He said he wants to offer school choice to all Georgians, no matter their income level. “Right now, only the top 1 percent have choice in education. I want to expand choices and opportunities for all Georgians,” said Hill, who lives in Smyrna. Expanding transportation options is also a priority for Hill because “it’s a liberty issue,” he said, although he is not keen on heavy rail transit, citing its high cost. “Maximizing liberty for our citizens means expanding choices,” Hill said. His ideas for expansion options include driverless cars and increasing highway capacity. He said he would get the right people around the table to determine what metro Atlanta will look like in 30 years and how to plan effectively for the future. Hill has joined a crowded field of candidates for the 2018 election to replace

term-limited Republican incumbent Nathan Deal. Other candidates include Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, state House of Representatives Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and state Rep. Stacey Evans. Hill has served as the District 6 state senator since 2012, after defeating incumbent Democrat Doug Stoner. Hill narrowly beat Democrat Jaha Howard in 2016, by about 3,000 votes. Howard has announced another run for the state Senate seat. Others who have announced or filed campaign paperwork include Democrats Jen Jordan and Nigel Raynard Sims, and Republicans Matt Bentley and Leo Smith. While Hill’s 2016 election win was close, he said he believes a Republican will win the state Senate seat. “District 6 will continue to be a district represented by a Republican, and I certainly hope that for the citizens of the 6th District,” Hills said. That senator will also have unique opportunities as a senator for an influential part of Georgia, he said. “The next senator for the 6th District will be a voice at the table and somebody that’s going to have the opportunity to make an impact on day one of their service because this is an influential part of the

CITY OF SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF QUALIFYING FOR POSITIONS OF MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL Qualifying for candidates in the November 7, 2017 nonpartisan municipal election will take place August 21 – 25, 2017. Candidates may download the application from the city’s website, sandyspringsga.gov/vote, or pick up the application and qualify at Sandy Springs City Hall between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from Monday, August 21, 2017 through Thursday, August 24, 2017 and between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Friday, August 25, 2017. The qualifying fee is $1,200/mayor and $540/council member. All applications must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office in person by 12:00 p.m., August 25, 2017. The Clerk’s Office is located at Sandy Springs City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, Sandy Springs Ga. 30350. Required qualifications: No person shall be eligible to serve as mayor or council member unless that person shall have been a resident of the area comprising the corporate limits of the City of Sandy Springs for a continuous period of at least 12 months immediately prior to the date of the election for mayor or council member, shall continue to reside therein during that person’s period of service, and shall continue to be registered and qualified to vote in municipal elections of the City of Sandy Springs. In addition to the above requirement, no person shall be eligible to serve as a council member representing a council district unless that person has been a resident of the district such person seeks to represent for a continuous period of at least six months immediately prior to the date of the election for council member and continues to reside in such district during that person’s period of service. 7840 ROSWELL RD, BUILDING 500 SANDYSPRINGSGA.GOV/VOTE 770-730-5600


State Sen. Hunter Hill.

state,” Hill said. “I look forward to seeing which Republican is that person.” Hill supported the Opportunity School District, Gov. Nathan Deal’s measure that would have allowed the state to take over failing public schools and was rejected by voters last year. But he said that as governor, he would opt for supporting voucher programs instead, which would give state funding to students attending private schools. “What we need to truly reform education is to have competition,” Hill said. Hill supports voucher programs because he wants lower-income families to be able to have more school choices for their children and not have to rely on public schools, he said. “It will challenge the status quo in broken schools,” Hill said. “We certainly need to make sure that the least among us have school choice.” If elected governor, Hill said he would rely on his experiences serving in the U.S.

Army in Afghanistan and Iraq, running a small business and representing an influential district in the Legislature. As the only Republican state senator whose district includes parts of the city of Atlanta, Hill said he worked well with the city’s Democratic leadership. He said he has formed a good relationship with Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration, and hopes to do so with the next mayor. “The Mayor’s Office came to me often to help the city when they needed help. Having developed that relationship in the past, as governor, I would continue to work with whoever is elected to move the common interests of our state and city forward,” Hill said. One example Hill gave of working with the city was helping to raise the squarefootage requirement before a building would have to report energy and water use to the city. Hill said this helped protect small businesses from requirements that they couldn’t meet.


Spalding Court to Nesbit Reserve Court


City of Sandy Springs


Entire Cul-du-sac

Public Hearings:

Mayor and City Council September 5, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600


AUGUST 4 - 17, 2017

Public Safety | 31


Police Blotter / Sandy Springs Capt. Steve Rose, of the Sandy Springs Police Department, provided the following information, which represents some of the reports filed with Sandy Springs police July 14-24.

R O B B E RY 8725 Roswell Road — On July 23, a

31-year-old man said he was at the ATM at the Wells Fargo Bank just after 1 a.m. He noticed another car pull into the lot near him, at the same time. The other car parked at the front of the bank while the victim was at the ATM slot. A male said, “Give me your money,” as the victim attempted to deposit $100. The suspect pulled a gun and then grabbed the money from the ATM before the victim could insert it. He fled to the car, then south on Roswell Road. Don’t go to ATM machines late at night. And, for goodness’ sake, when you see another car pull into the general area — again, at 1 a.m. — leave. Don’t ignore those signs that this may not be a good thing for you.

B U R G L A RY 2300 block of Jefferson Drive — On July

15, between 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., someone forced open the front apartment door and took two Apple TV boxes, Sony PS3, Xbox, makeup, a MacBook, and two rifles. 3500 block of Sandalwood Drive —

On July 15, between 4:30 p.m. and 8:20 p.m., someone entered the victim’s apartment through a back window. Nothing was taken. 6000 block of Cherry Tree Lane — On

July 16, the resident left home just after 9 p.m. and returned at around 10:30 p.m. He immediately noticed some items missing from his garage. 5000 block of Whitner Drive — On July

17, the resident said between 8:30 a.m. and just after 1 p.m., someone forcibly entered the home through a back door. Missing is a 55-inch TV, MacBook, headphones, and several items of jewelry. 1100 block of Glenridge Place — On July

19, a 36-year-old man said between noon and 3:15 p.m. someone came into his (open) garage and stole a 2007 Lexus GX470. The keys were inside the car. A neighbor said she saw a dark sedan, possibly a Chrysler 300, stop in front of the victim’s home. A teenager got out of the car and entered the garage. Seconds later, the Lexus exited. 8000 block of Buckhorn — On July 20,

between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., someone entered the home and broke a back door window with a rock. Silverware was taken. 5800 block of Greenbrier Road — On

July 21, the resident said that while she and her daughter were out of town July SS

17 through July 19, someone entered the home and took a Panasonic DMCFZ2500 digital camera. She reported that she located and bought the camera back from a Piedmont Road pawn shop on July 19. Her daughter’s boyfriend’s name was on the pawn ticket.

car had been paid off. 7800 block of Roswell Road — On July

19, a laundromat owner said a man came into the store, took a ladder, and then left. 5900 Raider Drive — On July 19, River-

Captain STEVE ROSE, SSPD srose@sandyspringsga.gov

5000 Roswell Road— On July 23, a

store owner reported that sometime overnight someone accessed the building through an air vent. The burglar opened at least one cash register and accessed the ATM by drilling the lock to pry it open. Video shows a man entering from the ceiling, most likely from a construction area next door. The lone burglar wore a mask and gloves and bought tools to access the ATM.

THEFT 6650 Roswell Road — On July 15, a

47-year-old man said his 1995 Mustang was stolen from a shopping center parking lot after it sat there for several weeks following a breakdown. The businesses did not have the car towed the car and police did not impound it. 200 block of Summit Place — On July

15, a 29-year-old woman said she believes someone took her wallet from her apartment and later used her cards at a discount department store for $497, a cellphone store for $82 and a grocery store for $167. A 26-year old woman reported that on

July 20, between 6 and 8 p.m., she was at the gym. She discovered later that someone got into her gym bag in the gym area, and took several items including $400 cash and a debit card. 5671 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road — On

July 17, security officers reported that about 5 a.m. a man wearing a Matt Ryan jersey, shorts and flip-flops swiped a golf cart. It was later recovered. A 48-year-old woman reported on

July 16 that someone stole a refrigerator from her storage space next to her apartment on Morgan Falls Road. 300 block of Jefferson Drive — On July

16, a 23-year old woman reported her 2007 Dodge Charger was stolen from her residence’s parking area. The officer noted tire drag marks from where the car had been parked. The owner said the

wood High School video captured a theft in progress. A black Ford Fusion pulled into the parking lot next to a Ford F-150 that was unlocked. A man got out of the car and into the truck. A second truck also was broken into. The victims are missing several items, including an iPad that was tracked to a pawn shop in Atlanta. The tag of the suspect vehicle shows the car was stolen in Cobb County. On July 19, a grocery store security

guard said he placed his cellphone on a charger near the entrance of the store and left for ten minutes. Upon his return, the phone was gone. 1160 Hammond Drive — On July 21,

a 25-year-old woman reported that between July 19 and July 21 someone stole her bike from her apartment patio. 2800 block of Sandalwood Drive —

On July 21, a 51-year-old woman said someone stole her laptop in April. Willow Glen Drive — on July 21, a

73-year-old woman said between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. someone took an envelope containing $1,400 cash from a hidden spot on a bookshelf. 6080 Roswell Road — On July 21, a cell-

phone store manager said three men entered the store around 7 p.m. The three went to separate areas of the store. One of the men asked the employee to check the iPhone stock in the back, which he did. Shortly after, the men left, and the employee noted they took nine cases for the iPhone 7 and 7+. They left in a baby-blue Chrysler 300. Shortly after, the same three entered the Verizon Store at 5982 Roswell Road. One of the men snatched two phones from the counter after asking to see them. The three fled in a baby-blue Chrysler. 3900 block of Treelodge Parkway —

On July 24, a 37-year-old man reported his motorcycle was stolen overnight. The bike is a Suzuki GSX-1300R, gray in color. Ga. 400 at Hammond Drive — On July

24, a construction employee reported that someone stole a Bobcat 262B with a skid steer loader from the side of the roadway in the construction area. 4600 Roswell Road — On July 24, an

from boxes that were delivered for residents. The information was forwarded to CID. A 44-year old man said he was incar-

cerated in the Fayette County Jail from May 31 to June 11 and during that stretch, he asked a friend to go to his home and secure three guns at the house. Once released, the man learned his friend sold the guns. A Stevens shotgun, Century Arms AK-47, and a CZ75 .40-caliber pistol were reported sold. In addition, a Samsung tablet, workout equipment and firearms tools were missing. 5580 Roswell Road — on July 26, a

43-year-old man reported that between 8 p.m. and midnight, someone entered his gym locker and took $850 cash from his wallet. You probably know what I’m going to say about this …. That’s a lot of dough. 6400 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road — On

July 26, loss prevention staff at a home improvement store reported the theft of two Milwaukee Combo sets by a man who was later identified due to having been arrested at a similar store previously. The value of the theft is just under $2,000.

THEFTS FROM VEHICLES Between July 14 and July 19, there

were 10 thefts from vehicles. Between July 22 and July 24, there were three thefts from vehicles.

ARRESTS 7900 block of Roswell Road — On July

15, responding to a disorderly person call, the officer spoke with apartment staff who told him a man came into the employees’ break room and took several items, then went into the lobby and became disorderly by throwing cups at employees, throwing items off a table and generally trashing the place. He then walked out the door. He was located and arrested. 600 block of Marsh Trail Circle — On

July 15, cops were called to an apartment and were told by a woman that her husband got into an argument with his father-in-law. At one point, the father-inlaw became disrespectful to the accused by holding his phone up and ignoring the accused as he spoke. This caused the accused to grab and throw a coffee cup that bounced off the wall and struck the fatherin-law in the face, causing an abrasion and swelling. The accused was arrested.

apartment property manager said she reviewed video and saw a male READ MORE OF THE POLICE BLOTTER ONLINE AT she recognized stealing items


32 |

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