Brookhaven Reporter www.ReporterNewspapers.net
On the attack
Campaign turns partisan, mean COMMUNITY 3
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AUG. 7 — AUG. 20, 2015 • VOL. 7 — NO. 16
PUBLIC SAFETY 20
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OUT & ABOUT 14
State tells charter school to trim City Council member from board BY JOE EARLE
Left, Kendi O’Mardo and his son Christopher play touch football during the Punt, Pass & Kick event sponsored by the NFL on Aug. 2 at Murphey Candler Park. The competition gave kids between the ages of 6 and 15 an opportunity to learn football fundamentals in a non-contact environment. See additional photos on page 2.
A neighborhood’s disparity: Home tax values rise, commercial appraisals stay the same BY JOHN RUCH
When Brookhaven homeowner Thomas Spencer saw the property tax bill on his three Sunland Drive houses jump 48 to 80 percent this year, he thought that at least he shared the pain with many neighbors. But not all of them. Looking at tax records, Spencer was surprised to see that several adjacent commercial properties—including the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce office and the former Mexican consulate complex—had no change in their bills. And those properties’ assessments were less than one of his houses alone. “It’s a mystery to me,” Spencer said. “It just seems to
me to be grossly unfair for residential property owners to be paying ever-higher property taxes…[while] at least these commercial properties are having such low assessments.” He wondered if the reason was “gross incompetence” or worse. Calvin Hicks Jr., DeKalb County’s chief appraiser, said there’s a simple reason that some commercial property tax assessments didn’t go up: The county chose not to reappraise them. SEE NEIGHBORHOOD, PAGE 4
State officials are requiring the proponents of a Brookhaven charter school to reduce the number of City Council members on the proposed school board, to provide a plan and budget for teaching students with disabilities or who need help with English, and to provide more budget information on health benefits. The backers of the proposed Brookhaven Innovation Academy were given until Aug. 17 to provide the additional information to the staff members of Georgia’s State Charter Schools Commission, who would then make a recommendation to the commission on whether to approve the school. The commission is scheduled to meet Aug. 26 to consider whether to approve or deny the charter for the new school, the letter said. “The SCSC review panel determined that the educational model of BIA indicates that the proposed school will operate as a highquality charter school consistent with the SCSC’s mission and the educational goals of Georgia; however, the SCSC review panel identified several aspects of the school’s operational plan that require additional action or explanation before SCSC staff will recommend approval of its charter petition,” Morgan Felts, associate general counsel and petitions manager for the commission, said in the letter dated July 30. SEE STATE, PAGE 19
Give the police a smile Amelie MartinezMorales, 10, reflects on the Brookhaven Police patrol car she’s admiring during National Night Out on Aug. 4 at Perimeter Mall. Read story and see more photos on page 24. PHIL MOSIER
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Thank you Atlanta from the original Chin Chin Brookhaven team Celebrating 21 years in Brookhaven!
Let’s play! The NFL hosted a Punt, Pass & Kick event on Aug. 2 at Murphey Candler Park. Above, from left, Sammy Heetdeerks, Owen Radics and Landon Radics show off their love of all sports while hanging out on the sidelines.
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Center, the competition gave kids between the ages of 6 and 15 an opportunity to learn football fundamentals in a noncontact environment.
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Bottom, Ben Agnew, left, and Preston Cooper toss the football on their own after they participated in the drills.
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Campaign turns partisan, mean BY JOE EARLE
As the campaign for the seat representing District 80 in the Georgia House of Representatives headed to the wire, it started to turn both partisan and mean. Democrat Taylor Bennett and Republican J. Max Davis meet in an Aug. 11 runoff election because neither collected more than half the votes cast in the four-candidate special election on July 14. Both turned to leaders of their party to draw attention to their campaigns. Davis said he campaigned alongside fellow Republicans such as Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Rep. Tom Price. Bennett has been endorsed by leading state Democrats and said he campaigned in person with District 42 Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta). “They’re trying to bring out the Democrats and I’m trying to bring out the Republicans and independents,” Davis said. At the same time, the campaigns or their supporters mailed out flyers attacking the candidates. “It’s definitely getting mean,” Bennett said. A flyer supporting Davis accused Bennett of supporting an “Obama-backing, liberal union agenda.” The Democratic Party of Georgia sent out two flyers accusing Davis of covering up sexual harassment claims while he was mayor of Brookhaven. Davis said he felt “sexual harassment is not an issue. It’s a distraction.” He defended the flyers describing Bennett as too liberal for the district. Bennett said he considered the attack flyers “tasteless.” He said his campaign didn’t mail the flyer attacking Davis. “They are not mine,” he said. “I completely denounce any of these [attack] mailers.”
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The runoff election likely will draw few voters. Fewer than 4,000 voters cast ballots in the July 14 election for the district, which covers Brookhaven and portions of Sandy Springs, Chamblee and Dunwoody. Bennett collected 37 percent of the vote, with 1,473 votes, and Davis gathered about 31 percent, with 1,259 votes. Any registered voter in the district may vote in the runoff. Campaign finance disclosure forms filed with the state show Bennett, a former Georgia Tech quarterback, did receive union and progressive political action committee contributions. He also received a $2,500 contribution from his old teammate Calvin Johnson, now a professional football player. According to reports filed with the state in July, Bennett raised $27,635 and spent $19,594. In later filings, his campaign reported another $12,500 in contributions. Davis’s July report showed his campaign had raised $40,865 and spent $21,271. “The good thing is school is back,” Davis said. “The more people that vote make it more likely that I’ll win. The fewer people that vote, the closer it gets.” For Aug. 11 runoff election results, check ReporterNewspapers.net.
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 property types were last appraised. This year, DeKalb appraisers skipped Those near Sunland Drive have had no several types of commercial properties. change in assessments in four to five In an email, Hicks said that “primariyears and possibly longer, according to ly these were apartments, convenience county property records. stores, hotels and reWhile the countail uses.” ty skips some comThe small office mercial reappraisals, “It just seems to me to building where the its skyrocketing resBrookhaven Cham- be grossly unfair for resi- idential assessments ber is a tenant falls dential property owners have unleashed a under the type not to be paying ever-higher wave of appeals. appraised. And the DeKalb’s 17 percent property taxes…[while] former consulate’s boost in residential at least these commervalue may be deproperty assessments pressed by possi- cial properties are having was the highest ble contamination, among metro Atlansuch low assessments.” Hicks added. ta counties, the AJC Hicks said that reported last month. county appraisers That boost was – THOMAS SPENCER decide which propeven higher in HOMEOWNER erty types to reapBrookhaven, at nearpraise by comparing ly 19 percent, Hicks real estate sales with said. Total residential current property data. assessments went from about $1.7 bil“I believe staff reviewed market data lion in 2014 to $2.1 billion this year. and indicated the greatest variation beHicks noted that Brookhaven’s total tween appraisals and market data were commercial tax assessments saw an inin the use types identified,” he said. crease on par with residential: about 15 “We continue to monitor sales and will percent. In hard numbers, that’s a boost modify appraisals where warranted.” from about $751 million to about $864 However, Hicks did not respond million. when asked when these commercial Still, it’s easy to see how the county’s
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AUG. 07 – AUG. 20, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net
COMMUNITY commercial assessing method triggers frustration for Spencer in his corner of Brookhaven at the intersection of Sunland and Apple Valley Road. Of 18 residential properties around that intersection, none had a decreased assessment and only two did not change—one of them an unbuilt lot. The 16 other properties had an average increase of 42 percent. The lowest was 8 percent. The highest was 142 percent. Spencer, who runs a real estate development and construction company, lives at 1283 Sunland Drive and owns 1279 Sunland Drive and 1287 Sunland Drive as investment properties. His tax assessments had not changed since 2012. At 1283 Sunland Drive, this year’s assessment went from $73,840 to $133,080. Meanwhile, the seven commercial properties along Apple Valley Road near Sunland saw no tax bill change at all. Spencer knows the value of 2565 Apple Valley Road, where the Brookhaven Chamber resides, fairly well—his company owned it until 2006. Records
show its assessed value, now $72,000, hasn’t changed since 2011—when it plunged nearly 50 percent. The Mexican consulate moved out in 2009, leaving behind a 1.3-acre main property at 2600 Apple Valley Road. It last sold in 2010 for $2.5 million, county records show. Its land is valued by the county at $21,300 and buildings at $23,100. Its assessment of $17,760 hasn’t changed since 2010, as far back as online records go. Hicks said that property “was at one point acquired by a chemical company which released chemicals into the soil. Our records do not reflect the contamination has been removed, but I have asked staff for an update. It was the presence of the contamination which influences the value of the property.” The property’s current owner is listed as Rollins Continental at 2170 Piedmont Road, Atlanta. That is the same address as Rollins, Inc., the parent company of Orkin pest control and many other firms. A call to Rollins Continental was not returned.
Brookhaven Government Calendar Brookhaven City Council usually meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m. at Brookhaven City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Rd. For complete and up-to-date schedule of Brookhaven city meetings, go to http://brookhavenga.gov.
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AUG. 07 – AUG. 20, 2015 | 5
COMMENTARY Reporter Newspapers Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities. Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter www.ReporterNewspapers.net Atlanta INtown www.AtlantaINtownPaper.com
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School counselors deserve same raise as teachers I have been an educator for 30 years and a counselor with DeKalb County Schools for the last 14. Currently, I am privileged to work at Dunwoody High School, which is shining under its new administration. Our students are getting accepted at top colleges around the country, as well as at the University of Georgia, Emory University and Georgia Tech. A strong team of counselors is critical in establishing a successful high school experience for each and every student, yet parents and community members are often unaware of the many services counselors provide to students. We provide assistance to all students, not just those who are highly gifted or have learning disabilities. In addition to aiding students with class selection, counselors help students in all areas of academic achievement, including assisting students with the very complicated and detailed college application process, encouraging understanding and tolerance in a multicultural and diverse population, and working with at-risk students in an effort to reduce the drop out and failure rates. Counselors do much more. We stand ready to assist in ways that others cannot even imagine. We are there for not only the students, but for the school staff, as well. Many times we are the ones students turn to when they feel there is no one else who can help them in navigating the murky waters of adolescence. We help students cope with a
wide variety of matters, from personal relationship issues, to dealing with a family divorce, to grief counseling, to suicidal thoughts. We are the sounding board and support system for the next generation. A few years ago, DeKalb County decreased counselors’ salaries, yet since then, we have been required to assume more responsibilities (including, but not limLISA ited to, those of the high school GORDON graduation coaches who were released as part of staff cutbacks). As GUEST COLUMN you are probably aware, DeKalb teachers are scheduled to receive a well-deserved 4 percent raise, effective this fall. However, counselors may receive only a 2 percent raise. Counselors are vital members of the educational team and deserve the same recognition with an equal salary increase as that of our teachers. We are all on the same team. On behalf of all counselors, I implore DeKalb County to reconsider this decision and raise our pay by 4 percent, just as they have done for our teacher teammates. Lisa Gordon is a counselor at Dunwoody High School.
Associate Editor: John Ruch Intown Editor: Collin Kelley
Thanks, Mary Helen!
Staff Writers: Ellen Eldridge Copy Editor: Diane L. Wynocker Creative and Production
This issue we say farewell to our summer college intern, Mary Helen Kelly, who soon returns to Furman University to start her sophomore year. Over the past two months, Mary Helen—who’s a Buckhead resident and Marist alum—has researched and written several news and feature articles for us and also assisted with special projects for our sales department. She’s done a great job and we wish her well in future journalism (or related) endeavors.
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During the school year we offer a paid internship for selected high school students. Interns will write our “Standout Student” profiles, work on other editorial assignments and assist with administrative tasks. Ideal candidates will be editors of a school publication, have excellent written, verbal and computer skills, be proficient in social media and have their own transportation; juniors and seniors preferred. If you qualify, or know someone who does, please email email@example.com.
Account Executives Susan Lesesne Ofﬁce Manager Deborah Davis firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors Robin Jean Marie Conte, Mary Helen Kelly, Phil Mosier, Clare S. Richie, Megan Volpert, Jemille Williams
Mark is an angel
I want to thank the man who went out of his way to help me on July 5 as I Free Home Delivery was getting gas at the Brookhaven Cost65,000 copies of Reporter Newspapers are delivered co. by carriers to homes in ZIP codes 30305, 30319, I had locked my car (with every30326, 30327, 30328, 30338, 30342 and 30350 and thing in it) and taken only my battery to more than 500 business/retail locations. For locations, check “Where To Find Us” operated car key and my credit card. at www.ReporterNewspapers.net When I tried to get back into my car, For delivery requests, please email the key battery had died and the spare email@example.com. key tucked into the remote would not © 2015 With all rights reserved work. Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or A wonderful young man who was advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in pumping gas next to me tried to help. advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of He tried to get the emergency key to Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC. work and he tried to see if the battery | | 6 AUG. 07 – AUG. 20, 2015 www.ReporterNewspapers.net
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from his own remote would work in mine. When those ideas were not successful, he went off on an hour-long search to find a battery for me, finally finding one in the watch department of Walmart. He returned an hour later, put the new battery in my remote and made sure everything worked again. He
would not take a dime for the battery, for his Sunday morning time, not for anything. And did I mention that all this time he had his young daughter with him? I told him that he should tell her the story of the Good Samaritan and that he had indeed been one for me. Thank you, Mark, who lives near Dresden. If you are friends with this wonderful man, please share my letter with him. I didn’t catch his last name but it began with an “S”. So, thank you, Mark S., for being my angel of mercy. Barbara Berryman BK
Forget country music, I’ve got the blues Today I’m going to explore two of the most popular musical genres of the South: country music and the blues. I’m a blues girl, myself. Now, I realize that there’s a fine line between the blues and country music, and that’s a line that I don’t want to cross. I’ll go as far as bluegrass, but I stop there. You might say that both of these musical genres are forms of artful whining. But the difference between the blues and country music is the difference between telling it like it is and ruthlessly exploiting my emotions. If I happen to hear a country song that starts off with a letter stuck to an old oak tree, I switch the radio dial, because whoever wrote that letter is going to die. And that will make me cry. And I don’t want to listen to a song and cry unless I’m watching Les Miserables. With the blues, you start down and you stay down, and those minor chords make it kind of fun while you’re down there. Not so with country music. You’ll be Sittin’ Knee-Deep in the Water Somewhere and the next thing you know, you’re being showered with tears that are pouring down on you from Holes in the Floor of Heaven. Don’t jerk me around like that. I don’t want to be having a rollicking good time with my red Solo cup in hand and in the next moment witness my daughter growing up too quickly before my very eyes while plumbers and other sages are telling her that she’s going to miss this when it’s gone, which starts me spiraling straight into a Sunrise, Sunset melancholy. Stop it, already! With the blues, I know what’s coming. There will always be a minor scale and a major problem, and it will be played out in a very reliable fashion. There will be a 12-bar chord progression, three-
line stanza and double entendre. If I miss the first line of a verse, I don’t have to worry because it’ll be sung all over again-right away. ROBIN JEAN With the blues, there MARIE CONTE will be an isROBIN’S NEST sue with a spouse—he’s either cheating or leaving. If it’s a Sad, Sad Sunday, I know it’s because my baby has to go. If there’s nothin’ I can do as you leave me here to cry, I know that my love will follow you as the years go passing by. If you’ve been meetin’ your man, baby, down at the local laundromat, then I know that someone’s done got wise and daddy ain’t going for that. You see? There are no surprises with this musical genre. I respect the blues. There’s integrity in them thar lyrics. It might sound real sweet to have some slick country music cowboy singing to you about how the July moonlight shines, with “your pretty little head” on his shoulder—but I’ve heard that line before. A blues singer will compare his woman to a whiskey store, and that sounds a whole lot more honest to me. I’m not trying to convert you. I know you’re happy with your trucks and sunshine and cutoff jeans, your Keith Urbans and your Carrie Underwoods. But I’ll take B.B. King every time. Robin Conte is a writer and mother of four who lives in Dunwoody. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
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AUG. 7 – AUG. 20, 2015 | 7
Head for the Hills
Left, adopt your own Cabbage Patch Kid at Babyland General Hopsital in Cleveland. RIght, Helen’s alpine village is full of restaurants and shops.
Shopping, dining and attractions beckon in North Georgia BY COLLIN KELLEY If you’re planning to buy a second or retirement home in the North Georgia Mountains, you’ll obviously be looking for peace and quiet. But you’ll also want to be near shopping, restaurants and activities when you need a break from rustic living. Here are a few suggestions.
Okay, so the faux-Bavarian is a tourist trap, but Helen also has its charms. Oktoberfest offers kitschy fun, while the annual Balloon Race in June is a must-see. Unicoi State Park is just north of town, offering swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and playgrounds.
The town bills itself as the “gateway to the mountains” and has plenty to offer in way of shopping and dining. The historic courthouse square area has eclectic shops, restaurants and even a soda fountain. The old courthouse has been turned into an interesting museum, but Cleveland was really put on the map as the home of the Cabbage Patch Kids. Be sure to visit Babyland General Hospital to see how the kids are born and maybe adopt a new bundle of joy.
The town was made famous as the site of the first major gold rush in the U.S., but is now known for its vineyards and wineries. After you’ve had a tipple, head to the town square to visit the shops, restaurants and art galleries. The annual Gold Rush Festival in October attracts thousands to the city.
Located along the Appalachian Trail, Hiawassee is home to Lake Chatuge, a TVA reservoir popular for swimming, boating, jet skiing, paddling, sport fishing and other water sports. The Georgia Mountain Fair is held at the fairgrounds each summer and the Fred Hamilton Rhododendron Garden is in bloom April to late May with more than 3,000 azaleas and rhododendrons.
The town is home to The Hambidge Center, a nationally known retreat for writers and artists, and Southern victuals mecca The Dillard House is nearby. The Sylvan Falls Bed & Breakfast Inn offers a quiet and relaxing retreat in the shadow of Wolf Valley, which has become a favorite spot for photographers to capture images of the waterfalls. The Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School offers events and theater productions year round.
This mountain town has a multitude of antique and craft shops, restaurants and two vineyards to explore. For the adventurous, go white-water rafting on the Chattooga River or wander through the Chattahoochee National Forest, which offers camping, trails for horse enthusiasts, waterfalls and overlooks.
AUG. 7 – AUG. 20, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net
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AUG. 7 – AUG. 20, 2015 | 9
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Chattanooga Above, Chattanooga sits in a cradle of mountain tops and valleys in south-central Tennessee. Features include a funky downtown shopping area, aquarium, museums, walking bridge and attractions like Rock City, the Incline Railway and Ruby Falls. At left, eats and drink from Mexican restaurant Taconooga. Below, Bulldawg pauses on his trek across the walking bridge. PHOTOS BY ISADORA PENNINGTON
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AUG. 7 – AUG. 20, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net
Head for the Hills
Outdoor and indoor fun awaits at Brasstown Valley BY JEMILLE WILLIAMS Just two hours away from Atlanta and vides restorative massage and other body named after Georgia’s highest peak, Brasstreatments with state-of-the-art facial techtown Valley Resort and Spa has something nology. Their salon will have you looking B L U E R I D G E G E O R G I A for all ages – from toddlers as completely restored as to dodderers. you feel. A scan of license plates With such a range of acin the parking lot shows a commodations from lodge good mix of faraway counrooms and suites to cozy ties and neighboring states cottages imbedded in the have made their way to the trees, the resort is perfect for resort, which is celebratfamily reunions. As much ing its 20th anniversary this of a nature girl as I am, I year. have a sister who is afraid of If you’re a heat-hater the woods, so this is a perand a sun-shirker like me, it fect compromise. It’s the doesn’t get any better than ideal balance of seclusion Brasstown Valley in the without isolation. summer. I love to do water If you have grandparents aerobics in the luxuriouswho can’t take the heat and Brasstown Valley ly shady pool, set in a troparen’t up for a stroll on the Resort’s rustic lobby. ical conservatory. There’s a resort’s eight forested miles Subject to Availability and Weather: Call for days & times 706-632-3411 hot tub inside that’s great of trails, there is a lovefor loosening up tight muscles, but the inly glass corridor that overlooks the mandoor-outdoor pool also has a twin hot tub made waterfall feature. Downstairs there is Plus: Hard Cider Tasting Room, Farm Market, outside if you’d prefer the sun. a gallery of local art for sale or just to enjoy, 800-361-7731 Fresh Bakery, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner But worry not – there’s still plenty o’ and an interpretive display that tells about fun in the sun. The championship golf the mountains in general and Brasstown links are ranked as one of the top coursValley in particular. SHOP ONLINE: MERCIER-ORCHARDS.COM es in Georgia, and there is even a sandy For more, visit brasstownvalley.com. beach in nearby Lake Chatuge if you yearn to loll in the sand and bob in the limpid lake water. As if the on-site horseback trail-riding, golf, tennis, hiking and fishing weren’t enough, they offer a wide range of turnkey excursions like tubing and white water rafting in kitschy Alpine Helen. You can make your own arrangements and drive yourself, or the concierge has comprehensive activity packages all wrapped up and waiting for you. There is a full menu of outings with hiking, biking, picnicking and waterfall gazing in the Chattahoochee National Forest, with close to a million acres of woodsy recreation. Brasstown Bald (the highest point in Georgia at an altitude of 4784 feet) is close-by and is especially fasExperience Matters Scott Smith Sr. cinating in the fall, when you can look Access to both the North Georgia MLS and Atlanta MLS c: 404.441.4400 north and see golden leaves, and south to f: 404.843.2613 Gets the job done at the best price for Buyers and Sellers see summer green. Nearby Lake Chatuge is the largest lake LivingRoomRealtyGA.com Top agent in the North Georgia and Atlanta markets in the state at 9,000 acres, and you can ScottSmithSr@LivingRoomRealtyGA.com Property owner in the N. Georgia Mountains for 30 years rent watercraft with people power or powerful motors. There are kayaks, canoes and SUPs for quietly poking around in secludAre you ready to find YOUR ed coves for wildlife-spotting, or pontoons new mountain home? and ski boats for maximum excitement. Our favorite is Boundary Waters Resort Call today for more information! & Marina in neighboring Hiawassee. You can rent a kayak for $10 an hour or a powerful wakeboard boat for $400 a day, with a wide range of intermediate craft that can handle from one to ten passengers. If relaxation is your goal, a wine tasting at one of the proliferating vineyards nearby is a great way to educate yourself and support Georgia agritourism. After a busy day, the cherry on top is a spa treatment in the acclaimed Equani Spa, a Cherokee-themed haven that pro-
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Saturday, Aug. 15, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. – Bring the family for a community-wide meal packaging festival at the Dunwoody United Methodist Church. This annual event provides participants with the opportunity to make at least 300,000 meals for the organization Stop Hunger Now. Volunteers can sign up for a variety of shifts to put together the bags or for a variety of other support tasks. Youth are invited to help unload and celebrate with tailgate games and a move on Friday, August 14, from 4-8 p.m. Free and open to the public. Dunwoody United Methodist Church, Gymnasium, 1548 Mount Vernon Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. For more information and to sign up, go online to dumc.org or call 770-394-0675, extension 119.
Saturday, August 15, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. – Come out and volunteer for a few hours at
Wednesday, Aug. 12, 7-8 p.m. – Joshua Saul
hosts a discussion about how the ancient art of acupuncture can help you to rest, relax and feel better. Free and open to the public. Suggested for high school students, college students and adults. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Hwy., Sandy Springs, 30328. For more information, go online to afpls.org or email email@example.com. ga.us.afpls.org.
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the Blue Heron Nature Preserve. The preserve is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, and relies on the community for regular volunteer cleanup and maintenance days. Visitors can enjoy a walk through the property while doing good for the environment. Free and open to the public. Blue Heron Nature Preserve, 4055 Roswell Rd. NE, Buckhead, 30342. For more information, go to bhnp.org or call 404-345-1008.
or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
AUG. 7 – AUG. 20, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net
Wednesday, Aug. 19, 6 p.m. – Join Dunwoody MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) for their 2015-16 kickoff event at Dunwoody Baptist Church. Socialize with other moms, enjoy dinner provided by fellow mothers, and hear from local author and speaker Cynthia Simmons on the topic of “Self Care for Women.” Meetings and membership are open to any mother of children from infant through kindergarten, and meetings occur on the third Wednesday of every month. $5 fee per meeting; $35 annual membership to MOPS International. Church membership not required. Dunwoody Baptist Church, Room D-306, 1445 Mount Vernon Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. Go online to dbc.org or email email@example.com for more information.
out & about out&
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Ask us how we can support your child’s school!
Peachtree Battle Shopping Center 2385 Peachtree Rd. Atlanta, GA 30305 mudmonkeyonpeachtree.com
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Creative Fun For Any Age
Eats & Beats
Thursday, Aug. 13, 6 p.m. – Enjoy live
Thursday, Aug. 13, 7-10 p.m. – This event
acoustic music and stroll the Chattahoochee Nature Center property after hours. Beer and wine available for purchase on the green roof, and visitors can watch the sunset from a variety of points around the center’s 127 acres. Butterfly encounter open until 9 p.m. All ages. Free for members and included with general admission. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Rd., Roswell, 30075. For more information, go to chattnaturecenter. org or call 770992-2055.
Cigar Store Indians Thursday, Aug. 13, 6:30-8 p.m. – Her-
itage Sandy Springs offers another installment of their popular Rhythm & Brews concert series at Heritage Green. Cigar Store Indians is a band from Crabapple, Georgia, and their music style is Rockabilly, Roots-Rock, HonkyTonk, Country and Cow Punk. Blankets, coolers, picnic baskets and blankets are welcome, while pets and smoking are not. Doors open at 5:30 before the concerts. Tickets are $5 for ages 21 and up; $2 for ages 13-20; and free for ages 12 and under. Parking available on Sandy Springs Place in designated parking lots. Sandy Springs Society Entertainment Lawn at Heritage Green, 6110 Bluestone Rd., Sandy Springs, 30328. For more information, go online to heritagesandysprings.org, email events@ heritagesandysprings.org or call 404-851-9111, extension 4.
promises an evening of music, local eats by top Atlanta chefs, spirits and a foodie silent auction to benefit Children of Conservation and the Giving Kitchen. Tickets start at $75 each and can be purchased online. The Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Rd., Buckhead 30305. For more information and to buy tickets, go to xorbia.com/e/coc/eats-beats-2015-tickets or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Memorial Concert Saturday, Aug. 15, 7 p.m. – Singers, dancers,
and actors take to the stage for the 7th annual Tim Redovian Memorial Fund Concert. Featured performers are talented former recipients of performing arts scholarships through the Tim Redovian fund. Free and open to the public. Dunwoody Baptist Church Chapel, 1445 Mount Vernon Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. For more information, go online to www.timredovian.org or call 678-488-6929.
Rhythms on the River Sunday, Aug. 16, 5 p.m. – Presented in part-
nership with Atlanta Pays it Forward and the Chattahoochee Nature Center, this evening event features live music by The Pieces of Eight, a band that incorporates soul, R&B and beach music. Guests are invited to kick up their heels on the dance floor in the name of a good cause, with proceeds from the night going toward Camp Sunshine. General admission tickets start at $20; other rates available. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Rd., Roswell, 30075. For more information, go to chattnaturecenter.org or call 770-992-2055.
Dan Sasser loves coming and going as he pleases. That’s just one of many reasons he chose Canterbury Court to be his home. “I left a tenured position so I could live wherever I wanted. Then I retired at 60 and was working part time when I discovered Canterbury Court. I thought, ‘How wonderful it would be to live there.’” When he decided to move to Canterbury Court, he chose a studio apartment, which he says “is more than big enough for me.” The maintenance-free lifestyle also lets him keep a second home in Florida and take frequent road trips. Dan says people are “missing the boat” by not moving to a retirement community sooner. “Here you have several restaurant options, all kinds of activities and excursions, a theater with daily showings, a heated pool and wellness center, 11 acres of beautiful gardens ... it’s like being on a permanent vacation!”
Now Open! $5 Off of $25 $10 Off of $50 $20 Off of $80 Dine in Only. Not valid with other offers, must present coupon. Expires August 31, 2015 Hammond Springs Shopping Center Next to Lowe’s
5975 Roswell Rd B-201 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 404-975-3530 Mon-Thurs 11:30am-10pm Fri-Sat 11:30am-11pm Sunday 12pm-10pm
3750 Peachtree Road, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30319 canterburycourt.org
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Canterbury Court is Atlanta’s first and foremost continuing care retirement community, non-profit, and committed to welcoming all people.
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AUG. 7 – AUG. 20, 2015 | 13
out & about
Butterflies ready to spread their wings at annual festival BY ELLEN ELDRIDGE
Ultimately, it’s your experience that matters. To be sure, we’re proud of our 27 years of experience in senior living. But, to us, what really matters is your experience at our communities. We do everything with that idea clearly in mind. So, go ahead, enjoy yourself with great social opportunities and amenities. Savor fine dining every day. And feel assured that assisted living services are always available if needed. We invite you to experience The Piedmont for yourself at a complimentary lunch and tour. Please call 404.381.1743 to schedule.
Live butterflies have visited the Dunwoody Nature Center annually for more than two decades. But people won’t see the hundreds of colorful guests flying in a mass migration into town. Before they go on display, the showy butterflies ride from Florida on a truck, asleep in a simulated state of hibernation. Ashley Jones and her father now own the traveling butterfly exhibit that had been SPECIAL part of the Greathouse Ashley Jones, along with her father, owns Butterfly Farm in Earthe traveling butterfly exhibit that will letown, Fla. The farm bring the insects to the Dunwoody Nature closed in January and Center’s annual festival on Aug. 15. owner Zane Greathouse hired Jones to care for the 100 acres of land and for his ing, and those tents are a prime examnearly 90-year-old mother, Jones said. ple of being back in touch with nature,” “It was sort of a family business beMothner said. “You’re in a tent with cause we all worked there, but we’re hundreds of butterflies flying around. not related [to the Greathouse famiThere’s no other experience like it.” ly].” Jones said. “Some of my family In addition to Monarch butterflies, and some of my friend’s family worked which the Nature Center’s 22nd annuthere.” al butterfly festival will focus on as part Before the Aug. 15 festival, Jones and of its Milkweed Project, Jones and her a handful of family members will load family are bringing Zebra Longwing, up a rental truck for the seven-hour trek Common Buckeye, Sleepy Orange, Gito Dunwoody. ant, American Black and Tiger SwallowOnce there, they set up a pair of tents tail species of butterfly. filled with butterflies and plants the butThe Monarch butterfly can live up to terflies feed on. Jones and “Professor eight months, Jones said, but most speMullet,” the character her father plays, cies of butterfly live only two to four each host a tent. They teach about the weeks, depending on the season as much lifecycle of the butterfly and why it’s an as the species. important pollinator, along with bees Jones and her father grow butterflies and bats. in greenhouses that have the proper host Alan Mothner, the Nature Center’s plants, such as the milkweed for caterexecutive director, said once people vispillars that will become Monarch butit the festival, they look forward to it all terflies. year until the next one. “They lay eggs on plants and grasses, “We’re all about experiential learnso you have to have the right plants for
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AUG. 7 – AUG. 20, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net
out & about
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Alan Mothner, executive director of the Dunwoody Nature Center, says the butterfly festival is both an entertainment and educational event.
the specific butterfly,” she said. “They lay their eggs, they hatch, and the caterpillar eats the food, makes a chrysalis and emerges. Then it starts all over again.” Though the butterflies exhibited at this year’s Butterfly Festival will return to Florida, some butterflies leave their farm home for good, Jones said, shipped in special containers via priority overnight FedEx. Her business sells some butterflies that are to be released -- customers as far away as Canada purchase the butterflies for release during special events such as birthday parties, weddings and funerals. “We fold the wings up as if they were resting and put them in an insulated box,” she said. “We have ice packs at the bottom, separated by a barrier so [the butterflies] don’t get too cold. It puts them in a hibernation state.” Cooling and shipping butterflies extends their lives, she said, because of the hibernation state. “When it gets cold here, they fold their wings and rest until it warms up,” Jones said. That’s how they travel for the annual festival as well, she said. Jackie Sherry, the program manag-
er for the Nature Center, said visitors to the tents will be expected to follow the rules set by Jones and her family. Because more than 3,000 people come to spend time with the butterflies, each group of 20 people will have between seven and 10 minutes in the tent, Sherry said. Jones said visitors will be given sticks to hold and a sugary substance like Gatorade to put on the sticks to encourage the butterflies to land on them. Though many people treat the butterflies with respect, accidents do happen, Jones said. Sometimes, someone will accidentally step on a butterfly or a child might get nervous and shake the sugary stick too hard, she added. “Throughout the day, usually about 10 butterflies end up not making it,” Jones said. The end result is education as much as entertainment, Mothner said. He wants to show people how important butterflies are for the environment and give people a chance to check them out up close. “We want people who might be scared of bugs or butterflies to come in and realize how beautiful they are,” Mothner said.
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AUG. 7 – AUG. 20, 2015 | 15
The tres leches, one of two dessert specials served at Superica.
If you’re more discerning than Taco summers and I’ll vouch for Superica up Mac but less adventurous than Buford against any of the great, sprawling enHighway, there is The El Felix up in Alchilada joints from South Congress to pharetta. Is it worth the trek for folks Sixth Street. The food is authentic, the who live Inside the Perimeter? Not any bar is thorough and the patio is huge. more – because Ford Fry cut-and-pasted Before I touched the menu, I ordered it into Superica at Krog a house margarita and Street Market. Then he a queso con chile. Red bumped half the menu and green complimentaprices up by a dollar, ry salsas were on the taau because Krog-goers are ble instantly. Both were rant Re willing to pay it. fresh and finely pureed, And pay it they plus the chips were plenshould. Superica is the best Tex-Mex ty salty without being greasy. The chips there is in this town. and salsas are house-made with proper After a half-dozen other concepts in care considering they’re served to every his ever-expanding domination over Attable. The margarita was nicely balanced lanta’s restaurant scene, Chef Fry is cirand the queso was yellow. cling back to what undoubtedly works, Service quality can fluctuate or lapse andOffering for the fiyou: rst time he’s replicating his in a place this big – that, too, is authenbest asset: recipes he ate as a kid in Textic. Still, I asked the server to surprise Compassionate as. •I taught in Austin for a couple of me with whatever enchilada gets ordered
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RESTAURANTS At left, red and green complimentary salsas, served with chips. These items are house-made and delivered to every table.
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most often. She brought me the green chicken. The in-house tortillas were ace; the salsa verde was smooth; the chicken was just chicken. My wife ordered the carnitas fajitas. Two thumbs way up on the Mexican butter. You’ll want to take a bath in it. The fixings included decent guacamole and a pile of charred onions so large I doubt anyone finishes it. The main thing, of course, is the pork belly. When the plate arrived, I couldn’t believe how much of it there was. So nice to see somebody using more than just tiny cubes. That said, pulling pork belly to make your own fajita is complicated. The protein itself is super soft, but strung through with delicious fat ribbons inside and a seared, crispy outside. You need a knife and fork to handle it, leaving no hand to hold your half-completed fajita. The plating method makes assembly a challenge. Superica has no dessert menu, but they had two specials. The tres leches was perfect, minus the passion fruit syrup drizzle’s sour aftertaste. They could’ve played it safe with strawberries, though maybe I’m the minority as a passion fruit hater. The flan-adjacent chocolate custard was likewise absolutely terrific, but for the cinnamon sauce that made two delicious bites before desensitizing my entire palate. I am not a person who orders anything “just plain,” but two overbearing toppings gives me pause. Also giving
me pause: the distinct possibility that Superica is using a certain name brand whipped topping on their desserts. I dared not ask – I love the taste of that stuff, but when everything else is done in-house, this strikes an odd chord. Where messing with the classics is perfectly acceptable is at the bar, and the bar at Superica is excellent. You must order The Return of the Swamp Thing. It’s like a glass of mezcal and guacamole. The more I describe it the more insane it will sound, so just order it and prepare to have your prior ideas of summer refreshment blown to pieces. If you’re wondering how I bridged the gap between a house marg and the Swamp Thing, it was with a sweetened up mezcal old fashioned. This bar has something for everybody. If you want a seat at the bar, go like a granny. I arrived at 5:15 p.m. on a Friday and every stool was already taken. In fact, go early if you want any seat at all without a wait, because Superica doesn’t take reservations. That’s authentic TexMex for you. I hope Ford Fry opens up a half-dozen more places exactly like this. Heck, just four more and he’ll overtake Taco Mac inside the Perimeter – a worthy monopoly. Megan Volpert lives in Decatur, teaches in Roswell and writes books about popular culture. Send feedback to tastingintown@ atlantaintownpaper.com.
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AUG. 7 – AUG. 20, 2015 | 17
Quick Bites: News You Can Eat Bites, Beers & Bands will be held Aug. 9, 2 p.m. at Aja Restaurant and Bar in Buckhead. The event features Here to Serve chefs, showcasing their grilling skills. Classic BBQ favorites from Chef Dan Garner of Prime, house-made sausage from Chef Peter Kaiser of Twist and a modern Surf n' Turf from Chef Phillip Strange of Strip will be presented. Among the breweries involved include Second Self, Eventide and Terrapin. Enjoy music from Sailing to Denver, a giant Jenga game, corn hole and a photo booth. Tickets to the event cost $35 in advance/$40 at the door. Admission includes a sampling of each food and beer station. Proceeds benefit the Giving Kitchen. Tickets are available at xorbia.com. Burger 21 has opened its second Georgia franchise at 4279 Roswell Road NE, Suite 206, in Chastain Square Shopping Center.
FREE All-Inclusive Beverage Package* When you book a balcony, mini-suite or suite.
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The Marcus Jewish Community Center (MJCCA) is hosting a grand opening celebration for its new Kuniansky Family Center, 5342 Tilly Mill Road in Dunwoody, on Aug 16 from noon to 4 p.m. Guests can sample delicacies prepared by two of Atlanta’s most respected culinary stars – Eli Kirshtein, executive chef and partner at The Luminary, and Todd Ginsberg, chef and partner at The General Muir – who will be on-site and conducting demonstrations. Also hosting demonstrations in the state-of-the-art kitchen: Greg Gordon, partner and executive chef, and Susan Fornek, head chef, representing The Food Movement, who will prepare vegetarian fare from the company’s two popular food trucks, Hail Caesar and Pressed for Time; Cyndi Sterne, owner of Hal’s Kitchen, which specializes in corporate teambuilding through cooking; and Zehavit Kaidar-Heafetz of Baking Smiles, who will prepare tempting baked treats. The gourmet fare will be available to sample. Find out more at www.atlantajcc.org/create.
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The Atlanta BAR-B-Q Festival returns to Atlantic Station on Aug. 14 and 15. More than 50 teams from across the region will fire up their grills to compete in the annual cook-off to win prizes in categories like whole hog, ribs, chicken, brisket, pulled pork, sauce and more. Local barbecue restaurants will also be serving up their specialties during the event. For more information, visit atlbbqfest.com. Brian Farkas, managing partner of the Seasons 52 in Dunwoody, has attained Darden Restaurants’ Diamond Club status for delivering an exceptional dining experience for guests. This is the second time he’s received the award.
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State: Reduce city officials on proposed charter school board CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Members of the board of the proposed Brookhaven academy took their case to a panel of representatives of the state charter commission on July 24, hoping the commission would approve the new school on its second time around. The commission rejected the school’s application last year. The school’s backers presented their new plan to the members and staff representatives of the commission during an hour-long session July 24. “It’s been two years worth of work to get to this point,” academy board chairman and Brookhaven City Councilman Bates Mattison said after the meeting. “We’ve dived far deeper than we had last year at this time.” Proponents of the charter school say they addressed concerns raised by the commission last year in their current application. One change they proposed was to expand the planned school board and to reduce the number of Brookhaven City Council members on the board to three from five. But that wasn’t enough for the state commission’s panel, which asked that the number of city representatives be cut to two and that reduction be included in the school’s bylaws. Current bylaws reserve five board seats for city officials. “The SCSC review panel remains concerned regarding the independence of BIA and the appearance of a conflict of interest should a majority of city officials remain on the governing board of BIA,” Felts wrote. “Ensuring that a minority of city officials comprise a minority of the BIA governing board will promote the school’s independence.” Mattison said in an email the school’s
backers would make the required changes. “We feel like we’ve strengthened our application tremendously,” Mattison told the commission panel “We’ve tried to address every one of the concerns brought up last year and we believe we’ve done that. It’s been a long process. ... We’ve done everything we can to really meet the needs of the state charter commission and meet the needs of the kids.” The state officials said the board would consider the application in August. If the commission approves the school, proponents plan to open it in August 2016. As proposed by the board, the school would focus on science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, instruction, and offer “project-based” instruction during a portion of each school day. The school would be based in Brookhaven, but, if chartered by the state, accept students from across Georgia. Former state Rep. Ed Lindsey of Buckhead, now a BIA board member, said he thought the school could become a model for similar STEM schools around the state. “It is the education program they developed that attracted me to come onto the board ...,” he said. “I want to see more high-quality charter schools.” Commission representatives asked about the proposed academy’s connections to the city. How would the board react, Executive Director Bonnie Holliday asked, “if you do a lottery and 70 percent of the kids are from outside Brookhaven?” “That is something we have discussed and something we are fine with,” Mattison said, “because the focus of this school is providing this education.”
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AUG. 07 – AUG. 20, 2015 | 19
Local chiefs compare policing tactics in Israel BY ELLEN ELDRIDGE
There are some places in the metro area to Dunwoody. you should watch your step after dark, “I’ve been to several countries around Sandy Springs Police Chief Ken DeSimIsrael, but not in Israel,” DeSimone said. one said. On a recent trip to the Middle “This is the 50th country in the world I’ve East, he says he discovered the same is true visited.” in Israel. Local chiefs said they look at their cities “In the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with a new perspective after the training. it’s a lot worse [than other areas],” DeSimBrookhaven Police Chief Gary Yandura one said. “I looked at it sort of like Atlansaid the visiting officers ate in a restaurant ta: you go to Buckhead and it’s relatively where a suicide bomber had killed more safe, but other places in Atlanta, you better than 20 people years earlier. They saw how watch where you walk after the sun goes law enforcement efforts had made comdown.” munities safer, he said. For the 23rd year in a row, DeSimone said he was most the Georgia-Israel Law Enforceimpressed by the way the Israement Exchange sent public safeli police had to maintain law and ty and law enforcement offiorder in such a diverse country. cers, including the police chiefs Though it’s a Jewish state, Musof Sandy Springs and Brookhavlims and Christians live there, en, overseas for training. GILEE too. “It was professionally reis a partnership between Georwarding to see how Israel police gia State University and local law were able to police different comenforcement agencies that helps munities, whether Islamic, Jewprepare its participants to deal Sandy Springs ish, Christian or any subsets,” Police Chief with threats to public safety and DeSimone said. “They are able to Ken DeSimone effectively police these communito improve security. Seventeen Georgia law enties fairly and equitably.” forcement officials took part this year. Yandura had recently returned from Though DeSimone had experience training in the Republic of Georgia and working with military police and travelcompared his impression to Israel. ing as a Marine, he had never been to Isra“Georgia was a little more secure beel, he said. He was the fourth person from cause they weren’t under the threat of atthe Sandy Springs department to travel for tack all the time,” Yandura said. “More the GILEE training, he said. Dunwoody people from this country should see how Police Chief Billy Grogan completed the they [Israeli police] have to live in a panic training in Israel in 2000, before he came mode—on alert 24 hours a day. We found
Brookhaven Police Chief Gary Yandura, second from left, with Israeli border police.
out the police and military are on 24 hour, 7-day-a-week alert. If you heard a siren, you had 15 seconds to get downstairs. “And there was an officer who was stabbed three times near Jerusalem” while they were visiting the country, he said. After the stabbing, the border patrol guard shot and killed his attacker, DeSimone said. Yandura said some of the technology that Israeli officers have, such as facial recognition technology, could help here. “Facial recognition is not perfect, but it’s improving,” Yandura said. Yandura said a crowded place such as Perimeter Mall might make good use of facial recognition, especially to catch shoplifters. Though the country and police stayed on high alert, Yandura said peace did ex-
ist in a small city of Acre, which the officers visited, Yandura said. Religious leaders such as Greek Orthodox priests and Muslim imams told the visitors they didn’t understand why others couldn’t simply coexist. “In this little town there was a lot of cohesiveness and they got along,” Yandura said. “They comingled very well.” Both chiefs agreed that the mandatory military service requirement for Israeli citizens gives everyone greater respect for law enforcement. “There’s a sense of unity in the country,” Yandura said. “I suppose they’re more patriotic.” Yandura said he knows an Israeli airline pilot who also volunteers to fly for the country’s air force, and he’s always on alert. “I feel very fortunate we’re not worried about getting bombed all the time,” Yandura said.
Brookhaven Police Blotter BUR G LARY 3400
block of Buford Highway—On July 16, burglary was reported at a residence.
block of Ashford Lake Court— On July 19, burglary was reported at a residence.
Brookhaven police blotter: July 16-31 The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen Portal Event Search website and is presumed to be accurate.
block of Town Boulevard—On July 23, burglary of a residence was reported.
block of Druid Hills Reserve Drive—On July 23, burglary of a residence was reported.
A UTO T H EFT
ROBBERY block of North Druid Hills Road—On July 18, robbery with a gun of a business was reported.
block of Buford Highway—On July 25, robbery by gun in the street was reported.
block of Buford Highway—On July 27, a robbery by cutting instrument in the street was reported.
AUG. 07 – AUG. 20, 2015
block of Northeast Expressway— On July 19, theft by taking auto was reported. block of Shady Valley Place—On July 26, theft by taking auto was reported.
AS S AULT 3400
block of Buford Highway—On July 16, battery was reported.
block of Briarwood Road—On July 16, battery was reported. block of Buford Highway-On July 18 and 24, reports of battery were made and on July 24, an arrest was made for battery; On July 30, an arrest was made for battery.
block of Buford Highway—On July 27, indecent exposure was reported.
block of North Cliff Valley Way—On July 19, harassing communication was reported.
block of Burton Plaza Lane—On July 22, battery was reported.
block of Clairmont Road—On July 23, battery was reported.
block of Buford Highway—On July 24, aggravated assault with a weapon was reported.
1300 block of North Cliff Valley Way—
On July 26, simple battery was reported.
block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road—On July 17, fraudulent activity was reported.
block of North Thompson Road— On July 17, financial identity fraud was reported.
3000 block of Buford Highway—On July
20, an arrest for financial identity fraud was made.
block of Briarcliff Road—On July 20, check forgery was reported and an arrest for forgery in the fourth degree was made.
block of Standard Drive—On July 22, fraud by impersonation was reported.
block of Peachtree Road—On July 23, forgery of check was reported.
block of Buford Highway—On July 16, theft was reported. CONTINUED ON PAGE 22
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Brookhaven Police Blotter CONTINUED FROM PAGE 20 1300
block of Epping Forest Drive— On July 16, theft of articles from a vehicle was reported.
block of Buckhead Lane—On July 17, theft from mail was reported.
block of Blair Circle—On July 17, theft of articles from a vehicle was reported.
block of Buford Highway—On July 17, theft was reported.
block of Brookhaven Avenue— On July 17, theft was reported.
block of Shady Valley Drive—On July 18, theft was reported.
block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road—On July 18, entering auto was reported; On July 25, theft of articles from a vehicle was reported.
block of North Druid Hills Road—On July 19, theft was reported.
block of Briarcliff Road—On July 22, theft of articles from a vehicle was reported.
block of Buford Highway—On July 22, theft of articles from a vehicle was reported.
block of Town Boulevard—On July 23, shoplifting was reported and an arrest was made.
block of Mansion Way—On July 23, theft from mail was reported.
block of North Cliff Valley Way—On July 23, theft of articles from a vehicle was reported; On July 24, theft
was reported; on July 26, theft of parts from a vehicle was reported. 1700
block of Dunwoody Trail—On July 23, theft of articles from a vehicle was reported.
block of West Nancy Creek Drive—On July 24, theft of articles from a vehicle was reported.
block of Oakland Trace—On July 24, theft of articles from a vehicle was reported.
block of Newbridge Trace—On July 24, entering auto was reported.
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AUG. 07 – AUG. 20, 2015 | 23
National Night Out gives kids a chance to play cop BY ELLEN ELDRIDGE
Some came to support family members at the Aug. 4 National Night Out, but many came to see the trucks, cars and other technology local law enforcement officers use. Some of the parents acted more eager than their kids to peer out of the turret in the SWAT armored vehicle. Police and officers with specialized units such as K-9 and the North Metro SWAT team joined forces to host the annual community event at Perimeter Mall. Dave Gewertz admitted freely that he came to “see all the police cars.” His 6-yearold son, Joe, rode around in a toy car painted as a SSPD patrol car, while people, such as the mayor of Doraville, came up to take photos of him. Gewertz said he made the car from an old Power Wheels car he found. While Joe only shrugged when asked if he was having fun, he said he’d rather ride in his car than in the tall fire truck ladder. Amelie Martinez-Morales, 10, has an uncle who started as a Sandy Springs police officer in 2006, when the department started. Officer D. G. Romero has been a police
officer for 15 years total and has children ranging in age from 23 years to 16 months old. Romero’s niece came along with his wife and 16-month-old daughter to National Night Out at the mall. “I think it’s amazing because it’s so cool how you can see all the cops and learn their stories and how it all works out,” MartinezMorales said. “You get to see all the cool cars working.” Lori and Dan McMahan didn’t bring children with them, but said they came out because they “support Dunwoody and their community, and wanted to support the police department,” Lori McMahan said. Sarah Begeal, wife of Sandy Springs Officer Cory Begeal, brought their 3-yearold son, Cayden, and their 18-month-old daughter, Liliana, to see what daddy does at work. Andrew Perry called National Night Out a “cool way to end the summer” albeit in extreme heat, while his wife, Carolyn, said she wanted her kids to know the local police and officials are there to help. “He won’t be scared,” she said, if her son ever needed help from a police officer.
National Night Out, held at Perimeter Mall, was hosted by the Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs police departments, and encouraged the community to look at vehicles and pick up information regarding public safety. Top, Sandy Springs Police Officer D.G. Romero, left, and his daughter, Gianna, 1, pet “Dak,” a DeKalb County K-9, as his handler DeKalb County Detective Ronnie Viar looks on. Center far left, Sandy Springs Citizen Patrol Officer Joan Pressman, right, speaks with Sandy Springs Police Chief Ken DeSimone. Center left, Andrew Perry, and his son Samuel, 3, view the inside of a SWAT truck. Center, Joe Gewertz, 6, in the “police” car he and his father David Gewertz built. Center right, Amelie Martinez-Morales, 10, reflects on the Brookhaven Police Patrol Car she’s admiring. Left, Brookhaven Police Chief Gary Yandura, left, chats with DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann. PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER
AUG. 07 – AUG. 20, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net