08-17-18 Dunwoody Reporter

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AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018 • VOL. 9 — NO. 17


Dunwoody Reporter



Unitarian Universalist church proposes expansion as regional interest grows PAGE 4

► Exhibits mark 50 years of teaching art in Chastain Park PAGE 18

Council awards $250K to nature, history nonprofits

Flights of fancy

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Lily Armstrong, 14, of Dunwoody sports some wings of her own while meeting a colorful friend at the 25th annual Butterfly Festival, which drew a sold-out crowd to the Dunwoody Nature Center Aug. 11.




I stay aware of my surroundings. I also think social media makes the fear worse than it should be. How are you changing your behavior because of fear of crime? See page 6

See COMMENTARY, page 10


The mayor and City Council have awarded $250,000 to the Dunwoody Nature Center and Dunwoody Preservation Trust as part of its annual Facilities Improvement Partnership Program (FIPP), but some council members raised questions about the funding process and the ongoing expansion of facilities at the Nature Center. At the council’s Aug. 13 meeting, members voted 6-1 to award $82,000 to the Dunwoody Nature Center to buy and refurbish two shipping containers to transform into an “eco classroom.” The council also voted to award the Dunwoody Preservation Trust $171,000 to renovate the guest house and expand parking at the Donaldson Bannister Farmhouse. An additional $17,000 will be used for contingency funding, bringSee COUNCIL on page 15

State board to consider localized ambulance response BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Responding to the city of Dunwoody’s alarm over long ambulance response times, a state board Aug. 9 decided to quickly study the creation of new EMS zones to speed up arrival times in DeKalb County. That could mean localized service in such cities as Dunwoody and Brookhaven. Meanwhile, the county is rethinking its See STATE on page 12

2 | Community

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PUBLIC INFORMATION OPEN HOUSE INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENTS AT JOHNSON FERRY RD & MT VERNON HWY The City of Sandy Springs will host a Public Information Open House regarding concepts developed to improve the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road and Mt Vernon Highway. The meeting provides the community the chance to review the concepts, ask questions and provide input.

Thursday, August 30 6:00 p.m. Sandy Springs City Hall 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, GA 30328 For more information please visit sandyspringsga.gov

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Dunwoody teen, killed in shooting, remembered for love of simple things BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Kathryn Ballard purchased helium tanks to keep in her home so she could quickly blow up balloons at a moment’s notice. And she was often asked to do so by her son, Zach Chambless, a Dunwoody teen with special needs who loved anything that could fly. “He loved from an early age things that flew,” she said. “Flags, balloons, birds. And later in his life, bugs. He got so excited about these simple things.” Chambless, a 17-year-old Dunwoody High School student, had a severe seizure disorder and autism and was unable to speak or care for himself. He was accidentally killed July 3 in a Roswell parking lot, according to police. A friend, also with special needs, shot Chambless while the two were seated unsupervised in an SUV, police say. They were attending a summer camp group that catered to teens and adults with special needs. The friend, whom police described as having severely diminished mental capabilities, found a gun under a seat of the SUV. The camp supervisor, Gerard Brister of Brookhaven, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for leaving the two alone in the SUV. Ballard, who lives in Auburn, Ga., with her husband Jon, said she chooses to remember only the positive experiences Zach brought into her and her family’s life. “I don’t want to talk about how he died, but how he lived,” she said. She said as a Christian, she believes everything happens for a reason “even if I don’t understand it.” “He loved with such an intensity … it was incredible and sometimes frustrating,” she said. “He was the happiest child — person — I knew.” Zach was not able to speak but was able to communicate joy through his smile, Ballard said. He was well known to many people living in Dunwoody. He always carried an American flag and his shock of bright red hair made him stand out. His father, Larry Chambless, would often take him to Petland on Ashford-Dunwoody Road to interact with the birds. Many people in the city flew American flags in memory of Zach. At his July 31 memorial service, 250 balloons were released to also commemorate his love of balloons. “He had this pure, simple joy. He dialed down our world to remind us to enjoy the little things,” she said. However, it was not easy raising a child with special needs, Ballard said. The family asked donations to be made in Zach’s name to the Wildcat Fund at Dunwoody High School to support the special education department and also to Atlanta-

Zach Chambless.


based Families of Children Under Stress, or FOCUS. Ballard said she considered his Dunwoody teachers and caretakers “angels on Earth.” “It does take a village to raise a child like Zach,” she said. “Zach was chosen to part of our lives. But his caregivers in school are angels on earth because they made the choice to be in that field.” As he got older, concern and anxiety over his care and future weighed heavily on Zach’s family. There is a “tremendous need” for respite care for families raising children with special needs as they get older, she said. “It’s so scary for parents as children reach Zach’s age and older,” she said. “It wasn’t always easy to have a child like Zach. There were many tears and a lot of frustration. But you just figure it out and surround yourself with people who understand and make the best of the life God has given you.” Since his death, Ballard said she’s received many messages from people thanking her for sharing Zach with them, even from people who did not know him personally. People have also told her they will never look at a flag the same way. “Everyone loved him,” she said. “And I’m trying to live like Zach.” The Dunwoody High community has lived through several teen deaths in recent years. Alexander “Ty” Flynn, a 2015 Dunwoody High School graduate, died in 2016 after falling through the roof at the Pullman Train Yard. Halle Scott, a 2014 DHS graduate, was one of four University of Georgia students killed in a car crash in 2016. Last year, Phineas Haq, a DHS sophomore, died while running during Spring Break in Florida. Donations in Zach’s name can be made to The Wildcat Fund, 1198 Wynterhall Lane, Dunwoody, GA 30338 and FOCUS + Fragile Kids, 3825 Presidential Parkway, Suite 103, Atlanta, GA 30340 or focus-ga.org. DUN

AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018


A city-sponsored online survey of what residents would like to see in the Dunwoody Village Overlay will be followed up with a community charrette set for Saturday, Aug. 25, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Vintage Pizzeria, 5510 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. The online survey asks those taking it to voice their opinions on the vision and architectural character for Dunwoody Village, long considered the “heart” of the city. To take the survey, visit dunwoodyga.gov. The survey is intended to address growing concerns over the current architectural regulations and to develop an architectural vision to complement the city’s 2011 Dunwoody Village master plan that addressed walkability, land use, circulation and green space. The survey includes questions on what people like or dislike about Dunwoody Village and how often they visit Dunwoody Village. There are also several pictures of architectural designs presented that ask people’s opinions on what they like or don’t like. Dunwoody Village is now at the center of a cultural debate on whether it should keep its “Williamsburg” architectural style or be open to a modern look and feel. City planning officials presented to the Planning Commission on July 10 and Aug. 14 a revised Dunwoody Village Overlay rewrite that essentially erases the renowned architectural standards commonly known as the Williamsburg style that have been in place since the early 1970s. The proposed changes come at the request of the mayor and City Council. The proposed overlay changes are also coming at the same time developer Crim and Associates is seeking a special land use permit to construct a contemporary/industrial building at 5419 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, the visible corner in the overlay where an old car wash was located in recent years.


The Dunwoody City Council at its Aug. 13 meeting approved an amendment to an ordinance that prohibits the Planning Commission from deferring an application more than once. The amendment follows the Planning Commission’s vote last month to defer indefinitely proposed changes to the Dunwoody Village Overlay, including easing restrictions on the commonly called “Williamsburg” style architecture to allow for flat roofs and other contemporary designs. The Planning Commission has also voted in the past to defer votes on other applications or zoning ordinances for several months, slowing the application from getting to the mayor and council for a final vote. If the Planning Commission fails to make a recommendation at the second meeting the item will be forwarded to the mayor and council without a recommendation, according to the revised ordinance. An applicant and/or the property owner can ask the Planning Commission to defer an item for up to 90 days.

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4 | Faith

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Unitarian Universalist church proposes expansion as interest grows BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The expansion of a Unitarian Universalist church in Sandy Springs is just part of the faith’s metro Atlanta growth at a time when some other religious congregations are struggling or shutting down. The Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation, located at 1025 Mount Vernon Highway N.W., is part of a Boston-headquartered religion that teaches from all major world religions and allows members to read any religious text. The city Planning Commission recently recommended approval of the church’s request to expand its footprint by 2,400 square feet to expand the sanctuary and build a fellowship hall. “One of our huge strengths is that we are welcoming to all people,” said Hannah Cowart, the church’s Board of Trustees president, about the growth of Unitarian Universalist congregations. Other UU churches in metro Atlanta


An illustration shows the plan for the church’s expansion, including a larger sanctuary and new fellowship hall.

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have grown as well. Unitarian Universalist Metro Atlanta North in Roswell recently moved to a larger building that was formerly a Baptist church, according to David Zinner, chair of the Sandy Springs congregation’s expansion steering committee. The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, the faith’s mother church in metro Atlanta, voted to sell its property to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for its massive Brookhaven campus in 2017. The church is currently renovating a new property on North Druid Hills Road for its new location, according to its website. Some other local churches have shuttered or struggled in recent years with declining membership and the burden of expensive buildings. A Lutheran church and a Southern Baptist congregation were among those closing down over the past two years. Zinner said the Sandy Springs UU church’s current sanctuary has a capacity of 165. In recent years, the church’s membership has grown to 200, and, although not everyone comes every Sunday, it means people have to squeeze in for big events, he said. The fellowship hall is planned to be built over the existing patio, Zinner said. “We’re a church that, like most churches, fellowship is really important to us,” he said. Rather than leave the church for a new, bigger location, the congregation voted to pay for a $700,000 expansion, not wanting to give up its home since 1971. Constance Derricks, who spoke on behalf of the congregation at the planning meeting, said that, despite the expansion, the church is not looking to become a large congregation. “A big part of our identity has always been that we are small,” Derricks said. “But

we are crowded, and uncomfortably so.” Cowart said the church members are drawn to the rural feel of the church’s location. The building is surrounded by trees on its large lot, which is encircled by singlefamily homes. “If you ask any of our members, they’ll call the church our home in the woods,” Cowart said. “Everyone kind of considers it a haven from the busy city.” The church’s website notes they welcome people regardless of “religious background, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender expression, age or ability.” It’s also part of the “Welcoming Congregation Program,” a 1990 Unitarian Universalist Association initiative that encouraged congregations to take steps to be more welcoming to the LGBTQ community. “People come to us when they feel the religion they grew up with is not welcoming to them,” Zinner said. The church supports other liberal policies, such as access to healthcare, living wages, family-oriented immigration policies and workplace equality, according to its website. In 2012, the church was recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association as an “Accredited Green Sanctuary,” in part because it installed solar panels on its roof, the website said. Zinner said he believes people are drawn to the religion because it allows members to explore other religious beliefs and build their values based on a combination of different teachings. Many members were previously in other faiths and denominations and found their teachings too rigid, he said. “It’s more about defining your own spirituality,” Zinner said. “That’s very appealing to an awful lot of people.”

AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018

Public Safety | 5


Private probation may end amid country club murder outrage an online petition that has garnered over 6,600 signatures, on the premise that releasing Myrick was wrong and led to Broder’s death. The crime has fed into growing concern about an uptick in theft and burglary, especially in Buckhead. Ann Walsh, a Buckhead resident who led the Aug. 8 meeting, is a member of a large, private Facebook group that exchanges crime information and holds similar private meetings, attracting such officials as Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields. She said she is concerned, as one example, about increasingly brazen thefts at gas stations, where criminals will snatch purses from the front seat of a car during a fill-up. The Aug. 8 meeting included two Fulton County prosecutors: Lauren McAuley, the deputy district attorney for the juvenile division, and Assistant District Attorney Brendan Daughtery, who prosecutes crimes in Buckhead. Both said they could not talk about details of the Broder case. But they did speak about the juvenile and adult criminal systems in general, and in part spent the time debunking some audience assumptions about juvenile offenders returning to the streets. McAuley said a much-criticized “catch and release” system, where a defendant can get out on bond quickly, does not apply in the juvenile JOHN RUCH system. And a “point system” used to assess juveniles before initial deFrom left, state Rep. Beth Beskin, organizer Ann Walsh and Fulton County Assistant tention has nothing to do with their sentencing, as is commonly misunDistrict Attorney Brendan Daughtery conclude the Aug. 8 meeting. derstood, she said. “It’s not fun being a prosecutor and seeing the same kids come back BY JOHN RUCH over and over,” said McAuley, describing a small group of chronic offenders as the johnruch@reporternewspapers.net main crime problem. Partly to blame is a 2014 juvenile law rewrite, she said, calling it “horribly rewritten because it contradicts itself on every single page.” A private probation option for Fulton County juvenile offenders may end as one “On the flip side, the system actually does work” and often rehabilitates children, result of outrage over a July 13 murder and robbery at the Capital City country club. McAuley added. “When they say it takes a village to raise a child, it really does.” State Rep. Beth Beskin (R-Atlanta) said she’ll aim to end the system with legislation McAuley also said Downs’ sentence in the Myrick case was an “abnormality.” after hearing from about 100 residents at a private meeting with Fulton County pros“I think what Judge Downs has done has spoiled the perception of what the maecutors Aug. 8 at the Lodge at Buckhead’s Peachtree Presbyterian Church. One resijority of judges have done,” she said. dent called the private probation system “insane” amid comments it could be a danHowever, McAuley and Daughtery agreed that the system of allowing private orger to both the public and offenders themselves. ganizations to handle probation has serious flaws. Most county governments con“This crime hit me as much as it hit you,” Beskin told the crowd, adding that she tract with the state for probation services, but Fulton allows private nonprofits to “really heard feedback loud and clear today” that the system must change. do it. There is no list of approved contractors and no official vetting, the prosecutors However, that was one of the few solid and clear points of potential reforms as the said, beyond whatever questions judges choose to ask. prosecutors debunked some other alleged systemic factors in the murder. The description of the system shocked many audience members. The outrage follows the shooting of Christian Broder, 34, of Washington, D.C., dur“So they’ll privatize probation but not garbage pick-up?” asked one woman. ing an armed robbery outside the country club on the Brookhaven/Buckhead border. “An unvetted agency could be abusing kids, could be starving kids?” asked anothBroder died several days after he was shot. Two suspects have been charged with feloer. “It’s insane … There’s more oversight in the restaurant business.” ny murder, robbery and related charges: Jayden Myrick, 17, and Torrus Fleetwood, 20. One man suggested having a grand jury review the private probation system. Myrick was previously convicted of armed robbery at age 14 and could have still Others didn’t like the idea of probation at all. “Do the crime, do the time,” one been in state prison under a plea deal, according to media reports. However, Fulton woman said, while a man suggested creating a north Georgia boot camp with “two Superior Court Judge Doris Downs chose to have him serve over two years in juvehours of forced education” and “hard labor … Let that word get out on the street.” nile detention, followed by probation supervised by a private organization called ViAs the meeting concluded, Beskin told the crowd that she had spoken at length sions Unlimited, on the hope that he would be rehabilitated. Myrick reportedly was that morning with Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard about the situareturned to detention for misbehavior, but then was to go back to Visions Unlimited. tion. She was reading the probation statute on her phone as she spoke and said she He did not show up again prior to his arrest in the Capital City crime. would seek legislation to change it. Myrick has not been convicted in Broder’s killing. However, Broder’s family and “But it doesn’t bring Christian Broder’s life back,” she added. some Atlanta residents have called for Downs to resign or be recalled, including via

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6 | Education

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Mary Schmidt, Riverwood International Charter School I was going to do, and the last month before I was to graduate, the Peace Corps came to my university campus to recruit for the program. I signed up and told them I wanted to go to Africa. I believe it was meant to be because I graduated in June and in August I was in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I taught science and did teacher training while I was in Peace Corps. The experiences of Peace Corps led me to ESOL teaching.



Q: What was your response when you learned you won the award? A: Astonished, dazed. I read the email five times out loud in my classroom — no one was present — crying and laughing, wondering how it happened.

Q: What do you want to see in your students? A: I hope that their dreams and aspirations come true in their new country! I wish them all the happiness, contentment and success in their lives.

Q: What are you most proud of in your career? A: My students who are not giving up on their dreams and having fun living them! I have

empowered them to have confidence in themselves and strive to find what makes them successful and happy even through the tough times! All the ESOL students who came to this country, most of the time not by choice, learned English and were able to graduate from high school and went on being great people. One ESOL student was told that she would not be able to go to university, but perhaps to go to a junior college. I explained to her to follow her dreams. She and I worked on her applying to many universities. She was accepted to UGA where [she] obtained her BA and MBA. She is now working for an accountant firm!


Riverwood ESOL teacher Mary Schmidt accepts an award from the Georgia Department of Education alongside (left to right) Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods, Riverwood senior and ESOL student Anh Tran and Riverwood Principal Charles Gardner.

Mary Schmidt almost didn’t become a teacher. After becoming “disillusioned” about teaching during her college student teaching, she considered changing career choices. But then the Peace Corps visited her college and after graduating, she left for Africa. Her experience in Africa led her to teach English as a second language, or ESOL. Now having taught for 20 years, she was recently recognized by the state for her achievements in teaching the subject. Schmidt, who has been teaching at Riverwood International Charter School in Sandy Springs for 15 years, was recognized as a Georgia Department of Education STAR ESOL teacher in May. She was one of 10 teachers recognized statewide and was nominated by Riverwood senior Anh Tran, according to a press release. She also started a program called Steam Camp that allows Lake Forest Elementary ESOL 5th graders to visit Riverwood on Saturdays to experience attending high school classes. “These students have many [hurdles] they must overcome, but to be inspired at an early age is important and memorable,” Schmidt said.

Q: Why did you decide to become a teacher? A: I wanted to be a CBS reporter or a missionary to Germany, but my school counsel-

or said they did not have missionaries in Germany and only men were CBS reporters. I loved playing school and loved children, so I decided to be a teacher. I also had a great PE teacher in middle school who inspired me and a third grade teacher who said I could do anything I wanted if I wanted it. She is the one who taught me to read!

Q: What drew you to teach ESOL? A: After graduating in three years from university and having a less impressive student teaching experience, I was very disillusioned about teaching. I was not sure what


Mary Schmidt, center, poses in a photo with ESOL students, from left, Maria Zavala, Maria Baron, Laura Gallegos, Anabel Sala-Valladares and Joceyln Romero.

Q: What do you hope students learn from you? A: I hope through my modeling of “paying it forward” to others that it will become part of their behavior. It is important for me to teach them to be kind and help others. Thinking out of the box and being adventurous. Also, at the beginning of each school year, I always say to my class that there are three rules in my classroom: there is no lying, stealing and cheating in my classroom and just be honest with me. I also hope that these ethical issues are learned by my students in developing their character!

Education | 7

AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net


The Weber School in Sandy Springs has launched a new academy focused on technology and design. The Zalik Academy, which launched this school year, will support “hands-on experimentation” in engineering, fashion, multimedia design, robotics, architecture and science research, according to a press release. It will be housed in a new digital fabrication lab, dubbed the “Fab Lab,” that is expected to SPECIAL Ari Slomka, left, an 11th grader at The Weber School, open in August 2019. The acadeworks with Chris Chapman, a Fab Lab manager my is being funded by the Zalik and a program coordinator on a 3D model. Foundation Fund, a local Jewish education philanthropy. “Fab lab” is a term for a facility using computer-guided fabrication machines to create various products and objects. The fab lab concept started as a Massachusetts Institute of Technology class and is now a movement promoted and aided by the Bostonbased Fab Foundation. There are about 1,000 fab labs in facilities in 78 countries, according to the foundation’s website, fabfoundation.org.

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Oglethorpe University was awarded a $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to improve faculty diversity and bring it more in line with the diverse student body. “Currently, our student body is substantially more diverse than our faculty, and we know that curricular offerings will be further enriched with a greater breadth of experiences and points of view in the classroom,” said school Provost Glenn Sharfman in the press release. The grant will fund faculty member appointments during a four-year effort to increase diversity, the release said. Of the Brookhaven university’s 1,250 students, 38 percent are Caucasian, 24 percent African American, and 11 percent Hispanic, with the remainder self-identifying as multiracial or not identifying, according to the release. Of the faculty, 82 percent are Caucasian, 6 percent are African American, 8 percent Asian, and 3 percent Hispanic, the release said. “Our enrollment composition makes Oglethorpe atypical among liberal arts colleges-and drives the need to diversify our faculty,” Sharfman said in the release. “Our goal is for our faculty to better reflect our students. This grant will help us move toward that goal significantly.” Oglethorpe previously received a three-year Mellon grant in 2014 to support an initiative to revise the curriculum to better reflect the growing diversity of students, according to the release. “This important initiative will build on our last grant from the Mellon Foundation,” Sharfman said.


Buckhead public schools started the school year with new trauma kits donated by the Buckhead Coalition at the end of the last school year. Each kit contains gauze, a tourniquet, wound dressing and a pair of gloves. The school packs, containing five kits each, are being offered free of charge to the principals of the eight public schools in Buckhead. The packs are designed to hang on the wall next to the standard first aid shelf. The Buckhead Coalition, a nonprofit civic group, previously donated similar kits to the Atlanta Police Department. “It was after learning of the inordinate number of public safety personnel dying from loss of blood when wounded in the line of duty that this nonprofit civic group arranged for front-line police to carry these kits specially designed for assistance in blood containment,” the coalition said in a press release. Discount doesn't apply to member rate

8 | Special Section

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NOW Chamblee aims to remake historic downtown as ‘Town Center’ destination BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A walkable “Town Center” with a wider variety of development and maybe even a signature bridge are ideas for a new master plan for Chamblee’s historic downtown. The vision likely means City Hall and the police department would move. In January, the city’s Downtown Development Authority hired Seven Oaks Company for $150,000 to create a master plan for the Town Center that will include public-private redevelopment of the area centered around Broad Street just off Peachtree Boulevard. Considered the heart of the downtown area, where one-story retail businesses, an antique mall and City Hall and police department are now located, the historic district is ripe for bringing in retail and residential development as well as green space to create a destination location, according to the master plan. Bob Voyles, principal with Seven Oaks, presented the master plan in July at a combined event of the Chamblee and Brookhaven chambers of commerce. The plan includes creating a zoning overlay district for the downtown area. The plan was approved by the DDA in June and the mayor and City Council in July. “City staff have been working on the recommendations and next steps that Seven Oaks provided in the plan, which include the creation of a sub-district for the downtown area and designing the streetscape along Broad Street,” city spokesperson Tisa Moore said. “The next official action would be council approving the contract with whatever firm is selected to help with the rezoning this fall,” she added. The city owns about 17 properties between Chamblee-Dunwoody Road and Ingersoll Rand Drive around the Broad Street area. The city is looking at acquiring or entering into ground leases for many more of the tracts in the area, Voyles explained. Voyles said City Hall and the police de-

partment will likely have to be relocated from the area, although a precinct station would be located in the new district. Chamblee is not new to redevelopment. Since 2000, the city has seen dramatic development that has “marched up” the split at Peachtree Boulevard and Old Peachtree Road, Voyles said, including the Peachtree Crossing shopping center anchored by Whole Foods. A market study for the area shows a demand for 644 apartments in a transit-oriented development with structured parking, including a portion of these apartments targeted toward empty-nesters and those wanting to downsize from large single-family houses. The market study also shows some demand for 60 attached townhomes and 47 single-family homes on the outskirts of the Town Center area. A 120-room hotel including a lobby bar, meeting space and shuttle service can be supported in the Town Center project, according to the market study. And there is plenty of demand for neighborhood retail and a combination of fast-casual and fullservice restaurants with community gathering areas and a safe, accessible walking urban environment. Parking is an issue that faces many small cities, Voyles said. In many cities with thriving downtown areas, such as Decatur, parking decks are “hidden” in pockets of development. There is also a movement toward paid parking, he said. The

city is also looking to start an autonomous shuttle service to provide connection to Doraville’s Assembly site. A major challenge in developing the master plan is that Chamblee’s roads were created for large warehouses and industrial buildings as part of its railroad history. This means long roads with no blocks, Voyles explained, which are not conducive to creating a walkable community. That means new roads will have to be built to break up the large blocks between Peachtree Boulevard and Peachtree Road, Voyles said. The new roads, combined with on-street parking to help slow traffic, are also intended to encourage pedestrian accessibility. The master plan recommends development in phases. The first phase focuses on taking downtown Broad Street to incorporate existing buildings into a new pedes-

trian-oriented boulevard from Peachtree Road. The second phase includes allowing for construction of a traffic circle on American Industrial Way (to be renamed American Way), as well as implementing streetscape improvements along that road and Broad Street. The third phase will encourage private owners to take part in the overall master plan to transition the area from industrial use to office, residential and other retail or commercial uses. Creating a gateway into the city is also a crucial part of the Town Center project, Voyles said, and the idea of an iron bridge at Peachtree Boulevard and the newly named American Way or Peachtree Road at the Chamblee-Dunwoody overpass are being considered.

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C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net Graphic Designer: Wes Duvall Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Melissa Kidd, Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Jim Speakman Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Robin Conte, Phil Mosier, Judith Schonbak

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Community Survey / Reacting to crime fears With theft on the uptick in some local communities, concerns about crime have convinced some of us to change our ways. Nearly half of the 200 respondents to a survey of residents of Reporter Newspapers communities reported they were doing something different in their daily lives because of their concerns about crime. About an equal number said they haven’t changed their behavior because of fear of crime. Those who said they had made modifications to avoid becoming crime victims listed changes ranging from adding or expanding home security systems to being more careful about locking their cars, to just staying home at night. “We don’t walk our dog when it’s dark anymore,” a 32-year-old Atlanta man reported. “I always park under street lights now and refuse to look at my phone as I walk to my car a night,” a 24-year-old Atlanta man noted. “Atlanta is a dangerous place,” a 70-year-old Atlanta woman commented. “I only go out during daylight hours.” But not everyone is changing because of fears of crime. “We live in a densely populated urban neighborhood,” a 37-year-old Atlanta man wrote. “Making intelligent decisions solves most problems before they happen.” “My behaviors have not changed,” a 28-year-old Dunwoody man said. “I take basic precautions (e.g., lock doors and windows).” The survey was conducted by 1Q.com via cellphones to residents in Reporter Newspapers communities. The results are not scientific. Although local police agencies say overall crime rates continue to decline, police in Buckhead and Dunwoody have reported seeing an uptick in property crime. Slightly more than half of the crime in the city of Atlanta revolved around cars, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said in June. Residents have noticed. “We have seen an increase in car break-ins/theft at night,” a 36-year-old Brookhaven woman noted. “We are now extra careful to not leave the car in the driveway and if we do, to ensure there are absolutely no items worth stealing!” When asked their opinion on the best way to reduce crime in neighborhoods, respondents to the survey generally looked to more policing. Asked to choose among a half-dozen possible ways to address crime, more than a quarter (28 percent) of the respondents called for more police on neighborhood streets and nearly as many (23 percent) supported adding to the police department’s network of surveillance cameras. But about as many (24 percent) backed the idea of improving diversion programs to steer young adults from gangs. Smaller groups backed better teaching of social responsibility in the schools (11 percent) and ending probation for repeat offenders (10 percent). Some survey respondents said they were becoming more engaged in crime prevention. “I keep a more active eye on odd activity in the neighborhood and drivers around me when returning home,” a 50-year-old Atlanta man reported. Others indicated they were taking matters into their own hands. Quite literally. “I walk with my keys in my hands gripped hard,” a 30-year-old Sandy Springs woman noted. “I bought a baseball bat,” a 25-year-old Buckhead man said.

What do you think would be the best way to reduce crime in your neighborhood?

4.5% 27.5%



11% 23%

Put more cops on neighborhood streets

Add more cameras to the police surveillance network

Teach social responsibility better in the schools

Improve programs to divert teens and young adults from gangs End probation for repeat offenders Other BE COUNTED IN OUR NEXT READER SURVEY 1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizations across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.

Here’s what some other respondents had to say “I reinforced my front door after having it kicked in twice during the day. I also installed blinds. Sad, but true.” — a 36-year-old Atlanta woman “I take pictures with my phone of suspicious cars and their license plates.” — a 52-year-old Buckhead woman “I always lock my doors and am considering adding a security camera.” — a 29-year-old Atlanta man “I have always been fairly diligent, but am even more so now. I recently had my car broken into and am very leery of parking garages.” — a 43-year-old Brookhaven woman

“The crime rate is generally low. However, there are a lot of cat-callers, which makes me feel unsafe sometimes. Especially when they follow you. I have started wearing headphones when walking around so I can be left alone.” — a 24-year-old Buckhead woman “I live in the city and don’t experience much crime. Although some basic precautions are necessary, like not keeping items visible in your car when parked on the street.” — a 40-year-old Atlanta man

“We make sure to park in well-lit spots, walk in pairs at night, leave the back deck light on all night/motion sensor lights, etc.” — a 29-year-old Atlanta woman “I am more cautious when walking by myself or driving. I usually am not outside at night alone by myself.” — a 33-year-old Buckhead woman “Walking my dog or parking my car in a public area, I realize it is important to remain vigilant.” — a 54-year-old Sandy Springs man

“I stay aware of my surroundings (but always have). I also think social media makes the fear worse than it should be.” — a 38-year-old Buckhead woman DUN

AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018

Following the social media crowd and liking it I’ve become my own carnival barker. I have a published #book, and now I am on social media, hawking it to anyone who will view a post. I never was interested in social media. I never did Facebook. For me, joining Facebook would be like living in Disney World; I didn’t think I could handle the constant carnival. I dabbled in it just enough to stalk my children, but that’s as far as I allowed myself to go. So instead, for my first foray into social media, I opted for LinkedIn, which is a fairly tame, buttoned-up professional network. It was perfect because I didn’t have to say a thing, and I could send out invitations for people to join my network each night while I was falling asleep. This was my kind of media! Unfortunately, LinkedIn was not enough. When you’re #published, you have to put yourself out there, all over cyberspace. I had to pick another network, one with teeth. I could choose between Twitter (not me), Robin Conte lives with Facebook (already voted down) and Instagram, which won by deher husband in an fault. Plus, if I had to jump on the social network train, I figured I empty nest in Dun- might as well jump on the newest car in the station. Instagram and I are pretty #happy together. For one thing, woody. To contact her it’s fairly streamlined. It’s basically pictures on an app on your or to buy her new colphone. You take a picture and post a short caption and add few umn collection, “The #hashtags so that people all over the world can find you and like Best of the Nest,” see you and, hopefully, follow you. If you’re an advanced Instagramrobinconte.com. er, you can also create mini “stories.” I quickly learned the Insta-ropes, namely, how to bait strangers with hashtags (go #atlantaunited!) and photos of food. I started an account at my first book signing with practically no millennial assistance at all. (OK, I took the pictures all by myself and the nice staff @davincidonuts showed me how to open the account.) But the thing about Instagram is that it’s somehow connected to Facebook, so that if you’re already on Facebook, your Facebook friends can flow seamlessly into your Instagram account. Since I wasn’t on Facebook, I started off #instapoor. (Which rhymes with #rusticdecor.) There’s nothing more humbling than having fewer followers than someone who doesn’t even have one post. No, there IS something more humbling, and that is when you’ve been scrounging for likes and followers for months, and then your son gets two times more likes on his first post than you have total followers … or when you see that someone’s pet has more followers than you do. I managed to start off with six followers because I begged my family to follow me, and I discovered that somehow I had an old Instagram account that I started years ago, which allowed me to follow myself. And to add to my humiliation, I got schooled by my youngest, who gently suggested that I check out the unwritten rules of Instagram (which are helpfully written all over the internet if you only know to look for them), and I learned to dial back my postings. I also learned how to post in incomplete sentences. (Just for fun. Because … Instagram.) Now I feel like I’m back in high school trying to get into the popular crowd. “Like me, and I’ll like you,” “Follow me, and I’ll follow you.” (Unwritten rule: you never post “follow me and I’ll follow you” — but believe me, you imply it.) And the irony is, I ended up starting a Facebook account after all. Yes, it’s addictive, and yes, it’s great fun. So here I am, @robincontewriter, barking to the cyberworld, but it’s all #instagood.

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State board to consider localized ambulance response Continued from page 1 ambulance service model, with a consultant reviewing options for keeping it privatized, bringing it in-house, or a combination of the two. All of the review comes amid complaints about private contractor American Medical Response, which officials say regularly fails to meet contractual response times and has left sick and injured Dunwoody residents waiting for 30 minutes or more. But a big question is whether anything can happen before AMR’s contract with DeKalb expires on Dec. 31 — and what happens then. In May, Dunwoody declared an “EMS emergency” over poor ambulance response to such situations as an 18-month-old suffering seizures and a woman with a head injury who later died. On Aug. 9, the Region 3 EMS Council, which advises the state Department of Public Health about setting ambulance contracts and zones, met at the notable location of Dunwoody City Hall to consider the city’s request for its own EMS service zone. The EMS Council approved forming an “ad hoc study committee” of its members to review possible new zones, essentially giving Dunwoody the consideration it asked for and the first step in possible city-provided EMS service or other county-created alternative. Dr. John Harvey, the EMS Council chair-

Dunwoody City Councilmember Terry Nall, at podium, speaks to the EMS Council during the Aug. 9 meeting.

man, said that response times are a difficult issue in a busy urban area and metrics are “not as easy as getting a stopwatch and measuring how fast somebody can run to something.” But, he added, DeKalb and Dunwoody’s situation is a “serious issue.” “It was a very successful meeting for us,” said Mayor Denis Shortal, who testified to the EMS Council, praising the EMS Council’s decision to speed the review along. The committee is to be formed and meeting within about two weeks. Councilmember Terry Nall, who has driven the city’s protests about ambulance




response times, was also among those testifying. He also praised the EMS Council’s decision after the meeting, though cautioning it was just “the first leg of a multi-leg race” and that the county could be “behind the eight ball” on the current contract’s yearend expiration. County officials did not have immediate comment on the contract expiration. DeKalb Fire Rescue Chief Darnell Fullum is one of the EMS Council members. He called the county’s contract with AMR “poorly crafted” and with “a lot of areas that are lacking.” He noted the contract

went into effect in 2013, the year before he started the job. Fullum said the county has hired the public safety consulting firm AP Triton to review the ambulance service, propose alternatives and work on a request for proposals for whatever the final service might be. The firm’s report is expected by the end of August. However, Fullum said there are some clear ideas already for improvement, including developing a “tiered” system of prioritizing calls instead of treating them all as worthy of the same response. He described one possible public-private hybrid option as a system where in-house DeKalb ambulances respond to high-priority calls and private ambulances to lesser emergencies, or vice-versa. And in the meantime, he said, the county may add still more ambulances to the fleet after a previous increase after Dunwoody’s May emergency declaration. A big question going forward, Fullum said, is whether the county would pay “subsidies” for additional ambulances, as some other local cities do. Right now, the county doesn’t pay AMR at all; instead, the company gives the county money for every response. Dunwoody officials say that set-up is backward and creates the wrong incentives. An AMR official attended the meeting, but did not testify and only briefly com-

Dunwoody Village - Online Survey The City of Dunwoody is conducting a survey on the Dunwoody Village Overlay to get input on the future of this area. The survey can be taken anytime online through the end of the day Sunday, August 19th by visiting:


Community Meeting - Saturday, August 25th at Vintage Pizzeria - Come anytime between 11am - 4pm Results of the survey will be presented at a community meeting taking place on Saturday, August 25th from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Vintage Pizzeria in the Shops of Dunwoody (5510 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338.) Your input will be included in the presentation delivered at an upcoming City Council Meeting. For more information on the Dunwoody Village Overlay please visit dunwoodyga.gov DUN

AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018


mented to the EMS Council that the company was reviewing its service. AMR has previously said that among its challenges are long paperwork times at hospital emergency rooms. AMR has been controversial both nationally and locally for long ambulance response times. After similar complaints in south Fulton County cities, the state in May approved changing the EMS contract there to Grady. AMR caused further concern by saying it wanted to pull out of its lameduck contract there earlier than expected. At the Aug. 9 EMS Council meeting, member Steve Moyers, a representative for Fulton County, reported that south Fulton is seeing a “smooth transition” to Grady EMS. Nall said that Dunwoody is not the only concerned city that might be helped by the DeKalb review. The city of Brookhaven previously said it is reviewing local ambulance response times and reported some longer than allowed under the county contract. Nall said Brookhaven officials have “dissatisfication” with AMR but are letting Dunwoody take the lead. An internal city memo obtained by the Reporter shows that Brookhaven has struck a deal with DeKalb Fire Rescue and AMR to station an ambulance at a QuikTrip gas station on Buford Highway that the city recently purchased for possible development. “This will be a year‐long pilot program to determine the impact on response times,” said City Manager Christian Sigman in the June 29 memo. The deal has yet to be voted on by the Brookhaven City Council. “There is no deal, but we are exploring that potential,” said Brookhaven city spokesperson Burke Brennan. “If it, or something like it, happens, it should help response times in north DeKalb.” In a written statement, Sigman said Brookhaven is also in discussions with the county and AMR. “We are working closely with DeKalb Fire and AMR to develop solutions to improve response times in Brookhaven,” Sigman said. “We are monitoring Dunwoody’s efforts and there may ultimately be a nexus in our efforts to improve response times in northern DeKalb County. I applaud AMR and DeKalb County in their active engagement in developing solutions to this basic public service.”

Response time ‘emergency’

AMR’s contract treats all of DeKalb as a single response zone and the company promises that ambulances will arrive within 8 minutes, 59 seconds in at least 90 percent of the calls — an industry benchmark that varies widely in practice. Top Dunwoody officials told the EMS Council that the contract is not working by either numbers or by a sense of safety. Nall said the Dunwoody public is “very scared” and wondering whether they should even call 911 “versus stuffing an emergency patient in the car and hauling it to the hospital.” City Manger Eric Linton said the contract was “designed for failure” with its lack of metrics and the lack of incentives with the company paying the county for calls. Police Chief Billy Grogan reviewed a DUN

city-hired consultant’s statistics on AMR response times within the city, saying they were “unacceptable and putting lives at risk.” He said that in January through April of this year, 31.9 percent of ambulance response times were over the 8 minute, 59 second mark. The average was 10 minutes, 55 seconds; the “90th percentile” of worst response times averaged to 18 minutes, 38 seconds. After the May emergency declaration and AMR putting more ambulances on call in the city, just over a quarter of responses were still longer than the benchmark, Grogan said. On May 16 — days before the emergency declaration — police and firefighters called AMR for a pedestrian hit by a car on Tilly Mill Road, Grogan said. The call went out at 7:45 a.m. and the ambulance did not arrive until 8:48 a.m. — and no other ambulance was available in the entire county, Grogan said. Dunwoody incorporated in 2008 to ensure more local control and independence from DeKalb government, and there has sometimes been ongoing political friction. Shortal emphasized that such cases show the ambulance concerns are not from a “snap decision, whim or political motivation.” Deputy Chief Joseph Lumpkin of DeKalb’s public safety office agreed with the reality, saying that “we recognize this is a flawed contract. This contract does not do what we want it to do.” – Dyana Bagby contributed

Community | 13

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An attorney who serves as a municipal court judge is staying on the Dunwoody bench, but is leaving the Sandy Springs city court amid controversy over her remarks to a defendant. FILE Sandy Springs reappointed four of the sitting MunicJudge Sharon Dickson ipal Court judges at its Aug. 7 meeting, but opted to not on the day of her replace Sharon Dickson, a judge who asked not be reconfirmation in 2014. appointed to the court following a bias controversy. Instead, her fifth seat will not be filled. Dunwoody spokesperson Bob Mullen said that Dickson has performed “admirably” on its court and the city is not preparing any review of her cases or employment. She has not resigned from Dunwoody’s court, Mullen said in an email. Dickson was accused by a Muslim civil rights organization of making “bigoted” comments to an Iranian-American defendant, Fazial Azizan, during a Sandy Springs court hearing. The sentence she set for Azizan was later reduced in a deal between the city and Azizan’s attorney. Dickson sent a letter to Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul and City Attorney Dan Lee July 25 asking not to be reappointed, city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said. “At this juncture, I ask that you not consider me for an appointment for the next fouryear term. I request that I be taken off the calendar for the remainder of the year,” Dickson wrote. “Again, thanks for the opportunity to serve.”






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Community | 15


Council awards $250K to nature, history nonprofits Continued from page 1 ing the total to $250,000. Councilmember Lynn Deutsch cast the lone dissenting vote and has continued to question the process of awarding the grant money. She said more information is needed on finances from the nonprofits requesting taxpayer money. She also said she believes this process should be included in the overall capital expenditures budget process. “Moving forward I think we need to look at how we do FIPP,” Deutsch said. “There is real value from a policy perspective in handling all [expenditures] at once.” The FIPP process has been going on for several years and is a way the city tries to assist its nonprofit partners with their facilities. Deciding what nonprofit organization receives funding includes requiring nonprofits to submit details about the budgets and what public use the facilities will provide. This year the assistant city manager, accounting manager, and the parks department’s director and operations manager scored the requests based on the information provided. Those with the highest scores generally receive FIPP funds. Last year, Deutsch asked the same questions about the FIPP process and city officials said the scoring system was tweaked. But she asked the council to again take up the issue at its annual retreat early next year. Another area of concern for Deutsch as well as City Councilmember Terry Nall was the amount of building taking place at the Dunwoody Nature Center. The Nature Center is located within the 35-acre city-owned Dunwoody Park. The new Austin Elementary School is currently under construction adjacent to the park. Nall questioned the use of shipping containers to be used as classroom space for such events as Boy Scouts meetings and other group meetings. He said it was “ironic” that the city disapproves of the use of trailers on school property “and now we are putting trailers at the Nature Center.” He also questioned the amount of development taking place at the Nature Center. “My concerns are about the overdevelopment of limited acreage. We really need to have that conversation,” Nall said, noting that the application for the shipping container classrooms included fulfilling the Nature Center’s master plan. “I hope we remember it is still a DUN

park,” Nall added. The Nature Center is undertaking a $4.75 million capital campaign that will include the construction of a 7,000-square-foot building where the current parking lot is located. The new building will include exhibit space, classrooms and community meeting space and add programming. Additional parking was created as part of the Austin Elementary School buildout in partnership with the DeKalb County School System, and a new North Woods Pavilion was recently completed as part of phase one of the master plan. Approximately $1 million has been raised so far of the $4.75 million, according to documents filed with the city. Deutsch also questioned the new eco classroom, saying it was not part of the master plan. “When I hear about the amount of building they want to do at the Nature Center, I am not happy about it,” she said. “We are losing control over that property.” She said the Nature Center does “really good work” but questioned if resi-


Examples of what an eco-classroom made from a recycled shipping container would look like were included in the Dunwoody Nature Center’s request for city funding.

dents understood its mission. In an interview, Nature Center Executive Director Alan Mothner said Nall and Deutsch had misconceptions about what is going on at the Nature Center. He said the eco classroom made from a reused shipping container is part of the Nature Center’s mission of increasing awareness about sustainability. While it is not included in the master plan, it is replacing an aging cabin that will be demolished that is part of the master plan. He added the eco classroom is not a

trailer as Nall suggested. Shipping containers are now being recycled and reused all over the country and world for housing, restaurants, offices, stores, studios and even retail centers. This reuse goes “hand in hand” with the mission of the Nature Center and its focus on sustainability, Mothner said. He added the new eco classroom, to be purchased and refurbished by a company in Norcross, is only 450 square feet out of 35 acres. “We are far from building skyscrapers,” Mothner said. “The Nature Center is not being overdeveloped.”




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Saturday, Aug. 25, 7:30 a.m. Ahimsa House, Georgia’s only nonprofit that helps human and animal victims of domestic violence, hosts its seventh annual 5K and Fun Run. The 5K starts at 7:30 a.m. Fun Run begins at 8:45 a.m. Funds support shelter, veterinary care and legal advocacy. The 5K is a Peachtree Road Race qualifier and runs through Lenox Park in Brookhaven. Dogs welcome. Free parking adjacent to the park at 1025 Lenox Park Blvd. N.E., Brookhaven. Register: ahimsahouse.org/walkwagnrun.







Wednesday, Aug. 22, 7-8 p.m. Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church presents organist Stefan Donner, of Vienna, Austria, playing works of Carl Czerny, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Schmidt. Free. 805 Mount Vernon Highway N.W., Sandy Springs. Info: holyinnocents.org/ music/friends-of-music.

Saturday, Aug. 25, 7:45 p.m. Sponsored by the Brookhaven Police Department, this second annual event supports the “Shop with a Badge” program that helps provide Christmas gifts to underprivileged children. Events begin with a tot trot glow run at 7:45 p.m. The 5K starts at 8 p.m. and a 1.5M event starts at 8:10 p.m. Murphey Candler Park, 1551 West Nancy Creek Drive N.E., Brookhaven. Register: raceroster.com/ events/2018/18054/2nd-annual-hot-pursuit-glow-run.


Sunday, Aug. 26, 3-6 p.m. The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta will hold an official launch party and torch lighting for the 2019 JCC Maccabi Games, an annual international Olympic-style event for Jewish teens. The games, to start next July, will be held in Atlanta for just the second time since they began in 1982. The launch party will feature music, sports and swimming pool activities, video game trucks and food trucks. All ages. Free. 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlmaccabi2019.org.

SUNDAY COMMUNITY CYCLE Sunday, Sept. 2, 3-4 p.m. Join Bike-Walk Dunwoody on the first Sunday of each month for a Community Bicycle Ride kicking off and ending at Village Burger on Dunwoody Village Parkway. After a pre-ride safety talk at 2:45 p.m., the group departs for a 4.5-mile loop around Dunwoody. Hang out after the ride for $1 custards, $1 discounts on beers, and post-ride socializing. All ages and abilities welcome. Helmets required. Free. 1426 Dunwoody Village Parkway, Dunwoody. Info: bikewalkdunwoody.org.


Thursday, Aug. 23, 6:30-9:30 p.m. No Solution, an award-winning blues and rock band comprised of Atlanta high school students, performs at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Picnics welcome, cash bar. Included with general admission. $10 adults, $7 ages 65+ and ages 13-18, $6 ages 3-12, ages 2 and under free. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.


Friday, Aug. 24, 6 p.m. Chattahoochee Nature Center canoe guides will lead this 2.5-hour adult-only evening paddle. Learn all about the Chattahoochee River and look for wildlife with naturalists. When the trip is done, roast marshmallows over a campfire. Ages 21+. $35; $30 CNC members. 135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.

Friday, Aug. 24, 6 p.m. Leadership Sandy Springs opens its free outdoor movie series with the animated Disney film “Coco” and premovie activities celebrating Mexican culture as part of the inaugural season of the Performing Arts Center at City Springs. Children enrolled in Sandy Springs’ Los Ninos Primero dance program and the Mariachi Los Arrieros band of Atlanta are scheduled to perform. A fullsize Day of the Dead Altar will be on display. Games, food trucks, picnics welcome. City Springs Center Lawn, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info: leadershipsandysprings.org/events/movies-by-moonlight or 404-2569091.


Tuesday, Aug. 26, 4-5 p.m. Aug. 28 is Read Comics In Public Day. Comics lovers of all ages are invited to the Northside Branch Library to create magnets using comic art. Color copies will be made of comic art in the library’s collection or bring your own art. Free. 3295 Northside Parkway, N.W., Buckhead. Info: afpls.org/northside-branch.

AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 17




Ongoing Choral Guild of Atlanta, a group of volunteer singers who connect with the community through music, invites singers of all voice parts to audition for the guild’s 79th season. To schedule an audition, send an email to info@cgatl.org or call 404-223-6362. Info: cgatl.org.


Wednesday, Aug. 22, 6:30-9 p.m. Join the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber’s Health and Well-Being Council and Sandy Springs businesses at the Aston City Springs Clubhouse for an evening of food from area restaurants, wine from Total Wine & More and giveaways. Learn about the services local businesses provide. Free. 6400 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. RSVP required. Info: business.sandyspringsperimeterchamber.com/events.


Wednesday, Aug. 22, 7 p.m. The Buckhead Heritage Society revisits the Limelight nightclub in a program featuring Guy D’Alema, house photographer for Limelight, which operated in Buckhead from 1980-87 and was often referred to as the “Studio 54 of the South.” D’Alema will project photos from his recent book, “LIMELIGHT … in a sixtieth of a second.” Disco duds welcome, with special recognition awarded to the best dressed individuals and couples. $10 members; $20 nonmembers. Sanctuary Nightclub, 3209 Paces Ferry Place, Buckhead. Register: buckheadheritage.com.



Sunday, Aug. 26, 10-11 a.m. Explore the spiritual dimensions of A. A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” series from a Christian perspective at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. Free. Register for a Winnie the Pooh Picnic at the church at 12:15 p.m. and for a 1:30 p.m. tour of the Winnie the Pooh exhibit at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, with behind-the-scenes stories from docents. Children welcome. Nursery available during the forum. Picnic and tour are $15 each. 3180 Peachtree Road N.E., Buckhead. Info: prumc.org/events. Or Leslie Watkins at lesliew@prumc.org.





AUGUST 25, 2018


p 34

Tasty Tacos Story p 22

Ongoing Hundreds of volunteers are needed for the 33rd annual Sandy Springs Festival, a Sept. 22-23 event presented by Heritage Sandy Springs. Individuals and groups (adult and youth) are needed Sept. 21-23 to set up, serve as greeters, sell beverages, register runners at the 10K/5K, and to fill other needs. Info: sandyspringsfestival.com. Email hglass@heritagesandysprings.org or call 404-8519111 x6.



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Special exhibits mark 50 years of teaching art in Chastain Park BY JUDITH SCHONBAK Fifty years ago, a former almshouse in Chastain Park transformed into a center where people of any age and skill level could learn how to make art. Now the Chastain Arts Center and Gallery is celebrating its golden anniversary with special exhibits while continuing to teach painting, jewelry-making, potteryfiring and more. It’s Atlanta’s oldest community arts center, according to the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “This place has a special atmosphere,” said Karen Lowe, the facility manager and curator at the 135 West Wieuca Road N.W. arts center since 2010. “Students come here to begin art and to continue their art. We have students who have been coming almost since it opened, and there are students who have become professional artists and who return regularly to sharpen their skills and to enjoy the camaraderie of other artists.” The center has several longtime instructors, too. Dolores Kennedy is one of them. A Brookhaven resident and graduate of the former Atlanta College of Art, she’s been teaching painting and related subjects at the center for 45 years. Kennedy recalls signing up to teach at the center when the Buckhead area was a


Anu Sipp, 7, learns “Doodling as a Fine Art” from Meta Cooper, the center’s summer art instruction coordinator.

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Top, Carol Santos, a Sandy Springs resident and artist, and daughter Marina, 10, join in an outdoor painting contest during the Chastain Art Center’s 50th anniversary celebration Aug. 11. Left, a palette awaits a painter’s brush.

sleepy and remote bedroom community to Atlanta. She was one of only three instructors, and the only painter; the others were a potter and a weaver. “It was up to me to suggest classes and I chose beginning watercolor and basic drawing,” she says. In those days, the center had no air conditioning in the summer, and heat in the winter came from old steam radiators. The lack of basic comforts were part of the building’s history as one of two racially segregated almshouses — county homes for seniors and people with disabilities who were poor — built near each other in

1901 to 1911, before Chastain Park existed. The other, far grander almshouse is now the Galloway School’s signature Gresham Building. Both Neo-Classical buildings were designed by Thomas Henry Morgan, an architect whose firm was behind many of Atlanta’s civic and educational buildings — including Agnes Scott College’s main building — and early skyscrapers, according to the New Georgia Encyclopedia. In 1968, the city of Atlanta bought the almshouse, shut it down and turned it into the arts center. Ten years later, a former caretaker’s outbuilding in the rear was turned into the gallery and connected to the main building. Today, the center is busy with dozens

AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 19


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Perimeter North Medical Associates is proud to serve the families throughout the Atlanta area. Offering a full range of family medicine and endocrinology services, our experienced physicians offer attentive, compassionate care to keep you and your family happy and healthy at all stages of life. We accept most insurance plans and offer same-day appointments for sick visits.

Our Services Include: • Physical exams & wellness care for men, women & children • Care for chronic illness, including diabetes, hormone and thyroid disorders Top, the members of Hicks With Picks — from left, Mike Nugent, Jeff Pore and Mary Gowing — play on the Chastain Arts Center porch during its Aug. 11 50th anniversary celebration.

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of courses. The fall schedule begins Sept. 4 with more than 60 classes in the visual arts. The majority are 10-week sessions for adults, and there are classes for children, pre-teens and teens. The classes range from beginning painting and drawing to advanced courses in painting and composition, as well as a full schedule of pottery classes, jewelry making, printmaking and others. The center is celebrating its anniversary with several shows and events, including the two-part “Fifty-Fifty” exhibit, which showcases the works of the center’s instructors and students. The first part, “Vessels,” features the work of past and present Chastain instructors in pottery and jewelry making and their interpretation of a vessel. On display in the gift shop area, the show ends Aug. 18. The second part presents 50 works in a variety of mediums by current Chastain Arts Center students. The show, also in the gift shop space, opens Sept. 7 and runs until Nov. 8. On Aug. 11, the center celebrated its official 50th birthday with public festivities on the grounds. The event included outdoor painting, food, live music — and plenty of art. A major exhibit, “The Chastain Experiment,” was unveiled in the art gallery during the Aug. 11 event. It features the work of 10 of the center’s artist-instructors. The large-scale works — seven feet by eight feet — were created directly on the gallery walls. The art is on display through Sept. 8, then the works will be scrubbed off or painted over. “Even though these are ephemeral paintings, every artist created a significant piece of art,” said Lowe. And for those who would like to learn more about Chastain Arts Center itself, there’s plenty more of that on display, too. Premiered at the celebration was a video about the center’s history, told through

more than 50 interviews with past and present instructors, students and employees. Shown on a large screen in the gift shop, it will run for several months. For more information about the center, see ocaatlanta.com/chastain.

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24 AWARDS FOR EDITORIAL EXCELLENCE General Excellence / 2 awards


e’re honored that Reporter Newspapers has won 24 awards in its division in the Georgia Press Association’s 2018 and 2017 Better Newspaper Competitions, which are judged by newspaper professionals from around the country.

Photography /4 awards Lifestyle Column /5 awards Layout & Design /3 awards Local News Coverage / 3 awards Newspaper Website / 2 awards Business Writing / 2 awards

Thank you to our readers, advertisers and peers who support our mission of providing trusted, hyperlocal community journalism.

Enterprise Writing Special Issue Religion Writing

The #1 preferred source for local news and information!* MAY 12 - 25, 2017• VOL. 8 — NO.

MAY 26 - JUNE 8, 2017 • VOL. 11— NO. 11


Sandy Springs Reporter


Perimeter Business

► New law is a boost to local beer, whiskey crafters PAGE 4 ► Cuban sandwich shop mixes tastiness with tenacity PAGE 5

Dawn of a new church



Dunwoody Reporter




► Eyed for trails, pipeline routes are serious business

Current City Hall site City proposes targeted for redevelopment $106 million

Little-known vet memorials | 8


The city is proposing a $106 million operating budget for fiscal year 2018, an increase of about a half-percent over the current year, officials said at a May 23

OUT & ABOUT Lantern Parade will light up the Hooch

Page 20 buys condos, displaces tenants

Page 16



Chairperson, Georgia Public Broadcasting

See Commentary, Page 14


OUT & ABOUT Storyteller ‘Rosie the Riveter’ comes to town Page 19


From documentaries on diversity and inclusion to community partnerships on autism awareness, GPB is an educational lifeline to millions of Georgia students, teachers and residents.






on ► MARTA’s CEO speaks response to I-85 disaster PAGE 5

► ‘The good, the bad the ugly’ of 2017 legislative session



City’s new medical center wants to grow

Mary Hall Freedom House, a nonprofit that helps women with homelessness and addiction issues, has bought 33 units of a Sandy Springs condominium complex for use as transitional housing and possible redevelopment into a larger facility or headquarters. One of the two dozen tenants currently renting those condo units is complaining about the “irony” of losing her home to an organization that helps the homeless. See HOMELESSNESS on page 22

I want to see a competition that celebrates our everyday Home Kitchen challenges. ... The Chairman would be the Original Iron Chef’s Mother-in-Law. Prizes are a month’s supply of lasagna and a spa weekend. A chef wins if her kids eat her food. Robin’s Nest, page 15

See CURRENT on page 22

DeKalb CEO: EMS response time improves BY DYANA BAGBY


Ambulance response times in the city are improving after changes were made by the private company contracted by DeKalb County to provide the emergency service, including hiring more staff, according to county officials. The City Council in December raised serious concerns with the DeKalb Fire & Rescue chief and the regional director of American Medical Response over ambulance response times in the city, noting there were numerous instances of ambuSee DEKALB on page 13


on April 8 as part Corporate Boulevard page 19. of Peachtree Creek around For more photos, see a bank of the north fork “Sweep the Hooch” event. Volunteers clean up Riverkeeper’s annual of the Chattahoochee

EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR Passing on her culinary passion Page 27

I believe [President Trump] is strong enough to force Congress to break through this nonsense and get something done. DAVID PERDUE U. S. Senator

See PERDUE, page 21.

OUT & ABOUT Get grounded with Earth Day events Page 6

11 — NO. 5


Glowing for a cause

BY DYANA BAGBY spapers.net dyanabagby@reporternew

A developer plans to build two residential towers and an office tower at Perimeter Center East, where Dunwoody City Hall now is located. Representatives from North Carolina-based Grubb Properties described their proposal, which is still in the concept stage, to the board of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association on May 7. The company owns about 19.5 acres in Perimeter Center East, with three mid-rise office buildings, one of which serves as City Hall. The property is behind the Ravinia complex off Ashford-Dunwoody Road. The city is relocating to a new City Hall

16, 2017 • VOL.

Buckhead Reporter


BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.n et

percent decline. The police department would get a budget boost of more than 9 percent to about $22.8 million. Part of that is a salAbove, a a bird’s eye view of the proposed redevelopment in ary increase to remain competitive as Perimeter Center East includes, residential towers and a new office to the left, two new tower. In the State Patrol pay boost is attracting offiremain and have retail on the ground center are two current mid-rise office buildings that would floor. To the right are two new apartment Inset, an illustration of what the buildings. cers away from the department, city offistreetscape might look like in the development. cials said. The boost also includes hiring

EXCEPTIO 11 See CITY on pageNAL EDUCATOR ss literature Teaching Homelessne through life nonprofit


Picking up at Peachtree Creek



VOL. 9 — NO. 8

Brookhaven Reporter


FY2018 budget

home of St. Joseph Maronite to the first Mass, held Sunday, May 14, at the new Rev. Dominique Hanna welcomes his congregation the former building of Apostles St. Joseph moved from an Atlanta location into Catholic Church at Glenridge and Hammond drives. attended St. Joseph’s debut. financial turmoil. More than 400 parishioners Church, a Lutheran congregation that closed amid

Pages 18-19

APRIL 14 - 27, 2017 •

► Buckhead company keeps ‘quirky’ old-school sodas fizzing

City Council meeting. The budget will take effect July 1. The council will hold public hearings on the budget on June 6 and June 20. The budget projects revenues of about $92 million, with money from a reserve fund balancing the expenditures. The revenue projection is about 1 percent higher than fiscal 2017. While most revenue sources are projected to increase, property taxes are expected to show a 2.2

EDUCATION Top of the Class






► Historic locomotive makes tracks to Buckhead PAGE 4 SPECIAL SECTIO N | P22-27

Buckhead ma ster plan to allow more input on big ideas

Wearing glow necklaces and Garden Hills shirts with in the Garden Hills/Pe second annual Family reflective shoeprints, adults, Flashlight Fun achtree Park kids of all ages, Run, held Sunday Friends Group strollers and PHOTO BY volunteers, PHIL MOSIER dogs take benefits Childre evening, Feb. 26. The nearly 1-mile to the streets of n’s Healthcare race, organiz of Atlanta. More pictures, page ed by 18.►




Classroom gam from math to es, Shakespeare

to the April 18 As the days tick down the open 6th Conspecial election to fill each of the 18 cangressional District seat, furiousPage are trying 28 didates in the large field from the pack. ly to separate themselves was at opportunity public The latest forum hosted by the April 9 candidate rs Association the Dunwoody Homeowne at Dunwoody High and Dunwoody Crier early voting in School. Voters are already seat that had been the election to fill the Tom Price, who reheld by Republican

See 6TH on page 18

reporternewspa pers.net


of Atlanta is seekChildren’s Healthcare along the Northing to have 11.4 acres into the city of east Expressway annexed 8-story office Brookhaven for a proposed massive expansion of building as part of a at North Druid Hills its new 45-acre campus includes buyRoad and I-85. The expansion ing out a church. city officials say is It’s just part of what redevelopment commajor medical-related to the Execuing after years of anticipation tive Park area. request with annexation the filed CHOA is asking for a spethe city on April 5. It also for some of the propcial land-use permit the 8-story, 340,000erty in order to build on land currently square-foot building CHOA also wants zoned only for five stories. to build a parking deck. SLUP requests are The annexation and up by the Planning expected to be taken Council in June. Commission and City SLUP is approved “If the annexation and See CITY on page 20

6th District hopefuls squareEXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR off in debate


► New prog ressive attracts activ group ists


[Students need] A very special more ‘reallife’ education scenarios: finan es, investing, c- performance of budgeting. A lot of ‘The kids graduate Wizard of Oz’ and don’t know how to balan ce a checkbook, Page but know how 6 to do some math problem with only symbols.”

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@rep orternewspape rs.net The Buckh ead master plan will keep on planning for a while. A Feb. 27 community meeting for the “BUCKHEAD REdeFINED” scheduled to plan was be the last, but now input will continue into April to hash out some controversial ideas, said Eric Bosma lead consul n of tant Kimley -Horn. Those clude ideas inlarge and small for Buckhead’s commercial core, from a new terchange to Ga. 400 ina neighborhood trail loop. A crowd of about 100 at the Atlant Internationa a l School receive ing, 90-min d a sprawlute presen tation that rowed some narearlier ideas, others, and elaborated introduced still more concepts, all new while mingli ng short- and long-term plans. Several of its recommende steps” are alread d “first y underway, ing the PATH4 like finish00 trail along Ga. 400; some See BUCKHEAD on page 16

Massell: Buckhead getting bigger busier, wealth , ier




Residents grad on preparing e schools students for careers and civic life See COMMUNITY SURVEY Page 14

*Source: independent reader survey

www.ReporterNewspapers.net ■ Published by Springs Publishing LLC


Buckhead is big, busy and wealthy. And by 2020, it’ll be even bigger, wealthier. busier and So said Buckhe ad Coalition Sam Massel president l in his annual “State of the Community” address Feb. 23 at the City Club of Buckhe ad, hosted by the Buckhead Business Associa tion. Massell listed branding points” several “bragging and projecting the the neighborhood booms in ’s population, real estate See MASSELL on page 17

AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018

Classifieds | 21


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55+ Condo for Lease or Lease/Purchase – Renovated condo in Sandy Springs for 55+ active adults. $2495 per month includes all utilities, housekeeping plus more. Contact Kim at 404-4148307 or kim@dunwoodybrokers.com. Lease or lease to own options.

Certified Nursing Assistant – Caregiver for your love ones. Flexible & Dependable. References Available. Call 404-397-9429.

Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576.

Part-Time Teacher - Our Lady of the Assumption Preschool is seeking a parttime teacher for a five day position, 8:15-1:15. If you are interested in working in a warm environment with wonderful children, please contact Debbie Kehoe at dkehoe@olachurch.org

Single Office for Rent – Located in Class A space in Sandy Springs overlooking Buckhead. Access to 400/285. Covered parking, Fitness Center and Cafeteria. Access to Break room, Conference room and Storage room. Call Jonathan at 404-983-1279.

CEMETERY PLOTS Arlington Memorial Park – Section F. Two side by side plots. Single $2000 - Both $3500. Call 1-706-354-8312.

Matthew’s Handy Services – Small jobs & chores are my specialties! Shelves, organizers, carpentry, painting, etc. Call 404-547-2079 or email: mwarren8328@gmail.com Property Home Tending by Charles – “On the market or just Away.” Regular inspections of unoccupied property. Call 404-229-0490.


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22 | Community

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Crim withdraws Dunwoody Village restaurant plan Crim and Associates, developer of the property at 5419 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road in the Dunwoody Village Overlay, has withdrawn its request for a special land use permit to build a contemporary restaurant building on the site. The withdrawal was announced at the city’s Aug. 14 Planning Commission meeting. City officials said the withdrawal was requested to give the city time to determine what it wants for the overlay. The city’s Community Development department is requesting major changes to the overlay be made, including essentially erasing the architectural style commonly referred to as the “Williamsburg” style. The request went before the Planning Commission for the second time Aug. 14. The proposed changes are being made at the request of the City Council after members say they have received numerous emails and requests from residents wanting to see more modern architecture in what is considered the “heart” of the city. Council members say they also hear complaints from property and business owners about the restrictions. Crim and Associates wants to construct a building with a flat roof with large windows for a restaurant tenant. Both features are not currently allowed in the overlay. The cultural debate surrounding the overlay has pitted people who prefer the traditional, unique look of Dunwoody Village against those seeking sleeker architecture they say will bring in trendier businesses. The Planning Commission deferred until next month taking a vote on the proposed changes to the Overlay. The deferral was made after the city on Aug. 13 amended an ordinance prohibiting the Planning Commission from asking for more than one deferral on an applicant’s request. --Dyana Bagby

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Developer backs off rental units in Perimeter Center project


Andrew Rosti of Grubb Properties, standing at right, explains to members of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association there will be no rental multifamily use units at its proposed mixed-use development on 20 acres at Perimeter Center East.

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A developer has relented to resident concerns and will now seek rezoning for a proposed mixed-use project that only has for-sale units and no apartments. Grubb Properties is bringing back to the city next month a slightly revised version of its proposed mixed-use development on approximately 20 acres on Perimeter Center East, where Dunwoody City Hall was formerly located. The developer withdrew earlier its proposed plans earlier this year after the City Council balked at density and raised traffic concerns. Original plans for the proposed project included five residential towers with 1,200 apartments and condos, a 19-story office tower and several parking decks for the project. At the Dunwoody Homeowners Association Aug. 5 meeting, representatives from Grubb Properties said the company was lowering residential units from the originally proposed 1,200 to 900 and that all 900 would be sold as condos. Four residential buildings at approximately 14 stories are being proposed. By lowering the number of residential units, impact on DeKalb Schools would also shrink, Andrew Rosti of Grubb Properties said at the DHA meeting. Estimates are for about 45 school-aged children living at the site. The project would likely take about a decade to complete build out, Rosti added. “Most importantly, there are no rental multifamily units,” Rosti said. Rosti said the decision was made after feedback from city staff, DHA members and other community members that for-rent apartments are “not a desired use” in the city at this time. DHA President Adrienne Duncan thanked Rosti and Grubb for the changes, noting that the proposed apartments were a “big sticky wicket.” Grubb plans to submit its rezoning request Sept. 5. There is no definite timeline on when the project would start if it is approved by the city, Rosti said. With for-sale units only, the proposed project’s financing is “completely at the whims of the market,” he said. The specific sizes and designs of the residential buildings depend on what the market wants, he said. If the market supports housing for those 55 and older, for example, the project would make way for one building to support this demographic. Ground won’t be broken until 50 percent of the units in the first residential tower to be built are sold. What that threshold is remains unknown at this stage, Rosti said. Original plans for the mixed-use development included phased construction of the entire project over 10 to 15 years. “We want to be as responsive to the market as possible,” he said, of not having plans completely defined. Traffic remains a concern of some residents, but Rosti said the overall impact on the area will be lessened from the original plans due to lowering the number of residential units. The new plans also allow for more green space in the development, including a 3-acre park at the center of the project. Connections to area trails as well as to the Dunwoody MARTA station and Perimeter Mall are included in the proposed development, much as they are in Grubb’s original plans. DUN

AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018

Public Safety | 23


Police Blotter / Dunwoody From Dunwoody Police reports dated Aug. 5 through Aug. 12. The following information was pulled from Dunwoody’s Police-2-Citizen website.


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 5, in the morning, two men were arrested and accused of shoplifting and a wanted woman was located. 5300 block of Roberts Drive — On Aug.

5, in the afternoon, two incidents were reported of items stolen from a vehicle. 4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 5, in the evening, items were reported missing from a car. 4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 5, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting. 2200 block of Dunwoody Crossing —

100 block of Perimeter Center West —

On Aug. 7, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting. 4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 7, in the evening, two men were arrested and accused of shoplifting. 4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 7, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

Aug. 8, in the evening, a shoplifting incident was reported. 4500

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 8, in the evening, a shoplifting incident was reported.


in the early morning, four men were arrested on larceny changes. block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 9, at noon, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

Aug. 6, in the afternoon, items were stolen from a vehicle.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 9, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

1200 block of Hammond Drive — On



Aug. 6, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 9, in the afternoon, items were stolen from a car.



4500 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody

Road — On Aug. 6, at night, a shoplifting incident was reported.

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block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 6, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

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On Aug. 7, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

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block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 9, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.


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