County by county news for Saturday


County by county news for Saturday


Powder Springs makes annual appointments

Powder Springs City Council has made appointments and released Friday to the AJC the payments they received during the last calendar year: Dawn Davis, city clerk at $69,000; Richard Calhoun of Gregory, Doyle, Calhoun and Rogers, city attorney at $124,100; Morgan Keegan and Co., fiscal agent at $0; Mauldin and Jenkins, auditor at $35,000; SAFEbuilt as building inspector at $60,570 and Croy Engineering as city engineer at $918,004.

Croy also received $172,809 as the city’s program manager and SAFEbuilt an extra $40,416 for code enforcement services. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Kennesaw looking for feedback on park plan

Kennesaw is looking for feedback on plans for 42-acre Swift-Cantrell Park off Old Highway 41. The park has a walking trail, play area, dog park and new $1.8 million skate park. A master plan proposes performing arts, recreation and aquatic centers. A $9 million bond for the park was approved in 2004. Survey at Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Consultants hired for Smyrna master plan

Smyrna’s City Council this week approved paying a consulting company $140,000 to develop a 10-year master plan for the city. Market Street Services, Inc. was the lowest of seven bids the city received.

The company will work with a 25-member steering committee, citizens and the business community for nine months to come up with a vision for Smyrna’s future. Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Bluebird Trail tours begin Thursday

“Bluebird Trail Walk and Talk Tours” will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 10 and 22 and March 8 at Green Meadows Preserve Park, 3780 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs.

Twenty-five bluebird nest boxes have been sponsored and placed along the 2.3-mile Bluebird Trail within the 112 acres of open pasture, meadows and trees to help replenish the dwindling bluebird population.

Information: Jim Bearden, 404-202-8755. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Smyrna Library to host mystery event

The Friends of Smyrna Library and the Sisters in Crime Atlanta Chapter group will hold a festival 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday for readers and writers of southern mystery novels.

The 14th annual event at the Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Circle will feature keynote speaker Tamar Meyers and eight other suspense writers. Admission is $30. Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Hospital to offer estate planning class

The Foundation of Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna, 3949 S. Cobb Drive S.E., will offer a free class on “Estate Planning 101” at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the hospital cafeteria.

Attorney Amy Yarkoni, who specializes in estate planning, probate and estate administration, will explain terminology and share tips to determine which type of planning may be right for the circumstances. Registration required.

Information: 770-436-3162, ext. 3109, or in the classes and events section. Arlinda Smith Broady


Openings on Norcross citizen boards

Norcross is looking for volunteers to serve on several citizen boards to help create and execute the city’s vision.

Positions available on the Norcross Tree Board, Housing Authority, Elections Board, Parks and Greenspace and Sustainable Norcross. Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Co-op’s annual plant sale taking orders

The Gwinnett Cooperative Extension Service is taking plant sale orders through March 11. Order pickup 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 19 at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds. Information:, 678-377-4010 or go to the office, suite 400, 750 South Perry St, Lawrenceville. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Last chance for input on Norcross plan

Norcross hosts an open house for the final draft of its comprehensive plan 6:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 6 at Norcross Community Center, 10 College St. Changes: a development map, city goals and new community work program. This is the last chance for updates. Citizen input will be considered in the final revision submitted to the Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Draft available for review in February at Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Animal shelter hours changing

Beginning Sunday, the Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Center will be closed on Sundays and Mondays with new extended weekday hours for adoptions, rescues, and reclaims. For a complete list of hours visit Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Suwanee run for love or chocolate Feb. 8

There’s a little extra incentive for runners in the Suwanee Sweetheart Sprint, the Rotary Club of Buford/North Gwinnett’s annual fundraiser. There will be chocolate at the finish line and in the race bags. If that’s not enough incentive to run the 3.1-mile course, the event has been certified as a Peachtree Road Race qualifier. Race begins at 9 a.m. Feb. 8 at Suwanee City Hall, 330 Town Center Ave. Register at Registration: $25/single, $40 couple through Feb. 3; Race-day, $30/single, $50/couple.

Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Suwanee looking for Art on a Limb artists

Suwanee seeks artists for the 2014 Art on a Limb program to commemorate the 10th year of the city’s finders-keepers, art-in-nature program.

Since 2005, Suwanee has hidden two pieces of original artwork daily throughout the month of May along the Suwanee Creek Greenway and at other parks to celebrate the arts and natural beauty of the area. Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Cherokee Chamber honors first citizen

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce bestowed its 39th First Citizen of Cherokee County honor on civic volunteer Joan McFather.

McFather, a Canton resident ad retired English teacher from Cherokee High School, has been a longtime volunteer for such groups as Canton First United Methodist Church and the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce. The award, which recognizes meritorious service to the community, was announced at the chamber’s annual meeting on Thursday. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Reinhardt gets boost from Georgia Power

Georgia Power has donated $4,000 toward the Reinhardt University A DAY campaign, an annual fundraiser designed to provide support for Cherokee County students attending Reinhardt, by funding a grant program that can provide as much as $8,000 over four years. This year’s goal is $110,000 with $69,000 raised to date. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Cherokee spelling champ does it again

Mill Creek Middle School student Sathvika Narasimhan won the Cherokee County Spellig Bee title for the second consecutive year Thursday night.

The sixth-grader took top honors in 2013 as a fifth-grade student at Little River Elementary. Narasimhan, who spelled “boodle” and “stethoscope” correctly, will now compete in the district bee March 1 in Cobb County, along with the second and third-place Cherokee County winners. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Library book sale wraps today

The Friends of Cherokee County Public Library will wrap up the group’s first used book sale of the year from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the RT Jones Memorial Library, 116 Brown Industrial Parkway, Canton.

The group says thousands of used paperback and hardbacks will be offered, along with used audio and video products, including VHS tapes. The event is free. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Forsyth out-of-district student deadline near

Forsyth County Schools officials say the deadline for students wishing to attend schools outside their attendance districts to submit paperwork is Friday.

Officials say such forms are needed in several cases, including when students are moving from elementary to middle or middle to high school and request a school other than their “home school.” Students with already-approved requests don’t need to fill out another each year. More info:  Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Holly Springs offers citizen police academy

The city of Holly Springs is accepting applications for its upcoming Citizens Police Academy.

The six-session coursey beginning Feb. 3 will focus on a number of aspects of law enforcement, including criminal investigations and law enforcement history.

Deadline: Tuesday. Applicants must pass a background check.

Iinformation:  Mark Woolsey for the AJC


MARTA hosts bus driver recruiting event

A recruiting session for potential MARTA bus drivers is 8:30 a.m. Friday at Adamsville Regional Health Center, 3700 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SW.

Attendees may speak with MARTA human resources about the full-time positions. Applicants must create a profile with and complete a customer service assessment by noon Wednesday .

Information: or 404-613-6381. Kent A. Miles

Students gather for ethics workshop

Metro Atlanta students and educators gathered Friday at Georgia Tech for a workshop on ethics and leadership.

The event, hosted by the West Point Society of Atlanta, included breakout sessions teaching how to identify and respond to challenging situations.

Featuring retired Army Maj. Gen. Ronald Johnson as its keynote speaker, the conference emphasized ethics as a key to strong leadership for the future of the nation. Mark Niesse

Moss to leave Cascade United Methodist

The Rev. Marvin A. Moss, senior pastor of Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta, is leaving to take the helm of Salem United Methodist Church in Harlem.

Moss, has served as Cascade’s senior pastor for nearly eight years. The move was announced by the Rev. Coy Hinton, Atlanta-College Park District superintendent for the United Methodist Church.

Moss’ appointment takes effect in June during the United Methodist Church’s annual conference. Shelia M. Poole

Author Rob-Dover to discuss her book

Author Kristina Robb-Dover will discuss and sign copies of her book, “Grace Sticks: The Bumper Sticker Gospel for the Restless,” 1 p.m. Feb. 1 at the East Atlanta branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, 400 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta.

The event is free and open to the public. Reservations required for groups of five or more.

Information: 404-730-5438. Kent A. Miles for the AJC


CSD seeks architect for school projects

City Schools Decatur began this week advertising for an architect to design additions to Renfroe Middle and Decatur High Schools.

Superintendent Phyllis Edwards anticipates it’ll take a month of advertising to hire a firm, then another six months — including four community sessions — before the drawings are complete.

Total costs for both architectural plans and the beginning of classroom construction at Decatur High, is $17.5 million, to be covered by COPS (Certificate of Participation) funding. Bill Banks for the AJC

LifeLine offers free spay/neuters

LifeLine announces SNIP DeKalb (Spay Neuter Impact Program), which will provide free spay/neuters, along with free vaccinations, for DeKalb County pet owners needing financial assistance.

Information: or contact the DeKalb County Animal Services shelter.

Upon approval pplicants will receive a voucher for a free spay/neuter and instructions in the mail. Arlinda Smith Broady

Clarkston updating town plans

Clarkston is making plans to update a decade-old blueprint for its downtown.

The $80,000 Livable Centers Initiative Grant will help revitalize its town center area to include mixed-income housing and other development, walkability and transportation.

Residents and business owners will be invited to give input at public meetings that have not yet been set. Updates at April Hunt

Registration open for adult softball

DeKalb County parks is accepting registration through Feb. 21 at its athletic offices, 4898 LaVista Road, Tucker, for a spring adult softball league at all county recreation centers.

Cost is $420 per team, plus a $20 fee for non-county residents, for a 10-game season that begins in March. Participants must be 35 or older.

Information: 770-414-2113. April Hunt

Brookhaven building sidewalks

Crews have begun building a new sidewalk on Ashford Dunwoody Road in Brookhaven as part of the city’s $900,000 effort for walkways.

Construction will take several weeks, depending on weather, for the sidewalk between Stratfield Drive and Humility Lane. The city set aside $400,000 in its 2013 budget and plans to spend $500,000 this year on similar projects.

Information: April Hunt

Residents urged to sign up for CodeRED

With severe weather often coming on quickly, DeKalb County residents are urged to sign up for the county’s high-speed notification system, CodeRED.

This emergency notification system has the ability to quickly deliver time-sensitive messages via voice, email, and text during emergency situations or disasters.

To sign up, go to and follow the link to the CodeRED Community Notification Enrollment page or call 770-270-0413 8 5 p.m. weekdays. Arlinda Smith Broady


Fayette elections board has opening

The Fayette County Board of Elections is accepting applications for one new member.

The three-person board meets monthly; members are appointed to four-year terms to oversee primaries and elections.

Contact or 770-305-5102 before Feb. 14. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Fulton approves inmate housing contract

Fulton County may head into a February court hearing on conditions at its jail with no inmates sleeping on the floor.

The Board of Commissioners Wednesday approved contracts with Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas and Gwinnett counties to house up to 265 inmates. The move will mean about 140 inmates that have been sleeping on the floor at Fulton’s Rice Street jail will have better accommodations while the county replaces faulty cell locks.

The jail has been under the supervision of a U.S. District Court judge since 2006. Though county officials say they have made many improvements, the Southern Center for Human Rights recently asked the court to hold Fulton officials in contempt because of continued overcrowding. A hearing is set for Feb. 6. David Wickert

Community grants available in Clayton

The Clayton County Community Development Department is taking 2014 applications for Community Development Block Grant, Emergency Solutions Grant, and HOME Investment Partnership.

Deadline to submit your application is 4 p.m. Friday. Information: Tammy Joyner

Fayette kindergarten registration begins

Fayette County parents who want to register their children for fall kindergarten can do so starting Monday.

Forms are available at using the Welcome Center link under “Departments.” Documents must be brought to the Welcome Center at 205 Lafayette Ave. in Fayetteville. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Proposed school calendar up for review

The Henry County Board of Education has released its proposed 2014-15 student calendar for a 30-day public review and comment period.

The calendar is expected to be approved at next month’s regular board meeting.

Information: Monroe Roark for the AJC

Henry town hall meeting today

Henry County Commissioner Bruce Holmes’ first town hall meeting of 2014 is scheduled for 9 a.m. today at the Fairview Recreation Center, 35 Austin Road, Stockbridge.

It will feature a State of the County address by commission chairman Tommy Smith and a discussion of the housing market by a real estate expert.

Information: Monroe Roark for the AJC

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