County by county news for Saturday


Man, 65, charged with killing woman in Marietta

A 65-year-old Cobb County man was charged with homicide and aggravated assault after calling 911 Thursday night and allegedly indicating he had fatally shot his roommate.

Dennis Robert Bredar was being held Friday without bond at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center, according to police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce.

Pierce said the killing of Rhonda Callihan, 49, occurred around 7:45 p.m. on Jamerson Forrest Circle in Marietta. Callihan was found dead inside the home. Police said they found Bredar sitting in a chair on the front porch. David Ibata

YMCA holds soccer games this weekend The McCleskey-East Cobb YMCA has scheduled 22 soccer games from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at a soccer park opening today off Fairground Street and Cobb Parkway in Marietta. Adult soccer will be 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The city’s $1.8 million renovation of Custer Park includes two soccer fields. Marietta partnered with the YMCA to run the soccer program. Marietta residents will get a discount. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Powers Ferry students to receive books As students are settling into a new school year, the national We Give Books ReadMobile Tour is setting out to share the love of reading and power of giving with students in Cobb County. New children’s books are slated to be delivered to Powers Ferry Elementary in Marietta on Tuesday. Nationwide, students from 50 schools are receiving books as part of the tour. The books are provided by the Pearson Foundation and the Molina Foundation. Nancy Badertscher

Marietta to look at redistricting map The Marietta City Council on Wednesday will take a first look at a proposed redistricting map for the city’s seven wards. Redistricting committee head Johnny Sinclair said the public will have a chance to weigh in on the map at several hearings before a council vote. The map has Councilman Anthony Coleman’s ward five as the majority-minority district that is required by federal law. Changes will go into effect in 2013. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Kayla Taylor Jazz performs free today Kayla Taylor Jazz will perform at 8 p.m. today at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton, as a part of the Summer Candlelite Concert series by the South Cobb Arts Alliance.Lawn seating is free, but tables for four are $50.Information:,,, 770-819-3285. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Methodists to hold Festival of Music The Due West United Methodist Church 14th Annual Festival of Music will begin at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton. Open to the community, this concert will include Acworth, Bascom, Faith, Kennesaw, McEachern and St. Andrews United Methodist Churches. Tables for six are $50, but other seating is free. Information: or 770-427-3835. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Chamber president to retire at end of year

Police seek recruits at job fair today

The Gwinnett County Police Department will be hosting a job fair for the position of police officer trainee ($35,023 salary) and senior police officer ($37,648 salary).

The fair will take place at the Gwinnett County Police Training Center located at 854 Winder Highway, Lawrenceville today between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Those who can’t attend are encouraged to apply online at Andria Simmons

Fifty Shades of Swing at Aurora today

Aurora Theatre is hosting “Fifty Shades of Swing” at today at 8 p.m. in Lawrenceville featuring Metro Jazz Club, a 17-piece band led by jazz saxophonist, Gary Dalton. Tickets are $18; $5 discount for advance ticket purchase at Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Lawrenceville fall festival today

The Lawrenceville business community is sponsoring the 4th annual “Fair on the Square” today from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse Grounds, 185 Crogan Street in Lawrenceville. Proceeds will benefit Central Gwinnett Cluster Foundation. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Gwinnett sponsoring bargain movie matinee

Gwinnett is inviting seniors age 50 and older to a bargain matinee 3 p.m. Monday at Bethesda Park Senior Center, 225 Bethesda Church Rd. in Lawrenceville. Only $2 per person. Preregistration required. Call 678-277-0179 for movie selection and registration. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

More senior fun Monday evening

Gwinnett invites seniors age 50 and older to pizza and bingo 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday at Bethesda Park Senior Center, 225 Bethesda Church Rd. in Lawrenceville. $5 per person. Preregistration required by Sept. 9 by calling 678-277-0179 or Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Adopt-a-Road looking for volunteers

Help keep Gwinnett roads tidy by volunteering to clean up trash and debris as part of Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful. Volunteers register as teams and choose a stretch of road with a commitment to four cleanups a year. Call 770-822-5187 or visit Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce President Jim Maran will retire at the end of the year, the chamber announced Friday.

Maran has served as president and chief executive officer since 2003. Under his leadership the business organization has focused on job creation, quality of life, diversity and other issues.

The chamber said it has not determined who will replace Maran, but said he will work closely with the board of directors to ensure a seamless transition. David Wickert


County, cities head for mediation over tax funds

With no agreement reached between the Fulton County government and Fulton’s 14 cities on how to divvy up billions of dollars in sales tax dollars over the next decade, the negotiations will move into mediation, according to county Commission Chairman John Eaves. The 15 governments will share the cost of hiring a local judge to act as mediator, Eaves said, declining to name the judge or speculate on costs.

If mediation fails, a Superior Court judge could make the call, under a process set up by state law. Johnny Edwards

Cherokee investigates theft of flags

Cherokee County sheriff’s investigators are trying to determine who swiped a bunch of American flags that were put out by a local civic group over the Labor Day weekend. Sheriff’s Lt. Jay Baker said nine flags were stolen from the “Avenue of Flags” display organized by the Towne Lake Optimist Club. According to Optimist Club officials, area business owners and residents paid $35 each to have the flags displayed in front of their property on six federal holidays throughout the year. Baker asked that anyone with information to call at 770-928-0239. Mike Morris

Forsyth loosen rules for wine tastings

Wine lovers rejoice: The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners Thursday approved changing the county’s alcohol ordinance to allow wine tastings at retail package outlets. Tastings will be limited to eight times a month, maximum, in a separate room at beer-and-wine only locations. The ordinance went into effect immediately. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Church serves dinner to first responders

Alpharetta First Baptist Church is honoring heroes of the 9/11 attack this weekend by providing dinners to local first response teams, including police and fire department personnel.

Plans call for volunteers to serve dinners at Fire Station #1, 2970 Webb Bridge Road today.

Information: 770-475-6556. Patrick Fox

Volunteers to clean up Etowah River today

Volunteers will turn out today to clean up Cherokee County stretches of the Etowah River. The cleanup will be from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. today at Boling Park in Canton. Volunteers are asked to dress in old clothing and shoes and bring work gloves.

Breakfast items and lunch will be provided for volunteers. More Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Fulton dedicates public safety memorial

On Tuesday, Fulton County’s police, fire and Marshal’s departments, along with the sheriff’s office, will dedicate the Circle of Honor public safety memorial on the Wolf Creek Amphitheater grounds. The ceremony starts at 10 a.m. at 3025 Merk Road, off Camp Creek Parkway in south Fulton

The memorial honors Fulton law enforcement and public safety officers who died in service. It’s a granite obelisk surrounded by a circular path of bricks and benches, with decorative landscaping. Johnny Edwards


Police: Couple brought baby to robberies

The man and woman accused of bringing a baby along during two armed robberies were in custody Friday, according to police.

Brandon Nicholas Lawson, 21, was arrested Thursday night in Macon and booked into the Bibb County jail and is expected to be returned to Atlanta to face charges, police said.

Friday afternoon, Joi Monai Jenkins, 18, was in custody and being interviewed, according to Atlanta police Sgt. Curtis Davenport. Both Lawson and Jenkins will be charged with armed robbery, Davenport said. Alexis Stevens

Forum focuses on father involvement

The U.S. Department of Education is set to present a forum for fathers and father figures. The forum is designed to provide resources and substantial ways to involve fathers in the lives and schools of their children. The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 22 at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. The address is 1630 Metropolitan Parkway. Register: Info: 404-974-9450. Nancy Badertscher

Nominations open for preservation awards

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is accepting nominations for its 2013 Preservation Awards, which recognizes projects and individuals who contribute to the preservation of the state’s historic resources.

For more information and to download an application, so to for a nomination form or call 404-885-7817. The postmark deadline is Oct. 22. Shelia M. Poole

Nonprofit to host Halloween fundraiser

Someone Cares Inc. will host its annual Halloween costume gala at 6 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Loudermilk Center, 40 Courtland St. N.E., Atlanta Someone Cares Inc. offers HIV counseling and testing; disease education and prevention, and outreach programs.

Tickets are $50. Proceeds will go to Someone Cares Inc. Information: 678-921-2706. Monroe Roark for the AJC


Decatur takes first step on Beacon Hill

Decatur’s city commission approved an $85,000 agreement with Lord Cultural Resources for developing an “historic and cultural” plan for the old Beacon School complex, scheduled for a 15-month renovation beginning in January. This includes a new police station, new central offices for the city’s school system and a new gym.

Beacon Hill was the site of Decatur’s African-American schools from 1913 until 1967, and LCR will help develop a “living memorial” to those schools, including historical images and artifacts displayed throughout the complex. Bill Banks for the AJC

DeKalb job fair to be Sept. 21

DeKalb Workforce Development Department will hold its annual Workforce Development Day Job Fair “Making ONE DeKalb Work” Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur.

The event offers job seekers the opportunity to meet with representatives from various departments and companies, including One DeKalb Works contractors and private sector employers.

Jobseekers interested in participating in the Workforce Development Job Fair should register online at Information: contact Brent Sharperson, Business Relations Specialist, at 404-687-2771 or

Sandra Marshall Murray

DeKalb chamber hires focus on outreach

The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce has hired two people to help with outreach and management for the organization.

Noelle Lloyd will be responsible for outreach and member communications as the group’s new public relations manager. Bianca Mallory will serve as special projects manager, overseeing office management and logistics coordinator.

April Hunt

Rivers focus of canoe outings

The South River Watershed Alliance is teaming up with like minded groups to offer canoe outings of the South and Yellow rivers in September.

The events also include training on how to organize river clean-ups and talks with state Department of Natural Resources naturalists.

The outing on the South River will be held today and on the Yellow River on Sept. 15. Costs range between $5 and $35, depending on whether attendees need a boat for the day. Information/to register:

April Hunt

High school to hold information session

Dr. Ronald E. McNair High School will host an information session on curriculum and other topics 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 in the school fine arts center, 1804 Bouldercrest Rd. SE, Atlanta.

Principal Glynis Jordan and DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson are among the planned speakers. The event will include break-out sessions on topics such as Georgia’s new “common core” curriculum standards and the DeKalb Online Learning Academy.

Information: LaKeisha Griffith at (678) 874-5003 or Ty Tagami


Two found dead in Clayton apartment

Two people were found dead Friday morning inside a Clayton County apartment, police said.

Officers were called to the Hidden Creek Apartments in the 6500 block of Mt. Zion Boulevard, near Morrow, after being contacted by a maintenance person at the complex, Officer C. Ashmore with Clayton County police said.

The two deceased people, whose identities were unknown early Friday afternoon, were found in Building 3000 at the complex, Ashmore said. Information regarding the causes of death was not released.

Clayton County police and the GBI are investigating the deaths, Ashmore said. Alexis Stevens

Peachtree council approves new budget

The City Council of Peachtree City approved its $28.6 million 2013 budget Thursday, but not without continued rancor.

The budget reflects $494,826 to be carried over from this year’s fund balance, plus a millage rate increase of .372, to help cover additional maintenance and public safety expenses.

Mayor Don Haddix voted against the plan, preferring unspecified city services cuts to raising taxes. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Hampton council gives first nod to budget

The Hampton City Council approved a first reading of 2013 general fund budget totaling $2.84 million, including about $16,000 in repairs to the city’s historic train depot.

The final budget vote is scheduled for Tuesday. Also approved was $500,125 for a sewer pump installation project expected to relieve sewer lines in southwest Hampton. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Henry enrollment above projections

The Henry County School System’s student population for this year is more than 1,000 above projections.

After 20 days of school, the count is 39,896 students in the county’s 50 schools, an increase of 226 over last year. The initial projection for 2012-13 was 38,850.

Two years ago the enrollment was an all-time high of 40,791.

The largest schools in the county this year by grade level are Ola Elementary (909 students), Union Grove Middle (1,131) and Luella High (2,035). Monroe Roark for the AJC

Volunteers to help renovate houses

The Fuller Center for Housing has scheduled its Millard Fuller Legacy Build 2012 for the week of Sept. 9-14 in McDonough. Dozens of volunteers will be coming to assist with labor and supplies for the renovation of four homes within the city limits. Information: Monroe Roark for the AJC

Store to donate profits to first responders

In honor of the fallen heroes of 9/11, fred’s Super Dollar will donate all operating profits from store sales on Tuesday to designated first responder units in communities where its stores are located. Shoppers can participate at the following fred’s Super Dollar locations: 3813 SR-138, Stockbridge and 4911 Jonesboro Rd., Forest Park. Information: Veronica Fields Johnson