County by county for Friday

COBB

Powder Springs lays off three police employees

The Powder Springs City Council voted 4-0-1 to save $50,000 a year by laying off three police department employees.

Councilwoman Cheryl Sarvis was absent for this vote on July 31 during the fifth special called meeting held by the City Council since June. Instead the Cobb County Sheriff's Office will process criminal bonds for inmates who are boarded in Cobb adult detention facilities, Interim City Manager Brad Hulsey said via email.

The Cobb office also will handle all of the city's data entry into the Georgia Criminal Justice Information System. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Activists object to public housing closing

A small group of activists protested the closing of Fort Hill public housing project during a Marietta Housing Authority meeting on Wednesday.

Fort Hill is the last of Marietta's public housing complexes and is scheduled to be demolished once residents are relocated. The activist group of former residents and local civil rights leaders want the complex, in an historically African American area of the city, preserved and possibly renovated. MHA has said renovation costs are too high, and the authority has received federal permission for the demolition. Janel Davis

Master gardeners host seminar

The Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County will host a free lunch and learn on Friday.

This will be the first in a series of sessions scheduled for the second Friday of every month. This week's session will be about Ikebana, the art of Japanese arrangement. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunches to the hour-long presentation that begins at 1 p.m. at the Cobb Water Lab, 660 S. Cobb Drive in Marietta.

Information: www.cobbmastergardeners.com Janel Davis

Red Cross emergency blood drive Friday

The American Red Cross is holding an emergency blood drive 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Friday at the Acworth Beach House, 2293 Beach St. Each donor will receive a Shark Week t-shirt and be entered to win Georgia Aquarium tickets and a $3,000 gift card.

To schedule an appointment: Jeff Chase, 770-917-1234; jchase@acworth.org Janel Davis

Habitat building housein Acworth for veteran

The NW Metro Atlanta chapter of Habitat for Humanity held another building day Thursday on an Acworth home for an area veteran.

The Ivey House, named for World War II veteran Lt. Col. Ashley Ivey, who donated the land, is the first home built for a veteran by the chapter.

The chapter intends to begin building a house for a veteran each year. Information: www.nwmetroatlantahabitat.org; 770-432-7954 Janel Davis

YMCA offers triathlon training for kids

East Cobb YMCA offers free training in preparation for an area triathlon.

The weekly training sessions are offered to Cobb residents ages 6 to 15, leading up to the Atlanta Kids Triathlon on Aug. 26. YMCA membership is not required. The sessions will be held on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

About 1,000 children are expected to participate in the triathlon. Information: 770-977-5991 Janel Davis

GWINNETT

Lightning sparks house fire in Lilburn

Seven people safely escaped a house fire sparked by lightning in Lilburn on Wednesday night. Fire crews extinguished the blaze at a split-level house in the 1900 block of Lake Lucerne Drive SW around 9 p.m. George Yu told Channel 2 Action News he was putting his children to bed saw lightning.The family discovered flames engulfing an upstairs bedroom and called 911. The fire, which authorities confirmed was caused by a lightning strike, left heavy damage to the second floor and smoke and water damage throughout the home.

Angel K. Brooks

Chamber hosts 5K/10K race Saturday

The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce will host a 5K/10K race Saturday at the chamber building, 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway Duluth.

The "Button Down Dash" is part of the chamber's efforts to create a more healthy community. More than 600 runners are expected.

The race begins and ends at the chamber parking lot. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m.

The 10K race begins at 7:30 a.m. and the 5K race begins at 7:45 a.m. David Wickert

80s Style back to school party

Gwinnett Parks and Recreation will host a Totally 80s back school party complete with DJ, refreshments and prizes for the best theme-dressed 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, August 10 at Pinckneyville Park Community Center, 4650 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. in Norcross. $5/person in advance or $7/person at the door, all ages. To register, call 770-417-2200 or visit www.gwinnettcounty.com.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Courthouse serving up coffee house music

Gwinnett is turning the Superior Court Ballroom of the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse into a coffee house with local acoustic artists 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, August 10, 185 Crogan St. in Lawrenceville. Desserts available for purchase. $4/person in advance, $5/person at the door. Ages 17+. To register, call 770-822-5450 or visit www.gwinnettcounty.com.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Model train show set for Saturday

The 43rd Atlanta Model Train and Railroadiana Show and Sale will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the North Atlanta Trade Center, 1700 Jeurgens Court, Norcross.

The event will have over 300 tables of model trains and railroad collectibles for sale.

Attendees will be able to relive the glory days of railroading in Georgia. Admission: $7 (children under 12 are free). Information: www.gserr.com.

Kenneth Musisi

Finance, fitness summit offered for girls

SheWill Inc. will host a finances and fitness summit for girls 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Ivy Preparatory Academy, 3705 Engineering Drive, Norcross.

Featured topics include financial literacy; career empowerment; nutrition; fitness, and self-esteem.

Information: 404-447-9353.

Laurie Hoffman

NORTHSIDE

Cherokee deputies catch alleged car thief

Cherokee Sheriff's Office deputies arrested a 22-year-old man who allegedly stole his father's car on Wednesday morning in Acworth following a brief foot chase.

Deputies caught up with the suspect, Cody Carroll, 22, of Acworth, in the woods near the stolen vehicle after it broke down on Priest Road. Carroll was also wanted for probation violation and for felony charges in Bartow County. He is being held without bond at the Cherokee jail charged with probation violation and obstruction of an officer. Andria Simmons

Chicken plant worker faces steel theft charge

A Bartow County man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing $123,000 worth of steel from a chicken processing plant over an eight-month period. Bradley Scott King, 38, of White, was charged with multiple offenses, including theft by taking, after he allegedly stole stainless steel equipment from the Pilgrims Pride plant in Canton where he worked. Police said said King had been taking the steel to a metal recycler in Pickens County.

In addition to felony theft by taking, King was also charged with simple battery, obstruction of an officer and four drug charges. He remains jailed on $322,210 bond. Mike Morris

Milton clamps down on moving signs

The Milton City Council voted Monday to prohibit moving signs. The amendment, which must still pass a final vote on Aug. 20, would ban moving signs that are held by people or animals, except during demonstrations, assemblies and public gatherings.

The city's ordinance already prohibits sandwich boards and signs applied directly to a sidewalk or curb, balloons, streamers or gas-filled figures and other similar temporary signs. Patrick Fox

Temple Sinai hosts members drive

Temple Sinai will host a brunch for prospective members at 10 a.m. Sunday at the synagogue, 5645 Dupree Drive, Sandy Springs. A tour of the facilities will be available. To register, e-mail Barbara Katinsky at bkatinsky@templesinaiatlanta.org. Information: 404-252-3073

Kenneth Musisi

Senior center to host birthday picnic

Park Place at Newtown School, Johns Creek's adult center, will celebrate its first anniversary with a picnic 5-8 p.m. Saturday.

The center, which serves residents 62 and older, includes a recently formed service and social club for local veterans, a boccie ball court, classes and day trips.

The picnic will feature free food, live music and giveaways. Park Place is at 3125 Old Alabama Road. RSVP at 770-667-5030 or parkplace@johnscreekga.gov. Patrick Fox

Grand opening for wrestling facility set

The Compound Training Facility will host a grand opening 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at 925 Woodstock Road, Roswell. The new location will start by offering three preseason wrestling training practices on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Information: www.cmptrained.com.

Kenneth Musisi

ATLANTA

Seminar covers land conservation

The Georgia Land Trust and Morris, Manning & Martin law firm will hold a seminar 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday at The Buckhead Club, 3344 Peachtree Road, 26th floor on conservation easements, which are land preservation agreements between property owners and governments that lead to tax breaks. The cost is $125 per person. Registration: 256-447-1006 or kclapp@allandtrust.org. Johnny Edwards

Task force to meet on APS social services

A task force appointed to examine social support services programs in Atlanta Public Schools will meet at 2 p.m. Friday at the district's headquarters, 130 Trintiy Ave.

In July, the school board created the task force following concerns over proposed budget cuts to social service programs. Once recommendations are made about what kinds of social services are needed, APS officials will determine who will provide those services. Jaime Sarrio

Outdoor town hall meeting planned

Atlanta City Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd has helped plan an outdoor town hall meeting 3-7 p.m. Saturday at the Perkerson Park baseball field, 770 Deckner Ave. Community organizations and city departments will be on hand. Sheperd said the event will include a live DJ, health screenings and giveaways. For more information, residents are asked to contact Sheperd's office at 404-330-6053 or jmshpered@atlantaga.gov. Jeremiah McWilliams

Cascade UMC hosts organ donation event

Cascade United Methodist Church will host an Organ and Tissue Transplantation/Donation Symposium 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at 3144 Cascade Road.

The symposium, "Share Life: Each One, Reach One," is an effort to raise community awareness about the need for blood, bone marrow, organ and tissue donations, and to increase African American participation. Information: www.cascadeumc.org or 404-691-5770. Kenneth Musisi

DEKALB

Decatur roads repaving nearly finished

The repaving of portions of Decatur's Avery Street, Oakview Road and Fayetteville Road, totaling 1.3 miles, should be finished by late next week according to the city's senior engineer John Madajewski. The city's already completed the milling, patching, repairing and leveling of each, for a total cost of $79,839. Madajewski added that the state Department of Transportation will begin adding new asphalt Wednesday and should be finished by Friday. Bill Banks for the AJC

Emory renews cancer center designation

Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute renewed its National Cancer Institute cancer center designation status. Only 57 centers nationwide that provide care to adult cancer patients hold the NCI cancer center designation. Winship is the only such center in Georgia. Winship will get nearly $8 million in funding from the NCI over the next five years as part of the designation.

Carrie Teegardin

Decatur playing fields get new lights

The softball and baseball fields at Decatur's McKoy and Oakhurst Parks will get brand new lighting systems, with construction expected to start Oct. 1 and take about three months. Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon said the new lights will be 15 percent more efficient and elicit far less glare to the surrounding neighborhoods. The current lights are over 50 years old. Bill Banks for the AJC

Back-to-School Bash this weekend

Free health screenings and school supplies are offered at the Back-to-School Bash 2 - 6 p.m. Sunday at the Exchange Recreation Center, 2771 Columbia Dr.

Organizers hope to hand out 1,000 book bags and 50 school uniforms at the event. Donations of school supplies are being taken at all county recreation centers and the Manuel Maloof government building in downtown Decatur.

Information: 404-687-3430.

April Hunt

Stone Mountain CID meeting to focus on development

DeKalb County's newest community improvement district is kicking off its economic development efforts with a community meeting in August.

The Stone Mountain CID hopes to gather public input on its development plans at the session. The meeting runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Eagle Rock Distributing, 1375 Beverage Dr., near Stone Mountain.

Businesses in the district tax themselves fund operations such as roadway improvements and landscaping. The goal is to add 2,000 new jobs to the area by the end of 2013.

April Hunt

Volunteers needed for river cleanup event

The Tucker Civic Association and Rivers Alive will host the 5th annual Rivers Alive Clean Up 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 6. at 4200 Cowan Road, Tucker. Heavy rain date is 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 20.

Volunteers are asked to provide the name of their group; number of volunteers, and a lead contact person. Participants must be 10 years of age or older. For information on volunteering: volunteertca@gmail.com or 770-270-1620. Laurie Hoffman

SOUTHSIDE

Former MARTA cop faces child molestation charge

A former MARTA police officer is facing child molestation charges in Clayton County. Willie Clarence Lee Jr., 46, was arrested Tuesday at his home in Ellenwood, police said. According to an arrest warrant obtained by the AJC, Lee is accused of having sex "on numerous occasions over the past five years" with an underage girl — starting when she was 9 years old — at his home. The girl is now 14.

Lee is being held without bond at the Clayton County jail on one charge of aggravated child molestation. Staff reports

Peachtree City postpones millage vote

At a called meeting Thursday, the City Council of Peachtree City voted to delay a vote on a millage rate increase for another two weeks. Councilmen George Dienhart and Eric Imker want to explore further budget-cutting options with city staff. The next meeting to address the issue is now scheduled for 8 a.m. Aug. 27 at City Hall. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Wolf Creek website back up

The website for Fulton County's Wolf Creek Amphitheater is operating again, with a new look. Earlier this week a subcontractor took down WolfCreekAmphitheater.com and posted a message saying it was disabled "due to nonpayment." The money dispute is between contractor B Box Media, which was paid $2,499 by Fulton County, and subcontractor Lp Media.

Lp owner Larry Perry says he's owed nearly $8,000 for work he put in sprucing up the website, much of it under the direction of county staff.

A new subcontractor has since redesigned the site, B Box owner Ben Hardaway said, explaining that because the county didn't like Lp's work, Perry will get no more than his $1,000 deposit. Johnny Edwards

Fayette schools fund Career Academy study

The Fayette County Board of Education voted 3-2 Monday to allocate $41,000 in FY2013 to fund a consultant and needs assessment of its vocational training program. A proposed Career Academy would serve as a charter school for career tech classes. Superintendent Jeff Bearden said communication from local business leaders indicates that students' skills often "do not align" with current employment needs. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Forest Park mayor takes leave of absence

Corine Deyton, the mayor of Forest Park, has taken a paid leave of absence, according to the Clayton Daily News.

Deyton is suffering from an medical ailment, but officials have disclosed details.

Her tenure ends in December 2013 unless she decides to run for office again. Edward Mitchell

Rained-out movie showing Friday

A free movie event sponsored by the city of Hampton that was rained out last week has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at McBrayer Park.

There will be free popcorn and soft drinks. The movie to be shown is "Night at the Museum." Monroe Roark for the AJC