County by county for Friday


‘Bridge-breaking’ event to hail new U.S. 41 span

Cobb and Fulton county officials kick off the $18 million U.S. Highway 41 bridge replacement project today Friday with a “bridge-breaking” event. The four-lane bridge, built in 1935, connects Cobb and Fulton counties and will be replaced with a six-lane bridge, and span Northgate Drive in Fulton County to Paces Mill in Cobb County The project is funded with $16 million in federal funds through the Georgia DOT. Cumberland CID contributed $1.7 million for the design and other road widening plans; Cobb County contributed $212,000. The project should be completed by 2015. Janel Davis

Marietta to consider financial help for theater

The Marietta City Council will consider Theatre in the Square’s request for financial help at a meeting starting 9 a.m. next Wednesday at City Hall, 205 Lawrence St.

The theater receives $38,196 yearly from the city’s auto rental tax collection.

The theater’s board chairman Mike Russell said the theater has until March 16 to raise $60,000 to pay current bills and June 30 to raise $400,000 to start the next season. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

County to roll out summer camp expo

Cobb County Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department will host its annual summer camp expo on March 17 in Marietta.

The expo will offer a one-stop location for information about children’s summer camp programs, including day camps, arts camps, church camps and overnight camps

The expo runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cobb Civic Center, 548 South Marietta Pkwy in Marietta. Adults, $5; children, free.

Information: 770-528-8885 Janel Davis

Vinings Village to hold planning meeting

Vinings Village area residents are invited to the final public community planning meeting set for March 13.

Vinings Village is located between the Chattahoochee River and the Railroad Line in unincorporated Cobb County. The community is 93 percent residential. The planning meeting will include discussion of streetscapes, flood control measures, community entrances and pedestrian trails.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Cochise Riverview Club, 3795 Cochise Drive Southeast in Atlanta.

Information: Janel Davis

Awards for high school musical stars April 17

Georgia’s high school musical all-stars will take the stage April 17 for the 4th Annual Shuler Hensley Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater.

Tickets can be purchased for $15 plus applicable fees at the Bank of North Georgia Box Office at the Cobb Energy Centre,, all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

VIP packages are also available by calling 770-916-2852. Each includes two tickets in the first 15 rows of the orchestra, an ad in the program saluting your shining star, a parking voucher and a poster. Andria Simmons

Food donation gets Six Flags discount

Food donations will get you a discounted ticket to Six Flags Over Georgia on opening weekend, March 17 and 18.

Six Flags Friends and MUST Ministries are collecting nonperishable food items that are undamaged and unexpired.

Bring six or more items to receive a coupon for a $19.67 ticket plus tax -- one ticket per coupon.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 17 and 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 18 at the park, 275 Riverside Parkway at I-20, Austell.

Information: Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Man charged in death of sister in Buford

A Gwinnett County man was charged with killing his sister Wednesday in the Buford apartment where the two lived.

Investigators were called to an apartment in the 300 block of Power Avenue to conduct a welfare check around 4 p.m. Wednesday, Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Ed Ritter said. When officers arrived, they found Vickie Bowles, 54, dead on the floor, Ritter said. “There were obvious signs of violence and blunt force trauma about her body,” Ritter said in statement.

Dennis Roger Puckett was booked into the Gwinnett County Jail and is being held without bond. Mike Morris

Grant will help transport the disabled

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Tuesday accepted a $158,766 federal grant for the “Get in Gear” medical transportation program for disabled people. The program serves people age 18 and older who have no other transportation options. During its first six months of operation, the program provided vouchers for 593 trips covering more than 10,000 miles. The grant requires a local match of $98,755.

Information: or call the senior hotline at 678-377-4150. David Wickert

Volunteers needed to plant dogwoods

Suwanee is looking for volunteers to help plant 10 dogwood trees on Saturday at 9 a.m. in White St. Park as part of ongoing efforts to continue their 22-year tradition as a Tree City USA. To volunteer, contact City Planner Dan Robinson at or 770-904-3381. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Author-historian to speak at library

Author and historian Brad Quinlin will be the featured speaker at the Gwinnett Historical Society meeting on March 18. Quinlin has written several books on the Civil War. His topic for the evening will be “Rest Brave Comrades, Your Work is Done,” based on last letters Union soldiers sent their mothers. The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. at 185 Crogan Street, Lawrenceville. Information: 770-822-5174. Mea Watkins

Buford adds gymnastics, lacrosse

Students in Buford City Schools can compete in girls gymnastics and boys and girls lacrosse beginning next school year, the city’s school board announced. A Buford High gymnastics team would join still very few in a county whose lone state gymnastics champion was Providence Christian in 2009. Buford lacrosse teams would join Gwinnett’s 14 boys and girls squads listed as currently playing that sport. Michael Alpert for the AJC

Detention pond workshop March 15

Gwinnett County will sponsor a detention pond maintenance workshop from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. March 15 at the Norcross Human Services Center, 5030 Georgia Belle Court, Norcross. Residents of unincorporated Gwinnett and the City of Lilburn will qualify for a 5 percent storm water utility fee credit by attending the workshop. To register or for information, e-mail or call 678-376-7193 and press 5. David Wickert


Construction teams hired to oversee new libraries

Fulton County has hired construction management teams to oversee building five new libraries. The hires: Winter Johnson Group, Stewart-Lakewood branch, $125,000/2.95 percent; BenchMark-Brasfield & Gorrie, Northwest Atlanta branch, $75,000/4 percent; Peter R. Brown Construction, Alpharetta branch, $28,000/4.5 percent; Hogan Construction Group, Wolf Creek branch, $30,000/2.5 percent; and Ajax Building Corporation of Georgia, East Roswell branch, $25,000/4.49 percent. Johnny Edwards

Commission selects new election director

Sam Westmoreland is Fulton County’s new Registration and Elections director, charged with overseeing elections processes and vote tallying. After a closed meeting, the county commission named him to the post, replacing former Director Barry Garner.

Westmoreland had been serving as interim director since Garner resigned last year. He has previously worked as a civil litigation attorney in Georgia and Mississippi and is a founding member of the Mississippi Housing Law Clinic. Johnny Edwards

Legislators to hold town hall meetings Sunday

State Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, and Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers will host town hall meetings Sunday in Mountain Park and Woodstock to discuss legislative updates and priorities.

Attendees can participate in a question and answer session. All residents are invited to attend.

The meetings will be at 1 p.m. in the Mountain Park Community building at 100 Lakeshore Drive in Mountain Park, and at 2 p.m. at the Woodstock Library at 7735 Main Street in Woodstock. Andria Simmons

Roswell tests pedestrian crossing device

Roswell is conducting a pilot project to test rectangular rapid flashing beacons at a crosswalk on Scott Road at Eves Road in front of Centennial High School.

The new traffic control device is designed to enhance pedestrian safety at un-signalized crosswalks.

The beacon’s flashing amber LED lights, powered with solar energy, are activated with a push-button to get motorist’s attention to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

The cost of all necessary equipment is about $5,500, and the device will be installed and maintained by city staff. Patrick Fox

Newell Rubbermaid donates to academy

Cumberland Academy of Atlanta was awarded a grant to help upgrade technology at the special needs school.

Cumberland was chosen by Newell Rubbermaid to receive a shipment of Mimeos, electronic classroom aids that provide interactive opportunities for students and teachers, among other things.

The Atlanta school has 70 kids and specializes in serving those with disabilities including autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

The school has an average 8-1 student teacher ratio.

For information: D. Aileen Dodd


Atlantans to ring in stock market today

Brian McGowan, president of Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development agency, will ring the NASDAQ Stock Market Opening Bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square today . McGowan will be accompanied by more than 20 Atlanta-based technology companies, including Ballers Bridge and StartupChicks. “Atlanta is home to some of the country’s leading tech companies but it is also a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity,” McGowan said in a statement. “We want to set the pace for the country, for this sector.” Jeremiah McWilliams

MARTA breaks ground on pedestrian bridge

MARTA and its transit partners broke ground this week on a pedestrian bridge to connect Buckhead sectors by crossing over Georgia 400. The bridge, scheduled for completion in November 2013, will tie Stratford Road to Tower Place Drive and has the practical benefit of making Phipps Plaza easily accessible from the MARTA Buckhead rail station and connecting business and residential districts. Steve Visser

Clean Air Campaign engages teens

OnAir, a social media platform created by The Clean Air Campaign, launched Monday for Georgia high school students. OnAir features numerous channels for teens to engage, including a blog, Facebook page and Twitter account. Teen bloggers will discuss issues, such as commute alternatives and recycling. The blog also features a tool called “Air Creds” that allows teens to enter and accumulate points when they take steps, such as carpooling, planting a tree or riding a school bus. Nancy Badertscher

Gallery to benefit Harm Reduction Coalition

The Kai Lin Art Gallery in Atlanta will host an evening of art and entertainment from 7 to 10 p.m. March 15 to raise money for the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition. “Meet Us Where We’re At 2.0” will be held at the gallery at 3096 Roswell Road N.E. in Atlanta. Donations are requested. Info: Andria Simmons


More charges for accused bank robber

A man arrested last week for allegedly trying to rob a Chamblee bank has now been charged with robbing a Dunwoody bank twice last year.

Trevor Gladston, 39, of Sandy Springs, was caught in a taxi following the Feb. 28 attempted robbery of the Wells Fargo Bank on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Chamblee.

Dunwoody police charged Gladston, who is out on bond following last week’s arrest, in connection with the June 4 and Dec. 3 robberies of the Bank of America branch on Perimeter Center East. Mike Morris

Haygood Drive to close today to Monday

Emory University reminds drivers that Haygood Drive from Andrews Circle at Druid Hills High School to Clifton Road will be closed from 7 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday and also from 7 p.m. March 23, to 5 a.m. March 26. During this road closure a two-story bridge will be lifted into place to connect Emory’s new Health Sciences Research Building to the Emory-Children’s Center. Access to Druid Hills High School, and to Emory’s Lowergate and Tower parking decks, will not be affected. Steve Visser

DeKalb to charge fees for re-inspections

The DeKalb County Commission recently agreed to begin charging re-inspection fees if the first inspection of a new building fails. The fees will be $25, $50 and $100 for the second, third and fourth inspections, respectively, and also mean DeKalb will no longer be the only metro Atlanta county that does not charge for the service. The fee is expected to raise $175,000 a year and initially will be used to pay off an $853,000 loan to the development fund from the county’s sanitation fund. April Hunt

Decatur, Avondale Estates talk annexation

State Reps. Stephanie Benfield, D-Atlanta, and Karla Drenner, D-Avondale Estates) submitted bills this week that would allow Decatur (on the west ) and Avondale Estates (east) to annex commercial parts of property along College Avenue on either side of Sams Crossing, long considered an eyesore. David Milliron, former Avondale Estates mayor pro tem, said in an email, “By joining borders at Sams Crossing [the two cities] can eliminate the island [separating them] and replace it with a heightened focus on . . .growth and mixed-use development.” Bill Banks for the AJC

History center to mark 65th anniversary

The DeKalb History Center is asking for donations of services or items it can auction off during its 65th anniversary celebration later this month. The party, which is free, runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. March 23 in the Historic Courthouse in downtown Decatur. Information/to donate: 404-373-1088 ext. 22 or Hunt

Best selling author to speak at GPC

William Kamkwamba, author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” will be a guest speaker at Georgia Perimeter College. He will give talks at 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on March 21. Both free events will be at the Cole Auditorium on the Clarkston campus, 555 North Indian Creek Drive. Info: 678-891-2691. Nancy Badertscher


Henry airport gets new full-time manager

A new full-time manager has been named to run Atlanta South Regional Airport, formerly Tara Field. Kevin Donahue is the new manager of the Henry County airport. The appointment comes five months after the county named a permanent airport management company, AvPORTS, to run the facility. Donahue has worked at several airports, including Albany International and San Jose International Airport. His appointment will enable AvPORTS to focus on extending the runway and installing an instrument landing system, projects slated for completion in 2014. Tammy Joyner

Man charged in killing wife back in Clayton

The man accused of killing his young wife and then fleeing the state is now back in Clayton County, where he’s facing a homicide charge. Wisdom Jeffery, 39, was denied bond Wednesday after being booked into the Clayton County Jail late Tuesday. Jeffery had been in a Cleveland, Ohio, jail following his arrest last month by U.S. marshals. Investigators have said an episode of the TV show “America’s Most Wanted” led to his arrest for the August 2010 shooting death of Corissa Friends.

Friends was 21 when she died. The couple’s baby was 8 months old at the time of the shooting. Alexis Stevens

Fulton schools has registration dates

The Fulton County School System has announced dates for kindergarten and preschool registration. Parents of kindergarten age children can register their kids for classes on May 2 between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on May 3 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at all Fulton County elementary schools.

A list of documents needed for registration is listed on the district’s website

Next fall 1,678 spaces in pre-kindergarten classes will be available. D. Aileen Dodd

Highway 54 guidelines meeting on Monday

Join Clayton County Community Development Staff for the Highway 54 Design Guidelines Community meeting on Monday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Mundy’s Mill High School. Tammy Joyner

Rep. Scott to hold job fair March 30

Congressman David Scott will host his 9th annual 13th District Jobs Fair March 30 at the Georgia International Convention Center. The 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. event features new resources for returning veterans who are looking for work. More than 100 employers are slated to participate in the free event . The center is at 2000 Convention Center Concourse in College Park. Tammy Joyner

Peachtree City warns about yard waste

Peachtree City is reminding residents that dumping yard waste in greenbelt areas is illegal under city codes.

Grass clippings, pruning debris and other material should not be disposed of along cart paths or landscape buffers because it contributes to such problems as flooding and rodent infestation. To report violations, call 770-487-8866.

Curbside debris pickup is available from local sanitation carriers. Waste also can be taken to the Peachtree City Recycling Center on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Jill Howard Church