County by county for Thursday


Powder Springs chooses top volunteer

Carol Gill, chairperson of the Keep Powder Springs Beautiful committee since 2006, is the city’s Volunteer of the Year.

She was honored, along with other city volunteers, at the Volunteer Banquet this month at the city’s Ford Center.

A city resident since 1967, Gill has served on the committee since 1999 and also is the city’s representative on the Keep Cobb Beautiful committee.

Gill said her committee maintains four rest areas on the Silver Comet Trail and helps with landscaping at the police station and the Ford Center. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Business association collects toys

Dr. Roger C. Tutterow, professor of Economics at Mercer University, will speak during the Christmas luncheon of the South Cobb Business Association 11:15 a.m. Wednesday at Presbyterian Village, 2000 East-West Connector, Austell.

Cost is $10 for members or $20 for guests. Everyone is asked to bring an unwrapped toy to be given to local children in need.


Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Powder Springs hosts Christmas celebration

Powder Springs will host “The Annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree” from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Historic Town Square in downtown Powder Springs, 4488 Pineview Drive.

Free carriage rides and free hot chocolate will accompany entertainment and photos with Santa.

Information: 770-943-8001, ext. 307. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Candy Cane Hunt in Mableton on Saturday

The Cobb Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department will present the 8th annual Candy Cane Hunt 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Historic Mable House, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton for children 12 and under.

Hunting for 10,000 candy canes, cookie decorating, marshmallow roasting, gingerbread house crafts and visits and pictures with Santa will be among the festivities.

Information: or 770-528-8454. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Kennesaw police department recognized

The Kennesaw Police Department was re-accredited by the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies at a conference Nov. 17 in Jacksonville, Fla. Kennesaw was first recognized in 2009.

Kennesaw spokesperson Pam Davis said the commission recognizes about 1,200 of 23,000 law enforcement agencies in the country. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Marietta expects 4,500 for tour

The 26th Marietta Pilgrimage expects 4,500 people to tour six homes and 10 historic public buildings in the Church-Cherokee Street historic district this weekend. The tour, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, will benefit the Marietta Visitors Bureau and Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society. The tour raised $50,000 last year.

Information: tickets@marietta or Visitors Bureau, 4 Depot St., Marietta.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC


Gwinnett commission approves energy tax

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved a new 1 percent energy excise tax on manufacturers to offset money lost from a tax break approved by the General Assembly earlier this year.

The legislature eliminated most sales taxes on energy used by manufacturers to attract businesses to the state. However, it allowed local governments to offset part of the money they would lose by imposing a new excise tax.

The tax break and offsetting tax increase will not affect most taxpayers. David Wickert

Teen charged in wreck that killed man, 70

Mackenzie Lauren Stephenson, 17, of Suwanee, spent about four hours in the Gwinnett County jail before posting $7,000 bond, according to booking records. Stephenson was charged with second-degree vehicular homicide, a misdemeanor, and failure to yield for the Nov. 20 wreck.

Stephenson was stopped at a stop sign on Old Cumming Road around 3 p.m. when she allegedly turned left onto Ga. 20 and into the path of an Acura RSX, driven by Charles “Joe” Fairchild, according to a police report.

Fairchild, of Sugar Hill, struck Stephenson’s Ford F-150 in the driver side, front wheel area, according to police. Stephenson was not injured. Fairchild was transported to the hospital, where he later died. Alexis Stevens

Man sentenced for defrauding USDA

Mushtaq “Mike” Mistry, 47, must serve 12 months and one day on wire fraud charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Mistry, owner of Salwa Foods, submitted false claims under the USDA’s Market Access Program to be reimbursed for the cost of TV advertising in Dubai for products from his halal frozen food company from April 2007 through August 2009, authorities said.

He pleaded guilty in September.

Mistry was also given three years of supervised release, six months of home confinement and 500 hours of community service. He also must pay $342,500 in restitution. Angel K. Brooks

Gwinnett visual arts teacher recognized

The Woodruff Arts Center has annouced Aimee Burgamy, visual arts specialist at Trickum Middle School their Visual Arts Educator for 2012, part of the Woodruff Salutes Georgia Arts in Education Leaders. The program promotes arts education. In her eighth year at Trickum, Burgamy also serves as the Georgia Art Education Association’s Middle School Division Director and as the Coordinator of the GAEA Youth Art Galleries at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Duluth seeks workshop teachers

The Parks & Recreation Dept. in Duluth is seeking experienced individuals to work as contracted instructors to share their unique talents, skills or knowledge in a class, camp or workshop. For program proposal applications email or call 770-814-6981. Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Forsyth man falls to death while hunting

Jeffery Lane McBryant, 44, of Cumming and his teenage son, whose name was not released, fell from a tree stand while hunting in a wooded area along Old Atlanta Road, near Suwanee Monday, emergency officials said. The son was transported to Northside Hospital-Forsyth with non-life threatening injuries. McBryant was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators estimate the two fell between 15 and 20 feet to the ground. of

Anyone wishing to assist the family with costs should call Abundant Life Church, 770-844-5762. Alexis Stevens

Mayor schedules community meeting

Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker will host a town hall meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at Perimeter Church, 9500 Medlock Bridge Road.

The mayor will talk about issues confronting the city and answer questions from the audience. To allow for more prepared answers, Bodker asks that questions be emailed in advance to The Town Hall will be in the Midtown Auditorium on the first floor of the main church building. Patrick Fox

Woodstock officials seek term limits

The Woodstock City Council voted 4-1 this week to ask Cherokee state lawmakers to introduce local legislation on term limits. The proposal would ban anyone from serving as Woodstock mayor or council member for more than four consecutive terms, or more than four consecutive terms combining mayoral and council service. The term limitation for an incumbent would be lifted if nobody else qualified for a position at the end of the normal qualifying period. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Canton launches leaf collection program

The city of Canton Public Works Department has inaugurated its annual leaf collection program, helping residents to dispose of fallen tree leaves.

Those needing pickup should simply rake them into the right of way for collection by city crews. The program will continue through March 31. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Wienermobile events planned

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile will mark the 25th anniversary of the vehicle’s Hotdogger tradition with family-friendly events in Alpharetta and Johns Creek: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at Kroger, 12460 Crabapple Road, Suite 300, Alpharetta; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at Kroger, 10945 State Bridge Road, Alpharetta; 10 a.m., Saturday at Johns Creek Founders Day Parade; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday at Johns Creek High School; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday at Kroger, 12870 State Highway 9, Alpharetta. Mea Watkins

Animal shelter hosts open house

With its pet population expected to show a growth spurt soon, the Cherokee County Animal Shelter plans a holiday open house 10 a.m-2 p.m. Dec. 8 at the shelter, 1015 Univeter Road, Canton.

Santa photos and a children’s book author signing are set. Shelter officials are also looking to promote adoptions, saying pet drop-offs spike during the holiday season. Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Police make arrests in October slayings

Graham Sisk, 23, was killed while sitting in his car at Moreland and Ponce de Leon avenues at 4 p.m. on Oct. 5.

Later that Friday night, Morie Brooks, 24, died in an unrelated shooting outside a Midtown nightclub.

Atlanta police and U.S. Marshals arrested Shaheeb Kaba Huff, 30, Tuesday night for murdering Sisk.

Orlando Hawkins, 21, was arrested Wednesday for the shooting death of Brooks outside the QUAD nightclub on Spring Street. Mike Morris

Girl, 10, shot in southwest Atlanta

A 10-year-old girl was shot Tuesday night during an apparent robbery attempt at a southwest Atlanta apartment on Amal Drive off Pryor Road, police said.

A man parked and got out of his car, and as he was walking toward his apartment, a masked man armed with a shotgun jumped from behind a shrub, Channel 2 Action News reported. When the gunman told the man to “give it up,” the victim ran into the apartment and slammed the door,” police said.

The gunman then fired one shot at the apartment. The girl, whose name has not been released, is expected to recover from the gunshot wounds to her leg and foot.

Police have not released a description of the gunman. Mike Morris

City council praises MARTA head

Outgoing MARTA General Manager Beverly Scott received accolades for leadership of the transit agency Wednesday from the transportation committee of the Atlanta City Council.

Scott had a consultant update the committee on the management audit that MARTA commissioned, which recently recommended the public transit agency privatize as many as 12 of its internal functions, such as payroll and janitorial services, to save tens of millions of dollars over five years.

MARTA ordered audit to help it revamp the way it does business because the agency currently relies on financial reserves to balance its books. Steve Visser


Cop shooter could face 85 years behind bars

A DeKalb County jury found Michael Hughey guilty of five counts related to the shooting of DeKalb County police Officer Deron Fulton in 2011. Fulton and another officer were conducting a traffic stop when Hughey shot the officer in the chest just beyond his bullet proof vest, and then ran. Hughey could get up to 85 years in prison when he’s sentenced later this week. Staff reports

St. Thomas More sets annual open house

St. Thomas More Catholic School, 630 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur will hold its annual open house at 7 p.m. Jan. 24. Perspective parents and students can learn about the school. Classroom tours will be given at 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. Jan. 28 - 31.

Information: Nancy Badertscher

Music producer speaks to court graduates

Music producer Kevin “Khao” Cates will speak at the first graduation of DeKalb County’s anti recidivism court 2 p.m. Friday at the DeKalb County Courthouse.

The program targets young first-time offenders who are facing serious charges.

Instead of the traditional route through the criminal justice system, these offenders will focus on education, enrichment and accountability.

They must perform community service, submit to random drug and alcohol testing, comply with curfews and pay restitution. Rhonda Cook

Registration underway for Santa breakfast

Chamblee’s parks department’s breakfast with Santa is 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Dec. 8 at the Chamblee Civic Association, 3540 Broad St., Chamblee. For $5, children will receive breakfast and get their photo taken with St. Nick. Arts and crafts and live reindeer also will be on hand.

Additional photos are available, for $5. Registration is required.

Information: 770-986-5016. April Hunt

Nature Center to offer winter camps

The Dunwoody Nature Center will for the first time offer camps for kindergarten through fifth grade students Wednesdays through Fridays after Christmas and New Year’s.

The camps offer an education on the affects of the cold climate on animals, plants and the habitat, with games, crafts, hikes and a wildlife expert.

Early morning drop-offs and late afternoon pick-ups will be available.

Information: Ty Tagami

Group hopes to start diverse charter school

Parents and educators who hope to start a charter middle school that mixes autistic students with typical adolescents will meet with the public 7:30 - 9 p.m. Monday at Napoleon’s Bar and Grill, 2836 Lavista Road, LaVista.

The group wants to open Tapestry Public Charter School in 2014 as a middle school that grows into a high school. The plan is to offer smaller, multi-age classrooms with individualized educational plans and hands-on, sensory-based learning.

Information: Ty Tagami


Lawsuit alleges unfair job practices

Alexis Barrett, a former Fulton County employee, is suing County Manager Zachary Williams, two department heads and a former interim department director, claiming they unfairly targeted her in 2010 layoffs while less-qualified workers kept their jobs.

Barrett is seeking class action status so she can sue on behalf of everyone laid off from Parks and Recreation, Public Works and General Services since 2006. Williams created a “protected class,” she alleges, by allowing some temporary workers to transfer to other departments. Johnny Edwards

Students pick up honors for bus safety

Josias Evans, an eighth grader at Stockbridge Middle and Noelle Phillip, a fourth grader at Bethlehem Elementary, were awarded $100 and $75 respectively for school bus safety posters.

The contests were in conjunction with October’s National School Bus Safety Week sponsored by the Georgia Association for Pupil Transportation. Nancy Badertscher

Suspected cigarette burglars arrested

Three men suspected in at least seven business burglaries in five metro counties were arrested in Cherokee County Wednesday morning. Sheriff’s Lt. Jay Baker says Vincent Donehue, 42, of Jonesboro, James Hill, 46, of Snellville, and Mark McCain face burglary and other charges.

Baker says a multi-county probe tracked a group of men smashing convenience store front doors and stealing cigarettes. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Health board holds food safety training

Faith-Based/Nonprofit Organization Food Service Protection Program will host its December session 5 to 7 p.m. Monday in the Azalea room of the Clayton County Board of Health, 1117 Battle Creek Road, Jonesboro.

The session is free and will include training on how to properly handle, serve and distribute food to the public.

The program is aimed at faith-based and community groups and 501(c)(3) nonprofits with staff who serve or handle food regularly.

Registration is limited to 50 people.

Information: Shantel Ward at 678-610-7469 or Tammy Joyner

Peachtree City posts winter rec schedule

Peachtree City’s Recreation & Special Events Department has begun registration for classes running December-February. Activities for children and adults include fitness, gymnastics, art, dance, language, drama, music, swimming and more. Payments can be made online or at the Kedron Fieldhouse. Information: Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Santa Run begins in Peachtree City

Santa Claus will trade his reindeer for a fire truck at Peachtree City’s annual Food & Toy Drive. The tour through city neighborhoods will collect nonperishable food and unwrapped Toys for Tots 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturdays and 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 16. Information: Jill Howard Church for the AJC

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