County by county news for Friday


Harley wreck kills Kennesaw man

Michael A. Michael. 56, of Kennesaw, was traveling south bound on Cobb Parkway on his 1980 Harley Davidson motorcycle around 10:35 p.m. Wednesday when he was struck by a 2001 Mazda Millenia driven by Chevelle Gore, 21, of Powder Springs, according to Marietta police.

Michael was pronounced dead at Well Star Kennestone Hospital. The crash is still under investigation and charges are pending, police said. Anyone with any information should contact Officer Geoff Culpepper at 770-794-5357. Fran Jeffries

Smyrna to get recycling center

Smyrna City Council on Monday approved spending $435,000 to buy land off Lake Drive and South Cobb Drive for a recycling center. Funding will come from the 2011 SPLOST. Plans include improving an existing 7,000 square-foot building. About 2,000 residents use the center on Smyrna Hill Drive monthly. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Marietta seeks job fair recruiters

Marietta is looking for employers to sign up to recruit at an annual job fair scheduled 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Cobb County Civic Center, 548 South Marietta Parkway, Marietta. The Marietta/Cobb Career Expo is sponsored by Marietta, Cobb County, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and Georgia Department of Labor. Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Powder Springs ends Farmers Market

Powder Springs has canceled its Farmers Market due “to lack of participation by vendors, resulting in low turnout.” City employee staff hours will be directed toward other matters, the city manager said.

Opening day had been Thursday afternoons in June with the market running through September on Marietta Street at Pineview Drive — until last year when the market ended a few weeks after opening. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Fishing rodeo at Lost Mountain Saturday

Cobb Parks’ Natural Resource Management unit will host the annual Fishing Rodeo 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Lost Mountain Park, 4845 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs.Trophies will be awarded for the most fish caught in each age group as well as the five biggest fish overall.

Free, but bring fishing poles.

Information: John Purcell at 770-528-8825 or Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Austell seeks to hire two firefighters

Applications are being accepted for two Austell firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)-1 positions.

Salary is $34,000 plus, and applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and an EMT-Intermediate certification.

They may apply at Austell City Hall, 2716 Broad St. SW from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. weekdays.

Applications also may be downloaded from the city’s website and mailed to: Pat Maxwell, Assistant Fire Chief, City of Austell Fire and Emergency Services, 2716 Broad St. SW, Austell, GA 30106.

Information:, click "Employment," then "Job Vacancies."Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Norcross explains water services transition

Due to Norcross’ sale of its water and sewer services to Gwinnett County in April, there was a transition period reflected in the first billing under the new system. Instead of a normal 30-day billing cycle, charges were based on 40-43 days of usage.

Beginning with the August bills, residents will only be charged for a 30-day period, which will become the normal cycle moving forward. An explanation of the transition and issues affecting water and sewer charges is available at Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Grant to get smoke alarms for seniors

Thanks to a $62,520 firefighter assistance grant, about 4,000 smoke detectors will be given to elderly and needy Gwinnett residents this month. Fire safety educators will go door-to-door in high-call volume areas to raise awareness of fire hazards and install smoke alarms . Gwinnett firefighters respond to about 640 residential fires each year, which have resulted in 12 related deaths in the last two years, according to the county's website. For information, Hannah Chandler Morgan

Deadline Sept. 16 to apply for school panel

The deadline is Sept. 16 for parents, community members and employees to apply to serve on a committee that provides input on the curriculum for Gwinnett County Public Schools. The committee annually reviews the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills curriculum. The next committee meeting is in February 2014.

After the curriculum review, the committee recommends revisions and additions to CEO and Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the school board.

Committee members serve three-year terms. Applications should be returned to Gale Hey, associate superintendent for Teaching and Learning at the Instructional Support Center, 437 Old Peachtree Rd., NW, Suwanee, 30024. Applications at Nancy Badertscher

Monstrous fun at Suwanee Town Center

Suwanee Performing Arts presents Shrek The Musical and Shooby Doo, an original music mystery, 7 p.m. today and Saturday.

Performances are free, but the event is Suwanee Performing Arts' largest fundraiser so donations will be requested. "Swamp" tickets are $10 and available at Town Center Park beginning at 4 p.m. on performance dates. The production will include about 75 mostly high school and middle school cast members, a stage crew of about a dozen, and volunteers. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Deadline Sept. 16 to apply for school panel

Residents who want to provide input on the curriculum for Gwinnett County Public Schools have until Spt. 16 to apply to serve on a committee that annually reviews the school system's Academic Knowledge and Skills curriculum. The next committee meeting is in February 2014. Information: Nancy Badertscher


Woodstock investigators seek identification of body

Investigators need the public’s help to indentify remains of a black man found in a wooded area of Woodstock on Sunday afternoon.The man was about 6 feet tall and likely between ages 27 and 53 years.

He was wearing red and black size 13 Adidas tennis shoes and blue jeans. Investigators found an expandable baton in a nylon case on the dead man’s belt and burgundy shorts near his remains, a Cherokee County spokesman said.

Anyone with information should call 770-928-0239. Cailin O’Brien

Cherokee school board adopts budget

The Cherokee County Board of Education Wednesday night approved a 2013-2014 budget of $496. 2 million, down from this year’s total of $518.7 million.

The budget keeps the current millage rate of 19.450 and fully restores a 180-day school year for all students, while reducing furlough days for all district employees from eight to three.

Disrict officials say the average property owner will see no significant increase in school taxes. Mark Woolsey for AJC

Cherokee chamber to showcase businesses

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Cherokee Business Showcase is set for 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Cherokee Aquatics Center, 1200 Gresham Mill Parkway, Holly Springs.

A complimentary food tasting, giveaways and more than 40 exhibitor booths are on tap. Admission is free.

Information or to rent booth space: Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Ocee Library group to host book sale

The Friends of the Ocee Library will host a used book sale 1 to 6 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the library, 5090 Abbotts Bridge Road., Johns Creek.

Sale items include children’s books, chapter books, hardback and paperback fiction and non-fiction, audio books and movies.

Local author Gail Heller will appear at the event at 3 p.m. Friday and sign her latest book.

Shoe donations for Soles4Souls will also be accepted during the sale.

Information: 770-360-8897. Veronica Fields Johnson

Holly Springs to vote on gun proposal

The mayor of Holly Springs says he plans a City Council vote on guns in August. Mayor Tim Downing says the proposal would show support for the Second Amendment and encourage residents to own guns. It would not, however, put a law on the books requiring gun ownership, as councils in nearby Kennesaw and Nelson have done. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Alpharetta run, block party in August

The Alpharetta Rotary Mayor’s Challenge is 6-11 p.m. Aug. 17 in the heart of Historic Downtown Alpharetta.

Bring lawn chairs for the block party that runs until 11 p.m.The event includes food trucks, concert, expo, etc.

Registration: $25 until Aug. 3; $30 after at Big Peach Running Co. or Arlinda Smith Broady


Schools to hold more registration dates

Atlanta Public Schools will hold additinal registrations Friday and Monday. Parents should contact their school for sign up times. Bus stops for those registering on these dates will be assigned after Aug. 23. The first day of class for traditional schools is Aug. 7.

Information:, or 404-802-2233. Ty Tagami

Agencies receive funds to help veterans

Four Atlanta-based non-profit groups will receive more than $4.5 million from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help homeless veterans.

West End Ministries, Decatur Cooperative Ministry Inc., Travelers Aid of Metropolitan Atlanta and the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta will receive the Supportive Services for Veteran Families grants, which provide housing stability and financial and emotional support for veterans in metro Atlanta.

Information: VA homeless programs:; Supportive Services for Veteran Families: Mea Watkins

Lego building event this weekend

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta and the Museum of Design are hosting Hands on Design: Let’s Build with LEGO 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at 1315 Peachtree St. The first 30 children will get to take their mini build home

Tickets: $10 - $5; and free to MODA members. Information: or Sandra Marshall Murray

Clark Atlanta begins green initiatives

Clark Atlanta University has “green initiatives” including solar power, econ-friendly building and recycling.

Wells Fargo has given $250,000 to CAU to support the effort, which was previously undertaken by the United Negro College Fund. CAU President Carlton E. Brown said this is a good fit for the university, given its own interest in and commitment to conservation. Nancy Badertscher


Dunwoody adds to city services

Dunwoody is now offering life safety and accessibility plan reviews and inspections required for building renovation and new construction, services. The plan reviews and inspections will be at the same cost the county charges.

The city anticipates completing more than 95 percent of development plan reviews within two weeks. Patrick Fox

First charter school cluster vote in August

Proponents of creating a Druid Hills Charter Cluster in north central DeKalb County will hold a vote 4 to 8 p.m. Aug. 13 at the high school gym, 1798 Haygood Dr NE, Atlanta.

Administrators, teachers and parents or guardians of children eligible to attend Druid Hills High School and any of the six schools in its feeder pattern can vote.

Bring photo identification and the child’s birth certificate. For those whose children are not yet attending district schools, proof of residency.

Information is available at school offices and Ty Tagami

Garden continues growing

Decatur recently authorized the second half of a grant funding Decatur’s Kitchen Garden at the United Methodist Children’s Home. The grant paid $40,000 last year, $30,000 this year and will pay $20,000 next year. The one-acre garden’s farmed by 30 families of six nationalities (mostly from Clarkston) who raise food for themselves but also sell regularly to local restaurants and the Decatur’s Farmers Market. Bill Banks for the AJC

Decatur to move toward streetscape

Decatur commissioners approved an agreement with the Georgia Department of Transportation to begin right-of-way acquisitions for streetscape improvements on North McDonough Street, from Trinity Place to Howard Avenue. Eventually North McDonough will be cut from four to two lanes traffic, with street parking on both sides, sidewalks on either side and a two-way bicycle track on the west side. Bill Banks for the AJC

Event on kid fitness will be Saturday

An expo that focuses on healthy behavior and lifestyle for kids will be held in DeKalb County next weekend.

The Let’s Move event features fitness games, food and school backpacks for up to the first 500 kids who attend. Donations are still being accepted for the book bags The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Exchange Park recreation center on Columbia Drive near Decatur.

Information/donations: 678-819- 3663 or April Hunt

Brook Run Park celebration Aug. 3

Initial construction of the Brook Run Park multi-use trail is almost done. Celebrate with a free parade on Aug. 3 at 10 a.m. at the entrance of the trail, Brook Run Park, 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody.

Children aged 12 and under can decorate their bikes, wagons, scooters or wheelchairs and compete for Most Colorful, Most Creative and Best Theme. Children can register at

Information: Hannah Morgan


Fugitive accused of slashing wife’s face arrested

Dartanyan Kingsberry, 23, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was arrested in Locust Grove, where he was found hiding in a closet, according to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

Kingsberry is accused of attacking his estranged wife with a box cutter on June 28, causing her extensive injuries, according to police. The 26-year-old victim survived the attack, but needed 700 stitches in her face and 2,000 on other parts of her body.

U.S. Marshals assisted Henry deputies with the arrest. Kinsgberry was taken into custody without incident. Alexis Stevens

Code amended for backyard chickens

The Henry County Board of Commissioners approved the raising of up to four backyard chickens on lots less than three acres but at least a half-acre. The ordinance also stipulates that the chickens must be female and raised for the purpose of providing food or companionship.

Among other requirements, all backyard chickens must be housed in a coop that is enclosed on all sides, including the top and located in the rear of the property. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Henry commissioners roll back millage

The Henry County Board of Commissioners elected to rollback millage rates in adoption of the 2013 millage rate at a called meeting Tuesday. The millage rate for the unincorporated county was rolled back to 14.497, down from 14.500. Locust Grove, McDonough and Stockbridge also saw rollbacks, while Hampton’s millage was unchanged.

Information: Monroe Roark for the AJC

Theatre solicits scripts and directors

The Academy Theatre will be presenting “Tapas: A Short Play Festival of Rebirth & Renewal” the first weekend in October at the Stockbridge Community Arts Complex. The Theatre is soliciting scripts and directors. All plays ought to be 7 to 12 minutes in length and deal with rebirth and renewal.

Information: Monroe Roark for the AJC

Town hall meeting set for Saturday

Henry County Commissioner Bruce Holmes’ monthly town hall meeting will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at Crossroad Christian Church in Stockbridge.

The meeting will focus on the future of Henry County’s public schools and Henry County School Superintendent Dr. Ethan Hildreth will be the featured guest speaker.

Crossroad Christian Church is at 5365 North Henry Blvd. in Stockbridge. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Commissioners want to visit with groups

The five members of the Fayette County Board of Commissioners would like to be invited over.

The commissioners issued a notice that they are available to attend local civic, homeowners association, PTO or other meetings as part of a new community outreach program.

Interested groups may contact Tameca White at 770-305-5103 or to schedule an appearance. Jill Howard Church for the AJC