County by county news for Friday


Meetings to explain political redistricting

The traveling community meetings explaining how Georgia’s political redistricting will proceed this year and taking comments from the public will be near Cherokee and Cobb counties June 7, in Cartersville. The meeting will be at the Clarence Brown Conference Center at 5450 State Route 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. Because of the new population numbers from the U.S. Census, Georgia’s political districts for state House and Senate seats and for federal representatives and senators will be redrawn. The meetings have drawn people with complaints about current districts. Christopher Quinn

Powder Springs to make cards for troops

All ages are invited to make Fourth of July cards in Powder Springs to be sent to local troops serving overseas.

“Cards for the Troops” will be held at the Powder Springs Library, 4181 Atlanta St. Monday through Thursday.

Free card-making supplies will be available all day each day.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday.

Information: 770-439-3600.Carolyn Cunningham

Mableton Community Day on Saturday

The sixth annual Mableton Community Day celebration will be held at the Mable House complex Saturday.

The day begins with a 5k race at 8 a.m.

Starting at 10 a.m., other activities will include musical and stage performance entertainment, story-telling, tours of the Historic Mable House, arts and crafts, jump houses for children and clowns.

The fourth annual Classic Car show will also be held. Info: Andria Simmons

Sorority to host empowerment summit

The Marietta-Roswell Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will host a free Community Empowerment Summit on Saturday featuring information on personal economics, healthcare reform and quality education.

Derrick Boazman, host of WAOK 1380 AM’s “Too Much Truth” will be the keynote speaker.

The summit runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Marriott Atlanta Northwest, 200 Interstate Pkwy. in Atlanta.

Registration: Janel Davis

Shorter school days ahead next week

Cobb will have shorter school days next week, as the district approaches the last day of school May 25. High school students will be released at 11:30 a.m. May 24 and 25, middle school at 12:30 p.m., and elementary schools at 1:30 p.m. Report cards will be mailed out to high and middle school students on June 3. More information: Jaime Sarrio

Residents can search for police data online

Cobb County residents now have the capability of searching an online database for crime data. Types of crime available to search include burglaries, entering autos, thefts and criminal trespass/damage.

People can also retrieve their own vehicle crash reports. Visit: to try it out. Andria Simmons


Seven students win Gates Millennium scholarships

Seven Gwinnett County Schools students recognized as Gates Millennium Scholarship winners were honored at a special reception Wednesday. As a Gates Scholar, the students will have their undergraduate college tuition paid in full. The students are among 1,000 winners selected nationally for their academic performance. They are: Priya Malhotra of Archer High; Pan Su “Peter” Kim and Joel Owen of Brookwood High; Do Hyun “Matt” Kim of Mill Creek High; Tanya Thomas and Samuel Yang of Mountain View High and Joy-Annette Atsegbua of Peachtree Ridge High. D. Aileen Dodd

Hudgens Center holds camp registration

The Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth is holding registration for classes and summer camp. Summer Art Camp registration is open for children ages 5 -- 12. Camps are limited to 45 students. Camp fees are $200 for non-members and $175 for members for one week sessions. Camp opens June 13 and runs from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Those interested can register by phone at 770-623-6002 or in person in the gift shop. D. Aileen Dodd

Suwanee launches Sculp Tour Saturday

Suwanee will launch the inaugural Suwanee Sculp Tour, which will feature 15 sculptures created by a dozen artists, on Saturday during the Arts in the Park festival. The sculptures have been installed throughout the city’s Town Center as part of a mile-long walking tour.

Information: www.suwanee. com. Joel Anderson

Gwinnett to mark Older Americans Month

Gwinnett County will celebrate Older Americans Month at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Prime Timers Pointe Senior Recreation Center at George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center, 55 Buford Highway, Suwanee.

The cost is $3 per person. To register, call 770-831-4173. David Wickert

Jury gets drug deal killing case

A Gwinnett County jury began deliberations Thursday afternoon in the trial for Omar Falay, 20, who is accused of taking part in a marijuana ripoff that resulted in a fatal shooting in Grayson. Falay, charged with murder, aggravated assault and armed robbery. Zachary Bivens and Francelis Dorce were charged as co-defendants. Prosecutors say he participated in a robbery that went awry on Dec. 23, 2008. Falay, 20, testified Wednesday that he witnessed the robbery and shooting, but did not take part in it. Robert Christopher Morales, 27, was shot and killed. Andria Simmons

Homebuilder to host open houses

Homebuilder Lennar Homes will host open houses in three new metro Atlanta communities on Saturday and Sunday.

Public tours are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The new neighborhoods are James Creek in Cumming, Laurel Heights in Suwanee and Hanover Pointe in Alpharetta. Information: James Creek, 404-901-9978; Laurel Heights, 404-901-8973; and Hanover Pointe, 404-602-2623. Joel Anderson


Fulton terminates contract with jury shuttle

Severe problems with a shuttle service for jurors and employees has led the Fulton commission to terminate a $354,000 contract with Smyrna-based Boswell’s Transportation. According to county documents, buses have often been more than 30 minutes late, and when equipment failures put buses out of service, the company had no backup plan. In one case, the company asked if it could borrow county equipment. The commission awarded a new contract to the second-lowest bidder, Atlanta-based Cooper-Atlanta Transportation Services, Inc. Johnny Edwards

Cherokee moves ahead with Sunday alcohol

There will be a public hearing June 21 in Cherokee County on whether to allow Sunday retail sales of alcohol.

It will come during the board’s meeting June 21, 6 p.m. in the county administration building at 1130 Bluffs Parkway in Canton.

The referendum could be placed on the November ballot.

Christopher Quinn

Rotary Club of Windward wins honor

The Rotary Club of Windward has won Best All-around Club of the Year for clubs with 35 or fewer members. The announcement came at the recent District 6900 Convention at Callaway Gardens.

The Windward club, which has 22 members, meets noon Mondays at The Marriott on Windward Parkway in Alpharetta. Patrick Fox

Cherokee to have last meeting on redistricting

Cherokee County schools have held three meetings to explain potential school redistricting and one more is scheduled.

The last meeting will be May 23, at 7 p.m. at Etowah High School, 6565 Putnam Ford Road in Woodstock.

Following the meetings, parent and community surveys will be available.

For information, call Barbara Jacoby, director of public information, at (770) 704-4228 or email Christopher Quinn

Cut-a-thon benefits Locks of Love

You can take some off the top for a good cause at the fifth annual “It’s Just Hair” cut-a-thon May 23 in Alpharetta. The event benefits Locks of Love and promotes awareness about Alopecia Areata. Organizer Diane Cooley said she began the drive after her daughter was diagnosed with Alopecia when she was 3. The event is from 1-8 p.m. at Taylor Brooks Salon, 11550 Jones Bridge Road.

Registration and information: or 678-521-5639 Patrick Fox

Registration open for Milton basketball

Registration has opened for Milton’s first co-ed recreational basketball league and summer camps at Hopewell Middle School.

Offered through Up With Kids Sports and the Securing a Mind Foundation, the summer league for children ages 8-13 runs from June 27 to July 30 and costs $115. Non-residents pay $172.50.

Skill camps for children 6-17 will be June 13-17 and Aug. 1-5 at a cost of $135 each. Cost for non-residents is $202.50.

Information and registration forms are at

Patrick Fox


A taste of Mississippi at Chastain Park

A taste of Mississippi doesn’t have to smack of flood waters. Next month, lovers of the Magnolia State are invited to gather in Chastain Park for fried catfish, hush puppies, sweet tea, caramel cake and, of course, the blues. The Mississippi Society of Georgia, composed of alumni and friends of Mississippi colleges, puts on “Mississippi in the Park” with an eye to recruiting for the state’s schools and highlighting economic ties to Georgia. Go to register. Saturday, June 25 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 135 West Wieuca Rd., NW Steve Visser

Black entrepreneurs meet begins on Sunday

Top African-American entrepreneurs and corporate executives begin a three-day Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference and Expo at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis hotel on Sunday. The conference is designed to provide attendees with business strategies and networking opportunities. Ernie Suggs

Program aimed to protect children

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office will help parents protect their children from predators Saturday as part of Georgia Missing and Exploited Children’s Day. It will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Turner Field’s Gray Parking Lot, 688 Central Ave., Atlanta.

Parents can get identification kits for their children, including fingerprinting, to use in emergency situations. Johnny Edwards

Home-buying workshop to be Saturday

Atlanta City Councilmember Cleta Winslow and the Rev. John Battle, pastor of New Shield of Faith Christian Ministries, will sponsor a housing and down-payment assistance workshop on Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at 211 Boykin St. S.W.

Potential homebuyers can receive up to 30 percent of the sales price in down payment assistance to purchase a home in the city. Funding for 100 potential homebuyers is available. Information: 404-330-6047 or Ernie Suggs


Decatur set for more street improvements

Decatur entered into an agreement this week with Development Planning & Engineering, Inc. of Buford to design pedestrian safety and bicycle trail improvements at the Clairemont Road, Church Street and Commerce Avenue intersections. Similar improvements will also be constructed along Church, north from downtown to the city limits. City Manager Peggy Merriss said the design process should start next month, but funding probably won’t be secured until January.

Bill Banks for the AJC

5K run benefits brain cancer research

A 5K walk/run to raise money for brain cancer research will be held Saturday morning in a south DeKalb County park.

The $25 registration fee for the Moving Towards a Cure race also will go to help pay for patient travel. The race begins at 8 a.m. at Wade Walker Park, 5584 Rockbridge Road in Stone Mountain.

Information: April Hunt

‘Yogi Bear’ for movie in the park Saturday

The children’s movie, “Yogi Bear,” will be screened for free Saturday night in Doraville.

The city is sponsoring the event at Honeysuckle Park on Pleasant Valley Drive, the first of several other movies planned this spring and summer.

The movie will begin at dusk, around 8 p.m. Games and activities will be held before the flick, and concessions will be available.

Information: April Hunt

Youth leadership class graduates 37

Youth Leadership DeKalb Class of 2011 graduated 37 students, who completed a leadership training program that focused on issues such as criminal justice, health, quality of life, business, government, banking and finance and civic engagement. A graduation ceremony was held earlier this month at Georgia Perimeter College. The students represented 16 area public and private high schools. They learned about DeKalb County issues and received youth leadership training over the course of the 10-month program. Michelle E. Shaw

Ellis talks with HUD official about projects

DeKalb County’s Chief Executive recently met with two top officials from the federal Housing and Urban Development department to talk regional projects. The conversation between Burrell Ellis and Deputy HUD Secretary Ron Sims and Regional HUD Administrator Ed Jennings focused on ways to address housing, transportation and environmental issues in the larger community.

The trio also discussed DeKalb’s foreclosure registry, a list of the owners of foreclosed properties in the county designed to help the county keep track of code issues at those sites. April Hunt

Decatur doctor receives national honor

Dr. Naomi P. Alazraki, of Decatur, has been recognized by the American College of Radiology as a fellow, its highest honor. Dr. Alazraki is chief of nuclear medicine at the VA Medical Center and a professor of radiology at the Emory University School of Medicine. Michelle E. Shaw


Fulton OKs deal to send inmates to other counties

The Fulton commission approved agreements Wednesday with DeKalb, Coffee and Gilmer counties to help with jail overcrowding. Last year, the county spent $6.3 million keeping the jail population below the federally-mandated 2,500 cap. The agreement with DeKalb will be for up to 100 inmates at $67 per inmate per day, with Gilmer for up to 20 inmates at $35 per inmate per day and with Coffee for up to 50 inmates at $34 per inmate per day. The county also has agreements with the South Fulton Regional Jail, Alpharetta and Hall and Oconee counties. Johnny Edwards

Commissioner pushes for proactive cuts

Fulton Commissioner Liz Hausmann said the county needs to start making cuts now, not later, to avoid a projected $107.3 million budget shortfall next year. At Wednesday’s meeting, she asked County Manager Zachary Williams what specifically was being done to head it off, and Williams responded that an ongoing hiring freeze will save $15 million this year and $15 million in 2012. Hausmann said that still leaves a sizable gap, and she asked that a cost-saving plan be drafted soon. Johnny Edwards

Grassroots Leadership accepting applications

The GrassRoots Leadership Institute is accepting applications for its 2011 training program. The Clayton County program grooms citizens for leadership roles in the community. Log on to, click the “GrassRoots 2011” tab to download the application. Deadline is June 3. Application fee: $25. Tammy Joyner

Hapeville to hire planning consultant

Hapeville officials agreed Tuesday night to authorize city manager Bill Warner to enter into negotiations for hiring an interim planning consultant. The city’s former planning manager Chris Montesinos left the city for a position in East Point, and Hapeville plans to use the services of the consultant until a permanent replacement for a planning manager is found. John Thompson for the AJC

Hapeville water rates on the rise

The Hapeville City Council passed a 12 percent increase in water rates Tuesday night. The rate increases from $ 3.30 per hundred cubic feet to $ 3.70 per hundred cubic feet effective July 1.

City manager Bill Warner explained the rate hike is the last increase from the four year rate increase passed by the city of Atlanta in 2008. John Thompson for the AJC

Fayette residents as for input on transportation

Fayette County residents are being encouraged to complete an online survey to help prioritize proposed transportation improvements.

Before the 2012 vote on a 1 percent sales tax to fund these projects, leaders are asking for public input regarding projects already discussed as part of the Transportation Investment Act of 2010.

The Atlanta Regional Roundtable is coordinating efforts among multiple counties. The survey is available through today at Jill Howard Church for the AJC