County by county news for Friday


Marietta school board adopts budget

The Marietta City School board passed a $77 million 2013 budget Tuesday.

The district was able to avoid raising class sizes or giving its teachers furlough days but several second grade paraprofessionals will be laid off.

The district will also tap about $3.5 million from their reserve funds to balance their budget. Daarel Burnette II

Campbell school up for renovation

Cobb County’s school board is expected to approve a $4.2 million renovation of Campbell Middle School. Under the renovation, the school will receive new music classrooms, lockers and air conditioning. The renovation is being funded by SPLOST funds. Construction is expected to be completed ay the end of the summer of 2013. Daarel Burnette II

Home Depot expansion brings award

Area Development magazine presented Georgia with its Silver Shovel Award this week for completing several economic development deals in 2011, including the Home Depot expansion project in Cobb County. The company is opening a customer call center in Kennesaw that will bring 700 jobs. Cobb was responsible for a third of all new jobs created in the metro Atlanta region last year, according to the county chamber of commerce. Janel Davis

Powder Springs to buy 4 police cars

The Powder Springs City Council voted Monday to spend $133,000 from this year’s budget to buy four police cars.

Councilman Chris Wizner was absent for the vote on the Dodge Chargers -- the least expensive from Akins Ford Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram in Winder.

Funds from the 2011 special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST, will pay for cameras and computers in the cars, said Interim City Manager and former Mayor Brad Hulsey.

Police Chief Charlie Sewell and Hulsey said many of the police cars have reached 160,000 miles. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

United for Change Coalition to meet

The Cobb United for Change Coalition invites the public to a town hall meeting from 7 to 9:30 p.m. June 28 at Life Changers Church, 1839 Powder Springs Road SW, Marietta. The topics being discussed are: black, brown & inter-cultural dialogue; human rights and immigration issues; Occupy Atlanta and Occupy Our Homes Campaign; and the statewide transportation referendum.

Those attending may bring a non-perishable food item and clothing to donate. Information: Helen Riley-Miskel at 770-423-2040 or Rich Pellegrino at 404-573-1199. Kenneth Musisi

Austell council to hold work session Monday

Austell Mayor Joe Jerkins and City Council members will hold their work session at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 2716 Broad St. SW.

Their voting meeting will be at 7 p.m. July 2.

Information: or 770-944-4326. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Ex-youth leader gets life for molestation

A former Gwinnett County church youth leader has been sentenced to life in prison after prosecutors say he posed as a girl on MySpace to find boys to molest.

Gwinnett Superior Court Judge Timothy Hamil ordered a life sentence for 29-year-old Antoine Johnson for molesting two boys ages 13 and 14 and attempting to lure a third child in 2008.

The Gwinnett Daily Post reports that Johnson is a former intern and summer camp organizer at Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula.

Associated Press

Career and job fair in Norcross

Gwinnett Village Community Alliance is holding its third career and job fair on today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Victory World Church, 5905 Brook Hollow Parkway in Norcross. About 30 employers are registered to attend. Information: 770-402-4697, or email Debbie McMinn at Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Tell the story of your heroic pet

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and the Georgia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wants to honor the animal hero in your life on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Do you have a service, therapy, military or otherwise heroic pet? Tell us why and receive a free professional photograph to keep and share. The event is at 1175 Buford Highway in Suwanee.

Bring a written story about your animal hero to the photo session. It will be posted on the Georgia SPCA website and in a special Facebook album.

To schedule an appointment: 678-765-2726. Andria Simmons

Gwinnett Medical cook off with firefighters

A recent study suggested firefighters have a 300 percent increased risk of developing heart disease. GMC’s Strickland Heart Center is sponsoring a heart healthy cooking contest for local fire and emergency services personnel 10 to 11:45 a.m. Saturday in the Georgia Gwinnett College Dining Hall located on the first floor of GMC in Lawrenceville. While the teams cook, you can learn more about diet, health and be entered into drawings for prizes. To participate: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Author Kim Poovey signing books in Lilburn

Kim Poovey, author of “Truer Words” will be signing books at Antiques in Old Town from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Poovey has written a fictional tale of a young girl from the Low Country of South Carolina who leaves home to attend medical school in Pennsylvania only to learn of a dangerous family secret. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Shiloh High gets global designation

Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, Snellville’s Shiloh High will become the county’s fifth International Baccalaureate school, joining the non-profit foundation’s 3,400-plus schools whose international curriculum serves a million-plus students in 141 countries. Gwinnett’s other IB schools are Norcross High, Pinckneyville and Summerour Middle and Peachtree Elementary. Michael Alpert for the AJC


Man gets 5 years for

child porn distribution

A Cumming man who used a computer file sharing program and the screen name “fallenone666” to trade child pornography was sentenced Thursday to five years in federal prison.

Andrew John Googins, 29, pleaded guilty to distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography on Feb. 3, 2012.

Googins’ 5-year prison sentence will be followed by supervised release for the rest of his life. Fran Jeffries

Candidate offers reward for sign vandals

Cherokee candidate for sheriff David Waters is offering a $2,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of whoever shot two arrows in one of his campaign signs. Waters said Thursday people have been destroying and stealing his signs since last December, but “things have stepped up lately.” About two weeks ago somebody shot arrows in one of the signs on Highway 140. He did not report the incident to police. Jeffry Scott

Sandy Springs hold downtown workshops

Sandy Springs will host a series of public workshops over the next week to make presentations and gather more input on its multi-million-dollar downtown redevelopment plan. The workshops will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and all day, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday on the Glenn Campus of Mt. Vernon Presbyterian School in the Media Center, 510 Mount Vernon Highway. Patrick Fox

Forsyth determines fox was rabid

Animal control officials in Forsyth County are cautioning residents to be cautious about wildlife near their homes after a recent rabies case involving a fox. The fox was killed June 5 after biting a dog and a man on Waldrip Road. Tests last week confirmed the animal was rabid. Residents who suspect an animal rabies case should call the sheriff’s animal control division at 770-781-2138. Mark Woosley for the AJC

Choosing Green fest Saturday in Canton

The Cherokee Transitions Green eco-group will stage its fourth annual Choosing Green Festival Saturday from 8.a.m.-2 p.m. in conjunction with the downtown Canton Farmers Market. Exhibitors will display green alternatives for insulation, home design and water use. Info: 770-720-1048. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Concert moves to Alpharetta venue

After a three-year hiatus, country music station KICKS 101.5 (WKHX) is bringing back a country concert tradition, Country Fair 2012. For its 12th year, Country Fair finds its new home at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at Encore Park in Alpharetta on Oct. 6 at 5:30 p.m. Georgia native Alan Jackson will be the headliner and Kix Brooks is the host.

Tickets go on sale Saturday at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or at Prices range from $20-79. Andria Simmons


Deadlock broken over library contract

Fulton County commissioners finally broke their deadlock over a contract to manage building the new $7.7 million Southeast Atlanta Library. Commissioner Joan Garner, who would have the library in her district, brought the issue back up. By a 4-2 vote, the panel hired Lithonia-based C.D. Moody Construction. Moody won the bid, but for months commissioners wouldn’t sign off, citing Moody’s performance on projects in the early 2000s. Commissioner Bill Edwards made a motion to deny Moody the contract and put the job back out for bid, but he was voted down. Johnny Edwards

Prison time for filing false tax returns

An Atlanta man has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for filing more than 80 false tax returns seeking more than $1 million in refunds, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Roddrick Morris, 39, also was ordered to pay $231,650 in restitution, which is what the IRS paid out in fraudulent returns, U.S. Attorney Sally Yates said in a statement. Bill Rankin

Free HIV testing today in Atlanta

Georgia Equality invites Fulton County residents to participate in the “Take the Test, Take Control” events taking place as part of the National HIV Testing Day. Free confidential HIV testing is being offered with same day results. Testing will be: noon to 6 p.m. today at Underground Atlanta; noon to 6 p.m. June 27 at Hurt Park, 100 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta; and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 27 at West End Mall. Kenneth Musisi

Library to screen Daisy Bates film

Downtown Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue Research Library will show the documentary “Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock” on Saturday. The film looks at the life of the Civil Rights activist and newspaper publisher who, in 1957, fought for the right of nine black students to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.The screening starts at 4 p.m. at 101 Auburn Ave., N.E.. Information: 404-730-4001 Ext. 100. Johnny Edwards


Men steal diamond earrings at mall

Dunwoody police are trying to identify two men who stole from Zales jewelry store at Perimeter Mall.

The men asked to see three sets of diamond earrings valued at $8,579 on June 2, grabbed them and fled. One suspect is a thin black male, late teens to early 20s, wearing a red polo shirt with thin white stripes, black shorts, dark shoes, and a black hat with red bill.

The other was a thin black male of the same age range wearing a red T-shirt, black warm-up pants with side stripes and a red “Phillies” hat. Info: call Detective Andrew Thompson at 678-382-6911. Andria Simmons

Buy a brick, help the library

Library supporters can make a concrete gift to four new expanded branches in DeKalb County through a brick fundraising program.

For $100, bricks will be inscribed with a donor’s name, family or company, or in memory of a loved one and then installed in the entryway of the Hairston Crossing, Salem-Panola, Stonecrest and Tucker libraries. The deadline to participate is June 30. All money will go to the DeKalb Library Foundation to pay for programs, materials and literacy services at all 22 county libraries.

Information or to donate: 404-371-8459, ext. 2238 or April Hunt

Oakhurst to get 4 new classrooms

The Decatur school system will use part of its new SPLOST to add four new classrooms at Oakhurst Elementary. Initially the school will get two temporary classrooms in trailers by August and four more temporary classrooms by either the Thanksgiving or Christmas break.

Superintendent Phyllis Edwards hopes construction of the permanent classrooms, or actually a demolition of the building’s north end, followed by the building of eight new classrooms for a net gain of four, will begin in January. Bill Banks for the AJC

Court moves ahead on court renovation

Nearly two years after agreeing to spend $4 million in federal stimulus dollars to renovate its aging Recorders Court, DeKalb County has signed off on the main contract for work.

The $1.8 million deal calls for Diversified Construction of Georgia to add two courtrooms, renovating two existing courtrooms and make several upgrades to the administrative and lobby areas at the facility on Camp Circle, just off Memorial Drive and I-285. Chief Judge Nelly Withers and her staff spent off hours converting a former storage area into a fourth courtroom last summer, a temporary fix to ease a space crunch that has helped generate a backlog of at least 40,000 trials. April Hunt

Johnson to lead 8-mile bike ride

DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson will lead an eight-mile bike ride through the county Sunday, to increase awareness about diabetes.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Macy’s parking lot at the South DeKalb Mall, 2801 Candler Road, near Decatur.

The event is free and is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to encourage exercise and habits that promote healthier lives. April Hunt


Fulton launches talks on LOST revenue

The Fulton County Commission voted unanimously to launch negotiations with the county’s 14 cities on how to divvy up 1-cent local option sales tax revenues. The formula must be hashed out every 10 years. LOST is designed to prevent tax increases, and more than $220 million is at stake. The current formula, based on population, would have most cities gaining millions while Atlanta and some south Fulton cities take hits. Since four new cities formed in the last decade, the county’s share of the pot has diminished from 35 percent to about 15 percent. Johnny Edwards

Peachtree City to begin stream project

Peachtree City’s plans to conduct a stream restoration project at Bridlepath Pond will require a variance from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The project will involve replacing a concrete dam with a step pool structure and a vegetated wetland and stream system. The plan can be reviewed at the city engineer’s office at 153 Willowbend Road.

Public comment can be sent to the Program Manager, Non-Point Source Program, Erosion and Sedimentation Control Unit, 4220 International Parkway, Suite 101, Atlanta 30354 by July 14. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Fayette library fines going up

The fee for overdue books from Fayette County libraries will increase from 10 cents per day to 20 cents per day starting July 1.

The PINES Executive Committee approved the change at its annual meeting in May. The fine applies to books from all PINES member libraries in Fayetteville, Peachtree City and Tyrone.

Similar fee increases for magazines, audio books, CDs and other items are under review. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Union Grove High teacher up for national award

Union Grove High School teacher Debbie Peabody will compete next week for the title of National SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year at the National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Kansas City. An architectural/engineering drawing instructor, Peabody earned her spot in January after being named the SkillsUSA Advisor of the year for Region 2, which is comprised of 10 southeastern states as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

She has served as a SkillsUSA advisor to students in Henry County for 23 years.

Monroe Roark for the AJC

Exchange students need host families

World Heritage Student Exchange Program is seeking local host families for high school students from abroad. Host families can include couples, single parents, and families with or without children in the home. Families can host a student for a semester or school year. Students are fully insured, have their own spending money and expect to do chores and participate in family activities. Details: World Heritage local reps Bob and Marcie Comeau, 120 Hickory Dr., Peachtree City, 978-204-3953 or 1-800-888-9040 or log on to or Tammy Joyner