County by county news for Friday


Athletes, coach to join Marietta hall of fame

Marietta City Schools will induct the 2001 state championship varsity girls track team and retired tennis coach and teacher Cheryl Godsey Love into the Marietta Athletic Hall Of Fame on last week.

Other new members will be athletes James Harris “Hap” Hines, Jerry Jones, Rick Evatt, James Morris and contributor Beverly Sanders Raines.

The group will also be honored at the home football game Friday at Northcutt Stadium.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Meals on Wheels needs volunteers

Meals on Wheels needs volunteers to deliver hot meals to homebound seniors in Marietta, Smyrna, Austell, Mableton and Powder Springs. Cobb Senior Services is also looking for groups to adopt a delivery route. Meals are delivered from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Information: Volunteer Services at 770-528-5381. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Marietta picked for recycling challenge

Marietta is one of 50 communities selected to participate in a recycling competition that could add $100,000 to city conservation efforts. The city with the most residents reporting their recycling will win the six-month, SC Johnson Green Choices Recycling Challenge through Dec. 31. Information: Tucker McQueen

Kennesaw park tastes Coca-Cola grant

Swift-Cantrell Park in Kennesaw has gotten a $15,000 grant from Coca-Cola, as part of the “America Is Your Park,” campaign.

The grant will be used to purchase and install exercise stations along the park trail.

It was awarded to park officials last week as part of “Worldwide Day of Play,” an event where kids and parents learned about nutrition and physical fitness through fun and games, informative activity stations and interactive demonstrations. Ernie Suggs

Cobb recognizes public safety heroes

Cobb County’s finest were honored Monday at the Cobb Chamber’s annual Public Safety Appreciation breakfast. Fire Lieutenant Kyle Smith, who has spent 19 years in public safety, was named Public Safety Employee of the Year.

Winners of the Award of Merit, which recognized acts of courage or a demonstration of concern for citizens, were Cobb County police officers Chase Childers and Kyle Solon; Emergency communications operators Cullen Bragg and Yolanda Cherie Estes; and Marietta Police detectives Matthew Parker, Christopher Lindsey and Johnnie Moeller.

Detective Bob Pierce of the Cobb County Police Department, received the Distinguished Achievement Award.

Deputy Sheriff Todd Peisel of the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office received the Medal of Valor.

Ernie Suggs

Austell honors police officer

Austell Mayor Joe Jerkins awarded a plaque and pin to Police Sgt. Steven Tarter during Monday’s City Council meeting.

Tarter has been employed by the city for 15 years.

Before the meeting, a reception was held in appreciation of Tarter and his family.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Woman charged with arson in apartment fire

Charity Nickelson, 25, was arrested Wednesday and held without bond after authorities said she set fire to her apartment in the 2800 block of Spruce Circle, Snellville. She was charged with first-degree arson, a felony, and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, a misdemeanor, jail records showed.

Firefighters responding to the blaze at 5:52 a.m. Wednesday and found smoke and flames contained to one room of a second-floor apartment, authorities said adding that the circumstances of the fire were suspicious. If found guilty on the arson charge, Nickelson could face up to 21 years in prison. David Ibata

Gwinnett to host Public Safety festival

Gwinnett County’s firefighters and police officers have partnered with the Gwinnett Braves for the third annual Public Safety Fall Festival 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Coolray Field, 2500 Buford Dr., Lawrenceville.

The free event includes a car and motorcycle show, SWAT & Fire demonstrations, displays of a helicopter and other emergency vehicles. Firefighters and police will compete in a softball game. Kenneth Musisi

Gwinnett seeks input on parks plan

Gwinnett County is seeking public input on its 2013 parks and recreation capital improvement plan update. Residents can talk about recreation needs at a series of public meetings:

7:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday , Centerville Community Center, 3025 Bethany Church Road, Snellville.

7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dacula Park Activity Building, 2025 Dacula Road.

2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 16, Bethesda Park Senior Center, 225 Bethesda Church Road, Lawrenceville.

7:30 to 9 p.m. Oct. 22, George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center, 55 Buford Highway, Suwanee. David Wickert

Competing art works on display in Buford

Competing artists works of outdoor scenes at Gwinnett parks are on display at Buford’s Tannery Row Artist Colony, 554 West Main St. through Oct. 7.

The winning work will become the signature piece for Gwinnett Parks and Recreation’s upcoming 25th Anniversary. Information: MICHAEL ALPERT FOR THE AJC

Loving’ Spoonful headlines Saturday

Amigos for Christ presents a benefit at Suwanee Town Center Park Saturday to address the critical need for clean water in Nicaragua. There events from 9 a.m. to a concert by “The Lovin’ Spoonful” at 7:30 pm. Information: Nancy Badertscher

Beer festival, concert set for Saturday

The Grayson Downtown Development Authority hosts the Grayson Blues & Brews Craft Beer Festival 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday in Grayson City Park. Devon Allman’s Honeytribe and Critical Velocity perform.

Tickets: $25 online; $30 at the event. Adults only, no pets. Funds go towards the Grayson Children’s Fund.

Information: Kenneth Musisi


Alpharetta families sought for television show

The Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau has announced that the casting Crew for the TLC show, “Four Houses” is seeking families in Alpharetta to participate in the show’s second season.

Submit your name, location and contact information along with photos of four different rooms of your home and a picture of you and your family to by today.

Information: 818-666-3606.

Kenneth Musisi

Alpharetta business group to host festival

The Alpharetta Business Association hosts the second annual Brew Moon Fest 6:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday. The Old School Horn Band, and Banks and Shane will perform. Restaurants will serve along Milton Avenue. Food and beverages can’t be brought in from the outside and backpacks are not allowed. ATM machines will be at the entrances.

Tickets: $10 online or at the entrance. Information: Kenneth Musisi

Benefit for abandoned golden retrievers

Adopt a Golden Atlanta, the second largest Golden Retriever rescue organization in the country, will hold its 9th annual Goldenrama 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 21 at Atlanta Athletic Club, Johns Creek.

Golden Retrievers in metro Atlanta and their owners are invited to participate in dog games, training tips and other activities. Vendors and groups like Happy Tails and CAREing Paws will be on hand.

Admission: $10 or $25 per family. Registration: Information: 404-364-5377. Patrick Fox

State officials recognize PreK Week

State officials are celebrating PreKindergarten Week in Fulton with a visit by Representative Lynne Riley (R-Johns Creek) to Findley Oaks Elementary School in Johns Creek. Jeffry Scott

School seeks help with award-winning garden

The Epstein School in Sandy Springs is seeking donations and volunteers to help with its award-winning sustainable educational garden and pond, used to teach students about the natural world, science and Judaic studies.

The National Wildlife Federation awarded the site with Certified Wildlife Habitat status in April 2009. The garden has continued to grow, as students tend it, most recently adding sunflowers. A donor also recently gave the garden an organic hydroponic tower that is growing tomatoes and basil.

The school is seeking more help. Contact Elisa Prager at

Ty Tagami

Forsyth business announces expansion

Russell Landscape Group, Inc. will add a 27,000-square-foot facility on Pendley Road in Cumming, generating about 50 new jobs, according to the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce.

The landscaping firm employs about 250 people and serves Atlanta and five other metro areas. Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Burglary suspect shot at apartment

A burglary suspect was shot late Wednesday after she allegedly kicked in the door of an apartment on Continental Colony Parkway. A woman inside the apartment shot the suspect who then drove herself away.

According to Channel 2, officers found drugs inside the apartment, but not the weapon used to shoot the suspect.

The burglary victim, whose name has not been released, was charged with possession of marijuana and obstructing a police investigation.

The wounded suspect, Katrina Smith, 35, was charged with burglary and criminal damage to property. She was in critical but stable condition at Grady Memorial Hospital early Thursday. Mike Morris

Man caught in drug raid accused in hotel scam

A man who was arrested in a drug raid Tuesday night was also wanted for scamming elite hotels.

James Tatum, 31, who waived his bond hearing Wednesday, was caught with drugs and forged checks that totalled $100,000, Atlanta police said.

The suspect also allegedly stayed at upscale hotels, running up room service bills and paying with stolen credit card information. Angel K. Brooks

Atlanta Black Theatre Festival ongoing

Pam Thompson, psychologist and author of “Surviving Mama”, will discuss complex family relationships 10 to 11 a.m. today at the “Authors Alley” at at Loews Atlanta Hotel, 1065 Peachtree St. NE as part of the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival ongoing through Sunday at the hotel and Woodruff’s 14th St. Playhouse, 173 14th St. NE.

Details: Kenneth Musisi

Atlanta charter gets five-year extension

The Atlanta school board Monday voted to renew the charter contract for Wesley International Academy for five years. In 2011, the school was granted a one-year renewal to allow the school to come into compliance with new state rules. APS officials said the school has met requirements.

Jaime Sarrio


Town hall meeting to feature police, D.A.

DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James and Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan will host a town hall meeting and community breakfast at 8:30 a.m., Oct. 20 at Kingsley Elementary School, 2051 Brendon Dr., Dunwoody.

The town hall meeting will focus on crime prevention, community resources and various public safety initiatives, including protecting children from online predators. PTAs, church and neighborhood groups are asked to attend.

Information: Dana Lawrence, or Ebony Phillips, Patrick Fox

School board member to meet parents

DeKalb County school board member Donna Edler will discuss community concerns at an hour-long forum 1 p.m. Saturday at Peace Baptist Church, 1399 Austin Dr. The South DeKalb board member represents the area feeding Columbia, Redan, Towers and Clarkston high schools.

Reservations: Ty Tagami

Decatur’s Oliver House opens

The Oliver House, the second phase of Decatur’s Allen Wilson Terrace renovation, recently held an open house for its 80-unit elderly housing community.

The 82,419-square-foot, four-story Oliver House has 72 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom apartments.

Total cost for the project is $12,383,737. Phase III is exptected to begin in January. After Phase III, 100 to 150 market rate town homes and condos will be built. Bill Banks for the AJC

Technology center to be added to rec center

DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson plans to unveil a science, technology, engineering and mathematics center at a county recreation center early next month.

The STEM center will feature free tutorials and online programs for children and adults when it opens Thursday at the Exchange Park rec center, 2771 Columbia Dr.Information: 404-371-2425. April Hunt

Register now for Recycle-Bowl

Registration for Keep America Beautiful’s second annual Recycle-Bowl competition is through Tuesday. Schools can register at to win prizes.

ONE DeKalb – Keep DeKalb Beautiful will provide 22 gallon bins (ten per school) to help in calculating and transporting recyclables collected.

Information: 404-371-2654 or Kenneth Musisi

Black Native American program at library

A program examining the history of black Native Americans will be held Saturday at the Wesley Chapel branch of the DeKalb County Library, 2861 Wesley Chapel Road.

The daylong “When Tribes Meet” program features storytelling, book discussions and crafts.

Librarians Mia Buggs and Veronica Winley received a national library award for the effort, which included a $1,000 grant to host the event.

The program is free and open to the public.


April Hunt


Henry police donate vests to other departments

The Henry County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to allow 170 ballistic vests no longer used by its own police to be donated to officers whose agencies cannot afford them. The Cornelia (Ga.) Police Department will accept 12 SWAT vests, which retail for $1,200-$1,500 each when new. The balance will be donated to the Armor of God Project, a nonprofit which refurbishes ballistic vests and redistributes them to police officers around the world. Regular ballistic vests cost about $600 each when new. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Festival in Historic Downtown Fairburn

The annual Fairburn Festival will be held Saturday in Historic Downtown Fairburn on W. Broad Street between Smith and Dodd streets.

The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. and the festival is 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Events include musical performances by the John King Band, Maria Burrell, Veronika Jackson and the Class Act Band, arts and crafts vendors, a food court and children’s activities.

Information: or 770-964-2244. Veronica Fields Johnson

Wolf Creek seeks volunteers

Fulton County is looking for ushers, concert support staffers and promotional event workers for a volunteer program for the Wolf Creek Amphitheater.

The program — called People Aiding Concertgoers with Kindness, or PACK — needs volunteers for the “2012 Gospel Explosion” on Saturday.


Johnny Edwards

Southern Belle Farm hosts seasonal events

Southern Belle Farm, 1658 Turner Church Road, McDonough has opened for its seventh season through Nov. 4.

The second annual Save the Udders Breast Cancer Awareness Day is 11 a.m. Saturday. 6.

Admission for breast cancer survivors is free including a special discount to farm-goers for wearing pink.

The breast cancer awareness program will be followed by a pink parade and balloon release.

Information: or 770-288-2582.

Kenneth Musisi

Voter registration drive is today

With the last day of voter registration rapidly approaching, the East Point City Clerk’s office is aiding in the effort to make sure every resident is registered to vote.

From 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. today at the Customer Care Department, 2791 East Point St., the clerk’s office will conduct a voter registration drive. John Thompson for the AJC

East Point celebrates fall

The East Point Main Street Association is presenting “Destination East Point: A Fall Celebration,” 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday in the East Point Commons Area, 2757 East Point St.

A host of activities includes an interactive circus performance and a carnival featuring midway games, attractions, and tasty treats.

John Thompson for the AJC