County by county news for Friday


Finalists for Cobb judicial vacancy announced

Three judges and an Atlanta lawyer are finalists to fill a vacancy on the Cobb County Superior Court bench.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s Judicial Nominating Commission has recommended these candidates: Cobb Juvenile Judge Juanita P. Stedman, Cobb State Court Judges Maria Golick and Robert D. Leonard II and Mark VanderBroek, a partner for the firm Troutman Sanders.

The vacancy was created by the retirement of Superior Court Judge George Kreeger.

Bill Rankin

Chabad of Cobb to host annual festival

Chabad of Cobb’s annual Sukkot Festival will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at East Cobb Park, 3322 Roswell Road, Marietta.

Participants will enjoy festive music, great rides, bungee, a giant slide, food, and more. The event is free, and donations are welcomed.

Information: 770-565-4412 ext. 300. Kenneth Musisi

Roller derby skaters host Bombshell Brawl

A full roster of local Roller Derby skaters will compete at the Bombshell Brawl 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Cobb Civic Center, Marietta.

The Marietta Derby Darlins will participate along with teams from Alabama and North Carolina. The main event is Torpedo Bay (Mobile, Ala.) versus the Marietta Derby Darlins at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: $13 for both bouts. Marietta Derby Darlins is a nonprofit amateur athletic organization.


Kenneth Musisi

Palmer Middle School seeks craft vendors

Palmer Middle School, 690 N Booth Rd. NW in Kennesaw, is looking for craft and business vendors in metro Atlanta to participate in the Craft-A-Palooza Holiday Craft & Business Bazaar.

The event will take place 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 3.

For vendor applications, contact

Kenneth Musisi

Run to benefit Make-A-Wish

The Cobb County 5K to benefit Make-A-Wish Georgia will be held Oct. 6, and the race will begin and end at the Marietta Square.

Registration fees by today are $20 for untimed 5K walk/run and $25 for timed 5K run. After Friday, the fees will be $25 for untimed 5K walk/run and $35 for timed 5K run.

Children 6-12 years old are $10 and 5 and under are free. All money raised will be used to help grant wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Last year’s race raised $40,000 and helped grants the wishes of six local children.

Information, or to register online, visit

Arlinda Smith Broady

Library offers Lego play days

Children of all ages are invited to play with Legos from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wenesday as well as Oct. 30 and Nov. 27 at the Powder Springs Library, 4181 Atlanta St.

All Lego pieces are provided.

Information: 770-439-3600.

Staff reports


Police: Thieves targeting elderly victims

Gwinnett County police are investigating a dozen distraction-style burglaries targeting elderly victims. Seven of the incidents occurred in Gwinnett. One man, usually described as a Hispanic or Slavic male of average height and weight, approaches the elderly person.

The suspect may claim he is building a fence for a neighbor and needs the victim to point out her back property line. While the victim and first suspect walk to the back yard, the second suspect enters the home and steals valuables — typically jewelry.

Anyone with information can call 770-513-5300. Andria Simmons

Four finalists for Gwinnett judgeship

Gov. Nathan Deal’s Judicial Nominating Commission has forwarded the names of three judges and a prosecutor as finalists to fill a vacancy on the Gwinnett Superior Court.

The governor will soon interview Chief Gwinnett Magistrate Judge George F. Hutchinson III, DeKalb Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney John Melvin, Gwinnett State Court Judge Randy Rich and Gwinnett Magistrate Robert D. Walker Jr. The vacancy was created by the recent elevation of Judge William M. Ray II to the state Court of Appeals. Bill Rankin

Reward posted in Hertz employee killing

A $25,000 reward has been posted for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who killed a Hertz Rent-a-Car employee last week.

Monique Marlowe, 24, of Duluth, was shot and killed Friday as she was cleaning a car in the back of the Hertz location on Satellite Boulevard. Police said Marlowe was approached by a young, black male wearing a blue shirt between 5 and 5:30 p.m.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact detectives at 770-513-5300. Mike Morris

Gwinnett bakery sued over wedding cake

Toye Akinsanya toldChannel 2 Action News that he and his wife Bridget ordered two cakes for a niece’s wedding from Celso’s Cakes in Norcross, paying the bakery $2,000 10 days before the event.

But no cakes materialized. The wedding was Aug. 25, one day after Celso’s closed.

As many as 15 others said they, too, were out deposits.

Renewed efforts by the TV station to contact the baker were unsuccessful. David Ibata

Schools awarded for recognitions

Gwinnett County Public Schools has been singled out for its annual efforts to recognize the top technical education student from each high school, a Technical Education Student of the Year and the district’s work to prepare students for colleges and careers. These efforts garnered state attention and a “Project of the Year” award at the Georgia Employer Committee Annual State Conference. Nancy Badertscher

Last Snellville Farmers Market Saturday

This Saturday will be the final Snellville Farmers Market of the season. The Snellville Farmers’ Market is held 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday June through September, in front of Snellville City Hall, 2342 Oak Road. Arlinda Smith Broady


Court task force to release recommendations

The Fulton County Court Improvement Task Force on Friday will release its final report and recommendations for the busy court system.

The task force, composed of court officials, lawyers and business persons, will present its plans and take questions. The event is open to the public and will be held at 9 a.m. at the Loudermilk Center, 40 Courtland St. NE, in downtown Atlanta. The task force, chaired by Atlanta lawyer William Barwick, studied the justice system over the past year and found a critical need for improved customer service, transparency, budget efficiency and the elimination of redundancies.

Bill Rankin

Funk Heritage Center free admission on Sunday

The Funk Heritage Center of Reinhardt University in Waleska will join 1,400 other participating venues nationwide offering free admission for the annual Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day on Saturday.

Attendees must present a Museum Day Admission Card to gain free entry at the Funk Heritage Center. Each ticket provides access for two people. Download a Museum Day ticket at

Kenneth Musisi

Church pumpkin patch opens Sunday

Bridge to Grace Church hosts its fourth annual Pumpkin Patch Sunday through Nov. 1 at 2385 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell. Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The Arts and Crafts Festival will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 13 with a book sale, live music, a clown and a free maze for kids.

Part of the proceeds from the patch and festival will go to Project LIFT, a nonprofit that provides mentors to local at-risk students. Information:

Kenneth Musisi

Alpharetta cooking event Tuesday

The Alpharetta Public Safety Foundation will host is annual “Red and Blue Cook for You” event 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Benihana Japanese Steakhouse, 2365 Mansell Rd., Alpharetta.

The event will include dinner, drinks, entertainment, a showcase of public safety vehicles and a silent auction. Proceeds help APSF programs for police officers and firefighters.

Information and reservations: John Hipes 770-664-4087 or

Sandra Marshall Murray

Alpharetta Rotary Club donates books

The Rotary Club of Alpharetta recently donated 1,500 books to the Ed Isakson/Alpharetta Family YMCA after school program.

The book donation included picture books for babies, educational series, juvenile fiction, craft books and much more.

The Ed Isakson/Alpharetta Family YMCA has 29 after school programs, serving over 1,800 children after school in the North Fulton area.

Information: Kenneth Musisi

Free mulch offered in Cherokee County

The city of Canton is offering free mulch to area residents and businesses. The public mulch site is located at Southview Cemetery off of Scott Mill road. The city says the site has easy access for loading up vehicles.

Information: 770-720-7674, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Cherokee school to host 5K fundraiser

Oak Grove Elementary Fine Arts Academy in Cherokee is hosting a “Run for the Arts!” fundraiser 7:30 a.m. Oct. 20 at Etowah High School, 6565 Putnam Ford Road, Woodstock.

Pre-race day entry fees for the 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Run are $25 for adults, $20 for students, and $12 for the kids.

Information: or 770-974-6682. Jeffry Scott


Council, mayor agree on panhandling bill

The president of the Atlanta City Council said he is glad Mayor Kasim Reed and Michael Julian Bond, chair of the City Council’s public safety committee, came to terms over legislation aimed at aggressive panhandlers.

“Certainly, something needs to be done [about aggressive panhandling]. There has been no enforcement,” Ceasar Mitchell told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Reed recently vetoed legislation pushed by Bond that would have allowed for up to 180 days in jail following a conviction. But the two men appeared together at a press conference Tuesday in support of an alternative bill that clarifies the definition of aggressive panhandling. Jeremiah McWilliams

Chris Kids to host annual gala benefit

CHRIS Kids will host its 12th annual CHRIStal Ball, a silent auction and gala, from 6 to 10 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Georgia Aquarium.

The 2012 CHRIStal Vision Awards will be presented to Tad Hutcheson of Delta Air Lines, and

Individual tickets: $250. Tickets:

Information: 404-564-3458 or e-mail

CHRIS Kids helps vulnerable children and traumatized youth discover how to unlock their potential. Kenneth Musisi

Childhood obesity walk set

Community Life Concepts has scheduled its fourth annual childhood obesity walk for Saturday at Piedmont Park. Register for the “Walk It Off” event at or Over 40 percent of Georgia youth are overweight. Jeremiah McWilliams

Young Middle seeks council members

Atlanta’s Young Middle is looking for two parents to fill vacancies on the local school council. The school is accepting applications until today . An election will be held Oct. 2 and Oct. 3. Information:

Jaime Sarrio


Students make gains on SAT

DeKalb County students posted an average 9-point gain on SAT scores.

Seniors earned an average combined score of 1343 for critical reading, writing and mathematics, with an increase that was nearly double the statewide average increase, according to DeKalb school officials.

Subgroups including Hispanics and African Americans both showed gains, too, officials said. They noted that 4,099 took the test, 45 fewer than last year. Ty Tagami

Decatur opens senior housing complex

The Decatur Housing Authority recently opened a new 80-unit senior housing complex.

The Oliver House is part of the ongoing revitalization of Allen Wilson Terrace, a former 200-unit public housing community on Commerce Drive.

More than half of the new units will be filled with elderly or previous Allen Wilson residents. All of the units are rented, with full occupancy expected by month’s end. April Hunt

New YMCA/recreation center opens

DeKalb County recently opened a $15 million recreation center/YMCA at Wade Walker Park on Rockbridge Road.

The 60,000-square foot facility is being built from 2006 park bond funds and in partnership with the DeKalb YMCA.

The site is to serve as a health center, offer child care and have an indoor/outdoor pool for more than 140,000 households. Information: 678-781-9622. April Hunt

Activity at landfill for new pipeline

Recent activity at the Live Oak Landfill is the result of a newly installed gas pipeline.

A segment of a 28-mile replacement to an Atlanta Gas Light pipeline crosses the 195-acre landfill, closed in 2004.

The state Environmental Protection Division approved the work which could take a year to complete and will include restoring native plants disturbed by construction. April Hunt

Wires, gadgets lead to man’s arrest

Daniel Guillermo Tudela had a phone, MP3 player and GPS unit attched to his body with wires when he approached a movie theater at Discover Mills on Sept. 13. Onlookers called 911 recalling the shooting massacre in Colorado. Tudela, 30, was charged this week with having a hoax device, a misdemeanor, and booked into the Gwinnett County jail late Tuesday, according to police.

Tudela, of Stone Mountain, was released from jail about three hours later, booking records show. Later Wednesday, his attorney called the charge unwarranted, and said Tudela had no intention of harming anyone. Alexis Stevens

‘Magic’ launches drop-out recovery program

NBA great Earvin “Magic” Johnson launches the opening of a new transition center for high school drop-outs hoping to earn a diploma 6 - 9 p.m. today at the DTLR store at South DeKalb Mall.

Bridgescape is a drop-out prevention and recovery program designed to help people aged 14 to 20 who are either at risk of quitting school or who have left and want to return to complete high school.

The program is free through Provost Academy Georgia in Decatur.Information: 888-725-9501. Marcus K. Garner


Sprite grant to refurbish Burdett Park this fall

College Park’s Burdett Park recently received a $15,000 grant based on votes it earned through the Sprite Spark Parks Project, which refreshes courts in public parks and recreation centers.

More than 76,000 votes were cast online for the park between March 28 and May 31. The grant will be used to refurbish rims, backboards, lights, benches and playing surfaces.

Sprite Spark Parks Project is a joint program from Sprite and the National Recreation and Park Association. Information: Kenneth Musisi

Bear Creek Festival set for weekend

The 15th annual Bear Creek Festival will be 9 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Hampton.

A parade will start at Hampton Elementary, go through downtown Hampton and return to McBrayer Park.

The fun festival will have games and plenty of vendors selling food and crafts. The vintage car show is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Information: Candy Franklin at Kenneth Musisi

Store owner killed outside his home

Demba Balde, 50, of Riverdale, was unloading groceries from his car parked on Roxbury Drive when approached by at least one suspect, police said. Balde attempted to flee but was shot and killed. Balde owned the Metropolitan Food Mart, convenience store on Metropolitan Parkway in southwest Atlanta, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Police declined to release additional information regarding the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call investigators at 770-477-3648 or 770-477-3605. Mike Morris and Alexis Stevens

2 cats found, others may be rabid

Two kittens — one confirmed to have rabies — given away in the parking lot of a McDonough Walmart on Sept. 9 have been located, as well as the mother cat, Henry County officials said Wednesday.

But there were four kittens total in the litter, and officials are concerned for anyone who might have taken the animals or handled them.

The odds are “99 percent” that all the kittens in the litter had rabies.

Anyone with knowledge of the two remaining kittens — both solid gray and named Maggie and Sweet Pea is asked to call the Henry County Animal Care and Control Department at 770-288-7387 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Fran Jeffries

Annual MBA Golf Tournament

Beulah Heights University will be hosting its annual MBA Golf Tournament Friday, Oct. 5 at 9 a.m. with the kick-off breakfast/registration at 8 a.m. at Flat Creek Golf Course, 100 Flat Creek Rd., and Peachtree City. Tournament proceeds will help the MBA program at Beulah Heights University and its efforts to strengthen economic development, political awareness through community outreach, and scholarly excellence in in Brazil, Brussels, South Korea. For more information and to register contact Marquetta Price at (404) 564-5289 or

Sandra Marshall Murray

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