County by county news for Friday


Marietta to install radar speed signs

Marietta will spend $79,500 for 20 radar speed signs in an effort to get drivers to slow down on city streets. Funding for the signs, which reflect an approaching driver’s speed, will come from the 2011 SPLOST.

The city installed four speed signs previously, and Marietta officials say the signs have been effective at reducing speed.

The council is also working on a revision of its speed hump ordinance.

Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Keep Cobb Beautiful offers scholarships

Students 16 and up can earn college scholarships by serving as associate board members of Keep Cobb Beautiful, an environmental non-profit organization. Candidates must be juniors, seniors or attend college in Cobb, and be able to pledge at least 35 hours during the term, which runs from October to May. Applications are due Sept. 20. and top candidates will be notified by Sept. 27. Information: Jaime Sarrio

Powder Springs seeks police officer

Powder Springs is accepting applications through today for a police officer. The starting salary is $36,346. Application: cityof ?NID=119 or call 770-943-1666 to request an application by mail.

Submission: City of Powder Springs, Rosalyn Nealy, Human Resources Director, P. O. Box 46, Powder Springs, GA 30127.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

New ways to report potholes, other issues

Residents who would like to report a transportation issue such as a pothole or maintenance problem can contact the Cobb Department of Transportation work order desk at 770-528-3666. Sidewalk requests should go to or 770-420-6664. Info: Jaime Sarrio

Austell seeks bids for sidewalk construction

Austell city officials seek bids for sidewalk construction on Cemetery Street from Bowden Street to Veterans Memorial Highway. A pre-bid conference is 2 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Croy Engineering office, 200 North Cobb Parkway, Building 400, Suite 413, Marietta.

Bids should be submitted by 2 p.m. today to Duane R. Demeritt, Austell Public Works Department, 5000 Austell-Powder Springs Road, Suite 105, Austell. Information: 770-971-5407 or or and click “Request for Bids.” Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Firefighters find body in Chattahoochee River

Gwinnett County firefighters found the body of a man just North of the Old Jones bridge in the Chattahoochee River Thursday around 1:30 p.m. The man, who was in his 60s, has not been identified. He went missing Thursday while fishing on a boat with a friend, authorities said.

The body was removed from the water and the scene is being turned over to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, according to the Gwinnett County Fire Department.

Mike Morris

2 die days after house fire

Two people pulled from a burning home near Lawrenceville have died, the Gwinnett County fire department said Wednesday.

Virginia McMurray, 83, and Steven Hurd, 56, were unresponsive when they were pulled last Thursday from the Lester Road home where they lived, according to Capt. Tommy Rutledge. A passerby called 911 and knocked on the door of the home after seeing flames coming from the home shortly before 4:30 a.m., Rutledge said.

Firefighters arrived to find the home well-involved in flames, which appeared to originate near the carport of the home, Rutledge said.

McMurray and Hurd were rescued from the living room and transported to Gwinnett Medical Center. From there, the two were transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, where both died over the weekend, Rutledge said.

The cause of death for McMurray and Hurd appears to be smoke inhalation, Rutledge said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Alexis Stevens

Organization sponsors free SAT Prep class

College Nannies & Tutors of Duluth offers a free SAT Prep class 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 17 at Gwinnett Fire Station 7, 3343 Bunten Road, Duluth.

Participants must register at least a week in advance by calling 678-259-0232.


Veronica Fields Johnson

Duluth concert series continues today

The Ballybeg Band will perform as part of Duluth’s free SummerStage Concert series at 7 p.m. today at the Duluth Amphitheater.

The music ranges from haunting melodies of the Scottish highlands to burn the house down Irish jigs and reels. Chairs, blankets and coolers welcome. Premium tables available at or email

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Free dance class for special needs children

Southern Ballet Theatre, located at 3315 Sugarloaf Parkway, Suite 16, Lawrenceville, is offering a free special needs dance class from 5 to 5:45 p.m. every Thursday.

The ballet and tap class is for children with mental, medical or physical limitations and is taught in a positive atmosphere.

Information: 770-940-9223 or

Veronica Fields Johnson


Fulton seniors can learn about scams

Fulton County will sponsor a session on how to guard against scams at 11 a.m. Sept. 10 at the North Fulton Service Center, 7741 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs.

The county will provide information on telemarketing, reverse mortgages, health care/health insurance, auto repair and other scams targeting seniors. The county will help seniors identify, prevent and report fraudulent or deceptive schemes.

For more information call 404-613-7944

David Wickert

Portions of Cherokee under boil water order.

The Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority says residents of the Ball Ground and Free Home areas are under a boil-water advisory until further notice. Officials say a distribution-line failure may cause water pressure in those areas to drop to low levels, spawning possible contamination. The order affects water for drinking, cooking or preparing baby food. Water should be boiled at least one minute.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Woodstock wins award for financial reporting

The city of Woodstock has garnered a Certificate of Achievement For Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the U. S and Canada. City staffers got kudos for their comprehensive annual financial report for the year ending June 30, 2012. It’s the highest recognition conferred in government accounting/financial reporting.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Forsyth jail, courthouse construction on Web

Forsyth County residents can monitor construction of the new courthouse and jail in downtown Cumming via time-lapse videos of the construction at

Videos will be updated weekly. Completion of the $100 million project is set for December, 2014.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

United Way Day of Caring set in Forsyth

The United Way of Forsyth County is gearing up for its 12th annual Day of Caring and Campaign Kickoff at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 6 at the Forsyth Conference Center, 3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Cumming.

Volunteer teams and sponsors are needed to help prepare 50 thousand non-perishable meals for Forsyth County’s hungry.


Mark Woolsey for the AJC

AAUW book fair scheduled

The American Association of University Women will hold its 54th annual AAUW book fair Sept. 23-29 at Perimeter Mall, 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road N.E. Gently used books, educational materials, tapes, CDs and DVDs will be available. The book fair will operate during mall hours. There will be a $10 fee to shop during opening day only, from 6 to 9 p.m., Sept. 23.

Proceeds from the fair sponsored by the Atlanta, Cobb County and North Fulton branches of the AAUW go to educational endeavors.

Information: 404-261-7646 or Mea Watkins


Reality TV star arrested for fighting

Celeb website TMZ reported that “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” star, Li’l Scrappy was arrested at a gas station early Wednesday morning after getting into a brawl with a guy who reportedly disrespected his girlfriend.

Officers reportedly arrested Scrappy, whose real name is Darryl Richardson, and the other man, whose name is Kenny Rogers,(no, not the country legend) for disorderly conduct.

Fran Jeffries

Man charged in house shooting

Raphael Kenyon Johnson, 22, who already was in the Fulton County Jail on other charges related to the case, was charged with murder Tuesday.

Two men were shot at what police believe was an illegal gaming house in the 700 block of Poole Place on Aug. 13. Another man complained of chest pains, police said. All three were transported to Grady Memorial Hospital.

Gunshot victim Frederick Burke died at Grady on Aug. 22.

Angel K. Brooks

Labor Day race to benefit Cystic Fibrosis

Miles for Cystic Fibrosis will host the Big Peach Sizzler 10K race 7:30 a.m. Monday The race begins at the Chamblee MARTA station, 5200 New Peachtree Road and ends at the Buckhead Station Shopping Center, 3495 Buckhead Loop N.E. Register at the Town Brookhaven Big Peach Running Co., 705 Town Blvd. No. 340, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, or race morning at the start line. Information:

Sandra Marshall Murray

Educator appreciation day at Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta hosts an Educator Appreciation Day 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 7 at the zoo. The state’s early care and education professionals are encouraged to bring their guests for a day of fun-filled activities and education.

Educators receive free admission and $2 off general admission for each guests. Pre-register at

Nancy Badertscher


Man killed after thrown from fifth-floor balcony

Barrett Wade Ricks, 24, was arrested Wednesday and charged with murder in the death of Isaac C. Harrington, 31, who was found outside a Dunwoody apartment complex, according to police.

Officers were called shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday to the Axis at Perimeter Apartments, where they located Harrington.

According to police, Ricks threw Harrington from a fifth-floor balcony at the complex and was arrested Wednesday afternoon and booked into the DeKalb County jail. .

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Detective Robert Parsons at 678-382-6925 or email at

Anonymous tips can be submitted online at or by text message to CRIMES (274-637). Use the key word DPDTIPS at the start of the message.Alexis Stevens

DECA receives state award for excellence

The DeKalb Early College Academy has been named a Georgia School of Excellence by the State School Superintendent, John Barge. DECA is joining 13 other schools statewide for demonstrating highest progress by making the greatest gains on the College and Career-Ready Performance Index.

DECA will receive a $1,000 check from Georgia Natural Gas to be used however they wish. United Healthcare is also a sponsor for the 2012 Schools of Excellence program.

Arlinda Smith Broady

County speeds up license applications

Residents wanting to start a home-based business can now submit business license applications and other documents and receive a review and license in the same day.

The new process for an over-the-counter review also eliminates the need for repeat trips to county offices for businesses moving into an existing space of 3,000 square feet with no changes.

These changes and others are projected to cut the time from application to business opening from up to six weeks down to 10 days. April Hunt

South DeKalb Festival coming in September

A free outdoor festival, featuring food and entertainment from the multi-cultural area, is coming to south DeKalb County in September.

The Heart of South DeKalb has already secured several local restaurants to serve as corporate sponsors. Additional community groups are invited to join in planning and programming for the event, slated for the Gallery at South DeKalb Mall on Sept. 28.

Information: 404-683-3599 or April Hunt

Libraries add “Muslim bookshelf”

The DeKalb County Public Library is one of 840 systems nationwide to receive a federal grant to highlight Muslim culture.

The National Endowment for the Humanities award will fund discussions, films and books. Events are planned at the Decatur, Embry Hills and Scott Candler branches in August and September.

Upcoming events:

List of new material: April Hunt


East Point seeking to fill leadership posts

The East Point City Council is beginning the process of finding an interim city manager, and a director of the human resources and finance departments. The council went held an executive session Monday night to discuss “ prospective service providers“. Mayor Earnestine Pittman wouldn’t comment, except to say no management firm has been picked. The prior city manager was fired in late July.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Fayette Community School classes open

Registration for Fayette Community School’s fall classes and camps is still open, including driver’s education, SAT/ACT prep, art and drama. Driver’s ed requires walk-in registration from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 205 Lafayette Ave. in Fayetteville. Details for all classes are at or call 770-460-3990, ext. 470.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Road to Tara opens Civil War exhibit

Clayton County played a pivotal role in the Civil War. The Battle of Jonesborough (the original spelling of Jonesboro) was fought Aug. 31 to Sept. 1, 1864. The Road to Tara Museum is commemorating that battle in a new Civil War exhibit which opens today. The exhibit, a permanent fixture of the museum, showcases the battle that ultimately led to the end of the Civil War. The exhibit runs 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m today, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Labor Day. Tammy Joyner

County food drive set this month

Fayette County with host a county wide food drive on 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Lane Brown Gazebo, 1821 Heritage Park Way, Fayetteville. The goal is to fill a 53-foot trailer with: Baked beans, beef stew, breakfast cereal, dry beans, peanut butter, jam, jelly, rice, canned pasta sauce, canned tomatoes and tomato products, toilet paper, laundry detergent, paper napkins and paper towels. Information: or email Sandra Marshall Murray

Court changes payment deadline

A procedure in Peachtree City requires that all payments due to Peachtree City’s Municipal Court must be received by 1 p.m. the Monday before the court date on the citation. Payments, including those sent online, by mail or in person, can be made in lieu of appearing in court as long as the violation is not listed as “Must Appear.” Information: 770-631-2096. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Al Jarreau concert free on Sunday

The city of Union City is sponsoring a free concert 8 p.m. Sunday in the Union Station parking. Rain or shine, the legendary Al Jarreau will perform.Everyone is invited, bring your lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets.

While the concert is complimentary,all visitors are encouraged to bring canned goods to benefit local food banks.There will be visible drop off sites during the event. Information: and go to ‘special events’ page.

Arlinda Smith Broady

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