County by county news for Friday


One candidate qualifies for school board post

Alan Levine, 46, was the only candidate to qualify this week for the Marietta City Schools Ward 1 post vacated by Brett Bittner on April 30.

Levine, a Marietta attorney and former teacher, said he would like the district to reconnect to the community, work with schools of higher learning and move from an emphasis of standardized testing to a culture of academic and intellectual risk taking.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Boy hit by SUV in south Cobb

A boy was hit Wednesday afternoon by a silver SUV at the intersection of Floyd Road and the East-West Connector in south Cobb County.

The child was airlifted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. His condition was not available..

Police did not release the boy’s name or age because he is a juvenile.

Daniel Wilco

Austell SPLOST public hearing Wednesday

Austell city officials will hold a public hearing on potential projects and capital improvements for the 2016-22 special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the City of Austell Threadmill Complex, 5000 Austell-Powder Springs Road, Suite 165.

SPLOST projects are limited to transportation, parks and public safety.


Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Symphony to give patriotic concert

The Georgia Symphony Orchestra will play pops and patriotic tunes at a free concert 8 p.m. Saturday on the Green at Kennesaw State University off Chastain and Frey roads. Family activities will start at 5 p.m. and there will be a fireworks show after the concert. The rain date is Sunday.


Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Powder Springs hosts celebration

Powder Springs city officials will host their 19th annual Independence Day celebration from 4 to 10 p.m. July 4 on the Powder Springs Town Square, 4488 Pineview Drive.

This free event will include food vendors and entertainers Scott Thompson at 4 p.m. and the GLOW Band at 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., followed by a patriotic program with Mayor Patricia Vaughn at 9:15 p.m. and fireworks at 9:45 p.m.

Reserved table seating: 770-423-1330.


Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Fireworks in Mableton on July 3

“A Night of Freedom” will be presented by Linked Up Church from 7 to 10:30 p.m. July 3 at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton with gates opening at 6 p.m.

This free event will include a concert by Grammy award-winning artist Fred Hammond, a worship service by Pastor Joel Gregory and Minister Patricia Gregory and fireworks.


Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Teen on bike hit by 2 cars, dies at hospital

Justin Shaw, 13, of Lawrenceville has died after being hit by two cars Wednesday while bicycling just after 2 p.m. Wednesday on Club Drive near Lawrenceville.

Police said Shaw didn’t stop for the stop sign and entered Club Drive, where he was hit by a southbound Chevrolet Equinox.

The impact knocked Shaw into the path of a Honda Accord, which also struck the boy. Shaw was transported by ambulance to Gwinnett Medical Center, then flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, where he died. The drivers of the Equinox and Honda are not expected to face charges.

Mike Morris

Duluth pavement preservation work begins

Duluth’s Pavement Preservation and Management Plan is underway to repair existing streets. The goal is to avoid roads falling below a certain Pavement Condition Index rating. The program is funded by SPLOST money and a Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant for milling, patching and resurfacing of roadways.

A list of roadways to be repaired is available at, under Public Works Department.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Heritage Center offers July 4th event

The Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center is offering a Fabulous Fourth Family Fun Night beginning at 7 p.m. July 4 on the center’s new Festival Field. Event includes patriotic music, movie and a view of area fireworks.

The Disney movie, "Frozen," will begin at 9 p.m. Bring chairs and blankets. Food and beverages available for purchase.

Parking: GEHC Members: $5 per vehicle, Non-members: $10 per vehicle, $15 Buses/RV’s.

Pre-order tickets recommended:

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

$12.6M SPLOST to help Suwanee transportation

Gwinnett has allocated approximately $12.6 million in SPLOST funding for four Suwanee-area projects: the construction of an interchange at I-85 and McGinnis Ferry Road; the widening of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard to six lanes between McGinnis Ferry and Moore roads; intersection improvements, including adding a turn lane and improving pedestrian safety at Peachtree Industrial and Suwanee Dam; and intersection improvements at Suwanee Dam and West Price roads.


Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Chamber honored with multiple awards

The Gwinnett Chamber’s member publication, "Gwinnett edge," received 2014 APEX awards for publication excellence in the "New Magazines, Journals, and Tabloids" category, as well as the "Membership & Customer Materials" category. The publication has also earned an ACE Award for Communications Excellence in the "Electronic" category for its digital version.

And most recently, "Gwinnett edge" was named a recipient of two Hermes Creative Awards, with the prestigious Platinum Award in the "Publications/Magazine" category and a Gold Award in "Design/Publication Overall" category.


Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Some Forsyth tax bills to increase

The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners plans no change in the current millage rate, but said with the tax digest growing more than 5 percent, property taxes will be 1.75 percent more than a revenue-neutral “rollback rate.” Slightly more than one-third of tax digest growth resulted from property reassessment increases, meaning some individual tax bills will change.

Three public hearings are set on the millage rate: 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. July 3 and 6 p.m. July 17 at the Forsyth County Administration Building, 110 E. Main St., Cumming.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Johns Creek mayor gets top post

Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker was elected first-vice president of the Georgia Municipal Association during the group’s convention in Savannah this week. That places him in line next year to become president of the group, which provides legislative advocacy, educational and other services to 520 Georgia communities. Bodker has led the city of Johns Creek since its creation in 2006 and has served on the GMA board for several years.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Forsyth deputy injured at Central Park

On-duty Forsyth County police officer Sgt. Matt Runion was injured in a fall Thursday morning at Central Park. He had injuries to his head and shoulders after falling off his bike.

Runion was transported to North Fulton Hospital and has been released.

Taylor West

MARTA event to commemorate service

MARTA is celebrating its 35th year of serving passengers with an event at the Sandy Springs station, 11 a.m. Monday at 110 Mount Vernon Highway.

“The Way We Rode” celebration honoring the transit system’s past, present and future will include an exhibit of vintage and modern-day buses, displays that chronicle special moments over the years, and an overview of MARTA’s impact on the region.

MARTA general manager and CEO Keith T. Parker, Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul and keynote speaker Egbert Perry, CEO of the Integral Group and chairman of the Federal National Mortgage Association, will be present.


Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Musicians wanted for Alpharetta band

The Alpharetta City Band has entertained audiences throughout the area for the past 25 years and now has immediate openings in several sections. The band is seeking musicians in the percussion, clarinet, saxophone and double reed sections.

No audition is required, although band members must be able to play proficiently at the high school level.

The band’s repertoire includes a diverse selection of music, from traditional concert band compositions to show tunes, movie themes and patriotic marches.

Rehearsals are held most Wednesdays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Crabapple Government Center, 2624 Broadwell Road, Alpharetta.

Information: or 770-475-9684.

Nancy Badertscher


Citizens fire academy taking applications

The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department is accepting applications for its citizens fire academy.

The six-week course allows participants to experience the tactics and strategy of firefighting and rescue from a first responder’s perspective. The course meets Wednesdays at 6 p.m. beginning July 9 at the department training academy, 407 Ashwood Ave. SE.

There is no cost, but participants must commit to attend all academy sessions. Participants must be 18 or older and live or work within the city of Atlanta.

The application deadline is Monday.

Information:, or 678-855-2621.

Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Financial seminar for future homebuyers

The Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta will host a seminar for prospective homebuyers at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at West Hunter Street Baptist Church, 1040 Ralph D. Abernathy Blvd. SW. Learn about purchase-renovation loans, an important way to expand the number of homes available and rebuild neighborhoods.

There will also be sessions on growing a small business, the basics of credit scores, banking and identity theft, and saving for retirement. A special session will educate teenagers about the basics of money management.

Information: or 404-755-4900.

Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Firefighters to make library visit

Atlanta firefighters will teach fire safety and prevention at 10 a.m. July 1 at Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library’s Southwest branch, 3665 Cascade Road.

Meet firefighters from Fire Rescue Station 23 and tour the Fire Safety House, an RV trailer designed like a small home, where children can learn how to safely get out of a smoke-filled house.

Reservations are required for visiting groups of 10 or more.

Information: 404-699-6363.

Kent A. Miles for the AJC


Gas line cut, 10 homes evacuated

Ten homes in a DeKalb neighborhood and about 10 to 15 people were evacuated Thursday morning as a result of a cut 4- or 5-inch gas line in the 1800 block of Hooper Street, DeKalb County Fire Rescue officials said.

Details surrounding the line being cut are still unclear, but Atlanta Gas Light said representatives will take care of the situation.

Taylor West

Juvenile court awarded grant

The DeKalb County Juvenile Court has been awarded a $400,000 grant to provide services to teenage offenders enrolled in an alternative sentencing program.

The grant from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council will provide services to an additional 60 teenagers referred to the court on a felony charge or probation violation.

Youths who would have previously been sentenced to short-term treatment programs or committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice will also continue to receive services.

Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Decatur hires diversity intern

Decatur has hired Christian Perry, a Decatur High School graduate and current MPA student at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, as the Summer Diversity Project Intern.

Perry will survey and interview past and present residents and must, according to the job description, “be comfortable with addressing sensitive issues such as race and economic disparity.”

His final report will include diversity policy recommendations for eventual presentation before the City Commission.

Bill Banks for the AJC

Quilters group to exhibit work

The Ebony Stitchers Quilt Exhibition will present “Stir the Pot” at the ART Station Contemporary Art Center, 5384 Manor Drive, Stone Mountain. An opening reception will take place Saturday at 7 p.m.

The quilt exhibition is about social issues — justice, health care, politics and more — all depicted through a quilter’s eyes.

The exhibition will also feature quilts from “American Spring: A Cause for Justice,” a traveling exhibit curated by Philadelphia’s Michelle Flamer. The American Spring collection focuses on the Trayvon Martin trial.

The Ebony Stitchers Quilt Guild is the premier metro Atlanta guild for quilters of color for both women and men. It is located at the Porter Sanford III Art and Community Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur, and meets monthly on the fourth Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Volunteers to clean up south DeKalb areas

The South DeKalb Improvement Association will hold its monthly community cleanup at 10 a.m. Saturday at Everest Institute, 2460 Wesley Chapel Road, Decatur.

This is the fifth event in a yearlong campaign by the association to improve the appearance of major thoroughfares. The association coordinates cleanup events in targeted, strategic thoroughfares to spread the message of how appearance affects business attraction and retention, neighborhood property values and community pride.

Volunteers are asked to wear an orange shirt or vest.

Kent A. Miles for the AJC


Young man fatally shot in Clayton identified

Clayton County police identified the 18-year-old man fatally shot Tuesday night on Clara Drive in Riverdale as Darius Edwards of Atlanta. Edwards was shot once in the chest. He was transported to a hospital by emergency responders, where he was pronounced dead. No arrests have been made.

According to news reports, three teens were playing with a gun when Edwards was accidentally shot around 9:30 Tuesday night. His friends called police, reports said.

Michelle E. Shaw

Boy still in critical condition after near drowning

A 5-year-old Clayton County boy remained in critical condition Thursday after being found unconscious in a swimming pool just before 8 p.m. Tuesday at an apartment complex in the 6500 block of Mount Zion Road.

The first officer on the scene assisted a man who was already performing CPR on the boy.

Emergency responders transported the boy to a hospital in critical condition.

Angel K. Brooks

Interns on the job at DA’s office

Fourteen law school students and 13 undergraduate students will gain hands-on experience in the Fulton County district attorney’s office this summer.

The interns participating in the intensive six-week program will shadow assistant district attorneys and help with the preparation and development of cases, court proceedings and legal writings and research. Rising law school graduates will be granted the chance to participate in a trial under prosecutor supervision.

Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Applications taken for housing rehab funds

Fulton County will accept pre-applications starting on Tuesday from homeowners seeking housing rehabilitation assistance.

Apply for deferred payment loans to bring substandard, single-family, owner-occupied properties into compliance with federal regulations and county codes. The Housing Rehabilitation Program funds are made available annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The pre-applications will be accepted until July 31.

Information. or 404-613-7944.

Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Amerman named HCPD deputy chief

Mark Amerman has been named deputy chief of the Henry County Police Department. Amerman is a 20-year veteran of the department and most recently, as a major, directed the uniform patrol division. He assumed his new position June 18.

Monroe Roark for the AJC

Henry police buying 15 new cars

The Henry County Police Department will be purchasing 15 new 2014 Dodge Charger vehicles from Akins Ford-Dodge-Jeep-Chrysler at a total cost of $346,715.70. The action was approved by the Board of Commissioners at its June 17 meeting.

Sales tax funds will be used for the purchase, as the recently passed SPLOST allows for 30 police vehicles to be purchased.


Monroe Roark for the AJC

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