County by county news for Friday


Mableton portions of trail closed March 3-10

Cobb Department of Transportation has added a new closure date of March 3 to 10 for repairs being made to the Silver Comet Trail from mile markers 2.5 to 3.8.

This closure is required due to repair work in the Mableton area between Hicks and Concord Roads that involves tree removal, pavement repairs and drainage repairs.

There will be no access through this construction site.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Legislators recognize school employees

Beth Pfeiffer, a nurse at A.L. Burruss Elementary School Marietta, and Paula Daniels, cafeteria manager at Marietta Middle School, were among 40 school employees recognized at the Georgia State Capitol this week for their performance during the Jan. 28 snow storm. Pfeiffer tended to kindergarten students staying overnight at the Marietta city school and Daniels organized dinner and breakfast for students and staff.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Strand to show restored silent film

The Earl Smith Strand Theatre on the Marietta Square will show a restored print of the 1923 silent movie “Safety Last!” with Harold Lloyd at 8 p.m. today Friday. House organist Ron Carter will accompany the film. The theater received the rights to screen the film from Lloyd’s granddaughter Sue Lloyd. An organ pops preshow will start 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 and $8. Information:

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Silver Comet 10K registration open

The 16th annual Silver Comet 10K will be March 8 with online registration for $30 ending March 5.

Bridge construction on the Silver Comet Trail will not affect the race, according to organizers.

In-store registration is available at all locations of Big Peach Running Co. until 6 p.m. March 1 and at Silver Comet Cycles, 4342 Floyd Road, Mableton until 6 p.m. March 5.

Late registration will be $40, cash or check only, at early packet pick-up 4 to 8 p.m. March 6 at Big Peach Running Co., 1625 Ridenour Blvd., Kennesaw and beginning at 6 a.m. on race day, March 8, at Kroger, 4875 Floyd Road, Mableton.

Volunteers also are needed.


Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

KSU culinary director will be March 5 speaker

Kennesaw State University’s director and professor of the Institute for Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality, Christian Hardigree, will be the guest speaker for the South Cobb Business Association luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 5 at Presbyterian Village, 2000 East-West Connector, Austell.

Costs: $12, members, online; $15, members, at the door; $20, guests.


Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

La Societa Italiana to hold fundraiser

La Societa Italiana will host its annual Carnevale fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. March 1 at the Marietta Country Club, 1400 Marietta Country Club Drive, Kennesaw. The charity event benefits the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home in Atlanta.

Information: 770-889-4625.



Artists named for Snellville City Hall gallery

The paintings of artists Jennifer Slavik and Sally Evans are set to adorn the walls of the art gallery at Snellville City Hall 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Monday through Friday during March and April at 2342 Oak Road. Evans’ paintings combine color with interesting shapes to bring the viewer into the painting. Slavik is a watercolor artist trained in art and architecture at Cornell University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has been featured in galleries from Chicago to Atlanta. Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

High school seniors encouraged to apply this week

Georgia Gwinnett College is waiving its $20 application fee through Sunday for high school seniors to encourage students to complete required forms early. Application deadline for the fall 2104 semester is May 1. Register now for an open house to tour the campus 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 22 at Begin the application process online: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Legislators to answer healthcare exchange questions

Sen. Curt Thompson D-Tucker and Rep. Pedro Marin, D-Duluth will answer questions about the Affordable Care Act 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 1 at Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth. The event sponsored by Peach State Health Plan, the National Association of Chinese Americans and the Center for Pan Asian Community Services will offer one-on-one help signing up for coverage at Information: 770-813-6840. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Winder contracts out public works department

Effective March 1, 2014 ESG Operations Inc. will be contracted to manage Winder’s Public Works Department. ESG will be in charge of storm water, street maintenance, debris collection and general public works operations. A majority of the Public Works employees will be offered a position with ESG and continue to work with the city. Citizens should continue to call the same phone number for the Public Works department: 770-867-2780. Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Sugar Hill to host Medicare seminars

Residents approaching age 65 or retirement and in need of Medicare are invited to educational seminars 7 to 9 p.m. March 4 and March 11 at the Sugar Hill Community Center, 1166 Church St. Information: 770-831-7413. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Lions Club Park to hold grand opening

Gwinnett in partnership with the Greater Lilburn Athletic Association will celebrate the grand opening of Lions Club Park, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 8 at 5500 Rockbridge Circle in Lilburn. Event includes inflatables, crazy hair, face painting and food trucks. Information: 678-277-0179.



Cherokee business expanding, adding jobs

Inalfa Roof Systems will expand its regional headquarters in southwest Cherokee County by an additional 45,000 square feet in a $1 million investment, creating 100 additional jobs. The company brought its operations to Cherokee in 2013, creating an initial 300 positions. Inalfa is a leading global provider of vehicle roof systems. State officials said the expansion project will finish up by September.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Retiring head of Forsyth schools gets new job

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal says retiring Forsyth County School Superintendent L.C “Buster” Evans will join The Georgia Department of Corrections July 1 as assistant commissioner of education. In that capacity, Evans will lead education initiatives for nonviolent offenders within the prison system and help implement criminal justice reforms. Evans will retire from the Forsyth system at the end of June after leading it since 2007.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Cherokee district draws praise for college-level exam success

The Cherokee County School District is one of only three in the state to earn national recognition for its success on college-level tests. Cherokee was included in the fourth annual AP District Honor Roll, a list of 477 school systems nationwide that have achieved the greatest success in maintaining or improving the passage rate of students taking Advance Placement exams. The A-P program allows students who score sufficiently high on the exams to earn college credit while in high school and to exempt those courses.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Canton sets up app for investors

The city of Canton has launched a new geographic information system-based tool to promote business growth and property investment. “Find your Space” will allow potential investors to find industrial or commercial properties within the city while parsing demographic and labor force statistics. The application will also list community improvement plan and development incentive locations. Those interested in listing their property can call the Canton Department of Economic Development at 770-704-1516.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation benefit in Alpharetta

ShamRockin’ for a Cure 2014, presented by Georgia’s Own Credit Union as a fund-raiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, will take place at 7 p.m. March 8 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta.

Over 20 local restaurants and drink vendors will participate in ShamRockin’ 2014, which will also feature live music and silent and live auctions. Tickets are $85.


Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Cherokee foundation hands out education grants

The Cherokee County Educational Foundation Wednesday awarded its first-ever round of competitive IMPACT Educational Grants, announcing six grants totaling $10,000. The largest, at $2,487.95, will fund a student-made hot air balloon competition at Carmel Elementary School. Other grants will fund a digital storytelling festival and help set up a program for high school STEM teachers to share knowledge with elementary instructors. The foundation was set up in 2013 to raise money for classroom and school projects.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Superintendent search advances

The Atlanta Superintendent Search Committee plans to continue reviewing candidates during meetings this weekend before handing a list of candidates to the school board by early April.

The school board will then name finalists, and board members have said they hope to announce a superintendent by the end of April.

Mark Niesse

Public invited to view human trafficking documentary

The Junior League of Atlanta will present the documentary: Stop the Candy Shop 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the Love Auditorium of the Atlanta Speech School, 3160 Northside Parkway NW. The free event is co-sponsored with Street Grace, a local organization working to end commercial sexual exploitation of children through awareness, empowerment and engagement. There will be a panel discussion after the documentary. Registration:

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

‘Hope Grows’ benefit tonight in Buckhead

“Hope Grows: Battle of the Bands,” a benefit event for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta,” kicks off at 8 p.m. today at the Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road.

Over 100 teenagers from 10 metro Atlanta high schools will participate in the fund-raising event. Tickets are $75 each or $100 a couple, which includes dinner.


Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Recycling drive for unwanted electronics

Unwanted home computers and electronics will be collected for recycling 10 a.m. Saturday in the parking lot of the Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, 2715 Peachtree Road NE. Free.

IMS Electronics will accept most home electronics free of charge. There is a $5 charge for CRT monitors, $10 for CRT televisions and $30 for projection, wooden console and plasma TVs.

Information: or

Kent A. Miles for the AJC


Schools to make up three days lost to weather

Superintendent Michael Thurmond will ask the school board Monday to add May 21-23 to the attendance calendar, according to a statement from his office. The district has canceled school eight days due to extreme cold, ice and snow in January and February.

Thurmond also wants to delay the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests a week, to April 22, to give elementary and middle school students more school days to prepare, and he wants to move CRCT re-testing to the proposed end of school for the same reason. Thurmond does not intend to change the End of Course Test dates for high school students though.

Ty Tagami

Construction starts on old DeVry property

Construction’s started on the old 100,000 square-foot DeVry University building in east Decatur, which is being renovated into a VA specialty care outpatient clinic, scheduled to open in mid-2015. Greenstone Properties owns the total 21 acres, annexed into Decatur in 2009. Currently the city’s largest site for redevelopment, the area was once envisioned as a possible mini-downtown. But the clinic will occupy 14. 5 acres, with two parcels on either side totaling 6.5 acres remaining empty for now.

Bill Banks for the AJC

DeKalb offering plant sale, 2 seminars

The DeKalb County Cooperative Extension is offering a plant sale this winter and two seminars to encourage citizens to garden.

The extension office will accept offers on plants ranging from azaleas to blueberries until March 10. Pickup will be March 22 at the extension office on Memorial Drive near Decatur.

The office also will host a free seminar Feb. 25 on ornamental plants and fruit trees, respectively.

Information: 404-298-4080 or APRIL HUNT

Grant to fund study of potential bike lanes

Avondale Estates was recently awarded a $50,000 grant by the Atlanta Regional Commission to fund a feasibility study of a road diet along US 278 from Sams Crossings to just past North Clarendon Avenue.

The long-term goal is to make that stretch more bicycle and pedestrian friendly, including one scenario of reducing 278 to two automobile traffic lanes.

The study, which should last through July, also includes considering a possible roundabout at North Clarendon and 278.

Total cost is $62,500 counting the city’s 20 percent match.


Avondale approves micro distillery

Earlier this month Avondale Estates approved the opening of a micro distillery located behind downtown’s Tudor Village. Owner Tim Watts said he’ll begin renovating the 1600 square-foot facility this month and will probably move in by June. Watts said he’ll be making rye and bourbon in small barrels, thus enhancing the aging process, and hopes to have his first batch by December. Within three years he hopes to produce 6,000 gallons annually.


Information fair for special needs students

The DeKalb County School District and Council of PTAs will host an information fair for special needs students and their parents and teachers 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday at Tucker High School, 5036 LaVista Road, Tucker.

The event includes breakout sessions and booths and will cover topics such as transitioning from high school, executive function, coping with homework, navigating federal aid and estate planning.

Information: 678-676-0381 or,



Fayette schools consider schedule change

A protracted debate at the Fayette County Board of Education Monday over expanding high school schedules to seven periods produced mixed results. Superintendent Jody Barrow, citing support from teachers and students, recommended the change to offer more academic options. But opposition at McIntosh High School prompted the board to let that school opt out, while allowing the other schools to move forward.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Henry fishing season opens Saturday

The Henry County Water Authority’s 2014 regular fishing season begins Saturday and runs through November. The utility’s Tussahaw and Ed Cole/Upper Towaliga Reservoirs are the lakes of choice for local anglers this year. The two reservoirs will be open Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Tussahaw and Upper Towaliga are ideal to fish for bass, crappie, brim and catfish. Anglers must have permits which are available for $45 at the authority headquarters, 1695 Highway 20 West in McDonough between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Details: or 678 583-3930.

Monroe Roark for the AJC

Fayette, Fayetteville win prestigious regional award

Fayette County and Fayetteville were recently recognized for outstanding collaborative efforts in bringing British filmmaker Pinewood Studios to the region. The Atlanta Regional Commission gave the two Fayette governmental entities its CREATE Award for Regional Prosperity and Economic Development.

Tammy Joyner

‘Moonshine and Magnolias’ to open in Jonesboro

Historical Jonesboro-Clayton County presents an original play, “Moonshine and Magnolias,” 6:30 p.m. March 7 and 8 and 1:30 p.m. March 9 at First Presbyterian Church of Jonesboro, 1842 Lake Jodeco Road, Jonesboro.

“Moonshine and Magnolias” is a dinner theater performance by an ensemble cast that presents the history of Clayton County from 1845 to the present. Tickets are $25, and $200 for a table of eight.

Information: 770-473-0197.

Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Fleck is Henry STAR Student

Eagle’s Landing High School senior Ashley Fleck was named Henry County STAR Student for 2013-14. She scored a 2270 composite on her SAT and her top three college choices are Georgia Tech, Harvard and MIT. She plans to study biomedical engineering and become a surgeon. Gail Ballard was chosen by Fleck as her STAR Teacher. They will now move on to the regional competition March 20 in Griffin.

.Monroe Roark for the AJC

New health center to open in McDonough

LiveOn Health Centers will hold a ribbon cutting for its first primary and preventative care office at 5 p.m. Tuesday at 80 Vinings Drive, Suite 80, McDonough.

The facility will provide to patients a blend of modern technology and traditional personal care. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet the doctor, Vik Modi, and the professional staff.


Kent A. Miles for the AJC

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