County by county news for Friday


Suspects sought in slaying of Austell man

Police responding to a call of a shooting in an Austell home around 10:18 p.m. Wednesday discovered Justin Mitchell, 23, dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

Investigators are seeking two suspects. A black man with a thin build, between 20 and 23 years old, about 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-9, wearing a gray sweater, dark pants and a black beanie hat. They are also looking for a black man, 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-6 tall, wearing a multicolored beanie hat and a navy blue bandana covering his face. Anyone with information should call police at 770-499-3945.

Fran Jeffries

Six Flags to hold auditions

Six Flags Over Georgia will hold open auditions for its 2013 season from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Cobb County Civic Center, 548 Marietta Parkway S.E., Marietta.

The amusement park seeks actors, singers, dancers, comedians, costume characters, stage managers, technicians and performers of all types to cast in its shows.

An online application must be completed prior to attending the audition at: Information: Mea Watkins

Classes on e-Reading this month

Sessions on using e-Readers will be given from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and Jan. 22 at the Powder Springs Library, 4181 Atlanta St.

Registration is requested but not required.

Information: Bruce Thompson, or 770-439-3600.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Helicopter rides will help Marietta museum

The Marietta Museum of History will offer helicopter rides from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to benefit the museum’s Aviation Wing at South Cobb Drive and Atlanta Road.

The rides are cash only with flights from the air park towards Kennesaw Mountain and back.

The Aviation Wing will also open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday featuring eight aircraft and exhibits. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Cobb GOP to meet with legislators

The Cobb Legislative Breakfast will be 8 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Cobb GOP headquarters, 799 Roswell St., Marietta. Doors open at 7:45 a.m. Breakfast $10; coffee $2.

Members of the Cobb legislative delegation to the Georgia General Assembly will participate in a panel discussion about the upcoming session.

Information: Joe Dendy, 770-820-6545 or visit Kenneth Musisi

Powder Springs seeks bridge contractor

Contractor proposals are being sought by Powder Springs for the Sweetwater Landing bridge rehabilitation on Sweetwater Avenue.

A mandatory pre-proposal meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 16 at City Hall, 4484 Marietta St.

Proposals must be submitted by 10 a.m. Jan. 23 when they will be publicly opened and read aloud.

Information: Croy Engineering LLC, the city’s program manager, at 770-971-5407 or Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Police offer advice on credit fraud complaints

Ensure a better resolution to credit card fraud cases by completing a Gwinnett County incident report and filing a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, which is a collaboration between the FBI, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the National White Collar Crime Center.

Some Gwinnett incident reports can be filed online at Andria Simmons

Contest supports new business ventures

The third annual Amazing Entrepreneur Business Plan Competition is accepting applications.

The initiative by Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center fosters new business development in Gwinnett.

Winners and finalists receive prizes that can be used during the critical early phases of their new ventures. Deadline is March 31. Visit

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Teen driving safety classes offered

The Gwinnett Police are offering two Teens Ride with Pride safe driving courses this month.

The first is 6 to 8 p.m. Jan.14 at the West Precinct, 616 Crescent Drive in Norcross. The second is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 15 at the South Precinct, 2180 Stone Drive in Lilburn.

To register and see other safety classes, go to or call 770-513-5111.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Protect winter pots from freeze damage

Gwinnett County Master Gardner, Kate Pittman, is warning local green thumbs to shelter winter pots to avoid freeze damage from expanding water. Damp soil left inside the pot, or moisture that has soaked into the ceramic can freeze and crack these expensive garden containers.

According to Pittman, “Unglazed terracotta pots are the most vulnerable, but any ceramic pot should be protected during the coldest months.” For more info contact the Gwinnett County Extension at 678-377-4010. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Fitness and nutrition classes starting

Can’t get motivated? Join Ines Beltran, Cooperative Extension Agent, to learn healthy cooking and eating habits while exercising and losing weight 10:30 to 12:30 pm Wednesdays Jan. 16 – Feb. 27 at Centerville Community Center, 3025 Bethany Church Rd. $15 for seven weeks payable in cash. Registration required by calling 770-985-4713. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Holocaust exhibit coming to Norcross

Ravensbrück, an exhibit focusing on the notorious World War II women’s concentration camp, will open Monday, Jan. 7, at the Norcross Welcome Center & Museum. Opening includes speaker and discussion. For an updated schedule call 678-421-2049. Karen Huppertz


Cherokee ends voting for special election

Today is the last chance for Cherokee County voters to vote early in Tuesday’s special election.

Voters can cast ballots from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cherokee County Elections and Voter Registration office, 400 E. Main St., Canton.

Voters will fill the District 21 state senate seat vacated by Chip Rogers, and the District 21 state representative seat vacated by Sean Jerguson. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Sandy Springs synagogue hosts movie

Congregation Or Hadash, 6751 Roswell Road, Atlanta hosts a screening of ‘David’, an award-winning interfaith film, at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The film, about the unlikely friendship that develops when a Muslim boy is mistaken for a Jewish student after accidentally swapping holy books, delivers a message of multi-faith friendship and acceptance.

Following the screening, the film’s writer-director, Joel Fendelman, will lead a discussion. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. Information: 404-250-3338. Kenneth Musisi

Company to move to Cherokee

Continental Case says it’ll set up its North American headquarters and manufacturing facility in Cherokee County, bringing a $3.5 million investment and 70 jobs. The company manufactures replacement parts, shelves and skin kits for major brands of refrigerated cases for the supermarket industry. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Commissioners plan annual review

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners will hold its 2013 annual planning review Jan. 17-18 at Barnsley Gardens, Godfrey Cottage, 597 Barnsley Gardens Road, Adairsville. Topics will include a 2012 review and look-ahead for 2013, the county’s strategic plan, ethics issues and economic development. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Holcomb students to build Sudan school

Students at Holcomb Bridge Middle School have pledged to raise $10,000 to help build a primary school in South Sudan. As part of the project, several students at the school recently participated in a Skype conversation with Linda Sue Park, the author of “A Long Walk to Water.” The book highlights the positive impact of clean water and education. Daarel Burnette II

Roswell DOT staff recognized

The Georgia Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the American Society of Highway Engineers have recognized Roswell Department of Transportation staff members with two awards and two board appointments for 2013.

Deputy Director David Low received the Karl Bevins Distinguished Service Award; Transportation Planner III Andrew Antweiler will serve as Secretary/Treasurer and Deputy Director Low as one of three District Representatives on the Georgia Section of ITE 2013 board; Senior Transportation Engineer Robert Dell-Ross received the President’s Award.

Kenneth Musisi


Talley named auxiliary bishop for archdiocese

Monsignor David P. Talley has been named auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta by Pope Benedict XVI.

Bishop-elect Talley, 62, will join Bishop Luis R. Zarama in assisting Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory in the pastoral care of the archdiocese. A native of Columbus, Ga., Talley will be ordained on April 2 at the Cathedral of Christ the King.

He will continue to serve as pastor of Saint Brigid until his ordination. He studied at Auburn University and the University of Georgia. Shelia M. Poole

Bank robber strikes grocery store SunTrust

Police are looking for the man who approached the counter of the SunTrust bank inside the grocery store at 2900 Peachtree Road and presented a note demanding money around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. The teller gave the man an undisclosed amount of cash.

Anyone with information should call the police at 404-546-4255 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477. Angel K. Brooks

Teen shot on New Year’s Day identified

The young man killed Tuesday in Atlanta’s first fatal shooting of the New Year has been identified as 18-year-old Jared Billings. He was found shot in the chest around 9 a.m. Tuesday at a home in the 1300 block of Epworth Street. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died.

Witnesses told investigators that the victim got into an argument with another male, who shot him. Mike Morris

1 killed in NW Atlanta shooting

One person was killed in a shooting in northwest Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon in the 800 block of Rock Street.

Two people were found in a vehicle in the parking lot of an apartment complex, Atlanta police spokesman Sgt. Greg Lyon said.

The driver was dead from a gunshot wound, while the passenger was suffering from injuries sustained when the vehicle crashed into a curb, he said.

The survivor was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition. Angel K. Brooks


Specialty programs registration this month

It’s a new year and time for parents to consider registering their children in DeKalb County School District specialty programs, such as the International Baccalaureate, Montessori, magnet schools and school transfers.

The district Website has a link to a registration “portal.” The portal contains outdated deadlines from last year, many of them in the spring. But the new document indicates much earlier deadlines, with registration starting Jan. 14 and ending Feb. 1. Here’s the link: Ty Tagami

150th proclamation anniversary Saturday

Stone Mountain Village will host the 150th Anniversary Celebration and Recognition of the Signing of the Emancipation Proclamation at 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Stone Mountain Village at the Sherman’s Neck Ties Public Art Sculpture.

The event will include intermittent cannon fire salutes throughout the presentation, music, and several speakers.

A reception featuring Mayor Pat Wheeler’s proclamation from the City of Stone Mountain will immediately follow under the pavilion at the First Baptist Church. Kenneth Musisi

School board hearing on suspension set

The Georgia Board of Education has scheduled for 1 p.m. on Jan. 17 a hearing to determine whether Gov. Nathan Deal should suspend the DeKalb County school board.

The hearing is required under a new law that allows for suspension of boards in districts that are on accreditation probation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed DeKalb on probation last month, alleging mismanagement and other issues.

DeKalb board members can present evidence and testimony in their defense. They have until Jan. 11 to file a witness list with anticipated testimony and a list of the documents they plan to use. Ty Tagami

French teacher wins scholarship

A statewide educators association has selected a French teacher at DeKalb County’s Lakeside High School to receive a $1,000 scholarship.

The Professional Association of Georgia Educators Foundation selected Giovanna Lizzio for the honor. The Atlanta resident is pursuing a master’s degree in French Applied Linguistic and Pedagogy at Georgia State University.

PAGE gives out more than $15,000 in scholarships a year. The scholarship for Lizzio was endowed by the DeKalb Association of Educators. Ty Tagami

Motorized carts legal in Avondale Estates

Avondale Estates recently passed its motorized cart ordinance after almost two years of discussion, although Mayor Ed Rieker said this week he still hasn’t seen the first cart in action on city streets. Motorized carts, Rieker added, aren’t the same as conventional golf carts, which don’t have the required safety features.

Motorized carts must have no less than three wheels, weigh 1,300 pounds or less, and must have a rear view mirror, hip restraints and hand holds.

Drivers must have a legal driver’s license and no cart can go over 25 mph. Bill Banks for the AJC


Georgia Power office in Fayetteville burglarized

Fayetteville police are looking for two men for who staged a brazen burglary of a Georgia Power office in Fayette County.

Suveillance video shows two men, both wearing ski masks, first breaking into an adjacent Goodwill store on South Glynn Street early Monday. The men then tore apart sheetrock and entered the Georgia Power office through a wall. They broke into the safe and took cash.

Anyone with information on the suspects call investigators at 770-461-4441. Mike Morris

Henry Tourists spent $202 million last year

Travelers to Henry County spent more than $202 million in 2011, up more than $15 million from the previous year, according to county officials. Those tourism dollars resulted in nearly $6 million local taxes and about $8 million in state taxes.

Tourists spent, on average, more than $554,000 a day in the county. Most of the monday came from youth sports tournaments. Tammy Joyner

Multi-use trail in the works at Wolf Creek

Fulton County residents can hear about about the proposed Wolf Creek Multi-Use Trail, and give input, at a public meeting 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Wolf Creek Amphitheater, 3025 Merk Road. The trail would connect the amphitheater to a proposed library site and a recreational complex. Information: 404-612-0520 or Johnny Edwards

Handel to speak at Fayette Women’s Club

The Greater Fayette Republican Women’s Club meets 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mimi’s Good Food Restaurant, 303-1 Kelly Drive in Peachtree City. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m.

Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel will discuss women in politics and ‘Planned Bullyhood’, her recently published book.

Make reservations to Denise Ognio at or Debby Dickinson, 404-376-4132. Information:

Kenneth Musisi

Riverdale church hosts youth program

Fountain of Faith Missionary Baptist Church hosts the kickoff for “Call to Duty,” a Christian program that develops African-American teens to make a difference in their community, 7 p.m. today at 6712 West Fayetteville Road, Riverdale.

The program will prepare teens for success by first empowering their spiritual life and building self-character in career development, respect, responsibility and citizenship.

Programs will be conducted 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each second Saturday. Information: Youth Pastor Daniel Perry, 404-933-6254,

Kenneth Musisi

Peachtree City offers homestead exemption

Qualifying individuals can apply for the Senior Homestead tax exemption through March 1 in Peachtree City. Homeowners must be age 65 by Jan. 1 and have already applied for the Fayette County exemption. Proof of income is required; visit City Hall, call 770-487-7657 or email Jill Howard Church for the AJC