County by county news for Friday


Dixie Highway Annual Yard Sale begins today

The Dixie Highway Annual Yard Sale returns this weekend with bargains stretching 90 miles along Old Highway 41.

The sale is organized by the Georgia Dixie Highway Association and stretches down north Georgia from Ringgold through several other cities, including Acworth, Kennesaw and Marietta. The sale was originally created as a way to promote the historic driving tour along the old highway and provides each community to showcase their hidden treasures.

The sale runs Friday-Sunday. Information:

Janel Davis

Marietta schools start 4-day work week

Marietta City Schools will start a four-day work week Monday through July 20 as an energy conservation effort. The 12-month employees will work four, 10-hour days. Two exceptions are at Marietta High School’s summer school and the Marietta Sixth Grade Academy’s summer camps that will be open Monday to Friday. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Ott supports pay study by committee

Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott said during a candidate forum Wednesday that he would support a compensation study for county employees if the work was conducted by a committee recommended by a citizens oversight panel.

The oversight committee recommended the county create independent audit and compensation committees, but last month County Manager David Hankerson disagreed with the suggestion. He did agree with hiring an outside firm to conduct the pay study, which was estimated to cost $350,000.

Commissioners have made no decisions on the pay study, but some residents have already balked at the cost. Janel Davis

Police: Baby left in car while mom shopped

A Cobb County mother is accused of locking her 1-year-old son in her SUV while she shopped for 20 minutes, according to police.

Cecile Berniece McDonald, 29, allegedly left the boy in her Ford Explorer, while she shopped in the Burlington Coat Factory in Marietta. She was charged with first degree child cruelty, a felony. Alexis Stevens

Salvage yard expansion raises concerns

Powder Springs city officials plan to oppose the expansion of “a salvage yard” next to a church and subdivision in the city. M & R Used Auto Parts is seeking a Cobb special use permit to expand from 3.5 acres to an additional 15.5 acres next to Riverside Church of God, 3470 Florence Road, and Liberty Oaks subdivision, said Mayor Patricia Vaughn.

Vaughn said she will speak in opposition before the Cobb Planning Commission at 9 a.m. Tuesday and the Board of Commissioners at 9 a.m. June 19.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

First Friday Art Walk today in Marietta

The First Friday Art Walk, featuring the work of local artists at more than 30 stores around the Marietta Square, will be 5 to 9 p.m. today. Photographer Nicholas Cole will have a show at Avery Gallery, 390 Roswell St. Claire Dunaway’s work will be at the Brickyard at Marietta Station, and dk Gallery will feature a landscape show at 25 West Park Square. Tucker McQueen for the AJC


Chesser-Williams House relocation begins

Arrangements have begun to relocate the historic Chesser-Williams House from its site off Braselton Highway near Twin Rivers Elementary to the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center at 1510 Plunketts Road, near Mall of Georgia in Buford.

Gwinnett Commissioners recently allocated about $319,000, largely from SPLOST, to relocate the home built in the mid-1800s. Peachtree Construction Services, Inc., expects to need about nine months to move the wooden home in three sections. Michael Alpert for the AJC

Matt Ryan golf tourney starts Sunday

The second annual Matt Ryan Celebrity-Am Classic, a two-day golf event fundraiser, will be Sunday and Monday at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth. The event, sponsored by Verizon Wireless, will benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Matt Ryan Foundation.

Contact Dave Winokur at 404-785-7373 or to receive sponsorship information or to reserve playing spots. Kenneth Musisi

Lilburn farmers market opens Friday

Starting today, Lilburn residents can stroll down main street to the Greenway Trail parking lot for seasonal produce, preserves/jellies, whole grain breads, milk, cheese, meats, salsas, pasta, handcrafted soaps, and baked goodies. The market, opening its third season, runs today through Aug. 31 every Friday from 4-8 p.m. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Free help to avoid foreclosure

Gwinnett is encouraging residents having trouble making their mortgage payments to attend free foreclosure prevention workshops 1-8 p.m. today and 9 a.m. -- 3 p.m. Saturday at the Georgia International Convention Center, Exhibit Hall B located at 2000 Convention Center Concourse in College Park. Free help putting documents together available by calling 1-888-995-HOPE (4673). Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Willis to speak to historical society

Kathryn Parsons Willis will be the guest speaker at the Gwinnett Historical Society’s June 18 meeting.

Willis’s topics will include growing up in a small town, and the history of Duluth. The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse, 185 Crogan St., Lawrenceville. There is no charge to attend.

For information: Laurie Hoffman

Two Gwinnett facilities recognized as green

Gwinnett’s Senior Services Center and new Operations Center at the Yellow River Water Reclamation Facility have received LEED Gold certification, a national program for recognizing the design, construction an operation of high-performance buildings.

The U.S. Green Building Council establishes criteria and the Green Building Certification Institute verifies them. Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Two Fulton schools employees honored

Two Fulton County Schools employees have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to students and the district.

James Stewart, a technology specialist at Esther Jackson Elementary School, has been named as 2012-13 School Professional of the Year. He returned to the classroom in 2011 after advancing to other technology administrative positions. Melissa Arnold, a bus driver for five schools, was named as the 2012-13 Support Professional of the Year for her dedication to kids. The veteran employees will be recognized at a luncheon next fall. D. Aileen Dodd

Active military get free park passes

Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar introduced a new annual pass for active duty service members and their families granting free access to more than 2,000 national parks, wildlife refuges, and national forests, including Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Passes can be picked up at Island Ford Visitor Center at 1978 Island Ford Parkway, Sandy Springs. Military members must show a current, valid military identification card and dependents must show a Dependent ID Card. Information: 678-538-1200 or Kenneth Musisi

Carnival for special needs kids Saturday

The Golden Soldiers has partnered with Alpharetta’s North Point Community Church to host Big Day Out, a free carnival for children with special needs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Families are invited to enjoy carnival games, inflatables, video games, live music performances and more. Representation from the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Falcons is expected. Pre-registration is required at Kenneth Musisi

Forsyth to hold safety town camps

Registration is under way for the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department’s Safety Town camps. The five-day camps will be offered in June and July to teach children ages 4-6 about topics including stranger danger, fire safety and playground safety. They’ll be held at the Old Atlanta Park Recreation Center. Info: Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Sequoyah library system gets donation

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Education Committee and Cobb EMC recently made a $1,000 donation to the Sequoyah Regional Library System in honor of retiring Cherokee educators. The money will be used to buy books for the five library branches located in the county. This is the third year of the program. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Johns Creek holding life-saving classes

Johns Creek, in conjunction with the American Heart Association and Emory Johns Creek Hospital, will hold classes on CPR and defibrillator use at the city’s active adult center on June 16. Taught by Johns Creek firefighters and paramedics, the classes are at 9 and 10:30 a.m. and 1 and 2:30 p.m. Information:678-474-1641. Michael Alpert for the AJC


New regional health center to open

On Thursday, Fulton County will open the new and expanded Adamsville Regional Health Center, an estimated $8 million project aiming to lessen the county’s health disparities. The center will serve the Adamsville, Carroll Heights and Center Hill communities.

Services will include primary care, behavioral health, dental care, housing and a drop-in day care center. There’s also a community garden, space for farmers’ markets and a walking trail. The grand opening will be at 11 a.m. at 3700 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, S.W., Atlanta. Johnny Edwards

City offers kids meals for the summer

The City of Atlanta is participating in the Summer Food Service Program. Meals will be provided to children without a charge. Participation requirements for the program are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. Information: Aisha Stith, Director of Summer Food Service Program at 404-546-3070. Kenneth Musisi

Health expo set for Saturday

Sadie G. Mays Health & Rehabilitation Center will host a Health Fair and Caregivers Expo 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at 1821 Anderson Ave. Participants will be able to take advantage free blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and memory screenings. There will be a panel discussion on caregiving from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Information: 404-794-2477 or visit Sandra Marshall Murray

Group sponsors certification program

Sole Jumpers, Inc., a nonprofit health and fitness jump rope organization, will host a Double Dutch Certification Training Program on June 9, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Andrew & Walter Young Family YMCA, 2220 Campbellton Road S.W., Atlanta. The fee is $150 and includes certification training in Adult/Infant and Child CPR and Basic First Aid/AED. To register, visit and click on “Want to Coach & Jump.” Veronica Fields Johnson


Keep DeKalb Beautiful to hold fundraiser

Keep DeKalb Beautiful will host a fundraiser next week in Decatur to promote is environmental and community work.

The benefit night begins at 5 p.m. Monday at Twain’s Billiards and Tap, East Trinity Place, Decatur.

Information at 404-371-2654 or at April Hunt

Watson to hold legislative breakfast

Stan Watson, an at-large county commissioner in DeKalb, will host his monthly legislative breakfast this weekend with a focus on home ownership.

The free event will feature an expo with information and resources for new, current and future homeowners.

The breakfast is from 9-11 a.m. Saturday at Chapel Hill Middle School on Dogwood Farms Road in South DeKalb. Registration is not required. April Hunt

Brown elected chairman of historical society

Decatur resident Robert L. Brown was elected new chairman of the board of the Georgia Historical Society at the society’s 173 annual meeting held recently in Savannah.

Brown is president and chief executive officer of R.L. Brown & Associates, one of the state’s most highly recognized architectural firms.

He succeeds Bill Jones III, who served four years as chairman. Also elected at the annual meeting were: Robert S. Jepson Jr. of Savannah, vice chair; Jackie Montag of Atlanta, secretary; John Helmken II of Savannah, treasurer; and Dr. J. David Allen of Atlanta, Wyck Knox, Jr. of Augusta and William J. Todd of Atlanta as board members. Nancy Badertscher

Volunteers needed for Beach Party

With the city’s annual Beach Party coming up in June, Decatur is looking for volunteers to help throw the annual street-and-sand party.

Volunteers can work everything from setup in the morning to running booths at the Children’s Boardwalk and handling entry points during the party on June 15.

Information or sign up: 678-553-6548 or April Hunt

Golf tourney today benefits CASA

DeKalb Court Appointed Special Advocates is hosting its Second Annual Golf Tournament starting at 7:30 a.m. today at Mystery Valley Golf Club, Lithonia. Proceeds from the tournament will increase resources and help DeKalb CASA engage more volunteers. DeKalb CASA advocates for safe permanent homes for children under protection of the Juvenile Court. Register to play or volunteer at Information: or 404-378-0038.

County deal to help people with rent

The DeKalb County Commission recently approved a contract with a local nonprofit to help low-income families pay their rent.

The deal calls for the county to pass along $251,000 in federal funds to Nicholas House to help the neediest county residents with rent, security deposits and utility bills.

Information: 404-286-3308 or April Hunt


Few elected to office in fire chiefs association

Fulton County Fire Chief Larry Few has been elected secretary of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, which is part of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Members elected 2012-2013 officers and board members earlier this month at their annual conference in Louisville, Ky., attended by about 90 fire chiefs from the U.S., Canada, China and the United Kingdom.

The association helps chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments share information and focus on issues affecting policy changes. Johnny Edwards

4 hearings on Clayton school budget Monday

The Clayton County Board of Education will hold four hearings Monday in preparation of adopting a final fiscal 2013 budget on June 25. The school board will hold two hearings -- 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. -- on the proposed general fund budget of $335.8 million tentatively adopted this week and two hearings -- 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. -- on teacher salaries for next year. The school board then will meet at 6 p.m. for its regular monthly meeting. All meetings will be in the board room at the Administration Complex, 1058 Fifth Ave. in Jonesboro. Tammy Joyner

Students tapped for MIT scholar program

Woodward Academy’s Kareem Elhadidi and Ryan Strat were among three teams chosen to participate in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Think Scholars Program.

They were selected for their computer science research project “Cristo Rey IT Department Planning,” which examined how to create a low-cost IT infrastructure for a developing school.

The students also received scholarships and free trips to MIT’s Techfair.

The Think Scholars program promotes science, technology, engineering and math by funding projects developed by high school students. D. Aileen Dodd

Aviation museum to hold gala and auction

The National Museum of Commercial Aviation will hold its 4th annual Gala and Silent Auction June 23 at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. The evening will feature a gourmet buffet dinner, a program highlighting two major donations and live music. Guests can bid on nearly 80 items in the silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the museum’s youth education and public outreach programs. The event is at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park. RSVP required. Tickets are $75 a person; corporate table for $1,000. Details: 404-675-9266. Tammy Joyner

Junior Police Academy takes applications

The Fayetteville Police Department’s 10th annual Junior Police Academy is now accepting applications.

The academy will be held July 23-26 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Recruits will be taught about such everyday police work as vehicle stops, crime scene processing, physical fitness, defensive tactics and team-building skills.

Applicants must be entering grades 7-10. Applications are at the Fayetteville Police Department, Fayette Middle School and Bennett’s Mill Middle School, and are due June 1. Call 770-461-4441 for information. Jill Howard Church for the AJC