County by county news for Friday


Board to discuss superintendent situation

The Cobb County school board plans to convene a special meeting 2 p.m. Saturday to discuss a personnel matter. The meeting comes just days after Superintendent Michael Hinojosa unexpectedly announced he planned to resign from the position he’s held since July 2011. The board will meet in executive session — which means the public will not be allowed to attend. Cobb County school district spokesman Jay Dillon said Thursday the board is expected to discuss Hinojosa’s resignation, his replacement, etc. Hinojosa, 57, told school board members Monday of his plans to resign at the end of this school year. Rose French

Lost Mountain public hearing Monday

A Cobb Board of Elections and Registration public hearing will be 4 p.m. Monday at West Park Government Center, 736 Whitlock Ave., Marietta to hear objections to dissolving the Red Rock 01 precinct at Lost Mountain Baptist Church.

Instead those voters would be split between Kemp 03 at Burnt Hickory Baptist Church and Lost Mountain 03 at the Boot Wards Recreation Center.

If there are no objections, the board will adopt this change followed by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners on Feb. 11 to be effective for the May 20 primary.

Information: 770-528-2581. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Business associations host after-hours

The South Cobb and Marietta Business Associations will hold an after-hours event from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Holiday Inn Express, 3741 Tramore Pointe Parkway, Austell.

Sweetwater Mission and the Etiquette School of Atlanta are the event’s sponsors.

Information: Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Kennesaw museum to honor attorney

The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History will honor supporter and donor Fred D. Bentley, Sr. at a gala sponsored by the museum’s foundation. Bentley’s law firm has served as legal counsel for the city of Kennesaw for more than 35 years. The gala will be 6:30 p.m-9 p.m. March 7 at the museum, 2829 Cherokee St., Kennesaw. Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Acworth to offer inside look at police work

Acworth is offering a 12-week citizens’ police academy that is a modified version of the course required to be a police officer.

The free class will meet 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Tuesdays starting March 4 at the Acworth Police Department, 4400 Acworth Industrial Drive. Information: McQueen for the AJC

Austell officials post signs to warn of floods

Austell officials have posted flood alert signs to warn property owners or those interested in purchasing restricted properties in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Special Flood Hazard Area.

Those areas face the risk of increased flooding, enforcement of the city’s floodplain management regulations and mandatory purchase of flood insurance.

Signs should not be removed without the city’s permission.

Information: Austell Public Works, 770-944-4325 or e-mail Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Lilburn man killed crossing highway

Neal Patel, 29, of Lilburn was attempting to cross Stone Montain Highway near Glen Club Drive outside of a cross walk around 10:40 p.m. Wednesday when he was hit by a 1994 Acura Integra that as westbound in the far left lane, police said.

Patel died at the scene. Police investigators have determined that neither alcohol nor excessive speed were contributing factors and at this point do not intend to charge the 20-year-old driver of the Acura. Mike Morris

Road improvement contracts approved

Gwinnett County commissioners awarded a construction contract this weekon 2/4 to add dual left turn lanes on Five Forks Trickum Road eastbound and lengthen the left turn lane on Sugarloaf Parkway northbound and the right turn lane on Sugarloaf Parkway southbound. The work will cost $978,139 and also includes some sidewalk, curb and gutter and drainage improvements. The improvements are funded by the 2005 SPLOST program. Molly Bloom

Deal among leaders at Chamber dinner

Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, U.S. Congressmen Phil Gingrey, and Jack Kingston, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, President Pro Teme Sen. David Shafer and State Sens. Don Balfour, Brandon Beach, and Renee Unterman along with community leaders will join the Gwinnett Chamber at the 66th Annual Dinner to celebrate business, community and state leaders at 6 p.m. today at Gwinnett Center Grand Ballroom, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth.

Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Suwanee hosts Police Academy

Residents interested in learning more about how the Suwanee Police work and ways citizens can prevent crime may join the next eight-week round of the city’s Citizens Police Academy 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Police Training Center, 2966 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road.

Notarized applications available at due Wednesday.Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Gwinnett in national animal care contest

Gwinnett County Animal Welfare & Enforcement Services has been named the only Georgia participant in the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. This summer, the shelter will compete to save more animal lives than it did in 2013. Information: Molly Bloom

Judges offer free Valentine’s weddings

Judges from magistrate court are offering free Valentine’s Day weddings and special ceremonies to renew wedding vows 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville.

Couples getting married must obtain a marriage license from the Probate Court before Valentine’s Day. Information: 770-822-8250. Karen Huppertz


Marlow, associates plead not guilty; trial in March

Cherokee County Board of Education member Kelly Marlow, her political advisor Robert Trim and Cherokee County GOP Secretary Barbara Knowles pleaded not guilty to charges of making false statements Wednesday in Superior Court. The trio was indicted in October after they had charged that school superintendent Frank Petruzielo tried to run them down with his car after a school board meeting last June. The case has tentatively been set for trial in March. Marlow had been feuding with Petruzielo, accusing him of withholding financial information. Mark Woolsey

Reinhardt sets Black History Month events

Reinhardt University in Waleska will commemorate Black History Month with a series of speeches, a knowledge bowl contest and a poetry slam. A civil rights symposium is set for 3- 4 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Hasty Student Life Center on campus. Georgia State University history professor Lonnie King, Jr., will talk about his more than 50 years of activism in the civil rights movement. Information: Mark Woolsey

Registration open for fun run

Registration is under way for the fourth annual Wiphan Warthog Waddle and 1K Fun Run, 8 a.m. Feb. 22 at the Fellowship Bible Church, 480 West Crossville Road, Roswell.

Proceeds from the event will provide educational services, school lunches and medical care to over 500 orphan.

Information: or  Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Historical society seeks award nominees

The Cherokee County Historical Society is seeking nominees for its 2014 Historic Preservation Awards. To be nominated, sites or structures have to be at least 50 years old and exhibit outstanding historic preservation success. The awards will be given out at the group’s annual banquet March 21 at the Northside Hospital Cherokee Conference Center, 1130 Bluffs Parkway, Canton. Nomination forms: For more information: 770-345-3288. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Farmers market returning in Woodstock

The Woodstock Farmers Market is making plans for a sixth season, with a new downtown location and second day. The market will run 8:30 a.m.-noon Saturdays starting May 3 on Market Street downtown and 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays beginning May 6 at the Outlet Shoppes of Atlanta, 915 Ridgewalk Parkway. Cooking demonstrations and Cherokee County Farm Bureau events are also being added. Potential vendors can pick up applications at the Woodstock Visitors Center and soon, at Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Ga. 92 getting new signals in Cherokee

The Georgia Department of Transportation is installing new traffic signals at 11 Cherokee County intersections along Ga. 92, designed to help left-turning drivers. The four-section flashing yellow arrow signals will allow drivers to turn left after yielding to oncoming cars and pedestrians.

They’ll go from just east of Interstate 575 to near Sandy Plains Road. Mark Woolsey for the AJC


World Cup welcoming event today

“The Ball,” soccer’s version of the traveling Olympic Games torch, comes to Atlanta for a ceremony 11 a.m. today at the W Hotel, 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. to commemorate the World Cup tournament this summer in Brazil. Soccer in the Streets, a nonprofit organization that empowers underserved youth through soccer, character development and mentoring, will participate in the welcoming event along with Spirit of Football CIC, organizers of The Ball tour, and city of Atlanta representatives. Information: or Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Israeli diplomat to give address

Ron Prosor, Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations, will give a speech at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Katherine and Jacob Greenfield Hebrew Academy auditorium, 5200 Northland Dr. Free, but registration is required:  Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Doodle for Google, fun and prizes

K-12 students in Georgia are invited to have a Google doodle showcased on through the Doodle 4 Google competition. The winning doodle will be displayed on Google’s homepage; the winner will receive a $30,000 college scholarship; and a $50,000 technology grant will be awarded to the student’s school. The winner also will become an honorary Google doodler for a day and animate their doodle with team Google. Students can submit doodles until March 20, and winners will be announced from every state on April 29. Badertscher

Rabbi Harwitz chosen to lead Weber School

Rabbi Ed Harwitz has been named the new head of the Doris and Alex Weber Jewish Community High School, 6751 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, effective July 1.

Pearl will be honored March 15 during the school’s anniversary at the Georgia Aquarium.

Information:  Kent A. Miles for the AJC


Tree ordinance delayed again

Decatur’s commission has delayed its March 3 vote on a new tree ordinance. The delay was proposed by Commissioner Patti Garrett who said more dialogue was needed. The commission will discuss the ordinance and potential revisions during a one-hour work session on March 3, before placing it on the city’s web site for an unspecified period of public comment. Bill Banks for the AJC

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. to 1:30 p.m. March 1 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, Ty Tagami

Spruill Center to host sixth jewelry show

The Spruill Center for the Arts is hosting the sixth annual Student and Instructor Jewelry Market, 11 a.m. Feb. 23 at the Spruill Education Center, 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody.

The public will have the opportunity to purchase hand-crafted items by student and professional jewelry artists. Admission to the event is free.

Information: or 770-394-3447. Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Chamblee holding daddy-daughter dance

Chamblee’s parks and recreation department is holding its annual Daddy-Daughter dance Saturday for girls in eighth grade or younger and their fathers, grandfathers, uncles or role models.

The semiformal dance will be from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Chamblee Civic Center on Broad Street. Cost is $30 per couple and $5 for each additional daughter.

Reservations are required: 770-986-5016 or April Hunt

‘Pink Goes Red’ at Stonecrest mall

The Chi Tau Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. hosts its “Pink Goes Red on the Runway” event at 2 p.m. Saturday at Macy’s at The Mall at Stonecrest, 8030 Mall Parkway, Lithonia.

There will be a fashion event in which models will wear red in support of the fight against heart disease in women. Free blood pressure screenings will also be available. The program is free and open to the public.

Information:  Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Qualifying ends today for Lithonia election

Candidates interested in running in this spring’s special election for a seat on the Lithonia City Council can qualify for office through today.

The fee is $122.40 and can be paid with paperwork filed with the city clerk’s office, 6980 Main St., Lithonia. Qualifying ends at 12:30 p.m. today.

The March 18 election will be held to fill the council seat held by Patricia Miller. The deadline to register to vote in the special election is Feb. 18. April Hunt


Fayette public schools undecided on snow days

Fayette County School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Barrow, Jr. sent a letter to parents and staff this week saying that the Feb. 14-18 winter break will not be affected by the storm-related school closings last week. The question of whether remaining breaks or holidays will be altered will be decided after the State Board of Education discusses schedule flexibility later this month, Barrow said. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Tornado test postponed until today

Due to the forecast of inclement weather earlier this week, the Georgia Statewide Tornado Drill has been postponed until 9 a.m. today.

Fayette County’s 911 Center will test all of its severe weather sirens that time; residents are asked not to call 911 when that happens. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Clayton State students offer tax prep help

Accounting students from Clayton State University will prepare tax returns as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program hosted by the College of Business.

VITA is a national program that provides tax support for certain eligible taxpayers.

The 40-year-old program provides learning experience for the students who will get extensive IRS training and testing to help make sure taxpayers have their returns filled out accurately.

VITA is offered at the College of Business at Clayton State 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through March 29. Appointments are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Details: call the VITA hotline at (678) 466-4527. Tammy Joyner

Fayette school transfers available

Fayette County parents who want to have their students transferred or reassigned to another school for 2014-15 may apply to do so from now until March 3.

Requests will be evaluated based on criteria related to relocation, medical or emotional needs, or curriculum factors.

Information and forms are at Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Baseball/softball registration underway

Registration for youth baseball and softball in Union City is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday at Ronald Bridges Park Etris Building, 5285 Lakeside Dr.

Prices range from $65 for 3- and 4-year-olds to $120 for 13- to 14-year-olds.

Information: 770-964-1236  Arlinda Smith Broady

Host families needed for exchange students

Fayette County families interested in hosting foreign high school exchange students this fall are being sought by the group Student American International.

The state-approved program places students in local schools and ensures that they have their own medical insurance and spending money.

Information: Jinx Ratcliffe at 770-477-1376. Jill Howard Church for the AJC