County by county news for Friday


Smyrna approves Concord Road work

Smyrna City Council on Monday awarded a $6.89 million contract to C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. to continue road improvements on Concord Road. The project, funded by 2011 SPLOST dollars, will include road widening, landscaped medians and extending a multi-use trail from South Cobb Drive to Atlanta Road. The city used $ 9.2 million from 2005 SPLOST funds to cover design and engineering work and buying property to start the project on Concord Road. Matthews was the lowest bidder.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Kids Fest at Cumberland Mall

Cumberland Mall will host a free Kids Fest celebration 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

The event will include a deejay, games, crafts and prizes. The celebration will take place in the Costco Wing on the lower level of the mall near Designer Shoe Warehouse.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Information: Janel Davis

Powder Springs reduces leak refunds

The Powder Springs City Council voted 4-1 Monday to stop giving refunds for water leaks beginning Oct. 1.

Councilman Al Thurman was opposed.

Residents still can receive partial refunds if their water bill is four times their normal monthly usage or total refunds if the city is at fault.

The city's Finance Director Amy Davis said the city gave away more than 11 million gallons of water during the last fiscal year that ended June 30, representing a $20,000 loss.

Polybutylene pipe and sewer leak credits will continue to be allowed, said interim City Manager Brad Hulsey.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Marietta Police open house

The Marietta Police Department hosts an Open House 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Citizens are encouraged to come to the department, located at 240 Lemon St., to tour the facility.

The Firearms Training Unit will conduct a simulated shooting exercise where citizens can test their skills in various shooting scenarios.

Officers from the SWAT team, STEP Unit, Crime Scene Unit and Crime Interdiction Unit will also be on hand and various specialialized pieces of equipmen will be on display.

Information: 770-794-5389

Andria SimmonS

Blood drive to honor 9/11 victims

The Georgia Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA will host a blood drivenoon to 5 p.m. Sept. 1-3 at Town Center Mall, 400 Ernest W. Barrett Pkwy. N.W., Kennesaw. The event is part of the second annual "Muslims for Life," a national campaign to collect 11,000 units of blood Aug. 11 to Sept. 11 to honor the victims and to reiterate that Islam values life. Information: 404-510-3399, or Veronica Fields Johnson

Concert postponed at the Mable

The Little Texas and Restless Heart concert scheduled tonight at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre has been postponed. A makeup date will be announced. Ticket holders may obtain a refund through their original purchase method.

Information: 770-819-7765.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


County publishes final Engage Gwinnett report

Gwinnett County has published its final report on its progress on various recommendations of the Engage Gwinnett citizen committee.

In April 2010 the committee recommended a host of cost-saving measures designed to improve government efficiency and save taxpayers money. The county has addressed most of the recommendations. To view the final report, visit

David Wickert

Free Doggy Day ice cream

Best Friends Pet Care will celebrate National Dog Day by giving away a free doggy ice cream treat to every dog who visits either of its locations between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at 3390 N. Berkeley Lake Road in Duluth and 1087 Johnson Ferry Road NE in Marietta.

The treats are dog-safe, made of yogurt or soy with dog-preferred flavors like peanut butter and honey. Canine guests must be on leash and accompanied by a human companion.

Kenneth Musisi

Man accused of taking dead mother's pension

A Gwinnett County grand jury has indicted the son of a former Atlanta school teacher for allegedly stealing more than $85,000 in pension payments from the state Teacher's Retirement System after his mother died.

Levon Chett Barrett, 50, was indicted Wednesday on one count of violating Georgia's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Barrett's mother, Juliette Barrett, began receiving retirement benefits in May 1997. She died in September 2007 and Levon Barrett stole the funds from her account using a PIN-based transaction card. Mike Morris

Gwinnett to replace old water lines

Gwinnett County will replace four miles of water mains in older neighborhoods near Snellville, Lilburn and Norcross.

On Tuesday the Board of Commissioners awarded a $1.1 million contract to low bidder G.S. Construction Inc. for work in the Forest Vale, Pebble Creek and Johnson Estates neighborhoods. It also awarded a $675,087 contract to The Dickerson Group to replace for work in the Hermitage Plantation neighborhood. David Wickert

Duluth to rock town green Saturday

Duluth's concert series continues in a big way 2 to 11 p.m. Saturday with the 3rd annual Duluth Music Festival featuring headliners the Atlanta Rhythm Section. Concert is free. Food, art demonstrations and free art projects for the kids available. Information:

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Kids treated to around the world lessons

Aurora Theatre's Children's Playhouse welcomes storyteller, Barry Stewart Mann with his "CultureMan To The Rescue," a super-hero with problem-solving stories at 10 a.m. Saturday 128 Pike St. in Lawrenceville. Tickets are $7.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Farm to support children with brain cancer

Cagle's Family farm in Canton opens for the fall season at 5 p.m. Aug. 31. The farm has hayrides, farm animals, a kid zone and bon fires for families to enjoy. For the first time, Cagle's will feature three miles of corn maze paths in the shape of the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children logo. The most direct route in the maze takes 45 minutes to walk. In addition, a portion of the entry fees over Labor Day weekend will benefit the foundation.

Information: or Kenneth Musisi

Poet appearing in Johns Creek

Award winning poet Jill Jennings will speak at 10:15 a.m. Saturday at Northeast Spruill Oaks LIbrary, 9560 Spruill Road, Johns Creek. A retired journalist, Jennings has taught Latin and English for 18 years and has developed SAT exam writing workshops. Her poems have won awards from the Georgia Poetry Society and Atlanta Writers Club. Information: Rob Lynn,, 770-360-8820. Michael Alpert for the AJC

Senior fundraiser planned in Cherokee

The Cherokee County Volunteer Aging Council will hold its annual fundraising gala 6:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday at the Northside Hospital-Cherokee Conference Center, 1130 Bluffs Parkway, Canton. Money raised by the dinner-dance event will benefit Cherokee County Senior Services programs such as Meals on Wheels. Info:

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

GNFCC to host breakfast event

The Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce's Eggs & Enterprise breakfast will be 7:30 to 9 a.m. Aug. 28 at the Marriott, 5750 Windward Parkway in Alpharetta.

Jim Smith, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of the Atlanta Falcons, will speak.

Smith will talk about the upcoming season, the Falcons league-leading marketing program, and the community activities underway.

Registration is due by Aug. 24. Admission is $25 members: $50 future members. Visit or call 770-993-8806, ext. 306. Information: Debbie Ryals at 678-397-0556 to

Kenneth Musisi

Aging Council gala this weekend

The Volunteer Aging Council will host the 12th annual Gala/Auction Fundraiser from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Northside Hospital-Cherokee Conference Center, 1130 Bluff's Pkwy., Canton.

Proceeds will benefit seniors in need through Cherokee County's Meals on Wheels program, emergency assistance for utilities, medical prescriptions, home repairs and more.

Veronica Fields Johnson

Cherokee ACT scores highest ever

Cherokee County's 2012 ACT scores were the highest in county history.

Graduating seniors in Cherokee County Schools had an average score of 22.7 out of a possible 36, well above the state average of 20.7.

Wayne Washington


Appeals Court judge Adams to retire

Georgia Court of Appeals Court Judge Harris Adams has notified Gov. Nathan Deal he intends to retire from the bench on Jan. 1.

Adams, a former Cobb County trial judge, was appointed to the appeals court by then-Gov. Roy Barnes in 2002. His term was to expire at the end of 2016. Bill Rankin

Woman sentenced for 2-year-old's death

On June 1, 2010, 21-year-old Kelly Canty's car crossed the yellow line on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway and hit a tractor trailer, police said. The tractor trailer, trying to avoid a collision, jumped a curb and hit three cars in the AutoZone parking lot. Zion Curney, 2, was killed, and his cousin was injured.

Canty was charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, and driving without a license or insurance. The judge ordered Canty's 15-year sentence commuted to time served, plus two years. Angel K. Brooks

Three robberies leave one dead

Atlanta police were working Thursday to determine whether the fatal shooting of a man walking home from a southwest Atlanta bus stop is related to other overnight armed robberies in the area.

The 21-year-old man was shot and killed around midnight Wednesday during a robbery attempt near the intersection of Danforth and Cascade roads.

There were two other armed robberies in the same neighborhood. The name of the man killed was not immediately released. Mike Morris

Back on My Feet hosts inaugural race

The Atlanta branch of Back on My Feet hosts its inaugural race of the Meaningful 5K Run/Walk 7:30 a.m. Saturday at of Angier and Dallas streets. The race will go through Old Fourth Ward and Inman Park. The award ceremony will be 9 a.m.

This 5K race includes a mile for each of the three partnering shelters. Information:

Kenneth Musisi


PTA advocate honored by White House

A grandmother and former president of the DeKalb County Council of PTAs has been recognized by the White House for her school advocacy.

Each year, the U.S. president selects a dozen "Champions of Change" from across the country. Deirdre Pierce was selected this year for her advocacy of the renovation of her neighborhood high school with a career and technology wing and auditorium.

Pierce, who is now a Georgia PTA district director over DeKalb, Newton and Rockdale counties, is a retired flight attendant. She worked 15 years as a substitute teacher in DeKalb. Information:

Ty Tagami

Program offers support for caregivers

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is offering a free 12-week course for caregivers of people with serious mental illness. starting Aug. 26. The class will cover current information, medication and research about illnesses such as schizophrenia and major depression as well as strategies for handling crises and relapse. The course also offers care for caregivers, including coping skills and ways to find outside support.

Registration: 770-498-5992.

April Hunt

Epilepsy project is set for Saturday

UCB's "My Four Words" project is coming to the 29th Annual Magnolia Run and Walk for Epilepsy at 7 a.m. Saturday at Perimeter Mall. The campaign enables people impacted by epilepsy to share personal accounts in just four words.

The 5k run and 1 mile fun-run which starts at 7:30 a.m. will benefit the programs and services of the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia. Information: Kenneth Musisi

DeKalb senior group wins $7,500 grant

Senior Connections, a nonprofit that serves senior citizens in DeKalb and Fulton counties, recently won a $7,500 grant for its program to deliver hot meals to elderly in need.

The Publix Super Markets Charities grant will pay for more than 1,000 meals for low-income seniors.

Senior Connections delivers over 700,000 meals across the 10-county region every year. April Hunt

Clarkston hosts community celebration

Clarkston plans to turn last year's Celebration of Community into an annual event.

It will feature food and entertainment from the community. It runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Clarkston Community Center.

Tickets are $40 for individuals and $60 for pairs.

Information: 404-508-1050 or April Hunt

DeKalb elections chief earns top certification

DeKalb County's elections chief has earned the highest professional certification for election officials.

Maxine Daniels, who has worked for the office since 2001, has been designated a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator.

The certification comes after several years of study under the National Association of Election Officials through the public administration program at Auburn University. April Hunt


Peachtree City man withdraws complaint

A Peachtree City man who filed an ethics complaint against Mayor Don Haddix Aug. 13 withdrew the measure Tuesday night.

Steve Thaxton alleged that Haddix violated six sections of the city's Code of Ethics while settling a 2011 libel lawsuit brought by former mayor Harold Logsdon.

Thaxton said he withdrew the complaint "to avoid unnecessary legal expense" the city would have incurred during proceedings.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Man pleads guilty to killing storekeeper

A suspect charged with shooting to death a College Park store owner he thought had short-changed his girlfriend avoided trial at the last minute by pleading guilty Wednesday to the October 2010 slaying, Fulton County prosecutors said.

Moments before jury selection was to begin in his trial, Eric Carr, 43, pleaded guilty as charged to murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford sentenced Carr to two consecutive life sentences plus 15 years for the death of Michael Moore, 52. Moore was shot and killed Oct. 15, 2010, in his Roosevelt Highway convenience store.

David Ibata

Feds raid clinic linked to 'pill mills'

Federal agents raided several metro Atlanta locations Wednesday night that are linked to suspected "pill mills."

The agents raided clinics in southeast Atlanta and in Tyrone, along with a pharmacy and two homes, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Agents loaded up boxes of files and other evidence, but officials with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration have not yet commented on the raids. Mike Morris

Document shredding in Peachtree City

Peachtree City residents can destroy documents for free during the Shred-Fest 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Staples, 225 Market Place Connector. The service is not open to businesses, and cannot accept plastics, CDs, floppy discs, electronics, paper clips, magnets or metal objects. Jill Howard Church

Holmes town hall meeting this weekend

Henry County District 5 Commissioner Bruce Holmes will host his monthly town hall meeting 9 a.m. Saturday at Fairview Recreation Center, Stockbridge. The meeting will update residents on zoning, land use, ideas for West Panola Road and plans to bring the Exigence Group to the area.

Monroe Roark for the AJC

Mentoring program sponsors open house

The Gifted, Intelligent, Resilient, Ladies Movement will host The GIRL Sorority Mentoring Program open house 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Riverdale Town Center, 7210 Church St. The event is targeted to females age 14-23 with information on the mentoring program. Applications accepted for mentors and mentees. Information: or 678-653-4475. Veronica Fields Johnson