County by county news for Friday


Kennesaw police department recognized

The Kennesaw Police Department was re-accredited by the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies at a conference Nov. 17 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Kennesaw was first recognized in 2009. Kennesaw spokesperson Pam Davis said the commission recognizes about 1,200 of 23,000 law enforcement agencies in the country.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Marietta expects 4,500 for tour

The 26th Marietta Pilgrimage expects 4,500 people to tour six homes and 10 historic public buildings in the Church-Cherokee Street historic district this weekend. The tour, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, will benefit the Marietta Visitors Bureau and Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society. The tour raised $50,000 last year. Information: tickets@marietta or Visitors Bureau, 4 Depot St., Marietta.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Bottoms is Marietta Citizen of the Year

Businessman and civic volunteer Gary Bottoms is Marietta’s citizen of the year. Bottoms, 60, was recognized Wednesday at a Cobb Chamber Marietta Area Council meeting. The president of a business insurance and benefits company in Marietta is past chairman of the Cobb Community Foundation, Cobb School’s Foundation and Center for Family Resources board.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Powder Springs hosts Christmas celebration

Powder Springs will host “The Annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree” from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Historic Town Square in downtown Powder Springs, 4488 Pineview Drive.

Free carriage rides and free hot chocolate will accompany entertainment and photos with Santa.

Information: 770-943-8001, ext. 307. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Powder Springs chooses top volunteer

Carol Gill, chairperson of the Keep Powder Springs Beautiful committee since 2006, is the city’s Volunteer of the Year.

She was honored, along with other city volunteers, at the Volunteer Banquet this month at the city’s Ford Center.

A city resident since 1967, Gill has served on the committee since 1999 and also is the city’s representative on the Keep Cobb Beautiful committee. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Candy Cane Hunt in Mableton on Saturday

The Cobb Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department will present the 8th annual Candy Cane Hunt 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Historic Mable House, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton for children 12 and under.

Hunting for 10,000 candy canes, cookie decorating, marshmallow roasting, gingerbread house crafts and visits and pictures with Santa will be among the festivities.

Information: or 770-528-8454. Carolyn Cunningham


Lilburn man shot during alleged robbery

A man, whose name was not released, was on the driveway of his Greenleaf Drive home when he approached by a man with a gun, Lilburn police said.

The suspect shot the man before running away. The victim was in critical condition, but is expected to survive his injuries, police said.

A witness reported seeing someone running up the street after a shot was fired.

The suspect is described as a slender male wearing a white shirt and black pants. Alexis Stevens

Lanier garden celebrates four years

The Lanier Community Garden recently completed its fourth year at the Lanier Filter Plant in Buford. The garden currently has 81 plots where gardeners plant vegetables and fruit year-round.

In addition to personal use, gardeners have donated 975 pounds of produce to the Buford Co-Op.

A new website is available to keep gardeners informed at

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Animal shelter sets adoption goals

Adopt a pet between now and December 23 and help an animal find a loving home by Christmas for only a $30 spay/neuter fee at the Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Shelter.

The shelter’s goal is for every animal to be adopted by Dec. 25.

Animal lovers can bring their pets to the shelter for pictures with Santa, and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate while they are there, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 15. Photos are $10 for an 8- by 10-inch picture and $5 for a CD Rom.

Information: 770-339-3200 or Andria Simmons

2 killed in Suwanee wreck identified

Suwanee police Thursday identified David Dowdy, 47, of Bogart, and Jean Strickland, 79, of Suwanee as the two people killed in a Wednesday night wreck that closed a major roadway for several hours.

Dowdy, who was driving an Oldsmobile was killed after allegedly striking another vehicle head-on, killing Strickland, who was a passenger in the second car.

A portion of McGinnis Ferry Road, between Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Buford Highway remained closed for several hours Wednesday night during the investigation.

It was not immediately known if alcohol or speed were factors in the wreck. Mike Morris and Alexis Stevens

Arthritis Foundation run/walk Saturday

The Arthritis Foundation will sponsor a Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis at 8 a.m. Saturday at Tribble Mill Park, 2125 Tribble Mill Parkway, Lawrenceville.

The event features a 5-kilometer timed run, a 1-mile fun walk and a Santa Chase for kids age 8 and under.

More than 500 runners and walkers will try to raise $55,000.

To register and for more information, visit or call 678-237-4458.

David Wickert


Cribs and trailer stolen from nonprofit

Officials of The Hope Center, a crisis pregnancy center in Woodstock, say they’re getting offers of help after thieves took a trailer containing five baby cribs and mattresses for new mothers this week.

The theft was discovered Wednesday morning.

The center’s executive director says no money is budgeted to replace the stolen trailer.

Information: or (770) 924-0864. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Teacher charged with sexual assault

Creekview High School special education teacher Adam Blake Bearden was charged Wednesday with four counts of felony sexual assault following an alleged relationship with a 17-year-old student.

Bond was set at $44,800 for Bearden, 31, of Ball Ground.

Investigators believe the sexual relationship took place off campus over a three-month period. Georgia law prohibits sexual relationships between teachers and students.

Bearden was re-assigned to a non-school work site, according to Barbara Jacoby, a spokeswoman for the school district. Alexis Stevens

Students achive high on writing test

Cherokee County School District high school students continue to exceed state performance on the Georgia High School Writing Test, passage of which is required to graduate.

Fall 2012 results show 99 percent of students passing. The statewide rate was 97 percent. Disabled CCSD students achieved an 88 percent passing rate, compared to 72 percent statewide. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Fire officials to assist in toy campaign

Cherokee Fire and Emergency Services says it will be a collection center for the local Marine Toys For Tots program through Dec. 20. Donors are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys to the fire station nearest them. More information: 678-493-4000. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Johns Creek Symphony holds holiday concert

Johns Creek Symphony’s annual Christmas Holiday Pops Concert will be 8 p.m. Saturday at St. Benedict Church, 11045 Parsons Road.

The JCSO, under the direction of J. Wayne Baughman, will perform holiday and seasonal favorites with full orchestra, choirs and guest soloists. Tickets — $30 for adults, $23.50 for those 55 and older and $16.50 for students — can be purchased online at

Information: 678-748-5802.

Patrick Fox

Open Mind Center offers Yoga for Charity

The Open Mind Center, a holistic wellness center, will offer Yoga for Charity 10 to 11 a.m. Fridays at 1575 Old Alabama Road, Suite 213, Roswell. All levels are welcome. Proceeds go to Peace Across the Planet, a mission founded by Elements of Life to spread peace throughout the world.

Information and registration: or 678-243-5074.

Kenneth Musisi


Early learning focus of issues breakfast

United Way will host its fifth annual Coffee & Community Issues Breakfast, titled “Early Learning Impacts Us All: Georgia’s Children Need You,” 8 to 10 a.m. Thursday at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, 800 Spring St., N.W. Keynote speaker will be Earl M. Phalen, CEO of Reach Out and Read and founder of Summer Advantage. Panelists include Erroll Davis, superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools; Gail Hayes, director at Annie E. Casey Foundation; Comer Yates, executive director, Atlanta Speech School; and moderator N. Jean Walker, United Way vice president of education. Nancy Badertscher

MARTA offers safety video on YouTube

MARTA has produced a video on YouTube to promote safety on the systems’ buses, trains and escalators.

Clark Atlanta awarded $200k grant

Clark Atlanta University and the Chevron Corp. announced this week a $206,500 grant from Chevron to provide scholarships and support for enrichment programs for students in CAU’s School of Business.

Clark Atlanta is the largest of the nation’s 39-member UNCF institutions and one of two private historically black colleges and universities designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a research university. Nancy Badertscher

Virginia-Highland tour in 18th year

The Virginia-Highland Civic Association will present its 18th Annual Virginia-Highland Tour of Homes 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8 and from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 9. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the weekend of the tour. Proceeds benefit various neighborhood improvement projects.

Information: Mea Watkins


Woman allegedly had gun at courthouse

Yolanda Perdue, 27, was stopped by deputies at the entrance of the DeKalb County courthouse, according officials.

Inside Perdue’s purse, deputies allegedly found a loaded handgun.

Perdue was arrested and taken without incident to the DeKalb County jail, where she was charged with carrying a weapon in an unauthorized location.

Her bond was set at $1,000, according to booking records. Alexis Stevens

Decatur annexation talks about to heat up

Decatur will soon decide whether to ask legislators to pass a bill allowing a November, 2013, referendum for annexing six parcels of land into the city.

Annexation would add about 2,000 people into the city and about 276 children into the school system by August, 2014.

Important upcoming dates: on Dec. 3 the commission will hold a final information meeting on annexation; on Dec. 5 the school board will get an update on numerical projections; on Dec. 11 in the school board will make its recommendations to the commission, which gives its final vote on Dec. 17.

Bill Banks for the AJC

Libraries seek public input on plans

The DeKalb County Public Library will hold public input meetings on its priorities for the next three years.

Meetings also will be held 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Chamblee library, 4115 Clairmont Road; 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Tucker library, 5234 LaVista Road and at 7 p.m. Jan. 8 at the Hairston Crossing library, 4911 Redan Road.

Information: 404-370-8450, extension 2228. April Hunt

Annual “Tree of Love” underway

The Tree of Love program creates wish lists for holiday gifts for low-income children as well as those in foster care. Residents can select names from the tree, to help make sure the children have something to open for the holidays.

The tree is set up at South DeKalb Mall, 2801 Candler Road, near Decatur. All gifts are due back to the mall by Dec. 15.

Information: 404-964-4936.

April Hunt

Santa breakfast to benefit nonprofit

Santa Claus will visit Stone Mountain 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 8 at the Stone Mountain Evergreen Marriott Conference Resor to help raise money for Friends of Disabled Adults and Children, Too, a DeKalb County non-profit that provides crutches, walkers and wheelchairs to children and seniors with disabilities.

Tickets for breakfast with Santa are $30 for adults and $20 for children 5 - 11 and include parking, free park admission, a toy and photo with Santa. Children under 5 are free.

Information: 770-491-9014, x. 112, or April Hunt

DeKalb History Center hosts free book event

Author Jeff Clemmons will discuss his new release, “Rich’s: A Southern Institution,” a book about the department store, at a book signing.5:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Historic DeKalb Courthouse, 101 E. Court Square, Decatur.


April Hunt


Fairview Road project to begin in Henry County

Henry County officials broke ground Monday on the first phase of the Fairview Road transportation project, which is funded through SPLOST and state Department of Transportation funds.

When completed, nearly two miles of Fairview Road will be improved and widened to four lanes and a new intersection with realigned W. Panola Road will be constructed.

The first phase is expected to cost about $750,000 and the entire project is scheduled to take three years to complete. Monroe Roark for the AJC

SACS to discuss Clayton’s accreditation

Mark Elgart president of AdvanceEd, the accrediting agency for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools will address community concerns about the accreditation status of the Clayton County school system at a forum 7 p.m. Monday at the Clayton State University Student Activities Center. School Board members, county commissioners, the Clayton legislative delegation, mayors of Clayton municipalities and business leaders have been invited to attend.

Information: 404 207-3817. Tammy Joyner

Henry extension offers cooking school

The Henry County Extension Office, in conjunction with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, is offering a cooking school on how to eat and cook to prevent cancer. The Cooking for a Life Time Cancer Prevention School will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 11 at the extension office, 97 Lake Dow Road, McDonough.

Instructors will show how to make tasty and healthy dishes that are low in fat, calories and sodium, but rich in fiber. Cost is $2; pre-registration is required by Dec. 7.

Information: 770 288-8421. Tammy Joyner

Pearl Harbor ceremony in Heritage Park

Henry County will mark the 71st anniversary of the Empire of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor Naval Base with a special ceremony 12:45 p.m. Dec. 7, at the Veterans Wall of Honor in McDonough’s Heritage Park.

There will be patriotic music, special speakers and a wreath laid in memory of Pearl Harbor soldiers by a World War II veteran. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Water and Sewerage meeting cancelled

The Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority regular December meeting set for Monday has been cancelled.

The next meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Jan. in the conference room at the John W. Gronner Administrative Center, Peachtree City. Tammy Joyner

New city manager takes helm

East Point’s new city manager, Reggie Taylor, started working for the city this week. Prior to joining East Point, Taylor served as executive director of the Marietta Redevelopment Corp. He was the main point of contact for developers seeking assistance in pursuing projects.

He has more than 10 years of urban planning, community and economic development as well as affordable housing experience. John Thompson for the AJC

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