County by county news for Friday


Waste transfer expansion may get new look

Cobb Commissioners will vote next week on whether to request the Atlanta Regional Commission to reconsider a favorable regional impact review issued for expansion of a waste transfer station in south Cobb.

Last month the Commission denied the expansion permit for the Bankhead C&D Transfer Station that would have allowed the company to take in household garbage. But a Federal Aviation Administration review found that the facility would be too close to the Fulton County Airport to accept this type of trash because it could attract birds that could interfere with flights. Janel Davis

Police group endorses Byrne for chairman

Cobb County Commission Chairman candidate Bill Byrne picked up the endorsement of the county’s FOP on Wednesday night, beating out incumbent Chairman Tim Lee for the coveted support.

About 40 of the organization’s 600 members attended a vetting and voting session before the group, said president Billy Mull. Much of the decision came down to Lee’s support last year of five employee furlough days — also required of public safety employees — implemented to close a budget gap, Mull said. The election is July 31 . Janel Davis

Business donates $10,000 to schools

Inspired by the district’s success, Ed Voyles Automotive Group donated $10,000 to Marietta City Schools last month. The check was presented by the company’s CEO, Bill Brantley to the school during its Teacher of the Year and Employee Awards event which the automotive group sponsors. District administrators gave David DuBose, a teacher at Marietta High School its “Teacher of the Year” award. Several other awards were also presented at the ceremony. Daarel Burnette

Marietta Soap Box Derby Saturday

Children from 13 Georgia counties will race in the ninth Marietta Soap Box Derby 8:30 a.m-4:30 p.m. Saturday at Marietta High School, 1171 Whitlock Ave. Winners will compete at the All American Soap Box Derby Race July 21 in Akron, Ohio. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Marietta buys fire alarms for the deaf

The Marietta Fire Department has purchased 270 alarms that will alert the deaf and hard of hearing to fire in their homes. The alarms are free to qualifying residents. The city received a $47,000 FEMA grant for the alarms that sound a low-tone alarm, give a visual signal that flashes the word fire and a bed shaker under the mattress. Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC

School officials work on strategic plan

Cobb County school officials are in the process of creating a strategic plan for 2012 through 2018. Administrators will facilitate the meeting which will take place at the Cobb County School District Board Room at 514 Glover St. in Marietta. On June 19 from 4 to 6 p.m., the district will hold a meeting on identifying and prioritizing goals. On June 20 from 3 to 5 p.m., the district will hold a meeting on identifying strategic actions. On July 11 from 1 to 3 p.m., they will hold a meeting on measures of performance. Daarel Burnette


County plans to buy five new fire trucks

Gwinnett County will buy five new pumper engines for its fire department over the next two years.

The Board of Commissioners Tuesday agreed to spend $2.5 million in special local option sales tax money on the vehicles. Ohio-based Sutphen Corporation won the contract.

The vehicles will replace engines that are 10 to 15 years old. The new engines will each carry 750 gallons of water, emergency medical equipment and firefighting tools. When connected to a hydrant they can pump 1,500 gallons of water per minute. David Wickert

County voters to get new I.D. cards

Registered voters in Gwinnett County will soon receive new precinct identification cards in the mail. The county elections office will mail the yellow cards beginning today.The cards will include the voter’s polling location and all political districts for their home address. If the address shown is incorrect, voters should provide a correct address to the county elections office. Voters also can find their poll location at the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page at David Wickert

Islands event benefits food ministry

Lake Lanier Islands Resort has partnered with 104.7 The Fish to host their first “Islands Give Back” concert starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The event featuring performances by popular Christian rock bands marks the grand opening of the Island’s renovated Peachtree Point Amphitheater. A portion from every ticket will support local food ministry, “His Harvest House”. Purchase tickets at Information: Kate Davis at Kenneth Musisi

Grayson hosting free movie nights

Grayson residents are invited to a free movie night in the city park hosted by Anchor Church today at 8:45 p.m. with “How to Train Your Dragon.”

Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Gwinnett bridal show returning

An Engaging Affair 2012 Silver Summer Bridal Show returns to the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse in Lawrenceville from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. The event includes a fashion show, local vendors for every conceivable bridal need and a chance to win prizes. Tickets are $5 in advance, $7 at the door. Grooms are admitted free. Information: or call 770-822-5450. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Hudgens Center offers art camps for kids

Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth announced summer art camps for kids and teens. The Hudgens has three different camps, a Color Wheel art camp for children ages 5 to 12, a Summer Pottery camp for older kids ages 8 to 14, and a Teen Summer Portfolio Development Intensive for teens ages 14 to 18.

Space is limited. Online registration:Education/Summer Art Camps at Registration by phone at 770-623-6002 or in person in the gift shop. Kenneth Musisi


Homeowners can get coaching on taxes

North Fulton homeowners can talk to staffers from the county tax assessors office about how they set property tax values, and how to appeal them, at a community meeting Tuesday in Alpharetta. Hosted by county Commissioner Liz Hausmann, the meeting will last from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Alpharetta Family YMCA, 3655 Preston Ridge Road. Appeals can be filed online for the first time this year at, but they can’t be filed at the meeting. Information: 404-612-6404 or Johnny Edwards

Rent school facility at online site

Looking to use a school facility for an event this summer? Doing so just became a little easier. Fulton County recently announced the creation of a Facilities Rental website, which will allow organizations and individuals to go online and rent their desired school facility. Visit, click Quick Links, and then click Facilities Rental. Fulton County hopes that the new website will make facility rental more convenient for everyone by streamlining the process. Edward Mitchell

Acworth police offers teen drivers class

The Acworth Police Department will host a PRIDE Teen Driving Class June 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The two-hour course is designed to help parents and their teen drivers, ages 14-16, learn what they need to do during the 40 hours of supervised practice driving time required by Georgia law. Information: Officer Jeff Rose at 678-801-4073 or Kenneth Musisi

Cherokee schools go for transparency

The Cherokee County School District has announced a transparency initiative putting more information on its website as part of the “Open Government Project” announced this week. The effort includes making numerous documents and records related to the district’s budget process available in PDF format. The website is: 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 at 9 and 10:30 a.m. and 1 and 2:30 p.m. are part of the city’s Heart Ready Program, which has placed 48 defibrillators in public spaces and police vehicles and has trained more than 1,500 people in CPR and defibrillator use. For information, call 678-474-1641. Michael Alpert for the AJC

Roswell seeking input on plant

Roswell is holding a third public information meeting on June 14 to discuss whether to build a $16 million water plant to replace its nearly 80-year-old one.

The meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. at the city’s adult recreation center at 830 Grimes Bridge Road seeks public input on the facility forecasted to save $11.6 million over 20 years. Michael Alpert for the AJC


Council approves $99,000 in claims

Atlanta’s City Council voted Monday to approve more than $99,000 in claims against the city for property damages and bodily injuries from automobile accidents and other mishaps. The 20 claims ranged from $731 for property damage alleged to have been caused by a storm grate last October in west Atlanta to $20,000 in damage from a falling tree last August near Bobby Jones Golf Course. More than a dozen claims were rejected, including several related to towing, potholes, open water meters and road defects. Jeremiah McWilliams

Forum in alternative fuel on Monday

The Buckhead Coalition has arranged an educational public forum on alternative fuel vehicles in cooperation with Tim Echols, chairman of the Georgia Public Service Commission. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon on Monday. It will include a presentation at the Buckhead campus of the University of Georgia’s Terry College, as well as a vehicle showing. Participants in the program will include representatives of the Buckhead Coalition, DeKalb County’s public works department and the state’s public service commission. Jeremiah McWilliams

Club hosts champion tree dedication

The Lullwater Garden Club is hosting a champion tree dedication at 10 a.m. Saturdayat 845 Lullwater Road, Atlanta. The event will commemorate the six champion trees found in the historic Lullwater Conservation Garden: tulip poplar, Carolina silverbell, mountain laurel, beech, black tupelo, and yellowwood. Information: Kenneth Musisi

Business women’s group holds workshop

The Atlanta Area Council of the American Business Women’s Association announced its Annual June Education Workshop will be Saturday at the Crowne Plaza NW, 6345 Powers Ferry Road. Registration begins at 8 a.m. The cost is $40. Information: Tamiko Leverette 404-510-5155 or Kenneth Musisi


School members to meet public today

Three DeKalb County school board members will meet the public in Dunwoody for a “coffee talk.”

School board member Nancy Jester said she and colleagues Don McChesney and Pam Speaks will gather at the Starbucks in Dunwoody Village from 7:30 to 9 p.m. today. It’s an open forum for questions and answers.

The Starbucks is located at 5561 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. Ty Tagami

Lewis to meet DeKalb constituents

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat who has represented the Atlanta area since 1987, will introduce himself to his new constituents in DeKalb County at a town hall on June 14.

Recent redistricting efforts have shifted Lewis’ congressional district further into DeKalb, prompting the meeting.

The session begins at 7 p.m. June 14 at the Sanford Performing Arts Center on Rainbow Drive near Decatur.

County Commissioner Larry Johnson, who is sponsoring the town all, also will attend.

Information: 404-371-2988. April Hunt

School recognized for green effort

Arabia Mountain High School was recognized this week in Washington, D.C., where federal officials applauded the school’s environmentalism.

The south DeKalb County school is among 78 nationwide named “Green-Ribbon Schools” by the U.S. Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency at a June 4 reception, according to U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat from Lithonia.

Such schools reduce their environmental “footprint,” promote health and offer environmental and outdoor education for a “clean-energy global economy,” Johnson said in a statement.

The award was started last year. Ty Tagami

Golf tourney to benefit arts center

An upcoming golf tournament in DeKalb County will help benefit the county’s Sanford Performing Arts Center.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. June 15 at the Sugar Creek Golf Course on Bouldercrest Road in south DeKalb, with a shot-gun start at 9 a.m.

Fees are $100 for individual players and $400 for four-member teams.

Money raised from the event will be split between the county’s arts center and the South DeKalb Rotary Club.

Information or to register: 770-925-3201 April Hunt

WW II vintage planes set to fly

The Liberty Foundation will begin its 2012 Salute to Veterans tour in Atlanta next week with public flights on WW II planes on Saturday and Sunday .

The restored “Memphis Belle” B-17 “flying fortress” bomber and Rae Curtiss P-40 Warhawk planes are taken around the country to educate people about WWII veterans and aircrew who never made it home.

The tour will also include ground tours of the planes. Flying tours are $450 per person.

The event takes place at Peachtree-DeKalb Airport, Epps Aviation, 1 Aviation Way in Atlanta.

Information: Janel Davis


County decision on jail locks remains in limbo

The Fulton County Commission still hasn’t decided what, if anything, it will do about shoddy cell door locks at the county jail, one of the lingering problems keeping the jail under federal oversight. The county manager told the board that an engineering assessment to determine the scope of the problem, costing $102,000, hasn’t been completed. Commissioner Bill Edwards blasted the sheriff’s office for asking the county to go more than $6 million in debt for new locks without having data to justify it. Johnny Edwards

County gets record-low interest rate

Fulton County has received another record-low net interest rate for a short-term bridge loan. The county got a rate of 0.16 percent through Bank of America Merrill Lynch, one of 11 bidders to handle this year’s issuance of $120 million in tax anticipation notes. The rate will have Fulton paying $101,067 in interests costs, which is about $8,300 less than in 2011. Last year, through Bank of America, the county received what was then a record-low rate of 0.18 percent. Johnny Edwards

Ex-sheriff Hill loses certification

During it’s quarterly meeting Wednesday the George Peace Officer Standards and Training Council revealed a list of about 50 members of law enforcement in the state whose certification has been suspended pending the outcome of criminal charges. Former Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill, who is running for re-election, is among them. His certification was suspended on Jan. 23, after he was indicted on 37 counts, including racketeering and theft by taking. Without certification, Hill could not serve if re-elected. Jeffry Scott

Cancer Society needs volunteer drivers

The American Cancer Society needs volunteer drivers to help cancer patients get to and from treatment in Clayton and Henry counties.

Volunteers must be over 18 with a valid driver’s license, auto insurance and a good driving record. To apply, call 770-632-6936. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Personal finance workshop offered

The deadline is today to register for a free workshop on managing personal finances, which is being offered by the Fulton County Cooperative Extension. “Money Matters!: Basic Personal Finance” will be held Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Bowden Senior Multipurpose Center, 2885 Church St., East Point.

Registration: 404-613-7670. Johnny Edwards

Fayetteville police talks with alarm contractors

The Fayetteville Police Department is hosting a meeting today at 10 a.m. for alarm contractors who provide service to customers in Fayetteville.

Details about the city’s new False Alarm Reduction Program will include instructions for registering individual alarm systems.

Registration can be done in the department’s lobby at 760 Jimmie Mayfield Blvd. on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Information: 770-719-4202. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

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