County by county news for Monday


School officials to hear public on “charters”

The DeKalb County school board will take public input Wednesday on the district’s application to the state for a new governance model.

DeKalb wants to become a “charter” system, which would allow ongoing access to waivers from Georgia mandates such as caps on class sizes or minimum number of school days. In exchange, the district would pledge better service for low-income students and those who speak limited English, while also working to attract, keep and motivate high-quality teachers and principals.

The 49-page application is posted on the school system website, The comment sessions are at 1:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. at the school district offices, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain.

Ty Tagami

School enrollment reaches all-time high

Decatur schools superintendent Dr. Phyllis Edwards confirmed city schools enrollment has hit an all-time high of 4,334, surpassing the previous high of 4,268 in 1969-70. But the growth isn’t close to slowing down. The Atlanta-based Sizemore Group, which has studied Decatur schools for years, is projecting that by 2019-20 enrollment will swell to 7,398. That figure, Edwards said, only includes the normal 8 to 10 percent annual growth the system’s experienced in recent years and doesn’t include any population growth from possible annexation.

Bill Banks for the AJC


County water office moving Oct. 15

The Paulding County Water office will be closed Oct. 15 and reopen on Oct. 16 on the ground floor, Watson Government Complex, 240 Constitution Blvd., Dallas off U.S. 278.

Eventually, a water system facility will be built on Macland Road to house the system’s engineering, business and operations staffs.

Now the system’s Customer Service office is at 1723 Bill Carruth Parkway, Hiram and will become the new home of a Georgia State Patrol post by spring.


Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Snellville police announce ‘Texting Can Wait’ contest

The Snellville Police Department and Snellville Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association are sponsoring a video/essay contest to educate teen drivers that “Texting Can Wait.” Contest is open to all Brookwood, Grayson, South Gwinnett and Shiloh students. Videos limited to one minute, essays to 500 words. Deadline: Nov. 14. Prizes: $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place. Entries may be submitted at the Snellville Police Department, 2315 Wisteria Drive, or left in the main office at each school.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC


League of Women Voters lunch Tuesday

U.S. Rep. John Lewis is keynote speaker at the “Power of the Vote” luncheon by the League of Women Voters of Georgia 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at 103 West restaurant, 103 West Paces Ferry Road.

Tickets are $65-$10.

Empowerment awards will be given to community activists and leaders including Georgia School Superintendent John Barge and WSB-TV’s Jocelyn Dorsey. In addition to education and media, the honors recognize leadership in health care, legislative observance and voter protection.


Adrianne Murchison for the AJC


Free concert set in Roswell

Roswell park and tourism officials, helped by Atlanta Plays it Forward, have set a free concert of swing and jazz music by the group “Reflections” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Oct. 12 on the Roswell Town Square, 617 Atlanta Street. The 15-18 member group plays classic tunes from the 1940s-50s era, plus some more modern Latin and rock numbers. More information: 770-640-3253.

Mark Woolsey for gthe AJC


Students agree to REACH

Eight Forsyth County middle school students officially signed contracts to take part in the REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) Georgia program for 2014-2015. Students in the needs-based scholarship program agree to maintain good grades, stay out of drug and behavioral trouble and meet with a volunteer mentor while in high school. In return, they receive an up-to $10,000 college scholarship upon graduating.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC