County by county news for Satuday


School District releases bus safety video

The Cobb County School District, the Cobb County Police Department and American Traffic Solutions have a PSA on YouTube to educate the community about how the CrossingGuard school bus stop arm safety solution works. It also highlights the role of law enforcement, the penalties issued, and the importance of school bus safety.

The recent installation of stop arm cameras on school buses was prompted by a fatality from 2009 involving an elementary school student struck by a passing vehicle as she exited her school bus. Information: Kenneth Musisi

School security hiked after Twitter threat

Officials increased security at Kennesaw Mountain High School in Cobb County Friday in response to a threat posted on Twitter.

A statement posted on the school’s website and addressed to parents said:

“Administrators, campus officers, and Kennesaw Police Department officers will be around our campus and in the hallways all day today. When we heard rumors yesterday that some students might be involved in the situation mentioned on Twitter, we addressed the students and their parents then to try to prevent anything from happening. We have asked our staff to remain vigilant today and let us know immediately if they hear of any possible situations involving the statements made on Twitter.”

Cobb schools spokesman Jay Dillon told the Marietta Daily Journal that administrators found out about the threat Thursday and notified police.

“We were able to identify the students involved … it’s still under investigation and there could be additional students,” Dillon said. Staff reports

Foundation to host annual ball

The Cobb Schools Foundation will recognize alumni and community leaders at its first annual Leaders & Legends Ball on Feb. 9 at the Hilton Marietta Conference Center.

The black tie celebration will include special guests, dinner, dancing and a silent auction.

To reserve a table or help sponsor the event, contact Sheri Brante, the foundation’s executive director at 770-426-3390 or Daarel Burnette II

Marietta educator recognized as best

Catherine Kacyvenski, the assistant principal of Marietta Sixth Grade Academy, was named by the Georgia Association of Middle School Principals as the Georgia Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year.

“Catherine is deserving of this recognition and we are very proud of her,” said Superintendent Emily Lembeck. “She is an exemplary leader and a dedicated educator.”Daarel Burnette II

Mommy and Me Tea on Sunday

The Mommy and Me Tea, including princess appearances, will have seatings at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Historic Mable House, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton. Costs are $40 for a table of four, $60 for six and $80 for eight.

Presenters include the South Cobb Arts Alliance, Friends of the Mable House and the Cobb Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department.

Reservations and information: 770-819-3285. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Gwinnett couple accused of cheating Medicaid

Oluyemisi and Olufemi Afuape, who live near Snellville, were accused of pilfering more than $1 million in Georgia Medicaid for services that weren’t provided to children, authorities said. Oluyemisi Afuape is a licensed physical therapist, and she and her husband owned and operated Zion Rehab and “Give Mom a Break,” a daycare. The two allegedly submitted claims to state Medicaid for therapy services that weren’t provided. The couple was paid $1.4 million for physical, occupational and speech therapy, State Attorney General officials claimed. They could spend as many as 15 years in jail if convicted, authorities said. Marcus K. Garner

Arthritis Foundation run/walk today

The Arthritis Foundation will sponsor a Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis at 8 a.m. today 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

Adopt a pet at the animal shelter

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. Info: 770-339-3200 or

Andria Simmons

Experience civil war era holiday traditions

The Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center will hold their fifth annual Civil War holiday program at McDaniel Farm 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8. For details and to pre-register visit

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Peachtree Corners hires first city clerk

Kym Chereck, a 16-year resident of Chattahoochee Station subdivision in Peachtree Corners, has been selected as the first City Clerk for Peachtree Corners completing its roster of key staff members hired since its July 1 incorporation. Chereck has served as Alpharetta’s recording secretary the past 11 years. She officially begins her new job with Peachtree Corners Monday. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Report illegal dumping with a phone call

Gwinnett County asks citizens to report dumping trash or debris illegally on the side of the road to Gwinnett Solid Waste and Recovered Materials Division at 770-822-7141.

To report illegal dumping into storm drains call the Stormwater Management Division at 678-376-7193.

Have on hand the date and time of the dumping and description of the person and vehicle involved.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Snatch-and-grab attempted at North Point

Alpharetta police were searching Thursday night for the fourth suspect in an attempted snatch-and-grab at North Point Mall. Three other suspects were caught after a police chase down Ga. 400, according to police. The four men, whose names were not released, allegedly stole clothing from Dillard’s and left in a white Chevrolet Impala, according to police. Three of the suspects were taken into custody, but a search continued for the fourth person, Gordon said. The three suspects were being transported to the Alpharetta jail to face charges, police said. Alexis Stevens

State auditing Fulton’s water operations

The state Environmental Protection Division has launched an audit of Fulton County’s water operations, since the county wouldn’t reconsider terminating its contract with the Cauley Creek Water Reclamation Facility in Johns Creek. EPD Director Judson Turner said Fulton disregarded the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District’s planning process, and the agency wants to know if the county is out of compliance in any other way.

The plant provides recycled gray water used for irrigation by several golf courses including the Atlanta Athletic Club. County officials have said the closure will save $6 million per year and lower countywide water rates by 4 percent. But the state is troubled because Cauley Creek’s former customers will be charged the same rate for treated water drawn from the Chattahoochee River as they did for gray water, which won’t encourage conservation.

Johnny Edwards

Slain Cherokee County girl to be remembered

A candlelight vigil will mark the one-year anniversary of the abduction, sexual molestation and murder of Jorelys Rivera. The 7-year-old girl was killed Dec. 2, 2011 by a maintenance worker at the Canton apartment complex where she lived. Ryan Brunn, 20, committed suicide in prison after drawing a life-without-parole sentence. The 6:30 p.m. Sunday vigil at the Canton YMCA, 151 Waleska St., will include remarks by a local pastor and child-safety advocate. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Bike ride planned for Sunday

Bike, Walk Dunwoody is planning a community bike ride from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Dunwoody Village parking lot. Riders 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult, and cyclists must wear a helmet. Organizers are also asking riders to decorate their bicycles in the holiday spirit. Patrick Fox

Congressman to hold telephone meetings

U.S.Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., will hold telephone town hall meetings to gather constituent feedback. The sessions are 7-7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Dec. 11 and 9:30-10 a.m. Dec. 15. To participate: 1-877-229-8493. Passcode: 17849. Mark Woolsey

Free mulch offered in Cherokee County

The city of Canton is offering free mulch to area residents and businesses. The public mulch site is located at Southview Cemetery off of Scott Mill road. The city says the site has easy access. Information: 770-720-7674 from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Entertainer shot outside nightclub

Atlanta entertainer “Cousin Dan” was shot and wounded outside a club near Cabbagetown early Friday morning.

Police found Daniel Scoggins sitting in his car outside 97 Estoria at 727 Wylie Street with a bullet wound in his abdomen, according to an incident report.

Scoggins was alert and breathing, and told police he was walking toward his vehicle when two males approached him.

After Scoggins opened the car door, one of the men began shooting at him, the report said.

Scoggins was able to provide only a brief description of the suspects because both were wearing hoods.

Scoggins said nothing was stolen in the incident. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment and was later released. Joel Provano

Victim turns tables on alleged robber

An officer responding to a report of shots fired was flagged down and found Khoi Manh Nguyen, 33, holding Michael Lee Willis, 18, at gunpoint.

It appears Nguyen responded to an ad on Craigslist offering an iPhone 5 for sale.

The men agreed to meet in the park for the transaction. During the meeting, Willis pointed a .380-caliber pistol at Nguyen and demanded his money, cell phone and other belongings, police said.

Nguyen, who had been forced back into his vehicle, retrieved a .45-caliber pistol and chased Willis, police said.

Willis was charged with armed robbery and taken to the Fulton County Jail. Mike Morris

Railroad police look for 120 stolen rifles

Railroad shipping company CSX officials said 120 rifles of different calibers were stolen two weeks ago from a shipping container.

CSX police are leading the investigation with aid from other agencies.

Spokesman Gary Sease would not specify what type of weapons – whether they were military-style assault rifles or hunting rifles – were taken.

Marcus K. Garner


Board to consider school closures

The DeKalb County school board will meet 2 p.m. Thursday to discuss school closures and attendance line changes recommended by Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson.

Her plan would close a dozen schools that were slated for renovations.

Atkinson proposes using the money saved to accelerate work on other projects. She also has recommended issuing $80 million in bonds against future sales tax revenue to fund work earlier.

The board is scheduled for a final vote at 6 p.m. Dec. 10. Bot meetings will be at 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain.

Information: Ty Tagami

Janitor arraigned on child porn charges

Josh Ensley, 51, of Tucker, has been in federal custody since his Oct. 25 arrest after a search warrant was executed at his home.

The former janitor for the Paideia School was indicted on Nov. 19 for production and receipt of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Ensley told investigators that he used tiny cameras to record boys and girls in the restrooms at Paideia.

Producing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum term of 30 years in prison. The charge of receiving child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison. Alexis Stevens

Downtown trees get maintenance, pruning

Decatur’s downtown trees will receive selective pruning and fertilization this winter, along with pest control for all of downtown’s willow oaks. This annual maintenance, which takes about two weeks to complete, will cost $18,200 and was recently approved by the city commission. Decatur has approximately 260 street trees throughout downtown, most of them planted around the period of the 1996 Olympics.

Bill Banks for the AJC

Nature center to offer winter kid camps

The Dunwoody Nature Center will for the first time offer camps for kindergarten through fifth grade students Wednesdays through Fridays after Christmas and New Year’s day.

The camps offer an education on the affects of the cold climate on animals, plants and the habitat, with games, crafts, hikes and a wildlife expert.

Early morning drop-offs and late afternoon pick-ups will be available. Information: Ty Tagami

Tax volunteers needed in DeKalb

The nation’s largest free, volunteer-run tax preparation and assistance service is looking for volunteers to help DeKalb County taxpayers with their 2012 returns.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers will receive free training and be reimbursed for qualified program-related expenses. Volunteers do not need to be AARP members or retirees.

Deadline for application is Dec. 15. More information: 1-888-687-2277 or April Hunt


Another tax rate hike proposed for south Fulton

Fulton County is proposing to raise the tax rate by 19 percent for unincorporated south Fulton. The area’s special tax pays for city-type services such as police, fire, parks, etc. The proposed 2-mill increase would mean an extra $100 on a $200,000 home.

South Fulton Commissioner Bill Edwards is holding a series of “Bill on the Budget” public meetings to keep residents informed about the process. The next one will be Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Cliftondale Auditorium at 4645 Butner Road. Information: 404-612-3079. Johnny Edwards

Writing scores improve in Fayette

Fayette County high school students showed improvement on their 2012 scores on the Georgia High School Writing test. Ninety-eight percent of the test takers met or exceeded standards, up 1 percent from 2011. Special education students showed the greatest gains, with scores 12 percent higher than last year. Minority students continued to score above the state average also.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Clayton’s Festival of Trees and Lights open

Clayton County’s annual Festival of Trees and Lights opens Friday at the Clayton County International Park, with a 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. opening ceremony followed by the tree-lighting. There is no gate fee if you enter the park before 6 p.m. The festival runs through Dec. 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., with a light show Tuesdays through Thursdays and entertainment Fridays through Sundays. The festival runs through December. The festival features . Weekday rates: cars, $5; vans, $7; and buses, $15. Weekend: cars, $7; vans, $10; and buses, $20. The event is sponsored by the county parks and recreation department and The Rainbow House Inc. Details: 770-477-3766 or visit

Tammy Joyner

Neighborhood tree planting today

East Point’s Center Park Neighborhood Association needs your help for a Trees Atlanta Neighborhood Beautification project on Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon at East Point Christian Church at 1706 Washington Road.

The Center Park neighborhood is part of the East Point Main Street District. Trees Atlanta has donated 100 trees + daffodil bulbs for planting throughout the Center Park neighborhood.

John Thompson for the AJC

Police seek S. Fulton armed robber

Investigators are looking for a man who robbed the Murphy’s gas station and convenience store last Saturday.

The bandit was recorded by store surveillance cameras and is seen in the video holding a silver pistol on the sales counter wearing a dark baseball cap with a red bill, a dark jacket with a blue and white collar and black gloves.

He is described as a dark-skinned black man in his 50s who stands between 5-feet-9 inches and 6 feet tall with a slim build and a graying goatee.

Investigators believe the same man has been involved in several other recent robberies in south Fulton County.

Anyone with information about this suspect is asked to call the Fulton County police at 404-613-9101. Marcus K. Garner

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