County by county news for Saturday


Powder Springs planning, zoning bylaws possible

Powder Springs Planning and Zoning Commission members decided 5-0-2 Jan. 27 to consider adopting bylaws.

They will review specifics in upcoming meetings, drawing from planning and zoning commission bylaws of Gwinnett County and Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Information: Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Tryouts Feb. 9 for lacrosse tournament

Regional tryouts for the Brine National Lacrosse Classic will take place Feb. 9.

The tryouts are open to middle and high school boys and girls. Tryouts for girls will be held at 8 a.m. at Lassiter High School, 2601 Shallowford Road, Marietta. Boys’ tryouts will be held at 11 a.m. for middle school players, 1:30 p.m. for high school players, at East Roswell Park, 9000 Fouts Road, Roswell.

The national tournament is in late June in Boyds, Md.

Information:  Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Kennesaw State hosts U.S. Senate debate

Kennesaw State University’s political science department and College Republicans Club will host a debate 6 p.m. today for Republican candidates vying for a U.S. Senate seat in the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center, 1000 Chastain Road.

The KSU debate is one of seven scheduled across the state by the Georgia Republican Party.

The debate will feature candidates hoping to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss. The debate will be moderated by political talk show host Martha Zoller and KSU political science professor and chairman Kerwin Swint. Janel Davis

Mableton town hall meeting on Wednesday

The Mableton Improvement Coalition and Cobb District 4 Commissioner Lisa Cupid will host a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the South Cobb Regional Library, 805 Clay Road, to discuss public safety and code enforcement issues in the Mableton area.

Representatives from Cobb’s Police, Community Development, Transportation and Water System departments will attend. Information:

or 770-528-3312. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Housing director to retire in April

Marietta Housing Authority Director Ray Buday, 68, will retire April 4 after almost nine years on the job. He previously served as the authority’s counsel. Four public housing projects in Marietta were razed under his watch. Pete Waldrep,a former Marietta council member and the authority’s development director will succeed Buday.Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Lost Mountain Baptist blood drive

American Red Cross hosts a blood drive 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Lost Mountain Baptist Church, 5400 Old Dallas Road, Powder Springs. Appointments: church, 770-428-5335. Information: Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Joint networking event in southwest Gwinnett

The Peachtree Corners Business Association is hosting a joint networking event to include the Norcross Business Association and the Gwinnett Chamber 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at LifeTime Athletic, 6350 Courtside Drive in Peachtree Corners.

Admission: $5 in advance/$15 at the door. Advance registration encouraged.

Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Peachtree Corners gets town center grant

Peachtree Corners has been awarded a Livable Center Initiative grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission. The $96,000 grant award will allow the city to develop a Town Center plan along Peachtree Parkway. Work will begin in March and be completed in 6 months.

Information: Karen Huppertz

Lilburn extends license deadline

Lilburn has extended the business license renewal application deadline from Jan. 31 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 76 Main St.

All businesses in the city limits must file an application to renew their business to avoid a $25 penalty.

An Occupational Tax Certificate is required for any business in Lilburn, regardless of business size, residential or commercial location.

Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Gwinnett students to compete in spelling bee

The Gwinnett County Association of Educators will sponsor the 2014 Gwinnett County Public Schools Spelling Bee on Saturday. It starts at 8:30 a.m. at Central Gwinnett High. Registration will be from 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.

The oral portion of the bee will begin about 30 minutes after the written portion of the bee.

There are 87 participants from GCPS elementary and middle schools participating in this competition. Nancy Badertscher

Low-cost pet vaccinations offered

Planned PEThood, 2860 Buford Highway, Duluth is offering low-cost vaccines for dogs and cats 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today.

No appointment is needed. Prices range from $25 to $65, depending on the types of vaccines administered.

Information: 678-561-3491 or Molly Bloom

Norcross hosts state of city address next week

Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson will present the State of the City at 7 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Carlyle House, 173 S. Peachtree St. in Norcross.

Johnson will review municipal updates from 2013 and discuss the city’s ongoing vision for 2014. Attendees are invited to stay after the presentation for dessert and coffee.

No reservations required.

Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Forsyth schools set bad weather makeup day

Forsyth County Schools officials say school will be held Monday, April 21, to recover one of the instructional days lost to this week’s bad weather. School is also scheduled for March 17, to cover a previous inclement weather day.

Officials say as of now, the third weekend in February, spring break and the last day of school won’t change for students. Details for recovering staff time are still being discussed. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Cherokee chamber notes goals at meeting

Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce officials reflected on several 2013 accomplishments-and looked ahead- at the group’s 43rd annual meeting late last week. Officials say they recruited an above-goal 172 new members in 2013,designed and unveiled a new website and revamped their annual business expo.

Among goals for 2014: launching a Shop Cherokee initiative and implementing a Destination Cherokee tourism effort. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

UNG planners to hold hearings in Cumming

The University of North Georgia Strategic Planning Steering Committee will host town hall meetings to produce a plan for the school’s future by the end of the spring semester.

Three meetings, set on the Cumming campus: noon Wednesday in room 103, 300 Aquatic Circle; March 5 and April 9. The 60-member faculty, staff and student committee seeks input on academic programs, campus planning and community partnerships. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Sheriff plans course to inform public of law

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office is accepting applications for its first 2014 Citizens’ Law Enforcement Academy.

The 10-week course starting Monday will cover such topics as constitutional law, traffic stops, use of force, and K-9 and SWAT demonstrations.

It’s open to all Forsyth residents, employees and business owners.

Information: 678-513-5880. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Forsyth chamber sets economic forecast

The Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Economic Outlook Breakfast at 7:30 a.m.Tuesday at the Forsyth Conference Center, 3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Cumming.

Real estate expert Frank Norton Jr., will deliver his 2014 forecast. Registration is $20 for members, $30 for non-members.

Information and to register: Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Woodstock plans next public safety academy

The city of Woodstock is accepting applications for its spring, 2014 Citizens Public Safety Academy.

The program will cover aspects of both police and fire work, and will run 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each Thursday night from Feb. 27 through May 8. Applicants must be at least 19 and pass a background check for the first come, first serve program.

Information: 770-592-6000, Ext. 1172. Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Body of missing man, 86, found in rail yard

John Graham, 86, who police said suffered from early stages of dementia, wandered away from his home on Spink Street about 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

About 10 hours later, officers responding to a call about a “person down” in the CSX rail yard off Marietta Road found a man’s body near the railroad tracks. The deceased man was later identified as Graham.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy to determine how Graham died, but police spokeswoman Kim Jones said there were no immediate signs of foul play. Mike Morris

Foreign language teacher of year named

The Foreign Language Association of Georgia has named Catherine Flippen, a Spanish teacher at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, as its 2014 teacher of the year.

Flippen will go on to compete among teachers from 13 states for the Southern Conference on Language Teaching awards. Mark Niesse

Buckhead Prep includes 1st grade

Buckhead Preparatory School is expanding to include first grade students in the 2014-2015 school year, a step toward adding more elementary grades.

The private school, which currently offers preschool and kindergarten, is accepting applications as its enrollment is expected to grow from 150 students this year to between 175 and 200 students next year. Mark Niesse

Bus driver recruitment session rescheduled

MARTA has rescheduled a bus driver recruitment session to 8:30 a.m. Fridayat Adamsville Regional Health Center, 3700 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW. The original date for the session had been Friday.

Attendees will speak with human resources. Applicants must create a profile with and complete a customer service assessment by noon Feb. 5.

Information: or 404-613-6381. Kent A. Miles


DeKalb holding budget hearings

DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson will host two public meetings on the county’s proposed 2014 budget in February.

Johnson, who heads the commission’s budget committee, will present the proposal and allow questions at the sessions.

The first meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Porter Sanford performing arts center, 3181 Rainbow Dr., near Decatur.

The second will be at 10 a.m. Feb. 15 at the Love Life Christian Fellowship Church, 3980 Panthersville Road, Ellenwood.

Information: 404-371-2988. April Hunt

Apartment proposal draws ire

Residents from several DeKalb County neighborhoods near the Indian Creek MARTA station have raised concerns about a proposed apartment complex at the site.

Russell New Urban Development wants to build 100 senior apartments and 200 for students for nearby Georgia Perimeter College and Georgia Piedmont Technical School.

Residents have complained about the lack of commercial development in the proposal, as well as raised concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety.

County commissioners are slated to vote on the proposal in February. April Hunt

Avondale approves distillery

Earlier this week Avondale Estates approved the opening of a micro distillery located behind downtown’s Tudor Village. Owner Tim Watts said he’ll begin renovating the 1600 square-foot facility this month and will probably move in by June. Watts said he’ll be making rye and bourbon in small barrels, thus enhancing the aging process, and hopes to have his first batch by December. Within three years he hopes to produce 6,000 gallons annually. Bill Banks for the AJC

Gateway Manor to receive ‘revitalization’

Decatur’s five-acre Gateway Manor housing, originally built in 1969, was approved by the city commission for a major “revitalization,” similar to nearby Allen Wilson Terrace, now in its third phase.

The new Gateway will include 55 percent, or 139, 972 square feet of green space – trails, gardens, play equipment – and 130 units combining the current 88 families of Gateway with the 24 families now living in Oakhurst’s Oakview Apartments. Bill Banks for the AJC

Commissioner hosts monthly meeting

Stan Watson, the commissioner representing the eastern half of DeKalb County, will host his monthly community breakfast 9 - 11 a.m. today at Chapel Hill Middle School, 3535 Dogwood Farms Road.

Representatives from the county’s sanitation program offices will attend. April Hunt

Founders Week lecture at Emory

Kai Ryssdal, host of American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” will be the keynote speaker during Founders Week at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Emory College.

Ryssdal, an Emory alumnus, will deliver the Goodrich C. White lecture on Tuesdayin the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.

Free, but tickets required:, or 404-727-5050. Janel Davis


Registration open for homestead exemptions

Senior citizens in Peachtree City can begin applying for their annual homestead exemption.

Qualifying homeowners must be age 65 or older by Jan. 1, 2014 and have a household income under $30,000. Forms are at City Hall and must be filed with documentation by Feb. 28.

Information: 770-487-7657 or Jill Howard Church for the AJC

West Fayetteville bypass opens further

Starting Tuesday a new section of Veterans Parkway (more commonly known as the West Fayetteville bypass) will be open in Fayette County.

The new section begins at Eastin Road and continues to the roundabout at Lees Mill Road. New stop signs will be on Eastin Road at Veterans Parkway. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Tutoring help available in McDonough

Operation Education, a program to assist local students in need of tutoring, is holding free tutoring services at 10 a.m. Saturday mornings at 1900 Pennsylvania Ave., McDonough.

One-on-one tutoring, education services and organizational and test-taking skills help will be available. Information: or 770-288-8595. Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Symposium today on human trafficking

The Rotary Clubs of Coweta and Fayette counties are sponsoring a symposium on taking action to end human trafficking at 9:30 a.m. today at the Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 2956 Sharpsburg McCullom Road, Newnan.

Scheduled to attend: state Attorney General Sam Olens; Susan Coppedge, assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia; and Brian Johnston of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Information: or 770-253-9478. Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Fayette forming new art and park boards

Fayette County wants volunteers for two new citizen committees.

The Public Art Committee will promote public artwork throughout the county and needs members related to architecture, art education or design.

The Justice Center Park Committee will help create a self-funded park on land near the justice and senior centers in Fayetteville.

Contact Tameca White, Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Go Red Rally at Piedmont Henry

Piedmont Henry Hospital will host a Go Red Rally in support of women’s heart health from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Participants will receive free blood pressure screenings, tips on fitness and healthy eating, assistance in determining Body Mass Index and more. There also will be photo opportunities and giveaways.

Information: Monroe Roark for the AJC