County by county news for Saturday


Marietta to recognize same-sex couples

The Marietta City Council approved a change in the city’s employee pension plan this week to comply with a federal ruling mandating retirement benefits for same-sex married couples. A 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling changed IRS rules that require cities to give employee survivor benefits to same-sex couples who were married in states that legalize same-sex marriage. The Georgia Municipal Association handles pension plans for Cobb’s five other cities and has made the change. Cobb County has not set a date to consider pension plan revisions. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Meeting to discuss Windy Hill project

A public meeting on the $48.2 million Windy Hill Road SPLOST project will be 3-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Windy Hill Community Center, 1855 Roswell St., Smyrna.

Cobb Department of Transportation staff will answer questions about the two-year project designed to ease congestion and accidents on close to two miles on Windy Hill Road from Cobb Parkway to Powers Ferry Road.


Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Construction to start on airport projects

Cobb County Airport-McCollum Field plans to start construction on a new control tower and customs inspection facility.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be 2 p.m. Wednesday at 1723 McCollum Parkway, Kennesaw.

A 77-foot high control tower costing $2.6 million will replace the existing 42-foot tower, and a $799,000 customs center will open the airport to international flights.

Both are expected to open in 2015.


Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Austell Wellness 5K, events on Sept. 20

The Austell Wellness 5K will begin at 8 a.m. Sept. 20 at 2777 Jefferson St., Austell.

This rain-or-shine, run/walk event will be a part of the free “Joining Hands in Wellness” from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 20 at Collar Park, 2625 Joe Jerkins Blvd.

Race fees until Tuesday: $20, adults; $15, ages 13 and younger.


Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Mableton group meets with police

The Mableton Improvement Coalition and the Cobb County Police Department will host a Neighborhood Watch meeting at 7 p.m. Mondayat the First Baptist Church of Mableton, 5385 Church St. SW with discussion on crime prevention.

Mableton and South Cobb residents especially are invited to attend.


Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Powder Springs wants to hire police officer

Powder Springs is seeking to hire a part-time police officer by Monday.The officer would be paid $17.48 per hour.


Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Gwinnett police requesting pay increase

The Gwinnett County Police Department requested a 4 percent salary increase for officers at the rank of lieutenant and below at a cost of $2.16 million. In addition, the department is requesting a 3 percent increase for non-sworn personnel and appointed personnel at a cost of $2.19 million. The salary increases are part of an overall presentation for the 2015 business plan and budget. There is also a proposal to add six full-time employees and one part-time position. In total, the department’s proposed 2015 budget would total $110.9 million, a decrease of $2.5 million from last year. Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Missing tiles replaced for Veterans Day

Replicas of the nine tiles that went missing before the unveiling of Snellville’s Veterans Memorial will be replaced on the wall before Veterans Day. The replacement tiles will be joined by about 100 new ones purchased to honor loved ones who have served in the military. Installation of the tiles and a cleaning of the Memorial will take place the week of Oct. 13 in preparation for the yet-to-be-finalized Veterans Day events. Information:

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Lawrenceville to hold development meeting

Lawrenceville is holding a visioning session for its downtown 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at city hall, 70 South Clayton St..Arielle Kass

Loganville approves rezoning

The Loganville city council has approved a rezoning request allowing for an auto service facility on 2.955 acres at 3875 Harrison Road.

The approval was made with an agreement by the applicant, Bryan Matthews representing property owner Investment Partners No. 4, to construct an eight-foot privacy fence between the commercial property and residential community.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Citizens police academy next month

Suwanee police will kickoff the next Citizens Police Academy 6:30-9 p.m. Oct. 7 with most classes meeting weekly beginning on Tuesdays, at the Suwanee Police Training Center, 2966 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road.

Topics will include crime scene processing, traffic stops, building searches, crime prevention and narcotics identification.

Classes end Dec. 9; check application at for specific dates. Registration is free, but notarized applications must be received by Friday, Sept. 26.

Priority is given to Suwanee residents or those who work within the City.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Library branches close for staff development

The Gwinnett County Public Library will close all branch locations Oct. 13 to allow for a library staff development day. This will be the first such training day since 2008.

The training, to be held at the Buford Community Center, will include workshops on library-specific and personal enrichment topics.

In addition, the event will provide networking, team building and a staff awards ceremony. Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Cherokee releases school housing report

Cherokee County School District officials say that 13 school campuses are operating at more than 100 percent of enrollment capacity if portable classrooms are removed from the equation, down from 16 last year. Seven of those schools are above 120 percent capacity, a jump from five. The annual Cherokee County Inventory of School Housing shows where future additions will be needed. District officials say while portable classrooms provide some relief, they don’t alleviate overcrowding in media centers, cafeterias and other facilities. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Roswell creating bike advisory group

The city of Roswell is setting up a bicycle advisory committee. Mayor Jere Wood and fellow residents will hold an initial informal discussion 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at Lucky’s Burgers and Brew, 1144 Alpharetta Street. Participants will talk about the current state of two-wheeled transportation in Roswell, and areas of possible improvement. Roswell was the first community in Georgia designated “Bicycle-Friendly” by the League of American Bicyclists. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Sandy Sprngs seeks center feedback

Sandy Springs residents are being asked what events they’d like to see in a planned performing arts center. The City Council approved a site development plan for its City Center project Sept. 2, including an envisioned performing arts facility seating up to 1,000 people. The survey outlines a number of possibilities including concerts, theater, meetings and youth activities. The survey’s available at until Oct. 3.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Cherokee says school tech outages possible

Cherokee County School District officials advise that during the week of Sept. 15-19, brief technology outages could occur because of routine server maintenance. As a result, there may be times when the CCSD website, the CCSD intranet, teacher websites and Aspen portals are temporarily unavailable.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

School ranks high in assessment

The University of North Georgia was ranked 25th among the best public regional universities in the South in an assessment released this week by U.S. News & World Report. T

he magazine’s rankings are based on graduation and retention rates, faculty and financial resources, student selectivity and other data calculated primarily from the fall of 2013. UNG serves more than 16,000 students on four campuses, including a facility in Cumming.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Reinhardt begins president search

Reinhardt University has established a 19-member search committee as school officials seek a replacement for President J. Thomas Isherwood, who will retire effective June 30.

The committee, chaired by alumnus William G. Hasty Jr., will work toward selection of a new school head in early 2015. The school has also hired Dr. Jim Davis of AGB Search as a search consultant. Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Non-profit opens for LBGT youth

Real Youth, a new non-profit organization that provides programs and services for ages 13-25 in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has drop-in hours 5-7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays at Kirkwood United Church of Christ, 2033 Hosea L. Williams Drive, NE.

Currently, drop-in hours are for inquires and a place for students to do homework.


Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

College fair this weekend

A college fair for high school juniors and seniors will be held 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Georgia International Convention Center, 2000 Convention Center Concourse.

KIPP Through College-Atlanta, an affiliate of KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools, presents the fair.

. Admission is free. Parking is $10. Information:

Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

Documentary for college students

The documentary “Go College!” which follows high school students’ journey through the unfamiliar college application process will be screened at five Atlanta high schools, this month.

An additional free community screening will be held 6 p.m. Tuesday at Atlanta Metropolitan State College, 1630 Metropolitan Pkwy SW.

The documentary will be screened for students at Tri-Cities, Coretta Scott King YWLA, Meadowcreek, North Atlanta and Grady High Schools.

Information: Murchison

NAACP to honor NBA legend Wilkins

NBA legend Dominque Wilkins, Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson and former Fox News anchor Amanda Davis are among the honorees for the NAACP Jondelle Johnson Freedom Fund Dinner, 7 p.m., Sept. 20 at the Georgia World Congress Center. Tickets: $125.

Information: Murchison for the AJC


Dunwoody may change sign ordinance

Dunwoody is considering slight changes to its sign ordinance following a resident’s complaints about several American flags displayed at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church.

The current ordinance restricts the number of days flags can be displayed on a property except designated holidays, and states that each lot is allowed up to three flagpoles with two flags per pole.

The amendment would provide flexibilty around holidays and election days when an unlimited number of flags can be displayed with no limitations on poles, seven days before and seven days after the particular date.

Council will vote on the amendment Sept. 22. Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

Decatur schools join charter foundation

Decatur’s school board approved joining the state’s Charter System Foundation, which it had rejected over a year ago. But Superintendent Phyllis Edwards, who favored joining all along, cited the foundation’s ability to provide training and workshops for charter system staffers and superintendents and its lobbying the legislature for charter-system funding, in danger of being cut from the state’s budget last spring. CSD has been a charter system, one of the nation’s first, since 2008.

Bill Banks for the AJC

Loan would cover Clarkston cash flow

Clarkston City Council recently approved a resolution for a Tax Anticipation Note for a short-term loan to cover a cash flow deficit.

During a special called meeting city manager Keith Barker explained that holding the millage rate at 17.95 has required the use of surplus cash for operational costs, and subsequently the city would run out of funds for the near term. Barker noted that 2014 tax proceeds would start coming in at the end of September.

Clarkston staff obtained an interest rate quote of 1.23 percent from BB&T Bank for a Tax Anticipation Note in the amount $360,000. The quote was prorated over a four month loan term. State law requires funds be repaid by Dec. 31.

Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

Dunwoody seeks input on crosswalk

Dunwoody has started public conversation for input on a potential pedestrian refuge island on Perimeter Center Place at

Tenants nearby Perimeter Place shopping center where Target is located have complained about the dangers of crossing the road, and city staff has found that standard striped crosswalks are not sufficient.

A possible solution would be to convert the middle segment of Perimeter Center Place into one lane in each direction to allow for the island.

Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

Senior citizens exhibit photography work

Work by advanced photography students at the Lou Walker Senior Center is on exhibit through Sept. 21 at Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Dr.

An artist reception will be held 4-7 p.m. Sunday.

The exhibit “Celebrating the Visual Artistry of the Lou Walker Senior Center,” also has pottery and ceramic pieces by advanced students,

Information: 404-687-2731.

Adrianne Murchison for the AJC


Fayette may upgrade school video capabilities

Fayette County is considering upgrading and expanding high-definition video capabilities for its high schools. Last Monday, technology staff members Sharon Lunceford and Kate Matthews demonstrated to the board of education how a system designed by Polycom would create “virtual classrooms” for instruction and training. The units cost $15,000 each but would be funded by eSPLOST proceeds.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Play to address domestic violence

The McIntosh High School drama program has begun production of a one-act play about domestic violence Oct. 2 - 4 at the school. Drama teacher Ken Buswell says “Five Kinds of Silence” “explores the cycle of abuse and the long-lasting effects domestic abuse has upon its victims.” Proceeds benefit Promise Place shelter. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Family day to honor fallen heroes

The Henry County Recreation Department and the Heritage Park Veterans Museum with the Department of Army Survivor Outreach Services will host the Gold Star Family Day for the families of fallen soldiers who live in and around Henry County. The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. Sept. 27, at the Veterans Wall of Honor and the Veterans Museum, both located at Heritage Park, 101 Lake Dow Road in McDonough. Information:

Monroe Roark for the AJC

Work has begun on Highway 74 North

The Georgia Department of Transportation on Sunday began repaving a nine-mile stretch of Highway 74 North in the Peachtree City area of Fayette County, beginning at Aberdeen Drive. The project is expected to take 45 days and will involve milling the existing asphalt and repaving. Drivers should expect rough pavement until the final layer is asphalt is put down. The work will be done chiefly at night unless bad weather threatens the scheduled completion. Expect delays and use caution when workers are present. Tammy Joyner

Henry refinances jail loan to save money

Henry County’s government will save more than $611,000 due to the refinancing of its 2006 and 2008 jail installment sale agreements with the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia.

The Board of Commissioners approved a resolution at its Sept. 2 regular meeting to proceed with the refinancing of just over $10 million with 100 monthly payments at an interest rate of 2.32 percent, down from the present rate of 3.99 percent. Information: Monroe Roark for the AJC

Running with the Peachtree City police

Registration is open for the Blue Lights & Sirens Trail Run sponsored by the Peachtree City Auxiliary Police. The 5K begins at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 4 and will pass through wooded trails near Gardner Park. Participation is limited to the first 200 applicants and costs $25 until Sept. 20, $30 after. Details are on the Events calendar at

Jill Howard Church for the AJC