County by county news for Saturday


Theater company plans to leave Strand

The Atlanta Lyric Theatre plans to leave the Earl Smith Strand Theatre on the Marietta Square after the last show of the season closes in June. Lyric General Manager Brandt Blocker said negotiations with the Strand for the 2013-2014 season broke down over costs after a five-year partnership.

The musical theater company has paid the Strand $120,000 rent a year and a one-time, $250,000 capital fee.

Blocker said the company would like to stay in Cobb County, and plans to announce a new location next week. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Church to host Spring Chicken Run today

Macland Presbyterian Church will host the 11th annual Spring Chicken Run—A Race Against Hunger, on Saturday, March 23 starting from the church, 3615 Macland Rd., Powder Springs. The event features a 5k Run/Walk, 1 mile Run/Walk and Tot Trot.

The 5k is an official Peachtree qualifier course and is overseen by Racing Solutions. Races begin at 8:30 a.m. On-site registration is $30. Proceeds will benefit Christian Aid Mission Partnership (C.A.M.P.) On-site parking is available. Information: or

Veronica Fields Johnson

Senior Center to hold breakfast fundraiser

The Powder Springs Senior Citizens Center will hold a breakfast fundraiser 7 to 10 a.m. today at the center, 4181 Atlanta St.Costs: $6 adults, $3 ages 4 to 12, free 3 and under. Information: 770-943-1555.Carolyn Cunningham

South Cobb programto be on kids’ success

Parents are invited to attend an education summit and resource fair, “Ensuring Your Child’s Success,” 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at South Cobb High School, 1920 Clay Road, Austell.

To register, email with your name, phone number and child’s school.

Information: Lee Small, 678-977-6457. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Rummage sale will benefit Voice Today

Get started on your spring cleaning by donating items for an upcoming rummage sale to benefit Voice Today, a Marietta-based nonprofit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of child sexual abuse.

Items can be dropped off at the organization’s office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 3855 Shallowford Road NE, Marietta.

All donations are tax deductible. The sale will be at the same location 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

Information: 678-578-4888 or Andria Simmons

Barnes will speak to business group

Former Governor Roy Barnes will be the guest speaker at the Taste of South Cobb event from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in Suite 120, the City of Austell’s Threadmill Complex, 5000 Austell Powder Springs Road.

There will be a mini food tasting, silent art auction and history tour.

Information: or 770-944-7005.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Interim president selected for Georgia Gwinnett

Stas Preczewski will be the interim president of Georgia Gwinnett College starting July 1, Chancellor Hank Huckaby said Friday. Preczewski is currently the college’s vice president for academic and student affairs.

The current president, Daniel Kaufman, is leaving to be president of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.

Preczewski has been with the Lawrenceville college since it opened. He was previously tapped to serve as interim president of Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville from July 2011 through June 2012. Laura Diamond

Small business program starts April 3

The non-profit Gwinnett Village Community Alliance will offer a program intended to help small businesses get off the ground, April 3 through June 5.

Classes will be held Wednesday nights, from 6-8 p.m. in Norcross, at 5855 Jimmy Carter Blvd., Suite 122. Cost is $50. For more information, call Amanda Smith at 770-449-6515. Dan Klepal

Female veterans, wives to be honored

BusiNeighbor Inc. will host a S.H.I.N.E. appreciation day for female veterans and wives and moms of veterans 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Gwinnett County Annex Building, 750 South Perry St., Lawrenceville. Activities include live music, massages, vendors, a buffet and workshops. Non-military admission is $8. Register: Information:

Veronica Fields Johnson

Hudgens Center opening new exhibits

Three new exhibits make their debut Tuesday at Hudgens Center for the Arts with an opening reception 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday. All three feature fiber arts: Repetition & Ritual: New Sculpture in Fiber, Jess Schrom’s “Confessions,” and Needles & Threads: Gwinnett Celebrates Traditional Fiber Arts.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Home and garden expo in Peachtree Corners

The United Peachtree Corners Civic Association sponsors a Home and Garden Expo 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 5575 Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Corners. Jane Bath will speak on maintaining and renovating your yard and gardens as well as vegetable gardening. Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Chattahoochee access will soon be easier

Duluth officially recently broke ground for the construction of a canoe launch at Rogers Bridge Park. The concrete launch, to be completed by May, includes a walk-down canoe ramp, a step-down boardwalk, a viewing area, and natural plantings. The canoe launch project is a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Interior, State Department of the National Park Service, and the City of Duluth. Construction will be paid for using Park SPLOST funds.

Information: Kathy Marelle at or 678-417-9269. Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Educator of the Year nominations sought

Keep Roswell Beautiful is accepting nominations for Educator of the Year. Nominees should be teachers in Roswell who demonstrate exemplary efforts in environmental education or beautifying the city. Submit a one-page Microsoft Word document with your name, relationship with nominee; nominee’s name, school, grade and subject taught; and a description of nominee’s accomplishments, including why he or she deserves the award. Nominations are due April 12. Email your nomination as an attachment to Vicki Culbreth at Patrick Fox

Trails benefit today in Woodstock

Trailfest 2013, free event 2 - 10 p.m. today in downtown Woodstock benefits the non-profit Greenprints Alliance and its mission to expand Woodstock’s trail system. The event will take place at The Park at City Center and will include food, drink, vendor displays and live bands. Information:

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Ground broken for Forsyth animal shelter

Forsyth County officials broke ground Wednesday on the county’s new animal shelter. The nearly 14 thousand square foot SPLOST-funded facility will be located at 4065 County Way near Ga. 400 in northern Forsyth, and replaces a current arrangement where the county contracts out shelter operations. Completion of the $2.8 million project is set for early 2014. Information: Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Woodall plans Forsyth meeting

U.S. Rep Rob Woodall, R-Ga., will hold a town hall meeting in Forsyth County 9-10 a.m. today at the Forsyth Conference Center, 3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Cumming. His press secretary says Woodall’s expected to open with a presentation on budget negotiations, then will take questions. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Roswell Mayor to lead ride

Roswell Mayor Jere Wood will lead bicyclists from Roswell in the eighth annual Georgia Rides to the Capitol Tuesday morning. More than 1,000 cyclists are expected to ride with police escort from Roswell and from Decatur with city commissioner Fred Boykin and arrive at the Capitol at 11:40 a.m. The event intends to raise support for on- and off-road cycling, specifically Complete Streets policy using federal funds for cycling and pedestrian projects. Information: Fred Boykin, 404-668-4274. Michael Alpert for the AJC

Marble industry exhibition offered

A marble industry exhibition will be featured at the Cherokee County History Museum and Visitor’s Center through May 15. “Carved in Stone: The Marble Industry in North Georgia” will feature photographs, documents, and artifacts from the Cherokee County Historical Society’s collection, tools, carved marble pieces and a special profile on the prominent marble sculptor, James K. Watt. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the museum, 100 North St., Suite 140, Canton. Free and open to the public. Information: 770-345-3288, or Mea Watkins


Buckhead woman kidnapped and robbed

A Buckhead woman, whose name has not been released, was returning to her Lenox Oaks Circle condominium from a night out around 2:15 a.m. when three males forced her back into her car at gunpoint. They drover her around forcing her to withdraw several hundred dollars from at least one ATM.

The victim could not provide a detailed description of the suspects because they had their faces covered. Mike Morris

Care packs distributed to homeless in Fulton

Fulton County Youth Commissioners and former homeless residents will distribute H.O.P.E. Boxes to homeless residents from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

The boxes contain toiletry items and information on how to find shelter, rehabilitation, health services, employment assistance and other programs. Distribution locations include: Majestic Lodge, 4120 Fulton Industrial Blvd. and Pine Street and Peachtree Street.

Information: Reginald Crossley, 404-409-7761 or Veronica Fields Johnson

Professional basketball league holds tryouts

MGBA, a new professional basketball league, will hold tryouts for men and women 9 a.m to 9 p.m. April 20 and 27 at the Campus Recreation Center at Georgia Tech. Top players from the Atlanta area are encouraged to participate in this league, which will have mixed gender teams.

Information: or 800-753-3964. Nancy Badertscher

Program to help smokers quit offered

The American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking clinic, a free program that focuses on specific skills and techniques needed to help smokers quit, will be offered at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, 1968 Peachtree Rd. N.W. Registration is required.

For dates, times and registration, call 404-605-2913. To find other local programs, call 770-434-5864, or go to Mea Watkins


Stone Mountain to host spring music show

Stone Mountain will host a two-day Blue Grassroots Music and Arts Festival today and Sunday on Main Street featuring local bands, street jams, dancing and local food trucks, as well as more than 150 artists from around the region.

Information: April Hunt

Talk focuses on sexual exploitation

The exploitation of children, including violence and forced sexual activity, will be the focus of a talk 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Community Achievement Center, 4522 Flat Shoals Parkway.

The Decatur alumni chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority hosts the free event. April Hunt

DeKalb hosting recycling workshops

To encourage more residents to recycle, DeKalb County will host workshops to go over its program noon and 6 p.m. Tuesday at the One DeKalb office at Northlake Mall, 4800 Briarcliff Road. The sessions will cover what recycling the county accepts and where its collections are taken for re-use.

Information: 404-371-3689 or April Hunt

Brookhaven to vote on budget Tuesday

The Brookhaven City Council is scheduled to vote on its first budget, a $16.4 million spending plan, 7 p.m.Tuesday at DeKalb’s Path Academy on Hermance Dr. The budget is larger than the $15.7 million budget Mayor J. Max Davis unveiled earlier this year. However, it still keeps the city’s millage rate at its 3.35 mill cap. April Hunt

‘Trinity Triangle’ project revived

Decatur’s “Trinity Triangle” development has been revived after lying dormant for six years because of the economy.

A proposed 200-apartment development with retail fronting East Trinity Place, it was approved by the city commission in 2007, the same year the Heart of Decatur Motel was razed on that site.

But the joint project between Texas firms Cypress Realty and Centro Development is now back in the design and permitting stage, with construction scheduled for early 2014. Bill Banks for the AJC

Price to address Tucker businesses

U.S. Rep. Tom Price, a Republican whose district includes parts of North DeKalb County, will address the Tucker Business Association later this month.

Price will discuss federal budget issues as well as items affecting local small businesses at the event.

The lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. March 28 at Greater Good BBQ, 4431 Hugh Howell Road. The cost is $5 for association member and $10 for non-members. Register: April Hunt

Do you look like Sid the Science Kid?

The Fernbank Science Center will host a “Sid the Science Kid” look-a-like contest at 10 a.m. April 6. The winning “Sid” will receive a Sid the Science Kid stand up cut-out, free family pass to the Discovery Dome Theater Planetarium show, Earth’s Wild Ride, and a copy of Sid the Science Kid: The Movie. Tickets $5 students; $7 adults. Information:

Mea Watkins


Fayette pre-k wins reading contest

As part of “Georgia Reads Aloud Day” on Tuesday, students at Lafayette Kids World Pre-K in Fayette County won a contest sponsored by Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning to see how many books a classroom could read between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Students at the center read 1,118 books and will receive a visit from First Lady Sandra Deal and Commissioner Bobby Cagle.

Nancy Badertscher

Scott to host town hall meeting Monday

State Rep. Sandra G. Scott (D-Rex) will hold a town hall meeting 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center, 3499 Rex Road, Rex to provide information about legislation that could impact Clayton County, including House Bill 399 which seeks to ends the county’s ability to collect taxes from vendors at Hartsfield-International Airport. The forum will also cover summer camp opportunities. Tammy Joyner

Sign moratorium extended

The Henry County Board of Commissioners has extended its moratorium on the acceptance, review or hearing of applications for sign permits until May 21. The purpose of the moratorium, originally passed in February, was to give staff time to review and update the Unified Land Development Code and address possible safety and nuisance issues created by lighted digital signage. Information: Monroe Roark for the AJC

Fayette school starts fathers group

North Fayette Elementary School has launched a program aimed at getting fathers more involved in student activities. The Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) promotes volunteerism and positive male role models to support student engagement and reduce inappropriate behavior. Information: Bethany McIntosh, 770-460-3570. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

East Point art contest seeks student entries

East Point invites city middle school student to participate in a visual arts contest called “How I See My City.” The theme focuses on viewing the city through the eyes of a child. Contestants are asked to submit art that depicts something notable about the city, along with a written explanation about their entry to assist judges.

The deadline for submissions is March 25. The winner will receive a $50 gift card at a city council meeting in April. All entries will be displayed in the East Point Customer Care Center in April.

John Thompson for the AJC

Town hall meeting tofocus on Stockbridge

Henry County Commissioner Bruce Holmes will host a town hall meeting with the Stockbridge City Council and Mayor Mark Alarcon 9 a.m. today at the Multiplex in Stockbridge. According to county officials, the meeting will focus on the future of Stockbridge, including such topics as opportunity zones, tax incentives and plans for the future extension of Rock Quarry Road. Monroe Roark for the AJC