County by county news for Saturday


Powder Springs mayor comments on murders

Powder Springs Mayor Patricia C. Vaughn posted an online letter this week on the city’s website about the murders of two Powder Springs men in Wild Horse Creek near the city on Sunday night.

She assured the city’s residents that their safety is of utmost importance and thanked police from the city and Cobb for apprehending the 14-year-old suspect quickly.

Information: Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Principal comments on high school fight

South Cobb High Principal Ashley Hosey posted an online letter this week on the school’s website about a brief fight among seven students at the school on Monday morning - broken up when the school resource officer dispensed pepper spray on the group.

She said no weapons were involved, no arrests were made and that fights are rare at the school, 1920 Clay Road, Austell.

Information: Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

South Cobb Police meet Wednesday

The first South Cobb Police Email Notification System meeting of this year will be 7 p.m. Wednesday at the South Cobb Library, 805 Clay Road, Mableton.

The speaker will be Sgt. C. Michael of the Quality of Life Unit, which is concerned with such issues as illegally parked cars, sanitation and signs.

Information: Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Smyrna’s bond rating increases

Standard & Poor has increased Smyrna’s bond rating from AA+ to AAA with a stable outlook. The report said the highest rating for the city is based on continued economic expansion with residential and commercial development and a healthy growth in population.

The ratings company also noted Smyrna’s five-year capital improvement plan and city management. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Master Gardeners host free class Tuesday

“Gardener’s Night Out: Evergreen Groundcovers for Sun and Shade” will be presented by Master Gardener Shirley Priest at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the South Cobb Regional Library, 805 Clay Road, Mableton.

Information: Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Cops and Rodders show in Kennesaw

The Blue Knights Cops and Rodders car, truck and motorcycle show for Special Olympics will take place at 10 a.m. today in the Electric Cowboy parking lot, 1750 N. Roberts Road NW, Kennesaw.

Entrants will compete for a $500 top prize, which they must be present to win. All proceeds will go to the Special Olympics of Georgia.

Entry fee is $20 by March 21, $25 on the day of the show.

Information: 770-823-9566. Kent A. Miles for the AJC


Peachtree Corners hires communications director

Peachtree Corners has hired Judy Putnam as Communication Director to implement social media and newsletters and continue to enhance existing communications, including improvements to the city’s current website. Putnam has spent the past three years reporting on Peachtree Corners as editor for Patch and has over 15 years experience writing and producing information for both online and print media. Putnam has also worked as Marketing Director for The Georgia Trail, a nine-hole golf course located in Gwinnett County. Information: or 770-609-8821. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Grayson OKs city board appointments

The Grayson City Council has approved several appointments to city boards. Katie Mitchell, a former city council member will replace outgoing Jerry Gwin on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Additional reappointments: David Elrod and Laura Gavulic to the Planning and Zoning Commission, Reginald Pearson and Mary Jeanette Weed to the Zoning Board of Appeals and Leonard Smith and alternate Burton May to the Code Enforcement Board. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Entrepreneur summit to help with funding

The Snellville Entrepreneur Council, in partnership with the city of Snellville will feature Grace Fricks, CEO of Access to Capital For Entrepreneurs at Snellville’s Entrepreneur Summit at 6 p.m. April 22 at City Hall, 2342 Oak Road. Fricks will discuss capital markets, business funding options and how entrepreneurs can obtain funding. Information:, 770-985-3502 or Registration: $10. Karen Huppertz

Super Incredible Race sign-up deadline near

Suwanee’s high-energy, clue-sleuthing team race is accepting registration for teams to participate in the event 3 to 6:30 p.m. April 19 at Town Center Park.

Teams race through downtown Suwanee solving clues and mastering mental and physical challenges. Registration: $25 per two-person team plus $10 per additional participant for family teams. Registration deadline is April 4: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Lilburn officials to attend planning retreat

The Lilburn Mayor and Council will meet for a long range planning workshop 6 to 10 p.m. Friday April 25 and 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, April 26 at the Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta, 1775 Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth.

Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Computer class registration next week

Spring registration for senior computer classes will be held 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdayat Bethesda Park Senior Center, 225 Bethesda Church Road, Lawrenceville and 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday at George Pierce Park Community Center, 55 Buford Highway, Suwanee. Classes begin first week of April.

Information: or 770-564-4699. Arlinda Smith Broady


Canton city manager finalist named

The city council and mayoral committee searching for a new Canton city manager has settled on Billy Peppers, former head of economic development services for the city of Woodstock, a the lone finalist. Peppers currently is director of Downtown Development for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Peppers’ appointment is set to be considered at a council work session April 3, with a vote set for April 17. Former manager Scott Wood left in early January. City Councilman Glen Cummins has been serving as interim city manager. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

‘Tossed Out Treasures’ flea market event

The Sandy Springs Society will hold its 23rd annual “Tossed Out Treasures” flea market 10 a.m. March 28-29 at Tom Jumper Chevrolet, 7200 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs.

Free. Preview event 6 p.m. Thursday is $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

Information: or 404-396-1054. Kent A. Miles for the AJC

STEM enrollment now in Cherokee

Enrollment for the Cherokee County School District’s science, technology, engineering,d math and fine arts academies for the 2014-2015 school year runs through April 11. The STEM program is offered at Ball Ground, Canton, Clark Creek and Holly Springs elementary schools, while the fine arts program is based at Hasty and Oak Grove elementaries. Information and applications:  Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Cherokee fire seeks candidates

Cherokee Fire and Emergency Services officials are accepting applications for firefighters. Orientation seminars will be held 6:30 p.m. March 27 and 31 at 1130 Bluffs Parkway, Canton. Candidates must attend one of the sessions. Information: Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Alpharetta warning of major road closure

Alpharetta city officials are warning of a traffic mess beginning Monday as Fulton County installs a 30-inch water main across Ga. 9/Main Street in downtown Alpharetta. The project will require periodic lane closures near the road’s intersection with Academy Street/Milton Avenue between 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Drivers can expect heavy evening congestion during the three week project, and city officials say Westside Parkway is the best alternate route. The project is part of a major waterline expansion. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Food drive to provide summer lunches

Feed Forsyth will hold an Easter canned food drive March 31 to April 21 to help provide lunch for more than 10,0000 Forsyth County children who may go without a midday meal after school dismisses for the summer.

The group seeks donations of canned soup, tuna, chicken and ravioli, as well as peanut butter, snack bars and other items. Several community pantries will utilize the donations to provide “Summer Sacks of Love” for those kids while school is out.

Information on donations and participating locations: or 678-807-9120. Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Oldest death row member loses appeal

The federal appeals court on Thursday upheld the death sentence against the oldest member of Georgia’s death row.

Brandon Astor Jones, 71, stands convicted for the killing of Roger Tackett, the manager of a Tenneco convenience store in Cobb County during a robbery on June 16, 1979. Jones was sentenced to death at a trial held that same year, but a federal judge later granted him a new sentencing trial because jurors had improperly been allowed to bring a Bible into the deliberation room. Bill Rankin

Free dog and cat adoptions today

LifeLine Animal Project will host an open house with free dog and cat adoptions f11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at the Fulton County animal shelter, 860 Marietta Blvd. NW.

Every available pet will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. The promotion includes a free vet visit.

The event also will feature information on spay and neuter surgeries, responsible pet ownership and pet licensing.

Information: and or 404-613-0358. David Wickert

School pension solution sought

Atlanta’s school system could rid itself of a $550 million pension debt by raising taxes or changing its payment schedule.

Options include asking voters to approve a taxpayer-funded 20-year bond issue, increasing taxes to pay off the debt over 13 years or carrying the debt into the future. The bond issue could save the school system $300 million, but it could also cost $100 million if the economy falters. Mark Niesse

Students to compete against celebrities

Celebrities will challenge students from KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools in a Thursday game show fundraiser.

“Are You Smarter than a KIPPster” contestants include comedian Jeff Foxworthy, Atlanta Falcons defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi, Morehouse College President Silvanus Wilson Jr., Channel 2 Action News anchor John Bachman. Mark Niesse


Avondale adopts Downtown Master Plan

After seven months and five community meetings, Avondale Estates’ Board of Mayor and Commissioners adopted the city’s Downtown Master Plan during a specially-called meeting Thursday night.

Long-term plans call for a road diet on U.S. 278, a roundabout at 278 and Clarendon Road, a mixed-use development at the western end, two acres of green space in the old Fenner Dunlop area, and better pedestrian accessibility between downtown and the city’s residential district.

The master plan was last updated in 2004. Bill Banks for the AJC

Mobile career center cancelled for March

The mobile career center is under repair and won’t be out on location until further notice. A revised schedule will be released when the unit is back online.

Information: DeKalb Workforce Development, (404) 687-3400. Arlinda Smith Broady

Benefit for Dunwoody Nature Center returns

Monarchs and Margaritas, the biggest yearly fund-raiser for the Dunwoody Nature Center, will be held March 29 at the South Terraces Atrium.

Tickets are $100 and include live entertainment and catered food and desserts.

Information/tickets: April Hunt

Run for Kenya 5K in Stone Mountain

The Mwangaza Children’s Foundation will hold the Run for Kenya 5K on April 5 at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain.

Registration is $25 in advance and $30 on race day. The foundation asks that participants register by March 18. Race proceeds will benefit the foundation’s work with orphans in Kenya.

Information:  Molly Bloom

Mayor speaks out against renovation

Decatur’s commission approved a second project, 31 townhomes, on the northern tip of the old DeVry University property off Arcadia Avenue.

The townhomes will be developed by Greenstone Properties, also renovating the former DeVry building next door into a VA specialty care outpatient clinic.

Mayor Jim Baskett voted against the townhomes saying, “It is very disappointing we are not going to see the mixed-use development that [the city] anticipated when we annexed this property [21 acres total in 2009].” Bill Banks for the AJC

Art exhibit through March 31 in Dunwoody

The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta is hosting the Dunwoody Fine Art Association member show through March 31 in the Katz Family Main Street Gallery, 5324 Tilly Mill Road.

Admission is free to the public.

“Key to Dunwoody” features the historic Spruill Farmhouse where 27 artists created their interpretations of the farmhouse and Dunwoody itself for the exhibit.

Information: or 678-812-4071. Kent A. Miles for the AJC


Peachtree City approves path cleanup

The nonprofit Keep Peachtree City Beautiful organization will expand its cleanup services to include Peachtree City’s multi-use path system. Under a $22,900 contract approved by the city council Thursday, the group will be in charge of trash cans and the removal of litter, downed tree limbs and other debris for the rest of the fiscal year. The full annual cost going forward will be $45,760. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

McDonough hosts healthcare open house

McDonough city councilwoman Sandra Vincent is sponsoring a Healthcare Open House 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at Jazzy Brown Jaz Cafe, 1101 McDonough Place.

The open house is designed to help people learn more about the Affordable Care Act, which created access to health insurance for Americans, and to enroll in the program.

Open enrollment in the federally-created health insurance marketplaces ends March 31. Tammy Joyner

Rep Scott to host Town Hall meeting

State Rep. Sandra Scott (D-Rex) will host a town hall meeting 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Traveler’s Rest Missionary Baptist Church, 2112 Rex Road, Morrow.

She will talk about the 2014 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly. Topics will include state employees’ pay raises and unemployment for cafeteria workers, nurses, and bus drivers.

Information: 404- 656-0314. Tammy Joyner

Clayton PTA hosts candidates forum

The Clayton County Council of PTAs is hosting a candidates forum on Saturday. The 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. event will be at the Watkins Community Center, 511 Fayetteville Rd. in Jonesboro. The forum will give candidates in the Board of Education and Board of Commissioners races a chance to address a range of issues affecting schools and the community. Election Day is May 20.Tammy Joyner

Stockbridge hosts ACA enrollment session

Rep. Demetrius Douglas (District 78) is hosting an Affordable Care Act enrollment event in Stockbridge noon to 3 p.m. today at Red Oak United Methodist Church, 3894 Walt Stephens Road, Stockbridge. Help will be available for people to enroll in the insurance plan using the federally-created insurance exchange system.

Information: contact Rep. Douglas at Tammy Joyner

McDonough Recycling Day Saturday

McDonough will host its annual Community Recycling Day 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Paper rubbish, technological trash and other disposable items will be collected from

Items should be delivered to the parking lot of Henry County High School and the Performing Arts Center. Electronics such as CRT monitors and televisions will be collected for a fee ranging from $5 to $25.

Console TVs, washers and dryers, ovens, freezers, household trash and tires will not be accepted. Tammy Joyner