County by county news for Saturday


Weather causes Marietta to cancel weekend events

Marietta’s annual spring May-retta Daze Festival on the Marietta Square Saturday and Sunday has been cancelled due to expected rainy weather.

The Marietta Museum of History’s Aviation Wing’s helicopter day has also been cancelled Saturday.

The museum event at South Cobb Drive and Atlanta Road will be10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 1.


Tucker McQueen for the AJC

State superintendent at GOP meeting

The First Saturday Breakfast for the Cobb County Republican Party is 8:30 to 10 a.m. today at the Cobb County Republican Party headquarters, 799 Roswell St, Marietta.

The featured speaker is State School Superintendent John Barge.

Admission: $3; breakfast additional $7.

Information: Joe Dendy 770-820-6545. Mea Watkins

Free Parent Leadership Conference today

A free Parent Leadership Conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Premier Learning Academy, 7225 Six Flags Parkway, Austell.

Among the topics will be parental involvement in schools, the new Georgia Common Core Standards, planning for life after high school and anti-bullying.

Children may attend this event, which includes breakfast and lunch.


Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Smyrna farmers market opens today

The Smyrna Farmers Market will open for the season from 8 a.m. to noon today at the Smyrna First Baptist Church parking lot, 1275 Church St.

The downtown market is open Saturdays through September.


Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Senior Idol to include songs, dance, comedy

Cobb County seniors will perform their favorite musical, comedy and dance acts at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Jennie T. Anderson Theater for the ninth annual Cobb Senior Idol. Judges will select five finalists and the audience will determine the winner.

Event tickets are $5 at senior centers or at the door. Applications to perform are available at senior centers, and a rehearsal will be Monday.

Information: 770-528-1445 Melissa Abbey

Austell opens first community garden

Austell city officials opened their first community garden Monday in honor of the late I. T. and Lodemia Terrell on land they owned and shared as a community garden for nearly 60 years until the 2009 flood.

The first 24 of 48 garden plots are available for rent at the I. T. and Lodemia Terrell Community Garden and Educational Center at 2836 Windy Lane, Austell.

The $48 annual fee includes compost, water and the combination to gate locks.

Information: or 770-944-4325.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Piece of Berlin Wall on display on Suwanee

A 13-foot tall, 8,000-pound section of the Berlin Wall is currently on display in front of Suwanee’s City Hall at 330 Town Center Avenue. The once, western-facing side of the concrete section features graffiti artwork depicting a building, people, and the American flag.

The wall section will be on display in Suwanee over the next couple of months while Auction Management Corporation prepares to auction off the four-ton historic/artistic marker. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Mental math game set for tonday

Mathematics enthusiasts from Gwinnett County Public Schools will compete for the title of Witzzle Pro Champion 9 a.m. Saturday at Stripling Elementary, 6155 Atlantic Blvd., Norcross. The GCPS annual “Witzzle Pro Tournament” is a mental math game that tests students’ knowledge of numbers and operations. The winning school will have the honor of holding the GCPS Witzzle Pro trophy until next year’s tournament. Nancy Badertscher

Suwanee Farmers Market opens today

The Suwanee Farmers Market open today. Hours will be from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Oct. 5 and from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 6 at Town Center, 330 Town Center Ave. Information: 770-945-8996. Michael Alpert for the AJC

Suwanee looking for hands-on artists

Suwanee’s Arts in the Park is looking for artists to create, sell and demonstrate during the festival 11 a.m.-6 p.m. May 18. Exhibitors will be selected through a jury process and are eligible for prize money. The deadline for applications is April 30. Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Duluth wants your photos for new contest

Submit your best photos to Duluth’s new Capture the Spirit of Good Living Photo Contest by 5 p.m. June 7.

Photos can include anything in Duluth from shops, events, parks, people, or historical sites. The winner’s photo will be featured on the cover of Duluth Life. Top photos will be hung in City Hall and potentially used in other promotional items. Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Summer art camps open for registration

The Hudgens Center for the Arts is accepting registration for four different week-long camp sessions of the Color Wheel Summer Art Camp for children ages 5 to 12 in June, plus, three different week-long sessions of the Summer Pottery Camp for kids aged 8 to 14 in July. Information:

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Dacula accepting credit and debit cards

Dacula now accepts MasterCard, VISA and Discover either by swiping cards at City Hall or remotely by telephone for a transaction fee of 2.99 percent. The city won’t keep card numbers; debit cards won’t require no PIN. Information: 770-963-7451. Michael Alpert for the AJC


Cigarette robbery suspects identified

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office has identified two of three suspects in the March 27 robbery of a Racetrac gas station in which 45 cartons of cigarettes were stolen.

Larry Hightower, 33, of Atlanta is jailed in Cobb County. Second suspect Marcus Strozier, 21, of Atlanta remains at large. Both face robbery and false imprisonment charges.

The third suspect has not been identified.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Man cutting down tree killed by falling limb

Misael Soriano Elorza, 41, of Doraville, was killed when he and work crew working Friday morning near a YMCA on Preston Ridge Road when he was struck from behind by a tree limb Friday morning. A co-worker was cutting a large tree at its base when it fell, causing a limb to hit Elorza, police said. The impact caused Elorza to fall backward into a creek. Elorza was pulled from the water by his co-workers.

All three workers, employees of Downey Trees in Cumming, were wearing protective gear, including helmets, at the time of the incident, police said. Elorza’s helmet was cracked by the limb. Alexis Stevens

Athletic field slated for Cherokee High

Improvements to the athletic facilities at Cherokee High School are coming. The school board Thursay approved a $392,000 bid from Strack Inc., which will relocate sewer lines to for allow construction of a new girls’ softball field. That project will also include replacement of athletic field houses at the school.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Electronics recycling event set in Forsyth

Keep Forsyth County Beautiful will hold an electronics recycling day from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. today at the Cumming Fairgrounds parking lot, 235 Castleberry Road, Cumming.

Among items that will be accepted: laptops, stereos, CD players, cell phones and cameras.

Information: Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Historical society plans 10th annual fundraiser

The Cherokee County Historical Society will hold its 10th annual Kentucky Derby Day at 3:30 p.m. today at the Rock Barn, 658 Marietta Highway, Canton.

Tickets are $50 and include food, a bourbon tasting, and a hat parade and contest.

Information: or 770-345-3288. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Roswell hosting spring plant sale as benefit

The Roswell Garden Club will be sponsoring a Spring Plant Sale 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Historic Smith Plantation, 935 Alpharetta St. Perennials, annuals, herbs and heirlooms will be available.

Specific growing conditions and instructions will be provided. Visitors are requested to park at Roswell’s City Hall, 38 Hill Street. All proceeds benefit Roswell Garden Club community projects.

Information: Sandra Marshall Murray


14 Atlanta students win scholarships

Scholarships funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have been awarded to 14 students in Atlanta Public Schools, which had the most scholarship winners of any school district in Georgia.

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program chooses 1,000 students each year for scholarships to any college or university of their choice.

The program’s website says its goal is to promote academic excellence to minority students with financial need.

Mark Niesse

Women in prison get messages of hope

Women in Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto, Ga. will get an early Mother’s Day gift.

The “Mothers Behind Bars” service hosted by Churchpond Ministries will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at Atlanta Berean Seventh-day-Adventist Church, 291 Hamilton H.E. Holmes Dr. The aim of the service is to spread a message of hope.

The Rev. Carlton P. Byrd, gospel artist Paul Heflin and Xernona Clayton, founder of the Trumpet Awards and a civil rights activist, will be among the participants.

The program will include video messages from mothers, greeting cards and daily devotionals. The ministry will also give the prison a Roku streaming player preloaded with Christian content. Shelia M. Poole

Atlanta math teacher bound for Indonesia

An Atlanta high school math teacher has been picked to represent Georgia when he travels to Indonesia this summer for a professional development exchange program.

Rodney Finkley of Alonzo Crim Open Campus High School in east Atlanta was the only teacher from Georgia out of 84 teachers nationwide selected for the Teachers for Global Classrooms cultural exchange.

The program is sponsored by the U.S. State Department for teachers to learn from their international colleagues and bring back best practices for internationalizing U.S. schools.

Mark Niesse


Cops seek dollar store bandit

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man suspected of robbing at least two dollar stores in south DeKalb County.

DeKalb police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said that

About 11:30 a.m. Wednesday a man robbed the Family Dollar in the 3500 block of Panola Road. About 15 minutes later, the same man is believed to have robbed the Dollar General store in the 2500 block of Wesley Chapel Road.

He is described as black, 21 to 24 years old, 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, black jeans and a red baseball cap with Atlanta Braves written on the front.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477. Mike Morris

MAK District opposes school construction

City Schools Decatur presenting tentative master plans for additional construction at Renfroe Middle and Decatur High Schools Friday. Most opposition comes from the McDonough-Adams-Kings Highway area whose residents oppose increased traffic and new building in the historic district.

CSD Director of Facilities Jason Ware said parking will be doubled, alleviating some traffic concerns. But with enrollment projected to double over five years CSD must add new classrooms. Bill Banks for the AJC

Teacher featured at speaker series

Susan Roseman, a retired Jewish school teacher who taught immigrant Muslim children English, will share her experiences during the Edgewise Speaker Series, 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursday at MJCCA at Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody.

Information: Lilly Mahana, or 678-812-4064. Sandra Marshall Murray

Dunwoody creating Internet videos

Dunwoody is debuting informational videos showcasing city departments on YouTube at

Information: 678-382-6700. Michael Alpert for the AJC

Lawmakers to meet on forming cities

State lawmakers from DeKalb County who have proposed new city bills will hold an informational meeting on the efforts 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday at Clairmont Hills Baptist Church, at the corner of Clairmont and North Druid Hills roads.

Issues to be discussed include options of forming cities and annexing into existing cities as well as how to get involved in the efforts. April Hunt

Horizon productionwill benefit libraries

The Horizon Theatre production of “The Book Play,” a comic look at friends in a book club, will benefit DeKalb County’s 22 libraries for one night’s showing May 15. Proceeds will go to the DeKalb Library Foundation, which helps buy books and materials for county libraries.

Tickets are $30 online at and They also are available at the Horizon box office, 1083 Austin Ave., Atlanta.

Information: 404-584-7450.

April Hunt


Henry water treatment plant named best in Ga.

The Georgia Association of Water Professionals selected the Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority’s Walnut Creek Water Reclamation Facility as the 2013 Plant of the Year in Georgia.

This is the third straight year a Henry County facility has been named the best wastewater treatment facility in Georgia, with the Bear Creek plant winning in 2012 and the Indian Creek facility in 2011.

Monroe Roark for the AJC

Extra Peachtree City patrols for weekend

The Peachtree City Police Department is advising Cinco de Mayo partygoers to be mindful of drinking and driving. Officers will conduct special checks in the city over the weekend to identify impaired motorists. The city encourages use of designated drivers, cabs and the Drive Sober Georgia app for those needing a safe ride home.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Young inventors meet President Obama

Three Flippen Elementary students, fourth-grader Evan Jackson, third-grader Alec Jacson and second-grader Caleb Robinson recently were recognized in Washington, D.C. for their invention of Cool Pads, football shoulder pads that can be used by athletes to keep them from overheating during games. The inventors met President Obama earlier this month as part of their win in the 2012 Toshiba/National Science Teachers Assocation ExploraVision Competition. Theys were the youngest participants in the science fair hosted by the president. Tammy Joyner

Nominations soughtfor community awards

Girls and Guys Organized for Anointed Living (GOAL) is accepting nominations for community service awards.

The nonprofit honors Fayette students committed to educational excellence and youth leadership, along with the mothers who support them. Awards will be presented May 25. Information: Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Applications open for Taste of Fayette

Vendor applications are now being accepted for the 12th annual Taste of Fayette taking place May 19 in downtown Fayetteville.

The event showcases food from local restaurants as well as information about other area businesses and charitable organizations. Booths range from $50 to $100; deadline is May 15.

Information: or 770-719-4173.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Henry County SPLOST committee seeks input

Henry County’s SPLOST committee is hearing public input and suggestions for capital and transportation projects to include in the proposed SPLOST IV program, scheduled to be submitted in time for inclusion on the November ballot. The next meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday at the county administration building and will be televised live on channel 14 for Charter cable customers, channel 99 for AT&T U-Verse customers, and the county’s web site, Monroe Roark for the AJC