County by county news for Saturday


Marietta High to open $8.5 million auditorium

Marietta High School will open a $8.5 million performing arts auditorium at a ceremony 7:45 a.m. Monday. A grand opening event for the public is planned for Sept. 7.

Marietta residents approved a $7 million general obligation bond in 2012 to help build the 750-seat auditorium at the city high school at 1171 Whitlock Ave.

An auditorium was left out of plans when the school was built 12 years ago after cost overruns. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Free Thursday tours of Historic Mable House

Free tours are offered 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Thursday through Sept. 5 of the Historic Mable House, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton by The Friends of the Mable House.

The Mableton Farmers' Market also will be open during those hours. Information: or 770-819-3285. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Jewish congregation to host open house

Reform Jewish Congregation Ner Tamid will host an open house 10 a.m. to noon Sunday at Mountain View Prep, 2320 Baker Road, Acworth.

Attendees will receive information about the congregation, weekly religious school classes and High Holy day services, and have the opportunity to meet some of the teachers, students, parents and Rabbi Tom Liebschutz.

Information: or 678-264-8575. Veronica Fields Johnson

Alternative school may become academy

Cobb County School administrators are looking at possibly converting alternative Oakwood High School into a digital academy.

The administrators will hold two sessions from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. They will take place at the Oakwood campus activity room at 1560 Joyner Ave. in Marietta.

The district’s school board will discuss the conversions at its August meetings. Daarel Burnette II

Marietta seeks job fair recruiters

Marietta is looking for employers to sign up to recruit at an annual job fair scheduled 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Cobb County Civic Center, 548 South Marietta Parkway, Marietta.

The Marietta/Cobb Career Expo is sponsored by Marietta, Cobb County, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and Georgia Department of Labor.

Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Acworth to expand Logan Farm Park

Acworth’s Board of Alderman has approved hiring design and survey services to continue development of 120-acre Logan Farm Park on Logan Road. The park currently has 60 acres in use.

The $1.5 million project on 12 acres will add a playground, large play area, two pedestrian bridges over Tanyard Creek and road improvements on nearby Taylor Road and Southside Drive.

Funding will be $475,000 from the 2011 SPLOST and also federal funds. Construction is expected to start in 2014. Tucker McQueen for the AJC


Woman guilty of cashing dead mother’s checks

Mary Bridges Clark, 64, of Loganville pleaded guilty to theft of government funds, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. Clark stole more than $219,000 in Social Security benefits that were deposited into a joint bank she and her mother shared.

After her mother’s death in April 1993, Clark continued to receive her mother’s monthly benefits into the joint account. Clark was charged on July 17 and pleaded guilty. Her sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 21, when she could receive up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Alexis Stevens

Habitat for Humanity plans store event

Gwinnett ReStore, 2100 Riverside Pkwy., Suite 123-A, Lawrenceville, will mark its third anniversary with a celebration 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today featuring music, food, face painting and raffles.

ReStores, the retail division of Habitat for Humanity, sells donated household items. Proceeds are used to build and renovate houses.

Information:, 770-962-4200. Mea Watkins

Concert features Yacht Rock Schooner

The Duluth SummerStage Concert Series will feature Yacht Rock Schooner at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9 at the Duluth Amphitheater, 3142 Hill St. Chairs and blankets are permitted. Alcoholic beverages can be brought in or purchased on site. To reserve a table, visit

Information: Mea Watkins

Chamber collecting school supplies

The Southwest Gwinnett Chamber is partnering with the community to collect school supplies for needy children in the Berkeley Lake, Norcross and Peachtree Corners areas.

Drop-off bins are at the YMCA and each City Hall.

Information: Kim Dorough at Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Public arts commission spots open in Duluth

The City of Duluth is forming a Public Arts Commission to promote training, development and performance of performing arts, maintain the city's existing public art collection and to commission, acquire and exhibit new public works of art. Citizens interested in serving on the nine-member commission must return completed applications to the City Manager's office, City Hall, 2nd Floor, 3167 Main St., by Aug. 15. Information: Veronica Fields Johnson

Nonprofit looking to build Warrior Challenge

Operation One Voice needs volunteers to help build a Warrior Challenge Obstacle Course in Buford and Lake Lanier Islands for the upcoming Special Ops Warrior Challenge 5K scheduled for Aug. 10. Last workdays is Saturday. Operation One Voice supports families of wounded and fallen Special Operations Forces soldiers. Details: or Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Nelson councilwoman charged with shoplifting

Nelson Councilwoman Edith Portillo, 72, was arrested July 23 and charged with misdemeanor theft by shoplifting in connection with a June 28 incident at a Canton Walmart.

A police report alleges that a woman matching Portillo’s description entered the store on Riverstone Parkway and stole about a dozen items.

The total value of the stolen items was $192.92. Portillo was booked into the Cherokee County jail Tuesday, and released later that day on $800 bond. Mike Morris

Sewage spill from water facility in Forsyth

Forsyth County officials say flooding rains early Thursday at the Fowler Water Reclamation Facility led to a sewage spill into an area near Big Creek.

Authorities think floodwaters damaged a manhole, causing an overflow from a 48-inch sewer line.

There’s no word on the extent of the spill.

Repairs were made late Thursday. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Canton PD seeks robbery suspect

Canton Police seek a suspect they say entered the Rite Aid Pharmacy on Marietta Highway Thursday night, displayed a gun to the pharmacist, and left with a large quantity of pharmaceutical drugs.

He’s described as a white male, six feet tall, wearing a straw hat, a white button-down shirt, blue jeans and tennis shoes.

Anybody with information should call 770-720-4883. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Roswell PD to offer firearm safety seminar

The Roswell Police Department will offer a civilian firearm safety seminar to Roswell residents and Roswell business owners age 12 and up.

The free, one-day seminar will cover basic firearm safety, safe firearm storage, child locks and security devices, less lethal self-defense options, and Georgia firearms laws.

Seminars will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 15 and Sept. 18 at the Roswell-Alpharetta Public Safety Training Center, 11565 Maxwell Road, Alpharetta.

To register, submit name, address and phone number to Tracey Hanrahan, Mea Watkins

Mobile food bank scheduled

The Georgia Mountain Food Bank, First Christian Church and the MSG Foundation will host a mobile food bank from 9 to 11 a.m. today at First Christian Church, 1270 Sawnee Dr. in Cumming.

The event will be the grand finale for the MSG Foundation’s Summer Bags of Love Program.

Information: 770-889-2859 or Mea Watkins

Cherokee exhibit traces history of cotton mills

The Cherokee County History Museum and Visitors Center presents the temporary exhibit “Life with the Mills: The Canton Cotton Mills” through Sept. 14.

The free exhibit traces the mills from 1900 to 1981 and features documents, artifacts and photographs.

The museum is at 100 North St., Suite 140, Canton.

Information: Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Mason gets leadership bar position

Atlanta lawyer Erica V. Mason has been elected regional president of the Hispanic National Bar Association.

Mason, a shareholder of the Baker Donelson law firm, specializes in defending companies in complex employment litigation. She also serves on the firm’s Diversity, Women’s Initiative and Recruiting Committees. Bill Rankin

Carnes becomes chief judge of appeals court

Ed Carnes on Thursday became chief judge of the federal appeals court in Atlanta, succeeding Joel Dubina who led the court as chief since June 2009.

Carnes, appointed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush, is regarded for well-written, often pointed opinions sprinkled with humor and irony. The busy court, which is allotted 12 judges, oversees appeals out of Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Bill Rankin

Male empowerment expo to be held

An empowerment expo aimed to foster academic, vocational, economic and personal improvement in men ages 18 to 28 will take place at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 10 at the Auburn Avenue Research Library, 101 Auburn Ave. SW.

“Overcoming the Odds: Success Strategies for Young Black Men,” will include self-assessments, an interactive workshop, film, open forum, keynote message, a resource panel, health screenings and more.

The event is free, but registration is suggested. Free transportation from nearby counties will be provided.

Information and registration:, 404-221-1222, or 404-935-5859. Mea Watkins

Smoke School of Art to exhibit at library

In collaboration with the Smoke School of Art, an Atlanta-based nonprofit art collective, the Auburn Avenue Research Library, 101 Auburn Ave. NE, will host a collective exhibition of Smoke School of Art members through Aug. 31. Information: 404-730-4001, ext. 100. Veronica Fields Johnson


Family fun day set for next weekend

The sixth annual DeKalb family fun day will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. Aug. 11 at Bransby Outdoor YMCA at Rock Chapel, 1185 Rock Chapel Road, Lithonia.

DeKalb County interim CEO Lee May will partner with Bransby Outdoor YMCA and nonprofit organizations, Project A.R.M., Beverly Cunningham Outreach Program and Saving Our Children and Families, to put on the free event, which will include food, live entertainment, activities and vendors for the whole family to enjoy.

Along with school supply donations, guests are encouraged to bring chairs and coolers. No alcoholic beverages are allowed.

Information: Mea Watkins

Olympian to address DeKalb youth

Gold Medalist Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas will serve as featured speaker at an upcoming breakfast honoring DeKalb County’s youth.

Douglas, who won the gold in gymnastics in the 2012 Olympics, is the keynote at the 2013 Youth Empowerment Breakfast. The program focuses on children and families and development programs in the county.

The event will be held at 9 a.m. Aug. 10 at the Marriott Evergreen in Stone Mountain. Tickets are $25 and available at April Hunt

Walk of Heroes 5K returns in DeKalb

Registration is underway for a 5K run/walk to benefit DeKalb County residents with developmental disabilities, substance addiction and mental illness.

The Walk of Heroes will be held Saturday, Sept. 21, in Kirkwood. All proceeds benefit the DeKalb Community Service Board.

An informational meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the CBS offices, 445 Winn Way, Room 421, Decatur.

Information/race registration: April Hunt

Schools, commission to meet Monday

A joint meeting between City Schools Decatur and city commissioners will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall. CSD is trying to get a $59.5 million bond referendum (to pay for renovations to Decatur high and Renfroe middle schools on the Nov. 5 ballot, but it may get resistance from commissioners.

Superintendent Phyllis Edwards said recently, “There are a number of people who doubt our projections (that school enrollment will nearly double by 2018), but I’m telling you, these projections are just the minimum.” Bill Banks for the AJC

Brook Run Park celebration Saturday

Initial construction of the Brook Run Park multi-use trail is almost done. Celebrate with a free parade at 10 a.m. Saturday at the entrance of the trail, Brook Run Park, 4770 N. Peachtree Road, Dunwoody.

Children ages 12 and younger can decorate their bikes, wagons, scooters or wheelchairs and compete for Most Colorful, Most Creative and Best Theme. Register at

Information: Hannah Morgan


Clayton seeks 20-year plan input

Clayton County is looking for input at two meetings to discuss the county's Comprehensive Plan 2014-2034. The first meeting is Monday at the Virginia Burton Gray Recreational Center, 1475 East Fayetteville Road, Riverdale. The second meeting will be Aug. 12 at the International Park VIP complex, 2300 Highway 138 SE, Jonesboro. Both meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. Details: call Michael Woodman at 404 684-7031 or or Kc Krzic, zoning administrator for Clayton County Community Development at 770 4767-3569 or Tammy Joyner

Councilman to host backpack bash

Councilman Tracey Wyatt will host a backpack bash for students 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Godby Road Recreation Center, 2300 Godby Road, College Park. The Star of Georgia Foundation will provide 200 backpacks filled with school supplies. Other activities will include games, food, swimming and a special appearance by Judge Penny Brown Reynolds from Family Court with Judge Penny. Veronica Fields Johnson

Theatre solicits scripts and directors

The Academy Theatre will be presenting "Tapas: A Short Play Festival of Rebirth & Renewal" sponsored by the city of Stockbridge and its Downtown Development Authority the first weekend in October at the Stockbridge Community Arts Complex. The Theatre is soliciting scripts and directors. Details: Monroe Roark for the AJC

Clayton police celebrate Night Out

The Clayton County Police Department will join The National Association of Town Watch in celebrating its 30th Annual National Night Out event Tuesday. This event will take place in the parking lot of the Super Target 1940 Mt. Zion Rd in Morrow. National Night Out, is a yearlong community crime prevention campaign. Clayton Police will display literature and police equipment during the event. Tammy Joyner

Health department to hold event for teens

The Clayton County Board of Health invite teens to an Teen Maze 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Riverdale Centre, 7210 Church St., Riverdale. The even will show consequences of positive and negative life choices. Free, but registration is required. Information: or 678-479-2205. Tammy Joyner

NAACP to host youth town hall meeting

The NAACP Clayton County Youth Council is hosting a “Youth Town Hall Meeting” Saturday at The Tara Center, 7651 Tara Blvd., in Jonesboro. The noon to 3 p.m. meeting is in preparation for the civil rights group’s “Justice for Trayvon Martin” rally to be held Aug. 17. Saturday’s event will cover such issues as Stand Your Ground laws, racial profiling, voting rights and police encounters. There also will be information about healthy living, high school completion, college and career readiness, financial aid, help with college applications, internships, community service and voter registration.

Details: 770-471-0669 or 404-424-6567. Tammy Joyner