County by county news for Saturday


Man convicted 9th time of abusing wife

A jury convicted Ricky Allen, 39, of family violence battery, aggravated battery and false imprisonment Thursday. Allen was acquitted of kidnapping in the June 13 attack, when he threw his wife on a concrete floor and punched her inside the couple’s home, near Marietta. Allen’s wife testified at his trial, but downplayed the seriousness of the attackt. She has wife has filed for divorce from her husband of 10 years. The couple has five children. Allen previously was convicted eight times of abusing his wife, but only one conviction was a felony. He has served in state prison three times since 2008. Alexis Stevens

Sheriff’s office, museum to reopen

The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, on the second floor of the Austell Threadmill Complex, 5000 Austell-Powder Springs Road, should reopen by next Friday and the city’s museum on the first floor should open by early October, following recovery from water damage.

The sprinkler system was triggered around 11:30 p.m. Aug. 13 from a minor fire in a restroom on the third floor occupied by Caraustar.

Jim Graham, director of the city’s Community Development and Parks departments, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday the fire was “a freak situation” when “probably the vent fan in the women’s restroom shorted out,” causing “hardly any fire damage.”

There is no estimate of the damages yet to the museum.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Windy Hill Road improvements planned

Cobb County Department of Transportation will break ground Oct. 20 on a $34.5 million, SPLOST project from Windy Hill Road at Cobb Parkway to Powers Ferry Road. Construction will start later this year to ease congestion in the high traffic area including widening roads, adding medians and improving pedestrian access.

Work on a diverging diamond intersection on the Windy Hill/ I-75 bridge is expected to start in 2015 and finish in 2017.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Marietta to add restrooms at parks

Marietta will add public restrooms at Victory, Lewis, Henry, Whitaker and Merritt parks. City Council approved the $387,000 project with funds coming from a 2009 bond.

The concrete block structures will have motion controlled lights and automatic locks at park closing times. The city currently has facilities at Tumlin Park at Hickory Hills and Laurel Park and at two sports complexes.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Smyrna rezones former Hickory Lakes complex

Smyrna’s City Council Monday voted to rezone the site of the former Hickory Lakes Apartment complex at Windy Hill and Old Concord Roads for 194 single-family homes. The complex had 726 units on 47.3 acres.

The city bought and demolished the aging complex four years ago for about $15 million. Southeast Capital Companies is in negotiations with Smyrna to develop a residential community on the site with about four houses per acre in the mid $300,000 range. Tucker McQueen for the AJC


Peachtree Corners adopts housing program

The Peachtree Corners City Council this week adopted a Crime Free Multi-Unit Housing Program, an on-going crime prevention effort designed to aid in the reduction of crime, drugs, and gangs in apartment communities. Through a partnership among property owners, residents and law enforcement, the program consists of three training phases supervised by Gwinnett County Police that must be completed by participating apartment managers/landlords. In some properties where the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program has been implemented, it has resulted in a 70 percent reduction in crime. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Commission approves police copter upgrades

At Tuesday’s meeting, Gwinnett Commissioners approved a $200,792.10 purchase for improvements to one of the county’s police helicopters. The upgrade will include major structural changes to the cockpit area to assist with confidential and secure investigations, as well as apprehensions and detentions of individuals suspected of or convicted of criminal offenses by law enforcement personnel. Karen Huppertz

Double feature under the stars in Suwanee

Movies Under the Stars will present two free movies at Town Center Park 7 p.m. today . ‘The Lego Movie’ will be shown on a digital board at the Town Center stage. Shortly after, ‘Divergent’ will be shown on the inflatable big screen. Chairs, blankets, and snacks welcome, but alcohol must be purchased from licensed merchants. Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Art Center hosting free family day

The Hudgens Center for the Arts is inviting all ages to a free Family Day 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Bldg. 300 in Duluth. Hands-on activities and demonstrations available 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Chamber to talk about communication

The Greater Eastside Chamber of Commerce will host a Lunch and Learn 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Buffalo’s Café, 910 Athens Highway, Loganville. Ryan Sauers of Sauers Consulting Strategies will discuss ‘Perception is Reality: Your Brand of Communication Makes all the Difference.’ Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

British pride comes to Norcross

Downtown Historic Norcross will celebrate “all things British” at the Atlanta British Car Fayre 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 6. Hosted by Norcross for the past 13 years, this free event draws British buffs from all over the Southeast to see British classics like Austin Healey, Triumph, Rolls Royce, Land Rover, Jaguar, MG and Lotus. This year’s show supports ‘Soccer in the Streets,’ a program that empowers underserved youth through soccer, character development, mentoring, and employability programs. In addition to the line up of show cars, this year’s Fayre will also feature classic British “motorbikes.” Information: To register a motorcycle or a car: Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Man killed in Forsyth County scooter wreck

Investigators believe Eric Scott Wolff, 42, of Lawrenceville, was driving a 2008 Shanghai Shenke scooter when he turned into the path of a 1984 Ford F-150 truck driven by Abraham Garnica-Pintado, 29, of Cumming around 6 p.m. on the eastbound side of Ga. 20 at Ronald Reagan Boulevard. Wolff was pronounced dead Thursday night after being transported to Northside Hospital-Forsyth. Alexis Stevens

Election qualifying next week in Canton

Qualifying for Canton’s Nov. 4 special municipal election is set for 8:30 a.m.- 4 :30 p.m.Monday through Wednesday at the city clerk’s office at City Hall, 151 Elizabeth St. Voters will pick a Ward III Council member to serve the remainder of Glen Cummins’ term, until January 2016. Information: Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Forsyth schools O.K. renovtation work

The Forsyth County Board of Education Thursday night approved architectural design contracts for extensive renovations/ additions at South Forsyth, Forsyth Central and North Forsyth high schools. The projects will connect what are now separate buildings at the schools, “closing” the campuses. All three of the schools will get new cafeterias and two will add new gyms. New career and technical classrooms and media centers are also planned. The board also OKd design contracts for Riverwatch and South Forsyth middle school renovations. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Forsyth channel expands to U-Verse

Forsyth County officials say that more people will now be able to follow county government and events, as TV Forsyth expands to the AT&T U-Verse system. The 24-hour government cable channel has been broadcast on Comcast channel 23 since late 2007. It’s now on U-Verse channel 99, as well. Customers first tune to the channel, then follow navigational instructions to access the service. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Civil war program in Woodstock Saturday

A special presentation on northside Civil War history is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Woodstock Visitors Center, 8588 Main St. Author Gerald Flinchum will discuss and sign his book, “Creeks, Clashes and Crossroads-Civil War skirmishes in North Cobb and Cherokee County. ” The event’s free, and it‘s part of the Cherokee County Civil War sesquicentennial committee’s offerings.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Roswell hosts homeschool event

The Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau and the city’s three historic homes will host a homeschool day 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 26. The Smith Plantation, Bulloch Hall and Barrington Hall will be open for tours, demonstration and hands-on activities for students.

Prices through Sept. 19: $12 for adults and children 6 and above, $15 after that date.

Information and to register:

Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Arrests in University Ave. shooting

Atlanta police said they have arrested a total of four people in the shooting death of 29-year-old Claude Dickerson on University Avenue. All four suspects face murder charges.

The most recent arrest came Thursday when Janorris Spears, 28, was taken into custody, police said. On Aug. 14, police arrested 27-year-old John Husband. Terry Denham and Jerome Banks were arrested earlier in the month.

Around 2:45 p.m. July 26, police officers went to the 600 block of University Avenue, where they found Dickerson, of Montgomery, Ala., shot in the head. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died. Michelle E. Shaw

Police make arrest in July shooting death

Christopher Ballard, 22, turned himself in at the Fulton County jail Thursday and faces a murder charge.

Ballard is suspected in the shooting death of Anthony Kirk Hill, 22, in the 1300 block of Lakewood Avenue around 1:40 a.m. on July 12. When officers arrived, Hill was found in the hallway of an office building with a gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Michelle E. Shaw

Two men sentenced in carjacking

Frederick Todd Anderson, 26, of Riverdale, was sentenced to 19 years, 7 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $8,060 in restitution for the 2013 attempted robbery of a shipping company near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in which the business owner was carjacked, abducted, pistol-whipped and left lying in a stream behind an abandoned house.

David Starks, 30, of College Park, was sentenced to 11 years, 11 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $8,060 in restitution.

A third defendant, Deshawn Antoine Mackey, 19, of Riverdale, was sentenced earlier to five years in federal prison. Two juvenile co-defendants will be tried in state court.

Mike Morris


Chamblee extends alcohol hours

The Chamblee City Council voted this week to allow businesses to serve alcohol later at night. The alcohol rules, which were approved on a 3-2 vote Tuesday, permits bars and restaurants to continue providing drinks until 3 a.m., an hour later than had previously been allowed. All patrons must leave by 3:30 a.m. Mark Niesse

Brookhaven working to reverse charter denial

Staff of the State Charter Schools Commission has recommended denial of the Brookhaven Innovation Academy application for charter school status.

Mayor J. Max Davis sent a letter to Bonnie Holliday, executive director of the Commission requesting 30 days to address staff concerns. Davis said the Brookhaven Innovation Academy board has made changes in programs and financial planning since the application was filed.Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

City donates to Wylde Center

For the sixth straight year Decatur donated $15,000, technically a grant, to the Wylde Center towards the mortgage of its central office at 435 Oakview Road, which Executive Director Stephanie Van Pary calls, “A very important gift.” The Wylde Center’s main garden, Oakhurst Garden, 34 plots over 1.75 acres, dates to 1996 as community garden. But this green space at Oakview and McDonough Road, site of a minor Civil War skirmish, has been a garden of some type for decades. Bill Banks for the AJC

Jobs Bus’ making stop Wednesday

DeKalb County’s “Jobs Bus” is hitting the road again to provide work readiness services and help county residents find employment.

The bus, officially known as the Mobile Career Center, provides residents with job search assistance, training, resume writing pointers and interview tips.

The bus will visit the Department of Family and Children Services in Decatur 10 to 4 p.m. Wednesday. Mark Niesse

Charity golf event at country club

TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation hosts a charity golf tournament Sunday and Monday at Dunwoody Country Club.

TurningPoint, a non-profit, provides rehabilitation to women with breast cancer regardless of ability to pay.

The event opens Sunday with a $50 dinner and silent auction. Golf registration is 7 a.m., Monday, with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. Entry fees are $1,000 for foursome, $300 for individuals.


Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

Dunwoody to hold resident meetings

Dunwoody will continue its community conversations 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Dunwoody Nature Center, 5343 Roberts Drive. The series is in response to residents’ interest in more direct contact with city officials on projects and initiatives.

More than 250 people attended a Dunwoody Town Hall meeting in February. Adrianne Murchison for the AJC


Man dead, another wounded in shooting

A shooting late Thursday night in the 6000 block of Radford Drive, in a neighborhood off Flat Shoals Road near Riverdale left Darrel Agee Jr.shot multiple times. Clayton County police said althoughAgee was conscious and alert, he would not say who shot him.Police found a second vicitm, Christopher Brown, also inside the home.

Both were taken to Southern Regional Medical Center, where Brown was pronounced dead. Agee was in critical condition Friday. No arrests have been made. Mike Morris

Henry abolishes in-house legal dept.

The Henry County Board of Commissioners voted Aug. 19 to outsource its legal services and close its in-house legal department. The county will retain the firms of Power & Jaugstetter and Fincher, Denmark, Williams & Minnifield beginning 9 a.m. Sept. 2 at the board’s next meeting. The vote was 5-1, with board chairman Tommy Smith. opposing. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Peachtree City nixes millage hike

A last-minute, hour-long presentation by Peachtree City council member Eric Imker Thursday resulted in a vote to keep the city’s maintenance and operations millage rate at 6.756. Most of the 18 cost-cutting changes Imker presented were accepted, but city staff must again revise the FY2015 budget. A 1-mill increase had been proposed to pay for bridge repairs, repaving, and other infrastructure and maintenance. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

County to save on Nash Farm loan

The Henry County Board of Commissioners voted Aug. 19 on a refinancing proposal involving its Nash Farm property that will reduce its payments by $3,327 per month beginning Nov. 1. The amortization schedule of the loan, which ends June 1, 2020, will not change, as the interest rate falls from 4.42 percent to 2.75 percent. The total savings will amount to $226,258.04 and average about $39,927 per year. Monroe Roark

East Point calls Monday meeting

East Point City Council will hold a special called meeting 6:30 p.m. Monday at Jefferson Recreation Center, 1431 Norman Berry Drive.

The agenda includes a report on the police department’s five-year strategic plan and discussion on capital projects and funding sources.

Councilwoman LaTonya Martin complained about East Point’s budget checks and balances during the Aug. 4 meeting and cited a $3 million shortfall that has been resolved yet the cost appears to still be passed on to residents.

Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

Fayette urges donations for church

After voting against county funding to restore the Hopeful Primitive Baptist Church in Fayetteville, the Fayette County Board of Commissioners is “requesting that all citizens consider making a donation to the effort.” Commissioner David Barlow called the 1825 church and its cemetery “historical treasures,” and all five commissioners claim to have made personal donations to the Hopeful 1825 Restoration Fund.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC