County by county news for Saturday


Kennesaw police to hold gun safety class

The Kennesaw Police Department will sponsor a gun safety class from 10 a.m. to noon on today at the Ben Robertson Community Center, 2753 Watts Drive, Kennesaw.

Participants will learn about basic firearm safety and Georgia gun laws. Free gun locks available while supplies last.

Attendees are asked not to bring any firearms or weapons to the class.

To register: Information: Lt. Graydon at 770-429-4533 or

Veronica Fields Johnson

Police hold neighborhood meeting

The first quarterly meeting of west Cobb’s Police Email Notification System, or PENS, will be held 7 p.m. Tuesday at Precinct 5, 4640 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs. Lt. Tim Brooks, commander of the VIPER (Violent Incident Prevention Early Response) unit will be the guest speaker. He’ll discuss the unit’s work and how it benefits residents. Jaime Sarrio

March for Music event planned in Marietta

Tau Beta Sigma will hold a fundraiser to benefit school music programs 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today at Jim Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road S.W., Marietta. The walk-a-thon will feature food, games, activities and various fund-raising opportunities. Information: or Mea Watkins

Dealership to host teen driver safety day

Steve Rayman Chevrolet and the Safe America Foundation will sponsor a teen driver safety day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 9 at the dealership, 2155 Cobb Parkway S.E., Smyrna. Teens and their parents will receive information on Georgia’s teen driving laws, the dangers of distracted driving and a chance to test their safe driving skills on a simulator.

Information: 770-973-7233.

Veronica Fields Johnson

Zoologist to speak at Freethought society

The Atlanta Freethought Society program at 1 p.m. Sunday will feature famous zoologist and freethought speaker Bob Truett.

His talk, titled “It’s Only a Theory,” will involve audience participation and children as young as 6 years old are encouraged to attend. Truett directed several major zoos before he retired, most recently the Birmingham Zoo.

The program will be preceded by a potluck lunch at noon. It will be at AFS Hall at 4775 N. Church Lane in Smyrna. The Atlanta Freethought Society is a member-run, nonprofit educational organization which meets the second Sunday of every month to hear speakers on religion, freethought, science and history. Andria Simmons

Kennesaw sponsors gun safety class

The Kennesaw Police Department will sponsor a gun safety class 10 am to noon Saturday at the Ben Robertson Community Center, 2753 Watts Drive. Police will provide basic firearm knowledge, basic safety and info on Georgia gun laws. Free gun locks will also be available while supplies last. Do not bring firearms or weapons to the class. Information: Lt. Graydon 770-429-4533 or Jaime Sarrio


Lilburn’s Main Street project gets more funding

Gwinnett has agreed to provide Lilburn with additional funding for the Main Street relocation project. When complete, the project will improve safety by relocating Main Street at U.S. 29, replacing the current skewed intersection with a more perpendicular intersection of the two roads. The relocated Main Street will include turn lanes and traffic circles with Church Street allowing for better access to the proposed Lilburn City Hall and library. The traffic circles will provide traffic calming for the area, while lowering Church Street will improve visibility for drivers.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Students honored for tech successes

Gwinnett County Public Schools recently saluted 21 students for their successful work in technical education courses. One student, Berkmar High’s Brittney Reese, was named the 2013 Technical Education Student of the Year and received a $1,000 scholarship.

Brookwood High student Kuttler Smith was first runner-up and received a $500 scholarship, and Meadowcreek High student Franklin Gomez was second runner-up and received a $250 scholarship.

Nancy Badertscher

Summer Art Camp Registration Is Open

The Hudgens Arts Center will have four different week-long 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.


Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Residents can review Duluth’s 2014 budget

Duluth’s FY2014 Preliminary Budget will be available for a public review meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 1 in the Community Room of City Hall. All department directors and other city staff will be on hand to answer questions about the proposed budget.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Duluth branding webinar open to public

Duluth is inviting the community to bring a bag lunch and listen to Roger Brooks, who helped Duluth with the 20 ingredients of an outstanding downtown, discuss branding and why it is important at noon Thursday in the Community Room of City Hall.

This informative webinar will reveal the ten rules you need to successfully brand your community, organization, or business.


Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Altered Book artwork workshops at Hudgens

The Hudgens and the Gwinnett County Public Library are partnering to host two free Altered Book workshops from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Held in conjunction with the library’s annual Altered Book Competition, the workshops will give hands-on techniques to turn books into art.

Workshops are free, but pre-registration is required.

Email the participant’s name, the youth’s age and contact information to Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Police seek suspect in bizarre chase

A 10-year-old girl and her friends were on a birthday party scavenger hunt on March 2when they split into teams. While they were walking around her subdivision off Parc Drive in Canton, a man got of his car and chased three of the girls who ran back to the birthday party and a parent called police. The suspect is described as a white male in his late 20s or early 30s of average height and build with dark hair, driving a silver four-door small passenger car. Residents should call 911 if they spot a man fitting the description. Andria Simmons

Consulate General of Japan to host forum

The Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta will present Forging Bonds through Shared Experiences: US-Japan Youth Forum on Recovering from Natural Disaster 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at Elkins Pointe Middle School, 11290 Elkins Road, Roswell. The meeting will promote mutual understanding between Japan and the United States through students’ interactions to learn Japan’s current situation and reconstruction efforts and to show how American students were involved. The event is open to the public, register: 404-240-4300 or

Veronica Fields Johnson

Musical group comes to Roswell

Up With People, the international musical group featuring 120 students from 20 countries will appear 7 p.m. at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center.

Local residents who volunteered to be host families will open their homes for a week to group members. Their arrival kicks off a week of activities and events for the community and Up with People. Information: or call Misael Oliver at 303-515-1545. Andria Simmons

Canton stepping up economic development

Citywide efforts to attract new jobs and business to Canton are getting a shot in the arm.

The City Council Thursday night approved the job description for an economic development coordinator/Main Street program director to get a candidate search underway.

A similar prior position focused on downtown development. A budget amendment to fund the office will be considered later this month. Mark Woolsey for

One dead in Forsyth County wreck

One person died Thursday afternoon in the collision of a school bus and two vehicles on Ga.9 in Forsyth County. Sheriff’s officials say Lesia Elaine Bennett, 43, was pronounced dead after being taken to Northside Hospital-Forsyth. The driver of a second vehicle suffered minor injuries. Nobody on the Forsyth County Schools bus was injured. There were no students on the bus.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Woodstock dog park to open by early summer

Woodstock’s first dog park will be open in late spring or early summer, after rainy weather scuttled the original April 1 target. The 5-acre park at 150 Dupree Road will include both large and small dog play areas, a community garden and a connection to the planned Noonday Trail. Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Author to speak at Auburn Avenue Library

The Rev. Norman Rates, author and Sisters Chapel Dean Emeritus, will discuss his book, “May Thy Dear Walls Remain, Memoirs of a College Minister at the Sisters Chapel Spelman College,” at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Auburn Avenue Research Library, 101 Auburn Avenue, NE. Information: 404-730-4001 ext. 100. Veronica Fields Johnson

Hunger Walk/Run 5K to benefit nonprofits

The 29th annual Hunger Walk/Run 5K will be 2 p.m. Sunday at the Turner Field Green Lot, 755 Hank Aaron Dr., S.W. Participant fee is $25. Race day registration: noon. Proceeds benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Episcopal Charities Foundation, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Lutheran Services of Georgia, Presbytery of Greater Atlanta and Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Information: or 404-419-1723 or

Veronica Fields Johnson

Progress report offered on library expansion

Users of the Auburn Avenue Research Library can get an update 7 p.m. Tuesday at the library at 101 Auburn Ave., N.E. on the expansion project. Information: 404-730-1777 or Johnny Edwards

Seniors to get practical aid at seminar

Atlanta City Councilmember Natalyn M. Archibong and DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson will host the 12th Annual Focus Upon Senior Services Seminar 10 a.m. -1 p.m. today at Drew Charter School, 301 East Lake Blvd.

City officials will be on hand to answer water and sewer billing questions. Representatives from Georgia Power and Atlanta Gas Light will also be available to speak about money-saving ideas such as senior discounts. The Atlanta Police Department and Atlanta Fire and Rescue will speak about the new Smart 911 program and Grady Health Services will be offering free blood pressure and diabetes screening.

Although the program will be held in District 5, it is open to the general public. Ernie Suggs


Commissioner to host town hall meeting

DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May will host a town hall meeting to discuss the state of the county 10 a.m. to noon today at the Lou Walker Senior Center, 2538 Panola Road, Lithonia. Topics include public safety, public works projects, sanitation, economic development, job creation and the DeKalb County School District.

Veronica Fields Johnson

Basketball clinic for older women

The DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs Department is sponsoring a free Women’s Basketball Clinic for county residents age 50 and over 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at Exchange Recreation Center, 2771 Columbia Dr. Registration due Tuesday. Information: Jackie Swain at 404-687-2751. Veronica Fields Johnson

Citizen Police Academy applicants sought

The DeKalb County Police Department seeks applicants for its April Citizen Police Academy. Personnel from Uniform, Criminal Investigations and Special Operations Divisions will provide instruction during the free 10-week academy comprised of two-hour sessions, one night per week. To be eligible, applicants be at least 21 years old, live or work in DeKalb County, hav no prior felony convictions, consent to a background check, and consent to participate in two ride-alongs with a uniformed officer.

Information: Deadline is March 15. Mea Watkins

Learning for Life Family Series

The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension’s Learning for Life Family Series will continue through June with monthly events aimed toward healthy living, safety and more at the DeKalb Cooperative Extension, 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur. The series is free and open to DeKalb County residents. Upcoming workshops include: Fit for Life, 10 a.m. to noon, today3/9; Survival in the City, 10 a.m. to noon, April 20; and An Ounce of Prevention, 10 a.m. to noon, May 18.

Information: 404-298-4080 or Mea Watkins

Beacon Hill may start soon

Demolition of Decatur’s Beacon Hill/Trinity High site, originally scheduled to begin in February, has been moved to early April. The $36 million “adaptive reuse” of the former African-American schools will, upon completion, feature a new two-story 32,000 square-foot police department. It’ll also include a new gym and renovation of Beacon Hill Elementary into the new 25,000 square-foot central office for city schools. Once begun total construction should take one year.

Bill Banks for the AJC

Pet registration, adoption fees go up

A new ordinance in DeKalb requires veterinarians to notify the county when they vaccinate pets for rabies, to allow the county to collect registration fees.

Vets also may collect the registration and charge a $1.50 convenience fee.

In addition, the county is increasing registration fees from $5 to $10 yearly for altered dogs, cats and ferrets and from $15 to $25 for unaltered animals. A new three-year fee will be $25 for altered and $60 for unaltered animals. April Hunt


Airport tax ban bill passes Georgia House

Georgia state representatives passed a bill this week that would ban tax collection from airport vendors, a move that some Clayton County officials say would cost the county an estimated $13 million in revenues. House Bill 399, which passed in the House 111-56, now goes to the state senate. If it becomes law, the bill would prevent Clayton from collecting taxes from businesses that have leases at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Several members of the Clayton County Legislative Delegation, along with the county NAACP, have opposed the bill. Tammy Joyner

Peachtree City settles harassment claim

The City Council of Peachtree City has ratified the terms of a settlement related to sexual harassment charges against former fire chief Edwin Eiswerth. Mediation last month resulted in $350,000 being awarded to volunteer firefighter Martine Piers, all but $50,000 of which will come from the city’s insurance via the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Free CPR/AED training in College Park

College Park’s Fire & Emergency Medical Services is offering two free CPR/AED courses 9 a.m. - noon and 1 - 4 p.m. Saturdays and Wednesdays March 16 - April 27 in the College Park Public Safety Building, 3737 College St. The course will focus on situations for work and home, covering the standards of the American Heart Association. Information: 404-766-8248; Lisa Gibson for the AJC

Emergency planning workshop in Henry

The Henry County Emergency Management Agency is partnering with AmeriCorps to host an emergency planning workshop 9 a.m.-noon Thursday at the Henry County Emergency Operations Center, 526 Industrial Blvd., McDonough. Participants will learn how to survive independently for at least 72 hours by putting together an inexpensive “ready kit” and developing a plan on how to reconnect if families are separated during a disaster. Information: 770-288-7865 or Monroe Roark for the AJC

Commissioner touts youth program

The chairman of the Fayette County Commission is encouraging rising high school sophomores and juniors to apply to a regional leadership program. Steve Brown is offering to write recommendations for qualified students interested in the Model Atlanta Regional Commission. The program includes six months of study, debate and activities related to area issues. Information: Floyd Jones at by March 29. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Networking event set for Morrow businesses

Businesses in Morrow are invited to a networking event 8:03 a.m. Tuesday in the Morrow Center at Southlake, 1180 Southlake Circl, featuring advice on growing their businesses. A meet-gree-eat session starts at 7:32 a.m. Reservations: 770-968-1623; Information: Michael McLaughlin, 770-961-4002;

Lisa Gibson for the AJC