County by county news for Saturday


Mableton Day volunteer meeting on Monday

A meeting for Mableton Day community is 7 p.m. Monday at the Mable House Arts Center, 5239 Floyd Road for volunteers for the 9th annual event on May 17 - also at the Mable House Complex.

Organizations wanting to compete for the Community Spirit Awards - with cash prizes of $1,000, $750 and $500 - must attend orientation at a community meeting.

Event coordinators are three nonprofit organizations based in the Mableton area - the Mableton Improvement Coalition, Amateur Advocate Association, Inc. and South Cobb Arts Alliance.

Information: Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

West Cobb Business Association plans expo

Wednesday is the early registration deadline to reserve an exhibit table for the annual West Cobb Business Association Community Expo from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at Hillgrove High School, 4165 Luther Ward Road, Powder Springs.

Costs: $75, members; $125 that includes a one-year WCBA membership, nonmembers.

Prices go up by $10 after Jan. 15.

Information: email  Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Relay for Life kicks off season next week

The American Cancer Society will launch Relay For Life season with a kickoff of the Cobb Relay 5:30 p.m. on Monday at the Marietta Museum of History, 1 Depot Street, Marietta.

Information: 770-429-1624, or Arlinda Smith Broady

Musical auditions Sunday, Tuesday

The Theatre Project will hold auditions 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday and 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Mable House Arts Center, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton for ages 9 through 18 to perform in the musica “HONK!” based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling.”

Registration: 770-819-3285.

Information: or Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Volunteer group to work on new trail

A volunteer group that helps the National Park Service maintain almost 20 miles of trail at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park will work 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. today on a newly approved trail called the 24 Gun Trail.

Volunteers will meet in the new parking lot on Old Highway 41 near the park visitor center.

Kennesaw Mountain Trail Club volunteers meet on the second Saturday of each month.

Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Benefit will aid victims of domestic violence

Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds and Solicitor Barry Morgan are chairing an event this weekend to help domestic violence victims.

The “Boots, Bluejeans and Country Music” benefit, 6 to 9 p.m. today at Jim R. Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road, Marietta., will help programs and a domestic violence shelter sponsored by the YWCA of Northwest Georgia.

Admission is $30.

Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC


Movie studio coming to Gwinnett Village

The Gwinnett Village CID has announced Jacoby Development’s plans to close a deal in April to convert 125 acres of unused buildings and land at the OFS site in Norcross to the Atlanta Media Campus. The $1 billion project will include seven sound stages, making the site one the largest movie studios in Georgia and fourth largest in the nation.

Community leaders anticipate the new venture along I-85 at Jimmy Carter Boulevard will bring hundreds of jobs and help revive Gwinnett Village with high-end restaurants, housing and businesses. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Berkeley Lake may start sidewalk project

Berkeley Lake Mayor Lois Salter reported to homeowners Thursday the results of a pedestrian safety study that recommends widening streets and adding sidewalks to roads around Lake Berkeley.

Since construction to city right-of-way would mean significant change within the community, city leaders are seeking all resident’s feedback by January 24.

All comments, questions encouraged to Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Ivy Creek school hosts leadership academy

Gwinnett County’s Ivy Creek Elementary is hosting a “leadership academy”for parents and students 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. today.

Information, call 678-714-3655. Nancy Badertscher

Dacula Heart Day’ event today

“Dacula Heart Day” is 8:30 a.m. today at Dacula United Methodist Church, 2655 Fence Road. Gwinnett Fire Department and Gwinnett Medical Center personnel will train in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, with certification available for $5.

Registration required.

Blood donations accepted and heart screenings taken.

Breakfast: $2. Proceeds will purchase emergency defibrillators for public places around the city.

Information: 678-677-1864. Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Citizens project committee meets

The Citizens Project Selection Committee will meet to discuss the road safety and alignment project category at 6 p.m. Monday in Conference Room A of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville.

There will also be a vote on school safety issues. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Suwanee’s old town on National Register

Approximately 40 properties within a 67-acre area of Suwanee’s historic Old Town district have now been officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Contributing properties within the district will now be eligible for federal and state tax incentives for improvements to help preserve the property’s historic value.

Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Cherokeefire officials announce promotions

The Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services Department announced the promotions of 17 firefighters Wednesday. Three firefighters; Ricky Collett, Mark Orr, and Thomas Pellitier, were promoted to battalion chief. The remainder were bumped up to Captain, Lieutenant and Sergeant.

The promotions took effect Jan. 5, and were determined through an exam/interview process. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Forsyth teacher award finalists announced

Forsyth County Schools have three finalists for 2014 Teacher of the Year: Julie Auten, a fifth grade teacher at Silver City Elementary, Kristen Deuschle, a media specialist at Piney Grove Middle School, and Lisa Robinson, who teaches Spanish at Lambert High School. The winner will be announced at the district’s 2014 Celebration of Excellence Feb. 14. Mark Woolsey

Woodstock plans next public safety academy

The city of Woodstock is accepting applications for its spring, 2014 Citizens Public Safety Academy. The program will cover aspects of both police and fire work, and will run 6:30- 8:30 p.m. each Thursday night from Feb. 27 through May 8. Applicants must be at least 19 and pass a background check for the first come, first serve program. More information: 770-592-6000, Ext. 1172. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

U.S. Rep Woodall sets town hall meetings

U.S. Rep Rob Woodall, R-Ga., whose 7th district includes parts of Forsyth County, will hold town hall meetings. Two telephone town hall sessions are set at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Jan. 16. An in-person session is 7 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Forsyth County Administration Building, 110 E. Main St., Cumming. Information: Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Alpharetta swears in re-elected council

Three Alpharetta City Council members re-elected in November took their seats at Monday night’s meeting.

Post 1 Councilman Donald Mitchell, Post 2’s Mike Kennedy and Post 3 member Chris Owens were sworn in, along with Municipal Court Judge Barry Zimmerman. Staffers also updated the Council on the City Center project, saying that City Hall, the parking deck and public park are still on track for a September finish. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Big Creek Parkway project meeting set

The city of Roswell Department of Transportation is holding a public information meeting on the Big Creek Parkway project 5 p.m. Jan. 21 at Mimosa Elementary School, 1550 Warsaw Road.

The proposed new road extendes 3.3. miles from Warsaw Road just north of Holcomb Bridge Road, east across Ga. 400 between the Holcomb Bridge Road and Mansell Road interchanges, and connecting to the intersection of Old Alabama Road and Holcomb Woods Parkway before ending at Holcomb Bridge Road.

Information:  Kent A. Miles for the AJC


Woman sentenced in fraud case

An Atlanta nurse has pleaded guilty to fraudulently billing Georgia Medicaid for care she claimed to be providing to a patient – even though the patient was already dead, the state Attorney General’s Office said.

In September 2012, Jeannette Mary Hokanson, while working for a home health agency, submitted nursing visit notes for a deceased patient and which fraudulently indicated the patient was still alive. Most of the notes also contained a forged signature of the deceased patient, the AG’s Office said. Fulton County Judge Walter Lovett sentenced Hokanson under the First Offender Act to 10 years on probation. Bill Rankin

Superintendent teaches school board

Atlanta’s incoming school board learned from Superintendent Erroll Davis on Friday about making decisions with a focus on students.

Davis briefed the board on the school district’s strategic plan, core beliefs, division of power between the board and administration, graduation rates, policy implementation and effective management.

The new board takes office Monday, when representatives will be sworn in and convene their monthly meeting. Mark Niesse

Teen auditions planned for spring festival

TheWells Fargo ArtsVibe Teen Program is conducting auditions for its Voices & Vibes Festival today and Sundayat the Woodruff Arts Center. The festival takes place May 10 and gives teens the opportunity to express themselves among their peers through all forms of art.

Registration is required.

Information: Arlinda Smith Broady

Men sought to mentor inner-city youth

Priority Male Initiative, a free life-skills and job readiness program sponsored by the Community Council of Metropolitan Atlanta Inc. is seeking males to mentor at-risk young males, 18-28 years of age.

Information: 404-221-1222 or or Arlinda Smith Broady


Decatur’s Wilson named to NIAAA Board

Decatur High Athletics Director Carter Wilson has been appointed to the national board of directors for the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. One of only 15 board positions nationwide, the announcement came during the NIAAA’s recent conference in Anaheim, Ca. Wilson will represent Section 3, basically the southeast, as an at-large member. Wilson, 59, was previously head basketball coach at Decatur High, Tucker High and Georgia State. Bill Banks for the AJC

Continued leadership on school board

The DeKalb County school board quietly selected leaders for 2014 — the same two men who led the board most of last year.

Unlike in the past with a different board when leadership votes brought conflict, this board easily settled Monday on renewing Melvin Johnson as chairman and Jim McMahan as vice chair.

Responsibilities of the leadership role include communicating board position with the public and keeping order at meetings. Ty Tagami

Legislative update for parents

The Emory LaVista Parent Council, an education advocacy group, hosts a discussion 9:15 a.m. Wednesday Jan. 15 at at Briarlake Elementary School, 3590 LaVista Road.

State lawmakers Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) and Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta) will join DeKalb Commissioner Jeff Rader to discuss politics as the 2014 session at the state capitol gets underway.

Information: Ty Tagami

School district goes mobile with info

The DeKalb County School District has new smartphone apps that offer calendars, phone numbers, addresses and other basic information.

The app, available free for phones running the Apple and Android operating systems, includes news, a tip line and a district directory.

Get it online at the iTunes and Google Play stores. Ty Tagami

Rep. Drenner to host issues breakfast

State Representative Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) will host an Eggs and Issues Breakfast and Conversation 9 to 11 a.m. today at Clarkston First Baptist Church Family Life Center, 4007 Church St.

During this meeting, Rep. Drenner will discuss issues that will arise during the 2014 Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly and hear comments and questions from her constituents. Arlinda Smith Broady

County to host annual MLK celebration

DeKalb County will present its annual MLK Celebration program, “Celebrating Life, Freedom and Diversity,” 11:30 a.m. Friday in the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur. Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., King Center Senior Fellow to deliver keynote address. The 2014 tribute marks the 30th consecutive year DeKalb will host the employee-planned event honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King.

The celebration is free and open to the public. Arlinda Smith Broady


Clayton commission to hold planning retreat

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners will meet Jan. 18 for a retreat at the J.W. Smith Community Use Building, 143 Northbridge Rd. in Hampton.

The 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. retreat will focus on 2014 goals for the county. Among the goals: this year’s legislative agenda and projects to be funded by a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, which voters will decide on later this year. Tammy Joyner

Brown keeps Fayette chairman post

Despite recent public arguments and a threatened challenge for its leadership, the Fayette County Board of Commissioners unanimously re-elected Steve Brown as its chairman Thursday night.

“We’ve talked things out,” Brown said. “Things are healed, and we’re back to full speed.”

Charles Oddo was elected vice chairman, and Dennis Davenport was confirmed as the county attorney. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Small Business Boot Camp set for today

The McDonough Small Business Boot Camp, hosted by Henry County Commissioner Bruce Holmes and McDonough Councilwoman Sandra Vincent, is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at Jazzy Brown Jazz Cafe, 1101 McDonough Place, McDonough. Admission is free.

Information: Monroe Roark for the AJC

Credit cards now accepted at tag offices

Customers can now pay for motor vehicle tags in person using credit or debit cards at both the McDonough and Stockbridge tag offices.

The Henry County Tax Commissioner’s office made the announcement just before Christmas.

Previously customers could only make in-person transactions by cash or check.

The office also offers a variety of services online at Monroe Roark for the AJC

Fayette partially restores teacher pay

Fayette County teachers and staff who were furloughed for two days this school year will have part of their pay reinstated as of February.

The Board of Education voted unanimously recently to amend this year’s budget and allocate $1.2 million of its projected $21 million fund balance to restoring the furlough pay for the second half of the year. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Piedmont Hospital offering scholarship

The Piedmont Fayette Hospital Auxiliary is accepting applications for the Elizabeth Wilmot Bull Memorial Scholarship until Jan. 20.

The merit-based award is open to students enrolled in a medical- or health-related field of study (except pre-med or pre-nursing) at an accredited Georgia college or university.

Information: 770-719-7098. Jill Howard Church for the AJC