County by county news for Saturday


Man accused of ‘hog-tieing,’ abusing boys

Sean Patrick Sterling, 35, of Powder Springs, was arrested and charged with two counts of cruelty to his girlfriend’s children in the second degree and two counts of false imprisonment, all felonies. The 6-foot-2, 290-pound Sterling allegedly tied the arms and feet together of two boys, ages 8 and 14, and forced them face down on the floor for an extended period of time as a form of punishment, according to his arrest warrant.

The children’s mother was also arrested and charged with two counts of cruelty to children in the second degree for allegedly allowing the abuse to occur and not seeking help. Alexis Stevens

Kennesaw to meet on dumpster diving

Kennesaw will hold a public hearing 6:30 p.m. Monday about a proposed ordinance to prohibit scavenging items from commercial dumpster and recycling bins. The city’s police department requested the policy after an increase in metal thefts from commercial bins. The maximum penalty would be six months in jail and or a $1,000 fine. The meeting will be at City Hall, 2529 Stephenson Ave. Information:

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Ghanian ambassador to U.S. to speak at KSU

Ghana’s ambassador to the United States, Daniel Ohene Agyekum, is scheduled to speak during a three-day international conference and business forum at Kennesaw State University March 21-23. The conference is part of the university’s “Year of Ghana,” the 28th annual year-long study of a country or region of the world, and examines the West African nation’s status as a model for democratic governance, economic growth and sustainable development. The conference will be held in social sciences building 22 at Kennesaw State University, 1000 Chastain Road. Information:

Mea Watkins

Explorers recognized for achievements

Cobb County Police Explorers were recognized for achievements at the Southeast Regional Championship in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Of the 3,000 police, fire and E.M.S. participants, the Cobb Police Explorers finished first in “Domestic Violence,” fourth in “Unknown Problem” and sixth in “Warrant Service.” Among the top individuals recognized at the competition was Cobb Police Explorer Deputy Chief Brandon Reed, who won second place in “Officer Survival.”Andria Simmons

Police motorcycles, cars to be auctioned

Powder Springs will conduct an online auction Monday through March 29 to sell two police motorcycles and four Ford Crown Victoria police cars. Register:


Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Kennesaw sets qualifying dates

Kennesaw has set Aug. 26 to Aug. 28 as dates to qualify for three at-large council seats.

Post 3-5 seats up for election Nov. 5 are held by Bruce Jenkins, Bill Thrash and Jeff Duckett. Candidates can file at the City Hall training room, 2529 J.O. Stephenson Ave., from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Information:

Tucker McQueen for the AJC


Program to educate about Prophet Muhammad

Learn about the Prophet Muhammad at a conference, “Muhammad-Messenger of Peace,” which is also intended to build bridges across faith communities at 5 to 7 p.m. today at the Baitul Baqi Mosque, 6113 Oakbrook Parkway, Norcross.

The free event is being sponsored by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Georgia Chapter.


Registration is suggested.

Shelia M. Poole

Lilburn community servants honored

Lilburn will host an Arbor Day celebration from 11 a.m. to noon today at City Park. The celebration will include the dedication and planting of a tree in honor of former mayor Diana Preston and the dedication of a bench to honor the late Diane Bronk, a longtime city volunteer. The first 50 families in attendance will receive a 16-inch seedling to take home. The Lilburn Woman’s Club will provide refreshments. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Suwanee looking for Arbor Day volunteers

Suwanee needs volunteers to help plant Japanese maple trees at Sims Lake Park beginning at 9 a.m. today in celebration of Arbor Day. Volunteers will plant trees in the landscaped area along the lake near the Sunset sculpture. To volunteer, contact Daniel Robinson at This year marks the 23rd consecutive year Suwanee has been recognized as a Tree City USA for urban forestry management by the Arbor Day Foundation. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Casino Night to benefit Snellville garden

The Gwinnett Sunrise Rotary Club and the Community Garden at Snellville Committee will host St. Patrick’s Eve Casino Night 6 to 10 p.m. tonight at the Summit Chase Country Club, 3197 Classic Drive in Snellville. Sponsors are needed for the event, which aims to raise funds for the construction of a pavilion at the Community Garden at Snellville. To become a sponsor, contact

The event is open to the public. Tickets are $50. Reservations: Mea Watkins

Duluth continues with Women in History

The Duluth Historical Society and Museum will continue the third part of their series, “History Comes Alive” from 10 a.m. to noon today at the Strickland House, 2956 Buford Hwy., Duluth with stories by Candace Morgan about Alice Harrell Strickland during the development of early Duluth. Strickland was known as an outspoken female rights activist, politician and humanitarian. Admission: $5. Information:

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Peachtree Corners networking event

The Peachtree Corners Business Association is hosting a networking event for individuals and business professionals 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast Basil’s Kitchen & Bar.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Hearing delayed for man accused of shooting wife

A pre-trial hearing for Michael Parson, accused of shooting his wife eight times outside of the couple’s Sandy Springs apartment was delayed Friday and a new date was not set.

Parson, 43, could face up to 61 years in prison if convicted, according to testimony in a Thursday hearing.

Parson allegedly shot Adina Parson, 40, on April 20, 2012, critically injuring her after she left the apartment late at night. Adina Parson, 40, an attorney with the state’s Department of Public Health, survived and continues to recover, her family has said. Parson has the option of accepting a plea deal and avoiding a trial, but the state has said it will seek the maximum sentence. Alexis Stevens

Crash dumps waste on morning commute

A wreck before 5:30 a.m. on Interstate 575 northbound at Towne Lake Parkway in Cherokee County turned traffic into a stinking mess. The crash involved a box truck and a dump truck that was hauling “processed waste.”

Both trucks overturned, and the dump truck’s load of waste was spilled onto the highway. Two injuries were reported and the trucks were cleared around 9:45 a.m. Mike Morris

Fire forces motorists seek alternate route

All southbound lanes of Ga. 400 were shut down in northern Forsyth County because a tractor-trailer loaded with cardboard caught fire before 4 a.m. near mile post 39 north of Cumming.

The Department of Transportation estimated that the road opened around 10 a.m. Mike Morris

Holly Springs hosts

development meeting

The Holly Springs Downtown Development Authority holds a business outreach event 6 p.m. Wednesday in the municipal courtroom, 3235 Holly Springs Parkway. Officials say it’s both a chance to exchange ideas on pending downtown development plans and to promote business-community networking.


Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Fire hits home in Woodstock

Fire heavily damaged a Woodstock home Thursday morning. Cherokee County and Woodstock firefighters responded to 108 Eubanks Court shortly before 10: 30 a.m., and reported extensive fire, smoke and water damage to the home after knocking the blaze down. Nobody was home at the time, and nobody was hurt.

The cause is under investigation. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Milton, Roswell accept bulky trash today

The cities of Milton and Roswell are offering residents a bulky trash amnesty day 8 a.m. to noon today at Roswell Public Works Division, 1810 Hembree Road, Roswell.

Only city of Milton and Roswell residents will be served.

Proof of residency is required (utility bills are preferred). New this year is shoe recycling.

Other items accepted are: tires, sofas, tables, refrigerators, chairs, washers, dryers, televisions, deactivated cell phones, computers, electronics, mattresses and box springs.

Information: Cindy Eade, 678-242-2509 or Andria Simmons


Fire closes train, sidewalk at airport

An electrical fire temporarily shut down the train and “moving sidewalk” Thursday night at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The fire occurred between Concourses C and D at approximately 7:29 p.m. and was quickly extinguished by airport employees.

Travelers were diverted away from the area while investigators tried to determine the cause of the fire.

No injuries were reported, an airport spokeswoman said.

Alexis Stevens

Program to help smokers quit offered

The American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking clinic, a free program that focuses on specific skills and techniques needed to help smokers quit, will be offered at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, 1968 Peachtree Rd. N.W. Registration is required.

For dates, times and registration, call 404-605-2913.

To find other Freedom From Smoking programs in your area, call 770-434-5864, or visit Mea Watkins

Teacher finalist for statewide honor

Atlanta’s teacher of the year is also a finalist to become the Georgia teacher of the year.

Tamika Nicole Ball, a math teacher at Therrell High School, is one of 10 finalists for the statewide honor. Ball was previously named 2012-2013 teacher of the year for Atlanta Public Schools.

The winner will be announced at the Georgia Teacher of the Year Banquet on May 3.

Mark Niesse

Free tax prep assistance for seniors

Fulton County seniors may receive free 2012 tax preparation assistance daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. now through April 5 at the Harriett G. Darnell Senior Multipurpose Facility, 677 Fairburn Road.

The service is available by appointment only.

Information: Anita Woods at 404-699-8580.

Veronica Fields Johnson


Sneiderman pleads not guilty at arraignment

Andrea Sneiderman pleaded not guilty Friday to all charges in the reworked 16-count indictment in her husband’s death.

The new indictment downplays talk of a conspiracy between Sneiderman and her former boss, Hemy Neuman, who was sentenced to life in prison last March for fatally shooting Rusty Sneiderman.

The mother of two is charged with one count of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, seven counts of perjury, four counts of giving false statements, and one count each of concealing material facts and hindering the apprehension of a criminal. Sneiderman’s trial is scheduled to begin July 29. Christian Boone

New school board to hold first meeting

The newly-constituted DeKalb County school board has scheduled its first meeting for 6 p.m. Wednesday at school system headquarters, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain.

Gov. Nathan Deal this week appointed six new members after suspending as many last week to avert a threatened loss of accreditation. The six join three members elected last year and spared by Deal.

The agenda was not immediately available, but officials are expected to post it at by 6 p.m. Monday. Ty Tagami

Special commission election is Tuesday

The special election for Decatur’s District 1 commission seat is Tuesday, with Greg Coleson and Scott Drake running for the office held by Bill Floyd the previous two decades. Only registered voters in District 1, mostly north of College Avenue, can vote. Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Polling places: First Baptist Church of Decatur (308 Clairemont Avenue), First Christian Church of Decatur (601 West Ponce de Leon Avenue), Holy Trinity Parish (515 East Ponce de Leon Avenue) and The Church at Decatur Heights (735 Sycamore Drive).

Bill Banks for the AJC

Firm proposes complex for Decatur

An Atlanta developer is proposing to build a $40 million mix of apartments and shops on West Ponce de Leon Avenue in downtown Decatur.

Carter USA would be build 240 apartments and 10,000-square feet of retail to the existing Decatur Court office building. April Hunt

Meeting Monday for stormwater fee hike

DeKalb County will host a public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday at the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, on a proposal to raise its stormwater fee. Residents and businesses now pay $4 per water/sewer billing cycle for the fee, which pays to treat runoff water for pollution. A proposal would raise the amount to $5 per billing cycle, or every other month.

Information: 404-371-3681.

April Hunt

Clarkston holding Arbor Day planting

Clarkston will celebrate Arbor Day at 9 a.m. today with a tree planting in the Friendship Forest Nature Preserve, 43830 East Ponce de Leon Ave.

The event will also celebrate improvements made to the park, such as new wildlife trails.

Information: 404-296-6489. April Hunt


Fayette County GOP elects slate of new leaders

A slate of seventeen new officers, mostly tied to the local tea party, won seats in secret ballot during the Fayette Republican Party convention recently.

The new officers include: retired attorney Scott Fabricius (chairman), veteran educator Tyrone Jones (vice chair), business owner Bonnie Willis (secretary) and Dr. John Potts (treasurer). The slate of new officers effectively end a long stretch of power held by former party chairman Lane Watts and his mother, Marilyn Watts, a member of the county board of elections. Tammy Joyner

Police catch carjacking suspects

Fayetteville police and Georgia State Patrol apprehended three juveniles Thursday afternoon following a robbery and carjacking at the Kohl’s store at the Fayette Pavilion. Three suspects aged 14-16, from Atlanta and DeKalb, led police on a high-speed chase that ended near Interstate 20. All have been charged as adults with armed robbery, aggravated assault, theft by taking motor vehicle and attempting to elude. Gang-related charges may be filed. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

“Music for Meals” benefits seniors

Fayette Senior Services will host “Music for Meals,” a benefit dinner 6-8 p.m. March 20 at Life Enrichment Center, 4 Center Dr., Fayetteville. Entertainment includes local musicians. Proceeds benefit Meals on Wheels. Tickets: $15. Information: Jill Howard Church for the AJC

County offices closed Good Friday

Henry County government offices and the Henry County Recycling Center will be closed March 29 for a floating holiday. The Recycling Center will be open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, March 30. County government offices will reopen April 1.Monroe Roark for the AJC

Development meeting set for Fort McPherson

Interested parties seeking an update on the redevelopment of Fort McPherson have an opportunity to learn more information at a board meeting 7 p.m. March 19 at 1794 Walker St. You will need to provide a driver’s license or other identification to the gate guard and announce that you are going to the MILRA meeting.

Information: John Thompson for the AJC

Summit unites schools, religious groups

Fulton County Schools is hosting its second Faith Summit 10 a.m. to noon March 20, to forge partnerships between schools and the religious community. Leaders of local houses of worship are invited to a morning of collaborative discussion with Superintendent Robert Avossa, school principals and other district leaders.

The idea of the summit is to encourage partnerships between the district and religious groups to improve student achievement, increase community support of schools and the district’s Strategic Plan goals of increasing graduation and preparing students for college or work.

The meeting is at the Professional Development Center, 3121 Norman Berry Dr., East Point. Jeffry Scott