County by county news for Saturday


Wholesome Wave Georgia at Mableton market

Wholesome Wave Georgia staff will be at the Mableton Farmers’ Market 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mable House Complex, 5239 Floyd Road to answer questions and help eligible people apply, re-apply or renew for SNAP benefits.

This free service will be completely confidential.

Customers, who have SNAP EBT cards to buy produce at the market, will double the value because of the Wholesome Wave Georgia Double Value Coupon Program.

The market is open every Thursday morning through Sept. 4.

Information: Carolyn Cunningham

Smyrna civil war battle exhibit opens Tuesday

Civil War historians Michael Shaffer, Brian Wills and William Marchione will talk at events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle for Smyrna Camp Ground.

The exhibit, “Smyrna in the Civil War, ” opens 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through 10 a.m.-9 p.m. July 3 at Brawner Hall, Taylor-Brawner Park, 3180 Atlanta Road, Smyrna.

The Cox/Armstrong Civil War Collection is also on display at Smyrna Library, Brawner Hall and Smyrna City Hall.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Commissioner seeks volunteers, interns

Cobb County District Four Commissioner Lisa Cupid is looking for volunteers and interns to serve on her staff.

Various positions will assist with administrative work, communications, community and constituent outreach, economic development and policy research.

Resumes, including email address and area of interest, may be sent to

Information: 770-528-3312.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Marietta police offer place to drop off meds

The Marietta Police Department, 240 Lemon St., has started a permanent place to drop off unused prescription medications at a secured box that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the station.

Information: Sgt. Rick Redd at 770-794-5306. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Commissioner seeks volunteers, interns

Cobb County District Four Commissioner Lisa Cupid is looking for volunteers and interns to serve on her staff.

Various positions will assist with administrative work, communications, community and constituent outreach, economic development and policy research.

Resumes, including email address and area of interest, may be sent to

Information: 770-528-3312.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Marietta seeks ethics committee member

Marietta is looking for a resident to serve on the city ethics committee which reviews complaints filed against city council members and determines violations of the city code. Applicants must be a city resident and willing to serve a two-year term.

Information: or City Clerk Stephanie Guy at

Tucker McQueen for the AJC


Lawrenceville police officer drowns in Lake Lanier

Off-duty Lawrenceville police officer Canon Collender, 35, drowned in Lake Lanier Thursday evening.

Forsyth County divers recovered Callender’s body around 7 p.m., a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said.

Callender, who had been a Lawrenceville officer for about four years, drowned at Little Ridge Park near Cumming.

His body was located 35 feet from the shore in water 10 feet deep, according to authorities. Michelle E. Shaw

Lilburn sets approval of tax rate

The Lilburn City Council is set to adopt the 2014 millage rate July 14. the proposed rate is 4.45 mills, unchanged from 2013. However, the city expects to collect $62,735 more in property taxes, about 4.18 percent more than 2013 due to increased property values. Because the total amount of taxes collected citywide will increase, the state considers this to be a tax increase. Three public hearings are required: 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday and 6 p.m. July 10 all at Lilburn City Hall, 76 Main Street. Information:

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Sugar Hill city manager Bob Hail retires

Sugar Hill City Manager Robert M. “Bob” Hail’s retirement ends 13 years in Sugar Hill. Paul Radford, former Deputy Director of the Georgia Municipal Association will become City Manager on July 1. Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Sugar Hill plans downtown EpiCenter

As part of Sugar Hill’s ongoing development of the downtown area, the city has announced plans for a mixed-use development being called the EpiCenter @ Sugar Hill. The EpiCenter will consist of a sports gym, lap pool, and community theatre wrapped with commercial space for restaurants, retail and offices, all to be managed by the city’s Downtown Development Authority. Information: Scott Andrews at 770-645-6716.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Lane closures continue at Jimmy Carter

Construction of the diverging diamond interchange at I-85 and Jimmy Carter Boulevard continues next week with lane closures of one right lane between Crescent Drive and I-85 Northbound.

All lane closures are dependent on weather conditions and may change.


Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Quilts of Valor exhibit to stop in Snellville

More than a dozen quilts, which will eventually find themselves comforting U.S. soldiers, will be on display 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through August at Snellville City Hall, 2342 Oak Road.

Quilts of Valor, a nonprofit organization founded in 2003, will display the lap-sized quilts to later be sent to troops serving across the world.


Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Authorites check on Cherokee sex offenders

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office teamed up with state probation officers Wednesday night to do their twice-yearly verification of sex offenders living in Cherokee County. Authorities determined that 170 of 210 offenders living in Cherokee were complying with state residency restrictions. Deputies will verify the other 40 in coming days. One arrest was made: Jeremy Gunter, 19, of Holly Springs was charged with probation violation for being out after curfew. He was booked into the Cherokee County jail. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Suspects charged in Cherokee car cases

Four Marietta teens have been charged in connection with a recent rash of car break-ins and thefts in southwest Cherokee County. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s office says Derek Mandeville, 17,and Nasir Ali,19, face various charges of burglary and motor vehicle theft and are jailed in Cobb County. Michael Steele, 18, is in the Cherokee County lockup facing similar charges. The fourth suspect, 16, will be summoned to juvenile court.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Northside early voting plans set

Northside election officials have set early voting plans for the July 22 runoff. Cherokee County: 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday at Cherokee County Elections Office, 400 E. Main St., Canton. Voting will be the same time for the following two weeks through July 18. Forsyth County: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursdayand same time next week through July 11 the Forsyth County Administration Building, 110 E. Main St., Cumming. Several additional locations will open the following week. Information and

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Northside streets, Ga. 400 will see closures

The Hospital Highway Bicycle Ride will prompt northside street and freeway lane closures Sunday. Georgia 400 southbound between Holcomb Bridge and Northridge roads will be shut down 7 a.m. Portions of Haynes Bridge Road, North Point Parkway and Windward Parkway will be affected. Roads across parts of Fulton, Cherokee and Forsyth counties will see rolling closures. Information:

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Forsyth finalizes new superintendent

The Forsyth County Board of Education voted Wednesday to confirm Jeff Bearden as superintendent, after naming him the sole finalist for the job earlier. Bearden is the outgoing superintendent of the Rome City School System. His first day on the job will be Sept. 2, replacing L.C. “Buster” Evans, who is retiring June 30. Mark Woolsey

Johns Creek will open amphitheater

The Johns Creek Newtown Park Amphitheater will host a ribbon cutting 7:15 p.m. today at 3150 Old Alabama Road. The 10,600-square-foot open-air facility is designed to seat up to 440 people under cover, and another 1,000 on terraced grass. Johns Creek Symphony will play 7:30 p.m as the first event in the summer concert series. Mark Woolsey for the AJC


APS cheating trial could take months

The trial of 13 defendants in the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating case remains on track start Aug. 11, lawyers involved in the case said today.

From jury selection to verdict, the trial could take 4 months in what Deputy District Attorney Fani Willis called a “best case scenario.”

More than 1,000 jurors will be called in the case. Jury selection could take two weeks or longer.

The length of the case could make it more difficult to find enough jurors.

“This case has had so much publicity and so much hoopla,” Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter said during a hearing on pre-trial motions today. “There’s not a whole lot of people who are going to be able to stop their lives for six months” or the length of the trial.

It’s still unclear whether former Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall, who has Stage IV breast cancer, will be present for the trial. Her defense team will report to the court on her health next month. Molly Bloom

Rain barrel workshop today at library

Fulton County Department of Water Resources staff will be at the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library’s Ponce de Leon branch, 980 Ponce de Leon Avenue, at 1 p.m. today to teach people how they can make their own rain barrel.

Visitors will receive instructions and all the necessary materials. The rain barrels can be taken home at the completion of the course.

The class is free and open to the public, and reservations are required. There is a $40 fee for the materials.

Information: or 404-885-7820. Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Patriotic concert at First Presbyterian

First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta is hosting a benefit concert for veterans on Sunday at 1328 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta.

A potluck supper at 5:30 p.m. will precede the concert at 7. Organist Jens Korndoerfer is the featured performer for the patriotic-themed concert.

Information: 404-228-7732.

Kent A. Miles for the AJC


Thousands stolen Dunwoody steakhouse

An unknown suspect got away with more than $25,000 from McKendrick’s Steakhouse in Dunwoody Thursday morning. A man returning from the bank with $26,400 in was approached from behind by an unidentified man with a large silver handgun.

The suspect took the money which belonged to the restaurant and jumped into a car, where a second suspect was inside and the two drove away. Police reported the vehicle is a silver medium sized four-door sedan with dark tinted windows. Anyone with information should call Dunwoody police at 678-382-691 Taylor West

Decatur launches first mobile app

Decatur has launched its first mobile app available for iPhones and Androids. The app includes, among other features, a link to the city’s website, a list of city services and department phone numbers, a calendar of events, links and directions to shops, restaurants and recreation facilities, up-to-date news feeds and emergency notifications. It can be downloaded for free by searching “City of Decatur official” on the App Store or Google Play. Bill Banks for the AJC

Avondale ‘Erector Set’ demolition near

Avondale Estates city manager Clai Brown said closings on two of the city’s most visible properties are within a month of completion. A still unnamed buyer is close to purchasing the 13-acre former Fenner Dunlop site which, when combined with four downtown acres the city owns, will eventually house residential, retail and a senior-living facility. Also, upon purchase (also an unnamed buyer) of property on Maple Street, longtime eyesore “The Erector Set” will be razed for a structure with first-level retail and upper-level residential.

Bill Banks for the AJC

Healthy Life Expo in Decatur today

The third annual Healthy Life Expo, a community event promoting healthy eating and active living, will take place at 5 p.m. today at the field behind Peace Lutheran Church, 1679 Columbia Drive, Decatur.

There will be tours of the community garden, a food sampling table and a produce sale, along with activities for children, exercise demonstrations and health screenings. The event is free to the public and guests are asked to bring a can of nonperishable food for donation to homeless veterans.

Partners in Action for Healthy Living Inc. is hosting the event.

Information: or 404.996.6324. Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Festival, concert in Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain’s 175th anniversary celebration continues with an evening of family-friendly activities today in Stone Mountain Village.

The Second Street Children’s Festival at 5 p.m., between East Mountain Street and Manor Drive, will feature a variety of activities for participants of all ages. At 7 p.m. a bicycle parade will lead children and families to the Pavilion for an evening of musical entertainment by the Georgia Brass Band and a community choir made up of singers from participating area churches.

Information: www.stone

Kent A. Miles for the AJC


Fayette offers funds for interchange

Fayette County is offering to divert more than $24 million originally earmarked for the east and west Fayetteville bypasses to help the state hasten road improvements at the I-85 interchange at Ga. Highway 74. Traffic has become steadily worse in recent years, and construction of a partial cloverleaf is planned. Commuters in Fayette, Coweta and south Fulton counties are the most affected. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Recreation commission needs two members

The Fayette County Recreation Commission has two volunteer openings on its board. The five-person advisory group meets monthly to review, evaluate and make recommendations about capital and operational needs. One term expires in 2016 and another goes until 2018; to apply, call 770-305-5102 or contact by July 18.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Farmers market in full bloom

The Henry County Farmers Market is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday through August at Jason T. Harper Event Center, 97 Lake Dow Road, McDonough. In addition to local, seasonal fruits and vegetables, handmade crafts, gifts homemade baked goods, jams, jellies, etc. are for sale.

Information: 770-288-8421. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Peachtree City cancels council meeting

The City Council of Peachtree City will not meet as scheduled on July 3, due to the upcoming holiday.

The next regular meeting of the mayor and council will be at 7 p.m. on July 17 at City Hall.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

State OKs repaving project for Ga. 74

Fayette County has received word that the Georgia Department of Transportation has approved repaving the northern section of Ga. Highway 74.

County officials sent a letter to the state earlier this year noting the road’s deterioration. Work on the portion between the Fulton County border and Aberdeen Parkway in Peachtree City will begin in late summer or early spring. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Updated app offers emergency alerts

Fayette-area residents can take advantage of an updated mobile app for severe weather and other emergency notices. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Georgia app includes geo-targeted alerts, live traffic updates and shelter info. Information: Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Henry County accepts $248K in court grants

Henry County received about $248,000 in grants from the state’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council for various local judicial initiatives. The funds — allocated for the county’s Resource Court, Adult Felony Drug Court, DUI Court and Juvenile Mental Health Court — were accepted officially by the Board of Commissioners at its June 17 meeting. Information:

Monroe Roark for the AJC