County by county news for Saturday


School workers to get pay for storm duty

The Cobb County Board of Education on Thursday approved paying employees who stayed after hours Jan. 28 to Jan. 29 to take care of students stranded by the winter storm.

Hourly workers will receive $25 per hour for work after 3 p.m. Jan. 28 and salaried employees will get a day of paid leave.

Money will come from the district’s contingency fund. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Silver Comet Trail will open for March 8 race

The Silver Comet Trail through Mableton will be open for the Silver Comet 10K March 8. The trail may be closed again in that area by Cobb DOT on March 10 if the trail rehabilitation work hasn’t been finished.

Information:, for the latest updates on trail closures. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Powder Springs wants to annex 10 roads

Powder Springs officials want the Georgia General Assembly to approve the annexation of 10 roads to reduce confusion between county and city jurisdictions.

They include Brownsville Road from Marietta Street to Hiram Lithia Springs Road, U.S. 278 from Oglesby Road to the Paulding County line, Austell Powder Springs Road from Marietta Street to Sharon Drive, Old Lost Mountain Road from Powder Springs Dallas Road to Richard D. Sailors Parkway, Sailors Parkway from U.S. 278 to Powder Springs Road, Lewis Road from U.S. 278 to its intersection with the Norfolk Southern Railroad and portions of Powder Springs, Florence, Shipp and Macedonia Roads. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Sorority chapter to sponsor teen forum

The Marietta-Roswell alumni chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. is hosting a teen forum 8:30 a.m. March 15 at the Lovett School, 4075 Paces Ferry Road.

This day of educational workshops will focus on boosting teens’ self-confidence and helping them with interpersonal skills and career development. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required by March 7.

Information: or  Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Kennesaw seeks ideas on park plan

Kennesaw will ask for public opinion on a master plan for Swift Cantrell Park at at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Ben Robertson Community Center, 2753 Watts Drive. A question and answer session will follow a talk by planning consultants about the existing plan and facilities that are proposed for the park off Old Highway 41. Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Oscar experience will benefit nonprofit

A Red Carpet Gala starting at 5:15 p.m. Sunday at the Galleria Center, 2800 Galleria Parkway, will include dinner, an auction, entertainment and a viewing of this year’s Oscar awards.

The event has raised more than $3 million in 17 years to benefit the Center for Family Resources, a Cobb nonprofit that helps low-income families. Information: Tucker McQueen


Commissioners approve new zoning plan

Gwinnett County Commissioners unanimously approved a new set of laws completely revamping land development, planning and zoning in the county.

The new Unified Development Ordinance approved this week creates new types of zoning districts, eliminates some existing types of zoning districts and adds new guidelines and standards for building appearance. Molly Bloom

Berkeley Lake hosting clean up party

Residents of Berkeley Lake are invited to help clean up the chapel and picnic areas 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 15 at the Lake Berkeley Chapel.

Lunch provided for volunteers at noon.

Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Lawrenceville artists looking to organize

A group of local Lawrenceville artists are looking to join together to bring an Artisan Market to the city’s downtown.

Local artists from Lawrenceville and around Georgia interested in joining the group to celebrate and sell handmade artistic efforts may visit

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Rockin’ the Green 5K seeks runners

The Braselton Downtown Development Authority launches its “Rockin’ the Streets Week” with a 5K race on March 15 in its historic downtown. Registration is $25, and each pre-registered runner receives a tee shirt.

Electronic registration is available at

All proceeds from the race will assist the town green project.

Information: Peggy Kriegel: 404-380-3299 or Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Pinckneyville Park cleaning Saturday

The Gwinnett Parks Foundation is beautifying Pinckneyville Park Medlock Pavilion, 4758 South Old Peachtree Road, Norcross 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Bring gloves and sturdy shoes. Walk ups welcome, but preregistration appreciated.

Contact Melissa Rodriguez: 678-277-0900. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Seasonal job openings at Lake Lanier

The Georgia Department of Labor’s Gainesville Career Center is launching a recruitment drive on Saturday for seasonal workers at Lake Lanier.

Saturday’s event will be at 10 a.m. at Peachtree Pointe, 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford. It will focus on filling positions for food service and beverage workers and culinary team members.

Other hiring events are planned for March 8 and 22.

Information: or 770-535-5484. Kent A. Miles for the AJC


Teen found dead on New Year’s Day drowned

A couple walking their dog on a trail near Taylor Road Middle School discovered 18-year-old Cody J. Bohnet’s body face down in a creek about a quarter-mile from the school on New Year’s Day. An autopsy by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office showed no signs of trauma on the body, and determined Bohnet died by drowning. A physical inspection of the area revealed nothing unusual. Toxicology analysis by the GBI found traces of THC, the high-inducing chemical in marijuana, but no other chemicals. Mike Morris

School registraton set in Cherokee

Registration for kindergarten and first-grade students who will enter Cherokee County School District schools for the first time in 2014-15 is: 3:30-6 p.m. April 24 and 9 a.m.-noon April 25 at all elementary schools. Students who turn 5 on or before Sept. 1 are eligible for kindergarten, while students who are 6 on or before the same date are eligible for first grade. Information: Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Blood donation drive at Sandy Springs church

The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive at noon March 7 at Sandy Springs United Methodist Church, 86 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs. There is a need for donations due to recent severe winter weather that canceled many blood collection drives.

Information: or  Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Fellowship Christian chorus to perform

The Fellowship Christian School middle and high school chorus will perform “A Tribute to Les Miserables” at 7 p.m. March 12 in the auditorium of Fellowship Bible Church, 480 W. Crossville Road, Roswell.

The program will feature songs from the hit Broadway hit composed and written by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Admission is free.

Information: Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Students recognized for achievement

Cherokee County School District officials recognized 121 high school juniors in the district as Superintendent’s Key Scholars for the 2013-14 school year. The students were honored for scoring at the 90th percentile or above in the Grade 11 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Students were awarded a school district certificate of achievement, and will also be honored during their individual school’s awards ceremony. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Exhibit will explore Cherokee’s past

The Cherokee County History Museum has debuted a new temporary exhibit, “Unearthing the Past: Archaeology in Cherokee County,” which will run until April 12. The exhibit highlights more than 1,000 archeological sites and includes dozens of rarely-seen artifacts. The museum’s at 100 North St., Suite 140, Canton. Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Information:  Mark Woolsey for the AJC


School superintendent search advances

The Atlanta Superintendent Search Committee plans to continue reviewing candidates during a meeting this weekend before handing a list of candidates to the school board by early April.

The school board will then name finalists, and board members have said they hope to announce a superintendent by the end of April.

“It’s been the most affirming process to see the caliber of people who want to be in Atlanta,” said Ann Cramer, chairwoman of the Superintendent Search Committee. Mark Niesse

Buckhead Coalition makes appointments

The Buckhead Coalition elected three members to its executive committee.

Joseph W. Evans, chairman and CEO of State Bank & Trust Company; Raymond B. King, president and CEO of Zoo Atlanta; and Patrick D. Warren, principal manager of the Atlanta office of Crowe Horwath, LLP, will serve three-year terms.

The current terms of William H. Harrison, Jr.,principal of Harrison Design Associates Inc., and Addie P. Mathes, president and CEO of Prime Power Service Inc. were extended for three years.

Founder by former Atlanta mayor Sam Massell, the Buckhead Coalition is a nonprofit civic association with a membership limited to 100 corporate leaders of major area firms. Kent A. Miles for the AJC

CAU student picked for White House project

Lillian Harris, a Clark Atlanta University doctoral student, has been named by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities to the first class of HBCU All-Stars.

She is one of 75 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, representing 62 HBCUs. Next year, the HBCU All-Stars will serve as ambassadors of the White House Initiative by providing outreach and communication with their fellow students about the value of education and the initiative as a networking resource. Nancy Badertscher


Driver, passengers in custody after chase

Four people were in a stolen Chevrolet Camaro that was tracked entering Rockdale County, and when troopers initiated a traffic stop, the vehicle fled.

A trooper performed a PIT maneuver on the vehicle, and it hit the median wall. No one was injured.

The three passengers, identified as Demetrius Lanier, Pamela Blue and Quietin Davenport, were taken into custody after the crash, but driver Bryan Payne jumped over the median wall and ran into a Conyers industrial park.

After a multi-agency manhunt, Payne was found hiding on top of a school bus and was taken into custody.

According to the GSP, the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Clayton County.

All four suspects were turned over to DeKalb County authorities for charges, according to the GSP. Mike Morris

Jailer indicted for sex with inmate

A former DeKalb County detention officer was indicted Thursday in connection with allegations that he had sexual contact with an inmate.

Zel Tirrell Mitchell was accused of having sex with an inmate in exchange for food and contraband sometime between November 2012 and March 2013, prosecutors said.

The inmate said that he was not forced by Mitchell into the sex act.

In March 2013, following an internal investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, Mitchell was fired, authorities said. A grand jury on Thursday charged him with violation of oath and sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority.Marcus K. Garner

Long-delayed park upgrade getting closer

Avondale Estates mayor Ed Rieker said redevelopment of 86-year-old Willis Park should begin in June, with the city’s Commission possibly approving design plans by as early as next month. Avondale’s been working on upgrading the 2.66-acre space for over three years, with the primary goal of replacing the decades-old playground equipment. Other tentative plans call for building a new gazebo, an improved ball field and a series of walking paths. Rieker hopes work will finish by the end of the year. Bill Banks for the AJC

Commissioner hosts meeting Saturday

Stan Watson, the commissioner representing the eastern half of DeKalb County, will host his monthly community breakfast Saturday.

Representatives from the local, school and state emergency management agencies will attend the session.

The breakfast runs from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Chapel Hill Middle School, 3535 Dogwood Farms Road. Registration is not required. April Hunt

LifeLine offers free spay/neuters

LifeLine announces SNIP DeKalb (Spay Neuter Impact Program), which will provide free spay/neuters, along with free vaccinations, for DeKalb County pet owners needing financial assistance.

Information: or contact the DeKalb County Animal Services shelter.

Upon approval pplicants will receive a voucher for a free spay/neuter and instructions in the mail. Arlinda Smith Broady


Fayette County addressing home rentals

Prompted by neighbors’ complaints about homeowners renting their houses for parties and vacation sites, the Fayette County Board of Commissioners is planning to tighten rules about short-term leases. The board agreed Thursday to discuss the matter at its Apr. 4 retreat and consider either banning the practice or subjecting property owners to permits, hotel taxes or other appropriate regulation. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Henry names assistant school superintendent

Henry County Schools Human Resources Director Virgil Cole has been named an assistant superintendent for the school district. He will move to his new job on April 1 when Rodney Bowler becomes superintendent of the school district. Cole will lead the school system’s administrative services department which oversees facilities and maintenance, technology, and transportation, while also managing athletic issues, enrollment and attendance, and school safety. Tammy Joyner

Gardening expert to speak in Fayetteville

“The Lawn and Garden Show” host Walter Reeves will appear at the Fayette County Public Library, 1821 Heritage Park Way, Fayetteville, 11 a.m. March 18. The event is free and open to the public.

Reeves will talk about useful tools for gardening. His radio show airs Saturday mornings on 95.5 FM, News Talk WSB. He also writes a column on gardening matters and hosts a program on Georgia Public Television. Information:  Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Fayette Visioning meeting Wednesday

Fayette County residents are invited to attend a public meeting regarding the Fayette Visioning Initiative from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Sandy Creek High School auditorium in Tyrone. Market Street Services, Inc. will talk about the project, and seeks input about the county’s future; see Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Clayton State students offer tax prep help

Accounting students from Clayton State University will prepare tax returns as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program hosted by the College of Business.

VITA is a national program that provides tax support for certain eligible taxpayers.

VITA is offered at the College of Business at Clayton State 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through March 29. Appointments are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Details: call the VITA hotline at 678-466-4527. Tammy Joyner

Tutoring help available in McDonough

Operation Education, a program to assist local students in need of tutoring, is holding free tutoring services at 10 a.m. Saturday mornings at 1900 Pennsylvania Ave., McDonough.

One-on-one tutoring, education services and organizational and test-taking skills help will be available. Information: or 770-288-8595. Kent A. Miles for the AJC

In Other News