County by county news for Thrusday


Students picked for merit scholarships

Several Cobb students were picked from more than 15,000 finalists to receive $2,500 National Merit Scholarships. Winners are selected from each state based on their accomplishments, skills and potential for college success. A committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors made the selections. They include Glenn T. Shrum of Harrison High, Avery E. Thomas Whitefield Academy, Abubakar Abid, Walton High, Anthony E. Altshul, Wheeler High, Marshall D. Haltom, Walker School, Michelle Lee, Wheeler High, Alex M. Li, Walton High. Jaime Sarrio

Advocates push veto of immigration bill

Immigrant advocacy groups, led by Rich Pellegrino and the Cobb Immigrant Alliance, want Gov. Nathan Deal to veto recently passed immigration legislation. The bill, HB 87, would be costly to enforce, has already and will continue to hurt tourism and convention business and will lead to more racial profiling, Pellegrino said Wednesday at a press conference in Marietta.

The bill allows police to check people’s immigration status, and requires many businesses to verify the immigration status of new hires.

Deal has said he would sign the legislation. Janel Davis

Citizens committee asks for resident input

Cobb residents are invited to a public meeting on May 10 to provide a citizen oversight committee with recommendations on improving government operations.

The committee was established by commissioners in December to assess the county’s spending, priorities and operations. A presentation to the board is scheduled for June 28. The meeting runs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Jenny T. Anderson Theatre, 548 S. Marietta Pkwy. SE in Marietta.

Information, call 770-528-1000 Janel Davis

Art & Design Show House opens Saturday

The Art & Design Show House to benefit the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art opens Saturday through May 22, 21 Whitlock Dr., Marietta. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door, and $75 for a preview reveal event, 7 to 11 p.m., Friday. The 16-room house off Whitlock Avenue will feature the work of 21 interior designers and local artists. Art and jewelry will be sold at the adjacent Lawrence house. Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Prayer day Thursday in Powder Springs

The Powder Springs National Day of Prayer observance will begin at noon on today.

It will be place in front of City Hall, 4484 Marietta St. Mayor Patricia Vaughn said the speaker will be Dr. Richard Walker, senior pastor of Macland Baptist Church in Powder Springs.

Information: 770-943-5511. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

30 apply to Powder Springs police chief

As of Friday’s deadline, 30 people had applied to be the next police chief for Powder Springs. City Manager Rick Eckert said the applications will undergo “a first pass” this week by Mayor Patricia Vaughn and himself. The interim police chief is Maj. Tom Arnold, a veteran of the Cobb police force for around 30 years. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Howard elected vice chair of commission

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners elected Commissioner Lynette Howard its vice chairwoman Tuesday.

Howard, a Peachtree Corners resident, was elected to the commission in November. She represents District 2, which includes Norcross, Lilburn and Berkeley Lake.

In recent years the commission has rotated the vice chair’s position among commissioners in district order. District 1 Commissioner Shirley Lasseter served as vice chair last year and early this year.

David Wickert

Emanuel says he’ll run Snellville council

Dave Emanuel, a Snellville planning commissioner, has announced that he will run for City Council. Emanuel has served on the Planning Commission since 2009 and is a member of the Snellville Tourism and Trade Association. He has also served on an advisory committee at Snellville Middle School and Grayson High School. Joel Anderson

Scholarships send two to study in France

Two North Gwinnett High School students earned summer scholarships that will allow them to travel to France for free. The students, Lizzie Clark , a junior, and Amanda Wall, a sophomore, will participate in a French language immersion program from July 4-14.

The Consulate of France in Atlanta presented the students with the scholarship after they won a competition on environmental issues.

The students will tour Paris before studying the environment in La Rochelle, France. D. Aileen Dodd

GMC to sponsor workshop on strokes

Gwinnett Medical Center will sponsor a program on strokes from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Friday at Gwinnett Technical College, Building 700, 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville.

Information on signs and symptoms of a stroke, risk factors, treatment and rehabilitation will be available. The event is free. David Wickert

Arts in the Park festival in Suwanee May 21

Suwanee residents, guests and art enthusiasts are invited to attend the Arts in the Park festival on May 21.

The event will be held in Suwanee’s Town Center. Booths are set to open at 11 a.m.

Admission to the festival is free. Parking is available at Town Center and along nearby Main Street.

Information: Joel Anderson

Barefoot in the Park festival this weekend

The Barefoot in the Park Fine Arts festival will be held in the Duluth Town Green and Amphitheater Friday through Sunday.

People are invited to browse and buy artwork and enjoy live entertainment, wine & draft beer tastings, food and many other attractions.

The festival will also feature the work of renowned, New York City-based street painting artist Anthony Cappetto. He will create an original 3D painting for the festival.

Information: or Caryn McGarity at 678-677-0172.



Two men get 5 years for Sandy Springs pot house

Two men were each sentenced Wednesday to more than five years in prison for growing hundreds of marijuana plants at homes in Sandy Springs.

Derek O’Neal, 32, of Atlanta, and Marc Brotemarkle, 24, of Harrisburg, M0., were convicted at trail in February in U.S. District Court in Atlanta for conspiring to manufacture marijuana with the intent to distribute. During searches, Sandy Springs police had found 853 plants in the basement of one home and 263 plants in another, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Bill Rankin

Forsyth to vote on new Civil Service rules

A process that began last summer -- rewriting and clarifying and bringing Forsyth County’s Civil Service procedures and regulations into sync with state law -- comes to a vote before the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners tonight. The backdrop is the ordeal and litigation the county continues to go through with the firing last summer of former Planning Director Jeff Chance for violations of county policy and, most sensationally, sexually and racially charged emails found on his office computer. One change will make some appeals more efficient. Jeffry Scott

Hoist a glass of water in Roswell Saturday

Roswell is hosting a Drinking Water Festival from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Cecil B. Wood Water Plant, 100 Dobbs Drive. The event is part of the city’s annual Drinking Water Week celebration. The festival will include a tour of the water plant, a water taste test, touch-a-truck, leak detection tips, food and giveaways. Information: or 770-641-3707. Patrick Fox

Firefighters want to ‘Give Burns The Boot’

Forsyth County firefighters will be at intersections across the county for the next three Saturdays soliciting donations as part of a state-wide “Give Burns The Boot” campaign to raise money for the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation. Donations will go toward fire safety education, support of medical facilities, and helping burn victims. Jeffry Scott

‘Pitch’, Hit, and Run’ contest to be Saturday

The Aquafina Major League Baseball “Pitch, Hit, and Run” returns to Ocee Park in Johns Creek from 10 to noon Saturday. The competition is open to boys and girls from 7-14 and is the first step toward competing in the Team Championship and National Finals at the Major League All-Star Game.

Information: 678-512-3200; Patrick Fox

Down Home Derby Saturday in Alpharetta

The Child Development Association will host its Down Home Derby from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Fortitude Farm at Yellow House, 13835 Hopewell Road, Alpharetta. The event, which features silent auctions, food and entertainment, raises funds to provide early learning programs for disadvantaged children. Corporate sponsorships are available starting at $500. Derby tickets are $150.

Information: 770-992-4339; Patrick Fox


Hosea Feed the Hungry conducts tornado relief

Hosea Feed the Hungry & Homeless is collecting items for tornado relief.

The organization needs water, non-perishable foods, blankets, diapers, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, flashlights and cleaning supplies. Money is also needed and can be donated through Other items can be dropped off at the HFTH Family Care and Crisis Center, 1035 Donnelly Ave. SW from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Shelia Poole

Paul Howard honored with ‘Mr. CHIP’ award

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard was recently presented with the 2011 “Mr. CHIP” Friends of Children Award.

The Grand Lodge of Georgia Free and Accepted Masons recognized Howard during a ceremony at the Capitol commemorating the third anniversary of the Georgia Child Identification Program (CHIP). Howard was recognized for his commitment to Georgia’s children. Bill Rankin

APS pay $55 million for high school site

Atlanta Public Schools finalized this week the purchase of a 56-acre site in northwest Atlanta for the city’s new Buckhead-area high school. Final cost of the purchase totaled $55.3 million.

The site, at the former IBM complex on Northside Parkway, will replace North Atlanta High School on Northside Drive. The new school is scheduled to open in August 2013.

Kristina Torres

Park gets facelift from Falcons, owner

Head honchos with the Atlanta Falcons, including team owner Arthur Blank, will help build a playground at Vine City Park and clean up debris at Washington Park on today as part of “All Associates Day.” The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, along with the Falcons, PGA Tour Superstores and the Atlanta Falcons Physical Therapy Centers, get together annually during “All Associates Day” to volunteer their time to address a need in the community, the Falcons said Wednesday. Leon Stafford


Museum School music program gets donation

First-year school, the Museum School of Avondale Estates, recently received a $6,186 donation for its music program from the Attic Community Playground, an Avondale Estates nonprofit supporting music, arts and education. The money was raised from a January concert by former Decatur resident Jennifer Nettles, an ACP board member and half of the Grammy-winning country duo Sugarland. Principal Katherine Kelbaugh said her school is a public charter school which opened last August and has 135 k-3 students. The school will add one grade per year up through eighth grade. Bill Banks for the AJC

Fire station renovation to begin this month

Renovation of Decatur’s Fire Station #1, originally built in 1955, will begin later this month and is expected to take 10 to 12 months and cost $1,792,000. Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon said the refurbished building will be 10,000 square feet featuring three bays, a unisex bathroom, individual sleeping pods, a revamped kitchen and a number of sustainability features including a green roof and geothermal heating and cooling. Decatur Fire Chief Toni Dixon said the city has a total 39 firefighters, including seven women. Bill Banks for the AJC

Extension to hold Spring Festival May 14

The DeKalb Cooperative Extension will host its annual Spring Festival from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., May 14 at North DeKalb Mall, 2050 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur. The festival is free and open to the public. The event is designed to celebrate the importance of a green environment and commitment to self and family. Michelle Shaw

Watson hold breakfast to honor seniors

Saturday DeKalb Super District 7 Commissioner Stan Watson will host a breakfast from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at Chapel Hill Middle School, 3535 Dogwood Farms Road, Decatur. This month’s breakfast will be in celebration of Senior Citizen Appreciation/Older Americans Month. Michelle Shaw

Cemetery restoration gets extra funding

The ongoing Decatur Cemetery restoration was approved for an extra $169,000 by the City Commission. The total cost for the project, scheduled for a fall completion, is now $1,385,000. This is only the fourth major upgrade in cemetery history, which dates to 1828 as metro Atlanta’s oldest municipal cemetery. Improvements include a new storm drainage system, stream and pond restoration, two new pedestrian bridges, walking paths throughout and extensive new landscaping. Additionally 130 new grave sites have been identified. Bill Banks for the AJC

Officers honored for DUI enforcement

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Georgia recently honored two Dunwoody police officers for their efforts to curb driving under the influence.

Officer Tim Waldron, a drug recognition expert in the department, earned a bronze award for making 39 DUI arrests in 2009.

Officer Alvin Rodriguez led the department for the second year in a row, making 68 DUI arrests last year. He earned a silver award from the group.

April Hunt


Tempers flare, insults fly at commission meeting

Commissioners and Chairman John Eaves clashed Wednesday, culminating in a letter from Vice Chair Emma Darnell accusing him of “ignorance and arrogance.” Earlier , Eaves ordered Darnell’s microphone cut when she exceeded her speaking time. As Eaves pushed a policy on the makeup commissioners’ staffs, Bill Edwards accused him of rushing so he’d have a fourth vote before Tom Lowe left early. Robb Pitts compared Eaves to the crooked attorney on Amos ‘n’ Andy. Darnell’s memo said, “I have had to deal with thugs and bullies many times -- I always win.” Johnny Edwards

Two new Civil War markers to be unveiled

The Georgia Civil War Commission will unveil two new historical markers entitled “Kilpatrick’s Raid” Saturday at 11 a.m. at Nash Farm Battlefield in Hampton. Charles Kelly Barrow, author and Lt. Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, will give the keynote address. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Deadline near for Tri-Cities Run registration

Runners have until Saturday to enter this year’s Tri-Cities Run. The run travels through Hapeville, East Point and College Park and benefits the Main Street Academy charter school. Runners can sign up online at or for more information, visit John Thompson for the AJC

Henry county National Prayer Day today

Henry County’s official National Day of Prayer event is set for today from noon to 1 p.m. on the square in McDonough. Pastors from multiple churches are scheduled to participate. Seating is limited and guests are invited to bring lawn chairs if they wish. In case of rain, the event will be held at First Baptist of McDonough. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Clayton kindergarten registration May 9

Clayton County residents will be able to register their children for kindergarten beginning May 9, Register at the district’s 31 elementary schools, two primary schools and one K-8 school. The only exceptions are Kemp Elementary and Mt. Zion Elementary schools which has grades three to five. Daily registration: 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. daily through May 18. Extended hours: 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at all sites on May 12. A “Kindergarten Kick-Off Family Night” will be held May 12 at 6 p.m.

Kids must be five years old on or before Sept. 1 to enroll. Details: 678-817-3103. Tammy Joyner

Resolution honors Mundy Mill student

Mundy’s Mill High School senior Tiana Williams was honored Wednesday with a senate resolution from Sen. Valencia Seay at a ceremony at the school.

Williams will attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., in the fall. She is an advanced placement student who ranks in the top 2 percent of her graduating class. She is wing commander of the AFJROTC program at Mundy’s Mill. Williams was selected and attended the Medical JROTC Honors Camp last summer. She also is a member of the National Honor Society and Elite Scholars program. Tammy Joyner