County by county news for Thursday


Cobb schools to decide plan for missed days

Cobb County schools won’t add make-up days or longer school days to cover six days missed because of weather. Each of the district’s 114 schools will submit a plan to cover missed time to the central office. School Spokesman Jay Dillon said that could include restricting field trips and staff development time, opening media centers and computer labs before and after school or an optional Saturday school.

Information Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Lee favors SPLOST vote in November

Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee said Tuesday that he favors placing the penny Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax renewal on ballots this November.

The county’s current four-year SPLOST expires at the end of 2015. Lee told commissioners that placing the renewal on ballots this fall makes sense because the only other option would be to hold a special election in 2015 that would cost the county about $500,000.

The 2011 SPLOST vote in Cobb passed by only 79 votes.

Dan Klepal

Town hall meeting on Internet theft

A Neighborhood Safety Commission town hall meeting tonight Feb. 27 will cover preventing internet/electronic fraud and theft and what to do in case of theft. The meeting will be 7 p.m. Thursday in the Cobb Board of Commissioners meeting room, second floor, 100 Cherokee St., Marietta. Information:

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Amphitheatre seeks opening acts

Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton is looking for volunteers to serve as ushers, ticket takers, crowd control, stage technicians and even as opening acts for concerts and events.

Usher training classes will be 10 to 11:30 a.m. April 5 and May 3.

Information:, or Robby Edwards, 770-819-2943.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Oscar experience to benefit non-profit

A Red Carpet Gala starting 5:15 p.m. Sunday at the Galleria Center, 2800 Galleria Parkway, will include dinner, 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 non-profit that helps low-income families. Information:

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Scholarships available to local students

The Marietta Kiwanis Club is accepting applications through March 31 for nine college and technical school scholarships for Marietta and Cobb students.

Scholarships average $2,000 each, based on academic achievement, financial need and character. Grants are administered by the Kiwanis Club, Kennesaw State University or Southern Polytechnic State University.


Tucker McQueen for the AJC


Library to vote on employee salary increase

The Gwinnett County Public Library board will decide on March 10 if employees should receive a 3 percent salary increase. Executive Director Charles Pace indicated the 3 percent increase totaling $338,000 per year would come from a $250,000 supplemental appropriation from the county and revenue savings from unfilled positions.

The increase would be the first since 2008. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Grant supports girls summer camp

Georgia Gwinnett College has received a $3,500 grant from the Women in Technology Foundation to support GGC’s Technology Outreach for Middle School Girls summer camp June 16- 20.Need-based scholarships are provided to students on free or reduced lunch. Applications: Registration deadline is April 1. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Parkn’ership Day to clean Pickneyville Park

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

Lanier community prepping garden plots

A workday to prepare Lanier Community Garden for spring planting is 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 8 at Lanier Water Filter Plant, 2601 Buford Dam Road, Buford. The community garden maintains a food plot for vegetable donations to the North Gwinnett Food Bank Ministries.

Information or to sign up for a plot to grow your own vegetables: 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

Human trafficking forums tonight

The Gwinnett Human Relations Commission will present a series of forums to raise awareness of human trafficking in the community with the first 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 2104 Beaver Ruin Road in Norcross.

The commission plans to host four forums, one in each commission district.

Information and to register email include human trafficking forums as the email subject.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Forsyth to help drivers with storm towing costs

Forsyth County officials have cleared the way to reimburse some motorists towed from county roadways during the Jan 28-29 winter storm . The Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday authorizing county officials to pay back motorists whose abandoned vehicles were towed at the specific direction of county officials. The resolution says reimbursement will be on a case-by-case basis, and will be capped at $10,000 total. Officials say information on how to apply will be on the county’s website Friday, at Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Road stretch reopens in Sandy Springs

Lake Forrest Drive in Sandy Springs has reopened after slope stabilization work along the roadway finished up. A geotechnical analysis done in the summer indicated long-term deterioration of the slope, with city officials saying the problems resulted in 13 reports of mud/rock slides and downed trees since 2009. The city installed a structural catch system and vertical wall at a cost of $750,000. Mark Woolsey

Cherokee K-9s get bulletproof protection

A pair of four-footed members of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit will be getting extra protection, courtesy of a local company. Pegasus Support Services, A Woodstock-based operations and logistics support firm, donated two bullet-proof vests to be worn by K-9 dogs “Yoda” and “Max.” The vests cost approximately $1,000 apiece.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Forsyth high schools getting new principals

Two Forsyth County High Schools will be getting new principals. The Board of Education approved the appointment of Heather Gordy as principal of West Forsyth High School , replacing the retiring Betty Pope. Gordy’s currently assistant principal at Lambert High.In addition, Mitch Young was named principal at Forsyth Central High School, replacing Rudy Hampton, who is also retiring. Young now serves as assistant principal of West Forsyth High School. Both appointments are effective July 1.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’ opens March 6

The Fellowship Christian School drama department presents “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” beginning March 6 at the Fellowship Christian School gym, 10695 Woodstock Road, Roswell.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. March 6 through 8, with a matinee at 2:30 p.m. March 8. Admission is $10 at the door.


Kent A. Miles for the AJC

British car event coming to Alpharetta

The British will invade downtown Alpharetta next month. The Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau will sponsor a display of more than 100 British cars ranging from Rolls Royces to Deloreans from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 29 at Main Street and Milton Avenue in downtown Alpharetta. Local vendors and food trucks will also be on hand and the Big Chicken Beatles Tribute Band will play from 12 p.m.-2 p.m. Information:

Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Atlanta school board faces budget gap

Preliminary estimates indicate that Atlanta Public Schools faces an initial deficit of $45 million as the school board works on crafting a budget for next school year.

Chuck Burbridge, chief financial officer for APS, told the school board’s Budget Commission on Tuesday that general fund revenue is projected to be $610 million, and approximate expenses would total $655 million. The school board plans to approve a budget for the 2014-2015 school year in April.

Mark Niesse

Grady investigation nears completion

The Atlanta Public Schools investigation into accusations of address fraud and recruiting violations on the Grady High School football team is expected to be completed next week.

Superintendent Erroll Davis wrote in a Tuesday letter to the community that the investigation’s findings will be released to the community during a series of meetings on the Grady High campus in Midtown on March 5.Mark Niesse

Seminar to address health care law

The Project TurnAround Foundation will hold a free seminar on the Affordable Care Act 4 p.m. March 9 at the Georgian Terrace Hotel, 659 Peachtree St. Gautam Raghavan, the White House associate director of Public Engagement, and other health care professionals will discuss how the health insurance options could impact the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.


Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Council calls for Watershed audit

The Atlanta City Council has called for a review of security measures within the Department of Watershed Management asking for an audit of Watershed’s safety and security office. The department has come under criticism following reports of theft inside the agency. Reportedly 28 industrial water meters worth $5,210 each were stolent. City officials also confirmed that a backhoe worth $80,000 is missing from a warehouse. Katie Leslie


Mayor ‘fed up’ with fire station delay

Although DeKalb County’s commission approved rebuilding Avondale Estates’ fire station one month ago, Mayor Ed Rieker said he hasn’t received a start date. He said he’s “fed up” with the delay in replacing a mid-1940s building that’s too small, has asbestos, a leaking roof and no facilities for women. The Avondale fire crew will move to DeKalb Station No. 9 on North Druid Hills Road for the roughly 18 months it’ll take to complete the $1.9 million project. Bill Banks for the AJC

Lewis to deliver Emory commencement

Civil rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis will deliver the keynote address at Emory University’s May 12 commencement.

Lewis, a leader of the national Civil Rights Movement and youngest speaker from the historic 1963 March on Washington, has represented Georgia’s 5th congressional district since 1987. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010. Information: Janel Davis

Discussion focuses on development

Advancing economic and community development will be the focus of a discussion 6:30 p.m. March 6 at the Porter Sanford performing arts center, 3181 Rainbow Dr.

Commissioner Stan Watson expects up to 150 for the Soul of DeKalb forum, which features both community panels and open discussion. April Hunt

Art exhibit through March 31 in Dunwoody

The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta is hosting the Dunwoody Fine Art Association member show through March 31 in the Katz Family Main Street Gallery, 5324 Tilly Mill Road. Admission is free to the public.

“Key to Dunwoody” features the historic Spruill Farmhouse where 27 artists created their interpretations of the farmhouse and Dunwoody itself for the exhibit. Information: or 678-812-4071. Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Health care law seminar in Tucker

St. Andrews Presbyterian Church will host a seminar on the Affordable Care Act at 7 p.m. March 10 at 4882 Lavista Road, Tucker. The event is free and open to the public.

The seminar will focus on addressing issues related to the law, including eligibility, how to compare different medical plans and how the law will affect people who are insured through an employer. There will be a question-and-answer session.


Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Lawyers vs. doctors in basketball game

The third annual “Jawbones vs. Sawbones” benefit basketball game between lawyers and doctors will be held at 6 p.m. March 15 at Decatur High School, 310 N. McDonough St. Game time is 7 p.m.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse in Stone Mountain, an organization committed to providing support to people with traumatic brain injuries.

Tickets are $10.

Information: or 770-469-9355 Kent A. Miles for the AJC


Fayette schools won’t make up snow days

Fayette County Public Schools will not change its academic calendar to make up for seven lost snow days.

Following a meeting of school principals Tuesday , the county said the consensus was that slightly modifying the daily class schedule would keep students on track for upcoming CRCT, EOCT and AP tests later this spring. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Commission to endorse “American English”

Today’s Fayette County Board of Commissioners meeting agenda includes a resolution to endorse “American English” as the official language of Fayette County. Presented by Allen McCarty, the resolution “encourag[es] our citizens to aid those non-English speaking persons residing within our boundaries to become fluent in American English.” The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Administrative Complex, 140 Stonewall Ave. West, Fayetteville. Information: Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Henry schools cited for AP performance

Eight of Henry County’s nine public high schools have been recognized for achievements in Advanced Placement programs and 2013 test results. Ola and Union Grove are among 54 in the state to receive AP Merit School distinction. Dutchtown, Eagle’s Landing, Luella, and Woodland were among 50 schools honored AP Access and Support Schools. Information:

Monroe Roark for the AJC

Women’s self-defense class coming in March

The Henry County Police Department is offering a women’s self-defense class this year. The next session is March 20-22. Classes are Thursday and Friday evening and Saturday morning. Information: or 770-288-8285. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Piedmont Henry sets ‘Walk with a Doc’

Piedmont Henry Hospital is coordinating “Walk with a Doc” events at 8:30 a.m. the fourth Saturday of each month from March through July at Heritage Park in McDonough.

A different physician will be participating each month and available to answer general health questions. Each participant will receive a free pedometer and T-shirt. Register at under the “Search Classes & Events” tab or by phone at 1-877-527-3712. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Lovejoy gets second jail facility to house 2,000

Lovejoy has annexed 77 acres into the city for the Geo Group Inc., a private prison industry contractor which plans to build a new correctional facility that will create between 400 and 450 jobs, Mayor Bobby Cartwright said Tuesday.

The Geo Group will continue to run the Robert A. Deyton Dention Center in Lovejoy and build the new facility which will house another 2,000 inmates once it is done within the next two years. The new facility will be about a block from the Deyton dention center, Cartwright said. Tammy Joyner

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