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County by county news for Thursday


Prosecutor appointed to State Court judgeship

A senior assistant district attorney in the Cobb Judicial Circuit has been selected by Gov. Nathan Deal to fill a vacant seat on the Cobb State Court bench. Henry Thompson, a 44-year-old Carroll County native, earned his law degree from the University of Georgia law school in 1994. He started his legal career in the Athens-Clarke County District Attorney’s Office. He first came to the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office in 2000. Thompson then spent some time in private criminal-defense practice, but returned to the Cobb DA’s office six years ago. He and his wife, Deana, live in west Cobb with their four children. Andria Simmons

Acworth plans new police headquarters

Acworth is taking bids through Feb. 26 for architectural and engineering plans for a new police headquarters that will cost about $4.75 million. Chief Wayne Dennard said the department- with 39 on staff- has run out of room and will build adjacent to the current facility on Acworth Industrial Drive. Funding will come from the 2011 SPLOST. The jail will remain at the current building. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Youth baseball registration ends today

Early online registration will be available through Jan. 31 for Powder Springs Youth Baseball for ages 4 to 16.

A late signup penalty fee will be added after Jan. 31.

Teams will play at Powder Springs Park on Brownsville Road, where skills assessments will take place Saturday for registered players.

Information: or email or

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Marietta to host Police Academy

The Marietta Police Department will host a Citizens Police Academy.

Participants will get an inside look at crime analysis, narcotics, Special Weapons and Tactics, crime interdiction, traffic enforcement, community response, crime scene processing and more. There is no charge for the 10-week program, which begins April 8. Classes will be 6 to 9 p.m. every Monday. Information: Police Department, 240 Lemon St., 770-794-2364 or email at Andria Simmons

Park to install fitness station

Life University in Marietta has given $35,000 for a fitness and body-weight training system at Swift Cantrell Park off Old Highway 41 in Kennesaw. The outdoor system, scheduled to be installed in the spring, will have five stations that can handle 14 users and two additional stations that offer low-impact exercises.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Surf and Sun 5K Run for Feed the Hungry

Feed the Hungry Forsyth, a nonprofit food rescue organization, will host the Surf and Sun 5K Run to benefit the hungry, starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Cumming Towne Center, 2475 Market Place Boulevard, Cumming. Check- in and late registration start at 7:30 a.m.

The race is a qualifier for the December Five Star Championship and the Five Star Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. Prizes will be awarded for the best surf outfits. Early registration: $25. Online registration is due by today at Kenneth Musisi


Gwinnett police seek suspect in 21 car break-ins

Vehicles at churches and parks are primary targets of a suspect who has broken into 21 cars, police said. The crimes began in October and are ongoing. The suspect has used victims’ credit and debit cards that he stole during the break-ins, police said. Authorities released a photo of the man leaving a Target after shopping with a stolen card. He is described as a black male in his 30s or 40s, average height and average build. He has been spotted in an older white pickup truck and a four-door passenger vehicle, police said.Anyone with any information should call 770-513-5300 or Crime Stoppers at 404-557-8477. Angel K. Brooks

Vendors wanted for Farmers’ Market

The Snellville Farmers’ Market is accepting applications for vendors wishing to sell fresh, local produce, meats, poultry, eggs, flowers and baked goods. All vendors must be properly licensed.

The market is held on the Towne Green, located in front of the Snellville City Hall and opens 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday, June 1 to Sept. 28. Information: Kenneth Musisi

Reading program awarded funds

The Gwinnett Braves have awarded a $1,000 grant to the West Chapter of the Friends of the Library. The grant will be used by the Gwinnett County Public Library to purchase 30 to 40 Spanish/English bilingual books as part of their Prime Time Family Reading Time. The Prime Time Family Reading Program supports intergenerational literacy and family bonding for 35 at-risk, bilingual families in Norcross.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Foster homes needed for German shepherds

Canine Pet Rescue in Lawrenceville is looking for loving homes to foster a dog. Help evaluate, socialize, and train a German Shepherd for a new home. Information:, 1-855-HELPGSDS or email

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Roundabout artists narrowed to three

Duluth has narrowed the artist field for the Gateway Art Project down to three finalists, Douwe Blumberg of De Mossville, Ky., Michael Dillon of Milton and Koryn Rolstad of Seattle. Finalists will be given an honorarium to produce a mock up or model of the concept and will be interviewed in February before the final design is selected. The chosen piece will be an original work of art to be installed in the newly constructed roundabout near Duluth’s town center. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Nutrition class for seniors

The Gwinnett Extension Service will hold a nutrition class for seniors focusing on the control of fat intake 11 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Feb. 5 at the Norcross Senior Center, 5030 Georgia Belle Ct. in Norcross. This free class will teach seniors about fat and calorie goals, how to properly weigh & measure food, how to keep track of food intake, and how to eat less fat and fewer calories. For more information, contact Ines Beltran at 678-377-4010 or Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Deputies catch Woodstock bank robbery suspect

Chase Lovell Gates, 27, of Acworth, is accused of robbing Cherokee Bank in the 100 block of Woodstock Square Avenue around 11:45 a.m. Tuesday. Employees told investigators that the robber left on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. He went to the nearby Kohl’s parking lot, dropped the cash and got into a Ford sedan, police said. Witnesses gave officers a picture of the vehicle and part of the tag number. Cherokee deputies caught Gates in Acworth off of Kellogg Creek Road not long after a bulletin was sent to local law enforcement, police said. Angel K. Brooks

Woodstock approves ward redistricting plan

The Woodstock City Council, on a 5-1 vote, gave final approval this week to an ordinance reshaping the city’s six council wards, or districts.

The redistricting is required by law and results from 2010 census figures detailing growth in the city’s northern and southern neighborhoods.

The ward map now goes to the U.S Department of Justice for review.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Hillside Elementary conducts food drive

Hillside Elementary, 9250 Scott Road, Roswell, is conducting the “Souper Bowl” canned food drive through Friday.

Every can of food that is donated is a vote for that student’s favorite team in the Super Bowl.

Students will also make a dry soup mix which will be donated with the canned food to North Fulton Community Charities. Information: 770-552-6362.

Kenneth Musisi

Unity Concert set for Friday

The Unity Concert featuring Soweta Street Beat Dance Theatre will be 7 p.m. Friday at Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 725 Pleasant Hill Street, Roswell.

The reception begins at 8:30 p.m.

The free concert will feature unique dance and music styles from South African ethnic groups, performances with choirs from local churches, and a presentation of Hometown Heroes.

The event is part of the Annual Roswell Roots Festival celebrating Black History Month. Information: 770-641-3705 or

Kenneth Musisi

Kindergarten registration set

Forsyth County Schools has announced dates for kindergarten registration for the 2013-2014 school year. Registration is set March 27 1 p.m.-7 p.m. and March 28 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Registration will take place at elementary schools in individual attendance zones. More info:

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Big Apple Circus visits Alpharetta

During Feb. 1-18, the Big Apple Circus will visit Alpharetta for the first time at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway.

The audience will watch hilarious clowns, flawless jugglers, magicians, a fire eating ringmaster, and more.

Admission: $20-$60. Information: or 800-922-3772.

Kenneth Musisi


‘Buckhead bandit’ linked to 10 robberies

Atlanta police are looking for a man they believe robbed Buckhead businesses at least 10 times.

Dubbed the “Buckhead bandit,” a New Year’s Day robbery happened at a CVS on Peachtree Street, but most of other robberies were at drugstores and a sandwich shop on Peachtree Road in Buckhead, police said. The suspect is also believed to have hit two businesses in the Brookhaven area.

Investigators hope videos of the suspect, posted on YouTube, will help identify the suspect. Anyone with information should call 404-546-4255 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477. Alexis Stevens

Atlanta School Board meets Friday

The Atlanta School Board will meet a 2 p.m. Friday at Atlanta Public Schools headquarters, 130 Trinity Ave., to consider a search committee for a new superintendent. Jeffry Scott

Jugglers festival this weekend

The Atlanta Jugglers Association, a nonprofit organization, will host the annual Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival Friday through Sunday at the Yaarab Shrine Center, 400 Ponce de Leon Ave.

Admission is free for the Big Show & Juggling Competition at 2 p.m. and the Fire & Light Show at 9 p.m. on Saturday. Donations will be accepted.

The Late Night Cabaret featuring juggling, comedy and live music will be 10 p.m. Tickets: $5 spectators: $20 jugglers/participants. Information:

Kenneth Musisi

GiGi’s Playhouse hosts annual gala

GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Awareness Center will host its Annual Gala 7 p.m. Saturday at The Ritz-Carlton, 181 Peachtree Street.

The black tie event will include a champagne reception, raffle ticket sales and live music performances.

Paul Gleeson, Consul General of Ireland, is the guest speaker. Gala Tickets are $250 per guest at Information: 404-872-7529.

Kenneth Musisi


New charter school to hold open houses

The GLOBE Academy, a new charter elementary school slated to open in the fall, will hold two open houses in February.

The DeKalb County school won charter approval in January from the Georgia Department of Education, and will offer core content in English paired with either French, Mandarin or Spanish, at the former Heritage Center site, 2225 Heritage Dr. NE, Atlanta.

Open Houses are 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Toco Hills Library, 1282 McConnell Dr., Decatur and Feb. 16 at the Chamblee Library, 4115 Clairmont Road, Chamblee.

All DeKalb students who will be in kindergarten to third grade are eligible to apply starting Feb. 1. Information:

Ty Tagami

Gym to be named for former mayor

The gym at the newly renovated Decatur Recreation Center will be named the W.F. Floyd Gymnasium after the city’s longtime mayor. The announcement was made during Tuesday’s meeting of the Decatur Business Association. Floyd was mayor for 13 years, second longest-known tenure in city history, before resigning in December.

Ribbon cutting and dedication of the new facility at 231 Sycamore St. is 8:30 a.m. Tuesday with guided tours of gym, elevated running track, studios and landscaped exteriors to follow. Bill Banks for the AJC

School District to host Technology Fair

The DeKalb County School District will host a Technology Fair with more than 300 students 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Elizabeth Andrews High School, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain.

Thirty-five judges will review projects in 12 categories, including 3-D Modeling, Robotics and Web 2.0. First-place winners will represent DCSD at the State Technology Fair on March 9. Kenneth Musisi

Lecture series to start at Dunwoody UMC

Increase your awareness and understanding of global issues through an eight-week lectures series hosted at Dunwoody United Methodist Church.

The “Great Decisions” lecture series encourages people to develop an informed opinion on the role of the United States in world affairs. The lectures are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through March 14. Register at Andria Simmons

Decatur rec center opening planned Feb. 4

Residents can get a sneak peek at the lobby of Decatur’s new rec center.

The city spent $6.9 million fixing up the 54-year-old facility last year.

The lobby will be open all month to take registrations and payments for classes. The facility is set to re-open on Feb. 4. April Hunt

Little League signups through Feb.

The Belvedere Little League will hold registration for baseball for boys and girls (ages 4-12) from noon to 4 p.m. each Saturday through Feb. 23 at Shoal Creek Park, 3640 Glenwood Road, Decatur.

Register online at Volunteer coaches are needed.

Information: 404-289-3073. Kenneth Musisi


Program provides free parking to patients

Park’N Ticket in College Park, an offsite airport parking and shuttle service, has partnered with the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for the Angel Parking program, which provides free parking and shuttle service to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for M.D. Anderson cancer patients and their caregivers traveling to Houston. Angel Parking was created after Park’N Ticket witnessed the physical, emotional and financial hardships families endure during cancer treatment. Information: Kenneth Musisi

Hapeville hosts Mardi Gras party

A Mardi Gras celebration takes place 7-10 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Hoyt Smith Center, 3444 N. Fulton Ave., Hapeville.

Features include authentic Cajun food (prepared by local New Orleans residents), King cake and beverages as a DJ mixes favorite tunes and Zydeco music. Mardi Gras attire (mask, beads and face paint) are encouraged.

Free admission. Food and drink for purchase. Information: 404-669-2134.

Lisa Gibson for the AJC

Piedmont Henry to host town hall

Piedmont Henry Hospital will host a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Jason T. Harper Event Center in McDonough. This is one of a series of meetings scheduled by Piedmont Healthcare in the areas surrounding each of its affiliated hospitals throughout Georgia.

Results from recent community health needs assessments specific to each hospital’s community will be discussed.


Monroe Roark for the AJC

Voting under way for Movie Nights series

The Hapeville Movie Nights are gearing up for another season. The films are shown the third Friday of each month from April through June, and balloting is underway for this season’s selections. To vote, go to

John Thompson for the AJC

Free spay/neuter clinic for Henry seniors

Henry County Senior Services will partner with the Atlanta Humane Society to offer a free, two-day mobile spay/neuter clinic Feb. 20-21 at the Heritage Senior Center in McDonough. The clinic is only for dogs and cats owned by Henry County senior citizens. Appointments are necessary for participation. To schedule an appointment, contact Ann Marie Quincy at the Heritage Senior Center at 770-288-7000.

Monroe Roark for the AJC

Tax credits available for East Point firms

East Point’s recent designation as an opportunity zone may soon pay off for the city. This designation means that any business within the zone that creates at least two new jobs is eligible for a tax credit of $3,500 per job.

The credit may be applied to Georgia income tax liability and state payroll withholding for five years, beginning with the tax year in which the jobs were created.

Information: Dawn Sturbaum at 404-679-1585 or John Thompson for the AJC