County by county news for Thursday


Powder Springs appoints interim director

Retired Powder Springs Public Works Director Rodger Swaim will become the interim director on Sunday.

He will replace Greg Ramsey, who will stay until Sept. 24 before becoming the public works director for Peachtree Corners through a contract with CH2M HILL, City Manager Brad Hulsey told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Swaim will be paid $2,384 biweekly. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

City will spend up to $28.5K for search firm

The Powder Springs City Council voted Monday to hire a search firm for up to $28,500 to recruit a new city manager.

In support were Councilwomen Rosalyn Neal and Cheryl Sarvis and Councilman Chris Wizner, but Councilwoman Nancy Hudson and Councilman Al Thurman were opposed.

Both Thurman and Hudson said it was too much money.

“Let us see if we can find a city manager since he won’t be leaving until Dec. 1,” Thurman said of Brad Hulsey whose resignation letter was read by Mayor Patricia Vaughn Monday night.

Wizner, a medical doctor, said the $28,500 is “a deal” compared to the $100,000 charged by recruitment firms for doctors.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Austell commission elects officers

The Austell Planning and Zoning Commission voted Tuesday for Diane Evans to serve a one-year term as chairman and for Sara Parker as vice-chairman.

Other members are Melissa DeMelo, Don Foster, Julie Lemaster and Curtis Stanfield.

One vacancy remains.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Powder Springs to pay $51K for mowers

The Powder Springs City Council voted Monday to pay around $51,000 for landscaping equipment.

The city will buy four mowers - $18,018 to Douglasville Ace Hardware to replace a 15-year-old riding lawnmower and $32,990 to Cobb County Tractor for sickle mowers to cut down vegetation in several areas. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

No kill shelter to hold shower for cats

The Good Mews Animal Foundation will hold an open house and kitten shower 3-8 p.m. Friday in the Old Towne shopping center at 736 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta.

The east Cobb cat shelter needs supplies, gift-cards at pet stores and homes for the cats. About 350 cats a year are adopted at Good Mews.


Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Food truck Fridays return with movies

West Cobb Food Truck Fridays will return from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday through Oct. 31 in the parking lot of Trinity Chapel Church, 4665 Macland Road, Powder Springs.

Family films also will be shown.


, 770-222-7023.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


SPLOST funds to pay for I-85 interchange

Commissioners have approved a project with the Georgia DOT for a future interchange on I-85 at McGinnis Ferry Road and construction contracts for two projects to connect two dozen traffic signals on Suwanee Dam Road and Indian Trail Road to the Gwinnett Traffic Control Center. Gwinnett agreed to contribute $4 million from 2009 and 2014 SPLOST funds to purchase right-of-way and also agreed to manage the preliminary engineering of the new interchange. The state DOT will manage construction and supply $13.3 million, including $10.6 million in federal funds.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

County applauds Fort Daniel award

The nonprofit Fort Daniel Foundation has received the Albert B. Corey Leadership in History Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History. Members of the Gwinnett Archaeological Society located the footprint of Fort Daniel, built in 1813, in the backyard of a home at the top of Hog Mountain. The Fort Daniel Foundation’s annual Frontier Fair is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Fort Daniel, 2505 Braselton Highway in Buford. Information: 770-849-1742 or

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

County launches prescription program

At no cost to the county, Commissioners have approved an agreement with Coast2Coast Rx to offer prescription drug discount cards to Gwinnett residents. The cards will be available at local governmental offices, senior centers, libraries, and most participating pharmacies by mid-November. Information:

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Visit the world in Snellville

Snellville will host its Around the World Visits Snellville International Festival noon to 6 p.m. Sunday on the Towne Green, 2432 Oak Road. The event will feature cultural displays, traditional costumes and entertainment. Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Street updates causing traffic delays

Water line construction in front of Lilburn’s City Hall is expected to be complete by the first week in October. Due to water mains being upgraded on Camp Creek Road and Main Street in Old Town, Main Street is reduced to one lane of traffic during the day. Paving of the affected streets will be completed in the spring. Updates:, select Current Development Projects.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Hazard mitigation plan input sought

Learn how the Gwinnett Office of Emergency Management plans to respond during emergencies and disasters at the last of three public meetings on the Hazard Mitigation Plan at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25 at the Emergency Operation Center, 800 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville. Attendees will receive an overview of the hazard mitigation planning process and will have the opportunity to offer recommendations. The final plan will be submitted to FEMA for approval.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Sandy Springs backs MARTA expansion

The Sandy Springs City Council Tuesday night adopted a resolution in support of extending MARTA’s heavy rail Red Line from the North Springs station through North Fulton. It also backs shifting the rail alignment from the east to west side of Ga. 400 north of Spalding Drive to protect neighborhoods, and calls for a future rail station north of Northridge Road. It ties in with MARTA’s Connect 400 initiative, which is studying extending various forms of high-capacity transit service from the Perimeter Center area north to McGinnis Ferry Road. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Armed robbery suspect sought in Cherokee

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office seeks a suspect in an armed robbery attempt Sept. 14 at the AutoZone in the Hickory Flat area.

Sheriff’s investigators say the suspect confronted an employee taking out trash and displayed a weapon. After a struggle, he fled without taking anything. Nobody was seriously hurt. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Sandy Springs to discuss intersection

Sandy Springs officials will host an open house on several intersection improvements from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 30 in the Council chambers at City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road. Staffers will show designs for improvements at Heards Ferry Road and Raider Drive, Powers Ferry Road at both Heards Drive and Dupree Drive, and Interstate North Parkway and Riveredge Parkway. The projects are associated with relocation of Heards Ferry Elementary School.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Possible break in cemetery vandalism

Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office investigators have identified two juvenile “persons of interest” in one of two recent cemetery vandalism cases. Deputy Robin Regan says their parents contacted authorities and that while both are being interviewed, no decision’s been made on charges. At least 20 gravestones were pulled out, with some broken in the August spree at the Coal Mountain Historic Graveyard on Matt Highway in north Forsyth.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Input sought on Forsyth road project

The Georgia DOT wants public input on the proposed widening of Ga. 9/ Atlanta Highway in Forsyth County during an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Vickery Creek Middle School, 6240 Post Road, Cumming. DOT engineers will be on hand to talk about plans for a four-lane divided route from the Fulton/Forsyth County line to Ga. 141/Peachtree Parkway in Cumming.

Feedback will be considered in developing a final design for the project. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

School named to high-performing list

The Georgia Department of Education has, for a third straight year, recognized Woodstock Elementary School as a Georgia Reward School-Highest Performing School. The designation places the campus in the top 5 percent of Title I schools in Georgia with the highest performance on statewide assessments. A Title I school has a high percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Robberies reported along Huff Road i

Atlanta police have stepped up patrols in a neighborhood plagued by a string of armed robberies.

There were four violent robberies and car break-ins in two days this week in the Huff Road area of northwest Atlanta.

In one of those robberies, two men walking down the road were jumped by four armed men wearing bandanas.

The gunmen forced the victims to take off their pants and hand over their belongings, police said.

Several arrests have been made, according to police.

Mike Morris

Youths invited to free Tuesday forum

“Slaves Among Us: Human Trafficking Discussion and Forum for Youth” will be 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at The King Center Auditorium, 449 Auburn Ave. to bring awareness of the 27 million enslaved globally.

In the U.S., 14 is the average age of a trafficked victim.

Free, but registration is required.

Information: events, 404-526-8900. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Mentor Walk brings college experience

More than 1,000 students are expected to attend the Carolyn Young Mentor Walk and college day experience 7:30 a.m. Saturday, at Georgia State University.

The event starts with a two-mile walk around campus followed by separate sessions that expose high school, middle and elementary school students to college life.

Older students will learn interview skills, how to dress for work, and how to apply for college.

Younger students will attend storytelling sessions.

The Walk is named after Carolyn Young, an educator and wife of Ambassador Andrew Young.

The event is free for students. Registration closes 11 p.m. Friday.


Adrianne Murchison for the AJC


City to repair three more streets

Decatur will mill, repair and re-pave three more city streets this fall: Ansley Street, from Oakview Road to Kings Highway, Talley Street fronting the lofts and Public Works facility and the north side of Sams Crossing. Cost for these is $200,000 and the work should be completed by early next month. Counting seven other projects, including this week’s rebuilding of Electric Avenue, the city this year will have fixed portions of 10 streets totaling 2.45 miles.

Bill Banks for the AJC

Church helps to collect shoes for charity

Clarkston First Baptist Church and The Soul Project have partnered to collect 5,000 new and gently worn shoes for men, women and children in Liberia. Shoes can be dropped off 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, Sept. 20-Oct. 11 at Clarkston First Baptist Church Life Family Center, 4007 Church Street, Clarkston.

The Soul Project is a non-profit charity that has distributed more than 500,000 donated shoes to people in need in the United States, Liberia, Ghana, Haiti and Jamaica. The organization was founded by Martin Kumi,, who has said that he often walked barefoot on the streets of his native Ghana.

Information: 404-292-5686, ext. 239. Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

Dunwoody Library hosts book sale

Thousands of low-priced books will be sold Sept. 25-29 at the Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road.

Friends of the Dunwoody Library members-only shopping is 1-4 p.m. Sept. 25. The sale is open to the public 4-8 p.m., Sept. 25; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sept. 26-27; 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sept. 29.

Proceeds benefit Dunwoody Library and the DeKalb County library system.

Information: 770-512-4640.

Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

5K walk/run planned

in Stone Mountain

The Winning the Battles in Your Own Mind 5K Walk/Run is at 8 a.m. Saturday with 7 a.m. registration at Wade Walker Park, 5585 Rockbridge Road, Stone Mountain. The $25 fee is tax-deductible. The fee drops to $10 per person for groups of five or more.


Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

Commission postpones ‘diversity conversations’

Decatur’s commission tabled approval of a $25,000 contract with The Art of Community, a consultant firm that would create community-wide conversations centered on diversity. With two commissioners expressing concern over precisely what the city was paying for and why only one company was considered, the motion was tabled until Oct. 6. Bill Banks for the AJC

Tucker, Smoke Rise candidates to speak

DeKalb Superior Court Judge C. J. Becker will moderate a forum for Tucker and Smoke Rise community candidates in local, state and federal races 6:30 p.m., today at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 4882 Lavista Road.

Tucker Civic Association, Main Street Tucker Alliance and Smoke Rise Community Association will host the forum.


Adrianne Murchison for the AJC


Police identify man found dead in burning home

Clayton County police Wednesday identified the homicide victim found dead inside a burning home Tuesday as 24-year-old Quincy Suggs. “It appears right now the fire was intentionally started, and it was in several places,” police said.

A neighbor called 911 around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday after seeing flames coming from the home, in the 700 block of Redland Drive near Jonesboro. Suggs’s body was found with a gunshot wound to the back of the head during a search of the home. An autopsy will be conducted. GBI is assisting with the investigation. Alexis Stevens

Rally on MARTA vote set for Friday

The Partnership for Southern Equity is hosting a “Power of the Penny” Campaign Launch and Rally 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Jonesboro Firehouse Museum and Community Center, 103 W. Mill Street. Speakers: PSE founder Nathaniel Smith, Clayton Commission Chair Jeff Turner, commissioner Shana Rook, Riverdale Mayor Evelyn Winn-Dixon, state Transportation board member Dana Lemon and state Rep. Mike Glanton.Details: Philippa Brown at 404 787-4511. Tammy Joyner

Manager sentenced for stealing rent money

A former property manager for a Union City apartment complex has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $100,000 in rent money.

Shannon Denise Howard, 43, must also pay full restitution of $110,000 in addition to serving the prison sentence handed down this week. Mike Morris

Schools sign teacher education agreement

A new agreement signed this fall between Georgia Perimeter College and Clayton State University will allow students studying to become high school teachers to transfer seamlessly between the two schools.

The new agreement lets Georgia Perimeter students who earn associate degrees in teacher education to enroll in Clayton State to finish bachelor degrees in teaching.Students will be certified secondary education teachers after graduating from Clayton State’s program.Janel Davis

Early morning fire in East Point

East Point Fire Department is investigating the cause of a blaze that destroyed nearly 40 percent of the home at 2293 Delowe Drive Tuesday morning.

A family of six had already evacuated when crews arrived. An elderly female family member complaining of chest pains and was transported to Atlanta Medical Center.

Information: 404-559-6401.

Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

Peachtree City told to boost pay

A human resources firm has recommended that Peachtree City increase employee pay rates by at least 3 percent, and modify job classifications. Results of a comprehensive survey conducted earlier this year by Condrey and Associates, Inc., were presented to the mayor and city council Tuesday night. The firm said Peachtree City is about 15 percent below average pay for comparable jobs in similar cities, which will affect employee retention and recruitment. Jill Howard Church for the AJC