County by county news for Thursday


Marietta to approve local tourism grants

Marietta is expected to approve $299,833 tourism grants for 11 local arts groups and museums. Grants, funded by a motel/hotel tax, range from $1,529 for Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society to $128,579 for the Marietta Museum of History.

Also receiving grants: Gone with the Wind Museum, Marietta/Cobb Museum of History, Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Earl Smith Strand Theatre, Georgia Ballet, Georgia Symphony Orchestra,Zion Baptist Church Heritage Museum, Friends of Brown Park and Friends of Brumby Hall.

Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Redevelopment authority to meet

The South Cobb Redevelopment Authority will hold its monthly meeting at 9 a.m. Monday at the South Cobb Government Center, 4700 Austell Road, Austell.

Information: Cobb Economic Development Coordinator Sabrina Young, 770-528-1009.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Charter school panel meets Thursday

“What Parents Should Know about Charter Schools” will be presented at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Ron Anderson Recreation Center, 3820 Macedonia Road, Powder Springs by the Powder Springs Community Task Force and Deblar and Associates.

This free panel discussion will include Lauren Wright Holcomb, director of Organizational and Resource Development, Georgia Charter Schools Commission; Andrew Lewis, executive vice president, Georgia Charter Schools Association; Kari Schrock, principal, International Academy of Smyrna and Rhonda Fischer, Drew Charter School and chief operating officer, East Lake Foundation.

Information:,,,,,, 770-319-8189 or 770-439-3611.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Juneteenth events start Friday in Marietta

A three-day Juneteenth celebration, sponsored by the Cobb NAACP, starts Friday 6-11 p.m. on the Marietta Square with Jazz under the Stars. Events continue 10 a.m.-7 p.m Saturday and close with a Gospelfest 3-6 p.m. Sunday. Juneteen marks the end of slavery in America. Information:

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

5k race to benefit Kennesaw teen center

A 5K Dream Dash starting 7:30 a.m. Saturday in Kennesaw will benefit the Bill Thrash Kennesaw Teen Center and the Dream Foundation.

Thrash, a Kennesaw councilman who died a year ago, helped start the city’s teen center. The race starts on Main Street downtown and winds through Swift Cantrell Park off Old Highway 41.


Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Marietta police offer place to drop off meds

The Marietta Police Department, 240 Lemon St., has started a permanent place to drop off unused prescription medications at a secured box that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the station.

Information: Sgt. Rick Redd at 770-794-5306. Tucker McQueen for the AJC


Manufacturer bringing 65 jobs to area

AMF BakeTech, a manufacturer of industrial bakery equipment, is consolidating three existing buildings and expanding its regional manufacturing and engineering facility into a newly built, 63,000-square-foot building in Gwinnett. The growth represents 65 new jobs and $4 million in capital investment. Information:, or Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Duluth hosting new professional bike race

The inaugural Georgia Cup-Duluth Criterium is 1 p.m. Aug. 2 with 600 cyclists and 15,000+ spectators expected. The USA Cycling sanctioned and insured event will feature a race for all level of bike riders prior to the professional events. Day will include a Kid’s Corner, entertainment, health information, mobile food vendors and beer garden. Information:

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Dacula names new city council member

The Dacula City Council has appointed Donna Peairs to the city council seat vacated by Greg Reeves who is under investigation for the use of a city credit card for personal expenses. Peairs was one of four applicants interested in the open seat. She will serve out the remaining term ending December 31, 2017. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Snellville honoring flag at ceremony

Snellville will have a Flag Day celebration 10 a.m. Friday on the Town Green, 2342 Oak Road. The ceremony will let residents know about the importance of the flag and the values it represents. Event will feature the Sons of the American Revolution firing muskets and soldiers from each American war and conflict since World War II. Keynote speaker State Sen. Gloria Butler will talk about the history of the flag and the Snellville Police Department Honor Guard will participate. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Series continues with marketing strategies

The Southwest Gwinnett Chamber Business Growth series will continue noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Hilton Atlanta Northeast, 5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. in Peachtree Corners with David Salyers’ discussion of marketing strategies and tactics for growth. Salyers is the VP of National, Regional and Local Marketing for Chick-fil-A Inc., co-author of Remarkable! and a partner in a new venture, ROAM, the innovator’s workspace. Admission: $15.00 Member, $20.00 Future Member. Information:

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Bridge basics class offered Saturdays

A six-week class on the basics of bridge will be taught at 10 a.m. on Saturdays beginning July 19 at George Pierce Park, 55 Buford Highway, Suwanee.

The class is for people interested in refreshing their playing skills, or who want to learn the game. The cost is $51 and includes supplies.

Information: 678-277-0910.

Kent A. Miles for the AJC


Extended closure for Alpharetta thoroughfare

Drivers on Alpharetta’s Westside Parkway will have to grapple with traffic slowdowns through next week. One southbound lane is closed just south of Cumming Street, due to an accident damaging a fire hydrant.

A leak from the hydrant and water line then damaged the roadway. Alpharetta officials say Fulton County won’t be able to repair the line till sometime next week, after which Alpharetta will fix damaged pavement and re-open the road. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Woodstock council approves budget

The Woodstock City Council this week unanimously approved a roughly $34.1 million budget for fiscal 2015. As the tax digest is expected to increase, it proposes a millage rollback from 7.889 to 7.250, meaning that some property owners will see a decrease in the city portion of their tax bill. The mileage rate will be adopted in August. It also includes a $20,000 contribution to the Cherokee Office of Economic Development to aid in its business recruitment efforts. The budget also includes a 2 percent cost of living raise for most city employees.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Forsyth announces superintendent finalist

Jeff Bearden is the lone finalist for superintendent of Forsyth County Schools. His contract will be officially announced at the end of June.

Bearden will take over the school system for L.C. “Buster” Evans, who is retiring June 30. Keith Porter will then serve as interim superintendent until Bearden takes over.

Bearden is currently superintendent for the Rome City School System, and he previously served as superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools. Emily Farlow

Alpharetta mayor added to tourism post

The Alpharetta Convention and Business Bureau has inducted Mayor David Belle Isle as the group’s 2014-2015 Chairman of the Board for the upcoming fiscal year. In all, 13 business and civic leaders were named to the group’s board at its annual meeting. The bureau serves as the official destination marketing organization for the city, promoting tourism and attracting hotel guests.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Fund set up for injured deputy

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office says an account has been set up to financially aid Deputy Daniel Rush, who was shot during last Friday’s courthouse gunbattle The fund will help with expenses not covered by workers’ compensation. Anyone wanting to help can visit any BB&T branch and donate to the James Daniel Rush account. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Johns Creek sets millage rate hearings

Johns Creek is setting its 2014 millage rate, and has set hearings 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday and 7 p.m. July 14 at the Johns Creek City Hall Council Chambers, 12000 Findley Road, Suite 300. Final adoption of the new rate is set for 7 p.n. July 14. The current millage rate is 4.614, unchanged from the city’s 2006 incorporation.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Proposal would raise some tax bills

The Atlanta Board of Education wants to take advantage of rising property values to collect more tax dollars without increasing the district’s tax rate.

That means owners whose property values rose this year would see higher tax bills. Owners who did not see increases in value would not see an increase in the part of their tax bills going to APS.

The school board will hold public hearings 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday and 6 p.m. June 19 at the APS Center for Learning & Leadership, 130 Trinity Ave. SW. Molly Bloom

Urban League to hold awards gala

DeMarco Morgan of WXIA, will be master of ceremonies at the fourth annual Spirit of the League awards luncheon, noon June 27 at the Twelve Hotel at Atlantic Station, 361 17th St. NW. The Urban League of Greater Atlanta is hosting the awards ceremony, which will honor actress and philanthropist Terri J. Vaughn. Information: or 404-659-6580. Kent A. Miles

City to host ‘streetcar race’ this month

To promote the opening of the Atlanta Streetcar, city officials, Central Atlanta Progress, the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District and Siemens are hosting a “Run the Rails 5K” in June along the streetcar’s downtown tracks. The race begins 8 a.m., June 21. Entry fees range between $30 and $35, plus fees. Information, visit Katie Leslie

Nighttime bicycle tour through city for a cause

The Atlanta Moon Ride, a 6.5-mile nighttime bicycle ride through local neighborhoods for enthusiasts of all skill levels and ages, will take place at 10 p.m. Friday starting from Park Tavern, 500 10th St. NE. Cost: $30 Bike rentals: $25.

Proceeds from the ride will benefit Bert’s Big Adventure, a local charity that provides trips to Walt Disney World for children with chronic and terminal illnesses. Information:

Kent A. Miles for the AJC


Report: Water quality exceeds standards

DeKalb County has surpassed all federal and state water quality standards, according to its annual drinking water report.

The 2014 Consumer Confidence Report is being distributed to residents through county water bills and will be available at county libraries, apartment complexes and the Department of Watershed Management’s website.

By law, tap water must be tested by government environmental agencies to ensure it’s safe to drink. Mark Niesse

Woman donates $100k to schools

Meredith McCoyd has donated $100,000 to City Schools Decatur, money that’ll fund the purchase of iPads for sixth graders at Renfroe Middle School. The donation gets formal approval during July’s school board meeting. The Renfroe iPads project is a continuation of the program started by Superintendent Phyllis Edward at the 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue. Edwards added that McCoyd, is the same person who donated $500,000 to the Decatur Educational Foundation in December, 2012.

Bill Banks for the AJC

Man accused of fondling self at IHOP

A DeKalb County man is accused of more than just ordering a stack of pancakes from a local eatery.

He was allegedly fondling himself inside a booth, according to a Roswell police report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

An IHOP waitress called police shortly after midnight Friday after seeing the man touching himself inside the Alpharetta Highway restaurant, the report states.

Officers arrived and arrested the suspect, identified as Anthony Otis Clark, 43, of a Decatur address, police said. Clark was charged with public indecency and taken to the Roswell Detention Center, the report states.

Clark is a previously convicted felon who spent just over seven months in prison in 2007 after a burglary conviction, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections. Alexis Stevens

Ministry to sponsor youth anti-violence

The first Teens Against Violence seminar hosted by Jared Sawyer Jr. Ministries will take place at 2 p.m. Friday at the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Performing Arts, 5616 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain.

The one-day event will bring together guest speakers, workshop presenters and artists who will present messages of nonviolence to people in the community.

Information: or 678.909.4401.

Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Stone Mountain library to sell used books

The Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library is holding a used book sale at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday at 952 Leon St., Stone Mountain.

Proceeds from the book sale will pay for library activities and supplies and fund a scholarship for an advanced degree in library science.


Kent A. Miles for the AJC


Police identify man stabbed to death in Atlanta

A College Park man stabbed in the neck Tuesday afternoon in northwest Atlanta died at Grady Hospital later that day, police said. The man has been identified as 58-year-old Clifford Johnson, police said.

Johnson was stabbed in the 500 block of Griffin Street, police said. Police found him in front of the Neighborhood Grocery. He was immediately transported to Grady Hospital where he died from the injury. Michelle E. Shaw

Police seek bungling burglar

Fayetteville police are looking for a suspect in an unsuccessful burglary attempt at a Kroger, 805 S. Glynn St 9 p.m. Sunday. A man crawled through an air vent from the men’s restroom to the pharmacy, falling through the ceiling. Unable to leave through a secured gate, he went back through the vent and then fled in a black Chevrolet Tahoe. Send tips to 770-461-4441. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Herman Cain coming to Peachtree City

Former presidential candidate Herman Cain will host a live WSB radio broadcast from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Shakerag Knoll, 191 McIntosh Trail in Peachtree City. Residents are invited be in the audience and ask questions. Admission is free but bring a lawn chair. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

College Park volunteers to spruce up downtown

The College Park Main Street Association Inc. will hold “Main Street and Virginia Avenue Proud Community Beautification Day” 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday starting with a 9:30 meetup at the pocket park behind Club -e. Volunteers will clean sidewalks, pick up trash, landscape and replant planters. Information: 678-739-9099 or email Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Wheelchair tennis tournament coming

Richard Craig Park, 125 S. Zack Hinton Parkway, McDonough, hosts the Geranium Festival Wheelchair Tennis Tournament Friday through Sunday. The tournament will attract players from the around the country.

Matches begin on Friday afternoon, and continue during the weekend beginning at 9 a.m.

The event is one of five tournaments in the Georgia Grand Prix wheelchair tennis series.

Information: or 770-288-7293.

Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Event to focus on alternative fuel

The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Roadshow, a nationwide series of educational events, comes to the Georgia International Convention Center, 2000 Convention Center Concourse, College Park, at 9 a.m. June 17.

Business leaders and fleet managers will have the opportunity to evaluate and learn more about motor vehicles that run on alternative fuels like compressed natural gas, propane, biofuel and electricity. College Park is one of eight cities in the state hosting the event this month.

Admission: $29.


Kent A. Miles for the AJC