County by county news for Thursday


Marietta school wins state award for excellence

The Marietta Center for Advanced Academics, a Marietta City Schools magnet school for third to fifth graders, has been named a 2012 Georgia Schools of Excellence for highest performance. Garrison Mill Elementary in east Cobb, King Springs Elementary in Smyrna and the Kennesaw Charter School made the list for highest progress.

State School Superintendent John Barge recognized 28 schools in the state as schools of excellence based on the College and Career Ready Performance Index. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Keep Cobb Beautiful to host shredding

Keep Cobb Beautiful hosts “Document Shredding Day” 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 14 at Piedmont Church, 570 Piedmont Road, Marietta; Powder Springs City Hall, 4484 Marietta St., Powder Spring; Wolfe Adult Recreation Center, 884 Church St., Smyrna and Marietta Power, 591 N. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. Only paper products will be accepted.

Information: 770-528-1135. Jamie Sarrio

Tai chi courses offered at Marietta church

Two 10-week sessions of taiji (tai chi) will be in September at the First Presbyterian Church of Marietta, 189 Church St.

The low-intensity movements of tai chi may improve muscle strength, circulation, balance, flexibility and posture, and promote increased relaxation and mental alertness.

The first evening class is set for 5 p.m. Sept. 11; the first day class will take place at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 12.

Information:, 770-427-0293 or Mea Watkins

Cumberland CID board of directors to meet

The Cumberland Community Improvement District board of directors will meet at 7:30 a.m. today at the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, 240 Interstate North Parkway, Atlanta. Information: Melissa Crook, 770-859-2357. Veronica Fields Johnson

Acworth police to help special-needs athletes

The Acworth Police Department will host the Covering the Bases fundraiser from 7 p.m. Sept. 13 through 7 p.m. Sept. 14 at Horizon Field in the Acworth Sports Complex, 4000 S Main St., Acworth.

Proceeds from the event will support scholarships for special-needs athletes, and provide equipment for the participants and maintenance for the only special-needs ballfield in Cobb County. Admission is free but donations are requested.

Information: Capt. Tony Bailey at 770-974-1232 or Veronica Fields Johnson

Cobb seeking diaper donations in October

Cobb will hold its fifth-annual “diaper day” to collect diapers for low-income families through October.

A collection will take place at 5 p.m. Oct. 28 at Glover Park on the Marietta Square.

All donated diapers will be given to CAMP, the Center for Family Resources, MUST Ministries, Reconnecting Families and the YWCA of Northwest Georgia.

Information: Barbara Hickey, Cobb Diaper Day Committee,

Jaime Sarrio


Norcross woman took $400K from feds

Deborah West of Norcross, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing nearly $400,000 in federal retirement benefits, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

West’s parents were federal employees who received federal retirement benefits. West’s father died in 1980, and his benefits were legitimately transferred to West’s mother. West’s mother died in 1993, and all benefits should have ended at that time.

Between 1993 and 2008, West, 64, stole more than $398,000 in federal benefits. West was convicted in June. She must also pay restitution of $398,773.96. Mike Morris

Mobile Career Lab returns to Gwinnett

The Atlanta Regional Workforce Board’s Mobile Career Lab returns 9:30 a.m. to noon today to the Gwinnett Public Library’s Centerville Branch, 3025 Bethany Church Road, Snellville and 1:30 to 4 p.m. to the Lawrenceville Branch, 1001 Lawrenceville Highway. Information:

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Recycling bins to increase at parks

Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation has received the 2013 Dr. Pepper Snapple Group /Keep America Beautiful Park Recycling Bin grant to increase recycling bins in parks.

The parks received 66 containers to be located throughout the park system doubling the current recycling collection ability and making containers more readily available and visible to park patrons. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Fireworks at Lilburn City Park

The city of Lilburn will feature Sparkle in the Park from 4 10 p.m. on Sunday at Lilburn City Park, 76 Main Street, Lilburn. The festival will feature fireworks, music, food, and kids’ activities. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the show.

Kids’ inflatables, free professional portraits, and air-conditioned shuttles are provided. Concessions will be available for purchase. Coolers are welcome, but only alcohol purchased at the event is permitted in City Park.

Sandra Marshall Murray

Snellville memorial breaks ground

The Snellville Veterans Memorial Committee will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 7 p.m. Saturday at the site adjacent to the Senior Center near Oak Road and Highway 78.

The ceremony will precede Snellville’s Star Spangled fireworks program, originally scheduled for July 4. Information: or 770-891-1612. Karen Huppertz

Relay for Life needs committee members

Gwinnett Relay For Life is seeking individuals to participate on the 2014 Relay For Life Committee.

The American Cancer Society event, which honors cancer survivors and pays tribute to those fighting cancer, needs creative, take charge individuals who enjoy exceeding goals.

Volunteer applications available at under Get Involved.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Ethics hearing set for Cherokee school official

A hearing has been set for 6 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Historic Canton High School Auditorium, 111 Academy St., to address school board ethics complaints against member Kelly Marlow.

The board voted July 24 to investigate whether Marlow has violated school board ethics policies on governance and conduct. Marlow has clashed repeatedly with board members since taking office in January. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Forsyth sheriff seeks missing sex offender

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s office is seeking a missing sex offender. Authorities say Vincent Brently Hall registered Monday and gave a Cumming address. A check by deputies revealed he’d never lived there. Hall is described as a black male, 28, 5 feet 9 inches tall, with black hair and brown eyes. Hall was convicted in a 2007 Gwinnett County child molestation case. Sheriff’s office: 770-781-2222. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Nonprofit to hold celebration in Roswell

Second Wind Dreams, an Atlanta-based nonprofit providing services to the elder community, will hold a celebration in Roswell 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Sept 7 at Riverside Park, 575 Riverside Road. The free event’s part of National Second Wind Dreams Day and will events and booths for elders, music and raffles. More info:

Veronica Fields Johnson

USA Wrestling Team to appear in Alpharetta

The USA Wrestling Team will appear at Rally 4 Wrestling events Friday to Monday at The Cooler, 10800 Davis Drive, Alpharetta. Activities include a wrestling exposition, World Team Exhibition Matches, a wrestling clinic and a sock hop. The event is expected to be the biggest outing for the USA Wrestling Team as it prepares for the 2013 Championships in Budapest.

Veronica Fields Johnson

Theater night at Roswell arts center

The Roswell Historical Society will host a theater night featuring the dress rehearsal of Almost Heaven: John Denver’s America 5:30 p.m. Sept. 3 at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St.

A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Roswell Archives, located on the second floor of the Cultural Arts Center. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 per person, available at the Roswell Historical Society. Tickets may also be purchased, by check only, at the Roswell Visitors Center, 617 Atlanta St.

Information: or Watkins

Woodstock may change noise ordinance

The Woodstock City Council may approve a revision of the city’s noise regulation. The change would replace the current up-to-$100 per violation fine with escalating penalties of up to $1,000. City Manager Jeff Moon says complaints about outdoor music downtown triggered the proposal, which will be up for final adoption Sept 9.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Public health dept. to hold budget hearings

The Georgia Department of Public Health and its board are giving residents a chance to speak out about how money is spent. at a public budget hearing 1 p.m. Sept. 10 at 2 Peachtree St. N.W., 5th floor board room.

Members of the public can voice their opinions on how DPH resources should be used. Those interested in speaking at the meeting must submit their intention to attend along with a copy of their comments to by Sept. 3. Shelia M. Poole

Superintendent will speak at conference

Atlanta Superintendent Erroll Davis will deliver the keynote address at the Board Governance Summit ept. 17-18 conference at the Terry Executive Education Center in Buckhead.

The conference examines the impact of regulatory changes in legal, fiduciary and ethical responsibilities of board members. Mark Niesse

Fundraiser to benefit Gigi’s Playhouse

A craft beer tasting and brewery tour to benefit Gigi’s Playhouse Atlanta Down Syndrome Achievement Center will take place 7 to 10 p.m. Sept. 6 at Monday Night Brewing, 670 Trabert Ave. N.W. Tickets, $29 in advance and $35 at the door, include beer tasting, light food and live music.

Tickets: Sponsorship information: 404-384-5613. Mea Watkins

Applications accepted for advisory council

The Georgia Department of Education encourages Atlanta Public Schools high school students to apply for Student Advisory Council.

Applications will be accepted through Sept. 13. Members will meet with state school Superintendent John Barge three times during the school year.

Student Advisory Council members will discuss with the superintendent how state-level decisions affect students, and act as liaisons between the DOE and their schools.


Mark Niesse


Police investigate sexual assault

Dunwoody police are investigating after a woman reported being attacked from behind while she walking on Barclay Drive near North Peachtree Road around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

The suspect, described as a white male in his late 20s to early 30s, is 5-foot-5 to 5-8 and weighs 170 to 180 pounds. Police said he may have cuts on his face that were inflicted during the assault.

Anyone with information on the case should contact Detective Robert Bentivegna at 678-382-6911 or Tips can be submitted anonymously at or via text message to C-R-I-M-E-S (274-637) with the keyword DPDTIPS at the start of the message Angel K. Brooks

Edwards: proposed committee ‘redundant’

Decatur schools superintendent Phyllis Edwards described the city commission’s proposed Blue Ribbon Committee – slated to study student-enrollment trends and other issues – as “redundant” to work the school system’s already done. Since 2010 the system’s grown from 2687 students to its present 4041 (34 percent), and Edwards said, “You can run the numbers until kingdom come, but the growth isn’t going away. Why else would I open one school (Fifth Avenue), re-purpose another (Glennwood Elementary) and prepare to [re-open] Westchester (Elementary) next fall?”

Bill Banks for the AJC

Hearing set in Ellis case

A DeKalb County Superior Court judge has set an October date for hearings in the political corruption case of suspended CEO Burrell Ellis.

Judge Courtney L. Johnson will hear all pending motions in the 15-count indictment case on Oct. 17. Several outstanding issues, including a motion to dismiss all charges, remain before the court. April Hunt

Brighter Tomorrow seeks fundraising volunteers

A non-profit group that supports behavioral health and developmental disability services provided by DeKalb’s Community Service Board needs board members.

The Brighter Tomorrow Foundation works to raise funds for the CSB, meaning board members should have fundraising experience or a background in providing healthcare.

Information: 404-508-7875 or April Hunt

Autumn equinox storytelling event set

A fundraising event marking the autumnal equinox will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Fernbank Science Center, 156 Heaton Park Drive N.E. “Stories Among the Stars” will feature members of the Southern Order of Storytellers who will share tales of the autumn constellations underneath the starlit night sky of the center’s planetarium dome.

Cost is $10. Tickets: Mea Watkins

Clarkston offering weekly farmers market

A $89,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant paid for an expansion of both the market and a subscriber-based fresh food program in Clarkston.

The weekly market will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays at the Clarkston Community Center’s activity field off College Avenue. Updates are available on the community center’s Facebook page. April Hunt


2 arrested in Union City fatal shootings

Otis Lee Hill, Jr., 22, and Aviance Chabliss Marshall, 21, have been charged with murder and aggravated assault for their alleged parts in the shooting of husband and wife Marshall and Christina Wellington of Union City. Christina Wellington, 30, died on the scene from her gunshot wounds, police said, and her body was discovered lying in the middle of McClure Road off Highway 92. Marshall Wellington, 54, was found in the woods near the side of McClure Road, authorities said. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where he underwent surgery Friday. Marcus K. Garner

Fayette BOE approves millage rate

The Fayette County Board of Education unanimously approved the FY2014 millage rate at a called meeting on Monday. The rate will remain at the 2013 level, which is 20.00 for the General Fund and 1.45 for the debt service.

With a projected collection rate of 96 percent of households, the estimated property tax digest will be $69.7 million. Motor vehicle ad valorem revenue is expected to be just over $7 million.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Town hall meeting Sept. 14

Henry County Commissioner Bo Moss will host a town hall meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Locust Grove Recreation Center, 10 Cleveland St. in Locust Grove. Scheduled guest speakers are county Solicitor General Trea Pipkin and GRTA executive director Bert Brantley. Pipkin will give citizens an overview of Henry County’s criminal justice system and Brantley will discuss the plans for the I-75 express lanes. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Early voting expanding in Stockbridge

Early voting for the November elections will be expanded this year in Stockbridge. An agreement with the city and the county’s election department will allow a second week of early voting at the Ted Strickland Community Center beginning Oct. 19. The polls will be open two Saturdays. The city will pay $5,000 to offset the additional costs involved.

Early voting at the McDonough election headquarters for all Henry County voters begins Oct. 14. City Council seats will be on the ballot in all four cities as well as the mayor’s post in Hampton, McDonough and Stockbridge. A county SPLOST referendum is also likely to be on the Nov. 5 ballot. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Festival, fireworks reset for Labor Day

The Henry County Fireworks Extravaganza - originally scheduled for July 4 but rained out - will take place Labor Day, Sept. 2, at Nash Farm Park near Hampton. The Henry County Board of Commissioners approved the new date at its Aug. 6 meeting.


Monroe Roark for the AJC

Workshop offers end-of-life planning

Piedmont Fayette Hospital and Fayette Senior Services will host a workshop on “The Importance of End-of-Life Planning” 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Life Enrichment Center, Fayetteville. The event includes lunch; pre-register at 770-461-0813. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

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