County by county news for Thursday

Civic group opposes transit study money

The Cobb County Civic Coalition wants the county commissioners to rescind a vote to spend $3 million on a portion of a transit study. The Commission voted 4-1 to fund an environmental impact study for a transit method recommended by an analysis, due later this year, for the northwest corridor. The Coalition said the money should not be spent because the analysis is not complete, and county voters rejected a regional transportation tax plan that included a $689 million project to enhance transit service on Cobb Parkway. The Federal Transit Administration will fund 80 percent of the $3 million environmental study. Janel Davis

Free concert Saturday at the Mable

The Candlelite Concert Series continues with Blair Crimmins and the Hookers at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton.

Tables are $50. Picnicking is welcome, and food will be available for purchase. Gates open at 7 p.m.; lawn seating is free, but chairs aren't allowed.

Information and reservations: or 770-819-3285. Carolyn Cunningham

Farmers market open on Thursdays

The Mableton Farmers Market is open 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 27 at the Mable House Complex, 5239 Floyd Road.

Low-income older adults may qualify for Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers worth $20 each.

Information:, or Market Coordinator Cheryl Mayerik at or 404-463-3125. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Money help available for seniors in need

Cobb Senior Services is offering financial help for low-income senior citizens who are 60 or older. Seniors must live in Cobb and meet income guidelines to get assistance with delinquent rent, utilities, prescription assistance and limited financial assistance.

Information: Cobb Senior Services at 770-528-5364. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Mableton community begins celebration

The Mableton Community in south Cobb will celebrate 100 years of existence with a host of events beginning in August and running for the remainder of the year and into 2013.

The "Experience Mableton" celebration will include a weekend of fun Aug. 18-19 at the Mableton Moose Lodge, a community cleanup, business exchange, chili cook-off, a Christmas celebration and shop local campaign.

Information: Dominique Huff, 404-277-5238; Janel Davis

Citizens named to study downtown issues

Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin has appointed Marietta Welcome Center head Theresa Jenkins to a committee the City Council approved in July to look at downtown issues.

Council appointees are John Rossiter, Mike "Pic" Petelle, Lloyd Hildreth, Marilyn Massey, Leon Leak and former mayor Bill Dunaway.

Downtown churches selected Phyllis Miller to serve and restaurant operators selected Kelly Contreras. Four members have yet to be named.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC


Suspect charged with raping Norcross teen

Gwinnett County Sheriff's deputies arrested a man Tuesday for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl in Norcross over the weekend.

Norcross police had secured felony warrants for Douc Nguyen, charging him with burglary and rape. Nguyen allegedly entered the victim's home unlawfully and raped her.

Police said the sheriff's office Fugitive Unit conducted surveillance on a home on Avalon Forest Drive near Lawrenceville, and when Nguyen left the house in a Honda Accord, a Gwinnett police officer arrested him.Nyugen is being held without bond in the Gwinnett County Jail. Mike Morris

Sugar Hill selects new flag

Sugar Hill, the self-proclaimed Recreation City, picked a replacement for its little-known one that reads "City of Sugar Hill, Growth and Progress," encircling the city's tree emblem. Gwinnett's fourth-largest city picked among four flags, all of which had "The Recreation City" at the bottom. Three flags depicted city hall, a gazebo, clock and wagon of mounded sugar from the city's seal, as well as its founding year of 1939. The city council chose the fourth, the one more simply including the city's name, recreation designation and tree.

Michael Alpert for the AJC

Chambliss to speak to Chamber

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss will speak at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce's public policy luncheon 11:30 a.m. Aug. 22 at the Atlanta Marriott-Gwinnett Place, 1775 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth.

Topics: federal budget negotiations, the national debt and defense cuts. David Wickert

Norcross concert series continues Friday

Norcross will host "A-Town, A-List," performing 50 years of pop music with a current edge, as their Summer Concert Series continues 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, August 17 in Thrasher Park.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Lifeguards win state competition

Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation took first place at the annual Georgia Recreation and Park Association State Lifeguarding Competition on July 23 in Clayton County. The competition consisted of several events evaluating teamwork, athletic ability, and lifeguarding knowledge. Gwinnett lifeguards dominated the swim relay event with the fastest time and secured another first during a critical incident event, applying their lifeguarding skills during an emergency simulation. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Career expo set for Gwinnett County

The Georgia Department of Labor's Gwinnett Career Center and the Crossroads Career Network are co-sponsoring their eighth annual Career Expo 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Aug. 21. at Snellville United Methodist Church, 2428 Main St. East, Snellville.

The expo will feature about 40 employers and resource agencies that provide assistance to job seekers. Be prepared to fill out company applications and interview for available job openings. Appropriate dress is encouraged. Nancy Badertscher


Sewer work to affect Sandy Springs traffic

Cherry Tree Lane and Vernon Woods Drive in Sandy Springs will be open only to local traffic over the next few weeks as the Fulton County Department of Water Resources constructs a sewer line. Work is set to begin Wednesday with completion scheduled for October.

Construction will be limited within the public right-of-way and sewer easements, department officials said. Traffic control devices and personnel will be in place to assist with traffic.

Information: 404-612-7400. Patrick Fox

Child biter sentenced to four years' probation

Gordon Kent Nelson, arrested two years ago for biting two Cumming children, was sentenced to four years' supervised probation Tuesday in Forsyth County State Court. Nelson, 46, pleaded guilty to charges of reckless conduct.

He was arrested in 2010 for biting two local 8-year-old girls on two separate occasions.

As part of his probation, Nelson must perform more than 200 hours of community service, pay $3,165 in fines and complete a program at a facility specializing in treating compulsive sexual disorders. Patrick Fox

Immigration suspects arrested in Cherokee

The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office and U-S Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested eight foreign-born suspects with active arrest warrants in an operation Tuesday night.

One suspect, Edmundo Martinez, 24, of Canton, is jailed in the Cherokee lockup on cocaine possession charges.

The other seven were taken to the Whitfield County Jail on various ICE infractions and will be held there until deportation.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Davis Academy names director of admissions

Lisa Mirsky, a 12-year veteran of Davis Academy in Sandy Springs, has been appointed as the school's new director of admissions. Mirsky was a third grade teacher for three years and a reading specialist for eight years at the school. The Davis Academy offers students in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade an academic program grounded in Reform Jewish values. The school is celebrating its 20th anniversary. More info on the academy:

Nancy Badertscher

Forsyth emergency center operating

Forsyth County's 911 Center has resumed normal operations following last week's power interruption at the county's public safety complex.

When strong storms caused brownouts, emergency calls were transferred to Hall County and relayed via radio to Forsyth. Michael Alpert for the AJC

Woodstock town hall meeting Aug. 16

Mayor Donnie Henriques and the Woodstock City Council will host a Towne Hall Meeting 7 p.m. today at The Chambers at City Center, 8534 Main St.

Among topics up for discussion will be pending road projects, the Citizens Police Academy, and the proposed November HOST sales tax vote that would lower or eliminate the county's part of property taxes. Mark Woolsey for the AJC


2 shot in parking lot argument

A double shooting left one person critically wounded Tuesday night outside a Family Dollar store on the city's northwest side.

Two groups of people on opposite sides of the street in the 2600 block of Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway got into an argument about 8 p.m. that escalated into gunfire. Police found one male shot in the chest, and another shot in the arm. Both were transported to Grady Memorial Hospital.

No arrests had been made as of late Tuesday night. David Ibata

Conference to focus on environmental justice

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency is hosting its a regional conference on environmental justice 8:45 a.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Friday at the Sam Nunn Federal Center, 61 Forsyth Street SW. The event will bring together community activists, citizens, state and federal officials and academics to develop solutions to environmental, health, and social issues affecting communities with environmental justice concerns. Information: Nancy Badertscher

Poet scheduled to appear at Charis

Poet, cultural worker and activist Vanessa Huang will appear 7:30 to 9 p.m. today at Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave. N.E. Suggested donation is $5. Attendees are asked to prepare in advance to come scent free.

Information: 404-524-0304. Veronica Fields Johnson

Rep. Lewis to discuss digital divide

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell will join Georgia Schools Superintendent John Barge today to discuss the digital divide at a pep rally at Carver High School.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was originally scheduled to participate in the rally, but he has canceled his appearance.

The rally is designed to draw attention to the need for expanded broadband access and computer literacy in low-income communities. Wayne Washington


DeKalb hosting workshop on foreclosure prevention

DeKalb County will hold a workshop 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturdayat Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church, 4680 Flat Shoals Parkway to help residents prevent foreclosure and receive loan counseling.

The workshop features one-on-one counseling with mortgage providers and payment assistance.

Bring two years of federal tax returns, a monthly mortgage statement, a utility bill showing the homeowner's name and address, two most recent bank statements and the two most recent pay stubs from those helping with the mortgage.

Information: 404-371-6379.

April Hunt

Chamber networking event coming up

The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce will host its Business After-Hours networking event 5:30 to 7 p.m. Aug. 23 at Suburban Lanes, North Decatur Road.

The event features food and drinks along with networking. No cost for chamber members, $10 fee for nonmembers.

Information: 404-378-8000.

April Hunt

Classes brimming says Walker

Budget cuts increased average class sizes by two students in DeKalb County, and board chairman Eugene Walker said he was concerned about crowding but that his worst fears were allayed by visits to several schools Monday.

Walker said he saw classrooms holding as many as 39 students. No child lacked a desk, and the classrooms appeared orderly. Ty Tagami

Teachers of year to be revealed Saturday

The DeKalb Teacher of the Year will be revealed at a ceremony scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Thalia N. Carlos Hellenic Center.

The recognition is for teachers at each school. The event will air on the school system's access channel, PDS-TV24.

Ty Tagami

DeKalb school employee a finalist for Woodruff award

The DeKalb County School District's fine arts coordinator has been named a finalist for the Woodruff Arts Center's"Woodruff Salutes Arts in Education Leaders."

Betsy Eppes was among three finalists from across Georgia selected by the Woodruff.

The winner will be announced at a Sept. 15 event, and will get a cash contribution of $2,500 to the arts program of his or her choice.

Ty Tagami

New DeKalb library opening soon

The new Scott Candler branch of the DeKalb County library system will open on Aug. 20, with a dedication ceremony 10 a.m. Saturday at 1917 Candler Road.

The new branch is part of a mixed-use development that is to eventually include a new senior center and senior housing. The facility will hold 30,000 volumes, have 27 public-access computers and includes a 90-seat meeting room.

Work on the new facility began last year and is part of a $54.5 million project to expand, renovate and add 13 libraries to the county.

Information: 404-370-8450 or

April Hunt


Stockbridge council censures mayor

The Stockbridge City Council voted Monday night to formally censure Mayor Lee Stuart. According to the resolution, the action was taken "for comments concerning and/or directed towards city employees and former city employees."

Several controversial episodes have pitted the mayor and council against each other since Stuart took office in 2010, and he has filed suit against the city more than once during his term.

Monroe Roark for the AJC

Benefit registration ends Friday

The College Park Fire Rescue will participate in a "Wheels for Wheels Motorcycle Ride" to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Bikers will depart at 9 a.m. Aug.25 from the public safety building at 3717 College St., College Park en route to Warm Springs. The event is part of the "fill the boot" effort for 2012. The public is invited to participate for a $10 fee due by Friday. Registration: Thompson for the AJC

Clayton parents sound off at school forums

Parents of Clayton County Schools students criticized the school district's minimum day release plan at one of nine school forums Tuesday night.

Every high school hosted a forum at 6 pm to discuss Superintendent Edmond Heatley's plan to dismiss students every Wednesday as much as 90 minutes early. The plan would give teachers time to train for teaching common core educational curriculum, which is set to take effect in the 2014-2015 school year.

District officials took questions about the plan, all of which were critical or outright hostile. The district says it will consider the parental input. The school board is also considering whether it has the legal authority to block the plan.

Edward Mitchell

Market Day returns to Fayetteville

Main Street Fayetteville will host another Market Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the downtown gazebo. Homegrown and homemade products from local farmers and merchants will be accompanied by live music from Sean McGuire. Vendors should call 770-719-4173. Jill Howard Church

Clayton inmate dies in custody

Clayton County deputies and the GBI are investigating the death of a jail inmate that occurred sometime early Wednesday morning.

The inmate was taken to Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, where he was pronounced dead around 4 a.m., authorities said.

The cause of death is unclear, but authorities said the inmate, who was in his late 50s, had a history of medical problems.

Marcus K. Garner

'Fresh Market Fridays' offers local produce

College Park's farmers' market offers a location to buy local and organically grown produce.

The market runs from 10 2 p.m. Friday in front of the train depot at 3724 Main Street, College Park. John Thompson for the AJC

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