County by county news for Thursday


Marietta resident awarded service dog in ceremony

Kroger and Milk-Bone have partnered to give a Canine Assistants service dog to Edward Stephens, a 64-year-old Marietta resident diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 36.

A special ceremony with Canine Assistants Founder and President Jennifer Arnold will be 1 p.m. today at Kroger, 3240 South Cobb Drive, Smyrna.

Kroger and Milk-Bone have provided specially-trained service dogs for 14 years through Canine Assistants, a nonprofit organization.

Information: Kenneth Musisi

Mom charged with starving teen gets bond

Ebony Espree Berry, 35, was arrested June 15, hours after 16-year-old Markea Berry was found dead in the family’s Mableton home. The teen weighed 43 pounds. Investigators believe she suffered from extreme malnourishment.

Ebony Berry was charged with felony murder and cruelty to children, Cobb County jail records show. But her case was never presented to a grand jury, and under state law, a suspect must be granted bond if not indicted within 90 days of the arrest. Tuesday was Berry’s 102nd day in jail. In a courtroom Tuesday, Berry’s attorney asked a judge to grant a $50,000 and allow her to see her children, ages 15, 8 and 8 months, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Bond was set at $75,000 and she can have no contact with her children. Alexis Stevens

Atlanta Yoga Mala for Peace set for Saturday

The third annual Atlanta Yoga Mala for Peace is set for 1:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Unity North Atlanta Church, 4255 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta. Tickets are $15 at the door.

It features: nourishing food and fellowship, a healthy lifestyles festival, live Kirtan devotional chant music and instructor-led yoga practice.

It is part of the Global Mala Peace Event in acknowledgement of the United Nation’s International Peace Day.

Information: Kenneth Musisi

Main Street in Acworth to close

The Acworth Police Department has announced Main Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from Lemon Street to Morningside Drive from 4 to 10 p.m. today.

The road closure will accommodate the North Cobb High School Homecoming Parade and downtown Pep Rally.

Commuters are advised to plan for delays. Kenneth Musisi

Marietta invites kids to read in square

Marietta City Schools will host its tenth “Marietta Reads” event 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in Glover Park.

The event, created to encourage children to read, will include a book fair, celebrity readers and drama and dance performances. Information: Jill Sims, 770-422-3500 ext. 228. Daarel Burnette II

Town hall meeting scheduled for Oct. 11

District One Commissioner Helen Goreham will host an informative town hall meeting for her constituents 7-8:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at Cobb Senior Services Wellness Center, 1150 Powder Springs St., Marietta.

Information: 770-528-3313 or Staff


Gwinnett pastor charged with child molestation

Henry Ellis Lackey, 59, pastor of Free Will Pentecostal Church in Buford, was charged with one count each of enticing a child for indecent purposes, child molestation and aggravated sodomy, according to the Auburn Police Department.

Lackey lives in Auburn, and the molestation occurred four years ago in that city, police said.

Police told Channel 2 Action News that Lackey worked as a heavy equipment operator for the Gwinnett County schools and recently retired after more than 20 years on the job.

David Ibata

Brides cakeless after wedding bakery closes

More than a dozen brides-to-be are facing cakeless weddings after Celso’s Cakes in Norcross allegedly took their orders and then closed shop, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Michelly Gonzales said she had prepaid the bakery owner, Celso Rodriguez, $450.

Gonzalez said she’s been checking blogs and found at least 15 other future brides are cakeless. David Ibata

Voter registration deadline Oct. 9

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election is Oct. 9.

Gwinnett County registered voters can request an absentee ballot by completing an application at or calling 678-226-7210.

Voters can cast ballots in person 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Oct. 15 - Nov. 2 at the County Elections Office, 455 Grayson Highway, Lawrenceville. Voting is at satellite locations Oct. 29 - Nov. 2.

Information: or 678-226-7210.

David Wickert

Police ID motorcyclist killed in wreck

Gwinnett County police on Tuesday identified the motorcyclist killed in a rush-hour crash as a 38-year-old Brandon Roy of McDonough. Three other motorists were injured in the accident shortly after 5 p.m. Monday in unincorporated Norcross, police said.

A preliminary investigation showed Roy was stopped on his black 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle with three automobiles in the westbound left turn lane of Beaver Ruin Road at I-85. A red 2006 BMW 325ci entered the turn lane and crashed, causing a chain-reaction involving Roy and the three other motorists, police said. Roy died at the scene.

The BMW’s driver, 42-year-old Kenneth Griffin of Dacula had charges pending Tuesday against him, police said. David Ibata and Alexis Stevens

Norcross City Hall to undergo refurbishing

The rotunda and the Police Department lobby are undergoing a refurbishing after their original installation in 2002, when the building housing Norcross City Hall was built.

Part of the overhaul for the interiors will include upholstering the old furniture with contemporary fabrics, repainting the walls with new colors, installing new LED lights, and replacing the old carpet.

Photos of former Police Chief Grady Thompson and long-time employee Rossie Brundage will be restored to look like original oil paintings.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of November. Kenneth Musisi


Cherokee Democrats to host fundraiser

The Cherokee County Democratic Party is hosting a fundraiser rally for Democratic Party candidates running in the 11th Congressional District. The event starts 6:30 p.m. today at Fork & Tavern in downtown Canton.

Key speakers are U.S. Congressional Candidate Patrick Thompson and Lillian “Faye” Burnaman who is running for Georgia House District 20. Admission is $10. Preregistration is available at Information: Georgette Thaler at 770-345-3489 or Kenneth Musisi

Milton High hosts band competition

Fifteen high school marching bands from around the metro area will compete at the eighth annual White Columns Invitational from 3:30 to 10 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Milton High School Stadium.

The evening full of marching band music and competition will include an exhibition performance by the Milton High School Marching Band, delicious concessions, a bake sale and a basket raffle.

Admission is $10 adults; $7 for seniors and children (ages 4-12). Parking is free. Information:

Kenneth Musisi

Recyle electonics Oct. 13 in Cherokee

Cherokee County is hosting an electronics recycling day 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Cherokee County Administrative Building,1130 Bluffs Parkway, Canton. There will be a $10 fee for old TVs. Questions about items being accepted: 770-426-1700 or mhicks at cherokeega dot com.

Arlinda Smith Broady

Hembree Farm Flea Fling Oct. 6

Roswell Historical Society will host its annual Hembree Farm Flea Fling 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 6 at 775 Hembree Road, Roswell. The event will offer gently used books, household goods, jewelry, sports, lawn & garden, games, furniture, toys, antiques and more. All proceeds will support the restoration of the Hembree Farm Historic Site. Information: Sandra Marshall Murray

Forsyth schools seeks input on policy changes

The Forsyth County Schools is seeking feedback on two proposed Board of Education policy changes. The first would require board members to file affidavits when meetings are closed, certifying that only lawful topics were discussed. The other would set an end-of-first-semester deadline for students seeking to transfer outside their attendance districts for the following school year. The board is scheduled to vote on both Oct. 18. More info:

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

School seeking vendors for fall festival

Sandy Springs Charter Middle School is planning its fall festival and is looking for vendors to be part of an outdoor market. Vendors can rent space for $10 but will be expected to provide their own tables, chairs, tents and wares. The festival will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 6. To reserve a vendor spot, email The school is located at 8750 Pride Place, Sandy Springs.

Nancy Badertscher


State Bar honors three Atlanta lawyers

The State Bar of Georgia will recognize three Atlanta lawyers on Oct. 2 for their work providing legal services to low-income Georgians.

The bar will present pro bono awards to Debbie Segal, a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton; Bill Hoffman, a partner at King & Spalding; and Atlanta Legal Aid lawyer David A. Webster.

The Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton law firm will also receive a pro bono award at the event, to be held the State Bar’s headquarters in Atlanta.

Bill Rankin.

Library offers renters’ rights workshop

Fulton County Housing and Community Development will hold a workshop 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. today at Atlanta’s West End Library, 525 Peeples St., S.W.

The workshop is about teaching renters about their rights and responsibilities.

Topics include understanding leases, security deposits, paying on time, reporting needed repairs and grounds for evictions.

Information, call 404-612-3024.

Johnny Edwards

Cumberland CID Board of Directors to meet

The board of directors for the Cumberland Community Improvement District will meet 7:30 a.m. today at the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, 240 Interstate North Parkway, Atlanta.

Information: Melissa Crook at 770-859-2357.

Kenneth Musisi

Buckhead business group meets today

The Buckhead Business Association’s weekly breakfast meeting will be 7:30 to 9 at the City Club of Buckhead.

Stanley E. Romanstein, president of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, is the featured speaker.

Tickets are $10 for BBA members and $20 for visitors and guests.


Kenneth Musisi


Superintendent gives district address

The DeKalb County schools superintendent is scheduled to give a state of the district address Thursday evening at Arabia Mountain High School.

Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson will speak to parents from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the event, hosted by the South DeKalb Parent Council.

Arabia Mountain High is at 6610 Browns Mill Rd., south of downtown Lithonia. Atkinson has been talking to parents at high schools across the county about her first year as superintendent. Ty Tagami

Dunwoody-Chamblee parents to meet

The Dunwoody-Chamblee Parents’ Council’s monthly meeting is 9:15 to 10:30 a.m. Friday at Dunwoody High.

DeKalb County Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson will speak on updates in the district.

DCPC meets on the first Wednesday of the month to discuss topics that affect public schools in the community. There is no October meeting.

Information: Kenneth Musisi

Rotary Club hosts golf tourney fundraiser

The 15th annual North Atlanta Rotary Club Golf Tournament and Silent Auction will be 7:30 a.m. today at the Heritage Golf Links in Tucker.

Fees are $125 for individual players and sponsorships are available. Lunch is included. Proceeds benefit the Nicholas House which helps homeless families achieve self-sufficiency.

Information: Lance Reising at 678-778-0876. Kenneth Musisi

Minority contractor group honors officials

The National Association of Minority Contractors’ Georgia chapter is honoring CEO Burrell Ellis, along with commissioners Larry Johnson and Stan Watson for their work promoting diversity in government contracts during the group’s annual banquet on Friday.

All have helped the group with its mission to advocate and train for contract opportunities for minority contractors.

April Hunt

Woman indicted in medicine death of child

A DeKalb County grand jury Tuesday indicted a woman on charges that she caused the death of a child by giving him a lethal amount of medication.

Carlitha Yvette Hardy, 34, faces reckless conduct and involuntary manslaughter.

The indictment stated that on or about Nov. 26, 2010, Hardy caused the death of Ha-hson Hardy, without any intention to do so, by administering various medications, in toxic amounts. The indictment does not describe the relationship between Hardy and the child.

Records indicate a $15,000 bond was set in the case on Aug. 15, 2011. Hardy bonded out of jail on Aug. 17. Fran Jeffries

Wynbrooke elementary hosts golf fundraiser

Wynbrooke Elementary Theme School will hold its annual fundraiser golf tournament 11 a.m. Oct. 12 at Stone Mountain Golf Club, Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort, 4021 Lakeview Dr.

Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third-place teams, longest drive hole, closet to the pin and holes-in-one. Early bird registration ends Sunday. Registration:; Derrick Smith,

Janel H. Davis


Bond denied in death of legislator’s nephew

Divonte Jiles Lester, 20, was playing with a gun he believed was unloaded around 7:30 p.m. Saturday when he shot and killed 19-year-old Quinn Keevon Heckstall, according to Clayton County police. Lester has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and tampering with evidence in the death of Heckstall, nephew of state Rep. Joe Heckstall (D-East Point).

The victim was transported to Southern Regional Hospital, but didn’t survive. Lester who lives at the complex, according to jail booking records, was denied bond. Alexis Stevens

Cancer organization needs volunteer drivers

The American Cancer Society is in need of volunteer drivers in Clayton and Henry Counties to join the Road to Recovery program, which provides transportation for cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments at local medical facilities. The organization provides free training and volunteers must be at least 18 with a valid driver’s license, have a good driving record, auto insurance and a vehicle in good working condition. Information: or 404-582-6132 or Veronica Fields Johnson

Networking, venue tour offered at Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek Entertainment, South Fulton Economic Development and the South Fulton Chamber of Commerce are hosting “Business After Hours” 6 to 8 p.m. todayat The Wolf’s Den, 3025 Merk Road, off Camp Creek Parkway.

The event includes a tour of the new community multi-purpose facility and amphitheater at the Wolf Creek Amphitheater. Information: 404-613-9653 or 770-964-1984. Johnny Edwards

Volunteers needed for Rivers Alive cleanup

The Henry County Stormwater Management Department is looking for volunteers to take part in the county’s Annual Rivers Alive cleanup event 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 13 at Indian Creek Reservoir.

Volunteers will meet at Strong Rock Christian School in Locust Grove, where they will enjoy a hay ride to the cleanup site. As a thank-you, officials are offering free bank fishing at the site for that day only from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Those interested should bring their own fishing gear and fishing license.

Monroe Roark for the AJC

‘Black Fridays’ end for Henry animal control

Henry County Animal Care & Control will host the last of September’s “Black Fridays” this Friday. All solid black cats and dogs can be adopted for just $30 – more than 50 percent off the regular adoption fees – which includes microchipping, a rabies vaccination certificate, and 30 days of pet health insurance. Information: Monroe Roark

Deadline for Henry photo contest is Friday

The Henry County Parks and Recreation Department’s annual photography contest is taking entries until Friday. Photos must be taken at a county park or facility of a HCPRD event.

More than $400 in prizes are available for winners in three categories. Photographers must be at least 18 years old.

Information: or 770-288-7312. Monroe Roark for the AJC

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