County by county news for Tuesday


Cobb leaders to hold legislative meeting

Cobb County will hold its annual legislative breakfast on Thursday detailing the county’s priorities for the upcoming legislative session.

Topping the list is a proposal by Commission Chairman Tim Lee to allow for local municipalities to conduct partial penny local sales tax collections. A constitutional amendment would be necessary to implement the change. Cobb is also pushing for better sales tax collection methods and an increase in local alcoholic beverage taxes. The breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Safety Village Training Center in Marietta. Janel Davis

Police ID suspects in Marietta metal theft

Marietta Police have identified two men who allegedly burglarized a vacant warehouse on Cobb Industrial Drive.

A witness called police upon seeing a man walk from behind the building and put some copper wiring in the back of a truck on Nov. 28.

The suspect left before officers arrived. But evidence at the scene led police to Jay Douglas Trantham and Louis Anthony Lopez, both 24 and of Marietta. Trantham was arrested Dec. 2 and is being held at the Cobb jail.

Anyone with information on Lopez should contact Marietta police at 770-794-5300. Andria Simmons

Cobb seeks nominations for community awards

Cobb County Commissioners and the Community Relations Council are seeking nominations for individuals, teams or organizations eligible for the 2012 Creating Community Awards.

The awards recognize those who have made unique, positive contributions to the inclusion of diverse communities in the county.

Each commissioner will receive nominations from his or her district, and a committee will choose each recipient.

Nominations are due Jan. 12. The awards ceremony is set for March 15.


Janel Davis

Tour of Homes to benefit orphan ministry

A Christmas Tour of Homes in West Cobb this weekend will raise funds for a nonprofit to help orphans here and abroad.

All proceeds will go to Engraved Orphan Ministry.

Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the homes of Gen. and Mrs. Tommy W. Bonds and Tim and Tassie Aycock.

Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

Tickets may be purchased online at

For information: or Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Childhood education forum to be Wednesday

A free community forum on childhood education will be held Wednesday in Austell.

“Educating Our Future: The Fight for Georgia’s Children” will be 7 to 9 p.m. at Destiny World Church, 7400 Factory Shoals Drive off Interstate 20 at Thornton Road.

This program will be presented by the American Federation for Children and the Center for an Educated Georgia at Georgia Family Council.

For preferred seating, visit or call 1-888-823-5420. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Hyundai Construction to hold grand opening

Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas will celebrate the grand opening of its Norcross headquarters Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception.

The event will start at 4 p.m. at the new facility, which is located at 6100 Atlantic Boulevard in Norcross.

The headquarters will include a warehouse and office space for the company’s finance, sales and service operations.

The state has estimated that about 100 jobs will be created over the next five years. Joel Anderson

DA’s office hold victims’ vigil tonight

The Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office will host its annual Candlelight Vigil for crime victims at 7 p.m. tonight at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville. Featured speaker Claudia Barnes is the wife of the late Judge Rowland Barnes, who was killed by Brian Nichols in the Fulton County Courthouse shooting spree in 2005. Info: Call 770-822-8491. Andria Simmons

County to hold holiday celebration Saturday

Gwinnett County will host a holiday celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse, 185 E. Crogan St., Lawrenceville.

The event will feature self-guided tours of the courthouse, holiday music and visits with Santa. Kids can make holiday crafts at a cost of $1 per child. A visit and photo with Santa is $5 per child. David Wickert

Dedicate library book for the holidays

The Gwinnett County Public Library is encouraging shoppers to sponsor books for its collection in honor of a friend or family member this holiday season. Dedications cost $25 per book. The cost of dedicating a shelf of books is $500. Dedicating a section of books costs $2,500. Forms for book dedications are available at the library’s 15 branches and at the library’s website:

David Wickert

Leaders complete training program

Gwinnett Place CID Executive Director Joe Allen and Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce Business Development Manager Nicole Wright were among the latest class of graduates from the Board of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development’s Region 3 training program.

The Academy’s multi-day program, taught one day a month over a four-month period, includes training in the basics of economic and community development. Information: 404-679-4789 or Joel Anderson

Coolray Field hosts Toys for Tots drive

Coolray Field has announced plans to host a Toys for Tots drive Thursday through Saturday.

The Gwinnett Braves have teamed up with Venture Sports Shows for the event, which will offer fans a chance to get autographs from Phil Niekro and Otis Nixon by donating a new, unwrapped toy.

Information: or 678-277-0340. Joel Anderson


Forsyth officials pleased with first roundabout

Forsyth County is celebrating completion of its first roundabout at the intersection of two county roads. The roundabout, at Hopewell and Jot-em-Down roads in north Forsyth, was funded through the county’s local penny sales tax.

Tim Allen, assistant director of engineering, said traffic backups at the intersection have decreased since the roundabout opened in October. The county is considering additional roundabouts in the future, Allen said.

Patrick Fox

Milton overlay district group to meet

The first meeting of the Stakeholder Group for Milton’s Crabapple Zoning Overlay District will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall.

This group is charged with creating a form-based zoning overlay district and incorporating regulations for transfer of development rights. It is composed of 12 Crabapple business, resident and appointed citizen representatives, plus four Milton staffers, two consultants from project partner Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh & Associates and a planner from the Atlanta Regional Commission. Patrick Fox

Sandy Springs rec officials hold showcase

The City of Sandy Springs Recreation and Parks Department is hosting its annual Winter Showcase Thursday at Hammond Park Gymnasium, 705 Hammond Drive. The event runs from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and will feature performances by students participating in the artistic and rhythmic gymnastics programs.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with instructors, and learn about additional Recreation and Parks programs.

Information: or 770-730-5600. Patrick Fox

Animal Planet dog trainer talks to students

The Cherokee County Animal Shelter will host more than 150 Georgia students of the Homeless Pets Clubs on Dec. 14 to spend the afternoon with Animal Planet’s Dog Trainer Victoria Stilwell at 4 p.m. at the Cherokee County Conference Center, 1130 Bluffs Parkway, Canton.

Stilwell will be speaking to the students and families about her work with animals and promote animal welfare.

Information about adoptable pets at CCAS visit: Sandra Marshall Murray

Milton invites input in online survey

An online community character study is available at the city of Milton’s website,, as part of the city’s Livable Communities Initiative (LCI) Grant study of the Ga. Highway 9 area.

The survey, which takes less than 10 minutes, includes a visual study of business, residential and green space areas.

Residents rank images that are most appropriate for the Ga. 9/Windward/Deerfield parkways area.

There are also questions about issues of transportation, business, housing and pedestrian access.

Results will help city planners plan for growth. Andria Simmons


ADA announces new appointments

Some key positions at the Atlanta Development Authority are in new hands, the agency announced Monday. They include: Dough Ray, a certified public accountant, as chief financial officer; Bill Cronin, vice president of economic development; and Eloisa Klementich, director of business development. “These appointments represent the new Atlanta Development, said Brian McGowan, president and CEO of the ADA. “The ADA is being transformed into a job growth engine, one that can help Atlanta compete in this new global economy.” Nancy Badertscher

Hospital extending room service options

Patients at Emory University Hospital Midtown can now enjoy a little more convenience with dining room service now offered throughout the day.

People tend to eat better in the hospital when they’re able to select their own meals, according to Emory. The room service model also allows for fresher food. Orders are taken from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and are delivered within 45 minutes. Misty Williams

Holiday open house to be Saturday

The public is invited to the Committed to Communities Holiday Open House Tour on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Capitol View, West View and Adair Park neighborhoods in Southwest Atlanta. The tour will begin at 1382 Graham Street and will end with a free neighborhood cook-out. Toy donations for the Salvation Army will be accepted. Information: Veronica Fields Johnson

Reindog Parade at Botanical Gardens

Pups clad in their finest holiday attire will be on parade Saturday at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. They’ll be showing off and competing for prizes at the garden’s fourth annual Reindog Parade. The fun starts at 11 a.m. Entry fee for: $15 per dog, $18 at the door. All dogs must pre-register, and forms are available on the garden’s web site or via Nancy Badertscher


Legislative delegation to hold meeting

DeKalb County’s legislative delegation will hold the last of its three public meetings to hear from constituents their expectations for the 2012 session.

The hearing is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Maloof Auditorium at 1300 Commerce Drive in Decatur.

“Because of the issues surrounding the upcoming regional transportation SPLOST and the creation of new cities in DeKalb, it is extremely important that we hear from constituents,” said delegation chairman Rep. Howard Mosby D-Atlanta. Rhonda Cook

Decatur to replace storm sewer pipe

Decatur Assistant City Manager David Junger said the city will commence removing and replacing 36 feet of storm sewer pipe at South McDonough Street and Oakhurst Commons Drive in late December. The work’s necessary, Junger said, because the existing pipe has rusted out and is causing a failure, or sinking, of the road surface. “This doesn’t happen often,” Junger added. “At most we do a project like this once or twice a year.” Expected cost is $18,150, and repairs are expected to take five to seven days.

Bill Banks for the AJC

Chamblee business group hosts program

The Chamblee Business Association will introduce its new leadership during its Christmas program later this month.

The meeting will feature holiday musical performances and breakfast, as well as networking. The meeting, which includes breakfast, begins at 8 a.m. Dec. 15 at the Chamblee Civic Center on Broad Street. The event is free for first-time guests and $5 for members. April Hunt

Manufacturing firm moving to Tucker

Manufacturing firm Steelmart is moving from Gainesville to a 60,000-square-foot facility in Tucker. The consolidation of three Steelmart locations brings 50 jobs to DeKalb County, with plans to hire at least five employees immediately at the Lawrenceville Highway plant. The firm makes steel products for the building industry and as well as ornamental metal work. April Hunt

Solar panels in at Doraville police station

An Atlanta firm recently installed 72 solar panels at the Doraville police station, designed to conserve both money and energy.

A $65,000 federal grant paid for the panels, which will generate 22,222 kilowatt-hours of energy. The system is expected to save the city $5,000 a year in utility costs.

The solar panels also will reduce carbon dioxide emissions equal to nearly three cards, 12,800 gallons of water and 4 acres of trees.

April Hunt

Annual government report available

The 2011-2012 Report to Stakeholders, an annual update of government activity in DeKalb County, is now available.

Chief Executive Burrell Ellis compiled the report, which details local jobs and housing initiatives as well as updates to libraries and recreation centers.

The report is available in all county buildings and the main county library in Decatur. It also can be viewed online at April Hunt


Ola High marching band to play in London

The award-winning Ola High School Marching Mustang Band from Henry County is gearing up to perform in London. The band will conduct two of its final practices this week for its trip to England and appearances at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration and the London Olympics in 2012. The band is under the direction of Todd Manson, with Matthew “Bo” Sodders as his assistant. The band is recognized regionally as one of the premier marching bands for high schools. Nancy Badertscher

Pearl Harbor ceremony Wed. in McDonough

A Pearl Harbor Ceremony of Remembrance is scheduled for Wednesday beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the Veterans Wall of Honor at Heritage Park in McDonough.

The keynote speaker will be Bob Schmutzler, a World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Henry school officials to serve in state posts

Henry County School System administrators Jeff Allie and Christy Willis will serve in top leadership roles for the 350-member Georgia Association of School Business Officials for the upcoming year. Willis, director of finance for Henry schools, will be GASBO president. Allie, Henry’s assistant superintendent for finance, will serve on the board of directors. GASBO is part of a regional association that encompasses twelve states and more than 2,800 members. Monroe Roark for the AJC

Dog park waives fees for the holidays

The Peachtree City Dog Park is throwing a holiday bone to area residents by waiving its admission fee. Through New Year’s Day, the fenced, off-leash park will be open free daily from dawn to dusk. It is in the McIntosh Recreation Area at 191 McIntosh Trail in Peachtree City, behind the BMX track.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

HMC offers smoking cessation program

Henry Medical Center’s Fresh Start course helps people stop smoking. The four- week program consists of a one-hour session from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday Jan. 10-31 in the Henry Medical Center Foundation Education Center. The Fresh Start course is an American Cancer Society program. Details: Call Henry Medical Center’s Community Education Department at 678-604-1040 or visit the hospital’s website at Tammy Joyner

Fayette schools initiate gift drive

The Fayette County Public School System needs donations to fill the “non-traditional” gift needs of disadvantaged students and their families.

The Angel Tree project provides such goods and services as bedding, toiletries, eyeglasses, dental work and scholarships for elementary students to attend the After School Program. Canned food and gift cards for gasoline are in especially high demand.

Donations must be made by Dec. 9 and delivered to the LaFayette Educational Center at 205 LaFayette Ave. in Fayetteville; call 770-460-3990 ext. 120 for information. Jill Howard Church for the AJC