County by county news for Tuesday


Powder Springs ward lines ready for comment

Powder Springs residents may review, copy and submit comments about the city’s submission to the U.S. Justice Department of proposed changes for three City Council wards.

The plan seeks to equalize population numbers among the city’s wards based upon the 2010 U.S. Census in advance of the Nov. 5 elections.

The plan is available in the office of city clerk Dawn Davis, Powder Springs City Hall, 4484 Marietta St.

Information: City Hall, 770-943-1666. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Marietta may increase $35 million bond

The Marietta City Council will discuss increasing a $35 million redevelopment bond to $68 million 5:15 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 205 Lawrence St. After agreeing to send the general obligation bond to a public vote in November, the council learned the 2-mill tax hike needed for redevelopment would actually raise almost twice the projected amount. Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Cobb DOT to pick up storm debris

Cobb Department of Transportation crews will begin picking up storm debris from the tornado that hit June 13. Residents must move debris to the curb and contact DOT to schedule a pick up. Information: or call 770-528-3666 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Jaime Sarrio

Water and sewerage earns AAA rating

Cobb's water and sewerage revenue bonds earned a AAA bond rating from Moody's. The system earned favorable marks for its large and wealthy service area, solid financial operations, ample water supply and manageable debt. Information: Jaime Sarrio

Registration for senior classes underway

Registration for quarterly Cobb senior classes began Monday. The classes beginning July 8, are for residents 55 and older and include everything from yoga to jewelry making. Information on classes and locations: Jaime Sarrio

Community projects focus of lunch

The reservation deadline is noon Monday for the South Cobb Area Council luncheon meeting of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Coach George E. Ford Center, 4181 Atlanta St., Powder Springs.

Cobb Commissioner Lisa Cupid and Joel Cope, president of the Mableton Improvement Coalition, will be discussing updates on South Cobb community projects. Members: $10 online, $20 at the door. Guests: $30. Information: or 770-980-2000. Carolyn Cunningham

Marietta walking tour explores black history

A new walking tour in the Marietta area features 13 sites of historical significance to the city and the black community, dating to the Civil War. The brochure is available at several locations, including the Marietta Visitors Bureau, the Marietta Museum of History and online at Information: 770-429-1115. Jaime Sarrio


Public hearing on county tax rate today

The first of three public hearings on county property tax rates is 6 p.m. today at the Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive.

The 2013 budget calls for most residents to see a modest increase in their rate.

County tax bills in Gwinnett will look different this year because of the establishment of four service districts for fire/emergency medical services; police; development/code enforcement; and Loganville EMS.

Each district has a specified millage rate. Dan Klepal

Sugar Hill preserves millage rate

Sugar Hill’s millage rate of 3.8 for its upcoming year’s budget marks its 12th consecutive year of no increase, despite the struggling economy.

Attributing it to sound financial practices and maximizing SPLOST funds, the city has done much recently, including building a 33,000-square-foot City Hall and streetscape on West Broad Street downtown, new T-ball and baseball fields at E.E. Robinson Park and a concession and bathroom facility at Gary Pirkle Park.

Information: 770-945-6716.

Michael Alpert for the AJC

Dacula library holding download tutorial

The Hamilton Mill branch of the Gwinnett Public Library, 3690 Braselton Highway, Dacula, is welcoming residents to bring Nooks, Kindles, iPads or other eReaders from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and learn how to download eBooks from the library. The library said it adds new titles weekly.

Information: 770-978-5154,

Michael Alpert for the AJC

Duluth forming arts commission

Duluth is seeking residents interested in forming a nine-member Public Arts Commission to develop the city’s performing arts, maintain its public art collection and commission new works.

Applications are available at and must be submitted by July 15 to the City Manager's office, 3167 Main St.

Information: 770-476-3434.

Michael Alpert for the AJC

Leadership institute accepting applications

The Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute trains and empowers local citizens and community leaders to promote change in their neighborhoods and communities.

Organization leaders address growth and development issues, helping youth succeed, preventing violence and crime, environmental concerns and much more.

To apply:

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Project to raise money for officer’s family

Project LEO, a non-profit fundraising organization, is asking for donations to help the family of Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Deputy Oscar Batista, who died May 9.

Project LEO provides support and assistance to officers and their families who are in need due to injury, bereavement or other hardship.

Information: 770-676-8924 or e-mail to Dan Klepal


New Milton senior center opens this week

Fulton County and the City of Milton opened a new senior center todayMonday at the Community Church of Christ, 3315 Francis Road. The Milton Neighborhood Senior Center will offer exercise, education, dancing, table games and other activities. It also will provide hot lunches and transportation to and from the facility.

The center will operate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays initially, then 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays starting July 15.

Information:Melinda Ross at 470-554-0758 or David Wickert

Man drowned in Lake Lanier identified

The 33-year-old Atlanta man who drowned Sunday afternoon in Lake Lanier has been identified as Lindy James Murdock, authorities said.

Forsyth County sheriff’s department said Monday morning that while Murdock’s drowning is still under investigation, “at this time the death appears to be accidental.”

Murdock’s body was recovered late Sunday near Vann Tavern Park after about a 45-minute search by dive teams from Forsyth and Hall counties.

Nancy Badertscher

Johns Creek debuts new traffic light

The new $100,000 traffic signal at Johns Creek Parkway and Lakefield Drive, one of the city’s more dangerous intersections, is scheduled to be fully functional at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The city said that from 2010 to March 2012, limited site distance contributed to 29 accidents, 18 with injuries, at the intersection of the four-lane parkway and three-lane street in Technology Park.

The city decided a signal would be more effective than a four-way stop or rebuilding the intersection. Information: 678-512-3200. Michael Alpert for the AJC

New middle school ready for fall

The Cherokee County School District says that the new E.T. Booth Middle School, replacing an older facility on the same site at 6550 Putnam Ford Road, will be ready for the 2013-2014 school year.

School officials say that issues with a contractor that had placed the opening in doubt have been resolved.

The 223-thousand-dquare-foot facility is expected to open with more than 1,600 students Aug. 5. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Johns Creek offers teen defense class

Johns Creek police officers will hold a free safety and self-defense class for teenaged girls from 2 to 4 p.m. July 16 at police headquarters, 1445 Johns Creek Parkway.

Slots are limited. Register with Sgt. Debra Kalish at

Hannah Morgan

Alpharetta run, block party in August

The Alpharetta Rotary Mayor’s Challenge is 6-11 p.m. Aug. 17 in the heart of Historic Downtown Alpharetta.

Bring lawn chairs for the block party that runs until 11 p.m.

The event includes food trucks, concert, expo, etc.

Registration: $25 until Aug. 3; $30 after at Big Peach Running Co. or Arlinda Smith Broady


Atlanta schools spokesman resigns

Atlanta Public Schools spokesman Stephen Alford has resigned after 17 years working for the school district. He is leaving to pursue other interests, but he will continue working in a consulting role for the school system through Sept. 30. Executive Director of External Affairs Mikkal Hart Murunga will assume leadership of the communications department.

Mark Niesse

Man sentenced for defrauding government

Arthur W. Singleton, 63, who owned the construction firm Singleton Enterprises, convinced a Vietnam veteran bedridden from surgeries on combat-related injuries to join a scheme to exploit his disabled status and obtain government contracts worth more than $1.5 million, prosecutors said. Singleton, who pleaded guilty in Atlanta to making false documents, also was sentenced to 2 years and fedal prison and ordered to pay $181,000 in restitution. Bill Rankin

Atlanta parents invited to school meetings

The Atlanta public school system invites parents to share thoughts on parental involvement, grant usage and federal programs at meetings 10 - 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Usher Elementary and Price Middle.

Topics will include the parent involvement policy, Comprehensive Local Education Agency Improvement Plan, use of Title I parental involvement funds, the Flexible Learning Program, the School Improvement Grant and Race to the Top scope of work. Mark Niesse

Pulmonary Fibrosis group meets today

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundations' Northwest Atlanta Area Support Group monthly meeting will be 12:30 p.m. today at Piedmont Hospital, 1968 Peachtree Rd., Building 77, 6th floor. Helpful tips, ideas and conversations about living with Pulmonary Fibrosis will be shared. The group meets the fourth Tuesday of every month. Information: Marcy Solmson at or 770-337-1773 or Dionne Blasingame at 404-605-2913.

Veronica Fields Johnson


Commissioner’s “town hall” today

DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson will hold a town hall meeting for residents Tuesday 6/25 night, followed by a free movie.

The event begins at 7 p.m. at Rainbow Park, next to the Porter Sanford performing arts center on Rainbow Drive near Decatur. The movie, “Oz the Great and Powerful” will be screened following the meeting.

Both events are free and open to the public. April Hunt

Meeting today reviews Mason Mill park plan

DeKalb County will host a public meeting today to review plans to update Mason Mill Park in the central part of the county.

Topics include park trail connections to Emory University and Druid Hills Road, as well as a trail to link the park to a dog park within it.

The meeting runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Avis Williams Library, 1281 McConnell Dr., near Decatur. More information:

April Hunt

Free HIV testing in DeKalb this month

DeKalb County’s Community Service Board will offer free HIV testing and a community health fair 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 27 at the DeKalb Addiction Clinic, 455 Winn Way, Decatur. Test results will be available in 20 minutes.

The event also includes a free lunch starting at 11 a.m. and health information and resources from other community organizations.

Information: 404-508-6430. April Hunt

Service board seeks volunteers

A non-profit group that supports behavioral health and developmental disability services in DeKalb County is seeking new board members.

The DeKalb Community Service Board requires only that would-be members be a county resident, not employed by a provider and have an interest in the services.

Information: 404-508-7875 or

April Hunt

Donations sought for DeKalb firefighter

Donations are being sought to help with the medical bills of a DeKalb County firefighter who was instrumental in securing new safety gear for the department last year.

Nate Leota suffered complications during heart surgery last month, including a severe allergic reaction to medications. He is recovering in the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

DeKalb Professional Firefighters No. 1492, the union Leota heads, partnered with the Atlanta Professional Firefighters No. 134 to raise $7,000 to help offset his expenses.

Additional donations can be given at by searching for Leota's name under the Find tab. April Hunt

County announces June road closure

Beech Haven Road NE will be closed to through traffic between Brook Forest Drive and Wild Creek Trail NE 1 p.m. to 7 a.m. today and Wednesday.

Road closure signs will be posted in the area advising of construction work and traffic detours. Staff


Former Atlanta police officer gets prison time

A former Atlanta Police office was recently sentenced to two years in federal prison for conspiring to pocket bribes and for lying to FBI agents, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. In 2007, then-officer Elton Augustin, 32, of Stockbridge, worked at an Atlanta nightclub and, with two other officers, received more than $10,000 to provide security and prevent police from investigating illegal activity, which included gambling, prostitution and drug sales, at the club. Augustin also lied to FBI agents about his employment at the club after it closed in September 2007. Bill Rankin

Peachtree City to request traffic study

The City Council of Peachtree City is still debating how to solve heavy traffic congestion on Ga. Hwy. 54 west of Ga. Hwy. 74. At its June 20 meeting, a proposal by George Dienhart to pre-emptively ban a sixth traffic light and an access road failed after three members abstained, citing a lack of data. Four council members are drafting a letter to the Georgia Department of Transportation asking for a study of the corridor, which Mayor Don Haddix declined to sign.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Credit, homebuying session set for Tuesday

The Fulton County Housing and Human Services Department, Office of Housing and Community Development will host How to Improve Your Credit Score and Purchase a Home from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the East Point Library, 2757 Main Street. For more information and reasonable accommodations due to a disability, including communications in an alternative format, please contact Nell Kapple at 404-613-7944. For Georgia Relay Access, dial 711.Veronica Fields Johnson

Stockbridge awarded $100k for sidewalks

Stockbridge has been awarded a $100,000 Community Development Block Grant to construct 900 feet of lighted sidewalks from the intersection of Nolan and South Berry streets south to Wilson Street. The total cost of the project is $261,000. City officials say the sidewalks will improve pedestrian safety between City Hall, two local schools and other locations in the downtown area. Information: Monroe Roark for the AJC

Peachtree City holds summer photo contest

The Friends of the Peachtree City Library is sponsoring a "Summer in the Bubble" photo contest for children and adults. Photos must be taken within the city limits and will be judged based on theme, quality, composition and personality. Winners will receive awards. Entries are due July 12; see the Events page at for details.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Days added back to Fayette school calendar

Fayette County schools will restore three instructional days to its 2013-14 school calendar to bring the total back up to 180 days.

Budget cuts prompted a reduced schedule this past year. The change shortens the February winter break to a five-day weekend for the school year to end still before Memorial Day. Jill Howard Church for the AJC