County by county news for Tuesday


County donates fire engine to station hit by Hurricane Sandy

Cobb commissioners approved the donation of a fire engine to the West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department, which lost equipment during Hurricane Sandy.

Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services made the donation in cooperation with the state chapter of the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund, a philanthropic group that helps fire departments. Information:

Jaime Sarrio

Marietta to talk about slowing traffic

The Marietta Council will discuss traffic calming proposals at a public works committee meeting 5:15 p.m. Wednesday. Agenda items include a request to reduce the speed limit on Kennesaw Avenue and Church and Cherokee streets to 30 miles an hour and an ordinance about neighborhood votes on speed tables. At issue, who gets to vote on proposed speed tables on Lee’s Trace in the 408-home Lee’s Crossing subdivision off Manning Road. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Alcohol taskforce to hold youth meeting

The Cobb Alcohol Taskforce will hold a youth summit 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Turner Chapel AME Church, 492 North Marietta Parkway, Marietta. Middle and high school students will learn leadership skills to tackle underage drinking and binging issues. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Information: Amy Hoffman at Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Dodgen robotics team qualifies for state

Dodgen Middle School’s robotics team, “Team Ninja”, recently qualified for the FIRST Tech Challenge Georgia State Competition in March at Southern Polytechnic State University. The competition requires students to work together to build robots. Information: Daarel Burnette II

Performing arts students at Strand

Cobb County’s performing arts students will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre. Tickets are $3. Information:

Daarel Burnette II

Powder Springs taking paving proposals

Contractor proposals are requested by Powder Springs for about 8,000 feet of sidewalks on Warren Farm Road and concrete paving at the city’s public works facility, 3006 Springs Industrial Drive.

A pre-proposal meeting will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 4484 Marietta St.

Proposals must be submitted before 10 a.m. Feb. 15 when they will be publicly opened and read aloud.

Information: Croy Engineering, 770-971-5407 or Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Cobb to purchase salt truck for bad weather

Cobb commissioners approved the purchase of a salt spreader truck with front snow plow attachment. The county is also buying two salt spreader hoppers to mount on existing trucks. The cost will be $233,618. Jaime Sarrio


Mayor, commissioner appointed to GCVB board

The Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau has appointed Norcross Mayor, Bucky Johnson, to the 2013 Board of Directors to represent the Gwinnett Municipal Association. Also named to the GCVB Board of Directors is Gwinnett District 1 Commissioner, Jace Brooks, who will serve as the board’s vice chairperson. Newly appointed officers include: Chairman Kevin Hill, general manager of Hampton Inn Sugarloaf; Treasurer Marcy Adams, general manager of Atlanta Marriott Gwinnett Place; and Secretary Tony Contigiani, general manager of the Hilton Atlanta Northeast.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Attorneys assist with DACA applications

The Latin American Association, in partnership with GALEO, the American Immigration Lawyers Association Georgia-Alabama Chapter and Catholic Charities Atlanta, will offer free assistance to youth eligible to file for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Latin American Association, 2750 Buford Highway. Participants must preregister and be screened with a phone interview by Friday, Feb. 1. Information: Vernica Fields Johnson

County transit times changing

Gwinnett Transit this week is implementing enhancements to its bus routes designed to better match public demand and mesh with downtown Atlanta routing. Route times and their number of stops will be modified, and the 6:45 p.m. “sweeper” bus that hits all three park and ride lots is returning.

Michael Alpert for the AJC

Fitness and nutrition classes starting

Can’t get motivated? Join Ines Beltran, Cooperative Extension Agent, to learn healthy cooking and eating habits while exercising and losing weight from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Feb. 27 at Centerville Community Center, 3025 Bethany Church Road. Cost is $15 for seven weeks payable in cash. Registration required by calling 770-985-4713. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Fundraiser to benefit Aurora Theatre

Painting with a Twist, will host a fundraiser 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday with 50 percent of the proceeds benefiting non-profit Aurora Theatre. Register in advance for step-by-step instruction to paint “Midnight Train to Georgia” at $45 per person. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Commissioner seeks community feedback

District 2 Commissioner Lynette Howard will host a Town Hall Meeting 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at Norcross City Hall, 65 Lawrenceville St. Recycling will be discussed. residents may ask questions or express concerns. Karen Huppertz

Dacula council to hold special meeting

A special City Council meeting has been called to hear presentations from package store applicants at 6 p.m. Thursday at Dacula City Hall, 442 Harbins Road. The council’s next regularly scheduled monthly meeting will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 7.

Michael Alpert for the AJC


Northside has lower unemployment than state

Forsyth County and north Fulton cities reported lower unemployment rates than Georgia’s overall.

Forsyth’s seasonally adjusted rate in December was 6.5 percent and Johns Creek’s 7, while Alpharetta’s, Roswell’s and Sandy Springs all were 6.4, compared to metro Atlanta’s 8.4 and the Georgia’s 8.6.

Information: Georgia Department of Labor, MICHAEL ALPERT FOR THE AJC

Filing deadline near in Forsyth

Thursday is the deadline to file out-of-district petitions in Forsyth County Schools, needed for students to attend schools they aren’t zoned for.

The following schools already are over capacity and not accepting out-of-district requests: Daves Creek, Kelly Mill, Midway, Shiloh Point, Vickery Creek and Whitlow Elementaries; Lakeside, Otwell, Piney Grove, Riverwatch and Vickery Creek Middle Schools, Lambert, North Forsyth, South Forsyth, and West Forsyth High Schools. MICHAEL ALPERT FOR THE AJC

Downtown Cumming demolition underway

Demolition of the parking deck at East Main and Mason Streets, a government building and professional building are being demolished in downtown Cumming for Forsyth County’s new courthouse and jail. Work is scheduled for 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Sidewalks will close as needed, but only intermittent lane closures are planned.


Meeting set for Forsyth courthouse/jail project

Turner/Winter Construction, a joint venture, will hold an open house at 4 p.m. Feb 6. at the Forsyth Conference Center, 3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Cumming, to talk about the upcoming Forsyth County Courthouse and Detention Center project. Subcontractors and craftsmen interested in participating are invited. Construction is set to start in July. Attendees should RSVP to by 2 p.m. Monday. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Congressman sets town hall meeting

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., is hosting town hall meetings in his reconfigured 7th District, which includes parts of Forsyth County, 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Forsyth County Administration Building, 110 E. Main St., Cumming. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Special needs hockey program offered

Atlanta Sparks president Daniel Carmody has worked with the American Special Hockey Association and USA Hockey to kick off a special needs ice hockey program this October in Alpharetta.

The program is open to any male and female players (age 7-adults) with a developmental disability. Volunteers and coaches are needed.

The Atlanta Sparks will play at The Cooler Family Fun Center in Alpharetta and will offer a mentor program for children with Asperger’s syndrome. Information:

Kenneth Musisi


Arrest made in tattoo parlor slaying

Atlanta police made an arrest late Sunday in the shooting death of Anton Johnson, which happened around 6 p.m. on Jan. 16 at a tattoo parlo in the 800 block of Lee Street.

A second employee was shot in the chest, and was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in critical condition. His name has not been released.

Atlanta police spokesman Sgt. Greg Lyon told the AJC in an e-mail Monday that Clifford Harris, 22, was arrested Sunday and charged with murder, aggravated assault and armed robbery.

Harris is being held without bond in the Fulton County Jail.

Mike Morris

Recycling increases, city saves money

Since the launch in October of Cartlanta, the city of Atlanta’s new residential recycling program, recycling tonnage has increased 23 percent, from 1,079 tons collected to 1,403 tons. Meanwhile, recycling collection rates in City Hall and other municipal buildings have increased six-fold, the city said.

When the program began, city residents generated 96,000 tons of trash annually, costing the city $7 million a year to dispose of in landfills. Recycling rates were roughly 12.5 percent or 12,000 tons annually. Diverting recyclables from landfills produces revenue for the City at a rate of $30 per ton. Jeremiah McWilliams

First African-American Episcopal priest lauded

A special service honoring Absalom Jones, the first African-American priest of the Episcopal Church, will be held at 4 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road N.W.

Jones, was a former slave and co-founded the Free African Society, which aided the sick, widows and orphans and newly freedmen.

The Rev. Gregory V. Eason Sr., senior pastor of Big Bethel A.M.E. Church, will be the guest speaker. The Big Bethel Mass Choir will provide the music.

The event is sponsored by the Atlanta chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians. A reception will follow. Shelia M. Poole


Men arrested $60k chicken wing theft

Dewayne Patterson, 35, and Renaldo Jackson, 26, were arrested last week and accused of stealing frozen chicken wings — worth $65,000 — from Nordic Cold Storage off Pleasantdale Road in Doraville, where they worked.

Managers at the business told police that Jackson used a forklift to load the wings on a rental truck while Patterson served as lookout. The men were arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of felony theft by taking. They were released the same day on $2,950 bond.

No word on the whereabouts of the wings, according to police. Fran Jeffries

3 teens shot during house party

Three teens between the ages of 16 and 19 were shot during a fight at a house party on Creekside Place off Covington Highway at around 12:30 a.m. Sunday, police told Channel 2 News.

While police tried to investigate the shooting, some parents were showing up at the house to pick up their children. Channel 2 crews also saw parents getting upset, saying they were not getting enough information.

No arrests have been made.

Fran Jeffries

Final meeting about trash service

The county will hold a final meeting 9 a.m. Saturday at Chapel Hill Middle School, 3535 Dogwood Farm Road to discuss making curbside recycling and trash pick-up the same day. For $265 a year, residents had been receiving twice weekly trash pickup and recycling pickup and yard trimmings once a week with no volume limit.

The next question will be whether DeKalb moves to once weekly trash pickup.

Information: 404-371-3689.

April Hunt

Commissioner hosting meeting Saturday

Stan Watson, an at-large county commissioner in DeKalb, will host his monthly legislative breakfast this Saturday.

Speaking at the event will be representatives from Hartsfield-Jackson airport, the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport and the county’s department of Watershed Management.

The breakfast is from 9-11 a.m. Saturday at Chapel Hill Middle School on Dogwood Farms Road in South DeKalb. Registration is not required.

April Hunt

Youth soccer registration underway

Registration is open for youth soccer leagues in DeKalb County.

Registration is open until Feb. 15 at all county recreation centers for the league, which is open to children between 5 and 14.

Fees range from $45 to $85 per child. Birth certificates must be presented at registration.

Information: 770-414-2111 or 770-414-2113. April Hunt

Library book sale open to public

The Friends of the Decatur Library will host a book sale 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 2 at the library, 215 Sycamore St. Sale items include gently used books, DVDs and CDs.

Prices start at $.50 and only cash or checks will be accepted. Proceeds benefit library programs and collections.

Information: 404-370-8450. Veronica Fields Johnson


One dead in fiery Sunday crash on I-285

A wreck happened about 9 p.m. Sunday on I-285 southbound just south of the Campbellton Road exit where a four-door sedan struck the guardrail on the right shoulder, came back into the travel lanes, was struck by a pickup and caught fire. The driver of the sedan died at the scene, and a passenger in the vehicle was hospitalized in critical condition, police said. A tractor-trailer ran into a ditch trying to avoid the accident. The pickup truck driver and the driver of the tractor-trailer were taken to local hospitals in stable condition. No names have been released. Mike Morris

Electric rate increase meeting in East Point

East Point mayor and City Council host a second town hall meeting to discuss an electric rate increase 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Fire Station No. 3 Camp Creek at 3800 Commerce Dr. Residents will have a chance to hear information related to rates adjusted following an approved resolution. Information: 404-270-7100. Lisa Gibson for the AJC

Eighth-grader wins spelling bee, again

Monica Johnson, an eighth-grader at Dutchtown Middle School, won the Henry County School System’s spelling bee for the second straight year. She capped off 13 rounds of competition against 38 students from the county’s elementary and middle schools with correct spellings of “mortuary,” “amendment,” and “spectrometer.” Along with runnerup Andrea Augustine of Eagle’s Landing Middle and third-place finisher Kathleen Mabutin of Locust Grove Middle, Johnson will compete in the district spelling bee Feb. 23 at Mundy’s Mill Middle School in Jonesboro.

Monroe Roark for the AJC

Riverdale to host Super Bowl viewing party

Riverdale will host a Super Bowl viewing party 5 p.m. Sunday at the Riverdale Town Centre, 7210 Church St. The game will be shown on five wide-screen televisions in three large rooms. A Madden Football Tournament starts at noon.

Admission: $5; VIP: $20, includes party favors, food and beverage.

The first 100 people to register by Thursday will get in free. Information: 770 909-5300. Tammy Joyner

Cliftondale opens soccer registration

Boys and girls, ages 3-16, are invited to register Monday through March 2 for Cliftondale Soccer Association’s spring season. Online registration is available at Orientation for parents is set for March 9 at Cliftondale Park, 4645 Butner Road, College Park.

Information: 404-613-3061 or coach Sidney Lawrence at 404-349-9036. Lisa Gibson for the AJC

Piedmont Henry offers heart health screening

Piedmont Henry Hospital will be offering heart health screenings 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 12 at Wamart on Hudson Bridge Road, Stockbridge.

Participants can receive free total cholesterol screenings and cardiovascular risk assessments.

No fasting is required for the total cholesterol screening.

Information: 678-604-1040 or

Monroe Roark for the AJC

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