County by county news for Tuesday


SPSU officer receives Medal of Valor

Southern Polytechnic State University police officer Lt. Clifton Yeager was given Cobb County’s 2011 Medal of Valor for actions beyond the call of duty. Yeager was given the award at the county’s annual public safety banquet at the morning at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Monday morning.

Among Yeager’s acts of valor in 2011 was reviving was a child that might have drowned at the school’s Wellness Center swimming pool, and rescuing another child from a smoke-filled apartment. Jeffry Scott

County names public safety officer of the year

Cobb County police officer Brett Gossett was named 2011 public safety employee of the year during an awards ceremony Monday morning at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre where Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens was the keynote speaker. Gossett won the award for numerous acts, including restoring breathing in an infant that was choking, and for sniffing out an indoor marijuana factor with more than 450 plants with a street value of about $2.5 million. Jeffry Scott

Ott to hold town hall meeting Tuesday

Southeast Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott will host a town hall meeting today for residents of his district.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Circle in Smyrna.

Information: 770-528-3316; Janel Davis

3 bidders in running for Jonquil Village

The owners of the 14-acre tract in Smyrna at the corner of Atlanta and Spring Roads known as Jonquil Village are close to a development deal after weeks of fielding offers. It’s down to three bidders, attorney Ted Sandler said Friday, and a decision will be announced next week. The land has been razed and fenced off since a $185 million mixed used development, scheduled to break ground in 2009, fell through about the time the rest of the real estate economy tanked. Jeffry Scott

Families to sign up for Thanksgiving meals

The Center for Family Resources and Cobb Department of Children and Family Services plan to sign up 1,500 low-income families for Thanksgiving food boxes 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at the Cobb Civic Center, 548 South Marietta Parkway. Families can also register for the Cobb Christmas program. Information: or 770-428-2601. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Powder Springs Day this Saturday

The annual Powder Springs Day on Saturday will begin with a parade and end with fireworks.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. followed by a day-long festival until 5 p.m., including food vendors, arts and crafts and a Kids’ Zone.

A concert by The Mustangs will begin at 6 p.m. and then the fireworks.

Admission is free to all of these events, centering around the Powder Springs Square on Marietta Street.

Information: 770-423-1330 or Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Dedication today for McGinnis Ferry extension

Gwinnett County and state Department of Transportation officials will dedicate a new extension of McGinnis Ferry Road at 11 a.m. today at the intersection of McGinnis Ferry and Gwinco Boulevard.

The 2.7-mile extension of McGinnis Ferry from Satellite Boulevard to Lawrenceville Suwanee Road across I-85 cost $20.4 million. GDOT officials say the project, which opened recently and was paid for with federal stimulus dollars, should provide congestion relief on I-85. David Wickert

County to hold retention pond workshop

The Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources will host a free detention pond maintenance workshop from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville.

Attendees who live in unincorporated Gwinnett or the City of Lilburn could qualify for a 5 percent credit on stormwater utility fees. To pre-register, send your name, address and phone number to or call 678-376-7193. David Wickert

Cancer Society’s Gwinnett relay wins big

The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Gwinnett County remained the top-grossing Relay event in the world for the 10th straight year.

The Gwinnett Relay finished with a total of $2,087,991, about $12,000 more than the second-place Bakersfield, Calif., Relay.

The Relay event in Gwinnett takes place every May at the Gwinnett Fairgrounds, where teams from all over the community walk around the track all night to raise awareness and money for cancer research.

Information: 1-800-227-2345 or

Joel Anderson

Suwanee Farmers Market extends season

The Suwanee Farmers Market has been extended for two more weeks, giving shoppers a chance to enjoy the market until Oct. 15.

The market will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays -- Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 – in the parking lot of the Suwanee Police Department at 373 Buford Highway.

The market had originally been scheduled to close for the year on Oct. 1. Joel Anderson

Gwinnett Place CID workshop this week

The Gwinnett Place CID will host a Community Design Workshop for the Gwinnett Livable Centers Initiative 10-Year Update on today and Thursday.

The workshop will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ferguson Elementary at 1755 Centerview Drive in Duluth. Information: 678-333-0476. Joel Anderson

Program focuses on Auburn youth sports

Auburn is partnering with I9 Sports to provide youth athletic programming.The program’s first offering will be a youth basketball league at Auburn Elementary School. Registration for the winter coed basketball, T-ball and baseball leagues opened this month.

Information: Craig Magram at 678-472-2142 or or Joel Anderson


Arbitrator rules in favor of judicial staff

An arbitrator has determined that about two dozen Fulton County judicial staff attorneys were wrongfully denied pay supplements in a case that could cost the county an estimated $3 million, a lawyer said. Arbitrator Robert Dokson recently determined the judicial attorneys should have received equal pay as attorneys in the Fulton County Attorney’s Office. Lee Parks, who represents the judicial attorneys, estimated the final award will be more than $3 million, including $1 million in interest, and said his firm will seek $550,000 in attorneys’ fees. Bill Rankin

Alpharetta candidates to attend forum

The Kimball Bridge Coalition is sponsoring an Alpharetta candidates’ forum at 1 p.m. Sunday at Embassy Suites Hotel, 5955 North Point Parkway, Alpharetta.

All nine candidates entered for mayor and three City Council seats have signed up to participate, said Coalition spokesman Brad Sturgeon.

The forum will include candidate remarks, a question-and-answer session and a chance to meet and greet the candidates. Patrick Fox

Hausmann forms panel to address shortfall

Fulton Commissioner Liz Hausmann has formed a committee of north Fulton elected officials, activists and residents to take on the county’s anticipated 2012 budget shortfall, projected at $22.1 million. The group will focus on the criminal justice system, health and human services, internal services and economic development.

The members are Johns Creek Councilwoman Karen Richardson, Roswell Councilwoman Nancy Diamond, Milton Councilwoman Karen Thurman, Alpharetta Councilman Chris Owens, Bernie Tokarz, Marie Garrett, Freda Hardage, Michael Fitzgerald and Kim Poole. Johnny Edwards

Court rules defendant entitled to bond

A Fulton County murder defendant is entitled to bond because he was held in confinement more than 90 days before he was indicted, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday.

When police came to arrest Brian Tatis on Nov. 23, he jumped from a second-story window, breaking both ankles.

At Grady Memorial Hospital he was handcuffed to a bed in an area set aside for inmates. The court held that was “confinement” and because Tatis was indicted 92 days later, he is entitled to bail because defendants are eligible for bond if not indicted within 90 days of arrest. Bill Rankin

Greenway benefits from road project

A road-widening project on Abbotts Bridge Road paid a dividend to the Johns Creek Greenway last week when some 60 mature decorative bushes were relocated to the nearby trail.

“One of the Georgia Department of Transportation inspectors told us the plants would be thrown away unless we could use them somewhere,” said Public Works Director Tom Black. “A couple of our guys went out there, and we said, ‘Sure, we have a place for them.’”

The Yaupon Holly bushes, about knee-high, would cost as much as $60 each at a retail nursery, a total savings of up to $3,600. Patrick Fox


Council approves Eagle Bar settlement

The Atlanta City Council voted 13-0 to settle a lawsuit brought by eight individuals after a police raid at the Atlanta Eagle bar on Sept. 10, 2009, in which Atlanta police officers swarmed the bar after receiving reports of illegal activity.

Patrons and employees said they were forced to lie on the floor while officers checked for criminal histories and others peppered them with anti-gay slurs.

The City Council’s public safety and legal administration committee approved a resolution Tuesday to authorize the city to pay a eight plaintiffs $15,000 each for a total of $120,000. On Monday, the full City Council approved the settlement with no discussion.

The city has already paid more than $1 million in a separate settlement connected to the raid. Jeremiah McWilliams

Special appointment for APS administrator

Atlanta Public Schools administrator Betsy Bockman has been appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court Committee on Justice for Children. Her two-year term began Oct 1. Bockman, a former APS principal, is currently interim executive director for school reform team three, one of the district’s four regional offices overseeing elementary and middle schools. The 25-member committee is charged by the Georgia Supreme Court with ensuring stable placement for children in foster care, among other tasks. Jaime Sarrio

Applications for scholarships available

Do you know a junior or senior who is looking for a college scholarship?

Applications are available for the second annual Beautillion, a scholarship competition promoting academics and leadership for young men.

The event is presented by the East Suburban Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America.

Young men will attend seminars on etiquette, personal finance, careers and public speaking. They are presented at a formal ball where they deliver a speech. Information: or D. Aileen Dodd


Lithonia claims $25 million jackpot

A Lithonia woman, who has been looking for work since her seasonal job ended in the spring, is the winner of the $25 million Powerball multi-state lottery jackpot from Sept. 14.

Ironically, Kathy Scruggs, 44, didn’t even mean to buy the ticket.

“I asked for a Mega Millions ticket, and the lady gave me a Powerball ticket” by mistake, she explained. “I just took it anyway.” Fran Jeffries

DeKalb presses for rail projects funding

DeKalb County is continuing to push for additional funding for rail projects on the list of projects to be paid with a one-cent sales tax.

Chief Executive Burrell Ellis and Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd have asked the list include less money for Ga. 400 improvements so that an extension of the MARTA rail can be made to Wesley Chapel Road. That project is projected to cost $522 million. A final list of projects is due Oct. 15, with voters deciding on the penny tax in a referendum next year. April Hunt

Doraville author looks for vintage photos

A Doraville author has put out the call for vintage photographs of the city.

Bob Kelley is working on a book by Arcadia Publishing Company, to produce a history of the north DeKalb city. The pictorial book will include photos from the city’s founding to its heyday as a GM factory town but also will include images of local schools, churches and homes. To submit or get more information, contact Kelly at 770-457-9872 or April Hunt

Sutton’s efforts brings $5,000 to fight cancer

A joint effort by DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton and the DeKalb-Fulton Hospital Authority has raised $5,000 to fight ovarian cancer. The donation to the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance for promotion of early detection of the disease that kills more than 15,000 women every year. Information: April Hunt

Forum focuses on opportunities in Africa

The Carlton-Carew EP Foundation will host a forum highlighting global economic trends for people of African descent on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Marriott Stone Mountain Inn, located inside Stone Mountain Park. Discussion topics will include the growing number of businesses, investments and job opportunities available in Africa, spotlighting Sierra Leone, as well as information about dual citizenship. Registration is free. Information: or 404-569-0229. Veronica Fields Johnson

Small business center offers seminars

The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center-DeKalb will host a series of business seminars throughout October.

Offerings will include “Is Entrepreneurship for You?” on Oct. 6; “Starting a Business” on Oct. 11 and “Writing an Effective Business Plan” on Oct. 18. Courses will be held at 2296 Henderson Mill Road, Suite 114, Atlanta.

Seating is limited. Pre-registration is required. For times and fee information: 770-414-3110. Laurie Hoffman


Peachtree City roadwork to impact traffic

Asphalt repairs on City Circle in Peachtree City will affect traffic at the Avenue shopping center today and tomorrow.

The road will close at 6 a.m. today and reopen at approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The entrance from Ga. Highway 74 will allow access to stores nearest the highway, but customers needing to reach the rest of the center must follow detour signs and should use the Ga. Highway 54 entrance. All stores will remain open. Jill Howard Church

Court upholds claim of self-defense

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday upheld a trial judge’s ruling that murder charges against a Fulton County man must be dropped because he was acting in self defense when he killed a man in 2008.The court’s ruling said Jeffrey Waldon became irate with Deiran Green when he found his wife talking to Green. After Waldon grabbed Green’s wrists and head-butted him in the mouth, Green, who was preparing dinner and had a butcher knife in his hand, stabbed Waldon in his right thigh during a struggle, the ruling said. Green said he unintentionally stabbed Waldon’s femoral artery, which killed him, and was holding onto the knife for protection, the ruling said, noting that state law grants immunity from prosecution to a person who uses force when he is in fear of death or violence. Bill Rankin

Henry Rotarians to release Christmas CD

The Rotary Club of Henry County will host a CD release celebration for “A Henry County Christmas” today, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Eagles Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough. The music project is a fundraiser for the organization and features songs from several Henry County-area church choirs. The CDs will be available for $10. Information: or 678-284-3312. Veronica Fields Johnson

Henry promotes fire prevention week

The Henry County Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during fire prevention week starting on Oct. 9-15. This year’s campaign focuses on preventing the leading causes of home fires -- cooking, heating and electrical equipment, as well as candles and smoking materials. Additionally, it urges people to protect their homes and families with life-saving technology and planning.

To learn more about “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!” visit NFPA’s Web site at Kenneth Musisi

Learning center craft and yard sale Oct. 28

The Children’s Learning Center of First Baptist Church is holding its annual Family Fun Craft and Yard Sale on Friday, Oct. 28 from 1 to 7 p.m. at 147 Church Street, Jonesboro. Festival games will begin at 5 p.m. with concessions available. The center is accepting donations for the yard sale, bake sale, paper goods, door prize items. Tables are being rented for $15 for those interested in selling your own products.

Reserve your space by Oct. 14. Information: 770-471-9585. Sandra Marshall Murray