County by county news for Wednesday


Powder Springs pizzeria sees alcohol suspension

The Powder Springs City Council voted Monday to suspend the alcohol license of John Wagner, owner of Loma Pizzeria, for the next 30 days. Beer was served on Jan. 23 to a minor, an undercover agent of the Georgia Department of Revenue, by a server who did not have her alcohol permit. Wagner’s business at 1050 Richard D. Sailors Parkway, Suite 300 also is on probation for two years with the stipulation that his alcohol license will be immediately revoked if another violation takes place during that time. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Scholarships available to local students

The Marietta Kiwanis Club is accepting applications through March 31 for nine college and technical school scholarships for Marietta and Cobb students.

Scholarships average $2,000 each, based on academic achievement, financial need and character.

Grants are administered by the Kiwanis Club, Kennesaw State University or Southern Polytechnic State University.


Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Mableton town hall meeting today

The Mableton Improvement Coalition and Cobb District 4 Commissioner Lisa Cupid will host a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the South Cobb Regional Library, 805 Clay Road, to discuss public safety and code enforcement issues in the Mableton area.

Representatives from Cobb’s Police, Community Development, Transportation and Water System departments will attend.


or 770-528-3312.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Blood drive set at Lost Mountain Baptist

American Red Cross hosts a blood drive 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Lost Mountain Baptist Church, 5400 Old Dallas Road, Powder Springs.

Appointments: church, 770-428-5335.

Information: Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Tryouts Sunday for lacrosse tournament

Regional tryouts for the Brine National Lacrosse Classic will take place Sunday.

The tryouts are open to middle and high school boys and girls. Tryouts for girls will be held at 8 a.m. at Lassiter High School, 2601 Shallowford Road, Marietta. Boys’ tryouts will be held at 11 a.m. for middle school players, 1:30 p.m. for high school players, at East Roswell Park, 9000 Fouts Road, Roswell.

The national tournament is in late June in Boyds, Md.


Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Cobb students can apply for school choice

Cobb County schools students can apply to transfer to a school of their choice Feb. 10- Feb. 28 for the 2014-2015 school year.

A list of school/class space will be posted on the district website on Feb. 3. Charter schools and new schools are exempt from the choice program.


Tucker McQueen for the AJC


Lilburn extends business license deadline

Lilburn has extended the business license renewal application deadline from Jan. 31 to 5 p.m. today at City Hall, 76 Main St.

All businesses in the city limits must file an application to renew their business to avoid a $25 penalty.

An Occupational Tax Certificate is required for any business in Lilburn, regardless of business size, residential or commercial location.


Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Sculptures from recycling sought

The Norcross ArtsXchange is looking for sculptures made of recycled materials to participate in ReImagine, a public art contest. Selected work will be exhibited throughout Norcross parks and green spaces, to be unveiled in conjunction with Earth Day 2014. Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Human trafficking forums coming

The Gwinnett Human Relations Commission will present a series of forums to raise awareness of human trafficking in the community with the first 7 to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 2104 Beaver Ruin Road in Norcross.

The commission plans to host four forums, one in each commission district. Information and to register email include human trafficking forums as the email subject.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Lilburn park accepting pavilion reservations

Lilburn is now accepting reservations for the Gartrell Nash Pavilion located near the playground in Lilburn City Park. The 4,200-square-foot open air, covered pavilion includes four built-end grills and picnic table seating for approximately 160 people.

To receive Lilburn resident rental price, proof of residency is required. Make reservations at City Hall, 76 Main St. in Lilburn.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Lilburn breaks ground on street realignment

Citizens are invited to a groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate Lilburn’s Main Street Realignment at Lawrenceville Highway at 10 a.m. today at the grassy lot just south of S.M.I.L.E., 336 Main St.

Paved parking is available in the adjacent lot. Send registration information to, 770-638-2333. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Norcross hosts state of city address Monday

Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson will present the State of the City at 7 p.m. Monday at the Carlyle House, 173 S. Peachtree St. in Norcross.

Johnson will review municipal updates from 2013 and discuss the city’s ongoing vision for 2014. Attendees are invited to stay after the presentation for dessert and coffee.

No reservations required.


Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Ga. 400 interchange proposal moving forward

A push is on for a proposed Ga. 400 interchange at McGinnis Ferry Road serving extreme north Fulton and southern Forsyth counties. Legislation introduced in the Georgia House this week would create a tax-levying community improved district in that area to help with funding.

State Rep. Mark Hamilton says the project’s been estimated to cost $39-40 million, with $10-12 million of that raised by the district. He says area land/business owners have pushed for the interchange for years. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Johns Creek opens new trail stretch

Johns Creek has opened an 8-foot-wide, paved multi-use trail along Kimball Bridge Road connecting northeast Johns Creek with Alpharetta’s Webb Bridge Park. City officials ay the newly-opened quarter-mile stretch allows a safe way to get to the park, and also ties in with existing Johns Creek trails along Jones Bridge and Sargent roads.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Public hearing set on Lake Alice dam plan

The city of Cumming and representatives of two family trusts have set a public hearing for 6 p.m. Wednesday in the council chambers at Cumming City Hall, 100 Main St., to discuss a proposed remediation plan addressing impacts of a dam breach at 10-acre Lake Alice in May of 2013. Both verbal and written input is welcome. The dam failed after several inches of heavy rain, sending waves of sludge and sediment into a nearby Lake Lanier cove and washing out a portion of Sanders Road. About 50 homeowners were impacted.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Forsyth schools set bad weather makeup day

Forsyth County Schools officials say school will be held Monday, April 21, to recover one of the instructional days lost to this week’s bad weather. School is also scheduled for March 17, to cover a previous inclement weather day.

Officials say as of now, the third weekend in February, spring break and the last day of school won’t change for students. Details for recovering staff time are still being discussed. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

UNG planners to hold hearings in Cumming

The University of North Georgia Strategic Planning Steering Committee will host town hall meetings to produce a plan for the school’s future by the end of the spring semester.

Three meetings, set on the Cumming campus: noon today in room 103, 300 Aquatic Circle; March 5 and April 9. The 60-member faculty, staff and student committee seeks input on academic programs, campus planning and community partnerships. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Forsyth library will expand hours

The Forsyth County Public Library has expanded hours after the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners provided an additional $67,000 in funding.

The changes mean the Cumming, Post Road, Hampton Park and Sharon Forks branches will be open until 8:30 p.m. one additional night weekly.

Hampton Park will open at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays.


Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Council calls for Watershed audit

The Atlanta City Council has called for a review of security measures within the Department of Watershed Management asking for an audit of Watershed’s safety and security office. The department has come under criticism in recent months following reports of theft inside the agency. Thieves reportedly stole 28 industrial water meters worth $5,210 each from a Watershed warehouse. City officials also confirmed in recent weeks that a backhoe worth $80,000 is missing from a warehouse. Katie Leslie

APS won’t make up snow days

Atlanta Superintendent Erroll Davis said Monday the city school system doesn’t plan to make up the days lost last week when snow and ice canceled school.

Davis said state law allows up to four days of emergency closings, and those days have now been used after schools closed for three days last week and one day at the beginning of January. Mark Niesse

Grady students speak about investigation

Several football players at Grady High School told the Board of Education on Monday they wanted their coach back after he was removed amid an investigation of fraudulently enrolled student athletes.

They said head coach Ronnie Millen is a man of character who helped students graduate and go on to college. The school system has been investigating since Dec. 9 whether football players used fake addresses so they could attend Grady High. Mark Niesse

Morehouse, Spelman host health programs

Morehouse School of Medicine will offer free heart screenings to Thursday as part of the college’s Healthy Heart Week.

The weeklong scholarship fundraising program, which runs through Friday, features talks by renowned physicians about heart health and other health awareness activities.

Registration required.

Information: Morehouse heart screening, 404-752-1935; Spelman health summit, 404-270-5899 Janel Davis


School board appointee out of election

John Coleman, one of six people Gov. Nathan Deal appointed to the DeKalb County school board last year during an accreditation crisis, said he will not stand for election this spring.

The school board has overhauled district finances and operations, reformed governance policies and restored trust.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools revised its assessment of DeKalb last month, lifting the district a notch to accreditation with “warning.” Ty Tagami

Decatur approves development additions

Decatur’s commission approved construction of an additional 11 townhomes – two stories above a drive-in garage — on the corner of Hillyer Place and East Howard Avenue behind Fellini’s Pizza. This is part of an adjacent development of 24 townhomes on 1.2 acres, also on Hillyer and East Howard, approved several months ago. The total project still needs a design review and building permits. Planning Director Amanda Thompson said actual construction is probably still six months away. Bill Banks for the AJC

Teens learn about college success

College graduates and students will hold a discussion aboout succeeding in college that is aimed at high school students. The talk, “Keys to a Successful College Experience,” is Feb. 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at St. Philip AME, 240 Candler Road SE. Ty Tagami

Apartment complex proposal draws ire

Residents from several DeKalb County neighborhoods near the Indian Creek MARTA station have raised concerns about a proposed apartment complex at the site.

Russell New Urban Development wants to build 100 senior apartments and 200 for students for nearby Georgia Perimeter College and Georgia Piedmont Technical School.

Residents have complained about the lack of commercial development in the proposal, as well as raised concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety.

County commissioners are slated to vote on the proposal in February. April Hunt

Avondale approves micro distillery

Earlier this week Avondale Estates approved the opening of a micro distillery located behind downtown’s Tudor Village. Owner Tim Watts said he’ll begin renovating the 1600 square-foot facility this month and will probably move in by June. Watts said he’ll be making rye and bourbon in small barrels, thus enhancing the aging process, and hopes to have his first batch by December. Within three years he hopes to produce 6,000 gallons annually.

Bill Banks for the AJC

Gateway Manor to receive ‘revitalization’

Decatur’s five-acre Gateway Manor housing, originally built in 1969, was approved by the city commission for a major “revitalization,” similar to nearby Allen Wilson Terrace, now in its third phase.

The new Gateway will include 55 percent, or 139, 972 square feet of green space – trails, gardens, play equipment – and 130 units combining the current 88 families of Gateway with the 24 families now living in Oakhurst’s Oakview Apartments. Bill Banks for the AJC


Peachtree City preps for pothole repair

Peachtree City’s Public Works department is preparing to deal with an increase in potholes resulting from bad winter weather. The city says it will address problem areas as soon as possible but notes that some might require repeat treatment.

Residents can ask the city to address specific sites using the “Report a Problem” link at Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Conference early registration extended

Early registration for the South Metro Development Outlook conference has been extended to Friday due to last week’s bad weather.

The conference will be Feb. 19 at the Georgia International Conventer Center 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The center is located at 2000 Convention Center Concource in College Park. The conference draws business owners, policy makers, government officials and others to discuss the issues, concerns and trends impacting the southside.


Tammy Joyner

Congressman Scott opens arts competition

Submissions are being accepted for the Congressional Art Competitition sponsored by Congressman David Scott, D-Ga. The competition is open to high school students in Georgia’s 13th district. Winners’ work will be displaced in the U.S. Capitol for a year. Entries must be received in Scott’s Smyrna or Jonesboro district office by Feb. 12. Winners will be announced March 1. Details: contact Angie Storey at 770 432-5405. Tammy Joyner

Fayette forming new art and park boards

Fayette County wants volunteers for two new citizen committees.

The Public Art Committee will promote public artwork throughout the county and needs members related to architecture, art education or design. The Justice Center Park Committee will help create a self-funded park on land near the justice and senior centers in Fayetteville.

Information: Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Enrollment open for Citizens Fire Academy

The Henry County Fire Department will be offering its ten-week Citizens Fire Academy beginning March 13. Classes will be Thursday evenings at the HCFD headquarters, 110 S. Zack Hinton Pkwy. in McDonough. Application deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 21.


Monroe Roark for the AJC

West Fayetteville bypass opens further

A new section of Veterans Parkway (more commonly known as the West Fayetteville bypass) has opened in Fayette County.

The new section begins at Eastin Road and continues to the roundabout at Lees Mill Road. New stop signs will be on Eastin Road at Veterans Parkway. Jill Howard Church for the AJC