County by county news for Wednesday


Driver killed in fiery plunge off I-75 identified

The Cobb County Medical Examiner’s office identified the motorist killed in Monday’s fiery crash on I-75 as Kevin M. Stefanik, 39, of Woodstock. The incident happened shortly after 4 p.m. near the intersection with Barrett Parkway and may have been the result of a medical emergency, Cobb County police said.

Stafanik was driving a black 2011 Buick Regal plunged “down a ravine and into the wood line. The vehicle became fully involved with fire after colliding with the trees,” police said. Anyone with information about the accident was asked to call Cobb County police at 770-499-3987. David Ibata

Softball coach accused of sexual crimes

Former softball coach, Isuru Pasan Perera, 31, of Marietta, faces a long list of charges, including cruelty to children and aggravated sexual battery, both felonies. The assaults allegedly happened over two years in his closed, locked office at the Champions Fast Pitch Academy, according to the arrest warrant. Perera was arrested Saturday and was being held Tuesday at the Cobb County jail without bond, booking records show.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective Moeller with Marietta police at 770-794-2366.

Alexis Stevens

Powder Springs reschedules meeting

Powder Springs City Council members will hold their agenda meeting at 4 p.m. Monday instead of 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Community Development building’s conference room, 4488 Pineview Drive next to City Hall.

Their voting meeting will follow at 7 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers, also in the Community Development building.

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

Retired Educators to meet Thursday

The Cobb Marietta Retired Educators Association will hold a meeting at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Freeman Poole Multipurpose Center, 4025 South Hurt Road, Smyrna.

John Adams, executive director of Educators First, will speak. Lunch will be provided at $10 per person.

For reservations, e-mail Debby Overstreet at Information:

Kenneth Musisi

Marietta roundabout to open Thursday

Marietta’s first roundabout at the intersection of Allgood Road and Fairground Street is expected to open Thursday. The $500,000 project is part of $5 million improvements on Fairground that were funded by 2005 SPLOST funds. City engineer Jim Wilgus said the roundabout will make the former t-shape intersection safer and less confusing to drivers.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Hispanic Heritage story time on Wednesday

Hispanic Heritage Month will be celebrated with books, songs and music from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Wednesday at the South Cobb Regional Library, 805 Clay Road, Mableton.

Ages 5 and up are invited.

Information: or 678-398-5834.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Sexual assault reported at Georgia Gwinnett College

Police at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville are investigating the reported sexual assault of a woman Sunday night in a campus parking lot. According to a public safety alert posted on the school’s website, the incident happened in the “B” parking lot just southwest of the college’s residence hall complex between 11:45 p.m. Sunday and 2:45 a.m. Monday.

The complaintant was attacked from behind and pushed into her car, where the sexual assault took place, the alert states. The male subject then fled on foot. Anyone with information should call campus police at 678-407-5333. Mike Morris

Police headquarter’s lobby reopens

The lobby at the Gwinnett County Police Department Headquarters, 770 Hi Hope Rd., Lawrenceville, has reopened. Anyone requesting records in person should go to the headquarters.

The lobby closed temporarily on March 19 for renovation and was recently completed. The “Records Window” at the headquarters is now accessible 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Kenneth Musisi

Groups to sponsor pet adoption event

Companion Animal Rescue League and the Georgia SPCA are having an adoption extravaganza 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at PetSmart, 3630 Peachtree Parkway, Suwanee.

The event will feature face painting and children’s activities and kittens and puppies available for adoption for reduced rates. Kittens and adult cats are $60. Both organizations work to keep animals from being euthanized. Pat Fox

Buford Woman’s Club to meet today

The Buford Lanier Woman’s Club announced its monthly meetings start today at the new Buford Community Center, 2200 Buford Highway.

The club meets on the second Wednesday of each month except July and August. Meetings start at 9:30 a.m. with coffee and fellowship.

Information: Cathy Hill at or

Kenneth Musisi

Gwinnett Technical offers GED practice

Gwinnett Technical College is offering adult learners the opportunity to take a GED practice test at no charge. Appointments are not required.

The test will be offered in Room 320, Building 100, at 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville. Testing will be available 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday.

Information: 678-226-6662 or

Kenneth Musisi

Lilburn Church to offer dance classes

Lilburn Christian Church, 314 Arcado Road in Lilburn is offering group Ballroom Dance lessons from beginners through advanced beginning Thursday in the Family Life Center.

Participants will learn the waltz, rumba, bolero, and swing. Classes meet ten weeks and include a one-hour class plus a half-hour practice session. Fee is $125 per couple.

Information: 770-921-2993 or

Kenneth Musisi


Environmental group seeks to build bike trails

The chairman of the nonprofit Greenprints Alliance wants the city of Woodstock to pony up $40,000 to help build an additional planned seven miles of mountain bike/multi-use trails in Olde Rope Mill Park.

David Potts says his group is working to raise the other half of the $80,000 tab. The City Council took no action on the proposal Monday night.

Greenprints is shooting for completion by March, 2013. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Alpharetta to host free gardening class

The UGA Cooperative Extension in Fulton County and North Fulton Master Gardeners will have a lawn care for fall and winter gardening class at 8 p.m. today at City of Alpharetta Engineering/Public Works Department, 1790 Hembree Road.

The free class will cover warm-season versus cool-season grasses; how your lawn is doing, soil testing, adjusting pH; watering and more.

Information: 678-297-6200 or Terry Porter at Kenneth Musisi

Civil War book series set at Reinhardt

Reinhardt University in Waleska will host a series of Civil War book discussions commemorating the 150th anniversary of the conflict. The first is 7 p.m. Thursday at the Falany Performing Arts Center and features history professor/author Dr. Mark Schantz of Birmingham-Southern College on “Why did so many men die in the American Civil War?” Info: 770-720-5526. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Arts festival seeks sponsorships

Roswell is seeking sponsors for its 46th annual Roswell Arts Festival Saturday and Sunday. Proceeds go to support Roswell parks. Since 1966, the festival has generated more than $850,000 to purchase more than 100 acres of park land, construct the Sprayground, the Visual Arts Center and the Leita Thompson Memorial Garden.

Artist booths are already full for the fair, but organizers are seeking sponsors for donations.

Contact: Roswell Arts Festival Committee, c/o Nancy Diamond, 38 Hill Street, Suite 100, Roswell, GA 30075; or

Patrick Fox

Woodstock concert series underway

Woodstock’s free Brown Bag Concert Series performances are from noon to 1 p.m. each Thursday in September at the Park at City Center, 101 Arnold Mill Road. Blankets, lawn chairs, etc., are welcome.

Information: Special Events Coordinator Marybeth Stockdale, 770-517-6788, MICHAEL ALPERT FOR THE AJC

Indoor yard sale set at Reinhardt in Waleska

The Reinhardt University Collegiate Chapter of the Music Teachers National Association will hold an indoor yard sale 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at the Falany Performing Arts Center on the Reinhardt campus.

The sale will fund student attendance at the group’s state conference in November and group service projects throughout the year. Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Unclear if Zoo Atlanta bird had West Nile

A Blue Crane that died tested positive for the West Nile Virus, but the vaccination the bird received could have altered the blood test, Zoo Atlanta said.

Birds are more susceptible to complications from the virus, so they are routinely tested, a zoo official said. Two ducks which exhibited signs of West Nile were recently tested. Both were negative for the virus.

Spread mostly by mosquitoes, the West Nile Virus first appeared in the U.S. in 1999 and is potentially serious, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 80 percent of people infected with WNV will not have any symptoms, the CDC states on its website. Alexis Stevens

South Metro Career Center reopens Friday

The Georgia Department of Labor’s South Metro Career Center, 2636-14 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., reopens Friday. It will resume regular hours of operation – 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The center underwent repairs since Aug. 20 for damage caused by a main water leak.

Information: Kenneth Musisi

Buckhead business group meets Thursday

The Buckhead Business Association will hold its weekly breakfast meeting 7:30 to 9 a.m. Thursday at the City Club of Buckhead.

Colonel Leon “Lee” Ellis, founder and president of Leadership Freedom and FreedomStar Media and author of four books on leadership and career development, will speak.

Tickets are $10 for BBA members and $20 for visitors and guests. Information: Kenneth Musisi

Community Food Bank receives donation

A 100,000 pound food donation was delivered to the Atlanta Community Food Bank on Sept. 8 by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 3155 Trickum Rd., in Marietta. Local boy scouts were onsite to help load the trucks. The church’s food drive was in support of Hunger Action Month.

Kenneth Musisi


New operating hours for Building Services

New hours of operation for walk in customers are 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Building Services Division of the Department of Planning and Sustainability (2nd floor only), 330 W. Ponce de Leon, Decatur.

This change ensures the staff has ample time to provide quality customer service, answer all inquiries and complete service requests in a timely manner. The change also allows staff to complete ongoing training requirements. Kenneth Musisi

‘The Obamas’ part of MJCCA’s book festival

The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta welcomes Jodi Kantor, author of “The Obamas,” will speak 7:30 p.m. today at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody as part of A Page from the Book Festival.

Kantor’s book reveals many unknown stories and revelations about the connection between the personal and political in this presidency, and how the first couple’s partnership affects us all.

Fee: $10 members; $15 non-members. Information: 678-812-4005 or Kenneth Musisi

Apartments torn down to build park

The county is buying a vacant apartment complex to turn the site into a park.

The County Commission recently agreed to pay $247,000 in back taxes to acquire the 7.5-acre Brookside Apartments site on North Decatur Road, just outside I-285.

The county plans to use federal grant money to demolish the buildings. The county’s parks department plans to meet with nearby residents to plan what will be included in the park. April Hunt

Doctor elected head of community board

Arden Dingle, a physician who serves as program director of child/adolescent psychiatry residence at Emory University’s medical school, has been elected head of DeKalb County’s Community Service Board.

The board provides community-based mental health services, ranging from substance abuse treatment to programs for developmental disabilities, to more than 11,000 residents.

The group next meets at 4 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Richardson Health Center in Decatur.

Information: April Hunt

Atkins to speak at Dunwoody High

Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson is expected to update parents on DeKalb County School District news at 9 a.m. Sept. 28 at a Dunwoody-Chamblee Parent Council meeting at Dunwoody High School.

The council brings parents, school officials and lawmakers together the first Wednesday of each month at various schools to discuss public education in Dunwoody and Chamblee. Ty Tagami

Volunteers needed for river cleanup event

The Tucker Civic Association and Rivers Alive will host the 5th annual Rivers Alive Clean Up 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 6 at 4200 Cowan Road. Heavy rain date is Oct. 20.

Participants must be 10 years of age or older.

Information: or 770-270-1620. Laurie Hoffman


Clayton schools names interim superintendent

The Clayton County Board of Education named Luvenia Jackson interim superintendent Monday night.

Jackson will lead the 51,000-student Clayton County district after Superintendent Edmond Heatley’s departure at the end of the month.

Jackson, who retired in 2009, served more than 30 years in Clayton’s public school system as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent, according to a news release.

Heatley, the district’s eighth superintendent since 2000, announced his resignation Aug. 29. He is expected to become head of the school system in Berkeley, Calif.

Angel K. Brooks

School event in Henry promotes reading

Stockbridge Elementary School’s annual Family Literacy Night is 6-7:45 p.m. Thursday. It’s designed to help parents learn new ways to make reading exciting for their children at home.

It will include activities that encourage reading in other subject areas such as social studies, science, and math. Monroe Roark for the AJC

East Point gets boost from state

Portions of East Point have been designated an Opportunity Zone by the Department of Community Affairs.

The designation provides a $3,500 state tax credit for each new job. Tax credits can be claimed for up to five years and are available for both new and existing businesses.

The zone includes about 600 parcels and covers much of the older commercial corridors, including downtown. John Thompson for the AJC

PROBE Fair offers college advice

High school students and parents throughout Fayette are invited to the free PROBE Fair 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday at Fayette County High School. Admissions representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities in and around Georgia will offer information about their programs. Students can sign up in advance for a personalized bar code at and use it at the fair to electronically enter college databases.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Seniors taught to stretch food budgets

South Fulton seniors can learn how to shop and eat healthy on tight budgets at a workshop 11 a.m. today in the chapel of Peachtree Christian Church, 1706 Washington Road, East Point. The event is offered by East Point Naturally Occurring Retirement Community and Georgia State University nutrition students.

The workshop will cover healthy eating, budgets for singles and couples, maximizing leftovers, reducing food waste and stretching food dollars.

Information: 404-762-2094. Johnny Edwards

Fayette hospital offers free shuttle

The Piedmont Fayette Auxiliary provides a courtesy shuttle and wheelchair assistance from the parking lot to the hospital entrance 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Visitors are asked to stay in their cars and call 770-710-6726 with their location, which is designated on the light poles in the parking lot. The shuttle goes to the West entrance, where the Information Desk can identify visitors’ destinations. Jill Howard Church