County by county news for Wednesday

Warrant issued for hit-and-run fatality

An arrest warrant for vehicular homicide has been issued for a northwest Georgia motorist who allegedly struck and killed a man standing in the emergency lane of I-75 in Cobb County.

Thomas Franklyn Truitt, of Ranger, is accused of hitting Norman G. Koehn, 59, of Kansas, on March 21 . Truitt, who was driving a Saturn L200 on a suspended license, ran from the crash scene, the warrant states. While searching the Saturn, officers found methamphetamine, a scale and numerous plastic baggies, as well as other drugs, the warrant states. Alexis Stevens

3 arrested in shooting out car windows

Acworth police have arrested three people – two of them teens – for allegedly shooting out the windows of nearly three dozen vehicles at retail locations on or near Cobb Parkway on Monday afternoon and evening. At least 31 incidents were reported in Acworth, Kennesaw and in unincorporated Cobb County, Acworth police Major Wayne Dennard said.

Caleb Fields, 17, Andrew Morgan, 18, and Christopher Kellner, 22, was charged with criminal damage to property.

Mike Morris

Wilkerson announces run for re-election

State Rep. David Wilkerson, D-Austell, announced his re-election this week to the Georgia General Assembly.

Wilkerson, a former chairman of the Cobb Democratic Party, who represented the 33rd district, will have a new district number because of reapportionment, and will be running in the 38th district in July. Wilkerson is currently a member of the House Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight committee. In the session ended last week, Wilkerson led the charge against Cobb’s Republican-developed reapportionment map for the county’s school board seats. Information: Janel Davis

First Friday Art Walk begins this week

Marietta’s First Friday Art Walk opens for the season from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at more than 30 stores and art galleries around the Marietta Square. The free event will open the first Fridays of the month through Oct. 5. Maps will be available at participating stores and at the Artists’Alley at DuPre’s Antiques, 17 Whitlock Ave.

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

State burning ban begins May 1

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has issued a ban on open burning from May 1 to September 30 of each year.

Cobb County and 53 other counties are affected by the ban.

The ban prohibits open burning of leaves, tree limbs, other yard waste, forest land or use air curtain destructors for land clearing. Information: Janel Davis

Sunday alcohol sales in Austell start on Easter

Easter Sunday will be Austell’s first day of Sunday alcohol sales. The City Council voted 5-0 Monday to allow the sales from 12:30-11:30 p.m.

Councilman Martin Standard was absent.

Austell residents approved the sales by 260 to 179 votes on March 6, or 59.23 to 40.77 percent. Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


County initiative advocates healthy living

Gwinnett County celebrates National County Government Month during the month of April to highlight county government programs and services to the public.

This year’s theme is “Healthy Counties, Healthy Families,” with free and fun events throughout the month. Most of the activities are designed to help residents learn about healthy living choices.

The county will also host a supply drive to collect hygiene and cleaning items for Gwinnett’s needy seniors and children. Info: Andria Simmons

Snellville stages Easter Sunday runs

Snellville’s Hoppin’ Easter Half Marathon, 10K and 5K begin at 7 a.m. on Sunday at Lenora Park at 4515 Lenora Church Rd. All finishers get a shirt and medal. For information, e-mail race director Deborah Montgomery at, or call 770-576-0928.

Michael Alpert for the AJC

Confederate Memorial Day Service on Saturday

The Major William E. Simmons Camp 96 of Confederate Veterans will hold its annual Confederate Memorial Day Service 11:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Historical Gwinnett County Courthouse in downtown Lawrenceville.

The Camp will furnish the Honor Guard of the 11th National Confederate Memorial Service 1 p.m. April 14 at Stone Mountain Park.

The Camp is named after Major Simmons who served as trustee for both the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech and was a very prominent Gwinnett citizen from 1870-1931. Information: Kenneth Musisi

Norcross to distribute 3,000 books to students

Norcross Cluster Schools Partnership needs volunteers to organize bags of books for Norcross elementary schools through April 13. The project is designed to ensure Norcross area pre-kindergarten to fifth grade students receive a book to take home as their own. For many students this could be their only book in the home. Volunteers will meet at 6045 Atlantic Blvd. To volunteer contact Kim Dorough, 404-822-0915 or Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Duluth farmer’s market accepting applications

The Duluth Farmer’s Market is accepting applications for the market located at the corner of Hill Street and Highway 120 each Saturday May through July. All items are required to be grown or handmade by the vendor. Applications available through Information: Lisa Burkey, market manager, or 404-271-8616. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Bluegrass festival approaching in Suwanee

Everett’s Music Barn in downtown Suwanee, iconic site of bluegrass events for some 40 years, will stage its traditional “All Day Pickin’” on April 14. The barn’s main fundraiser will feature bluegrass bands from 2 to about 11 p.m. with a potluck supper at 5 p.m. The barn is located on Stonecypher Road near Main Street. Michael Alpert for the AJC


Forsyth man arrested in drug store burglary

A Forsyth County man was arrested Monday and charged with the weekend burglary of a drug store in downtown Cumming.

The burglary happened early Saturday morning at Goodson’s Drugs on West Maple Street. Cumming police Sgt. Bryan Zimbardi said Christopher Moran “damaged and compromised an exterior door, and stole a large amount of controlled prescription medications.” Moran was arrested without incident Monday and charged with burglary and fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance by theft, Zimbardi said. Mike Morris

Forsyth firefighters to hold summer camp

The Forsyth County Fire Department is sponsoring free, week-long summer camps for students. Fire Camp, which is for students entering sixth grade, will be held June 4-8. Junior Fire Academy, for students entering seventh and eighth grade, will run June 18-22. Both camps are from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fire Department Headquarters at the Forsyth County Public Safety Complex on Settingdown Road. Campers may be dropped off after 7:30 a.m. and must be picked up by 5 p.m. Applications are at, are due May 11. Information: 770-781-2180. Patrick Fox

Barrington Hall to step back to the future

Roswell’s Barrington Hall will host a day of music, theater, art and food April 28.

The theme will focus on a Victorian era view of the future, crossing fanciful 19th-Century elements with the world of mad scientists, fantastical inventors and imagination. Exhibitors include Penny Dreadful Productions, Apparition Abolishers, Daniel Valdez’s Steampunk Professor X and Company, Paige G. Smith, Dim Horizon Studios, Meghan Maude and more.

The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Information: 770-640-3855. Patrick Fox

Fulton to hold Citizens Police Academy

The Fulton County Police Department has 16 slots for this year’s Citizen Police Academy and has started taking applications. The 11-week program runs Aug. 30 to Nov. 8, with sessions on Thursday evenings from 7 to 10 p.m. at various police facilities. The academy will cover such topics as department history and traffic enforcement, with live fire demonstrations.

It’s open to unincorporated south Fulton residents, business managers, business owners and employees who are at least 18 years old with no felony convictions. Applications: 404-346-7940 or

Johnny Edwards

Woodstock plans Earth Day events

Woodstock plans several events related to Earth Day on April 22. On April 20, a lunchtime concert will be held in The Park at City Center, and vendors and crafts will be featured. On April 21, a citywide yard sale is on tap.

Residents can either hold their own sales or rent a table at the William G. Long Senior Center for their sale beginning at 9 a.m. Advanced Disposal is also offering a special citywide pickup of used appliances and scrap metal the week of April 16. More information: Mark Woolsey for the AJC


CITGO donates lab tools to APS

CITGO Petroleum Corporation donated more than 1,500 pieces of laboratory equipment to Atlanta Public Schools. The equipment, which includes workbenches, beakers, flasks and ovens from the company’s lubricants blending plant in Atlanta, will go to students at Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy and Forest Hill Academy. CITGO is based in Houston. Jaime Sarrio

Council committee to hold work session

The Atlanta City Council’s Community Development/Human Resources Committee will hold a work session on special events in Atlanta’s parks on Tuesday, April 17. The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Committee Room 2 of Atlanta City Hall, 55 Trinity Ave. The public is invited to attend the information session. Jeremiah McWilliams

Spiritual conversation at Morehouse Thursday

Michael Bernard Beckwith and Andrew Cohen will host a conversation titled “Mysticism: Timeless, Relevant and Modern” at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The event will focus on the relevance of spiritual life, and the inspiration gleaned from individuals like philosopher Howard Thurman. Television producer Angela Harrington Rice will moderate the discussion.

The free event will be at Morehouse College’s MLK Chapel, 830 Westview Drive, Atlanta. For information: Laurie Hoffman

Fraternity to hold youth workshops

The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity chapters Pi Gamma Lambda and Tau Epsilon will hold their annual Project Alpha and Go-To-High School, Go-To-College programs 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday at Clayton State University (James M. Baker University Center) in rooms U265, U266, and U268. The event geared toward Atlanta Youth, will have a series of workshops discussing sexual responsibility and the importance of education. Information: or Kenneth Musisi


Decatur mayor advocates annexation

Given the imminent annexation of commercial property between Decatur and Avondale Estates, Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd said Tuesday he favors even further annexation. He’d like the Suburban Plaza property and the commercial property at the Clairemont Road and North Decatur Road intersection annexed into the city. He’s definitely against the Wal-Mart proposed for Suburban Plaza, saying that “I think our community would like something that looks more like downtown Decatur, with a mix of residential, retail and restaurants, and not just one business with 200 employees.” Bill Banks for the AJC

Decatur property tax bills on the way

Decatur residents should receive their property tax bills this week at the latest. The first payment is due June 1, the second payment Dec. 20. City Manager Peggy Merris said payments become delinquent 10 working days after their due date. Delinquent accounts are charged a 10 percent penalty plus one percent interest per month. Bill Banks for the AJC

Decatur-DeKalb land bank takes shape

The Decatur-DeKalb Regional Land Bank, designed to take over foreclosed properties and prime them for development, is slowly shape nearly six months after it was set up.

Government officials launched the bank late last year with federal money, with the idea to put vacant homes and unused commercial properties into the hands of neighborhood associations or developers, clearing the way for new uses.

That work still hasn’t happened, but the board that will direct the work is finally set. Decatur’s representatives will be assistant city manager Lyn Menne and planning director Amanda Thompson.

The county’s representatives are Morehouse College professor Hasan Crockett and architect Richard Iheme Prince. April Hunt

Watson to hold legislative breakfast

Stan Watson, an at-large county commissioner in DeKalb, will host his monthly legislative breakfast this weekend with a focus on this summer’s transportation referendum. 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

Tucker Civic Association to meet April 12

The Tucker Civic Association’s Board of Directors Meeting will be 7 p.m. April 12 at Jenkins Hall, Tucker First United Methodist Church, 5095 LaVista Road, Tucker. Park behind the building along Church street and enter under the awning. Information: Kenneth Musisi

Disability symposium at Emory April 6

Assistive technology has changed what it means to live with disabilities, and an upcoming symposium at Emory University will explore these changes. The Symposium on Disability and Technology is from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday in the Research Commons, on level 3 of the Robert W. Woodruff Library.

Admission is free, but registration is required at Andria Simmons


Library contracts back up for vote on commission

Today Fulton County commissioners will reconsider awarding contracts to manage construction of three new libraries and renovations of two others, part of a $275 million countywide construction program. The panel held off last month amid concerns about the past work of C.D. Moody Construction Company, which was involved in building the Palmetto Neighborhood Senior Center in the early 2000s. Moody won bids to manage construction of the new Southeast Atlanta branch and, in a joint venture, manage the renovation of the Auburn Avenue Research Library. Johnny Edwards

Homeless man stabbed; Police make arrest

A College Park man was arrested after he stabbed a homeless man Monday night along Old National Highway in south Fulton County, police said.

Fulton County police spokeswoman Kay Lester said the suspect, Stephen Ellis Cox, 40, stabbed Demarcus Brown, 26, during a fight.

Brown was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. Cox was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a felony. Mike Morris

Unincorporated Fulton may vote on alcohol

Fulton could soon be in the odd position of having countywide voters decide the Sunday sales question for a relatively small area south of Atlanta. Today the commission will consider holding a referendum on whether stores in unincorporated south Fulton should be allowed to sell beer, wine and liquor seven days per week. Under state law, voters throughout counties must decide whether incorporated areas can have Sunday sales. Johnny Edwards

Children’s Village appeals for help

The Children’s Village at Christian City in Union City is seeking community support. The nonprofit needs sponsors for children, donations to the Graceland Thrift Shop, gift cards to Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger or Publix and other things. Information: Heidi Becker at 770-703-2636 or visit Kenneth Musisi

DOT makes change in Peachtree City sign

Drivers in Peachtree City turning from Crosstown Drive onto northbound Joel Cowan Parkway (Ga. Hwy. 74) must now stop instead of yield when the traffic light is red.

The sign change was made by the Georgia Department of Transportation to avoid confusion over “who would actually be at fault if an accident did occur while someone was turning right into the dedicated lane and another vehicle came over into that lane across the solid line,” according to a statement released by City Hall. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

East Point church to hold block party

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