County by county news for Wednesday


Kennesaw State hosts U.S. Senate debate

Kennesaw State University’s political science department and College Republicans Club will host a debate 6 p.m. Saturday for Republican candidates vying for a U.S. Senate seat in the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center, 1000 Chastain Road.

The KSU debate is one of seven scheduled across the state by the Georgia Republican Party.

The debate will feature candidates hoping to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss. The debate will be moderated by political talk show host Martha Zoller and KSU political science professor and chairman Kerwin Swint. Janel Davis

Digital Device Demo Day in Mableton

A free Digital Device Demo Day will be 2 to 4 p.m. Friday at the South Cobb Regional Library, 805 Clay Road, Mableton.

Digital services librarians will demonstrate how to use eReaders, tablets or other devices with the library’s digital collection, give information on the library system’s collections of eBooks and digital magazines and provide an overview of devices that are compatible with the collections.

Information:, or 770-528-4621.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

East Cobb Christian hosts open house

East Cobb Christian School, 4616 Roswell Road, Marietta, hosts their annual Open House 7 p.m. Thursday.

ECCS is a Covenant Christian School that serves K-8th grades since 1987.


Arlinda Smith Broady

Kennesaw looking for feedback on park plan

Kennesaw is looking for feedback on plans for 42-acre Swift-Cantrell Park off Old Highway 41. The park has a walking trail, play area, dog park and new $1.8 million skate park.

A master plan proposes performing arts, recreation and aquatic centers.

A $9 million bond for the park was approved in 2004.

Survey at Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Consultants hired for Smyrna master plan

Smyrna’s City Council this week approved paying a consulting company $140,000 to develop a 10-year master plan for the city.

Market Street Services Inc. was the lowest of seven bids the city received.

The company will work with a 25-member steering committee, citizens and the business community for nine months to come up with a vision for Smyrna’s future.


Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Bluebird Trail tours begin Thursday

“Bluebird Trail Walk and Talk Tours” will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 10 and 22 and March 8 at Green Meadows Preserve Park, 3780 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs.

Twenty-five bluebird nest boxes have been sponsored and placed along the 2.3-mile Bluebird Trail within the 112 acres of open pasture, meadows and trees to help replenish the dwindling bluebird population.

Information: Jim Bearden, 404-202-8755.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC


Last chance for input on Norcross plan

Norcross hosts an open house for the final draft of its comprehensive plan 6:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 6 at Norcross Community Center, 10 College St. Changes: a development map, city goals and new community work program. This is the last chance for updates. Citizen input will be considered in the final revision submitted to the Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Draft available for review in February at Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Low-cost pet vaccinations offered

Planned PEThood, 2860 Buford Highway, Duluth is offering low-cost vaccines for dogs and cats 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. No appointment is needed. Prices range from $25 to $65, depending on the types of vaccines administered. Information: 678-561-3491 or Molly Bloom

Fire, EMS collecting heaters for seniors

Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services is accepting new portable electric heaters for seniors to be distributed through Project AWARE.

Drop off donations at fire stations until Feb. 28.

Monetary donations should be sent to Friends of Gwinnett County Senior Services, P.O. Box 1680, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.

Information: 678-377-4150. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Lilburn Citizens Police accepting applications

Lilburn Police host a 10-week Citizens Police Academy beginining Feb. 11 to provide members of the Lilburn community with additional knowledge about their police department. Deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Friday. Info and applications: Questions: Sgt. Tim Allen, 770-279-3712 Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Senior center will help with medical needs

Friends of Gwinnett County Senior Services has received a $4,800 grant from Griswold Cares Foundation and a $3,000 donation from Lawrenceville Woman’s Club.

The grant from Griswold Cares Foundation will assist seniors with transportation to and from medical appointments for dialysis treatment.

The Lawrenceville Woman’s Club contribution will also be used to improve the quality of seniors’ lives in the community.

Friends of Gwinnett County Senior Services, a nonprofit partner of Gwinnett County Senior Services, raises funds and seeks grants to support select programs and services for seniors.


Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Peachtree Corners offers business guide

Peachtree Corners offers a guide to licensing, permitting and other information for businesses interested in locating in the city.

0Go to to print the guide. Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Woodstock mayor touts highlights in address

Woodstock Mayor Donnie Henriques labeled 2013 successful and record-breaking during his State of the City address at Monday night’s City Council meeting. He touted several economic highlights, including more than 300 single-family residential building permits issued, triple the 20111 number, and the opening of 179 new businesses in the city‘s downtown development district.. Henriques also noted a $1.559 million general fund surplus at the end of the year and a three-notch jump in the city’s bond rating. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Coat and blanket drive underway

New and gently used coats and blankets are being collected at Upper School at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, 805 Mount Vernon Highway NW.

The coats and blankets can be dropped off during school hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They will be delivered to clients at the Open Door Community in downtown Atlanta.


Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Cherokee schools take honors in reading bowl

Teams from Etowah High School and Creekland Middle School won the 2014 Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl competition and will now compete at the regional level. Students read a list of 20 books, then answered questions on them. Both the winner and the runner-up at the high and middle-school levels will compete in the Feb.1 regional in Gainesville.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

CASA Superhero 5K set for Feb. 22

Registration is underway for the sixth annual CASA of Forsyth County Superhero 5K Run/Walk, 8 a.m. Feb. 22 at Fowler Park, 4110 Carolene Way in Cumming.

The race is an AJC-Peachtree Road Race qualifier. All proceeds benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates of Forsyth County, which provides volunteer advocates for children who are in the foster care system due to abuse or neglect.


Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Forsyth out-of-district student deadline near

Forsyth County Schools officials say the deadline for students wishing to attend schools outside their attendance districts to submit paperwork is Friday.

Officials say such forms are needed in several cases, including when students are moving from elementary to middle or middle to high school and request a school other than their “home school.” Students with already-approved requests don’t need to fill out another each year. More info:

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Woodstock plans next public safety academy

The city of Woodstock is accepting applications for its spring, 2014 Citizens Public Safety Academy. The program will cover aspects of both police and fire work, and will run 6:30- 8:30 p.m. each Thursday night from Feb. 27 through May 8. Applicants must be at least 19 and pass a background check for the first come, first serve program. Information: 770-592-6000, Ext. 1172. Mark Woolsey


Bus driver recruitment session rescheduled

MARTA has rescheduled a bus driver recruitment session to 8:30 a.m. Feb. 7 at Adamsville Regional Health Center, 3700 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW. The original date for the session had been Friday.

Attendees will speak with human resources. Applicants must create a profile with and complete a customer service assessment by noon Feb. 5. Information: or 404-613-6381. Kent A. Miles

Author McDaniels to discuss work

The Auburn Avenue Research Library is hosting a discussion and book signing with author Pellom McDaniels at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Hammonds House Museum, 503 Peeples St. SW. The event is open to the public.

Information: 404-612-0500.

Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Financial literacy seminar for athletes

A financial literacy symposium directed at high school athletes will take place at 2 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Nabrit-Mapp-McBay Science Building of Morehouse College, 830 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta. The event is free and open to the public.

The symposium will focus on car purchasing.


Kent A. Miles for the AJC

Sustainable Atlanta picks project

The nonprofit organization Sustainable Atlanta has selected Atlanta University Center, Lakewood Heights and the city of Lithonia to participate in its Greater Atlanta EcoDistrict initiative.

During the year Sustainable Atlanta will provide the program participants guidance and expertise to increase their civic engagement and ability to work cohesively on community issues and sustainable projects.

Sustainable Atlanta will track the progress of the EcoDistricts model in the three local areas to further adapt the program in the metro region.


Kent A. Miles for the AJC


County environmental practices lauded

DeKalb County is among seven local governments recently recognized by the Atlanta Regional Commission for its environmental policies.

The county again achieved Bronze level as a Green Community in part by focusing on capturing methane gas from its landfill to produce power and also requiring older homes to install low-flow plumbing fixtures. April Hunt

Emory’s Founders Week upcoming

Kai Ryssdal, host of American Public Media’s “Marketplace” program, will be the keynote speaker during Founders Week at Emory College.

Ryssdal, an Emory alumnus, will deliver Goodrich C. White lecture on Feb. 4 in the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.

He graduated from Emory in 1985, then spent eight years in the U.S. Navy and was also a member of the U.S. Foreign Service.

Emory’s Founders Week runs Feb. 2-9. The lecture event begins at 7:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

Tickets:, or 404-727-5050. Janel Davis

DeKalb holding food drive

DeKalb County Commissioner Kathie Gannon, Solicitor Sherry Boston and County Clerk Debra DeBerry have kicked off a food drive to help residents struggling in the new year.

Donations of non-perishable food items will be donated to the Atlanta Community Food Bank, which distributes to more than 58,000 families in the metro area weekly. High-protein items such as tuna and peanut butter are especially needed, as are fruit juices and canned vegetables.

Donations are accepted through Valentine’s Day at the Maloof building and county courthouse in downtown Decatur as well as the Tax Commissioner’s office, 4380 Memorial Dr., near Decatur.

April Hunt

Chamblee holding Daddy-Daughter dance

Chamblee’s parks and recreation department is holding its annual Daddy-Daughter dance Feb. 8 for girls in 8th grade or young and their fathers, grandfathers, uncles or other role models.

The semi-formal dance will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Chamblee Civic Center on Broad Street. Cost is $30 per couple and $5 for each additional daughter.

Reservations required: 770-986-5016 or April Hunt

DeKalb offering plant sale, seminars

The DeKalb County Cooperative Extension is offering a plant sale this winter and two upcoming seminars to encourage citizens to garden.

The extension will accept offers on plants ranging from azaleas to blueberries until March 10. Pickup will be March 22 at extension offices on Memorial Drive near Decatur.

The office also will host free seminars on Feb. 6 and Feb. 25 on ornamental plants and fruit trees, respectively.

Information: 404-298-4080 or April Hunt


Conviction upheld in 2009 murder of repo man

The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of a Fairburn man, Justin Moore, who shot and killed the repo man, Brandon Thomas, who had driven off with the man’s 2004 Ford Mustang on Nov. 23, 2009. Thomas’ colleague, Willie Thackston, was also shot in the leg by Moore who was armed with a sawed-off shotgun and chasing after the repo men as they tried to flee in their tow truck, the ruling said. After being convicted by a Fulton County jury in December 2010, Moore was sentenced to life in prison. Bill Rankin

Murder conviction of wife killer upheld

The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction against a Fayette County man who stabbed his wife to death in front of their three sons.

The ruling said Jesus Ojeda Jimenez killed his wife, Liliana Ruiz, with a seven-and-a-half-inch kitchen knife on Jan. 20, 2012, as their 11-year-old son tried to push Jiminez away. Jiminez was convicted during a September 2012 trial and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Bill Rankin

Fayette elections board seeks members

The Fayette County Board of Elections is accepting applications for one new member.

The three-person board meets monthly; members are appointed to four-year terms to oversee primaries and elections.

Contact or 770-305-5102 before Feb. 14.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Go Red Rally Feb. 3 at Piedmont Henry

Piedmont Henry Hospital will host a Go Red Rally in support of women’s heart health from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday. Participants will receive free blood pressure screenings, tips on fitness and healthy eating, assistance in determining Body Mass Index and more. There also will be photo opportunities and giveaways. Information:

Monroe Roark for the AJC

Free storm spotter classes set for Feb. 11

In conjunction with the Henry County Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service office in Peachtree City will be offering two Basic Storm Spotter Classes from 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, at the Henry County Emergency Operations Center, 526 Industrial Boulevard in McDonough. The training is free but space is limited, and those interested should register by Monday, Feb. 4. Contact EMA Officer Shelita Broomfield at to reserve a space.

Monroe Roark for the AJC

Host families needed for exchange students

Fayette County families interested in hosting foreign high school exchange students this fall are being sought by the group Student American International.

The state-approved program places students in local schools and ensures that they have their own medical insurance and spending money.

Information: Jinx Ratcliffe at 770-477-1376. Jill Howard Church for the AJC