County-by-county news for Wednesday


Georgia Boy Choir sets auditions

The Georgia Boy Choir is seeking boys with experience singing or playing the piano or other musical instruments to audition for the Intermediate Choir for its 2013-2014, 5th anniversary season. Auditions will be Sept. 7 and 14 at The Heiskell School, 3260 Northside Drive, Atlanta. Contact the choir at 404.402.4083 or P.O. Box 725585, Atlanta 31139. Nancy Badertscher

Southeast’s first Relay event scheduled

The Young Professionals will host the first Relay For Life event in the Southeast from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 14 at Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Rd N.E., Atlanta.

The first-year goal is to raise $60,000 with 30 teams and 250 participants. Like other Relay events, the focus is on cancer survivors and caregivers. Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature event, taking place in more than 5,000 communities nationwide and in 20 foreign countries.


Mea Watkins

Ben Hill UMC to host blood drive

The veterans ministry of Ben Hill United Methodist Church, 2099 Fairburn Rd. S.W., will hold a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8. To schedule an appointment, contact Brenda Aiken, 678-429-5768, Colonel Anthony C. Aiken, 404-308-7077, or visit and enter sponsor code: benhill. All participants will receive a free gift. Mea Watkins

Piedmont to host awareness event

Piedmont Atlanta Hospital will host a free Global Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Day event from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 at the hospital in the Richard H. Rich Auditorium, 1968 Peachtree Rd., N.W. Attendees will hear from doctors about treatments and get information on available resources . Information: or contact Dionne Blasingame at 404-605-2913 or Veronica Fields Johnson


Zoning commission opposed to housing plan

The Powder Springs Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denial Monday of two variances next to the Silver Springs Village active-living community off of Richard D. Sailors Parkway.

Fallwood Builders said it wanted to build 33 “story-and-a-half” houses — all more than 2,000 square feet, for about $250,000 with 5.62 units per acre. The commission questioned Fallwood’s financing and possible plans to market to families and young professionals instead of the current 55-and-older homeowners. City Council is expected to vote on the matter Sept. 23. Info:, Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Museum looking for sidewalk artists

The Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art is looking for artists of all ages to participate in a juried chalk competition Saturday in front of the museum at 30 Atlanta St. a block south of the Marietta Square. The event is part of a chalk art festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Monday, also featuring 20 professional chalk artists from around the country. Information:

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

High school to open arts center to public

A $8.5 million performing arts center at Marietta High School will open to the public for a dedication and tour from 6 to 7 p.m. Sept. 7 at 1171 Whitlock Ave. Students will perform during the tour. A free concert by the Georgia Symphony Orchestra will be at 7 p.m.

Tickets are required for the concert at or

Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Brother of ex-coach arrested on sex charges

The younger brother of a former North Cobb High School assistant football coach arrested in May on an accusation of “sexting” a 17-year-old girl has himself been arrested on sex charges.

Cole Thomas Thackston, 20, of Acworth, was arrested Aug. 19 and charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of children. He was released later that day on $27,720 bond, according to Cobb County Jail records.

Thackston’s 28-year-old brother, Ryne Thackston, was arrested in May, accused of sending lewd photos.

A spokesman for Cobb County Schools told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in May that Ryne Thackston was a substitute teacher and “community coach” at North Cobb, but was not a full-time employee of the system. Mike Morris

Marietta seeks job fair recruiters

Marietta is looking for employers to sign up to recruit at an annual job fair set from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Cobb County Civic Center, 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. The Marietta/Cobb Career Expo is sponsored by Marietta, Cobb County, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and Georgia Department of Labor. Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Town Center at Cobb to host blood drive

Town Center at Cobb will host a Red Cross blood drive to mark the Labor Day weekend from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at the mall, 400 Barrett Parkway, Kennesaw, in the Sears Court. Veronica Fields Johnson


Registration open for basketball leagues

DeKalb County parks is accepting registration through November for a winter adult basketball league at all county recreation centers.

Cost is $320 per team an eight-game season that begins in December. Participants must be 35 or older and provide their own uniforms for the league.

Info: 770-414-2113. April Hunt

Briarcliff organizers to hold meeting

The City of Briarcliff Initiative, organizers behind a cityhood effort in central DeKalb County, will hold a community meeting early next month.

The group recently paid $30,000 to fund a feasibility study of the city, which will fit inside the Perimeter and I-85 and have an estimated 90,000 residents.

The informational meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Clairmont Hills Baptist Church, 1995 Clairmont Road, near Decatur. April Hunt

Run/walk to benefit Gaucher Foundation

The second annual Go for Gaucher run/walk will be held Sept. 29 at Mason Mill Park, 1340 McConnell Dr., Decatur. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and the run/walk begins at 1 p.m. Early registration is $30 for the public and $25 for National Gaucher Foundation members through Sept. 19. Registration is $35 on the day of the event.

Proceeds benefit the The National Gaucher Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides education and resources to individuals and families affected by Gaucher disease. Information: 1-800-504-3189, 770-934-2910, or Mea Watkins

Police: Two shot outside DeKalb deli

Police are looking for one or more suspects responsible for a DeKalb County shooting Monday afternoon.

A woman was shot in the head and a man was shot in the hand at the U.S. Deli in the 5700 block of Rockbridge Road near Stone Mountain around 3 p.m., police said. Both were taken to area hospitals.

The victims’ conditions are unknown at this time.

Marcus K. Garner and Ben Gray

DeKalb to host event for waste disposal

Household hazardous waste can be disposed safely at an event in DeKalb County in October.

Examples of the waste to be accepted are: aerosols, cleaners, paint, flammables, fluorescent lights, batteries, mercury and photo and swimming pool chemicals. Items not accepted include bio-hazards, medical and agricultural waste, pharmaceuticals and nonhazardous waste. The event runs from 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 19 at the central transfer station, 3720 Leroy Scott Drive, near Decatur. April Hunt

SAT test prep offered at center in Dunwoody

SAT test prep with Applerouth Tutoring Services will be offered from Sept. 10 through Oct. 13 at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta , 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody.

The 11-session course will include a review of content and strategies for the exam, small group instruction, mock tests and educational materials. Cost is $499 for members; $515 for the community. Info: Stacie Graff, Mea Watkins


Suwanee’s Old Town gets historic preservation nod

The Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources unanimously approved nomination of an approximately 67-acre area in Suwanee’s Old Town to the National Register of Historic Places. Approval effectively makes owners of historically significant properties in the district eligible for state preservation grants and tax credits. The U.S. Department of the Interior will now consider Suwanee’s historic district and, once officially added to the register, owners of historically significant properties will be eligible for federal grants and investment tax credits. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Duluth offers warrant amnesty program

The Duluth Municipal Court has initiated a Warrant Amnesty Program. Anyone having an outstanding warrant for failure to appear may have the warrant fee of $150.00 waived, and avoid the possibility of arrest by taking the following steps, no later than close of business Monday, Sept. 30: 1) Contact the clerk’s office, prior to appearing to determine the total amount of the warrant(s); 2) Appear in person at the Clerk of Court, in The Duluth Public Safety Building, 3276 Buford Highway; 3) Post a bond in the amount of the fines and fees applicable to the charges. The person will then be given a new court date , if the charges require a court appearance. Information: 770-623-2771, or email

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Fireworks at Lilburn City Park on Sunday

Labor Day Weekend will be star-spangled in Lilburn, as the city celebrates Sparkle in the Park 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1 at Lilburn City Park. Postponed from July 4, the festival will feature fireworks, music, food, and kids’ activities. A1A, recognized as the Official and Original Jimmy Buffett Tribute Show, will perform. Kids’ inflatables, free professional portraits, and air-conditioned shuttles provided. Concessions will be available for purchase. Lawn chairs, blankets and coolers welcome, but only alcohol purchased at the event is permitted in City Park. Visit for a complete schedule.

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Adopt-A-Road seeks volunteer groups

Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful and the Gwinnett Department of Transportation is urging more residents to join the Adopt-A-Road program to help reduce trash and illegal signage alongside county roads.

Information: or 770-822-5187 or Karen Huppertz

Kudzu Art Zone to host charity exhibit

Kudzu Art Zone will partner with Perimeter Church’s Global Outreach Ministry in a fundraising event to bring hope, food, shelter and health services to the village of Karansi, Tanzania. The Karansi Project will feature artwork inspired by daily life in the African village. All proceeds and any donations will benefit Karansi widows and orphans. Kudzu Art Zone is looking for local artists to submit their artwork for this show between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. Additional details about the exhibition as well as requirements for entry available at

Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Officials: Student brought loaded gun to school

An eighth-grader at Ridgeview Charter School in Sandy Springs is facing disciplinary action after he allegedly brought a loaded gun to class Monday.

According to reports, another student found out about the gun and told a teacher, who alerted principal Lisa Hastey. The gun was confiscated Monday afternoon, according to reports.

Hastey sent a letter home to parents that said, in part, “the student has been removed from the school and will undergo a disciplinary tribunal hearing.” Mike Morris

Woodstock building permits on the rise

Single-family residential building permit issuances are skyrocketing in Woodstock. City Manager Jeff Moon told the City Council Monday it’s the healthiest level of activity he’s seen since arriving in 2008. Through Monday, 206 permits had been issued, he said. That’s compared to 69 for August 2011 and 145 for August, 2012.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Woodstock’s mayor seeks another term

Woodstock Mayor Donnie Henriques is seeking a third term in office. Henriques filed paperwork Monday as the qualifying period got underway for the November municipal elections, during which the voters will elect a mayor and three city council members. Henriques is a 20-year Woodstock resident who has served as mayor since 2005. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Two charged in death of alleged carjacker

Two men accused in a carjacking are now charged with murder in the shooting death of one of their cohorts, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

The fourth and believed final suspect, Maurice Perkins, was arrested Saturday in Gary, Ind. Perkins, 20, is expected to be extradited to Georgia.

Perkins and Jumar Greer, 19, of Acworth, were charged with murder, kidnapping and aggravated assault. Two others are charged with hindering the apprehension of a wanted person and making false statements.

The man accused of driving during the carjacking, Andre Rodriguez, was shot during the heist. Alexis Stevens

School wins state customer service honor

Woodstock Elementary School has received the Georgia Department of Education’s 2013 Family-Friendly Partnership School Award. State School Superintendent John Barge presented the award during a ceremony at the school last week.

Only four schools statewide were selected for the honor, which recognizes Title I schools — the schools with the highest number of low-income students — that maintain the best customer service.

“I am amazed at what you have done and what you are doing,” Barge said during his visit.

Nancy Badertscher

Children’s foundation sponsors run/walk

The Sandy Springs-based Brain Tumor Foundation for Children is sponsoring its second annual Tumor Troop Run/Walk on Sept. 7. The cost is $25 before Aug. 31 and $30 thereafter. The location is Mansell Crossing Shopping Center, 7730 North Point Parkway, Alpharetta. Register:

Nancy Badertscher


Skirmish erupts over Rising Starr football

Fayette County School System representatives are huddling with leaders of an independent recreation league this week to resolve a conflict that has put Rising Starr Middle School’s football program in a timeout. School officials are on the verge of canceling the fall season because of a lack of players. Many students have switched to a team formed by the Georgia Middle School Athletic Association, which seeks to use school facilities.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Fairburn seeks fall festival participants

The City of Fairburn is seeking parade participants, festival vendors and volunteers for the City of Fairburn Fall Festival and Parade, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 5 in the downtown historic district. A parade, food court, live music and kids activities will all be part of the fun. The theme of the 2013 event is “Bridging the Past with the Future” More info:

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Peachtree City seeks planning volunteers

Peachtree City’s Planning Commission is looking for new volunteers to serve three-year terms. The five-member board helps administer zoning and land development ordinances by reviewing site plans for proposed developments. Applicants must be city residents; details are at, and the deadline is Sept. 20. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Fatal accident closes I-75 North in Clayton

The northbound lanes of I-75 in Clayton County reopened after more than three hours following a fatal overnight pedestrian accident.

The pedestrian was struck by a tractor-trailer before 3 a.m. on I-75 north of Ga. 138. The truck was reportedly hauling 15,000 pounds of furniture.

All northbound lanes remained blocked until just after 6 a.m.

The identity of the pedestrian was not immediately available. Mike Morris

SPLOST stormwater timetable scheduled

The Fayette County Board of Commissioners has set a schedule for finalizing the Core Infrastructure SPLOST to finance stormwater system repairs.

A list of 181 proposed projects is available at and at the libraries and city halls in Fayetteville, Peachtree City and Tyrone. Residents can send comments to stormwaterinput

A final public hearing will be held at the BOC meeting at

7 p.m. Aug. 29 in Fayetteville. Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Alzheimer’s Walk to be held in October

The Southern Crescent Walk to End Alzheimer’s annual walk will be 8 a.m. Oct. 5 at the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater, 201 McIntosh Trail, Peachtree City. Register at Donations to the walk benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association can be mailed to Southern Crescent Walk to End Alzheimer’s, PO Box 2144, Peachtree City, GA 30269. Information: Sue Shaffer at

Veronica Fields Johnson