County by county news for Wednesday


Lost Mountain protected from development

About 150 acres of historic Lost Mountain in West Cobb now are protected permanently by The Trust for Public Land, Georgia Piedmont Land Trust and Athens Land Trust.

GPLT “will work to develop limited public access to Lost Mountain for hiking, nature observation and historical interpretation,” said GPLT board president Rebecca Spitler.

Mostly forested, Lost Mountain includes the uncommon dwarf Ohio buckeye and running cedar.

Information:,, Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Mable House hosts summer camp on Asia

Mable House Arts Center will host weekly summer camps where children can explore the art and culture of various regions of Asia. Camp is for children ages 4-15 and held 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The cost is $90 a week for residents and $115 for nonresidents.

Information: or 770-819-3285. Jaime Sarrio

Marietta names special ed director

Josette Bailey has been named director of special education for Marietta City Schools starting July 1.

The board of education chose Bailey, who has worked 20 years in special education with Cobb County Schools and with a state network of educational and therapeutic supports program., to replace Jody Drum.

Drum was recently named assistant superintendent for special services for the city schools district, also starting July 1. Jaime Sarrio

East Cobb Park holds anniversary event

Friends for the East Cobb Park will celebrate the park’s 10th anniversary 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 13 at the park, 3322 Roswell Road, Marietta.

Food, refreshments, bounce houses, guest speakers, a disc jockey and entertainment will be on site. The park’s founders and the East Cobb Civitan Club will be honored.

Information: Jaime Sarrio

Smith-Gilbert Gardens changes days opened

Kennesaw’s Smith Gilbert-Gardens has changed days of operation to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The 16-acre public garden at 2382 Pine Mountain Road, Kennesaw will close Sundays and Mondays for maintenance and upkeep.

The city garden will also hold docent or volunteer training for tour guides starting 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 14 for five weeks.

Information: Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Cobb to hold meetings on new flex bus route

Cobb Community Transit will hold a series of meetings this month on the new pilot flex bus route in south Cobb.

The proposed route will provide stops between Cumberland and Austell.

Residents can learn more and offer feedback from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Ron Anderson Recreation Center, 3820 Macedonia Road, Powder Springs; and 10 a.m. to noon July 20 at Mable House Arts Center, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton.

Information: or 770-427-4444. Jaime Sarrio


Local homicide suspect nabbed in Florida

Norman Lee Griffin, 36, was arrested in the Pensacola, Fla., area Friday, according to he Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office. Griffin is accused of shooting and killing 40-year-old Ulice Terrail Leatherberry on June 14, 2012, in the parking lot of an apartment complex near Norcross. Investigators believe Leatherberry was a middle man in a drug sale earlier the same day in Atlanta, but the buyers weren’t happy and went to Leatherberry’s apartment to get their money back.

Leatherberry couldn’t return the money, fled his apartment and was shot outside. Alexis Stevens

Suwanee named in magazine Top 10 list

Suwanee has been named one of the nation’s 10 Best Towns for Families by Family Circle magazine based criteria including affordable homes, quality schools, access to health care, green space, low crime rate, and financial stability – to assess cities and towns with populations between 10,000 and 150,000. Dan Klepal

Free container gardening class

Learn the basics of growing ornamental plants and vegetables in containers, free of charge, 1 p.m. Thursday in the Cooperative Extension Conference Room of the Gwinnett County Government Annex Building, 750 South Perry Street, Suite 400, Lawrenceville.

Information: Timothy Daly, 678-377-4010 or Hannah Morgan

Free child safety classes offered

The Gwinnett Police Department’s crime prevention officers will be offering the radKIDS children’s safety education program to Gwinnett children from July 8-12 from 9 to 11 a.m. The radKIDS program is a nationally recognized program designed to teach children how to protect themselves from violence and harm. Multiple classes for children 5-12 years old will be offered, and participants are required to attend all of the daily sessions. To register, contact Officer W. Eric Rooks at, or 770-513-5119.

Hannah Morgan

Duluth announces patriotic celebration

Duluth will hold its annual Duluth Celebrates America July 3 at Scott Hudgens Park off Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in River Green Business Park at 4545 River Green Parkway. Gates will open at 4 p.m. with the fireworks display at dark. Admission and parking are free, but donations will be accepted to help offset costs.

Festivities will start at 5 p.m. and will include inflatable rides, rock wall, train rides, carnival rides/games, face painting, food and drink, including beer and wine will be on sale. Information:

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Line dance marathon this weekend

Learn the Cupid Shuffle and the Wobble, then groove to hip-hop and country music classics. Participate in the line dance marathon 6 p.m. Saturday at Lucky Shoals Park, 4651 Britt Road, Norcross. Drinks will be provided, bring a dish to share. $5/person, register by calling 678-277-0860. Hannah Morgan


GDOT wants input on Ga. 20 project via web

The Georgia Department of Transportation is taking to the web to get input on proposed improvements to Ga. 20 from I-575 in Canton to Ga.400 in Cumming. A survey’s been posted to asking about the need to upgrade the over-capacity road and alternatives for improvements and their impacts. The survey will be active until July 15. A series of public meetings was held on the projectt in May.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Holly Springs may allow backyard chickens

The Holly Springs Planning and Zoning Commission this week gives initial consideration to an ordinance that would allow “laying hens” in residential areas, eliminating the minimum acreage for residents wanting to keep female fowl. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. June 27 at the city administration building, 3237 Holly Springs Parkway. City Manager Rob Logan says the full City Council will consider the plan later this summer. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Free dentistry day this Saturday in Alpharetta

Jones Bridge Dental Care will host a Free Dentistry Day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the office, 11925 Jones Bridge Rd., Alpharetta.

Free services offered will include examinations, digital x-rays, blood pressure and oral cancer screenings and a choice of an extraction, filling or cleaning.

Patients will be seen on a first come first serve basis.

Information: 678-942-6786 or

Veronica Fields Johnson

Schools announce open house schedule

The Cherokee County School District has determined its open house and walk-through schedule for district schools for the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.

The schedule is posted on the district’s homepage at Class schedules and teacher assignments will be available at each school’s event.

School begins Aug. 5, and individual schools’ front offices will be open daily starting July 23. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

MARTA forum canceled, to be reset

A public input meeting to discuss rapid transit options along the Ga. 400 corridor scheduled for today has been canceled.

MARTA officials will reschedule the forum for later this summer, a spokeswoman for the transit authority said.


Arlinda Smith Broady

Alpha Arts Guild exhibits at library

Artwork displayed by members of the new Alpha Arts Guild, an organization for North Fulton-based artists will be in an ongoing display at the Alpharetta Branch library, 238 Canton St.

Information: 770-740-2425 Mea Watkins


Museum to offer free HIV testing

Hammonds House Museum, in partnership with AID Atlanta, will offer free HIV testing from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at the museum, 503 Peeples St. No reservations needed. Information: 404-612-0481. Veronica Fields Johnson

Senior garden club to open Thursday

Truly Living Well Center for Urban Agriculture will host a dedication for the William H. Borders Community & Senior Garden from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at Wheat Street Garden, 75 Hilliard St. N.E. Activities will include a ribbon cutting ceremony, garden tour and a senior nutrition workshop provided by Open Hand. The TLW Senior Garden Club will provide an urban growing experience for senior citizens who live in the Old Fourth Ward community.

Membership dues are $3 per month. Information: or 678-973-0997. Veronica Fields Johnson

Healthy Japanese cooking demonstration

The Japan-America Society of Georgia will sponsor a healthy Japanese cooking demonstration, led by Chef Taka Moriuchi, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Taka Sushi & Passion, 375 Pharr Rd. Fee is $20 for members and $30 for non-members. The event is limited to 30 participants. Registration deadline is today. Information: or 404-842-1400 or

Veronica Fields Johnson

Free screenings for HIV Testing Day

Someone Cares Inc. and its community partners will offer free health screenings as part of the annual National HIV Testing Day campaign.

HIV testing, STD screenings and condom distribution will be from midnight to 3 a.m. Friday at Club Xccess Night Club, 708 Spring St. HIV testing and condom distribution will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. at Walgreens, 2320 N. Druid Hills Road, on Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

Information: Edwin Blount at 678-921-2706. Veronica Fields Johnson


Lakeside has cash for cityhood study

Lakeside City Alliance announced Tuesday that it has raised enough money for a cityhood study.

Alliance chairwoman Mary Kay Woodworth said the group reached its $30,000 goal this weekend and will soon hire the Carl Vinson Institute to create a financial and service study for the area. At least three other cities, some with overlapping borders, are under review. April Hunt

County to vote on budget, tax rate

The DeKalb County Commission on Tuesday said it will vote on the midyear budget in July.

Also Tuesday, the board said it will hold the 2013 millage rate steady at 21.21 mills for the unincorporated area.

A public hearing on the budget and millage rate will be 10 a.m. July 16 with a vote expected later that evening.

Tax bills would then go out in August. April Hunt

Avondale to launch citizens patrol

Avondale Estates will launch its Citizens Patrol, a force of approximately 50 volunteers, in the next 30 days. Patrol members can’t be confrontational, can’t engage suspects can’t issue tickets and won’t carry weapons, but will identify suspicious persons, activities, and vehicles, while also helping drivers with directions, dead batteries and flat tires. Shifts are four hours, totalling 20 hours per month, mostly (though not exclusively) in daylight hours. The city has one Citizens Patrol car topped with amber (not blue) lights.

Bill Banks for the AJC

Brookhaven police force taking shape

Brookhaven recently swore in two new officers to the police force that was expected to be up and running this month.

Lt. Juan Grullon and Sgt. Chad Latonis will join four others recently hired to serve as command staff for the department.

Both Grullon, a former police supervisor in East Point, and Latonis, a former sheriff’s deputy in Forsyth County, are fluent in Spanish.

The city is still hiring for the 50-member department, and special consideration will be given to bilingual candidates who can work in the new city’s heavily Latino southern end.

April Hunt

Four vie for Lithonia administrator job

Stone Mountain’s former city manager is among four finalists under consideration to become city administrator in Lithonia.

Barry Amos was let go from the post in the larger city late last year.

He now is vying against Brad Chambers, Lee Chastain and Phil Howland for the similar job in Lithonia, also in eastern DeKalb County. April Hunt

Schools should surpass growth projection

Decatur schools should surpass the 11 percent anticipated growth. As of last week 4,047 students have enrolled for 2013-14, or 96 percent of a projected 4,229 students. Decatur closed the 2012-13 year with 3,830 students. So far, the most growth has occurred in the second (71 more students) and 11th (48 more) grades.

This marks the third consecutive year the school system has grown by 11 percent or more, and it has swollen by more than 35 percent since 2008. Bill Banks for the AJC


Former Fayette school administrator arrested

The former athletic director for Fayette County High School was arrested yesterday for allegedly stealing funds from the school. Darren A. Handley, 48, of Fayetteville was charged with two counts of Theft by Taking Fiduciary following an investigation that began last month. Lt. Mike Whitlow of the Fayetteville Police Department said discrepancies were found in several accounts Handley administered, and that more charges are expected.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Police: S. Fulton man shot to death

The man found dead Friday in south Fulton County was the victim of a shooting homicide, authorities said.

A passer-by driving past the intersection of Butner and Aldredge roads discovered 32-year-old Nicholas Grant, of College Park, lying unresponsive in the lot alongside the roadway, police said.

Police said his death was likely the result of foul playThe case remains under investigation. Marcus K. Garner

Four stabbed during neighborhood fracas

Clayton County police Tuesday were investigating an overnight stabbing that left four people wounded.

Channel 2 Action News reported that the stabbings happened during an argument Monday night between neighbors on Southshore Court, off Tara Boulevard near Lovejoy.

Three men and one woman were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Police have not said what sparked the argument, or whether anyone was charged.

Mike Morris

Henry committee submits SPLOST list

Henry County’s SPLOST committee has concluded its 14-week series of meetings and recommended a list of projects to the Henry County Board of Commissioners, who is expected to approve a final list soon for inclusion on the November referendum. The vote would extend the county’s current special-purpose local option sales tax, which is set to expire next year. The newest list is based on projected revenues of $190 million and a 75/25 split between the county and its four municipalities. Information:

Monroe Roark for the AJC

Peachtree City selling surplus trailers

Peachtree City is selling seven surplus utility trailers via online auction. The trailers were made between 1995 and 2004 and some need minor repairs. The auctions are scheduled to close at 6:30 a.m. Thursday (June 27). To view and bid on these items, go to and search under Peachtree City.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

McDonough continues medication disposal

The 2013 Recycling Series in McDonough continues with consumer medication disposal 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Saturday. Drop-off points are 88 Keys Ferry St. and 1063 Industrial Parkway.

Participants may also receive free blood pressure screening.

If the Fire Department is responding to a call, collection will not be available until their return. Monroe Roark for the AJC

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