County by county news for Wednesday


Superintendent finalist to meet and greet today

Cobb’s sole superintendent finalist Michael Hinojosa will hold two meet-and-greets today from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Sprayberry High School and from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at McEachern High School.

Hinojosa was named the finalist May 19 but by law his contract can not be made official until 14 days after the announcement.

Information: Jaime Sarrio

Transportation forum on Thursday

The Partnership for Southern Equity will hold a transportation forum Thursday in Marietta to discuss regional transportation, legislation and Cobb County projects.

Topics covered at the “Moving to Opportunity” forum will include transit oriented development, access to public transportation and Cobb’s transportation outlook for the next decade. The forum begins at 6 p.m. at Turner Chapel AME Church, 492 N. Marietta Pkwy. in Marietta. Information and registration: Janel Davis

Police to hold Precinct 1 meeting Thursday

The Cobb County Police Department is hosting its Precinct 1 PENS (Police Email Notification System) meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The discussion topics Thursday include current events and more information about the Police to Citizen P2C program, a new records management system which allows citizens to obtain accident reports online and search an online database for crime data.

Precinct 1 is at 2380 Cobb Parkway in Kennesaw. Info: 770-499-4181 Andria Simmons

Ambulance company donates to Safety Village

MetroAtlanta Ambulance Service made a contribution this month to the Cobb Safety Village, which teaches children how to respond to emergencies.

The company donated $110,000 to sponsor the theatre in the Safety Village.

The village is a child-size representation of Cobb, complete with trees and scaled-down models of buildings with signs, streets, traffic lights and homes. Andria Simmons

Powder Springs farmers market opens Thursday

Opening day will be Thursday for the Powder Springs Farmers Market.

The market will be open every Thursday through September from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Marietta Street at Pineview Drive. Information: or Market Coordinator Kim Peterson at or 770-943-8001, ext. 307.

Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Dixie Highway Yard Sale starts June 2

The annual Dixie Highway Yard Sale runs June 3-5 along Old Highway 41, through Acworth, Kennesaw and Marietta. The 90-mile sale is organized by the Georgia Dixie Highway Association and stretches through north Georgia from Ringgold to Marietta.

Information: Janel Davis


Gwinnett Center takes over Hudgens’ booking

As part of a new two-year agreement, the Gwinnett Center has taken over the roles of booking rental spaces and facility operations management at the Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for the Arts. “These agreements with the Gwinnett Center will allow us to focus on our core mission of providing our community with the highest quality exposure possible as it relates to the arts,” Hudgens board chairman Stan Hall said in statement. Rental spaces include the 2,200-square-foot Grand Hall, Black Box Theatre, the glass-walled Rowe Promenade and the 28,000-square-foot outdoor Al Weeks Sculpture Gard. HOWARD POUSNER

Luncheon honors school retirees

More than 370 Gwinnett Schools employees were honored Tuesday at special luncheon for retirees leaving the system.

About 35 percent of the retirees worked their entire careers in Gwinnett. Some worked in classrooms, cafeterias, shops, offices and school buses. Seven have more than 40 years in education and 155 have more than 30 years in education. D. Aileen Dodd

Radloff teacher picked to host PBS show

Radloff Middle School Teacher Caroline Raville has been selected to host a PBS show, Gwinnett Schools officials said.

Raville was selected by PBS to host “This American Land,” a series on the environment.

The series will begin airing on Aug. 5 nationwide and explore natural resources in the U.S. including the landscape, waterways, and wildlife.

Information: D. Aileen Dodd

Firm wins ‘amazing entrepreneur’ contest

A management consulting firm has won the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural “amazing entrepreneur” contest. SantaRomana & Associates, which advises clients on industry trends and strategies, won the award. Finalists included Belle Creations, Certification Consultants, Angel’s Closet and Begin Speaking Documentaries. David Wickert

Great cardboard boat race to be June 11

Gwinnett County will sponsor a “great cardboard boat race” from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. June 11 at Dacula Park Pool, 205 Dacula Road.

Contestants must build a boat and paddle 25 it yards to victory.

The race is open to all ages. The cost is $15 per boat, with a maximum of six crew members on each team. Pre-registration is required by June 4. To register, call 770-614-2063. David Wickert

Evermore CID to honor late board member

The Evermore Community Improvement District plans to have a dedication ceremony in June for the West Park Place Interchange in Snellville.

The intersection will be formally named for former board member Forrest Adair, who died in September. Evermore CID Executive Director Wayne Hill also said the group will host a public hearing open house June 30 on road projects involving Hewatt and Parkwood roads and Britt Drive. The hearing is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. David Wickert


Fifth grader spurs drive to help tornado victims

At Crabapple Crossing Elementary School in Milton, fifth grader Phil Jones saw coverage of the tornado devastation in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and felt compelled to act. Jones, the son of two University of Alabama graduates, recruited his fifth grade book club and Michelle Cygielman, his National Elementary Honor Society adviser and CCES’s choir director, to help coordinate a donations’ drive. The five-day campaign ended with 50 boxes of much-needed supplies -- baby items, flashlights, batteries, clothing, food and toiletries -- being delivered to Tuscaloosa. NANCY BADERTSCHER

Falcons treat wounded veterans to fishing trip

Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay, Head Coach Mike Smith and former wide receivers Billy “White Shoes” Johnson and Michael Haynes will be among an all-star group paying tribute to wounded military veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan during a fishing outing and cookout at Lake Lanier on June 8. In its fourth year, this event allows each veteran an opportunity to be paired with Falcons on individual fishing boats and compete for various prizes. Boats leave at 1:30 p.m., and the cookout starts at 5:30 p.m. at Van Pugh Park North, off Gaines Ferry Road.

Eaves heads to Brazil with 22 students

After today’s meeting, Fulton Commission Chairman John Eaves will fly to Brazil with 22 high school students from the Global Youth Leadership Program, which he created in 2008 as part of the Fulton County Youth Commission. The students will be volunteering with Project Favela, a charity for Brazil’s shanty towns, and visiting such sites as the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and the Museum Carlos Costa Pinto in Bahia, Salvador.

Eaves and the group will return June 10. Johnny Edwards

Habitat for Humanity takes applications

Habitat for Humanity will hold a home ownership application meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday at Roswell United Methodist Church, 814 Mimosa Boulevard, Building A-Sanctuary.

Applicants must attend the meeting, demonstrate a need for housing and the ability to pay a mortgage, bring a picture ID, be a legal U.S. resident and have lived or worked in the north metro area for one year.

Information: 770-587-9679 Patrick Fox

Forsyth offers safety camps for kids

The Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department is hosting Safety Town camps this summer to instruct children on fire, playground, poison, and bus safety, and a session on stranger danger. The two-week session camps are in June and July and open to children four and a half to six and a half years old. Each session costs $85. Information: 770-781-2215. Jeffry Scott

Wings and rock music in Woodstock Saturday

Chicken wing restaurants and classic rock cover and tribute bands are on the menu in Woodstock Saturdayfrom 12:30 to 9:30 p.m. The all-day free outdoor music and food festival features wings, adult beverages and a wing-eating contest at 5:30 p.m. Information: Christopher Quinn


Fulton, DeKalb assessors discuss Atlanta

Because Atlanta overlaps into DeKalb County, the DeKalb and Fulton tax assessors boards will hold a joint meeting Thursday to make sure properties are being valued consistently on both sides of the border. The meeting will start at 11 a.m. in Suite 2052 of the Fulton County Government Center, 141 Pryor St., S.W., Atlanta, following the Fulton Board of Assessors’ bi-monthly meeting at 10 a.m. Johnny Edwards

The Callan Café opens in arts center

The Callan Café, designed in the style of an Irish coffee shop, has opened at busy Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, the Gothic-Tudor-style mansion built in 1920 as the home of Coca-Cola heir Charles Howard Candler.

Hours are 9-11:30 a.m. and 3-8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays. 980 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta. Information: 404-872-5338, HOWARD POUSNER

Groups receive grants to improve parks

Friends of Orme Park and Virginia-Highland Conservation League have received two grants from Park Pride, a nonprofit organization that works with communities across Atlanta to improve their parks. One is for $40,000 toward the Orme Park Project, already under construction. The second is for $50,000 toward construction of New Highland Park at North Highland and St. Charles Place.

Orme Park will host a ribbon cutting at noon June 11. Staff reports

City tilts against zoning for convenience store

After months of conflict between East Atlanta residents and a builder trying to put up a convenience store at Moreland and Ormewood avenues, the city issued a zoning ruling against the development. To get certain zoning requirements the developers asked for a replat. The city granted the request, but in a May 25 letter, Atlanta’s Office of Planning wrote the replat “was approved in error.”

The landowner has 30 days to appeal. Staff reports


Schools detail wish list for tax renewal

DeKalb school officials want to build eight new schools and make renovations and additions to several others with money collected from the next penny sales tax program, which if approved would run from 2013-17.

DeKalb must ask voters to extend the tax along with Atlanta, Decatur, and Fulton school districts because of overlapping boundaries under state law. A detailed project list and a survey is available at Jaime Sarrio

Zoning Board of Appeals to meet Thursday

The Dunwoody Zoning Board of Appeals will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday at City Hall, 41Perimeter Center East. The board decides on cases requesting variances to the zoning ordinance, sign ordinance, and the development and environmental ordinance of the city. It also hears cases requesting an appeal to a staff interpretation and/or decision on the ordinances. Michelle E. Shaw

Storytime for kids at Doraville library

Children from 2 to 5 years old can enjoy story time at the Doraville Library from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., today . Little Book’s Storytime includes nursery rhymes, songs, games and crafts. Children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. The event is free and open to the public.

Michelle E. Shaw

School board gives go-ahead for lacrosse

The DeKalb school board cleared the way for high school lacrosse teams to be sanctioned by the Georgia High School Association. The board also voted to give teams funding for transportation and to provide a salary supplement for teachers who coach the sport. The district has some “club-level” lacrosse teams, but being sanctioned means they can compete on a larger scale. Jaime Sarrio

County opens new recycling center

DeKalb County has opened a new recycling drop-off center for residents in part of a bid to become more environmentally friendly. The county partnered with Keep DeKalb Beautiful and Atlanta Recycling Solutions to open the site at 3643 Camp Circle just outside Decatur.

The center accepts most electronics and USB battery back ups. It does not take in TVs, vacuum cleaners, washers, dryers or freezers. April Hunt

Stone Mountain cited for work with businesses

Stone Mountain recently received a national honor for its work to foster small businesses through its Art Micro-Enterprise project.

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, presented the city with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for its program that offers rent subsidies for artists who operate gallery and studio space in the city’s downtown. April Hunt

Doraville officials move to another building

The Doraville permit clerk, building inspector and city planner have moved from the annex building on Central Avenue to City Hall. The office of the storm water inspector and the arborist’s office will remain at the annex building. To contact development staff, call 770-451-8745.

Michelle E. Shaw


Commissioner Pitts takes aim at elephant bullhook

The elephant bullhook debate will be back in front of the Fulton County Commission today . Commissioner Robb Pitts wants to ban circus trainers from using the sharp-tipped instruments, which animal rights groups argue are used to poke, prod and beat elephants bloody. Trainers say they’re needed to give the animals instructions. The measure was voted down 4-3 in November, but Pitts may have the needed fourth vote from co-sponsor Joan Garner. The rule would only apply to unincorporated south Fulton, not to Atlanta where Philips Arena is located. Johnny Edwards

Judge stops Clayton schools from billing

A federal judge on Friday approved a temporary restraining order against Clayton County Schools to stop the district from forcing contract employees to repay part of their salary. In April, the school board approved five furlough days for the 2010-11 school year to shore up the district’s budget, according to a complaint filled Thursday. Four of those days were billed retroactively, with contract employees required to repay money or have it subtracted from their paycheck. A hearing is expected to take place next week. A district spokesman said it was a legal matter and had no comment. JAIME SARRIO

Leadership Clayton ceremony on Thursday

Ron Shipman, vice president of Environmental Affairs at Georgia Power Company, will be the keynote speaker at the 2010-11 Leadership Clayton commencement ceremony on Thursday at the Riverdale Centre for the Arts, Business and Leisure Services. Cost: $25 a person and $15 per child under 12 years old. Reservations are required. Details: call the Clayton Chamber of Commerce at (678) 610-4021. Tammy Joyner

McIntosh, Starr’s Mill grads do well in college

Graduates from McIntosh and Starr’s Mill High Schools ranked in the top 1 percent of the 2009 college freshman class statewide, according to a report by the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents.

The study tracked the cumulative grade point averages of the students’ first college semesters. McIntosh graduates posted an average GPA of 2.96, with those from Starr’s Mill earning an average of 2.92.

Jill Howard Church for the AJC

Tickets all gone for amphitheater debut

With questions swirling about whether an outdoor concert venue can survive in the flight path of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, south Fulton’s new Wolf Creek Amphitheater appears off to a good start. Within two days, residents snatched up all the free tickets to the Saturday grand opening, headlined by India Arie. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. Johnny Edwards

Title 1 meeting for parents Thursday

A meeting is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. for parents interested in learning more about the Title 1 Parental Involvement Statement and the Consolidated Statement. The meeting will take place in the Teaching Museum South, 689 North Ave., Hapeville. Information: 404 669-8217 or contact Tawana D. Miller, Badertscher