County by county


Housing agency to hold HARP town hall

Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and other housing experts will hold a forum with community leaders on eligible homeowners for the Home Affordable Refinance Program at 11 a.m. Aug. 14 at Ebenezer Baptist Church, in the Martin Luther King Sr. Community Resource Complex, 101 Jackson St., N.W.

More than 34,000 metro Atlanta homeowners are eligible for HARP. Info : Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

West End to host wellness day

Free health screenings will be provided during Community Wellness Day, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Family Health Center at West End, 868 York Ave., S.W. In addition to games and door prizes, patients of the center can receive free mammograms and diabetes and colorectal FIT kits. Body mass index measurements, blood pressure checks, assistance to stop smoking and exercise demonstrations also will be available . Info : 404-756-6874. Adrianne Murchison

County workers to give toiletries to homeless

Employees of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, the Chaplain’s Program, and other county staff have collected toiletries to distribute to the homeless at 11 a.m. Saturday, in front of the Superior Court of Fulton County building, 185 Central Ave., S.W. Soap, toothpaste, deodorant and lotion are some of the items to be given out. Info : 404-227-6572. Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

Atlanta History Center entrance to change

Over the next year, the Atlanta History Center will be expanding and improving the main museum entrance and admissions area, including the addition of a new café and gift shop with an anticipated opening next summer. Since the West Paces Ferry Road entrance will be closed , guests should enter at 3299 Andrews Drive, N.W. The admissions desk and museum gift shop will be located temporarily inside McElreath Hall. Info : or 404-814-4000. Carolyn Cunningham


Smyrna covered bridge to close for maintenance

The historic covered bridge on Concord Road in Smyrna will close Tuesday for about a month for maintenance. Drivers will have to detour on South Hurt Road and Hurt Road during the Cobb Department of Transportation work.

The 131-foot long bridge, between the East West Connector and Hicks Road, was first built in 1848 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Food truck event Wednesday

Food trucks are coming back to Mableton from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Mable House Complex, 5239 Floyd Road.

Sponsors are the South Cobb Arts Alliance and Cobb County Parks and Recreation.

There also will be live music, tours of the Historic Mable House and free arts and crafts activities for the children.


Carolyn Cunningham for the AJC

Smyrna police get grant for breathalyzer

The Smyrna Police Department will receive an $8,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to buy updated equipment for testing a person’s breath alcohol content. Smyrna officers will use the new model, the Intoxilyzer 9000, at the city detention center. State law requires all law enforcement agencies in Georgia to use the latest equipment by 2015. Tucker McQueen for the AJC

Powder Springs to host Live on the Lawn

Powder Springs will hold the last of three free summer concerts from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the city’s Town Square on Marietta Street. This rain-or-shine Live on the Lawn event will feature food trucks, DJ Samuel and musical guest RSVP Atlanta. Information:

,, or 770-943-1666 ext. 345. Carolyn Cunningham

West Cobb Food Truck Fridays plans fall return

West Cobb Food Truck Fridays have concluded for the summer with a fall return planned. These events were being held weekly during June and most of July from 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays in the parking lot of Trinity Chapel Church, 4665 Macland Road, Powder Springs.


or 770-222-7023. Carolyn Cunningham

WellStar to hold Health Care Summit

WellStar will present the 2014 Health Care Summit from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Cobb Galleria Centre, Two Galleria Parkway, Atlanta.

Online registration and refunds end Wednesday.

This interactive experience will include question-and-answer sessions, roundtable discussions with trained facilitators and development of company-specific action plans for 2015 to meet requirements of the new federal health care laws. Costs, including two meals: $109, general admission; $69, members of partner organizations, including the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

Info: or Sue Leithead, or 770-859-2326. Carolyn Cunningham


Home burglary suspects arrested

Dunwoody Police arrested Chantel Dione Fontaine, 34, of Stone Mountain and Christopher Rashad Thomas, 23, of Doraville on burglary charges, Monday.

A homeowner called 911 when he discovered a stranger inside his Fontainebleau Drive residence. According to police, Fontaine was parked in front of the home when officers arrived, and sped off as one approached.

The Chevrolet Tahoe crashed into a fence and Fontaine was taken into custody.

Thomas allegedly fled the home on foot and was captured a short distance away following a foot chase. Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

Seniors ask for upgraded crosswalk

After a Monday accident (no injuries) Ellen Miller, administrator for the Clairmont Oaks senior community, asked Decatur’s Commission for upgraded safety precautions at the Clairemont Avenue crosswalk leading to First Baptist Church. Miller wants more time to cross, saying the current 19 seconds is too fast for seniors.

She also asked for explicit warning lights prior to the crossing and police enforcement of speeders and red-light runners. Mayor Jim Baskett said the Commission would have engineers look into it. Bill Banks for the AJC

DeKalb hosts Family Fun Day in Lithonia

A DeKalb County event featuring food, music, games and information about county initiatives is will be held Saturday at the Bransby Outdoor YMCA.

The Community Education Family Fun Day, hosted by Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May and the DeKalb Board of Commissioners, will include educational information about recycling and grease disposal.

The event will be held from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 1185 Rock Chapel Road in Lithonia, and residents are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Mark Niesse

Dunwoody holds community talks

The City of Dunwoody will continue its series of community conversations with a Citizen Engagement Meeting 7-9 p.m. Aug. 28 at Dunwoody Nature Center, 5343 Roberts Drive.

The series is in response to residents’ interest in more direct contact with city officials on ongoing projects and initiatives.

More than 250 people attended a Dunwoody Town Hall meeting, held in February. In addition, Two Citizen Connection meetings with Councilmen Doug Thompson and John Heneghan were held this year, in District 3. District 1 Councilmembers Denis Shortal and Terry Nall are scheduled to answer residents’ questions. Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

Input sessions set for renovating schools

City Schools Decatur has set two dates for residential input sessions on the renovation and new construction of Renfroe Middle School and Decatur High.

Architects and design personnel, selected by CSD, will field questions and suggestions on Aug. 14 at the high school and Aug. 19 at Renfroe.

Design plans for both schools should finish by late fall/early winter, with Phase I construction on the high school — most likely new classrooms — beginning in January. Bill Banks for the AJC


Job fair seeks 911 and police officer candidates

The Gwinnett County Police Department will host a job fair for police officer and E-911 communications officer positions 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23 at the Gwinnett County Police Training Center, 854 Winder Highway in Lawrenceville.

The Gwinnett County Police Department offers a competitive compensation/benefits package along with on-the-job training. Applicants are encouraged to apply before attending the fair on the police employment webpage at Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Ex-councilman pleads guilty to credit card misuse

Former Dacula councilman Greg Reeves negotiated a guilty plea deal Tuesday for misdemeanor charges he used a city-issued credit card for personal use between January 2013 and March 2014. Reeves was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay $3,178.49 back to the city, along with a $1,000 fine and court costs. Reeves court-appointed attorney noted his client has already paid back $2,900 of the debt and apologized to the court for his actions. Reeves resigned from Dacula’s city council in May shortly after his arrest. Karen Huppertz for the AJC

GGC graduates more than 100 this summer

Georgia Gwinnett College awarded more than 100 bachelor degrees during its 2014 summer commencement, held Tuesday at the Gwinnett Center. This is the second year the college has held a graduation ceremony following its summer semester. Henry “Hank” M. Huckaby, chancellor of the University System of Georgia, presented the ceremony’s keynote address. He said that while the world is not perfect, today’s graduates are equipped with the education and human spirit necessary to make the world a better place. Huckaby also encouraged the graduates to be life-long learners, and to focus not merely on having more, but being more. Karen Huppertz

Secretary of State Kemp to visit luncheon

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp will join the Greater Eastside Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20 at Summit Chase Country Club, 3197 Classic Drive in Snellville. Preregistered members: $10; Preregistered nonmembers: $15; Late Registration: $20. Early registration ends 5 p.m. Aug. 18. Info : Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Congressman to host town hall meetings

Representative Rob Woodall, 7th District Congressman, will hold four town hall meetings over the next two weeks to update the community on what is happening in Washington. The first, a telephone town hall, will be 7 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21 at 877-229-8493, passcode 17849. Subsequent town hall meetings will be 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25 at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Building, 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville; and Tuesday, Aug. 26 at the UGA-Cumming Campus, 300 Aquatic Center, room 125 in Cumming. The final town hall will be another telephone talk, 7 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 28 at 877-229-8493, passcode 17849. Karen Huppertz


Forsyth offers new citizens fire program

The Forsyth County Fire Department is offering its first-ever Citizens Fire Academy. The 10-week program is designed to teach residents about the county’s fire and emergency services system, fires and firefighting equipment.

It begins at 7 p.m. Sept. 2 at the Forsyth County Public Safety Complex, 3520 Settingdown Road. Participants must be at least 18, county residents and pass a background check. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Johns Creek OKs roadwork plan

The Johns Creek City Council has approved an $11.5 million, five-year plan for repaving and repairing deteriorated subdivision streets. The plan calls for spending $5.5 million in 2015, the first year of the work, with paving starting in April each year and targeted to finish before school starts. City officials recently won a $4 million Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Loan to help fund the multi-year project. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

History, fashion show set in Roswell

Something for both fashionistas and history buffs: The Roswell Historical Society will present: Fifty Years of 19th Century Fashion with Janine and Phillip Whiteman at 7 p.m. Sept. 4 at the Historic Gardens of Great Oaks, 786 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell. It’s free and open to the public. For more information: Mark Woolsey

Cherokee schools reach enrollment milestone

The Cherokee County School District saw enrollment top 40,000 for the first time this week. As of Wednesday, 40,081 students were attending classes, a jump of 790 students from last year’s day-three enrollment. More growth is on the horizon, as the district’s been granted another Georgia Lottery-funded pre-kindergarten class, which will set up shop at the Canton Elementary School STEM Academy. Mark Woolsey

Commissioners approve park redesign

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners has approved plans for a redesign of the planned Patriots Park. Commissioners OK’d replacing two multipurpose sports fields with one large meadow area for athletic practices, due to concerns about stream protection. The project will also include three baseball diamonds at the park, which will be located off Bells Ferry Road on the west side of Woodstock. The cost of the redesign will not exceed $75,000. Mark Woolsey for the AJC

Streetscapes project in motion in Holly Springs

The Holly Springs City Council on Monday night approved condemnation of the last tiny land parcel enabling a $2.5 million streetscapes project to proceed under the city’s Livable Centers Initiative program. The project will provide connected sidewalks from City Hall to the old Holly Springs Elementary School and along Hickory Road past Cherokee Fire Station 8. Also included: lampposts, benches, planters and street trees. The city hopes to bid out the project this fall after getting GDOT approval. Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Henry tornado siren testing begins next week

The Henry County Emergency Management Agency will begin tornado siren testing at 10 a.m. Wednesday and will continue testing on the second Wednesday of each month for an indeterminate amount of time, according to county officials. The duration of each test is approximately ten minutes.

EMA Director Don Ash said he wants residents to be aware of the testing and said his department will not test on days when inclement weather is a factor. Information: Monroe Roark for the AJC

County approves budget to feed seniors

Henry County Senior Services will spend $385,000 for food and grocery items to provide meals for seniors during the 2014-15 fiscal year. The expenditure, approved Tuesday by the Board of Commissioners, furnishes supplies needed to provide meals every weekday at two senior center cafeterias and one catered cafeteria. In addition to those who eat at the senior centers, homebound seniors also receive meals every Monday through Friday. All meals are prepared in-house by county staff. Information: Monroe Roark for the AJC

County OKs $66K to outfit police cars

The Henry County Board of Commissioners voted Aug. 5 to approve the purchase and installation of equipment for 15 new Dodge Chargers recently acquired by the Henry County Police Department. The $66,741.90 cost will come from the county’s SPLOST funds. The county recently purchased 30 cars for the police force. Information: Monroe Roark for the AJC

I-75 toll construction scheduled in Henry

Construction should begin this fall on the I-75 managed toll lanes through Henry County. State officials who briefed the Henry County Board of Commissioners at their meeting this week said ground should be broken by October at the latest. The project is currently in the design phase. The lanes are expected to be open in late 2016 or early 2017. Monroe Roark for the AJC

College Park tennis center reopens

The South Fulton Tennis Center is now open, following a $350,000 renovation.

The facility, which first opened in 1977, has 24 tennis courts for adults and children. South Atlanta Community Tennis Association operates the center. Adrianne Murchison for the AJC

Henry water quality report released

The Henry County Water Authority has released its 2014 Henry County Water Quality Report, which shows that the organization meets or exceeds state and federal water standards. The report includes lab data collected during the 2013 calendar year, providing consumers with information about the water system and source water, the substances and contaminants for which the HCWA monitors and tests, the water production processes that are overseen and other public information.

Information: Monroe Roark for the AJC