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the DeKalb FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, 2019 • VOL.

24, NO 29 • FREE

Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Stone Mountain, Stonecrest and Tucker • A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS

Stone Mountain
celebrates new
welcome center BY CARLA PARKER and stakeholders,” Thornton said.
carla@dekalbchamp.com “Now, we’re moving forward trying
Stone Mountain officials and other elected officials cut a ribbon to celebrate the opening of the new to get things together for the third
The new Stone Mountain phase, which is going to incorporate
welcome center. Photos by Carla Parker Welcome Center is now open in the an event space and senior center.”
city’s historic train depot. Cumbie called the building a
Stone Mountain officials held labor of love.
a ribbon cutting ceremony Aug. “We want this building to
26 to celebrate the opening of the be one of hospitality for visitors
new welcome center and Stone that come to this area, not only
Mountain Downtown Development for visitors but for local people,”
Authority (DDA) office in the Cumbie said. “That’s why we’re
renovated train depot. The opening calling it the welcome center. It’s
of the new welcome center signified not just a visitor’s center. It’s a
the completion of Phase II of the place where people can come and
$1.6 million train depot renovation feel welcomed.”
project. Cumbie said extra funds raised
Stone Mountain received from previous Color Run 5K events
$149,000 from the 2016 DeKalb in the city helped pay for the HVAC
County Community Development system and Dolly Parton Theater,
Stone Mountain Welcome Center is now open in the Train Depot. Block Grant (CDBG) to complete which filmed in the train deport,
specific projects in the depot. Phase allowed the city to keep blinds that
II of the project included renovating were used during filming. “That’s
the old courthouse and city council $5,000 [worth] of blinds,” Cumbie
meeting space and turning it into said. “What a gift.”
a space for the welcome center. Future projects in the train
Two rooms in the train depot were depot include renovating the
also renovated into office space 1914 women’s restroom into an
for the DDA and the city’s tourism accessible restroom that will meet
manager Kimberly Cumbie. requirements of the Americans
Exterior renovations on the with Disabilities Act (ADA); and
depot were completed in 2015. constructing a raised timber railroad
The city received a $352,150 platform along two sides of the
Transportation Enhancement Grant southern section that will expand
The welcome center also features historic facts about the city. from the Georgia Department of useable space of the building and
Transportation to fix the exterior will allow ADA access.
of the old police station section of The south side of the train depot
the train depot and correct drainage was built in 1857 after the Georgia
issues. Railroad Company completed the
City Manager ChaQuias line from Madison to Atlanta. The
Thornton said this project has north side was built in 1914 as a
been near and dear to the hearts passenger office and waiting room.
of everyone in Stone Mountain, In the early 1960s, the train depot
especially Cumbie. served as the city hall and city jail.
“[Cumbie] has worked tirelessly It remained in use until 2012 when
trying to get this space up and the new municipal building was
going and open for our citizens completed.
The lobby of the welcome center features brochures of attractions in the city.

Visit www.TheChampionNewspaper.com for local, real DeKalb County news.

LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, August 30, 2019 • Page 2


Yusef Salaam holds a newspaper ad paid for by Donald Trump. Senior Pastor Emory Berry, Jr. prays with students and guest speaker Yusef Salaam at Greenforest Early
Learning Center Aug. 26.

Students and facility at Greenforest pose for a photo with guest speaker Yusef Salaam (center). Photos by Horace Holloman

Students receive lessons on life, faith BY HORACE HOLLOMAN Salaam spoke to a group of
Horace@dekalbchamp.com approximately 50 teens about using
anger for good.
“It’s all about paying it
Yusef Salaam said he has forward. At the end of the day, we
every right to be angry after what had to think about what to do with
happened to him. As a teenager, that pain, hurt and the reality of
Salaam served six years and eight what we went through. We said we
months in prison for the rape of a had to pour into the future and pour
28-year-old female jogger in New into the * future minds that would
York City’s Central Park in 1989. one day be judges, doctors and
Salaam, along with four other lawyers,” Salaam said. 
teens who became known as the Salaam spoke to students about
Central Park Five, were exonerated how his trust in God strengthened
in December 2012. his faith while he was in jail.
On Aug. 26 at Greenforest Salaam also said it’s important for
Early Learning Center in Decatur, young people to understand their

Students listen to guest speaker Yusef Salaam at Greenforest Early Learning Center Aug. 26. SEE LESSONS ON PAGE 7
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, August 30, 2019 • Page 3


The men taking equipment from State Farm construction site captured by surveillance
cameras. Photo provided by Dunwoody Police Department.

Suspects wanted for

DeKalb County will construct a new building for the East DeKalb Community and Senior Center at Bruce Street. Photo by Carla stealing $65,000 of
construction materials
New senior center BY TAYLOR ROBINS
An assortment of tools were
stolen as well.
According to the police
report, the burglary is listed

coming to Lithonia
Dunwoody police are
searching for individuals who as a “no forced entry” and the
allegedly stole products valued suspects wore gloves.
at $65,000 from the State According to the police
Farm construction site Aug. report, the burglary was
12. noticed when employees
In a video posted to came in for work and
BY CARLA PARKER build the new senior center “Unfortunately, right noticed padlocks cut off the
Dunwoody police’s Twitter
carla@dekalbchamp.com and considered renovating now [the building] is company’s rolling carts and
page, three men can be seen
the existing structure. overgrown, so it needs to be a door that had been kicked
rolling a cart out of the 247
The East DeKalb “But [county officials] cleaned out and made into in. The burglary was reported
Perimeter Center Parkway
Community and Senior thought that would cost a useable space,” Jackson around 10 a.m.
location just after midnight.
Center on Bruce Street in more than what it was said. “We have to have some Any information about the
The suspects allegedly
Lithonia will have a new really worth, and it would discussions with the state’s State Farm construction site
took 30 Arecont security
building in 2021. be better to build a new preservation organization as burglary should be reported
cameras that are valued at
DeKalb County facility,” Jackson said. “I to what some options might to Detective Tim Waldron
$2,000 each, according to
approved funding to was interested in keeping be.” at (678)382-6911 or tim.
Dunwoody police officials.
build a new facility to the facility in the city, so The site for the waldron@dunwoodyga.gov.
replace the current senior we were able to sell them new senior center is
center building at 2449 the land that it’s going to approximately 4.5 acres
Bruce Street. The new
16,000-square-foot facility
be built on and that’s where
it contains the ruse of the
and will include about 100
parking spaces. County
Teacher charged with mall molestation
will feature a multipurpose old Bruce Street School, officials said commissioner BY TAYLOR ROBINS
room and dining hall with which was the first public Mereda Davis Johnson
stage, classrooms, an school for Black children in is leading the project and Taylor@dekalbchamp.com
aerobics studio and a game DeKalb County.” construction is anticipated
room. Jackson said the county to be completed in the first The Dunwoody Police
DeKalb County won’t demolish the historic quarter of 2021. Department has identified and
officials said the project is Bruce Street building Jackson said she is charged Devin Johnson with the
being funded jointly with and there are separate hoping they will be able to alleged molestation of a teen at
DeKalb County general discussions on what can be break ground for the project Perimeter Mall Aug. 4.
funds and community done to restore the building. before the end of the year. A 13-year-old boy said he was
Devin Johnson a DCSD teacher has
development through the approached Aug. 4 at a Perimeter been charged with molestation.
Community Development Mall bathroom by a man who asked
Block Grant Funds from him questions while in the bathroom.
CITY OF TUCKER The adult then went into a bathroom stall with the boy and closed
Housing and Urban PUBLIC NOTICE
Development Department and locked the stall. While they were in the bathroom stall, the
(HUD). The total project suspect asked the victim to expose himself and reached for the
The City of Tucker will hold a Second Read and victim’s pants, according to the Dunwoody Police Department.
cost, including design and Public Hearing on September 9th at 7:00 pm during
engineering, construction, The victim left the bathroom and notified his father, who
a regular scheduled meeting. The hearing and
site furnishings and fixtures, chased but did not catch the suspect.
meeting will be held at the City Hall Annex located
is approximately $6 million. at 4228 First Avenue Ste 2-4, Tucker GA 30084. The 28-year-old suspect was charged with child molestation,
Lithonia Mayor The purpose of this hearing is for the City Council to enticing a child and obstruction of officers Aug. 20. Johnson─a
Deborah Jackson said the consider budget amendments for Fiscal Year 2019 DeKalb County School District (DCSD) teacher─is in custody.
county looked for space to for the Operating and Capital Budgets. Johnson has been terminated from his Tucker Middle School
teaching position, according to DCSD officials.

Growing older, quieter and hopefully wiser

I’ve just turned 62 years old, royalty, were just beginning to have Our perspectives change a great
which to me is somewhat of a a following. The Beastie Boys, deal throughout life based on our
milestone birthday. Many of us Heathen Girls, Ramones, The Clash collective experiences and our ever-
who grew up during the '60s and and Dead Kennedys were headliners evolving sense of what is right and
'70s never expected to live to at local venues such as the famous- what is wrong.
be this age. In high school, we JOHN HEWITT to-some 688 Club on Atlanta’s Though some of us may not
had the dreaded mandatory draft johnh@dekalbchamp.com Spring Street. Debbie Harry, AKA be as vocal about expressing our
registration, which some of us Blondie, released “Rapture,” which concerns as others, many of us in
conveniently failed to complete. We would become the first rap song to our later years begin to listen more
lived through eras when drug use lifestyle; fake IDs were easily made, ever hit number one on American and apply a lifetime of perspectives
and sexual promiscuity were the and just as easily ignored when we music charts. to our opinions. We may be guilty
norms for many; a time when older attempted to enter a bar or order a We did not expect the world to of passing judgment on younger,
generations looked down on us as drink. Teenage boys were letting be fair. We knew we had to set our less experienced ones who complain
being wilder and weaker and had their hair grow to lengths that had own courses, and we did not rely on often and loudly about their
little confidence in our abilities to not been seen on men since the others to make positive changes that perceived social ills.
contribute to the overall betterment powdered wigs of the 18th century. we felt were important. We wrote Just as generations prior to ours
of society and to the world at large. Bellbottoms and platform shoes letters to authority figures, held sit- did, we may complain about the
Our generation did a lot of were just the beginning of trends ins and protests similar to those by younger generations today, but I’m
experimentation that shocked many our generation started but have the previous generation who were convinced that those in the current
who were not in our age group, and come and gone several times since. fighting for civil rights. generation will prove us wrong just
we were ridiculed for it on a regular We were among the first to hear Ideals of societal norms also as our generation did to those who
basis. Our generation was among new music genres such as punk, have changed through the years. doubted us.
the first to regularly experiment metal, funk and rap. Groups such as What we once believed to be a great
with substances such as marijuana. the B-52s and REM, who are now cause may now be little more than
Underage drinking was part of our considered by many as being music a fleeting thought or hinderance.

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How we can still create affordable housing

Around this world, humans Shipping container homes— Finding a more permanent
increasingly congregate and live
in our major urban centers and
‘One Man’s Atlanta, a rail hub, is home to
hundreds, if not thousands, of
solution, as Mayor Bottoms
referenced, will likely require
suburbs. One of the many positive Opinion’ now obsolete or no longer in use a broader, more bottom up
aspects of this lengthy economic shipping containers which ride response including a wide array of
growth period of the past decade Bill Crane rail cars or are on a trailer behind stakeholders, including business,
has been the recovery of the bill.csicrane@gmail.com an 18-wheeler. Old shipping real estate owners/developers,
real estate market and housing containers can be purchased online non-profits and NGOs as well as
prices. The financial markets’ and brought to a homesite for less churches and community-based
area residents was a fantasy at
collapse of 2008 left millions of than $2,000-3,000. They are hardy, enterprises. As the more desired
best. Residents new to Georgia’s
Americans underwater with their weather resistant and rather simple housing models shift, we will need
capital city and longtime Atlantans
mortgages and greatly de-valued to assemble or stack into a variety to be flexible and willing to build,
are flocking to be Beltline adjacent,
homes prices. But with many of affordable housing options. renovate and rebuild, while also
owning and renting, at prices
regions of the nation, including Co-housing—Another option requiring owners and tenants to
which at best can be described as
metro Atlanta, experiencing double gaining favor among millennials, become a part of their own solution.
surpassing longtime market high
digit price increases each year, an particularly in older, industrial We can hardly afford not to.
prices in Buckhead.
increasingly broader segment of the neighborhoods of major urban
Atlanta can make it more
population is getting priced out of centers, is co-housing. For rents Bill Crane also serves as a
difficult and expensive for
both home ownership and rentals.  of less than $1,000 per month political analyst and commentator
developers to acquire and build
Though Atlanta was home to (typically including all utilities), for Channel 2’s Action News, WSB-
along the Beltline, but it’s also
the first public housing project in tenants rent a room with shared AM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5
those new developments, and the
America—Techwood Homes— access to bath, kitchen and social FM, as well as a columnist for The
later property taxes they’ll generate,
dedicated by then-President spaces. More like a college Champion, DeKalb Free Press and
which provide the bulk of funding
Franklin Delano Roosevelt in dormitory, or a roommate plan with Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb
for the construction of the Beltline
1935; that model of warehousing amenities, co-housing reduces the native and business owner, living
itself.  Here are some options, all
the poor in high and mid-rise construction of the more expensive in Scottdale. You can reach him
heavily reliant on the private sector,
inner-city communities is on the parts of real estate construction or comment on a column at bill.
which are affordable and are already
wane. And yet 85 years after the (plumbing, heavy appliances) and csicrane@gmail.com. 
working elsewhere.
construction of Techwood Homes, splits those costs among multiple
Habitat for Humanity—
which was demolished prior to renters.
Founded in Americus, Ga. in 1976,
the Centennial Olympic Games in Habitat for Humanity is now global
1996, we still struggle as a nation in scope and has helped more
to both define affordable housing than $13.2 million people achieve
as well as determine who might be the stability and self-reliance of
entitled to it. home ownership. Habitat owners
 Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance are required to be employed, pay
Bottoms has set an ambitious goal an affordable mortgage, graduate
of $1 billion in new affordable from a home ownership course and
housing stock during her time contribute sweat equity—including
in office. The current average participation in the construction of
apartment rent within city limits is their home. Habitat for Humanity
$1,800 per month. Starter homes in homes are typically built with
the city have a typical price point of donated materials and labor.
$250,000.    Tiny houses—Most city
But home builders, real estate building codes do not allow the
developers and property owners construction or permanent siting
also cannot be expected to endlessly of tiny houses (typically 250-900
supply housing, apartments or square feet), for purposes other
even S.R.O. hotel rooms for less than use as a guest cottage or out-
than their costs of maintenance or building. A handful of Georgia
bringing product to market. For cities including Clarkston, East
example, expecting that Atlanta’s Point and Fayetteville have adjusted
trendy and popular Beltline could their building codes and have tiny
provide a wealth of affordable home communities currently under
housing options for longtime construction.

the DeKalb Publisher: Staff Reporters:
John Hewitt Carla Parker STATEMENT FROM THE
Horace Holloman PUBLISHER
Chief Financial Officer: Taylor Robins We sincerely appreciate the
Dr. Earl D. Glenn discussion surrounding this and any
Let Us Know What You Think! Social Media Manager: issue of interest to DeKalb County.
THE DEKALB FREE PRESS encourages opinions from SEND LETTERS TO EDITOR, Production Manager: Donna Seay The Champion was founded in 1991
expressly to provide a forum for
The DeKalb Free Press, Kemesha Wadley discourse for all community residents
its readers. Please write to us and express your views. P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; on all sides of an issue. We have no
Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain the Send email to Johnh@dekalbchamp.com desire to make the news only to
FAX To: (404) 370-3903; Phone: (404) 373-7779. The DeKalb Free Press is published each Friday report news and opinions to effect
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us that is known to be false and/or
Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. DISPLAY ADVERTISING (404) 373-7779 x 110 assumptions penned as fact.

Legendary Redan baseball coach dies

by Mark Brock to] handle people. But, don’t ever Pruitt took over the Redan base-
think he wasn’t a competitor despite ball program in 2001 from Greg
Former Redan High School his quietness. He wanted to win and Goodwin, who would later become
state championship coach Marvin was not happy when things went his principal at Redan.
Pruitt, 66, passed away Aug. 24 badly for his team.” “I could talk about Marvin
after battling several medical ail- DeKalb County Schools Athlet- forever,” said Goodwin. “He was a
ments. ics Specialist and Baseball Coordi- legendary coach, but an even bet-
Pruitt was the winningest nator Chris Chilton played for and ter man. Everyone you talk to about
DeKalb County baseball coach in worked with Pruitt for more than 37 him always said what a great person
history at 447-252-3 with stops at years since he was an eighth-grade he was.”
Lakeside, Stephenson, Southwest junior varsity player at Lakeside. Goodwin was a baseball foe
DeKalb and Redan. He fought his “The thing I remember most and friend for more than 30 years
ailments like he expected his play- about coach Pruitt was his smile,” and along with Pruitt, Dennis, Dion
ers to and in his usual quiet way said Chilton. “I remember the first Williams and Ron Elgin started
with that big smile most people time I saw him; I was walking up the DeKalb Dugout Club, which
remembered after meeting him. A the stairs in school and he was com- honors DeKalb players and coaches
coaching-stint at Rockdale County Marvin Pruitt ing down with that big ole smile on for their accomplishments each
in the late 1980s brought his career his face. He coached me in junior season. Goodwin was around for
record to 510-333-6. varsity for two years and three years many of Pruitt’s milestones, such
He coached Redan to 13 playoff advanced to the state playoffs and afterward. There were very few as his 500th career win, the state
appearances in 14 seasons, includ- reached the state semifinals. It was people who could ever say much championship and being named to
ing the 2013 Class AAAA state Lakeside’s first state playoff appear- bad about coach Pruitt and I can’t the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of
championship in which he had to sit ance and only Final Four trip. say that for most people.” Fame, of which Goodwin is also a
out a portion of the season due to Former Avondale and Lakeside Former Columbia head baseball member.
his health. He also coached Redan baseball coach Bill Newsome was coach Steve Dennis, who retired “Funny thing is, one of the
to Final Four appearances in 2003 part of Pruitt’s 1983 team and re- with more than 300 career wins, things he was proudest of was
and 2010. members his mentor fondly. played against Pruitt’s first Lakeside breaking my win record and taking
Pruitt joined the Lakeside “Coach was an ambassador for club as a player at Briarcliff High my title at Redan,” said Goodwin.
baseball staff in 1978 as an assistant DeKalb baseball. Even though he School. “We talked baseball all the time and
junior varsity coach and coached was a quiet person, everyone lis- “Coach Pruitt was my men- talked about baseball up until last
under Mike Trapani from 1980- tened when he talked and respected tor and I enjoyed getting to coach week before he passed away.”
1982 before taking over as head what he had to say,” said New- against him over the years,” said Pruitt had 13 20-win seasons
coach in 1983. some. “I remember that first playoff Dennis. “He always found a way during his career in DeKalb, includ-
“One of the things I remember [series] win against North Cobb to take advantage of my youth in ing 11 at Redan. He had three losing
most about coach Pruitt was that he so well. We lost the first game and coaching to get the upper hand. He seasons in DeKalb, all at Stephen-
was the kindest gentleman in the coach Pruitt got us back to Lakeside was a competitor and always got the son where he started the program in
coaching profession I ever met,” and made us take batting practice in best out of his players, no matter 1997 through 1999.
said Trapani. “He was the most the dark. We run-ruled North Cobb where he was coaching.” His 500th career victory came
positive coach and inspired the kids. in the second game and then won Dennis said Pruitt will leave a on April 1, 2014, as his Redan Raid-
He was always wanting to learn 3-2 in the third game by throwing big hole in the coaching community. ers defeated Banneker 14-0 on the
how to be a better coach and how to out the tying run at the plate in the “He is going to be very much way to a 22-win season and playoff
work with the kids. He was just the bottom of the last inning. missed by those in the coaching appearance in Pruitt’s final season in
kind of person you wanted your son “I can remember [Pruitt] sit- community with his knowledge and the dugout.
to play for—expecting hard work ting in our living room talking. He teaching of the game of baseball,” Funeral services for Pruitt will
and discipline. He was also a great was so soft spoken and always a said Dennis. “He is someone the be Aug. 31 at 11 a.m. at The Cov-
teacher in the classroom.” gentleman and classy,” continued younger generation may never have enant Church in Decatur.
Pruitt’s first head coaching job Newsome. “I learned a lot from him known, but if they can live up to
was in 1983 with Lakeside. His as a player and as a coach playing his legacy they will have done very
1983 team won the region title, against him on what to do and [how well.”

404.373.7779 EXT. 100
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, August 30, 2019 • Page 7


A rendering of the proposed eight-home subdivision along Forkner Drive in Decatur.

Back to the drawing board

Decatur developers pull out of neighborhood project
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN representing Footprint Properties, style of the architecture and spaced Reid said. 
said the company would withdraw the homes to reduce the massing Brian Daughdrill, a
horace@dekalbchamp.com its application and would take time and impact on the neighbors,” representative for Glenn Court
A Decatur-based retail to consider feedback received from David said.  Homeowners Association, said he
development company officially the city’s planning commission. During the planning has concerns about the property and
withdrew its application for an “Rather than delay the commission meeting, Decatur the lack of space for eight homes.
eight-home subdivision along application any further, Footprint residents still expressed concerns According to Daughdrill, the new
Forkner Drive in Decatur at a city Properties would like to withdraw regarding the development.  property would contain the same
commission meeting Aug. 19. its application. This will also allow Richard Reid, a resident of number of homes as the Glenn
After meeting with numerous Footprint Properties time to give Glenn Court, which neighbors Court subdivision but on lots half
community leaders and proper consideration to comments the property being considered those at Glenn Court. 
neighborhood association groups, made at the planning commission for development, said despite the “I’m a country boy and we have
officials with Footprint Properties hearing,” David said in an email to decrease in the number of homes, an old saying that goes, ‘You’ve
originally planned to create a the city’s planning director.  the project is still a concern. got 10 pounds of flour in a five-
13-townhome subdivision with On Aug. 13, the Decatur “That’s nice math going from pound sack.’ That’s what you have
4-foot sidewalks and an area for Planning Commission voted to 10 to eight homes when you think here,” said Daughdrill. “You have a
plants. The plan was then reduced recommend Decatur officials deny about it conceptually, but when number of pieces that don’t fit. It’s a
to eight homes with garage approval for the new subdivision. you look at the square footage very tight subdivision and it will be
entrances. “We’ve had a lot of plans developed that’s there now versus very crowded.”
Attorney Laurel David, and have changed the plans what [Footprint Properties] is
dramatically. We’ve changed the proposing, it’s more than double,”

LESSONS Continued From Page 2

rights when interacting with the police.  said.  can bear.”
In May, film director Ava DuVernay released Greenforest Headmaster Millicent Black Greenforest Senior Pastor Emory Berry Jr.
the Netflix mini drama series When They See Us. said students prepared for Salaam’s arrival by said Salaam is a great example for students.
The movie helped make the plight of the Central studying the case and watching documentaries “I think it’s great for young people to see a
Park Five, now known as the Exonerated Five, about the Exonerated Five.  living, breathing example of someone who has
relevant for today’s youth, Salaam said.  “We want students to know that life can gone through the horrific experiences Mr. Salaam
“The movie was a concerted effort to utilize change at a moment’s notice. It doesn’t mean had to experience but still maintained a sense
new media and film and take young people and you’ve done something wrong,” Black said. of peace and forgiveness,” Berry said. “I also
transport them back in time through this story. “I think it helped the students by hearing from think our teachers did a great job of preparing
We wanted the young people of today to see this someone else and hearing [Salaam] talk about his students.”
story and know exactly what to do and how to relationship with God even through his toughest
survive if they’re ever in this situation,” Salaam times. God will never put more on us than we
LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, August 30, 2019 • Page 8


DeKalb firefighters cooling off after working a house fire in Lithonia.

DeKalb County Fire and Rescue firefighters respond to a house fire at Justin Lane in Lithonia. Photos provided by DeKalb County Fire & Rescue. Firefighters care for a pair of dogs after a house fire in Lithonia

Residents escape
house fire Use these steps to follow
BY HORACE HOLLOMAN were entrapped [inside the
home] the first five minutes
safe medication practices:
horace@dekalbchamp.com on scene were very tense
because our crews wanted to ✓ Only use medications as directed by your
Three people escaped
a house fire just in time as
Use these steps to follow
make sure everyone was out
of the house.” healthcare professional
Bentley said he’s
safe medication practices:
DeKalb firefighters worked
to extinguish flames at a thankful everyone made
home in Lithonia. it out safely and is proud ✓ Never share your prescription
of the way the firefighters
The fire started on medications or take someone else’s
Aug. 20 near Justin Lane responded.  ✓ Only use medications as directed by your
as smoke and fire engulfed “For firefighters, medication
the home’s garage. DCFR experience is the best Use these steps to follow
healthcare professional
officials said three people teacher along with
were inside the home but preparation. Each fire safe medication practices:
✓ Safely secure medications and dispose of
Use these✓steps
Never share your prescription
were able to escape without is different. So, in this
serious injury. 
Two people were
to follow
situation, life safety was
medications or take someone else’s
first and then once we were
✓ Onlythem when no
use medications as longer needed
directed by your
healthcare professional
safe medication
transported to a hospital
with minor smoke-related
sure that all occupants
were safe and no occupants ✓ Model safe medication practices
✓ Never share your prescription
injuries after DeKalb were inside, we worked on
medications or take someone else’s
County Fire and ✓ Rescue
Only useputting
out the houseas directed by
fire,” your
Department put out the fire.  Bentley said.  ✓ Safely secure medications and dispose of
healthcare Having
According to DCFR
Captain Dion Bentley, one smoke
a working
them when no longer needed
in the house
For local information, visit
✓ Safely secure medications and dispose of
hese steps to follow
woman was “exhausted”
✓ Never could save lives, according
after escaping the home and to Bentley. 
your prescription them when no longer needed
✓ Model safe medication practices
had to be carried tomedications
safety or take
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LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, August 30, 2019• Page 9


Stonecrest Film and Entertainment Committee hosted actor, producer, director and screenwriter Robert Townsend (center) for his premiere Stonecrest broadcast of “Making The Five Heartbeats” at New Vision Stonecrest
16 theatre. Photo from Stonecrest City's Facebook page

Recently promoted police officers were recognized at a Brookhaven city council meeting on Aug. 13 at Brookhaven City Hall. Foreground
from left: Chief Gary Yandura, Lopez, Ayana, Fikes, and Deputy Chief Brandon Gurley. Background from left: Councilmember John Park,
Councilmember Linley Jones, Mayor John Ernst, Mayor Pro Tempore Joe Gebbia and Councilmember Bates Mattison. Photo provided by the
city of Brookhaven.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office hosted a softball game in support of

Freddie the Falcon, mascot for the Atlanta Falcons, surprised Ashford Park Elementary School Aug. 12. Photo provided by Ashford Park Deputy P. Snow and K9 Tomi after the two were involved in a car accident.
Elementary School Twitter. Proceeds from the event went to Snow.

Have you created programming you’d like to air on TV?

Do you have an interest in Public Access TV in DeKalb County?
Submit your show to DeKalb County’s Public Access channel, DeKalb 25.
Drop off DVD or USB copies to the Manuel J. Maloof Center at
1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, GA 30030, or upload your content via the internet.

(404) 371-2325 DeKalb25@outlook.com DeKalb25.com

EDUCATION DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, August 30, 2019 • Page 10

Lakeside band ready for new season

Lakeside High School’s Viking
Marching Band is ready to show
crowds what they’ve been practicing.
“DeKalb County is extremely
fortunate that Lakeside High School
offers an outstanding band program
under the direction of David
Fairchild. Both Fairchild and Assistant
Band Director Daniel MacNamara
began their music careers when they
were Lakeside students, so they
feel a deep personal connection to
the students, the program and the
community,” said Michael Hoffer,
president of the Lakeside Band
The school’s band features nearly
100 students playing percussion,
winds and brass instruments, as well
as color guards and drum majors who
will present their “We are…” halftime
show for the current football season.
The band gave its first performance
Aug. 23.
“’We Are …’ is an exciting and
appropriate theme for both our school Students prepare for a variety of performance for their upcoming band season. Photo provided by Julie Herron Carson.
and community as a whole,” said
The theme, according to Fairchild,
means “We are Lakeside, we are
diverse, we are community, we are
musicians [and] we are stronger
Students will perform a selection
of pop and classical music during
halftime performances.
“I hope our student musicians
and the audiences who enjoy the
performances will find their own
unique meaning of ‘We Are …’
that reflects their own lives and
experiences,” said Fairchild.
Not only will the band perform
during football games, the marching
and concert bands will participate in
Atlanta’s annual Dragon Con parade
Aug. 31 and the Stone Mountain
Yellow Daisy Festival Sept. 5.
“Lakeside’s Marching Band is
the only high school marching band
invited to participate in the Dragon
Con parade,” said Fairchild. “This is
the largest parade in the city, enjoyed
by tens of thousands of people both
in person and via a live TV broadcast.
We’re honored to be invited back for
the fifth time to participate in this
Atlanta tradition and we’re all looking
forward to it.”

Lakeside High School band practices during the summer. Photo provided by Julie Herron Carson.
EDUCATION DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, August 30, 2019 • Page 11


Tinsley explains revised discipline practices

BY TAYLOR ROBINS In-school suspensions (ISS) increased from
Taylor@dekalbchamp.com the 2017-2018 school year to the 2018-2019
school year from 10,211 to 10,608; Out-of-
school suspension (OSS) decreased from the
Three years ago, DeKalb County School 2017-2018 school year to the 2018-2019 school
District (DCSD) revamped its student code of year from 15,466 to 14,881; and expulsions
conduct to focus on restorative practices, and is decreased from the 2017-2018 school year to the
seeing results, according to DCSD officials. 2018-2019 school year from 17 to 16 expulsions,
The Champion Newspaper interviewed according to DCSD.
DCSD Deputy Superintendent Vasanne Tinsley DCSD’s top reasons for suspensions include
about being mentioned in the ABA Journal student incivility─rude or unsociable speech or
“Students of color with disabilities are being behavior, disorderly conduct, fights and battery.
pushed into the school-to-prison pipeline, study The number of OSS and ISS suspensions
finds” article. caused by student incivility decreased from
In the article, published July 2019, the the 2017-2018 school year to the 2018-2019
website said DCSD “reported a 47 percent school year from 7,723 to 7,303; and the number
decrease in disciplinary rates after adopting of suspensions caused by disorderly conduct
restorative justice practices.” decreased from the 2017-2018 school year
“We started looking at restorative practices to the 2018-2019 school year from 6,801 to
which talk about the importance of not just 6,175. However, DCSD reported an increase in
issuing the consequence but it gets to the meat suspensions caused by fights in the 2017-2018
of what’s happening and why a student did what school year to the 2018-2019 school from 3,991
they did. We talk it through with the student and to 4,227 and an increase in suspensions caused
come up with a solution,” said Tinsley. by battery in the 2017-2018 school year to the
According to Tinsley, the new student 2018-2019 school from 2,585 to 2,682, according
code of conduct breaks down consequences to to DCSD.
unfavorable behavior into levels from one to “It’s a teachable moment for not only the If suspended, a student is required to have
10. Each level has a different strategy to work children and the staff─to understand what a reentry interview─sometimes with a parent
with students. Level four conduct can result in a the students were going through─but it was present─to discuss what happened and the
student being suspended from school property. teachable for the parents as well,” said Tinsley. student’s future behavior.
Levels prior to level four include “It’s a rich approach” “Students are spending more time in class
administrators and counselors speaking with The district introduced restorative practices because of the changes. If they aren’t in class,
parents and students to avoid future conflicts. into schools such as McNair, Cedar Grove and they can’t learn. When they are out of school
According to Tinsley, a percentage of students Towers high schools and later expanded district unsupervised, they stand a higher chance of
with behavioral issues have problems in their wide. Since the introduction of restorative getting into trouble and doing other things,” said
home life that converts into problems during practices, district officials have seen a drop in Tinsley. “So we want them in school as much as
school hours or on school property. suspensions and expulsions. we can possibly keep them in school”

EDUCATION BRIEFS by Taylor Robins • Taylor@dekalbchamp.com

Becklenberg receives nursing Award in Language Arts and year’s Alethia Annual University recently inducted
award Social Studies. Research Symposium. student leaders into the Alpha
The award, given by the Eta National Honor Society.
Georgia State University university’s College of Education Decatur student inducted into Inductees include
student Amy Becklenberg of & Human Development, leadership society Salina Isayas of Lithonia;
Decatur received the Nursing recognizes a language arts Nura Mohamed of Stone
Student Research Award in and social studies student Troy University recognized Mountain; Karen Riggs, and
recognition of outstanding for outstanding academic Lucas Sanabria of Decatur as Mary Alvarez and Schonie
research contributions. achievement, teaching expertise, among the first to be inducted Hamilton of Decatur.
Becklenberg is described as a community service and a into the National Society of The Alpha Eta National
role model for other students and commitment to excellence. Leadership and Success. Honor Society promotes and
shows the potential to become This is the charter group of recognizes contributions to
a significant contributor to the members into the TROY chapter allied health professions.
nursing profession. Stone Mountain College of the NSLS. Baccalaureate degree
Student Presents Health candidates who have
Vaughn awarded outstanding Research Lewis College inducts maintained an overall GPA of
M.A.T. student award students into Alpha Eta 3.5 or higher are eligible for
Faraiba Faqeerzada of National Honor Society induction.
Sharnese Vaughn of Stone Mountain was among
Lithonia is the 2019 recipient the New York Institute of The Byrdine F. Lewis
of Georgia State University’s Technology students who College of Nursing and Health
Outstanding M.A.T. Student presented research at this Professions at Georgia State
DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, August 30, 2019 • Page 12

CPR class Sept. 28 at 9 a.m. Par- The event will take place in located at 3123 Klondike Road. For
ticipants must be at least 12 years the City of Dunwoody Training more information, call (770) 482-
CLARKSTON of age and must be Dunwoody Annex─4470 North Shallowford 3828.
residents. Road.
City accepting art ideas The course is ideal for those Mental Health First Aid USA
Clarkston Arts Council is ac-
who want to learn CPR but do not is an eight-hour training workshop TUCKER
need a CPR course completion card to teach participants to help those
cepting art submissions to bring to meet a job requirement. developing mental health problems Library to host blood drive
more public art to the city. Artists The event will take place at or experiencing a mental health
have until Sept. 10 to submit a City of Dunwoody Training An- crisis. Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library
project through a Clarkston com- nex─4470 North Shallowford Road will host a blood drive Sept. 4
munity RFP/RFQ artist submission in Dunwoody. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. To schedule
form. Forms are available at www.
STONECREST an appointment, visit www.
redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor
City offers mental health training Library to host book discussion keyword: tuckerlib. The library is
located at 5234 Lavista Road.
DUNWOODY The Dunwoody Police Mark Mathabane’s book Kaffir
Department will host free a mental Boy: The True Story of a Black
CPR classes available health first aid training session for Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid
Dunwoody residents Oct. 19 from 8 South Africa will be discussed Sept.
The Dunwoody Police Depart- a.m. to 5 p.m. 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The library is
ment will host a free community


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BUSINESS DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, August 30, 2019 • Page 13


Restaurant owner Dinh Tran says he will not compromise the quality or authenticity of the food he serves at Vietvana.

Noodles are made fresh every day in the restaurant.

Restauranteur seeks to keep it real

with authentic Vietnamese flavors
BY KATHY MITCHELL new government took everything again as a restaurant owner, he make. The bánh mì [the bread used
FREELANCE REPORTER they had, and they escaped with said, he was knowledgeable enough for sandwiches] is baked here too. I
very little. They were among the to correct any problem no matter use other fresh ingredients as well.
‘boat people’ who left the country whether it was with ordering We buy from local sources when
Dinh Tran said when he was a seeking refuge wherever they supplies, organizing the kitchen, possible,” he continued.
preteen, he often prepared his own could find it. The family initially preparing food or interacting with a Tran said product integrity is
meals because his parents were went to Hong Kong, but because customer. a hallmark of his business. “If the
busy with work. “Often my mom my father had been helpful to the “I had an opportunity to menu says an item is fresh, it will
would prep the food and leave it U.S. government, the family was partner with a California-based be fresh; if I sell it as organic, I
for me to stir fry in the wok,” he allowed asylum here. My parents chain of Vietnamese restaurants, make sure it’s organic,” he said,
recalled, adding that over time food worked very hard after they got here but I decided against it when I adding that he visits the source for
preparation became a passion for because they were basically starting realized that their standards are his products as often as he can to be
him. over from nothing.” not my standards,” Tran said. “I sure everything is being produced to
Tran now holds a business Soon after college, Tran opened won’t take shortcuts to save time his standards.
degree from the University of his first restaurant, but recalls that or money. I’ve been told people Along with meat and seafood
Georgia and chooses to make his he was disappointed in the outcome. here don’t know anything about menu items, Vietvana offers a
living in the restaurant business. “I “I was just 22. I was working long Vietnamese food; they won’t know selection of vegetarian dishes.
was offered a corporate job, but I hours, but not accomplishing what the difference, but I know the Vietvana Pho Noodle House offers
really love food and cooking. I’ve I set out to do. I realized I had a lot difference. I won’t compromise. I not only noodle-based dishes, but
always known this is what I want to to learn.” Tran then took a series always ask my staff, ‘Is this the best also many featuring rice as well as
do.” His newest venture Vietvana of jobs in restaurants with a goal we can do?’ If we can do better, we sandwiches, crepes and salads. Tran,
on East College Avenue in Avondale of learning every aspect of the will.” who said the soups are his favorites,
Estates, which opened in mid- business. “I worked as a cook, a An example of the commitment noted that everything is as close
August, features the cuisine of his dishwasher, a waiter, a manager. I to excellence, Tran said, is the to authentic Vietnamese flavors as
family’s home country, Vietnam. wanted to know how to do every noodles. “They are made fresh possible with available ingredients.
“My family on both sides were job in a restaurant no matter how here every day. I won’t use mass “I want to bring the tastes my
wealthy in Vietnam, but they were seemingly routine it might be,” he produced noodles from a supplier. family loved in Vietnam to our new
South Vietnamese and when the said. Those who know the difference can home in Georgia,” Tran said.
war was over and our side lost, the When Tran was ready to try taste the difference fresh noodles
SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, August 30, 2019 • Page 14


Martin Luther King Jr. senior Darian Wragg finished first in the second boys’ DeKalb County School District cross country Lakeside senior Mikias MeKonen finished first in the first boys’ DeKalb County School
meet. Photos by Mark Brock District cross country meet.

Lakeside, M.L. King win in cross country openers

by Mark Brock Nicholas Oselette (20:58.30) was 10th. Hattie Carter (26:31.70) and freshman Anna
Dunwoody sophomore Ethan Archibald Zhai (26:41.70).
Mikias Mekonen picked up where he left took second in 19:09.10 and Tucker sophomore In the second boys’ race of the day, the
off at the 2018 DeKalb County School District’s Abedelemejid Kerebo finished in 20:54.30 for Martin Luther King Jr. Lions took the first five
(DCSD) cross country championships with a ninth place to round out the Top 10. spots on the way to a 15-50 win over Lithonia.
time of 16:46.30 to lead the Lakeside Vikings to Lakeside made it a clean sweep in the first The Lions had five seniors claim top spots
a win in the opening meet of the 2019 season on race of the day as the Lady Vikings took the in the race led by Darian Wragg (20:04.20),
Aug. 20 at Druid Hills Middle School. first seven spots to outduel Chamblee 15-50 as a who finished first. Teammates Kingsley Harris
Mekonen, who won the 2018 individual group finished within five seconds of each other. (21:01.20), Zaire Anderson-Brown (21:09.90),
county title, got off to a quick start and never Freshman Ellie Skelton (26:05.60) took the Christian Boyd (21:19.80) and Jamari Hopkins
looked back. Lakeside finished the meet with individual girls’ title, followed by senior Sydney (21:25.30) followed in order.
a team score of 33 points to edge Chamblee DeWoody (26:06.70) and sophomore Abigail King also had three more runners to finish in
(39). Tucker finished third with 82 points and McHoul (26:08.30), who finished second and the Top 10—senior Phillip Ellison Jr. (22:38.70)
Dunwoody (84) finished fourth. third respectively. in seventh, junior Mekhi Keith (23:48.20) in
Three other Vikings finished in the Top 10— Sophomores Olivia Rotolo (26.09.20), eighth and senior Lametreis Mede (24:16.80)
sophomore Adam Grisch (19:57.90) in fourth, Lilian Hanson (26:10.20) and Kate Van Horn in 10th. Towers senior Aye Min Thu (21:46.90)
junior Mason Mihalis (20:08.80) in sixth and (26:10.80) and senior Gracie Ellett (26:10.90) was sixth and Cross Keys junior Siam Sarower
junior Brandon Rutland (20:09.00) in seventh. comprised the next four places for Lakeside, (24:16.50) was ninth.
The Chamblee Bulldogs also put four runners respectively. The second girls’ race had only two
in the Top 10, led by junior Diego DeAlba Chamblee grabbed the next five spots, led participants—MLK sophomore Demetria Lind
(19:33.90) in third and sophomore Brandon by senior Klara Nitsche (26:13.60), followed (27:54.60), who finished first and senior Allsion
Carpenter (20:05.70) in fifth. Junior Fisher by sophomore Madeleine Quick (26:17.80), Walker (31:07.70) in second.
Isaacson (20:44.20) was eighth and junior freshman Olivia Tabron (26:30.70), senior
SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, August 30, 2019 • Page 15

The Champion’s game of the week:

Southwest DeKalb vs. Stephenson
by Carla Parker • carla@dekalbchamp.com
Bragging rights will be on the line Aug. 30 as rivals
Southwest DeKalb and Stephenson clash at Hallford Stadium at
8 p.m.
Both teams are coming off week 1 wins—Southwest
DeKalb Panthers defeated Woodland-Stockbridge 39-7 and the
Stephenson Jaguars beat Columbia 27-14. The Panthers had a
26-7 lead at halftime and the defense kept Woodland out the end
zone for the remainder of the game. Stephenson battled back
from a 14-6 halftime deficit and outscored Columbia 21-0 in the
second half to pull out the victory.
The Jaguars are hoping to avenge their loss to Southwest
DeKalb last season when the Panthers defeated Stephenson 21-
14 in overtime, ending a seven-game losing streak to the Jaguars.
The rivalry between Southwest DeKalb and Stephenson is
one of the biggest in the county. The series began in 1998, which
Southwest DeKalb won 29-19. The teams have played each other
15 times with Stephenson leading the series 9-6.
The Jaguars’ defense will have to find a way to slow down
Southwest DeKalb’s offense if they want to win this game. If
the Panthers play as well offensively and defensively as they did
against Woodland, they could extend their winning streak against The rivalry between Southwest DeKalb and Stephenson will continue Aug. 30 at Hallford Stadium. (file photo)

Towers defeated McNair 33-21 at Avondale
Stadium on Aug. 23. Towers’ defense
held McNair to 27 passing yards. McNair
sophomore Javon Yearby led his team in
rushing with 201 yards and two touchdowns.

Aug. 22

Redan (1-0) 26, Miller Grove (0-1) 19

Lithonia (1-0) 51, Forest Park (0-1) 0

Aug. 23
McNair sophomore Javon Yearby finds open space that leads to the end zone. Photos by Carla Parker
Decatur (1-0) 51, Lakeside (0-1) 0
Druid Hills (1-0) 28, Clarkston (0-1) 0
Southwest DeKalb (1-0) 39, Woodland-
Stockbridge (0-1) 7
Stephenson (1-0) 27, Columbia (0-1) 14
Towers (1-0) 33, McNair (0-1) 21
Blessed Trinity (1-0) 28, St. Pius X (0-1) 10
Forsyth Central (1-0) 43, Chamblee (0-1) 10
Pickens Co. (1-0) 28, Stone Mountain (0-1) 18
Providence Christian (1-0) 64, Cross Keys (0-1)
Towers coach Vonnell Carter celebrates with his players after a big play 0
by Towers.
Aug. 24

Cedar Grove (1-0) 26, Hapeville Charter (0-1)

Archer (1-0) 41, Tucker (1-0) 7
Carver-Atlanta (1-0) 32, Arabia Mountain (0-1)

Open: Dunwoody, M.L. King, Marist

McNair sophomore Javon Yearby jukes a Tower’s defender for a big gain. Towers quarterback receives the snapped ball at the line of scrimmage.
SPORTS DEKALB FREE PRESS • Friday, August 30, 2019 • Page 16

Tyson Blu
(ID# 42029404)
is waiting for you.
He's friendly and sweet, loves
everyone he meets.

Thursday, September 19 • 7:00 p.m. He's easy to walk, knows how

to sit.
He's awfully cute, you must
Decatur Marriott Conference Center admit.
All he needs is someone to
130 Clairemont Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030 give all his love to.
All proceeds from the event support DeKalb County Public Library. Meet him today and see if it
could be you!
Tickets may be purchased for $70.00 per person at dekalblibraryfoundation.org If you would like to expand your family by 4 furry little feet; ask to
meet Tyson Blu and have a loving friend forever. All adoptions
include your new pet's spay or neuter, vaccinations, microchip
and more! For more information about Tyson Blu please call
(404) 294-2165 or email adoption@dekalbanimalservices.com.
All potential adopters will be screened to ensure Tyson Blu goes
to a good home. Hours: Mon-Fri; 11am-7pm / Sat-Sun; 11am-

Not ready to adopt or already have enough pets? Then please

consider fostering a pet. We are in urgent need of foster homes
for two weeks or more, since our shelter is completely full and


we are out of room. We will provide everything you need, and
you just supply the love. Interested in helping? Please contact

Salmon in season now!

image courtesy of Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute

10" x 6.5"