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Charis Books honors Anne Olson as “July Book Curator” Age hasn’t stopped Anne Olson from remaining extremely active in her Atlanta community. The 80-year-old is being honored by Charis Books and More


Local News

Mann elected DeKalb’s Sheriff by landslide


When DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann walked into his victory party in Tucker, the disc jockey perfectly queued Aloe Blacc’s hit, “I’m the Man.”

The song was fitting for the sheriff, who easily cruised to victory, defeating former DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones with 40,537 votes (76.36 percent). Jones received 12,553 or 23.64 percent of the vote. Mannparty

“We worked hard and had a great campaign. This election was an awesome experience, but it was a success because of amazing volunteers and great endorsers who are well-respected in our community,” said Mann, who formerly served as chief deputy and was sworn in as sheriff on Feb. 28, when Thomas Brown stepped down to run for Congress. “My administration will work hard to support the inclusion of everybody from across the county because we all have a common goal: to make sure DeKalb County is strong again.”   

Mann says he plans to continue to bring strong leadership and make every effort to keep DeKalb safe. He says he will put safety before politics and will work hard to ensure the integrity and respect of the community has for the county sheriff office remains in tact.    

As sheriff, Mann will continue to oversee the day-to-day...


Historic Atlanta Cyclorama to relocate to Buckhead


The Atlanta Cyclorama, home to many of the city’s Civil War artifacts, will relocate from the Grant Park community to the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead, officials announced.


The Atlanta History Center, which will become the custodian of the artifacts under an agreement with the city, will pay for the move and restoration of the historic Atlanta Cyclorama painting known as the “Battle of Atlanta,” the move of the locomotive, “Texas,” and other Civil War artifacts to a new state-of-the-arts annex that will be built at the History Center. The move is expected to take two years to complete.

The existing Cyclorama building will be developed into a premier community and event space as part of upgrades by Zoo Atlanta.


“The relocation of the Atlanta Cyclorama to the History Center represents a unique opportunity to renew one of the city’s most important cultural and historic landmarks,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. “Under the stewardship of the History Center, the Cyclorama will continue to be a teaching tool, and will be enjoyed by a broader audience of residents, students and visitors alike.”

In announcing the move, Reed was joined by Atlanta History Center Presdent and CEO Sheffield Hale and...


Turner slides to victory to replace Mayfield on DeKalb School Board


Election Day marked a victory for DeKalb County’s brand new School Board member Vickie B. Turner, a neophyte who won her election with 59.74 percent of the votes. 


Turner is set to represent District 5, defeating her opponent Thad Mayfield, who was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal. Her bid for the School Board was the first time she had sought public office. 

District 5 consists of several schools such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Southwest DeKalb and Arabia Mountain high schools.


“The district is in need of reformation, and [there’s] some challenges that are in front of us,” Turner said. “But even with that awareness, there’s an excitement to become part of the change and to become part of the solution, so I do look forward with great anticipation and hope for positive things to impact our community and our children.”


Turner said that one of the major issues troubling the county is large class sizes. According to her, teachers can’t effectively reach their students in huge groups, so she would like to have more teachers hired in an effort to minimize the size of these classrooms.


Turner also wants to keep DeKalb from losing good...


Five African American women hope to make history at the polls


Five African women seeking state offices in November plan to launch a statewide bus tour in August to reach citizens and garner support for their campaigns. The women say they plan to start the tour in the metro Atlanta area and move out across the state from there.

The candidates have already marked their page in Georgia’s history books because this is the first time there are five African-American women on the ballot for state offices: Connie Stokes, who is running for lieutenant governor; Robin Shipp, who is running for labor commissioner; Valerie Wilson, who is running for school superintendent; Doreen Carter, who is running for secretary of state; and Liz Johnson, who is running for insurance commissioner.

The women held a press conference on July 23 to make the community aware of their initiative. At the press conference, the women seeking office were joined by State Representatives Dar’Shun Kendrick and Dee Dawkins-Haigler.

Democratic Candidate for Secretary of State Doreen Carter says this election could serve as a milestone not just because they are African American women who are seeking office, but who are well qualified for the jobs they are seeking.  

“We’ve all taken on this election with a...


Some DeKalb voters were confused at the polls


Some voters got a little turned around on Election Day and went to the DeKalb County Voter Registration Office on Memorial Drive, instead of their community precinct to cast their ballots in the runoff elections. The Memorial Drive location was only open for the early voting period from June 30 to July 18. 

Voters like Adrian Cook said going to the main Voter Registration Office on Memorial Drive was a force of habit.


“I never voted at my precinct because I always go to the Memorial Drive office to to do early voting to avoid lines,” said Cook, who waited this time to vote on July 22, Election Day. “I’m glad they had staff waiting at the door to look up your precinct and direct you to the right place to vote.”

Lemuel Leech, a Lithonia resident, learned he needed to go to his precinct at Browns Mill Elementary School.


“The confusion was just a pit stop. You have to vote. It’s too important not to,” said Leech. “The only way you can assure that the right people are put into office is to go to the polls.”

Maxine Daniels, director of Voter Registration and Elections for DeKalb...


Rockdale Extension Service shows kids how to put healthy spins on snacks


As a part of the Rockdale Cooperative Extension Office’s summer enrichment program, kids learned the benefits of eating healthy snacks.

“I really liked making the turkey on wheat pinwheels. They were just like mini subs,” said 15-year-old Myora Zantinga. “We learned a lot. I now know you have to check out all the ingredients on the product’s label, whether they are marketed as healthy or not.”  



The participants in the program learned how to make turkey and mustard pinwheels on wheat bread, fruit and yogurt parfaits and a healthy cheesecake, made with cream cheese, strawberries and graham crackers.


“It is important that we show our children that not all snacks are bad. Active children require extra calories to fuel their brains, energy and growth. The key is eating the right snacks in the right amount. Give kids smart choices,” said Katie Hiers, who serves as the Family Consumer Agent at the Rockdale office. “If we teach them now, we can help battle against the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic by starting here in Rockdale.”


The class also learned how to read labels, how to compare labels and determine the healthier choice, the benefits of physical activity, the importance...


McNair’s STEM camp sparks creativity, promotes careers for students


A select group of students at McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur received the opportunity to catch a glimpse of STEM-related careers, thanks to DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson and global company, CH2M Hill.


STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. With DeKalb County’s Camp Invention program, 45 students (kindergarten through fifth grade) were chosen to participate and learn about the various aspects of STEM-related careers from July 14-18.

CH2M Hill donated $10,000, which covered expenses for supplies and a stipend for instructors. Johnson said local residents also donated common household items such as milk cartons, cereal boxes, wheels and batteries for the classes.

The CH2M Hill Foundation officials said they decided to sponsor McNair because they felt that the school believes in excellence in education.


“We believed our contribution could help this program grow in exponentially,” Greg Wilson, CH2M Hill’s Vice-President and area manager, said.  “We also recognize that DeKalb has outstanding resources that often go unrecognized, and we wanted to raise a profile of exceptional talent so the public could see positive images of the type of talent that often goes unrecognized in our local communities.”

Camp Invention is a week-long program set up to...



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