Month: April 2008

Police raid on party for juveniles, nets arrest of reported gang leader

The Sandy Springs Police, working with the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force (SSTF), raided a party April 7 at the former club La Movida, 6600 Roswell Road, which resulted in the arrest of a person suspected of being one of the leaders of a local gang and several people being cited for alcohol and city permit violations. Sandy Springs Chief of Police Gene Wilson told members of the city council the following evening that information had been put on the Internet advertising a large party, and soliciting underage patrons, at the facility to coincide with spring break. “Some of the people putting it on apparently had local gang affiliations,” Wilson said. “This apparently was sort of a recruitment party, which was sort of a shock, since there were 12, 13 and 14-year-olds there. Alcohol was readily available.” Between 150 to 200 juveniles attended the party, according to the police report. The business had been sold to a company named Money Incorporated and a temporary operating license had been approved in November for the business to operate under the name of Antro. However, the license had never been picked up and therefore was not posted on premises as required by law. The only license available when the officers arrived was one that had expired in February. The two people who organized and promoted the party, Brandon McCann and Shannon Tubbs,...

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Moms take Stroller Strides for fitness with their kids in tow

By John Schaffner Drive along Chastain Park on Lake Forrest Drive around 10 a.m. any Tuesday or Thursday and the sight of more than a dozen baby strollers lined up facing toward the golf course is bound to catch anyone’s attention. It is no coincidence that so many baby strollers and moms in workout clothes are all there at the same place and at the same time. It is a Stroller Strides class. According to Buckhead resident Kyle Pointer, who has the only franchise for north Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Midtown, Stroller Strides “is all about fitness, fun and friendship.” Moms bring their children in their strollers and do a one-hour strength and cardio training workout—some of it using the stroller and some without. It is sort of a boot camp for new moms. It affords a way for moms to get their exercise routines in while having some fun with their children and meeting some other moms at the same time. Pointer said the group of moms who are presently participating have children that range from six weeks to three and a half years old. Sandy Springs resident Nichole Boemanns has been actively involved with Stroller Strides for three years, from the time her first child, Adrian was about six months old. “I really like StrollerStrides, she said. “It gives me a good time to get...

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City looks to regionalize EMS operation

By C. Julia Nelson Emergency response times in Sandy Springs are about to get better. Since its inception in December 2005, the city of Sandy Springs has been under contract with Fulton County to receive Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to field 9-1-1 calls and dispatch services. The city is currently applying to extend that contract to Dec. 2009, from Dec. 2008 to allow the city time to establish a more efficient regional service. All emergency calls and ambulatory runs are controlled at the county level and local officials are moving toward a regional, intergovernmental Emergency Communications Center (ECC) and ambulance service that will better serve the citizens of Sandy Springs with faster response times. Average response times for first responders to life threatening medical emergencies, which should ideally be four minutes, often take six to eight minutes – sometimes longer – under the Fulton County system, according to Ian Greenwald M.D. FACEP, Medical Director of Sandy Springs Fire Rescue and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Emory University. To mitigate this problem the city has entered two intergovernmental contracts: one for the ECC and another for additional ambulances. On March 18, the Sandy Springs City Council unanimously authorized the City Manager John McDonough to negotiate a contract with iXP Corporation, an EMS problem-solving firm, and to enter an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Johns Creek. The Johns...

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Hammond Park to receive master plan overhaul

By C. Julia Nelson Hammond Park amenities are in line for enhancements to meet a greater variety of recreational needs. On March 31, the city of Sandy Springs issued an RFP (Request for Proposals) to secure a design consultant to create a master plan for Hammond Park inclusive of a new state-of-the-art gymnasium facility. Having allocated $100,000 to apply toward those services, Sandy Springs City Council is serious about creating a more user-friendly community asset at the 13-acre park. Sandy Springs Councilwoman Ashley Jenkins is hoping to better meet community needs by improving the park, located at 705 Hammond Dr. Current participation in the city’s recreation programs is overstressing the existing 11,000 square foot facility, built in 1976 and more than 30 years of wear and tear are starting to take their toll. “Ideally I’d like to see us tear down the existing facility and build a state-of-the-art on in its place,” Jenkins said. “We want to step it up a notch on our parks programs.” Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos agrees that the potential of Hammond Park is yet to be seen. “Hammond Park has a lot of potential to be more fully utilized,” she said. “The scope of what this facility could offer is huge.” Some of the improvements Jenkins hopes to see include a multi-story facility, a climbing wall, additional gymnasium space, a stacked parking...

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Corporate Campus gets City Council approval

By C. Julia Nelson Times are changing at the northeast corner of Hammond Drive and Peachtree Dunwoody Road in Sandy Springs. During the April 15 Sandy Springs City Council meeting, council voted unanimously to approve an application to rezone the commercial property at 1140 and 1150 Hammond Dr. from MIX (Mixed Use District) Conditional to MIX. Requested by developer Patrick Chesser of Corporate Campus, LLC, the approval came with limitations on how tall two condominium towers can be built. The application as presented included two 30-floor age-restricted, independent living condominium and office buildings atop six-floor parking decks and a 10-story, 160-room Intercontinental Hotel on the 19.42-acre property. Council’s approval limits the special use permit to exceed the maximum allowable height of 60 feet for the residential towers to 30 stories, compared to the 36 originally requested for inclusion of the parking decks. Despite the limitation, Chesser said the progress of the development would not be impeded. “It’ll move forward,” he said. “I think we can fit more units on two towers with 30-story structures than before.” Previously the application had included only one tower, but approval from council cites two. “I expect the parking to be less impactful than a standard condominium project,” Chesser said. “A lot of these residents don’t have cars; they will take a bus or towncars, provided by the (future) developer.” Chesser told council...

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