Author: Reporter Newspapers

Parks director off for year’s service in Iraq

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net One loyal member of the City of Sandy Springs’ government now faces another duty as a loyal member of the United States military with orders to Iraq. Brad Chambers is the city’s director of Recreation and Parks, but he is also a 24-year veteran of the Naval Reserves, accounting for half of his life to date. Like thousands of reservists before him, the intelligence officer is preparing for a yearlong deployment to Iraq. So far, Chambers said the city has not finalized plans on how the Recreation and Parks Department will operate in his absence or if an interim director will be named. But, before he leaves, Chambers will compile a comprehensive list of all the department’s projects and their current stages. From that, the city will likely decide how to proceed. Chambers, however, is confident that the department he has helmed since Sandy Springs became a city will continue to thrive while he is gone. “In terms of concerns, there are a lot of talented people here,” he said. “However they decide to manage this, I don’t have any problems with thinking that the management will come up with a way to keep those things on schedule.” One landmark project still very much in the planning stage is the Abernathy Greenway Linear Park, which will eventually stretch alongside Abernathy Road from Johnson Ferry Road...

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City announces public’s choices of Chastain Park improvements

By John Schaffner editor@reporternewspapers.net Chastain Park Civic Association has received the results of the survey conducted by Atlanta City Councilwoman Clair Muller and the Parks Department relating to the community’s preferences for the allocation of approximately $2 million of bond money for recreational improvements in the park. In conjunction with the Parks Department designers and the managers of some of the recreational venues at the park, Muller put together estimates for several potential projects for the pool, the gym and the tennis center. Members of the community then had the opportunity to vote for one of two options relating to improvements for each of the venues. Among those opportunities were open houses about the park Master Plan that were held on August 4, 6, 11, 12 and 16, as well as the Chastain Civic Association meeting at Sutton Middle School on Aug. 27. The vote relating to the pool venue came in with 109 people voting in favor of spending $1.5 million to relocate the pump house, install a new kids pool in the current pump house location, reduce the size of the existing pool (maintaining 8 lap lanes) and installing new decking and related site work. Seventy-six people voted for spending only $500,000 on the pool venue to refurbish the existing pool—chip and re-plaster the pool, replace coping and gutters, pumps and controllers, plumbing, install surge tank, replace...

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Local author’s Little League memoirs help fund Junior Braves

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net In a move that may surprise most Little League parents, one local mother has not only admitted to becoming an overzealous part of her son’s baseball career, but has documented her follies in a book. Martha Payne, a Buckhead mother of four, admits that when her oldest son Sam, a Westminster graduate and now freshman at Davidson College, was at the height of his Little League involvement, she got a little crazy with her involvement and dedication as the ultimate “Team Mom” Because of her own love of baseball and lifelong status as a Braves fan, Payne said there is a reason she became the person she did when her firstborn began the time-honored tradition so many young children participate in across the world. “I think the reason it happened with Sam is the first time, the feelings are more intense,” Payne said. “Because of the love of the sport I already had, I think I dove in too deep and got too passionate. I spent a lot of time on his baseball career.” After realizing her reaction to coaches, players, umpires and her own son’s skills left a bit to be desired, Payne said she looked for a book on similar parents’ struggles, but written from a mother’s perspective. When she could not find such a book, Payne decided to write one herself. The...

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Community Action Center to host annual Vintage Affair fundraiser

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net The Community Action Center (CAC) will host its 5th Annual Vintage Affair on Sept. 29, a Roaring 20’s-themed party that will be held this year in historic Glenridge Hall. The private home and special events venue is owned by Sandy Springs resident Joey Mayson and was built in the 1920’s. This event, which has become the organization’s yearly flagship fundraiser, will also highlight the yearlong celebration of the CAC’s 100th anniversary. The CAC is a nonprofit organization that works to prevent homelessness and provide assistance to needy families in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. Located on Hightower Trail, the facility offers financial assistance as well as donations of food, clothing, school supplies and other basic family needs. Tickets to Vintage Affair, which will be held from 6 to 10 p.m., are $150 per person or $250 per couple. $75 of the ticket price is tax deductible. Tickets can be purchased through the Phoenix and Dragon Bookstore, 5531 Roswell Road, or by ordering online at www.vintageaffair.org. Event chairwoman Elizabeth Igleheart said organizers are hoping for 150 partygoers as space is limited. Attendees, however, will have no shortage of entertainment. The evening will include a sit-down dinner catered by local restaurants that have donated their food and wine. In addition, Vintage Affair will include both a silent and live auction, with items including a week at the Westin...

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Thefts from cars examined at Jenkins town hall meeting

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net While district 4 councilwoman Ashley Jenkins’ Sept. 17 town hall meeting may have been sparsely attended, the prevailing theme of the evening was clear. Public safety. The Sandy Springs Police Department’s Lt. Steve Rose continued to try and convince residents that by simply eliminating the opportunity, crime categories like thefts from cars could be dramatically decreased. Overall, though, crime in the city was reported to be down by 25 percent. Rose said the number of thefts from cars last month did contribute to August’s monthly increase in crime rates. That one category, he said, has a snowball effect on the city’s crime rate. “August was not a kind month for us,” Rose said. “We had a total of 334 Part 1 crimes. What spiked those numbers are the larcenies and thefts and what spiked those numbers were the thefts that are coming out of cars.” In fact, Rose said the excess of thefts from cars is not only affecting Sandy Springs. Because it borders the Dunwoody community across the county line, the city is also sharing the burden with DeKalb. The most recent “hot spot” for this type of crime has been Peachtree Dunwoody Road and Hammond Drive. Similarly, Rose said the hot item being taken from cars is GPS systems more so than other high ticket items like laptops. So far, the police department’s...

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