Author: Reporter Newspapers

A breath of fresh air for pets

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net The Sandy Springs Fire Rescue Department now has the proper means to help victims of the four-legged and furry variety. Each of the city’s fire stations now have two animal oxygen mask kits, with each kit containing a small, medium and large mask. The masks were obtained through the fundraising efforts of resident Kathy Wright and the nonprofit organization HELP Animals, Inc. Wright continues to raise funds in the hopes of further outfitting the public safety departments in Sandy Springs. Wright hopes to get a total of 22 mask kits, which cost about $55, for both fire and police staff. “I wanted to do something to help the community,” Wright said of her involvement with the project. Wright helped spearhead the effort with Firefighter-Paramedic Craig Miceli, who held a training session on Aug. 7 to demonstrate the technique for using the masks. Miceli said the masks can be used in emergency situations to allow for the connection of oxygen to an animal suffering from smoke inhalation. Because pets and families are often so closely intertwined, he said the fire department is committed to saving any life it can. Donations to help the city acquire more mask kits should made out to HELP Animals, Inc. and mailed to Kathy Wright at 260 Beachland Dr, Sandy Springs, GA...

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New detective helps crack 2 major ID theft cases

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net In just her third month of being a detective with the Sandy Springs Police Department, Heather Jones helped crack two major identity theft cases. Jones, 29, has been with the department since it debuted in July of 2006, but began as a day watch patrol officer. A seven year veteran of law enforcement, Jones did not begin working in the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) until April of this year. It wasn’t long until she started working on two cases, one of which ended with federal arrests. As a detective with the CID, Jones focuses on white collar offenses that include financial crimes such as theft of financial transaction cards, fraud, forgery and ID fraud. In late April, Jones began investigating the first of two major identity theft cases. On April 24, a former employee of the Ranstadt located in the Publix shopping center at 6681 Roswell Road filed an incident report after receiving a notice from the IRS that she had unpaid taxes from her income received from the staffing company in 2005 and 2006. The victim, however, had not worked for Ranstadt since 2001. “That’s what started the whole evolution of that case and it snowballed into something much bigger,” Jones said. Because the case is still under investigation, Jones said she cannot elaborate too much on the details. Essentially, though, she said the...

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At the end of Morgan Falls Dam road, a picture to behold

Editor’s Notes John F. Schaffner My first visit to the area of the Morgan Falls Dam was several years ago. I am not sure why I was on the road to Morgan Falls Dam….perhaps to deliver a package to the Federal Express office there. But, as it often does, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to find out where that road went. Many people probably have stopped before getting to the end of the road; but I didn’t on that day and haven’t on several occasions since. The road may have its twists and turns, may be narrow and some spots along it may not be what one would describe as beautiful. But at the end of the road, like at the end of the rainbow, is sort of a pot of gold. At that point, is a picture to behold. The waters of the Chattahoochee River, which some have dubbed Atlanta’s “river of life,” steadily glide past that point on the shore. Birds strut in the shallow water and along the shoreline and the natural fauna adds rich color to the pastoral setting. Like a bookend to the scene, Morgan Falls Dam rises from the water 57 feet to hold back the waters of Bull Sluice Lake, which if let free would surely ruin this landscape. The dam may show its age—after all it...

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Chastain Park Conservancy unveils master plan proposals

By John Schaffner editor@reporternewspapers.net The Chastain Park Conservancy and its operating partners rolled out in public meetings this past week a number of proposals for park improvements which were initiated by a five-month survey that generated over 1,100 public responses toward developing a Chastain Park Master Plan. The conservancy has been meeting on a regular basis with the operating partners and city of Atlanta to develop a number of alternative approaches to address the issues outlined in the public survey, which brought the process to the point of sharing those alternatives with the public at a series of meetings Aug. 4, Aug. 6 and Aug. 11 to again gain additional community input. Almost a year ago, in October of 2006, the Conservancy began the process of identifying improvements to the park that were most desired by those who use it and the park’s operating partners in order to put together a master plan to guide the future of Chastain Park. It started with a community input survey which from November 2006 to March 2007 generated over 1,100 responses. The top priorities for improvements from the survey included additional parking, restrooms, improved walking trails and sidewalks and traffic calming. From that list, planning priorities were developed, including: facilities enhancements, historical preservation, improved aesthetics, infrastructure improvements and park user amenities, open green space, pedestrian access and safety improvements and traffic and...

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Morgan Falls Dam: From streetcar power to river flow control

By John Schaffner editor@reporternewspapers.net Few residents of Sandy Springs know about or have seen the Morgan Falls Dam and Hydroelectric Plant on the Chattahoochee River at the northern end of the city. Even fewer know its history. The dam came on line in October of 1904 to produce electricity to power the Atlanta street car system 12 miles to the south, and is among the first and largest early hydroelectric projects in Georgia. Today it not only has historic and engineering significance, but is sparking the development of valuable riverfront parkland for the city of Sandy Springs and its residents—a four-acre park just downstream of the dam and a 20-plus-acre park just upstream at an area known as Bull Sluice Lake. But even without the parks, the imposing dam structure, the tranquility of the river wildlife and fauna and the soothing sound of the steady flow of water through the dam, from Bull Sluice Lake above it to the outflow downstream, combine for a unique experience at a special place. Except for modern-day plastic bottles and trash floating in the river and along the bank, and other such reality checks of today, it is an experience that has remained much the same for more than 100 years. After the first electric light was demonstrated in Atlanta on October 20, 1880, electric power was immediately in demand in the state...

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