Author: Reporter Newspapers

Ben Carter begins ‘putting Buckhead back together again’

John Schaffner editor@reporternewspapers.net “Buckhead is hot!” exclaimed Scottie Greene to kick off the ceremony Aug. 3 which officially marked the beginning of destruction for the old Buckhead Village and the start of putting “Buckhead back together again.” Developer Ben Carter, addressing a group of more than 200 civic and business leaders inside an air-conditioned tent on the hot August morning, that as a youngster he was always saddened that Humpty Dumpty could not be put back together again after falling off the wall. “We have put Buckhead back together,” he declared as he announced five high-end fashion boutiques, two restaurants and two hotels for the new $1.2 billion Streets of Buckhead mixed-use development his company, Ben Cater Properties LLC, is undertaking for eight blocks of Buckhead. Carter began by thanking the more than 34 Buckhead Village property owners that “gave up their prized assets” to help bring Atlanta and the Southeast this vision. Carter reportedly paid about $200 million for those assets to help make the dream come true. He also thanked the 26 retailers and bars “that could have stood in my way, but realized that this was a vision of not just mine but a whole lot of people. I think that is why this room is packed today. There are a lot of folks who have been planning for years and years in hopes that this...

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Spotlight on …. Thai restaurants

Restaurant Reporter Jan Butsch Schroder In the past 10 to 15 years, the popularity of Thai food in the United States has taken off quicker than you can say Massaman curry, with restaurants popping up in shopping centers and strip malls all over. The cuisine relies on a balance of five flavors in either each dish or the meal as a whole: spicy, sour, sweet, salty and bitter, and uses fresh herbs and spices and is often flavored with fish sauce. A favorite dish of Americans, pad Thai has rice noodles with eggs, fish sauce and a combination of bean sprouts, shrimp, chicken or tofu, topped with crushed peanuts and garnished with lime. One of my favorites is coconut soup—to the extent that I’ve thought of searching for a 12-step program for my admitted addiction—but as it seems to be healthy, inexpensive and if you don’t count the occasional missed meeting because I’m waiting in line for a quick take-out order, it rarely interferes with my day-to-day life. So I’ve decided to just live with it, along with my other food addictions that include jalapeno pimento cheese spread, chocolate chip cookies and anything crunchy and salty, but mostly Bugles. Whether you’re a jasmine rice or strictly a noodle type, next time you crave a taste of Thai, try one of these restaurants. Thai Sandy Springs cooks with fresh produce...

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Charity provides supplies to ease first-day school fears

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.com As the school year begins Monday for public school students in Fulton County, some youngsters will inevitably skip the momentous occasion for fear of ridicule from their peers. That teasing, though, is not because of the clothes the students wear or the way they look, but because many needy students in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody cannot afford to purchase the list of supplies schools ask their pupils to bring on the first day of school. Those lists often include requests for dozens of pencils, markers, crayons, scissors, notebook paper, binders, Kleenex and disinfectant wipes. But in the week before school started, one local charitable organization helped to alleviate the financial strain that the first day of school can place on some families. The Community Action Center (CAC), located in north Sandy Springs on Hightower Trail, is a nonprofit organization that targets needy families in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. The CAC brings together monetary and in-kind donations to assist people in need, prevent homelessness and promote self-sufficiency. The center’s director Tamara Carrera said the inspiration for the drive came about eight years ago when, on the first day of school, she arrived at the center to find several children of middle-school age in the waiting area of the tiny facility. She thought that was odd because the children should have been in school. When she asked...

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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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