Author: Reporter Newspapers

Murders in city higher than 2005-06

At the time the city was heading into the final month of 2007, murders in Atlanta had already eclipsed the totals from the previous two years, and the signs pointed to a further increase. As of Nov. 29, 121 murders had been reported in the city during 2007, following 20-year lows of 110 in 2006 and 90 in 2005, according to the Atlanta Police Department. Statements from Atlanta police blame the increase in murders in part on the yearlong absence of the narcotics unit, which was disbanded after the shooting of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston in November 2006. Speaking to the numbers, Atlanta police spokesperson Judy Pal said, “This is something that absolutely concerns the Atlanta Police Department because we were on a downward trend.” The statistics are not close to the 1980s and early 1990s, when homicides topped 200 for five straight years and peaked in 1989 at 246. But the numbers are creeping back toward levels seen between 1997 and 2003, a seven-year stretch when the city averaged about 146 slayings a...

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Fire stations get life-saving thermal imaging cameras

The Buckhead Coalition has brought together two nonprofit public safety oriented groups, The 300 Club and 500 For Life organization—to fund thermal imaging cameras for fire stations at 721 Phipps Boulevard (#3) and 4260 Northside Drive (#27). With these contributions, all five Buckhead stations have the special hand-held technology that can be shared by fire rescue teams to see through smoke to find trapped victims and to avoid escape hazards. “With our mission to nurture the quality of life of Buckhead, what could be more important than insuring against the loss of life?” said Coalition President Sam Massell. The 300 Club assists fire and police personnel in the Atlanta area, and 500 For Life campaigns nationally for camera contributions. “Thermal imagers have quickly become one of the most important pieces of equipment for any fire department,” explained Frank Buonanotte, founder of 500 For Life. “This equipment simply saves the lives of victims and firefighters. Studies have shown that when thermal imagers are used, the time required for a successful rescue drops by 75%. That’s an impressive statistic when you consider that every two and a half hours someone dies as a result of a fire,” he added. In the past, the Buckhead Coalition and the 300 Club have partnered to provide thermal imaging helmets to Buckhead fire stations, but the cameras are now believed to be more efficient. The...

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E. Rivers tree sale raises 23,000

Several hundred Buckhead residents enjoyed the holiday spirit and hot spiced cider as they selected fresh-cut Christmas trees at the E. Rivers PTA’s recent Christmas Tree Sale Weekend. Over $23,000 was raised—the highest amount ever from the annual holiday event—for the Buckhead elementary school’s academic, athletic and arts programs. According to co-chairs Beth and Tim Ryan, “The trees were shipped in from Laurel Springs, North Carolina, which has supplied the White House with its glorious indoor tree.” The tree sale was sponsored again this year by Comer Jennings, III, of Harry Norman Realtors Buckhead/Northwest office. Over 400 fir and spruce trees were purchased, while Girl Scout Troop Number 25340 decorated candy-cane bedecked pointsettia plants “which were snapped up so fast for holiday decorations,” reported Troop Leader and E. Rivers PTA President Pamela...

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Baggy pants outlawed by School Board

By John Schaffner editor@reporternewspapers.net The Atlanta School Board unanimously voted Dec. 10 to change the student dress code to ban “baggy oversized clothing,” to include “sagging shorts and trousers.” Such sagging, underwear-baring pants are prohibited on all Atlanta public school campuses. Board members decided to take up the issue after Atlanta City Council member C.T. Martin formed an indecency task force to investigate a possible law against showing underwear in public. “Although schools have been enforcing the district dress code and, for the most part, students have been complying, we believe it is important to specifically prohibit this latest trend of sagging pants,” stated school board Chairwoman Kathleen Pattillo. It remains the responsibility of the principals of the district’s 96 schools to determine when there is a violation and what to do about it. School board member Brenda Muhammad brought up the issue after working with the task force started by Martin. Martin created an uproar this past summer when he suggested expanding the city’s indecency ordinance to include publicly visible undergarments, such as boxer tops and bra straps. All of that got the school board thinking about what it could do on its school campuses, which resulted in the Dec. 10 vote. Meanwhile, a legislative task force will hear from residents during at a Jan. 18 public hearing as it continues deliberating the city indecency law amendment. The...

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Campbell-Stone completing $12 million renovation project

Campbell-Stone in Buckhead, an affordable retirement community just a few blocks from Peachtree Road and The Streets of Buckhead, is putting the final touches on a $12 million renovation, totally remodeling 342 residential apartments, with 89 newly renovated units becoming available early this month. “This property is a positive benefit to Buckhead and beyond,” says Buckhead Coalition President and former Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell. Operated by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), this is the first significant construction project since the not-for-profit facility opened in 1964. Campbell-Stone is located in two of Atlanta’s neighborhoods, Buckhead and Sandy Springs. The Buckhead location is at 2911 South Pharr Court, N.W. The sister Sandy Springs location is located 350 Carpenter Drive N.E. “This renovation will help us continue our mission for another 40 years,” says Campbell-Stone Executive Director Cliff W. Pepper. “The needs of our residents have changed, and the building was showing its age.” The apartment community targets older adults seeking the privacy of independent living in a safe, comfortable and compassionate environment. Available units include expanded studio as well as 1- and 2-bedroom apartments. The floors have been completely gutted, and the remodeled spaces feature new cabinetry, windows, fixtures, lighting and ceiling fans; updated finishes — from carpeting to paint; as well as modern plumbing and air conditioning/heating systems. “Campbell-Stone is a valuable asset to Buckhead, providing affordable retirement living...

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