Category: Top Stories

Another candidate joins District 3 Brookhaven City Council race

A new candidate has qualified for the District 3 Brookhaven City Council race. Dimitrius Owens qualified on Aug. 22. He was not immediately available for an interview. Owens joins Madeleine Simmons in the race for the District 3 seat. Incumbent Bates Mattison said he plans to qualify for reelection on Aug. 23, the final day to do so. Those who have qualified so far are: For mayor: John Ernst (incumbent) For City Council District 1: Linley Jones (incumbent) For City Council District 3: Madeleine Simmons and Dimitrius Owens Candidates can qualify Aug. 23 between 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m....

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Dunwoody seeks buyers for North Shallowford office building

A city-owned office building at 4555 North Shallowford Road in Dunwoody is on the market to the highest bidder. The City Council voted last month tosell the building, which is now being leased by Emory Healthcare. Emory’s lease expires in 2024. Bids are being accepted through Nov. 1. No specific plans have been made for what to do with the money should the building sell, but city consensus is centering on using it for capital improvements, such as parks. “We are talking of [using the money] for serious capital improvements, not on day-to-day funding,” Councilmember Jim Riticher said at...

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Self-storage developer claims toll lanes project will displace tenants anyway; GDOT denies it

The developer seeking to replace a shopping center and nonprofits with a storage facility on Sandy Springs’ Northwood Drive has told concerned tenants that the state’s I-285 toll lanes plan will require the building’s demolition no matter what. But the Georgia Department of Transportation says no such decision has been made and that the building likely could remain. Brandon Ellison of developer Taylor/Theus said an Aug. 19 community meeting at the 120 Northwood Drive site that GDOT wants part of the property for its future toll lanes project and recently tripled the size of the estimate land-taking, which includes...

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Dunwoody mayoral, City Council races set for Nov. 5

Dunwoody voters will see contested races for the mayor’s office and two City Council seats this fall as qualifying wrapped up Aug. 21. The only uncontested race is in District 3, where incumbent John Heneghan is the only candidate. Those who qualified are: For mayor: Lynn Deutsch and Terry Nall For City Council District 1 (open seat): Stacey Harris and Robert Miller For City Council District 2 (open seat): Joe Seconder and Heyward Wescott For City Council District 3: John Heneghan (incumbent) Evelyn M. Montgomery qualified to run for the District 2 seat on Aug. 20, but withdrew on...

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Sandy Springs Council delays vote on North End redevelopment conceptual plans pending more info

The Sandy Springs City Council delayed an expected vote to choose a contractor to design plans for four shopping centers in the North End at its Aug. 20 meeting. At the beginning of the council meeting, Mayor Rusty Paul announced that the vote had been removed from the original agenda due to part of the council not feeling they could yet make an informed decision. “[The agenda item] has been removed because some members of council felt they did not have enough information yet to vote,” Paul said. Paul said that there will now be a non-voting work session...

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DeKalb Schools teacher charged with child molestation at Perimeter Mall

Dunwoody Police have arrested a Tucker Middle School teacher and accused him of child molestation against a teenager at Perimeter Mall Aug. 4. Devin Lecorry Johnson, 28, of Mableton, was arrested Aug. 20. He is charged with child molestation, enticing a child and obstruction of officers, according to Dunwoody Police spokesperson Sgt. Robert Parsons. The school district has begun the process of firing Johnson from his teaching job as a result of his arrest, according to a written statement from the DeKalb County School District. According to Parsons, a teenager reported to police that a man approached him in...

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Former Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber chair joins race for City Council seat

Heyward Wescott, a former chair of the Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber of Commerce, is running for City Council, saying he wants to focus on infrastructure improvements in the Dunwoody Village area. Wescott and Joe Seconder are the candidates who have filed so far for the open District 2 at large seat. More candidates may yet join the race, as qualifying continues through Aug. 21. “I would like to be a champion for improved infrastructure around the Village,” Wescott said in an interview. Amenities like benches, new sidewalks and street lighting would help the area, he said. “The Village is the...

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Sandy Springs Arts Foundation executive director exits, now leads Buckhead nonprofit

The executive director of the often troubled Sandy Springs Arts Foundation has made a quiet exit, taking a new job leading a Buckhead-based educational nonprofit. Emily Hutmacher started work this month as executive director of Playworks Georgia, the local affiliate of a national organization that provides schools with structured play and programs for recess, according to spokesperson Doniell Glass. Playworks Georgia operates at 1708 Peachtree St. in southern Buckhead. “I’m excited to help improve school climate for all kids and school staff throughout Georgia,” said Hutmacher in a Playworks press release. “…[T]he beginning of the school year is when...

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Sandy Springs self-storage plan could displace businesses and church, create park and nonprofit site

A developer is proposing to bring a three-story self-storage facility to Sandy Springs on a site currently occupied by a shopping center just south of I-285. The project at 120 Northwood Drive would displace several businesses, a church and a social-service nonprofit, but could also create a new city park and include a new home for the nonprofit. City staff will present the proposal to the Planning Commission at an Aug. 27 meeting. It is recommended for approval, according to a city staff report. Currently, the building on the Northwood Drive site houses a mix of retail and nonprofit...

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Sandy Springs appears on another ‘safest cities’ list an expert calls useless

Sandy Springs has appeared on yet another “safest cities” website list, this time for purportedly “keeping children safe,” and a criminologist is once again saying the ranking is useless. SafeWise.com is one of two websites that get a lot of free press around the country for publishing “safest cities” lists, on which local cities frequently appear. Last year, Utah-based SafeWise acknowledged to the Reporter that its lists are made by staff members with no expertise in criminology or law enforcement as part of a marketing business that drives customers to security companies and Amazon.com. Josh Hinkle, an associate professor...

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Pedestrian hit crossing Roswell Road in Sandy Springs

A pedestrian was hit while crossing Roswell Road in Sandy Springs on Aug. 14, Sandy Springs Police said. According to Sandy Springs Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Sam Worsham, a 12-year-old was struck by a vehicle traveling south on the 7800 block of Roswell Road at 8:11 a.m. after darting into traffic. The juvenile was transported to a local hospital for treatment and is expected to recover. No other injury was reported at the scene and no charges are being brought against the driver, Worsham said. It is the third accident involving a pedestrian or bicyclist reported on Roswell Road...

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Brookhaven ends design contract for public safety HQ amid reports of firm’s closure

Brookhaven is ending its contract with a major architecture firm that suddenly closed and is being sued in another state for not completing contracted work, according to media reports. The city terminated its $800,000 contract with Atlanta-based Rosser International at the City Council’s Aug. 13 meeting. The city hired the firm in May 2018 to complete engineering and architectural designs for the city’s new public safety and municipal court headquarters to be built on the Peachtree Creek Greenway. City Manager Christian Sigman said the city received the construction drawings from Rosser it paid for and remains on track to...

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