No variable specified
Stockbridge Mayor Pro Tem Anthony S. Ford, center, speaks at Thursday's town hall meeting convened by, from left, District 10 State Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Ellenwood, and District 78 State Rep. Demetrius Douglas, D-Stockbridge.
Stockbridge Mayor Pro Tem Anthony S. Ford, center, speaks at Thursday's town hall meeting convened by, from left, District 10 State Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Ellenwood, and District 78 State Rep. Demetrius Douglas, D-Stockbridge.
slideshow
State senator vows to find Stockbridge's $6M
by Noreen Cochran
February 12, 2016 06:16 PM | 325 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Stockbridge Mayor Pro Tem Anthony S. Ford, center, speaks at Thursday's town hall meeting convened by, from left, District 10 State Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Ellenwood, and District 78 State Rep. Demetrius Douglas, D-Stockbridge.
Stockbridge Mayor Pro Tem Anthony S. Ford, center, speaks at Thursday's town hall meeting convened by, from left, District 10 State Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Ellenwood, and District 78 State Rep. Demetrius Douglas, D-Stockbridge.
slideshow
The city of Stockbridge may find itself $6 million richer if a state legislator has his way. District 10 State Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Ellenwood, challenged the city’s Downtown Development Authority supporters to disprove his statement that the only thing the city has to show for two loans totaling $6 million is “an empty building and some vacant lots.” Development authority chair J.T. Williams said he wanted to counter “a lot of errors” in information previously circulated. “Besides the damage done to myself, the real damage from this misinformation is the damage that’s being done to the image of our city and our citizens,” he said at Jones’ town hall meeting Thursday, adding that several business development prospects shied away because of lawsuits between the city and the development authority. “I hope the city will decide the case should be dismissed immediately.” Jones said the city of 27,000 residents operates on a $9 million budget. It had a rainy-day fund of $12 million that was “well-managed,” he said, until late 2013. “In December 2013, $6 million was transferred in increments to buy real estate,” Jones said about 175 North Park Trail and other properties. “There was other money given to the World Internet Group, whose president was Scott Barresi.” But the group was a “shell company,” former Mayor Pro Tem Alphonso Thomas said. He said he welcomed the Georgia Bureau of Investigation probe that Jones called for in a statement Feb. 1. “I hope it is a wide net,” Thomas said. “I do feel that it’s going to catch a lot of fish.” City Councilwoman LaKeisha T. Gantt, the city’s appointee to the development authority board, said the city has ordered a forensic audit. “We are looking into this and trying to answer those questions,” she said. The city and development authority reached a settlement agreement in November, Gantt said, involving buildings and land deeded over to the development authority. “We now have our properties back – well, most of them,” she said. “Then a couple of weeks later, we got the remaining properties back.” The city also recovered “money that was remaining,” she said, about $200,000, less $35,000 for development authority expenses, but not the $6 million loan. Jones said Williams told him Barresi “has assets that can be seized” and that the due diligence performed in advance was “adequate enough” to justify the development authority’s loan to the group. Jones acknowledged the matter’s complexity and the need for investigation. “There’s a lot of moving pieces,” he said. “I won’t stop until we find the full amount of $6 million.” Jones called for action from the 40 to 50 attendees, who included former Mayor Lee Stuart, former city councilwomen Regina Lewis Ward and Kathy Gilbert, school board member Annette Edwards, Henry County NAACP branch president Eugene Edwards, former mayoral candidate Houston Nelson III and development authority board member Mildred Reed. “If enough citizens call the district attorney,” Jones said about Jim Wright, “I think we’re more likely to get an active investigation.” The town hall also included a review and Q&A about five Senate bills enacting charter changes approved last month by the city council. Jones was joined by District 78 State Rep. Demetrius Douglas, D-Stockbridge. All the Stockbridge legislation has already passed the Senate, Jones said. Senate Bill 362 – filling the vacancy of the mayor’s office following Tim Thompson’s December resignation – is on the fast track to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk, he said. Mayor Pro Tem Anthony S. Ford said he is satisfied with his current duties, which include mayoral tasks until a judge swears in a successor. “I will most likely not run for mayor in the special election,” Ford said. “Any people who want to run, have at it.”
From left, Alex Ugwonali, Abigail Odegard, Lorraine Reich school principal, Lydia Eaton, Elizabeth Sexton all third graders. Special Photo
From left, Alex Ugwonali, Abigail Odegard, Lorraine Reich school principal, Lydia Eaton, Elizabeth Sexton all third graders. Special Photo
slideshow
Front row: Nate Ugwonali first grader and Fielder Odegard fifth grader. Back row, Henry Tidwell second grader, Abigail Odegard and Elizabeth Sexton, both third graders, Lorraine Reich School Principal, Eli Vise and Kaelan Clemo, both first graders. Special Photo
Front row: Nate Ugwonali first grader and Fielder Odegard fifth grader. Back row, Henry Tidwell second grader, Abigail Odegard and Elizabeth Sexton, both third graders, Lorraine Reich School Principal, Eli Vise and Kaelan Clemo, both first graders. Special Photo
slideshow
Jackson Elementary hits golden age
by Margot Carvallo
February 12, 2016 05:14 PM | 179 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Front row: Nate Ugwonali first grader and Fielder Odegard fifth grader. Back row, Henry Tidwell second grader, Abigail Odegard and Elizabeth Sexton, both third graders, Lorraine Reich School Principal, Eli Vise and Kaelan Clemo, both first graders. Special Photo
Front row: Nate Ugwonali first grader and Fielder Odegard fifth grader. Back row, Henry Tidwell second grader, Abigail Odegard and Elizabeth Sexton, both third graders, Lorraine Reich School Principal, Eli Vise and Kaelan Clemo, both first graders. Special Photo
slideshow
From left, Alex Ugwonali, Abigail Odegard, Lorraine Reich school principal, Lydia Eaton, Elizabeth Sexton all third graders. Special Photo
From left, Alex Ugwonali, Abigail Odegard, Lorraine Reich school principal, Lydia Eaton, Elizabeth Sexton all third graders. Special Photo
slideshow

Warren T. Jackson Elementary School will host a bigger than ever fundraising event this year as the Sandy Springs-based school approaches its 50th anniversary.
“Jackson Elementary holds an auction every other year; however, because this is this year is the school's golden an-niversary, we have decided to turn it into a Gala to celebrate 50 years of academic excellence,” said Chase Clemo, gala co-chair.
The event will include dinner, open bar, live and silent auctions, live music, dancing and food trucks at the end of the evening, AnnaBeth Tidwell gala co-chair.
The school body is also celebrating in many ways.
“We have taken pause to reflect on our past and prepare for our future,” said Lorraine B. Reich school principal.
In 1966, Jackson was a small, neighborhood school of about 300 students. Now it has 830 students from kinder-garten to fifth grade in two separate campuses.
The main school campus is located at 1325 Mt. Paran Road and the extension at 4191 Northside Drive.
“We enjoy the support of our community and produce high achieving, principled and caring students who make us proud every day,” said Reich.
The school has been celebrating all year, not only the golden milestone but the retirement of Reich after 17 years as the principal as well.
“I could not be prouder of my tenure as principal at Jackson,” Reich said, who retires in June.
She has seen the school grow, both in size and in stature, the principal said, “Parents who choose to send their chil-dren to Jackson do so knowing their child will receive a quality education and be prepared for success anywhere else.”
About 500 guests are expected to attend the gala, which is not limited to school families, Clemo and Tidwell are welcoming alumni, retired teachers, staff, etc.
“People should attend the gala to celebrate and support their local community school, spend time with multi-generations of Jackson families and friends,” said Tidwell.
The school has a rich learning environment that the community can enjoy at the gala or at its facilities.
“We believe strongly in the foundations of learning. We are very much a ‘reading’ school. Our library circulation is significant and our students are avid readers,” said Reich, adding “I have learned a great deal from our faculty as well as from our community,” that professional collaboration is what she will miss the most.
Jackson will continue to thrive, Reich said, as the backbone of caring, competent adults work tirelessly alongside parents, to provide opportunities for every student to experience some successes every day.

Want to go?
What: Celebrate 50 - Warren T. Jackson 50th Anniversary Gala
When: February 20 from 7:30 to 11pm
Where: Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Rd., Buckhead
Tickets: $125 per person
Information: www.501auctions.com/celebrate50

*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides