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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Election Day Information.



By Accessmilton.com

The Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections encourages registered voters to participate in the General Primary Election on Tuesday, July 31, 2012.

On Election Day, precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters can log on to http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/registration-elections to look up their specific precinct or call 404-612-7020.

Unofficial results will be available at www.fultoncountyga.gov after 7 p.m. on Election Day. The results are unofficial until certified by the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Milton to participate in National Night Out Aug. 7.



Courtesy Milton Police Department

The City of Milton Police and Fire departments are partnering with the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety to host the 29th Annual National Night Out event Tuesday, Aug. 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Wills Park Equestrian Center in Alpharetta.

The Wills Park Equestrian Center is located at 11915 Wills Road in Alpharetta (click here for directions).

This year’s event includes three bounce houses for kids, an interactive fire safety house simulator, displays of police and fire vehicles and SWAT demonstrations. There will also be firefighter scenarios, technical rescue operations, police K9 dog scenarios and numerous other police and fire activities.

Milton and Alpharetta police and firefighters will serve hundreds of hot dogs and hamburgers, sodas and ice cream sandwiches in addition to donated food from Chick-fil-A and Vinny’s New York Pizza & Italian Grill. Longtime event sponsor Target will also be on hand offering giveaways and free eye exams.

“This is a very popular and fun event,” said Milton Community Outreach officer Ara Baronian. “We’re glad to participate with our partners in public safety from Alpharetta.”

Now in its 29th year, National Night Out is a unique crime and drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, an organization dedicated to building safer and better neighborhoods through community involvement. More than 15,000 communities nationwide participate in National Night Out, ranging from community block parties, to cookouts, to parades and flashlight walks. For more information on National Night Out, visit http://www.nationalnightout.org.

Highlands subdivision gates 'private' roads.

Courtesy Appen Newspapers

July 27, 2012

MILTON, Ga. — The residents of the Highlands at Echelon will now have their roads privatized, taking the responsibility of maintaining them from the city. Council approved the measure.

The 65 lots on Freemanville Road enclose roughly 100 acres and will become a gated subdivision.

"The roads make no connection with any other subject street," said Carter Lucas, public works director. "There is no purpose served by these roads."

Cogburn bridge in Milton expected to open Aug. 3.

Cambridge High all set too.

By Jonathan Copsey; The Milton Herald; Appen Newspapers

July 26, 2012
MILTON, Ga. – Those who are getting ready for Cambridge High School to start in a few weeks will be pleased to know the Cogburn Road bridge replacement is expected to be finished on time, Aug. 3, said Milton Public Works Director Carter Lucas.

"It looks like it's still on schedule," Lucas said. "As long as we have some dry weather, we should be paving soon."

Despite the heavy rains in recent weeks, work pushed ahead, digging and grading the land for the replacement bridge. Paving of the bridge started last week.

Perhaps one of the upsides from the wet weather was it proved that the structure is sound.

"Everything looks like it's still on track," Lucas said.

Cogburn Road has been closed since Saturday, May 19 so that the bridge over Cooper Sandy Creek between Bethany Bend and Webb Road could be replaced.

The project was timed specifically to coincide with summer break, and improvements at the Cogburn Road/Bethany Bend intersection to be completed before Cambridge High School opens.

The Cogburn Road bridge was identified as the top priority for replacement in the city's infrastructure inventory from 2009. Based on traffic counts, there are more than 10,000 vehicles a day that travel over it.

The project replaced the bridge with an arched culvert spanning the creek, which means minimal impact to the waterway and savings in both time and money.

The replacement is expected to cost $478,020.

Milton to re-open Cogburn Road.

By Pat Fox
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Milton's Cogburn Road bridge, closed since May 19, is scheduled to re-open at 4 p.m. Friday, city officials announced Monday.

The $478,000-project replaced the old bridge with a new arched culvert. Work is expected to continue on the shoulders of Cogburn Road, so motorists are advised to drive with caution.

The bridge replacement had been identified as a top priority in a 2009 inventory of city infrastructure because it bore the load of more than 10,000 vehicles a day.

Milton names parks interim director.

By Pat Fox
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Local parks advocate Jim Cregge has been named interim parks and recreation director for Milton. Cregge begins Aug. 7 and takes over from John Rebar who is leaving for another position in Florida.

Cregge has spent the past 17 years as a volunteer, board member and former president of the Hopewell Youth Association, the non-profit group that schedules baseball activities at Milton's Bell Memorial Park. He has also served the past nine years on Alpharetta's Parks and Recreation Commission, the past six years as chairman.

He was named the Georgia Parks and Recreation Association's Volunteer of the Year in 2005 after being nominated by Fulton County for his work.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Milton appoints local parks advocate interim director.



By Accessmilton.com

Local parks advocate Jim Cregge has been named the City of Milton’s interim parks and recreation director, City Manager Chris Lagerbloom announced today. He begins his tenure Aug. 7.

Cregge, a familiar face to a number of Milton residents, has spent the last 17 years as a volunteer, board member and former president of the Hopewell Youth Association (HYA), the non-profit group that schedules baseball activities at Bell Memorial Park.

Additionally, he has spent the last nine years on Alpharetta’s Parks and Recreation Commission, where Cregge has served as chairman for the last six years.

“I want to build successful partnerships with other cities and parks and recreation assets that highlight the unique character of Milton,” said Cregge.

Cregge came highly recommended from Alpharetta. Mike Perry, Alpharetta Recreation and Parks Department director, said Cregge is energetic and passionate about recreation.

“He’s visionary about partnerships and the power of working together,” said Perry. “You won’t find anybody who will outwork him.”

Cregge was also recommended for the position by Scott Stachowski, a member of the Milton Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and president of HYA.

“Jim Cregge is uniquely qualified to represent Milton in any future discussions or negotiations regarding park access or sharing of resources with surrounding cities,” said Stachowski in a recommendation to Lagerbloom. “He could provide insight and leverage based on his many ties to the community.”

The reasons for such high praise are numerous. During his tenures at Alpharetta and HYA, Cregge oversaw: The acquisition of Bennett House and the construction of new parking, a new playground and field four at Bell Memorial Park; the merger of Wills Park’s and Webb Bridge Park’s baseball programs into the volunteer Alpharetta Youth Baseball Association; the reorganization of Alpharetta’s Ambush soccer program; the construction of Cogburn Road Park and phase three of Webb Bridge Park; and the expansion of the Alpharetta Greenway.

Prior to Milton’s incorporation, Cregge served on the Parks and Recreation Subcommittee of the City of Milton Interim Government Commission and participated in Fulton County’s citizen committee that ultimately produced the Birmingham Park Master Plan.

In 2005 he was named the Georgia Parks and Recreation Association’s Volunteer of the Year after being nominated by Fulton County for his work.

Cregge said he is ready to jump into the operations of Milton’s Parks and Recreation Department, which launched more than 30 new programs over the past year and is beginning the expansion of Bell Memorial Park as prescribed in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The city has been able to experience this success without a huge cost to taxpayers by utilizing public private partnerships with providers and facility use agreements with schools for existing field space.

“We need to take advantage of those partnerships and the regional knowledge available to Milton while continuing the short term leases on available field space and planning for the future,” said Cregge. “We have a chance of creating the new model for parks and recreation departments, and I feel blessed to have this opportunity.”

On A National Note...



US must recall it is not just any country.

By Condoleezza Rice; www.ft.com

In this young century, the 9/11 attacks, the global financial crisis and the unrest in the Arab world have struck at the heart of vital US interests. If Americans want the tectonic plates of the international system to settle in a way that makes the world safer, freer and more prosperous, the US must overcome its reluctance to lead. We will have to stand up for and promote the power and promise of free markets and free peoples, and affirm that American pre-eminence safeguards rather than impedes global progress.

The list of US foreign policy challenges is long and there will be a temptation to respond tactically to each one. But today’s headlines and posterity’s judgment often differ. The task at hand is to strengthen the pillars of our influence and act with the long arc of history in mind.

In the Middle East we must patiently use our aid, expertise and influence to support the creation of inclusive democratic institutions. The fundamental problem in the region is the absence of institutions that can bridge the Sunni-Shia divide, and protect the rights of women and minorities. Even as we make necessary immediate choices – including arming the Syrian rebels – we must insist upon inclusive politics. The US cannot afford to stand aside; regional powers will bring their own agendas that could exacerbate confessional divisions.

As we work with reformers across the region, we should not forget that Iraq has the kind of institutions that are meant to overcome these divisions. Given its geostrategic importance, the chaos engulfing its neighbours and Iran’s destructive influence, our re-engagement with Baghdad is sorely needed.

The US needs to turn again to the development of responsible and democratic sovereigns beyond the Middle East. The George W. Bush administration doubled aid spending worldwide and quadrupled it to Africa. It channelled assistance to countries that were investing in their people’s health and education, governing wisely and democratically, building open economies and fighting corruption. Ultimately, these states will make the transition from aid to private investment, becoming net contributors to the international economy and global security. US tax dollars will have been well spent.

We must also not lose sight of how democracy is solidifying in the western hemisphere. US assistance and trade policy can help democracies in Latin America to provide an answer to populist dictators. At the same time, we must speak out for dissidents – from Cuba to Venezuela to Nicaragua. Mexico needs attention across a broad agenda that includes the devastating security challenge that threatens both it and the US.

The US “pivot” to Asia (a region that had hardly been abandoned) has focused heavily on security issues. America should remain the pre-eminent military power in the Pacific. But consider this: China has signed free-trade agreements with 15 nations over the past eight years and has explored FTAs with some 20 others; since 2009 the US has ratified three FTAs negotiated during the Bush administration and it has continued – but not concluded – talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which began in 2008. One of the US’s best assets in managing China’s rise is its regional economic engagement.

A robust free trade policy will strengthen our economy and influence abroad, as will developing our domestic resources, such as the North American energy platform. High oil prices empower Venezuela, Russia and Iran. We are developing alternative sources of energy but they will not replace hydrocarbons for a long time. It is a gift that much of our demand – possibly all of it – can be met domestically and in co-operation with US allies, Mexico and Canada.

Most important, we need to reassure our friends across the globe. The rush to court adversaries has overshadowed relations with trusted allies. Our engagement with Europe has been sporadic and sometimes dismissive. Strategic ties with India, Brazil and Turkey have neither strengthened nor deepened in recent years. Hugo Ch├ívez and the Iranians have bitten off the extended hand of friendship. There is no Palestinian state because it will only come through negotiation with a secure Israel that is confident in its relationship with the US. The decision to abandon missile defence sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, to “reset” relations with Russia was pocketed by Vladimir Putin who quickly returned to his anti-American ways. Friends must be able to trust in the consistency of our commitment to them.

Finally we cannot forget that strength begins at home. Global leadership rests upon a strong economy built on fiscal discipline and robust private sector growth. Ultimately, our success depends on mobilising human potential, something the US has done better than any country in history. Ours has been a story of possibility, not grievance and entitlement. Ambitious people have come from all over the world to seek out the opportunities America provides. The absence of a humane and sustainable national immigration policy threatens this great asset.

Our talent has historically come from every part of American society, without regard to class and economic circumstance. But when a child’s zip code determines whether she will get a good education, we are losing generations to poverty and despair. The crisis in US education is the greatest single threat to our national strength and cohesion.

The American people have to be inspired to lead again. They need to be reminded that the US is not just any other country: we are exceptional in the clarity of our conviction that free markets and free peoples hold the key to the future, and in our willingness to act on those beliefs. Failure to do so would leave a vacuum, likely filled by those who will not champion a balance of power that favours freedom. That would be a tragedy for American interests and values and those who share them.

The writer is a former US secretary of state.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Texting While Driving "Nearly Impossible" To Enforce.

by Joan Durbin
jdurbin@neighbornewspapers.com Neighbor Newspapers.Com

While well-intentioned, some police jurisdictions are finding that enforcing the law is problematic.

“Because the law was written in a manner making it nearly impossible to prove, it has not been enforced as the public likely expects. We hope that knowing that the law is out there will discourage people from doing it, but knowing that it is nearly unenforceable will encourage it more,” said Lt. Jason Harper of the Johns Creek Police Department.

The law makes it illegal to “operate a motor vehicle on any public road or highway of this state while using a wireless telecommunications device to write, send, or read any text based communication, including but not limited to, a text message, instant message, email or Internet data.”

That essentially means leaving that Smart phone untouched in a pocket, purse or on the car seat until the vehicle is parked. Even checking email or replying to a text when stopped at a traffic light is forbidden.

“I did know there was a law in place,” said Roswell resident Brian Neal. “I don’t text and drive outright. I do use hands-free and speech-to-text features my phone has to send texts while I am driving on occasion though.”

Since the law went into effect, Johns Creek has had a total of five citations for violation of the law.

“Our legal standard for making this charge is fairly low. However, proving it beyond a reasonable doubt is nearly impossible,” said Harper, who oversees the JCPD’s Traffic Unit. “The law specifically exempts navigation devices, and it does not include using the phone’s address book, dialing the phone, calculator, etcetera. We have no way to prove whether they were texting or dialing the phone when we see them.”

From January 2010 to present, Alpharetta police have issued 60 citations for the offense of wireless communication while driving.

“Catching violators of the particular offense is very hard. Basically there are a couple of ways to do it,” said Alpharetta Public Information Officer George Gordon.

“The first is verbal confession by the driver. The police officer will conduct a traffic stop based upon their articulable suspicion of observing the driver use their handheld device to text with while operating a motor vehicle.

“Secondly, in serious cases such as a traffic crash with injuries, crash investigators could subpoena the cell phone records of the drivers involved if they believe texting could be a contributable factor to the crash.”

Roswell cops have written only five citations for the two year period, according to Lt. James McGee.

Milton Communications Manager Jason Wright said only one citation has been written “and it was ultimately dismissed.” It was written Feb. 18, 2011 on Freemanville Road to a 17-year-old in an accident. “Enforcement of the texting while driving law is difficult. Essentially, it’s almost impossible to prove outside of an accident,” Wright said.

And accidents can result. Alpharetta Public Safety Director Gary George said texting while driving is “extremely dangerous. Statistics show that someone who texts while driving greatly increases their chances of being involved in a serious incident such as a traffic crash or fatality event.”

-Sarah Anne Voyles contributed to this article.

North Fulton Cities To Form Joint Swat Team.

by Rachel Kellogg
rkellogg@neighbornewspapers.com Neighbor Newspapers.Com

July 18, 2012 10:26 AM | 214 views | 0 | 1 | | The cities of Alpharetta, Roswell and Milton are entering into a partnership on the integration of a joint SWAT team.

Alpharetta city council members voted Monday night to approve a memorandum of understanding, which says each city will bear the costs of its own employees and their personal equipment, but operations will be joint.

Recently, the Roswell Roswell Police Department suggested integrating its team with Alpharetta’s team, which is already joined with Milton.

According to Alpharetta Director of Public Safety Gary George, the combination of SWAT teams will offer several operational advantages, including greater manpower, additional equipment and more specialized skills — with no incremental costs to Alpharetta.

“It’s simply a manpower situation, to bring the cities together in a partnership, for much better teamwork,” George said.

George said the memorandum could potentially save the city money.

The joint SWAT team will include 22 officers from Roswell, 16 from Alpharetta and nine from Milton.

The cities of Roswell and Milton have already approved the memorandum.

Milton offering free classes for “National Dance Day”



By Accessmilton.com

In honor of National Dance Day on Saturday, July 28 the City of Milton and Off Broadway Expressions will offer three days of free dance classes July 25 through 27 at the Bethwell Community Center.

The classes are based on age:

•Ages 7 to 11: 12 to 1:30 p.m.
•Ages 12 to 18: 2 to 3:30 p.m.
•Adults (18-plus): 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Each class will focus on different forms of dance as featured in the popular television show “So You Think You Can Dance,” said Macita St. Germain-Regnier, owner of Off Broadway Expressions. The creator of the show, Nigel Lythgoe, founded National Dance Day to spread appreciation of the art form.

“If you love to dance, if you haven’t danced in years, even if you’ve never danced before, this is the perfect opportunity to join us and learn the exciting, meaningful and beautiful art of dance,” said St. Germain-Regnier. “Come work out with us and have some fun.”

For more information, contact St. Germain-Regnier at 678-404-7570 or e-mail dance@offbroadwayexpressions.com. For directions to the Bethwell Community Center, located at 2695 Hopewell Road, click here. For more information on National Dance Day, click here.

Mom accused of leaving kids in car to shop.




By Alexis Stevens
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A North Fulton County mother was arrested Tuesday for allegedly leaving her two children locked inside her SUV while she shopped, according to police.




Zecole Thomas, 29, was arrested after she left her two young children inside her SUV while she shopped, according to Alpharetta police.

Zecole Wilkerson Thomas, 29, of Milton, was charged with two counts of reckless conduct and booked into Fulton County jail, where she spent the night before posting $2,000 bond Wednesday, booking records showed.

Passersby called police after seeing the two children in the SUV, which was parked at a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store on North Point Drive, according to Alpharetta police. The vehicle's engine was not running, police said.

Following their mother's arrest, the two children were released to their father, according to police.

In an interview with Channel 2 Action News, Thomas said her children, ages 5 and 2, were sleeping when she arrived at the store. She said she decided to go inside the store for about 10 minutes to buy sewing supplies.

"I would never do anything to harm my children," an emotional Thomas told Channel 2. "I was not trying to suffocate my children. The windows were open."

Temperatures were in the 90s while the children were locked inside the SUV, according to police. The children were sweaty, but otherwise in good health, according to police.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cogburn Road construction update 10.



By Accessmilton.com

Better weather meant road and shoulder work continued this week. The road structure is shaping up, and, barring rain, paving operations can begin later this week.

For more information, visit the project's site by clicking here.

Advance voting through July 27.

By Accessmilton.com

Advance voting for the July 31 General Primary Election will continue from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. through July 27 at three locations:

Fulton County Public Safety Building
130 Peachtree Street SW Suite 2186
Atlanta, Ga 30303

North Fulton Service Center
7741 Roswell Road Suite 232
Sandy Springs, Ga 30350

South Fulton Service Center
5600 Stonewall Tell Road Room 108
College Park, Ga 30349

On Election Day, precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters can log on to http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/registration/elections to look up their specific precinct or call 404-612-7020.

Unofficial results will be available at www.fultoncountyga.go after 7 p.m. on Election Day. The results are unofficial until certified by the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Summer Camps going strong.



By accessmilton.com

Milton’s summer camps are continuing through July, and there are still options for campers of all ages. This week, Eric Snow sports is holding basketball camp, and YMCA day camp continues.

To see photos from these camps, plus others from earlier in the summer, visit the city’s flickr page by clicking here.

To view all the City of Milton summer camp options, click here.

Driver killed, passenger badly injured in Roswell wreck.

By Mike Morris
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A motorist was killed and his passenger critically injured overnight in a single car wreck in Roswell.

The crash happened late Sunday night on Riverside Road near Northcliff Trace.

Roswell police spokeswoman Lisa Holland told the AJC that the Honda Accord left the roadway shortly before midnight and struck a tree with a "horrific impact," killing the driver, identified as Samuel Wiggins, 20, of Roswell.

His passenger, 19-year-old Dylan Rigsby, was hospitalized in critical condition.

Holland said investigators intitially believed the driver and passenger were brothers, but later learned they were roommates.

She said excessive speed was a factor, and investigators were awaiting toxicology results to detemine whether alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Majority Leader Chip Rogers and Sen. John Albers Applaud the Removal of GA 400 toll.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Natalie Dale, Director
Shawna Mercer, Sr. Communications Specialist
natalie.dale@senate.ga.gov
404.656.0028

ATLANTA (July 20, 2012) – Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) and Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) applaud Gov. Nathan Deal on upholding his promise to remove the GA 400 Toll. GA 400, the only fixed-rate toll in Georgia , will be removed December 1, 2013.

“I applaud Governor Deal’s exemplary leadership helping remove the Georgia 400 tolls. This fulfills a promise made to Georgians many years ago that the toll would come down when the road was paid for. Unfortunately the Governor had to take action to correct the failure of the Georgia Department of Transportation Board, which voted in 2010 to keep collecting the tolls even after the original bonds had been paid in full. The failure of the DOT board seriously eroded the trust we have in our government. Today, Governor Deal is taking positive steps toward restoring our trust.”

Although meant to be a temporary source of infrastructure revenue, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) approved a 10-year extension for the toll that was set to expire in July of 2010.

To address this, Sen. Majority Leader Chip Rogers and Sen. John Albers worked together to hold public forums, champion petitions, and introduce legislation to call for the removal of the GA 400 Toll on behalf of the communities along the GA 400corridor.

In 2011, Sen. John Albers proposed Senate Bill 97 aimed at permanently removing the Georgia 400 toll. If passed, this bill would have prohibited any toll that is no longer paying off debt or interest from collecting a toll from commuters. SRTA is also required to review all operating tolls and create a schedule for paying off any interest as quickly as possible.

“Today, we helped restore faith in our state government to serve the people with integrity,”
said Sen. Albers. “I am pleased with the Governor's response to these efforts and his willingness to listen to the transportation concerns of Georgia citizens.”

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Statement from Sen. John Albers: Removal of GA 400 Tolls.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Natalie Dale, Director
Shawna Mercer, Sr. Communications Specialist
shawna.mercer@senate.ga.gov
404.656.0028

“I applaud Gov. Deal for upholding his promise to remove the GA 400 toll. Although meant to be a temporary source of infrastructure revenue, the 400 toll has become a transportation barrier. Over the past three years, I have held forums, championed petitions and introduced legislation calling for the removal of the toll on the behalf of communities along the GA 400 corridor. I am pleased with the Governor’s response to these efforts and his willingness to listen to the transportation concerns of Georgia citizens.


A promise made is a promise kept. I look forward to bringing my sledgehammer down on December 1, 2013 to remove these tolls for good.”

# # # #

Sen. John Albers represents the 56th Senate District, which includes portions of North Fulton County. He may be reached at his office at 404.463.8055 or by email at john.albers@senate.ga.gov.

Judge grants Tenn. mosque's petition to open.



AM NOTE: With the controversy that surrounded the Islamic Center of North Fulton's request to build a mosque on Rucker Road, we thought the following story would be of interest.

Courtesy Yahoo News.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Muslims in a Tennessee congregation prepared Thursday for the holy month of Ramadan a day after a federal judge ruled they have a right to occupy their newly built mosque, overruling a county judge's order that was keeping them out.

The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro sued Rutherford County on Wednesday and asked U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell for an emergency order to let worshippers into the building before the holy month of Ramadan starts at sundown Thursday.

Federal prosecutors also filed a similar lawsuit.

The future of the mosque had been in question since May, when a local judge overturned the county's approval of the mosque construction. This month, he ordered the county not to issue an occupancy permit for the 12,000-square-foot building.

Campbell ordered the county to move ahead on approving the mosque for use, although it wasn't immediately clear if that could happen by Thursday. Final inspection of the building is required.

The contentious fight over the mosque stems from a 2010 lawsuit filed by a group of residents who made repeated claims that Islam was not a real religion and that local Muslims intended to overthrow the U.S. Constitution in favor of Islamic religious law.

Those claims were dismissed, but opponents won with a ruling that overturned the approval to build the mosque on the grounds that county didn't give adequate public notice of the meeting.

Although the county advertised that meeting in the same way it has advertised others, the judge said extra notice was needed because the mosque construction was "an issue of major importance to citizens."

In court Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin said the chancery court judge, in essence, created a separate "mosque standard" applicable only to someone who wants to build a mosque.

Citing acts of vandalism, arson and a bomb threat against the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Martin said, "The Muslim community in Rutherford County has been under siege for the last two years. Now, after doing everything right, they are told that they can't move in."
Martin asked the federal judge to fulfill a promise made by the congregation's religious leader, Imam Ossama Bahloul, to the children of the congregation that justice would be done and they would be allowed to worship in their new space.

The congregation is being represented by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and local civil rights attorney George Barrett. The lawsuit filed in federal court in Nashville alleges violations of federal law and the constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and equal protection.

"If ICM were a Christian church, it would have been granted a certificate of occupancy and would be worshipping in its new facility today," a memorandum to the federal court reads, citing 20 instances of Christian churches that have been allowed to build since 2000. " ... The discriminatory treatment of the mosque also sends a powerful message to the Muslim community that they are second-class citizens, not worthy of the same rights or protection as Christian churches."

Attorneys for Rutherford County did not oppose the temporary restraining order. County attorneys have argued in chancery court hearings that treating the mosque differently from other applicants was discriminatory and a violation of their rights.

County Attorney Jim Cope said after the hearing that he felt vindicated by Campbell's ruling.

Mosque leader Bahloul said he had been reluctant to involve the mosque in the lawsuit but felt he had no choice after the certificate of occupancy was refused.

He said Campbell's ruling means a lot to Muslims in Tennessee and their supporters.

"I think this is an opportunity for us all to celebrate the freedom and liberty that, in fact, exist in America and to teach our young people to believe even more in the U.S. Constitution," he said.

An attorney for the mosque opponents did not return a call seeking comment.

..

Talented Horse Paints.



Courtesty The Associated Press.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On A National Note...A Teenager Did This.

There is a huge rock near a gravel pit on Highway 25 in rural Iowa. For generations, kids have painted slogans, names, and obscenities on this rock.

A few months back it received it's latest paint job. It has since remained undisturbed...















The artist Ray 'Bubba' Sorensen; pictured above.

How are we doing?



Courtesy City of Milton

As part of its ongoing efforts to improve service to Milton residents and business owners, the City of Milton is now hosting a National Research Center “National Citizen Survey” at the city’s Web site, www.cityofmiltonga.us.

To take the anonymous survey, which requires less than 20 minutes, click here [http://www.n-r-c.com/survey/milton2012survey.htm].

Milton last conducted a citizen survey in 2010, said City Manager Chris Lagerbloom. This latest iteration is closely tied to the city’s 2012-2015 Strategic Plan and seeks to establish an updated baseline for resident and business satisfaction with the city’s services, plans and programs. Results will be used, in part, to help guide the city’s future priorities and budgeting.

Please note, this survey utilizes queries unique to Milton as well as standard questions, enabling the city to compare with others of the same size.

“This survey has been sent randomly to Milton residents’ homes over the summer,” said Lagerbloom. “Now, we’re able to post an online version for additional input, and we’d love to hear from everyone.”

Results from the mailed survey will be available in August. The online survey results will be an ongoing gauge of success.

For more information on the survey, contact Executive Aide to City Manager, Mayor and City Council Christine Doss at 678-242-2492 or christine.doss@cityofmiltonga.us.

Cogburn Road construction update 9.



By Accessmilton.com

Despite a week of rainy conditions, crews were able to reconnect the main water line at the site and grade the area close to level. The rain did prove, however, that the bridge structure is sound.

For more information, visit the project's site by clicking here.

Interactive Strategic Plan Web site now online.

By Accessmilton.com

The City of Milton today launched an interactive Strategic Plan Web site at www.cityofmiltonga.us/strategicplan, announced City Manager Chris Lagerbloom.

This Web site gives Milton residents and business owners a simple, easy-to-use tool to gauge the city’s progress on its three-year Strategic Plan, created last year to establish a goal-based, short-term direction and vision for the city. It offers increasingly detailed information for users interested in the goals and action items outlined in the Strategic Plan.

Specifically, users can see how the city is accomplishing the tasks of: promoting the equestrian lifestyle; protecting and preserving open space; building relationships; structuring economic growth; and providing responsible and responsive government.

The Web site is updated quarterly as elected officials and department directors assess the progress of the Strategic Plan. Commitments are color coded (green, yellow red) so users can instantly recognize their status.

“Last year we set out to create, with the help of residents, business owners, elected officials and staff, a map we could use to chart our course as a city, and the result was the Strategic Plan,” said Lagerbloom. “It guides budgeting; it dictates what measures constitute success.

“And now, more than just a static document stored on our Web site, the taxpayers of this city have an open, extensive resource they can use to see exactly how we’re following the markers established in this plan.”

For more information on the Strategic Plan interactive Web site, contact Executive Aide to City Manager, Mayor and City Council Christine Doss at 678-242-2492 or christine.doss@cityofmiltonga.us.

City conducting survey of residents.

By Pat Fox
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Milton is hosting a citizen's survey on the city's Web site, www.cityofmiltonga.us.

The survey is tied to the city's 2012-2015 Strategic Plan and seeks to gauge resident and business satisfaction with the city's services, plans and programs, said City Manager Chris Lagerbloom.

The survey has been sent randomly to Milton residents' homes over the summer, and can now be accessed online.

Information: Christine Doss, 678-242-2492 or christine.doss@cityofmiltonga.us.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hopewell Outlaws win back-to-back state championships.


From left, Jack Rickheim, Nate LeMoyne, Benny Lorenzo, Jack Davis, Andrew Sherman, Elliott Kuykendall, Connor Harris, Caleb McMickle, Mason Adkin, Carter Wallace and Knox Driskell of the 7U Hopewell Outlaws.

By Accessmilton.com

The 7u Hopewell Outlaws, a Hopewell Youth Association team that plays at Milton’s Bell Memorial Park, went undefeated and outscored their opponents 80-8 en route to their second consecutive USSSA Georgia state title.

The Outlaws offensive efforts were led by first baseman Elliott Kuykendall, second baseman Caleb McMickle and third baseman Andrew Sherman. They were complimented by the stellar defensive play of shortstop Jack Rickheim, pitcher Carter Wallace and outfielder Connor Harris.

Catcher Knox Driskell and outfielders Benny Lorenzo, Jack Davis, Nate LeMoyne and Mason Adkin also contributed key hits and timely defensive plays.

The Outlaws recently wrapped up their 2012 campaign, posting a 21-3 overall record. In two years of play, the team has put together a combined record of 39-3.

The Outlaws are led by head coach Les Kuykendall, with assistants Mike Rickheim, Mark Wallace, Scott McMickle and Kirk Driskell.

Living Room Conversation with MPD July 23.

Courtesy Milton Police Department

It's time to get together and chat again - this time with our city's law enforcement officers.

The Better Together: Real Communities - Milton Mini-Grants Initiative is sponsoring the second in its series of "living room conversations" Monday, July 23 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Bethwell Community Center, 2695 Hopewell Road (click here for directions).

This conversation will give residents a chance to know their police officers and offer a glimpse inside the vital community role they serve.

"All Milton residents should know their police officers, and we're here to facilitate those friendships," said Amanda Quintana, grant coordinator for the Better Together: Real Communities - Milton Mini-Grants Initiative. "As always, this will be a pressure-free environment to meet your neighbors and discuss your community."

Quintana said dessert and drinks will be provided.

Better Together is funded in large part through the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities' (GCDD) Real Communities Initiative: Milton. The grants support neighborhood improvements, promote neighborhood connections and fund projects that bring community members together.

Currently, GCDD provides Milton a little less than $20,000 in federal funds and the city matches just less than $5,000.

For more information on the Better Together: Real Communities - Milton Mini-Grants Initiative, click here. For more information on this event, contact Quintana at 678-242-2512 or amanda.quintana@cityofmiltonga.us.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cherokee County woman works to save horses.

Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

By Gurvir Dhindsa, Good Day Atlanta anchor / Fox 5 Atlanta

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. - In these tough economic times, many people are not only struggling to make ends meet, they're also finding it difficult to take care of their animals. Many of those animals end up abandoned.

Cheryl Flanagan grew up watching westerns, and wanted to be a cowboy or a cowgirl. She didn't end up on a range out west, but ended up on 60 acres in Cherokee County where she started taking in abandoned or neglected horses.

"You know, people call when you have a little bit of property and you hear a story about a horse and you feel bad. And you say ok, and it starts to grow from there," said Flanagan.

She currently has 70 horses, including Alvie, a racehorse whose injury put an end to her days on the track. Many of the horses that Flanagan takes in have had racing careers.

"They don't have a chance otherwise, especially if they have a problem or have to heal from an injury. There are other purposes for horses than riding. There are people who are happy to cuddle a horse and love it. They are so therapeutic," explained Flanagan.

Flanagan explained that the horse sanctuary also seems to be helping people.

"The horses kind of pick different people. We've had families reunited here. I've had people who have been in and out of therapy. It's kind of an addiction. It's a good addiction," said Flanagan.

In addition to the horses, other animals such as chickens and goats, roam the property.

The ultimate goal for Flanagan is to find permanent homes for the horses, so she can make room for any more that come her way. Besides the 60 acres, she also leases other land for horses. She says her ultimate goal to find about 100 acres that she can turn into a sanctuary.

For more information on Flanagan's efforts, visit savethehorses.org

Estate / Garage Sale On Bethany Road: Reminder!



By Accessmilton.com

A fantastic treasure filled Estate / Garage Sale will be held on Bethany Road this next weekend! The event will take place at 12995 Bethany Road Milton, GA 30009 on Saturday, July 14th, 9 a.m. til 4 p.m.

Be sure to save the date!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Your morning jolt: Chip Rogers says he’ll vote ‘yes’ on casino gambling.

Courtesy Jim Galloway; www.ajc.com

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers and his Republican challenger, chamber executive Brandon Beach, met in a debate up in Milton last night, sponsored by the North Fulton & Friends Tea Party.

Yours truly served as one of two moderators. For the record, the time needed to drive the 40 miles from the state Capitol was one hour, 55 minutes. My partner was former secretary of state Karen Handel, who – should she ever give up on politics – will make a fine TV news anchor.

Topics included the transportation sales tax, ethics, and a new Milton County. Both men support the latter. But stark differences showed up when it came to education and gaming.

Atlanta developer Dan O’Leary wants to harness the Georgia Lottery as the engine to drive a vast entertainment and gaming complex in Gwinnett County. We asked the candidates what they thought about the idea. Said Rogers:

”If people earn money, and they want to spend it in a way that doesn’t violate anybody else’s rights, it’s none of my business. So if somebody wants to come in and make that development, and the free market can continue to support it, then let the free market continue to support it. The fact of the matter is, you can go to any casino that’s located on the periphery of the state of Georgia, and you drive into their parking lot, what you’ll find are all sorts of vehicles that have Georgia tags on them…

“Now I think the state is going along fairly well without it. But government shouldn’t be there telling everybody how to live their lives in all those aspects. If you have a developer that can take what’s already in place – the lottery system – and expand it, and have a free market system that produces more money for the HOPE scholarship, more money for pre-K, that’s up to the market to determine.”

Said Beach:

”I don’t think we need to have video gaming. I’m not against gambling, but I don’t think we need to have that in our state. If we are going to have gambling, I think we need to have full gambling – blackjack and craps. I don’t gamble, but I think video gambling preys on a sector of our society that can least afford to be there. “

The GOP primary ballot will ask voters whether they support casino gambling in Georgia.

“I’ll vote no,” said Beach.

“I’ll vote yes,” said Rogers.

If you’re of a certain age, the answer by the No. 2 leader of the Senate is evidence of a stunning cultural shift. Twenty years ago, an endorsement of casino gaming would have marked the end of a political career. Today, it’s just part of the mix.

Fueling Beach’s candidacy is the fight over charter schools. Beach opposes the November ballot issue that would restore the state’s authority to license charter schools over the objections of a local school system. Rogers endorses that – and more. Rogers favors an immediate, statewide conversion to a system of school vouchers. Said the candidate:

”How quickly should we do it? Yesterday. The consequences will be, we will finally have a market-based system, where the best educating schools in the system deliver a product to children and parents that they want, that they desire, that they will be involved with – and not a system that says because you live at 123 Elm Street, you must go to school over here. That’s craziness. That doesn’t work. No one would ever set something up like that in the private sector. But the fact of the matter is, this is in complete accordance with the Republican national platform….”

Said Beach:

”We need to replicate schools around the state that are like north Fulton and Cherokee. We have good schools here, and it’s because we have parental involvement. Both of my kids attended public school, Milton High School. My wife was an educator at Milton High School. We have good schools because the parents demand it, and that’s wrong in Clayton County. They don’t have the parents demanding it….We don’t need vouchers. We need good public education with parental involvement. Each kid gets an $8,000 allotment per student. So they’re getting money to get educated in a public school. We just need to make our public schools good.”

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

On A National Note...

Courtesy dailycaller.com

Report: 83 percent of doctors have considered quitting over Obamacare.

Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association.

The DPMA, a non-partisan association of doctors and patients, surveyed a random selection of 699 doctors nationwide. The survey found that the majority have thought about bailing out of their careers over the legislation, which was upheld last month by the Supreme Court.

Even if doctors do not quit their jobs over the ruling, America will face a shortage of at least 90,000 doctors by 2020. The new health care law increases demand for physicians by expanding insurance coverage. This change will exacerbate the current shortage as more Americans live past 65.

By 2025 the shortage will balloon to over 130,000, Len Marquez, the director of government relations at the American Association of Medical Colleges, told The Daily Caller.

“One of our primary concerns is that you’ve got an aging physician workforce and you have these new beneficiaries — these newly insured people — coming through the system,” he said. “There will be strains and there will be physician shortages.”

The DPMA found that many doctors do not believe the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will lead to better access to medical care for the majority of Americans, co-founder of the DPMA Kathryn Serkes told TheDC.

“Doctors clearly understand what Washington does not — that a piece of paper that says you are ‘covered’ by insurance or ‘enrolled’ in Medicare or Medicaid does not translate to actual medical care when doctors can’t afford to see patients at the lowball payments, and patients have to jump through government and insurance company bureaucratic hoops,” she said.

The American Medical Association, which endorsed Obama’s health care overhaul, was not able to immediately offer comment on the survey. Spokesperson Heather Lasher Todd said it would take time to review the information in the survey.

Janelle Davis of the American Academy of Family Physicians said the AAFP could not provide thoughtful commentary without studying the survey’s findings and methodology.

Milton Parks and Rec director resigns.

Rebar headed back to Miami.

by Jonathan Copsey; the Milton Herald / Appen Newspapers

July 05, 2012

MILTON, Ga. - After almost exactly a year, Milton's Parks and Recreation Director John Rebar is leaving the city.

Rebar, who came to Milton as it's second Parks and Recreation director, arrived from Doral, Fla., a suburb of Miami. He said he is going back to the Miami-Dade area, specifically to Miami Gardens, Fla.

"It's kind of like going home," he said. "There is that personal factor."
Along with going back near where he used to work, he said the role will be a good fit, professionally.

"The opportunity presented itself. It's a really good professional opportunity for me."

Miami Gardens has a population of about 107,000 people and has only existed since 2003, when it was incorporated from Miami-Dade County. Rebar said it has a $6.4 million budget.

"It's a real good opportunity for me in my career," Rebar said.

Rebar began his career in the City of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and spent several years working for municipalities in south Florida, most recently serving as the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Doral. Under his direction, the City of Doral Parks and Recreation Department earned the Florida Recreation and Park Association's "It Starts in Parks" award in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and was designated a 2010 and 2011 Playful City USA.

Under Rebar's helm, Milton has seen many recreational programs expand and the city completed the first draft of its parks and Recreation Master Plan – a complete roadmap of what the city wants out of its parks and how to get there. Bell Memorial Park has expanded significantly.

"John originally came to us from south Florida and will return for a position with the city of Miami Gardens. There he will lead a department of more than 100 employees and manage a multi-million dollar budget in a community of more than 100,000 people. I wish him tremendous success, and he will be missed in Milton," said Milton City Manager Chris Lagerbloom in a statement released by the city.

Rebar will leave his post mid-July. No replacement has yet been named.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Milton to study solid waste service.

By Pat Fox
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Milton and Milton Grows Green are hosting an online survey to gather public input on the community's trash, recycling and other waste needs. Residents and business owners are encouraged to take the survey by Aug. 1.

Milton Environmental Sustainability Coordinator Cindy Eade said the short survey can remain anonymous or participants can provide contact information.

The survey can be accessed at http://cityofmiltonga.us/

Information: 678-242-2509 or cindy.eade@cityofmiltonga.us

Friday, July 06, 2012

Horse spooked by Illegal Fireworks Dies.

Courtesy Seattlepi.com

A Tacoma woman says her horse was so spooked by illegal fireworks that he ran into a nearby road and was hit by a passing car.

The horse was so badly injured that a veterinarian was forced to euthanize him on site.

Life hadn't been easy for Prince, but a kindhearted woman rescued the starving Egyptian Arabian a few years ago and nursed him back to health at a pasture outside of Tacoma.

The 21-year-old horse had room to graze and seemed indifferent to the jet traffic and target practice at nearby Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/komo/article/Horse-spooked-by-illegal-fireworks-hit-killed-by-3684812.php#ixzz1zu7qFsGg

Estate/Garage Sale On Bethany Road.



By Accessmilton.com

A fantastic treasure filled Estate / Garage Sale will be held on Bethany Road this next weekend! The event will take place at 12995 Bethany Road Milton, GA 30009 on Saturday, July 14th, 9 a.m. til 4 p.m.

Be sure to save the date!

On An International Note...

courtesy twistedsifter.com


Double click to enlarge image.

On the left is San Diego, located in the United States. On the right is the densely populated border town of Tijuana, located in Mexico.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Milton adopts "growlers" ordinance.

By Pat Fox
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Milton City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday allowing for the sale of "growlers," resealable containers of beer, from licensed operators. Milton becomes one of a growing number of metro Atlanta cities who have enacted growler laws over the past few months.

The Milton ordinance allows growler sales only at local establishments who are licensed to sell beer or wine. Businesses that sell liquor are prohibited from selling growlers.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Please remember...

***Firework Rules & Regulations***

AM NOTE: Please remember the following rules and regulations regarding legal fireworks in the State of Georgia. This is even more important with Milton Georgia and the stress it puts under the horses who reside here.


CONSUMER FIRE WORKS

Spefically permitted=> Sparklers up to 100 grams each; fountains (items that say 'Emits Showers of Sparks' up to 200 gram total for multiple tube items or 75 grams for each individual tube; snakes, glow worms, snappers, party poppers.

Specically prohibited=> Firecrackers, torpedos, sky rockets, roman candles, bombs, and sparklers.

DISPLAY FIRE WORKS

Display permit=> Apply to local county at least 10 days before display date. $10 fee,
plus $1 per copy of permit.

Insurance=> Required. $10,000 bond and insurance for bodily injury of at least $25,000 for each person and $50,000 for each accident, as well as property damage insurance of at least $25,000 for each accident and $50,000 aggregate. Insurance company must be licensed in Georgia.

Operator=> License required by state law.

ENFORCING AUTHORITY

Safety Fire Commissioner
State of Georgia
612 West Tower, Floyd Bldg.
#2 MLK, Jr. Drive
Atlanta, GA 30334
404 656 5875

LAW NUMBER

25-10 Georgia Code, Chapter 10



For more information, please reach out to the Milton Police Department at 678 242 2500.

Let’s celebrate what makes our lives great.

AM NOTE: Many thanks to Mayor Lockwood for sharing his message with Accessmilton.com readers.

With Independence Day right around the corner, I think it’s the perfect time to take a look around us and be thankful for all the freedoms we share.

Now, I know there are currently a lot of national and state issues that have been, and will continue to be, hotly debated -- and rightly so. It seems like every time you turn around, there an important vote or election. It’s great to see the American political process getting so many people talking. Because that talk means ideas, and ideas mean action, and action means sustaining this great nation.

But regardless of my, or your, personal feelings on the issues, I think we can all agree that it’s an amazing privilege and responsibility to live in a place where these issues are decided in courts and by votes instead of violence. You only need to take a quick look around to see how well the other way works.

So it’s in that spirit that I call upon our residents to come together this Fourth of July and celebrate what ties us together. Let’s have cookouts, let’s share laughs – let’s remember what’s truly important in our lives and put some effort into keeping those relationships strong. Because family, friendships, community – these are the most valuable things we have. Without them nothing else matters.

A perfect opportunity for this type of connection would be the Crabapple Community Association’s Citizen Walking Parade July 4. This volunteer-run event, now in its second year, is a great time. Check out the newsletter for more information on how to participate.

And though it probably goes without saying because of the involved, committed residents Milton enjoys, make sure to take a few moments and remember those who make sacrifices every day … not to mention those who have made sacrifices for the last 236 years.

But I’m not just talking about our soldiers and their families – God bless their unbelievable daily sacrifice. I’m talking about our public safety personnel who routinely put their lives in dangerous situations so the rest of us may celebrate safely. I’m talking about our elected officials, who, despite rough hours and tough decisions, continue to give their time to serve the greater good (remember – don’t let bad apples spoil the whole crop … tough, I know). I’m talking about the legions of teachers and health inspectors and construction superintendents and code enforcement officers and countless others who ensure we live in a well-educated, clean, functioning and safe society.

Yes, we have a long way to go, and nothing will ever be perfect. But if you’ll just take a moment to thank a hard working person, you never know where it may lead. Because remember – freedom means being able to say no. And yet so many say yes, when it’s the much harder choice.

Give me a call or stop by my office sometime to let me know what you think about how we’re doing in Milton – we’re here to serve you.

Sincerely,
Mayor Joe Lockwood

CCA plans July 4 Walking Parade.

Courtesy City of Milton

The second annual Crabapple July 4th Walking Parade, sponsored by the Crabapple Community Association (CCA), will take place at 9 a.m. in historic downtown Crabapple (the half-mile route begins at McFarlin Lane).

As in previous years, the parade is an open event in which citizens may march. If you don't want to walk the parade route, you can be a spectator and cheer everyone on. Organizers will have water and freeze pops while supplies last.

If you want to take part, please gather in the staging area at the Braeburn Development at 8:30 a.m.

Councilwoman Karen Thurman and her husband, Mark, will act as Parade Marshals. Prizes will be awarded for best decorated vehicle, best pet, most enthusiastic, best dressed individual and most creative.

Organizers said participants are invited to walk, ride a tricycle or use a stroller, wheelchair or other small vehicle. However, because of the crowd, no large bicycles please. Additionally, no cars or floats are allowed, and firecrackers and sparklers are prohibited.

Pets may be included, but they must be on a leash and owners are responsible for clean-up.

Parking is available at Crabapple First Baptist Church and Strawberry Fields. Parking for those with Disabled Parking placards will be at the Braeburn office at McFarlin Lane.

Click here to view a pamphlet for the event. If you have any questions or you would like additional information, please e-mail crabapplecommunityassoc@yahoo.com.

Living Room Conversation with MPD July 23.

Courtesy City of Milton Police

It's time to get together and chat again - this time about our city's law enforcement officers.

The Better Together: Real Communities - Milton Mini-Grants Initiative is sponsoring the second in its series of "living room conversations" Monday, July 23 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Bethwell Community Center, 2695 Hopewell Road (click here for directions).

This conversation will give residents a chance to know their police officers better and offer a glimpse inside the vital community role they serve.

"All Milton residents should know their police officers, and we're here to facilitate those friendships," said Amanda Quintana, grant coordinator for the Better Together: Real Communities - Milton Mini-Grants Initiative. "As always, this will be a pressure-free environment to meet your neighbors and discuss your community."
Quintana said dessert and drinks will be provided.

Better Together is funded in large part through the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities' (GCDD) Real Communities Initiative: Milton. The grants support neighborhood improvements, promote neighborhood connections and fund projects that bring community members together.

Currently, GCDD provides Milton a little less than $20,000 in federal funds and the city matches just less than $5,000.

For more information on the Better Together: Real Communities - Milton Mini-Grants Initiative, click here. For more information on this event, contact Quintana at 678-242-2512 or amanda.quintana@cityofmiltonga.us.

Milton police now offering rape defense class.


Lt. Shawn Johnson instructs how to adopt a defensive stance at a recent introductory class at Anytime Fitness in Alpharetta.

Courtesy City of Milton Police

The Milton Police Department is now offering a rape and aggression defense class for women and girls ages 13 and up, announced Community Outreach Officer Ara Baronian. The 12- to 14-hour class is taught over multiple days by request only.

The classes, which will be held at various locations based on size, may be scheduled by contacting Baronian at abaronian@cityofmiltonga.us or 678-242-2570. They are taught by Baronian and Lt. Shawn Johnson, graduates of the R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) System.

Baronian said students can expect discussions on existing dangers and self-defense techniques suitable for women of all ages and abilities. The class is designed to give practical responses to women during various levels of confrontation, from passive verbal comments to severe aggressive acts.

The Milton Police Department will provide the necessary safety equipment for all classes.

"As a father and police officer, I know too well the dangers that exist for women of all ages," said Baronian. "But with the proper tools, you can give yourself and your children the best chance of protection.
"I'm proud to be a part of this important effort, and look forward to helping spread this empowering knowledge."
For more information on R.A.D., visit http://www.rad-systems.com.

City launches trash survey for input on solid waste.

By Accessmilton.com

The City of Milton, along with Milton Grows Green, has initiated a survey for all residents and businesses to gain a better understanding about the needs of our community as it relates to trash, recycling and other waste.

We would appreciate residents and Milton business owners taking 5 minutes to complete this online survey, which will remain anonymous if you choose. However, there is an option to provide your contact information if you would like to talk about an issue you are having.

Surveys need to be completed by Aug. 1. Thank you for your help and we appreciate your input.

Click here to take this survey.

Local girl wins World Karate Championship.



Courtesy City of Milton

Cameron Comrie, a 14-year-old 3rd degree black belt in Songahm Taekwondo and student at the Milton location of Atlanta Karate, recently won the American Taekwondo Association (ATA) World Championship in traditional forms for 12-14 year-olds with 2nd and 3rd degree black belts.

Last year, she took 4th in the world.

Comrie, who has been training at Atlanta Karate of Milton since 2005, took the title during the recent contest held in Little Rock, Ark. It bought together more than 20,000 martial artists from all over the world.

Karate Atlanta of Milton, which was named one of ATA's "Schools of the year" in 2012, opened in August 2002.

Monthly fitness tip: Top fitness-related apps.

Courtesy City of Milton

By Kolleen Riddick, CorePhysique founder

Everyone seems to have a smart phone of some sort nowadays. As much as they can be a distractor, there is a way to make them useful.

One way is by downloading fitness apps to help with fitness and nutrition.

Here are some top fitness apps (with links) that can turn your smartphone into your own personal trainer:

MyFitnessPal: This is a great way for you to stay connected to your trainers. It is a free app that allows you to log your food and exercise wherever and whenever you like. It also has an option to scan barcodes for scanning food labels.

Men's Health App: The fitness experts at Men's Health and Women's Health have created some of the industry's best workouts, and with this app you can watch demos and log your exercises. You can also keep track of your calories and get some great menu ideas.

Sparkpeople's Healthy Recipe App: This tool keeps a compilation of healthy recipes, as well as snack and meal ideas. The recipes are easy to use and simple to follow. The app allows you to search by food or meal type (breakfast, lunch or dinner).

Cardio Trainer: This app uses GPS to map your route. It can also work as a pedometer to record your steps along the way and allows you to access your playlist of music during your workout. One of the best features is that it will give you words of encouragement along the way. The only negative is that it is offered solely to Droid users.

Endomondo: This is more than just an app. Endomono has the ability to connect fellow fitness enthusiasts through a social network. This connection allows you to compare times and fitness tips and allow for a little friendly competition. It also uses a GPS system to track your route during your exercise and share it with your friends.

Be sure to download on of theses app today and get moving.

Click here for more information on the City of Milton/CorePhysique fitness camps.

Monthly new business report.

By Accessmilton.com

This list is compiled from business license records kept by the city's Community Development Department. If a new business receives a license within the month proceeding the newsletter, it will be listed.

The appearance of a business on this page is not intended, nor should it be construed, as the City of Milton's or Milton City Council's endorsement, sanction, promotion or advertisement of any particular business. Identification of businesses on this list is for informational purposes only. Citizens interested in retaining or conducting business with any of the companies or agencies listed in this item should conduct their own review and investigation of that business.

Sandra L. Williams Consulting 16305 Henderson Road
Albertson Agency, LLC 12220 Birmingham Highway Suite 70
Launch Technologies 12540 Broadwell Road Suite 2201
Pat Ducke Construction Inc. 1840 Highgrove Club Drive
Blimpie 5200 Windward Parkway
El Molcajete Mexican Restaurant 14155 Highway 9 Suite 500
Julia W. Kennedy 12541 Danesfield Drive
Lean Fitness - Encore It! 360 Eagles Pass
Mobile Source, LLC 15860 Meadow King Court
Walker Firm, LLC 12600 Deerfield Parkway
Magnolia Custom Cabinetry & Millworks 13825 Brittle Road
Precious Winks 12850 Highway 9 Suite 600-236
Elizabeth Ceron 355 Alstonefield Drive
The John Marshall Law Firm 12600 Deerfield Parkway
Flawless Crowns 3240 Serenade Court
The Appliance Guy, Inc. 8620 Mayfield Road
Chick-Fil-A, Inc. 5180 Windward Parkway
Granular Recycling, LLC 12600 Deerfield Parkway
Premier Diamond Group, LLC 2933 Commonwealth Circle
Kabab & Wraps 13020 Morris Road
Tangled Hair Salon 12872 Highway 9

For a continually updated list of current businesses in Milton via the city's Web site, click here.

Please Remember...

Cogburn Road construction update 7,


By Accessmilton.com

Crews achieved another substantial milestone last week when the majority of the bridge structure was set in place and backfilling operations began. Installation of the remaining pieces should be completed this week, after which the road can be rebuilt.

For more information, visit the project's site by clicking here.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Fulton Science Academy disputes findings of school system audit.

By Daarel Burnette II and Nancy Badertscher
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Fulton Science Academy Middle School released a 54-page rebuttal to a critical school system audit Thursday, saying the county report was "incomplete," "inaccurate" and based on "flawed assumptions."

"The [audit] report is inflammatory and meant to mislead the public," said Angela Lassetter, academy spokeswoman and board member at the academically acclaimed school in Alpharetta.

The academy, a public charter school, will become a private school July 1.

Fulton County Schools released an audit earlier this month that questioned the school's management and financial practices, including its contracts with businesses and groups tied to the Gulen education movement and money spent on bringing in teachers and other workers from Turkey.

Academy officials have from the outset challenged the accuracy of many of audit's findings. They sent their formal response to the school system Thursday.

"Unfortunately, [Fulton Science Academy] continues to demonstrate a lack of transparency and cooperation," said Fulton County spokeswoman Samantha Evans. "There is nothing in the school's audit response that causes Fulton County Schools to believe the IAG audit is innaccurate or flawed. In fact, the audit was prepared from information provided by the school."

Lassetter said investors recently demanded payment on an $18.9 million bond issue that the school obtained last year to build a new campus for the middle school and two related schools. She said the school could sell property to cover the bonds.

She said the school spent at least $15,000 hiring GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group of Atlanta to examine the findings of the school system audit and document any inaccuracies.

"I think Fulton County Schools gave the auditors direction so they could justify closing our school," she said. "They have a lot to gain by seeing us go away."

The academy's response said the school was not obligated to follow traditional bidding processes in awarding contracts because of its flexibility under the state's charter school law.

The school system's audit had raised questions about some of the academy's contracts with Turkish-owned businesses and past employees.

In the rebuttal, the academy also fired back at the school system for the implication that the academy had misused public money on immigration services for several employees, mostly teachers.

The academy's response said this is a common business practice even for the school system itself. The report said that type of expense cost Fulton County Schools $3.5 million over a two-year period.

"This is hypocritical and defamatory in a way that is inappropriate," Lassetter said.

Evans said the district spent about $2 million on 26 "teachers for hard to staff schools and positions." The cost includes salary, benefits, training fees, as well as vendor fees, Evans said.

The academy also defended school trips to Turkey as having been paid for either by participants or with nonpublic funds. Parents on the trip did not need background checks as the school system audit inferred, the school response said, because they had a different itinerary.

THE STORY SO FAR

Fulton Science Academy Middle School, a lauded charter school in the Fulton County school system, has had 500 students and many academic successes, specializing in math, science, technology and engineering. It becomes a private school July 1, and school officials are expecting at least 200 students. The school wanted a 10-year extension of its public charter, but was offered a three-year extension by the school system. School officials then went to the state, but were also denied there.