Monday, April 21, 2014

Pushy 'IRS' agent dupes couple in Milton.

Courtesy The Milton Herald

April 13, 2014 MILTON, Ga. – A "pushy IRS agent" called a Morris Road couple and allegedly stole $2,000 from them.

The victim told police she was repeatedly called by a man claiming to be an Internal Revenue Service agent. Over the course of three days and numerous calls, he said the victim owed the IRS money and she needed to pay up immediately.

She was instructed to purchase a "Green Dot" pre-paid card from Walmart for $1,900 and paid the "agent."

This is part of a common scam, police say. Government and law enforcement agencies do not demand money over the phone.

Milton City Council April 14 meeting.

by Jonathan Copsey / The Milton Herald

Consideration of the issuance of the addition of wine package to an existing alcohol beverage license for All About Spirits Inc., located at 15840 Birmingham Highway, Suite B, Milton.

Approved 7-0

Consideration of the issuance of an alcohol beverage license for Sequoia Golf Manor LLC, doing business as the Manor Golf and Country Club, located at 15951 Manor Club Drive, Milton.

Approved 7-0

Consideration of the issuance of an alcohol beverage license for Sequoia Golf Manor LLC, doing business as the Manor Golf and Country Club, located at 15952 Manor Club Drive, Milton.

Approved 7-0

Appointment of a member to the Milton Board of Zoning Appeals for District 3/Post 2.

Approved 7-0

Approval of an inter-agency agreement between the city of Milton and the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce Inc., doing business as Progress Partners North Fulton Atlanta, to implement certain economic development-related sections of the strategic plan.

Approved 7-0

Consideration of the abandonment of all public rights of way within the Crooked Creek subdivision.

Approved 7-0

Consideration of a professional services agreement between the city of Milton and Laurel A. Florio for land conservation consulting services.

Approved 7-0

Georgia DOT: Don't put signs in rights of way.

by McKenzie Cunningham / The Milton Herald

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is cautioning the public not to place signs on rights of way.

Georgia law stipulates that GDOT is required to maintain a safe roadway for the traveling public, which includes the immediate removal of any obstruction or hazard that may pose a threat to the traveling public.

Therefore, any sign along Georgia's state routes and interstates must meet safety standards and be permitted by GDOT to be within rights of way.

For example, signs that advertise yard sales, real estate for sale or political candidates on department land adjacent to roads are not allowed and will be removed by GDOT personnel.

"In the midst of this political season, Georgia DOT would like to clarify the laws that deal with signs along state routes and interstates," said Bayne Smith, GDOT district maintenance engineer.

"As part of our routine maintenance work, the department will remove any and all signs from our right of way. Right of way is defined as the strip of land over which facilities such as highways, railroads or power lines are built and maintained. It is a wise practice to ask the property owner where the right of way line is when you get permission to install your sign on their property."

Signs that are removed from right of way by department personnel will be held for a short while and then destroyed. To prevent the loss of signs, do not place signage within the state-owned rights of way.

2014 Legislative Session: Forging a Path to Prosperity.

By: Sen. John Albers (R- Roswell)

The Georgia General Assembly conducted efficient business at the Gold Dome this year, wrapping up the 2014 Legislative Session in mid-March. With an ongoing focus of keeping Georgia on the road to prosperity, the legislature passed a number of bills that will help our state remain one of the best places in the nation to pursue a quality education, own a business and raise a family.

The Georgia General Assembly also worked hard to pass a balanced, fiscally-responsible state budget as mandated by the Georgia State Constitution. On day 39 of the 40 day session, the Georgia General Assembly approved a $20.8 billion Fiscal Year 2015 General Budget, which represents a 2.9 percent increase from last year’s $20.2 billion budget.

Included within the FY2015 General Budget are several line items that boost educational funding and ensure our teachers are given all the resources they need to educate Georgia’s students. The list below represents some of the key funding allocations for Georgia’s educational system.

· In total, $535 increase for K-12 education, including: o $101.7 million for enrollment growth and training and experience o $314 million to increase instructional days, reduce teacher furloughs and increase teacher pay · $14 million in capital funding for technology infrastructure upgrades · $1.25 million increase in technical education for instruction · $5 million to create Georgia Innovation Fund to award grants for the implementation and dissemination of innovative programs in public education funding in the Office of Student Achievement · $2.15 million increase in Technical Education in the Technical College System for instruction

I am proud to highlight the following bills that passed during the 2014 legislative session – many of which have already been signed into law by the Governor.

Senate Resolution 415: Capping the State Income Tax In order for Georgia to maintain its position as the nation’s number one place to do business, the General Assembly remains committed to reducing the tax burden on Georgia businesses and families. This resolution proposes an amendment to the state constitution that will prohibit the Georgia General Assembly from raising the state income tax; giving businesses reassurance that Georgia will remain a low-tax state. If the amendment is approved by a state referendum in November 2014, the legislature will not be able to raise the state income tax above 6 percent. Senate Resolution 415 sends a clear message to businesses looking to move from another state or expand within our borders that we take economic development and business growth seriously.

House Bill 990: Transitioning the Power to Expand Medicaid Eligibility to the Legislature

Because the legislature is the deliberative branch of our state government, we passed an important measure to ensure Georgians are heard loud and clear when major decisions, such as expanding Medicaid, are made. Since the initial roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, state officials have been faced with several tough economic decisions, including the expansion of Medicaid eligibility. Citing exorbitant costs and the lack of flexibility built into the program, Governor Deal took the path of fiscal responsibility and rejected Medicaid expansion in Georgia after realizing the cost was much more than we could afford.

With the passage of HB 990, the decision to expand Medicaid eligibility now rests in the hands of state legislators. The passage of this legislation will enable legislators to work together towards a more sustainable solution to Georgia’s Medicaid program and explore opportunities to save taxpayer money.

House Bill 658: The Elimination of the “Death Tax”

For many Georgians, the estate tax is like adding salt to an already deep wound. After the death of a loved one, families should be focused on healing rather than fulfilling a heavy tax obligation. This year, the Georgia General Assembly worked to ease this pain through the passage of HB 658, which will effectively eliminate this tax for good. As a result of this legislation, no estate taxes will be levied and no estate tax turns will be required after July 1, 2014.

House Bill 772: Drug Testing for Applicants and Recipients of Public Assistance

Entitlement programs incur a significant cost to the state each year. As it stands, these programs are currently riddled with fraudulent activity and funds are often misused at the public’s expense. Under this legislation, all electronic benefits transfer—or ebt—cards must contain a photo ID of the recipient. In addition, this bill will also prevent individuals from using public assistance to supplement personal drug habits. This legislation is a two-fold approach to increasing overall accountability by encouraging welfare recipients with drug problems to seek help and preventing the misuse of funds intended to help feed, clothe and shelter families who have fallen on hard times.

SR 736: Calls for Convention of States for a Balanced Budget

SR 736 calls for a convention of the states to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution, specifically to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress. For far too long, we’ve sat back and watched irresponsible spending at the hands of our federal government. I am proud my colleagues saw the potential of this resolution to secure our nation’s future economic prosperity and independence.

Senate Bill 98: Prohibits Taxpayer-funded Abortions

Under the ‘not-so-affordable’ care act, there are several situations where your tax dollars are potentially available to be used for abortion services. Thankfully, we passed senate bill 98. Senate Bill 98 is a measure prohibiting insurance plans offered in Georgia through the state or federal health care exchange from providing abortion coverage, except in the cases of dire medical emergencies where the life of the mother is at risk. This legislation also aligns Georgia with several neighboring states that have already passed legislation to ban the use of taxpayer funds for abortion coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

HB 697: Zell Miller Grant Scholars

The passage of HB 697 is great news for students pursuing technical careers. An educated work force is a major economic driver for our state. When Georgia created the HOPE scholarship and grant program 20 years ago, it was the first of its kind. Prior to HOPE, many of Georgia’s top students were leaving the state to pursue post-secondary education and careers elsewhere. However, a four-year liberal arts degree is not a practical option for everyone, and the passage of House Bill 697 makes a reasonably priced education a reality for students seeking degrees from an institution within the Technical College System of Georgia. The Zell Miller Grant Scholarship gives technical students a true alternative to the traditional four-year degree. By simply maintaining a cumulative 3.5 grade point average, technical students are eligible to receive full-tuition scholarship grants.

House Bill 60: Safe Carry Protection Act

During the final hours of session, the Georgia General Assembly adopted HB 60, a comprehensive weapons carry bill which expands where lawfully-abiding gun owners may carry a firearm. The bill allows places of worship to specifically opt-in or state that worshippers can carry in the sanctuary or on church grounds, grants immunity to licensed gun-owners who claim “Stand your Ground” in self-defense, protects individuals who transport locked firearms in private passenger motor vehicles and makes it unlawful to restrict possession of registered firearms in rental properties. The passage of this legislation will ensure the protection of Georgians’ second amendment rights for generations to come.

Even though the 2014 Legislative Session is now behind us, I am always happy to answer any of your questions or concerns. By law, the Governor has 40 consecutive days to either sign or veto legislation. If you are interested in learning more about a particular bill and whether it has been signed into law, please visit

# # # # Sen. John Albers serves as Chairman of the State Institutions and Property Committee. He represents the 56th Senate District which includes portions of North Fulton and Cherokee counties. He may be reached at his office at 404.463.8055 or by email at

Milton taps expert for conservation.

Milton resident Laurel A. Florio brings to Milton decades of experience as a consultant, legal counsel, land specialist and educator for a host of environmental protection organizations.

Resident brings decades of environmental law experience.

Courtesy Jonathan Copsey; The Milton Herald

April 19, 2014

MILTON, Ga. – In the latest move to try to stem the tide of explosive growth in Milton, the City Council approved an agreement April 14 securing a longtime conservation professional to help create the city's first "green print" land use plan.

Laurel A. Florio, a Milton resident, brings to the city decades of experience as a consultant, legal counsel, land specialist and educator for a host of environmental protection organizations. Among that wealth of experience was six years as an attorney and land specialist for Memphis, Tenn.'s Ducks Unlimited Inc., the world's leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation.

"At the city of Milton, we are dedicated to finding the right balance of environmental conservation and the preservation of land owners' rights in an environment, welcoming smart, measured business and residential development," said Mayor Joe Lockwood. "Laurel Florio, who we are truly blessed to have right in our backyard, is perfect to help us realize this tremendous opportunity."

Florio joins the city's growing list of conservation efforts, including: International City and County Manager Association (ICMA) consultancy on innovative strategies for green space protection from the Leadership ICMA program; a six-month moratorium on rezoning applications across multiple residential districts in the city; and growth strategies like form-based coding, transfer of development rights and community-based master planning.

Florio said she's excited to help her hometown craft its first green print land use plan, which will help Milton conserve the rural character of the city.

"I'm here because City Council and staff agree that Milton's residents deserve a town unlike any other – one that features a heart of good business, great schools and growing economic opportunity with the soul of unparalleled access to nature," she said. "This is simply too important to leave to chance."

Free GBI cyber safety workshops April 27, 29.

Courtesy City of Milton

The Milton Community Alliance for Mental Wellness, a collaborative effort of Fulton County Schools and the City of Milton, among others, is sponsoring two GBI cyber safety workshops in April at Milton schools. •Sunday, April 27: Northwestern Middle School, 2-4 p.m. (click here for directions) •Tuesday, April 29: Cambridge High School, 7-9 p.m. (click here for directions) The GBI's Georgia CyberSafety Initiative is a free parent education workshop on current trends amongst children and their use of technology. To learn more about the effort, click here.

Join us for an eye-opening presentation about our youth and the technology they have at their fingertips.

The Milton Community Alliance for Mental Wellness, founded in 2013, works to educate Milton-area students, their parents, and the community at large about the importance of mental health and the impacts of pressure, anxiety and peer influence on the city's youth. It is a collaborative effort of the Fulton County Schools, The City of Milton, The City of Milton Police Department, and a host of caring community volunteers. To learn more about the group, visit its Facebook page.

Council celebrates Arbor Day.

At its April 14 meeting, Milton’s City Council proclaimed April 25 as Arbor Day in the City of Milton. They are pictured with arborist Mark Law.

The City of Milton was recognized as a Tree City in 2011.

The Tree City USA program, sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation, provides direction, technical assistance, public attention, and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in thousands of towns and cities that more than 93 million Americans call home.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Milton: Equestrian center not on radar.

No plans for new horse facilities.

by Jonathan Copsey / The Milton Herald

MILTON, Ga. – Milton is known for its horses and riding culture. Many of the back roads in the north of the city have horse farms lining both sides of the street. However, the residents still depend upon neighboring Alpharetta's equestrian center and horse park for large events, being the largest in the region.

In part due to costs and the need for new sports fields, Alpharetta is considering abandoning the equestrian center, as their draft 2025 recreation and parks master plan shows.

Unfortunately, Milton has no plans to beef up its own horse programs or facilities in the immediate future.

"An equestrian center is not on our radar screen right now," said Jim Cregge, Milton's parks and recreation director. "We are working on other projects."

The expansion of Bell Memorial Park this year is chief among those "other projects."

Cregge said the city is working on its five-year master plan, and that horse facilities are not included.

"The plan calls for us to develop some trails for people to walk on, not necessarily horses, and more play space," he said. "We have nothing equestrian-focused in the next five years according to the master plan."

All plans are guides, he said, and the master plan could be changed if the elected officials decide it.

Milton's existing master plan details what the city currently has and what it will need in the future. However, it does not include any specific plans for horse-related activities other than horse trails. It does point out the possibility of a regional equestrian facility at Birmingham Park, which is undeveloped and already a popular spot for riders.

"If and when we do something equestrian, Birmingham Park is an option," Cregge said. Welcomes Liberty's Law.

By Tim Enloe;

Liberty's Law; the proposed ordinance to protect horses from abuse and harassment; was more than well received this past Saturday at's 50 acre facility in Cherokee County.

With a large crowd in attendance at this beautiful horse refuge run by Cheryl Flannagan, the crowd paid keen attention to not only the unchecked abuse of Liberty, but also various other victims including Misty, Bo, Rocks, and Lucky.

Many were even more shocked to find out that the City of Milton Georgia, which sports numerous pictures of horses throughout the city website as well as on both old and new city logos, has turned a blind eye to even allowing Liberty's Law to be presented before council, much less enacted or enforced.

Kathy Sullivan; an active volunteer at the facility, was truly perplexed, "I thought Milton was horse friendly. Would love to live there with horses but not when you won't even hear the problem. Government .... So sad."

To date, Liberty's Law has over 1324 signatures of support on their online petition. More plans are in place to present Liberty's Law to various groups and / or organizations throughout Georgia; from local churches to horse farms to schools.

With more and more horse farms selling out to developers and clustered controlling subdivisions becoming the new normal in Milton along with no plans to create equestrian friendly facilities, it begs the question if the time of the horse in this suburban city of Atlanta has come and gone. Remember, image without action is nothing more than a facade.

Golden Games encourage camaraderie, competition.

Courtesy Nicole Dow; Neighbor Newspapers

Hundreds of North Fulton seniors 50 and older will compete in the 20th annual Golden Games next month from May 1 to 22.

Olympic-style events and other recreation activities will be held at various senior centers, parks and community centers in Alpharetta, Roswell, Milton, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs. The opening ceremony will take place May 1 at Wills Park in Alpharetta.

“The opening day is a kick off of the games and the lighting of the torch,” said Dixie Pounds, program supervisor at the Alpharetta Adult Activity Center. “It’s like a field day.”

Opening day events will include a one-mile walk and run, a half-mile walk, a flying disc throw, a discus and shot-put throw, a horseshoe toss, ladder golf and a football throw. North Fulton mayors will also compete in a “Minute to Win It”-style challenge.

A variety of events will be held throughout May as part of the games, including tennis, bowling, a dance competition, card tournaments, cycling, rock climbing, basketball contests, badminton, pickle ball, table tennis, billiards, bocce ball, swimming, diving and more.

“This is a whole month of events for Older Americans Month,” Pounds said.“It just encourages people to get out and be active. People that are used to competing in their life, they never lose that desire to compete on whatever level they can. Really these games pretty much have something for everybody, even people on walkers or if they need to sit down.”

Kiran Fatania, program supervisor with Roswell’s recreation and parks department, said she hopes the games provide local seniors with opportunities to socialize, a chance to build camaraderie and good sportsmanship and a way to compete in a fun setting. About 350 applicants have signed up for this year’s games, she said.

Pounds said registrations will still be accepted through mid-April.

In honor of the 20th year of the games, event winners will receive special medals marking the anniversary, Fatania said. The awards ceremony will take place May 22 at the Dorothy Benson Multipurpose Complex in Sandy Springs.

“Some of these participants have been competing for 20 years", she said.

Pounds said, “We have one senior, Dorothy Benson … she’s participated all 20 years. She’s an Alpharetta resident.”

Legacy Lacrosse Cup takes over Milton April 25-26.

Courtesy City of Milton

The City of Milton is proud to help present the 7th Annual Legacy Lacrosse Cup Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26 at Milton High School.

During this popular tournament, 26 men’s and women’s elite high school teams from across the country will go head-to-head to embrace competition, develop character and honor the legacy of Milton High School lacrosse players Parker Jackson, who was tragically killed in a car accident in 2006.

Weekend tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students. To catch all the action, check the full men’s and women’s game schedule at

Jackson was passionate about friendship, competitive lacrosse and his spirituality, so parents Bo and Lauren Jackson started the tournament in 2007 to promote his personal values. The tournament aims to honor Jackson’s legacy by communicating to student athletes how their everyday decisions can lead them to positively influence others, said Parker’s mother, Lauren.

“To accomplish the level of success we have had is extraordinary,” she said.

This 25-game tournament features a high level of competition, with eight of the 16 men’s teams and eight of the 10 women’s teams playing in their respective state championships last year. The marquee game showcases NCAA Division I heavyweights Mercer University vs. Bellarmine University at 3 p.m.

Special thanks go to Adrenaline Lacrosse, which played a key role in the development of the Legacy Lacrosse Cup and has donated each of the 26 Adrenaline Legacy Award Winners a head-to-toe apparel pack. That award is given to one member of each team who embodies the attributes known so well about Jackson – camaraderie, competition and character.

To learn more about the cup, Parker Jackson or to volunteer, please visit or visit the cup’s Facebook or Twitter pages.

HVAC equipment stolen from home in Milton.

Courtesy The Milton Herald

April 06, 2014 MILTON, Ga. – Someone took several thousand dollars-worth of heating and air equipment March 24 from a home under construction.

The builders of the Cogdell Trail home told police they came into the home to find the air handler and basement furnace missing. Pipes and air ducts were torn down and missing.

Doors were left unlocked at the home.

Dozens cited at teen party in Milton.

Courtesy The Milton Herald

Police break up large party

April 06, 2014

MILTON, Ga. – A large teen party March 30 on Dorris Drive was broken up by Milton police, with 22 teenagers charged with underage drinking. Police estimate some 50 young people were at the party.

According to police, they received an anonymous call just after midnight of a large raucous party at private residence with alcohol involved.

When officers approached the suspect home, they noted empty beer cans, bottles and cases of beer within sight of windows. When police approached a basement door, they could see many partiers inside.

However when the teenagers saw police, they turned off the lights and ran out of the room. Then the homeowners came out.

Both homeowners initially claimed to know nothing of underage drinking in the home, but quickly changed that story. They said the party was supposed to be non-alcoholic, however people sneaked in the booze.

When the homeowners discovered this, they began to "control" it. They said they were being responsible by taking everyone's car keys and monitoring the alcohol consumption.

No one in the home could confirm who had supplied the alcohol.

Inside the home were dozens of teenagers ages 16 and 17. Outside police found two of the guests with a half-empty bottle of vodka.

Police summoned the parents of the 16-year-olds to take them home. The 17-year-olds were questioned and all allegedly admitted to drinking alcohol.

There were about 50 teenagers in the home at the height of the party, the homeowners said. A number left before police arrived.

The 17-year-olds were made to call their parents to pick them up and were issued citations for underage drinking. One girl and her guardian allegedly left the scene before police could issue her a citation and attempts to contact them to return failed.

According to the police report, many parents told the officers they were being "completely unreasonable" in their handling of the party. They complained about the length of time their children were detained and since the young people did not receive Breathalyzer tests there was no evidence for citations.

Milton police say they deal with parties - teenage or otherwise – routinely.

"They are handled like any other call," said police spokesman Shawn McCarty. "Officers are given discretion to take what [action] they feel is appropriate at the time."

McCarty said if teenagers are arrested at a party for underage drinking, they are issued a citation with a mandatory court appearance. It will be up to a judge to decide what punishment to hand out, if any. This can be a combination of fines, probation or community service.

Milton home on New Bull Pen Road gets ransacked.

Courtesy The Milton Herald

MILTON, Ga. – A New Bull Pen Road resident reported his home was ransacked March 27, with thousands of dollars in cash and electronics taken.

The resident returned home from an outing to find the rear door kicked in.

An Xbox 360, LG 50-inch TV, black Ipad, Zeepad tablet computer, Dell Notebook computer, saxophone, diamond ring with three oval-shaped numbers set in it, a pressure washer and $1,200 in cash were all reported missing.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Alpharetta mulls closing equestrian center.

The Wills Park Equestrian Center faces an uncertain future, as the Alpharetta 2025 Recreation and Parks Master Plan calls for it to be either moved or replaced to make way for other uses, such as fields or an indoor swimming pool.

Last regional riding facility

by Jonathan Copsey / The Milton Herald

April 06, 2014 ALPHARETTA, Ga. – The Wills Park Equestrian Center is a large, 300-stable facility that routinely hosts events throughout the year. However Alpharetta is considering tearing it down.

The question of what to do with the facility has long been on the city's mind. Alpharetta Recreation and Parks Director Mike Perry said it was originally built by Fulton County, on county land, decades ago. When Alpharetta annexed it, the facility became the city's problem.

"The in 1970s, when it was built by Fulton County, it was paid for by the whole county," Perry said. "It is no longer funded regionally."

Instead, the residents of Alpharetta pay for the upkeep of a facility Perry says it is infrequently used by its own residents, even though it is used extensively on a regional basis. There are events in the arenas 142 days of the year. However, it operates at a loss of about $225 thousand a year, costing more than twice that in upkeep from Alpharetta taxpayers.

Perry noted that many of the recreation facilities and programs operate at a loss, however they add a needed quality of life to the residents.

Milton in particular is known for its horse farms and riders who make regular use of the facility.

Alpharetta recently completed a draft of a 2025 Recreation and Parks Master Plan, detailing options and needs for the city in the next decade. Included in this plan are results of a poll of 400 residents about what they would like to see in the future. Of these results, more field space for football, soccer, lacrosse and baseball are desired. However those fields require a lot of land, land of which Alpharetta has precious little left. Another option is an indoor swimming pool.

An expensive equestrian park next to the large Wills Park would be prime real estate for more fields.

Laura Bentley, who owns and rides horses in Milton, said the loss of the park would be devastating for the horse community.

"So many people go there for local shows," she said. "I think it's really important. Most [riders] start out doing local, lower level shows. Wills Park is a great venue for that."

Without the Equestrian Center, Bentley said the next closest space is in Conyers, an hour away.

"When you have to travel with horses, it gets expensive," she said.

Perry stressed there are no plans of what to do with the Equestrian Center. More public discussion – both with residents and with the City Council – will be held in the coming years before any conclusive plan is drawn up.

Milton parents charged with murder in death of infant.

Courtesy Milton Poice Department

Milton police have charged two parents in the death of their one-year-old daughter.

Shaun Jewell, 35, and Altair Murphy-Hubbard, 30, both of Milton, were arrested by City of Milton detectives April 1 after a lengthy investigation into the death of their daughter last year.

On Oct., 22, 2013, Milton police and fire personnel responded to Jewell and Murphy-Hubbard’s Twinrose Way home after the parents reported their daughter was having trouble breathing. The young girl died later that day.

An autopsy by the Fulton County Medical Examiners’ Office later ruled the cause of death was homicide by medical neglect. Detectives launched an investigation and determined the child’s death was allegedly due to a pattern of neglect and lack of medical care from Jewell and Murphy-Hubbard.

Both suspects are in Fulton County jail without bail. Jewell is charged with felony murder and cruelty to children in the first degree. He was previously arrested by Sandy Springs and Milton police in 2012 and 2013 on charges of domestic battery and cruelty to children.

Murphy-Hubbard was charged with felony murder and cruelty to children in the first and second degrees.

We've got a busy spring planned.

As I write this, spring has finally arrived – albeit with some pollen – and I’m glad to see everything waking back up and blooming after the tough winter we’ve had.

As you can tell, we’re proud of Milton’s natural beauty, and are committed to maintaining it. The question is how to keep Milton rural and preserved while balancing our legal responsibilities to property owners who wish to develop their land for heavier use.

In addition to our in-house work examining our zoning standards and land use, we’ve also begun working with consultants from the International City/County Management Association on a comprehensive green space preservation plan. These consultants, the best and brightest in city and county management from across the United States, are working in Milton for free as part of their Leadership ICMA program.

We’ve previously used program participants’ expertise on an electronic records management plan, and the work they gave us was spectacular. I can’t wait to see what they bring back – and how we can implement some of their recommendations to keep Milton a wonderful town for everyone involved.

Speaking of creating a top-notch community, take a look at this month’s newsletter for a slate of incredible community events. We’ve got our yearly boot drive, the launch of a business connection series, adopt-a-road clean-ups, the Earth Day festival, community garage sales, drug drop-offs, autism fundraisers, cyber safety workshops, the Golden Games, HYA Day, fundraising golf tournaments, Memorial Day and summer camps.

And on the “good news” side of things, we’ve got our volunteers of the year, news on a new fire truck, spotlights on our high-achieving fire fighters, a call for senior center donations, info about participating in Crabapple Fest, and roadwork updates.

One last thing: There’s a whole bunch of great things we’re working on for summer, like a monthly food truck event in Crabapple, movies in Friendship Park, and a host of new sport, performance, art and science summer camps. And of yeah, news on our City Hall project in Crabapple and the expansion of Bell Memorial Park, which starts Memorial Day.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that Milton is a community on the move, and we’re just getting started. Looking at all the progress we’ve made, it’s nothing compared to what’s on tap for the next few years. It’s truly an exciting time to be part of the City of Milton.

As always, I’d love to hear from you – contact me sometime and let me know what you think of everything we’re involved in, and what you’d like to see going forward. It’s only through those conversations that Milton can become the place our residents deserve.

Sincerely, Mayor Joe Lockwood

Milton names volunteers of the year.

Jack and Francia Lindon with Mayor Pro Tem Joe Longoria, left.

At the second annual volunteer appreciation luncheon Saturday, March 29 the City of Milton honored its volunteers of the year.

Volunteers of the Year: Jack and Francia Lindon The husband and wife team of Jack and Francia Lindon are founding members of Milton Grows Green (MGG), starting their volunteer engagement in 2007. In the seven years since, Francia has been instrumental in the city earning the Atlanta Regional Commission's CREATE Award and helping Milton become a National Wildlife Federation Community Habitat. She also serves as communications chairwoman and secretary for MGG, creating logos, signage, brochures and branding.

Jack serves as chairman of MGG, organizing household paint and chemical collection events, providing logistics for the annual Earth Day Festival, launching the Adopt A Stream Program, and planning the yearly Rivers Alive clean-ups in the fall.

Parks and Recreation Volunteer of the Year: David Winsness David Winsness is the founder of EagleStix Lacrosse Club, now the second largest recreation program in the City of Milton with 225 girls. EagleStix, founded in 2011, takes athletes as young as four to the high school level in both recreation and advanced levels of play.

The program serves as a feeder for Milton and Cambridge's programs, and has been instrumental in the Milton Lady Eagles string of eight state lacrosse championships in nine years.

Special Honoree: Peyton Jamison Longtime Milton volunteer Peyton Jamison currently serves on Planning Commission, Better Together and is the president of the non-profit Crabapple Community Association (CCA).

In addition to his regular volunteer duties with the city, Jamison was instrumental in launching the revamped Crabapple Fest in 2013 due to the city's partnership with CCA. In this role he spent hours planning and executing the largest festival in Milton's modern history, and is already hard at work this year to bring the fall festival to fruition in October.

Board and Committee Members of the Year One member of each of the city's volunteer boards or committees was nominated by the staff liaison as representative of the year. These honorees included:

Better Together: Teri Harrison Planning Commission: Paul Moore Design Review Board: Marty Littleton Board of Zoning Appeals: Gary Willis Historic Preservation Commission: Travis Allen Disability Awareness Committee: Tass Welch To see photos from the luncheon, click here.

Joyful Soles camp counselors needed.

Have a teenager and/or college student looking for a fun, rewarding and exciting opportunity this summer?

The City of Milton Parks and Recreation Department is hiring seasonal summer camp counselor positions to help run and staff Camp Joyful Soles, Milton's special needs day camp for children ages 13 to 21.

Interested applicants need to have graduated high school by June 1, 2014.

Full information on job qualifications, pay and more is available at the City of Milton's online Career Center.

Applications are due April 25, 2014.

For more information on the job, contact Human Resources Director Sam Trager at 678-242-2516 or

MDA boot drive April 4 - June 13.

Courtesy Milton Fire Department

The City of Milton Fire Department will kick off its annual Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) "Fill the Boot" drive Friday, April 4 at various locations across the city - so keep an eye out for firefighters.

The drive will occur every other Friday until June 13.

Last year the department raised more than $66,000 over six days of "Fill the Boot" drives, setting a new department fundraising record for the MDA.

To date the City of Milton Fire Department has raised nearly $353,000 for MDA, which uses the money to aid local children and adults affected by neuromuscular diseases by providing wheelchairs, leg braces, clinic visits, support groups and a chance for children to attend Camp Walk-N-Roll.

Learn cake decorating from pros April 15.

Courtesy City of Milton

From left, Better Together's Barbara Peck, Nothing Bundt Cakes owner Gloria Mattei, Better Together's Freeda Bush and Milton Community Builder Wayne Boston plan the event.

Ever wanted to learn how experts create those beautiful, perfect cakes day after day? Then make sure you're at Milton's Nothing Bundt Cakes Tuesday, April 15 when Better Together, the city's citizen volunteer committee, launches its series of business connection events. This free event will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. at Nothing Bundt Cakes' Milton location, 5230 Windward Parkway (click here for directions). The entire community is invited, said Wayne Boston, community builder for the City of Milton. At this first event, Nothing Bundt Cakes' decorating experts will give tutorials throughout the afternoon in various decorating and gifting options. Samples will be available for tasting. Additionally, the first 20 attendees will receive a free bundtlet each month for a year after an initial purchase. There will be drawings every hour for a special prize, and everyone who attends will receive a coupon for a free bundtlet (a $3.99 value). Finally, the Easter bunny will be on site for photos and entertainment. Businesses in Milton are encouraged to contact Boston at 678-242-2512 or if they would be willing to host an event in order to introduce their particular product or service to our residents. Better Together will then work with the business to plan an event that will be educational, productive and enjoyable to all.

Better Together: April.

In addition to its two monthly meetings April 7 and 21, Better Together is also participating in the Adopt-a-Road project sponsored by Milton Grows Green. The next road clean-up is scheduled for Saturday, April 26 at 9 a.m.

If you would like more information on Better Together or any of its activities, please contact Community Builder Wayne Boston at 678-242-2512 or

Earth Day Festival April 19.

Get ready to celebrate our planet and the many fun things we can do to keep it healthy, because on Saturday, April 19, the City of Milton and Milton Grows Green are proud to the present the 2014 Milton Earth Day Festival.

Now in its fifth year, this Earth Day Festival is shaping up to be the best ever! Held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in beautiful Crabapple at Friendship Community Park (12785 Birmingham Highway, Milton - click here for directions), this year's festival features food, family friendly entertainment, environmental vendors, and much more. Parking is available at Crabapple First Baptist Church and Crabapple Crossing Elementary.

Thanks to returning presenting sponsor Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Milton Grows Green is able to bring a wide variety of activities educational exhibits and environmentally friendly products and services to the community, including:

Food vendors

Boy Scout Troop 3000 (hot dogs and pizza) Dog ON it King of Pops Nothing Bundt Cakes Sip Shane's Rib Shack Free Children's Activities

Egg Hunt (11:30 a.m.) Rock Wall Human Hamster Balls Monkey Bridge Kids crafts Barnyard Animals Animal shows from the Chattahoochee Nature Center and Party Animals Appearance from the Bag Monster Business vendors

More than 45 booths from area businesses featuring environmental activities and unique products and services

Music and entertainment from

North Fulton School of Music The 2014 Milton Earth Day Festival is presented by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta with support from Comfort Zone, Creative Solar, Home Depot, Optech, North Fulton School of Music, Roswell Pediatrics Center, Scottsdale Farms, Rhino Shield, Brightway Insurance, Waste Management, Verizon Wireless and RGR Motorsports.

If you would like to volunteer to make this event a success, please contact Environmental Sustainability Coordinator Cindy Eade at or 678-242-2509. For more information on the festival, contact Angela Thompson, special events and projects manager, at 678-242-2530 or

Milton golf holds garage sale April 25.

Courtesy City of Milton

The Milton High School boys' golf team will sponsor a massive garage sale Friday, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in White Columns.

The garage sale will be held at 310 White Columns Court in Milton. Furniture, books, second hand clothing, household items, golf clubs and bags will all be available.

All proceeds will benefit the Milton Boys Golf Team.

For more information, contact Jane Stutelberg at 630-803-2042.

MPD holds drug take back April 26 at Target.

Courtesy Milton Police Department

The City of Milton Police Department will take part in the eighth installment of the DEA's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Target on Ga. 9 in Milton.

The Target is located at 13057 Ga. 9 (click here for directions). All forms of prescription drugs will be taken, no matter how old. Please note: No liquids or syringes.

During the last DEA-led National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Nov. 2, agencies collected 647,211 pounds (324 tons) of expired and unwanted medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,683 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

For more information, contact Community Outreach Officer Ara Baronian at 678-242-2527 or The DEA also maintains a Web page where you can find other drop sites and much more. Find it by clicking here.

Denim & Diamonds Benefit April 26.

Courtesy City of Milton

Children's Charities will hold a Denim & Diamonds Benefit Saturday, April 26 at Shannondale Farms to benefit the early autism detection unit for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Forsyth.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Shannondale Farms is located at 2395 Birmingham Road (click here for directions).

There will be a Harry's Farmers Market Chef Competition, the Vixen Vodka lounge, music and dancing with Paris Luna, a silent auction, and cocktails and dinner. Plus, there will be an opportunity to win a 1 carat diamond.

Tickets are $100 person, and seating is available. There are 10-person tables available.

For more information, visit or contact Children's Charities at 404-217-4643 or

Free GBI cyber safety workshops April 27, 29.

The Milton Community Alliance for Mental Wellness, a collaborative effort of Fulton County Schools and the City of Milton, among others, is sponsoring two GBI cyber safety workshops in April at Milton schools. * Sunday, April 27: Northwestern Middle School, 2-4 p.m. * Tuesday, April 29: Cambridge High School, 7-9 p.m.

The GBI's Georgia CyberSafety Initiative is a free parent education workshop on current trends amongst children and their use of technology.

Join us for an eye-opening presentation about our youth and the technology they have at their fingertips.

The Milton Community Alliance for Mental Wellness, founded in 2013, works to educate Milton-area students, their parents, and the community at large about the importance of mental health and the impacts of pressure, anxiety and peer influence on the city's youth. It is a collaborative effort of the Fulton County Schools, The City of Milton, The City of Milton Police Department, and a host of caring community volunteers. To learn more about the group, visit its Facebook page.

Golden Games begin May 1.

Are you an active senior looking for a fun and rewarding way to enjoy the beautiful Georgia spring? Then the 20th Annual North Fulton Golden Games are for you.

Courtesy City of Milton

This year's games, scheduled throughout the month of May, are open to area adults 50 and older. Registration is just $15 for as many events as you would like and includes a T-shirt and opening day picnic lunch.

To sign up, download the registration packet here. Packets are also available at North Fulton senior centers.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. May 1 in Alpharetta's beautiful Wills Park. There North Fulton Mayors will compete in a "Minute to Win It" style challenge to prove who reigns supreme.

Track and field events, including a one-mile walk and run, half-mile walk, flying disc throw, discus and shot-put throw, horseshoe toss, ladder golf and football throw, begin after the opening ceremony.

Throughout the month, participants can look forward to the 5th annual Wii video game bowling tournament, a dance competition, bunco and poker contests, diving events, a tennis tournament, rounds of corn hole and a softball skill challenge.

Please note, there is an extra $10 registration cost for bowling and $5 for bocce.

Additionally, golfers may sign up as a team or individuals for the always popular tournament held Tuesday, May 13 at the Alpharetta Athletic Club's West Course on Dinsmore Road in Milton. Cost is $45 per golfer.

With over 350 participants in 2013, registration fills up quickly! Register by April 12 to be eligible for a $50 gift card drawing.

The games will wrap up with a luncheon and awards ceremony Thursday, May 22 at 10 a.m. at the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Complex, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive in Sandy Springs.

There will be a final health fair Wednesday, May 28 at the Roswell Adult Recreation Center, 830 Grimes Bridge Road in Roswell.

For more information on the Golden Games, contact the Roswell Ramblers at 770-641-3950 or visit the group's Web site at

HYA Day to be held May 3.

Hopewell Youth Association (HYA) will hold HYA Day Saturday, May 3 to kick off its spring tournament for players ages 5 to 15 at Bell Memorial Park, 15245 Bell Park Road (click here for directions).

As in previous years there will be inflatables, a dunk tank, basket raffles and other fun activities.

To learn more about HYA, click here.

Cambridge Band Golf Classic May 12.

Courtesy City of Milton

The Cambridge High School hand will hold a golf tournament fundraiser Monday, May 12 to help send 100 students to London, England for the 2014 London New Year's Day Parade and Festival.

Students will travel to London on Dec. 27 to perform for an international audience the 29th annual London New Year's Day Parade on Jan. 1, 2015. Approximately one million people are expected to line the streets of London to view the parade, and the total viewership on television and Internet is expected to exceed 300 million.

The Cambridge Band Golf Classic will be held at the Manor Golf and Country Club, 15951 Manor Club Drive (click here for directions) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. with a shotgun start at 10 a.m.

Individual participation fees begin at $250, but there are a variety of sponsorship levels available for individuals and businesses ranging from $500 (Ad Sponsor) to the $25,000 (Title Sponsor).

A complete listing of sponsorship levels and registration information is available here. or at

City seeks veterans' information for Memorial Day.

The City of Milton will hold its seventh annual Memorial Day ceremony May 26 and in preparation is adding veterans into the city's registry of service men and women.

Through years of hard work and the generosity of residents, Milton has amassed a list of nearly 600 living and fallen veterans, almost 325 of whom are memorialized with markers placed on Deerfield Parkway the week of the holiday. Any deceased veteran of a Milton family is qualified to be honored with a marker. Information on living veterans will be used for recognition purposes. Living veterans DO NOT receive markers.

Each year residents ask how their family members may be added to the registry. The city does not have access to a government database revealing who served in the military. Instead, we need you to tell us.

If you, a friend or someone in your family is or was a veteran, please click here or go to To access the form, click on the "Find a Form or Permit" tab at the top of the page and choose "Register military veterans' information" from the "Online Forms" section at the top of the page.

Once you give the City of Milton the information, it will be placed in a secure database. The names will then be sent to City Councilman Bill Lusk, who for five years has personally built, painted, engraved and placed the markers at his own expense.

Memorial Day Ceremony May 26.

Summer camp registration now open.

Fire Department orders new truck.

Courtesy Milton Fire Department

Milton's truck will be similar to the one above, deployed in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The City of Milton Fire Department recently signed a contract for a new 100-foot ladder truck to be built by the Sutphen Corporation.

Firefighters spent three days in Dublin, Ohio in March fine-tuning the custom fire truck - inspecting each component and its fabrication and construction process. The team was able to see, touch, climb on, sit in and kick the tires of similar trucks in the construction process. Finally, they met with engineers to inspect the truck's plans - which proved extremely valuable as some changes were discovered.

The fully operational truck is expected to be delivered by October.

Fire Department news and notes.

Courtesy Milton Fire Department

Several of Milton's firefighters have reached important educational milestones recently. In pursuing advanced education in the fire service, they increase Milton's ability to provide efficient, effective public safety services.

These include:

Battalion Chief Danny Elliott and Capt. Andrew Kennedy completed the extensive training needed to become nationally certified as Fire Investigators. Milton investigates all fires, and their training increases the department's ability to provide full-service community risk reduction services through identifying and, hopefully, eliminating causes of fire. Battalion Chief Bill Bourn attended the Maryland Fire Institute's Staff and Command program. While there Bourn polished his management skills by learning from some of the best minds in the fire service.

Senior Center needs donations.

The Milton Senior Center, located at Community of Christ Church, 3315 Francis Road (click here for directions), provides seniors the opportunity to socialize, learn and maintain special relationships through exercise, art classes, table games, bingo, educational programs and much more.

Senior Services North Fulton, which runs the center, is asking the public to help stock the facility. In order to maintain quality services to local seniors (ages 60 and up), the public is being asked to donate:

Crock pot Small microwave Knitting needles Crocheting needles Yarn Paint brushes (sizes 0 and 1) Three pairs of three pound weights Store bought cookies Games like Rummikub Bingo prizes that would be useful in the home like Paper towels Toilet paper Laundry detergent Candy bars Snacks

Senior Services North Fulton is a private, non-profit 501 (C) (3) founded in 1991 to provide programs and services for the older adults who live in North Fulton.

For more information on the Senior Center and its programs, contact Melinda Ross at 470-554-0758 or

Crabapple Fest now taking vendor applications.

Courtesy City of Milton

Crabapple Fest, Milton's long-running and popular art and antique festival, is now accepting vendor applications for the Oct. 4 event.

If you are interested in taking part in this time-honored tradition, click here to visit the newly constructed vendor portal built by festival partner Crabapple Community Association (CCA).

Organizers welcome 19th century American Country furniture, primitive antiques, shabby chic items and unique pieces of art in all mediums - oils, photography, jewelry, textiles, pottery and quilts. Spaces are limited, so apply early.

Once again the festival features kids and entertainment activities across Crabapple and Broadwell roads thanks to a partnership between CCA and the City of Milton.

Crabapple Fest will be held Saturday, Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Antique vendors, local juried artists and merchants from all over the Southeast will be on hand, in addition to loads of children's rides, games, a full day of entertainment and great local food.

Last year's event had more than 15,000 attendees, and was the biggest festival in Milton's modern history.

Vendor fees are tax deductible as the Crabapple Community Association is a chartered, non-profit organization. Proceeds benefit local community programs, scholarships and non-profit charities.

Citizens Government Academy.

The City of Milton Communications Department has undertaken a monthly, video-on-demand Citizens Government Academy hosted through the city's YouTube page.

Each month, Communications Manager Jason Wright will discuss a new topic in the two-minute videos.

Soon, installments will cover virtually every aspect of the city's municipal operations, including sections reserved for hot topics that arise throughout the project.

To visit the City of Milton's YouTube page, click here.

Roadwork continues in Milton.

Roadwork projects continue throughout the city in January.


Please note: All dates on roadwork projects are estimates and are based on weather conditions. Any road closures will be sporadic and announced well in advance.

Ga. 140 at New Providence Road

In July, CMES, Inc. began intersection improvements at Ga. 140 (Arnold Mill Road) and New Providence Road. Plans include redirecting the intersection approach, adding turn lanes and installing a traffic light.

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) awarded the construction contract to CMES, Inc. in the amount of $1,161,626.92. The job is expected to last one year.

Ga. 372 at Providence Road/New Providence Road

In August, Bartow Paving Company, Inc. began intersection improvements at Ga. 372 (Birmingham Highway) and Providence and New Providence Roads. Plans include redirecting the intersection approach and installing a roundabout.

GDOT awarded the construction contract to Bartow Paving Company, Inc. in the amount of $2,576,297.45. The job is expected to last 18 months.

Hopewell Road at Francis and Cogburn roads

In August, Baldwin Paving Company, Inc. also began intersection improvements at Hopewell Road at Cogburn and Francis roads. Plans include installing a roundabout.

The City of Milton awarded the construction contract to Baldwin Paving Company, Inc. in the amount of $786,606. The job is expected to last one year.

For more information on these projects, visit or contact Angie Kapijimpanga, citizen responder for the City of Milton, at 678-242-2562 or

Monthly new business report

This list is compiled from business license records kept by the city's Finance 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.

Mayor Joe Lockwood, right center, Councilman Rick Mohrig, right, and Economic Development Manager William O'Connor, left center, help open Volcano Asian Bistro on Windward Parkway with the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

Holstein Homes, LLC: 1455 Louis Road

Livyy, LLC: 12600 Deerfield Parkway

Georgia Dental Professionals, PC: 12988 Ga. 9 North

Kababish: 14155 Ga. 9 North

Axnology, LLC: 2315 Northwood Drive

Unwired Corporation: 13077 Highway 9 North

Datascan Field Services, LLC: 12540 Broadwell Road

Brighter Vision Care, LLC: 13055 Ga. 9 North

Bethany Bend Fitness, LLC: 13800 Ga. 9 North

Outerwall, Inc.: 5200 Windward Parkway

NJS Enterprises, Inc.: 300 Abbey Court

Universal Technical Services, Inc.: 910 Sablegreen Way

The Pedowitz Group: 810 Mayfield Road

NFL - New Found Life Youth Football League: 1160 Beam Drive

Posh Spa, LLC: 12990 Ga. 9 North

Farmers Insurance Exchange: 13010 Morris Road Building 1 Suite 200

Southern Educational Resources, LLC: 735 Stratforde Drive

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