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Stayed informed on SunTrust Park project


SunTrust Park and the adjacent mixed use development continues to progress as we work toward the official opening in 2017. The mixed use component will include 600 residential units, office towers, multiple common gathering places, a hotel and a live entertainment center. Additionally, more than $1 billion dollars of transportation improvements that will positively impact game day travel are underway. The County is already benefitting from the impact of this major investment in our community. During the last 15 months, two new Class A office towers have been announced and we saw an 11 percent increase in hotel motel tax revenue. And this is just the beginning.

Estimates from a private fiscal benefits study indicate that the Braves relocation to Cobb County will generate $212 million in earnings while the ballpark is built and $61 million in earnings for every year the ballpark is in operations. Recurring revenues from operating the ballpark that will impact the local economy will result in approximately $4 million per year to the local government in tax collections. It is anticipated that the mixed use development component will raise an additional $6 million per year in property taxes of which $3 million will go to the Board of Education.

For more information about the progress of SunTrust park and mixed use development click here.


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Prom Season 2015: Shorter Dresses, Fancier Parties, Same Safety Concerns


Lassiter students ready for prom in 2012


It’s that season again! But Prom Night 2015 does not look the same as it did when you attended your  prom in 19??! While it is still a big social event, the dress is no longer long, the suit has replaced the tuxedo, and the perfect car is now a party van! But for parents, one thing has not changed: concerns for our children’s safety.

We all want our teens to have a memorable prom night. It is important to realize, however, that many promgoers may be tempted to disregard the rules when it comes to using and driving under the  influence of drugs and/or alcohol and engaging in unsafe activities. While prom night can be viewed as a rite of passage, this one night often serves as a test of years of prep talks, an investment you’ve made teaching your teen to use good, sound judgment. By simply talking to your teen ahead of prom time, you can ensure your child has a fun, safe, and memorable night!

Your teen may ask for a later curfew. If you view this as an acceptable request, follow it up with a talk on
safety. It is okay for you to ask about the need to stay out later. Have your teen present to you the  detailed plans on what will occur during the extra time out and where they will be. All pre- and post-prom activities should be adult chaperoned, and restaurants must be no-alcohol served establishments. Emphasize to your teen to never leave their possessions, food, or beverages unattended.

Your teen may ask to attend the prom without a date. This is a very popular and accepted way to go to
prom now, and many prom goers prefer to have fun in groups. Ask your teen to give you a list of names and contact numbers for the members of the group, and the friends’ parents. Make contact with these parents to review the agenda and timeline.

Your teen may ask to rent a limousine or party van. While this may seem like a great idea because the
authorized driver will be an adult, do your homework and check out the driving company. Find out about their policy on alcohol in the vehicle and if they encourage the use of seatbelts. On prom night, talk to the driver about your expectations for an alcohol- and drug-free ride. Most importantly, be specific with the driver about not making any stops before or after the prom. Parents know it is illegal to serve alcoholic beverages to children who are guests in their home, so make sure all drivers know your alcohol-free policy, too.

Reassure your teen that your concerns stem from an understanding of prom night pressures and stressors. Make sure you are available for discussion on any topics, and reinforce to your teen that your primary concern is their health and safety, motivated by love. Always make it known that you will pick them up, regardless of the time, place, or circumstances.

In summary, you can prepare your teens for prom night by following four simple guidelines:

  • Keep all communications open and limit your own prejudices.
  • Plan the night’s activities together, and be willing to rework the plan as needed.
  • Set firm guidelines and positive expectations regarding behavior.
  • Both parties must be willing to cooperate and make concessions as needed.

2015 High School Proms
March 7
March 14
March 21
March 21
April 18
May 2

Written by East Cobb resident Victoria Ellis, Youth Services Chair, East Cobb County Council of PTAs. Ellis lives in the Spring Wood neighborhood with her husband of 27 years; they have 7 children and 7 grandchildren. She holds a Master of Education and is currently pursuing her doctorate.


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Spring forward this weekend and check smoke alarms


While residents are adjusting clocks this weekend for Daylight Savings Time, they are also encouraged to swap out smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries for fresh ones. According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. For more NFPA smoke alarm safety tips, click here.

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Don’t miss BalletFest Atlanta March 7-8

Calling all ballet enthusiasts. BalletFest Atlanta will be held March 7-8 with performances Saturday at 5pm and 8pm and a Sunday matinee at 2pm. Tickets are $18/adults,$13/students and children. Master classes offered on Saturday and Sunday for $22/class.

BalletFest held at Southern Polytechnic State University, Joe Mack Wilson Student Center Theatre, 1100 South Marietta Parkway, Marietta.

For more information call 770-516-7229 or visit


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Andretti Indoor Karting Groundbreaking is March 5

AIK Front 01b (2)


Andretti Indoor Karting and Games, the premier karting and entertainment destination, is becoming an East Cobb neighbor. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Thursday, March 5 from noon-1:30pm, at its second Atlanta location, 1255 Roswell Rd., Marietta, a half mile east of the Big Chicken.

Speakers will include NASCAR-winning driver John Andretti, as well as Eddie Hamann, managing member. Attendees and guests will be privy to a sneak peek of the layout and attractions of the Marietta facility, as well as have an opportunity to sample food items from the Andretti Grill.

Andretti Indoor Karting & Games officials performed extensive research to choose the right market to expand the Andretti brand. “The City of Marietta’s focus on economic and community development was a key factor in selecting this particular location,” said Randy Schneider, managing member.

Beth C. Sessoms, Economic Development manager, Department of Development Services, City of Marietta, said: “The investment by Andretti Indoor Karting and Games into the Roswell Street corridor further advances the commitment of city leaders to revitalizing this important commercial district in Marietta. The city’s streetscape project on Roswell Street has provided a canvas for future businesses to establish its own imprint in support of the redevelopment efforts.  Andretti Indoor Karting and Games will bring additional vibrancy and a destination of choice for both citizens and visitors!  We welcome them to Marietta and look forward to its opening later this summer.”

The new 100,000+ sq./ft. entertainment and corporate team building center will feature Sodi RTX electric karts, capable of reaching speeds up to 60 MPH; two Andretti designed multi-level tracks, boutique bowling and laser tag. The arcade area will offer more than 120 video games complete with a redemption center filled with great prizes for the entire family. A challenging ropes course, XD 7D Motion Theater and CXC racing simulators featuring iRacing will add to the overall “Andretti” experience.

The facility will also house a full bar/ restaurant, the Andretti Grill, serving guests dishes carefully prepared by an executive chef. In addition to the full service restaurant, the facility will offer a unique domed Sky Bar overlooking the tracks, which will allow guests to follow the action while enjoying their favorite drinks. With over 10,000 sq ft of event space and in-house catering, the location will be perfect for events ranging from birthday parties to corporate events.

“Since opening the first Andretti entertainment facility in 1999, our primary focus has always been to offer our valued guests the latest state-of-the-art attractions, the highest level of customer service and a clean and safe environment,” said John Andretti. “The Andretti family looks forward to bringing our brand of entertainment to Marietta.”

The Andretti Indoor Karting & Games Marietta facility is scheduled to open summer 2015.


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You’re in Good Hands with Atlanta Hand Specialist


Michael Mangonon, D.O., an Atlanta Hand Specialist surgeon


Our hands are precious and the amazing things we can do with them every day is something we cannot  take for granted. If you have any pain, numbness, tingling or any lesion/cyst/mass in your hands or wrists, it is time to have them checked by the physicians at Atlanta Hand Specialist. The practice has six area locations, including one in East Cobb on Roswell Road.

Viralkumar Patel, M.D., a board-certified general surgeon and hand surgeon, started the practice five years ago with a focus on providing the highest quality of care for patients with diagnoses of hand  and upper extremity conditions. With six convenient locations, patients are able to schedule appointments with more ease and flexibility, including same-day appointments. Surgeries are performed by four highly rated, specialized surgeons: Drs. Viralkumar Patel, S. Benjamin Watson, Jose Baez, and Michael Mangonon.

Atlanta Hand Specialist can treat a number of hand and wrist ailments and injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome, ganglion cysts, fractures, arthritis, trigger finger and tennis elbow.

Dr. Mangonon, one of the physicians at the East Cobb location, specializes in minimally invasive hand surgery, including endoscopic carpal tunnel release. Patients speak highly of their experience with Dr. Mangonon and the other physicians and staff. According to Dr. Mangonon “Our goal is to facilitate a rapid recovery to a normal productive lifestyle for our patients, and using minimally invasive techniques in hand surgery helps us to accomplish this goal”.

The staff prides itself on treating each patient with the utmost in care and compassion. The professional staff at Atlanta Hand Specialist is dedicated to making all patient visits convenient and pleasant, while making every possible effort for a full recovery. Having radiology on-site allows the physicians to diagnose promptly and eliminates any delays in preparing treatment plans.

Each physician spends time educating his patients about their medical condition. “Listening to each patient’s concerns and helping them return faster to a pain free and normal, productive lifestyle is what I strive to achieve every day,” says Dr. Patel.

“I am quite pleased with Dr. Watson and his team and the quality of service they provided. They are very dedicated, professional and caring. They took care of everything. Dr. Watson is very nice and gentle. He encouraged me, during the entire process. I have already recommended Atlanta Hand Specialist to my friends. They are the best,” says Ida E. one of the patients treated by an Atlanta Hand Specialist physician.

Atlanta Hand Specialist has offices in East Cobb, Marietta, Canton, Smyrna and Douglasville. The East Cobb office is located at 3775 Roswell Road, Suite 250, Marietta, 30062. To book an appointment or to learn more about hand ailments, visit their website at or call 770-333-7888.

(P A I D  A D V E R T I S E M E N T)


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Shop the Mt. Bethel Kid’s Consignment Sale this Weekend

Mt Bethel UMC

The Mt. Bethel Spring/Summer Consignment and Baked Goods Sale is March 6 – 7, 2015. Want to make a difference in local and global missions? You can by participating in this year’s Spring/Summer Children’s Consignment Sale.

Consignor Registration opened Monday, January 19 at 9am. Visit to register. All consignors are asked to consider donating all unsold items. These items go directly to families in and around Cobb, neighboring states and overseas.

Volunteer Registration opened Monday, January 19 at 9am. Visit to register and be one of the first to shop just by volunteering.

Get the best deals around on toys, books, bikes, children’s furniture, sporting goods, spring and summer clothing, shoes and gear for babies, kids, juniors and expecting mothers. Don’t forget about the Boutique Section for upscale brands, custom-made and smocked clothing. All proceeds go to support local and global missions to benefit families and children of all ages. Credit cards accepted and express lanes available. As always, there will be a bake sale featuring delicious homemade baked goods.

The sale begins on Thursday, March 5th, for the Volunteer and New Mom Preview. The sale opens to the public on Friday, March 6th, 9am – 7pm* and Saturday, March 7th, 9am-noon. All items 30% off on Saturday. Bake Sale will be held from Thursday, March 5th at 4pm to Saturday March 7th at noon.

*No children or strollers allowed on the sales floor on Friday until noon. A loving nursery for all ages is available on site from 8:30am to 12pm ($4 per child per hour, $8 per hour family max – cash or checks preferred). Babies in slings/front or back packs allowed anytime. Please direct questions regarding the nursery to

Mt. Bethel UMC is located at 4385 Lower Roswell Road in East Cobb.


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*It’s Where in the World Wednesday!* Play to WIN an I Heart East Cobb T-shirt!


Where in the world (well, East Cobb) was this photo taken?



Submit your guess as a comment below or on our FACEBOOK PAGE. Be the first person with the correct answer and win an I HEART EAST COBB t-shirt! Good luck!



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East Cobb seniors Dine-a-Round at Marlow’s Tavern

Marlow's Tavern

Dine-a-Round: Marlow’s Tavern
March 11 | 11am
Separate checks; Registration required. Everyone meets at the restaurant, 1311 Johnson Ferry Road  Suite 208 Merchant’s Walk, Marietta 30068.


All Cobb residents age 55+ are invited to participate in activities at various senior centers throughout Cobb. This activity is scheduled at the East Cobb Senior Center located at 3332 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta 30066. Call the East Cobb Senior Center at 770-509-4900 for reservations and/or more details.

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Don’t You Just Love Cobb County?

I love Cobb County. We all have a lot of reasons to love Cobb County!

That was the essence of my State of Cobb County address last month (which can be viewed on TV23:
Video On Demand: Special Presentation) at the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. That’s because in Cobb, we
have every right to feel very good about a number of accomplishments, from our rare, Triple-A rating (now going on 18 consecutive years), to our strong school system. Everything our 4,500 county employees do, every day, is done to provide the best services possible to our citizens and visitors. They do what they do so you get your money’s worth from the taxes you pay – still among the lowest in metro Atlanta, by the way – and so you can, frankly, brag to others about where you live!

Here’s what you, as a Cobb County resident or business owner, have to brag about:

• a citizenry invested in the county’s future
• excellent quality of life
• low cost of living and/or doing business
• low taxes
• strong employment
• effective public safety
• excellent educational opportunities
• ongoing improvements in transportation
• local commitment to parks and recreation
• a county with 18 years of Triple-A ratings from all three credit-rating agencies
• a water system also with a triple, Triple-A rating
• a fiscally conservative government with a healthy budget surplus
• favorable and competitive business conditions
• steady local leadership
• a county with strong relationships with its cities.

That’s a pretty impressive list, don’t you think?

These are on the wish lists for most anyone searching for a place to live or a place to do business. It’s normal; people want to a local government that’s working on their behalf. They want a government that empowers them – through its own efficiency and responsiveness – to accomplish anything they set their mind to.

Cobb County does that. Our employees do a phenomenal job executing beyond expectations and  delivering more for less. Their accomplishments are many, but the rewards are ours.

I love that.

If you love it too, then please tweet #iLoveCobb.

(Reprinted from Commissioner Tim Lee’s e-newsletter 1/19/2015)


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