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Promethean center of Sweeney/Nicholas debate


Cobb County Board of Education Post 6 incumbent Scott Sweeney, left, discusses his platform with potential voters during a Forum collaboratively hosted by the Sope Creek Elementary School Council, PTA and Foundation. Cynthia Rozzo, Founder & Publisher of The EAST COBBER moderated the event. Photos courtesy of Julia Curran Photography

Cobb School Board member Scott Sweeney and challenger Kevin Nicholas squared off during a forum Monday, debating such issues as Common Core, Sweeney’s work for an education vendor and the new leader of the school district.

The Sope Creek Elementary School PTA sponsored the event, which attracted a crowd of about 80.

The evening’s moderator, East Cobber magazine publisher Cynthia Rozzo, asked the candidates about their ties to education vendors.

Sweeney has come under criticism since the MDJ reported earlier this month he is a consultant for Promethean Ltd., the maker of digital whiteboards used in some Cobb classrooms.

Sweeney answered Rozzo’s question by saying he was transparent about working for the education vendor.

“First of all, in the paper you may have heard that I am actually doing some consulting,” Sweeney said. “My consulting role is fully disclosed to members of the Board of Education. I shared with them, No. 1, I sent a letter to the board chair, the vice chair, the superintendent, our attorney, as well as the company I work for, said I will not vote on any matters related to this company as far as the Cobb County School District is concerned, nor will I do any work with the company. Secondly, I think it’s important to know that I do not do sales for this organization. I am not paid on a commission or an incentive of any kind. I work on strategic planning, and I work on the development of consulting services for that organization. And I’m not an employee. I actually am a consultant for the organization.”

While Sweeney said he informed the school board about his job with the education vendor, he did not disclose it on his campaign finance report or on an MDJ candidate questionnaire.

It wasn’t until Sweeney was spotted earlier this month in New Orleans at the National School Boards Association’s annual conference, a trip Cobb school board members were initially unaware of, that the MDJ asked Sweeney about his relationship with Promethean.

Sweeney refuses to disclose his contract with Promethean, claiming it is confidential.

His consulting work with a firm that does business with the school district has raised eyebrows. Board Chairwoman Kathleen Angelucci called it a conflict of interest, while William Perry, executive director of the watchdog group Common Cause Georgia, suggested the reason Promethean hired Sweeney was because of his school board position.

Former board member calls for Sweeney’s resignation

Retired educator Teresa Plenge, a Republican who served on the Cobb school board from 1997 to 2008, has called for Sweeney’s resignation.

“The fact that he became a so-called consultant after he was already a board member is, in terms of ethics, something that you just don’t do,” Plenge said. “He’s hiding it from the public. I think that action alone shows that he knows he’s guilty. And his stance now, to me, is just appalling — absolutely appalling — that he thinks any of this is acceptable behavior for an elected official is just appalling.”

Nicholas, a Republican who is challenging Sweeney in the May 20 primary, answered Rozzo’s question by saying conflicts of interest by board members must be avoided.

“And I do believe that we have to be very open about our dealings, in particular this example, where we have a company that is very interested in business with the Cobb County schools,” Nicholas said. “So regardless what letters have been sent, I think we need to be open with what my opponent does for them, and in return, I would be open to that as well in revealing my documents, in particular my tax returns, because I don’t have a contract in that regard.”

Nicholas said the problem doesn’t end with Sweeney consulting for one of the district’s vendors. It extends to the Cobb Schools Foundation.

Sweeney has said his initial contact with Promethean was through Jim Marshall, Promethean’s president and CEO.

Marshall is a board member of the Cobb Schools Foundation, a fundraising group that donates money to Cobb schools through fundraisers and has an employee on the district’s payroll. Sheri Brante is that employee, the executive director of the foundation. Her husband, Morten Brante, is senior vice president of services for Promethean.

Speaking of Promethean, Nicholas said, “That same company has representatives on the Cobb Foundation. I think we need to follow up with what Gwinnett does, for instance. They prohibit vendors from sitting on their foundation. And we also need to be very careful about the conflicts of interest that gives a business an unfair advantage to our school system.”

Thoughts on the new superintendent

Rozzo asked Nicholas if he would vote to hire deputy superintendent Chris Ragsdale, who is expected to be named interim superintendent Thursday, as the Cobb School District’s permanent superintendent.

Nicholas said he applauded Ragsdale for being selected as the finalist.

“I think Chris is a fine individual,” Nicholas said. “I think he has extensive experience in Cobb County schools, and I think he’s vested here, unlike our last superintendent, who my opponent has supported, who I don’t think was vested here, and I think we didn’t get his full attention.”

Born in Marietta’s Kennestone Hospital and reared in Paulding County, where Ragsdale continues to live with his family, Nicholas believes the district will have Ragsdale’s full attention.

“Chris is a technologist,” Nicholas said. “I think he can understand what we need to do regarding cost as far as implementing technology. At the same time, Chris knows how to surround himself with the proper people, so I think Chris has proven himself in his last position. I think we need to give him that opportunity in this position, and if he does a good job, I support him, and I support him as interim superintendent currently.”

Sweeney was next to answer the question, saying Ragsdale knows he has Sweeney’s support.

“Before we even started talking with people, I actually got together with Chris and I expressed some things to him very clearly,” Sweeney said. “I said, ‘Listen, one of the things I think you’re going to have a challenge with is No. 1, you don’t have your master’s degree yet. That’s going to be a challenge because he’s going to have to obtain his master’s degree simultaneously while he is going to be the interim school superintendent.”

Ragsdale is enrolled in Shorter University’s executive MBA program.

“Having a master’s degree is a requirement,” Sweeney said. “We actually had to go to the state to obtain a waiver to allow Mr. Ragsdale to be the interim school superintendent, and, by the way, we haven’t voted on that yet, but when we do vote, he’s going to have my support.”

Sweeney’s public support of Ragsdale directly contradicts what played out behind the scenes, according to a source with knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified.

That source says Sweeney bitterly fought the board’s selection of Ragsdale as interim superintendent.

State Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-west Cobb), chairman of the Senate Education Committee, is a former Cobb school board member who’s hired several superintendents during his time on the board.

Tippins, who believes Ragsdale is the right person for the job, said it’s not unique to seek such a waiver and doesn’t anticipate any problems in granting one for Ragsdale. Tippins questioned the relevance of the state requirement given that the rule is the master’s degree could be in any specific field, whether it could meaningfully be used in the job or not.

“Integrity, leadership ability, experience and strong people skills are more important to me than the fact that they attended school for another 18 months and got an advanced degree,” Tippins said.

Angelucci calls Sweeney’s executive session alleged leaks “unfortunate”

Angelucci shared her thoughts about Sweeney’s Ragsdale comments Tuesday.

“It is unfortunate that a fellow board member would disclose executive session deliberations about any interim superintendent candidate and the Interim Superintendent Search Process,” Angelucci said in an email shared with Vice Chairman Randy Scamihorn.

“It would seem difficult to expect anyone in the future to feel comfortable interviewing with the BOE if candidate discussions or deliberations are disclosed.”

Angelucci said the question of whether a board member would support the interim superintendent for a permanent position should be deferred since the next board will be making that decision.

“It is our hope that Mr. Sweeney may have misspoken and did not actually meet with a candidate in advance of the process to discuss their candidacy or what they perceived to be their challenges; those are whole board discussions and part of the deliberation process which should have been only with the board, not with an individual candidate,” Angelucci wrote in her email.

Angelucci said she and Scamihorn agreed that a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses should not be discussed in public “in an effort to embarrass or weaken him or her for any reason. The candidates’ pros and cons should only be discussed in executive session as a professional courtesy to all. The process should remain fair and consistent. It is our intent to request a meeting with Mr. Sweeney to discuss his statements. It is up to the Board as to any action taken.”

Common Core controversy

A Saturday New York Times’ article explored how the Common Core national standards have sparked an “establishment-versus-grass-roots” divide in the Republican Party.

Conservatives have denounced the national standards as “Obamacore,” believing it will lead to a federal takeover of schools and loss of local control, the article reports.

Yet criticism of Common Core isn’t limited to the political right. The nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association, has called the rollout of the Common Core standards “completely botched.”

The Cobb school board has been front and center in the controversy, voting last year to reject a $7.5 million purchase of math textbooks affiliated with the Common Core standards and instead opting for digital resources.

Rozzo asked Sweeney and Nicholas about this vote. Sweeney said he was one of the board members who opposed rejecting the textbooks.

Sweeney said the digital resources that were purchased were working to a degree.

“But I talked to a lot of principals, and I asked them, ‘What’s working and what’s not working?’” he said. “Well, we have lots of students that don’t have online access at home. We have lots of students that have multiple children that are fighting for resources, not the least of which is trying to balance that with extracurricular activities.”

Sweeney emphasized the importance of giving teachers and students the resources they need.

“And what’s also happened is foundations are now purchasing these materials for schools, and the foundations are angry because those dollars were actually intended to go to perhaps reduced classroom sizes. So that’s my feeling on it. I really think that we need to put these resources into teachers’ hands,” Sweeney said.

Nicholas said he agreed providing teachers and students with the resources they need is important. But they need to be the right resources, he said.

Nicholas related how his son’s geometry teacher told him not to use the textbook because it doesn’t teach geometry the way it should be taught.

“Same thing in my sixth-grader’s class,” Nicholas said. “They use online resources and other resources. $7.5 million is a lot of money for textbooks if there is a potential change in curriculum. We need to be very careful though that we don’t put our teachers on a roller coaster of changing curriculums all the time.”

During this year’s legislation session, state Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) authored a bill that passed out of the Senate but was killed in the House and provided a pathway for Georgia to withdraw from the Common Core standards.

“I applaud Sen. Ligon’s progress in the Legislature to look at Common Core and try to move to a direction where it’s more palatable and maybe a little bit better for our kids,” Nicholas said. “So we need to look very closely coming up this year, and the next year, as far as what we’re doing with Common Core. Ultimately, we have to decide what’s best for our kids at the teacher level. We need to get their input.”

Among those in attendance was retired Dodgen Middle School principal Jim Snell, who has endorsed Sweeney.

Sitting next to Snell were retired Deputy Superintendent Alice Stouder, who interviewed for the position of interim superintendent but was not selected, and the district’s Chief Academic Officer Amy Krause. Stouder said she is also endorsing Sweeney for the job.

“I think it went very well,” Emily Yewell Volin, chair of the Sope Creek School Council and co-president of the Sope Creek Elementary PTA, said after the forum. “It was a good turnout. I was pleased to see the questions from the public that were sent to Cynthia were really addressed.”

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Written by by Jon Gillooly, April 23, 2014)

Make way for May! Community Events April 25 – May 1.


See the Walton High School Drama Spring Revue April 24 – 26.

April showers are giving way to May flowers and all the fun, festive events that the season brings! It’s another wonderful week all around East Cobb. For even more to do, check out our online calendar HERE.

Every Tuesday and Saturday, Feeding Time at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Join a naturalist for an in-depth look at one of their resident animals as they are being fed. 4pm. Admission: $10 adults/ $7 seniors/ $6 children ages 3-12 and free for 2 and under and members. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. More info: 770-992-2055.

Trail Hikes, Every Saturday and Sunday. A docent guides you on a journey through the Chattahoochee Nature Center trails using biofacts and activities to spark you “natural” curiosity. 1pm. Admission: $10 adults/ $7 seniors/ $6 children ages 3-12 and free for 2 and under and members.. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. More info: 770-992-2055.

FREE Chess Matches every Saturday. Hone your chess skills with games every Saturday starting at 3pm, Cool Beans Coffee Roasters (31 Mill St. Marietta, GA 30060) in Marietta Square. There no cost to play, email or visit for more information.

Every Wednesday, Wednesday Walks in the garden at Barrington Hall. Share in the garden’s history and learn some gardening tips for your own yard. 9:30-10:30am. Free. Barrington Hall, 535 Barrington Drive, Roswell. More info/reservations: 770-640-3855.


Every Saturday
Marietta Square Farmers Market. featuring products that are grown and produced in Georgia, including produce, plants, honey, breads, cheese and other items. 9am-12pm. Rain or shine. Now open all year. Glover Park-Marietta Square. More info: 770-499-9393 or

Free Arts and Crafts. at Lakeshore Learning Materials. 11am-3pm. Ages 3 and up. Lakeshore Learning Store, 4287 Roswell Road, Marietta. More info: 770-578-3100 or


April 25
The Wiz presented by Christian Family Theatre is a musical adaptation of the classic Wizard of Oz story, based on the book by L. Frank Baum. Thursday-Friday: 7pm. Saturday: 2pm & 7pm. Tickets: $10. The Art Place, 3330 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta. More info: 678-824-2381 or\

Walton High School Drama Spring Revue April 24 – 26th

Good Mews Spring Flea Market, April 25-27. Find great bargains on a variety of items. All proceeds benefit Good Mews Animal Foundation, a local non-profit organization which operates a volunteer-based no-kill shelter for homeless, abused, and abandoned cats. Fridays and Saturdays: 9am-5pm. Sundays: 12-5pm. Piedmont Commons (Publix Shopping Center), 1050 E. Piedmont Road, Marietta/East Cobb 30062. More info: 770-499-2287 or

Garden Fair and Plant Sale. At the Garden Fair and Plant Sale, Master Gardener volunteers sell specialty plants from their private gardens as a fundraising effort to support the community educational gardens throughout Cobb County. This free event also features the sale of plants, garden art, hardscapes, birdhouses, and rain barrels from local artisans and nurseries. April 25: 10am-4pm. April 26: 9am-5pm. Jim R Miller Park Equestrian Center, 2245 Callaway Road SW, Marietta. More info:

Glover Concert Series: The 911 Band/R&B. Tables, tarps and plastic ground coverings are prohibited inside of Glover Park and will be removed. They may be brought and set up in the street on North and East Park Square after 6pm. . 8pm. Free. More info: 770-794-5601 or

Cobb County Republican Women’s Club celebrates 50 years of “Opening the Door to Good Government.” The First Lady of Georgia, Sandra Deal, will be the Guest of Honor for the celebration on April 25,2014 at the Atlanta/Marietta Hilton Conference Center on Powder Springs Street in Marietta.The event will begin at 11:30 am and admission is FREE.

Family Fun Fridays Kickoff @ Legacy Golf Links. Introducing Legacy Golf Links’ Family Fun Fridays! Join us for our Family Fun Friday Kickoff Event. Games, Skill Challenges, Golf, Food, Fun, Prizes & more. 4:30-8pm. Legacy Golf Links, 1825 Windy Hill Road, Smyrna. More info: 770-434-6331, or www.


April 26
Ivy Lane celebrates 1 year!
Fashion shows, promotions, contests and sales throughout the store all day. 3605 Sandy Plains Road, 770-578-0506
Grand opening celebration at School of Rock, 1-5pm, 2515 East Piedmont Road. 770-579-0400. Live music, tours, prizes, refreshments and more. All skill levels: guitar, bass, keys, drums, vocals

Listen To Your Mother, at The Strand. A live performance featuring local writers reading their essays about the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of motherhood, 7pm at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre. Tickets are available at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre’s calendar, choose April 2014, and clicking the LTYM link. Visit for more information.

IAAP Leadership Development Conference 8:30am-1pm at Hyatt House, 3595 Cumberland Blvd SE, Atlanta, 30339. The conference will feature two parts: Managing Up: Working to Achieve the Best Results for You, Your Supervisor, and Your Organization (presented by Maureen O’Leary) and Managing Multiple Properties: A Guide to Time Management (presented by Sandra Wright). The cost to attend is: $40 for Cobb County members, $50 other IAAP members and $55 non-IAAP members. Brunch will be provided. 2.5 recertification points for this event have been approved. Register via PayPal online at or mail your check made out to IAAP Cobb County Chapter to: Timi Ewbank 24 Old Mill Court, Acworth, GA 30101. The event will also feature a silent auction. For more information email questions to

Enjoy the Sweet Suite 16 Party Open House at Langley Family Chiropractic to celebrate their new Chiropractic office, 10am-2pm. Celebrate with No Charge Chiropractic Adjustments for all regular patients and complimentary New Patient Exams for all new patients. Enjoy food, fun, family and more! Langley Family Chiropractic is located in Parkaire Commons, 4994 Lower Roswell Road, Suite 16, Marietta, 30068. Call 770-973-0150 for more information

Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) 5K Fundraiser. Wheeler High School’s HOSA students will be hosting their 2nd 5K, with funds going to Darius Goes West, an organization that focuses on muscular dystrophy patients. Wheeler High School, 375 Holt Rd NE, Marietta/East Cobb. More info:

4th Annual Heritage Sandy Springs Beer Fest. Sandy Springs’ only beer festival will feature over 100 types of craft, domestic and import beers to sample, as well as great local food from area restaurants and food trucks, and a variety of live music by regional acts on the Rhythm & Brews Stage. 4-8pm. $30/person in advance or $40/person at the door. Heritage Green, 6110 Bluestone Road, Sandy Springs. More info: 404-851-9111 or


6th Annual Women’s Brunch. Johnnie Gabriel, owner of Gabriel’s Desserts will be the featured speaker. Special Guest Taylor Voyles, Miss Cobb County 2013. Wear your favorite “bling” to celebrate the bright side of helping single moms to shine! Unique Jewelry Vendors will be selling “bling” 9:30am – 12:30pm. All net proceeds benefit 10 Women of Hope’s mission to help single moms experiencing an essential financial emergency. Tickets: $20. Tickets available at the door or 10 Women of Hope, P. O. Box 235, Marietta, GA 30006. 11am-12 pm. Zion Baptist Church, 165 Lemon Street, Marietta. More info:
WellStar Foundation’s 17th Annual Grand Gala. This year’s theme is the “Roaring Twenties”. A swanky celebration of live music, fine food, and a speakeasy auction for a great cause. Attire for the evening is cocktail. 6:30-11pm. Tickets: $250/person. Located at the Cobb Galleria, Two Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. More info/tickets: 470-956-6673 or
Hightower Trail Husky 5K Hustle. Featuring a course with rolling hills through East Cobb, starting and ending at Hightower Trail Middle School. Pre-registration through April 16 and on race day beginning at 7:15am. Race: 8am. Students: $12; Adults (19+) and Phantom Runners: $15; Race day: $20. No pets. Hightower Trail Middle School, 3905 Post Oak Tritt Road, Marietta/East Cobb. More info: 770-578-7225 or

April 27
Hear the Future! The Sixth Annual Michael O’Neal Singers Invitational High School Music Festival. 3pm. $10. Roswell United Methodist Church, 814 Mimosa Boulevard, Roswell. More info: 770-594-7974 or

Jewish Genealogical Society of Georgia presents YomHaShoah, or Holocaust Memorial Day, is marked on the Hebrew date of Nissan 27th. On this day, we remember the lives of the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, and the experiences of those who survive its horrors are remembered. 2pm. Free. Hosted by Congregation of Etz Chaim, 1190 Indian Hills Parkway, Marietta. More info/RSVP:


April 28
23rd Annual Charity Golf Tournament hosted by East Cobb Lions Club. Proceeds to benefit several local schools and vision and diabetes charities. 8am: Registration, continental breakfast and range balls. 9am: Shotgun start. Four-person team, Ft. Lauderdale format. Lunch and awards follow golf. $125/player before March 31; $135/player after March 31. Indian Hills Country Club, 4001 Clubland Drive, Marietta. More info/to register: 770-955-6914 or

Aging by Design Summit 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday, April 28, at the Cobb Galleria Centre. This free seminar will share important information on issues that impact older adults. Space is limited and the registration deadline is Monday, April 21.


April 29
The Atlanta Opera presents Barber of Seville. Directed by José Maria Condemi, the Barber of Seville is filled with masterful disguises and hilarious antics; romance unfurls right under the nose of an aghast Dr. Bartolo, intent on marrying Rosina himself. Rossini’s delightful comedy has elicited peals of laughter from opera lovers for generations! April 26: 7:30pm, April 29: 8pm, May 2: 7:30pm, May 4: 8pm. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. More info: 770-916-2800 or


April 30
Rotary of East Cobb, Indian Hills Country Club 7:00AM Every Wednesday Guest Speaker: April 30, 2014: Rev Brian Sullivan and Khedeejah Farooq: A Look at Kids 4 Peace.

“Meet the Candidates” from 7-9pm at Parc at Piedmont, Hood Road and Upper Roswell Road, across the street from the McClesky-East Cobb YMCA. The event will be outside.

East Cobb Civic Association April Meeting featuring Mike Plant, vice president of operations for the Atlanta Braves. Plant will give some general information about the Braves operation and touch on the anticipated move to Cobb County. The program starts at 7pm and is open to the community. The members-only, general membership meeting will follow. Both the program and the membership meeting will be held in the community meeting room of the East Cobb Government Center, 4400 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta.

PAWSitive Supporters is partnering with Southern Journey Transports to provide a chance for Cobb County animals to find a new fur-ever home in Massachusetts. Each transport costs approx. $2,000 and the goal is to do one transport a month. Join PAWSitive Supporters at the MARIETTA WINE SHOP on the Square 5-7 p.m. Plan a date night out and have dinner afterwards at some of the great restaurants the Square has to offer.



May 1
East Cobb New Horizons Band. Enjoy a Brown Bag Concert on the Marietta Square featuring East Cobb New Horizons Band at noon in Glover Park on Marietta Square. The concert is free; bring your brown bag lunch and hear a variety of old favorites performed by this premier concert band. For more info about the band, please see Want to hear more? Catch East Cobb New Horizons Band at Woodstock’s Memorial Day Ceremony on May 27.

Stalking/Teen Dating presented by the Neighborhood Safety Commission Community Awareness Committee. Panel: Holly Tuchman, YWCA; Cobb County Police Lieutenant, Everett Cebula; Kim McCoy, Moderator. 7pm. Cobb County Government, Building A, 100 Cherokee Street, Commissioners Hearing Room, 2nd Floor, Marietta 30060. More info: 770-565-2343 or


Do you know of an event happening around East Cobb? Email the details to Include “Event Listing” in the subject line. Stay on top of all the local fun and festivities when you “Like” us on Facebook at





The celebration continues at Ivy Lane! 

Ivy Lane is celebrating their one year anniversary this week with daily savings and a “Grand Happy Birthday Celebration” this Saturday, April 26. The celebration will include fashion shows throughout the day and promotions, contests and sales throughout the store .

Visit Ivy Lane at 3605 Sandy Plains Road, Suite 185, in the Publix Shopping Center. You can also shop Ivy Lane online at For more information call (770) 578-0506 or find them on Facebook at

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Safety Beats Speed for Children’s Bicycle Rodeo & Races in Roswell

Historic Roswell Kiwanis will conduct its 13th annual Kids’ Bicycle Safety Rodeo on Sunday, April 27, 2014 while the Roswell Criterium Bicycle races are taking place nearby.  The Kids’ Bicycle Safety Rodeo will be co-sponsored by the Key Clubs of Centennial High School and Roswell High School and the Builders Clubs of Crabapple Middle School and Elkins Pointe Middle School.

The rodeo is free and open to all youngsters aged 6 to 12.  Registration begins at 2 pm.  The Rodeo runs from 3 to 5 pm. It will be held at the Roswell United Methodist Church parking lot on the corner of Mimosa and Magnolia.

Historic Roswell Kiwanis believes that bicycle safety is one of the most important skills that can be taught in order to keep children who ride safe on the roads.

The Historic Roswell Kiwanis Kids’ Bicycle Safety Rodeo is an organized “class” where children learn about cycling safety and bicycle handling skills. After the “class” portion, the children hit an obstacle course to navigate in order to “graduate” from the class and be eligible to race in the Kids’ Races to be held on the same course as the Pro race!

All bicycles will be inspected and “tuned-up” by the mechanics of Roswell Bicycles, and all helmets will be checked. Roswell Bicycles is sponsoring the Roswell Criterium, and supporting the Bike Rodeo and the Mayor’s Ride.

All participants must provide his or her own bicycle and helmet.


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FREE HIV Testing at Cobb & Douglas Public Health

On Wednesday, April 30, Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) will provide free HIV testing & counseling to highlight STD Awareness Month.

Testing will be offered at the CDPH Marietta Public Health Center from 10am-2pm at The Marietta Public Health Center is located at
1650 County Services Parkway.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimatesthat 1,148,200 persons aged 13 years and older are living with HIV infection, including 207,600 (18.1%) who are unaware of their infection. Over the past decade, the number of people living with HIV has  increased, while thevannual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable. Still, the pace of new infections continues at far too high a level—particularly among certain groups. CDPH is committed to ensuring the community understands that they are not powerless in this fight, by offering education and assistance.

“Events such as this one provide residents with critical information and resources to help fight this epidemic”, said Marie Paul-David, District STD Program Manager, Cobb & Douglas Public Health. 

This free event is open to everyone. All testing results are confidential and are available in 20 minutes.

For more information about this event, call 770-514-2815.


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School of Rock opens in East Cobb


Adam Lavinsky

School of Rock announced a grand opening of its newest location from 1 to 5 p.m. April 26 at 2515 East Piedmont Road in Marietta. The event will feature a guitar-smashing ceremony, live performances, trial lessons, guided tours, refreshments and giveaways.

School of Rock is a concept that gets kids and adults rocking out to the classics and on-stage performing with their peers. Music programs are designed to create a supportive environment where music students of all skill levels are comfortable yet challenged at every turn. In addition to individual private music instruction on guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards and drums, students also learn how to jam with their peers in a weekly rehearsal session.

School of Rock East Cobb is owned and operated by Adam Lavinsky, who discovered his love for music when he started playing his first drum set at the age of 9.

The 28-year-old entrepreneur graduated from Berklee College of Music, where he studied Music Business and was the original drummer for the band, Passion Pit. Upon graduation, he returned to Atlanta where he played drums for both Lexi Street and Waller. He now is the drummer for the Asheville, N.C.-based band Ryan Sheffield and the HighHills.

Through School of Rock’s Guest Performer Series, students have the opportunity to learn from and jam with some of music’s most iconic names, including Jon Anderson, lead vocalist from the legendary rock band Yes; Earl Slick, who is David Bowie’s guitarist; seminal post-punk bass player Mike Watt; and Dave Stewart, collaborator of the groundbreaking, pop-rock duo The Eurythmics.

School of Rock East Cobb will be open Tuesdays through Fridays from 3 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal, April 20, 2014)

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Alzheimer’s/Caregiver Support Group at Aloha to Aging

Alzheimer’s/Caregiver Support Group: Monday, May 5th at 10:30 a.m. Open to family members who are assisting an aging loved one both inside and outside of the home. Special guest Kim Franklin from the Alz. Association will discuss your loved ones safety at home, wondering and getting lost,etc. Free respite care is provided for your loved one while we meet, but must call in advance for care to 678-439-1177 or email Meeting held at Aloha To Aging, Inc. 4608 Lower Roswell Rd. Marietta, GA 30068.


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Braves EVP to speak on move to Cobb County

On Thursday, April 24, Mike Plant, executive vice president of business operations for the Atlanta Braves will be the featured speaker at the Georgia Tea Party Meeting. Plant was named the Braves’ Executive Vice President of Business Operations in November of 2003. His responsibilities include overseeing stadium operations, security, finance, personnel, special events and the operations of the minor league clubs. He is currently the Braves Project Leader of the new $672M stadium and mixed use development in Cobb County.

Since joining the Braves, Plant has implemented over $50M of improvements at Turner Field including the installation of the largest high-definition display in the world, and the upscale SunTrust Club. He also oversaw enhancements to Turner Field concessions, parking and traffic patterns. Plant also led the successful relocation of two Braves minor league teams to new stadiums in Pearl, Mississippi and Gwinnett County, Georgia.

Plant joined the Braves after having served as Executive Vice President of Turner Sports since February of 2002. In that position, he was in charge of the day-to-day operations of the division, a $500-million acquisition, promotion and production company that broadcast approximately 1,200 hours of sports programming on various Turner networks.

Before becoming Executive Vice President of Turner Sports, Plant was President of The Goodwill Games and Vice President of Events for Turner Sports. He was responsible for the overall direction and management of The Goodwill Games, Ted Turner’s multi-sport international Olympic style event.

Plant was a member of the 1980 U.S Olympic Speedskating team in Lake Placid, NY, and a six-time member of the U.S. World  Championship Speedskating teams. Since 1980, he has served on numerous committees for the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), the U.S. International Speedskating Association, and USA Cycling.

Plant served on the Atlanta Committee for the 1996 Olympic Games (ACOG) Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees for the Salt Lake City Olympic Bid Committee for the 2002 Winter Games. Plant served an eight-year term on the USOC’s Board of Directors and  Executive Committee (1984-1992) and as Chairman of the Athlete Performance Group (1992-1996), and worked on a number of other USOC Committees.

The meetinfg will be held at The House of Lu Restaurant, just north of The Strand Theater on Marietta Square, starting at 7pm.


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Good Mews Animal Foundation Spring Flea Market starts this weekend

Good Mews

Good Mews Animal Foundation will be holding its annual Spring Flea Market starting Friday, April 25 and continuing weekends until Sunday, May 25. Hours on opening day, Saturdays, and Friday May 10th are 9am-5pm; hours on Sundays are Noon-5pm. New merchandise will be on display each weekend. The Flea Market will be held at Sandy Plains Exchange Shopping Center, 1862 Sandy Plains Road at Scufflegrit Road in Marietta, behind Quick Trip -the same Publix shopping center where the Good Mews Holiday Décor Market was held.

Good Mews also needs your help collecting items to make the flea market a success. Donated items will be accepted at the storefront on Saturdays from 10 am-2pm and Sundays from 12-3pm through Saturday, May 10. Check the website ( for all the latest Spring Flea Market information, including what items are being accepted. All donated items are tax deductible with receipts provided and 100% of the proceeds benefit the cats and kittens of Good Mews.

To help with planning, please notify Kelly ( of your planned donation drop-off time. Items must be in good condition and working order. Not being accepted: Tools & Automotive Items, Large Exercise Equipment, Mattresses/Box Springs, Drop Side Cribs, Used Baby Car Seats, Fax Machines, Printers, Large Appliances, Computers, Keyboards, Overhead Light Fixtures, Ceiling Fans, Clothing (Adult/Children), or Holiday/Christmas Items.

The Spring Flea Market benefits Good Mews Animal Foundation, a local non-profit organization, which operates a volunteer-based, no-kill shelter for homeless, abused and abandoned cats. Located at 736 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, GA, the shelter provides a cagefree environment for its residents, offering them comfort and security while assertive adoption programs find them happy, loving homes. Good Mews has a strong commitment to the practice of spaying and neutering as the most important step in reducing the pet overpopulation problem. Good Mews also promotes public  awareness regarding the value of pets, animal welfare and quality human-animal companionship through educational and outreach programs.

To join this growing organization, or to find out more about what you can do to help, call 770-499-CATS (2287) or visit


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Spring Cleaning Sought for Our Local Cemeteries


Helga Hong

We pass by them on a regular basis causing us to stop and adjust our perspective, they are often the setting for a late night campfire story, and history buffs spend hours in these places of long-forgotten beauty and heritage – the older cemeteries located in Cobb County.

Due to vast growth and development, many of the old cemeteries and family burial grounds in Cobb County have been lost and the few that remain are in need of pre-spring care such as brush removal, weeding, trash collection and leaf raking. Want to help preserve this rich part of the history of Cobb County? Gather friends, families, scout organizations or groups to support the efforts of the Cobb County Cemetery Preservation Commission. This all-volunteer commission comprised of Helga Hong, Mike Jones and Elizabeth Parker provides guidelines for the identification, preservation, protection, and maintenance of Cobb County cemeteries, graveyards, and burial grounds; all of which are non-renewable cultural resources.

Several cemeteries in East Cobb are available as part of the Adopt-A-Cemetery program offered as service opportunities for individual or group consideration. Currently, the Noonday Baptist Extension Cemetery (located on White Circle), the Mount Beulah Cemetery (located near the intersection of Shallowford Road and Gordy Parkway), the Davis #1 Family Cemetery (located on Davis Road) and the Antioch Cemetery (located on Roswell Road, near the intersection of Roswell Road and Old Canton Road) are all in need of adoption.

It’s easy to participate in this program – organizations/individuals simply need to complete an application found on the CCCPC’s website ( or contact Helga Hong at 770-993-
2970 and then perform general clean-up once a month November through March and twice a month April through October for one year.

In return for the adoption of a cemetery, the Cobb Country Cemetery Preservation Commission will provide preliminary procedures for cleaning non-perpetual cemeteries, coordinate removal of litter bags and brush and provide signage after the first clean-up. Additionally, one of the commission members will be on-site for the first clean-up. Together we can keep these records of our roots beautiful!


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