Bodybar Pilates will be opening in East Cobb (3460 Sandy Plains Road, Suite 120)on November 8.
It’s in the new Sandy Plains Marketplace shopping center, and is the second Bodybar location in Georgia.
Grand opening events will take place starting Nov. 1 and include the following:
Founding Member Classes – Nov. 1 and Nov. 2
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – Nov. 2 at 11 a.m.
BODYBAR 101 – Nov. 3 – Nov. 6
Open Bar Event – Nov. 5
Studio owner Joe Stockman’s local business background includes sales and business consulting, and he’s been involved with the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Cobb, the North Cobb Rotary Club, the Kennesaw Business Association and the Northwest Cobb Family YMCA Advisory Board.
He says he had never been exposed to Pilates before, “but once I started to learn more about the brand, its values and the approach it takes to business management, I was sold. As a Cobb County local, I know that there isn’t another fitness concept like it, and I’m so looking forward to creating a community of people who love and support each other in East Cobb.”
The Bodybar Pilates classes run 40-50 minutes, providing a full-body workout that, according to concept literature, “is high-intensity, low-impact and perfect for increasing flexibility, muscle strength, posture and boosting overall health.”
Former professional basketball player Julius Erving is scheduled to be the featured speaker at The Salvation Army Marietta Corps’ Red Kettle kick-off on Nov. 6 at Marietta Corps beginning at 11 a.m.
Internationally recognized as “Dr. J,” Erving was a dominant basketball player of his era having scored more than 30K points in his 16-year professional career with the American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association.
“Money raised through these kettles in Cobb County provides much needed funding for The Salvation Army’s programs and services in our area,” said Jose Valentin, co-commander of the Marietta Corps that serves Cobb and Douglas counties.
The Red Kettle kick-off, which will be held at 202 Waterman St. in Marietta, is free and open to the public. Following the one-hour event, tours of the facility are available.
Following the kick-off, the red kettles will be available in front of Cobb businesses from Nov. 8 through Dec. 24. Donations will also be accepted online at salvationarmyatlanta.org/Marietta.
In addition, checks can be mailed to The Salvation Army Marietta, 202 Waterman St., Marietta, GA, 30060.
For more information, please contact David Nutt, event co-chair, at [email protected] or 678-409-5229.
For the first time in the 2021-22 school year, fewer than 100 active COVID-19 cases are being reported in the Cobb County School District.
The district’s weekly case notification report shows 86 cases currently, but 13 of them are at Mountain View Elementary School in East Cobb.
That’s the only school in the 112-campus district that’s in double figures this week, as cases continue a steady drop since the start of the school year.
Last week, that figure was at 136, under 200 for the first time since the first week of classes in early August.
But a surge in COVID-19 cases across the South ramped up those figures dramatically later into late August, surpassing 1,000 active cases at one point and prompting the entire 5th grade at East Side Elementary School in East Cobb to learn remotely for nearly two weeks.
This week, most schools are reporting no cases at all, including the following in East Cobb:
The Georgia Department of Public Health keeps a 7-day moving average of COVID-19 figures, and for Cobb County that number is dropping toward that threshold, at 118 cases per 100,000 according to date of onset.
Under the leadership of Sheriff Craig Owens, the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office will become the first sheriff’s office in the state to provide its detainees around-the-clock access to behavioral and mental health services.
Beginning Nov. 15, the Adult Detention Center will have a full-time psychiatrist on staff and be able to quickly assess, diagnose, and treat patients with mental health issues. The staff will also include psych registered nurses and licensed practical nurses.
“Many of the men and women in our custody would likely never have entered the criminal justice system if someone ensured they had access to quality mental health services at various stages of their lives,” said Sheriff Craig Owens. “From intake to discharge, we are committed to getting our detainees the help they need so they never have to walk back through our doors again.”
The new mental health program will utilize the American Psychiatric Association’s assessment and treatment plan formulation, leading to patient-specific support. The Sheriff’s Office and the healthcare team will place emphasis on suicide prevention and substance abuse support.
“Wellpath supports the Sheriff’s vision to treat our patients with the dignity and compassion they deserve by enhancing the mental health services being provided, said Zela Guirola, Group Vice President of Partnership Development. “We are committed to providing 24/7 mental health coverage, enhanced staffing, intensive programming, and discharge planning focused on finding resources to support inmates upon discharge back into the community. These soft handoffs to community resources will support the continuation of care resulting in better served communities.”
The Sheriff’s Office will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony when the program launches to celebrate the launch of this momentous shift in prioritizing detainee care.
The mother of four children in the Walton High School cluster who pushed for the Cobb County School District to drop its mask mandate during the 2020-21 school year has declared her intent to run for the Cobb Board of Education.
Amy Henry, who moved with her family to East Cobb from DeKalb County in 2019, filed her declaration with the Cobb Board of Elections and Registration on Tuesday.
It says she is running as a Republican in Post 6, which includes most of the Walton and Wheeler clusters and part of the Campbell cluster.
That seat is currently held by first-term Democrat Charisse Davis, who has not announced whether she’s seeking re-election.
“They need to have a normal childhood,” Henry told the school board in March. “We’re teaching them that they’re dirty. We’re creating a fearful environment that for these kids cannot be normal.”
That was right before other Cobb school parents filed a lawsuit trying to overturn the mask mandate (Henry wasn’t one of them). The suit was dropped when Ragsdale said in May that masks would be optional for 2021-22.
When contacted by East Cobb News, Henry declined to comment on why she’s running and to state her priorities, saying she wanted to wait until she makes a formal announcement at the Cobb Republican Party breakfast on Nov. 6.
She’s also involved in the revived East Cobb Cityhood effort, and has listed as her campaign chair Cindy Cooperman, who handles publicity for the current Cityhood committee.
Post 6 has traditionally been in Republican hands. In 2018, Davis, who lives in the Campbell cluster, edged two-term GOP board member Scott Sweeney, who is now the chairman of the state board of education (and also is part of the Cityhood group).
That seat is one of three up for grabs in 2022 elections, with the lines for those three posts expected to change.
Members of the Cobb legislative delegation will redraw Cobb Board of Education post boundaries after the first of the year, following Congressional and legislative reapportionment.
In Post 4 (Sprayberry and Kell clusters), three-term Republican incumbent David Chastain has said he is seeking re-election but hasn’t formally announced; the only announced Democrat is Kennesaw State University student Austin Heller (previous ECN story here).
Republicans hold a 4-3 majority on the school board. In 2020, three of the current GOP members won re-election to maintain that edge.
Davis and Howard have challenged their GOP colleagues on racial and equity initiatives and have questioned the Cobb school district’s COVID-19 protocols, often leading to contentious disputes at board meetings.
In 2019, the Republican majority passed a policy change to bar board members from making comments during public meetings, with Davis and Howard objecting, calling it censorship.
In late 2020, after the elections, the GOP members approved a policy change that allowed board members to add agenda items to public meetings only if a board majority approved.
At the October board meeting, and in a party-line vote, the Republicans approved a resolution condemning Antisemitism and racism that the Democrats said took them by surprise. Davis was absent from the meeting.
Ghouls, goblins and football enthusiasts unite. A fang-tastic fall experience is brewing at Avenue East Cobb as the lifestyle center prepares to host its first-ever Boo Bash and Game Day viewing party on Saturday, October 30. The Halloween-themed community celebration, happening from 1 to 6:30 p.m. in partnership with East Cobb Church, will include spooky-fun festivities for boos of all ages.
Starting at 1 p.m., Avenue East Cobb will be activated with a monstrous trick-or-treating family adventure. Upon arrival, guests should check-in at the pop-up Concierge in the Central Boulevard to grab a stroll map highlighting treat stops. After gathering all the goodies, Boo Bash attendees are encouraged to meet back in the Central Boulevard at 2 p.m. for East Cobb Church’s Mega Awesome Costume Contest featuring silly challenges, music and dancing. The winner of the costume contest will receive an Avenue East Cobb Experience Basket of items from onsite retailers and restaurants. While exploring the center, revelers can indulge in complimentary face painting, balloon art and photo-worthy roaming entertainment.
A doggy costume contest will also be hosted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by Gussied Up Pet Boutique, a new pop-up retailer opening at Avenue East Cobb on October 21. Created by Beth Simpson at the height of the pandemic, Gussied Up Pet Boutique offers a large collection of pet clothing and accessories; toys and bedding; and a wide range of gifts for animal lovers.
Inspired by her dog Gus and the massive increase in pet adoptions, Simpson launched her first short-term store at Avalon during its inaugural Holiday Market in 2020, an idea initially sparked by Simpson’s interest in opening at the Alpharetta mixed-use destination. The success of the shop’s debut led Simpson to extend her lease, participate in Avalon’s 2021 Spring Market and prospect other locations with North American Properties (NAP).
“NAP is unrivaled in creating community-driven environments where retailers and restaurants can thrive and forge authentic relationships with shoppers. After having such a positive experience with the team at Avalon, I knew this was a partnership I wanted to expand on,” said Simpson. “Pets are such an important part of our lives and I love building inviting spaces where owners feel welcomed to bring their furry friends in-store and treat them with exceptional products. We can’t wait to meet our neighbors in East Cobb and invite everyone to join us on October 24 for the grand opening celebration.”
The doggy costume contest will be held at Gussied Up Pet Boutique, located next to Bravura and Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa. One winner will be announced at 3 p.m. during the Mega Awesome Costume Contest and receive a special Gussied Up Pet Boutique dog basket. Regular shopping hours for the store will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Learn more about Gussied Up Pet Boutique online.
Following the Boo Bash, football fans are invited to show their team spirit as the Central Boulevard transforms into the ultimate outdoor tailgate zone ahead of the Georgia versus Florida rivalry showdown. The football viewing party kicks off at 3 p.m. and the game will be broadcasted on a giant LED screen.
All Boo Bash and Game Day activities will be located in the Central Boulevard between Kale Me Crazy and Banana Republic. Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar will also provide drinks for purchase at its pop-up bar in the Central Boulevard all afternoon long. Guests are encouraged to grab to-go food from Avenue East Cobb restaurants to dine on during the game.
The Cobb County School District announced Thursday its graduation rates for the Class of 2021, and three high schools in East Cobb are near the top of the list.
Pope High School had a 97.2 percent graduation rate, second only to Harrison High School, which led the district at 97.7 percent (full table below).
Lassiter and Walton tied for third at 96.1 percent; they were among the six schools in the 16-high school district at or above 96 percent, according to a release.
Also in East Cobb, Kell’s graduation rate was 88.9 percent, Wheeler’s was 87.1 percent and Sprayberry’s was 86.3.
The Cobb school district average was 87.2 percent, ahead of the statewide average of 83.7 percent.
All of those figures are calculated by the U.S. Department of Education, which covers a four-year period, including students who are enrolled for a minimum of one day over that time.
Here’s how the Cobb school district is explaining what it calls a more accurate reflection of graduation rates, and as shown in the table below:
“The federally mandated method for calculating the 4-year graduation rate includes all students expected to graduate in 2021, including those enrolled for a single day. When examining the graduation rate for students enrolled for a minimum of two years in Cobb Schools, the graduation rate for the district is 92.3%. The graduation rate climbs to 94.6% for students enrolled for three years in Cobb. Cobb’s 16 traditional high schools all have graduation rates above 91% for students who attended all four years.”
Hosack, a former Cobb County Manager and head of the Cobb community development agency, said the density of 1.96 units per acre was consistent with nearby subdivisions.
John Steutzer, a nearby resident, said while he and other neighbors are pleased with an R-15 rezoning request, 92 homes is “too dense for the area,” and suggested a limit of 85 homes.
He also said the lot sizes were not “buildable” enough and the proposed home sizes were too small, and urged that they be at least 3,000 square feet.
They also wanted more buffer, berm, landscaping, architectural, traffic and stormwater management changes.
While Pulte proposed a four-way stop at Ebenezer and Maybreeze, Steutzer said the traffic stemming from a 92-home subdivision was sufficient to require a roundabout, and said the neighbors want a signaled crosswalk for children using nearby schools.
He requested a delay or denial of the request. Commissioner JoAnn Birrell, whose District 3 includes the Ebenezer Road property, made a motion to approve the 92 homes with several stipulations, including a 35 percent maximum of impervious surfaces on all lots.
She also included the 3,000-square foot minimum for home sizes in her motion.
“An SBA loan is not a fix,” Lilly said. The Pulte Homes project has two lakes and a creek, she said, “that affect many people downstream. Could this be the reason why I have a sinkhole on my property? Maybe.”
Birrell asked county stormwater officials to work with the developer to resolve issues during plan review regarding a lake that currently is owned by private residents.
She also said that final landscaping and buffer determinations should come back for her approval.
“A lot of this will be done in plan review and will be looked at by all of us when it’s final,” Birrell said.
Special Needs Cobb, a local non-profit that provides respite, residential and resources for special needs people and their families, hosted its 23rd annual Golf Invitational fundraiser on Oct. 11, 2021, at Dogwood Golf Club in Austell, Ga. The organization raised nearly $45,000, a first-time record for them.
The golf invitational is the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year, and it was unfortunately cancelled last year for the first time in more than two decades due to COVID-19. The impact to the organization was multiplied as SNC closed Cobb’s only facilities-based weekend respite house during the pandemic, eliminating the fees that typically support much-needed operational expenses.
“The funds we raise at the annual Golf Invitational are used to maintain and operate our weekend respite program, which is dedicated to special needs children and adults, as well as our 23 adult group homes,” said Debbie Day, executive director. “Our service and reach in Cobb County is unique. Up to 40 percent of our residents are orphans or have no family connection, and the work we do ensures they have a safe, loving home right in the community.”
The “Play Your Way, Golf All Day” event ran from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. with food, prizes, a raffle and goody bags provided. Sponsors included Cobb EMC Foundation, Butler Creek Animal Hospital, Nadler Biernath: Special Needs and Elder Law, Alterman Commercial Real Estate, Robert McLean DDS, Blad & Associates, WatchtheDeer.com and more than 20 hole sponsors.
In addition to money raised for Resources, Respite and Residential services in Cobb County, the golf fundraiser attracted 100 new donors, 72 golfers and 105 attendees. Approximately $10,000 in prizes were awarded.
Back for its 36th year, for 4 nights only, Halloween Hikes at the Chattahoochee Nature Center provides the perfect non-scary family-friendly holiday event, October 22, 23, and 29, 30 starting at 6PM.
A unique Halloween adventure that will take your child on a well-lit hike through the forest to meet woodland creatures and hear about how they live. Halloween Hikes lets guests connect with nature and experience the mystery of a guided night hike.
Meet costumed characters including everyone’s favorites, the Box Turtle, Red-tailed Hawk, Barred Owl, and Kingfisher during a ~45-minute hike. Each character tells its audience about itself and its place in the Chattahoochee River watershed.
Along with the hikes, there is plenty of fun Halloween happenings during the nights. Wear your costume and join CNC for games, campfire, music, wildlife encounters, and family fun. Camp Kingfisher will have s’more set-ups available for purchase to support the Camp K scholarship fund.
“Halloween Hikes connects people of all ages to nature by experiencing a guided night hike and learning about the Chattahoochee River watershed,” said Tamara Kinmon, Events Director at CNC. “It is so much fun to meet families who have been coming to Halloween Hikes for multiple generations making it a fall tradition. They cannot wait to see their favorite character on the trail!”
CNC has added hike times and reduced the size of the timed group hike to 10 people. Additional center-wide policies and procedures have been implemented to offer the safest and best experience possible.
Advanced ticket sales online starting October 8. CNC members will be able to purchase tickets during the presale starting October 1. Purchasing tickets ahead of time will allow families to select the hike time that works best for them.
Please note: There is local construction in the area and the Chattahoochee Nature Center can only be accessed from the east near Azalea Drive. CNC is open during construction and we can’t wait to see visitors this fall. For more information, please visit https://www.chattnaturecenter.org/visit/.
Another major revision was to restore access from Johnson Ferry to the Waterfront and MarLanta subdivisions along a relocated Waterfront Drive, but without cut-through access from the new residential community.
Cobb commissioner Jerica Richardson, whose District 2 includes the Johnson Ferry-Shallowford area, made as part of her motion to approve the rezoning the creation of a three-member “JOSH” community advisory group that would be included in site plan review.
Two of those individuals, resident Ruth Michels of the MarLanta subdivision and former Cobb commissioner Thea Powell of Chimney Lakes, spoke in opposition to the rezoning.
“We’re at a loss for words,” Michels said, calling the further revised site plan “completely inappropriate.”
She said the last-minute changes show that “the applicant isn’t listening to and working with the community.”
Michels said she wondered whether the rezoning would have been considered at all had it not been made by a religious organization.
Questions over density, traffic and stormwater runoff have dogged the application from the beginning. A total of 95 people, in person and watching virtually, were counted as being opposed, with 54 in support.
The residential portion of the new site plan would include 44 townhomes and 51 single-family detached homes under the RA-5 category.
North Point will sell off the 20.6 acres for the residential development to Ashwood Atlanta. The property owners, Bill and Lynn Hanna of East Cobb, have wanted to sell off all the land at once, and not in segments.
Kevin Moore, the North Point attorney, said that “we do believe that this strikes the proper balance,” and noted that there were fewer townhomes than detached homes, when in earlier site plans that mix was the other way around.
The Waterfront Drive access would be limited to those living in nearby subdivisions, with cut-through mitigation elements to be determined in site plan review, according to Richardson’s motion.
That intersection currently includes a traffic light at Johnson Ferry and the entrance to the Shallowford Falls shopping center.
She also included a provision that exit access from the new development onto Johnson Ferry be right-turn only, meaning southbound.
In addition, the limit of impervious surfaces on the residential area would be capped at 40 percent, down from an estimated 45 percent proposed in a North Point stipulation letter submitted last week.
Richardson’s motion also limits density in the residential portion to five units an acre. She also said that revisions to the church plans (under the low-rise office category) and the retail portion (neighborhood activity center zoning) could be brought back to commissioners.
Voting against the rezoning was commissioner Keli Gambrill of North Cobb, who called the last minute changes “speculative” and objected to having to vote on a case that staff hadn’t had time to examine.
Gambrill wondered why residential revisions couldn’t also be brought back, since that’s been the most controversial portion of the rezoning case.
She noted that in September, North Point was proposing private roads in the residential community, which would have allowed for greater lot sizes, but wasn’t sure if that was the case now.
“What is the lot size we are looking at?” asked Gambrill, who said that “I’m very surprised at how this is being handled.”
Cobb Commission Chairwoman Lisa Cupid recused herself from the vote, due to a conflict of interest (a family member attends another North Point church).
After the vote, nearby resident Rachel Bruce said the commission’s decision to pass a site plan proposed at the hearing “sets a dangerous precedent for our area that will allow developers to do this over and over again.
“It is clear we need to vote in favor in the 2022 midterms [a] Cityhood vote to protect East Cobb’s interests and ensure we have a zoning board that listens to its taxpayers,” she said in a message e-mailed to East Cobb News.
East Cobb Church also posted a pre-recorded message from Pastor Jamey Dickens on its Facebook page, saying “WE DID IT!”
In his comments (you can watch them here), Dickens made several references to home. Since its inception in 2019, East Cobb Church has been holding services at Eastside Baptist Church.
“We’ve been dreaming of a home, not just to go but, but to launch from, into the community, on a mission to love, where we live,” he said, standing on the property where the 125,000-square foot church will be built.