The Avenue East Cobb to hold Fast Lane Performance car show

Submitted information and flyer for Sunday’s event:

SHOP, DINE AND ADMIRE! We are excited to invite you to the first Exclusive Car Meet of the year! From American muscle to exotic performance, Fast Lane Performance is bringing together a car selection you won’t want to miss.
Enjoy dinner at Drift Fish House, Tin Lizzy’s, Stockyard Burgers, Panera and Kale Me Crazy as well as sweet treats at Smallcakes and Menchies.
Fun for the whole family! No tickets required.

To register a vehicle: www.facebook.com/groups/exclusiveatlmeet/

Avenue East Cobb car show

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Cobb libraries holding free summer food service events

Cobb library summer food service program

Submitted information:

The Cobb County Public Library System is teaming up with Georgia Educational Resources (GER) to host free Summer Food Service Program distribution events in June and July for children ages 18 and younger.

Children will receive seven days of breakfast and lunch emergency meals on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last. Distribution will take place in library parking lots at six locations across the county. Recipients will remain in their cars.

The Cobb library continues to seek ways to partner with community agencies to help address food insecurity in Cobb County, said Terri Tresp, Division Director of Branch Services.

“We’re a learning organization and children struggle to learn when they are hungry,” Tresp said. “We worked with GER last summer at one library location. This year, we’re thrilled to be able to expand service to more residents.”

Libraries offering the food events on Tuesdays in June include:

  • Mountain View Regional Library, 3320 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta: 10 am-11 am Tuesdays, June 8-29. 770-509-2725
  • Gritters Library, 880 Shaw Park Road, Marietta: Noon to 1 pm TuesdaysJune 8-29. 770-528-2524
  • Sewell Mill Library & Cultural Center, 2051 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta: 2-3 pm, Tuesdays, June 8-29. 770-509-2711

Cobb Libraries hosting the drive-through food events in June and July include:

  • Switzer Library, 266 Roswell Street, Marietta: 10 am-noon Thursdays, June 10-July 29. 770-528-2320
  • Stratton Library, 1100 Powder Springs Road, Marietta: 1:30-3:30 pm Thursdays, June 10-July 29. 770-528-2522
  • South Cobb Regional Library, 805 Clay Road, Mableton: Fridays, June 11-July 30, 10 am to noon. 678-398-5828

Georgia Educational Resources, a children and family social service agency based in Mableton, is a certified SFSP sponsor which provides food to distribution sites. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program has helped feed children since 1975. The program is administered locally by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

For information on Cobb library programs and resources, visit cobbcounty.org/library.

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East Cobb Church rezoning request put on hold until July

East Cobb Church rezoning
A new site plan was filed May 19; see a larger view by clicking here.

Another last-minute request for a major rezoning case before next Tuesday’s Cobb Planning Commission meeting involves North Point Ministries.

The Atlanta-based religious organization wants another month to finalize design changes for its proposed East Cobb Church-townhomes-retail multi-use development at the southwest corner of Shallowford and Johnson Ferry roads.

Kevin Moore, an attorney for North Point Ministries, asked for the request on Wednesday, the deadline for cases to be automatically continued without a vote of the planning board.

The applicant has also filed a new site plan (above, click here for a larger view) with the Shallowford-Johnson Ferry intersection in the top left.

In his letter, Moore said another month was needed due to the “detailed nature” of the design updates, and that the extra time “will allow circulation of these designs to the community well in advance of a public hearing.”

The North Point request has twice been heard by the Planning Commission, which has voted to hold the case both times.

Planning commissioner Tony Waybright said in April that he was concerned about proposed high-density housing when the JOSH Master Plan calls for medium density residential as a transition between commercial zoning and low-density residential in the surrounding community.

The new site plan has 70 townhomes and 59 single-family detached homes. The revised Cobb Zoning Staff analysis submitted April 26 indicates density levels of nearly 6 units an acre.

Also delayed until July is a request to turn the former Park 12 Cobb movie theater into a self-storage facility, more than four years after community opposition shot down a proposed Lidl grocery store on the site at Gordy Parkway and Shallowford Road.

As we noted earlier this week, the Sprayberry Crossing rezoning request, also held for the last two months by the Planning Commission, remains on Tuesday’s agenda, and some more changes were submitted after a community meeting.

The number of senior units have been dropped by 40 to 132 and 102 townhomes are in a revised site plan, up 40 from the April hearing.

The Planning Commission meeting is at 9 a.m. Tuesday and it has a loaded agenda.

In-person seating will be limited due to social distancing protocols, but there also will be commenting for those watching online. They can sign up to speak by clicking here.

You also can watch on the county’s website, Facebook Live and YouTube channels and on Cobb TV 23 on Comcast Cable.

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Marietta Memorial Day 5K/10K returns to Sprayberry Square

For the last few years Five Star NTP has organized a 5K/10K race in the Sprayberry area on Memorial Day, and the event is continuing on Monday.Marietta Memorial Day 5K/10K

The Marietta Memorial Day 5K/10K starts at 7:30 a.m. Monday at the Sprayberry Square Shopping Center (2550 Sandy Plains Road), and registration is free for active and retired military veterans.

The event includes same-day registration that starts at 6:30 a.m., with entry fees starting at $45 (you can sign up in advance through Sunday with fees starting at $40).

Both races start and finish in the Sprayberry Square Shopping Center parking lot, and the the routes will be run entirely on  E. Piedmont Road.

The awards in both races are for Top 3 Overall Male & Female, Top 3 Overall Masters (40+) , Top 3 Overall Grand Master (50+), Top 3 Overall Senior Master (60+) and Top 3 in each age group (10 & under – 75+).

There’s also a virtual race option.

For information and to register, please click here. COVID-19 protocols will be in place

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East Cobb man indicted for shooting at police in standoff

An East Cobb man charged with shooting at police officers during a standoff at his home last fall has been indicted on 14 felony counts by a Cobb grand jury.East Cobb grandfather sentenced

The Cobb District Attorney’s office said that that Donald Terry Welborn was indicted on Thursday on nine counts of aggravated assault against a police officer, three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of possessing a firearm while committing a felony.

Welborn, 57, was arrested at his home on Kingsley Drive (off Post Oak Tritt Road and near Johnson Ferry Road) on Sept. 22, 2020, hours after neighbors began hearing shots from his residence around 5:30 a.m.

Cobb Police, including a SWAT unit, arrived on the scene, beginning a standoff that closed off the New Castle neighborhood for the rest of the morning.

During the standoff, police said Welborn shot at multiple officers as negotiators tried to get him to come out of the home. According to the indictment, Welborn took aim at nine different officers.

He was taken into custody about six hours later with no injuries and was charged with eight felony counts, police said.

Welborn remains at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center without bond, according to Cobb Sheriff’s Office booking records.

In February, Welborn’s attorney attempted to have his client’s case assigned to a mental health court, but that request was turned down by the Cobb District Attorney’s office.

According to Cobb Superior Court records, assistant district attorney Maurice Brown told Robert Citronberg that “Defendant’s offense does not appear to be sufficiently connected to Defendant’s health diagnosis” but did not elaborate.

According to a criminal warrant taken out against Welborn, he went into a bedroom where Susan Welborn was sleeping, then shot at a ceiling fan.

Cobb court records indicate that she is Welborn’s wife, but they had been separated. Susan Welborn filed for divorce in Cobb Superior Court on the same day of the shootings.

The warrant also states that Welborn was inside his residence when he shot at the homes of two neighbors, one next door and another across the street, striking their homes, before police arrived.

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Willeo Creek bridge to close until late Sept. for replacement

Willeo Creek bridge replacement closures
For a larger view of the detour map, click here. Source: City of Roswell.

Back in February we reported on the closure dates for the Willeo Creek bridge that’s to undergo a full replacement, and that time has come.

The bridge connecting the Timber Ridge Road-Lower Roswell Road roundabout in East Cobb with Willeo Road in Roswell is closing on Tuesday, June 1, and is expected to reopen on Sept. 29.

That’s the latest from Cobb DOT, which is overhauling the 60-year bridge in a joint project with the City of Roswell at a cost of more than $3 million.

The wider bridge will include room for cyclists and pedestrians, linking existing sidewalks and trails between Willeo Road and Lower Roswell Road.

The area is heavily used in the summers for recreational facilities along the Chattahoochee River, and the City of Roswell has drawn up a detour map.

Willeo Road will be fully opened east of Bywater Trail, which is just east of Willeo Creek.

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East Cobb food scores: Moxie Burger; Goldberg’s Bagel; more

Goldberg’s Bagel, East Cobb food scores

The following East Cobb food scores for the week of May 24 have been compiled by the Cobb & Douglas Department of Public Health. Click the link under each listing for inspection details:

Dunkin Donuts
980 E. Piedmont Road
May 25, 2021 Score: 95, Grade: A

Fugu Express
2900 Delk Road, Suite 2000
May 27, 2021 Score: 88, Grade: B

Goldberg’s Bagel Co. & Deli 
1062 Johnson Ferry Road Suite A110
May 26, 2021 Score: 86, Grade: B

Indian Hills Country Club Pool Snack Bar
4001 Clubland Drive
May 25, 2021 Score: 91, Grade: A

Moxie Burger
255 Village Parkway, Suite 110
May 25, 2021 Score: 88, Grade: B

My Friend’s Place
1205 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 127
May 24, 2021 Score: 96, Grade: A

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More Sprayberry Crossing changes made after community meeting

Sprayberry Crossing changes
The proposed senior apartment building at Sprayberry Crossing has been scaled down to three stories.

Just days before a third hearing before the Cobb Planning Commission, the developer of the proposed Sprayberry Crossing mixed-use project has revised the site plan again and made other changes.

Atlantic Realty Acquisitions submitted the changes with the Cobb Zoning Office after a meeting on Tuesday arranged by Cobb Commissioner JoAnn Birrell that involved the developer, county staff, and citizens both for and against the rezoning request.

The Cobb Planning Commission is scheduled to hear the request again on Tuesday, June 1.

The senior apartment building would have 132 units, which is 40 less than what was presented in May, and it would be reduced from five to three stories.

The new plans call for 102 townhomes and a maximum of 34,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. Here’s the new site plan that was submitted Wednesday, and the developer’s latest tipulation letter.

Traffic issues have also been a major concern, in particular the main entrance to Sprayberry Crossing on Sandy Plains Road, and attempts to align it with a traffic light at Kinjac Drive.

Here’s what Cobb DOT is recommending, noting that a final traffic study revision was submitted on May 20.

Sprayberry Crossing site plan
For a larger view of the latest site plan click here.

Not all of those new documents were available for the Tuesday meeting, according to resident Tim Carini, who’s led opposition to the project, mostly for traffic reasons as well as the apartments.

He reiterated that one reason he’s still opposed to senior apartments is a federal housing law that says age-restricted facilities that fall below 80 percent of the units occupied by that designated age group (Sprayberry Crossing would have 55 and up) lose that exemption.

“Once that happens the apartments become open to all ages,” Carini said in a message to a Facebook group opposed to the Sprayberry Crossing rezoning. That group has several hundred members, many of them proud to have been called part of a “mob” fighting the case by Atlantic Realty’s attorney.

The county disputes that interpretation, but Carini insists that “we are just a few steps away from having apartments in East Cobb that could become low income and open to all ages at some point in the future.”

The townhome units originally numbered 44 and were raised to 62 after another apartment building was dropped in April. The 102 units now being proposed would be at least 2,000 square feet and no more than 10 percent could be rented at any given time.

The Sprayberry Crossing Action Facebook group, which organized several years ago to push for redevelopment of the blighted shopping center, was also posting updated information for its nearly 6,000 members.

Group leader Shane Spink, who’s been one of the group’s leaders said “hope to see this resolved by Tuesday.”

The Planning Commission meeting is at 9 a.m. Tuesday, it’s a loaded agenda that includes another hearing for the delayed East Cobb Church-townhome proposal in the Johnson Ferry-Shallowford area.

In-person seating will be limited due to social distancing protocols, but there also will be commenting for those watching online. They can sign up to speak by clicking here.

Sprayberry Crossing townhomes
The Sprayberry Crossing proposal now calls for 102 for-sale townhomes.

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Fundraiser started for Cobb liquor store owner shot during robbery

Govani family, Cobb liquor store owner shot

The Sprayberry PTSA has been getting out word about a parent in its school community who’s fighting for his life after being shot during an armed robbery earlier this month.

Kaushik Govani, 55, remains in critical condition after being shot by armed robbers on May 12 at the Bottle Shop liquor store that he owns in Acworth, according to Cobb Police.

Police said Thursday morning that they’ve arrested a suspect, Rashaad Snipes, 19, who’s being held at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center for armed robbery, aggravated assault and aggravated battery.

Police said that when officers arrived at the liquor store on Baker Road in Acworth around 9:35 p.m. on May 12, they found him lying on the floor with gunshot wounds.

Govani was rushed to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, and a fundraiser started by his family said he was shot three times, causing serious damage to his heart, diaphragm, stomach, liver, and spleen.

Because he is the sole provider of a family of five, the goal is to raise $200,000, with more than $45,000 generated in pledges thus far.

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Pope transgender student granted graduation wish

Updating our story last week about Soren Tucker, a transgender student at Pope High School who wanted his preferred name announced at Wednesday’s graduation:

Soren Tucker

His wish was granted.

Lily Smith, a fellow Pope senior who started an online petition that has gathered more than 21,000 signatures, announced that the Cobb County School District had agreed to the request.

“It is unclear if there will be changes that affect the future and county policies, but we won this victory!” Smith wrote on Tuesday.

Tucker, who has identified as male for the last two years, will still have his legal female birth name on his diploma, as is the protocol for the Cobb County School District.

A Cobb County School District spokeswoman said Wednesday, shortly before the commencement ceremony, that Pope principal Thomas Flugum met with Tucker and his family for the first time on Tuesday.

“They had a great conversation and the student and parent’s preferences were taken into account during Pope’s graduation ceremony,” the spokeswoman said. “While official school business requires the use of a student’s legal name, all of our schools take student and family preference into account during informal school activities.”

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Cobb school parents fighting mask mandate to drop lawsuit

The attorney for Cobb school parents fighting the Cobb County School District’s mask mandate said Wednesday they’re dropping their lawsuit.

Rob Madayag, Cobb school board candidate
Rob Madayag

Rod Madayag told East Cobb News he’s filed a notice to dismiss a federal lawsuit because “the school district indicated that it was going to be mask optional next year, which is all our clients wanted in the first place.”

The dismissal notice comes three weeks after a federal judge denied the suing parents their request for a temporary restraining order to end the mandate during the Cobb school district academic year that concluded Wednesday.

Two weeks ago, the district said it was relaxing its mask mandate for the “fully vaccinated” and announced that “we fully expect to start the 2021-2022 school year with masks as optional.”

Five parents filed a lawsuit in April in Cobb Superior Court, but it was remanded to federal court (you can read that notice and the suit by clicking here).

In their suit, the parents claimed the Cobb school district’s mask mandate—which applied to students, teachers and other staff—has effectively created two “separate, but unequal” learning environments, one in-person, and one virtual.

In addition, the plaintiffs alleged that the district’s contract tracing procedures violate students’ right to privacy under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, as well as the equal protection provisions of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

They also claimed CDC guidance for students wasn’t based on scientific data showing mask-wearing is safe for them because there isn’t any.

“People are surprised to learn that there are zero studies cited or conducted by the CDC that show that it is safe for a child to wear a mask for 8 hours a day, every day,” Madayag said.

“It is a shame that people were so flippant about putting kids in masks for 8 hours without making sure it was safe. What kind of message does that send to our kids?”

Some of the plaintiffs alleged in their lawsuit that their children have suffered from constricted breathing, including a Walton High School student with ADHD.

Madayag said he will be working with parents to press for state legislation to prohibit policies along those lines in the future.

Gov. Brian Kemp also is expected to sign an executive order prohibiting local school districts from imposing mask mandates when the 2021-22 school year begins. The order would not prohibit staff and students from wearing masks if they choose.

A Cobb school district spokeswoman told East Cobb News there are no further updates for now on a final decision about masks for the next school year, which begins Aug. 2.

As for the lawsuit, she said in a statement that “when this lawsuit began, we said we looked forward to the facts of this case being argued in court, not social or traditional media. As the case being dropped shows, our comments from one year ago are as true as they are today.”

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Cobb school district expands summer enrichment schedule

Submitted information: Cobb County School District, Cobb schools dual enrollment summit

Cobb Schools has traditionally made several summer learning options available to students and parents through its Summer Link program. While Link is still available, the Cobb Academic Department has also been busily working behind the scenes to bring many other programs to life in 2021.

Learning gaps have become a national concern during the COVID pandemic. Many students have not been able to get the attention and help they need while learning online. “The COVID-19 pandemic is unique,” said Chief Academic Officer Jennifer Lawson recently in a presentation to the Board of Education. “This means there are no historical events which directly parallel it, and the research indicators we would use to guide our response to it are limited.”

The Student Learning and Recovery Plan is Cobb’s answer to helping fill these learning gaps. Consisting of many different programs based on individual needs and grade level, the Learning and Recovery Plan is designed to help both students and parents utilize a portion of their summer break to get caught up in various areas.

Our district also offers the Cobb Course Refresher, which allows high school students to gain a greater comfort level with certain course content. The Cobb Course Refresher allows students to review course lessons online. This includes content for courses taken in 2020-2021 or for classes they will take during the 2021-2022 school year.  

While every school has its own academic response and will vary, the District has created five major areas for local schools to implement and make available to its learning community. Up-to-date information on District summer programs can always be found on the Summer Programs page of the District website. 

In addition to traditional summer school for high schoolers to make up missing credits, Cobb continues to offer its Virtual Academy (CVA) as an option over the summer. CVA and the Summer Link programs are open to Cobb’s Middle and Elementary students. 

Cobb is also offering several programs by “Invite Only,” such as the Summer Enrichment Academy (for certain Elementary-aged students) and the Summer Learning Quest (for certain Middle and High School students) which are both making their debut this year.

Parents should consult their local schools’ website and newsletter for more specific information and schedules. For example, Riverside Elementary is offering “Building Bridges for Success” over the summer, which includes reading, writing, and math, as well as hands-on activities like photography, art, and robotics. 

 

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