Mt. Bethel UMC to hold six-week caregiving workshop

Press release:

Caregivers are encouraged to register for the free six-week educational series designed to support a parents who are caring for a child, minor or adult, with developmental disabilities. The “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” workshop provides caregiver support while focusing on the unique challenge parents face caring for a child with health or behavioral challenges. The workshop will be held 1-3 p.m., on Mondays from Aug. 7 to Sept. 18, at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church. It will help you:

  • Reduce stress, guilt, anger and depression and improve emotional wellbeing
  • Manage your time, set goals and solve problems
  • Master caregiver transitions and make tough decisions
  • Communicate effectively with the child needing care, family members, doctors and paid helpers
  • Develop greater self-efficacy
  • Develop awareness and use of community resources

Registration for the educational workshop series is required and space is limited. Register at

Cobb commissioner Bob Ott to hold town hall meeting at East Cobb Library

District 2 Cobb commissioner Bob Ott has announced he’s holding his next town hall meeting at the East Cobb Library.Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott

The meeting takes place on Thursday, Aug. 17, starting at 7 p.m. in the community room of the library, located in the Parkaire Landing Shopping Center, 4880 Lower Roswell Road.

Ott briefs citizens on happenings in county government, and fields questions from the audience.

PHOTOS: Walton High School ribbon-cutting and open house

Walton High School
Walton Principal Judy McNeill (in black dress) helps cut the ribbon with Cobb school superintendent Chris Ragsdale (with scissors), Cobb school board members and other dignitaries Sunday afternoon. (East Cobb News photos by Wendy Parker)

The new Walton High School building is open, and on Sunday afternoon, the day before classes were set to begin, several hundred students, parents, elected officials and others celebrating ribbon-cutting ceremonies and an open house.

Among the honored guests, in addition to local officials, were Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and newly elected Congresswoman Karen Handel.

Walton High School
Walton Principal Judy McNeill said new Walton “is the best building we could have dreamed of.”

The three-story, $48 million classroom and administrative office structure replaces a 42-year-old main building that has been overcrowded for years. The old building will eventually give way to the second phase of the Walton project that is to include a new gymnasium and fine arts building scheduled for completion in 2019.

Walton High School
U.S. Rep. Karen Handel and Major Jerry Quan of Cobb Police Precinct 4.

The 300,000-plus-square-foot main building is around 40 percent bigger than what it is replacing. Walton opened in 1975, at a time when rapid growth in East Cobb was vastly overburdening school capacity.

Isakson, whose children and granddaughter attended Walton, told the audience that while he was working as an East Cobb real estate broker in the early 1970s, then-Cobb school superintendent Kermit Keenum warned him that new schools in the area—especially high schools—had to be built, and fast.

Isakson helped the school system with finding land, and noted that the Bill Murdock Road properties on which Walton and nearby Dodgen Middle School are located cost around $4,500.

“That would cost at least 10 times that amount today,” said Isakson, who was formerly the president of Northside Realty. He called the new Walton building “a pearl of beauty.”

Walton High School
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson addressing the Walton community inside the new entrance.

He was among the speakers who kept referencing the education SPLOST (or special local option sales tax) funding that paid for the new Walton building. Isakson said more than $6.8 billion has been spent on school construction across Georgia with SPLOST funding, and he thanked Cobb leaders for leading the way in changing the state constitution to allow for such referenda.

Isakson also said it’s not just bricks and mortar, but “teachers, parents and students” that make a school community strong.

Walton High School

Walton High School
The new information center (aka library).
Walton High School
Walton teacher Alan Farnsworth in his new classroom during the open house.
Walton High School
Wide hallways and ample common areas at the new Walton High School building have plenty of elbow room and places to take a break from a very busy school routine.
Walton High School
More than 2,500 Walton students start a new school year on Monday, in a building the community has long been awaiting.

Pope High School roundabout project nearing completion

Pope High School roundabout
The final phase of the Pope roundabout project has taken place all summer. (East Cobb News photos by Wendy Parker)

Updated, 5:15 p.m.: The roundabout has opened! We got there about two hours before traffic in all directions was open to the public.

We swung by the Pope High School roundabout project Sunday afternoon, the day before school begins, and the construction work at Hembree Road and Meadow Drive is just about complete. There were intermittent closures as work crews were doing finishing-up work, but some traffic was allowed to go through along Hembree.

The roundabout, with an estimated cost exceeding $3 million, replaces a traffic signal at Hembree and Meadow and includes some crosswalk work in the vicinity of the Pope entrance.

Anyone traveling on Hembree from Post Oak Tritt to Pope should be advised that the road still needs repaving with a top coat; it’s a grinding drive to the school and beyond.

Cobb DOT prepared the following video about the roundabout:

PHOTOS: East Cobb Rotary Club’s 12th Annual Dog Days Run

Dog Days Run
The start of the Rotary Club of East Cobb’s Dog Days Run at the McCleskey-East Cobb YMCA. (East Cobb News photos and slideshow by Wendy Parker).

Several hundred runners and onlookers gathered early Saturday morning at the McCleskey-East Cobb YMCA for one of the top sports and recreation events in East Cobb: The Rotary Club of East Cobb’s 12th annual Dog Days Run.

The 5K course started at the YMCA, then wound its way up East Piedmont, east along Sewell Mill Road, south on Old Canton Road, and westbound on Roswell Road on the return to the Y.

As they finished, participants were cooled off by water sprayed from a Cobb Fire Department engine (and the dogs liked it too).

Dog Days Run

While many brought their dogs—big and small—to run or jog along, watch, or just splash around, there were serious runners, age-group medals and plenty of raffle prizes, courtesy of race sponsors such as Muss & Turners (wine tasting), Honest-1 Auto Care (oil changes) and McKendrick’s (steak dinners).

For many participants, getting out and running, jogging or just walking on a cool, pleasant morning with friends, family and neighbors was reason enough to take part in one of East Cobb’s more popular outdoor events in the Dog Days of summer.

Dog Days Run

Have a look at more photos from the Dog Days Run:

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EAST COBB WEEKEND: Dog Days Run; Pins for Paws; real estate seminar; new Walton HS open house & more


Walton High School

Because one school ribbon-cutting event this week isn’t enough (and also, because it’s right before the start of a new school year): The new Walton High School administration and classroom building will be officially opened on Sunday, starting with ribbon-cutting ceremonies at 1:30 p.m. and an Open House to follow (1590 Bill Murdock Road).

The next day, students will finally get to enjoy some elbow room as they start classes in a building that can better accommodate them. Having been subject to massive overcrowding myself (as a Wheeler student when Walton opened, too many years ago), I understand the feeling. We’ll be out there on Sunday to document all the proceedings.

The Walton ribbon-cutting comes at the end of a busy and varied weekend of events in East Cobb. See our full calendar listings for so much more, and send yours along if you don’t see it to: [email protected]). We’ve pulled out a few highlights here:

  • The Rotary Club of East Cobb is holding its 12th annual Dog Days Run that starts at 7:30 Saturday morning at the McCleskey-East Cobb YMCA (1055 East Piedmont Road), and race-day registration is available for both the 5K and fun run;
  • The East Cobb-based Good Mews Animal Foundation is holding a bowling fundraiser Sunday from 2-4 at AMF Bowling on Cobb Parkway. Pins for Paws includes lots of related fun, including raffle tickets;
  • If you’re thinking of buying a home for the first time, the Janice Overbeck Real Estate team is holding a free seminar from 11-1 Saturday at its Keller Williams North Atlanta office at 2249 Roswell Road;
  • At the end of a long week why not enjoy some Open Mic entertainment? From 7-10 p.m. Sunday at Keegan’s Irish Pub (4401 Shallowford Road), the local acoustic duo The Woodys (who were in action earlier this week at the Paper Mill Village food truck) will perform your requests. Sign-up starts at 6:30 p.m.

Did we miss something? Do you not see an event you think the community ought to know about? Let us know if you have calendar items to share, for this weekend and beyond. We’re working to have the best calendar listings in East Cobb, so have a look around and let us know what you think!

Have a great weekend, and stay in touch!

PHOTOS: Mountain View Elementary School ribbon-cutting festivities

Mountain View Elementary School
Mountain View Elementary School was officially opened Thursday morning by Principal Renee Garriss (in black dress), Cobb school board members and other dignitaries. (East Cobb News photos by Wendy Parker)

On July 26, 1928, Mountain View Elementary School opened its doors for the very first time as one of the first grade schools in what would be later known as East Cobb.

On Thursday, 89 years and a day later, the newest Mountain View Elementary School building officially opened, not from from an aging school facility on Sandy Plains Road at Shallowford Road that had been in use since 1970.

The new school, located at 3151 Sandy Plains Road (at Davis Road), cost $23.3 million, with funding allocated from the Cobb Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) IV, and after considerable lobbying by parents.

Mountain View Elementary School

Hundreds of students and parents eagerly awaited to tour the new school at dawn on Thursday, and to take part in orientation. Classes begin on Monday.

In the same Cobb Ed SPLOST IV referendum, funding for the new Brumby Elementary School also was provided. Construction continues at its new site on Terrell Mill Road, adjacent to the rebuild for East Cobb Middle School. Those new facilities will open for the 2018-19 school year.

On Sunday, a ribbon-cutting and open house for the new Walton High School building (1590 Bill Murdock Road) will take place starting at 1:30 p.m.

Mountain View Elementary School

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BREAKING NEWS: Cobb commissioners hold line on 2017 property tax millage rate

The Cobb Board of Commissioners voted late Tuesday evening to keep the 2017 county government millage rate the same as 2016, instead of raising it, as Chairman Mike Boyce had proposed.

By a 3-2 vote, the commission approved a substitute motion by East Cobb commissioner Bob Ott to keep the overall millage rate at 9.85 mills, instead of going up to 9.98 mills.

East Cobb commissioner JoAnn Birrell and Bob Weatherford voted for Ott’s motion. Boyce and commissioner Lisa Cupid of South Cobb were opposed.

Boyce had wanted a 0.13 mills increase to pay for the fulfillment of the $40 million parks bond referendum approved by Cobb voters in 2008.

Ott’s proposal included diverting budgeted economic development contingency funding the next two years to make up for the difference.

He has been adamantly against a tax increase, and Birrell objected to a hike for several reasons, including the impact on senior citizens.

Boyce, an East Cobb resident in his first year as chairman, and Cupid said the reduction amounts to “kicking the can down the road” for next year’s budget and in the county’s ability to provide a rising level of services he said Cobb citizens have come to expect.

East Cobb author is featured guest at Cobb Library Foundation gala dinner

Jonathan W. Jordan of East Cobb, author of several books about American military history, will highlight the Cobb Library Foundation’s seventh annual “Booked for the Evening” gala Sept. 22 at the Hilton Marietta Conference Center.

Jordan’s books include The New York Times’ bestselling books “Brothers Rivals Victors,” about U.S. Army generals Eisenhower, Patton and Bradley during World War II, and most recently, “American Warlords,” about the American military high command under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the same war. Jonathan W. Jordan

Here’s more from the Cobb Library Foundation on the gala dinner and how to make reservations:

The Booked for the Evening Gala is the primary fundraising event for the Cobb Library Foundation in support of Cobb’s libraries. Fundraising from this event has enabled us to supply valuable equipment and materials for early and adult literacy, computer stations, Summer Reading Programs, GEMS and Teen Technology programs to the 16 branches of the Cobb County Public Library System. That’s all possible thanks to YOU – our attendees, our supporters and our sponsors.
For sponsorship opportunities send inquiries to cobblibraryfou[email protected]org or call (770) 528-2196 for further information. Purchase your tickets/table now!

Cobb Parks Coalition: Fulfilling 2008 bond referendum doesn’t require tax increase

Mike Boyce, tax millage increase
Cobb Commission Chairman Mike Boyce has said his proposed tax millage increase is to fully fund the Cobb parks referendum approved by voters in 2008. (East Cobb News photo by Wendy Parker)

As the Cobb Board of Commissioners is set to vote tonight on the 2017 millage rate that includes a proposed 0.13 mills increase, the Cobb Parks Coalition is urging its supporters to wear green in support of full funding of a $40 million parks bond issue approved by voters in 2008.

However, the organization said the increase, proposed by Cobb Commission Chairman Mike Boyce to complete that obligation—and one of his campaign promises—isn’t necessary (previous East Cobb News coverage of Boyce’s town hall meeting in East Cobb last week is here).

In a message sent out late Monday, the coalition said that:

Using $40 million Park Bond 2008 as an excuse for a millage rate increase at the upcoming July 25 Board of Commissioner millage rate meeting misrepresents the facts, and fails to acknowledge that for the past 8+ years the county has delayeddenied and then actually diverted the exact millage rate for Park Bond 2008 into the Braves Stadium Bond.

Cobb commissioners voted to fund $27.5 million of the 2008 park bond last April, and Boyce proposed the millage increase as a means of getting to that $40 million.

On a post on the coalition website from late last week, the group asserted the following:

However, Park Bond 2008 can be fully funded without any increase in taxes for property owners if the county will simply honor the voter referendum with the existing millage available, or if the Board restores the exact millage for the Park Bond shifted into the Braves Stadium Bond this year. Cobb Citizens continue to email and ask that the entire $40 million referendum be funded, and it’s clear this has always been possible without raising taxes. 

For the past 8 years the county has delayed, denied and then actually diverted the exact millage funds intended to fulfill the 2008 Park Bond voter referendum into the Braves Stadium Bond. There may be challenges in the county budget; however, to point to Park Bond 2008 as the root cause of a millage increase in 2017 is misleading and doesn’t make any sense given the millage rate history.

More here; the final public hearing on the millage rate takes place during tonight’s commission meeting that starts at 7 p.m. The commissioners meet in the 2nd floor board room of the Cobb BOC building, 100 Cherokee St., downtown Marietta.

If you can’t attend, the meeting will be shown live on the CobbTV  local government access channel (Channel 23 if you’re a Comcast cable customer); it will also be live-streamed on the county website.

East Cobb commissioners Bob Ott and JoAnn Birrell have expressed opposition to raising the millage rate.

The Cobb Parks Coalition is having its next meeting in East Cobb, at Harry’s Whole Foods on Powers Ferry Road, a week from today, Aug. 1.

Cobb schools to extend Aug. 21 school day due to solar eclipse

The Cobb County School District sent out word late Monday afternoon that classes will be extended by 45 minutes on Monday, Aug. 21, primarily for safety reasons, due to the first full solar eclipse to traverse across the United States since 1918:

Due to the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, the Cobb County School District will delay dismissal of elementary, middle and high school students by 45 minutes.

The peak time to experience the solar eclipse falls during our regularly scheduled elementary school dismissal time. Since student safety is always our first priority we will start the day on time and delay dismissal to ensure that neither students nor employees are on the roadways during the time of the eclipse. Subsequently, high schools and middle schools will delay dismissal as well.

Schools will be provided with further guidance and instructional resources as appropriate. Parents are welcome to pick-up their child at the typical dismissal time if needed.

The eclipse is slated to cross over extreme northeast Georgia, with two minutes of totality expected over Blairsville, and 2:35 over Clayton. The eclipse is scheduled in Georgia between 2:34 p.m. and 2:40 p.m.

Gwinnett County schools also have made a similar decision to dismiss class later, for the same reasons as Cobb.

PHOTOS: Paper Mill Village Food Truck

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A heavy mid-afternoon rainshower didn’t dampen the mood for Monday’s food truck event at Paper Mill Village, the last before Cobb school children return to classes. If anything the weather cooled things off, making for a pleasant early evening for food, ice cream cones, chalk painting and hopscotch and more fun.

A few of the trucks cancelled due to mechanical problems, but Philly Connection, Queen of Cream, the Blaxican and Big C’s Chicago Kitchen showed up, as did The Woody’s acoustic duo.

Another food truck is slated for the fourth Monday in August. (East Cobb News photos by Wendy Parker)

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