Life University opens new center
by Brittini Ray
April 18, 2015 04:00 AM | 513 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dr. Bernadette Lavender, left, Dr. Steve Mirtschink, Sen. Michael Rhett, Life University President Guy Riekeman, Dr. Leslie King and Dr. Chuck Ribley prepare to cut the ribbon at the new Life University Chiropractic Community Outreach Center in Marietta on Friday. <br> Staff-C.B. Schmelter
Dr. Bernadette Lavender, left, Dr. Steve Mirtschink, Sen. Michael Rhett, Life University President Guy Riekeman, Dr. Leslie King and Dr. Chuck Ribley prepare to cut the ribbon at the new Life University Chiropractic Community Outreach Center in Marietta on Friday.
Staff-C.B. Schmelter
slideshow
Dr. Jay Handt adjusts Dr. Kevin Fogarty’s back at the new center.
Dr. Jay Handt adjusts Dr. Kevin Fogarty’s back at the new center.
slideshow
MARIETTA — Cobb residents who cannot afford regular chiropractic care have a new location to go to receive treatment. Life University held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday for its new Chiropractic Community Outreach Center on Roswell Road near the Big Chicken. The 3,200-square-foot facility, which cost about $200,000 to build, opened Jan. 7, but was flooded a week after its opening due to a busted pipe and the ribbon-cutting ceremony was delayed. The facility provides complimentary health and wellness services, including chiropractic adjustments, physical exams, x-rays, health care classes and functional rehabilitation. The center also serves as a learning environment for the students of Life University, a private university known for its chiropractic program on Barclay Circle, according to Life University President Guy Riekeman. “Our students get a tremendous amount of experience under the direction of the licensed doctors here, who are taking care of patients,” he said. “It’s both educational and it’s really high quality care. We have services here that the average doctor wouldn’t have. We have lots of world class experts. … It’s great education here and great care. The school has some unique programs that is all about the program giving, serving, loving, gratitude, and this is a part of that scheme.” The facility features two open areas house Life University’s outreach program, which began in 2003. The program was previously housed at Turner Chapel AME on North Marietta Parkway before moving to the new Roswell Road facility. Steve Mirtschink, Life University’s director of outreach, said the facility partners with other community programs to provide clinical services for its patients. “We (also) have The Extension,” he said. “It’s an alcohol and drug rehab facility where we render chiropractic services to those folks. We’ve done that for seven years now. They love the fact that they’re getting chiropractic care. We also work with MUST Ministries. We work with a lot of social services agencies such as Family Promise, which provide housing for families that don’t have any housing, and Good Samaritan.” State Sen. Michael Rhett (D-Marietta), a frequent visitor to the Life University outreach center, said he likes the center because it increases the availability of wellness resources for all of Cobb’s residents. “I’ve been coming here for years,” he said. “I come here usually once a month. I usually come for routine maintenance and wellness. Wellness is always important for everybody, and the services are free. If you go to another chiropractor, you’d see the difference in terms of the costs. I remember once when I had a sore foot, (the outreach clinicians) gave me a (therapeutic) technique to work on, and it made a big difference.” Darlene Mitchell, assistant principal at Kennesaw Mountain High School, echoed Rhett’s sentiments on the center and said it was a great asset for the Cobb community. “The facility is outstanding,” the Acworth resident said. “My daughter and I have been coming here for the last four years and we love it. It’s a great service to the community.”
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
Cobb Board of Education split on Harmony Leland and Clay elementary rebuild funding
by Philip Clements
April 18, 2015 04:00 AM | 753 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nick Parker
Nick Parker
slideshow
MARIETTA — Cobb school board members were at odds this week over setting aside $5 million for the rebuild of Harmony Leland and Clay elementary schools in Mableton during a discussion of the superintendent’s proposed fiscal 2016 budget. During the lead-up to deciding what projects to fund with the 1-percent special purpose local option sales tax approved by Cobb voters in 2013, only two elementary schools could be chosen for rebuild, according to Nick Parker, the district’s SPLOST director. Harmony Leland, Clay, Brumby and Mountain View elementary schools were the top finalists and the board chose Brumby and Mountain View to rebuild with SPLOST IV funds. However, because of pleas from the community, the board voted last year to set aside $5 million from its general fund reserves, also called the fund balance, to build a new school in Mableton to replace Harmony Leland and Clay. Harmony Leland parents such as Sharie Bassett told the board at the time that the school, which is tied for the county’s oldest, having been built in 1951, had roof leaks when it rains, cracks in windows and suspected mold in the walls. Parker said a new elementary school would typically cost about $30 million, although he noted it’s difficult to gauge without having a design or location. At the board’s Wednesday meeting, Chairman Randy Scamihorn requested a line item be added to the proposed budget to set aside another $5 million for the possible rebuild project. “The district and board has pledged to south (and) southwest Cobb County to continue giving consideration for rebuild of the Clay (and) Harmony Leland schools,” Scamihorn said. “We will possibly look at that $5 million that we have pledged to come out of the fund balance.” Scamihorn ran into objections from board members David Banks, Scott Sweeney and Susan Thayer. Banks who lobbied last year for the board to rebuild Powers Ferry Elementary, a school in his post, objected to Scamihorn’s request, saying it has nothing to do with the budget. Banks, who represents northeast Cobb, said the school board should include the new elementary school on the project list in the next SPLOST cycle — SPLOST V. A SPLOST V would first have to be approved by voters and begin after SPLOST IV expires in December 2018. “We have never built a new school out of general funds. It’s either been bonds or SPLOST money,” Banks said. “If we want to rebuild Harmony Leland, we need to get it in SPLOST V because it’s going to take about $30 million or north to do it, and we’ve got to find some land to put it on. It can’t be rebuilt where it’s at.” Scamihorn noted it was a line item when the board approved the fiscal 2015 budget last year and said that set a precedent. “I’m not sure that it’s relevant where the funds come from as long as we’ve made a pledge to not forget the good folks in south Cobb County,” said Scamihorn, who represents northwest Cobb. “We’ve already started that set-aside. … We’re not really using it; the money’s still there.” Banks maintained putting the set-aside in as a line item was inappropriate because it is just a reallocation of money in the fund balance and pointed out the reserve fund isn’t included in the budget. “What we take out of the fund balance is for expenditures only — at that time for that fiscal year,” Banks said. Brad Johnson, the district’s chief financial officer, said the board can vote to commit a fund balance to a different category — such as from unassigned to a committed category — which is what the board did last year for the $5 million set-aside. “Many districts have built buildings with general fund money,” Johnson said. “There’s no accounting reason why you can’t do it.” However, he noted Cobb historically uses bonds and SPLOST funds for capital improvements, not the general fund or fund balance. Board member Scott Sweeney, who represents east Cobb, reminded the board of the discussion about fund balance allocations last year, where he suggested using the money to increase the amount of new teaching positions. “I very specifically said we need at least 400 positions,” Sweeney said, which was 100 more than what was approved. “This board may recall that as the school year opened, the superintendent had to come back and ask for more dollars for that very reason.” Sweeney said the district is still about 900 to 1,000 teachers shy of the number it had during the 2008-09 school year. “My deep concern is that we’re sequestering dollars out of the general fund through committing fund balance to specific projects when we’re still chasing trying to reduce classroom sizes and hire new teachers,” he said. Sweeney said the district wants to reduce class sizes, which he says could potentially take 10 years at the current rate, noting the proposed fiscal 2016 budget is only reducing the deficit by 100 teachers and the district is expecting enrollment growth over the next decade. “I think it’s something that we can take a look at later in the year to determine, much like we did with the teacher raises,” Sweeney said, referencing the 1 percent pay restoration the board approved in October. “Let’s see where we are further down the road to see if we have the flexibility.” Scamihorn said a future board could easily take a vote to undo the commitment, noting if the money is needed, it can be accessed. “In my opinion, there’s really very little downside by setting aside that money. It’s more or less a savings account, is it not? In layman’s terms?” he asked Johnson, who confirmed Scamihorn’s description. Board member Susan Thayer, who represents the Smyrna area, said as a new board member, she would not be comfortable voting in favor of setting aside the money until she has had more time to study the issue. “My concern is that I would have to vote against something like that for lack of information where, at a later point, I might support it,” Thayer said. By the end of the discussion, Scamihorn withdrew his motion to give board members time to assess Harmony Leland and other schools if they choose to. The board is expected to vote on whether to approve the tentative budget for the purpose of public advertisement at its April 30 meeting.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
A round of apawse: Irish Setter National Specialty members congregate for weeklong show
by Philip Clements
April 18, 2015 04:00 AM | 788 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Charlie Walker of New York is embraced in a congratulatory hug by fellow Irish setter breeder Ann Marie Kubacz of New Jersey after he and his dog, Phyllis, claimed the champion’s title in the ‘Breed By’ class. <br>Staff-Kelly J. Huff
Charlie Walker of New York is embraced in a congratulatory hug by fellow Irish setter breeder Ann Marie Kubacz of New Jersey after he and his dog, Phyllis, claimed the champion’s title in the ‘Breed By’ class.
Staff-Kelly J. Huff
slideshow
Seanpat Morna and her owner, Tricia Lyons of Philadelphia, strike a pose for the judge as they compete  in the ‘Breed By’ class.
Seanpat Morna and her owner, Tricia Lyons of Philadelphia, strike a pose for the judge as they compete in the ‘Breed By’ class.
slideshow
Judge Deborah Davis gives each entrant in the ‘Breed By’ class a good look as she tries to narrow the field to crown a champion Friday at the Marietta Hilton Hotel & Conference Center.
Judge Deborah Davis gives each entrant in the ‘Breed By’ class a good look as she tries to narrow the field to crown a champion Friday at the Marietta Hilton Hotel & Conference Center.
slideshow
Cindy Stanford of California trots her dog, Bella, around the ring in the ‘Breed By’ class.
Cindy Stanford of California trots her dog, Bella, around the ring in the ‘Breed By’ class.
slideshow
Award winning K-9 sculptor Leslie Hutto nears completion of another clay Irish setter, which she will cast in bronze at her studio in South Carolina after the end of the 2015 National Specialty Events.
Award winning K-9 sculptor Leslie Hutto nears completion of another clay Irish setter, which she will cast in bronze at her studio in South Carolina after the end of the 2015 National Specialty Events.
slideshow
MARIETTA — The Marietta Hilton Hotel & Conference Center was converted into a dog park this week as hundreds of Irish setter owners congregated for the 2015 National Specialty, an annual dog show featuring the Irish setter. On Friday, participants and their dogs traveled around the hotel — and outside for the dogs’ bathroom breaks — perusing all sorts of Irish setter-related items for sale and silent auction. Stickers, magnets, shirts, statues, paintings and jewelry all featured the Irish setter, a large, sleek hunting dog with long-flowing red or chestnut hair cascading from its bottom half. There are about 400 people and 300 dogs at the hotel for this week’s event, according Mindy Higby of Jacksonville, Florida, the show’s chair. “People come from all over the country with their dogs. We’ve got people from Australia, we’ve got people from England, we’ve got people from all over,” Higby said. “They come to the event, they plan for it all year long.” Heidi Laabs of Wisconsin is the president of the Irish Setters Club of America and said the annual specialty show is rotated throughout four regions — it was the southern region’s turn to host it this year. “We had originally planned to be out at Jim Miller Park for our event, but the weather didn’t cooperate,” Laabs said, referencing the rain that has been steadily falling all week. “The hotel has been very gracious in allowing us to use the ballroom for our show and we’re having a great time.” Laurie Loisel of Maryland was at the event with Parker, her 16-month-old Irish setter. Loisel said this is her second time attending the national conference and she loves how the Irish Setter Club supports the older dogs, which are called veterans. “They always have a big entry in the veterans’ class,” Loisel said. “The event itself is wonderful. They have activities every day for almost a full week. Very well-planned, very organized.” Mike and Maureen Hunter of Acworth are members of the Irish Setter Club of Georgia, which is hosting the national show. Mike Hunter said watching the dogs move is his favorite part of the event. “They’re so beautiful and so special,” he said. Laabs said Irish setters are an elegant, aristocratic dog, often referred to as the “gentleman’s hunting dog.” “Many artists say it’s the most beautiful dog,” she said. “(Some) people have the impression that they’re not (intelligent) because they’re goofy and wild, but if they have the adequate exercise and training, they’re fabulous.” The dogs are the best when they have the opportunity to exercise regularly, Laabs said, noting they have what’s called a “frolicky” temperament, which she said requires a bit of a sense of humor from the owner. “They’re not a dog that should live outdoors, but they require exercise off-leash on a daily basis,” Laabs said. “They are very versatile.” Higby — whose dog, Penny, won Best in Show last year — described the Irish setter as a fun-loving, amiable breed. “They’re great with kids, and they’re just a great family pet, all around,” Higby said. “And they keep you on your toes.” Laabs said most of the dogs at the show are not spayed or neutered because of show standards, with about 175 to 200 males and about 150 or so females. The Hunters were at the event with a 4-month-old puppy they call Grace, although the dog’s full name is Vermilion’s All the Way to Kildownet, which comes from the breeder’s litter. Maureen Hunter said females typically grow to about 60 pounds and the males can get as big as 80 pounds. All the dogs at the show are purebred Irish setters, according to Jan Ziech, the first vice president and rescue coordinator of the Irish Setters Club of America. Ziech, who is from the Chicago area, said the club typically adopts out about 50 rescue dogs a year. “Our numbers have decreased and I feel the popularity has decreased,” Ziech said. “But also, our breeders do an extremely good job of taking back any dogs that they’ve bred.” She said many of the rescue dogs the club handles are the result of backyard breeders and other profit-motivated breeding operations, “But they’re still great dogs.” She said the cost of adopting a rescue dog is about $250, but the total cost can vary significantly depending on the dog’s health at the time of adoption. “I’ve taken in dogs that have needed thousands of dollars (worth) of care,” she said, noting she once took in a dog with a broken leg whose owner couldn’t afford to care for the dog.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
Crown Jewel: After 30 years, shop owner to retire, work with museum
by Brittini Ray
April 18, 2015 04:00 AM | 749 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gerald Alvarez, left, and Marietta Museum of History CEO Dan Cox share a laugh while looking over some Civil War-era silverware at the Marietta Museum of History on Thursday.  <br> Staff-C.B. Schmelter
Gerald Alvarez, left, and Marietta Museum of History CEO Dan Cox share a laugh while looking over some Civil War-era silverware at the Marietta Museum of History on Thursday.
Staff-C.B. Schmelter
slideshow
MARIETTA — After 30 years of operation on Marietta Square, the Jeweler on the Square’s owner has decided to close his store and retire. Gerald Alvarez, 61, said he’s closing up shop to focus on personal hobbies, including his interest in expanding the Marietta Museum of History’s collection. Jeweler on the Square opened in 1985 on West Park Square, where Vineyard Cafe & Gift Shop is now located, moving to the corner of West Park Square five years later. The store closed its doors March 31. Alvarez said he had a tough time adjusting to life in Marietta, but he knew he always wanted to open a store on a town square. “It was difficult (for me at first) because I’m not from Marietta,” he said. “I moved south (from New York) when I was 19. When I started to look for a location (to open the store), I actually went to the Gainesville Square, the Roswell Square. I wanted to be on a square. I scoped out the different areas before I tried to go for any one spot. …When I finally got here, I sure enough stayed.” Alvarez said some of his favorite memories are of the people he’s met in his shop. “My social life has been (centered) around my customers that I’ve met,” he said. “I would say the most enjoyable part was meeting people. Most of our friends are dignitaries of this area, dignitaries of the Square.” One of those people was George T. Smith, a Marietta attorney who served as lieutenant governor, House Speaker and Georgia Supreme Court justice. For Alvarez, collecting and appraising fine jewelry and antiques has always been more than a source of revenue. It was a way to help preserve history and give back to the community that has housed the jeweler’s business for three decades. “After a while, money doesn’t really matter,” he said. “It’s so much more important to have that history to stay local.” Shortly after the store closed, Alvarez donated a set of Civil War cutlery to the Marietta Museum of History — an act he’s done several times over the years and one he plans to continue throughout his retirement. Alvarez said he plans to volunteer more of his time and expertise at the museum with the store’s closing. “Sometimes the monetary value doesn’t compare to the historical value,” he said. “One of the things that I stress to my customers is to give to the Marietta Museum of History — especially if you’re ‘old Marietta’ and you’ve got stuff of great historical value. I’d much rather give something for free than to sell it and get money for it,” he said. Dan Cox, the museum’s founder, said Alvarez’s donations have been a welcome addition to the collection and his presence on the Square will be missed. “I hate to see him go,” Cox said. “He was probably our biggest supporter on the Square. He’s always finding little items to donate to us. He’s donated a great deal of items. He’s donated a beautiful cash register and a big steam locomotive. I think he’s probably our biggest cheerleader on the Square. I’m really going to miss him bad.” Alvarez said although he is closing his store, he will work with his wife, Ginger, to operate an online antique business on eBay called Ginger’s Victorian Attic. The online store will serve as a way for Jeweler on the Square customers to keep in contact, Ginger Alvarez said.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
Comm. director heads to Sheriff’s Office
by Ricky Leroux
April 18, 2015 04:00 AM | 651 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The Cobb Government’s long-serving communications director is leaving the position to take a similar job with county Sheriff Neil Warren’s office. Robert Quigley has served as the county’s communications director for the past 15 years. At Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting, Cobb Chairman Tim Lee announced Quigley would be taking a new job as communications and information director in the sheriff’s office. Quigley’s last day with the county will be April 24. He starts in the sheriff’s office the following Monday, April 27 and said he’s excited to get started. “It’s a great opportunity to work for Sheriff Warren and (Deputy) Chief (Milton) Beck,” he said. “I’ve admired their operation for a long time. Just seems like a very exciting opportunity.” Quigley, who worked for Cobb police for about eight years prior to working for the county, said his background in public safety helped inform his decision to take this new job. “I’m in a unique position to apply my previous law enforcement experience with all the communications experience I’ve gained over the last few years as communications director, so it really has come together very well for this new position,” he said. Quigley received a salary of $110,000 with the county and will be paid $105,000 in the sheriff’s office, but he said taking a pay cut is not an issue for him. “That’s a taxpayer paid salary, so I’m just privileged to even have a salary on behalf of the county citizens,” he said. “I certainly have no complaints.” At the end of Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting, Quigley was called up to the lectern and received a warm send-off from Lee, who said Quigley has been a “tremendous asset” to the county. “This county, for many, many years, has been very fortunate to have at the helm of its communications group Mr. Robert Quigley, who’s led us through some very challenging times and has always been here to support us and make sure we try to do the best we can to stay out of trouble, although we often refuse his help,” Lee said with a grin. “Nevertheless, his dedication to this county and his commitment to the citizens and the employees is second to none, not only in your ability to work out in the public as it relates to public communication, but also the staff you lead and (the) many wonderful programs you do,” Lee said. After Lee finished his remarks, Quigley thanked the county chairman and credited the communications staff for all he was able to accomplish during his tenure. The meeting’s attendees then gave Quigley a long round of applause as he stepped down from the lectern. Quigley said Friday he was humbled by what Lee said, but again cited the communications staff as the reason the department has been successful. “If at all, it reflects upon my staff at the county and the work they’ve done,” he said. “They’re really the ones that got it to the finish line every time. It was flattering to know that their efforts were recognized.” The Cobb communications department, which handles open records requests, media inquiries, the county’s website and local television station, and generates press releases and newsletters, has 11 full-time employees and three part-time employees and a $1.18 million budget for fiscal 2015 — with about $1 million spent on personnel. Regarding his replacement, Quigley said County Manager David Hankerson and the county’s human resources department are working on filling the position, but he said they have not announced any specific plans yet.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides