Hightower Highbots showcase DeKalb’s engineering skills

The Hightower Highbots team members are Andy Quintanilla, Orlando Gama, Sebastian Ramirez, Bryce Marshall, Brenda Sanchez and Katherine Portillo. Also pictured are Principal Sheila George, left, and technology teacher Sondra Owens, right. Photos by R. Scott Belzer

While most DeKalb County residents are in the daily grind, at least seven elementary school students in Doraville are practicing the arts of collaboration, innovation, strategy and robotics. What’s more, the seven are earning trophies in the process. Hightower Elementary School’s “Highbots,” or Robotics Club, recently competed in the Georgia FIRST LEGO League at the […]

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County revitalizes film commission


DeKalb County wants a share of the state’s $6 billion film industry. “Georgia’s film industry has just exploded,” DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson said Feb. 17. “They call Atlanta and metropolitan Atlanta the Hollywood of the South. “We want to make sure DeKalb County gets a piece of the rock, a piece of the dollars […]

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Wrestlers bring home state medals

Marist freshman Andrew Pace won gold in the Class AAAA 113-weight class with a pin over Sandy Creek senior Jake Lee. Photo by R. Findley Photography

Marist’s Andrew Pace was the lone wrestler from the DeKalb County area to win a gold medal at the GHSA state wrestling tournaments Feb. 13. Pace, a freshman, won gold in the Class AAAA 113-weight class with a pin over Sandy Creek senior Jake Lee. Marist had four other wrestlers to place in the top […]

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Riverdale police officer’s funeral held in DeKalb

A long line of law enforcement vehicles travels along Memorial Drive for the funeral of a Riverdale police major. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Traffic came to a stop for approximately 30 minutes on Memorial Drive as the funeral procession for a fallen Riverdale Police major made its way to Saint Philips AME Church in DeKalb County Feb. 20. Riverdale Police Major Gregory E. Barney was shot and killed Feb. 11 while assisting the Clayton County SWAT and Clayton County […]

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EXCLUSIVE: Lithonia police chief accused of creating ‘hostile work environment’

Lithonia Police Chief Roosevelt Smith is sworn in by Judge Curtis Miller.

In the 15 months Roosevelt Smith has been chief of police of Lithonia, he has created a hostile work environment and engaged in corrupt and unethical practices, according to former and current Lithonia police officers. The Champion was the first to report that Smith and Lithonia Police Captain Lloyd Owens are being investigated by city […]

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Cross Keys more confident after championship loss


The Cross Keys boys’ soccer team made program history last season with its first championship game appearance. The team suffered a 1-0 loss to St. Pius X in the game, but the loss did not keep them down for long, according to their coach Derrick Burgess, he said the hunger the players had last season […]

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Eleven teams advance to Elite Eight

Cedar Grove point guard Jaquan Acie runs by a Dodge County defender. Photos by Travis Hudgons

The Elite Eight of five of the seven classifications in the state basketball playoffs will feature 11 teams from DeKalb County. In Class AAA, the Cedar Grove Saints will play in their third consecutive Elite Eight on Feb. 26 against Westside of Augusta at Augusta University. Game time is set for 8:15 p.m.Cedar Grove defeated […]

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Wine connoisseur brings sip and shop to Avondale Estates

Stefffini with wine bottle1

Steffini Bethea has been interested in wine most of her adult life—so interested that her husband remarked she had put so much time and money into wine research she should make a living at it. The remark inspired Bethea to launch The Purple Corkscrew Wine Shop & Tasting Room. Bethea said her previous experiences as […]

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