Photo Gallery

Hundreds pound the pavement to increase awareness of breast cancer

The 2017 Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day began at Stone Mountain Park on Oct. 13. Participants will travel 60 miles through the Atlanta metro area during the three-day journey. The Decatur YMCA served at one of serval break-points on the route. Photos by Travis Hudgons



Hurricane Irma, the most powerful hurricane in recorded history, was downgraded to tropical storm status by the time it blew through DeKalb County; however, the storm caused extensive damage and resulted in closures of schools, businesses and government offices. According to officials, DeKalb County was one of the hardest-hit areas in Metro Atlanta. This gallery contains images taken by staff, submissions from our readers and from local government.



Summer at the rock

DeKalb County’s Stone Mountain Park has begun its new entertainment line-up called Summer At The Rock. It features an updated Lasershow, Skyhike Geyser Tower and a new exhibit–Dinosaur Explore. Photos by Travis Hudgons



“Oprah Winfrey spoke at Agnes Scott College’s 2017 commencement ceremony to an audience of thousands. Winfrey challenged attendees to live a life filled with compassion, commitment to service and constructive engagement. She also imparted the wisdom of living each moment with love to leave a lasting legacy on the world.

Agnes Scott College was the first of nine colleges and universities Winfrey will visit to honor graduates from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, based in South Africa.”




The Class 5A and 6A track and field state meet was held May 11-13 at Grisham Stadium in Carrollton. The Southwest DeKalb boys’ team led all DeKalb County teams with a second-place finish in Class 5A.




Dubai is experiencing a building boom and it seems that each architect is attempting to outdo the competition with buildings of unusual shapes and stunning design features.




Havana, Cuba is city that in many ways is suspended in time. For more than fifty years, the island nation has been off-limits to tourists, industries and investments from the United States. It is now possible for Americans to once again visit this amazing and intriguing nation, and it does not disappoint. This album documents the simplistic beauty of Havana in black and white photography.




Former Miller Grove High School football coach Damien Wimes was named the new Southwest DeKalb High School football coach.

Wimes, a 1991 graduate of Southwest DeKalb, was introduced to the players, parents and alumni respectively at the school Feb. 9 for meet and greet sessions. He coached at Miller Grove for six seasons, accumulating a 30-30 record, before he was fired after the 2015 season. Wimes spent the 2016 season as an assistant coach a Starr’s Mills High School before applying for the Southwest DeKalb job.




“In honor of the Atlanta Falcons winning the NFC Championship and reaching the Super Bowl, DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond held a pep rally which featured food, music and former Falcons players. More than 100 DeKalb County employees were in attendance at the rally Feb. 3.”




Southwest DeKalb girls’ basketball team receives state championship rings

The 2016 Southwest DeKalb girls’ basketball team received their state championship rings Jan. 24. The durilium ring has four yellow diamonds in each corner on top of the ring, along with the words “state champions” and “2016” on the outside and the school’s logo on top of a basketball in the center. Southwest DeKalb alumna Mia Mason Porter started a Go Fund Me account to help raise money to purchase the rings.




Vintage mobile tiny living is big business

They come in all colors, shapes and sizes.

They are often found in old barns, back yards, junkyards, pastures and often are in dire need of some extreme TLC.

Some have all the comforts of home and some are a bit less accommodating, with no bathroom, but lots of charm. Almost all feature cooking, dining and sleeping areas.

Vintage trailers as well a vintage camping equipment and décor are making a huge comeback in some groups. There seems to be a certain mystic and charm about bringing something back to its original condition and then putting it on display for others to appreciate






Duckett Mill and Bolding Mill campgrounds, both of which are located in Gainesville on 38,000-acre Lake Sidney Lanier—an Army Corps of Engineers-managed lake just north of the Atlanta area offer an abundance or recreational options for the entire family.

 Both campgrounds offer sites for RVs and tents; most of which include full electric and water connections, and are lakeside. Aside from the sheer natural beauty of the lake and the well-maintained grounds, the price can’t be beat—a mere $20-30 per night depending on the day of the week and whether one is camping in a tent or an RV.

 Both campgrounds offer plenty of lakefront acreage, sandy beaches, fishing, playgrounds, boat ramps, and bathhouses with toilets, showers, and even laundry machines. As added bonuses, there are security guards at the gated entrances and no firearms, fireworks or alcohol are allowed.

 To be able to escape the city in less than an hour and be immersed in a lakeside forest-like setting is truly worthy of the effort.






Two DeKalb County School District alums suited up for the University of Georgia football team against Nicholls State on Sept. 10. Photos by Alonza Ashe



Artists and Avondale Estates residents came together Sept. 10 for the ArtLot Block Party on North Avondale Road. Photos by Carla Parker





Crowds turn out for Yellow Daisy Festival

Sunny skies prevailed over the Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain Park Sept. 7-10.
Thousands turned out to inspect the wares from more than 400 vendors—from 33 states and two countries–offering such arts and crafts as bird houses, chimes, jewelry, baked goods, musical instruments, wall art, food, furniture, soaps and creams and more. This year the festival was in its 48th year. Live entertainment and craft demonstrations were also part of the event. Photos by Gale Horton Gay & Travis Hudgons



On a hot and rainless night hundreds turned out for the first outdoor concert of 2016 at Lithonia Amphitheater. On Aug. 13 Jazz Under the Stars featured vocalist Liz Spraggins, trombonist George Bohanon and saxophonist Ralph Jones as well as other performers. Another concert is scheduled for Aug. 20 featuring Ronnie Laws, Lonnie Liston Smith, Julie Dexter and others. Plans are in the works for two more shows—one music, one comedy—in September.


Stephen Bradshaw unseated incumbent Sharon Barnes Sutton in a runoff election July 26, defeating Sutton with 79 percent of the votes.

More than 100 Bradshaw supporters came to the Village Corner restaurant in Stone Mountain to celebrate his victory.



re:loom, an initiative of Affordable Housing, Inc., recently held an open house at its facilities at 3032 N. Decatur Road. Leila Wright, above, sits in front of the re:loom store demonstrating the weaving process. Wright has been working there for five years. Photos by Travis Hudgons



Members of the Atlanta Chinese Dance Company held a free educational performance at the Clarkston Library Jan. 30. The performance was presented in celebration of the upcoming Lunar New Year. Photos by Travis Hudgons



Adventure travel can be for everyone by Daniel Palazzolo

 Beautiful photos of far off exotic places. A rare 4WD truck with a near perfect patina sitting at a remote camp spot—that is the dream—this is what adventure travel is all about to some.

 Palazzolo is a DeKalb County native who grew up in the Druid Hills area and is now living in Chile. He has traveled to exotic locales and helped to extinguish wildfires throughout the western United States as a volunteer firefighter. He is also a thrill-seeker, extreme adventurer and off-road enthusiast.



Brookhaven hosted its annual Cherry Blossom Festival on April 2. The family and pet-friendly event allowed attendees to experience an arts and crafts market, children’s village, pet parade and live musical performances throughout the two-day festival. Photos by Travis Hudgons



Time to show off those cars. Promoted as an old-fashioned town meet and greet of the car community the Tucker Cruise-in, was recently held on Main Street in Tucker. It allows car enthusiasts to meet and show off their cars. Each cruise-in takes place the second Saturday of every month through September. At this Cruise-In there were vehicles ranging from antiques to street rods to imports. Photos by Travis Hudgons




Inside the Georgia Aquarium



The Decatur Arts Alliance is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting and enhancing the arts in the city of Decatur.



Decatur – On July 25 West Ponce de Leon in downtown Decatur was transformed into a giant slip and slide. Slide the City brought its 1,000-foot portable water slide to Decatur streets. Thousands of tickets were sold in anticipation of the event and hundreds of early attendees got a chance to experience the slide before organizers cancelled the event early due to DeKalb’s water troubles. Photos by Travis Hudgons



The PR Experience Jazz/Funk Band performed at Kats Café in Atlanta on June 27. The band features former and current middle and high school band directors and professional musicians.



When we imagine hassle-free air travel, we may envision the ultra-rich or those with generous expense accounts who have the luxury of flying from smaller airports on private jets. Most of us have seen the photos on social media and entertainment shows of sharply dressed celebrities with designer luggage posing for the paparazzi before boarding a private jet.

However, this mode of travel is not necessarily only for the rich and famous anymore. A similar service is now available to the public and is surprisingly affordable. With fares as low as $98 to select destinations, Memphis-based Southern Airways Express, now operating out of DeKalb Peachtree Airport, is changing the way we fly.



On May 23 in addition to being the start of the Memorial Day holiday weekend –is carnival time. Thousands of people celebrated Caribbean culture with festivals that include parades, costumes, island food and traditional Caribbean music. Although there have been carnivals in DeKalb County for more than a quarter of a century, this year Decatur held a Caribbean carnival for the first time in several years around the Kensington MARTA Station



 For some May 23—in addition to being the start of the Memorial Day holiday weekend–is carnival time. This year, Decatur brought thousands of people around the Kensington MARTA Station to celebrate Caribbean culture with a festival that included a parade, costumes, island food and traditional Caribbean music.



Waterpark resorts have gained popularity over the past several years and are great options for entertainment-included, safe family fun. This unique blend of upscale hotel combined with water features for all family members normally also offers adult options such as bars and restaurants that are adjacent to or nearby, the water features. Adults can enjoy their favorite beverages while keeping a close eye on the younger ones and feel assured that the children are nearby and being closely monitored by lifeguards.
Likely the best-known waterpark resort in the southeast is Wilderness at the Smokies in Sevierville, Tenn. It has everything a family could possibly imagine to keep everyone happy for days on end.



On May 15 just after dusk, hundreds gathered at Color Wheel Studio on E. Howard Avenue in Decatur for the annual Decatur Lantern Parade. Parade artist Chantelle Rytter, center image, taught lantern-making workshops at Color Wheel. The handcrafted, illuminated lanterns and other whimsical creations floated, hovered and danced through Decatur streets to the square, led by music from the Black Sheep Ensemble. Photos by Travis Hudgons



Main Street in Tucker was filled with food, entertainment and merchandise for the annual Tucker Day on May 9. The event was hosted by the Main Street Tucker Alliance. Photos by Carla Parker


They danced as if no one was looking on May 2 in downtown Decatur the open spaces and vacant buildings along East Howard Avenue were transformed into a free family-friendly dance experience–danceDanceDANCE!

Zoetic Dance Ensemble partnered with the city of Decatur and the Decatur Arts Alliance to host the event, which is intended to help inform the community about creating the city’s first “EcoArts District.”

The goal of the district is to build inclusive communities by shaping neighborhood redevelopment so that it is environmentally sustainable with opportunities for creative expression. Photos by Travis Hudgons



The annual Antique Car Parade was held in Avondale Estates April 5. Featuring several dozen vintage automobiles such as Model A Fords, Cadillacs, Buicks, MGs, Woodies and Rolls Royces. The Sunday drivers cruised through Avondale Estates residential streets before settling at Willis Park. Photos by Travis Hudgons.



Kevin Dunbar performs at the first Blue Sky concert of the spring in downtown Decatur. Photos by Travis Hudgons



The city of Brookhaven hosted its inaugural Cherry Blossom Festival. The three-day event was held at Blackburn Park March 27-29. Attendees experienced arts and crafts vendors, food and live entertainment. Other festival activities included a 4K run and 1K walk, pet parade, and a children’s village. The city planted more than 140 cherry trees on the park’s 52 acres. Photos by Travis Hudgons.




The 79th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival was held in Piedmont Park April 10-12. The festival welcomed more than 200,000 visitors throughout the weekend. Festival activities included artists, live music, 25th Disc Dog Southern Nationals qualifier, Atlanta high school art exhibition and the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. Photos by Travis Hudgons



Dog owners and dog lovers attended the PAWS For The Cause event, sponsored by the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office. Held April 18 in city of Decatur’s Glenlake Park, the event helps to raise awareness about animal cruelty. There were various pet vendors, animal shelters, rescue groups and veterinarians on site offering their services. Additionally, there was a dog show at which DeKalb Sheriff Jeff Mann was one of the judges. Photos by Travis Hudgons



Former Southwest DeKalb High School football coach William “Buck” Godfrey won many games at Panthersville Stadium.

The next time he enters the facility, the stadium will display his name—William Buck Godfrey Stadium. The DeKalb County Board of Education voted April 1 to rename Panthersville Stadium after the legendary coach.




For a leisurely way to spend the day, hop aboard the SAM Shortline and watch rural Georgia roll by.




Lake Rabun is a twisty 835-acre reservoir with 25 miles of shoreline located in the Northeastern corner of Georgia in Rabun County.



12th Annual Decatur Barbeque, Blues & Bluegrass Festival


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