Topside news November 18 2000
According to reports
Roswell council to postpone nine road projects
Although the Roswell City Council approved its 2020 Comprehensive Plan, it held off on the nine controversial road- improvement projects that were tacked on at the last minute.
The nine projects, which were opposed by many residents who do not want roads widened, will be considered by the council in January. Residents are opposed to widening Holcomb Bridge Road from Ga. 400 east to the Gwinnett County line, as well as the adding of a third lane to Hardscrabble Road from Woodstock to Rucker roads. Other projects under fire from residents included the widening of Hembree Road from Houze to Old Roswell roads.
The comprehensive plan is considered a blueprint for development over the next 20 years and is used to allow local governments to qualify for state and federal funding.
Roswell homestead exemption extended
The city of Roswell now is allowing acceptance of homestead exemptions until Dec. 15. The extension is due in part to the annexation that created new homeowners in Roswell.
The east side annexation occurred as a result of last year's referendum that allowed voters in the affected precincts to vote to join the city from unincorporated Fulton County.
Alpharetta amends alcohol ordinance
The Alpharetta City Council voted to amend its alcohol beverage ordinance to allow people buying alcohol not to be carded if a manager of the facility approves the sale. The sale would be approved if the manager decides the patron looks at least 35 years of age.
Earlier this year, the council had voted to change the law, requiring that regardless of age, all people buying alcohol had to show photo identification.
Many residents complained about the requirement. "This is what happens when you allow government to use an elephant gun to kill a mosquito ... This law is being changed because of the ... parents, grandparents and corporate clients who come into Alpharetta for dinner and a drink are being carded when they are 60, 70 or 80 years of age," said former Alpharetta council member R.J. Kurey.
Fulton school board votes on budget surplus
The Fulton County School Board of Education was expected to vote on the $9 million budget surplus last week, with funding considered for security cameras, traffic officers and an administrative secretary.
The proposed budget would furnish security cameras for Alpharetta, Esther Jackson, Dolvin, Heards Ferry, Seaborn Lee, S.L. Lewis, Sweet Apple and Tubman elementary schools at a price of about $45,000. Also possible would be a budget of $100,000 for SAT prep materials; $350,000 for ESOL student programs; and $100,000 on traffic and security officers for several elementary schools, Taylor Road Middle School and Chattahoochee High School.
Fulton County wins appeal of state penalty
The state has rescinded its $803,000 penalty brought against Fulton County in September after the county appealed the audit showing property assessments in the county were too low by 10 percent. State law requires properties to be assessed at 40 percent of their fair market value, allowing for a variation of 4 percent either way.
The state Department of Revenue had penalized the county, stating it was under-valuing property, and billed Fulton for the money. The county appealed and the state found flaws in the sample of the 3,500 parcels/properties used by the state in the 1999 audit to review property tax assessments.
The county challenged and had some of the assessments thrown out, pushing Fulton up to 36 percent of fair market value, which is above the state minimum.
Three still wanted in gang killing
Police continue to look for one man and two women in the gang-related shooting at a Norcross soccer park in October.
Suspect Fernando "Giler" Dimayuga, 20, was at the park when Mechelle Marie Torres, 18, was killed and Robin Rainey, 17, was injured. Rainey, who survived a gunshot to the throat in the attack, said Dimayuga was the final man at the crime scene that night.
Gwinnett County police detective Larry Bright said they have received information that Dimayuga fled to Mexico, but they also received tips that he's still in the metro Atlanta area. Police consider him armed and dangerous.
Two females also are being sought. Bright said these two beat Torres before she was killed. One female suspect is tall and known only as "Star," and the other is Vanessa, mother of a 6-month-old child, who lived at the gang's rented duplex in Lawrenceville.
Hasia Sauceda of Duluth and Christina Olarte of Gainesville, both 16, face murder and aggravated assault charges in the shootings. Gang member Raul "Cruz" Garcia and gang leaders "Biggie" Nolasco and Celerino "Happy" Palma face the same charges for ordering the killings and egging the girls on.
Anyone with information on the three at-large suspects should call detectives at 770-513-5300.
Compiled by Debra Warlick. Additional reporting by Lea Keel. Source information from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Alpharetta/Roswell Neighbor.