Report: Avondale Estates man found dead inside Auburn apartment

Alabama news website reports that a student found dead in his Auburn, Ala. apartment is from Avondale Estates. reports Matthew Tucker Cole, 20, from Avondale Estates, died in his apartment on Jan. 30. Cole’s roommates found him. Police do not suspect foul play, reported.

Cole was majoring in geology at Auburn University, reported.

To see the full story, click here.

(VIDEO) Decatur Mayor thanks residents, staff for storm response

The city of Decatur released the following taped statement from Mayor Jim Baskett about the city’s response to the Jan. 28 snow storm.


Baskett planned to give the state of the city speech on Jan. 28, but postponed it once the snow began to fall and schools started dismissing early.

Some of the highlights from the mayor’s statement:

– “All told, about 30 tons of sand and salt were spread on city streets.”

– “Police officers, firefighters and volunteers checked on more than 80 seniors and other vulnerable members of our community.”

– “I join with the many parents who are thankful that City Schools of Decatur students were able to make it home safely Tuesday afternoon. We are fortunate to live in a community where many students could walk home.”

Parkwood neighborhood seeks annexation into Decatur

A map showing the boundary lines of the Parkwood Neighborhood. Source:

A map showing the boundary lines of the Parkwood Neighborhood. Source:

A group of Parkwood neighborhood residents wants the city of Decatur to annex their homes.

Andy Vocaire, spokesman for the Parkwood Neighborhood, said homeowners filed a petition with the city last week.

The city posted a copy of the petition on its website. To read it, click here.

City Commissioners will consider accepting the petition at their  Monday meeting. If the annexation effort is successful, it could add 76 homes to the city of Decatur. Vocaire said the neighborhood consists of 114 homes, some of which already are in the city limits. Another 17 have split boundaries between the city and unincorporated DeKalb County. There are 59 homes that are totally outside of the Decatur city lines.

Vocaire said plans to create a new city of Briarcliff prompted residents to start the petition drive.

“When they drew the map for Briarcliff, the unincorporated portion of our neighborhood was included in that map,” he said. “We started looking at options for the neighborhood. We decided if anything is going to happen to the neighborhood, we want to take control of our own destiny. Because we’ve always had such a close connection with Decatur, most of the community felt a kinship with the city.”

Petitioners applied for annexation using a process known as the “60 percent method.” The annexation law requires petitioners to get the signatures representing 60 percent of land owners and registered voters, Vocaire said.

City Manager Peggy Merriss said if the city accepts the petition there will be a cost analysis to determine how much it will cost the city to provide services to the new residents. Continue reading

DeKalb County had fire station agreement with Avondale Estates, lost it


This fire station in Avondale Estates, located on Clarendon Avenue, will be rebuilt. Photo by: Dan Whisenhunt

Avondale Estates is getting a new fire station, a project the city’s mayor says is long overdue.

DeKalb County Commissioners on Jan. 28 unanimously voted to award the contract to rebuild the station on Clarendon Avenue. The contract approval was deferred on Jan. 14, because Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton had questions.

One of the questions:   What are the terms of intergovernmental agreement with City of Avondale Estates for providing fire services?

According to a memo distributed to the commissioners during the Jan. 28 commission meeting, DeKalb County doesn’t know. Deputy Fire Chief Norman Augustin told commissioners that the county is still trying to locate the document.

“I was informed by Chief O’Brien (retired) that there is an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Avondale related to fire service delivery, but I am unable to locate this document in any of our files,” Augustin wrote. “I will work with the law department to obtain a copy of the agreement.”

After the Jan. 28 meeting, where commissioners voted unanimously to award the contract to rebuild the fire station, Sutton said that an intergovernmental agreement is in the works.

“I’ve asked the staff to look at the possibilities and to negotiate with the city of Avondale Estates and I hope that will come to fruition,” Sutton said. “I think it’s only fair for all of the citizens.” Continue reading

Blood drive held to restock after snow storm



If you’re at home today, you might consider stopping by the DeKalb County government building on Commerce Drive in Decatur to give blood.

City spokeswoman Casie Yoder said she donated this morning at a Red Cross blood drive.

“People can stop by anytime today,” Yoder said. “I know with the winter storm blood donations are desperately needed to replenish local supplies.”

She said the drive is being held at Maloof Auditorium, located at 1300 Commerce Drive.

Snow’s over: Deal apologizes, DeKalb County reopens

Gov. Nathan Deal. Source:

Gov. Nathan Deal. Source:

Gov. Nathan Deal apologized Thursday for his administration’s handling of the Jan. 28 snow storm.

According to Atlanta INtown, Deal accepted full responsibility for the lack of planning that created a legendary traffic jam that our grandchildren will be hearing about in 50 years.  People in Atlanta took refuge where they could, sleeping at Home Depot stores, in offices and in school buildings.

“I’m not going to look for scapegoats,” Deal said. “I’m the governor, the buck stops with me.”

To read the full INtown article, click here.

Deal also extended Georgia’s state of emergency through Sunday, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

“The State Patrol will begin at 9 tonight to tow vehicles left in areas where they are posing a public safety hazard; this applies only to the interstates,” the press release said. “The state will cover the cost of towing – but ONLY in cases where the towing was directed by the state. Abandoned cars deemed to not pose a safety risk will remain for owner pickup through Sunday night.”

State offices will reopen Friday, and so will other government offices, including DeKalb County.  Continue reading