The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on July 31, 1998 · 35
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · 35

Atlanta, Georgia
Issue Date:
Friday, July 31, 1998
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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution NEWS Friday, July 3 1. 1998 C9 "Inhought, if he's so proud, let him stand on the street I ?. comer I' RUSTY SMITH -J6iJfon brother of Jason Smith Wearing sjgn, teen admits stealing By Brad Schrade STAFF WRITER , i . . - The.Mgn 16-year-old Jason Smith' wore for the world had a simple: but humiliating message: "I'm a thief. I stole money from Kroger." It was punishment inflicted on the'! Pope High School junior for losing his cashier's job at the Kroger because he stole $10 from the; cash register. He draped the sandwich board sign over his shdulders for seven hours Wednesday and stood near the grocery store at Johnson Ferry and Shallowford roads . as the world passed by in judgment. "It's not the way I wanted to get. attention," said Jason, who admits to taking the cash. "I don't want the whole world to know I'm a thief." Hisj$2-year-old guardian brother, Rusty Smith, dished out the penalty. The former Army Ranger said he'd tried everything to discipline his brother and remembered reading about a similar punishment handed out onCebyajudge. "He had no shame about it," said Rusty, who lives in Chimney Lakes subdivision. "I thought, if lie's so proud, let him stand on the street corner." .Most passers-by seemed sympathetic' toward the teen, bringing him bagels, offering him jobs, .mohev or the Bible. One elderlv E ' couple stopped and prayed for hint ' Jason said he learned his lesson and won't lie or steal again, ibut'the "World now thinks he's a "punk kid" thanks to his brother. ihfr.TKA a bad kid," Rusty sajdvThis is learned behavior that-lie's got to understand is A : LAW AND ORDER ftape charges filed against ffenry officer 'S Henry County police cap-jjA tain was arraigned Thursday on a rape charge. ' 'DeKalb County police arrested Capt. Kenneth Dawson on Wednesday. 1 'Police released few details of the alleeed assault, but said it Mppened in a motel in DeKalb. Pawson, a six-year veteran who joversees the police officers in schools,' has been suspended without pay pending the outcome bf the case, said Henry police Detective Willie Rosser. ' ! Atlanta Corpse found behind Cascade Road store A jnan rummaging through a trash bih behind a Kroger store in the 500 btpcc of Cascade Road Thursday found a corpse instead. Police said the victim was a black male in his Amid-' to late-20s. The cause of death iseiui uoaeierminea. ' 1 ' ' GWINNETT COUNTY Family wins settlement in nursing home case The jfamily of an 85-year-old Law-4 r&iceville nursing home resident who died after wandering outside on a cotd. night has received a $225,000 settlement from the facility. Ora Lee Phillips was found on the ground outside Life pare Center of Gwinnett about 4 a.m. on Dec. 30, 1995. An -employee arriving for work carried hr inside, but Phillips, a resident for three months, did not survive. No autopsy was performed. Phillips' family claimed she died from exposure. The family also claimed that Life Care's security system failed, permitting Phillips to leave without anyone knowing. Life Care Center admitted no liability in the settle- . From staff and win reports arietta day care center undergoes investigation By Doug Payne STAFF WRITER A Marietta day care center is under investigation after the mother of a 5-year-old boy reported that her son was left unattended in a school van for six hours this week, authorities said Thursday. . Denise Wynn, mother of Rashard, said she put her child on the van owned by In His Image Christian Learning Center at 7:55 a.m. on Tuesday. That evening at the dinner table, she said, Rashard told her he had fallen asleep in the van and had stayed there until the afternoon. "They drove to the day care and left him in the van," she said. "He heard a police siren and it woke him up. He got out thank God the door wasn't locked he got out and walked into the school." The staff gave the boy water. He appears to be in good condition and has not been to see a doctor, Wynn said. She said the van was in the school parking lot. Temperatures in the area had reached 84 degrees at 2 p.m. Tuesday. A month ago, a 3-year-old Gwinnett County boy died of heat exhaustion after being left for three hours in a locked day care center van. State Department of Human Resources guidelines require that a day care center employee accompany children on vehicles at all times, that they maintain logs of children who get on and get off, and that workers inspect the inside of the vehicle after all the children have left it Wynn said the Rev. Warren Dillon, owner of the facility on Washington Street in Marietta, confirmed the incident. "He said he was very sorry," Wynn said. Dillon, who also runs a day care center on Kurt Drive in Marietta, said the school has been in operation since 1992 as part of his In His Image Ministry, which he founded in 1987. He referred questions about the incident to the school's attorney, who could not be reached. A report on the incident was filed with the Marietta police and a detective has been assigned, said Lt. Wayne Kennedy. April Majors, a spokeswoman for the Office of School Readiness, an agency of the state Department of Education that can fine the center or revoke its license, said her office's investigation could be finished as early as next week. .. Wynn said Rashard has attended the In His Image day care center since he was 2. But "he has not been back and he's not going back," she said. infill r I, " The strong, silent type Chicago native Carl Wallace, who recently moved to Atlanta, takes a break from his downtown job hunt amid "Homage to Pasaquan" at the corner of Ralph McGill Boulevard and Courtland Avenue. JOHN SPINK Stalt Justice: U.S. monitor oversees work Continued from CI them. The report also criticized the Department of Juvenile Justice for not providing adequate mental health treatment once youngsters get into the system. The report, issued in February following a yearlong investigation, also cited a general "pattern of egregious conditions violating the federal rights of youths" in Georgia's juvenile, facilities. Federal officials threatened to file suit against the state if conditions were not corrected within 49 days. But after several meetings between Gov. Zell Miller and federal officials, an agreement was reached in which the state said it would spend $65 million to address specific shortcomings identified in the Justice report. A federal monitor has since been appointed to oversee the agreement and Walker said the state is now in the process of hiring consultants to work with the .monitor. Normer Adams, executive director of the Georgia Association of Homes and Services for Children, said that despite harsh language in the report about the treatment of youngsters at some of the detention centers, the visit to the Ireland facility reinforced his belief that the Department of Juvenile Justice staffers are generally concerned about the welfare of children sent to them but are often hamstrung by financial and political considerations. - "What DJJ is doing is carrying out the policies of the political machine in Georgia," said Adams, whose group represents 70 foster care programs throughout the state. Adams and other advocates say the current political climate in the state is a "get-tough-on-crime" approach that does not address the underlying needs of young offenders. I v Vk'i .1.' .'' ' ' w HI b J . & Hi W ihlr ' v I RON MARTZ Staff Juvenile inmates stay in formation at the Bill E. Ireland Youth Development Campus in Milledgeville. "The legislative intent is to build boot camps and lock kids up," said Adams. The advocates are hoping that by taking a less confrontational approach with state officials they will be able to exert more positive influence on them and on federal monitor who will oversee the state's agreement with the Department of Justice to make reforms in the system. "We want to open up the door and start some dialogue with the department, which has not happened in the past," said Michele Glaser, executive director of Fledglings, a Decatur-based advocacy group for children and troubled youth. But the advocates also express concern that the language of the agreement is too general and the $65 million the state has agreed to invest in improvements will merely evaporate in what they feel is a deteriorating system. "The programs that address prevention, intervention and after-care have gotten no additional funds. That's the grand tragedy in all this," said Adams. Officials at the Ireland facility admit they havt problems with overcrowding and not enough money to deal with all the educational, mental health and medical needs of the youngsters sent to them. "Certainly we have challenges, and we are addressing them. But we were aware of them before the report and were working to correct them," said Jane Wilson, campus director. But Wilson and Walker said that some portions of the Justice Department report that cited physical abuse of youngsters at Ireland are not true. "What we described as discipline, they Justice Department investigators described as abuse," said Walker. "We were disappointed in the report because some of the things they wrote were absolutely not true," said Wilson. Glaser said she believes state officials are being honest about the need for more money and more resources. "Once Senate Bill 440 which created boot camps passed, DJJ was bombarded with kids they were not really ready to handle," she said. "But that doesn't absolve them of the responsibility to make sure the kids are handled properly once they get here." OBITUARIES Dan K. Davis, retired driver with several businesses By Katrina Und STAFF WRITER Dan K. Davis, 60, of Snellville started a business for almost all of his interests. The funeral for Mr. Davis, who died from a heart attack Wednesday at his home, will be at 3 p.m. today at the Chestnut Grove Baptist Church in Grayson. Tim Stewart Funeral Home in Snellville is in charge of. arrangements. Mr. Davis and his wife, Loraine Davis of Snellville, started his first business, D & L Butcher Shop, in 1971. He started the business to pay off debts he incurred building a meat storage cooler. He began by processing deer meat for a few friends and it turned into a business, said his son, Harlen Davis of Snellville. Mr. Davis also assisted his wife in running her dump truck business and Quality Rodding Inc., an underground utilities company. Mr. Davis, who grew up on a Snellville farm, was experienced in landscaping. He owned a tree service and landscaping business until the early 1970s. "Anything he had set in his . mind to do, than that's what we did," said his son. Mr. Davis was a retired truck driver from Teamsters Local . 728 and a deacon at the Chestnut Grove Baptist Church in Grayson. : When he wasn't managing his businesses, Mr. Davis enjoyed , , working in his garden, which is where he suffered his fatal heart attack. ' 1 ' "He liked to pick peas better than anything," said his son. "He was doing two of the things he liked to do best, picking peas and talking." ' Survivors other than his son and his wife include two daughters, Hope Abbate of Snellville and Dana Fish of Lawrenceville; three sisters, Mary Lou Bomar of Lafayette, Alta Chessar of Lawrenceville and Frances ' Bowen of Roswell; and four , . grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family ! requests contributions be made to the Chestnut Grove Baptist -Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 370, Grayson, GA 30017. Benny T. Smith, 68, aide to Sen. Gambrell V; Ml By Cato Bass STAFF WRITER Benny T. Smith, 68, of River-dale, a former aide to former U.S. Sen. David H. Gambrell of Atlanta, made community work a way of life. The graveside service for Mr. Smith, who died Monday of heart failure at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Decatur, will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln Cemetery. Funeral Home is in charge of In 1971, Mr. Smith became the first African-American to serve in the office of a U.S. senator from Georgia, said Mr. Gambrell, who practices law in Atlanta. -, When times were tough, people knew they could count on ' Mr. Smith, who had worked in civil rights and community service groups in Georgia during the 1960s. After a devastating flood hit an Augusta black community, Sen. Gambrell planned to personally inspect the damage. "But instead of wanting me, the people in Augusta said, 'If you could just send Mr. Smith, he seems to know best how to help,' " said Mr. Gambrell. "Benny Smith was a dedicated citizen in every respect; he just Smith kept on serving." Mr. Smith helped organize a .. day labor service on Auburn Avenue in the early 1970s. The service helped minorities find -jobs in everything from construction to clerical work, said ' his daughter, Nakata Smith Fitch, a lawyer who lives in College Park. ' Mr. Smith helped organize the Atlanta Community Rela-' tions Commission, a constituent relations program for Atlanta city officials, and was a two-time candidate for Atlanta City Council, his daughter said. As president of the Auburn Avenue Merchants and Professionals Association in 1987, Mr. Smith sought to protect the historically significant Auburn Avenue-King Center area from being overrun by development while supporting the area's longtime businesses. Mr. Smith, who worked in real estate and grocery businesses, was a former member of a citizens oversight committee for Hartsfield International Airport and the board of the Clayton County Airport Authority. Survivors other than his daughter include five other daughters, Sandra Smith of Redlands, Calif., Vickie Mason of Yorba Linda, Calif., Sylvia v Lewis and Dametta Smith, both of Los Angeles, and Alfreda . Kelso of Rialto, Calif.; six sons, Keith Smith of Santa Barbara, Calif., Benny T. Smith Jr., Tony Smith and Eric Smith, all of Atlanta, and Ivan Smith and Benson Smith, both of East Point; 15 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Noel Behn, writer and producer NEW YORK TIMES New York Noel Behn, a Manhattan novelist, screenwriter, theatrical producer and celebrated raconteur who held court nightly at Elaine's, the Upper East Side watering hole, died here Monday at Beth Israel Hospital. He was 70. Mr. Behn died in his sleep from a heart attack after a yearlong battle with cancer, said Tom Fontana, the executive producer of the NBC series "Homicide: Life on the Street," . for which Behn was a creative consultant. , Involved in theater for more 2 J than 50 years, Mr. Behn was at the forefront of the creation of the off-Broadway movement as the producing director of the Cherry Lane Theater in the 1950s and '60s, during which he presented the New York premiere of Sean O'Casey's "Purple Dust" and the world premiere of Samuel Beckett's "Endgame." He wrote seven books, including the novels "Seven Silent Men" and "The Shadowboxer." His first novel, "The Kremlin Letter" which drew on his experiences in the U.S. Army's Counterintelligence Corps was released as a motion picture inl970. T i

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