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Chris Starrs

Stories by Chris

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Oxford Youth Singers presents operatic 'Les Miserables'

Mary Lynn Luke, musical director of the Oxford Youth Singers for the past nine years, minces no words when describing the rigor of the vocal ensemble's upcoming production, the epic, award-winning musical "Les Miserables.".

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Award-winning blues singer Francine Reed performs in Conyers

In 1988, after years of living and working with some of the music industry's most gifted artists in Los Angeles, Jez Graham packed up his piano and moved to Atlanta, a decision he's never regretted.. "I'd always missed the East Coast and so did my wife, Mindy, and when we

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Air National Guard Band's upcoming Conyers concert could be its last

The Air National Guard Band of the South's performance on March 30 at the Rockdale Auditorium in Olde Town Conyers will no doubt be a rousing evening of entertainment, but the free concert will also have a bittersweet tone.

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Newton County singer-songwriter makes headway in country music industry

Newton County native Gannon Adams has been able to gain considerable traction -- and attention -- in the country music business, thanks in no small part to a pair of American cultural icons.

Rockdale wrestler Allen’s 3rd title match a win

CONYERS — Rockdale wrestler Alonzo Allen is the living embodiment of the phrase “the third time is the charm.”

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Eastside's Thompson finishes season undefeated

COVINGTON -- With three pins and a technical pinfall at last weekend's Class AAAA state wrestling championships in Macon, Eastside's Kevin Thompson wrote his name in the local record books in indelible ink.. In addition to winning the 145-pound state title, Thompson ended his final campaign with a perfect

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Conyers' Rowser named a top dancer-to-watch by Dance Magazine

CONYERS -- As a young girl growing up in Conyers, Kayla Rowser was a faithful subscriber to Dance Magazine and she particularly enjoyed reading the January issue, when the New York-based publication unleashed "25 to Watch," a collection of profiles on up-and-coming dancers. Now she's one of them.

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Audience requests shape folk singer David Roth's performance

Chicago native David Roth has been playing his "James Taylor meets Will Rogers" style of inspirational acoustic music for nearly three decades, and even though he performs in excess of 100 concerts a year, he rarely takes the stage with a set list.

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Covington trio to perform concert benefitting college music scholarship

The Arts Association in Newton County's annual Dave Young Scholarship Concert will showcase the keyboard talents of three Newton County residents, two of whom are well-known to local audiences and the other a relatively new light on the scene.

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Lucille Ball impersonator to perform one-woman show in Conyers

Melody Knighton recalls regularly watching episodes of the sitcom classic "I Love Lucy" in her younger years, but she doesn't remember being particularly enamored with the show's star, Lucille Ball.. "I certainly watched Lucy in re-runs," said Knighton, who lives in Kennesaw. "I watched the show every day

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Conyers musician releases rock album, 'Wide Awake'

Matthew Eldridge is perhaps the closest thing Rockdale County has to a Renaissance man.

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'Nutcracker' ballet graces the stage in Covington

As a dancer, choreographer and director, Ashley Lazenby Swan can't begin to even count the number of times she's been involved in a production of the holiday dance favorite "The Nutcracker."

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Twelfth century musical drama recounting Christ's birth comes to Monastery

Melding the traditional Christmas story of the shepherds and magi traveling to witness the birth of the baby Jesus with the panic King Herod experienced when a potential threat to his throne is born, the Atlanta Camerata Theater's "The Play of Herod" has been a holiday favorite of metro audiences

Mustangs win title, hope for more

The East Atlanta Mustangs not only recorded a winning record for the first time in their eight-year-old existence, but the team made it a doubly memorable season by also claiming its league championship.. Coached by Joe Blount and featuring players who are either home-schooled or attend Christian

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Levett says he will work to unite community

Eric Levett is pursuing his goal of becoming sheriff of Rockdale County.

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Concert to feature jazz, blues

Saxophonist and bandleader Raiff Ellis is putting all his cards on the table for his upcoming performance at Center Street Arts in Olde Town Conyers.. Ellis and his band, Jazz/Blues Infusion, will host a concert titled "Herbie Hancock meets The Blues Brothers," which leaves little to the imagination

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Horne refutes claims by Democratic challenger

Although Clarence "Rudy" Horne Jr. has served as the chief judge for Rockdale County Magistrate Court for more than two decades, he has rarely faced opposition in his quest for re-election.

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Covington, Emory, Gainesville dance troupes team up for production

For the first time in the history of the Arts Association in Newton County, a fall performance by the Covington Regional Ballet has been scheduled.

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Ray: Experience, customer service are keys to success as tax commissioner

For the last 20 years, Rockdale County Tax Commissioner Dan Ray has tried his best to make an unpleasant task as painless as possible.

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Love story vignettes comprise romantic comedy, 'Almost, Maine'

Some 10 years ago, Amy LeCates and Kim Fratesi worked together in a community theatre production of "The Robber Bridegroom," and there have been several occasions since when the two have shared the stage.

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Eastside kicker Smith sets school record with 45-yard field goal

COVINGTON -- Eastside senior Colton Smith's 45-yard field goal last Friday against Jackson wasn't just the first points the Eagles put on the scoreboard en route to a 23-14 come-from-behind victory. It also turned out to be a school-record kick.

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Newton, Rockdale foster parent authors book on experiences

The DeGarmo family has fostered children in Newton and Rockdale counties and fatherJohn DeGarmo has authored a book about their experiences titled, "Fostering Love: One Foster Parent's Journey."

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Conyers native records second album in two years

ATHENS -- When singer-songwriter Connor Pledger began thinking about recording the follow-up to his 2011 debut disc "Detours," he didn't have to look far for tunes to fill the album.

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Brotherland to headline Olde Town Summer Music Fest

Although siblings Craig Blankley and Skip Blankley make up one-half of the Conyers-based band the Brotherland, the group didn't necessarily base a decision on its name for the obvious reasons.

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5K race benefits families coping with ALS

Given Brad Boling's commitment to physical fitness -- both before and after he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) some eight months ago -- it's likely he's delighted that a 5K road race will soon be held locally to bring attention to the disease.

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New Depot Players reprise "Great American Trailer Park Musical"

In 2010, the New Depot Players' summer-season staging of the ribald musical "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" proved to be one of the troupe's most well-attended productions of recent years.. "When we did this show two summers ago, we sold every performance for three weeks and even

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Now in retirement, Clack advocates for Walk of Heroes Memorial

Although Tommy Clack officially retired earlier this year from his job in the Conyers office of the Georgia Department of Veterans Services, his advocacy for his brothers and sisters in arms has not slowed down a bit.

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Beatles tribute band Abbey Road Live! to perform in Conyers

Staff Correspondent. ATHENS -- It's been 50 years since the Beatles issued their first recordings and more than four decades since John, Paul, George and Ringo went their separate ways, but there can be no denying the cultural and musical impact the Fab Four has had on the world.

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Former Salem pitcher Brown transitions to college baseball

ATHENS Although Georgia left-hander Jarrett Brown had a rough outing Wednesday night against Georgia Tech, the former Salem High School standout is enjoying his new life as a college baseball player.. In the Bulldogs' 8-6 loss to Tech, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Brown -- who hadn't

Hymn of praise centerpiece of Choral Guild spring concert

Celebrating its 28th season of bringing choral performances to the world, the Covington/Conyers Choral Guild warmed up for its annual spring concerts by performing in a new venue.. The 80-voice ensemble performed its spring show, "The Music Is Always With You," on Saturday at the prestigious Spivey

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Growing pains: Rockdale girls lacrosse alums return to coach team seeking breakout year

CONYERS -- Although Rockdale High School has fielded a girls lacrosse team since 2003, the Lady Bulldogs' brief history has been a series of stops and starts.

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Ron Bradley named to national hall of fame

Legendary coach Ron Bradley, who retired in 2010 after 53 years of teaching and coaching, on Wednesday was named one of 12 inductees into the National High School Hall of Fame.

Oxford Eagles on top 74-59 in tournament

OXFORD -- Forced to play without freshman point guard Alex Ordu, the Oxford College men's basketball team received vital scoring from sophomore Stephen Simmons and freshman Zachary Lynn on Saturday as the Eagles defeated Middle Georgia Tech 74-59.

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Concert blends sounds of three singer/songwriters on guitar

The Songwriters in the Round event on Friday, March 16 in Olde Town Conyers not only represents an evening of music that's easy on the ears but it could also provide some new financial resources for the Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts.. Conyers native Mark Jaynes, one of the

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Eagles ready for GCAA tournament

Although the Oxford College men's basketball team had to put in a little overtime to close out the regular season, the Eagles will be more than ready when everything is on the line this weekend in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.

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Riptides headed to state meet

Although the Rockdale Riptides swim team had nine competitors qualify for this weekend's 2012 Georgia 14 & Under Short Course Championships at the Georgia Tech Natatorium, the Conyers-based team figures to be a small fish in a big pond.

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Oxford Eagles close out regular season Thursday

Following a week in which they played three games in four days, the Oxford College men's basketball team will have a few days of relative rest prior to beginning play in the GACA Division III tournament on Saturday, March 3.

Oxford hopes win streak lasts in late season

As the regular season comes to an end, the Oxford College men's basketball team is once again in streak mode. After an 18-point loss to Gordon College on Feb. 4, the Eagles recorded back-to-back Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association victories.

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Trio presents jazz, world music concert in Covington

Last May, east metro residents received a rare musical treat when Timothy Adams and Marcus Printup performed together for the first time in a benefit concert for the Washington Street Community Center in Covington.. Covington native Adams is returning to his hometown for another performance, and while Printup isn't on

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Oxford leader ready to return to lineup after injury

OXFORD -- The Oxford College men's basketball team got some bad news in early January when sophomore guard Stephen Simmons, the Eagles' leading scorer, injured his left knee in the team's 97-79 loss at Pasco-Hernando Community College in Florida.. The good news is that in Simmons' absence, the Eagles

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Oxford loses to Gordon College

The Oxford College men's basketball team knew the cards were stacked against them in Saturday's game against Gordon College at Williams Gymnasium.

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Oxford faces challenging week

A quick look at the schedule for the Oxford College men's basketball team reveals the Eagles have a pair of non-conference games this week, but those two games will be anything but easy.. Oxford split a pair of Georgia College Athletic Association games last week, defeating SouthernCrescent Tech 75-50

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Eagles enter critical phase of conference play

The Oxford Men's basketball team enters a critical phase of the season, with the second of a pair of games against Georgia College Athletic Association foes looming. Fortunately, the Eagles will wade into battle with the momentum gained from a five-game winning streak.

Oxford loses leading scorer

The Oxford men's basektball team is back on track despite losing its leading scorer.

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Clovers & Company brings country, rock 'n' roll, gospel to Covington

Newton County resident Mary Lathem is going to have a busy year on stage.. The Eastside High junior will assume the role of Audrey in the Drama Club's staging of "Little Shop of Horrors" in late February and will also appear in the Oxford Youth Singers' spring production of "Grease

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Southern everyman, New York ventriloquist come together for comedy show

The Mixed Nuts Comedy Network of Georgia will perform two shows in Conyers on Jan. 14.

Walton farm land used to 'grow' a different kind of crop

Approximately 205 acres of farm land near Social Circle will be developed as a solar farm.

Newton's Henry gets first start against UGA

ATHENS -- Although Derrick Henry's first collegiate start didn't have a happy ending, the former Newton High star was a big factor in Winthrop's near upset of Georgia on Tuesday at Stegeman Coliseum.. In 29 minutes, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound freshman tallied a career-high 17 points and

Newton's Henry gets first start against UGA

ATHENS -- Although Derrick Henry's first collegiate start didn't have a happy ending, the former Newton High star was a big factor in Winthrop's near upset of Georgia on Tuesday at Stegeman Coliseum.

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Local teen singer appears in 'Joyful Noise'

Lithonia resident Ivan Kelley Jr. had a great year in 2011, appearing in the feature film film "Joyful Noise."