Henderson Johnson has operated Toyo Automotive in Conyers for five years and is receptive to new ideas about running his car repair and maintenance business.
Sisters Laura and Sanjuana Macias spent Saturday morning preparing an altar in remembrance of their dead ancestors. The three-tiered display consists of rolls, sweet potatoes, a pumpkin, oranges, bananas, corn, apples and salt; water, tequila and beer; and cigarettes. At the top of the altar is a portrait of Jesus flanked by two angel statues.
It's a simple procedure that, if done correctly, is the most effective way to control the spread of cold and flu germs - hand-washing.
Lynne Oliver almost skipped her mammogram the year doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. At age 50, she'd been having them annually for 10 years.
When Cpl. Eric Sanders, a conservation ranger with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, came upon an illegal dump site in an unfinished Rockdale County subdivision in January, it appeared typical. Someone's personal belongings lay in a heap. Sanders figured a house had been rented or sold and the former occupants' items cleared out and left for trash.
The Mitcham Farm goes back five generations in Newton County. For more than 50 years, cotton, vegetables, livestock and feed crops sustained the farm. In the latter part of the 1900s and into the beginning of this century, beef cattle kept it going. But in the last several years, the Mitcham family has tried a new tact in generating income from the land - Colonel Cob's Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch.
For Kyle Groves, magic is a way of life. Growing up in Colorado, he learned the craft from his father, Ed Groves, known as Mr. E, who traveled nationwide and abroad performing as a magician. The younger Groves acted as his father's stage assistant and ran the lights and sound.
Conyers native Kristyn Sammons moved to Los Angeles two years ago to build a career as an actress in film and television, but her biggest break so far occurred in Atlanta before she even headed West.
At 22, Laura Johns held her first large scale consignment sale on Green Street in Conyers with 18 people putting their wares up for purchase. A disappointed Johns earned only $100 from the sale but vowed to make it a more profitable event next time.
Roland Reagan sits in a small conference room just off the side of the prescription counter in Reagan Home Care Pharmacy and reflects on the five decades his pharmacy has been in business. He is now retired, having sold the business to his sons, but he still comes in every day for the free coffee.
You don't have to be an expert biker to join the Conyers Covington Cycling Club. The club, known as C4, is open to all levels of ability, said C4 President Maurice Carter of Covington.
As a young woman, Carolyn Davis built a career as an accomplished musician. She played violin for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, performed organ recitals and taught private organ lessons.
As a child, Mark Gregory dreamed of flying - but not cooped up in a stuffy airplane. His thoughts turned to balloons and hang gliders. He even tried to craft his own glider with plastic and bamboo, which didn't work out so well.
Erly Saldano, the newly-hired executive director of the A.R. "Gus" Barksdale Boys & Girls Club in Conyers, grew up in South Central Los Angeles where he witnessed how the Boys & Girls Club provided safe haven for those youth who wanted to escape the danger of the streets.
CONYERS - Having 32 ancestors who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War and having grown up listening to stories about those relatives, Jim Cabaniss couldn't help but be interested in the subject. Turns out, he's devoted most of his life to studying the Civil War and travels throughout Georgia dressed as a Confederate chaplain giving presentations of Southern life during the war.
Though local chocolate-maker Sherri Hutchison has given up the reins to her company, Graffiti Zoo, she's confident of its future. Hutchison, who along with her family, founded and ran Graffiti Zoo for seven years, recently sold it to Conyers residents Joyce Ross and her daughter Patti Abbott, whose husband Randy now also works for the company.
When Tiny Cunningham first started her flower shop business back in 1979, she did all she could to save money, such as recycling easels for arrangements and using a regular refrigerator until she could afford to purchase a floral cooler. She also invested any profits from the flower shop back into the business, purchasing supplies and equipment to improve the quality of the flower arrangements.
It's been 10 years since Carolyn West retired from her career as a systems programmer with the state, and aside from an occasional game of bowling, she hasn't exercised much. At 65, West lacked energy, but two months ago she decided to change her ways.
Sandy Roberts admits it's been a tough season so far for her strawberries. Heavy rain has pounded the fragile fruit and those berries that can't take the abuse have turned to mush.
An Olde Town Conyers landmark has undergone quite a transformation over the last year, and now the historic home is hard to miss.
If you're looking for a free outdoor family event this weekend, then pack up your picnic basket and blanket and head on over to Georgia Perimeter College's Newton Campus for the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra Picnic Pops concert.
At first glance, the artwork appears professional. The colors, the lines, the shading, the shapes.
Olde Town Conyers will transform into a car enthusiast's wonderland next weekend when the second annual Conyers Cub Scout Car Show rolls into town. Expect streets lined with Model Ts, Camaros, antique fire trucks and a host of other vehicles just waiting to be admired.
The upcoming 2009 Relay for Life events in Rockdale and Newton counties are not just about raising money for cancer research. They're also about being a part of the science that could lead to a cure.
With summer just around the corner, local arts organizations are hoping that parents will turn their attention to those weeks when their children will be off from school and itching to fill their days.
An orange tabby cat sniffs at a trap set behind a gas station in Rockdale County. He decides to wander in, tempted by the food at the other end of the trap. He treads just a few more steps and the trap slams shut.
FAYETTEVILLE - About 15 years ago, an artist friend inspired Patsy Gullett to begin adding a 3-D aspect to her flat watercolor paintings. That experiment would change Gullett's artistic direction and provide her with an avenue into an untapped market.
COVINGTON - A trip to Disneyland compelled Covington resident Lyn Gossage to take her own journey into the field of fantasy by making costumes for children and adults.
When it comes to unraveling the mystery of who is buried in the Conyers Cemetery, Susan Vaughn, a member of the Rockdale County Historical Society, admits that it's not been easy. She's spent dozens of hours culling through old newspapers, court records and history books to piece together nuggets of information on the roughly 377 known people buried there from the 1850s to the mid-1900s.
In these tough economic times, organizers of the newly established Olde Town Gallery and Studio hope that the public will find refuge within the gallery's four walls.
Nancy Guinn Memorial Library Adult Services Librarian Gary Frizzell is noticing a shift in the reasons why people use the library's Internet-accessible computers. Used to be, he'd see at least some folks gawking at YouTube videos or keeping up with their social life on their MySpace pages. These days, however, gaining Internet access can be crucial to paying the mortgage or putting food on the table.
Rockdale County Historical Society member Harriet Gattis remembers as a child making house calls with her father, Dr. Joseph C. Brown, to the Haralson-Parrish House in northwest Rockdale. To reach the home, built in 1852, the father and daughter had to ford the creek in their car.
Pat and Cleo Porter relax in the den of their Lake Capri home, which offers a picturesque view of the sun sparkling on the water. Mr. Porter is considering the question of what first attracted him to Cleo, his wife of 70 years.
On the surface, the play "Art" is about a man buying a painting that his friends don't like. At the heart of the play, however, is the question how much stress can a friendship take until it breaks.
Looking for a way to get in shape for a relatively affordable price? Consider taking a class through the Newton County Recreation Commission. Newton County Recreation Program Coordinator Debra Banks has spent the last year beefing up the leisure fitness programs and now needs the community to jump in and take advantage of the activities.
At age 40, Nita Bakay became a widow, leaving the stay-at-home mom to care for her three children alone. She forged ahead, returning to the workforce as a full-time math teacher at Rockdale's alternative school. Seven years later, in 1996, tragedy struck again when her son, David, then 20, died in a car accident.
Don Veal walks around the activity room at Westbury Health & Rehabilitation Center wearing a Groucho Marx pair of glasses, nose and mustache disguise. Some residents laugh and smile. Others look at him strangely. Either way, everyone gets a kick out it.
For 17 years, Jeff Blount has devoted himself to the Rockdale County community by serving as a beloved coach and teacher. Now, the 41-year-old is getting back what he has given at a time when he needs it the most. An outpouring of support is flowing to Blount, who is fighting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Diagnosed in April, Blount has experienced a rollercoaster of good days and bad days, and the love he gets from family and friends keeps him going.
Deloris and Charles Dunn agreed to foster a teenage boy with a history of gang violence for only a weekend. But at the end of the stay, the couple realized the boy's desire to want to do better, and they reconsidered their time commitment.
By Karen J. Rohr
On a Sunday morning in March, Conyers resident Jane Caruso decided to skip church and instead visit Rockdale Medical Center, where she serves as a volunteer chaplain. That decision led to a powerful bond with an upstate New York family who almost suffered the loss of a mother and child.
Sara Waites knew the prognosis was not good. Her husband suffered from congestive heart failure and doctors gave him two to three months to live. He died eight days later at the Heartland Hospice in Conyers.
On a sunny breezy April day, Winnell Smith bounces back and forth on her feet readying her racket for the next volley. When the shot comes to her, Smith returns it with a controlled backhand, adding a good amount of spin to the ball. The ball bounces off the top of her opponent's racket and out of bounds.
Whether it's learning how to be a clown, play the guitar or paint with watercolors, summer art camp opportunities for children in Rockdale and Newton counties abound.
Conyers resident Carla Sligh is a single mother raising two children while working full-time. Sometimes, it can be a strain.
The year is 1906 and settlers stream into the territory of Oklahoma. Tension between farmers and cowboys runs high as the two groups squabble over boundaries and water rights. Enter a cowboy, Curly, and a farm girl, Laurey, who can't deny their attraction to one another but are too proud to act upon it. To complicate matters, bring in a hot-tempered farm hand, Jud, who also falls for Laurey. Add a sizable helping of catchy songs and it all adds up to the pivotal Broadway musical "Oklahoma!"
Rockdale Emergency Relief director Ashley Roesler is well aware that homelessness exists in Rockdale County. According to reports she receives from the Rockdale County school system, about 90 families are currently without a permanent home. The parents and children are sometimes doubled up living with other families or residing in substandard housing.
Giving back to the community doesn't have to be hard work. In fact, it can be lots of fun, especially if you choose to join in the 17th annual Conyers Cherry Blossom Charity Croquet Tournament. Sponsored by the Heartland Woman's Club, the tournament raises several thousand dollars each year for two local charities - one in Rockdale County and the other in Newton.
In 1935, as a part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal plan to relieve unemployment caused by the Great Depression, Carl Gardner worked as a surveyor and mapmaker. While on assignment one day in Monroe, N.C., Mr. Gardner viewed more than just the land through his survey telescope. Off in the distance he saw a young blonde woman wearing a big straw hat working in the yard with a push mower and sling blade.
There's an exhibit coming to Olde Town but it doesn't involve paintings, sculpture, photography or any of the other traditional arts. This exhibit is composed of light.