Championships of Cornhole In Alpharetta

Alpharetta to host South Atlantic Conference Championships of Cornhole

The Cooler Alpharetta Family Skate Center will host the American Cornhole Organization (ACO), South Atlantic Conference Championships of Cornhole for its inaugural visit to Alpharetta. The event takes place Friday & Saturday, June 8-9, 2018 at The Cooler Alpharetta Family Skate Center located at 10800 Davis Drive. Gates open beginning Friday at 11:00 a.m. and Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

The American Cornhole Organization is the official governing body for the sport of cornhole. Referred to by many names, such as corn toss, bean bag, bean toss, soft horseshoes and Indiana horseshoes, the game is most often referred to as cornhole. The game allegedly originated in Germany in the 14th century and was rediscovered in Kentucky more than 100 years ago. Established in 2005 and headquartered in Milford, Ohio, the ACO offers official cornhole rules, sanctioned products, tournament listings, and comprehensive information about cornhole events.

For most of us, cornhole is an entertaining way to pass time while hanging out at a local park, bar or tail-gaiting at your favorite sporting event. However, there is a whole world of cornhole fans that are taking this traditional backyard pastime seriously with a growing league of semi-professionals and officials now touring the nation to play every weekend.

“Cornhole has become a fun and popular sport that helps bring people together in the spirit of friendly competition at any age,” said Janet Rodgers, President & CEO of the Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are excited to partner with the ACO to bring this tournament to Alpharetta and we encourage everyone to come out and support the players or join in on the tournament and play.”

Locals are also encouraged to participate by going to the website and registering. Log on to www.AmericanCornhole.com for a full listing of categories, fees and registration information. Pre-registration ends on May 30, with walk-ups accepted based on space availability for all divisions except World Singles and Doubles divisions. Competition categories include Friday Big Blind Draw, Senior Singles, Women’s Singles, Juniors Singles, Conference Silver Ticket for Singles and Doubles, Conference Social Silver Ticket for Singles and Doubles, Mini Doubles, Coed Doubles and Frame Games.

Park The Art

Alpharetta Art In The Park May 26-28

Creativity hits the park in charming Downtown Alpharetta.  This outdoor artists market features handcrafted work by local artists who create masterpieces right before your eyes.  Come enjoy the pottery, woodwork, metal work, jewelry creations, handmade children’s clothing, photography, watercolor, oil, soaps and lotions, mosaic art and much more. It is held on Corner of Main Street & Milton Avenue in Alpharetta.

Airshow At PDK Airport

Good Neighbor Airshow On May 19

There is more than one airport in Atlanta. Sure Hartsfield-Jackson is the worlds busiest but we also have the DeKalb Peachtree Airport and on May 19 from noon to 5pm they will be having an open house and air show to give you a behind the scenes look. If you have not been it is a great place to take kids as they have a very nice playground and an observation deck to watch the planes takeoff and land. There is no charge for the event though parking is $10. The event features a wide array of planes and offers the opportunity to see many up close and in action. The Peachtree-DeKalb Airport parking entrance is located at 2036 Dresden Drive in Atlanta. For more info visit www.pdkairshow.com.

Just Clowning Around

Shriners Circus On May 19-28

The largest Shrine Circus and Fair in North America is back for its 76th year! Packed with more excitement than ever, this year’s Tarzan Zerbini Circus features several new acts under the Big Top presented by the world-famous ringmaster Richard Curtis, and the return of all your favorites including the Shrine Circus Clowns. Fireworks on both Saturdays are sure to amaze and entertain kids of all ages. The circus is held on the grounds of Jim Miller Park located at 2245 Callaway Road in Marietta. For show times and more info visit www.2018shrinecircus.com.

Sip, Savor & Support

“Sip, Savor & Support” A Success for The Drake House

The Drake House’s, Sip, Savor & Support event sponsored by AT&T and IHRC, Inc. at the Chattahoochee Nature Center has raised over $30K to support local homeless mothers and children. More than 200 guests enjoyed entertainment by comedian, Jamie Bendall, owner of the Punchline Comedy Club and savored food sponsored by Roswell restaurants From the Earth, Hugo’s, Kale Me Crazy, and Nothing Bundt Cakes in Sandy Springs. Shontell Hughes remarked “I enjoyed Jamie Bendall.. my stomach was hurting. I laughed so much. We had such an amazing time this past Saturday.”

The volunteer team put together a wonderful event including a raffle of prizes ranging from beach getaways, Braves packages and wine. Event Co-Chairs Board Member Genille McElvey and Advisory Council Member, Lisa Stevens (and co-owner of From The Earth) commented “It was a beautiful evening for Sip, Savor & Support! We are so thankful for the heartfelt support from our Drake House friends and family.”

The Drake House next event will be it’s 14th Annual Miss Mary’s Ice Cream Crankin’ on Sunday, August 26th 2-4pm in Roswell Square Park. For more information, contact Holly York hyork@thedrakehouse.org

For more information, visit www.thedrakehouse.org

Free Family Health and Wellness Expo

Learn more about healthy living in your community by attending the free Family Health and Wellness Expo on Saturday, May 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The expo will be held at Riverside Park at 575 Riverside Road.

Hosted by the Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic and Cultural Affairs Department, this expo features a variety of health professionals from around the community offering free screening for hearing, vision, bone density, nutrition, and more. Vendors include Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, WellStar North Fulton Hospital, Sprouts Market, Barre Alley, the WNBA Atlanta Dream, and many more. Fitness instructors will also be onsite to demonstrate programs such as Yoga and Zumba. Inflatables, face painting and other activities will be on hand to keep the kids entertained for a fun-filled afternoon. Concessions will be available on site.

For more information about this event, or to become a vendor, please contact Health and Wellness Supervisor Nicci Williams at 770-594-6406.

Roswell Opens Sun Valley Drive Extension

The City of Roswell has officially cut the ribbon on its Sun Valley Drive Extension project, and the road is now open to traffic. The Sun Valley Road Extension has established a new route for those traveling from Mansell Road to Alpharetta Highway (SR 9), helping to alleviate traffic at the intersection of Mansell Road and Alpharetta Highway.

The project extends the existing road from Alpharetta Highway (SR 9) east to Warsaw Road, and includes intersection improvements, as well as a new single-lane roundabout. The new road extension is a “complete street” with 11-foot travel lanes, 4-foot bicycle lanes, 5-foot sidewalks (southern side), and an 8-foot multi-use path (northern side).

“We focused on mobility, but we also focused on people and livability, not just moving cars,” said Steve Acenbrak, Director of Transportation, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, May 3. “This project is what we call a ‘complete street.’ It accommodates bikes, cars, and pedestrians. It improves mobility, improves water quality, improves recreational alternatives, and improves the economic viability of this area.”

Before starting construction on the road extension, the City completed several storm water improvements, including upgrading an existing detention pond and creating two water treatment cells to enhance water quality and detention before the water reaches Foe Killer Creek.

The project was constructed by Vertical Earth, Inc., and cost approximately $4.33 million. Funding was provided by a combination of the City of Roswell’s bond referendum (approved by Roswell voters in November 2012), impact fees, and the City’s General Fund.

Roswell Celebrates Grand Opening of Veranda at Groveway

The City of Roswell, The Integral Group, LLC, Schmit & Associates and the Roswell Housing Authority cut the ribbon on Roswell’s first low-income independent senior living space, The Veranda at Groveway, May 2. The 101-unit is the first phase under a community revitalization plan created by the residents and stakeholders of the Groveway community.

The Veranda at Groveway is an active senior living community offering one and two bedroom apartments for seniors 62 and older. It is located near Roswell’s town center and is close in proximity to retail, employment, government and entertainment centers, as well as parks and nature centers.

Groveway Community Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has been a voice in the Roswell community since 1943. The group is considered the oldest non-profit organization in Roswell. The Groveway project has been a community driven effort with multiple meetings for citizen input. The City held a charrette with citizens, community meetings, and Groveway Stakeholder committee meetings following the charrette. The Veranda is a result of the collaboration of the City, Groveway’s stakeholders and the residents during these efforts.

“I am so excited that our Housing Authority is stepping out into this new environment,” said Mayor Lori Henry. “It’s exactly what we need in the City of Roswell. We need to embrace our community and be inclusive of all residents and I think this is a step in that right direction.”

Construction of the building began in August 2016 and was managed by Schmit & Associates. Residents began moving to the community in October 2017.

City grants supported the development by committing $100,000 in HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) funds and $177,587 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to the Roswell Housing Authority. In total, the City contributed approximately $966,641 to the project, making it possible for waterline, sidewalk, roadway and other infrastructure improvements.

Seven Fulton high schools make U.S. News & World Report’s “Best High Schools” list

The U.S. News & World Report has released its ranking of the nation’s top high schools, with seven Fulton County schools (Cambridge, Alpharetta, JohnsCreek, Northview, Chattahoochee, Milton, Roswell) making the list. The annual magazine’s list spotlights schools that are high achievers and that challenge students with advanced curriculum offerings.

Four Fulton high schools are ranked among the top 10 in Georgia; and seven are among the top 20, according to the publication’s listing by state.

“This is a tremendous honor for our high schools,” said Fulton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Rose. “Their rankings demonstrate the true value of our educational programs and the commitment of the entire Fulton County community to ensuring success in our schools. Four schools in the top 10 in Georgia and seven on the list are a reflection of the hard work of our students, as well as the teachers and administrators who inspire them daily.”

The report also recognized schools with gold, silver and bronze medal awards. Gold medal high schools are the top 500 high schools meeting the magazine’s performance criteria. All seven Fulton schools earned gold medal awards. High-performing schools based on lower college readiness receive a silver award; and the bronze award is given to those that were high achieving but didn’t provide as many advanced offerings as others.

U.S. News evaluated more than 28,000 public high schools across the nation, considering enrollment, diversity, participation in the free and reduced meals program as well as the results of state assessments, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests. Rankings were based on the 2015-2016 school year data.

The entire report is online at www.usnews.com

This Chef Is The Talk Of The Town

By Frank Mack



As a food writer, I normally use this space to write about restaurants. Duh. Well guess what? I found the best chef around.

There, I said it. And now I have to back it up. His name is Andy Brackner and he doesn’t even have a restaurant. It’s hard to imagine the kind of person that keeps a catering business flowing but this guy does it. His business, for which he serves as Executive Chef, is called Talk of the Town Catering and he should, in fact, be talk of the town.

I grew up in the restaurant business so I know the hard work that goes into preparing high quality food and I love to write about it. The catering business is a new one to me, but after learning about this guy’s work, and the food he produces, I was completely blown away. I mean this guy is producing high quality food on the go and in a multitude of places. This is a whole new world to me, and oh let me mention, his main kitchen burned last year and he just kept going. Here’s the story.

On Memorial Day weekend last year, Talk of The Town in historic Roswell burned, and that is when the business end of Roswell came together. Brackner received help from local restaurateurs like Ryan Pernice at Osteria Mattone and Marc Wegman of Adele’s, who assisted in keeping the business working. There were other folks like Lonnie and Karen Mimms, of Mimms Enterprises, who facilitated a deal to use Northview Church as a temporary space. I mean any business is tough, and this catering thing is a killer, but to jump through all of that is admirable. And it is a true story of neighbors coming together.

But this is more than just a feel good story; this is also about a chef who is very skilled at his craft. Brackner is putting creative soul, against technical skill. Creating everything from teaspoon-sized delights of creative genius to slabs of succulent red roast beef. The ideas come off him.

What makes Brackner remarkable is that you never see him create anything at all. You can spend the day with him. And you’ll never see him cook. And it’s understanding this that makes Talk of The Town such a remarkable kitchen experience.

To call the catering business fluid would be an understatement. I mean I admire when someone produces a great dish from a kitchen that is a few feet away, but this guy is producing food from miles away, without compromise, and it is a team effort. You can’t do it otherwise. You can’t train it otherwise. You have to trust the people. Really trust them and allow them to do the job and give them space to create and execute.

Nothing happens without a plan, and Talk of the Town is amazingly organized. Brackner, with his Chef de Cuisine Trey Gunning, push way beyond creative. They create a drop- dead, accurately acting, stream of culinary logistics. It ain’t as easy as Brackner makes it look. This is a symphony of food porn and things run the way Brackner wants them to run. Everything meets his sense of style and there is a wonderful pace to it all.

If you have not been to an event featuring his work then you are missing out. They produce cuisine built around the freshest most seasonal ingredients available for almost any event you can imagine. Because you’ll never see Brackner do so much as break an egg does not mean he’s invisible. He is everywhere but carries a very unassuming presence that could go unnoticed. Andy Brackner is the nicest person you will ever meet and the feel good to this story is well deserved. That’s our Andy, one of a kind, and he is one excellent chef and that is all you need to know. To find out more about Talk of the Town Catering, their site is www.talkofthetownatlanta.com.