Braves Show Off Menu For SunTrust Park

Delaware North Sportservice – a division of global hospitality and foodservice provider Delaware North – has announced its plans for food and beverage offerings at SunTrust Park, the new home of Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves. The ballpark’s concessions will be grounded in providing regionally inspired, fan-favorite dishes using local ingredients and companies. The “Taste of Braves Country” program will feature traditional items from around Georgia and five other neighboring states considered “Braves Country,” while a “Farm to Fan” initiative will bring fresh, homegrown ingredients to the ballpark from Atlanta-area farms and other local producers

“The Braves envisioned and built a state-of-the-art ballpark so we wanted to design a food and beverage operation that was just as forward-thinking,” said Carlos Bernal, president of Delaware North Sportservice. “The gameday experience has evolved and fans expect as much out of their food as they do their baseball team. This means incorporating food trends like locally sourced ingredients and partnerships with hometown brands and companies.

“Delaware North has done an incredible job creating an authentic southern food experience for fans coming to SunTrust Park,” said Mike Plant, Braves president of development. “With everything from the flavors to the vendors having a local tie, we know our fans will enjoy and appreciate the food experience and the quality service”.

The Taste of Braves Country program was designed to showcase the best southern cooking from “Braves Country,” which encompasses Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Time-tested dishes and flavors from around the south will be found on concessions menus across the ballpark. Some highlights include:

  • Georgia: Fox Bros. BBQ; Hugh Acheson 1st & 3rd Hot Dog and Sausage Shack, Chick-fil-A; Waffle House.
  • South Carolina: Pimento Cheese Patty Melt, served with caramelized onions and smoked paprika on rye.
  • North Carolina: Smoked whole hog BBQ sandwich, served on white bread with chopped southern slaw and vinegar BBQ sauce.
  • Tennessee: Nashville Hot Chicken, served with bread & butter pickles.
  • Mississippi: Blackened Catfish Po’ Boy Taco, served with slaw and Comeback Sauce.
  • Alabama: Fried Tomahawk Pork Chop, served on an extra-large potato roll with collard green slaw and white BBQ sauce.

“Braves fans come from far and wide, and each one has a different and delicious food they enjoy while watching a baseball game,” said Shawn Mattox, Delaware North’s general manager at SunTrust Park. “We designed a menu that underscores the diversity of southern cooking and created dishes that we know all fans will enjoy while in Atlanta for a game.

For its Farm to Fan initiative, Sportservice will draw from a network of more than 40 Atlanta-area farms, urban and college gardens, and other local producers to incorporate their produce into a variety of concessions dishes. The produce and fresh ingredients will vary throughout the season based on market availability and each game will feature a different farm or local company. A guest farmer component will also bring the farmers to the ballpark to work alongside Sportservice chefs and meet with fans as they try the locally sourced dishes.

Fans can look for the Farm to Fan logo at concession stands throughout the ballpark to try the featured produce item of the game, or follow on social media as farms and participating concession stand locations are announced throughout the season

Beyond the Taste of Braves Country and Farm to Fan programs, SunTrust Park will feature distinctly Atlanta flavors throughout its concessions stands, including fan-favorite H&F Burger from Chef Linton Hopkins and house-made Zhong-style pork dumplings from Gu’s Dumplings. Also part of the concessions lineup are all-natural fruit smoothie pops from King of Pops, ice cream treats from Mayfield Creamery Ice Cream and a Tomahawk Ice Cream Bar with custom-designed artisanal ice cream from local producer High Road Craft Creamery.

Vinings Hosts Business Expo March 21

The Vinings Business Association will host its eighth annual Vinings Business Expo on March 21 from 4-7 p.m. at the Hotel Indigo Atlanta Vinings Hotel, 2857 Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta.
Admission and parking are free and the event is open to the public. Over 30 exhibitors will be featured with information on Vinings-area businesses, restaurants and events. There will also be free food samples, door prizes, drawings and giveaways, including restaurant gift certificates and a cash bar. Association chair Glenn Christian said he expects 600 people or more to attend this year’s event.
“The Expo is an opportunity for Vinings area businesses to showcase their products and services to a different audience they probably have not had access to,” Christian said. “The Expo draws people from all over Cobb and the northwest side of Atlanta.”
Sponsors of the events include The Bright Side Newspaper, Hotel Indigo Atlanta Vinings, Marietta Signs, Fidelity Bank, High Calibre Realty, PC Doc USA, Fidelity National Title, AmFam Vinings, Edward Jones Co., and many others.
Exhibit tables are available for $125 for members and $195 for non-members, and all exhibitors must register and pay in full in advance, online only at  Exhibitor setup is from 3 to 3:45 pm on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Interested businesses, organizations or individuals can sign-up to be exhibitors as long as the link on the association’s website works (it will stop working once 30 have signed up),” Christian said.
Membership in the VBA begins at $95 for 12 months and can be set up online with a credit or debit card.

From the March 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

E-SPLOST Vote Is For Schools

On March 21 voters will decide the fate of the renewal of the penny Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education for the Cobb and Marietta school systems. A positive SPLOST vote will allow for an expected $797 million in revenue beginning in 2019 spread over five years. SPLOST is a one-cent tax on all consumer goods that must be approved by voters in a referendum. Education SPLOST (Ed-SPLOST) receipts can be used only for school-related capital improvements. The current Ed-SPLOST expires Dec. 31, 2018.

“Some 30 percent of the sales tax will be paid by people who live outside Cobb, who come here to shop and dine,” said Susan Thayer, Smyrna area school board member. “Student population growth is going to be in the South Cobb area,” she said. The school system is expecting nearly a 2,000 student increase at Campbell High School and an additional 1,178 in the Mableton and Austell area. “We’ve got to get seats for these kids. If this does not pass, we will need to go to a bond issue,” she said.

Beginning January 1, 2019, SPLOST benefits to the southern Cobb area include funding for:

  • Construction of new or replacement schools, including Harmony Leland Elementary, King Springs Elementary, and a Smyrna area new middle school to relieve overcrowding at Griffin and Campbell middle schools.
  • Construction of additional classrooms at Campbell High and Pebblebrook High. This includes upgrading the cafeteria and building a new theater at Campbell.
  • Security and technology upgrades at all Cobb County Schools.

The first Ed-SPLOST was approved in 1998 and since that time renewal of SPLOST has provided funding for 28 new schools, 2732 new classrooms, hundreds of maintenance improvements, safety improvements and many more improvements.

For more information go to

SPLOST funds pay for necessary repairs and for construction of new or replacement schools. About 90 percent of the district’s budget goes directly to support the classroom with payment of salaries for teachers, administrators, bus drivers, food service employees, custodians, and other staff. The other 10 percent pays for items such as textbooks and supplies, as well as utilities such as fuel, gas, electricity and water.

State funding and local property taxes do not provide for regular building maintenance or for technology enhancements. Prior to Ed-SPLOST, the district issued bonds that had to be paid back over many years with interest and resulted in a property tax increase.

Through Friday March 17), registered Cobb County voters can go to any advanced voting location. Please note that hours vary by location.

8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb 27 – March 17, Monday – Friday: Elections Office at the West Park Government Center, 736 Whitlock Ave., Marietta, 30064-4663

9 a.m. – 5 p.m., March 13 – 17, Monday – Friday at the following locations:

  • East Cobb Government Service Center, 4400 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta
  • South Cobb Community Center, 620 Lions Club Drive, Mableton
  • Boots Ward Recreation Center (Lost Mountain Park), 4845 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs
  • NorthStar Church, 3413 Blue Springs Road NW, Kennesaw

Any voter may apply for a vote-by-mail ballot instead of voting in-person. Applications are available at For more information call 770-528-2581.

From the March 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Free Shredding Offered

Keep Smyrna Beautiful and Calandra Financial Group, LLC will host a free Document Shredding event March 25 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Aline Wolfe Adult Recreation Center, 884 Church Street, Smyrna. Shredding will be done on site and the paper will be recycled. Papers must be dry. Up to 5 file-size boxes (9” x 12” x 24”) per car will be accepted.

These services are free of charge due to a partnership with Calandra Financial Group, LLC. No commercial trucks or commercial materials will be accepted. This event is for residential paper only. Electronics, cardboard, binders, or plastic will not be accepted.

Call Keep Smyrna Beautiful at 770-431-2863 for more information.

From the March 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Smyrna Business Expo Is April 27

Smyrna area businesses and restaurants will show off their wares at The Smyrna Business Expo on April 27.

Exhibitors will set up in the Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Drive, Smyrna, from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

“This is your chance to meet more than 200 local business owners, generate  business leads, close deals and enjoy great food,” said SBA President Jabar Dozier. “Join us for networking, building business relationships and meeting local entrepreneurs.”

The event is free and open to the public and door prizes will be awarded throughout the evening. All proceeds will support the Smyrna Business Association scholarship fund.

Exhibit tables are now on sale at Food sponsors are also being accepted.

The SBA works to engage, inform and grow businesses in the greater Smyrna community. On the first Thursday of each month the SBA host a luncheon featuring a guest speaker relevant to business improvement, government affairs or community involvement. Social and networking events are held throughout the month. For more information on membership visit

From the March 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Braves Single Game Tickets Go On Sale March 10

This Friday, March 10, marks the first time that the general public can purchase single-game tickets and parking for the much anticipated Inaugural Season at SunTrust Park. The Braves open at their new home on Friday, April 14 against the San Diego Padres with an evening of unforgettable celebrations. These celebrations will continue throughout Opening Weekend, making each day a commemorative experience for fans.

Single-game tickets will initially range from $5-$143 and may increase in price based on market demand. The sooner fans purchase single-game tickets, the lower the price they are able to lock in. Tickets can be purchased at

Full and partial-season tickets, as well as 6-game plans, are also available for the 2017 season and are the best way for fans to guarantee their seats at SunTrust Park for Opening Weekend and beyond. For more information on how to become an A-List Member, visit www.Bravescom/alist.

Also starting March 10, single-game parking will be available for purchase at All fans are strongly encouraged to purchase parking in advance, which allows them to utilize Waze and navigate directly to their respective parking lot. Fans will be able to choose from a host of parking lots distributed 360 degrees around SunTrust Park, with single-game parking prices ranging from $18-$23 for Braves-operated lots. Advance purchase also makes it easier for fans to find their respective lot, as the multitude of lots are located in various areas around the ballpark as opposed to one central location. All Braves-operated parking lots are within 15 minutes walking distance to SunTrust Park or serviced by a free shuttle offered by the Braves.

Opening Weekend will feature pre and postgame concerts in the Plaza, special on-field ceremonies and flyovers, and during Sunday’s game the Braves will celebrate a special kids Opening Day.

Throughout the 2017 season the Braves will have a gate giveaway every Friday, a theme night every Saturday and family activities scheduled every Sunday. Special weekly events such as including Friday Night Fireworks presented by Georgia Lottery, Kids Run the Bases presented by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Alumni Sundays presented by Hyundai will also take place during the 2017 season.

In addition, fans can once again take advantage of special ticket packages and receive an item or experience as part of their trip to SunTrust Park.

Ticket specials for the 2017 season will include Coca-Cola $12 Tuesdays when fans can sit in the Vista Reserved section for just $12, as well as College Night on Thursdays when college students receive $10 off seats in the Home Run Porch (with valid ID). Military discounts will also be available every home game, and include either $10 off seats in the Home Run Porch or 50% off seats in the Grandstand Reserved (with valid ID).

The full promotional schedule for the 2017 season can be found at

Braves’ Economic Impact Nears $4 Billion

First pitch at the Braves’ new SunTrust Park is next month, but already the economic benefits are being felt, not only in the Cumberland area, but across southern Cobb County.

Some $4 billion in new investment will be realized in the Cumberland area by 2018, with approximately $3 billion going toward enhancements in public infrastructure, according to figures from Malaika Rivers, Cumberland CID Executive Director. The Cumberland CID has more than 20 construction projects underway within a three-mile area. These infrastructure improvements are set to improve safety and better manage the traffic congestion within the area

Cobb Chamber President David Connell noted that Cobb will soon be home to three professional sports franchises. Preceding the Braves’ relocation to Cobb was the Atlanta Blaze, a professional men’s field lacrosse team based in Kennesaw, while Arthur Blank’s Atlanta United Football Club is building its headquarters and training complex on a 33-acre site on Franklin Gateway in Marietta; the soccer team will begin play this spring and eventually play its home games at the Atlanta Falcons’ new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Six Flags and White Water expect an attendance boost from Braves fans.

“We are interested in working with the Braves; we expect to see a lot more attendance at both parks,” said Six Flags President Dale Kaetzel. “The combination will make people want to stay an extra night, and usually they stay closer to the theme park so they can get in early.”

“District 4 (southwest Cobb represented by Commissioner Lisa Cupid) has been leading the county in permits for the last six months,” said Cobb Commission Chair Mike Boyce. “There’s a lot happening there – new homes, new business. South Cobb is in a great position because there’s a great infrastructure already in place.

Other parts of southern Cobb are working to get their piece of the pie.

“We hope to market the area as a pit stop for travelers to the Braves’ games,” said Stephanie Aylworth, economic development coordinator for Powder Springs.

Powder Springs is looking at future downtown plans and funding. Mayor Al Thurman said he favors building upscale apartments in downtown to draw more businesses. City officials are reviewing several plans which would involve the investment of $3 to $5 million for “a public amenity” in downtown with its design and location not yet determined.

Austell is looking toward housing for new residents and working to improve its downtown.

“The Braves will be bringing in service sector workers,” said Darrell Weaver of the city’s Community Development Department. “Austell is looking to provide housing for the workforce as part of our residential growth because land costs are lower.”

“We want to re-activate our downtown,” he said. Using data from Georgia Power economic development, the city realized that it was losing millions of dollars in a 15 mile radius from Austell residents. The city worked to reactivate the Austell business Association. Austell has purchased several holdings in the downtown area, renovating them and marketing them to new business. Two of the newest businesses are in city-owned buildings. Oz Antique Market opened the end of last year, and South Cobb Diner, a second location for West Cobb diner, is expected to open in the next couple of months.

The biggest growth is in the Cumberland area.

“Residential developments are being constructed at an all-time high right now in Cumberland,”  Rivers said. These new residential developments cause a 71 percent population increase over the next 10 years in Cumberland.

According to the Cumberland CID’s 2015 annual report, here are some projects that are coming to Cumberland:

  • 6 office, 5 retail, and 5 hotel projects.
  • 11 multifamily projects.
  • 1,582 hotel rooms.
  • 625,500 square feet of new retail.
  • 1.7 million new square feet of Class A office space delivered by 2017.
  • 6,806 housing units bringing more than 13,500 new residents.
  • $2 billion in public infrastructure improvements in and around Cumberland.

“The world is changing so much. If you look at what’s happening over here with the Braves at SunTrust Park, we’re going to be host to a lot of new people here (in Cobb),” Gary Bottoms, Cobb Chamber Chairman, said. “The chamber’s going to work really hard to accommodate in any way we can to make that a positive experience.”

From the March 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

March & April Calendar


7: VBA. Vinings Business Association meets the first Tuesday of each month for lunch. Networking and speakers from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Program:  WellStar Vinings Health Park. Guests are always welcome! (no industry restrictions). Lunch Overlook III Building Lobby Level Conference Room 2859 Paces Ferry Road.. A Business After-Hours is held the 3rd Tuesday of each month. 678-725-0099

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7-31: ART EXHIBIT. Floyd Celebrates the Arts. March 7 through March 31. Artworks created by Floyd Middle School students under the direction of Art Teacher Lisa Collins. The gallery, hallway, and meeting room will be hung with hundreds of creations in pen and ink, paint, ceramics, collage and much more. Come and see the amazing work by these talented young people from our community. It is a wonderful assortment of media that inspires the artists in all of us. The Mable House Arts Center Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Call the Center at 770 819-3285 for evening and weekend hours

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10: ADULT SPELLING BEE. Communities In Schools of Marietta/Cobb County (CISMCC) announces the inaugural Adult Spelling Bee (Bee); a night of laughs, some unusual on-stage antics and truly funny attempts at spelling difficult words. Taking the stage March 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Earl Smith Strand, all proceeds raised will benefit CISMCC. The mission of CISMCC is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. The Bee Emcee will be Braves in-game host Mark Owens with judges WSB personality, Condace Pressley and Miss USA 2010, Jessica Black. Participants will spell in teams of 3 with 10 teams scheduled to compete. The teams are comprised of local community leaders. General admission tickets, $25, and VIP tickets, $50, can be purchased online at

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11 & 18: RIVERLINE EVENT. Shoupade Park & The Unfinished Silver Comet Trail 4770 Oakdale Road, Smyrna a free event! Saturday, March 11 & 18, 11 a.m. to 3. Explore Cobb County’s Civil War Shoupade Park with historian Michael Shaffer and the adjacent unfinished Silver Comet Rail Trail, while learning about the River Line Historic Area’s 6-mile Master Plan embracing historic and natural resources along the Chattahoochee River uniting Vinings, Smyrna and Mableton as a place of distinction. The Atlanta Preservation Center’s Phoenix Flies Event, March 4 – 26,

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14: TEASLEY PROSPECTIVE PARENT COFFEES and Tours. March 14 Coffee with presentations. Upcoming tours April 14 and May 4. Teasley Elementary School, 3640 Spring Hill Parkway, Smyrna. For questions and more information call 770-437-5945.

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21: VOTING for the county-wide SPLOST vote for education is March 21.

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21: VININGS BUSINESS EXPO. Hotel Indigo Atlanta Vinings, 2857 Paces Ferry Road, Vinings. March 21. Exhibit Hours 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. FREE Public Admission. Exhibit Tables Available. Contact:

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25: SHREDDING EVENT: a Free Shredding for Household Documents on March 25, 9 a.m.-noon at the Aline Wolfe Center, 884 Church Street, Smyrna. Shredding will be done on site and the paper will be recycled. Papers must be dry. We can accept up to 5 file-size boxes (9” x 12”. x 24”) per car. Free of charge due to a partnership with Calandra Financial Group. No commercial trucks or commercial materials will be accepted .For residential paper only. Electronics, cardboard, binders, or plastic will not be accepted. Call Keep Smyrna Beautiful at 770-431-2863 for more information

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25: KING SPRINGS PARTY. King Springs Elementary is turning 60 years old this year, and you are cordially invited to the big bash! This adults only party and annual fundraiser is March 25. Join us at Wyndham Galleria Atlanta for a night of serious finger foods, live music, dancing and a live auction. Tickets for the party are now on sale and can be purchased from the King Springs Elementary Foundation website

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28: JONQUIL GARDEN CLUB:  Want to learn about the newest varieties of daylilies?  Come hear Bill Waldrop, owner of Kennesaw Mountain Daylily Farm, March 28 at 10:30 a.m. at Smyrna Library. In addition to showing new varieties, Mr. Waldrop will share information on the culture and care of daylilies, giving his tips for successful daylily gardening. Jonquil Garden Club meets at Smyrna Library at 10:30 a.m. the 4th Tuesday of each month to explore gardening topics, conservation efforts, and community and school projects. Named a Club of Excellence in 2016 by GCGA, Jonquil Garden Club is open to all who are interested in gardening topics.  For more information about programs and projects, call Shirley Priest at 770-433-3248 or visit our website at

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29: REGISTRATION. Cobb Kindergarten Registration March 29


3: SPRING BREAK. Cobb Schools Spring Break April 3-7

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4: VBA. Vinings Business Association meets the first Tuesday of each month for lunch. . Program Jeremy Strife, The Battery Atlanta complex. Networking and speakers from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Guests are always welcome! (no industry restrictions). Lunch Overlook III Building Lobby Level Conference Room 2859 Paces Ferry Road.. A Business After-Hours is held the 3rd Tuesday of each month. 678-725-0099

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5: SOUTH COBB BUSINESS ASSOCIATION with speaker Panel on Health Care Options 2017. On April 5. The SCBA meets the first Wednesday of each month at 11:45 at Presbyterian Village, East-West Connector.

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6: SBA. Smyrna Business Association, Community Center, 11:30 a.m.  Thursday, April 6 with Business Speaker, For reservations:

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6: JONQUIL CITY INVESTMENT CLUB. Jonquil City Investment Club is a Smyrna-based all-female club looking for new members interested in attending monthly educational meetings and investing small amounts of money in the stock market.  For more information contact Cindy Acker, Senior Partner, at

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8: DIVAS CONCERT:  April 8, 2017 marks the third Biennial Divas With A Cause benefit concert, which will be held at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre in Marietta, benefiting the following Charities:  ·LifeLink of Georgia,  Kidney Foundation,  Ian’s Friends Foundation · Fisher Center Foundation,  Habitat For Humanity, Smyrna Public Safety Foundation, ASY Cares, Autism Fund . Tickets  on sale at:

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8: OUTDOOR SALE. Outdoor sale of arts and crafts at DeJaVous, 2785 Jefferson Street, Austell, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Set up in back parking lot. Call 770-944-3033to reserve space.  April 8

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27: BUSINESS EXPO Spring Smyrna Business Expo Trade Show from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Circle  Smyrna. This is Smyrna Business Assn Business Trade Show. Local restaurant and Catering Food, Networking, and Door Prizes.





AMERICAN LEGION POST 264, 6251 Ivey Road, Mableton is offering free Group Fitness Classes every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

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BOY SCOUT TROOP 61 meets every Monday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Troop Lodge at Bethany Methodist Church at the intersection of Hurt and Hicks Roads. Cub Pack 61 meets Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Bethany Gym.

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BOY SCOUT TROOP ONE meets every Sunday at 4:30 p.m. New Scouts Welcome! 2845 Log Cabin Drive, Smyrna (off Atlanta Road).

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SMYRNA BOY SCOUT  Troop 11 meets at Smyrna First United Methodist Church every Tuesday evening 7:30- 9 p.m.  Contact us at 770-883-1123. Website:

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MARIETTA FARMER’S MARKET. Enjoy fresh produce and goods from the Marietta Square Farmers Market every Saturday – rain or shine- 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., along Mill Street on the Historic Marietta Square. For info, visit

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FREE TAIJI CLASS for all Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. South Cobb Regional Library: 805 Clay Road, Mableton and on the second Tuesday of each month at The Mable House, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton.

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THE LORD’S STOREHOUSE sponsored by Shaw Temple AME Zion Church provides free of charge clothing, small household items, canned goods and toiletries to needy families, individuals and shelters. We also accept donated items in gently used and clean condition. We are located at 775 Hurt Road, SW, Smyrna Ga. and are opened Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. For Info call Ms. Turner 678-437-5685 or email:

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MUSEUM: Free admission at the Smyrna Museum, 2861 Atlanta Road, Smyrna, Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 4. Check Facebook at “Smyrna History Museum” for upcoming Museum events. See for Museum volunteer opportunities and membership.

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SMYRNA BUSINESS EXCHANGE: The Smyrna Business Exchange is Smyrna’s premier close contact networking group representing over 30 local businesses (and growing).  The Smyrna Business Exchange meets at the Smyrna Community Center every Thursday morning from 7-8:30 a.m. Questions or to RSVP for a complimentary visit, call Jeff Daxe at 770-795-5079 (or email at

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KIWANIS CLUB OF GREATER SOUTH COBB meets at noon the 2nd and 4th Tuesday each month at O’Charley’s 4130 Austell Road, Austell. Call 770-438-6961 for more info.

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JONQUIL CITY KIWANIS SMYRNA: 10 a.m. Tuesday, Wolfe Senior Center, 884 Church Street, Smyrna.

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SMYRNA OPTIMIST: 7 a.m. Friday, American Legion Post 160, 160 Legion Drive, Smyrna.

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SMYRNA ROTARY: noon Tuesday, Brawner Hall, Smyrna. For further information, see

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SOUTH COBB ROTARY: noon, Thursday, Presbyterian Village, East-West Connector

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SOUTH COBB TOASTMASTERS Tuesday at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. South Cobb Regional Library, Mableton 678-799-4425.

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TOASTMASTERS: Interstate North Toastmasters at 3100 Cumberland Boulevard. We meet every Monday at 6:30 p.m. Visit our website:

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TOASTMASTERS: T-Toasters. Paces West, 2727 Paces Ferry Rd., Bldg 1. We meet Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. and welcome visitors. Visit to find out more.

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VININGS ROTARY: Noon. Wednesday, Georgian Club.

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THE GALLERIA WORLDSPAN Wings Toastmasters Club Tuesdays 12 to 1 p.m., Building 300, main conference room.


AMERICAN LEGION, Post 160. Membership Meeting at 7:30 p.m. every 3rd Tuesday and serves breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on the 2nd Saturday of each month and the AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY, Unit 160 Membership Meeting at 7:30 p.m. every 3rd Tuesday each month.  SONS OF THE AMERICAN LEGION, Squadron 160 meets at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday each month. All of these meetings are at 160 Legion Drive, Smyrna. For more information, access or call 770-436-2501.

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AMERICAN LEGION POST 264, 6251 Ivy Road, Mableton meets every third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Bingo–Mon, Tues, Friday 8 p.m., Sat. 5 p.m. and Sun. 4 p.m.

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ATLANTA FREETHOUGHT, Regular Meeting at 1 p.m. every 2nd Sunday. 4775 N. Church Lane, Smyrna (a mile inside I-285, just off Atlanta Rd). Our historic building was a church in Smyrna/Vinings for 141 years. We’re a nonprofit educational organization and meetings/programs are free and open to the public. Call 678-662-3857 or visit our website,, for more about us.

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AUSTELL CITY COUNCIL meets the first Monday of each month for its regular meeting.

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AUSTELL CIVITAN CLUB is a non-profit organization serving the community and with a charter to support people with disabilities. Our monthly meetings are the 4th Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. located (Treadmill Building) 5000 Austell-Powder Springs Road, Suite 105, Austell. If you have ideas for the community or interested in becoming an officer, join us! For more info visit or contact

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COBB-MARIETTA RETIRED EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION meets the second Thursday of each month. The monthly luncheon is held at the

First Methodist Church in Marietta at 11:30 a.m.  For more information vsit

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COBB COUNTY MOCHA MOMS offers local support to mothers of color. Cobb County Mochas are a mixture of over 70 working and stay at home mommies. We offer an array of opportunities to connect with other moms through Mom’s Night Out, Sister Circles to that allow us to discuss issues affecting us on our motherhood journey, single moms support, couples’ nights, family community service projects and more. Visit or email

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CUMBERLAND VININGS OPTIMIST CLUB: Meeting for breakfast the 2nd Wednesday of each month at the Vinings Club, 2859 Paces Ferry Road NW. We are an inclusive club dedicated to community service and welcome everyone to come as our guest to a meeting of your choice.

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FOOD AND CLOTHING DISTRIBUTION. St. Luke United Methodist Church, 5115 Brookwood Drive, Mableton, distributes non-perishable food items and clothing ONLY, every 3rd Tuesday, of each month from 10 a.m. to 1.

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HOBO SUPPER Second Thursday of each month, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Community invited—Clarkdale UMC Austell—Powder Springs Road, Clarkdale, Georgia.  For $6 you get a Drink, Beans (3 kinds), Mashed Potatoes, Cole Slaw, Corn Bread, Onions, Pickles, Beets and a large variety of  homemade desserts to choose from. Community invited.

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THE JONQUIL GARDEN CLUB meets every 4th Tuesday at the library in downtown Smyrna. Members assemble at 10 a.m. and the meeting opens at 10:30 a.m..The objective of the Jonquil Garden Club is to beautify and preserve our environment by encouraging conservation and plantings, not only in our own gardens, but including public places. Anyone interested in gardening, floral and landscape design is welcome to attend.  For further information, you may contact Shirley Priest at 770-433-3248.

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KIWANIS CLUB OF GREATER SOUTH COBB meets at noon the 2nd and 4th Tuesday each month at O’Charley’s 4130 Austell Rd, Austell GA 30106. Call 770-438-6961 for more info.

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JONQUIL CITY INVESTMENT CLUB. Jonquil City Investment Club is a Smyrna-based all-female club looking for new members interested in attending monthly educational meetings and investing small amounts of money in the stock market.  For more information contact Cindy Acker, Senior Partner, at

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LIBERTARIAN PARTY of Cobb County will host their Evening Social & Chapter Meeting, Event held on the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. Meetings Held at Fire Station #1112 Haynes St., Marietta. For more information like us on Facebook @ Libertarian Party of Cobb County or call Gretchen Mangan  at 494.368.2865.

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MOMS CLUB of Smyrna West: For stay-at-home or part-time working moms, we have added to the elementary school districts served in the Smyrna area: in 30080 and 30082 zip codes and any of the four following school districts: Smyrna Elementary, Norton Park, King Springs, and Nickajack.  We offer morning and afternoon weekly play groups and activities.  For questions about our club or are interested in becoming a member, please contact us directly at

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SMYRNA FIRST MOPS offers fellowship with other mothers of children age birth to Kindergarten. We welcome women from throughout the community, so you don’t have to be a member of Smyrna First United Methodist Church to join, although we do currently have a waiting list if you need a space in the nursery during our meetings. For more info, visit MOPS NIGHT GROUP. Smyrna First United Methodist Church’s MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group Night Group meets once a month on Wednesday evenings. If you are interested in joining the MOPS Night Group, please contact or visit

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NEWCOMERS CLUB OF COBB COUNTY meets every 3rd Tuesday of the month 10 a.m. – noon. John Knox Presbyterian Church, 505 Powers Ferry Road, Marietta, Visitors are welcome.

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SMYRNA BUSINESS ASSOCIATON: lunch meetings the first Thursday of each month at the Smyrna Community Center, 11:45 p.m.

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SMYRNA JONQUIL LIONS CLUB welcomes guests and prospective members. As a part of the world’s largest service organization simply stated:  We serve.  Check us out and join as we strive to make our community a better place. The club meets at the Smyrna Community Center the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m. and the 4th Tuesday at noon.

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SMYRNA LIBRARY READING GROUP: meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., at the Smyrna Public Library, 100 Village Green Circle.

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SMYRNA STITCH-IN GROUP meets the first Monday in the class room at Hobby Lobby, 1355 East-West Connector, Austell. If you like to cross stitch, do crewel work, needlepoint, etc and want to meet women in the area, please come join us.  Contact Phyllis Whittingham at

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SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS – The Gen. Leonidas Polk Camp meets on the 4th Thursday of each month (except for Nov, Dec, & Jan) in the meeting room at the Piccadilly Restaurant, 536 Marietta Pkwy S, Marietta. Our meetings include a presentation on a topic of interest regarding the 1861-1864 era. We begin gathering at 6 p.m. for socialization and dinner followed by the meeting at 7 p.m.. We are a hereditary memorial organization and welcome all visitors. For further info contact: Jack Williams at 404-256-4208 or

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SOUTH COBB BUSINESS ASSOCIATION meets the first Wednesday of each month at 11:45 at Presbyterian Village, East-West Connector.

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SOUTH COBB HOMESCHOOLERS.  Are you a homeschool parent in need of support?  The South Cobb Homeschool Support group meets monthly at the South Cobb Regional Library at 805 Clay Road, Mableton. If interested in attending email us at or call 404-644-8391. Visit our website at

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SOUTH COBB LIONS CLUB meets the 1st and 3rd Monday evenings 6:30 p.m. of each month at the South Cobb Community Center 620 Lions Club Drive, SW Mableton. Contact: South Cobb Lions Club: Phone 470-554-2128 on Facebook South Cobb Lions Club or email

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VININGS BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (VBA) meets the first Tuesday of each month for lunch at Social Vinings. Networking and speakers from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Guests are always welcome! (no industry restrictions). A Business After-Hours is held the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

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VININGS VILLAGE CIVIC CLUB meets the first Monday of each month September through June at 6:30 p.m. at various locations around Vinings. For further information, e-mail us at or visit our new website: Members and Guests are welcome.


ADULT CHILDREN OF ALCOHOLIC and Dysfunctional Families meets every Sunday at 2 p.m. at Ridgeview Institute in the Professional Building North, 3995 S. Cobb Dr., Smyrna.

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ALATEEN and Al-Anon Family Groups meet every Monday at 8 p.m. at the Ridgeview Institute in the Day Hospital. 3995 S Cobb Drive, Smyrna

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CANCER SUPPORT GROUP, The Star Group To help patients and their families feel more hopeful and less alone through the mutual sharing of thoughts, feelings, and concerns related to living with, and surviving cancer. Fourth Thursday of each month at Noon. (A light lunch is served) WellStar Cobb Hospital Magnolia Room Group leader: Raymond Coffman Please call 770-732-3780 to RSVP.

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DIABETES SUPPORT. WELLSTAR HEALTH SYSTEM will hold monthly free diabetes support groups in the following locations: Smyrna Primary Care, 562 Concord Rd, Smyrna 1 – 2 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month except December. No registration is required.

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OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS now meets at Ridgeview Institute, Room 8, 3995 S Cobb Drive, Smyrna. Mondays 7 p.m.

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Smyrna Parkinson’s Support Group meets at 2 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month, January through November at the Aline Wolfe Adult Recreation Center at 884 Church St., Smyrna, GA  Phone: 678-631-5541.The facilitator is Carl Proctor  Email: Contact: 404-275-9383. Smyrna Parkinson’s Support Group Membership is free to Parkinsonians, care partners, family members, medical professionals and other people whose lives have been touched by PD. We are grateful  to the Aline Wolfe Adult Recreation Center for providing our meeting space.

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RECOVERY INTERNATIONAL Self-help support group for stress, anxiety, depression, etc. Meets every Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 4300 King Springs Road SE, Smyrna, in the old rectory next to the church. Contact Alicia Garcia at 678-665-5233 for more information.

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REFORMERS UNANIMOUS (RU) is a Christ-centered addictions program that meets every Friday at 7 p.m. at Westside Church located at 4900 Floyd Road, Mableton next to Walgreens. RU helps adults find freedom from addictive behavior.  Call Mark Baker at 404-354-8911 for more information or see

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E-mail your organization’s calendar news to Deadline for APRIL issue is MARCH 23 with publication the week of APRIL 5. Calendar items are accepted from civic groups, non-profits, schools and church organizations and run as space is available. Due to the increasing number of calendar listings, please keep announcements brief. Please do NOT send calendar announcements in flyer format. For more information about submitting calendar items or other news, contact us at 770-426-9388 or by e-mail to Find updated calendar items on our website at

From the March 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Braves Reveal Traffic Plan

With just 10 weeks before the Braves’ first pitch at the new SunTrust Park, Cobb officials are expressing concerns on whether everything will be ready.

“The Braves are going to be ready,” Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon said. “The stadium will be ready. But we still don’t have agreements among multiple jurisdictions on a traffic study.”

Cobb Commission Chair Mike Boyce has warned that the county could not afford any missteps.

“We’re all in this ship together,” Boyce said. “We’re not going to fail on opening day.”

The Chairman in January named a 28-member joint task force for the Braves stadium with the aim of making the ballpark a success.

The task force will be an advisory body under the auspices of District Commissioner Bob Ott, who represents the Cumberland area. Ott put forward a list of 28 names of private individuals, public officials and employees of the county, as well as business owners.

The Braves revealed the first facet of their traffic plan last fall, returning the starting time of games to 7:30 p.m. and noted the 14 primary access points to SunTrust Park, which will open in April.

In a mid-January briefing, the Braves and key partners unveiled Cobb County’s Transportation Management Plan. Also announced were additional game day parking spaces, a Braves-operated game day shuttle, the launch of A-List season parking sales and new partnerships with Uber and Waze.

“The amount of planning and coordination that has taken place between our organization and our partners is staggering, and today’s announcement is a testament to their hard work,” said Mike Plant, president, development for the Braves. “With three months to go until Opening Day, we have already secured significantly more parking than we had for a ballpark that is much smaller. Additionally, we have already analyzed and forecasted traffic flow through every corridor entering our development. While we know this plan will continue to evolve, we couldn’t be more pleased with where we are at this time.”

Last fall, the Braves and their partners – Cobb County Department of Transportation, Cobb County Police Department and Kimley-Horn – provided an overview of the collaborative approach to transportation management where they shared plans to return the starting time of their games to 7:30 p.m. and detailed the benefits of the 14 primary access points to SunTrust Park, which will open in April.

The Cobb County Transportation Management Plan outlines the community’s strategic approach to managing vehicular and pedestrian access to SunTrust Park. In crafting the plan, Lieutenant J.D. Lorens said the county focused on minimizing the impact of traffic on daily commuters by utilizing the 14 primary points of access to ballpark.

The Cobb County Police Department will have uniformed officers at approximately 30 intersections around the ballpark to help support game day travel. Combined with a variety of access enhancements in the surrounding area, such as the utilization of contraflow lanes – reversing the traffic flow of designated lanes before and after games – and the construction of a dedicated exit lane from I-285 that funnels into The Battery Atlanta, these steps will facilitate safe and efficient vehicular and pedestrian travel.

Lorens encouraged property owners in the area that are interested in parking vehicles on game day to apply for a permit with the County so they can work them into the overall plan.

“Our Transportation Management Plan is a working document that will continue to evolve as we move toward Opening Day and more parking lots come online,” said Lt. Lorens. “We have identified the most critical intersections based on the current distribution of parking, but we know more parking will come online as property owners in the area apply for and are granted permits to park cars. Once this takes place, we will integrate them into this plan.”

The Braves also announced they would be able to offer more than 11,000 parking spaces owned or leased by the organization for game day. This is already 2,500 more spaces than were available at Turner Field, all serving a ballpark that features roughly 8,000 fewer seats, with more parking to be added prior to Opening Day. The Braves will begin selling season parking to A-List members immediately, with single game parking to be sold when single game tickets go on sale March 10.

The Braves also unveiled plans to launch a private shuttle service that will serve both their managed parking lots and key points of interest in Metro Atlanta. Specific routes will be released closer to Opening Day.

In Waze and Uber, the Braves have identified two leaders in transportation technology to help provide for safe, efficient options for fans headed to the ballpark.

Waze, the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app, will collaborate with the Braves and Cobb County to share data and real-time updates with fans and commuters. Waze currently serves more than 760,000 active users in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville area, and its real-time updates will enhance the data being provided by Cobb County DOT from its on-site traffic control center. Fans will receive directions from their doorstep directly to their assigned parking lot, each of which has its own address.

The Braves also shared updates on their partnership with Uber. The ridesharing giant has experienced consistent, strong growth in Metro Atlanta, and this partnership will offer an alternative for fans traveling to the game. SunTrust Park will feature a designated drop-off/pick-up zone on Windy Ridge Parkway, adjacent to the ballpark, enabling fans to safely and easily find a vehicle following the game.

From the February 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Smyrna Welcomes New Parks Director

Smyrna’s new Director of Parks and Recreation has a 25-year legacy of working in recreation and even worked summers as a teenager at a camp in South Carolina.

Richard Garland, who turns 50 this month, previously served as executive director of the Rome- Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority. He worked his way up from gym instructor in Rome, to Park superintendent and served nine years as executive director as the city and county merged operations.

“This is my passion,” Garland said. “I’ve been working in public recreation since I was 15.”

At Rome-Floyd, Garland helped write the existing recreation agreement and was heavily involved in multiple SPLOSTs and annual budgets during his tenure. He saw tennis courts added, and transformed an old Marine Corps armory into the new recreation headquarters and assisted with renovations to Barron Stadium.

Garland graduated from Shorter College with a major in recreation management and has a wife, Gail, and two grown children: Bennett, and Rachel.

Garland spent the past two years working with a private company but decided to get back into recreation.

“I’ve been to Smyrna several times and knew it was a great area with a lot going on,” he said. “You’ve got a great foundation here with the Market Village and a good system of parks and recreation in place.”

“You’ve got a City Council that is not satisfied with the status quo,” he said. “I want it to be the best system possible.”

Several new projects will be coming online shortly, he said.

  • New fitness equipment for the Patty Wilson trail at the Aileen Wolfe Recreation Center will be coming in by the spring.
  • The Reed House, a 1910 historic home on Atlanta Road, is getting $1.5 million in renovations. Demolition is underway but the historic appearance will be retained. It will be used as a small event locale similar Brawner Hall. Plans are for it to open by late summer.

What future projects does Garland have in mind? He’s going to let the community decide the future plans.

“Beginning this year we will start some steps to get hold of the pulse of the community,” he said. “It’s important for me to say that is not what I want to see, it’s what the community wants.”

He noted that Smyrna is a unique community. “I hope to help it increase the overall quality of life,” he said.

He asked the public to be patient. “I want your ideas, and your suggestions are welcome. Call or e-mail if there’s a problem and we will address it. My door is always open.” (The phone and email are on the site.)

From the January 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.