Carrying On After Allan

The Bright Side is a good-news newspaper, but every now and then a cloud passes over the sun. A dark cloud passed over the Bright Side family – and the Lipsett family – last week with the passing of Allan Lipsett.

He and I have published the Bright Side as a team since 2007. It is a joy to bring you the news of the Smyrna, Vinings and South Cobb area, introduce you to new businesses, and keep you posted on the latest events. Allan and I have worked together to bring you the news each month, and now the Bright Side will continue without his important and steady hand.

Our family is so grateful for the kind outpouring of love from the community. From the Jonquil City Kiwanis Club to the Smyrna, Vinings, and South Cobb Business Associations, to taking pictures at many events around town, Allan spent many days in this community and both of us have made many friends.

For those who did not know Allan, or who have not yet seen it, you can see a glimpse of the interesting life he led here or in this month’s Bright Side, which is now arriving at homes and available at various places in the area. We are proud to share this month’s issue, late though it is. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Know that the Bright Side will continue. It must, if only because we know Allan would have wanted it to.

-Cathy Lipsett, Publisher

Santa House Opens

Bring your wish list and have your picture taken with Santa at the Santa House at Aunt Fanny’s Cabin in December.

Visit with Santa and have your picture taken at Aunt Fanny’s Cabin 2875 Atlanta Road, Smyrna.

This event is co-sponsored by the City of Smyrna and the Smyrna Optimist Club.

Santa House Schedule is 6 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 6 – 7; 13 – 15; and 20 – 23.

WellStar Vinings Health Place Is VBA Business of Year

WellStar Vinings Health Park was named the Vinings Business Association’s “2019 Vinings Business or Organization of the Year.” The award was presented Dec. 3.

WellStar and the three other finalists were presented at the November luncheon to their business ideas and successes. Other finalists include Cobb Community Foundation, Cumberland Community Improvement District (CID), and Crispina Ristorante & Pizzeria.

“All of these nominees are winners,” said Chairman Glenn Christian. “We have been working to get the word out that Vinings is a special place.”

Loretta Usry, executive director, Health Parks South, thanked the VBA. We have everything yunder one roof.

 “We have been in the running for this quite a while and we are thrilled to be in the community. We provide many services to the community and we give back to the community in part through our indigent care fun,” she said.

The Vinings Health Park has been open for two years and its 162,000 sq. ft. building at Atlanta Road near I-285 is fully occupied.

“The whole concept is one stop shopping,” said Joe Brywczynski, senior vice president of WellStar Health Park Development. “We hope you are wowed by your experience.”

The third of five WellStar Health Parks, Vinings saw 200,000 patients the first year and some 250,000 the second.

The three other nominees include:

Andriano Djula and Raffaele Crispino opened Crispina Ristorante & Pizzeria at Paces Mill and Cobb Parkway some five years ago.

The restaurant and the newly opened Crispina Grill in the same shopping center provide a traditional Neapolitan style, southern Italian menu.

Djula said, “We work together and provide excellent family tradition recipes.”

 When we opened it would not have been possible without working with local schools and supporting the local businesses.

The Cobb Community Foundation works with some 500 non-profits, using a donor advised funding model to collect and disperse contributions. Currently it oversees some $550,000 in funds.

“We have one purpose and that’s to support the nonprofits in Cobb and encourage giving,” said Bruce Clayton, board chairman.

The Cumberland area has grown since the Cumberland Community Improvement District (CID) was formed some 31 years ago.

Kyethea Clark, Director of Operations for the CID, said this was the first CID in Georgia as commercial property owners agreed to tax themselves to fund transportation and community improvements.

Three decades ago the area was retail and office/commercial but has added many residential properties in the past several years. “Jobs and  Housing has balanced out to make this a more vibrant area,” she said. “Now you have people who stay here to do things, such as go to the Battery.”

Lewis Wheaton Takes Ward 7 Post

Lewis Wheaton was appointed as Smyrna’s newest city council member at a special called meeting of the Smyrna City Council on Nov. 14 to complete the term of Ron Fennel for Ward 7 to end Dec. 31.

Wheaton was elected to the Ward 7 post for a four-year term and will fill the post left vacant by the resignation of Ron Fennel until the end of the year.

Mayor Max Bacon recommended that Wheaton be sworn in soon after the election was certified. Wheaton was sworn in by Cobb County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Childs. His wife Teri held the Bible while he recited the oath as provided by the judge. Wheaton’s family, friends and Cub Scout troop also were present for the event.

He is a professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Georgia Tech, according to the city website. Also, he has an adjunct appointment in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.

Since his arrival at Georgia Tech in 2008, he has been the director of the Cognitive Motor Control Laboratory, which has a goal of improving rehabilitation outcomes in people with brain injury. Wheaton also has been actively involved in rehabilitation policy within Georgia as a Governor-appointed member of the State Rehabilitation Council, a congressionally mandated council that oversees the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency.

Born in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania and reared in Petersburg, Va., he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Radford University in 1999 and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in College Park in Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences in 2005. Wheaton was a fellow at the Baltimore (Maryland) Veterans Affairs Medical Center from 2005 to 2008 before moving to Smyrna.

He and his wife Teri have sons Lewis Jr. and Joshua, and they are active members of Powers Ferry Road Church of Christ.

From the December 2019 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

‘Shrek The Musical’ In Smyrna

Smyrna Village Players’ cast and crew invite you to experience SHREK THE MUSICAL in an all-new light in four performances on July 18, 19 and 20.

This new age fairytale is full of sidesplitting laughs, heartfelt friendships and harrowing adventure.

Smyrna Village Players is an outreach of SFUMC and the local Methodist community. The group offers an outlet for individuals to share their talents and gifts and seeks to bring joy and unity to our neighbors by working as a collaborative team to tell compelling stories.

The unique interpretation of this beloved tale brings our favorite renaissance heroes into modern times. We’ve embraced a vibrant, rock’n’roll inspired aesthetic and the jam-packed performance is guaranteed to keep you engaged and on the edge of your seat.

Performances are July 18 at 7 p.m.), July 19 at 7 p.m. and July 20 at 2 and 7 p.m. Performances are in the Fellowship Hall of Smyrna First United Methodist Church, 1315 Concord Road, Smyrna. The performance offers professional ASL interpretation at the Saturday 2 p.m. matinee show and welcome all members of the Smyrna community to enjoy this upbeat, family-friendly production. General Admission tickets are $15 and Student/Senior tickets are $12. Tickets are on sale now at www.smyrnavillageplayers.com.

Campbell Lady Spartans Win State



Campbell Lady Spartan medalists are, kneeling from left, Jameah Alston, Raina Perry, and Jada Alston; standing, Jaleah Alston, Mekenze Kelley, Lailah Malone, Zionn Rice, Akilah Parrish, Rachel Swain, Ashton Lindley, Makayla Jones, Makylah Jones and Camille Trottman.

The Campbell Lady Spartans Track & Field team just completed their most successful season ever by winning their first GHSA State Track and Field Team Championship in school history and only the second GHSA State Championship since Softball won in 1994.

This talented and well-coached team won the State Championship by 50 points, and with the highest point total (112 points) ever scored in the largest classification (7A) in the state. 

The track and field program first won the Region 2-7A Championship, and Cobb County Championship, leading to the State Championship.

Ashton Lindley, a junior, was GHSA State Championship Athlete of the Meet. SAhe was also Cobb County Athlete of the Meet at the Cobb County Championship.  At State, Ashton scored on the winning 4x100m and 4x400m Relay teams, won the 300m Hurdles with a time (41.46) that ranks her as US#11, and placed fifth in the Long Jump as well as second in the 400m dash.

Campbell scored points in 12 different events, and won Gold in four events.

The other individual Gold medalist was Mekenze Kelley, a sophomore, who ran a blazing 53.65.  This performance ranks her as US#13 and #2 in Georgia. Kelley also won Silver in the 200m Dash and ran on both winning relay teams.

The other medalists include:

• Camille Trotman (JR) 4x100m Relay and High Jump

• Jaleah Alston (JR) 100m Dash, 200m Dash, and both Relays

• Raina Perry (SR) 300m Hurdles, and both Relays

• Lailah Malone (JR) Shot Put and Discus

• Jada Alston (SR) Triple Jump and both Relays

• Zionn Rice (FR) 100m Hurdles and both Relays

• Jameah Alston (JR) both Relays

• Makylah Jones (JR) 4x400m Relay

Also contributing as alternates who ran in the prelims of the 4x400m Relays were Loryn Smith (FR) and Akilah Parrish (SO).

“This is a young and talented team with only two seniors graduating, so the future continues to be bright for the program,” said Michelle Lanier, Head Girls’ Track Coach.

Smyrna ‘Antiques Roadshow’ Coming

The new Smyrna Historical Society isn’t waiting for the doors of the newly-renovated Smyrna Museum to open in September, according to Nancy Geisler, board member.

“The 2019 Program is here, and most events are open to all and free. Please visit www.Smyrnahistoricalsociety.org to register for communications about events. For those who are able to do more, please consider donating to the future of the historical society by becoming a Member,” she said. 

Two collection events are set for June 15 and July 27, Noon – 4 p.m. at the Smyrna Library. Bring your photographs and other historic items to the experts. They will be scanned and returned or accepted to the permanent museum collection. It’s our “Antiques Roadshow” with a Smyrna flair.

For a limited time, the society is offering a special Founder’s membership. For a one-time donation of $100, your name will be listed on a permanent plaque to be displayed in the museum. You will also be invited to a special pre-opening ceremony. This is an easy and inexpensive way to show your support for a resource that will service our community for many years. 

From the June 2019  issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Linda Keeney Scholarship Awarded

The King Springs Foundation awarded its second annual Linda B. Keeney Scholarship for King Springs Alumni April 26 to Campbell High School Senior, Spencer Ford.

Ford will be attending the University of Miami to pursue a degree in Musicianship, Artistry Development, and Entrepreneurship. 

The Linda B. Keeney Scholarship for King Springs Alumni was established in 2018 to honor the career of King Springs’ long-time principal upon her retirement from public education.

In 2018, the King Springs Foundation awarded a $1,000 scholarship.  In 2019, the award was doubled to $2,000. In 2020, the King Springs Foundation has a goal of once again doubling the award.  If you would like to contribute directly to the scholarship, please go kingspringsfoundation.org/.

From the June 2019  issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Lawn Chairs Now Okay At Renovated Amphitheatre

Visitors check out the new terraced seating area that allows lawn chairs at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheater during a recent open house.

The Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre’s season is underway and concert goers and performers are benefitting from extensive renovations.
“We have a robust concert series that we are this hosting on behalf local promoters,” said Robert Edwards, general manager. The amphitheater is a rental only facility.

“One of our promoters, Royal Entertainment, has brought in some 20 concerts over the summer.”

Royal also helped facilitate moving all of the Kiss 104.1 Flashback series from Lakewood Amphitheater. Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends have back to back concerts.

“It’s going to be a fun series over the summer,” Edwards said during an open house at the facility in May.

A new movie series on the first Friday of each month called Movies , Band and Brew, will be a nostalgic evening with the theme of an individual artist and film.

“We are teaming up with the Arts Center so the first Friday in July is a Prince experience. A national touring, exhibit, then have Hero, The Band playing music of Prince and the movie Purple Rain.

An Evening of Jazz series is already underway.

Edwards said that in the winter of 2017 renovations began the backstage area, including the green room and dressing areas.

“We ripped up all the floors which now with polished concrete, bought new furniture, and gave it a new look. We really spruced up the place to give the artists a better impression of our backstage,” he said.

“This past winter we redid the lawn area so it is now terraced instead of a steep hill. Now we allow all of our patrons to bring in their own lawn chairs. It’s a big deal since we never allowed that in the past. We have new bar areas in the venue so we have full cash bars available to the public,” he said.

The entire SPLOST renovation was $2 million spread out over two years.

The seating area remains the same capacity at 2,500 with 1,500 under the roof and 1,000 on the lawn.

“It’s just a more user friendly lawn area,” he said.

Here are some of the shows coming this summer and fall at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre.

An Evening of Jazz series:

• June 22 – featuring Gregory Porter, Ken Ford and Kathy Kosins.

• July 6 – featuring Boney James, Avery Sunshine and Alex Bugnon.

• Aug. 3 – featuring Brian Culberson and Najee.

• Aug. 17 – featuring Jeffrey Osborne and Jody Watley.

• Sept. 21 – featuring Jonathan Butler, Kirk Whalum, Eric Darius and Nick Colionne.

July 20 – The Gentlemen of Soul featuring Peabo Bryson, Freddie Jackson and Howard Hewett

Kiss 104.1 Flashback Festival:

• Aug. 31 – The Whispers with Ruben Studdard, and Evelyn Champagne King.

• Sept. 1 – Cameo with Midnight Star, and Glenn Jones.

Also, Sept. 7 – Sounds Good Medicine with Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Kenney Lattimore, and Bryan Thompson, hosted by M.C. Lightfoot.

The Wednesday night children’s series, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, will feature free movies such as Black Panther on June 12; Spiderman Into the Spiderverese on June 26; A Wrinkle In Time on July 10; and How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World on July 24.

First Fridays feature Movie, Bands and Brews:

• July 5 – Purple Rain, featuring Hero, the Band, playing Prince music.

• Aug. 2 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, featuring The Neon Queen.

• Sept. 6 – Nine to Five with a performance by Diva Royale.

• Oct. 4 – Bohemian Rhapsody featuring a Queen tribute performance by the Georgia Players Guild.

For showtimes and tickets visit mablehouse.org or call 770-819-7765.

From the June 2019  issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Group Plans For City In South Cobb

Mableton could be the “the next best city in Cobb County” within two years if the South Cobb Alliance wins funding and support from the legislature.

Enthusiastic supporters recently held a town hall meeting at South Cobb Regional Library.

“The time has come for us as a community to determine if it is feasible for us to become Cobb County’s next city,” said Tre Hutchins, an organizer of the cityhood effort. “This will allow us an opportunity to customize our needs as it relates to the quality of life we deserve in South Cobb.”

Mableton, an unincorporated community in south Cobb, would be joined with the unincorporated part of Austell to create Cobb’s newest city, which would also be called Mableton.

The new city would be bordered on the north by Hurt Road just north of the East-West Corridor, on the west by Austell, on the east by Smyrna and go southward all the way to Cobb’s southern tip.

The first step is having a bill introduced in the General Assembly. Hutchins said State Rep. Erica Thomas, D- Austell, has agreed to do that.

Hutchins said the group needs $30,000 for a Feasibility Study.

“We have 1/3 of it and need another $20K to make sure this happens,” he said. “The South Cobb Alliance is dedicated to securing the funds to complete the study. For more information: www.SouthCobbAlliance.org/.

Hutchins said he thinks the study will show the city of Mableton will be able to provide at least three of the 16 state constitutionally mandated municipal services currently provided by the county without raising taxes on its residents.