Meet The Candidates In Smyrna Election

Smyrna voters will get the opportunity to meet the candidates for Mayor and city council positions at a forum sponsored by the Smyrna Business Association on Oct. 24.

“This is an excellent chance for residents to meet and interact with their potential elected leaders,” said SBA President Barb Allen.

An informal meet-and-greet will begin at 7 p.m. at the Smyrna Community Center, followed by a question and answer session with the candidates moderated by Cathy and Allan Lipsett, publishers of The Bright Side newspaper. Attendees will be asked to submit written questions prior to the forum.

More details of the event can be found at smyrnabusiness.org/.

With the decision of Max Bacon not to seek reelection, an open Mayor’s post has drawn five candidates. The candidates for Mayor include:

Alex Backery, a retired airline worker who has lived in Smyrna since 1981; Ryan Campbell, son to Jamaican immigrants who operate Chris’ Caribbean Bistro; Laura M. Mireles, a former law enforcement officer and Air Force Veteran; Derek Norton, Ward 1 Councilman and Government Affairs Director for the Medical Association of Georgia; and Steve Rasin, a retired Navy Commander, Airline Pilot and owner of a real estate business.

In city council races Glenn Pickins, a project manager, is unopposed for the open Ward 1 seat; Charles ‘Corkey’ Welch, and engineer, is unopposed for reelection to the Ward 4 post, and Tim Gould is unopposed for the Ward 6 seat.

Ward 2 has incumbent Andrea Bluestein, a real estate associate broker, facing Austin Wagner, a consultant.

In Ward 3, incumbent Maryline Blackburn, an entertainer, is challenged by Travis Lindley, a business owner.

There are three candidates in Ward 5 as incumbent Susan Wilkinson, an independent designer, is challenged by Suz Kaprich, a nurse executive, and James ‘JD’ Smith, a former fire department lieutenant and owner of Neighbors Feed and Seed.

Ward 7 is an open post with David W. Monroe, a former hotel management exec and real estate broker, facing Lewis A. Wheaton, a professor at Georgia Tech.

Whitefield Academy will host a debate On Tuesday, October 22 at 7 p.m. among all five Smyrna mayoral candidates. The debate will be co-moderated by Whitefield students and Whitefield faculty member, Dr. Jeff Horner.

The Whitefield debate is a ticketed event. Tickets are now available and can be reserved at no cost by visiting www.smyrnamayoraldebate.com. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and the debate will begin at 7 p.m.

Whitefield Academy’s Head of School, Kevin Bracher, notes that “not only is the election of a new mayor a momentous event in Smyrna history, but hosting the debate is also an incredible opportunity for our students to practice servant leadership in the civic arena. Whitefield cares deeply about Smyrna and our community, and we are excited to contribute to having a community of informed voters.”

Smyrna’s election will be held Nov. 5.

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

Boxing Champ Honored

Nathan Lugo, a 15-year-old Smyrna boxer, won gold at the Bornemissza Tournament in Eger, Hungary, by winning three matches, with one by decision and two by stoppage. Lugo left Hungary as the top-ranked 154-pound junior-class boxer in the world.

Lugo was honored with a proclamation at the Aug. 5 Smyrna City Council meeting congratulating him on being the most decorated amateur boxer in Georgia.

“In 2014, Lugo was the only boxer in Georgia to win a national title for our great state. Many overlooked the then 9-year-old boxer who was making history,” the proclamation reads. “Nathan is a current member of Team USA and has over 200 recorded bouts, 12 national titles, and a gold medal in the biggest junior international tournament, he is the essence of what our city and country are built on — hard work.”

After winning gold in Hungary he presented his father with the medal in honor of Father’s Day. He is the son of Michael and Angela Lugo, and has one younger brother, Elijah, who is also a national level boxer.

Lugo is a three-time National Junior Golden Gloves winner and four-time National Silver Gloves winner.In December, he became a member of Team USA by defeating then-Team USA member Elijah Garcia.

‘Smyrna Reads’ The Constitution

Every year, Smyrna Library promotes a book for the community to read and discuss. This year, we will revisit America’s Founding Era and read the U.S. Constitution.

Free copies will be distributed while supplies last, but numerous other copies will be available for checkout. Events throughout the month are scheduled to supplement your reading.

This program is part of “Revisiting the Founding Era,” a three-year national initiative of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History presented in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Constitution Center, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Smyrna Reads is also sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

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

Register For Spooktacular Chase

Registration is now open for the 11th annual Spooktacular Chase through Historic Downtown Powder Springs on Oct. 12.

This annual Halloween themed 10K/5K supports the life-changing services provided by Vision Rehabilitation Services of Georgia (VRS) to individuals of all ages who are blind or visually impaired across 31 counties of North Georgia.

Registration is at spooktacularchase.com/.

The 10K Course is one of the few 10k timed runs in the area. The Spooktacular 10K is a verified qualifier for the Peachtree Road Race.

The 5K Course is a family friendly timed fun run that is also pet ready. Please bring your costume and your smile.

Only 1,000 spots are available so don’t miss out.

Who should sign up? Runners looking for a flat course to qualify for the AJC Peachtree Road Race, runners looking for a great race and a charity to support, and families looking for an event to celebrate Halloween.

Don’t want to run but still want to participate? Sign up to be a Phantom Runner or help by fundraising. Runners are encouraged to dress up for Halloween.

North Georgia State Fair

As the largest fair in metro Atlanta, the Superior Plumbing North Georgia State Fair returns to the Jim R. Miller Park Sept. 19-29. The fair attracts nearly 300,000 people every year from north Georgia and neighboring states.

The Superior Plumbing North Georgia State Fair features live music, free attractions and shows, farm animals, flower shows, blue ribbon competitions, local entertainment, and delicious fair foods.

There are also games and rides on the Great James H. Drew Exposition midway – one of the largest carnival midways in the United States, featuring the Wildcat Rollercoaster, Georgia Mountain Lift and the Mega Slide.

A covered arena guarantees concerts rain or shine, including appearances by great country and contemporary Christian artists.

Headliners for the Carl Black Kennesaw Concert Series include:

• Jeremy Camp on Friday, Sept. 20;

• Mitchell Tenpenney on Saturday, Sept. 21;

• Lee Brice on Wednesday, Sept. 25;

• Tyler Farr on Thursday, Sept. 26;

• Lanco on Friday, Sept. 27; and

• Caleb Lee Hutchinson (7 p.m.) and Travis Denning (8 p.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Concerts begin at 8 p.m. (unless noted otherwise) and are free with fair admission. 

New acts in 2019 include K-9’s in Flight, Ninja Experience, King BMX Stunt Show and Sandscapes.

Returning acts in 2019 include, Robinson’s Racing Pigs and Paddling Porkers, Lady Houdini, Eudora Farms Petting Zoo, Brian Ruth “Master of the Chainsaw,” North Georgia Animals Petting Barn, Robocars and Treeman and Cowboy Woody.

 Fair hours are available at www.northgeorgiastatefair.com/

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

Taste Of Smyrna

Taste of Smyrna “Festival of Delectable” presented by Superior Plumbing is coming to satisfy palates, quench the thirst, fulfill the need for music and entertainment, and please the kids, Sept. 14.

Visitors will be able to sample more than 30 Smyrna restaurants on the beautiful Village Green and Market Village in downtown Smyrna.

Admission to the Taste is FREE with food samples costing $1 to $4 each.

Diners can experience tastes from more than 30 restaurants including: Tin Drum, Taco Mac, Williamson Bros. BBQ, Bruster’s Ice Cream, Copelands of New Orleans and more to tempt the taste buds and fill the senses. 

There will be live music all day during the festival from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There will be interactive children’s activities from a Quad Bungee, inflatable slides, bounces, Special OPS obstacle course and much more.  

The Taste of Smyrna bottled water and soft drink sales will benefit the Smyrna Education Foundation.

There will be acoustic sounds from Scott Thompson entertaining patrons from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. adjacent to the Veteran’s Memorial, and more live music throughout the event from open to close.      

From the September 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.