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.   

Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon To Retire

Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon dropped a political bombshell in July as he announced he would not seek reelection.

“It’s time for me to go,” Bacon said in a Facebook post. “I can no longer give the 110% that I have given the last 40 years. I will miss serving all the citizens of Smyrna…but will be ok. Smyrna will always be the best place to live.”

Bacon was speaking to a sellout crowd fr his annual “State of the City” address to the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and Smyrna Business Association on July 10.

It was a reversal from Bacon’s May announcement to run and he said he had even ordered campaign signs and t-shirts that read “I Heart Bacon.”

While still dabbing at tears, he offered a discount on campaign shirts.

“Don’t forget about those T-shirts now — $6,” he joked.

The political bombshell has drawn at least four probable candidates for the mayor’s post. They include:

Ward 1 Councilman Dereck Norton, Government Affairs Director for the Georgia Municipal Association; Laura Mireles, an Air Force veteran who worked in law enforcement; Steve Rasin, a retired Navy Commander, Airline Pilot and owner of a real estate business; and  Alex Backery, a perennial candidate who is retired.

Candidate qualifying will be Aug. 20-22 at city hall.

During his presentation, Mayor Bacon cited numerous accomplishments from his four decades in public office.

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

Get Rid of Bulky Trash

It’s time to clean out your closets, basements, garages and rooms. The City of Smyrna and Keep Smyrna Beautiful are hosting the first Bulky Trash Amnesty Day Saturday, Aug. 17 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Smyrna residents are invited to bring their unwanted items and drop them off at the Smyrna Public Works Department on Atlanta Road.

This event is FREE and for Smyrna residents only. Please bring proof of residency: City of Smyrna utility bill preferred but a drivers license is fine.

Items accepted include: Furniture, carpet, mattresses and box springs, grills, car parts (doors, fenders), lawn furniture, and non Freon containing appliances (washers, dryers, etc).

Items NOT accepted include: paint, any household hazardous waste, refrigerators, freezers, tires, construction debris, lawn mowers, or propane tanks.

“We are encouraging neighborhoods to work together to bring items,” said Janet Liberman. “For example: join together and rent a truck or offer to bring a neighbor’s items if you have a pickup truck and they don’t have a car big enough.”

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

Smyrna Museum Adds To Collection

The Smyrna Historical Society hosted an event at the Smyrna Library in July seeking donations for the remodeled museum and included a large display of Smyrna related artifacts. 







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Corky Welch donates City Hall sign to Smyrna Museum Manager Jennie Eldredge, and Mike Terry.

Jennie Eldredge, Museum Manager was joined by historian Mike Terry, and board members Linda Evans, Bill Marchione, and Nancy Geisler as the community turned out in record numbers to become members of the new society and enjoy viewing numerous unique and historic artifacts.

Among the donations was the original sign from the new city hall that opened in 1996. Ward 4 City Councilman Corky Welch brought the sign to the collection event at the Smyrna Public Library. Terry said the sign was on the old city hall…the white brick building…so it is about 30 years old. Not exactly an antique, but an important part of Smyrna History.

On display was the original cast-iron zero mile marker post from 1872 donated by Harold Smith, an unusual plug-tobacco cutter from an old Smyrna general store, a rare stereoscope viewer, many 1900 era kitchen items, a collection of Civil War uniform buttons, and hundreds of old photographs. 

Visitors were also given the latest information about the revitalized history museum; a grand opening is expected in October. 

To join the society, or to get more information about the history of Smyrna, contact  Mike Terry at 770-438-6182 or Linda Evans at 770-436-8062.

From the August 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.