Funk Fest 2013 at Clayton County International Park

Don’t miss Funk Fest 2013 on Saturday, May 18th at International Park featuring R Kelly, Bel Biv Devoe, Rakim and more. Click here to purchase tickets.

Clayton County on the Rise: New Life for Big Development at Clayton State

By Tammy Joyner and J. Scott Trubey, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution |McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Sweeping plans for a gateway to Clayton State University that were scuttled by a harsh recession are being reborn on a smaller scale that development officials say will still give Clayton County a much-needed economic jolt.

Where planners once called for a conference center hotel, golf course and townhomes, officials soon will pitch a new vision: a town center aimed at expanding the county’s burgeoning film industry, cultivating startup companies and cashing in on the cottage industry of amateur and professional ancestry research.

The site formerly called Gateway Village will be known as University Station, a planned mix of offices, parks, retail and lodging. County leaders are expected to introduce the concept Wednesday morning at the South Metro Development Outlook conference at the Georgia International Convention Center.

“When developers and investors start seeing the quality developments we want in Clayton County get started, that will hopefully bring more businesses and jobs,” Clayton County Commission Chairman Jeff Turner said.

Some doubt that, and cite Olde Towne Morrow, a massive complex of shops, restaurants and offices near Southlake Mall that sits empty.

The county and cities of Morrow and Lake City will market about 10 acres to developers. Officials want an 80-room hotel, a three-story office building with space for economic development agencies and startup companies, refurbishments to a county-owned film sound stage and about 100,000 square feet for merchants and restaurants: about $75 million in private investment. Residential space and senior living facilities could be added later.

The hope is to spur additional private development along Jonesboro Road near the more than 6,500-student university.

Clayton’s jobless rate is about two points higher than the metro Atlanta average. It was stung early by the foreclosure crisis, the partial closure of Fort Gillem and a school accreditation scandal that clouded the county’s image, said Mercer University economist Roger Tutterow. The county needs to diversify, he said, and become less dependent on its leading driver, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Some skeptical citizens groups point to prior public-private development missteps in Clayton. But backers of the new University Station see a commercial real estate resurgence on the Southside, following investments including the Porsche North American headquarters complex.

The new town center will be near the sound stage in a vacated Ingles supermarket, near the state and national archives.

Clayton wants to promote it to film and TV companies. Productionsincluding the upcoming “Scary Movie 5” and the sequel to “The Hunger Games” have raised the county’s profile, said Grant Wainscott, director of the county’s Office of Economic Development and entertainment agency.

Clayton State is filled with students and staff each day, and the National Archives branch is the genealogical research hub of the Southeast, attracting thousands of researchers each year, Wainscott said.

The county expects to fund about $5 million in infrastructure improvements, he said, including roadwork.

Development in the area started in the late 1990s with apartments and later included the National Archives at Atlanta and the Georgia Archives. The county also built a transit station and parking deck in anticipation of commuter rail that never came. Public and private investment in the corridor stands at more than $100 million.

Original plans for lofts, townhomes and a conference center hotel and golf course fizzled as the economy tumbled.

“The alleged recovery everyone’s talking about just hasn’t manifested itself in Clayton,” said Carl Swensson, chairman of the Clayton County Citizens Oversight Committee, a government watchdog group.

Swensson fears a fallout like that from Olde Towne Morrow, which has languished nearly two years despite efforts to revive it. A former city official, John Lampl II, awaits trial on charges he circumvented state building laws in that project.

But one critic of problems connected with Olde Towne Morrow praised the effort to revive the Clayton State corridor. While “there are some hurdles that are going to have to be taken care of and most of them are political,” community activist Jeff DeTar said, “I’m very optimistic about what is possible over there.”

Timeline to University Station

1999-2000: Officials with Clayton County, Morrow and Lake City develop the Gateway Village Plan that included lofts, townhomes and retail as well as a hotel conference center with an 18-hole golf course. 2000-2002: Clayton development officials start to acquire about 100 acres along Ga. 54 for future development, and the Gateway Village Redevelopment Plan is created to be a vehicle for future projects.

2001: Clayton Place Apartments are built for Clayton State students.

2003-2005: Georgia Archives and National Archives southeastern branch relocate to their present site near Clayton State University.

2006-2008: The city of Morrow completes Morrow Station, 10 acres set aside for future transit needs. The site includes a parking deck, an on-street parking network and a spot for a future commuter rail stop.

2005-2008: As the economy tanks, Gateway Village plans are altered. The resort hotel is changed to a business-class hotel and plans for residences are shelved.

2011: Gateway Village strategic partners kick off an 18-month redevelopment plan calling for a marketing blitz and a new name, University Station. The plan calls for site preparation and an updated civic master plan.

2012: Clayton County acquires a former Ingles-anchored shopping center across from the archives and converts it into a film sound stage.

February 2013: The 18-month redevelopment plan is completed and organizers unveil the plan.

Source: Clayton County Office of Economic Development

2013 Grammy Winners: The Full List

The 55th annual Grammys are over and a wide range of artists are heading home with hardware.

Adele stole the show in 2012, winning all six awards for which she was nominated. In 2013, Dan Auerbach and the Black Keys were the biggest winners, taking home four trophies. Skrillex claimed three, as did Gotye, Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Mumford & Sons won just two Grammys, but scored the biggest one of the night: Best Album for Babel. The group’s latest effort was also a major commercial success, moving 1.4 million copies in 2012, which made it the No. 4 best-selling album of the year.

Somebody That I Used To Know
Gotye Featuring Kimbra
Wally De Backer, producer; Wally De Backer & Francois Tetaz, engineers/mixers; William Bowden, mastering engineer
Track from: Making Mirrors
Label: Universal Republic

Mumford & Sons
Markus Dravs, producer; Robin Baynton & Ruadhri Cushnan, engineers/mixers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer
Label: Glassnote

We Are Young
Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Fun.Featuring Janelle Monáe)
Track from: Some Nights
Label: Fueled By Ramen; Publishers: WB Music, FBR Music, Bearvon Music/Rough Art/Shira Lee Lawrence Rick Music/Way Above Music/Sony ATV Songs


Set Fire To The Rain [Live]
Track from: Live At The Royal Albert Hall
Label: XL/Columbia

Somebody That I Used To Know
Gotye Featuring Kimbra
Track from: Making Mirrors
Label: Universal Republic

Chris Botti
Label: Columbia

Kelly Clarkson
Label: RCA Records/19 Recordings LLC

Skrillex Featuring Sirah
Skrillex, producer; Skrillex, mixer
Track from: Bangarang
Label: OWSLA/Big Beat/Atlantic

Label: OWSLA/Big Beat/Atlantic

Kisses On The Bottom
Paul McCartney
Label: Hear Music

Lonely Boy
The Black Keys
Track from: El Camino
Label: Nonesuch

Dwight Eubanks “Legends of Fashion” Turned Out to be a Huge Success

This year in the city of Atlanta, well known celebrity stylist and familiar face from the hit reality show Atlanta housewives linked up with NBCW of 100 Black Woman to bring to the public an exhibition of Iconic African Americans who dedicated their lives to fashion.

Atlanta, GA, February 11, 2013 –(– On February 9th 2013 fashion guru and reality celebrity Dwight Eubanks, produced an award winning fashion show called, “The Legends of Fashion,” in support of a worthy cause.

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., MECCA Chapter (NCBW-MECCA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to empowering African American women and girls in metro Atlanta through a variety of advocacy programs in the areas of education, health, economic development and public policy. We are an extraordinary group of women who come together to advocate, educate and reach future generations with meaningful initiatives that make a difference in the communities we serve.

Since 1993, the MECCA Chapter of The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., has made an impact on the lives African American women and girls in metro Atlanta with advocacy programs for health, economic development, public policy, financial literacy and education. For almost 20 years, we have committed our time and our talents to promote change in the greatest areas of need in our community. Each of us offers extraordinary experiences, connections and gifts. Whether you are a thinker, organizer or a potential sponsor, your support can be instrumental to our chapter’s advocacy efforts. By joining together, we can achieve an uncommonly high performance that makes a difference.

Thanks to so many supportive members and volunteers the Legends of Fashion production, produced by Dwight Eubanks was a great success. There was standing room only in the house, not an empty seat to be found. Designers and models flew in from Paris, Africa, and New York as they too came to honor and celebrate this historical moment in fashion with their loved one and peer, Dwight Eubanks.

Dwight Eubanks is preparing to take “Legends of Fashion,” on the road, in the coming months we should hear more about the tour and dates. Congrats! To those who participated in the production “Legends of Fashion,” and also hats off to those who received honorary awards from the City of Atlanta.

Tamara Lawrence

10 Best Restaurants in Atlanta for Valentines Day!

Getting ready for Valentines Day? Atlanta has a long list of great restaurants. We in the south do everything around food. It is traditional to break bread with friends and enjoy conversation and opinion while enjoying such delights as barbecue, fish, steak, and other more exotic foods.

Here is a restaurant list I have prepared to help you enjoy some of the Atlanta Metro’s best restaurants to eat and socialize . Hold on to your wallet these list don’t include value meals.

Now lets start the 10 Best Restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia list.

70 West Ferry Rd.
Atlanta, Ga. 30305

Whether you are entertaining corporate clients or are enjoying family over dinner Chop’s delivers a great steak with wonderful side items like creamed spinach or walnut/raisin encrusted bread. If beef is not your fair try the Lobster Bar which includes such delights as swordfish, yellow-fin tuna and of course Lobster.

Truly a relaxed but exquisite dining experience.

3290 Northside Parkway
Atlanta, Ga. 30327

This is a great foray into French cooking with a flair for the Asian. Chef/owner Joel Artunes has perfected his menu with such tasty items as Bouillabaisse, Roast Lamb and other mouth watering French basics. This menu has been carefully prepared and crafted by one of Atlanta’s best chefs.

High Life Restaurant
3380 Holcomb Bridge Road
Norcross, GA. 30092

Located as an anchor tenant in a small strip center High Life is a center of activity in this business center of Norcross. A menu that includes a wonderful Crab and Lobster Dip or the Corn Fried Shrimp w/ Remoulade Sauce, is great for starters. Entree’s include Sesame Encrusted Sea Bass and Pork Chops with Sweet Corn Grits. A great night out with friends in elegant surroundings.

Buckhead Diner
3073 Piedmont Rd.
Atlanta, Ga. 30305

Trendy, retro and absolutely upscale casual. Atlanta’s Buckhead Diner is the original go to place for fun and unique food. Menu items like Veal Meatloaf with Wild Mushrooms or Homemade Potato Chips with warm Maytag Blue Cheese will energize your dining experience while tantalize your taste buds.

Who knows maybe you will run into Elton John as he has been known to frequent this restaurant while in town. But no matter what; it will be an evening to remember.

Atlanta Fish Market
265 Pharr Rd. NE
Atlanta, Ga. 30305

The Atlanta Fish Market is the best seafood restaurant in the Atlanta Metro Area. It has a wide selection to pick from and is set in an upscale casual atmosphere in trendy Buckhead. You can’t miss the 65 foot fish sculpture out front or the wide veranda style porch.

Menu items will fascinate your taste in anticipation of the greatest seafood in the southeast. Chilled Lobster, Stuffed Flounder, Raw Chilled Oysters, Chilean Sea Bass and a host of epicurean delights await you at this great restaurant.

3060 Peachtree Rd.
Atlanta, Ga. 30305

Atlanta’s restaurant for superior southwestern cuisine along with a unique and bold dining adventure welcomes you with good service and great food. One of Atlanta’s new but premium menus includes Jalapeno Giant Shrimp, Pistachio Encrusted Mahi Mahi, or the Key Lime Grilled Chicken.

A delightful dining experience.

500 Pharr Rd. at Maple Dr.
Atlanta, Ga. 30305

No list of best restaurants would be complete without Pricci’s. One of Buckhead’s premier restaurants with elegent and delightful Italian cuisine. From the Short Rib Ravioli to the Homemade Sweet Sausage this menu is both creative and exploding with taste.

A gourmet’s ultimate Italian experience.

620 Glen Iris Dr. NE
Atlanta, Ga. 30308

American cuisine with an oriental taste and chic-metro flavors. The husband-wife team have come up with what is Atlanta’s most unique and sophisticated food in an equally unique and impressive atmosphere.

You can choose from such delicacies as Pan Roasted Free Range Chicken, Chorizo-Crusted Berkshire Pork Chops or maybe you would like to try Mihoko’s Macrobiotic Bento Composition, a true vegetarian journey.

The Palm
3391 Peachtree Rd. NE at the Weston Buckhead
Atlanta Ga. 30326

Get a truly remarkable old world feel at The Palm. Known for the great Aged Steaks, Jumbo Nova Scotia Lobsters and seafood as well as Italian fare.

The dining rooms are a panoramic view of caricatures of the locals that make this establishment truly unique and worthy of every dollar spent.

The Eclipse Di Luna
764 Miami Circle
Atlanta, Ga 30324

Last on our list is a wonderful place to socialize and have fun with dinner and friends. The Eclipse Di Luna is a upscale Tapas Bar and Restaurant. At a tapas bar you get several small dishes to try and therefore make a meal. You get to try dishes like Sweet Fried Plantains with Black Truffle Honey and Cracked Black Pepper or Marinated Grilled Chicken Brest with Roasted Corn Pablano.

A trip to The Eclipse is a memorable experience.

Well, there you have the 10 Best Restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kirby Rooks, Yahoo! Contributor Network


Atlanta, GA ( — The Allstate Gospel Superfest will hold its fourteenth national TV recording and festival in Atlanta on Saturday, March 9, 2013. The show will take place at the Georgia International Convention Center (Atlanta airport area) and feature some of America’s most accomplished names in the field of inspirational and R&B music. Artists scheduled to appear include:

* The Chicago Mass Choir
* Tramaine Hawkins
* Dorinda Clark Cole
* Dottie Peoples
* DeWayne Woods
* Byron Cage
* Anita Wilson
* Earnest Pugh
* Beverly Crawford
* Ricky Dillard & New G
* Regina Belle
* Lonnie Hunter

The show will be hosted by accomplished actress and TV star Wendy Raquel Robinson, who is known for her lead role as the character “Tasha Mack” on the hit BET Network series “The Game.” This is Ms. Robinson’s second appearance as host of the Allstate Gospel Superfest. The Allstate Gospel Superfest will deliver an inspiring night of non-stop entertainment for the entire family with great music, comedy, urban dance and several surprises. The recordings from the event are scheduled to air in national syndication during the months of March and June of 2013.

The Allstate Gospel Superfest “Live In Atlanta” is executive produced by show founder Bobby Cartwright, Jr. (Cincinnati, OH) and directed by Ryan Polito (Los Angeles, CA). The one-day power-packed musical spectacular will take place at the Georgia International Convention Center, 2000 Convention Center Concourse, Atlanta, GA 30337 on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 6:00 PM. Doors will open at 5:00 PM. Tickets for the event are on sale now at or by calling 866-468-7619. More information on The Allstate Gospel Superfest is also available at

About The Allstate Gospel Superfest

The Allstate Gospel Superfest is one of the nation’s largest TV recordings in the field of urban-targeted- inspirational music and entertainment. Founded in 1998, the show has maintained a consistent presence in broadcast syndication for thirteen consecutive years since the year 2000. Releasing five one-hour specials a year, The Allstate Gospel Superfest is carried by major TV network affiliated stations including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW, & MYTV. The Allstate Gospel Superfest is known for its elaborate staging, trend setting production and Hollywood style approach to gospel music television. Allstate Gospel Superfest TV programming reaches millions of TV viewers annually via domestic syndication and cable. The show is also carried on major cable and Christian networks including The Trinity Broadcasting Network, The Word Network, GMC (formerly Gospel Music Channel) and the newly launched Bounce and Aspire TV Networks.

Ruth Stirling
(800) 219-0337