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Marietta Daily Journal Podcast

Cobb Countians remember President Jimmy Carter as he enters hospice care

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Show Notes

Tributes to a giant of Georgia politics began to pour in after the weekend’s announcement that former President Jimmy Carter, 98, would enter hospice care at his home in Plains.

The news was announced by the Carter Center in a social media post Saturday. Admirers from Cobb remembered the remarkable arc of Carter’s career, which carried him from the Gold Dome to the White House before a decades-long career as an advocate for humanitarian and civil rights causes. “Georgia is losing a great oak that has fallen,” said former Gov. Roy Barnes.

Barnes called Carter a remarkable man who historians will treat kindly.

Even though he faced steep challenges as president, Carter is already recognized as one of the great humanitarians of our age, Barnes said, and was ahead of his time on environmental issues. Barnes’ father Bill Barnes supported Carter in the contentious 1970 Democratic primary election for the gubernatorial race, when Carter bested former Gov. Carl Sanders. Bill Barnes had become friends with Carter on bird hunting trips in south Georgia.

Roy Barnes said that in Cobb, one of Carter’s biggest supporters was the late Conley Ingram, who served as a judge in several of Cobb’s courts and spent four years on the Georgia Supreme Court after being appointed by Carter.

As governor, Barnes said Carter reorganized and streamlined state government. The overhaul was the most extensive since the gubernatorial term of Richard Russell in the 1930s. Barnes got to know the former president better as a state legislator. When Barnes was governor, Carter spoke out in support of Barnes’ changing of the state flag to remove the Confederate battle flag.

Former Marietta Congressman Buddy Darden likewise remembered when Carter was stumping in Cobb during his second, victorious run for governor in 1970. Carter ran as the supposed conservative against Gov. Sanders, Darden said, but that all changed when Carter declared in his inaugural address, “the time for racial discrimination is over.”

A Georgia Department of Education investigation found that the Cobb County School District failed to follow federal law by denying services to a 5-year-old student with disabilities.

The district has been ordered to provide compensatory services and review its policies in the wake of the investigation.

A formal complaint was filed by the student’s parent and the Southern Poverty Law Center last December, after Cobb schools denied home-based services for the student, who has Down syndrome and several other disabilities. The state found the district rejected the recommendations of two medical professionals that a unique, eight-week feeding program conducted during school hours was medically necessary for the student.

After he missed 10 consecutive days of in-person school due to the medical program, the district withdrew the student and provided no special education to him from Sept. 29 through Nov. 22, and then re-enrolled him after the program was completed, according to the state.

Cobb must now provide 50 hours of services to the student, the state ordered. Cobb schools said it had received the state’s order and would respond accordingly. Cobb school board member Randy Scamihorn said he couldn’t comment on any specific case. But, he said that he’s always supported checks and balances on the school system, recognizing it will always be striving to be better.

A Cobb County woman has received a life sentence after pleading guilty to the murder of her 5-year-old daughter this week, the district attorney’s office said.

Shekinah Akbar, 33, was accused of torturing and killing her child in a February 2020 incident.

Akbar called 911 on February 20 to report that her neighbors had beat her daughter. First responders arrived to find the girl, who was not identified by name, dead and badly beaten. Akbar later told investigators she was attempting to exorcise evil spirits from her daughter, admitting she had hit the child. When confronted with the full extent of her daughter’s injuries, Akbar claimed she did not remember inflicting that much harm and denied having killed her child. Akbar was subsequently arrested and charged with murdering her juvenile daughter. Akbar initially entered a plea of insanity, but later withdrew that notice and pled guilty but mentally ill to felony murder and cruelty to children, per the DA’s office. She was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Robert Leonard.

 It’s the end of an era at one of Cobb County’s oldest family-run nursing facilities.

On Tuesday, residents and nurses of Ross Memorial Health Care Center hosted a send-off for brothers Jimmie and David Ross, who have operated the facility on Old 41 Highway for a generation.

The brothers said they plan to turn over management to Parkside, which operates a handful of clinics in Georgia.

The transition for the two comes after their brother, Russell Ross, died last year, and following nearly 60 years for the family business. The Ross brothers’ grandparents, James A. and Annie Lee Ross, founded the original 24-bed Shady Grove Rest Home in 1965. David Ross said he plans to get back into his hobby of working on cars before deciding on a second act and next career. Jimmie Ross, meanwhile, said he plans to spend more time at his father’s farm in south Georgia. The moment, he added, was a bittersweet one. His wife, Sheila Ross, has unofficially served as the home’s decorator-in-chief, and Tuesday, the hallways were festooned in Mardi Gras decor. She too is still figuring out what’s next, but looks forward to relaxing with her 14-month-old granddaughter.

The Marietta Community Egg Hunt, sponsored by Superior Plumbing and the Marietta Business Association, will be April 7 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Life University's Athletic Complex, 1415 Barclay Circle in Marietta.

The event will feature food, games, music, activities and egg hunts for everyone. There will be over 60,000 eggs and candy for the various hunts. The funds raised from the Egg Hunt go to support Marietta City Schools via the Marietta Business Association Education Programs. Admission is free and parking is free at Life University, 1269 Barclay Circle in Marietta.

The egg hunt schedule will be 5:30 p.m. for ages three and under, 6 p.m. is a Special Needs Hunt, 7 p.m. for ages 4-7, 8 p.m. is a Special Needs Hunt and 8:30 p.m. is ages 8-10. Toddler Hunts are located in a separate area and will be at 5:30, 7 and 8:30 p.m. There will be food vendors on hand and Ultimate Kid’s Zones, which are $10 per child for unlimited rides.

The Powder Springs Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying a person who they say broke into a home Sunday morning.

A photo of the person was captured on a home security system, which police shared on social media. Police said the person broke into a home on Marietta Street in downtown Powder Springs and burglarized it. Anyone with information about the person is asked to contact the department on social media or call Sgt. Cheatham-Seay


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