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AADD names Madeline Griffin Family Support Center Coordinator

AADD names Madeline Griffin Family Support Center Coordinator

DECATUR, Ga. -- All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD) today announced that Madeline Griffin has been named the nonprofit agency’s Family Support Center (FSC) Coordinator. Griffin will be responsible for all of the organization’s community workshops, partnerships and programs.

Every year, AADD (www.aadd.org) provides support services, advocacy and training to more than 2,000 individuals and families living with developmental disabilities.

The FSC is designed to serve individuals and families living with developmental disabilities in metro Atlanta and across Georgia, offering assistance during difficult life transitions.  The Center is initially funded to serve more than 1000 people annually, but the non-profit organization plans to expand its services as funding allows.

Joyce Carol Oates to headline Decatur Book Festival

Joyce Carol Oates to headline Decatur Book Festival

DECATUR, Ga. -- Joyce Carol Oates has been named keynote speaker of the 2014 AJC Decatur Book Festival.

Oates, 76, will kick off this year's festival on Friday, Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. at Emory University's Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. She is the author of more than 40 novels and will soon publish a new short story collection, Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories.

Oates has also received a number of awards, including two O. Henry Prizes, the PEN/Malamud Award, the Poets & Writers Distinguished Lifetime Award and, in 2010, the National Humanities Medal.

"There are few authors -- very, very few -- that rise to Joyce Carol Oates' level of accomplishment," Decatur Book Festival executive director Daren Wang said in a release.

Garret Lazenby named principal at Sterling Risk Advisors

Garret Lazenby named principal at Sterling Risk Advisors

DECATUR, Ga. -- Garret Lazenby has been admitted as a shareholder and principal at Sterling Risk Advisors, an Atlanta-based risk management and insurance brokerage firm. The announcement comes in recognition of his tremendous contributions since joining the firm in 2011.

Lazenby’s skills include a broad range of insurance solutions for professionals, general commercial business, community associations, and individuals. He helps lead the transportation, logistics, and supply chain practice for Sterling Risk Advisors.

His areas of expertise include:

● Trucking/Freight Forwarding/Customs Brokerage/NVOCC
● Warehousing and Logistics
● Freight Brokerage
● Supply Chain (Manufacturers, Distributors, Wholesalers, and Retail)
● International Business
● Real Estate
● Construction
● Contract Negotiation

Search for WondLa author to speak in metro Atlanta

Search for WondLa author to speak in metro Atlanta

(WXIA) -- A popular author will hold two readings and book signings in metro Atlanta this weekend.

Tony DiTerlizzi writes the Search for WondLa trilogy and recently published The Battle for WondLa, the final book in the series. The Battle for WondLa follows Eva Nine, who must go into hiding when peace between humans and aliens begins to crumble, and the evil Lorac plots against the captured city of Solas, Orbona.

DiTerlizzi will speak at the Edgewood Barnes & Noble (1217 Caroline Street) on Saturday, May 10 at 2 p.m. He will also be at Little Shop of Stories in Decatur (133 East Court Square) on Sunday, May 11 at 4 p.m.

One of DiTerlizzi's book series, The Spiderwick Chronicles, was made into a 2008 movie starring Freddie Highmore and Mary-Louise Parker.

Learn more about Tony DiTerlizzi at diterlizzi.com.

History center to hold architecture Lunch & Learn

History center to hold architecture Lunch & Learn

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- The DeKalb History Center will hold a Lunch & Learn with architectural historian Dr. Richard Cloues later this month.

Cloues will present his lecture, "After the Bungalow, Before the Ranch: The Small American House Phenomenon, 1920s-1950s" on Tuesday, Jan. 21 at noon.

He will speak in the Old Superior Courtroom at the Historic DeKalb Courthouse in downtown Decatur.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Attendees are permitted to bring lunch.

Gov. Deal names leader to Office of Child Advocate

Gov. Deal names leader to Office of Child Advocate

ATLANTA -- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed an attorney as director of the state Office of the Child Advocate.

Ashley Willcott will begin her new job on Feb. 1.

Willcott has worked as a lawyer in various juvenile courts since 1992. In addition to running her own private practice, she is a Special Assistant Attorney General representing the Department of Family and Children Services in Dawson and Rockdale counties. Willcott has also worked as Juvenile Court Judge Pro Tem in DeKalb and Fulton counties.

She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and English from Newcomb College at Tulane University and a law degree from Emory University.

The Office of the Child Advocate "will work proactively and steadily to improve the way our state helps families in need," according to its website.

Bestselling YA author to speak in Decatur

Bestselling YA author to speak in Decatur

DECATUR, Ga. -- Popular author Laurie Halse Anderson will hold a talk and book signing at the Decatur Library this month.

RELATED | Author Sue Monk Kidd to visit Decatur

Anderson is best known for her novel Speak, which was made into a 2004 movie with Twilight star Kristen Stewart. She also wrote Wintergirls, which tells the story of a high school student suffering from anorexia.

Her latest novel, The Impossible Knife of Memory, is about a teenager named Hayley and her relationship with her father Andy, an Iraq War veteran suffering from PTSD.

Anderson will be at the library on Friday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. Her visit is sponsored by Little Shop of Stories and the Georgia Center for the Book.

The Decatur Library is located at 215 Sycamore Street.