Special Decatur Bookfest offer: The Way It Was in the South

Thornbriar Press will be back at the Decatur Book Festival this year, and we’re happy to to be promoting the imprint’s latest title, Brambleman as well as the critically acclaimed, award-winning Chain Gang Elementary.

In addition, we’ll be offering the collectors edition of the groundbreaking work, The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia, edited by Thornbriar Press author Jonathan Grant. The special price for festivalgoers is only $15.00!

This is the original hardcover first edition of the work that’s been named “Georgia Book of the Year” and Editors Choice at American Heritage magazine.

Here’s just some of the praise The Way It Was in the South has received:

“Truly a tour de force … incredibly detailed, sometimes discursive, and always placed in the context of the larger national, even world, picture…. It is doubtful if any other state has had the story of its slaves and its free blacks, its freedmen and their generations of descendants, told in such detail and completeness, and with such convincing authoritativeness. … Georgians, southerners, indeed any American … can read The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia , with great profit and ease.”

Journal of American History

“[M]onumental …The paradoxical existence of black achievement in the midst of racial oppression is a central theme. It provides an indelible picture of blacks’ achievements despite lynching, segregation, and other degradations. Accessible and informative for students and the general public. [While] one volume cannot do everything, this one does a great deal.”

Georgia Historical Quarterly

Bill Nye the Science Guy on Evolution v. Creationism

I’m getting ready for a book signing tonight in Macon (6 p.m. at the Barnes and N0ble in the The Crossings on Riverside Drive) and this weekend’s Decatur Book Festival (Thornbriar Press’s booth will be on Ponce de Leon) between the Old Courthouse and Church Street. 

Therefore, I only have time to post a quick link to this posting — from AJC’s Momania blog (includes video).  In it, Nye urges parents not to teach their children creationism:  


“And I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine,” Nye says. “But don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can – we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”

Check it out.

PTA embezzlement: “That’s just wrong on so many levels”

There is a glut of PTA embezzlement stories to start the new year. One reason: that’s when the rocks get turned over.

This story comes from CBS Sacramento: 

AUBURN (CBS13) – Investigators say a former Auburn PTA president robbed hundreds of students she was elected to help.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office says Traci Lynn Bucher stole $2,200 from last year’s school fund and investigators are still looking into whether she has anything to do with an additional $2,000 that went missing.

Bucher, 37 and a mother herself, is accused of embezzling money meant for Auburn Elementary School students.

“That’s just wrong on so many levels,” another parent said Tuesday.

Sheriff’s detectives say she went on a personal shopping spree using a parent-teacher club debit card. The missing money came to light after other parents realized the club’s math wasn’t adding up.

Read more.


Not again? Yes, again. Another PTA embezzlement case

From WECT-TV in Wilmington, NC:

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A member of the parent-teacher association at Virginia Williamson Elementary is accused of embezzling money, according to officials.

Brunswick County Sheriff’s detectives issued a warrant for Dana Marie DiBenedetto of Supply.

DiBenedetto is accused of embezzling $7,619.08 from the school’s PTA.

Read more.

Click here to learm more about Chain Gang Elementary.

Culver City crime: Cheryl Noda pleads guilty

We’ve been folllowing this case for a while, and now it’s gone through the courts. Cheryl Noda of Culver City, California, has pleaded guilty to grand theft in connection with an embezzlement scheme that financially crippled her elementary school PTA. By the way, unlike many PTA embezzlers, she actually spent a day in jail. One. 

From Culber City Patch

Cheryl Noda, who was charged with stealing funds from the El Rincon Elementary School PTA, was convicted of one count of grand theft by embezzlement in a Los Angeles court Thursday morning.

Noda was charged April 12 with two counts of grand theft by embezzlement, one count of second-degree commercial burglary and two counts of forgery. She pleaded not guilty to all charges at the time.

However, Noda pleaded no contest Thursday morning to one count of grand theft by emebezzlement. The four other charges were dropped. Noda will serve three years of formal probation for the crime. She has also been ordered to undergo 90 days of community service and has had one day of her sentence reduced after spending 24 hours in the LA County jail, Sandi Gibbons of the District Attorney’s Office told Patch.

Read more.

Click here to learm more about Chain Gang Elementary.

PTA mom pleads guilty to forgery AND claims innocence

Here’s an embezzlement case in which a former California PTA treasurer makes a plea deal and cuts a restitution check—and then denies wrongdoing through her lawyer.  No jail time involved, either.

From the Orange County Register:

Heidi Maclean Andrews, 50, of Rancho Santa Margarita also will perform 120 hours of community service, be put on three years’ probation and pay court fees.

“There were at least two PTA checks where she changed the payee from the school to a business she owned,” said Farrah Emami of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. “It’s unclear what she spent the money on.”

Emami said the parents who initially came forward to report the alleged theft believed Andrews had stolen as much as $14,750, but investigators pegged the figure at $9,895, based on what they could prove in court.

Andrews was charged Nov. 16, 2011, with three felony counts of acts constituting forgery and one felony count of grand theft. The former PTA treasurer, who served on the parent-teacher association from about 2005 to 2009, pleaded guilty Wednesday in a Newport Beach courthouse to one misdemeanor count of acts constituting forgery.

Andrews’ attorney, Dyke E. Huish, said his client was “a sloppy bookkeeper,” not a thief. She paid for PTA programs, including school theater productions, using her own money and would reimburse herself by writing a PTA check, Huish said. She did it “out of convenience, not out of theft,” he added.

Read more.

Click here to learm more about Chain Gang Elementary.