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City Honors Former Baseball Coach

A lifetime Acworth resident and pillar of the community attained some well-earned recognition from the Board of Aldermen.

A lifetime Acworth resident and coach of the city's first baseball team for African-American youths was honored at the meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the on Thursday evening.

Claude Johnson, 75, was given a proclamation by Mayor Tommy Allegood and was presented a plaque and two baseball jerseys by members of the Acworth Achievers after school mentoring program.

Frank White, one of the lead mentors of the program, said that instead of merely learning about Black History Month in the classroom, the achievers should honor local African-American citizens who have made a positive impact in their community.

Johnson worked for a company associated with Lockheed from 1953 to 1971, and then worked at Hewlitt Packard from 1972 until his retirement in 2000. He is now a church deacon and “Acworth's number one fan,” according to Alderman Tim Houston.

In 1963, Johnson set up a youth baseball team for Acworth's African-American population, who were unable to play with their white peers due to segregation. Until teams were integrated in 1965, Johnson's team traveled to Marietta, Canton, and other Cobb County locales to play other African-American teams.

Joined by his wife of 57 years, Willie Mae, and players from his 1960s baseball team, Johnson received several standing ovations from the assembled citizens. Johnson remarked that the area where City Hall now stands was once an area where horses were shod, showing the great progress the city has made. Although many things have changed, many things remain the same in the city, according to Johnson.

“This city was always color blind, even when I was growing up,” he said. “The people here are what make this city great.”

The Board of Aldermen also recognized the Boy Scouts of America on their 102nd anniversary. Members of Troop 116 were given a proclamation by Allegood which recognized their 73 years of service to the community. The Scouts plan to continue their service tradition this year with a bevy of projects, including the .

Thursday's consent agenda passed with unanimous consent. Here are some notable items from the agenda:

  • Girl Scout Troop 2376 will be selling Girl Scout Cookies at the downtown depot on Feb. 18 and Feb. 24.
  • Jade Mauldin will serve another term on the Acworth Downtown Development Authority. Her appointment to position two runs until Jan. 31, 2017.
  • Malinda Howe, Keith McPherson, Phillip Robuck, Abbie Parks and Paige Williams will all serve another term on the Acworth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Authority. Their terms expire on Jan. 31, 2013.
  • The city will purchase 4676 Moon Pl. from Mary Garrin Surpris for $79,800.
  • 8.35 acres of land at the Parke Place development on Northridge Drive will be rezones from multi-family residential to residential conservation.

The remainder of the agenda may be found here.

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