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Businesses rally to support family of slain deputy

Businesses around Honey Creek Drive and beyond are coming together in an outpouring of support for the family of Deputy Brian Mahaffey, who was shot and killed in the line of duty Saturday.

On Saturday, May 22, many business in the Honey Creek Village area will be donating a portion of their sales that day or participating in someway to donate to the Mahaffey family, including Honey Creek Wings, State Farm Insurance and Los Charros – the restaurant where Mahaffey reportedly had his birthday dinner the night before.

Kelly Collins, owner of Sprouts and the Garden consignment store, which will be donating 100 percent of its sales on May 22, said the news of the tragedy broke her heart.

"All his family are regulars here," said Collins. "Personally, I felt that if we did not do something, that's not acceptable."

She came up with the idea over the weekend and since then, the response from surrounding businesses and community has been enthusiastic. The plans for the day are still developing, said Collins. For more information, call 770-761-8845 or visit

Businesses across the street have also initiated another donation and support campaign by selling blue and black ribbons for businesses to display outside their shops, with all the proceeds after material costs going to Rockdale Baptist for the Mahaffey family.

Richard Leverington, owner of Conyers Discount Caskets, said neighboring businessman Alonzo Hill, of Regency Barber Shop and Salon, had emailed him over the weekend asking what local businesses could do to show support for the family.

Leverington turned to his florist, Sandi Corcoran of April's Rose Garden, who promptly began producing a large blue and black outdoor ribbon.

Those ribbons are selling for $10. They are also selling a smaller $1 blue and black ribbon to pin onto clothing. By Tuesday, they had sold out of the ribbons and were ordering more.

"It's an absolute tragedy," said Leverington. "And it did happen right down the road."

Hill also presented a ribbon to the Board of Commissioners at their Tuesday meeting.

To order the ribbons or for more information, call 770-761-0996.

In addition to Honey Creek area businesses, other businesses are pitching in to help the family.

Rockdale Medical Center is donating the proceeds of its Rockdale Idol competition this Friday to the Mahaffey family.

The Market of Conyers, 1180 Ga. Highway 138 SE, will also donate all proceeds from any sales this Sunday, May 16. For directions to The Market of Conyers or more information, call 770-922-4030


Riders raise money for fallen officers' families

 The Ride to Provide to benefit the Porterdale Police Department and to honor fallen officers has set their second annual bike ride for Saturday, Peace Officer's Memorial Day.

Organized by Holly Cripps, wife to PPD Sgt. Jason Cripps, the day will begin with a brief ceremony and moment of silence for fallen officers all over the United States between 10:30 and 11 a.m. at the Historic Train Depot. A flag will be flown at half staff and "Taps" will be played. Afterward, the flag will be presented to PPD Chief Wayne Digby.

Riders will then leave and enjoy a 60-90 minute ride around the county and through the square, escorted by two motorcycle units from the Newton County Sheriff's Office and PPD. Riders will return to Porterdale where they are encouraged to enjoy lunch at one of the local restaurants.

Throughout the day, door prizes will be given out including police flashlights, restaurant vouchers and a painting of a motorcycle by a local artist.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and is $25 per rider and $5 for passengers. Shirts are available for $10 and coffee and biscuits will be provided to those who register.

According to Cripps, the ride last year raised approximately $2,300 which went toward the purchase of bulletproof vests for PPD officers. This year funds raised will go to purchase safety equipment for the PPD

The PPD also has their annual Public Safety Day coming up in August and festivities for the Fourth of July. - Amber Pittman